30th Jun 1917. Lord Roberts Memorial Workshops

LORD ROBERTS MEMORIAL WORKSHOPS FOR DISABLED SOLDIERS & SAILORS.

RUGBY & DISTRICT TRIBUTE DAY Saturday, July 7th.

At the beginning of the present War it was realised, both by Lord Roberts and by the Committee of the Society, that in order to deal with the numbers of soldiers and sailors returning disabled it would be necessary to greatly extend the original Workshops Scheme. Various plans were discussed, but while the matter was still under consideration the great Field-Marshal passed away in the midst of his troops.

A SUITABLE MEMORIAL.

As the question of a suitable Memorial was raised, it was felt that by using the money subscribed to carry out Lord Roberts’ own suggestions and ideas with regard to the Workshops no greater and more lasting Memorial, could be given to him. After consultation, therefore, with the Countess Roberts, who gave the proposal her warmest support, it was decided to start the Lord Roberts’ Memorial Fund for Workshops for Disabled Soldiers and Sailors, and arrangements were at once made to acquire a large Factory in London, with the idea that from this centre a large manufacturing business could be established, which would give employment to all disabled men who wished to profit by the scheme.

TOY-MAKING the STAPLE INDUSTRY.

After due consideration, the Committee decided to start Toy-making as the staple industry, to this way serving two purposes, for there was no time to lose in setting about the capture of this pre-eminently German trade.

Machinery for making wooden toys was duly installed, and the services of suitable instructors obtained.

By the end of 1915 over 80 different varieties of toys had been produced in large quantities, over 100 disabled men were employed, the public interest was aroused and the future of the Workshops as a manufacturing centre was assured.

So far so good ; but the business men in charge of the work saw much farther. They saw the need of not only providing employment for these men, but of providing a market for their goods—of manufacturing in such a way that the articles made could be sold to the trade at a trade price.

In this way—and in this way only—could they hope to make the Workshops pay their own way in the future, for it was obvious that, as the Society proposed to provide permanent employment a self-supporting industry was the only thing to be contemplated.

A STIFF PROBLEM.

The problem was a stiff one. Almost every day batches of disabled men were arriving, each knowing that good work and good pay were assured him the moment he entered the Workshops. Those who had started early were now becoming experts, and the quantity of toys being turned out was enormous.

It became apparent that London alone could not deal with the constant demands for employment, and it was decided to open Provincial Branch Workshops under the control of London, thus enabling the men to work, if they desired it, in their own localities.

ECONOMIC VALUE OF SPECIALIZATION.

That the foundation of these Branches would require an immense amount of capital—a great deal more than had originally been subscribed—was obvious from the outset, as each one must be thoroughly equipped and suitably prepared before even one disabled man could be sent there. But, on the other hand, as specialisation was to be the keynote of the idea, the centre could eventually save money by arranging to manufacture goods which would assist the other Branches and the Main Workshops, and at the same time manufacturing completed articles for sale. In this way the proposed metal working Branch at Birmingham would not only make lead soldiers and other metal toys, but would provide all metal parts, hinges, bolts, dies, &c., which are wanted in the manufacture of wooden toys in London, Bradford, the Printing Branch, would print all the catalogues, posters, stationery, &c., for all the centres, and at the same time could take outside orders in abundance. And so on with every other branch.

The Workshops would thus avoid paying out to other firms what they would necessarily demand as profit, and at the same time be enabled to build up several quite distinct and important industries.

YOUR HELP IS WANTED-NOW.

The disabled men are applying in large numbers for admission, and we want your help to give them what they ask.

The Workshops provide not for the present only, but for the whole future life of these brave men. They take them as they come, lame and halt, from the battlefield, and make of them efficient, capable workmen—not receivers of charity, but valuable units of a huge industrial and economic scheme.

LOCAL SUPPORT.

Rugby’s Tribute Day is fixed for Saturday, July 7th, Mr. J. J. McKinnell, C.C., chairman of the Rugby Urban District Council, being President of the effort, and he has entrusted the organisation to Mr. J. Reginald Barker.

Every penny that can be got is wanted now. The smallest amount is not too small, but big sums are wanted too. Do not let the Workshops be held up and the work curtailed for lack of your help. Send every penny you can spare to the Hon. Treasurer, Mr. R. P. MASON, Manager, London City and Midland Bank, Rugby, and do all you can to assist the Fund in helping Rugby’s effort towards success. These Workshops are the most practical, way of finding work for our permanently disabled men in the War.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Second-Lieut O M Samson, of Rugby, has been gazetted temporary lieutenant in the R.G.A.

M House and P D Stokes, who about two years ago were prominent members of Rugby School XV, have recently been killed in action. M House was also a member of the XI.

Capt Charles H Alexander, of the Trench Mortar Section, Australian Imperial Forces, was killed in action in France on June 8th. For some years Capt Alexander was a member of the staff of the B.T.H Company, and subsequently went out to Australia, where he joined the Australian Forces on the outbreak of war. He was a brother of Mrs John Martin, of Clifton, and brother-in-law of Mr Fred Clough, of Hillcrest, Hillmorton.

Sapper G Smith, Royal Engineers Signals, son of Mr & Mrs Smith, 12 Acacia Grove, has been appointed to a temporary commission as second-lieutenant in the Special Reserve of Officers, and posted to the 3rd Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Mr Smith, who was a member of the Old Volunteer Force, was mobilized at the beginning of the War, and proceeded to France with Rugby “ E ” Company. He is a member of the permanent staff of the Post Office and an Old Murrayian.

AN OLD SCHOOL SERVANT KILLED.

Mr W Evans, of Catthorpe, has received official notice that his son, Pte William Evans, Royal Warwicks, was killed in action by a German shell on June 10th. He was for over two years a footman with Dr David at the School House, Rugby, and a member of the School Servants’ Cricket Club. At the time he joined—January, 1915—he was a butler at Eton College. He was seriously wounded by shrapnel on September 3rd on the Somme at the taking of Ginchy. After being in hospital three months, he returned to France in January, and had seen some severe fighting since then with the Warwicks. The Officer of his Company, writing to the parents, states that Pte Evans was killed while taking stores up to the line. As one of the Company runners, he had always shown a splendid spirit—a fine, brave boy throughout. His straight, upright character was respected and admired by all the men, and all felt his loss very keenly. Mr Evans’ second son, who is in the K.R.R, has been wounded twice and discharged as medically unfit, and his third son is serving at the Front in a Machine Gun Corps.

STOCKTON.

ROLL OF HONOUR.—Mr James Green, of Calcutt, Stockton, has received news that his son, Sergt Charles Green, R.F.A, was killed in action on June 9th. He enlisted in September, 1914, went to France the following July, and straight into action with his Battery. He went through every engagement the Battery took part in, and was wounded at the Somme in August, 1916. Since then he has been slightly wounded three times—once in the thigh by a bullet, which he pluckily extracted with his jack-knife ; once in the check, causing a nasty flesh wound ; and then again on the heel by a shell. He has also been gassed, and suffered from frozen knees, and was temporarily buried with others by the bursting of a shell. This was only a week prior to the hit that ended fatally. Letters from the Major and Lieutenant of his Battery speak highly of him as a brave and fearless soldier, and say his last action, doubtless, saved the lives of several of his comrades.

ANOTHER LOCAL PRISONER OF WAR.

Another prisoner of war has been added to the list of the local committee, viz, Lance-Corpl C J Colley, 7th Royal Fusiliers, who is interned at Wahn. He was reported missing on April 21st, and it was not until Sunday last that he was further reported prisoner of war. His parents live at Coton House. Mr J R Barker, hon. secretary, has arranged for the standard food parcels and bread to be sent to him on behalf of the committee.

The many friends of Pte A E Hirons, of Churchover, will be glad to learn that news has at last been received of him. A letter received from another prisoner of war at Soltan says :— “ All the parcels have turned up ; it was owing to the frequent changes of address that they went astray. As soon as a parcel arrives I acknowledge and thank you for it. The chief difficulty is the address. We cannot let you know, of course, when we move and the parcels go adrift. I work in the post office here, and three weeks ago found no less than 23 parcels for Pte Hirons’ which I immediately sent on. Everything is done in order that the parcels reach their owners.”

CONCERT.—The wounded soldiers of the Rugby Infirmary Hospital gave a most enjoyable entertainment in their mess-room on Thursday last week, under the presidency of Mr W Dickens, The Commandant and most of the staff, as well as several friends from the town, attended. The programme, which was a long and varied one, was sustained throughout by the “ boys,” and every item was deservedly encored. Sergt Till (East Lancs Regiment), a fine baritone singe, was in splendid voice, and his rendering of “ Thora ” (by special request) was especially good. Others who contributed largely to the success of the evening and who deserve a word of praise were : Sergt Evans, Corp Beckett and Bostock, Ptes Heath and Holme, and “ Wee Geordie,” who impersonated Charlie Chaplin.

SPOTTED FEVER.—A fatal case of spotted fever has occurred in the Rugby rural district. All precautions have been taken.

A REGULATION has been published prohibiting an occupier of an agricultural holding in Great Britain selling or parting with possession of any horse used or capable of being used for the cultivation of the holding except with the authority of a license granted by the Board of Agriculture.

DEATHS.

EVANS.—On June 10th, WILLIAM EVANS, the beloved eldest son of W. E. & A. M. Evans ; killed in action by a German shell in France.- “ Greater love hath no man than this that he laid down his life for his friends.”
“ Thy will be done.”

GREEN.—Killed in action in France on June 9th, Sergt. CHARLES GREEN, beloved son of James and Flora Green, of Calcutt, Stockton ; aged 28.
“ Not dead to those who loved him,
Not lost, but gone before ;
He lives with us in memory,
And will for evermore.”

IN MEMORIAM.

ASTILL.—In loving remembrance of Pte. HERBERT ASTILL, who died of wounds received in action on June 29th, 1915.—From his sorrowing MOTHER and SISTERS.

COOMBES.—In loving memory of my dear husband, Pte. ARTHUR COOMBES, who died of wounds in King George’s Hospital, London, June 30, 1915.
“ Farewell, dear wife, my life, is past ;
You loved me dearly to the last,
Grieve not for me, but to prepare
For heaven be your greatest care.”
Also my dear son ARTHUR, who died February 26th, 1915. From loving WIFE and MOTHER.

CHATER.—In ever-loving memory of our beloved and only child, Rifleman W. H. Chater, R.B., of Dunchurch, who was killed in action at Ypres on June 30, 1916.—“ No lips need speak where the heart mourns sincerely.”—From FATHER and MOTHER.

CHATER.—In affectionate remembrance of Rifleman W. H. Chater, 12th Rifle Brigade ; killed in action at Ypres on June 30, 1916.—“ They miss him most who loved him best.”—From ADA.

COOPER.—In loving memory of 9178 Sergt. JOHN COOPER, 1st Yorks, and Lancs. Regiment ; killed in action in France on July 1, 1916.
“ Sleep on, dear brother, in a far-off grave :
A grave we may never see ;
But as long as life and memory lasts
We will remember thee.”
—From MOTHER, SISTER, and BROTHER.

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