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DEPARTURE PROM FREMANTLE.
OFF BY THE ULSTERMORE.
On Wednesday Western Australias sixth contribution bf men towards tte ritish Army in South Africa left for the scene of strife. Their time at the Karrakatta training , camp was short; but so heartily
did the men enter into their duties that the few days they were under the hands of the drill instructors were sufficient to convert them into as soldierly a body of men as anyone could wish to see. Made up of 232 officers and men, this the larg- est contingent which Western Australia has despatched to South Africa, promises in every way to be a credit to the State. The fine troopship Dlstermore came from Natal especially to take the contingent away. For fourteen months the Ulster more has been employed Bs a troopship, and so roomy is she that it is safe to say that she could accommodate with ease six times the number of Men who are now travelling in her.
Camp was struck early at Karrakatta on Wednesday morning. The journey to Fremantle did not take long ~ to accomplish. The work of putting the horses on board the steamer was not performed so easily as with other contingents. Some of the animals strongly objected to facing the "race." They kicked heartily and even lay down, but the persuasive powers of several men on the end of a hauling rope, and of several other men pushing behind and using sticks, were not to be denied. It was after 2. o'clock when the last of tho horses were got aboard, and the men were not displeased when the work was over. The horses are chieflv located for- ward, between decks. Here, again, there is such a vast quantity of space which is not utilised that it will be pos- sible to give the horses exercise. The men are ioeated on the deck below the horses, and they will be comfortable enough. Hammocks will be used to sleep in.
Captain Campbell of the Ulstennore, gave a luncheon on board at half-past I o'clock, in honour of the departure of the troops. Amongst those present were Mr. George Throssell (Premier), Mr. B. C. Wood (Director of Public Works), Mr. i H. B. Lefroy (Minister of Mines), Mr. F. H. Piesse, M.L.A., Mr. Henry Briggs, M.L.C., Major Campbell, Mr. W. E, Moxon (Adelaide Steamship Co.), Mr. Alpin F. Thomson (Under-secretary for Railways), and Canon Garland (chap- lain). Captain Campbell, of the troop- ship, occupied the chair. Much regret was expressed at the absence of Captain CampbeiL(who is in charge of the contin- gent), through being a sufferer with bad
The Chairman proposed "Prosperity to Western Australia." He said, that he had been but ten days in the State, but never in any port had he made so many friends in such a short space of time! He would always be glad to return to Fremantle, which, in his opinion as an old ship's captain, was destined to become a verv great port. He was particularly struck with the energy of a' people who could make such a harbour in so short a time. He coupled the names of the Premier and the Director of Public Works with the toast.
The Premier briefly replied. He said that it gave him particular pleasure to see such a vessel as the Ulstermore moor- ed in the spot where he as a boy used to "paddle."
The Director of Public Works said that the words of a man like Captain Campbell, about the Fremantle Har- bour must prove gratifying to the State. Much remained to be done, but he could assure Captain Camp- bell that the works would be carried to a successful issue. The men in charge of the works were men of ability, and they would see the undertaking through. The barbour would have to be carried up the river-he could not 6ay how far-because het hought that the necessities of the case would demand this being done. Even so far as the harbour went now, a good deal remained to be accomplished, but the re- quirements of thc country would have to be met.
Mr. H. Briggs, M.L.C., proposed "Suc- cess to the Sixth West Australian Con tirgent." He said that the body of men he had seen that day were as fine a sol- dierly lot as could be raised anywhere in the world. Although the men had been but very few days in camp, they gave e\ idence of the careful training they had received. They were brawny, well set-u¡) men. and he was sure that they would meet, all hardships with a brave heart. He wished them all possible good luck and a safe return. He desired to couple with the toast tho names of Major Campbell and Captain Campbell, who was in charge of the contingent.
Major Campbell (Actit g Commandant) replied. He said that he was proud, in- deed, that his son bad been selected to cemmand the Sixth Contingent. His son had had the honour to leave Western Australia with the "First Contingent, and a finer body of men had not left Aus- tralia. They had proved that. In the Sixth Contingent were ll men who had ¡?erred with the first one. The sergeants, with one or two exceptions, were First Contingent men. He eulogised them for their patriotic spirit. With regard to tho. I present contingent, he had carefully j -.vatched the men day after day-every I moment during their training-and he
could express his great pleasure wi;h j them. They had had hard work, but so ! readily had they learned that the-wOrk
had not been so hard as it might have
j been. If he might say it. it had been
hard work made easy. Such had been the ! conduct of the men that he felt sure that Western Australia could leave it« honour safely in their keeping. Major Campbell then went on to explain that he was glad there had been no "send off" to the men. Hi bad advised against such a thing, and he felt sure that the men agreed with him. The send off they wanted was from their mothers, sisters, (sweethearts and friends. The conduct of the men had. all through been exemplary in the. extreme. They had had a good deal of leave, but it had not been abused. The friends of tho men should remember that fact with pleasure and with pride. He hoped that the men would return covered with honour and glory. '
Canon Garland also responded.
Mi*. W.E. Moxon proposed "Success to the Portof Fremantle." He said that it_ wes with peculiar'pleasure that he saw the Ulstermore come to Fremantle. She belonged to a firm of Liverpool owners who had a large fleet. From what ho knew of Captain Campbell's opinions^Ao thought that that gentleman's report to _his owners about the port of Fremantle would be a satisfactory one. He thought Captain Campbell would leave with tjic impression that Fremantle could rank as one of the best ports in Australia.
Mr. F. H. Piesse, M.L.A., replied. He «aid that as former Director of Public Works he had had much to do with the Fremantle Harbour. ~ He continued to toke, a deep interest in it. He did not lrok upon the port as complete, as even within its present capacity, there remain- ed much to be done.. There was the dock. That question must not be allowed to
stand over a day longer than was ner.u? sary. (Mr "Moxon : "Hear, hear.") There was no greater need on the western coast of Australia than a dock, and the sooner such a thing existed at Fremantle- rho better i«r the Port and the State. An- other thing which Fremantle must have was a good water supply, so that not only the people but the shipping could obtain
water that was fit to drink.
Mr. Lefroy also briefly responded.
Mr. J. McHenry Clark proposed the health of Captain Campbell, of the Ulstermore. The latter, in re=poi<sc, said that 1 e was proud to think that his ship was taking away such a fine body of men from Western Australia. He would be more phased to bring them back again
all safe and sound.
Later on in the afternoon the men were lined up on the main deck. Major Campbell, in saying good-bye to them, eulogised the men for their excellent at- tendance to their duties and the attitude they had shown during their sixteen days' training. It had been work of leading and not driving the men, and he was proud of them for it.
The Premier also addressed the sol- diers. He wished them God-speed and a safe return. He was sorry to see such a splendid lot of young men leave the State. They must not, however, mis- take his meaning. He was patriotic and proud enough to see them go to fight for their country, but he wanted to see them all come back. The State wanted them again, and he hoped to see them return to take up other weapons-to drop the sword for the ploughshare. Western Australia, he was positive, was proud of them, and it left the further keeping of it6 honour safely with them.
Cheero were then given for the Pre- mier and for Major Campbell, and the proceedings terminated.
All the afternoon the Ulstermore was crowded with relatives and friends of the soldiers. She was expected to leave at 4 o'clock, but it was half-past five o'clock before she left the South Quay for an anchorage in Gage Roads. Some trouble was caused by the sailors and firemen, many of whom were ashore and could not be readily found. The police secured several of the absentees and escorted them aboard.
The crowd of people which assembled on the wharf was very large. What with cheers from the soldiers and the loud cross-fire of talk between the men and their friends on the wharf, the scene was an animated one. The soldiers took off their spurs and cast them to their lady friends as mementoes. The Gov- ernment placed forty-two cases of fruit on board, whilst Messrs. F. Simpson and Co., who have generously donated fruit to each contingent, gave another six
It may be mentioned that the W.C.T.U., who have generously treated the men in camp, had a 6tall at the quay, where they dispensed refreshments free of charge to the troopers. The follow- ing address, accompanied by a purse of sovereigns was presented by Lieut- Stan- ley Reid on behalf of the men to the Union : -"The President and members of the W.C.T.U.-Dear Madam and Ladies,-We. the undersigned, members of the Sixth Contingent of W.A.M.I., on behalf of the men themselves, wish to tender you our sincere thanks for the
great kindness you have shown to us during our sojourn in camp. We trust that you will accept the accompanying gift as an earnest of the feelings of grati- tude towards you, and trust you may be long spared to continue the good work you have so generously undertaken. We subscribe ourselves, dear madam and ladies, on behalf of the Sixth Conting- ent, A Company : Sergeants Loughton, Bretag, Watson, and Dickman; B Company : Sergeants Paul, Trebilcock, Thurstan, and Campbell."
As before said, the Ulstermore left
the wharf at half-past 5 o'clock. The troopers gave hearty cheers, and, al- though there was not much answer from the crowd, the feeling was there all the same. It was a quiet but a sincere fare-
An extraordinary number of stowaways were found onhoard. It was known that several men and boys had hidden them- selves, but the haul that was made fair- ly staggered the authorities. Twenty eight stowaways were arrested. Sev- en would-be free passengers were found in the forepeak, five am- ong the saddle-? of the contin- gent, five in No. 5 hatch, three under the boilers, four in the boats hanging from the davits, and four from other places. Ten others were discovered, but man- aged to get away and re-hide themselves.