News has been received that Pte G W Coleman, of the 5th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, son of Mr Walter Coleman, a carpenter in the employ of Messrs Foster & Dicksee, living at New Bilton, is missing. The message came from a friend of Pte Coleman, who writing to his own father, asked that Mr Coleman should be informed that his son did not answer to the roll call when the Company left the trenches on a recent date. This is corroborated by another correspondent, who states that when coming out of the trenches Pte Coleman was killed. The young fellow was one of the many who enlisted from the B.T.H Works and had only been at the front a few weeks.
OFFICER FEARS HE IS KILLED.
Writing to the parents, on July 1st, Captain Webb, the officer commanding the Company, states:—“ I very much grieve to say that your son, Pte W G Coleman, is missing since a charge we made on the night of the 22nd. While in the cases of one or two missing men, they have been found wounded in various hospitals which they reached from the battlefield, I think it would not be wise or just to yourself to build on the hope that such is the case of your son. I fear he is killed, and I am more than deeply sorry for you. It is a terrible thing, and the suspense is awful. We made a charge and were driven back. Countless deeds of bravery were done, and all the wounded were brought in and some of the dead. Still, several men are missing, one an officer, and I’m afraid we must give them up for dead. Perhaps, when we again advance we shall be able to clear the matter up, and I will at once let you know if I am spared. The officers and men offer you their deepest and sincerest sympathy, and will do all in their power to put an end to your suspense.”
Mr Coleman has also received a communication from the Infantry Record Office at Warwick, dated July 5th, stating that a report had been received from the War Office to the effect that Pte W G Coleman was posted as “missing ” after the engagement in France on June 22nd.
ANOTHER NEWBOLD MAN MISSING.
Mr and Mrs Williams, Newbold, have received a communication from the War Office that their son, John Williams, a private in the 4th Battalion Rifle Brigade, is missing, nothing having been heard of him since the 10th of May. Rifleman Williams joined the army at the commencement of the war, and was drafted to the front about twelve weeks ago. He was 20 years of age, and previous to joining the army was employed at the Newbold Works of the Rugby Portland Cement Company.
THE ROLL OF HONOUR.—Another young man, the third from the village, has given his life for his country. News was received by the parents of Charles Hancox, of the London Road, some days ago that he was dangerously wounded, and was lying in the base hospital in France. This was soon followed by news of his death. He was a good-natured lad, and was much liked by his companions. Great sympathy is felt for his parents in their trouble. A memorial service was held in the Parish Church on Sunday last, at which there was a full congregation. Suitable hymns were sung, and a touching, inspiring address was given by the Vicar.
RUGBY SOLDIER WOUNDED BY SHRAPNEL.
Pte Ernest Tomlinson, son of Mr and Mrs E Tomlinson, of 20 James Street, Rugby, is lying in Norwich Hospital suffering from a scalp wound, caused at the front by shrapnel. He was employed as a fitter at the B.T.H Works, and enlisted on September 2nd in the King’s Royal Rifles. He was sent to France in May, and within three weeks, whilst trench digging, was rather badly injured by a shrapnel shell. He has lost, for the time being at all events, his speech, and the use of his right hand, so that the news received by his parents has come through other sources, a soldier in an adjoining bed having sent particulars. It is gratifying to learn that Pte Tomlinson is improving, and hopes are entertained that in time his speech will be restored. He is understood to be suffering from shock as well as from wounds. Mr and Mrs Tomlinson have a younger son, William, serving his country at the front, also in the King’s Royal Rifles, but attached to a different battalion. He has been in the fighting line for some weeks now, and his last letter, received on Monday, stated that he was quite well.
FORMER MEMBER OF THE BOYS’ BRIGADE WOUNDED.
News has been received by Mr and Mrs Hayward, of 43 Lodge Road, that their son, Pte George Hayward, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, has been wounded and having been in hospital for some time is now at a convalescent home at Hampton-in-Arden. Pte Hayward was for 11 years a member of the 1st Rugby Company the Boys’ Brigade, and when he enlisted in August was employed at Messrs Willans & Robinsons Works. He was shot in the fighting in Flanders, one bullet entering his cheek, injuring his jaw and affecting his eyesight, and another lodging in his hip, after passing through the water-bottle that formed part of his equipment.
MEMBER OF RUGBY HOWITZER BATTERY ACCIDENTALLY SHOT.
A BROTHER’S PAINFUL EXPERIENCE.
The painful task of travelling from the front to break the news of his brother’s death this week befell Gunner George Sutton (Newton), of the Rugby Howitzer Battery. From what we can gather, the Howitzer Battery recently returned to a rest camp, and on Sunday evening it was reported that a man had been shot. Gunner Sutton, proceeded to the spot to see who was the victim, and was horrified to find his younger brother, William, a driver in the Ammunition Column, lying dead. As the result of an enquiry it was established that death was due to accident, and Gunner Sutton was graded several days’ leave of absence to convey the sad tidings to his parents. The circumstances were detailed in a letter from Capt Saunders, of the Ammunition Column, which Gunner Sutton brought home :-“ It is with much regret that I have to inform you that your son, William Sutton, was found shot at about 10 p.m on the 4th of this month. A Court of officers enquired into the circumstances very carefully, and from the evidence decided that death was due to accident, and that there was no question at all of foul play. The funeral was conducted by an Army Chaplain of the Roman Catholic Church, and a cross is being provided with an inscription suitably worded. The N.C.O’s and men of the Ammunition Column are ordering a wreath and the grave will be well cared for. It has been arranged for your other son to proceed home on leave to-day, and I hope this will help to comfort you in your loss. Please accept the sympathy of officers of the Ammunition Column, in which your son was serving.”
Driver Sutton, who was the second son of Mr Wm. Sutton, was 21 years of age, and had been a member of the Battery about two years. Previous to the war he was employed by Mr Scott Howkins, and was very popular, and highly respected by all who knew him.
NEW BILTON RECRUIT DIES OF SEPTIC FEVER.
Sympathy will be felt with Mr and Mrs Pegg, of 1 Addison Road, New Bilton, in the death, on Thursday, from septic fever, at Felixstowe Military Hospital, of their son Harold, the youngest of three who had responded to their country’s call. Deceased was a printer’s apprentice, in the employ of Mr George Over, and about two months ago enlisted in the Bedfordshire Regiment He was only 19 years of age, and expressed a liking for the military life so far as he had become conversant with it. He was very popular with the men in Mr Over’s printing office, and all have signed a letter of sympathy with Mr and Mrs Pegg in their sad bereavement.
RUGBY HOWITZERS COMPLIMENTED.
Driver C W Packwood, of the Rugby Howitzers, now serving in France, son of Mr C J Packwood, of St Matthew Street, in a recent letter home states that after three months in the firing line the section of which he belongs is now in a rest camp, the change being appreciated, especially the privilege of sleeping once again in a bed. Driver Packwood also says that the Rugby Battery has been very highly complimented on their accurate firing by the officers they have come in contact with, and the word of praise has naturally had a cheering effect upon the men.
VOLUNTEERS FOR THE FRONT.
L J D Pepperday, son of Mr J H Pepperday, of High Street ; P Morson, son of Mr Arthur Morson, of Newbold Road ; and Neville and Roland Bluemel, sons of Mr C Bluemel, of Moultrie Road, were included in a draft of 150 who volunteered for the front to fill up gaps in the 1st Battalion of the Hon Artillery Company. The draft left for France on Thursday last week.
WARWICKSHIRE YEOMANRY IN EGYPT.
Trooper E Amos, youngest son of Mr W Amos, farmer, Dunchurch, writing home from Alexandria, says :- We go out for bugle practice every morning at 6, mounted. This gives us a good chance to have a look round. We see the corn crops growing, chiefly maise, all in bloom now (middle of June) and six feet high, any amount of tomato fields, and the plants seem loaded ; then you see the fig trees and the banana trees. We also see a tremendous lot of cotton coming down the Nile in barges, pulled by men instead of horses. We have had a job this last week unloading wounded off the ships from the Dardanelles. There are thousands of them, mostly Australians, but there are a lot of soldiers who were billeted in and around Rugby. There are a lot of fine hospitals here, and that is why they keep bringing so many wounded.
PLUCKY RESCUE BY A RUGBY ATHLETE.
The “ Yorkshire Observer ” records a plucky act recently performed by Lance-Corpl Arthur Gibson, now in training with the Royal Engineers at Salisbury Plain, who was until he enlisted on the staff at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s Works, being employed in the drawing office. It appears that Lance-Corpl Gibson was on a visit to a sister at Morecambe, when he noticed that a boy, who was bathing, was in difficulties. Promptly divesting himself of his tunic, he plunged into the water ; and although the tide was running strongly, he brought the lad safely to shore. He was complimented on his bravery at the time, but quickly disappeared, and it was not until some time later that his identity was established.
It will be remembered that whilst Mr Gibson was at Rugby he assisted the Football Club as a wing three-quarter. He also took part in Association six aside matches played on Willans’ Athletic Ground, being included in the team that represented the Drawing Office, and assisted Messrs Willans & Robinson’s side in their inter-firm football with the B.T.H representatives. Mr Gibson’s old comrades at Rugby will be interested to learn of his plucky rescue, and glad it has not been allowed to escape public attention altogether.
RUGBY FIRE BRIGADE.
A preliminary drill took place on Wednesday last, Messrs Baker, Highton, Robbins, and the Central Garage Company lending cars, and a number of Boy Scouts attended. Everything worked smoothly, and it is hoped that fires (if any) caused by a raid will be speedily extinguished.
It is desirable to have motor-cars, because those already engaged may not be available at the moment.
The Chief Officer hopes that at least four more cars will be offered for a preliminary drill on Thursday 22nd inst., at 8 p.m. More scouts are also required, and only one drill is necessary.
RECRUITING AT RUGBY.
The following have been accepted at the Drill Hall, Park Road, during the past week :—W J Hirons and H W Appleton, 220th (Rugby) Fortress Company, R.E ; C A Davis, R.W.R ; G J Smith, Cheshire Regiment ; H J Ford, Oxon and Bucks L.I ; T W Ingram, Royal Inniskilling Fusliers ; F Hawkins, Seaforth Highlanders ; W J Holliday, Royal Berks ; R W Cave, Army Veterinary Corps ; D A Leist, A.S.C ; A Townsend, Military Mounted Police ; J P Betts, Royal Engineers.