Coombes, Arthur. Died 30th Jun 1915


Private 1788 Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Died 30 June 1915 from wounds, buried Croop Hill Cemetery, New Bilton, Rugby

Gravestone of Arthur Coombes at Croop Hill Cemetery, Rugby

Gravestone of Arthur Coombes at Croop Hill Cemetery, Rugby

Arthur was born in Shipton under Wychwood, Oxfordshire in 1883, son of Walter Coombes, a carpenter, and his wife Ann nee Barnes. His mother died when he was very young, and in 1891 his father married Fanny Maria Kilby as his second wife. Arthur aged 7 was living at home with them in 1891 in Shipton under Wychwood, his father’s occupation then is given as painter.

By 1901 Arthur now aged 18 had joined the Army, and was a private in the Rifle Brigade stationed at New Barracks, Alverstoke, Gosport, Hampshire. He presumably served his years and was discharged, as in 1911 he was a farm labourer at Mears Ashby in Northamptonshire, at Hill Farm run by John Beaty. Soon after this he moved to Rugby where he worked for British Thompson Houston (BTH) in the winding department. He married Lucy Warburton in Rugby in 1914, they had a son Arthur born early the following year who sadly died soon afterwards, so poor Lucy lost son and husband within a few months of each other.

As a previously serving soldier, Arthur would have been called up at the outbreak of war into a territorial unit. His records have not survived, but Soldiers Died in the Great War tells us that he was born in Shipton under Wychwood, and lived at New Bilton, Rugby. He enlisted in Rugby and served in the 1st Bt Royal Warwickshire Regiment. According to his medal card (in the name of Coombs) he was posted to France on 21 April 1915; he was wounded and presumably sent back to England as he died in Rugby from his wounds on 30 Jun 1915. He is buried in Grave G138 in Croop Hill Cemetery, New Bilton, and is also commemorated on the BTH Memorial which was moved from its position outside the former works when the site was redeveloped, and is now situated in Technology Drive.   He does not appear on the Shipton under Wychwood memorial, which confirms that he had severed his links with his birthplace many years before.

Arthur was awarded the Victory, British War and 1915 Star medals.

BTH Memorial

BTH Memorial



Astill, Herbert William. Died 29th Jun 1915


Herbert was born in Hillmorton, Rugby in 1894.   He was the son of Richard Astill (born 1842, Wolvey, Warwickshire) and Jane Benn (born 1852 Higham on the Hill, Leicestershire) Richard and Jane were married 27th Sept 1870 at St Peters Church, Higham on the Hill, Leicestershire.

In the 1911 census Herbert lived with his parents in School Street, Hillmorton, Rugby and worked locally as a general labourer.

Herbert enlisted in Rugby in 1915 into the 5th Battalion Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Herbert was a private and his number was 10744.

He died of wounds on 29th June 1915 (not 23rd as listed by the CWGC) and was buried in Bailleul Communal Cemetery Extension, Nord, France. Grave I.D. 63

Herbert was awarded the Victory Medal L/106B

Astill RA 17 Jul 15

An officer of the regiment sent a letter to Herbert’s parents which was published in the Rugby Advertiser on 17th July 1915:

“As a stretcher-bearer he was excelled by no one in the regiment, and he earned high praise from his senior officers, for in the action of the 22nd of June he went out under heavy rifle fire over a barricade before the German lines, not once, but many times, and brought in wounded men on his shoulders. It was two days after this, on June 24th, that he was hit in several places by a high explosive shell, which burst near him as he was running out to search for wounded men who had been hit by another shell that fell just before. He had a wound in the stomach, which finally proved fatal after eight days in the hospital. We were all very sorry to lose this brave lad, who had distinguished himself by his very plucky work under fire, and who, I believe, is to be recommended for the D.C.M. His name was sent in to headquarters for gallantry in action.”

Lines inscribed on his gravestone by his family read: NOT LOST, BUT GONE BEFORE

He is also remembered on the Hillmorton War Memorial.



26th Jun 1915. Warwickshire Yeomanry in Egypt



A member of the Warwickshire Yeomanry in Egypt writes :-“ Since I last wrote to you the Wayfarer party has arrived. They got into dock on May 15th, and came up to our camp the next day. They all look very well and fit and their adventures don’t appear to have injured their health in any way. They must have had an exiting time ! They say the sea was terribly rough at the time, and they also had it very rough on the journey here. The day after they arrived they were inspected by the Brigadier, who complimented them on the way they had behaved and the manner in which they had looked after the horses. I believe there were very few horses died indeed in spite of the fact that many of them were up to their bellies in water for 24 hours. We are still encamped in the same place, down by the sea, and much enjoy our bathes every morning. We need to bathe frequently here for it is nothing but dust everywhere, and it gets in one’s hair and works through one’s clothes. The flies also are a great nuisance, but as we cannot get rid of them we have to put up with them. We have had Australian horses given us now, as those that were on the Wayfarer are not coming out ; many of them are rather green and in poor condition at present, but I think when they have picked up a bit we shall be quite as well mounted as we were before. As we have only just got our saddles we haven’t had much chance to ride them yet, except bareback, which we have been doing every morning. The Public Gardens here are very beautiful, and of course more interesting to us because the majority of the flowers and trees are strange. In one of them a little stream runs through with hundreds of gold fish in. I saw rather an amusing incident in one of the gardens last Sunday night. About a dozen soldiers were sitting on a bank singing hymns (this, I may say, is not altogether a frequent sight), and they were singing very well such hymns as “ Onward, Christian Soldiers ” and “ Rock of Ages.” They had an admiring circle of natives of all ages and both sexes. Presently along one of the paths appeared about a dozen natives of the class which in England we describe as “ Nuts,” marching in half sections and each one playing a guitar or similar musical instrument. When they reached the “ choir ” party they halted and turning to the soldiers solemnly played the chorus of “ Tipperary ” through twice, then with many bows and good nights passed on. By the way, we have heard “ Tipperary ” played and sung more times since we left England than we should have done in twelve months at home. Once we had it played for our benefit by the band on a French battleship and we responded by singing, or trying to, their National Anthem.

Another Yeoman says :—Our daily programme is something like this : Reveille 5 a.m, roll call 5.15 a.m, feed horses, get a cup of tea, and saddle up for exercise by 6 a.m. We go out for exercise every morning, riding one horse and leading two others, returns from exercise at 8 a.m, water and feed, and have our breakfast ; nine o’clock, stables, clean horses and saddlery until 12.30 ; dinner, or rather lunch, for we have a very light meal in the middle of the day, either bread and cheese or bread and butter, with tea to drink. At 1.30 p.m we water the horses again, and afterwards got our saddlery ready for inspection at 3 p.m. From 4 p.m to 5 p.m we have evening stables ; dinner—boiled beef, potatoes, and boiled rice—at 5 p.m. As a general rule, after this we are free until bedtime, 8.45 p.m-except, of course, those who are on guard.


News was received in Rugby on Thursday that Trooper Geoffery Hardwick Dodson, youngest son of Armourer Staff-Sergt F H Dodson, of St Matthew’s Street, has been wounded in the Dardanelles. Trooper Dodson went out to Australia four years ago, and obtained an appointment in the Civil Service. When war broke out he joined the 10th Light Horse, and went with the Australian Contingent to the Dardanelles. Armourer Staff-Sergeant Dodson is now serving with the forces in France.


The death has taken place in the Military Hospital at Tidworth of Private A Jones, of the 6th Leicester Regiment. The deceased was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs George Jones, of Lorne Villas, Knox Road, Wellingborough, and he joined the Army soon after the outbreak of war, and made himself useful and indispensable as hairdresser and chiropodist to the battalion. He was 29 years of age. and leaves one child. Death followed an operation for appendicitis. He left Wellingborough for New Bilton about six years ago, where he had a business of his own. The remains were taken to Wellingborough for the funeral.

Rifleman L J Newton, of C Company, 7th (Service) Battalion K.R.R. has been killed in action. He was at the time of enlistment in the employ of Messrs Frost & Sons, Printers, Warwick Street, and in the June number of the journal entitled “With the Colours,” which is being published the firm in the interests of, and for the encouragement of their employees who have joined the Colours, we find the following reference :-“We record with deep regret the death of L J Newton, who was killed in action by shrapnel on June 17, 1915. Newton came to us as a compositor in February, 1914, and joined the King’s Royal Rifles in the first month of the war. He was a careful and accurate workman, a fine specimen of manhood, and held in high esteem by all. He joined the Army at a time when recruits could not be accommodated nor fed properly, yet he never grumbled, being ever-ready to bear patiently and sacrifice self to the exigencies of State. His O.C writes to his father : ” I am very sorry to have to tell you that your son, Rifleman Newton was killed suddenly to-day by shrapnel. He was at work unloading a wagon when a shrapnel burst and hit him straight through the heart ; he died immediately – absolutely no pain. I can assure you he is a great loss to my platoon, and he was one of those of whom I was most fond, being an excellent soldier and an all-round good fellow. I’m sure it will be a consolation to you later on – if not now—to know that he was killed in action doing his bit for King and Country.’ Redfearn, who was conversing with him not more than an hour before he was struck down, writes : ‘ We buried him here near the trenches, and put a small cross and a few flowers on his grave.’”


In the lists published on Wednesday the following were returned as wounded :—

TH BATT ROYAL WARWICKHIRE REGIMENT (T.FF).-Allsopp, 1942,. Pte H ; Arnold, 2412, Pte G ;Clowes, 1402, Lce-Corpl R ; Eaton, 1933, Pte L G ; Gallemore, 1456, Pte W ; Goodhall, 3414, Pte A W ; Gorrell, 1703, Pte W H ; Hazlewood, 3355, Pte W ; Rogers, 2252, Pte H.

Lance-Corpl Clowes has since been reported as having died of his wounds. He was an apprentice in the L. & N.-W. Erecting Shops at Rugby, and went out with the “ E ” Company of the 7th Warwickshire Territorials.


MR G GRANT has received a communication from his son Ernest that he has been wounded slightly in the forearm, so that of his three sons serving at the front one (Harry) is missing, and the other two, Ernest and Alfred, are both wounded.


A member of the Rugby Howitzer Battery writes :-“ A team was chosen from our Battery to play the 5th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment during their rest from the trenches. The Battery won by one goal to nil. It was a very hard game, and you can imagine how every man in the Battery team must have played, as we have only so few men to choose from as compared with a battalion. Spicer at back and Goode in goal played especially well, whilst Major Nickalls was also very safe. The evening was very warm, and rain had been falling pretty heavily in the morning, so that the conditions were not the best : but the game was played at a good pace all through, and was thoroughly enjoyed by the good crowd of supporters from both the Battery and the Battalion. The Germans were dropping their ‘ Little Willies,’ &c, at a respectable but visible distance, but this certainly did not disturb anyone. Gunner Ashir scored the only goal of the match half-way through the first half. Battery Team : Gunner Goode, goal ; Gunner Spicer and Major Nickalls, backs ; Gunner Fanriston, Corpl Watson, and Gunner Redmayne, half-backs ; Sadd, Yarwood, Sergt Sadd, Dosher, Gunner Taylor, Gunner Ashir, and Gunner Cumbirland, forwards.


Sergt G Fiddler, of the K.R.R, 36 Winfield Street, Rugby, writes home to his wife :—We are having a rest for a few days about three miles from the firing line. We came out of the trenches on Saturday. We had only been out about twenty minutes when the trenches were bombarded and blown to smithereens, so we had a bit of luck that time. Last Thursday we took four trenches and found a young German, about 16 years, chained to a machine gun, so that he should not run away, and to make him keep on firing. We took about 142 prisoners, and in the attack, when they tried to recover their lost trenches they had terrible losses. The place where we are is just on the left of a town. There is not a civilian to be seen—only soldiers. It is a mass of ruin. I went to have a look while we were in reserve. It was awful-everywhere you looked, ruin. I had a few strawberries and new potatoes out of one of the gardens, and I cooked them in the trenches.


Recruiting has again been somewhat slack at Rugby during the past week, although, perhaps, this is only to be expected when it is remembered that no less than 2,450 have been enlisted since the outbreak of the war at the Park Road Drill Hall. Those attested this week were:—E E Bromwich and C Rabin, A.S.C (H Transport): F E E Clarke, Leicestershire Regiment ; R W Lucas, 220th Rugby Fortress Company, R.E ; E Dunkley, Gloucester Bantams ; H C Cummins, Royal Berks Regiment ; G Lines, R.W.R : W H Barber, Border Regiment ; W Edwards and W Smith, Rifle Brigade.


Seven members of the Rugby Police Force have availed themselves of the opportunity to enlist, which has been presented by the authorities. P.C Morrey has already joined the colours, and P.C’s Rose, Richards, J G Fairbrother, and Cresswell go to-day (Saturday). P.C’s F Townsend and Chipman are also leaving shortly to join.


DEAR SIR,—I received the following postcard from Pte Branagan this morning, and I should like all those who have so kindly and generously sent me gifts for our prisoners in Germany to know that the parcels are being received safely and in good condition.—Yours very faithfully,



DEAR MRS BLAGDEN, – Heartiest thanks for your valuable parcel, received June 5th in splendid condition. As our correspondence is limited, I cannot promise to write in answer to every parcel you send, but, T can assure you that they will arrive safely, and J might mention that you cannot send anything letter for myself and fellow prisoners. Dear Mrs Blagden, I am sure it is very kind and thoughtful of you to send the parcels. Again offering very best thanks to the I friends in Rugby,—I remain, yours obediently,!



DEAR SIR,—May I crave further space in your columns to thank the friends at Rugby who have so kindly sent cricket balls to this hospital ?

Several have been received during the past few days, and it would gladden the donors’ hearts if they could see the enjoyment derived from their gifts.—Yours sincerely,

A J G HANDS (Pte), H.A C.

Cedar Lawn Hospital, North End Road, Hampstead, June 18th.


Rugby, being one of the important Midland centres for engineering, the local Labour Exchange in Castle Street was opened on Thursday evening for the purpose of enrolling the names of munition workers. The number of applications, however, was comparatively small, but this was not unexpected, as both the large engineering works in the town are already fully occupied with Government work. Many of the men from among the staff and officers have volunteered to fill in the week-ends in this work, and others with mechanical knowledge are also being employed. The Bureau is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 6 p.m to 9 p.m ; Saturdays, 4 p.m to 6 p.m ; and Sundays, 3 p.m to 6 p.m ; and any men qualified to take up work in connection with the manufacture of munitions should immediately enrol themselves at the Bureau ; but it should be noted that men already engaged on Government work cannot be enrolled. Posters calling attention to the Bureau can be obtained from the Labour Exchange.


In our last issue we referred to an intimation given by the Rev Dr David (headmaster) that members of Rugby School would be willing to assist farmers in the hay-fields and in other farm work, such as cleaning and thinning crops. We understand that a number of applications have been received through Messrs Tait. Sons, & Pallant, and Messrs Howkins & Sons, and that squads of five and upwards, each in charge of a N.C.O, are being sent out. The boys are chiefly members of the O.T.C. They are suitably dressed for the duties undertaken, and take with them on their bicycles hoes, spuds, and other necessary tools. They are helping not merely in the hay-fields, but in spudding thistles and cleaning farm crops generally. Reports to hand indicate that they are doing the work satisfactorily, and comply readily with the instruction given, so that the experiments promises to prove successful from all points of view.



19th Jun 1915. Soldiers at the Dardanelles


Quite number of the soldiers who spent a memorable and happy two months in Rugby at the beginning of the year, have again written to those with whom they were billeted, letters having arrived at many homes this week. The feeling of gratitude for the treatment extended to the troops, and a desire to return to the town when opportunity occurs, appear to be pretty general, whilst, unfortunately, in too many cases soldiers known to Rugby people are reported to have been either wounded or killed.

For instance. Drummer Joe Devenny, of the 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who was billeted with Mr and Mrs Burn, of 16 Corbett Street, writing from a hospital in Malta, states that he has been wounded in the left hand, but expects soon to be back in the firing-line. He is one of those who speaks of his intention to pay a return visit to Rugby if he comes safely through the war.

Ptes Brown and McAneny were billeted with Mrs Rushton, of 15 Corbett Street. Both are wounded, and have written giving some of their experiences on the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Pte McAneny says he was lying down firing when a bullet just missed his head by about three inches. It tore a hole in the arm of his coat, and went clean through his boot and toes. “ But I can say one thing,” he adds, “ the Turk who hit me, and a good many of his chums, are all in their graves now.”

Referring to the fighting in the Dardanelles, Pte Brown says: “ We are driving the Turks back, and have captured a lot of them and their forts. . . . When we got there we advanced about three miles. The battle lasted from early morning till late at night. It was a hot bit of work. The Turks were just retiring from one trench to another, and had to be dug out with the bayonet. Our navy was making mincemeat of them from the sea. That night the Turks kept on attacking the trench. They came up like droves of sheep, only to be cut down by rifle fire. In the morning there were only heaps of dead in front.”

Corpl Giblin, 1st Royal Inniskilling, writing to Mr and Mrs Spencer, 35 Winfield Street, says :—“ We landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula on the 25th of April, and we weren’t half an hour on shore before, we had a go. We were just digging a bit of a trench when they started to fire at us, so we hopped into the trenches and let them have it. They tried to overpower us with their numbers, but it was ‘no hat,’ they had to retire, and I don’t believe we lost a single man, although the fight lasted nearly all night. So that wasn’t a bad baptismal fire was it ? The next day we started again and beat them back. The navy are doing splendid work with their guns. The only thing we miss here are cigarettes, but, of course, we are not always without them, because every time we capture some Turks we are almost sure to get some tobacco or cigarettes. We get plenty of food, and that’s the main thing.”

Sergt W E Emmett, of the same Regiment, in a letter to Mr C Mitchell, of Thurlaston Orange, states that he is in the best of health, and had just returned to the base after twelve days hard fighting. He expected to be in the firing-line again soon afterwards. He adds : “ I hope you are still carrying on with the drill. Have you formed a Company at your place yet ? If you have, I hope they are getting on well.”

Mr J Lord, Castle Street, has heard from two men of the Border Regiment, who were billeted with him. Sergt F C Ansell, who had been wounded in his right-hand, and had to write with his left, states that he had been in hospital a month and underwent an operation. He was going on well and looking forward to the day when he could pay Rugby another visit. He adds : “ We had a terribly rough time at first, and I would sooner do anything than that landing again. It was a proper death-trap. Never mind, roll on till I come back to old Rugby. I could do with one of your good meals now.”—Pte H Harrup expresses the wish that they could be back in Rugby again for a time, as it is a bit too hot for us. “ Very sorry to tell you some of the boys have gone who used to stop with you, and I got wounded in the knee. Better than having my head blown off. Towers got killed the 1st day of going into action. I think this place is worse than France. It is very hot in the day, but cold at night.”


We learn from a North Country contemporary that Sergt H Corbridge, of the Royal Army Medical Corps, who during the visit of the troops to Rugby was billeted with Mr M Watkiss, 14 Cromwell Road, has been congratulated by the General Officer commanding the 29th Division for gallantry in the Gallipoli Peninsula.

Sergt H Corbridge, who previous to the war was an inspector of the Liverpool Corporation Health Department, has written an interesting letter to his friends, in which he says:—

“ The 29th Division, have had a warm time of it at Gallipoli. At the landing the water literally bubbled with bullets and shrapnel as we rowed ashore. Dead and wounded troops were lying in the water and on the beach, and we had to wade through 5ft. of water after getting out of the boat, while underneath the water were barbed wire entanglements. For two days the medical men were kept busy attending to the wounded. The Turks tried to rush them, but on seeing the British fix bayonets they turned and fled, their retirement being followed by the guns from the Queen Elizabeth, Triumph, and Goliath. Next day the ground was found covered with scores of dead and wounded Turks. The circumstances under which I received the acknowledgement card were that I and Capt Taylor were out collecting and dressing wounded, using a disused barn as a place of shelter. Word was brought that Lieut Sherbrooke, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was lying badly wounded in a ravine about a quarter of a mile away. We went and found him, although the shrapnel and rifle fire was severe, and bandaged him up, and then I carried him to safety. I then went up the ravine to a private, who was shot through both legs. As a flank fire was coming down the ravine all the time I carried him into a crevice, applied bandages, and made him comfortable, and left him for a stretcher squad when there was a lull in the firing. At the time the shooting was very severe, and, looking back upon the exploit, I wonder how it was I was not hit several times, bullets pinging past me and burying themselves in the clay bank just about breast high. I thought no more of the affair until the following Friday, when a parade was ordered, and I was handed the card after a nice flattering speech by the General.” The card referred to contains the following inscription:—“ The General Officer commanding the 29th Division congratulates No. 455, Sergt H Corbridge, Royal Army Medical Corps, on the gallant action performed by him.”


Sergt Kater, of the K.O.S.B, writing to a friend in Rugby, gives a graphic description of the landing of that regiment. He says:—We landed at 5.30 a.m from small boats, and proceeded to climb a cliff 200 feet high. Having met no opposition at the point of disembarkation, we commenced to dig trenches, but were attacked by the enemy before we could get properly started, and the majority had to lie in the open with no shelter ; but we hung on—some 2,000 of us against a hostile force of 13,000. At night a German officer came close to our trench and said : “ Scotch, are you ? We’ll give you Scotch.” Our fellows just answered and said: “ Come on and try it then.” They did try it, but to no avail, because what we have we generally hold ; so we just rattled into them, and gave them such a hammering that they withdrew the following morning, leaving piles of dead in front of us.

We were landed at this particular part to draw the enemy from another part, so that a large force could land some miles further round. So having performed what was wanted we went back into the boats, had a night’s rest after fighting for 36 hours, and then landed where the remainder of the force had landed, and advanced under shrapnel fire right up to the firing line. Everything was quiet until Sunday, the 2nd, when we had another burst up, and the enemy retired again, leaving hundreds of dead behind them. Since then they have left the Scotch severely alone.

After four days in trenches we were relieved by the Terriers, and immediately the enemy attacked them, and gave them an awful time, but the lads held on till we came up, when the enemy chucked firing. The Terriers went back for a rest, and we held the trenches for eight more days, when we were again relieved—this time by the Ghurkas. The same thing happened again, and the enemy gave them a rough time, until they learned what sort of metal Ghurkas were made of. It would seem the Turks have had about enough of us, because we haven’t fired a shot since Sunday, the 2nd, while they have attacked other regiments daily. You will be sorry to hear that Graham was killed Monday morning (26th April), the day after we landed. He died like every soldier should—at his post. It is three weeks to-day (May 16th) since we started, and we have pinched over seven miles of the enemy’s country—so we are not doing so badly.


To the Editor of the Advertiser.

SIR,—It is with regret that we men of the Border Regiment in hospital read of the “ E ” Company and the Howitzer Battery men feeling so downhearted about such a term as “ Our Soldiers,” which the people of Rugby so courteously conferred upon us, and we trust you will allow us as we greatly wish to give those brave Rugbeians an explanation on behalf of the Border Regiment and others stationed in Rugby.

In the first place Sergt-Major Hopewell ought to remember that the very fact of our coming from India caused great interest in the citizens’ minds—something like a mystery—and everywhere one went for the first week or so you could hear only the one cry, especially from the children, “ Have you got any buttons or Indian coins to give us, mister ?”

Then, again, our bands, although not too good in our opinion, gave the people a great pleasure to sit in the Park on Sundays and listen to them. Then there was the coming and going of our battalion, at all times things natural to a line battalion, but which had not been seen before by the Rugbeians.

Well, we feel it our duty to say that as we were treated as the people’s friends we could not help doing our level best to repay the many kindnesses bestowed on us, and did our best to create a good impression amongst the civil population. In my case, I and my three comrades were treated as sons of the house, and we got to call the landlady “ Mother,” and she called us “ her boys.”

What we do want is to ask the brave Rugbeians fighting for us in France, not to judge the people like this, for we are sure that they could not possibly be forgotten by so kindly a people. The thing is impossible.

Trusting you will think this worth inserting as a poor kind of explanation.—I am, Yours deeply indebted, LESLIE CAMPBELL (acting drummer), for men of 1st Border Regiment, Western General Hospital, Manchester.

19th Jun 1915. A Local Artilleryman’s Exeriences


Corpl F Prestidge, of the R.F.A, has written a very interesting letter to his sister at Thurlaston, in which he says:—“ I have a bit of interesting news for you this time, as three days before I received your parcel we were shelled out of our billet in — Only one was hit, and that was the sergeant-major, who is in England now ; but the poor horses caught it severely. We had half of them inside a yard and half at the back of some houses in the open ground. Strange to say, those in the semi-covered position caught it hot, and those outside were practically unhurt. We all slept in a factory about 200 yards away, and at about five o’clock in the morning we were roused by hearing shells bursting close to, and as they seemed to get nearer, of course, we rushed out and made for the horses. I made for the yard where my horses were picketted, and what a sight I saw. A shell had burst just behind my horses, which were tied to a picketing rope round the wall. Some of the poor things had broken loose, and lay about the yard with legs broken and all sorts of wounds. I went off and got my sub-section together, and in a very short time we had all that could walk away at a safe distance, but of the 27 in my sub-section five were dead and twelve were wounded. It will show how curious is the bursting of a shell when I tell you that my gun team were all standing together, and both the leaders were killed, while the ‘ centres’ were only slightly wounded, and the wheelers were scarcely touched, although the shell burst directly behind the team I suppose if it had happened half-an-hour later I should not be writing this now, as we should all have been with the horses, getting ready for exercise.”


A bombardier in the Rugby Howitzer Battery sends home an account of a day’s work in action :—“ Two mines under the German trenches were successfully exploded ; rifle, machine gun, and artillery fire was opened on the German trenches, immediately the explosion took place. The mountain guns swept the ground behind the crater at a range of 150 to 300 yards. For some time after the explosion nothing could be observed owing to the heavy cloud of dust and smoke. When the atmosphere had cleared it was seen that the north-west corner of the parapet for quite 30 yards was completely demolished. The firing of the Howitzers was particularly effective. They obtained six direct hits on the enemy’s near parapets, and placed the remaining rounds into the trenches. Almost immediately after the explosion the enemy replied with rifle grenades from their trenches, and at 10.26 a.m their guns opened upon — Our Howitzers fired 10 rounds on the enemy’s communication trenches, five of which dropped in the trenches. The enemy retaliated by shelling with ‘Black Marias’ and ‘White Hopes.’ Working parties of the enemy appeared, and were constantly driven to shelter by our machine guns and artillery fire, but the mounds of earth thrown up by the explosion afforded them a good deal of cover, and rendered observation and effective machine gun fire somewhat difficult. During the afternoon our artillery fired intermittently at enemy’s working parties. A forward observing officer reported that one large working party was completely exterminated by a shell from the Howitzer Battery.”


THURSDAY.—Before T Hunter, Esq.

ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE.—Jack McCarthy was charged with being absent without leave from the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, stationed at Colchester.-Detective Mighall said he received information that defendant came to Rugby in uniform, but was afterwards seen about in civilian clothes. Witness spoke to him on the previous day, and he admitted being absent from his regiment without leave, so he was taken into custody.-Superindent Clarke said he had received a wire stating that an escort would arrive that day.- Defendant was remanded in custody to await the escort, was given permission by the Magistrate to resume his regimentals.

ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE.—Pte J Batchelor, of the 7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment (T.F.), residing at 7 Union Street, Rugby, was charged at Rugby Police Court, on Friday, before T Hunter, Esq, with being absent without leave from the depot, Rugby Drill Hall.-Detective Mighall gave evidence of arrest and after Supt Clarke had read a letter from the Officer commanding ordering his arrest, defendant, who belongs to the Company acting bridge-guard in the town, was remanded to await an escort.


Recruiting at Rugby has been rather slacker this week. The following have been attested:- E R Earle, A.S.C(M.T) ; E H Paget. W Abbott, F Morrey, E J Robinson, G A Carse, W Green, and J E Wright, Rugby Forties Co (R.E) ; R Parker, F S Hooker, R.W.R ; J Allen, Army Veterinary Corps ; J L Jeffrey, R.A.M.C ; S Toon, Dorset Regiment ; W C F Alsop, Signal Co Royal Engineers ; and A L Lloyd, Army Pay Corps.


The Rev H E Stevens, formerly a curate at the Parish Church, Rugby, and afterwards vicar of St Oswald’s, New Bilton, is serving as a chaplain in the Navy.

The Rev A R Whatmore, formerly of Rugby, who has been engaged in the theatrical profession for some time, has offered his services and been accepted in the work of making shells and ammunition. Mr Whatmore could not join the army through his inability to pass the doctor.

Mr P J James, who, when in Rugby a few years ago was a prominent member of the Rugby Cricket Club, and since going out to Adelaide played regularly for South Australia as a fast bowler, has recently arrived in England to enlist in the army. He joined the 9th Service Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment as a second lieutenant, and is quartered at Grimsby. Previous to that he did some training at Sevenoaks, Kent.

Last week Mrs C Hyde, of 2 Rokeby Street, Rugby, received news that her son, Second-Lieut H W Hyde, of the 3rd Royal Sussex Regiment, attached to the 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who, as we reported recently, has been missing since May 15th, was prisoner of war in Germany. Unfortunately, however, later information was to the effect that an error had been made, and that no definite news of Lieut Hyde was forthcoming, although a brother officer has written stating that he believes he was killed during the heavy fighting about May 15th.

No less than seventy-seven men from the parish of Bulkington are serving with the colours, and almost every family in the village is represented.


REPORTED MISSING.—Mr G Grant, Newbold, has received a notification from the War Office that his son, Harry, has been reported missing from the 9th of May, He belonged to the Rifle Brigade, and joined at the commencement of the war. Mr Grant has two other sons who joined at the same time, one of them being wounded some time ago, and is still in hospital.


Job Greenwood, son of the late Mr W Greenwood, schoolmaster of Newbold-on-Avon, who was acting as Pay Sergeant to D Company of the 2/7 R.W.R, stationed at Colchester, has received a commission in the 8th Service Battalion of the Northampton Regiment, He leaves for Pembroke on Monday, in order to take a course of instruction for officers. It will be remembered that Joe Greenwood played football both for Rugby and Newbold.


Corpl Potterton, of the 2nd battalion Rifle Brigade, whose home is at 32 Regent Street, Rugby, was promoted on June 2nd to the rank of Sergeant, whilst serving at the front. Sergt Potterton was formerly employed at the B.T.H Works, where he was prominently associated with the Athletic Club, and the news of his promotion will be received with pleasure by all who knew him.


Mrs G Colledge, of Brinklow, received a letter from her son, Pte Phil Colledge, of the Royal Welsh Fusilers, who has been twice wounded, and is now in hospital at Liverpool. Mrs Colledge has three sons serving. Pte Colledge writes:-“ Dear Mother,—You will see by this letter that the Germans have been touching me up a bit. I had twelve wounds, but none were very bad, only my legs ache so much. I had five in my legs and thighs, three in my arms, one in my chest, one in my face, and two little ones in my back.


Amongst the survivors of H.M.S Majestic was Mr W H Cranch, a gun layer, whose home is at 37 New Street, New Bilton. Mr Cranch, who is in the Royal Fleet Reserve, is at present on a short visit his wife and family, who are naturally overjoyed at his providential escape. Seen by a representative of the Rugby Advertiser on Thursday, Mr Cranch stated that his ship was struck on the port side by a torpedo at ten minutes to seven on the morning of May 27th. A loud explosion immediately occurred, and the rush of water caused the old battleship to heel over at an angle of 45 degrees, and within two minutes she was completely bottom upwards. The sea was dotted with hundreds of sailors swimming for their lives. Fortunately a number of French trawlers, which had been engaged in transport work, were close to the scene, and the large majority of the men were quickly taken on board these ; while others were rescued from wreckage or swam ashore to the Seddul Bahr Beach. Mr Cranch was fortunately picked up by a French tug, and taken on board a French destroyer, which subsequently proceeded to Lemnos. The rescue work was carried out very expeditiously, and the longest period anyone was in the water was about 20 minutes. The Majestic had been engaged in the task of forcing the Dardanelles from the commencement, and Mr Cranch stated that she was struck by shells—which did little damage—on numerous occasions. She was one of the ships that covered the splendid landing of the Colonial troops at Gaba Tepe, and at the time that she was torpedoed she was flying the Admiral’s flag, which had been transferred from the Triumph, sunk two days earlier.


It is gratifying to learn that this Company is now almost at full strength, 88 having been enrolled to date. Several tradesmen, four blacksmiths, four masons, and one wheelwright, are still required, however ; and it is advisable that anyone wishing to join the Company should do so at once, because the men now enrolled are making excellent progress, and any not joining now may run the risk of being left behind when the Company leaves Rugby.


The Chairman of the Belgian Refugee Committee reported, amongst other things, as follows:

Acting on the recommendation of the War Relief Committee, we, the Central Refugee Committee for Warwickshire, have appointed the following representatives in the Petty Sessional Divisions of the county and co-opted them members of our committee : Father Ryan for Alcester, Mr Sale for Atherstone, Lady Catherine Berkeley for Brailes, the Rev J A Watson for Burton Dassett, Colonel Monckton for Coleshill, Mr Bolding for Henley-in-Arden, Mr van den Arend for Rugby, Mr Lattey for Southam, and Mr Ashfield for Stratford. Miss Leigh, one of the original members of our committee, acts for us in Kenilworth. We also engaged the services of a Belgian interpreter, Mons Laurent. This gentleman met by appointment our local representative, and with them visited the refugees in their homes, taking down on printed forms their occupations and wages in this country and their former employment in Belgium, and bringing reports to us of any cases where either the refugees or those looking after them wished for our assistance or advice. Upwards of 50 towns and villages were visited in this way, representing 648 Belgians, and we have been able in many cases to advise and make suggestions for the benefit of the parties concerned. As a case in point, we discovered a man in South Warwickshire who had been without work for six months. We removed him and his wife to Warwick and he is now employed at the Emscote Mills. The Government Belgian Commission with a view to ascertaining the feasibility of starting large workshops in each county for securing suitable employment for the Belgians, requested us to fill up a tabulated form, showing the occupations of the Belgians in their own country and also stating whether they were employed here. The result showed that except in the case of moulders and fitters, of whom we have 33 (all working in Rugby) there were not sufficient numbers engaged in any one trade to warrant the setting up of workshops in this area.

The Commission then asked us to let them have particulars of all the unemployed men in our district; these we returned as 45, mainly consisting of professional men or those incapacitated from work. Of those employed besides the moulders and fitters there are 28 engaged on farm work, 15 in gardens, 16 in motor works, 13 it the Ordnance works, 7 as domestic servants, and the rest as clerks, teachers, carpenters, tailors, and tanners. We have just received a list of fresh arrivals from the police, numbering 87, mainly fitters and moulders who are working at Rugby.

The actual number of Belgians now under our supervision—not including the 87 new arrivals just mentioned, is 801. There are also 27 nuns and 24 independent Belgians.

As regards the local work done by our committee, we have 21 refugees of the artisan class at the Myton Hostel, the men being employed at the Emscote Mills, where they get good wages, one-third of which they pay towards their maintenance. We have had the same family at the Nelson House for five months ; the man has been apprenticed at a motor works, and we hope soon to get him a job.

A very generous gift of frozen meats and dry goods has been received from Australia through the Sidney Consignments Committee for distribution among our local refugees.

On the whole I am able to report that the condition of the refugees in the committee’s area is satisfactory, no cases of neglect have come under our notice, and they are much more contented than they were at first owing to suitable employment having been found for so many.

Hughes, John William George. Died 18th Jun 1915

John (Jack) William George HUGHES

Lance Corporal 2006 1st/7th Btn Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Killed in action 18 Jun 1915, buried Rifle House Cemetery, Ploegsteert

Hughes, J W G

John was born in 1891, his birth being recorded in Rugby RD in the September quarter.   His parents were John and Betsy Maria nee Wills who were married September Qr 1890 in St Albans RD.

His baptism has not been found in the Rugby area, but brother Harry was baptised at Bilton in 1893, sister Edith Matilda at St Andrew Rugby in 1895, and brother Charles also at Rugby St Andrew in 1905 (parish registers).

In the 1911 census the family was at 13 Paradise Street, Rugby, which runs alongside the Clifton Road Cemetery; the three boys were with their parents, but not daughter Edith. George and Betsy had been married 21 years, and had four children all living. George was a grocer’s vanman, born in Buckinghamshire, John was an engine cleaner.   All except George were born in Warwickshire, no place named. No railway service records have been found for John.

In the 1901 census, also at 13 Paradise Street, George was a coal merchant’s drayman born at Hardwick Bucks.   He had a boarder, another coal merchant’s drayman, who was probably working with George for a local coal merchant.   Betsy was born in Dunchcurch, the three children (Charles was not yet born) all in Rugby. Betsey Maria Wills was baptised at Dunchurch 27 Oct 1872, daughter of John, labourer, and Eliza (parish register).

John and Betsy were living in Weedon near Aylesbury in 1891, aged 24 & 21, George an agricultural labourer.

John was sent to France with his regiment on 22 March 1915, and was killed in action on 18 June 1915.   He is buried in Rifle House Cemetery at Ploegsteert, twelve miles south of Ypres, together with 8 other members of the regiment who were killed 18-25 June 1915.



Brooke, William Alfred Cotterill. Died 14th June 1915

Brooke, W A C (1890 – 1915),

William Alfred Cotterill Brooke was born on 19th October 1890 at Hillmorton Road, Rugby, the third and youngest son of William Parker Brooke (1850-1910), a master at Rugby School, and his wife, Mary Ruth Brooke (1848–1930), daughter of the Reverend Charles Cotterill of Stoke-on-Trent.

William was educated at Rugby School, where his father had become housemaster of School Field in Barby Road, and at Kings College, Cambridge where he took his degree in 1912. He appeared to have a promising career before him in politics as he was a singularly forceful and brilliant speaker and prior to the war had already made his mark while speaking on behalf of the Liberal Party. On leaving the University he took up a business appointment in London.

At the outbreak of WW1, William Brooke obtained a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the 8th (City of London) Battalion (“Post Office Rifles”) of the London Regiment.In March 1915 he went to France where he died on 14th June. He was buried in the Fosse 7 Military Cemetery (Quality Street), Mazingarbe a village in the Department of the Pas-de-Calais, 10 kilometres south-east of Bethune. His grave is maintained by the Commonwealth War Grave Commission. In addition to being named on the Memorial Gates at Whitehall Road, he is also remembered by an inscription on his parents’ grave in Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby.

Memorial to Alfred Brooke in Clifton Road Cemetery

Memorial to Alfred Brooke in Clifton Road Cemetery *

He was the only surviving son of Mrs Brooke, his brother Rupert having died a few weeks earlier.

*It has been noticed that the memorial in Clifton Road Cemetery is incorrect. It should read P O Rifles not Artists Rifles. The original memorial beneath is correct.



12th Jun 1915. 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.”


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.”


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




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.”



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.



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.





5th Jun 1915. Too much news from “Our Soldiers”?



The following are included in the honours list published in connection with the recent fighting in the Gallipoli Peninsula.


Capt C Ridings, 1st Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers, and Capt E W Atkinson, 1st Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


Sergt S D Bean, 2nd South Wales Borderers; Pte S G Bidgood, 1st King’s Own Scottish Borderers; Company Sergt-Major W Magee, 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; Pte T Millward, 2nd South Wales Borderers; Lance-Corpl W Morrisey, 1st Border Regiment; Corpl E Mott, 1st Border Regiment; and Lance-Corpl D O’Neil 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers.


We have received the following extracts from a letter received by a resident of Rugby from Sergt-Major C G Douglass, of the 1st K.O.S.B. who was billeted upon him, and is now in the Gallipoli Peninsula. He writes :-

“ While I am writing this I am watching Turkish shells falling not too far from us. We are just out of the trenches for a couple of days’ rest ; but still the Turks send us a few shells in the morning and evening to say ‘ Good morning ‘ and ‘ Good night.’ There is some sort of a scrap on in front now as rifle fire is pretty brisk. Two aeroplanes are flying over our heads, keeping watch on the Turkish movements, and the Navy’s guns are dropping big shells away ahead of us ; but, forgetting all that, the sun is shining brightly over a country which looks quite nice, and the sea is a most wonderful blue and as calm as a mill pond. This would be a glorious place to come for a holiday cruise ; but let me out of it and dear Old England will suit me for the rest of my life.

” I have just heard that we can give any news of events that are a fortnight old, and I will tell you what happened to our regiment on last Sunday fortnight : We were ordered to do a special duty along with a few other troops-very few indeed considering the task-I am not allowed to say anything about numbers of troops-but we were to land some miles up the coast and hold on to the cliff edge for all we were worth until the main army came up with us. We transhipped on to two cruisers, which took us as close as they dared, and then we jumped into small boats and dashed ashore. The boats could not get nearer than 40 or 50 yards, and we had to jump into the water and wade ashore. We had awful loads on our backs, and I personally jumped over the bow of the boat and went clean out of my depth, right over the head, and had to swim a good bit before I found my feet. We got ashore somehow and made for the cliff, and it did not take us long to get to the top, as only one shot was fired at us. We took up positions around a gully, and after a couple of shells had landed amongst us and killed a couple of men it did not take us long to get dug into the earth. The Turks left us alone from then (6 a.m) till 3 p.m. Then the fun started, and from then until the next day at 10 a.m we went through hell. We have learnt since that the force attacking us outnumbered us by 6 to 1. The whole afternoon and livelong night the fight went on at white heat—rifle fire, shell fire, bayonets, and even entrenching tools were used to beat back the Turks. One of my men killed a German officer with a shovel. You can judge what close fighting it was. Several times they pressed us back to the edge of the cliff by sheer weight of numbers, and we managed to drive them back again by bayonet charges. The last charge took place just after dawn, and we suffered then. You remember my quartermaster-sergeant in Rugby (Quartermaster-Sergt Brown)—he was killed then, and others you know. Look out for the casualty lists, and you will see them all. Well, we hung on to that hill for a few more hours, and then our ammunition began to run out, and we knew we could not hold out another night. We received orders to re-embark. It took us hours to do this and getting the wounded on board. Anyhow, we got round to the bottom of the Peninsular, and next day landed on the beach, and the same day got into another scrap and lost more men, and we have been at it ever since until yesterday. I am afraid I have poorly described the scrap, but I could talk for hours on it if I were only near to you. The landing of the remainder of the division on the south of the peninsular was costly too. You can judge this all from the casualties.

You remember the major in command of my company at Rugby—Major Welsh. Well, I think the fact that we are here to-day, and that we were not completely annihilated that night, is entirely due to him. He was a wonder ; but, worse luck, he has since been wounded, and is at Alexandria. I cannot tell you any more now, but hope some day to have a good old yarn with you.”


MY DEAR BOYS,—How pleased we were to hear from you, and how we do hope you are still safe. How anxiously we wait, and yet fear to read down the lists. One after another come the names we know, or our friends know. ” Not him. surely !” we say. Then hope against hope that the report is wrong. Oh, the cruel war! Some of you, our Rugby guests, are fighting the Turks, and some the Germans ; but wherever you are, be sure somebody or other is thinking of you. Even people who did not speak to you speak of you and enquire often now that you are in danger. No need to ask when the mails are in. See the girls stop in the street to read the letters, and see the landladies run hatless down to see if there’s “ one of their boys ” when a train load of wounded comes in ; and when there is one see how his face lights up. Some have gone through the station along with Australians and New Zealanders to Manchester and Birmingham and other hospitals, and about 40 have come to “ Ashlawn ” this last week. Some have had their Rugby friends visit them in hospital, and some are coming here to finish their sick leave.

How it grieves us to know of the terrible number that can never come back, who are sleeping their last sleep in the Dardanelles. You will get most of the news in the local papers which we send. Is there any small enclosure we might send you ? While thinking of our own kith and kin in khaki we shall not forget you boys. With best wishes for good luck and God-speed from


(We have been asked to publish the above letter in order that other landladies who find that it expresses’ their own feelings may postmark copies of the Advertiser to “ the boys ” who lodged with them. We do so with pleasure, and hope the letter may be the means of conveying encouragement and pleasure to those who are left of the gallant 87th Brigade at the Dardanelles.—



Rugby, May 25th, 1915.


A member of “ E ” Company of the 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment writes :-

“ DEAR SIR,- I should like to say a few words about the preference given to the soldiers who were billeted in Rugby and men at the Dardanelles over the members of the local forces, i.e, ‘E’ Company and Howitzer Battery. It would be appreciated by us in France if we could see a little more in the local papers about the Rugby men, who seem to be forgotten since ‘ Our Soldiers’ were at Rugby. I think if we had been in the Dardanelles we might have done just as well. In the position we are in at present, with the enemy strongly entrenched in a ridge, over-looking our lines, it is practically impossible for us to make a move yet ; but no doubt, when the time comes, we shall not be found wanting. I might say we have had some rough times since we landed in France. We are being continually shelled and sniped at. As you can, doubtless, guess, it is much more aggravating to be hit by someone you cannot see than to able to have a fair and square go at them. We, being Englishmen , don’t want you to think we are running our comrades down. We all wish the soldiers in the Dardanelles the best of luck, and are sure they wish us the same out in Flanders. I hope you will take this letter in the sense in which it is sent.

[If there is a dearth of news about our local Territorials it is because none has come to hand either from the men themselves or friends to whom they write. We shall be pleased to insert news from our men-so far as the censorship regulations will permit-whenever it is sent to us.-Ed, R.A.]


News of the Rugby men serving in the 7th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment does not reach us often, but we know full well they are doing their duty in a hot corner of the firing line. In a letter received from one of these brave soldiers by a Rugby resident the suggestion is made that the men of the Rugby Company may have been forgotten ; but it is to be sincerely hoped, with the multiplicity of interests Rugby people have in the Dardanelles and elsewhere, this is not the case. In fact, we are sure the Rugby Infantry Company, although for obvious reasons little is published of their doings, still retain a warm place in the affections of the inhabitants, as do the Howitzers and all who have responded so nobly to their country’s urgent call from Rugby homes. The writer referred to mentions that the girls in the B.T.H offices have sent the Rugbeians some pipes for distribution. “ I can tell you,” he adds, “ they were a very nice present. . . .” He continues: “No doubt if I could write home and tell you what we are facing it is quite as bad as the others. For instance, the last four days we have been facing —— (name of certain German troops), who, I can assure you, are a tough lot.”


5th Jun 1915. Casualties from the villages



The Rector has received the following letter :-“ Reverend Sir,-To-day the enclosed card arrived from you for No 419 Rifleman G Berridge, of my Company, who, I deeply regret to inform you, was killed in action on the 13th inst, while serving in the Company in the trenches. I shall be grateful if you will inform his relatives and convey to them the deepest sympathy of the N.C.O’s and riflemen of C Company. We can only hope that the knowledge of his death in the service of his country will afford them some little consolation in their sorrow.-Yours very truly, T Sherwood, C.G.M.S, C Company, R.B.

On Sunday afternoon a memorial service was held in conjunction with the afternoon service in the Parish Church. Special psalms and hymns were sung, the lesson in the Burial Service was read, and the sentences and prayers in the service were used. In front of the pulpit was hung the picture, “ The Great Sacrifice,” representing the   soldier dying for his country, trusting in Christ.-The Rector took as his text Rev iv, 1, “ After this I looked, and behold a door was opened in heaven,” The Rector said something like this : There were times in the lives of all people and countries when in their sorrows and losses and anxieties they scarcely knew where to go for help. Worldly things seemed to crumble away and fail, and the world’s hollowness was seen by the world’s incapacity to help in time of need. At such times the Church teaches us to lift up our eyes and look not to this earth for help, but to heaven. Then, as we pray in the Saviour’s Name and look upwards, the door of heaven seems to open to us, and we see the vision which St John saw, the glory there, the great throne, and the vision of Him who sat on the throne. There we get comfort, there we get help. This terrible war has claimed one more noble young man from among us-George Berridge. He had seen a very great deal of fighting, having been at the front and in the trenches a long time. Everybody liked him. No one could say a word against him ; one felt it was the best who were going first. He has gone, but as he goes he leaves behind him this message to all who knew him, and others as well : “ Go and do as I have done, I have trusted in my God, I have given my all for my country. You go and do the same.” His mother, overwhelmed with sorrow at her loss, must feel proud she had reared such a son, and we who have known him feel proud. The Rector asked everyone to pray to the Heavenly Father to comfort her. George Berridge would be much missed by his many friends. In the future, if God gave us the victory and preserved our Church, when a painted window or tablet was placed in the Church and the names of those who had fought and died for their country were inscribed, the second name would be Rifleman George Berridge.

There was a very large congregation, and the great number of people showed the esteem in which he was held.


Mr and Mrs W Webb, of Churchover, on Thursday last week received intimation from the Chaplain of the South Midland Casualty Clearing Station to the effect that their younger son, Corpl J W Webb, of the 4th Battalion Rifle Brigade, had been wounded in the groin. The wound is not dangerous. The battalion to which Corpl Webb belongs has been engaged in heavy fighting of late, and his friends have received some very interesting letters from him. In one, dated May 9th, he says :-” I expect you have heard from Mrs Matthews (Churchover) that John was wounded this week. I must say he was very lucky. Tell him the last battle we had was a thousand times worse than the one he was in. They shelled us with shrapnel, and I had my rifle smashed, my pack cut open, and my overcoat was torn all to pieces. I escaped myself with only a scratch on the face.”

On May 16th he wrote:-“ We went up to reinforce a battalion of another regiment that was being shelled all to pieces. We went up in broad daylights across an open ploughed field, and I   have only to thank God that I am alive to tell you of it. We were enfiladed with rifle fire, shell fire, machine gun fire, and that dreadful shrapnel. Shells were bursting all around, over, and in front, and still we went on. It lasted about half-an-hour. You can’t imagine what war is like. . . . We have had 36 days in the trenches straight off. We can beat them (the Germans) on the open ground, but they are masters at trench work.”

In a third letter, dated May 21st, Corpl Webb says:-“ We were inspected by General French yesterday, and he praised our brigade wonderfully. This big battle that we have been in will rank as one of the biggest in history, and our losses were heavy. I got through myself with only a few scratches. We have had five weeks of hard work, never out of shell fire the whole time, and I shall never forget it.” Corpl Webb , and his brother joined the Army at the outbreak of war.


Pte Webb, 4th Rifle Brigade, of Churchover, who, as we announced last week, has been wounded, has been sent to England, and is now in hospital at Reading.


Another member of “ E ” Company, 7th R.W.R, Pte Lewis Hill, second son of Mr E I Hill, of Newbold, has been killed. The sad news was contained in a letter sent from a friend, who stated that Pte Hill was killed by a sniper while on patrol duty on May 29th. The writer added that a comrade had since accounted for the sniper, and had his coat as a memento. Pte Hill, who was 19 years of age, had been a member of “ E ” Company for several years, and previous to the war was employed at the Newbold Cement Works.


PRIVATE F WEBB.—Some short time back Mr and Mrs Webb, of the Railway Cottages, were notified from the headquarters at Warwick, that their son had been wounded in the left arm and was in hospital. Since that date his parents have heard from him on two occasions, and were delighted to find that the report was not correct. He had been in hospital suffering from his legs, but had not been injured. He is now quite convalescent, and has re-joined his regiment—the 1st Warwicks. As his two cousins—Lee-Corpl T Webb and Pte W Webb, of Wolston, had both been wounded in the arm, it is thought that is how the error occurred. They all belong to the 1st Royal Warwickshire.


ROLL OF HONOUR.—We regret to announce that Private Thomas Clifton, of the Worcestershire Regiment, was killed in action on May 9th. Joining the army immediately after the outbreak of the war, he soon became popular among his new comrades, and showed his ability at the regimental sports. His love of sport, however, did not eclipse his devotion to the sterner side of his soldier life, and although but a few months in the ranks he was very successful with the rifle, and he volunteered to go to France to strengthen his regiment. Prior to the war he was a member of the local Football Club, and was greatly esteemed. The village people sympathise most deeply with his parents in their loss.