Wingell, Archibald John. Died 31st Jul 1917

Archibald John WINGELL was born in about early 1879 in Leicester. He was the only son of Arthur Wingell, a book-keeper [born c.1855, in Guilsborough, Nothamptonshire], and his wife, Lucy Ann [Fanny], née Ireland, [b.c.1851, who was from Leicester]. Their marriage was registered in Leicester in Q2 1877.

In 1881, when Archibald was two, the family was living at 34 Chestnut Street, Leicester. By 1891 they had moved to Rugby and were living at 34 Bath Street.   Archibald was now 12 and he had a sister, Edith Minnie, who was eight and had been born in Aylestone, Leicestershire. Their father was now a Grocer.   On census night Archibald’s mother’s sister, Martha, a schoolmistress, and his grandmother, Hannah Ireland, were staying with them.

In 1901, the family were still in Rugby, but had moved to 11 Arnold Street. Archibald’s father, Arthur, was a ‘grocer’s clerk’ and Archibald was a ‘tailor’s cutter’.   His sister, Edith Minnie was working at home as a ‘milliner’.

It seems from papers in his effects, that Archibald had become – or perhaps was studying to become – a Mason, although nothing further is known.

It seems that Archibald moved to London and on 2 April 1911 the census noted that he was aged 30 and boarding at 37 Angles Road, Streatham, and still working as a ‘tailor’s cutter’.

Soon afterwards he married Agnes Anne Howse, then a ‘showroom assistant’ on 15 August 1911 at St James’ church, Ramsden, Oxfordshire. She was born in Ramsden in 1885 and her father was a blacksmith. In April 1911 she had been an assistant draper in the High Street, Banbury.

The Electoral Registers for 1914 and 1915 listed him in a ‘dwelling house’ at 78 Harborough Road, Streatham.

Archibald enlisted, aged 36 years and 11 months, on 9 December 1915. He was living at 78 ‘Harbour’ [Harborough] Road, Streatham, Surrey. He was 5ft 8inches tall and had a birth mark on the outside of his right thigh. He joined the Royal Garrison Artillery as a Gunner, No.101045. His Service Record survives, probably because his widow later received a pension and the Pension Records were not affected by the WWII fire.

He was on ‘Home Service’ from 21 June 1916 to 9 July 1917. He was promoted to ‘Lance Rank’ on 19 August 1916 and then to Acting Bombardier on 22 January 1917. He then went to join the British Expeditionary Force in France on 10 July, and on 17 July was posted from ‘base’ to the 23rd Heavy Battery, which had arrived in France, some two years earlier, on 15 September 1915.

Less than three weeks after going to France, he received gunshot wounds to his groin and back whilst he was ‘in action’ and was transferred to the 140th Field Ambulance, which was attached to the 41st Division in France where he died of his wounds on 31 July.

The 41st Division had been involved in the Battle of Messines in June 1917, before Archibald arrived in France. The Division was then involved in the initial action of the Battle of 3rd Ypres – the Battle of Pilckem Ridge which started on 31 July 1917, the day he died.

He was buried near the ‘Great Cross’ in Plot II. A. 3., in the La Clytte Military Cemetery. His gravestone includes the following words from his widow: ‘Adieu until we meet above’.

La Clytte Military Cemetery is located 8 kms west of Ieper [Ypres]. The hamlet of La Clytte was used as Brigade Headquarters, and burials were carried out by Infantry, Artillery and Engineer units (out of 600, 250 are those of Artillery personnel and 66 are those of Engineers).

After the war, his next of kin, his widow, Agnes Anne Wingell, was still living at their home, 78 Harborough Road, Streatham, S.W. 16. On 29 January 1918 she received Archibald’s effects, and it seems that there were a considerable number, probably reflecting that he was behind the lines with the artillery, where his effects could be recovered, rather than in the front line. His effects included:

‘Disc, Letters, (1 Registered open), Photos, small photo-case, Pocket book, Religious Book, 9ct Gold Ring, silver cigarette case, fountain pen & filler, Lodge rules, letter wallet, training card, Ribbon brooch, Cigarette holder, medal ribbons (3 pieces), sundry papers & cards, sundry Masonic papers, eyeglass, key, watch (broken), mirror, tobacco pouch, metal comb, penny stamp’.

The Register of Effects[1] confirms his rank, number and place and date of death. His back pay of £4-15-2d was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Agnes, on 12 January 1918, and his War Gratuity of £4-0-0d was paid to her on 3 December 1919.   Agnes was awarded a pension of 13/9d per week with effect from 18 February 1918.

Archibald John Wingell was awarded the British War and Victory Medals which were received by his widow on 6 October 1921. He is also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby.

At the time of Archibald’s marriage in 1911, his father was a ‘Broker’s agent’, but he died in Rugby in 1913, aged 58. After the war, in 1919, his widowed mother, Lucy, was still living in Rugby, at 69 Manor Road. His sister had married in mid-1907 with Augustus Frank Lane, and was now Mrs Edith Lane and they were living at 6 Holbrook Avenue, Rugby.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article on Archibald John WINGELLwas researched and written for the Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, July 2017.

[1]       UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929.

Reynolds, George Ellis. Died 31st Jul 1917

George Ellis Reynolds –
By kind permission of Claire Heckley

George Ellis Reynolds was born in Pinders Lane, Rugby on 20 July 1894, and baptised at St Andrews Church on 22 September. In 1901 he was the youngest child aged seven living at 61 James Street, Rugby with his parents Thomas and Mary Ann Reynolds (nee Wells) and siblings Thomas (22), Alice (17), Kate (16), Rose (14), Georgina (13), Louisa (9) and Annie (10). His father Thomas was an engine driver (stationery).

In 1911 George was 17, an upholsterer, living at 100 Oxford Street with his parents and sisters Kate, Annie and Louisa.

The Rugby Advertiser of 18 August 1917 notes that he enlisted in September 1914 and that previously he worked as an upholsterer for Sam Robbins Ltd. He was an Old Murrayan and a keen footballer, playing for both Rugby and Northampton.

George joined the 2nd Rifle Brigade as no Z/2327, and had risen to the rank of Sergeant by the time of his death on 31 July 1917 during the third battle of Ypres. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres and recorded by the Army and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission simply as George.

He is mentioned on his parent’s grave in Clifton Road Cemetery as well as on the Rugby Memorial Gates. He was killed twelve days before his elder brother Thomas Henry Reynolds (qv).

He was awarded the British Empire and Victory medals and the 1915 Star – he had been posted to France on 16 March 1915 where his Battalion was heavily involved in the attack on Fromelles in May during the Battle of Aubers Ridge.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Rugby Men in the Third Battle of Ypres

The Ypres Salient – a bulge in the front line, in front of and to the east of the Belgian town of Ypres, was formed during the First Battle of Ypres in October and November 1914, when a small British Expeditionary Force succeeded in securing the town before the onset of winter, pushing the German forces back to the Passchendaele Ridge.

The Second Battle of Ypres began in April 1915 when the Germans released poison gas into the Allied lines north of Ypres. This was the first time gas had been used and the violence of the attack forced an Allied withdrawal and a shortening of the line of defence.

There was then little significant activity on this front until 1917, when an offensive was mounted by Commonwealth forces to divert German attention from a weakened French front further south. This became known as the Third Battle of Ypres.

An initial attempt in June to dislodge the Germans from the Messines Ridge, on the right flank of the British forces, was a complete success. [The Battle of Messines, 7-14 June 1917]   The offensive at Messines forced the Germans to move reserves to Flanders from the Arras and Aisne fronts, which relieved pressure on the French, and deprived the German 4th Army of the high ground south of Ypres. This was a necessary precursor to a planned British advance to the Passchendaele Ridge which was intended to allow a ‘break-out’ and the capture the Belgian coast up to the Dutch frontier.

There was also a later successful French operation just north of Poelcapelle in the Houthulst Forest, on the left flank of the British forces.

The main assault north-eastward, the Third Battle of Ypres, was launched on 31 July 1917, and became a struggle against determined opposition, with progressively worsening weather.

The ground had been severely damaged by shelling and rapidly deteriorated in the rains, which began again on 3 October, turning some areas into a swamp. The campaign finally closed in November with the capture of Passchendaele on 6 November.[1]

Third Battle of Ypres was not a single action, but comprised 8 separate phases:

Battle of Pilckem Ridge (31 July – 2 August 1917)

Battle of Langemarck, 1917 (16 – 18 August 1917)

Battle of the Menin Road Ridge (20 – 25 September 1917)

Battle of Polygon Wood (26 September – 3 October 1917)

Battle of Broodseinde (4 October 1917)

Battle of Poelcapelle (9 October 1917)

First Battle of Passchendaele (12 October 1917)

Second Battle of Passchendaele (26 October – 10 November 1917)

The actions from September to the beginning of October were comparatively successful, but the later actions from Poelcapelle onwards were not. The final capture of Passchendaele, which was declared to have been the objective, provided a political justification to end this phase of the campaign.

In the period 30 July to 10 November 1917, some 22 Rugby infantrymen were killed in action; as well as a member of the infantry machine gun corps; six artillery men and two members of the Royal Engineers. A member of the Royal Flying Corps also lost his life on 12 October 1917. Elsewhere, Rugby lost three men killed in the Egypt/Palestine theatre.

J S Watts of the 10th Bn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment was killed on 30 July just before the Battle of Pilckem Ridge (31 July – 2 August 1917), whilst Sergeant G E Reynolds of the 2nd Bn. Rifle Brigade and Acting Bombardier A J Wingell of the 23rd Heavy Battery Royal Garrison Artillery, were killed on the opening day of that action.   Sergeant Reynolds’ brother was killed less than two weeks later.

Five men were killed in the run up to the next main action, which illustrates the fact that soldiers were being killed day by day, on patrols, and by ‘routine’ shelling of their positions and sniper fire, as well as in the major assaults of the named battles.   They were: Lance Corporal L G Daniels of the 4th Bn. Grenadier Guards on 4 August; and G Hanwell, 1st Bn. Worcestershires and T H Reynolds of the 15th Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers on 12 August. Reynold’s brother was killed just two weeks before. An Engineer Officer, Lieutenant A C Boyce of the 397th Field Company Royal Engineers was killed on 10 August and an artilleryman, Sergeant A Deakin, of the Royal Field Artillery, on 14 August.

Lance Corporal F E Boyes of the 6th Bn. Oxford and Bucks was killed on the first day of the Battle of Langemarck, (16 – 18 August 1917) and then a further four of Rugby’s men were killed in later August and early September: W E Summerfield of the 1st/6th Bn. Royal Warwicks on 20 August; Lance Corporal Warden F H B of ‘C’ Compay 1st/7th Bn. Royal Warwicks on 27 August; and G Ruddle of the 2nd/6th Bn. Royal Warwicks on 3 September.   These three were all serving in the 143rd Brigade of the 48th Division. Gunner C H Meadows of ‘D’ Battery, Royal Field Artillery, was killed on 4 September.

Four men were killed during the period of the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge (20 – 25 September 1917): J C Smith of the 11th Bn. King’s Royal Rifle Corps, on the opening day; Lance Corporal A G Stay, of the 122nd Company Machine Gun Corps (infantry) on 21 September; a Sapper, G J Worster, of the 94th Field Company on 22 September; and E G Bradshaw of the 2nd/6th Bn. Royal Warwicks on 24 September.

The Battle of Polygon Wood (26 September – 3 October 1917) seems not to have claimed any of Rugby’s infantrymen, but two artillerymen, L S Lennon and W S Saville, who were both Gunners in the 2/A Battery of the Honourable Artillery Company were both killed on 29 September.

Then on 5 October, the day following the start of the action of the Battle of Broodseinde (4 October 1917), J Lindley of the 15th Bn. of the Royal Warwicks was killed.

The Battle of Poelcapelle on 9 October 1917, claimed three more Rugby men: I H Allen 16th Bn. Royal Warwicks; H T E Amos and C B Jones, both of the 1st/6th Bn. Gloucestershires. Company Sergeant Major G H Hayes of the 1st/7th Bn. Royal Warwicks was killed on the following day. These last three were all in the 144th Brigade of the 48th Division.

2nd Lieutenant K H Willard of the 45th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps was killed on the first day of The First Battle of Passchendaele on 12 October 1917. There were no Rugby infantry losses on that first day, but four men were killed on the following days: a Sapper, A E S Meddows, of the 5th HQ Signal Company, attached to the 34th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, on 14 October, and infantrymen, H M Cowley, of the 10th Bn. Royal Warwickshires and Lance Corporal R W Dugdale of the 20th Bn. The Kings (Liverpool Regiment) on 19 October and Lieutenant S G Wolfe of the 18th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers on 22 October.

The Second Battle of Passchendaele (26 October – 10 November 1917) claimed two Rugby men on its opening day: A Collins of the 15th Bn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment and H C Williams of the 1st Bn., Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment).

B E[or C] Lane of the Rifle Brigade who had been wounded at the time of the Battle of Arras and discharged on 25 April, died in Rugby, just after this period on 9 November 1917.

Biographies of the soldiers listed above, giving fuller details of their families, and military service where known, will be published on this site on the centenaries of their deaths.

 

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This article on Rugby Men in the Third Battle of Ypres was researched and written for the Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, June 2017.

[1]         http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/85900/TYNE%20COT%20MEMORIAL

Watts, John Sidney George. Died 30th Jul 1917

John Sidney George WATTS was born in 1896 in Rugby and registered in the last quarter of that year as Sidney George Watts. He was the middle of the five sons of Albert Edward Watts and his wife Annie Elizabeth (née Bailey). His father, Albert, was born in Newbold and worked as a railway engine stoker on the L & N W railway.

In 1901, he was four years old and enumerated as John S G Watts. His family was living in Old Station Square, Rugby. By 1911 they had moved to 38 Dale Street, Rugby. He was now 14 and enumerated as ‘Sidney George Watts’ and was working as a grocer’s errand boy.

Henry’s Service Records do not survive so little is known of his Service Career. It is not known when he joined up, although he enlisted at Rugby,[1] probably later in 1915, as he did not receive the 1915 Star, and thus there was no embarkation date on his Medal Card. He would not have been 18 years old until just before 1915.

He joined up as a Private, No.28015 in the 10th (Service) Battalion (Bn.) of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (RWarR). 

The 10th (Service) Battalion was formed in Warwick in August 1914 as part of the Second New Army (K2) and then moved to Salisbury Plain and joined the 57th Brigade of the 19th Division. In March 1915 they moved to Tidworth.

On 17 July 1915 they mobilised for war and landed in France and the Division engaged in various actions on the Western Front. In 1915: the Action of Pietre; in 1916: the Battle of Albert; the attacks on High Wood; the Battle of Pozieres Ridge; the Battle of the Ancre Heights and the Battle of the Ancre. John would have joined with a draft of reinforcements and was possibly involved in some of these but more probably was in action in 1917 in the Battle of Messines. The Battalion would be later involved in the various actions of the Third Battle of Ypres which started on 31 July 1917.

John was probably wounded during the various aftermaths of the Battle of Messines (7-14 June 1917) and during the preparations for the Third Battle of Ypres, probably during the few days before that battle.

The reports in the 10th Battalion War Diary,[2] for the weeks before John’s death, provides the following summary of information:

On 10 July 1917 the Battalion which had been in reserve, was relieved and for a period in mid-July formed working parties until 17 July when further training started. On 19 July there was an inspection by the GOC of 57th Brigade. On 20 July one OR [Other Rank] was wounded during training. At night on 22 July, the Battalion relieved the 7th Bn., Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in the trenches at Roozebeek, Delbske Farm and Denys Wood. They remained in the trenches until relieved on 29 July 1917 when they returned to hutments at Butterfly Farm – the Butterfly was the symbol of the 57th Brigade. During this period of seven days in the trenches, the Battalion was subjected to intermittent shelling, a fairly ineffective gas attacks and particularly heavy shelling on 28 July. There were continuing casualties with ORs killed and/or wounded each day: 23 July – 4 wounded; 24 July – 2 killed, 3 wounded; 25 July – 3 killed, 4 wounded; 26 July – 1 killed, 10 wounded; 27 July – 1 killed, 6 wounded; 28 July – 1 killed, 4 wounded; 29 July – 3 wounded.

During that week of comparative ‘routine’ in the trenches, 34 men were wounded – one of these was probably John Watts – unless he had been wounded some time before, but in that case he would probably have already been evacuated to a hospital further west or even back to England.

He was probably evacuated to an aid post and then through the field ambulance system back to the Convent of St. Antoine in Locre, some 10kms west of the Oosttaverne area, where he had been in action, and some 10kms south-west of Ieper [Ypres]. He was probably at the Convent when he died of his wounds on 30 July 1917.

He was buried in Grave Ref: I. B. 9. in the adjacent Locre (now Loker) Hospice Cemetery. This was in Allied hands during the greater part of the war, and field ambulances were stationed in the Convent of St. Antoine. The Hospice Cemetery was begun in June 1917 by field ambulances and fighting units and was used until April 1918.

John Sidney Watts was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and is also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road.

Two payments were made to his mother, Annie Elizabeth, as sole legatee: £15-12-2d owing in back pay on 22 October 1917 and a War Gratuity of £14-0-0d on 4 November 1919.

John Sidney Watts’ brother, Albert Edward Joseph Watts (below left), was also killed in the War. His biography was published in Rugby Remembers on 26 August 1914.[3] He had joined up very early in the war and went to France on 22 August with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and was killed four days later on 26 August in the Battle of Le Cateau and buried in Fontaine-Au-Pire Communal Cemetery, Plot 1, Row A, Grave No. 3.

There is a story in the family that Albert and John’s mother wore a Royal Warwickshire tie brooch for the rest of her life.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article on John Sidney WATTS was researched and written for the Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson with additional material, particularly on his brother, Albert Watts, from Catherine Corley and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, July 2017.

[1]       As detailed in Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919.

[2]       The National Archives, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Piece 2085/3, 10 Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, July 1915-March 1919.

[3]       https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/watts-albert-edward-joseph-died-26-aug-1914/

28th Jul 1917. Rugby School Farming Squads

RUGBY SCHOOL FARMING SQUADS.

From “ The Meteor ” (the journal of Rugby School) we gather that this year the farming squad season extended from May 16th to July 24th ; 75 squads (comparing with 55 last year) have been sent out to assist the neighbouring farmers. Most of the work took the form of hoeing and spudding, which is a little tedious after a bout of four or five hours.

In the last month many parties have rendered assistance in the hay harvest. The earnings of the squads were allocated as follows :—Hospital of St Cross, £15 ; Y.M.C.A, £8 13s ; Mine-Sweepers’ Fund, £5 ; Blue Cross, £5 ; Rugby Prisoners of War Fund, £3, total, £36 13s.

“ The Meteor ” also records the experiences of one of the squads in the Evesham district—at Pensham, near Pershore :—

On Monday, July 2nd, a squad of 21 started off for a fortnight’s work on the land—an entirely new experiment. After a long journey, during which we seemed to do nothing but change from one train to another we reached Pershore Station at about 1.30 p.m. The cyclists of our party went ahead into the town (1½ miles from the station) to find where Pensham was. Having found the farm, they returned to guide the weary “ labourers,” who found three miles in the blazing heat quite sufficient. After doing the first natural thing—ordering tea—we all went for a bathe in the river Avon, which was only two or three hundred yards from the farm. All the squad except four slept in a fairly capacious barn, with as much straw as they wished ; but the quartet preferring the open air and chancing the rats slept on a straw rick, in which they made great havoc by digging themselves in.

For the next three days we only did six hours a day, 9 a.m—1 p.m, 2 p.m—4 p.m. After work was over we were allowed to do anything we liked—in moderation. Our first day in the field made us all feel that 6 hours in the form room would be infinitely preferable to the work we were doing, which consisted of weeding mangolds with pen-knives! But fortunately as the days went on the work became better. On Friday and for the rest of our stay we did eight hours a day, after which most of us felt we should never be able to straighten our backs again. . . . We were very fortunate in having fine weather all the time, except on Sunday, when it really did not matter.

The work chiefly consisted of picking broad and French beans, “ topping ” runner beans, pulling docks and hoeing. It was generally considered that a fortnight is just about the right length of time for work of that sort.

The chief amusements were bathing, boating, fishing (for pike which would not bite), riding horses (if they could be caught), chasing pigs, and, on the last night, strafing beans.

COMMANDEERING OF HAY AND STRAW.
FARMERS’ AND DEALERS’ MINDS RELIEVED.

The Secretary of the War Office announces that two new Army Council Orders are being gazetted dealing with hay and straw, one taking possession of all hay and straw, and the other regulating the price of these commodities. There are one or two points in which they differ from previous Orders of a similar nature, and one in particular will relieve the minds of farmers. Under the new Order wheat straw may now be used for bedding and other than feeding purposes. A point which will also commend itself to dealers in straw is that the difference between “ producers’ ” and “ retailers’ ” prices is now £2, instead of 30s. Further, the retailers’ prices for lots of 10cwt and less for both hay and straw are somewhat increased.

POSSESSION WANTED.—Henry Webb, Gipsy Row, High Street, Hillmorton, was sued by Mrs Emily Forrest, Stoke Newington, for possession of cottage and premises.—Mrs Webb attended, and said that her husband was a prisoner of war in Germany.—For the plaintiff it was stated that the rent was £3 18s in arrears.—Mrs Webb said that she had not paid her rent because the agent had insulted her, and he had also refused to do any repairs. He had threatened that he would take the roof and doors off. She was willing to pay the arrears, and should leave the house as soon as she could get another one.—Plaintiff was non-suited because the notice had been served on the wife, whereas the husband was the tenant.

INSPECTION OF RUGBY V.C. AND VOLUNTEER MOTOR TRANSPORT.

Brigadier-General T C P Calley, C.B, M.V.O, of the Southern Command, made a tour of inspection of the 2nd Battalion Warwickshire Volunteer Regt on Saturday and Sunday last. The inspection of the Rugby Corps, B Company, took place on Sunday afternoon at the Howitzer Battery Headquarters. There was no ceremonial parade, the inspection being for the purpose of seeing squad work. The Inspecting Officer was accompanied by Lord Leigh (Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire), Colonel F F Johnstone (O.C. the Regiment), Major Glover (Second in Command), Captain Johnson (adjutant), and Lieut Stranger Jones (Transport Officer) and others.

There was a good parade, under Capt C H Fuller. The Company was inspected in bayonet fighting, trench warfare and bombing, and an infantry attack across adjoining land, under command of Lieut M W Yates.

THE INSPECTING OFFICER AND UNIFORM.

General Calley, after congratulating the squads on the good progress they had made, addressed those who had taken part in the attack, and said he was very pleased with what he had seen. The attack was very well done, and it showed they had been well taught and that they had used their brains, and meant to learn and understand what they were doing. Presently they might have to do this in the open, and in this connection he gave them a little advice with regard to firing orders and the words of command. The attack was carried out as well as any he had seen, and great credit was due to their commanding officer and instructors. Evidently the members of the Company had paid attention to what had been said to them, and they had brought both their brains and their bodies to bear on it. He would be very happy to report to the General that he had seen a very good body of men. He wished them every success in their patriotic effort, and said he hoped to come and see them again when they had their uniform, adding he could not understand how it was they were not provided with it, and that he was going to make enquiries about the matter on his return, as most of the Battalions in the country had now got uniform and equipment, and he hoped the Rugby Corps would have them very soon.

COUNTY OF WARWICK MOTOR VOLUNTEER CORPS.

The inspection of the Rugby Section of the County of Warwick Motor Volunteer Corps was made on the arrival of the General. The cars, lorries, and motor cycles present, capable of transporting upwards of 50 men and four tons of supplies, were drawn up in line on the smaller parade ground. The General inspected each motor in turn and afterwards addressed the members of the corps, expressing his gratification at the manner in which Rugby motorists had responded to the appeal for volunteers, and stated that after what he had seen in this and other towns he was of the opinion that the Government should recognise the Motor Corps as a body and make provision for the necessary petrol supply, etc, for conducting the work of the Corps. He said that Lord Leigh had consented to be nominated for the command of the Corps.

Major Glover afterwards addressed the members present, explaining the object of the movement, and stated that over 500 private motorists had already been enrolled in Birmingham and the County of Warwick.

In a short address given by Lord Leigh, he expressed great pleasure in being nominated for the command of the Corps.

Further motor volunteers with either cars, lorries, or motor cycles, are urgently needed. There are also a few vacancies for experienced motor mechanics capable of undertaking repairs. Application for full particulars as to enrolment should be made to Mr Bernard Hopps, Thurlaston, near Rugby.

DISTRESSING FATAL ACCIDENT.

Co-Sergt-Major Charles John Simpson, Motor Cycle Section of the R.E, second son of the late Mr John Simpson and Mrs Simpson, 28 Craven Road, Rugby, met with his death under exceptionally sad circumstances at Houghton Regis recently. The deceased was a valuable and highly esteemed non-commissioned officer, and it was stated at the inquest that he had been shooting at a tin with a miniature rifle in the yard of the camp. Deceased was showing his little boy, aged 4½ years, how to use the rifle, and on one occasion he held the rifle while the boy pulled the trigger and fired at the tin. At the same time some men came up to speak to deceased, and while he was talking he brought the rifle down to the ground. The boy said, “ Let me shoot it, daddy ” ; and deceased pulled the rifle, which was pointing to another sergeant, towards himself. The boy then bent down, touched the trigger, and discharged the rifle. The bullet entered deceased’s mouth, and caused practically instantaneous death.—A verdict of “ Accidental death ” was returned.—The funeral was witnessed by a large number of sympathisers. The coffin was placed on a gun carriage, drawn by six horses, with three sergeants as outriders. Six company sergeant-majors acted as pall bearers. The chief mourners were : Mrs Simpson (widow), Mrs Simpson (mother), Mrs N Brevig, Miss Winnie Simpson, Mr Bert Simpson (sisters and brothers), Mrs Walker (mother-in-law), Miss Walker (sister-in-law), Mr N Brevig (brother-in-law), and Mrs H Simpson (sister-in-law). Deceased was a Freemason, and a number of members of the craft attended the funeral, as well as a numerous contingent of the Motor Cyclists Co., under the command of Capt W F How, R.I Rifles, and a large number of deceased’s fellow N.C.O’s from the Signal Depot. Amongst those present were Lieut-Col E H Leaf, R.E, Commandant Army School of Signalling ; Lieut-Col W F Danter, R.E, Camp Commandant, and Capt O P Edgcumbe, D.C.L.I, Adjutant. The floral tokens were so numerous that it was found necessary to have a party from the Motor Cyclists’ Co. to carry the wreaths which could not be accommodated on the gun carriage. The three brothers of deceased, who was 33 years or age, are still on active service.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Dr H J Beddow has left the town to take up a commission in the R.A.M.C.

Mr W J W Gilbert, Blandford House, has gained a commission in the Army Service Corps (Horse Transport). He joined the Royal Gloucester Hussars (Yeomanry) in May, 1916 as a trooper.

The Rev G A Studdert-Kennedy, C.F (formerly of Rugby), vicar of St Paul’s, Worcester, has just gained the Military Cross for bravery on the Western front. Whilst in charge of a temporary dressing station, he found the supply of morphia was exhausted, and went under heavy shell-fire to procure more. He also brought two severely wounded men into a place of safety. He was chosen to preach the National Mission to the troops in France, and gave addresses in all the base camps and at the front.—“ Church Times.”

The Military Medal and bar has been awarded to Pte J Enticott, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, for acts of gallantry on the field in carrying out his duties as a stretcher bearer in December, 1916, and May, 1917. At the time of enlistment Pte Enticott worked at the B.T.H, and previously for some years on the L & N-W Railway.

R V Wilson (Old Laurentian), late H.A.C, son of Mr J G Wilson, York Street, has been gazetted Second-Lieutenant, and has received a commission in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, Parkhurst, Isle of Wight.

A tale that is going the round and causing some amusement among our boys is that of a Tommy on one of our Eastern fronts, having his photograph taken in the regulation shorts and thin vest, a copy of which he sent home. His mother, in thanking him for his photo, remarked : “ But, dear me, you should have let me know before that you were so short of clothes, and I would have sent you some on !”

WOUNDED SOLDIERS ENTERTAINED.—On Wednesday afternoon Mr B Morris, of the Empire, entertained about 250 wounded soldiers, together with their nurses and assistants, from Rugby Town V.A.D, “ Te Hira,” Bilton Hall, St John’s, and Pailton Red Cross Hospitals, to a garden party at the Manor House, Bilton. An excellent programme was given by the artistes appearing at the Empire this week : Black and White, The Pallangers, The Deldees, Wolfland (comedian), Miss Danby (soloist), “ One of the Boys ” (ventriloquial sketch), and Rolando Martin. A sketch was also performed by Misses Morson, A Pratt, Walrond, and F Shillitoe. A substantial tea was provided for the visitors, and at the conclusion Mr and Mrs Morris and their family were cordially thanked by the guests, who evidently appreciated and enjoyed the entertainment.

BLIND SOLDIERS AND SAILORS.—A meeting of the workpeople was recently held at Willans & Robinson’s Rugby, which was addressed by Mr F R Davenport and Mr Macaulay (a blind representative) on the objects of the Institute for the Blind, and particularly on the training of blinded soldiers and sailors at St Dunstans Hostel. The appeal was sympathetically received, and a committee of the workpeople was at once formed to put in operation a scheme to enable all employees of the company to contribute weekly, for a period of 12 weeks, to this most deserving object.

MARTON.

PTE L J YOUNG.-In connection with the death in action, on July 3rd, reported in our last issue, a letter has been received by his mother, Mrs J Young, of Church Street, from the Commanding Officer, stating that her son was wounded in the front line trenches by a shell on July 3rd.

LONG ITCHINGTON.

NEWS OF MISSING HUSBAND WANTED.—For many months Mrs Richard Fell has been anxiously awaiting news of her husband, and after fruitless enquiries from the authorities and other likely sources, she asks us to make known the following facts, in the hope that she may obtain tidings through returned soldiers or comrades who have known him. He had served 12 years in the Royal Warwicks on the outbreak of the war, and joined up in November, 1914. In November, 1915 he was transferred to the Rifle Brigade, and proceeded with his regiment to India. Here he was on duty in the Punjaub, and corresponded regularly with his wife. His last letter was posted in Bombay, and received on December 21st, 1916. He then believed he was about to sail for Salonica or Mesopotamia, but no further tidings of his whereabouts have come to hand. His wife also has three little children dependent upon her, and is, naturally, in great anxiety.

BRAUNSTON.

KILLED IN ACTION.—Mr & Mrs Arthur Clarke have received news that their son, Driver Thomas Clarke, Royal Garrison Artillery, was killed in France on July 11th. He enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war, previous to which he was employed at the B.T.H, Rugby.

THE ROLL OF HONOUR.—A gloom was cast over the village when it became known that Mr Arthur Clarke had received official news that his other son, Pte Lucas Clarke, had been killed in action on July 8th. They have received letters of sympathy from two of their sons’ officers, in which it is stated that he was a splendid man, and is missed by all ranks in his Company. He was killed instantaneously by a shell which burst in the dug-out where he was sleeping.

DEATHS.

COPE.—In loving memory of Gunner PERCY LESLIE COPE,
who was killed in action in France on June 21st, 1917, aged 22.
Not dead but sleepeth.
Somewhere 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,
—From his Wife and Son, 62 Lawford Road, New Bilton, Rugby.

IN MEMORIAM.

ALLSO.—In ever-loving memory of our dear son and brother, Lance-Corpl PERCY ALLSO, who was killed in action in France on July 27, 1916 ; aged 23.—
“ Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”—From his
loving FATHER MOTHER, and FAMILY.

DUNKLEY.—In loving memory of our dearly-beloved son, Pte. HARRY DUNKLEY, who was killed on July 30th, 1916, somewhere in France.—Also in loving memory of our dear beloved son, Pte. PERCY JOHN DUNKLEY, who was killed somewhere in France on July 25th, 1916.—15 Chester Street, Rugby.

HOWARD.—In ever loving memory of our dear son and brother, Pte. STEVEN HOWARD, who died of wounds in France, August 1st, 1916, age 28.
“ A little time has passed, and friends around us
Think the wound is almost healed ;
But they little know the sorrow
Deep within our hearts concealed.”
—Never forgotten by his loving MOTHER and FATHER, BROTHERS and SISTERS, and also from A. CROFT, Long Lawford.

PRESTON.—In loving memory of Rifleman JACK PRESTON, 7th K.R.R,,who was killed in action on July 30, 1915.—“ Loved and lost awhile.”—From MOTHER, FATHER, and SISTERS.

REFEARN.—In loving memory of Rifleman JOSE (Tim) REDFEARN, 7th K.R.R., who died from wounds on July 21, 1915. Buried in Lyssenthock Cemetery.
“ He sleeps not In his native land,
Bur ‘neath a foreign sky,
And far from those who loved him best,
In a soldier’s grave he lies.”
—From WIFE and DAUGHTERS.

SHAW.—In loving memory of Pte. J. C. SHAW (JACK), R.W.R., who was killed in action on August 1, 1916.
“ The midnight stars are gleaming
On a grave I cannot see,
Where sleeping without dreaming
lies one most dear to me.”
—From his loving WIFE and CHILDREN.

SIMS.—In loving remembrance of HARRY SIMS, the dearly beloved elder son of LOUIE SIMS JENKINS, who was killed in action in France, July 30th, 1915, aged 19.
Sweet be thy rest, thy memory dear,
‘Tis sweet to breathe thy name ;
In life I loved thee very dear,
In death I do the same.
—From his still sorrowing Mother.

SIMS.—In ever sweetest remembrance of our dear brother HARRY SIMS, killed in action, July 30th, 1915.
Gone from our sight, but to memory ever dear.
—From his Brothers Bert, George, and Trevor ; Sisters Daisy and Mabel.

SMITH.—In loving memory of HERBERT, the dearly-loved son of FREDERICK and the late SARAH J. SMITH ; killed in action July 30th, 1915.
“ We miss and mourn thee in silence unseen,
And dwell on the memories of days that have been.”
—From FATHER, BROTHERS and SISTERS.

THOMPSON.—In loving memory, of my dear husband, Pte. ALFRED HENRY THOMPSON, who died of wounds in France on July 17th, aged 34.—“ Sleep on, dear one, till we meet again.”—From his loving WIFE and CHILDREN.

WAREING.—On July 23rd, 1916, STANLEY, the only son, of JAMES WAREING, of Lilbourne Farm, reported missing—now reported killed. Aged 18.
I often sit and think of him,
And think of how he died ;
To think he could not say “ Good-bye,”
Before he closed his eyes.
-Mother, Father, and Sisters.

 

Hart-Davies, Ivan Beauclerk. Died 27th Jul 1917

Lieutenant Ivan Beauclerk Hart—Davies R.F.C.

21 April 1878 — 27 July 1917

Ivan Hart—Davies (known as Harty) son of the Reverend John Hart-Davies and Mrs Hart-Davies of Southam Rectory, Warwickshire, was a charismatic adventurer who touched many peoples lives.

Educated at Maidenhead and Kings School, Canterbury, he became a schoolmaster at New Beacon, Sevenoaks, and was excellent in many sporting activities. In 1905, he decided to open an insurance office in Rugby. Because of the railway and the presence of many gentry due to the hunting and polo being of paramount importance to the area, Rugby was prosperous.

He met Jennie Ward, a lady who shared his passion for motorcycles, and was also a stockbroker and owning a domestic staff agency. He decided she was the person to manage his new enterprise and she became a very important person in his life.

In 1907 Harty formed his own boy scouts troop, organising the first boy scouts camps, B.S. Fire brigade and displays at polo matches in front of royalty from various countries. This troop was organised for boys who had no educational prospects. He was criticised for not including the sons of gentlemen.

June 12 & 13 1911 he broke the end to end record, from John O’Groats to Lands End, on a Triumph motorcycle in 29 hours 12 minutes. A.C.U. Banned further attempts too dangerous. The record still stands.

June 23 & 24 1913 with a passenger, he broke the light car end to end record, 886 miles in 34 hours 39 minutes, on a 10 HP Singer cyclecar.

1914 – Whilst on holiday in Europe with three friends broke the bob-sleigh record, winning the Murren Cup, although none of them had seen a bob-sleigh previously.

1911 – Until his death, he worked with the military, testing various guns in a range near Clifton. He had obtained his aircraft licence, tested aircraft, long distance flying and endurance trained pilots and established 1″ R.F.C. Aerodrome at Clifton. Also the ability of motorcycles to climb mountains and speed, nearly being killed on more than one occasion.

With Jennie’s help, organised the Battle of Rugby for military observers. The Coventry Motorcycle & Car Club had to penetrate the defences of the boy scouts and reach the Clock Tower, using fields and canals as well as the normal roads, and many vehicles and occupants were captured. Some military observers decided that motorcycles were useless in a war because they made too much noise. National and International newspapers reported this event.

The eve before he was due to fly to France for active service, he flew his Bristol aircraft F2B No 7103 with his batman for a last look at England. Coming in to land the plane crashed killing Harty, his batman survived.

He is buried in the family grave at Southam, which is still visited by many from the U.K. and abroad.

Copyright: 1981 J.D. -Cooke

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

 

 

 

 

Wakelin, Charles Henry. Died 26th Jul 1917

Charles Henry Wakelin was born to Edward Wakelin (b 1856) and his wife Sarah in the second quarter of 1891 in New Bilton Rugby. He was baptised on 12 November 1893 again in New Bilton.

In 1901 the family, which included older brother William aged 19 (working as a Domestic, Under Boots), was living at 69 Victoria Street New Bilton and Charles’s father worked at the Cement Works as a Labourer.

In 1911 Charles was a boarder at 39 Pennington Street New Bilton, the home of Mr Albert George Hall (Greengrocer) and family. He worked as a trimmer at “Iron and Brass Works”. His father and mother lived at 69 Victoria Street New Bilton, and they had had 4 children, none of whom were at home that day.

Charles enlisted in Rugby into the 1st Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and arrived in France on 13 July 1915. His medal card shows he fought in the Balkans and in 1917 the Regiment fought at the following battles:

The First Battle of the Scarpe, The Third Battle of the Scarpe, The Battle of Polygon Wood, The Battle of Broodseinde, The Battle of Poelcapelle, The First Battle of Passchendaele.

Lance Corporal Charles Henry Wakelin (3290) was killed in action on 26 July 1917. He was aged 26.

He was buried at Crump Trench British Cemetery, Fampoux
Grave Reference: I. B. 2.

An article appeared in the Rugby Advertiser of 4th August 1917:

Another Rugby Footballer Killed
Followers of the Rugby Football Club will hear with regret of the death in action of Lance-Corpl Charlie Wakelin, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Lance-Corpl Wakelin, who was 26 years of age, was the youngest son of Mr Wakelin, of Warwick Street, and he was killed on July 26th by a trench mortar. He was a promising footballer, and played scrum half for Rugby 2nd. He and his brother, W Wakelin (who played for the 1st XV), also played for Newbold- on-Avon. Lance-Corpl Wakelin was an ex-member of the 1st Rugby Co. Boys’ Brigade.

Charles’s father Edward died in the third quarter of 1921.

In August 1921 it was announced that arrangements had been made by the Salvation Army to conduct relatives of fallen soldiers to their graves in France and Belgium and Adjutant Bristow, the local officer, was the contact for any persons in the Rugby district who desired to avail themselves of this offer.  Assisted passages could be granted in necessitous cases.

Each week specially chosen Salvation Army officers conducted groups of relatives of the fallen from their home towns in various parts of the country across the Channel to the war cemeteries and back again.

Sarah Wakelin, Charles’s mother, went to France via train on one of these arranged visits, along with eight other women, all from New Bilton, Rugby.

Source:   http://www.ww1wargraves.co.uk/ww1_cemeteries/pilgrimage_france_belgium.asp on Wednesday 19th October 1921.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM