22nd Jan 1916. A Splendid Family Record

A SPLENDID FAMILY RECORD.

There are very few families in the country who can show such a good record as that which attaches to the family of the late Mr T J Neville, of Dunchurch. Of seven sons, four are now on active service, and the other three have been through the ordeal of battle. The four now serving King and country are :-

Second-Lieut G H Neville, of the Somerset Light Infantry, who has been mentioned in despatches and awarded the Military Cross for Valour.

Lieut S L Neville, now serving as second lieutenant in the 2nd Royal Bucks Hussars, served in the Rhodesian Volunteers and Warwickshire Yeomanry during the Boar War and South African Campaign, and more recently in German West Africa.

Capt F L Neville, of the 6th Northamptons, “ somewhere in France.”

Trooper John Neville, of the Rhodesian Rifles, now fighting in German East Africa after going through the German West Campaign.

The sons who have done their bit and are now non-combatant are :-

Tom Neville, who went out to the Boar War with the Warwickshire Yeomanry and received wounds in the arm which incapacitated him from further military service. He is now in Pretoria.

Richard (the eldest son), also served in the same campaign, and Benjamin, a corporal in the Imperial Light Horse, has just received his discharge after going through the German West African operations.

Lieut S L Neville has just been home to pay a visit to his mother, who now resides in Rugby.

7th WARWICKSHIRE WOUNDED.

In the official list of wounded under date January 8th, the names of Pte M Philpot (3202), Lance-Corporal Robotham (1480), Pte E Blower, and Segt A Oldbury, of the 1/7th Warwickshires, appear.

RUGBY SOLICITOR WOUNDED & GASSED.

Mr C F E Dean, of the firm of Messrs Pulman & Dean, solicitors Rugby, who joined the 9th Public Schools Battalion as a private, in now in hospital at Eastbourne. While in the trenches he was hit by a gas bomb, and in addition to being gassed was wounded in the leg. The effects of the poison gas have left him somewhat deaf and very weak, but he hopes to recover in course of time.

WELL-KNOWN B.T.H. EMPLOYE KILLED IN ACTION. SECOND-CORPL. H. E. GOVETT.

We regret to announce that Second-Corpl H E Govett, of the 67th Field Company Royal Engineers, was killed in action on the Gallipoli Peninsula on December 19th. Corpl Govett, who had been employed at the B.T.H. several years, was well-known locally, and was very popular both in the works and the town generally. An Australian by birth, Corpl Govett was educated at Geelong College, Australia, and came to England in 1907 and studied engineering at the Crystal Palace Engineering School. He came to the B.T.H. at the end of 1910 as a special course apprentice, and went through all the departments, including the Drawing Office, and when War broke out he was in the Testing Department. He joined the Royal Engineers as a sapper in September, 1914, and quickly rose to the rank of second corporal. He was a member of the Rugby Club, Rugby Lawn Tennis Club, and the Rugby Golf Club, an enthusiastic motor cyclist and all-round good sportsman, and during his stay in the town he made many friends.

[He is remembered on the BTH Memorial]

FORMER RUGBY RESIDENT GOES DOWN ON THE “ PERSIA.”

News has been received in Rugby from an authentic source that the W E Edgcombe, who was amongst those who went down on the S.S. Persia, which was torpedoed in the Mediterranean recently, was Mr William Edward Edgcombe, who was formerly assistant to Mr G W Walton, locomotive foreman at Rugby. Mr Edgcombe, it appears, held a post in India after he left Rugby, but he paid a visit to England about two months ago. The news of his death, in such tragic circumstances, will be deplored by those who knew him in the town, and sympathy will be felt with the bereaved relatives.

TWO RUGBY TERRITORIALS GAIN THE D.C.M.

Rugbeians will learn with pleasure that two members of the old E Company, 7th R.W.R, have been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal for brave conduct in the field. The men thus honoured are Sergt W T Bromage, who, at the commencement of the war, was employed at Nuneaton Railway Station, and Pte L G Eaton, son of Mr. Eaton, of 93 South Street, Rugby.

The deed for which they have received the decoration took place on May 28th, 1915, and the facts of the case were reported at the time in the Rugby Advertiser, as under : “ On Friday night, May 28th, there was an exciting episode in which the Rugby lads came through with flying colours, but with further loss. The following are, as far as I could gather, the details :—A party, including Corpl W Bromage, Ptes L Hill, L Eaton, and P Hall, were out on the listening post, when a party of Germans came out and tried to surprise them. The enemy opened fire, killing L (Bleb) Hill, a Newbold lad, and wounding L Eaton. The latter stuck to his post, and continued to fire until help arrived, consisting of a party under Sergt Ward. I expect the enemy gave it up for a bad job, and upon examination by our chaps we found they had left one dead. Our men brought him in, and he proved to be an iron cross man. His rifle has been despatched to England, and will some day repose in the Rugby Drill Hall as a war trophy. The Company has been congratulated by the Colonel, as undoubtedly by their watchfulness and presence of mind they saved an awkward situation. Corpl Bromage has since been promoted Lance-Sergeant.”

Rugby may well be proud of such men, who have added lustre to the fame of the old “ E ” Company, and all will join with us in congratulating them.

Pte Eaton, who is only nineteen years of age, has also been awarded the “ Croix de Guerre ” by the President of the French Republic in recognition of his service. He has resided with his parents in Rugby for eight years, and has been a member of the battalion for nearly three years, being formerly in the Leamington Company. When the war broke out he was employed as a cleaner in the L & N W Railway Company loco department.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

About fifty men have attested under the Group System at Rugby during the past week, the proportion between married and single being about equal. The cavalry and several other units are now open, and men whose groups have not yet been called up can join these if they come up to the standard by signing up for immediate service. During the past week a number of men have availed themselves of this privilege.

All men wishing to join under the Group System must take their registration cards to the Drill Hall.

In future the Drill Hall will be closed at 4.30 p.m. on Saturdays.

The Rugby Fortress Company—now designated the 220th Army Troops Company—have now gone out of the country. A portion of the company has been sent to the East.

RUGBY ENGINEERS OPPOSE COMPULSION.

At a special quarterly meeting of the Rugby No 2 Branch of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers, held on Friday evening last week, a discussion took place on the Government’s Compulsion Bill. A vote was taken, and it was unanimously decided to oppose conscription under all considerations in view of the fact that, in the opinion of those present, a case had not yet been made out to justify such a measure.

Another resolution, calling upon the Rugby Trades and Labour Council to summon a meeting of the rank and file of the unions, to be held in the largest hall available, was also passed, as it was thought that the ordinary members, as well as the delegates to the Council, should have an opportunity of debating and deciding on the matter.

COVENTRY MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL.

Absent Without Leave.

W Burton, Hillmorton ; S Fisher, Chester Street, Rugby; Joseph Lane, Harborough Magna ; and E Lima, 52 Pennington Street, Rugby, were summoned by the B.T.H, Rugby.

It was alleged that Burton absented himself at Christmas time, and he replied that he was ill. He was told that for not sending in a medical certificate to the firm he would be fined 5s.

The complaint against Fisher was adjourned to see how the defendant went on, the Chairman advising him to give up the drink.

Lane was stated to have absented himself from work, and was said not to have returned to his employment yet. The defendant, a boy, said that he gave notice to the firm that he was going to leave, and the Chairman pointed out that leaving after giving notice was not an offence. The firm stated that the youth had started work elsewhere. The Chairman said he was not entitled to do that, but must wait six weeks. The case was dismissed without penalty, the Chairman remarking that defendant had probably got his new master into trouble by getting work with him, and it would be for the B.T.H to take what steps they wished against the firm.

Lima was fined 15s for absenting himself without leave.

MAKING AMENDS TO THE B.T.H.

A short time ago an article appeared in a Sunday paper which conveyed the inference that the B.T.H, Rugby, was included in the ramifications of the great German Trust known as the A.E.G. The B.T.H Company at once took steps to deny that they had anything to do with the German Trust, and commenced an action for libel against the newspaper and the writer, “ John Briton,” of the article.

In the same Journal on Sunday last the following retraction from John Briton appeared:—

When I wrote last on the German influence in the electrical industry, some two months ago, I gave an account of the extraordinary ramifications of the great German Trust, called briefly the A.E.G of Berlin, and in this connection, before I go further, I desire to clear up an unfortunate misunderstanding. Among the “ Allied and subordinate ” companies of which I gave a list, I mentioned the British Thomson-Houston Company of Rugby. I did not say that this company was owned or controlled by the A.E.G, but this inference has been drawn from my article, and I therefore desire to say that it is unfounded.

The truth is that the B.T.H of Rugby is mainly controlled by the General Electric Company of Schenectady, which in its turn is a descendant of the Thomson-Houston Company of America. The Thomson-Houston Company in its day sold its European patents to a number of companies on this side of the Atlantic, some of which in due course were absorbed by the A.E.G and some by the G.E Company.

The British Thomson-Houston Company belongs, as I have said, to the latter category. It is true that the A.E.G purchased the German rights under the patents of the G.E Co and B.T.H Co in exchange for the American and British rights under its patents, but I am glad to be able to state that the German company has no control over, or interest in, either the American or British company, and I regret if any other meaning has been read into my article, and if any harm has been done to the B.T.H Co thereby. I am also able to state that the A.E.G has no control over the electric lamp business in this country, but, on the contrary, by reason of British patents, it was obliged to purchase from British companies all such lamps as it sold here.

EMPIRE CIGARETTES – THEN BACK TO THE TRENCHES.

Mr B Morris, of the Empire, has received the following letter from Q.M.S. Tomlinson, from which it will be seen that our local Territorials are still in the fighting :—

Dear Mr Morris,—At last I am able to acknowledge receipt of your kind gift of 6,000 cigarettes to the Rugby boys of old E Company.

They arrived on the 11th, so must have been delayed considerably in transit.

I was able to distribute them very quickly, as both the Transport and Maxim gunners were within easy reach.

All the boys wish me to express their grateful thanks to you for your kindness, and many, I know, are writing to thank you personally. When your gift arrived we were on the last day of a week’s rest in a little French village some three miles from the firing line. It was an exceedingly enjoyable week, and greatly appreciated by all. Duties were as light as possible. The weather was fairly fine, football matches were arranged and played, and in the evenings concerts were promoted. All these, with the relief from fatigue and tension which is ever present in trench warfare, helped to make us a happy crowd. I think it was the most enjoyable week we have spent out here.

The following day we returned to the music of the guns and the one hundred and one trench duties.

This morning our artillery opened a heavy fire on the German trenches and barbed wire, which soon drew a spirited reply from the Boches, and for an hour and a half the ground and air vibrated from the roar of cannon and bursting shells. A four-inch shell fell on one of our company dug-outs; fortunately it did not burst, otherwise I am afraid eight of our men, would have had a bad chance.

Before I close I should like once again to thank you and also all our good friends of Rugby for their kindness, and for all they have done for our welfare and comfort.—With kind regards,

I am yours sincerely,

A. C. TOMLINSON, C.Q.M.S.

COMFORTS FOR RUGBY SOLDIERS & SAILORS.

FORMATION OF A TOWN COMMITTEE.

Hitherto there has been no organised effort to raise funds for sending parcels to all soldiers and sailors belonging to Rugby who are serving their country. Only those in the Territorial units have been provided for, the others being left to the solicitude of their friends, but a representative committee has now been formed to make the public effort more comprehensive by looking after all the men from Rugby, and we have pleasure in publishing the following letter from the Chairman of the Rugby Urban Council:

DEAR SIR.—It has been suggested that the men from Rugby who have enlisted in units other than local Territorial ones should be included in a scheme to send them tobacco and other small comforts which they may need from time to time. For some months past Mrs West and Mrs C P Nickalls have been sending parcels to the men of the Rugby Howitzer Battery and the Rugby men of E Company, 7th Royal Warwicks, and many appeals have been received from men in other units with which they have been unable to deal owing to the lack of funds. A representative committee has now been formed to deal with the matter, and subscriptions, which are urgently needed, may be sent to the treasurer, Captain Thomas, United Counties Bank Ltd, Market Place, Rugby, or to myself addressed to the Benn Buildings, Rugby.

The neighbouring towns and villages have all been looking after their fighting men for some time past, and it is felt that Rugby should not be behind.

It is a fact that the men most keenly appreciate not only the little comforts sent to them, but more particularly the kind thought of their fellow-townsmen which prompts the sending of the parcels.

Yours truly,

J. J. McKinnell,
Benn Buildings, Chairman Of Council
High Street, Rugby,
January 19th, 1916.

The committee has been made as representative as possible, and includes nominations from all the large works and trading institutions, the Trades and Labour Council, and the School (two, house masters).

From this committee an executive has been formed, consisting of Mr J J McKinnell, chairman ; Capt Thomas, United Counties Bank, hon , treasurer; Mrs West, Bawnmore, Bilton, hon secretary; Mrs Cecil Nickalls, Mrs Thomas, Messrs A Adnitt, W Flint, F E Hands, G Gauntley, and W F Wood.

The Women’s Volunteer Reserve are acting as the hon secretary’s clerical staff.

The methods under consideration for raising funds are :- A flag day, special entertainments, collection funds at all the large works and by employers of labour, subscription lists at the banks, and a house-to-house collection, for which, if possible, use will be made of the organisation which was set going for the Prince of Wales’s Fund.

WELCOME HOME—A GOOD SUGGESTION.

Thank God ! arrived at last. A deep sigh, a fleeting glance up and down as the weary, mud-stained soldier in his bearskin jacket, his knapsack, carbine, and full active service kit, steps on the platform, but as he sees the old familiar objects his face lights up with a smile. He knows full well it is home, dear old home. It does not dismay him that he has to trudge nine or ten miles to seek that sacred spot, “ home,” which has been ever in his mind during the 14 weary months of hardship and danger spent at Ypres, Loos, and Neuve Chapelle.

In answer to a question : “ Why don’t you stay the night at Rugby ?” comes the answer : “ Nay, lad, if it was twice the distance I would gladly foot it, for our leave is so short and every hour appears a day to us.”

And so they trudge cheerfully off, although no friends are there to meet them with a welcome at the station.

I am sure there are scores of kindly disposed persons in Rugby owning motor cars who would gladly meet those war-worn soldiers who have been fighting so gallantly the fierce and callous enemy. I am sure such an influential body as the Chamber of Trade might well take the matter up and add considerably to their laurels. I have met local soldiers arriving at Rugby between 10 and 11 p.m. who have had to trudge to Marton, Long Itchington, Swinford, and some have even walked to Nuneaton in their anxiety to lose a minute in seeing their dear ones at home.

It would not be a difficult matter to post a list of those sympathetic people owning motors or tri-cars at the L. and N.-W. Station, who are willing to give our brave lads a lift. There is a public telephone at the station with which to communicate to the town quickly, and, could this be accomplished, I am sure it would earn the heartfelt gratitude of the mud-stained lads from the trenches.

Thanking you, Sir, in anticipation, yours sincerely, J. TWYFORD.

 

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