Issued on: Return
Dates of presentations: 14/05/1901, 16/12/1902
Number issued: 21 or 22
7349 Private Owen WILLIAMS
Presentation made in Marine Square.
7574 Private Hugh WILLIAMS
4255 Sergeant Nathaniel Joseph CAMPBELL
31704 Bugler Lewis OWEN (wounded, near Zeerust, 03/07/1901)
Presentation made by Mr J. Lansbury, J.P., in the Town Hall, Holyhead.
Reverse: "PRESENTED TO / [Pt. Lewis] / 3RD V|B R.W.F. / BY THE INHABITANTS / OF HOLYHEAD / ON HIS RETURN FROM / S. AFRICAN WAR / 1901".
Reverse: "PRESENTED TO / _________ / BY THE INHABITANTS / OF HOLYHEAD / ON HIS RETURN FROM / S. AFRICAN WAR / 1902".
RETURN OF HOLYHEAD VOLUNTEEERS.
Holyhead was last evening en fete, when many thousands of the inhabitants had turned out to give a reception to seven members of the H Company of the 3rd Volunteer Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers on their return from service in South Africa. The proceedings commenced with a short service at the St Cybi Church, when the company, under Captain W.H. Edwards, J.P., Lieut. Rice R. Williams, Surgeon-Lieut. Hughes, and Sergeant-Instructor Cush, attended, the church being crowded. Subsequently the company marched to the Marine Square, where an open-air demonstration was held, presided over by Mr W.D. Jones, J.P., chairman of the Holyhead District Council, who referred to the gallant and noble services rendered by the Welsh Volunteers in South Africa. Twenty-one members from Holyhead had volunteered to go out, and they were glad to welcome seven of them back, but it was with deep regret that they remembered that one of the party, John LEWIS, had died on the return voyage. An illuminated address was presented to Captain Edwards, and a gold memento to each of the men.
PRESENTATION OF MEDALS.
On Tuesday evening the local Volunteers of the second contingent that had taken part in the late South African War assembled in the Town Hall to receive their medals. They were under the command of Captain R.R. Williams, together with Lieutenant Edwards and Sergt.-Instructor Warmer. The members of the Urban District Council had assembled in full strength to do honour to the Volunteers, and occupied seats on the platform. The chairman of the Council was supported on his right and left hand by Mr W.D. Jones, ex-chairman, and Mr John James vice-chairman.
Mr James Lansbury, J.P., chairman, said that it gave him great pleasure to attend that gathering to take part in the awarding of the medals. He believed in bestowing honour where honour was due. The young men had gone to South Africa to fight for their country at a critical juncture in its history. They had responded most heartily to the call. He did not know what the individual record of each was, but undoubtedly they had done their duty as a part of the great British Army, and the outcome or the operations in South Africa would result in untold benefit to the Transvaal and to the whole commercial world. The Volunteers had suffered great privations. They had left home, friends, and country to imperil their lives to maintain the prestige and the honour of their country. He hoped that they would wear the medals with honour, defend them by the integrity of their lives, and prove ever faithful to their country.
Mr John James, vice-chairman of the Council said it afforded him pleasure to be present to witness the presentation of the medals. The recipients had done their duty faithfully and well in South Africa, and were worthy of the honour bestowed upon them.
Mr W.D. Jones, ex-chairman of the Council, was called upon to make the presentation of the gold medals, and remarked that the Holyhead Volunteers had done nobly at the front, and he was proud of the Welsh Fusiliers, who had always done well; wherever the British arms went they were held in honour and respect. He had pleasure in making the presentation of the gold medals, which he hoped would be kept as a token of the esteem of their fellow-townsmen for their admirable services at the front.
MEDALS FOR WARRIORS.
PRESENTATIONS AT HOLYHEAD.
The ceremony of presenting the members of the H Company, 3rd V.B. R.W.F., who had been to the front with the Second Service Company with the gold medals on behalf of the town, took place at the Town Hall on Tuesday evening. It is doubtful if there is a town of the size of Holyhead in North Wales that sent so many Volunteers to take part in the late South African War, 22 men having volunteered from Holyhead. The members of the First Service Company were presented with gold medals some months back. The hall on Tuesday evening was not half filled with the general public, and it was a pity that the presentation was not made more generally known. Precisely at half-past seven the local company, under the command of Capt. R.R. Williams, Lieutenant Edwards, and Sergt.-Instructor Harmer, marched into the hall and took their position on the right hand side. Some time elapsed before Mr J. Lansbury, J.P., the chairman of the Urban Council, who was to present the medals, accompanied by some members of the Council put in an appearance. The members of the Council supporting the chairman on the platform were Messrs J. James, vice-chairman; W.D. Jones, J.T. Griffiths, O. Hughes, and T. Roberts.
The men to be presented were Sergeant N. CAMPBELL, Sergeant J.G. OWEN, Lance-Sergeant W.F. THOMAS, Privates Daniel EVANS, W. GRIFFITHS, C.E. GUEST, J.T. JONES, Thomas PARRY, J.H. KNOTT, Robert JONES, Hugh WILLIAMS, and Bugler Lewis OWEN. One member of the company, Private Hugh ROBERTS, died of enteric fever, and was buried in South Africa. It is gratifying to find that a medal will also be provided and presented to the family of the deceased.
Mr Lansbury said that it gave him great pleasure to do honour to those men who had served their country in South Africa, and who had willingly responded to the call.
Mr W.D. Jones said that they were all proud of the Welsh Fusiliers, who had always done well, and who had made a name for themselves wherever the British flag had been hoisted. He was sorry that there were not more persons present, as he was sure that if Holyhead people knew that the young men were to be presented the hall would have been filled. It was pleasing to know that these men had returned from the war, but one of the members had lost his life out in South Africa. He was one of the most respectable young men, and he had valiantly gone forth at the call of his country, leaving his near and dear ones behind, but he had not been forgotten. There would be something for someone to remember him. There were 12 medals to honour those who had returned. They had responded to the call, and were ready to lay down their lives for their country. Now that they had come back to their fatherland, he hoped that they would remember the part they had played in the war, and would live good lives in the future. The medals were not the gift of the Council only, but of the whole town. Everyone had subscribed towards the medals.
Mr J. James said that it gave him great pleasure to be present on the occasion, and hoped that the recipients would appreciate the gifts.
Mr Lansbury said that these volunteers had responded to their country's call without any pressure having been put upon them by their officers. They had gone forth to protect the great interest of the Empire in the sunny land of South Africa, and to uphold the prestige of Great Britain in that land. He did not know what they had done in their individual capacities, but they were units in the great Imperial Army that had proved a boon to South Africa and to the commerce of the world. It had been said some time back that a long spell of peace had almost stilled the martial fire in the breast of the Briton, and that he had lost that dogged determination for which he was noted, but the events of the late war had proved that assertion to be groundless, and that the Briton was always ready to subdue those who dared to trample on the toes of the British. He felt certain that in days to come the men who had volunteered for service in South Africa would be also ready to go forth to defend their hearths and homes whether in the sunny land of South Africa or in the colder regions. The presenting of medals was not giving too much honour to the men who had volunteered for service, and who had proved to the world that the Britons while living in peace and harmony would always be ready to resist and oppose tyranny and oppression wherever found, and would wipe away from the face of the earth those who would dare to molest. He was sorry that there were not more present. It was not every day that they were able to acknowledge the virtues of the young men, and that they could show to the world that they could appreciate their services. It was not every day that young men could leave their homes and those near and dear to them and go forth to fight for their country. The young men had been units in the Army of the Power under whose flag there existed no slaves but freedom, and which did all it could to uplift mankind. He did not know how the medals would be worn, whether attached to the watch chains or on their warmly breasts, but he would say, “Wear them with honour. Defend them with the integrity of your characters and with unswerving loyalty to your country” (cheers).