23rd Jun 1917. Heavy Thunderstorm, Soldier killed at Ryton-on-Dunsmore

HEAVY THUNDERSTORM.
REMARKABLE HAILSTONES.

The brilliant and summer-like weather which prevailed last week culminated on Saturday in a shade temperature of 87 degrees. In the evening a thunderstorm passed over the district, accompanied by a moderate but welcome rainfall. On Sunday the temperature was 2 or 3 degrees lower, but the atmosphere was still more oppressive. During the morning heavy peals of thunder were heard at a distance, and a little after three o’clock in the afternoon there was a recurrence of these, and the discharges continued without intermission till about eight o’clock. The thunder clouds seemed to be circling round the country north and west of Rugby, and the storm was raging with great violence in the direction of Coventry. At length between five and six o’clock—it took a course over Rugby and the immediate neighbourhood, and rain fell more or less heavily till shortly before eight o’clock, when the climax came in a remarkable bombardment from above. People were startled by a sudden rattling on roofs, windows, and glass-houses-the noise amounting almost to a roar—and hailstones of abnormal size were seen to be crashing down from the clouds. This lasted about five minutes, is which time the ground was well covered with the icy missiles.

The full force of the storm was experienced at Bourton. Some of the hailstones that fell there weighed between 2 and 3ozs, and considerable damage was done to property and growing crops. At Bourton Hall, the residence of Mr F J Shaw, several hundred panes of glass were smashed, and the windows of numerous other houses were broken. The large hailstones tore off the young shoots of fruit trees, strawberries, cucumbers, and kidney beans, and flattened out a large quantity of mowing grass. A great many hailstones were as large as walnuts, and some measured more than 2ins. across. For a short time the wind blew with great force, and an umbrella in the hands of a pedestrian was quickly torn to ribbons. Windows at Draycote Chapel were broken.

At Dunchurch considerable damage was done to crops and glass. No less than 120 panes of glass in windows and greenhouses were broken on Mr Mallam’s School premises. At Dunchurch Lodge and Bilton Grange the glass also suffered badly, some 400 broken panes being counted at the latter place. Windows at the church were broken, and a large piece of lead was torn from the roof. Some of the masses of hail that fell here measured from 2 to 2¼ inches in diameter, and weighed nearly 3ozs.

At Bilton measurements of hailstones taken about ten minutes after the cessation of the storm were from three-quarters of an inch to an inch and a quarter diameter. A fine oak tree on the main road between Bilton and Cawston was struck by lightning and badly seamed.

At Newbold-on-Avon a chimney stack at the Vicarage was split by the lightning, but, unfortunately, the debris instead of penetrating the roof, lodged against another chimney. The electricity passing along the bell-wires fused some of them, and also caused damage to the wall paper in several rooms. Several trees in the neighbourhood were struck.

At Marton a lot of damage was done by the enormous hailstones to windows and greenhouses, and potato tops on many plots were badly cut about. Some hailstones measured six inches in circumference. A thunderbolt was seen to fall in a field belonging to Mr Steane near the church.

The gable end of the Chequers Inn at Lilbourne, occupied by Mrs Rouse, was struck and a number of slates were displaced.

A SOLDIER KILLED AT RYTON-ON-DUNSMORE.

A sad fatality occurred at Ryton-on-Dunsmore during the storm on Sunday evening to Pte J Stephens, of the Devonshire Regiment, a farm hand who had been working for Mr T Pearman as a substitute. At the inquest on Tuesday Mr E Bagshaw was foreman of the jury.—Pte J James, also of the Devonshire Regiment who had been working with deceased for a fortnight, said he went to evening service at Wolston Church, and on returning to meet Stephens as arranged, found him lying dead under a tree by the roadside.—Laura Mead, of Ryton, who was cycling with a friend, said she went under an elm tree for shelter. Stephens was also there and he advised them to “ hop to Ryton Vicarage, or they would get very wet.” They acted upon his advise, but did not know why he stayed himself. Witness heard afterwards that he had been killed.—Amy Redhouse, also of Ryton, stated that she was cycling home from Wolston with a friend after the storm, and just before reaching the London Road, about 8.15 p.m, saw deceased lying under a tree. By the appearances, she concluded that he had been struck by lightning, and at once rode to inform P.C Jenson at Stretton. This officer described exactly the position in which he found the body feet towards the road and body and head towards the elm tree-and said deceased had evidently fallen exactly where he stood. His hat was split right round the brim and the stiffening wire was torn out. The hair at the back of the head was singed, but there were no other traces of burning. Several nails had been driven out of his boots. About 4½ft. from the tree the road was torn up in the shape of a V to a depth of 1½Ft to 2½ ft, and there were also marks on the tree. Witness was complimented by the Coroner for the excellent description he had given, and also thanked Miss Mead for the trouble she took. He remarked that it was curious that deceased warned the ladies, but did not move away himself. He was evidently willing to take a risk. A verdict of “ Death through being struck by lightning ” was returned.-The jury expressed their sympathy with the widow, and returned their fees for her. A Ryton resident added 5s, and the Coroner said he was also pleased to subscribe.

Deceased was a strong, healthy man, and Mr Pearman found him quite satisfactory as a substitute in all respects. His home was at 28 Gloucester Street, Cirencester. He had served 12 years in the Army before war broke out, and being then nearly 45 years of age, was kept on home service. He was a married man with three children at the time of his death, but since the sad occurrence his wife has given birth to a fourth child.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mrs Welch, of 35 Union Street, has received official intimation that her husband, Pte Ernest Edward Welch, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, was killed in action in France on April 28th.

The death took place in Rugby Infirmary, on the 10th Inst, of Pioneer Wm Barrows, late 11th Hants Regiment, youngest son of David Barrows, 51 James Street. Before the War he was driver of a Diesel engine at the local Waterworks. He joined up in September, 1914, and saw much service in France at Loos, Ginchy, &c. He was discharged on May 23, 1917, medically unfit, suffering from cancer of the tongue.

Pte Harry Rogers, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and the eldest son of Mr & Mrs H Rogers, of Flore, Northants, and nephew of Mr & Mrs H Miller, 10 Alfred Street, Lawford Road, Rugby, has recently been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry and skill on patrol work. Crawling near to the enemy lines under a heavy shell fire, and after being buried three times under debris, he succeeded in obtaining valuable information. Pte Rogers has been twice wounded, and before the War was employed at Rugby Station (L & N-W Railway).

Captain Edward Ernest Wynne, Leicestershire Regiment, who was killed on June 8th, the day following his 22nd birthday, was the eldest son of the Rev E H & Mrs Wynne, of Guestling Rectory, Sussex, formerly curate of St Matthew’s, Rugby. Educated at Uppingham, he became captain of cricket and fives, and was also a member of the football XV and the hockey XI. After war broke out he quickly obtained a commission in the Leicestershire Regiment, having previously joined the Public Schools Brigade. He had seen close on two years’ service at the front, and fell leading his company in the face of a very heavy fire with the object of taking an enemy machine gun by which they were being delayed.

Mr & Mrs Parkinson, of the Old Bank House, Southam, and formerly of Rugby, has been informed that their son, Second-Lieut Horace J A Parkinson, of the 4th Leicestershire Regiment, was seriously wounded in France on the 8th inst. He was educated at the Lower School, Rugby, and before joining the Army was in Parrs Bank, Leicester, and formerly at the Lutterworth Branch. He is making satisfactory progress.

Lieut H L Satchell, R.W.R, attached to the R.F.C, son of Mr J G Satchell, Dunchurch Road, has been promoted flight commander and temporary captain.

Between £9 and £10, realised by some sports at Tyntesfield School will be divided between the Red Cross Hospitals and the Hospital of St Cross.

THE ACCIDENT TO A FLYING CORPS OFFICER.

The funeral of the late Lieut Fitzroy Porter, R.F.C, whose death from a machine gunshot accident was reported in our last issue, took place on Monday, the 11th inst., at Sefton, Liverpool, near the residence of his father, Blundelsands, amid manifestations of great sorrow and sympathy for the young officer’s tragic death. Several of the officers of the R.F.C Squadron at Lilbourne attended the funeral of their lamented comrade.

In our report of the accident it should have been stated that the deceased officer was detained at the R.F.C Camp Hospital for some time after the accident under the care of Surgeon-Major Charles Collins, M.D, R.F.C, before being removed in the squadron ambulance to the Brookfield Nursing Home of Rugby Hospital for further treatment, where he subsequently died.

MORE LOCAL PRISONERS OF WAR.—There have been three additions to the Rugby list of prisoners of war this week vis :— Pte P Gamble Davis, Lincolnshire Regiment (interned at Doeberitz), and whose home is at Dunchurch, formerly Church Lawford ; Sergt H Beers, King’s Liverpool Regiment (interned at Minden), formerly New Bilton ; and Pte Peddlesdon, East Surrey Regiment (interned at Dulmen), of Rugby. With regard to the last-named man considerable enquiries had to be made before he could be traced to his prison camp. Arrangements have been made for the standard food parcels and bread to be sent to these men on behalf of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee.

NAPTON.

MR J LINE has received information that his son Walter Lines, of the Buffs, was wounded on May 3rd, and is a prisoner in Germany.

BRAUNSTON.

MR A TURNER has received official news that his son, Lance-Corpl Horace W Turner, Royal West Surrey Regiment, was wounded on May 16th. He enlisted in Kitchener’s Army about a month after the outbreak of war.

DUNCHURCH.

MILITARY FUNERAL.-The late Col-Sergt-Major Mulcaster was buried with military honours at Dunchurch on Saturday, last. The coffin was draped with the Union Jack, on which were placed the cap and belt of the deceased, was borne shoulder high to the church by six sergeants of the Manchester Regiment. The path from the churchyard gates to the church door was lined on each side by the boys of Dunchurch Hall School (at which the deceased was gymnastics instructor for twelve years) and the firing party sent down by the Regiment. The Burial Service was read by the Rev B B Carter, military chaplain of the Indian Government and priest-in-charge at Dunchurch. Mrs E R Gilling presided at the organ, and the psalms and hymns were nicely sung by the boys of the choir. The funeral procession left the church to the strains of the Dead March in Saul. Among the mourners were the wife and children of the deceased, Mr Wm Mulcaster (brother), Lieut & Mrs Bullivant (brother-in-law and sister-in-law), Mrs Long (sister-in-law), Mr & Mrs Wolley, Nurse Butcher, Col-Sergt Sutton, Col-Sergt-Major Grognett, Col-Sergt-Major Wilcox, Com-Sergt-Major Pomfret, Com-Sergt-Major Casey, Com-Sergt-Major Smith, Reg-Sergt-Major Prosser (all of the Manchester Regiment), M C G Mallam, Mr More, Mr Oakley, Dr Powell, Mr J H Dew, Mr J H Abbott, M E Iliff, Mr G White, Mr J Loydall, Mr T Haynes, Mr P Heap, Mr T Whiteman, Mr J Nias, and Mr S Whiteman. A number of ladies were present in church, including three of the Dunchurch nurses of the Bilton V.A.D. Hospital. A very large number of people assembled in the churchyard, and quietly and reverently watched the funeral. At the close of the service three volleys were fired over the grave by sixteen men of the Manchester Regiment, and the “ Last Post ” was then blown by two of the same regiment. Floral tributes were laid on the grave from : Wife and Children ; Mr & Mrs Bullivant ; Mr & Mrs Long ; Mr & Mrs Mallam, Joyce, Brenda, John, Monica, and Stephen Mallam ; “ His Boys at Dunchurch Hall ” ; Miss Hume ; Mr Oakley and Mr Mort ; the indoor and outdoor servants at Dunchurch Hall ; Major & Mrs Neilson and Lieut H Holdsworth ; Rev B B & Mrs Carter, Mr P P Rodocanachi ; Mr & Mrs Dew ; Mr & Mrs Wolley ; Mr & Mrs H V Tait ; Mr & Mrs Taylor ; Mrs Weston and family ; “ His Brothers-in-Arms ” ; Teddie Dowling ; the members of the Dunchurch Social Club ; the boys of Dunchurch ; Boughton Endowed School ; and the children of the Dunchurch Girls’ and Infants’ Schools.

HARBOROUGH MAGNA.

WOUNDED SOLDIERS’ ENTERTAINED.—On Saturday afternoon the soldiers from Pailton House Hospital were entertained to tea at Harborough Magna School. After tea, which was provided with the money left over from the May festival, and with the help of a few friends, each soldier was presented with a packet of cigarettes by Mrs Bird. During the evening the May-day ceremony was repeated.

BREAD SUBSTITUTES.

An impression has got abroad that war bread is not nourishing. This is erroneous. War bread is made of the most nourishing portions of wheat, barley, maise and rice, and should be found quite as sustaining and nourishing as white bread. A good deal of the imaginary difficulties with war bread would entirely disappear were everyone to make it a practice to thoroughly masticate the bread before swallowing, along the lines of the article which appeared in our columns last week.

There appears to be some confusion on the question of substitutes, and there is no doubt that the question of substitutes has troubled many people. In the early days of the Food Campaign a great deal too much was made of the importance of using substitutes. At the present time rice, barley, maize, oats, rye, &c, cannot be regarded as substitutes, as they form part of the whole bulk of cereals from which flour is obtained for incorporation in our bread. The Food Controller has stated that oatmeal may be used for porridge and rice for puddings outside the limits of the voluntary ration, but the use of other cereals should be kept within limits of the ration. It is also, of course, desirable that oatmeal and rice for porridge and puddings should be used sparingly, as pressure of demand upon these must inevitably tend to produce scarcity in these articles also.

It is clear that those engaged in heavy, manual labour, who have not the money to buy articles of food to take the place of bread, cannot get down to the 4-lb limit ; but they can, to some extent, reduce their consumption of cereals, provided they make a genuine, honest endeavour to do this. It should be borne in mind by everyone, however, that in order to prevent the necessity for compulsory rationing, each one must eat something less of the cereals, so that voluntary rationing can be allowed to continue.

DEATHS.

BARROWS.—On the 10th inst., at the Rugby Infirmary, the beloved son of David and Mrs. Barrows (late 12271, 11th Hants. Regiment) ; aged 45 years.—“ He answered his country’s call.”

TERRY.—On June 7th (died of wounds received in action in Mesopotamia), AMBROSE JOSEPH TERRY, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, the dearly beloved only son of A. & M. A. Terry, of Crick ; aged 24 years.

WELCH.—April 28th, in France, ERNEST EDWARD WELCH, beloved husband of Bertha Welch, 35 Union Street.—“ Gone, but not forgotten.”

WELCH.—Killed in action on April 29th, ERNEST EDWARD WELCH, only son of the late Edward and Mrs. Welch, Union Street, Rugby.
“ Nobly he answered duty’s call,
And for his country gave his all.
Until the day breaks, dear Ern—good-bye.”
-Sadly missed and in silence mourned by his loving MOTHER and SISTERS.

IN MEMORIAM.

GREER.—In loving memory of Private R. GREER, 1st Royal Inniskillings, who was killed in action at the Dardaneles on June 18, 1915.—Never forgotten by his friends at 12 Argyle Street.

HUGHES.—In ever-loving memory of JACK, who was killed in France on June 18, 1915.—“ Though lost to sight, to memory ever dear.”—From MAUD.

HUGHES.—In loving memory of our dear son and brother, JACK, who was killed in action in France on June 18, 1915.
“ Not dead to those who loved him,
Not lost, hut gone before ;
He lives with us in memory,
And will for evermore.”
—Never forgotten by his loving PARENTS, SISTER EDIE, BROTHERS, and KITTY and DICK.

Cope, Percy Leslie. Died 21st Jun 1917

Percy Leslie COPE, was born in Molesey, Surrey in 1894. He was baptised on 2 December 1894 at St. Mary’s church, East Molesey, Surrey.   His father, John Cope, was an ‘Iron Moulder’ who had been born in Basingstoke, as had Percy’s mother, Harriet Elizabeth, née Fisher, Cope, and Percy’s two oldest brothers.

The family later moved to East Molesey where Percy and his two other brothers were born. However, by 1901, when his youngest brother was two years old, the family had moved to New Bilton, Rugby, living at 14 Victoria Avenue. John Cope and his eldest son were both working as foundry ‘moulders’.

By 1911, the family were at 8 Victoria Avenue, New Bilton, Rugby. The eldest son was no longer at home, but Percy was now a ‘trimmer’ and his father and his two other elder brothers were ‘moulders’, and all four were employed in an iron foundry.

Percy enlisted in Rugby, as a Gunner, No.125, later renumbered as No.840038, in ‘D’ Battery of the 63rd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (RFA). His exact enlistment date is unknown, but it was probably in 1914, as he went to France on 31 March 1915, thus becoming entitled to the 1915 Star.

In general the Territorial Force (TF) artillery units were under command of the TF Divisions. The 63rd Brigade was formed as part of the First New Army, K1. It originally comprised Nos. 199, 200 and 201 Batteries RFA and the Brigade Ammunition Column and was under the command of the 12th (Eastern) Division. There were various reorganisations[1] which typically affected D Battery.

One reorganisation was on 25 May 1916, when D Battery left to join 65 Brigade which was also under command of 12th (Eastern) Division, and was replaced by B (Howitzer) Battery from 65 Brigade RFA.   It was then renamed as the new D (Howitzer) Battery.

It may have been that this provided the opportunity for Percy to take leave as in Q2, 1916 he must have been in Rugby, when his marriage to Violet Beatrice Edmans was registered. She had been born in about 1896 in Hackney, London. Percy’s military records note that their son, Leslie F Cope, was born on 24 September 1916. This would suggest that he was also in Rugby in about December 1915.   With no surviving Service Records it is not possible to establish if and why this was the case, two leaves in a short period seem unlikely, but perhaps he had been wounded.

There were further reorganisations on 30 August 1916 and 7 January 1917, although the Brigade remained with 12th (Eastern) Division throughout the war. In 1917, the Division took part in the offensive at Arras, and moved to the front in that sector on 14 January. It did not leave other than for periods of rest until towards the end of 1917. Thus Percy would have spent his final months in the Arras area. When the Division was relieved on 16 May and moved to the area of Le Cauroy, it had suffered a total of 141 officers and 3380 other ranks casualties since 25 April 1917. Between 17 May and 19 October 1917, the Division held positions east of Monchy le Preux, mounting several raids and small scale attacks and beating off some made against them, notably in the area of Hook Trench – Pick Avenue – Tites Copse.[2]

Whilst his Medal Card noted that Percy was ‘K in A’ – ‘Killed in Action’ – on 21 June 1917, he may have died of wounds. His place of death is recorded[3] as ‘37th Field Ambulance’, which suggests that he may have been wounded at an earlier date and have been evacuated to the nearby 37th Field Ambulance.

The 37th Field Ambulance was attached to the 12th (Eastern) Division from February 1917, and was based approximately 8 miles from Arras.

The Battalion diary does not record men killed, merely their main duties and targets, and 21 June 1917 does not include any unusual activity. However, a few days before at 12.30pm on 17 June 1917 there was a ‘Very heavy hostile barrage on our trenches’.[4] He may have been wounded in that incident – although analysis of the fatalities from the Brigade in June, when their Field Ambulance was using the Bunyans Cemetery at Tilloy-les Mofflaines suggests that there were casualties from various batteries of the 63rd Brigade buried there on 14 June, 18 June [3No], and Percy on 21 June 1917.

He was buried in Grave Reference: E. 3. in Bunyans Cemetery, Tilloy-Les-Mofflaines. This is a very small cemetery in the Pas de Calais area with only 54 identified casualties. It is 4 kilometres south-east of Arras on the main road to Cambrai. The village of Tilloy-les-Mofflaines was captured on 9 April 1917 by the 3rd Division, which was followed up by the 37th. Bunyans Cemetery (the origin of the name is not known) was begun by infantry units (Row A) after the advance in April 1917 and Rows B to E were made between April and 4 July 1917 by the 62nd and 63rd Brigades, Royal Field Artillery.

A death announcement appeared in the Rugby Advertiser.[5]

COPE. – In loving memory of Gunner Percy Leslie Cope, who was killed in action in France on June 21st, 1917, aged, 22. Not dead but sleepeth.
Somewhere there is a nameless grave,
Where sleeps our loved one among the brave;
One of the rank and file – he heard the call,
And for the land he loved he gave his all.
– From his Wife and Son, 82 Lawford Road, New Bilton, Rugby.

Percy was awarded the Victory and British medals and also received the 1915 Star. He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate and also on the New Bilton War Memorial which is by the chapel in Croop Hill Cemetery, Addison Road, Rugby.

Percy’s widow, Violet, was later recorded by the CWGC as living at 82 Lawford Road, New Bilton, Rugby. The Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects recorded that she was paid various sums outstanding: £10-14-5d on 28 January 1918 and £21-8-8d on 18 April 1918.   After Violet remarried with Henry Belcher, in Rugby – this marriage being registered in Q2 1919 – it was thus as Violet Belcher that she was paid Percy’s War Gratuity of £13-12-0d on 19 December 1919.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

This article on Percy Leslie COPE was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, June 2017.

 

[1]       The Long Long Trail, http://www.1914-1918.net/rfa_units_63.html.

[2]       Information from: http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/12th-eastern-division/.

[3]       The Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects

[4]       War Diary, The National Archives, Ref: WO 95/1838, 63 Brigade Royal Field Artillery, 1915 Jan. – 1919 Apr.

[5]       Rugby Advertiser, 28 July 1917.

Sands, Henry. Died 17th Jun 1917

Henry Sands was born in Atherstone in late 1882. His parents were Joseph Sands and Jane (nee Alcott) who had married at Atherstone parish church on 19th January 1881. Henry was the second of three sons. The family lived in Long Street, Atherstone where Joseph was a joiner.

On 28 March 1910, Henry Sands married Jennie May Knight at Welford. He was aged 28 and a groom/gardener. Jennie was a domestic servant. By the 1911 census they were living at 8 Orton’s Court in Rugby, together with their 10 month old son William Charles. Henry was a van driver/porter at a furniture store. Three more children were born: Edith in 1913, Lucy in 1915 and (posthumously) Winifred in 1917.

It is not known when Henry enlisted, but probably towards the end of 1916, judging by the birth of his last child in the third quarter of 1917. He joined the 1st/4th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment as a private (no 203316).

The Battalion took part in the Second Battle of Gaza, 17-19 April 1917, when the 1/4th and 1/5th battalions between them suffered 75% casualties, about 1,100 men.

Private Henry Sands died in Egypt on 17th June 1917, of diphtheria. He was buried at the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, situated at Kantara East on the eastern side of the Suez Canal, 160 kilometres north-east of Cairo and 50 kilometres south of Port Said.

In the early part of the First World War, Kantara was an important point in the defence of Suez against Turkish attacks and marked the starting point of the new railway east towards Sinai and Palestine, begun in January 1916. Kantara developed into a major base and hospital centre and the cemetery was begun in February 1916 for burials from the various hospitals, continuing in use until late 1920.

Wording on his gravestone added by his wife was:
FATHER IN THY GRACIOUS
KEEPING
LEAVE WE NOW OUR LOVED ONE
SLEEPING

There was an announcement published in the Rugby Advertiser, 22 June, 1918

SANDS – In ever-loving memory of my dear husband, Pte H. SANDS (HARRY), who died on June 17th, 1917, at El-Arish, Egypt.
” One year has passed since that sad day,
When our dear one was called away;
Bravely he went to duty’s call,
And gave his life for one and all.”
– From his loving wife and children

His wife, Jennie May died in 1958 in Coventry RD aged 68.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

16th Jun 1917. Doctors and the War – Appeal to the Public

Doctors and The War.

APPEAL TO THE PUBLIC.

THE ARMY needs all the Doctors of military age who can be spared and this district has answered the appeal to best of its ability.

This means that the Doctors who are left must work much harder than usual, and they can only give the medical service that is really necessary if the Public help them.

YOU can help in following ways :-

If your Doctor has regular consulting hours never send for him to come to your house if the patient can go to the Doctor. This saves much time in visiting.

Never go to the Doctor’s house except during his proper surgery hours, except in great urgency.

Always send your messages for visits before he leaves home in the morning, except in urgent and sudden cases of illness.

Never send through the night except in urgent or sudden cases.

SPECIAL REQUEST.

Be loyal to your own Doctor if he is on Service. Tell any Doctor you may go to while he is away that your own Doctor is away on Service. You will then be attended FOR HIM, and when he comes back both you and the Doctor who has been acting for him will have the satisfaction of knowing that you did your duty by him while he was doing his duty by the Country.

Issued by the Central Medical War Committee, 429, Strand, London.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Rifleman Leonard Thompson, Rifle Brigade, whose parents live at 12 Union Street, has been reported missing since May 4th. He was 20 years of age, and was an old St Matthew’s boy. He joined the army two years ago.

Mr and Mrs Boyes, of Railway Terrace, Rugby, have received information that nothing further has been heard of their son, Pte F H Boyes, Royal Berkshire Regt, who was reported missing on July 1st, 1916, and it must be presumed he has been killed. Pte Boyes was a drummer in the 1st Rugby Boys’ Brigade before enlisting in March, 1915, when only 16 years of age. He was in France before attaining his 17th birthday. Another son, Pte F E Boyes, Oxon & Bucks L.I., has been twice wounded ; whilst a third son, Pte W J Boyes, 7th Warwicks, has also served.

The Misses Kathleen and Erica Cooke, daughters of Mr C J B Cooke, of Crewe, and formerly of Rugby, are doing war work in Paris—driving ambulances for the Red Cross.

The following have been reported wounded :- Pte Spooner (O & B), Rugby ; Pte F Burton (R.G.A), Dunchurch ; and Pte F Knight (Oxford & Bucks), Dunchurch, second time.

Mr Bernard Ellis, chairman of the well-known firm of Joseph Ellis & Sons, Ltd, has now received information which leaves little doubt that his second son, who as reported missing on May 20th, was killed in an encounter with German aeroplanes over the German lines He was not yet 19. Mr Bernard Ellis’s eldest son is recovering from very serious wounds received at the front during an attack last April.

BOMBARDIER BOSWORTH AGAIN HONOURED.

Bombardier F Bosworth, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, has been awarded the Medialle Militaire for the same action that gained for him the bar to his Military Medal.

A NEW BILTON MAN ESCAPES from GERMANY

On Saturday morning Mr & Mrs W J Wiltshire, of 18 Victoria Avenue, New Bilton, received the welcome intelligence that their son, Pte W J Wiltshire, of the 1st Wilts Regiment, who was captured by the Germans at the Battle of the Marne, had escaped from Germany, and this was followed up by a telegram on Sunday to the effect that Pte Wiltshire had arrived in England, and was quite well. During the greater part of his imprisonment Pte Wiltshire, who was an old soldier and was called up as a reservist at the beginning the War, was interned in Hanover.

LONG ITCHINGTON.

PRIVATE THOMAS SPRAGGETT, Royal Warwicks, returned from the front for a short furlough. He has been in France since 22nd October, 1915, and has seen much fighting. On Saturday last he was married at Leamington to Miss F M Smith, of Emscote. The happy couple are spending their short honeymoon among their friends. Pte Spraggett is the son of Mr and Mrs Thos Spraggett of this village.

RUGBY PRISONERS OF WAR FUND.
FLAG DAY RESULT.

The total sum raised as a result of the special effort for local prisoners of war on Saturday, June 2nd, was £752 9s 3d, and a number of donations have been promised, but have not yet been received. This sum does not include the proceeds of the prize competition which has been organised on behalf of the fund by the Rugby Trades and Labour Council, and which is expected to produce a very handsome addition. The donations amounted to £512 5s 2d, and the sale of flags to £138 9s 2d in Rugby and £101 11s 11d the country.

SALVATION ARMY WAR FLAG DAY.—A Tommy has said : “ You cannot get away from the Salvation Army in France,” and such was the case last Saturday in Rugby, when helpers of the Salvation Army were very energetic in collecting for the war work of that denomination, which includes refreshment and recreation huts, hostels, and naval and military homes[?], motor ambulance, food parcels and clothing for prisoners of war, etc. Nearly 10,000 flags were sold, and the proceeds amounted to £51. The work was organised by Commandant J Walker. During the afternoon the Senior and Junior Bands paraded the town and collected £8. Those who collected were : Mr and Mrs Burton, Messrs Robert Neale, Arthur Reade, and =Robbins ; Misses Phyllis Dodd, Edith Giddens, Kate Mays, Ada Wild, Rosina Allen, Doris Fiddler, Mary Linley, Elsie Clifton, Esther Keen, F and M Robotham, and L Kirtland. Mrs Handford and family collected in Lutterworth, and Mrs Paget in Bourton.

A BEER FAMINE exists in many parts of Warwickshire, especially the country districts. Some houses have been temporarily closed because of the uncertainty of obtaining supplies, and it a common thing to see in the window of a public-house “ No draught beer on sale.”

THE WEATHER & THE CROPS.

The present spell of dry weather has given ample opportunity for the destruction of the heavy crop of weeds, both on the farm and in the gardens. Quite a number of women have been employed in terminating the unusual growth of thistles, &c, among the corn. A few copious showers would now be very acceptable. The rain is especially needful for the planting in the garden and as a refresher for early peas. The growth of the potatoes exhibits, as a rule, great irregularity, but in a few cases may be seen of exceptional promise. Wheat has decidedly improved lately and oats and barley look well. Beans too, will probably turn out better than was at one time expected. There is a good-show of grass, and hay-making will, doubtless, soon be in full swing.

RUGBY MEAT TRADE.

The London Central Meat Company asked for a renewal of exemption for their local manager, George Robinson, 40, married, B1, 142 Murray Road. Lieut Wratislaw explained that in view of the Tribunal’s contention that there should be no preferential treatment in the foreign meat trade the representatives of the three foreign meat companies held a conference with the Advisory Committee, and one of the firms offered to send a man to this shop, which could be managed by a female, to cut up the meat, but this offer was refused by the company. The firm’s representative explained that prior to the War there were 13 foreign meat shops in the town, but now there were only four, and three of these were selling English meat. The Central Meat Company was the only shop selling solely foreign meat. At the meeting with the Advisory Committee they pointed out that the scheme suggested was unworkable because all the meal arrived at the same time, and when the man was required by the Central Meat Company he would be busy at his own shop. The firm who made the offer had since agreed that the scheme could not be worked.—In reply to the Chairman, Lieut Wratislaw said he did not think any English butchers in the town had had to close down. The Chairman expressed the opinion that some re-adjustment was necessary in the meat trade. The present plan was absolutely restricting competition and in view of the facts elucidated, the Tribunal did not think it was the public interest that the man should taken into the Army. Three months’ conditional exemption.

AIR RAID ON LONDON.

A raid made by 15 aeroplanes on London on Wednesday resulted in 104 persons being killed and upwards of 400 injured. Ten children were killed and 50 injured in a school in the East-end, upon which a bomb fell. As far as is known only one enemy aeroplane brought down.

DEATHS.

CANHAM.—On May 28th, while on duty as a signaller, after only one week in France, ARCHIBALD, the second son of Mrs. Canham, Hillmorton, and dearly-beloved husband of Laura Canham, late of 19 Benn Street, Rugby, aged 36 years.

HIPWELL.-Died from wounds June 7th, “somewhere in France,” Gunner EDWARD WALLACE HIPWELL, second son of George Hipwell, Clifton-on-Dunsmore (late of Brinklow Station), aged 25 years.

IN MEMORIAM.

HANCOX.-In affectionate remembrance of our dear and only son and brother, CHARLES HANCOX, who died of wounds at Stationary Hospital, St. Omar, France, June 20th, 1915.
“ Somewhere in France ” there is a nameless grave,
Where sleeps our loved one among the brave,
One of the rank and file-he heard the call,
And for the land he loved he gave his all.
—From his sorrowing Mother, Father, and Sisters.

Wood, Arthur William. Died 10th Jun 1917

Arthur was the son of Joseph Wood and Annie Hill who were married in Rugby in 1889. Joseph came from Ashton in Makerfield, Lancashire, and Annie from Harpenden, Hertfordshire. Joseph was an engine driver and had been in Rugby since at least 1869, at Union Street in 1871 and 1881 and 31 Charlotte Street in 1891.

Arthur was born at 31 Charlotte Street in 1896 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 19 March.   Annie was Joseph’s second wife; his first wife Jemima Shaw born Braunston Northants, whom he married at Rugby in 1869, died aged 42 in 1887 in Rugby. They had a number of children. In 1901 Joseph was still living in Charlotte Street with his second wife and their three young children Adelina, Dora and Arthur as well as son Ernest from his first marriage. By 1911 Joseph had moved to 153 Grosvenor Road, Annie had died (in 1903), Dora was no longer at home, and there was another child Marjorie born in 1901 as well as Ernest, now a labourer aged 23.

Arthur enlisted in 1915 as Private 11083 in the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and was sent to France in May of that year. He was transferred to the 33rd Company Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) as Private 19891, and was killed in action in France in 1917. He has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres.

He was awarded the Victory and British War medals and the 1915 Star. His effects, £20 plus a war gratuity of £13 were sent to his sole legatee his half brother George Wood, an engine fitter, who took out letters of Administration in Birmingham in October 1917.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

9th Jun 1917. Local War Notes

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Second-Lieut L G Colbeck, R.F.A, the Medborough[?], Cambridge University, and Middlesex cricketer, has been awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when in command of his battery. Second-Lieut Colbeck was a master at Rugby School for several years, and his mother still resides in Rugby.

Mrs Cleaver, Drill Hall Cottage, Rugby, has received a letter from a friend of Sergt-Major T Cleaver, giving details of how her husband met his death. Three Officers and the Sergeant-Major were talking together while they were waiting to be relieved. A shell burst near them, the three officers being killed, and Sergt-Major Cleaver severely wounded in the back and legs. He succumbed to his injuries the following day.

The “ Leamington Courier ” is given to understand that the Military Authority propose to transfer the Leamington recruiting staff to Rugby. The ostensible reason is a desire to economise, but is very doubtful (our contemporary remarks) whether that object will be achieved, for many questions arise in regard to recruiting which necessitate consultation with the Recruiting Officer himself, and a railway journey to Rugby is not now the simple matter that it used to be. It is much to be hoped that the Military Authorities will see the wisdom of altering the decision in the matter.

Mrs Welch, 35 Union Street, Rugby, has received information from the War Office that her husband, Lance-Corpl Ernest Welch, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, was killed in action on April 29th. A later message reports him as missing since April 28th, so naturally his friends are anxious as to his fate.

Mrs Ogburn, 40 Chapel Street, has now received official information that her husband, Pte H Ogburn, was killed on July 30, 1916, when reported missing.

MAJOR HARMAN, D.S.O.

The recent list of recipients of the D.S.O contained the name of Major H A A F Harman, South Staffs Regiment, who is well known to many of our readers as a member of the Murray School teaching staff. At the outbreak of the War Major Harman held the position head of the head of the Training Institution at Acera Gold Coast, and he served under General Smuts in his African campaign, and was wounded.

PTE A J PERRY.

Pte A J Perry, of the Royal Marines, who was killed in action about three weeks ago, was for some time employed in the Stationmaster’s office at Rugby L & N-W Railway Station. He was only 20 years of age, and joined the Army a week before Christmas. His home is at Kilsby.

SECOND-LIEUT N R DE POMEROY.

Definite news has now been received that Second-Lieut Norman R De Pomeroy, of the Royal Flying Corps, who has been missing since October 20, 1916, was killed in action on that date. Prior to the War Second-Lieut De Pomeroy was a member of the B.T.H Test Department.

A marriage is arranged between Capt Charles Moore, Irish Guards, son of the late Mr Arthur Moore, of Mooresfort, co. Tipperary, and Lady Dorothie Feilding, second daughter of the Earl and Countess of Denbigh. Lady Dorothie returned on Thursday for a short time to the Munro Ambulance Corps in Belgium, where she has been since September, 1914, and the wedding will take place very quietly at an early date at Newnham Paddox.

DEATHS.

INWOOD.—On Whit-Sunday, May 27th, 1917, from wounds received in action, CORPL STANLEY, the only dearly-beloved child of Mrs. Inwood, Lodge Road, Rugby, aged 20.
“ Lost awhile, our treasured love,
Gained for ever safe above.”

PERRY.—Died of wounds in France on May 22nd, Pte, ALFRED J. PERRY, dearly beloved son of Mrs. A Perry, of Kilsby, aged 20 years-“ Greater love hath no man than this.”

Wallace, Herbert. Died 8th Jun 1917

Herbert Wallace’s was born in Blakesley, Northamptonshire in late 1891 and baptised there on 27 December 1891.

Earlier in 1891, the family in Blakesley comprised: his father, William, a ‘Stud Groom’; mother Elizabeth; older siblings: Joseph aged 8; sister, Ethel aged 7; and brothers John, Walter and Edward, aged 5, 3, and 1.

By 1901 the family had moved to 83 Sholebrook, Wittlebury Park, near Towcester. Herbert’s father was still a stud groom. Herbert was now aged 9 and there were more children and six siblings at home, Edward, Flora, Frank, Fred, Rose and Nelly. Then in 1903, his father died, the death being registered in Towcester.   Herbert’s widowed mother remained with the younger children at 52 Whittlebury, Towcester.   At some later date his widowed mother moved to Rugby, probably to join her children.

In 1911, Herbert was 19 and a grocer’s assistant, lodging with the Hussey family at 2 Devon Cottage, Watford Road, Radlett, Hertfordshire.

He may well have moved to the Rugby area before the war to join his two brothers who were already working in Rugby in 1911, as he enlisted in nearby Coventry into the Machine Gun Corps [MGC] as Gunner, No.38424.   The MGC had been formed in October 1915.

It is not known when Herbert joined up, but he probably didn’t go to France until 1916, as he didn’t receive the 1914-1915 Star, and he would have to be trained.

He later transferred to the ‘Heavy Section’ as Private/Gunner, No.206183. The Heavy Section was formed in March 1916, becoming the ‘Heavy Branch’ in November 1916. Men of this branch crewed the first tanks in action at Flers, during the Battle of the Somme in September 1916.[1]

He was still in the ‘Heavy Branch’ in June 1917, as it was not until July 1917, that the ‘Heavy Branch’ separated from the MGC to become the Tank Corps, later to be called the Royal Tank Regiment. The later ‘Soldiers that died in the Great War’ record states ‘Royal Tank Corps’ and his Medal Card stated ‘Tank Corps’.

The Tank Corps was formed from the Heavy Branch MGC on 27 July 1917 and the Battalions adopted numbering rather than letter designations (although tank names followed the same lettering: for example, 7th Battalion tanks were all named with a letter G, like Grouse, Grumble, etc.) Each Tank Battalion had a complement of 32 officers and 374 men. Originally formed as Companies of the Heavy Section MGC, designated A, B, C and D, each Company consisted of 4 Sections of 3 tanks of each type (male and female Mk.1s). Companies also had another machine in reserve. In November 1916 the Companies were expanded to Battalions, carrying the same letter designations. A Battalion consisted of 3 Companies. Three mobile workshops provided the engineering back-up to service the tanks. An expansion programme was ordered by GHQ, to build a force of 14 additional Battalions.

As Herbert was in “A” Battalion, this would have become the 1st Battalion – possibly after his death.

… some [tanks] played a part at the Battle of Arras in April and May 1917. … The next step saw an upgrade in the production of the Mark IV. It carried more armour and had an external fuel tank. Mechanically, it was similar to the Mark II. These tanks weighed 28 tons. The Mark IV first saw service at The Battle of Messines in June 1917.[2]

The Battle of Messines took place from 7 to 14 June 1917, just south of Ypres. Seventy-two of the new Mark IV tanks had arrived in May and were hidden south-west of Ypres, and took part in various parts of the battle.

Sadly, the tanks deployment in the Third Battle of Ypres (July-November 1917) proved to be another slog through deep mud. The area became a tank graveyard as machine after machine ditched in deep trenches and shell holes, sank, stuck and was shelled. Morale in the Tank Corps was low and confidence of the rest of the army destroyed.[3]

Herbert was recorded by the CWGC as a ‘Gunner, “A” Bn Machine Gun Corps (Heavy Branch)’, but there seem to be two possible dates of death. The grave registration form gave his earlier MGC number and 7 June 1917 as his date of death, rather than his later Heavy Branch number and the later 8 June 1917 date of death given in the later CWGC record and on his headstone.   Herbert was Killed in Action on either 7 or 8 June 1917, it is assumed during one of the number of separate actions tank actions in the Battle of Messines.

His body was recovered and he was buried in Grave Reference: III. C. I5. in the Dickebusch New Military Cemetery Extension. The New Military Cemetery was begun in February 1915 and was used until May 1917 by fighting units and field ambulances, with a few further burials taking place in March and April 1918. The Extension was used from May 1917 to January 1918. The cemetery is a few miles south-west of Ypres, and a similar distance north-west of Messines.

At the date that the CWGC listed the memorial details, Herbert was described as ‘Son of Elizabeth Wallace, of 21, St. John St., Rugby and the late William Wallace’. At some date before 1911, Edward’s brothers, John, b.c.1886; and Frank, b.c.1896, had moved to Rugby to work as a ‘grocer’s assistant, and a ‘gas engineer apprentice’ respectively, and in 1911 were in lodgings at 74 Railway Terrace. It seems likely that their widowed mother, later also moved to Rugby to join them, and submitted Herbert’s name to be remembered on the Memorial Gate. Whether Herbert ever lived in Rugby is uncertain, but he joined up in nearby Coventry, and so he probably visited or even lived for a while, with his brothers, and later his mother. As he is also on the St. Philip’s memorial, perhaps he joined the family in Rugby for a time.

His mother was his sole legatee, and received £5-9-11d on 1 October 1917 and £3-10-0d on 16 October 1919.

Herbert Wallace was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

As well as being remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate, Herbert is commemorated at St. Philip’s Church, Wood Street, Rugby.

Herbert’s brother, Edward, also died in WWI, on 15 July 1916, whilst serving with the 1st Welsh Fusiliers during the Battle of the Somme.   He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial and his biography is here.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article on Herbert Wallace was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, June 2016.

 

[1]       In July 1917, the Heavy Branch separated from the MGC to become the Tank Corps, later the Royal Tank Regiment.

[2]         http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/tank-corps-in-the-first-world-war/

[3]         https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Messines_(1917); from: Edmonds, J. E., 1991, [1948], Military Operations France and Belgium, 1917: 7 June – 10 November: Messines and Third Ypres (Passchendaele). History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence, p.33, London, HMSO, ISBN: 0-89839-166-0.