23rd Jan 1915. Rugby Entertains the Troops



On Sunday morning a united Church parade of the Anglican members of the two regiments stationed in the town was held, and evoked much interest. Dense crowds gathered in the vicinity of the Parish Church to witness the arrival and departure of the troops, who were headed by their respective bands—brass and drum and fife. The large number of soldiers, wearing khaki uniform, occupied the greater part of the Church, and the remainder of the seats were placed at the disposal of the civilian worshippers. The Rector (Rev Claude M Blagden) conducted the service—a shortened form of matins—and the Rev G H Roper read the lesson. Several members of one of the bands led the singing and responses, and the effect was very pleasing. The special hymns were : “ Thine for ever,” “ Soldiers of Christ arise,” and “ Oft in danger, oft in woe.”

The service concluded with the National Anthem. After service, the battalions, headed by their bands, and followed by large crowds, marched off to their respective headquarters, where they were dismissed.

In the afternoon the Band gave a concert in Caldecott Park.


Low Mass was said for the soldiers at St Marie’s Church on Sunday at 10.15 a.m. About 200 mustered in the Market Place and marched to the church.


Sergeant Mudd, of the Irish Regiment, addressed the Cambridge Street Wesleyan Sunday School on Sunday, taking as his subject : ” A good soldier of Jesus Christ ” (2 Tim ii 2).


Several thousand persons were attracted to the Caldecott Park on Sunday afternoon, despite the cold, piercing wind, by the announcement that by permission of the Commanding Officer the a Military Band stationed in Rugby would give a concert from three to four p.m. The Band is an excellent one, and well-balanced. The selected items were thoroughly appreciated. Rossini’s famous descriptive composition, ” William Tell,” was especially pleasing, and was rendered with taste and feeling, and perfect expression. The programme was :-March, “ La Marseillaise ” (Puener) ; overture, “ William Tell ” (Rossini) ; valse, “ Passing of Salome ” ( Joyce) ; song, “ The Trumpeter” ; sketch, “ [Way?] Down South ” (Myddleton) ; selection, “ Mar[?] Market” (Rubens) ; two-step, “ Blaze away ” (Blankenberg) ; and Regimental March. The Band gave another concert on Wednesday in the Park, when, despite the threatening state of the weather, there was a good attendance of soldiers and civilians. The programme was as follow :- March, “ El [?]banico ” (Jovaloyes) ; overture, “ Zampa ” (F Kerold) ; valse, “ Destiny ” (Baynes) ; cornet solo, “ Serenade ” (Schubert) ; sketch, “ Ireland for ever ” (Myddleton) ; selection, “ Faust ” (Gounod) ; two-step, “ Puppehen ” (Gilbert) ; Regimental March.


More troops arrived on Tuesday, and are being largely billeted in the St Matthew’s district of the town. They appear to be a fine lot of fellows, and have already created a very favourable impression.

On Monday evening a whist drive for soldiers was held in the Church House. The first prize was won by Pte O’Donnell and the booby by Pte Symondson.

Another concert will be held in the Church House on Saturday, when it is hoped as many soldiers as possible will attend.

On Monday and Tuesday evenings Sergt Johnson gave lectures on “Astronomy” at the Baptist Church, which were much appreciated.

On Wednesday afternoon a football match was played on the Recreation Ground between an eleven of civilians and a Company team of one of the regiments billeted in the town. The soldiers, who played excellent football, won a good game by five goals to one. There was a good attendance of spectators.

A number of soldiers attended service at the Market Place Wesleyan Church on Sunday morning. The service was conducted by the Rev Robinson Lang (pastor) and intercession prayers were used.


The Athletic Club in connection with the B.T.H Company has generously placed its commodious playing field on the Clifton Road at the disposal of the troops quartered in the town, and the soldiers will be at liberty to play there on any week-day. It is hoped to arrange Association football, Rugby, and hockey matches on Saturdays, and, at the suggestion of two of the officers a “gate” will be taken on a subsequent Saturday on behalf of local charities. Practice football and hockey matches will take place to-day (Saturday).


During the week the troops have been exercised in the usual way in route marching, trench digging, &c.

By the kind permission of the Officer in Command, the Military Band will play in Caldecott Park from 2.45 to 3.45 p.m on Sunday if the weather is favourable.

In describing social, athletic, or other events in which the soldiers participate the regiments located in the town will be referred to in the Advertiser as the English, Irish, and Scotch respectively, as the case may be.


The county police authorities notify that troops will be marching in the roads and lanes within a radius of six miles of Coventry every night between 5 and 10 p.m, taking various routes. Motorists are specially requested to keep a sharp look-out so as to avoid any mishaps. The troops will always keep on the proper side of the road, and will be preceded by a man carrying a white flag, and followed at the extreme rear by a man carrying a red light. Special attention is invited by all concerned.


The men billeted in Rugby are amazed at the heartiness of the welcome that has been accorded them, ” We never experienced so much kindness before. People seem to be competing with each other to make us welcome, and the experience is very different from what we have been accustomed to.

Another small contingent of troops is expected at Rugby this week-end.


Apparently some uncertainty seems to exist amongst the holders of off-licenses in Rugby and New Bilton as to whether the closing order made by the Justices last week applies to them as well as the public-houses and clubs. We are authoritatively informed that the order does apply to them, and all retailers selling under licences for consumption off the premises must close at the prescribed time.



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