….Major J. Arthur Hughes, Barry, commanding the Severn Division Royal Engineers (Volunteers), has addressed a circular to his men at the head-quarters at Cardiff, which impresses one by the fairness of its tone in inviting volunteers for the front. We will quote only one paragraph as an illustration: - "If our country were in danger it would be the duty of every Volunteer to offer his services, as the claims of the country should come before all other claims. But, although the present war is a very serious one, our country is not in danger, and there are, probably, some members of the division whose duty is not to volunteer, because by doing so they would deprive their wives and children of the means of livelihood."The sequel to this circular is interesting. Out of 164 rank and file constituting the division, 148 volunteered for active service or garrison duty, and ten, being away from home, were unable to reply, leaving twelve who did not volunteer.
TWENTY-FIVE SEVERN SUBMARINE MINERS TO BE CALLED UP.
….The members of the Cardiff Detachment of the Severn Division of the Royal Engineers (Submarine Miners) will be pleased to learn that a communication was received at the head-quarters on Friday morning last from the officials at the War Office intimating that a detachment of 25 picked men would be accepted as Volunteers for active service in South Africa. One hundred and forty-eight men of the rank and file have already expressed their willingness to go to the front, but as only 25 will be required, Major Hughes will, doubtless, have a difficult task in choosing the selected company.
Barry Dock News, Friday 26th January 1900
SEVERN SUBMARINE MINERS AND THE WAR.
THEIR OFFER TO GO ON ACTIVE SERVICE DECLINED.
CARDIFF MUST NOT BE LEFT UNDEFENDED.
….From this week's divisional orders of the Severn Sub-marine Miners we take the following paragraph: - …."A notification has been received stating that it has been decided for the present that none of the men of the Severn Sub-marine Division, R.E. (Vol.), should be sent on active service, owing to the fact that the sub-marine mining defence of the port of Cardiff is entrusted to the division, and that it will not be desirable to weaken such defence by sending a section abroad." ….Practically the whole division had volunteered for active service, and the foregoing notification has been received with the keenest disappointment, as it had been thought certain that a detachment would have been accepted for service in South Africa.