24th Jan 1919. Generous Gift to Rugby.

“ The Arthur James Memorial Hall.”

An announcement was made by the Chairman (Mr J J McKinnell) at the monthly meeting of the Rugby Urban District Council on Tuesday evening. About fifteen months ago, he said, Mrs Arthur James informed him that she wished to make a gift to Rugby in memory of her late husband, and after a certain amount of consideration she finally decided to erect a new Public Hall, and to present it to the town. A site in Albert Street, at the corner of James Street, has been purchased by Mrs James for this purpose. At a special meeting of the Council held in private, he announced Mrs James’s intention to the members, and they at once passed a resolution thanking her for her great generosity. When among other suggested War Memorials a new Public Hall was mentioned, he felt it was his duty to consult Mrs James and to ask if he might make public her intentions. Then, too, as there was a suggestion of providing a Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Institute he mentioned this matter to Mrs James and asked her if a part of the site could be utilised for this purpose. Mrs James kindly replied that if this was the desire of the town she would be quite a willing to fall in with it and to allow a part of her site to be used. But she said quite clearly that she would prefer to erect a memorial to her husband by itself. However, if the town thought the scheme a good one she was quite willing to put her own feelings on one side and join in a general scheme. He thought they would all agree that this was a very kind and public-spirited attitude on the part of Mrs James. This plan also had been put before the Council and after some deliberation they came to the conclusion that the advantages of building on one site were so numerous that they desired to call a public meeting of townspeople and to suggest that the Rugby memorial should consist of (1) An Obelisk, and (2) of a Sailors and Soldiers’ Institute on the site in Albert Street. Mm James made one stipulation in regard to the Public Hall, and that was that it should be called the Arthur James Memorial Hall. In any case she will pay for the Hall and if the two buildings adjoin the cost of the Hall as apart from the Institute will be ascertained as nearly as possible.


The following letter was received from Major J L Baird, M.P. :—“ I should like to confirm my telegram supporting the proposal that the Rugby War Memorial should take the form of a soldiers’ institute and hostel. I feel very strongly that a war armorial should fulfil the following conditions, (1) Be of use to the men who have fought for us ; (2) Afford citizens an opportunity of showing their gratitude to these men by contributing towards their comfort and welfare ; (3) Embody the traditions of the British Army, which have been so superbly upheld during the past four years. The regimental tradition is one of our most treasured national assets. It should be maintained and fostered. It is a truly British tradition and has nothing what-ever to do with militarism. Indeed it is the spirit which has enabled us to defeat Prussian militarism. For these reasons I most earnestly hope that the scheme will be adopted and I will support it to the utmost of my ability.”

RETURNED PRISONERS.—The latest list of repatriated prisoners of war contains the names of four Rugby men—Acting Sergt R A Rogers, R.F.A, Corpl G Jones, D.C.M, Rifle Brigade, Sergt E Watts, Oxon & Bucks L.I, and Pte A C Williams, R.W.R.

Dr H J Beddow, who has been on active service at the 72nd General Hospital in France, has this week returned to Rugby to resume his practice.

SERGT O H WOOTTON, Oxford * Bucks Light Infantry, whose home is at 74 York Street, Rugby, has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. Sergt Wootton is an old St Matthew’s boy, and when at school played in the Rugby Football Schoolboys’ International Match of 1908 for England against Wales.

SERGT ARTHUR W HUGHES, Royal Engineers (late B.T.H), has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of valuable service rendered in France. He has also been decorated with the Croix de Guerre by the President of the French Republic, and some time ago was mentioned in despatches.

MARRIED A GERMAN.—The plight of a young Englishwoman married to a German was described at Hull on Saturday, when her husband, Rudolph Koepp, was summoned for maintenance. She said she was 21, and had never been out of England. She had maintained herself and four children by working in a munitions factory. Then she had to get relief from the Guardians. The husband has been interned in the Isle of Man, but subsequently was released, and earned £2 12s weekly at cement works at Rugby. Prior to August he sent his wife 5s weekly, but since then he had sent nothing. Defendant, in sobs, complained that he was not allowed to go near the coast to visit his wife, and the case was adjourned to enable him to provide a home for her and the children.

CHESTER STREET CANTEEN.—As will be seen from an announcement in another column, the Chester Street Canteen will be closed as from to-morrow. The canteen was opened by Lady Ethel Baird in June, 1917, with the idea of economising fuel and food, and that it met an urgent need is proved by fact that, during the busiest period of its existence as many as 400 dinners were served daily in the two departments. The success of the scheme was made possible by an efficient staff in the kitchen. The canteen has proved a great boon to many of the workers employed by the large firms in this part of the town, but now that the food supply has become easier, the demands upon the canteen have become substantially less, and for this reason the decision to close down was made. It is interesting and gratifying to note that the project has paid its way.

The Clerk announce that the War Office had allocated two German machine guns, two machine gun ammunition boxes and two machine gun ammunition belts to Rugby, and these would be placed in the museum.

PRISONER’S RETURN.—Pte Leonard Lixenfield, of 6th Royal Berks, has returned home. He has been in the hands of the Germans since November 30, 1917. He was taken behind the lines and placed in a cage in a field. It was too cold to sleep. Although quite exhausted, the prisoners were only given a drink of cold water. Next morning they had a loaf of black bread between 8. They were then marched to the station, where they were placed in cattle trucks, the bottom of which were covered with manure, and he could not sleep. They were without food for two days until they reached Munster in Westphalia. He was kept in Germany six weeks, and then sent in cattle trucks to France, where he was made to work behind the lines. Many of the parcels were pilfered, but had it not been for them he would have died of starvation. Last winter out of 200 in his lot quite 100 died of starvation. He escaped three times. He was recaptured twice, but his third escape was from Gemapp[?] the day before the armistice was declared. He then reached Cambrai, where he was first captured.

WAR MEMORIAL.—Collections have recently been made in church and by means of envelopes for the purpose of erecting in the south aisle of the Church a side altar in memory of the Long Itchington men who have fallen in the war. Altogether some £15 is in hand for this object. The Vicar now, however, proposes, with the consent of the contributors, that the memorial should take the form of an oak reredos to the altar in the chancel with a brass plate containing the names of the fallen soldiers. He estimates that about £30 will be required. A meeting of the subscribers will shortly be called to deliberate.


CLEMENTS.—On October 24, at Prison Hospital, Zebest, Germany, Corpl. FRED CLEMENTS, second son of Mr. and Mrs. Clements, 33 Winfield Street, aged 21.—At Rest.


JESSON.—In ever affectionate remembrance of my dear chum, Corporal “ BOB ” JESSON, D.C.M., killed in action at Hebuterne, January 20th, 1916. R.I.P..—B.Q.M.S. W Heath, R.F.A.

WALDUCK.—In loving memory of ERN, who died of wounds Jan. 28, 1916.
—From his loving Father, Mother, Sisters, & Brothers.

17th Jan 1919. Back from Germany


Pte A W Cure, of the 1st Coldstream guards, a son of Mrs Cure, of Withybrook, arrived home from Germany on December 16th. He was taken prisoner after the retreat from Mons, and was thus a prisoner for over four years. He lives at 172 Humber Avenue, Coventry, and bears strong traces of the strain and stress of his confinement. He was first sent to Dobritz Camp, about 10 miles from Berlin, but spent the last year at Cotbuss Camp, further south and some 40 miles from the Austrian frontier. He says all food was very strictly rationed, and prisoners suffered most for want of good meat, the principal food being slops and soups. As to the populace of Germany itself, he found that some suffered severely, especially in the big towns, but that the countryside had practically the same rations as in peace times. The work he was put to was in the cement trade. He found the Hun guards in the majority of cases bullies.

He speaks very thankfully with regard to the parcels sent out to him from Rugby and Coventry—indeed without, without them he cannot think how he would have survived at all.

He writes to the Editor :—“ Will you kindly allow me a small space in your paper, as I fell it my duty to thank all kind friends and citizens of Rugby for their kindness and generosity to me in sending food parcels, which I must say were very much appreciated by me. I must thank Mr J R Barker and his Committee for the very kind help. I was captured Sept 17, 1914, and experienced some very trying times while in the hands of the enemy, but I am glad to say they could not break the spirit of a British soldier. Being a reservist, I was called up at the outbreak of war, august 4, 1914. I must conclude by wishing one and all a much brighter and more prosperous New Year, 1919.”

ALL the men from this village previously reported prisoners of war have now returned safely, the last arriving on Saturday in the person of Pte W Button, of whom nothing had been heard for some time.

PTE DAVID ISHAM, of the Devons, returned to his home on Sunday, after being a prisoner in Germany since May, 1918. He is the youngest son of Mr F Isham, of the Almsrooms. After capture he had a somewhat rough time on a journey to Saxony, where he was put to work in a coal mine. Thanks to a fairly regular supply of parcels, for which he wishes to express his thanks, he has not been short of food, and has been well treated.

MILITARY MEDAL.—Pte John Shelsy[?], of this village, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry on the field. Since the commencement of the war he has done good work with the Ambulance, and, being a Reservist, has seen much service.

RETURNED PRISONER OF WAR.—Corpl W White, who has been a Prisoner of War for the last nine months has returned home. He states that both at Cassel and Chimnitz he was very fairly treated. Just before he return he received the sad news of the death of his father.


MR & MRS H COCKERILL have received an official notification that their son, Pte Harry Cockerill, R.W.R. Lies buried in the Vis-en-Artois Cemetery, lying 10 miles E.S.E of Arras. He was killed on September 1st last.

MR & MRS JOSEPH LANE have received a communication from the Red Cross Society, stating that evidence has reached them pointing to the possibility that their son Pte Ernest Lane, reported missing on September 2nd last, may be a prisoner of war. His correct number has been furnished by a man, who states that he saw him captured. They are, however, advised to receive the news with caution.


Don’t forget the grand Football Final to-morrow (Saturday) between Rugby Discharged Sailors and Soldiers and Wycliffe Foundry, Lutterworth, at Eastlands, Clifton Road. Kick off at 2.30 p.m. Prompt.

Mrs Arthur James will present the Cup to the winning team. Roll up in your hundreds and shout for the soldier boys in royal blue and white. Several prominent players are taking part in the match.

The annual meeting of the Association was held on the 12th inst. It was attended by a large number of members, presided over by the Chairman, Mr J Cain. Keenness was the keynote throughout. Nineteen new members were elected, and the officials for the ensuing year elected.

An interesting report was made by the Chairman upon a propaganda meeting held at Southam last week, where 15 new members were made. It is proposed to form a branch of the Association in the district, and open an Institute at an early date. Several well-known local residents attended the meeting and promised their hearty support to the scheme.

The Chairman and treasurer are finding themselves very busy on Monday evenings now in the Committee Room, advising upon pensions, etc.


MAJOR B J HASLAM, D.S.O, R.E, reported missing and wounded on August 4th, 1918, is now reported to have been killed in action on that date. He was the eldest son of the late Mr. J B Haslam, H.M.I.S. of Rugby, his first wife, the daughter of Mr G Udney, of the Bengal Civil Service. He was educated at Rugby and Woolwich.

SINN FEINERS ARRESTED AT RUGBY.—Two Sinn Feiners (who will be tried at the London Guildhall to-day) were arrested at Rugby L and N.W. Railway Station last Saturday. Sensational revelations as to the methods by which the Sinn Fein Army is being secretly munitioned through an English agent are expected to be made during the hearing.

SOLDIERS ENTERTAINED.—On Saturday the Rugby branch of the Women Workers’ Federation entertained between 70 and 100 wounded soldiers from the local Red Cross Hospitals to a sumptuous meat tea and social in the Trades Hall. In the evening games, interspersed with songs, were played. The artistes included Miss Gibbs, Miss Jackson, Messrs Phillips, Heap, and Jackson.

THE “ St Matthew’s Parish Magazine ” states—the Memorial Window we are intending to erect in The Church as a memorial to those gallant men living in, or associated with, our Parish is now completed. All that remains, before it can be erected is to obtain the complete list of names to place on the brass tablets on either side of the window. We should therefore be greatly obliged if the names might be sent in to Mr Myers at once, so that we may have the window in by Easter.

ST JOHN’S V.A.D HOSPITAL.—A “ break up ” concert and dance were given at this hospital on Saturday evening, to which a large number of friends were invited. Mrs Arthur James presided, and also played the accompaniments. Mr Hearnshaw’s party and a Brandon party provided a vocal and instrumental programme. During an interval Sergt Hughes, on behalf of the patients, thanked Mrs James, the commandant, for making St John’s such an excellent home for the wounded. In reply, Mrs James regretted that her duties at Waterloo Station prevented her doing so much at the hospital as she would have like.


A dance has been held at the Village Hall on behalf of the Blind Soldiers and Sailors. Refreshments were served by the women of the Mothers’ Union, and Mrs W W Heap supplied the music for the dance.

The Green Man Hotel Parcel Fund closed a very successful career with the signing of the Armistice. The receipts from March, 1915, to November, 1918, were £115 8s 10d, which was distributed as follows :—Parcels despatched, or their value to solders on leave (188) £87 13s 8d, Bilton Red Cross Hospital £14 1s 8d, Rugby & District Prisoners of War Fund £11 11s 6d, St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blinded Soldiers £2 2s ; total £115 8s 10d.

A dance in aid of the funds of the St Dunstan’s Hostel for blinded Sailors and Soldiers was held in the Village Hall on New Year’s Day. In spite of the inclement weather, there was a large attendance, and the organisers, who have been working all through the winter on war charities under the direction of Mrs Arkwright and Miss Rowland, are to be congratulated on their success. The proceeds amounted to £11 11s.

PROPOSED WAR MEMORIAL.—A public meeting, convened by the Vicar, was held in the schools on Wednesday in last week to discuss ways and means of providing a suitable war memorial for the village. The Vicar suggested that an appropriate memorial would be a clock in the church tower. After lengthy discussion, it was finally agreed to erect in the church a tablet commemorating the names of villagers who had served in the War. If sufficient support was forthcoming, the aim should be to build a village hall for recreative purposes for both sexes. A large and representative committee was appointed to carry out the scheme. The officers appointed were : Mr E Carter, secretary ; Mr N Wilson, assistant secretary ; and Mr F Glover, treasurer.

WAR MEMORIAL.—A meeting was held in the Church House, New Bilton, on Thursday evening of last week, and was well attended. The Rev C C Chambers presided, and said the object of the meeting was to consider the placing of a stained glass window at the east end of the church as a memorial to parishioners who had given their lives for their country. He emphasised the fact that the proposed scheme was not antagonistic to any suggested by the Parish Council, but churchpeople generally thought that something in the way of beautifying the church should be done. The Vicar produced a sketch of the proposed window at an estimated cost of 209[?] guineas. It was certainly a large sum, but similar amounts had been raised before, and he was very optimistic concerning the proposed venture. The meeting unanimously adopted the scheme, and a committee to consider ways and means was appointed.


GRIFFITH.—On November 5, 1918, in Palestine, Pte. F. M. H., the dearly beloved husband of D. Griffith ; also beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. Griffith, Kilsby.
“ Sleep on, dear brother, in a far-off land,
In a grave we may never see ;
But as long as life and memory lasts
We will remember thee.
Could I have raised your dying head,
Or heard your last farewell,
Our grief would not have been so hard
For one we loved so well.
—From his sorrowing Wife and Children, Mother, Father & Sisters.

10th Jan 1919. Rugby’s War Memorial – Ambitious Scheme of Town Improvement Suggested


A special meeting of the Urban District Council was held at Benn Buildings on Tuesday evening to consider suggestions as to what form the proposed local war memorial should take, and after a very interesting discussion the matter was referred to a further meeting of the Council. Mr J J McKinnell (chairman) presided, and there were also present Messrs W H Linnell, R S Hudson, T Ringrose, L Loverock, C J Newman, F E Hands, S B Robbins, and H Yates.

The question was introduced by the Chairman, who said, while he did not think they should be in a hurry in making up their minds, at the same time they did not want to leave the matter too long, because people were apt to have short memories. He hoped they would be able to raise sufficient money with which to erect a proper and adequate memorial to their brave men. Anything decided upon that evening would have to be confirmed by a public meeting of citizens, but the people of the town desired the Council to take the lead in this matter, and he would like some suggestion to go forth from that meeting. If possible he would like any such suggestion to be unanimous. For his own part he thought they might like to erect some permanent memorial, in the form of an obelisk, which it was suggested should stand on the site of the old Whitehall. This should be a simple and inexpensive monument, and upon it should be inscribed the names of all men who had been killed. However, he did not think they should stop there, and in this connection he agreed with the suggestion to provide an institute or club for discharged and demobilised sailors, soldiers, and airmen, because he believed that the men who had laid down their lives would wish the country to honour their living comrades.

The Clerk (Mr A Morson, M.B.E) read several letters containing suggestions as to the form the proposed War Memorial should take. The first, from Lieut Peddell, suggested that houses should be built for disabled soldiers, away from the centre of the town, together with a small factory, which could be linked up with a larger or national scheme. By this means the men would also be able to earn their own living amid pleasant surroundings. Probably, too, some of the villages would desire to co-operate in such a scheme to assist their own wounded men. He suggested that the members of the Council should commence collecting in the various wards.

An anonymous writer made three suggestions : (1) The provision of an institute for demobilised sailors and soldiers. (2) That the Council should purchase Mr Pepperday’s property at the comer of High Street to enable them to round off this very dangerous corner. (3) The erection of a monument in a central position, in conjunction with other councils and corporations, so that a uniform idea could be carried out throughout the country after the fashion of the Martello Towers. It might be possible to combine the third suggestion with either the other two.

Mrs Arthur James, of Coton House, suggested the provision of a suitable building for the local branch of the Discharged Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Association. At present, she said, the branch consisted of 350 members; but after the War there would probably be 6,000 men eligible for membership. A provisional committee, of which she was chairman, had secured rooms for the members at the Eagle Hotel for the next few months, but she thought the most suitable War Memorial would be to provide the branch with a permanent home.

Mr W F Hardiman, Murray Road, suggested the erection of a monument on the Whitehall site. This should consist of a granite pedestal with bronze plates on either side, with raised lettering, commemorating the Volunteers, Conscripts, and members of the 29th Division. This should be surmounted by a bronze statue of Liberty.

Mr. J W Kenning wrote commending the formation of a fund to be called “ The Common Good ” which has already been fully explained in the Advertiser.

Mr T A Wise, who is away from the town and was unable to attend the meeting, wrote enclosing some sketches by Mr C H Samson for a suitable memorial. He mentioned, however, that he thought the idea was a bad one. Who, he asked, in 10 or 15 years’ time would want to turn up a book to see what John Jones or Tom Smith did in the war, or to look at a brass plate of names? He agreed with Mr Yates that they wanted a simple, inexpensive memorial with a simple inscription and no names.

A telegram was read from Major J L Baird, M.P, as under : “ Strongly urge that War Memorial should take form of Institute for Discharged Sailors and Soldiers.”

Mr Ringrose expressed approval of the Chairman’s suggestion, and Mr Robbins favoured Mrs Arthur James’s scheme.


As an old Rugbeian, Mr Linnell said he hoped whatever was done would be done well. He reminded the Council that about fifteen years ago he brought forward a proposal for abolishing the Gas Street slums, but it was not possible to do this then. This was a real slum district, and his idea was to do away with them and form a large square, to be called “ Victory Square.” This would be three times as big as the Market Place, and citizens could assemble there without interfering with the traffic. It could also be used in the future as the market. They could also build a memorial hall facing the square and Clifton Road. Independent of the war memorial, he thought the Town should carry out this improvement as soon as possible. They would be able to acquire the property at a low figure, and would be able to recoup themselves for some of the expenses by the sale of frontages, which would be very valuable owing to the improvements.

WAR MEMORIAL.—Capt M E T Wratislaw presided at a recent special meeting of Bilton Parish Council to consider the question of the parish war memorial.—After discussion, it was decided that the Parish Council resolve itself into a committee (with power to co-opt other members) to collect subscriptions and to consider suggestions which will be invited from a parish meeting to be held on January 24th.

WHIST DRIVE AND DANCE.—A whist drive and dance were held in the Council School, promoted by a committee of villagers and the proceeds are to be given to Mrs A Allen, whom Husband, Pte A Allen, was killed in the last stage of the war. Upwards of 120 persons were present, 26 tables being used in play. Prizes were presented by Mrs J Clarke, the successful players being : Ladies, 1 Miss Battson, 2 Miss Shone, 3 Mrs Over ; Gentlemen, 1 Mr T Gibson, 2 Mr F Round, 3 Mr T Archer ; consolation, Miss Cave and Mr J Hayward. Mr P West was the successful competitor in a guessing competition. After an interval for refreshments dancing was indulged in. Miss Dadley presided at the piano.

The proposal to use the balance of the Prisoners of War Fund to endow a bed at the Hospital of St Cross in memory of prisoners of war who have died in captivity has met with general approval. A sum of £1,000 is required to endow a bed, and towards this there was a balance of £800. A further £135 has been received during the past two or three weeks, leaving only £65 to be raised. Among the latest donations is a cheque for ten guineas from Major Claude Seabroke, who in an accompanying letter says : “ I have read with admiration the ceaseless work accomplished by the Rugby Prisoners of War Fund, and of your scheme for the application of the balance, which is sure to meet with unanimous approval.” Further donations will be gladly acknowledged by Mr J Reginald Barker, Hon Organising Secretary, Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee, and should be addressed to him at 9 Regent Street, Rugby.
It is hoped that the small amount still required will be quickly raised.


SIR,—The Army Council have asked this association to assist in bringing to the notice of the relatives of those Warwickshire officers and men who have fallen in the present War the work that has been done by the Imperial War Graves Commission. For this purpose a report in considerable detail has been prepared, giving the policy which has now been adopted by the Commission for the permanent marking of war graves abroad and the work of reconstruction in the cemeteries. A limited number of copies of the report referred to have been obtained by this association, and if those interested will apply to the undersigned a copy will be sent to them.—Yours faithfully,

Secretary, Territorial Force Association, Warwickshire.
46 High St., Warwick,. Jan 7, 1919.

[A few notes under this heading will appear weekly in our columns.]

We wonder if ALL the people of Rugby know there is an Association for Discharged Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen ? There is one, and their institute is at the Eagle Hotel, Market Place, Rugby. We wonder if there are any discharged men who are not already members. If not, why not, as their interests will be studied very minutely in the future, and that is what we must look forward to. Join, and assure that you do not have a repetition of the after-effects of the last war.

The annual general meeting of the association will be held on Sunday next. The general meetings are held on alternate Sundays.

The Public Library Committee held a War Trophies Exhibition this week in their Museum, when a collection of interesting relics were exhibited by the association. The proceedings of the exhibition, it is understood are to be handed over to the association.

Can anyone help in a similar way, as funds are required to carry on the various schemes and good work of the association ? We understood on good authority that they will take a permanent position in the local social circle. Can they be repaid for what they have borne for us ?

Is it generally known that the D.S.S.A Association have a first-class football team, and have qualified for the final for the Rugby and District Challenge Cup, which takes place on the Eastlands Ground, Clifton Road, on Saturday, January 18th, at 2.30 p.m. Mrs Arthur James has kindly consented to present the cup to the winners. Tickets are being bought quickly, and you should get yours at once, price 6d. Roll up and see them play as well as they have fought.

Will discharged men living in the villages please get amongst their friends to interest themselves in the formation of branches of the D.S.S.A Association, and communicate with the Secretary, Eagle Hotel, Rugby, as a Propaganda Committee has now been formed, and commences this week to make a tour of the villages ?

We are pleased to note that wounded soldiers from the various hospitals are making use of the Institute, which has supplied a long-felt want.

We understand the Information Bureau is in being, and the two representatives of the association who are on the Local Pensions Committee will be pleased to meet members at the Institute between the hours of 8 and 9 p.m. every Monday in the committee room, and give advice relative to any questions respecting their pensions &c. The committee have been able to get into direct touch with the Pensions Authorities, and many grievances coming to members, widows, and dependents are at present under consideration by the Ministry. A list of employers is in course of preparation for obtaining posts for discharged men. Their names are required to make the list a substantial one. Already quite a number of men have been placed, and in good positions too, which is as it should be.

Intending members should note this important point : “ Unity is strength ” ; and who can look after your own interest better than your own comrades ?

One good feature of the Association is its aloofness from politics or party.


On Saturday afternoon about 200 repatriated entertained by the employees of the B.T.H Company. The arrangements were made by a representative committee drawn from the offices and shops, and the entertainment was one which will long be remembered by all who were privileged to be present, especially in view of the fact that, as one of the guests remarked, this was the first public greeting which had been extended to repatriated prisoners in Rugby.

The gathering was held in the new canteen off the Brownsover footpath—a building which, by reason of its spaciousness and facilities for cooking, is admirably adapted for such a purpose. The walls and rafters of the canteen were decorated with flags, bunting and evergreens, and as one entered by the main door one’s eye was at once attracted to a large streamer, bearing the one word, “ Welcome.”

The guests were welcomed on behalf of the hosts by Messrs H H Sporborg and R Dumas.

The former explained that that gathering had been arranged because the employees of the company, appreciating to the full what the soldiers’ share had been in carrying through the great war to victory, desired to entertain them and to express the great admiration they felt for them and the way in which they had done their duty. They all realised the important part electricity had played in the War, and he referred with pride to the part the employees of the company had taken in providing the necessary munitions of war, but even so they all realised that the part of the soldiers was a far more arduous one, and it was on this account that that entertainment had been arranged.

Mr R Dumas said that all connected with the works realised that while they had been carrying out a necessary and essential part in the War by providing the soldiers with munitions and apparatus, still of necessity their part had been a less arduous one, a less risky one, and a less meritorious one than the part which they, as soldiers, had fulfilled. They, therefore, thought it was up to them to show their appreciation of the soldiers by trying to give them a good time in every respect, and it was for this reason that this entertainment had been arranged.

During the earlier part of the afternoon selections were played by Mr J T E Brown’s orchestra, after which the following programme was given :—Duet, “ life’s dream is o’er,” Mrs L Turnbull and Mr G Maley ; song, “ A chip of the old block,” Mr H Birkett ; musical sketch, “ My marriage,” Mr C T Mewis ; song, “ Plum stones,” Mrs J Hutton ; song, “ Mountain lovers,” Mr T C Thompson ; humorous song, “ The rest of the day’s your own,” Mr C T Mewis ; duets, “ The battle eve ” and “ Watchman ! what of the night ? ” Mr T C Thompson and Mr H Birkett ; song, “ Angus Macdonald,” Mrs Turnbull ; song, “ The floral dance,” Mr H Birkett.

An excellent tea followed, after which a cinema film, arranged in the form of a brief tour through the B.T.H Works, was shown. Scenes in the various shops and bays were thrown on the screen, and the film, besides proving very interesting and entertaining, gave the guests a very clear conception of the great and manifold activities of the company. A laughable Charlie Chaplin film, entitled “ At 1.0 a.m.” kindly lent by Mr. R Morris, of the Empire, was also shown.

Then came the event of the day—the Christmas dinner. The menu was an excellent one, including. as it did, roast turkey, gosling, chicken, vegetables, Christmas pudding, mince pies and sauces, and sweets of all descriptions, admirably served up by Mr Brownsward and his assistants. The guests were waited upon by lady friends of the organisers, &c, and the plentiful repast was thoroughly enjoyed.

After dinner Lieut Basil Parker, on behalf of the repatriated prisoners of war, expressed gratitude to the promoters and workers who had given them such a splendid entertainment. President Wilson himself could not have had a more hearty welcome than that which had been accorded to them. The prisoners came back, not knowing what was going to happen to them, and, so far as he knew, this was their first public greeting in Rugby, but it would be impossible for any other to surpass it.

Sergt-Major Harris and Sergt Cox supported on behalf of the wounded soldiers.

Mr Dumas, in response, said if the guests were pleased that was the best thanks the committee could have.


The next item on the programme was the stripping of the huge Christmas tree, which had been prettily decorated with a multitude of many-coloured electric bulbs, and from which each guest received a handsome and useful present.

In the evening a number of the female employees of the company attended by invitation, and dancing to music supplied by the B.T.H Band was kept up until about 10 o’clock.


During the afternoon Major J L Baird, M.P, paid a brief visit to the party, and a telegram wishing the guests an enjoyable time was received from Lance-Corpl Vickers, V.C, and Sergt-Major Blythe.

The committee consisted of Messrs G Ralph (chairman), A S Kettle (treasurer) J E Smith (secretary), G Allford, J Atkinson, H Birkett, A Cannon, G Cooke, J Disney, W I Fells, M Henson, J S Heap, A Lord, G Maley, J T Porter, J Sharples, F Starmore, and H Yates.


ABBOTT.—In loving memory of Gunner WALTER JOHN ABBOTT, fifth son of Mr. A Mrs. Middleton, of Watford (late of Rugby), who died in France on January 5, 1919, from injuries received in a train accident while coming home on leave, after four years’ service ; aged 38 years.—“ Thy will be done.”

CHATER.—On October 8, 1918, Pte. ARTHUR E. E. CHATER, dearly beloved son of Mr. & Mrs Chater, 7 Plowman Street, who was killed in action in France.

GAMMAGE.—On November 18th, Pte. JOSEPH GAMMAGE, the dearly beloved son of Mrs. Gammage, Kilsby, of dysentery, in Belgium aged 28 years.—From his sorrowing Mother, Brother and Sisters.


3rd Jan 1919. New Bilton Man Killed by Aeroplane


On Christmas Eve Pte Richard Thomas Wilson, Royal Air Force, son of Mrs Wilson, 1 New Street, New Bilton, was accidentally killed at Ramsey Upward Aerodrome. Pte Wilson was in charge of the night flares, and while he was assisting to guide an aeroplane to its landing place he was caught by one of the wings and so badly injured that he died within a quarter of an hour. The funeral took place with military honours at New Bilton on Monday. Representatives from deceased’s unit attended, and the firing party was provided by a detachment from the Rugby Company of the Volunteers.

Pte Wilson was 46 years of age, and was previously employed by Mr Shears as a plasterer’s labourer. He joined the Army six months ago.


Bombardier John Hirons, R.F.A, formerly employed in the B.T.H Lamp Factory, died in Italy from bronchial pneumonia on December 22nd.

Corpl W Haggar, Worcester Regiment, was reported missing on March 21st, and until last week his parents, Mr and Mrs J Hangar, 10 Alexandra Rd, Rugby, had received no tidings. They have now obtained through the Red Cross the following report from a returned prisoner of war :—“ On March 21st, about 11 a.m, I saw W Haggar killed by a bullet. He was hit in the heart, death being instantaneous. I was five yards away. We were compelled to leave the body in a shallow trench, as the Germans were pressing forward. It occurred on the St Quentin front. Corpl Haggar had just returned for the second or third time after being wounded.” Previous to joining up at the outbreak of war Corpl Haggar was employed at the B.T.H. He was awarded the Military Medal for gallant conduct in June, 1917. Two brothers are still serving in France.

TO WOUNDED SOLDIERS AND RELEASED PRISONERS.— By an advertisement in another column it will be seen that any released prisoner of war in Rugby or district are invited to the B.T.H employees’ Christmas Party.

AT the Rugby Cattle Market on Monday a number of surplus Army horses were submitted by auction by Mr W Wiggins. Some useful animals were included, and good prices were realised, the highest price being 82 guineas. Mr Wiggins will offer a similar consignment next week.


On Thursday next a grand Victory ball in aid of the testimonial fund to Lance-CorpI Arthur Vickers, the first member of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment to win the Victoria Cross, will take place in the Co-op. Hall, Rugby. Similar balls have been held or arranged in other large centres in the county, and the promoters have secured the patronage of many leading residents.

It is interesting to recall that Lance-Corpl Vickers was at one time employed by the B.T.H Company at Rugby as a brass caster, and at that time he resided at 80 Railway Terrace. He will be present at the ball, and it is expected that Mr F O Roberts, M.P, will also attend. The testimonial fund already stands at about £500.

A contemporary says : “ Lance-Corpl Vickers, V.C, may be permitted to believe that the figure five is his lucky number. He is one of a family of five, stands 5ft. high (or low), was rejected five times before his acceptance for the Army, won the coveted decoration in the fifth month he was in France on the 25th September, 1915. Out of 850 who went into the assault only 55 returned. Truly, the lance-corporal may with justice regard life as a game of fives.”


On Thursday Lance-Corpl Vickers paid a visit to the B.T.H Works, where he was received, on behalf of the Company, by Mr G Ralph. Mr S London, and several other officials. Mr J J McKinnell, J.P. C.C, was also present. L-Corpl Vickers was entertained to lunch in the spacious Works Canteen, and during an interval was introduced to the workpeople by Mr G A Maley, chairman of the Canteen Committee, who explained that Vickers was the first ex-employee of the Company to win the V.C. The gallant fellow was loudly cheered by the diners, and the pianist played “ See the Conquering Hero Comes.” After briefly returning thanks, Vickers was kept busy for some time autographing photographs. He with Mr McKinnell and Sergt-Major Blythe were afterwards shown round the Works by Mr Ralph.


This question was again considered, and Mr Cox suggested that a parish meeting should be called to make suggestions, unless the Council were prepared with any scheme to lay before the parishioners. They wished to carry the whole parish with them as far as possible.—The Chairman : May we obtain money out of the rates ?—Mr Cox : No ; it must be raised voluntarily.—The Chairman : The erection of a village hall has been suggested.—Mr Cox : Yes ; such a thing would be very useful; but it means spending a lot of money, and unless the inhabitants subscribe generously it cannot be obtained.—After further discussion it was decided to adjourn the further consideration of the matter until the annual parish meeting in March, when suggestions from the parishioners will be invited.

CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS.- On Boxing Day all the school children of Dunchurch and Thurlaston, to the number of 200, were entertained at the Village Hall to a capital tea, provided mainly by the members of Mrs Arkwright’s working party, aided by the gifts of many kind friends. Each child received from a beautifully decorated Christmas tree a toy or useful article at the hands of Father Christmas, ably personated by Mr E Amos. The entertainment was a pleasant surprise to the children, and all the more enjoyable as being a return to pre-war conditions ; indeed to some of the younger ones it was altogether a new experience. The presence of a large number of men home on leave, and the return of several prisoners of war, added much to the joy of the festive season. The services at the Parish Church and at Thurlaston were well attended on Christmas Day. At the Bishop’s request, last Sunday was observed as a “ Day of Remembrance,” recalling the lessons and experiences of the war.

When they were expecting his return home the parents of Pte Rupert Barratt, 2/6 Royal Warwicks, of Brickhill Cottages, Cawston, who was taken prisoner on April 22nd last, were notified of his death at Tournai on July 12th. A week or so later after receiving this sad news Pte Barratt’s father succumbed to pneumonia after a few days’ illness.

Pte F Ward, of the Oxford & Bucks Infantry, who has been a prisoner of war since 1915, is home on leave. Pte J T Tompkins, of the 12th Norfolks, who was wounded the day Jerusalem fell, has been home on a 12 days’ leave.


Mr W I Shaw, the hon treasurer of the British Red Cross Society in Warwickshire, states that the collections for “ Our Day ” in the county realised £8,227 8s 8d, as against £5,288 13s 1d in 1917, and £2,237 4s 1d in 1916. The collection in the Coleshill Division (per Mr T Clayton) was £1,500, a magnificent total. In Coventry city it was £1,256 ; in Kenilworth (per Mrs Rotherham) £511 15s 3d ; in Leamington £402 13s 10d ; in Rugby district £400, and in the Southam division £4400 6s 1d. In many districts the was doubled this year, and altogether the result was remarkably good, and reflects great credit upon the ladies and gentlemen who organised and conducted the collection.

A special appeal was made this year for “ Our Day ” for funds so urgently required for the needs of the British Red Cross Society, and sincere thanks are tendered to all those who by their efforts have made Warwickshire contributions such a notable success.


There was little business of public interest at the meeting of the Food Control Committee on Thursday, when there were present : Mr H Tarbox (in the chair), Mrs Dewar, Mrs Shelley, Messrs A Appleby, W Brooke, J Cripps, R Griffin, A Humphrey, C Gay, G H Mellor, F S Hodgkins, and W A Stevenson.


A milk retailer wrote explaining that she was now receiving more milk than she required, and unless she was allowed to supply the B.T.H canteen again she would have to discontinue taking milk from one farmer. The worry of having too much milk was worse than having not enough.—The Executive Officer (Mr Burton) agreed that there was now a surplus supply of milk locally, due to the working of the Registration Scheme, and it was decided to allow any surplus to be equally divided between the B.T.H and W & R canteens.

The Executive Officer explained that in conformity with the instructions of the Ministry of Food, he had applied to all persons who received more than the specified quantity of sugar for preserving for the surrender of jam coupons. He wrote to Mrs Nickalls, of the Ridgway, amongst others, asking for the surrender of jam coupons. To this Mrs Nichalls replied : “ I think your letter is very extraordinary. I received 20lbs extra sugar and put aside half the jam—14lbs—for the Government. I then went to the Food Control and was told that they did not require the jam after all. You now require coupons for 40lbs of jam. All I can say is I have naturally used the coupons and have none to send. If I had had proper notice, of course I should not have used them.” The Executive Officer replied : “ Coupons equivalent to the amount of sugar granted over and above 6lbs per head of the household must be surrendered. I note that you say you have none to send. Surely this would apply to the coupons up to this week, as it would be an offence to use coupons now which are not available till later. If I this is so, I must ask you to forward the number of coupons required at your earliest convenience.” Mrs Nickalls then sent a postcard, as follows :—“ If you can show me the official Gorvernment notice from headquarters, you can have the coupons.”—Mr Burton added that he then ascertained the name of the retailer with whom she was registered, and he wrote asking him not to supply her with any more jam until further notice.—Mr Stevenson : In view of the correspondence, I move that a letter be sent demanding that these coupons be sent, and. failing this, that action be taken at once. We can’t be insulted like this.—Mrs Dewar said she quite agreed with the action of the Committee, but the unfortunate thing was that some of the smaller committees were not doing this.—The Executive Officer pointed out that the instructions of the Ministry on the point were very definite.—The Chairman said they could not allow this case to pass, or the dignity of the Committee would be upset altogether.—The resolution was carried.


It was reported that from January 26 the sugar ration would be ¾lb per head.

The Executive Officer reported that the Divisional Commissioner was holding 10cwt of cheese for distribution in the district each month, and the basis of allocation was approved.—It was noted that at present cheese supplies were very short.


A development of importance to local industry is foreshadowed in the recent registration of a new Company, termed the English Engineering Co. with a capitol of £5,000,000. This Company  is formed to co-ordinate the interests of the Coventry Ordnance Works, Phoenix Dynamo Co, and Dick Kerr & Co. The latter Company recently acquired by purchase of shares predominating interest in Willans & Robinson’s and some minor concerns. Since the Coventry Ordnance Company represent mainly the interests of Cammell, Laird & Co, the Fairfield Shipbuilding Co, and John Brown & Co, it will be seen that this group becomes of first importance in the engineering world.

The new English Engineering Company will, as the central or parent company, represent a very  important coalition of purely British engineering manufacturers, and it is to be expected that the co-operation thus assured will make for increased production and employing power.

We understand that this development will not entail any changes in the local management of Willans and Robinson, and that Mr Davenport will continue his direction thereof.


BOSWORTH.—On Dec. 5th, 1918, at the American Base Hospital, Toul, France, Private THOMAS BOSWORTH, 2nd Linc’s Fusiliers, of  pneumonia ; released prisoner of war ; aged 35 ; youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Bosworth, Lutterworth.—“ The Lord watch between me and thee when we are absent one from another.”

HAGGER.—In loving memory of Corpl. W. HAGGAR, 2/8 Worcester, fifth son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Haggar, Alexandra Road, Rugby, who was killed at St. Quentin, on March 21st, 1918 (previously reported missing). Aged 28.—“ Thy will be done.”—From Father, Mother, Brothers, sisters, and Ida.

HIRONS.—On December 22, 1918, at Facura 3rd Military Hospital, Italy, Bombr. JOHN, the dearly loved youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. R. Hirons, Kilsby, in his 29th year.—“ Thy will be done.”
—From his sorrowing Father & Mother, Brothers and Sisters.


JOHNSON.—In loving memory of our dear brother, L/Corpl. GEORGE JOHNSON, of the R.W. Regt., who died of wounds in France on January 4, 1918.
“ Sleep on, dear brother, in a far-off land,
In a grave we may never see ;
But as long as life and memory last
We will remember thee.”
—Ever remembered by his loving Mother & Sisters.

SHEASBY.—In proud and loving memory of PRIVATE HORACE SHEASBY (HOD), of Napton, who died of wounds Dec 30th, 1917. Ever in the thoughts of May, and sadly missed by his best chum W Webb. R.I.P.


Abbott, Walter John. Died 1st Jan 1919

Walter John Abbott, the son of Caroline and William Abbott was born in 1880 in Rugby.  He was baptised at Newbold on Avon on 14 March 1880.  His 4 older brothers were born in Rhyl, North Wales.  By the time Walter was one year old his mother (born Newbold on Avon) was a widow and the Inn Keeper of the Globe Inn, 53 Railway Terrace, Rugby. She married Thomas Middleton in 1883 who became the Hotel Keeper and they had several more children.

In 1901 Walter John Abbott was a servant Grocer’s Assistant in Pershore, Worcestershire. In 1911 Walter Middleton was living in Louth, Lincolnshire with his wife Kate Isabel, born in Burton on Trent and two children Cynthia and Edward. He was a grocer’s traveller.

Walter John Abbott served as a gunner (No. 152488) in “D” Battery, 199th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, under the name of Middleton and was buried at Tournai Communal Cemetery Allied Extension.

Rugby Advertiser of 10 January 1919 states:
ABBOTT in loving memory of Gunner Walter John Abbott, fifth son of Mr and Mrs Middleton of Watford (late of Rugby) who died in France on 5 January 1919 from injuries received in a train accident while coming home on leave after four years service aged 38 years.  “Thy will be done”.