Liverpool Mercury 16/03/1900:
THE WAITING COMPANY
Considerable progress is being made in connection with the formation of the waiting company of the Liverpool Regiment, which, according to present arrangements, will consist of sections from the 1st, 2nd, 4th and 6th Volunteer Battalions, all four of which corps have their headquarters within the city boundaries. The men of the 6th V.B. have already been attested and transferred to the first-class Army Reserve, and the Quartermaster of the corps is now busy arranging for the supply of khaki uniforms and equipment. As soon as the other corps are complete, they will be attested by Major Roe, R.M.L.I., adjutant of the 6th V.B.
Liverpool Mercury 20/04/1900:
LIVERPOOL VOLUNTEERS FOR THE FRONT
"When the volunteer battalions of the Liverpool Regiment were called upon to form a service company for South Africa, the 6th V.B. was left out in the cold. It was not that the men of the old "Press Guards" were less patriotic than their comrades, but that four sections only being required, whereas there were five available, preference was naturally given to the four senior corps. At last, however, the 6th V.B. has its opportunity. A section, consisting of 20 non-commissioned officers and men, and one subaltern, has been called for to reinforce the volunteer company now with the King's at Ladysmith, and the Everton Road corps has had granted its eager prayer to furnish the section in its entirety. Capt. M.J. Mahoney will go out in command, holding while on active service the temporary rank of lieutenant in the army. The full number of men required, and indeed, several more, have already passed the medical and physical examinations, been attested by Major Roe, the adjutant of the corps, and passed to the first class army reserve, so that all that is now necessary before the order of route is received is to have them properly equipped. This is being vigorously attended to by Captain and Quartermaster Dixon and Quartermaster-Sergeant McDougall, who hope to complete the various details in the course of the next day or two. Captain Mahoney, it should be said, is an exceptionally capable officer. A member of the medical profession, he served for a time as a surgeon-lieutenant in the corps, but not finding sufficient outlet for his military enthusiasm, he resigned his commission, and immediately re-joined as a second-lieutenant. Promotion came rapidly enough, his last step being gazetted so lately as the 21st ult., when he got his company. In addition to the usual proficiency certificate, he holds that, only obtainable after a stiff course at the Hythe School of Musketry, qualifying him for the appointment of instructor of musketry to his battalion. The section is expected to sail for South Africa early in May."
Liverpool Mercury 24/04/1900:
"The equipment for the service section of the 6th V.B.K.L.R. is expected to arrive about Wednesday."
Liverpool Mercury 25/04/1900:
"The 25 men of the 6th V.B.K.L.R., under Captain Mahoney, will leave Liverpool on the 1st May. A church parade will be held on Sunday next, at which the service men will wear their khaki uniforms."
Liverpool Mercury 30/04/1900:
CHURCH PARADE OF THE 6TH V.B.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN CONTINGENT
"The annual church parade of the 6th V.B.K.L.R. took place yesterday forenoon, when the interest of the event was greatly increased by the presence of the section of the corps selected for active service in South Africa in their khaki uniforms. Notwithstanding the unpleasant nature of the weather, crowds of people gathered in the streets in the immediate neighbourhood of the headquarters of the brigade in Everton Road, where the battalion was ordered to assemble at half past ten o'clock. Thousands of spectators also gathered in the thoroughfares on the route to St. Cuthbert's Church, Robson Street, Everton, where the service took place. The police arrangements were in the hands of Superintendent Tomlinson, who had the assistance of six of the mounted police force and a large number of inspectors, sergeants and constables. The officers on parade were Colonel A.I. Watts, V.D. (in command), Honorary-Colonel W.H. Walker, Major Perry, Major E.C.B. Roe (adjutant), Captains Watts, Sadler, Clarke, Stewart, Mahoney and Dixon, Lieuts. Crean, Parker, Cosson, Hill and Finch. The rank and file on parade numbered 430. The service corps for the front included Lieutenant Mahoney, Capt. [sic] A.A. Frost, Sergeant J.S. Little, Privates W.G. Gunn, P.T. Allen, T. Ashort, G. Bathgate, P. Benson, R. Brabin, H. Cook, J. Corless, A.N.J. Cussack, W.T. Gray, J. Holden, W. Kennelly, C.H. Metcalf, W. Parks, G. Pope, J.H. Routledge, F.C. Smith, and J. Saunders (of the 7th Isle of Man contingent, who takes the place of Private R. Rutherford, originally selected, but who is unable to set out through illness). These special service men set out for Warrington today, and will shortly leave for South Africa."
"On arriving at church, the battalion took their places in the center aisles, and morning service was conducted by the acting chaplain of the corps, the Rev. F.J. Gough, M.A., who took as his text the words "Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ" (2nd Timothy, ii., 3). He said he would not remind them of their duty as soldiers - they were Lancashire men; but he bade them remember they were also soldiers of Jesus Christ, and should bear themselves as Christian men. Garibaldi, in addressing his army, once told them he had only hunger and thirst to offer them, and they in South Africa might have to face this condition of things, perhaps even death himself. He was sure they would not betray the trust reposed in them, but take their part with the brave Canadians, the men of Australia, the colonists of Natal, and their own fellow countrymen who were now fighting for their Queen, the unity of the Empire, and the cause of justice against injustice and tyranny. He wished this active service contingent a safe journey, and after the vicissitudes of the campaign a speedy return home in health and safety. Upon reaching headquarters on their return from church, Colonel Watts spoke a few words to the active service men, saying they were the first of that corps to be called out on foreign duty, and he hoped they would prove good soldiers - that the strong would help the weak, and the brave give encouragement to the timid. He bade them farewell and God-speed on behalf of all their comrades. He hoped to address them several times yet before they departed, and it would be his duty and privilege to present gifts to them before leaving, which would show the goodwill of their friends and comrades."
"Both in the streets and outside the church, the men, headed by their band, were loudly cheered by the spectators, some of whom accompanied the corps inside the parade ground at headquarters and heard the brief address given by the colonel. The foreign service men were subsequently grouped and photographed."
Liverpool Daily Post 30/04/1900:
HANDSOME PRESENTATIONS AT MESSRS. HIGNETT'S
"On Saturday afternoon a presentation of several useful and valuable articles was made to Colour-Sergeant Joe Little, of the 6th V.B.K.L.R., who is going to the front in a day or two. Mr. Little has for several years been in the employ of Messrs. Hignett Brothers and Co., Ltd, tobacco manufacturers, Whitechapel. The band of the firm was requisitioned for the occasion, and played several suitable and patriotic airs both before and after the presentation - Mr. Hignett, on behalf of the firm, presented Mr. Little with a banknote and said he hoped he would have a successful carrer in South Africa, and return with laurels after fighting for his Queen and Country. Mr. Richard McDonald, on behalf of the employees, then presented Mr. Little with a purse of gold and a handsome pipe. Mr. Little, he said, took with him the goodwill and the best wishes of every employee of the firm, which he had served so long and faithfully. When Mr. Little returned to his position would be open for him. Mr. Little replied, thanking Messrs. Hignett for their great kindness to him for so many years, but particularly on the present occasion. Addressing Mr. McDonald, he said the kindness of his fellow employees would never be obliterated from his memory, and would be a source of pleasure to him always. Later in the evening Mr. Little was presented with a powerful field glass and other articles by several friends and well-wishers at 9, Whitechapel. The presentation was made by Mr. Crone."
Liverpool Daily Post 01/05/1900:
LIVERPOOL VOLUNTEERS FOR THE FRONT
ENTHUSIASTIC SEND OFF
"A great demonstration attended the departure from Liverpool yesterday of the 6th V.B. Special Services Draft for Warrington, en route for South Africa, where they will reinforce the Special Service Company dispatched there a few months ago. This is the first quota the 6th have contributed for active service, consequently the men experienced an extremely cordial send-off. They paraded at headquarters (Everton Road) at about half-past two and left half an hour later for the Central Station. The route taken was by way of Everton Road, Brunswick Road, London Road, and Lime Street. The draft was led by the battalion band, in charge of Mr. Smith, playing a stirring selection of airs, including, "Au Revoir", "The Girl I Left Behind Me" and "Home, Sweet Home". The men for active service, who numbered twenty rank and file, with lieutenant Mahoney in command, were dressed in khaki uniform and were all fine and healthy, and essentially "fit" specimens of sturdy manhood. For the moment they were in charge of Major Roe (adjutant of the 6th), and their progress through the streets was recognized by cheer after cheer from the lines of spectators."
"At the Central Station a huge crowd had collected, and by these the "gentlemen in khaki" were accorded a reception which to all intents and purposes developed into a perfect demonstration. Great difficulty was experienced in running the gauntlet of so many enthusiastic admirers, but ultimately the men succeeded in forcing their way on to the platform, to which access was permitted only to personal friends, intending passengers by the train, and persons officially interested. A special carriage, consisting of some half dozen compartments, was reserved for the men, who entrained as quickly as possible, after having bidden good-bye to old friends, comrades, and last, but not least, to sweethearts and female relatives. The latter were, as usual on such occasions, very much in evidence, and among these tears flowed freely as the moment of separation drew nigh. The band meanwhile enlivened the proceedings with "Rule Brittania", whilst as the train moved off at 3.40 amid a perfect fusillade of cheers, the homely strains of "Auld Lang Syne" broke upon the ear."
"Amongst those gathered on the platform to bid god-speed to the draft were the following officers of the 6th V.B. - Colonel Watts (commanding officer), Majors Perry and Roe (adjutant), Captains Clarke, Lloyd, Sadler and Watts, Lieutenants Casson and Creen, Surgeon-Captain Barnes, Quartermaster Dixon, Colour-Sergeant Harrison, Sergeant-Instructor Williamson, &c. There were also present Colonel Carruthers and Surgeon-Captain O'Hagan (5th Irish V.B.), Colonel Frank Walker, V.D. (late of the 5th Irish), Captain and Hon. Major Langdon, V.D. (Mersey Submarine Mineral), Mr. G. J. Lynskey, &c."
"The police arrangements were in charge of Inspector McKeown."
"It is not yet known on what date the draft will sail for South Africa. One member of the draft was … left behind by the 3.40 train but was … to Warrington later in the day."
Liverpool Mercury 05/05/1900:
ACTIVE SERVICE SECTIONS AT WARRINGTON
DATE OF DEPARTURE
"Yesterday morning Colonel Watts, of the 6th V.B.K.L.R., journeyed to Warrington and inspected the active service section temporarily stationed at the military depot there. He examined the kits and found the men quite comfortable. They are undergoing a severe training cheerfully. He has been informed that they are the best equipped volunteers that have appeared at Warrington yet. The date of departure has been fixed for May 9th, when they will proceed to Woolwich. The steamer Assaye will receive a number of volunteer sections in the Royal Albert Dock, London, on May 9th, therefore it is probable that the men of the 6th V.B.K.L.R. will proceed in this vessel to South Africa."
"In order to honour the approaching departure of Captain Mahoney, who is in command of the active service section of the 6th Liverpool, now stationed at Warrington, the officers of the mess entertained him to dinner at the Adelphi Hotel on Thursday evening. There was a good muster of officers, there being Captain Luther Watts (who presided), Colonel Watts, Majors Crean, Perry, Roe, Captains Stewart, Whitney, Lloyd, Dolan, Clarke, Parker, Creen, Lowe, Finch, Harrison, Thomas, Johnson and Quartermaster Dixon. The late Colonel of the regiment, Colonel Wood, was also present, as well as Major Whitehead. The chairman remarked that the officers hoped their guest and and the men forming an active service section would prove a credit to the regiment. (Hear, hear) - Colonel Watts said that for the first time since the volunteer force was established volunteers had been asked to go on active service. From the 6th V.B.K.L.R. about 200 applications were received, which, of course, was a much greater number than was needed. However, the section of 20 recently despatched from Liverpool to Warrington was composed of picked men, of good physique, and who were above the average in shooting. (Hear, hear). The men were in charge of Captain Mahoney, who was an able "drill" and a typical soldier; in fact a better selection than him could not have been made. (Applause). Although the foe they were going to meet would have to be reckoned with, yet he (the speaker) was sure the section would do their regiment credit. He expressed the hope that Captain Mahoney would take care of his section, as he had asked the men on a previous occasion to take care of their officer. In concluding, he had the pleasure of presenting, on behalf of his brother officers of the Mess, a pair of binocular field glasses to Captain Mahoney as a slight token of appreciation and good feeling. (Applause). The recipient fittingly acknowledged the gift."
Liverpool Mercury & Liverpool Daily Post 07/05/1900:
PRESENTATIONS TO LIVERPOOL VOLUNTEERS
"Included in the draft of the 6th V.B.K.L.R., which is going out from Southampton in the Assaye, on Wednesday, to reinforce the volunteer company of the "King's" at Ladysmith, are no fewer than four members of the sergeants' mess of the battalion, and it may be said that in their anxiety to serve their country all four have sacrificed rank. The army order called for one sergeant, one corporal, one bugler, and 17 privates, and the senior of the four, Colour-Sergeant J.S. Little, gave up his colours, Sergeant A.A. Frost reverted to corporal, Sergeant J. Corless went into the ranks as a private, and Sergeant-Bugler W.G. Gunn again became a simple bugler. The occasion is the first time that the old "Liverpool Press Guards" have been called upon to furnish a detachment for active service, and the sergeants of the corps were determined not to allow their comrades to leave England without carrying with them some token of the appreciation in which their patriotism was held. Accordingly, a general meeting was called, and a "send-off fund" instituted. The time was limited, but the committee worked with a will, and the response to their appeal was most gratifying. Having heard so late as on Friday evening that the section was to be allowed out on a pass from Saturday afternoon until Sunday night, arrangements were made with the mess caterer, Mr. Greenwood, of Wavertree Road, for a hot-pot supper at headquarters on Saturday, an invitation was sent to Warrington, and the section turned up to a man. Sergeant-Major White occupied the chair, and the mess-room was filled to overflowing, among the company being several old members of the R.N.A.V., in which Colour-Sergeant Little was at one time a petty officer. After supper, in a happy speech, which in its terseness was characteristic of the soldier who delivered it, the chairman proposed the toast of health of the Service Section, and before calling upon the sergeants to drink it, took the opportunity of presenting Colour-Sergeant Little with a silver Waltham watch and wristlet, Sergeant Frost with a silver cigarette case, and Sergeants Gunn and Corless each with silver-mounted leather cigarette cases. The toast was received with enthusiasm, and the recipients briefly returned thanks. Each of the articles, which were all supplied by Messrs. Schierwater and Lloyd, of Church Street, had on it a suitable and beautifully engraved inscription. It should be added that the sergeants intend placing on board the transport by which the section will travel to South Africa, tobacco and cigarettes sufficient to supply every man for two or three months, while with the balance of the fund various useful articles will be bought."
Liverpool Mercury 07/05/1900:
RETURN OF VOLUNTEERS TO WARRINGTON
"The active service section from the 6th Volunteer Battalion (the King's Liverpool Regiment) and the section from the 5th (Irish) V.B., who had leave since Saturday afternoon, returned to Warrington Barracks by the train leaving Central Station at half-past nine o'clock last night. Crowds of people gathered to see the volunteers depart, and the train steamed out of the station accompanied by three hearty cheers from relatives and friends on the platform. The men leave for Woolwich to-morrow, and thence will embark for the Cape."
Liverpool Daily Post 18/05/1901:
THE RETURN OF THE LIVERPOOL VOLUNTEERS
THE JOURNEY FROM SOUTHAMPTON
ENTHUSIASTIC RECEPTION AT WARRINGTON
AN INTERESTING INTERVIEW
"After spending the night on board the Elder, Dempster liner Lake Erie, the men of the Liverpool Service Company, under Captain Thomas and Lieutenant Mahoney, landed at Southampton docks at eight o'clock yesterday morning. Under the direction of Mr. J.M. Malerbi, district traffic superintendent of the Midland and South-Western Junction Railway, the men were quickly transferred to a special train, belonging to the South-Western Company. Although a great number of other Volunteers returned by the Lake Erie, the men of the Liverpool Company compared with them more than favourably in respect of alertness, physique, and general fitness. They are deeply bronzed, and their many Liverpool friends will certainly find in them much to admire when they reach this city from Warrington, via the Central Station, this afternoon, shortly after five o'clock.
The special train reached Warrington at about a quarter past six. After allowing a few minutes for reunions, Captain Thomas gave the order to fall in, and the men marched to the barracks. There was an enormous concourse of people along the whole route, and the men in khaki were vociferously cheered on the way. Flags were displayed at a large number of houses, and most of the windows and many of the roofs were lined with spectators. In fact, the event was a fitting celebration of Mafeking Day, the Warrington people giving the men a splendid welcome. The Volunteers were received by the military authorities at the barracks, and almost immediately after their arrival in the large square they were dismissed to their quarters, and their friends were allowed to visit them. To-day the men will receive their discharges, and at 4.40 they will leave Warrington by special train from the siding in Battersby Lane, close to the barracks, and will be in their native town about half an hour afterwards. A large number of the returned men went to Liverpool last night, which they spent at home. They must be in Warrington at two o'clock to-day to return by the special train at the time stated."
THE LIVERPOOLS IN ACTION
INTERVIEW WITH CAPTAIN THOMAS
AN INTERESTING STORY
(BY OUR OWN REPORTER)
"To the journalist in search of information, a man with a diary is generally worth meeting, more particularly if he comes from South Africa. Captain J.J. Thomas is such a man, and in as much as he has allowed no incident of any interest that he has witnessed during the past fourteen or fifteen months to go unrecorded, he was able to furnish our representative, on the journey from Southampton to Warrington, with a very ample and detailed account of the adventures of himself and his company since leaving Southampton for the Cape."
"We left Warrington Barracks, so Captain Thomas's story runs, early on the morning of the 23rd February of last year, and embarked later in the same day on the Avondale Castle at Southampton. We had on board eight other Volunteer companies, the officer in command being Colonel Quill, of the York and Lancaster Regiment. On calling at Las Palmas, we heard of the surrender of Cronje, with 3,000 men. The news had a disappointing rather than an encouraging effect upon our troops, because the men quite expected that there would be no further fighting and that they would reach Cape Town only to be told that their services were not required. We arrived at Cape Town on 16th March, and went into camp at Green Point, which is presumably so-called from the fact that there is not a green patch to be found for miles around. Whilst here we met the Service Company of the 5th Irish, under Captain Williams. Here the Commissariat Department was bad, as bad as it well could be. The men had to live almost entirely on bread and water, whilst the officers were told that there was no accommodation in the mess, and they must make their own arrangements, which they did at long distances from the camp and at ruinous rates. After staying here a few days we sailed in the steamer Guelph for Durban. Owing to the illness of one of our men from scarlet fever, the authorities at Durban detained us in quarantine for a couple of days."
"We disembarked on the 28th March. We were sent up country, and joined the 1st Battalion of the King's (Liverpool Regiment) on the following day at Colenso, where they were resting after the relief of Ladysmith, in the siege of which town they played so honourable a part. We were cordially greeted by the officers, and were soon made to feel quite at home, while the men quickly fraternised with their new comrades, and were soon fully up on all the details of the famous siege. We stayed at Colenso for two days, and during that time we had an opportunity of seeing the entrenchments of the Boers, which were on a very large scale, and we were also able to inspect the ruins of the fine Colenso Bridge. On the 2nd April we started on our first trek, marching for Onderbrook, where we had our first tastes of the discomforts of war. Our bivouac was destitute of a tree or any other cover, and the rain came down in torrents. There were no tents, and the men could only roll themselves in their blankets and submit to be soaked through and through."
"At daybreak we marched off, and the sun coming out with much brilliancy we gradually recovered warmth and spirits. This was altogether a very heavy and trying march, as the men were still "soft" to really rough walking. It was at this time, by the way, that our men became greatly frightened, "We are all spitting blood", they cried; but it turned out subsequently that the supposed blood arose simply from the peculiar red sand which they had been forced to swallow during the day's march. We halted at Sign Post Ridge, opposite Ladysmith, and on the 10th April moved on to Modder Spruit. Here we had our earliest contact with the enemy for we at once received orders to take up positions on the ridge to our left. It had been a race between the enemy and ourselves as to who would get there first, and on our winning the position they retired beyond our shelling distance. At this time we were part of a brigade under General Howard's command."
"We afterwards abandoned our position on the ridge for a better one on the Intintanyone, and here we had several slight affairs with the enemy, but nothing of any gravity. Whilst here we were joined by Captain Plomer, who had been adjutant at the Warrington Depot, and who had come out in charge of a draft of the Liverpool Regiment Reservists. It was at this place also that our company were unfortunate enough to lose the service of Colour-Sergeant Ford, who had been taken ill and who, after a short stay in hospital, was sent home invalided. The position at Modder Spruit was held by us until the 16th May, when orders were received to march to Woodoote Farm, near Elandslaagte. In consequence of the heat and dust this proved a most distressing march, and fully 100 men of our battalion dropped out quite exhausted on the way. This was followed by a very cold night, and, to make matters worse, it was found that the transport had gone wrong, and the men had nothing to sleep in but their blankets."
"On the 20th May we received news of the relief of Mafeking, and on the 25th we marched off by night for Sunday River, where we picked up the remainder of our brigade. We bivouacked after having done eleven miles in four and three-quarter hours - not bad marching by night, and considering the nature of the country. The following morning we marched to Weenan's Farm, north of Biggarsberg, where we celebrated Queen Victoria's birthday. That night the South African Light Horse brought into our camp a batch of Boer prisoners, some of whom were only lads of from sixteen to seventeen years of age. The next morning we marched off, as an advanced guard to the Brigade, on Kalebaas. During this march both officers and men were drawing biscuits and tinned meat rations, the biscuits both in appearance and smell being like dog biscuits. From this time onwards, however, we were given a much better class of biscuit. We only stayed a few hours at Kalebaas, and at four o'clock in the morning we started for Ingagane, and reached our camp ground at noon, having done seventeen miles. From 7 p.m. on 23rd May until noon on the 26th May we had marched fully fifty miles. The men had a well-earned rest on the Sunday, but at midnight orders were received to parade at 5.45 a.m., and our march was then resumed towards north-east, towards the banks of the Buffalo River. Here one enthusiastic "Tommy" crossed the river, and, amid the cheers of his comrades, set up a Union Jack, this being the first time that Buller's army had touched the promised land."
"It may perhaps be advisable to explain here that at this time we were all taking part in Buller's great movement in clearing the northern part of Natal. On the following morning we were again on the move, and had the satisfaction of crossing into the Transvaal at a place called Inchanga Drift. We bivouacked on the farm of a Boer field cornet, who had bolted on our approach, and he left a houseful of stores, which he had looted from Dundee. We afterwards marched along the Buffalo River, and notwithstanding the cavalry screen, we were sniped at frequent intervals from the opposite bank, and three men were shot. On the 1st June we marched to Bulls Drift Bridge, on the Newcastle road, where we were joined by Major Evans, who had left Lord Roberts's staff to take over the command of our battalion, as well as by Major Molyneux-Seel, just out from Warrington."
"On the 2nd June we advanced to Coetzee's Drift, about seven miles east of Majuba, and here we remained while General Buller gave the Boers, who were about 1,000 strong, with twenty big guns, seventy-two hours to surrender. General Buller's suggestion was scouted by the Boers, and from the 7th to the 9th Majuba, Laing's Nek and Pugwani were subjected to a bombardment, which, however, seldom drew any fire in return, except from Pugwani. General Clery, with the 5th Division, gradually drew near to the nek, and the enemy eventually evacuated the position, General Clery occupying the nek next day without firing a shot. On the 15th June we were joined by Lieutenant Mahoney, who had come out with a reinforcing draft of twenty men from the 6th V.B. He was more fortunate than his men, for the latter had been detained at Ladysmith for garrison duty. On the same day our battalion was ordered to march to Waakerstroom, which had surrendered the day before, and to assist in dislodging the enemy, who were harassing our troops from the surrounding hills. This was one of our biggest day's work, as in addition to the fighting at Waakerstroom, the march there, and afterwards to Coetzee's Drift, covered a good thirty miles, and the men were thoroughly done up. We afterwards bivouacked on the nek, where we remained for six weeks, our battalion forming the only defence of the nek."
"On the 8th July, Lieutenant Kenyon, who had been ill with jaundice, as I had been myself for a little time, arrived back with the battalion. He was in a weak state of health, and after staying a week went into hospital suffering from enteric, which the doctor believed he had contracted in Durban. This was a sad time for us, for that same day Private Tilston, of our company, died at Ingogo Hospital from enteric. On the 20th Lieutenant Kenyon died at Newcastle. The funeral took place the following day with full military honours. His body was carried to the grave by four officers of the Newcastle garrison, and amongst those who attended were Major Cotton, Captain Plomer, myself, and Corporal's Percy and Bryce. Lieutenant Kyrke-Smith was unable to attend, being himself confined to bed through a slight attack of fever. In Mr. Kenyon I lost a valuable officer, one who was very attentive to his duties, and who possessed a great aptitude for map-drawing and military engineering. His loss was keenly felt by the officers of the battalion, who promptly subscribed to place a suitable headstone over his grave."
"On the 1st August the battalion struck camp, and commenced their march to join General Buller in clearing the Boers out of the country from Natal to Lydenburg. On the 7th August we started in extended order for Amarsfoori. The Liverpools were in the firing line, and we soon knew what bullets meant. Owing to our extension of ten paces between each man we were fortunate enough to escape casualties, though we had some very narrow escapes. Our battalion had only three casualties, but the King's Royal Rifles, who were on our right flank, lost thirty killed, and wounded. Christian Botha was in charge of the Boers at Amarsfoort, but we drove them out, half of our company being among the first to occupy the town. We moved on, with slight brushes with the enemy, from here to Klipfontein, and the cold during this night was the worst experienced. Between the 13th and 21st we moved to and from several places, eventually arriving at Van Wyk's Vlei. Here we had a very hot time. The column had literally to fight its way through the enemy. Many of the other regiments suffered heavily, but we were very fortunate in escaping without casualties. It was during this action that one of the mounted infantry detachment of the Liverpool Regiment - Corporal Knight - won the VC by rescuing two of his wounded comrades under a heavy fire."
"We came to close quarters with the enemy again on the 22nd August in our efforts to dislodge the Boers from Geluk's Farm, near Belfast. During this engagement two of our companies got away from the battalion by some means, and we afterwards received a peremptory message to the effect that they needed reinforcing. Our Volunteer company was sent to their assistance, and we enabled them to retire out of reach of the enemy's fire. The two companies had, however, suffered heavily. It was reported that of the battalion there were thirteen killed and eighty wounded and missing, the latter including Captain Plomer, but it has since been asserted that the losses were much heavier. The men who brought the message of the dangerous position into which the two companies had fallen - Private Keaton [sic] - also gained the Victoria Cross, and Private Currie, of our company, likewise showed great bravery in rescuing a wounded man. On the following day (Sunday) the attack was resumed, and the enemy were driven out of a strong position at … close to Belfast. During this day's fighting the casualties among the brigade were reported to be about 200. In the course of the same action we witnessed a gallant act by Lieutenant Mahoney. An assistant ambulance surgeon had been wounded some distance away, and had been left to his fate, amid a shower of Boer bullets. There were cries for volunteers to rescue him, but no one was forthcoming until Lieutenant Mahoney and another officer dashed forward and succeeded in bringing the wounded surgeon out of the range of fire."
"The following day, in our march to Machadodorp, we were able to realise the devastating effects of our artillery fire, and on one kopje we discovered the bodies of seventeen Boers killed by lyddite. Their clothes had been stripped off them by their comrades, and their bodies were a ghastly yellow colour. There is no doubt that when lyddite comes within the range of the enemy its effect is terrible. The operations of the day resulted in the complete breaking up of the Boer forces, who fled in great confusion. Whilst at Machadodorp, Lord Roberts met our company when returning one Sunday from church, and he made some highly complimentary remarks in regard to their appearance to Lord Kitchener, who was accompanying him."
"About this time I received from the Liverpool Cotton Brokers' Association employees, four field glasses for presentation to those of my men whom I deemed most deserving. I awarded them to Sergeant Pope (1st V.B.), Corporal Bryce (2nd V.B.), Corporal Barrow (3rd V.B.) and Private Curry (4th V.B.)."
"On the 7th October we received orders to return home, but those were subsequently altered, and we were sent to Elandsfontein, near Johannesburg, where we did outpost duty for five months. This could hardly be called monotonous work, because it was most harassing duty, and although we never came in actual contact with the enemy, alarms were continuous, and many times we were standing to arms practically all the night."
"On the 30th November the draft from the 6th V.B., which had come out under Lieutenant Mahoney, arrived at Elandsfontein. The draft had first been detained at Ladysmith for garrison duty, and later on was sent off to Van Beenan's Pass, where it was attached to a provisional battalion. I had made repeated applications for the men to be sent to join the remainder of the company, but these were repeatedly ignored until I induced General Barton to send an urgent demand whereupon the draft was speedily forthcoming."
"We left Elandsfontein on Good Friday, the 5th April, and departed on the 23rd April from Cape Town for Southampton, where you find us arrived after a most delightful voyage."
The following are the names of the ninety non-commissioned officers and men who have now returned:-
C/Sgt H.K. Costain
Sgt J.J. Taylor
Sgt D. Swift
Sgt G. Pope
Sgt J.S. Little
L/Sgt A Pearcey
Cpl A.A. Frost
Cpl T. Barrow
Cpl D.R. Pryce
Cpl E. Pedder
Cpl A.J. Kidd
L/Cpl J Hickey
L/Cpl W. Dean
L/Cpl J. Curtis
L/Cpl J. Corless
L/Cpl E.W. B. Wormell
L/Cpl W. Goulbourn
L/Cpl J. Rose
Drummer W.J. Roper
Drummer H.O. Rimmer
Bugler W.G. Gunn
Pte W. Allen
Pte T. Allen
Pte J. Annesley
Pte H. Ball
Pte J. Bourke
Pte P. Bradbury
Pte E. Brown
Pte E. Chamberlain
Pte F. Cummins
Pte G. Currie
Pte N.J. Cusack
Pte W. Croal
Pte J De Costa
Pte W. Driscoll
Pte W. Duncan
Pte J. Eden
Pte J Erskine
Pte S.E. Francis
Pte F Gibson
Pte H. Groom
Pte W. Gray
Pte W. Goulbourne
Pte F. Hamlyn
Pte W.H. Holmes
Pte J. Holden
Pte E. Hughes
Pte G. Hunt
Pte C.D. Jones
Pte H.W. Jones
Pte P. Jones
Pte J. Kitchen
Pte W. Kilburn
Pte W. Kennelly
Pte B. Latham
Pte G.H. Lowe
Pte C. Maloney
Pte H. Mercer
Pte J. Mercer
Pte C. Metcalf
Pte J. McGlashan
Pte J.R. McKinnell
Pte W. McGowan
Pte G. Morgan
Pte Edw. Moffat
Pte J. McShane
Pte W. Parkes
Pte J. Quigg
Pte C.R. Reader
Pte F. Richardson
Pte H. Ruffe
Pte J. Shee
Pte F.G. Skelborne
Pte J. Smart
Pte S. Smith
Pte J. Sanders
Pte J. Titherley
Pte A Trickets
Pte F. Lushingham
Pte C. Walker
Pte F. Warren
Pte J. Williams
Pte F.D. Williams
Pte J. Wilson
Pte T.W. Wilkins
Pte W. Whitehead
Pte C. Wollaston
Pte T. Ashort
Pte I. Donnelly
Pte R. Heckle
"Corporal Fairhurst, of the 1st V.B., has joined the Johannesburg Military Police temporarily, his intention being to go into the service of the Colonial Education Department, to join which, as soon as the country becomes settled, he has received an invitation from the Military Governor of Johannesburg."
"Of the total strength of four officers and 133 men who went out , one officer (Lieut. Kenyon) and five men have died, one officer (Lieutenant Kyrke-Smith) has joined the Regulars, five men have been discharged for civil employment in South Africa, twenty seven have been invalided home, five have joined the Johannesburg Police and one (Private Bean) was yesterday morning taken to Netley Hospital as an invalid."
"The following are the names of the men who have died, together with the causes of death:
Pte Robinson (3rd V.B.), on the 22nd May, 1900, of enteric
Pte Tilston (1st V.B.), on the 15th July, of tuberculosis
Pte Roper (ast V.B.), on 24th October, of enteric
Pte. E.J. Williams (4th V.B.), on the 7th March, of enteric
Pte Patten (3rd V.B.), on the 5th April, 1901
The latter died through accidentally shooting himself whilst on outpost duty shortly before the company left for England."
TODAY'S ARRANGEMENTS AND ROUTE
"The Service Corps is expected to arrive from Warrington this evening at 5.30. A right royal welcome is awaiting them. They are to be met by members of the numerous Volunteer corps in the city, and, after marching through some of the principal streets, are to be the guests of the Lord Mayor at dinner in St. George's Hall. With commendable public spirit , the Cheshire Lines have decided to convey the returning "Tommies" from Warrington by a special train, timed to arrive at the Central Station, Ranelagh Street, at 5.30p.m. A large body of the city police will be on duty at the station, and the people entering the station to witness the arrival of the Service Corps will not be allowed to leave the precincts until the men have passed out. This will avoid any inconvenience to persons who may have taken up positions in the neighbourhood to view the march past. Headed by the bands of the 1st and 4th V.B.K.L.R., the returned soldiery will march along Church Street, Lord Street, Castle Street, past the Town Hall, along Dale Street, Manchester Street, St. John's Lane, into Lime Street, then pass between the lions on to St. George's Hall plateau, and enter the hall by the north door, William Brown Street. The route wioll be lined by the members of the various Volunteer Corps of the city, who will parade at their respective headquarters, and proceed to their allotted places in the streets named. During the dinner Dr. Pearce will preside at the great organ, and play patriotic airs at commencement of the proceedings and between the toasts, and the band of the 1st V.B.K.L.R. will also contribute to the musical programme arranged."
"The galleries of the hall and places on the ground floor are to be occupied by members of the public who have secured the requisite ticket. For the convenience of these ticket-holders the doors of the hall will be opened at 5.30p.m. The dinner is fixed for 6.30p.m."
"The Cheshire Lines Railway Company have with commendable public spirit decided on conveying the Service Corps to Liverpool to-day by a special train, which is timed to arrive at the Central Station at 5.30. The police have instructions to make arrangements that persons arriving at the station to witness the arrival shall not leave the precincts thereof until sufficient time has been allowed for the Volunteers to pass by Church Street on there way to St. George's Hall, so as to avoid any inconvenience to those persons who may have taken up a position to see them in Church Street and that neighbourhood."
THE SOUTHPORT VOLUNTEERS
"The Lake Erie, which arrived at Southampton on Thursday night, had on board the detachment of the 3rd V.B.K.L.R. (Southport), which has seen service with the Liverpool Regiment in South Africa. The commanding officer of the Southport Volunteers, Colonel Formby, wishes to have a battalion parade to welcome home the men. This will probably take place on Monday. Short notice only will be possible under the circumstances, and the commanding officer hopes that every member will endeavour to attend on such an historical occasion. Instructions will be posted in the drill hall as regards the reception and entertainment of the Special Service Section as soon as the arrangements can be made. The detachment proceeded to South Africa in February, 1900, in command of Captain J.J. Thomas. It then consisted of the following:
Cpl T Barrow
Pte T. Wright
Pte W. Dean
Pte B. Fox
Pte T.F. Snell
Pte J. Mercer
Pte W. Driscoll
Pte W. Holden
Pte A Heywood
Pte H. Harding
Pte R. Whitely
Pte W. Kilburn
Pte T. Polton
Pte H. Goulbown
Pte W. Johnson
Pte W. Robinson
Pte B. Evans
Pte P. Bradbury
Pte W. Whitehead
Pte W. Goulbown
Pte G.H. Lowe
Pte A. Holding"
"In the interval many of the men have been sick, and the following have been invalided home:
"Not one has been killed or died of disease so far as is known. Therefore, twenty one men may be expected to reach Southampton."
Liverpool Daily Post 18/05/1901:
ONE OF LORD KITCHENER'S BLOCK-HOUSES
MANNED BY THE "LIVERPOOLS"
"A prominent characteristic of the later phases of the war in South Africa is the reversion on both sides to the methods of a century ago."
"Big guns, cavalry charges, hollow squares, and fortified places carried at the point of the bayonet are all put on one side, and Boer and British alike trust to mobility, independent initiative, and sharpshooting."
"Reliance upon small-arms of offence has moreover brought in again primitive methods of defence. One of the most striking examples of this is lord Kitchener's institution of a system of blockhouses along the railway line like that in our illustration. They are coeval from a military point of view with the Martello towers which were built a hundred years ago to assist in repelling the feared Napoleonic invasion, but which are now obsolete and ruinous."
"A third class gun-boat could shell a Martello tower into a heap of road metal in half an hour, and a Boer Long Tom would demolish a block-house at a single shot. But as a protection for riflemen against riflemen, the blockhouse is adequate."
"Our picture is of Fort Napier, in Natal, and its "permanent garrison" of nine men of the King's Liverpool Regiment. The Liverpools were one of the first regiments of Volunteers to go out to the front, and today, as is stated more fully elsewhere, they will be welcomed back to this city. The fort is solidly built of cemented masonry, with its walls pierced on all sides for rifle fire."
"We are indebted to Private Edward Moffatt for the photograph and particulars."
Liverpool Daily Post 20/05/1901:
THE RETURN OF THE LIVERPOOL VOLUNTEERS
AN IMMENSE RECEPTION AND A TRIUMPHAL MARCH
BANQUET AT ST. GEORGE'S HALL
PRESENTATION TO CAPT. THOMAS
"If Lord Bacon is to be credited with having uttered something more than a mere platitude when he asserted that "in the youth of a State arms do flourish", then, however it may please our enemies to prophesy the early downfall of the British Empire, those at home have the consolation of knowing that as a people we are yet to realise that fullness of power and plentitude of purpose which a healthy maturity expected to produce."
"This at least is the reflection arising from such scenes as were to be witnessed in this city on Saturday afternoon, when the Liverpool Volunteer Service Company returned home from South Africa, and which have had, or will speedily find, their counterpart in nearly every town and hamlet throughout these realms. To say that the people of Liverpool gave their citizen soldiers an enthusiastic reception would be to state the case all too feebly. The welcome was such as the Romans of old were expected to pay to their conquering legions in the days when defeat meant irreparable disgrace, and when victory was the synonym for exuberant rejoicing and wildest delight."
"So far as Liverpool is concerned, Saturday's demonstration, in respect of warmth and cordiality, is certain to prove a memorable one, and whose only parallel in recent years is to be found in the triumphal return of the Irish Volunteers to this city in November last. Whilst, however, the latter's homecoming occurred on a weekday, the "Liverpools", as they are now familiarly dubbed, reached the city at a moment when most, if not all, of their innumerable admirers were free to avail themselves of the advantages of a Saturday half-holiday, and when the anniversary of Mafeking was not yet twenty-four hours old."
"The half-holiday consideration no doubt accounted for the presence of so many visitors from the outlying districts, anxious to be witnesses to the great event. Southport and Bootle, both of which towns were represented in the Liverpool Service Company, sent enthusiastic deputations, all of whom, of course, helped to swell the seething thousands which thronged the principal thoroughfares of the city."
"The officials at the Central Station exercised a wise discretion in limiting admission to the platform at which the company was expected to arrive to those who had previously secured tickets. The consequence was that, whilst the exterior of the station was one mass of struggling humanity, the reserved platform was encumbered by the fewest possible number of spectators. The attendance was composed mainly of ladies, but amongst the gentlemen were to be seen Mr. L.S. Cohen, C.C., and Captain Strachan (Army embarkation officer), Colonel De Silva, who had charge of the arrangements for the Volunteer parade, along with Colonel Alder, putting in an appearance shortly before the company arrived. The officials of the Cheshire Lines Committee were represented by Messrs. David Meldrum (manager), Robert Charlton (assistant manager), and S. Dening (stationmaster). The police arrangements in and about the station were directed by Superintendent Simpson, of the Cheshire Lines Police, and Supt. Breese of the City Police. An interesting feature was the presence of some twelve men of the Service Company who, at various periods during the past twelve months been invalided home, but now, wearing their khaki uniform, looked as smart and soldier-like as ever."
"The special train which was to convey the troops from Warrington was due to arrive at Liverpool at 5.24, but it was four minutes in advance of that time when it steamed into the station. A hearty cheer was sent up as the men stepped onto the platform, and many a warm handshake and hearty greeting between old friends and comrades was exchanged. Some little delay ensued whilst the arrangements for marshalling the various Volunteer battalions along the line of route outside were being completed, but shortly before a quarter to six the company, in charge of Captain Thomas and Lieut. Mahoney, and headed by the cycle orderlies of the 4th V.B. and by the bands of the 1st V.B. and 4th V.B., marched out of the station. They passed onto Ranelagh Street to the enliviening strains of "When The Boys Come Home" and their appearance was the immediate signal for a great and long-sustained outburst of cheers from the immense crowds assembled outside."
MARCH IN THE CITY
IMPOSING AND ENTHUSIASTIC SCENES
"Some months have passed, it is true, since the citizens were aroused to a high pitch of patriotic enthusiasm by the return of the members of the 5th Irish from the front, but though interest has waned in the war consequent upon the non-exciting trend of events, Liverpool people showed no diminution of ardour in giving her sons of the various Volunteer Corps a right hearty greeting on the occasion of their home-coming. The streets were thickly lined with thousands of welcoming spectators, and the scene of enthusiasm was one never surpassed in the annals of the old town, which will be handed down to the records of posterity as one of the stirring local events in the first year of the twentieth century. Along Church Street, Lord Street, Castle Street, Dale Street, Manchester Street and St. John's Lane, the devious route thoughtfully selected by which the heroes from the war were to reach St. George's Hall; was not only crowded with joyful citizens, but the proprietors of various commercial establishments and clubs, as well as officials at the several public buildings, hung out the festive bunting as a token of hearty welcome."
"The police, also the full strength of the mounted force, were out in large numbers, under the direction of Mr. Dunning (Deputy Head Constable) and the superintendents of the respective divisions, to control the great mass of people. Their duties were, however, light as the public themselves showed a desire to observe the necessary regulations. A substantial portion of the thoroughfares had to be kept clear to allow the Volunteers at home, who had assembled to greet their comrades, to line the route on each side. The crowds of people began to assemble at four o'clock. It was five o'clock when the streets assumed something of a lively and martial character. This was due to the arrival of the Volunteers from their several headquarters in the city. By arrangements, the members of the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 6th V.B.K.L.R., the 1st L.R.E.V., the Submarine Miners, the 2nd and 8th L.V.A., and the cadets of the King's, assembled at their headquarters, and proceeded to Abercromby Square. Then they marched along Oxford Street, Hope Street, and down Hardman Street, Leece Street, and Bold Street, into Church Street. At the gates of the Central Station they opened out, and took up positions in single file on each side of the route. All told, they numbered many hundreds, and their lines stretched out in this fashion extended practically from one end of the route to the other. Their disposition in this manner formed an interesting diversion for the waiting spectators."
"The train arrived well up to time, and the signal that the Service Company had alighted on the platform was heralded outside by the vigorous acclamations of the people inside. Preceded by the massed bands of the 1st and 4th V.B.K.L.R., they soon emerged from the station, and as they passed along the streets each section of the crowd raised cheer after cheer. The khaki-clad and bronzed fighting men seemed greatly impressed by the continuous outburst of joyous enthusiasm. Amid the happy shouts of the people, the waving of handkerchiefs by the ladies, and of hats by the men, they passed along with martial step, only occasionally casting their eyes to the right or the left to glance at the immense crowds. Passing the Town Hall they received a great ovation. Within the civic building were assembled many distinguished prelates and fair ladies attending a reception given by the Lord Mayor in celebration of the opening of the new Church House. Several hundreds of the guests assembled on the balcony of the Town Hall also at the windows and in the vestibule, to witness the procession, and gave the Service Company a flattering welcome. The Lord Mayor, in his official robes, the Lady Mayoress, and Miss Croathwaite occupied prominent positions on the balcony, and afterwards drove to St. George's Hall in the civic carriage, and were cheered as they went along."
"Continuing their march, the Service Company were received with unbounded enthusiasm by the people in Dale Street, Manchester Street, and St. John's Lane. At St. George's Hall they had a tremendous reception. The spacious plateau, the steps of the hall, Lime Street, and every point of vantage were one mass of people, and the stimulating roar of applause with which the men were hailed will be long remembered. As the men in khaki passed along the route, the separate Volunteer corps closed their ranks and followed the St. George's Hall. Each corps was preceded by its band, and their participation in the day's proceedings enhanced the imposing character of the scene. Arriving at St. George's Hall the various corps returned by different routes to their headquarters."
"During the march through the city to St. George's Hall, the bands of the 1st V.B. (bandmaster Mr. Heron) and the 4th V.B. (bandmaster, Mr. Hubbert), which headed the company, played selections of music alternately. The following was the programme rendered by the 1st V.B.:-"When the Boys Come Home", "Father's Come Home", "Rifleman of England", and "Riflemen Form". The marches played by the 4th V.B. were:- "The Last Stand", "Boys of the Old Brigade", and "With Sword and Lance".
BANQUET AT ST. GEORGE'S HALL
A GRAND SCENE
PROPOSED MEMENTO FROM THE LORD MAYOR
CAPTAIN THOMAS DECORATED
"The exterior of St. George's Hall was one immense mass of sightseers. They covered the steps of the hall, and, stretching far across the roadway, extended from St. John's Lane to William Brown Street and London Road. It was here that the men experienced the full warmth of their reception, stentorian cheers being raised, and hats, sticks, umbrellas, and handkerchiefs being wildly waved as they filed along into the hall."
"The company entered by the north door, and were received in the vestibule by the Lord Mayor, who was accompanied by the Lady Mayoress and Miss Croathwaite. Introduced by Colonel de Silva, the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress exchanged hearty greetings with Captain Thomas and Lieutenant Mahoney. The whole party then proceeded to the large hall, the galleries and orchestra of which, as well as a portion of the ground floor, were filled with interested spectators. The hall had been tastefully decorated for the occasion. A quantity of flags and bunting stretched from the ceiling to either side, and along the walls were to be found inscribed the various engagements in which the company participated. The flags had been presented by Messrs. Elder, Dempster and Co., and had been placed in position under the direction of Captain W.P. Thompson, R.N.R. (of Elder, Dempster's), assisted by Mr Henry Jennings (keeper of the hall)."
"The men of the company, together with the invited guests, sat down to an excellent banquet, served by Mr. W.J. Holmes, and presided over by the Lord Mayor. The following were among those who had been invited to attend the banquet:- Sir Elliott Lees, Bart., M.P., Major-General Swaine (officer commanding the North-Western District) and aide-de-camp, officer commanding the Regimental Districts (Colonel Fitzherbert) and his aide-de-camp, Colonel Bland, Captain Strachan (officer commanding the Lancashire Artillery), Colonel T. Royden, Colonel De Silva, Lieutenant-Colonel Melly, Lieutenant-Colonel Flamank, Lieutenant-Colonel Rathbone, Colonel S.W. Doyle, Mr. L.S. Cohen, Major Knight, Colonel C. Alder, Lieutenant-Colonel H. Wainwright, Colonel Formby, Lieutenant-Colonel Byrne, Colonel Watts, Major C.C. Leslie, Colonel C. Forbes Bell, the Bishop of Carlisle, Alderman Maxwell, Sir John Willox, M.P., the Rev. C.S. Hope, Major W.H. Edwardes, the Mayor of Southport, the Mayor of Bootle, Mr. George Lamb, Mr. H. Kyrke-Smith, Councillor Trounson (Southport) Colonel Belcher, Colonel John Pilkington, Mr. Cuthbert Smith, Colonel Macfie, the chairman of the select vestry (Mr James Lowry), the chairman of the West Derby Guardians (Mr. E. Burns), the chairman of the Toxteth Guardians (Mr. W.R. Gaskill), Mr. James Lister, Mr. John Lea, Mr. F.T. Turton, Mr. J.A. Brodie, Mr. C. B. Bellamy, the Rev. R.M. Ainslie, Colonel Baylis, V.D., K.C., Mr. H.B. Watson, Major Crean, Mr. C.H. Dent, Captain and officers of his Majesty's ship Renard, Mr. Nathaniel Topp, Lieutenant-Colonel T.B. Walker, and Captain Nott-Bower (Head Constable)."
"The toast of "The King" was proposed by the Lord Mayor, who observed that shortly before the Liverpool Service Company sailed for South Africa they swore to serve faithfully her late Majesty Queen Victoria. He was sure that they would now be equally ready to serve their new sovereign King Edward, in whom they had the greatest confidence, amd who had promised them that he would follow in the footsteps of his dear and well-beloved mother, whose loss they all so deeply deplored (hear, hear)."
"The Lord Mayor next submitted the health of "The Special Service Company coupled with the name of Captain J.J. Thomas". In addition to those who had found it impossible owing to other engagements to accept his invitation, his Lordship expressed his regret that Sir Elliott Lees had found it necessary to leave them a few minutes previously. He rejoiced, however, at the presence of a good old warrior in the person of Judge Baylis who entered the Volunteer service as far back as 1859, and retired fifteen years ago (hear, hear). Coming to the subject matter of the toast, the Lord Mayor remarked that his first words to the men of the Service Company would be "Welcome back to the old country." They had sailed away with great hopes; they knew not the future, they did not know the difficulties they would have to encounter, nor the enemy they would have to meet; but he was happy to find that so many of them had returned home safe and sound (hear, hear). He welcomed them back because they were citizens of Liverpool, and in order to show how proud he and the people of Liverpool were of the work they had done (hear, hear). His words, however, were as nothing compared with the commendation which had been acquainted with their work - by no less and authority than General Barton (hear, hear). That officer had referred to their soldier-like qualities, and to the self-sacrificing, patriotic spirit which they had displayed (hear, hear). What more did they wish for; what more could they desire (hear, hear). They had done splendid work under the command of that great officer general Buller (loud, and sustained cheers), and if Amarsfoort had not been actually captured by the Liverpools they had played a highly important part in its capture (hear, hear). They had gone through a great deal of hard work. Many of their marches had been long and trying, but at the end they had come out all right, and he was sure he was only voicing the feelings of the citizens when he said they were all very thankful to find the men of the company in such splendid health and spirits (hear, hear). They trusted that those who had been invalided would soon recover, and that the remembrance of this campaign would not easily fade from their recollections. He was glad to know that the battalion of the King's Liverpool to which that company had been attached had been awarded three Victoria Crosses (hear, hear), and no doubt if the work of the company had been fully recognized they would have deserved their share of such honours (hear, hear). He should like Liverpool to possess some memento of the work that had been done. They were, no doubt, aware that it was against military regulations that a flag should be given to any Volunteer regiment, but he would like to present to each battalion with which the members of the company were associated - the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 6th - a small memento in the form of a shield which might be put up in each of the barracks, and on which be inscribed the names of the men belonging to each particular battalion who had served in this campaign (hear, hear and applause). He would now perform a little ceremony which he was sure would give pleasure to all present. Before Queen Victoria died she declared that rewardsd should be given to certain Volunteer officers, and amongst those officers was Captain Thomas (hear, hear). Her late Majesty, in August last, declared that the medal he had now in his hands should be given to Captain Thomas for long and meritorious service, and the presentation had been delayed because it was thought desirable that it should be given in as public a manner as possible, and by a public man. It had been hoped that it might have been presented by Lord Roberts when he visited Liverpool, but he had the latest information to the effect that Lord Roberts could not yet see his way to fix anything like the month much less the day on which he would be able to visit this city. In the absence of any better individual, therefore, he (the Lord Mayor) on a public occasion, in a public place, and before a number of fellow citizens, had the pleasure of presenting to Captain Thomas the decoration which had been presented to him by her late Majesty Queen Victoria (hear, hear, and loud applause). The toast was enthusiastically honoured."
"Captain J.J. Thomas, whose rising was the signal for vociferous cheering, expressed his gratitude to the Lord Mayor for having presented him with the decoration, and returned thanks not only for the enthusiastic manner in which the Service Company had been received in that hall, but for the magnificent reception they had met with in the city. He did not wish go over the achievements - so-called - of the Service Company. He believed that when he made a few remarks before leaving Liverpool he said that they were going out to face hard work and to do their duty. He hoped they had done it (hear, hear). At any rate they had tried. He believed he also said on the same occasion that if they had not got V.C.s it would not be for the want of trying (hear, hear). In reviewing the names he saw on the wall - many of whom he could tell a great deal about - he would refer to the two principal ones, both of which, by the way, were misspelt (laughter). Amarsfoort was the really first stiff fight the Liverpool Company were engaged in. He, however, wished it to be thoroughly understood - for which he did not desire to claim anything to which they were not entitled - that Amarsfoort was not actually captured by the Liverpools. It so happened that the Liverpools were in support of the fighting line, and owing to the country being hilly and very much broken up, the fighting line frequently got mixed up. And so it happened that the Volunteer Company of the Liverpools, and the Volunteer Company only, were in with the fighting line, and were amongst the first men to enter Amarsfoort (hear, hear). In regard to other of their achievements about this time, it might interest some of their local caterers to know that certain men - he would not say whom - when the rations got scarce, captured a pig, and in from fifteen to twenty minutes after its capture it was partly boiled and was being eaten (laughter). The other important engagement which he would refer to was Geluk, which meant "Good Luck". On that occasion they got into a very stiff fight, and two companies of the Liverpools fell into a very warm corner, and, in fact, were pretty nearly cut to pieces. When he told them that one company, of which poor Captain Plomer (late adjutant at Warrington) was in command, out of one section, which meant nominally twenty-five men, lost nineteen killed and wounded, they would understand how fierce was the engagement. An urgent message was sent down for assistance, and the Liverpool Volunteer Company went to their relief. They succeeded in relieving their comrades, but had three men wounded, all of whom, he was glad to say, were doing well (hear, hear). The man who brought the message to them, asking for relief, and who did so at the risk of his life - Private Heaton - got the Victoria Cross (hear, hear). He deserved it, but on that same occasion there was a man in their own company who equally deserved it. He referred to Private Currie, of the 4th V.B. (hear, hear), who, in the retirement, saw a wounded man lying on the ground and in danger of losing his life, and who, with the assistance of Sergeant Swift, also of the 4th, succeeded in carrying him into a place of safety (hear, hear, and loud applause). If it had not been for the confusion which followed upon this engagement, he believed that Private Currie would have got the Victoria Cross as well (hear, hear). Without going into further details, he again desired to return thanks on behalf of the Service Company for the hearty manner in which their healths had been toasted. (hear, hear)."
"Lieutenant Mahony, who was received with much applause, proposed a vote of thanks to the Lord Mayor for his hospitality to the Service Company."
"The Lord Mayor's health was drunk, and "For he's a jolly good fellow", was sung."
"His Lordship having briefly acknowledged the compliment, the proceedings terminated."
"The men received fresh greetings as they left St. George's Hall for their homes from a great crowd of people who still lingered outside."
"During the banquet the band of the 1st V.B., under Mr. Heron, played a choice programme of music. Messrs Tom Darlow and Fred Owens very ably rendered appropriate vocal items, and Dr. Peace was responsible for some excellent selections on the grand organ."
AN INTERESTING INCIDENT
"Prior to the commencement of the banquet an incident of some pathetic interest occurred. A member of the late 5th Irish Service Company, who had lost one of his legs in the war, had made his appearance at the door of the hall, mounted on crutches and accompanied by a friend. He was very anxious to gain admission and take part in the welcome to be extended to his fellow Volunteers, but as he was without a ticket of invitation, certain of the officials declined to allow him to enter. The applicant turned away with a dejected air, but at this moment, Superintendent Jennings, keeper of the hall, arrived on the scene. Hearing what had transpired, he gave orders that the ex-soldier and his companion were to be admitted and himself led them into the hall and provided them each with a front seat. The spectacle of the bent khaki figure hobbling across the hall on crutches and assisted by the stalwart Mr. Jennings to a front seat among the privileged guests was the signal for a sympathetic outburst of cheers from the occupants of the crowded galleries, who were only too quick to appreciate the kindly nature of the action."
THAT PARADE OF THE VOLUNTEER BATTALIONS
"The following is a list of the parade states of the various Volunteer battalions which assembled in Abercromby Square and afterwards lined the route taken by the Service Company:-
1st L.R.E.V. (Colonel Doyle Commanding), 14 officers, 410 sergeants, rank and file - total 424;
Mersey Division Submarine Miners (Major Knight commanding), 5 officers, 105 sergeants, rank and file - total 110;
1st V.B. Liverpool Regiment (Colonel Alder, V.D. commanding), 29 officers, 929 sergeants, rank and file - total 958;
2nd V.B. Liverpool Regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel Wainwright, commanding), 14 officers, 702 sergeants, rank and file - total 716;
4th V.B. Liverpool Regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel Walker commanding), 28 officers, 696 sergeants, rank and file - total 724;
5th V.B. Liverpool Regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel Byrne commanding), 14 officers, 400 sergeants, rank and file - total 414;
6th V.B. Liverpool Regiment (Colonel Watts commanding), 20 officers, 406 sergeants, rank and file - total 426;
1st Cadet Battalion, Liverpool Regiment (Major Leslie commanding), 8 officers, 242 sergeants, rank and file - total 250;
Colonel J.W. De Silva, V.D. (4th V.B.), had charge of the whole of the Volunteer arrangements, his brigade major being Captain Leader."
"It should be explained that inspections and other unavoidable engagements prevented the different artillery corps from participating in the parade."
THE MEN NOT YET PAID OFF
"Although the members of the company have been given leave of absence from Warrington, they have not yet been dismissed or paid off. They are still soldiers, and it is not yet known when the men will be free to return to civil employment."
A RECORD IN PHOTOGRAPHY
"The North American Animated Photo Company, who have for the past six weeks been giving their grand exhibition at Hengler's Circus , accomplished on Saturday evening one of the smartest feats in photography on record - viz. taking a magnificent animated picture of the Liverpool Volunteers returning from the seat of war. The picture was taken a few minutes before six o'clock, and after the process of development it was produced to a crowded audience at the circus between nine and ten o'clock the same evening. To-night the whole of the Volunteer battalions which took part in the parade will be shown. Saturday next will bring to a close the company's season at the circus."
THE WELCOME AT SOUTHPORT
"On the arrival of the Southport detachment of the Liverpool Volunteers at Southport on Saturday night, there was a scene of unparalleled enthusiasm. The members of the 3rd V.B. The King's (Liverpool Regiment) paraded at their headquarters in Lord Street, and at 9 p.m. proceeded, accompanied by their band, to the Chapel Street Station. As the train conveying the detachment steamed into the station the crowd cheered and cheered again. Twenty seven men went out. Of these, six have already been invalided home, two or three have been killed, or have died of disease. It was ten o'clock before the train reached Chapel Street. On the men's arrival the procession entered Chapel Street, when there was again tremendous cheering, and to this accompaniment and the strains of their band, the detachment marched to the Town Hall, where the Mayor addressed a few words to the men, after which they marched back to the Drill Hall."
"Tomorrow the official reception will take place at the Cambridge Hall, when the Mayor (Councillor Dr. Isherwood), the Deputy-Mayor (Alderman Griffiths), Councillor Trounson, Lieutenant-Colonel Formby (commanding officer of the 3rd Volunteer Battalion), will deliver addresses of welcome. A dinner will be given. There will also be a concert, and medals denoting the name of the recipient, together with the words "South African War, 1900-1901," will be presented to each of the men."
"Unparalleled scenes of enthusiasm were witnessed in Ormskirk on Saturday evening on the occasion of the homecoming of the Volunteers from Active Service in South Africa. On the arrival of the train conveying the men, fog signals were exploded, and an outburst of cheering greeted the Volunteers as they stepped onto the platform. On behalf of the town, Mr. Thomas Ball, chairman of the Urban District Council, extended a hearty welcome to the men, his remarks being loudly applauded."
"Yesterday morning a church parade was held at Ormskirk Parish Church, and was very largely attended, an appropriate sermon being delivered by the curate in charge."