Blundy, Albert Neate. Died 28th Apr 1918

Albert Neate BLUNDY was born on 29 June 1893 in Burbage, Wiltshire. He was baptised on 6 August 1893 at Burbage, Wiltshire. He was the son of William Blundy (1856-1936) and Martha née Neate, Blundy (1858-1913) who married in Marlborough in 1882.

In 1891, Albert’s father, Edward, was a ‘general haulier’ and the family were living at 23 Stables, Burbage. They then had four children. By 1901, when Albert was eight, the family had moved to live at the White Hart Inn, Stoke at St Mary Bourne, Hampshire, where Albert’s father was the publican.

Before 1911, the family moved to Rugby. In 1911, Albert’s parents had been married 28 years, and had had eight children, of whom seven were still living. Albert was 17 and a ‘machinist’ at BTH; his eldest brother was a ‘fitter’ there, and a younger brother of 14, was already working there as a ‘clerk’. They were living in a six room house at 172 Oxford Street, Rugby.

Just before the war Albert was working in the BTH Generator Department, and in an item ‘Rugby’s Magnificent Response’, in the Rugby Advertiser on 5 September 1914,[1] ‘Blundy’ is listed as joining ‘From the Works’ at BTH.

Albert joined up as No. 10852 in the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Ox. & Bucks.). His record in the ‘Soldiers Died in the Great War’ states that he enlisted at Rugby, and his ‘Medal Roll’ indicates that he was initially in the 5th Battalion, and that he was later in the 2nd Battalion.

He went to France on 20 May 1915, and so became eligible for the 1914-1915 Star. This was the date that the 5th Battalion went to France, so Albert would have gone to France with his Battalion. In the absence of any Service Record for Albert, the date that he transferred to the 2nd Battalion is unknown, so the actions in which he was involved must be assumed. However, like all infantry soldiers, Albert would have experienced alternate service in and out of the front line, and occasions of desperate fighting.

5th (Service) Battalion, Oxford & Bucks. Light Infantry was formed at Oxford in August 1914 as part of the First New Army (K1) and then moved to Aldershot to join the 42nd Brigade of the 14th Division and then moved to Cranleigh, Guildford. In February 1915, it moved to Salamanca Barracks, Aldershot.   On 21 May 1915 it mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and engaged in various actions on the Western Front.   In 1915 it fought in the Action at Hooge, and experienced the first flamethrower attack by the Germans, and then the Second Attack on Bellewaarde.

In August 1915 the Rugby Advertiser advised that Albert had been wounded.
The old scholars of St Matthew’s, Boys’ School have suffered badly in recent engagements. Corporal G S Rowbottom, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, who, as recorded on page 2 of this issue, succumbed to wounds last week, making the sixth old St Matthew’s boy to give his life in his country’s service. Lce-Corpl A Ashworth, Pte A Blundy, and Pte R J Skinner, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, and Sapper E R Ladbrooke, of the Royal Engineers, have been wounded.[2]

In 1916, the 5th Battalion – and indeed also the 2nd Battalion – fought in the Battle of Delville Wood, and the Battle of Flers-Courcelette. At some date Albert was transferred to the 2nd Battalion and possibly this was when he was promoted to Lance Corporal.  However both the 5th and the 2nd Battalions were involved in the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, and the Battles of the Scarpe in 1917.

The 2nd Oxford & Bucks L.I. had returned home from India in 1903. When World War I started the Battalion was stationed at Albuhera barracks, Aldershot, and was part of the 5th Brigade of the 2nd Division. As a regular Battalion it mobilised for war early, on 14 August 1914, and landed at Boulogne and was engaged in many actions on the Western Front.

If Albert had been transferred to the 2nd Bn. in say 1917, a summary of the campaigns in which he may have been involved is described below.

‘The New Year of 1917 brought with it a period of severe weather conditions on the Somme plain which led to an unofficial truce between the two sides. In March 1917, the Germans began the withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line (14 March – 5 April) and at the end of March the 2nd Ox and Bucks moved from the Somme to the back areas of Arras. The 2nd Ox and Bucks and other battalions of the regiment saw much involvement in the Arras Offensive … The 2nd Ox and Bucks took part in the battle of Arras from 11 April and had a leading role in the battle of Arleux on 28-29 April: during the battle the battalion protected the right flank of the Canadian 1st Division which was critical to the capture of the village of Arleux and sustained more than 200 casualties.’[3]

1918 started fairly quietly.

In January 1918, the 2nd Ox and Bucks marched to Beaulencourt, later that month they moved to Havrincourt Wood and then on 9 February to Metz-en-Couture. The 2nd Ox and Bucks were at Vallulart Camp, Ytres, when on 21 March 1918 the Germans launched the last-gasp Spring Offensive (Operation Michael).[4]

This anticipated attack by the Germans, Operation Michael, was launched on 21 March 1918, against the British Fifth Army and the right wing of the British Third Army. The German artillery targeted command and communications; then, the destruction of artillery; and then the front-line infantry.   The artillery bombardment began at 4.40am on 21 March 1918, and hit targets over an area of 150 square miles, the biggest barrage of the entire war. Over 1,100,000 shells were fired in five hours.

The 2nd Ox and Bucks were due to go into the corps reserve when the enemy began the Spring offensive with a colossal bombardment of Allied positions. The Spring offensive led to the furthest advance by either side since 1914. On 22 March 1918 the 2nd Ox and Bucks were in position around the village of Bertincourt. The 2nd Ox and Bucks and other battalions of the regiment sustained heavy casualties as part of the defence of the Somme during the Battle of St. Quentin (21–23 March), the First Battle of Bapaume (24–25 March) and in subsequent battles that saw the Germans achieve significant gains. The 2nd Ox and Bucks were forced back across the old Somme battlefield to the 1916 line on the Ancre. The battalion remained in the Ancre area from 29 March 1918 to 3 April 1918. After the enemy Spring offensive … lost its momentum, the Germans launched Operation Georgette in April which the Ox and Bucks defended against in the Battle of the Lys and subsequent actions.[5]

There was a general fighting withdrawal following the German attacks. The Diary of the 5th Brigade ‘… is necessarily incomplete owing to the documents required for it being lost or destroyed during the retirement between 21st and 28th.’[6]

The Chronicles of the 2nd Ox & Bucks noted some of the events in the following period.[7]

16 April – the Regiment relieved the 2nd H.L.I, in the right sub-section of the Brigade front; H.Q. at Boiry St. Martin.   Two men wounded.

17 April – A Company was on the right front; D on the left front (railway inclusive); C in support; B in reserve. Casualties :- 1 man killed, 1 died of wounds, 2 men wounded, and 2 missing.

19 April – Inter-company reliefs carried out.

20 April – 1 man wounded.

22 April – After a quiet 6 days’ tour the Regiment was relieved …

25 April – the Regiment relieved the 2nd H.L.I. in the left sub-section of the Brigade front, without incident; H.Q. at Boisleux-au-Mont; … A continuous front line, and fairly good trenches.

28 April – Inter-company reliefs carried out.

As can be seen, in the period prior to 28 April, the Battalion section was relatively quiet, and there are no more obvious actions when Albert may have been wounded. It is not entirely clear whether Albert was killed or wounded. His Medal Card notes that he ‘Died’ rather than ‘KinA’ or ‘DofW’. This implies that

‘… some time had passed between … being wounded and dying – the next-of-kin were informed that he had ‘died’, rather than ‘died of wounds’.   Exactly how much time had to pass before this distinction was made is not clear.’[8]

It is thus possible that Albert was wounded at an earlier date, and had reached a medical aid post before he died on 28 April 1918. The battalion was in action near Boisleux-au-Mont which is some eight kilometres south of Arras. It seems likely that he was wounded and that he was evacuated to an Advanced Dressing Station, possibly the one at Blairville.

On the 27th March a corps main dressing station was formed at Bac du Sud on the site of No. 43 C.C.S., with advanced dressing stations at Wailly, Blairville, and Monchy-au-Bois.[9]

Blairville is some six kilometres to the west, and this is probably where Albert died and was first buried, in Plot 1, Row B, in the nearby Blairville Orchard British Cemetery.

This small cemetery was not preserved and in 1923, the soldiers buried there were ‘concentrated’ [exhumed, identified, moved and reburied] some 25 km north at the Cabaret-Rouge Cemetery. His body was identified by a ‘cross, numerals, Lance Corporal’s stripes’. Effects, forwarded to base were ‘9 coins and Disc’. The ‘removals were undertaken by local labour …’.

He is now buried in Plot: VIII. R. 38. in the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez, which is just south of the town of Souchez, some four kilometres south west of Lens.

‘Caberet Rouge’ was a small, red-bricked, red-tiled café that stood close to this site in the early days of the First World War. The café was destroyed by shellfire in March 1915, but it gave its unusual name to this sector and to a communication trench that led troops up the front-line. Commonwealth soldiers began burying their fallen comrades here in March 1916. The cemetery was used mostly by the 47th (London) Division and the Canadian Corps until August 1917 and by different fighting units until September 1918. It was greatly enlarged in the years after the war when as many as 7,000 graves were concentrated here from more than 100 other cemeteries in the area.

Albert was awarded the Victory and British medals, and also the 1914-1915 Star. It seems that nobody had applied for his medals as the ‘O i/c records, Warwick, requests auth. re disposal of medals of dec’d men of Ox & B L I – 13.9.20.’.

Ernest is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate and also on the list of BTH Employees Who Served in the War 1914 – 1918,[10] and on the BTH War Memorial.[11]

Albert died one year to the day, after a fellow Rugby member of his Battalion died – Ernest Edward Welch is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate.[12]

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Albert Blundy was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, February 2017.

[1]       Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/5th-sep-1914-rugbys-magnificent-response/, and Rugby Advertiser, 5 September 1914

[2]       Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2015/08/21/21st-aug-1915-gas-boiling-oil-tar/, and Rugby Advertiser, 21 August 1915.

[3]       https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxfordshire_and_Buckinghamshire_Light_Infantry

[4]         https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxfordshire_and_Buckinghamshire_Light_Infantry.

[5]         https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxfordshire_and_Buckinghamshire_Light_Infantry.

[6]   WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920,Various Infantry Brigades, 2nd Division.

[7]     Based on Extracts from the Regimental Chronicles of the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, see: http://www.lightbobs.com/1918-april—august.html.

[8]         http://www.epitaphsofthegreatwar.com/killed-in-action/.

[9]         https://archive.org/stream/medicalservicesg03macp/medicalservicesg03macp_djvu.txt.

[10]         https://www.rugbyfhg.co.uk/bth-employees-who-served-war-1914-1918-d.

[11]     This is a list of names on the BTH War Memorial when it was unveiled. It is taken from the list published in the Rugby Advertiser, 4 November 1921. See: https://www.rugbyfhg.co.uk/bth-war-memorial.

[12]         https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/welch-ernest-edward-died-28th-apr-1917/.

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27th Apr 1918. Can a Greengrocer Substitute a Blacksmith?

COVENTRY APPEALS TRIBUNAL.

At a sitting of this Tribunal on Wednesday there were present : Messrs H W Wale (chairman), K Rotherham, W Johnson, jun, A Craig, and S J Dicksee. Mr T Meredith was the National Service representative.

CAN A GREENGROCER SUBSTITUTE A BLACKSMITH ?

The appeal of Thomas White (18, general service), Dunchurch, blacksmith, assisting his father, which had been adjourned to see whether a substitute could be found, was next heard ; and addressing the father, the Chairman said : “ Whether you have a substitute or not, the boy will have to go.”—Mr Meredith explained that Major Neilson, who knew the case very well, was of opinion that, although the man was passed for general service, he should not be taken without a substitute being provided, because the firm did a good deal of agricultural work.—The Chairman said, as Mr White’s family had such a patriotic record, one son having been killed and another was serving, they wished to help him, but were they to keep this boy out of the Army until the National Service Department found a substitute ?—Mr Meredith : It is hardly our job ; it is for the Labour Exchange.—It was mentioned that the next appellant—Howard James Allkins, greengrocer (39, B2), Wolston—had been suggested as substitute.—Allkins, however, said he went to see Mr White, who expressed doubt as to whether he would be of any use, because he knew nothing of the business. It would be twelve months, he added, before he could put nail in a shoe.—Mr White explained that shoeing was a funny job. Some of the big horses he had to shoe might injure, if they did not kill, a man who was not used to the work.—The Chairman : we realise that.—Mr White : It would be a case of me picking his pocket and he picking mine.—Mr Meredith : I cannot see how a greengrocer can substitute a blacksmith. He might lame a horse for life.—The Chairman said but for the fact that Mr White had lost a son in the service of his country this man would have had to go a long time ago. They would adjourn the case for a month, but he had been asked to point out that whether Mr White was successful or unsuccessful in finding a substitute, there was no doubt as to what would happen then. Therefore, in his own interests and in the interest of the country, he urged Mr White to do his best to get someone. The Labour Exchange would help him very materially.—The case of Allkins was adjourned for a re-examination.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Pte A E Palmer, Royal Warwicks, of 11 Adam Street, New Bilton, was wounded at La Bassee on april 15th with a bullet wound in his left thigh.

Pte G E Higham, Royal Warwicks, of New Bilton, has been severely wounded in the buttock. He was formerly employed by the G.C Railway.

Pte Albert Coaton, Machine Gun Battalion, son of Mr C Coaton, Grosvenor Road, has been wounded by a bullet in the left knee.

Gunner Norman Atkinson, H.A.C, second son of Mr J H Atkinson, of 37 Windsor Street, has been reported wounded and missing. Prior to joining the Army he was an apprentice at the B.T.H. He was an O.L. And Old Murrayian.

Mr & Mrs J Haggar, of 10 Alexandra Road, Rugby, have received news that their son, Corpl W Haggar, Worcestershire Regiment, has been missing since March 21st. Corpl Haggar was, prior to joining the Forces, employed at the B.T.H.

Gunner A E Moore, R.F.A, has been badly gassed, and is in hospital at Etaples. This is the second time he has been gassed, and last Christmastime he was buried for a time by debris thrown up by a shell. He is the only son of Mr and Mrs E Moore, 100 Grosvenor Road, and was an apprentice at the B.T.H when called up.

Pte Alfred Elson, Hampshire Regiment, who enlisted at the out break of the war, giving up a position at the B.T.H Works, Rugby, has died of wounds received in action. He had been previously wounded, and returned to France last year. He was again due for leave when the offensive started, in which he received severe gunshot wounds, from which he died on April 6. He was of a bright and cheerful disposition, and will be missed by a large circle of friends.

The death from wounds received on April 12th of 2nd Lieut R V Wilson has now been confirmed in a letter from his commanding officer to Mr J G Wilson of York Street. The letter states that Lieut Wilson “ was a most gallant officer, and showed promise of becoming a good leader ; in spite of his youth he had command of a company in action under difficult conditions, and was one of the most capable officers in the Battalion. His brother officers loved him.” The deceased officer was educated at the Elborow and Lower Schools. Intending to become a member of the scholastic profession, he became a student teacher at Eastlands Boys’ School. In May, 1916, he joined the H.A.C, and served in France. Later he accepted a Commission with the 1/7 R.W.R. The news of his untimely end was keenly felt by boys and staff of Eastlands School and by all who knew his cheerful personality. It seems that his battalion was attached at 6 a.m, and at 7 a.m he was sent forward to relieve another officer, and reached the post alright, but was almost immediately wounded by machine gun fire. When being carried back he was full of cheerfulness and of regret that he had to leave the field.

Capt G Gray, Lancashire Fusiliers, who was reported missing on March 26th, is a prisoner of war in Minden.

L-Corpl H Warland, 23rd Royal Fusiliers, son of Mr W Warland, Crick, who was reported as missing on   March 25th, is now known to be a prisoner of war. Prior to joining the Army two years ago, he was employed at the B.T.H.

Mr A G Cox, Kenilworth Home, Poplar Grove, has received official intimation that his son, 2nd Lieut A G Cox, reported missing 23rd March, is a prisoner of war. The camp in which he is interned is not known.

HONOURS FOR RUGBY MEN.

L-Cpl B Holmes, R.W.R, of Rugby, has been awarded the D.C.M. He has acted as a company runner for over two years, and he has been in the majority of actions in which his battalion has taken part. He has always proved himself most reliable, and on many occasions has taken messages through very heavy fire, displaying singular devotion to duty.

Bombardier (Acting Corporal) W E Stay, R.C.A, of Rugby, has been awarded the D.C.M for “ showing great ability on all occasions in supervising the maintenance of the Battery lines, frequently carrying out repairs fearlessly in face of very severe bombardment by high explosive and gas shells.”

THE WAR IN PICTURES.

Those who are interested in war films will have an opportunity of seeing a free display of actual war films in the Market Place, Rugby, on Monday, May 16th. The show, which is arranged by the Ministry of National Service, will be explained by men who have fought, and will take place at 8.30 p.m.

LOCAL MAN IN ZEEBRUGGE AFFAIR.

W GILBERT, son of Mr T Gilbert, was one of those who volunteered to take part in the naval raid on Zeebrugge. He was engineer on one of the motor boats engaged. Although several missiles passed through the little craft none of the crew was hit, and all reached the base safely.

THURLASTON.
FIVE TIMES WOUNDED.—Mr and Mrs Hedgcock have been informed that their only son, Sergt Hedgcock, has been wounded in the shoulder, which has been fractured. This is the fifth time Sergt Hedgcock has been wounded.

BIRDINGBURY.

THE sad news was received here last week of the death of Corpl G W Wall, grandson of Mr & Mrs Matthew Wall. He was badly wounded in France, and died soon afterwards in hospital. He had lately been home on leave. He enlisted soon after the War broke out, and joined the Coldstream Guards. At the beginning of December, 1914, he was sent to France. He was wounded in September, 1916, and was for a time in Coventry Hospital. In May, 1917, he was sent back to the firing line, and saw active service. On March 28th he spent an hour at his old school, where he was gladly welcomed by scholars and teachers. Before commencing his sermon on Sunday afternoon, the Rev A E Esau spoke very touchingly of him.

BROADWELL.
MISSING—Official intimation has been received by Mr Frank Goode of Broadwell that his son, Pte William Goode, of the M.G Corp, is a prisoner of war in Germany, and wounded. Before joining up he was the Secretary of the local lodge of Oddfellow.

PAILTON.
MILTARY MEDAL.—The Military Medal has been awarded Pte Augustus Horne, Northumberland Fusiliers, for conspicuous bravery in the field at Hargicourt on September 11,1917.

THE MEAT SUPPLY.

The supply of fat stock in Rugby Cattle Market on Monday was very short, but on representations being made to the Area Meat Agent a load of beast and two loads of sheep were sent from Stourbridge Market. The difference, as usual, will have to be made up with imported meat.

RUGBY SCHOOL & HELP IN POTATO PLANTING.

In explanation of the notice in your last week’s issue on the subject of the Rugby School “ farming ” squads, Dr David wishes me to say that the terms mentioned had reference to potato planting. For this work a large number of boys have had some training in the working of their own potato fields last year and this spring and the Army Canteen fields in Devonshire. Terms and conditions for help in other agricultural work, such as hoeing, &c, can be arranged later on.

In case a farmer needs a planting squad within a radius of six miles from Rugby School during the next fortnight or so will he, in applying to me, please state : (a) The exact locality of his potato field ; (b) the number of boys required ; (c) whether the squad should bring knives for cutting ungraded seed and a few bucket, if available ?

In working our own School potato field I have found it best to organise a large squad in the morning, say 9.30 a.m to 1 o’clock, so that the boys can pick out twitch from the rows (already opened), cut up potatoes, when ungraded, and plant, and so leave the horses plenty of work for afternoon ; but, no doubt, each farmer has his own method and convenience.

C.P. HASTINGS.
“ Mayfield,” Rugby.

DEATHS.

BARNWELL.—Sec.-Lieut. G. W. BARNWELL, K.O.Y.L.I., dearly-beloved husband of Mrs. Barnwell, 97 Grosvenor Road, killed action in France, April 13th.

BURTON.—In loving memory of ALFRED JOSEPH BURTON, aged 30 ; killed in action on April 5, 1918.—From his sorrowing Father, Mother and Family, and fiancee, Alice Kennard.

NOBLE.—Killed in action on March 29, 1918, Gunner JOSEPH WILLIAM HARRISON NOBLE, aged 27 years, beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. J. F. Noble, Braunston. Deeply lamented.

THOMPSON.—On April 12th, at Dar es Salaam, East Africa, Pte. FREDERICK THOMAS THOMPSON, A.S.C., dearly beloved and eldest son of Mr. & Mrs. J. H. Thompson, of 7 Albert Street, Milverton (late of Rugby). Died of dysentry.
“ He sleeps, not in his native land,
But under foreign skies ;
Far from those who loved him best,
In hero’s grave he lies.”
—From his loving Father and Mother, Brothers and Sisters, and fiancee, Nellie.

IN MEMORIAM.

BIDDLES.—In ever dear and affectionate remembrance of EVAN PERCY BIDDLES, 50th Brigade, R.F.A. (late of Estancia Loma-Pora, Republic del Paraguay), who died in the 103rd Field Ambulance from Gas poisoning received during night of April 22nd, 1917. Buried next day in the little Military Cemetery at Haute Aveanes, Aubigny-en-Artois, 6 miles N.W. of Arras.—“ Pro patria mori.”

BULL.—In loving and affectionate remembrance of Bombardier BULL (TOM), the dearly beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. Henry Bull, Southam Road Farm, Napton ; killed in France on May 3, 1917 ; aged 18.
“ A loving son and faithful brother,
One the best towards his mother.
He bravely answered duty’s call,
And gave his life for one ans all.”
—From his loving Father, Mother & Sisters.

CLEAVER.—In loving memory of Pte. W. T. CLEAVER, R.W.R., eldest son of J. Cleaver, 17 East Street, who died of wounds in France on April 25th of last year.
“ One year has passed since that sad day.
I often sit and think of him, think of how he died.
To think he could not say ‘ Good-bye ‘ before he closed his eyes.”
—From his sorrowing Father and Mother, Brother and Sister.

DAVIS.—In loving memory of Pte. R DAVIS (ROLAND), who was killed in action in France in the Battle of Arras on April 27, 1916.—Sadly missed by his loving Father, Mother, Brother and sisters.

GREEN.—In loving memory of my dear husband, WALTER GREEN, killed in France April 27th, 1917, aged 29 years.
We think of him in silence,
His name we oft re-call ;
But there’s nothing left to answer,
But his dear photo on the wall.
—From loving wife and child.

GREEN.—In ever-loving memory of Pte. WALTER GREEN, youngest son of Mr and Mrs. Henry Green, Broadwell, killed in action in France April 25, 1917. “Until we meet.”
—From his loving Father and Mother, Brothers and Sister.

GREEN.—In memory of Pte. JOHN HENRY GREEN, the loving husband of Elizabeth Green, who died April 26.1915.
“ Sleep on, beloved, and take try rest ;
We loved you well, but God loved you best.”
—Sadly by all. From his loving Wife and Children, Mother, Father, Sister and Brothers.

GRIFFITH.—In loving memory of our dear Son and brother, HERBERT, who was killed in action on April 27, 1915, at Ypres.
“ We think of him in silence,
His name we oft recall ;
But there nothing left to answer
But his photo the wall.
We have lost him, we who loved him ;
And, like others, must be brave,
For we know that he is sleeping
In a British soldier’s grave.
—From Parents, Brother and Sisters (Kilsby).

JONES.—In ever-loving memory of Corpl. D. J. JONES who was killed in action in France on April, 29, 1917.
Loved one gone but not forgotten,
And as dawns another year,
In our lonely hours of thinking,
Thoughts of him are always dear.
—From his loving Father, Mother, Brother & Sisters, and Mill.

OWEN.—In loving memory of Pte. GEO. ERNEST (TOS), Wolston, 1st R.W.R., who was reported missing, since presumed killed, at Ypres, April 25th, 1915.
Though he was only a private soldier
He died a British son ;
He died on the field of battle,
His duty was nobly done.
The hardest part in yet to come,
When the other lads return,
And we miss among the cheering crowd
The face of him we love.
—Sadly missed by all.

WELCH.—In loving memory of our brother-in-law, Pte. E. WELCH, Oxford and Bucks L.I., who was killed in France on April 29, 1917.—Never forgotten by Erne and Ethel Lenton, 64 Wood Street.

WELCH.—In loving memory of ERNEST EDWARD WELCH, who fell in action on April 29, 1917 ; aged 36.
“ We pictured your safe returning,
And longed to clasp your hand ;
But God postponed that meeting ;
It will be in the Better Land.”
—Not forgotten by his Mother and Sisters.

WELCH.—In remembrance of Lance-Corpl. E. E. WELCH who was killed in action on April 28, 1917. “ Gone but not forgotton.”—From his loving Wife and Daughters.

YOUNG.—In loving memory of our dear and only son, Pte. W. C. YOUNG (BILLY), who was killed in action in Salonika on April 24, 1917, in the 25th year of his age. Dearly loved and deeply mourned.
“ The midnight star shines o’er the grave
Of our dear son and soldier brave.
How dear, how brave, we shall understand
When we meet again in the Better land.
—From his Father and Mother and Sisters (Pinfold Street, New Bilton).

 

Donnovan, Joseph. Died 26th Apr 1918

Joseph Donnovan was born in 1887 at Hillmorton. He was one of 8 children of Thomas (a Bricklayer Labourer) and Hariet Donnovan who lived in Lower Street Hillmorton.

At age 13 he was a Yardman on a Farm in Hillmorton.

He then worked in the Carpenter’s Shop at the BTH Rugby. He married Nellie Bignell in Rugby in 1913 and their daughter Eva M Donnovan was born at the end of the year and they lived at 19 Bath Street, Rugby.

He was a Private – number 204087 in the Gloucester Regiment and served in France and Flanders 12th (Service) (Bristol) Battalion.

He was killed on 26 April 1918. His grave is at Comines-Waneton, Hainaut, Belgium.

In the 1921 Rugby Advertiser:
In Loving Memory of Pte J Donovan who was killed in France on 26 April 1918. Gone but not forgotten From his loving wife and daughter.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Jones, Frederick James. Died 25th Apr 1918

Frederick James Jones was born in Rugby in late 1877. His father, Frederick Jones, was a journeyman printer, who had been born in Maidstone, Kent. His mother Louisa Maria Cleaver was born in Ealing, London according to some census entries. But in 1911 it states that she was born in Bilton, Rugby. Frederick and Louisa were married in Norwich in 1876.

In 1881 they were living at 27 Arnold Street, Rugby. By 1891 they had moved to 13 Russell Street and Frederick (senr) was working as a printer’s machinist. They now had a second child, Herbert John born in 1881. Frederick James, aged 15 was an apprentice compositor, working with his father for the Rugby Advertiser. He was to work there for over 26 years.

On 22nd May 1899, Frederick James Jones married Emily Jane Houghton at St Andrews Parish Church and in 1901 they were living at 26 Dale Street, with daughter Emily Ivy. They had two more children, Leslie Frederick in 1909 and Muriel in 1913.

Frederick enlisted under Lord Derby’s scheme on 10th Dec 1915 and was called up a year later in December 1916. He was aged 38 and was a compositor and machineman. He had been vice-president of the Rugby branch of the Typographical Society for two years.

He joined the Kings Royal Rifle Corps as Rifleman no. 49966. The 9th Battalion, K.R.R.C. took part in the Battles of the Scarpe the Battle of Langemark and the First and Second Battles of Passchendaele in 1917.

On the 2nd Feb 1918 they were transferred to the 43rd Brigade. They returned to the Somme and were in action during the Battle of St Quentin and the Battle of the Avre, suffering very heavy casualties with almost 6,000 men of the Division killed or injured. The Division was withdrawn from the front line and were engaged building a new defence line to the rear. On the 27th of April, the 9th K.R.R.C was reduced to a cadre and on the 16th of June they transferred to the 34th Division. They were disbanded on the 3rd of August 1918.

Frederick James Jones must have died in this confused period when the German advance was halted and Operation Michael came to an end.

His death is given as 25th April 1918 and his name is listed on the Pozieres Memorial.

Pozieres is a village 6 kilometres north-east of the town of Albert and the Memorial relates to the period of crisis in March and April 1918 when the Allied Fifth Army was driven back by overwhelming numbers across the former Somme battlefields, and the months that followed before the Advance to Victory, which began on 8 August 1918. The Memorial commemorates over 14,000 casualties of the United Kingdom and 300 of the South African Forces who have no known grave and who died on the Somme from 21 March to 7 August 1918. The Corps and Regiments most largely represented are The Rifle Brigade with over 600 names… Frederick J Jones is listed on panels 61-64.

Frederick’s wife died on 16th Nov 1918, aged 41.

An announcement in the Rugby Advertiser in November 1921 reads:
In ever-loving memory of our dear Father and Mother, Frederick Jones, who was killed in action April 25th, 1918 and Emily Jane, died November 16th, 1918.
In Life were parted,
In Death united.
– With fond remembrance from Ivy, Leslie and Muriel.
 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

 

20th Apr 1918. Low-Flying Aeroplanes

RUGBY URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL. . . . .LOW-FLYING AEROPLANES.

Mr F E Hands reminded the Council that at an inquest held on an airman killed at Rugby recently the jury protested against the low flying which took place and he thought a similar protest should go from the Council. On the morning before the accident he saw a pony start to run away twice owing to an airman flying so close to the tops of the houses.—Mr Loverock supported, and said he saw the airman in question come down. He was flying very low, and another aeroplane which accompanied him almost struck the top of some cottages in Temple Street. He had also seen an aeroplane fly between two houses at a lower level than the roofs.—Mr Walker corroborated this, and said the incident caused a great deal of alarm amongst some ladies.—It was decided to write to the Commanding Officer on the matter.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.
[Note: these reports were printed on the edge of the page and the reproduction is very feint.]

Lieut the Hon J H P Verney, Lancers, the only son of lord Willoughby de Broke, has been wounded.

Pte Alfred William Elson, Hampshire Regt, son of Mrs Anderson, 39 Pinfold Street, New Bilton, died from wounds received in action on April 6th. Prior to the war he was employed in the winding department of the B.T.H.

Corpl T J Smith, of the Royal Field Artillery, who was formerly employed in the Main Drawing Office of the B.T.H, died from wounds on March 22nd.

Pte Douglas Hay, York & Lancashire Regt, son of[?] Mrs Hay, 102 Murray Road, was killed in action March 18th.

Second-Lieut Sidney Torrance, Lancashire [?] son of Mr W J Torrance, Warwick Street, has been severely wounded in the head and ankle during recent heavy fighting.

Sapper E Wagstaffe, Royal Engineers, an [?] in the Tool Room at the B.T.H, was killed on [?] April 6th.

Mr & Mrs J G Wilson, of 52 York Street, have received a telegram from the War Office, saying that their son, R V Wilson (O.L), Second-Lieutenant 2/7[?] Royal Warwicks (late H.A.C), had died of wounds on the April 18th. No further confirmation has yet been received.

News has reached Mr J P Lennon, [?] Rugby, that his eldest son, E P Lennon, [?] in France. He was totally blind for several days, [?] has been sent to a hospital behind the lines. [?] information says that he is now regaining his sight, and is recovering very favourably.

A BELATED COMMISSION.

A letter found in the possession of Sapper W H Linnell, jun, Pioneer Battalion, King’s [?] Regiment, a partner in the firm of Messrs Linnell [?], Rugby, whose death from wounds received in action was recorded last week, has been forwarded to his [?] by the matron of the hospital. This was evidently [?] shortly before he was wounded, and that he [?] on the previous day had been informed [?] Colonel that he was recommending him for a commission as his work had been so very satisfactory. Mr. Linnell, who was an Old Laurentian and Old Rugbian. [?] until he joined the Colours mainly responsible for management of the business. He was vice-chairman of the Rugby Master Builders’ Association and [?] of the Rugby Building Society.

HILLMORTON.
MRS RATHBONE (Hillmorton) received a telegram from the War Office on March 30th, saying that her son, Lieut G P Rathbone, North Staffs Regiment, was reported missing on March 21st, and has not heard any more news of him at present. He has not been officially reported killed, as stated in last week’s edition.

ASHBY ST. LEDGERS.
PTE HARRY KERRY, of the 2nd Royal Berkshire Regiment, third son of Mr & Mrs Amos Kerby, has been severely wounded in the left forearm, but is progressing favourably. He has served two years in France.

BRANDON.
WOUNDED.—Pte G Saunders, who for several years was manager at the Royal Oak, has been badly wounded. Although much over age, he volunteered for service, and has been in action on many occasions. This is the second time he has been wounded.

WOLSTON.
CORPL T WEBB, son of Mr & Mrs Charles Webb, Wolston, has now returned to Wolston after serving upwards of three year on active service. He joined the 1/7/ Worcesters in 1914, and was sent out to France on January 4, 1915. He went through the battle of Neuve Chapelle in 1915, and in the battle of fleur Beixin May of the same year was wounded in the left arm. He was soon again on active service at the battle of Armentieres in September. His next big battle was at the Somme in 1916, at Contamassion, where, after fighting hard for four days, he had two fingers on his left hand broken, and was sent to England. Regaining convalescence, he again went into the firing line; but at the battle of Passendale ridge was wounded by shrapnel. He had a finger partly blown off and two broken, whilst his hand was also badly smashed. Arriving in England, he was a patient at a Manchester hospital, where it was found necessary to amputate the finger. He has now received his discharge, and undoubtedly richly deserves it after the many vicissitudes he has gone through. Corpl Webb was one of the first men in the village to volunteer, and he is somewhat sad at the thought that several of his friends who joined up with him are killed. He says that one of the chief grievances of the men at the front is the single slackers at home in our large towns, who let the married men go out to fight while they hide in munition factories. He believes that we should not worry over our recent reverses, but place our confidence in our soldiers, who fight magnificently, and will eventually get the upper hand. Pte W Webb, a brother of the above, has also been crippled.

DUNCHURCH.
PRISONER OF WAR FUND.—There is being a house-to-house collection on behalf of the Prisoners of War Fund in Dunchurch and Thurlaston. Pte G Richardson, Mill Street, Dunchurch, who offered his services to take the envelopes round to all the houses, was once a prisoner of war, but has got his discharge after serving several years in the Army, his eyes being affected. When the envelopes were collected they were found to contain the large sum of £63, and there are several more to come in.

THE POTATO POSITION.
INCREASED ACREAGE PROBABLE THIS YEAR.

Already the appeal which Mr Lloyd George issued three weeks ago to the farmers of Great Britain to largely increase the acreage of potatoes is having its effect in many counties. The latest reports of the Commissioners of the Food Production Department contain numerous evidences of this fact.

The Council of the Central and Associated Chambers of Agriculture have unanimously passed a resolution “ urging on all farmers the paramount necessity of increasing the acreage of potatoes to at least the million acres appealed for by the Prime Minister.” Last year the farmer of England and Wales and Scotland grew no less than 655,704 acres of potatoes—a record planting and an increase of 97,637 acres over the area of 1916, representing an additional supply of 1,400,000 tons of potatoes. These results, achieved despite a shortage of labour and other adverse circumstances, go far to justify the faith of the Prime Minister that the British farmer will once more accomplish the impossible.

So far as can be ascertained at the moment, there already seems likely to be slight increase in the acreage both in England and Wales and in Scotland. Indeed, it may very well turn out that already we have nearly 600,000 acres of potatoes planted this year, or ready for planting, in England and Wales, and almost 170,000 acres in Scotland. But even if this year’s yields are as good as last year’s, it is extremely improbable that this acreage will supply all our requirements for 1918. Accordingly the Government asks the farmer to do his best to add another 230,000 acres, and so reach the million-acre mark which, in combination with other crops, should make the country absolutely safe so far as its food supply is concerned.

The appeal of Mr Lloyd George appeared in the Press on March 18th. It would hardly be surprising if the response of the farmers was not general and immediate. Outside one or two counties potato growing conditions is attended with definite amount of risk ; the yield is very uncertain ; there is the possibility of disease, and proper cultivation entails a good deal of extra labour, whereas labour just now is scarce on the countryside. Moreover, many farmers have had an unfortunate experience with their 1917 potato crop owing to the difficulties of transport and of marketing.

No one knowing all the facts would blame the agriculturist for thinking hard before he planted an additional acreage of potatoes without some sort of guarantee as to their sale when grown, and this guarantee has been given in the fixing of minimum prices.

A WELCOME OFFER.

An unusual request was received by the Rugby Fool Control Committee at their meeting on Thursday, when a lady wrote stating that she had the chance of purchasing a quantity of cheese, but only if she bought about ton, and she asked for permission to buy this. There were 140 members in her household, and if she obtained the cheese and the committee would allow her to retain so much as they thought was fair, she would be prepared to dispose of the remainder to the grocers in the town.—The Chairman : Tons of Cheese ! I have not seen a quarter of a pound for a long time. It seems ridiculous that a private individual should have the chance of buying tons of cheese, when a good many of us have not seen any for some time.—Mr Humphrey did not think it was fair to allow this when other people were only having half-a-pound a month.—Mr Cooke thought if there was so much cheese about Lord Rhondda should take it over, so that it could be distributed more equitably.—Mr Gay suggested that the permit should be given, and that the lady should be allowed to keep enough to last her for a certain period, and that at the end of that time they would appreciate it if she could get them some more (laughter).—The permit given, the lady to surrender 75 per cent. for distribution amongst local retailers.

DEATHS.

BATES.—Killed in Action on March 31st, Lance-Corpl. THOMAS BATES, of 1st Warwicks, only son of Mr. & Mrs. T. Bates, Ryton-on-Dunsmore ; aged 27 years.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call,
His life he gave for one and all ;
But the unknown grave is the bitterest blow,
None but aching heart can know.”
—Deeply mourned by his loving Mother, Father and Sisters.

CHAMBERS.—Pte. C. CHAMBERS, killed in action on March 21, 1918, aged 31 years, son of William and Amy Chambers, Abbotts Farm, Hillmorton.—“ Thy will be done.”

CHAMBERS.—Sergt. F. CHAMBERS, died of wounds in France on April 4, 1918, aged 24 years, beloved husband of Amy Chambers, Hillmorton Paddox.—“ Thy will be done.”

HARDMAN.—Gunner C. H. HARDMAN, the dearly beloved husband of Mrs. C. H. Hardman, 57 Rugby Road, Leamington, killed in action on March 21, 1918 ; aged 26 years.
“ He sleeps, not in his native land,
But under foreign skies ;
Far from those who loved him best,
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—Sadly missed and deeply mourned by his sorrowing Wife and Children.

HARDMAN.—In loving memory of our son, Gunner C. H. HARDMAN, who was killed in action in France on March 21, 1918.
“ We have lost him, we who loved him ;
And, like others, must be brave ;
For we know that he is sleeping
In a British soldier’s grave.”
—From his loving Father, Mother, Sisters & Brothers.

HODGES.—Killed in action on March 26th, Sapper SIDNEY J. J. HODGES, of the Royal Engineers, beloved and youngest son of the late Mr. & Mrs. Hodges, of 82 Claremont Road.

MATTHEWS.—Rifleman JOHN MATTHEWS, 3rd Rifle Brigade, died of wounds in hospital in France on March 25th, beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. William Matthews, Churchover, aged 23 years.

IN MEMORIAM.

DRAGE.—In loving memory of Pte. CHARLES HERBERT DRAGE, the dearly beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. C. Drage, of Yelvertoft ; killed in action in Egypt, April 19, 1917 ; aged 19 years.
“ Death can hide him, but not divide ;
Thou art but on Christ’s other side.
Thou with Christ, and Christ with us,
So together still are we.”
—From his ever-loving Mother, Father & Brother.

GUPWELL.—Also our dear brother, Pte. BENJAMIN GUPWELL, who died of wounds in France, April 20th, 1917.
“ God takes our loved ones from our homes,
But never from our hearts.”
—From his loving Sister and Brother.

 

Wilde, John. Died 15th Apr 1918

John WILDE was born in about 1882, in Marylebone, Middlesex.   He was baptised on 19 March 1882, at Lisson Grove, Westminster, where his parents were living at 21 Boston Street.

His parents were John Wilde senior, born in about 1852 in Fearnall Heath, Worcestershire, and Esther Wilde who was born in about 1849 in Lewisham, Kent. They married in about 1875. In 1882 John senior was a ‘coachman’.

For the 1891 census, the family were living in Harlow, Essex.   John junior was nine, with an elder and also a baby brother. His father was a ‘Coachman Domestic Serv’, which had been altered to ‘Groom’. No 1901 census returns have been found for the family, but at some date before 1908, John junior had come to Rugby.

In 1908 John Wilde married in Rugby with Dora Lily Armishaw – she was born in Walsall in about 1886; the marriage was registered in Q2, 1908.   Their son, Herbert Arthur WILDE (1910–1998), was born on 8 March 1910 in Rugby.

By 1911, John’s parents were living back in John senior’s home village at Ellerslie Villa, Fearnall Heath, Worcester and his father was now a ‘Retired Groom Domestic’, however, before then, John had moved to Rugby and in 1911, John Wilde, his wife and young son were living in a four room house at 5 Earl Street, Rugby. John was now 29 and a carpenter. Their daughter, Dora Margaret WILDE (1912–2002), was born in Rugby the next year, on 9 August 1912.

John enlisted in Rugby, probably in later 1915 or after, as there is no date of ‘entry to theatre’ on his Medal Card, and he was not eligible for the 1915 Star. He joined up as a Private, No: 20976. His Medal Roll indicates that he first served with the 14th Battalion (Bn.) Royal Warwickshire Regiment (RWR) and then the 11th Bn. RWR.   However he was latterly in “C” Company, 1st Bn. RWR.

It is not known when he was transferred between these Battalions.   However, the 11th Bn. was disbanded on 7 February 1918 at Wardrecques, France, well before he was killed, and the 14th Bn. spent the winter of 1917-1918 in Italy, coming back into action near Merville and the 1st Bn. RWR’s position in April 1918.

John’s experiences, though not known in detail, would have been similar to those of countless thousands of British and Empire soldiers.

His final unit, the 1st Battalion had started the war stationed at Shorncliffe as part of the 10th Brigade of the 4th Division.   On 22 August 1914 they mobilised for war and landed in France and the Division engaged in many actions on the Western Front. Assuming John did not join them in france until at least 1916, he might have taken part with them in the Battle of Albert and the Battle of Le Transloy, and then during 1917: the First and Third Battles of the Scarpe, the Battle of Polygon Wood, the Battle of Broodseinde, the Battle of Poelcapelle, and the First Battle of Passchendaele.

However, on 21 March 1918, the Germans launched a major offensive, Operation Michael, against the British Fifth Army and the right wing of the British Third Army. The German artillery targeted command and communications; then, the destruction of artillery; and then the front-line infantry.   The artillery bombardment began at 4.40am on 21 March 1918, and hit targets over an area of 150 square miles, the biggest barrage of the entire war. Over 1,100,000 shells were fired in five hours.

After the initial defence and heavy losses, some of the units, including some RWR Battalions, were transferred north to what was expected to be a quieter part of the line – but proved to be the location of further attacks – and fresher units, such as the 1st Bn. RWR, were brought in to reinforce the area of the first attacks.

John was probably involved in the First Battle of Arras in later March 1918 and then in part of the Battle of Hazebrouck (12–15 April), where the 1st Bn. RWR were on the defensive line south of Merville. The fighting was very hard, but it was the start of the turning point. As more French reinforcements arrived later in April, and with the Germans also suffering many casualties, especially among their key assault troops, and as their supply lines lengthened, the attacks toward Hazebrouck failed. Their second attack, ‘Operation Georgette’, could not achieve its objectives.

The War Diary of the 1st Bn. RWR provides details of the various actions.[1]

From 8 February they were in camp at Arras – and remained there until 20 March when they moved to Gordon Camp. On the key date, 21 March 1918, it was foggy and there was artillery activity from both sides. An order to go into the line on 22 March was cancelled, but by 24 March the Battalion was on the Army Line from Railway Triangle to Cambria Road. On 25 March, ‘C’ Company moved from the Army Line to relieve the Seaforth Highlanders in Lancer Lane.

In April they were again in the trenches, and on the 5 April were relieved and returned to Blangy. On 9 April they were in the RAF Hangers at Arras St Pol Road and on 10 April moved to Agnes le Duisans until 11 April. On 12 April they moved off in Lorries to Lillers, and the Battalion was ordered to hold an outpost line west of the La Bassee Canal, south of Robecq.   ‘C’ and ‘D’ Companies were billeted in Ecleme. On 13 April, whilst at Ecleme, they relieved the 1st Gordon Highlanders. The HQ was at Hinges and ‘D’, ‘C’ and ‘B’ companies were in the front line. ‘Enemy artillery very active in afternoon but quietens down at night.’ On 14 April – ‘In the early hours of the morning a patrol of ‘C’ Coy capture 2 enemy machine guns & 1 prisoner & later on in the morning an Artillery officer accompanied by a signaller are observed close to our posts. The later is killed & the Officer is made prisoner. A 3rd Machine Gun is captured.’ After some allied shelling, the hamlet of Riez ou Vinage was captured by 11th Brigade on the left, but only one of the three patrols that night made progress.

On 15 April there was considerable action and the description of the various assaults takes up two pages of the War Diary. The 1st Bn. RWR and the 2nd Duke of Wellington’s Regiment attacked Pacaut Wood. Unfortunately a pontoon bridge was hit by a shell and there was strong opposition.   The Engineers attempted to repair the bridge under heavy fire. There were heavy casualties – whilst the Battalion had 39 Officers and 921 Other Ranks on 15 April, by 16 April they had been reduced to 32 officers and only 696 Other Ranks – although most of the losses, some 208, were wounded, and only six were noted as killed, with some missing.

On 15 April the Battalion, as part of the 4th Division were transferred from the XXVIIth Corps. A message of congratulations was received from the GOC XXVIIth Corps ‘… You made a great name for yourselves, there is no Division I would sooner have with me …’

It seems that at some stage during the intensive actions on 15 April 1918, John Wilde was ‘killed in action’. His body was either not found, or not recovered, or not identified, and he and his other ‘missing’ colleagues are now remembered on Panels 2 and 3 of the Ploegsteert Memorial which stands in the Berks Cemetery Extension, and is located 12.5 kms south of Ieper [Ypres].

The Ploegsteert Memorial commemorates more than 11,000 servicemen of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in this sector during the First World War and have no known grave. The memorial serves the area from the line Caestre-Dranoutre-Warneton to the north, to Haverskerque-Estaires-Fournes to the south, including the towns of Hazebrouck, Merville, Bailleul and Armentieres, the Forest of Nieppe, and Ploegsteert Wood. The original intention had been to erect the memorial in Lille. Most of those commemorated by the memorial did not die in major offensives, such as those which took place around Ypres to the north, or Loos to the south. Most were killed in the course of the day-to-day trench warfare which characterised this part of the line, or in small scale set engagements, usually carried out in support of the major attacks taking place elsewhere, or in John Wilde’s case in the defensive actions against the massive German onslaught of Operation Michael.

That John WILDE served with the 1st Bn. RWR, just south of Merville, is confirmed by his listing on the Ploegsteert Memorial. He is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates.

His Medal Card and the Medal Roll showed that he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Probate was granted on 4 March 1919 in London, ‘Private, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, died 15 April 1918 in France. Administration with Will to Dora Lily Wilde, widow; Effects £250 8s 11d’.

His widow and sole legatee, Dora Lily Wilde, received his outstanding pay of £7-14-5d on 9 April 1919, and then his War Gratuity of £8-10s on 29 November 1919.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on John WILDE was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, February 2018.

 

[1]       WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 4th Division.

13th Apr 1918. The New Man Power Proposals

THE NEW MAN POWER PROPOSALS.

By the New Man Power Bill, introduced in the House of Commons on Tuesday by the Prime Minister, it is proposed to raise the age for military service to 50 ; and in certain cases, such as medical men, to 55. Men of 45 to 50 to be taken for home defence, and ministers of religion for non-combatant service.

All exemptions on occupational grounds to be cancelled, and restriction of right of appeal to the medical grounds only.

Substantial combing out from Civil Service, munition works, mines, and a number of occupations. Tribunals to be re-organised.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Lance-Corpl T E Boyes, Oxford and Bucks L.I, who has been missing since August 16, 1917, is now reported a having been killed on that date. Prior to joining the Forces he was employed in the B.T.H Controller Factory.

Corpl A Ashmore, youngest son of Mr & Mrs Ashmore, 7 Oliver Street, Rugby, and formerly of Marton, 29th Machine Gun Corps, has been awarded the D.C.M for gallant conduct at Cambrai.

Gunner G H Mann, R.G.A, of 102 Oxford Street, has died in France of gunshot wounds in the right leg. Before he joined up two years ago, he was a painter in the employ of Mr J Young. He was 38 years of age, and leaves a wife and three children.

The news will be received with general regret in this neighbourhood that Capt T A Townsend, M.C, R.A.M.C, is reported as wounded and missing on March 21st. Capt Townsend returned to the Cambrai Sector on March 18th, after a fortnight’s leave. There is, of course, the possibility that he is a prisoner, but no further information is at present obtainable.

HILLMORTON BADLY HIT.

Wednesday was a sad day for Hillmorton, news being received that three soldiers belonging to the village had been killed in action, and another was posted as missing. Those killed are : Lieut Rathbone, Staffordshire Regiment, son of the late Mr W T Rathbone ; Sergt S Chambers and Pte Charles Chambers, sons of Mr W Chambers, farm bailiff. Lieut Rathbone was formerly employed in the London City and Midland Bank, and Sergt S Chambers was in the Rugby Co-operative Society’s Boot Department. Pte J Hart, son of Mr J Hart, Lower Street, is reported missing, and Pte T Griffiths son of Mr T Griffiths, Upper Street, has been gassed.

A SOUTH AFRICAN VETERAN KILLED.

Mrs Chant, 43 Union Street, Rugby, has received news that her husband, Driver George Chant, R.F.A, has been killed by a shell which fell among a group of officers, men, and horses standing near the Brigade Headquarters. In a kind letter conveying information, the Brigadier-General writes :—“ I feel deeply for you and your young family in your great loss. It is a great loss to me also, Chant had been with me since the early days of the War, and I had the greatest confidence in him. He looked after the horses splendidly, and when I was busy with other things I felt I never need worry about them, and that Chant would do everything that was required.” Driver Chant, who was 38 years of age, was employed at the B.T.H when the war broke out. He was the first to volunteer from those Works, and went out at once on August 15, 1914, so that he had been all through the fighting. He previously served in the South African War, and gained two medals.

LEAMINGTON HASTINGS.

WOUNDED.—On Wednesday morning a letter was received from France, stating that Sergt W Cleaver, of the Hussars, was wounded in both arms during the recent fighting. Sergt Cleaver has seen eight years’ service, and this is the second time he had been wounded.

WOLSTON.

THE LATE LIEUT O W W H MEREDITH, R.F.A.—When the news reached Wolston that this young officer had lost his life, very sincere regret was expressed on all sides. During the seven years that his father, the Venerable Archdeacon T Meredith, was Vicar of Wolston, Lieut Meredith made scores of friends. His bright and cheerful disposition was shown alike, not only to those in his own social position, but also to the poorest of the inhabitants, and none more than these regret that so fine a young life should have been cut short. The sympathy of the inhabitants is freely expressed for his poor widowed mother, especially as it follows closely upon the death of her husband. Lieut Meredith was educated at Harrow School and Cambridge University. He distinguished himself in all Mechanical Examinations in London and at the Aerodromes of Castle Bromwich and Dartford. He received his wings July, 1917, and went to France in October last. On November 20 he was taking part in the attack on Cambrai. He left the ground at 7 a.m. with others of his Flight to support the advance of the Infantry and Tanks. The work they were engaged on was of the utmost importance, and they succeeded in doing it. Lieut Meredith was last seen shooting at German infantry from low down some five miles the other side of the lines. Owing to the fog and low cloud, nearly all the machines—there were 15 others from the same Squadron alone—got separated. The Commanding Officer of the R.F.C writes : “ It was to a great extent owing to the co-operation of our low-flying aeroplanes that we scored a marked success on the initial day. Lieut Meredith, fully realising the risk, gave his life in helping what was very nearly the biggest victory of the war. He was a gallant officer, an excellent and fearless pilot, very popular, and died a death which cannot but be a source of pride to all who were connected with him.”

RUGBY AND DISTRICT FOOD CONTROL COMMITTEE

SUGAR FOR DOMESTIC FRUIT PRESERVING.

OWING to delays in printing of forms application for sugar for home-made jam preserving, the last day for receiving these forms from the public has been extended to Saturday, April 13th. No forms of application can be accepted after that date.

MEAT RATIONING ORDER.

No person may keep any food or meat card which does not belong to him or to some other person for whom he is authorised to buy food. For instance, he must not keep a card belonging to a person who has left the country, or joined H.M. Forces, or died, or gone into hospital or other institution. Anyone who has in his possession a card belonging to person who is no longer entitled to use it as a member of the same household, must return it to the Local Food Office at once, or if the holder of the card is in any institution, must send it to the head of the institution. It is an offence to keep such a card ; it is obviously an offence to try to use it to get an extra ration.

A person may not lend his card to anyone else or sell or give the ration he has bought on it to anyone else. This does not affect the sharing of food by members of the same household or guests or by persons taking common meals.

Rationing covers every kind of meat, including bacon and ham, poultry, game, venison, edible offal, sausages, bones, and all cooked, canned, and preserved meat, etc.

It is an offence to break any of these rules. The buyer as well as the seller is liable to prosecution.

Coupons for the purchase of meat rations must in all cases only be detached by the seller. Coupons detached by the holder of the card are worthless. Butcher’s meat can only be bought from the butcher with whom you are registered.

SUPPLEMENTARY RATIONS for HEAVY WORKERS.

The work of classifying and grading is now proceeding, and due notice will be given of time and place where applicants may receive their cards.

SUPPLEMENTARY RATIONS for ADOLESCENT BOYS.

As from May 5th a supplementary meat ration will be allowed to boys who on March 1st, 1918, were not less than 13 nor more than 18 years of age—i.e., to boys born after February 28th, 1900, but before, March 1st, 1905—except they are already receiving supplementary meat rations as heavy workers. Forms of application may be obtained at the Local Food Office after April 14th.

LICENSING OF DEALERS IN FISH.

A person shall not deal in fish by wholesale either on his own account or on the account of any other person after the 10th of April, 1918, unless he has applied for a license as a wholesale dealer in fish ; or after the 1st of May, 1918, unless he is the holder of a license for the time being in force, granted by the Food Controller authorising him to deal in fish by wholesale. Every application for a license shall be made to the Secretary (Fish Supplies Branch) Ministry of Food, 14, Upper Grosvenor Street, W,1.

A person shall not after the 1st May, 1918, deal in fish by retail except in, about, or in connection with premises in respect of which he is the holder of a certificate of registration as a retail dealer in fish for the time being in force, granted by the Food Committee for the area in which the premises are situate, but this shall not prevent a dealer duly registered from selling from his cart in the ordinary course of business in the area in which such premises are situate.

Forms of application for registration may be obtained from the Local Food Office.

ENQUIRIES may be made at the Local Food Office between the hours of 9.30—12.30 p.m. and 2.15—4.30 p.m. Saturdays—9.30 to 12.30.p.m. Only.
F. M. BURTON, Executive Officer.

GENERAL RATIONING.

From the commencement of this week the country generally has been rationed, and no one will be able to buy meat or a meat meal without producing a card and depositing a coupon. It is desired by the Ministry of Food that people should be reminded that after May 5 bacon may only be bought at a shop where the buyer has previously registered his or her name, and that holders of meat cards who wish to use any coupon for the purpose of buying bacon after that date should immediately register their names at the shop of the retailer with whom they propose to deal. To-day (Sat.) is the last day for such action.

After May 5 only two coupons each person, instead of three per week, will be available for the purchase of butcher’s meat.

Any or all of the coupons will be available for the purchase of bacon or other meats. Increased supplies of bacon will be provided to meet the third coupon, which will no longer be available for butcher’s meat.

This arrangement is being made in order to utilise the additional supplies of bacon now being received from America, and at the same time diminish the call upon home-grown cattle during the months when their weight can be materially increased by fattening on grass.

Although it is too early yet to express an opinion as to the measure of success attending the Rationing Scheme which came into effect this week, the indications are that it is working smoothly. The butchers’ shops have presented almost a normal appearance, the blinds being raised so that the supplies of meat could be seen, and many householders are reaping the benefits of a more equitable distribution.

THE QUANTITY OF TEA ALLOWED PER COUPON.

In the summary of regulations under the new Rationing Scheme published in our last issue the weight of tea allowed for each person weekly was by a typographical error put at 1¼oz. It should have been 1½oz.

THE POTATO PUSH.
URGENT NEED FOR GREATER ACTIVITY.

British farmers as a body have responded admirably to the call of the Government for increased production, and the outlook for our corn crop is extremely encouraging. Unfortunately, the potato prospect is by no means so satisfactory. Up to the present it is doubtful whether as much land has been prepared for potatoes this season as last ; and it is hardly to be expected that the 1918 yield will be as large as that of the 1917 crop, which was well above the average.

The Prime Minister a few weeks ago appealed to farmers to grow more potatoes this year than last year, when, in response to his earlier appeal, the farmer beat all records of potato planting England and Wales. A certain number of large growers have been moved by the Premier’s recent message to arrange for the growing of more potatoes ; but this movement does not seem to be general.

As the Food Production Department points out, the situation is most serious. We need a million acres of potatoes in Great Britain this year to make the food situation safe, and only the farmers can give us this million acres. We want another million and a half tons of potatoes grown this year, apart from the allotment holder and gardeners’ crops and only the farmers can grow them. As things now look, there is reason to fear that we may be as much as 400,000 acres short of our probable requirements in potatoes during 1918. This must be prevented at any cost.

Many farmers have protested against the proposal that they should increase their 1918 acreage under potatoes because they have been unable to sell satisfactorily a large part their 1917 crop. The Ministry of Food has met them in this difficulty. On May 18, 1918, the Food Controller will purchase all sound ware potatoes in the United Kingdom for which the grower cannot otherwise find a market. The Food Controller will pay not less than £7 per ton for 4-ton lots free on rail.

These concessions in relation to the remainder of the 1917 crop should induce many hesitating farmers to increase their 1918 acreage of potatoes. The Ministry of Food has always guaranteed to buy at minimum prices of from £6 to £7 per ton all the crop grown on new land this year, and to pay a generous price for the remainder of the 1918 potato crop—prices for the latter being fixed by a Joint Commission of the Board of Agriculture and the Ministry of Food after visiting each area and taking evidence from the growers as to yields, cost of production, etc.

PERMITS TO PRESERVE EGGS.

In view of the possibility that the preserving of eggs not produced by householders’ own birds might be considered an offence under the Hoarding Order, the Food Controller has issued a general license authorising any person to acquire eggs for the purpose of preserving them for use in his own household, provided that notice of the number eggs to be acquired and preserved is sent to the Food Control Committee for the district in which the person usually resides, and that the number of eggs so acquired does not exceed the number of eggs stated in such notice, or, if objection is taken by the committee to the number stated, the number permitted by the committee. A Food Control Committee has power to reduce the number proposed if they think it necessary, after taking into consideration the size of the household and the quantity of supplies available in their district. Subject this reasonable limitation. Lord Rhondda wishes to encourage the preserving of eggs for use in the household during the winter months.

RESCUED FROM DROWNING.—On Wednesday in last week two Rugby boys—John Bull, son of John Overton, 7 New Street, and Alfred Pickering, of the same address—were playing near the river at Newton, when Bull fell into the water. A soldier belonging to the R.F.C was attracted to the spot by the shouts of Pickering, and he at once jumped into the river and brought Bull to the bank in an unconscious condition. Artificial respiration was successfully applied, and the boy was conveyed to his home in a float lent by Mr S Nicholas, of St Thomas’ Cross.

DEATHS.

BICKNELL.—LANCE-CORPL. A. BICKNELL, killed in action about April 2nd, son of Mr and Mrs Arthur Bicknell, of 123 Oxford, Rugby, aged 30 years.

CLEAVER.—April 9, 1918, CHARLES RICHARD CLEAVER, the beloved husband of Bertha Amy Cleave, of 27 Victoria Street, Bilton, Rugby.

ELSON.—Pte. ALFRED WILLIAM ELSON, 1st Hants. Regiment, died of wounds on April 6th in France, son of Mrs. Anderson, 39 Pinfold Street, Bilton.
“ He sleeps not in his native land,
But ‘neath a foreign sky,
Far from those who loved him best,
In a hero’s grave he lies.
Some day we hope to meet him ;
We know not when.
We shall clasp his hands in the Better Land,
Never to part again.” R.I.P.
—Deeply mourned by his Mother, Wife, Brothers and Sisters.

HAY.—PRIVATE DOUGLAS HAY, of the 1/4th Yorks & Lancs. Regt. son of Mrs Hay, of Murray Rd., Rugby. Killed in action March 18th, 1918.

LINNELL.—On April 8th, 1918, at No. 9 General Hospital, Rouen, of tetanus from wounds received in action, WILLIAM HENRY LINNELL.

IN MEMORIAM.

BURTON.—In loving memory of MONTAGUE (MONT) BURTON, who killed in action on April 10, 1917.
“ We have lost him, we who loved him,
And, like others, must be brave ;
For we know that he is sleeping
In a British soldier’s grave.”
—From his loving Mother and Sister.

In ever-loving and affectionate remembrance of Lance- Corpl G. B. COLEMAN, the dearly-beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. T. Coles, Old Lodge Farm, Binley, who was shot by a sniper at France on April 11th, 1917, aged 23 years.
A loving son and faithful brother,
One of the best towards his mother,
He bravely answered duty’s call,
And gave his life for one and all.
Some may think that we forget him,
When at times they see us smile,
But they little know the sorrow
Which is hid behind that smile.
He is gone, but not forgotten,
Oh, dear no, not one so dear ;
He is gone safe home to heaven,
And we hope to meet him there.
—From his ever-loving Mother and Father, Brothers and Sisters.

DALE.—In memory of Pte. HARLEY DALE, of the 11th Royal Warwickshire Regt., who was killed in action somewhere in France, April 11th, 1917.
God knows how we all miss him,
And He counts the tears we shed,
And whispers, “ Hush, he only sleeps.
Thy brother is not dead.”
—From his loving Mother and Sister and Brothers at Long Lawford.

HINCKS.—In proud and loving memory of Lance-Corpl. EDWARD WARNER HINKS, Middlesex Regiment, younger son of Mr. & Mrs. Marlow Hincks, The Holts, Southam, killed in action near Arras on April 12, 1917 ; aged 20.—From Father, Mother, Brother & Sisters.

MANSFIELD.—In memory of Lieut. H. Mansfield, 1st Cheshires, who died in France on April 12, 1916.—Not forgotten, “ M. W.”

PRESTIDGE.—In loving memory of our dear son and brother, JOSEPH PRESTIDGE, Barby, aged 21 years ; killed in action in France, April 11, 1915.

PYWELL.—In loving memory of Sergt. F. W. PYWELL, who was killed in action on April 9, 1917.
“ He sleeps, not his native land,
But under foreign skies,
Far from his friends who loved him best ;
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—From his Father, Brother and Sisters.