In addition to refreshments, some kind of entertainment was arranged each night in mid-week, concerts, lectures, and on Sunday evening, a religious service which was conducted by the Army Chaplain. Even an Eisteddfod, and, most evenings, brief prayers conducted by one of the Association Workers. Such was the respect of these young Territorials they rarely strayed out
when prayers were announced.
Copies of the New Testament, and writing paper, Orders and stamps sold, and letters collected in a
were distributed. Postal box near the counter.
The staff of voluntary workers was drawn from student groups and older YMCA Boy Members. They were “Trojans" for work. Some later entered the Association secretariat and at present are among the most experienced of our Secretaries,among them - Ernie Bakewell, Newport, George Vater, J.P. Mountain Ash, Lennie Davies who was Assistant Secretary at Cardiff for years, and Ernie King, of cherished memory, well known as Secretary for many years of the Aberaman YMCA.
The hours at the camp centres were long. Day started with early morning tea at 6.30, before parade; those were the days of the penny mug of tea and the penny cake. Time was not considered during those fifteen days in a Territorial Camp.
On the last morning, at about 10.0'clock, the troops would be in formation. The command would be given, the bands would play and the troops would march out. In a few minutes the boisterous living camp would be transformed into a deserted village, leaving the workers, young and not so young, stiff eyed
and with rubbery legs; experience.
Camps were sited in various parts of the Country. The Welsh YMCA was responsible for this welfare service during the inter-war period, in districts as far afield as Penally, Trawsfynydd, Holyhead, Isle of Man, Porthcawl, Abergavenny, Monmouth, Perham Down, Cheltenham, Ilfracombe, Malvern and Salisbury Plain (with the Welsh Regiment on Army Manoeuvres). Some of the locations were used on several occasions in different years. The least number of Centres in any one year was two. On one occasion five camps were in use simultaneously and all served by the YMCA.
Camp Leaders included W. R. Watkins, Secretary of the Port Talbot and Newport Associations, respectively, who later became Appeals Secretary for the Welsh National Council. He did not miss one Camp during the period under review and was greatly helped by Mrs. Watkins, who prepared all staff meals; similar service was given by the National Secretary's wife, Mrs.
Mr. J. C. Duggan,
a Cardiff business man and a member of the Cardiff
Association Committee, was responsible for all accountancy work and preparation of financial statements. All these respective duties, by every worker without exception, were undertaken voluntarily. They earned the gratitude of the Welsh Council.
The World Conference of YMCAs 1926.
The World Conference was held in Helsinki and was a memorable occasion for some of the Welsh members, especially the oldest and youngest delegates - William Jones and A. K. Stafford of Newport.