16th May 1919. Rugby Lady Honoured, Dr. Frances Iverns’ War Work Recognised


There was a large and representative gathering at the Caledonian Hotel, Edinburgh, where the Scottish Women’s Hospitals held a reception in honour of Miss Frances Ivens, M.S., M.B., on the occasion of her return from Royaumont. Among those present were Lady Salvesen, Sir George and Lady Berry, Sir Robert and Lady Cranston, Sir John and Lady Cowan, Sir Edward and Lady Schafer, Rev. Dr. and Mrs. Drummond, Dr. and Mrs. Wallace Williamson, Dr. and Mrs. Chalmers Watson, Dr. Ethel Cassie, Dr. Marian Erskine, Dr. Mary MacNicol, and Miss S. E. S. Mair.

Sir George Berry presided, and Dr. Ivens gave an account of her experiences from the time she first went out in December, 1914. She was appointed to take charge of the hospital unit sent out to work under the French Red Cross. The unit was installed in the Abbaye de Royaumont, and for her services there she was decorated by the French President with the Cross of the Legion of Honour. In 1917 she was asked to take charge of an advanced hospital at Villers Cotterets. Work was continued there until May, 1918, when the advance of the enemy made it necessary to evacuate. Many of the patients and all the staff went to Royaumont, where the work was exceptionally heavy for some months. The number of beds had been increased from 100 to 600, and the hospital was taken over by the French military authorities. In recognition of her services during the bombardment and evacuation of Villerss Cotterets, the French Army bestowed on Dr. Ivens the Croix de Guerre avec Palmes.

Dr. Ivens and Miss Ruth Nicholson, M.B., B.S.. were also entertained to luncheon by the committee. Miss S. E. S Mair presiding. There were also present Mrs. James Hunter (chairman). Mrs. Lawrie (hon. treasurer), and Miss Frances Simson (President of the Scottish Federation of Societies for Equal Citizenship).


“ We have not forgotten you in the years of war. We should be very glad to see again all you who have come back, and we are sure you would like to meet your pals.”

In these words the congregation of St. Philip’s Church invited the returned sailors and soldiers of the district covered by the Church to supper and a concert in the St. Philip’s Hall on Wednesday, the 7th inst., and the result was a merry and enjoyable party. About 240 invitations were sent out, and upwards of 150 men responded to the invitation. The arrangements were made by the Rev. R. B. Winser, priest-in-charge, assisted by the Church Council and Ladies’ Guild, and no effort was spared to make the gathering what it subsequently transpired to be—a first-class success. The large room had been tastefully decorated with flags and bunting, and to add to the comfort of the guests, and to maintain the room at a moderate temperature, Mr. J. C. Harratt installed three temporary electric lamps, thus obviating the use of gas.

Thanks to the efforts of Mrs. J. Such, who was responsible for the catering, an excellent supper, reminiscent of pre-war days, and consisting of ham and tongue, roast beef, veal, plum puddings, jellies, and innumerable pasties, was served up by members of the Ladies’ Guild, the choir, and congregation. After supper cigars and cigarettes, kindly given by Mr. F. van den Arend, were handed round, and after the tables had been cleared, an excellent concert was given.

During an interval in the programme Mr J. C. Harratt extended a very hearty welcome to the guests on behalf of the congregation and friends of the Church, and said he was pleased that the invitation had been accepted by so many. During the past four years they had been engaged on a very unwelcome task, which they had carried to a successful conclusion, but during the whole of those four years their friends had met in St. Philip’s Church week by week to think of them. They had looked forward to the time when they could welcome them back, and he was very grateful to think so many had been spared to return. He trusted this would not be the last time on which they would all meet together.

Lieut. Sudworth, formerly at Rugby, on behalf of his comrades, proposed a hearty vote of thanks to the congregation and all who had provided such an excellent spread. They all felt very grateful for being asked to meet each other in that way. Of course, when they were “ out there ” they knew they were being thought of by those at home, and it was a great help to them (applause). In fact, he often wondered what they would have done without such knowledge. No one who had been at home all the time knew what it was to those who were really in the thick of it to know that those at home were thinking of them in the real way. Now that they were back again, although they were not all yet out of the Army, it was a great joy for them to meet each other, because, although perhaps they might not know each other, they had all been doing the same thing in different ways and different fields. He called for hearty cheers for the congregation.

These having been given, one of the guests asked for “ three cheers for the parson,” which were also accorded.

Mr W. T. Simmonds then asked the men to stand and “ think of the men who used to worship in this building and St. Philip’s Church, or to live and work in the neighbourhood, who are now lying in heroes’ graves out yonder.”

Mr Simmonds then addressed the company, and said, while many of them had met in that room on many occasions, he believed none had been such a happy one as that that night (applause). It was a real pleasure for those who had not had the privilege of going out to fight to meet the fellows who had come back. They had been with them in thought and spirit, and they welcomed them back because they had proved themselves to be men, real noble men. They had fought the good fight, and because they did it with all their might they had won. He had heard some of them say they would not go through it again ; that was perfectly natural, but he believed that if the country was faced with the same circumstances, and made a call as in 1914, every one of them would spring to the colours again to lend a hand (applause). In spite of the difficulties, dangers and privations through which they had passed, they would risk it all again for the sake of their honour and to do what was right and true for a little State oppressed by a great, brutal enemy. They had come through the thick of it, and remember that their lives had been spared for some real cause, and they must be quite certain they made the best use of it.

One of the guests, Mr. H. J. Williams, also returned thanks and said the soldiers had not been “ out there ” alone, because they had had the thoughts of the friends at home. Those in England who had been unable to go out to the front—the munition workers and people engaged on other work—had all been helping to win the war, so the soldiers could not claim all the honours. He was pleased to think they had come through successfully, but he hoped they would never have another war like this one (applause). Although, as Mr Simmonds had said, if another such war did break out, every man who was able would volunteer again. It was only the voluntary spirit which pulled them through ; they were not like the Germans, forced into it, nor did they have rifles at their backs to force them on. They had always gone on, and had carried right through to the end, and that was what had brought them through victoriously.

The Rev. R. B. Winser said he spoke in two capacities, because he, too, had been out there ; and he, therefore, sat down and enjoyed his supper with the rest. In the words of the letter of introduction, he was “ meeting his pals,” and he greatly appreciated what the congregation had done for them. It had been no small matter and they owed it to the extraordinary energy and ability of Mrs Such and her helpers. He wished to say a few words about the spirit with which they had got to go ahead. They had won the war, and now they had got to win the peace. The victory pamphlet which had been distributed amongst them expressed, in a wonderful way, the sort of ideas that they had got to get into their minds. They had got to have that spirit of comradeship which all felt in the days behind them, when they had a pal on each side of them, and they could not, dare not, let him down. One Sunday he went to a meeting of the Discharged Sailors’, Soldiers’, and Airmen’s Association, and it was perfectly splendid to see the same kind of men whom one had met out in France, although they were not now in khaki. All the men seemed to be moved by this spirit of comradeship and a determination to make this a better England, a better world. They had got a big job in front of them, but, please God, they would do it, and win the peace as they had won the war (applause).

Mr. G. Seere, an old sailor, who has seen service during the present war, then mounted the platform, and said : “ I want to speak a few words on behalf of the Navy (applause). “ The Press,” he added, “ had in the early days continually asked : ‘ What is the Navy doing ?’” and he was very sorry that Admiral Jellicoe’s book was so expensive, otherwise they would be able to read for themselves what the Navy had done. He concurred in the expression of thanks to the organisers of that gathering.

The following contributed to the programme, the majority of the items being encored :—Mesdames Hutton and Yuille Smith, and Messrs. T. W. Cook, Burton, Ballard, Whitmore, Martin, Prior, Warden, F. Giggs, Seere, Pierce, Mercer, Soden, and Lummas.

The whole of the cost was borne by subscriptions from members of the congregation and friends.


The scheme for raising funds for the purchase of a new organ at the Baptist Church, Rugby, which it has been decided to erect as a war memorial, was successfully launched on Wednesday. The present organ, which came from Worcestershire, was purchased when the church was erected, and placed in a new case. It was an old instrument at the time, and is now becoming quite worn out. It is estimated that the new one will cost at least £1,000, and it is intended to place brass tablets on it with the names of all the boys connected with the Church who went to the war, with another special tablet for those who fell.

A service was held on Wednesday, the 7th inst., at which a sermon was preached by the Rev. T. N. Tattersall, of Kettering (late Lieut. Col.. D.S.O., Chaplain to his Majesty’s Forces). A tea was afterwards held in the schoolroom, at which between 200 and 250 sat down. The whole of the tea, &c., was given by members of the Church, and as 9d. each was charged for admission—the whole of which will be clear profit—a good sum will be added to the fund, which was commenced by a donation of £100 from the Rev. James Butlin, of Leamington, who has been such a good friend to this Church—it was largely through his instrumentality that the present buildings were erected.

Another service was held in the Church on Wednesday evening. The Rev. J. H. Lees said they were only following the popular idea in deciding to have a war memorial. Considering the small amount the old organ cost, he thought it had served them extremely well, for Mr. Chaplin, their organist, gave him an ultimatum about five years ago that it might collapse at any time. So that this war memorial arose out of a very distinct need. Not the least of the mercies of God was the fewness of the fallen in comparison with the number who joined from their Church. Mr. Lees then read a list of 120 names of those who had joined the Forces, of whom 13 had either been killed, or died of wounds or sickness.

The Rev. T. N. Tattersall said the choir was so good that he thought they could very well do without an organ, and he advised Mr. Lees when he made his next appeal not to have the choir there. Mr. Tattersall also made a reference to the late Mr. Greer, who, he said, had fathered him in his first pastorate. The speaker said he had not come to tell them any fairy stories about what he had seen at the front, but to speak to them about fatalism there, because it was the religious belief at the front which swayed the minds and hearts of men of all ranks from the highest to the lowest. There were really four groups of men in the Army. The first was composed of adventurers, men who loved fighting for its own sake, and because there was trouble they must be in the midst of it. The second group was made up of spiritual adventurers or Crusaders—men who never dreamed they would ever put on khaki, and who loathed and detested war. But they felt that their country was in the right, and was fighting for the liberties of the world, and they would have felt shamed in their own eyes if they had not gone. In the third group they found the true patriots who were imbued with the patriotism that lifted men out of their little selves, and called from them the best they had to give. When the war broke out some of them had difficulties with their friends as to the meaning of patriotism. Some people argued that we were all of one blood, and that we should love all nations as we did our own. But God had set a limit to our affections, and it was only right that our country should stand before all others. In the fourth group were the pressed men, which comprised those who had gone because the moral pressure brought to bear upon them was greater than they could resist, as well as the men who went under the Conscription Act. But at the front you could not distinguish one group from another, for they all had to live together in the greatest moral, mental, and physical contact. And as a pebble was worn smooth by its contact with others, so these men were speedily changed in their outlook. And they all came under that influence of what we call fatalism, although naturally, as they had so many different types of men, so it expressed itself in so many different forms. With some men luck and fate were synonymous terms. If you asked one why a bullet passed through his helmet into the head of his comrade he would tell you it was luck. He got to believe in a power that was ruthless and remorseless, but which could be appealed to and placated, but in very childish ways. They found as gross superstition in the Army as in darkest Africa. A million and a-half of mascots were sold in London alone and sent to the front. Did they realise what that meant? A man going to the front said “ Goodbye ” to his girl, and took with him half a threepenny piece, or a lock of hair, or something of the kind. Presently he began to invest that with occult powers, and believed that as long as he kept that safely about him this destroying power would pass him over, but that if he lost it he would be broken at once. These men were not ignorant, but included men of intelligence and education, some being even officers in command.

Mr. Thompson, the secretary, announced that Mr. James Butlin had sent a cheque for £100, and the choir had promised to raise another £100, the total sum promised amounting to £342 19s.

Mr. Lees said that some 18 or 19 people had that day given him £5 each, making, with Mr. Tew’s gift of £25, no less than £125.

Later in the evening Mr. Thompson announced that £48 5s. 6d. more had been promised that evening : the collection in the afternoon amounted to £2 3s. 9d. and in the evening to £7 1s. 3d., and the profit from the tea to £7, making £411 9s.


The Large Co-operative Hall was crowded on Thursday evening, when an enjoyable concert was given by the pupils of St. Matthew’s Boys’, West Council Girls’, and St. Matthew’s Infant Schools in aid of the St. Matthew’s Old Boys’ War Memorial Fund. The programme was excellently rendered from start to finish, and was heartily appreciated. The concert will be repeated this (Friday) evening. A full report will appear in our next issue.

GRATEFUL BELGIANS.—The Ursuline Sisters, who escaped from Belgium during the German advance in 1914, and who will be remembered as having helped Mrs. Mulliner, of Clifton Court, with the refugees at The Beeches, Clifton, and at Newton House, have lately been repatriated. They reached their old convent at Lierre safely, only to find that it had been burned to the ground by the Huns. Temporary shelter has, however, been given them by the inhabitants of Lierre, and they have now resumed their charitable work. Several letters have been received by Mrs. Mulliner from the Sisters, expressing the deepest gratitude both to her and to all the friends who showed them such kindness during their enforced exile at Rugby.

WAR MEMORIAL.—Walcote schoolroom was crowded on Thursday night on the occasion of a public meeting called what from the local war memorial should take. Lieut.-Col. G. W. Hobson took the chair, and it was decided to place a handsome mural brass in Misterton Church to memory of the fallen, and also—subject to sufficient funds being forthcoming—to erect a Memorial Hall in Walcote village. A strong committee to canvass for subscriptions was appointed.


With the presentation of the Allies’ Peace terms to the German delegates the signing of Peace is brought appreciably nearer, and the question, “ What is to be done at Rugby to celebrate it ? ” is continually being asked.

In order to try to satisfy this quite reasonable desire for information, a representative of the Advertiser called upon Mr. C. C. Wharton, the hon. secretary to the committee, and enquired what progress had been made in this direction.

A Question of Money.
Mr. Wharton, however, pointed out that so far very little progress has been possible owing to the fact that the committee had no idea how much money they could spend ; and, secondly, the date of the celebrations had not then been fixed, and until this was known it was impossible to expect people to work as enthusiastically as if for a given date.

Entertainments for Old and Young.
With regard to the dinner to the aged people and the children’s tea, he pointed out that these would naturally have to be paid for by subscriptions, but the cost of the town decorations, fireworks, &c., might be met from the rates ; and until it was known how much would be granted from this source the hands of the committee were more or less tied.

Elaborate Firework Displays.
We understand that it is proposed to spend about £200 on fireworks, and for this sum Messrs. Wilders, Birmingham, have contracted to supply a very elaborate programme of all kinds of mechanical devices, set pieces, flares, rockets, bombs, &c., in addition to balloons and daylight fireworks for the children’s day celebrations.

Street Decorations.
A somewhat elaborate scheme of street decorations and illuminations has been considered by the committee ; but, owing to an unforseen hitch, it is probable that this will have to be considerably modified. However, the decoration and illumination of the Benn Buildings, Clock Tower, and various points in the centre of the town will be under the supervision of the committee, and all that is required to assure a scheme worthy of the town and the occasion is a generous contribution from the rates.

The School to Co-operate.
It has now been decided that Rugby School will not disperse for the Peace celebration, and they will accordingly co-operate with the town in the local festivities. To this end two members of the School, Mr. C. G. Steel and Rev. E. F. Waddy, have been elected to the Town Committee, which now consists of Messrs. W. Flint (chairman), J. J. McKinnell, J. Carter, W. H. Cluett, F. E. Hands, R. S. Hudson, C. H. Rowbottom, J. J. Scrivener, A. F. Bennett, H. N. Sporborg, H. Tarbox, Mrs. H. C Bradby, Mrs B. B. Dickinson, Mrs. A. K. Morgan, Miss E. Elsee and Mr. J. H. Veasey (representing New Bilton), Mr. C. G. Steel and Rev. E. F. Waddy (representing Rugby School).


AUGUST 3, 4, AND 5.

As we go to press we learn on the authority of “ The Times ” that it has been decided, should the Peace Treaty have been duly signed, to hold the National Peace Celebrations on August 3, 4 & 5.

Sunday, August 3, will be devoted to religious services of thanksgiving ; August 4, the Bank Holiday, is the fifth anniversary of the declaration of war by Great Britain against Germany. Another consideration which has, doubtless, weighed with the Government in selecting the dates mentioned is that they cover a period generally devoted to holiday-making, and consequently there will be the minimum dislocation of public business.


EYDEN.—In proudest and ever-treasured memory of CLARENCE ALFRED EYDEN, who, in the Great European War, laid the richest of all gifts on the Altar of Duty—HIS LIFE. After three years’ active service in the Royal Engineers, he was killed in action in France on May 18th, and buried at St. Omer on Whit-Sunday, May 19th, 1918 ; aged 27 years.

LENNARD.—In loving memory of Sapper W. J. LENNARD, 98328, R.E., missing April 11, 1918, now reported killed on that date, the beloved husband of Harriett Lennard (nee Lee), of Ullesthorpe.—Sadly missed and silently mourned.

LIXENFIELD.—In loving memory of Lance-Corpl. JACK LIXENFIELD, Royal Engineers, who died of wounds on May 13, 1917.—“ He that is faithful unto death receiveth a crown of life. Remembered by Lil.

SMITH.—In ever-loving memory of our son and brother, Trooper WILLIAM SMITH, Leicestershire Yeomanry, of Blakenhall Cottage, Lutterworth (late at Eathorpe), who was reported missing on May 13, 1915.—Gone but not forgotten by his loving Mother, Father, Brothers and Sisters.

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