RUGBY PETTY SESSIONS.
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.
MEN REQUIRED FOR THE HOWITZERS.
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.
STILL MORE MEN WANTED.
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.
LOCAL WAR NOTES.
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.”
DEATH OF A SOLDIER.
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.