9th Dec 1916. An Urban Council Employee’s Wages

AN URBAN COUNCIL EMPLOYEE’S WAGES.

Leave to appeal for a further extension was asked for Mr M J H Sharp, surveyor under the Rugby Urban District Council, in respect of Arthur Williams (35, married), chargehand at the refuse destructor, living at 58 Bennett Street.—In a letter Mr Sharp said he had advertised the post six times, and had not received a single application. The Military Authorities had supplied substitutes, who had refused to take on the work after visiting the destructor and seeing what was required of them. If the man joined up before a suitable substitute was obtained, the Council would be left in an awkward position, and no doubt the destructor would have to be closed down, as neither of the three men left was fit to take charge. Seeing the man was passed for garrison duty only, the Surveyor considered he would be doing good service by remaining in his present employment.

The Chairman : What wages are you offering ?-Mr Sharp : Thirty shillings.—The Chairman : I think you ought to be ashamed of yourself to offer a wage like that. Do you know what the ordinary labourer gets at the Coventry destructor works ?—Mr Sharp : Ninepence an hour.—The Chairman : He gets £2 3s per week.-Mr Sharp : How many hours do they work ?—The Chairman : Fifty-four.—Mr Sharp said the average of the men at the Rugby destructor was less than that.

The Chairman asked if it was true that the Military sent a man who would have gone for £2 a week, and they would not have him ?—Mr Sharp : Not that I am aware of.-Mr Wratislaw : It is true.

Mr Sharp enquired who the man referred to was ?—The Chairman read a statement by the Military to the effect that Mr Sharp asked them to send the man up, and on his return he informed them he would have taken the place, only 30s a week was offered, and he would not agree to take it under £2.—The Chairman (to Mr Sharp : Did you offer him £2 a week ?—Mr Sharp : I said, “ Come down to the destructor and see what work you have got to do.” He went down, and he would not take the job.

The Chairman : The chargehands at our destructor are earning £3 10s a week. Leave to appeal refused. It is a disgraceful thing. You say the man is absolutely indispensible to Rugby. You say if he goes you will have to shut down, and the health of Rugby will be jeopardised, and yet you offer 30s a week. Leave to appeal is not allowed in this case. I do not think the Urban District Council of Rugby can really understand it.

Mr Sharp : I am placed in an awkward position. One of the men is away from work, and if Williams has to go I shall have to close down to-night.—The Chairman : Well, you will have to close down. You thoroughly deserve it. You have asked for it.—Mr Sharp : Thank you, Sir.

RUGBY VOLUNTEER CORPS.

The entertainments at the Co-operative Hall on Thursday and Friday last week were of a highly enjoyable character, and must have entailed a large amount of time and trouble on the part of the organisers. The colour scheme adopted for the costumes and stage (black and scarlet) was striking and pleasing to the eye. The members of the party are local ladies and gentlemen, who, however, prefer to remain anonymous.

“ Jacques ” with his patter was a source of mirth, and “ Coquette ” for her song “ Come and cuddle me,” was quite successful. The rich baritone voice of “ Pierre ” was heard to advantage in “ Sailor’s Paradise.” “ Babette ” was at her best in “ Whoops 1 lets do it again,” and Paulette” captivated the audience with her songs, “ Plumstones ” and “ God send you back to me,” which were rendered with ability. The concarted pieces were pleasingly rendered. “ Jeau ” was quite at home with “ Every morn you’ll hear him say Good-night,” and made a good hit. “ Little Reggie,” the pet of the party, caused roars of laughter on Friday, evening in a Charlie Chaplin make-up, and also did useful work as a programme seller.

The financial result was satisfactory ; it is expected, to clear about £30.

A collection was made each evening to provide, tea for the wounded soldiers, who were entertained at a special matinee on Saturday. The whole of the sum realised—vis, £3 7s 9d—will be given to the Rugby Infirmary V.A.D Hospital Fund.

The secretarial work was successfully carried out by Mr G O Watson, the hon secretary of the Corps.

The thanks of the Corps to the members of the party were expressed by Mr C H Fuller, Commandant, in a short speech at the performance on Thursday. Mr Fuller also urged on the public the usefulness of the Corps, as evidenced by Lord French’s interest and support. More men are urgently needed to bring the Corps up to Company strength. At present the Corps has Atherstone attached to it to form the “ B ” Company of the 2nd (County) Battalion.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

News has come to hand that Second-Lieut E F Lawlor, of the Monmouthshire, grandson of Mr John Lawlor, of 7 Charlotte Street (a member of the Rugby Board of Guardians), has been killed in action. He was with other soldiers killed by a shell on the parapet of a trench. Lieut Lawlor was well known in Marton and the vicinity.

Pte George H Dunstone, of the R.A.M.C, who at the time he enlisted was a clerk in the Traffic Department at Rugby under Mr Bolton, has won the Military Medal for his bravery in rescuing wounded soldiers when under fire. He has recently had ten days’ leave, and on visiting his friends at Rugby was heartily congratulated by them on the honour conferred upon him.

Captain E W E Kempson, commander of the unit of the Army Troops Corps, R.E, which was raised in Rugby, and originally known as the “ Rugby Fortress Company,” has been mentioned in despatches.

The parcels sent this week on behalf of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee to the Rugby and District men in prison camps in Germany, contained the following :— ½lb biscuits, 1 tin herrings, 1 tin Oxo cubes, ¼ tin cocoa, ½lb cooked ham in tin, 2oz tobacco. ½lb sugar, ½lb milk, pepper, salt, and mustard, 1 tin sausages, ½lb dripping in tin.

ANOTHER LONG LAWFORD SOLDIER KILLED.

Official information has been received by Mr and Mrs Elkington, of Long Lawford, that their son, Rifleman J Elkington, of the Rifle Brigade, was killed in action November 10th. Previous to the war, Rifleman Elkington was employed at the Carpenter’s Shop at the B.T.H, and had been in France for the past eighteen months.

PRESENTATION OF D.C.M.

At Bilton Hall Red Cross Hospital on Thursday, Colonel Johnstone presented to Gunner Roberts, R.G.A, the Distinguished Conduct Medal, won in Gallipoli in January, 1915, for carrying a wounded comrade to safety under very heavy fire. Col Johnstone, who was accompanied by Major Neilson, made a very appropriate speech, and pinned on the medal in the presence of the Commandant, the Quartermaster, the in-patients, and Staff.

LANCE-CORPL BOB MAYS AWARDED THE MILITARY MEDAL.

Mr J Mays, of 17 South Street, Rugby, has received a letter from his son, Lance-Corpl Bob Mays, of the Royal Berkshire Regiment, describing how he won the Military Medal. He says : “ We endeavoured three times, Corpl Hester, Pte Sullivan, and myself, to obtain a sample of the German barbed wire. It was during the third attempt that Corpl Hester was shot through both thighs, and his cry of pain brought very heavy rifle and machine-gun fire from the enemy’s line. After dressing Corpl Hester’s wounds, I left Pte Sullivan with him, whilst I tried to find my way back to our trenches—a very difficult task in the black darkness. Three times I found myself in the German line, and eventually I managed to find our line, and returned to Corpl Hester and Pte Sullivan, and we managed to drag him along on his back whilst we crawled on our stomachs, for to kneel or stand meant certain death. Corpl Hester being 6ft in height, and Pte Sullivan and myself only 5ft 4in, he was a good load to carry ; but at last we managed to get him in, after being in “ No Man’s Land ” for over five hours. Pte Sullivan and myself were recommended for the Military Medal, and have both received our reward. Lance-Corpl Mays was formerly a Staff-Sergeant in the Boy’s Life Brigade and had previously been wounded.

BRINKLOW.

SOLDIER’S DEATH AND MILITARY FUNERAL.—The death of Lance-Corpl William Robert Everton, aged 27, of the Military Foot Police, occurred at Brinklow on November 27th. The deceased, who was a native of Tottenham, came from France on special leave on November 11th to stay at the home of Mr S Heath, to whose daughter he was engaged. He caught a cold, which developed into pneumonia. He was originally in the King’s Own Scottish Borderers, and had served five years in India. His regiment took part in the disastrous Gallipoli campaign, where he was wounded. He was afterwards drafted into the Military Police. The deceased was accorded a military funeral, which took place at the cemetery on November 30th. A special firing party came from Rugby for the purpose. The Rev G A Dawson was the officiating clergyman. In addition to the family mourners, a large number of the villagers and the school children gathered round the graveside, when the “ Last Post ” was sounded, many floral tributes were afterwards placed upon his grave.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
SOLDIERS’ GRAVES IN FRANCE.

To the Editor of the Advertiser.

DEAR SIR,—In my conversations with friends whilst on a few days’ leave from France I find out how very few people know of the Graves Registration Units of the British Army.

I am often asked the question : “ How are our soldiers buried and graves attended to ? ” I think the following information will put any uneasy mind at rest if you will be kind enough to insert it in your paper :—

The work of the Graves Registration Units is carried on by officers, N.C.O’s, and men who are otherwise unfit for fighting. Land is bought at various spots along our line, is surveyed and marked out for cemeteries. Hedges, trees, shrubs, &c, are being planted, so that the cemeteries are permanent resting-places for our dead soldiers. The bodies are laid in separate graves, or side by side, one foot apart. The graves are carefully tended, and flowers planted, &c. The grave is registered, and the records filed for enquiries. A cross is erected over every grave with the man s number, name, regiment, &c, inscribed upon it. Photographs are taken of any grave when applied for, providing the grave can be reached without undue exposure to the enemy.

Any enquiries or applications should be addressed to : THE DIRECTOR, G.R Units, G.H.Q, B.E.F,

I am, sir, yours truly,
A E AINSWORTH,
Attached G.R Units, France.
84 Manor Road, Rugby.

DEATHS.

ELKINGTON.—In ever-loving and affectionate remembrance of our dear son, John Thomas Elkington, who was killed in action on November 10, 1916 ; aged 27 years.—“ God’s will be done.”—From his sorrowing MOTHER and FATHER, SISTERS and BROTHERS.

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