Sunday, 28 September 2014

Recruiting at Crawley – September 1914

Mr E. C. Titcomb, who has been appointed recruiting officer for this district, convened an informal meeting at the George Hotel on Tuesday night to consider the question of recruiting, Major Messel being present to explain the objects of the gathering. It was decided to hold an open air meeting in the square tonight (Saturday), when it is hoped the young men of Crawley will give a good account of themselves.

The recruitment meeting was deemed a success as recorded by the Sussex & Surrey Courier: - With the view to obtaining recruits for Lord Kitchener’s Army an open air meeting was held in the Lower Square on Saturday evening, when there assembled probably the largest crowd ever seen in Crawley. The Town Band first played selections, under Mr Melville, and also discoursed suitable music at the close of the meeting, the programme including the Russian, French, Belgium and English National Anthems.

Earnest appeals were made to the young men of Crawley to volunteer their services at this hour of country’s need, and referred to the war as a righteous war, not of our seeking, but one which must be fought to a finish for the honour and liberty of the people. Employers were urged to keep open the positions of those who had joined the ranks, and all were urged to do their part in seeing that the dependents of men were well looked after.

Mr E. C. Titcomb also addressed the meeting, and read out a list of those who had already entered their names from Crawley and district. In response to his request for more recruits to come forward, nine young men stepped forward amid loud applause and added their names to the list. The greatest enthusiasm prevailed throughout, and it is hoped that other eligible young men will follow the example of their comrades.

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