Sheffield Independent – Monday 27 September 1909
Lady Yarborough & Denaby Colliery Corps.
What Denaby Wants.
The annual distribution prizes in connection with the Denaby Colliery Ambulance Corps took place on Saturday, the awards being handed over to the successful competitors by Lady Yarborough.
Denaby and ambulance work are synonymous, for this branch of medical aid has long been associated with the collieries, of which Mr. W. H. Chambers is the head.
But of the great importance of the work, of its steady, magnificent growth, little or nothing has been heard, and this fact on Saturday caused a little grumble from some of the more ardent spirits.
The Ambulance Corps is certainly one the finest institutions in the district, and the Large Hall on Saturday presented a very smart appearance. There would be about 150 men on parade, and there was also a big muster of the Boys Brigade and a large attendance of the public.
Supt. W. H. Chambers presided, and supporting Lady Yarborough on the platform were Mr. C. Whitworth (Unionist candidate for the division) and Mrs. Whitworth, the newly-appointed vicar (the Rev. S. F. Hawkes) and Mrs. Hawkes, the Rev F. J. Cowles, the Rev. C. P. Mellor, Mr. and Mrs. George White (Melton), Mrs. W itty, Mrs. Bury, Captain S. J. Pike, the Rev. Father Kavanagh. Dr. W. Craik, Mr. G. H. Ashwin, Dr. Malcolm. Mr. Hy. Baker, Miss Hibbert, Mr. C. Kilner, Mr. W. H. Pickering (H.M. Chief Inspector of Mines), Mr. J. Minnikin, Mr. W. Turner, Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Chambers, Mr. C. D. Nicholson, and the following officers: ; Superintendent A. H. Barnard, White, D. Chambers, and Witty, Fourth Officers Simpkins, Mills, and Bridges, Chief Hon. Surgeon F. G. Twigg, Hon. Surgeons J. J. Huey, L. Ra.m Forster, Lady Superintendent Twigg.
The awards included thirteen ladies’ ambulance certificates, ten nursing certificates, and one medallion. Twenty-two men’s certificates, 29 vouchers, 29 medallions, and 56 labels. In addition the winners of the Chambers’ Competition Shield, won by Denaby Division (Sergt. R. White, capt.. Corporal E. Cooke, H. Milnes, J. Milnes, E. Boot, W. Brown, and Supt. A. H. Barnard), were presented with the trophy, and each with medals and spirit flasks. The other competing teams. Mexbro’. Wath, and Cadeby were also presented with medals. In connection with the Wood Shield competition, medals were presented to the Denaby Mam team (instructor, W. Simpkins), and to the Cadeby Mam team (instructor, Dr. F. G. Twigg).
Dr. Twigg, before the presentation ceremony, said that for 25 years the ambulance movement had been steadily progressing at Denaby. The examination he added, did not represent by any means the good that had been done in the village. Examinations were not the best reflectors. The total number of the awards that afternoon were a good deal more than the average for the past seven years. No less than 597 men had been instructed in the village, of which number 447 had received reward. So far as the teaching of ambulance work was concerned, Dr. Twigg mentioned that it was very different to-day from what it was 20 years ago. The total strength of the corps was just over 200, and there were 25 nursing sisters. In addition 20 of their men had passed the rescue work examination. Ten at Denaby and ten had qualified.
If all the good ambulance work had done was simply confined to that branch, then it had justified its existence. (Hear, hear.) But the work had not been carried out without a good deal of care and anxious thought. The great success was due entirely one man —Chief Supt. Chambers.
A 30 Years’ Record.
The St. John Ambulance Association was a very good institution, but they at Denaby owed nothing all to it. They were merely allowed to enter for the examinations. Mr. Chambers, he might say, took his first certificate in 1878, and since then had missed few honours during his (Dr Twigg’s) twenty years’ stay with them. He attended their lectures and devoted every care and attention to them. Nothing had ever been said about reward, and no recognition had been given to the movement, which had made such excellent progress and which had accomplished such good work.
“Denaby Main, went the doctor, “seems to enjoy splendid isolation. Tucked in by aristocratic neighbours who don’t take very much notice us, that probably accounts for the isolation feel.” They felt strongly about the matter. Mr. Chambers had laboured along uncomplainingly without receiving any recognition or words from those who could help by their sympathy.
He had often heard Mr. Chambers say that if he had his own way would not allow any man to work in a pit unless was fully qualified in ambulance work. That meant as a consequence that if an accident happened the injured man could always rely upon being attended by men who had some knowledge of dealing with him. And accidents in pits occurred with such frightful severity that a few moments were very often a case of life and death. Every worker, therefore, ought be an ambulance man. In conclusion, thanked Lady Yarborough for her presence.
Lady Yarborough said it was with the greatest pleasure she acceded to the invitation of their chairman to present the awards. She congratulated Mr. Chambers and all those who assisted him upon the enthusiasm for that magnificent work and for the manner in which it had been initiated and carried out. There could no higher or nobler work than that in which they were engaged. She congratulated them upon the numerical strength of the corps, and assured then that any movement on behalf of the workers had, and always would have, her deepest sympathy. ‘That afternoon she and her son had visited the girls’ and the men’s institutes and the hospital. The last-named institution was, she understood, supported entirely voluntary contributions by the workmen at the colliery. It reflected the greatest credit upon them, and contradicted a belief in certain quarters that the workman spent all his spare cash upon himself.
“It is because I admire this spirit of self-sacrifice that have come to-day to distribute the awards and to show my sympathy with their magnificent movement.” (Loud applause.) .
Her ladyship proceeded to distribute the prizes.
Supt. Barnard, after receiving the shield, took the opportunity of thanking, on behalf of the winners, Supt. Chambers for his generosity in the shield.
St. John Association Criticised.
Supt Chambers then her ladyship with one of the medals as a memento to her visit. On behalf of the corps he thanked her for the honour she had conferred upon them by coming to present the prizes which had all been studied for, worked for and thoroughly deserved. They were very strong from an ambulance point of view at Denaby, and the men present that day by no means represented the number engaged. Many them were unable be present owing to their work. The band, too, all the members of which were qualified, were engaged at the Crystal Palace. What they required at Denaby was recognition. He could assure her ladyship that her kindly interest was deeply appreciated, for it would give them encouragement for future work. (Hear, hear.)
He wanted to supplement Dr. Twigg’s remarks regarding the St. John Ambulance Association. It was I a splendid institution, but it was badly managed, and every ambulance man knew it. Therefore the honour of the spread the work was due, not to that organisation, but the medical men who generously assisted in carrying out the work. (Hear, hear.)
Proceeding Superintendent Chambers referred in terms “to the excellent work accomplished Dr Twigg, whose interest and whole-hearted effort were known throughout the district. “We have been absolutely starving for recognition, he added in conclusion, and he hoped now, after that afternoon’s meeting, they would be able enter into their work with greater zest. (Applause)
Superintendent Witty seconded the motion, which was heartily carried.
A similar resolution was passed to the visitors present for their kindly interest on the motion of Superintendent Chambers, seconded by Fourth- Officer Bridges.
Mr. C. D. Nicholson, C.C. replied. Ambulance work was practical charity, he said, in eulogising the work of the corps.
The new Vicar (the Rev. S. F. Hawkes), also spoke.
In the evening tea and social took place, there being a large attendance.