30th Nov 1918. Demobilisation Proceeding

DEMOBILISATION PROCEEDING.

The Ministers chiefly concerned are understood to be most busily engaged in perfecting the plans for demobilisation. It is to be remembered by the impatient that, though the armistice has brought about a cessation of hostilities, the War is not yet at an end. There is a possibility of the preliminary peace treaty (remarks the London correspondent of the “Birmingham Daily Post ”) being signed towards the end of February, but in authoritative quarters the impression is that it would be well not to expect the peace celebration until March. Until peace is absolutely assured it will be necessary to keep up a very large force, while an army of occupation in a portion of Germany may be rendered a necessity by her internal condition. In these circumstances complete demobilisation is bound to be a slow process.

EMPLOYMENT IN THE LOCAL ENGINEERING TRADES.

We are informed that the cessation of hostilities and the suspension of munition work will cause very little (if any) dislocation in local employment, and already the absorption of labour for civil work has removed the possibility of the spectre of unemployment coming out to mar what everyone hopes will be a bright and happy Christmas in Rugby. As a matter of fact, the supply of labour is not equal to the demand, as will be gathered from an advertisement on page 2 of this issue.

Amongst the reconstruction schemes which the Government have under consideration is one covering an extensive programme of large central electricity supply stations for the manufacture of electricity in bulk, so that it can be supplied at low rates to the commuter. The engineering shops of Willans & Robinson and the B.T.H Company are admirably laid out to take care of this class of apparatus required for this scheme, and should secure their share of the contracts resulting from this programme being carried through by the Government.

It is common knowledge that the B.T.H Company are in need of first-class machinists and mechanics of all descriptions, as well as a large number of unskilled labourers. Those Rugby craftsmen who temporarily obtained work away from Rugby should seek employment in Rugby now that there is a slackening of demand for labour in purely munition plants.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Pte J E Grimsley, 2/7 Royal Warwickshire Regiment, whose home is at Harborough Magna, was killed in action by a machine gun bullet on November 1st. In a letter to his wife an officer states : “ He was one of my best men ; in fact, had he come out alive, Capt Chamberlain was recommending him for a decoration. In several fights I always admired his conduct and his pluck.”

The “ Gazette ” announces that Second-Lieut G A T Vials, West Riding Regiment, the Northants County cricketer, relinquishes his commission on account of ill-health, and is granted the hon rank of lieutenant.—His father, Mr G Vials, formerly practised as a solicitor in Rugby.

Pte E P Burden, R.M.L.I., late of 24 Victoria Avenue, New Bilton, died in hospital in France on November 23rd from influenza. Before joining the Colours he was employed by Messrs Willans & Robinson.

Pte A Badger, 9th Battery, R.F.A (Napton), died at Fargo Military Hospital, Salisbury Plain, on Saturday, from pneumonia. He was 25 years of age.

Bombardier Arthur Russell, R.G.A, husband of Mrs Esther Russell, of 6 Benn Street, Rugby, and son of Mr & Mrs W K Russell, died on Tuesday last at Cattrick Bridge Camp. Bombardier Russell, who was a postman at the Rugby Office, had seen two years’ service in France, had been wounded and gassed, and was just convalescent from a broken ankle, sustained by accident while in the lines.

Temp Major C D Miller, the polo player and organiser, is gazetted Acting Lieut-Colonel while commanding a Base Remount Depot.

DEATH OF ROLAND WILSON BROWNE.—Mr & Mrs Browne, of the Book Shop, Station Road, whose three sons have been doing their part in the great War, have received news of the death of their second son Roland, who was killed in action in France on November 4th. He was an Old Murrayian, and on leaving school was apprenticed in the Drawing Office of the B.T.H, where he remained until the time of his joining the 2nd Manchester. Regiment, He was very popular with and held in the highest esteem by his fellow-draughtsmen, and, apart from being quick and clever at his work, he showed great ability in his love and knowledge of art and art subjects. He was a pupil of John Hassell, B.A, and turned out some clever black and white sketches. In water colour he also displayed talent, but seemed especially to excel in oil colour painting. Touching references were made at the Congregational Church services on Sunday last. He was 23 years of age. and had been in the Army less than five months when he met with his untimely end.

INFLUENZA.—The number of deaths from influenza in Rugby district during the past week was six, a decrease of 10 on the preceding week. Since the 14th October no less than 130 deaths from either influenza or pneumonia have been registered locally.

BRITISH CASUALTIES IN THE WAR.
The figures of British casualties during the war are officially given for each theatre of war, and show a total of 3,049,991. They are made up as follows :—Killed and died, 37,876 officers ; 620,828 other ranks ; wounded, 92,664 officers ; 1,939,478 other ranks ; missing (including prisoners), 12,094 officers ; 347,051 other ranks.

POST-PRESENTATION OF A MILITARY CROSS.
At Birmingham on Friday, last week a number of decorations were presented to men who had won them, or their relatives, by Major-General Sir Hy Schlater. Among the recipients was the mother of Colour-Sergt-Major G H Hayes, R.W.R, who was wounded at Neuve Chapelle on October 4th, 1917, and died a few days afterwards. The act for which the Cross was awarded was officially described thus :—

“ The advance was held up by a strong enemy machine gun position, and all the officers became casualties. He took command and crawled under direct fire to a position from which he killed several of the enemy. He then led his men in an attack on the post, which he captured with ten prisoners and a machine gun. He showed splendid courage and initiative.”

Colour-Sergt-Major Hayes was for some time employed at the Great Central Station as a drayman, and afterwards at the B.T.H as a shunter, where he was working when called up. He had been in the “ E ” Co. (Rugby) Volunteers for 16 years. He was also a well-known local footballer, having played with the Penlee, Star, Old Boys and other clubs, by the members of which and his many friends he was much respected.

FOR WAR SERVICE.

The under-mentioned, have been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War by the Chairman of the Joint War Committee of the British Red Cross Society and Order of St John of Jerusalem in England for valuable services rendered in connection with the War :— Miss L Court, Kineton Hospital, Warwick ; Miss B Lewis, Clifton Court Hospital, Rugby ; and Miss A O Tiley, Kineton Hospital Warwick.

DUNCHURCH.
RETURN OF A PRISONER OF WAR.—R Burton. son of Mr & Mrs James Burton, Daventry Road, has arrived home from Germany, where he has been a prisoner of war. He went out to France with polo ponies, and was soon in the fighting and was taken prisoner. It is needless to say he received a hearty welcome, and all his old friends were glad to see him looking fairly well.

NEWBOLD-ON-AVON.
PARISH COUNCIL.—At a special meeting on Tuesday evening there were present : Messrs C E W Boughton-Leigh (chairman), J Martin, W Allen, and F Fellows (clerk):—The question of a parish war memorial was raised, and the members were unanimously of opinion that some steps in this direction should be taken as soon as possible.—The Chairman said personally he favoured the erection of a parish hall and reading room, similar to that at Clifton and other villages, provided that they could raise sufficient funds. This would fill a growing need in the parish, and if such a memorial was erected they could have the names of all who had offered their service to the country inscribed on the walls.—On the motion of Mr Martin, who said he agreed with the suggestion of the Chairman, the question was deferred until the next meeting.

CHURCH LAWFORD.
GUN WEEK.—Houses were gaily decorated with flags when the gun visited this village. The quota necessary for Church Lawford and Kings Newnham to obtain a large shell was £1,200, but this sum was exceeded by £250. This result was the more creditable because at the recent estate sale most of the farmers and some of the other residents bought their respective homes and farms.

LEAMINGTON HASTINGS.
DIED IN FRANCE.—A telegram was received by his mother at Broadwell, on Monday afternoon, conveying the sad information that Pte Mark Abbott, of the 7th Dragoon Guards, had died of double pneumonia while with the Forces in France. The deceased had completed his period of service in the Regular Army, having served a good portion of his time in India, from whence he came with the first Indian Forces to France. He was of a genial disposition and popular in the village.

LONG ITCHINGTON.

WALTER HART’S DEATH.—A letter has been received from the Commanding Officer of his Battalion, stating that Corpl Walter Hart was killed by a shell on the 6th ult, near Le Catelet. The writer adds that Corpl Hart had done good work for him since he came to his Company, and that he entertained the highest opinion of him.

SERGT F RUSSELL DECORATED.—Sergt F Russell (Duke of Wellington’s West Riding Regiment), who has been spending a few days at home, has received notification that he has been awarded the Military Medal for his gallant conduct on the 14th ult, when heading his men info action. Sergt Russell is fast recovering from his wound received on that occasion, and returned to Halifax on Monday. Besides his new decoration, he already holds the Queen Victoria and King Edward VII Medals for the South African War, and the Long Service Medal.

WOUNDED.—During the last hours of the war Rifleman E G T STEEL (N.Z Rifle Brigade), only son of Mr & Mrs Geo Steel, of this village, was wounded. His company had just taken their objective, and after witnessing the loss of several of his comrades, Rifleman Steele was hit with a bullet in the right arm. He is progressing well. Pte H Windsor (R.W.R) has also been wounded in the forearm.

RETURN OF A PRISONER OF WAR.—On Friday evening last week Pte Sidney Linnett (A.S.C), who has for over six months been a prisoner of war with the Germans, was welcomed home with great rejoicing. Pte Linnett, who is the adopted son of Mr and the late Mrs W Gaskins, of the Model Village, enlisted in September, 1914, at the age of 18, in the Royal Warwicks, and was eventually transferred to the A.S.C. He had seen much service all through the War, and on April 10th last was reported missing, and afterwards found to be a prisoner of war. He was located with others in the zone of danger behind the German lines, and not only worked under these conditions, but also experienced great cruelty from his captors. On the signing of the armistice he was set at liberty, and he and his comrades had to make their way back to the British lines with no food except turnips obtained from the fields. He arrived at Dover on the 19th, and reached Marton Station on the evening of the 22nd. Being unable to walk the two miles to his home, he was driven up. He states that many of his comrades lost their lives by being made to work within range of the British guns. Pte Linnett has grown much thinner during his captivity, and is still suffering from the shock of his experiences ; but the bare mention of the word “ home ” never fails to bring back his former sunny smile.

BRETFORD.
PTE BONEHAM DISCHARGED.—Pte Francis Wm Boneham, son of Mr T & Mrs Boneham, of Bretford, has now returned home. He joined the 3rd Warwicks in 1916, and saw much service in France. He has received a bad fracture of the right knee-cap, and is permanently disabled. He was also badly gassed, from the effects of which he is now suffering. Before joining up he was a respected employee of Messrs Bluemel’s Ltd.

WOLSTON.

Sapper H Smith. R.E.—News has reached Miss Dorothy Smith that her brother, Sapper Harry Smith, of the Royal Engineers, has died of influenza in Italy. He was one of the earliest Wolston recruits, joining up in August, 1914. Before the War he was in the employ of Mr A J Lord as a carpenter. He went through many battles in France, and was wounded on five different occasions, besides being once gassed. His father—the late Mr G Smith—was for many years employed as a signalman at Brandon and Wolston Station. Another brother, who has been in the Marines for 12 years, fought in the Battle of Jutland, and was on the destroyer, Champion Leader. He had also been previously wrecked.

MILITARY MEDAL.—The medal won by the late Joseph Edmans was presented to his father—Mr J Edmans, of Wolston—by Major-General Slater, of the Midland Command. The brave deed for which the medal was awarded was for picking up a live bomb and hurling it out of danger, and thus saving many lives. He, with one of his brothers, went through the Battle of Mons, and so the Mons Star is also due to the deceased hero. Mr Edmans is proud of the Army record of his family, six sons having fought for their country. Two have paid the extreme penalty, and several of the others have been badly wounded, including Sergt Percy Edmans, who received his discharge.

PRISONER’S RETURN.—Lance-Corpl Reader, who has been a prisoner of war in Germany, returned to his home at the beginning of the week. He met with a very hearty welcome from the inhabitants. Lance-Corpl Reader has not fared so badly as many of the prisoners. Thanks to the parcels he received from the Rugby Prisoners of War Fund, he had done fairly well, and is very thankful for them. Mr Reader, who is agent for Mr Udal, is well known and respected, and the inhabitants are delighted to think that he has safely returned to his wife and children.

KINETON
THE FUNERAL OF CORPL HORACE LEE THOMAS, who met with a fatal accident at the Kineton Hospital, took place at Tooting Cemetery on Monday, and was an impressive military ceremony, witnessed by a large concourse of people. The H. A.C provided a firing party, and the coffin was covered with the Union Jack. Over 30 beautiful floral tributes were sent, including several from Kineton. The relatives were deeply grateful for the kindness shown at Kineton.

PEACE.

PEACE, longed-for and fought-for, has at last arrived.

But the plenty of pre-war days will not return yet awhile. Rationing must remain in force for some time.

The International Stores ask their customers, therefore, to accept cheerfully for a little longer those restrictions which the War made necessary.

It will be their earnest endeavour, whatever conditions the future may bring, to maintain the reputation they have built up for High Quality, Low Prices, and Efficient Service.

They are confident that when normal times are restored, their old customers will continue their patronage.

International Stores

THE BIGGEST GROCERS IN THE WORLD

DEATHS.

BADGER.—In ever-loving memory of Bombardier A. BADGER, 235869, A Battery R.F.A., who passed away peacefully from pneumonia, at Fargo Hospital, Salisbury Plain, on November 23rd, aged 25.
“ A light is from our household gone,
The voice we loved is still ;
A place is vacant in our hearts
Which never can be filled.”
—Sadly missed by Mary, Sis, Jim, Fanny, Mr. & Mrs. Cockerill and Family.

BURDEN.—In loving memory of my dear brother, Pte. E. P. BURDEN, R.M.L.I., who died of influenza in hospital in France on November 23, 1918.

BROWNE.—On November 4th, killed in action in France, ROLAND WILSON, second and dearly beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. J. W. Browne, Railway Terrace, Rugby; aged 23 years.

FLETCHER.—On November 8th, at Boulogne, of pneumonia, Driver G. FLETCHER, R.F.A., aged 19 years and 10 months, the dearly beloved son of George and Lettie Fletcher, who passed peacefully away after great suffering, most patiently home.
“ The evening star shines on his grave :
The one we could not save ;
’Tis sad, but ’tis true, we cannot tell why,
The best are the first that are called on to die.”
—From Father, Mother, Sisters and Brothers.

GRIMSLEY.—Killed in action on November 1st, 1918, in France, JOHN EDWARD, the dearly beloved husband of Edith Ellen Grimsley, of Harborough Magna, near Rugby.
“ 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.”
—Too dearly loved to ever be forgotten by his loving Wife, Mother, Father, Sisters and brother Will.

SMITH.—On November 7th, in Italy, of pneumonia following influenza, Sapper HARRY SMITH, Royal Engineers, youngest son of the late George Smith, of Wolston, aged 25 years.—“ Until the day breaks and the shadows flee away.”

WILLIAMS.—On October 30th, killed in action in France, WILLIAM, the dearly beloved husband of Emily Williams, 14 Lawford Road, New Bilton.

WILSON.—In ever-loving memory of my dear husband, Pte. WILLIAM HENRY WILSON, killed in action in France on November 1, 1918.
“ The midnight stars are shining
On a grave I cannot see,
Amid where storms of battle raged
Lies one most dear to me.”
—From his loving Wife.

WILSON.—Killed in action in France on November 1st, 1918, Pte. WILLIAM HENRY WILSON, aged 24 years ; eldest and beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. Wilson, of Bilton.
“There is a link Death cannot sever,
Love and remembrance live for ever.”
—From his sorrowing Father and Mother, Sister and Brothers.

IN MEMORIAM.

COX.—In proud and loving memory of Rifleman E. J. COX (ERN), K.R.R., Bilton, who was killed at Cambrai on November 30, 1917.—Deeply mourned by his Mother, Father, Sisters, Brothers, and Nellie.

PEARCE.—In loving memory of WALTER, the dearly beloved son of H. & C. Pearce, of Dunchurch, who was killed on H.M.S. Bulwark on November 26, 1914.
“ There is a link death cannot sever,
Love and remembrance live for ever.”
—Never forgotten by his Mother, Father, Brothers and Sisters.

RICHARDSON.—In ever-loving memory of Sergt LEONARD RICHARDSON, of the K.R.R. Corps, who was killed in France on November 30th, 1917.
“ 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.”
—Never forgotten by his sorrowing Mother, Sisters, Brother, Grandmother and Nell, The Banks, Dunchurch.

WALL.—In loving memory of Corpl. LOUIS HAROLD WALL, M.M., King’s Royal Rifles, reported missing November 30, 1917.—From his loving Father and Mother, Eva and Jan.

 

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Russell, Frederick Arthur. Died 26th Nov 1918

Frederick Arthur RUSSELL was born in Rugby on 28 January 1889 and his birth was registered there with those names in Q1, 1889.  He was the eldest son of William Knibb Russell (b.c.1863 in Rugby) and Charlotte Hannah, née Leeson, Russell (b.c.1862 in Braunston).

The Russell name goes back to Scotland.  William Knibb Russell’s father, Matthew, came south from Darvel, Ayr.  In 1861, Matthew, now aged 27, was a grocer and living at 60 Warwick Street, Rugby with his wife, Elizabeth Jane, née Ensor, and his brother in-law Robert J. Ensor.  The Ensor family were from Newbold on Avon.

In 1891 the Russell family were living at 18 Stephen Street, Rugby.  Frederick was 2 years old and his father, William, was a ‘general labourer’.  His mother, Charlotte’s father, Frederick’s grandfather, was also living with them.

By 1901 they had moved to 25 Rowland Street and Frederick’s father was now a ‘plasterer’.  There was another son, Frederick’s brother, Ernest Henry who was four.  Elsie E Morris, a nine year old ‘niece’ from Long Buckby was in the house, and Charlotte’s father, now 84, was still with them.

In late 1909, Frederick married, as Arthur Frederick, in Rugby with Esther Mary Watkins, who was from Flecknoe – she was three years older than Frederick.  They married at the Baptist Chapel, on 4 December 1909, and by 1911, had moved to live at 11 Dale Street, Rugby.  Frederick was now a ‘postman’ and they had a three month old daughter, Esther Jessie Russell, who had been born on 1 January 1911.

By 1911, the rest of the family had moved to 29 Benn Street, Rugby, and Frederick’s father had become a ‘laundryman’ – indeed he was the owner of a laundry.  His wife was a ‘laundress’, and three of the four girls lodging with them were each described as a ‘laundress’.  Frederick’s brother, Ernest Henry, was a ‘grocer’s apprentice’.  The family would still be living in the same house after the war.

With War declared, and as a married man, Frederick would not have been expected to join up with the first volunteers.  He continued working as a postman until late 1915, and then probably into mid-1916 until he had to report to Plymouth for duty.

Frederick Arthur Russell’s army Service Record survives – it is somewhat complicated with many medical entries, as Frederick seems to have been wounded several times.

He was ‘attested’ at Rugby into the Royal Garrison Artillery on 9 December 1915 for the ‘Duration of the War’, whilst still a postman, aged 26 years and 11 months, 5ft 9ins tall, 168 lbs, of very good physical development and now living at 6 Benn Street, Rugby, nearer the rest of his family.  He was of ‘C of E’ religion.  Whilst ‘attested’ he was not required for a while, but he ‘rejoined the colours’ on 28 August 1916, from which date his service was reckoned and he was posted to ‘3 Depot’ as a ‘Gunner’ No: 116560 and then ‘Approved’ on 30 August 1916 at Plymouth.

His gave his wife’s name, Esther Mary née Watkins, as his next of kin – she was at home at 6 Benn Street, Rugby.  The Baptist Minister signed the various documents for the family.

His service dates and service periods were summarised as follows:

Yrs : Days
Home         9.12.15 to 23.1.17             1 :  46
BEF           24.1.17 to 19.4.17                   86
Home         20.4.17 to 21.6.17                   63
BEF           22.6.17 to 30.8.18              1 : 70
Home         31.8.18 to 26.11.18                 88

Total                             2 : 353

When he arrived at the Citadel, Plymouth, on ‘29.8.16’, he was revaccinated, he then had a TAB inoculation on ‘11.9.16’, and he left the Citadel and was posted again on 18 September.  He passed his ‘Signalling 2nd Class’ on 13 December 1916.  He was posted to ‘2 Depot’ on 17 January 1917 and a week later on 24 January 1917, he was posted to the B.E.F. in France, and was then posted to 146 Heavy Battery from Base on 10 February 1917.

Just over two months after his arrival in France, he was wounded on 11 April 1917, ‘WO Cas List – Wd 11-4-17 [Action] N of Kin … WO Cas List – GSW Lt. Thigh Sev.’ [Gunshot wound left thigh, severe] and he was ‘Adm ? Cas/n? Gen Ho Etaples 13-4-17’ [Admission to Canadian General Hospital, Etaples].

He was ‘invalided to England’ on 17 April 1917, and again posted to ‘2 Depot’ – presumably as an administrative device – and then ‘Wd adm to Eastern Gen Hos Cambs’ [Wounded admission to Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge].  It seems that he recovered fairly quickly as he was posted to the ‘Res Bde’ and ‘4 Res Bgd’, both on 14 May and then promoted Bombardier on 28 May 1917 – however, this seems to have been an error and was corrected to Lance Bombardier on 30 May 1917!  He was sent back to ‘Base’ in France on 22 June 1917 to the ‘4 Res Bty’, and then from ‘Base’ to ‘135 Heavy [Battery] … in the field’ on 30 June 1917.

He became due for leave in UK (via Boulogne) from 1 to 15 March 1918, but a few months after his return to France, he became a casualty again apparently on 10 August 1918 – it seems due to an accident – possibly when dealing with a heavy artillery piece, ‘WO Cas List – NYD – Fract Tibia & Fibular R, Severe adm 1. (Presby USA), Gen H Etretat 22/8/18’ [Fractured Tibia and Fibula right, severe, admitted to No 1 (Presbreterian USA), General Hospital Etretat,[1]  22 August 1918].

There were various administrative notes, but after a few days at Etretat, on 30/31 August 1918, Frederick was evacuated back to UK for treatment on the ‘Ambulance Ship St Patrick’ – and posted away from the battery – ‘WO Cas List – Sick Adm – Lord Derby W Hos Warrington 31-8-18 to 9.11.18 simple fracture – accidental’ [This was for treatment at the Lord Derby War Hospital, Warrington] – it seems the break was the a result of an accident – accidents still happened in war!

He was then posted back to the Depot at Catterick Camp, presumably to recuperate and then to await re-posting, but on about 20 November 1918, whilst at this posting at the ‘RA & Tank Corps, Catterick’, he was admitted to Catterick Military Hospital.

His Medical Case Sheet gives typed up notes on his condition, which give an indication of the severity of the ‘Spanish Flu’, which before the advent of antibiotics, killed many more people, both civilian and military, all around the world, than did the battles of WWI.

‘21 Nov – Admitted, complained of general pains, headache and malaise two days ago.  Cough.  On admission Temp. 102.  Sod. Sal. Gr.x 4 hourly.  Pulse 100.

22 Nov – Headache.  No marked change.

23 Nov – Condition worse.  Temp.102.

24 Nov – Temp. risen. Resp. more rapid.  Abdominal pain and distension.  Inhalation of Benzine.  Cough severe.

25 Nov – Temp. 103.4. Pulse 80.  Condition serious.

26 Nov – Very cyancsel.[2]  Pulse strong until the last.  Resps. Laboured.  Stimulants given.

Died from Broncho Pneumonia.  The result of Influenza contracted during ordinary Military Service.

No P.M.  Nothing of special Medical Interest to investigate.’

Another handwritten note states that ‘The above person died whilst serving’.  He died just six days after being admitted from ‘Influenza and Bronchitis’ at 7.00pm on 26 November 1911.   

An entry also states ‘Hippowell Camp, Catterick – Docs reporting death 26-11-18 – Influenza & Bronchial Pneumonia.  Office – Note of Sympathy to next of kin.’

His body was returned to his family and he was buried in a family plot No: B.298 in the Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby.  This is a family plot without a CWGC Headstone.  He is interred with ‘Bdr F.A. Russell, RGA’ on one headstone and with his parents alongside, together with William Watkins, his father-in-law, who died on 8 November 1924.

It was said by his family that Frederick died as a result of being gassed at the front, but that is not discernible from available records.  Whether or not this was the case, he should have been entitled to a CWGC gravestone.[3]  He is in any case recorded as a war death by the CWGC – perhaps the family had the option of a gravestone and declined.

Frederick Arthur Russell was awarded the British War and Victory Medals, and his widow acknowledged their receipt on 1 November 1921

He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates; on a headstone around the family plot at the Clifton Road Rugby Cemetery, Rugby (right);[4] and at the Baptist Church, where he is remembered as F Arthur Russell – the Memorial Tablet is above the Minister’s vestry in the Church, and inscribed
This tablet and the organ in the Church are erected to the memory of those members of this Church who laid down their lives in the Great War 1914 – 1918, whose names are given herewith also as an act of thanksgiving for the safe return of the many others from this Church who served in the war.’
‘On waters deep in the treacherous mud.
On rock bound heights and burning sand.
They poured the offering of their blood.
They kept the honour of the land.’

Frederick’s ‘Will Form’ dated 19 January 1917, gave his wife’s name and their address.  Final ‘disposal’ was dealt with by the army on 3 February 1921.

It seems his effects were sent to ‘Mrs A Watkins, 6 Benn Street’ – the army initially used his widow’s maiden name in error.  The effects were listed as,
‘Watch, ring, wrist strap, cigarette case & lighter, scissors, purse, pipe, cigarettes, razor (in case), belt, pocket wallet, letters, photos, 3 treasure bags, parcel (unopened), writing pad, field message, wool helmet, mirror, disc.’

On receipt of these, his widow wrote to the War Office,
‘Dear Sir, I am writing to ask why the money order for £1-8-1 ½ d, 1 Franc piece, 1 5 Frank note was not forwarded to me with the other effects of my late husband.  I know they were sent to the Records in D???? from Military Hospital Catterick Camp, Yorks, Dec 5th 1918.  I have a list of all the effects so shall be very much obliged if you will kindly see to this for me, hoping I shall hear soon, Yours truly, E M Russell.’

His widow, Esther Mary Russell, was authorised to receive a pension.  She later re-married with James Albert Tame on 18 September 1923 at the Baptist Church, Rugby.   Esther was then 38, a widow, and had moved to 37 Benn Street, Rugby.

James was 50, a widower and estimating engineer (of 40 York Street, Rugby).  He was born 4 April 1873, son of James Ottoway Tame and Rosetta, née James, Tame.  He had married Kate Cook on 31 July 1897 and they were both living in Kingston on Thames in 1901, but had moved to ‘Strathmore’, Temple Street, Rugby before 1911.

Frederick and Esther’s daughter, Jessie Ester Russell, never married, but served in the WRNS during WW2.

Frederick’s younger brother, Ernest Henry Russell, who was born in 1896, also served in WW1.  He was probably a grocer’s assistant with the Co-Op at the time of his enlistment and later had his own shop, E. H. Russell, the Family Grocer, at 10 Henry Street, Rugby, opposite the Rugby Theatre.  He was a Private, No:266698, and was a signaller (or involved with communications) with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.  He was gassed, but survived, and sent to Somerset for treatment and recuperation.  There he met Dorothy May Hollyman from Clevedon and they were married in 1923.  Their grandson remembers him telling of repairing broken field telephone lines with paperclips.  Ernest died aged 77 in 1974.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Frederick Arthur RUSSELL was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson.  Further information was provided by Martin Taylor,  Frederick Taylor would have been his Great Uncle had he survived the War.  The article is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, October 2018.

 

[1]      It was at this hospital that Arthur GREATREX, from Rugby, was treated, prior to his death on 10 November 1918 – see ‘Rugby Remembers’ for 10 November 1918.

[2]      Implies a blue colour, particularly of the lips, a symptom when insufficient oxygen was reaching the body.

[3]      Qualifications for inclusion.  The Commission only commemorates those who have died during the designated war years, while in Commonwealth military service or of causes attributable to service.  Death in service included not only those killed in combat but other causes such as those that died in training accidents, air raids and due to disease such as the 1918 flu pandemic.  The applicable periods of consideration are 4 August 1914 to 31 August 1921 for the First World War … The end date for the First World War period is the official end of the war, … Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commonwealth_War_Graves_Commission#Qualifications_for_inclusion.

[4]      Photograph provided by Frederick’s great-nephew, Martin Taylor.

23rd Nov 1918. Return of Repatriated Prisoners.

RETURN OF REPATRIATED PRISONERS.

Several Warwickshire and Northamptonshire prisoners of war, who have been repatriated under the terms of the Armistice, have returned to their homes during the past week.

We understand that one of the men was captured near La Bassee on August 9th. With a number of comrades he was taken to a camp six miles behind the lines, when they remained for several days, subsisting on a daily diet of a quarter of a loaf, a small portion of black sausage, and water. After refusing to give any information to the German Intelligence Officer, they were removed to Fort Macdonald at Lille, where they were kept in close confinement for six weeks, their sole exercise being a daily visit to the canteen to draw their nauseating rations. No tobacco was provided, and there were no facilities for washing—in fact, our informant was only allowed to wash once during the three months of his captivity. The Germans behaved with the uttermost brutality to the unfortunate men, and orders were in many cases quickly followed by blows with the butt-end of a rifle. Several of the prisoners died as a result of the scanty food and revolting conditions under which they were kept. When the German retirement began, the prisoners, numbering about 400, were ordered to “ man-handle ” the horse transport from Lillie to Tournai, and on arrival at this place they were placed in a camp near the Railway Station, which at that time was receiving constant attention from the Allied airmen. Unfortunately, a number of the prisoners were killed in some of the raids. At Tournai the midday meal consisted of boiled red cabbage, and the men considered themselves lucky if they were allowed a small portion of bread for tea. This diet, however, was little inferior to that served out to the German troops. The next move was to St Reneld, fifteen miles from Brussels, and while they were at that place they were thrilled with the news of the signing of the armistice. Apparently the news was motived as enthusiastically by the Germans as by their unfortunate victims, for the enemy troops immediately gave themselves over to orgies of drinking and pillaging, many of them also selling machine guns and other military equipment to the Belgium civilians. The day after the armistice was signed, the prisoners were ordered to pull the transports Brussels, but on the way they met a party of released British prisoners, whereupon they pulled the transports into a field and returned to the camp, where they were released and sent on their journey back to the British lines without any ration. On the way they subsisted on field turnips and food given to them by the Belgian civilians, and after walking for fifteen miles they fell in with a detachment of the British Army, by whom they were enthusiastically received. “ They only gave us ordinary army fare,” our informant added, “ but after the unappetising food we had been served so long, it seems quite a banquet.”

As an illustration of the callous nature of the Germans, it is sufficient to add that shortly before he was captured our informant was wounded by shrapnel in the leg and face ; these wounds were unattended by his captor—were simply left to heal naturally.

Two of the men, Gunner Harry Maule, R.G.A (captured during the Battle of Cambrai in November, 1917), Pte Francis Bailey, R.W.R, hail from Long Lawford.

During the next few weeks the remaining prisoners of war will probably be repatriated, and we shall be pleased if relatives and friends of any local prisoners will inform us of their return, together with any further particulars which may be of interest to our readers.

RUGBY PRISONERS OF WAR FUND.

A special meeting of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee was held at the Benn Buildings on Monday last, Mr William Flint, C.C, presiding. There were also present : Mrs Wilson, Mrs Anderson, Mr A E Donkin, J.P, Mr F R Davenport. C.C, Mr R P Mason, Mr G W Walton, Mr C J Newman, Mr A W Shirley, and Mr J Reginald Barker (hon organising secretary).

Mr Barker said that the immediate repatriation of our prisoners of war being made one of the terms of the armistice, the committee would welcome the news that it no longer necessary to send individual parcels of food to our prisoners in Germany. It would, of course, be several weeks before all the men returned to England, and in the meantime the Central Prisoners of War Committee were despatching food in bulk for distribution, as opportunity occurred, through the British Red Cross Society Depot at Rotterdam. The work the Rugby Committee had undertaken during the past 3½ years had thus reached the end, and there was now no need to appeal for further subscriptions and donations, because the money they had in hand would provide for any outstanding liabilities with Regimental Care Committees and leave a substantial balance. The armistice news had resulted in an almost complete falling-off in financial support. During the first week of the current month over £100 was received, but the last nine days had produced only £11. The committee had provided all parcels necessary up to the end of November, and there was a deficit of £350 on the month, but it was fortunate they had sufficient funds in hand to meet this. Mr Barker gave the committee some interesting figures. He said they had raised nearly £7,000, not including a sum of more than £1,000 remitted direct to Care Committees by adopters of individual prisoners of war, which helped to relieve the strain on the local fund. Nearly £4,000 of this amount had been raised in the past twelve months, so that with the growth in the number of prisoners there had been an equal growth in the revenue. Twelve months ago there were 61 men on the Rugby list, costing £125 per month, and they concluded their efforts, with a list of 149 men, costing over £500 per month.

On the proposition of Mr Newman, seconded by Mr Walton, it was resolved that the committee postpone their final meeting for a few days to enable the Hon Secretary to have the accounts completed and present the balance-sheet to a public meeting of subscribers to the fund.

The Chairman said he could not let the committee depart without thanking them for the good work they had done and also to voice the thanks of the committee to the people of Rugby and district for the very loyal support they had given over a long period. He also paid a special tribute to the Hon Secretary for the very efficient manner in which he had organised and managed the whole of the affairs of the committee (applause).—Mr Donkin said he envied Mr Barker the success he had attained in his efforts on behalf of our prisoners in Germany. He felt Mr Barker would always be proud of his work and rewarded by the knowledge that the prisoners were grateful to him for all he had done.

Mr Walton proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman for the courteous and generous manner in which he had conducted the meetings, remarking that he was always in his place, even on occasions when he was far from well.—Mr Donkin seconded, and the resolution was enthusiastically carried.

Mr Barker thanked the committee for their kind expressions. He had had their whole-hearted support all through, and had received much encouragement from the Chairman. He valued the many letters he had received from the men in their prison camps and the knowledge that the parcels were of such vital importance to the prisoners had determined him to continue to the end the work he had undertaken. Now that the end had come no one was more thankful in the knowledge that the men were now being released from their sufferings, and that the food sent had helped largely to relieve their distress.

LOCAL ENGINEERS AND THE CRUEL TREATMENT OF BRITISH PRISONERS.

The following communication baa been sent to the Prime Minister :—
“ SIR,—I have the honour to confirm a telegram sent you this evening, and which correctly represents the feeling amongst the engineering community employed at the different works at Rugby, reading as follows :—
“ The whole of the engineering community employed on munitions of war at Rugby is much concerned to learn the harrowing details of the manner British prisoners are endeavouring to reach our lines, and demand that some adequate and drastic measures be taken immediately to feed, clothe, and transport these men, irrespective of any difficulties or restrictions imposed by the armistice or the German authorities.
“ I have the honour to be, yours obediently,
“ (Signed) J P GREGORY.
“ c/o The British Thomson-Houston Co, Rugby.
“ November 20, 1918.”

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Lieut J H Clark, R.A.F, who before joining the Army was employed on the outside construction staff at the B.T.H, died on November 4th as the result of an aeroplane accident.

Mr J M Skinner, of 83 Abbey Street, received a message of sympathy from the King and Queen on November 6th on the loss of his son, Pte R J Skinner, of the West Yorkshire Regiment, who was officially reported to have been killed in action. However, Mr Skinner last week received a letter from his son, in which he says he is in good health and anxious to have a “ peep,” into Germany.

Trooper Frederick Farndon. of the Prince of Wales Inn, Rugby, has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for distinguished and gallant services rendered on the occasion of destruction or damage by enemy action to transports.

Mr C E and Mr Clements, 33 Winfield Street, have lost their son, Gunner E E Clements, R.F.A, from pneumonia, under sad circumstances, after seeing a lot of service in France. He worked as a fitter in the L & N-W Railway Sheds, and when war broke out he answered the first call, and joined Kitchener’s Army in August, 1914. He served three years in France, and was twice badly wounded. During the big German offensive in May this year he was gassed. On recovering he returned to his regiment, when he was called out of the ranks and told that he would have his discharge in two days’ time after good service. On the following day he was struck down with influenza, which developed into pneumonia, to which he succumbed on the 14th inst. The funeral took place at Rugby Cemetery on Saturday last. He was borne to the grave by six of his former workmates, and a large number of flowers testified to the esteem in which he was held.

THE INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC.

The influenza epidemic still shows signs of abating, although the death-rate continues alarmingly high. During the last week 16 deaths from this cause were registered locally, making a total of over 120 since October 14th. There is still a considerable amount of illness in the town and district, but fortunately in the majority of cases it is not of so virulent a nature as that experienced at the beginning of the epidemic.

DUNCHURCH

A SAD RECORD.- During the past week three military funerals have taken place – a record that has never been experienced previously in the parish. The deceased soldiers were: Pte L Howkins (6th Devons), Pte G Hughes (Oxford and Bucks L.I.), and Pte W Evans (Royal Warwicks), all of whom died from pneumonia. There have been four other deaths and a great deal of illness in the parish.

MR T BRAIN, postman, Mill Street, Dunchurch, has received official news that his son, Pte G Brain, R. W. R, was killed in action on November lst. Pte Brain, who had only been in the Army eight months, played three quarter back for the Dunchurch Football Club, and was also a member of the Dunchurch Brass Band and a ringer at the Parish Church.

BILTON PARISH COUNCIL.

THE NEW BILTON MORTUARY.

Several matters of more than usual importance from a parochial point of view were considered at a meeting of the Bilton Parish Council, held at New Bilton on Monday, when there were preset : Messrs J H Veasey, vice-chairman (who presided), F M Burton, J J Cripps, A J Askew, J H Lambert, R Lovegrove, A T Watson, F J Smith, F W Hunt, and F Fellows (clerk).

THE INFLUENZA MORTALITY.

The New Bilton Ward Committee reported that, whereas the yearly average of interments in the cemetery was only 40, no less than 20 funerals had taken place during the past month. . . . .

THE WAR MEMORIAL.

A letter was read from Capt M E T Wratislaw (chairman of the Council), in which, after apologising for his absence owing to military duties, he said : “ As regards the War Memorial, I have not been able to give the matter any lengthy consideration, as, of course, the armistice has only just been signed, and peace is not yet declared, so that I think a public meeting is a little premature. I hope New Bilton will not be forgotten. Any form of memorial should be, if possible, in both wards. The first thing would be to perpetuate the names of all fallen by a tablet in both wards. If a museum or reading room is built I have a nucleus in the Potter Bar Zeppelin frame and some shell noses for the former. I do not like the institution of a club for discharged men only. We still have the invested balance of King George’s Coronation Fund, and a drinking fountain might be erected in both wards, with the addition of the roll of all fallen men and a tablet of the Coronation. Again, the provision of open spaces in both wards would have my strongest support.”—Mr Lovegrove suggested that the Council build public baths or a free library. They had the power to do this by adopting certain Acts.—The Chairman, however, expressed the opinion that any memorial should be provided by voluntary subscriptions. Moreover, if they adopted Mr Lovegrove’s suggestion, it would mean higher rates in future for maintenance, and many of the smaller property owners in the parish were already hard put to it to raise the present rates.—After discussion, the further consideration of the question was referred to the respective Ward Committees, who will report to a subsequent meeting of the Council.

LONG ITCHINGTON.

DANCE—After the cessation of hostilities a dance was got up at the Schools to celebrate the happy event, and also to assist the Soldiers’ Christmas Parcels Fund. It proved very successful, and by its means £3 8s 6d has been netted for the fund. The Excelsior Band (leader, Mr W Priest) volunteered their services, and the refreshments were kindly provided by Mrs Henry Powell. The arrangements were made by Mrs G Wright, Misses O Powell, M Whitehead, A Whitehead, C Spraggett, M Spraggett, and N Lane, assisted by Mr H T Wright (late of R.W.R) and Pte Alex Askew (N.Z Medical Corps).

THE ROLL OF HONOUR.—The Long Itchington roll of honour contains 230 names. Of these 29 have given their lives for their country, five are missing, four are prisoners of war, eight have been decorated, one has been mentioned in despatches, 16 have been honourably discharged, and upwards of 50 are known to have been wounded.

FEEDING THE GUN.—In connection with the campaign to raise the money of War Bonds in this district, the gun arrived here at 10 o’clock on Tuesday morning, and remained until 1 p.m. The children welcomed it with cheers and waving flags, and a goodly number of people assembled round it when it was unlimbered on the village green. The demonstrations given by the genial corporal gunner in charge were much appreciated, and the shrapnel scars on the carriage were examined with a pathetic interest.

A VETERAN NATIVE.—The arrival here last week of Gunner Wm Salt, R.F.A, from Mesopotamia on a visit created no small interest, and he received a hearty welcome not only from his own family, but from many old friends. He enlisted 17 years ago, and it is now some 13 years since he last came home. He was located in India when the War broke out, and eventually proceeded to Mesopotamia, where he has for some time past been attached to General Maude’s staff.

BRANDON.

MILITARY CROSS FOR CAPT D C M BEECH.—News has reached Brandon that Capt D C M Beech has been awarded the Military Cross Captain Beech is the Second son of Colonel R J and Mrs Beech of Brandon Hall. He received his military training at Sandhurst, and before the war broke out was connected with the 20th Hussars. He was early in the fighting, and at the very beginning saw much service in France. He was afterwards sent to Egypt. Here he acted as Brigadier-Major (temporary), and did fine service. Capt Beech lost his elder brother at Ypres, and is now the sole surviving son of Colonel Beech. The news caused much pleasure amongst the residents at Brandon. His father, Colonel Beech, has also been much service in France, but recently has been very ill. The hard work in France told upon his constitution, but we are pleased to say that, although still confined to the house, his health is improving.

SCHOOL CLOSURE.—Brandon School has been closed by the Medical Officer of Health. Fifty per cent of the scholars were absent, through illness, on the last day of opening. The whole of several families are in bed through influenza.

SOUTHAM

FUNERALS.—The funeral took place in Southam churchyard on Monday . . . of a German prisoner, who died after a short illness at one of the local prison camps, in which many of the men have suffered from the prevailing epidemic. The coffin. covered with the German flag, was borne to the grave by deceased’s fellow prisoners, many others following. The English guard of four formed the firing party. Lieut Crawford was the officer in charge. The service was conducted by the local Roman Catholic priest.

RUGBY PETTY SESSIONS.
TUESDAY.—Before Dr Clement Dukes (in the chair), and Messrs A E Donkin and T A Wise.

SEQUEL TO NEW BILTON TRAGEDY.—On behalf of the Rugby Board of Guardians, Mr H Lupton Reddish applied for an order to be made committing a boy named Jack Ernest Hill, aged 13, to an Industrial School. He said the boy was an illegitimate child, and his mother committed suicide on November 4th while distracted with grief at the death of her husband, which took place the same evening from pneumonia. On November 6th the boy was taken to the Workhouse, and on the 10th inst he ran away. He was fetched back the same day, and subsequently was taken before the Guardians, when he promised Canon Mitchison to behave better in future. An hour later he ran away again, and was brought back at nine o’clock by his aunt. He was then seen by Mr Robotham (the vice-chairman of the Board), and after giving a further promise of amendment, he was cautioned that a repetition of the offence might result in him having to appear before the Justices. Early in the afternoon he ran away again, and was brought back by his aunt. Three years ago the boy was brought before the Bench on a charge of stealing apples.—In reply to the Chairman, Mr Reddish said the boy was not a suitable subject for a lunatic asylum, and there was as yet no means of dealing with him under the Mental Deficiency Act.—Continuing, Mr Reddish said in August last the boy had a sunstroke, and he suffered from partial paralysis of the left side. He was backward in his education, and it was thought that if he was sent to an Industrial School he would be under supervision and discipline, and would also be taught a trade. It was impossible for the officials of the Workhouse to keep a watch on him, and the Guardians could only punish him to a certain extent by locking him up—a procedure which was not advisable in a case of this kind.—The boy was sent to an Industrial School for three years. . . . .

DEATHS.

CHEESE.—On November 7th, in France, of pneumonia, following influenza, the Rev. WILLIAM GERARD CHEESE, M.A., Chaplain to the Forces, Vicar of Duddington, Northants., aged 35, youngest son of the late Rev. J. A. Cheese, Vicar of New Bilton, Rugby.

CLEMENTS.—On the 12th inst., at Horton War Hospital, Epsom, EUSTACE EDWIN, the dearly beloved eldest son of C. E. & M. F. Clements, Gunner, R.F.A., of “ flu ” and pneumonia ; aged 25 years.—Deeply mourned.

COLING.—In ever loving memory of Corpl. ARTHUR TOMPKINS, who was killed in action “ somewhere in France,” November 8th, aged 21 years.
“ We pictured his safe returning.
We longed to clasp his hand ;
But God has postponed our meeting
Till we meet in the Better land.”
—Deeply mourned by his sorrowing Parents, Brother, Sister, and Dorothy.

DAVENPORT.—At Queen Alexandra Military Hospital, Millbank, London, Pte. C. W. DAVENPORT, Coldstream Guards, the dear and only son of Charles and Maria Davenport, of Harborough Magna, died November 14, 1918 ; aged 24 years.—“ His end was peace.”
“ A light is from our household gone,
A voice we loved is still.”

HUGHES.—In loving memory of Pte. JAMES AMOS HUGHES, who passed away on November 11th at the Military Hospital, Dover, after a short illness, aged 22 years.
“ Father, in Thy gracious keeping,
Leave Thee now Thy servant sleeping.”
—From his sorrowing Father, Mother, Sisters and Brother, also Brother in France.

WEBSTER.—Killed in action in France on September 28th, ARTHUR, the dearly beloved grandson of Thomas Webster, of 71 Abbey Street, Rugby, aged 19 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.”
—Too dearly loved to be forgotten by His loving Grandad, Aunt & Uncle, & cousins Eveline & Frances.

WILDMAN.—On November 2nd, in hospital in France, died from wounds received in action, JOSEPH WALTER WILDMAN.

16th Nov 1918. The Signing of the Armistice

THE SIGNING OF THE ARMISTICE.

In the early hours of Monday morning—at five o’clock, to be precise—the plenipotentiaries sent by the German Government to Martin Foch to negotiate an armistice signified their acceptance of the terms which that great General had given to them to think over ; and, in accordance with the initial clause of those terms, the cruellest and most terrible war that has ever scourged mankind virtually came to an end six hours later, viz, at 11 o’clock on the 11th day of the 11th month of the year. The people of the British Empire had been waiting with feverish anxiety over the week-end the decision of the German Government, and when it was made known that the sword had given away to the pen, and that the armistice was an accomplished fact, the pent-up feelings of suspense and uncertainty changed to expressions of intense joy and gratification. As far as the British Nation was concerned, this joyfulness was not manifested because our bitterest enemy lay at our feet, and that it was in our power to take revenge for the wrongs it had inflicted on humanity ; but because there was an end to the further slaughter and suffering of our sailors and soldiers, and because the agony of the past four years had at last borne fruit and brought into view that prospect of peace and a warless future, for which the whole civilised world was yearning and was earnestly appealing to a Higher Power.

LOCAL CELEBRATIONS.

The news that the Germans had signed the armistice was received with great jubilation in Rugby and district on Monday morning. Shortly after ten o’clock telephone messages, conveying the glad tidings were received at the Advertiser Office and in the town, but it was fully an hour before official confirmation was forthcoming. Many people at once left work before the pre-arranged intimation was conveyed by four blasts on the B.T.H blower. The signal was sounded just about noon, and was taken up by engine men on the railway who used their whistles vigorously. The employees poured out of the various works and joined those who had already left the smaller workshops and business establishments in the town. The streets were quickly filled with people joyously exchanging congratulations, and manifesting their feelings of relief and gratification in a variety of ways ; while frequently could be heard the emotional exclamation from delighted wives and mothers : “ Thank God, I shall soon have my boy home again.

Groups of soldiers on leave, wounded soldiers, young men who were just approaching the military age, and munition workers, carrying miniature flags or national colours, paraded the streets singing patriotic songs and making any noise that they thought would indicate the extent of their jubilation. Flags were run out at almost every window, and all the streets in the town were be-flagged in an incredibly short space of time.

Motor-cars, decked with flags driving hither and thither, added to the excitement gaiety of the scenes. The drapery establishments and other shops dealing in flags and bunting were eagerly besieged by purchasers, and limited stocks on hand were quickly disposed of. Joyous peals were also rung on the bells in both towers of the Parish Church and St Marie’s and neighbouring village churches. Most of the shops in the town closed for the remainder of the day.

In expectation of a favourable outcome of the armistice negotiations, a special meeting of the Urban District Council was held on Sunday afternoon to consider what form the celebrations should take, and it was decided to hold a united thanksgiving service in the Recreation Ground.

UNITED SERVICE IN RECREATION GROUND.

The principal feature of the celebration on Monday was of course, the united thanksgiving service in the Recreation Ground at 3 o’clcock in the afternoon, which was attended by several thousand persons. The service was held at the band stand, and amongst those present on the stand were : Rev C M Blagden (rector), Rev Canon Mitchison, Revs G H Roper, C Davis, T H Perry, S R Hart, A W Bunnett and Arnold Penman (Wesleyan), J H Lees (Baptist), W Vaughan (Primitive Methodist), A S Le Mare and Adjutant B Carter (Salvation Army). The Rev D J Griffiths (Congregational) was away from the town, fulfilling a preaching engagement. Members of the Urban District Council present were : Messrs J J McKinnell (chairman), W Flint (vice-chairman), Lieut C J Newman, Messrs T A Wise, W H Linnell, F E HANDS, T Ringrose, H Yates, W A Stevenson, and A Morson, M.B.E (clerk).

Just before the time fixed for the service a squadron of aeroplanes, at a low altitude, came into view through the misty atmosphere of a typical November afternoon, and as they passed over the Recreation Ground the vast crowd gave vent to their appreciation of what the R.A.F had done towards securing the victory by enthusiastic cheering and the waving of countless flags and bunting.

The service commenced with the singing of the Old Hundredth, “ All People that on Earth do Dwell,” after which a lesson taken from the 2nd chapter of Joel and the 126th Psalm was read by the Rev J H Lees, and prayers of thanks to God for the great mercies He had shown to us during the past few day were recited by the Rector.

After the hymn, “ O God our help in ages past ” had been sung,

Mr J J McKinnell, J.P, C.C, addressed the gathering, and said : “ Fellow citizens, men and women of this our dear old town of Rugby, this our day (applause). The day has come, and we are filled with a very deep sense of thankfulness to Almighty God. That is the feeling that is uppermost in our hearts this day. The British nation has again fought against tyranny and oppression, not for the first or the second time in the history of the world, and has won the day (applause). Twice at least in the history of Europe did this country maintain the flag of liberty when other countries were in a very bad way. Take your minds back to the glorious times of Queen Elizabeth. Think what world have happened if the English Fleet had not brought about the destruction of the Spanish Armada. The tyranny of Spain would have engulfed the whole of Europe. Then, again, what nation was it that stuck up to Napoleon ? What nation was it that did not know when she was beaten, as Napoleon admitted ? It was the British Nation. And, again—I do not want to be vain—glorious—what nation is it to-day which has brought about this great victory ? Where would poor France have been if Great Britain had not gone to help her ? We were not immediately menaced ourselves. We simply went into the War because it was the only decent and right thing to do. Thank God we did go in, and now we have gone through with it, and we are all very, very happy. Now there is just one thing in our hearts to-day, and that is our feeling of sympathy with those among us who have lost their dearest and their best. Many, many homes in this good old town have been very hard hit, and I am quite sure that in everybody’s mind to-day is a strong feeling of sympathy for them and the hope that God will, in His great goodness, help them. This is no time for speech-making, but I want to thank you, my fellow citizens, for helping us through these four years. I think Rugby has been absolutely splendid ; from start to finish we have been steady and good, and when the recruiting was on we were the best in England at one time. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The National Anthem was then sung, and the gathering dispersed after three rousing cheers had been given for King George.

The singing was led by the Salvation Army Band, under the direction of Bandmaster Burton ; and the service, which was marked by earnestness and reverence was deeply impressive.

After the service the B.T.H Band, followed by a large crowd, marched through the centre of the town playing patriotic and popular airs.

THANKSGIVING SERVICE AT THE PARISH CHURCH.

In conformity with the expressed wish of the Archbishop of Canterbury, a service of thanksgiving was held in the Parish Church in the evening. The members and officials of the Urban District Council attended, and the church was filled to its utmost capacity. The service commenced with the hymn, “ God of Mercy, God of Grace,” and this was followed by a confession of sin ; Psalm 121, “ I will lift up mine eyes into the hills,” and the lesson, Isaiah xl 1-11, “ For ye, My people.” Special prayers of thanksgiving for the signing of the armistice, the victory of the Allies, and the endurance and courage of our country were said, and after the hymn, “ Jesus shall reign,” the Rector (Rev C M Blagden) gave an address. He pointed out that the uppermost thought in their minds that day was that bought out by the special service in the Recreation Ground. They saw that, though God had used them as His agents, and they were proud to have been able to serve Him, yet the results which they had achieved all came from Him. It was not their word which had helped them, but God Who had saved them from destruction. So their thanksgiving ought to be sober and solemn. A great task lay before the Empire—a task greater than many which they had yet undertaken. This would consist of solving the problems both at home and abroad which would arise when peace was finally restored ; for then they would need all the unity, forbearance, and brotherly love which they had been displaying during the past four years. There must be no exultation over the fallen enemy. Stern and just they must be, but revengeful never. On a day like that one must not forget those who had given their own lives and those who had lost the lives of their dear ones in the service of their country. These lives had been given that others might live, and the good seed which they had sown must yield an abundant harvest.

The congregation then stood up, and together made certain acts of thanksgiving ; and after reciting the Lord’s prayer, sang the hymn, “ Lights abode, celestial Salem.” The service concluded with the Blessing and National Anthem.

The Baptists held a thanksgiving service on Monday evening, conducted by the Pastor (the Rev J H Lees). Thanksgiving prayers were offered by deacons and members of the congregation, and the choir sang the hymn, “ Lest we forget.”

THE SCENES AT NIGHT.

As the day advanced the spirits of the people became more exuberant, and it is some years since the streets of Rugby presented such an animated appearance as they did on Monday night. The Market Place and the streets in the centre of the town were thronged with happy merry-makers of both sexes and all classes, and until a late hour the joyful sounds were continued, and occasionally fireworks were discharged.

A patriotic concert was given by the Salvation Army Band in the Market Place, and this was listened to with appreciation by a large crowd.

The official intimation of the modification of the lighting restrictions was not received early enough to allow many householders to arrange for illuminated decorations. In several instances, however, such decorations were essayed, and the front garden of Mr W H Linnell’s house in Clifton Road was prettily arranged with fairy lamps, and the passers-by were asked to contribute towards Lord Roberta’s Memorial Workshops for Disabled Soldiers.

The satisfactory sum of £8 8s 7d was realised, and the little collectors (Joan, Hugh, and Lawrence Peddell) wish to thank those who contributed.

CELEBRATION ON TUESDAY.
GRAND PROCESSION AND SALUTING THE FLAG.

At a special meeting of Urban District Council on Monday afternoon it was decided to continue the celebration on Tuesday, and that this should take the form of a grand procession round the town, followed by the saluting of the Union Jack in the Recreation Ground. The arrangements were referred to a small committee, consisting of the Chairman (Mr J J McKinnell), Lieut C J Newman, and Messrs Linnell and F Hands ; and, despite the shortness of time at their disposal, the details were so carefully mapped out that everything passed off without a hitch. The various bodies taking part in the parade assembled at the Recreation Ground, and a few minutes after two o’clock—the pre-arranged hour—the procession moved off, preceded by a section of the Police Force, under Supt Clarke. The Band of Rugby School Officers’ Training Corps led the way, followed by Lieut-Col F F Johnstone and the O.T.C, under Capt C P Evers and other officers. A contingent of wounded soldiers from the V.A.D Hospitals, some marching and others in brakes and motor-cars, together with the V.A.D nurses, come next. The land girls made a brave show, and they were followed by a considerable body of discharged soldiers (including Bombardier Joe Norman, the old Crimean veteran) and Lieut C J Newman. Then came the Salvation Army Band, the Town Volunteer Corps under Capt C H Fuller, members and officials of the Urban District Council and other public bodies, the Headmaster and staff of Rugby School in their scholastic robes ; Rugby Town Volunteer Fire Brigade, with the steamer and manual ; Willans & Robinson’s Brigade and the B.T.H Brigade, with their respective steamer drawn by motor lorries. The B.T.H Band was followed by four clowns, after which came the St John’s Ambulance Brigade, the Divisional Boy Scouts with their colours, and a motor lorry full of khaki-clad lasses belonging to the Women’s Royal Air Force. The rear of the procession consisted of a contingent of school children in improvised military accoutrements, carrying flags and patriotic colours. These were headed by a clown as attendant-in-chief to a realistic Guy Fawkes, borne on a small box truck.

The route taken by the procession, which was lined with thousands of people, was Whitehall Road, Clifton Road, Oxford Street, Craven Road, Manor Road, Lancaster Road, Newbold Road, Market Place, Chapel Street, Warwick Street, School Street, and Hillmorton Road to the Recreation Ground.

In front of the band stand a flag staff had been erected. Around this the representative bodies assembled, and the military units were drawn up in line in front of it ; the crowd, which numbered several thousands, forming the other three sides of the square. After the Salvation Army Band had played “ Rule Britannia,” the Union Jack was run up on the staff by Clr W H Linnell, marshall and was greeted with hearty cheering and the waving of flags. The School O.T.C then fired a feu de joie, and between each of the rippling rounds the band played a few bars of the National Anthems of the Allies. The flag was then saluted, Col Johnstone receiving the. salute at the saluting base. The various contingents marched past, the wounded soldiers and the nurses receiving a great ovation from the crowd. Cheers were then given for the King, and also, at the invitation of Mr J J McKinnell, for his Majesty’s Forces on land, sea, and in the air. During the whole of this ceremony several aeroplanes, decked with flags of the Allied States, flew over the ground and gave a thrilling and daring exhibition of “ stunt ” dying, which to many, particularly the younger element, proved even more interesting than the actual ceremony.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, and after the crowd had left the ground, Lieut-Colonel F F Johnstone addressed the wounded soldiers, the discharged soldiers and nurses thanking them in turn for what they had done for the country. He expressed the hope that the wounded and discharged soldiers would be soon be restored to health. No doubt many of them would take the marks of their injuries to the grave, but they would have the satisfaction of knowing that they had done their duty to their country. To the nurses he expressed his thanks for their kind and gentle help in nursing the soldiers back to health. He did not know what England would have done without them.

Major J L Baird, M.P, C.M.G, D.S.O, was unable to attend the ceremony, owing to pressure of work at the Air Ministry, and in connection with the Demobilisation Scheme.

The Weather on Tuesday was less like that of a November day—the air was keen and crisp, and the sun shone brilliantly the whole of the day. The respective Works still being closed, the streets were again crowded with people till long after nightfall.

For the first time since the lighting restrictions came into force the clock of the Jubilee Tower was illuminated and allowed to strike the hours, and a number of additional street lamps were also lighted.

A concert, arranged by Mr J Paton was given by the Rugby Male Voice Choir in the Market Place. Mr J Cooper was the conductor, and the programme consisted of unaccompanied part songs, most of which were of a very appropriate character, and was much appreciated by a large crowd.

Nowhere was the news more joyously welcomed than among the wounded soldiers, and on Monday evening dances, to which each patient was allowed to invite a friend, were held at the Infirmary and Te Hira V.A D Hospitals. At Fitzjohn’s Hospital an impromptu concert and dance was held on Monday, and this was followed by a whist drive on Tuesday.

AT RUGBY POLICE COURT.

Before proceeding to the business of the Court at Rugby Petty Sessions on Tuesday, Dr Clement Dukes (chairman) said : “ the occasions on which I have a word to say from the Bench are usually painful, but to-day they are words of rejoicing. Yesterday we passed through one of the greatest crises we, as a nation, have yet experienced, and we come out, once again, free men of this renowned and glorious country, instead of the slaves of that arch-fiend, the fugitive Kaiser, who is condemned by the whole world, including his own people. To-day we stand as a race sorely stricken in our hearts and in our lives, but full of pride at the greatness of our sons. What we have to do now is not only to rejoice in the peace we have gained, but to show our courage in peace as well as we have shown it in war in order to wipe out the effects of the War as speedily as possible.”

Throughout the celebrations the people behaved with commendable restraint, and there was an utter absence of the regrettable incidents which so often mar occasions of national rejoicing.

Work was generally resumed on Wednesday morning, and the town returned to its normal conditions.

In all the villages around the inhabitants put out flags, etc, as soon as they heard the good news, and at the thanksgiving services, held in most instance, at the Parish Church in the evening, there were crowded and devout congregations.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Pte F Garratt (36), R.W.R, 97 Bridget Street, Rugby, has been killed in action. Previous to joining the Army he was employed at the B.T.H.

AUSTRALIAN SOLDIER’S SAD DEATH.

An exceptionally sad death of a young Australian soldier, Sergt Frank N Knight, son of Mr Isaac and Mrs M O Knight, Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia, has occurred from pneumonia following influenza. The deceased soldier, who was 23 years of age, “ joined up” in Australia in March, 1916. He was in France for the greater part of 1917, and had been at the front since March, 1918. On November 2nd he crossed over to England on 16 days’ leave, which he was spending with his uncle at Leicester. On the evening of his arrival he collapsed on reaching his uncle’s house, and, despite the best of medical and nursing attention, passed away as stated. Sergt Knight was of a Leicestershire family. His father was engaged by T Fielding Johnson, spinners, Leicester, and Nuneaton. Afterwards Mr & Mrs Knight removed to the Crown Hotel, Rugby, and seven years ago went to Australia. During their residence at Rugby the deceased was educated at the Lower School. Afterwards he took up engineering, and had a promising career before him.

ANOTHER OLD MURRAYIAN KILLED IN ACTION.

Much sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs F Webb, of 16 Alexandra Road, who received news on Sunday of the death of their only son, Pte Arthur Edward Webb, of the 1st Leicestershire Regt. The sad event has been conveyed to the lad’s parents by the chaplain of his battalion in a sympathetic letter. Pte Webb, who was 22 years of age, was educated at the Murray School, where he was most popular with his schoolmates. He served an apprenticeship at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s as a turner and fitter. Prior to joining up, early in May, he was employed at Leicester. He had been in France just over a fortnight. His chum, Pte Percy Tyers of Leicester (who was apprenticed at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s) was killed a week previously.

Mrs McFie, 33 Albert Street, Rugby, has now received official intimation that her son, Pte Horace Horsley, of the Manchesters, who was reported missing on March 21st, is now presumed to have been killed on that date. He was 21 years of age. At the time he joined up, in May, 1917, he was an apprentice at the B.T.H. He went to France in November of the same year, and was in the big fighting during the following March, when he lost his life.

DUNCHURCH.
On Monday last, when it became known that the armistice had been signed, the whole village was soon decorated with flags. At Bilton Grange there was a large bonfire at night, and all the boys and masters marched up to the fire with flags, and singing “ God save the King.”

On Tuesday last the death took place at Dover of Pte J Hughes, of the Oxford & Bucks Regt, and who was only ill a short time. He was the second son of Pte J Hughes, Daventry Road, Dunchurch.

MONKS KIRBY.
MUCH sympathy is felt for Mr & Mrs Busby, “ Brockhurst,” who received a telegram informing them of the death of their second son, Corpl George Busby, 8th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, on October 24th from wounds received in action. Corpl Busby had been transferred from Italy to France only a month when he received the gunshot wound in his side, from which he succumbed. Mr Busby has two other sons at the front—one in Egypt and one in France.

LONG ITCHINGTON.
WALTER HART KILLED.—Mr & Mrs Hart have received an official intimation that their younger son, Lance-Corpl Walter Hart, K.K.R, was killed in action on the 6th ult. The sad news was nearly a month in arriving. Deep regret is felt at the untimely death of this promising young soldier. He volunteered early in the War, and had been practically four years in khaki. He had seen much fighting, and had been wounded three times. He visited home about a year ago.

BOURTON-ON-DUNSMORE.
A MEMORIAL SERVICE was held in the Parish Church last Sunday for Pte Fred Knight. He enlisted on September 4, 1914, and for the last three years was in France. He was esteemed by all who knew him. His parents have received the following letter from his officer :—“ I am exceedingly sorry to have to inform you that your son, Pte F Knight, was killed in action on the 23rd inst. daring our attack upon an enemy position. At the time of his death he was in charge of a Lewis gun section, and was leading them forward when a shell burst among them, killing your son and one other man, and wounding the remainder of the section. I have only been in charge of the platoon for a short time, but I had already found your son to be one of the best soldiers, and we could ill-afford to lose him.”

WITHYBROOK.
THE news has arrived that Pte Charles Eversden, R.W.R, was killed in action on October 23rd. He was very much respected in the village, and a letter has been received from his officer, stating that he was an excellent soldier. Mr Eversden had four sons serving, and two of them have lost their lives. Previous to joining he was employed at the Sketchley Dye Works, Hinckley. Much sympathy is felt for his father, brothers, and sister.

ABSENTEE.—At Rugby Police Court on Wednesday, before Mr J Carter, Pte George Hunt, R.W.R, was charged with being an absentee since November 7th. He was remanded to await an escort.

Recruiting has been suspended and calling up notices cancelled.

SOCIAL.—Christmas parcels will still be needed by our soldiers and ‘sailors, and, as the Rev D J Griffith remarked at the Congregational Y.P.A social on Wednesday evening, they will be the happiest gifts this year. The social, in aid of the Christmas Parcels Fund, was in every way a success. A musical programme had been arranged by Messrs Boynton and Phillips. Mr Mewis gave monologues, Miss Gibbs, Mr Phillips, and Mr Warden sang, and Mr Boynton accompanied. Refreshments were served, and games were enjoyed.

INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC ABATING.

The continued bright, dry weather, combined probably with the invigorating influence of the good news of the past week, has happily led to the abatement of the influenza epidemic, and the death-rate for the past week, although still high, showed a considerable decrease on that of the preceding weeks. The total number of deaths from the epidemic in Rugby and district now exceeds 100, and of these 18 have occurred during the past week.

In our last issue we mentioned that the wife, sister-in-law, and infant child of Mr Newman, of Houston Road, Brownsover, had all died of influenza, and we are now informed that Mr Newman’s four-year-old son died from the same complaint during the weekend.

DEATHS.

GARRETT.—On October 23, 1918, Pte. F. GARRETT, R.W.R., killed in action in France.
“ I pictured your safe returning,
And longed to clasp your hand ;
But God postponed our meeting
Till we meet in the Better Land.”
—From his loving wife Alice.

HALL.—On November 5th, at the Fort Pitt Hospital, of influenza, in his 20th year, PEVERIL AUSTIN (TOMMY) HALL, 2nd-Lieut., Royal Engineers, of the Brompton Barracks, Chatham ; and Yelvertoft Rectory, Rugby ; fourth son of the late E. A. Hall, Esq., Mozufferpore, India. Interred at Yelvertoft, November 9th.

HORSLEY.—In loving memory of Pte. HORACE HORSLEY, of “ Scotia,” 33 Albert Street, Rugby, who was killed in action on March 21, 1918 ; aged 21[?] years.
“ 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 and brother Freeman.

JONES.—On November 1st, Pte. GORONWY JONES, Machine Gun Corps, who died of wounds in France, the beloved fifth son of Mr. & Mrs. John Jones, Red House, Shuckburgh ; aged 22.
“ 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.”

WEBB.—In loving memory of ARTHUR EDWARD, the dearly beloved and only son of Frederick and Fanny Webb, of 16 Alexandra Road, killed in action (in France) on October 23, 1918.—“ Until the day breaks.”—From his sorrowing Father, Mother and Sisters.

IN MEMORIAM.

CLARKE.—In loving memory of WALTER, younger son of the late Mr. and Mrs. E. T. Clarke, of 19 Temple Street, Rugby, who was killed in action in France on November 15, 1915.
“ There is a link death cannot sever,
Love, and remembrance live for ever.”
—Never forgotten by his Brother and Sisters.

EVERSDEN.—In loving memory of Pte. CHARLES EVERSDEN, killed in action in France on October 23, 1918 ; aged 36 years. Also of Pte. WILLIAM EVERSDEN, who died of wounds in France on November 12, 1917 ; aged 33 years.
“ For our loss we must not weep,
Nor our loved ones long to keep ;
From the homes of rest and peace,
Where all sin and sorrow cease.”
—From his loving Father, Brothers, Sister, and Alice.

PATCHETT.—In loving memory of Trooper W. I. Patchett, who died of wounds received in action on November 14, 1917. Buried at Beersheba, Imara Military Cemetery, Palestine.
“ Give me sweet thoughts of heavenly joy,
My longed-for rest ;
Where I shall sing through endless days
Songs of the blest.”
—From his loving Wife and Children.

PATCHETT.—In loving memory of WILLIAM IVENS, who died of wounds received in action near Gaza, Egypt, on November 14, 1917.
“ No father’s care did him attend,
Or o’er him did a brother bend ;
No sister there to shed a tear,
Or even his last words to hear.”
—From Dad, Brothers and Sisters.

ROBINSON.—In loving and sacred memory of our dear and only son, KENNETH, and all the brave Kitchener’s Army boys who fought and died for their friends and country at Gallipoli in 1915.—From B. & E. ROBINSON, 23 Stephen Street, Rugby.

ROUND.—In proud and ever-loving memory of our dear son and brother, WILLIAM ALFRED (WILL) ROUND, who died of wounds received in Egypt on November 14, 1917.
“ 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.”
—Too dearly loved to be forgotten by his loving Mother, Father, Sisters, and brother Fred.

 

 

11th November 1918 – Armistice Day

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month the armistice took effect.

The fighting stopped.

But the story of the Rugby Men who went to fight was not yet over. More men were to die. Of wounds, or the Influenza that killed many; both military and civilian.

Our project will continue until all the men on the Rugby Memorial Gates have been remembered. The last Rugby man to die was on 30th June 1919, fighting in Russia.

Over the last four years there have been some men we missed – discovered after their centenary had passed. We will be adding them to this blog during December.

There are a few who we think survived the war, but were listed by mistake.

Then there are the handful who we have not been able to identify. We have done our best but some will have to remain unidentified. There is a list elsewhere.

The reports from the Rugby Advertiser will continue for the time being, recording the town as life returned to normal.

This blog will remain as a memorial to the Rugby men who fought and died.

Workmen position the wreaths on Rugby Memorial Gates, following the Centenary Remembrance Parade, Sunday 11th November 2018.

RUGBY REMEMBERS THEM

Clements, Eustace Edwin. Died 12th Nov 1918

Eustace Edward CLEMENTS was the son of Charles Edwin, [b.c. 19 April 1866 in Wing, Buckinghamshire] and Mary Ellen, née Lee, Clements [b.c. 1865 in Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire], who were married on 28 December 1891 at Saint Andrew’s church, Rugby.

Mary Ellen and her parents – Frederick, who was born in Hillmorton, and Jane Lee – had lived in Rugby at least from 1864 when Mary’s sister, Minnie, was born there and in 1871 and 1881, when they were living at 768 Old Station, Rugby.  In 1881, Mary Ellen was 21.

Mary Ellen returned to Rugby to have her first child, Eustace, whose birth was registered, as Eustace Edwin Clements, in Q1, 1893 in Rugby [Rugby, 6d, 577].  Eustace was baptised in Rugby at St Andrew’s church on 12 March 1893.  His military Service Record though, would later give his birth place as Northampton – his early home – and his second name as Edward – and indeed on one record his religion as Roman Catholic!

In 1901, the family were still living in Roade St. Mary, Buckinghamshire, with their children: Eustace E Clements, 8; Dorothy Clements, 6; Freddy Clements, 3; and Oscar Clements, 2.   In 1919 Sidney and Edwin Clements would be given as the names of his surviving brothers.

Before 1911, the family had moved back to Rugby and in 1911 were living at 33 Winfield Street, Clifton Road, Rugby.  Charles was working as a Railway Signal Fitter for the LNWR.  Eustace, now aged 18 was working, as an ‘engine fitter apprentice’, also with the LNWR.  His younger brother, Frederick, was 13 and still at school,

Eustace Clements. photo by permission of David Boult

There are two sets of surviving Service Records for Eustace – or Eustace Edward or Edward as he was known to the military.  One set of records of five pages, and one set of 23 pages, with some duplications.  There is also a Medal Card and his CWGC entry.  Unfortunately the Service Records are of very poor legibility in many cases, and parts are missing as they were probably recovered from the ‘burnt records’.

Eustace volunteered early for war service and was attested in Rugby on 31 August 1914.  When he enlisted he was 21 years and 232 days old.  He was 5 foot 11½ inches tall; weighed 160 lbs; had grey eyes and light brown hair, and his religion was Church of England.  He was certified ‘Fit for service in the Royal Garrison Artillery, RFA’.  He became a Gunner, No.1679, in the Royal Field Artillery.  His previous trade was listed as ‘fitter’.

From 31 August 1914 to 12 September 1917 one set of records suggest he was on a ‘Home’ posting – which would seem to be in conflict with other records, and omits one of his postings in France!

He was initially in 51st (R) Battery, R. F. A. and had various postings before the end of December 1914 and would later be promoted to Corporal.  On 1 September 1914 he was at Hilsea,[1] then on 9 September 1914 he was posted to ?13 Reserve Brigade, and on 15 December he was at Frome and on 17 December 1914 with ?/111 Battery.

His military career was not faultless.  On 29 March 1915 he was ‘absent without leave from 10pm 29/3/15 until 2pm 30/3/15, 16 hours’ and was admonished and forfeited one day’s pay.  Then at Winchester on 20 May 1915 he was ‘Absent from town piquet’ and was confined to barracks for two days.  On 10 September 1915 at Lille Barracks,[2] he was ‘Absent from base [or ‘leave’?] 12 noon to 4.30 pm, 4½ hrs.’ for which he received 7 days field punishment No 2.

On 28 May 1915 it seems he was posted to the B/113th Brigade, and was vaccinated in July 1915.  Although an alternative record stated that he went to France on 25 September 1915 after ‘home service’ of 1 year and 25 days, however, there is again confusion as Eustace’s Medal Card stated that he went to France on 20 September 1915.  He would, in either case, have been entitled to the 1914-1915 Star.

He served in France until 10 June 1917 [one record stated 1916!] as on 7 June 1917 he was wounded and was evacuated first to 20th General Hospital, Dannes Camiers, and then ‘Home’ by ship on 11 June 1917 and admitted to the Horton War Hospital with ‘Gun S W right forefinger crushed, contusions of leg’.  He was discharged on 17 July 1917, however another report notes ‘Finger healed but distal joint stiff.  Has [morn]ing massage.  Sent to Command Depot’.

Indeed, he was posted to the Command Depot at Rippon on 28 July 1917 and then posted to 56th Reserve Brigade on 31 August 1917 until 12 September 1917.   He was then posted back to France on 13 September 1917 and seems to have been moved to A/307 Brigade from Base on 26 September 1917, and then to A/306 Brigade F. A. on 8 November 1917.

On 12 December 1917 he was wounded again, presumably comparatively slightly as he was discharged on 17 December 1917.

On 9 May 1918 he was wounded yet again and apparently suffered a ‘… Shell wound severe …’ and was evacuated back to England on 10 May 1918.  On arrival ‘Home’ on 11 May 1918, he was initially admitted to Southwark Military Hospital, London S.E.[3] being treated for ‘… ? gas shell poisoning?’ until 16 July 1918, when he was sent to the Convalescence Hospital,  Eastbourne, until 10 August 1918.

On 19 August 1918 he was posted to 60th Reserve Battery, R.F.A. and granted ‘Leave with free warrant’.  Presumably he was now no longer fit for front line service as on 17 October 1918 he had a ‘compulsory transfer into the Labour Corps as Private, No.669461 at Sutton’.  This suggests that he had been medically rated below the ‘A1’ condition needed for front line service.

Being less than fully fit for service, it was perhaps not surprising that he was taken ill again, struck down by the flu epidemic was sweeping the world.  He died, aged 25, in the Horton War Hospital, Epsom, on 12 November 1918, from ‘Acute Bronchio-Pneumonia & Influenza’.

The second page of a telegram on 13 November 1918 confirms ‘F C Labour Corps 1 acute Lobar pneumonia 2 influenza Warspital Epsom’.  Only the name ‘Clements’ can be read on the first page.

After a funeral in Rugby, he was buried in Rugby’s Clifton cemetery in plot, J192, with a CWGC headstone as Gunner Eustace Edwin Clements, Royal Field Artillery,[4] Service Number, 1679.  The CWGC has him as aged 24.

His headstone also remembers his brother Frederick Clements who most probably died in a Prisoner of War camp near to Berlin.  His family’s chosen inscription on Eustace’s headstone reads: ‘Also in Memory of 307487 Corporal F. Clements Royal Warwickshire Regt. 24.10.18.’

Three items were published in the Rugby Advertiser on 23 November,[5] a report on his death and funeral; the family’s announcement of his death; and their ‘Acknowledgement’ and thanks to friends.

Mr C E and Mrs Clements, 33 Winfield Street, have lost their son, Gunner E E Clements, R.F.A. from pneumonia, under sad circumstances, after seeing a lot of service in France.  He worked as a fitter in the L & N-W Railway Sheds, and when war broke out he answered the first call, and joined Kichener’s Army  in August, 1914.  He served three years in France, and was twice badly wounded.  During the big German offensive in May this year he was gassed.  On recovering he returned to his regiment, when he was called out of the ranks and told that he would have his discharge in two days’ time after good service.  On the following day he was struck down with influenza, which developed into pneumonia, to which he succumbed on the 14th inst.  The funeral took place at rugby Cemetery on Saturday last.  He was borne to the grave by six of his former workmates, and a large number of flowers testified to the esteem in which he was held

CLEMENTS. – On the 12th inst., at Horton War Hospital, Epsom, Eustace Edwin, the dearly beloved eldest son of C. E. & M. E. Clements, Gunner, R.F.A., of “flu” and pneumonia; aged 25 years. – Deeply mourned.’

MR & MRS CLEMENTS & FAMILY wish to thank all kind Friends and Neighbours for sympathy shown to them in their bereavement; also for all floral tributes sent.

Eustace is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate and also on the Rugby Loco Steam Shed Memorial,[6]

In July 1919 his father filled in the declaration of next of kin, and on 19 September 1919 Eustace’s effects were sent from Nottingham to his father’s solicitors in Rugby.  They included,
‘Correspondence, Wallet, Photos, Badge, Holdall, 3 Razors In Cases, 2 Toothbrushes, 2 Shaving Brushes, Button Stick, Housewife, Meal Cards, Letters, Shaving Soap, Pencil, Disc, Bag, ?Piece Bread Pouch, Cig Papers, Watch Strap, Tin Tablets, 2 Button Brushes, 3 Handkerchiefs, Metal Pins, Hairbrush, Mirror, Wound Stripe, 4 Blue Chevrons, 2 Pocket Books.’

The family were then living at 33 Winfield Street, Rugby.  It seems that his mother received a separation allowance of 5 shillings per week.

Eustace was awarded the Victory and British medals and the 1914-1915 Star which were sent to his father in 1922.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Eustace Edwin Clements 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, November 2017.

[1]      Hilsea Lines includes 18th- and 19th-century fortifications built to protect the northern approach to Portsea.

[2]      The Lille Barracks were one of the six barracks in the Aldershot Marlborough Lines which were built in about 1890; the Lille barracks were demolished in 1958.

[3]      St Saviour’s Infirmary in East Dulwich Grove … was built in 1887 by the Guardians of the Poor of the parish of St Saviour’s, Southwark.  The Royal Army Medical Corps took over control of the infirmary in East Dulwich Grove on 11 November 1915, which at the insistence of the guardians was named Southwark Military Hospital.  The hospital was fully equipped for 800 patients … the existing Medical Superintendent Dr A  Bruce was appointed the rank of Major and served as its Officer in charge for most of the three and half years the hospital was used by the military. … Altogether 12,522 wounded and sick servicemen were cared for at Southwark Military Hospital of whom [only] 119 died; a very small percentage of those admitted and a tribute to the skill of the doctors, surgeons and nurses.  See http://www.dulwichsociety.com/2010-summer/532-southwark-military-hospital.

[4]      Whilst Eustace had later been in the Labour Corps, this Corps always suffered from its treatment as something of a second class organization, and the men who died are typically commemorated under their original Regiment, with the Labour Corps being secondary.

[5]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 23 November 1918.

[6]      From a report of the unveiling, Rugby Advertiser, 11 March 1921; see also https://www.rugbyfhg.co.uk/rugby-loco-steam-shed-memorial.

Coleman, Duncan Reginald. Died 11th Nov 1918

Duncan Reginald COLEMAN was born in Wardington, Oxfordshire on 27 August 1894, and baptised there on 2 December 1894.  He was the second son of George Henry Coleman [a plasterer, b.c.1856 in Warmington, Warwickshire] and Emily, née Treadwell, Coleman [b.c.1864 in Wardington, Oxfordshire].

In 1901 the family were living at the ‘Red Lion Beer House’, in Wardington, probably following in part the family trade – as George Henry’s father had been an innkeeper in Milcomb.  George Henry was however still working as a ‘plasterer’.

At some date before 1911, the family moved to Rugby and in 1911 were living at 102 Lawford Road, which seems to have been later defined as 102 Dunsmore Terrace, Lawford Road, Rugby.  George Henry was now 55 and his wife Emily was 45.  They had had nine children, but one had died and it seems that one had already left home.  However, seven children were still living at home: Muriel Blanche Coleman was 24; Mary Olive Coleman, 21; Albert Victor Coleman, 18; Duncan Reginald Coleman, was now 16 and already working as a moulder in an Iron Foundry; Ida Cerise Coleman was 12; Stanley Winston Coleman, 11; and Lena Emily Coleman, was 8.

A somewhat complicated set of Service Records survives for Reginald, as it seems he had a number of postings and was also wounded.  Together with various other surviving documents it is possible to provide an outline of his military career.

In summary he was:                                                                                        Days
Home              17 – 4 – 16 to 15 – 7 – 16                         90
BEF France     16 – 7 – 16 to 10 – 5 – 17                      299
Home              11 – 5 – 17 to 22 – 12 – 17                    226
BEF France     23 – 12 – 17 to 11 – 11 – 18                  324
Total    2 years 209 days

He was living at 102 Lawford Road, Rugby, when he first signed up at Warwick[1] for General Service, posted to the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and then posted on 18 April 1916 as a Private, No.18102 in the 11th Battalion, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (RWR).  He was 21 years and 7 months (or 210 days!) old, 5ft 6¼ inches tall, single and working as a ‘moulder’.

He was transferred as a Private to the ‘Expeditionary Force France’ on 16 July 1916 and embarked for France on 19 July 1916.  On 24 July 1916 he was posted to 11th Bn. RWR, ‘In the Field’.

He was wounded in action with a ‘GSW chest sev’ [Gun Shot Wound to the Chest Severe] on 23 April 1917, and on 3 May 1917 he was ‘adm 4 Gen H’ [Admitted to 4th General Hospital] at ‘Dannes Camier’.[2]  He was then transferred to England on the ‘HS [Hospital Ship] Cambria’ two days later on 11 May 1917, being transferred to the Home Depot that day.

He was admitted to the Eastern General Hospital, Edmonton for 21 days from 11 May to 1 June 1917 and this was extended for a further 10 days from 1 June to 11 June 1917 for the same ‘GSW Chest’ at the Edmonton Military Hospital – probably the same hospital, but with different stamps!!  After these periods, he was pronounced ‘Cured – No FB prelit? or disability – furlough thence CD’ [probably ‘Command Depot’].

On 22 October 1917, he was posted to the Essex Regiment, and on 28 October 1917, he was re-posted as a Private, No.45263 to the 17th Battalion, Essex Regiment at Dover.  On 22 December 1917 he went overseas again from Weybourne, by way of Folkestone on 23 December, arriving in Boulogne to join the BEF on the 24 December 1917.  On the same day he was transferred ‘in the field’ to the Royal Engineers, as a Pioneer, No.358639 and on 27 February 1918 to the Royal Engineers, No.4 Foreway Company, ‘at RE Rates’ from 28 February 1918.

Later that year, on 19 September 1918, he was ‘temporarily and compulsorily’ transferred to the Railways sub-unit in the Transportation Branch RE and from 20 September became a Pioneer with the 234th Light Railway Field Company and allotted a new regimental number: WR/358639.  The letters ‘WR’ stood for ‘Waterway and Railways’.  The 234th (Forward) Company was formed in France and operated there.

The formation of the RE Light Railway Companies in early 1917 was an innovation that was one of the factors that transformed the operational abilities of the army.  Goods and men could now make the last leg of the journey to the front by light rail.  Until that time, ammunition supply in particular had been subject to delays and required vast numbers of men and horses, and the light railways helped overcome both problems.  Traffic and wear on the roads and tracks leading up to the front was eased, and fewer men were required to repair them. … The Company consisted of approximately 200 men, … Drivers, Brakesmen, Guards, Wagon Repairers, Repair Shop Engineers, Traffic Controllers and Storesmen.   There were few officers among this number … The job … was to run the trains, with the tracks being laid by RE Railway Construction Companies – often with the assistance of whatever Labour Corps Company or ‘resting’ infantry were at hand.[3]

At some stage, presumably in early November, he became unwell and was transferred to No. 29 Casualty Clearing Station, which was then stationed at Delsaux Farm.  It was from there that his death was reported, ‘Died – Influenza – 11.11.1918’.  He died of Pneumonia on ‘Armistice Day’, 11 November 1918, aged 25, at ‘29 CCS’.  A confirmatory report in his Service Record, from the Captain RAMC, Medical Specialist, 29 CC Station, read,
358639 Pnr Colemen DR, 234 Light Forward Railway Co. RE
The a/m man died from Influenza followed by Broncho-Pneumonia & heart failure.
The disease was brought about by exposure whilst on military service in France.

Duncan was first buried in the Beugny Military Cemetery No.18, which had been made by the Germans after their Operation Michael[4] advances in March 1918 near the village crossroads.

Later, the German graves were removed, and in 1920, the British burials were exhumed and reburied at the Delsaux Farm Cemetery, adjacent to the Casualty Clearing Station.  Duncan was reburied  in grave reference: III. A. 17.  His gravestone bears the family message ‘Greater Love Hath No Man’.

A draft and copy of a letter sent to Duncan’s father is with his Service Record.

Royal Engineers, Record Office, Chatham  –  16 June 1920

Sir, 

I beg to inform you that in accordance with the agreement with the French and Belgian Governments to remove all scattered graves, small cemeteries containing less than 40 graves and certain other cemeteries which were situated in places unsuitable for permanent retention, it has been found necessary to exhume bodies buried in certain areas and re-inter them, therefore the body of your late son, No. WR/284262, Pioneer, D. R. Colemen, R. E., has been removed and re-buried in DELSAUX FARM BRITIH CEMETERY, 3 ¾ miles E. of BAPAUME.

The necessity for removal is much regretted but was unavoidable for reasons stated above.

The removal has been undertaken with every measure of care and reverence and special arrangements have been made for the appropriate religious services to be held.

I am, Yours faithfully,          for Colonel i/c R. E. Records.

The cemetery is near the village of Beugny, in Pas de Calais, France, some 19 kilometres south-west of Cambrai.

Delsaux Farm was a point on the German defensive system known as the Beugny-Ytres line, which was reached by Commonwealth troops on 18 March 1917, and passed on the following day. The farm was lost on 23 March 1918 after the gallant defence of Beugny by the 9th Welsh Regiment and their withdrawal, but it was retaken by the 5th Division on 2 September 1918, and on the next day the same division occupied Beugny village.  After their advance in March 1918, the Germans made a cemetery (Beugny Military Cemetery No.18) at the cross-roads, and in it buried 103 Commonwealth and 82 German dead.  The site was extended in October-November 1918 by the 29th and 46th Casualty Clearing Stations, which came to Delsaux Farm and made the present cemetery.  A little later, the German graves of March 1918 were removed and the 103 Commonwealth dead reburied in Plot I, Row J, Plot II, Row A, and Plot III, Rows B, C and D.  The rest of the cemetery was made when graves were later brought in from the battlefield. … The cemetery was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.[5]

Duncan Reginald COLEMAN was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.  He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates and on his CWGC gravestone at Delsaux Farm Cemetery, Beugby. 

Duncan’s outstanding pay of £24-3-8d was paid to his ‘Fa[ther] & Sole Leg[atee] George H’ on 12 April 1919, and note stated that this was ‘Including War Grant £14-10-0’.  On 17 April 1919 his property was returned to the family: ‘Letters; Shaving brush; Badge; Photos; Wallet’.

His elder brother Albert Victor Coleman, signed up on 12 December 1915, and also served initially in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, as No.3098, and later in the Royal Berkshire Regiment as No.44920.  He survived the war.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Duncan Reginald COLEMAN 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, October 2018.

 

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

[2]      The No 4 General Hospital was at St Nazaire in September 1914; at Versailles from September 1914 to January 1916; at Camiers, when Duncan Coleman was admitted, from January 1916 to April 1919; and at Dunkerque from April 1919 to November 1919.

[3]      https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-corps-of-royal-engineers-in-the-first-world-war/light-railway-operating-companies-of-the-royal-engineers/.

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

[5]      Edited from: https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/23600/delsaux-farm-cemetery,-beugny/.