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Sunday, 26 June 2011

A Whitechapel Meeting 1882 by Major John Matthews (R)

An Hour With The Salvation Army

"A religious movement which in its fourth year of operations claims some of the largest congregations to be found in most of our great towns must surely be worthy of attention. When it is added that these congregations are mainly drawn from that "non-worshipping" population over which clergymen, moralists, and philanthropists are accustomed to wail in despair, the movement becomes interesting beyond all proportion to the mere numbers it may affect.

Statistics might be given to justify these remarks, but they are needless. Concurrent testimony, confirmed by our own observations in London, shows that this movement affects poor abandoned souls whom almost every device of preaching or ritual has hitherto failed to bring within the sound of the gospel. Let all have their due, even if we feel constrained to protest against practices which we deprecate. When we think of the raving, riotous, profane rabble fairly dragged at the tail of the Army in its marches through the streets, and almost forced to confront the tremendous alternative of heaven or hell, we find a new light on the words of the Gospel, "the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force It may be impossible to help wishing that they (the Army) were milder - mannered. But if they really do drag captives with them as they scale the walls of heaven, who would not wish them God speed?

And they do! There can be no doubt about that. Inconsistent converts, backsliders, mercenary pretenders there may be amongst their recruits; but that they have been the means of making drunkards sober and of taming many a lawless ruffian, and rousing thousands of careless souls. to inquire, '*`What must I do to be saved?" is too notorious to be denied. Let us tell of our own experience of one of their meetings, held at the head-quarters of the "First Whitechapel Corps", as it is called. There is a special interest attaching to this place of meeting, for it is here that the movement originated. The "East London Mission" had used the hall for many years, when Mr. Booth, a little more than three years ago, conceived the idea of organizing the Salvation Army. With that organization, its affectation of military titles, and its uniform, we need not concern ourselves. `Men are but children of a larger growth". And the "Army", equally with the "Good Templars" and the Ritualists, have found, we may suppose, some advantage in appealing to the childishness that survives in grown-up people. But this is not the essence of the movement: let us go into their hall, and try if we can to find out what it is.

In a wide thoroughfare, almost as crowded and bustling on Sunday evening as on Saturday, we see a dense throng round a wide gateway, and, were it not for the fact that public houses are the only places of ordinary resort privileged to be open on this day, we might suppose we were approaching the entrance of a penny theatre. The dress and language of the jesting throng suggest that, and nothing else. The same idea is favoured by the lighted vestibule, at the end of which are doors opening into the hall. We pass in and find some six or seven hundred people already assembled. It is nearly seven o'clock; but the 'Whitechapel First Corps" has not yet arrived. It is marching through the streets singing hymns of triumph, and striving, by the aid of brazen instruments, to overbear the clamour of an opposition force now regularly marshalled to shout it down; or, in the absence of the police, to adopt more summary methods. A glance at the audience convinces us at once that it is one of a very unusual character. The proportion of the male sex is certainly larger than ordinary, and they are nearly all youthful. Amongst the women there are many of middle age, worn and weary-looking.

A balcony runs round three sides of the hall, while at the end a platform rises in several steps, like an infant-school gallery. On the wall above this platform are some startling appeals in big letters - "Will you go to heaven or hell?" "Let God have His own way," and others more familiar.

We have hardly time to look around when the sound of singing, half drowned in riotous cries and jeers, reaches us from the streets, and the "corps" marches in, followed by a tumultuous crowd that surges up into the balcony, or subsides into the vacant seats below. The band with their brazen instruments take their place prominently on the gallery in front of us, and we note with some alarm a portentous ophicleide, almost big enough to blow the roof off. The army knows no distinction of sex in the holy war. There are women taking their places as lieutenants and captains of the force, and in some of their faces it is impossible to mistake the saintly look of pure self-forgetful devotion which we mark in pictured saints whose eyes gaze into eternity. Amongst the recruiting band, who take their seats fronting us, is a youth by no means of prepossessing countenance, who, we learn, was the originator and organizer of the "Opposition Army", but who now, in token of his new allegiance, has a symbolic helmet sewn in his coat; and we fervently hope it truly represents the helmet of Salvation.

Without ceremony, without announcement, some voice, we know not where, strikes up a lively hymn, beginning, "I'm a pilgrim for glory," and running continually into a refrain of question and answer:

"Are you ready? Yes, I'm ready, Only waiting till the Master comes."

The lively energy with which this is caught up shows that the majority are habitual attendants. Then a brother in uniform, a sort of cross between that of a policeman and a rifleman, gives out a hymn from the book and the ophicleide betrays ominous tokens of activity. The cornets take up the strain, and the multitude join in heartily again. If they could only drown the ophicleide all would be well , but it is a tremendous instrument, much too strong even for the whole force of the army, and as it rarely ever hits the right note, our hypercritical ears undergo some torture. But, bless the man, his heart is in it! He blows as if he were standing before the walls of Jericho, and their fall depended on his lungs. The discord does not in the slightest degree disturb the singers. Indeed, they enjoy their efforts so much that at the close of the hymn they are loath to leave off, and sing the last two lines over and over again.

When at last they cease, the young man with the symbolic helmet at once leads off in prayer. Only a month ago his Sunday evening's amusement was to throw brickbats at the army. Now, with a fervour that struggles vainly against poverty of language, he beseeches a blessing on the work. It is noticeable that he does not speak in the plural, but in the singular, as though he were praying alone. "Oh, my God!" he cries, 'Bless this meeting. Let souls be converted this night. Oh my God! bless us now." It is impossible to repress a doubt as to the wisdom of allowing such recent converts to appear so prominently. But all is so strange to us here that our ideas are somewhat topsy-turvy, and we forbear criticism. At any rate, there is no possibility of doubting the lad's earnestness now. We are told he has to bear a good deal of persecution; and as he is the son of a publican whose house is much frequented by the Opposition Army, we can well believe it. We earnestly hope he may endure to the end.

After two more prayers, another hymn is raised, happily this time without the ophicleide. Everything in the service is so spontaneous that several times hymns are raised without announcement. Some voice leads of in well-known words - this time it is "My Jesus, I love thee; I know thou art mine" - and instantly several hundred voices join in, the people all retaining their seats. On these occasions the brass band is taken unawares and is left behind, but each man fingers his instrument as though to come in somewhere, and they generally succeed regardless of pitch, before the end of the hymn.

The reading of Scripture is not followed with much attention. In fact, fidgeting and whispered conversations are general. The preaching, which consists not of one discourse, but of several brief exhortations, is - at least on this occasion more remarkable for energy of delivery than for pathos or striking illustration. Still there are points that tell on the audience. Meantime, with all the elements of a dangerous riot at the back of the meeting, the leader shows admirable tact and coolness. When a preacher somewhat ludicrously cracks his voice and has to pause for breath, this leader, without moving from his seat, instantly raises a hymn and gives the orator time to recover. When jeers and mimicry from the roughs become annoying, he says quietly, "Now then, aisle keepers, look after them chaps. There's a lot of fellows come in here just to help the devil by upsetting our meeting. Keep an eye on them." And the proceedings go on again as though nothing had happened.

One thing that touches us deeply is the impassioned devotion again and again manifested to the Friend of Sinners. It was said of old, "at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow." And here not only knees, but hearts are bowed by that name. "He left the glorious heaven, and came down amongst sin and suffering for you - for you!" "Ay, for me bless Him; hallelujah!" cries a poor, toil worn woman near us. "There's one verse of a hymn tells my experience," says a young man, suddenly rising on the platform, "and I want you to sing it. It's this : 'All hail the power of Jesus's name.` Instantly the old tune of Miles' Lane is raised; but when they come to "crown Him Lord of all," the repetition provided in that tune is not enough for them. They have got an addition to it, which goes on quavering and twirling on the word "crown" for several moments, and it is an unmistakable happiness to the army and their converts thus to celebrate the Captain of their salvation. Now what cathedral-music can, in genuine pathos, equal this.

"Sudden conversions" cease to be incredible to us. A poor wretch who has been assaulting his wife and starving his children, while he has drunk himself to the borders of the grave, comes in here, and the first word he hears is that "the devil is a hard master." Well, that is a self-evident proposition to him. It never occurred to him just in that way before, but now he becomes suddenly aware that he is carrying a real hell- within him.

The preacher tells a story of a man who found a wonderfully good master, and goes on: now I have found a good master. I used to serve Satan; but I heard of a master who paid better wages, and I turned out on strike. My new master promised me good work, with peace of conscience here and rest afterwards. He's paid me regular so far, and I know he will to the end, and my children knows it, and my missis knows it too." "Hallelujah! that's me," responded a glad woman in the gallery. "There's lots of people here serving a bad master. He has given them many a aching head and a aching heart. And the little 'uns gets it, and the poor wife gets it and it's all bad to everybody. The devil never did anyone a good turn. He never lifted up a man in his life. If he did, it was only to knock him farther down." The poor wretch who listens feels how true this is, and begins to wonder if there is any chance for him to "strike" too. His life becomes darker and more dreadful with every word he hears, and if he does not utter the words, the thought is in his heart, "what must I do to be saved?" And then he is told how there is a way of escape, how "God so loved the world," how Jesus went about doing good to just such miserable souls as he is, and how the same Jesus carried their burden of sin and sorrow up to the bitter death of Calvary.

Nay, he hears that the spirit of this Jesus is actually in the assembly, and that all who yield to him are now saved from their sins, and may hope for strength to lead a pure and happy life. The zeal, the conviction, the moral excitement around him are contagious. He falls into an agony and a trance. He is struggling between life and death. People come to him and pray over him. Hundreds of voices are singing, "I will believe, I do believe that Jesus died for me." And why not for him too? Yes, glory to God, he must believe. Christ is his saviour too. He is a saved man. A strange, joyful assurance of a better future for him takes possession of his heart. The bondage of corruption is broken.

Let us go. We have seen some things that a little startle, perhaps almost shock us. And we hear of many doings in this army which we must distinctly reprobate, especially in its unwise dealing with children. But if the power of God to heal sin-stricken souls was not present to-night, we hardly know what signs would prove it!"

The Wreck Of the S.S. "WAIRARAPA" New Zealand

The subsequent Pigeon Post, and The Salvation Army

On Monday, October 29, 1894, the s.s. Wairarapa, with more than 230 passengers aboard, besides the crew, crashed on to rocks at Miner's Head on Great Barrier Island in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand. Captain McIntosh, the master, and 134 passengers and crew perished.

Great Barrier Island (Maori name: Aotea) lies 65 miles N.E. of Auckland, New Zealand. It is 11 miles wide and 110 square miles in area. Most of it is mountainous, but there are many valleys, and small areas of flatland. In the 1890s, there were great expanses of Kauri pine, which yields not only timber, but a resin, widely used in varnish; in addition, reports of copper drew prospectors to the Island. In due course, most of the trees were cut down and used; the copper mine proved to be unsuccessful, and the beach towns of wooden huts eventually reverted to nature. The west coast has a number of harbours, but the east coast (ocean side) is quite wild, with long beaches and stretches of rocks, and some very high cliffs.

S.S Wairarapa
The s.s. Wairarapa was one of the Union Steamship Line's most luxurious vessels, built in 1892, and had a gross weight of 1716 tons. It was employed on the Australia-New Zealand run, across the Tasman Sea, a journey of over 1,250 miles. The vessel left Sydney on October 24, 1894, bound for Auckland, with some 230 passengers and crew on board.

Late on the night of October 29/30, it had passed the North Cape of New Zealand, when it suddenly encountered dense fog. However, Captain John McIntosh was so sure of his bearing that the ship continued at full speed, to pass Great Barrier Island on the final run to Auckland Harbour.

Suddenly, there was a deafening crash as the ship was flung by the heavy swell on to a rocky ledge. For a moment, all was confusion; the passengers rushed from their beds; Captain McIntosh ordered the boats to be lowered, and the tremendous seas pounded the grounded ship. At 2 a.m., its funnel was carried away, then the boat listed to port and the bridge collapsed. The Captain and many others were swept away into darkness. The life-rafts were cut adrift, and saved many people, and the rest fought for their lives.

There were four Salvationists aboard, including Captain Laura Flavell, aged 27, and Staff-Captain Annette Paul. With other Salvationists, they had been to the International Congress in London, and travelled back separately from the main party. When the ship grounded, Captain Flavell told a fellowpassenger "Don't be afraid; God will look after us. We are prepared to die".

On deck, the survivors clung to the ship's rails for twelve hours, and at last a line was taken to shore by a steward, and secured. A thick rope was then hauled to land, and the passengers attempted to get ashore to safety. Captain Flavell was one of the first to attempt to reach land, but heavy seas broke her grip on the rope, and she was swept away and drowned. Staff-Captain Paul then reached the rocks safely.

At this point of the Island, the cliffs were 800 feet high, and it was thirty hours before another vessel saw the wreck, and rescued the survivors. In those thirty hours, the survivors lived on oranges washed ashore from the wreck, and the few local settlers also helped with food and comfort. 135 people lost their lives.

In due course, the s.s. Argyle a small coaster, saw them, and took them to Auckland. It arrived there at 3 a.m. on November 1, and the outside world learned of the tragedy. The Argyle later returned, and after much effort salvaged 109 sacks of mail of the 117 which had been on board. 23,224 pieces of mail were recovered, taken to Auckland on November 3, and dried out. Items were then marked with a handstamp reading "Saved from the wreck of the/'Wairarapa"' (in two lines), in violet or blue ink. Items backstamped "AUCKLAND 3 NO 94" are usually struck in deep violet, but those backstamped on November 5 or 10 are usually in violet-blue, though 1 do possess a copy of November 3 which is almost certainly bright blue. From the beginning, the handstamp had a characteristic warping.

A much rarer handstamp has been seen, far smaller, and in black. It is thought that this was the first one to be used, but was found to be too small and indistinct, and so discarded. A cover with this black handstamp was sold at a New Zealand auction in 197 1.

Envelopes ("covers") from the wreck are scarce and costly. Three are on display today, one of which shows three Australian postmarks and no fewer than nine New Zealand ones, as well as the 'wreck' handstamp.

Also in the display are pages from Brian Peace's book Australasian Disaster Mail, which was published in April 1997, which retails at about £65; and a paper by Robin Gwynn, published in 1993.

A copy of the New Zealand Centenary War Cry is also shown; it features a romantic impression of the disaster. You may be surprised to see that the three S.A. Ladies have their coats and bonnets on immaculate and dry - at a few minutes past midnight! Lightning flashes and white clouds are seen, though no storm has been mentioned in my sources of information; in fact, there was dense fog. The picture is the product of an artist with a vivid imagination, and who had not read the details of the disaster, nor used common-sense.

A "Cabinet" photograph of Captain Laura Flavell was a fortunate purchase of over fifteen years ago. The note on the reverse is very interesting: "Captain Laura Flavell, Salvation Army officer. Drowned 30th October, 1894....showed great courage..."

Great Barrier Island Pigeon Post.

Some long time ago, 1 read that because of the long delay in the news of the wreck reaching those able to help, it was suggested that pigeons should be carried on all boats sailing around dangerous areas of the New Zealand coast, so that they could quickly carry messages in emergency. Sadly, I have no reference to the source of this information and enquiries in recent years have produced no confirmation of this. However, a Great Barrier Island Pigeon Post was set up. This was primarily used by the mining and forestry companies.

The first such message was flown on May 14, 1 1897, and the service was organized by Mr Parkin, a pigeon-fancier of the day. He later estimated that 15 to 20 messages a day were handled; the average time for the 65 miles to Auckland was 65 to 70 minutes, though one of his pigeons did the journey in 50 minutes - quite astonishingly fast.

Initially, the messages, on very flimsy paper, were fastened to the pigeons' legs by cotton or string, but very soon stamps were issued, and the message-sheets were secured with those, which were apparently more comfortable for the birds! These stamps were first used in October, 1898, under the new ownership of Mr. S. Holden Howie, also a successful breeder of homing pigeons. The stamps, of 6d and 1/- values, can occasionally be found on fragments of the flimsies; they are not as expensive as the wreck covers, but are still not at all cheap. The 6d blue and 1/- red shown today are on portions of "flimsies". Both are triangular; the 6d has a black barred cancellation, the shilling has a purple boxed cancellation dated Jun 9, 1904. Both have a perforation gauging 113/4all round.

For years afterwards, groups were organized to go to the Island, and held memorial services at the site of the wreck. Newspaper men flew their "copy" back to their papers by using the pigeon post. Finally, in 1994, an anniversary pigeon post flight was organized, and souvenir sheets of "Anniversary" stamps were issued by an enterprising stamp dealer. These comprised of three triangular stamps at 1/6 and three at $15; the sheet of six retailing at $45; a flown flimsy with one of the Anniversary stamps was around $20.

Acknowledgments: B.R.Peace, Leeds; R.Gwynn, New Zealand; A.P.Berry, Guildford; J.M.A.Gregson, Bristol; T.Maclaren, New Zealand; L.N.Williams, London; "Fight the Good Fight", C.R.Bradwell, 1982; "Great Barrier Island, 1898-99 Pigeon Post Stamps", J.R.Walker, 1968; "History of The Salvation Army", volume 4, Arch.Wiggins, 1964; New Zealand "War Cry", September 17, 1983; "Australasian Disaster Mail", B.R.Peace, 1997.

The Salvation Army in Four Cotswold Towns by Rob K. Brettle

As some of you will know, I have spent a number of years researching into the history of the Salvation Army m Bristol and its hinterland That work is continuing, albeit at arm length since I now live in Manchester. One of my earlier avenues of research included the South Cotswolds, and before 1 decided to concentrate more on the immediate vicinity of Bristol, I had accumulated an amount of information on these towns. You will recall in the last Journal an article on the Salvation Army in Chepstow. Well today, I shall talk on the Salvation Army in the four towns which surround Westonbirt, namely Chipping Sodbury, Sherston, Tetbury and Wotton-under-Edge. It may be that later m the day, if you fancy a lazy journey home, you might be able to visit these towns yourself and discover first hand some of the history of the Salvation Army.

In the 1880s the Salvation Army expanded like wildfire, with even some of the smallest communities boasting a Salvation Army corps. In the Bristol area the ministry was to those employed in industries, in coal mining, and, in the case of New Passage corps, to navvies working on the Severn Tunnel. In the South Cotswolds there were some light industries and mills, but the Army also had a mission to agricultural workers, as did the other churches of the day. Indeed, just down the road from here is the tiny village of Didmarton, and at one point this village boasted a methodist chapel, a baptist chapel, two Church of England churches and a Salvation Army corps. If you were to drive through it today, you would scarcely believe it.

Well, what of the Salvation Army in our four towns. I shall take each town in order and tell you something of their Army history


Chipping Sodbury is a market town in the South Gloucestershire arm Today it is engulfed by the Yate new town, but in 1880s it was an important local centre for the villages surrounding it It was a rich market town, built on the wealth of the wool trade. The Salvation Army came here in 1882, initially as an outpost of Bristol Citadel, where they took up residence in the old Quakers chapel. If you were to walk through the market place towards Yate, on the right hand side is a small turning called Brook Street. If you were to go down this lane, on the right hand side is an ornate building which is the former Quakers chapel, and where the Salvation Army met In later years it became a Jehovah's Witnesses hall, and is now a private house. The outpost eventually became a corps in its own right and had, itself, outposts in Yate (then a tiny village) and in Acton Lane. Whilst me and Glenn have found the location of the Acton Lane outpost, the one in Yate is described in the listing called "The Buildings We Use of 1883, as "an outhouse!' - and it would probably be like hunting for a needle in a haystack to pin point exactly which outhouse was used.

In 1884 Chipping Sodbury corps collected the grand total of £9 4s 4d during the Christmas period, as reported in the War Cry of 4th July 1885.

The Army, however, failed to take a great hold on the town and the corps closed in late 1885 or early 1886. There was a legacy nonetheless. In "Bristol Busy Bees - the Annual Report for the 5th. year of the work in the Bristol Division - there is a tale about two Salvationists
Traveling in a carriage on the Midland Railway were five passengers, two Salvationists in full uniform, a clergymam and two young men, one of whom. entered into conversation with the clergyman, and after taking on a few general subjects suddenly noted our comrades, turning the conversation on the Salvation Army.

'The Salvation Army has done nothing at Chipping Sodbury and have left there!'
"Yes", replied the clergyman, "I suppose it will die a natural death everywhere."

When the train reached Chipping Sodbury station both the young man and the clergyman got out of the carriage, and the other young man arose to get out when the Salvationists accosted him.

"Are you saved?'
'Yes, I am a Wesleyan Local preacher'
"Where were you saved?"
'Through the Salvation Army.'
So that although the Salvation Army had been obliged to leave the town because they had no hall, yet we had left behind us results. We have there today a Sergeant who was once the greatest drunkard and poacher in the town. Hallelujah.

... or to give the town its proper name, Sherston Magna.

The work in Sherston began in 1883 as an outpost of the Chippenham corps. Sherston is an attractive small town. Little is known of the work in this town, save that the War Cry of July 1885 gave a list of some 19 members, one of whom was William Evans. William Evans was the paternal grandfather of Cilla Liddington who has been engaged in writing the history of the town. Here is an extract of a letter she wrote to me:

'When I read your letter I was delighted to find my paternal grandfather William Evans was mentioned, also his brother Henry Evans. 1 believe that the other Evans' mentioned were his cousins. Apparently his sister Elizabeth was also a member, she later married into the Clarke family who owned the Tannery where the meetings were held.

If you were to go into Sherston, you would find a T-junction at the centre of the town, just past the shop. The turning off goes downhill past a Methodist chapel, which incidentally was once a Primitive Methodist chapel, and a likely home for the Salvationists of Sherston when the work there ceased, and at the bottom of the hill is a brook with a little bridge over it Just prior to the brook on the left-hand side, is a big house, and attached to the house is the Tannery where the Salvation Army held their services in the town.


The War Cry of 9th. December 1882 reported the grand opening of Wotton-under-Edge corps. It reads like this:

"We made an attack on this town on Sunday morning: petitions were sent up the King of kings on behalf of those who were rebelling against Him that a Fort should be opened there. Knee drill at seven a.m., when a few soldiers of the Cross got prepared for the day's warfare. At the same time there were coming along from Stroud and Chipping Sodbury who were praying and believing for a mighty time.

"Here they are, was the first sound, as the Stroud Brass Band went to the front The music seemed to act like magic on the people, everyone wondering what was up as they march around the town to a large open green. Then the first shot was fired m the name of the King Jesus; everyone listening with an attention as Sergeant Simpson (who is a native of the town) of the second Stroud. corps, told the won~ way m which God had changed him from a drunken, hell-deserving sinner, to a happy soldier bound. for Glory ...

"Grand march to the M Inside at eleven o'clock, good meeting, perfect order, deep convictions. Time for rations.

"Again at 2pm another march.. Open-air meeting in another part of the town, many listened, as one another spoke of Jesus and his love. Another march around the town filling the air with Salvation music; inside at three, the old mill packed to the door...'

They must have been exhausted after all that marching! The mill in question was the Britannia Mill, in Pounds Grove. It is listed in the Salvation Soldiers Handbook of 1884 as "Cloth Mill'. It was apparently called the Britannia Mill because either prior to the Army's residence, or just after, it was let to the Britannia Lodge of Oddfellows.

In 1885, the Salvationists moved to their own hall in Old Town. The Wotton-under-Edge Historical Society provided me with various references to the work of the Army m the town. In Presley's Almanac for 1886 and 1888, there is an announcement of the Salvation Army services at the Barracks, Old Town, on Sundays at 1lam, 3pm and 6pm, with weekday services every evening at 8pm, The Monthly Illustrated Journal for October 1888 reported, under the heading of Harvest, that 'characteristic thanksgiving services were also held at the Salvation Army barracks. The barracks eventually became the Parish Hall, and the building is now owned by the British Legion. It is apparently a red brick building on the left of Old Town as you go down the hill towards the War Memorial. The Army's work continued in Wotton-under-Edge until the turn of the century, the last mention being in 1908.


Of the four towns, Tetbury is the largest, and it also had a Salvation Army corps the most recently, as late as the 1940s. The Army came to the town in 1884. In the 1885 War Cry there was the customary listing of soldiers who collected during the previous Christmas period. I wrote to the History of Tetbury society enclosing this list of names, and was pleased they were able to identify a good number. Amongst the names identified were William Bignell, an agricultural labourer, who lived with his wife and four children m Harper Street, now known as West Street. Mrs Eileen Cooley was the wife of Isaac Cooley who had a grocer's on the corner of Church Street and Church Lane. Brother Fisher was either William, Fisher or his son Frederick, who ran an outfitter's, just up from the Cooleys. Mrs Millard was the wife of Aaron Millard who was had a general store in the Market Place, and John Smith was a 22 year old labourer. Clearly the Army attracted both labourers and shop keepers in Tetbury.

There was a sensation in 1885, as a Salvationist was charged with rape, and a very fall report appeared in the Tetbury Advertiser. Thankfully the Salvationist m question, one William Smith, was acquitted, and he himself complained at me of his trials that the charges were trumped up on account of him being in the Army.

The Army hall at this time was in "The Chipping, but the exact location has not been established. The work in the Chipping ceased in the 1890s, but the Army returned to Tetury in the 1920s when they erected a former military hut from the First World War at the junction of Cottons Lane and West Street. This, unsurprisingly, became known to the general populace at the "Sally Anne Hut, a name still used even when it became a play group centre in the 1950s.

In her book, -The Cotswolds at War, June Lewis alludes to the friendliness of the Salvationists of Tethury towards the evacuees from London, and from another source it transpires at most evenings were spent round the fireside in the Hut, sipping tea and munching buns. Unfortunately the hut is no longer with us, a rather large house having been constructed on the site.

Second - Class Titanic Survivor Elizabeth Nye by Dave Bryceson

I first became aware of the story of Elizabeth Nye whilst searching through the archive editions of 1912 of the Folkestone Express. I had been primarily looking for advertisements for a bioscope show that was touring in the United Kingdom about the tragedy, when I was pleasantly surprised to come across this article:

Thrilling Rescue of a Folkestone Lady.


"As was reported a fortnight ago; there was one Folkestone passenger on the Titanic that collided with the iceberg, and fortunately she was saved. Mrs. Elizabeth Nye, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Rammell of 64 Dover Road, was on her way back to America, where she was going to take up an appointment under the Salvation Army. Mrs. Nye is a widow, her husband, a Folkestone man, having died in America. She came home last year again but decided to return to the States, and it was really owing to the effect of the coal strike, that she was aboard the ill-fated vessel, for she should have sailed a week previously. She was a second class passenger on the Titanic and news of her rescue was the greatest relief and gratification to her parents and relatives, and her many friends.

Mr. and Mrs. Ramell have been inundated with congratulations at their daughter's safety, and they have been deeply touched by the many kindly messages received by them. (They then received a letter from their daughter).

'My dear mother and dad, I expect you have been wondering whether you would ever hear from me again. You have seen by the papers the wreck of the Titanic, but after the most terrible time of my life I am safe. My nerves are very shattered, I look and feel about ten years older, but I will get over it after a time.

You will like to hear the truth of the wreck from me, for the papers never tell the right news. We were in bed on Sunday night about 11.30, when we felt an awful jerk, and the boat grazed something along its side, and the sea seemed to splash right over the deck. The men in the next cabin slipped m their coats and ran up to see what it was, and came and told us the ship had run into an iceberg nearly as big as herself.

Most of the people went back to bed again, but then came an order `get up and put something warm on, put on a lifebelt, and come up on deck.' So I got one underskirt on, and a skirt, and stockings, and shoes and a coat, and ran up to find a lifebelt, because there were only three in our berth for four of us. A boy from the next room stole one of ours, but he went down with it, poor boy. We did not have time to go back to our cabins again to get anything, and we did not dream it was so serious. I thought I should get back to get more clothes on and get a few other things, but we were put into the lifeboats and pushed off at once. They put all the ladies and children in first.

I guess there were 30 or 40 in our boat. It seemed to be the last one lowered with women in it.

When we got away from the ship we could understand the hurry and the order to get half a mile away as soon as possible. For the Titanic was half in water. We watched the portholes go under until half the ship only, the back half, stuck up. Then the lights went out and the boilers blew up it was so cold. We had not put enough clothes on. I had no blouse, and the others had no stockings or underclothes. The boat rocked so and made me seasick. There were three or four young babies there without their mothers. How they screamed!

..... We were in the little boat for just five hours and a half before being rescued (by the Carpathia). They lowered bags for the babies to pull them up, and we sat on a kind of swing and were drawn up by rope to safety. They have been most kind to us. Led us one by one to the dining room, and gave us brandy. I drank half a glass of brandy down without water.'

After seeing this and similar articles I determined to find out as much as I could about Elizabeth. She was born in Folkestone, Kent on May 27 1882 and was the eldest of five daughters to Thomas and Elizabeth Ramell. The couple had lost two children born prior to Elizabeth, and when she in turn, as a child, came close to death, the parents were desperate. They were visited by a Salvation Army Captain who, on hearing of Elizabeth's condition, asked if she might be alone with the child in order to pray. As she was later leaving, Thomas pronounced that if Elizabeth lived he would join the Salvation Army. Elizabeth made a complete recovery.

Thomas remained true to his word and became a founder member of the Salvation Army in Folkestone. He also formed the Army band. Elizabeth married in 1904 and in 1909 emigrated, first to Canada and then to New York. Elizabeth was a dressmaker and worked for the Uniform Department of the Salvation Army headquarters. Her husband was the janitor in the same building. However both her husband and child died in 1911 and so Elizabeth returned to England to mourn.

Elizabeth was highly regarded in America and was invited back on the insistence of Eva Booth. She booked passage on the SS Philadelphia but due to a shortage of coal caused by a two-months long miners' strike, was transferred to the Titanic. On the night of 14 April 1914, Elizabeth and other second class passengers gathered together in the dining room and sang hymns. They ended with the hymn "For those in Peril on the Sea".

Upon arrival on American soil, one of the first Salvation Army personnel to greet her was Captain George Darby. The couple kept in touch and married on 26 November 1913, following Elizabeth's commissioning. Their honeymoon was spent in Folkestone. The couple worked in the New York area and Elizabeth concentrated on Home League and League of Mercy work. They retired in 1948 with the rank of Colonel. Elizabeth was Promoted to Glory on 22 November 1963.

Victorian and Edwardian Salvation Army Prints (Part Two) by 'P.H.'

Following the article entitled "The Illustrated London News and Salvation Army Prints", published in last year's journal, there were several requests for information on other prints from pre-1914 literature. In researching these, it seemed sensible to present a second part to the previous journal's article.

A popular picture of William Booth is the full length coloured lithograph published in Vanity Fair on November 25 1882. It is part of their highly collectable "Men of the Day" series. On an accompanying page is a somewhat lighthearted explanation of "General" Booth and his work. Included are the statements that Mr Booth's work will "sweeten our national manners and injure the race of brewers. Mr. Booth interprets the Gospels in an airy and gamesome way

The work of the Salvation Army abroad attracted much comment in the press of the 1880s and 1890s. Pictures sometimes accompanied the articles and one, from an unknown source but dated 1884, shows `Major Tucker conversing with a Hindoo Fakir". The Major is dressed in Indian garb and is shown holding a local edition of the War Cry

One particularly interesting print to come to light was from The Graphic of 19 November 1887. Entitled "The Salvation Army in Ceylon" it. shows many figures in different poses as well as a drum floating across a river! The figures are in fact the Singhalese Life Guards. One of the pictures is that of Captain Gape - formerly of the Trade Department and Regents Hall - now known as Captain Akbar.An unusual print came from The Graphic of 15 February 1890. It shows a musical item being performed at "A Cigarette Concert held at the Honourable Artillery Company's Headquarters, Finsbury." The print shows a man and woman, both wearing dresses and holding a cornet and tambourine respectively, performing a Salvation Army duet!

Another magazine, Black and White produced a three page article with pictures on 23 May 1891. It is entitled "In a Salvation Army Shelter?' and shows, among other things, women being given a straight talking to concerning the rules of the Shelter. These rules include "bed at nine, rise at six, and all out by eight". Other small pictures show a sale of old clothes in the shelter and a Salvationist forcibly restraining a young woman behaving in an unruly way! The article tells us that "As each woman entered she put her penny through the little hatchway to receive in return a big mug full of hot, strong, well-sweetened tea, with a huge slice of good bread spread with dripping". The article continues that the women look forward to the evening's "rousing, rollicking service" and that sometimes permanent good is done". It is stressed by the writer that the key thing about the Shelter is that the Army is there to help anyone in need regardless. of their beliefs.

The front page of The Graphic of 20 February 1892 was taken up with a picture of the Hercules, lined with Salvationists, greeting General Booth on board the Hilda. The caption reads "The return of General Booth from India and the Colonies - the first greeting at Southampton". The Illustrated London News of the same date also carried the story with pictures.

The next week The Graphic again carried a wonderful double page picture of "A Salvation Army Shelter for Women in Whitechapel`. On the reverse is a lengthy article detailing the work of the Salvation Army and a description of the Shelter. Of the dormitory the reporter states ' ... over the supports of the upper dormitory or gallery, is the awful question, in red and white, "ARE YOU READY TO DIE?' When the night is still, half the inmates surely look as though they are dead already; the unsightly receptacles for the sleepers are strangely like open coffins - open graves."

The Illustrated London News, continued to record events in the life of General Booth. In a well designed picture in the edition of 29 June 1907, the awarding of "the degree of D.C.L. from (Oxford) University" was celebrated. The picture shows General Booth with Bramwell and soldiers from all parts of the world. The variety of uniforms clearly echo national dress and include a Red Indian, Zulu, African and soldiers from various European countries. The accompanying caption records the fact that "The General has just returned from a tour of Japan, during which he was received by the Emperor, who expressed his deep sympathy with the work the Salvation Army is doing for social regeneration.'

Another full page spread again featured in the Illustrated London News of 14 March 1908. Under the title "Unconventional Portraits - No. V. Chief of an army of 84,0O0, there is the tall figure of William Booth surrounded by soldiers from many countries. The picture has a brief biographical sketch of `The Rev. Booth" and was issued to coincide with the start, that day, of the Army's Self Denial Week.

The prints described above and earlier do not constitute a complete list and 'forgotten' prints are sometimes discovered in the most unusual publications. One final word of advice, before framing your prints, look closely at the back as often there is information about the print and it is worth taking notes. If there is .no information, go to an original magazine if possible and look at the nearest pages to find it.

(Editor's note: We can supply much of the information referred to above - as usual, free of charge).

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Salvation Army Instrument Making - A Short History by William H. Scarlett

In the 1880s and 1890s the Salvation Army, under the guidance of William Booth, started a number of shops in a variety of fields including match making, brush making, basket-making, carpentry, tin smith shop, tambourine making, wood carving, mattress making, bakery, chair making, sign writing, tailoring and others. A brass instrument shop seemed to be inevitable.

Starting around 1884 the Trade Department in London sold other makers' brass instruments, which were listed in the first SA Tune Book in 1884. By the late 1880s the SA had almost 400 bands which could use repair services. Consequently, Commissioner John Carleton, of the Trade Department, suggested that the SA open a brass repair shop in London. This was opened in 1889, under the supervision of the Trade department, in a basement room of the IHQ at 96 Southwark Street. The shop began with two experienced brass workers and one 16 year-old apprentice. The apprentice, Jack Furness, later became head of the factory and also the bandmaster of the St. Albans Corps Band.

After the brass shop opened for repairs in 1889, it was natural that the Salvation Army should eventually become the maker of instruments as well. In 1890 the new edition of the Tune Book had a whole page of SA instruments available from the Trade Department. These first instruments from the shop were made from parts, if not whole instruments, purchased from other makers. The first complete instruments made in the SA shop were produced in 1893 and were proudly called "Our Own Make". From the business point of view, the SA production of instruments was an instant success, especially after the General, in his Orders to Field Officers, required that all SA bands buy their instruments from the SA. Orders poured in and production increased so that by 1894 there were 17 workers employed and this increased to 60 workers ten years later.

From 1890 to 1896 the Trade Department and the brass shop were located at 98/100/102 Clerkenwell Road, London. In 1896 they moved to 79/81 Fortress Road, London which was the location of instrument making until 1901. Instruments made during this Fortress Road period were the first ones stamped with the address on the bells. A few instruments still exist from this period including an Eb bass recently for sale on Ebay with the serial number of 5049.

In 1901 the SA opened a factory for instrument making in St. Albans.. a northern suburb of London. This factory, called the Campfield Musical Instruments Works, was near the SA printing facility, called Campfield Press. The factory produced all the instruments of the brass band including the early pocket cornet and G trombone. They even designed and patented an Eb bass trombone with a slide going forward as usual and one going backwards as well, both working together with ropes and pulleys. Some SA bands in England between 1909 and 1922 started to use saxophones. The SA did not make these instruments.

Several attempts were made to produce a less expensive instrument line for small corps and youth bands. Each attempt ended abruptly because ways could not be found to produce a cheaper instrument. Some of these model lines were called Herald, jubilee, Reliance, Endurance (imported from France) and Congress. Other names for limited production or speciality instruments were Special Congress, Festival, Fanfare and Deluxe. The main model for senior bands in the early years was called Gold medal, later changed to Triumph or Triumphonic models being added in 1914. The Triumphonic line was made until the factory closed.

From the beginning, brass bands in England were built in "high" pitch, (A=452), sometimes called "philharmonic" pitch. Most of the rest of the world used "low" pitch (A=440), sometimes called "continental" or "international" pitch. The Campfield Works made both as far back as 1926, indicated in the oldest remaining factory records. It is likely that both high and low pitch instruments were made before 1926 as well. In 1964 Boosey and Hawkes, the other well known brass band instrument maker, decided to cease making high pitch instruments and the SA agreed to do the same. The St. Albans factory was in operation until 1972 when it was sold to Boosey and Hawkes. By the terms of a seven year agreement, Boosey and Hawkes continued to make for the SA only the top of the line Bandmaster cornet and the Triumphonic tenor horn, until the agreement ran out and all SA instrument making came to an end.

The last instrument made by the SA in 1972 was a Herald cornet with the serial number 34283. By then the machinery was getting so old that accurate parts were difficult to make. Some of the equipment still in use was bought as war surplus after World War One. The SA decision makers in London decided not to fund the modernisation of the SA factory because of the huge costs and because it had been losing money for several years.

The Campfield Musical Instrument Works had a vibrant history of serving the needs of SA bands. Instruments were made with thicker metal and heavier silver plate to meet the needs of active schedules and sometimes hostile street corners! Several designs and patents attributed to the "Works." include the previously mentioned Eb bass trombone, the first trombone slide lock and a special drop-end lyre for trombone that did not have to be removed before the instrument was put in a case. The factory kept pace with its competition too with compensating valves for lower brass.

Even though only 34,000 instruments were produced in 83 years, these instruments were produced to serve the Lord, and to meet the needs of ever expanding bands in the Army world. From the beginning, many of the workers in the factory used their skills to make instruments and to play them too in corps bands. Today we pay tribute and give thanks to those dedicated men and women, who gave so much to the history of Salvation Army bands.

NB: The Salvation Army Repair Shop No. 2 was opened in February 2001 in Kingston, Jamaica, where each week unusable instruments are being returned to playable status, both for Caribbean SA bands as well as other bands.

The Salvation Army in the Coorparoo Area (Australia) 1890 - 1998 by Garth Hentzschel B.Ed, M.Ed (S.G.C)

The Salvation Army Comes to Australia
In 1880, just two years after becoming The Salvation Army, two converts, John Gore and Edward Saunders pioneered operations in Adelaide. The Movement then spread throughout the colonies of Australia. By June 1885 the Movement flourished in the colonies of Tasmania, South Australia and New South Wales. Thus Brisbane, Queensland, seemed to be the next city in which to commence operations. At times, however, the growth was slow and The Salvation Army faced opposition from both the public and government sectors.

The Salvation Army Comes to Queensland
Brisbane presented challenges of its own, for, on at least three earlier occasions, there had been attempts to form a local Salvation Army centre and the attempts had failed. 1880 saw Mr. and Mrs. McNaught start the work but it soon dwindled. Then in 1883 the untrained and inexperienced Captain and Mrs. Cairns, from the U.K., tried hard to commence the work, but found it impossible. More Salvationists, Mr. and Mrs. Harry, from England migrated to Queensland later that year and tried to start The Salvation Army. However due to constant moving, to find work, they were unable to form a group of supporters.

In 1885 a group of four officers, lead by Adj. Edwards, was sent from the Southern Colonies to break the cynical feeling Brisbane had of The Salvation Army. By early 1886, 3 corps had been well established and social work was in progress, even though anti-Army petitions were being received through the Brisbane Council.

The Salvation Army Arrives in The Coorparoo Area
In 1890, five years after The Salvation Army commenced in Brisbane, Captain and Mrs. G. Phillips were appointed to open a Salvation Army centre at Stones Corner, which became known as the Coorparoo Corps. The first War Cry report read:

"Glory be to God we are pushing on in the war. We have been open three Sundays now, and have had souls every Sunday, also through the week. Since last report we have had five souls, some real good cases. We are believing for big things, and are working for them...

On Sunday night we had more people than we have had before. The place was not big enough to hold them.

'Keep believing, we shall win the day, and Coorparoo for God. We will be starting the junior Soldiers work soon. We want a place for the children, also a drum. Yours fighting, Capt. and Mrs. Phillips' (1890)Although there was immediate success, as with many new ventures the fight seemed sadly to dissipate:

"Captain Lanes and Lieutenant Hutchison have been welcomed here. The Captain's bike unfortunately collided with a dray the day after he took charge. His injuries were very slight, but the bike needed a good deal of repairing. Our first Sunday meetings were seasons of blessing; one soul sought Christ. The place needs the fire of the Holy Ghost; the officers, by God's help, are going to set things ablaze. - F.W.Lanes, C.O." (1902)

This new boost of enthusiasm seemed to be just what The Salvation Army at Coorparoo needed, for the Corps never looked back and also enjoyed public support. A report in 1904 states:

"We have had a very encouraging Sunday at Coorparoo. The night meeting was good, the seats all being full. We are bringing in more seats this week to make room. It does us good to see the interest that people are showing in the Army. At Stone's Corner the open-air crowds are the most attentive I have seen. One woman came to the soldiers' meeting and gave her heart to God. She has since attended the meetings and testified. The converts are doing well... Mayfield and Findlay"

Special Events In The Area
In 1915 Coorparoo Corps held a "Seven Days Tent Campaign" under the leadership of Brigadier Veal. It was attended by a "fine crowd" in which "an excellent spirit prevailed". The Campaign was a success seeing "several sinners" seeking God and "Comrades testified to blessings received". Thirty-two years later in 1947 a similar campaign took place and the large marquee" was positioned "on the site of an old battleground of earlier days" somewhere in Stone's Corner. There was an "excellent attendance" which revealed a "keen spirit". The campaign, was a great benefit to the Coorparoo Salvation Army with "twelve Seekers, several backsliders returned to God" and "one knelt at the drumhead outside a hotel".

The Salvation Army's War Cry, given out in the Hotels of the area, gives special mention of other activities conducted by Coorparoo Salvationists. These include: a Veterans Sunday; the swearing in of Salvation Army Soldiers; and travelling to the Valley, Sandgate and West End Corps to conduct Harvest Festivals. The Corps also held their own Harvest thanksgiving annually, which involved community groups donating goods for resale to aid the work of The Salvation Army. The Greenslopes Baptist Choir rendered a program at which "good business was done by the stalls" raising money'.

There were large celebrations to mark both the forty-seventh (1937) and Golden jubilee (1940) anniversary of The Salvation Army commencing in the area. On both occasions visiting Officers conducted the meetings and veteran Soldiers were honoured. Visiting Salvation Army Bands and Songsters also played a major role along with greetings from local church and government officials. Two speakers also gave talks on ''What The Army means to me."

Special Activities For The Locals
The Salvation Army also provided activities for the children of the area. As early as 1890 Young People's work was established such as Sunday School and junior Soldiers. In 1936 the Divisional Efficiency Banner was presented to the area for youth work. A year later the Chum Brigade was inaugurated being a new club for young boys in the area. The Corps also ran other youth clubs such as the Sunbeams. During 1940 the junior Soldiers of the area sang on 4BC Radio Station during the "Bible Session".

The Salvation Army also conducted local weddings. funerals, a youth group, Dedications, annual Christmas Carol Services, ANZAC Day Services, visits to Boggo Road Gaol and Peel Island Leper Colony as well as Open-Airs and the women's group 'Home League'. In 1942 the Corps distributed wartime ration books. In 1954 it joined in the official celebration to welcome Queen Elizabeth and during the 1950's contributed to 4KQ's 'The Salvation Army Half Hour'. Coorparoo Corps also voiced its concern about the change in Liquor Laws and aided many local and international Church bodies, such as the Bible Society.

Coorparoo Corps Extends The Salvation Army
As Brisbane extended so did The Salvation Army under the direction of the Officers and Soldiers of Coorparoo. Five outposts were established: Wynnum, Holland Park, Morningside, Broadwater and Carina. 1915 saw Wynnum, become a Corps 1t has been worked as an outpost from Coorparoo for some time, but, after due consideration, it was decided to open it as a Corps". Holland Park saw the first Salvation Army meeting "held under a Gum tree." Holland Park became a Corps in 1950 and with its relocation in 1971, changed its name to Mt. Gravatt Corps.

Coorparoo To Carina
There was much growth in the Carina District and the Coorparoo Corps purchased land in the area. Thus in 1974 the Coorparoo Corps moved from the hall on the Corner of Montague and Ellis Street, Stone's Corner to the corner of Chataway and Gallipoli Road, Carina and also changed its name. In the Centenary Booklet Carina Salvationists declare that time has "done nothing to diminish the standards set by "'old Coorparoo". Rather, the foundations have been built on, and today Carina is a thriving corps seeking in a variety of ways to communicate the love of God in Christ to a world that needs a Saviour more than ever.'

The Salvation Army Continues Work In The Coorparoo Area
After the Coorparoo Corps moved, The Salvation Army saw the importance of keeping a witness in the area, thus after Carina was established West End Corps, in 1976, moved to the Corner of Montague and Ellis Street, Stone's Corner changing its name to the Stone's Corner Corps. The Salvation Army continued to be active in the community even though the numbers in Salvation Army meetings in the area declined due to the population moving out of the area and those attending The Salvation Army either going to the City Corps or Carina. New avenues of service were commenced.

A New Work For The Salvation Army
While a small group of Salvationists and locals met at the Stone's Corner Hall, discussions were in progress to close down the Corps and expand the outreach that the Corps has started with the youth in Brisbane, thus two new services were expanded with the closure of Stone's Corner Corps.

YOS (Youth Outreach Services)
1988 saw the naming of Stone's Corner Youth Outreach Services with an officer appointed especially to look after the homeless and troubled youth of Brisbane. Armed with a van and food, the officer goes and talks with the children society has forgotten. The hall was set up with games and gym equipment, so the youths would have somewhere to go.
Early in 1988 the Youth Outreach Services moved out of the area into the Valley where their services are close to the need.

Salvation Army Welfare Work
Although The Salvation Army has always been involved in giving to the needy, a more professional approach in the area was taken in 1989 with the establishment of the Stone's Corner Regional Family Welfare Centre. This Centre has also gone through changes with the change in society. In 1993 the word family was dropped as more single and non-family members needed assistance and again the name changed in 1994 to the Stone's Corner Regional Community Service Centre. During 1997 the Centre was moved to Greenslopes, becoming known as the Greenslopes Welfare Office.

The Future
Although The Salvation Army maintains a Welfare Office and visitation to Hotels by neighbouring Corps, with the sale of the Salvation Army property, 1998 marks the end of a long association with the area. At present the future does not look promising, with The Salvation Army withdrawing its Christian witness from the area. Yet looking around other Australian inner city areas there may be some light on the horizon. The Salvation Army in other cities are starting to open ethnic Corps, such as the Korean Corps in Sydney. But what will you do to help The Salvation Army triumphantly march back to the Coorparoo area? The future of The Salvation Army is in your hands, and with God's guidance and your support anything is possible.

Calcutta Salvationist Servicemen's Band by L.A. Brand

In 1944/45 morale amongst the troops in South East Asia was low, they were know as the "forgotten army", food was poor and any promotion very slow. Also the media were regularly carrying reports of the war in Europe and very little about the Far Eastern conflict.

Following a report from a parliamentary delegation who suggested "Martial Music" to help improve morale, the War Office in London approached the Salvation Army Headquarters in Calcutta enquiring if a band could be formed to go into Burma to play to the troops. Subsequently there appeared on 'Orders' an instruction for Salvation Army bandsmen who were stationed in India to report to the orderly room of their Unit. Consequently a number of Salvation Army bandsmen - both Army and RAF - were instructed to report to Colonel Cunningham, the Territorial Commander at the Salvation Army Headquarters in Calcutta.

We formed a band under the leadership of Adjutant Denis Parker. We were billeted in a large room belonging to the Salvation Army Men's Social Work centre in Lower Circular Road, Calcutta, which was near to the RAF Transit Camp. We had a week's intensive practice before moving off into Burma along the Arakan Front where we gave concerts, sometimes as many as three a day and often travelling at night. Sometimes we played to not more than a dozen people and sometimes as many as 300.

The time was not without incidents. We were scheduled to catch the midnight train on 1 January 1945 into Burma. During the morning of 31 December 1944 it was decided to have a band photograph taken on the steps of the Queen Victoria Memorial, (the photograph to be sent for publication in the War Cry). We had only travelled about 100 yards in a lorry when we were involved in an accident. Fortunately no one was seriously hurt but it was soon obvious that some of the instruments could not be played without major repair. (We never did have the official photograph taken).

A short time later a telephone message was received from the railway station to say that there was a large crate addressed to the Salvation Army in Calcutta, marked "Brass Band Musical Instruments". We borrowed a lorry from the RAF to fetch the crate and when we open it we found a replacement instrument for each of the badly damaged instruments. However still not all the instruments were playable - the only instrument not replaced was the Bass Trombone - but later in the afternoon a phone call was received from an American Unit to say that they had heard of our accident and they had a bass trombone we could borrow. So we were able to travel into Burma on the midnight train with a complete set of instruments.

We subsequently learned that some months earlier the War Cry had an appeal for donations to purchase instruments to be sent to Calcutta. The ship on which the original set of instruments were sent was torpedoed and a second set was purchased from the insurance money. Had the first set arrived these would probably have been damaged in the accident.

While in Burma we had some scary moments. We were crossing over the Brama Putra river on a pontoon bridge at a recommended speed of about 5 miles per hour when two Japanese fighter planes started to machine gun us. The driver of the lorry put his foot flat on the floor - I don't know which danger we were in the most - the machine guns or being thrown into the river.

On another occasion after we had played to the patients in a hospital, the chief medical officer said that there was an empty ward where we could sleep. Although the hospital was plainly marked with red crosses, the Japanese dropped bombs on the site - fortunately they missed all the wards and landed on open ground.

Another incident occurred when we were travelling down a mountain road with high cliffs on one side and a practically sheer drop on the other. A rear wheel came off the lorry and bounced down the side of the mountain. The Indian driver jumped out of the lorry but the person sat by him (who was a bus driver in civilian life) caught hold of the steering wheel and managed to steer into the bank to stop the lorry. I'm sure the Lord was looking after us the whole time.

One memorable occasion was when we unexpectedly came to a Red Shield canteen, fairly close to where the Allies and Japanese were fighting. Brigadier Jewkes and volunteers were manning the canteen.

I often wonder at the thoughts of some of the troops who saw us because each morning before we started our journeys we met together to pray and read a passage from the Bible. I know the Lord used us to witness at that time.

Friday, 24 June 2011

The Salvation Army in Chepstow by Rob K. Brettle

On 6 February 1882 a small group from the Salvation Army marched through Chepstow singing hymns. The Chepstow Weekly Advertiser tells us that the leader, Miss Denning, was "carrying and playing a tambourine." Miss Denning preached and then they went to the 'headquarters' based in the Bible Christian Chapel, "followed by a crowd of young fellows and girls, with an admixture of several disorderly persons, who yelled and hooted, until the police had to interfere."

The work did not take hold and that summer they removed to Devauden, a small village to the north-west of Chepstow, because there was, apparently, strong support there. The Salvationists also caused annoyance to others by "beating tea-trays and other percussion instruments." However Miss Denning, it was said, appeared to be "very much appreciated by some of the inhabitants." It is not known where they met in Devauden but it is likely to have been a cottage ministry, and whilst the closure date is not known it is unlikely that the work continued for long.

Major Thomas Sowerby, the Bristol Divisional Commander, however extolled the troops in the War Cry of 11 November 1882, saying that he was "anxious to plant the Army Banner in ... Chepstow ... and every other town and village in the Division". His call to arms was answered from an unlikely corner.

William Powell went to the Training Home as a Cadet, but was, according to the War Cry of 18 April 1883, "found wanting" and told to go back home, and "by constant living prove his fitness for promotion". Instead of doing that he commenced his own version of the Salvation Army - the Bath Salvation Army which established itself in Bath, Bacup, Clitheroe and Chepstow.

The invasion of Chepstow was in December 1882 - one month after Major Sowerby's plea - with `Captain' William Powell personally in charge. The 7 April 1883 edition of the Chepstow Weekly Advertiser. carried a full report of the activities of ""the Bath Salvation Army". "Declaration of war" was first made in tents pitched in the Butter Market, moving one month later to the Hotel de Chili (now the Castle Hotel) in Bridge Street. The Hotel de Chili was so named because the proprietor, Benjamin Evans, had once traded in South America.

The reason for the article in the Chepstow Weekly Advertiser was that 'Captain' Powell was due to appear before the Magistrates in Bath because of the large number of attacks on his Army from rogues - and, in some measure, due to the tactics of the "Bath Salvation Army" themselves!

On 2 April 1883 an Affiliation Order was made against 'Captain' Powell and the number of members in Chepstow fell to about half a dozen. 'Captain' Powell accused the magistrate of being biased - because he was Roman Catholic - and appealed to a higher court. Whilst the appeal was being pursued, the Rev. M. Baxter, president of the '*gospel temperance army", took over the Chepstow command. After Powell's successful appeal, he returned to Chepstow only to find that Rev. Baxter was unwilling to give up the 'barracks' at the Hotel de Chili. According to the AdvertiseL supporters of Baxter came down from Monmouth on Monday 28 May "'in a fish cart".

William Powell came back to Chepstow the following June and, in the words of the Advertiser, "disbanded the garrison, evacuated the fortress and spiked the guns (i.e. locked the doors)". His Army owed £20 for rent but was unable to pay, so Benjamin Evans resumed the license. After that eventful few months in 1883 there was nothing until the War Cry of 26 March 1921 reported the "new opening" in Chepstow, with Captain Prior and Lieutenant Fisher as the officers. They used a building in Bridge Street - which was also used by other organisations. Unfortunately it no longer exists, and the work ceased sometime in the late 1930s/early 1940s.

A Salvation Army Officer in Nazi Germany by "S.B."

My grandfather was born in 1880 and became a Salvation Army Officer in 1912. He died in 1957, still at heart a Salvationist although no longer a soldier. He left some notes and papers which tell an interesting story. It will only have a brief airing here for personal reasons but a fuller account of his life might be published at a later date.

The early years as a young officer were clearly extremely harsh. There was little money, often little food, and Quarters were often damp and ill-furnished. However, the First World War seems to have caused him a great deal of worry. He was obviously aware of the spiritual difficulties of exhorting his fellow man to go out and kill yet it was expected of him to show his patriotism. He records little about this time although there is a comment that Headquarters stated that Officers should be guided by their conscience. (Ed: It is not known whether this refers to the THQ or IHQ).

We do not know where he served during World War One but in late 1919, he was with several other officers in Berlin. He records that there was considerable trouble and great agitation amongst the people, not least because the Allies were laying the blame for the War on Germany. Clearly his nationalistic sentiments were aroused and in subsequent notes he records the hunger, despair and outright anger felt by many Germans due to the Treaty of Versailles, the losses of menfolk and the huge inflation. During the 1920s things appear to improve for the country. In 1926, at a Salvationist rally in Munich, he records that there are great signs of wealth but also a large rich-poor divide still evident. "Prosperity and Poverty go hand-in-hand here". Obviously still a field officer, he believes that the Salvation Army can barely keep up with the spiritual (and physical) demands placed upon it.

In early 1930 officers, soldiers and the people at large are suffering again, this time due to widespread financial collapse. He records that no help can come from "our brothers abroad as their situation is as bad as ours". However, by 1935, he is clearly an admirer of Hitler. He records that Headquarters sought out a way to work with the Nazi Party as the ruling party. He goes on that there appears to have been a genuine desire by many to see Hitler succeed. partly because he appeared to keep his word and cut down unemployment and achieve unity. There was also the great fear of Communism.

Apparently like many in the Salvation Army, he willingly joined the Nazi Party although the exact date is unknown. He does make it clear that several Officers were anti-Nazi, at least in private. The latter appear to have aligned themselves with Salvation Army Colonel Busing who clearly worked hard to keep life smooth for all. It is obvious that there were disagreements about where an Officer's loyalty should remain. However, the fact that the Salvation Army was allowed to continue many of its activities at all was regarded by some as a sign of Hitler's interest in the Movement.

There is an old grainy picture of a band marching under the Army flag where the flagpole is topped by the Nazi symbol. Grandfather apparently used to tell the story that he visited England with some German Salvationists in the 1930s and marched under the swastika.

A clear rift had developed between some Salvation Officers by 1939. Grandfather remained an ardent follower of Hitler, believing that even with and after another war, an equilibrium would be reached. It was in the summer of that year he was asked to resign on the basis that a) his sermonising was to overtly pro-war and b) wearing a Nazi armband and badge on his Army uniform was incompatible with his Officership. He refused but decided to retire in favour of other work. However, given his age, it is unclear exactly what this would be. Apparently some friends found him an administrative post in a small South German town.

After the war he claims that his Nazi past were enough to make him unwelcome to many Salvationists. Officers ostracised him and although he volunteered to help work for the Salvation Army, he was told he was not wanted. He records his deep unhappiness at the Communist take over of half of Germany and appears to have become convinced in later life that wars in fact decided little. He would apparently talk fondly of his love for the Salvation Army and although he rarely went to a Salvation Army meeting after the war, he wanted to be remembered as a Salvationist first and a German second.

Editor: The above piece was submitted for publication after some chance correspondence between the CMHA and the granddaughter of the Officer. She did not want her grandfather's name in print at this stage.

Hanley Citadel Corps. Early Days & Rodney Smith by Mike Farrow

The Salvation Army opened fire in Stoke on Trent on 11 November 1881. Major William Fawcett, a Divisional Officer in Birmingham, was appointed to commence the work and meetings were held in Batty's Circus (now the site of the main Post Office) which seated about two thousand five hundred people. How long the Major was in Stoke on Trent is uncertain for the first Corps Officers are listed as Captain Cordrey and Lieutenant Topham for one month. On 31 December 1881 Captain Rodney "Gipsy" Smith took command.

Rodney 'Gipsy' Smith
Local tradition has it that when he arrived at Etruria Station, and saw the smoke and sulphur from the steel works and pot banks (a local term for pottery works), he thought the General had sent him to the nearest bottomless pit. Again local tradition has it that when Gipsy Smith entered the Circus, about eighty people were scattered about the place, they were singing "I need thee, Oh I need thee" to which the Gypsy is supposed to have remarked `They certainly need somebody, they look like jam scattered on a shelf".

Next morning, he met his two Lieutenants in the market square for an open air meeting. They sang to the music provided by the Gypsy on his concertina. People threw them coppers thinking they were out of work labourers - not one of the Gypsy's most successful open airs.

It is reported that collections during the first month paid the Gas Bill and nothing else, so the General allowed the Fry family to visit for a few days. The War Cry of 2 February 1882 reports "Hanley. Captain Gypsy Smith has had an awful struggle at this town with prejudice..." but things were happening. The War Cry of 23 February reports that God was visiting Hanley in a wonderful way, with people walking seven or eight miles to get converted. It would seem that the work grew slowly, then in March 1882 the Gypsy made a fateful decision. He decided to invite Alderman Boulton, Mayor of Burslem, to chair a meeting. In turn he invited his many friends and local dignitaries to accompany him. This was the turning point to the work of the Salvation Army in Hanley and also marks the beginning of the end of Captain Rodney "Gypsy" Smith's career as a Salvation Army Officer.

The Staffordshire Sentinel issue of 30 March 1882 carries an advertisement for the weekend of 1 and 2 April 1882, concerning the visit of the Founder to Hanley to review the troops and to present the colours to the 167th Corps of the Salvation Army. Unfortunately the report on the visit in the Staffordshire Sentinel is almost impossible to read. The visit seems to have been very successful but the storm clouds were soon to gather.

In July 1882 Captain Rodney "Gypsy" Smith and Lieutenants Billingsley and Harkness received farewell orders. The Staffordshire Sentinel for Tuesday 25 July 1882 carries a lengthy report of a Salvation Army Tea meeting which took place in the covered market in Hardey the previous day. During the course of this meeting, the Lieutenants were presented with silver watches, Mrs Smith and Miss Smith were each presented with a purse containing £3 and Captain Rodney "Gipsy" Smith was presented with the infamous gold watch.

The Staffordshire Sentinel of 14 August 1882 carried a lengthy article headlined

It would seem that Major Fawcett came from Birmingham to make inquiries into the matter. The whole situation was laid before him, and after he had communicated with London, a telegram was received ordering the Lieutenants to proceed to London, on condition that they returned the watches to the donors, and not as had previously been stated to the Army. According to the newspaper reports Gypsy Smith was never asked to return the watch but had been dismissed without even being asked for an explanation. The report goes on to state that Gypsy Smith had received a communication from Bramwell Booth which, after referring to the reported receipt of a gold watch, proceeded "Having chosen to set his (the "General's") wishes at defiance, and also to do so in the most public meaning possible, he can only conclude that you have resolved to leave the Army. Any how it is clear that neither you nor your sister can work in it any longer as officers, and the General directs me to say that we have arranged for the appointment of officers to succeed you at Hanley".

The report continues by saying that neither this or any other letter from London contained the slightest recognition of past services rendered by Gypsy Smith, and that in his reply to that letter he had acknowledged receipt of the watch and added, "As to it being received in premeditated defiance of the "General' or the Army that is altogether untrue. I need not say how sorry we all are in reference to the steps taken in this matter. You know I love the Army and its teachings. But, as you wish, I shall farewell on Sunday. But I reserve the right to say that you have turned us out of the Army because we have received the presentations. I can hold the world at defiance as regards my moral religious life. If I leave you, I do so with a clear conscience and a clean heart. Of course my sister and myself hold ourselves open to work for God wherever there is an opening."

The farewell meeting seems to have been a riotous affair. The Corps Treasurer publicly announced his resignation, on the grounds that he could not hold office in harmony with his convictions considering the treatment that Captain Smith had received. The collection boxes were returned almost empty, some of them even being thrown on to the Platform. It would seem that many others felt the same way as the Treasurer, for the Corps split in two. It would seem that there were over five hundred soldiers on the roll, but after these events only three hundred remained.

Captain Annie Lockwood and Lieutenant Hawker Jones took command, and the Staffordshire Sentinel of 15 August 1882 reports that their Welcome Meeting was another riotous affair. Further reports give accounts of Gypsy Smith's movements which include reports of packed gatherings in Burslem and Stoke Town Halls. He was also requested to open stations in Hanley and Burslem by one speaker who was sure that in a district like the Potteries there was a open field for him and one where he would meet with support. The Imperial Circus, Glass Street, Hanley was rented and Gipsy Smith attracted large crowds.

For 22 August 1882 there is a report of "THE NEW RELIGIOUS MOVEMENT IN HANLEY'. It would seem that a meeting of gentlemen and ex-Salvation Army soldiers had taken place at Mr. Baker's Coffee House, High Street, Hanley, to determine what course should be adopted with a view to retaining the services of Gypsy Smith and his sister for the town and the district. It would seem that a committee was formed known as "Captain Gypsy Smith's Committee".

The Staffordshire Sentinel, Tuesday 29 August 1882 carries a further report of the new Movement's meeting in which one speaker holds up a copy of the War Cry 22 August 1882 edition, and states: that a detestable lie has been published, to the effect that there has been a great victory in Hanley. Well, there has been a great victory perhaps. It was not however in the Tontine Street Circus, but in the Imperial Circus, and in further remarks the speaker preferred the charge of jealousy on the part of Bramwell Booth as against the power obtained over the people by Gypsy Smith.

The War Cry of 22 August 1882 does carry a report of a great victory at Hanley. The report of the first Sunday reads, "Glorious time here yesterday. One hundred and fifty two at 7 o'clock. Grand march around the town. Salvation was sung and blown through the instruments, people ran in all directions. We took the enemy by surprise, and Hallelujah! We felt we could dance for joy. Precious time inside, Circus half full. Half past two we began again, went in for Salvation; many wept and we felt God was indeed with us in mighty power. Night Circus packed in every part soon after six; hundreds standing, thirty five souls; offerings good. We are bound to win, God is here."

Following on from this the War Cry tells that in 1879 at Bolton, something similar had occurred with Gypsy Smith, when he had taken the Opera House for three weeks. That after this he had confessed to having backslidden and misrepresenting the General, was forgiven, and promised never to do any injury to the Army again. Since then the General had never ceased to show him and his sister every mark of kindness and confidence.

Colonel Robert Sandall, writing in the History of The Salvation Army, Volume 2 says, this episode "'was important only in this, that it settled once for all that the regulation forbidding officers to receive presents would be enforced. The Gypsy found a more suitable environment for his inborn and characteristic restiveness under discipline in freelance evangelism in which he was eminently successful". It would seem that sooner rather than later there would have come a parting of the ways.

It would appear that those who left the Army formed themselves into The Salvation Mission. The Staffordshire Sentinel of 29 September 1882 carries a report of the Presentation of Colours to the Burslem Corps. It would seem that Gypsy Smith was present on this occasion, but whether he headed up this new Movement is unclear. The History of Staffordshire (Vol. 8) records that The Salvation Mission registered a room for worship in Corporation Street, Burslem in 1883, but it had ceased to be used by 1884. Also that The Salvation Mission registered a Mission Hall for worship in 1884, in Moorland Road, Burslem, but this had ceased to be used by 1896. A room was also registered for worship by The Salvation Mission, in Boothen, Stoke in 1892 but the registration was cancelled in 1922. Today nothing remains of The Salvation Mission.

The Salvation Army today has seven corps operating in the Stoke on Trent area and one hostel for men.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

The Illustrated London News and Salvation Army Prints

The Illustrated London News (hereafter ILN) devoted many columns and prints or pictures to the work of The Salvation Army in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. I have chosen a representative range, including some of the best pieces. Apart from being a fine historical record in their own right, the prints are excellent for framing. The size of the full pages are 11 inches wide and just over 15 inches in height.

One of the earliest prints by the ILN is dated 30 August 1884 and bears the title `7he Salvation Riots at Worthing, Sussex". This half page print is fairly rare in terms of few coming onto the market. Perhaps two reasons account for this. First, the ILN published ever larger numbers of copies as the 1880s and 1890s progressed and so more of the later prints tend to survive. Second, the reverse side of the print is also of historical interest and included a map of the Nile (and this page is itself collectable).

One of the finest prints is a double page reproduction of a picture entitled "'An English Lady-Preacher of the "Salvation Army" in a Swiss Tavern". It was produced in the ILN of 26 March 1887 and on the reverse is a commentary on both the picture itself and the Salvation Army in general. The writer appears to favour the work of the Army, despite their " odd banners and music, the extraordinary phraseology of their mottoes, (and) the uncouth gymnastics of their ritual".

On 3 March 1888, the ILN produced a graphic print entitled "'The "Slum Sisters" Service of the Salvation Army". Eight small pictures fill the page and these include Mrs Captain Webb in the drab clothing of the poor. On the reverse is an article describing the work of the "slum sisters" who labour for the "moral and religious elevation (of the poor)".

"The Salvation Army Exhibition at the Agricultural Hall, Islington" is the caption for a multi-picture view of the Army from other lands and at home. There is even a small group of very contented looking "Salvation Pigs! From the Army's Essex Farm'.

Almost certainly in response to General Booth's "In Darkest England Scheme" of 1890, the ILN over two week carried pictures and articles. On 17 January 1891, details of "The Salvation Army Social Scheme: Sketches In Hanbury Street, Whitechapel' were given in very detailed pictures. On the reverse page is the first part of a lengthy article (with small pictures) by Frank Smith - recently a Commissioner in the Army. On 24 January, the scene is a multi-picture view of `7he Salvation Army Social Scheme: Sketches in the Westminster Shelter, Horseferry Road." Again, on the reverse, Smith writes at length and concludes his article.

Later, on 9 May 1891, the ILN produced a half-page rural scene with the caption "Site of 'General' Booth's projected Home Colony, Hadleigh, near Southend, Essex".

The ILN of 20 February 1892 has two prints on one page. Both celebrate the General's return to England earlier that month after an epic seventh month tour which included India and Australia. The top view shows the General on board his specially chartered steamer entering Southampton from Cherbourg. The bottom view is of a mass welcome for him in Hyde Park. On the reverse is a detailed passage explaining the prints.

In 1904 the Salvation Army organised an International Congress which was attended by Salvationists from around the world. The ILN of 2 July 1904 produced two finely detailed prints. The first shows the General `1eading the hymn ... with uplifted arms". Underneath the caption is a short piece about William Booth having just been received by the King, and his wishes for the future. The second shows "Salvationists From All Climes". Wonderful national costumes are shown including one, apparently from Belgium, where the person could be mistaken for a Ku Klux Klansman!

Three fine full page prints and photographic pictures round off this article. On 4 November 1905, the ILN published a print of General Booth being presented with the Freedom of London. Underneath it states that he is "the first Minister of Religion ever made a Freeman of the City" and goes on to briefly refer to the civic ceremony. On 30 December 1905, a photographic picture with the caption "The Latest Portrait of General Booth" was published, complete with a short paragraph on his work. Finally, a stunning photographic picture appeared on the cover of the ILN for 27 October, 1906. It has the caption `The General Overlooked" and then explains that General Booth is shown dictating to his secretary.

Ridgway Portrait Plates and Plaques

One of the most enduring of families to produce commemorative ware was the Ridgway family. Their official title between 1879 and 1920 was "Ridgways of Bedford Works, Shelton, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent". After 1920 they became "Ridgways (Bedford Works) Ltd". One of their many specialities was the Portrait plates and plaques which are produced with black coloured half tone transfer prints applied to a brown coloured and glazed surface.

It is impossible to give the exact production date (or numbers produced) of many of the plates and plaques, especially as the numbering which sometimes appears on the back could be a mould mark or occasionally the year of production. Some of the backs have no date, trademark or identification.

It is of no surprise to find that Ridgways turned their attention to the Salvation Army. All lists produced until now state that there are six designs, in three sizes (total 18 therefore) of unknown date, as follows:

1. General William Booth
2. Catherine Booth
3. General William Bramwell Booth
4. Mrs Florence Booth
5. General Edward Higgins
6. Mrs Catherine Higgins

Each of the above are found on: Plate (Coupe shaped with fine gold edge) - 9 inch and 10 and a quarter inch. Wall Plaque - 8 inch. In researching this article three things have emerged:

Dating - By comparing the backs of a number of plates (but not plaques), it is clear that several copies of plate one have 5/27 and plate two have 7/27. This could suggest that they were issued in 1905 and 1907 respectively. Nothing can be deduced for plates three and four from the apparently random numbers which occasionally appear on the reverse. Plates five and six must have been produced during Edward Higgins' time as General, 1929 to 1934. One plate seen does indeed have the figure 30 on the reverse, thus indicating its production as 1930.

Inscription - very few Ridgway plates bear inscriptions on the reverse but the majority of Salvation Army plates are unusual. Most examples read "Published with authority and courtesy of the Salvation Army, Ridgways. England".

Sizes - perhaps most exciting of all is the identification, published for the first time here, of another size of plaque. In all respects the same as the 8 inch plaque, this is a 9.4 inch size. This brings the total recorded to six designs in four sizes, thus a total of 24 plates or plaques.

Thomas Giles - Legendary S. A. Cornet Soloist by Ray Hawkshaw

Anyone familiar with pre-second world war Salvation Army bands, either by age or having a nostalgic enthusiasm for the old Regal/Zonophone 78rpm recordings of such, will immediately identify the name of Thomas (Tom) Giles with virtuosic cornet playing.

While most early and legendary stalwarts of the Salvation Army brass band world have long gone off to their reward, Tom Giles has recently resurfaced after nearly sixty years of obscurity apropos Army banding.

Two years after he was born in Farcet near Peterborough in 1911, Thomas' family moved to Rushden, Northamptonshire. He started playing at the age of five, taught by his father. Harry Giles had been bandmaster for 20 years at Farcet and the family arrived at their new Corps to find it in a very poor state. Nevertheless, supported by his wife, four boys and four girls, all of whom had musical talent, he revived the spirit of the Corps.

At 11 years of age Thomas successfully auditioned for the 2LO BBC radio station. Further radio broadcasts were forthcoming. He also often accompanied bandmaster George Marshall on weekend "specialing", which was a spirit-lifting experience for the young bandsman. Tom also remembers with great fondness special Councils with Staff Captain Wilfred Kitching and remembers being with him at the piano when the noted musician played for him the introduction of what was to become the General-to-be's prizewinning band selection, My Jesus.

At 17 Thomas became principal soloist of the International Staff Band under Lt. Col. George Fuller where, on his arrival at Army HQ, Thomas' most unforgettable memory is of General Edward Higgins placing his hands on the lad's head in a warm greeting. Almost immediately he was asked to play some new cornet solos awaiting approval by the International Music Board before publication, including Erik Liedzen's Tucker and A Happy Day. In the meantime Thomas was also welcomed as a soldier and as `top man' in the Upper Norwood Crystal Palace Band. Brindley Boon and others were effusive in their praise of Thomas who at 18, passed his LRAM.

Thomas Giles has always maintained that the 36 strong I.S.B. was then the finest band in the world, firstly for its dignified presentation of evangelism and secondly for its astute presentation of Army music. Thomas was one of only three non-officers and he worked for the Army's Reliance Bank.

The ISB was always present at Bandmasters' and other important Councils held at the Crystal Palace and the Albert Hall. Thomas' solos were always popular. Thomas also recalls accompanying such leaders as Commissioners Charles H. Jeffries and Charles T. Rich when they led Councils in various major cities.

One summer, Commissioner Joliffe requested that Thomas should make some recordings to advertise the `Bandmaster' cornet, the Army's own make. Much to the chagrin of the ISB, the SP&S Band accompanied him. Thus under the direction of Eric Ball was the first recording of Tucker made, eventually breaking all previous record sales. During the summer of 1933 Thomas found himself packed into a taxi with Commissioner Joliffe, Colonels Hawkes and Lewis, and Captain Eric Ball, all bound for the Columbia Studios in Maida Vale to record Happy Day and Strong to Deliver. Commissioner Joliffe and Colonel Hawkes persuaded Thomas (and Eric Ball) that the slow melody Consolation would sound good and so it later proved.

Interestingly, recording started at Maida Vale at 2 pm but nothing was produced that day. The fault apparently lay with the pianist at the point where the accompaniment towards the end of Happy Day has the right and left hands going in opposite directions. Next morning though the whole project was quickly completed with Phil. Catelinet at the piano.

Listeners to these recordings today need to allow for the style-cramping restrictions imposed upon yesterday's soloists and recording musicians generally. Richard Martin and the Enfield Band, for instance, took some nine minutes to play Tucker for a long-playing recording, whereas Thomas only had about six minutes. This meant that Eric Ball's SP&S Band had to speed up the introduction and bridge passages, etc., while Thomas had to cut down on his cadenzas.

The 1930s were a very happy time for Thomas. International Tours included time with the Elite British Territorial Band (Colonel Fuller conducting and Brigadier Sansom leading) and a twelve week tour of the U.S.A. and Canada. During these he was much appreciated by Major (General-to-be) Clarence Wiseman and by General Evangeline Booth - the latter insisting that Thomas be drenched in red spotlights as he rendered the 'Send the Fire' theme in Tucker. However, Thomas Giles claimed that the real highlight of the tour was not meeting the General or playing in the cavernous Carnegie Hall (with orchestral and electric organ accompaniment) but when Tucker composer Erik Leidzen turned up to hear him play. This event, claims Thomas, seemed to prove to be the balm that was needed for improving a hitherto strained relationship between the Army and Leidzen at that time. In 1936 Thomas married Margaret Haines, daughter of Commissioner and Mrs Haines, Commissioner Henry Mapp presided.

By the late 1930s Thomas was Bandmaster at Upper Norwood and ran his own 'college' for about 20 students. These included such renowned players as Harry Dilley and William Overton. Throughout this period Thomas had dozens of offers to play and become principal cornet of several contesting bands but lie always refused; However, there were clashes with the Army hierarchy. One memorable clash came after Thomas was threatened with dismissal from the Army for playing duets with the great man of brass, Henry Mortimer. Thomas sought an interview with General Evangeline Booth. The General agreed that as long as Mortimer came to the Army hall and played with an Army band, there was no problem. Interestingly Thomas notes that others present to see the General were Bandmaster Bill Major of Coventry I Band, who wanted to play his own unpublished composition (a march, Three Spires); Bandmaster Albert Munn of Kettering, in trouble over 'certain' regulations; and Bandmaster George Reid of Wood Green, in bother over bandsmen's uniforms.

Despite the excellent efforts of the Secretary of Bands, Major Charles Durman and the work of Adjutant (later Commissioner) Edgar Grinsted, the Commanding Officer of Regent Hall, in arranging many get-togethers for large and small bands, Thomas Giles said goodbye to Salvation Army banding and took up an appointment with Walton O'Donnell and the BBC Wireless Military Band at De La Warr Studios, Maida Vale.

During World War Two Thomas saw operational service in RAF Bomber Command and afterwards, concentrated on his own piano manufacturing business. He sold this in 1980 and took up an interest in opera. However his belief in the spiritual power of Army musicians has always remained with him, even after all direct contact with Army banding ceased.