Hunter, Wilfred Cleaver. Died 29th Dec 1915

Wilfred Cleaver Hunter was born in Rugby in 1891. He was the third son of Thomas Hunter and his wife Emily Cleaver, who married in 1886. At the time of his birth the family were living at 94 Railway Terrace, Rugby and his father is listed as a Railway Wagon Builder (employer). His grandfather had founded the Thomas Hunter Wagon Works in Mill Road twenty years earlier.

In the 1911 census the family was living at Elmhurst, in Hillmorton Road. Wilfred was aged 20 and described as a Filament Maker, Electric lamp maker.

Wilfred Cleaver Hunter

A report in the  Rugby Advertiser of 8th Jan 1916 gives an account of his life and death:

Second Lieut Wilfred Hunter was 25 years of age, and was the third son of Alderman Hunter. He and three of his brothers enlisted on the outbreak of war, and all four obtained commissions. He was a very bright and promising young man, and many outside the family circle will be grieved to know of his death.

Second Lieut. Wilfred Hunter was educated at Rugby School, and afterwards entered commercial life as secretary to the Rugby Lamp Company, Ltd.

He first enlisted as a gunner in the 4th South Midland Howitzer Brigade, and after seven months’ service entered the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich.

On October 27th last year he was gazetted to the Royal Garrison Artillery, and left for France on December 10th, being killed in action 20 days later.

Lieut. Hunter spent some days at Havre before going to the front, so must have met with his death very soon after his arrival at the actual scene of the war.

Alderman and Mrs Hunter, of Elmhurst, Hillmorton Road, Rugby received the news of his death on New Year’s Day.

He was killed by a shell which burst in the courtyard of the farm where he was billeted. A fragment struck him in the throat and he died almost at once. He was buried at the Divisional Cemetery at West-Vlaanderen, near Ypres

He is also remembered at his parents grave in Clifton Road Cemetery:
Also of WILFRED the dearly loved son of THOMAS & EMILY HUNTER who was killed at Ypres Dec 29th 1915 aged 24 years.
“Come to me saith one and coming, be at rest.”



Rugby Advertiser
Lawrence Sheriff School and Two World Wars (Editor Davis Howe, published by Lawrence Sheriff School)


25th Dec 1915. Derby Recruits Called Up




Four groups under Lord Derby’s recruiting scheme have been called to the Colours by Royal Proclamation dated December 20. These men, the youngest of the unmarried recruits eligible for service (except those 18 years of age), are in

Group 2 (age 19-20) Group 4 (age 21-22)

Group 3 (age 20-21) Group 5 (age 22-23)

The men in the first group have not reached military age.

The Proclamation was issued on Saturday from the War Office, together with an announcement explaining the procedure to be followed. Men are required to present themselves for actual service on January 20. In order to facilitate matters a certain number of recruits will be called up for that date, another batch for the 21st, and so forth.

A notice giving fourteen days’ warning will be sent to each man stating when and where he should present himself, but it is pointed out that the exhibition of the Proclamation in public places is sufficient warning to the men concerned, even if they do not receive a private notice.

Claims for postponement to a later group must be made to the Local Tribunal not later than December 30.

Speaking at Bolton on Saturday Lord Derby declared that the pledge to married men would be carried out in the spirit as well as in the letter. All figures as to the number of men who had joined under the scheme were guesswork. He did not know the result himself.




There will be a ROUTE MARCH of the above Corps on SUNDAY, 2nd JANUARY, 1916, at 2.30 p.m., and the Commandant and Officers cordially invite all “ Grouped ” men under Lord Derby’s Scheme to join in this Route March and fall in at the DRILL HALL, PARK ROAD, as above stated.

It is hoped that the Route March will be accompanied by a Military Band, and on its return to the Drill Hall facilities will be given for “ Grouped ” men to become attached to, or enrolled members of, this Training Corps if they so desire, in order to, acquire some preliminary training.

An appeal is made to you to make a point of falling in,


2.30 p.m. at THE DRILL HALL.

Charles H. Fuller,


ENROLMENT SERVICE.—In connection with the 2nd Rugby Company of the Boys’ Brigade, the annual enrolment service was held at the Market Place Wesleyan Church on Sunday morning. The brigade fell in at the Recreation Ground, and under the command of Capt Faulkner and Lieuts Ternouth and Hartshorne, marched to the church, where the service, in which membership cards are distributed, and the Brigade is formally recognised, was conducted by the Rev Robinson Lang. Afterwards the boys were inspected by Staff-Sergt Knowles, H.A.C, a former officer of the Company, who expressed himself as well pleased with the bearing, of the members. The following particulars respecting the brigade were given during the enrolment service :—Past and present members who have joined H.M. Forces : 3 Officers, 2 Staff-Sergts, 16 N.C.O.’s, 3 Privates. One N.C.O (H Snutch) has been killed. One Officer and one Staff-Sergt offered under Derby scheme and rejected. One Officer (Capt J W Faulkner) and one Staff-Sergt offered under Derby scheme and accepted. Boys who have belonged for less than one year are not included in above return, which is of boys of from 1 to 5 years’ service in the Brigade.


After the rush of recruiting that has been going on for several weeks past, it was quite a relief to see the gathering at the Drill Hall on Tuesday, when a large number of ladies and gentlemen who have lately been busy writing out attestation forms, group cards, armlet receipts, etc, assembled to exchange views on the results of their voluntary labours, and receive the cordial thanks of Colonel F Johnstone and the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee, for the excellent work they had accomplished.

It must be borne in mind that several of the ladies and gentlemen present have been giving their services for quite a long time. They undertook the work of Registration, which kept them busy for weeks prior to the commencement of Lord Derby’s scheme, and the efficient way in which this work was done was, to a great extent, responsible for the success achieved by the Recruiting Officer and the P.R.C in completing the work of recruiting. No one felt this more keenly than Colonel Johnstone, who in a few words expressed his grateful thanks to all present, and also to those who were unable to attend, for the patriotic support given to him and to the country, for by their efforts they were in reality doing their duty and assisting in the defence of the Empire. He was sure that the brave men who were defending our hearths and homes in the trenches would also feel grateful to all the workers, who had assisted in enrolling men to give their assistance to help them defeat such a brutal and unscrupulous foe as the German Huns had proved themselves to be.

Mr M E T Wratislaw, in replying for the P.R.C and the voluntary workers, thanked Colonel Johnstone for his remarks, and stated that in his belief each and everyone felt that it was their duty to assist the old country in the time of trial, and were therefore only too pleased to do their little bit.

Mr Arthur Bell, one of the Hon Secretaries to the P.R.C. said that he felt that it would be unwise to allow such an opportunity to pass without thanking all, on behalf of his Co-Secretary and himself, for although the work had been strenuous for all, the duties had been made pleasant by the splendid co-operation of the ladies and gentlemen, who had given up their time in assisting. He was allotted one of the most pleasant duties of that evening in being requested by the workers to present to Mr E Riley a small token of their respect. Mr Riley had been closely engaged in the work from early morning until nearly midnight for about three months, and his extreme affability at all times was deeply appreciated by everyone with whom he was came in contact. On their behalf he was pleased to present him with a silver-mounted salad bowl and servers, a silver-mounted umbrella, and, now that he would probably have a little spare time for a smoke, they included a pipe in case, and the necessary weed to fill it.

Mr Riley suitably responded.

The remainder of the evening was spent in an enjoyable whist drive.




The following order as to lights in Rugby, Warwick, and Nuneaton has been issued by Capt Brinkley, Chief Constable of Warwickshire, in accordance with the provisions of an order made by the Secretary of State on December 15, 1915 :-

  1. Subject to the later provisions of this Order, all external lamps, flares, and fixed lights of all descriptions, and all aggregations of lights, whether public or private, must be extinguished, except such public lamps as in the opinion of the Chief Officer of Police are necessary for safety, and any other lights approved by him.

All lights which are not extinguished must be reduced to the minimum intensity consistent with safety, and shaded or obscured so as to render them invisible from above, and to cut off direct light in all directions above the horizontal.

  1. The intensity of the inside lighting of shops and shop fronts must be reduced or the lights obscured or shaded so that no more than a dull, subdued light is visible outside, and no part of the pavement or roadway or any building is distinctly illuminated thereby : in particular, all sources of light must be shaded with some opaque material so that all direct light therefrom is cut off from the windows and doors.
  2. In hotels, flats, dwelling houses and premises of all descriptions not coming under other provisions of this Order, inside lights must be so shaded or reduced, or the windows, skylights, or glass doors so screened by shutters or dark blinds or curtains, &c., that no more than a dull, subdued light is visible from any direction outside.
  3. In factories, workshops, and other such buildings which are illuminated at night, the roof areas and windows must be covered over or obscured, and the lighting intensity reduced to the minimum necessary for the safe and expeditious progress of work.

Provided that lighting may be maintained in armament works and other factories engaged in the manufacture of articles required for the fulfilment of Government contracts, to such extent as may be necessary for the safe and expeditious progress of work.

  1. The intensity of the lighting of railway stations, sidings, goods yards, &c, must be reduced to the minimum that will suffice for the safe and expeditious progress of work : the tops and sides of all external lights which cannot be dispensed with must be shaded or painted over.
  2. Passengers in railway carriages which are provided with blinds must keep the blinds lowered so as to cover the windows. The blinds may be lifted in case of necessity when the train is at a standstill at a station, but if lifted they must be lowered again before the train starts.
  3. With regard to lights on vehicles, the provisions of the Lights (Vehicles) Order of 15th December, 1915 (Statutory Rules and Orders No 1182), shall apply.
  4. In case of sudden emergency, all instructions as to the further reduction or extinction of lights given by or under the direction of a Competent Naval or Military Authority or the Chief Officer of Police shall be immediately obeyed.

This Order shall come into operation on 10th January, 1916.

The Orders of the 8th and 16th April, 1915, applying to the above-mentioned places are revoked from the 10th January.


The first part of the Order as to lights on vehicles extends the following provisions, which already apply in many areas, to the whole country outside the metropolitan area :—

(1) The lighting-up time for all vehicles is to be half an hour after sunset ;

(2) The requirement, to carry lights is extended to all vehicles using the roadway, including vehicles drawn or pushed by hand ; and

(3) All vehicles are required to carry a lamp showing a red light to the rear, and a separate lamp carried at the rear is made compulsory for all except hand vehicles.

As there may be a temporary shortage in the supply of lamps, the operation of the last requirement is postponed until February 10, 1916, in those areas where vehicles are not now required to carry rear lights. The definition of the word “ vehicle ” is : “ Any bicycle, tricycle, or velocipede, and any handcart, that is any vehicle drawn or propelled by hand.” The definition obviously includes perambulators, but it will probably be held that so long as perambulators keep to the footpath and do not use the roadway they will not require to be lighted.


Part II. of the Order relates to the prohibition of the use of headlights. and restrictions on other lights on vehicles, in certain areas. This part is of particular interest to the Midlands, many towns in which are included in the area to which it applies. The schedule includes the following places in Warwickshire :—Birmingham (City), Coventry (City), Leamington (Borough), Nuneaton (Borough), Rugby (Urban District), Warwick (Borough).

In these areas headlights are prohibited altogether. The restrictions as to other lights, such as side and rear lights, are :—

Electric Lamps.—The bulb must not exceed 12 watts, or give in use a greater candle-power than a 12-watt bulb as standardised for side-lights by the Engineering Standards Committee. The front glass, if circular, must not exceed 6 inches in diameter, and if rectangular, the longer side must also be obscured with one thickness of ordinary white tissue paper.

Acetylene Lamps—The burner must not consume more than 14 litres (½ cubic foot) per hour, and the above provisions as to the size of the front glass also apply. The whole of the front glass must be obscured with one thickness of white tissue paper or with paint, ground glass, or a disc of some other uncoloured material, so that the obscuring effect is not less than that of one thickness of ordinary white tissue paper.

Oil Lamps.—One burner only is allowed, and the wick must not be more than ¾-inch in width. Where the front glass has a lens or other device for concentrating the light or directing it towards the roadway, the front glass must be obscured in a similar manner to that provided in the case of acetylene lamps as above.

Side Panels. With the exception of small red or green side panels, these must be covered with some opaque material.

The material used for obscuring the light must not be wetted or treated in any other way to reduce its opacity.




THE Public are requested, owing to so many of the employees of the Council having joined H.M. Forces and the difficulty in obtaining the necessary labour, to assist the Council in keeping the Footpaths clean and to clear the Footpaths immediately after a fall of snow has taken place, by so doing they will minimise the inconvenience to pedestrians.

By Order,

Surveyor to the Council.
Surveyor’s Office,
Benn Buildings, Rugby.



25th Dec 1915. Christmas Arrangements at the Post Office


Christmas is always the busiest season of the year with the Postal authorities, although locally there has not been so much business transacted as is generally the case. So far the busiest day was Monday, the last day for posting parcels to the Expeditionary Force, and a large number of parcels, mostly for France and Belgium, were received on that day.

In order, to cope with the increased business, a number of temporary workers have been taken on, consisting of 13 indoor employees, 13 outdoor men, 12 women letter carriers, and 6 women indoor helpers. The employment of women is an innovation caused by the scarcity of male labour, and it is stated that the fair workers have given every satisfaction up to the present.


The Christmas parcels sent to prisoners of war by the local committee contained a large plum pudding, a cake, packet of “ Force,” a packet of tea, sugar, milk, Oxo cubes, cafe-au-lait, sweets, and some warm clothing, A packet of cigarettes and tobacco was also sent to each man.


The Editor of the Advertiser has received several letters from local soldiers thanking friends in Rugby and district for sending Xmas parcels, and we append a few brief extracts :—

Lance-Corpl O Wilson, 1st Batt R.W.R, writes from a hospital at Birkenhead :—“ I should be very glad if I could have a small space in your newspaper to express my very best thanks to my Newbold-on-Avon friends for a parcel I have received. I have enjoyed the contents very much. It is a pleasure to know that we are thought of while we are away from our home and village. I have just returned from the front after seven months in the trenches. I have seen some stiff fighting, but I have run through quite safe. I have been sent back to England with lumbago and rheumatism through getting so wet in the trenches. I also thank kind friends for presents and cigarettes sent to me in the trenches. I always look forward to receive the Rugby paper, which I have had every week since I have been away.”

Pte W White, B Coy 6th Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, wishes to thank the subscribers of Bourton and Draycote for a parcel sent by them to him. He adds : “ We have had it rough while we have been out here. The trenches are full of water, but we have to make the best of it, although it is most trying at times.”


Pte A J Curtis, B Coy, 6th Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, in a letter to the Editor states that there are a large number of Rugby men in his company, and they would be very grateful if someone would send them a melodeon, because several in the platoon can play that instrument, and a little music would brighten up things in the trenches.


To the Editor of the Advertiser,

DEAR SIR,—I shall be much obliged if you will kindly allow me, through your columns, to ask the wives of all the Rugby men in the 1/5th Warwickshire Howitzer Battery and in the 1/7th Warwickshire Battalion now serving in France, to be good enough to send their address and the number, age, and sex of their children, to Mrs Nickalls, Brown’s Farm, or to me not later than January 1st, 1916.—Yours faithfully,

Bilton, Rugby.


Corpl Horace Neeves, of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, elder son of Mr and Mrs S Neeves, of Murray Road, Rugby, has received a commission. He has been gazetted to the Northumberland Fusiliers, and expects to proceed shortly to Bedford for training. Called up with the Yeomanry at the outbreak of the war, he went out in due time with the signalling troop to the Dardanelles, and took part in the famous landing at Suvla Bay on August 21st. He had a very narrow escape from a bullet, which lodged in a thimble carried among his belongings. Subsequently he developed dysentery, and has been for some time in a military hospital in England, but is now convalescent.


Pte J Farren, 1/7th Royal Warwickshires, has been reported wounded.

Capt the Hon O M Guest, Lothians and Border Horse and R.F.C, who is officially reported wounded, is Lord Wimborne’s youngest brother.


Lieut C H Ivens, of Rugby, writing from Suvla Bay, describes a terrible storm—such as one never sees in England—that burst over the trenches on November 26th. The rain came down in torrents, and the thunder and lightning was terrible. They were quickly flooded out, and blankets, bedding, and loose equipment were washed away. Men were wallowing up to their waists in mud and water. Snow followed, and then severe frost set in, with the result that large numbers of men were frost-bitten. Others were dropping down in the water too weak to stand, in consequence of their long immersion in the water and mud. Eventually they were marched off to a place five miles away.


The War Office on Monday afternoon issued the following announcement :

All the troops at Suvla and Anzac, together with their guns and stores, have been successfully transferred with insignificant casualties to another sphere of operations.

In a later announcement the War Office states :

Some further details of the evacuation of Anzac and Suvla have been received. Without the Turks being aware of the movement a great army has been withdrawn from one of the areas occupied on the Gallipoli Peninsula, although in closest contact with the enemy.

By this contraction of front, operations at other points of the line will be more effectively carried out.

Sir Charles Monro gives great credit for this skilfully conducted transfer of forces to the Generals Commanding and the Royal Navy.


The operations in the Dardanelles date back to January last, when a blockading squadron was reinforced by British and French stations, with Tenedos and Lemnos as bases. An attack was made on February 19 on the forts at the entrance to the Dardanelles, and a month later the forts at the Narrows were shelled. The bombardment was resumed on February 25 and 26, but whilst the entrance to the Straits had been cleared, the real defence—the forts at the Narrows—had not been touched. Other attempts followed in March, culminating on the 18th in an attack in force in which two British vessels, the Irresistible and the Ocean, and the Bouvet, of the French squadron, were sunk by mines.

The experience gained by these operations showed that simultaneous naval and land attacks were necessary for success, and the Allied forces, which included the 29th Division that was quartered in Warwickshire for a time, landed on April 25. By almost superhuman heroism a footing was gained at Cape Helles, Sedd-el-Bahr, and the adjacent beaches, and by April 27 the forces had advanced two miles into the Peninsula. Throughout May, June, and July fighting more or less severe took place, and on August 6 the great attack from Anzac (so called from the landing there of the Australian and New Zealand Corps) and Suvla Bay took place. Fighting with splendid heroism, the Australians and New Zealanders gained the summits of Sari Bahr and Chunuk Bahr, but they had to withdraw in consequence of the advance from Suvla Bay not making the progress necessary to consolidate the success. This advance had been entrusted to new contingents, including several yeomanry regiments, of British troops who had only been landed the day before at Suvla Bay.

As the result of efforts during August the British positions were further advanced, after which the operations took on the aspect of trench warfare.

In a recent statement to the House of Commons Mr Asquith stated that the losses in the Mediterranean on land and sea up to November 9 were :

Officers.                       Men.

Wounded                     2,860                          70,148

Killed                           1,504                          21,551

Missing                         356                           10,211

These, with disablements by sickness, makes a total of nearly 200,000.


18th Dec 1915. The Recruiting Rush in Rugby



The final days for recruiting under Lord Derby’s Group System were marked by large numbers of recruits attending at the Rugby Drill Hall to enrol themselves. The rush which set in on Wednesday and Thursday was continued till the very last, and on Friday nearly a thousand men were attested, but owing to the large numbers presenting themselves, the medical examination in many cases had to be postponed. Recruits were being attested up till twelve o’clock that night, and some of the workers did not leave the Drill Hall until 3 a.m on Saturday morning.

On Saturday, which was fixed as the final day for attestation, the Drill Hall was crowded from an early hour, and by nine o’clock there were more than a hundred either receiving attention or in waiting. As the time passed on, the crowd grew in volume, and by ten o’clock the Hall was filled by potential recruits, and a queue, four deep and of considerable length, stood outside the entrance. Medical examinations were entirely dispensed with and, as the men entered at one door and left by another, there was no congestion.

A large number of voluntary workers were on duty, and, thanks to their help, the work proceeded rapidly, and considerably over a thousand men were attested, although probably this number will be somewhat reduced by the medical examinations, which will take place later. The numbers on Sunday were also good, although no rush such as marked the preceding days was experienced.

The military officials and the representatives of the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee cooperated splendidly, and this fact doubtless contributed to the smooth working of the machinery during the great rush.

General satisfaction is expressed locally at the numbers who have come forward, but inquiries at the Drill Hall elicited the fact that the married men were in a substantial majority, and that large numbers of single men have refused to answer the call. Of the single men who have attested, a good proportion were munition workers, and if these are subtracted, the numbers would be negligible.

Amongst the recruits for immediate service was a Scotsman, who stated that he had given up a good berth in the United States to come to England to enlist because he had had two brothers is killed in the war. He joined one of the Highland Regiments.


All men who have been attested, whether they have passed the doctor or not, will be supplied with armlets upon producing their white cards at the Drill Hall.

Armlets were issued to a number of men on Sunday, but none were given out on Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, however, the authorities recommenced issuing them to men who had been attested and pronounced medically fit, and on Thursday a new order was received to give them to all men who have attested, whether they have been medically examined or not.

So far several hundred armlets have been issued.


A soldier’s gift day is to be held at the Baptist Church in order that parcels may be sent for the New Year to members of the congregation serving with H.M Forces.

Mr Steel Maitland, M.P, went specially to Birmingham on Friday night to enlist, and in ten minutes he was fully attested, received his 2s 9d, and left for London by the midnight train.

Capt Philip Collins (O.R.), 7th Battalion the Rifle Brigade, for a number of years hon secretary of the Hockey Association, who was killed in France or Belgium on July 30, aged 30, has left property of the value of £8,346 15s, of which £8,340 9s 6d is net personalty. The testator gives £200 to the Rugby Clubs, Notting Dale, and £50 to the Old Rugbeians’ Society.

The whole of the postmen and the male clerks on the staff of the Rugby Post Office have attested, under Lord Derby’s scheme, with one exception.

About thirty Christmas parcels have been despatched from the Rugby Congregational Church to soldiers formerly belonging to different church organisations. They included confectionery, writing materials, cigarettes, and other articles likely to prove acceptable.

Information has reached Rugby that Mr D J Thomas, who joined the Royal Engineers, and went out to the Dardanelles, has been wounded. Mr Thomas was employed at the B T.H. Works, and for a time acted as Joint Secretary to the Literary and Debating Society at the Congregational Church. The news has come through a relative. and as the soldier is able to write his own letters, it is hoped his wound is not serious.

THE greater proportion of the Australians in Gallipoli, who saw snow falling for the first time in their lives, viewed the storm with intense interest, and though unused to winter conditions, the indications are that, owing to their splendid physique and resourcefulness, they will stand the severe weather yet to come even better than their British comrades.

Pt A E Sapwing, 15th R.W.R, in a letter to his old schoolmaster, Mr W T Coles Hodges, says :
“ We are getting plenty of excitement here, and it is nearly a daily occurrence to watch our aeroplanes being shelled by the enemy. It appears that the Germans have got some fair comedians in their trenches, for they shout across, ‘ Have you got any Birmingham fellows there ?’ If you shout back ‘ Yes,’ they throw a high explosive shell over with a shout ‘ Well, share that amongst them.’ 0f course two can play that game, and this last week the machine gunners of the 1st Birminghams bagged four of their bombers who camp across in the dark to drop their ‘ cards ‘ in our trenches.”


Information was received at the B.T.H Works on Thursday that Lieut F J P Keane was killed in action on November 25th, near Baghdad. Before going to India he was in the Test Department, and subsequently in the Export Department.


Mr W J Torrance, of Warwick Street, has received intimation that his son, Corp Sydney Torrance, of the Saltley College Co, 8th R.W.R, attached to the grenade section of the 1st R.W.R. is in hospital at Rouen, suffering from shrapnel wounds received on December 8th. Corp Torrance, who only returned to the front after a short leave about a month ago, has been wounded in the foot, ankle, and hand. Previous to this he had been at the front for 12 months without sustaining any injury. Another son of Mr Torrance has been at the front with the Worcester Regiment from the commencement of the war, and a third son is on a destroyer.


News reached the B.T.H on Thursday of the death of Lieut James Forbes, who at the time he enlisted in the Royal Engineers was employed in the Test Department at the Works. Lieut Forbes was one of three Scotsmen who on the outbreak of the war did not hesitate to join the Forces as privates, and afterwards received commissions.

Deceased came to Rugby from Greenock about four years ago. From the outset he associated himself with the life of the Baptist Church, and became a most earnest Sunday School teacher.

In September last, previous to going out to the Dardanelles, he visited Rugby for a weekend, and took his Sunday School class as usual. He was a man of fine appearance, with soldierly bearing, and in disposition was manly, brave, resourceful, and Christlike. One remark may be quoted as characteristic of his inner life. As he was leaving the Sunday School on his last visit to Rugby, somebody said to him, “ Goodbye, Mr Forbes, and good luck ” He turned to the speaker and said, “Good luck! We need something more than good luck.”

The news of his death has naturally caused grief to those who were associated with him at the Baptist Church.



Rugby Territorials serving at the front must be very grateful to the local committee who are supplying them with comforts. A parcel has been forwarded this week to each man (as far as funds will allow) which should afford the greatest satisfaction. It includes an aluminium saucepan, an aluminium cooker stove, with tin of solid methylated spirit, and a re-fill tin of solid methylated spirit, in addition to a pair of mittens, a sponge, and “ Oxo ” cubes.

The Rugby Territorials Comforts Committee, who are undertaking this good work, find themselves rather hampered for want of funds. To supply each man with the articles enumerated above will cost about £45. The sum collected at present is £30, so that another £15 is required to carry the scheme through and ensure that each of the Territorials from Rugby serving at the war will receive this very useful New Year’s gift.

Tradesmen supplying the articles have done so at cost price, thus ensuring that the expense will be kept as low as possible. Mr Arthur Adnitt, secretary to the committee, would be glad to hear from anyone willing to contribute towards the balance needed to carry the laudable project to a successful issue.

A Rugby gentleman has, we understand, just sent six thousand cigarettes to members of the Rugby Infantry Company.


The hospital is now full, six fresh patients having arrived last Saturday.

Visiting days for the general public are Wednesdays and Saturdays, between the hours of 3 and 4 p.m. Application for tickets must be made by intending visitors at the hospital on Tuesdays and Fridays, between 12 and 1 p.m, as the number of tickets for each day is limited. Relations of patients may visit on any days except Tuesdays and Fridays.


“ Shop Assistants.”—We have received a letter from six shop assistants with reference to the members of the Chamber of Trade deciding to close their shops for Christmas from Friday night till the following Tuesday morning, and to keep open on the Wednesday afternoon before Christmas. They are apparently v aggrieved because it was decided to take their “lawful Wednesday half-day ” from them, and do not seem to be aware that the local closing order under the Shop Hours Act empowers shop-keepers who close on Christmas Day and Bank Holiday to keep open either on the half-closing day preceding Christmas or the half-day following. The assistants cannot, therefore, claim it as a “lawful Wednesday half-day.” Moreover, it has always been the custom of local tradesmen to keep open on the Wednesday afternoon before Christmas for the convenience of the public, and to enable them to cope with the heavier demands incidental to the season coming within a shorter week.

Perhaps our fair correspondents will, on second thoughts, come to the conclusion that, in this time of stress, when everyone is anxious to be doing a little more, they will be doing their bit by working with a good will next Wednesday afternoon.—Ed. R.A.



The Postmaster-General calls attention to the difficulties with which the Post Office will be confronted during the approaching Christmas season. This year 50,000 trained men from the Post Office are on military and naval service. Their places have been filled temporarily by comparatively inexperienced persons, while, owing to the shortage of labour, it is impossible to obtain the extra Christmas temporary assistance usually available.

The Postmaster-General appeals, therefore, to the public to assist him by posting such packets as must be sent by post earlier than usual, and by withholding from post during the period of pressure all articles, whether Christmas greetings, gifts, parcels, or trade circulars, the dispatch of which can for a time at least be dispensed with. Those which must be sent should be posted well in advance of Christmas, the earlier the better, if possible during the morning or afternoon, and in any ease not later than the morning of Wednesday, December 22nd.


TUESDAY.—Before Dr Clement Dukes (in the chair), T A Wise, J E Cox, and W Dewar, Esqrs.


Arthur Henson, cab driver, 64 Sandown Road, Rugby, was summoned by Capt C Coventry, 1/6th R.W. Regt, for unlawfully interrupting the free passage of the highway of James Walters and others at Rugby on the 4th inst.

Defendant pleaded guilty to driving through the troops, but said owing to the rain beating in his face he did not see the soldiers until he got up to them, and then there was no time for him to pull up.

Corp James Walters stated that he was in charge of a party of troops who were marching on the road leading from Railway Terrace to the London and North-Western Railway Station. He was informed that there was someone behind, and he gave the order “ Left incline,” and held up his hand for defendant to stop, but he did not do so. He drove through the guard, and even then refused to stop. It was raining at the time, but not very fast.

The Magistrate’s Clerk pointed out that the offence was committed upon private property, and he did not think that the charge covered such a case.

Capt Coventry said it was very difficult in the Army Act to make the offence clear, but in dozens of cases, especially in London, owners of vehicles were brought before the Court for attempting to break the ranks by driving through troops.-Mr Seabroke said all the roads in London were public highways.

The Chairman told defendant it was a most disgraceful proceeding on his part to drive through the ranks when he saw soldiers in front of him, but unfortunately they could not punish him because it happened on private property, so that he got off.


11th Dec 1915. Christmas Mail


The Postmaster-General has issued a notice regarding the posting of Christmas mail for the British Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders.

To secure delivery on or before Christmas Day letters must be posted not later than December 17th, and parcels not later than December 13th. Military exigencies render it necessary to limit the amount of parcel traffic for the troops during the Christmas season, and the public are enjoined to limit the use of the parcel post to articles of real utility. Fruit, perishable articles of all descriptions, bottles, pudding basins, and the like are prohibited, and will not be accepted for transmission. The maximum weight for a single parcel will be reduced to 7lb as from December 1st. All parcels must be completely and fully addressed, with the name and address of the sender on the outside, and securely and strongly packed in covers of canvas, linen, or other strong material.

Parcels not meeting these requirements are unlikely to reach their destination safely, and if observed in the course of post, will be returned to the senders.


Many thousands of Post Office servants have joined the colours, and many thousands are joining in response to the appeal which the Postmaster-General has just made.

It is difficult already (says an official statement) to maintain a prompt despatch and delivery of letters and other postal packets. It may become impossible to do so unless the public assist by posting letters or other packets as soon as they are ready for despatch, and by refraining from holding them over until every thing can be posted in one consignment just in time for collection and despatch by night mails. It would be of especial assistance if large batches of letters or circulars, or parcels or any other postal packets, could be handed in before midday, or, at all events, early in the afternoon, whenever possible.

Enquiries and purchases at post offices should be made early in the day. and the number of transactions should be reduced by purchasing stamps, postcards, and other stationery in large quantities at one time.


The result of the appeal for Christmas puddings for Rugby men serving with the colours has been very gratifying. No fewer than 436 puddings have been supplied, and those who have assisted in the scheme may be sure their kind thought and generosity will be appreciated.

In larger and smaller quantities the puddings have been sent to twenty-six detachments at home and abroad, and the list shows in what a variety of units Rugby men are known to be serving. Amongst the chief consignments were the following :—

1st Warwickshire Yeomanry. British Mediterranean Force, per Reg Sargt-Major J Tait, 20 men ; 1/5th Warwicks (Howitzer) Battery. British Expeditionary Force, per Batt Sergt-Major G Hopewell, 5 officers and 143 N.C.O’s and men ; Coventry Battery. 5 men ; Headquarters Staff. 4th South Midland (Howitzer) Brigade, British Expeditionary Force, per Sergt-Major Taylor, 11 N.C.O.’s and men ; Ammunition Column, 48th Division, per Sergt Morten, [?] N.C.O’s and men ; 2/4th Warwick (Howitzer) Battery, Essex per Sergt Deakin, 16 N.C.O’s and men ; Ammunition Column 2/4th South Midland (Howitzer) Battery, per Quartermaster-Sergt Bennison, 6 N.C.O’s and men ; 2/2nd South Midland F.A Brigade, Great Baddow, per Driver H J Cleaver, 4 men ; 1/7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, British Expeditionary Force, per Company Quartermaster Sergt Tomlinson, 11 men ; 2/7th Ditto,per Sergt-Major Cleaver, A Co. 10 N.C.O’s and men ; B Co, 3 men ; C Co. 30 N C.O’s and men ; D Co, 3 N.C.O’s ; 3/7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Coventry, per Sergt Smith, 11 N.C.O’s and men ; 81st Prov Battalion, Essex, per Company Quartermaster-Sergt Fawcett, 65 N.C O’s and men ; 3/4th Battery, Bristol, 150 men ; Recruiting Depot at Coventry, per Capt Thomas, 3 men ; and Rugby Fortress Co, Buxton, per Capt Kempson, 24 puddings.

Puddings have also been sent singly to other Rugby soldiers. The parcels have been so apportioned that each man will receive 1lb weight of pudding, and there are well over 700 Rugby soldiers to share in this seasonable gift.

We understand there is urgent need in the trenches for what are known as “ Tommy’s cookers.” These cost 3/6 each, and the committee are making an effort to raise funds to send out a number, in addition to other things that it is known will prove acceptable to those who have gone out from Rugby homes to fight our country’s battles.


The monthly meeting of the members was held at the Town Hall, Rugby, on Monday last, Mr J Reginald Barker (Chairman of the Chamber) presiding.

The Chairman stated that a deputation from the Chamber had waited upon the Postmaster of Rugby, with a view to postal facilities being given to the public, either by the reopening of the High Street Post Office, or the opening of another office in that district, and that the Postmaster intimated that, for reasons of economy, it was not possible for this to be done.

The Secretary (Mr H Lupton Reddish) read a letter received from the Postmaster, notifying the Chamber that, to enable the work of the Post Office to be carried on as efficiently as possible with a greatly depleted and constantly decreasing staff, and also in the interests of economy, it was proposed to abolish one of the present deliveries of letters in the town, and asking for an expression of opinion from the Chamber. The matter was fully discussed, and it was resolved to suggest to the Postmaster that the 7 a.m delivery remain as at present, that the 10.35 a.m delivery be abolished, and that the 5.0 p.m. delivery be accelerated so as to place at 4.0 p.m, which would catch most of the mails at present falling into the 5.0 p.m delivery.

The Secretary also read a copy of a letter received by the Clerk to the Rugby Higher Education Committee from the Director of Education at Warwick, suggesting, on the advice of the Home Office, the establishment of classes for the training of girls and women in commercial work. It was felt that in a town like Rugby this was not necessary, and a resolution was passed to that effect.

It was decided by the members to keep their shops open all day on the Wednesday before Christmas, and to close them on the night of the 24th inst. until the following Tuesday morning.

In view of the war, it was resolved that the annual dinner be not held.


Bombardier Gordon G Hadley, R.F.A, of Abbey Street, Rugby, has been invalided home from the Dardanelles suffering from dysentery.

In a recent football match played at Malta a Rugby team proved the victors. The whole of the team was drawn from former pupils of St Matthews and Murray Schools.


Pte Fred Wood, son of Mr W F Wood, hatter, of the Market Place, Rugby, and a member of the Rugby Volunteer Fire Brigade, has just been home for five days’ leave. He belongs to the South Midland Division Cycle Corps, and has been at the front since February. Campaigning with him has not been a “ bed of roses,” and he has had narrow escapes, but is fit and well, notwithstanding his hard experiences.


We cull the following extracts from an article entitled “ Us,” which appears in the current issue of “ The Mercury,” the official organ of the Training Ship Mercury, relating to an old Murrayian, son of Mr D Merrett, who gained a scholarship entitling him to training on the ship :-

Merrett (“ A ” 2)—One badge. “ Euge ” has been in charge of the dining-hall for many weeks. A big, strong, capable boy. Plays the cornet well. A very good swimmer. As the saying goes, he is “ worth his place ” in any side. He keeps goal for the first XI. A very good bugler. His head is screwed on right. He himself is fully aware, when he works or takes charge, what result he is aiming at. “ Euge,” will you, with your quiet manner, stick to it and make a fine working hand for England ? Takes responsibility well. He can box ; it all helps. He is tall ; his eyes are brown.

The same article also refers to McMeeken (“ C ” 1), another old Murrayian on the ship, of whom it says : “ He is slow, but can work well. Should arrange to keep quiet, steady, and never give advice. Swims well.”



Sergt Reed, of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, is still at the Dardanelles, and writes very interesting letters to his friends in the homeland.

Mrs Keen, of 2 Winfield Street, with whom he and Sergt Mudd were billeted early last year, got a letter the other day in which he speaks of the requisiton of a brass band. “ When sitting outside our dug-out, or going for a quiet stroll, one fancies he is sitting in the Park at dear old Rugby,” he says; and adds, “ It is perfectly safe at night, as the Turks never attempt to fire a shell after dark.”

Sergt Mudd is in the Beech Hospital, Holyhead, and is looking forward hopefully to Christmas leave, providing inflammation does not set in again, and, after visiting his home, he intends spending a day or two at Rugby, where he made so many friends amongst Temperance people. He has forwarded a letter received from Sergt Reed, from which we make the following extracts :-

The Turks made an attack two nights ago, but with the usual result. None ever reached our trenches, and very few reached their own again, three lines of dead men lying between the two firing lines the following morning. The system of working the reliefs is greatly improved. We do four days in the firing line, four in support or reserve, and then go back to our winter quarters for eight. . . . I am sure you would be quite surprised if you could just see this place now. To see them playing football in the afternoon, hardly two miles behind the firing line, one would almost forget we were in a hostile country, and all in full view of the hill. Our fellows beat the K.O.S.B’s one nothing, after playing extra time yesterday afternoon, in the Peninsula Cup. We have also got a band and a corps of drums, so there is plenty of music every night. I often wonder what the Turks must think when they hear the band playing every night, and the drums playing retreat. I am pleased to say the Good Templar Lodge is still going strong. I have had two sessions since coming back from the firing, and initiated four more members. Bro Stevenson . . . was telling me this morning that he has got another fifteen or sixteen candidates for initiation. so we are not doing too badly. “ Limber ” Lyons is back with us again, and is of great assistance to me in carrying out the Initiation Ceremony. A vote was taken some time ago in the Battalion as to whether we should have cocoa or rum, but unfortunately we lost. However I don’t intend “ giving them best ” yet.



The great recruiting boom which has set in all over the country during the past few days spread to Rugby, and the scenes witnessed daily at the Drill Hall in Park Road this week are reminiscent of the enthusiasm of the early days of the war, and affords proof that the eligible men of Rugby are determined that the town shall not lose the excellent reputation for recruits which it secured last year.

Throughout the week there has been a constant stream of men of all classes and ages anxious to enrol either for immediate service or under Lord Derby’s group system, and the officials have been working at high pressure from early morning till late at night.

The boom reached its height on Thursday, when the accommodation of the Drill Hall was taxed to the uttermost, and it was found necessary to attest a number of men without submitting them to medical examination, although all men, so far as possible, were so examined.

Valuable clerical help is being rendered by ladies, mainly school teachers ; and men who are ineligible for military service.

Despite the fact that members of the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee visited some of the rural centres and attested several hundred recruits, the crush was so great at Rugby on Thursday that men were being attested at midnight, and there was another rush early on Friday morning.

We understand that the single men are still hanging back, and that the majority of those who have been attested during the past few days are married.

To-day (Saturday) is the last day upon which recruits can be received for the Group System.


Mr Harry Yates a member of the Urban District Council, and Secretary of the Rugby Trades and Labour Council, has enlisted under the Group System.


Two sons of Mr J E Cox, of Long Lawford, “ J. P. and E E,” have this week enlisted under Lord Derby’s scheme. Two other sons enlisted in the Warwickshire Yeomanry at the commencement of the war, and have been at the Dardanelles for some time. Trooper F W Cox has been suffering from dysentery, but is now better, and is at Cyprus ; and his brother, Trooper G H Cox, is ill with jaundice at Lemnos. All Mr Cox’s sons of military age have now enlisted.


Coventry Munitions Tribunal sat on Friday afternoon last week at the Labour Exchange, Coventry, under the chairmanship of Professor F Tillyard. The assessors were Messrs T Nettleton (for the men) and H F L Hemmings, Rugby (for the employers), and also present were Messrs P E Wilks (clerk) and D G Bolland (assistant clerk).


The B.T.H., Rugby, brought complaints against two of their workmen for breach of the regulations by absenting themselves from work—the defendants being Francis Horner, Barby, near Rugby, and F W Chatland, 23 Spring Coventry.

“ When I got home,” said Homer, “ I found my brother home from the front for the time for twelve months.”

The Chairman : And you took two days of to have a festive time ?—Yes, sir, a day and a half.

The Chairman : The least you could have done was to let the firm know your intentions.

It was stated that defendant had an excellent record for timekeeping.—The Court found the defendant guilty, and adjourned the case, imposing no penalty.

Chatland stated that he was ill, but it was pointed out that he did not notify the firm. He was fined 10s.

Belgian Refugees.

As it was now a year since the Rugby Relief Committee undertook the care of Belgian refugees and appointed a sub-committee to deal with them, to the sub-committee it seemed well to give a short account of what had been done. Last autumn, No 17 Hillmorton Road, lent by Mr Kittermaster for six months rent free, was prepared by the sub-committee and many other helpers for a party of refugees. All the furniture was given or lent, sheets for the beds and towels being almost the only things which had to be bought. Twenty-eight refugees arrived there and were comfortably established at the end of October. At first they were entirely supported by the Relief [ Fund,*but after a time, when the men began to work, fresh arrangements were made, and for many months now all wage earners had been self-supporting. They were allowed to have the house at half rent by the landlord, and were keeping themselves without any help from the committee at all. Some time last summer there were disagreements among the different families, and two sets of relations were moved out into other lodgings* furniture being chosen for them from No 17 Hillmorton Road. These two groups had still to be helped, but they also were to a large extent self-sup-porting, two women and one man being in regular work. In October also the Old Girls’ Welcome Club was lent rent free for six months by Mr Hawksley and furnished by another section of the committee, and though there was more difficulty in finding suitable occupants, owing to a lull in the flow of refugees, finally a family was installed there, and were given weekly help for a time till they also were able to pay their way. Besides these two main sources of expenditure, the committee had helped two Belgian workmen by buying them compasses for their work, and they had bought tools for a Belgian boy. They had purchased clothes for several needy families, helped Belgian soldiers in various ways, paid fares back to London for working-men and their families, and had tried to help others by advice and visits. They were allowing 6s a week to a workman whose wages were insufficient to support his family in lodgings, and they were giving 2s a week towards the maintenance of a boy who was beginning on small pay at the B.T.H. There were several other homes for refugees in Rugby, but no account could be here given of their work, as they were not under the management of the Central Committee.

The balance-sheet submitted showed that the receipts were :—Donations, £380 11s 9d ; weekly receipts, £51 1s 9d ; refugees’ contribution to rent, £21 10s ; total, £453 3s 6d. The payments were weekly cash to No 17 Hillmorton Road, £171 13s 1d ; ditto to Newbold Road, £23 16s 3d ; rent of 17 Hillmorton Road, £25 ; Urban District Council rates, £3 13s ; poor rates, £3 13s ; coal account, £10 6s ; Marsh (tools), £1 14s 11d ; Over (compasses, etc), £2 14s 6d ; railway fares paid, £7 10s 1d ; allowances to Belgians, cost of lodgings, etc, £35 13s 7d ; advertising and sundry expenses, 16s 4d ; cheque books, 9s 6d ; balance in hand, £166 3s 3d ; total, £453 3s 6d.

Mrs BRADBY said they had given a rather fuller report because they thought it possible subscribers might not know what had been done, and it might be advisable for them to know through the local Press. Their weekly outgoing at present in the way of relief was very small indeed—only about 12s a week—the majority of the refugees being now self-supporting.

The CHAIRMAN said it was very satisfactory. He thought the committee would like him to thank Mrs Bradby for the excellent report and for the work she and the other members of a very small committee had done in connection with the, Belgian refugees. He knew they gave many hours and a great deal of thought to looking after the refugees, and the report was a very excellent one.


The Hospital was opened on Wednesday last, when four from the First Southern General Hospital, R A.M.C.T., Edgbaston, were met at the station by officials of the Red Cross Society and the Order of St John, and taken to “ Te Hira.”



SIR,—Thinking that some one or other of your ten thousand subscribers may suggest or supply a remedy for what seems a grievance, I crave your indulgence for the narration of what follows.

A war-worn soldier of Kitchener’s Army, who had enlisted at Rugby in the early enthusiastic days, arrives back in the small hours of the morning, Saturday—Sunday, at the L. & N.-W. Railway Station.

He is home for a few days’ leave, his destination being some place for which he has to change at “ Rugby Junction.”

He asks for a cup of coffee at the Refreshment Booms, tendering therefore a 10/- note. The cup of coffee was withdrawn across the counter, change for the note not being authorised or available.

The L. & N.-W. Railway Company do not allow soldiers to remain in its station under the circumstance in which this soldier found himself, and he was left to wander up and down Rugby’s streets for the hours till the departure hour of his connecting train. Is there no remedy ?—Yours faithfully,


Abbott, Thomas Ernest. Died 11th Dec 1915

Thomas Ernest Abbott was born September Qtr 1889 in Rugby. The only surviving son of Elizabeth Ann Boor & Thomas Chapman Abbott. Married 9th June 1888 in St Matthews Church Rugby. Although originally from Woodford Northamptonshire.

In 1891 they were living at 86 Lawford Street, he was a Joiner Carpenter, Thomas Ernest was 1 year old. By 1901 they had moved to 37 Stephen Street, still a Joiner Carpenter, and Thomas Ernest was now 11 years old, and at school. 1911 shows them living at 43 Oliver Street, Thomas Ernest aged 21 years of age was working as Piuse Clerk in the engineering trade.

Thomas Ernest enlisted in the Army in Rugby on 3rd September 1914 age 25 years and 2 months, as a Rifleman in the 12th Bn Rifle Brigade. No S/1854. After training he was sent to France and sadly he died of his wounds, as stated on his service record by “61st Field Ambulance”, on 11th December 1915 aged 26 years and 5 months. He was most likely involved in The Battle of Loos which started on 25th September 1915 which is where the 61st Field Ambulance Corps were situated. His service life was short at just 1 year and 3 months.

Thomas was awarded 3 medals;- Victory Medal, British Medal and 15 Star. Qualifying date 21st July ’15. His medals have remained in the family after being handed to his father Thomas Chapman Abbot.

As reported on Ancestry on the name of Thomas Chapman Abbott;
His only son Thomas Ernest Abbott died 1915. His posthumous award from King George V was given to his only surviving brother, William C. Abbott, to pass on to his only son, Arthur Abbott as there were no other males left in the Abbott line. Arthur passed it on to his son Frederick C. Abbott who passed it on to his son Nicholas C. Abbott.

He is remembered with Honour on Y Farm Military Cemetery, Bois Grenier, In the North of France also on the Rugby Memorial Gates.



4th Dec1915. Lord Derby’s Scheme, part 2


Recruiting at Rugby Drill Hall has been fair during the past week the great majority of the recruits enlisting under Lord Derby’s group system. The proportion of married and single recruits has been about equal.

The armlets for those who have been attested have not yet arrived, but it is anticipated that they will be available for distribution shortly.

A number of ladies have given their assistance to the authorities during the last fortnight, and have rendered valuable service, with the result, that everything is being kept up to date and in readiness for the time when the groups are called up.

Recruiting under the Derby scheme will cease at 4.30 p.m on Saturday, December 11th, and the authorities urge the necessity of every eligible man becoming attested before that date. Intending recruits must take their registration cards to the Drill Hall, on account of the number of fraudulent enlistments, and married men must also produce their marriage certificates and certificates of the birth of their children.


The following additional men have enlisted at Rugby under the Group System in connection with Lord Derby’s Recruiting Scheme.


Poole, Frank, 178 Cambridge Street, Rugby

Bosworth, Edward Victor, 46 Abbey Street, Rugby

Timms, Edward George, 33 Pinfold Street, New Bilton

Hart, John George, The Green, Hillmorton

Collins, George Thomas, 45 New Street, New Bilton

Clarke, Fredk Charles, Five Houses, Clifton

Marlow, Arthur John, Welford, Rugby

Atkinson, John Norman, 37 Windsor Street, Rugby

Gilks, Percy Wm, Catthorpe Towers Gardens

Hardman Ernest France, 26 Murray Road, Rugby

Wiggs, John Henry, Caldecott Street, Rugby

Goodyer, George Henry, 7 Craven Road, Rugby

Linnell, Edwin Frank, 60 Sun Street, Rugby

Ollier James, 169 Abbey Street, Rugby

Walters, Percy James, 32 Sun Street, Rugby

Lee, Harold, 74 Windsor Street, Rugby

Morgan, Robert, 62 Windsor Street, Rugby

Partridge John, 76 Windsor Street, Rugby

Freed, Ernest Fredk Valentine, 19 Market Place, Rugby

Beard, Percy Frank, Monks Kirby

Abell, Robert Henry, 55 Manor Road, Rugby

Phipps, Harry Purdie Thos, 101 Claremont Rd, Rugby

Boneham, Francis William, Kings Newnham

Elkington, Wm Charles, 34 Bennett Street, Rugby

Foulds, Ernest James, George Hotel, Bilton

Bland, Wm Arthur, 1 Pinders Lane, Rugby

Collier, John, March View, Crick

Wright, George Thos, Campbell Lane, Bilton

Arnott John, 44 York Street, Rugby

Gadsby, John Henry, 21 Avenue Road, New Bilton

Robinson, Thomas, 373 Clifton Road, Rugby

Cleaver, Walter, 64 Sun Street, Rugby

Wright, Edward Thos, 96 Bath Street, Rugby

Harrison, Wilfred John Hy, High Street, Braunston

Nurser, Alfred Walter, Braunston Wharf

Edwards, Walter, 14 Abbey Street, Rugby

Swingler, Harold Fredk, 60 Cambridge Street, Rugby

Barden, Cecil James, 21 Grosvenor Road, Rugby

Threlfall, Wm James, 46 Caldecott Street, Rugby

Crane, Reg Walter, 117 Abbey Street, Rugby

Preece, Eric Charles, 22 Aylesbury Street, Wolverton

Halford, William Chas John, 102 Murray Road, Rugby

Tarry, Albert John, West Haddon

Upston, Frank, West Haddon

Burrows, Charles Edwin, 11 New Station, Rugby

Walker, Percy Ralph, 11 Union Street, Rugby

Payne, George Inwood, 13 Park Road, Rugby

Wright, Matthew Wm, 36B Abbey Street, Rugby

Bosworth, Herbert Harold, 46 Abbey Street, Rugby

Dumbledon, Ern Edgar Wm, Glendale, Cromwell Rd

Barrass, Geo Alexander, 64 Abbey St, Rugby

Harper, Reg Thomas, 4 Rokeby Street, Rugby

Coverdale, Walter Sydney, 24 Poplar Grove, Rugby

Jefferies, Frank, 13 New Station, Rugby

Smith, Thomas, 39 Abbey Street, Rugby

Pendry, Sidney Wilfred, 116 Bath Street, Rugby

Smith, Robert, 26 Newland Street, New Bilton

Wilson, Clement William, Winwick

Loomes, Harry, Stretton-under-Fosse

Conopo, Lawrence Leonard, Stretton-under-Fosse

Freeman, Wm George, 41 Oliver Street, Rugby

Robinson, Hy Arthur Clive, 132 Claremont Rd, Rugby

Garner, Thos Arthur, Hillmorton

Sawrey, James, 83 Cambridge Street, Rugby

Higham, Geo Edward, 46 Avenue Rd, New Bilton

Franklin, Edward Thos, 6 Alexandra Road, Rugby

Renshaw, Wm Regnald, 149 Oxford Street, Rugby

Sewell, Henry Wm, 46 Dunchurch Road, Rugby

Cox, Frederick Francis, Flecknoe

Curchin, George William, 29 Wood Street, Rugby

Dutton, Harold, 52 Oxford Street, Rugby

Bench, Joseph, 16 Sun Street, Rugby

Turner, Chas John Henry, 1 Graham Road, Rugby

Giles, Robert, 60 Sun Street, Rugby

Tilcock, Charles Wm, 19 Wood Street, Rugby

Jelly, John Henry, 1 Graham Road, Rugby

Adams, Wm John Barnes, 19 Wood Street, Rugby

Marlow, Edwin, 165 Abbey Street, Rugby

Foster, Cyril Harvey, 53 Temple Street, Rugby

Smith, John Albert, Byfield

Terry, Ambrose Joseph, 186 Murray Road, Rugby

Barnett, Francis Henry, 5 Gas Street, Rugby

Lockhead, Kenneth Geo, 26 Manor Road, Rugby

Erbach, Philip Arnold, 26 Manor Road, Rugby

Colbourne, Harold Wm, 15 Avon Street, Rugby

Batchelor, William, 15 New Station Row, Rugby

Barker, Henry James, 34 South Street, Rugby

Burdett, Albert Leonard, 87 Albert Street, Rugby

Rose, Charles Frank, Flecknoe

Willis, Ralph, 40 Oxford Street, Rugby

Jones, Frederick, 76 South Street, Rugby

Shipp, William, 37 Chapel Street, Rugby

Lambert, Arthur Percy, Ashby St. Ledgers Gardens

Sutch, Samuel, Wolston

Kinch, Harry, Woodford Halse

Chesney, Samuel, 24 Lodge Road, Rugby

Robinson, Chris, 6 Fitzroy Gdns, Newbold Road, Rugby

Tomlinson, Frederick, 171 Abbey Street, Rugby

Hickman, Chas Henry, 20 Oxford Street, Rugby

Mace, Albert Edwd, Lower Street, Hillmorton

Pearson, Joshua, Marton

Timms, Victor Emmanuel, 174 Murray Road, Rugby

Cave, Coote, 148 Railway Terrace, Rugby

Waters, Arthur Thos, 49 James Street, Rugby

Muddiman, Frank Albert, The Green, Long Lawford

West, Eustace Chas, Hill Farm, Brinklow

Reilly, Frank Joseph, 1 Lodge Road, Rugby

Brooks, William Frederick, Flecknoe

Cleaver, George Henry, 6 Market Place, Rugby

Ruddle, George, 30 Rokeby Street, Rugby

Stratton, Richd de Fontaine, 100 Railway Trce, Rugby

Bryan, Percival, Newbold-on-Avon

Bennett, George, 16 Union Street, Rugby

Treadgold, Geo Leeson, 95 South Street, Rugby

Clarke, Wm Henry, 5 York Ct, Dunchurch Rd, Rugby

Ingram, William, 33 Rokeby Street, Rugby

Hoskins, Herbert Chas, 74 James Street, Rugby

Capell, George, Brinklow

Such, Walter Cyril, 5 Princes Street, Rugby

Edgcombe, Sidney, 142 Bath Street, Rugby

Gilbert, James, 70 Clifton Road, Rugby

Cash, Joseph, 25 Craven Road, Rugby

Leasdale, Geo Edward, Upton, Banbury

Rodhouse, George Frederick, Braunston

Cromwell, Arthur, 2 Market Place, Rugby

Turner, Walter Septimus, 22 Campbell St, New Bilton

Arthur, Edward, 128 Wood Street, Rugby

Wood, Wm Charles, 16 Wood Street, Rugby

Norton, Joseph, 85 York Street, Rugby

Parrott, George William, 19 Wood Street, Rugby

Agnew, John William, 23 Manor Road, Rugby

Hosking, Randall Garfield, 3 Bilton Road, Rugby

Collingham, Robert Hugh, 9 Murray Road, Rugby

Spreson, Thomas Adams, 12 Cross Street, Rugby

Gulliver, Ernest Harry, 7 Winfield Street, Rugby

Brierly, Harry Lawrence, The Hall, Kings Newnham


Barlow, Sydney, 15 Rowland Street, Rugby

Sherwood, Hector, 5 New Street, New Bilton

Blinco, William, 5 New Station, Rugby

Woods, Arthur George, Orchard Cottage, Bilton

Crisp, Harry, 44 Craven Road, Rugby

Jelley, Cecil Harry, 38 Wood Street, Rugby

Clay, Arthur Fredk, 47 Manor Road, Rugby

Blythe, John Reginald, 77 Grosvenor Road, Rugby

Blencowe, Charles Alfred, 7 James Street, Rugby

Odell, Fredk Robert, 41 Sandown Road, Rugby

Satchell, Oliver Cromwell, 12 Sycamore Grove, Rugby

Howe, Walter James, 27 Rowland Street, Rugby

Barnett, James John, 15 Gas Street, Rugby

Winsen, Fredk James, 71 Craven Road, Rugby

Walton, Francis, Lower Street, Hillmorton

Edwins, Ernest Geo Victor, 84 South Street, Rugby

Woods, John Thomas, Orchard Cottage, Bilton

Lewin, Robert Edwd, The Stores, Brinklow

Picken, Arthur Chas Felton, Hillmorton Paddox

Adnitt, Walter Charles, Welton Station

Bartlett, Thomas Henry. 6 Sandown Road, Rugby

Chisholm, Alex Samuel, Station House, Welton

Bradshaw, Wm Alfred, 82 Murray Road, Rugby

Steele, Frederick, 12 Gas Street, Rugby

Chester, Tom, 12 Cross Street, Rugby

Cooper, Freddie, Brinklow

Franklin, Wm Edwd, 14 Acacia Grove, Rugby

George, John, 9 Corbett Street, Rugby

Smart, John James, 13 Union Street, Rugby

Morris, Wm Robert, North Kilworth

Timmins, Henry Charles, Ullesthorpe

Gregory, Harold Ethelbert, 18 Boughton Road, Rugby

Manning, Thomas Charles, Coventry Street, Southam

Wincote, George, Coventry Street, Southam

Fell, George, Mill Terrace, Southam

Luckwood, Hy Jas, 75 Cambridge Street, Rugby

Fox, Vivian Francis Alan, 227 Railway Tce, Rugby

Wain, William, Lower Shuckburgh

Giles, Frank, 29 Union Street, Rugby

Morgan, Albert, Abbey Row, Southam

Thacker, Joseph John, Harbury

Randall, Fredk John, 152 Lawford Rd, New Bilton

Dogg, Wm Harry, Station House, Marton

Payler, Fredk Stephen, Lower Shuckburgh

Williams, John Thomas, 6 Manor Road, Rugby

Gean, Geo Ernest, 20 Oxford Street, Rugby

Washbrooke, Thomas, Park Jetty, Southam

Ayres, John Wm, Lower Street, Hillmorton

Nightingale, John Thorpe, Kilsby, Rugby

Gascoigne, George, Brownsover Hall

Elliott, Wm Thomas, 44 Rowland Street, Rugby

Rowse, Joseph Yates, 13 Cromwell Road, Rugby

Underwood, Stephen Thos, The Club, Dunchurch

Nown, William Joseph, Kilsby

Holloway, William, Crick

Aldwinkle, Wm Henry, 114 Wood Street, Rugby

Burton, Walter, Myrtle Cottage, Bilton

Meeham, Richard, Monks Kirby

Oscraft, Alf James, St Aubin, Hampden Way, Bilton

Prior, Wm Henry, 14 Jubilee Street, New Bilton

Appleby, Arthur, The Grange, Church Lawford

Eames, David, School House, Watford

Nevett, Albert, Frolesworth, Lutterworth


By a new order received at the recruiting offices on Wednesday, the military authorities are prohibited from supplying the Press with any details as to the men who have applied for enlistment or those who have been medically passed and attested. We regret, therefore, that we shall not be able to give any more lists or figures concerning men who have enlisted at Rugby.

4th Dec 1915. Interesting Letter from an Old Murrayian



The following letter has been received by a young lady in Rugby, whose brother, an Old Murrayian, is at the front :—

“ I am in a dug-out about 15 feet under the ground, and the only illumination available is a novel one. It is a piece of rag dipped in vaseline ; but tomorrow our fresh supply of candles arrive, so I shall look forward to a ‘ bright ‘ future. I will try and describe to you what my vision of the scenery is like. To do that I shall have to gain a point of prominence ; but there are plenty of them here—namely, brickstacks—as at present my home is in the trenches which are situated in the brickfields. This district has figured in General French’s despatches a good many times, and has been the scene of some severe fighting. Evidence of this is still scattered around. It is noted for being a hot quarter, and it lives up to its name. The first thing you notice is the maze of trenches as far as the eye can reach. Some of them were demolished, and others intact, having stood the brunt of it all. The intervening ground between the firing lines, called “ No Man’s Land,” is completely ploughed up by the enormous number of shells that have burst there. One would think it impossible to get through the barbed wire entanglements. Certainly now they are intact, but you should see them after the high explosive shells have played their part and blown them to bits, and the case is altered. The chasm that one can just discern is a blown-up mine crater, and whichever side holds these craters, makes strong efforts to retain them. This is where bomb throwers shine, as parties are organised at night to try and capture them. It is very dangerous work, as there is generally a maxim gun in the crater. In the distance one can see ruined chateaux and buildings, which have tasted the power of a “ Jack Johnson,” also the coal mines (called ‘ Fosses ‘ here), which mark the vicinity of some desperate fighting. These brickstacks are the delight of the sniper, as concealment is so easy, and such a commanding view can be obtained of the surrounding country. Eleven are in our possession, and two are in the hands of the Huns, so we have a great advantage over them. The stacks, being so conspicuous, get their full share of shells, and one is very lucky if, when looking from them, he does not get a greeting of shrapnel. This is the place where Mick O’Leary won his V.C, when the Guards captured the trenches from the Huns. There are plenty of graves which contain dead Germans ; also broken rifles and equipment which once belonged to them lying about. It gets very cold at night, but we have plenty of clothes. We had a bit of sun this morning. It was the signal for the aeroplanes to make their appearance, and what a reception they had from the anti-aircraft guns. We have had a good bombardment, and I think the Huns sent over everything that Krupps manufacture. . . .“ As we pass down the road to —-, we pass several graveyards, with hundreds of wooden crosses. What an inspiring picture to place before the slackers at home. One lives and learns, and I would not exchange positions with anyone in England at the present moment. With all the hardships, everything is so jolly, and when the war is over I hope to be able to take you all for a nice trip round here and act as your guide, because I pride myself upon knowing a little bit of France now from Ypres to Arras.”

In another letter to his old schoolmaster, Mr W T Coles Hodges, F.E.I.S, the same writer, after describing the scenery near where he is stationed, says:—

“ The intervening ground between the firing trenches, called ‘ No Man’s Land,’ is dotted with dead bodies, and here friend and foe lie side by side. The rain makes everything so miserable and muddy, and it is a picture to see the men come out of the trenches, covered with mud, and knowing what it is to be strangers to a wash for a couple of days ; but still one can always bet upon having an accompaniment on the mouth organ to march with.” The writer describes the cemeteries on the La Basse-Bethune Road, and says: “ Each contains many trim little crosses, and in some cases evergreens and flowers have been planted among the graves by comrades who cherish the memory of a chum so much. Large crosses are generally erected when a considerable body of men belonging to the regiment get killed. For instance, there is one here which has the following inscription : ‘ To a platoon of Guards,’and as a platoon is from 50 to 60 strong, this goes to show what severe fighting has taken place in this vicinity. Sometimes I come across an old school chum, and then the conversation generally drifts to what is a memory to me, and a very pleasant one at that—our schooldays at Murray Road School.


Pte Horace Anderson, of the 2nd Warwicks, son of Mr W Anderson, 102 Winfield Street, Rugby, is in hospital at Torquay with a shattered thumb and slight wound in the side. He was also gassed, and for a time he was in a critical condition. His mother has been to Torquay to see him, and he gave her a Testament which he was carrying in his breast pocket at the time he was acting as bomb carrier at the battle of Loos. A bullet had struck the Testament, smashing away a portion of one corner, but the missile was evidently diverted by contact with the book, otherwise it would have passed through, or dangerously near, his heart. His cap also had a bullet-hole, which entered just over the right temple, passed along the side, and out at the back, so that he evidently had two very narrow escapes from direct rifle fire ; and after being gassed he was lying in the trenches for come hours.


The third son (William Harry) of Mr Chas Packwood, of, Warwick Street, Rugby, has joined the 2nd Battalion of the Honourable Artillery Company (Infantry). Mr Packwood now has three sons serving with the Colours.


Driver Philip Strongitharm, of the 25th Battalion R.F.A. has this week been on leave to his home at 8 Fasy Lane, New Bilton. after about 16 months at the front. The battalion to which he belongs has seen a lot of fighting, having been at the war since August last year, but they have come through so far with comparatively few casualties amongst the men. The loss of horses has been rather serious, and in the engagement at Ypres, when taking part in the withdrawing of guns from an untenable position, Driver Strongitharm had three horses shot under him in quick succession. He has had a number of hairbreadth escapes, but has not sustained the slightest injury, and appears none the worse for his spell of active service. Like so many others who have had personal knowledge of the actual fighting in France, he believes that the German resistance is weakening and that circumstances will in time compel them to evacuate Belgium, though they have got such a firm footing in the country that it will not be an easy matter now to expel them.


Sapper T Lord, of the Royal Engineers, whose home is at 28 Bennett Street, came to Rugby on Tuesday for 10 days’ leave, after being for a while at Leicester Hospital. He was wounded in the thigh, and retains the bullet as a souvenir. He has also undergone an operation for varicose veins, so may not be fit for work in the trenches for some time. When he leaves Rugby next week he has to report himself at Newark.

Sapper T Lord was attached to the 15th Scottish (New Army) Division, which played such a distinguished part in the advance at Loos, and when Lieut Johnson of that company gained the Victoria Cross for rallying the Scottish detachment at a critical moment at Hill 70. Most of the other officers in his company were either killed or wounded. On the Thursday following the advance, Sapper Lord, with a party of ten men, under Corporal Overill, of the B.T.H, were burying the dead between the old lines, when the enemy threw over a couple of shrapnel shells, a bullet from one of which wounded Sapper Lord in the thigh. Corporal Overill also sustained a slight scalp wound. While Sapper Lord was on a hospital barge on the canal at Bethune, a German aeroplane bombed the railway station, and during the unwelcome visitor’s stay our informant says he spent the most uncomfortable minutes of any he experienced in France, Sapper Lord was conveyed to England in the Hospital ship Anglia, which has since been sunk in the channel, and is full of praise for the excellent treatment which the wounded receive from the R A.M.C, the Red Cross, and Hospital workers generally.


Amongst those who have recently been awarded the D.C.M is Bombardier J R Handyside, D Battery, 71st Brigade Royal Field Artillery. He received the distinction for conspicuous gallantry from the 26th September to the 14th October, 1915, during which time his battery was in the open and constantly under a very heavy fire. He frequently volunteered to mend telephone wires under heavy fire, thereby successfully maintaining communications. Bombardier Handyside had been previously brought to notice for coolness and bravery on the 25th September near Loos, when he repeatedly volunteered to repair wires under very heavy fire, although he was suffering from the effect of gas fumes at the time.

Bombr Handyside hails from Newcastle, but when war broke out he was working at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s, and lodged at the house of Mrs Hayward, 43 Lodge Road. Rugby. He enlisted as a gunner on September 3rd, 1914, and has now been promoted to the rank of Corporal. In addition to the D.C.M he has been awarded the French Medal Militaire.


SATURDAY.—Before T Hunter, Esq.

AN ABSENTEE.—James Crosier, 27 Newbold Road, Rugby, of the 3rd Lancashire Fusiliers, pleaded guilty to being an absentee from his regiment.—Supt Clarke stated that he had received a communication from the commanding officer of the Battalion, asking him to arrest defendant.—Remanded to await the arrival of an escort.



LOST IN A FIELD.—Walter Crofts, a Rugby crane driver, explained that during a night walk he got lost in a field, encountered some barbed wire, and tore his hand. This was in answer to a summons by Willans and Robinson, Ltd., Rugby, alleging that he absented himself without leave.

“ Were you practising for the front ?” asked the Chairman, “ No, I was walking with my brother,” he replied. He explained other losses of time by stating that he attended a wedding on one occasion, and at another time he had his jaw fractured by a man in the shop. The Chairman said defendant seemed to find a good deal of trouble, and should be a little more careful at week-ends. He would be fined 15s.

A WORKER’S PROTEST.—That he refused to do work he was engaged upon, and stood by his bench for four and a half hours, were the complaints against Leonard J Hopkins, 99 Victoria Street, New Bilton, by the B.T.H, Coventry. His reply was that he went to enlist, and after that was put on assembling instead of his proper job as a driller. He could not earn a living, and stood idle as a protest. He was fined 2s 6d.


THE WHITE FEATHER.—Some little stir has been caused during the last week in this village. It would seem that quite recently a young man residing in the village was the recipient of a white feather, which came to him through the post, and of course made him very angry. Being a Territorial, he at once wrote a long letter to his commanding officer expressing his willingness and readiness to fight for his country, etc, and also accusing a tradesman’s wife (whose son has been in the trenches for twelve months) in the village of sending the obnoxious article and of insulting him in various ways. As a result of this letter, the lady in question has had a visit from the local police officer on the subject, and as she and her family are, absolutely and entirely innocent of the charges made against them, they in their turn are highly indignant, and are making inquiries which may possibly result in an action for slander.



As is now generally known, there has been for some months past a scheme in operation under which magazines and books which have been given by the public for the use of soldiers and sailors, have been forwarded by the Post Office to the men free of charge.

The scheme so far has proved a great success, but with the growth of the Army the demand for literature has increased, and the Agencies recognized by the War Office and Admiralty for the distribution of literature have to face a demand to satisfy which a supply of over 100,000 items every week is required from the Post Office.

At present only about half that amount is being sent, owing to a recent falling off in the supplies handed in by the public.

It is possible that it is not known to everyone who may have books or magazines for which they have no further use that by merely handing them in loose at any Post Office, they will be at once forwarded to the distributing centre in London.

This is a good work in which almost everyone can participate with the pleasant thought that, at little or no cost or trouble, every article so given will afford much pleasure to many of the soldiers and sailors who are sacrificing so much for the nation and the common cause.

It is difficult, of course, to make this fact fully known, so that anyone will be doing a good service by merely talking about the matter to their friends.

Throughout the Rugby district during the Christmas season there will no doubt be a very large number of magazines and light literature purchased, to be lightly thrown aside when read. These are the books the soldiers and sailors are eager to get, to help them to lighten the monotonous periods of their present kind of life, so that it is earnestly hoped every person who becomes acquainted with this scheme will do all he or she can to assist.

If you have only one book or magazine you can spare, hand it in at any Post Office in the town or country district just as it is. The Post Office will tie the articles in bundles and despatch them without delay.


“ We see that the Englishman—unlike the good business man he is so persistently deemed—upon noting that his Eastern ally is being slowly but surely driven back, will, instead of making the best of it, do his utmost to settle down for a three year war, or four year war, working with bull dog tenacity to crush his enemy in the end. When the end will be is no concern, of his. He began the business. He will see it through. In this strange phase of the English character there is enormous strength. We may be sure that if all the belligerents are beaten into insensibility, he will still hammer away with bleeding fists, tired and exhausted. England, in her persistence, will never stop, even if she knows that the longer the war lasts the more she will bleed—even if she knows that all possible gains at the finish will not make good half of what she has lost. . . .

“ Those Germans who look forward to an early peace in this world with longing hearts must turn their eyes on England hopelessly, for as long as the sun of peace is not rising in the isles to the west of us, there is no hope of peace. And England, secure in her citadel, behind the bulwark of her fleet, can go on and on and on.”— AZ EST, (Budapest) “ Sphere.”


In the Advertiser of November 20 we inserted a paragraph under the heading “ Gramophone Gone Astray,” asking for the name and address of the person who left a letter at our Office purporting to be sent from the boys at the front with reference to a gramophone which had been sent out to them. There was no response to that invitation, but Miss M Evans, of James Street, Rugby, who collected subscriptions and sent out an instrument of this kind about a month ago has received a letter from a member of E Company, stating that it came duly to hand. It sustained some damage in transit, but was put in order again, and has since been used by each platoon of C Company (in which E Company is now merged) in turn, when off duty, and, he adds, “ I can assure you many happy hours have already been passed away with it.” Each platoon can use it as often as possible, but those in the firing line do not have it, because that is impossible.


The Hospital is now almost completely furnished and is expected to be opened on Wednesday, the 8th December.

Dorman, John Thomas. Died 2nd Dec 1915

John Thomas[1] DORMAN’s birth was registered in early 1885 and he was a native of North Kilworth, Rugby.

His father was William Thomas Dorman, possibly more commonly known as Thomas,[2] who was born in about 1857 in North Kilworth; his mother was Sarah Jane née Robinson, who was born in Newark in 1856.

In 1891, John Dorman was 6 and had two brothers: William Dorman, aged 3, who would become a farm boy in the village before 1901; and Joseph Henry Dorman, aged 1. Their father was an Agricultural Labourer and they lived at 6 Rugby Road, North Kilworth, just down the road from the ‘Shoulder of Mutton’ pub.

In 1901, John Dorman was 16 and a farm labourer, still living in Rugby Road, North Kilworth, with his parents and siblings: Joseph Dorman, now 11; Adlaide Dorman, 8; Mary Dorman, 5; and David Dorman, 1.

In 1911, now calling himself ‘Jack’ Dorman, he was 26, and living in one room at the ‘Stables, 107 Albert Street’, where he was working as a Groom, presumably for John Liddington, the baker and corn dealer at 109 Albert Street next door.

John’s marriage with Mary Violet Hinks was registered in Q3, 1912, in Rugby, and they later lived at 12, King Edward Road, Rugby. She had been born in Rugby, and her father was then a ‘paver’ and they lived in Pinder’s Lane. She was baptised on 19 August 1887 at St Andrew’s, Rugby.   Just over two weeks later, on 11 September, the poet, Rupert Brooke would be baptised there.

It seems that John and Mary had a son, also John Dorman, whose birth was registered in Rugby in Q3, 1913. It may have been John junior whose marriage to Iris S Brooks was registered in Rugby in mid-1939.

It is uncertain when John joined up but he became No.M2/099389, a ‘Driver, Mechanical Transport’ in the Army Service Corps, and he was attached to the 26th Field Ambulance, Royal Army Medical Corps.

He went to France on 2 June 1915. The 26th (3rd Wessex) Field Ambulance was attached to the 25th Brigade,[3] in the 8th Division. In 1915, the 8th Division had already been in action at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle and the Battle of Aubers.   John would have arrived in France well before the next major action at Bois Grenier (a diversionary attack on 25 September 1915 coinciding with the Battle of Loos – see Rugby Remembers for that date).   As a driver, John would probably have been transporting injured soldiers, typically back from the various Advanced Dressing Stations, to the General Hospitals further behind the lines.

The 8th Division did not seem to have been in any major actions in later 1915, indeed activity would have probably slowed for the winter. However, routine trench duties as well as hazardous resupply work and training behind the front lines would have carried on, and even during such ‘routine duties’ many soldiers were being killed and injured.

It may have been whilst collecting wounded, or on routine duties, that John was wounded and transported back to base hospital. However, there was also an outbreak of a ‘mysterious respiratory infection at Etaples during the winter of 1915-16’,[4] possibly a pre-curser of the later ‘Spanish Flu’, and he may have been a victim of such an outbreak.

Whatever the circumstances, an entry in the ‘Register of Effects’ shows that John died in Etaples in the ‘No. 7, Canadian General Hospital’[5] on 2 December 1915, aged 32. He was buried in Grave Reference: III. G. 20A., in the nearby Etaples Military Cemetery, which served the many transit camps and hospitals in around Etaples. The Military Cemetery is to the north of the town, on the west side of the road to Boulogne. The cemetery contains 10,771 Commonwealth burials of the First World War, the earliest dating from May 1915.

Etaples is a town about 27 kilometres south of Boulogne. During the First World War, it became the principal depôt and transit camp for the British Expeditionary Force in France and also the point to which the wounded were transported.   The area around Etaples was the scene of immense concentrations of Commonwealth reinforcement camps and hospitals. It was remote from attack, except from aircraft, and accessible by railway from both the northern and the southern battlefields. In 1917, 100,000 troops were camped among the sand dunes. The hospitals, which included eleven general, one stationary, four Red Cross hospitals and a convalescent depot, could deal with 22,000 wounded or sick.

After John’s death, in March and April 1916, sums of £7-8-8d and £9-1-4d were paid to John’s widow and sole legatee, ‘Mary V’, and then in August 1919, a ‘War Gratuity’ of £3-0-0d.

John Dorman was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and the 1915 Star. He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates.

It would appear that John’s widow, Mary, remarried with an Arthur Hinks in Lutterworth in mid-1920.   No other record of him has been found on-line and certificates would have to be purchased to advance any knowledge of him. It will be recalled that Hinks was also Mary’s maiden name, although they do not appear to be obviously related. They had three children, half-siblings for John junior, all registered in Rugby: Joyce D M Hinks in Q2 1923; Matthew A T in Q4, 1925; and Rosemary J in Q4, 1930.



= = = =


This summary was prepared for the Rugby Family History Group by John P H Frearson in November 2015.   Thanks are due to other members of the Group for copying data in the local newspaper.




[1]       T for Thomas, not V, as recorded on the Rugby Memorial Gates.

[2]       John’s father was recorded as Thomas rather than William by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.


[4]       Connor, Steve, Flu epidemic traced to Great War transit camp, The Guardian, Saturday, 8 January 2000.

[5]       The handwritten entry is unclear and was transcribed as ‘No 1 Candie Genl Hospl’.   This was probably the No.1 Canadian General Hospital which is listed at Etaples, at; and which apparently later moved to Trouville.   See also: List of Canadian Hospitals Overseas – War of 1914-1918, in “Three Centuries of Canadian Nursing“, 1947, p.311.

Dodd, Arthur James. Died 1st Dec 1915

Arthur James DODD was born in about 1885 and was baptised at St. Andrew’s, Rugby, on 2 October 1885.

His father was William Dodd, born about 1851 in Rugby, who had married Selina Reeve, at St. Andrew’s, Rugby on 7 November 1881. She was born at Hinton, Gloucestershire in about 1863. In 1891 William was auctioneer’s assistant living at 19 Pinders Lane, Rugby.

In 1901, Arthur was the oldest child, aged 15, and working as ‘Lamp Lighter Gas’. His two younger sisters, [Alice] Elsie and Mabel, were then aged 6 and 4. William Dodd died in 1902, and in about 1905, Selina apparently ‘married’ a mechanic, George Bradley, who came from Leicestershire, although no record has been found,[1] and they lived then at 19 Alexandra Terrace, Pinders Lane, Rugby. By 1911, they had had two children: one, probably George whose birth and death were registered in Q4, 1905; and a daughter, Norah Georgina, born 1907, who was now 3 years old.

Well before the war, and apparently very soon after that 1901 census,[2] Arthur became a soldier and joined the 1st Battalion, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. The two ‘peace-time’ Warwickshire Battalions would alternate between the UK and an overseas posting, and in 1911 Arthur was enumerated with the 1st Battalion in ‘Ceylon and India’. He was 26 and had been promoted to Lance Corporal.

The 1st Battalion sailed from India in December 1912, and arrived back to the UK in early January 1913. They were initially based at Shorncliffe, near Folkestone, with 10th Brigade, 4th Division. On 8 August 1914, amid fears of a German invasion of the East coast, the 4th Division was held back from the original British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and sent by train to Yorkshire in a last minute decision to defend England against a possible German landing. Almost immediately this fear was seen to be unfounded: the fate of the BEF in France and the lack of any move by the enemy to cross the Channel, reversed this decision and they were sent back to join the other units of the 10th Brigade, 4th Division of the BEF at Southampton. There they boarded the SS Caledonian on 22 August 1914 and landed at Boulogne in France the following day, arriving in time to provide infantry reinforcements at the Battle of Le Cateau.[3]

They were subsequently in action at the Battle of the Marne, the Battle of the Aisne and at the Battle of Messines in 1914. In 1915 they fought in the Second Battle of Ypres and later in 1916 they would move south to the Somme.[4]

Arthur did not accompany the Battalion to France in 1914, possibly being held back, as an experienced NCO, to assist with the training of the large numbers of new recruits.   Certainly his Medal Card shows that before later 1915, he had been promoted: first to Sergeant and then to Company Sergeant Major, Warrant Officer Class 2, No. 9393, in the 1st Battalion.

His Medal Card shows that he finally went to France on 2 May 1915. This would have been during the Second Battle of Ypres which was being fought from 22 April to 25 May 1915.

In August 1915, the 1st Warwicks were sent to the Redan Ridge/Mailly Maillet sector, where they took over the French trenches.[5]

On 1 December 1915, Arthur Dodd was shot by mistake by a sentry. The Rugby Advertiser reported:

‘Sergeant Major Dodd reported killed – Mistaken for a German Sniper.

News has just been received through a comrade, that Company Sergt-Major A J Dodd, of the 1st Royal Warwicks, whose home is at Rugby, has been killed at the front through a regrettable mistake. It appears he was leaving a trench, and the sentry, mistaking him for a German sniper, fired and shot him in the groin, with the result that he died from loss of blood before he could be carried to the dressing station.   Sergt-Major Dodd had put in 14 years of service.’

Another note on the 1914-1918.invisionzone forum stated:

On 1 December, CSM Arthur Dodd was killed coming from the trenches when a sentry mistook him for a German sniper. He came from Rugby and had been in the army for 14 years. It seems that the idea of holding the front line ‘by posts’ only because of the conditions was not just a 48th Division idea used by the Warwicks Territorials, as the 1st Battalion did the same from at least 8 December. …’.[6]

Arthur was buried in Grave Reference:III. E. 5. in the Sucrerie Military Cemetery, Colincamps – a village about 16 kilometres north of Albert.

Sucrerie was originally called the ‘10th Brigade Cemetery’ and was near the front line. Indeed, in the period when Warrant Officer Dodd was killed, the great majority of casualties buried there were from the 10th Brigade: from the 1st Bn. Warwickshires and the 2nd Bn. Seaforth Highlanders, as well as the 1st Bn. Royal Irish Rifles. Between August 1915 and the end of the year, 22 men from the Royal Warwickshire Regiment were buried at Sucrerie.

The cemetery was begun by French troops in the early summer of 1915, and extended to the west by British units from July in that year until December 1918.   Until the German retreat in March 1917, it was never more than a 1.6 kilometres from the front line. The cemetery was designed by Sir Reginald Blomfield.[7]

His family inserted an ‘In Memoriam’ notice in the Rugby Advertiser.

‘Dodd – In loving remembrance of my dear son, Company Sergt.-Major Dodd, who was killed in France, December 2, 1915.[8]

“In a soldier’s lonely grave,
Beneath France’s blood-stained sod,
There lies my dearest son, Resting in peace with God,
Though rolling seas divide us,
And he sleeps on a pitiless shore,
Remembrance is a relic
That shall live for evermore.”

‘- Never forgotten by his loving mother, sisters, and step-father.’


He was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and the 1915 Star. He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates.




= = = =


This summary was prepared for the Rugby Family History Group by John P H Frearson in November 2015.   Thanks are due to other members of the Group for copying data in the local newspaper.




[1]       This may have been because any ‘pension’ may have been lost if she re-married; or merely that the record of the marriage has not been correctly recorded.

[2]       He was said to have served for 14 years when he was Killed in Action in December 1915.





[7]         Commonwealth War Graves Commission,

[8]       It seems that there is a discrepancy between the date given to the family and that used by the CWGC.