A FIERCE STRUGGLE.
Pte A Goode, attached to the machine gun section of the 1st Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, “ somewhere in France,” in a letter his father, 173 Cambridge Street, Rugby, says :-
“ I suppose by this time you will have read about the great fight we had on May 9th. I shall never forget it. We have named it “ The bloody Sunday.” We went into the trenches at ten o’clock on the Saturday night, and lay there during a bitterly cold night. At five o’clock on Sunday morning the big guns commenced their music, which was terrible, and it lasted an hour. Then came the order to advance to do or die. We had to go over five lines of breastworks, 200 yards of open ground between each. All the time the enemy were raining upon us shrapnel shells, “ coal-boxes,” and lead from machine guns ; but we never faltered, and as chum after chum went down we set our teeth and gripped out guns tighter. When we had passed the last breastwork we took a breather for two minutes ; then for the German trenches 350 yards in front—is was hell itself, I can tell you. We charged them with the bayonet, but it was beyond the power of man to get through their barbed wire fences. Blood, however, flowed like water ! But our time will come when we will avenge our brave chums who gave their lives on that field for home and country. The fight lasted through 24 hours, until the Monday. It was a terrible sights after we had finished to see dead and wounded. Never mind ; we are all ready and willing again when wanted ; but we are getting less in numbers—I mean we who came here first. Will the young men of England pluck up and come out and give us a hand ? It is about time some of them threw away the tennis bats and golf clubs and learn to use a rifle, and come out and help us. We have a very stubborn enemy, and he will take some shifting ; but by the help of men, guns, and ammunition, we shall do it—for we are still British and have the hearts of men. Pluck up, slackers, and give us a hand.”
IMPUDENT GERMAN SNIPERS.
Drummer W Newman, of the 7th Battery Royal Warwickshire Regiment, brother to Mr C J Newman, architect, of Rugby, in a letter from the front says:—“ The weather out here is grand, but it is enough to roast us as we do our sentry duty, which is nothing but standing and watching through a periscope at the enemy’s lines. They have been rather cheeky this time. For instance, during Saturday night one of their patrols must have been very near to ours, for in the morning, when we looked over the parapet, we saw fastened on a willow tree, about 200 yards away, a board with the words painted on it: ‘Przemysl Zunicherobert.’ The last word we take to mean ‘re-taken.’ However, if they come out doing those tricks too many times they will find a ‘pleasant surprise’ waiting for them in the way of a bomb or a shot from one of our patrols.”
CASUALTIES IN THE SEVENTH WARWICKSHIRE BATTALION.
The following casualties in the Warwickshire Territorial Battalion are reported under dates May 19th and 22nd :-
KILLED.—Brooks, 1168, Sergt E.
WOUNDED.—Evans, 2785, Pte R O ; Hobbs, 2632, Pte W R ; Shearsby, 2741, Pte A ; Tuggey, 2578, Pte W ; Ball, 1621, Pte R ; Blundell, 2452, Pte R ; Coltman, 1814, Lce-Corpl W C ; Cook, 2269, Pte J ; Dolman, 2649, Pte ; Dunn, 2511, Pte W ; Fowler, 2064, Pte W H ; Hughes, 1755, Pte J ; Mence, 1802, Pte F ; Ramsden, 2377, Pte J A ; Sadler, 1287, Lce-Corpl J ; Sale, 1674, Pte J ; Savage, 909, Pte W ; South, 1986, Sergt G ; Taylor, 1071, Corpl H A ; Ward, 2762, Pte E ; Wormell, 2536, Pte J
LOCAL CASUALTIES OF THE WAR.
“ E ” COMPANY’S CASUALTIES.
A member of “ E ” Company (now merged with “ C ” Company of the 7th Warwickshire Territorial Battalion), writing under date June 6th, says :-
“ The weather here is glorious ; we are all brown as berries and in the very best of health. On Tuesday last I paid the Company a visit. They were off to the trenches that night ; but, to judge by the interest displayed in an inter-company cricket match, you would never believe that within an hour or two they would be doing their whack in the trenches. The news, I’m sorry to say, is by far the worst since our arrival in France, and concerns members of the old ‘E’ Company. On Thursday, May 27th, Lance-Corpl R Clowes and H Rogers were wounded. The former, I regret to say, died on June 2nd. On Friday night, May 28th, there was a most exciting episode, in which the Rugby lads came through with flying colours, but with further loss. The following are, as far as I could gather, the details :—A party, including Corpl W Bromwich, Ptes L Hill, L Eaton, and P Hall, were out on the listening post, when a party of Germans came out and tried to surprise them. The enemy opened fire, killing L (Bleb) Hill, a Newbold lad, and wounding L Eaton. The latter stuck to his post, and continued firing until help arrived, consisting of a party under Sergt G Ward. I expect the enemy gave it up for a bad job, and upon examination by our chaps we found they had left one dead. Our men brought him in, and he proved to be an iron cross man. His rifle has been despatched to England, and will some day repose in the Rugby Drill Hall as a war trophy. The Company has been congratulated by the Colonel, as undoubtedly by their watchfulness and presence of mind they saved an awkward situation. Corpl Bromwich has since been promoted lance-sergeant. Some of this news may be stale by now, yet I think the Rugby people should learn what their lads are doing. At the request of several I have been asked to point out that what they consider to be an insult to them is the booming of the troops who were billeted in Rugby as “ The Rugby Soldiers, &c.” The sentiments expressed to me are that only the Battery and ‘E’ Company, &c, really come under that nomenclature. We appear to be off the picture. We were the original ‘ Rugby soldiers ’ long before this war broke out, and still claim that honour ; and, what’s more, refuse to allow any other troops—no matter what splendid work they have done, sacrifices they have made, and losses suffered—to step into our rightful position in the hearts and sympathies of the people of Rugby. The Rev B McNulty conducted a service a week last Wednesday. He was quite pleased to drop across Rugby men.”
LOCAL WAR CASUALTIES
CAPT RENNIE WATERHOUSE KILLED.
Capt Rennie Waterhouse, of the 7th Lancashire Fusiliers, who is reported as having been killed in the Dardanelles on May 10th, was formerly a member of the B.T.H Company’s staff as an engineer in the contract and turbine sales department. He was the third son of Mrs T C Waterhouse, of Lomberdale Hall, Bakewell, and of Thorncliffe, Kersal Edge, Manchester, and all his brothers are serving with H.M Forces. Capt Waterhouse, who during his residence in Rugby lived at Epworth, Clifton Road, owned a textile mill at Rheims, which has been destroyed by the Germans.
MUCH regret has been caused in this village by the death of Gnr. Harold Freeman, of the Royal Field Artillery, son of Mr H Freeman ; and the greatest sympathy is felt for the bereaved relatives. Harold, a strong, well-built young fellow, was a painter and plumber by trade, and his unassuming manner and genial disposition made him a general favourite in the place. He was a member of the Cricket and Football Clubs, and also of the Working Men’s Club, for which he did a great deal of useful work when it became necessary to renovate the club premises last summer. He also belonged to the Foresters’ Court, and in all respects his conduct was exemplary. When the war broke out he at once realised that it was his duty to obey the call to arms, and enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery. He quickly made himself an expert artilleryman, and was several times offered promotion, but preferred to remain a private. His Battery was daily expecting orders to go to the front; everything was in readiness, and he was looking forward to the opportunity of seeing active service, when some time last week he was taken ill with pneumonia, complications developed, and he passed away on Monday at the age of 26. The body was brought to Bilton on Wednesday night and placed in the Memorial Chapel, near his home at The Magnet, to await burial yesterday (Friday) afternoon.
THE DEATH OF PTE. HILL.
Mr and Mrs Hill, parents of Pte Hill, of the Rugby Territorial Company, who, as reported last week, was killed in action, have received a letter from Sergt Ward, who says :—
“ I wish to express my deepest sympathy with you all in the loss of such an excellent soldier as your son, who was killed whilst doing his duty on Friday, May 28th, at about 1 a.m. We are all sorry at the loss of his services, for he was one of our best men. Whenever he was called upon to perform any duty, no matter what it was, he did it with a cheerful spirit. This time he was out on the listening post, which is in front of our lines between 50 and 60 yards, when a party of Germans attacked them. Every man performed his duty splendidly. His comrade by his side was also wounded, but kept on firing until a party reinforced them, and made it possible for us to get his body and retire to the trenches. His death was avenged by a German’s death, whose body was fetched in. There is not a man in the Company that will not miss him, for a good many times when on the march he has made the march go easy by singing a song. He was in my section, and there is no one out hero who will miss him more than I shall. I must express to you the deepest sympathy on behalf of the section to which he belonged, also the whole platoon. Louis was buried by the side of our other unfortunate comrades. He suffered no pain or agony, for death was instantaneous.”
To the letter is appended the following note by Capt Mason :—
“ Unfortunately no time to write a letter, but the above expresses the opinion of officers as well as men. On behalf of the officers I most deeply sympathise with you in your bereavement.”
Q.M.S A C Tomlinson also writes:-
“ It is with deepest regret and sincere sympathy that we have to tell you of the death of your son, Pte L Hill. He met his death gallantly, fighting in defence of the post entrusted to him. His memory is proudly established in the hearts of all his comrades. He was always cheery, always happy, and every man in the Company was his friend, and we all miss his bright presence. It may be a comfort for you to know that his death was instantaneous and without pain. He died fighting for his King, his country and his home, and no man can wish for a prouder death.”
Mr and MRS J HIPWELL received a notification from the War Office on Sunday last that Corpl William Hence, C Company, 2nd Border Regiment, was killed in action on May 16th. He was employed at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s, and joined the regiment soon after the war commenced. He was 25 years of age, and has made his home with Mr and Mrs J Hipwell (Newbold) from a boy. He had been previously wounded, and was away in hospital for seven weeks, but returned to the firing-line again a short time ago.
MR AND MRS A OWEN, of Wolsten, have now heard definitely that their son is amongst the missing and they have received official intimation that he has been missing since an action near Ypres on the 25th of April last. Since that date no information has come to hand as to his whereabouts.
LOCAL WAR NOTES.
Capt G T Seabroke, of the East Lancashire Regiment, son of Col Seabroke, Rugby, has been gazetted major.
Mr P G Chamberlain, M.A, of No. 3 Market Place, Rugby, has joined the H.A.C (Infantry Battalion).
The French Military Authorities have requested Dr Frances Ivens (formerly of Harborough Parva) to start a Field Hospital between the firing line and Royaumont. With the approbation of the Scottish Committee, Dr Ivens agreed to do so and to have it ready at 48 hours’ notice.
Brev-Col R A Richardson, of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, whose gallant conduct on the occasion of the torpedo attack on the Wayfarer was referred to in an Army Order, published last week, is a brother of Mrs Mulliner, of Clifton Court.
Mrs H R Lee, of 78 Campbell Street, New Bilton, has received official intimation that her husband, Pte Lee, of the 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment, a former employee of the B.T.H, is in a hospital at Rouen suffering from a slight scalp wound.
It is gratifying to learn that the complaints which have been made in certain quarters of slackness among workmen employed in the manufacture of munitions do not apply to Rugby, and that the local representatives of the allied engineering trades are rendering every assistance. In accordance with Press regulations we abstain from giving further details.
TWO RUGBY CLERICS JOIN THE FORCES.
We understand that the Rev S M Morgan, curate-in-charge of the Church House, and the Rev R W Dugdale, curate-in-charge of Holy Trinity Church, have been appointed by the Chaplain-General as chaplains to H.M. Forces in the 63rd and 64th Brigades, now stationed at Tring, and that they will be leaving Rugby shortly. We are sure that they will carry with them the hearty good wishes of all Rugbeians.
RECRUITING AT RUGBY.
Eighteen recruits have been accepted at Rugby Drill Hall during the past week, as follows :- S W Wareing, J E Burnham, and T Batchelor, R.W.R ; T Jennings, 13th Gloucesters : G B Cox, Leicesters ; F Southam, Rifle Brigade ; F Gardner, Oxon and Bucks L.I ; H Bishop, A.S.C (H.T) ; W R Seaton, Welsh Guards ; J Clarke and W H Moseley, Army Vet. Corps ; H Bate, F C Woodhouse, S C Hobbs, W R Davis, E W Ellson, and S H Oswell, Rugby Fortress Company. R.E ; F Morrey, Household Cavalry.
A meeting was held on Monday last by the Rugby hairdressers to discuss the advisability of increasing their saloon charges. It will be remembered that about twelve months ago the Rugby Hairdressers’ Association fixed a minimum price of 1½d for shaving and 3d for haircutting, which abolished 1d shaving in Rugby. The better-appointed shops have decided that, owing to the rapid increase of expenses—both business and domestic—and the flourishing state of the labour market they will increase their charges to the following prices:—Shaving, 2d; hair-cutting, 4d; ditto (boys under 14), 3d; singeing, 4d; shampooing, 4d. The new prices are to come in force on Thursday, June 10th.
It was mentioned that a great number of their customers had joined his Majesty’s Forces, and were now in training or at the front, and those who were serving his Majesty in the local works were working so many hours that they are unable to attend the saloon, and therefore cause a considerable fall in the saloon takings. It was decided by those who have adopted the new prices to attend the Warwickshire Reservists at the old prices, and the same privilege will be extended to those customers who have donned the khaki when they come home on furlough.
NOTICE TO WARWICKSHIRE LICENSED VICTUALLERS.
The Chief Constable of Warwickshire (Captain J T Brinkley) has issued the following notice to licensed victuallers under the Intoxicating Liquor Laws :- “Complaints being received from Red Cross Hospitals in the county that wounded soldiers are being supplied with drink in the public-houses, and, in some instances, return in an intoxicated condition, license holders are requested not to serve them with intoxicants. The Brigadier-General commanding this district informs me that unless this request is observed as far as it is possible to do so, it will be necessary to put the premises complained of out of bounds for all troops, with the further liability of being closed altogether under the Defence of the Realm regulations if further complaints are received.