State: New South Wales, Australia
Issued on: Return
Date of presentation: 19/01/1901
Number issued: 3
Gold alberts & shields, suitably inscribed, to:
Presentation made in the School of Arts, Hinton, West Maitland.
Trooper Weston also received a watch from West Maitland.
Welcome to Returned Soldiers at Hinton
A grand demonstration took place at Hinton on Saturday evening for the purpose of welcoming home from the war in South Africa, Troopers James WESTON and F.W. STUART. At East Maitland Railway Station Troopers WESTON and STUART were welcomed by Captain Markwell, on behalf of the Maitland Half-Squadron of Lancers, and by Mr Thos. H. Pearse, J.P., on behalf of the residents of Hinton. They were then escorted to a drag in waiting, and driven via Raworth and Morpeth to Hinton, followed by a procession, comprising vehicles, horsemen and cyclists, the Morpeth Band under Bandmaster Maynard accompanying, and playing popular and appropriate airs on the journey. Arriving at the Hinton School of Arts the returned heroes met with a great reception, the cheers from the large crowd assembled lasting for some minutes. The hall was quickly filled to overflowing, and the chair was taken by Mr T.H. Pearse. On the platform were Majors Waddy and Cracknell, Captains Markwell and J.B. Meredith, Lieuts. Welch and McLean, the returned soldiers, including Trooper STRATFORD of Thornton and Private SMITH of East Maitland, the Revs. D.W. Davies and H. Halmarick, Messrs. Walter Scott, J.S. Solling, J. Lavis, C.W. Wade, John Lee, Jas. Stuart, J. McDonald, C.R. Garnham, and W. Watson.
The Chairman said it was his pleasing duty, on behalf of the residents of Hinton and surrounding districts, to extend a hearty welcome to Troopers STUART and WATSON, and their comrades-in-arms, Captain MEREDITH, Lieutenant McLEAN, Trooper STRATFORD, and Private SMITH. He was more than pleased to see such a large audience. He called for three cheers for the returned soldiers, which were given with great enthusiasm. Cheers wero also given for the Queen and Lord Roberts.
Mr Charles Garnham said he appreciated the honour done him in asking him to say a few words of welcome. He was sure the returned soldiers also appreciated the manner in which they had been received. Australian troops had acted nobly in South Africa, and had given the lie to those who had said they were feather-bed and hollow-leg soldiers.
The Chairman then presented Troopers STUART and WESTON, on behalf of the residents, with a handsome, gold albert and shield attached, bearing a suitable inscription.
Mr J. Solling and the Rev. Mr Davies added a few words in praise of the Australian soldiers, and extended a hearty welcome to their returned friends.
Trooper STUART, who was received with cheers, said he was very grateful for the manner in which they had received him. He had served for 13 months in South Africa, and had done his best to represent lis Queen and country, and if it became his lot to go back again he would do his best to retain their appreciation. He would treasure their present very much, and wherever he went he would always remember the people of Hinton. His stay among them would not be a long one, as it was his intention to return to South Africa. He again thanked them heartily for the manner in which he had been received.
Trooper WESTON, who was also most enthusiastically received, said he was a poor hand at making a speech. He was very thankful for their kind reception, and also for their handsome present. He had always tried to do his duty, but did not think he would go back again.
Captain Markwell thanked the committee for their invitation, to be present to witness and take part in the large demonstration tendered to the returned soldiers, three of whom he had the honour to command. He thought the people of Hinton could not be too proud of the work done by their men in South Africa. It had been decided to welcome all the returned soldiers in the district at West Maitland next Wednesday evening, and he invited all to be present on that occasion.
Captain MEREDITH thanked the people of Hinton and district for coupling his name with the reception. He had tried to do his duty, and one could not do more. The Lancers were the first of the colonials to get to South Africa, and the first to show the English officers how useful the colonials could be. Australia should feel proud of her sons. Only an Australian by adoption, he had had many opportunities of watching Australians, and they always did their duty and went where they were told. They were, however, no better than the British soldiers, the best fighters in the world. He was sure there would be a great number of volunteers for the next contingent, and if everyone got the reception given to them, everyone would want to go.
Lieutenant McLEAN and Trooper STRATFORD thanked the people of Hinton and district for the invitation to be present and for the hearty manner in which they had welcomed them and their comrades.
Major Waddy said there was no necessity for him to eulogise the returned soldiers, their own deeds had been sufficient to gain for them the esteem of the whole world. England was now asking for more, and their numbers would probably be trebled. He was sure if every Australian soldier got the reception tendered to those present that night their heads would soon be turned. Every Australian soldier who had returned said the hero of the war was the British Tommy, but he was certain that Australians could hold their own, and as long as the two fought side by side there was nothing to beat them.
Mr John Lee thanked the committee for their invitation to be present, and added a few words of welcome to the returned soldiers.
WEST MAITLAND, Tuesday.