THE LATEST BELGIAN ARRIVALS.
The Belgian refugees who are now the guests of the Fellowship Relief Committee at 39 Albert Street, Rugby, have expressed themselves as very grateful for what has been done for their comfort. They include :—
Josephus Crokaerts, a tailor, 36 years of age, and Maria, his wife, with their four pleasing children — Irma (aged 12), Elizabeth (10), Dorothea (9), and Henri (6).
Emmanuel Dasquisne (59), a locomotive engine driver, and his wife, Philomene. They have two daughters—Francesea (aged 23) and Bertha (aged 19). Francesea is married, her surname now being Verammen. She has two children—Jean (aged 2) and Francois (an infant), who, being sick from the effects of the voyage, was left behind in a London Hospital, but is expected to join the family shortly.
With this party is also August Verlinden, aged 29, who is by occupation a railway transport worker.
Josephus Crokaerts is somewhat of a linguist. He is a trousers maker, but has served in the Belgian Police Force. In addition to speaking Flemish and French, he has a fair knowledge of English.
M Crokaerts is a native of Lierre, which town was invaded by the Germans early in October. The week following their arrival he and his family left for Antwerp, whence they were conveyed in a collier to Rotterdam in Holland. Here they spent five days before being transferred to Delft, where they made their home with other refugees for eight weeks. Subsequently the family was removed to Flushing, and after, a stay of eight days they were brought over to London, spending one night only at the Crystal Palace, before coming to Rugby under the care of members of the Fellowship Committee.
Dasquesne has been employed for 42 years on the Belgian State Railway, and has a long-service medal. He also served for a time in the army. He and his family come from Malines.
All the men have expressed a willingness to do work for which they are fitted, the understanding being that they receive trades union rates of wages, and the committee has arranged that whatever is earned by them shall go to a special fund to rehabilitate the families when the way is open for them to return to Belgium.
The Belgian refugees being entertained by the congregation of Holy Trinity Church consist of three families, viz : Petrus Henri Franz Wagemans, a ship’s fireman, his wife and two children ; Petrus Joseph Wagemans, a dock labourer, his wife and two children; and Petrus Alphonsus Venmans, a carpenter, and his wife and one child. The whole of the party, who belong to Antwerp, were in the city during the awful days of the German bombardment, and when the place was evacuated by the Allies they crossed the border into Holland. They are being well looked after by the committee, of which Mr J Gilbert, jun, is the hon secretary, and are very grateful for their treatment.
CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR NEWTON HOUSE REFUGEES.
Everything possible is being done to give the refugees at Newton House a pleasant time this Christmas, and many pleasing and useful presents have been sent by friends and sympathisers in the district to the unfortunate inmates. Each of the men, women, and children have received a pair of slippers and handkerchiefs. One local gentleman has presented the men with a handsome pipe each, with the words “ Newton House, 1914” engraved on the silver band, which they will doubtless treasure for many years. The children of the Rugby Weseyan Schools have sent their own toys and gifts of clothing to the juvenile refugees, and, on behalf of the New Bilton Girls’ Club, Miss Loverock has forwarded a very acceptable quantity of clothing. Gifts have also been received from Mrs H H Mulliner, Mrs Fenwick, Mrs Anderson, Mrs Trower, Mrs Barnard, Mrs Arthur James, Mrs Boughton-Leigh, Mrs Robbins, Miss Martin, Mrs Dicksee, and Mr F van den Arend.— Messrs B Morris & Sons, London, have sent tobacco and cigarettes for the men.
We are informed that the Newton House Committee intend opening another house in the district for the reception of 40 more refugees, and particulars as to this will appear in our next issue.
A SCHEME originated by the Dunchurch and Thurlaston Working Men’s Club to send each soldier on active service from the two village’s Christmas gift, met with such a hearty response from rich and poor alike that within ten days the sum of £35 was collected. As a result 57 men have each received a parcel, containing a sweater, a pair of thick woollen pants, and a pair of Army socks ; and 30 others each a box of 100 cigarettes. To each of the above parcels a Balaclava helmet has been given by Mrs Powell, knitted by herself and several ladies of the village and the girls of Dunchurch Girls’ School. Mrs Dew has also given a dozen scarves and cuffs, knitted by herself and friends ; and Mrs John Mitchell, of Biggin Hall, has sent seven pairs of socks.
PRESENTS TO THE MEN AT THE FRONT.
A SHORT time ago it was decided to form a committee to arrange to send presents this Christmas to the men of this village who are now serving in his Majesty’s Forces, both home and abroad. The committee consisted of Messrs E I Appleby, J Livingston, V Ball, F Oldhams, W England, Mrs Hawker, and Mrs Pettifer. A collection was made in the village, by which a substantial sum was collected. This was spent in cigarettes, tobacco, and chocolate, which were divided into lots, containing one packet of chocolate, one box of cigarettes, and one box of tobacco. To the non-smokers two packages of chocolate were sent. With each present a card was enclosed, bearing the words : “ With best wishes, from Long Lawford friends.” The following is a list of the men who are in the firing line and on foreign service, and a present was sent to each :—Pte G Colledge, B Company, 7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 4th Division, 10th Brigade ; Pte G Hawker, A Company, 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment ; Gunner H Hawker, 25th Brigade, R.F.A, 1st General Advance Base ; Pte H Payne, No. 2031, 1st Battalion, A Company, Royal Warwickshire Regiment ; Pte H Scarlet, No. 9193, 2nd Northants Regiment, D Company ; Gunner A Everton, No. 31637, No. 4 General Base, 14th Brigade, R.F.A ; Pte W Underwood, No. 9880, B Company, 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 10th Infantry Brigade ; Pte W Painting, 6th Dragoon Guards ; Pte E Mathews, No. 524, 1st Royal Warwick Regiment, C Company (Field Service) ; Pte. E Hirons, No. 2426, 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment, now in Royal Baths Hospital, Harrogate, Yorkshire ; Pte W Hirons, No. 2394, 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment ; Sergt F W Knight, No. 4700, B Squadron, 4th Dragoon Guards. Serving in the Navy : C W Clarke, stoker, 20 mess, H.M.S Dolphin, Fortblock House, Portsmouth ; W Jones. Men at home : Battery, G Coles, R Humphries, A Hutchings, S Sutton, and F Howard ; reserves, F Richards and J Webb ; Kitchener’s Army, G Adams, H Adams, A Colledge, E Cox, J Elkington, R Elkington, W Elkington, W Oldham, J Price, W Pettifer, S Pettifer, W Scarlett, E Underwood, W Watts, E Watts, R Wagg, P Gamble, H Hancox, F Hopkins, C Howard, G Loydall, T Langham, J Mawby, W Wing, C West, W J Hirons, and G Brain. A present was also sent to Pte George Payne. No. 1518, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who is at present a prisoner of war at Meckenberg, Germany.
To the Editor of the Advertiser.
No. 2 Temp. Hosp., Exeter, Dec. 18.
SIR,—I should esteem it a great favour if you would allow me through your valuable paper to thank the kind friends at Long Lawford for the gift of tobacco and chocolate, which I received to-day. I had already received a small present from the Germans on September 13th in the shape of an ounce of shell in the left thigh, which caused me to leave the field. The shell was removed on November 17th. I am pleased to say I am now progressing favourably, and was greatly pleased with my surprise packet from Lawford, for which I thank my kind friends one and all. Wishing them all a merry Christmas,—From F C CRAME (Sergt), 16th (The Queen’s) Lancers.
BELGIAN REFUGEES.—In last week’s issue it was stated that the two houses given for refugees was furnished by the donors. This is not the case, practically all the furniture having been given or lent by friends in the village.
THE MEMBERS of the Working Men’s Club have not forgotten their comrades who have joined the colours. They subscribed a sum of money, and sent a parcel to each one—19 altogether—containing tobacco, cigars, chocolate, &c. for Christmas. Useful presents have also been sent, by the Rector and Mrs Assheton and other parishioners to all those who have gone from Bilton.
CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR KILSBY SOLDIERS AND SAILORS.
There are well over thirty men from Kilsby homes now serving with the army or navy, and the residents have not been unmindful of them this Christmas-time. Helmets, mufflers, socks, mittens, tobacco, and cigars, have been judiciously distributed. In all more than 400 particles have been sent out, either to the men serving with the colours or to the Red Gross Society. Grateful and touching letters have been received in acknowledgment, showing how much the gifts, and the kind thought that has prompted them, has been appreciated.
HIS MAJESTY CONGRATULATES A KILSBY COUPLE.
Mr and Mrs Wise, of Kilsby, received a letter from the King on Monday morning, congratulating them upon the fact that they have five sons serving with the colours—four in the navy and one in the army.
A RUGBEIAN’S PRACTICAL SYMPATHY WITH A SOLDIER.
Christmas is the season for open-hearted generosity, and, in spite of the war, there will be no lack of this desirable quality during the present festive time. An example of the kind of thing that is unobtrusively taking place came under our notice the other day. A soldier arrived in Rugby too late in the day to catch a train for his home at Long Itchington. He was explaining in a casual way his dilemma to a Rugbeian whom he met, and the latter very generously volunteered to hire a taxi-cab to convey the belated soldier to his destination—an offer that was gladly accepted ; and late that night the man on leave arrived in style amongst his relatives.