Sanders, Alfred Edwin, died 30th Dec 1914

Alfred Edwin Sanders was born in Barrowden, Rutland in 1893. He was the eldest son of William Cooper Sanders and Sarah Agnes (nee Betts). Formerly an agricultural labourer, William Sanders was a labourer in a stone quarry in 1901 and in 1911 a labourer at a lime works. In 1911 Alfred was a 19 year old farm labourer and living with his parents.

By 1914 he was working for the L. & N.W. Railway in Rugby and when the war started he joined the army as a private in the 3rd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards (regimental number 11020). He returned at Barrowden for a visit in October before arriving in France on 11th November 1914.

On 23rd December he celebrated his 22nd birthday and on Christmas Day he wrote a letter home.

“I got your parcel all right on Christmas-eve, and also one from Mrs Cave (Barrowden), one from where I used to lodge at Rugby, and one from Edie Clarke (Barrowden), and also a letter from dear Jane. So I think I got on all right for Christmas, don’t you, in the three parcels I got? Besides yours was socks and cigarettes. I shall be thinking about you at home this Christmas ‘scoffing’ plum-pudding and cake. And poor me living out here in the wet and cold, and the bullets and shells flying about something awful. Yes, my dear mother, if I get out of this alive I shall be a lucky boy, as the Germans are not half ‘hot stuff,’ and it’s most awful to see the poor soldiers as they get shot … I also got Mrs Stapleton’s (Barrowden) parcel. I hope you have had a good holiday this Christmas, and also Jack. But I don’t expect it will be much of Christmas in England this year, with so many lives being lost. I feel proud to think that people at home all think so much about me … I cannot write any more this time, as my hands are so cold, and there are no fires out here. Give all the kiddies a Christmas kiss for me, especially little Reggie. So long!”

(Grantham Journal, 16 Jan 1915 – http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/ )

On the 30th December 1914 he was shot in the head while fighting in the trenches and died six hours later. He was buried in the Bethune Town Cemetery, Grave number III. B 20

A photo postcard of the King and Queen, received at Christmas, was forwarded home for preservation.

Alfred Edwin Sanders is also remembered on the Memorial in St Peter’s Church, Barrowden

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

26 Dec 1914. No Cause to Grumble – At the Front

NO CAUSE TO GRUMBLE.

Pte J Richardson, of the 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards, writing from the front on December 9th to his sister, says :—“ You saw it in the paper about the Coldstreams being praised up, but you can take it from me it was hard-earned, and not without losing some good lads over it. . . . We are about making a general advance right into Germany, so I expect by that we shall lose a few. Still, I know the lads will meet it with a good heart . . . We can’t grumble out here ; we get plenty of tobacco and clothes—as much as you can expect. Those who talk about it being cold on the moots just want to have a night in the trenches. The bombs and the ‘ Jack Johnsons ‘ keep you ‘ warm.’ I hope you will enjoy yourselves together at Christmas. Don’t bother about me ; I shall be all right. It would only disappoint me if I thought you were sitting worrying about me. If you send me anything, send me some cake or plum pudding, and some writing paper, as I have more tobacco now than I could smoke in a month. It is ‘ get out and get under ‘ all right here. You can hear them singing in the air—the fifth of November—a long time before they reach you ; but that is what we have to watch up above, dropping the little bomb down. You must remember me to all the ‘ boys,’ and tell them to be quick and give us a hand, or else there won’t be any left for them.”

THE WARWICKSHIRE R.H.A IN ACTION.

The Warwickshire R.H.A, whose headquarters are at Warwick, went to France about six weeks ago, and after doing patrol and other work on lines of communication, eventually reached the firing line. They have been in action, and letters from gunners in the Battery state that they were successful in doing a good deal of damage to the enemy’s trenches. The Germans turned two heavy batteries upon them, and the “ Black Marias ” dropped all round the Battery, till at last the order was given to retire and leave the guns for the time being. The men retreated to a village a short distance to the rear while a heavy battery of 4.7-inch guns pumped shells into the enemy, and eventually silenced their batteries sufficiently to enable the Warwickshire men to return to their guns and man-handle them into a safer position. It was an absolute marvel how they managed to get out without being smashed up and without any casualties.

CLIFTON SOLDIER KILLED WHILE WRITING HOME.

As we briefly announced last week, Pte W J Hutt (7698) Northamptonshire Regiment, of Church Lane, Clifton, was killed at the front on November 5th. Although early this week no official intimation had been received by his wife, to whom he had only been married a short time, there is no doubt that the news is true. From particulars furnished by a friend of his, and the four men who assisted in his burial, and who have returned home wounded, it appears that the unfortunate young man was killed near Ypres while writing a letter home. He was with his regiment in the trenches for five weeks in the Battle of the Aisne, during which time they made almost imperceptible progress. Their losses in this battle were very heavy. In one week Private Hutt went through five bayonet charges, and escaped without a scratch. Previous to being called up he was employed in the Winding Department at the B.T.H.. He would have been 26 years of age next month.

 

RUGBY SOLDIER’S EXPERIENCES.

Pte J Lickorish, of the 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment, has written a lengthy letter home, in which he recounts a number of interesting experiences. Referring to their first taste of modem warfare, he says :— “ We hastily entrenched, but had to evacuate them, as the German guns were getting terribly close. We retired behind a farm in open formation, the — Regiment leading the way, and our regiment following. It was here I saw the first horrors of war. The Germans got the range on the farm, and dropped shells all round it, killing and wounding several men. As we lay waiting for the next move a shell burst directly in front of me, and the time fuse went “ plonk ” into the earth about a yard in front of me. At first I thought it was a piece of dirt, as I could see it coming, and my pal reached out for it, but soon dropped it ; it was so hot. I have got it as a souvenir. Our captain, who was afterwards taken prisoner, behaved splendidly here, and it was a treat to watch him walking about, laughing and chatting to us, while we were under shell fire. By-and-bye a battery of ours dashed up, and so diverted the shell fire from us, and we were able to retire again in safety : but about half-a-mile to our right we could see the deadly shrapnel following our troops up with hellish persistency, but with few casualties on account of the open formation. We kept this up until nightfall. Up to this we had not sighted the enemy, but behind us was one consistent rifle fire, which showed that our troops were giving the Germans some of their own medicine. . . . We could see the — Regiment piling arms. All of a sudden a whole nest of German machine guns opened fire on them, and in less than five minutes the greater part of the battalion was either killed or wounded. We could see it all, but could not help them. Transport and all was lost. That morning, and for several days afterwards, we had to live without rations as best we could. In a graphic account of an artillery duel, and relating how 2,000 Uhlans who charged the British guns were repulsed, the writer says : “ Our guns were greatly outnumbered, and gradually gun after gun of the battery was put out of action, and the gunners killed of wounded. We were forced to retire again and again and leave the guns, which we took back off the Germans the next day. Those brave gunners sang and whistled during the whole time.” The writer refers to the retirement of the Germans, and says : “ Here we could see where they had left their trade mark behind them-guns, ammunition, two aeroplanes ; in fact, nearly everything military, and thousands of empty wine bottles. They had also smashed the village and shops, and had left numbers of their dead and civilians lying about. Occasionally we scooped up numbers of prisoners. . . . A German aeroplane dropped two bombs close to us, and killed a woman and two children, causing a great panic among the people. British and French aeroplanes fought the German in mid-air and brought him down.” Describing a sanguinary fight, in which both sides lost heavily and the gallant major of his regiment was killed, the writer says : “ It was here that the Germans hoisted the white flag, and shot our men down. Can you wonder after this that we used our bayonets mercilessly ? The Germans have behaved rotten in this war so far. . . . In one place he says 1,200 German shells were fired over their trench in 24 hours, nine-tenths of which failed to explode, being very old ammunition, and this goes to prove, he adds, that the German supplies are running short.”

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE YEOMANRY AT THE FRONT.

The squadron of the Northamptonshire Yeomanry, to which Q.M.S Goodman, of Flecknoe, belongs, has for some time past been on active service at the front. The men have taken their turn in the firing line, and find the conditions in the trenches bitterly cold. One member of the squadron has had his feet frost-bitten ; but the yeomen write cheerful letters to friends, although for obvious reasons the exact locality in which they are serving with the Expeditionary Force is not disclosed.

Another trooper in the regiment writes:—“ Well, we are absolutely right among it. The Northamptonshire Yeomanry are taking their turns just as infantry in the trenches, doing three days and three nights—72 hours in all—six days’ rest before going in again. However, before we went to the trenches we did a lot of patrolling and scouting on our horses. and it was then that I found the benefit of being able to ride, which I learnt to do when following the hounds in Old England, In fact, it’s just like hunting ; only no hounds, but bullets instead. Quite half our Yeomanry are fellows who hunt, and whenever we meet another troop the first thing that happens is the giving of the ‘ View Hallo,’ so you, can rest assured that we are in high hopes of seeing the fox as well as hearing the ‘ View Hallo’ next season. Only you must keep the thing going while we are away, as you see it does good in more then one one way. Many a soldier has got a good horse out here and able to get over this country who would not be able to do so had his horse not been schooled in the hunting field, so whatever you do you must keep it going ; if you don’t,there will be no fellows to join another Yeomanry.”

E Wiggins, son of Mr Wiggins, Rugby, a member of the Northants Yeomanry, writes under date December 13th :— We returned from the trenches on Thursday last. We went in on the previous Monday. I will not describe it. All I can say is, I am thankful to have returned safely to our billet. We had our first christening under fire, and were up to our knees in mud and water most of the time. We had one casualty and some narrow escapes. The fighting went on all the night, and we were digging and making up the trenches in the daytime. We were along with an infantry regiment, and real good chaps, too, who would do anything for us. They had been in action several times. . . . and gave us some useful tips, the chief being, as the ‘ Scotties’ say, ‘ To keep your head below the bone.’ The Germans made a charge on our left, but were repulsed with loss. They charged shoulder to shoulder in hundreds. You have only to keep your head and blaze away, and bowl them over right and left. They are forced to charge, poor beggars ; and all those who retire are shot by their own officers. The Germans are very much afraid of the Gurkhas, who steel up their trenches armed only with their ‘kuris’ (long knives), and do them in. We left our horses at the farm in charge of our No. 3’s. We ride in sections of 6, and the third looks after the horses while we are away. They do not do any fighting, as we ride only within two miles of the firing line, and they bring our horses back to the billet. . . . I am pleased to say we have a good billet in a big loft, and all sleep like tops. It is a terrible job getting on and off our top coats, which get plastered from top to bottom. It is a rough lot out here, but I hope to get back soon.”

THREE DAYS AND NIGHTS IN THE TRENCHES.

GRAPHIC STORY BY A RUGBEIAN.

“ We always manage to enjoy ourselves, and I never get depressed,” wrote a Rugby tradesman’s son, serving at the front with the Honourable Artillery Company, in a letter just received by his parents. This remark followed a description of three days and three nights in the trenches during a drenching rain, and under very trying conditions. “ I am off again to the trenches,” he wrote light-heartedly. “ The strain of war has been too much for a lot of our fellows, but the physique of the H.A.C is recognised as being quite as good as that of any regiment.

NOVEL HAIR-CUT.

“ At, present I am billeted in a barn at a farmhouse. This is the best barn we have been in up to the present ; it is rainproof and not so draughty. You should have seen me in this barn, sitting on an up-turned tub having my hair-cut with a pair of nail scissors by our drummer-boy ! We are like schoolboys when the mail comes in. If General French could see us, he would say, ‘ The morale of the troops is excellent.’

“ I have just returned from three days and three nights in the trenches. Fortunately, there was only one killed out of the Company, but two officers had to be taken away ill, and several men are queer to-day as the result of the trying time we have had.”

The march to the trenches in the early morning through a turnip field, with mud over the shoe-tops and rifle fire in progress, was next described.

“ At one place we had to cross an old trench and I tried to jump it. Instead of clearing it I fell in and sank over my knees in mud and water. I scrambled up the bank and through a hedge, just in time to see our bugler disappear in another trench. I helped him out, and we presently reached our trenches in safety, although the fellow immediately behind me had a bullet through his cap.”

WITHIN FIFTY YARDS OF THE ENEMY.

The mud in the trenches was awful, but, fortunately, the part I was in was drier, being covered over with old doors and straw. We were only fifty yards from the Germans, and you can tell we had to keep a sharp look out. We had half an hour on guard and one hour off. The first day we had plum pudding for dinner and afterwards cigars supplied by the officers and the chocolate father sent. . . . It rained all night, and, in spite of our covering, the rain came through. At about 9.0 o’clock in the morning there was a very furious rifle fire, so we all jumped up and opened fire, thinking the Germans were attacking, and expecting every minute to see them rushing through the fog not 20 yards away. We kept up a terrific fire for a short time and then ceased. We were told afterwards it was an attack. When the fog cleared some of our fellows played the Germans at their own game of sniping and killed four of them.”

Orders came for the Company to spend another 24 hours in the trenches. About 20ft of the trench in which the writer was situated fell in, and he spent most of the third day on his back repairing it. There being no other food supply for the third day, the men had to draw upon their emergency rations-consisting of “ bully ” beef, biscuits, Oxo, etc.

DEAD FRENCHMEN.

“ We felt it was rather risky drinking the water,” he went on, “ as dozens of dead Frenchmen were lying all about. I fell over one on my way back in the darkness, and it was a gruesome sight. Whilst we were repairing the trench we came across a dead body. I don’t know whether it was a Frenchman or a German—the body was so decomposed. On the third day the Germans fired on our No 4 Section, and the Company drew their fire and apparently created a panic in the German lines. We were glad when the relief came, and it was a tiring march over the fields to the village. One fellow tumbled into a stream, for me to pick him out, and Turner, a ‘ Prudential ‘ man, collapsed. I carried his rifle and helped to get him to the village, where we were given some tea and had a good night’s rest.

ALWAYS CHEERFUL.

“ It was very fatiguing—three days and nights without lying down and without proper sleep. However, I am quite well and happy, but very tired. . . . Chocolate is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. I don’t know what I should have done if I had not had what father sent to me. At present we are pulling crackers. We always manage to enjoy ourselves, and I never get depressed. We don’t mind if the mud is over our boot tops. We thank goodness it to not over our knees ; and if a sniper shoots at us in the trench, we have a competition as to who can be the first to ‘spot’ him. Our officer says we all have wonderful hearts. At present I am cook. I have to get supper ready for two fellows who will be back late, and cook bacon for forty in the morning.” In conclusion the correspondent put in a good word for his officer, whom he describes as “ a Jolly good sport, and as cool as a cucumber under fire, so you need not worry about our losing heart.”

 

26th Dec 1914. More Refugees and Presents for the Front

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.

DUNCHURCH.

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.

LONG LAWFORD.

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.

BILTON.

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.

19th Dec 1914. News From The Front

WITH THE H.A.C. AT THE FRONT.

MR McKINNELL’S SON RELATES HIS EXPERIENCES.

J J McKinnell, the only son of Mr McKinnell (chairman of the Rugby Urban District Council), who is with the Honourable Artillery Company at the Front, has sent home a number of interesting letters, giving accounts of his experiences. Writing on November 18th he says :—

“ We have stayed for a week at the place from which I last wrote. My section had a comfortable billet in the front room of a cottage. We had straw down on the floor, and so got pretty warm at night ; whereas some other unfortunate people were up in a barn without a door, and places nearly as bad.

REAL WARFARE.

“ It has been a week of real war for us. One night we made a night march of three hours to reserve trenches a thousand yards behind the firing line, which we had to occupy in case we were wanted. There were one or two anxious moments on the march, owing to the “ range finders ” shot into the air by the enemy—that is, brilliant lights which enable a man with glasses , to pick out, and get the range of, objects in the distance. However, we had no shells our way.

“Just after we settled down in the trenches our artillery behind opened a tremendous cannonade on the Germans, firing from three batteries, at a rate which, I am sure, was four shots a minute. At the same time the British Infantry made an attack. This cannonade was continued for two hours or so, and then slackened off.

“ I was told afterwards, that the object of the attack was to drive some German sharp-shooters from dead ground between the English and German trenches, and that this end was achieved.

“ Our part of the battle was simply to sit still and keep our heads well down to avoid any chance bullets, which, as a matter of fact, never came. Our company had to be without overcoats, as we had not got our new ones, and it really was awfully cold. However, we must be thankful that there was no rain. very few people felt any ill-effects from the nocturnal excursion, so yon see we are pretty fit.

SPADE WORK UNDER SHELL FIRE.

“ On three other days we have been digging reserve trenches at another point about 400 yards behind the firing line. The first day we had several shells explode round us, but none nearer than 200 yards, and a few stray rifle bullets. The second day, on which I was absent on officers’ mess, they were treated to some shrapnel quite close to the trenches, and had to keep down in them for a quarter of an hour or so, as well as to rifle bullets which were obviously aimed.

“ Next day two companies went out. One company had got into position, and were digging. The other company were going along a ditch by a certain road in single file, when the Germans began to sweep the road with shrapnel fire. We all lay down in the ditch, with our faces as near the ground as they would go, for two hours, while the shells kept bursting near us. Fortunately nobody was hit. Some of the shells were only 30 yards away from us. The other company fared worse than we did, and six men were wounded, but only one at all seriously.

“ About one o’clock an Indian doctor came along the road and told us to move on and get into a safety trench, running at right angles to the road, to avoid their shelling. We did so, and sure enough before long they started shelling the road again. There were some trenches behind the road with Indian troops in them, and I think they must have got it badly this time. We remained in our trenches until dusk, and then got out and marched back.

“ By the way, shrapnel is the most deadly kind of shell there is, as it bursts in the air and shoots out bullets towards the ground. Other shells don’t burst till they bit the earth, and generally do nothing more than make a big hole. As you can imagine, there are many shell holes near the firing line.

“ Other evidences of war are villages half-destroyed and churches with only the walls standing. One church we saw was destroyed by our own shells, as the Germans had placed two quick-firing guns in it.

“A staff officer told us that a trick of the German artillery is to pick up a mark, such as a cottage, and simply shell it to pieces, the only possible object being to prevent troops billeting close up to the firing line ; otherwise it is sheer wantonness.” — P.S. We have our overcoats now.

In a letter dated November 28th the writer says :—

“ The only incident of note that I have to record is the fact that the four companies of a H.A.C have each spent 24 hours in the FIRING LINE TRENCHES, and of these two companies have had another 24 hours. “ Our own company’s little experience was to parade at 3.15 a.m, after six hours sleep, march for two miles or so along a road up to the trenches, and then walk in single file avoid attracting attention if searchlights were turned on the country for a mile along a field path to the front trenches themselves. These were much more comfortable than the reserve trenches I told you of, being wide and deep with straw at the bottom.

“ We got in about an hour before dawn. There was nothing much to do on this particular day. The German trenches were 450 yards away from us, and gave us no trouble, hardly a shot being fired from them all day. We were troubled all day with snipers, who come out beyond the trenches and direct cross-fire on the trenches when they can, even getting behind them by some means or other. Only a few of our men saw anything to fire at that day. I did not fire my rifle. . . . I expect you don’t take much notice of the things you see in the papers about the H.A.C in action. I even heard, that it is said that our drum and fife band played us to and from the trenches!! Of course, this is absolute nonsense.”

Writing still later, Mr McKinnell, jun, said the company had moved again, and were supposed to be having a rest, which probably meant that they had to work harder than before. Our section is unfortunate in its billet this time, having the top storey of a barn, which is not quite so comfortable.

A RUGBEIAN IN THE BATTLE OF YPRES.

Pte J T Meadows, of the 1st Northants Regiment, who is in hospital in London with a smashed arm, has sent his parents an account of his experience prior to and in the Battle of Ypres.

“ About October 22nd we had to take up a position on the edge of a very thick wood. It was in the middle of the day—a very bad time for us-because the Germans could see us advancing, and they let us have it for all they were worth. Battery after battery let go at us, but without effect, for the 1st Division has got used to such encounters. At 3.30 p.m we reached the desired spot, and immediately we started to entrench under the buzz and bang of shot and shell. At 5.30 p.m, the trenches finished, sentries were posted, and the vigil went on through the night till the order came along at 4.30 a.m to stand to. That meant everybody at his post, for an attack at dawn was expected—and it came, too, in full force. It was lovely popping them over in hundreds, until they got too numerous for us, and we had to retire into another wood, where we had some old trenches. We dived into them like rabbits, and waited ; but not long, for we could see them coming through the trees. Then again the banging started, but still they came on in ever-increasing numbers, until they got a bit too cheeky, so we started a bayonet charge, and we cleared the wood of them. They made awful noises, just like pigs being killed. This engagement finished at 12.30 p.m on October 23rd.

“ Nothing more occurred until October 24th at 6.15 p.m. It was very dark, and I was taking first turn on sentry. I had been on duty about 40 minutes when I discovered something creeping along turnip field in front of our trench. To make sure my eyes were not deceiving me, I ran along to the next sentry. He also had seen the night bird, so I passed word down to the officer. The order, ‘ Stand to,’ was passed back, and all were on the alert. The order not to fire was given, two men crept out of the British lines, and in two minutes that night bird, was plucked of his rifle and ammunition, and marched off a prisoner. Nothing more happened till the night of the 25th, when we received the old torments, an audience of only 6,000 waiting for us. This lasted until the 28th ; then, to our surprise, we were removed to another position. This was 10.30 p.m on the 28th. We started digging a new trench, and stuck to it all night till 4.30 a.m, when the order ‘Cease digging’ passed along. The engineers had been at work all night as well putting barbed wire about 100 yards in front of our trench. We all knew too well what that meant: the position had got to be held. From 8.30 that morning until 5 p.m shells had been bursting, and so it continued, the big battle having begun at last, and it went on night and day from the morning of the 29th until November 4th. At 11.30 a.m a bursting shrapnel shell smashed my left arm. My officer was killed by the same shell that hit me. My comrade on the left of me had a shrapnel bullet right through the neck. He went, down like a log. I bound him up and laid him along the trench. It was hard working with one hand, but I forgot my own troubles. I walked along the trench to another comrade ; I asked him to load my rifle for me, and so we went on side by side, banging away round after round of ammunition, the fusilade telling its terrible tale for seven hours. I stuck this with my one good arm till the order to charge was given, for the Germans had broken through the wire entanglements. I saw my mate, who assisted me through those terrible hours, answer the Commander’s call ; but he only went about a dozen yards, poor fellow. His turn had came. I made a hurried retreat into the wood, as I was no good for a bayonet charge. I walked three and a-half miles to a hospital, and had my arm placed at an angle of 45 degrees, and it is likely to remain so for a long, long time. I am quite happy, though wounded. It was for dear old England that I fought. We won the battle at the rate of 12 to 1.”

In an accompanying letter Meadows says if he has the fortune to get better before the war is over he shall go back and finish his duty.

In a letter written on board the hospital ship he says: “ I never thought I should get back again after days and nights, weeks and months of that terrible slaughter of human beings. I have had the gruesome work of placing some of my brave comrades in their last resting-places with only a prayer to the One above. This task is very trying to a man with the strongest nerves. It was pitch dark when I had to work with pick and hovel ; but now I am wounded I can do no more. My heart is good, but my arm won’t let me.”

19th Dec 1914. Post Early for Christmas

CHRISTMAS AND THE POST OFFICE

In view of the great strain on the officials of the Post Office at holiday time an official announcement has been issued giving hints to the public to facilitate the delivery of Christmas cards, postal packets, and letters. The following are among the recommendations: Letters, &c, should be posted early in the day on December 21, 22, 23, 24, and 31 ; Christmas cards should be posted not later than the morning of Wednesday, the 23rd ; supplies of postage stamps should  be purchased beforehand.

RUGBY POST OFFICE & THE WAR.

From the Rugby postal district 24 sorting clerks and postmen have joined the colours, and it has been necessary to fill the vacancies by assistants who have had experience in some office, as well as retired female sorting clerks, who are now married. The places of postmen who have left for the war are being occupied by temporary men obtained through the Labour Exchange, and who are now getting somewhat accustomed to the work. At the same time, there is no doubt during the Christmas season the staff, both indoor and out, will have to be extended to its utmost capacity in order to deal successfully with the exceptional pressure.

RUGBY POSTMEN AND CHRISTMAS BOXES.

In previous years the postmen at Rugby have made a collection of Christmas-boxes ; but this year, in consequence of the war, the men have decided not to adopt this course. At the same time, if any generous townspeople care to “tip” the postmen during the forthcoming festive season, they will naturally be grateful to receive such acknowledgement of their services to the public.

MORE BELGIAN REFUGEES ARRIVE AT RUGBY.

Twelve Belgian refugees, who have recently reached England from Holland, arrived in Rugby on Wednesday evening as the guests of the Fellowship Relief Committee, and are now comfortably housed at the home furnished for them at 39 Albert Street. A member of one of the families—a baby—is ill, and has been left behind in hospital ; but will join the party later. The guests are of the artisan class, and are apparently of just the type the committee were hoping to be able to entertain. There are two families. One consists of a man, his wife, and four children, with whom is also attached a single man. The other family consists of a man and his wife and two daughters. One of the latter is married, and has a little boy. The two groups were brought over to London from Holland on Sunday and Tuesday respectively. One of the men is an engine driver, and the other is a tailor. Two lady members of the committee accompanied them from London ; others met the guests at the railway station, and gave them a cordial greeting, conducting them to the home, where the refreshment committee had an appetising meal in readiness, the house looking warm and inviting. The refugees have already settled down happily in their new quarters. A large number of townspeople have assisted in gifts or loans of furniture and in many other ways, and the committee desire to publicly thank all who have afforded those responsible for the arrangements so much support and practical encouragement.

The guests of Holy Trinity Church Relief Committee, 11 in number, were sent down from London to Rugby on Saturday. They consist of three families, the men being a dock labourer, a fireman in a factory, and a carpenter respectively. They are refugees from Antwerp, who at the time of the bombardment fled into Holland. At Rugby Station they were met by the Rev R W Dugdale, Mrs St Hill, and Mr Marple ; whilst other members of the committee prepared tea at the house that has been furnished at 67 Albert Street. Some of the refugees visited the Empire on Thursday night, and greatly enjoyed the entertainment.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

During the past week the figures for recruiting in Rugby and district have shown a distinctly upward tendency, 15 having been drafted to the various depots and 30 others are waiting for final approval. In order to meet the convenience of intending recruits who do not wish to leave home until after Christmas the majority of the men now coming in are only put through the primary examinations and will come up for final approval after Christmas.

The Parliamentary Recruiting Committee census paper, so far as Rugby is concerned, has been very successful, and men are coming in every day. Of those who signified their desire to serve, if necessary, quite half were married men. Most of the recruits enrolled at Rugby this week have come in from the country districts.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mr E G Roscoe, Clifton-on-Dunsmore, is No 1 of a gun crew in the Anti-Aircraft Corps, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.

One wounded Belgian and six wounded English soldiers were brought to the Red Cross Hospital at Rugby on Tuesday, coming by train from Birmingham. One was a bad amputation case, and to convey this man to the Hospital the “ Mary Wood ” ambulance was used.

Mr H K Ault, of Lloyds Bank, has joined the Public Schools’ Battalion.

RUGBY SOLDIER A PRISONER IN GERMANY.

Pte Sidney Beard, son of Mr and Mrs C J Beard, of 46 Murray Road, who belongs to the 2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment, is now a prisoner of war at Gottingen, near Hanover. Writing to his parents on November 30th, he says : “ It is nearly six weeks since [missing] and during that time I have written five letters two being addressed to you. For some reason or another, I haven’t received a single answer from anyone.” There is very little information given in the letter, for obvious reasons, but the request for “ cake, cheese, jam, butter, tea, cocoa, sugar, and milk, in fact, anything to eat,” seems to indicate clearly that incarcerated British soldiers in the enemy’s hands are not faring at all sumptuously.

ST MATTHEW’S BOYS’ SCHOOL, RUGBY.

Amongst those badly wounded in recent engagements, and now in hospital, are the following St Matthew’s “ old boys ” :—Lance-Corpl Frank Chater, 7th Dragoon Guards ; Pte A W Botterill, 1st Coldstream Guards ; Bandsman John Milne, 2nd Scottish Rifles ; and Sergt H Dougen, 3rd Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Sergt H Lee, 2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment, has also been wounded, but is recovering, and is now in Rugby.

Second-Lieut F S Neville, 6th Northamptonshire Regiment, formerly assistant master at St Matthew’s Boys’ School, has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

B.T.H RESERVIST KILLED IN ATLANTIC BATTLE.

Amongst those killed on the recent naval battle off the Falkland Islands in which the British sank four German cruisers, was Walter John Kind, of the Royal Marines. Mr Kind, who was 29 years of age, was a naval reservist, and prior to the war he was employed in the power station at the B.T.H., where be was very popular among his fellow workers. The news of his death was conveyed to his father, who resides at Wellington Street, Leicester, on Saturday ; but no details were available. A sad feature of the affair is that the unfortunate young man was engaged to be married to a Rugby lady.

Midshipman Lawlor who died of typhus fever on board his ship while engaged in the transport of camels in the Persian Gulf. He was a grandson of Mr J Lawlor, a Rugby Guardian, and formerly stationmaster at Marton, where he was well known.

CLIFTON MAN REPORTED KILLED IN ACTION.

Mrs W J Hutt, of Church Lane, Clifton, recently received a letter from a friend of her husband’s at the front, stating that the latter, Pte W J Hutt (7698), Northamptonshire Regiment, had been killed in action on November 5th. No official news, however, has been sent to Mrs Hutt, who is staying with friends at Canons Ashby. Pte Hutt, who was a reservist, had been employed for some years by the B.T.H Company, and was in the winding department when he was called up. He has resided in Rugby and Clifton for some years.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

CHRISTMAS AND OUR WARWICKSHIRE TERRITORIAL BATTALION.

DEAR SIR,—I have received a letter from Colonel Elton, officer commanding the 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, appealing for funds to enable him to give the men under his command a good time on Christmas Day, and asking me, as chairman of the Council, to make an appeal for subscriptions from Rugby to carry out his proposal. The number of men stationed at Witham belonging to the 7th Battalion, and which includes our own Rugby Company, is about 900. I shall be extremely glad to receive subscriptions for this purpose, and any sent to me at the Benn Buildings will be acknowledged, and I will see that the amount goes to Col Elton.—Yours faithfully,

J J McKINNELL, Chairman U.D Council.

Benn Buildings, Rugby, Dec 17.

12th Dec 1914. Rugby’s Splendid Example

THE NEED FOR MORE MEN.

Few districts can boast of such an excellent record as Rugby with regard to the response to the call for men to join the colours. Since the outbreak of hostilities upwards of 2,000 men (two battalions) have joined Lord Kitchener’s Army, and there is no doubt that, had it not been for the cold water thrown on recruiting by the War Office during the boom these figures would have been considerably enhanced. Rugby’s 2,000 compares very well with the figures of any other district in the United Kingdom, and had all districts done as well as this pro ratio to population, Lord Kitchener would already have secured more than his two million men, and there would have been no necessity for the household census and the persistent talk of conscription. Not only have the numbers from Rugby been good, but the men themselves have been excellent, and commanding officers of the depots to which they have been sent have spoken in high terms of their fitness and respectability. Since the advent of the engineering works to the town, a large proportion of the population has consisted of young men, and it the very cream of these who have responded to the country’s call-fine, clean, healthy, fellows, for the most part, who, we confidently believe, will, if they have the opportunity, nobly maintain the honour the town of their birth or adoption. The recruits have been drawn from all sections of society, and the members of the local trades unions have responded remarkably well. No less than 345 members of the unions affiliated to the Rugby Trades and Labour Council have enlisted, and this figure is very satisfactory considering that many of the members are over enlistment age, and also that the members of the largest union, the N.U.R, are not allowed to enlist.

Then, too, the villages in the district have nothing to be ashamed of in this respect, every man having enlisted from some of the smaller communities. The 2,000 recruits for Lord Kitchener’s Army, however, does not exhaust Rugby’s contribution to the national forces, as when the Army and Navy were mobilized, several hundreds of reserves were called up, notably from Rugby and New Bilton.

The Rugby Howitzer Battery and E Company R.W.R have volunteered for foreign service practically to a man, and hope to leave England very shortly.

Now that the figures from Rugby have passed the two thousand mark, it may be of interest to give a list of the regiments which the Rugby men have entered. The King’s Royal Rifles are easily ahead. With regard to the Royal Warwick Regiment, a considerable number attributed to that regiment joined at the commencement of the war for general service, and may thus have been transferred to other units. The reason that the number from Rugby joining this famous regiment is comparatively small is that it was quickly filled up, and local men had to choose other infantry regiments, the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, which has recently suffered considerably, being the most popular of these. The figures are :-

King’s Royal Rifles  466

Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry  315

Royal Warwickshire  275

Royal Field Artillery  249

Royal Engineers  130

Cavalry (including 35 in Hussars, and 34 in Lancers)    87

Army Service Corps    56

Royal Berkshire Regiment   50

South Staffordshires    38

Worcestershire  31

Royal Amy Medical Corps  28

Royal Garrison Artillery  24

Rifle Brigade 19

Guards (6 Coldstreamers, 12Grenadiers)  18

These figures do not include men who enlisted prior to August 20th, and a number who were accepted for miscellaneous units. Many men in the Rugby recruiting area have also enlisted at other recruiting offices.

Other regiments chosen by local men were : Remounts, Army Ordnance Corps, Gloucesters, North Staffs, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, Royal Wiltshires, Royal Fusliers, Northamptonshire Regiment, Northumberland Fusiliers, Dorsets, Norfolks, East Yorks, East Lancs, Royal -sh[?], Seaforth Highlanders, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Life Guards, Dragoons, Leicestershires,and Birkenhead Bantams.

Although Rugby has done well, however, it can do better still, and we feel certain that there are hundreds of young fellows who have no ties, whose duty it is to answer to the call of the country in her hour of need. The whole of the infantry regiments are now open to receive suitable recruits, and also the R.A.M.C, the A.S.C, cavalry of the line (except the 1st and 2nd Life Guards), and the Royal Engineers.

All who wish to enlist should apply at the Drill Hall, Park Road (at the earliest possible date), where they will be promptly attended to by Co.-Sergt Winchcombe. and advised as to the best arm of the service for them to join.

The figures for the past week are better than have been experienced for some time, and 28 recruits have been accepted at Rugby. This number includes 11 from Priors Marston, who enlisted on Wednesday afternoon. Among this party were four brothers named Haynes, of whom three, W J, W F, and A F were accepted and one rejected ; and the patriotic mother of these lads remarked to the recruiting officer: “ If I had a dozen sons I should feel it my duty to let them all go.” Two of their cousins also enlisted. Sergt Handley, Coldstream Guards, has been assisting Colour-Sergt Winchcombe during the past week, and has already rendered very useful service.

RUGBY SHUNTER PROMOTED ON THE FIELD.

Thomas Loveridge, who before joining the Royal Warwickshire Regiment was employed as a shunter on the L & N-W Railway at Rugby, has been promoted to the rank of sergeant on the field for saving the Welsh Fusiliers at a critical moment. His portrait appeared in “ The Daily Sketch ” yesterday (Friday).

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE SHELLS AGAIN.

A lance-corporal, in the Welsh Fusiliers, writing to his parents in Rugby under, date November 27th, says :-“We are having a well-deserved rest for eight days ; then we go back again to the trenches. It has started to thaw a bit, and it makes the roads and trenches awfully muddy and very hard to bring the guns into action. I am writing this in a cafe which has been wrecked by the Germans. They have looted all the large shops-anything that is no good they burn. The shelling is not so severe ; but the snipers are still active. They are mostly all crack shots. We are in a large town now. The Germans keep flashing their searchlights on the town to see if reinforcements are coming. Many of our chaps have got colds caused by the wet trenches. The Indian troops are doing some good work. They are so hot-headed they want to charge the Germans all the time. It has gone a little warmer, but we still long for a good    fire. This town is crowded with refugees. They can tell you some awful stories of the Germans wrecking their homes. We go back to the trenches in five days, and shall look forward to the shells again.”

“ A SPLENDID SIGHT.”

Pte J Bale, 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who is with the Expeditionary Force, has written to his parents, residing at 2 Lagoe Place, Rugby, and says: “You saw in the Rugby Advertiser what was going on during the 16 days up till the time that lance-corporal out of our Battalion wrote to his mother. He and I are the only two in the 2nd Battalion who come from Rugby, and I can tell you it was all perfectly true. Both of us have had our comrades shot down beside us ; we have both been very lucky, and we have not stopped a bit of shell or a bullet from a German sniper. They fire at us at a very short range,and some of them are excellent shots with their rifles, and I am certain they must say the same about us, for as soon as any one of them shows a little of himself out of the trench he goes down like a log of wood. One Saturday night during last month they made several attacks on us, but as soon as they showed themselves out of the trenches to make a fierce attack we let them have it. We fired into them as fast as our rifles would let us, and it was raining to make things worse : but when it was day light the result was a splendid sight-from the German trenches to ours was a thick line of Germans, all stiff and cold ; some of them had got up to our barbed wire, and they were lying across it like ‘ dirty washing.’ All this happened during the 25 days we were in the trenches, without a rest, wash and shave, and brush up. The result of these 25 days to the Battalion was about 300 killed and wounded. We had three days’ rest after that, and now we have taken up some different trenches, where the fighting is not quite so fierce. We are all happy and singing all day long.”

In another letter Pte Bale says :- “I was pleased to see that the good old St Matthew’s School is still thinking of the ‘old boys.’ There are a lot of names of ‘ old boys ‘ that I know on the programme, but I don’t think many are out here yet. . . At present I am sitting in my trench, which is not very pleasant, as we had snow a few days ago. It has been freezing ever since, and I can assure you we are nearly frozen out. The fighting now is pretty calm, but the weather is cold.”

AN ENJOYABLE PICNIC.

Pte A Bottrill, 1st Coldstream Guards, son of Mr H Bottrill, 94 Bridget Street, who, as we reported recently, is an inmate of a hospital at Versailles, suffering from wounds, has written home. He says : “This last month in Belgium has been so hot that it was been as much as we could do to look after our lives, fighting day after day and night after night, and no sleep. It has been like a nightmare, and at times I thought I should go mad, with dead and dying men on all sides. When I got hit I didn’t think I should get away alive, as there were shells on all sides, and the Germans had got through one part of our line.

Several times I had to lie down because the bullets were coming so thick, and I thought escape was impossible. That is how I kept going until I took cover in a wood, where I found several dead Frenchmen and horses ; but, thank God, I am alive. We have had some losses, but there is one consolation : we have made those infernal Germans squeal more than once, and if they have warmed us up we have done in about ten times as many. But they have got to know us now, and they say we Coldstreamers are ten times worse than hell-and that’s hot enough. On Oct 29th we fought back to back, and on the day I got hit we finished up after a most adventurous and enjoyable three picnic (I don’t think).” Further on Pte Bottrill says : “ When my chum, who is in here wounded, rode a cow from the firing line you would have laughed. The general and home staff officers were watching his antics from a farm building, and had a good laugh over it. My friend says he didn’t care ; it was quicker than walking if it did make him sore.”

HAPPY AT THE FRONT.

Pte F Collins, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, in a letter from the front to his uncle, Mr T Wilson, of Spring Street, received on Wednesday morning, states : “You cannot understand how much a letter will cheer us Tommies up at the front, especially when no news is forthcoming. You will be pleased to hear that I am quite well and in the beet of health, and I must tell you that we are all very happy up at the front in spite of all hardships. They will not discourage us one little bit. One would think we were out here for sport, and not for the war, according to the spirit of the troops. We have been provided with new warm clothing, &c, since we have been back in billets, having a well-earned rest after coming out of the trenches. This regiment has evidently been in for some severe fighting. A casualty list published on Tuesday contained the names of no less than 55 men killed.

WAR CASUALTIES.

OLD MURRAYIAN’S NOBLE DEATH.

In reply to a letter from a local gentleman asking for details of the death of Gunner Thrasher, son of Mrs A Henson, 6 Charlotte Street, Rugby, Major C C Robertson, 11th Battery R.F.A, writes :- “ This man was killed in action whilst gallantly serving his gun under fire, his death being instantaneous and without suffering. He was shot by a bullet through the heart. Please convey my sincere sympathy to his mother, and say that she may be proud of the conduct of her son, who was doing his duty manfully and well. It will be a comfort to her to know he was spared all suffering and pain.” Gunner Thrasher, whose death we reported recently, was only 20 years of age and a late pupil of the Murray School, which may well be proud of numbering such a gallant lad among its “ old boys.”

NEW BILTON MAN KILLED IN ACTION.

Much sympathy will be felt for Mrs C Dagley, of 11 Bridget Street, New Bilton, who on Saturday evening received official intimation that her third son, Pte Charles Jackson Dagley, 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen’s Boys), had been killed in action on October 31st. Pte Dagley, who was only 22 years of age, was the son of the late Mr Charles Dagley, and had been in the Army nearly five years. Previous to enlisting he was employed at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s. His elder brother is at the front with the Coldstream Guards.

OLD ST MATTHEW’S BOY SEVERELY WOUNDED.

Mr F J A Sparks, “ Oakville,” Stephen Street, Rugby, has received a postcard from one of the hospitals at the front, stating that Bandsman J Milne, of the Scottish Rifles, has received a severe wound of the spine, causing paralysis. His condition is grave, but there is no immediate danger. Bandsman Milne is an old St Matthew’s boy, and his father, the late Colour-Sergt Milne, was for many years an instructor to the Rugby School Officers’ Training Corps.

Reynolds, Arthur. Died 10th Dec 1914

Arthur Reynolds was born Albert Arthur BAYLISS in 1891. He was baptised on 28th May 1893 in Southam Parish Church, Warwickshire. His parents were George Bayliss and Emily (nee SEATON) who married in Southam on 5th April 1890. Later in 1893 George Bayliss, a labourer, died at the age of 35. In 1896, Emily married Alexander REYNOLDS, a labourer and Town Cryer of Rugby.

By 1901 the family was living at 4 Gas Street, Rugby. Arthur is listed as Arthur Bayliss, step son of Alexander.

He attended Murray School and in 1908, at the age of 18, Arthur, now known as Arthur Reynolds, joined the Leicestershire Regiment. He was 5ft 6 ½in and 132 lb. He had a fresh complexion and brown hair and eyes.

 

Rugby Advertiser 9 January 1915

Rugby Advertiser 9 January 1915

After time at Shorncliffe and Aldershot, in March 1910 he sailed for India where he spent the next 4 years. On 12th October 1914, he landed at Marseilles in France with the 2nd Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment.

On 10th December 1914 Arthur died of wounds in Northern France. The fighting of the First Battle of Ypres had died down by now and soldiers had settled down to life in the trenches. The “Christmas Truce” was near. It is not known how long he before he had been wounded; if it was in battle or by sniper fire.

Arthur is buried at Le Touret Military Cemetery, Richebourg-L’avoue.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM