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.

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