22nd May 1915. Casualties of the War

ANOTHER RUGBY MAN MISSING.

Mr and Mrs J Wood, of 85 Oxford Street, have received news from the front that their son, Rifleman Leslie Wood, of the Rifle Brigade, is missing. His regiment was engaged in severe fighting in the neighbourhood of Hill 60 on Sunday, May 9th, and after the battle he failed to respond to the roll call, and his fate is, at present, uncertain. Rifleman Wood joined the army in August last, and was drafted to the front about ten weeks ago. He was 21 years of age, and previous to joining the army was employed, in the Controller Factory of the B.T.H. He was a former member of the Holy Trinity Church Choir, and was also a member of the Church Troop of Boy Scouts, in which organization he took a great interest. He is a nephew of Mr W E Robotham, vice-chairman of the Rugby Board of Guardians.

PAILTON.

KILLED IN ACTION.-Much sympathy is felt with the Rev W E and Mrs Jackson, who received the news on Friday last week of the loss of their second son, Second-lieut E P Jackson, 3rd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, but attached to the 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers, killed in action. Lieut Jackson was a young man of great promise and very highly spoken of by his brother officers. Before joining the Army he was pursuing his legal studies, and after he had graduated at his college he intended to take up law as his profession. He seemed to have a peculiar aptitude for legal decisions. His College authorities, as well as his military authorities, speak in the highest terms of his work. All will regret that a young life of such promise should be out off after just having attained his majority.

HILLMORTON.

SERGEANT H. H. HANCOCKS KILLED AT HILL 60.

Mr and Mrs J Hancocks, of Hillmorton Locks, have received the sad mews that their third son, Sergt Herbert Harold Hancocks, of the 3rd Battalion King’s Royal Rifles, was killed in action at Hill 60 on April 26th. Sergt Hancocks, who was 25 years of age, had been in the Army eight years, seven, of which had been spent abroad in Crete, Malta, and latterly India. He was present when the dastardly attempt to assassinate the Viceroy, Lord Hardinge, was made, and some of the scraps of metal from the bomb were embedded in his helmet. He also assisted in lifting Lord Hardinge from the elephant, and was present at the great Durbar. He finished his term as a soldier in July last, but owing to the outbreak of war was unable to return home. His regiment landed in England in November, and proceeded to the front a few days before Christmas. Before leaving for France he spent a few days with his family at Hillmorton. He was one of the best shots in the corps, for which he was awarded at modal. He was also a first-class signaller, and acted as instructor in this branch. An enthusiastic follower of local football, Sergt Hancocks informed his patents that he always looked out for the Rugby Advertiser reports of local matches. The accompanying photograph is reproduced from a group taken in India. Another son of Mr and Mrs Hancocks is serving in Kitchener’s Army.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mr J C Brown, son of Mr J Brown, of North Street, Rugby, has received a commission as surgeon probationer in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserves.

Lieut-Col and Hon Col H Hanbury has been gazetted lieutenant-colonel of the 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

Mr Percy Read, of 86 York Street, who is a compositor at Messrs Frost & Sons, is leaving his work to join the Army. Mr Read was married about two years ago, and as an old Volunteer has been so impressed with the necessities of the military situation that he is giving up his employment and disposing of his home in order to do his “ little bit” for his country. We hope that his patriotic example will be imitated.

Some Royal Engineers were waiting at a railway crossing near Bletchley on Monday when a trainload of German prisoners captured in the Hill 60 fighting passed through. The latter, seeing the British soldiers, spat at them from the carriage windows and made insulting remarks. The Engineers disregarded the jeers, and remained standing at attention.

RUGBY MAN BADLEY WOUNDED.

Corpl F M Staines, 2nd Rifle Brigade, a son of Second Officer Staines, of the Rugby Fire Brigade, has been rather badly wounded. In a letter he states that on Sunday, May 9th, after a bombardment, they made a charge, and after they had captured three German trenches he was wounded in the left hip. He got back somehow, but while he was doing so he received another wound through the right thigh. This was at 6 a.m. on Sunday, and he had to lie where he was until 4 a.m on Tuesday before they could carry him in. He is now in hospital at Boulogne, where he states that he is receiving every attention, and where all are most kind. He concludes his letter with a request for the Rugby Advertiser.- A lady writing from the hospital states that Corpl Staines has undergone an operation, and that he is very plucky in bearing his wounds.

KINGS NEWNHAM.

It was with very great regret the news was received of the death at the battle of Ypres, on April 25th, of Pte Charles Hancox, of the 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was one of first from this village to enlist, and the first to fall in the service of his country. He was of a quiet, unassuming character, and was well liked by everyone. Charlie was a native of Long Lawford, and losing both his parents when he was quite a boy, he and his younger brother were taken to and brought up by the late Mrs Clark, of Kings Newnham, with whom they lived till her death two years ago. He proved himself deserving of all her kindness and care.

Before enlisting he worked for Mr W Dunn as a farm labourer. He went into the trenches on February 22nd. On Sunday evening, after the usual service, the Rector (Rev G W Jenkins) invited those who cared to stay to at memorial service in the Parish Church, where he was a most regular worshipper. Part of the Burial Service was read by the Rector, and the hymn, ” On the Resurrection morning,” was sung. The whole congregation remained to pay their last respect to this young soldier. He was 24 years of age. He had a very deep sense of his duty to his King and country. In a letter received from him, written shortly before his death, his concluding words were : ” Don’t worry about me; God knows best, and that is my hope.”

RUGBY FORTRESS COMPANY.

SIR,  – Lord Kitchener has told me that he needs 360,000 more men.

The War Office has asked the town of Rugby to raise a (Fortress) Company Royal Engineers, and a reply has been sent to the Secretary of the War Office to say that Rugby will raise this company.

The members of the recruiting committee, the leaders of the trades and labour organisations, and many others have done everything they can to put full information before the men. We are still short of about 60 men, especially bricklayers, blacksmiths, carpenters, and masons.

There are plenty of suitable men in Rugby who can join, and I ask them to do so at once in order that the training of the company may go on without any delay.

If man has good reasons for not coming himself, he ought to feel justified in asking others to join. If he does not feel justified in asking others to join, then I ask him again to consider the possibility of coming himself.-I am, sir, yours faithfully.

E W E KEMPSON (LIEUT).

0.C 22th Fortress Company, R.E.

During the past week the recruits have been drilling at the Howitzer Battery headquarters, and by their smartness and general aptitude for their work have surprised and delighted the experienced non-commissioned officers who are training them. It is hoped that the first batch will receive their uniform in the course of a few days.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

The following have enlisted during the past week at the Rugby Drill Hall :- E J Baker, A V Herbert, G E Manser, W V Ingram, W F Bloomfield, T H Lang, W T Boyce, W C Carrick, F G Turner, Rugby Fortress Company; T Holman, Staffords; A J Brett, R.A.M.C ;G J T Collier, Hants Regiment ; C A Bird, Leicestershires ; W H Hallam, Lincolnshire Regiment; E Harris, R.W.R ; J Dorman, L J Turner, and G Facer, Mechanical Transport. A.S.C.

THE WHITE FEATHER POSTCARD.

SIR,-I received a postcard through the post this morning with a white leather on and the following words: “ Stop playing with little boys ! Be a man ; play the game ; think it over.” It is generally a wise rule to pay no attention to anonymous letters ; but I think, perhaps, that the sender may be sincere, if ignorant, and I therefore propose to answer it.

Firstly, let me say that I spent four years with the Rugby Boy Scouts – years which cost me all my spare time and a considerable amount of money. I fail to see that I am to be condemned for doing voluntary work.

The following facts may possibly enlighten those who concern themselves with other people’s affairs :-

My business was founded by myself twelve years ago on a capital of £10, and has grown steadily owing to personal effort, until to-day we are handling about £17,000 a year in premiums. A year and a half ago a move was made to larger premises, and consequently heavier expenses were incurred. Six months later war broke out. During these eleven years I never had a salary, but have depended entirely on commission. There have been many anxious moments throughout that time, and the future is naturally very uncertain. Nevertheless, I immediately volunteered for active service in the Royal Flying Corps, armoured car section, or elsewhere, stipulating that I should be given the option of leaving the service at the end of six months. This was refused by the authorities. This insurance business is a personal one and dependent on me, and I see no reason I should be driven into bankruptcy, with the consequent dismissal of my staff and the failure of heavy obligation to some of my relatives.

The idea of sending me a white feather marks the sender as a fool. No one knows until he faces the great crisis whether he is coward or not. So far, any rate in the minor adventures of life, my nerve has not troubled me.

Finally, let me express my disgust at the action of a Rugby inhabitant who is capable of sending such an epistle through the post on a card. My only reason for dealing with the matter at all is to save the feelings of others to whom, no doubt, similar documents may be sent, I am not ashamed of my reasons, hence this letter, which I shall be glad to explain further if the sender has the courage to call at my office or write to me under his or her correct name.

I B HART-DAVIES.

3 Albert Street, Rugby, May 17th.

[Note: Lieutenant Hart Davies of the Royal Flying Corps was killed on 27 July 1917]

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