such persistence that ultimately it was almost out of
compassion that they were accepted. These were by
no means exceptional instances, and this simple fact
is not only a splendid proof of British patriotism, but
is typical of the whole-hearted support with which
the Nation was prepared to prosecute the War.
By the end of 1914 the number of the Home StalY
on service was 105 (though this in no degree repre
sents the number who actually offered themselves),
and in February 1916, before the Military Service
Act came into force, out of 262 who were eligible in
August 1914, or had becom e so since that date, a
magnificent total of 246 had offered themselves for
service. Of these 149 had actually joined the Forces.
67 were attested, exempted or awaiting call, and 30
had been rejected as physically unfit. Of those on
service, 6 were killed or missing, and 1 was a
prisoner of war. About a year later (January 1917)
a further 61 had joined up, making 210 on service.
56 were attested, exempted or awaiting call, and the
number of those medically rejected had been reduced
to 17. Of those serving 17 had been killed or were
reported missing, 1 was still a prisoner of war,
while 4 had been discharged as unfit for further
But this was not all. From all the Overseas
Dominions—from Australia, Africa, Canada, India,
Newfoundland, New Zealand, West Indies, from
every part of the world where the British flag flies—
volunteers came over in their thousands ready to fight
— 12 —
for the great cause. By the beginning of 1917. 9 men
had volunteered from the “ Northern ” Branch in
Australia, 6 from the South African Branch, and
6 from the Canadian Branch, of whom 2 had been
killed and 1 was a prisoner.
Surely this is a record of which any Company
may be proud !
The figures on 11th November 1918, the date of
the signing of the Armistice, are even more significant :
On Service (including casualties) ¦ 335
^Killed or Missing (presumed killed) 59
Prisoners of War ¦ • •• 12
* Two others have since died on service.
The toll of gallant dead is an extremely heavy
one, 18 % of those who served. Our feeling of regard
for them finds fitting expression in the words of an
Irish poet :—
“ THE MOTHER."
“ Lord, I do not grudge
“ My two strong sons that I have seen go out
“ To break their strength and die, they and a few
“ In bloody protest for a glorious thing.
“ They shall be spoken of among the people,
"T he generations shall remember them
“ And call them blessed :
" But I will speak their names to my own heart
“ In the long nights :
“ The little names that were familiar once
“ Round my dead hearth.
“ And though I grudge them not, I weary, weary
“ Of the long sorrow. And yet I have my jo v ;
"My sons were faithful and they fought/’
* * ? ?
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