28th Aug 1915. Scarcity of Sugar


A circular letter was received from the Local Government Board pointing out that the sugar supply was extremely limited, owing to the cutting off of supplies from the Continent, and suggesting that the Guardians should take into consideration the advisability of discontinuing the use of cube sugar in cases where granulated sugar could be used.—It was decided to advertise for granulated sugar in future contracts.



Tea is not expected to become cheaper, in spite of heavy shipments of nearly 20,000,000lb from Ceylon and of 6,000,000lb from India. There has been a slight fall in the less expensive teas, but this, according to several of the largest retail houses in London, is nothing ; there was plenty of room for a drop, as market prices had advanced considerably, in addition to the rise caused by the increase in the tea duty in November last.

It is stated that owing to various special circumstances such as the very greatly increased consumption in our own country and also in France and Russia, and the unprecedented requirements of the War Office for the supply of troops at home and abroad, enormous contracts for which are given out almost weekly, there has been an abnormal rise in market values. Common tea realizes about 1s per lb in bond and 1s 8d per lb duty paid.

It is curious to note that while France is using more tea owing to its ease of preparation, in the United Kingdom the consumption of coffee has risen. This advance is stated to be due partly to the large number of Belgian refugees, who cannot be induced to drink tea, and also to the sale of coffee at many of the camps and in some of the public-houses after 10 o’clock.


Mr B B Dickinson, 5 Barby Road, writes :—Thanks to the very generous response to the appeal for thyme and marjoram, the Rugby School Chemical Laboratory has now ample supplies. We beg to offer our grateful thanks to all those who have so bountifully helped us.



The booklet, “ Why We Must Save, and How,” issued by the Parliamentary War Savings Committee, should certainly be read by all those who are anxious, following the advice of the Prime Minister, to do their part towards conserving and increasing the national resources. A good deal of the booklet is based on the articles already published in the Advertiser, but there is one very interesting and suggestive addition—a memorandum on “ Village War Food Societies,” drawn up by Mr H C Long, of the Board of Agriculture.


Mr Long’s contention is that the “ most successful means of increasing the production of all classes of foodstuffs, other than those which can only be produced on large or small holdings, would be the formation of ‘ Village War Food Societies.’ ” These societies, it is suggested, should deal with “the utilisation and consumption of foods as well as their production.” They might, it is suggested, “ be amalgamated, at any rate for the period of the war, with local gardening and allotment societies, and might in some cases cover a group of villages. Even where there are allotments, the workers can commonly cultivate much more land than they have, and the necessity and desirability of producing more food of all kinds should be impressed upon each village as a unit. The interests of the women and children should be especially enlisted, as their aid will be of very great importance to the success of any operations undertaken.”


The formation, it is suggested, might be brought about by clerks to parish councils, who might call a meeting of local residents interested in gardening, pigs, poultry, bees, &c, for the purpose of considering the formation of a local society. This being decided upon, a small committee should be elected (with chairman, secretary, and treasurer of the society) to organise the work of the society on a business footing.

The object of each society would be to ascertain the position of vacant building plots, uncultivated “ waste ” areas, and possibly even of common land ; discover the owners, and secure permission to cultivate land (if possible without charge to the society) ; arrange either for co-operative and mutual cultivation of the land so secured, and ownership of the produce, or parcel it out to the members to cultivate for themselves individually ; secure manures, seeds, plants, stock, foodstuffs, and implements on a co-operative basis, and sell or preserve for home use the produce of their labours.

In most villages, it is pointed out, there is sufficient expert knowledge available. Failing that, help may be obtained from the Board of Agriculture ; whilst leaflets, dealing with particular subjects, may be had free from the Board. It is recommended that a short, concise set of simple and plain rules should be drafted, based on whether the cultivation of the plots is to be individual or co-operative as regards produce. If the work were to be co-operative and mutual all through, the produce would be divided in proportion to the labour and interest of the individual. Actual cultivation might be individual ; but seeds, stock, &c, might still be supplied on a co-operative basis.


After this general introduction the memorandum proceeds to consider the forms the activity of the societies might take. In each case, for full details reference is made to the leaflet issued by the Board of Agriculture, dealing with this particular subject.

In rural districts there is usually scope for the keeping of goats, which may be housed and fed fairly cheaply, and, if care is used in their selection and treatment, will yield a good return in the form of wholesome milk for the owners. Co-operation among members of a village society may have excellent results in connection with goat keeping.

In connection with many cottage gardens, and on the vacant areas it is proposed should be utilised, pig-keeping could be practised much more commonly than at present, and the society should endeavour to increase the local output of pigs. Pig-keeping could readily be conducted on a co-operative basis, and there would be large quantities of waste vegetable matter which would be of very great value for this purpose.

Every additional egg and every extra chicken will help the food supply if produced under proper conditions, and there is at the present time special need to increase the numbers of both eggs laid and poultry reared. Any reduction in the laying or breeding stock of poultry kept is against the best interests of both the individual and the public, and the societies should do all they can to extend poultry keeping in their districts—again, either by individuals or collectively by co-operation. The number of persons who could readily keep poultry is very great, and a few birds kept by each would not only enable them to utilise much household and garden ” waste,” but to utilise it in the economic production of eggs and table birds.

In some districts, where there are fairly large areas available, it may be possible to take up the co-operative rearing of turkeys. While it may often be desirable and profitable to sell the eggs produced when new-laid, the societies may usefully consider whether their members cannot act in concert, purchase jars and materials in bulk, and preserve eggs for future use. By this means it may be possible for a small district or village to put by some thousands of eggs during the “ cheap ” season for use when eggs are dear, and so save the meat bill.

There is plenty of opportunity in every village for increasing the food supply by means of rabbit breeding. A further means of increasing production lies in the breeding of pigeons. Little equipment is necessary ; cotes and wire enclosures can be made by any man who is handy with tools. The birds need little attention if they can be allowed their freedom, and will rear several brace of youngsters annually.


There is always a satisfactory outlet for good honey, which is a valuable article of food, and it should be especially welcome at a time when sugar is so dear. The Village War Food Society might very usefully endeavour to extend bee-keeping in the district. Apart from the fact that, so long as freedom from disease can be secured, the production of honey is an inexpensive and remunerative village industry when the honey is sold. Honey may, if retained for home use, effect a considerable saving in sugar. Co-operative bee-keeping would almost certainly be of value, and could be more economically and successfully conducted than individual work. Hives placed in separate gardens could still remain part of a co-operative plan, and the running, packing, and marketing of the honey could be done at one house and with one set of appliances, while the management of the hives could be more readily and effectively controlled.


In normal years there is usually considerable waste of fruit throughout the country. Village War Food Societies should strive to ensure that all fruit in their district is properly utilised. When in season fruit will materially aid in reducing the meat bill, and is a wholesome, strength-giving food. Any fruit, however, which is not consumed fresh, or is not marketed, should be stored or preserved in some way for future use. Apples and pears may be stored in cool rooms, and soft fruit may be bottled or converted into jam or dried. . . . Members of societies might materially reduce individual costs of storing and preserving if they worked co-operatively, buying materials wholesale, bottling and preserving the members’ fruit in the same way.

Another matter which the societies might well take in hand is the collection of wild fruits and their sale or preservation for home use. Blackberries, wild raspberries, cranberries, whortleberries, crab apples, and hazel nuts may all be collected in considerable quantity in different districts, and all add largely to the food resources of the collectors. Children should be induced to take up this branch of work, and the collected fruit may be sold, or bottled or converted into jam.

It has not been sufficiently recognised that acorns, horse chestnuts, and beech mast are all useful foods for stock, especially acorns. The village societies will do well to do all that lies in their power to utilise these products to the full. They may readily and quickly be collected by children, and even when not required for the stock owned by members may, doubtless, be disposed of to neighbouring farmers. In all rural districts are to be found spots carrying considerable amounts of tough grass and green herbage, nettles, &c. General collection of such material may result in the ownership of a useful quantity of rough hay, which may be picked over by the goat, and used generally for the stock, either for food or litter. It may be possible to make it into silage with other greenstuff.

Town or Urban War Food Societies might be formed on somewhat similar lines to the Village Food Societies referred to above, but their sphere of activity would probably be more restricted to gardening operations. Both types of societies should not only deal with increased production, but with the economic utilisation, preparation, and consumption of foods in each individual home.

Lord Selborne’s announcement of a series of conferences with agriculturists in various parts of the country, with a view to increasing the production of foodstuffs during the war, has been generally welcomed. All the organisations interested in agriculture have been invited to send delegates. The meeting at Bristol will be on September 16th, not 15th, as at first announced. The first will take place at the House of Lords next Thursday.

28th Aug 1915. Inspection of Rugby Fortress Company



Members of the Rugby Fortress Company, together with many of those who have been specially interested in its formation, spent a very enjoyable afternoon at the residence of Mr and Mrs J J McKinnell on Monday afternoon. Invitations had been extended to members and officials of the Rugby Urban District Council and their wives ; to Colonel Johnstone, the recruiting officer at Rugby ; to members of the Recruiting Committee and to others who had helped Mr McKinnell in his successful efforts to raise a company of Royal Engineers for the town.

Amongst those able to attend were : The Rector of Rugby and Mrs Blagden, Mr and Mrs A E Donkin, Mr and Mrs L Loverock, Mr W Flint (vice-chairman of the Urban District Council), Mr G M Seabroke, Mr T A Wise, Mr W H Linnell, Mr Sam Robbins, Mr and Mrs J G Satchell, Miss Cook, Mr and Mrs W J Saville, Mr Allan Hand, Mr J H Sharp, Mr and Mrs Frank Hollowell, Mr James Darby, Mr and Mrs W H W Parsons, Mr Harry Tarbox, Mr J Walker, etc, etc.

The Fortress Company marched over from Rugby and arrived at Mr McKinnell’s residence four o’clock. They looked very smart and soldier-like, and a distinct credit to the town. Mr McKinnell, accompanied by Capt Kempson, inspected the Company, and then addressed the men. He said :-Officers, N.C.O’s and men of the Rugby Fortress Company of Engineers. I need not say how great an honour I take it to be allowed to make this inspection this afternoon. Of course, I am only a civilian ; but even I can see the excellent spirit and soldier-like bearing that the Company has on parade. This good result has not been achieved without a great deal of very hard and very interesting work, as you all know very well. You have been working very hard during the past few months, and Capt Kempson from time to time has expressed to me his very great gratification at the way his men were sticking to it and really trying to make themselves efficient ; and I am sure this afternoon you are all very much to be congratulated on the result of your efforts, self-denial and energy.

When I was asked some months ago to raise a Company of Engineers in Rugby, I must confess my heart failed me. But they had done it in other towns round Rugby, and I thought it would not do for us not to follow their example and not to do as well as any of our neighbours. We had then a very good reputation for recruiting in Rugby, and there were not so many men left ; and as we had to keep to particular trades it made the task still harder. But we had a most excellent Recruiting Committee and a very able secretary in Mr Hand. We owe very much indeed to Mr Hand for the work he has put into this business—and, further, from the outside, we were particularly fortunate in securing as our commander, Captain Kempson, who was given up by Dr David, and it is to him very largely the success of his Company is due. Also, we were extremely fortunate in having such efficient non-commissioned officers as instructors. Then we have to thank a good many people in the town. The builders have helped us with the loan of various portions of their plant ; and we have to thank all the inhabitants of the town, who have helped us whenever we asked them, as they have done through this trying twelve months. Whenever we asked them to come to our aid, they have given us their help continuously.

I now have only to wish you, when you go away from Rugby to do your duty to your country, God speed and the best of luck. I am quite sure you will always take pains to do credit to the good old town of Rugby. I express my great pleasure at seeing you all this afternoon, and I hope you will enjoy yourselves very much (applause).

Photographic groups were taken of the Company by Mr George A Dean, of High Street, and then tea was dispensed, during which gramophone selections were given. Following tea, cigars were handed round, Miss Dickinson contributed two enjoyable songs, and Mr Arthur Eckersley told amusing stories. Bowls and clock golf were provided, and were evidently appreciated, and in the evening Capt KEMPSON, on behalf of the Fortress Company, thanked Mr and Mrs McKinnell for their hospitality.


Driver Biddles, of the R.A.M.C, writing to the friends he was billeted with in Rugby, speaks of several narrow escapes he and his comrade have had from shells. One day they were out with two waggons when a shell burst about ten yards in front of the mules. He thought he was in for it, and hoped he would be lucky enough to be sent to a Rugby hospital, but he got between the mules, and except for being hit by some lumps of dirt, everything was all serene. He adds : “ I suppose you read the number of our casualties in the Advertiser. Aren’t they terrible, but in comparison with the enemies’ losses they are small.” The writer goes on : “ By the way, we notice articles in the Advertiser about all the different regiments that were billeted in Rugby, except the R.A.M.C. I wonder why this is, because in our own work we have done equally as much as any infantry regiment, and have been highly praised by the General. But I think we must be like the navy. We do our duty silently, but nevertheless efficiently.

Drummer P W Jeffery, of the 1st K.O.S.B, sends a letter to the Editor, under date August 5th, from the Greek hospital at Alexandria. He states that he was in the landing on April 25th, and was wounded on May 1st. On recovering he was sent back to the front and was wounded again on July 27th—so he thinks he has had his share of fighting. It is worse ten times than France. “Our poor old regiment has suffered heavily. My best chums have all been killed or wounded. Their thoughts were always of dear old Rugby and the time the people of Rugby gave us when we were there. We think there is no town in England more patriotic than Rugby. I notice the trenches and dug-outs are named after some of the streets in Rugby : ‘Worcester Square ’ or ‘ Wood Street Cave,’ as two of them were called. We are having a good time in the Greek Hospital. They can’t do enough for you, but give me ‘ Ashlawn ’ for two months. All the wounded who were in the 87th Brigade who were in Rugby send their best wishes,” He concludes : “ If one of your readers has a musical instrument-an old one-stringed violin-I should be glad of it. My address is : Drummer P Jeffery, 1st K.O.S.B, 87th Brigade, 29th Division, Greek Hospital, Alexandria, Egypt.”


MR AND MRS DODSON, of Newbold, received news on Thursday that their son, Private Horace Dodson, of the 7th South Staffordshire Regiment (Infantry) was wounded in action at the Dardanelles on August 15th. Private Dodson is the youngest son of Mr Dodson, and joined the army soon after the war commenced. His older brother (William Dodson) was killed in France a short time ago. Much sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Dodson.


“ I have just found a moment or so in which I will try to describe the course of things on the 30th and till Sunday evening, when we returned to our dug-outs about eight miles from the firing-line. We had just got into a very refreshing sleep after some tiring days preceding Friday, when we were woke up by an awful noise, as if all the guns in the world were at work. We rushed out of our dug-outs, when we joined an officer, and then to business. The devils were pouring burning liquid on our fellows, who had to retire into the supports, but not without a fight for it. This started at 2.30 a.m. Our section was carrying ammunition and bombs, and it was hell while it lasted. But it is curious while you are in it, you get so excited, and then you would like to rush over the parapet at them. This lot lasted till about 9 a.m. and a few had gone west but a few thousand Germans had paid the price. We had lost the crater but our General was determined to retake it that day, and we disposed of many of the enemy that afternoon with our artillery. Then the infantry charged, but to no purpose, as they found it too hot, as Fitz poured thousands of shells on them. We drove them out, but could not take the trench, because of shell fire. Just after midnight the same thing began again, and we were held in support, which is the proper thing for R.E’s. After the inferno had quietened down we had to go and repair parapets and carry wounded out. I don’t mind fighting at night, but it is rotten on a nice day, because it does not seem natural. What do you think of the Rugby D.C.M’s ; Stent deserved his, and he will be getting a V.C yet, if he does not stop a bullet.

We have some fine little dug-outs, and I have a nice canvas bed, and a couple of blankets. We live A1 in camp ; Fresh meat every day and plum duff ; fresh butter and bacon. The only thing they don’t supply is N.B stout.”


A recruiting campaign has been commenced on behalf of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, which is materially below strength.

Lieut-Col Viscount Hampden, C.M.G, who is well-known in Warwickshire hunting circles, has been attached to headquarter units as Brigade Commander.

Lieut S A Hunter, second son of Mr and Mrs T Hunter, of “ Elmhurst,” Hillmorton Road, was last week gazetted captain and appointed adjutant in the 4th West Riding Howitzer Brigade.

On Sunday, August 22nd, the Bilton Brass Band played selections in the Caldecott Park, and collected in aid of the local Red Cross Hospital the sum of £1 3s, which has been duly forwarded to the hospital.

Rifleman J Bird, of the K.R.R, who has recently been drafted to the front, has written to his mother, Mrs Harris, of 41 New Street, New Bilton, and, referring to life in the trenches, says : ” It is not half so dangerous as you would think. All you have to do is to keep your head down and your eyes open, and everything in the garden is lovely.”

In our issue last week we stated that Lce-Corpl Howard, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, had been killed in action. It should have been Lce-Corpl Aris. His photograph appears on page 2 of this issue.


Mr B F McMurtrie. chief engineer for the Export Department of the B.T.H, has this week left Rugby to take up a commission in the R.F.A. Mr McMurtrie has been with the Company for a number of years, and has represented them in Japan.


Mrs Fredk Lee, who is residing with Mr and Mrs Turner, 22 Campbell Street, New Bilton, has received official intimation from the War Office that her husband, Rifleman Fredk Lee, of the 8th Battalion Rifle Brigade, was killed in action on July 30th. Rifleman Lee, who was 22 years of age, was a native of Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex ; had resided at New Bilton for several years, and was employed by Messrs Willans & Robinson as a moulder. He enlisted on September 7th, and was married on April 28th last, proceeding to the front a few weeks afterwards. Much sympathy is expressed with his young widow.


Mrs Iliffe, of 3 Lodge Road, Rugby, has now four sons serving with H.M Forces either by land or sea. The eldest, William, is in the Sherwood Foresters. He came home with his regiment from India in September, and has been at the front since November last. Herbert, the second son, is a sergeant in the Royal Garrison Artillery, and went out to Gibraltar in January. Arthur, the third son, has joined the Rifle Brigade, and is at the headquarters in Essex ; whilst Albert, the youngest, who is only 17, enlisted in the Royal Marines on Friday last week.


Corpl Cecil Wood, of the 1st Royal Warwicks, has this week been spending a few days at his home in Campbell Street, New Bilton. He is by trade a printer, and was one of Messrs Frost & Sons’ employees who enlisted. About two months ago he was wounded in the chest by shrapnel. He spent a month in hospital in France and three weeks at a hospital in Essex, and is now nearly fit to return to active service. He was promoted to the rank of corporal at the front as the result, it is understood, of a bit of good work he accomplished ; but Corpl Wood is a modest soldier, and declines to say anything about it.

LCE-CORPL F KEELY, of the 1st Battalion King’s Royal Rifles, who was before the war employed in the pattern shop at the B.T.H Works, has been commended in their reports by his Commanding Officer and Brigade Commander to the Major-General commanding the 27th Division for distinguished conduct in the field.



Recruiting has been very slack in Rugby during the past week. Despite the fact that there where no less than seven recruiting sergeants at the Warwickshire Show on Wednesday, not a single recruit was obtained, although there were present hundreds of eligible young men of fine physique, quite a number of whom treated the sergeants with very scant courtesy.

A pleasant contrast to this was the patriotism shown by a young man named E G Dodwell (a native of Buckinghamshire), who travelled from the Argentine Republic, where he held a good position as traffic inspector on the railway, to join the K.R.R Corps at Rugby. Other recruits during the week were :—J G Bromwich, S J Parker, and J Pursglove, R.W.R ; J Walker, Army Ordnance Corps ; and R Baines (band boy), Royal Scott Fusiliers.


Hitchcox, Clifford Earle. Died 27th Aug 1915

Private Clifford Earle Hitchcox was born in 1894 in Newbold-upon-Avon and was baptised at St. Botolph’s Church, Newbold-upon-Avon 22nd September 1895. His parents were Walter C. and Mary Ann Hitchcox. Walter Hitchcox was a Railway Guard and the family were living at 96 Abbey Street Rugby.   Clifford was the 9th of 12 children. On the 1911 census he is given as working as an engineers clerk.

Clifford Hitchcox

Clifford was an Old Murrayian and a member of the School Rugby XV and a member of the running team, in which sports he was very successful.   He was also a member of the Holy Trinity Choir with his brother Bernard. After leaving school he worked for a time for B.T.H. Test Department and emigrated in 1912 to Victoria, British Columbia, Canada with his elder brother Bernard, leaving from Liverpool on the Empress of Britain, 14th June 1912. They both enlisted with the 2nd Contingent of the Canadians. After a few weeks in England during which he visited his parents in Rugby on short leave he was sent to the front with a draft to reinforce the Canadians after their heavy losses a few months before and at the time of his death he had been nearly there four months. Mr and Mrs Hitchcox received the news that Clifford had been killed the 27th August 1915 from Clifford’s chum and chaplain, from whom they were given details of his death and added:

“In the evening Clifford was brought out with others and with his comrades round them by moonlight in our battalion cemetery, about a mile to the back of the trenches. Over the graves a cross will be erected, and marked and they will be cared for as much as possible. You will remember in your grief that Clifford died doing his duty bravely, as sons of British mothers do, and that will be some little consolation.”

His elder brother Edwin John had died of dysentery in the South African War.

A cousin of Clifford’s, Private Frank Handley of the 1st Royal Warwicks had also recently been killed.

Private Clifford Earle Hitchcox

Service No. 77821

Regiment Canadian Infantry

Grave/Memorial Reference   ll. B. 4.

Cemetery/Memorial   Berks Cemetery Extension Hainault, Belgium



Norman, Herbert Benjamin. Died 25th Aug 1915

Private Bert Norman, full name Herbert Benjamin Norman, was born 1895 in Worcester, and he is always referred to as Bert.   His parents were Herbert and Emily Norman. His father was an Iron Moulder and his mother is given as a Gloveress living at 4, Vincent Road, Worcester in 1901. Between 1901 and 1911 the family moved to Rugby and were now residing at 50 Abbey Street Rugby. Bert’s father was now working for the B.T.H. Works. Bert attended Eastlands Council School and became Captain of the school football team and subsequently captain of the Old Eastlands Boys’ Club. On leaving school he was apprenticed to the moulding at B.T.H.Works.

Bert Norman

He enlisted 25th August 1914 and was with the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry. He was killed as a result of an explosion of a German mine. In a letter to his father Capt. A. Ponsonby explained the circumstances of how Bert had died.

“It is with the greatest regret that I have to write and tell you that your son met his death in the explosion of a mine crater on the 25th, and was buried by a Church on England chaplain in a very nice cemetery, which contains the bodies of many soldiers who have died in the neighbourhood.

He was the sentry on duty, when at about 4.30 in the morning, there was a sudden eruption of the ground, and a large portion on earth completely covered him, but owing to the altered formation of the ground he and two other men could not be found for a long time. In any case death was absolutely instantaneous owing to the great weight of earth that fell on him. I am so dreadfully sorry it should have happened to him, as we all looked upon him as an excellent young soldier and a most cheerful companion.

I hope I may be permitted to offer to you and the other members of your family my deepest sympathy and that of the members of C Company in your most terrible bereavement. May it be some slight comfort to you to know that he died fighting for his country, and that he is regretted by all of us, his comrades and friends.”

Bert’s last letter home states that the front of the trench had been blown in – an incident that had made him feel rather nervous – and is evident he met his death a few days later by a similar mishap.   He is buried in the Guards cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy, France.

August 25th 1915 the day he was killed was the anniversary of his enlistment, he was 20 years old.

Private Bert. Norman. Service No. 11901

Regiment Oxford and Bucks Infantry

Grave/Memorial Reference ll. E. 14

Cemetery/Memorial Guards Cemetery Windy Corner Cuinchy



Cockerill, William Thomas. Died 25th Aug 1915

William Thomas COCKERILL (1879-1915)

William Thomas Cockerill was born in 1879 in Hanley Staffordshire. It is not known what the family were doing in Staffordshire as the rest of the children were born in Hillmorton. Thomas’s father Walter, a plasterer, married Martha Brown at Hillmorton Parish Church on 28th June 1875. Martha died the following year and Walter married Elizabeth Goode in 1877. By 1881 the family lived in Upper Street, Hillmorton. Walter died in 1884 at the age of 35 and in 1890 Elizabeth had married Edward King. By 1891 the family were living at 19 Plowman Street, Rugby and by 1901 they had moved to Gas Street, Rugby.


Thomas was educated at St Matthews School and worked as a bricklayer’s labourer in Rugby. By 1901 he had left home and joined the 1st Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. He served in the Boer War, receiving two medals. After leaving the army, he remained in the reserves. He settled in Sheffield, where he married Nellie Pearson in 1906 and by 1911 was working as a labourer for an armour plate manufacturer (Vickers Ltd). He and Nellie had two children, Walter and Lewis. A third child was born later.

When WW1 started Thomas was called up (private, no. 6039, 1st Bn, KOYNI) and in November 1914 he was wounded. He came home, but on recovery returned to the front. On 25th August 1915 he died from wounds caused by the bursting of a shell.

He was buried at Etaples Military Cemetery.

An inscription on his gravestone reads: “He died that we might live, From Wife and Children”



Forehead, Thomas William. Died 24th Aug 1915

Thomas William Forehead was born 13 April 1890 at Leicester. His parents were Thomas and Julia Forehead and 1891 and on the 1891 census were dwelling at St. George Street, Leicester with his grandmother, Mary Satchell, a widow, both Thomas’s parents were in the shoe industry. His father was a shoe machinist and his mother was a shoe clicker. On the 1901 census, they are still in Leicester but residing at 84, St Andrews Street Leicester. By 1911, Thomas is in Rugby working as a hairdresser and is lodging with John Cave, a hairdresser, and his wife Agnes at 148 Railway Terrace, Rugby.

Thomas married Lydia Maria Dobson in 1913 and a daughter, Winifred Dora Adelaide, was born in November 1913. At that time they were living at 150 Railway Terrace, Rugby.

Forehead, Thomas William

He enlisted at Rugby and served with the South Staffordshire Regiment, and became a Corporal and according to the Rugby Advertiser was a Lance Corporal at the time of his death. The first report of his death states that he died on the ‘Franconia’ en route to England on August 24th 1915 from wounds received in action at the Dardanelles and that he was in the employ of Mr. John Cave, Hairdresser, of Rugby, and that he was the son-in-law of Mr. Thomas Dobson, job-master, of Railway Terrace.   The following week The Rugby Advertiser gave a fuller detail of Lance Corporal Forehead final hours. A Rev. A. P. Johnson of Woodbridge wrote to Mrs Forehead to inform her that Corpl. Forehead was wounded in the abdomen at the Dardanelles, and brought down to Mudros Harbour in the IsIand of Hemnos in the Aegean sea. He was transferred to the ship ‘Franconia’ on which the writer was a chaplain and passed away 24th Aug. The funeral took place in a cemetery by Mudros Harbour. The gentleman concluded’ It does seem so hard to lose him and I do pray God to comfort you and all who loved him, with all my sympathy for the loss of a brave man.’

Rugby Advertiser 26th August 1916

‘In Memoriam – Forehead:- In memory of Lance Corporal T. W. Forehead who died of wounds in Gallipoli on August 24 1915. From his loving wife, daughter, father-in-law, mother-in-law and family.’

Thomas’s wife Lydia became Mrs. Patrick Farrell in 1918.

Thomas William Forehead Service Number 10927

Buried at East Mudros Military Cemetery, Grave/Memorial No. Ll. H. 134



Osborn, George Henry. Died 21st Aug 1915

George Henry Osborn(e), died 21 August 1915

George Henry Osborn was born in the last months of 1892, he was baptised 11th January 1893 at Holy Trinity Church Rugby and the family were residing in Wood Street Rugby. His parents were Reuben and Mary Ann Osborn. He was the eldest of two children. His sister Alice May was 2 years younger.   According to census the family were living at 47, Cambridge Street, Rugby in 1901 and in 1911 were living in Windsor Street Number 31. George Henry had been an engine cleaner in 1911 then a fireman working for the L. & N. W. Railway station four years, and had been employed by Willans & Robinson for 3 years when he enlisted.


George Henry served with the Royal Field Artillery, 92nd Battalion, 17th Brigade, 29th Division as a gunner and died of dysentery in the Dardanelles. A brief entry was given of his death in the Rugby Advertiser 18th September 1915 and a fuller obituary was written in the following week’s Rugby Advertiser dated 25th September 1915. At the time of his death George was 23 years of age and unmarried. He had attended Murray School and was an excellent footballer. He was a member of the earliest teams to win the Elementary Schools’ Rugby Shield and he played for Rugby 2nd XV which was one of the successful teams in the Midland Junior Cup Competition.

Writing home August 11th he said ‘We had a lively and rough time of it a few days ago, and it played on us a bit; but things are a little quiet now. People in England do not realise what war means, and before we can hope to win this war every young man will have to join.’

In a letter to a lady friend he said ‘How glad I shall be when the war is over. It has changed me being out here. – You think more about God than you have ever done before. If I am spared to get back to Old England I shall try to live up to what I am doing out here.’

George Henry Osborne enlisted in Rugby and was a Gunner, Service Number 11034.   He died of dysentery 21 August 1915 and he is buried in East Mudros Military Cemetery, Greece. Grave/Memorial Reference ll. K. 183.