170 HISTORY OF EAST GRINSTEAD.
resignation of the services of the Legion " without any-general consultation of the members thereof," and that the East Grinstead men, to vindicate their own honour and credit, could not but express their deep concern at
so unexpected and as we conceive unreasonable an event and do consider it is an extreme hard case that after a conscious and faithful discharge of our duty for upwards of three years, we should now be reduced to the unpleasant situation of meanly retiring from so laudable and beneficial an undertaking and, in consequence, becoming liable to serve in the Militia or other additional promiscuous force, as also that our past exertions should be thus ungratefully rewarded.
The letter proceeded at great length much in the
same strain and the writers concluded by offering their
services to form a distinct Company under the command
of Lieut.-Col. Cranston. The offer was refused and on
October 7th the East Grinstead men again met and
decided to present a similar petition to the Speaker, who
was also an officer of the Legion. Their wishes were
again set forth at great length and the writers concluded
with the following expressions:—
It is then, Honourable Sir, impress'd with these sentiments, we are now induc'd to tender our services under your command, for your acceptance and that of our country. But should our application fail and from other important duties of your exalted station, you cannot possibly meet the wishes of the Company—We shall then retire in silence under the reflection of having done, thus far, all in our power to assist in the general cause ; and tho' obliged to yield to resignation on one hand, yet on the other willing to renew our services, were they thought of sufficient moment to meet acceptance. Still should the horrors of war threaten our native land and the inveteracy of our enemies increase towards us, we ai*e determined individually to act like Britons, and in an hour of impending danger to use our efforts to defend and rescue our weeping country from every foe.
The Rt. Hon. Lieut.-Col. Abbot wrote back expressing his deep regrets that he was unable to accept the patriotic offer, but he promised that if the war continued and circumstances changed he would do his very best to enable the men of East Grinstead to give effect to their loyalty and ardour. Thus closed the three years' history of the East Grinstead contingent of the North Pevensey Legion.
The warlike spirit of our ancestors seems to have slumbered for 46 years, but in 1852 groundless fears of