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Monday, 29 December 2014

Bristol Salvation Army

However much persons may disapprove of the method of proceeding adopted by the Salvation Army, it is generally admitted that this extensive organisation has effected a great and useful work throughout the country; and not the least important of its many departments is what is described as "rescue work." For the purpose of carrying this on there are at present about a dozen homes in Great Britain, in addition to similar institutions on the Continent and in most of the Colonies. The report just issued states that from the commencement of the work to September of the present year 1190 persons were received into the London homes, and of that number it is estimated that 1007 have become respectable members of society. The number received into the homes during the past year was 365, and only 66 cases proved unsatisfactory.
The Australian Government deemed this work so important that they have made a grant for its furtherance in the Colony. Last night all the corps of the Army in Bristol were united in a meeting at the Circus, York Street, in connection with the Rescue Work section, which is under the direction of Mrs. Bramwell Booth, who was announced to deliver an address.
There was a very large gathering, and the proceedings were characterised by the customary enthusiasm. At the commencement Salvation literature was plentifully distributed, and a number of songs were sung, the soldiers joining in very heartily, accompanied by a full band of music. Major Thomas Estill, who is in command of the Bristol division, presided; and he was supported by Mrs. Bramwell Booth, Captain Vince (of the Circus Corps), Staff-Captain George Taberer (who started the Army in Bristol), and others. After the preliminaries, Captain Vaugle (from the Rescue Office) spoke of the great amount of work done by that section of the Army.
Mrs. Bramwell Booth, who met with a hearty reception, followed at greater length. She mentioned that it was in that very Circus eight years ago, that she first spoke for the Army in the English language, having previously served in France, and she remembered with what fear and trembling she spoke to them, but she felt quite happy now (applause). As some people seemed to have a wrong idea of the Rescue Department, she wished it to be understood that it was real, downright, and proper Salvation work, done by Salvation blood and fire soldiers (applause).
There were five rescue homes in London, but the accommodation was far from being sufficient. The outcasts who were taken in were welcomed and made thoroughly at home; there was none of the kid glove business, or touching them with a long stick about the Army (applause). Mentioning some cases of rescue, she said the Salvation red jersey played an important part in the work; indeed, If they knew all she could tell them about it, not one soldier would ever go out without the jersey (applause). The officers had brought in some of those who were called the "respectable" portion of the class of women among whom they worked, and one of those in the receiving house at the present time was a peer's daughter who had been led astray. She went on to speak of the work in the homes, and said fallen women, when converted, were taught some kind of work and provided with respectable situations.
Touching on the temperance question, she raised great enthusiasm by instancing cases of conversion to teetotalism where persons poured the ‘accursed liquor down the sink’ (laughter and applause). A collection was taken for the rescue work. The meeting was of a very successful character.
This report of the visit of Mrs. Bramwell Booth to Bristol was published in the Bristol Mercury, 10th November 1888.

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