29th Apr 1916. Lord Denbigh & Conscientious Objectors


To the Editor of the Rugby Advertiser.

Newnham Paddox, 27/4/16,

SIR,-Since my return from a year’s service in Egypt a few weeks ago, I have been reading in your paper with shame and indignation of the various attempts made by ” conscientious objectors ” and others to evade their duty to their country and save their own skins.

If you have sufficient space, perhaps you will publish the enclosed copy of a letter which I have just sent to a rev gentleman in Lancashire.

I wish he and others like him could visit the front trenches and the ruined towns and villages in France and Belgium, and see what war means. I wish they had been with me the other day when I was able to go to the front trenches on my way back through France.

I was in what before the war was a prosperous, tidy, and well ordered mining village of excellent houses. It is now half in actual ruins and half deserted by the inhabitants, but with most of the houses more or less knocked about by shells, and unbroken panes of glass are rare.

You approach this spot by a long deep communication trench which is frequently shelled, and it goes down the main street where the gutters used to run ; it branches out in various directions and these branches run in tunnels under houses and through cellars until at last one arrives at the firing trench, cunningly worked in amongst ruined walls, made up with sandbags and the various protective traverses and dug-outs.

When I got back to the headquarters, where two shells had gone through the roof the night before, after staying a short while in a telephone exchange in a cellar, while an adjoining square where the field kitchens were was being shelled for half-hour or so in hopes of catching the men coming for their food—a shell had knocked out a party of men there the night before—I found a French soldier in uniform under an escort of two British.

He had been found wandering about the forward trenches, and his movements were rightly regarded as   suspicious, so he was arrested and brought along. His story was as follows :- He had lived and worked in this village before the war, and he gave the number of his house in a certain street, now only semi-existent. He left his wife and two children, also a sister and six children, there on the day of mobilisation. He had been twice wounded himself in Champagne last year, and since his departure twenty months before he had not heard one word of his relations, and he didn’t know where they were nor what happened to them. He had got five days’ leave from his regiment to come and endeavour to obtain news of them, and when arrested he had been trying to find where his home had been. His papers were quite in order, and I believe his story was quite correct, and it is just typical of what has happened to thousands of others in the war area.

This is war as it is known to-day and practised by the Germans. This is what we wish to protect our country from.

I, too, am a ” conscientious objector.” I conscientiously object to being murdered by a Hun, to seeing my house burnt and my family ill-treated, and probably murdered too, by brutal German officers and soldiers ; also to seeing these things happen to the inhabitants of my country, though I confess it would do some of these “objectors” and sham-exemption hunters good if they were made to suffer. I object to those who are for over trying to mislead the people of this country with wrong conceptions of what we are fighting for, and what we shall be reduced to if we do not win this war or if we make an inconclusive and premature peace.

I also object to one section of the population being obliged to go through the dangers and hardships of modern war whilst undue facilities are given to others to shirk and shelter themselves behind the former.— Faithfully yours,            DENBIGH.


To the Rev. Percy Stoll, M.A., B.D., Vicar of St. Peter’s, Halliwell, Bolton.

SIR,—I have received from you a circular addressed to Members of the House of Lords and to which you request a personal reply. Having a few minutes to spare, I have much pleasure in sending you one.

You apparently ask on behalf of your two sons, whom you say are destined for the Ministry, total exemption from all ” complicity in this war,” in which you rightly say England is ” standing forth as the protector of weak nations,” and you say you have ” stood for 25 years for duty to God, State, and Church.” As you truly say, ” War is admittedly a gigantic evil,” but I am not aware that Christ has ever taught that nations or individuals wrongfully attacked are not entitled to make as strenuous a defence as possible.

The matter, therefore, resolves itself thus: We are fighting to defend ourselves against a nation, which knows no creed but that of force and might, and if we are defeated it is well known that we shall be utterly crushed and ruined, as a nation, and that the enemy will strive by every means in his power to land in this country and treat us to exhibitions of ” frightfulness ” of which the horror perpetrated in Belgium and France may safely be regarded as mild samples. You say that you and your sons are so averse to ” harming anyone ” that you ” would not take the sword, even against enemies.”

Let me ask you, therefore, this question : Having regard to the brutalities against inoffensive civilians—especially women and children—which have disgraced the German army in Belgium and France, are you or are you not amongst those unnatural curs who have admitted that if they saw their wives and daughters being insulted by German soldiers, they would not take any violent action to save or rescue them, even if it was in their power to do so, either by themselves or in conjunction with others.

If, owing to your objection to “ taking a sword even against enemies,” you have to admit that you would take no steps for rescue or protection under the above circumstances, I hope the female members of your congregation will take note of the fact. As women generally admire courage in a man, they will probably express their opinion of you in plain terms.

But perhaps you will say you certainly would put up a fight to the best of your ability to protect the honour and the lives of your women folk. In this case, you are no genuine conscientious objector to using violence when you or yours are in danger, and I look upon you as humbugs and hypocrites in your refusal to have any “ complicity ” in this war, which is for the purpose of protecting these islands against the savagery of German invaders.

I take it you are against all ” complicity ” either as combatants or non-combatants. Parliament, in its wisdom, has arranged that those with genuine religious objections to combatant service shall be permitted to help their country as non-combatants, who, in limited numbers, have a useful field of work open to them.

I have some respect for those Quakers, for instance, who object to fight but are ready to perform the often very dangerous duties attaching in these days to stretcher-bearers on the battle-field. I, have no vocabulary capable of expressing my contempt for those who refuse to assist in any capacity or to share the dangers and hardships of those who are so bravely defending them from a hideous fate.

If your sons can show conscientious objections to fighting themselves and taking the lives “ even of their enemies,” they can no doubt be placed in a non-combatant corps.

In this guise, they can rescue and comfort the wounded, fix wire at night time in front of the forward parapets, dig trenches, dug-outs and latrines, and carry stores and sandbags into the trenches, and perform many other useful and innocuous but necessary duties, and so allow those who are fighting for them to obtain a well-earned rest.

Your sons will be all the better ministers for having been brought into close contact with Death, suffering, and manly courage in the trenches, and will, if they are spared—as I hope they may be—come back with perhaps loftier ideas than they now apparently have as to what constitutes their duty to “ God, the State, and the Church.”

Faithfully yours.


Colonel Commanding H.A.C.


In memory of Lieut R W Poulton Palmer, the famous Rugby footballer and captain of the English XV, who was killed in action about a year ago, a beautiful marble tablet has been placed in the Parish Church at St Helens, Isle of Wight. It bears the inscription : “ In memory of Ronald, Lieut R W P Palmer, B.A, Rugby and Balliol, 1/4th Royal Berks Regt (T.F), younger son of Edward and Emily Poulton. Killed in the trenches in Belgium, May 5, 1915. Age, 25 years. An athletic leader of rare distinction, he was endowed with even greater gifts of love and joy. ‘God is love.’ ”


P A Morson, son of Mr Arthur Morson, the esteemed clerk to the Rugby Council, who has been serving as a private in the Honourable Artillery Company, has been granted a commission in the 11th Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Second-Lieut P A Morson was educated at Rugby School, and was one of four chums who sailed from England the same day, the other three being Pepperday and the two brothers Bluemel. Two have laid down their lives for the country, and the second brother Bluemel has been seriously wounded. Lieut Morson went out with 150 volunteers on July 1st of last year. He has been through practically all of the strenuous fighting in which the British troops have been engaged since that date. Second-Lieut Morson came home on short leave on Easter Monday night, and returned to the front last night.


News has been received that Flight Sub-Lieut Warner H Peberdy, son of Mr W W Peberdy, of Albert Street, has been invalided home from the front as the result of a serious aeroplane accidont in Flanders. Sub-Lieut Peberdy is suffering from spinal concussion and severe shock to the nerve centres, and is now taking a rest cure in the South of Ireland under medical supervision, where he is making very favourable progress. He is one of the many Old Laurentians who have come back from far corners of the Empire to do their bit for the Old Country. He came from Canada with the first squadron of aviators. Formerly he was a student engineer in the early days of the B.T.H. at Rugby, and after completing his course there he went to the United States. When the war broke out he travelled in Canada to help to organise the Canadian Curtin Aviation School, at Toronto. He acted as manager during the first three months of the school’s rapid growth to the position of the largest civilian flying school in the Empire.


After taking part in the Gallipoli campaign, the Warwickshire Yeomanry are now fighting in Egypt, and took part in the fighting at Katia on Easter Sunday. Our mounted troops, consisting of the Gloucestershire Hussars, the Warwickshire Yeomanry, and the Worcestershire Yeomanry, who were holding a position in and about the village of Katia, were attacked by a greatly superior Turkish force, before which they fell back, fighting a rearguard action, and inflicting heavy losses on the enemy.

An Objector Sentenced.—Pte Sydney Dodd, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, a conscientious objector to military service, has been sentenced to 21 days’ imprisonment for refusing to do all military duty. Dodd was first ordered by the local Tribunal to do non-combatant service, but as a result of his appeal to the County Tribunal about a month ago he was finally put down for combatant service.

A Rupert Brooke Memorial.—It has been decided to set in Rugby Chapel a memorial of Rupert Brooke. It will take the form of a portrait medallion in marble, based on a photograph by Sherril Schell, which appears as the frontispiece of the 1914 volume of poems. The medallion will be the work of Professor J Havard Thomas. No other memorial of Rupert Brooke is at present in contemplation.

Lindsay, Courtenay Traice. Died 28th Apr 1916

Courtenay Traice Lindsay was born in Belfast on 11 Dec 1874. His parents were Thomas Mitchener Lindsay and Ruth (nee Traice) who married in Lancashire in 1871. Four children were born in Ireland before the family moved to Rugby where Thomas worked as an artist and drawing teacher at Rugby School.

Courtenay followed his father’s profession and in 1901 was lodging at Sutton, in Cheshire. His occupation is given as Ast. Exam. under Royal College of Art. In 1903 he married Charlotte Editha Wetenhall at Stanwick, Northamptonshire. His occupation and that of both fathers was Gentleman and his address was given as Seafield, Fareham.

In 1911 the couple were living at 143 Beaufort Street, Chelsea with their son Courtenay Traice David  Lindsay aged six months. Courtnay senr’s occupation was Artist Designer.

At the start of the war Courtenay Traice Lindsay was nearly forty years of age but in May 1915 he applied for a commission in the Army Service Corps. His records contain a reference from Mr Dickenson, housemaster at Rugby School and one from Chas B McElwee, Organising Inspector of Drawing, National Education, Ireland. & Inspector in Drawing, the late Royal Indian Engineering College, Coopers Hill.

Courtenay had worked with Mr McElwee at the Board of Education, South Kensington and  McElwee examined the work of his pupils at Seafield Park College, a college teaching engineering to boys for the Indian Public Works Department.He states that:

“Mr Lindsay is an able artist, draughtsman and designer, and his work is always of a very high order indeed. I am satisfied that Mr Lindsay will perform all duties with a zeal and thoroughness that will give every satisfaction.”

He was gazetted Lieutenant on 31st May 1915 and from pencilled notes on his record, he appears that he was sent to Lichfield. This would be the Rugely and Brocton Camps set up on Cannock Chase during winter 1914 and spring 1915 for training the Reserve Battalions of various regiments. The first troops of the Army Service Corps arrived in 1915 followed by many others. It is not known if Lieut Lindsay remained there but he did not serve overseas.

On 28th April 1916 he died at Burnham Abbey, Buckinghamshire. Close to his home at The Holt, Burnham Beeches.

He was buried at Dorney Burial Ground, one of only two war graves in the church graveyard.

War Graves in Dorney Cemetery. Lieut Lindsay's  is on the right (cwgc website)

War Graves in Dorney Cemetery. Lieut Lindsay’s is on the right (cwgc website)

His widow returned to live near relatives at Broughton, Huntingdon.

Gertrude and Paulina Lindsay, Courtenay’s sisters remained in Rugby, working as a Teacher of Art   and Daily Governess respectively. In 1911 they lived at 4 Pennington Street. Presumably the reason their brother was listed on the Rugby Memorial Gates.



Davis, Roland. Died 27th Apr 1916

Roland Davis was born in early 1891 and baptised on 10th August 1892, together with his sister Elsie at New Bilton Church. His father was Robert, a labourer, and the family lived at 5 Alexander Terrace. Robert had married Mary Jane RANDS in 1886. They had seven children, but by 1911 three had died. By that date the family was living at 25 New Street and Robert was a Stationery Engine Driver. Roland was aged 20 and was a Labourer at Iron Foundry (he was working at BTH Generator Dept when he enlisted)

Roland joined the 5th Bn, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry as a private (No 11895). He arrived in France on 1st October 1915 and died on 27th April 1916, He was buried at Blangy Military Cemetery.

St. Laurent-Blangy is a village adjoining the north-east side of Arras. Roland Davis must have died in the fighting after it was taken by British troops in March 1916 The village remained on the front line until the remainder fell into British hands on the first day of the Battles of Arras, the 9th April, 1917.

After the war his body was transferred to Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery at Souchez. The remains were badly smashed up and he was identified by a French cross on the grave and portions of Khaki.

He is also listed on the BTH War Memorial.

A notice appeared in the In Memorial column of the Rugby Advertiser of 28th April 1917.

“Davis – In ever-loving memory of our dear son and brother, Private ROLAND DAVIS, of New Bilton, who was killed in action in France on April 27th, 1916. – Not forgotten by his loving FATHER, MOTHER, BROTHER and SISTERS.”



22nd Apr 1916. Local War Notes


Mr J H Fazakerley, of the teaching staff of Murray School, has been called up in his Group, and has joined the 17th Battalion R.W.R.

Second Lieutenant Vernon Harris, Royal Warwicks, who at the outbreak of war was a science master at the Lower School, Rugby, has been killed in action.

Mr F J Kittermaster, of Rugby, has received notification from the War Office that his brother, Capt A N C Kittermaster, of the Worcestershire Regt, has been killed in action, Capt Kittermaster was the second son of the late Rev F W Kittermaster, M.A, of Meriden, Coventry, and Bayston Hill Vicarage, Shrewsbury. He was educated at Rugby, where he obtained his “ Cap,” being a member of the School House, 1886 – 1890. From 1896 to 1916 he was an assistant-master at Dulwich College, During the whole of this time he was a devoted and enthusiastic officer of the O.T.C, and for the last five or six years had been the O.C the Dulwich College Contingent. About a year ago he gave up the Boarding House, to which he had lately been appointed, in order to take a commission with the Worcestershire Regiment, and went out to Gallipoli in August. He took part in the evacuation of Suvla and of Cape Helles, and later on accompanied the 13th Division to the East. He was killed on April 4th or 5th.

The Bishop of Worcester points out that the reason for the small number of deacons just ordained in the diocese of Worcester is that he declined to ordain any young men who had not offered themselves for military service.

Pte F Cleaver, of E Company, son, of Mr W Cleaver, of 61 Rowland Street, Rugby, is in the Canadian Hospital, Dorsetshire, suffering from a bullet wound in the right side and back, and is progressing well. Another son of Mr Cleaver was discharged from the Army four months ago as the result of a severe wound.

The Director of Education for Warwickshire (Mr Bolton King) has drawn up a most interesting report, based upon returns sent in by the head teachers of all the elementary schools in the county. Ex-schoolboys who have obtained commissions include 1 Lieutenant-Colonel, 2 Majors, 10 Captains, 65 Lieutenants, 76 Sub-Lieutenants. Of these 154, 67 had all their education at the elementary and sometimes perhaps in the evening schools. One school at Rugby had ten commissioned officers, and another in a mining district six.


News has reached Rugby of the death in France of Lieut Harold Mansfield, who at the time war broke out was a clerk in the Steam Shed Office at Rugby, and joined the Howitzer Battery. Recently he obtained a commission, and was transferred to another branch of his Majesty’s Forces.


Mr Arthur James will open the grounds and gardens to the public, on Saturday and Sunday next, April 22nd and 23rd. Visitors are requested to keep to the paths, and not take dogs with them.


The Rev. C. T. Bernard McNulty, chaplain to the Forces in France, who is home on a month’s leave, preached at Leamington on Sunday. He said : “ I cannot tell you of the feelings of wonder and disgust with which we at the front read some of the claims for exemption under one pretext or another, especially the claims of the men who seek to evade duty in the name of the conscience—the ordinary conscientious objector. There are no conscientious objectors in France, no disputing who shall be first and who shall be last. In France every man wants to be first. In France compulsory military service is cheerfully and gladly obeyed by all classes. Laymen as well as clergy submit gladly to the stern, though necessary, demands of their Government.”

The Bishops of the Church of England, he added, had decided that it was not fitting that the clergy should join the combatant branches of the services. He sometimes wondered whether the Church, in coming to that decision, had not lost a golden opportunity. If, when the men came back they found clergy who had suffered with them in the trenches and endured the same hardships and faced the same risks he was sure they would flock to the churches.



Held at the Benn Buildings on Monday evening. Mr J J McKinnell presided, and there were also present : Messrs W flint, L Loverock, and W H Linnell. Major Neilson and Mr F M Burton represented the Military Authorities. Colonel F F Johnstone (Recruiting Officer) and Capt Allen (Supervisor of Military Representatives) were also present.


The first case was the adjourned one in which a dentist, living in Rugby, appealed on the grounds of ill-health. Mr Morson (Clerk) said this case had been adjourned at the wish of the Military Authorities for the appellant to be examined before the Medical Board at Warwick. On presenting himself at the Drill Hall, however, it was stated that he was refused a passport. However, he went to Warwick, where he was also refused an examination. Owing to registration difficulties, the Tribunal were doubtful as to whether they had any jurisdiction in the case, and he had written to the local Government Board. That Department had replied to the effect that on the evidence placed before them the application of the man was properly made to the Local Tribunal. The question was not affected by the fact that he was registered elsewhere. The requirement was not that a man should attend before any specified medical board, but that he should be examined by a medical practitioner nominated by the Military. Whether there had been an offence under the Registration Act was a question for the Registrar-General. Mr Morson said the man now produced a registration card stating that was registered under an address at Northampton. At the time he was registered he was boating on the Thames. He also had places at Rugby, Nuneaton, and Bedford, and he had produced a medical sheet signed by a doctor at Luton.

Mr Harold Baden represented the appellant, and said he had two medical certificates which he thought would satisfy the Tribunal. The Military Authorities asked for the man be medically examined at Warwick, and the man immediately went to the Drill Hall. Lieut-Col Johnstone was not there, but the sergeant gave appellant a form. A little later he saw Lieut-Col Johnstone, who told him that if he would come down in the afternoon he would see what could be done. The man realised his difficulty owing to not having been registered in the district, and he again went down in the afternoon, but apparently nothing could be done. In accordance with the wish of the Tribunal, the man made every endeavour to go through with it, and he went to Warwick, but was there met with the difficulty that he was an unattested man, and he had no pass or permit from the Military Authorities at Rugby, and his journey was futile. He asked the Tribunal to accept the certificates, which were perfectly bona-fide and honest. One was on a proper military form, and both of them-one granted at Blackpool, and the other at Luton—certified to the same fact, that the man was medically unfit.

Col Johnstone pointed out that these certificates were not signed by a recognised army doctor. Their orders were that men were to be examined before a medical board at Warwick. A medical history sheet or passport was given to the man by the sergeant, who was unable to be present that evening, to take to Warwick.

The Chairman asked if the fact that a man produced at Warwick a medical history sheet from the Recruiting Office at Rugby would be in itself an order to them to make a medical examination.—Col Johnstone : Yes.

Mr Eaden said with regard to Col Johnstone’s statement, his instructions were that the sergeant handed his client a form, which he took to be in order, until later on when he saw Col Johnstone, and then he understood that as his registration was not in order he could not use the form ; consequently, when he went to Warwick, he could not produce the form.—Appellant corroborated, and said he was told by Col Johnstone that he could not use the form.—Mr Eaden suggested that one of the certificates he produced was a military one, because if the doctor had nothing to do with the military he would not have been able to sign it.—The appellant said he did not take the form which was given to him by the sergeant to Warwick, because he was told by the Colonel that he was not entitled to it.

Col Johnstone then gave evidence, and said that the certificate produced by Mr Baden was not a medical history sheet, but an attestation paper, and although this was signed by a doctor to the effect that the man was unfit, it could not be accepted as an official document of the man’s rejection. A medical history sheet could be obtained from the clerk, and he told that official to give appellant one, and he believed this was done. He (Col Johnstone) also told the man that he could go through a medical examination by the Medical Board at Warwick.—The Chairman : Appellant says the impression left on his mind by the examination was that it was useless to take the form.—Col Johnstone : I don’t see how he could get hold of that impression at all.—In reply to Mr Eaden, (Col Johnstone said there was nothing to prevent him from giving a man a medical history sheet, if he came for one.—Mr Burton : If a conscript has an appeal pending, those grounds are sufficient for a medical history sheet to be given to him ?—Col Johnstone : Yes.—Appellant : The Colonel told me I was not entitled to a medical history paper, because he had no jurisdiction over me because I was not registered here.—Col Johnstone : Then why go to Warwick after all ?-Mr Eaden said if the man had taken the form which was given to him to Warwick he would have been acting under a misrepresentation, because he had been told that he ought not to use it.—Mr Burton pointed out that had appellant complied with the conditions of the Registration Act he would not have found himself in this dilemma. He asked for an adjournment for Sergt Patterson, who gave the man the form, to be present. He would have attended that evening, only he was unwell.—Mr Eaden : There are four Military representatives here. That is sufficient without Sergt Patterron.—The case was adjourned for a week for appellant to go before the medical board.


The Rugby Advertiser Co, Ltd, applied for an exemption for a monotype keyboard operator who was 39 years of age and indispensable. This case had been adjourned a week for the man to undergo a medical examination at Warwick, and he had now been passed for general service.—Mr. Hopewell pointed out in his statement of claim that the man had during the last six months worked on a monotype setting machine to release another younger man of military age, who is now in the army ; and he also acted as a machine feeder, by doing which he also released another man who had also joined the army. On medical grounds he was rejected when he offered himself in November, 1914, and when he attested under Lord Derby’s Scheme on December 8, 1915, the doctor would only pass him for home service. The machine worked by him was an exceptionally intricate one, and, as it was quite modern, they could not get older men to work it. The Tribunal granted an exemption till June1.

SCARCITY OF SLAUGTERMEN AT RUGBY.—Before dealing with the adjourned cases of several slaughtermen, the Tribunal asked Mr F Reeve, President of the Master Butchers Association, to explain the situation to them.—Mr Reeve pointed out that there were only nine qualified men who could dress a beast from start to finish in Rugby, and there were only nine butchers who had slaughtermen. Already they were co-operating in this matter. He himself had been without a man for 18 months. His son and three young men had gone, and he could not replace them. If these young men went, he did not know how they would manage.—The Chairman : Can’t you spare any.—Mr Reeve replied that he did not think they could. They did not wish to keep these men back, and they were doing all they could in the matter. The weather would be very difficult when it became warmer, and they would only be able to kill cattle in the evening. It was a very difficult thing for one man to kill a beast on his own, or for two men to do so, in the hot weather. Questions were asked as to whether or not the master butchers themselves were not qualified to slaughter if they were in a tight corner.—Mr Reeve said he could but be could not speak for others.—Mr Linnell thought all the master butchers had gone through the mill.—Mr Reeve said they required practice, and also they were not getting any younger. It was very difficult to dress a beast.-In reply to Mr Flint, he said there was now about one slaughterman to two butchers. Over 40 young men had been lost by the local butchers, and most of them were qualified slaughtermen. From 45 to 50 beast, about 250 sheep, 200 pigs, as well as calves and lambs were killed in Rugby every week. He asked the Tribunal to take into consideration the fact that there was not an ice factory in Rugby, and that a shortage of this commodity was threatened. Then, too, they must have qualified men to do the slaughtering, or the humane people would be on them.—The Chairman : Apart from that, it is the fact that if a beast is properly slaughtered it makes better food.—The appeals on behalf of three single slaughtermen were then considered, and exemptions were granted till October 1st.


A young man appealed for an exemption to allow him to complete his articles to a local chemist, which would expire on July 31st. He also wished to go in for a qualifying examination, which would necessitate four or six months’ course at College.—The Military Authorities recommended an exemption til August 1st, and this was confirmed.

A master butcher and slaughterman appealed on the ground that he was the sole support of a widowed mother. He had one brother, who was married. The Military Authorities offered an exemption till May 15th, but the Tribunal granted a conditional exemption.

A conditional exemption till October 15th was granted to an employe of Messrs Willans & Robinson’s, who wished to go to Nigeria to erect machinery at some tin mines there.

The Military Authorities offered conditional exemption in the cases of several young single bakers, but it was discovered that all of these were under the age of 25 and therefore not in a certified trade. It was decided to grant conditional exemption in each case, and if they wished the Military could ask for a revision of the certificate.


Two absentees under the Military Service Act were before the Birmingham magistrates on Monday. They were George K Earl, aged 34, farm labourer, of Yelvertoft, near Rugby, and William Price, aged 19, of 8 Claremont Road, Rugby, a carpenter. In the first case Earl had not registered, and had been working in various parts of the country. He should have reported himself on March 1st.—The Chairman remarked that the prisoner had rendered himself liable to a fine of £25, but as that was the first case to come before them they would let him off with £3, at the same time ordering him to await a Military escort.

In the case of Price, who should have joined on March, 16th the prisoner told the magistrates he went to see the Military Authorities, and the recruiting officer told him that they would send him straight away, but he said. “ What about my widowed mother ?” The recruiting officer said they would send someone to see her, but he replied that it was no use.—Eventually the Military Authorities said he could go, and they would send him another paper. He had not received it, and had not troubled since. He had supported the home since his father died, and was the only son. There was a baby just a year old.—In reply to other questions, he said he had not attested as his employer was on Government work, and told him not to bother, and if anything was said to refer the authorities to him. It was not that he did not want to do his bit.—A fine of £2 was imposed, and he was ordered to await his escort.

Snewing, Arthur Elkington. Died 18th Apr 1916

Arthur Elkington Snewing’s birth was registered in Rugby in the January-March quarter of 1893; he was baptised at St. Andrew’s church, Rugby on 20 March 1893, when his parents were living at 7 Bath Street, Rugby.

His grandfather had been a farmer, and his parents were Charles Snewing who had been born in Marylebone, and Rugby born Mary Barker née Betts. Their marriage was registered in Rugby in the third quarter of 1888. They then [1888] lived at 21 Wood Street, Rugby, but moved the next year [1889] to live at 3 Charlotte Street, and in 1893 when Arthur was born, his father, Charles Snewing, described himself as a ‘gentleman’.

In 1901, aged 8, he was with his parents, and the family was again living in Charlotte Street, but now at No.7. His father was ‘living on his own means’, as he would also be in 1911. He had an older brother Richard C Snewing who was aged 11.

He was educated at the Lower School of Lawrence Sheriff and was a member of the choir of Holy Trinity Church[1]. In 1911, aged 18 he was working as an Assistant Grocer, he was single and living at 142 Brighton Road, Balsall Heath, Birmingham.

After the war broke out he gave up his good situation to enrol in one of the Territorial battalions of the Warwickshire Regt.   When he enlisted his military record gave his residence as Handsworth, Staffordshire. His brother Richard was a Second Lieutenant in a Yeomanry Regiment in London.

He enlisted in the 15th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, he was a Private, No.908. The 15th (Service) Battalion (2nd Birmingham) was formed in Birmingham in September 1914 by the Lord Mayor and a local Committee, together with the 14th and 16th Battalions. These were the ‘Birmingham Pals’ Battalions.

He presumably enlisted in or near Birmingham around 1914 or early 1915, when he would have been aged about 22. Another member of the 15th (Service) Battalion, 19 year old George Henry Ball, who had a slightly later service number 1271, enlisted on 26 May 1915 at the Birmingham Recruiting Office. It seems likely therefore that Arthur would have enlisted slightly before that date.

After formation, the 15th Battalion moved to Sutton Coldfield. On 23 June 1915 together with the other two Birmingham Battalions, they were formally ‘taken over’ by the Army Council and transferred to Wensleydale to join the 95th Brigade of the 32nd Division and then to Codford, Salisbury Plain.


The Battalion was mobilised for war and on 21 November 1915, which date is also given for the ‘date of entry’ to the France theatre on Arthur’s Medal Card (above), they landed at Boulogne. He was transferred to the machine gun section on 2 February 1916.

The Division was subsequently engaged in various actions on the Western front, including in 1916, the Attacks on High Wood, the Battle of Guillemont, the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, the Battle of Morval, and the Battle of Le Transloy.

Prior to these major actions, on 14 January 1916, the 15th Battalion transferred to the 13th Brigade in the 5th Division. In March 1916, the 5th Division took over a section of front line between St Laurent Blangy and the southern edge of Vimy Ridge, near Arras.

Situated just a few kilometres from German lines for the whole of the war, the town of Arras formed a salient in the front and as such, from October 1914, was a regular target for German artillery. St Laurent Blangy adjoins the north-east side of the city of Arras and until 9 April 1917, the Allied front line ran practically through the village; Vimy is slightly further north.

Whilst there were no major actions at that date, there would have been constant shelling and risk of sniper fire whilst on duty in the trenches.

Arthur Elkington Snewing was killed in action on 18 April 1916, aged 23, shot by a sniper through the heart and lungs, while trying to arrange a rubber ground sheet in the trenches, so as to make things more comfortable for his comrades.

The officer in charge of the machine gun section said he was a thoroughly reliable and fearless man, and a man whose cheery humour at all times would keep up the spirits of the whole section.

He was buried at 6.45pm on 19 April in the Faubourg-d’Amiens Cemetery, Arras in Plot: I. A. 45. The Commonwealth section of the cemetery was only begun in March 1916, behind the French military cemetery established earlier.

Snewing grave

Arthur ‘s grave is in the first row of the cemetery, so was one of the first to be buried there.   These early burials are in approximate order of date of death, suggesting a fairly low casualty rate at that time.

This also suggests that he may have been killed nearby, in the more southern area of the line, nearer to St Laurent Blagny and Arras itself.

He is also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates and Clifton Road Rugby Cemetery and the Old Laurentians Memorial.

His parents Charles and Mary Snewing were living at 20 Bath Street Rugby at the time of his death.

Probate was granted in London on 4 June 1924 to Mary Barker Snewing, widow. This was not Arthur’s widow, he was unmarried, but his mother, who had been recently widowed on the death of Arthur’s father in late 1923. It was no doubt as a result of his father’s death that it was necessary to clarify the probate situation of Arthur who had died some eight years earlier. Arthur’s effects amounted to £1,461-8s.


[1] Rugby Advertiser 29 April 1916. See full entry below.

An Old Laurentian Killed

On Saturday morning last Mr and Mrs Charles Snewing of Bath Street Rugby received the sad intelligence that their second son Pte Arthur Snewing had been killed in action. Pte Snewing was a bright, light-hearted and fearless young man of 23, a favourite with all who knew him, whether civilians or fellow soldiers. He was educated at the Lower School of Lawrence Sheriff and was a member of the choir of Holy Trinity Church. After the war broke out he gave up a good situation to enrol in one of the Territorial battalions of the Warwickshire Regt.   He went out to the front in November last, and was subsequently transferred to the machine gun section. The news of his death was conveyed to Mr and Mrs Snewing – for whom much sympathy is felt – in the following letter from the officer in charge of the machine gun section:

“ April 19 – It is with the greatest possible regret that I write to break to you the news of your son’s death. He had been a member of my machine gun section since February 2nd, and during this time I have proved him to be a thoroughly reliable and fearless man, and a man whose cheery humour at all times would keep up the spirits of the whole section.   He is a very great loss to me indeed, as such men are hard to find. He was killed on the morning of the 18th between 6 and 6.30 am. Shot by a sniper through the body, the bullet piercing the heart and lungs, death being instantaneous.

He was buried this evening (the 19th) at 6.45pm, the Brigade Chaplain officiating. Your son was a most popular man in the battalion, and his appearance at concerts was always looked forward to, is humour being so delightful. I assure you sincerely of my heartfelt sympathy for your loss.

The Rev Cecil Williams, the chaplain, also wrote a kind and sympathetic letter, in which he adds: – ‘His loss is really a very great one to the battalion. Always bright and cheerful, whether in or out of the trenches, he helped in a very marked degree to keep the spirits of us all up. I, in particular, shall miss him as during the period he was last in reserve, before going into the trenches for the last time I saw a great deal of him at my club, and the day before he went in he came to my evening service at the little chapel we have attached to the club. He was buried in the British Cemetery here and a cross will be put up on his grave at once’. The rev gentleman also stated that Pte Snewing was shot by a sniper while trying to arrange a rubber ground sheet in the trenches so as to make things more comfortable for his comrades.

Mr and Mrs Snewing had only two sons, and the elder one is a Second Lieutenant in a London Yeomanry Regiment now in one of the spheres of action.

Mr and Mrs Snewing desire to thank all those kind friends who have written or called to express their deep sympathy with them in their bereavement.



15th Apr 1916. The Tribunals at Work



Compared with the previous sitting a fortnight earlier, there were fewer cases to be dealt with by the District Appeal Tribunal at the Benn Buildings on Friday evening last week ; but the Court lasted for two and a half hours, and some interesting points were raised. Mr M K Pridmore (Mayor of Coventry) presided, and there were also present : Messrs P G Loveitt, K Rotherham, and J Johnson, jun. Mr F Channing represented the Board of Agriculture, and Lieut Beard the Military Authorities.


The case of James Henry Ivey, of the Mission Hall, Hillmorton, had been put back from the previous Court for applicant to be medically examined.—Having raised other points without avail, Mr Eaden, who represented applicant, passed on the claim on conscientious grounds, and applicant called his sister to prove that he had expressed views against war prior to Jan 1st, 1915.-The Chairman said they would want some other evidence, and Mr Watson was called. He said Applicant had expressed an opinion to him since he had an idea that he would be called up for military service (laughter).—Applicant said in the course of half an hour he could fetch two witnesses, and the case was put back to enable him to do this.

Later in the evening William George Loveday, Probation Officer, Rugby, said he had known applicant from his birth, and he had expressed to him his conscientious objection to warfare ten years ago and since.—Pressed by Lieut Beard for the exact words, Mr Loveday said applicant had told him that Jesus Christ came on purpose to save life, not to destroy it, and as His follower and disciple he had the same opinions as his Master.

Lieut Beard asked to have the other witness called, but the Chairman said they were satisfied. They thought Mr Loveday was a perfectly straight witness, and in the circumstances Mr Eaden objected to the calling of further evidence.

The Chairman : We offer you national service.-Applicant : I think I am doing better where I am.

The Chairman said people were nice and comfortable in their own places, and had conscientious objections, but were not prepared to make sacrifices. They would adjourn the case for a fortnight for applicant to get into some really national service. A committee had been appointed by the Government, and Mr Eaden would be given the Secretary’s address, and asked to communicate with him, the Chairman stating that if the Secretary to the National Committee said applicant’s present employment was satisfactory, that would satisfy the Tribunal.


Arthur Russell, Mill Street Farm, Dunchurch appealed for an exemption for George Clifford Dumblebee, described as a shepherd and stockman.-The Local Tribunal found the case unsatisfactory, being of opinion it was a case of a farm pupil staying on as farm labourer to avoid military service.

Mr Harold Eaden represented appellant, who said he was first educated at the National School at Eastbourne, and then at Eaton House School, Hull. Previous to coming to Mr A Russell in July, 1915, as stockman and shepherd at £1 a week, he was employed by Mr T Russell, of Anstey. Four years ago a premium of £50 a year was paid to Mr Russell’s father in respect of applicant.-Q : It has been suggested that you spend your time shooting.-No ; I do not.-The Chairman : Have you ever used a gun ?-A : Yes.-Q : What for ?-A : I have to go into the ploughed fields and “ tent ” the crows with it.-He added that it was Mr Russell’s gun, and the shooting was preserved by Mr Blyth of Cawston House.-Mr Eaden : The whole of your shooting consists of scaring the crows ?-A : That is so.-The Chairman : Have you ever shot at rabbits ? -A : I have shot a rabbit in my life.-By Lieut Board : He had a motor-bicycle given him by his mother on his birthday.-Q : Do you ride on it for pleasure ?-A : Not much.-Applicant said when he rode the bicycle for business Mr Russell paid for the petrol.-The Chairman : Who pays the tax on the motorcycle ?-A : I do.-By Lieut Beard : He had a driving license and paid for it himself, but he had never had a side-car.-Lieut Beard : Have you not been out on “ joy rides ” with girls on your motorcycle ? –A : No-Mr. Eadon : That is wide of the mark, I suggest – Lieut Beard : It is very near the mark. (To appellant): Do you think it consistent with your occupation that you should be going out riding a motor-cycle ? -A : I had it given me.-Q : Do you know of any other cowman and stockman who rides a motor-bicycle ?-A : I don’t know very many.-Mr Russell said he knew a postman who rode a motor-bicycle.

Further questioned, applicant said he left school at 16, and was now 21. He went to Mr Russell, sen, as a pupil to learn farming.-Lieut Beard : With what object ?-A : To get to know how to do the job properly.-Lieut Beard : Yes, and then to get a farm of your own ?-Applicant : If I could scratch together enough money.

The Chairman said they were not satisfied the man was indispensable on the farm and that it was in the national interest he should continue there. The appeal would be dismissed.

Lieut Beard said it had been reported that Mr Russell had used some threats to a member of the Local Tribunal, and perhaps the Chairman would say something to him about it.-Mr Russell said he had used no threats whatever.-Mr Eaden said this was not a matter for the Tribunal. There was a proper place to deal with any threats said to have been used.

The Chairman said they did not think Mr Russell was justified in bringing the case before them. Mr Russell : Well, gentlemen, I do think this-

The Chairman : It does not matter what you think. The case is finished.


Although a munition volunteer, Thos Wm Pillerton, 7 Bridget Street, New Bilton, described as a coremaker and engineering inspector, claimed to have a conscientious objection to military service. He said he recognized that the State had a right to service from every individual, and for that reason he was working on munitions.-This case had been adjourned for applicant to apply for his discharge.-Applicant said when he applied his discharge was at first refused, but he was now under a week’s notice.-Fredk Wm Shaw, assistant works manager at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s, said from the report in the local paper it appeared that appellant misled the Tribunal. He had been shown as a skilled inspector of munition work. His “ skill ” amounted to a total service of seven months, and the period covered at the works as an inspector had been from January 18th to that date. Prior to that he was engaged by them in 1911 as a labourer. He was ultimately put to core making, and stayed with them 3½ years. During that time he left for one-short period, but came back when the war broke out, leaving again ostensibly to join the army.

The Chairman (to applicant) : Do you agree you left ostensibly to enlist ?—A : I did not go to enlist—Q : Did you state you were going to enlist ?-A : Certainly not.—Mr Shaw said at the time the man was in the foundry, and the foundry foreman or one of his assistants put his name on the foundry roll of honour. He added that this was not the official roll of the firm.-Appellant : That was simply done as a wager that I could not pass the doctor. The Chairman : Have you still got your conscientious objection ?-A : Yes, certainly.

The Chairman : A man who puts his conscience to a wager would sell his conscience ; and he is doing munition work too.

Applicant said the firm was simply biassed against him because he took part in a strike three years ago. They paid him £2 5s a week as an inspector, and he was a member of the Amalgamated Society of coremakers, who would not have him unless he was a skilled man.

The Chairman said they were quite satisfied there was no conscientious objection, and they would put applicant for combatant service.

The Military representatives appealed against a conditional exemption granted to Arthur William Mackaness, farmer, Cawston, on the ground that his father could supervise the farm.—Lieut Beard asked for an adjournment because he had not been properly instructed, but the Chairman said that was not the fault of the Tribunal, besides which it was a military appeal.—Lieut Beard said he was informed applicant was put in his present occupation with the intention of avoiding military service.—Applicant said he took the farm 12 months last January, prior to which he managed another farm.—Mr Channing contended that the man was indispensable, and, the Tribunal concurring, the appeal was dismissed.

F H Lawley, representing R B Wright, of Bilton Hall Farm, appealed for an exemption for his son, Ernest Chas Lawley, a wagoner on a farm of 140 acres, more than half of which was ploughed land.—Mr F M Burton said at the Local Tribunal Mr Wright said he did not think they would grant an exemption—it was the man’s mother who did not want him to go.—The Chairman told Lawley he was not the man aggrieved. If Mr Wright did not come there and let them know the facts himself, all they could do was to dismiss the appeal.


Thomas Barnett, clerk, 12 Arnold Street, Rugby who said he was a member of the community of the Son of God, and appealed on conscientious grounds, called Clifford Chas Beardsworth, 15 Arnold Street, Rugby, who had known him five years, and who said appellant had on several occasions stated to him that he could not take human life or render unconditional allegiance to any earthly monarch.—Although working at the B.T.H applicant said he was not doing munition work. His occupation was to check invoices, some of which dealt with shells.—The Chairman : Do you really mean to say your conscience will allow you to draw a salary in a controlled firm under the Government and won’t allow you to use those munitions under the control of the Government ? Why don’t you cut the terrible thing altogether and get into some other employment ?—Applicant : As far as making munitions is concerned and firing them, I cannot have anything to do with it.—The Chairman : But you do ! You are just as much assisting in killing them as if you were killing them.— A : I don’t see that —Lieut Beard asked that applicant should be given combatant service.—Applicant : If it is made a condition of exemption, I am willing to give in my notice to-morrow.—The Chairman : We are not satisfied that you have a genuine conscience, and we shall put you for combatant service. If you are assisting in making munitions, you are assisting in using them.


Another salvationist, Alfred John Routley, a house painter, lodging at 2 Benn Cottages, North Street, who is a conscientious objector, had been recommended for non-combatant service, appealed because he objected to take part in warfare. All nations were his brothers, whether Germans or any other nationality, and he could not raise a hand to destroy them.—Learning that appellant belonged to the Salvation Army, the Chairman said : You got as near the military business as you could.—Chas Fredk Stowe, with whom appellant lived, said he had expressed views on the same lines since his conversion six years ago.—The Chairman asked applicant if he was willing to do any national service, as painters could be done without at the present time ? Was he willing to go as a farm labourer ?—Applicant : Then I should be releasing somebody to go to the war, I suppose.—The Chairman : You can go for non-combatant service. You are fed at the expense of the men fighting in the North Sea, and yet you won’t’ go and earn your bread on the land. One of these days you will get a conscience that will help you to earn your living.—Appeal dismissed.


15th Apr 1916. Alien Woman’s Roaming Habits


TUESDAY.—Before Lord Braye, Dr Clement Dukes, T A Wise, A. E Donkin, and J J McKinnell, Esqrs.

ALIEN WOMAN’S ROAMING HABITS.-Marth E Goodman, 16 Charlotte Street, Edgbaston, Birmingham, was charged on remand with that she, being an alien, failed to furnish to the registration officer of the district particulars within 48 hours of her change of address, at Rugby, on the 5th inst.—Defendant said she was an English woman by birth and married a Russian. The husband wrote to the effect that his wife had left his home without his consent to roam about. She had done so before last year, and at such time her mind became unhinged. He asked the Bench to deal with under probation with such a warning as would make such an impression on her as to compel her to return to her husband and child and lead an honourable life.—The Clerk : Why don’t you stay with your husband ?—Defendant : I do.—The Chairman : Then why are you here ? Defendant replied that she had come away on business connected with some work that she was doing.—The case was adjourned till the following day, for her husband to be sent for.-Defendant : In the meanwhile, where will I be.—The Clerk : Down below.—Defendant I : don’t like being down below very well. Good morning.

On Wednesday defendant was brought before T A Wise, Esq. Her husband appeared, said he was willing to take her home, and was allowed to do so, defendant being warned by the magistrate that she must not roam about without registering herself.


Arthur Willis, engineer, 137 Murray Road, Rugby, was summoned for not shading or reducing the inside lights of his dwelling-house so that no more than a dull subdued light was visible outside, at Rugby at 9.55 p.m on 4th Inst.—Defendant claimed that the light was sufficiently dull, there being curtains drawn across.—P.S Percival said he went to the back of defendant’s premises and saw a gas jet full on in the back kitchen, there being no blind down or curtain drawn. The light was showing on to the house adjoining. There was also another window, screened with a light buff blind, which was showing the light through. When this was pointed out to defendant he laughed, and said if he had got to pay he could do so, and didn’t care.—Defendant said the light in the scullery was put up because he heard somebody in next garden, and this proved to be the police officer.-The Clerk said the order stated that there must be no more than a dull light visible from any direction outside.-Sergt Percival (recalled) said the light had been in the scullery for some time before they went into the adjoining garden.—The Chairman said they found there was a light from the house, and fined defendant £1.


Supt Edward J Clarke, Rugby, was summoned by Charles Gay, 87 Sandown Road, Rugby, for not shading or reducing the inside lights of a room at the Police Court at Rugby on the 3rd inst.—Mr Harold Eaden defended, and pleaded not guilty.—Complainant stated that on the evening of the 3rd April, at 9.58 p.m. he was in Railway Terrace, and saw a brilliant light coming from three electric lights situate in a room beneath the Police Court. It was coming from the room on the right-hand side of the entrance door.—By Mr Eaden : He did not take the trouble that evening to enquire whether Supt. Clarke was in possession of this room. He saw one of Supt Clarke’s officers in the room on previous evening.

John William Higginbotham, called by complainant, said he saw in the room a man in plain clothes turning over papers.—By Mr Eaden : He was in as good a position as complainant to see who was in the room, but could not see below his bust, and it was agreed among the crowd to shout to the man to pull the blinds down. The rest of the building was darkness.

John Roland Fletcher corroborated.

Mr Eaden said the room in question was in the occupation or control of the Superintendent until November last year, when the Royal Warwick Reserves asked for the room for an orderly room. Supt Clarke put the suggestion forward to his superior officer, and it was returned with a suggestion that the proposal should come before the Bench, because it was considered at Warwick that it was a matter more for the local Justices, in conjunction with the Superintendent, and he understood that as a result the room was given entirely to the military for the time being. Since November last the police had had no occupation of the room. They were not responsible for the cleaning and even had not a key of the room. If an offence had been committed, it was done by neither Supt Clarke nor his servant.

Supt Clarke gave evidence in support of Mr Eaden’s statement.

P.S Brown said on the night in question he was in charge room at the Police Station when a representative of the Military Police came in with someone in charge, and then went across to the orderly room.

The Chairman said the Magistrates had come to the conclusion that the prosecution entirely failed, and the prosecutor in this case must pay the costs. It seemed quite clear that the premises had been handed over to another body other than the police, and therefore that body was responsible for what took place in that room. The prosecution, therefore, against the police was entirely misdirected.—Mr Eaden asked for defendant’s costs, including the solicitor’s fee, and Lord Braye said these would be allowed. He added that the Bench were entirely satisfied with the manner in which Supt Clarke had carried out his duties under the Lighting Order in the premises over which he had direct control.

ALLEGED INACCURATE STATEMENT.—Mr Woodworth, of Hillmorton Road, summoned last week for an infringement of the Lighting Order, attended the Court and took exception to certain statements reported in our local contemporary. It was there stated that Inspector Lines said he had previously cautioned defendant. This, Mr Woodworth said, was incorrect, as no previous warning had been given, and as the heavy had been levied probably under a misapprehension, he asked for mitigation of the penalty.—Inspector Lines was called, and denied that any such statement was made by him. Defendant had not been previously warned.—Mr Woodworth also pointed out that in another case Mr Donkin was reported to have said : “ In no case have the police taken action without previous warning.” This statement by Mr Donkin was therefore incorrect, as no warning had been given in his (Mr Woodworth’s) case.—It was pointed out that the fine of £2 was in respect of two windows, and Lord Braye said the Bench were not prepared to go back upon their decision of previous week.—Mr Woodworth then expressed hope that the representative of the paper he referred to, who was present, would correct his report this week.

COVENTRY MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL, Monday.—W W Wilson, 9 St John Street, Rugby, assistant metallurgical chemist, v Willans and Robinson, Ltd, Rugby. This was an allegation that his leaving certificate was unreasonably withheld. He said he had obtained an appointment with the Aeronautical Inspection Department at an increased salary, his present remuneration being 50s a week. The firm’s representative said they could not spare the man. The Court refused the certificate, and the applicant was informed that if he asked for an increase of salary no doubt the firm would consider it.

RUGBEIANS generally will be sorry to learn that Major C Beatty, D.S.O., Canadian Headquarters, has had the misfortune to lose his left arm, which was amputated at the elbow, as the result of a bullet wound. Major Beatty, it will be remembered, was training at Bedford Cottage, Newmarket,, where he had charge of Lord Howard de Walden’s horses, as well as of others in different ownerships. He is an elder brother of Admiral Sir David Beatty, and won his D.S.O. in the South African war.


A telegram has been received from the War Office stating that Capt A N C Kittermaster, O.R., Worcestershire Regiment, is reported from Basra as “ Missing, believed killed, April 4th to 5th.”

Mr and Mrs Keen, of 2 Winfield St, Rugby, received official report on Friday last that their son, Rifleman A Keen, Rifle Brigade, was killed. Deceased has previously been reported missing since 9th,May, 1915. He was 19 years of age, and before the war was apprenticed to the carpentry trade under Mr Bodycote, builder, Murray Rd.

The Warwickshire Yeomanry, who for sometime past have been stationed in Norfolk, have just been removed to another county on the East Coast.

Official intimation has been received that Lieut C H Ivens, only son of Mr J H Ivens, Hillmorton Road, Rugby, has been wounded, but whether seriously or not has not yet been indicated.


H Carter and E Doyle have joined the Warwicks.


The sad news has been received that Percy Ingram, the only son or Mr and Mrs Walter Ingram, has been killed in action. The deceased was one of the first men of the village to volunteer for active service, and the joined the Warwickshire Regiment. Deep sympathy is felt for his parents.


WORKING PARTY FOR SAILORS AND SOLDIERS.-The result of the working-parties held in this village during the winter months on behalf of our sailors and soldiers is that some 90 shirts and 30 pairs of socks have been made and distributed to them through different channels. After forwarding a parcel at Christmas to all local men on active service, it was decided that the rest of the garments should be divided between the Jackanapes Society (for hospitals) and the British Prisoner of War Depots. Several friends who were unable to attend the meetings worked diligently in their own homes, one worker having knitted a dozen pairs of socks since the war began. Many others kindly gave money for the purchase of materials, the total subscriptions for this purpose amounting to £11 5s 6d.

DANCE.—On Friday evening a dance, arranged by Willans and Robinson’s Athletic Club, was held in the Co-op Hall on behalf of a fund for sending comforts to men in the Rugby Howitzer Battery. The company numbered over 200. Messrs Crowther and F Ward were the M.C’s, and Mr Flowers’ orchestra supplied the music.

PRESENTATION.—On Saturday Mr Arthur Ingram, stage manager at the Empire, left his employment to join his group under the Derby Scheme. Mr Ingram, who lives at Avenue Road, New Bilton, has three brothers serving in the Army. On Saturday he was presented by the staff and artistes with a silver watch, and a collection was made at each performance on his behalf, and resulted in £5 being realised.



Note: In recent weeks the Rugby Advertiser has been reporting on the Appeal Tribunals. We have not been posting these as the names of the men concerned were not published. This week they have started including the names, so we will include these in the next post.

McNicoll, David. Died 15th Apr 1916

Private David McNichol
Regiment   Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry       Service No. 11042
Date of Death 15th April 1916
Grave/Memorial Reference VI. K. 2.
Cemetery Basra War Cemetery Iraq

David McNichol was born in Crewe Cheshire, in the early part of 1885, to William and Catherine McNichol, though on the Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 records he is given as born at Brinklow, Rugby and residing in Rugby.  On the 1911 census he is boarding in Rugby at 8 Cross Street and gave his birthplace as Crewe. On the 1891 census he was the third son of four boys and the family were living at Chester Street, Coppenhall, Nantwich, Cheshire and all gave their birthplaces as Crewe. David’s brothers were William, John and Douglas. Their father and mother were born in Scotland.   On the 1901 census the family are still at the same address and they are all working. The father’s occupation was as a Plumber. David was an Apprentice Bricksetter, his elder brother William was an Apprentice Engine Fitter, John an Apprentice Plumber and the youngest Douglas was in the Railway Time Office.   David was single in 1911 when he was living at 8 Cross Street Rugby and he is a Bricklayer.

He served with the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, arriving in France on 20th May 1915. He died of wounds 15th April 1916 and is buried in Basra War Cemetery Iraq.

He is listed on the Rugby Memorial Gates as McNicoll although  other records have him McNichol.



Franklin, Edward J. Died 13th Apr 1916

Private Edward J. Franklin       Service No. S/276
Regiment Rifle Brigade
Date of Death 13th April 1916
Grave/Memorial Reference VI. B. 18
Cemetery Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery Belgium

Edward Joseph Franklin was born at the beginning of 1895 at Clifton-upon-Dunsmore, Rugby. His parents were Francis and Fannie Franklin. On the 1901 census he is six years old and living with his family at Lilbourne Road, Clifton-upon-Dunsmore. His father, Francis, was a Police Constable. Also on this census Edward has two sisters Mabel Olive and Iris Lillian.   By the time of the 1911 census Edward has two brothers James Leslie and Gerald Clifton, and a sister Nellie. The boys are at school and the girls are apprentice dressmakers. Edward is not with his family on this census, but is working as a footman at Rugby School, 3 Barby Road Rugby and is aged 16 years.   His family are living at 4 Craven Road Rugby and at the time of Edward’s death the family are residing at 53 Craven Road Rugby.

Before he enlisted Edward was working in the Winding Department of BTH.

He served as a Private with The Rifle Brigade, The Prince’s Own 10th Battalion. Edward died of wounds 13th April 1916 aged 21 years, and he is buried at the Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, west Vlaaderek, Belgium. His gravestone is inscribed


Edward’s name appears in the Army Effects Registry, Record No. 283729 dated August 1916, giving authorisation to pay £8 4s 9d to sole legatee Fannie (the name of his mother) as he was unmarried. The date of the Authority was 7th August 1916.

Edward is also listed on the BTH War Memorial.



8th Apr 1916. Zeppelin Raids



During Friday night last week five Zeppelins raided the East Coast, and as a result 43 persons were killed and 66 injured. One of the Zeppelins was hit by gunfire and eventually fell into the sea off the mouth of the Thames. The crew surrendered, and the airship was taken in tow, but unfortunately broke in two and sank. A machine gun, petrol tank, and other pieces of machinery from an airship were also found on land, and it is believed another of the raiders had been damaged.

A number of our aeroplanes went up to attack the raiders. Lieut Brandon, R.F.C, on rising to 6,000ft, at 9.45 p.m, saw a Zeppelin about 3,000ft. above him. At 9,000ft. he got over it and attacked, dropping several bombs, three of which he believes took effect. At 10 p.m. he over the airship again, and let off two more bombs over her nose. His own machine was hit many times by machine-gun bullets.

This may have been the Zeppelin which dropped the machine gun, ammunition, petrol tank, and machinery.

Another raid was made on the North-east Coast on Saturday night, when eight dwelling-house were demolished and a fire caused. Sixteen persons were killed and 100 injured.

A third raid on Sunday night and Monday morning covered a large area, but the casualty list was very light, in comparison with the enemy’s expenditure of energy and bombs. Six airships took part in the raid, and dropped in the South-Eastern Counties of Scotland, on the North-East Coast of England, and in the Eastern Counties 188 bombs. The 53 bombs dropped by force of the Zeppelins in Scotland killed 10 persons and injured 11. In England 135 bombs were dropped—so far as is known—without causing a single casualty.

A Zeppelin again visited England very early on Tuesday morning, crossing the East Anglian Coast between two and three o’clock. Apparently it was not long over land. It did no damage and caused no casualties. Though several explosions have been reported, no fragments of bombs have been discovered.

Three Zeppelins visited the North-East Coast during Wednesday night. One was fired at, and numerous observers stated that it was struck. They dropped 48 bombs, and the casualties were 1 child killed and 8 persons injured. No military damage was caused.

“ Another Zeppelin was hit somewhere off the coast of this country at the same time as the L15, and I don’t think it was possible for it to be saved.” Mr Tennant made this positive assertion in the House of Commons when answering criticisms in another forcible speech by Mr Pemberton Billing.


A Rugbeian in one of the anti-aircraft gun batteries writes :—“ Our guns fetched the Zepp down, and we are claiming the prize (£500) offered by the Lord Mayor for the first one brought down. I saw the whole thing from start to finish—it was magnificent. When first discovered by our lights the bird was flying towards London. Then one of our guns got going and almost at once hit her twice in the tail. That proved a bit too much for her. Immediately she turned round and tried to clear out, but one of our other guns took it up, and she was hit again. The airship was now in a parlous state, and the last we saw of her she was gradually coming down tail first. We are very keen here, and heaps of people have been congratulating us.”


Boys under military age who have left school may now be enrolled in the University College, Nottingham, O.T.C., with a view of obtaining commissions in the Army. Suitable boys are urgently needed, and, as will be seen by advertisement in another column, Capt S R Trotman, the O.C., will supply all particulars.

Signaller J Goodman, R.F.A, in a letter from France to Mr W T C Hodges, says :-“ Up to now we have had some very hot positions as regards telephone communications. We have been in two attacks made by the Germans, and have also been gassed. This occurred on the 19th December, 1915, and we had to wear our gas helmets for five hours.”-Mr Hodges has also received communications from the Rev R W Dugdale and Sergt G H Renshaw (captain of the Rugby Football Club), both of whom are keeping well.

Sergt-Major J Tait, of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, who was in the heavy fighting at Sulva Bay and Chocolate Hill, has returned home from Egypt.


Pte A Norman, 3rd Rifle Brigade, of .York Place, Rugby, who, as we reported last week has been awarded the D.C.M, gained this honour for conspicuous gallantry in volunteering to carry an important message to headquarters nearly a mile away. He succeeded in getting through under heavy shell fire, and on another occasion he did the same thing. This is the second St Matthew’s boy who has won the D.C.M ; two others have won the Military Cross, and six have been mentioned in despatches.


Thursday. Present : Messrs J Johnson (chairman), W Dunn, H Tarbox. J H Walker, T Flowers, T Ewart, and C E Boughton-Leigh. Military representative : Mr M E T Wratislaw.


A Lawford Heath farmer attended in support of an application for exemption for one of his men, but the Clerk said this was made too late, and he had now received notice from the Military Authorities that the man had joined the colours.—The Chairman : There is nothing more to be said. You cannot get him out again.—Applicant : If we can’t get him back, he must stop, I suppose.


DALE.—In loving Memory of our dear son and brother, George Frank Dale, who was killed at Ypres, March 22nd, 1915.

Although he has gone from our sight, he is not forgotten by those who loved him.
“ Sleep on, beloved ; sleep, and take thy rest ;
We loved thee well, but Jesus loved thee best,
And has taken thee to thy eternal rest.”

PRESTIDGE.—In loving Memory of our dear son and brother, Joseph Prestidge, Barby, killed in action in France, April 11th, 1915.

“ He steeps not in his native land,
But under foreign skies,
Far from those that loved him best,
But in a hero’s grave he lies.”