RUGBY BOARD OF GUARDIANS.
INCREASED NUMBER OF TRAMPS.
The Master (Mr W Dickens) reported the number in the Institution to be 83, compared with 112 on the corresponding date last year, and 141 in 1915. Vagrants relieved during the fortnight numbered 41 ;corresponding period last year, 13 ; 1915, 20.
The Master said 27 of the men who passed through the tramp wards gave their occupation as labourers, but not agricultural labourers—at least, they did not seem able to dig. Two men gave their occupations as painters. There was also a gardener, a groom, a printer, a miner, etc. Of The men he could only recognise eight “ old hands,” many of the others seeming new to the road. He tried to ascertain the reason for their being on the road, and was informed by some that employers told them they were not allowed to employ anyone between the age of 18 and 69, whilst others said in places where there was plenty of work about they could not get lodgings. He was also told that people did not give to casuals as they used to do, and so they were obliged to enter the casual wards. From personal observation, there were very few of the men whom any farmer would employ, if their work in the garden was any criterion of their ability. The majority could not, or would not, handle a spade properly. To his mind there were only two bona fide working men in the whole lot. Rugby had held the record of having the lowest number of tramps in any institution in Warwickshire for the last two years, and he did not wish to have that record spoilt, so went carefully into the reason for the increase.—The Chairman said one reason for the increase might be that as the weather was now getting warmer and food was being rationed, some of the casuals thought they would look outside, and so were roaming about.
Mr Rowbottom said he was glad to hear the public had stopped giving to the tramps, which was the object of the work of the Vagrancy Committee. There was a reduction of 7,400 in the number of tramps in the county last year, and during the past three months the decrease had been 2,518. Last quarter Rugby lost its position in regard to the number of tramps passing through the wards. The Master said he had been rather worried about the increased number of tramps, as for the past four years they had been comparatively free at Rugby, and he wanted to know the reason why the numbers had so much increased.—Mr Eaton suggested that the Board should communicate with the manager of the Labour Exchange, or should send the tramps there to inquire for work.—The Master said he had watched the men working in the garden closely, and he did not think any farmer in the district would give such men the minimum wage, because they were not worth it, if their work in the garden was any criterion. One man of 60 told him he had never touched a spade in his life before, to which he (the Master) replied that he ought to to ashamed to himself.
RUGBY PETTY SESSIONS.
A WARNING.—Fredk Louch, blacksmith, 25 Russell Street, Rugby, was summoned for failing to deliver to the Recruiting Officer at Rugby a statement of all male persons of 16 years of age or over employed by him contrary to the Defence of the Realm Act.—Defendant admitted the offence ; and Lieut Wratislaw, for the Military, stated that in the middle of March Major Neilson went to defendant’s premises, and saw there the old Form DR17, setting out a list of his male employees between the ages of 18 and 41. Major Neilson asked defendant if he had sent a copy to the Recruiting Officer in accordance with the directions, and he replied in the negative. Major Neilson also pointed out that the form was obsolete, and a new form had been issued. He informed him that he must make out this new form, and send a copy to the Recruiting Officer. On March 21st Louch was again before the Appeal Tribunal in respect of his son, and he was then asked about sending in the form, and was reminded that he must do so. On April 21st Insp Lines visited defendant, and asked why the form had not been sent in ; and defendant replied that he was not aware that he had been warned. This case was taken to make it public that these forms had to be prepared and sent in, and defendant was selected because he had been warned, and had then refused to comply.—Defendant did not admit that he was warned ; at least, he said he did not understand that this was so. Major Neilson, assistant recruiting officer, having given evidence in support of Mr Wratislaw’s statement, the latter said the penalty was six months’ imprisonment or a fine of £100 ; but they did not wish to press the case, except that he neglected to send the form in after he had been warned.—Insp Lines also gave evidence.—The Chairman said the Bench would take a lenient view of the case, because the Military did not wish to press it, but it must be made perfectly clear that these forms had to be sent in. Recruits could not be called upon unless this was done, and there was now an urgent need for men. If employers neglected to do this it was a serious matter.—He would be fined 15s, including costs.
ALLEDGED THEFT BY A SOLDIER.—Wm. Warne, gunner, R.G.A, Portsmouth, was charged with stealing from a box in bedroom in a house at Clifton, between 2 p.m on April 14th and 6 p.m on April 24th, six £1 Treasury notes, £5 in gold, and £6 14s in silver, the property of Edith Rollin, Clifton.—Defendant pleaded not guilty.— Prosecutrix stated that she lived at Clifton with her mother, and on April 14th she had £31 in a box in her bedroom. At 6.30 p.m on April 24th she went to the box to get some money, and she then found that £17 had gone. She had known defendant since October, when he was billeted at Clifton. He visited her house frequently, and he had heard her mother say that she had some money. One Saturday night she changed some gold for him, and defendant then saw one of the boxes where she kept her money. At six o’clock on April 16th, when she came home, she saw defendant in the house, and she understood that he had been there since four o’clock. On Wednesday, April 18th, she and defendant were at a friend’s, and defendant informed her that he had no money, and did not know when he would have any.-Cross-examined, witness admitted that her cousin stole 5s from her five weeks ago, but a fortnight ago the money, in respect of which this charge was taken, was quite safe.—Mrs Rollins stated that on April 16th defendant visited her house, and asked her to post a letter for him. She did so, and left him alone for ten minutes. On another occasion she left Warne alone while she went to fetch some water.-Lilian Holman stated that on April 15th defendant informed her that he had no money.—Detective Mighall said he arrested defendant as an absentee, and informed him that he was enquiring about the money. Defendant denied all knowledge of it, but on searching him witness found he had £4 in notes in a book and a receipt for £1 16s which he had sent to a tailor.—In defence, Warne said he had had money in his possession ever since he had been in the district. He did not tell the previous witnesses that he had no money. He brought the £4 from camp. Some of this was what he had saved from his Army pay, and the other represented his winnings at cards.—Violet . Rose Cashmore said when defendant came into the district early in April he informed her that he had some money. She had been keeping company with him, but had never seen him with any money.—The Chairman said the Bench felt that there was a very strong suspicion against him but for lack of evidence the case would be dismissed.
LOCAL WAR NOTES.
Corpl L G Archer, K.R.R, of 13 Bennett Street, and an old St Matthew’s boy, was wounded in the big advance, and his arm has been amputated.
2nd Lieut. J P Angell, R.F.C, eldest son of Mr and Mrs J Angell, 166 Lawford Road, has been awarded the French Military Medal for Distinguished Service while he was Sergt. Major, and has received congratulations from His Majesty the King. Mr Angell has two other sons serving with the Colours.
THE LATE LIEUT AUBREY CHAPLIN.
Mrs Chaplin. “ The Firs,” Bilton Road, Rugby, has received the following telegraphic message from the Keeper of the Privy Purse in reference to the death of her son, who was killed on April 8th :—“ The King and Queen deeply regret the loss you and the Army have sustained by the death of your son in the service of his country. Their Majesties truly sympathise with you in your sorrow.”
Pte F Heath, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, is in hospital at Gloucester suffering from several wounds and shell shock.
Pte Charles Batchelor, of the Royal Warwicks, whose parents live at Addison Terrace, Bilton, was killed in action on April 11th. He was 19 years of age and had only joined up about four months. He was formerly in the Turbine Department at the B.T.H., and was an active member of the Bilton Working Men’s Club, and the Cricket Club.
Trooper E J Reeve, of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, son of Mr A H Reeve of North Street, Rugby, has been wounded.
Mr S Neeves of Murray Road has received official intimation that his son, Captain H H Neeves, of the Northumberland Fusiliers, has been admitted to Hospital with gun shot wounds in left shoulder.
PTE ALFRED SHORNEY.
Another member of Murray School, Pte Alfred Shorney, died of wounds received in action on April 10th. Pte Shorney was a grandson of the late Mrs Hillgrove, of the Squirrel Inn.
RIFLEMAN M BURTON.
Rifleman Montague Burton, K.R.R, son of Mr and Mrs E T Burton, 35 Avenue Road, New Bilton, was killed in action on April 10th. Rifleman Burton was educated at St Matthew’s School, and was afterwards employed at the B.T.H Works. He enlisted at the outbreak of the War, and was sent to the front in 1915. Last year he was wounded and invalided home, where he remained for several months, and since his return to France he has been through much severe fighting.
KILLED IN ACTION.—On Tuesday Mrs Walter Green received official intimation that her husband of the Royal Warwicks had been killed in action. Deceased was the youngest son of Mr Henry Green, and leaves one child.
BATCHELOR.-In loving memory of Lance-Corpl. C. BATCHELOR, of 7 Addison Terrace, Old Bilton, who was killed is action in France on April 11, 1917.
“ Sleep on, dear brother, in a far-off grave :
A grave we may never see ;
But as long as life and memory last
We will remember thee.”
—From FATHER and MOTHER, SISTERS and BROTHERS.
BOLTON.—Pte. R. F. BOLTON, 8th Canadian Battalion, son of Mr. and Mrs. R. H. Bolton, Staverton, officially reported killed in action on April 2nd ; aged 24.
BURTON.—Rifleman M. Burton, K.R.R.C, dearly beloved and only son of Mrs. E. T. Burton and of the late E. T. Burton, of 35 Avenue Road, New Bilton, killed in action in France on April 10, 1917.— Deeply mourned by his MOTHER and SISTER.
COLEMAN.—Killed in action on April 10th, at France, Lance-Corpl. G. B. COLEMAN, the dearly beloved son of Thomas and Sarah Coles, Binley ; aged 23 years.
“ Had we but one last fond look
Into his loving face,
Or had we only got the chance
To kneel down in his place,
To hold your head, our own dear son,
While life’s blood ebbed away,
Our hearts would not have felt so much
The tears we shed to-day.
So ready to answer the call to the brave,
Although you now rest in a far distant grave.
More or better could any man give
Than die for his country that others might live.”
CLEAVER.—On April 24th, in France, WILLIAM THOMAS CLEAVER, eldest son of Joseph Cleaver, of 17 East Street, Rugby ; aged 31.
“ Somewhere in France there is a nameless grave,
Where sleeps our loved one among the brave ;
One of the rank and file, he heard the call,
And for the land he loved he gave his all.”
COX.—On April 20th (died of wounds in Palestine), FREDERICK WILLIAM, Corporal in the Warwickshire Yeomanry, aged 23 years ; second son of Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Cox, of Lodge Farm, Lawford Road, Rugby.
GOODYER.—Died in France on April 4th of wounds received in action, MAURICE EDGAR, eldest son of Mr and Mrs. Goodyer, The Gardens, Long Itchington, aged 20 years.
LIDDINGTON.—Died in hospital in France on April 26th from wounds received in action, WALLACE, second son of F. W. and Kate Liddington ; aged 31.
SCOTTON.—On April 9th (on active service), FRANK SCOTTON, third son of Theophilus Scotton ; aged 25.
SHORNEY.—Died in France on April 10th of wounds received in action, ALFRED, the second and dearly beloved son of Mrs Shorney, Rose and Crown, Basingstoke.
DEMPSEY.—In loving memory of Sergt. P. DEMPSEY, K.O.S.R, who died of wounds in France on April 30, 1916.
STEBBING.—In affectionate remembrance of SYDNEY REGINALD, our dearly beloved son, who died of wounds in France on 4th May, 1915. Buried in Hazebrouck Cemetery.
“ In health and strength he left his home
To fight in lands afar ;
But it pleased the Lord to bid him come,
And before His throne appear.”
—From his still sorrowing FATHER, MOTHER, SISTERS & BROTHERS.