POLLING FOR THE NEW PARLIAMENT.
QUIET DAY THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY.
Voting for the election of a new Parliament took place throughout the United Kingdom on Saturday last, and, considering the important issues at stake, was singularly devoid of excitement or incident. Polling took place for the election of 584 Members of Parliament. The votes will be counted on Saturday, December 28th, and the results will be announced the same day. The new House of Commons will consist of 707 Members, or 37 more than the old. As 107 Members were returned unopposed on December 4th, and two have since been elected for Oxford University there remain 14 seats to be filled. Thirteen of these are university seats, for which the poll opened on Monday and the 14th is the Kennington Division, in which, because of the death of a candidate after nomination, the poll had to be postponed.
THE FINAL MEETINGS.
On Friday evening last week three mass meetings were held in Rugby (Co-operative Hall, Eastlands School, and the Church House) in support of the candidature of Major J L Baird. All of the meetings were well attended, and the utmost enthusiasm prevailed, especially at the Co-operative Hall, where the large audience cheered again and again as the telling points in favour of the Coalition were driven home by the speakers, viz, Major J L Baird, Sir Ernest Pollock, K.C, M.P, Earl of Denbigh, Rev Ronald Irwin, D.S.O, M.C, &c.
Mr Maclagan addressed meetings at the Eastlands School.
A QUIET DAY IN THE RUGBY DIVISION.
Polling took place on Saturday last, when, for the first time in the history of the Country, all the elections were held on the same day. In the reports from nil quarters reference is made to the apathy of the electors, and this state of affairs was faithfully reflected in Rugby.
In fact, it is no exaggeration to say that never in the memory of the oldest elector has polling day passed off so quietly and uneventfully. None but the really ardent partisans appeared to take any real interest in the contest, and but for the unusual number of motor-cars dashing about—and the number of these was remarkably small compared with past occasions—a visitor to the town would scarcely have realised a Parliamentary election was in progress. The poll in the town was very light one; but the ladies, who were able to vote for the first time at a Parliamentary election, turned up in much larger numbers than did the men. Many married couples walked to the polling stations together and one enthusiastic lady was overheard to remark to her husband on emerging from the booth, “Now you don’t know who I have voted for.” The polling stations were open from 7 a.m to 9 p.m, but at no time was there any real rush of voters. Visits to a number of the stations in the centre of the town at all hours of the day revealed very little activity, and there was an utter absence of the outbursts of party enthusiasm which have characterised elections in the past.
Reports from the country districts indicate that the polling was somewhat heavier than in the town.
The election will remain open until December 28th to enable soldiers to register their votes, and for that reason it is impossible to forecast the result. As usually happens, both parties claim to have secured a majority ; but the general opinion seemed to be that Major Baird has retained the seat.
Major Baird toured the Division in his car, and everywhere he was enthusiastically received. Mr Maclagan also visited most of the polling stations during the day.
Forty-six special constables, in addition to the Regular Force, were on duty throughout the day at the various polling stations in the Division.
The votes of the absent electors engaged on military or naval service in England, France, Belgium, and with the Army of Occupation in Germany, whose ballot papers are received by the Returning Officer before December 28th, will have to be added to those recorded on Saturday. In the Rugby Division there absent voters number no fewer than 5,754. As the votes are received they are sorted into their proper divisions, and are then placed in large boxes. The papers will be opened in the presence of the candidates with one representative if they choose, and they will then be thoroughly mixed with the votes recorded at home as the latter are removed from the boxes. All papers received on Saturday morning before the counting begins will be included.
In all cases where a ballot paper has been sent to an absent voter no second paper can be issued, even though the soldier or sailor is on leave, or has been discharged. The Record Office for the particular unit to which the men belonged will return the papers to them at their then present addresses, so that all they need do is to fill up the papers according to the instructions and post them or deliver them in the proper envelopes to the Returning Officer. No doubt at the present time a number of soldiers and sailors on leave have not yet received their ballot papers, but the assumption is that the papers will follow them, and it is partly to ensure that they shall reach the men that the time for counting has been extended.
LOCAL WAR NOTES.
The latest casualty lists contain the names of the following Rugby men killed :— Pte W Williams, King’s Liverpool Regt, Sergt J Carter, R.W.R ; wounded, Pte L C Bovell, R.W.R.
Pte A Woodward, Devonshire Regt, son of Mr T Woodward, 39 Stephen Street, was killed in action on October 28th. He was an old St Matthew’s boy, and before enlisting he was employed by Messrs Parnell & Son.
Amongst the latest returned prisoners from Germany were Act Corpl J N Atkinson, M.G.C, and Acting Sergt R E Lewin, R.W.R, both of Rugby.
MR J E SMITH, hon sec of the B.T.H employees’ Christmas party to wounded soldiers and released prisoners of war, writes—“ In your report of Rugby Food Control meeting of last week that the B.T.H Company were entertaining the wounded soldiers and released prisoners of war on Saturday, December 28th, I should be pleased if you would correct that error, as it is the B.T.H employees who will entertain them,”
ABSENTEES.—At Rugby Police Court on Saturday, before Mr J J McKinnell, Pte Edwin Jones, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, and Rifleman John Donnelly, Royal Irish Rifles, were charged with being absentees from the 1st Southern General Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham. The men, who admitted the offence, and were arrested by P.S Tromans, were remanded to await an escort.
Mrs Fenwick’s Red Cross working party, which has done such excellent work during the war, has this year sent in to B.R.C.S in London 94 shirts and 30 pairs of socks. Mrs Rich organised and arranged, with the help of Mr Warren and a small committee, the “ Our Day ” collections, the result being most gratifying. The collection realised £20 2s 1d, the whist drive £10 0s 4d, and the schoolchildren collected the splendid amount of £1 11s 11½.
TO PROVIDE a Christmas present for each of the 45 soldiers from Harborough Magna a house-to-house collection was made by Mr H Neal and Mr E Gamble. Upwards of £19 was raised by this means, and a draw brought in £13 16s, making a total of £32 19s. This enabled the secretary, Miss F Craven, to send 14s 3d to each soldier.
WAR MEMORIAL.—A parish meeting was convened by the Vicar, the Rev J O Gooch, at Messrs Bluemel’s dining room, on Tuesday evening. Mr W Snell, chairman of the Wolston Parish Council, was voted to the chair. A suggestion from the Rev J O Gooch to the effect that the south transept chapel at St Margaret’s Church should be repaired and re-furnished and made a war memorial chapel was well received. The undertaking would cost about £350 to £400. The Vicar’s suggestion was approved. One gentleman thought a clock tower in Wolston village would be more suitable, but his proposal found no seconder. The Vicar undertook to find out the feeling of the Nonconformists and other residents who were absent.
RUGBY URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL. . . .
A postcard was read from Mr G W Blythe, secretary of the Vickers’ Testimonial Fund, announcing that Lance-Corpl Vickers, V.C, R.W.R, would visit Rugby the following day (Wednesday), and would be pleased to meet the Chairman of the Council.—It was decided that owing to the shortness of the notice, nothing could be done in the way of a civic or public welcome, but the Chairman agreed, on behalf of the town, to interview the gallant soldier.
It was also announced that a motor lorry, with two captured German guns, which were touring the county for the inspection of the inhabitants, would arrive at Rugby at about 3 p.m on Friday, and would remain in the town until the following day.
RUGBY’S WAR TROPHY.
With reference to the captured German gun, which has been allotted to Rugby, the Chairman mentioned that on November 5th he received a letter from Major J L Baird to the effect that, seeing a row of German guns in the Mall, it occurred to him that some of them would look very well at Rugby. He accordingly approached the Under-Secretary for War on the matter, and was advised by him to apply to the O.C of the R.W.R for some guns captured by that regiment. He had done this, and he hoped his action would meet with the approval of the Council. Major Baird added that he could not say what views the R.W.R had on the subject, but he felt that Rugby should have some guns, preferably some captured by the R.W.R.—The Chairman said as the outcome of this letter he also wrote to the O.C at Warwick, and the result was that they were allotted the gun which they received last week. He believed it was the biggest of the guns which came into Warwickshire.
EXHIBITION OF WAR TROPHIES.
SIR,—The Committee of the Public library have arranged to hold an exhibition of war trophies in the Museum from January 8th to 11th next, when it is hoped that an interesting and comprehensive collection will be on view. A number of exhibits will be lent by the Imperial War Museum Committee, and I venture to appeal through your columns to any local residents who have souvenirs or curios connected with the great War to place them at our disposal during the exhibition. I shall be grateful to any who can help in this way if they will kindly notify the Curator of the Museum, Mr R Fenley, Public Library, St Matthew’s Street, as soon as possible, in order that final arrangements may be made for the exhibition. Admission to the exhibition will be free, but all visitors will be invited to make a contribution to the funds of the Disabled Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Association.—Yours, &c,
R H MYERS, Chairman,
Rugby Public Library and Museum.
COUPONS FOR CHRISTMAS RATIONS.
TO BE USED IN ADVANCE.
In view of the fact that many shops throughout England and Wales may be closed during the greater part of Christmas week, the Food Controller has decided, except in the case of meat, that the coupons numbered 8 in the current ration book shall be available for use throughout England and Wales during the week beginning December 15th, as well as in the normal period of their currency (i.e, the week beginning December 22nd). This arrangement does not apply to Scotland.
During the period December 16th to January 4th catering establishments exempted from keeping a register of consumption will be permitted to serve meat meals at a price not exceeding 2s (exclusive of the usual charge for beverages). The maximum price for any meal at which meat is not served will remain at 1s 4d.
BORN IN THE TRAIN.—On Sunday night a middle-aged woman, accompanied by a female friend, was travelling on the L & N-W railway from Easton to attend a funeral in Wales. When the train was a few miles south of Rugby number of passengers was suddenly increased by one, a fine young gentleman making his appearance in the world about a fortnight before he was expected. The mother and child were taken out of the train, placed in the waiting room, and Dr Hoskyn was sent for. After resting a few hours the mother and son were sent back to London, the former having so far recovered as to wish to walk to the train, which of course, she was not allowed to do.
IZZARD.—In loving memory of Pte. THOMAS IZZARD, R.M.L.I, who died December 12, 1918, aged 29 years of pneumonia, at Hasler Hospital, Portsmouth, son of the late Thomas and E. Izzard, late of Brickhill Cottages, Cawston.—“ In the midst of life we are in death,”—Deeply mourned by his sorrowing Mother, Sister and Brother.