31st Oct 1914. Local War Notes

Sergt Rudlin, of Rugby, has re-joined the Colours, and is now stationed at Border Camp, Aldershot. He served for 23 years in the Royal Field Artillery. He left the service 14 years ago, and has been in the employ of the Leamington Brewery Company at Rugby for the [?].

Pte J Lord (Rugby), of the Rifle Brigade, has been promoted to the rank of corporal, and at a recent examination in marksmanship he was placed first among the N.C.O’s-His brother, Sapper T Lord, of the 4th Royal Engineers, who is stationed at Gillingham, recently gave a lecture to the inmates of the original Borstal Institution on “Building construction.”

Second-Lieutenant S A Hunter, of the 4th West Riding Howitzer brigade, son of Mr and Mrs T Hunter, of Rugby, is now training with his brigade on Doncaster Racecourse.
F Hunter, another son, has passed the September examination admitting to the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, which he entered on Friday last week.

Pte F Timms, 2nd Battalion R.W.R, has written to his parents, living at 33 Pinfold Street, New Bilton, informing them that he has been wounded by a shrapnel shell in the leg and ankle. He is at present in a hospital at Aldershot and states that, the bullets having been extracted, he is getting along quite well.

Col Nutt, commander of the 7th Reserve Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, visited Rugby on Tuesday night, and at one of the places of entertainment made a strong appeal for recruits, stating that although Rugby had done well for Lord Kitchener’s Army, the response in respect to the new reserve battalion had not to the present, been all that could be wished, only 20 having joined from the town.

On Friday last week the local Red Cross nurses, under Commandant Mrs Simey, visited the Great Central Railway Station and handed refreshments to 76 wounded British soldiers, who were passing through the station from Southampton to a northern hospital. The soldiers, several of whom had been badly wounded and had had limbs amputated, were served with tea, coffee, Bovril, beef and ham sandwiches, bananas, cakes, and biscuits. Other people on the platform gave them cigarettes and chocolates. Despite the terrible experiences through which they had passed, the soldiers seemed extremely cheerful, and were very grateful for the kindnesses they received.

INTERESTING LETTER FROM A HILLMORTON SOLDIER.

Corpl J Bush, of the 5th Dragoon Guards, writing to his sister on October 25th, says :-
“ Your letter to hand, and glad to say that I am so far in the best of health and also one of the lucky ones. It is no good swanking, as one never knows, we might be talking and singing and next minute we are dead. One of my troop, poor chap, he had just come from England, had a wash and shave, and wrote to his mother, and told her he had been in the trenches for the first time, when, all of a sudden, a shell came over, killing him and wounding 13 more. But thank God, I was one of the lucky ones, as on my right one was killed and three wounded, and on my left ten were wounded. Me and the boys are all happy. we have just had a good feed of bacon, cabbage, spuds, and turnips, and have just been relieved from the firing line for 48 hours. You need not send me any more fags or tobacco, as we get plenty now from England. This is the time that it makes you think of home and friends – when you get shells bursting all round you – and we say, ‘Thank God, that has gone over us.’ This to one of the worst wars I have been in – as fast as we kill them they keep coming up; but one Englishman is as good as ten of the chicken-hearted Germans.”
Corpl Bush is the youngest son of the late Mr J Bush and Mrs Bush, and, although only 34 years of age, has served 16 years with the Colours, during which period he has seen much active service, and possesses two medals – South Africa, 1901-2 (five bars, Transvaal, Orange Free State, and Cape Colony), and Somaliland 1902-4. Corpl Bush has an older brother who served 21 years in the same regiment as himself.

HILLMORTON MAN WOUNDED.

Mr C Osborne, of Hillmorton, has received intimation that his son, who is a private in the 2nd Warwicks, has badly wounded in the face by shrapnel during one of the recent actions at the front. He has been sent to Southampton Hospital, where he is progressing favourably.

B.T.H. RESERVIST KILLED.

The regrettable news was received on Monday by Mrs Elliott, of 35 Bath Street, Rugby, that her late lodger, William Woods, had been killed in action in France. This information came from deceased’s mother, living at Exning, Newmarket. She had received a brief message to this effect from the War Office, but knew nothing of the circumstances of her son’s death. Only a week earlier Mrs Elliott had a card from Woods then at Marne, stating that he hoped soon to return to Rugby.

Deceased was a reservist in the Royal Field Artillery. He went through the South African War, for which he received a medal, and he was called up on August 5th. Since October last year he had been working as a labourer in the Turbine Department at the B.T.H Works, and, although no communication had been received from him by the firm since the outbreak of the war, he having re-joined the Colours during the August holidays, we understand he was on the list of those to whom the firm was allowing half-pay during their absence from work on active service.-Previous to becoming an employee of the B.T.H Co, Woods was engaged for about two years as a shunter on the L & N.-W Railway at Rugby. He was 31 years of age, and a quiet, amiable man, who made quite a number of friends in the town, by whom his death will be deplored.

[William Woods is remembered on the BTH Memorial]

NEW BILTON SOLDIER REPORTED KILLED.

On Monday Mr and Mrs Hales, of 22 Pinfold Street, New Bilton, received a letter from Corporal Cross of the 1st Battalion R.W.R, to the effect that their son, Pte Harry Hales, was killed in action on Oct 13. Enclosed was a letter which his parents had sent to Pte Hales, but which evidently arrived subsequent to his death ; and the corporal, in his communication, added that some cigarettes, which were also sent, had been divided amongst his comrades. The sympathy of his colleagues was also expressed.

As the family had not heard from the War Office that their son had met with his death, this letter naturally came as a great shock to them, and this was intensified in the evening by the receipt of a cheerful letter from their son, dated October 10th. Pte Hales was 22 years of age next December, and had been in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment two years. He had not been home on furlough since last Christmas. Mr Hales has wired and written to the authorities for confirmation, but so far no further particulars have come to hand.

[Henry Hales is remembered on the Croop Hill Memorial]

INTERESTING LETTER FROM A WOUNDED RUGBY SOLDIER.

Mr C Nash, the cemetery keeper at Rugby, received cheering news from his son, Pte Harry Nash, of the 1st Northamptonshire Regiment, on Monday morning. It was to the effect that he had arrived in England again, after a pleasant voyage, and expected to be home in a few days. Pte Nash re-joined the Northampton Regiment on the outbreak of the war, and went to the front, where he was wounded on September 14th. How this occurred, and what he experienced afterwards at the hands of a brutal German, is described in the following letter:—“ I was knocked over by the explosion of a shell. A piece of the shell took the butt of my rifle off, and knocked me quite 4ft. away. It seemed to knock “ the stufffing ” out of me. I could not move, and while I lay there some of the Germans came by. One of them hit me twice with the butt end of his rifle, his first blow catching me on the left shoulder and the other one the back of my head, knocking eleven teeth out. It was raining heavens hard. I lay for nine hours before I was picked up, so you see it is not all honey. There were about 150 dead Germans lying round where I was. I was told afterwards that the Cavalry came and charged the enemy. I think it is a good job they did, or I don’t know what I should have got on their return journey.” “ You may have this published in the Advertiser,” continues the writer, “ and let Rugby people see that Rugby has got a boy in khaki fighting at the front.” Before Pte Nash re-joined the Army he assisted his father in the cemetery. He was a member of the Elborow School Orchestra, and was of great assistance to Capt W F Wood, of the 1st Rugby Company of the Boys’ Brigade, in instructing the lads in drumming and in other ways.

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