11th Sep 1915. Dogged Determination to Win

DOGGED DETERMINATION TO WIN.

Second-Lieut A K Bennett, of Elmdon House, Rugby, writes home from the Dardanelles in a letter dated 24th August (at which date he was fighting in the Anzac region), as follows:

“ We are now in the thick of it. I was sent of last night to piquet a line at a place called ‘Dead Man’s Hollow.’ We had to dig ourselves in under a perfect hail of bullets. We kept on digging up dead Turks, which stank like poison. It is fair murder out here : just this very instant one of our men has dropped with a wound in his thigh. They are using us as R.E and ordinary infantry. Our men stick it quite well.

“ The nights are very trying, however, for one’s nerves. There is not one step you can take without the fear of being mown down by machine guns or snipers.

“ I am quite well, but very tired. A wash, shave, or sleep is out of the question. The mail is the only enjoyment we get out here. France must be a picnic to this show. Now as I look in front of me I can see a large bay, and monitors are coming close into the shore to fire over our heads. They do excellent work round here.

“ I was taking a party of men to help to shift the wounded the other day, when a huge shell burst just over us. It was like having your back blown through your chest.

“ If you could never imagine how we are situated. The landing here must have been a miracle. Dust blows down our throats and parches them ; we may march miles up gullies and down saps without a drop of water. Every step you take feels as if a great piston was sticking the top of your head, and you simply keep on like a machine.

“ I have made up my mind to come through this lot somehow. Things are going on as well as can be expected, and we all fight on with the dogged determination to win.

RUGBY ENGINEER INJURED AT THE DARDANELLES.

Sapper T A Ramsey (Rugby), who is with the Royal Engineers at the Dardanelles, writing home, says :—“ We are again in the thick of it. We have been here only a few days, but in that time I have seen a lot, and also done something. The place where we are now cannot be compared with the one where we were before. The other place was a girls’ school compared with this. Ten of us were an a dangerous job a few nights ago. We had to go out in front of our trenches and bring the barbed wire fence (entanglements) in. It was a job, and we were under fire the whole time. Two of the party were wounded in this operation, and Sapper Ramsey continues : ” This was on a night previous to an attack at early dawn. We had to stand by all night, and most probably you will have seen from the papers how it came off before you get this letter. We have got plenty of work to do here, both good and dangerous, but I am glad to say all our company are standing it well, and I am feeling grand and in fine condition, and not in the least down-hearted and miserable.”

0n August 22nd Sapper Ramsey wrote stating that he was on a hospital ship owing to an accident which occurred to him on the previous Monday. While he was at work in a well he was injured in the ear and head by a pick, and unfortunately septic poisoning had set in. He anticipated undergoing an operation that afternoon.

RUGBY SOLDIER WOUNDED IN THE DARDANELLES.

Mr J W Colcutt, 6 Abbey Street, has received news that his son, Pte Ed Colcutt, 2nd Hants, was wounded in the ankle and heel by shrapnel bullets in the first week in August in the Dardanelles. Pte Colcutt, who enlisted at the outbreak of war, throwing up a clerical appointment in the B.T.H Lamp Factory to do so, is at present in a hospital at Alexandria, and is doing well.

WOLSTON.

FRANK ELLIOTT REPORTED KILLED.-Private Frank Elliott, the youngest son of Mr Charles and Mrs Elliott, of Brook Street, is reported to have been killed on the 10th August. The parents have not yet received official intimation from the War Office. They obtained the news through the following letter :—“Dear Mrs Elliott,-I am sending you a line, as Frank, being a great pal of mine here—and I am very sorry to say that his duty was finished on the 10th August—was shot through the heart, and died almost instantaneously, after a very gallant fight. Please excuse me writing, but I thought you would like to know. I am still safe, and trust to keep so. I think this is all. From yours, &c, T WALLACE.” Only on the 9th of August Frank Elliott was reported by a wounded soldier to have carried another wounded soldier two miles to a place of safety. While living at Wolston he was a member of the Brandon and Wolston Football Club, and played a good game at half-back. He was fighting at the Dardanelles.

GERMAN PRISONERS TALK ABOUT OUR ARTILLERY AND — PEACE.

A letter has been received from Lance-Corpl G H Tompkins, who is serving with the 5th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry in Flanders, as follows :- “ Where we were was the hottest fire in the whole line. Sleep was out of the question. Old soldiers told us they had never been through anything like it before. . . . Last Saturday our battalion paraded, and our Colonel addressed us for the work we had done, and said he must mention the special work done by six men. I was the sixth man, and I was commended for sticking to my post under heavy shell fire and cheering my men up. After it was over most of the men shook hands with me, and my sergeant-major told me he had put in my name for another stripe. . . . The prisoners we have taken tell us that the chief of topics of conversation in their trenched are our artillery—and peace.” Lance-Corpl G H Tompkins, before the war, was employed in the Coventry Works of the B.T.H Company.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mr J S Brown, Coventry, having urged the Postmaster-General to reduce the parcel charges to the Expeditionary Force, has received a letter stating that as a considerable increase in the number of parcels would immediately follow reduction, it is not practicable to proceed further with the question which Mr Brown raised.

The “ Pals Company,” as such, has ceased to exist. Under the four-company system Rugby and Leamington each provide two platoons to form “ C ” Company. The Leamington platoons are Nos. 11 & 12.

St Thomas’s Hospital possesses a bed endowed anonymously in memory of Tom Hughes, the inscription being as follows :-“ March, 1899. Anon. Tom Hughes’ bed. In memory of Tom Hughes, Q.C, author of ‘Tom Brown’s School Days.’ Born 1823, died 1896.”

The Minister of Munitions has made an Order under section 4 of the Munitions of War Act, declaring 180 additional establishments, including Bluemels (Wolston), as controlled establishments under the Act as from Monday last. A total of 715 establishments have now been declared as controlled under the Act from the date of the first Order, July 12th to September 6th inclusive.

Mr Allan Hand, Conservative agent for the Rugby Division, is leaving Rugby on Sunday for a destination “ somewhere ” on the East Coast to join the 81st Provisional Battalion as second lieutenant. Mr Hand would have been accepted for foreign service some time ago, but was suffering from varicose veins, for which he underwent an operation last October, but it did not result in an entire cure. The War Office is now accepting for home service men who were not considered physically fit for active service.

There is no longer any secret as to the intentions of the Government in relation to men of recruitable age—from 19 to 41 years of age. Their names are available, as a result of national registration, and local authorities are busily engaged in transferring the necessary particulars to the much-discussed pink forms. These will shortly be handed to the military authorities, who will take steps to organise recruiting on much more extensive lines than at present. The voluntary system will, of course, be strictly adhered to.

The recent notice issued by the War Office in reference to rifles and ammunition has, it is stated, been received by Volunteer Training Corps with derision. The War Office has graciously announced that Volunteers will be permitted to purchase rifles and ammunition, but they attach a condition that rifles must not cost more than £2 10s, and ammunition not more than £5 per 1,000 rounds. It is pointed out that at the present time it is impossible to get a reliable weapon at the price mentioned. Ammunition, too, costs at least £6 per 1,000 rounds.

OLD MURRAYIAN ROLL OF HONOUR.

News has just been received at the Murray School that two other Old Murrayians, both of whom are well known to the younger generation of “ old boys,” have made the supreme sacrifice—Walter Ransome, who left the town about 12 years ago, was a steward on the Good Hope, and went down with the vessel in the battle in the Pacific ; and Rifleman Harold Evans, K.R.R, was killed in France on August 7th.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

The past week has been another good one so far as recruiting is concerned, and 17, the majority being Rugby men, have been attested at the Drill Hall, as under :—F Corbett, F H Potton, J Bennett, 0 Askew, J Bryan, P A Gilks, C Griffin, C J Wilson, F J Blundell, T Kenny, 220th Fortress Co, R.E ; A G Horsefall, R.A.M.C ; J Ellis, L New, A.S.C ; E Haynes, R.F.A ; A Burton, R.G.A ; T Kirby and H G Busson, Royal Warwicks.

THE RUGBY FORTRESS COMPANY.

Mr J J McKinnell. chairman of the Rugby Urban District Council, has received the following letter from the War Office under date September 8th :-

“ SIR,—I am commanded by the Army Council to offer you and those associated with you their sincere thanks for having raised the 220th (Army Troops) Company (Rugby), Royal Engineers, of which the administration has now been taken over by the Military Authorities.

The Council much appreciate the spirit which prompted your offer of assistance, and they are gratified at the successful results of the time and labour devoted to this object, which has added to the armed forces of the Crown the services of a fine body of men.

The Council will watch the future career of the Company with interest, and they feel assured that when sent to the front it will maintain the high reputation of the distinguished Corps of which it forms part.—I am, sir, your obedient servant, “ B B CUBITT.”

 

 

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