21st Feb 1919. A Grateful Volunteer Company, Rugby Presentation to Capt C H Fuller.

A GRATEFUL VOLUNTEER COMPANY.
RUGBY PRESENTATION TO CAPT. C. H. FULLER.

The B Company (Rugby) of the 2nd Vol. Batt. Royal Warwickshire Regiment assembled at Headquarters on Sunday last (the only day of the week on which they could all attend) to he photographed before they are disbanded, but the weather was unsuitable, and it was postponed till the 23rd inst. At 2-15.

There was a very strong muster, and Capt C H Fuller took the opportunity of thanking the Company for the support they had given him during the past four years. He referred to the difficulties and disappointments of the early days of the Volunteer Movement, and the excellent results that had been obtained since the recognition of the Force by the War Office as an integral part of the Home Defence against any invasion emergency. He said a great many of them had worked together from January, 1915, and some hundreds had passed through the Company into the Army, and had testified to the advantages they gained from the training they had received. All who had been, and still were, members of the Company had been actuated throughout by a sense of duty which had led to the excellent discipline which had been shown and which he felt sure could not be surpassed by any other unit. Capt Fuller said that it was difficult to find words adequately to express his gratitude for the loyalty which had been shown him by each one of the Officers, N.C.O’s and men. He took no credit to himself for the success of the Company, as it was the discipline and devotion to duty which had been shown by all ranks which had made his Command so easy and successful. He had always tried to act up to the principle of being in the first place fair to everyone and then of being firm. He could not be too thankful for the good spirit which had always prevailed, and he wished to say how grateful he was to those who out of their holidays had attended Instructional Courses at the various centres of instruction, which had produced such good instructors on whom so much depended. He thanked also these who had given up so much time at the ranges, in the orderly room and on other duties. They had been called upon to be prepared for an emergency which everyone hoped, and many felt might never arise, but their keenness never slackened. Now that their work was coming to an end he hoped the reward would be in the lesson they had learnt from the success of unity of purpose and good comradeship—two attributes which were needed so much now, and at all times, in everyday life.

An interesting presentation was then made by Lieut M W Yates, who said that on behalf of all the officers, N.C.O’s and men of the Rugby Company he was going to ask Capt Fuller to accept a small gift as an appreciation of the feelings of respect and goodwill held for him by the members of this Company. He felt justified in doing it [at] this stage in view of the arms and equipment having been withdrawn preparatory to disbandment.

He said that when the Volunteer movement first started the work was carried on under very discouraging conditions, and as time went on many asked themselves whether it was worth while spending so much effort on a movement which was apparently one of such indifference to those outside. This feeling was very strong, and it was entirely due to Capt Fuller’s zeal and keenness that those under him were inspired to hang together through that trying time. After the Volunteers had been placed on an official footing great strides were made due to the advantage taken by officers and N.C.O’s of the Courses of Instruction at various Army Schools, and he was certain that the reason the Company benefited so greatly by these facilities was the confidence Capt Fuller had in his officers and N.C.O’s to carry out the schemes of instruction with the result that the Company had attained a high state of efficiency.

On behalf of all members of the Company Lieut Yates thanked Capt Fuller for the courteous and sportsmanlike way in which he had always treated them, which had gone so far towards the maintenance of a spirit of friendliness and good fellowship in their Company. He, therefore, asked Capt Fuller to accept a silver salver, which he hoped would be a perpetual reminder of the cordial relations which had always existed between the Officers, N.C.O’s and men of the Rugby Company and their Commanding Officer.

Capt Fuller, in acknowledging the gift, said he had lived long enough to have witnessed many presentations, and it was generally a figure of speech for the recipient to say he was taken by surprise. But he assured them that in his case this was really true. The surprise was complete, and he could not find words to thank them sufficiently. He had tried to do his duty, but felt that he had done nothing to deserve such a recognition as this. However, he was evidently mistaken, for it was quite impossible for the Company to have come forward in a body in this way with such a handsome gift unless they had a genuine desire to show him their appreciation. He thanked Lieut Yates for all he had said about him as well as every Officer, N.C.O and man for their generous present—he would always value it, and it would constantly remind him of his work with them in the Company, which had always been so pleasant, and with the result of which, through their loyalty and support, he was justly proud. They had formed close ties of friendship, and he hoped they might meet together on other occasions to keep them alive.

WAR HONOURS.—Recent honours lists have contained the names of the following Rugby men :—Meritorious Service Medal : Q.M.S F G Ansell, Lancashire Fusiliers ; Sergt O H Hootton, Oxon and Bucks L.I. ; and Sergt J Bottrill. Military Medal : Corpl J P Webb, Tank Corps ; Pte C R Bates, 5th R.W.R. ; and Gunner E Thomason, 400th Battery, 14th R.F.A, “ A” Brigade. Bar to Military Medal : Sergt W J Keenan, 4th Worcester Regiment.

SERGT F H LINES, Rugby Howitzer Battery, son of Inspector Lines of Rugby, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the Field.

CLIFTON.
D.C.M.—L-Corpl J Vale, 2nd Bn Oxford & Bucks L.I, has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

BRINKLOW.
MILITARY MEDAL.—Sergt R E Lewin, R.W.R, who, for a short time, was a prisoner-of-war in Germany, has been awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery in leading his platoon into action and devotion to duty.

BOURTON-ON-DUNSMORE.
Christmas Presents to Soldiers.—With the money collected from the villagers, and the proceeds of a whist drive and dance, 8s each has been sent to 42 soldiers and two widows. The recipients have thanked the donors for their kindness. There was a balance of £2 8s, which has been sent to St Dunstan’s Hostel.
HANDSOME GIFT.—A parish meeting was held on Monday evening to consider the question of a War Memorial. Mr F Shaw was in the chair. It was decided to build a Memorial Hall, and a committee was appointed to deal with the matter. Mr Shaw promised to give the site and £100 towards the fund. Mr Hooper was elected secretary and treasurer. It has also been decided to erect a brass tablet in the church, on which will be inscribed the names of those who have fallen in the war.

LONG ITCHINGTON.
WAR MEMORIAL.—On Tuesday evening last a meeting was held at the schools of subscribers to the War Memorial to be erected in the church. The Vicar (Rev H G Kane) presided. Amongst various schemes submitted, the erection of an oak pulpit in place of the present stone and marble structure seemed to meet with most favour, but no final decision was arrived at.

VILLAGE HALL FOR HILLMORTON.
WAR MEMORIAL AGREED UPON.

A parish meeting was held in the Council Schools on Tuesday evening for the purpose of securing suggestions for the erection of a memorial in commemoration of those who had fallen in the War. The chair was taken by Mr J W Cockerill, and amongst those present were—Messes M T T Anderson, A F Cockerill and J Killworth (members of the Parish Council) ; Capt Miller, Major and Mrs Nichalls, Mrs Parnell, Rev R Lever, Miss Hands, Mr and Mrs C W Perkins, Mr and Mrs F Dyson, Mr and Mrs Allard ; Messrs W Perkins, A Mercer, J Canham, G Burton, G Taylor, W Garratt, G Webb, J J Brown, L W Fitter, W Walton, H Sotton, C Conning, J Roberts, G Pettifer, and others. Mr F Clayson acted as clerk.

In his opening remarks the Chairman said : Some months ago Col Bucknill offered to convey to the Parish Council the Green Gardens on condition that the Council converted them into a public garden or pleasure ground for the resort of the inhabitants. In making the offer Col Bucknill informed them that he had already promised the corner plot, facing the old cross, to the vicar and churchwardens, who had been left a legacy of £750 by the late Mrs M Rogers for the purpose of building a village hall. Col Bucknill went on to say that a suitable building could not be erected for the sum mentioned, and suggested that the Parish Council try to persuade the trustees of Mrs Rogers to combine with them so that a suitable building could be erected as a memorial. Several meetings were held, and as they were unable to accept Col Bucknill’s terms, as a whole, the offer was withdrawn, and a new offer made, in the event of a combination of funds taking place, to give a slightly larger plot of land and head the subscription list with a suitable cash donation (cheers).

Capt Miller wished to know what was the present position.

The Chairman : The Parish Council suggest the building of a village hall, providing the trustees of Mrs Rogers’ bequest would combine with them.

Mr Cockerill said that so far as the trustees were concerned, they were quite willing. But it must be distinctly understood that the offer was subject to the approval of the Charity Commissioners. As to the management, they were prepared to suggest that the three trustees and two others, elected from the Parish Council, should form the committee. He had been informed that there would not be much difficulty in this respect.

Major Nickalls said that, after the remarks they had just listened to, he had great pleasure in proposing that the Parish Council scheme be adopted. What he, and no doubt others, wanted to see was something erected in the parish to commemorate the brave deeds of those who had fallen, and when they came to look round, Hillmorton had not done so badly (cheers). What could be more appropriate as a war memorial than a village hall, containing the names of those who had fallen, the wounded, and also those who had served ? (cheers).

Mr G Burton seconded the proposition.

Mr J J Brown said that before the proposition was put he would like to know whether they could have “ their glass of beer ” in the hall.

Mr Cockerill : That has not been considered in the scheme, but I should say not.

Mr Brown : I am afraid you won’t get the money you want then. That is what the “ boys ” are expecting. He thought they ought to be able to have “ their glass,” so as to save going into a public house.

Capt Miller said he did not think anyone would withhold their subscriptions on the grounds stated by Mr Brown.

The proposition was then put to the meeting, and carried unanimously.

Mr C Allard proposed that the Parish Council, together with five elected from that meeting, form the committee for the purpose of putting the scheme into operation.

Major Nickalls seconded, and this was agreed to.

Seven names were submitted, the following being elected—Mrs Parnell, Major Nickalls, Capt Miller, and Messrs C Allard and H Capell.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

RUGBY WAR MEMORIAL.
QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED.

SIR,—Much interest is being taken in proposed memorial to the men of Rugby who fell or who served in the great War. There is deep and sincere feeling among the townspeople generally, many of whom mourn near and dear relatives, whom bodies now lie in foreign lands, that it should be a memorial in every way worthy of the men who answered the call to save us and our country.

The character, form and site of the proposed memorial call for the most careful and thoughtful consideration, and it is also essential that the opinion of the townspeople should be ascertained as widely as possible, and that a thoroughly representative committee should be constituted.

With this object in view, might I suggest that you invite a number of representative citizens to contribute their opinions to your columns as a lead to the townspeople and a guide to the committee which might be formed at a town’s meeting ?

I think attention ought especially to be directed to the following points :—

(1.) Do you agree there should be a monument ? If so, please give suggestions as to character and form, and state what in your opinion would be the most suitable site.

(2.) Have you any other proposal for any other memorial in addition to, or apart from, a monument ? If so, please state proposal.

(3.) Have you any suggestion as to the constitution of the committee which will deal with arrangements ?

Hoping this suggestion will receive consideration,—Yours, &c,
EN QUAD.

[Our columns are always open to ventilate suggestions regarding the welfare and development of the town and district, and we particularly welcome the opinions of residents on this important topic. All those interested will have an opportunity of hearing representative citizens at the public meeting to be held in the Benn Buildings to-night (Friday).—Ed R.A.]

WASTE PAPER.
We desire to acknowledge the kindness of those Readers who have brought waste paper to our Office during the past twelve months, and to notify them that we have now DISCONTINUED collecting it.

SALE OF ARMY HORSES.—On Monday Messrs Howkins & Sons disposed of a consignment of 50 surplus Army horses, 36 draught, and 14 riders at Rugby Cattle Market. A large company of buyers attended from the surrounding districts, and capital prices were realised. Draught horses made up to £70 each, several making between £50 and £60 each. The riding horses made up to £37 each, cobs from £20 to £28 each. We understand that 50 more are coming for sale next Monday.

IN MEMORIAM.

CHEDGEY.—In loving memory of ROBERT EDWIN CHEDGEY, Bitteswell, Lutterworth, officer’s steward, H.M. Destroyer, “ Norman,” drowned at sea, February 23, 1918, aged 23 years. Also his brother, PERCY JAMES CHEDGEY, Sergeant, 9th London Regiment, who died of wounds near Arras, March 22, 1917, aged 24 years.—“ Though they die, their names shall ever swell the scroll of British glory.”

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Barrows, Henry Dester. Died 24th Feb 1919

Henry Dester BARROWS was born in early 1881 in Rugby, and registered there – possibly slightly late – as Harry Dester Barrows, in Q2, 1881.  He was the third son of Edmund Barrows (a tailor and son of a tailor, b.c.1848 in Lutterworth) and Emma, née Emily Warner, Barrows (the daughter of a shoemaker, also b.c.1848 in Lutterworth).   They had married on 13 March 1872 at St Philip’s church, Birmingham.

In the 1874, 1876 and 1880 Rugby Directories,[1] Edmund Barrows was listed as a Tailor, living at 3 Round Street, and this is confirmed by the 1881 census.

On 3 April 1881, Henry was just three months old, suggesting that he was born in late December 1880 or January 1881.  The family were living at 3 Round Street, Rugby.  Henry’s father Edmund was still a Tailor.  In 1881 Edmund’s schoolmistress sister was with them at the house.  In 1884, the family was at an unnumbered property in Bridgett Street.[2]  By 1891, they had moved to live at nearby 2 Oliver Street, Rugby.  Henry’s father Edmund was still a Tailor.  Henry was just 10 and at school – he may have gone to St. Matthew’s School like his elder brother.

By 1901 Henry’s mother was widowed and living with her sister at 7 George Street, Rugby.  Henry was aged 19, single and boarding at 24 Allestree Road, Fulham – where he was a ‘builder’s plasterer’.  In 1911 Harry was enumerated as aged 28, still single, still working as a Plasterer, and boarding at Providence Villa, Fairfield, Leatherhead, Surrey.

His Service Record survives, within the ‘burnt records’, as do his Medal Card and Award Roll, all in the name ‘Harry Barrows’ which show him as a Sapper, in the Royal Engineers, initially as No:(T)3028 and latterly as Sapper No.546617 in J Depot Company, Royal Engineers.

He was attested on 2 October 1915 at 10 Victoria Park Square, London into the 3rd/1st London Field Company, Royal Engineers.  He was 34, 5ft 6½ inches tall and of good physical development.

He gave his address as 16 Bennett Street, Rugby, presumed to now be the home of his widowed mother – but later also noted as the address of his aunt Charlotte, his father’s sister, who was the CWGC contact after Henry’s death.

To summarise his service: he was in UK from 2 October 1915 to 8 April 1916; then in France from 9 April 1916 to 8 July 1916, and then back in UK from 9 July 1916 until his death.

Later in October 1915 he received two anti-typhoid inoculations.  On 9 April 1916 he arrived at No.2 Terr: Base from Eng – on service.  On 13 April 1916, he joined ‘Field Unit from Base’.

On 1 July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, he was wounded, and was admitted to the 2/1st Field Ambulance on 2 July 1916.  His Service Record confirms that he was wounded in action on 1 July 1916, and the CWGC site notes that he was ‘Wounded at Gommecourt, 1 July 1916’.  He was also listed as a casualty in the Rugby Advertiser later that month,
Other Rugby casualties reported recently are: Diver W Elkington (11137) killed ; and F H Warden (2168), F Burberry (275),[3] and Sapper H Barrows, R.E.; Ptes J Varney (Rugby), A Welsby (New Bilton), and T Lee (Swinford), wounded.[4] 

On 8 July the No 16 General Hospital embarked him at Havre for England per H.S. ?Bella, with ‘G.S.W. Back and Buttock’, and the next day, 9 July 1916 he was admitted to a Red Cross hospital, where he remained until ?27 July 1916 with ‘GSW [gunshot wounds] back & chest, Severe lacerated flesh wounds’.

He did not return to France, but was on ‘Home’ duty and posted to Ireland, where on 20 April 1917, now aged 37, it seems he was again hospitalised at Curragh, with a ‘weakness left knee’ and awaiting a ‘surgeons report please’.  The doctor’s Report is not legible but appears to mention his ‘GSW’.

On 27 August 1917 he was posted to 415th Lowland Field Company, Royal Engineers at Oughterard, Co. Galway, Ireland.   A further posting from the 415th Field Company to ‘J Dep: Coy: 94 (2)’ as Sapper No.546617 was noted on 21/22 October 1918 possibly to ?Ballinsaby.

He remained in Ireland, but on 19 February 1919, he was again admitted to hospital … with ‘influenza pneumonia’.  His medical notes – partly burnt – are on his file:

Onset: shivering ….

19/2/19 – On admission T.100 P.88 … Lungs: a few scattered … a few creps at base, no dullness B.B. or sign of ?consclids …

20/2/19 – T.102 R.98 P.100. cough slight, sputum very little. No change … lungs. He has a number of old scars on back the result …

21/2/19 – T.99 R.30. states he feels much better and more comfortable.

22/2/19 – Temp rose 102 this morning. P.120 R.40. it fell slightly in the afternoon. Patient does not complain of feeling ill.

23/2/19 – T.99. P.96 R.28. patient is comfortable and feels better.

24/2/19 – Patient had a bad night in the early part, became worse near morning, he died at 8.20 a.m.  He was not placed on the seriously ill list as he had not any signs of being very ill. 

I think a P.M. should be made as some of the old wounds may have had something to do with his sudden collapse.

(Sd.) M Henry O.S.

He ‘died suddenly’ on 24 February 1919 at the ‘Military Hospital, Belfast from Influenza’.  The CWGC site also confirmed that he ‘Died of Pneumonia, 24 February 1919’.

His body was returned to Rugby, and he was buried in Plot: G. 364. at Rugby (Clifton Road) Cemetery.  The CWGC contact when he was buried was ‘Miss G. Burrows, 16 Bennett Street, Rugby’.

A few days later the Rugby Advertiser reported,
 ‘Deaths – BARROWS. – On Monday, Feb. 24th, at the Military Hospital, Belfast, Sapper HARRY DESTER, R.E., the youngest and dearly beloved son of Mrs. Barrows, 16 Bennett Street, aged 37, Interred at Rugby Cemetery, Saturday, March 1st.’[5]

Henry Dester BARROWS was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates.

On 18 July 1919 his mother was sent his effects which she duly acknowledged:
‘Purse, badges, pouch, wallet, photos, tin of tobacco, lanyards, pair of braces, letters and religious books, clasp knife, pair of braces, pocket knife, leather belt, pair of gloves, shaving brush, handkerchiefs, razors, button stick, 2 pipes, pair of slippers, pocket knife, tooth brush.’

His mother, Emma Barrows, received 5/11d per week from 25 August 1919.  Only just over a year later she died; her death was registered in late 1920 in Rugby, she was 73.

Henry’s elder brother, Alfred, also served in WWI as a Private, No:12049 in the 1st and later the 6th Bn. Dorsetshire Regiment.  He went to France on the 13 July 1915 and survived the war, being placed in ‘Class Z’, in case of any need for recall, when he was discharged on 30 April 1919.  He had been wounded during the battle of the Somme and in September 1916, the Rugby Advertiser noted,
ST MATTHEW’S OLD BOYS WOUNDED.
Amongst the casualties in the great advance are … and Pte A Barrows, Dorset Regt, all wounded.[6] 

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Henry Dester BARROWS 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]      Kenning, Rugby Almanack, 1874, 1876 and 1880.

[2]      Kenning, Rugby Almanack, 1884.

[3]      Frank Burbury was born in Rugby, joined the 10th Battalion of the Rifle Brigade was taken prisoner in 1918, but survived the war.  His life has been researched and some of his documents and correspondence from WWI are now in Rugby Museum.  His photographs have also been preserved.

[4]      https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/22nd-jul-1916-helping-the-prisoners-of-war/; and also see:  Rugby Advertiser, 22 July 1916.

[5]      Rugby Advertiser, Friday, 7 March 1919.

[6]      Rugby Advertiser, 16 September 1916.

14th Feb 1919. Rugby’s War Memorial, Big Meeting Favours a Soldiers’ Institute

RUGBY’S WAR MEMORIAL.
BIG MEETING FAVOURS A SOLDIERS’ INSTITUTE.
MAJOR BAIRD PROMISES HIM SUPPORT.

If the tone of a public meeting held in the Empire Theatre, Rugby, on Sunday evening is any criterion of the feeling prevailing in the town, there is little doubt that Rugby’s war memorial will take the form of a club and institute for ex-service men. Mrs Arthur James presided over the meeting, which was attended largely by discharged and demobilised men, and the necessity for such an institute was eloquently set forth by all the speakers. Amongst those supporting Mrs James on the platform were Major J L Baird. C.M.G, D.S.O, M.P, Dr C R Hoskyn, Mr J J McKinnell, J.P, C.C, Major R Darnley, D.C.M, Messrs W Flint, C.C, C J Newman, H Yates, J Cain, Mr and Mrs van den Arend, Mrs West, etc.

In opening the proceedings, Mrs James referred to the pleasure it gave her to preside at that meeting, which had been called to give expression to the heartfelt wish of the Rugby men who were now returning, their warfare ended, and their work well done. These men were desirous of holding together. They had learned what fellowship meant in their days of trial, and now, in happier days, they still desired to hold together. For this purpose an Association had been formed. It was co-operative, self-governing, and based on the broadest lines, independent of party politics and creeds. It has a membership of over 700, and 150 new members joined that morning (applause). There was an urgent need, therefore, for adequate premises. At the end of last year, Mrs James explained, she called together a committee representative of all classes and interests in the town, and as a result temporary premises, consisting of a club room and a room for the Welfare Bureau, were provided at the Eagle Hotel. These were insufficient for the purpose, however, and it was necessary that the Association should have a permanent building. It had, therefore, been suggested that part of the money raised for the war memorial should be devoted towards building and equipping a club, and, if possible, a hostel in which men temporarily living in Rugby could be boarded and lodged. The first point which naturally arose was that of the site, and in this connection she mentioned that for some time she had been anxious to give a memorial to the town of Rugby in memory of her late husband. She consulted Mr McKinnell on this, and he informed her that the most pressing need of the men was an assembly hall. She accordingly bought a site at the corner of James Street and Albert Street, and on this she proposed to erect a hall. This hall, however, would not cover the whole of the site, and should it be acceptable she would be glad to offer a part of this plot (applause). These proposals had already been laid before the Urban District Council, who had approved of them, but the whole idea would have to be submitted to a meeting of townspeople, whose decision would be final. It was now for the discharged sailors and soldiers to prove to the people of Rugby that they really needed this Institute.

THE ASSOCIATION’S GOOD WORK
The need for the Institute was ably put by Mr Cain, Chairman of the Association. He said the Trades and labour Council were instrumental in forming them two years ago, and that body look a great interest in them in the beginning. The Association proved a rather unruly child, however, and he was afraid the Trades Council, like most parents, did not like to keep on with a child who did not see exactly eye to eye with them. They then numbered about 200, and the men who were discharged as physically unfit slowly drifted in. Fortunately they were able to enrol two members who had considerable influence in the town, and from that day they started to make progress. They had heard that that day they enrolled 157 members, and the previous Sunday they enrolled 53. The result was that their accommodation was insufficient. The chief object of the Association was to keep alive the spirit of comradeship amongst the men who had been out to fight. People talked of such far fetched ideals as the Brotherhood of man, but the spirit animating the discharged soldiers was something more sublime. This spirit could not be understood by those who had not served in the trenches. It was this spirit which had urged men to give their lives to save the life of a comrade ; it had urged men many a time when they were on short rations, and had an empty stomach, to give a crust away rather than eat it themselves, as they were strongly tempted to do. These men had got a spirit of their own and a code of their own, and this was why it was necessary that they should be banded together. Then there were their interests to be looked after, such as pensions and gratuities, and last, but not least, they had the widows and orphans of men who had made the supreme sacrifice to look after. It was impossible for these people, many of whom did not know to what they were entitled, to look after themselves. Of late they had set apart Monday nights for hearing the grievances of widows and dependents, and already they had been successful in remedying some of these grievances. This all went to foster a good spirit in the district. There was a spirit of unrest abroad, and they did not wish this to be communicated to the Association. If the Institute was not erected as the town’s war memorial, the Association was sure of getting one, although they might have to wait a little longer. However, the lack of adequate premises was seriously handicapping their work, and for this reason he urged all to support the resolution which would be put before them.

MAJOR BAIRD’S APPEAL ON BEHALF OF THE DISCHARGED MEN.
Major Baird then addressed the meeting in support of the proposal, and said an Institute such as that proposed would not serve merely as a rallying point for discharged sailors and soldiers, but it would be able to help widows and orphans to get their due, and help also the men to obtain the allowances and pensions. The Government was daily improving the organisation in London for dealing with such matters, but there was an immense lot still to be done, and they would never get the organisation so perfect that it would work without the co-operation of the people directly concerned in the districts. He was greatly indebted to Mr Cain and his Association for the information and assistance they had given to him at his request in regard to cases which had been brought to his notice, and he hoped that between them they had done some useful work. That alone appeared to him to justify every citizen, male and female, giving their utmost support to the Association.

With regard to their War Memorial, it seemed to him that any memorial which failed to recognise specifically what they owed to the Navy, Army, and Air Forces would be singularly inappropriate to the object which they had in view. After all, of all the wonderful things which had happened during the past 4½ years, of all the marvellous developments and self-sacrifice they had seen in the country, there was nothing more remarkable than the growth of the British Army. They knew their Fleet was invincible ; they knew that they were a manufacturing nation, which could turn its hand to any form of manufacture and produce results, second to none, but what they did not know, and what no one would believe, was that they could produce in four years the best Army in the world, an Army better organised, better equipped, and a better fighting machine than the Continental Armies which were the result of generations of military tradition (applause). They must never forget that. There was all the more need for a tangible memorial from the determination which they had all formed that, so far as it lay within their power, no stone should be left unturned to secure that in the future a cataclysm such as mankind had just passed through, must not be repeated ; that if the nations disagreed, their disputes must be settled in ways different from the barbarous methods employed during the past four years. Nowhere was this feeling more strong than among those who had been out and fought. Could anything measure the magnitude and extent of the debt which they owed to their Army ? Was there anything they could do which would hand on to those who cane after them a clear appreciation of the incredible efforts and sacrifices that the Army had made ? It was not merely a professional Army ; the nation was the Army, and the Army was the nation (applause). Was there anything they could do which they could afford to leave undone ? In his opinion they could not possibly do enough to show their gratitude and respect for those who went out and fought for them and won the war (applause). Therefore, any memorial they might desire to erect should be something that the soldiers would appreciate. Such a one was the sort of place described by Mr Cain—an Institute where the men could foregather, where they would instinctively and automatically go for advice and assistance, and where they could hold meetings to celebrate the great days in the history of the local regiment.

SUCH AN INSTITUTION WAS WANTED, and they would never have a more appropriate opportunity for providing it, and he should, therefore, exert all his influence to endeavouring to persuade any—if there were any—who did not share these views. As Mr Cain had said, people who had not served could not possibly understand the bond of union which bound together men who had fought side by side. There was one thing every one of them who had been out there realised—there was not one who could not look back upon some moment when he had to make up his mind and take a decision—Which would he do ? There was the easy thing and there was the difficult thing, and the majority chose to do the difficult. That was why they won the war. He wanted this spirit kept alive, and for the boys of the future, the sons of the soldiers of to-day, to be proud of the fact that their father is a member of the Institute, and to look forward to the day when he goes there to take part in the celebration of some victory in which he had his share (applause). The regimental spirit was utterly and absolutely opposed to what was commonly known as Militarism. They had fought against militarism and had beaten it, and they had beaten it because of

THE REGIMENTAL SPIRIT, which he could only liken to the spirit which imbued a school football team, although the football simile was absolutely inadequate to convey the intensity and keenness of the feeling which necessarily inspired men who had served together in the same unit. The eight regular and Territorial battalions of the Warwickshire Regiment had been expanded to 26 battalions during the war, but that by no means covered the effort put forward by Warwickshire. Warwickshire men had served in innumerable regiments and innumerable branches of the service, and there was not a single theatre of war in which Warwickshire men had not played a prominent, an honourable, and a glorious part (applause). What did that mean ? How did the war end ? It began to finish when they started pulling to pieces the compact machine which Germany had forged in her fight against civilisation. Who started that pulling to pieces procedure ? The British Army, and no one else. It started in Salonika, it went on in Palestine, and it was continued in Mesopotamia. With regard to Salonika, they would find that the magnificent effort of the Serbians—and nothing more splendid had been done in the war—would not have been possible unless a relatively small British force had held in check the bulk of the Bulgarians and Turks, so that the Serbians could break through the line which was thinned in sections. In Mesopotamia, British and Indian soldiers did the whole thing, and in Palestine, though their French Allies and a few Italians were represented, the overwhelming bulk of the forces was British, and the Commander-in-Chief was one of the finest British Generals any man could serve under. He referred to Gen Allenby (applause). That was what started the victory ; that part was played by the British Army, in which Warwickshire men took a glorious part. Therefore, he asked them to ensure that when they put up a memorial worthy of Rugby, the main feature of it should be an Institute worthy of the men in whose honour they intended to erect it (applause).

RECRUITING DAYS RECALLED.
Major R Darnley, D.C.M, also spoke, and reminded the gathering that 4½ years ago, when he was doing recruiting work at the Drill Hall, the greatest difficulty was to drive men away and tell them to “ Come to-morrow.” The greatest number recruited in one day was 305, and by September 17th the number who had passed through the Drill Hall was 5,800. They could not all get into the Warwickshire Regiment, but when they heard that the County Regiment was closed they did not despair or say they would wait until it was open, but they said at once, “ Anything you like ; let’s get at them ” (applause). These lads had done a lot for the country, and the least Rugby could do was to do something for them (applause) ; and he hoped they would obtain this institute, and thus preserve the same harmony in civil life as prevailed in the various battalions. For this reason he asked them all to strive to further the scheme suggested.

Mrs West also gave her support to the proposal, and, in doing so, mentioned the great assistance the association had given her in carrying out the Government pension work in Rugby. She considered that their war memorial should consist of something which would help the soldiers who were returning, and at the same time would be worthy of those who had made the great sacrifice. Above all, she hoped there would be no quarrelling over the form the memorial should take. It would be a most grievous mistake if there was any quarrelling or any ill-feeling about it ; and she therefore, strongly appealed for unity on this point.

Mr F van den Arend then moved :—“ That this representative meeting of discharged and serving members of H.M Forces, together with those interested, is unanimously of opinion that a club and institute should form a part of Rugby’s War Memorial.” It was not a question, he said, of whether there should be a club and institute or not, but whether it should be a part of the War Memorial. Even if they did not provide such an institute as a town war memorial, he did not think the association would have to wait very long for one, because he believed there were sufficient public-spirited men in the town to put up the necessary money (applause). The memorial should be worthy of the men who had fought and worthy of the town. It was not simply a question of putting a few bricks and some mortar together on the cheap. They must have the most magnificent stone and building material that had ever been seen within 50 miles of Rugby (applaud). They must make the building material suit the materiel which went out and fought for them (applause).

In seconding, Mr G Cooke said it was absolutely necessary that freedom of thought and freedom of action should be allowed in the institute.

RUMOURS WHICH SHOULD BE CHECKED.
Dr C R Hoskyn followed with a characteristically racy address. “ I won’t address you as gentlemen,” he began, “ but as men. I know you are the finest gentlemen that ever lived, but also know you as men. I have cursed you coming out of the ambulance ; I have cursed you when you tried to ‘ swing the lead ’ (laughter), and I cursed you on the Somme when many of you thought you had got shell shock (renewed laughter). I have seen you under the worst conditions, and I have seen you—although you may not know it—when you were at your very best. I have seen you go over the top once, and you looked very funny—much worse than when you were going to an operating theatre. You did not look at your best then, but when you came back muddy, wet and cold, that was when you looked at your best.” Dr Hoskyn then referred to several criticisms he had heard in the town regarding the proposed institute, and he advised the members to find out who started these mis-statements and smash them. Then they should ensure that every discharged and demobilised soldier and those who were ” demobilised on the reserve ”—he did not know what it meant, nor did he suppose Major Baird did, but they could not get their pension or gratuity, and heaven only knew what they could get—should join their association.

The resolution was carried unanimously, and the meeting closed with the “ National Anthem,” after a vote of thanks had been accorded to Mrs Arthur James for presiding, and Mr Morris for the use of the hall, on the proportion of Mr J J McKinnell, seconded by Mr C J Newman.

NEW BILTON.
THE MEMORIAL WINDOW.—The Parish Magazine for February gives a detailed description of the artist’s design for the memorial window. The window consists of five “ lancets ” or lights. The central lancet, beginning at the bottom, pictures the Incarnation, the Christ Child and His Mother. In the centre comes the Crucifixion, and over it the words : “ In hoc signo vinces,” (In this sign thou mayest conquer.) The top picture represents the living glorified Christ. On either side is St Michael, the Archangel of Justice, and St Gabriel, the Messenger of Peace and Goodwill. The three figures represent the ideals we have been fighting for, viz, Justice, Righteousness, and Peace. The first light, beginning at the top, represents Alfred the Great, the real founder of England’s national greatness ; St Nicholas, the Patron Saint of Sailors, and St Edmund, the Martyr King of East Anglia. The second light represents our own Royal Saint, Oswald, with a wooden cross in his hand, which in obedience to a vision before the Battle of Hexham he used as a standard for his army. Underneath it St Leonard, the Patron of Prisoners and Captives. The fourth light represents St Alban, the first Martyr in Britain to give his life for his religion, and underneath St Stephen, the first man in the history of the Church to lay down his life for his faith. The fifth light (to illustrate our connection with our brave Allies the French) gives St Louis, St Martin, and St Denis (all French Saints). At the bottom of each light are the four Patron Saints of Great Britain—St George of England, St Andrew of Scotland, St Patrick of Ireland, and St David of Wales. The Cross in the central light is represented as a tree, its branches stretching out through all the window, illustrating the truth that all acts of heroism, nobility, and self-sacrifice have their source from Him, who said, “ Greater love hath no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.”

VILLAGE HALL FOR DUNCHURCH.
RESIDENTS HANDSOME GIFT.
A parish meeting was held in the Village Hall on Tuesday to discuss the question of erecting a permanent memorial to the men of Dunchurch and Thurlaston who have laid down their lives in the war. Considerably over 100 people were present, and Mr Wm Butlin (chairman of the Dunchurch Parish Council) presided. It has been felt in Dunchurch for some time that a hall and buildings for social purposes are very badly needed, and there was a strong feeling that a Memorial Hall which would meet this need might possibly be erected. But at the opening of the meeting it was announced that Mr S J Waring intends to build a hall, etc, in the village which will meet all the social requirements of the inhabitants. It was decided to send a very hearty vote of thanks from the parishioners assembled to Mr Waring. The form of the War Memorial was then discussed very thoroughly, and after a number of people had spoken on the subject, a committee was appointed consisting of 21 members, four ladies being included, to consider the following schemes and report to another parish meeting at an early date :—(1) The erection of a Cross on the village green. (2) The erection of a statue in the village. (3) The erection of a Cross in the Churchyard. The meeting agreed that in addition to one of the above, some form of memorial be placed in the church, and a brass tablet inscribed with the names of the dead, in each of the places of worship. The meeting was informed that two memorials will be erected to the old boys of Dunchurch Hall who have fallen in the war.

OLD RUGBEIANS AND THE WAR.
SUGGESTIONS FOR THE SCHOOL MEMORIAL.
A SUM OF £50,000 SUBSCRIBED.

For the Rugby School War Memorial a sum of £50,000 has been subscribed. The first charge upon this fund is the education of sons of fallen old Rugbeian officers, at Preparatory Schools, and subsequently at Rugby. The second object is the erection of a visible memorial in the School grounds. No final decision has yet been made as to the form which the building will take, but general opinion inclines to (1) a small Memorial dispel attached to, but not a part of, Rugby Chapel, and connected with it by a Cloister ; and (2) a Memorial Cross near the cross roads outside New Big School. These projects are being considered by Committees of the Fund. When these two objects have been fully provided, it is proposed to draw upon any balance that may be left for the educational assistance of sons of Old Rugbeians who have suffered financially by reason of the war.

THE SCHOOL’S WAR RECORDS.
Rugby School has just issued a new edition of a War Register, giving in detail the service, of over 3,100 of her sons. The numbers of killed and missing are 635, and the total casualties 1,700. There are 2,231 War Honours, comprising 1,057 Decorations and 1,264 Mentions in Despatches. Rugbeians are invited to obtain a copy from the School bookseller, so that entries may be checked for a complete and final edition.

NEWS OF CAPT. T. A. TOWNSEND, MM.
STRETCHER-BEARER’S STORY.

A repatriated prisoner, Pte Hope, R.A.M C, has furnished Mrs T S Townsend with several details which throw further light on the fate of Capt T A Townsend, M.C, R A M.C (only son of the late Mr T S Townsend, Clifton Manor), who has been missing since the German offensive of March 21st last. Pte Hope, who was one of the gallant Captain’s stretcher bearers, states that Capt Townsend was badly wounded in the abdomen, and when the Germans came up he was left behind, as he was believed to be dying. When they reached the enemy lines, however, the Colonel persuaded a German officer to take a stretcher party to bring Capt Townsend in. News has also been received, from an indirect source, to the effect that Capt Townsend died after teaching the German hospital.

RUGBY MAN’S LIFE AT RUHLEBEN.
FAMOUS JOCKEY RELATES HIS HARDSHIPS.

Fred Davis, a well-known jockey, of Hillmorton, has just returned home from Germany. He was one of the first Englishmen to be interned at Ruhleben. His captivity thus beats every record for duration. “ You see, I’ve had no trouble to keep down my weight,” was his first remark. Davis, who was trained at Mr Reginald Day’s stable at Newmarket, was riding for Mr Robert Utting, of Hamburg, when war broke out. In 1913 he finished second on the list of successful jockeys in Germany, being only beaten by the American jockey Archibald.

In Hamburg, at the beginning of August, 1914, Davis was told by the local authorities that British subjects were given 48 hours to clear out. He did all he could to get away, and after getting his papers in order he was awaiting a train to take him out of Hamburg to Denmark when he was arrested by an officer on the Hamburg Station platform. He found himself landed in Hamburg gaol, where 12 days’ solitary confinement gave him his first taste of German war manners. Then he was sent to an emigrant ship in the harbour for two months, and later to Ruhleben, where he remained until the camp was broken up by the revolution.

His story of Ruhleben is that it was hell until the American Ambassador, Mr Gerard, visited the place, and gave the Germans a piece of his mind. From that moment parcels arrived, and prisoners were no longer forced to work, though every now and then money was offered to them if they would consent. Needless to say, they refused. Davis spent most of his time woodcarving.

The camp officers were insulting according to the tide of German military success. When there had been a victory somewhere they abused their prisoners in the most shameful Hun fashion, “ British swine ” being their mildest epithet. When Germany suffered a reverse it was the old “ Kamerad ” song once more. British imperturbability got the better of both attitudes. At Ruhleben there were no “ food ” conditions at all, as there was no food to speak of.

Davis added, “ My former employers in Hamburg acted quite decently to me after I left camp, and gave me a glowing certificate, but added that they did not think there would be any chance of employing English jockeys or any jockeys at all in Germany for the present.” He intends to ride in this country when the flat racing season commences.

LONDON ROAD AVENUE.
A TRANSFORMATION—AND A SUGGESTION.

Owing to wartime restrictions on private motoring, the discouraging and obstructive influences of bad weather and worn roads upon cyclists and the lack of vehicular facilities, few people have had an opportunity of seeing what has been happening to the famous Avenue on the London Road during the past few months. Our readers will recollect that the Duke of Buccleuch in the autumn of 1917 arranged with the Warwickshire County Council to transfer to them his interest in the avenue of firs and elms along the road from Dunchurch to Knightlow Hill, on condition that the Council assumed the care and control which had hitherto been exercised by his Grace. A suggestion had been previously put forward by the Rugby Advertiser that the Avenue should be preserved as far as possible as a picturesque feature of the landscape. and also as a memorial to the troops of the 29th Division which passed along the road when reviewed by the King prior to their departure to the Mediterranean, where they were destined to win immortal fame—and, sad to say, were grievously decimated. This suggestion was eventually adopted by the County Council, and a Sub-committee was appointed to inspect the Avenue and report as to the condition of the trees and the best means of maintaining it.

It was obvious that most of the elm trees which lined the road from Blue Boar to Knightlow Hill had seen their best days and were likely to be dangerous to passing traffic ; and in stormy weather disastrous to the important lines of telegraph wires along each side of the road. This, in fact, had happened on several occasions. The Committee, after consulting experts from Kew and elsewhere, decided that it was advisable to clear off the whole of these trees and replant the avenue with young ones of various kinds, devoting a section to each variety ; and that the memorial purpose should be recorded by a monolith to be erected on the triangular plot of turf at the intersection of the London and Fosse Roads, where the King stood and admired the troops of the 29th Division as they marched past.

In the early autumn of 1918 the trees were submitted as they stood to public auction, and were acquired by a timber merchant from Arley, near Atherstone, for £1,700, which was, in fact, the controlled maximum price. The work of cutting down was commenced at once, and before the end of the year every tree was lying low. The wide margins on each side of the road, strewed with the massive boles, the lop and top and other debris, presented a weird and regretful picture, conveying a mild idea, perhaps, of what has happened to many of the well timbered parts of France and Belgium.

But while the necessity for this effacement, as far as the elm trees were concerned, is realised, there exists a strong feeling among people residing in the district that the work has been carried out all too ruthlessly, and that a little more discrimination might have been exercised. Here and there, fine chestnuts, sycamores, and other sound trees added diversity and beauty to the Avenue. These did not appear to be dangerous, but unfortunately they are no longer in the picture.

The clearing away of the arcade and its umbrageous canopy gives one a better idea of the imposing width of the road, and as the hedgerows on the adjoining land are well timbered, the scene of desolation is not so painfully obvious as might have been expected. A ride down the road will still be a pleasant journey, and as years roll by and the new trees which are to be planted grow up, the vistas which present themselves will no doubt be quite as striking as they have been in the past.

By the terms of the sale the purchaser of the trees is allowed till October to remove them, and of course there will be no replanting till next autumn and winter. It has not transpired whether the sub-committee have decided to range the new trees along the old lines eight to ten feet from the edges of the metalled road, but before a decision is come to on that point we would suggest that a more irregular arrangement would be quite as picturesque and not so monotonous as the old straight lines were.

But there is another question to consider. The work of reconstruction is coming along in the country ; the main and trunk roads are to be made more suitable for the heavy transport traffic that is to be thrown upon them. This can only be done by relaying the surface with harder material—and more closely bound with tar or otherwise. Experience has proved that the smooth surface thus produced is not suitable for horse traffic—it as slippery and therefore dangerous—and there is a strong temptation for drivers to take to the side of the road to obtain a better foothold for their horses. Already the side paths which have been made along the London road have been cut up in this way, notably down the hill from Dunchurch to Woolscott bridge, where the path has been destroyed altogether.

Unless the farrier can devise some method of shoeing horses which will enable them to stand up on slippery roads it seems certain that special provision will have to be made where such surfaces prevail, and macadamised tracks on each side of the road exclusively for horse traffic are likely to form part of main road construction in future. There is space on the sides of the London Road between Dunchurch and Knightlow Hill for additional tracks, and the sub-committee, before making their final arrangements for replanting, should take this aspect of reconstruction into consideration, and not establish the new trees too near the metalled road.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
THE SHORTAGE OF HOUSES.
DISCHARGED SOLDIER’S PLEA.

SIR,—I wish to call attention to a long-standing grievance. It has been the same ever since I came to Rugby several years ago. It is the housing question. What are the powers that be doing about it ?

I think it would surprise those who have the matter in hand if a census of the town were taken of the number of married people who are having to live in apartments owing to the shortage of houses. I was discharged from the Army four months ago, and have searched in vain for a house ever since. I know several men in the same predicament as myself, both discharged and demobilised soldiers, and I consider it up to Rugby to get a move on and remedy the matter.

There is some talk of building a theatre. That in my opinion is a secondary matter. Let us have houses first, and you will then be doing some good to those who have been across the water and done their bit. We want no “ Wait and See ” in Rugby. That didn’t win the war. Let us have some Coalition promises realised.— Yours etc,
DISCHARGED SOLDIER.

IN MEMORIAM.

ELLIOTT.—In fond and loving memory of Lance-Corpl H. J. ELLIOTT, Rifle Brigade, who fell in action on February 12, 1917.
“ Could we have raised his dying head,
Or heard his last farewell,
The grief would not have been so hard
For them that loved him well.”
—From his sorrowing Mother, Dad & Brother.

Norton, Bernard George. Died 11th Feb 1919

Bernard George NORTON was born on 29 May 1888 in St. Johns, Deptford, Kent, and baptised on 16 September 1888 at the Greenwich Road Congregational Church in Greenwich, Kent.  He was the eldest of two sons of Rev. George Norton (b.c.1853 in Wandsworth – d.1920) and Clara Ellen, née Dewey, Norton (b.c.1855 in Cheshunt – d.1930).   

In 1891, the family was living at 14 Cliff Terrace, St Paul, Deptford, London.  Bernard was 2 years old and his father was a Congregational Minister. 

By 1901 they had moved to 38 Albert Street, Rugby.  Bernard’s father was still a Congregational Minister and the census return suggests that they were living next to the Congregational Church and the School Room.  Bernard attended Lawrence Sheriff School.

In 1911 the family had moved to Haywards Heath, where Bernard’s father George was still a Congregational Minister, now aged 59 and having been married 25 years.  Bernard’s brother, Clifford John Norton, who was some three years younger than Bernard, had attended Rugby School, and was then studying at Queen’s College, Oxford.  Clifford also joined up, into the 1st/5th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, and served at Gallipoli and in Palestine, being promoted captain in 1917.[1]  By 1920, their father, George Norton had moved to High Wycombe, where he died.

By 1911, Bernard was 22 and still single.  He was boarding at 57 Grove Street, Leamington where he was working as an Architect.  He was still at the same address, Cumberland House, 57 Grove Street, in 1913.[2]

No Service Record survives, but at some date he signed up as a Sapper, No.91714 in the 213 Army Troops Company, Royal Engineers, which seems to have functioned from March 1916 until December 1919.

The War Diary of the 213 Army Troop[3] begins on 8 March 1916 in Buxton, Derbyshire, when they entrained for Southampton and early the next morning most embarked on SS Princess Victoria, with a fewer number and the Motor transport on SS Inventor, to cross to Havre, disembarking the next morning, marching to the Docks Rest Camp, ready to entrain to Poperinge and then to march six miles to billets near Proven on 12 March.  It is assumed that Bernard was already with them.

Companies took over various tasks from running a sawmill; to revetting trenches; and building a concrete emplacement for a 4.7inch gun.  They were based in the Poperinge area until mid-August with a brief visit to Ypres.

On 18 August 1916, an Officer and six NCOs, who are, unusually, individually named, were sent on a ‘10 day course on Heavy Bridging’ at ‘No.3 Base Park’ – the most junior of the party was ‘91714  L/Cpl Norton B G’.  They returned on 1 September 1916.  The following notes have been abstracted and edited from the War Diary.

September saw the ‘Company employed in Hutting, Water Supply, Sanitation works’ and with ‘general construction’, which continued through to the end of 1916.

In January 1917, one section continued at the sawmill making various structures – huts, sheds, latrine and ablution huts etc; whilst the rest of the company was involved in erecting these.  More men had been sent on the Heavy Bridging course.  Similar activities continued, with a Section dealing with water supply in Ypres in March 1917.  In April the company was again employed on bridging, water supply – along the Yperlee at Ypres, and hutments in connection with the 8th Corps laundry at Blondeques etc. etc..  These activities continued in May with the addition of trench construction in 8th Corps area.

In June 1917, they were attached to 5th Army headquarters for duty and similar work continued with the addition of work at Casualty Clearing Stations [CCSs], aerodromes and general construction work.  In July further areas of work included prisoners’ compounds, ammunition dumps and Army Headquarters.

From 16 to 29 July they were temporarily encamped at Chateau Lovie grounds ‘owing to being shelled out at ‘U’ Camp at L.6.a 8.8.’  They returned to camp on 8 August – a number of huts had been damaged, but there were no casualties.  The saw mill was damaged and the main engine had to be replaced with four petrol engines.  Work continued and included preparing material for CCSs; preparing and extending aerodromes, with Chinese labour; water supplies; tree felling and making furniture for 5th Army HQ.

By the end of October 1917, the 213 Company RE had a total strength of 652 men from various parts of the services – including 72 Belgians and 147 Chinese.

On 15 November they were attached to the 2nd Army ‘viz 5th Army left’.

The December diary section is missing, which is frustrating as on 11 December 1917, Bernard was ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’.  ‘FRIDAY, 14 DECEMBER, 1917.   War Office, 11 December, 1917.  The following is a continuation of Sir Douglas Haig’s Despatch[4] of 7th November, submitting names deserving special mention, published in a Supplement to the London Gazette of Tuesday, 11th December, 1917: … ROYAL ENGINEERS. … Norton, No. 91714 Spr. B. G. …’.[5]

On 1 February 1918, the Company left Poperinge and entrained for Peronne then to Omiecourt by road.  Similar construction activity continued – and in March the Company was engaged in building PoW cages; staging camps; YMCA huts; an ammunition dump; an aerodrome, three Casualty Clearing Stations; dumps; water supply and headquarters buildings.

With the onset of ‘Operation Michael’ on 26 March, the Company was moving to Villers Brettoneurx.  88 men and eight officers moved to trenches east of Hamel, and the Germans were sighted at 4pm on 28 March.  They were under fire until the end of the month, but succeeded in holding up the German advance but with casualties.

By May, having moved to Flixecourt, after the German advance had been halted, ‘routine’ work on building Staging Posts, Hospitals and PoW cages had resumed.  The reports are barely legible for a while!

In September, they were still based at Flixecourt, constructing a rifle range and a sniping school; targets for aircraft bombing practice; a rest camp at Amiens, and infantry and artillery training schools, and further hospital construction.  Meanwhile the HQ had moved to Bartangles and in October after a further move, the Company were building ‘hutting for Tank Corps HQ’; adapting railway carriages to form a train for the army commander and staff; heating was installed at 41 Stationary Hospital at Amiens and various water supply projects completed.

Similar work continued in November – the Armistice did not get a mention!!

In December they moved east to Namur and were again building various facilities including ‘Latrines & ablutions accommodation … at 4th Army released PoW Camp’; also alterations at the Army Cinema.  In January they were in the Cavalry Barracks and undertaking a wide range of remedial work, particularly with water supply.  They also painted the town name on the Namur station roof, so that it could be identified for delivery of ‘aerial post’.

During January a total of 55 ORs were sent to England for demobilisation or for leave during which some others were also able to demobilise.  It seems likely that among them, in about mid January 1919, was Lance Corporal Bernard George Norton.  Whilst he was ‘on demobilisation leave’, he contracted bronchitis and pneumonia, probably the result of the ‘Flu’ and he died at Strathlea, Waltham Cross, on 11 February 1919; he was aged 30.

His death was confirmed by the Register of Soldiers’ Effects which noted that he ‘died of illness whilst on demobilisation leave, Waltham Cross’.

A few days later the Rugby Advertiser reported,
‘Death – Mr Bernard Norton. – The death has occurred at Waltham Cross of Bernard Norton, eldest son of the Rev George Norton, formerly Congregational minister at Rugby.  About three weeks ago Mr Norton returned from France, and contracted bronchitis and pneumonia, from which he died.’[6]

He was buried in Plot: 0.4. BM. in the nearby Cheshunt Burial Ground, Hertfordshire at Bury Green, a little way south-west of the church.  He has a CWGC gravestone but no family inscription was added.

Bernard George Norton was ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’ and was awarded the British War and Victory Medals although it seems that these were returned in 1923.

He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates; on his CWGC gravestone at the Cheshunt Burial Ground; and on the WWI Lawrence Sheriff School Plaque,[7] which reads,
‘In Commemoration of our Brother Laurentians who Fell in The Great War, 1914-1918, Orando Laborando.’   

Probate was awarded on 24 April 1919 in Hertfordshire, to his Executors, his father, George Norton, Dissenting Minister and John Lawrence, Estate Agent.  His Estate was valued at £12,820-9-1d.

His outstanding pay of £10-8-3d was paid to his Executors and his War Gratuity of £18-10-0 appears to have been placed in a ‘P.O.S.B.’ [Post Office Savings Bank].

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM 

– – – – – –

 

This article on Bernard George NORTON 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]      Norton, Sir Clifford John, KCMG, CVO, (1891–1990) had a career as a diplomatist – for a fuller biography see the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography which is available on-line.  Some of his papers are in the Imperial War Museum.

[2]      Spennell, Directory of Leamington, 1913.

[3]      The National Archives, Fourth Army, 213 Army Troop Company Royal Engineers, Ref: WO 95/484.

[4]      The list of names was published in six separate supplements at intervals of a few days.

[5]      13082, Supplement to the London Gazette, 14 December 1917.

[6]      Rugby Advertiser, Friday, 21 February 1919.

[7]      Information from https://www.rugbyfhg.co.uk/lawrence-sheriff-school-plaques.

7th Feb 1919. Rugby Prisoners of War Fund, Balance to Endow a Bed in the Hospital

RUGBY PRISONERS OF WAR FUND,
BALANCE TO ENDOW A BED IN THE HOSPITAL.
DR HOSKYN’S MOVING APPEAL.

A meeting of subscribers to the Rugby Prisoners of War Fund held in the Benn Buildings on Monday evening to consider the method of disposing of the balance in hand, unanimously decided to endow a free bed for sailors and soldiers in the Hospital of St Cross. Mr W Flint; C.C, presided, and he was supported on the platform by Messrs C J Newman, G W Walton, A W Shirley, A E Donkin, F Pepper, and J R Barker (hon secretary). Others present were Canon Blagdon, Rev J M Hardwich, Dr Hoskyn, Mr C W Bluemel, Mr F Bluemel, Mrs J R Barker, Messrs J J McKinnell, J.P, C.C, J Carter, J.P, A Adnitt, A W Sheasby, H J Sheasby, J J Scrivener, T Faulkner, etc.

Before explaining the object of the meeting, the Chairman thanked the subscribers and all who had assisted the fund financially, and said that although the Committee had had to make many appeals they had all been; answered very generously. Shortly after signing the Armistice the Committee was officially informed that subscriptions to the fund must be stopped and that the fund must be closed. At that time they had a balance in hand of £732 13s 1d, and after very careful consideration the Committee unanimously adopted a suggestion that a bed should be endowed at the Hospital of St Cross. The money had been collected to relieve suffering, and the Committee felt that if it was handed over to the Hospital it would still be fulfilling this purpose. It would cost £1,000, however, to endow a bed, and consequently a balance of £267 6s 11d had to be raised. Mr Barker thereupon promised to do his best to raise this sum, and it was gratifying to know that he had succeeded. The subscribers now had to decide how this money was to be spent.

Dr Hoskyn made an earnest appeal for the money to be devoted to the Hospital. He said he looked upon himself as the prince of cadgers in Rugby. He was always cadging for the Hospital, and he was out for the same object that evening. It had been said that the money to be disposed of had been subscribed to alleviate suffering. Well, there was a good deal of suffering at the Hospital of St Cross. There were soldiers suffering from surgical tuberculosis. They had refused a number of applicants for admission, and Dr Williams, the Tuberculosis Officer for the County, frequently wrote asking them to provide a bed for a discharged soldier. They had had to reply that they could not fill the Hospital with such cases. Recently, however, Mrs Arthur James had generously transferred a large wooden hut, which would be erected at the Hospital and would be almost entirely devoted to the treatment of surgical tuberculosis and discharged soldiers suffering from old wounds, cases which required a great deal of fresh air and proper attention and feeding. This £1,000, which they proposed to transfer to the Hospital, would be of the greatest help. He mentioned that statements had appeared in the medical press to the effect that a great many of the prisoners of war, for whom this money was subscribed, would return suffering from debilitating diseases ; the actual figures were not yet known, but it was highly probable, from all the signs, that a great many of them would be suffering from some form or other of tuberculosis, including, doubtless, many surgical cases. Therefore, it, was very fitting that this money, which had been subscribed to help prisoners of war, should be transferred to the Hospital to help those who were suffering from diseases acquired whilst they were prisoners. He appealed to them to help the medical profession—which under very difficult conditions had done so much to relieve the sufferings of the prisoners—to continue their good work. Some day he hoped to make the people of Rugby give him £10,000 for the Hospital so that they could help the discharged soldiers and ex-prisoners of war to the greatest possible extent.

Mr Fenemore then moved that the balance be devoted to the endowment of a bed at the Hospital of St Cross to be called “ The Soldiers and Sailors Free Bed.”—Mr F Bluemel seconded, and it was carried.

Canon Blagden, after expressing gratitude for the generous way in which the Rugby public had supported the fund, said he did not think the balance could have been allocated in a better way than by endowing a bed at the Hospital.

A hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Mr J R Barker, on the proposition of the Rev J M Hardwich, seconded by Mr Adnitt, the latter suggesting that Mr Barker’s efforts in raising money should be commemorated by a brass tablet to be placed over the bed.—In reply, Mr Barker stated that 90 per cent of the parcels sent from Rugby reached the men to whom they were addressed. He had been informed by the Central War Prisoners Committee that Rugby was foremost in the country with regard to this work, and that many other committees were heavily in debt and would have to draw on the Red Cross Society, whereas Rugby had never appealed to the Society for a penny.

Pte Prior, a returned prisoner, stated that the parcels were received regularly, and had it not been for them very few of the men would have come back alive.—The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to the Chairman for his services during the past 3½ years.

WAR HEROES.

Lieut-Colonel R N O’Connor, D.S.O, M.C, Scottish Rifles, attached 2nd H.A.C (Italy), has been awarded a bar to the D.S.O for the following action :—“ He was entrusted with the command of the troops detailed to capture the Island of Papadopoli on October 24, 1918. By his personal careful reconnaissance and plans for attack the whole island was captured, together with some 600 prisoners, with small loss to his battalion. The operations were carried out at night in two phases under most difficult conditions. In the second phase he, with a few of his battalion headquarters, came across an enemy point manned by some 60 men and two officers, and immediately charged them and caused the whole garrison to surrender. By his most gallant and able leadership in these operations, the crossing of troops for the main attack was carried out without loss.” Colonel O’Connor went to France, with the famous 7th Division in September, 1914, and has been eight times mentioned in despatches. Colonel O’Connor is a son of Mrs O’Connor, of Overslade Manor, Rugby.

Mr Geo T Hilton, of Messrs Geo T Hilton & Co, cycle and motor engineers, North Street, Rugby, has recently been gazetted Major. Since joining up in October, 1914, he has seen service on all parts of the line in France. He has been mentioned three times in despatches, and has been awarded the M.C. Major Hilton, who has been with the Siege Park attached to the Heavy Artillery for the last four years, is expecting shortly to be demobilised.

BAR TO M.C.
Lieut (A/Capt) E Lattey, M.C, 5th Batt Worcester Regt, attached 3rd Batt, has been awarded a bar to the Military Cross. The following is the official account : “ Throughout the operations on September 25th and 26th, 1918, south of Neuve Chapelle, he led his Company with conspicuous courage and ability, making the most skilful dispositions in reaching his objectives, ensuring a minimum of casualties and entirely defeating a heavy counter-attack. It was due to his personal example and complete disregard of his own safety under the heaviest fire that his Company succeeded in the task set them (M.C gazetted September 16, 1918).” Capt E Lattey is the elder surviving son of Capt Lattey, C.C, lot* R.A.M.C, of Southam.

RUGBY SOLDIER SEES THE POPE.
PHOTOGRAPHED ON THE VATICAN STEPS.

The Pope has recently received in audience a party of about one hundred and fifty Catholic officers and men belonging to the British forces in Italy, to whom special leave had been granted to go to Rome. The Pope addressed them and talked affably to each man, giving the visitors his benediction. One of the party was Driver Ed Walton, of D Battery, 240th Brigade, 48th Division, R.F.A, Italian Expeditionary Force, Italy, son of Mr and Mrs Walton, of 12 Hill Street, Rugby. He joined up four years ago, and had been in Italy some 18 months. He writes home as follows :—“ Just a line to let you know I am having a very nice time in Rome, and I should have written sooner only my time has all been taken up in looking round. I expect you wonder how it is I am in Rome. Well, the padre got permission to bring 60 out of the Division, and I happened to be one of the lucky ones. We arrived here on Tuesday, the 21st, and are going back this afternoon (Friday, the 25th). I will write and tell you all the places I have visited, as I have not time now. I have also got plenty of photos to send you.” In a later letter Driver Walton says :—“ I started for Rome last Sunday (January 19th), and arrived there early on Tuesday morning after a pleasant journey. We did not go in cattle trucks, but in a very nice carriage, which, had been reserved for us. We had to change twice, first at Padova and then at Bologna. Father Butler, who is the senior R.C Chaplain in the Division, was in charge of us, and he looked after us very well. When we got there he took us to a Hospital, which was empty—it was a college before the war, and it was nearly as good as being at home. We used to have our breakfast at the Hospital and have our dinner at a restaurant at one o’clock, and tea at six. On Tuesday we made ourselves comfortable, and had a look round Rome. On Wednesday we visited the Church of St Maria Maggiore, and from there went to the Forum, and then on to the Coliseum, where the gladiators used to fight. From there we went to St Gregory s Church, and afterwards finished up by going to dinner. In the afternoon I was going to visit the Catacombs only I was tired, so I laid down and had a good sleep, and at night went to the Grand Opera, where “ Carmen ” was on and it was very beautiful. I finished up by arriving home at 12.30. On Thursday we had a very busy day. In the morning we went to the English Students’ College, where we heard Mass, and then we had cakes and wine. From there we went to the Vatican, where we had an audience with the Pope, but did not speak in English, but in Italian, which was interpreted by one of the Cardinals, and he said he was very pleased to meet us all. He then came round and we all kissed his ring. Then we gave him three rousing cheers. After we came out of the Vatican we all had our photos taken on the Vatican steps. In the afternoon we visited St Peter’s, and then we had tea at the British Ambassador’s. Afterwards we went to St Sebastian’s to benediction, and afterwards to a cinema show. On Friday we had another walk round the city, and then started back at 2.30 p.m. A lot of English ladies came to see us off. and brought us bags of oranges and biscuits. They gave us a jolly good send-off. I arrived back at the battery on Saturday afternoon, feeling rather tired after the long journey. But I came back just in time for the Battery dinner, which was given us by the officers to celebrate the winning of the silver cup in a competition which we happened to win. They are giving us all a certificate to say that we are the best Battery in the Italian Expeditionary Force.”

KILSBY.
Mr L Cumming, of Kilsby, received a telegram from the Air Ministry announcing that his son, Lieut C L Cumming, R.A.F, was killed on January 31 in an aeroplane accident. No further particulars were given.

WITHYBROOK.
The sad news has reached Withybrook of the death of Pte George Haycock, of the Sussex Regiment. He fell into the hands of the Germans in March of last year, and died in July at Tincourt War Hospital from pneumonia. He was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs A Haycock.

VICTORY BALL.—Tickets should be taken early for the Empire Victory Ball, which will be held in the Co-operative Hall on Monday, and as the event is being organised with the idea of aiding the endowment of a bed in the Hospital of St Cross in memory of prisoners of war who have died in captivity, it is to be hoped the attendance will be a large one. Intending visitors are warned against putting off the purchase of tickets to the last minute, as the demand is a large one.

Mr J H LIDDINGTON, Architect and Surveyor, of 23 Regent Street, Rugby, has been discharged from the Army, and has taken into partnership his brother, Mr R B Liddington, who has been with him for the past 16 years.

WOUNDED SOLDIERS ENTERTAINED.—On Saturday the Rugby Volunteer Company, R.W.R, entertained the wounded soldiers and nurses from the Infirmary Hospital to a tea and concert in the Howitzer Battery Drill Hall, which had been tastefully decorated with flags and bunting by Sergt Weobley. A substantial meat tea was followed by an entertainment, sustained by Professor Hamilton (Leicester), conjuror ; his sister, who gave a clever display of paper folding ; and Mrs Hutton, Misses Shillitoe, Pte Warden, Corpl Farrar, Sergt-Major Clueit, Messrs Birkett, Bissell, and Hibberd. Pte Littler was the pianist. During the evening presents were distributed to the guests whose chairs bore the lucky numbers. The arrangements for tea were made by Lieut C C Wharton, assisted by lady friends of the members, and Corpl Seymour arranged the musical programme. Amongst those present were Capt C H Fuller and Lieuts Wharton and Yates.

FAREWELL VISIT OF THE “ MASQUERADERS.”—The Masqueraders, Military Costume Party from Weedon Cadet School, who have proved so popular on their previous visits to Rugby, gave farewell concerts in the town on Wednesday and Thursday evenings last week, in aid of the R.F.A Commemoration Fund. The large Co-operative Hall was well filled each evening. The arrangements were again made by Capt Doherty, and, as on the former visits, everything went with a swing. On Wednesday the programme consisted of concerted numbers, ducts, quartettes, humorous and sentimental songs, all of which were delightfully rendered. Sergt N Pollard (Barrie Seddon, in civil life), a well-known pierrot entertainer, was again prime favourite, and his comedy sketches were very popular. The concerted items were remarkably good, especially “ Italino,” ” Our Idea of a Perfect Day,” “ Billy Brown,” and “ The Crocodile Crawl.” Individual contributions were also given by Lieut G W T Coles, Cadet Collier, Bomb C J Roots, and Sergt W H Drakeford, the latter being associated with Sergt Wilkinson in a duet. Gunner C Kirkham was the pianist. The programme was completely changed on Thursday evening, when the room was again well filled.

TO THE CITIZENS OF RUGBY & DISTRICT.
APPEAL ON BEHALF OF THE DEVASTATED PARTS OF FRANCE.
The result of this appeal has been most gratifying, and we have despatched nine large boxes of clothing, boots, shoes and blankets, valued at £160.
In addition, donations amounting to £47 10s will be forwarded, less the incidental expenses.
The Rugby Brotherhood wish to thank all friends for contributing so generously and making this effort such a success.
WM WARD, International Secretary.
W H CLAY, President, Rugby Brotherhood,
J CHISHOLM, Secretary, Rugby Brotherhood.

HILLMORTON.
PARISH COUNCIL : THE WAR MEMORIAL.—A special meeting was held on Tuesday evening, when Mr J W Cockerill was in the chair. The Clerk reported having received a letter from Col Bucknill’s solicitors stating that as the Council were unable to accept his offer on the terms stated, the offer was withdrawn, but in the event of the War Memorial for the village being combined with the Church Parish Hall to form a village Institute he would be willing to give a slightly larger plot of land and head a subscription list with a suitable cash donation. Mr A T Cockerill said that according to promise he had had an interview with the solicitor to Mrs Rogers’ bequest, who informed him that they (the trustees) could proceed to build a Village Hall with the money at their disposal without consulting anyone, but in the event of a desire to amalgamate other funds, it would be necessary to have a parish meeting, and in the event of such scheme being adopted then the Charity Commissioners would have to be consulted. They would no doubt submit schemes as to the management. The Chairman said that seemed reasonable. Mr T W Cockerill said he believed he was right in saying that it was the wish of the parish that a Village Hall should be erected. Assuming that to be correct, they now had the opportunity. The Clerk said it was possible that other schemes would be submitted at the parish meeting. The Chairman said they had better leave further discussion of the matter until the parish meeting, which is to be held on Tuesday the 18th inst.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
SOLUTION OF THE SERVANT PROBLEM.
SIR,—As the servant question is occupying the minds of so many at the present time, may I say a word on their behalf. I think every mistress should provide a suitable sitting-room for rest, needlework, and reading, with a bookshelf of good literature, so that there would be no need to buy penny novels. There should also be a couch or reclining chair. I would also mention warm beds and hot-water bottles. I feel sure if those things were more considered there would not be such a difficulty in procuring servants or in keeping them. I feel very strongly for servants, having been obliged to go out into service after being left a widow with no family to support me.—Yours, etc,
COOK-HOUSEKEEPER.
Rugby.

DEATHS.

DATSON.—In ever-loving memory of Lance-Corpl. CHARLES DATSON (late of Brownsover), who died of wounds in France on February 9, 1917.
“ What peaceful hours we once enjoyed,
How sweet their memory still ;
But death has left an aching void
The world can never fill.”
—MAY DATSON, Peterborough.

IN MEMORIAM.

COLING.—In loving memory of our beloved CRISSIE, killed in France, February 4, 1917, aged 21 years.
“ Days of sadness do come o’or us,
Tears in silence often flow,
Thinking of our darling Chrissie,
Killed two years ago.”

FRENCH.—In loving remembrance of Pte. OLIVER FRENCH, R.W.R., youngest son of Robt. and Emma French, of Napton, who died in France on Feb. 10, 1917.
“ I came to Jesus as I was,
Weary and worn and sad.”

HAYCOCK.—On July 22nd, 1918, at Tincourt War Hospital, from pneumonia, Pte. GEORGE HAYCOCK, the dearly beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. A. Haycock.
“ Sleep on, dear son, in a far-off land,
In a grave we may never see ;
But as long as life and memory last
We will remember thee.
Could we 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 loving Father and Mother, Brothers and Sisters.

RICHARDSON.—In ever-loving memory of Pte. J. RICHARDSON, of the 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards, who died from wounds received in action at La Bassee, February 11, 1915.
“ Father in Thy gracious keeping
Leave we now our loved one sleeping.”
—Never, forgotten by his loving Mother, Sisters, Brother, and Grandmother, of The Banks, Dunchurch. |

WEBB.—In loving memory of our dear son and brother, Sergt J. H. WEBB, D.C.M., Rifle Brigade, attached King’s African Rifles, who died February 6th, 1918, of enteric fever in German East Africa,
“ Thy will be done ” seems hard to say
When those we love are called away.
—From his loving Mother, Father, brothers, and sister, Churchover.

31st Jan 1919. “Woodbine Willie” Former Rugby Curate’s War Experiences

“ WOODBINE WILLIE.”
A FORCEFUL PERSONALITY.
FORMER RUGBY CURATE’S WAR EXPERIENCES.

“ The Bookworm,” writing the “ Weekly Dispatch ” says :—There is a man now in France who will soon be one of the great forces guiding England. His name is Kennedy, and he is a parson—the Rev G A Studdert-Kennedy, M.C., C.F. He is known the length of the British line as “ Woodbine Willie ” because while the fighting was on he was always in the front line trenches distributing encouragement and Woodbines. He is the man whom the authorities chose to hearten the men in the retreat of 1918. His fame is almost legendary in France. They say he should have won the V.C., and tell you the story of how he met the Hun face to face. He is a brave man, but he is more than that—he is a man who by sheer downright sincerity and earnest eloquence has captured the hearts of men—real men. His fame is spreading at home. He has written books, two small volumes of poetry, “ Rough Rhymes of a Padre,” one of “ Rough Talks,” and a third called “ The Hardest Part,” which, as the author says, is “ literally theology hammered out on the field of battle.” These books are not selling by the thousand, they are selling by the hundred thousand. The first printing of “ More Rough Rhymes ” was 30,000 copies, and they were sold out at once. A word as to the man himself. Before the war he was Vicar of St Paul’s, the poorest parish in Worcester. He is of Irish extraction and is the son a Leeds vicar. He was educated at Leeds Grammar School and Trinity College, Dublin. Taking holy orders he started first as curate at St Peter’s, Rugby. He first preached to soldiers in Worcester Cathedral. He was a power before the war. He will be a force after it. The war has set the fire in him ablaze. He has been through the hell of it. Religious books leave me cold, but I read “ The Hardest Part ” and “ Rough Talks ” at one sitting. They are the most powerful books their kind since Bunyan.

WAR CHARITIES’ ORGANISER.
PUBLIC PRESENTATION TO BE MADE MR J REGINALD BARKER.

With a view of showing the appreciation of Rugby and district of voluntary services that have resulted in the raising of some £14,000 locally for charitable purposes during the war, and services that have saved much more by providing free office accommodation and clerical assistance, it is proposed to make a public presentation to Mr J Reginald Barker. To that end, a subscription list has been opened, and Mr R P Mason, of the London Joint City and Midland Bank, is acting as hon Treasurer and secretary of the presentation fund.

Mr Barker’s activities have been especially pronounced in connection with his work as hon organiser of the Rugby and District Prisoners of War Fund, but as hon organiser and secretary of all the Rugby official Flag Days his name has also been constantly before the public throughout the war period, and his energy in raising, for charitable purposes, money in Rugby and district has been eminently creditable to all concerned—few towns of its size have, indeed, a better record in that respect than Rugby.

The end the war, and the resultant happy closing down of the operations of the Prisoners of War Fund, is deemed to be an especially appropriate occasion for giving Mr Barker some expression of the appreciation of the town and district of the services he has so ungrudgingly and at considerable self-sacrifice rendered, and Mr Mason’s invitation to the public to forward subscriptions to him for this purpose is signed by Mr J J McKinnell, J.P, C.C, Chairman of Rugby Urban District Council, and by Mr W Flint, C.C, Chairman of the Rugby Prisoners of War Fund.

LOCAL SOLDIERS HONOURED.—Farrier-Sergt G H Sumner, 26th Battery, 17th Brigade, R.F.A, and Sapper R H Read, R.E, both of Rugby, have been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of valuable services rendered with the armies in France and Belgium.

MR AND MRS CLEMENTS, 33 Winfield Street, Rugby, have received information that their second son, Corpl Fred Clements, aged 21, died in Zebest War Hospital, Germany, on October 24. He joined the army in 1914, and went to France in June, 1915. On June 22 he was wounded and taken prisoner. Prior to joining up he was employed in the export office, B.T.H. This is the second son Mr Clements has lost in the war, and a third is still with the Army in France.

ACCIDENT TO DEMOBILISED SOLDIER.—An accident happened last week to a fitter named Clarke, of 102 Grosvenor Road, who is employed at the Engine Sheds of the L & N.-W Railway. He was removing a heavy axle-box, when it slipped, and pinned his right hand against the wall the “ pit,” badly lacerating one of his fingers. Dr Hoskyn is hopeful of saving it. The strange thing about the accident is that it was only the fifth day of Mr Clarke’s return to civil employment, after fighting for four years and five months in the war, through which he passed unhurt.

BRINKLOW.

A meeting of the Parish Council was held in the Schools on the 21st inst, Mr F Gwinn presiding. The Clerk was instructed to put a notice on the Parish Board asking discharged soldiers who required land for small holdings to give in their names to the Council as early as possible. Mr A Pegg was appointed the Council’s representative on the School Management Board. A discussion followed upon a suitable War Memorial for the village.

BILTON WAR MEMORIAL.
A VARIETY OF SUGGESTIONS.
COMMITTEE TO DEVISE A SCHEME.

Several interesting suggestions as to the form of a proposed parish memorial to the Bilton men who have fallen in the war were put forward at a meeting called for the purpose and held in the Church House, Bilton, on Friday evening. Capt M E T Wratislaw (chairman of the parish council) presided, and there were also present Messrs J H Veasey, F M Burton, A J Askew, J Cripps, G H Frost, R Lovegrove, E J Smith, F Blick (parish councillors), Lady Rowena Paterson, Rev W O and Mrs Assheton, Mr. and Mrs W Barnett, Rev C C Chambers, Mr and Mrs R B Wright, and a number of parishioners.

The Chairman, in opening the proceedings, said if there was one lesson which they had learned by the war, it was the value of co-operation and comradeship, and therefore hoped that whatever form their memorial might take it would be a parish memorial. He did not wish to see one committee in Bilton collecting for one purpose and another in New Bilton collecting for another. If separate memorials were required in either ward they should be quite apart from what called the war memorial. Hitherto there had been a feeling that New Bilton should be put on one side ; but he wanted them, on this occasion, to unite and have one parish memorial. If they decided to have a memorial in each ward, he thought they should be identical in character, and that each should commemorate the men from both wards, and not only the names from the ward in which it was to be erected. The question as to what form the memorial should take had been considered by the Parish Council, and various suggestions, such as the provision of a recreation ground, parish room, reading room, and museum had been made ; but it was felt that none of these would be a proper war memorial. In his opinion a war memorial should be distinctive ; it should commemorate the names of fallen men, it should be inexpensive as regarded upkeep, and no portion of the expenses should fall upon the rates. For these reasons the parish council were unanimous that these suggestions were quite outside the scope of a war memorial. However, they were quite willing to receive suggestions.

It having been formally decided that steps be taken to raise a memorial to the men from both wards who have fallen, the following were elected to serve on the committee, a nucleus of which was formed by the members the parish council :—The Rural District councillors ; Mr and Mrs Barnett, Rev W O and Mrs Assheton, Miss Line, Mrs West, Mrs G H Frost, Mr M Watkiss, and Mr G Spencerley, with power to co-opt additional members, on the understanding that both wards shall be equally represented on the full committee.

Suggestions were then invited. The Chairman suggested that whatever memorial be erected it should contain only the names of men who have died in the war. In addition a volume could be prepared containing the names of all men who had served in the forces.

Mrs West, who was unable attend, wrote suggesting the names of all men who had served in the forces should be inscribed somewhere where all could see them. She also thought it would be a good idea to erect a water trough and drinking fountain on the green, or that a really good Celtic Cross should be erected, or the old village cross be restored by a first-class man.

Miss Watts wrote proposing that either a large room be erected over the Working Men’s Club in which parish meetings, etc, could be held, or a stained glass window should be placed in the church.

A Lady suggested that a fund should be raised to assist the widows and children of fallen soldiers.

Mr Barnett said he thought the most suitable place to erect any monument would be the Churchyard. All their men who had fallen in the war would naturally have found a resting-place there, and would add greatly to the beauty of their church and churchyard if a lych gate was erected as a memorial.

Lady Rowena Paterson asked if it would be possible to endow a bed at the Hospital of St Cross.—Mr Barnett : It would cost £1,000.

Mr Burton supported Lady Rowena Paterson’s suggestion. With regard to Mr Barnett’s proposal, he thought that gentleman would agree with him that if the idea was approved it should include a similar gate at the other place of worship, because they must take into consideration the fact that men of more than one denomination had fallen for their country.—Mrs Assheton : But the churchyard is the churchyard of the parish. It is not denominational, and a lych gate there could represent all.—The Chairman : Yes, every resident has the right to be buried there.—Mrs Assheton : Then it is necessary to have a gate at each place ?—Mr Burton agreed that every resident had the right of burial in the churchyard, but that was only owing to the force of circumstances over which some people had no control. One could not get away from the fact, however, that the churchyard was sectarian.

It was decided to refer the suggestions to the committee, who will report on them or any other idea which they may prefer at the annual parish meeting.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
RUGBY’S WAR MEMORIAL.

SIR,—It would appear that the reports in the local Press of the recent meeting of the Urban District Council to consider the form which the Rugby War Memorial should assume have conveyed to the minds of many of our townspeople a wrong conception of the suggestion I was privileged to make on behalf of a number of my fellow-workers.

The great war, with its horrors of cruelty, destruction, and death, is not at all likely to be forgotten by the present generation, as history will hand it down through the years that are yet to be, but we consider homage is certainly due to the brave men whose heroism and sense of duty have secured for humanity the Dawn of Liberty and Peace. It was with this object in view that we suggested a monument to our local lads erected at the Whitehall. Most of them we had worked with in factory, office, or shop, and whether they had sprung from “ the Villa ” or “ the slum,” had done their bit to give the world a speedy and lasting Peace. We asked for a memorial worthy of the town, worthy of the object it was intended it should commemorate, and which should record the name and protect from oblivion the individual identity of each soldier who enlisted from the Rugby Parish. Unfortunately, many of these brave lads are now taking their final rest beneath foreign soil, far beyond the reach of relatives or friends. Might not our suggested memorial provide an appropriate Shrine whereon each recurring Anniversary of Peace tokens of affection and remembrance could be placed ?

The present moment can hardly be considered opportune to embark upon a large and elaborate scheme of town improvement. That has to depend for its successful accomplishment upon public subscriptions, especially when our local charitable and benevolent institutions are appealing for increased financial assistance that they may efficiently carry on their work, and Disabled Soldiers and Sailors and their dependents, along with similar organisations, are all urgently pressing their claims to our townspeople’s support. Would it not be advisable, under existing circumstances, to promote a less pretentious scheme like ours, which would adequately meet all desires to commemorate an event of such world-wide importance and the honourable part taken therein by Rugby’s citizens ?—Yours etc, WILL F HARDMAN,
26 Murray Road, Rugby.

IN MEMORIAM.

McDOWELL.—In loving memory of my beloved husband, Corpl. WILLIAM McDOWELL, 1st Inniskilling Fusiliers, missing January 27, 1917, now reported killed.
“ I who love you sadly miss you,
As it dawns another year ;
In my lonely hours of thinking,
Thoughts of are ever near.”
—Sadly missed by his Wife.