29th Jun 1918. Rugby Aeroplane Week

RUGBY Aeroplane Week begins next MONDAY

 IF, during the week beginning next Monday, the subscriptions from Rugby for National War Bonds and War Savings Certificates reach the total of £50,000, the authorities will give to an Aeroplane the name of our town.

 Think of our civic pride if we read in an Official despatch that

 the Aeroplane “ RUGBY ”

 has carried the war into German territory and harried the lines of communication of the foe—perhaps that it has saved Rugby men from the deadly attack of the Hun, enabling them to return unharmed to their wives and children.

 Do your duty during Rugby Aeroplane Week

 Have your Money ready for Monday—ready to buy National War Bonds and War Savings Certificates— ready to help in making Rugby Aeroplane Week a triumphant, a record success.

 Get your Pass Book. See how much money you have in the Bank. Draw the cheque and have it ready to give Rugby’s effort a flying start on Monday morning.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

The Order of the British Empire has been conferred upon Lieut-Col R Godfrey Aston, Royal Engineers, grandson of Mrs Aston, of St Matthew’s Vicarage.

Mr G H Simpson, assistant Master at Rugby School, and son of the late Dr Simpson, of Rugby, has been gazetted to a commission in the Grenadier Guards.

Second Lieut B V Bickmore, R.W.R., son of the late Mr A E Bickmore, of 25 Leicester Street, Leamington, is seconded for duty under the Forestry Directorate. He was mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s despatch of April 7th.

The following military appointment is announced: Territorial Force, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, Lieut C W Iliffe to be Captain. Captain Ilife is the son of Dr C W Ilife, Coroner for North Warwickshire, and an alderman of Coventry City Council.

The Hon Mrs A V Baillie has been awarded the “ Medaille de la Reine Elizabeth ” by the King of Belgium in recognition of the kind help and valuable assistance she has personally given to the Belgian refugees and Belgian soldiers during the War.

Pte W White, 4th South Staffs, only son of Mr R White, 214 Lawford Road, New Bilton, has been wounded. He is 19 years of age, and has been in France four months.

Pte J W Purdy, Dorset Regiment, son of Mr J W Purdy, Craven Road, who was wounded in the thigh on June 11th, formerly worked for the L & N-W Railway Company as parcel porter.

Among those on whom the Military Cross has been recently conferred are the following :—Second-Lieut, C G Darby, R.H.A, who for over a week displayed the greatest determination and capability in keeping the guns supplied with ammunition, though on several occasions he had to bring up his teams through a heavy barrage. He has at all times displayed the greatest coolness under fire. (Lieut Darby is the son of Mr John Darby, of Hillmorton.)—Lieut the Hon J H P Verney, Lancers (son and heir of Lord Willoughby de Broke), who, though heavily shelled and attacked from several directions and in imminent danger of being cut off, held a position against greatly superior numbers, and covered the withdrawal of other troops. He showed splendid coolness and determination.

The names of the following Rugby men have appeared in the recent casualty lists :—Killed : Corpl of Horse W H Waspe, Guards M.C.R. Trooper J Campbell. Wounded and missing : Pte C H Edmonds, Oxon and Bucks L.L. Missing : Lance-Sergt W Usher, Gloucester Regiment.

AUSTRALIAN CADET KILLED AT RUGBY STATION.

After the Preston to London express had left Rugby yesterday (Friday) morning at 2.40 the body of an Australian cadet was found on the line, with evidence of the wheels of the train having passed over him. The deceased had evidently travelled by the train, which had a stop of ten minutes at Rugby, for he was travelling from Llandudno to London. From the position of the body, he had got out on the opposite side of the train to the platform, and probably in endeavouring to re-enter the carriage he fell under the wheels. He had no hat or tunic on. From papers on him it was ascertained that his name was Pick. He joined up at the commencement of the war as a private, rising to the rank of sergeant, and had passed all his examinations for a commission.

DUNCHURCH.
ANOTHER son of Mr J Cleaver, postman, The Heath, Dunchurch, has joined up. All his three sons are now in the Army.

FATAL ACCIDENT TO A RUGBY FLYING OFFICER

Second-Lieut Douglas Lavington Little, R.A.F, eldest son of Mr & Mrs W G little, of 30 Vicarage Road, was unfortunately killed while flying near South Kilworth on Friday afternoon last week. From the evidence given at the inquest on Monday it appeared that Second-Lieut Little and three other officers were flying in two machines from one aerodrome to another one in the Eastern Counties, and lost their bearings.

When near South Kilworth two of the officers descended to ascertain their whereabouts, Lieut Little and another pilot meanwhile circling round. Suddenly, for some reason which could not be explained at the inquest, Lieut Little’s machine commenced to spin, and being too low down for the pilot to right it, it crashed to earth. Death was instantaneous. A verdict of “ Accidental death ” was returned.

Second-Lieut Little, who was 19 years of age, was educated at Rugby School. He entered the Royal Flying Corps as a cadet in September, 1917, and received his commission in February last.

The funeral took place with military honours in Rugby Cemetery on Thursday afternoon in the presence of a large number of sympathisers. The coffin, which was covered with the Union Jack, was conveyed on a gun carriage, drawn by six black horses, and was preceded by a firing party from the Rugby School O.T.C, under Capt C P Evers. A detachment from the Volunteer Corps, under Lieut C C Wharton, followed behind the mourners’ coaches. Six of deceased’s brother officers acted as bearers. The first part of the service was conducted by the Rev D E Shorto and the Rev C T Aston in the School Chapel. A large number of choice floral tributes were sent by : The family ; friends ; members of the Town House ; B.T.H Accountant Department ; brother officers, Staff, No. 1 T.D.S, R.A.F ; his Commanding Officer ; late colleagues in the B.T.H. Electrical Laboratory ; and shopmates at the B.T.H.

RUGBY PRISONERS OF WAR COMMITTEE.

The monthly meeting of this Committee was held at Benn Buildings on Monday evening, Mr Wm Flint, C.C, presiding. There were also present : Mrs Blagden, Mrs Lees, Mrs Anderson, Mrs Wilson, Mr A E Donkin, J. P, Mr J H Mellor, Mr G W Walton, Mr F Pepper, and the Hon Organising Secretary, Mr J Reginald Barker.

Mr Barker reported that during the past month the receipts from all sources amounted to £125 17s 6d, whilst the expenditure on food parcels was £264 16s 9d. The expenditure, large as it was, was not quite so heavy as he had anticipated, owing to a number of the new prisoners of war not becoming a charge upon the Committee until about the middle at the month. They would have to provide at least £350 for the July parcels, and by August it would cost £400 per month to feed the present number of prisoners, owing to the rise in the price at commodities and materials. There were now 128 local men in the care of the Rugby Committee, an increase of 35 men during the month, but unfortunately parcels could not be sent to several of these men as their addresses had not been definitely established.

Referring to the financial support, Mr Barker said the amount compared very favourably with the average in the past, but that, today, was quite inadequate, as they now had twice the number of prisoners to maintain, and greater support must be given to the fund in future. He said it could not be too fully known that the work of the Committee was in itself Red Cross work, and he hoped this would be borne in mind by everybody, so that the undertaking could be carried through successfully, not only for the credit of the town and district, but to prevent any of the men becoming a charge on the funds of the Red Cross Society. The abundant proofs received of the value of the food parcels emphasised over and over again the absolute necessity that they be regularly despatched to keep the men in physical and mental health, so that they would eventually return home fit to take their places as responsible members of the community.

The question at securing added and continued support to the fund was discussed at considerable length.

Mr Mellor argued that whilst fetes, dances, and concerts brought welcome addition to the funds, it must not be forgotten that to raise such a huge sum as £400 a month from their district was a very serious undertaking, and he felt it could only be done by people promising regular weekly or monthly contributions according to their means. He hoped some scheme could be devised whereby a canvass of the town could be made, to see what promises of regular support would be forthcoming.

Mr Barker said this was already being done in a number of the villages, and he had hopes that most of the districts would be able to raise sufficient money to provide for their own village men. He referred to the excellent support being given by Messrs Greaves, Bull, and Lakin, at Harbury, who were providing for four men ; the employees at Messrs Bluemel Bros, of Wolston, who were also providing for four of their men ; and the excellent support that was being given by the employees at the L & N.-W Railway in maintaining five of their former workmates. He should like to see similar enthusiasm from other sources, which would go far to relieving the strain on the fund. One or two of the people had undertaken to pay the full cost of their relatives’ food parcels, and others had promised varying amounts, but unfortunately there were many cases where the Committee could not expect any financial support.

Mr Pepper said there was some doubt as to the genuineness of certain persons collecting for the funds and in reply Mr Barker said that every collecting box issued bore the authorised label of the Committee and the name and address of the collector. The collecting cards were also specially printed and numbered, and had the name and address of the authorised collector. Any person collecting without the special box or card was unauthorised, and he would be glad to have particulars of any such cases that came to the knowledge of the members of the Committee or the public.

ROAD TRANSPORT BOARD.

A preliminary meeting of the Warwickshire County Area Road Transport Committee, which has recently been inaugurated by the Board of Trade, was held at the office of the area secretary, Mr S L Wansbrough, 33 Earl Street, Coventry, when duly appointed members from various parts of the county were in attendance. The committee’s operations practically cover the whole of the County of Warwickshire, excluding Birmingham.

Briefly, the main objects of this committee is to secure the strictest economy in the use of petrol and horse fodder. In order to effect this object all petrol-driven vehicles and all horse-driven good-carrying conveyances (carrying capacity over 15cwt) will be compulsorily registered and permits issued for their use. Very wide powers under the Defence of the Realm Act are vested in the Road Transport Board, and any breach of regulations issued by them will entail heavy penalties.

The Road Transport Board is anxious to avoid, wherever possible, putting their powers into force, but will not hesitate to do so in case of necessity. The Warwickshire County Area Road Transport Committee, therefore, invite traders to establish such co-ordination and co-operation in transport as will, if not entirely banish the considerable amount of overlapping and running empty which unfortunately now prevails, at least reduce it to the minimum possible. The powers of the Board will be used to enforce, it necessary, any scheme of co-operation for the economy of transport which has already been voluntarily adopted by the majority of members of any one trader or group of traders.

When it is thoroughly understood that this is a highly important war measure, aiming at a decreased consumption of petrol and the avoidance of the unnecessary use of fodder by reducing the number of horses on the road, there will, doubtless, be a ready desire by all traders to come into line and assist the committee and their secretary in every way possible.

Under the auspices of local tribunals various schemes are now being brought into existence with the object of preserving the businesses of those traders who have been, or may be, called to the Colours, and, inasmuch as delivery is often an essential part at such businesses, the Warwickshire County Area Committee will co-operate with all tribunals now engaged on similar work in order that traders may be spared from overlapping of authorities and that tribunals and the committee may join in exercising their powers for the general good.

THE “ RUGBY ADVERTISER.”

Readers of the Rugby Advertiser should place a regular order for the paper with their newsagent if they have not already done so, as newsagents will not now have supplies for chance customers. If any difficulty is experienced in obtaining the paper, kindly communicate with the Manager, Advertiser Office, Rugby.

DEATHS.

COLSTON.—In loving memory of Pte. ERNEST H. COLSTON, of the 5th Royal Berks Regiment, the very dearly beloved elder son of Mr. & Mrs. H. Colston. 82 York Street ; killed in action in France on June 20th, 1918 ; aged 19 years.
“ Greater love hath no man than this :
That a man lay down his life for his friends.”

LITTLE.—In loving memory of DOUGLAS LAVINGTON LITTLE, Second-Lieut., R.A.F., killed in a flying accident on June 21, 1918 ; eldest son of William Gibson and Laura Lavington Little ; aged 19 years.

IN MEMORIAM.

BIRD.—In loving memory of our dear son and brother, Pte. BERT BIRD, 1/4 Lincolns, who died of wounds received in action in France on July 1, 1917.
“ We pictured his safe returning,
And longed to clasp his hand ;
But death hath postponed our meeting,
‘Twill be in a better land.”
—From loving Mother, Brother, Sisters and three Brothers in France (Leicester).

CHATER.—In affectionate remembrance of Rifleman W. H. CHATER, 12th Rifle Brigade, killed in action at Ypres on June 30, 1916.—“ To memory ever dear.” —From Ada.

CHATER.—In ever-loving memory of our beloved and only child, Rifleman W. H. CHATER, 12th Rifle Brigade of Dunchurch, who was killed in action at Ypres on June 30, 1916.—“ To-day brings back our grief anew.””—Never forgotten by Father and Mother.

GREER.—In loving memory of Private R. GREER, 1st Royal Inniskillings, who was killed in action at the Dardanelles, on June 18th, 1915. Never forgotten by his friends at 12 Argyle Street. “ To live in hearts , we leave behind is not to die.”

 

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Martin, John Joseph. Died 25th Jun 1918

John Joseph MARTIN’s birth was registered in Q3, 1890 in RugbyHe was the son of John Joseph Martin, who was born in about 1851 in Ireland, and Ellen, née Oldham, Martin, who was born in Long Lawford, in about 1860.  Their marriage was registered in Q4, 1888, in Rugby.

In 1891, the family was living at 18 Chapel Street, Rugby.  John’s father was a ‘groom, domestic servant’.  There were two children at that date – John, who was ‘10 months’ old, and had an elder brother George who was ‘23 months’ old.  The apparent reason for this ‘precision’ can be found in the biography of their younger brother, Lawrence Alfred Martin, who died on 12 September 1916.

It seems they returned to Ireland between about 1896 and 1899, as three of the children were born there in that period, however, by 1901, the family had moved back to Rugby to live at 39 School Street, Hillmorton.  John’s father was a ‘groom at a livery stable’.

By 1911, John, the eldest son, was 20, and already ‘In the army’ – his name had been crossed out by the enumerator as he wasn’t with the family that night!  He was enumerated at the Aliwal Military Barracks, South Tidworth, Hampshire, and was in the 18th Queen Mary’s Own (QMO) Hussars.

Meanwhile in 1911, the rest of the family were now living at 12, Jubilee Street, New Bilton, Rugby.  Also at home that night were John’s younger siblings: Lawrence Martin, 16, who was working in the lamp department at BTH, but who would later join up; Mary Ellen Martin, 14, a tailoress; and Christina A Martin, 12; and Wilfred E V Martin, 8, who were both still at school.  Their father, now 60, was a ‘Groom’, and he and his wife had been married for 23 years and had had seven children of whom five were still living.  They would live in Rugby for the rest of their lives.  John’s father died there aged 78, in about mid 1932; and his mother died there, aged 79, in about early 1939.

Unfortunately no Service Records have survived for John, but it seems that he joined up in Rugby, prior to 1911, and he served as either No: 5275, (on later CWGC records), or more probably as No: 5276 (as recorded on most earlier CWGC records; soldiers who died in the War; and his Medal Card) in the 10th (Prince of Wales’s Own Royal) Hussars in the Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line.  At some date he was promoted Sergeant.

The Regiment was based at Potchefstroom in South Africa at the start of the war, so John may have gone out to serve with them after being enumerated at Tidworth in 1911.  They returned to the UK and joined up with the 6th Cavalry Brigade in the 3rd Cavalry Division at Ludgershall, then on 8 October 1914 landed at Ostende as part of the British Expeditionary Force for service on the Western Front.  Soon afterwards, on 20 November 1914, in Belgium, they transferred to the 8th Cavalry Brigade in same Division, in order to bring that Brigade up to strength.

John’s Medal Card states that he went to France, on 6 October 1914, which fits with him serving in the 10th Hussars and going to France with them in 1914 – and he thus became eligible for the 1914 Star – and he would have then been involved in the various actions of the 8th Cavalry Brigade.

The 8th Cavalry Brigade served with the 3rd Cavalry Division on the Western Front until March 1918.  It joined the division too late to take part in any of the 1914 actions, but in 1915 the Division saw action in the Second Battle of Ypres (Battle of Frezenberg Ridge, 11-13 May) and the Battle of Loos (26-28 September).  1916 saw no notable actions, but in 1917 the Division took part in the Battle of Arras (First Battle of the Scarpe, 9-12 April).  At other times, the brigade formed a dismounted unit and served in the trenches (as a regiment under the command of the brigadier).

In March 1918, the Indian Cavalry elements were sent to Egypt.  The British and Canadian units remained in France and most were transferred to the 3rd Cavalry Division causing it to be extensively reorganized.  The yeomanry regiments were concentrated in the 8th Cavalry Brigade which left the 3rd Cavalry Division on the 12/14 March 1918 and transferred to the 6th Cavalry Brigade in same Division.

Whilst it was fairly quiet at the start of 1918, John would have continued to be involved in the daily routine of a Cavalry Regiment.  The front was comparatively quiet prior to 21 March.

However, an attack by the Germans had been anticipated and on 21 March 1918, they 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.

The War Diary of the 10th Hussars whilst serving with the 6th Cavalry Brigade is available and a summary of activities in the four months before John’s death is summarised below.[1]

At start of March 1918, they were at Tertry where on 9 March one of the huts was bombed, six were killed, 35 wounded, six of whom died in hospital.  On 13 March they moved to the Devise area, and from 18-20 March they found working parties and then on 21 March ‘Heavy enemy bombardment of the whole front line opposite started about 4.30am.  The Regiment was ordered to stand to, and moved out at 5pm and marched to Beaumont near Ham, where the Brigade bivouacked in a field.  The dismounted Brigade was ordered to be formed next morning.’  On 22 March ‘The dismounted Brigade left by bus early in the morning …’.

They moved to Pontoise and then Carlepont and later to Choisy where a bomb injured an officer on 28 March.  On 30 March they were at Airion and moved to Sains-en-Amienois and the next day – 31 March – to bivouacs at Racineuse Farm.  Another group had gone to Lagny and then on to Elincourt and Chevincourt in period 26 to 29 March, sustaining one killed, 15 wounded and four missing.  A third group was in Naureuil on 23 March, and then dug in at Abbecourt and later went to Les Bruyers.

On 1 April the Brigade moved to Gentelles Wood.  On 2 April they moved on to Fouilloy.  Then on 4 April they came under heavy fire at Bois de Hamel and lost about 50 horses.  They were shelled again on 5 April at Blagney-Tronville.  On 6 April they moved to Camon where they ‘reorganised’ on 7 April.   On 11 April they marched to Buire-au-Bois and then on 12 April to Hestrus and later to billets at Aumerval.  From 14-30 April, they stood to and saddled up each day and were ready at short notice.

May started in the same way until on 5 May they moved to Rougefay and the next day to Villers l’ Hopital and then to Contay where they stood to until 16 May.  On 17 May they moved to camp at Belloy-sur-Somme.  They were then cleaning and training until the end of the month when they moved to Behencourt, and bivouacked half a mile south west of the chateau.

The Brigade stood to each day until 14 June when they were relieved by the 7th Cavalry Brigade and moved back to Belloy-sur-Somme.  From 15 to 24 June there was training and a ‘scheme’ was carried out on 22 June, however, ‘owing to the large numbers of cases of influenza in the Brigade, it was decided to move the Brigade to another area.’  On 25 June the Brigade moved to the Soues area, and then billeted at Reincourt until the end of July.

It seems there was constant movement in response to the German advances, the Cavalry effectively being in place as a readily moved ‘backstop’.  They moved, sometimes on a daily basis, from some 30kms south of Arras, to an area, similarly distant, to the west and south-west of the town.  There was no obvious major enemy action in the period prior to John’s death, when he might have been wounded, however, the mention of the ‘large number of cases of influenza’ may suggest that John was affected badly and for that reason was evacuated to a Casualty Clearing Station.

Whether wounded in routine sniping or shelling, or suffering from influenza, John was evacuated for some considerable distance behind the lines, assuming that he was taken to the 21st Casualty Clearing Station at Wavens – some 50kms west of Arras – next to where he was later buried.

John Martin died, aged 28, on 25 June 1918.  He was buried in the Wavans British Cemetery in Grave Ref: B. 3.  This is a very small cemetery with only 44 graves and was made by the nearby 21st Casualty Clearing Station in May-September 1918.  The cemetery contains 43 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and one German war grave.  The flying ace Major J T B McCudden, VC, DSO and Bar, MC and Bar, MM, who died of wounds on 9 July 1918, some two weeks after John Martin, is buried in the same row as John Martin in Grave 10.

Later, when a gravestone replaced the temporary cross, probably in the 1920s, no additional family message was engraved upon it.  His parents were still at 12, Jubilee Street, New Bilton, Rugby.

John Joseph Martin is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates and also on the New Bilton War Memorial, by the chapel in Croop Hill Cemetery, Addison Road, which states ‘In the Great War these died for England 1914-1919’.  The family were Roman Catholic and John – and his brother, Lawrence – are remembered at St. Marie’s Church, Rugby, ‘To the Memory of the Men of this Congregation who Fell in the Great War 1914-1918 …’.

His Medal Card showed that he was awarded the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the 1914 Star.

His mother received his outstanding pay of £13-15-2d on 13 March 1919 and his War Gratuity of £25-10s on 2 January 1920.

John Martin’s younger brother, Lawrence [or Lawrence] Alfred Martin, also served and was killed in action with the 6th Battalion, the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry.  He died on 12 September 1916.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on John Joseph MARTIN 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), 1914-20, Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line, 3rd Cavalry Div., 6th Cavalry Brig., 10th Prince of Wales Hussars, March 1918 – March 1919, TNA ref: WO 95/1153.

[2]      https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/martin-lawrence-alfred-died-12th-sep-1916/.

 

Gardner, Arthur. Died 23rd Jun 1918

Arthur GARDNER was born in late 1878 in Brackley, Northamptonshire.  He was the son of Richard Gardner, who was born in about 1855 in Banbury, Oxfordshire, and Elizabeth, née Stevens, Gardner, who was born in about 1858 in Clifton, Warwickshire. They married in early 1878.

The family had moved to Brailes and then to Banbury, and sometime before 1901, moved again to live at 61 York Street, Rugby.  Arthur was now 22 and a ‘carpenter and joiner’, as was his father, and he was the eldest of five children.

His marriage with Agnes Jones, was registered in Q3, 1906.  She had been born in Rugby on 10 March 1876.  They lived later at 76, King Edward Road, Rugby.

In 1911, Arthur was 32, and was living with his wife at 30 King Edward Road, Rugby – he was a ‘carpenter & joiner’ for a builder.  His wife was now 35 and they had been married for four years but had no children.  It is possible that they later had two daughters: Marion E in Q4 1913, and Phyllis A in Q3 1916, however, with two fairly common surnames, the children could have related to another couple, although there are no obvious local marriages, and an on-line anonymous tree also shows two daughters.

In 1911, Arthur’s parents, and two of Arthur’s sisters were still living in Rugby at 27 Dale Street.

At some date Arthur joined up, and whilst there are no Service Records or Medal Card, it is known that he later became an Air Mechanic 2nd Class, No.126856, in the Royal Air Force, at the 1st Aeroplane Supply Depot.
In December 1915 it was decided to convert St Omer … into fixed supply and repair depots and to create three new air parks in the army rear areas to provide mobile support to the flying squadrons. St Omer was re-titled No 1 Aircraft Depot (AD)’. … In March 1918 [with the German advance of operation Michael] … 1AD was moved towards the coast.[1]

It is likely that Arthur was posted to No.1 AD and then stationed at St. Omer, because of his carpentry skills – aircraft were made largely of wood and there was a considerable amount of repair work to be carried out to help maintain supplies of aircraft.

With crowded conditions, any disease could spread rapidly.  In mid-1918, the influenza epidemic was a growing problem.  It is suggested that the ‘disease’ that Arthur caught may well have been the ‘flu’ and that he was evacuated to a hospital – in his case probably to a base hospital near Boulogne.

Arthur Gardner is recorded as having ‘Died of Disease’,[2] on 23 June 1918, aged 40.  He was buried at the Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, in Grave Ref: I. B. 16.

The Terlincthun British Cemetery is situated at Wimille, which is located on the northern outskirts of Boulogne.  The first rest camps for Commonwealth forces were established near Terlincthun in August 1914 and during the First World War, Boulogne and Wimereux housed numerous hospitals and other medical establishments.  The cemetery at Terlincthun was begun in June 1918 when the space available for service burials in the civil cemeteries of Boulogne and Wimereux was exhausted.  It was used chiefly for burials from the base hospitals, … for many years Terlincthun remained an ‘open’ cemetery and graves continued to be brought into it from isolated sites and other burials grounds throughout France where maintenance could not be assured.

Arthur Gardner is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates.

His wife, Agnes, lived until she was 100, and her death was registered in Rugby in Q3, 1976.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Arthur GARDNER 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, March 2018.

 

[1]      https://www.crossandcockade.com/StOmer/TheAircraftDepot.asp.

[2]      See: https://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/4025402/gardner,-arthur/#&gid=null&pid=2.

22nd Jun 1918. Memorial Tablets in Churches.

MEMORIAL TABLETS IN CHURCHES.—The Bishop of Worcester, in this month’s Worcester Diocesan Magazine, writes :—“ I wish again to call the clergy’s attention to the growing number of large tablets which are being proposed in our churches. We have really no right to occupy the church wall space in this way. The best way to commemorate those who have died in the War is the brotherly way of one memorial for the whole parish, on which the name of comrades can be inserted. For rich persons to occupy the wall space with memorials which cannot be afforded by poorer parishioners is as objectionable as occupying the floor space by large private pews. I appeal to the church feeling of my diocese to consider this.”

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

CORRECTION.—In our last issue it was inadvertently stated that Lieut H N Salter, who had been awarded the Military Cross, was the son of Mr A G Salter. It should have been Mr H S Salter, of 3 Elborow Street, Rugby.

Mrs. F. Kirby, 15 Sun Street, Rugby, has been informed that her son, Pte A Kirby, R.W.F, had been wounded for the third time and brought to Southampton War Hospital. She has another son in France, and her husband is also serving in Palestine.

The following Rugby men have appeared in the casualty lists issued this week :—Killed, Rfn W Griffin, Rifle Brigade ; missing, Pte G W Wale, Border Regt, Pte J Harris (Royal Scots), and Pte B Lawley (R.W.R).

Mr and Mrs Bland have received news from the War Office that their son, Pte R G Bland, of the Lancashire Fusiliers, was killed in action on June 4th. Also a letter from the Chaplain to say he had buried him in one of the Military Cemeteries, and the Battalion had erected a cross to his memory. He was 18 years of age, and was an Elborow old boy.

Mr and Mrs Pulham, of Barby, have received a letter from their son, Rfn H W Pulham, who has been missing since April 15th, 1918, saying he is a prisoner in Philippapalis, Bulgaria. He joined the colours at the outbreak of the war, and served 12 months in France, where he was wounded on July 1st, 1916. He was transferred to Salonica in November, 1916, where he served till reported missing. He was formerly employed at the B.T.H. Machine Assembly Department.

Mr Doyle, of 71 Victoria Street, New Bilton, received news this week that his brother, Pte Thomas Doyle, had been killed in action in Palestine. This makes the third brother he has lost, Frank and Joseph Wilfred Doyle having been killed in France. They were the sons of the late Mr Joseph Doyle, and of Mrs Doyle, of Frankton.

Pte W H Fallon, Wiltshire Regt, son of Mr and Mrs Fallon, 7 Adam Street, New Bilton, who was previously reported missing, is a prisoner of war at Munster, and Pte A Backle, R.W.R., whose wife lives at 27 Pinfold Street, New Bilton, is a prisoner at Hamburg.

AWARDS FOR MERITORIOUS SERVICE.

The meritorious Service Medal in recognition of valuable service rendered in France has been awarded to :—
Sergt H E Gregory. A.S.C., Rugby.
L-Corpl S G Hall. R.W.R., Rugby.
Reg.Q.M.S. E L Hewitt, R.W.R., Rugby.
L-CorpI J W Hooper, R.W.R., Newbold-on-Avon.
Sapper A W Rathbone, R.E., Rugby.

RUGBY URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL.
ALL SOLDIERS TO BE BURIED FREE.

The Cemetery Committee reported that they had considered the question of the free interment of members of His Majesty’s Forces dying in Rugby and the neighbourhood, and recommended that in future the same facilities be granted as to Rugby men, and in case of any difficulty arising the matter should be referred to the discretion of the Chairman of the Council, Mr Stevenson, and the Clerk.—They had instructed the Clerk to allow the erection of a headstone or curbing over graves of men dying in His Majesty’s Forces and interred in the Cemetery, free of charge, where necessary.

The Public Health Committee reported that four cases of infectious disease had been noticed, of which two had been removed to the Hospital at Harborough Magna.

BRANDON.
HUNS BEHAVE DECENTLY TO SOME PRISONERS.—Mr and Mm L Ward have received a card from their son, Lance-Corpl J Ward, who is now a prisoner at Langensalza, in Germany. He informs them that his right arm was fractured just below the right shoulder. The wound is healing up finely and he can to use his fingers a little. He further states : “ We are being treated well, under the circumstances, and we have nothing to grumble about, so cheer up and do not worry.”

BRETFORD.
PTE JAMES CASTLE.—Pte James Castle, who was an Army Reserve man when the war commenced, has just received his discharge certificate. He joined the Leicester Regt in 1903, and was mobilised when war started. He went to France on the 20th of September, 1914, and was in the thick of the fighting until the 20th of January, 1915, when he was badly injured in the knee through a trench being blown in upon him. He was then sent to an English hospital. Although his knee never got thoroughly well he did a lot of useful work in assisting in the drilling of recruits and afterwards as a Military Policeman. The certificate, which speaks highly of him, says he was honourably discharged. Being the first received at Bretford during the war it is an object of interest to the inhabitants.

NAPTON.
P.C and Mrs Bradbury, of Napton, have recently received the news from their third son in France, Regt-Sergt-Major A H Bradbury, 2/6 R.W.R, that he has won the Military Cross. His Colonel, when wounded, handed over the command of the Regiment to him, although Bradbury himself was slightly wounded. Before joining the army Sergt-Major Bradbury was a member of the Warwickshire Constabulary, stationed at Warwick. Mr and Mrs Bradbury have three other sons in France—Corpl H Bradbury, of the Royal Engineers ; Corpl L Bradbury, of the: Army Service Corps ; and Pte M Bradbury, of the Suffolk Regiment. Mr Bradbury has served eight years in the Royal Rifle Corps, seven of which he was serving in India. He has been in the Police Force over 27 years.

LONG ITCHINGTON.

SIDNEY LANE HOME.—L-Corpl Sidney Lane (K.R.R), second son of Sergt and Mrs Frank Lane, has now been invalided home. He was severely wounded in France last November, and his left leg has been amputated above the knee.

WOUNDED.—Miss Ada Allen has received a notification that her brother, Pte Walter Allen (Cheshire Regt), was wounded by a bullet through his right arm during the advance on the 30th ult He joined up in September, 1914, and though he has been through some trying experiences since then, this is the first time he has been wounded.

DILUTION OF BREAD AND HEALTH.

We are asked to remind the public that bread should be kept in a cool place during warm weather. At temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit bread made from the flour at present in use is apt to become “ ropey ”, and unsuitable for food, but at lower temperatures its keeping qualities are good. Complaints continue to be heard from time to time against the so-called war bread made from standard wheaten floor, with an admixture of flour obtained from other cereals. We are informed that the policy of raising the percentage of flour extracted from wheat and adding flour from other cereals was only adopted after the fullest scientific investigation both as to the digestibility and the nourishing qualities of the resulting product.

The present position of the cereal supplies completely vindicates the policy of dilution as applied to bread. It is authoritatively stated that no evidence whatever has been adduced that the health of the nation has generally suffered from the lowering of the quality of bread, and at the present time the stocks in the country are enough to enable the Royal Commission on Wheat Supplies to make the definite statement that the bread supply of the country is assured until the next harvest is gathered. The total saving effected up to the present is estimated as the equivalent of the cargoes of more than 400 steamers of average size, or nearly one-third of an average annual importation. It is held that such a saving could not have been effected by rationing without disastrous effects on the general national health. The outlook at the moment is distinctly promising.

SUGAR FOR JAM.

UNFAIR CRITICISM RESENTED BY RUGBY COMMITTEE.

At a meeting of the Rugby Food Control Committee on Thursday last week the Chairman (Mr T A Wise) referred to the dissatisfaction which has been caused by the refusal of permits to purchase sugar to people who had neglected to enclose a stamped addressed envelope with their application forma. Many people he said, thought that the committee of their own malicious stupidity made this regulation, but it was not so; it was a Government instruction, and the local officials did all they could by drawing the attention of the applicants to the regulation by placing a mark at each side of the paragraph relating to it. Any remarks about red tape had nothing to do with the Committee ; they should be addressed to the Government. Before any agitation arose over the matter he discussed the question with the Executive Officer, and they wrote to London to see if they could get some redress. They had no desire to be harsh or unfair, but when a regulation was printed on a form it saw not too much to expect that the people concerned would read it, particularly when their attention was especially attracted to it ; and the remarks which had been made concerning the committee and the officials were grossly unfair. He thought people should appreciate the difficulties under which the staff had worked.

The Executive Officer (Mr F M Burton) said with regard to the suggestion that letters should be sent to all persons who had received permits, asking them to return them for re-consideration if their fruit crop had not come up to expectation, this would have required 5,000 envelopes ; and, after consulting the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, he had placed an advertisement in the local Press, and had had some window bills printed to this effect.—This action was endorsed.

The Executive Officer read a letter from the Ministry on the subject, asking for particulars as to the number of late applications, and stating that if the number was not a large one permits could be issued. If this involved a large indent of sugar details should be sent to the Ministry before issuing the permits. As there were 685 applicants affected he had sent the details.—The Chairman said he hoped they would now get something from the London authorities.

Mr Griffin mentioned the case of a man who could not get his form when he applied for it, but left a penny for the stamp.—The Chairman : That was risky (laughter). I do not mean that as a reflection on the staff ; but if there were a number like that they could not possibly recollect all who left money.—The Executive Officer said they had quite a pile of money handed in, and every penny was used in stamps.

At a later stage of the meeting the Executive Officer stated that if people retained sugar, and had not sufficient fruit to utilise it, they would be liable to be prosecuted.—Mr Humphrey pointed out, however, that many people whose ordinary fruit crop had failed would grow marrows, and it would be impossible for them to say how many of these would be available for jam.—Mr Mellor enquired the position of a man who applied for 20lbs of sugar, and was allowed 10lbs if he had only sufficient fruit to use the 10lbs.—The Chairman : He would be perfectly right in keeping it.—Mr Appleby enquired whether the members of the committee who signed application forms as references were satisfied that the applicants had the fruit trees they claimed to have.—Mr Tarbox said he was satisfied that all those which he signed were in order ; and although many people had not got stone fruit, the vital point was to see that the sugar released was used for jam making.

RUGBY PETTY SESSIONS.
ALIEN’S MISUNDERSTANDING.— Ingrid S Andersson, tailoress, 18 Bath Street, Rugby, an alien, was summoned for failing to furnish the Registration Officer with the particulars required under the Aliens’ Restriction Order.—Charles G Youngmark, tailor, 18 Bath Street, was summoned for having an alien living as a member of his household and failing to furnish the Registration Officer with the particulars required under the Order, or to give notice to the Registration Officer of the presence of an alien.—Mr H W Worthington defended both, and pleaded guilty.—Detective Mighall deposed that on June 7th Miss Andersson visited the Police Station, and said she had read in the papers that all aliens over 18 years of age had to register. She added that she had been in England since 1903. Witness asked if she was aware that she should have registered two years ago and she replied in the negative. He registered her, and on the following day he interviewed Mr Youngmark, who said Miss Andersson was his niece, and had lived with him since 1903 as an adopted daughter. He was not aware that he ought to have notified the police that she was staying with him.—Supt Clarke said after such a registration a copy had to be sent to the Chief Registration Officer at Warwick, who had ordered the proceedings.—Mr Worthington said Mr Youngmark was a Swede, who came to England 41 years ago, and had been naturalised. Miss Andersson, his wife’s niece, was also born in Sweden, and on her mother’s death Mr & Mrs Youngmark brought her to England, where she had lived continuously. Miss Andersson was not aware that friendly aliens had to be registered until she read a paragraph in the newspapers.—Both cases were dismissed without conviction under the Probation of Offenders’ Act.

DEATHS.

DOYLE.—In loving memory of my dearest husband, Pte TOM DOYLE, of Borton, killed in action June 6th, 1916, with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call.
He gave his life for one and all ;
But the unknown grave is the bitterest blow,
None but aching hearts can know.”
— From his sorrowing wife and children, mother, sister, and brothers.

HICKINGBOTHAM.—On the 10th inst., WILLIAM (late Pioneer R.E.), eldest son of Mr. & Mrs Hickingbotham, 33 Cambridge Street, Rugby..—“ Thy will be done.”

LEVETT.—Killed in action, in Palestine, March 30th, 1918, Sergeant C. E. LEVETT, 16th N.Z.Coy., I.C.C., only son of Mr. C. A. J. and the late Mrs. Levett (nee Buchanan), Ratanui, Kiwitea, New Zealand ; and grandson of the late Captain C. R. Levett, Rugby.

IN MEMORIAM.

HUGHES.—In loving memory of Lance-Corpl (JACK) HUGHES, who was killed in action in France on June 18th, 1915.
“ A loved one gone, but not forgotten,
And as dawns another year,
In our lonely hours of thinking,
Thoughts of him are always dear.”
—Never forgotten by his father, mother, brothers, sister Edie, Kitty and Dick.

MULCASTER.—In proud and loving memory of Coy.-Sergt.-Major J. MULCASTER, who died from disease contracted while serving with his Majesty’s Forces on June 13, 1917.—Fondly remembered by his Wife and Children.

SANDS.—In ever-loving memory of my dear husband, Pte H. SANDS (HARRY), who died on June 17th, 1917, at El-Arish, Egypt.
“ One year has passed since that sad day,
When our dear one was called away ;
Bravely he went to duty’s call,
And gave his life for one and all.”
—From his loving wife and children.

Garner, Henry. Died 22nd May 1918

Being listed on the Memorial Gates as ‘H GARNER’, and with no obvious Rugby connections, it seemed that this soldier would remain unidentified, until a report in the Rugby Advertiser[1] was found showing that whilst he was from a Northampton family, before the war he was working as a driver for the Co-op in Rugby.

For this reason this biography could not be posted on the 100th Anniversary of his death, but is posted now, a month later, and will be placed in order in the record in due course, so that he can be remembered.

Henry Garner was born in Harlestone, near Daventry, Northamptonshire in about 1889.  He was the son of John Garner, a ‘horse waggoner’ born in about 1853 in Thurleigh, Bedfordshire, and his first wife, Elizabeth, who was also born there in about 1857.

They had seven children, born between 1879 and 1891: their approximate dates of birth being: Mary Anne Garner, 1879; Thomas Garner, 1880; John E Garner, 1882; Amy Garner, 1884; Nellie Garner, 1886; Henry/Harry Garner, 1889  and Herbert ‘Bertie’ Garner, 1891.

Over this period the family moved to Bolnhurst in about 1880 and then to Harlestone about two years later.  They were in the Brixworth registration district and an eighth child, a girl, Elizabeth Agnes Garner, was registered in early 1894, and it seems that her mother, aged 37, died during, or as a result of childbirth; and baby Elizabeth Agnes also died a short while later, her death being registered before the end of 1894.

The widower father, Henry Garner, married again with another Elizabeth – Elizabeth Butler – in later 1896.  She was born in Haresfield, Gloucestershire in about 1869, and was thus some twelve years younger than the first Elizabeth Garner.  By 1901 there were three more younger children in the house from this second marriage, although the two eldest children were no longer at home.  In 1901, Henry – known as Harry – was 12 and working as a ‘stable boy – groom’.  His father was a ‘farm carter’.

At some date between 1901 and 1911, although no record has been found, it seems that Henry’s father died, leaving his second wife a widow.

By 1911, Henry’s widowed [step] mother was working as a ‘laundress’.  She was still living at ‘Harleston’, at 85 Upper Harlestone, Harlestone, with four children.  However, with his father now dead, Henry was correctly listed as a ‘step-son’, which was the initial confirmation that his father had married twice; that there were two separate ‘Elizabeths’; and that Henry was a son from his father’s first marriage.  Henry was now 22, the oldest sibling still at home and listed as an ‘Estate labourer’.

Although the information was not needed of a widow, and had been deleted by ‘officials’, his step-mother stated that she had been married 14 years and three of her four children were still living.  This also confirmed the second marriage date in about 1896 or 1897.  When the child who died had been born is unknown at present.

As noted, just before the war, Henry ‘… was employed by the Rugby Co-operative Society as a motor lorry driver’.[2]  It also appears that between 1911 and his death, he had married, as his gratuities after the war were paid to his widow, Emma.  That marriage has not yet been found nor any trace of Emma.

With the outbreak of war, Henry Garner enlisted in Rugby,[3]

Employees of the Rugby Co-operative Society who have enlisted are: … H Garner, …’.[4]

He enlisted initially as a Private, No: 40945, in the Worcestershire Regiment, ‘early in the war’,[5] indeed in September 1914.  With no surviving military Service Record, it is impossible to outline his early service, but at some later date he was transferred or posted as No: 18071, or 4/18071, in the Corps of Hussars and was, at the time of his death, in the 8th Hussars (The King’s Royal Irish) Regiment.[6]

The 8th Hussars entered the trenches on the Western Front for the first time on 9 December 1914, not having arrived in time to take any part in the Retreat from Mons.  The first action that the 8th encountered was in December 1914 at the Battle of Givenchy.  The majority of their time was spent sending large parties forward to dig trenches and this continued for the whole of the war.  In May 1915, they took part in the Second battle of Ypres where the Germans first used chlorine gas.  In September 1915 the 8th Hussars transferred to the 2nd Indian Cavalry Division.  The majority of the casualties occurred from the unsanitary conditions of the trenches, the cavalry being held almost exclusively in reserve, waiting for ‘the gap’ constantly warned off, but never used.  In July 1916, the King’s Royal Irish Hussars fought at Bazentin, then Flers-Courcelette the following month, both battles being in the Somme area.  They returned to the Somme area in March 1917 to clear the small pockets of machine guns left by the retreating Germans.  They took part in what would be the Regiment’s last mounted charge at Villers-Faucon when B and D Squadrons, supported by a howitzer battery and two armoured cars, attacked a heavily defended German position.  B Squadron charged, then attacked on foot (the armoured cars were quickly put out of action) and drew the enemy’s fire.  D Squadron charged and captured the village with few casualties.  The Squadron Commander, Major Van der Byl was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for the action.  Two Maxim machine guns were captured in this action and have been used as guardroom adornments by the 8th Hussars and successor regiments since 1918.  During the German spring offensive of 1918, C Squadron under Captain Adlercron, defended the village of Hervilly until being forced to retreat, only to recapture it later that day at the loss of sixty-six casualties.

In March 1918, the 8th (Kings Royal Irish) Hussars were transferred to the 9th Cavalry Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division.  … The Germans began to collapse soon after the allies began their final offensive in August, the 8th fighting at St Quentin, Beaurevoir and Cambrai and the Pursuit to Mons.  On 11 November 1918 whilst camped at Maffles, the regiment heard that the Armistice had been signed.  The 8th Hussars had 105 soldiers killed and countless wounded throughout the four years of the war.

It is not known when Henry joined the 8th Hussars, but their War Diary is in the records of the 1st Cavalry Division.[7]  It seems that as cavalry, they were mainly ‘in reserve’ waiting to exploit a ‘breakthrough’.  They were much used in labouring, and digging trenches, and thus suffered far fewer casualties than the front line infantry.

From 16 May, they had been at FEBVIN PALFART and the weather had been fine and hot and the Squadrons exercised, and took part in a Regimental scheme in BOMY and received orders to move on 21 May.  This move from Bomy to Boufflers was of some 60kms – about 35 miles – just over an hour today by car, but some four days’ march in 1918.  They were well behind the front-lines, as they moved south-west, approximately midway between the main Allied headquarters at Montreuil, south of Boulogne-sur-Mer, and Arras and the front line.

21/5/18 – Marched at 9.0am [from FEBVIN PAFART] via ANVIN to WAVRANS.  Arrived 1.0pm.  Very hot.

22/5/18 – Marched at 9.0am via PIERREMONT-FILLIEVRES to BOUFFLERS.  Very hot march.  Arrived 3.0pm.  Accomodation not very good.

Having suffered the ‘very hot march’, it appears that the opportunity was taken to bathe in the river.  The incident was described in the Rugby Advertiser,
‘Pte H Garner was accidentally drowned on May 22nd whilst bathing in a river in France.  He was the first of the company to dive into the river, and was at once seized with cramp.  His officer and comrades dived in to save him, but he was carried away by a strong current, and was drowned.  Pte Garner was employed by the Rugby Co-operative Society as a motor lorry driver till he enlisted at the outbreak of the War.’[8]

There was no record of this incident in the War Diary, but as noted, Henry died on Wednesday, 22 May 1918, aged 29, drowned in the river L’Authie, at Boufflers.  He was buried in the nearby Boufflers Churchyard, near the north wall of the church.  Boufflers is a village some 17 miles from Abbeville.

When the temporary marker was replaced after the war by a CWGC gravestone, the inscription ‘Fond Memories Cling’ was added at his family’s request.  The CWGC record reads,

Boufflers Churchyard.  GARNER, Pte. Henry, 10871. 8th K.R.I. Hussars.  Drowned 22nd May 1918.  Age 29.  Husband of Emma Garner, of 15, St. James Square, St. James St., Northampton.  Near North wall of Church.

Henry’s grave is the only Commonwealth burial of the First World War in Boufflers churchyard.[9]

The Army ‘Register of Soldiers’ Effects’ suggests that a third payment of £17-10s, being his War Gratuity, was made to his Widow, Emma, on 5 June 1919, although any earlier ‘back pay’ payments are not specifically noted, although an item ‘A/C £2-2-11’ was included although not in the payments column.

Henry Garner was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and is also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Henry GARNER 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 2018.

[1]      Rugby Advertiser, 15 June 1918, also, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/15th-jun-1918-selling-ham-without-taking-coupons/.  Thanks to Christine Hancock for noticing that he was one of the ‘missing’ soldiers.

[2]      Rugby Advertiser, 15 June 1918, – and see above.

[3]      Ireland, Casualties of World War I, 1914-1922, The Committee of the Irish National War Memorial, Ireland’s Memorial Records, 1914-1918, 8 volumes, Dublin, Maunsel and Roberts, 1923.

[4]      Rugby Advertiser, 12 September 1914, and https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2014/09/12/12th-sep-1914-rugby-residents-sons/.

[5]      Rugby Advertiser, 15 June 1918, – and see above.

[6]      Ireland, Casualties of World War I, 1914-1922, The Committee of the Irish National War Memorial, Ireland’s Memorial Records, 1914-1918, 8 volumes, Dublin, Maunsel and Roberts, 1923.

[7]      The National Archives, UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line, 1st Cavalry Division, Piece 1115: 9 Cavalry Brigade (1915 – 1919).

[8]      Rugby Advertiser, 15 June 1918, also, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/15th-jun-1918-selling-ham-without-taking-coupons/.

[9]      Image from: https://www.ww1cemeteries.com/boufflers-churchyard.html. [Picture © Barry Cuttell].

 

Little, Douglas Lavington. Died 21st Jun 1918

Douglas Lavington LITTLE was born on 1 October 1898 in Finchley, Middlesex, and his birth was registered in Q4, 1898 in Barnet, Middlesex.   He was baptised on 25 December 1898 at All Saints, Headley, Surrey.  He was the eldest of two sons of William Gibson Little, who was born in about 1862 [-1931] in Islington, and Laura Lavington, née Oakley, Little, who was born in about 1876 [-1934] in Walthamstow.

They probably moved sometime after Douglas’s birth, as his younger brother was born three years later in Sanderstead, Surrey, where the family had moved before 1901, to live at Surprise View, Glossop Road, Sanderstead.  His father was then enumerated as an ‘Accountant’.

At some later date, probably some time before 1911, the family moved to Rugby – Douglas’s father had moved to take a job in Rugby and it may have been attractive because of the educational opportunities for the two boys.  Douglas attended Lawrence Sheriff School and then Rugby School.[1]

In 1911, Douglas was 12, and was living with his parents at 23 Paradise Street Rugby.  His father, now 49, was an accountant for an ‘electrical manufacturer’.  His parents had now been married for 13 years and had had two children both of whom were still living.

For a time after leaving school and before he was old enough to ‘join up’, Douglas worked in the BTH Electrical Laboratory.

There is a file for Douglas L Little at The National Archives.[2]  It has not been consulted at this time, so may include dates when he joined up and whether he had to serve – however briefly – in the army, before joining the Royal Flying Corps (RFC).  It does record that he was in the RFC before it became the RAF on 1 April 1918.  A later inquest report (see below) stated that ‘… he entered the R.A.F. as a cadet in September, 1917, and received his commission last February …’.  He would have been about 18 when he joined up.  He had ‘graduated’ – presumably he had gained his ‘flying licence’ – on 14 June 1918 – he died just a week later.

The RAF Museum holds an extensive set of record cards relating to deaths, injuries and illness suffered by Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force personnel.  Douglas’s Record Cards survive among this collection of Casualty Cards,[3] and also provide some details of his brief career.

Douglas ‘Lovington’ Little had attained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force.  He had trained at the No.1 Training Depot Station (RAF) which was based at Wittering (also known as RFC Stamford) after the end July 1917.[4]

Douglas had ‘graduated’ on 14 June 1918 and was being ‘employed’ as a pilot delivering an Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 aircraft,[5] serial no.C8617, with a Beardmore 160 hp aircraft engine, when at 5.30 pm on 21 June 1918, the machine spun into ground from 500 ft, and he was killed.

The Midland Aircraft Recovery Group reported that ‘FK8 C8617, of 1 Training Depot Station spun into the ground near South Kilworth.’[6]

His father was notified at his address at 30 Vicarage Road, Rugby.

An inquest was held and reported upon in several local newspapers.[7]

A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned at an inquest Tuesday on Second-Lieutenant Douglas Lavington Little, R.A.F., son of Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Little, 30, Vicarage Road, Rugby, who was killed in a flying accident near the town during the week-end.  It was stated that Lieut. Little and three other airmen were flying from one aerodrome to another in the Eastern Counties, and when near Rugby they lost their bearings.  Two of the officers came down to ascertain where they were, and Lieut. Little and the other one continued to circle round in the air.  Suddenly, for no accountable reason, Lieut. Little’s machine commenced to spin, and as there was not sufficient depth for the pilot to right it, it crashed to earth.  Lieut. Little was killed instantly.  He was 19 years of age, and was educated at Rugby School, he entered the R.A.F. as a cadet in September, 1917, and received his commission last February.

A notice was posted in the Rugby Advertiser on 29 June 1918.

‘In loving memory of Douglas Lavington Little, Second-Lieut., R.A.F.. killed in a flying accident, on June 21, 1918 : eldest son of William Gibson and Laura Lavington Little : aged 19 years.’[8]

Douglas Lavington Little died aged 19, on 21 June 1918 and his death was registered in Q2, 1918 at Lutterworth, this presumably being the nearest Register Office to South Kilworth, Leicestershire – the crash site was recorded as ‘near Rugby’.  He was buried in the Clifton Road Cemetery in Grave Ref:K472.

Douglas Lavington LITTLE is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates; on the list of BTH Employees who served in the War 1914 – 1918; on the BTH War Memorial;[9] in the Rugby School Memorial Chapel;[10] and no doubt in one of the volumes of the Memorials of Rugbeians who Fell in the Great War; and on the WWI Lawrence Sheriff School Plaque,[11] which reads,
‘In Commemoration of our Brother Laurentians who Fell in The Great War, 1914-1918, Orando Laborando.’   

RAF accounts are less easily interpreted than Army accounts, but it seems that Douglas’s executors received his outstanding pay of £12-8s on 20 November 1919 and then a payment from his Cox & Co officer’s account of 18s in December 1919.

It seems that Douglas’s parents lived in Rugby for the rest of their lives.  His father died in Rugby aged 69, in 1931; his mother’s death was registered in Staines, aged 57, in 1934 – she was recorded as being 58 on her gravestone.  They are both buried with their son in Clifton Road Cemetery.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Douglas Lavington LITTLE 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]      From a reference in the later inquest report, and listed on Rugby School Memorial.

[2]      2/Lieutenant Douglas Lavington LITTLE, Royal Flying Corps, TNA Reference: WO 339/125676.

[3]      http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/archive/little-d.l.-douglas-lovington.

[4]      ‘john-g’ suggests at http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/topic/171495-rfc-abbreviations/, that ‘No 1 Training Depot Station, which formed nucleus flights on 20 July 1917 …’ – the flights went to Wittering on 30 and 31 July 1917.  See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Wittering, ‘The station’s training role expanded when it became the Royal Flying Corps’s No.1 Training Depot Station in 1917’.

[5]      The Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 was a British two-seat general-purpose biplane built by Armstrong Whitworth.

[6]      http://www.aviationarchaeology.org.uk/marg/crashes1918.htm.

[7]      Coventry Evening Telegraph, Wednesday, 26 June 1918; also Birmingham Daily Post, Wednesday, 26 June 1918; also a slightly shorter version in the Warwick and Warwickshire Advertiser, Saturday, 29 June 1918.

[8]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 29 June 1918.

[9]      This is from 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 and given at https://www.rugbyfhg.co.uk/bth-war-memorial.

[10]     War Memorials on-line: https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/136533, reference WMO136533.

[11]     Information from https://www.rugbyfhg.co.uk/lawrence-sheriff-school-plaques.

Colston, Ernest Henry. Died 20th Jun 1918

Ernest Henry COLSTON’s birth was registered in Q3, 1899 in RugbyHe was baptised on 9 August 1899 at St. Matthew’s Church, Rugby.  He was the eldest son of Henry Colston, who was born in about 1867 in Rugby, and Emily Flora, née Wheeler, Colston, who was born in Yelvertoft in about 1874.  When Ernest was baptised, his father was working as a ‘builder’s machinist’.

In 1901, his father was still a ‘machinist (woodworker)’, and the family were living at 30 Stephen Street, Rugby.  Ernest had now ‘arrived’ and was one year old.  In 1911, when Ernest was 11, his parents had been married for 12 years, and were still living in Stephen Street, but now at number 27, which may have been a renumbering by the Post Office, rather than a change of home.  Ernest now had a younger brother, Dennis William Colston, who was born on 10 September 1903, and was now seven.  Their father was still in the same type of job and was a ‘wood work machinist’ for an ‘electrical engineer’.

Unfortunately no Service Records have survived for Ernest, but it seems that he joined up in Rugby, initially as Private, No: 40386, in the Somerset Light Infantry.  He later served as a Private, No: 48555, latterly in ‘A’ Company, 5th Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire) Regiment, more usually known as the Royal Berkshire Regiment.

The 5th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment was formed as part of the First New Army (K1) in Reading on 25 August 1914 and joined the 35th Brigade of the 12th Division and then moved to Shorncliffe.  In January 1915 the Battalion moved to Folkestone and then, on 1 March 1915, to Malplaquet Barracks at Aldershot.  On 31 May 1915 they mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and then engaged in various actions on the Western Front including: During …

1915: the Battle of Loos.

1916: the Battle of Albert; the Battle of Pozieres; and the Battle of Le Transloy.

1917: the First Battle of the Scarpe; the Battle of Arleux; the Third Battle of the Scarpe; and the Cambrai operations.

1918: on 6 February 1918, they transferred to the 36th Brigade,[1] but were still in the 12th Division and continued to fight on the Western Front in the Battle of Bapaume; the First Battle of Arras; the Battle of Amiens; the Battle of Albert; the Battle of Epehy; and then took part in the Final Advance in Artois.

There is no date when Ernest went to France, but it would probably be some time after he joined up and he was unlikely to have been sufficiently trained – or indeed old enough to serve overseas – until sometime in 1917.

Whilst it was fairly quiet at the start of 1918, Ernest would have continued to be involved in the routine of trench warfare, and the front was comparatively quiet prior to 21 March.

However, an attack by the Germans had been anticipated and on 21 March 1918, they 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.

The Battalion War Diary until January 1918 is filed under the 35th Brigade,[2] and then from February onwards it is filed under 36th Brigade.[3]  A summary of the Battalion’s movements and actions during Ernest’s last few months is given below.

In late December 1917 the Battalion was training in the Merville area, and on 21 January 1918 relieved the 7th Bn. Royal Sussex Regiment and then on 29 January they were relieved by the 7th Norfolks, and soon after transferred to the 36th Brigade.

In February they were variously at Rouge de Bout and Fleurbaix, where the trenches were ‘very quiet’.  On about 10 March they were relieved and were at Nouveau Mond and Rely from 22 to 25 March.  Then on 24 March they marched to Burbure and went into billets in Warloy.  On 24 March they marched overnight carrying Lewis guns and ammunition and on 26 March they were constructing defences east and south of Martinsaut.  On 27 March an attack was in progress – Germans were seen advancing and rapid fire was opened – several Germans were seen to drop.  There were later a number of casualties.  The enemy was now at Aveluy.  On 28 March an attack was repulsed and the Battalion was relieved on 30 March by the 23rd London Regiment.

On 1 April the Battalion was working at Worloy under the Royal Engineers at night.  Then from 2 to 7 April they relieved the 7th Border Regiment in front of Albert.  During the earlier period they sustained 12 officer and 243 Other Rank (OR) casualties – killed, wounded or missing.  8 April was a ‘quiet day’.  Then on 9/10 April they relieved the 9th Essex in the Corps Line and on 11 April were relieved by the 15th Welsh and went back to billets in Worloy – marching via Contay to Mirvaux – and were accommodated under canvas for training.

On 23 April they returned to the front line in the Beaumont Hamel sector until the end of the month when a strong enemy attack was repulsed.

In May they were in the front line until 13 May, then went to Acheux and provided working parties and practised for a raid.  This took place on 24 May and resulted in 4 officers wounded, 12 ORs killed, 2 died of wounds, 73 wounded, and 19 missing.  21 prisoners and six machine guns were taken.  On 25 May they proceeded by bus to Beauquesne – and further training.

In early June the Battalion was training and in reserve.  On 16 June they were again at Beauquesne, and had a Church Parade, and prepared for the line.  On 17 June the Battalion started to march to the front line at 9.30a.m.  They were east of Harponville until 10p.m. when they marched to take over Front Line System Left Sector in Bouzencourt Section.   ‘A’ and ‘B’ Companies were in the Front Line.  ‘All line in bad shape and very muddy and wet.  Trenches badly undercut.’

On 19 June a ‘Chinese Bombardment’[4] on the left led to ‘… heavy retaliation on our trenches … we suffered casualties’.  On that day 1 OR was killed and 7 wounded, and then on 20 June 5 ORs were killed and 7 wounded.

On 20 June, still in the Bouzincourt Sector, work continued on trenches and many trench shelters began.  It seems that ‘A’ Company had still been in the front line as on 21 June ‘Work continued. … ‘A’ and ‘B’ Companies relieved by ‘C’ and ‘D’ Compaanies in front line.’

Ernest Henry Colston was killed in action on 20 June 1918, presumably in a continuation of the ‘retaliation on our trenches’ noted above.  He was 19, and killed with several other members of his Battalion who are now buried besides him.

He was buried in the Bouzincourt Communal Cemetery Extension in grave reference: IV. B. 12. 

Bouzincourt is a village 3 kilometres north-west of Albert on the road to Doullens (D938).  The Communal Cemetery is on the northern side of the village.  It is some five kms. south-west of the Theipval Memorial.

Bouzincourt was used as a field ambulance station from 1916 to February 1917.  It was in German hands for a few days in the spring of 1918.  Bouzincourt Communal Cemetery was used for burials in 1916 and again from April to June 1918.  The adjoining Cemetery Extension was begun in May 1916 and used until February 1917.  The extension was reopened from the end of March 1918 until the following September and used largely by the 38th (Welsh) Division.

Later, when a permanent gravestone replaced the temporary cross, probably in the 1920s, it included his family’s message, “Greater Love hath no man that he gave his Life for his Friends”. 

His Medal Card showed that he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  He is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate

His mother, as his sole legatee, received his monies owing of £3-17-1d on 21 October 1918, and his War Gratuity of £3 on 5 December 1919.  His parents lived latterly at 82 York Street, Rugby.  His father died in 1940 and his mother in 1947.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article on Ernest Henry COLSTON 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]      This does mean the Battalion War Diary has to be found in two separate files under the two Brigades.

[2]      UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Various Infantry Brigades, 12th Division, TNA ref: Piece 1850: 35 Infantry Brigade (1915 – 1919).

[3]      UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Various Infantry Brigades, 12th Division, TNA ref: Piece 1856: 36 Infantry Brigade (1915 – 1919).

[4]      A ‘Chinese Attack’ was the term given to a faked attack upon enemy trenches.  A preliminary artillery bombardment would be carried out.  This normally meant that an infantry assault was probable once the bombardment lifted.  However in a ‘Chinese Attack’ no infantry attack followed the lifting of the bombardment; and after allowing time for enemy to return to their trenches, the bombardment would recommence, the intention being to catch large numbers of men while they were in the open.  Chinese Attacks were also used to test reactions to a more seriously intended raid.  Ref: http://www.firstworldwar.com/atoz/chineseattack.htm.