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


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.


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.

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.


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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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,


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.


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.

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