27th Nov 1915. Local War Notes

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Earl Poulett is gazetted a temporal captain in the Warwickshire R.H.A (T.F).

Mr Harold Eaden, solicitor, Rugby, has enlisted in his group under Lord Derby’s scheme.

Armourer-Staff-Sergeant F H Dodson, 7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, writing to Mr T A Wise from the front, says : “ The other day there were three of us together out here, and the sum total of our years’ service was 100 years.”

Lance-Corpl N H Priday and Pte F Foss, of the 1/7 Royal Warwickshire Regiment, have been nominated to commissions, the former in the West Yorks (the Prince of Wales’ Own) and the latter in the East Yorks Regiment.

Mr W J Penn, son of Mr W Penn, farmer, of Wootton, has been gazetted second-lieutenant in the 12th Battalion Welsh Regiment, Nov 3rd. He is an old Northampton and County School boy , and of St John’s College, London. He has been Headmaster and Scoutmaster of Norton, near Daventry.

Sergt W C D Miles, son of Mr and Mrs Miles, of Catthorpe, has received a commission in the Westminster Dragoons. He is son-in-law to Mr and Mrs T C Thompson, of Murray Road, Rugby, and was a draughtsman on the Willesdon staff of the B.T.H Company when he enlisted, soon after war broke out. Previous to this, Lieut Miles was in the Drawing Office at the B.T.H at Rugby.

“ BUCK THE SLACKERS UP!”

Bandsman B Wilkins, of the Rifle Brigade, writing to a friend in Rugby on November 17th, says : “ I have seen the Rugby papers this week and I see the recruiting is getting better. That is what I like to see. England will need all she has got, so just buck the slackers up, and tell them the more men we can get, the better and easier they are making it for their comrades who are doing their bit out here. Nobody knows what Tommy’s troubles are till he gets out here and tries a bit ; so you see, the sooner we can get the men, the sooner we shall try and bring these terrible times to an end. Now, buck up, Rugby, and try and win back the men you have lost.”

PTE H DYER, OF DUNSMORE, KILLED.

News has been received at Dunsmore that Pte Henry E Dyer, who left his employment in the gardens at Dunsmore House to enlist in the 10th R.W.R last December, has died in Reading Hospital from wounds received at the Front. Pte Dyer, who was a native of Gloucestershire, and was 24 years of age, was wounded in the head and groin by a bomb while in a trench in France on September 6th, and succumbed to his injuries ten days afterwards. He had been at the front about two months when he received his fatal injuries. Pte Dyer had worked at Dunsmore Gardens for nearly a year before enlisting.

MURRAY SCHOOL NOTES.

Pte A S Horswell, a former member of the Murray School Staff, writing to Mr W T Coles Hodges from a “ dug out ” in the Mediterranean theatre,says : “We landed on August 9th, just three weeks after leaving England, and proceeded straight to the firing line under shrapnel fire, We saw life for four days. Talk about snipers ! They were up in the trees, absolutely surrounding us ; they were the chief cause of the casualties. Fortunately they were more or less indifferent shots, otherwise we should have come off worse than we did. Since then we have had various trips to the firing line, interspersed with spasms of “ fatigue ” work, unloading lighters, filling water-cans for the firing line, and digging. We see some glorious sunsets out here at times ; also some very fine play of light on various islands. I myself never believed the deep blue sea theory till we came out hero. In the Mediterranean you get a lovely ultra-marine in the day, which gradually darkens to deep indigo in the evening.”

Pte H F Baker, R.A.M.C, has been invalided home from the Dardanelles, and is now in hospital at Brighton. Amongst other things in a very interesting letter to his old headmaster, Mr Hodges, he describes the passing of the Rock of Gibraltar on the way home, and says : “ The top of the rock was hid from view by great white clouds. The peaks on the mainland were gilded under the sun’s rays, making a fine contrast.” He mentions that he met Arthur Webb, Lower Hillmorton Road, at Mudros, and adds that he looked very well.

Two members of the Murray School Staff have enlisted-Mr J H Fazakerley in the R.A.M.C, under Lord Derby’s scheme, and Mr A L Westbury in the R.E at Chatham, to which place he proceeded on Tuesday last.

LETTER FROM OLD ST MATTHEW’S BOY.

WHY SO MANY MEN ARE MISSING.

Lance-Corpl Harold Thompson, 6th Oxford & Bucks L.I., well-known in Rugby for his swimming prowess, an “ Old Boy” of St Matthew’s, writes to Mr R H Myers, the headmaster :—

“ We had the heaviest shelling from the Germans last week, but luckily our casualty list was all right, although the parapets were badly knocked about in places. We were just over a hundred yards from the German lines, so you can imagine that we were not over-anxious to look over the top during the day, for their snipers are very hot shots. It is very quiet all along our front now, and one would hardly think that a big engagement had taken place so recently as Sept 25th. The only remaining indications of a fight are the dead bodies between the lines, and these have to stop there, as it is so dangerous to go out to find the names, and that is what makes the missing list so great. We have sent out patrols nearly every night to find out any details about the bodies, but it is very difficult work and not very pleasant. One fellow went out and, losing his way, nearly walked into the German lines. They opened fire on him, but he happened to drop into a shell hole, and there he had to stop until the early hours of the morning, when the firing dropped off.

We happened to be in the firing on September 25th, and quite expected to go over the top, but our luck was out, and we had to cool our heels and wait, in case the Huns counter-attacked, but we were also disappointed in that. The bombardment previous to the attack was terrible. We could only see the German lines for five minutes after the guns started, but in that short time we could gather some idea of the destruction our guns were causing. About an hour before the attack started, it began to rain, and when the first soldier went over the parapet the ground was like a bog, but that did not prevent our fellows from charging impetuously. Since then it has developed into an artillery duel again. The French are still bombarding very heavily, and at night the sky is lit up all the time by the clash of the guns.

It is awful to see all the towns and villages destroyed as we move about to different parts of the line. The Huns seem to make a special mark of churches, and these is hardly a church round here that has not been damaged. The trenches are in a pretty bad condition. In places the mud and water are waist-deep. . . Please remember all the St Matthew’s “ Old Boy ” here to the teachers and pupils of the School.”

DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL.

Sergt Vernon S Robinson, of the 2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment, has been awarded the “ for conspicuous gallantry on the 25th September, 1915, near Vermelles. when he advanced by a communication trench leading from a trench just captured to one held by the enemy, with bombs, thus making certain that the trench was dear before is was blocked. On the 27th September he crossed several hundred yards of open country under heavy rifle fire and machine-gun fire to fetch bombs, which were urgently needed, and succeeded in bringing them to the point where they were required. In doing this Sergeant Robinson’s rifle, owing to the heavy fire, was smashed and rendered useless.”

Sergt Robinson, who is only 20 years of age, is a grandson of Mrs Robinson, 50 Manor Road, Rugby, and nephew of Mrs Lewis, 74 Manor Road. He came to Rugby six years ago, and was employed as an engine cleaner on the L & N.W.R. He was in the Special Reserve of the Royal Warwicks, and was undergoing his annual training in the Isle of Wight when the war broke out. He transferred to the Wiltshires, and went out to France in May last. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on the field, and has also received the French Military Medal.

THE ARMY’S WINTER KIT.

WARMER CLOTHES FOR THE KILTED TROOPS.

The coming of winter has found the War Office Department whose duty it is to clothe the Army fully prepared with supplies of warm clothing for the protection of the troops against the rigours of winter warfare. The following is a list of the apparel provided by the military authorities for each soldier at the front :-

Winter service cap.
Waterproof cover for cap.
Cap comforter.
Body belt.
Woollen vest and drawers.
Shirt.
Cardigan waistcoat.
Tunic and trousers.
Fur or leather (flannel lined) jacket.
Great-coat.
Waterproof cape.
Fingerless gloves.
Woollen gloves.
Socks, puttees, and boots.

In addition, gum boots reaching to the top of the thigh are provided for men actually in the trenches. The special needs of the kilted regiments have not been overlooked, and auxiliary warm clothing is provided for them.

The authorized scale of equipment, we are informed, allows two shirts and four pairs of socks for each man. From time to time complaints reach this country that men in this or that battalion are in want of socks and shirts ; and appeals for these articles or money for purchasing them are advertised. It is stated on good authority that there is no real necessity for such appeals, as ample Government supplies are available to meet all demands made through the proper channels. Mufflers and mittens, however, are not a “ Government supply,” and the making, purchase, and collection of them is a field in which the generosity and industry of the public will be warmly welcomed.

RUGBY TERRITORIALS COMFORTS’ COMMITTEE.

DEAR SIR,—May I make a final appeal before Christmas for donations, and gifts of socks, mufflers, mittens, groceries, plum puddings, etc, for our local Territorials, appealing especially to the subscribers and old members of the Rugby E Company, 7th Warwicks

We have received very generous contributions from supporters of the Howitzer Brigade, but very few from supporters of E Company.

The weather in France is now very bad and the cold intense, in addition to which men have to walk or stand about in 18 inches of mud and water ; this is confirmed by a commanding officer on leave this week.

We hope to send every man from Rugby a Christmas parcel of groceries, etc, and a warm Christmas present, but this cannot be done without better support from the friends of the units.

If every subscriber and old member of each unit would help, we could do much to help our gallant Territorials spend a happy Christmas.—Yours faithfully.

A. W. ADNITT.

2 Regent St, Rugby.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Recruiting has not been quite so good at Rugby during the past week, either for immediate service or under Lord Derby’s Group Scheme [See next post]. The following have enlisted for immediate service with the Colours :—

KING’S ROYAL RIFLES.
H G King, 34 Campbell Street, New Bilton.
A Widdows, Heythorp, Oxon.
John Papworth, Clifton-on-Dunsmore.
A H Harwood, 24 Gas Street, Rugby.

ROYAL WARWICK REGIMENT.
T W Barrett, High Street, Hillmorton.
G Clarke, 42 Bath Street, Rugby.
W H Benjamin, Rowland Street, Rugby.
T Whiteman, 16 Winfield Street, Rugby.
Frank Boswell, Brook Street, Fenny Compton.
Geo Bradshaw, Hillmorton Wharf, Rugby.
W T Jeffs, Smith’s Lodging House, Gas St, Rugby.

3rd/7th WARWICKSHIRE REGT.
T Greasley, 108 Wood Street, Rugby.
H Moore, 47 Sandown Road, Rugby.

COLDSTREAM GUARDS.
A E Randall, 58 Manor Road, Rugby.

ROYAL ENGINEERS.
S Reader, Barrack Hill, Ravensthorpe, Northants.
S L Webb, Lawrence Sheriffe Cottages, Brownsover.

R.F.A.
Harry Hobley, Stretton-under-Fosse, Rugby.

NORTHANTS REGIMENT.
W T Cox, Ashby St Ledgers, Northants.

OXON & BUCK L.I.
G Spittle, Thurlaston, Rugby.

A. S. Corps.
John Robertson, 73 Heavy Tree Rd, Plumstead.
Geo Atkins, 70 Church End, Evers Holt, Woburn, Beds.

GRENADIER GUARDS.
P Gibbins, Willoughby, Rugby.

ARGYLE & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS.
J Gurden, 22 Sandown Road, Rugby.

DRIVER, R.E.
E Brown, Melton Mowbray.

LIVERPOOL REGIMENT.
J Wilson, 68 Nelson Road, Paisley.

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