THE " SPECTATOR " TENT AT BISLEY. [To THE EDITOR
OP THIS "'SPECTATOR:'] SIR,—I write to acknowledge the generous help given by your readers to "Lord Roberts's Boys" at Bisley in August this year, and I should like to give some account of the train- ing of the England team for Lord Roberts's Imperial Trophy
(-303 rifles), and of the visit of Cadet Colour-Sergeant Friar, the boy marksman officially delegated to represent New Zealand's fifteen thousand public-school Cadets.
The team was selected almost entirely on the results of the
Meath (Imperial) Trophy Competition (-22 rifles) fired upon Empire Day. In education the principle de fit en aiguille is always in one's mind, and it seems only right that boys who are first-rate shots with the -22 rifle (miniature) should be rewarded and encouraged in their endeavour by affording them facility to learn and to practise with -303 rifles (service). Some three thousand rounds of ball were fired in the selection and training of this team, which was under the care of Mr. W. M. Clarke (Range-Master) and C.P.O. Instructor Pickard (Royal Fleet Reserve). Owing to financial reasons, the length of training and amount of ammunition expended were far below what was desirable. Daily improvement in scoring and style was noted, and puffy winds and cloud shadows on the targets afforded good practice. On the eleventh day of "camp " the team fired the match in the presence of Lord Roberts, and scored four hundred and fifty-nine points for a highest possible of five hundred and sixty. Light fair, wind puzzling, at the five hundred yards range. On analysis of the team, it appears that seven of the boys are of primary-school status, one a member of the officers' training corps (junior), who captained the team. The average age of the boys 14.5 years. The result (being an average of " over inners") is excellent in view of the age of the boys, the shortness of the practice, and the absence of all professional coaching in the match.
Cadet Friar, of Onebunga, Auckland, has shot well and
consistently during his six weeks' stay with " Lord Roberts's Boys." He made one point less that the winner in the " shoot" for the Lady Gwendolen Guinness Trophy and silver medal (won by Ernest Barltrop, act. fourteen, of Sir John Cass School, sixty-two points for highest pos- sible seventy), and he was second in the match for Lord Cheylesmore's cup, after a reshoot, having tied with four English boys. This cup was won by Charles Knight, aged thirteen years, who for a highest possible of fifty points scored forty-five points at twenty-five yards, firing his ten rounds in eighty-three seconds. Cadet Colour-Sergeant Friar's visit has been satisfactory in every way, and its success justifies the hope that Australia and Canada may join with New Zealand in 1909, and repeat the experiment. We shall rely upon the further kind assistance of a Spectator Tent (third year) and help again towards this hospitality in 1909. We are much indebted to Lord Cheylesmore, General Murray (Director of Military Training), and Captain Davidson (of the Army Headquarters Staff) for interest and advice, and to the kindness of the Secretary of State for War in lending twenty short service rifles for practice purposes. It is impossible to choose a team truly representative of English schoolboys until there is a universal Cadet system (school and senior) in the Mother-country. Nevertheless, when on October 20th at 3 p.m. the Lord Mayor 'announces the results of the " Lord Roberts Trophy" Competition, 1908, our boys
will be found to occupy a creditable position in a list which includes teams officially representative of the Dominions of New Zealand and Canada, the Commonwealth of Australia, Natal, Queensland, and the Transvaal. May we not hope that the Cabinet may back Mr. Haldane in his desire for a school Cadets and senior Cadets system to be in working order and efficient in 1909, on lines uniform with the excellent system at work in Natal and New Zealand,—an Imperial British Cadet system P-1 am, Sir, &c.,
R. J. E. HANSON, M.A. Cantab.; R.N.V.R., Hon. Sec., "Lord Roberts's Boys." 42 Sun Street, E.C.
Amount previously acknowledged (Spectator, August let), £14.
Mrs. N. F. Fitzgerald ... £1 1 0 Mrs. Gaston
Douglas Arden, Esq.... ... 5 0 0 Mrs. W. W. Spicer ... ... 0 2 6
Miss F. G. Wedgwood ... 5 5
818 8 6 FURTHER DONATIONS.
The Right Hon. Earl Meath £5 0 0 E. II. M. Denny, Esq.
The Governors Sir John Cass
The Misses Greenwood
2 0 Foundation ... 5 0 0