25th Mar 1916. Rugby Married Men’s Protest.



An overwhelming case for the attested married men was made out at a protest meeting held in the Empire Picture Palace on Sunday afternoon. Only attested married men were invited to attend, and between 700 and 800 did so, and the proceedings throughout were unanimous and enthusiastic. Mr J J McKinnell, Chairman of the Urban District Council, presided, and he and the subsequent speakers clearly explained the grievance under which the married men are suffering, and called for the redemption of Lord Derby’s pledge, with adequate financial relief, before the mobilisation of the attested married men is proceeded with. The Chairman was supported on the platform by Messrs E A Gatehouse, J R Barker. E H Bennett, T Johnson, H Priee-Hughes, N Crittenden, F Lucking, J W Terry, — Hawke, etc.

The Chairman, at the outset, said they were present that afternoon to decide whether they were going to add to the chorus of indignation which they heard all round the country at the calling up of so many groups of attested married men, Whereas there yet were so many single men of military age who had not been called to the Colours (applause). They were passing through very serious times, and were up against the most serious crisis that the British Empire had ever been up against, and it was for them, although they felt deeply that they had not been treated fairly, to maintain their self-control and not squeal too loudly. There was no doubt whatever but that the attested married men had


indeed, and when a man had a good case it was good policy on the part of that man not to attempt to overstate his case. That meeting was absolutely unpolitical, and he was quite sure that the attested married men who were present, and who, in all probability, were going to protest, did not propose anything in the nature of organised resistance. If the Government said it could not see its way to put them back longer, or if they said that they really must have men, because the exigencies of the occasion were so acute, he felt quite sure that the patriotic men he saw before him would go without a murmur (applause). But they did want fair play (renewed applause). They wanted to be more satisfied than they were that the Government had really made their utmost effort to get in all the single men who should go before calling on the married ones (applause). One word about the pledge. There was a more or less definite pledge made by the Prime Minister to the married men, and there was a very strong feeling that that pledge was not being carried out as it should be. They heard a great deal about a scrap of paper at the beginning of the war, and he would respectfully like to remind them that there could be a verbal contract as well as a written contract, and a men’s word should be as good as his bond. The Government was in a very great difficulty, and whether it was doing quite as well as it might do, was not for him to say, but there was no doubt they were grappling with very great difficulties, and the people must not be too critical.


He always reckoned that the unmarried man cost the country only half as much as a married recruit, and he was strongly of opinion that at the outset of the war millions of money would have been saved by calling up the single men before accepting so many married ones for the Colours (applause). Where were all these single men who had disappeared so mysteriously ? He believed they were in four categories. First of all, as Lord Derby himself said in the House of Lords not long ago, there must be a great many unmarried men in munition works, and he had made the suggestion to the Government that all these men should come out unless they were over thirty years of age, and he (the speaker) earnestly hoped something would be done in that direction. There was no doubt but that that was where the majority of the single men still left were. Then there was a great number in the various Government offices (applause). The Government offices had not discovered a very great urgency in letting men go. Then, many men had slipped through by moving away very quickly after the Registration. He believed they could reckon in hundreds of thousands the men who had moved from the address, and he hoped the Government would deal with the question, very quickly. However, he thought it was only fair to say that there must be a great number of men in munition factories who were young and keen, ardent spirits, who would be only too glad to go if they were allowed, for he understood that men in munition factories could not enlist without permission (a voice: “That is so”). In conclusion, the Chairman said he had received a telegram from Mr Gibbon Bowles (loud applause), who was contesting the neighbouring constituency, and whom they had asked to address the meeting, as follows :- “ Much regret too busy. Wish you luck. Glad of any assistance from you. Gibson Bowles.” (applause).

Mr J R Barker, as one of the conveners of the meeting, said they felt Rugby should voice its protest at the grave injustice which had been done to the married attested men. They felt that the promise given by Lord Derby and Mr Asquith that all the available single men should be called up to the Colours before the calling up of the married men had only been kept in the letter and not in the spirit. The object of that meeting therefore was to raise a protest, but not, of course, to hamper the Government in any way. He was sure every attested married man was willing to fulfil the obligation he took when he attested, but it was up to the Government to see that the promises which induced most of them to attest were kept in the spirit as well as in the letter.


Married men had been accused of squealing, but he pointed out that this was only made by a well groomed “ sit-on-the-fence ” minority, because two-thirds of the married men in the Rugby Division attested. When the married men insisted on the fulfilment of the pledge, “ single men first,” and the passing of the Military Service Bill, no voice was louder than this “ sit-on-the-fence ” minority in the cry “ Fetch up the shirker.” But were they fetched up ? They knew they were not. They crowded into the starred trades, and at the conclusion of the Derby Scheme only one-third in Rugby had attested ; the other two-thirds, protected by their stars and badges, funked the issue, as many of them had funked it when they entered munition shops. The Military Service Act, go far from meeting the situation, had been a mockery, so that before even all the conscripts were in training eight groups of married men were called up. The married men patriots properly protested at this, and then those who had hung back cried, “ What are you squealing about ?” They were not squealing yet, but they would be squealing for


next (loud applause). Married men, and to their credit, many single men, were actuated by the highest motives in attesting, but he asked, did they think that these men would have hung back until to-day had there not been some good reason for it. Many men had business or domestic reasons, and could not discharge their obligations if they were called to the colours, and when they joined their groups the married men were told they would not be called up until the single men had gone. There was a clear inference that the married men would not be called up until it had been found that the single men could not win the war, yet they had been forced to tread on the very heels of the single men and conscripts. Lord Derby had said the married men’s turn should not be unduly accelerated, yet the War Office had called up eight groups in one batch, and the report had been circulated that the married men up to the age of 35 would be called up by April 17th. Was it therefore to be wondered at that, in view of the pledge, protests were raised ? Was it fair for married men to be called to the colours while thousands of single men, without any previous experience, had gone into munition factories and starred trades to escape military service. He referred to the injustice whereby the patriotic attested man’s job or business would be seized by the men who stopped at home, and said the Government must not allow the financial ruin of those who thought first of their country (applause). After paying rent, insurance, taxes, and other fixed charges, the separation allowances would leave nothing for the married man’s children to buy food and clothing with, and the Government had to face this problem at once. A moratorium was useless. A man must come back in the position he left, and not to find a big pile of debts, and the only solution was that when the married men were called up for military service, the State and local authorities should discharge the rent, insurance, and the other fixed charges which the man himself was unable to discharge (applause). Then, too, the Government must bring in by compulsion all unattested men up to the age of 40 years (applause). He proposed the following resolution :—

“ That this mass meeting of the married attested men of Rugby and District, on the strength of Lord Derby’s statement that the Government have only kept their pledge in the letter and not in the spirit, considers that the married attested men have been grossly deceived and are suffering a grave injustice, and while not wishing to evade their pledges, they demand (1) That the Government carry out strictly their promise to call out the whole of the available single men first before calling up the married men. (2) That the only fair scheme is to amend the Military Service Act of 1916, to include all men of military age. (3) That the Government make adequate provision for the financial responsibilities of married attested men before requiring them to serve. (4) That the mobilisation of married attested men shall be suspended until these just demands are dealt with.”

Mr E A Gatehouse, who seconded, said there were two questions before them at the moment—(1) Was the Government justified in calling them up at the present time ; and (2) If so, had they made proper provision for their wives and children (no, no).—They had been called upon to face certain criticisms. They had been told by people above military age that they had broken their attestation pledges, and that they were entirety lacking in patriotic spirit (A voice : So has the Government). He would ask them to look back a little, because they had now got into a pretty considerable mess. In July last the Government brought in a National Registration Act, and from that they knew how many men they had who were available for military service. In October Lord Derby, brought forward his famous scheme with which they were all well acquainted. In November and December most of those present attested. Some of his friends, men who were cleverer and more far seeing than he was, told him he was a fool for attesting (hear, hear). They were perfectly right (applause), but at the same time he felt he was


(applause), and he would rather that day be an attested fool than an unattested wise man (renewed applause}. Instead of closing down the groups at the time they said they would, the Government decided to open them up again to give the unattested men another chance. They jumped at it with both feet, and were now pretty safely and comfortably fixed up in munition factories. Now that they had nicely settled down and had got good jobs, the Government were going to pick them out again. They had told them so (Voices: Are they ?). That remained to be seen ; meanwhile the married men were to be called on to fill the gaps, and by the time the single men were called out again it was quite probable that they would have developed “ conscientious objections ” (laughter). They had seen that the possession of a conscience was quite a useful thing. These men in the factories had no objection to making guns and shells, but what they had a strong objection to was putting the shells in the guns and letting them off. The calling out of these men would probably mean a considerable waste of time—probably a few months while the appeals were being heard, and by that time the married men would be getting nearly first-class soldiers, and the Government would still be considering the possibility of a moratorium to take care of their financial troubles at home. Of all the damnable schemes that this Government had devised, he thought the moratorium was the most damnable of the whole lot (applause). They must look again into the future, and see themselves in twelve months’ time in the trenches, broken up with cold and rheumatism. Every day they were there would be adding to the load of debt accumulating until such time as they came home again. And what about those who would never come home ? Had they grasped the fact that many of them would be


before that time ? In twelve months’ time, probably, they would be soldiers, and in the hands of those men who had muddled away the lives of thousands of the finest troops who ever breathed—he was now speaking of the Dardanelles. Winston Churchill said that was a gamble; if England wanted their lives they would give them, and give them freely, but for God’s sake they must see that the politicians did not gamble away the lives of their wives and children (loud applause). In conclusion, he urged them to stand together, because to-day, as it always had been, union was strength (applause). Mr L J Smith, a member of the audience, drew attention to the fact that the Government were sending single labourers, who had had seventeen months’ training, back to munition works, and calling the married men to come forward for the army. If they were skilled men he could understand it, but these men were only rated at 27s per week before the war started. The Government were also sending other men, after only two months’ training, to fight. The resolution, on being put to the meeting, was carried unanimously and with enthusiasm, and it was decided to send the following message to Mr Gibson Bowles: “Rugby married attested men trust the Harborough Division of Leicester will return you by a thumping majority.” Mr T Arrowsmith drew attention to the fact that skilled men were being drafted into the army and unskilled men were taking their places. This he knew was taking place in one of the large works in Rugby. They had a local Advisory Committee to which any man who felt he was unjustly treated could apply to for assistance. A vote of thanks was accorded the Chairman on the proposition of Mr Lucking, seconded by Mr Hawke. The Chairman, in reply, referred to the subjects raised by Messrs Smith and Arrowsmith, and said, although they did not really come within the scope of the meeting, they were much indebted to these speakers for bringing such anomalies forward. During the last eighteen months they had repeatedly had these extraordinary conundrums offered to them, and he could not understand them, nor see why the Government did such things (applause). The meeting opened and concluded with the singing of a verse of the National Anthem.

25th Mar 1916. Two Anniversaries



Friday. March 17th, was the anniversary of the day in 1915 on which the K.O.S.B, and other regiments which were billeted in Rugby left their quarters to proceed to the Dardanelles. They formed part of the 29th Division, which earned immortal fame by their brave and arduous fighting at the landing at Gallipoli in the following April, and onwards through that ill-starred campaign. Of that Brigade, which left Warwickshire 20,000 strong after being reviewed by the King on the London Road at Stretton-on-Dunsmore, we are informed only about 1,000 sound men remain. The remnants of the K.O.S.B are at their depot in the North of England, and one of them—a sergeant—writing to a friend in Rugby, says :—

“ I am writing this so that it will reach you on Friday, 17th, the anniversary of ‘The Day’ we left Rugby to do a bit of ‘strafing.’ What a lovely time we had in Rugby. The two months we were there will always remain in the minds of the remaining members of the 1st Battalion The King’s Own Scottish Borderers, as the happiest time they have spent during their years of soldiering. One can scarcely believe that a battalion arriving straight from India to England, with perhaps a tendency to run wild owing to the majority having been away for years, could have been fostered and cared for, and our every comfort looked to, amongst utter strangers, in the kindly and homely manner in which you people of Rugby did. To sum the whole lot up, it was absolutely home. After our own homes, Rugby took second place in our thoughts whilst on service, and we came to the conclusion that both places were the finest in the world and were worth scrapping for. What do you think of the Conscientious Objectors ? It is hardly believable that there are such THINGS calling themselves men in this world. Let them take a look into the jungle, and they will very soon find that it is natural for all things, great or small, living in this world, to defend to the death their homes and families, and especially if the Conscientious Objector makes any attempt to harm or interfere in any way whatsoever, he will jolly quick find out that his presence and interference are objected to by another sort of Conscientious Objector, who is quite willing to fight and if need be, give life itself in the protection of its offspring. Just fancy any man saying it would be against his conscience to assist any person wounded by the explosion of a bomb from a Zep. That means to say, that if his own mother or sister, and if he be married, perhaps his little infant son or daughter, were lying wounded with a main artery severed, he would stand there heedless of their cries, watching them die, when a very little attention on his part would help to stop the bleeding till a doctor came, and perhaps be the means of saving their lives. On other hand, if he himself was wounded by same bomb, what would become of him if all the doctors were Conscientious Objectors ? He would lie there howling and shouting for all manner of curses and evil things to descend upon and make the life intolerable for the doctor who professes Conscientious Objection. Others say that they object to killing of any kind, going so far as to say they refrain from eating anything that has been bled or killed to supply his food. How many times have they eaten eggs, thereby killing the fruit of flesh and blood, and also killing what would eventually have matured to a thing of flesh and blood. Let them go across to Flanders or to Egypt and Mesopotamia. There they will find hundreds of thousands of the right sort of Conscientious Objectors, whose conscience pricks them very sorely to think that they are out fighting whilst a lot of COWARDS who call themselves Conscientious Objectors are doing their utmost to dodge their duty. Whilst carrying on this way, they secretly pray that Tommy will be able to keep the enemy back from them. The British soldier does not mind in the least fighting for the Conscientious Objector’s sisters, his mother, father, or small brothers, but he conscientiously objects to fighting for the Conscientious Objector himself. The Conscientious Objector who has taken religion on as his excuse has, I am afraid, kept the Bible more often on the shelf than on his lap open, or he would have come across various passages which are against him.”

The writer concludes :—“Dear Mr —-, You might have this put in the Rugby paper if you think fit to let all the people of Rugby know that the ‘ Jocks’ haven’t forgotten their kindness to them, and also what a member of the ‘Immortal 29th Division’ thinks of the ‘Conscientious Coward.’”


It was a year on Tuesday last when the 1/7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment (Territorials) landed in France, having left England on the preceding day. Since then they have had their full share of work in the firing line, and have fully sustained the prestige of their county. We have from time to time published interesting letters from members of the Rugby contingent, and this week we received the following, dated March 14th :-

DEAR SIR,—Perhaps your readers will be interested in the doings of the 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment and the old E Company boys. They are all in the highest of spirits, and are looking the picture of health despite the terrible hardships they have all endured through the trying winter months in mud and water ; and have made themselves feared by their neighbours the Huns.

They have also been very highly praised for their splendid work out here by their Commander, and he hopes when the time for them to get to grips with the enemy arrives, they will still maintain the name they have made for themselves since they have been out here.

We are getting some sports up this afternoon among the officers and men. We enjoy ourselves when we come out for these short rests, after being in and out of the firing line for a month at a stretch. Hoping you will publish this in your paper, we remain—THREE OF THE OLD RUGBY COMPANY BOYS.


Staff-Sergeant W A Simpson, 21st Lancers, who has been awarded the D.C.M for going to the rescue of a comrade and an officer, and holding back the enemy with a revolver, is a Daventry man. He is a son of Mr P W Simpson, and grandson of the late Mr T Simpson, for many years manager of the Daventry Gas Works.

An ex-champion Public School boxer, Capt Ian D Dewar, son of Lord Dewar, one of the Scottish Lords of Session, has been killed in action. He had previously been wounded in August and September of last year. Capt Dewar when at Rugby won the Public Schools Lightweight Championship at Aldershot in 1911, and he captained the Boxing Club at Oxford.

Mr G H I Cowley, of Hertford Street, Coventry, solicitor, has joined an Officers’ Training Corps on the nomination of Colonel Courtenay, C.B, and during his absence his practice is being looked after by Mr Charles Martin, of 18 Hertford Street. Mr Cowley was educated at Rugby School, and is a member of a family having large landed interests in Northants, and is a grandson of the late Rev Charles Thorold Gillbee, M.A, D.D, for many years incumbent of the joint family livings of Barby and Kilsby.

Lance-Corpl Jack Bird, 12th K.R.R (son of Mrs Harris, 41 Now Street, New Bilton), is at present in Christ Church Hospital, Hants, suffering from a fractured collar bone and bruises, sustained as the result of the explosion of an aerial torpedo in the trenches. This is the second time that Lance-Corpl Bird has been wounded.

News was received on Monday that Pte Albert W Johnson, 9th Batt Royal Warwickshire Regt, and only son of Mrs Johnson, of 110 Abbey Street, Rugby, a widow, was killed in action on Jan 6th at Cape Holles. Pte Vertegans, also of Rugby, who was in the same section, put a cross, which he made himself, with a suitable inscription and verse thereon, at the head of his grave.

The number of men being called up locally has shown a considerable increase during the past week, and about sixty men have been passed through the Rugby Drill Hill. Of these only a small number were conscripts.

A notice about the “ starring ” of munition workers was issued by the Ministry of Munitions on Thursday night. In future men will only be exempted from military service if they are actually engaged on war work and can show that they are eligible for War Service badges ; not if they are engaged on private work and may be required for munitions work.


Mrs Fidler, of Harborough Magna, has received intimation that her son, Pte William Fidler, was accidentally killed in France on March 7th, Pte Fidler was an old member of the E Company, and until quite recently he was attached to the Horse Transport Section. About a fortnight before his accident, however, he was transferred to the Warwickshire Infantry Brigade Machine Gun Company, and on March 7th he started out with a team of horses, which had recently arrived from a Remount Depot, and a wagon. Ten minutes afterwards he was found lying unconscious in the snow by the side of the load. He was taken in a motor ambulance to a field hospital which was close by, but, he only regained consciousness for a few minutes, and died in the evening. He was a quiet, reliable, and steady soldier, and will be much missed by his comrades. A sad feature is that he came home from the front on leave at Christmas to be married.


The following letter has just come to hand from Sergt W J Bale. 2nd Royal Welsh Fusiliers, the St Matthew’s “ old boy,” whose home is in Lagoe Place, and who was included in the last list of recipients of the Distinguished Conduct Medal :-

“ On the night of Feb 8th I proceeded on patrol towards the enemy’s trenches, with one officer and six men. The duty of the patrol was to go and find out the condition of the enemy’s wire, and also to find out the strength of the enemy in a part of their trench called Mad Point. Everything went on all right until we were about twenty yards off their wire, when we were spotted by a German sentry, and heavy machine-gun and rifle fire was at once opened on us, and two of the patrol were slightly wounded. After it had got a bit quiet, we managed to get the patrol to safety, and following a short rest the officer and I went forward again to carry out the duty. We managed to get right up to the German wires, but after lying there for half an hour the officer got spotted and shot through the thigh, so that he was unable to move. Now I had my work cut out to get him and myself safely into our lines. I managed to get him on my back ; then I had to start and creep with him, which I can assure you is not an easy thing ; but after an hour’s struggle I got back to the lines with the officer. I received commendation for this, the second time in a month, and on March 16th, General Munro presented me with my D.C.M. medal ribbon.”


Rifleman F Pee, aged 19, who has been missing since July 30th, has now been reported killed in action on that date. His home was at 391 Clifton Road, Rugby, and before war broke out he worked in the machine shop at the B.T.H. He enlisted in the Rifle Brigade the beginning of September, 1914, and went to France the following May. He was in the liquid fire attack at Hooge on the 30th July, and was not seen afterwards. His name has been put on the Hooge Memorial.


INTERESTING LETTER FROM THE BALKANS.-An interesting letter has been received by his friends from one of the sixteen Braunston boys belonging to the 7th Royal Berkshire Regiment, who are now serving with the Salonika Force. After explaining how they were bivouacked on the side of a mountain in nice little dug-outs, and two in a hole, he says :-We are still getting lovely weather, and the hills are covered with wild crocuses, so you can tell it is warm. We get the papers you send, and although the news is a bit old when we get them, we sometimes read them over two or three times when we can’t get any books. I wonder how the Braunston Armlet men will like soldiering. I bet they get a surprise when they start ; but I am pleased they didn’t stay till they were dragged, although they stayed long enough. It is very interesting out here to watch the natives in their mountain villages. They are just as you read about them in the Bible—the old bullock waggons, and shepherds with their crooks, and the women carrying their water pitchers on their heads and shoulders. The men squat about in baggy trousers, and never seem to do any work. They seem quite satisfied to remain as they are, and I shouldn’t think they have advanced a bit for a thousand years.

The Prince of Wales’ National Relief Fund.—WASTE NEWSPAPER DEPARTMENT.—The organisers of the old newspaper scheme desire to draw the attention of householders and others in Rugby and surrounding districts to the collections of old newspapers which are being organised by the Boy Scouts Association in aid of the Prince of Wales’ National Relief Fund. Communications should be sent to Geo R Payne, Hon Sec Rugby Scouts Association, 13 Park Road, Rugby ; parcels to either Murray School between 9 a.m and 4 p.m, or B.T.H Troop Room, Lodge Road, 7.30 p.m to 9 p.m, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Only morning, evening, weekly, and Sunday papers are required, Coloured paper is acceptable, but must be bundled separately.


DODSON.—In loving Memory of our dear son William Ernest, who died of wounds in France, March 24th, 1915.
“ No loved one stood beside him
To hear his last farewell ;
No word of comfort did he leave
For those he loved so well.”
From his loving Father, Mother, Sister, and Brothers.

FOX.—In everlasting love and sweetest remembrance of our dear son, Norman Harry Fox, who fell in action on March 21st, 1915.
“ One year has passed, oh ! how we miss him.
Some may think the wound has healed ;
But they little know the pain and sorrow
Deep within our hearts concealed.”
His sorrowing Father, Mother, Brother and Sisters.


18th Mar 1916. The War Tribunal – Local Appeals



RUGBY RURAL DISTRICT.—Thursday. Present: Mr J Johnson (chairman), Rev F Challenor, Messrs C E Boughton-Leigh, H Tarbox, J H Walker, and H Flowers. Messrs M E T Wratislaw and F M Burton represented the Military Authorities.

The Vicar of Marton supported an application for exemption by the village postman, who has 3 brothers serving, leaving appelant, whose parents were dead, to keep his sister.-Application refused.

A Newbold farmer, occupying 381 acres, obtained a 2 months’ exemption for his stockman. A single man, who occasionally helped with the milking.-The Military representatives opposed on the ground that there was sufficient help on the farm.

The proprietor of general stores at Wolston applied on behalf of the manager of his stores at Brinklow on the ground that he could not find a substitute, and the man had four brothers in the army.-The man said he was married, and had attested believing that every single man possible would be called up first.—Mr Flowers : Do you think Lord Derby has broken his pledge ?—A He does not seem to be getting on with it very well.—The manager said he had four brothers at the front ; one was a prisoner of war in Germany, and one was maimed for life.—The Chairman : That is a fine record for one family.—Application refused.

A further postponement was asked for the assistant overseer, the Clerk to the Parish Council, and school attendance officer at Wolston, who had already been put back ten groups. When he first offered for the army he was rejected, but since then he had been passed by the doctor.—A belated appeal had been received from the County Director of Education, stating that it was in the national interest that the attendance at school should be enforced, but this could not be considered.—The personal application was refused.-Undersized, and with defective eyesight, a cellarman and manager at a Newbold public house appealed, chiefly on the score of ill-health. He had attested because he thought it the duty of every Englishman to do so, and he thought he might do something of a non-combatant nature.—A medical certificate was produced, stating that the man was suffering from nervous debility, and at present was unfit for service abroad. Refused.—The bailiff at Princethorpe Priory claimed on behalf of the ladies there that a trap horseman, luggage carter, etc, was indispensable. Nearly 200 acres of land are occupied, 70 being arable. This man was said to be very useful in attending to farm stock in general.—Exemption refused.—On the grounds of “ national interest ” and “ certified occupation,” a working farmer at Frankton appealed. He had previously been “ starred ” by the Tribunal,-and had not attested, so now renewed his application.—Conditional exemption.—Described as a shepherd and cowman, and doing general skilled farm work, a single man from Bilton appealed as being indispensable to the welfare of the farm on which he is employed.—Refused.


Although a shell turner, engaged on high explosive shells, a young man living in Lawford Road, New Bilton, asked for exemption on conscientious grounds, and also on the ground of financial hardship. If he was called for military service great strain would be put upon his mother, sister, and young brother who was gifted as a scholar. He had conscientious objections to combatant service, and hated the thought of taking life. He regarded it on a duty to allow people to live as long as God willed, and thought a good Christian should help to relieve sickness, distress, and suffering.—Mr Flowers : Does not your consciences prick you a bit when you are making these shells ?—A : When I went to the works I could not make a choice of my job.—In reply to the Clerk, applicant said the reason he did not want to go to the war was because he objected to killing men.—Mr Walker : Would you like to join the Corps to make holes to bury the dead ?—A : No, I should not. I have never seen a dead man yet.—The Clerk : Have you any objection to help the wounded ?—A : I could not say “ no ” if a man happened to be wounded or injured.—Mr Walker : How long have you had this kind of a conscience ?—A : A long time.—The application was refused.


Permission was granted for an interview by a Welsh farmer, living at Draycote, who had been called up under the Military Service Act, and who said he thought as a farmer he was exempt. He applied too late for his papers to send in an appeal. He occupied 215 acres, of which 50 were arable, and he had since January only had a lad of 14 to help him. He had 63 head of cattle and 80 ewes, of which 50 had yet to lamb.—The Clerk said in the case of a man who had good reasons for the delay, the Tribunal had power to deal with such an application.—The Chairman said he was sure it was a genuine case, and applicant was told to till up the form, which would be dealt with by the Advisory Committee, who would probably recommend an exemption.


On Thursday a deputation from the Rugby Chamber of Trade, consisting of Messrs C H. Rowbottom, E H Bennett, and H Lupton Reddish, waited upon Colonel Johnstone, Recruiting Officer for the Rugby district, and laid before him the following points in regard to attested members of the Chamber :—

That it seems unfair that single men should be allowed to shelter themselves from Military service by entering controlled establishments.

That one of the grounds of appeal by an attested man is that serious hardship would ensue if the man were called up for Army service, owing to his exceptional financial or business obligations or domestic position.

That the skilled workman admittedly puts his brains and ability into his work. The man who has a retail business also does this, and, in addition, puts in his capital, and maintains and increases his business by constant personal thought and attention.

That it is a custom in certain retail trades to make large purchases in advance, e.g., spring and autumn goods are often purchased six months beforehand.

That serious hardship and loss will, in many cases, ensue to attested retail tradesmen, both single and married, by their being called up for Army service.

That attested men now employed in controlled establishments should be released for military service.

That attested single and married men having retail businesses should be given the opportunity of entering controlled establishments to take the place of single men released for military service, a portion of each day, or week, or in any case leaving them free to attend to their businesses during the remainder of each day or week.

That attested men, in order to qualify for work in controlled establishments, would be willing at once to give up some portion of each day to learn the work, so that, when their group is called up, they will be in a position to effectively take up the work without delay.

That failing this, attested single and married men, having retail businesses, be trained for military service in Rugby, or some town near, for a portion of each day, or week, to attend to their businesses. This would be on the lines of what was done in the case of the Rugby Fortress Company.


A meeting, convened by the Chairman of the Rugby Urban District Council, has recently been held to agree upon joint action in the event of a hostile air raid. It was the opinion that the two essentials to be aimed at to secure protection from damage were darkness and silence, and that arrangement should be made with the Superintendent of Police, when the presence of Zeppelins is notified, to warn by telephone the Fire Brigade, Special Constables, V.T.C., Boy Scouts, O.T.C., and St. John Ambulance, to each of whom duties will be assigned to get the two essentials promptly observed by the inhabitants ; and also to render aid in the event of casualties, fires, or damage being caused.


The casualties reported amongst L. & N.W.R. men serving with the Forces are estimated at 3,520.

Mr James Renshaw, of the Black Horse, has received a copy of “ The Balkan News,” an English newspaper published, at Salonika, containing an account of a football match (Association) between the Main Supply Depot (Army Service Corps) and the 28th Divisional Cyclists Corps, which ended in a draw, 3-3. Sergt G Renshaw, captain of the Rugby Club, played for the A.S.C, scored one of the goals, and gained honourable mention.


Amongst the awards for gallantry on the Western front just announced is the name of Corp (now Sergt) W J Bale, 2nd Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who has gained, the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Sergt Bale has been previously “ mentioned in despatches,” and was recently promoted for bravery in the field.

A number of conscripts have been passed through the Drill Hall this week, and several married attested men have joined before the calling up of their group.

Conscientious objectors passed for non-combatant service are to be formed into Non-Combatant Companies with the distinctive letters on their caps, N.C.C. They will not bear arms of any kind.


Atkins.—In loving memory of our dear son, who was killed at St. Eloi, in France, March 16th, 1915.

“In a far and distant land,
Where the trees and branches wave,
Lies a dear and loving son,
One we loved but could not save.
Just one year since Jesus called him,
How we miss his cheerful face ;
But he left us to remember,
None on earth can fill his place.”
Silently mourned by his loving Father & Mother.

ATKINS.—In loving memory of our dear brother, who was killed at St. Eloi, in France, on March 16th, 1915.

“ One year has passed, our hearts still sore,
Day by day we miss him more ;
His welcome smile, his dear sweet face,
Never on earth can we replace.
We often sit and think of him,
And think of how he died ;
To think he could not say good-bye
Before he closed his eyes.”
—Still sadly missed by his loving Brothers & Sisters.

[This is Rifleman John Sheasby Atkins of Stretton on Dunsmore.
CWGC gives his date of death as 15th March]

JUDD.—In loving memory of our dear son and brother, Rifleman G. Judd, who was killed at Neuve Chapelle, March 17th, 1915.



As the space available for news, etc., in the reduced size, which it is necessary to adopt, is greatly curtailed we cannot insert gratuitously any Volunteer Orders for the week, appeals for gifts or subscriptions, acknowledgments of gifts, official notices, musical successes, short-hand successes, and so forth.

SCALE OF CHARGES : 4d. per line of 8 words, with a minimum of 1s.

11th Mar 1916. A Fighting Family


Mrs Sansome, of 5 Gas Street, Rugby, has received official intimation that her son, Lance-Corpl George Barnet, of the 5th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, has been wounded in France, and posted as missing since September 25th last. Lance-Corpl Barnet was twice in hospital, first with wounds, and then with an attack of nerves, but returned to the trenches after recovery on each occasion. Mrs Sansome comes of a fighting family, and her two older sons are in the Army, one in the Coldstream Guards, and the other in the 7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Her husband and two other sons have attested under the Derby Scheme. She also has two brothers and two brothers-in-law fighting, and one of the latter, in the Australian contingent, has returned to France after recovery from wounds. Ten nephews of Mrs Sansome are with the colours, and one of these was sent to England, and, on recovery, drafted to the Dardanelles, where he was again wounded. Another nephew has also been wounded in the same sphere of operations.


When the soldiers of the 87th Brigade were billeted in Rugby last spring, townspeople derived a great amount of pleasure from the concerts that were given in Caldecott Park by the bands attached to two of the regiments. Military bandsmen are as a rule fighting men as well as musicians, and are not exempt from service in the firing line ; consequently most of the gallant fellows who so willingly used their musical instruments to please their Rugby friends had to do their bit with rifle and bayonet when they got out to the Dardanelles. One of them, writing to a friend in Rugby, mentions several interesting incidents of the evacuation of Gallipoli. He says :—Our Brigade was in the centre of the firing line, and the two days before we left the Turks gave us plenty of shells all day long. We thought they had got wind of us leaving—they must have noticed that our heavy guns had gone, but the Royal Navy gave them “ What’oh!” with their 14-inch shells, and the Turks must have lost badly. When the time came we left in three parties, and things want off very well, the navy’s guns giving V and W beaches a shell or two about every half hour. We left all kinds of traps for the Turk, and I am sure he had a good laugh at some of the tricks we played him. I’ll bet they are glad to see the last of us. The weather was getting very bad for them.

We were all very sorry to have to leave so many of our friends who have given up their lives for good old England, but it could not be helped. The little bit of ground we had was getting flooded with the heavy rains, and the Turks had got more big guns along with plenty of shells, so that we were hardly ever out of fire, night as well as day. I do not think we could have lived on the rotten spot much longer. My idea is that they did the proper thing in evacuating the place.

The writer concludes :-Now as I am the only one left with the Regiment out of the band we had in Rugby, I must thank you for what you have done for us all.


News has been received that Pte Edwin A Piper, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who has been missing since April 25th, 1915, was killed in action. Pte Piper, who was 27 years of age and a native of Caldmore, was employed in the machine room at Messrs Frost’s Printing Works.

Pte Tom Halliwell, R.A.M.C, of Murray Road, Rugby, who is at present near Salonika, in a letter to his brother states that he recently visited Salonika to get some petrol, and that the N.C.O in charge of the store was Sergt Geo Renshaw, captain of the Rugby Football Club.

The majority of the unattested single men in the Rugby Parliamentary Division, numbering between 500 and 600, have now received their Army Summons papers, and a small number presented themselves at the Drill Hall, Rugby, this week. Owing to exemptions and medically unfit men, however, the yield is not expected to be very great. Married attested men should take the opportunity now of joining departmental corps, because when their groups are under proclamation, they will not be able to do so.


Shortly after noon on Monday an interesting ceremony took place in Rugby Cattle Market, when the Motor Ambulance, purchased with part of the proceeds of the Farmers’ Red Cross Sale on Boxing Day, was formally handed over to the British Red Cross St John Ambulance Association. The car, which will accommodate eight sitting patients, or four stretcher cases, has been fitted up on absolutely the most modern principles. It is styled “ The Rugby District Farmers’ Red Cross Ambulance,” and next week will be in use in France. The ceremony was performed by Mr Arthur James, in the absence of Mrs James, who regretted her inability to accept the Committee’s invitation to make the formal presentation. Mr Arthur James said the amount raised in connection with the sale was considerably over £2,000, and of that sum £650 had been invested on that car. It had an exceedingly popular engine for its particular purpose, and the inside fittings were the result of a great deal of experience. In addition, they had founded three beds for a year-one being in Netley Hospital, and two in hospitals in France, and the balance, after deducting a small amount for incidental expenses, would go to the joint funds of the St John of Jerusalem Ambulance and the British Red Cross Society, which Societies had collected during the past eighteen months between 3 and 4 million pounds (hear, hear). In conclusion, Mr James emphasised the need for a continuance of support in the future.

The Rev R S Mitchison said in that ambulance all who had contributed saw something tangible, and when they read accounts of wounded men they would feel they had done their bit to try to alleviate their sufferings (hear, hear). Nothing was perfect without God’s help, and it had been suggested—and he had been very pleased the desire had been expressed—that a prayer should be offered to God to help them in their endeavour to alleviate suffering, and that He would bless and comfort the brave men who would make use of the Ambulance.

A dedicatory prayer was then offered by Mr Mitchison, followed by a petition for help in our difficulties, for protection from and victory over our enemies.


Although over a fortnight has elapsed since the Germans launched their attack against Verdun, they have not achieved the object of the stroke which is to break the French line. With indomitable courage and a strategy unexcelled in the course of the war, the French are making good the temporary disadvantages suffered at the initial onslaught, and are now giving a direction to the battle favourable to themselves.



Early on Monday morning the War Office issued a communique to the effect that a Zeppelin raid took place during Sunday night, when three hostile airships crossed over the North-East Coast. After crossing the coast the airships took various courses, and from the devious nature of their flight were apparently uncertain as to their bearings. The area visited included Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Rutland, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Essex, and Kent. As far as is known, about ninety bombs were dropped altogether. The casualties so far ascertained amount to 18 killed and 52 injured. The material damage was : Two terraces of houses practically destroyed ; one office, one public-house, a cafe, and several shops partly destroyed, and a block of almshouses badly damaged.

Intimation that Zeppelins were hovering over the country was promptly communicated to the Midlands. In Rugby warning was quietly sent to the various places of worship where evening service’s were being held. In some cases the services were completed, and in others they were brought to a close a little earlier than usual, and the congregations quietly dispersed. Special constables and members of the Volunteer Fire Brigade were called on duty to deal with emergencies if needed.



SIR,—I should like to disabuse the minds of your readers of “ any erroneous impressions ” which may have been created by Mr. J. Jones’s recent letter. It is satisfactory to learn that he fully appreciates the necessity of some place where our soldiers and sailors can pass their dreary waiting time in comfort. From personal intercourse I can say that soldiers are by no means enamoured with railway refreshment room charges, and it is to regretted that Mr. Jones should suggest a breach of the concessions (unless special permission has been obtained), which has proved to be a great boon to railway employees, who often find the accommodation barely adequate for the requirements of legitimate customers. The railway authorities in permitting on their premises and greatly assisting in the providing of their servants’ refreshment rooms, intended their sole use for the convenience of railway servants only, and not in competition against their own rooms or for the use of any class of passenger.

Whilst everyone must appreciate the material assistance so freely given by the Station War Relief Fund Committee and their good and useful work, they will find it difficult to understand why they should not be only too pleased to extend a helping hand to any scheme—instead of deprecating—which would more adequately provide for the comfort of our stranded sailors or soldiers.
Faithfully yours, W. F. HARDMAN.
26 Murray Road, Rugby.


To Our Readers and Correspondents.

In accordance with intimation previously given the regulations for controlling the importation of paper and materials for making it, came into force on March 1st, and the necessity for reducing the size of the Rugby Advertiser has been forced upon us.

It will, therefore, be impossible to report local and district occurrences as expensively as hitherto, and we ask the indulgence of our readers and correspondents until happier circumstances permit us to return to the original size.

If our readers will also place definite orders with a newsagent or newsvendor for the regular supply of the Advertiser they will assist in preventing the wastage of paper caused by providing for casual sales.


STEEL.—In loving memory of our dear son, who was killed somewhere in France on March 16th, 1915,

“ One year has passed, our hearts still sore,
Day by day we miss him more ;
His welcome smile, his dear sweet face
Never on earth can we replace.

“ We often sit and think of him,
And think of how he died—
To think he could not say good-bye
Before he closed his eyes.”
Still sadly missed by his loving Father, Mother, Sister, and Brothers.


4th Mar 1916. Lighting Regulations



The attention of the President of the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries have been drawn to the possibility of farmers, and shepherds, by carrying lights at night when attending stock, rendering themselves liable to prosecution under the Lighting Regulations at present in force. Lord Selborne has been in communication with the Home Office, and is advised that the sole requirement is that such lights must be properly screened. The use of any particular pattern of lamp is not necessary. One simple arrangement which has been adopted is to place the light in a biscuit tin with straight sides.


Emma Sowerbutt, draper, 41 Albert Street, Rugby, and Charles William Jolley, wardrobe dealer, 121 Railway Terrace, Rugby, were summoned under the Lights Order for not reducing or shading lights on February 19th. Peter Dryden, laundryman, 54 James Street, Rugby, was summoned for not screening three skylights in his laundry in Pinder’s Lane on February 23, and George Henry Waugh, medical practitioner, 93 Albert Street, Rugby, was summoned for not screening a window on February 23rd.

Mr Harold Eaden defended Dryden, who pleaded not guilty.

P.O Percival stated that he noticed that three skylights in defendant’s laundry were showing very brilliant lights into the sky. He went inside and pointed out to defendant that the lights were not shaded, and he replied that he had shaded them with brown paper but it had fallen off. One skylight was half covered with paper, but there was no sign of any shading on the other. The rooms were lighted by incandescent gas lamps.—By Mr Eaden: It was not a fact that it was a windy night, and that defendant told him the wind had blown the paper off.—The Chairman: That is no defence, you know.—Witness said there was no evidence of paper having been tacked on to the skylight, and there was no ricksheet over another.—Inspector Lines corroborated, and said he saw something flapping up and down on a skylight in the back room, and there were sheets of paper hanging down from the other skylights. He had warned defendant three times previously about unshaded windows, and his house at night was like a searchlight.—Mr Eaden then withdrew the plea of not guilty, and pleaded guilty. He pointed out that defendant s position was a difficult one, because he carried on a trade under which he was strictly bound down by the Factory Act. In the ironing of clothes in a damp state a considerable quantity of steam naturally arose, and under the Factory Act he was required to have sufficient ventilation in the roof. If he carried on his business at night, the only ventilation he could got was through the skylight, and if this was closed it would be impossible for anyone to remain in the room with a due regard to their health. Defendant was thus between the devil and the deep sea ; he had either to close down his business or, according to the evidence, he had to commit an offence. On the evening in question the skylight was opened a few inches, and was blown off its hinges by the wind. A tarpaulin sheet was put over the skylight in another room.—The Chairman told defendant he had taken very little trouble to reduce his lights, and he was fined £3.

Mr H Lupton Reddish represented Dr Waugh, and pleaded guilty.—Sergt Percival said at 8.40 p.m. on the day named he saw a bright light shining from an upstairs bay window at defendant’s house, the Venetian blinds being either broken; or not properly drawn.—By Mr Reddish: The light was not put out while the police remained near.—Inspector Lines said the light was shining across the street on to a building opposite.—For the defence, Mr Reddish said Dr Waugh told his boy to light the gas and pull the blind down in the front drawing room, but apparently the laths did not fall into their proper place. When attention was called to the matter it was attended to.—Sergt Percival said he had warned defendant about the lights at his house on three previous occasions.—A fine of £3 was imposed.

Jolley pleaded not guilty.—P.S Percival said there was a brilliant light on to the footpath through the doorway of defendant’s shop.—Inspector Lines corroborated, and said there was also a light from the window.—Defendant, who had been previously cautioned, said he had only been in the shop a fortnight.—Fined £1.

Mr Eaden appeared for Mrs Sowerbutt, and pleaded not guilty.—P.S Percival said there was an unshaded electric light in each side of the window. The front blind was drawn, but not those at the side.—By Mr Eaden: The lamps inside the shop were effectively screened, but there were no articles of clothing to obscure the lights complained of.—Insp Lines said the naked lights could be distinctly seen from the street. He had previously called Mrs Sowerbutt’s attention to the side lights and blinds.—Mr Eaden said there was evidence that his client had made serious attempts to comply with the order, and on this particular night, immediately before the police arrived, a lady purchased a blouse, which was obscuring the light.—He called Frances Isom, domestic servant in Mrs Sowerbutt’s employ, who saw there was “ just a little light shining on the step,” thrown there by a light two feet from the window and near the ceiling. She informed her mistress, who was going to see to it just as the police came in.—Mr Eaden put in a sketch showing the alleged position of the lights, which was disputed by the police.—The Chairman said the Bench proposed not to give their verdict till next Tuesday, and as the magistrate went home those able would call at the shop, and, in company with Insp Lines, would investigate the matter.

William Gibbs, apprentice, 22 Warwick Street, Rugby, was summoned for riding a bicycle without front or rear lights at Rugby on February 15th.—Pleaded guilty.— P.C Lovell said the offence was committed at 6.10 p.m ; he pointed out to defendant that lighting-up time was 5.40 p.m under the new Act, but the man persisted that this was not so.—The defendant said his diary gave lighting-up time at 6.12, and the Chairman informed him that it was evidently out of date, and would have to get a new one. He would be fined 3s.

IRREGULAR SCHOOL ATTENDANCE.—Charles T A Taylor, bricklayer, 8 Bridle Road, New Bilton (3 cases), William Peers, labourer, 20 New Street, New Bilton, and Louisa Burbery, 26 New Street, New Bilton, were summoned by John Gilbert Satchell, school attendance officer, Rugby, for neglecting to send their children to school. Samuel Watson, labourer, Brinklow, was summoned by Arthur J Poxon, of Wolston, for a similar offence,—Mrs Watson pleaded guilty, and the officer said the child had only made 87 attendances out of a possible 212.—The excuse was that the child suffered from headaches due to defective eyesight.—Fined 2s 6d. Mrs Taylor admitted the offence respecting her three children, and the officer said the attendances had been 72, 73, and 79 respectively, out of a possible 86.—In one case defendant was fined 5s, and the other cases were adjourned. Mrs Burbery pleaded guitly, her boy having made 55 attendances out of 76. She said her boy was not well.—Fined 2s 6d. Mrs Peers pleaded guilty.—There was a previous conviction. The excuse was that the child was delicate.—Fined 5s.

CURTAILED HOURS AT POST OFFICE.—On and after Monday, March 13, Rugby Post Office and town sub-offices will be open on week-days for postal business from 9 a.m to 7 p.m only.

The Rugby Building Trades Federation have this week approached the employers with a request for an all-round advance of 1½ d per hour, urging in support of the decreased purchasing power of wages, and the fact that operative builders in other towns have received advances.


It has been definitely decided to provide a motor ambulance from the proceeds of the British Farmers’ Red Cross sale held at Rugby on Boxing Day. The vehicle will bear the name “ Rugby District Farmers’ Red Cross Ambulance,” and it will be on view at the Cattle Market on Monday next from 9 a.m. A ceremony of dedication will take place at 12 noon.


Twenty-one single men attested at Rugby on March 1, the last day for voluntary enlistment. During the last few days, a fair number of men presented the themselves, but there is still a considerable number in the district who have waited to be fetched.

The local conscripts have been warned to join the colours, and the first batch is due on March 9th. Married men can transfer from the reserve to any units which are open, but single men can only join infantry regiments.


Mr E C Eadon, eldest son of Mr W Eadon, Hillmorton Road, Rugby, has joined the 3rd Infantry Battalion of the Honourable Artillery Company.


The Press Association is authoritatively informed that proclamations will be posted during the week-end calling the first of the married groups to the Colours. Eight groups—25 to 32 inclusive—are summoned in this call. The proclamations are dated March 7, and state that the groups will commence to be called up from April 7. The men affected by this call are those between 19 and 26 years of age. It is understood that the call for these groups is partly due to improved War Office arrangements for handling recruits, and partly owing to the largo number of temporary exemptions which have been given during the last few weeks. It is stated unofficially that the remainder of the married groups will be called upon within a short time, and that all married men, except those who obtain exemptions, will be serving long before autumn.



PARIS : Friday.—A semi-official review says:The battle of Verdun was renewed yesterday. The losses of the enemy who is attacking on ground broken up and already covered with bodies, have been enormous. As in the former attacks, the enemy has nowhere gained a footing in our trenches. It is with absolute confidence that the issue of the German blow on Verdun may be awaited. The first phase of the battle failed, and the second will meet with no better success.