4 THE YPRES TIMES We are indebted to Capt. de Trafford for all the arrangements he has made for the pilgrimages and for the many other activities of the League. Next year is the tenth anniversary of the foundation of the Ypres League and we want to make it a record year for our membership, and I ask all to do their best to increase the membership because the more members we have the more benefits we can give to those we are able to help. I must say a few words of the activities of the London County Committee. We have kept up our monthly informal Gatherings throughout the year with an increased attendance. I think the average now is well over one hundred. The Gatherings are specially arranged for ex-service men and their wives and friends, and we welcome all who care to come. For these and other arrangements we have to thank particularly the indefatigable Secretary, Mr. Boughey, and also Capt. Alliston, Capt. Davies and many others. I am going to ask Lord Plumer to present the first three London County Committee Certificates of Merita new order of merit for those who help forward the good work of the League. I must not forget the Gathering on June 1st last. An inspiring Parade, when we took over the wonderful new flag, waving above us, so kindly given to the League by Sir Charles Wakefield. It was presented at Somerset House by Viscountess Plumer. From there the Colours were taken to St. Paul's, saluted, and laid on the altar during the service. I now give way to our Chairman, Field-Marshal Viscount Plumer. Lord Plumer then rose and said Ladies and Gentlemen,I should like to say how glad I am to be here once more at this Annual Gathering. I think it is most gratifying, despite the bad weather to-night, that there is such a large attendance. It shows that members of the Ypres League follow the example of those who defended the Salient so long, in as much as they are not deterred by weather and come out rain or shine, and as you know it was generally rain. We have to thank the Belgian Military Attaché for coming here this evening undeterred by the weather and showing the friendship of his people and their comradeship with the British Army. There are just two points that I would like to emphasize to-night. One is a reminder the other, a foreshadowing of something which I think may occur in the future. The reminder is the Membership of the Junior Division. We old people must pass away one after the other, but we hope and trust that the Ypres League will remain in all its force, virility, and influence, if the children and descendants of the original members join it with the determination to carry on the work which their fathers laid. And I hope next year if I am here (applause) as I hope to be, if you are kind enough to ask me (applause) to have a statement showing a large increase in the numbers of members of the Junior Division. I hope that as the years go on numbers will continue to increase steadily. It is a most important matter and we ought to bear it in mind in connection with the League. Now, as regards the other matter, I think that notwithstanding the good work (as Major Jones has explained to you) done by the League—the conveyance of pilgrims and so on and the objects enumerated on the programme, that the time has come when we must think of some more constructive work to do in connection with Ypres. We have a separate organization set up for the British settlement at Ypres. The Church was the first considerationthat has been built and paid for. Then we had to take into account the Chaplain's house. That has been built and paid for. The next point was a room for the pilgrims and visitors to Ypres, and residences also, and thanks in no small measure to the contribution of the Ypres League that that has been done and paid for. Now we come to the School. I do not suppose even those who visit Ypres from time to time realize the strength of the British colony in Ypres. They number about 450 and if we are to keep the class of men who will regard the duty of looking after the graves and cemeteries and memorials in the Ypres Salient as a sacred duty, we must have men of great integrity and sterling worth to do it, and if we are to have that class of man we must take steps to see that their wives and families live decently and above all we must educate their children. So we suggested building a school. That school was built and paid for by my old college, Eton. The school is now open with ninety children attending, but there are still some who cannot be educated because there is no room for them.


The Ypres Times (1921-1936) | 1930 | | pagina 6