RIFLEMAN BERRIDGE KILLED IN ACTION.
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.
LOCAL WAR NOTES.
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.
NEWBOLD TERRITORIAL KILLED IN ACTION.
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.