28th Mar 1919. Bilton Parish Matters – The War Memorial


Further evidence of the unfortunate rivalry which exists between the two wards comprising Bilton parish was forthcoming at the annual parish meeting held at the Church House, Bilton, on Tuesday, when several contentious matters, in which the issue was plainly Bilton v. New Bilton, were discussed. Capt. M. E. T. Wratislaw, Chairman of the Pariah Council, presided over a good attendance, and he was supported by Mr. J. H. Veasey (vice-chairman), and Mr. F Fellows (clerk).


In his opening speech the Chairman said four and a half years of war had not only sapped the nation of its strength, but it had also taken some of the very best out of their own parish. At least 77 men had laid down their lives for their country, but the list was hopelessly incomplete, and he appealed to relatives and friends of fallen men to assist the Clerk in compiling his list.

The company then stood while the Chairman read the roll of those killed during the past 12 months.

Dealing with parochial matters, the Chairman said there had been 75 burials in the cemetery during the past 12 months, and the total interments now numbered 212. Unfortunately, water pockets had developed, and the Council would shortly have to consider further improvements in the drainage system. With regard to housing, many people thought parish councils had powers which did not belong to them. They had no power to bring in a housing scheme; that was for the rural council. Through the courtesy of the Rugby Rural Council, however, the plans of the houses had been submitted to the Parish Council, who, with the help of a committee of ladies, had made a few observations on them. But that was the full extent of their powers. The War Savings Committee was still in existence, and the total savings of the whole parish amounted to £2,522. New Bilton, apart from the school, collected £771, whilst the school children collected £600. In Bilton ward the parish collected £1,016, and the school children £135. At Christmas they collected £71 2s. 10d. for soldiers’ parcels, and sent 10s. to each of 116 soldiers, the small balance in hand being dispensed by presents of 10s. each to 7 men who were then at home, 7/6 each to 14 discharged soldiers, and small presents to three widows.


The balance sheet of Bilton Common Land showed that £75 11s. 10d. had been expended on coal for 94 recipients, £10 10s. in hospital tickets, and £4 4s. subscription to Nursing Association. There is a balance in hand of £45 19s. 11d. The accounts were adopted, and the auditors, Messrs. J. H. Burton and A. W. J. Clarke, re-elected.


The Clerk read the report of the War Memorial Committee (Chairman, Capt. M. E. T. Wratislaw ; vice-chairman, Mr. R. Lovegrove). The following suggestions had been considered : (1) Mrs. West, Celtic Cross ; (2) Mr. A. T. Watson, oak lych gate in each ward, with panels containing the names of the fallen, the parish to have the right to remove the panels if required for a public building ; (3) Mr. A. J. Askew, clock tower on Bilton Green and at New Bilton ; (4) Capt. Wratislaw, rough granite slabs, bearing names of fallen in each ward ; (5) Mr. R. Lovegrove, at New Bilton a Reading Room ; (6) Mr. A. T. Blick, a tablet in each place of worship in the parish, bearing the names of the fallen. The Committee recommended that either the lych gates or clock towers should be adopted. With regard to funds, they suggested a house-to-house collection in each ward, the fund to be kept open as long as possible to allow the residents to subscribe by instalments.—Mr. Foulds inquired whether a suggestion had been made to the effect that the memorial should take the form of some provision for the widows and orphans of soldiers ?—The Chairman said such a suggestion was  made at the parish meeting on January, but it was not formally laid before the Parish Council.—Mrs. Assheton said the question as to what form the memorial should take was a very important one, because it would stand for all generations as a token of their gratitude and expression of their taste. No one would like to be responsible for anything unworthy, ugly, or hastily conceived. One or two suggestions had been made by the Committee, and one was rather led to ask “ What is the spirit in which we approach the scheme ?” It had been said that the best way to commemorate the dead was to do something for the living. She did not agree with that to an unqualified extent ; if they were dealing with a large sum of money there would be something to be said for it. These men gave their all, and what they ought to do was to erect something to their memory which was beautiful and durable, and where their names could be clearly inscribed, in order that they could recall at a glance the names of the men of the village to whom they owed so much gratitude. The question of benefitting anyone should be a secondary consideration. She deprecated the suggestion to erect a clock tower, because it seemed that they were looking to get something for themselves, and also because although a clock tower might be suitable for a town, it would be unsuitable for a village. Moreover, many were agreed that a clock tower on the green would be out of place and out of character. This also raised the question of whether the green was the best place for a memorial. It was certainly central ; but it was a place where children played, where people congregated, and where once a year at least gipsy vans and coker nut shies were pitched. If sufficient money could be raised, there were great possibilities in a lych gate, especially if designed by a good architect, in keeping with the old church. and after all the churchyard was the place where they always had and always would raise memorials to their dead (applause).—Mr. Watson said his idea was that the lych gate should be erected at the entrance to the cemetery in New Bilton.

The Chairman announced that at the committee meeting the members were equally divided between the clock tower and lych gate suggestions.

Mr. Foulds said most of the discharged soldiers with whom he had talked seemed to think there would be enough war memorials about in the shape of men with one leg or men on crutches. He, therefore, suggested that the memorial should be as cheap as possible and the remainder of the money be used for assisting the widows and orphans He moved a resolution to this effect. This was seconded.

Mr Watson pointed out that this was a question for the Government rather than for the parish.—A soldier’s wife denied that the Government were doing this effectively. The allowance for the eldest child of a soldier ‘s wife was 10s., but the child of a widow was only entitled to 6/8. Moreover, the separation allowance for a woman and two children was 32s., but a widow with two children only received 25s 5d.—The Chairman : That is a question entirely for Parliament, and not for a parish meeting. The only way you can do anything is by impressing your views on your member.

Mr. Burton suggested the erection of a marble wheel on a granite base, bearing the names of those who had fallen, and also all who had served in the forces.

Mr. J. Cripps proposed that a granite slab be erected in each ward.—Mr Barnett seconded.

Mr. Ashew said his idea was that the names of the fallen should be inscribed on the clock tower, and also that the striking bell should be available as a fire alarm.

Mr Barnett said he felt the persons most intimately concerned—viz., the parents and relatives of the fallen—would prefer that the memorial should be erected in the churchyard. Many of their dead were buried in France. Others had no grave, and it was only right that people should have some place which they could look upon as a memorial to their dead, and that place was the churchyard.

The second ballot was adopted for voting, and at the first show of hands the figures were :— For lych gate, 23 ; clock tower, 13 ; provision for widows, etc., 27 ; Granite slab, 44.

Second vote :—Lych gate, 19 ; provision for widows, 29 ; and granite slab, 58.

In reply to questions, the Chairman said it was decided at the previous parish meeting that whatever form was decided upon for the memorial it should be duplicated in each ward.

Some discussion then took place as to the site of the memorials, and Mr. Flowers suggested that at Old Bilton it should be erected in the churchyard.—Mr. Watson also urged that at New Bilton the site should be inside the cemetery, where the memorial could be properly looked after by the caretaker.—Mr. Foulds opposed this, and suggested that the memorial should be erected in the churchyard at New Bilton. This was nearer the centre of the parish than the cemetery.—Mr Watson : Very few people visit the churchyard, but on a Sunday afternoon in the summer use will see hundreds visiting the cemetery.—Mr. Veasy : In a few years the cemetery will be in the centre of the parish. If the parish grows it will grow towards Bilton.

On votes, being taken, it was decided to erect the slabs inside Old Bilton churchyard and New Bilton cemetery.

The Rev. W O. Assheton then suggested that only the Old Bilton names should be inscribed on the Old Bilton memorial, and the New Bilton names on the New Bilton slab—Mr. Watson differed from this view. They were all comrades together, he argued, and they should all be commemorated together.—Mr. Flowers : It will cause disappointment in future if all the names are not commemorated on each tablet.

Mr. F M. Burton said he should he very sorry indeed if the resolution was carried. They were all in one parish. Although he lived in New Bilton, he was proud of the Old Bilton boys who went to school with him ; and the same was true of many ; they lived in one ward and their friends in the other. He would be very sorry if the tablet erected at New Bilton did not bear the names of a very dear nephew of his, who laid down his life because he would not surrender.

The resolution was defeated, after the Chairman had pointed out that the Parish council and the previous parish meeting favoured all the men being commemorated on each slab.


The Chairman announced that Rugby wished New Bilton to be included in their scheme for celebrating the signing of peace, and this was agreed to. The members of the No. 2 Ward, with power to add to their number, were appointed a committee to make the arrangements for the Bilton celebrations.


THE NATIONAL EGG COLLECTION FOR THE WOUNDED is bringing the work of its voluntary helpers to a close on March 31st.

LIEUT. E. R. MARSHALL, Coldstream Guards (Rugby), who has served in France, Belgium, and Germany, has returned safely to England. He carried the colours of his battalion on the triumphal march of the Guards through London last Saturday.

MEMORIAL WINDOW.— A stained glass window of two lights, portraying scenes from the Raising of Lazarus, has been placed in St. Matthew’s Church this week as a memorial to the men of the parish who have given their lives in the war. A brass tablet, recording the names of the men commemorated, will be added at a later date. So far, about 33 names have been received, and others can be added. This is the first general local war memorial to be carried through to a successful issue. The principal and scholars of Oakfield also propose placing a window in the church in memory of old Oakfield boys who have fallen.


The last remaining V.A.D. Hospital in Rugby, the Infirmary, which was opened on January 1st, 1917, will close down at the end of this month, and in this connection a pleasing ceremony took place at the Hospital on Saturday, when, on behalf of the present patients, Sergt. Wheeler presented the Commandant, Mrs. H. P. Burdekin, with an album with a beautifully illuminated frontispiece.

A breaking-up party, to which past and present patients, the Staff, and all who have helped since the opening of the Hospital, was held on Thursday evening. An excellent programme was provided, the artists including Mr. Worrall, a well-known Birmingham humorist, Miss Janet Cranmore, dancer, and Miss Roberta, vocalist. Selections were also given by the Rugby Male Voice Choir. Refreshments were served in one of the wards, which had been tastefully decorated.


A few weeks ago it was suggested that some tangible mark of appreciation should be made to Mr. J. R. Barker in recognition of his success in raising money during the war in the town and district for the Rugby Prisoners of War Fund and other national objects. A fund was accordingly opened, and a presentation was made to Mr. Barker at a meeting of the committee responsible, held under the chairmanship of Mr. W. Flint, C.C., on Thursday evening in last week.

The Chairman said they had met that night to show their appreciation of the good work done by Mr. Barker in providing comforts for our prisoners of war.

Mr. McKinnell said it gave him the greatest possible pleasure to make the presentation, and felt it a very great honour that he had been asked to do to. They wished to make some small acknowledgment to Mr. Barker for all the work that he had done in raising funds during the war. When they had to get money month after month, year after year, it was no good simply issuing an appeal to the kindly feelings of the people, starting a subscription list, and let it go at that. The only way to achieve success was to take the hard course Mr. Barker did and put their back in it and work hard at it month in and month out. In connection with the many official flag days, Mr. Barker took the whole of the responsibility and made the whole of the arrangements and he was most certainly entitled to the whole of the credit. They were very lucky in having a gentleman of Mr. Barker’s ability with the will to work as he had, and the result was that they did wonderfully well for the prisoners of war. He hoped Mr. Barker would feel to the end of his life that many a poor starved Britisher and many a poor starved Warwickshire man was indebted to his efforts for some mitigation of the awful conditions which prevailed for years among the prisoners of war in Germany. As regards the other work he did for national causes, he hoped Mr. Barker would also feel that many poor creatures in the various nationalities were helped and given fresh hope and inspiration. It was now his duty to present to him a cheque for £54 3s. 6d., and a very handsome solid silver rose bowl, which would always remind him of the work he had done in that connection. The rose bowl was inscribed : “ Presented to James Reginald Barker by the citizens of Rugby in recognition of his untiring energies as Hon. Organising Secretary of the Rugby Prisoners of War Fund and other charities, 1914-1919, March 20th, 1919.” Mr. McKinnell also thanked Mrs. Barker for the help and sympathy she had shown in the work her husband had undertaken, and he asked her acceptance of a pair of solid silver flower vases.

Mr. Barker, in responding, said he had had a few hard tasks to perform during the past four years in connection with the various war charities in Rugby, but the hardest task of all was to adequately express his thanks to his fellow-townsmen for the handsome manner in which they had shown their appreciation of the services he had rendered to their prisoners of war and other causes connected with the war. When he undertook this work he had no thought of reward. Everybody had to do their bit ; someone had to look after the prisoners of war in each town, and it fell to his lot to do so. Someone had to organise flag days. That also fell to his lot, and it was a duty he was only too glad to have been able to carry out. The success which had attended his efforts, and the many expressions of thanks he had received personally from so many prisoners of war brought with it its own reward. He thanked them all very much for all they had done to acknowledge his work, and said the rose bowl would serve to remind him continually of the generosity of his fellow townspeople.

Mrs. Barker said she had been glad to assist her husband end encourage him in his work. She thanked them very much for her charming present, which she would always appreciate and think a lot of.

The Chairman extended to Mr. R. P. Mason the thanks of the Committee for the work he had done in connection with the testimonial fund, and in reply Mr. Mason said the work had given him the greatest pleasure.

The presentation committee consisted of Messrs. William Flint, C.C. (chairman), J. J. McKinnell, J.P., C.C., F. R. Davenport, A. E. Donkin, J.P., C. J. Newman, G. W. Walton, and R. P. Mason, hon. secretary and treasurer.

Driver P. Kimberley, son of Mr. J. Kimberley, arrived home on Saturday evening from Brighton from a Military Hospital, after bring absent from home for 3½ years, serving in the British Balkan Force. He paid a visit to his old school on Monday, where he was warmly welcomed by the scholars and headteacher.


ODDFELLOWS’ WAR MEMORIAL..—The second dance was held on Friday last at the Oddfellows’ Hall. There was a large attendance. Mr. Armstrong acted as M.C. for the first part, and Miss Amos for the second part. Mr. Joseph Howatt, of Binley, was an efficient accompanist, and Mrs. Blackman superintended the refreshments.

Sergt Silas Poxon, second son of Mr. John Poxon, of the Rose and Crown, has received his discharge and returned home. He joined as a private in the Royal Engineers, and went out early in 1915 to France, where he has seen much service, but was one of the few in the district who went through without a wound. For his bravery on the Somme in 1916 he was awarded the Military Medal. He could have received a commission, but preferred to stop as a sergeant.

WAR MEMORIAL GIFT.—A meeting of parishioners was held in the schoolroom on Monday evening to consider the subject of a War Memorial. Mr. F. A. Morris was elected Chairman, and he offered a beautiful clock on condition that a suitable place could be found for it. It was agreed that the triangle in the centre of the village would be the best place. It was further proposed that a design should be obtained. A working committee was appointed to carry out the work.


CHAMBERS.—In loving remembrance of our two dear sons, Pte. CHARLES CHAMBERS, killed in action on March 21, 1918, and Sergt FRED CHAMBERS, who died from wounds on April 4th. 1918.
“ The rolling stream of life flows on,
But still the vacant chairs
Recalls the love, the voice, the smiles
Of them who once sat there.”
—Never forgotten by their loving Dad and Mother, Brothers, Sisters, and Amy.

KEATES.—In loving memory of BERNARD KEATES (1st Wiltshire Regt.), who died of wounds received in action on March 26, 1918, the dearly beloved son of Mrs. Keates, 29 New Street, New Bilton.—From his loving Mother, Brothers, Will and Jack, sisters Mary and Diana, and Grandma.

MATTHEWS.—In loving memory of JOHN MATTHEWS, who died of wounds in France on March 25, 1918.
“ Gone is the face we loved so dear,
Silence his voice we long to here ;
His gentle hands, his loving face,
No one can take our dear one’s place.”
—From his loving Father, Mother, Brothers, Sister, and Brother in-Law (Churchover).

SALISBURY.—In loving memory of our dear son, WILFRED JOHN SALISBURY, killed in action on March 25, 1917.
“ Gone from our midst, so young, so fair,
But Father knoweth best ;
He called him from a world of care
To Heaven’s eternal rest.”
—From Mother and Father, Brothers and Sisters (17 Clifton Road).

TABOR.—In loving memory of ALEC JOHN TABOR, who was killed in France, March 26, 1918.
“ There is a link that death can’t sever,
Love and remembrance live for ever.”
—From his loving Mother, Brother & Sisters.

WALL.—In loving memory of Corpl. LOUIS HAROLD WALL, M.M., King’s Royal Rifles, reported missing November 30, 1917, at Cambrai, now presumed killed on that date (of Stockton).
“ God’s will be done, though hearts may break ;
‘Twas His to give, it was His to take.
We pictured him safely returning,
We longed to clasp has hand,
But God has postponed the meeting
Till we meet in the Better Land.”
—From Dad and Mother, Eva and Janet.

21st Mar 1919. Rugby War Memorial.

Rugby War Memorial

CITIZENS OF RUGBY and dwellers in the neighbourhood are invited to unite in promoting a Memorial in Rugby of the War.

It will be a token alike of thanksgiving to God for a great deliverance, and of gratitude to the men, and especially to the Rugby men, through whose work and sacrifice our victory was won.

It will include a Monument to commemorate in coming generations great deeds of the last four years, and to honour the memory of those who in the doing of them gave their all.

But the bulk of the money gathered will be used to erect, on a site already given, a Club and Institute for the use and benefit of Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen belonging to Rugby and the adjacent villages who have completed their military service.

Neither to them nor to their fallen comrades can our debt be discharged. But no one will stand aside from an attempt to acknowledge it on a scale worthy of our men, living and dead, and of their Town. For this will be needed generous giving. Some donations will be large. But there must also be many small ones. No Memorial can properly enshrine the common sentiment of all unless all have joined in it according to their power. It is hoped that means will be devised to make it as easy as possible for small contributors to give.

In the meantime subscriptions of all sizes which, if desired, may be spread by instalments over three years, will be accepted by any of the Rugby blanks, or by the Hon. Secretary, Mr. Arthur Morson, Benn Buildings, Rugby, and from time to time acknowledged in the Press.

President: Mrs. Arthur James, Coton House.
Chairman: Chairman of the Urban District Council.
Mrs. West, “ Bawnmore,” Bilton.
Rev. Caron Blagden.
Rev. Caron David, D.D.
Sergt.-Major Cain.
Mr. F. Van den Arend.
Mr. G. W. Walton.
Mr. H. Yates.
Mr. J. J. McKinnell.
Mr. W. H. Linnell.
Mr. W. Flint.
Mr. R. Corbett,
Mr. J Mann
Mr. R. C. Grace,
Mr. H. N. Sporborg, British Thomson Houston Co.. Ltd
Mr. C. s. Essex, Messrs. Willans & Robinson, Ltd.
Mr. Joynes, Rugby Trades & Labour Council.
Mr. Lewis Loverock, Rugby Chamber of Trade.
Mr. R. Friend, Rugby Master Builders’ Association.


An urgent appeal has been sent by Major Cecil Nickalls to the Rugby Territorial Comforts Committee for the undermentioned articles :— Gym or canvas shoes, light flannel or duck trousers. These articles are required for recreation purposes during the summer months. Also books and magazines. Will Rugbeians kindly assist in this worthy object and earn the grateful thanks of the men mentioned above, a considerable number of whom are Rugby men.

All that you give will be thankfully received by Mr. A. Adnitt, Regent Street, and will be sent off by the TERRITORIAL COMFORTS COMMITTEE.

The wedding took place on the 8th inst., at St. Michael’s Church, Battersea, of Dr. R. Elkington, fourth son of Mr. and Mrs. F. Elkington, Mill Street, Dunchurch, and Miss R. Perrin, of Battersea. Dr. Elkington has been through the war and did not get a scar. He joined the army some time before the war. The bride wore a dress of grey crepe de chine, with hat to match, and carried a bouquet of white carnations. The bridesmaids wore dresses of Saxe blue, with large black hats, and bouquet of pink carnations.

SOLDIERS’ WELCOME HOME.—It was a happy thought which inspired several gentlemen of Brinklow to provide an opportunity for the local soldiers, who have returned from the war, to spend a happy evening together, and Mr. and Mrs. Geo. Walker greatly facilitated matters by lending their piano and large room for the purpose. The event took place on Wednesday evening, when a smoking concert was held and about 60 soldiers. were present. The company also included Mr. C. Pare (who presided), Messrs. W. E. Brown, G. Walker, F. Gwin, H. Gresley, T. Bartlett, E. Gardner, A. Pegg, Miller, Bryan, Spurgeon, and a party of vocalists and friends from Coventry. At the opening the Chairman gave a hearty welcome to the “ boys,” and expressed the gratitude of the village for the faithful services they had rendered during the war. Mr. F. Gwin also expressed his pleasure at having so many released, and hoped when they again met their numbers would be greatly increased. He claimed that Brinklow had done well in the war. One-fifth of the inhabitants had joined the colours, and those who remained behind had raised about £400 for various war organisations (cheers). A number of very good songs were given by the following :—Messrs. A. Tackley, Chas. Elstree, Tatton, Spurgeon, Martin (of Coventry), R. Walker. Ansell, Watkins, Cox, and Bartlett. Messrs. A. Tackley and Chas. Elstree were accompanists. A vote of thanks to the Chairman and vocalists, and expressions of mutual good will concluded a very pleasant evening.

SOLDIERS’ WELCOME.—The discharged and demobilised soldiers were entertained to supper on Saturday evening. About 80 soldiers “ fell in ” on the village green, and, headed by the Excelsior band, paraded the village, afterwards adjourning to the school, where an excellent cold supper had been prepared by a representative committee. A capital smoking concert followed, under the chairmanship of the Vicar, who extended a most hearty welcome to the company, making a special reference to those who had made the great sacrifice, the whole assembly standing while “ The Last Post ” was sounded by Pte. Albert Priest. Songs were given by Coventry friends and Messrs. W. Moore, A. Herbert, M. Herbert, S. Webb, and N. Russell, and selections by the band.


CHANT.—In affectionate remembrance of GEORGE CHANT, who fell in France on March 22, 1918.
“ He heard his Captain’s voice, life’s battle fought,
Life’s victory won—the soldier thus received
His welcome and his crown.”
—From his loving Wife and baby.

CLARKE.—In ever loving memory of Pte. WILLIAM ROBERT CLARKE, Oxford & Bucks, who has been missing since March the 21st.
“ One year has gone, but still we miss him,
From our memory he will never fade,
His life he gave for King and country,
In a far and distant grave.
We often sit and think of him,
And tenderly breathe his name.”
—Never forgotten : From his loving Mother, Father, Sister & brothers, Priory Row, Wolston.

DODSON.—In loving memory of our dear son, Rifleman WILLIAM DODSON, who died of wounds on March 24, 1915.
“ Gone is the face we loved so dear,
Silent your voice we long to hear ;
Your gentle hands, your loving face,
No one can take our dear one’s place.”
—From his loving Mother, Father, Brothers, Sister.

FRETTER.—In loving memory of our dear brother CHARLIE, who was killed in action on March 22, 1918.
“ There is a link death cannot sever,
Love and remembrance cling on for ever.”
—From his loving Brothers and Sister.

HARDMAN.—In loving memory of my dear husband, Gunner C. H. HARDMAN, killed in France on March 21, 1918.
“ The rolling stream of life flows on,
But still the vacant chair
Recalls the love, the voice, the smiles
Of him who once sat there.”
—From his loving Wife and Children.

HARDMAN.—In loving memory of GUNNER CHARLES HARDMAN, who was killed in action on March 21, 1918.—Never forgotten by his loving Father and Mother, Brothers and Sisters.

HARDMAN.—In loving memory of GUNNER CHARLES HARDMAN, killed in action on March 21, 1918.
“ This day brings back a memory
Of a loved one laid to rest.
And those who think of him to-day
Are those who loved him best.

HORSLEY.—In fond and loving memory of Pte. HORACE HORSLEY, of “ Scotia,” 33 Albert St., Rugby, who was killed in France on March 21, 1918.
“ 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 loving Mother and Brother Freeman.

LEESON.—In loving remembrance of our two dear sons, ALBERT (BERT); killed in action on March 20, 1917, and FRED (BOB), September 25, 1915.
“ The memories of their upright ways
Will linger with us all our days.”
—From Mother, Dad, Brothers, Sisters, and Hilda.

SMITH.—In loving memory of my dear Husband, Pte. THOMAS SMITH, who died of wounds in Ireland, March 17th, 1918.
“ One year has passed, my heart still sore,
Day by day I miss him more.
His welcome smile, his dear sweet face
Never on earth can be replaced.”
This day brings back a memory
Of a loved one laid to rest,
And those who think of him to-day
Are those who loved him best.”
—From his loving Wife and Child.

WILSON.—In proud and affectionate memory of Second-Lieut. E. T. WILSON (EDDIE), killed in action on March 23, 1918.


Meddows, Harold Thomas, Died 26th Mar 1919

Harold Thomas MEDDOWS was born in 1898 in Newbold-on-Avon, Rugby; registered in Q2, 1898; and baptised in Newbold, on 22 May 1898.  He was the fourth of five sons of William Henry Meddows (b.c.1863 in Newbold) and Mary Ann, née Sharp, Meddows (b.c.1861 in Copston, Leicesteshire).  They had married on 21 August 1888 at St Oswald’s church, New Bilton.

In 1891, William Henry Meddows was a ‘Carrier and Post Office keeper’ at the Old Woodyard in Newbold on Avon, and by 1901, his son Harold was three years old.  The family was living in Newbold at the Grocers shop, where his father, William Henry, was both the ‘Postmaster and Grocer’.  Harold’s mother, Mary Ann, was the Post Mistress.

In 1903 Harold’s mother died, and she was buried on 12 March 1903 in St. Botolph’s churchyard, Newbold on Avon, leaving children aged from 2 to 13 years of age.  In 1911 the family were still living in Newbold and Harold’s father was enumerated as a ‘Carrier and Sub-postmaster’.

Harold’s Service Record has not survived but his Medal Card shows that he joined up initially as a Private, No.21114, in the 3rd Battalion, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.  His later Silver War Badge record stated that he had joined up on 10 August 1916.

It would have been some time before he was trained and sent to France, probably not before the end of 1916.  The 3rd Battalion had fought …
… During later 1916 in the Battle of Delville Wood, (15 July – 3 September 1916); the Battle of Guillemont, (3-6 September 1916); and in the Operations on the Ancre.  Then during 1917 they were in action during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line; the Arras offensive; the Battle of Polygon Wood; the Battle of Broodseinde; the Battle of Poelcapelle and the Second Battle of Passchendaele (26 October and 10 November 1917).

At some date probably in, say, mid 1917, it appears that he was wounded, and later transferred to the Labour Corps as No.353050.  It seems that he was also gassed – which may have provided the classification ‘wounded’.  He had been transferred to the 364th Reserve Company Royal Warwickshires when he was discharged because of sickness under Clause xvi (a) (i)[1]No longer physically fit for war service’ on 4 December 1917, when he was aged 19.  He may have still been in hospital at that date, after being gassed.

He was awarded a Silver War Badge, on 22 January 1918.  The Silver War Badge was given to men discharged from active service, due to wounds or illness, and was in part provided so that they were not accused of avoiding service, as it showed they had served and been wounded.

It is assumed that he was home in Rugby, and possibly in hospital there, when he died, aged 20, on 26 March 1919.  His death was registered in Rugby in Q1, 1919.  The CWGC record states that he ‘Died of phthisis[2] following wounds (gas)’.

He was buried in Plot: G. 286. at the Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby.  The CWGC contact when he was buried was ‘Mrs G. Creed, 27 Graham Road, Rugby’.  Mrs. G Creed, was his sister, Elsie, whose marriage with George Creed had been registered in Q3, 1915, soon after Harold and Elsie’s father’s death on 2 February 1915, when he was 52 years old.  Elsie Creed was later buried with her brother in Clifton Road Cemetery.

The family added the inscription ‘Greater Love Hath No Man Than This Who Giveth His Life For His Friends’.

Harold Thomas MEDDOWS was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.  He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates; on his CWGC gravestone at Clifton Road Cemetery, and also on the Newbold War Memorial at St. Botolph’s Church.

His brother, Albert Edward Sharp Meddows, also served in WWI with the Army Service Corps, the Royal Engineers and latterly with the 5th HQ Signal Company, attached to the 34th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.  He was killed in action on the third day of the First Battle of Passchendaele on 14 October 1917, together with three other Rugby men.  He is buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery, Ypres.  He left a wife and two children.

His brother Horace also served, with the Worcestershire Regiment, from March 1916 to January 1919, when he received a Silver War Badge.  He married in 1922 and lived until 1950 and died in Rugby, aged 56 years.

Fuller family details are given in the biography of Harold’s brother, Albert Edward Sharp Meddows.



– – – – – –


This article on Harold Thomas MEDDOWS was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson.  Thanks are given to Marian Evans, the author of the biography of Harold’s brother, Albert Edward Sharp Meddows, who died on 14 October 1917[3] for the use of some of her information and confirmatory material.  This biography is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, October 2018.

[1]      At a slightly later date, possibly when his records were being updated: (a) would refer to ‘during a period of war or demobilisation’, (i) would refer to ‘If the soldier is a patient in hospital’.

[2]      Whilst the term ‘phthisis’ is no longer in scientific use, it described tuberculosis, involving the lungs, and a progressive wasting of the body.  It could be brought on by the gasses used in the war.

[3]      https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2017/10/14/meaddows-albert-edward-sharp-died-14th-oct-1917/.


14th Mar 1919. The British Tommy, Humour in Face of Death

Famous Actor’s Experience at the Front.

Sir F. R. Benton, England’s greatest Shakespearean actor, who has been serving as an ambulance driver with the French Army, gave a delightful lecture, entitled “ The French Poilu and the British Tommy,” to the members of Rugby School in the Temple Speech Room on Tuesday evening.

At the outset the Lecturer, who was in uniform, said khaki had now become synonymous with the mantle of the knights of the Round Table, or with the knightly mantle of any chivalry of the brave in any age, in any country in the world. This had been made so by the splendid selfless heroism and patient endurance of their soldiers, sailors, and airmen. The greatness of the British race, he said, was due to its love of poetry, and a nation’s character could be judged by the song words of its people. He traced the song words of the English race from the days of Alfred the Great, through the intervening centuries till the present day, when the song words of Tommy Atkins might be interpreted as
“ Carry on, never mind me.” This was the song word which Tommy Atkins had contributed to the song words of freedom and of service upon which their Empire was based. But the contribution of Tommy Atkins to the song words of the nations could only be adequately described by an appeal to the representative poet of the English, and Sir Frank recited, with intense dramatic effect, several soul-stirring epics from the treasures of Shakespeare, breathing in every line the deathless courage and stern resolve which has always characterised the British race. After drawing a vivid word picture of Passchendale,
absolutely blasted with the hot breath of hell,” the Lecturer recounted many incidents typical of the humour and splendid courage of our soldiers. “ The British soldier,” the French say, “ is the strongest fighter in the world.” “ And,” they add, “ he is also the gentlest.” This was a great compliment, a great national characteristic, and he hoped they would always possess it.
Sir Frank Benson has a rich fund of anecdote, and he gave of his best on Tuesday. “ When war broke out,” he said, “ I, in common with everybody else, went to the recruiting office, and I told the sergeant that I was 29 years of age, or rather that I hoped to be 29 if I escaped measles, whooping cough, bronchitis, and other childish ailments. I also descanted at some length on my fitness physically. The sergeant interrupted me, however, by quietly remarking, “ Excuse me, sir, but unfortunately I saw you trying to play ‘ Hamlet ‘ more than 29 years ago ’ ” (laughter). “ I should not have minded,” Sir Frank added, amid renewed laughter, “ had he not laid emphasis on the ‘ trying to play Hamlet.’ ”
Another delightful story concerned a friend of the Lecturer’s, who had a mania for being taken prisoner. He was made a prisoner in the Boer War, and when the European War broke out he enlisted and became a major, and again he was wounded and taken prisoner. He had previously, however, requested his man to write to his wife and break the news gently to her if anything happened to him. Fortunately she received a wire from her husband, stating that he was slightly wounded and a prisoner, but news reached the regiment that he was dead. On learning this the servant scratched his head, and, after an hour’s hard thinking, he wrote : “ Dear Mrs. Major,—Major says to me before he goes over the top : ‘ Jack,’ says he, ‘ if anything happens to me, you are to have my best pair of brown boots and my second best uniform. Well, ma’m, I have got ’em all on at this moment.—Yours, Tommy Atkins.’ ” (laughter). There was, after all, a sort of philosophic “ Carry on, lads, never mind me,” spirit about that letter.
Then, dealing with another phase of the British Tommy’s character, the Lecturer related a never-to-be-forgotten story of the smith of the Scots Greys, who, fired with indignation at the horrible stories of the devilish deeds of the Germans, picked up the biggest hammer he could find, and, with his leather apron on, his sleeves rolled up, and his shirt open to the chest, sprang on a hone and took part in a splendid charge of our cavalry, when they rode backwards and forwards through the German ranks. There was no parry known in the German text books for a heavy hammer wielded by an English smith, his heart ablaze with righteous anger. Surely Thor, the thunder god, with his heavy hammer, rode in the English ranks that day.
Then there was the epic story of the, 19-year-old public school boy, who, when all the officers were killed and the regiment reduced from 2,000 to only 200, held a position for 23 days. He was soon afterwards promoted to command a company, and was ordered to take a difficult position held by machine gun fire. While attempting to do so a rifle bullet shattered his jaw. He fell, and as he lay, half-way between life and death, to his dim consciousness there came a whisper that the attack was not going all right, that all the officers had been killed, and the men were wavering. So he struggled to his feet, held the shattered remnants of his jaw in his left hand, waved his sword with his right, and led his men on to victory, till death the healer came in the shape of a bullet through the brain and eased him of his sore anguish. It was, he concluded, such deeds as this, which were performed every hour of every day, which led a famous French General to say to General French : “ I and my division would esteem it a great honour and a great happiness to come here and die by your side.”


On Saturday evening the Rugby Salvation Army band welcomed the nine bandsmen who have been demobilised at a tea in the Citadel, the arrangements for which were in the hands of the wives of the band locals. At the close a presentation was made by Bandmaster Burton, on behalf of the band, to Bandsman Rupert Martin, who had acted as deputy bandmaster during the absence of Bro. P. Allen on service.

The week-end meetings were led by Deputy Bandmaster Allen, assisted by the other khaki men, and during the services each of them recounted their experiences on the battle-field. A march, “ The Brigade,” composed by the Deputy Bandmaster whilst on the Cambrai front, was played, and also arrangements he had composed for two hymns, “ Sun of my soul ” and “ Art thou weary.”


WAR MEMORIAL : RESULT OF VOTING.—At a meeting held some time back it was decided to issue voting papers to all residents in the above three places, so that all over 21 could register their votes for the object they preferred. The following five proposals were placed before them :—(1) To repair and refurbish the south chapel in the church, and make it a war memorial chapel, with the names on the wall of those who have died and fought for us. Estimated cost, about £400. (2) To build a mission room and institute at Bretford ; cost £800 to £1,000. (3) To build a cottage for the pariah nurse ; cost £600.  (4) To put up a cross or monument of some kind on the Derry at Wolston. (5) To erect a clock tower on the Derry. Messrs. E. W. Ireson (Brandon), J. E. Wilkins (Bretford), F. Stevenson, F R. Butler, W.Chick, H. Walding, and G. Webb, jun. of Wolston, met at the Vicarage on Thursday in last week to count the votes. The following was the result :—No. 1, 204 votes : 2, 24 ; 3, 48 ; 4, 80 ; and 5, 191. Thus the war memorial chapel was carried. Thanks are due to the Vicar, the Rev. J. O. Gooch, for getting the voting papers, &c., printed.

A HERO’S RETURN.—Pte. Horace Watts has returned home after being a prisoner since the 21st of March last. He joined the West Kents in August, 1914, and went out in the spring of 1915. He was with the gallant West Kents when they were surrounded in Trones Wood for two days. Although many would have surrendered, they stuck to their guns, and eventually extracted themselves. He was wounded first at Hohenzolern Redout, and after a short time in England returned to France. He was again wounded in the left elbow, and taken prisoner at St. Quentin. The treatment meted out to the prisoners was in many instances of a most inhuman nature. Pte. Watts was himself neglected shamefully. For days together the dressings of his wounds were not touched. In one instance he was 14 days without having them removed. His ration was a portion of bread and barley leaf water. Pte. Watts is the son of Mr. & Mrs. G. Watts, of Brandon Wood. Mr. Watts has been head gamekeeper to Col. Beach for the last 26 years. Pte. Watts is an old Bablake boy. His arm is progressing fairly well, but it is feared it is permanently injured. He was offered promotion on several occasions, but preferred to stay as a private.


INFLUENZA.—The death-rate locally from influenza and pneumonia is still declining, and during the past week nine deaths from these diseases have been registered, as against 16 and 20 in the two preceding weeks.

RE-OPENING OF A GARAGE.—Messrs. Sam Robbins’ Garage at Dunchurch, which was closed owing to shortage of labour during the war, has now been re-opened under the management of Mr. Gilbert.

RIFLEMAN HAROLD LEE, 8th K.R.R., son-in-law of Mr. & Mrs. G. H. Cave, 74 Windsor Street, Rugby, who was posted as missing on April 4th last, is now presumed to have been killed on that date.

WAR RELIC FOR THE O.T.C.—A captured German trench mortar, presented to Rugby School O.T.C, by the Army Council as a mark of appreciation of the work done by the Corps during the war, has been placed outside the Armoury in Lawrence Sheriffe Street.


HARRISON.—On the 11th inst., in the Military Hospital, Leeds, from pneumonia, following influenza, Lieut.-Col. JAMES MOLYNEUX HARRISON, R.A.S.C., fourth son of Alfred Hyde Harrison, late of Dunchurch Hall, Warwickshire, aged 49.


BOTTERILL.—In proud and loving memory of Pte. A. W. BOTTERILL (BERT), 2nd Coldstream Guards, Killed in France 18, 1918. Interred in Frampaux Cemetery, Arras, on March 20th (sonny’s birthday).
“ Loving and loved one, your race is won ;
Nobly and well hath your work been done.
Now you have found your great reward,
And we whom you loved are left to mourn.
Yet how I miss the hand-clasp and the loving smile.”
—Sadly missed and deeply mourned by Wife and little Bert, Church Cottages, Clifton.

SKINNER.—In loving memory of Pte. G. SKINNER, 19th Canadians, killed in Belgium on March 14, 1916.
“ There is a link death cannot sever,
Love and remembrance cling for ever.”
From his loving wife CHARLOTTE.

STEEL.—In loving memory of our dear son, EDWARD, who was killed in action “ somewhere in France ” on March 16, 1915.
“ ‘Tis only a little while longer.
If we march in the heavenly road,
We shall meet and be ever with Jesus,
Who will ease our hearts from its load.”
—Never forgotten by his loving Father, Mother, Sister and Brothers.

7th Mar 1919. Wounded Men on Camels


An interesting letter has been received from Lieut. Edward B. Bloxam, of the 1st Cape Corps, written from Cairo, on October 1st last. It gives an excellent idea of the conditions of service in the Palestine fighting. Lieut. Bloxam is a son of Mr. Roby Bloxam, of Christchurch, New Zealand, a nephew of Miss Bloxam, Bilton Road, Rugby, and a great nephew of the late Mr. M. H. Bloxam, the well-known antiquarian. He writes :—I presume you received an official cablegram notifying you that I had been wounded. My right tibia is fractured, and the two wounds where the bullet went in and out are small and clean. The doctor says that I shall be in bed for eight or ten weeks, and that it will be four months before I rejoin my unit. I got pipped in the big advance which you will have heard about. It started on the 18th, and I was hit on the morning of the 20th. Up till then we had had no heavy fighting. On the night of the 18th two Companies took and held a hill called Square Hill. That was the original objective of one Company, D. A and B Companies had already taken their positions and consolidated. My Company, C, had to go through D Company and take and hold three knolls 600 yards beyond and north of Square Hill. We had only three platoons, and were given a knoll each to take. My platoon consisted of 9 men. The others were laying wire, and the Lewis gun team nine men. As it was daylight before we took Square Hill, and C Company were required to help consolidate our original objective was abandoned. This was fortunate, as it took two battalions to take the three knolls the next day. On the night of the 19th I took my platoon out and brought in a Turkish gun which we had fired upon during the day. On the morning of the 20th, whilst acting as right flank guard to two Companies I had to charge across a flat valley 600 yards. Not many of my men got across, as we were exposed to both frontal and enfilade fire, and there was no cover. The enemy fire was very heavy, but I managed to get within about 50 yards of the other side when I got hit in the leg. That was about 6 a.m., and we did not finally get the objective till five in the afternoon, as Johnny counter-attacked, and the hills had to be retaken. I had to play possum the whole day, as if I moved at all half a dozen snipers had a pot at me. About sundown the stretcher bearers came out, and they were kept busy for some time. From the Regimental dressing station we were sent on camels, two patients per camel, one on either side, in specially made baskets, about two miles to a brigade station. Here we were dressed again and immediately moved off again in a two-wheeled ambulance, about four miles. There we slept the night, and next morning were put in a four-wheeled ambulance. In this we travelled eight hours. It was an awful trip over very rough roads, and we were very thankful to get to our destination, Mary’s Cross. There we were dressed again and sent by motor ambulance to Ram Allah. Next morning we moved on by motor ambulance to Jerusalem, A day was spent there, and then we were put in a Red Cross train. The final night we stopped at Gaza, the second at Kantara, on the Suez Canal. We then came on here, arriving on September 25th. My wound was all right then, but they have since had to operate on it and remove a piece of dead bone. This is a very good Hospital, and the winter season here has just started, so the weather is good. There are six officers of the Cape Corps in various Hospitals here, but I am the only one in this Hospital. Out of 13 who went into action, six were killed and six wounded.  I have just received copies of congratulations. General Allenby wires to the Mayor of Cape Town that the Cape Corps fought with the utmost bravery, and rendered splendid service. Brigadier-General Pearson, of the 53rd Division, writing to the C.O., says :—“ I desire to thank you and your very gallant regiment for all you have done since joining my Brigade. It is no idle remark to say that the whole army was astounded at the splendid performance you put up during the recent operations.” The Brigadier-General, Royal Artillery, 53rd Division, writing to Brig.-General Pearson says that it gives the gunners the greatest satisfaction to be able to support such magnificent infantry. The gallantry displayed by the Cape Corps Battalion was of the highest order and beyond praise.


Claud H. Hammond, a Private in the Northumberland Fusiliers, was charged with unlawfully wearing the ribbon of the military medal.—Pleaded guilty.

Detective Mighall deposed that he visited a house in Oxford Street. He went to the front and P.S. Hawkes to the back. When witness knocked at the door, prisoner, without waiting to see who it was, bolted out of the back door, and was stopped by P.S. Hawkes. He was wearing a brooch with the ribbon of the Military Medal and the Mons Ribbon. He also had three wound stripes. Prisoner admitted to him that he had no right to wear the Military Medal ribbon, but he said he was entitled to the Mons ribbon.

Addressing the Bench. prisoner said : “ I have been very foolish. I only had it on two days. I had no intention of doing any harm. It was simply ‘ a bit of swank.’ ”

Superintendent Clarke said prisoner had been sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for illegally wearing an officer’s uniform, six months for false pretences, and he had also been convicted for giving false information. He was not entitled to the Mons Star, and he had only been wounded once. It was pointed out that the military authorities looked upon this as a serious offence, and they were anxious to put a stop to it, for the sake of the men entitled to wear such decorations.

The Chairman (addressing Hammond) : You are one of those scoundrels who try to make out that you have done your best for your country, and that you have been in the very thick of the hardest fighting of all at Mons, and then you come here and say you were swaggering. You are one of the worst types of scoundrel, and we send you to gaol for six months, with hard labour.


On Sunday, 23rd ult., the Volunteer Company paraded at the Headquarters, Howitzer Battery Drill Hall, to be photographed prior to disbandment, and the members of No. 1 Platoon seized the opportunity to present Lieut. Yates, the Platoon Commander, with a silver Queen Anne coffee set. The presentation was made by Platoon-Sergt. Weobley, who, on behalf of the N.C.O.’s and men, and two former N.C.O.’s (Lieut. S. Brown and Lieut. Pywell), referred to the respect and goodwill all felt towards Lieut. Yates. When he was appointed to the Command of the Platoon on April 1st, 1917, the remark was made “ We are lucky to get such an officer,” and time had proved the truth of this, for they had always found him an efficient officer, a thorough sportsman, and a gentleman. They all wished him good health, and hoped he would live many year, to enjoy the use of their present.—In reply, Lieut. Yates thanked the members for the forbearance they had extended to him, and the cheerful and willing way in which they had tackled the work set them. He could not wish to be associated with jollier and more zealous comrades than those he had the honour to know in No. 1 Platoon.

A presentation was also made to 2nd Lieut. C. C. Wharton by Sergt. S. O. Watson, on behalf of the N.C.O’s and men of No. 2 Platoon, as a small token of their appreciation of the immense amount of work he had put in on behalf of “ B ” Company and No. 2 Platoon in particular. They hoped he would accept it as a symbol of their association during the most exacting period of the world’s history. Second Lieut. Wharton, in returning thanks, referred to the loyally and discipline which the platoon had always shown. He had joined them in the early days as a private without any idea of being promoted to such a position. When he was selected for promotion it meant going over the heads of others who no doubt were eligible and equally qualified ; but it was a source of much personal gratification that there had been no resentment, but, on the other hand, nothing but loyal co-operation. He had learnt much during their association together, as he was sure they had all done, of the beneficial results of all working and pulling together with a good will and for a common object, and he hoped they would not forget the great lesson they had learned.

Platoon Sergt E. R. Briggs, acting commander of No. 3 Platoon, was also presented with a pipe and pigskin tobacco pouch by Sergt. Gauntley, on behalf of the members of the platoon.


At the close of the parade, Colonel Johnstone, addressing Capt. Fuller, the officers, N.C.O’s and men, said although of late he had been prevented by rheumatism from seeing as much of their work as he would have liked, he had always been interested to learn of their progress.

Captain Fuller had handled the Company with military knowledge, firmness, and tact, by the exercise of which he had done a very great deal to bring the Company to that state of excellence which caused Inspecting Officers to speak so well of them. He also wished to thank those officers and N.C.O’s who had by their readiness to take courses of instruction contributed greatly to the efficiency of the Company.

Referring to the commencement of the Volunteer Force, he said he regretted that in those days his duties as Recruiting Officer prevented him giving more of his time, but he complimented them on the sense of duty and loyalty which had caused them to stick to their work in spite of earlier lack of official recognition and encouragement. The Rugby Company had, by discipline and readiness to learn, made themselves the smartest Company in the Battalion. The times of stress which had led to the formation of the Volunteer Force were now over, but he hoped that, should the necessity for such a force again arise, every one of them would once more come forward to do his duty.

SOLDIER’S WELCOME HOME.—A hearty and successful welcome home to those who have returned from the army has been held to the schools. The welcome, which was organised by the War Memorial Committee, consisted of an elaborate spread of roast pork, ham, tongue, pork pies, and sweets of every variety. A packet of cigarettes was presented to each man by Mrs. T Meredith, and thanks are also due to the Northampton and Leamington Brewery Companies for their gifts of beer. After supper a smoking concert was held, Mr. L. Lister Kaye being in the chair. The usual toasts were drunk and songs were given by soldiers and others. Mr Leeson, of Coventry, presided at the piano, and added much to the pleasure of the company by his humorous items. It is hoped to repeat this welcome at some future date when the remainder of the men have returned. Towards defraying the cost of this entertainment the sum of £10 12s., being the proceeds of two dances recently held for this purpose, was handed to the committee by the ladies who organised the dances.


THE INFLUENZA.—During the past week 16 deaths from influenza and pneumonia have been reported in Rugby against 20 in the preceding week.

THE Mercantile Marine Service Association are making an appeal to which it is to be hoped the public of Rugby will readily respond. It is to help the men and dependents of the men who made victory possible—the heroes, the obscure heroes of the Mercantile Marine An advertisement elsewhere in this edition goes into details of the appeal, which we heartily commend to our readers.

The first meeting of the Rugby War Memorial Committee was held on Thursday evening, when Mr. A. Morson, M.B.E., reported that he had had some handsome donations offered, among them one of £500 and another of £300.


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.


BENCH.—In fond memory of our dear brother, Pte. J. BENCH, who passed away in France, March 5th, 1917.
“ But oh ! for the touch of a vanished hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still.”
—From his loving Father, Sisters, & Brothers.

FIDLER.—In fond and loving memory of Pte W. G. FIDLER, of Harborough Magna, who was killed in France on March 7, 1916.
“ 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 so well.”
—From Dad, Mother, Sisters & Brothers.

REEVE.—In memory of my beloved husband, ARTHUR KIMBELL REEVE, who died in France on March 4, 1917.—Never forgotten by his loving Wife and Daughters.

REEVE.—In memory of my dear son, ARTHUR KIMBELL REEVE, who died in France on March 4, 1917.—Always in the thoughts of his loving Mother, Brothers and Sisters.


28th Feb 1919. In Memory of Rugby’s Heroes, Decision of Town’s Meeting


As was anticipated, the Town’s Meeting, held in the Assembly Room at the Benn Buildings on Friday, confirmed the recommendation of the U.D.C. to erect a club and institute for ex-Service men as Rugby’s War Memorial. Owing to the inclement weather the attendance was disappointing, but the meeting was unanimous, and no discordant voice was raised. The Chairman of the U.D.C. (Mr. J. J. McKinnell) presided, and he was supported by Mrs. Arthur James, Major J. L. Baird, M.P., Canon Blagden, and the following members of the Council : Messrs. W. Flint, T. A. Wise. H. Yates, L. Loverock, F. E. Hands. R. S. Hudson, C. J. Newman, R. W. Barnsdale, T. Ringrose, and A. Morson (Clerk).

At the outset the Chairman read a letter from Canon David, apologising for inability to attend through illness, and expressing the hope that “ the proposal adopted will include a club and hostel. Thus the men can pay to the brave living a small part of its debt to the credit of the brave dead.” Mr. Donkin also sent apologies for absence, and added that he hoped the memorial would include an obelisk or statue. Mr. Linnell also sent apologies for absence.


The Chairman explained the objects of the meeting, and said the subject matter had been before the Urban District Council for some considerable time, but the date of the meeting had been deferred in order that the people might have an opportunity of thoroughly considering the proposal favoured by the Council, i.e. :—

(1) To erect in a public place a statue, obelisk or cross, or something of that nature, as an everlasting record of the bravery and heroism of the sons of Rugby.

(2) To provide a meeting place for sailors, soldiers, and airmen returning from the War, for which there appeared to be a distinct want.

The need for such a building had already been fully explained. Temporary accommodation had been provided, but the men were continually returning from the War, the numbers of the Association were increasing, and there was a definite and urgent need for larger and better accommodation. At was now generally known, their very good friend, Mrs. Arthur James, had signified her intention to build an Assembly Hall for the town—a building which was urgently needed—and to this end she had acquired a very fine site in Albert Street. This site would not be wholly required for the Assembly Hall, and it was suggested that a site for the proposed Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Institute might also be found there. Mrs. James put her own wishes on one side and very kindly agreed to this course, provided it met the wishes of the people of the town. The advantages of the combination were obvious. In the first place, they would save at least £1,000 on the site, and they would also save considerably on the building. The object of the meeting was to decide what should be done, and he hoped that whatever they agreed upon, Rugby would do something really worthy of her fair name. He was born in Rugby ; he had live there all his life, and his people lived there before him. He was accordingly very much attached to the town and very proud of it. Throughout the War Rugby had played the game, particularly with regard to recruiting. When he looked back on the early days of September, 1914, and remembered the way in which the boys rolled up, he was more and more impressed, and he would never forget it. He saw lads whom he had known for years, and whom he had watched grow up, and when he said to them “ Halloa, are you here, too ?” they replied “ Yes, sir. I thought I ought to go.” Yes, they were splendid, and all through they had been splendid. Unfortunately, he was the Chairman of the Tribunal, and they had some very hard cases before them, but he could hardly recall to mind a single case where, when the Tribunal said “ We are very sorry, but we think you must go,” the man did not take it smilingly. “ If I must go, I must. I am quite willing ; it was only for the sake of the wife and kids.” All through there had been quite a good spirit in their little town, and they could not really appreciate how much they were beholden to these men. They could not really understand what these men had been through for their sakes, and it was therefore up to the public to do something decent for them, and not to half do it. Therefore, whatever they did, he asked them to


they must aim at something big, something dignified and worthy. He warned them, however, that it was no use thinking of raising £1,000, £1,500 or £2,000. They must raise at least £6,000 or £7,000. Even this might prove too little. However, Rugby people were very good, and if they appointed a strong energetic Committee, he did not think it would be impossible to raise the money ; on the other hand, he thought it would be quite easy. They hoped this was a unique occasion. They hoped, please God, they would never have another war like this, or have to erect another memorial such as they were now discussing. He, therefore, proposed that the Rugby Town memorial should consist of, in the first place, some suitable obelisk or cross, the exact form to be decided upon later; and, in the second place, a discharged sailors’ and soldiers’ club and hostel to be erected on the site kindly offered by Mrs. Arthur James.

Sergt.-Major J. Cain (Chairman of the Discharged Soldiers’ Association) seconded and welcomed the suggestion as not only commemorating the heroic dead, but also as making provision for the living.

Mr. G. E. Over said they were proposing to put up a memorial for all time, and he asked, with regard to the Soldiers’ Institute, what would happen to it when the present generation had passed away ?

The Chairman : I suppose it will be used for some other purpose then. I don’t know how many years will elapse before the need for it has passed away, but if we use the site provided by Mrs. James, I suppose when it is not required for its present purpose the town will put it to some other use.

A member of the audience pointed out that we shall have a large Army to keep up in the future, and therefore for many generations there would be enough discharged men to keep the Institute going.

Mr. T. Ratcliffe said he did not think the site offered by Mrs. James was desirable. These men had given their best for the cause they thought to be right, and the town should provide them with a club and institute which was not enclosed. They did not want merely rooms, but facilities for playing cricket and bowls, ete. There were too many winter clubs in the town, and they did not want to drive men into places where they would practically be driven to drink. For this reason he thought a more suitable site should be chosen. They should provide the biggest thing they could, because there would always be someone to use it, although he hoped it would not always be soldiers. He hoped that education would lead the people to say that there should be no more war. However, whether they were discharged soldiers or not, they were, first of all, men, and therefore they wanted to look for a place where they could play games and not always be indoors.


Major J. L Baird supported the resolution, and said the last speaker had advocated something big. Well, it could not he too big so far as he was concerned, provided it was practicable. The main thing was to achieve something tangible—a place which every man who had served in the Navy, Army, or Air Force would be able to look upon as his headquarters in Rugby, to which he could go for social intercourse ; to obtain information, or to meet his friends and keep alive that splendid spirit which had enabled them to beat the forces of barbarism. The townspeople were the best judges as to the precise form the memorial should take, but he asked them to bear in mind that they were setting up a living monument, which would show those who came after them who it was that kept England free. It was the nation in arms, and that portion of the nation who fought and risked their lives were entitled to the greatest honour (applause). Their men flocked into the Services, and showed that they, an unmilitary free nation, could produce the finest soldiers in the world (applause). Because of this, because their spear head—the Navy, Army and Air Force—was of such fine tempered steel, when the whole force of the nation was concentrated at the shaft, it proved an absolutely irresistible force, and it scattered and demolished appalling forces opposed to it. He wished to have some small share in contributing to a worthy war memorial being set up in Rugby, but they must be very careful as to the form it should take. The last speaker alluded to a large playing field in connection with the club and institute, but the club itself must not be so far out that it was not accessible on such a night as that, or people would not go to it on wet, muddy nights.

Mr. Ratcliffe : I was referring to evenings when it is light. I was not idiotic enough to suggest that they should go out and play bowls on a night like this, and it is plainly absurd for Major Baird to suggest that they would wish to do so. We don’t want to be ridiculous ; we are here to suggest and consider the most desirable memorial for the men, and the majority of the men want houses rather than an institute.

Major Baird replied that evidently he had not been clearly understood.

Mr. Ratcliffe : You suggested what is ridiculous. I said : “ When the evenings are light.” Is it light now ?

Major Baird said he did not think there was anything between them really. They were both agreed that the finest possible institute should be provided, and he had only wished to remark that they should take all the seasons into consideration—they wanted something that would be useful both in summer and winter. He also thought it was necessary for them to take advantage of the present opportunity, before people had forgotten the debt they owed to the Army, Nary and Air Force. They should remember how they felt four months ago, and remember also that their feelings of gratitude to their brave men must last as long as they lived, and they must try to make the institute worthy of the men they intended to commemorate. In conclusion, he appealed for the wholehearted co-operation of all sections of the community in recognising this debt and in providing not only a memorial to their splendid deeds, but in providing also a real, practical, tangible benefit to the men who were coming back to enjoy the blessings of the land they had saved (applause).


Mr. H. Yates also supported the resolution, and said he believed, of all the suggestions put before the Council, who had considered the matter very carefully, the one now suggested was the most practical. With regard to Mr. Ratcliffe’s suggestion, Mr. Yates asked if it would be possible to embody this in the scheme ? They might build the hall on the site offered by Mrs. Arthur James and provide a sports field, with a good pavilion, close at hand (applause). They would then provide both for the light and the dark nights. The first thing, however, was to get unanimity in the town, and he urged everyone present to pledge themselves to do their utmost to make the scheme a success, and to provide something worthy to mark their appreciation of the services rendered by these men.


Mr. Loverock, in supporting the scheme, said already 600 or 700 men had returned, and over 3,000 were expected back again. There was no doubt such a building would prove a great benefit and would be greatly appreciated for a good many years. Mr. Ratcliffe’s suggestion of a larger site was excellent, but it was very difficult to obtain sites in Rugby, and had not Mrs. James come along with her generous offer, he failed to see where they would have found a site, especially one so central. He believed there would sufficient ground there for a bowling green at least, and the Council were now considering the possibility of providing better facilities for cricket in the future.

The Chairman asked if the meeting would agree to the resolution being altered to the effect that the institute should be built on the site kindly offered by Mrs James, or any other site which the Committee might select. This would not tie their hands quite so closely, and they might then be able to provide both an institute and a playing field combined.

Mr. Ratcliffe welcomed this suggestion, and said he thought it possible to obtain a suitable site in a central position.

Sergt.-Major Cain said he preferred that the resolution should stand as at first proposed, because he feared they would have difficulty in obtaining another site. Mrs. James’ site was central and easily accessible to all. The members would be very pleased if a sports ground could be provided as well, but they would not mind if that was outside the town. They were sufficiently keen on sport to go a short distance to play their games.

The resolution was then put to the meeting and carried unanimously.


The following committee, with power to co-opt, was then appointed : Canon Blagden, Mrs. Arthur James, Mr. F. van der Arend, Sergt.-Major Cain and three other members of the Association, a nominee of the Trades and Labour Council, representatives from B. T. H. and W. & R., Mr. G. W. Walton, Mrs. West, five representatives from the U.D.C. (one from each ward), Canon David, and representatives from the Chamber of Trade and Building Trade.

Mr. Arthur Morson, M.B.E., was unanimously elected hon. secretary, the Chairman, in making the proposition, paying a high tribute to Mr. Morson’s ability.


Canon Blagden then moved that a vote of thanks be accorded to Mrs. Arthur James for her generous offer of a public hall and a site for the proposed institute, and said the best way for them to show their gratitude and thankfulness to her was to try to make this movement for a war memorial the greatest possible success.—Mr. Flint seconded, and it was carried.

Mrs. James, in acknowledgment, urged the Committee to collect as large a sum as possible, because, although they had not got to pay for a site, the cost of building had gone up a good deal, and, whereas before the War they might have been able to get something nice for £4,000 or £5,000, they would now require at least £7.000. Everyone had a sphere of influence, and if they all went forward like a snowball, they would collect a good sum. It was necessary to get a good sum, or they would not be able to make a good thing of the memorial, and that would be worse than doing nothing at all.

The death took place at Cambridge of Mr. Harold John Houldsworth, Sub-Lieutenant R.N., only son of the late Mr. Harry J. Houldsworth, aged 20½ years. He was very much respected by a large number of people, both rich and poor. The body was brought to Toft on Monday afternoon from Cambridge, and the funeral took place at Napton on Thursday afternoon. The cortage was met at the church gate by the Rev. Houldsworth (Uncle), Vicar of Dunchurch, the Rev. O. Jones (Southam), the Rev. J. Armstrong, and the Rev. R. Irwin (Uncle), and the Southam and Napton Choir Boys. The service was fully choral. The brick grave was lines with evergreens and flowers. The inscription on the coffin was – “ Harold John Houldsworth, R.N., born 3rd September, 1898, died 22nd February, 1919.” The mourners who attended were : Mr. and Mrs. Neilson (mother and stepfather), Miss Neilson, Mrs. Irwin (grandmother), Miss Irwin (aunt), Mr. and Mrs. Barnett (uncle and aunt), Sir Gerald Shuckburgh, the Rev. J. Sitwell, and a large number of friends and parishioners.

HOME-COMING.—OM the 19th inst., Wm. Abbot, eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. Abbot, Lake View, Broadwell, arrived home from India after an absence of nearly three years. Joining up in 1914, he went out to France early in the following year with the Royal Warwick Regiment. During his 12 months’ service in France he saw much action, being invalided home in May, 1916. After five months’ recuperation, he volunteered for Mesopotamia, in which country he joined the 9th Batt. Royal Warwicks at Kut-el-Amara. From there he took part in General Maude’s great advance, which resulted in the fall of Bagdad on March 11th, 1917. A further advance of about 50 miles brought a wound in the right hand, and an attach of dysentery and fever. This necessitated him being invalided to India. Having had experience as a bandsman, he was with the Garrison Band at Belgaum. Southern India, for the latter part of his service.


After peace is ratified, officers of the Volunteer Force will allowed to retain honorary rank on retirement and the right to wear uniform on special occasions. Other ranks of the Volunteers will be allowed to retain their uniform (service dress, cap, puttees, and regimental badges). The Army Council announced on Tuesday night that they had made this decision as an immediate mark of appreciation of the Volunteer’s services.

During the period of suspense while the peace terms remain unratified, troubles are not at an end, the Council say they “ have not intention of breaking up an organisation which, by hard work and keen public spirit, has achieved a considerable degree of military efficiency. Although obligatory training and further enrolments have been temporarily suspended, it is intended to keep the Force in being pending the final decision as to its disposal, which must await the trend of events. The Council, therefore, appeal to all ranks to maintain their cohesion as an organisation in every way possible under the altered conditions. Whether the Force shall be ultimately disbanded or invited to form part of the Home Defence Organisation of the future is a matter which cannot be decided at the moment.”