11th November 1918 – Armistice Day

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month the armistice took effect.

The fighting stopped.

But the story of the Rugby Men who went to fight was not yet over. More men were to die. Of wounds, or the Influenza that killed many; both military and civilian.

Our project will continue until all the men on the Rugby Memorial Gates have been remembered. The last Rugby man to die was on 30th June 1919, fighting in Russia.

Over the last four years there have been some men we missed – discovered after their centenary had passed. We will be adding them to this blog during December.

There are a few who we think survived the war, but were listed by mistake.

Then there are the handful who we have not been able to identify. We have done our best but some will have to remain unidentified. There is a list elsewhere.

The reports from the Rugby Advertiser will continue for the time being, recording the town as life returned to normal.

This blog will remain as a memorial to the Rugby men who fought and died.

Workmen position the wreaths on Rugby Memorial Gates, following the Centenary Remembrance Parade, Sunday 11th November 2018.


Bentley, Thomas. Died 14th Oct 1918

Thomas (Tom) BENTLEY was born at 24 Cambridge Street, Rugby on 16 June 1887, into a railway family.  He was the son of Thomas Bentley, who was born in about 1861 in Stoke on Trent and Mary Jane, née Startin, Bentley, whose birth was registered in Market Bosworth in Q2 1861.  They were married on 27 November 1882 at Saint Andrew’s church, Rugby.

His father’s family came originally from Weston On Trent, Staffordshire, and whilst Thomas’s grandfather, also Thomas, had been a ‘boatman’ in 1851, it seems that he joined the railway soon afterwards and his changes of address and the birthplaces of his children show the progress of his career.  In about 1861 the family were in Stafford and by about 1862 they had moved to Rugby.  In 1871, Thomas’s grandfather was living with his family in King Street, Rugby, and he had been promoted to become a ‘Railway Engine Driver’.  In 1881 the family lived at the, now numbered, 13 King Street, Rugby – possibly the same house – and grandfather Thomas was still an ‘engine driver’, and Thomas’s father, also Thomas and still living with his parents, was a ‘Rly Engine Fitter’, and his younger brother, John, was a ‘Rly Engine Cleaner’.  In 1891 grandfather Thomas was still an ‘engine driver’ and still living at 13 King Street.  His second son, John, had risen to be a ‘locomotive foreman’, and was now married and living next door to his parents at 12 King Street and he already had three young children.

Meanwhile, towards the end of 1882, the eldest son, Thomas’s father, Thomas, had married with Mary Jane Startin, in Rugby.  The family seem to have been moved to Birmingham from at least 1884 to 1886 as their two eldest daughters were born there.  However, by 1887 they had moved back to Rugby and by 1891, Thomas junior, now three years old, and his family had moved to 26 Cambridge Street, Rugby.  Thomas’s father was still a ‘fitter’, presumably still with the railway.

In 1901, Thomas was 13, with five younger siblings, one a baby of two months.  They were now living at 22 Worcester Street, Rugby, and Thomas’s father was an ‘engine fitter’.  His two elder sisters, Annie and Mary, who would now have been 17 and 15, were no longer at home.  They both married in the 1900s.

By 1911 Thomas’s father had made a change of career and moved to run a ten room pub, ‘The Mug House Inn’,[1] at 12 Severn Side North, in Bewdley, Worcestershire.  Thomas and Mary Jane were now both 52 years old, and had been married 30 years; they had had eleven children, with ten of them still living.  Five of Thomas’s siblings were also at home, and also in the house on census night were his father’s ‘granddaughter’ and a ‘sister-in-law’.

Thomas was now 24 and had become a hairdresser.  He had ‘… an established trade as a hairdresser at 47 Load Street.’[2]

Thomas married Frances Annie née Tolley, Bentley, who was born on 6 May 1890, in Bewdley.  Her father was a ‘corn haulier’ and latterly a coal merchant of Ribbesford.  In 1911 she was a cook for a widow, Elizabeth Kitching, who died in later 1912.  Maybe she then moved to cook at the Inn or perhaps she had met Thomas earlier.  They were married on 23 June 1913 in Kidderminster.

The photograph of Thomas Bentley[3] may have been taken on the occasion of his marriage.

Thomas and Frances had a son, a fourth generation Thomas Bentley, who was born on 25 September 1915 in Kidderminster.  The photograph of the couple with their son and Tom in uniform (right[1]) was probably taken soon after he had ‘joined up’.

Thomas Bentley was still working in Bewdley in 1916 and was probably ‘called up’ when conscription was extended to married men in May 1916.  He enlisted in Worcester[4] as a Private, No. 46066, in the Worcestershire Regiment, initially in the 1st Battalion.[5]  He was latterly in the 4th Battalion of the Worcestershire Regiment but as there is no date when Thomas went to France, he may have been sent to reinforce the 4th Bn. either before or after going to France when he was with the 1st Battalion.  There would have been a period training before he went abroad, so it was probably in late 1916 or early 1917.

In 1913, the 1st Battalion had been in Egypt, and on 16 October 1914 they arrived back in England – at Liverpool – and joined the 24th Brigade in the 8th Division.  On 18 October, the 24th Brigade transferred from the 8th Division to the 23rd Division, and in November 1914 went to France and Flanders.  In October 1915 they fought at Neuve Chapelle and Aubers Ridge and on 15 July 1916 the 24th Brigade transferred back to the 8th Division.  In 1917 they fought at Bouchavesnes and Ypres, and in 1918 at Pargny, Rosieres and the Aisne.

As noted, the date when Thomas transferred to the 4th Battalion is unknown, but it was probably after later 1916 when the Battalion had returned from Burma, spent time in Warwickshire and had then taken part in the landings and action at Gallipoli.  They were then withdrawn via Egypt to France, landing at Marseilles on 20 March 1916.[6]

After the Gallipoli campaign the 4th Battalion were ordered to proceed to France.  They disembarked at Marseilles on the morning of 20 March 1916.  During July 1916 the 4th Battalion were involved in the attack on Beaumont Hamel.  On the night of July 29/30 1916, the 4th Battalion moved forward by train to Ypres and were to remain in action for some 2 months before leaving again for the Somme (8 October 1916).  By the spring of 1917 the 4th Battalion were involved in the battle of Arras.  In July 1917 they were back in the Ypres Salient where they remained until mid October 1917.[7]

After the German Advance in their Spring Offensive, ‘Operation Michael’,[8] in March 1918, the Allies continued to withdraw, until they were able to hold the advance which finally weakened the Germans and overextended their supply lines.  Then in August 1918 the Allies fought back.

During the early months of 1918, the 4th Battalion were active in the Lys and remained in that area until September.  Their next main action was to be at Ypres were they were involved in the retaking of Gheluvelt.  In October 1918 they saw action at the Battle of Courtrai and by November were marching to the Rhine.[9]

The War Diary[10] for the 4th Bn. Worcestershire Regiment in France and Belgium is available on-line and runs from March 1916.  It seems likely that Thomas Bentley was among the many drafts of reinforcements posted from UK – and probably from 1st Bn. reserves, to bring numbers up to strength.  Some extracts from the Diary for October and the last two weeks of his life are given below.

Oct. 1. – The Battalion remained in position … on the Kielenburg Ridge … a finer day … Enemy heavily shelled our positions during the afternoon and night, we suffered a few casualties. … 

Oct. 2. – … the 2nd Hampshires succeeded in taking the village of Gheluwe, capturing a number of prisoners. … This Brigade was relieved … the relief was considerably delayed owing to the enemy counter-attacking … No ground was, however, lost.

Oct. 3. – The Battalion moved back to Dirty Bucket Camp … it entrained on a light railway at 18.30 for Brake Camp, arriving there about 23.50.

Oct. 4. – … Baths allotted to Companies.  Men issued with winter underclothing.  Jerkins and blankets were also received.

Oct. 5. – The battalion was conveyed by lorries from Dirty Bucket Camp to Ypres. … Draft of 44 O.R. [Other Ranks] joined Battalion’. 

Oct. 6. –  … moved … billets from the Infantry Barracks to shelters and cellars near the [Ypres] station. 

Oct. 7. – … moved by march route from Ypres to Westhoek … accommodated in dug-outs and shelters … Respirators inspected …

Oct. 8. – … 1 hour’s gas drill …

Oct. 9. – … making preparations for relief … proceeded by march route to concentration area behind Keiberg Ridge … Here two day’s rations were issued and Battalion had tea. … proceeded to relieve 1st Dublin Fusiliers …

Oct. 10. – A quiet day.  Artillery activity on both sides normal.  … Capt. E C Bennet V.C., M.C.,[11] joined the Bn. for one month’s attachment.

Oct. 11. – Our artillery put down a barrage … just before dawn.  The enemy retaliated very heavily … Enemy artillery very active most of the day … the Battalion was relieved … a very wet night.

Oct. 12. – … Drill and Feet Rubbing … a very wet day …

Oct. 13. – The Battalion moved into assembly position with the remainder of the 29th Division, south-west of Ledeghem.

Oct. 14. – At 05.55 the 29th Division … attacked the enemy, the final objective being the railway line running from Courtrai to Ghent … [a detailed half page description of a somewhat confused day of fighting followed] … Casualties from Zero hour … [One officer was killed, three wounded and one gassed] – 11 O.R. killed.  82 O.R. wounded.  28 O.R. missing.  5 O.R. Sick.  1 O.R. N.Y.D.[12] (Gas).

Thomas Bentley would have been one of those eleven men ‘Killed in Action’ on 14 October 1918, he was 31.  He was buried in Plot: A.19., in the Ledeghem Military Cemetery which is located some 10 miles east of Ypres and which was captured by Thomas’s Division in the attack in which he was killed.

When a gravestone replaced the temporary marker in about 1920, his widow added the inscription ‘Death divides but memory ever clings’.  Less usually, he was buried together with another ‘unknown’ soldier.  Thomas’s stone is thus additionally inscribed at the base, ‘Also an unknown Private of the Great War, Worcestershire Regiment, 16th October 1918, known unto God.’  There are two other graves of known 4th Bn. soldiers who were also killed on 14 October 1918, which are shared with an ‘unknown’ soldier killed on 16 October 1918.

Ledeghem was almost captured on 19 October 1914 by the 10th Hussars, who were forced to retire the same day.  It then remained in German hands for four years.  On 1 October 1918, the 9th (Scottish) Division captured the village, but could not hold the whole of it; it was finally cleared by the 29th Division on 14 October.  The church, the school and the civil hospital of Ledeghem were used by the Germans as hospitals, and in October 1914 to September 1918, they buried German and Commonwealth casualties in three cemeteries in the commune.  Ledeghem Military Cemetery was made by the 29th Division (as ‘Ledeghem New Cemetery’) in October 1918. … The cemetery was designed by W H Cowlishaw.

A more detailed description of the Battle on 14 October 1918 is given by Dr. Simon Fielding on the Great War Forum site,
The action they were preparing to fight would be known as the Battle of Courtrai.  The assault opened at first light on the 14 October with an intense British barrage.  Unfortunately with the smoke shells combining with autumn mist formed an intense fog.  The troops began to lose their sense of direction, and units of the 88th Brigade began to become confusingly mixed.  They did, however, move effectively through the ruins of Ledeghem and surprised the German troops, capturing many machine guns and field guns.  The advanced platoons reached the road from Barakken to Overheule.  Here, the two battalions reorganized and consolidated, and the 2nd Hampshires moved through them to continue the advance, but were held up in the afternoon near Gulleghem.  The 4th Worcesters spent the night in a support position north of the village of Moorseele.  The next day saw the British armies advance to the outskirts of the major town of Courtrai, and the German armies fall back to the line of the river Lys.  The action was typical of the period, with the British armies incurring heavy casualties, but liberating occupied Belgium and pushing the exhausted German army to the point of collapse.  The fighting of 14 October cost the 4th Worcestershires 120 casualties: 2 officers killed, 3 wounded; 83 other ranks wounded and 11 killed: one of the dead was Private Thomas Bentley.[13]

Seven of Thomas Bentley’s colleagues from the 4th Bn., were also killed that day and are buried in the same row of graves, set against the boundary wall of the Ledeghem Military Cemetery.

Thomas’s outstanding pay of £10-6-9d was paid to his widow, ‘Francis A’ in two instalments of £3-8-11d on 4 March 1919, and £6-17-10d on 11 April 1919, and his War Gratuity of £7 on 15 December 1919.

Thomas was awarded the Victory and British medals – he is spelled incorrectly ‘Bently’ on his Medal Card – and he is remembered correctly as ‘Bentley T’ on the Rugby Memorial Gate.  He is also remembered on the Bewdley War Memorial, which is part of the external east wall of St. Anne’s Church, and also on the war memorial at the Bewdley Institute, where Thomas was a member.[14]

After Thomas’s death, and probably before 1920, his widow, Frances, moved to 71, St. John’s, Worcester, where she ran a sweet-shop.  She is listed there in 1924, 1928, and 1932, as a ‘Confectioner, Retail’.[15]  She died aged 44, in Worcester in 1933.  Thomas and Frances’s son, Thomas had moved by 1939 to Oldbury, Worcestershire, where he had become a hairdresser like his father.  He married Miriam F Potter in Horsham in Q4, 1941, and was still living there when he died aged 82 in 1997.[16]



– – – – – –


This article on Thomas BENTLEY 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, August 2018.

[1]      The ‘Mug House’ still exists, it provides food and accommodation and is listed in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide.  For a brief history see: http://www.mughousebewdley.co.uk/bar/a-brief-history-of-the-mug-house/.

[2]      From research into Bewdley’s WWI casualties, undertaken by Simon Fielding – see also his posts at: https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/231174-worcestershire-regiment-14-1018/.

[3]      From the ‘potter Family Tree’, shared by ‘keithpotter70’ on 15 July 2016 on www.ancestry.co.uk.

[4]      UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919.

[5]      UK, WWI Service Medal and Award Rolls, 1914-1920 and information in answer to a query on the Great War Forum, see: https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/231174-worcestershire-regiment-14-1018/.

[6]      A fuller description of the Brigade’s time in Warwickshire, its parade near Dunchurch and review by the King and its campaign in Gallipoli is on line at http://www.worcestershireregiment.com/wr.php?main=inc/bat_4.

[7]      http://www.worcestershireregiment.com/wr.php?main=inc/bat_4.

[8]      See: https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/the-1918-spring-offensive-operation-michael/.

[9]      http://www.worcestershireregiment.com/wr.php?main=inc/bat_4.

[10]     UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Worcestershire Regiment, 29th Division, Piece 2309/2: 4 Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment, (1916 Mar – 1919 Apr).

[11]     He was one of the officers wounded on 14 October 1918.in the attack when Thomas Bentley was killed.

[12]     NYD : Not Yet Diagnosed.

[13]     https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/231174-worcestershire-regiment-14-1018/, Dr. Fielding was preparing biographies of the Bewdley casualties.  His biography for Thomas Bentley was not found until this article was almost finished, but provided some useful additional details.

[14]     The Bewdley Institute memorial plaque lists eight members of the Institute who died in the Great War – see: https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/231174-worcestershire-regiment-14-1018/.

[15]     Kelly, Directory of Worcestershire, 1924, 1928, 1932.

[16]     Much information has been edited from a family tree, posted by ‘keithpotter70’ at Ancestry.co.uk.

Neville, Frank Septimus. Died 24th Nov 1917

Frank was the youngest of the nine children of Thomas Johnson Neville and his wife Lilian nee Lord who were married at St Paul’s Chiswick, Middlesex on 18 March 1872.   Thomas and Lilian returned to Thomas’s birthplace of Dunchurch after their marriage where he was a butcher and farmer.   Although Lilian was born in Hoxton Middlesex, her father Richard was also born in Dunchurch.

Frank was baptised in Dunchurch on 25 October 1891, his birth being registered in December Quarter of that year.

In 1901 Frank was aged 9, living with his parents and five older siblings in Dunchurch, but by 1911 he was 19 and had become a teacher in Stamford. This is confirmed by his detailed obituary in the Rugby Advertiser of 1 December 1917. This records that he was educated at Dunchurch School, then at the Lower School in Rugby (now Lawrence Sheriff). He was a member of the Howitzer Battery in Rugby, and “being a well-set up young fellow, was selected as one of the Guard of Honour when King Edward visited the town” in 1909.   He left Stamford for a post as assistant master at St Matthews School in Rugby where he took a great interest in the new Scout movement.

Just before war broke out he passed high in a Civil Service examination which enabled him to become a member of the Inns of Court Officers’ Training Corps (OTC) as Private 1013.   He was transferred to the Northampton Regiment as 2nd Lieutenant in 1914, posted to France on 26 July 1915 and was gazetted as Temporary Captain on 4 January 1917. He was involved in heavy fighting at the Somme in July 1916 in which his brother Captain George H Neville  was killed and Frank severely wounded. He was invalided home for nine months and had command of a cadet corps during his recovery.

He returned to France about August 1917 and went through a lot of heavy fighting. He died from a bullet wound in the abdomen on 24 November 1917 and is buried at Dozinghem Military Cemetery near Poperinghe to the west of Ypres. Although this area was outside the front held by the Commonwealth forces in Belgium during the war, groups of casualty clearing stations were placed at three positions in July 1917. These were called by the troops with typical dry humour Mendinghem, Dozinghem and Bandagem.   3309 casualties are buried at Dozinghem, Frank’s grave is no XIII.E9 in the section to the extreme left in front of the Stone of Remembrance.

He received the Victory and British War medals and the 1915 Star. He is commemorated on the Old Laurentian Roll of Honour and Dunchurch War memorial as well as Rugby’s Memorial Gates.



Cowley, Henry Moses. Died 19th Oct 1917

Henry Moses COWLEY was born in about 1883 in Rugby.  He was the son of Henry Walter [b.c.1863, Clifton] and Anne/ie [b.c.1859, Swinford], née Turland, Cowley.

Their marriage, in late 1882 or early 1883, was registered in Q1, 1883 in Lutterworth [7a, 17] and their first child, Annie E Cowley, was born at Swinford in 1883 – Annie had probably returned home for the first birth.  Henry Moses was born in Rugby, two years later, and was baptised on 12 October 1883 at St Andrew’s church, Rugby; his father was a joiner and they were living in South Street, Rugby.

In 1891 the family were living at 3 Alfred Street, Tamworth, probably Henry’s work as a carpenter had taken him there.  In 1901, when Henry was about 17 or 18, his father was still a ‘carpenter’; and they were back in Rugby, living at 48 Claremont Road.  Henry was a clerk for the railway, and his elder sister Annie was a clerk for the Cooperative Society.  By 1911, when Henry was 28, he was still single and an Engineering Clerk for an Electrical Manufacturer.  The family were now living at 46 Claremont Rd Rugby.  His father was listed as a ‘carpenter and joiner’.  His sister was not at home.

Henry’s Service Records survive among the ‘Burnt Records’, however, they are not all legible, but provide some details of the complexity of his military service.

He enlisted at Rugby, and took the oath of attestation at Rugby on 19 November 1915 and this was approved on 23 March 1916.  He was then 32 years and three months old, a clerk, and enlisted for ‘Garrison Duty’.  He was 5ft 5½ inches tall – and his service reckoned from 22 March 1916 when he now seemed to be 33 years and 90 days old!  He had shrunk somewhat and was now only 5ft 4½ inches tall and weighed 122 lbs.

His father, Henry Walter Cowley, is mentioned on Henry’s Service Record, and in 1915, he was nominated as Henry’s next of kin and was then living at 111a Clifton Road, Rugby.  However his father’s death, aged 53, was registered in Rugby [6d, 812] in Q4, 1916.

Henry seems to have had various numbers including No.5932 [or indeed No.5931] on forms from 5th Bn., the Royal Warwickshire Regiment [RWarR] and there is also an Army Ordinance Corps document and a Royal Engineers form with Henry’s number as 503775, where he was recorded with ‘trade and special qualifications’ as ‘Proficient’ and a ‘Clerk’.  This posting to the Royal Engineers as 503775 is confirmed on his Medal Card.

He did not receive the 1915 Star, which also confirms that he did not go to France until 1916.  His Service Record shows that he went to France/Belgium with one of the RWarR Battalions, but the actual date of his embarkation at Southampton and of his subsequent disembarkation cannot be read, but he transferred to the 1st/8th Bn., RWarR on either 14 July 1916 or 31 July 1916.

He suffered some illness and on 25 November 1916 he was at 1/1 SMFA [probably South Midlands Field Ambulance] suffering from Diarrhoea having been admitted to 3CRS[1] on 22 November 1916.  He rejoined his unit on 1 December 1916.

He seems to have had a further medical problem and was at ‘CRS IFA’[2] on 6 April 1917 but was back ‘to Duty’ on 20 April 1917

On 7 June 1917 he was transferred to the 1st/8th Bn. RWarR, which had, on 13 May 1915, become part of the 143rd Brigade in the 48th (South Midland) Division and then on 7 September 1917 he was transferred again to 10th Bn., RWarR, which was in the 57th Brigade in the 19th Division, and was his final Battalion, where he served as No.307605, and this number was used for issuing his medals.

The 10th Bn. RWarR were involved in many of the actions in the 3rd Battle of Ypres in 1917: the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge (20 – 25 September 1917); the Battle of Polygon Wood (26 September – 3 October 1917); the Battle of Broodseinde (4 October 1917); the Battle of Poelcapelle (9 October 1917) and the First Battle of Passchendaele on 12 October 1917.  Presumably Henry took part in and obviously survived all these.  There was then a period of comparative calm before the Second Battle of Passchendaele which started on 26 October 1917.

From 14 October 1917 over the last few days before he was killed, the Battalion had been in the trenches, but had had a quiet relief.  For the next few days they were in reserve and the days were ‘quiet’ – although ‘quiet’ typically meant that one or two men were wounded each day.

The 10th Battalion War Diary[3] noted:

Thursday 18 October – the Battalion were again ‘in trenches’ and were ‘lightly shelled’ throughout the day and night.  ‘Posts & ground were generally in a very bad state.’

Friday 19 October – ‘At night the Battalion was relieved … Quiet but very slow.  Relief reported complete at 4.50am on 20th.  On relief Coys. proceeded to camp … (Beggers Rest).

Casualties: 3 killed.

Saturday 20 October – ‘Boys had baths. … Working parties in afternoon & evening.’

It seems that Henry Cowley was one of the ‘3 killed’ from the 10th Battalion on Friday 19 October.  He was 34.  The other two men were Private Carl Rudolf Wedekind, No.2536, aged 19, from Birmingham; and Private Arthur Morton, No.41676.

Their bodies were either never found or not identified.  Henry and his two comrades are remembered on Panels 23 to 28 and 163A of the Tyne Cot Memorial.  The Tyne Cot Memorial is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient.  Whereas those who died before 16 August 1917 are remembered on the Menin Gate, the United Kingdom servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot.  Henry is also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road,

An ‘In Memoriam’ was published on the anniversary of his death.[4]

COWLEY. – In ever-loving memory of our dear HARRY (JIM), only and dearly beloved son of the late Henry Cowley and Mrs. Cowley, Rockingham House, Clifton Road, who was killed in action on October 19, 1917.
“ Though death divides, sweet memory lives for ever.”
– From his loving Mother and Sister, George & Midge.

Henry Moses Cowley was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.  

After his death the Army was instructed that his effects were to be passed to his mother care of H. L. Reddish (Solicitors), 6 Market Place, Rugby, and these were sent on to her on 17 April 1918.

Henry’s Administration was in London on 21 February 1918 to his mother, Anne Cowley, widow, now of Rockingham House, 111a, Clifton Road, Rugby in the amount of £137-0-7d.  Various payments were made to his mother by the army: £3-10-10d and 12/2d owing in back pay was paid as £4-3-1d on 6 April 1918 and a further War Gratuity of £6-10s was paid on 15 November 1919.



– – – – – –


This article on Henry Moses COWLEY was researched and written for the Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, July 2017.

[1]      CRS – Camp Reception Station – When away from the Front Line, the doctor’s post was known as the Camp Reception Station [CRS] or Medical Inspection Room [MI Room] and contained 2 – 6 beds for short term holding for those needing rest but not sick enough to be evacuated, see: https://www.ramc-ww1.com/chain_of_evacuation.php

[2]      Probably – ‘Camp Reception Station – 1st Field Ambulance’.

[3]      The National Archives, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Piece 2085/3, 10 Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, July 1915-March 1919.

[4]      Rugby Advertiser, 19 October 1918.


30th Dec 1916. Military Cross for Old St Matthew’s Boy


The Military Cross has been awarded to Capt Tom Marriott, son of the late Mr J Marriott, who resided at Stratford-on-Avon for nearly 40 years.

Capt Marriott was in charge of a small post at Malingali, East Africa, and being attacked by superior German forces under General Wahle, put up an unexpected resistance. He held the post for four days, until the arrival of a relief force, which drove General Wahle’s forces back. Capt Marriott was promptly awarded the Military Cross.

Capt Marriott was a scholar at St Matthew’s School, under the late Mr Phillips. He was a Lieutenant in the United States Army at that time of the Spanish-American War, subsequently volunteering in the British army for the Boer War. He was one of the first to ride into Ladysmith at the relief of that town, and rose to the rank of Captain in the South African Light Horse. Since the Boer War he has been engaged in farming in South Africa, and on the outbreak of hostilities in 1914, again volunteered for active service, and was engaged with General Botha in German West Africa. On the subjugation of that colony his regiment was transferred to German East Africa. He was wounded in the arm at Malingali in July, the same place where in December he has gained the distinction of the award of the Military Cross.


Mr PC Longney, deputy-organist at Catthorpe Parish Church, and a member of the choir of St Andrew’s Church, Rugby, has joined the A.S.C, and is proceeding to France this week.



Mrs Ingram, of 68 Victoria Street, New Bilton, has just received official information from the War Office that her son, Driver E (Ben) Ingram, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, was killed by a shell on December 8th. He was an old New Bilton Council School boy and a former member of the Boys’ Brigade, in which he was a stretcher bearer. He had been a member of the Howitzer Battery for six years, and prior to the outbreak of the war was an assistant in Mr J J McKinnell’s shop. He was 22 years of age, and was held in high esteem by all who knew him. In a letter to his parents, Capt Lister says : “ I can assure you that his death came as a great blow to the Battery. He was a great favourite, and always willing to do any work that was to be done. Personally, I feel the blow very much. He had been my servant ever since the Battery left England, and I know full well what a very good fellow he was.” Mrs Ingram has three other sons serving, or who have served. Corpl B Ingram, Coldstream Guards, who has gone all through the present War, is well known in local football circles ; Corpl T Ingram, R.W.R, has served since the commencement of the War ; and Corpl R Ingram, of the same regiment, has been discharged through injuries received on active service.


Arrangements have been made for the Rev C T Aston, vicar of St Matthew’s, to take charge of a hut in France, under the auspices of the Soldiers’ Christian Association. He expects to leave Rugby in the second or third week of January, and will probably be away for five or six months. The hut to be placed under Mr Aston’s charge is a new one, now approaching completion, and is nearer the trenches than any others provided by this association. Mr Aston will take with him the good wishes of his many friends in Rugby. During his absence the work at St Matthew’s will be under the care of the Rev P E Warrington (curate). The Rev Dr David and some of the masters at Rugby School have promised to help and other clergymen from a distance are giving assistance for week-ends.


The weather during the Christmas season has been of a wintry character, but not exactly the kind that people usually like to see at this time of the years. Following a spell of frosty weather, there was a considerable fall of snow on Friday last week. On Saturday morning rain came down for a time, and this gradually changed to snow, and when this began to accumulate in a partly melted condition, roads and footpaths were before nightfall inches deep in slush, making it most uncomfortable for people to get about to do their shopping. During the night the remaining snow became frozen, and the surface was covered with ice. This state of affairs continued till Thursday, when a thaw set in. Vehicular traffic on the ice-bound roads was carried on with difficulty, and pedestrians found it necessary to walk with the greatest care. The temperature was not particularly low, but the air was at times very raw, and only for a few moments occasionally was a glimpse of the sum obtainable. On Wednesday there was a dense fog.


The Food Control Department is engaged on an inventory of the national stocks, resources, and expected supplies of each of the principal articles of food. This is a necessary preliminary to the devising of plans for the equitable distribution of food, and when the stock-taking is completed, as it will be shortly, the exact form of these plans in the way of preventing wasteful and extravagant misuse of food will be devised. Meatless days and sugar rationing will be first taken into consideration.

SEED POTATOES.—Arrangements have been made by the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries with the Treasury to finance a scheme for the distribution of seed potatoes. The President has invited the County War Agricultural Committees to request Borough and Urban Councils and Parish Councils to ascertain what quantity of seed potatoes is required in each village ; to collect cash with orders and to distribute seed. It is proposed that arrangements should be made to deliver the potatoes at convenient distributing centres in 1-cwt bags. Not more than 5-cwt may be supplied to each grower and the range of varieties will necessarily be limited

We Remember Them

Today we remember all the men from Rugby who fought and died in conflicts around the world


The Soldier

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there’s some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England. There shall be
In that rich earth a richer dust concealed;
A dust whom England bore, shaped, made aware,
Gave, once, her flowers to love, her ways to roam,
A body of England’s, breathing English air,
Washed by the rivers, blest by the suns of home.

And think, this heart, all evil shed away,
A pulse in the eternal mind, no less
Gives somewhere back the thoughts by England given;
Her sights and sounds; dreams happy as her day;
And laughter, learnt of friends; and gentleness,
In hearts at peace, under an English heaven.

Rupert Brooke

Lee, Charles Robert. Died 6th Sep 1916

Charles Robert Lee was born in 1879 in Rugby and was baptised 20th Feb 1880 at St Andrews Church Rugby. He was the son of Mary Ann Lee (nee) Batchelor who was born in Rugby in 1859 and Henry Lee who was born 1857 in Derby and died circa 1880.

In 1881 he lived at 34 Railway Terrace Rugby, the home of his grandparents John Batchelor and Sarah Jane Batchelor (nee Brooks). Also at this address were his mother Mary Ann Lee and his brother Thomas Henry (who was born in 1877 in Derby), together with six of Mary Ann’s siblings.

In 1891 he lived at 18 Gas Street together with his mother Mary Ann who had now remarried James Barnett, a bricklayers labourer. His brother Thomas was living there too, together with two sons of James Barnett aged 3 and 3 months and Mary Ann.

Charles enlisted in the Coldstream Guards and served as Private No 876 in the 5th Battalion in the South Africa War. He served at the Belmont and Modder River and was wounded in eight places in his arm in the 2nd Boer War at Magersfontein on 11th Feb 1899. Following this he was partially disabled and received a pension.

In 1901 His mother Mary Ann was widowed again and a laundress. They lived at 11 Gas Street Rugby together with his brother Thomas (a brickmaker’s labourer and three step brothers, James Barnett born 1889, Frances Barnett born 1894 and Samuel Barnett born 1895. They had a lodger too, Walter Sansom born 1880 in Thornton Heath Surrey, a groom. Charles’ mother Mary Ann married Walter Sansom later that year.

On 13th August 1904 Charles married Elsie Rose Maltby, born in Daventry in 1882 and died in Rugby in 1944. The marriage was at St Andrews Church Rugby. They went on to have five children: Henry Thomas Lee born 1905, Winifred Lee born 1907, Rose Ann Lee born 1908, Daisy Lee born 1911 and Francis James Lee born 1912, all in Rugby.

He was a well known Rugby footballer and played for the Star New Bilton, Britannia, Rugby First, Northampton, Coventry and represented the Midland Counties.

He offered to rejoin his old regiment again in the First World War and served with the Coldstream Guards for eighteen months. He was admitted to the Hospital of St Cross in Rugby and died there following an operation on 6th September 1916. He is buried in Grave K279 at Clifton Road Cemetery Rugby together with his stepfather James Barnett. His stepbrother Samuel Barnett who died in the First World War on 25th September 1915.

Charles was awarded the Victory & British War Medals.




Armistice Day

Today we remember all the Men of Rugby who Died.

Not just the 400+ who died in World War 1, 1914-1919 and who are listed on the Rugby Memorial Gates. A quarter of these have biographies on this website, the rest will appear on the centenary of their death.

Also the 75 men listed on the Gates who died in World War 2, 1939-1945. Their names can be found here .

Men are listed on other Memorials. In the village where they lived, at the church where they worshipped or at their place of work. Some of them can be found here.

Finally we remember the rest, omitted from any memorial, by accident or neglect.