100 years ago today: Framlingham Volunteers

Published in the Framlingham Weekly News on 20 January 1917, Henry George Walne appeared giving a vote of thanks for ‘a very pleasant evening’…

Volunteer Prize Distribution at Framlingham

A handicap shooting competition was held by the Framlingham Volunteers at Christmas, and, thank[s] to the generosity of their friends, each of the sixty-two competitors received a prize, which were presented at a smoking concert held at the Crown and Anchor Hotel on Friday evening. [19 January]

Capt. Stocks, the Officer Commanding, who presided, expressed his great pleasure at the presence of their esteemed Colonel. Though a very busy man, he managed to put in an inordinate amount of work for the Battalion and evinced the greatest interest in its progress. Mr Stocks spoke very elequently (sic) on the duties of a Volunteer, urging them in particular to help their country in raising money to defeat the Germans. Men must not think, he said, that small contributions were of little value. He was convinced that we should need all the money we could raise, and it was the last five pounds which were going to end present great strife of nations, and ensure the future safety of the Empire. (Applause.)

Col. H. Abdy Collins presented the prizes and congratulated the winners on their efficiency in shooting and in drill, expressing great satisfaction at the progress of the Battalion, which turned up in such strength for inspection by General French at Ipswich. He had not yet received full particulars of the new regulations; but, from his knowledge of men, he was confident no one would hang back. As far as he knew, the regulations were exactly what Volunteers had clamoured for, and now that official recognition had arrived the Suffolk Regiment would come up to scratch and cheerfully do all that was expected of them. The Framlingham Company had been selected to provide a guard of eight men per night at a particular spot, and he was confident it would be undertaken cheerfully and willingly. Referring to the new War Loan, we could say now, as we said forty years ago, “We’ve got the ships, we’ve got the men, and we’ve got the money, too” and he urged all to help in the present crisis. (Applause.)

Lieut R Newbery, in moving a vote of thanks to the donors and collectors of prizes, said the Corps was most grateful for the kind and generous response of friends, and the liberal way in which the prizes had been given testified to the great efforts of the collectors – Sergt-Major J Peck and Lance-Sergt E C Maulden, who had canvassed the district. The main idea of a Volunteer, he said, was to shoot a Hun; and men had entered the competition not so much with the idea of winning a prize as to attain efficiency in shooting. A soldier who could not shoot was worthless; and though this year the scores were better than last, he urged the men to practice and attain greater efficiency in the coming year.

Lieut H G Walne moved a vote of thanks to Mr T J Wright and the entertainers, who had in such a large measure contributed to the success of a very pleasant evening.

Henry Walne, and his son, also Henry, both later became Captains and appear quite frequently in their local paper. Both Henrys were to lose a son in the fighting – Horace in World War One, and Robert (known as Neville) in World War Two.

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