(FROM OUR OWN REPORTER.)
For some years past it has been understood that the depot for the Warwickshire Brigade in the event of invasion was to be Weymouth, and consequently no surprise was expressed when, after mobilisation, the Brigade was ordered down to the Dorsetshire holiday resort. Upon arriving at the south coast it is not difficult to realise that war is a grim reality. The steamer and railway services are considerably curtailed, and almost every train is conveying Territorials to their base.
Weymouth is full of men in khaki, and it was some time before our representative could locate E Company of the 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. After a long search, however, the Company was run to earth at the Cromwell Road Schools, where they arrived about 4.0 a.m on Thursday, having left Coventry at 8.0 p.m. the previous evening. Captain Claude Seabroke, the commanding officer, remained at Coventry on depot service, and the Company is under the command of Lieutenants Greg and Thomas and Col-Sergt Fawcett. From what our reporter could learn the Company will remain at Weymouth for a short time to prepare for coast defence work in the event of invasion or attack. After dinner on Thursday, they commenced training, and will also help in preparing trenches, mapping out the country, and ascertaining the geography of the place, and finding places suitable for cover. When they have a good knowledge of all this, which will take several days to acquire, they will depart for Swindon, which will be their headquarters for an indefinite period, probably as long as the war lasts. In the event of fighting in the Channel, however, they will return to protect Weymouth and Portland.
Despite the fact that they had been travelling all night, and sleeping on the floors of the school since their arrival in the town, and at 10.15 a.m had only had one pint of tea per man, with no food, served out as rations, the men were all cheerful and jolly, and quite prepared for whatever fate has in store for them. The people in the neighbourhood are keeping them supplied with food from the various shops, and judging from the smiling faces of the Warwickshire lads, it was difficult to realise that they were not “ playing at soldiers,” but were out in grim earnest, determined to defend their beloved country to the last; and while we have such stalwart sons England need never despair.
When our reporter left the approach to the School he was inundated with requests to inform the people of Rugby, through the Rugby Advertiser, that the whole Company is well, and in good spirits, and wishes to be remembered to all friends in the town and neighbourhood.
With the exception of several who are on depot duty at Coventry, and one or two men who are abroad on holiday, the Company at Weymouth is at full strength. Colonel James is in command of the Warwickshire Brigade. Disappointment is felt by the Rugby Company at the absence of their popular and gallant Captain.