27th Mar 1915. Rugby Volunteer Training Corps



The present membership of the Volunteer Training Corps for Rugby is 235, More would, no doubt, have joined but for two points on which there has recently been information given of value to those interested in the movement. In the first place, men have been deterred from joining owing to the impression that they were not likely to be asked to perform any serious duties. With regard to this objection, we may state that the War Office has recently enquired from the Central Association of Volunteer Training Corps if the members of the various corps would do local patrol work, and how many men would be able to go away to undertake similar duties elsewhere. Further, that War Office has asked how many men would be able to go away for service in other parts of England in the event of invasion. Lord Crewe has expressed the hope that those corps would become a permanent organisation when the war is over, so that it may now be taken for granted that the value of such corps is recognised, and that those in authority are anxious to know what the members are able to do.

Another difficulty had been the declaration members are expected to sign. On this point Mr B B Cubitt, assistant secretary to the War Office, has written as follows respecting the declaration :—

“ This undertaking is not a mere formality, and the man signing it is expected to fulfil his obligation. If a man who may be called upon is not in a position to fulfil his engagement he can leave the corps.”

Mr Tennant, speaking in the House of Commons on March 1st, said : “ In cases where good and sufficient reasons are not shown a man ought not to be allowed to take the lesser obligation when he ought to fulfil the greater obligation of serving with the colours.” As to their powers, Mr Tennant pointed out that they could only use the power of persuasion. He also expressed appreciation of the self-sacrifice of the men who had joined the corps.

Col H R Vaughan, writing from the War Office on the question of railway men, points out that a railway employee, even if he joined a corps, could not be asked to join the Army unless he had the permission from his employers to go. There can be no doubt that the same condition applies equally to men who are engaged in Government contract work.

A County Committee for Warwickshire has now been formed by the Lord-Lieutenant and Col Wyley, of Coventry, has been appointed County Commandant.



“A” Company.

Till further notice.—No. 1 Platoon : Outdoor drill, Wednesdays (fall-in top Barby Road, town end), 8 0 p.m. Big School, Fridays (except Good Friday), 8.0 p.m.—No. 2 Platoon : Outdoor Tuesdays (fall-in top Murray Road, 7.30 p.m. ; Drill Hall, Thursdays, 8.0 p.m.- No. 3 Platoon : Outdoor Wednesdays and one other day as arranged.—No. 4 Platoon : Outdoor, Tuesdays (fall-in top Murray Road), 7.30 p.m ; Drill Hall, Fridays, 8.0 p.m.

Saturdays, fall-in 2.30 p.m top of Barby Road.

Shooting Range is open at Drill Hall, 7.30 to 9.30, every week-day except Saturday.


Seventy members of the Rugby Conservative Club are at present serving with the colours in various capacities.

It is estimated that the extra money put into circulation in Rugby during the stay of the soldiers was about £8,000 per week—probably more.

The 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, which includes the Rugby Infantry Company, left Essex this week, presumably for foreign service.

Harold Loverock, second son of Mr Lewis Loverock, who has been in South Africa for the past three years, has joined the Natal Light Horse, and is at the Front in German South-West Africa.

Maurice Howkins, son of Mr W Howkins, of Hillmorton Grounds, who recently received a commission as second lieutenant in the 1st London Brigade Royal Field Artillery, has now been gazetted second lieutenant in the Royal Horse Artillery.

A son of Mrs Wheeler, of 135 Abbey Street, has been promoted to the rank of sergeant in the Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry (Cycling Section). He is at present at Bradford-on-Avon, Wilts. Mrs Wheeler has three sons serving their country—two in the Royal Warwicks and one in the Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry. The latter has served 7 1/2 years in Africa.

Pte Alfred Hawkins, of the Northamptonshire Regiment, son of Mr A Hawkins, of Harborough Magna, was wounded in the arm by shrapnel on March 11th, and is at present in a hospital at Rouen. His parents received a letter on Thursday, stating that he was progressing favourably.

Lce-Corpl G A Barrett, of the 5th Rifle Brigade, an old St Matthew’s boy, who, as stated in the Advertiser last week, had been wounded, is at present in a hospital in England. We understand that he has been seriously wounded in the lungs, and some time will necessarily elapse before he makes a complete recovery. His father, Mr F T Barrett, of 17 Stephen Street, visited him last Saturday, and Lce-Corpl Barratt has since, written a very cheerful postcard. Lce-Corpl Barrett, who formerly worked for Messrs Frost, joined the army on the outbreak of the war, and had only been at the front a short time before he was wounded. A rumour gained currency during the week that he had succumbed to his wounds, but this, happily, proved to be untrue.

Pte Albert Batchelor, of the 2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment, son of Mr and Mrs B Batchelor, of 34 Arnold Street, Rugby, is again an inmate suffering from wounds received at the Front. On Saturday, March 6th, he was wounded at 10.30 a.m, and lay 8 1/2 hours before receiving attention. He is now at the Sailors’ Rest, Ramsgate. Pte Batchelor, who is an old St Matthew’s boy, was previously incapacitated in October with a bullet wound in the neck and shrapnel in the knee. His brother Oscar is a despatch rider in Lord Kitchener’s Army.

Lce-Corpl Sidney Hubert Hadfield, 1st King’s Royal Rifles (third son of Mr J Hadfield, of 4 Charlotte Street, Rugby), who was seriously wounded in the right leg, by shrapnel near Mons at the commencement of the war, has arrived home for a short time. The unfortunate young fellow, who is only 26 years of age, has been in a London Hospital for the past six months, but, despite the best of attention, it is feared that he is doomed to be a cripple for life. His general health has also been adversely affected, and he has been sent home to effect, if possible, an improvement in this before undergoing an operation. He has served eight years in the army.


Regret will be felt in Rugby by many people to learn of the death of Sapper Ernest Lawrence Manton, of the East Anglican Royal Engineers. A native of Bedford, Sapper Manton, whose age was 24, was employed for a time at the B.T.H Works. He then took a situation in Coventry, though still residing in Rugby, journeying to business each morning. He was also engaged to be married to a Rugby lady, with whom much sympathy will be felt. The last letter received from him stated that he expected to take part in a big battle next day, and it was probably in the fighting at Neuve Chapelle that he was killed.

Sapper Manton was a member of Bilton Football Club, for whom he kept goal. During last summer he won first prize in a billiard handicap at the Regent Street Billiard Rooms, and for several months was a member of St Matthew’s Church Choir.

From a Bedford contemporary we learn that deceased was the younger of two brothers who were in the Royal Engineers. He had been in the Bedford Engineers for four years, and has resigned, but on the outbreak of the war he rejoined his old regiment, and went to the Front with the 1st Company. His mother received a letter from Second-Lieut O H Keeling, of the E.A.R.E, stating that her son was killed in action on March 10th. “ He was in my section,” the officer continued, “ and in him the section has lost one of the best of its men. I have heard something of the sacrifice he made when volunteering in August. He was always so cheery and ready to do his duty. Only last week he struck me particularly in this respect, when he was working in mud and water up to his knees—working at draining a trench that others might walk dry shod in it. Please let me offer my sincere sympathy to you in your great loss, but I hope your sorrow may be in some way lessened by the thought that he died for his country.”


There has been a marked improvement in recruiting at Rugby during the past week, and 16 men have been attested. Suitable men are now required to be trained for non-commissioned officers in the 13th R.W.R ; and wheelwrights, shoeingsmiths, and saddlers are also wanted. Those who have enlisted this week are: Cavalry, S Dyson ; R.E, H Baines ; A S.C, H J Rowe, T Burns, R J Reaves, and H S Jude ; R.F.A, W G Fuller, J Cox and W Cox ; Northants, E Smith and G Southern ; 13th Gloucesters, W Moore ; Middlesex, A Page, R Philpott, and W A Walker ; Royal Welsh Fusiliers, W E Bennett.


The “ Leicester Daily Post ” for Wednesday remarks, with reference to the slackness in recruiting in that city, that it is stated that in Leicester and Leicestershire there have been a larger proportion of rejects than in other adjoining areas for medical reasons which to the would-be soldiers did not seem quite sufficient, and that from the beginning of the war up till now many men unable to enlist there have been accepted at Rugby.


Dale, George Frank. Died 22nd Mar 1915


Picture of George Frank Dale from the Rugby Advertiser


George Frank Dale was born 1896 at Easenhall, Warwickshire to Wallace and Catherine Dale, the eldest of six children.  On the 1911 census Wallace was a gardener’s labourer and Frank, aged 14, a general labourer on a farm.  He seems to have been called Frank rather than George by his family.

He enlisted at the start of the war on the 2nd September 1914, as a rifleman (No. Z/238) in the 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade (The Prince Consort’s Own).

He was over 6ft tall and went to France on the 26th January 1915, the Battalion having landed at Havre on the 23rd August 1914 as part of the 11th Brigade, 4th Division.

Frank was killed on the front line on the 22nd March 1915

The Quarter Master Sergeant of the Company wrote to Mrs Dale “Regret to inform you your son killed in action yesterday morning.  We all sympathise deeply with you and deplore the loss of a willing and promising young soldier. May lessen the pain if you know he died an absolutely painless death.  Wm H West CQM Sgt “B” Co Rifle Bde”.

Several Rifleman died of wounds or were killed in action on the 22nd March 1915 and subsequent two days, suggesting that they were casualties of shell fire on the 22nd March 1915.

All are buried in Strand Military Cemetery, Comines – Warneton Hainaut, Belgium.  The Cemetery proper was established in what is now Plots 1 – V1 and Frank’s body was recovered and buried here. The inscription added to the gravestone by his family reads:
He Sleeps in Peace.

George was awarded Victory and British war Medals and the 1915 Star.

Frank’s family put memorial notices in the Rugby Advertiser on the anniversary of his death. That of 24th Mar 1917 reads:
In Loving Memory of our dear son and brother, George Frank Dale, who was killed at Ypres on 22nd March 1915.
Although he has gone from our sight, he is not forgotten by those who loves him.
“Sleep on, beloved: sleep and take your rest’
We loved thee well, but Jesus loved thee best,
and has taken thee to thy eternal rest.”

There was a Brass Plaque in Easenhall Chapel to the men of Easenhall who fell in the Great War. The Chapel is now a private residence.



Fox, Norman Harry. Died 21st Mar 1915

Fox, Norman Harry
Died 21/03/15
Age 21
Rank Private
Number 2123
Unit 1st Bn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Address 2 Mill Road Rugby
War Grave Details Rations Farm.Annexe, Belgium
Grave Ref. I.D.9

Private Norman Harry Fox

Private Norman Harry Fox

Norman was born in Stoke Lyne Oxfordshire, to parents Edward Walter Fox and Sarah nee Dale in 1893. Baptised at the church of St. Peter Stoke Lyne, December 31 1893.

The 1911 census shows Norman (17) a Blacksmiths Striker, living at 15 George Street Rugby, with his parents,

The 1st Royal Warwicks, stationed at Shorncliffe Kent in the August of 1914, landed in France 22nd August 1914 as part of 10th Brigade 4th Division

Rugby Advertiser: 17/04/15

“News has been received from the War Office by Mr E.W. Fox of Mill Road Rugby, treasurer to the local corps of the Salvation Army, that his younger son – Pte. Norman Harry Fox of the 1st Royal Warwicks – was killed in action near Wulverghem on March 21st. Pte. Fox is an old Elborow School boy, and prior to the outbreak of the war was in the Officers Mess.
Lieut. Cockburn, writing to the deceased mother on March 23rd, says: “It is with deep regret that I have to inform you that your son was killed on the evening of March 21st, while on his way to the trenches, I had personally only just taken over the command of the platoon .He was undoubtly a good man, and well spoken of by officers and men, He died for his country as so many brave fellows have done.

On 24th March 1917 his family placed an In Memoriam notice in the Rugby Advertiser:

In Memoriam, 24 March 1917

In Memoriam, 24 March 1917



20th Mar 1915. Departure of Soldiers from Rugby


To the general regret of the residents of the town the soldiers, who have been billeted here for the past two months, left for another part the country this week, and for the time being the streets have resumed their ordinary civilian character. During the two months the men have been amongst us, they have made large numbers of friends, and their excellent and well ordered behaviour has won the admiration of all, and has enhanced the high opinion which many Rugbians already had for the lads in khaki. The gallant fellows have proved themselves British through and through, and many kindly actions in ordinary life are credited to them, and their departure is regretted by all. In many instances a warm affection has sprung up between the soldiers and the residents with whom they were billeted, and to many the parting came as a great wrench.

Owing to this war, sport was practically dead in the town, but, with the advent of the soldiers a revival was effected, and some excellent Association and Rugger football has been witnessed, and this year, for the first time in its history the Rugby Hospital Cup has been won by a soldiers’ team. Wherever the soldiers may go they will carry with them the best wishes of the entire population, and their future movements will be watched by Rugbeians with great interest. In the event of other soldiers being sent here, we can only express the wish, which is heard on all hands, that they will be as well behaved and excellent a lot of men as those composing the Brigade which has just left, and with whose visit many pleasant recollections will be associated.

The troops left the town in contingents, the first of which started on Tuesday afternoon, and the last in the early hours of Thursday morning. Large crowds accompanied the various detachments to the station, and while the troops were given a cheery send-off many affecting partings were witnessed.


The following announcement, dated Buckingham Palace, Friday, appeared in the “ Court Circular ” :-

“ The King, attended by Major Clive Wigram, Vice-Admiral Sir Colin Keppel, Lieutenant-Colonel Frank Dugdale, inspected troops in the Southern Command to-day.”

Publication of further details of the event referred to in the “ Court Circular ” is at present impossible owing to censorship regulations.

[NOTE: The King inspected the troops of the 29th Division – part of which were the soldiers billeted in Rugby, on the Old London Road (now A45) near Stretton on Dunsmore.
This was before their departure for Gallipoli. A Memorial now marks the spot]


In connection with the Government’s call for women to assist the nation in its struggle by registering for employment wherever possible, it is of interest to note that the B.T.H Company, whose men have enlisted in large numbers in the forces, are now urgently in need of additional female assistance in their Lamp Factory to complete large orders for the Admiralty, War Office, and other Government Departments. Any girl or woman between the ages of 14-26, even though she has had no previous experience, can earn good wages, besides assisting in doing ” a bit of her own” for her country by applying at the B.T.H Employment Office any day at 9.0 a.m or 2.0 p.m.

While the men of the Welsh Regiment were billeted in New Bilton two of the rooms at the Wesleyan Chapel were opened daily for their use—one with piano, papers, books and games, and another with writing materials. Both were well used, particularly the writing-room. A “ sing song ” was held on Friday evening last week, and refreshments were served to all present by lady friends.

R H Taylor, of 48 Newbold Road, Rugby, has been invalided home, having strained his heart while in training with the Warwickshire Yeomanry. For similar reason Corpl W Gilbert, of Bilton, who joined Kitchener’s Army, has to his great disappointment had to return home.

The numerous friends of G H Renshaw, the popular captain of Rugby Football Club, will be glad to hear that he has been promoted sergeant. Mr Renshaw only enlisted in the A.S.C. in January, and is now at the front.

Second-Lieut C H Ivens, son of Mr J H Ivens, of Rugby, has been promoted to a First Lieutenancy in the 9th Reserve Warwickshire Regiment.

Sergt Barnes, a well-known non commissioned officer of the Warwickshire R.H.A on active service, has been promoted to a commission and appointed Second-Lieutenant in the 4th South Midland Howitzer Brigade, which consists of the 4th and 5th Warwickshire Batteries.

Mr J Walker, of Lawford Road, Rugby, has joined Lieut-Col D P Driscoll’s Legion of Frontiersmen, which is sailing for East Africa very shortly. Mr Walker was a South African campaigner, and holds the King’s and Queen’s medals and eight clasps.


There has apparently, been no revival in recruiting at Rugby during the past week, only six men having been attested. They are :- Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, John Albert Steele (band boy) ; Royal Engineers, H S Hyam ; R.W.R. W Buckby ; A.S.C, T Gardner ; K.R.R, A S Manton.


This week’s casualty lists contain the names of two Rugby men : Lce-Corpl G A Barratt, 5th Rifle Brigade, and Pte W Hirons, Yorkshire Regiment. Both are old members of St. Matthew’s Boys’ School. Details are not yet to hand.


The CHAIRMAN [Rugby Urban District Council] said the matter of local arrangements in case of air raids is delegated to the General Purposes Committee, who had left the task of making the final arrangements with Mr Linnell and himself. He was now in a position to report on the definite steps to be taken in case of an air raid on Rugby. The committee did not think it advisable to plunge the town in darkness until they had an intimation that hostile air craft were approaching. They, therefore, had arranged with the police, with the B.T.H Company, and with the Rev Dr David, who had very kindly helped them, that upon the advice of hostile aircraft approaching the town, or within this realm at all, the B.T.H Company would sound their blower. The signal it was proposed to give was ten blows on the hooter, each lasting 3 secs., with 3 secs, intervals, the whole period of the signal being one minute. It was felt that perhaps some people living on the south side of the town might not hear the blower if it was sounded in the dead of night; and, therefore, they asked Dr David to help them, and had arranged with him, when the police got the notice, for the new chapel bell to be rung, and he thought, therefore, that if any person in Rugby did not know aircraft was coming it would be their own fault. In this week’s local papers they proposed to issue some intimation, and he presumed that the public, on hearing the signals, would turn the lights out and remain in their houses, and that those who had basements would descend into them. He hoped the Council would approve of the arrangements they had made.—Mr LINNELL added that the Gas Company would put out all the street lights.—The CHAIRMAN said he hoped the general public, on hearing the signal, would extinguish the lights in their houses. It would be quite easy for then to ask the B.T.H Company to turn the electricity supply off the moment they got the signal, but there were many arguments against it, especially in regard to sick people.—Mr DEWAR : We ought to have at least two hours’ notice, hadn’t, we (laughter).—The Chairman : I think we ought to have more. In all probability we shall have good notice.

Judd, George. Died 17th Mar 1915

George Judd’s birth was registered in the third quarter of 1889 in Rugby.[1]

Photograph of George Judd from a public tree on Ancestry.co.uk

Photograph of George Judd from a public tree on Ancestry.co.uk

In the 1891 census George was aged 1 and lived with his parents Henry and (Eleanor) Annie and older sister Alice, aged 3, at 27 Union Street, Rugby. His Norfolk born father was a “Rural Letter Carrier”.

By 1901 they had moved to 16 Winfield Road and father, Henry, was still a ‘rural postman’.

In the 1911 census George was aged 21 and a carpenter in an electrical works. He now lived at 14 Winfield Street, Rugby (which may have been the same house that had been renumbered) with his parents and his younger brother Harry. His father was now a retired postman.

When George joined up, he was 25 and was still employed as a carpenter at BTH. George was a member of the Congregational Young Men’s Bible Class and the family attended the Cambridge Street Wesleyan Church.   George was engaged to be married to a young lady from Rugby. [2]

He was one of the first Rugby men to join the new army, enlisting in the 2nd Battalion of the Rifle Brigade on 31 August 1914 as rifleman No. Z449, and left for the Depot on 2 September.

The 2nd Battalion had returned from India, in late October 1914, and joined 25th Brigade, 8th Division at Hursley Park, Winchester and proceeded to France landing at Le Havre on the 6 November 1914.

It seems that George was not with them at that date, probably still being ‘in training’ and was first posted to Queensbury Pier and then to guard duty at Munster, which duty was too important for him to receive any home leave.

On 2 January 1915 he was drafted to go to the front, and entered into the French theatre of war on 4 January 1915.

At this time he was about the only local man in the battalion at the front, but a few weeks later a considerable batch of Rugby men, nearly 600, were sent to join the King’s Royal Rifles.[3]

The Battle of Neuve Chapelle began on the 10th of March 1915, a British offensive in the Artois region of France and broke through at Neuve-Chapelle, but the British were unable to exploit the advantage. More troops had arrived from Britain and relieved some French troops in Flanders and enabled a continuous British line to be formed from Langemarck to Givenchy. The battle was intended to cause a rupture in the German lines, which would then be exploited with a rush to the Aubers Ridge and possibly Lille, the railway terminus from the east and south-east which was used by the Germans. [4]

On the 10th March, at 8:05 am the 25th (right) Brigades of the 8th Division assaulted the German trenches on the north-west of the village. On 12th and 13th at Layes Bridge the 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade incurred severe casualties from machine gun and artillery fire. On the 13 March the Germans kept up a sustained heavy bombardment, unaware that the attack had ended.[5] During those actions the Battalion won two VCs.

The action at Neuve Chapelle was called off on 13 March, however, heavy shelling continued. From 16th to 20th March, the 2nd Battalion were holding the line, until relieved by the 2nd Berkshires on the 20th March.

Having survived the various assaults, it was presumably in the shelling that would have continued over the days after the main assault whilst the 2nd Battalion were still in the front line, that George was ‘Killed in Action’ by the explosion of a shell in his trench on 17 March. [6]

George’s Medal Card states he had won the Victory, British and 1915 Star Medals.

The Commonwealth War Graves citation records his parents as Henry Judd and Eleanor A Judd, who were, at the time of George’s death, living in Westgate Road, Hillmorton Paddox, Rugby

George is remembered on Panel 44 of the Le Touret Memorial at Armentieres, Pas de Calais and on the Memorial Gate, Rugby.


[1] freebmd

[2] Taken from Rugby Advertiser, 10 April 1915.

[3] Taken from Rugby Advertiser, 10 April 1915

[4] See more at: http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/alliedarmy-view.php?pid=6863#sthash.dZLjpNWm.dpuf

[5] http://www.britpolitics.co.uk/neuve-chapelle-first-battle-first-world-war-1915

[6] Taken from Rugby Advertiser, 10 April 1915



Gurney, Frederick William. Died 15th Mar 1915

Frederick William Gurney’s birth was registered in the second quarter of 1895 in Newport Pagnell registration district, Buckinghamshire.

In the 1901 census the family were living in Duncombe Street, Fenny Stratford, Buckinghamshire.   Frederick, aged 5, was the youngest of seven children and his parents were Lewis Gurney aged 45 and Hannah Gurney aged 42. His father was a Railway Inspector in the Permanent Way Department of the railway. His parents married in 1880, in Leighton Buzzard.

Unfortunately Frederick’s mother Hannah died in the second quarter of 1904.

In the 1911 census it shows that Frederick’s father, Lewis, had married again to Alice Warwick, and Alice’s two children by a former marriage (who had been born in Rugby) were in the household along with five of Lewis’s older children and two children from his second marriage to Alice. Frederick was, at age 15, a “disengaged errand boy”. The family was living at Duncombe Street, Fenny Stratford. Frederick’s father was still a Railway Inspector with the LNWR railway.

Alice Gurney died aged 40 in the third quarter of 1913. Lewis would only have been aged 57.

In the second quarter of 1914 Frederick’s father, Lewis, married for a third time, in the registration district of Newport Pagnell, to a lady, Emma Howe.

Frederick enlisted with the 4th Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifles on 2 September 1914 in Rugby. He was posted on 9 September. His trade on enlistment was a cleaner. [1]

The 4th battalion came under the orders of 80th Brigade in the 27th Division and embarked from Southampton, landing in Le Havre on 20 December 2014 to concentrate on the area between Aire and Arques. Under the command of Col George Thesiger, on the night of 14-15 March, Frederick was probably fighting with the battalion in a counterattack to recapture key positions in Saint Eloi, near the southern shoulder of the Ypres Salient, which had been taken during a German attack several hours earlier. Although the battalion finally recaptured Saint Eloi, the Germans beat back the 4th’s repeated attacks. The battalion suffered over 100 casualties in the partially successful attack: 34 killed in action (including six officers), 63 wounded and six missing.[2]

It appears that Frederick was one of the 34 killed in action. He “died of wounds received in Action 15.3.15” according to the military history sheet of his service record.[3]

Frederick Gurney was awarded the British, Victory and 1915 Star Medals.

In the record of Soldiers who died in the Great War, Frederick William Gurney’s death is recorded as 16 March 1915.   In the Register of Soldiers Effects, Frederick William Gurney, Regimental number Z2264, left £2 14s 8d to Lewis Gurney, Father and Sole Legatee who lived at 39 Duncombe Street, Buckinghamshire [4].

Frederick is remembered on Panel 46 – 48 and 50 of the Menin Gate Ypres and the Rugby Steam Shed Memorial Plaque.

[1] ancestry.co.uk Short Service Attestation

[2] Edited from http://www.armchairgeneral.com/cdg-56-british-rifle-brigade-in-world-war-i-1915-2.htm

[3] ancestry.co.uk

[4] Both references from ancestry.co.uk


NOTE: There is another F W (Francis William) Gurney, also living in Duncombe Street, Fenny Stratford, who died 15th September 1916. He enrolled at Norwich and served in the Norfolk Regiment. His father was born in Rugby.
Since Frederick William enrolled in Rugby and also had a family connection with the town, we assume he is the F W Gurney on the Rugby Memorial.


13th Mar 1915. Theft of a Ham and More Men Needed


TUESDAY.—Before T A Wise, Esq. (in the chair), and A E Donkin, Esqr.

REFUGEES’ DWELLINGS EXEMPTED.—Mr J T Payne, acting with the authority of the overseers, applied that certain houses in the town, occupied by Belgian refugees, might be exempted from the poor rate.—The application was granted.

THEFT OF HAM BY SOLDIERS.—Ptes Daniel McGregor and Hugh MacCheyne, of the Scottish Regiment, billeted at Rugby, were charged with stealing a ham, value 16s, from the Crown Inn, Newbold, on February 27th, the property of Wm P Day.—Mary Elizabeth Day, wife of the licensee, deposed that defendants went to the house, where she served them with drinks. There was a ham hanging up in the room at 4.30, when defendants visited the inn. They left about 5.30 p.m, saying “Good-night” as they went out. On going into the taproom again, she missed the ham.—P.C Howard, stationed at Rugby, said he received information of the theft at 7.30 p.m. He saw prisoners leave the Saracen’s Head Inn, and noticed that MacCleyne’s coat looked rather bulky; and then, knowing about the ham, he stopped defendants and asked what they had got. MacCheyne threw the ham on to the footpath and said “ Take the ____ ham and say no more about it”—Defendants elected to be dealt with by the Bench, and both pleaded not guilty. McGregor said he was drunk on the night in question, and a man, quite a stranger to him, gave them the ham.—MacCheyne said he was also drunk, and knew nothing about having the ham in his possession until the policeman told him about it the following day. He had been punished for being drunk.—P.C Howard said the soldiers were under the influence of drink, but knew what they were doing.—The Captain of the Company said the character of both men was bad; MacCheyne having been convicted at Lucknow by court-martial for receiving goods knowing them to have been stolen.—MacCheyne was sent to prison for a month and McGregor for a fortnight, both with hard labour.


ROLL OF HONOUR.—Two more names are to be added to Princethorpe roll of honour : George Waters has enlisted in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and Edward Grant, jun, in the Royal Horse Artillery.

WOUNDED.—Much uneasiness has been felt by Mrs J Smith, who has not heard from her husband since the beginning of December. A chum, writing home, said that he was missing. A week or two ago his wife had a post-card from her husband saying he was wounded, but going on all right. This has been confirmed by the War Office notifying that he is a wounded prisoner of war. His other brother is also a prisoner. There are six members of this family serving in the army.


To the Editor of the Advertiser,

SIR,—At the public meeting held last Saturday night at the Co-operative Hall, Colonel the Earl of Denbigh, in his speech, showed very clearly the importance in war of the Howitzer gun, and therefore the responsibility attached to those who are fortunate enough to command a brigade armed with that weapon.

The Service Brigade has been on a war footing since mobilisation, and daily expects to be sent on foreign service. The Brigade which I have the honour to command is now promoted to the second line of defence, recruited from the same area as the First Line Brigade, of which Rugby, forms an important part, and we are now enlisting men for foreign service only. At present this Brigade is within 40 of its full establishment, but still has embodied some 50 men who had enlisted on embodiment for home service only, so we require 90 recruits at the present time. The object of our meeting at the Co-operative Hall last Saturday was to endeavour to enlist some of these recruits from the Rugby district.

In addition to the two Brigades, a third or Reserve Brigade is now being embodied with headquarters at the Brigade Depot at Coventry. Only 25 per cent, of its full establishment is now being asked for.

As soon as the 50 men of this Brigade are replaced with men enlisted for foreign service they will be transferred to the Reserve Brigade, and a further 50 men will be required to bring it up to its full strength. Taken together, therefore, about 150 men are still required for the three Brigades ; and although Rugby has already done well in supplying men for the Army, there must be many left who are able, without interfering with those working for Government requirements, and are willing to serve their country. I earnestly hope that they will offer their services soon as possible at the Recruiting Office, Quinton Road Barracks, Coventry.—I have the honour to be, sir, yours faithfully,

A H HEATH, Lieut-Colonel, 2/4th S.M (Howitzer) Brigade R.F.A.

Headquarters, Northampton, March 10.


Men between the ages of 25 and 40 are required for Remount Companies. Ordinary standards of height and chest measurement may be waived, provided men are organically sound ; and sight-test may be passed with the aid of glasses. Men will be attested for general service, and despatched to the most suitable centre or centres as may be directed. All men approved will for the present be sent: Western and Scottish Commands, to Ormskirk ; Northern and Southern Commands, to Swaythling ; Irish Command, to Shirehampton ; Eastern Command, to Romsey.

Men enlisted as above will receive ordinary Army Service Corps rates of pay (except shoeing smiths and saddlers). If sent to the Expeditionary Force will receive the following special rates of pay, inclusive of corps pay and all additional pay, with effect from date of embarkation :—Corporal (foreman), 4s daily ; private (rough rider), 3s 6d daily ; private (groom strapper), 3s. daily.

These rates, which are not subject to reduction on return of the men from the Expeditionary Force, will be admissable only for men proceeding abroad for a tour of service, and not for men proceeding as conducting party or like duty. Qualified shoeing smiths and saddlers will receive 5s a day, inclusive of corps pay, and all additional, pay from date of enlistment. If promoted to superior rank, men in receipt of special rates of pay will be permitted to retain pay and allowances of their old rank, if more advantageous than the Army pay allowances of the higher rank.

The following have enlisted in Rugby since 5th March, and proceeded to their respective depots or units :—L Gandy, Northamptons ; G W Wesson, Leicesters ; B Pearce, L T Spriggs, A Doyle, and C G Brown, 10th Bedfords ; J Pearce, R.A.M.C ; L G Daniels, Grenadier Guards ; J Macfarlane, A.S.C—total, 9.

We can still do with more men. About 25 Infantry regiments are open for men of 5ft 1in ; all other Infantry, 5ft 3in and upwards. Now closed for duration of war for R.A.M.C. – All other corps open for duration of war, except Cavalry and Garrison Artillery except for ex-Cavalrymen and ex-R.G.A soldiers. Minimum height for Foot Guards, 5ft 8in.

We can do with more than double the number of recruits we are at present getting weekly, and we know there are still some eligible for service and are hanging back.

WINCHCOMBE, C.S.M for Recruiting Officer, the Drill Hall.


The Church House, New Bilton, has been furnished as a clubroom for the troops quartered in that district, and is highly appreciated by the men.

Sapper O C Latcham, formerly on the cost staff at the B.T.H, writes to Mr Hepworth, a colleague :—“ You have probably received a field postcard from me notifying you that I had arrived in France. As that conveyed very little news of interest, I thought I would scribble a few lines now. A draft of about 200 of us left Aldershot together, and after a smooth but nevertheless none too comfortable sea trip, landed after spending two days and nights on the transport. Our journey up country then commenced, and this was done in two nights. I never had such a railway journey in all my life. Shall never grumble at English railways again. Our party had by this time been split up here and there. My party eventually arrived at a little mining village, where we billeted in a school for a few days. From there I was sent on alone to join another small party shortly after marched up to within a few hundred yards of the trenches, billeting for one night at a farmyard on our way up. The march was very tiring, but accomplished in grand weather, the sound of guns getting louder as we proceeded. We eventually found ourselves at another farm, where we are staying for a while, and, taking all into consideration, are pretty ‘ comfy.’ It is very interesting to watch the Germans firing at our aeroplanes and shells exploding in the fields close by. Even as I am writing this the windows are shaking from the firing of our guns which are round about. All night the country is being continually lit up by the flare of balls of fire, which are thrown up in the air from the trenches to see if there is any prowling work going on, and at the same time rifles click, which means ‘out of mess’ for a man who happens to be showing himself. There is really little being done out here now, as all seem to be playing the waiting game, but things are occasionally enlivened with artillery duels and attacks. The old pipe, after having been a faithful companion for six months, must, I am sorry to say, be entered on the casualty list as ‘ missing,’ probably in the cattle trucks on the way up. Glad to say I’m O.K.”



On Monday morning, Pte McDonald, of the Scottish Regiment, died in the Ashlawn Red Cross Hospital, to which institution he had been admitted in a serious condition twenty-four hours previously. The cause of death was diabetes. The deceased, who was only 24 years of age, belonged to Glasgow, and fair of four of brothers are with the British Expeditionary Force.

Considerable interest was evinced in the interment of the deceased, which took place on Wednesday afternoon with full military honours. Large numbers of people gathered along the Barby Road and the route to the Cemetery. At about three o’clock the members of the deceased’s company formed up in two ranks along the Hillmorton Road, with the drummers and pipers of the regiment in front ; and shortly afterwards the cortege, which had started from Ashlawn Hospital at 3 p.m, (where the V.A.P. and their officers, Mrs E D Miller, Mrs Arkwright, and Mrs Parnell, were on duty), came along. It consisted of a firing party, marching with rides reversed in front of the limber bearing the coffin, which was covered with the Union Jack, the deceased’s belt and other equipment and a wreath being placed on the top. Immediately behind were several soldiers bearing wreaths of evergreens, after which came the two mourners’ coaches. As the cortege passed through the ranks the soldiers formed up behind, and the order, “ Slow march,” was given. The band of pipers immediately led the way, playing the air, “ Flowers of the forest.” From the Temple Speech Room, along the Hillmorton, Whitehall and Clifton Roads to the Cemetery the procession passed through dense crowds of spectators, including many soldiers. The latter stood to attention as the procession passed by, and civilians removed their hats as a mark of sympathy and respect.

The service in the Nonconformist Chapel and at the graveside was conducted by the Presbyterian chaplain. At the conclusion the firing party fired three volleys over the grave and the pipers and drummers played “ Loch Habbard no more,” the mournful strains of which appealed to all. The firing party then fixed bayonets and presented arms, and the ceremony, one of the most unique of its kind ever seen at Rugby, was ended. From the cemetery the band, as is customary, played quick step tunes, which were in striking contrast to those before the ceremony.

Amongst the wreaths placed upon the grave was one from residents in Worcester Street, where deceased had been billeted prior to his removal to the hospital. Pte McDonald’s mother, from Glasgow, and his brother, also a soldier, who had been wounded at the war, and was at home as the result, attended the funeral.

The Red Cross Society was represented officially at the cemetery by Mrs E D Miller (vice-president and senior commandant Rugby District Division), and the nursing staff of Ashlawn Red Cross Hospital was represented by Sister Darby.


6th Mar 1915. Military Boxing at the Rink


Some very good, and also some very poor, boxing was witnessed at the Rink on Friday evening last week in aid of the Belgian Relief Fund. There was fairly good attendance, wearers of khaki predominating.

The first contest was between Sergt Brady (Scottish) and Pte Larkin (English). From the start the Scotsman asserted his superiority, and the Englishman never had a chance. In the first two rounds Brady got some hard knocks home, and in the third he sent Larkin to the ropes with a terrific swing on the back of the head, and he was counted out.

A remarkably fine fight, and one of the best of the evening, was the contest between Lance-Corpl Connelly (Scottish) and Pte Martin (English). Connelly opened with a rush, and the fighting soon waxed fast and furious. Both men received some hard blows on the face, and Martin went down on the call of time. The second round was also very fast, and Martin did well to avoid a terrific upper-cut. The third and fourth rounds produced some very fine fighting, Connelly stretching Martin out at the commencement of the former with a heavy blow on the jaw. Severe punishment was administered and received by both men in the two last rounds, and both began to hit out rather wildly, and the call “Time” evidently was welcome to both men. The “draw ”—was very popular.

Pte Williamson (Irish) v Pte Flac Irish). This “ fight ” was in striking contrast to the one preceding it. Williamson, a veritable giant in bulk and strength, had his man well in hand, and administered a series of gentle taps, which at first evoked amusement, but subsequently raised the ire of some of the onlookers. In the second round the men were ordered by the officials to fight, whereupon Williamson laid his man out, and he was counted out. At first the judges declared “ no contest,” but “subsequently gave the fight to Williamson.

Sergt Brown (English) v Lance-Corp Sturgeon (Scottish). This was a very brief affair. Sturgeon knocked the sergeant down twice in the initial round, and the second time he was counted out.

Lance-Corpl Jones (Irish) v Pte Waddington (Scottish). This was a remarkably good fight, and there was very little to choose between the men. Each man inflicted a good deal of punishment on the other, and at times the fighting was very fierce ; indeed, it never became dull. Waddington had the advantage of weight, and landed some heavy blows, but Jones had a superb defence, and was also very quick on the attack. In the fifth round Waddington forced the pace, and drove Jones through the ropes, but the latter recovered well, and had the better of the final round. Jones was declared winner on points.

Pte Ott (Irish) was unable to meet Drummer Wood (English), and his place was taken by Pte Humphreys (English), The men were very unevenly matched, and the drummer had the advantage from the beginning, sending his opponent through the ropes twice in the first round. In the second round Wood put him down with a hard blow on the head. Humphreys, though plainly unable to do so, endeavoured to continue the fight, and struggled gamely, but was knocked down again and counted out.

Drummer Crone (English) v Pte Murphy (Irish). Crone, who is a first-rate boxer, was never extended, and had Murphy at his mercy from the beginning. After a pretty display by the drummer, in which Murphy received some hard knocks, the latter retired in the third round.

The officials were officers of the various regiments.

Tuesday.—Before Dr Clement Dukes (in the chair), A W Street, A E Donkin, and C G Steel, Esqrs.

“ DOING A BUNK.”—Ptes Jas W Burton and Wm Frisby, of “ B ”, Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, Rugby, were charged with being absent from their regiment without leave on March 1st,—Defendants pleaded guilty.—P.C Rowbery met them on the London Road. They appeared to have come some distance, and having questioned them, he took them back to Braunston, where they admitted they had come from Northampton, and said they were “ doing a bunk.”—Prisoners were handed over to an escort that had been sent for them.


The detachment of the 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, under Captain Ewan Rotherham, who have been for the past six months on guard duty at a Royal Gunpowder Factory near London, were on Monday relieved by another regiment and were moved to the county town, where the 7th Reserve Battalion are under Col Nutt’s command. This detachment has had arduous duties to carry out, considering the trying winter weather and the cold nights which have been experienced. The men have been rather handicapped in the past month owing to an influenza epidemic, which fortunately is now disappearing. Although during the day time a certain amount of training has been gone through, it has been of a limited character, owing to the night work done. It is expected that the detachment will now take part in a more varied training, which is only possible when with a battalion.


The following have been attested at the Rugby Drill Hall this week :—Royal Berks Regiment: C H Bland, F H Boyes, and C A Warner. A.S.C : A J Bromwich. R.F.A : J Hughes, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (as band boy): C A Waddoups. Yorks L.I : G H Coates : and one for the Sportsman’s Battalion Royal Fusiliers.

In order to stimulate recruiting, it has been decided to grant an extra day’s leave of absence to all soldiers on furlough for each recruit accepted, obtained by their assistance. They will also be entitled to the recruiting award.


SIR.—I fear there is justice for your remarks this week, that well as Rugby has already done there are still many eligibles “ holding back.”

The local Works sent heavy proportions in the early days of war, as figures demonstrate, with the result that some of use are hard-pressed to find sufficient hands to execute urgent demands for war munitions. Every possible hour is being worked to fill these needs.

Mr Asquith only last Monday, in reviewing the outlook, said the “ call for men was never more urgent or imperious than to-day.” What local scope remains ? Have the shopping and farming classes been fully encouraged by their employers to send their eligibles ? Are there not quantities of these young men whose duties in their absence can well be performed by the gentler sex ?

I feel sure the Prime Minister’s call, when realized, will find further answer in Rugby and district.—Your obedient Servant,


The sum of £1 17s 7d has been collected at Kings Newnham during February for the Prince of Wales’s Fund, and £2 19s 4d at Grandborough.

The cost of the war bonus which the London and North-Western Railway are giving to their employees will amount to half a million sterling. The total amount for all the railways in Great Britain is £3,800,000.

Mr Maurice Howkins, son of Mr W Howkins, of Hillmorton Grounds, who, at the beginning of the war joined the Honourable Artillery Company as a private, has now been given a commission as Lieutenant in the 1st London Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.

We understand that A J Harris and Stanley Hidden, both of whom are at the front, accidentally met on the battle-field and exchanged greetings, which were interrupted by a German “ Jack Johnson.”

In our last issue we mentioned that it had been reported that William Derbin, a reservist, and formerly a railway worker, had been killed in action near Soissons. We are glad to hear that the report, like others, has proved incorrect, and that his relatives received a letter from him on Monday last, and dated February 25th.

In the historic effort which is now being made to force the Dardanelles, Rugby and New Bilton are represented by at least three of their sons. Leading-Seaman Gunner John Cash, an Old Murrayian, son of Mrs B Cash, of 25 Craven Road, Rugby, is on the mammoth “ Queen Elizabeth,” the most powerful warship afloat. He has also seen service on the “ Cressy,” “ Pegasus,” and another ill-fated vessel. Messrs J Harris and W H Cranch, of New Bilton, are on the “ Majestic.”