Webster, Arthur James. Died 29th Sep 1918

Arthur James WEBSTER’s birth was registered in the first quarter of 1899 in Rugby.  His mother was Amy Webster, who was born in Grandborough in about 1874.

In 1901, Arthur, aged two, was living at 67 Abbey Street, Rugby, with his mother, Amy Jane Webster, and his grandparents – Thomas Webster who was a ‘general labourer’ and born in Drayton, Northamptonshire in about 1840, and his wife Eliza, née Woodward, who was born in Flecknoe in about 1839.

In 1911, Arthur was 12, and he was still living with his grandparents in their six room house at 67 Abbey Street, Rugby.  His grandfather, now 71, was a ‘grave digger cemetery’.  His grandparents had been married for 41 years and had had three children, all still living.

Arthur’s mother, Amy had married in Rugby in later 1906 with William John Wilcox, who was born in Sambrook, Shropshire in 1876, and who had been a lodger in the Webster house in 1901 when working as an ‘Engine Cleaner’.  In 1911, they were living almost next door to her parents at 71 Abbey Street and her husband had been promoted to be a ‘Railway Engine Stoker’.  There was now also a young half-sister for Arthur, Eveline Mary Wilcox, aged one year.

Unfortunately no Service Record has survived for Arthur, and unless he joined up ‘under age’, he would not have been old enough to go overseas until some time in 1917, although he could have been under training in UK before then.  He joined up, and served, at least latterly, as a Rifleman, No: 47534 in the Rifle Brigade, although the CWGC notes that before he died, he had been posted to the 2nd/17th Battalion, the London Regiment.

The 2nd/17th (County of London) Battalion (Poplar and Stepney Rifles) was formed in London in August 1914.  By January 1915, it was in the 2nd/5th London Brigade in the 2nd/2nd London Division at Reigate.  This formation was later re-titled as the 180th Brigade in the 60th (2nd/2nd London) Division.  They moved to St Albans in March 1915, and then went on to Bishops Stortford in May 1915 and to Sutton Verny in January 1916.

On 23 June 1916 they landed at Le Havre, and in November 1916 they moved to Salonika.  On 2 July 1917 they withdrew to Egypt, arriving Alexandria on 5 July 1917.  On 27 May 1918 they left the Division and moved to France, arriving at Audruicq by 30 June 1918, and transferred to the 89th Brigade in the 30th Division.

The War Diary for the 2nd/ 17th London Regiment is included in the 89th Brigade papers in the 30th Division.[1]  A summary of their movements from July to September shows that … Having arrived at OUEST MONT, the Battalion was involved in training in July, but in the later part of the month occasional casualties were suffered when working within range of shellfire.  In August they moved to LE CARREAUX, and by the middle of the month were at BOESCHERE, and then at LOCRE at the end of the month.  At the start of September, the Battalion was in support, then in reserve at WORMLOW CAMPS, and then again in support.

3/9/18 –   ‘… took up a defensive line from DONEGAL FARM … Bivouac area shelled with H.E. & Gas during night.  Casualties 10 O.R. killed 1 O.R. wounded. …’

4/9/18  – ‘Battn engaged on salvage work & interior economy.’

5/9/18 –   ‘As for 4/9/18.  Further reinforcements sent to line in front of WULVERGHEM.  Preparations for attack on MESSINES RIDGE at dawn.’

It seems these were preparations for others as their Battalion withdrew to a bivouac area and were training and undertaking salvage work until …

8/9/18  – ‘… moved forward to take over line …’

9/9/18  – ‘3am – relief complete … fighting patrols out on each Coy front …’

There was continuing patrol activity until they were relieved …

14/9/18  –    ‘… Support position at LOCRE CHATEAU, … [and then] into Divisional Reserve at BOEDSCHEPE.’

From 16 to 24 September they were involved mainly in ‘Reorganisation and interior economy’ and ‘training & salvage work’.

25/9/18 – ‘Battn moved up to relief 2nd Sth Lancs,…’

26/9/18 – ‘Patrol activity during night.  Bn H.Q. shelled during evening.  Casualties NIL.’

27/9/18 – ‘Preparations for advance to be carried out on 28th inst.’

28/9/18   – 5.30am – ‘… Coys advanced under cover of artillery, T.M. & M.G. barrage against enemy strongpoints … inflicting severe losses upon the enemy capturing 13 Germans, 2 M.G. & much materal.’

– 6.30pm – ‘Under cover of further bombardment advance was continued towards MESSINES WYTSCHAETE RIDGE … Despite strong resistance … & the difficulties of the country … & the darkness of the night, the attackers advanced steadily finally gaining their objective … taking 1 prisoner & capturing 1 field gun, 2 M.G’s, 4 T.M. & great quantities of war material, before dawn.  Casualties: 7 O.R. killed, 2 Offs 41 O.R. wounded.’

29/9/18   – 8.30am – ‘Consolidation of objective.  2nd S Lancs passed through & advanced on YARES COMMINES CANAL.’

                  – 7.00pm – ‘Concentration of Battn about O27.  Casualties 6 OR killed, 5OR Wounded.’

In this advance against the Messines Ridge, over the two days 28 and 29 September, 13 ‘Other Ranks’ were killed.  Arthur’s death was recorded by the CWGC on 29 September 1918, during the ‘Consolidation of objective’.  He was 19 years old.  He was buried in the Dranoutre Military Cemetery in West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, in grave reference: III. A. 2.  There was no family message added to the gravestone.

Eight other men from the 2nd/17th (County of London) Battalion, or who had been transferred to the Battalion from the Rifle Brigade, were amongst those killed in the advance and were buried alongside Arthur.  They are buried in graves III. A. 3 to 9 and 15.

Dranoutre Military Cemetery is located 11.5 kilometres south of Ieper [Ypres] town centre, on a road leading from the Dikkebusseweg.  Dranoutre (now Dranouter) was occupied by the 1st Cavalry Division on 14 October 1914.  It was captured by the Germans on 25 April 1918, in spite of the stubborn resistance of the 154th French Division, and it was recaptured by the 30th Division on 30 August 1918.  Dranoutre Churchyard was used for Commonwealth burials from October 1914 to July 1915 when the military cemetery was begun.  It was used by fighting units and field ambulances until March 1918 (Plots I and II), many of the burials being carried out by the 72nd Brigade (24th Division) in April-June 1916.  Plot III [with Arthur and his colleagues] was added in September and October 1918.[2]

In November 1918, the Rugby Advertiser reported, ‘The following Rugby men have been posted as missing:- … A. J. Webster, London Regiment, …’.[3]

Arthur is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates.  His medal card shows that he was awarded the Victory and British medals.



– – – – – –


This article on Arthur James WEBSTER 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, June 2018.

[1]      UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Various Infantry Brigades, 30th Division, Piece 2336: 89 Infantry Brigade (1915 – 1919). [p.142-166 in Ancestry.co.uk].

[2]      From: https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/52300/dranoutre-military-cemetery/.

[3]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 9 November 1918.

28th Sep 1918. Food Prosecutions


William D Barnwell, milk dealer, Dunchurch, was summoned for exceeding the maximum price for milk.— Mr H Lupton Reddish prosecuted, and Mr H Eaden defended, and pleaded not guilty.

Mr Reddish explained that on August 11th the price of milk locally was raised from 6d per quart to 7d, with the stipulation that if the milk was fetched from the seller’s premises the price should be 6d per quart. This case was different from one which came before that Court a few weeks ago, inasmuch as on August 8th Mr Purchase (the Enforcement Officer) saw defendant in Dunchurch, and informed him, in the presence of a man named Arthur Brinklow, that the new price of milk as from August 11th would be 2s 4d per gallon and 1d per quart less if fetched from the seller’s premises. On Friday, August 16th, defendant charged 3½d per pint for milk, but on the following day this price was reduced to 3d per pint.—This was confirmed by the Enforcement Officer, who, in reply to Mr Eaden, said the reason he was in Dunchurch on August 8th was to investigate complaints as to over-charging by defendant —Arthur Brinklow, manager for the Rugby Co-operative Society Branch, Dunchurch, corroborated, and said on August 16th he was charged 3½d for a pint of milk. No over-charge had been refunded.

Mr Eaden admitted that on the day named 3½d per pint was charged by defendant, who, he said, was a haulier by trade. For some time past his wife had been carrying on the milk business, and the offence was committed through ignorance. After Mr Purchase had seen defendant concerning the price of milk he told his wife of the occurrence, but added that he could not remember what the price should be, She accordingly made enquiries from several of her customers, but as she was not satisfied she wrote to the Food Control Offices. In his reply, Mr Burton (the Executive Officer) said : “ If the producer is also a retailer, the retailer’s price applies, except when the milk is fetched from the farm, in which case it is to be 1d per pint less.” As Mrs. Barnwell was not a producer, but obtained her milk from a farm, the paragraph misled her. She was under the impression that she was not included in this stipulation, and she thought she was quite right in charging 3 ½d per pint whether the milk was fetched or delivered. Annie Miriam Barnwell stated that, as a result of Mr Burton’s letter, she thought that a retailer was allowed to charge 7d per quart unless he was also a producer. On Friday, August 16th, she saw the notice of the Food Committee published in the Rugby Advertiser, and she reduced the price on the following day.—In reply to Mr Reddish, witness said the reason she raised the price from 6d per gallon to 7d per gallon was because everyone else was doing the same. The wholesalers had also raised the price. She did not trouble to enquire whether she was justified in raising the price ; she perhaps ought to have done so.—Asked if she had refunded the over-charges, she replied, “ I don’t consider I made any over-charge. When Mr Purchase told my husband we were charging too much I at once made enquiries.”

The Chairman said the Bench were of opinion that a technical offence had been committed. They were not surprised at the confusion in Mrs Barnwell’s mind after receiving the letter from the Food Office. It was a most puzzling letter, and they believed that Mrs Barnwell acted in perfect good faith.—Defendant would be fined 1s 6d.

Daniel Rushall, butcher, 64 Murray Road, Rugby was summoned for selling meat to Miriam Clift, and failing to detach the proper number of coupons from her ration book, and also for exceeding the maximum price for meat.—Mr Eaden defended, and pleaded not guilty.

Mr H Lupton Reddish, on behalf of the Food Control Committee, stated that on September 10th Mrs Clift went to defendant’s shop and asked for a pound of stewing beef. Defendant cut off 1½lb, and Mrs Clift complained that this contained too much fat, whereupon he said, “ You have got to take it as it is out, because it is weighed out to me.” Mrs Clift again protested, and pointed out that she could not eat fat stewing beef. Defendant charged 2s, or 1s 4d per lb, and detached four coupons, which only represented 1s 8d, as against the 2s charged. Far too much fat and sinew was included in the meat supplied to Mrs Clift. This should have been sold separately, and was only worth 2½d or 2¼d per lb. The point, therefore, they had to decide was whether too much fat and sinew was sold in regard to the fact that the top price was charged.

Mrs Clift gave evidence in support of this statement ; but, in reply to Mr Eaden, she admitted that when she went to see Mr Rushall later in the day she complained of short weight, and not of the quality of the meat.—In reply to Mr Reddish, she said the meat could not be stewed, and it was not fit for eating.—The Enforcement Officer (Bertram Purchase) stated that the primary complaint was as to the quality, and not the weight of the meat. He had the meat weighed by two butchers, but that was only to ascertain the proportion of fat ;10ozs consisted of gristly fat, and the other 13ozs was good meat.

Arthur Frank Hopecraft, butchery manager to the Co-operative Society, with 26 years’ experience, said the fat supplied to Mrs Clift was only worth about 2½d per lb. Had a customer asked him for shin of beef he would not have supplied so much fat.—Arthur Weaver, a butcher employed by Mr H V Wait, also expressed the opinion that the proportion of fat was excessive. He would not have served more than ¼-lb of fat with 1½lb of shin. Fat and sinew was not shin of beef.

Mr Eaden contended that it almost approached a scandal that such a case should be brought forward.

The first case was dismissed without costs, the Bench expressing the opinion that it was quite right of the Food Committee to bring it forward. With regard to the second case. Mr Eaden contended that Mrs Clift was in the habit of purchasing her meat twice a week at Mr Rushall’s, and he usually divided it out according to the number of coupons, and took half the coupons on each occasion. The meat purchased on this occasion did not quite equal the value of five coupons, and customers would protest against more coupons than necessary being removed. He believed a margin of about 2d more than the value of the coupons was allowed.

Mr Reddish pointed out that 4½ coupons should have been taken ; this would still have left a margin of l½d. The proper number of coupons must be surrendered for each transaction.—The Chairman said the Bench took a serious view of this case. Defendant must deal with the coupons as prescribed by law ; but as this was the first case of the kind, the fine would not be so heavy as subsequent fines would be.—Fined £5.

BLACKBERRY COLLECTION.—Warwickshire schools have already sent 15 tons 4 cwt of Blackberries to jam factories, and, should the weather prove favourable, many tons more will probably be picked. There is keen rivalry as to which school will collect the greatest weights.

At a meeting of the Rugby Drapers’ Association it was decided, in view of the necessity for economising fuel and light, that shops associated with the trade should close at 6 p.m on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, 7 o’clock Friday, and 8 o’clock Saturday from November 1st to March 1st. The closing time on Saturday to be optional.


Bombardier H A Clowes, of Churchover, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in action on September 1st. He joined the R.F.A in March, 1917, and is now with a heavy battery of the R.G.A.

The death is reported of Lance-Corpl Joseph Fairbrother, King’s Own Shropshire Light Infantry, who was shot through the heart by a machine gun bullet on August 23rd. He was a popular member of the Rugby Police Force, and soon after the War started he enlisted in the Military Police, and was drafted to Egypt. At his own request, he was subsequently transferred to an Infantry Battalion.

Pte George Cyril Slater, son of Mr & Mrs H W Slater, 24 Lodge Road, was killed in action in France on August 27th. He was an old Elborow boy, and previous to enlisting was employed as a clerk in Messrs Willans & Robinson’s offices.

Gunner F W Watson, Royal Marine Artillery, eldest son of Mr F Watson, of Hungerfield Farm, Easenhall, Rugby, was dangerously wounded on the 10th ult, but is progressing satisfactorily. Another brother is also serving in France.

Mr E Hunt, 122 Lawford Road, New Bilton, has received news that his son, Pte G H W Hunt, Royal Marines Light Infantry, was killed in action on September 3rd. He was an old St Oswald’s boy, and joined the Marines in November, 1915, at the age of 17. Previous to this he was employed in the Punch Shop at the B.T.H. He only returned to France a fortnight before his death.

Pte C Bates, R.W.R, eldest son of Mr and Mr. C C Bates, 162 Murray Road, has been awarded the Military Medal for, on September 9th, displaying coolness on a raid, and bombing a machine gun, thus enabling the platoon to advance, and carrying a mortally wounded man back under fire. He was presented with the medal ribbon by the General on September 16th.

Rifleman E J Cox, K.R.R, son of Mr and Mrs J E Cox, Lea Hurst, Bilton. who was reported missing on November 30th last, is now presumed to have been killed on that date. He enlisted in September, 1914, at the age of 17, and was wounded in April, 1917. Before the war he was employed as an engineer apprentice at Willans & Robinson’s, was a patrol leader of Bilton Scouts, and promising footballer.

Lance-Corpl Signaller Joseph Vale, Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, brother of Mrs F Anderton, 12 Plowman Street, was killed by a shell while mending a telegraph line in France recently. He joined the Army in August 1914, and was drafted to France in the following January. He was 24 years of age.

Pte Horace Victor Wilson, London Regiment (late K.R.R), died in hospital at Birmingham on September 19th from wounds received on September 1st. He was the youngest surviving son of Mrs Ellis Wilson, 41 Bridget Street, and is the second of her sons to fall in the War. He was 31 years of age, an old St Matthew’s boy, and prior to joining the Army in September, 1914, was employed as a carpenter at the B.T.H. He had been in France for 3½ years.

Lance-Corpl W E Blythe, 9 Addison Terrace, Bilton, eldest son of the late Mr John Edward Blythe, has been killed in action. He joined the Army in 1916, and had been in France five months. He was formerly employed as a gardener by Mr J J McKinnell, and was also the organist at St Philip’s Church, Rugby. He was 31 years of age.

CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR HANDED OVER.—At Rugby Police Court on Wednesday, Reginald Carver, insurance agent, 23 Grosvenor Road, was charged with failing to respond to a notice calling him up for military service.—In answer to the charge, Carver admitted that he was an absentee, and said that he had adopted this attitude because he believed that all war was a crime.—The Magistrate (Mr J J McKinnell) said he could not go into that now ; he was sorry, but there was no alternative but to fine him £2 and remand him, pending the arrival of an escort.

WOUNDED.—Mr and Mrs Chas Blundell have received official news that their eldest son, Pte Gerard Blundell, has been wounded, and is now in hospital at Salonica.

MRS BOSWORTH has received news that her husband, Bombardier A Bosworth, was killed in France on September 13th. She has received a sympathetic letter from his officer to the effect that, along with several of his comrades, he was mortally wounded by a shell, which fell near the gun. The writer adds : “ Throughout the period I have had charge of his section he has shown himself to be a hard working, good, and trustworthy fellow, and I feel his loss very keenly indeed. You can rest assured your husband has done his duty well.”

WAR MEMORIAL.—A meeting was held on Monday to consider the question of starting a fund for the erection of a memorial to those parishioners who fall in the war. Mr H W Sitwell presided, and suggested the erection of a lych gate at the new churchyard, with a suitable plate fixed inside. Other suggestions were discussed, but it was decided to appoint a committee to get funds, as the form must in the end be dependent on the amount of money raised. The following were chosen as a committee : The Vicar, and Messrs Price, Gilks, Nokes, C J Cockerill, C Olorenshaw, Law, F Goode, and J Hopkins.


ARTHUR BALDWIN KILLED.—Mr & Mrs Chas Baldwin, of the Model Village, have received intimation that their son, Pte Arthur Baldwin, 51st Hants Regiment, had been killed. He was 19 years of age. His parents received a cheery letter from him only the day before the sad news arrived. Mr & Mrs Baldwin have still three sons in the Army, and their son, Gunner Harry Baldwin, was killed in action last October. Sincere sympathy is accorded to them. Their son William was home on leave when the intelligence of his brother’s death arrived.

MEMORIAL SERVICE.—On Sunday morning last a special choral Eucharist was celebrated at the Parish Church in memory of Harry Cockerell and Arthur Baldwin, two village youths, who have recently fallen while fighting for their country. A good number of communicants were present.

WOUNDED SOLDIERS.—Pte Leonard Marlow, R.W.R, son of Mr & Mrs Thos Marlow, is lying in Glasgow Hospital suffering from a wound in his thigh. Pte L N Wincote, 2nd Battalion Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, son of Mr & Mrs Charles Wincote, is in Dundee Hospital with wounds in the leg, gas and slight trench fever.

LANCE-CORPL J WARD.—Lance-Corpl J Ward, who has been wounded and a prisoner in Germany for to last five months, is now in Switzerland. He is the son of Mr & Mrs Thomas Ward, who are well known and respected residents. Writing to his parents, he describes in glowing terms the splendid reception they had on arrival in Switzerland. He adds: “ I am more than happy to think that I only had to stay in that rotten country five months. I pity the poor creatures who have been there four years, but I think they are exchanging them all shortly. I am staying in a hotel, and it is a lovely place. There are about 100 of us at it. I have a nice little bedroom, all to myself, fitted up with every comfort. I think they will pull my arm into shape here. I had a bone broken in my shoulder, but I think if will be all right in time. Cheer up; England next move.”


On the 12th March, 1915, His Majesty the King reviewed the immortal 29th Division on the London Road in the parish of Stretton-on-Dunsmore shortly before they embarked for active service in Gallipoli. There is a widespread feeling in Warwickshire that there should be a permanent Memorial to the Review and at the 29th Division on the spot where the. King stood.

An opportunity for such a Memorial has now been afforded by the action of the Duke of Buccleuch in an arrangement he has made with the Warwickshire County Council with reference to the famous Dunchurch Avenue. His Grace has generously offered to make over to the County Council half the nett proceeds of the elm trees on condition that the Avenue is replanted ; the County Council have gratefully accepted the offer, have decided that the newly planted Avenue should form part of the Memorial to the 29th Division, and have constituted a Committee to undertake the replanting and to erect a Monument—suitably engraved of the Review. It is estimated that about £5,000 will be required for the Monument and for replanting and maintaining the Avenue. Sums amounting to £1,182 19s. 6d. have already been given or promised.

The Committee invite all who would wish to perpetuate for future generations the memory of the connection between the 29th Division and Warwickshire to send donations to their Honorary Treasurer, S. C. SMITH, Esq., County Treasurer, Warwick.

Chairman of the Dunchurch Avenue Committee.

The Home Secretary has issued notice that Summer Time will cease and normal time will be restored at three o’clock (Summer Time) in the morning of Monday next, September 30th, when the clock will be put back to 2 a.m. Employers are particularly recommended to warn all their workers in advance of the change of time. The public are cautioned that the hands of ordinary striking clocks should not be moved backwards ; the change of time should be made by putting  forward the hands 11 hours and allowing the clock to strike fully at each hour, half-hour, and quarter-hour, as the case may be. The hands should not be moved while the clock is striking. An alternative method, in the case of pendulum clocks, is to stop the pendulum for an hour.


BROOKS.—In ever-loving memory of our dear son and brother, Pte. JOHN (JACK) BROOKS, of the 1st R.W.R., who fell in action on August 30th, 1918.
“ A loving son, a faithful brother,
One at the best towards his mother ;
He bravely answered his country ‘s call,
He gave his young life for one and all.
We pictured his safe returning ;
We longed to clasp his hand ;
But God has postponed our meeting
Till We meet in the Better Land.”
—From his loving Mother and Father, Sisters and Brothers.

BLYTHE.—In ever-loving memory of our dear one, Lance-Corpl. W. E. Blythe, of 9 Addison Terrace, Old Bilton, eldest son of the late John Edward Blythe, who was killed in action on September 2, 1918 ; aged 31 years.
“ No one knows the silent heartache,
Only those can tell
Who have lost a loved one
Without saying ‘ Farewell.’
We pictured your safe returning,
And longed to clasp your hand ;
But God postponed that meeting
Till we meet in that Better Land.”
—From his loving Wife, Mother, Sisters & Brother.

COX.—In proud and loving memory of Rifleman E. J. Cox (ERN), 10th Battalion K.R.R.C., beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. E. J. Cox, “ Lea Hunt,” Bilton, reported missing on November 30th, now presumed killed on that date ; aged 20 years.—“ Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away.”—Deeply mourned by his Mother, Father, Sisters and Brothers.

HUNT.—In ever-loving memory of our dear son, GEORGE HENRY W. HUNT, Royal Marine Light Infantry, killed in action “ somewhere in France ” on the 3rd September, 1918 ; aged 19 years and 10 months. Deeply mourned.

SUTTON.—Killed in action in France on August 23, 1918, JOHN HENRY HOLBECKE SUTTON, 2nd Bucks. and Oxon. Light Infantry, aged 19 years, younger son of the late N. L. Sutton, of Bilton, and at Mrs. Sutton, of Bloxham.

SLATER.—Killed in action in France on August 27th. CYRIL (GEORGE), the only dearly beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. Slater, 24 Lodge Road, Rugby (8th Berkshire Regiment), aged 19 years.
“ Good was his heart, and in friendship sound,
Patient in pain and loved by all around ;
His pains are o’er, his griefs for ever done,
A life of everlasting joy he’s now begun.”
—From his sorrowing Father, Mother, and Olga.

SLATER.—In loving memory of the above GEORGE SLATER, 8th Berks. Regt.—From his sorrowing Grandpa and Grandma Taylor, also Auntie Bid and Auntie Kit.

WILSON.—H. V. WILSON, late K.R.R., died September 19, 1918, of wounds received in France on September 1, 1918 ; aged 31.


BARBER.—In loving memory of dear FRED, killed in action at Ypres on September 25, 1915.—From all at home.

BYERS.—In ever-loving memory of Corpl. ANGUS BYERS, of the 1st K.O.S.B., killed in action in France on September 20, 1917.—From all at 82 Rowland St.

DRAKE.—In loving memory of our dear son, ALFRED HURST DRAKE, who was killed in France on September 25, 1916, son of Benjamin and Olive Drake, Lutterworth.
“ Two years have passed since thou, dear son,
Left this world of strife and sin ;
We never again shall be at rest
Until we meet thee as thou art blest.”

FRANKTON.—In loving memory of Pte. Frederick Frankton, killed at Loos on September 27, 1915.—“ In the midst of life we are in death.”—From his loving Wife and Children.

FRANKTON.— In loving memory of our dear brother, Pte. F. FRANKTON, Grenadier Guards.—From his loving sisters, Sarah and Polly.

HINKS.—In loving memory of my dear son, JOHN HINKS, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, who was reported missing in the Battle of Loos on September 25, 1915.— “ He gave his life that others might live.”—Not forgotten by his Mother, Father, Sisters and Brothers.

LEE.—In loving memory of our dear son, Pte CHARLES R. LEE, of the Coldstream Guards, who died in the Hospital of St. Cross on September 6, 1916. Also of our dear son, Lance-Corpl SAMUEL GEORGE BARNETT, 5th Oxon, and Bucks., who fell in action at the Battle of Loos on September 25, 1915.—Never forgotten by their sorrowing Mother and Stepfather and Brothers ; also Winnie and May.

RUSSELL.—In ever-loving and affectionate remembrance of WALTER RUSSELL, of Toft Farm, Dunchurch, who died of wounds in France on September 24, 1917 ; aged 27.
“ There is a link death cannot sever :
Love, honour, and remembrance live for ever.”
—From his ever-loving Brother and Sister, Harry and Annie.

SHONE.—In loving memory of Rifleman TOM SHONE, 12th Rifle Brigade, who was killed in action at Loos on September 25, 1915.
“ We have lost him, we who loved him ;
But, like others, must be brave,
For we know that he is lying
In a British soldier’s grave.
He lies besides his comrades
In a hallowed grave unknown,
But his name is written in letters of love
On the hearts he left at home.”
—From Father, Mother, and Sisters.

SHONE.—In loving memory of our dear brother TOM, who was killed at the Battle of Loos on September 25, 1915.
“ We little thought his time was short
In this world to remain,
When from his home he went away,
And thought to come again.
We often sit in silence,
No eye may see us weep ;
But deep within our aching hearts
His memory we will keep.”
—Flo and Horace.

STENT.—In loving memory of PERCY VICTOR STENT, who fell in the Battle of Loos on September 25, 1915.
—From Mr. & Mrs. Harban and Family.

STENT.—In loving memory of my dear son. Corpl. P. V. STENT, who was killed in action on September 25, 1915, at the Battle of Loos.
“ Three years have past, but still we miss him ;
Some may think the wound has healed,
But they little know the sorrow
Deep within our hearts concealed.”
—Nobly he did his duty.”
—Never forgotten by his loving Father, Mother, Brother and Sisters, and Friend.

WEST.—In proud and loving memory of FRANK WEST, Lieut.-Col., R.F.A., killed near Poziéres on September 28, 1916.—“ We have found safety with all things undying.”

Newman, William Henry. Died 28th Sep 1918

‘A H Newman’ appears on the Rugby Memorial Gates, however, there does not appear to be any relevant casualty with Rugby connections with that surname and initials.

Two possible ‘H’ Newmans were mentioned in September 1914: an ‘H H Newman’ was in a list of men from the Locomotive Department of the L & N-W Railway at Rugby;[1] and an ‘H Newman’ joined up from the Cambridge Street Wesleyan Bible Class.[2]   The death of the wife of a 2nd Lt C J Newman of Henley Street, was reported in July 1918.[3]  There was a ‘J E Newman, 220th Fortress Co, R.E.’ who joined up in 1916,[4] also, a Drummer W Newman, of the ‘Rugby Infantry Co, younger son of Mr C Newman, of Benn Street, Rugby,’ and who was also mentioned in the ‘7th Battery Royal Warwickshire Regiment, brother to Mr C J Newman, architect, of Rugby’ or in the ‘‘C’ Company, 1st/7th Warwicks’ and who appeared in several press reports – albeit the regiment and relationships may have been confused – indeed was it he reported as ‘R.W.R, … and C E Newman’?  It seems that a ‘C J Newman’ may himself have served later.  George William Newman, of 7 Houston Road, Brownsover, Rugby, who was also born about 1895, served as a Driver No. 840763 in the Royal Field Artillery, was discharged unfit with a head wound in November 1917.  However, there is no evidence that any of these died in the war.

The most likely candidate would seem to be a ‘W H Newman’ for whom a casualty report appeared in 1918.
… and Private W. H. Newman, Royal Berks Regt, has died of wounds.[5]

The CWGC site names him as the ‘Son of Mr. and Mrs. Newman, of 37, Campbell St., New Bilton, Rugby.’

William Henry NEWMAN was probably born in early 1895 in Long Ditton, Surrey, as he was baptised there on 14 July 1895 at St Mary’s church.  He was the eldest son of William Henry Spencer Newman, who was born in about 1866 in East Coker, Somerset, and Emily Ann, née Spooner, Newman, who was born in Surbiton Hill, Surrey in about 1867.  When Ernest was baptised, his father was working as a ‘labourer’.  His parents had been married on 26 December 1891 at St. Mary’s church, Long Ditton, Surrey

Soon after his birth, sometime between 1896 and 1899, the family moved from Long Ditton to Rugby, and in 1901, when William H junior was five years old, the family were living at 7 Windsor Street, Rugby.  His father was a ‘labourer in foundry’.

In 1911, William junior’s parents had been married for 19 years and had had five children, all of whom were still living.  They lived in a six room house at 29 Campbell Street, New Bilton, Rugby.  With his father working as an ‘iron moulder’, 15 year old William junior, was an ‘Iron Moulders Apprentice’, probably working with his father.  A later report[6] noted that he was formerly employed at Willans & Robinson’s.

Unfortunately no Service Record has survived for William, but he joined up, and served, at least latterly, as a Private, No: 43077, in the 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:

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,[7] 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 William went to France, but it would probably have been some time after he joined up as he would have had to be trained.  However, he would have been old enough to serve overseas from the start of the war and he probably could have gone to France with his Battalion.  However, he was not awarded the 1914-1915 Star, and this suggests he did not go to France until after 1915.

Whilst he may have been involved in some of the actions outlined above, it is only the actions in 1918 and around the time of his death that are detailed here.

Whilst it was fairly quiet at the start of 1918, William 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;[8] 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,[9] and then from February onwards it is filed under 36th Brigade.[10]   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.

Their activities in the period March to June 1918 were described in Rugby Remembers under the biography of Ernest COLSTON who was also in the 5th Battalion and killed on 20 June 1918.

A summary of the Battalion’s movements and actions during William’s last few months, based on the 5th Battalion War Diary, is given below.

From 1 September the Battalion had been ‘resting and refitting after CARNOY operations, in valley, W. of MARICOURT.’  Over the next two days they moved to trenches around ST-PIERRE VAST WOOD.  On 5 September, they moved on through a gas shelled area to MUNASTIR, ready ‘… to attack village of NURLU at 8-0am … orders miscarried and rations lost the Battalion …’.  On 5 September at 4-0am ‘Battalion moved over Canal at MOISLAINS … and attacked village at 8-0am under cover of Creeping Barrage.  The next day they held the line and the following morning were ‘… withdrawn to NURLU … Cookers were waiting as arranged, with breakfasts’.

From 7 to 17 September they were training and refitting for future operations.  The rest of the month is reported in detail in a three page typed report.  A major attack on EPEHY took place on 18 September with follow up action the next day.  After a day’s relief, they formed up for a midnight attack on 21 September – ‘ … by 2-0am all Objectives were captured.  One officer and 18 Other Ranks and about 30 M.G’s captured.’  They were relieved on 23 September and dispersed in reserve.  An enemy attack and entry to DADOS LANE and LOOP the next day led to unsuccessful attempts to repulse them over the next four days.

27 September   – ‘Battalion held line on Left of Brigade Sector.’

28 September   – ‘5.20am – 6th Queens attacked DADOS LOOP and LANE without success.            

                          – ‘10.0pm – 6th Queens withdrawn and Battalion took over line …’.

After further fighting on 29 September, attacking ‘… across the Tunnel of the Canal …’, on 30 September, ‘It was found that enemy had withdrawn from area W of canal … Brigade pushed on.’

The casualties sustained during these operations from 18 to 30 September 1918 totalled, one Officer killed and five wounded, and 250 Other Ranks, Killed, Wounded & Missing.

W H Newman’s death is recorded by the CWGC on 28 September 1918, and he would have been one of those 250 men killed or wounded in the operations near Epehy between 18 and 30 September 1918.  He was 23.  Whilst the Battalion was in action near Epehy, several members of the 5th Battalion were buried in the nearby Epehy Wood Farm Cemetery.  William was buried some five miles behind the lines to the south-west, which suggested (this was later confirmed in the Rugby Advertiser) that he was wounded and was evacuated to one of the Casualty Clearing Stations that had been established that month at Doingt, and died, or was registered dead, there.

He was buried in the nearby Doingt Communal Cemetery Extension, in grave reference: I. E. 42.  Later when a permanent gravestone replaced the temporary cross, probably in the 1920s, it included his family’s message, ‘Gone but not Forgotten by his Loving Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters’.

Doingt is a small village on the eastern outskirts of Peronne.  Doingt was captured by the 5th Australian Division on 5 September 1918, and the village was completely destroyed in the fighting.  In the same month, the 20th, 41st and 55th Casualty Clearing Stations arrived, remaining until October, when the cemetery was closed.  It was made in three plots; Plot I contained only Commonwealth graves, Plot II only American, and Plot III the graves of both armies.  The American graves were later removed by the American Graves Registration Services.  Doingt Communal Cemetery Extension contains 417 Commonwealth burials of the First World War.

In mid-October, the Rugby Advertiser announced,
The death from wounds is announced of Pte W H Newman (23), son of Mr & Mrs Newman, 37 Campell Street, New Bilton.  Pte Newman was formerly employed at Willans & Robinson’s.[11]

The same edition had the family’s notice in the Deaths section.
DEATHS.    NEWMAN. – In loving memory of Pte. W. H. NEWMAN, who died of wounds in France on September 28, 1918; eldest son of Mr. & Mrs. Newman, 37 Campbell Street, New Bilton, Rugby.
“A loving son, a faithful brother,
One of the best towards his mother.
He bravely answered his country’s call;
He gave his life for one and all.
We pictured his safe returning,
We longed to clasp his hand;
But God has postponed our meeting
Till we meet in the Better Land.”
From his loving Mother, Father, Brothers and Sisters, and his Young Lady.

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

William’s parents were later registered by the CWGC as living at 37, Campbell Street, New Bilton, Rugby, having either moved or been re-numbered.  William’s mother, Emily Ann, died in Rugby, aged 63 in 1928; his father, William H Newman senior, died there, aged 86 in late 1951.





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This article on ‘A. H.’, or more likely, William Henry NEWMAN 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, June  2018.


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

[2]      Rugby Advertiser, 19 September 1914, also, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2014/09/19/19th-sep-1914-more-recruits/.

[3]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 20 July 1918.

[4]      Rugby Advertiser, 25 September 1915, also https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2015/09/26/25th-sep-1915-local-war-notes/.

[5]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 9 November 1918.

[6]      Rugby Advertiser, 19 October 1918.

[7]      This does mean the Battalion War Diary has to be found in two separate files under the two Brigades.

[8]      See: https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/the-1918-spring-offensive-operation-michael/.

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

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

[11]     Rugby Advertiser, 19 October 1918.

Ward, Alfred Charles. Died 27th Sep 1918

Alfred Charles WARD was born in Rugby and christened on 11 March 1900 at St. Andrew’s church, Rugby.  He was the fourth of six sons – there were also two daughters – of Charles Ward, who was born in Storrington, Buckinghamshire, in about 1863 – his father was a ‘labourer’, – and Rose Ellen, née Jackson, Ward, who was born in Stanford Baron, Northamptonshire, in about 1867 – her father was a ‘carpenter’.  They had married on 20 September 1886, at St. Martin, Stamford Baron, when Charles was working as a ‘railway fireman’.

The family moved several times, as Charles had pursued his railway career: their first three children were born in Stanford Baron; then from 1897 to 1900 they were in Rugby where before early 1900, Charles had been promoted to be a ‘engine driver’. In 1902 a child was born in Swinton, Yorkshire; and between 1906 and 1910 their children were born in Netherfield, Nottinghamshire.  By 1911 they were back in Rugby.

In 1900, the family were living at 13 Oxford Street, Rugby, and then by 1901 the family had moved to the New Building, Queen Street, Rugby, and Alfred’s father was a ‘railway engine driver; there were now five children between 14 and one.

By 1911, Alfred was 11 and a ‘schoolboy’ and the family had moved back to live in Rugby again, in a six room house at 121 Grosvenor Road.  Alfred’s father was a ‘Locomotive Engine Driver’ for the London & North Western Railway.  By 1911 Alfred’s parents had been married 24 years, they had had nine children, one of whom had died; six were still living at home and their ages ranged from 18 to one year old.

With only the minimum details on his Medal Card and no surviving Service Record, it is difficult to reconstruct Alfred’s service history.  At some date he enlisted as a Private, No.41088, in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (R.War.R.).  When he died in 1918, he was with ‘C’ Company in the 15th Battalion, R. War. R..

His five figure service number is likely to have been issued earlier in the war, but he would not have been 18 and eligible for overseas service until 1917.  He did not win the 1914-1915 Star which again indicates that he did not go to France until after late 1915.

The 15th Battalion (2nd Birmingham) Royal Warwickshire Regiment had been formed in Birmingham by the Lord Mayor and a local Committee in September 1914.  The Battalion moved to Sutton Coalfield and then in June 1915 to Wensleydale to join the 95th Brigade of the 32nd Division and later moved to Salisbury Plain.

The 15th Battalion mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne on 21 November 1915 and on 14 January 1916 transferred to the 13th Brigade in the 5th Division.  In March 1916, and probably still well before Alfred joined up, the Division took over a section of front line near Arras, between St Laurent Blangy and the southern edge of Vimy Ridge.  When the Somme offensive opened on 1 July 1916, the 5th Division was enjoying a period of rest and re-fit and was in GHQ Reserve.  However, this restful time was not destined to last and later in July 1916 they moved some 50 miles south to reinforce the Somme.

In early April 1917 the Battalion moved to Arras for the various phases of the Battles of Arras, starting with the attack on Vimy Ridge from 9-12 April 1917; and then the three Battles of the Scarpe, 9-14 April; 23-24 April 1917; and 3-4 May 1917; and the subsidiary attack on La Coulotte on 23 April 1917, and then, on 8 May 1917, the 15th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment was ordered to attack the German-held village of Fresnoy [Fresnoy-en-Gohelle], about 8 miles north-east of Arras and west of Vimy.

The Battalion also took part in the Battle of Polygon Wood in September 1917; the Battle of Broodseinde (4 October); the Battle of Poelcappelle (9 October 1917); and the Second Battle of Passchendaele (July to November 1917).

In late November to early December 1917, the Battalion moved from France to Italy to strengthen the Italian Resistance.

Some four months later, by which date it is likely that Alfred was with the Battalion, they returned to France by train in early April 1918.

The Battalion War Diary[1] refers to the attack on Merville on 12 April and subsequent heavy shelling, it also notes that in May the Battalion was alternating between ‘the Front’ and periods ‘In Reserve’.  These were quieter times until the end of the month when a larger raid was carried out on the night 28/29 May, when two Machine Gun posts were attacked, the garrisons killed, the machine guns put out of action, and some prisoners taken.  The raid took only 20 minutes – with ‘eight slight casualties’.

After the German Offensive had been halted and the situation stabilised, preparations were made for what became the ‘100 Days Offensive’.  The 15th R.War.R. were involved with the Battle of Albert (21–23 August 1918); the Battle of Bapaume (21 August 1918 to 3 September 1918); the Battle of Drocourt-Queant (2-3 September 1918); the Battle of the Epehy (18 September 1918) and the Battle of the Canal du Nord (27 September – 1 October 1918).

The Battalion War Diary[2] relates the actions in the days leading up to this latter battle.

At the start of September 1918 the Battalion was in Reserve some 8 miles south-west of CAMBRAI.  The Battalion stayed in place [SW corner H.14.C. – Map 57c N.W. 1:20,000] when the 13th Infantry Brigade was relieved by the 63rd Inf. Brigade on 4 September.  They moved to the Quarry, where they rested and cleaned up, and then had various training until 12 September when the 13th Brigade was to relieve a support Brigade of the New Zealand Division in YTRES.  On 14 September, the 15th RWR were to relieve the 1st New Zealand Wellington Battalion at midnight.  So far that month they had had no casualties.

However, after readjusting in the Front Line, on 15 September they were in the front line in an area about a mile or so north-west of Gouzeaucourt, and had four men wounded, three by gas.  Various patrols went out on 16 – 20 September, with some men wounded, and on 20 September the Battalion was relieved and went to HAPLINCOURT, where they were ‘in huts’ on 21 September and there was a ‘voluntary church service’ on the Sunday.  There were then a few days of training, practice attacks and firing on ranges, before relieving the 1st Devon Regiment in the front line on 25 September with an hour’s halt for tea at the BRICKYARD, YTRES.  They took over the area Q 16, 17, 22, 23 [see Map 57c S.E. – see part map below]

There was however an attack planned for 26 and 27 September 1918.

26 September – 13th Infantry Brigade will take and capture RED OBJECTIVE.  Battalion H.Q. at DEAD MAN’S CORNER. …

27 September – The attack is carried out on a three Coy. Front … 5.30am Zero hour … 15th R. War. R. attack at zero plus 152.   Battalion attack & gain objective, but is obliged to retire. 

Casualties: Officers: Killed 3 (inc. MO), Wounded 5, one Wounded since died.  Other Ranks: Killed, 36. Wounded, 90. Missing, 29.  2 Wounded at duty.    

The next day patrols resumed, and the enemy was withdrawing.  There was an ‘Officer Patrol’ to GOUZEAUCOURT, which is on the plan, just to the south of where Alfred was first buried.  As others advanced through their positions, the 15th Battalion remained in place as a reserve – some of the men received ‘wounds by gas’ after being shelled, apparently by their own HQ.

Alfred died, aged only 19, on Friday, 27 September 1918, and was one of the 36 men killed that day.  He was originally buried at map reference: 57.c.Q.30.b.7.6., with at least five other members of the 15th Battalion, one of whom also died on 27 September and four who died on 29 September 1918.  This location appears to be in or adjacent to ‘Pope Trench’ which had been an enemy trench before the attacks, and confirmed that the Battalion had made good progress in their advance, before being forced to retire.

After the war, these six graves were ‘concentrated’ – soldiers who were originally buried in smaller or isolated cemeteries, were, at a later date, exhumed and reburied in larger war cemeteries.  The ‘concentration’ of cemeteries allowed otherwise unmaintainable graves to be moved into established war grave cemeteries where the Commission could ensure proper commemoration.

Alfred and his fellow soldiers were reburied in the Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery.  Alfred was reburied in Grave Reference: VIII. B. 16.  His family had requested the first line of the Lord’s Prayer, ‘Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name’, to be added to his gravestone.

Gouzeaucourt is a large village 15 kilometres south west of Cambrai and 15 kilometres north-east of Peronne.  Gouzeaucourt New British Cemetery is opposite the civil cemetery.  Gouzeaucourt village was captured by the 8th Division on the night of 12-13 April 1917.  It was lost on 30 November 1917 in the German counterattack at the end of the Battle of Cambrai, and recaptured the same day by the 1st Irish Guards.  It was lost again on 22 March 1918, attacked by the 38th (Welsh) Division on the following 18 September, and finally retaken by the 21st Division on 8 October.  The cemetery was begun in November 1917, taken over by the Germans in 1918, and used again by Commonwealth forces in September and October 1918, but the original burials (now in Plot III) are only 55 in number.  It was enlarged after the Armistice when graves were brought in from other cemeteries and from the battlefield of Cambrai.

Alfred was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, and he is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate, and on a family grave, No: M118 in the Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby.

His family continued to live at 121 Grosvenor Road, Rugby after the war.  Alfred had three brothers who also served during the First World War.



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This article on Alfred Charles WARD 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, June 2018.

[1]      WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 5th Division, The National Archives Ref: Piece 1557: 13 Infantry Brigade (1915 – 1919).

[2]      WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 5th Division, The National Archives, Ref: Piece 1557: 13 Infantry Brigade (1915 – 1919).

Tilley, Horace Alfred. Died 27th Sep 1918

Horace Alfred TILLEY was born in Beckenham in 1898.  He was the elder son and second child of Alfred ?Horatio Tilley, b.c.1870, in Greenwich, and Mary, née Rickards, Tilley, also born in Greenwich in about 1876.  Their marriage was registered in Lewisham in Q4, 1895.  Horace’s birth was registered in Q2, 1898, in Bromley, Kent.

The family had moved to Beckenham, Kent, where their four eldest children were born and then to Weybridge, Surrey, where three younger children were born.

In 1901, the family was sharing a house at 28 Cherry Lane, Beckenham.  Alfred was a domestic gardener.

Before 1911, the family had moved near to Rugby.  In 1911, Alfred, was a ‘head gardener’ and  he and Mary had been married 15 years – and all six of their children were still living.  The family were living in Newton Road, Clifton upon Dunsmore, near Rugby.  Horace was 13, so he would be only 16 when war broke out and whenever he ‘joined-up’, it would another two years before he was old enough to serve abroad.

Before the war, Horace worked in the Controller’s Department at the B.T.H.

In November 1915, Horace was mentioned as a ‘Single Man’, who had signed up under Lord Derby’s Scheme.

‘The Recruiting Position.  Clear Definition by Lord Derby.  Lord Derby’s Recruiting Scheme.  Local Enlistments under the Group System.  … The following have enlisted at the Rugby Drill Hall under the Group System. … Tilley, Horace, Church Street, Clifton.’[1]

However, a later notice stated that he enlisted in March 1917.[2]  The CWGC site gives the Service Number: 212890 for an H. Tilley who was killed on 27 September 1918.  However, the Medal Card relating to this number is for a ‘George H. Tilley’ of the Royal Field Artillery.  There are no death records from the RFA relating to a George Tilley, and it must be assumed that this was a clerical error.

He was, at least latterly, in the “D” Battery, 52nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, as a Gunner, No: 212890, Royal Field Artillery.

The four – L to LIII (Howitzer) Brigades of the Royal Field Artillery (9th Divisional Artillery) – were formed as part of the raising of the First New Army, K1.  They are also sometimes shown as 50 to 53 (Howitzer) Brigades RFA.

LII [or 52nd Brigade] was originally comprised of numbers 166, 167 and 168 Batteries RFA and the Brigade Ammunition Column.  It was placed under command of the 9th (Scottish) Division and went to France with it in May 1915.  In February 1915 the three six-gun batteries were reorganised to become four four-gun batteries and were titled as A, B, C and D.

On 21 February 1916 D Battery left to join 53 Brigade of the same Division, … The Brigade left 9th (Scottish) Division on 8 January 1917 to become an Army Field Artillery Brigade.

Various other re-organisations occurred, and it has not been possible to find all the areas where this Artillery Brigade was in action in late September 1918 – although a War Diary for a transport section is available from the TNA.[3]

The only details of Horace’s death are that he was killed while gun laying on 27 September.  He was buried in Plot ref: II. C. 16 in the Dominion Cemetery, Hendecourt-Les-Cagnicourt.  There was no age or personal family message on the gravestone.

Hendecourt-les-Cagnicourt is 16 kilometres south-east of Arras … The Cemetery is 2.5 kilometres north-east of Hendecourt-les-Cagnicourt, in fields reached by a track signposted off the road between Hendecourt and the Arras to Cambrai road.  Hendecourt-les-Cagnicourt was captured by the 57th (West Lancashire) and 52nd (Lowland) Division on the night of the 1-2 September 1918. Dominion Cemetery was made by Canadian units in September 1918, after the storming by the Canadian Corps of the Drocourt-Queant Line; … There are now over 200, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site.

Driver A Hodgeson from the same company, who was originally listed as killed on the same day, was later recorded as killed in action two days earlier on 25 September, and was buried next to Horace Tilley.

His death was recorded in the Rugby Advertiser and also in the Birmingham Daily Post.

TILLEY – Killed-in-action in France on September 27th, 1918, Gunner HORACE A. TILLEY, R.F.A., aged 20, elder son of Mr. & Mrs. A. H. Tilley, 46 Railway Terrace, Rugby.[4]

Gunner Horace Tilley, Royal Artillery, son of Mr. A. H. Tilley, 46, Railway Terrace, Rugby, was formerly employed in the Controller’s Department at the B.T.H.[5]

A fuller notice was also published in the Rugby Advertiser,
Mr A H Tilley, 46 Railway Terrace, has received news that his son, Horace, a gunner in the Royal Artillery, was killed while gun laying on September 27th.  He was 20 years of age, and before enlisting in March, 1917, was employed in the Controller Department at the B.T.H.  In a letter to the parents his sergeant says:- “ I lost in your son a very useful lad, an intelligent gunner, conscientious and thoroughly reliable taking, as he did, a great interest in his work.[6]

Horace Tilley is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates and on the list of BTH Employees who served in the War 1914-1918; although for some reason he does not appear on the BTH War Memorial.[7]  He is also listed on the memorial at St Mary the Virgin Church, Clifton-upon-Dunsmore, where a commemorative window has a plaque which reads
‘To the Glory of God and in honoured memory of Clifton Men who fell in the Great War, 1914-1918 … This window was given by the Parishioners.’

His Medal Card [under the incorrect name George] showed that he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. 




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This article on Horace TILLEY 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, May 2018.


[1]      Rugby Advertiser, 27 November 1915.

[2]      Rugby Advertiser, 12 October 1918, also https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2018/10/12/12th-oct-1918-lord-denbigh-suspects-cunning-scheme/.

[3]      Army Troops, 52 Army Field Artillery Brigade, 1917 Jan – 1919 Jan, Catalogue reference: WO 95/203/4.  With thanks for location information provided by: https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/261539-army-field-artillery-brigade-52-brigade-rfa/.

[4]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 12 October 1918.

[5]      Birmingham Daily Post, Monday, 14 October 1918.

[6]      Rugby Advertiser, 12 October 1918, also https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2018/10/12/12th-oct-1918-lord-denbigh-suspects-cunning-scheme/.

[7]      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.

Sedgley, Frank Wilfred. Died 25th Sep 1918

Frank Wilfred SEDGLEY was initially impossible to find – except in some military records.  However, a mistranscribed, Frank Sidgeley, was found with his grandparents, Charles, a ‘threshing machine proprietor’ and his wife, Harriet, in Shawell in 1891.  A better lead[1] was a family memorial in the Clifton Road Cemetery which allowed him, and his family, to be identified.

Frank Wilfred Sedgley was the eldest son of John Charles Sedgley b.c.1860 in Shawell, and his wife Clara, née Goodwin, Sedgley, b.c.1850 in Deenethorpe, Northamptonshire.  Their marriage in Shawell was registered in Q2 1881 in Lutterworth, and Frank’s birth in Shawell was registered in Q2, 1882, also in Lutterworth.

The family moved from Shawell to Rugby sometime between 1885 and 1887, and by 1891, they were living, at 11 Dale Street, Rugby.  John Charles Sedgley was a carpenter.  There were five other children at home: Maud Sedgley, aged 6, had been born in Shawell.  The younger children, Ada M Sedgley, 4; Annie Sedgley, 3; George Charles Sedgley, 2; and Florence C Sedgley, 1, were all born in Rugby.  As noted above, Frank was with his grandparents in Shawell on that census night.

In 1896, John Charles Sedgley was listed as a Carpenter in the Midland Times & Rugby Gazette.  He was still at 11 Dale Street.

By 1901, the family had moved to 7 Princes Street, Rugby.  Frank was now a ‘Carpenter’s Apprentice’, presumably working with his ‘Carpenter’ father.  All six children were still living at home.  Frank’s eldest sister was working as a ‘Corset Maker’.

John Charles Sedgley, Frank’s father, died aged only 46 years, on 18 September 1905.

Frank married, after banns, some four years later on 12 April 1909, at New Bilton Parish Church, with Ada Elizabeth Stevenson.  He was 27 and a ‘carpenter’; she was 20 and had been born in New Bilton.  Her father was a labourer.  They both gave their address as 200 Lawford Road, New Bilton.

Later that year, they had a son, George, who was born on 2 October 1909, and who was baptised as ‘Cyril Charles George Sedgley’ on 3 November 1909 at St Matthew’s church, Rugby.  They were then living at 44 Pennington Street, Rugby.

In 1911, Clara, Frank’s widowed mother was still living at 7 Princes Street, with her four youngest children, now aged 26 to 21.  Frank and his wife, Ada, had moved to live in New Street, New Bilton.  Frank was now working as a labourer for the council and their son was one year old.  They had a ‘bill poster’ as a border, and it seems they were also sharing their four room house with an ‘Artist’, Timothy Bourne Whitby and his wife.

According to the ‘UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919’, Frank signed up in Coventry and the ‘UK, WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920’ stated that he was initially a Private, No.267927, in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and was later posted as a Private, No.152327, in the Machine Gun Company (M.G.C.), (Infantry).  The CWGC records state that he was in the 25th Battalion of the M.G.C.

The Machine Gun Corps was created so as to form a single specialist Machine Gun Company per infantry brigade, by withdrawing the guns and gun teams from the battalions.  They would be replaced at battalion level by the light Lewis machine guns and thus the firepower of each brigade would be substantially increased.  The Machine Gun Corps was created by Royal Warrant on 14 October 1915 followed by an Army Order on 22 October 1915.  The companies formed in each brigade would transfer to the new Corps. … The pace of reorganisation depended largely on the rate of supply of the Lewis guns but it was completed before the Battle of the Somme in 1916.

Machine Gun Battalions – as opposed to Companies – were formed in the Divisions in the early months of 1918, by bringing together the four MGC Companies into a single command structure.  The Battalions took the number of their Division.  In March 1918, the 7th, 74th, 75th, and 195th Machine Gun Companies joined the 25th Division to form the 25th MG Battalion as 25th Divisional troops.  In 1918, they were in action on the Somme; the Battle of the Lys; the Battle of the Aisne, the Battles of the Hindenburg Line and the Final Advance in Picardy.

Although 1918 had started fairly quietly, the 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 25th Division was unlucky during the 1918 German Spring Offensives, being attacked three times.  It was on the northern flank defences during Operation Michael in March 1918 and was moved north to refit.  There it lost more men in the Battle of the Lys attacks in April.  Moved south to another quiet area, it was attacked for a third time in the Third Battle of the Aisne.  After suffering severe casualties in June 1918, it underwent a major refit and reorganisation, with infantry from divisions then serving in Italy.  The reformed division moved back to France in September 1918.

Whilst the 25th Division underwent its refit, after the successive attacks of the ‘Spring Offensive’, from 23 July 1918 the 25th Battalion M.G.C. was transferred from the 25th Division to the 59th Division for three months, until it returned to the 25th Division on 19 October 1918 when the Division returned to France.

There was considerable movement in this period and no doubt casualties would have occurred from enemy shelling in back areas and from sniping as they approached the Front.  The Battalion Diary[2] provides details of locations and operations whilst they were with the 59th Division.  The 25th Battalion M.G.C. were in CREQUY from 1-17 July; they moved to BOIS DES DAMES from 18-23 July and then to MAGNICOURT on the 24 July and successively to SAULTY, and into the line in the BOYELLES-MERCATEL Section.  They remained in MERCATEL from 1-24 August and then via LIETTRES to the LESTREM Sector from 27 August to 6 September, when they moved to the LAVENTIE Sector from 7 September to the end of that month.

Frank Sedgely would thus still have been with the 59th Division when he was wounded,[3] and this would have been at some unknown date before his death on 25 September.

The Battalion Diary[4] also provides details of the daily events immediately prior to Frank’s death, when the Battalion was at LAVANIE.

‘23/9/18 – Intermittent shelling throughout the day.  A few bombs were dropped by enemy aeroplanes during the night on back areas.  ‘B’  Company carried out the usual harassing fire  …

‘24/9/18 – Hostile artillery were rather more active.  Several battery positions & roads were shelled during the day.  Harassing fire was carried out by ‘B’ Company on …. & roads and vicinity. …

‘25/9/18 – throughout the day enemy artillery was active …’

There are no casualty reports in this War Diary, and it seems that Frank was an isolated casualty – or indeed may have been wounded some days before his death – as there seem to be no other 25th Battalion casualties on 24 or 25 September 1918.  He was probably evacuated to a Field Ambulance, which had returned to an earlier location near the Pont-Du-Hem Military Cemetery, after the area was recovered in mid-September during the ‘100 Days Advance’ to Victory.  The CWGC site does not include any Concentration Report, so it is likely that Frank was buried in the cemetery soon after his death.

Frank Wilfred Sedgely was buried some 3km south-east from Lavantie, in grave reference: I. F. 8., in the Pont-Du-Hem Military Cemetery, La Gorgue, Nord, France.  No additional family message was added to his memorial stone.

Pont-du-Hem is a hamlet situated on the main road from La Bassee to Estaires.  It is about 10km north-east of Béthune and the same distance west of Loos.  Pont-du-Hem was in German hands from mid-April to mid-September 1918, during the ‘Operation Michael’ offensive.  The Cemetery was begun, in an apple-orchard, in July 1915, and used until April 1918, by fighting units and Field Ambulances; these original burials are in Plots I, II and III, and Rows A and B of Plot IV.  …  After the Armistice, … British graves were brought in from the surrounding battlefields and from many smaller burial grounds, some of which are listed on the CWGC site.[5]

Frank was awarded the Victory and British medals – although it seems that his medals may not have found his family or may have been ‘returned’ as sometimes happened, perhaps his family did not want to be reminded of their loss.

Frank is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate; and on a family grave, No. H233, at the Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby.  As noted above, his father, John Charles Sedgley, died young on 18 September 1905, aged only 46 years, and his mother, Clara, outlived her husband by some 34 years, dying on 23 September 1939 aged 89.  Frank’s sister, Annie Sedgley, is also remembered at Clifton Road – she predeceased Frank by some five months and died on 22 May 1918, aged 30 years.

Frank’s younger brother, George Charles Sedgley, also enlisted but survived the war.  His records, although possibly somewhat confused, still exist, but have not been analysed in detail at present.  He was a Private, No:26355 in the Royal Berkshire Regiment and seems later to have been in the Devon Regiment and the Labour Corps.  He joined up on 5 February 1916 and went to France on 14 June 1916.  He was injured on 2 December 1918.  He left France on 13 January 1919, and demobilised in UK on 11 February 1919.

Frank and Ada’s son, George (above), was baptised as Cyril Charles George Sedgley, but was also known as ‘George C C Sedgley’.  He married Violet Neal in 1930 in Rugby and they had a son Roger.  In 1939, George was living in Southam and working as a ‘Skilled Worksman Post Office Engineering Dept, Cable Joiner Electrician’.  From 2003-2005, named as Mr. Cyril C Sedgley, he was living at Flat 2, Dickinson Court, Barby Road, and he died as Cyril Charles G Sedgley, aged 96 in November 2005.



– – – – – –


This article on Frank Wilfred SEDGLEY 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, May 2017.

[1]      With many thanks to Christine Hancock who was able to provide the transcription.

[2]      TNA, UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Machine Gun Corps, 59th Division, Piece: 3017/10: 25 Battalion, Machine Gun Corps (1918 Jul – Sep). Also available as 59 Div. Troops, 25 Bn, Machine Gun Corps 1918 July-Sept at http://www.nmarchive.com/search-the-war-diaries/.

[3]      Information that he ‘Died of Wounds’ is given in UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919.

[4]      TNA, UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Machine Gun Corps, 59th Division, Piece: 3017/10: 25 Battalion, Machine Gun Corps (1918 Jul – Sep). Also available as 59 Div. Troops, 25 Bn, Machine Gun Corps 1918 July-Sept at http://www.nmarchive.com/search-the-war-diaries/.

[5]      https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/66000/pont-du-hem-military-cemetery,-la-gorgue/.

21st Sep 1918. Suggested Memorial to Rugby Men


Several matters of more than ordinary intent, including a suggestion for Rugby a memorial to local soldiers killed and maimed in the War, was discussed at the monthly meeting of the Urban Council on Tuesday, when there were present : Messrs J J McKinnell (chairman), W Flint (vice-chairman), T A Wise, W H Linnell, R Walker, W A Stevenson, R S Hudson, T Ringrose, C J Newman, F E Hands, S Robbins, and H Yates.


Before proceeding to the formal business, the Chairman, on behalf of the Council, welcomed Lieut C J Newman on his return from active service, and also conveyed to him the sympathy of the Council in the death of his wife. The circumstances were peculiarly sad, and he wished Lieut Newman to realise how deeply his colleagues felt for him in his deep sorrow.—Mr Newman said he was pleased to be back again to do his duty for the public of Rugby, and especially the electors of the Central Ward.


An interesting discussion took place on the consideration of a letter from the Rugby Branch of the National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers, asking the Council to assist them in providing an institute (where they could hold their meetings), a library, &c, for men discharged from the various forces.—The Chairman suggested that the letter be referred to the Estates Committee.—Mr Newman said he desired to raise the question of a war memorial to their local men. So far nothing had been done, except to arrange for a collection of photographs to be placed in the Library.—The Clerk (Mr A Morson, M.B.E) explained that other steps had been taken. Some time ago, at the suggestion of the Council, he invited the relatives of soldiers killed in the War to forward the names to him, and he now had a very long list.—Mr Newman contended that this was not going far enough. They should now consider the question of providing a fitting memorial to those who had been killed or maimed in the War, and a list of their names should be suitably preserved. Rugby did not lend itself to statuary ; and, after all, a statue was only a nine days’ wonder after it was unveiled. He therefore suggested that they should go further than this, and erect some houses, with all the modem conveniences and improvements for discharged soldiers who had been maimed in the War. In connection with this it might also be possible to erect an institute for the discharged soldiers.—The Chairman : It is a huge job.—Mr Robbins supported Mr Newman’s suggestion, and said if they did not aim at something big they would not get anything. Houses for discharged soldiers would be much more useful than a monument.—The Chairman suggested that they should deal with the subject matter of the letter first. If these discharged men had to wait until the Council had raised the money for providing an institute they would have to wait a long time. He proposed that the letter be referred to the Estates committee to see if that body could find suitable premises for them.—Mr Yates said he would like to have more information from the association as to what they had in mind. He had considered the question very carefully, and he was not in favour of providing any institute for setting these men apart from the rest of the civilian population. They wanted these men, when they returned to civil life, to take their part in the reconstruction of society with the rest of the community as far as possible, and they did not wish to set up any class feeling between those men who had been away and those who had not. If they only wanted a place to hold their meetings in it was the duty of the Council to find them one ; but he believed they were well provided for in that respect at present.—Mr Newman said he did not agree with these remarks. A discharged soldier had the right to ask for anything he liked, and why should he not be allowed to do as he liked ? When the War was over the discharged sailors and soldiers would be a force to be reckoned with, and they must do all they could to entertain them and provide them with decent surroundings, and not leave them in the streets to die like dogs, as they had done in the past. This was his sole idea in suggesting the provision of houses and an institute for these men.—The letter was referred to the Estates Committee.

The question of a war memorial was then considered, and the Chairman said he took it that they would desire it to be a Memorial to all who went out to fight for them, whether they came back from the War or not. He thought they would have to set up a special committee to deal with the matter, The first thing, however, was to get the money, and then they could decide what to do with it. He agreed with Mr Newman that Rugby did not lend itself to statuary, and he thought the suggestion that an institute should be provided was a very good one. However, if they had the money now they would not be able to spend it.—Mr Newman : There are ways and means for everything in this world.—The question was referred to the General Purposes Committee.


The Chairman said it would be within the knowledge of the members that since their last meeting a committee of local ladies had been very energetic in making jam for the military and the civil population. They had made 7,350lbs. and he believed that, with one exception, the whole of the work had been done voluntarily. He especially mentioned Mr W Barnett (chairman of the committee), Lady Rowena Patterson, and Mrs Nickalls in connection with this work, and a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to the committee ; also to the gas Company for lending the premises for making the jam, and Mr Alfred Over for providing storage facilities.


The following message was read from the President of the French Republic in reply to the congratulatory telegram sent to him on the occasion of the celebration of France’s Day, July 14th :—

“ The President of the French Republic is very much affected by the congratulations and good wishes which you have sent on the occasion of France’s Day, and thanks you warmly in the name of the French people, who are closely united to the British people in the defence of right and liberty.—R POINCARE.”

It was decided to have this letter, together with several others, including one from Admiral Beatty, framed and hung in the Council Chamber.


A letter was read from the Rugby Food Control Committee, asking the Council to take immediate steps to provide a cold storage for Rugby District—Mr Robbins : Who has got to pay for it ?—Mr Wise pointed out that at present they had nothing of this kind in the town. He thought such a building would be very useful, and it might even be a paying investment. It was a question as to whether they would get permission to erect such a building, even if they decided to do so ; but he thought at present it was important that perishable foods should be stored in the localities where they were needed, and it would be a great boon to the community at large if such a building could be erected.—Mr Yates moved that the letter be referred to the Markets Committee. He believed it was necessary that they should have a cold storage in the town, because one thing they had learned from the shortage of commodities was the sinfulness of waste : and even when they did get more food it would be necessary to have somewhere to store that portion which was not required for immediate consumption.—Mr Wise promised that the Food Committee would assist the Council with any figures they could obtain from traders likely to use the storage.—The Chairman : If the town grows, as it will do sooner or later, we are bound to have a cold storage.—Mr Stevenson suggested that the letter should be referred to a Joint Markets and Plans Committee, and this was agreed to.


The Baths Committee reported that in view of the great need for economy in coal and light during the winter, the committee propose to further consider the re-opening of the slipper baths at their next meeting, but their present proposal is to open the baths on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only, instead of the whole week.


Sergt T C Vickers, Yeomanry, Rugby, has been officially reported drowned ; and Pte W Everton, Tank Corps, Rugby, has died of wounds.

Rifleman A V Pitham, Rifle Brigade, Rugby has been wounded and captured by the Germans ; and Pte H Lawley, RW.R, has also been reported a prisoner of war.

Capt J Oscar Muntz, youngest son of Mr F E Muntz, of Umberslade, died of wounds on September 4th at the age of 42.

W F W Satchell, son of Mr & Mrs W F J Satchell, 94 Park Road, Rugby, has been granted a commission as Second-Lieutenant in the Royal Warwickshire Regt.

Pte Lewis Lewis, City of London Regiment, son of ex-P.C Lewis, 35 King Edward Road, was killed in France on August 8th. He was nearly 19 years of age, an old St Matthew’s boy, and an employee at Rugby Post Office. He joined the Army in October, 1917, and was drafted to France in April.

Mrs Hutt, 15 Bridget Street, New Bilton, has received news that her son, Pte J H Lines, Royal Berkshire Regiment, was killed in action on August 27th. He of was 19 years of age, and before joining the Army in July 1917, he was employed at the L & N-W Railway Loco Sheds. Another son of Mrs Hutt was killed in France last year.

Mr & Mrs N Austin, 3 Oliver Street, Rugby, have received official notice that their youngest son, Pte Cecil Austin, 1st R.W.R, was killed in action in France on August 30th. Pte Austin was only 19 years of age. He joined up on February 14, 1916, and went to France the following year. When he had only been there a few weeks he was invalided back with dysentery, and was in hospital five months. He only re-joined his regiment in July, and was sent to France for the second time the following week. His eldest brother, Wilfred Austin, has been serving in Egypt since January, 1915.

Intimation has been received by Mr H C Samson, Hillmorton Road, Rugby, that his son, Second Lieut O M Samson, died of wounds on the 17th inst. Lieut Samson was an assistant master at Rugby School (Army Class). He was an 0 for Blue at cricket, and also played for Somersetshire. At Rugby he was of great assistance to the Rugby Club, with which he frequently played. He also made one of a very successful Rugby hockey team captained by Mr F J Kittermaster for several years.

Corpl H Rogers, M.M, 1st Royal Warwickshire Regt., has recently been awarded the bar to the Military Medal for gallantry. The Major-General of his Division has also written congratulating him on his fine behaviour. Corpl Rogers, who is a native of Flore, Northants, and nephew of Mrs H Miller, 10 Alfred St, Rugby, has been twice wounded, and before the War was employed at Rugby L & N-W Railway Station.

Driver Jack Hillyard, A.S.C, son of Mr Charles Hillyard, 20 Frederick Street, Rugby, was killed on August 22nd. He was 24 years of age, and before joining up in October, 1914, he was employed as a vanman by Mr J J McKinnell. He served three years and three months in France, and only returned to the front a few weeks prior to his death. He was educated at New Bilton Council School. At one time Mr Hillyard had six sons in the Army ; two have been discharged, and three are still serving.

Mr and Mrs Southern, of 77 Windsor Street, have received a letter from the Commanding Officer of the Regiment notifying the death of their youngest son, Pte S Southern, in action on September 4th. His platoon went forward in the attack over a difficult piece of ground, and when it became inevitable that a message must be sent back he volunteered to carry it. He had very nearly got into safety when a bullet hit him in the head, causing instantaneous death. His loss to the Company (the officer adds) is a very real one. He was doing excellent work, was very popular, and they could ill spare him. Pte Southern was awarded the Military Medal on May 30, 1917. He joined up at the commencement of the War, previously being employed at the B.T.H Works. This is the second son of Mr & Mrs Southern who has fallen in the War.

Pte John James Brookes, R.W.R, eldest son of Mr John Brookes, 41 Lawford Road, New Bilton, was killed in action on August 30th. He was 22 years of age, and was a member of “ E ” Company when war broke out, and was mobilised with them. He had seen a good deal of heavy fighting, and had been wounded three times. Before the War he was a cleaner in the L & N-W Railway Loco Sheds.

Mr William Fleet, 98 Lawford Road, Rugby, has received news that has youngest son, Pte Cyril William Fleet, 6th Dorsets, died of wounds on September 10th. He was 32 years of age, and before joining the Army at the commencement of the War he worked at the Cement Works. He was gassed a short time ago, and only returned to France a fortnight before his death.

Pte Albert Thomas Gibbs, London-Irish Rifles, eldest son of Mr & Mrs A B Gibbs, 14 Kimberley Road, Rugby, has died while a prisoner of war in Germany. Pte Gibbs was employed on the L & N-W Railway. He enlisted about twelve months ago, and had only been in France a short time when he was taken prisoner. He was 35 years of age, and leaves a widow and two children. His younger brother, Flight Cadet David Gibbs, was recently killed in an aeroplane accident.

News has been received at Coombe Abbey that Lord Uffington, the Earl of Craven’s heir, is lying seriously wounded in France, and has had a leg amputated above the knee.

NEWS has been received that Corpl J Seymour, who in last week’s issue was reported wounded and suffering from enteric, has since died. He belonged to the Rugby Howitzer Battery at the outbreak of war, and has served with them since in France and Italy. He leaves a widow and two children, for whom much sympathy is felt.


LIEUT WILFRED COLEMAN WINS THE MILITARY CROSS.—News has just reached Wolston that Lieut Wilfred Coleman has been awarded the Military Cross for gallantry on the banks of the Marne, He is the only son of Mr & Mrs T P Coleman, of Marston Hall. When war was declared he was a member of the 1st, Troop of the Warwickshire Yeomanry. In April, 1916, he went out to Egypt, and from there to Gallipoli where he was wounded. He was afterwards among the Yeomanry in Egypt when so many of them were killed or taken prisoners. He was subsequently sent into training at Cairo for a commission, and was then attached to the 5th Devons with whom he has gamed his present honour. He has now been transferred to the Royal Air Force.

DEATH OF TWO SONS.—Deep sympathy is felt for Mr & Mrs Robert Clarke, who heard in two days of the death of two of their sons. Pte William Clarke, of the Oxon and Bucks L.I, had been missing since March 21st ; but a friend—Pte Harrison—has written to say that he saw him killed. On the next day a notification was received from the War Office that their youngest son—Pte Joseph Clarke, of the Coldstream Guards—was killed on August 22nd. Both sons were respected employees of Messrs Bluemel, and were well known in the district They had been in France for a long time.

KILLED.—Sergt J Major, son of Mr H Major, of Station Cottages, has been killed in action. He joined up at the outbreak of war, being the first recruit from the parish. A memorial service was held in the church on Sunday evening.

MR & MRS H PEARCE, Coventry Road, learn that their son, Pte W Pearce, K.R.R, who was badly wounded and was a prisoner of war, has been repatriated, and is in London, where he has undergone an operation to his head.


HARRY COCKERELL KILLED.—On Saturday official intimation was received by Mr & Mrs H W Cockerell that their only son, Pte Harry Richard Cockerell, R.W.R, was killed in action on the 1st inst.  A sympathetic letter from the chaplain attached to the regiment states that Pte Cockerell fell fighting gallantly in one of the most important engagements of the War, and was killed instantaneously by a shell. The rev gentleman adds: “ He will be much mused.” Before he was called up Pte Cockerell had joined his father in his business as plumber and decorator. He had gained the respect of all, and was greatly beloved by many friends. Sincere sympathy is accorded to Mr & Mrs Cockerell and family in their sad loss.

HARRY COOKE GASSED.—Mr & Mrs John Cooke have been informed that their eldest son, Rifleman Harry Cooke, Rifle Brigade, is in hospital in France suffering, from gas poisoning. He was quite blind for three days after the occurrence, but is progressing favourably. His younger brother, Rifleman Reg Cooke, K.R.R, reported missing last May, has not since been heard of.

DR CLAGUE TO REMAIN.—When Dr Clague was medically examined at Coventry in June last he was passed for service in Grade 1. At the end of August he received his orders to join the Army in October. On the 3rd inst. Long Itchington people solemnly protested against being left without a resident doctor. On the 11th inst. Dr Clague underwent a second medical examination at Birmingham, and has now been totally rejected as unfit for military service. His services as a medical man will, therefore, be retained in the village.

OUR MEN.—Cecil Wall has been wounded in the thigh, and is making satisfactory progress ; and Ernest Hall has been gassed, fortunately without very serious effects.

ON TUESDAY morning, Mr & Mrs W Hirons, Coventry Road, were notified that their fourth son, Pte G Hirons, R.W.R, had been killed. He was formerly in the employ of Mr J Johnson, J.P, Thurlaston, and was the finest young man in the village. He was 6ft in height and well-built, although only 19 years of age, and he was much respected by everybody in the parish. Mr & Mrs Hirons have another son—J Hirons—badly wounded in France. They had four sons in the Army till two of them were killed. The two remaining in the Army are members of the Warwickshire Police Force, one having been stationed at Sutton Coldfield, and the other at Shipston-on-Stour.


A letter was read from a milk retailer complaining that she was unable to get a proper supply of milk, and pointing out that unless the committee could help her she would be unable to allow her customers the quantity to which they were entitled.—Mrs Shelley said this was a very hard case. The woman was a widow and an invalid, and was dependent upon her business for a livelihood ; whereas some of the other retailers were employed at the works, and were still keeping their businesses going.—Mr Cooke moved that the whole milk question be re-considered by the Rationing Committee. He believed that the town was threatened with a milk Monopoly, and that the situation was very serious.—Mr Humphrey drew attention to the fact that large quantities of milk were used daily in the canteens at the B.T.H and Willans & Robinson’s, and he suggested that they should use instead either dry milk or condensed milk in barrels. The fresh milk could then be distributed amongst the public.—In reply to Mr Gay, the Executive Officer said the committee had no power to commandeer milk ; but. if necessary, they could take over the whole milk supply of the town.—Mr Gay supported Mr Humphrey’s suggestion, and proposed that the two firms be approached on the matter. The Chairman : We do not want to be trouble with the workmen if we do this ?—Messrs Gay and Cooke replied in the negative.—The Chairman : We do not want it to be said that we wish to rob the workman of his milk.—Mr Gay : With the average workman his wife and children come first. They will be quite willing to forego fresh milk in the canteen in order that the children may have it.—It was decided that the executive Officer should approach the two firms on this question. and that the Rationing Committee should meet to consider the whole question of milk supply.—Mr Stevenson : Will they consider the retail price ?—The Executive Officer : The price will have to be revised at the end of September.

A quantity of second grade bacon has now been received, and it was pointed out that the price of this was 1s 8d per lb straight from the case, and 1s 10d per lb washed and dried.—Both the Executive Officer and Mr Humphrey remarked that this bacon is very nice, almost as good, in fact, as the better quality bacon.—Mr Cripps : Do not praise it too much, or it will be 2s per lb next week.


AUSTIN.—In loving memory of our darling boy, Pte. CECIL AUSTIN, 1st R.W.R., youngest son of Mr. & Mrs. Austin, 3 Oliver Street, Rugby, who was killed “ somewhere in France ” on August 30, 1918 ; aged 19 years. One of the very best.—From Dad and Mother.

FLEET.—Officially reported having died from gunshot wounds in France on September 10th, Pte. CYRIL WILLIAM FLEET, aged 32, youngest son of William Fleet, 98 Lawford Road, Rugby.

LINES.—In ever-loving, memory of my dearest and youngest son, Pte. J. H. LINES, of the Royal Berks., who was killed in action on August 27th “ somewhere in France ” ; aged 19 years.
“ We do not forget him, nor do we intend ;
We think of him daily, and will to the end.
We miss him and mourn him in silence unseen,
And dwell on the memory of days that have been.”
“ In the midst of life we are in death.”
—Not forgotten by his sorrowing Mother, Father, Brothers and Sisters.

WHITE.—Killed in action in France on July 29th, Pte CHARLES WHITE, 1st Batt. Royal Warwickshire Regt., second son of the late William White, formerly of Willoughby, and Ann White, Carterton, Clansfield, Oxon ; aged 33.


CASHMORE.—In loving memory of our dear brother, Pte. CHARLES CASHMORE, 5th Oxon 7 Bucks L.I.
“ Three years have passed,
No one knows
What was this gallant hero’s end
No wooden cross or mound to show
Where he fell fighting against the foe.”
—From his ever-loving Sister, Nell, Violet, and brother George.

CUFAUDE.—In loving memory of No. 40549 EDWARD HENRY CUFAUDE (Yelvertoft) who fell in action on Hill 70 on September 22. 1917.
“ May we in Thy sorrows share,
For Thy sake all peril dare,
Ever know Thy tender care.

GREEN.— In ever loving memory of EDWARD (BERT) GREEN, who fell at the Battle of Loos, September 23-27, 1915.
—Sadly missed by his wife and children.

GRIFFITH.—In loving memory of LLEWELLYN GRIFFITH, who died of wounds on September 18, 1916.—“ Gone from sight, but to memory ever dear.”—From loving Brothers and Sisters—74 South Street.

HOPKINS.—In loving memory of FRANK, the youngest son of Henry Hopkins, late of Long Lawford, killed in action in France on September 18, 1915.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call ;
He gave his life for one and all ;
But thee unknown grave is the bitterest blow,
None but our aching hearts can know.”
—Never forgotten by his loving Father, Sisters, and Brothers.

NEAL.—In loving memory of Bombardier FRANK NEAL, R.F.A., who died of wounds on September 19, 1916.—Never forgotten by his loving sister Carrie.

THOMPSON.—In loving memory of our dear brother LEVI, who was killed in action in France on September 23, 1917.—Not forgotten by his Brothers and Sisters, Will, Tom, Emma, Fanny.