Ix common with Their Majesties the King and Queen, and other members of the Royal Family, H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught has always been a warm sympathiser with the work of the Institution, and, in the midst of many national duties, he has found time to give it a personal and active support for which the Committee of Management are deeply grateful.
It will be remembered that His Royal Highness took the chair at the Annual Meeting of the Institution in 1917, and at the end of a speech, in which he spoke of the Life-boats as " essentially a fighting service," and described their splendid achievements during the first three years of the war, he said: " I only hope that, in however small a way, I may be able to help forward the interest in and support for this grand national Institution. I shall be amply repaid by knowing that I have been able to interest the people of this country in a Service which is probably amongst the finest from one end of the kingdom to the other." That this was no mere verbal expres- sion of good-will His Royal Highness has again most generously shown by making a personal appeal to all those corps of which he is either Colonel or Colonel-in-Chief. He is Colonel of the Grenadier Guards, and the R.A.S.C., and Colonel-in-chief of the Inniskilling Dragoons, the Highland Light Infantry, the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, the Rifle Brigade, and the R.A.M.C.
The following is the letter which His Royal Highness sent out:— Clarence House, St. James's, S.W.
As your Colonel-in-Chief, I would like to appeal to the officers, n.c.o's and men to support the Life-boat Service, which is provided by THE ROYAL NATIONAL LIFE- BOAT INSTITUTION. The Institution was founded nearly a hundred years ago by a gallant soldier, Colonel Sir William Hillary, Bt., himself one of the noblest of Life-boat heroes, and it has a double claim on us, as soldiers and as citizens. It provides and maintains the Life-boats round all the coasts of the United Kingdom, rewards all who save life from shipwreck, compensates those who are disabled, and pensions the widows and children of those who may lose their lives in its service. It rescued 5,322 lives during the war, and has granted rewards for the saving of over 57,000 lives since 1824. The Institu- tion does all this without any help from the State, being maintained entirely by the free gifts of the public..