County: County Durham
Issued on: Return
Date of presentation: 18/10/1901
Number issued: 1
Gold albert & appendage, suitably inscribed, to:
Last night at the County Hotel, Jarrow, Sapper Harry WAITT, of the Royal Engineers, who has just returned from South Africa, was entertained by the workmen employed an Messrs Palmer’s smithy, Jarrow. Prior to being called up as a reservist for active service, WAITT, who resided in South Shields, was employed as a striker in the smithy, and on his return last week, invalided home, his old workmates decided to show their respect for him and their satisfaction at his safe return, the result of which was the gathering held last night, which was very largely attended. Mr J. Charlton presided, and the vice-chair was occupied by Mr Wm. Waters.
Mr J. Walton presented Sapper WAITT with a gold albert and appendage (inscribed), the gift of his old workmates, and rejoiced that he had passed through two years of active service without being wounded. (Applause).
The recipient appropriately replied, and in the course of his speech mentioned that he had walked from Cape Town to Delagoa Bay, a distance, he said, of 3,000 miles.
“The Army and Navy” was proposed by the vice-chairman, and replied to by Mr Gordon, foreman smith, who said that he was a member of the Tyne Sub-marine Mining Company. That department of the service, he went on, was kept to the regular forces until Sir Charles M. Palmer convinced the War Office that it could be equally well done by civilians. Fortunately, Sir Charles was a strong man, or red tape would never have allowed civilians to undertake the work. By keeping and clothing a company for a year at his own expense, Sir Charles demonstrated that sub-marine mining was a work for civilians, and beat down the War Office opposition, while at the same time he brought Jarrow the honour of having provided the first civilian corps in that important branch of the services. (Applause).