OrnaVerum
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28 Jan 2022
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THE HULL PACKET & EAST RIDING TIMES
Fri 16 May 1879

HULL ARTILLERY VOLUNTEERS

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THE FINANCIAL POSITION OF THE BRIGADE

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IMPORTANT STATEMENT BY COLONEL HUMPHREY

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On Monday evening the Fourth East York Artillery Volunteers paraded in marching order at the Barracks, Park Street, for the inspection of clothing accoutrements etc. There was a muster of about four hundred. The brigade afterwards marched out, and on its return, Lieut-Colonel Humphrey delivered the following address to the men:

– Officers and members of the Fourth East York Artillery Volunteers, you have been summoned here this evening for the purpose of hearing a statement from me as to the present financial position of the brigade. In consequence of circumstances which have occurred I had thought that this would have been the last time of my addressing you. My mind was fully made up to this, but on the 27th of April I received a letter from Colonel Lord Londesborough, which I will read to you –

Northerwood, Lyndhurst, Hants, April 27th

Dear Colonel Humphrey,

I trust that you will be firm, and not allow yourself to be driven by annoyance into resigning (loud cheers). I should regret it extremely, for I am extremely proud of the brigade, and should be very sorry to retire; but I should do so if you are forced to leave, for I feel that there must be an end to all efficiency and all discipline if the machinations of a few malcontents suffice to drive a good and popular colonel out of the regiment (cheers). I suppose that in all regiments there must be a few disputes, and I have always wished to know nothing of them; but it really does seem so absurd that you should be ousted, after every single officer put his name to a declaration announcing the general and unanimous satisfaction of the brigade that you were to remain in supreme command, that I could follow no other course but retire with you (loud applause).

Believe me,

Yours faithfully,

Londesborough.

– This, then, has caused me to alter my determination for a time—(cheers)—as I am sure that every member of the brigade would feel the loss of his lordship as irreparable. You all of you know how good he has on all occasions been to us, his princely liberality to the volunteer force from its first foundation, and how ready he is at all times to help us, and under these circumstances I think it better to remain (loud cheers). I will now, therefore, ask Captain Sharp, who has had charge of the books and accounts of the brigade, to read to you the capitation balance-sheet; but I cannot allow this opportunity to pass without thanking Captain Sharp for the admirable manner in which he has performed the duties to hon. paymaster and kept the books of the corps.

Captain Sharp then read the balance-sheet with reference to the Capitation Grant.

Lieutenant-Colonel Humphrey:

– Now, men, you will have noticed that whereas you have earned £1,823 during the past year, the actual expenditure on your behalf for the working of the brigade amounts to £2,012 16s 8d, showing that the capitation grant earned falls short by £189 16s 8d of the money expended. It is an admitted fact that the Government grant is insufficient to meet the yearly expenditure of any volunteer corps.

– Although this is the case, we cannot be charged with extravagance, because, as a matter of fact, your expenditure for the past year is less by £82 than the previous year, in addition to which you have paid £30 more than before off the mortgage accounts, thus showing an advantage of this year over last of £115.

– I shall, however, best show you how these deficiencies are provided for by asking Captain Sharp to read to you the general balance-sheet of the brigade, and although this is an unusual course, still under existing circumstances I have determined (although the authorities only require that you should be made acquainted with the expenditure of the capitation allowance) to inform you of the whole source of income of the brigade, how every shilling is applied, and let you know that this general balance-sheet is audited in the same manner and by the same gentlemen whose names appear at the foot of the capitation balance-sheet (applause).

The general balance-sheet having been read, Lieut-Colonel Humphrey proceeded:

– You will see now by the balance-sheet just read to you that, exclusive of the money borrowed on mortgage, the amount realised over and above the capitation grant, from Colonel Lord Londesborough and officers’ subscriptions, rent of hall, etc, is £1,563 10s 4d, out of which we are enabled to meet the deficiency on the capitation balance-sheet, pay the prize-money, the expenses of transport to Paull, and other numerous expenses.

– I also wish to lay before you the mortgage account, which it has been found necessary to procure for the erection of the barracks, etc. In one word, I will tell you that the total amount originally borrowed upon mortgage was about £2,000, which amount by careful expenditure was reduced to £500 (applause). It was then found necessary to borrow another £1,000 for the following purposes:– Partially to pay for the building of the East Hall and clothing store; repair, paint and thoroughly overhaul the buildings generally, and make such alterations as would satisfy the brigade’s requirements for the next ten years. The whole of these moneys have been borrowed from the Yorkshire Permanent Building Society. I may here mention that £135 from the £1,000 above alluded to has already been paid off. You consequently see that the total liability of this large brigade is a paltry £1,500, which sum includes all interest until such time as the whole amount is paid off.

– Now let us see what we have against this. You have 965 men clothed and furnished with accoutrements, two bands properly equipped, your store house, magazine, etc, at the Humber Bank battery, your present commodious barracks, with a suite of rooms and offices second to none in the kingdom, and a sum of £481 in the bank to your credit; you also have about £150 which you may any day receive, thus making a sum of £630 or so to begin the year with; in fact you have property which has been estimated to be worth £14,000 by a competent valuer, and is at the present moment kept constantly insured for, I believe, over that sum.

– I have omitted to mention that the capitation allowance is paid to us after the earning of it—the same, in fact, as any of you must earn your wages before receiving it. Therefore, you will see, supposing that at present half the brigade is efficient for this year, you have already earned very nearly £1,000 in addition to the above amount. You, therefore, commence your ensuing financial year with the best prospects the brigade has ever had since its formation, seeing that your debts are all paid, that your cash balance at the bank is double that of last year, added to that which you have money to receive for sundry outstanding accounts.

– Your buildings are complete and in good repair, your uniforms, accoutrements, and stores are with the exception of some few about to be replaced, in good order and condition.

– Well, where has this state of things come from, for I remember well the time when the capitation grant was almost a nonentity, the number of efficients being 283, and you have last year earned £1,823, and can even do better. I also remember an enormous debt, which you were afraid to think about, and which debt was about all the corps possessed, and yet you have, no doubt, heard that the parties who have placed you in this position have been charged with gross extravagance.

– You will shortly be required to elect a finance committee for the ensuing year. In the election of this committee I intend asking you to appoint certain officers whom, on the conclusion of this address, I will name to you. I take this somewhat unusual course in consequence of recent events which have taken place with the retiring Finance Committee.

– Some few weeks ago an official draft, value £1,283, was received by me. Two of the members, whose names were upon such draft, and whose signatures were necessary for the receipt thereof, refused to sign it on application being made to them by the honorary paymaster, added to which every effort was made to injure the credit of the corps with its bankers, and I need hardly say that had the course of action pursued been successful, it could not but have resulted in serious disaster to us, for you would have been unable to have received the money, which you have so hardly earned, from the Government, and the tradesmen with whom we have yearly accounts, and have trusted in our honesty, could not have been paid their just demands.

– However, I am happy to inform you that the War Office authorities (thus showing their confidence in me) (loud applause) have placed the amount of the capitation allowance at my disposal, without the signatures of those officers, communication having already been made with the authorities regarding the erasure of Lieutenant Moxon’s name, which should not have appeared on the draft, as he had ceased his connection with the brigade at the closure of our last military year.

– I may here say that on receipt of this document the whole of the Government requirements were complied with, under section 21 Volunteer Regulations, 1878; and as you will see, the books, accounts, etc, of the corps have been audited by a public accountant, as well as by a gentleman of the town whose honour is undoubted, and who was the first colonel of this brigade, and he complimented the honorary paymaster, Captain Sharp, on their very satisfactory condition.

– I will now conclude by asking you at once to use your most strenuous exertions in filling up the existing vacancies in your respective batteries. I can assure you it is a source of great anxiety to me, and I think it my duty to inform you that you cannot, with the present amount of capitation allowance, make the brigade self-supporting without we have the maximum strength of 965 men. I think I have only to express my wish on this subject for you immediately to take an interest in the matter, and at once accomplish it. I should like to say that, although I have suffered numerous annoyances in the last few months, I have always felt a real pleasure in meeting you, and that you have on every occasion obeyed every order of mine with alacrity and zeal, and the discipline of the brigade is not therefore [,] such as some would have it appear[,] in anything but a creditable state. Mind you, I do not say we are perfect.

– I have now finished, and will ask you to appoint the following officers on the Finance Committee for the ensuing year, feeling assured that the majority of the gentlemen named by me have your interests and the best interests of the brigade at heart:– Thomas R Humphrey, Lieut-Colonel Commandant; J Saner, Lieut-Colonel (hissing and groans, which Colonel Humphrey did all he could to suppress); H F Pudsey, Major; G Clarke, Captain; F W Thorp, Captain; A G H Wellesley, Captain; E T Sharp, Captain; J G Apthorp, Lieutenant; T C Reynoldson, Lieutenant; W H Wellsted, Quartermaster (cheers).

Major Pudsey: If you would allow me with respect to my name I should be glad to move an amendment. Some years ago I served upon the Finance Committee. At that time I had reason to leave it, and I made up my mind not to enter it again.

Major Pudsey then suggested the name of Major White in the place of his own.

Captain Scaping then came forward and said he wished to read a list of names as an amendment.

Captain Thorp: There is no proposition yet.

Brigade Sergeant-Major Pexton: I propose that the Finance Committee consist of three field officers, four captains, and three lieutenants, which I think is a fair representation of the brigade.

The names submitted were the same as the list read by Lieut-Colonel Humphrey. Quartermaster-Sergt Spink seconded the proposition.

Brigade Sergeant-Major Pexton: I wish to put a question to you. The question has been asked me if we had any inefficients last year, and if so did they pay the fine according to the rules, and if not, why?

Lieut-Col Humphrey: I think that question had better be left out, but, however, I am here to answer. They did not pay the fine, because I refused to summon a man for his subscription for not making himself efficient when an officer did not do so (loud cheers).

Captain Scaping then came forward with his amendment, and was about to make some remarks.

Lieut-Col Humphrey: No speech sir. Will you put the names? (cries of "Go on" from several of the officers.)

Captain Scaping: I will simply read to you an abstract out of the volunteer regulations–

Lieut-Col Humphrey: I will have nothing of the sort. I will have no controversy here.

Captain Scaping: Since I am not allowed—

Lieut-Col Humphrey: Will you put the names.

Captain Scaping: Lieut-Col Commandant Humphrey (cheers), Lieut-Col Saner (groans and hissing), Major White, because Major Pudsey does not wish to serve. Then I propose two captains for each of the half brigades: myself and Captain Horsley in the right half, and Captain Thompson and Captain Johnson in the left half, and for the three lieutenants I propose Lieutenant Bantoft, Lieutenant Downs, and Lieutenant Reed. These officers I propose to be the Finance Committee for the ensuing year.

Captain Thompson seconded the amendment.

Lieut-Colonel Humphrey: I am going to put the amendment first. All those in favour of it vote by holding up the right hand.

Very few hands were shown. Lieut-Colonel Humphrey then put the original motion, which he declared to be carried.

Captain Scaping: The voting is very near. It would be better to go to the right and the left.

Lieut-Colonel Humphrey (warmly): It is not near; you are not commanding officer here.

The orders for the week having been read, Lieut-Colonel Humphrey said:

– I thank you for coming tonight in such large numbers. I hope we shall do our work in a proper manner, and if there has been any unpleasantness whatsoever I trust it will be wiped away, so that we shall start properly (loud cheers).

The men were then dismissed.