2nd Oct 1915. Rugby Soldier’s life saved by a Cigarette Case

RUGBY SOLDIER’S LIFE SAVED BY A CIGARETTE CASE.

In the recent British advance, L-Corpl A Lewis (son of P.C Lewis, Rugby), had a narrow escape from death, his life being saved by a cigarette case. The plucky young fellow, who is at present in a hospital at Tunbridge, has written to his parents stating that he is wounded in the muscle of the left arm, and but for a cigarette-case, which deflected the bullet, he would have been shot through the heart. He states that his battalion lost rather heavily, and adds that it was terrible to hear the rapid firing of the artillery, which lasted for half-an-hour, and nothing could be heard but the hissing and banging of shells. This is the second time he has been wounded. Another son of P.C Lewis, Pte F Lewis, has been at the front since the commencement of the war, and has been wounded twice, and gassed slightly. He has now been transferred to the Cycle Corps.

WOUNDED BY SHRAPNEL.

News has been received that Pte George Victor Hewitt, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, whose home is at 58 Abbey Street, Rugby, has been wounded. He is in a base hospital, and in a letter recently sent to his parents states that he has been wounded in the head by a piece of shrapnel, but not seriously. He was out with a working party in front of the lines, when (as he puts it) they “ had a good reception,” five out of the party of ten being hit.

A brother of the wounded soldier, Ernest Hewitt, has also joined H.M Army, enlisting at Newcastle ; and being a good shot, he was not long before he was sent to the front. He formerly worked at the B.T.H, and has sent home a number of interesting letters.

PTE TOWERS, OF HARBOROUGH FIELDS, KILLED

On Monday evening Mr Thomas Towers, farmer, of Harborough Fields Farm, Churchover, received a telegram from the Record Office, Warwick, stating that his elder son, Pte Martin Victor Towers, had been dangerously wounded in the brain by a bullet, and that he was lying unconscious in the 3rd Canadian Hospital, Carmiers Etaples. Early the next morning a wire, announcing his death, was received. Pte Towers, who was 19 years of age, enlisted on August 28th, 1914, and had been at the front about four months. Before enlisting he assisted his father on the farm.

RUGBY BUILDER’S APPRENTICE REPORTED KILLED.

There is reason to fear that Pte Tom Shone, who was apprenticed to the carpentry at Messrs Foster & Dicksee’s, and enlisted in Kitchener’s Army in September last year, was killed in the general advance at Loos. The death has not been officially reported, but Bob Salmon, of the same regiment, in a letter to his father, Mr George Salmon, of 45 Lower Hillmorton Road, also a carpenter at Messrs Foster & Dicksee’s, mentions the occurrence, the belief being that he was killed by shell fire in the German lines. Bob Salmon states that they were in the charge, and took four of the enemy’s lines. Reference is made in the letter to casualties amongst other Rugby chums—Bert Snutch and Tom Reeve-but the writer says that Abbott, Butler, and himself came through all right, and that Keyte was not in the charge, but left behind. The last he saw of Tom Shone was two minutes before the attack, when he had just been made the captain’s orderly. “ We were afterwards told by one of the officers that the work we did in attaining the objective was excellent.” He adds: “ I was jolly thankful to get out of the trenches that night.”

ANOTHER EMPLOYEE OF MESSRS. FROST & SONS KILLED.

News has been received that Rifleman E Negus, of the 12th Battalion Rifle Brigade, who at the time he enlisted in September last year was a machine-minder in the employ of Messrs Frost & Sons, has been killed in action. He went out to France in July and, as will be seen by the following letter from the machine-gun officer to his father, he lost his life on September 21st, through the bursting of a shell near him :—

“ Dear Mr Negus,-I am sorry to inform you that your son was killed in action this afternoon. A shell burst quite near him and killed him instantaneously. He could not have known anything about it, and of that I am glad. Your son is a great loss to his friends and to myself, I could not wish for a more cheery lad or a more willing worker. His place in his gun team will be hard to fill. Please accept my deepest sympathy in your sorrow. He will be buried tomorrow morning at 10 a.m, quite near the firing-line.—Yours sincerely, R C S STEVENSON, machine-gun officer.

“ September 21st.”

When he joined the army deceased had only been in Messrs Frost & Sons’ employ about three months, but he was very much liked by his fellow-workmen, and had qualities that made him deservedly popular. His father’s home is in Tottenham, London.

FRANKTON.

PRIVATE HERBERT HOLLIS, eldest son of Mr Amos Hollis, of Frankton, late of Harbury, who enlisted on September 7th, 1914, in the 9th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was killed in action oa August 10th last at the Dardanelles.

BRAUNSTON.

PTE CLIFFORD HAYNES, 1st Batt Northants Regiment, of this village, who was seriously wounded in the retreat from Moms, was again sent out to the front in March, being then convalescent. He was again seriously wounded with fire pieces of shrapnel in July. Having barely recovered from his wounds, he has been home for a few days’ furlough, before going out to the Dardanelles. What do the shirkers say to this ?

CORPL JACK FORTNAM, Warwickshire Yeomanry, who was seriously wounded in the left arm while engaged in the charge of yeomanry on Hill 70, Gallipoli new landing, is progressing slowly but favourably at Netley Hospital.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mr Isham, of Churchover, has received a field card from his son. Rifleman W Isham, of the Rifle Brigade, stating that he has been wounded and is in hospital.

In a letter to his old Schoolmaster, Pte Wm Padley, R.A.M.C, an old Murrayian, states that he as now on duty at a large hospital at Ras-el-Tin, Alexandria, and for six weeks he was engaged on a hospital ship, fetching sick and wounded from the Dardanelles.

The friends of Corpl Frank Davis of 38A Bridget Street, Rugby, have received intimation that he was wounded with shrapnel in the charge, and is now in hospital in England. He Worked at the B.T.H before his enlistment in September last year, and went out with his regiment in May.

CASUALTIES TO WARWICKSHIRE MEN.

The following further casualties in the Warwickshire Yeomanry at the Dardanalles are reported :-

KILLED.-Pte W Hartley, Pte A Allbright, Pte W J Beech.

DIED OF WOUNDS.-Corpl Whittall, Sergt E J Cox, and Pte D E Powell.

WOUNDED.—Lce-Corpl Barnard, Pte G Curran (not missing as previously reported), Pte F H Gould, Pte J Boven.

The Warwickshire Yeomanry is evidently a very popular branch of the service. The first line is doing splendid service in the Dardanelles, and has been strengthened by drafts from the second line, which is still in this country. The third, line is attracting very large numbers of recruits of a very fine type, and has also sent a hundred to fill up the ranks of the second line, caused by over a hundred being sent to take part in the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. The county has, in fact, great reason to be proud of its Yeomanry regiment.

THE SEVENTH WARWICKS.

One of the “ Pals,” writing to us from the Front, says “ A Leamington Sergeant who has just returned from leave assures me that several Leamingtonians could not credit the fact that the 1/7th Warwicks had ever held front-line trenches. He was asked ‘ What Regulars did you have in front of you ?’ I should like to assure you that the 1/7th R.W.R have been holding front-line trenches on and off ever since the first fortnight after we came abroad. The value of Territorials as reliable troop for trench warfare was at one time doubted, but this doubt was quickly removed, and I think you will agree with me when I say that the Territorial Force has ‘made good.’”

7TH WARWICKSHIRE MEN WOUNDED.

The following members of the 7th Warwickshire Territorial Battalion are reported wounded :- Lce-Corpl T Booth, Lce-Corpl E Reading, and Pte F Cotton.

DEATHS.

CLEAVER.—Killed in action in the Dardanelles on August 10th, Pte. James Cleaver, 9th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, only son of the late James Cleaver, of Frankton, and dearly-beloved brother of Mrs. Doyle, 71 Victoria Street, New Bilton, Rugby, aged 28 years. Duty done.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

The following recruits have been attested at Rugby Drill Hall this week :—A Bates, 220th Fortress Co, R.E ; R H Cowley (driver), R.E ; R Williams and A Burton, K.R.R ; J A Spear, 14th Gloucester Bantams ; J H White, R.F.A ; H Edmans, Yorks and Lancs ; S L Howard, R.A.M.C ; and T Gamble, Coldstream Guards. All branches of the army, with the exception of the cavalry, are now open for recruits. There are good openings for drivers in the R.E, recruits 5ft and upwards in height, being accepted up to 45 years.

THE LOCAL PRISONERS OF WAR FUND.

The Local Prisoners of War Help Committee have this week despatched 28 parcels to British prisoners in Germany. Each parcel contained a large tin of beef, cheese, biscuits, cafe au lait, cocoa, soup tablets, and pickles. Each parcel which cost 3s. also contained either a pair of socks or a flannel shirt, these articles having been sent by generous donors to the Rectory.

During the coming winter the committee will be grateful for any gifts of suitable warm under-clothing in a decent state of repair for despatch with the weekly parcels.

That the work of the committee is appreciated by the brave fellows who receive parcels is proved by the many postcards and letters of thanks which are being continually received acknowledging the receipt of parcels.

CRICK RIFLEMAN’S EXPERIENCE IN THE FIRING LINE.

Rifleman Harry Fretter, of the Rifle Brigade, whose home is at Crick, and who was formerly employed there, in a letter to a Rugby friend, gives his first experiences of trench warfare as follows :—“ We are holding a part in the firing-line which is well advanced, so we have steered clear of bayonet charges ; but we have seen enough to give us a good idea of what real fighting is like, We have to be careful or else we get a few German snipers after us, who try very hard to hit as. They are very good shots, and, of course, if they play the game too bad, we just put our machine-gun on them, which is far superior to the German’ machine-gun. Then we get a little excitement watching our artillery blow the German trenches up. It is lovely to see the sand-bags and dirt go up in the air. As for Germans, we have not seen any yet. We can hear them at night, and that is our share at present, but when the time comes our boys will just show them what they are made of.”

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