THE INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC.
The Medical Officer of the Local Government Board has drawn up a Memorandum on Influenza, which is being circulated to local authorities. Emphasis is laid on the fact that control over the disease is only practicable by the active co-operation of each member of the community. This co-operation involves considerable self-denial on the part of affected persons.
Even experts find difficulty in defining influenza, and the medical profession is ignorant as to the causes which lead to the occasional world-wide spread of the disease, such as is now being experienced. The only safe rule is to regard all catarrhal attacks and every illness associated with rise of temperature during the prevalence of influenza as infectious, and to adopt appropriate precautionary measures. In present circumstances, to quote official advice, “ every patient who has a severe cold or fever should go to bed and stay there for three or four days.”
Unfortunately one attack of influenza does not confer any considerable immunity against repeated attack. Frequently the patient does not realise the serious nature of his illness for several days, and it is probable during the earlier stages that infection is chiefly spread. Compulsory notification is not regarded as likely to be of practical use in present circumstances.
RULES FOR PATIENTS.
The following measures for patients are officially recommended :—
Isolation.—If every person suffering from a fever, with or without catarrh, were willing and able to stay at home for a few days the spread of disease in factories and workshops, offices and shops, schools and other institutions would be greatly reduced.
Personal Precautions.—Avoid scattering infection in sneezing and coughing. Use a handkerchief to intercept drops of mucus ; the handkerchief should be boiled, or burnt if of paper. Expectoration should be received in a special receptacle, its contents being subsequently disinfected or burnt. General disinfection of premises after influenza is not required, but a thorough washing and cleaning of rooms and their contents and washing of articles of bedding or apparel is desirable.
Relapses—Influenza is very liable to relapse ; and pneumonia may occur as a late as well an early complication. Relapse is less likely if the patient goes to bed at once, and remains there till all fever has gone ; avoidance of chill or over-exertion during convalescence is also of great importance. The use of boracic and weak saline solution for frequent irrigation of the nasopharynx is recommended.
Nursing.—Satisfactory nursing is important in the prevention of complications and in aiding recovery from a severe attack.
A HEAVY DEATH-RATE.
Rugby, in common with the rest of the country, is in the grip of the influenza germ, and many hundreds of persons of all ages have affected. The epidemic is of a very virulent character, and in many cases has been followed by pneumonia. School children apparently fall easy victims to the germ, and so many little ones have been attacked that most of the schools in both Rugby and New Bilton have been closed.
The majority of Rugby doctors are away on active service, and those remaining in the town are working at exceptionally high pressure ; and in several cases queues of people have formed up outside the surgery door. The shortage of nurses has also added to the difficulties in dealing with the epidemic, and on Wednesday an appeal was issued by the Urban District Council for voluntary helpers to undertake the duties of visiting the sick.
Since the outbreak assumed serious proportions—i.e, about October 14th, the death-rate of Rugby and New Bilton has been exceptionally high, and already eighteen deaths due to influenza and pneumonia have been recorded.
FUTURE FOOD SUPPLIES.
GREATER SELF DENIAL NEEDED.
All the informed opinion that can be tested agrees that the housewife’s difficulties may be even greater this winter than they were a year ago. Supplies, with care will be sufficient, but there will be nothing to spare. Meat will certainly be much scarcer, and the bread position is again causing anxiety. Up to the present we have avoided the rationing of bread in this country, and it is hoped that this state of things may continue. But that is by no means certain. Owing to bad weather, the yield of the home market has not come up to the expectations formed before it was gathered, and the statistics of consumption show a disquieting increase.
It must not be supposed because the War news is so good that our food difficulties are disappearing. Quite the contrary. There could be no improvement during this winter if the War were to end to-morrow, and those whose business it is to watch the situation all agree that there will be a world shortage of foodstuffs for at least two or three years after the War. Our position this winter is certainly no better, and will probably be worse, than that of last winter, and it will be much aggravated by the shortage of coal. We must try to get through this winter without calling on shipping at all for the importation of food. That is vital to the presence of such an overwhelming number of men of the Allied forces on the Continent by spring as will ensure the victorious and early end of the War. The men have to be brought across the Atlantic in ships, which cannot be used for other work at the same time. The warnings that economy in foodstuffs is necessary are very seriously meant.
LOCAL WAR NOTES.
Sec Lieut Ernest Thompson, R.G.A, Siege Battery, eldest son of Mr Edward Thompson, Head Master of East Haddon School, died of wounds in France on October 16. He was educated at the Northampton County School, and won one of the first Northants County Council Scholarships at Cambridge, where he had a very successful career, and secured an Open Scholarship. Five years ago he was appointed to the Head Mastership of a Secondary School in Norfolk. He had only been in France a fortnight when news was received of his death.
We regret to announce the death in action on Oct 8th of 2nd Lieut T S Owen, son of Mr H Starr Owen, of Drayton, Wylde Green. Sec Lieut Owen come to Rugby as a member of the local staff of Lloyds Bank in 1905, and resided at “ Belgrave,” Clifton Road. He was an enthusiastic sportsman and a member of the Dunsmore Golf Club, St Andrew’s Tennis Club, and the Hockey Club. He joined the Rugby Howitzer Battery immediately on the outbreak of war, and proceeded with them to France. when he served for two years. He came home on sick leaves and on re-joining the forces he was given a commission and posted to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. He had only been in France about three weeks before his death.
Driver Harold Fredk Flowers, Mechanical Transport eldest son of Mr E Flowers, Vicarage Hill, Clifton, died of sickness in hospital at Birmingham on October 18th. He was 25 years of age, and had been wounded twice. He formerly worked at the B.T.H.
Pte Charles Sanderson, of the K.O.S.B, son of Mrs Sanderson, of 50 Lawford Road, New Bilton, has been awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery in the field. Pte Sanderson, before joining up, was in the employ of Messrs Parnell & Son for many years. He is serving in the K.O.S.B’s as a stretcher bearer.
Gunner A J Renshaw, late of the Howitzer Battery, is lying in hospital at Rouen dangerously wounded in both arms, both legs, and head. The left leg has been amputated. He has served 3½ years in France, and was with a Lancashire Battery at the time of receiving his wounds. His relatives reside at 149 Oxford Street, Rugby.
WOUNDED SOLDIERS ENTERTAINED.—On Saturday last the members of the Co-operative Women’s Guild invited wounded soldiers to a tea and entertainment. About 100 were present, and spent a most enjoyable time. After tea the programme was sustained by local artistes, and also some of the guests. The whole concluded with a dance.—Wounded soldiers were also entertained at the Church House on Saturday by members of the Women Workers’ Federation.
RUGBY TOWN HOSPITAL.—The wounded soldiers greatly appreciate the kindness of the ladies and gentlemen who each week provide them with such excellent concerts. For the one on Saturday last they were indebted to Mr F Giggs, who is always a favourite with the boys ; the Misses Shillitoe, Mr A Woodhams, Pte Foster, and Pte Thornley. On Wednesday evening the programme was sustained by Mr J T Clarke and a party of friends from the Congregational Church.
ABSENTEES.—At the Police Court on Thursday (before Mr A E Donkin), George Henry Websdale was charged with being an absentee.—P.S Hawkes said defendant was employed by Broncho Bill’s Wild West Show, and when witness asked him if he had any papers to show why he was not in the Army, he produced a discharge certificate, which had been altered in several instances.—Remanded to Petty Sessions.—Robert Yelding, equestrian, employed by the same company, was also remanded after evidence had been given by P.C Bryan.—Archibald Somerville, Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, and Driver Leonard Lee, 34 Sandown Road, Rugby, were also remanded to await escorts.
President Wilson has answered Germany in terms which completely clear the air. In effect, he offers her the alternatives, Fight or Surrender.
From Sunday. December 1st, until Saturday midnight, January 11th, all meat coupons will be available for the purchase of poultry—turkey or otherwise. A temporary rate of 3lbs of poultry per coupon has been fixed for this period, irrespective of the size of the bird.
NATIONAL SERVICE.—The boys of Elborow School have collected over 6cwt of blackberries, and have decided to hand over their earnings, which amount to £12, to the Rugby Prisoners of War Fund.
A VERY successful whist drive was held in the School room on Friday, October 18th, to provide Christmas presents for the soldiers, when the sum of £22 was realised.
THREE TIMES TORPEDOED.—Capt Lloyd, of the Mercantile Marine, who now holds a commission in the Navy, son of a former churchwarden of Stockton, paid a visit to the village last week. Capt Lloyd has had his share of exciting experiences, having been torpedoed three times. On the last occasion was in the water nine hours before being picked up.—An interesting letter has been received from our schoolmaster, Mr E K Steventon, who is now in France with a heavy battery.—A card has been received from Ernest Bayliss, of whom nothing had been heard for some time, stating that he is a prisoner in Germany.
GERMAN TREATMENT OF WOUNDED.—An ex-prisoner of war, belonging to the Royal Warwicks, who is now in Switzerland, writes to a Wolston resident —“ I was operated on last Friday. They took four pieces of bone away from my arm. Of course, they have opened all my arm again now. It is a nice big hole, I can tell you, but it will soon get better here (Switzerland). The bone is all smashed, and is about 2ins out of place from the shoulder. I shall never believe that a bullet did it. I shall always think they (the Germans) did it to cripple me while I was in Germany. They are terribly cruel. You would not believe half what anybody could tell you. It is the dirtiest and most uncivilised country under the sun. They try to cripple as many Tommies as they can, but still we keep on smiling. They think nothing of cutting a fellow open at an operation, or even legs and arms off without giving anything. I have seen several fellows having their fingers off in this way. I have had several slashes with the knife, so I know what it feels like. The worst of it was they only used to dress us once every five or six days, and then only used paper bandages, which stuck to our wounds, and they never cleaned it off.”
WOUNDED.—Mr & Mrs Edward Healey, of Brandon, have received news that their son, Pte Arthur L Healey, has been wounded by a bullet in the left knee. He is making a good recovery.
ROLL OF HONOUR.—News has been received of the death in action on October 3rd of Rifleman W B Hakesley, of the 15th Royal Irish Rifles, son of Mr and Mrs G Hakesley. Deceased joined up in 1915, and this was his third visit to the front, where he had been gassed once and wounded twice. He was killed instantaneously by a piece of shell. Deep sympathy is felt for his bereaved parents and friends. The Captain of his Company writes expressing their sorrow at losing so good a comrade.—Mr A Drinkwater has received also official news that his son, Corporal Howard Drinkwater, was killed in action on September 29th. He joined up in 1915, and did duty at the Dardanelles. From thence he went to Egypt, where he did duty until June of this year, and on coming across on his first leave the ship he was on, Leo Castle, was torpedoed. After having his leave he returned to France, and the first time he went into action he was killed instantaneously by an H.E shell. The Sergeant of his section writes: “ He was in command of a gun and team of five men: We had taken up our position during the night of the 28th and 29th, and dug ourselves in, a few shells falling around us at the time. This continued all the day (the 29th). The shell, an H.E, dropped right in his trench amongst six of them, killing three and wounding three, about 2.30 p.m. All the boys wish to express their deepest sympathy with you in your great loss. Your son was so bright and cheery. I was thinking myself lucky when he was posted to my section, and I feel his loss very much.”
ROLL OF HONOUR.—Mrs. W Clarke received news in March that her husband, Pte Wm Clarke, was missing. She has now received a letter from Pte A R Harrison, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, whose home is at Leamington, stating that he saw him killed at Fayet near St Quentin. He was badly gassed in the morning, and later in the day he saw him killed by a bullet. Pte Clarke, before joining the Army in June, 1916, was an employee at Messrs Bluemel’s Works, Wolston, for many years. He proceeded to the front in September, 1916, and saw much fighting until invalided home with dysentry in 1917. As soon as he was convalescent he returned to France. Deceased was very much respected by the inhabitants of Bretford. He leaves a widow and four children. His parents are well-known inhabitants of Wolston.—News has reached Bretford that Pte F Huby died in hospital at Newcastle-on-Tyne last week. Deceased was a cousin of the late Pte W Clarke, with whom he resided at Bretford before the War. As soon as hostilities broke out deceased volunteered for active service, but was rejected owing to chest measurement. He tried a second time, but with the same result, but was eventually accepted under the Derby Scheme. He enlisted in May, 1916, in the 7th Royal Warwicks, and went over to France in the following August. He soon met with disaster, being buried in a trench, from which he was rescued with difficulty. He was sent home with dysentry and shell shook at the end of the year. Deceased was about to embark again when illness supervened, and paralysis set in. His death was caused from shell shock and exposure. He was a liberal subscriber to several war charities before going out, and was well liked by all who knew him. In civil life he was a clerk at Coventry Ordnance. His funeral took place at Leicester, where he was buried with full military honours.
ENSOR.— Killed in action on September 21st, ERNEST JAMES, third son of William and Emily Ensor and beloved husband of Agnes Ensor, of 41 Highbury Place, London, N. ; aged 27. Also in loving memory of WILLIAM ALFRED, second son of the above, killed in October, 1916. “ Farewell, loved ones, until the morning.”
FLOWER.—In loving memory of Pte. H. F. FLOWER, who died in Birmingham Military Hospital on October 18th, 1918, eldest son of Mr. E. Flower, 18 Vicarage Hill, Clifton, aged 25 years.
OWEN.—Killed in action, on 8th inst., 2nd Lieut. T. S. OWEN, Royal Welsh Fusiliers (formerly of Lloyd’s Bank, Rugby), son of H. Starr Owen, of Drayton, Wylde Green.
RIDOUT.—At Anstruther Farm, Anstruther, on October 12th, the residence of his sister, WILLIAM RIDOUT, aged 28, late Sergeant, 10th Batt., R.W.R., late of Dunchurch.
SARGENT.—In loving memory of Pte. A. H. SARGENT, Barby, of the D.C.L.I., killed in action on October 23rd in France.
“ We loved him in life, and we love him still ;
But in grief we must bend to God ? Holy Will.”
— From his Mother, Brothers and Sisters.
BATCHELOR.—In ever loving memory of our dear son and brother, Pte. ERNEST ANDREW BATCHELOR, of 10th Worcesters Regt., killed in action on October 24, 1916, aged 29 years.
“ God knows how much we miss him,
More than loving words can tell.
Not a day have we forgotten him
Since he bade us his last farewell.
Daily in our minds we miss him
As we did in days of yore,
But some day we hope to meet him
On that bright and golden shore.”
—Deeply mourned by his sorrowing Mother, Father, Sisters and Brothers.
BEASLEY.—In ever loving memory of our dear son and brother, Pte. CLEMENT FELL BEASLEY, Rose Cottage, Napton, of the 14th R.W.R., who was killed in action east of Gheluvelt, near Ypres, October 26, 1917.
“ One year has passed since that sad day
When he we loved was called away.
A loving son and faithful brother,
One of the best towards his mother.
He bravely answered Duty’s call,
And gave his young life for one and all.
Some may think that we forget him
When at times they see us smile,
But they little know the sorrow
Which is hid behind that smile.
He is gone but not forgotten—
Oh dear. no ! not one so dear.
He is gone safe home to Heaven,
And we hope to meet him there.”
—From his ever loving Mother, Father, Sisters, and Brothers.
BEASLEY.—In loving memory of our dear brother, Pte. C. BEASLEY, killed in action “ somewhere in France,” October 26, 1917.
“ When last they saw his smiling face
He looked so strong and brave ;
He little thought how soon he’d be
Laid in a soldier’s grave.”
—From Horace, Alice, and his niece Mary.
BEASLEY.—In fond and ever-loving memory of our dear brother, Pte. C. BEASLEY, killed in action on October 26, 1917 ; aged 27 years.
“ A day of remembrance sad to recall :
The loss of our dear one, loved by us all.
We think of him in silence, and his name we oft recall,
But there is nothing left but his photo on the wall.
Fondly we loved him, he is as dear to us still ;
But in grief we must bend to God’s Holy Will.
If we could have raised his dying head or heard his last farewell,
The grief would not have been so hard for us that loved him well.”
—From his sorrowing sister Nance, brother Albert in Germany, and his two little Nephews.
COLLINS.—In ever loving memory of our dear son, Pte. A. W. COLLINS, who was killed in action in France on October 26, 1917, aged 29 years.
“ We pictured his safe returning,
We longed to clasp his hand,
But God postponed it otherwise,
Till we meet in the promised land.”
—Never forgotten by his Father, Mother, Brother and Sisters, of 45 New St., New Bilton.
DUCKETT.—In loving memory of my dear son, Pte. TOM F. DUCKETT, who was killed in action somewhere in France on October 26, 1917.
“ One year has passed, but oh, I miss him ;
Some may think the wound has healed,
But they little know the sorrow
Deep within my heart concealed.”
A loving son, a faithful brother,
One of very last towards his mother.”
—Deeply mourned by his loving mother, and brother Charlie.
FRENCH.—In loving memory of my late husband, Pte. J. FRENCH, R.W.R., of Long Itchington, who was killed in action on October 26, 1917.
“ When last we saw his smiling face,
He looked so strong and brave ;
We little thought how soon he would be
Laid in a soldier’s grave.
He bravely answered duty’s call,
He bravely fought and fell ;
He did his best for one and all,
And those who loved him well.”
— From his loving Wife and Children and Mother and Father.
GOODWIN.—In loving memory of Pte. ALBERT GOODWIN, aged 21 years, of B Company, 2nd Royal Warwicks, who was killed somewhere in France on or about October 24, 1914, eldest son of Ex-P.S. Goodwin.
—Sadly missed by his loving Father, Mother, Sisters and Brothers.
HARDMAN.—In loving memory of Pte. W. HARDMAN, of the 15th R.W.R., of 9 James Street, who died of wounds received in action on October 28th, 1917. Interred in the Military Cemetery, Poperinghe, France.
“ Days of sadness still come o’er us,
Tears in silence often flow,
Thinking of the day we lost him,
Just a year ago.
Too far away thy grave to see.
But not too far to think of thee.”
—From his loving Mother, Father, Sisters and Brothers.
MILLS.—In loving memory of Bombardier J. M. MILLS, of the R.F.A (of Marton), killed in action on October 23, 1917.
“ Days of sadness still come o’er us,
Tears in silence often flow,
Thinking of the day we lost you ;
Just a year ago.
Too far, dear Mawby, thy grave to see,
But not too far to think of thee.”
—From his loving Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters, and godson, Little Bertie.
MILLS.—In memory of comrade and friend, No 11685 Bombardier J. M. MILLS, R.F.A., killed in action in Flanders on October 23, 1917.—11688 Corpl. A. E. Clarke, R.F.A., B.E.F.