Being an Account of the Social Work of The Salvation Army in Great
H. RIDER HAGGARD
I dedicate these pages to the Officers and Soldiers of the Salvation
Army, in token of my admiration of the self-sacrificing work by which
it is their privilege to aid the poor and wretched throughout the
H. RIDER HAGGARD.
MEN'S SOCIAL WORK, LONDON
SPA ROAD ELEVATOR
GREAT PETER STREET SHELTER
FREE BREAKFAST SERVICE
MEN'S WORKSHOP: HANBURY STREET, WHITECHAPEL
STURGE HOUSE, BOW ROAD
CENTRAL LABOUR BUREAU
INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT
WOMEN'S SOCIAL WORK IN LONDON
HEADQUARTERS OF THE WOMEN'S SOCIAL WORK
HILLSBOROUGH HOUSE INEBRIATES' HOME
MATERNITY NURSING HOME
MATERNITY RECEIVING HOME
'THE NEST,' CLAPTON
TRAINING INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN'S SOCIAL WORK
WOMEN'S INDUSTRIAL HOME, HACKNEY
WOMEN'S INDUSTRIAL HOME, SOUTHWOOD
WOMEN'S SHELTER, WHITECHAPEL
SLUM SETTLEMENT, HACKNEY ROAD
PICCADILLY MIDNIGHT WORK
WORK IN THE PROVINCES, LIVERPOOL
MEN'S SOCIAL WORK, MANCHESTER
OAKHILL HOUSE, MANCHESTER
MEN'S SOCIAL WORK, GLASGOW
ARDENSHAW WOMEN'S HOME
WOMEN'S LODGING-HOUSE, GLASGOW
LAND AND INDUSTRIAL COLONY, HADLEIGH
SMALL-HOLDINGS SETTLEMENT, BOXTED
IMPRESSIONS OF GENERAL BOOTH
THE CHIEF OF THE STAFF
NOTE ON THE RELIGION OF THE SALVATION ARMY
The author desires to thank Mr. D.R. DANIEL for the kind and valuable
assistance he has given him in his researches into the Social Work of
the Salvation Army.
He takes this occasion to make it clear that this book does no more
than set out the results of his investigations into some of that vast
Social Work, and his personal conclusions as to it and those by whom
it is prosecuted.
To obviate any possible misunderstanding as to the reason of its
writing, he wishes to state further that it has not been compiled by
him as a matter of literary business.
WHAT IS THE SALVATION ARMY?
If this question were put to the ordinary person of fashion or
leisure, how would it be answered?
In many cases thus: 'The Salvation Army is a body of people dressed up
in a semi-military uniform, or those of them who are women, in
unbecoming poke bonnets, who go about the streets making a noise in
the name of God and frightening horses with brass bands. It is under
the rule of an arbitrary old gentleman named Booth, who calls himself
a General, and whose principal trade assets consist in a handsome and
unusual face, and an inexhaustible flow of language, which he
generally delivers from a white motor-car wherever he finds that he
can attract the most attention. He is a clever actor in his way, who
has got a great number of people under his thumb, and I am told that
he has made a large fortune out of the business, like the late prophet
Dowie, and others of the same sort. The newspapers are always exposing
him; but he knows which side his bread is buttered and does not care.
When he is gone no doubt his family will divide up the cash, and we
shall hear no more of the Salvation Army!'
Such are still the honest beliefs of thousands of our instructed
fellow-countrymen, and of hundreds of thousands of others of less
degree belonging to the classes which are generally typified under the
synonym of 'the man in the street,' by which most people understand
one who knows little, and of that little nothing accurately, but who
decides the fate of political elections.
Let us suppose, however, that the questioner should succeed in
interesting an intelligent and fair-minded individual holder of these
views sufficiently to induce him to make inquiry into the facts
concerning this Salvation Army. What would he then discover?
He would discover that about five and forty years ago some impulse,
wherever it may have come from, moved a Dissenting minister, gifted
with a mind of power and originality, and a body of great strength and
endurance, gifted, also, with an able wife who shared his views, to
try, if not to cure, at least to ameliorate the lot of the fallen or
distressed millions that are one of the natural products of high
civilization, by ministering to their creature wants and regenerating
their spirits upon the plain and simple lines laid down in the New
Testament. He would find, also, that this humble effort, at first
quite unaided, has been so successful that the results seem to partake
of the nature of the miraculous.
Thus he would learn that the religious Organization founded by this
man and his wife is now established and, in most instances, firmly
rooted in 56 Countries and Colonies, where it preaches the Gospel in
33 separate languages: that it has over 16,000 Officers wholly
employed in its service, and publishes 74 periodicals in 20 tongues,
with a total circulation of nearly 1,000,000 copies per issue: that it
accommodates over 28,000 poor people nightly in its Institutions,
maintaining 229 Food Dépôts and Shelters for men, women, and children,
and 157 Labour Factories where destitute or characterless people are
employed: that it has 17 Homes for ex-criminals, 37 Homes for
children, 116 Industrial Homes for the rescue of women, 16 Land
Colonies, 149 Slum Stations for the visitation and assistance of the
poor, 60 Labour Bureaux for helping the unemployed, and 521 Day
Schools for children: that, in addition to all these, it has Criminal
and General Investigation Departments, Inebriate Homes for men and
women, Inquiry Offices for tracing lost and missing people, Maternity
Hospitals, 37 Homes for training Officers, Prison-visitation Staffs,
and so on almost _ad infinitum_.
He would find, also, that it collects and dispenses an enormous
revenue, mostly from among the poorer classes, and that its system is
run with remarkable business ability: that General Booth, often
supposed to be so opulent, lives upon a pittance which most country
clergymen would refuse, taking nothing, and never having taken
anything, from the funds of the Army. And lastly, not to weary the
reader, that whatever may be thought of its methods and of the noise
made by the 23,000 or so of voluntary bandsmen who belong to it, it is
undoubtedly for good or evil one of the world forces of our age.
Before going further, it may, perhaps, be well that I should explain
how it is that I come to write these pages. First, I ought to state
that my personal acquaintance with the Salvation Army dates back a
good many years, from the time, indeed, when I was writing 'Rural
England,' in connexion with which work I had a long and interesting
interview with General Booth that is already published. Subsequently I
was appointed by the British Government as a Commissioner to
investigate and report upon the Land Colonies of the Salvation Army in
the United States, in the course of which inquiry I came into contact
with many of its Officers, and learned much of its system and methods,
especially with reference to emigration. Also I have had other
opportunities of keeping in touch with the Army and its developments.
In the spring of 1910 I was asked, on behalf of General Booth, whether
I would undertake to write for publication an account of the Social
Work of the Army in this country. After some hesitation, for the lack
of time was a formidable obstacle to a very busy man, I assented to
this request, the plan agreed upon being that I should visit the
various Institutions, or a number of them, etc., and record what I
actually saw, neither more nor less, together with my resulting
impressions. This I have done, and it only remains for me to assure
the reader that the record is true, and, to the best of his belief and
ability, set down without fear, favour, or prejudice, by one not
unaccustomed to such tasks.
Almost at the commencement of my labours I sought an interview with
General Booth, thinking, as I told him and his Officers (the Salvation
Army is not mealy-mouthed about such matters) that at his age it would
be well to set down his views in black and white. On the whole, I
found him well and vigorous. He complained, however, of the difficulty
he was experiencing, owing to the complete loss of sight in one eye,
occasioned by an accident during a motor journey, and the possible
deprivation of the sight of the other through cataract.
Of the attacks that have been and are continually made upon the
Salvation Army, some of them extremely bitter, General Booth would say
little. He pointed out that he had not been in the habit of defending
himself and his Organization in public, and was quite content that the
work should speak for itself. Their affairs and finances had been
investigated by eminent men, who 'could not find a sixpence out of
place'; and for the rest, a balance-sheet was published annually. This
balance-sheet for the year ending September 30, 1909, I reprint in an
With regard to the Social Work of the Army, which in its beginning was
a purely religious body, General Booth said that they had been driven
into it because of their sympathy with suffering. They found it
impossible to look upon people undergoing starvation or weighed down
by sorrows and miseries that came upon them through poverty, without
stretching out a hand to help them on to their feet again. In the same
way they could not study wrongdoers and criminals and learn their
secret histories, which show how closely a great proportion of human
sin is connected with wretched surroundings, without trying to help
and reform them to the best of their abilities. Thus it was that their
Social operations began, increased, and multiplied. They contemplated
not only the regeneration of the individual, but also of his
circumstances, and were continually finding out new methods by which
this might be done.
The Army looked forward to the development of its Social Work on the
lines of self-help, self-management and self-support. Whenever a new
development came under consideration, the question arose--How is it to
be financed? The work they had in hand at present took all their
funds. One of their great underlying principles was that of the
necessity of self-support, without which no business or undertaking
could stand for long. The individual must co-operate in his own moral
and physical redemption. At the same time this system of theirs was,
in practice, one of the difficulties with which they had to contend,
since it caused the benevolent to believe that the Army did not need
financial assistance. His own view was that they ought to receive
support in their work from the Government, as they actually did in
some other countries. Especially did he desire to receive State aid in
dealing with ascertained criminals, such as was extended to them in
certain parts of the world.
Thus only a few weeks before, in Holland, the Parliament had asked the
Salvation Army to co-operate in the care of discharged prisoners and
gave a grant of money for their support. In Java the tale was the
same. There they were preparing estates as homes for lepers, and soon
a large portion of the leper population of that land would be in their
General Booth told me the story of a celebrated Danish doctor, an
optician, who became attracted to the Army, and, giving up his
practice and position, entered its service with his wife. They said
they wished to lead a life of real sacrifice and self-denial, and so,
after going through a training like any other Cadets, were sent out to
take charge of the medical work in Java. A recent report stated that
this Officer had attended 16,000 patients in nine months, and
performed 516 operations.
In Australia, the Government had handed over the work amongst the
Reformatory boys to the Army. In New Zealand, the Government had
requested it to take over inebriates, and was now paying a
contribution to that work of 10s. per head a week. There the Army had
purchased two islands to accommodate these inebriates, one on which
the men followed the pursuits of agriculture, fishing, and so forth,
and the other for the women. In Canada there was an idea that a large
prison should be erected, of which the Salvation Army would take
charge. He hoped that in course of time they would be allowed greatly
to extend their work in the English prisons.
General Booth pointed out to me with reference to their Social Work,
that it was necessary to spend large sums of money in finding
employment for men whom they had rescued. Here, one of their greatest
difficulties was the vehement opposition of members of the Labour
Party in different countries.
This party said, for example, that the Army ought to pay the Trade
Union rate of wage to any poor fellow whom they had picked up and set
to such labour as paper-sorting or carpentry. Thus in Western
Australia they had an estate of 20,000 acres lying idle. When he was
there a while ago, he asked the Officer in charge why he did not
cultivate this land and make it productive. The man replied he had no
labour; whereon the General said that he could send him plenty from
'Yes,' commented the Officer, 'but the moment they begin to work here,
however inefficient or broken down they may be, we shall have to pay
them 7s. a day!'
This regulation, of course, makes it impossible to cultivate that
estate except at a heavy loss.
He himself had been denounced as the 'prince of sweaters,' because he
took in derelict carpenters at their Institution in Hanbury Street
(which I shall describe later), to whom he did not pay the Trade Union
wage, although that Institution had from the first been worked at a
loss. In this case he had made peace with the Parliamentary Committee
by promising not to make anything there which was used outside the
Army establishments. But still the attacks went on.
Passing from this subject, I asked General Booth if he had formed any
forecast of the future of the Salvation Army after his own death. He
replied that there were certain factors in the present position of the
Army which seemed to him to indicate its future growth and continuity.
Speaking impersonally, he said that the present General had become an
important man not by his own choice or through the workings of
ambition, but by the will of Providence. He had acquired a certain
standing, a great hold over his community, and an influence which
helped to concentrate and keep together forces that had grown to be
worldwide in their character. It was natural, therefore, that people
should wonder what would happen when he ceased to be.
His answer to these queries was that legal arrangements had been made
to provide for this obvious contingency. Under the provisions of the
constitution of the Army he had selected his successor, although he
had never told anybody the name of that successor, which he felt sure,
when announced, was one that would command the fullest confidence and
respect. The first duty of the General of the Army on taking up his
office was to choose a man to succeed him, reserving to himself the
power to change that man for another, should he see good reason for
such a course. In short, his choice is secret, and being unhampered by
any law of heredity or other considerations except those that appeal
to his own reason and judgment, not final. He nominates whom he will.
I asked him what would happen if this nominated General misconducted
himself in any way, or proved unsuitable, or lost his reason. He
replied that in such circumstances arrangements had been made under
which the heads of the Army could elect another General, and that what
they decided would be law. The organization of the Army was such that
any Department of it remained independent of the ability of one
individual. If a man proved incompetent, or did not succeed, his
office was changed; the square man was never left in the round hole.
Each Department had laws for its direction and guidance, and those in
authority were responsible for the execution of those laws. If for any
reason whatsoever, one commander fell out of the line of action,
another was always waiting to take his place. In short, he had no fear
that the removal of his own person and name would affect the
Organization. It was true, he remarked, that leaders cannot be
manufactured to order, and also that the Army had made, and would
continue to make, mistakes up and down the world. But those mistakes
showed them how to avoid similar errors, and how and where to improve.
As regarded a change of headship, a fresh individuality always has
charms, and a new force would always strike out in some new direction.
The man needed was one who would _do_ something. General Booth did not
fear but that he would be always forthcoming, and said that for his
part he was quite happy as to the future, in which he anticipated an
enlargement of their work. The Organization existed, and with it the
arrangements for filling every niche. The discipline of to-day would
continue to-morrow, and that spirit would always be ready to burst
into flame when it was needed.
In his view it was inextinguishable.
MEN'S SOCIAL WORK, LONDON
THE MIDDLESEX STREET SHELTER
The first of the London Institutions of the Salvation Army which I
visited was that known as the Middlesex Street Shelter and Working
Men's Home, which is at present under the supervision of Commissioner
Sturgess. This building consists of six floors, and contains sleeping
accommodation for 462 men. It has been at work since the year 1906,
when it was acquired by the Army with the help of that well-known
philanthropist, the late Mr. George Herring.
Of the 462 men accommodated daily, 311 pay 3d. for their night's
lodging, and the remainder 5d. The threepenny charge entitles the
tenant to the use of a bunk bedstead with sheets and an American cloth
cover. If the extra 2d. is forthcoming the wanderer is provided with a
proper bed, fitted with a wire spring hospital frame and provided with
a mattress, sheets, pillow, and blankets. I may state here that as in
the case of this Shelter the building, furniture and other equipment
have been provided by charity, the nightly fees collected almost
suffice to pay the running expenses of the establishment. Under less
favourable circumstances, however, where the building and equipment
are a charge on the capital funds of the Salvation Army, the
experience is that these fees do not suffice to meet the cost of
interest and maintenance.
The object of this and similar Shelters is to afford to men upon the
verge of destitution the choice between such accommodation as is here
provided and the common lodging-house, known as a 'kip house,' or the
casual ward of a workhouse. Those who avail themselves of these
Shelters belong, speaking generally, to the destitute or nearly
destitute classes. They are harbours of refuge for the unfortunates
who find themselves on the streets of London at nightfall with a few
coppers or some other small sum in their pockets. Many of these social
wrecks have sunk through drink, but many others owe their sad position
to lack or loss of employment, or to some other misfortune.
For an extra charge of 1d. the inmates are provided with a good
supper, consisting of a pint of soup and a large piece of bread, or of
bread and jam and tea, or of potato-pie. A second penny supplies them
with breakfast on the following morning, consisting of bread and
porridge or of bread and fish, with tea or coffee.
The dormitories, both of the fivepenny class on the ground floor and
of the threepenny class upstairs, are kept scrupulously sweet and
clean, and attached to them are lavatories and baths. These lavatories
contain a great number of brown earthenware basins fitted with taps.
Receptacles are provided, also, where the inmates can wash their
clothes and have them dried by means of an ingenious electrical
contrivance and hot air, capable of thoroughly drying any ordinary
garment in twenty minutes while its owner takes a bath.
The man in charge of this apparatus and of the baths was one who had
been picked up on the Embankment during the past winter. In return for
his services he received food, lodging, clothes and pocket-money to
the amount of 3s. a week. He told me that he was formerly a commercial
traveller, and was trying to re-enter that profession or to become a
ship's steward. Sickness had been the cause of his fall in the world.
Adjoining the downstairs dormitory is a dining and sitting-room for
the use of those who have taken bed tickets. In this room, when I
visited it, several men were engaged in various occupations. One of
them was painting flowers. Another, a watch repairer, was apparently
making up his accounts, which, perhaps, were of an imaginary nature. A
third was eating a dinner which he had purchased at the food bar. A
fourth smoked a cigarette and watched the flower artist at his work. A
fifth was a Cingalese who had come from Ceylon to lay some grievance
before the late King. The authorities at Whitehall having investigated
his case, he had been recommended to return to Ceylon and consult a
lawyer there. Now he was waiting tor the arrival of remittances to
enable him to pay his passage back to Ceylon. I wondered whether the
remittances would ever be forthcoming. Meanwhile he lived here on
7-1/2d. a day, 5d. for his bed and 2-1/2d. for his food. Of these and
other men similarly situated I will give some account presently.
Having inspected the upper floors I descended to the basement, where
what are called the 'Shelter men' are received at a separate entrance
at 5.30 in the afternoon, and buying their penny or halfpennyworth of
food, seat themselves on benches to eat. Here, too, they can sit and
smoke or mend their clothes, or if they are wet, dry themselves in the
annexe, until they retire to rest. During the past winter of 1909 400
men taken from the Embankment were sheltered here gratis every night,
and were provided with soup and bread. When not otherwise occupied
this hall is often used for the purpose of religious services.
I spoke at hazard with some of those who were sitting about in the
Shelter. A few specimen cases may be interesting. An old man told me
that he had travelled all over the world for fifty years, especially
in the islands of the South Pacific, until sickness broke him down. He
came last from Shanghai, where he had been an overseer on railway
work, and before that from Manila. Being incapacitated by fever and
rheumatism, and possessing 1,500 dollars, he travelled home,
apparently via India and Burma, stopping a while in each country.
Eventually he drifted to a lodging-house, and, falling ill there, was
sent to the Highgate Infirmary, where, he said, he was so cold that he
could not stop. Ultimately he found himself upon the streets in
winter. For the past twelve months he had been living in this Shelter
upon some help that a friend gave him, for all his own money was gone.
Now he was trying to write books, one of which was in the hands of a
well-known firm. He remarked, pathetically, that they 'have had it a
long time.' He was also waiting 'every day' for a pension from
America, which he considered was due to him because he fought in the
Most of these poor people are waiting for something.
This man added that he could not find his relatives, and that he
intended to stop in the Shelter until his book was published, or he
could 'help himself out.'
The next man I spoke to was the flower artist, whom I have already
mentioned, whose work, by the way, if a little striking in colour, was
by no means bad, especially as he had no real flowers to draw from. By
trade he was a lawyer's clerk; but he stated that, unfortunately for
him, the head partner of his firm went bankrupt six years before, and
the bad times, together with the competition of female labour in the
clerical department, prevented him from obtaining another situation,
so he had been obliged to fall back upon flower painting. He was a
married man, but he said, 'While I could make a fair week's money,
things were comfortable, but when orders fell slack I was requested to
go, as my room was preferable to my company, and being a man of
nervous temperament I could not stand it, and have been here ever
since'--that was for about ten weeks. He managed to make enough for
his board and lodging by the sale of his flower-pictures.
A third man informed me that he had opened twenty-seven shops for a
large firm of tobacconists, and then left to start in business for
himself; also he used to go out window-dressing, in which he was
skilled. Then, about nine years ago, his wife began to drink, and
while he was absent in hospital, neglected his business so that it
became worthless. Finally she deserted him, and he had heard nothing
of her since. After that he took to drink himself. He came to this
Shelter intermittently, and supported himself by an occasional job of
window-dressing. The Salvation Army was trying to cure this man of his
A fourth man, a Eurasian, was a schoolmaster in India, who drifted to
this country, and had been for four years in the Colney Hatch Asylum.
He was sent to the Salvation Army by the After Care Society. He had
been two years in the Shelter, and was engaged in saving up money to
go to America. He was employed in the Shelter as a scrubber, and also
as a seller of food tickets, by which means he had saved some money.
Also he had a £5 note, which his sister sent to him. This note he was
keeping to return to her as a present on her birthday! His story was
long and miserable, and his case a sad one. Still, he was capable of
doing work of a sort.
Another very smart and useful man had been a nurse in the Army Medical
Corps, which he left some years ago with a good character.
Occasionally he found a job at nursing, and stayed at the Shelter,
where he was given employment between engagements.
Yet another, quite a young person, was a carman who had been
discharged through slackness of work in the firm of which he was a
servant. He had been ten weeks in the Institution, to which he came
from the workhouse, and hoped to find employment at his trade.
In passing through this building, I observed a young man of foreign
appearance seated in a window-place reading a book, and asked his
history. I was told that he was a German of education, whose ambition
it is to become a librarian in his native country. He had come to
England in order to learn our language, and being practically without
means, drifted into this place, where he was employed in cleaning the
windows and pursued his studies in the intervals of that humble work.
Let us hope that in due course his painstaking industry will be
rewarded, and his ambition fulfilled.
All these cases, and others that I have no space to mention, belonged
to the class of what I may call the regular 'hangers-on' of this
particular Shelter. As I visited it in the middle of the day, I did
not see its multitude of normal nightly occupants. Of such men,
however, I shall be able to speak elsewhere.
THE SPA ROAD ELEVATOR
The next Institution that I inspected was that of a paper-sorting
works at Spa Road, Bermondsey, where all sorts of waste paper are
dealt with in enormous quantities. Of this stuff some is given and
some is bought. Upon delivery it goes to the sorters, who separate it
out according to the different classes of the material, after which it
is pressed into bales by hydraulic machinery and sold to merchants to
These works stand upon two acres of land. Parts of the existing
buildings were once a preserve factory, but some of them have been
erected by the Army. There remain upon the site certain
dwelling-houses, which are still let to tenants. These are destined to
be pulled down whenever money is forthcoming to extend the factory.
The object of the Institution is to find work for distressed or fallen
persons, and restore them to society. The Manager of this 'Elevator,'
as it is called, informed me that it employs about 480 men, all of
whom are picked up upon the streets. As a rule, these men are given
their board and lodging in return for work during the first week, but
no money, as their labour is worth little. In the second week, 6d. is
paid to them in cash; and, subsequently, this remuneration is added to
in proportion to the value of the labour, till in the end some of them
earn 8s. or 9s. a week in addition to their board and lodging.
I asked the Officer in charge what he had to say as to the charges of
sweating and underselling which have been brought against the
Salvation Army in connexion with this and its other productive
He replied that they neither sweated nor undersold. The men whom they
picked up had no value in the labour market, and could get nothing to
do because no one would employ them, many of them being the victims of
drink or entirely unskilled. Such people they overlooked, housed, fed,
and instructed, whether they did or did not earn their food and
lodging, and after the first week paid them upon a rising scale. The
results were eminently satisfactory, as even allowing for the
drunkards they found that but few cases, not more than 10 per cent,
were hopeless. Did they not rescue these men most of them would sink
utterly; indeed, according to their own testimony many of such
wastrels were snatched from suicide. As a matter of fact, also, they
employed more men per ton of paper than any other dealers in the
With reference to the commercial results, after allowing for interest
on the capital invested, the place did not pay its way. He said that a
sum of £15,000 was urgently required for the erection of a new
building on this site, some of those that exist being of a
rough-and-ready character. They were trying to raise subscriptions
towards this object, but found the response very slow.
He added that they collected their raw material from warehouses, most
of it being given to them, but some they bought, as it was necessary
to keep the works supplied, which could not be done with the gratis
stuff alone. Also they found that the paper they purchased was the
These works presented a busy spectacle of useful industry. There was
the sorting-room, where great masses of waste-paper of every kind was
being picked over by about 100 men and separated into its various
classes. The resulting heaps are thrown through hoppers into bins.
From the bins this sorted stuff passes into hydraulic presses which
crush it into bales that, after being wired, are ready for sale.
It occurred to me that the dealing with this mass of refuse paper must
be an unhealthy occupation; but I was informed that this is not the
case, and certainly the appearance of the workers bore out the
After completing a tour of the works I visited one of the bedrooms
containing seventy beds, where everything seemed very tidy and fresh.
Clean sheets are provided every week, as are baths for the inmates. In
the kitchen were great cooking boilers, ovens, etc., all of which are
worked by steam produced by the burning of the refuse of the sorted
paper. Then I saw the household salvage store, which contained
enormous quantities of old clothes and boots; also a great collection
of furniture, including a Turkish bath cabinet, all of which articles
had been given to the Army by charitable folk. These are either given
away or sold to the employes of the factory or to the poor of the
neighbourhood at a very cheap rate.
The man in charge of this store was an extremely good-looking and
gentlemanly young follow of University education, who had been a
writer of fiction, and once acted as secretary to a gentleman who
travelled on the Continent and in the East. Losing his employment, he
took to a life of dissipation, became ill, and sank to the very
bottom. He informed me that his ideals and outlook on life were now
totally changed. I have every hope that he will do well in the future,
as his abilities are evidently considerable, and Nature has favoured
him in many ways.
I interviewed a number of the men employed in these works, most of
whom had come down through drink, some of them from very good
situations. One had been the superintendent of a sewing-machine
company. He took to liquor, left his wife, and found himself upon the
streets. Now he was a traveller for the Salvation Army, in the
interests of the Waste-Paper Department, had regained his position in
life, and was living with his wife and family in a comfortable house.
Another was a grocer by profession, all of whose savings were stolen,
after which he took to drink. He had been three months in the works,
and at the time of my visit was earning 6s. a week with food and
Another had been a Barnardo boy, who came from Canada as a ship's
steward, and could find nothing to do in England. Another was a
gentleman's servant, who was dismissed because the family left London.
Another was an auctioneer, who failed from want of capital, took to
drink, and emigrated to Canada. Two years later he fell ill with
pleurisy, and was sent home because the authorities were afraid that
his ailment might turn to consumption. He stated that at this time he
had given up drink, but could obtain no employment, so came upon the
streets. As he was starving and without hope, not having slept in a
bed for ten nights, he was about to commit suicide when the Salvation
Army picked him up. He had seen his wife for the first time in four
years on the previous Whit Monday, and they proposed to live together
again so soon as he secured permanent employment.
Another had been a soldier in the Seaforth Highlanders, and served in
the Egyptian Campaign of 1881, and also in the American Army.
Subsequently he was employed as a porter at a lodging-house at a
salary of 25s. a week, but left because of trouble about a woman. He
came upon the streets, and, being unable to find employment, was
contemplating suicide, when he fell under the influence of the Army at
the Blackfriars Shelter.
All these men, and others whom I spoke to at random but have no space
to write of, assured me that they were quite satisfied with their
treatment at the works, and repudiated--some of them with
indignation--the suggestion that I put to them tentatively that they
suffered from a system of sweating. For the most part, indeed, their
gratitude for the help they were receiving in the hour of need was
very evident and touching.
THE GREAT PETER STREET SHELTER
This fine building is the most up-to-date Men's Shelter that the
Salvation Army possesses in London. It was once the billiard works of
Messrs. Burroughes and Watts, and is situated in Westminster, quite
near to the Houses of Parliament. I visited it about eight o'clock in
the evening, and at its entrance was confronted with the word 'Full,'
inscribed in chalk upon its portals, at which poor tramps, deprived of
their hope of a night's lodging, were staring disconsolately. It
reminded me of a playhouse upon a first-night of importance, but,
alas! the actors here play in a tragedy more dreadful in its
cumulative effect than any that was ever put upon the stage.
This Shelter is wonderfully equipped and organized. It contains
sitting or resting-rooms, smoking-rooms, huge dormitories capable of
accommodating about 600 sleepers; bathrooms, lavatories, extensive
hot-water and warming apparatus, great kitchens, and butteries, and so
forth. In the sitting and smoking-rooms, numbers of derelict men were
seated. Some did nothing except stare before them vacantly. Some
evidently were suffering from the effects of drink or fatigue; some
were reading newspapers which they had picked up in the course of
their day's tramp. One, I remember, was engaged in sorting out and
crumpling up a number of cigar and cigarette ends which he had
collected from the pavements, carefully grading the results in
different heaps, according to the class of the tobacco (how strong it
must be!) either for his own consumption or for sale to other
unfortunates. In another place, men were eating the 1d. or 1/2d.
suppers that they had purchased.
Early as it was, however, the great dormitories were crowded with
hundreds of the lodgers, either in bed or in process of getting there.
I noticed that they all undressed themselves, wrapping up their rags
in bundles, and, for the most part slept quite naked. Many of them
struck me as very fine fellows physically, and the reflection crossed
my mind, seeing them thus _in puris naturalibus_, that there was
little indeed to distinguish them from a crowd of males of the upper
class engaged, let us say, in bathing. It is the clothes that make the
difference to the eye.
In this Shelter I was told, by the way, that there exists a code of
rough honour among these people, who very rarely attempt to steal
anything from each other. Having so little property, they sternly
respect its rights. I should add that the charge made for
accommodation and food is 3d. per night for sleeping, and 1d. or 1/2d.
per portion of food.
The sight of this Institution crowded with human derelicts struck me
as most sad, more so indeed than many others that I have seen, though,
perhaps, this may have been because I was myself tired out with a long
day of inspection.
The Staff-Captain in charge here told me his history, which is so
typical and interesting that I will repeat it briefly. Many years ago
(he is now an elderly man) he was a steward on board a P. and O.
liner, and doing well. Then a terrible misfortune overwhelmed him.
Suddenly his wife and child died, and, as a result of the shock, he
took to drink. He attempted to cut his throat (the scar remains to
him), and was put upon his trial for the offence. Subsequently he
drifted on to the streets, where he spent eight years. During all this
time his object was to be rid of life, the methods he adopted being to
make himself drunk with methylated spirits, or any other villainous
and fiery liquor, and when that failed, to sleep at night in wet grass
or ditches. Once he was picked up suffering from inflammation of the
lungs and carried to an infirmary, where he lay senseless for three
days. The end of it was that a Salvation Army Officer found him in
Oxford Street, and took him to a Shelter in Burne Street, where he was
bathed and put to bed.
That was many years ago, and now he is to a great extent responsible
for the management of this Westminster Refuge. Commissioner Sturgess,
one of the head Officers of the Army, told me that their great
difficulty was to prevent him from overdoing himself at this
charitable task. I think the Commissioner said that sometimes he would
work eighteen or twenty hours out of the twenty-four.
One day this Staff-Captain played a grim little trick upon me. I was
seated at luncheon in a Salvation Army building, when the door opened,
and there entered as dreadful a human object as I have ever seen. The
man was clad in tatters, his bleeding feet were bound up with filthy
rags; he wore a dingy newspaper for a shirt. His face was cut and
plastered over roughly; he was a disgusting sight. He told me, in
husky accents, that drink had brought him down, and that he wanted
help. I made a few appropriate remarks, presented him with a small
coin, and sent him to the Officers downstairs.
A quarter of an hour later the Staff-Captain appeared in his uniform
and explained that he and the 'object' were the same person. Again it
was the clothes that made the difference. Those which he had worn when
he appeared at the luncheon-table were the same in which he had been
picked up on the streets of London. Also he thanked me for my good
advice which he said he hoped to follow, and for the sixpence that he
announced his intention of wearing on his watch-chain. For my part I
felt that the laugh was against me. Perhaps if I had thought the
Salvation Army capable of perpetrating a joke, I should not have been
so easily deceived.
This Staff-Captain gave me much information as to the class of
wanderers who frequent these Shelters, He estimated that about 50 per
cent of them sink to that level through the effects of drink. That is
to say, if by the waving of some magic wand intoxicants and harmful
drugs should cease to be obtainable in this country, the bulk of
extreme misery which needs such succour, and it may be added of crime
at large, would be lessened by one-half. This is a terrible statement,
and one that seems to excuse a great deal of what is called 'teetotal
fanaticism.' The rest, in his view, owe their fall to misfortune of
various kinds, which often in its turn leads to flight to the delusive
and destroying solace of drink. Thus about 25 per cent of the total
have been afflicted with sickness or acute domestic troubles. Or
perhaps they are 'knocked out' by shock, such as is brought on by the
loss of a dearly-loved wife or child, and have never been able to
recover from that crushing blow. The remainder are the victims of
advancing age and of the cruel commercial competition of our day. Thus
he said that the large business firms destroy and devour the small
shopkeepers, as a hawk devours sparrows; and these little people or
their employes, if they are past middle age, can find no other work.
Especially is this the case since the Employers' Liability Acts came
into operation, for now few will take on hands who are not young and
very strong, as older folk must naturally be more liable to sickness
Again, he told me that it has become the custom in large businesses of
which the dividends are falling, to put in a man called an
'Organizer,' who is often an American.
This Organizer goes through the whole staff and mercilessly dismisses
the elderly or the least efficient, dividing up their work among those
who remain. So these discarded men fall to rise no more and drift to
the poorhouse or the Shelters or the jails, and finally into the river
or a pauper's grave. First, however, many spend what may be called a
period of probation on the streets, where they sleep at night under
arches or on stairways, or on the inhospitable flagstones and benches
of the Embankment, even in winter.
The Staff-Captain informed me that on one night during the previous
November he counted no less than 120 men, women, and children sleeping
in the wet on or in the neighbourhood of the Embankment. Think of
it--in this one place! Think of it, you whose women and children, to
say nothing of yourselves, do not sleep on the Embankment in the wet
in November. It may be answered that they might have gone to the
casual ward, where there are generally vacancies. I suppose that they
might, but so perverse are many of them that they do not. Indeed,
often they declare bluntly that they would rather go to prison than to
the casual ward, as in prison they are more kindly treated.
The reader may have noted as he drove along the Embankment or other
London thoroughfares at night in winter, long queues of people waiting
their turn to get something. What they are waiting for is a cup of
soup and, perhaps, an opportunity of sheltering till the dawn, which
soup and shelter are supplied by the Salvation Army, and sometimes by
other charitable Organizations. I asked whether this provision of
gratis food did in fact pauperize the population, as has been alleged.
The Staff-Captain answered that men do not as a rule stop out in the
middle of the winter till past midnight to get a pint of soup and a
piece of bread. Of course, there might be exceptions; but for the most
part those who take this charity, do so because if is sorely needed.
The cost of these midnight meals is reckoned by the Salvation Army at
about £8 per 1,000, including the labour involved in cooking and
distribution. This money is paid from the Army's Central Fund, which
collects subscriptions for that special purpose.
'Of course, our midnight soup has its critics,' said one of the
Officers who has charge of its distribution; 'but all I know is that
it saves many from jumping into the river.'
During the past winter, that is from November 3, 1909, to March 24,
1910, 163,101 persons received free accommodation and food at the
hands of the Salvation Army in connexion with its Embankment Soup
THE FREE BREAKFAST SERVICE
On a Sunday in June I attended the Free Breakfast service at the
Blackfriars Shelter. The lease of this building was acquired by the
Salvation Army from a Temperance Company. Behind it lay contractors'
stables, which were also bought; after which the premises were rebuilt
and altered to suit the purposes to which they are now put, the
stabling being for the most part converted into sleeping-rooms.
The Officer who accompanied me, Lieut.-Colonel Jolliffe, explained
that this Blackfriars Shelter is, as it were, the dredger for and the
feeder of all the Salvation Army's Social Institutions for men in
London. Indeed, it may be likened to a dragnet set to catch male
unfortunates in this part of the Metropolis. Here, as in the other
Army Shelters, are great numbers of bunks that are hired out at 3d. a
night, and the usual food-kitchens and appliances.
I visited one or two of these, well-ventilated places that in cold
weather are warmed by means of hot-water pipes to a heat of about 70
deg., as the clothing on the bunks is light.
I observed that although the rooms had only been vacated for a few
hours, they were perfectly inoffensive, and even sweet; a result that
is obtained by a very strict attention to cleanliness and ample
ventilation. The floors of these places are constantly scrubbed, and
the bunks undergo a process of disinfection about once a week. As a
consequence, in all the Army Shelters the vermin which sometimes
trouble common lodging-houses are almost unknown.
I may add that the closest supervision is exercised in these places
when they are occupied. Night watchmen are always on duty, and an
Officer sleeps in a little apartment attached to each dormitory. The
result is that there are practically no troubles of any kind.
Sometimes, however, a poor wanderer is found dead in the morning, in
which case the body is quietly conveyed away to await inquest.
I asked what happened when men who could not produce the necessary
coppers to pay for their lodging, applied for admission. The answer
was that the matter was left to the discretion of the Officer in
charge. In fact, in cases of absolute and piteous want, men are
admitted free, although, naturally enough, the Army does not advertise
that this happens. If it did, its hospitality would be considerably
Leaving the dormitories, I entered the great hall, in which were
gathered nearly 600 men seated upon benches, every one of which was
filled. The faces and general aspect of these men were eloquent of
want and sorrow. Some of them appeared to be intent upon the religious
service that was going on, attendance at this service being the
condition on which the free breakfast is given to all who need food
and have passed the previous night in the street. Others were gazing
about them vacantly, and others, sufferers from the effects of drink,
debauchery, or fatigue, seemed to be half comatose or asleep.
This congregation, the strangest that I have ever seen, comprised men
of all classes. Some might once have belonged to the learned
professions, while others had fallen so low that they looked scarcely
human. Every grade of rag-clad misery was represented here, and every
stage of life from the lad of sixteen up to the aged man whose
allotted span was almost at an end. Rank upon rank of them, there they
sat in their infinite variety, linked only by the common bond of utter
wretchedness, the most melancholy sight, I think, that ever my eyes
beheld. All of them, however, were fairly clean, for this matter had
been seen to by the Officers who attend upon them. The Salvation Army
does not only wash the feet of its guests, but the whole body. Also,
it dries and purifies their tattered garments.
When I entered the hall, an Officer on the platform was engaged in
offering up an extempore prayer.
'We pray that the Holy Spirit may be poured out upon these men. We
pray, O God, that Thou wilt help them to take fresh courage, to find
fresh hope, and that they may rise once again to fight the battle of
life. We pray that Thou mayst bring to Thy feet, this morning, such as
shall be saved eternally.'
Then another Officer, styled the Chaplain, addressed the audience. He
told them that there was a way out of their troubles, and that
hundreds who had sat in that hall as they did, now blessed the day
which brought them there. He said: 'You came here this morning, you
scarcely knew how or why. You did not know the hand of God was leading
you, and that He will bless you if you will listen to His Voice. You
think you cannot escape from this wretched life; you think of the past
with all its failures. But do not trouble about the years that are
gone. Seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all other
things shall be added unto you. Then there will be no more wandering
about without a friend, for I say to you that God lives, and this
morning you will hear from others, who once were in a similar
condition to yourself, what He has done for them.'
Next a man with a fine tenor voice, who, it seems, is nicknamed 'the
Yorkshire Canary,' sang the hymn beginning, 'God moves in a mysterious
way.' After this in plain, forcible language he told his own story. He
said that he was well brought up by a good father and mother, and lost
everything through his own sin. His voice was in a sense his ruin,
since he used to sing in public-houses and saloons and there learnt to
drink. At length he found himself upon the streets in London, and
tramped thence to Yorkshire to throw himself upon the mercy of his
parents. When he was quite close to his home, however, his courage
failed him, and he tramped back to London, where he was picked up by
the Salvation Army.
This man, a most respectable-looking person, is now a clerk in a
well-known business house. In his own words, 'I knelt down and gave my
heart to God, and am to-day in a good situation.'
Next a Salvation Army soldier spoke. Four years before he had attended
the Sunday morning meeting in this hall and 'found the friendship of
God. He has helped me to regain the manhood I had lost and to do my
duty. For two years now I have helped to support an invalid sister
instead of being a burden to every one I knew, as once I was.'
After the singing of the hymn, 'Rock of Ages,' another man addressed
the meeting. He had been a drunkard, a homeless wanderer, who slept
night after night on the Embankment till fortune brought him to this
service and to the Penitent-Form. Since that time, two and a half
years before, no drink had passed his lips, and once again, as he
declared, he had become 'a self-respecting, respectable citizen.'
Then a dwarf whom I had seen at work in the Spa Road Elevator, and who
once was taken about the country to be exhibited as a side show at
fairs and there fell a victim to drink, gave his testimony.
Another verse, 'Could my tears for ever flow,' and after it, in rapid
succession, spoke a man who had been a schoolmaster and fallen through
drink and gambling; a man who, or whose brother, I am not sure which,
had been a Wesleyan preacher, and who is now employed in a Life
Assurance Company; a man who had been a prisoner; a man who had been a
confirmed drunkard, and others.
Always it was the same earnest, simple tale of drink and degradation,
passed now for ever; of the Penitent-Form; of the building up of a new
self, and of position regained.
More singing and an eloquent prayer which seemed to move the audience
very much, some of them to tears; an address from a woman Salvation
Army Officer, who pleaded with the people in the name of their
mothers, and a brief but excellent sermon from Commissioner Sturgess,
based upon the parable of the Marriage of the King's Son as recorded
in the 22nd chapter of St. Matthew, and of the guests who were
collected from the highways and byways to attend the feast whence the
rich and worldly had excused themselves.
Then the great and final invocation to Heaven to move the hearts of
these men, and the invitation to them to present themselves at the
Penitent-Form. Lastly a mighty, thundering hymn, 'Jesu, Lover of my
soul,' and the ending of the long drama.
It was a wonderful thing to see the spiritually-faced man on the
platform pleading with his sordid audience, and to watch them stirring
beneath his words. To see, also, a uniformed woman flitting to and fro
among that audience, whispering, exhorting, invoking--a temptress to
Salvation, then to note the response and its manner that were stranger
still. Some poor wretch would seem to awaken, only to relapse into a
state of sullen, almost defiant torpor. A little while and the leaven
begins to work in him. He flushes, mutters something, half rises from
his seat, sits down again, rises once more and with a peculiar,
unwilling gait staggers to the Penitent-Form, and in an abandonment of
grief and repentance throws himself upon his knees and there begins to
sob. A watching Officer comes to him, kneels at his side and, I
suppose, confesses him. The tremendous hymn bursts out like a paean of
Just as I am, without one plea,
it begins, the rest I forget or did not catch.
Now the ice is broken. Another comes and another, and another, till
there is no more room at the Penitent-Bench. They swarm on to the
platform which is cleared for them, and there kneel down, and I
observed the naked feet of some of them showing through the worn-out
So it goes on. At length the great audience rises and begins to
depart, filing one by one through a certain doorway. As they pass,
Officers who have appeared from somewhere wait for them with
outstretched arms. The most of them brush past shaking their heads and
muttering. Here and there one pauses, is lost--or rather won. The
Salvation Army has him in its net and he joins the crowd upon the
platform. Still the hymn swells and falls till all have departed save
those who remain for good--about 10 per cent of that sad company.
[Illustration: SEEKING THE HOMELESS AT MIDNIGHT.]
It is done and the catcher feels that he has witnessed the very
uttermost of tragedies, human and spiritual.
* * * * *
Mere common 'revivalism'! the critic will say, and it may be so. Still
such revivalism, if that is the term for it, must be judged by its
fruits. I am informed that of those who kneel here experience shows
that but a small percentage relapse. The most of them become what in
the Salvation Army cant--if one chooses so to name it--is known as
This means that from drunkards and wastrels stained with every sort of
human fault, or even crime, they are turned into God-fearing and
respectable men who henceforward, instead of being a pest to society
and a terror to all those who have the misfortune to be connected with
them, become props of society and a comfort and a support to their
relatives and friends.
Thus is the mesh of mercy spread, and such is its harvest.
The age of miracles is past, we are told; but I confess that while
watching this strange sight I wondered more than once that if this
were so, what that age of miracles had been like. Of one thing I was
sure, that it must have been to such as these that He who is
acknowledged even by sceptics to have been the very Master of mankind,
would have chosen to preach, had this been the age of His appearance,
He who came to call sinners to repentance. Probably, too, it was to
such as these that He did preach, for folk of this character are
common to the generations. Doubtless, Judea had its knaves and
drunkards, as we know it had its victims of sickness and misfortune.
The devils that were cast out in Jerusalem did not die; they reappear
in London and elsewhere to-day, and, it would seem, can still be cast
I confess another thing, also; namely, that I found all this drama
curiously exciting. Most of us who have passed middle age and led a
full and varied life will be familiar with the great human emotions.
Yet I discovered here a new emotion, one quite foreign to a somewhat
extended experience, one that I cannot even attempt to define. The
contagion of revivalism! again it will be said. This may be so, or it
may not. But at least, so far as this branch of the Salvation Army
work is concerned, those engaged in it may fairly claim that the tree
should be judged by its fruits. Without doubt, in the main these
fruits are good and wholesome.
I have only to add to my description of this remarkable service, that
the number netted, namely, about 10 per cent of those present, was, I
am told, just normal, neither more nor less than the average. Some of
these doubtless will relapse; but if only _one_ of them remains really
reformed, surely the Salvation Army has vindicated its arguments and
all is proved to be well worth while. But to that one very many
ciphers must be added as the clear and proved result of the forty
years or so of its activity. Whatever may be doubtful, this is true
beyond all controversy, for it numbers its converts by the thousand.
* * * * *
The congregation which I saw on this particular occasion seemed to me
to consist for the most part of elderly men; in fact, some of them
were very old, and the average age of those who attended the
Penitent-Form I estimated at about thirty-five years. This, however,
varies. I am informed that at times they are mostly young persons. It
must be remembered--and the statement throws a lurid light upon the
conditions prevailing in London, as in other of our great cities--that
the population which week by week attends these Sunday morning
services is of an ever-shifting character. Doubtless, there are some
_habitués_ and others who reappear from time to time. But the most of
the audience is new. Every Saturday night the highways and the hedges,
or rather the streets and the railway arches yield a new crop of
homeless and quite destitute wanderers. These are gathered into the
Blackfriars Shelter, and go their bitter road again after the rest,
the breakfast, and the service. But as we have seen here a substantial
proportion, about 10 per cent, remain behind. These are all
interviewed separately and fed, and on the following morning as many
of them as vacancies can be found for in the Paper Works Elevator or
elsewhere are sent thither.
I saw plenty of these men, and with them others who had been rescued
previously; so many, indeed, that it is impossible to set out their
separate cases. Looking through my notes made at the time, I find
among them a schoolmaster, an Australian who fought in South Africa, a
publican who had lost £2,000 in speculation and been twelve months on
the streets, a sailor and two soldiers who between them had seen much
service abroad, and a University man who had tried to commit suicide
from London Bridge.
Also there was a person who was recently described in the newspapers
as the 'dirtiest man in London.' He was found sitting on the steps of
a large building in Queen Victoria Street, partly paralysed from
exposure. So filthy and verminous was he, that it was necessary to
scrape his body, which mere washing would not touch. When he was
picked up, a crowd of several hundred people followed him down the
street, attracted by his dreadful appearance. His pockets were full of
filth, amongst which were found 5s. in coppers. He had then been a
month in the Shelter, where he peels or peeled potatoes, etc., and
looked quite bright and clean.
Most of these people had been brought down by the accursed drink,
which is the bane of our nation, and some few by sheer misfortune.
Neither at the service, nor afterwards, did I see a single Jew, for
the fallen of that race seem to be looked after by their fellow
religionists. Moreover, the Jews do not drink to excess. Foreigners,
also, are comparatively scarce at Blackfriars and in the other
On the afternoon of the Sunday on which I visited the Blackfriars
Shelter, I attended another service, conducted by Commissioner
Sturgess, at Quaker Street.
Here the room was filled by about 150 men, all of whom had been
rescued, and were then working in the various Shelters or elsewhere. I
may say that I have seldom seen a congregation of more respectable
appearance, and never one that joined with greater earnestness in a
I will take this opportunity to observe that the Salvation Army
enforces no religious test upon those to whom it extends its
assistance. If a man is a member of the Church of England or a Roman
Catholic, for instance, and wishes to remain so, all that it tries to
do is to make him a good member of his Church. Its only _sine qua non_
is that the individual should show himself ready to work zealously at
any task which it may be able to find for him.
The rest of that afternoon I spent in interviewing ex-criminals who
were then in the charge of the Salvation Army. To give details of
their cases in this book is impossible. Here I will only say,
therefore, that some of these had been most desperate characters, who
had served as much as thirty or forty years in various prisons, or
even been condemned to death for murder. Indeed, the nineteen men whom
I interviewed had, between them, done 371 years of what is known as
I cannot honestly report that I liked the looks of all these gentry,
or believed everything that they told me. For instance, when such
people swear that they have been wrongly convicted, an old lawyer and
magistrate like myself, who knows what pains are taken by every
English Court to safeguard the innocent, is apt to be sceptical.
Still, it should be added that many of these jailbirds are now to all
appearance quite reformed, while some of them are doing well in more
or less responsible positions, under the supervision of the Army.
The Salvation Army Officers have authority from the Home Office to
visit the various prisons, where the inmates are informed that those
who are desirous of seeing them must give in their names. Then on a
certain day, the Officer, who, under Commissioner Sturgess, is
responsible for the Prison work of the Army in England, appears at the
Wandsworth or the Pentonville Prison, or wherever it may be. There he
finds, perhaps, as many as 150 men waiting to see him, the total
number of ex-prisoners who pass through the hands of the Army in
England averaging at present about 1,000 per annum. He interviews
these men in their cells privately, the prison officials remaining
outside, and stops as long with each of them as he deems to be
needful, for the Governors of the prisons give him every opportunity
of attaining the object of his work. This Officer informed me that his
conversation with the prisoners is not restricted in any way. It may
be about their future or of spiritual matters, or it may have to do
with their family affairs.
The details of each case are carefully recorded in a book which I saw,
and when a convict is discharged and given over to the care of the
Army, a photograph and an official statement of his record is
furnished with him. This statement the Army finds a great help, as in
dealing with such people it is necessary to know their past in order
to be able to guard against their weak points.
The Government authorities have now begun to seek the aid of the Army
in certain special cases. If they feel that it is unnecessary to
retain a man any longer, they will sometimes hand him over, should the
Salvation Army Officers be willing to take him in and be responsible
for him. General Booth and his subordinates think that if this system
were enlarged and followed up, it would result in the mitigation or
the abbreviation of many sentences, without exposing the public to
In discussing this matter with them, I ventured to point out that it
would be a bad thing if the Army became in any way identified with the
prison Authorities, and began, at any rate in the mind of the criminal
classes, to wear the initials G.R. instead of those of the Army upon
their collars. This was not disputed by Commissioner Sturgess, with
whom I debated the question.
What the Army desires, however, is that the Government should
subsidize this work in order to enable it to support the ex-convicts
until it can find opportunity to place them in positions where they
can earn their own bread. The trouble with such folk is that,
naturally enough, few desire to employ them, and until they are
employed, which in the case of aged persons or of those with a very
bad record may be never, they must be fed, clothed, and housed.
After going into the whole subject at considerable length and in much
detail, the conclusion which I came to was that this work of the
visitation of prisoners by Salvation Army Officers, and the care of
them when released either on or before the completion of their
sentences, is one that might be usefully extended, should the Home
Office Authorities see fit so to do. There is no doubt, although it
cannot guarantee success in every case, that the Salvation Army is
peculiarly successful in its dealings with hardened criminals.
Why this is so is not easy to explain. I think, however, that there
are two main reasons for its success. The first is that the Army takes
great care never to break a promise which it may make through any of
its Officers. Thus, if a man in jail is told that his relatives will
be hunted up and communicated with, or that an application will be
made to the Authorities to have him committed to the care of the Army,
or that work will be found for him on his release, and the like, that
undertaking, whatever it may be, is noted in the book which I have
mentioned, and although years may pass before it can be fulfilled, is
in due course carried out to the letter. Now, convicts are shy birds,
who put little faith in promises. But when they find that these are
always kept they gain confidence in the makers of them, and often
learn to trust them entirely.
The second and more potent reason is to be found in the power of that
loving sympathy which the Army extends even to the vilest, to those
from whom the least puritanical of us would shrink. It shows such men
that they are not utterly lost, as these believe; that it, at any
rate, does not mark them with a figurative broad arrow and consign
them to a separate division of society; that it is able to give them
back the self-respect without which mankind is lower than the beast,
and to place them, regenerated, upon a path that, if it be steep and
thorny, still leads to those heights of peace and honour which they
never thought to tread again.
This is done not by physical care and comfort, though, of course,
these help towards the desired end, but by its own spiritual means, or
so it would appear. Its Officers pray with the man; they awake his
conscience, which is never dead in any of us; they pour the blessed
light of hope into the dark places of his soul; they cause him to hate
the past, and to desire to lead a new life. Once this desire is
established, the rest is comparatively simple, for where the heart
leads the feet will follow; but without it little or nothing can be
done. Such is the explanation I have to offer. At any rate, I believe
it remains a fact that among the worst criminals the Salvation Army
often succeeds where others have failed.
Another point that should not be overlooked in this connexion is that
it must be a great comfort to the sinner and an encouragement of the
most practical sort to find, as he sometimes will, that the hands
which are dragging him and his kind from the mire, had once been as
filthy as his own. When the worker can say to him, 'Look at me; in
bygone days I was as bad as or worse than you'; when he can point to
many others whose vices were formerly notorious, but who now fill
positions of trust in the Army or outside of it, and are honoured of
all men; then the lost one, emerging, perhaps, for the fifth or sixth
time from the darkness of his prison, sees by the light of these
concrete examples that the future has promise for us all. If _they_
have succeeded why should _he_ fail? That is the argument which comes
home to him.
There remains a matter to be considered. Let us suppose that as time
goes by the Authorities become more and more convinced of the value of
the Army's prison work, and pass over to its care criminals in
ever-increasing numbers, as they are doing in some other countries and
in the great Colonies, what will be the effect upon the Army itself?
Will not this mass of comparatively useless material clog the wheels
of the great machine by overlading it with a vast number of
ex-prisoners, some of whom, owing to their age or other circumstances,
are quite incapable of earning their livelihood, and therefore must be
carried till their deaths? When I put the query to those in command,
the answer given was that they did not think so, as they believed that
the Army would be able to turn the great majority of these men into
respectable, wage-earning members of society.
Thus of those who have been sent to it lately from the prisons, it
has, I understand, been forced to return only two, because these men
would not behave themselves, and proved to be a source of danger and
contamination to others. As regards the residuum who are incapacitated
by age or weakness of mind or body, General Booth and his Officers are
of opinion that the Government should contribute to their support in
such places as the Army may be able to find for them to dwell in under
I hope that these forecasts, which after all are made by men of great
experience who should know, may not prove to be over-sanguine. Still
it must be remembered that in England alone there are, I am told, some
30,000 confirmed criminals in the jails, not reckoning the 5,000 who
are classed as convicts. If even 20 per cent of these were passed over
to the care of the Army, with or without State grants in aid of their
support, this must in the nature of things prove a heavy burden upon
its resources. When all is said and done it is harder to find
employment for a jailbird, even if reformed, than for any other class
of man, because so damaged a human article has but little commercial
value in the Labour market.
If, however, the Salvation Army is prepared to face this gigantic
task, it may be hoped that it will be given an opportunity of showing
what it can do on a large scale, as it has already shown upon one more
restricted. Prison reform is in the air. The present system is
admitted more or less to have broken down. It has been shown to be
incompetent to attain the real end for which it is established; that
is, not punishment, as many still believe, for this hereditary idea is
hard to eradicate, but prevention and, still more, reformation.
The 'Vengeance of the Law' is a phrase not easy to forget; but among
humane and highly-civilized peoples the word Vengeance should be
replaced by another, the best that I can think of is--Regeneration.
The Law should not seek to avenge--that may be left to the savage
codes, civil and religious, of the dark ages. Except in the case of
the death sentence, which is not everywhere in favour, it should seek
If, then, among other agencies, the Salvation Army is able to prove
beyond cavil that it can assist our criminal system to attain this
noble end, ought not opportunity to be given it in full measure? Is it
too much to hope that when the new Prison Act, of which the substance
has recently been outlined by the Home Secretary, comes to be
discussed, this object may be kept in view and the offer of the
Salvation Army to co-operate in the great endeavour may not be lightly
thrust aside? If its help is found so valuable in the solution of this
particular problem in other lands, why should it be rejected here, or,
rather, why should it not be more largely utilized, as I know from
their own lips, General Booth and his Officers hope and desire?
THE MEN'S WORKSHOP
HANBURY STREET, WHITECHAPEL
This Salvation Army carpentering and joinery shop has been in
existence for about fifteen years, but it does not even now pay its
way. It was started by the Army in order to assist fallen mechanics by
giving them temporary work until they could find other situations.
The manager informed me that at the beginning they found work for
about thirty men. When I visited the place some fifty hands were
employed--bricklayers, painters, joiners, etc., none of whom need stop
an hour longer than they choose. From 100 to 150 men pass through this
Workshop in a year, but many of them being elderly and therefore
unable to obtain work elsewhere, stop for a long while, as the Army
cannot well get rid of them. All of these folk arrive in a state of
absolute destitution, having even sold their tools, the last
possessions with which a competent workman parts.
The Parliamentary Committee of the Labour Party and the Trade Unions
have recently stirred up a great agitation, which has been widely
reported in the Press, against the Hanbury Street Workshop, because
the Army does not pay the Union rate of wages. As a result the Army
now declines all outside contracts, and confines its operations to the
work of erecting, repairing, or furnishing its own buildings.
Here it may be stated that these complaints seem to be unreasonable.
The men employed have almost without exception been taken off the
streets to save them from starvation or the poorhouse. Often enough
they are by no means competent at their work, while some of them have
for the time being been rendered practically useless through the
effects of drink or other debaucheries. Yet it is argued with violence
that to such people, whom no business firm would employ upon any
terms, the Army ought to pay the full Trade Union rate of wages. When
every allowance is made for the great and urgent problems connected
with the cruel practice of 'sweating,' surely this attitude throws a
strange light upon some of the methods of the Trade Unions?
The inference seems to be that they would prefer that these derelicts
should come on the rates or starve rather than that the Army should
house and feed them, giving them, in addition, such wage as their
labour may be worth. Further comment seems to be needless, especially
when I repeat that, as I am assured, this Hanbury Street Institution
never has earned, and does not now earn, the cost of its upkeep.
It is situated in the heart of a very poor district, and is rather a
ramshackle place to look at, but still quite suitable to its purposes.
I have observed that one of the characteristics of the Salvation Army
is that it never spends unnecessary money upon buildings. If it can
buy a good house or other suitable structure cheap it does so. If it
cannot, it makes use of what it can get at a price within its means,
provided that the place will satisfy the requirements of the sanitary
and other Authorities.
All the machines at Hanbury Street are driven by electric power that
is supplied by the Stepney Council at a cost of 1_d_. per unit for
power and 3_d_. per unit for lighting.
An elderly man whom I saw there attending to this machinery, was
dismissed by one of the great railway companies when they were
reducing their hands. He had been in the employ of the Salvation Army
for seven years and received the use of a house rent free and a wage
of 30_s_. a week, which probably he would find it quite impossible to
earn anywhere else.
The hours of employment are from 6.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m. if the man is
engaged on outside work, or to 6 p.m. if he labours in the workshop,
and the men are paid at various rates according to the value of their
work, and whether they are boarded and lodged, or live outside. Thus
one to whom I spoke, who was the son of a former mayor of an important
town, was allowed 3_s._ a week plus food and lodging, while another
received 9_s._ a week, 5_s._ of which was sent to his wife, from whom
he was separated. Another man, after living on the Army for about two
years, made charges against it to the Carpenters' and Joiners' Union.
He returned and apologized, but had practically to be kept under
restraint on account of his drinking habits.
Another man spent twenty years in jail and then walked the streets. He
is now a very respectable person, earns 27_s._ 6_d._ a week, and lives
outside with his wife and family. Another was once convicted of
cruelty to his children, whom he placed under the boards of the
flooring while he went out to drink. These children are now restored
to him, and he lives with them. Another among those with whom I
happened to speak, was robbed by a relative of £4,000 which his father
left to him. He was taken on by the Army in a state of destitution,
but I forget what he earned. Another, the youngest man in the Works,
came to them without any trade at all and in a destitute condition,
but when I saw him was in charge of a morticing machine. He had
married, lived out, and had been in the employ of the Army for five
years. His wage was 27_s._ 6_d._ a week. Two others drew as much as £2
5_s._ 11_d._ each, living out; but, on the other hand, some received
as little as 3_s._ a week with board and lodging.
Amongst this latter class was a young Mormon from Salt Lake City, who
earned 4_s._ 6_d._ a week and his board and lodging. He had been in
the Elevator about three months, having got drunk in London and missed
his ship. Although he attended the Salvation Army meetings, he
remained a Mormon.
In these Works all sorts of articles are manufactured to be used by
other branches of the Salvation Army. Thus I saw poultry-houses being
made for the Boxted Small Holdings; these cost from £4 5_s._ to £4
10_s._ net, and were excellent structures designed to hold about two
dozen fowls. Further on large numbers of seats of different patterns
were in process of manufacture, some of them for children, and other
longer ones, with reversible backs, to be used in the numerous Army
halls. Next I visited a room in which mattresses and mattress covers
are made for the various Shelters, also the waterproof bunk bedding,
which costs 7_s._ 9_d._ per cover. Further on, in a separate
compartment, was a flock-tearing machine, at which the Mormon I have
mentioned was employed. This is a very dusty job whereat a man does
not work for more than one day in ten.
Then there were the painting and polishing-room, the joinery room, and
the room where doors, window frames, and articles of furniture are
constructed; also special garden benches, cleverly planned so that the
seat can be protected from rain. These were designed by a young lady
whom I chance to know in private life, and who, as I now discovered
for the first time, is also a member of the Salvation Army.
Such is the Hanbury Street Workshop, where the Army makes the best use
it can of rather indifferent human materials, and, as I have said,
loses money at the business.
STURGE HOUSE, BOW ROAD
This branch of the Men's Social Work of the Salvation Army is a home
for poor and destitute boys. The house, which once belonged to the
late Dr. Barnardo, has been recently hired on a short lease. One of
the features of the Army work is the reclamation of lads, of whom
about 2,400 have passed through its hands in London during the course
of the last eight years.
Sturge House has been fitted up for this special purpose, and
accommodates about fifty boys. The Officer in charge informed me that
some boys apply to them for assistance when they are out of work,
while others come from bad homes, and yet others through the Shelters,
which pass on suitable lads. Each case is strictly investigated when
it arrives, with the result that about one-third of their number are
restored to their parents, from whom often enough they have run away,
sometimes upon the most flimsy pretexts.
Not unfrequently these boys are bad characters, who tell false tales
of their past. Thus, recently, two who arrived at the Headquarters at
Whitechapel, alleged that they were farm-labourers from Norfolk. As
they did not in the least look the part, inquiries were made, when it
was found that they had never been nearer to Norfolk than Hampstead,
where both of them had been concerned in the stealing of £10 from a
business firm. The matter was patched up with the intervention of the
Army, and the boys were restored to their parents.
Occasionally, too, lads are brought here by kind folk, who find them
starving. They are taken in, kept for a while, taught and fed, and
when their characters are re-established--for many of them have none
left--put out into the world. Some of them, indeed, work daily at
various employments in London, and pay 5s. a week for their board and
lodging at the Home. A good proportion of these lads also are sent to
the collieries in Wales, where, after a few years, they earn good
In these collieries a man and a boy generally work together. A while
ago such a man applied to the Army for a boy, and the applicant,
proving respectable, the boy was sent, and turned out extremely well.
In due course he became a collier himself, and, in his turn, sent for
a boy. So the thing spread, till up to the present time the Army has
supplied fifty or sixty lads to colliers in South Wales, all of whom
seem to be satisfactory and prosperous.
As the Manager explained, it is not difficult to place out a lad as
soon as his character can be more or less guaranteed. The difficulty
comes with a man who is middle-aged or old. He added that this Home
does not in any sense compete with those of Dr. Barnardo; in fact, in
certain ways they work hand in hand. The Barnardo Homes will not
receive lads who are over sixteen, whereas the Army takes them up to
eighteen. So it comes about that Barnardo's sometimes send on cases
which are over their age limit to Sturge House.
I saw the boys at their dinner, and although many of them had a bad
record, certainly they looked very respectable, and likely to make
good and useful men. The experience of the Army is that most of them
are quite capable of reformation, and that, when once their hearts
have been changed, they seldom fall back into the ways of dishonesty.
This Home, like all those managed by the Salvation Army, is spotlessly
clean, and the dormitories are very pleasant rooms. Also, there is a
garden, and in it I saw a number of pots of flowers, which had just
been sent as a present by a boy whom the Army helped three years ago,
and who is now, I understand, a gardener.
Sturge House struck me as a most useful Institution; and as there is
about it none of the depressing air of the adult Shelters, my visit
here was a pleasant change. The reclamation or the helping of a lad is
a very different business from that of restoring the adult or the old
man to a station in life which he seems to have lost for ever.
THE CENTRAL LABOUR BUREAU
This Bureau is established in the Social Headquarters at Whitechapel,
a large building acquired as long ago as 1878. Here is to be seen the
room in which General Booth used to hold some of his first prayer
meetings, and a little chamber where he took counsel with those
Officers who were the fathers of the Army. Also there is a place where
he could sit unseen and listen to the preaching of his subordinates,
so that he might judge of their ability.
The large hall is now part of yet another Shelter, which contains 232
beds and bunks. I inspected this place, but as it differs in no
important detail from others, I will not describe it.
The Officer who is in charge of the Labour Bureau informed me that
hundreds of men apply there for work every week, of whom a great many
are sent into the various Elevators and Shelters. The Army finds it
extremely difficult to procure outside employment for these men, for
the simple reason that there is very little available. Moreover, now
that the Government Labour Bureaux are open, this trouble is not
lessened. Of these Bureaux, the Manager said that they are most
useful, but fail to find employment for many who apply to them.
Indeed, numbers of men come on from them to the Salvation Army.
The hard fact is that there are more idle hands than there is work for
them to do, even where honest and capable folk are concerned. Thus, in
the majority of instances, the Army is obliged to rely upon its own
Institutions and the Hadleigh Land Colony to provide some sort of job
for out-of-works. Of course, of such jobs there are not enough to go
round, so many poor folk must be sent empty away or supported by
I suggested that it might be worth while to establish a school of
chauffeurs, and the Officers present said that they would consider the
matter. Unfortunately, however, such an experiment must be costly at
the present price of motor-vehicles.
I annex the Labour Bureau Statistics for May, 1910:--
Applicants for temporary employment 479
Sent to temporary employment 183
Applicants for Elevators 864
Sent to Elevators 260
Sent to Shelters 32
Applicants for temporary employment 461
Sent to temporary employment 160
Applicants for Elevators 417
Sent to Elevators 202
Sent to Shelters 20
Sent to permanent situations 35
THE INTERNATIONAL INVESTIGATION DEPARTMENT
This is a curious and interesting branch of the work of the Salvation
Army. About two thousand times a year it receives letters or personal
applications, asking it to find some missing relative or friend of the
writer or applicant. In reply, a form is posted or given, which must
be filled up with the necessary particulars. Then, if it be a London
case, the Officer in charge sends out a skilled man to work up clues.
If, on the other hand, it be a country case, the Officer in charge of
the Corps nearest to where it has occurred, is instructed to initiate
the inquiry. Also, advertisements are inserted in the Army papers,
known as 'The War Cry' and 'The Social Gazette,' both in Great Britain
and other countries, if the lost person is supposed to be on the
Continent or in some distant part of the world.
The result is that a large percentage of the individuals sought for
are discovered, alive or dead, for in such work the Salvation Army has
advantages denied to any other body, scarcely excepting the Police.
Its representatives are everywhere, and to whatever land they may
belong or whatever tongue they may speak, all of them obey an order
sent out from Headquarters wholeheartedly and uninfluenced by the
question of regard. The usual fee charged for this work is 10_s_.
6_d_.; but when this cannot be paid, a large number of cases are
undertaken free. The Army goes to as much trouble in these unpaid
cases as in any others, only then it is not able to flood the country
with printed bills. Of course, where well-to-do people are concerned,
it expects that its out-of-pocket costs will be met.
The cases with which it has to deal are of all kinds. Often those who
have disappeared are found to have done so purposely, perhaps leaving
behind them manufactured evidence, such as coats or letters on a
river-bank, suggesting that they have committed suicide. Generally,
these people are involved in some fraud or other trouble. Again,
husbands desert their wives, or wives their husbands, and vanish, in
which instances they are probably living with somebody else under
another name. Or children are kidnapped, or girls are lured away, or
individuals emigrate to far lands and neglect to write. Or, perhaps,
they simply sink out of all knowledge, and vanish effectually enough
into a paupers grave.
But the oddest cases of all are those of a complete loss of memory, a
thing that is by no means so infrequent as is generally supposed. The
experience of the Army is that the majority of these cases happen
among those who lead a studious life. The victim goes out in his usual
health and suddenly forgets everything. His mind becomes a total
blank. Yet certain instincts remain, such as that of earning a living.
Thus, to take a single recent example, the son of a large bookseller
in a country town left the house one day, saying that he would not be
away for long, and disappeared. At the invitation of his father, the
Army took up the case, and ultimately found that the man had been
working in its Spa Road Elevator under another name. Afterwards he
went away, became destitute, and sold matches in the streets.
Ultimately he was found in a Church Army Home. He recovered his
memory, and subsequently lost it again to the extent that he could
recall nothing which happened to him during the period of its first
lapse. All that time vanished into total darkness.
This business of the hunting out of the missing through the agency of
the Salvation Army is one which increases every day. It is not unusual
for the Army to discover individuals who have been missing for thirty
years and upwards.
THE EMIGRATION DEPARTMENT
Some years ago I was present one night in the Board-room at Euston
Station and addressed a shipload of emigrants who were departing to
Canada under the auspices of the Salvation Army. I forget their exact
number, but I think it was not less than 500. What I do not forget,
however, is the sorrow that I felt at seeing so many men in the prime
of life leaving the shores of their country for ever, especially as
most of them were not married. This meant, amongst other things, that
an equal number of women who remained behind were deprived of the
possibility of obtaining a husband in a country in which the females
already outnumber the males by more than a million. I said as much in
the little speech I made on this occasion, and I think that some one
answered me with the pertinent remark that if there was no work at
home, it must be sought abroad.
[Illustration: INMATES OF A MEN'S INDUSTRIAL HOME.]
There lies the whole problem in a nutshell--men must live. As for the
aged and the incompetent and the sick and the unattached women, these
are left behind for the community to support, while young and active
men of energy move off to endow new lands with their capacities and
strength. The results of this movement, carried out upon a great
scale, can be seen in the remoter parts of Ireland, which, as the
visitor will observe, appear to be largely populated by very young
children and by persons getting on in years. Whether or no this is a
satisfactory state of affairs is not for me to say, although the
matter, too large to discuss here, is one upon which I may have my own
Colonel Lamb, the head of the Salvation Army Emigration Department,
informed me that during the past seven years the Army has emigrated
about 50,000 souls, of whom 10,000 were assisted out of its funds, the
rest paying their own way or being paid for from one source or
another. From 8,000 to 10,000 people have been sent during the present
year, 1910, most of them to Canada, which is the Mecca of the
Salvation Army Emigration policy. So carefully have all these people
been selected, that not 1 per cent have ever been returned to this
country by the Canadian Authorities as undesirable. The truth is that
those Authorities have the greatest confidence in the discretion of
the Army, and in its ability to handle this matter to the advantage of
That this is true I know from personal experience, since when, some
years ago, I was a Commissioner from the British Government and had
authority to formulate a scheme of Colonial land-settlement, the Prime
Minister of Canada, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, told me so himself in the
plainest language. Indeed, he did more, formally offering a huge block
of territory to be selected anywhere I might choose in the Dominion,
with the aid of its Officers, for the purposes of settlement by poor
folk and their children under the auspices of the Salvation Army.
Also, he added the promise of as much more land as might be required
in the future for the same purpose.
Most unhappily, as I hold, that offer was not accepted by the British
Government. If this had been done, by now hundreds of English families
would have been transferred from conditions of want at home in the
English towns, into those of peace and plenty upon the land abroad.
Moreover, the recent rise in the value of Canadian land has been so
great that the scheme would not have cost the British taxpayer a
halfpenny, or so I most firmly believe.
Unfortunately, however, my scheme was too novel in its character to
appeal to the official mind, especially as its working would have
involved a loan repayable by instalments, the administration of which
must have been entrusted to the Salvation Army or to other charitable
Organizations. So this priceless opportunity was lost, probably for
ever, as the new and stricter emigration regulations adopted by
Canada, as I understand, would make it extremely difficult to emigrate
the class I hoped to help, namely, indigent people of good character,
resident in English cities, with growing families of children.
Young men, especially if they have been bred on the land, and young
marriageable women are eagerly desired in the Colonies, including
Australia; but at families, as we have read in recent correspondence
in the newspapers, they look askance.
'Why do they not want families in Australia? I asked Colonel Lamb.
'Because the trouble of housing comes in. It is the same thing in
Canada, it is the same thing all through the Colonies. They do not
want too much trouble,' he answered.
These words define the position very accurately. 'Give us your best,'
say the Colonies. 'Give us your adult, healthy men and women whom you
have paid to rear and educate, but don't bother us with families of
children whom we have to house. Above all send us no damaged articles.
You are welcome to keep those at home.'
To my mind this attitude, natural as it may be, creates a serious
problem so far as Great Britain and Ireland are concerned, for the
question will arise, Can we afford to go on parting with the good and
retaining the less desirable?
On this subject I had a long argument with Colonel Lamb, and his
answer to the question was in the affirmative, although I must admit
that his reasons did not at all convince me. He seemed to believe that
we could send out 250,000 people, chosen people, per annum for the
next ten years without harm to ourselves. Well, it may be so, and, as
he added, 'we are in their (that is, the Colonies') hands, and have to
do what they choose to allow.'
Also his opinion was that 'the best thing possible for this country is
wholesale emigration,' of course of those whom the Colonies will
accept. He said, 'People here are dissatisfied with their present
condition and want a change. If we had money to assist them, there is
practically no limit to the number who want to go. There are tens of
thousands who would conform to the Canadian regulations. One of the
things we advise the man who has been forced out of the country is
that rather than come into the town he should go to the Colonies.'
On the matter of the complaints which have been made in Canada of the
emigrant from London, Colonel Lamb said, 'The Londoner, it is alleged,
is not wanted. The Canadian is full of self-assertiveness, and the
Cockney has some of that too; he does not hesitate to express his
views, and you have conflicting spirits at once. The Cockney will
arrive at the conclusion in about twenty-four hours that he could run
Canada better than it is now being run. The Scotchman will take a week
to arrive at the same conclusion, and holds his tongue about it. The
Cockney says what he thinks on the first day of arrival, and the
result is--fireworks. He and the Canadians do not agree to begin with;
but when they get over the first passage of arms they settle down
amicably. The Cockney is finally appreciated, and, being industrious
and amenable to law and order, if he has got a bit of humour he gets
on all right, but not at first.'
Colonel Lamb informed me that in Australia the Labour Party is afraid
of the Army because it believes 'we will send in people to bring down
wages.' Therefore, the Labour Party has sidetracked General Booth's
proposals. Now, however, it alleges that it is not opposed to
emigration, if not on too large a scale. 'They don't mind a few girls;
but they say the condition that must precede emigration is the
breaking up of the land.'
Colonel Lamb appeared to desire that an Emigration Board should be
appointed in England, with power and funds to deal with the
distribution of the population of the Empire and to systematize
emigration. To this Imperial Board, individuals or Societies, such as
the Salvation Army, should, he thought, be able to submit their
schemes, which schemes would receive assistance according to their
merits under such limitations as the Board might see fit to impose. To
such a Board he would even give power to carry out land-settlement
schemes in the British Isles.
This is a great proposal, but one wonders whence the money is to come.
Also how long will it be before the Labour Parties in the various
Colonies, including Canada, gain so much power that they will refuse
to accept emigrants at all, except young women, or agriculturalists
who bring capital with them?
But all these problems are for the future. Meanwhile it is evident
that the Salvation Army manages its emigration work with extraordinary
success and business skill. Those whom it sends from these shores for
their own benefit are invariably accepted, at any rate in Canada, and
provided with work on their arrival in the chosen Colony. That the
selection is sound and careful is shown, also, by the fact that the
Army recovers from those emigrants to whom it gives assistance a
considerable percentage of the sums advanced to enable them to start
life in a new land.
THE WOMEN'S SOCIAL WORK IN LONDON
At the commencement of my investigation of this branch of the
Salvation Army activities in England, I discussed its general aspects
with Mrs. Bramwell Booth, who has it in her charge. She pointed out to
me that this Women's Social Work is a much larger business than it was
believed to be even by those who had some acquaintance with the
Salvation Army, and that it deals with many matters of great
importance in their bearing on the complex problems of our
Among them, to take some that she mentioned, which recur to my mind,
are the questions of illegitimacy and prostitution, of maternity homes
for poor girls who have fallen into trouble, of women thieves, of what
is known as the White Slave traffic, of female children who have been
exposed to awful treatment, of women who are drunkards or drug-takers,
of aged and destitute women, of intractable or vicious-minded girls,
and, lastly, of the training of young persons to enable them to deal
scientifically with all these evils, or under the name of Slum
Sisters, to wait upon the poor in their homes, and nurse them through
the trials of maternity.
How practical and efficient this training is, no one can know who has
not, like myself, visited and inquired into the various Institutions
and Refuges of the Army in different cities of the land. It is a
wonderful thing, as has happened to me again and again, to see some
quiet, middle-aged lady, often so shy that it is difficult to extract
from her the information required, ruling with the most perfect
success a number of young women, who, a few weeks or months before,
were the vilest of the vile, and what is stranger still, reforming as
she rules. These ladies exercise no severity; the punishment, which,
perhaps necessarily, is a leading feature in some of our Government
Institutions, is unknown to their system. I am told that no one is
ever struck, no one is imprisoned, no one is restricted in diet for
any offence. As an Officer said to me:--
'If we cannot manage a girl by love, we recognize that the case is
beyond us, and ask her to go away. This, however, very seldom
As a matter of fact, that case which is beyond the regenerating powers
of the Army must be very bad indeed, at any rate where young people
are concerned. In the vast majority of instances a cure is effected,
and apparently a permanent cure. In every one of these Homes there is
a room reserved for the accommodation of those who have passed through
it and gone out into the world again, should they care to return there
in their holidays or other intervals of leisure. That room is always
in great demand, and I can imagine no more eloquent testimony to the
manner of the treatment of its occupants while they dwelt in these
Homes as 'cases.'
In truth, a study of the female Officers of the Salvation Army is
calculated to convert the observer not only to a belief in the right
of women to the suffrage, but also to that of their fitness to rule
among, or even over men. Only I never heard that any of these ladies
ever sought such privileges; moreover, few of the sex would care to
win them at the price of the training, self-denial, and stern
experience which it is their lot to undergo.
Mrs. Bramwell Booth pointed out to me that although the actual work of
the Army on these women's questions is 'more than just a little,' it
had, as it were, only touched their fringe. Yet even this 'fringe' has
many threads, seeing that over 44,000 of these women's cases have been
helped in one way or another since this branch of the home work began
about twenty years ago.
She added that scarcely a month goes by in which the Army does not
break out in a new direction, open a new Institution, or attempt to
attack a new problem; and this, be it remembered, not only in these
islands but over the face of half the earth. At present its sphere of
influence is limited by the lack of funds. Give it enough money, she
said, and there is little that it would not dare to try. Everywhere
the harvest is plentiful, and if the workers remain comparatively few,
it is because material means are lacking for their support. Given the
money and the workers would be found. Nor will they ask much for
maintenance or salary, enough to provide the necessary buildings, and
to keep body and soul together, that is all.
What are these women doing? In London they run more than a score of
Homes and Agencies, including a Maternity Hospital, which I will
describe later, where hundreds of poor deceived girls are taken in
during their trouble. I believe it is almost the only one of the sort,
at any rate on the same scale, in that great city.
Also they manage various Homes for drunken women. It has always been
supposed to be a practical impossibility to effect a cure in such
cases, but the lady Officers of the Salvation Army succeed in turning
about 50 per cent of their patients into perfectly sober persons. At
least they remain sober for three years from the date of their
discharge, after which they are often followed no further.
Another of their objects is to find out the fathers of illegitimate
children, and persuade them to sign a form of agreement which has been
carefully drawn by Counsel, binding themselves to contribute towards
the cost of the maintenance of the child. Or failing this, should the
evidence be sufficient, they try to obtain affiliation orders against
such fathers in a Magistrates' Court. Here I may state that the amount
of affiliation money collected in England by the Army in 1909 was
£1,217, of which £208 was for new cases. Further, £671 was collected
and paid over for maintenance to deserted wives. Little or none of
this money would have been forthcoming but for its exertions.
Mrs. Bramwell Booth informed me that there exists a class of young
men, most of them in the employ of tradesfolk, who habitually amuse
themselves by getting servant girls into trouble, often under a
promise of marriage. Then, if the usual results follow, it is common
for these men to move away to another town, taking their references
with them and, sometimes under a new name, to repeat the process
there. She was of opinion that the age of consent ought to be raised
to eighteen at least, a course for which there is much to be said.
Also she thought, and this is more controversial, that when any young
girl has been seduced under promise of marriage, the seducer should be
liable to punishment under the criminal law. Of course, one of the
difficulties here would be to prove the promise of marriage beyond all
Also to bring such matters within the cognizance of the criminal law
would be a new and, indeed, a dangerous departure not altogether easy
to justify, especially as old magistrates like myself, who have
considerable experience of such cases must know, it is not always the
man who is to blame. Personally, I incline to the view that if the age
of consent were raised, and the contribution exacted from the putative
father of an illegitimate child made proportionate to his means, and
not limited, as it is now, to a maximum of 5s. a week, the criminal
law might well be left out of the question. It must be remembered
further, as Mrs. Booth pointed out herself, that there is another
remedy, namely, that of a better home-training of girls who should be
prepared by their mothers or friends to face the dangers of the world,
a duty which these too often neglect. The result is that many young
women who feel lonely and desire to get married, overstep the limits
of prudence on receipt of a promise that thus they may attain their
end, with the result that generally they find themselves ruined and
Mrs. Bramwell Booth said that the Army is doing its utmost to mitigate
the horrors of what is known as the White Slave traffic, both here and
in many other countries. With this object it has a Bill before
Parliament at the present time, of which one of the aims is to prevent
children from being sent out of this country to France under
circumstances that practically ensure their moral destruction. It
seems that the state of things in Paris in this connexion is, in her
own words, 'most abominable, too horrible for words.' Children are
procured from certain theatre dancing schools, and their birth
certificates sometimes falsified to make it appear that they are over
fourteen, although often they may be as young as twelve or even ten.
Then they are conveyed to vile places in Paris where their doom is
Let us hope that in due course this Bill will become law, for if girls
are protected up to sixteen in this country, surely they should not be
sent out of it in doubtful circumstances under that age.
Needless to say abominations of this nature are not unknown in London.
Thus a while ago the Army received a telegram from a German girl
asking, 'Can you help?' Two of its people went at once to the address
given, and, contriving to get into the house, discovered there a young
woman who, imagining that she had been engaged in Germany as a servant
in an English family, found herself in a London brothel. Fortunately,
being a girl of some character and resource, she held her own, and,
having heard of the Salvation Army in her own land, persuaded a
milkman to take the telegram that brought about her delivery from this
den of wickedness.
Unfortunately it proved impossible to discover the woman who had hired
her abroad, as the victim of the plot really knew nothing about that
procuress. This girl was restored to her home in Germany none the
worse for her terrific adventure, and a few weeks later refunded her
travelling expenses. But how many must there be who have never heard
of the Salvation Army, and can find no milkman to help them out of
their vile prisons, for such places are no less.
Another branch of the Army women's work is that of the rescue of
prostitutes from the streets, which is known as the 'Midnight Work.'
For the purpose of this endeavour it hires a flat in Great Titchfield
Street, of which, and of the mission that centres round it, I will
speak later in this book.
The Women's Social Work of the Salvation Army began in London, in the
year 1884, at the cottage of a woman-soldier of the Army who lived in
Whitechapel. This lady, who was interested in girls without character,
took some of them into her home. Eventually she left the place which
came into the hands of the Army, whereon Mrs. Bramwell Booth was sent
to take charge of the twelve inmates whom it would accommodate. The
seed that was thus sown in 1884 has now multiplied itself into
fifty-nine Homes and Agencies for women in Great Britain alone, to say
nothing of others abroad and in the Colonies. But this is only a
'We look forward,' said Mrs. Bramwell Booth to me, 'to a great
increase of this side of our work at home. No year has passed without
the opening of a new Women's Home of some kind, and we hope that this
will continue. Thus I want to build a very big Maternity Hospital if I
can get the money. We have about £20,000 in hand for this purpose; but
the lesser of the two schemes before us will cost £35,000.'
Will not some rich and charitable person provide the £15,000 that are
THE HEADQUARTERS OF THE WOMEN'S SOCIAL WORK
LOWER CLAPTON ROAD
The Women's Social Headquarters of the Salvation Army in England is
situated at Clapton. It is a property of nearly three acres, on which
stand four houses that will be rebuilt whenever funds are forthcoming
for the erection of the Maternity Hospital and Training Institution
for nurses and midwives which I have already mentioned. At present
about forty Officers are employed here, most of whom are women, under
the command of Commissioner Cox, one of the foremost of the 600
women-Officers of the Salvation Army in the United Kingdom who give
their services to the women's social work.
It is almost needless for me to add that Commissioner Cox is a lady of
very great ability, who is entirely devoted to the cause to which she
has dedicated her life. One of the reasons of the great success of the
Salvation Army is that only able people exactly suited to the
particular work in view are put in authority over that work. Here
there are no sinecures, no bought advowsons, and no freehold livings.
Moreover, the policy of the Army, as a general rule, is not to allow
any one to remain too long in any one office, lest he or she should
become fossilized or subject to local influences.
I remember when I was in America hearing of a case in which a very
leading Officer of the Army, who chanced to be a near relative of
General Booth, declined to obey an order to change his command for
another in a totally different part of the world. The order was
repeated once or twice, and as often disobeyed. Resignation followed
and an attempt to found a rival Organization. I only mention this
matter to show that discipline is enforced in this Society without
fear, favour, or prejudice, which is, perhaps, a principal reason of
HILLSBOROUGH HOUSE INEBRIATES' HOME
Under the guidance of Commissioner Cox I inspected a number of the
London Women's Institutions of the Army, first visiting the
Hillsborough House Inebriates' Home. This Home, a beautifully clean
and well-kept place, has accommodation for thirty patients,
twenty-nine beds being occupied on the day of my visit. The lady in
charge informed me that these patients are expected to contribute 10s.
per week towards the cost of their maintenance; but that, as a matter
of fact, they seldom pay so much. Generally the sum recovered varies
from 7s. to 3s. per week, while a good many give nothing at all.
The work the patients do in this Home is sold and produces something
towards the cost of upkeep. The actual expense of the maintenance of
the inmates averages about 12s. 6d. a week per head, which sum
includes an allowance for rent. Most of the cases stay in the Home for
twelve months, although some remain for a shorter period. When the
cure is completed, if they are married, the patients return to their
husbands. The unmarried are sent out to positions as governesses,
nurses, or servants, that is, if the authorities of the Home are able
to give them satisfactory characters.
As the reader who knows anything of such matters will be aware, it is
generally supposed to be rather more easy to pass a camel through the
eye of a needle than to reclaim a confirmed female drunkard. Yet, as I
have already said, the Salvation Army, on a three years' test in each
case, has shown that it deals successfully with about 50 per cent of
those women who come into its hands for treatment as inebriates or
drug-takers. How is this done? Largely, of course, by effecting
through religious means a change of heart and nature, as the Army
often seems to have the power to do, and by the exercise of gentle
But there remains another aid which is physical.
With the shrewdness that distinguishes them, the Officers of the Army
have discovered that the practice of vegetarianism is a wonderful
enemy to the practice of alcoholism. The vegetarian, it seems,
conceives a bodily distaste to spirituous liquors. If they can
persuade a patient to become a vegetarian, then the chances of her
cure are enormously increased. Therefore, in this and in the other
female Inebriate Homes no meat is served. The breakfast, which is
eaten at 7.30, consists of tea, brown and white bread and butter,
porridge and fresh milk, or stewed fruit. A sample dinner at one
o'clock includes macaroni cheese, greens, potatoes, fruit pudding or
plain boiled puddings with stewed figs. On one day a week, however,
baked or boiled fish is served with pease pudding, potatoes, and
boiled currant pudding, and on another, brown gravy is given with
onions in batter. Tea, which is served at six o'clock, consists--to
take a couple of samples--of tea, white and brown bread and butter,
and cheese sandwiches with salad; or of tea, white and brown bread and
butter, savoury rolls, and apples or oranges.
It will be observed that this diet is as simple as it well can be; but
I think it right to add, after personal inspection, that the inmates
appear to thrive on it extremely well. Certainly all whom I saw looked
well nourished and healthy.
A book is kept in the Home in which the details of each case are
carefully entered, together with its record for two years after
discharge. Here are the particulars of three cases taken by me at
hazard from this book which will serve to indicate the class of
patient that is treated at this Home. Of course, I omit the names:--
_A.B._ Aged thirty-one. Her mother, who was a drunkard and
gave A.B. drink in her childhood, died some time ago. A.B.
drove her father, who was in good circumstances, having a
large business, to madness by her inebriety. Indeed, he
tried to commit suicide by hanging himself, but, oddly
enough, it was A.B. who cut him down, and he was sent to an
asylum. A.B. had fallen very low since her mother's death;
but I do not give these details. All the members of her
family drank, except, strange to say, the father, who at the
date of my visit was in the asylum. A.B. had been in the
Home some time, and was giving every satisfaction. It was
hoped that she will be quite cured.
_C.D._ Aged thirty. C.D.'s father, a farmer, was a moderate
drinker, her mother was a temperance woman. Her parents
discovered her craving for drink about ten years ago. She
was unable to keep any situation on account of this failing.
Four years ago C.D. was sent to an Inebriate Home for twelve
months, but no cure was effected. Afterwards she
disappeared, having been dismissed from her place, and was
found again for the mother by the Salvation Army. At the
time of my visit she had been six months in the Home, and
was doing well.
_E.F._ Aged forty-eight; was the widow of a professional
man, whom she married as his second wife, and by whom she
had two children, one of whom survives. She began to drink
before her husband's death, and this tendency was increased
by family troubles that arose over his will. She mismanaged
his business and lost everything, drank heavily and
despaired. She tried to keep a boarding house, but her
furniture was seized and she came absolutely to the end of
her resources, her own daughter being sent away to her
relatives. E.F. was nine months in the Hillsborough Home,
and had gone as cook and housekeeper to a situation, where
she also was giving every satisfaction.
THE MATERNITY NURSING HOME
LORNE HOUSE, STOKE NEWINGTON
Her Royal Highness Princes Louise, the Duchess of Argyll, defrayed the
cost of the purchase of the leasehold of this charming Home. The
lady-Officer in charge informed me that the object of the
establishment is to take in women who have or are about to have
illegitimate children. It is not, however, a lying-in Home, the
mothers being sent to the Ivy House Hospital for their confinements.
After these are over they are kept for four or sometimes for six
months at Lorne House. At the expiration of this period situations are
found for most of them, and the babies are put out to nurse in the
houses of carefully selected women with whom the mothers can keep in
touch. These women are visited from time to time by Salvation Army
Officers who make sure that the infants are well treated in every way.
All the cases in this Home are those of girls who have fallen into
trouble for the first time. They belong to a better class than do
those who are received in many of the Army Homes. The charge for their
maintenance is supposed to be £1 a week, but some pay only 5s., and
some nothing at all. As a matter of fact, out of the twelve cases
which the Home will hold, at the time of my visit half were making no
payment. If the Army averages a contribution of 7s. a week from them,
it thinks itself fortunate.
I saw a number of the babies in cradles placed in an old greenhouse in
the garden to protect them from the rain that was falling at the time.
When it is at all fine they are kept as much as possible in the open
air, and the results seem to justify this treatment, for it would be
difficult to find healthier infants.
Five or six of the inmates sleep together in a room; for those with
children a cot is provided beside each bed. I saw several of these
young women, who all seemed to be as happy and contented as was
possible under their somewhat depressing circumstances.
THE MATERNITY RECEIVING HOME
BRENT HOUSE, HACKNEY
This Home serves a somewhat similar purpose as that at Lorne House,
but the young women taken in here while awaiting their confinement are
not, as a rule, of so high a class.
In the garden at the back of the house about forty girls were seated
in a kind of shelter which protected them from the rain, some of them
working and some talking together, while others remained apart
depressed and silent. Most of these young women were shortly expecting
to become mothers. Certain of them, however, already had their
infants, as there were seventeen babies in the Home who had been
crowded out of the Central Maternity Hospital. Among these were some
very sad cases, several of them being girls of gentle birth, taken in
here because they could pay nothing. One, I remember, was a foreign
young lady, whose sad history I will not relate. She was found running
about the streets of a seaport town in a half-crazed condition and
brought to this place by the Officers of the Salvation Army.
In this house there is a room where ex-patients who are in service can
bring their infants upon their holidays. Two or three of these women
were here upon the occasion of my visit, and it was a pathetic sight
to see them dandling the babies from whom they had been separated and
giving them their food.
It is the custom in this and other Salvation Army Maternity Homes to
set apart a night in every month for what is called a Social Evening.
On these occasions fifty or more of the former inmates will arrive
with their children, whom they have brought from the various places
where they are at nurse, and for a few hours enjoy their society,
after which they take them back to the nurses and return to their
work, whatever it may be. By means of this kindly arrangement these
poor mothers are enabled from time to time to see something of their
offspring, which, needless to say, is a boon they greatly prize.
THE MATERNITY HOSPITAL
IVY HOUSE, HACKNEY
This Hospital is one for the accommodation of young mothers on the
occasion of the birth of their illegitimate children. It is a humble
building, containing twenty-five beds, although I think a few more can
be arranged. That it serves its purpose well, until the large
Maternity Hospital of which I have already spoken can be built, is
shown by the fact that 286 babies (of whom only twenty-five were not
illegitimate) were born here in 1900 without the loss of a single
mother. Thirty babies died, however, which the lady-Officer in charge
thought rather a high proportion, but one accounted for by the fact
that during this particular year a large number of the births were
premature. In 1908, 270 children were born, of whom twelve died, six
of these being premature.
The cases are drawn from London and other towns where the Salvation
Army is at work. Generally they, or their relatives and friends, or
perhaps the father of the child, apply to the Army to help them in
their trouble, thereby, no doubt, preventing many child-murders and
some suicides. The charge made by the Institution for these lying-in
cases is in proportion to the ability of the patient to pay. Many
contribute nothing at all. From those who do pay, the average sum
received is 10_s_. a week, in return for which they are furnished with
medical attendance, food, nursing, and all other things needful to
I went over the Hospital, and saw these unfortunate mothers lying in
bed, each of them with her infant in a cot beside her. Although their
immediate trial was over, these poor girls looked very sad.
'They know that their lives are spoiled,' said the lady in charge.
Most of them were quite young, some being only fifteen, and the
majority under twenty. This, it was explained to me, is generally due
to the ignorance of the facts of life in which girls are kept by their
parents or others responsible for their training. Last year there was
a mother aged thirteen in this Hospital.
One girl, who seemed particularly sad, had twins lying beside her.
Hoping to cheer her up, I remarked that they were beautiful babies,
whereon she hid her face beneath the bedclothes.
'Don't talk about them,' said the Officer, drawing me away, 'that
child nearly cried her eyes out when she was told that there were two.
You see, it is hard enough for these poor mothers to keep one, but
when it comes to two--!'
I asked whether the majority of these unfortunate young women really
tried to support their children. The answer was that most of them try
very hard indeed, and will use all their money for this purpose, even
stinting themselves of absolute necessaries. Few of them go wrong
again after their first slip, as they have learned their lesson.
Moreover, during their stay in hospital and afterwards, the Salvation
Army does its best to impress on them certain moral teachings, and
thus to make its work preventive as well as remedial.
Places in service are found for a great number of these girls,
generally where only one servant is kept, so that they may not be
taunted by the others if these should find out their secret. This as a
rule, however, is confided to the mistress. The average wage they
receive is about £18 a year. As it costs them £13, or 5_s_. a week, to
support an infant (not allowing for its clothes), the struggle is very
hard unless the Army can discover the father, and make him contribute
towards the support of his child, either voluntarily or through a
I was informed that many of these fathers are supposed to be
gentlemen, but when it comes to this matter of payment, they show that
they have little title to that description. Of course, in the case of
men of humbler degree, money is even harder to recover. I may add,
that my own long experience as a magistrate goes to confirm this
statement. It is extraordinary to what meanness, subterfuge, and even
perjury, a man will sometimes resort, in order to avoid paying so
little as 1_s_. 6_d_. a week towards the keep of his own child. Often
the line of defence is a cruel attempt to blacken the character of the
mother, even when the accuser well knows that there is not the
slightest ground for the charge, and that he alone is responsible for
the woman's fall. Also, if the case is proved, and the order made,
many such men will run away and hide themselves in another part of the
country to escape the fulfilment of their just obligations.
In connexion with this Maternity Hospital, the Salvation Army has a
Training School for midwives and nurses, all of whom must pass the
Central Midwives Board examination before they are allowed to
practise. Some of the students, after qualifying, continue to work for
the Army in its Hospital Department, and others in the Slum
Department, while some go abroad in the service of other Societies.
The scale of fees for this four months' course in midwifery varies
according to circumstances. The Army asks the full charge of eighteen
guineas from those students who belong to, or propose to serve other
Societies. Those who intend to go abroad to work with medical
missionaries, have to pay fifteen guineas, and those who are members
of the Salvation Army, or who intend to serve the Army in this
Department, pay nothing, unless, at the conclusion of their course,
they decide to leave the Army's service.
At the last examination, out of fourteen students sent up from this
Institution, thirteen passed the necessary test.
When I began to write this book, I determined to set down all things
exactly as I saw or heard them. But, although somewhat hardened in
such matters by long experience of a very ugly world, I find that
there are limits to what can be told of such a place as 'The Nest' in
pages which are meant for perusal by the general public. The house
itself is charming, with a good garden adorned by beautiful trees. It
has every arrangement and comfort possible for the welfare of its
child inmates, including an open-air bedroom, cleverly contrived from
an old greenhouse for the use of those among them whose lungs are
But these inmates, these sixty-two children whose ages varied from
about four to about sixteen! What can I say of their histories? Only
in general language, that more than one half of them have been subject
to outrages too terrible to repeat, often enough at the hands of their
own fathers! If the reader wishes to learn more, he can apply
confidentially to Commissioner Cox, or to Mrs. Bramwell Booth.
[Illustration: SOME OF THE CHILDREN AT 'THE NEST'.]
Here, however, is a case that I can mention, as although it is
dreadful enough, it belongs to a different class. Seeing a child of
ten, whose name was Betty, playing about quite happily with the
others, I spoke to her, and afterwards asked for the particulars of
her story. They were brief. It appears that this poor little thing had
actually seen her father murder her mother. I am glad to be able to
add that to all appearance she has recovered from the shock of this
Indeed, all these little girls, notwithstanding their hideous pasts,
seemed, so far as I could judge, to be extremely happy at their
childish games in the garden. Except that some were of stunted growth,
I noted nothing abnormal about any of them. I was told, however, by
the Officer in charge, that occasionally, when they grow older,
propensities originally induced in them through no fault of their own
will assert themselves.
To lessen this danger, as in the case of the women inebriates, all
these children are brought up as vegetarians. Before me, as I write,
is the bill of fare for the week, which I tore off a notice board in
the house. The breakfast on three days, to take examples, consists of
porridge, with boiling milk and sugar, cocoa, brown and white bread
and butter. On the other mornings either stewed figs, prunes, or
marmalade are added. A sample dinner consists of lentil savoury, baked
potatoes, brown gravy and bread; boiled rice with milk and sugar. For
tea, bananas, apples, oranges, nuts, jam, brown and white bread and
butter and cocoa are supplied, but tea itself as a beverage is only
given on Sundays. A footnote to the bill of fare states that all
children over twelve years of age who wish for it, can have bread and
butter before going to bed.
Certainly the inmates of 'The Nest,' if any judgment may be formed
from their personal appearance, afford a good argument to the
advocates of vegetarianism.
It costs £13 a year to endow a bed in this Institution. Amongst
others, I saw one which was labelled 'The Band of Helpers' Bed. This
is maintained by girls who have passed through the Institution, and
are now earning their livelihood in the world, as I thought, a
touching and significant testimony. I should add that the children in
this Home are educated under the direction of a certificated
My visit to this Refuge made a deep impression on my mind. No person
of sense and experience, remembering the nameless outrages to which
many of these poor children have been exposed, could witness their
present health and happiness without realizing the blessed nature of
THE TRAINING INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN SOCIAL WORKERS
Colonel Lambert, the lady-Officer in charge of this Institution,
informed me that it can accommodate sixty young women. At the time of
my visit forty-seven pupils were being prepared for service in the
Women's Department of what is called 'Salvation Army Warfare.' These
Cadets come from all sources and in various ways. Most of them have
first been members of the Army and made application to be trained,
feeling themselves attracted to this particular branch of its work.
The basis of their instruction is religious and theological. It
includes the study of the Bible, of the doctrine and discipline of the
Salvation Army and the rules and regulations governing the labours of
its Social Officers. In addition, these Cadets attend practical
classes where they learn needlework, the scientific cutting out of
garments, knitting, laundry work, first medical aid, nursing, and so
forth. The course at this Institution takes ten months to complete,
after which those Cadets who have passed the examinations are
appointed to various centres of the Army's Social activities.
When these young women have passed out and enter on active Social work
they are allowed their board and lodging and a small salary to pay for
their clothing. This salary at the commencement of a worker's career
amounts to the magnificent sum of 4s. a week, if she 'lives in' (about
the pay of a country kitchen maid); out of which she is expected to
defray the cost of her uniform and other clothes, postage stamps, etc.
Ultimately, after many years of service, it may rise to as much as
10s. in the case of senior Officers, or, if the Officer finds her own
board and lodging, to a limit of £1 a week.
Of these ladies who are trained in the Home few leave the Army. Should
they do so, however, I am informed that they can generally obtain from
other Organizations double or treble the pay which the Army is able to
This Training Institution is a building admirably suited to the
purpose to which it is put. Originally it was a ladies' school, which
was purchased by the Salvation Army. The dining-room of the Cadets was
very well arranged and charmingly decorated with flowers, as was that
of the Officers beyond. There was also a Cadets' retiring-room, where
I saw some of them reading or otherwise amusing themselves on their
Saturday half-holiday. The Army would be glad to find and train more
of these self-sacrificing workers; but the conditions of the pay which
they can offer and the arduous nature of the lifelong service
involved, are such that those of a satisfactory class are not too
Attached to this Training Institution is a Home for girls of doubtful
or bad antecedents, which I also visited. This Rescue Home is linked
up with the Training School, so that the Cadets may have the
opportunity of acquiring a practical knowledge of the class of work
upon which they are to be engaged in after-life. Most of the girls in
the Rescue Home have passed through the Police-courts, and been handed
over to the care of the Army by magistrates. The object of the Army is
to reform them and instruct them in useful work which will enable them
to earn an honest living.
Many of these girls have been in the habit of thieving from their
mistresses or others, generally in order to enable them to make
presents to their lovers. Indeed, it would seem that this mania for
making presents is a frequent cause of the fall of young persons with
a natural leaning to dishonesty and a desire to appear rich and
liberal. The Army succeeds in reclaiming a great number of them; but
the thieving instinct is one not easy to eradicate.
All these girls seemed fairly happy. A great deal of knitting is done
by them, and I saw a room furnished with a number of knitting
machines, where work is turned out to the value of nearly £25 a week.
Also I was shown piles of women's and children's underclothing and
other articles, the produce of the girls' needles, which are sold to
help to defray the expenses of the Home. In the workroom on this
Saturday afternoon a number of the young women were engaged in mending
their own garments. After their period of probation many of these
girls are sent out to situations found for them by the Army.
THE WOMEN'S INDUSTRIAL HOME
This Home is one of much the same class as that which I have just
described. It has accommodation for forty-eight girls, of whom over
1,000 have passed through the Institution, where they are generally
kept for a period of six months. Most of the young women in the Home
when I visited it had been thieves. One, who was twenty-seven years of
age, had stolen ever since she was twelve, and the lady in charge told
me that when she came to them everything she had on her, and almost
all the articles in her trunk were the property of former mistresses.
In answer to my questions, Commissioner Cox informed me that the
result of their work in this Home was so satisfactory that they
scarcely liked to announce it. They computed, however, that taken on a
three years' test--for the subsequent career of each inmate is
followed for that period--90 per cent of the cases prove to be
permanent moral cures. This, when the previous history of these young
women is considered, may, I think, be accounted a great triumph. No
money contribution is asked or expected in this particular Home.
Indeed, it would not be forthcoming from the class of girls who are
sent or come here to be reformed, many of whom, on entering, are
destitute of underclothing and other necessaries, The needlework which
they do, however, is sold, and helps to pay for the upkeep of the
I asked what was done if any of them refused to work. The answer was
that this very rarely happened, as the women-Officers shared in their
labours, and the girls could not for shame's sake sit idle while their
Officers worked. I visited the room where this sewing was in progress,
and observed that Commissioner Cox, who conducted me, was received
with hearty, and to all appearance, spontaneous clapping of hands,
which seemed to indicate that these poor young women are happy and
contented. The hours of labour kept in the Home are those laid down in
the Factory Acts.
While looking at the work produced by the inmates, I asked
Commissioner Cox if she had anything to say as to the charges of
sweating which are sometimes brought against the Army, and of
underselling in the markets. Her answer was:--
'We do not compete in the markets at all, as we do not make sufficient
articles, and never work for the trade or supply wholesale; we sell
the garments we make one by one by means of our pedlars. It is
necessary that we should do this in order to support our girls. Either
we must manufacture and sell the work, or they must starve.'
Here we have the whole charge of sweating by the Army in a nutshell,
and the answer to it.
In this Home a system has been devised for providing each girl with an
outfit when she leaves. It is managed by means of a kind of deferred
pay, which is increased if she keeps up to the standard of work
required. Thus, gradually, she earns her outfit, and leaves the place
with a box of good clothes. The first thing provided is a pair of
boots, then a suitable box, and lastly, the materials which they make
This house, like all the others, I found to be extremely well
arranged, with properly-ventilated dormitories, and well suited to its
THE INEBRIATES' HOME
SPRINGFIELD LODGE, DENMARK HILL.
This house, which has a fine garden attached, was a gentleman's
residence purchased by the Salvation Army, to serve as an Inebriates'
Home for the better class of patients. With the exception of a few who
give their services in connexion with the work of the place as a
return for their treatment, it is really a Home for gentlefolk. When I
visited it, some of the inmates, of whom there are usually from
twenty-five to thirty, were talented ladies who could speak several
languages, or paint, or play very well. All these came here to be
cured of the drink or drug habit. The fee for the course ranges from a
guinea to 10_s_. per week, according to the ability of the patient to
pay, but some who lack this ability pay nothing at all.
The lady in charge remarked drily on this point, that many people
seemed to think that as the place belonged to the Salvation Army it
did not matter if they paid or not. As is the practice at Hillsborough
House, a vegetarian diet is insisted upon as a condition of
the patient receiving treatment at the Home. Often this is a cause of
much remonstrance, as the inmates, who are mostly persons in middle or
advanced life, think that it will kill them. The actual results,
however, are found to be most satisfactory, as the percentage of
successes is found to be 50 per cent, after a year in the Home and
three years' subsequent supervision. I was told that a while ago, Sir
Thomas Barlow, the well-known physician, challenged this statement. He
was asked to see for himself, he examined a number of the patients,
inspected the books and records, and finally satisfied himself that it
was absolutely correct.
The Army attaches much importance to what may be called the after-care
of the cases, for the lack of which so many people who pass through
Homes and then return to ordinary life, break down, and become,
perhaps, worse than they were before. The seven devils of Scripture
are always ready to re-occupy the swept and garnished soul, especially
if they be the devils of drink.
Moreover, the experience of the Army is that relatives and friends are
extraordinarily thoughtless in this matter. Often enough they will, as
it were, thrust spirituous liquors down the throat of the
newly-reformed drunkard, or at the least will pass them before their
eyes and drink them in their presence as usual, with results that may
be imagined. One taste and in four cases out of six the thing is done.
The old longings awake again and must be satisfied.
For these reasons the highly-skilled Officers of the Salvation Army
hold that reclaimed inebriates should be safeguarded, watched, and, so
far as the circumstances may allow, kept under the influences that
have brought about their partial recovery. They say that they owe much
of their remarkable success in those cases to a strict observance of
such preventive methods for a period of three years. After that time
patients must stand upon their own feet. These remarks apply also to
the victims of the drug habit, who are even more difficult to deal
with than common drunkards.
At this Home I had a conversation with a fine young woman, an
ex-hospital nurse, who gave me a very interesting account of her
experiences of laudanum drinking. She said that in an illness she had
gone through while she was a nurse a doctor dosed her with laudanum to
deaden her pain and induce sleep. The upshot was that she could not
sleep without the help of laudanum or other opiates, and thus the
fatal habit was formed. She described the effects of the drug upon
her, which appeared to be temporary exhilaration and freedom from all
care, coupled with sensations of great vigour. She spoke also of
delightful visions; but when I asked her to describe the visions, she
went back upon that statement, perhaps because their nature was such
as she did not care to set out. She added, however, that the sleep
which followed was haunted by terrible dreams.
Another effect of the habit, according to this lady, is forgetfulness,
which showed itself in all kinds of mistakes, and in the loss of power
of accurate expression, which caused her to say things she did not
mean and could not remember when she had said them. She told me that
the process of weaning herself from the drug was extremely painful and
difficult; but that she now slept well and desired it no more.
To be plain, I was not satisfied with the truth of this last
statement, for there was a strange look in her eyes which suggested
that she still desired it very much; also she seemed to me to
prevaricate upon certain points. Further, those in charge of her
allowed that this diagnosis was probably correct, especially as she is
now in the Home for the second time, although her first visit there
was a very short one. Still they thought that she would be cured in
the end. Let us hope that they were right.
The Army has also another Home in this neighbourhood, run on similar
lines, for the treatment of middle-class and poor people.
THE WOMEN'S INDUSTRIAL HOME
SOUTHWOOD, SYDENHAM HILL
This is another of the Salvation Army Homes for Women. When I visited
Southwood, which is an extremely good house, having been a gentleman's
residence, with a garden and commanding a beautiful view, there were
about forty inmates, some of whom were persons of gentle birth. For
such ladies single sleeping places are provided, with special dining
and sitting-rooms. These are supposed to pay a guinea a week for their
board and accommodation, though I gathered that this sum was not
always forthcoming. The majority of the other inmates, most of whom
have gone astray in one way or another, pay nothing.
A good many of the cases here are what are called preventive; that is
to say, that their parents or guardians being able to do nothing with
them, and fearing lest they should come to ruin, send them to this
place as a last resource, hoping that they may be cured of their evil
Thus one girl whom I think I saw, could not be prevented from gadding
on the streets, and therefore had been placed here. Another young
woman was a schoolmistress who would not get out of bed and refused to
work. When she came to the Home she was very insolent and
bad-tempered, and would do nothing. Now, I was informed, she rises
with the lark, at 6.30 indeed, and works like a Trojan. I could not
help wondering whether these excellent habits would survive her
departure from the Home. Another lady, who had been sentenced for
thefts, was the daughter of a minister. She horrified the Officers by
regretting that she had gone to jail for so little, when others who
had taken and enjoyed large sums received practically the same
sentence. She was reported to be doing well.
Another, also a lady, was the victim of an infatuation which caused
her to possess herself of money to send to some man who had followed
her about from the time she was in a boarding school. Another was a
foreigner, who had been sent to an American doctor in the East to be
trained as a nurse. This poor girl underwent an awful experience, and
was in the care of the Salvation Army recovering from shock; but, of
course, hers is a different class of case from those which I have
mentioned above. Another was an English girl who had been turned out
of Canada because of her bad behaviour with men. And so on.
It only remains to say that most of these people appeared to be doing
well, while many of those in the humbler classes of life were being
taught to earn their own living in the laundry that is attached to the
THE WOMEN'S SHELTER
This is a place where women, most of them old, so far as my
observation went, are taken in to sleep at a charge of 3_d._ a night.
It used to be 2_d_. until the London County Council made the provision
of sheets, etc., compulsory, when the Army was obliged to raise the
payment. This Shelter, which is almost always so full that people have
to be turned away, holds 261 women. It contains a separate room, where
children are admitted with their mothers, half price, namely
1-1/2_d._, being charged per child. There is a kitchen attached where
the inmates can buy a large mug of tea for a 1/2_d._, and a huge chunk
of bread for a second 1/2_d._; also, if I remember right, other
articles of food, if they can afford such luxuries.
The great dormitory in this Shelter, it may be mentioned, was once a
swimming-bath. Some of the women who come to this place have slept in
it almost every night for eighteen or twenty years. Others make use of
it for a few months, and then vanish for a period, especially in the
summer, when they go hop or strawberry picking, and return in the
winter. Every day, however, fresh people appear, possibly to depart on
the morrow and be seen no more.
I asked whether the aged folk had not been benefited by the Old Age
Pensions Act. The lady Officer in charge replied that it had been a
blessing to some of them. One old woman, however, would not apply for
her pension, although she was urged to take a room for herself
somewhere. She said that she was afraid if she did so, she might be
turned out and be lonely.
I visited this Shelter in the late afternoon, before it was filled up.
A number of dilapidated and antique females were sitting about in the
rooms, talking or sewing. One old lady was doing crochet work. She
told me that she made her living by it, and by flower-selling. Another
informed me that it was years since she had slept anywhere else, and
that she did not know what poor women like her would do without this
place. Another was cooking the broth. Her husband was a sea captain,
and when he died, her father had allowed her _£1_ a week until he
died. Afterwards she took to drink, and drifted here, where, I was
informed, she is doing well. And so on, and so on, _ad infinitum_. The
Hanbury Street Women's Shelter is not a cheerful spot to visit on a
dull and rainy evening.
THE SLUM SETTLEMENT
Slum work is an important branch of the Social labours of the
Salvation Army, Thus last year the Slum Sisters visited over 105,000
families, over 20,000 sick, and over 32,000 public-houses, in which
work they spent more than 90,000 hours of time. Also they attended 482
births, and paid nearly 9,000 visits in connexion with them.
There are nine Slum Settlements and Posts in London, and nineteen
others in England, Scotland, and Ireland. The old system used to be
for the Sisters and Nurses to live among the lowest class of the poor,
lodging in the actual tenements in which their work was carried out.
This, however, was abandoned as far as possible, because it was found
that after the arduous toil of the day these ladies could get little
rest at night, owing to the noise that went on about them, a
circumstance that caused their health to suffer and made them
inefficient. Now out of the 117 Officers engaged in Slum work in Great
Britain, about one-half who labour in London live in five houses set
apart for them in different quarters of the city; fifteen Officers
being the usual complement to each house.
The particular dwelling of which I write is a good specimen of them
all, and from it the Sisters and Nurses who live there work
Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, and the Hoxton and Hackney
Road districts. It is decently furnished and a comfortable place in
its way, although, of course, it stands in a poor neighbourhood. I
remember that there was even the finishing touch of a canary in the
window. I should add that no cases are attended in the house itself,
which is purely a residence.
To this particular Settlement two qualified midwives and a nurse are
attached. While I was there one of the midwives came in, very tired,
at about half-past eleven in the morning. Since three o'clock on that
same morning she had attended three confinements, so no wonder she was
tired. She said that one of her cases was utterly unprovided with
anything needful as the father was out of work, although on the
occasion of a previous confinement they had all they wanted. Now they
lived in a little room in which there was not space 'to swing a cat,'
and were without a single bite of food or bit of clothing, so that the
baby when it came had to be wrapped up in an old shawl and the woman
sent to the Infirmary. The Sister in charge informed me that if they
had them they could find employment for twice their strength of nurses
without overlapping the work of any other charity.
The people with whom they deal are for the most part those who have a
rooted objection to infirmaries, although the hospitals are much more
used than was formerly the case. The system of the Army is to make a
charge of 6_s_. 6_d_. for attending a confinement, which, if paid, is
generally collected in instalments of 3_d_. or 6_d_. a week. Often,
however, it is not paid, and the charge remains a mere formality. She
added that many of these poor people are most improvident, and make no
provision whatsoever for these events, even if they can afford to do
so. The result is that the Army has to lend them baby garments and
The Sister said in answer to my questions that there was a great deal
of poverty in their district where many men were out of work, a number
of them because they could find nothing to do. She thought that things
were certainly no better in this respect; indeed, the state of
depression was chronic. Owing to the bad summer of 1909, which
affected the hop-picking and other businesses, the destitution that
year was as great during the warm months as it usually is in the
The poor of this district, she said, 'generally live upon fried fish
and chips. You know they cannot cook, anyway they don't, and what they
do cook is all done in the frying-pan, which is also a very convenient
article to pawn. They don't understand economy, for when they have a
bit of money they will buy in food and have a big feast, not thinking
of the days when there will be little or nothing. Then, again, they
buy their goods in small portions; for instance, their coal by the
ha'p'orth or their wood by the farthing's-worth, which, in fact, works
out at a great profit to the dealers. Or they buy a farthing's-worth
of tea, which is boiled up again and again till it is awful-looking
I asked her what she considered to be the main underlying cause of
this misery. She answered that she thought it was due 'to the people
flocking from the country to the city,' thereby confirming an opinion
that I have long held and advanced. She added that the overcrowding in
the district was terrible, the regulations of the Public Health
Authorities designed to check it being 'a dead letter.' In one case
with which she had to do, a father, mother, and nine children lived in
a room that measured 9 ft. by 9 ft., and the baby came into the world
with the children looking on!
The general weekly rent for a room containing a family is 5_s_., or if
it is furnished, 7_s_. 6_d_. The Sister described to me the furniture
of one for the use of which this extra half-crown is charged. It
consisted of a rickety bed, two chairs, one without a back and one
without a seat, and a little shaky table. The floor was bare, and she
estimated the total value of these articles at about their weekly rent
of 2_s_. 6_d_., if, indeed, they were worth carrying away. In this
chamber dwelt a coachman who was out of place, his wife, and three or
four children, I wonder what arrangement these poor folk make as to
the use of the one chair that has a bottom. To occupy the other must
be an empty honour. With reference to this man the Sister remarked
that as a result of the introduction of motor vehicles, busmen,
cabmen, and blacksmiths were joining the ranks of her melancholy
clientele in numbers.
This and some similar stories caused me to reflect on the remarkable
contrast between rents in the country and in town. For instance, I own
about a dozen cottages in this village in which I write, and the
highest rent that I receive is 2_s_. 5_d_. a week. This is paid for a
large double dwelling, on which I had to spend over £100 quite
recently to convert two cottages into one. Also, there is a large
double garden thrown in, so large that a man can scarcely manage it in
his spare time, a pigsty, fruit trees, etc. All this for 1_d_. a week
less than is charged for the two broken chairs, the rickety bed, and
the shaky table! Again, for £10 a year, I let a comfortable farmhouse;
that is, £3 a year less than the out-of-work coachman pays for his
single room without the furniture. And yet, as the Sister said, people
continue to rush from the country to the towns!
Nor, it seems, do they always make the best of things when they get
there. Thus the Sister mentioned that the education which the girls
receive in the schools causes them to desire a more exalted lot in
life than that of a servant. So they try to find places in shops, or
jam factories, etc. Some get them, but many fail; and of those who
fail, a large proportion go to swell the mass of the unemployed, or to
recruit the ranks of an undesirable profession. She went so far as to
say that most of the domestic servants in London are not Cockneys at
all, but come from the country; adding, that the sad part of it was
that thousands of these poor girls, after proper training, could find
comfortable and remunerative employment without displacing others, as
the demand for domestic servants is much greater than the supply.
These are cold facts which seem to suggest that our system of free
education is capable of improvement.
It appears that all this district is a great centre of what is known
as 'sweating.' Thus artificial flowers, of which I was shown a fine
specimen, a marguerite, are made at a price of 1_s_. per gross, the
workers supplying their own glue. An expert hand, beginning at eight
in the morning and continuing till ten at night, can produce a gross
and a half of these flowers, and thus net 1_s_. 6_d_., minus the cost
of the glue, scissors, and sundries. The Officers of the Army find it
extremely difficult to talk to these poor people, who are invariably
too busy to listen. Therefore, some of them have learnt how to make
artificial flowers themselves, so that when they call they can join in
the family manufacture, and, while doing so, carry on their
For the making of match-boxes and the sticking on of the labels the
pay is 2-1/2_d_. per gross. Few of us, I think, would care to
manufacture 144 matchboxes for 2-1/2_d_. I learned that it is not
unusual to find little children of four years of age helping their
mothers to make these boxes.
The Slum Sisters attached to the Settlement, who are distinct from the
Maternity Nurses, visit the very poorest and worst neighbourhoods, for
the purpose of helping the sick and afflicted, and incidentally of
cleaning their homes. Also, they find out persons who are about
sixty-nine years of age, and contribute to their maintenance, so as to
save them from being forced to receive poor-law relief, which would
prevent them from obtaining their old-age pensions when they come to
Here is an illustration of the sort of case with which these Slum
Sisters have to deal; perhaps, I should say, the easiest sort of case.
An old man and his wife whom they visited, lived in a clean room. The
old woman fell sick, and before she died the Slum Sisters gave her a
bath, which, as these poor people much object to washing, caused all
the neighbours to say that they had killed her. After his wife's
death, the husband, who earned his living by selling laces on London
Bridge, went down in the world, and his room became filthy. The Slum
Sisters told him that they would clean up the place, but he forbade
them to touch the bed, which, he said, was full of mice and beetles.
As he knew that women dread mice and beetles, he thought that this
statement would frighten them. When he was out selling his laces, they
descended upon his room, where the first thing that they did was to
remove the said bed into the yard and burn it, replacing it with
another. On his return, the old man exclaimed: 'Oh, my darlings,
whatever _have_ you been doing?'
They still clean this room once a week.
The general impression left upon my mind, after visiting this place at
Hackney Road and conversing with its guardian angels, is, that in some
of its aspects, if not in all, civilization is a failure. Probably
thoughtful people made the same remark in ancient Rome, and in every
other city since cities were. The truth is, that so soon as its
children desert the land which bore them for the towns, these horrors
follow as surely as the night follows the day.
THE PICCADILLY MIDNIGHT WORK
GREAT TICHFIELD STREET
I visited this place a little before twelve o'clock on a summer night.
It is a small flat near Oxford Street, in which live two
women-Officers of the Army, who are engaged in the work of reclaiming
prostitutes. I may mention that for the last fourteen years the Major
in charge, night by night, has tramped the streets with this object.
The Titchfield Street flat is not in any sense a Home, but I saw a
small room in it, with two beds, where cases who may be rescued from
the streets, or come here in a time of trouble, can sleep until
arrangements are made for them to proceed to one of the Rescue
Institutions of the Army.
This work is one of the most difficult and comparatively unproductive
of any that the Army undertakes. The careers of these unfortunate
street women, who are nearly all of them very fine specimens of female
humanity, for the most part follow a rocket-like curve. The majority
of them begin by getting into trouble, at the end of which, perhaps,
they find themselves with a child upon their hands. Or they may have
been turned out of their homes, or some sudden misfortune may have
reduced them to destitution. At any rate, the result is that they take
to a loose life, and mayhap, after living under the protection of one
or two men, find themselves upon the streets. Sometimes, it may be
said to their credit, if that word can be used in this connexion, they
adopt this mode of life in order to support their child or children.
The Major informed me that if they are handsome they generally begin
with a period of great prosperity. One whom she knew earned about £30
a week, and a good many of them make as much as £1,000 a year, and pay
perhaps £6 weekly in rent.
A certain proportion of them are careful, open a bank account, save
money, retire, and get married. Generally, these keep their bank-books
in their stockings, which, in their peculiar mode of life, they find
to be the safest place, as they are very suspicious of each other, and
much afraid of being robbed. The majority of them, however, are not so
provident. They live in and for the moment, and spend their ill-gotten
gains as fast as they receive them.
Gradually they drift downwards. They begin in Piccadilly, and
progress, or rather retrogress, through Leicester Square on to
Tottenham Court Road and Oxford Street, and thence to the Euston Road,
ending their sad careers in Bishopsgate and Whitechapel. The Major
informed me that there are but very few in the Piccadilly
neighbourhood whom she knew when she took up this work, and that, as a
rule, they cannot stand the life for long. The irregular hours, the
exposure, the excitement, and above all the drink in which most of
them indulge, kill them out or send them to a poorhouse or the
She said, however, that as a class they have many virtues. For
instance, they are very kind-hearted, and will always help each other
in trouble. Also, most of them have affection for their children,
being careful to keep them, if possible, from any knowledge of their
mode of life. Further, they are charitable to the poor, and, in a way,
religious; or, perhaps, superstitious would be a better term. Thus,
they often go to church on Sundays, and do not follow their avocation
on Sunday nights. On New Year's Eve, their practice is to attend the
Watch Night services, where, doubtless, poor people, they make those
good resolutions that form the proverbial pavement of the road to
Hell. Nearly all of them drink more or less, as they say that they
could not live their life without stimulant. Moreover, their
profession necessitates their walking some miles every night.
For the most part these women lodge in pairs in their own flats, where
they pay about 35_s_. a week for three unfurnished rooms. The Officer
told me that often some despicable man, who is called a 'bully,' lives
on them, following them round the streets, and watching them. Even the
smartest girls are not infrequently the victims of such a man, who
knocks them about and takes money from them. Occasionally he may be a
husband or a relative. She added that as a class they are much better
behaved and less noisy than they used to be. This improvement,
however, is largely due to the increased strictness of the police.
These women do not decrease in number. In the Major's opinion, there
are as many or more of them on the streets as there were fourteen
years ago, although the brothels and the procuresses are less
numerous, and their quarters have shifted from Piccadilly to other
The Army methods of dealing, or rather of attempting to deal with this
utterly insoluble problem are simple enough. The Officers walk the
streets every night from about twelve to two and distribute cards in
three languages according to the nationality of the girl to whom these
are offered. Here they are in English, French, and German:--
Mrs. Booth will gladly help any Girl
or Woman in need of a friend.
79 Great Titchfield Street,
or 259 Mare Street, Hackney, N.E.
[Illustration: BONNES NOUVELLS.]
Vous avez une amie
qui est disposée à
79 Great Titchfield Street,
MADAM BOOTH will herzlich gerne Jedem
Mädchen oder Jeder Frau helfen, die sich
in Noth auf eine Freundin befinden.
259 Mare Street, Hackney,
70 Great Titchfield Street, W.
Most of the girls to whom they are offered will not take them, but a
good number do and, occasionally, the seed thus sown bears fruit. Thus
the woman who takes the card may come to Great Titchfield Street and
be rescued in due course. More frequently, however, she will give a
false address, or make an appointment which she does not keep, or will
say that it is too late for her to change her life. But this fact does
not always prevent such a woman from trying to help others by sending
young girls who have recently taken to the trade to the Titchfield
Street Refuge in the hope that they may be induced to abandon their
Occasionally the Army has midnight suppers in its Regent Hall for
these women, who attend in large numbers, perhaps out of curiosity. At
the last supper nearly 300 'swell girls' were present and listened to
the prayers and the exhortations to amend their lives. Sometimes, too,
the Officers attend them when they are sick or dying. Once they buried
one of the women, who died whilst under their care, holding a midnight
funeral over her at their hall in Oxford Street.
It was attended by hundreds of the sisterhood, and the Major described
the scene as terrible. The women were seized with hysterics, and burst
into shrieks and sobs. They even tried to open the coffin in order to
kiss the dead girl who lay within.
Amongst many other cases, I was informed of a black girl called
Diamond, so named because she wore real diamonds on her dresses, which
dresses cost over £100 apiece. The Army tried to help her in vain, and
wrote her many letters. In the end she died in an Infirmary, when all
the letters were found carefully hidden away among her belongings and
returned to the Major.
The average number of rescues compassed, directly or indirectly, by
the Piccadilly Midnight work is about fifty a year. This is not a very
great result; but after all the taking of even a few people from this
hellish life and their restoration to decency and self-respect is well
worth the cost and labour of the mission. The Officers told me that
they meet with but little success in the case of those women who are
in their bloom and earning great incomes. It can scarcely be
otherwise, for what has the Army to offer them in place of their
gaudy, glittering life of luxury and excitement?
The way of transgressors is hard, but the way of repentance is harder;
at any rate, while the transgressor is doing well. On the one hand
jewels and champagne, furs and motors, and on the other prayers that
talk of death and judgment, plain garments made by the wearer's
labour, and at the end the drudgery of earning an honest livelihood,
perhaps as a servant. Human nature being what it is, it seems scarcely
wonderful that these children of pleasure cling to the path of 'roses'
and turn from that of 'thorns.'
With those that are growing old and find themselves broken in body and
in spirit, who are thrust aside in the fierce competition of their
trade in favour of younger rivals; those who find the wine in their
tinsel cup turning, or turned, to gall, the case is different. They
are sometimes, not always, glad to creep to such shelter from the
storms of life as the Army can offer, and there work out their moral
and physical salvation. For what bitterness is there like to that
which must be endured by the poor, broken woman of the streets, as
scorned, spat on, thrust aside, she sinks from depth to depth into the
last depth of all, striving to drown her miseries with drugs or drink,
if so she may win forgetfulness even for an hour?
Sometimes, too, these patient toilers in the deep of midnight sin
succeed in dragging from the brink those that have but dipped their
feet in its dark waters. _Nemo repente fuit turpissimus_--no one
becomes altogether filthy in an hour--runs the old Roman saying, which
is as true to-day as it was 2,000 years ago, and whether it be spoken
of body or of soul, it is easier to wash the feet than the whole
being. When they understand what lies before them certain of the young
shrink back and grasp Mercy's outstretched arms.
One night about twelve o'clock, together with Lieut.-Colonel Jolliffe,
an Officer of the Army who was dressed in plain clothes, I accompanied
the Major and the lady who is her colleague, to Leicester Square and
its neighbourhood, and there watched their methods of work, following
them at a little distance. Dressed in their uniform they mingled with
the women who marched the pavements, and now and again, with curiously
swift and decisive steps glided up to one of them, whispered a few
earnest words into her ear, and proffered a printed ticket. Most of
those spoken to walked on stonily as people do when they meet an
undesirable acquaintance whom they do not wish to recognize. Some
thrust past them rudely; some hesitated and with a hard laugh went
their way; but a few took the tickets and hid them among their laces.
So far as the work was concerned that was all there was to see.
Nothing dramatic happened; no girl fled to them imploring help or
asking to be saved from the persecutions of a man; no girl even
insulted them--for these Officers to be insulted is a thing unknown.
All I saw was the sowing of the seed in very stony ground, where not
one kern out of a thousand is like to germinate and much less to grow.
Yet as experience proves, occasionally it does both germinate and
grow, yes, and bloom and come to the harvest of repentance and
redemption. It is for this that these unwearying labourers scatter
their grain from night to night, that at length they may garner into
their bosoms a scanty but a priceless harvest.
It was a strange scene. The air was hot and heavy, the sky was filled
with black and lowering clouds already laced with lightnings. The
music-halls and restaurants had given out their crowds, the midnight
mart was open. Everywhere were women, all finely dressed, most of them
painted, as could be seen in the glare of the electric lights, some of
them more or less excited with drink, but none turbulent or noisy.
Mixed up with these were the bargainers, men of every degree, the most
of them with faces unpleasant to consider.
Some had made their pact and were departing. I noticed one young girl
whose looks would have drawn attention anywhere, whispering an address
from beneath an enormous feathered hat to the driver of a taxicab,
while her companion, a pleasant-looking, fresh-coloured boy, for he
was scarcely more, entered the vehicle, a self-satisfied air upon his
face. She sprang in also, and the cab with its occupants glided away
out of my ken for ever.
Here and there stalwart, quiet policemen requested loiterers to move
on, and the loiterers obeyed and re-formed in groups behind them; here
and there a respectable woman pushed her way through the throng,
gathering up her skirts as she did so and glancing covertly at this
unaccustomed company out of the corners of her eyes.
While watching all these sights we lost touch of the Salvation Army
ladies, who wormed their way through the crowd as easily and quickly
as a snake does through undergrowth, and set out to find them. Big
drops began to fall, the thunder growled, and in a moment the
concourse commenced to melt. Five minutes later the rain was falling
fast and the streets had emptied. That night's market was at an end.
No farmer watches the weather more anxiously than do these painted
women in their muslins and gold-laced shoes.
Meanwhile, their night's work done, the Salvation Army ladies were
tramping through the wet back to Titchfield Street, for they do not
spend money on cabs, and the buses had ceased to run.
THE ANTI-SUICIDE BUREAU
This is a branch of the Army's work with which I have been more or
less acquainted for some years.
The idea of an Anti-Suicide Bureau arose in the Army four or five
years ago; but every one seems to have forgotten with whom it actually
originated. I suppose that it grew, like Topsy, or was discovered
simultaneously by several Officers, like a new planet by different
astronomers studying the heavens in faith and hope. At any rate, the
results of the idea are remarkable. Thus in London alone 1,064 cases
were dealt with in the year 1909, and of those cases it is estimated
that all but about a dozen were turned from their fatal purpose. Let
us halve these figures, and say that 500 lives were actually saved,
that 500 men live to-day in and about London who otherwise would be
dead by their own hands and buried in dishonoured graves. Or let us
even quarter them, and surely this remains a wonderful work,
especially when we remember that London is by no means the only place
in which it is being carried on.
How is it done? the reader may ask. I answer by knowledge of human
nature, by the power of sympathy, by gentle kindness. A poor wretch
staggers into a humble little room at the Salvation Army Headquarters
in Queen Victoria Street. He unfolds an incoherent tale. He is an
unpleasant and disturbing person whom any lawyer or business man would
get rid of as soon as possible. He vapours about self-destruction, he
hints at dark troubles with his wife. He produces drugs or weapons--a
point at which most people would certainly show him out. But the
Officers in charge do nothing of the sort. They laugh at him or give
him a cup of tea. They bid him brace himself together, and tell them
the truth and nothing but the truth. Then out pours the awful tale,
which, however bad it may be, they listen to quite unmoved though not
unconcerned, for they hear such every day. When it is finished, they
ask coolly enough why, in the name of all that their visitor
reverences or holds dear, he considers it necessary to commit suicide
for a trifling job like that. A new light dawns upon the desperate
man. He answers, because he can see no other way out.
Why, exclaims the Officer, there are a dozen ways out. Let us find one
of them. You, A., have been faithless to your wife. Well, when the
matter is explained to her, I daresay she will forgive you. You, B.,
have defrauded your employer. Well, employers are not always
relentless. I'll call on him this evening and talk the matter over.
You, C., are hopelessly in debt through horse-racing or speculation.
Well, at the worst you can go through the Court and start afresh. You,
D., have committed a crime. Go and own up to it like a man, stand your
trial, and work out your sentence. I daresay it won't be so very heavy
if you take that course, and we will look after you when it is over.
You, E., have been brought into this state through your miserable
vices, drink, or whatever they may be. Cure yourself of the
vices--we'll show you how--don't crown them by cutting your throat
like a cur. You, F., have been afflicted with great sorrows. Well,
those sorrows have some purpose and some meaning. There's always a
dawn beyond the night; wait for that dawn; it will come here or
And so on, and on, through all the gamut of human sin and misery.
Of course, there are cases in which the Army fails. As I have said,
there were about a dozen of these last year, six of which, if I
remember right, occurred with startling rapidity one after the other.
The Suicide Officers of the Army always take up the daily paper with
fear and trembling, and not infrequently find that the man whom they
thought they had consoled and set upon a different path, has been
discovered dead by drowning in the river, or by poison in the streets,
or by whatever it may be. But everything has its proportion of
failures, and where intending suicides are concerned 1 or 2 per cent,
or on the quarter basis that I have adopted as beyond question of
sincerity of intent, 4 or 8 per cent is not a large average. Indeed,
20 per cent would not be large, or even 50 per cent. But these figures
do not occur.
Of course, it is suggested that many of those who drift into the
Anti-Suicide Bureau have no real intention of making away with
themselves, but that they come there only to see what they can get in
the way of money or other comfort. As regards money, the answer is
that, except very occasionally, the Army gives none, for the simple
reason that it has none to give. For the rest the fatal cases which
happen show that there is a grim purpose at work in the minds of many
of the applicants. But I repeat, let us halve the figures, let us even
quarter them, which, as Euclid remarked, is absurd, and even then what
are we to conclude?
Before proceeding with my comments upon this work I ought to state,
perhaps, that the Army has various branches of this Anti-Suicide
Crusade. Thus, it is at work in almost all our big cities, and also in
America, in Australia, and in Japan. The Japanese Bureau was opened
last year with very good results. This is the more remarkable in a
country where ancient tradition and immemorial custom hallow the
system of _hara-kiri_ in any case of trouble or disgrace.
Moreover, the idea is spreading, Count Tolstoy is said to have been
interested in it. Applications have been received from the Hague for
particulars of the Army methods in the matter. Similar work is being
carried out in Vienna, not by the Army, but on its lines. The Army has
been informed that if it will open an Anti-Suicide Bureau in Budapest,
office accommodation, etc., will be found for it. And so forth.
Colonel Unsworth who, until recently had charge of the Anti-Suicide
Bureau from its commencement, is of opinion that suicide is very much
on the increase, a statement that it would be difficult to dispute in
view of the number of cases recorded daily in the local Press. For
instance, I read one on this morning of writing, in a Norfolk paper,
where a farmer had blown out his brains, to all appearance because he
had a difference of opinion with his wife as to whether he should, or
should not, take on another farm.
Colonel Unsworth attributed this sad state of affairs to sundry
causes. The first of these was the intense and ever-increasing nervous
pressure of our time. The second, the spread of fatalism, The third,
the advance of materialistic ideas, and of the general disbelief in
the doctrine of future retribution. The fourth, a certain noticeable
return in such matters to the standard of Pagan nations, especially of
ancient Rome, where it was held that if things went wrong and life
became valueless, or even uninteresting, to bring it to an end was in
no sense shameful but praiseworthy. In illustration of this point, he
quoted a remark said to have been made by a magistrate not long ago,
to the effect that in certain conditions a man was not to be blamed
for taking his own life.
His fifth reason was that circumstances arise in which some people
convince themselves that their deaths would benefit their families.
Thus, insurances may fall in, for, after one or two premiums have been
paid, many offices take the risk of suicide. Or they may know that
when they are gone, wealthy relatives will take care of their
children, who will thus be happier and better off than these are while
they, the fathers, live. Wrong as it may be, this, indeed, is an
attitude with which it is difficult not to feel a certain sympathy.
After all, we are told that there is no greater love than that of a
man who lays down his life for his friend, though there ran be no
doubt that the saying was not intended to include this kind of laying
down of life.
Colonel Unsworth's sixth cause was the increasing atrophy of the
public conscience. He stated that suicide is rarely preached against
from the pulpit, as drunkenness is for instance. Further, a jury can
seldom be induced to bring in a verdict of _felo-de-se._ Even where
the victim was obviously and, perhaps painfully sane, his act is put
down to temporary insanity.
Other causes are drink, hereditary disposition, madness in all its
protean shapes; incurable disease, unwillingness to face the
consequences of sin or folly; the passion of sexual love, which is
sometimes so mighty as to amount to madness; the effects of utter
grief such as result from the loss of those far more beloved than
self, of which an instance is at hand in the case of the Officer in
charge of the Shelter at Great Peter Street, Westminster, mentioned
earlier in this book, who, it may be remembered, tried to kill himself
after the death of his wife and child; and lastly, where women are
concerned, terror and shame at the prospect of giving birth to a
child, whose appearance in the world is not sanctioned by law or
Suicide among women is, however, comparatively rare, a fact which
suggests either that the causes which produce it press on or affect
them less, or that in this particular, their minds are better balanced
than are those of men. I was told, at any rate, that but few women
apply to the Suicide Bureau of the Army for help in this temptation;
though, perhaps, that may be due to the greater secretiveness of the
Speaking generally, this magnitude of the evil to be attacked may be
gauged from the fact that about 3,800 people die by their own hands in
England and Wales every year, a somewhat appalling total.
Intending suicides come into the hands of the Army Bureau in various
ways. Some of them see notices in the Press descriptive of this branch
of the Social Work. Some of them are found by policemen in desperate
circumstances and brought to the Bureau, and some are sent there from
different localities by Salvation Army Officers.
I have looked through the records of numbers of these cases, but, for
obvious reasons, it is difficult to give a full and accurate
description of any of them. The reader, therefore, must be content to
accept my assurance of their genuine nature. One or two, however, may
be alluded to with becoming vagueness. Here is an example of a not
infrequent kind, when a person arrives at the office having already
attempted the deed.
A business man who had recently made a study of agnostic literature,
had become involved in certain complications, which resulted in a
quarrel with his wife. His means not being sufficient to the support
of a double establishment, he took the train to London with a bottle
of sulphonal in his pocket (not a drug to be recommended for his
purpose) and swallowed tabloids all the way to town. When he had taken
seventy-five grains, and the bottle, as I saw, was two-thirds empty,
he found that the drug worked in a way he did not expect. Instead of
killing him, it awoke his religious susceptibilities, which the course
of agnostic literature had scotched but not killed, and he began to
wonder with some earnestness whether, after all, there might not be a
Hereafter which, in the circumstances, he did not care to face.
In this acute perplexity he bethought him of the Salvation Army, and
arrived at the Bureau in a state of considerable excitement, as
quickly as a taxicab could bring him. A doctor and a fortnight in
hospital did the rest. The Army found him another situation in place
of the one which he had lost, and composed his differences with his
wife. They are now both Salvationists and very happy. So, in this
instance, all's well that ends well.
_Case Two._--A man, in a responsible position, and of rather
extravagant habits, married a wife of more extravagant habits, and
found that, whatever the proverb may say, it costs more to keep two
than one. His money matters became desperately involved, but, being
afraid to confide in his wife, he spent a Sunday afternoon in trying
to make up his mind whether he would shoot or drown himself. While he
was thus engaged, a Salvation Army band happened to pass his door, and
reminded him of what he had read about the Anti-Suicide Bureau.
Postponing decision as to the exact method of his departure from this
earth, he called there, and was persuaded to make a clean breast of
the matter to his wife.
Afterwards the Army took up his extremely complicated affairs. I saw a
pile of documents relating to them that must have been at least 4 ins.
thick. The various money-lenders were interviewed, and persuaded to
accept payment in weekly or monthly instalments. The account was
almost square when I saw it, and the person concerned extremely happy
and grateful. I should say that, in this case, a lawyer's bill for the
work which was done for nothing would have amounted to quite £50.
In another somewhat similar case, that of an official who had tampered
with moneys in his charge, though this was not discovered, some of the
creditors had placed the business in the hands of
debt-collecting-agencies, than whom, said Colonel Unsworth, 'there are
no harder or more cruel creditors.' At any rate, they drove this poor
man almost to madness, with the usual result. A friend brought him to
the Army, who shouldered his affairs, dealt with the debt-collecting
agencies, obtained help from his connexions, and paid off what was
owing by instalments. He and his family are now again quite
[Illustration: AT ONE OF THE ARMY FOOD DEPOTS.]
_Case Three_.--A man was cursed with such a fearful temper that he
could keep no situation. He came to London in a state of fury, with a
razor in his pocket. Happening to see the words 'Salvation Army
Shelter' on a building, it occurred to him to hear what the Suicide
Officers had to say before he cut his throat. They dealt with the
matter, and showed him the error of his way. He is now in a very good
single-handed situation abroad where, as he cannot talk the language,
he finds it difficult to quarrel with those about him.
_Case Four_.--Telephone operator, who was driven mad by that dreadful
instrument and by domestic worries. The Army Officers saved the man
and smoothed over the domestic worries; but how he gets on with the
telephone instruments is not recorded.
_Case Five_.--Unsuitable marriage and bad temper. The wife had become
involved in some trouble in early life, and unwisely, as it proved,
confessed to the husband, who brought it up against her every time
there was a quarrel between them. In this instance, also, suicide was
averted and the domestic differences were arranged.
_Case Six_--A man in a business firm, married, with children, was
through no fault of his own thrown out of work, owing to the
appointment of a new manager. He came at last to the Embankment, and
afterwards applied for a job in answer to an advertisement. The
advertiser told him it was a pity that as he had been so near the
river he did not go into it. The man determined to commit suicide; but
the Officers dissuaded him from this course and helped him. He
returned a year later in a condition of considerable prosperity,
having worked his way to a Colony where he is now doing extremely
well, his visit to England being in connexion with the business in
which he had become a partner.
And so on _ad infinitum._ I might tell many such stories, some of them
of a much more tragic character than those I have instanced, but
refrain from doing so lest by chance they should be identified,
especially where the individuals concerned belonged to the upper
strata of society. Perhaps enough has been said, however, to show what
a great work is being done by the Army in this Department, where in
London alone it deals with several would-be suicides every day.
Of course, some of these people are frauds. For instance, one of the
Officers told me that not long ago a medical man, who was evidently a
drunkard, called on him and said that he would commit suicide unless
money were given to him. He was informed that this was against the
rules; whereon the man produced a bottle and said that if the money
were not forthcoming, he would drink its contents and make an end of
himself in the office. As may be imagined the Officer went through an
anxious moment, not quite knowing what to do. However, he looked the
man over, summed him up to the best of his judgment and ability, and
coming to the conclusion that he was a bully and a braggart, said that
he might do what he liked. The man swallowed the contents of the
bottle, exclaiming that he would be dead in a few minutes, and a pause
ensued, during which the Officer confessed to me that he felt very
uncomfortable. The end of it was that his visitor said, with a laugh,
that 'he would not like to cumber the Salvation Army with his corpse,'
and walked out of the room. The draught which he had taken was
As I have mentioned, however, a proportion of the cases are quite
irreclaimable. They come and consult the Army, then depart and do the
deed. Six that can be traced have been lost in this way during the
last few months.
Colonel Unsworth explained to me what I had already guessed, that this
business of dealing with scores and hundreds of despairing beings
standing on the very edge of the grave, is a terrible strain upon any
man. The responsibility becomes too great, and he who has to bear it
is apt to be crushed beneath its weight. Every morning he reads his
paper with a sensation of nervous dread, fearing lest among the police
news he should find a brief account of the discovery of some corpse
which he can identify as that of an individual with whom he had
pleaded at his office on the yesterday and in vain.
On former occasions when I visited him, Colonel Unsworth used to show
me a small museum of poisons, knives, revolvers, etc., which he had
taken from those who proposed to use them to cut the Gordian knot of
Now, however, he has but few of these dreadful relics. I asked him
what he had done with the rest. He answered that he had destroyed
'The truth is,' he added, 'that after some years of this business I
can no longer bear to look at the horrid things; they get upon my
If I may venture to offer a word of advice to the Chiefs of the
Salvation Army, I would suggest that the very responsible position of
first Anti-Suicide Officer in London is not one that any man should be
asked to fill in perpetuity.
WORK IN THE PROVINCES
When planning this little book I had it in my mind to deal at some
length with the Provincial Social Work of the Army, Now I find,
however, that considerations of space must be taken into account; also
that it is not needful to set out all the details of that work, seeing
that to do so would involve a great deal of repetition.
The Salvation Army machines for the regeneration of fallen men and
women, if I may so describe them, are, after all, of much the same
design, and vary for the most part only in the matter of size. The
material that goes through those machines is, it is true, different,
yet even its infinite variety, if considered in the mass, has a
certain similitude. For these reasons, therefore, I will only speak of
what is done by the Army in three of the great Midland and Northern
cities that I have visited, namely, Manchester, Liverpool, and
Glasgow, and of that but briefly, although my notes concerning it run
to over 100 typed pages.
The lady in charge of the Slum Settlement in Liverpool informed me
that the poverty in that city is very great, and during the past
winter of 1919 was really terrible owing to the scarceness of work in
the docks. The poor, however, are not so overcrowded, and rents are
cheaper than in London, the cost of two dwelling-cellars being about
2_s_. 6_d_., and of a room about 3_s_. a week. The sisterhood of
fallen women is, she added, very large in Liverpool; but most of these
belong to a low class.
In this city the Army has one Institution for women called the 'Ann
Fowler' Memorial Home, which differs a good deal from the majority of
those that I have seen. It is a Lodging-Home for Women, and is
designed for the accommodation of persons of a better class than those
who generally frequent such places. This building, which was provided
in memory of her mother by Miss Fowler, a local philanthropist, at a
cost of about £6,000, was originally a Welsh Congregational chapel,
that has been altered to suit the purpose to which it is now put. It
is extremely well fitted-up with separate cubicles made of oak
panelling, good lavatory accommodation, and kitchens in which is made
some of the most excellent soup that I ever tasted.
Yet strange to say this place is not as much appreciated as it might
be, as may be judged from the fact that although it is designed to
hold 113 lodgers, when I visited it there were not more than between
forty and fifty. This is remarkable, as the charge made is only 4_d_.
per night, or 2_s_. a week, even for a cubicle, and an excellent
breakfast of bread and butter, fish, and tea can be had for 2_d_.
Other meals are supplied on a like scale, with the result that a woman
employed in outside work can live in considerable comfort in a room or
cubicle of her own for about 8_s_. a week.
The lady in charge told me, however, that there are reasons for this
state of affairs. One is that it provides for people of a rather
higher class than usual, who, of course, are not so numerous as those
lower in the social scale.
The principal reason, however, is prejudice. It is known that most of
the women accommodated in the Army Shelters are what are known as
'fallen' or 'drunks.' Therefore, occupants of a Home devoted to a
higher section of society fear lest they should be tarred with the
same brush in the eyes of their associates.
Here is a story which illustrates this point which I remember hearing
in the United States. A woman, whose inebriety was well known, was
picked up absolutely dead drunk in an American city and taken by an
Officer of the Army to one of its Homes and put to bed. In the morning
she awoke and, guessing where she was lodged from various signs and
tokens, such as texts upon the wall, began to scream for her clothes.
An attendant, who thought that she had developed delirium tremens, ran
up and asked what was the matter.
'Matter?' ejaculated the sot, 'the matter is that if I don't get out
of this ---- place in double quick time, _I shall lose my character!_'
The women who avail themselves of this 'Ann Fowler' Home are of all
ages and in various employments. One, I was told, was a lady separated
from her husband, whose father, now dead, had been the mayor of a
A Liverpool Institution of another class, known as 'The Hollies,' is
an Industrial Home for fallen women, drunkards, thieves, and
incorrigible girls. It holds thirty-eight inmates and is always full,
a good many of these being sent to the place from Police-courts whence
they are discharged under the First Offenders Acts.
I saw these women at their evening prayers. The singing was hearty and
spontaneous, and they all seemed happy enough. Still, the faces of
most of them (they varied in age from forty-six to sixteen) showed
traces of life's troubles, but one or two were evidently persons of
some refinement. Their histories, which would fill volumes, must be
omitted. Suffice it to say that this Home, like all the others, is
extremely well-arranged and managed, and is doing a most excellent and
When the women are believed to be cured of their evil habits, whatever
they may be, they are for the most part sent out to service. There are
two rooms in the place to which they can return during their holidays,
or when they are changing situations, at a charge of 5s. a week. This
many of them like to do.
Next door to 'The Hollies' is another Home where young girls with
their illegitimate babies, and also a few children, are accommodated.
It is arranged to hold twenty-four mothers, and is generally full. A
charge of 5s. a week is supposed to be made, but unless the cases are
sent from the workhouse, when the Guardians pay, in practice little is
recovered from the patients. When they are well again, their babies
are put out to nurse, as at the London Maternity Home, and the girls
are sent to service, no difficulty being experienced in finding them
places. During the two years that this Home had been open eighty-two
girls had passed through it, and of these, the Matron informed me,
there were but ten who were not doing so well as they might. The rest
were in employment of one sort or another, and seemed to be in the way
of completely regaining their characters.
I visited this place late at night, and in the room devoted to
children, as distinct from infants, saw one girl of nine with a
curious history. This child had been twelve times in the hands of the
police before her father brought her to the Army on their suggestion.
Her mania was to run away from home, where it does not appear that she
was ill-treated, and to sleep in the streets, on one occasion for as
long as five nights. This child had a very curious face, and even in
her sleep, as I saw her, there was about it something wild and
defiant. When the Matron turned her over she did not yawn or cry, but
uttered a kind of snarl. I suppose that here is an instance of
atavism, that the child throw back for thousands or tens of thousands
of years, to when her progenitors were savages, and that their
primitive instincts have reasserted themselves in her, although she
was born in the twentieth century. She had been ten months in the Home
and was doing well. Indeed, the Matron told me that they had taken her
out and given her opportunities of running away, but that she had
never attempted to avail herself of them.
The Officer in charge informed me that there is much need for a
Maternity Hospital in Liverpool.
There are also Institutions for men in Liverpool, but these I must
THE MEN'S SOCIAL WORK
The Officer in charge of the Men's Social Work in Manchester told me
the same story that I had heard in Liverpool as to the prevailing
distress. He said, 'It has been terrible the last few winters. I have
never seen anything like it. We know because they come to us, and the
trouble is more in a fixed point than in London. Numbers and numbers
come, destitute of shelter or food or anything. The cause is want of
employment. There is no work. Many cases, of course, go down through
drink, but the most cannot get work. The fact is that there are more
men than there is work for them to do, and this I may say is a regular
thing, winter and summer.'
A sad statement surely, and one that excites thought.
I asked what became of this residue who could not find work. His
answer was, 'They wander about, die off, and so on.'
A still sadder statement, I think.
The Major in charge is a man of great organising ability, force of
character, and abounding human sympathy. Yet he was once one of the
melancholy army of wasters. Some seventeen years ago he came into the
Army through one of its Shelters, a drunken, out-of-place
cabinet-maker, who had been tramping the streets. They gave him work
and he 'got converted.' Now he is the head of the Manchester Social
Institutions, engaged in finding work for or converting thousands of
At first the Army had only one establishment in Manchester, which used
to be a cotton mill. Now it is a Shelter for 200 men. Then it took
others, some of which are owned and some hired, among them a great
'Elevator' on the London plan, where waste paper is sorted and sold.
The turn-over here was over £8,000 in 1909, and may rise to £12,000. I
forget how many men it finds work for, but every week some twenty-five
new hands come in, and about the same number pass out.
This is a wonderful place, filled with what appears to be rubbish, but
which is really valuable material. Among this rubbish all sorts of
strange things are to be found. Thus I picked out of it, and kept as a
souvenir, a beautifully-bound copy of Wesley's Hymns, published about
a hundred years ago. Lying near it was an early edition of Scott's
'Marmion.' This Elevator more than pays its way; indeed the Army is
saving money out of it, which is put by to purchase other buildings.
Then there are houses where the people employed in the paper-works
lodge, a recently-acquired home for the better class of men, which was
once a mansion of the De Clifford family, and afterwards a hospital,
and a store where every kind of oddment is sold by Dutch auction.
These articles are given to the Army, and among the week's collection
I saw clocks, furniture, bicycles, a parrot cage, and a crutch. Not
long ago the managers of this store had a goat presented to them,
which nearly ate them out of house and home, as no one would buy it,
and they did not like to send the poor beast to the butcher.
In these various Shelters and Institutions I saw some strange
characters. One had been an electrical engineer, educated under
Professor Owen, at Cardiff College. He came into money, and gambled
away £13,000 on horse-racing, although he told me that he won as much
as £8,000 on one Ascot meeting. His subsequent history is a story in
itself, one too long to set out; but the end of it, in his own words,
was 'Four years ago I came here, and, thank God! I am going on all
Why do not the writers of naturalistic novels study Salvation Army
Shelters? In any one of them they would find more material than could
be used up in ten lifetimes; though, personally, I confess I am
content to read such stories in the secret annals of the various
Another man, a very pleasant and humorous person, who was once a
Church worker and a singer in the choir, etc., when, in his own words,
he used 'to put on religion with his Sunday clothes and take it off
again with them,' came to grief through sheer love of amusement, such
as that which is to be found in music-halls and theatres. His habit
was to spend the money of an insurance company by which he was
employed, in taking out the young lady to whom he was engaged, to such
entertainments. Ultimately, of course, he was found out, and, when
starving on the road, determined to commit suicide. The Salvationists
found him in the nick of time, and now he is foreman of their
Another, at the ripe age of twenty-four, had been twenty-seven times
in prison. His father was in prison, his eldest brother committed
suicide in prison by throwing himself over the banisters. Also, he had
two brothers at present undergoing penal servitude, who, when he was a
little fellow, used to pass him through windows to open doors in
houses which they were burgling.
I suggested that it was a poor game and that he had better give it up.
He answered:--'I shall never do it again, sir, God helping me.'
Really I think he meant what he said.
Another, in the Chepstow Street Shelter, where he acted as
night-watchman, was discharged from Portland, after serving a fifteen
years' sentence for manslaughter. His trouble was that he killed a man
in a fight, and as he had fought him before and had a grudge against
him, was very nearly hanged for his pains. This man earned £9 in some
way or other during his sentence, which he sent to his wife.
Afterwards, he discovered that she had been living with another man,
who died and left her well off. But she has never refunded the £9, nor
will she have anything to do with her husband.
Oakhill House is a Rescue Home for women, which was given to the Army
by Mrs. Crossley, a well-known local lady. It deals with prison,
fallen, inebriate, and preventive cases. At the time of my visit there
were sixty-three inmates, but when a new adjacent building is
completed there will be room for more. There is a wonderful laundry in
this Home, where the most beautiful washing is done at extremely
moderate prices. The ironing and starching room was a busy sight, but
what I chiefly remember about it was the spectacle of one melancholy
old man, the only male among that crowd of women, seated by a
steam-boiler that drove the machinery, to which it was his business to
attend. (No woman can be persuaded to look after a boiler.) In the
midst of all those females he had the appearance of a superannuated
and disillusioned Turk contemplating his too extensive establishment
and reflecting on its monthly bills.
The matron in charge informed me that even for these rough women there
is no system of punishment whatsoever. No girl is ever restricted in
her food, or put on bread and water, or struck, or shut away by
herself. The Army maxim is that it is its mission not to punish but to
try to reform. If in any particular case its methods of gentleness
fail, which they rarely do, it is considered best that the case should
depart, very possibly to return again later on.
She added that although many of these women had committed assaults,
and even fought the Police, not one of them attacks another in the
Home once in a year, and that during her twenty years of work,
although she had lived among some of the worst women in England, she
had never received a single blow. As an illustration of what the
Salvation Army understands by this word 'work' I may state that
throughout these twenty years, except for the allotted annual
fortnight, this lady has had no furlough.
THE MEN'S SOCIAL WORK
I saw the Brigadier in charge of the Men's Social Work in Glasgow at a
great central Institution where hundreds of poor people sleep every
night. The inscriptions painted on the windows give a good idea of its
character. Here are some of them: 'Cheap beds.' 'Cheap food.' 'Waste
paper collected.' 'Missing friends found.' 'Salvation for all.'
In addition to this Refuge there is an 'Elevator' of the usual type,
in which about eighty men were at work, and an establishment called
the Dale House Home, a very beautiful Adams' house, let to the Army at
a small rent by an Eye Hospital that no longer requires it. This house
accommodates ninety-seven of the men who work in the Elevator.
The Brigadier informed me that the distress at Glasgow was very great
last year. Indeed, during that year of 1909 the Army fed about 35,000
men at the docks, and 65,000 at the Refuge, a charity which caused
them to be officially recognized for the first time by the
Corporation, that sent them a cheque in aid of their work. Now,
however, things have much improved, owing to the building of
men-of-war and the forging of great guns for the Navy. At Parkhead
Forge alone 8,000 men are being employed upon a vessel of the
Dreadnought class, which will occupy them for a year and a half. So it
would seem that these monsters of destruction have their peaceful
Glasgow, he said, 'is a terrible place for drink, especially of
methylated spirits and whisky.' Drink at the beginning, I need hardly
remark, means destitution at the end, so doubtless this failing
accounts for a large proportion of its poverty.
The Men's Social Work of the Army in Glasgow, which is its
Headquarters in Scotland, is spreading in every direction, not only in
that city itself, but beyond it to Paisley, Greenock, and Edinburgh.
Indeed, the Brigadier has orders 'to get into Dundee and Aberdeen as
soon as possible.' I asked him how he would provide the money. He
answered, 'Well, by trusting in God and keeping our powder dry.'
As regards the Army's local finance the trouble is that owing to the
national thriftiness it is harder to make commercial ventures pay in
Scotland than in England. Thus I was informed that in Glasgow the
Corporation collects and sells its own waste paper, which means that
there is less of that material left for the Salvation Army to deal
with. In England, so far as I am aware, the waste-paper business is
not a form of municipal trading that the Corporations of great cities
Another leading branch of the Salvation Army effort in Scotland is its
Prison work. It is registered in that country as a Prisoners' Aid
Society, and the doors of every jail in the land are open to its
Officers. I saw the Army's prison book, in which are entered the
details of each prison case with which it is dealing. Awful enough
some of them were.
I remember two that caught my eye as I turned its pages. The first was
that of a man who had gone for a walk with his wife, from whom he was
separated, cut her head off, and thrown it into a field. The second
was that of another man, or brute beast, who had taken his child by
the heels and dashed out its brains against the fireplace. It may be
wondered why these gentle creatures still adorn the world. The
explanation seems to be that in Scotland there is a great horror of
capital punishment, which is but rarely inflicted.
My recollection is that the Officer who visited them had hopes of the
permanent reformation of both these men; or, at any rate, that there
were notes in his book to this effect.
I saw many extraordinary cases in this Glasgow Refuge, some of whom
had come there through sheer misfortune. One had been a medical man
who, unfortunately, was left money and took to speculating on the
Stock Exchange. He was a very large holder of shares in a South
African mine, which he bought at 1s. 6d. These shares now stand at £7;
but, unhappily for him, his brokers dissolved partnership, and neither
of them would carry over his account. So it was closed down just at
the wrong time, with the result that he lost everything, and finally
came to the streets. He never drank or did anything wrong; it was, as
he said, 'simply a matter of sheer bad luck.'
Another was a Glasgow silk merchant, who made a bad debt of £3,000
that swamped him. Afterwards he became paralysed, but recovered. He
had been three years cashier of this Shelter.
Another arrived at the Shelter in such a state that the Officer in
charge told me he was obliged to throw his macintosh round him to hide
his nakedness. He was an engineer who took a public-house, and helped
himself freely to his stock-in-trade, with the result that he became a
frightful drunkard, and lost £1,700. He informed me that he used to
consume no less than four bottles of whisky a day, and suffered from
delirium tremens several times. In the Shelter--I quote his own
words--'I gave my heart to God, and after that all desire for drink
and wrongdoing' (he had not been immaculate in other ways) 'gradually
left me. From 1892 I had been a drunkard. After my conversion, in less
than three weeks I ceased to have any desire for drink.'
This man became night-watchman in the Shelter, a position which he
held for twelve months. He said: 'I was promoted to be Sergeant; when
I put on my uniform and stripes, I reckoned myself a man again. Then I
was made foreman of the works at Greendyke Street. Then I was sent to
pioneer our work in Paisley, and when that was nicely started, I was
sent on to Greenock, where I am now trying to work up a (Salvation
Here, for a reason to be explained presently, I will quote a very
similar case which I saw at the Army Colony at Hadleigh, in Essex.
This man, also a Scotsman (no Englishman, I think, could have survived
such experiences), is a person of fine and imposing appearance, great
bodily strength, and good address. He is about fifty years of age, and
has been a soldier, and after leaving the Service, a gardener. Indeed,
he is now, or was recently, foreman market-gardener at Hadleigh. He
married a hospital nurse, and found out some years after marriage that
she was in the habit of using drugs. This habit he contracted also,
either during her life or after her death, and with it that of drink.
His custom was to drink till he was a wreck, and then take drugs,
either by the mouth or subcutaneously, to steady himself. Chloroform
and ether he mixed together and drank, strychnine he injected. At the
beginning of this course, threepennyworth of laudanum would suffice
him for three doses. At the end, three years later (not to mention
ether, chloroform, and strychnine), he took of laudanum alone nearly a
tablespoonful ten or twelve times a day, a quantity, I understand,
which is enough to kill five or six horses. One of the results was
that when he had to be operated on for some malady, it was found
impossible to bring him under the influence of the anaesthetic. All
that could be done was to deprive him of his power of movement, in
which state he had to bear the dreadful pain of the operation.
Afterwards the surgeon asked him if he were a drug-taker, and he told
me that he answered:--
'Why, sir, I could have drunk all the lot you have been trying to give
me, without ever knowing the difference.'
In this condition, when he was such a wreck that he trembled from head
to foot and was contemplating suicide, he came into the hands of the
Army, and was sent down to the Hadleigh Farm.
Now comes the point of the story. At Hadleigh he 'got converted,' and
from that hour has never touched either drink or drugs. Moreover, he
assured me solemnly that he could go into a chemist's shop or a bar
with money in his pocket without feeling the slightest desire to
indulge in such stimulants. He said that after his conversion, he had
a 'terrible fight' with his old habits, the physical results of their
discontinuance being most painful. Subsequently, however, and by
degrees, the craving left him entirely, I asked him to what he
attributed this extraordinary cure. He replied:--
'To the power of God. If I trusted in my own strength I should
certainly fail, but the power of God keeps me from being overcome.'
Now these are only two out of a number of cases that I have seen
myself, in which a similar explanation of his cure has been given to
me by the person cured, and I would like to ask the unprejudiced and
open-minded reader how he explains them. Personally I cannot explain
them except upon an hypothesis which, as a practical person, I confess
I hesitate to adopt. I mean that of a direct interposition from above,
or of the working of something so unrecognized or so undefined in the
nature of man (which it will be remembered the old Egyptians, a very
wise people, divided into many component parts, whereof we have now
lost count), that it may be designated an innate superior power or
principle, brought into action by faith or 'suggestion.'
That these people who have been the slaves of, or possessed by certain
gross and palpable vices, of which drink is only one, are truly and
totally changed, there can be no question. To that I am able to bear
witness. The demoniacs of New Testament history cannot have been more
transformed; and I know of no stranger experience than to listen to
such men, as I have times and again, speaking of their past selves as
entities cast off and gone, and of their present selves as new
creatures. It is, indeed, one that throws a fresh light upon certain
difficult passages in the Epistles of St. Paul, and even upon the
darker sayings of the Master of mankind Himself. They do, in truth,
seem to have been 'born again.' But this is a line of thought that I
will not attempt to follow; it lies outside my sphere and the scope of
After the Officer who used to consume four bottles of whisky a day,
and is now in charge of the Salvation Army work in Greenock, had left
the room, I propounded these problems to Lieut.-Colonel Jolliffe and
the Brigadier, as I had done previously to Commissioner Sturgess. I
pointed out that religious conversion seemed to me to be a spiritual
process, whereas the craving for drink or any other carnal
satisfaction was, or appeared to be, a physical weakness of the body.
Therefore, I did not understand how the spiritual conversion could
suddenly and permanently affect or remove the physical desire, unless
it were by the action of the phenomenon called miracle, which mankind
admits doubtfully to have been possible in the dim period of the birth
of a religion, but for the most part denies to be possible in these
'Quite so,' answered the Colonel, calmly, in almost the same words
that Commissioner Sturgess had used, 'it _is_ miracle; that is our
belief. These men cannot change and purify themselves, their vices are
instantaneously, permanently, and miraculously removed by the power
and the Grace of God. This is the truth, and nothing more wonderful
can be conceived.'
Here, without further comment, I leave this deeply interesting matter
to the consideration of abler and better instructed persons than
To come to something more mundane, which also deserves consideration,
I was informed that in Glasgow, with a population of about 900,000,
there exists a floating class of 80,000 people, who live in
lodging-houses of the same sort as, and mostly inferior to the
Salvation Army Shelter of which I am now writing. In other words, out
of every twelve inhabitants of this great city, one is driven to that
method of obtaining a place to sleep in at night.
In this particular Refuge there is what is called a free shelter room,
where people are accommodated in winter who have not even the few
coppers necessary to pay for a bed. During the month before my visit,
which took place in the summer-time, the Brigadier had allotted free
beds in this room to destitute persons to the value of £13. I may add
that twice a week this particular place is washed with a carbolic
THE ARDENSHAW WOMEN'S HOME
I visited two of the Salvation Army's Women's Institutions in Glasgow.
The first of these was a Women's Rescue Home known as Ardenshaw. This
is a very good house, substantially built and well fitted up, that
before it was bought by the Army was the residence of a Glasgow
merchant. It has accommodation for thirty-six, and is always full. The
inmates are of all kinds, prison cases, preventive cases, fallen
cases, drink cases. The very worst of all these classes, however, are
not taken in here, but sent to the Refuge in High Street. Ardenshaw
resembles other Homes of the same sort that I have already dealt with
in various cities, so I need not describe it here.
Its Officers visit the prisons at Duke Street, Glasgow, Ayr, and
Greenock, and I saw a letter which had just arrived from the chaplain
of one of these jails, asking the Matron to interest herself in the
case of a girl coming up for trial, and to take her into a Home if she
were discharged as a first offender.
While I was eating some lunch in this house I noticed a young woman in
Salvation Army dress coming up the steps with a child of particularly
charming appearance. At my request she was brought into the room,
where I extracted from her a story which seems to be worth repeating
as an illustration of the spirit which animates so many members of the
The young woman herself had once been an invalid who was taken into
the Home and nursed till she recovered, after which she was sent to a
situation in a large town. Here she came in contact with a poor family
in which the mother is a drunkard and the father a respectable,
hardworking man, and took a great fancy to one of the children, the
little girl I have mentioned. This child, who is about five years of
age, it is her habit to supply with clothes and more or less to feed.
Unfortunately, however, when the mother is on the drink she pawns the
clothes which my Salvation Army friend is obliged to redeem, since if
she does not, little Bessie is left almost naked. Indeed, before
Bessie was brought away upon this particular visit her protectress had
to pay 14_s_. to recover her garments from the pawnshop, a
considerable sum out of a wage of about £18 a year.
I asked her why she did not take away this very fascinating child
altogether, and arrange for her to enter one of the Army Homes. She
answered because, although the mother would be glad enough to let her
go, the father, who is naturally fond of his children, objected.
'Of which the result may be,' remarked Lieut.-Colonel Jolliffe grimly,
'that about a dozen years hence that sweet little girl will become a
'Not while I live,' broke in her foster-mother, indignantly.
This kind-hearted little woman told me she had been six years in
service as sole maid-of-all-work in a large house. I inquired whether
it was a hard place. She replied that it would be easier if her four
mistresses, who are sisters and old maiden ladies, did not all take
their meals at four different times, have four different teapots,
insist upon their washing being sent to four different laundries,
employ four different doctors, and sleep in four different rooms.
'However,' she added, 'it is not so difficult as it was as there used
to be five, but one has died. Also, they are kind to me in other ways
and about Bessie. They like me to come here for my holiday, as then
they know I shall return on the right day and at the right hour.'
When she had left the room, having in mind the capacities of the
average servant, and the outcry she is apt to make about her
particular 'work,' I said that it seemed strange that one young woman
could fulfil all these multifarious duties satisfactorily.
'Oh,' said the matter-of-fact Colonel, 'you see, she belongs to the
Salvation Army, and looks at things from the point of view of her
duty, and not from that of her comfort.'
It is curious at what a tender age children learn to note the habits
of those about them. When this little Bessie was given _2d_. she
lisped out in her pretty Scotch accent, 'Mother winna have this for
THE WOMEN'S LODGING-HOUSE
The last place that I visited in Glasgow was the Shelter for women, an
Institution of the same sort as the Shelter for men. It is a
Lodging-house in which women can have a bed at the price of 4_d_. per
night; but if that sum is not forthcoming, they are not, as a rule,
turned away if they are known to be destitute.
The class of people who frequent this Home is a very low one; for the
most part they are drunkards. They must leave the Shelter before ten
o'clock in the morning, when the majority of them go out hawking,
selling laces, or other odds and ends. Some of them earn as much as
2_s_. a day; but, as a rule, they spend a good deal of what they earn,
only saving enough to pay for their night's lodging. This place has
been open for sixteen years, and contains 133 beds, which are almost
The women whom I saw at this Shelter were a very rough-looking set,
nearly all elderly, and, as their filthy garments and marred
countenances showed, often the victims of drink. Still, they have good
in them, for the lady in charge assured me that they are generous to
each other. If one of the company has nothing they will collect the
price of her bed or her food between them, and even pay her debts, if
these are not too large. There were several children in the place, for
each woman is allowed to bring in one. When I was there many of the
inmates were cooking their meals on the common stove, and very curious
and unappetizing these were.
Among them I noted a dark-eyed lassie of about sixteen who was crying.
Drawing her aside, I questioned her. It seemed that her father, a
drunken fellow, had turned her out of her home that afternoon because
she had forgotten to give him a message. Having nowhere to go she
wandered about the streets until she met a woman who told her of this
Lodging-house. She added, touchingly enough, that it was not her
Imagine a girl of sixteen thrown out to spend the night upon the
streets of Glasgow!
On the walls of one of the rooms I saw a notice that read oddly in a
Shelter for women. It ran:--
_Smoking is strictly prohibited after retiring_.
THE LAND AND INDUSTRIAL COLONY
The Hadleigh Colony, of which Lieut.-Colonel Laurie is the Officer in
charge, is an estate of about 3,000 acres which was purchased by the
Salvation Army in the year 1891 at a cost of about £20 the acre, the
land being stiff clay of the usual Essex type. As it has chanced,
owing to the amount of building which is going on in the neighbourhood
of Southend, and to its proximity to London, that is within forty
miles, the investment has proved a very good one. I imagine that if
ever it should come to the hammer the Hadleigh Colony would fetch a
great deal more than £20 the acre, independently of its cultural
improvements. These, of course, are very great. For instance, more
than 100 acres are now planted with fruit-trees in full bearing. Also,
there are brickfields which are furnished with the best machinery and
plant, ranges of tomato and salad houses, and a large French garden
where early vegetables are grown for market. A portion of the land,
however, still remains in the hands of tenants, with whom the Army
does not like to interfere.
The total turn-over of the land 'in hand' amounts to the large sum of
over £30,000 per annum, and the total capital invested is in the
neighbourhood of £110,000. Of this great sum about £78,000 is the cost
of the land and the buildings; the brickworks and other industries
account for £12,000, while the remaining £20,000 represents the value
of the live and dead stock. I believe that the mortgage remaining on
the place, which the Army had not funds to pay for outright, is now
less than £50,000, borrowed at about 4 per cent, and, needless to say,
it is well secured.
Lieut.-Colonel Laurie informed me on the occasion of my last visit to
Hadleigh, in July, 1910, that taken as a whole even now the farm does
not pay its way. This result is entirely owing to the character of
the labour employed. At first sight, as the men are paid but a
trifling sum in cash, it would appear that this labour must be
extremely cheap. Investigation, however, gives the story another
It costs the Army 10_s_. a week to keep a man at Hadleigh in food and
lodgings, and in addition he receives a cash grant of from 6_d_ to
5_s_. a week.
Careful observation shows that the labour of three of these men, of
whom 92 per cent, be it remembered, come to the Colony through their
drinking habits, is about equal to that of one good agricultural hand
who, in Norfolk, reckoning in his harvest and sundries, would
earn--let us say, 18s. a week. Therefore, in practice where I, as a
farmer, pay about 18s., or in the case of carters and milkmen nearly
£1, the Army pays £2, circumstances under which it is indeed difficult
to farm remuneratively in England.
The object of the Hadleigh Colony is to supply a place where broken
men of bad habits, who chance in most cases to have had some connexion
with or liking for the land, can be reformed, and ultimately sent out
to situations, or as emigrants to Canada. About 400 of such men pass
through the Colony each year. Of these men, Lieut.-Colonel Laurie
estimates that 7-1/2 per cent prove absolute failures, although, he
added that, 'it is very, very difficult to determine as to when a man
should be labelled an absolute failure. He may leave us an apparent
failure, and still come all right in the end.'
The rest, namely 91 per cent or so, regain their place as decent and
useful members of society, a wonderful result which is brought about
by the pressure of discipline, tempered with kindness, and the
influence of steady and healthful work.
Persons of every class drift to this Colony. Thus, among the 230
Colonists who were training there when I visited it in July, 1910,
were two chemists and a journalist, while a Church of England
clergyman had just left it for Canada.
As a specimen of the ruck, however, I will mention the first
individual to whom I happened to speak--a strong young man, who was
weeding a bed of onions. He told me that he had been a farm labourer
in early life, and, subsequently, for six years a coachman in a
private livery stables in London. He lost his place through drink,
became a wanderer on the Embankment, was picked up by the Salvation
Army and sent to one of its Elevator paper-works. Afterwards, he
volunteered to work on the land at Hadleigh, where he had then been
employed for nine months. His ambition was to emigrate to Canada,
which, doubtless, he has now done, or is about to do. Such cases might
be duplicated by the dozen, but for this there is no need. _Ex uno
All the labour employed, however, is not of this class. For instance,
the next man to whom I spoke, who was engaged in ploughing up old
cabbage land with a pair of very useful four-year-olds, bred on the
farm, was not a Colonist but an agricultural hand, paid at the rate of
wages usual in the district. Another, who managed the tomato-houses,
was a skilled professional tomato-grower from the Channel Islands. The
experience of the managers of the Colony is that it is necessary to
employ a certain number of expert agriculturalists on the place, in
order that they may train the raw hands who come from London and
To a farmer, such as the present writer, a visit to Hadleigh is an
extremely interesting event, showing him, as it does, what can be done
upon cold and unkindly land by the aid of capital, intelligence, and
labour. Still I doubt whether a detailed description of all these
agricultural operations falls within the scope of a book such as that
upon which I am engaged.
Therefore, I will content myself with saying that this business, like
everything else that the Army undertakes, is carried out with great
thoroughness and considerable success. The extensive orchards are
admirably managed, and were fruitful even in the bad season of 1910.
The tomato-houses, which have recently been increased at a capital
cost of about £1,000, produce many tons of tomatoes, and the French
garden is excellent of its kind. The breed of Middle-white pigs is to
be commended; so much so in my judgment, and I can give no better
testimonial, that at the moment of writing I am trying to obtain from
it a pedigree boar for my own use. The Hadleigh poultry farm, too, is
famous all over the world, and the Officer who manages it was the
President for 1910 of the Wyandotte Society, fowls for which Hadleigh
is famous, having taken the championship prizes for this breed and
others all over the kingdom. The cattle and horses are also good of
their class, and the crops in a trying year looked extremely well.
All these things, however, are but a means to an end, which end is the
redemption of our fallen fellow-creatures, or such of them as come
within the reach of the work of the Salvation Army at this particular
I should add, perhaps, that there is a Citadel or gathering hall,
which will seat 400, where religious services are held and concerts
are given on Saturday nights for the amusement of the Colonists. I may
mention that no pressure is brought to bear to force any man in its
charge to conform to the religious principles of the Army. Indeed,
many of these attend the services at the neighbouring parish church.
Notwithstanding the past characters of those who live there,
disturbances of any sort are unknown at Hadleigh. Indeed, it is
extremely rare for a case originating on the Colony to come before the
THE SMALL-HOLDINGS SETTLEMENT
General Booth and his Officers are, as I know from various
conversations with them, firmly convinced that many of the great and
patent evils of our civilization result from the desertion of the land
by its inhabitants, and that crowding into cities which is one of the
most marked phenomena of our time. Indeed, it was an identity of view
upon this point, which is one that I have advanced for years, that
first brought me into contact with the Salvation Army. But to preach
the advantages of bringing people back to the land is one thing, and
to get them there quite another. Many obstacles stand in the way. I
need only mention two of these: the necessity for large capital and
the still more important necessity of enabling those who are settled
on it to earn out of Mother Earth a sufficient living for themselves
and their families.
That well-known philanthropist, the late Mr. Herring, was another
person much impressed with the importance of this matter, and I
remember about five years ago dining with him, with General Booth as
my fellow-guest, on an occasion when all this subject was gone into in
detail. So lively, indeed, was Mr. Herring's interest that he offered
to advance a sum of £100,000 to the Army, to be used in an experiment
of land-settlement, carried out under its auspices. Should that
experiment prove successful, the capital repaid by the tenants was to
go to King Edward's Hospital Fund, and should it fail, that capital
was to be written off. Of this £100,000, £40,000 has now been invested
in the Boxted venture, and if this succeeds, I understand that the
balance will become available for other ventures under the provisions
of Mr. Herring's will. A long while must elapse, however, before the
result of the experiment can be definitely ascertained.
The Boxted Settlement is situated In North Essex, about three miles
from Colchester, and covers an area of 400 acres. It is a flat place,
that before the Enclosures Acts was a heath, with good road frontages
throughout, an important point where small-holdings are concerned. The
soil is a medium loam over gravel, neither very good nor very bad, so
far as my judgment goes, and of course capable of great improvement
under intensive culture.
This estate, which altogether cost about £20 per acre to buy, has
been divided into sixty-seven holdings, varying in size from 4-1/2
acres to 7 acres. The cottages which stand upon the holdings have been
built in pairs, at a cost of about £380 per pair, which price
includes drainage, a drinking well, and, I think, a soft-water
cistern. These are extremely good dwellings, and I was much struck
with their substantial and practical character. They comprise three
bedrooms, a large living-room, a parlour, and a scullery, containing a
sink and a bath. Also there is a tool-house, a pigstye, and a movable
fowl-house on wheels.
On each holding an orchard of fruit trees has been planted in
readiness for the tenant, also strawberries, currants, gooseberries,
and raspberries, which in all occupy about three-quarters of an acre.
The plan is that the rest of the holding should be cultivated
intensively upon a system that is estimated to return £20 per acre.
The arrangement between the Army and its settlers is briefly as
follows: In every case the tenant begins without any capital, and is
provided with seeds and manures to carry him through the first two
years, also with a living allowance at the rate of 10_s_. a week for
the man and his wife, and 1_s_. a week for each child, which allowance
is to cease after he has marketed his first crops.
The tenancy terms are, that for two years the settler is a tenant at
will, the agreement being terminable by either party at any time
without compensation. At the end of these two years, subject to the
approval of the Director of the Settlement, the settler can take a 999
years' lease of his holding, the Army for obvious reasons retaining
the freehold. After the first year of this lease, the rental payable
for forty years is to be 5 per cent per annum upon the capital
invested in the settlement of the man and his family upon the holding,
which rent is to include the cost of the house, land, and
improvements, and all moneys advanced to him during his period of
It is estimated that this capital sum will average £520 per holding,
so that the tenant's annual rent for forty years will be £26, after
which he will have nothing more to pay save a nominal rent, and the
remainder of the lease will be the property of himself, or rather, of
his descendants. This property, I presume, will be saleable.
So, putting aside all legal technicalities and complications, it comes
to this: the tenant is started for two years after which he pays about
£4 a year rent per acre for the next forty years, and thereby
virtually purchases his holding. The whole question, which time alone
can answer, is whether a man can earn £4 per acre rent per annum, and,
in addition, provide a living for himself and family out of a
five-acre holding on medium land near Colchester.
The problem is one upon which I cannot venture to express any decisive
opinion, even after many years of experience of such matters. I trust,
however, that the answer may prove to be in the affirmative, and I am
quite sure that if any Organization is able to cause it to work out
this way, that Organization is the Salvation Army, whose brilliant
business capacity can, as I know, make a commercial success of the
most unpromising materials.
I should like to point out that this venture is one of great and
almost of national importance, because if it fails then it will be
practically proved that it is impossible to establish small holders on
the land by artificial means, at any rate, in England, and at the
present prices of agricultural produce. It is not often that a sum of
£40,000 will be available for such a purpose, and with it the
direction of a charitable Organization that seeks no profit, the
oversight of an Officer as skilled and experienced as Lieut.-Colonel
Hiffe, and, in addition, a trained Superintendent who will afford
advice as to all agricultural matters, a co-operative society ready to
hire out implements, horses and carts at cost price, and, if so
desired, to undertake the distribution or marketing of produce. Still,
notwithstanding all these advantages, I have my misgivings as to the
The men chosen to occupy these holdings by a Selection Committee of
Salvation Army Officers, are for the most part married people who were
born in the country, but had migrated to the towns. Most of them have
more or less kept themselves in touch with country life by cultivating
allotments during their period of urban residence, and precedence has
been given to those who have shown a real desire to return to the
land. Other essentials are a good character, both personal and as a
worker, bodily and mental health, and total abstention from any form
of alcohol. No creed test is required, and there are men of various
religious faiths upon the Settlement, only a proportion of them being
I interviewed two of these settlers at hazard upon their holdings,
and, although the year had been adverse, found them happy and hopeful.
No. 1, who had been a mechanic, proposed to increase his earnings by
mending bicycles. No. 2 was an agriculturist pure and simple, and
showed me his fowls and pigs with pride. Here, however, I found a
little rift within the rural lute, for on asking him how his wife
liked the life he replied after a little hesitation, 'Not very well,
sir: you see, she has been accustomed to a town.'
If she continues not to like it 'very well,' there will, I think, be
an end to that man's prospects as a small holder.
I had the pleasure of bring present in July, 1910, at the formal
opening of the Boxted Settlement, when the Salvation Army entertained
several hundred guests to luncheon, many of them very well-known
people. The day for a wonder was fine, General Booth spoke for over an
hour in his most characteristic and interesting way; the Chairman,
Earl Carrington, President of the Board of Agriculture, blessed the
undertaking officially and privately; everybody seemed pleased with
the holdings, and, in short, all went merrily as a marriage bell.
As I sat and listened, however, the query that arose in my mind
was--What would be the state of these holdings and of the tenants or
of their descendants on, say, that day thirty years? I trust and hope
that it will be a good state in both instances; but I must confess to
certain doubts and fears.
In this parish of Ditchingham, where I live, there is a man with a few
acres of land, an orchard, a greenhouse, etc. That man works his
little tenancy, deals in the surplus produce of large gardens, which
he peddles out in the neighbouring town, and, on an average, takes
piecework on my farm (at the moment of writing he and his son are
hoeing mangolds) for two or three days a week; at any rate, for a
great part of the year. He is a type of what I may call the natural
small holder, and I believe does fairly well. The question is, can the
artificially created small holder, who must pay a rent of £4 the acre,
attain to a like result?
Again, I say I hope so most sincerely, for if not in England 'back to
the land' will prove but an empty catchword. At any rate, the country
should be most grateful to the late Mr. Herring, who provided the
funds for this intensely interesting experiment, and to the Salvation
Army which is carrying it out in the interests of the landless poor.
IMPRESSIONS OF GENERAL BOOTH
It has occurred to the writer that a few words descriptive of William
Booth, the creator and first General of the Salvation Army, set down
by a contemporary who has enjoyed a good many opportunities of
observing him during the past ten years, may possibly have a future if
not a present value.
Of the greatness of this man, to my mind, there can be no doubt. When
the point of time whereon we stand and play our separate parts has
receded, and those who follow us look back into the grey mist which
veils the past; when that mist has hidden the glitter of the
decorations and deadened the echoes of the high-sounding titles of
to-day; when our political tumults, our town-bred excitements, and
many of the very names that are household words to us, are forgotten,
or discoverable only in the pages of history; when, perhaps, the
Salvation Army itself has fulfilled its mission and gone its road, I
am certain that the figure of William Booth will abide clearly visible
in those shadows, and that the influences of his work will remain, if
not still felt, at least remembered and honoured. He will be one of
the few, of the very few enduring figures of our day; and even if our
civilization should be destined to undergo eclipse for a period, as
seems possible, when the light returns, by it he will still be seen.
For truly this work of his is fine, and one that appeals to the
imagination, although we are so near to it that few of us appreciate
its real proportions. Also, in fact, it is the work that should be
admired rather than the man, who, after all, is nothing but the
instrument appointed to shape it from the clay of circumstance. The
clay lay ready to be shaped, then appeared the moulder animated with
will and purpose, and working for the work's sake to an end which he
could not foresee.
I have no information on the point, but I should be surprised to learn
that General Booth, when Providence moved him to begin his labours
among the poor, had even an inkling of their future growth within the
short period of his own life. He sowed a seed in faith and hope, and,
in spite of opposition and poverty, in spite of ridicule and of
slander, he has lived to see that seed ripen into a marvellous
harvest. Directly, or indirectly, hundreds of thousands of men and
women throughout the world have benefited by his efforts. He has been
a tool of destiny, like Mahomet or Napoleon, only in this case one
fated to help and not to harm mankind. Such, at least, is my estimate
A little less of the spirit of self-sacrifice, a different sense of
responsibility, and the same strength of imagination and power of
purpose devoted to purely material objects, might have raised up
another multi-millionaire, or a mob-leader, or a self-seeking despot.
But, as it happened, some grace was given to him, and the river has
run another way.
Opportunity, too, has played into his hands. He saw that the
recognized and established Creeds scarcely touched the great, sordid,
lustful, drink-sodden, poverty-steeped masses of the city populations
of the world: that they were waiting for a teacher who could speak to
them in a tongue they understood. He spoke, and some of them have
listened: only a fraction it is true, but still some. More, as it
chanced, he married a wife who entered into his thoughts, and was able
to help to fulfil his aspirations, and from that union were born
descendants who, for the most part, are fitted to carry on his
Further, like Loyola, and others, he has the power of rule, being a
born leader of men, so that thousands obey his word without question
in every corner of the earth, although some of these have never seen
his face. Lastly, Nature endowed him with a striking presence that
appeals to the popular mind, with a considerable gift of speech, with
great physical strength and abounding energy, qualities which have
enabled him to toil without ceasing and to travel far and wide. Thus
it comes about that as truly as any man of our generation, when his
hour is ended, he, too, I believe, should be able to say with a clear
conscience, 'I have finished the work that Thou gavest me to do':
although his heart may add, 'I have not finished it as well as I could
Now let me try to convey my personal impressions of this man. I see
him in various conversations with myself, when he has thought that he
could make use of me to serve his ever-present and impersonal ends,
trying to add me up, wondering how far I was sincere, and to what
extent I might be influenced by private objects; then, at last,
concluding that I was honest in my own fashion, opening his heart
little by little, and finally appealing to me to aid him in his
'I like that man; _he understands me!_' I once heard him say,
mentioning my name, and believing that he was thinking, not speaking.
I tell this story merely to illustrate his habit of reflecting aloud,
for as he spoke these words I was standing beside him. When I repeated
it to his Officers, one of them remarked horrified:--
'Good gracious! it might just as well have been something much less
complimentary. One never knows what he will say.'
He is an autocrat, whose word is law to thousands. Had he not been an
autocrat indeed, the Salvation Army would not exist to-day, for it
sprang from his brain like Minerva from the head of Jove, and has been
driven to success by his single, forceful will.
Yet this quality of masterfulness is tempered and illuminated by an
unfailing sense of humour, which he is quite ready to exercise at his
own expense. Thus, a few years ago he and I dined with the late Mr.
Herring, and, as a matter of fact, although I had certain things to
say on the matters under discussion, his flow of most interesting
conversation did not allow me over much opportunity of saying them. It
is hard to compete in words with one who has preached continually for
When General Booth departed to catch a midnight train, for the
Continent I think, Mr. Herring went to see him to the door. Returning
presently, much amused, he repeated their parting words, which were as
GENERAL BOOTH: 'A very good fellow Haggard; but a talker, you know,
Herring, a talker!'
MR. HERRING (looking at him): 'Indeed!'
GENERAL BOOTH (laughing): 'Ah! Herring, you mean that it was _I_ who
did the talking, not Haggard. Well, _perhaps I did_.'
Some people think that General Booth is conceited.
'It is a pity that the old gentleman is so vain,' a highly-placed
person once said to me.
I answered that if he or I had done all that General Booth has done,
we might be pardoned a little vanity.
In truth, however, the charge is mistaken, for at bottom I believe him
to be a very humble-minded man, and one who does not in the least
overrate himself. This may be gathered, indeed, from the tenor of his
remarks on the subject of his personal value to the Army, that I have
recorded at the beginning of this book.
What people of slower mind and narrower views may mistake for pride,
in his case, I am sure, is but the impatient and unconscious
assertiveness of superior power, based upon vision and accumulated
knowledge. Also, as a general proposition, I believe vanity to be
almost impossible to such a man. So far as my experience of life goes,
that scarce creature, the innately, as distinguished from the
accidentally eminent man, he who is fashioned from Nature's gold, not
merely gilded by circumstance, is never vain.
Such a man knows but too well how poor is the fruit of his supremest
effort, how marred by secret weakness is what the world calls his
strength, and when his gifts are in the balance, how hard it would be
for any seeing judge to distinguish his success from common failure.
It is the little pinchbeck man, whom wealth, accident, or cheap
cleverness has thrust forward, who grows vain over triumphs that are
not worth having, not the great doer of deeds, or the seer whose
imagination is wide enough to enable him to understand his own utter
insignificance in the scale of things.
But to return to General Booth. Again I hear him explaining to me vast
schemes, as yet unrealized, that lurk at the back of his vivid,
practical, organizing brain. Schemes for settling tens of thousands of
the city poor upon unoccupied lands in sundry portions of the earth.
Schemes for great universities or training colleges, in which men and
women might be educated to deal with the social problems of our age on
a scientific basis. Schemes for obtaining Government assistance to
enable the Army to raise up the countless mass of criminals in many
lands, taking charge of them as they leave the jail, and by
regenerating their fallen natures, saving them soul and body.
In the last interview I had with him, I read to him a note I had made
of a conversation which had taken place a few days before between Mr.
Roosevelt and myself on the subject of the Salvation Army. Here is the
note, or part of it.
MR. ROOSEVELT: 'Why not make use of all this charitable energy, now
often misdirected, for national ends?'
MYSELF: 'What I have called "the waste forces of Benevolence." It is
odd, Mr. Roosevelt, that we should both have come to that conclusion.'
MR. ROOSEVELT: 'Yes, that's the term. You see the reason is that we
are both sensible men who understand.'
'That is very important,' said General Booth, when he had heard this
extract. '"Make use of all this charitable energy, now often
misdirected for national ends!" Why not, indeed? Heaven knows it is
often misdirected. The Salvation Army has made mistakes enough. If
only that could be done it would be a great thing. But first we have
got to make other people "understand" besides Roosevelt and yourself.'
That, at least, was the sense of his words.
Once more I see him addressing a crowded meeting of City men in
London, on a murky winter afternoon. In five minutes he has gripped
his audience with his tale of things that are new to most of them,
quite outside of their experience. He lifts a curtain as it were, and
shows them the awful misery that lies often at their very office
doors, and the duty which is theirs to aid the fallen and the
suffering. It is a long address, very long, but none of the hearers
At the end of it I had cause to meet him in his office about a certain
matter. He had stripped off his coat, and stood in the red jersey of
his uniform, the perspiration still streaming from him after the
exertion of his prolonged effort in that packed hall. As he spoke he
ate his simple meal of vegetables (mushrooms they were, I remember),
and tea, for, like most of his family, he never touches meat. Either
he must see me while he ate or not at all; and when there is work to
be done, General Booth does not think of convenience or of rest;
moreover, as usual, there was a train to catch. One of his
peculiarities is that he seems always to be starting for somewhere,
often at the other side of the world.
Lastly, I see him on one of his tours. He is due to speak in a small
country town. His Officers have arrived to make arrangements, and are
waiting with the audience. It pours with rain, and he is late. At
length the motors dash up through the mud and wet, and out of the
first of them he appears, a tall, cloaked figure. Already that day he
has addressed two such meetings besides several roadside gatherings,
and at night he must speak to a great audience in a city fourteen
miles away; also stop at this place and at that before he gets there,
for a like purpose. He is to appear in the big city at eight, and
already it is half-past three.
Five minutes later he has been assisted on to the platform (for this
was before his operation and he was almost blind), and for nearly an
hour pours out a ceaseless flood of eloquence, telling the history of
his Organization, telling of his life's work and of his heart's aims,
asking for their prayers and help. He looks a very old man now, much
older than when first I knew him, and with his handsome, somewhat
Jewish face and long, white beard, a very type of some prophet of
Israel. So Abraham must have looked, one thinks, or Jeremiah, or
Elijah. But there is no weariness in his voice or his gestures; and,
as he exhorts and prays, his darkening eyes seem to flash.
It is over. He bids farewell to the audience that he has never seen
before, and will never see again, invokes a fervent blessing on them,
and presently the motors are rushing away into the wet night, bearing
with them this burning fire of a man.
Such are some of my impressions of William Booth, General of the
THE CHIEF OF THE STAFF
No account of the Salvation Army would be complete without some words
about Mr. Bramwell Booth, General Booth's eldest son and right-hand
man, who in the Army is known as the Chief of the Staff. Being
convinced of this, I sought an interview with him--the last of the
many that I have had in connexion with the present work.
In the Army Mr. Bramwell Booth is generally recognized as 'the power
behind the throne.' He it is who, seated in his office in London,
directs the affairs and administers the policy of this vast
Organization in all lands; the care of the countless Salvation Army
churches is on his shoulders, and has been for these many years. He
does not travel outside Europe; his work lies chiefly at home. I
understand, however, that he takes his share in the evangelical
labours of the Army, and is a powerful and convincing speaker,
although I have never chanced to hear any of his addresses.
[Illustration: MR. BRAMWELL BOOTH, Chief of the Staff.]
In appearance at his present age of something over fifty, he is tall
and not robust, with an extremely sympathetic face that has about it
little of his father's rugged cast and sternness. Perhaps it is this
evident sympathy that commands the affection of so many, for I have
been told more than once that he is the best beloved man in the Army,
and one who never uses a stern word.
I found him busy and pressed for time, even more so, if possible, than
I was myself; he had but just arrived by an early train from some
provincial city. In fact, he was then engaged upon his annual
visitation to all the Field Officers in the country, which, as he
explained, takes him away from London for three days a week for a
period of six weeks, and throws upon him a considerable extra strain
of mind and body. The diocese of the Salvation Army is very extensive!
I said to Mr. Bramwell Booth that I desired from him his views of the
Army as a religious and a social force throughout the wide world, in
every land where it sets its foot. I wished to hear of the work
considered as a whole, likewise of that work in its various aspects,
and of the different races of mankind among which it is carried on.
Also, amongst others, I put to him the following specific questions:--
In what way and by what means does the Army adapt itself to
the needs and customs of the various peoples among whom it
What is its comparative measure of success with each of
these peoples, and what future is anticipated for it among
Where is the work advancing, where does it hang in the
balance, and where is it being driven backwards?
What are your views upon the future of the Army as a
religious and social power throughout the world, bearing in
mind the undoubted difficulties with which it is confronted?
Do you consider that now, after forty-five years of
existence, it is, speaking generally, on the downward or on
the upward grade?
What information can you give me as to the position of the
Army in its relations with other religious bodies?
At this point Mr. Bramwell Booth inquired mildly how much time I had
to spare. The result of my answer was that we agreed together that it
was clearly impossible to deal with all these great matters in an
interview. So it was decided that he should take time to think them
over, and should furnish his replies in the form of a written
memorandum. This he has done, and I may say without flattery that the
paper which he has drawn up is one of the most clear and broad-minded
that I have had the pleasure of reading for a long while. Since it is
too long to be used as a quotation, I print it in an appendix,
trusting sincerely that all who are interested in the Salvation Army
in its various aspects will not neglect its perusal. Indeed, it is a
valuable and an authoritative document, composed by perhaps the only
person in the world who, from his place and information, is equal to
Personally I venture upon neither criticism nor comment, whose rôle
throughout all these pages is but that of a showman, although I trust
one not altogether devoid of insight into the matter in hand.
To only one point will I call attention--that of the general note of
confidence which runs through Mr. Bramwell Booth's remarks. Clearly he
at least does not believe that the Salvation Army is in danger of
dissolution. Like his father, he believes that it will go on from good
to good and from strength to strength.
There remain, however, one or two other points that we discussed
together to which I will allude. Thus I asked him if he had anything
to say as to the attacks which from time to time were made upon the
Army. He replied as his father had done: 'Nothing, except that they
were best left to answer themselves.'
Then our conversation turned to the matter of the resignation of
certain Officers of the Army which had caused some passing public
'We have an old saying here,' he said, with some humour, 'that we do
not often lose any one whom we very much desire to keep.'
I pointed out that I had heard allegations made to the effect that the
Army Officers were badly paid, hardly treated, and, when they proved
of no more use, let go to find a living as best they could.
He replied that, as to the matter of money, the Army had established a
Pension fund in all the Western countries, which now amounts to a
large total. In this country the sum was about £44,000, and during
1909 about £1,800 had been paid here in pensions. This, however, was
only a beginning, but he thought that the effort was being made on the
right lines, and that, notwithstanding their poverty, a really
adequate Pension fund would be built up in due course.
Then of a sudden he became eloquent. He said he admitted that the Army
had little to offer. Those who came into its service knew that this
was so; that they had no hope of temporal reward; that thenceforth the
great feature of their life and work was that it must be filled with
labour and self-denial. The whole business of helping and saving our
fellow-creatures was one of struggle and suffering. Sacrifice was the
key-note of Christianity as laid down by its Founder. Those who sought
money and temporal honour must look elsewhere than to the Salvation
Army. Its pride and glory was that thousands were willing to suffer
and deny themselves from year to year, and to find their joy and their
recompense in the consciousness that they were doing something,
however little, to lighten the darkness and relieve the misery of the
Here are some of his actual words upon this matter that I will quote,
as I cannot better them:--
'The two facts of real consequence about our Officers are these:
First, that their numbers go on increasing year by year, and second,
that they remain devoted to their work, very poor, and absolutely bent
on obtaining a reward in Heaven. But let me quote here from General
Booth on this matter:--
'"I resolved that no disadvantage as to birth, or education, or social
condition should debar any one from entering the list of combatants so
long as he was one with me in love for God, in faith for the salvation
of men, and in willingness to obey the orders he should receive from
me and from those I authorized to direct him. I have, of course, had
many disappointments--not a few of them very hard to bear at the
time--but from the early days of 1868, when I engaged my first
recognized helper, to 1878, when the number had increased by slow
degrees to about 100, and on to the present day, when their number is
rapidly approaching 20,000, there has not been a single year without
its increase, not only in quantity, but in quality.
'"I am sometimes asked, What about those who have left me? Well, I am
thankful to say that we remain in sympathetic and friendly relations
with the great bulk of them. It was to be expected that in work such
as ours, demanding, as it does, not only arduous toil and constant
self-denial and often real hardships of one kind or another, some
should prove unworthy, some should grow weary, and others should faint
by the way, whilst others again, though very excellent souls, should
prove unsuitable. It could not be otherwise, for we are engaged in
real warfare, and whoever heard of war without wounds and losses? But
even of those who do thus step aside from the position of Officers, a
large proportion--in this country nine out of ten--remain with us,
engaged in some voluntary effort in our ranks."'
'But,' continued Mr. Bramwell Booth, 'I would be the last person to
minimize our losses. They may be accounted for in the most natural
way, and yet we cannot but feel them and suffer from them. And yet it
is all just a repetition of the Bible stories of all ages; nay, of all
stories of genuine fighting in any great cause. The great feature of
our present experience in this matter is that the number who go out
from us grows every year smaller in proportion to the whole, and that,
as the General says in the above extract, a very large proportion of
those continue in friendly relations with us.
'The triumph of these splendid men and women, in the face of every
kind of difficulty in every part of the world is, however, really a
triumph of their faith. It is not the Army, it is not their leaders,
it is not even the wonderful devotion which many of them manifest,
which is the secret of their continued life and continued success, nor
is it any confidence in their own abilities. No! The true
representative of the Army is relying at every turn upon the presence,
guidance, and help of God in trying to carry out the Father's purpose
with respect to every lost and suffering child of man. By that test,
alike in the present and future, we must ever stand or fall. The Army
is either a work of faith or it is nothing at all.
'Everything throughout all our ranks can really be brought to that
test, and I regard with composure every loss and attack, every puzzle
and danger, chiefly because I rely upon my comrades' trust in God
being responded to by Him according to their need.'
Perhaps I may be allowed to add a few remarks upon this subject. A
great deal is made of the resignation of a few Salvation Army Officers
in order that they may accept excellent posts in other walks of life;
indeed, it is not uncommon to see it stated that such resignations
herald the dissolution of the Society. Inasmuch as the number of the
Army's Officers is nearing 20,000 it would seem that it can very well
spare a few of them. What fills me with wonder is not that some go,
but that so many remain. _This_ is one of the facts which, amongst
much that is discouraging, convinces me of the innate nobility of man.
An old friend of mine of pious disposition once remarked to me that
_he_ could never have been a Christian martyr. At the first twist of
the cord, or the first nip of the red-hot pincers, he was sure that
_he_ would have thrown incense by the handful upon the altar of any
heathen god or goddess that was fashionable at the moment. His spirit
might have been willing, but his flesh would certainly have proved
I sympathized with the honesty of this confession, and in the same way
I sympathize with those Officers of the Salvation Army who, in racing
slang, cannot 'stay the course.'
Let us consider the lot of these men. Any who have entered on even a
secular crusade, something that takes them off the beaten, official
paths, that leads them through the thorns and wildernesses of a new,
untravelled country, towards some distant goal seen dimly, or not seen
at all except in dreams, will know what such an undertaking means. It
means snakes in the grass; it means savages, or in other words veiled
and poisonous hatreds and bitter foes, or, still worse, treacherous
friends. The crusader may get through, in which case no one will thank
him except, perhaps, after he is dead. Or he may fail and perish, in
which case every one will mock at him. Or he may retreat discouraged
and return to the official road, in which case his friends will remark
that they are glad to see that his insanity was only of the
intermittent order, and that at length he has learned his place in the
world and to whom he ought to touch his cap.
Well, these are official roads to Heaven as well as to the House of
Lords and other mundane goals, a fact which the Salvation Army Officer
and others of his kind have probably found out. On the official road,
if he has interest and ability--the first is to be preferred--he might
have become anything, and with ordinary fortune would certainly have
But on the path that he has chosen what is there for him to gain? An
inheritance of dim glory beyond the stars, obscured doubtless from
time to time, if he is like other men, by sudden and sickening
eclipses of his faith. And meanwhile the daily round, the insolent
gibe, and the bitter ingratitude of men that leaves him grieving. Also
not enough money to pay for a cab when it is wet, and considerable
uncertainty as to the future of his children, and even as to his own
old age. Few comforts for him, not even those of a glass of wine to
stimulate him, or of tobacco to soothe his nerves, for these are
forbidden to him by the rules of his Order. Unless he can reach the
very top of his particular tree also, which it is most unlikely that
he will, no public recognition even of his faithful, strenuous work,
and who is there that at heart does not long for public recognition?
In short, nothing that is desirable to man save the consciousness of a
virtue which, after all, he must feel to be indifferent (being well
aware of his own secret faults), and the satisfaction of having helped
a certain number of lame human dogs over moral or physical stiles.
In such a case and in a world which we must admit to be selfish and
imperfect, the wonder is not that certain Salvation Army Officers,
being trained men of high ability, yield to tempting offers and go,
but that so many of them remain.
'Look at my case,' said one of them to me. 'With my experience and
organizing ability I am worth £2,000 a year as the manager of any big
business, and I could have it if I liked. Here I get about £200!'
This was one of those who remain. I say all honour to such noble
souls, for surely they are of the salt of the earth.
NOTE ON THE RELIGION OF THE SALVATION ARMY
The religious faith of the Salvation Army, as I have observed and
understand it (for little has been said to me on this matter), is
extremely simple. It believes in an eternal Heaven for the righteous
and--a sad doctrine this, some of us may think--in a Hell, equally
eternal, for the wicked. Its bedrock is the Bible, especially the
New Testament, which it accepts as true without qualification, from
the first word to the last, troubling itself with no doubts or
criticisms. Especially does it believe in the dual nature of the
Saviour, in Christ as God, and in Christ as man, and in the
possibility of forgiveness and redemption for even the most degraded
and defiled of human beings. Love is its watchword, the spirit of love
is its spirit, love arrayed in the garments of charity.
In essentials, with one exception, its doctrines much resemble those
of the Church of England, and of various dissenting Protestant bodies.
The exception is, that it does not make use of the Sacraments, even of
that of Communion, although, on the other hand, it does not deny the
efficacy of those Sacraments, or object to others, even if they be
members of the Army, availing themselves of them. Thus, I have known
an Army Officer to join in the Communion Service. The reason for this
exception is, I believe, that in the view of General Booth, the
Sacraments complicate matters, are open to argument and attack, and
are not understood by the majority of the classes with which the Army
deals. How their omission is reconciled with certain prominent
passages and directions laid down in the New Testament I do not know.
To me, I confess, this disregard of them seems illogical.
The motto of the Army is 'Salvation for all,' and, as I have hinted in
these pages, it has a sure conviction of the essential persistence of
miracle in these modern days. It holds that when a man kneels at the
Penitent-Form and 'gets converted,' a miracle takes place within him,
if his repentance is true, and that thenceforward some Grace from on
High will give him the power to overcome the evil in his heart and
It believes, too, in the instant efficacy of earnest prayer, and in
the possibility of direct communication by this means between man and
Here is an instance of this statement. While inspecting the Shelters
in one of the provincial cities, I was shown a certain building which
had recently passed into the possession of the Army. The Officer who
was conducting me said that the negotiations preliminary to the
acquisition of the lease of this building had been long and difficult.
I remarked that these must have caused him anxiety. 'Oh, no,' he
answered, simply. 'You see I had talked with the Lord about it, and I
knew that we should get the place in the end.'
This reply may cause some to smile, but I confess I find such
childlike faith touching and even beautiful.
There is small doubt that consciously or unconsciously, the Salvation
Army has followed St. Paul's example of being all things to all men,
if 'by all means' it may save some. This is the reason of its methods
which to many seem so vulgar and offensive. Once I spoke to an Officer
high up in the Army of this matter, instancing, amongst other things,
its brass bands and loud-voiced preaching at street corners.
'My dear sir,' he replied, 'if we came to convert _you_, we should not
bring a brass band or send a missionary who shouted out sacred names
every minute. Possibly, if we thought that you were open to the
influences of music, we might send a first-rate violinist to play
pieces from the classical masters, and we should certainly send a man
whom we knew to be your intellectual equal, and who could therefore
appeal to your reason. But our mission at present is not so much to
you and your class, as to the dregs of humanity. The folk we deal with
live in a state of noise of which you have no conception, and if we
want to force them to listen to us, we must begin by making a greater
noise in order to attract their attention at all. In the same way it
is of no use wasting subtleties on them; we have to go straight to the
main points, which are clear and sharp enough to pierce their
drink-besotted intelligences, or to reach any fragment of conscience
they may have remaining in them.'
I thought the argument sound and well put, and results have proved its
force, since the Salvation Army undoubtedly gets a hold of people that
few other forms of religious effort seem able to grasp, at least to
any considerable extent.
I wish to make it clear, however, that I hold no particular brief for
the Army, its theology, and its methods. I recognize fully, as I know
it does, the splendid work that is being done in the religious and
social fields by other Organizations of the same class, especially by
Dr. Barnardo's Homes, by the Waifs and Strays Society, by the Church
Army, and, above all, perhaps, by another Society, with which I have
had the honour to be connected in a humble capacity for many years,
that for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children. Still it remains true
that the Salvation Army is unique, if only on account of the colossal
scale of its operations. Its fertilizing stream flows on steadily from
land to land, till it bids fair to irrigate the whole earth. What I
have written about is but one little segment of a work which
flourishes everywhere, and even lifts its head in Roman Catholic
countries, although in these, as yet, it makes no very great progress.
How potent then, and how generally suited to the needs of stained and
suffering mankind, must be that religion which appeals both to the
West and to the East, which is as much at home in Java and Korea as it
is in Copenhagen or Glasgow. For it should be borne in mind that the
basis of the Salvation Army is religious, that it aims, above
everything, at the conversion of men to an active and lively faith in
the plain, uncomplicated tenets of Christianity to the benefit of
their souls in some future state of existence and, incidentally, to
the Reformation of their characters while on earth.
The social work of which I have been treating is a mere by-product or
consequence of its main idea. Experience has shown, that it is of
little use to talk about his soul to a man with an empty stomach.
First, he must be fed and cleansed and given some other habitation
than the street. Also the Army has learned that Christ still walks the
earth in the shape of Charity; and that religion, after all, is best
preached by putting its maxims into practice; that the poor are always
with us; and that the first duty of the Christian is to bind their
wounds and soothe their sorrows. Afterwards, he may hope to cure them
of their sins, for he knows that unless such a cure is effected,
temporal assistance avails but little. Except in cases of pure
misfortune which stand upon another, and, so far as the Army work is
concerned, upon an outside footing, the causes of the fall must be
removed, or that fall will be repeated. The man or woman must be born
again, must be regenerated. Such, as I understand it, is at once the
belief of the Salvation Army and the object of all its efforts.
Therefore, I give to this book its title of 'Regeneration.'
THE NEED IS GREAT!
* * * * *
_The principal items of the Salvation Army's expenditure for Social
Work during the financial year ending September 30, 1911, are as
follows, and help is earnestly asked to meet these, the work being
entirely dependent upon Voluntary Gifts_.
For Maintenance of Work amongst the Destitute
and Outcast Men and Women, including Shelters
for Homeless Men and Women, Homes for Children,
Rescue Homes, etc..................................... £15,000
For Maintenance of the Slum Sisterhood and Nurses
for the Sick Poor..................................... £3,000
For Prison Visitation Staff and Prison-Gate Work........ £5,000
For Work among Youths and Boys.......................... £2,000
For Special Relief and Distress Agencies................ £5,000
For Development of the Work and Agricultural
Departments of the Hadleigh Colony.................... £3,000
For Assistance and Partial Maintenance of the
Unemployed and Inefficient............................ £5,000
For Assisting suitable Men and Women to Emigrate........ £3,000
Towards the provision of New Institutions for Men
and Boys in London and various provincial Cities...... £10,000
For the General Management and Supervision of all
the above Operations.................................. £2,000
Cheques and Postal Orders should be made payable to WILLIAM BOOTH,
crossed 'Bank of England, Law Courts Branch,' and sent to MRS. BOOTH,
101 Queen Victoria Street, London, E.C. Clothes for the poor and
articles for sale are always needed.
* * * * *
Ladies and Gentlemen are earnestly asked to remember the needs of the
Salvation Army's Social Work (the 'Darkest England' Social Scheme), in
connexion with the preparation of their wills.
* * * * *
All kinds of property can now be legally bequeathed for charitable
purposes, and the following form of legacy is recommended. Where a
legacy does not consist of a certain amount of money, care should be
taken to identify clearly the property, shares, stock, or whatever it
may be intended to be bequeathed.
_'I GIVE AND BEQUEATH TO WILLIAM BOOTH, or other the General for the
time being of the Salvation Army, and Director of the "Darkest
England" Social Scheme, the sum of £............_ (or) _MY TWO
freehold houses known as Nos.......... in the county
of................_ (or) _my £............ ordinary stock of the
London and North-Western Railway Company_ (or) _my shares
in............Limited_ (or as the case may be) _to be used or applied
by him, at his discretion, for the general purposes of the "Darkest
England" Social Scheme. And I direct the said last-mentioned Legacy to
be paid within twelve months after my decease.'_
* * * * *
DIRECTIONS FOR EXECUTION OF WILL
* * * * *
The Will must be executed by the Testator in the presence of two
witnesses, who must sign their names, addresses, and occupations at
the end of the Will in the presence of the Testator. The best method
to adopt for a Testator to be quite sure that his Will is executed
properly, is for him to take the Will and his two witnesses into a
room, lock the door, and tell the witnesses that he wishes them to
attest his Will. All three must sign in the room and nobody must go
out until all have signed.
GENERAL BOOTH will always be pleased to procure further advice for any
friends desiring to benefit the Salvation Army's work in any of its
departments, by Will or otherwise, and will treat any communications
made to him on the subject as strictly private and confidential.
Letters dealing with the matter should be marked Private, and
addressed to GENERAL BOOTH, 101 QUEEN VICTORIA STREET, LONDON, E.C.
NOTES ON THE ARMY'S FUTURE
(Following My Conversation with Mr. Rider Haggard)
BY BRAMWELL BOOTH
When asked to give my own view of the present and probable future
influence of the Salvation Army upon the world, I feel in no danger of
exaggeration. If any one could imagine what it has been for me to sit
at its centre almost without intermission for more than thirty-five
years, receiving continual reports of its development and progress in
one nation after another, studying from within not only its strength
and vitality, but its weaknesses and failures, and labouring to devise
remedies and preventatives, until what was a little unknown Mission in
the East End of London has become the widely, I might almost say, the
universally recognized Army of to-day, he could perhaps understand
something of my great confidence.
Curious indeed seem to be the thoughts of many people about
us!--people, I mean, who have only had a glance at one of our open-air
meetings, or have only heard some wild challenge of General Booth's
good faith, and have then more or less carefully avoided any closer
acquaintance with us. They often appear to be under the impression
that you have only to persuade a few people to march through any
crowded thoroughfare with a band, to gather a congregation, and, if
you please, to form out of it an Army, and from that again to secure a
vast revenue! I often wish that such people could know the struggles
of almost every individual, even amongst the very poorest, between the
moment of first contact with us and that of resolving to enlist in our
ranks. How few, even now, seem aware of the fact that so far from
paying or rewarding any one for joining in our efforts, all who do so
are from the first called upon daily not only to give to our funds,
but by sacrifice of time, labour, money, and often of health as well,
to constitute themselves efficient soldiers of their Corps, and assist
in providing it with every necessity.
Every one of the 3,000,000 meetings held annually, even in this
country, depends upon the voluntary giving up of the time and effort
of working-men and women who have in most cases to hurry from work to
home, and from home to meeting-place, after a hard day's labour. Much
the same may be said of the 450,000 meetings held annually on the
Continent of Europe; with this difference, that our people there have
mostly to begin work earlier in the day, and to conclude much later
than is the case here. Their evening meetings, in conformity with the
habits of the country concerned, must needs be begun, therefore,
later, and conclude much later than similar gatherings in the United
A cursory glance through the seventy-four newspapers and periodicals
published by the Army--generally weekly--in twenty-one languages,
would show any one how variously our people everywhere are seeking to
meet the different habits of life in each country, and how constantly
new plans are being tried to attain the supreme object of all our
multitudinous agencies--the arousing of men's attention to the claims
of God and their ingathering to His Kingdom.
The original plan adopted in this country of going to the people by
means of meetings and marches in the streets, is in many lands not
legally permissible, while in others it is almost useless. Our
leaders, therefore, have always to be finding out other means of
attaining the same end. This has resulted in very great gains of
liberty in several ways. On the Continent, for example, though it is
not possible to get a general permission to hold open-air meetings in
the streets, it is becoming more and more usual to let our people hold
such gatherings in the large pleasure-grounds, provided within or on
the outskirts both of the great cities and the lesser towns. In some
cases the announcements of further meetings, made somewhat after the
style of the public crier, develops into a series of short open-air
addresses. In other cases, conspicuously in Italy, where our work is
only as yet in its infancy--the sale of our paper, both by individual
hawkers and by groups of comrades singing the songs it contains in
marketplaces, largely makes up for the want of the more regularized
And in the courts of the great blocks of buildings which abound in
cities like Berlin, Copenhagen, Stockholm, and elsewhere, meetings are
held which are really often more effective in impressing whole
families of various classes than any of our open-air proceedings in
countries like England and the United States.
But everywhere the Army seeks especially, though not by any means
exclusively, for those who are to be found frequenting the
public-houses, cafes, beer gardens, dives, saloons, and other
drinking-places of the world. In all countries our people sell our
papers amidst these crowds, as well as at the doors of the theatres
and other places of amusement, and the mere offer of these papers, now
that their unflinching character as to God and goodness is well known,
constitutes an act of war, a submission to which in so many million
cases is no slight evidence of confidence among the masses of the
people in our sincerity, and, so far, a sign of our success.
But 'The War Cry' seller is in the countries of more scattered
population, such as Switzerland, some of the colonies, and large parts
of India, much more than is the case in the big cities, the
representative of every form of helpfulness. He, or she, not merely
offers the paper for sale to those who have neither opportunity nor
inclination to attend religious services of any kind, but enters
himself where no paper ever comes, holds little meetings with groups
of those who have never prayed, heartens those who are sinking down
under pressure of calamity, visits the sick-room of the friendless,
and often becomes the intermediary of the suffering and destitute and
those who can help them in their dismal necessities.
Of the persistent hopefulness with which our people everywhere go to
the apparently abandoned, I will only say that it constitutes a store
of moral and material help, not only for those people themselves, but
for all who become acquainted with it, the value of which in the
present it is difficult to exaggerate, and the influence of which on
the future it is equally difficult to over-estimate.
While leaving the utmost possible freedom for initiative to our
leaders, we are seeking everywhere to solidify and regularize every
effort that has once been shown to be of any practical use. Any one
amongst us, down to the youngest and poorest in any part of the world,
may do a new thing next week which will prove a blessing to his
fellows, and some one will be on the watch to see that that good
thing, once done, be repeated, and, so far as may be, kept up in
Where special classes of needs exist, we must of course employ special
agencies. The vitality and adaptability of the Army in the presence of
new opportunities is one of the happy auguries for the future. While
all that is virile and forceful in it increases, there is less and
less of the rigid and formal.
Fourteen or fifteen years ago some Officers were set apart to visit
the Lapps who range over all the Territories to the north of
Scandinavia. This meant at first only months of solitary travelling
during the summer, and no little suffering in the winter, with little
apparent result. But gradually a system of meetings was established,
the people's confidence was gained, and at length it has been found
possible to group together various centres of regular activity amongst
these interesting but little-known people, and now experienced leaders
will see both to the permanence of all that has already been begun,
and to the further extension of the work.
In Holland, where our work has assumed the proportions of a national
movement, the beneficent effects of which are recognized by all
classes, the canal population is helped by means of a small sailing
ship, on which are held regular meetings for them. Our Norwegian
people also have a life-boat called the _Catherine Booth_ stationed
upon a stormy and difficult part of the coast, which not only goes out
to help into safety boats and boats' crews, but whose crew also holds
meetings on islands in remote fisher hamlets where no other religious
The same principle of adaptation to local conditions and requirements
will, I doubt not, quickly ensure success for the small detachment of
Officers we have just sent to commence operations in Russia.
In Dutch India we have not only a growing Missionary work amongst both
Javanese and Chinese, but Government Institutions have been placed
under our care, where lepers, the blind, and other infirm natives, as
well as neglected children, are medically cared for and helped in
In South Africa, both English and Dutch-speaking peoples are united
under one Flag, and give themselves up to work amongst the native
races round them--races which constitute so grave a problem in the
eyes of all thoughtful men who know anything of the true position in
South Africa. One of the latest items of news is that an Angoni has
accepted salvation at one of our settlements in Mashonaland, and on
return to his own home and work--lying away between Lake Nyassa and
the Zambezi--has begun to hold meetings and to exercise an influence
upon his people which cannot but end in the establishment of our work
But, to my mind, one of the most important features of our work in all
Eastern and African lands is our development of the native power under
experienced guidance to purely Salvationist and therefore
non-political purposes. Surely the most potent possible corrective for
the sort of half rebel influence that has grown or is growing up in
Africa under the name of Ethiopianism, as well as for much of the
strange uneasiness among the dumb masses of India, is the complete
organization of native races under leaders who, whilst of their own
people, are devoted to the highest ethical aims, and stand in happy
subjection to men of other lands who have given them a training in
discipline and unity which does not contemplate bloodshed.
We are now beginning both in India and Africa, as well as in the West
Indies, to find experienced native Officers capable of taking Staff
positions; that is, of becoming reliable leaders in large districts
where we are at work. These men have not merely all the advantages of
language and of fitness for the varieties of climate which are so
trying to Westerners, but they show a courage and tenacity and
tact--in short, a capacity for leadership and administration such as
no one--at any rate, no one that I know of--expected to find in them.
Here is opened a prospect of the highest significance.
More than can be easily estimated has been done in spreading
information about us for some years past by Salvationists belonging to
various national armies and navies. We encourage all such men to group
themselves into brigades, so far as may be allowed, in their various
barracks and ships. Thus united, they work for their mutual
encouragement, and for the spreading of good influences among others.
It was such a little handful that really began our work in the West
Indies, and we have now a Corps in Sierra Leone, on the west coast of
Africa, formed by men of a West Indian regiment temporarily quartered
there. The same thing has happened in Sumatra by means of Dutch and
For British India we naturally felt ourselves first of all, as to the
heathen world, under obligation to do something. And no inconsiderable
results have followed the efforts which were first commenced there
twenty-eight years ago. Our pioneers, though they greatly disturbed
the official white world, won the hearts of the people at a stroke, by
wearing Indian dress, living amongst and in the style of the poorer
villages. Soon Indian converts offered themselves for service, and
after training; were commissioned as Officers, and it was at once seen
that they would be far more influential than any foreigners. From the
point at which that discovery was really made, the work assumed
important proportions, passing at once in large measure from the
position of a foreign mission to being a movement of the people
The vastness of the country and the difference of language have led to
our treating it as five separate commands, now under the general lead
of one headquarters. Incidentally, this has helped us in dealing with
some of the difficulties connected with caste, as it has been possible
to remove Indian Officers from one part of India to another, and we
have made some efforts which have, I admit, proved less successful in
some districts than in others, to deal with castes which, within their
own lines, are often little more than Trade Unions with a mixture of
Meanwhile, the practical character of our work has shown itself in
efforts to help in various ways the lowest of the people to improve
their circumstances. The need for this is instantly apparent when one
reflects that some 40,000,000 of the inhabitants of India are always
hungry. A system of loan banks, which has now been adopted in part by
the Government, has been of great service to the small
agriculturalists. The invention of an extremely simple and yet greatly
improved hand loom has proved, and will prove, very valuable to the
weavers. New plans of relief in times of scarcity and famine have also
greatly helped in some districts to win the confidence of the people.
Industrial schools, chiefly for orphan children, have also been a
feature of the work in some districts.
Recently the Government, having seen with what success our people have
laboured for the salvation of the lower castes, have decided to hand
over to us the special care of several of the criminal tribes, who are
really the remnants of the Aborigines. Although this work is at
present only in its experimental stage, all who have examined the
results so far have been delighted at the rapidity with which we have
brought many into habits of self-supporting industry, who, with their
fathers before them, had been accustomed to live entirely by plunder.
About 2,000 persons of this class are already under our care.
There are some 3,000,000 of these robbers in different parts of India.
They are only kept under anything like control at great cost for
police and military supervision; but we are satisfied that, if
reasonable support be given, a great proportion of them can be
reclaimed from their present courses of idleness and crime, and in any
case their children can be saved.
We have been able in India, perhaps more than in any other part of the
world, to realize the international character of our work by linking
together Officers from England, Germany, Holland, and the Scandinavian
countries, as well as from America, in the one great object of helping
the heathen peoples. But most of all we have rejoiced in being able to
blend East and West, European Officers having often been placed under
more experienced Indian comrades, as well as vice versa. The great
common purpose dominating all sections of the Army, and the influences
of the Spirit of God, have united men of different levels of
intelligence, and knit them together in the same fellowship, without
any unwise mingling of races. We have now 2,000 Officers in India, and
that alone is a testimony of the highest significance to the success
of our efforts, and to the possibilities which lie before us. But even
more important in its bearing upon the future, in my estimation, is
the wonderful ambition dominating our people there to reach every
class, but most of all to deal with the low caste, or outcast, as they
are sometimes called. Many of our Indian Officers have followed in the
steps of our pioneers in the country, and, consumed by an enthusiasm
amounting to a passion for their fellows, have literally sacrificed
their lives in the ceaseless pressing forward of their work.
In America we have had to deal, perhaps, with the other extreme of
human needs. Throughout Canada there is very little to be seen of
poverty and wretchedness. In the United States the great cities begin
indeed to have areas of vice and misery not to be surpassed in any of
the older cities of the world. But everywhere we have found people who
have become forgetful of God, neglectful of every higher duty, and
abandoned to one or other form of selfishness. Our work in the United
States especially has been confronted with difficulties peculiar to
the country, its widespread populations and their cosmopolitan
character being not the least of these. Nevertheless, we have now in
the States and Canada nearly 4,000 Officers leading the work in 1,380
Corps and Societies, and 350 Social Institutions. I ought to say that
it has not been found easy to raise large numbers in many places, but
of the generosity and devotion of those who have united themselves
with us, and the immense amount of work which they accomplish for
their fellows, it is impossible to speak too highly.
I look with confidence to the future in both these great countries.
Governments and local Authorities are beginning to grant us the
facilities and help we need to deal effectually with their abandoned
classes, as well as to attack some other problems of a difficult
nature. Within the last few years, we have placed in Canada more than
50,000 emigrants, chiefly from this country. Their characteristics,
and their success in their new surroundings, have won for us the
highest commendation of the Authorities concerned.
In the vast fields of South America, we have as yet only small forces,
but we have established a good footing with the various populations,
and have already received no inconsiderable help for our purely
philanthropic work from several of the Governments. Our latest new
extensions, Chile, Paraguay, and Peru, and Panama, seem to offer
prospects of success, even greater than we have been able to record in
the Argentine or Uruguay. Before your book is published, we shall
probably have made a beginning also in both Bolivia and Brazil.
The South American Republics--chiefly populated by the descendants of
the poorest classes of Southern Europe--are professedly Roman
Catholic. The influence of the priesthood, however, owing to various
causes, seems to be on the wane, and a habit of abandoning all
religious thought is much on the increase. But the realization that
our people never attack any Church, or quibble about details of creed
and ceremonial, has won their way to the hearts of many, and there can
be no doubt that we have a great future amongst these peoples. In Peru
the law does not allow any persons not of the Romish Church to offer
prayer in public places, but when it was found that our Officers made
no trouble of this, but managed all the same to hold open-air and
theatre services very much in our usual style, great numbers of the
people were astonished at the 'new religion,' and so many had soon
begun to pray 'in private' that we have little doubt about the future
of our work there.
In thinking of the future, I cannot overlook our plans of organization
which have, I am persuaded, much to do with the proper maintenance and
continuance of the work we have taken in hand.
While striving as much as possible to avoid red tape, or indeed any
methods likely to hinder initiative and enterprise, we are careful to
apply a systemization comprehensible to the most untrained minds, so
that we may make every one feel a proper degree of responsibility, as
well as guard them from mere emotionalism and spasmodic activity,
accompanied as that kind of thing often is, by general neglect.
Thus no one can join the Army until after satisfying the local Officer
and some resident of the place during a period of trial of the
sincerity of his profession. He must then sign our Articles of War.
These Articles describe precisely our doctrines, our promise to
abstain from intoxicants, worldly pleasures, and fashions, bad or
unworthy language, or conduct, and unfairness to either employer or
employé, as well as our purpose to help and benefit those around us.
(See Appendix B.)
Some local voluntary worker becomes responsible for setting each
recruit a definite task in connexion with our efforts, and all are
placed under the general oversight of their Captain. A Corps, which is
the unit of our Organization, is organized under a Captain and
Lieutenant who have been trained in the work they have to do as
leaders. Corps are linked together into divisions under Officers, who,
in addition to seeing that they regularly carry out their work, have
the oversight of a considerable tract of country, with the duty of
extending our operations within that area. In some countries a number
of divisions are sometimes grouped into provinces with an Officer in
charge of the whole province, and each country has its national
headquarters under a Territorial Commissioner, all being under the
lead of the International Headquarters in London.
No time is wasted in committee-ing or debating amongst us, and yet in
all matters of finance and property there is such arrangement that
several individuals are cognizant of every detail, and that no one
person's fault or neglect shall necessarily involve permanent injury
or loss. The central accounts in each country, including those in
London, are under the care of public auditors; but we have also our
own International Audit Department, whose representatives visit every
headquarters from time to time, so as to make sure, not only that the
accounts are kept on our approved system, but that all expenditure is
rigidly criticized. All who really look into our financial methods are
impressed by their economy and precision. The fact is that almost all
our people have been well schooled in poverty. They have learned the
value of pence.
All this seems to me to have great importance in connexion with
estimates of our future. On the one hand we are ever seeking to
impress on all our people the supreme need of God's spirit of love and
life and freedom, without whose presence the most carefully managed
system could not but speedily grow cold and useless. But at the same
time, we insist that the service of God, however full of love and
gladness, ought to be more precise, more regular, nay, more exacting
than that of any inferior master.
As to your question whether we are generally making progress, I think
I can say that, viewing the whole field of activity, and taking into
account every aspect of the work, the Army is undoubtedly on the
up-grade. Naturally progress is not so rapid in one country as
another, nor is it always so marked in one period as in another in
particular countries, nor is it always so evident in some departments
of effort as in others; but speaking of the whole, there is, as indeed
there has been from the very beginnings, steady advance.
In some countries, of course, there is more rapid development of our
purely evangelistic propaganda, while in others our philanthropic
agencies are more active. Progress in human affairs is generally
tidal. It has been so with us. A period of great outward activity is
sometimes followed by one of comparative rest, and in the same way the
spirit of advance in one department sometimes passes from that for a
time to others. A period of great progress in all kinds of pioneer
work, for example in Germany, is just now being followed there by one
of consolidation and organization. A time of enormous advance in all
our departments of charitable effort in the United States is now being
succeeded by a wonderful manifestation of purely spiritual fervour and
In this, the old country, our very success has in some ways militated
against our continued advance at the old rate of progress. Not only
has much ground already been occupied, but innumerable agencies,
modelled outwardly, at least, after those we first established, have
sprung into existence, and are working on a field of effort which was
at one time largely left to us. And yet during the last five years the
Army has enormously strengthened its hold on the confidence of all
classes of the people here, increased its numbers, developed in a
remarkable degree its internal organization, greatly added to its
material resources, as well as maintained and extended its offering of
men and money for the support of the work in heathen countries.
But even in places where we have appeared to be stagnant, in the sense
of not undertaking any new aggressive activities, we are constantly
making as a part of our regular warfare new captures from the enemy of
souls, maintaining the care of congregations and people linked with
us, working at full pressure our social machinery, training the
children for future labour, raising up men and women to go out into
the world as missionaries of one kind or another, and doing it all
while carrying on vigorous efforts to bring to those who are most
needy in every locality both material and spiritual support.
Like all aggressive movements, the Army is, of course, peculiarly
subject to loss of one kind or another. That arising from the removals
of its people alone constitutes a serious item. Any one who knows
anything of religious work amongst the working-classes will understand
how great a loss may be caused--even where the population is,
generally speaking, increasing--by the removal of one or two zealous
local leaders. But such losses are trifling compared with those which
follow from some stoppage of employment when large numbers of workmen
must either migrate or starve.
Similar results often occur from the change of leadership. The removal
of our Officers from point to point, and even from country to country,
is one of our most indispensable needs; but, of course, we have to pay
for it, chiefly in the dislocation and discouragements and losses
which it often necessarily entails.
So far from such variations being in any way discreditable to us, we
think them one of the most valuable tests of the vitality and courage
of our people, both Officers and Soldiers, that they fight on
unflinchingly under such circumstances--fight on happily, to prove
that while fluctuations of this character are very trying, they often
also open the way both to the wider diffusion of our work elsewhere
and to the breaking up of entirely new ground in the old centres.
In brief, it is with us at all times a real warfare wherein triumphs
can only be secured at the cost of struggles that are very often
painful and unpleasant. You cannot have the aggression, the advance,
the captures of war without the change, the alarms, the cost, the
wounds, the losses, which are inseparable from it.
A very striking and thoughtful description of some of the work done at
one of our London Corps has recently been issued by a well-known
writer. I refer to 'Broken Earthenware,' by Mr. Harold Begbie. No one
can read the book without being impressed by the sense of personal
insight which it reveals. But how few take in its main lesson, that
the Army is in every place going on, not only with the recovery but
with the development of broken men and women into more and more
capable and efficient servants and rescuers of their fellows.
That this should be so is remarkable enough as applied to Westerners,
broken by evil habits and more or less surrounded by wreckage, but how
much more valuable when applied to the teeming populations of the
East! There in so many cases there is no past of criminality or even
of vice as we understand it to forget, but only an infancy of darkness
and ignorance as to Christ and the liberty He brings.
Many of our best Indian Officers have been snatched from one form or
other of outrageous selfishness, but thousands of our people there are
gradually emerging from what is really the prolonged childhood of a
race to see and know how influential the light of God can make even
them amongst their fellows. Ten years ago in Japan a Salvationist
Officer was a strange if not an unknown phenomenon, but with every
increase of the Christian and Western influences in that country,
every capable witness to Christ becomes, quite apart from any effort
of his own, a much more noticed, consulted, and imitated example than
he was before. In Korea, after a couple of years' effort, we have seen
most striking results of our work, and have just sent, to work among
their own people, our first twenty married Koreans, after a
preliminary period of training for Officership. It is most difficult
to realize the revolution involved in the whole outlook on life to men
who have been looked upon as little more than serfs, without any
prospect of influence in their country.
The same processes of inner and outer development which have made of
the unknown English workman or workwoman of twenty years ago, the
recognized servants of the community, welcomed everywhere by mayors
and magistrates to help in the service of the poor, will, out of the
clever Oriental, I believe, far more rapidly develop leaders in the
new line of Christian improvement in every sphere of life. It is
considerations such as these which make me say sometimes that the
danger in the Army is not in the direction of magnifying, but rather
of minimizing the influences that are carrying us upward and outward
in every part of the world.
But in our own estimation there is another reason which perhaps equals
all these for calculating upon a wider development of the Army's
future influence. During the last twenty years we have been pressing
forward amongst a very large number of Church and missionary efforts.
Our speakers have notoriously been amongst the most unlearned and
ungrammatical, and therefore often despised, while so many thousands
of university men were preaching and writing of Christ. But no one now
disputes the fact that the old-fashioned proclamation of the doctrine
of Jesus Christ as a Divine Saviour of the lost has largely gone out
of fashion. The influence of the priest, of the clerk in holy orders,
of the minister, has been so largely undermined that candidates for
the ministry are becoming scarce in many Churches, just while we are
seeing them arise in steadily increasing numbers from among the very
people who know the Army and its work best, and who have most
carefully observed the demands of sacrifice and labour it makes upon
One cannot but rejoice when one hears ever and anon of some conference
or congress at which various efforts are made to recover, at any rate,
the appearance of a forward movement in the Churches. But the most
serious fact of all, perhaps, is the mixture amongst these
Christianizing plans, whether in one country or another, of the
unbelieving leaven, so that it is possible for men to go forth as the
emissaries of Christianity who have ceased to believe in the Divine
nature of its Founder, and who look for success rather to schemes of
education and of social and temporal improvement than to that new
creation of man by God's power, wherein lies all our hope, as indeed
it must be the hope of every true servant of Christ.
But I call attention to these facts not to reproach any Church. Far
from it. I simply desire to point out one reason for thinking
ourselves justified in anticipating for the Army a future influence
far beyond anything we have yet experienced.
Recent 'defences' of Christian revelation have, in our view, been far
more seriously damaging than any attacks that have ever been made from
the hostile camp. In the hope--a vain hope--of conciliating
opposition, there has too often been a timid surrender of much that
can alone give authority to Christian testimony. If Jesus Christ was
not competent to decide the truth or untruth of the Divine revelation,
which He fully and constantly endorsed as such, how absurd it is to
suppose that any eulogies of His character can save Him from the just
contempt of all fearless thinkers, no matter to what nationality they
The Army finds itself already, and every year seems more and more
likely to find itself, the only firm and unalterable witness to the
truth of Christ and of His redeeming work in many neighbourhoods and
districts, among them even some wide stretches of Christian territory.
And the times can only bring upon us, it seems to me, more and more
the scrutiny of all who wish to know whether the declarations of the
Scriptures as to God's work in men are or are not reliable. This,
then, however melancholy the reflection may be--and to me it is in
some aspects melancholy indeed--assures to us a future of far wider
importance and influence than any we have dreamed of in the past.
Our strength, as your book eloquently shows, in dealing with the
deepest sunken, the forgotten, the outcasts of society, the pariahs
and lepers of modern life; has ever been our absolute certainty with
regard to Christ's love and power to help them. How much greater must
of necessity be the value and influence of our testimony where the
very existence of Christ and His salvation becomes a matter of doubt
and dispute! Here, at any rate, is one reason which leads me to
believe that the Salvation Army has before it a future of the highest
moment to the world.
In relation to other religious bodies, our position is marvellously
altered from the time when they nearly all, if not quite all,
I do not think that any of the Churches in any part of the world do
this now, although no doubt individuals here and there are still
bitterly hostile to us. In the United States and in many of the
British Colonies the Churches welcome our help, and generally speak
well of our work; and even many Roman Catholic leaders, as well as
authorities of the Jewish faith, may be included in this statement. On
the Continent there are signs that they are slowly turning the same
Now, I confidently expect a steady extension of this feeling towards
us as the Churches come more and more to recognize that we not only do
not attack them, but that we are actually auxiliaries to their forces,
not only gaining our audiences and recruits from those who are outside
their ministrations, but even serving them by doing work for their
adherents which for a variety of reasons they find it very difficult,
if not impossible, to accomplish themselves.
At the same time it would be a mistake to think that we have any
desire to adopt any of their methods or ceremonials. We keep
everywhere to our simple and non-ecclesiastical habits, and while we
certainly have some very significant and impressive ceremonials of our
own, the way our buildings are fitted, the style of our songs and
music, and the character of our prayers and public talking are
everywhere entirely distinctive, and are nowhere in any danger of
coming into serious competition with the worship adopted by the
Some of our leading Officers think that in one respect our relations
to the Churches, their pastors, and people are unsatisfactory. In the
United States it is customary for the clergy and leaders of every
Church to treat our leaders with the most manifest sympathy and
respect. But there is far too marked a contrast between that treatment
and that which we receive in many other countries. There are, of
course, splendid exceptions. Still few members of any Church are
willing to be seen in active association with us.
I daresay this is very largely a question of class or caste, and I am
very far from making it a matter of complaint. We would, in fact, far
rather that our people should be regarded as outcasts, than that they
should be tempted to tone down the directness of their witness, or
that they should come under the influence of those uncertainties and
misgivings to which I have already made reference. Nevertheless, it is
certainly no wish of ours that there should remain any distance
between us and any true followers of Christ by whatever name they may
be called. And so we keep firmly, even where it may seem difficult or
impolitic to do so, to our original attitude of entire friendliness
with all those who name the Name of Christ.
I give a few figures bearing upon the present extent of our
Number of Countries and Colonies occupied by
the Salvation Army 56
Languages in which the Work is carried on 33
Corps, Circles, and Societies of Salvationists 8,768
Number of persons wholly supported by and employed
in Salvation Army Work 21,390
Of those, with Rank 16,220
Without Rank 5,170
Number of Training Colleges for Officers and
Providing accommodation for 1,866
Number of Institutions 954
Number of Officers and Cadets employed 2,573
Number of Local Officers, voluntary and unpaid 60,260
NUMBER OF PERIODICALS 74
These Periodicals are published in twenty-one languages,
and have a total circulation per issue of about one million
THE SALVATION ARMY'S ARTICLES OF WAR
HAVING received with all my heart the salvation offered to me by the
tender mercy of Jehovah, I do here and now publicly acknowledge God to
be my Father and King, Jesus Christ to be my Saviour, and the Holy
Spirit to be my Guide, Comforter, and Strength; and that I will, by
His help, love, serve, worship, and obey this glorious God through
time and through eternity,
BELIEVING solemnly that the Salvation Army has been raised up by God,
and is sustained and directed by Him, I do here declare my full
determination, by God's help, to be a true Soldier of the Army till I
I am thoroughly convinced of the truth of the Army's
I believe that repentance towards God, faith in our Lord
Jesus Christ, and conversion by the Holy Spirit are
necessary to salvation, and that all men may be saved.
I believe that we are saved by grace, through faith in our
Lord Jesus Christ, and he that believeth hath the witness of
it in himself. I have got it. Thank God!
I believe that the Scriptures were given by inspiration of
God, and that they teach that not only does continuance in
the favour of God depend upon continued faith in and
obedience to Christ, but that it is possible for those who
have been truly converted to fall away and be eternally
I believe that it is the privilege of all God's people to be
wholly sanctified, and that 'their whole spirit and soul and
body' may 'be preserved blameless unto the coming of our
Lord Jesus Christ,' That is to say, I believe that after
conversion there remain in the heart of the believer
inclinations to evil, or roots of bitterness, which, unless
overpowered by divine grace, produce actual sin; but these
evil tendencies can be entirely taken away by the Spirit of
God, and the whole heart, thus cleansed from anything
contrary to the will of God, or entirely sanctified, will
then produce the fruit of the Spirit only. And I believe
that persons thus entirely sanctified may, by the power of
God, be kept unblameable and unreprovable before Him.
I believe in the immortality of the soul; in the
resurrection of the body; in the general judgment at the end
of the world; in the eternal happiness of the righteous; and
in the everlasting punishment of the wicked.
I do here and now, and for ever, renounce the world with all
its sinful pleasures, companionships, treasures, and
objects, and declare my full determination boldly to show
myself a soldier of Jesus Christ in all places and
companies, no matter what I may have to suffer, do, or lose,
by so doing.
I do here and now declare that I will abstain from the use
of all intoxicating liquors, and from the habitual use of
opium, laudanum, morphia, and all other baneful drugs,
except when in illness such drugs shall be ordered for me by
I do here and now declare that I will abstain from the use
of all low or profane language; from the taking of the name
of God in vain; and from all impurity, or from taking part
in any unclean conversation, or the reading of any obscene
book or paper at any time, in any company, or in any place.
I do here declare that I will not allow myself in any
falsehood, deceit, misrepresentation, or dishonesty; neither
will I practise any fraudulent conduct in my business, my
home, nor in any other relation in which I may stand to my
fellow-men, but that I will deal truthfully, fairly,
honourably, and kindly with all those who may employ me, or
whom I may myself employ,
I do here declare that I will never treat any woman, child,
or other person, whose life, comfort, or happiness may be
placed within my power, in an oppressive, cruel or cowardly
manner, but that I will protect such from evil and danger so
far as I can, and promote to the utmost of my ability their
present welfare and eternal salvation.
I do here declare that I will spend all the time, strength,
money, and influence I can in supporting and carrying on
this war, and that I will endeavour to lead my family,
friends, neighbours, and all others whom I can influence, to
do the same, believing that the sure and only way to remedy
all the evils in the world is by bringing men to submit
themselves to the Government of the Lord Jesus Christ.
I do here declare that I will always obey the lawful orders
of my Officers, and that I will carry out to the utmost of
my powers all the orders and regulations of the Army; and
further that I will be an example of faithfulness to its
principles, advance to the utmost of my ability its
operations, and never allow, where I can prevent it, any
injury to its interests, or hindrance to its success.
I do here and now call upon all present to witness that I
enter into this undertaking, and sign these Articles of War
of my own free will, feeling that the love of Christ, who
died to save me, requires from me this devotion of my life
to His service for the salvation of the whole world, and
therefore wish now to be enrolled as a Soldier of the
_Image (full Christian and Surname)_
COPY OF THE SALVATION ARMY BALANCE SHEET, EXTRACTED FROM THE
FORTY-THIRD ANNUAL STATEMENTS OF ACCOUNT FOR THE YEAR ENDING
SEPTEMBER 30, 1909.
_Copies of this Balance Sheet with Statements of Account can be had
upon application. The Balance Sheet and Statements of Account for the
year ending September 30, 1910, will be posted from the press early
next year. The Balance Sheet of The Army's Social Fund can be obtained
from the Secretary._
£ s. d.
TO LOANS UPON MORTGAGE,
including accrued Interest 540,277 3 11
" LOANS FOR FIXED PERIODS,
including accrued Interest 121,958 8 1
" RESERVE FUNDS, including
General and Special Reserves 176,143 15 ½
" SUNDRY CREDITORS 10,359 3 2
" COLONIAL AND FOREIGN
TERRITORIES FUND 55,219 10 7
" SELF-DENIAL FUND
(Balance) 3,463 12 3
Carried Forward £907,621 13 1/2
£ s. d. £ s. d.
BY FREEHOLD and LEASEHOLD
PROPERTY (at or below
cost) in the United
Kingdom, as on September
30, 1908 1,066,923 16 2-1/2
" Additions during the year 23,271 4 6
1,090,195 2 8-1/2
" Freehold Estate in
Australia 10,375 3 6
----------------- 1,100,571 6 4-1/2
" INVESTMENTS, including
Investment of Reserve
and Sinking Funds 196,412 9 2
" FURNITURE and FITTINGS
at Headquarters, Officers'
Training College, as on
September 30, 1908 5,412 16 1
" Additions during the year 2,768 9 5-1/2
8,181 5 6-1/2
_Less_ Depreciation 2,433 19 9
--------------- 5,748 5 9-1/2
Carried forward £1,802,732 1 4
Brought forward 907,621 13 0-1/2
To The Salvation Army Fund,
as per last Balance Sheet 411,701 0 6-1/4
" Donations and Subscriptions
For Capital Purposes
£20,044 0s. 2d.) 37,044 6 2
" General Income and Expenditure
(Balance) 1,309 17 8-1/2
450,064 18 4-1/2
£1,357,706 11 5
Brought forward 1,302,732 1 4
" Trade Headquarters Fund 27,902 16 5
" Sundry Colonial and
Foreign Territories 8,606 16 0
34,506 12 5
" Sundry Debtors 18,360 10 4
" Cash at Bank 2,107 7 4
£1,357,706 11 5
We have examined the above Statement with the Books, Accounts, and
Vouchers relating thereto, and certify the same to be correct. We have
also verified the Bank balances and Investments.
KNOX, CROPPER & CO.,
16 FINSBURY CIRCUS, E.C.
_December_ 31, 1909.
A FEW FIGURES SHOWING SOME OF THE WORK OF THE DARKEST ENGLAND SCHEME
IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.
TO SEPTEMBER 30, 1909 DURING TOTAL TO
1910 SEPT. 30, 1910
Number of Meals supplied at
Cheap Food Dépôts 69,784,480 6,869,897 76,654,377
Number of Cheap Lodgings for
the Homeless 27,850,674 2,445,300 30,295,974
Number of Meetings held in
Shelters 140,747 8,660 149,407
Number of Applications from
Unemployed registered at
Labour Bureaux 302,538 13,009 315,547
Number received into Factories 63,694 6,754 70,448
Number for whom Employment
(temporary or permanent) has
been found 249,453 20,210 269,663
Number of Ex-Criminals received
into Homes 8,840 416 9,256
Number of Ex-Criminals assisted,
restored to Friends,
sent to situations, etc. 7,886 1,166 9,052
Number of Applications for Lost
Persons 44,001 2,120 46,121
Number of Lost Persons found 13,710 398 14,108
Number of Women and Girls
received into Rescue Homes 44,417 3,679 48,096
Number of Women and Girls
received into Rescue Homes
who were sent to Situations,
restored to Friends, etc. 37,168 3,346 40,514
Number of Families visited in
Slums 998,079 109,750 1,107,829
Number of Families prayed with 577,550 64,141 641,691
Number of Public-houses visited 630,021 33,188 663,209
Number of Lodging-houses
visited 17,330 3,457 20,787
Number of Lodging-house Meetings
held 7,319 1,792 9,111
Number of Sick People visited
and nursed 93,233 21,912 115,145
[1: See Appendix C]
[2: The following extract from the recently issued 'Report of
the Commissioners of Prisons and the Directors of Convict Prisons,'
for the year ended March 31, 1910, Part I [Cd. 5360], published since
the above was written, sets out the present views of the Authorities
on this important matter:--
'Out of the present inmates of convict prisons over 40 per
cent have been previously in penal servitude, viz. out of
3,046 male convicts in convict prisons, 1,253 had been
previously sentenced to penal servitude, 672 once, 271
twice, 196 three times, and 114 four times or more. Mr.
Secretary Churchill has referred to us the question whether,
and in what way, it would be possible to make any impression
on this roll of recidivism--this unyielding _corpus_ of
habitual crime. The problem is never absent from the minds
of those responsible for the administration of prisons and
the treatment of crime, and during recent years great
efforts have been made to improve the machinery of
assistance on discharge, fully impressed as we are with the
truth of the old French saying, "_Le difficile ce n'est pas
emprisoner un homme, c'est de le relâcher_." We have tried
to avail ourselves fully of the resources offered by such
powerful agencies as the Church Army, Salvation Army, as
well as other societies who have for years operated in this
particular field of charitable effort. We recognize the
ready help given by all these agencies. No doubt by their
efforts many difficult and unpromising cases have been
rehabilitated; but after full consideration we have come to
the opinion that the task of rehabilitation in the case of
men returning to freedom after a sentence of penal servitude
is too difficult and too costly to be left entirely to
voluntary societies, unaided by any grant of public funds,
and working independently of each other at a problem where
unity of method and direction is above all things required.
Mr. Secretary Churchill, to whom these views have been
represented, at once agreed that the difficulty lay in this
question of discharge, and that the official authority,
acting in close and friendly co-operation with the voluntary
societies must take a more active part than hitherto in
controlling the passage into free life of a man emerging
from penal servitude. ... A plan is now under consideration
for establishing a Central Agency of Control for Discharged
Convicts, on which both the official and unofficial element
will be represented, with a subsidy from public funds, the
purpose of which will be to take in hand the guidance and
direction of every convict on the day of discharge' (pp. 15,
[3: See Parliamentary Blue Book [Cd. 2562].]
[4: The scale of pay in the Salvation Array for Officers in charge of
Corps (or Stations) is as follows:--For Single Men: Lieutenants, 16s.
weekly; Captains, 18s. weekly. For Single Women: Lieutenants, 12s.
weekly; Captains, 15s. weekly. For Married Men, 27s. per week and 1s.
per week for each child under 7 years of age, and 2s. per week for
each child between the ages of 7 and 14. Furnished lodgings are
provided in addition.]
[5: But the day before this proof came into my hands it was my duty to
help to try a case illustrative of these remarks. In that case a girl
when only just over the age of sixteen had been seduced by a young man
and borne a son. First the father admitted parentage and promised
marriage. Then he denied parentage, and, apparently without a shadow
of evidence, alleged that the child was the result of an incestuous
intercourse between its mother and a relative. At the trial, having,
it seemed, come to the conclusion that this wicked slander would not
enable him to escape an affiliation order, he again frankly admitted
his parentage. In the country districts, at any rate, such examples
are common.--H. R. H.]
[6: The loss is being reduced annually, that for the financial year
which has just closed being the lowest on record.]
[7: See Appendix A]
[8: On this and other points see the Salvation Army's 'Articles of
War,' Appendix B.]
Affiliation Orders, 91, 109-110.
'Ann Fowler' Home, 166, 168.
Anti-Suicide Bureau, 151-164.
Ardenshaw Women's Home, Glasgow, 188.
Argyll, Duchess of, 103.
'Articles of War,' 257.
Australia, 14, 83.
Balance-sheet for 1909, 260-261.
Barlow, Sir Thomas, 123.
Barnardo, The late Dr., 71, 73, 233.
Blackfriars Shelter, 41.
Booth, General, 7, 10-12, 14-18, 57, 61, 63, 85, 97, 200-201, 206,
Booth, Mr. Bramwell, 218-225.
Booth, Mrs. Bramwell, 87, 89, 91-93, 95, 144.
Boxted Small Holdings, 69, 200-207.
British Government, The, and Colonial Land Scheme, 82.
Canada, 14, 82-86.
Carrington, Earl, 206.
Central Labour Bureau, 75.
Chief of the Staff, The: see Mr. Bramwell Booth.
Cox, Commissioner, 96, 98, 119, 120.
Criminals in England, 61.
Crossley, Mrs., 176.
Duke Street, Glasgow, 188.
Embankment Soup Distribution, 22, 39, 40.
Emigration Department, 80;
Emigration Board, 85.
Employers' Liability Act, 38.
First Offenders Act, 168.
Free Breakfast Service, 41.
Future of the Salvation Army, Notes on, 237.
Glasgow, 165, 178-182, 192.
Government Labour Bureaux, 75-76.
Government Subsidy, 57.
Great Peter St. Shelter, 33, 157.
Great Titchfield St., 94, 140, 150.
Hadleigh Land Colony, 76, 182, 184, 194, 198, 199.
Hanbury St. Workshop, 65-70.
Herring, The late Mr. George, 19, 200, 201, 207, 212.
Hillsborough House Inebriates' Home, 98, 102, 122.
Hollies,' 'The, 168, 169.
Home Office, The, 55.
Iliffe, Lieut.-Colonel, 204.
Impressions of General Booth, 208.
Inebriates' Home, The, Springfield Lodge, 122.
International Investigation Department, 77.
Ivy House Maternity Hospital, 107.
Jolliffe, Lieut.-Colonel, 41, 148, 185-186, 190-191.
King Edward Hospital Fund, 201.
Labour Bureau, Central, Whitechapel, 75;
Labour Party and Trade.
Unions, 65, 85-86.
Lamb, Colonel, 81, 83-85.
Lambert, Colonel, 115.
Land Colony, Hadleigh, 194.
Laudanum-drinking, 124, 183.
Laurie, Lieut.-Colonel, 194-196.
Laurier, Sir Wilfrid, 82.
London County Council, 129.
London Maternity Home, 169.
Lorne House, 103, 105.
Social Institutions, 172.
Maternity Home, Lorne House, Stoke Newington, 103.
Maternity Home, Brent House, Hackney, 105-106.
Hackney, 105, 107;
Maternity Hospital, New, required, 170.
Men's Social Work,
London, 19, 65;
Middlesex Street Shelter, 19.
Midnight Work, Social, 94.
Needs, Our, 235.
Nest,' 'The, Clapton, 112.
Oakhill House, Manchester, 176.
Old-Age Pensions Act, 130.
Parliamentary Committee of the Trade Unions, 65.
Penitent Form, The, 46-48, 51, 230.
Pentonville Prison, 56.
Piccadilly Midnight Work, 140.
Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Society for the, 233.
Princess Louise, H.R.H., 103.
Prison Act, The New, 63.
Prison Reform, 62, 63 (note).
Prison Visitation, 55, 188.
Prisoners' Aid Society, 180.
Quaker Street, 54.
Religion of the Salvation Army, Note on the, 229.
Rescue Home, The, 117.
Roosevelt, Mr. 214-215.
'Rural England,' 10.
Sacraments, The, 230.
Salvation Army, Some Statistics of the, 9-10.
Scale of pay, Officers', 90 (note).
Scotland, 131, 179.
Slum Settlement, The Hackney Road, 131.
Slum Sisters, 88;
Some Statistics of their work, 131.
Small Holdings, 200-207.
Southwood, Sydenham, 126.
Spa Road Elevator, 27, 46, 79.
Sturge House, 71-74.
Sturgess, Commissioner, 19, 36, 47, 54, 55, 57, 186.
Sweating, Charges of, refuted, 28, 66, 120-121.
Titchfield Street Home, The, 140, 145, 150.
Trade Unions and rate of Wages, 15-16.
Training Institute for Women Social Workers, The, 115.
Unsworth, Colonel, 155, 157, 160, 164.
Vegetarianism, 99, 113-114.
Visitation of prisoners by Salvation Army Officers, 55-56.
Wandsworth Prison, 56.
Waste Paper Department,
Spa Road, 27, 31, 52;
White Slave Traffic, 87, 93.
Whitechapel, 72, 75, 95, 132, 142.
Women's Industrial Home, Hackney, 119;
Women's Shelter, 129.
Women's Social Work, London, 87;