County: Somerset
Issued on: Return
Date of presentation: 19/07/1901
Number issued: 1


Gold chain & pendant, to:

Volunteer Active Service Company, Somerset Light Infantry –
6868 Private J. TAVENER

Presentation made by Mrs Hallett, of Tintinhull Court, on the lawn at Tintinhull Court, Somerton.


Western Chronicle, 26th July 1901



In the history of our village there are to be found traces of reasons of rejoicings of an unusual character, but we cannot discover within the pages of these records any intimation of such lively and interesting scenes as those recently witnessed in this parish. The home-coming of our brave volunteers from South Africa has been (especially in our village) accompanied by the wildest scenes of enthusiasm, but the reception afforded Private TAVENER, on the occasion of his return, stands particularly unique. It may be remembered that this young man was unfortunately stricken with enteric fever just prior to his re-embarkation, and upon his arrival in England in May instead was detained at Netley Hospital. It was not until the morning of July 18th that the news of his discharge became known, and in consequence very little time remained for the inhabitants to prepare for that happy moment which they had so long contemplated. At a quarter to 8 o’clock p.m. our hero was borne into the village amid the shouts and acclamations of an eager crowd. The desire of the people to display their admiration and sympathy very soon found vent in dispensing with the services of the horse which drew the carriage (kindly lent for the occasion). Ropes were then attached to the vehicle, and the party, in full possession of the hero of the hour, paraded the village singing patriotic songs and melodies. The remarkable display of bunting throughout the village, the pealing of the church bells, and the shouts of onlookers along the route made the scene a very striking one.
The proceedings were continued on Friday evening. On the lawn, very kindly lent by Mr Hallett, of Tintinhull Court, nearly the whole of the inhabitants assembled to witness the presentation by Mrs Hallett to Priv. TAVENER of a gold chain and pendant, subscribed by the villagers. The Volunteer Band from Somerton was in attendance, also many influential gentlemen of the parish, including the Vicar. Prior to the presentation, the band played some dance music, to which the people readily responded. In introducing Mrs Hallett, Mr Hallett, in a brief but able speech, fully expressed the sentiments and good wishes of the people towards the returned hero. He said how very pleased they all were to see Mr TAVENER home again and looking so well, and that they were indeed proud to know that they had some amongst them always ready and willing to do their duty for their King and country.
Mrs Hallett then proceeded to make the presentation. Addressing the recipient, she said that it gave her very great pleasure indeed to perform the ceremony. Continuing she said: We are all very proud of you. It was indeed good and noble of you to leave your home to fight for dear old England. She hoped that if in the future similar circumstances should arise others would be ready to follow his example. In her concluding remarks she said she hoped Mr TAVENER would be spared long to cherish the gift and ever reflect upon it as a token of the villagers’ loyalty and affection for their brave Volunteer. Private TAVENER, in response, thanked all very much for their great kindness, and said he had only done what he felt to be his duty to his King and country.
Cheers, to which the people heartily responded, were then given for Mr TAVENER, also for Mr and Mrs Hallett and family, the band playing respectively, “Should auld acquaintance be forgot” and “For he’s a jolly good fellow”. A series of excellent dances and band selections brought to a climax one of the happiest days ever remembered by the people of Tintinhull.