4th August 1914 – Rugby goes to war

Report from the Rugby Advertiser.

Rugby Infantry Company went into camp at Rhyl on Sunday [2nd Aug], and many of the men had arranged to spend the fortnight there in training. On arrival rumours were circulated that, owing to the uncertainty of the military situation, the Territorials might have to return forthwith, and orders to the effect were received at four o’clock on Monday morning [3rd Aug]. The Company duly paraded and entrained for home, arriving at 4.30 p.m, under the command of Lieut Greg. A wire was then received giving instructions to dismiss the men to their homes, and this was done.

On Tuesday [4th Aug], however, they reassembled at the Drill Hall and were kept waiting in readiness to get off at once to their destination when summoned.

Summoned by bugle call shortly after 10 p.m on Tuesday, a good proportion of the members of the Rugby infantry Company paraded at the Drill Hall in time to march to the L & N-W Station to catch the 11.5 p.m train to Coventry. Another detachment, too late for this train, followed at two o’clock next morning. The first portion was under the command of Capt Claude Seabroke and Lieut Greg, and the second was in charge of Lieut Thomas.

An enormous crowd assembled outside the Drill Hall to see the Territorials start, and also accompanied them to the railway station, where the men were accorded an enthusiastic send-off. In the Drill Hall Surgeon-Major Clement Dukes medically examined the men, and in the course of a few cheering words expressed his regret that he was debarred by the age limit from accompanying them.

The scene at the station will long live in the memories of those who witnessed it. The down platform was thronged, and amongst the many townspeople present were several members of the Urban District Council, including Messrs J J McKinnell (chairman), R W Barnsdale, G M Seabroke, T A Wise, W H Linnell, L Loverock, and S Robbins.

Before the departure of the train Mr McKinnell made a short speech. He said they could not let the Territorials go without saying “ Good-bye ” to them. They knew Rugby Infantry Company had got a great reputation for efficiency, and they felt sure that whatever might happen in the future that reputation would be maintained (cheers). He assured the Territorial soldiers that the best wishes of Rugby went with them (applause).

Capt Claude Seabroke briefly acknowledged the good wishes of the town as expressed by Mr McKinnell, and said the Company felt they were to a large extent, indebted to the Urban District Council for the provision of their Drill Hall.

The train steamed out of the station to the accompaniment of tremendous cheering.

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