5 AUGUST 1905, Page 15

Sin,—Studley is a manufacturing village of about three thousand inhabitants

in the heart of the needle district. The boys and girls go into the factories direct from the elementary schools. Three years ago, when I came to reside in the district, I was deeply impressed with the poor physique of many of the lads. Though nominally living in the country, they appeared as-weakly as those in our large cities. A guild was organised to teach and practise physical culture. Then we started a boys' brigade. We secured the advice and help of several members of the Volunteers. These undertook to instruct in military drill. Several of our young men who had passed their examinations in "first aid" were made responsible for the "flint aid" and ambulance section‘ Our local doctor has consented to become the honorary surgeon and will superintend the ambulance department. We have a duly qualified in- structor for the boxing, fencing, and dumb-bell sections. Now that the summer is upon us we take the lads regularly for swimming exercises, and it is our intention to give lessons in life saving from drowning and life saving from fire. Could we secure rifles we should instruct the lads in firing, thus qualifying them as their country's defenders in case of need. To encourage the lads we have organised a drum-and-fife band, and have already secured 'the instruments required. Failing the necessary rifles, we should be satisfied with an air-gun club. The lads have responded splendidly. Over a hundred are in good standing. They have gladly submitted to the military discipline. They must not smoke when on parade or when in uniform. We recognise that the military instinct is in every lad, and given a cap and belt he will readily obey orders. The possibilities of the work are limited only by the lack of funds. We have spent over £16, but we greatly need wooden dumb- bells, splints, parallel bars, and things necessary to equip a gymnasium. Any help for these objects will be gladly received by the treasurer, Rev. A. Boyd Johnson, Baptist Manse, Studley R.S.O., Warwickshire.—I am, Sir, &c.,


[We are delighted to find a Nonconformist clergyman setting so excellent an example, undeterred by the cant talk about militarism. And, after all, why should a Nonconformist be ashamed to take an interest in such matters? For it is to the Puritans, the spiritual ancestors of the Nonconformists, that we owe the best equipped and best organised Army we have ever possessed, and to the Puritans also belongs the credit of first awakening the Imperial spirit. We trust that our correspondent will obtain the help he needs for the purchase of rifles and the establishment of a Morris-tube range ; but how disgraceful it is to us as a common-sense nation that, though we are almost unanimously agreed that our lads should be drilled and taught to shoot, it is left to hard-worked clergymen like our correspondent to provide the means. The War Office is allowed to waste millions every year on blundering and red-

tape, and yet cannot spare a few rifles with which our boys may learn to shoot. We trust that when physical training of a military character becomes universal in our schools, such training will be carried out under the Education Office, and not under the War Office.—En. Spectator.]