22nd Apr 1916. Local War Notes

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.

LIEUT HAROLD MANSFIELD KILLED.

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.

SPRING FLOWERS AT COTON HOUSE.

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.

WHAT THE SOLDIER THINKS OF THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR.

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.

THE TRIBUNALS AT WORK.

RUGBY URBAN DISTRICT.

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.

A CONFLICT OF EVIDENCE.

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.

APPEAL FOR A MONOTYPE OPERATOR.

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.

OTHER CASES.

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.

ABSENTEES UNDER THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT.

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.

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