25 September 1915 was a notorious day, with thirteen men from Rugby ‘Killed in Action’, in the course of several separate military actions. On that day, in the course of several separate military actions which all related to the opening of the Battle of Loos, the losses of Rugby soldiers was even greater than would be Rugby’s loss during the first day of the Battle of the Somme on 1 July the next year.
On 25 September, Rugby lost three men in the Battle of Loos [see tomorrow’ post]:- two men, TURNER, J. L., 11090; and WOODHOUSE, P., 11091; were both Privates in the 2nd Battalion of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, who must, from their numbers, have joined up together and probably died together; and one, BROWN, P. E., 8533, was a Private in the 2nd Bn. Leicestershire Regiment. These three are remembered on the Loos Memorial.
Another Rugby man was lost in possibly unrelated action: SNUTCH, H. J. D., S/1580, a Rifleman in the 12th Bn. of the Rifle Brigade, remembered on the Ploegsteert Memorial.
However, the greatest loss on that day was the loss of eight Rugby men, from the 5th Battalion of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, in the action to capture Bellewaarde Farm. These men were: BARBER, F., 11043, L/Corpl; BARNETT, S. G., 10554, L/Corpl; BATES, A., 10174, Private; GOFFIN, W. F., 11080, Private; HINKS, J. V., 10546, Private; PAGE, W., 11075, Private; STENT, P. V., 10555, Corporal; and SUMMERS, F. J., 11077, Private; and also one man POWELL, Horace, Y/531, who was listed as a Rifleman, but was actually a Corporal in the 9th Bn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps, who were in action on the left flank of the 5th Bn. Ox. and Bucks.
The similarities of several of the 5th Ox. & Bucks. numbers suggested that several of the Rugby men had enlisted together. Details of the actions at Loos and at Bellewaarde Farm are summarised tomorrow, as are details of the families and lives of all these thirteen soldiers.