1st Jan 1916. Rugby’s Record in the Great War

RUGBY’S RECORD IN THE GREAT WAR.

A LOCAL RETROSPECTIVE.

LIST OF CASUALTIES AND RECIPIENTS OF HONOURS.

Once more the New Year has been ushered with the accompaniment of a great and terrible war, and a brief review of the way in which Rugby has endeavoured to do its share in bringing the contest to a successful issue may not be out of place. As is already well known, in the early days of the war Rugby gained a fine reputation in the matter of recruiting, and up to the institution of the Group System, about 3,200 recruits passed through the Rugby Drill Hall to the various depots—an excellent record considering the embargo that was placed on the enlistment of railwayman and munition workers. As will be seen from the accompanying list, a considerable number of the gallant fellows who trooped into the Drill Hall so enthusiastically and light-heartedly in August and September, 1914, to obey the call to arms, have made the great sacrifice ; and, on the other hand, several have gained either decoration or honourable mention.

In addition to the number of recruits who have joined Lord Kitchener’s Army, the majority of the members of the two principal Rugby Territorial units, “ E ” Company, R.W.R., and the Howitzer Battery, volunteered for foreign service, and have been engaged on the Western front for nearly twelve months. The Warwickshire Yeomanry, which includes a troop of Rugbeians, has also been in action in the Dardanelles, and has covered itself with glory. Then, too, in the early months of 1915, at the request of the War Office, Mr J J McKinnell, who as chairman of the Urban District Council, in two unprecedented years, has rendered yeoman service to the town and nation, raised a local company of Fortress Engineers. Mr E W E Kempson was appointed to the command of the company, which was very quickly raised and equipped. The preliminary training was carried out at Rugby, with the Howitzer Battery Drill Hall as headquarters, and the company is now somewhere in England, expecting to be ordered abroad at any time.

The number of employees of the B.T.H Company who have enlisted with the colours is 1,126, and practically the whole of the men of military age at present in the works have attested under the Group System.

The employees from Messrs Willans and Robinson’s with the colours consist of 15 officers (including one staff-captain) and 233 men, 248 in all. Of these, two officers and ten men have already been killed, and one man, Bomb. Handyside, has been awarded the D.C.M. and Medaille Militaire. Nine hundred W. and R. employees have attested under Lord Derby’s Group System.

During the early months of 1915 the splendid 89th Brigade of the 29th Division, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Border Regiment, and the South Wales Borderers, were billeted in the town. During their brief stay the gallant fellows, by their courteous and gentlemanly bearing, made countless friends, and the glorious deeds they have since accomplished, which have thrilled the whole world, are naturally discussed with pride by Rugbeians, while their terrible losses, especially in the early days of the Gallipoli landing, cast quite a gloom over the town. Many of the brave fellows have gained coveted rewards, notably Captain Sullivan and Sergt James Somers, of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who have been awarded the Victoria Cross, and the great reception which was accorded to Sergt Somers on his return to Rugby after receiving the decoration from the King will long remain a pleasant memory with Rugbeians.

The occasion of the soldiers’ departure from Rugby was marked by the most noteworthy local event in the war—the inspection of the Division by King George on the London Road between Dunchurch Station and Stretton-on-Dunsmore, witnessed by some thousands of Rugbeians.

As usual, the residents of the town and district have responded loyally to the many calls which have been made upon them, and the sum of £3,518 15s 11d was raised in the town for the Prince of Wales’ National Relief Fund. Large sums have also been provided for the relief of the Belgian Refugees, the British Red Cross Society, local V.A.D. Hospitals, French Flag Day, Lifeboat Institution, the Russian wounded, and the various comforts funds. There are now three V.A.D. Hospitals in the Rugby district : Te Hira, Rugby, Ashlawn, and Pailton House, and these are all supported by subscriptions obtained in the town and villages adjacent, and are run by voluntary workers.

In the early stages of the war Dr David kindly placed the School Sanatorium at the disposal of the authorities for use as a temporary Red Cross Hospital, but early in 1915 it was found necessary for the School to take over the building again.

Mr C E Blyth, of Cawston House, some 14 months ago placed a portion of his residence at the disposal of the authorities for a Red Cross Hospital, and the earliest patients were a number of Belgian soldiers who fought bravely in the attempt to keep the Huns from ravaging their native land.

At the outbreak of war a Patriotic Association, for the purpose of drilling men past the age for military service, was formed, but this, failing to find support from the War Office, was disbanded, and in December, 1914, the Rugby Volunteer Training Corps was founded. This body, which has the approval, more or less, of the Government, has been well taken up by the ineligible men and munition workers, and under the able command of Mr C H Fuller, the corps has made good progress.

A branch of the Women’s Volunteer Reserve has also been successfully started, and already these ladies have made themselves useful in several ways.

Various funds for helping the soldiers have been started locally, and of these two of the most successful and deserving are the Territorial Comforts Committee, of which Mr Adnitt, Regent Street, is the secretary, and the Prisoners of War Relief Committee, with Mr J R Barker secretary. The first-named has sent hundreds of parcels of comforts, etc, to the local Territorials, and the Prisoners of War Committee send parcels of comforts to each local prisoner of war, who is otherwise unprovided for, each week. Both funds have so far been well supported, but as the expense is continuous more funds are urgently required.

Another noteworthy effect of the war has been the influx of Belgian refugees, and a colony of considerable dimensions has been established in the town. The first contingent of Belgians to arrive were housed, at Te Hira for a time, and others have been provided for at No 17 Hillmorton Road, two houses in Albert Street, two at Bilton, and large residences at Newton and Clifton—the two latter places being under the charge of the Newton House Refugees’ Committee. In addition to these, a considerable number of Belgian workmen are employed in the Engineering Works in the town.

RECIPIENTS OF HONOURS.

On several occasions Rugby and district men have figured in the lists of those awarded special honours, and Major J L Baird, the popular Member for the Division, who proceeded to the front in August, 1914, has been awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the Cross of the Order of Leopold. Viscount Feilding, of the Coldstream Guards, has also received the D.S.O. for great gallantry and distinguished service in the field. The gallant officers have also been mentioned in despatches. The Medaille Militaire, the French V.C. has been won by Lance-Corpl W Barnes, of Long Itchington, and the following local men have received the D.C.M. : Sergeant Loveridge, R.W.R. ; Corpl Keeley (B.T.H.) 4th K.R.R. ; Pte A Hotz (B.T.H.), 1st East Surrey Regiment ; Sergt Vernon S Robinson, 2nd Wiltshire Regiment ; and Bomb J R H Handyside, D Batt, 71st Brigade, R.F.A. Bomb Handyside has also been awarded the Medaille Militaire.

Capt J W Goddard, R.F.A., and Sergt-Major F A Nason, Army Veterinary Corps, two old St Matthew’s boys, have won the Military Cross and been mentioned in despatches. Lieut A J Harris, the late Lieut R A J Beech, Sec-Corpl E L Damant, Royal Naval Division, and Sergt-Major (now Sec-Lieut) Hart have also been mentioned in despatches ; and Corpl Stent, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, was commended for great gallantry in the trenches. Sergt F Knight, 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoons, of Long Lawford, has been awarded the (1st Class) Russian medal of St George.

THE DARKER SIDE.

Rugby and district has, in common with the whole country, suffered severely in the matter of casualties, and over 200 young fellows from the district have sacrificed their lives in the great cause, and many more have been wounded. Below we give what is, as far as possible, a complete list of those who have been killed, of who have been reported missing so long that there is, unfortunately, little doubt as to their fate :—

1914
Wise, Engineer St S, son of Mr E T Wise, H.M.S. Cressy, Sept 22nd.
Goodman, Pte Walter George, R.W.R., 170 Oxford Street, August 26th.
Busson, Pte William, R.W.R., 30 Sun Street, August 26th.
Oldershaw, Pte H, 2nd Grenadier Guards, Bilton, September 20th.
Morris, Lieut A G A, Royal Lancashire Regt., son of Mr and Mrs F A Morris, Pailton House, October 13th.
Woods, Gunner William, R.F.A., late 35 Bath Street.
Hales, Pte Harry, R.W.R., Pinfold Street, New Bilton, October 13th.
Morgan, Pte S, Welsh Regiment, Crick.
Parker, Lance-Corpl E J, Coldstream Guards, 19 Corbett Street, died of wounds, Nov 3rd.
Thrasher, Gunner, 19th Battery R.F.A., 6 Charlotte Street.
Dale, Able Seaman H, H.M.S. Good Hope, 88 Abbey Street.
Ransome, Steward Walter, H.M.S. Good Hope, Rugby.
Thorneycroft, Pte G, 1st R.W.R., Hillmorton, October 23rd.
Richardson, Dr Martin, Medical Service Corps, late of Wolston.
Over, Pte Charles Herbert, 2nd R.W.R., Brinklow, Ypres, October 20th.
Pearce, Gunner W H, Dunchurch, H.M.S. Bulwark.
Edmans, Stoker F S, 82 Lawford Road, New Bilton, H.M.S. Bulwark.
Dagley, Pte Charles, 2nd Dragoon Guards, 11 Bridget Street, New Bilton.
Kind, Marine Walter John, late B.T.H., killed in Battle of Falkland Isles.
Bathe, Pte Wm John, 1st South Staffs, 93 Lawford Road, New Bilton, October 29th.
Lawlor, Midshipman Martin (died of fever).
Hutt, Pte W J, Northants Regiment, Clifton, November 5th.
White, Pte J E, Grenadier Guards, Dunchurch (died of wounds).
Goodwin, Pte —, R.W.R., son of P.S. Goodwin, King Edward Rd., missing (believed dead).
Reynolds, Pte A Bayliss, 2nd Leicesters, Gas Street, died from wounds December 10th.
Wells. Corpl Walter, 1st R.W.R, Marton, died from wounds.
Parker, Lieut, Westfield House, Rugby.
Shaw. Pte J P, 2nd Northants, Hillmorton, December, 1914.
1915
Goodman, Sergt Henry, Coldstream Guards, Lutterworth, January 15th.
Milne, Bandsman, 2nd Scottish Rifles, died of wounds received while attending to a wounded comrade, February 2nd.
Justice, Pte Hy, Coldstream Guards, Napton, January 24th.
Norman, Pte R, Dunchurch.
Richardson, Pte John, Coldstream Guards, Dunchurch, February 11th.
Beech, Lieut R A J, Queen’s Lancers, Brandon, February 21st.
Dipper, Pte A, Coldstream Guards, Stretton-on-Dunsmore, March 5th.
Sheppard, Rfn Wm, 3rd K.R.R., Corbett Street, died from wounds February 28th.
Manton, Sapper E L, R.E., formerly B.T.H.
Judd, Rfn George, K.R.R., Winfield Street, Rugby, March 19th (first Kitchener recruit from Rugby to be killed).
Dale, Rfn F, Rifle Brigade, Easenhall, March 22nd.
Underwood. Pte I, R.W.R., Long Lawford.
Congreve, L-Corpl F, 2nd Leicesters, Churchover, Neuve Chappell, March 11th.
Adkins, Pte J, K.R.R., Stretton-on-Dunsmore, March 16th.
Douglas, Pte R L, Liverpool Scottish, B.T.H. Main Test. March 19th.
Dodson, Rfn W, 4th Rifle Brigade, Newbold, March 24th.
Rice. Pte George, Royal Welsh Fusiliers (Rugby Town A.F. Club).
Fox, Pte Norman, 1st R.W.R., Rugby, March 21st.
Howard, Pte F, Worcester Regiment, Rugby, April 10th.
Powell, Corpl E R T, Warwickshire Yeomanry, Swinford Rectory, drowned on Wayfarer.
Steel Rfn E, K.R.R.. Cosford, March 16th.
Prestidge. Rfn J, Rifle Brigade, Barby, April.
Brooke, Sub-Lieut Rupert, R N. Division, died of sunstroke at Lemnos on April 23rd.
Webb, Lance-Corpl G, 1st Leicester Regiment, Adam Street, New Bilton, April 28th.
Green, Pte J, Leicester Regiment, Catthorpe.
Stebbing, Pte Sydney Reginald, Motor Machine Gun Section, Craven Road, May 4th.
Hefford, Second Officer Percy, son of Mrs W F Wood, Market Place, drowned on Lusitania, May 5th.
Johnson, Corpl T F, E Company, R.W.R. (Maxim Gun Section), May 9th.
Gartenfeld, 1st Res R.W.R., Lagoe Place, April 25th.
Davis, Second Lieut Claud, R.G.A., Manor Road, Rugby, died of wounds.
Beard, Pte Cecil, 13th Battery Canadians, Murray Road, killed in May.
Jackson, Second Lieut E P, Pailton, 3rd R.W.R., att. 1st South Wales Borderers, May.
Hancocks, Sergt H H, K.R.R., Hillmorton Locks, April 25th.
Hancox, Pte Charles, 1st R.W.R., Kings Newnham, April 25th.
Keen, Rfn R B, Winfield Street (missing since May 9th).
Porter. Rfn J R, K R.R, Avenue Road, New Bilton, May 8th.
Griffiths, Rfn Herbert R B, Kilsby, April 27th.
Dawson, Corpl Tom, K.R.R., Braunston. May.
Pateman, Sergt W, 1st Coldstream Guards, Braunston, May.
Payne, Lce-Corpl H, 1st R.W.R., Long Lawford, April 25th.
Piper, Pte E A, Rugby (missing since April).
Nicholls, Pte —, Gloucester Regiment, police constable at Rugby, May 15th.
Hyde, Second Lieut, Rokeby Street, Rugby, Royal Sussex Regiment, att. 2nd Royal Iniskilling Fusliers, missing since May 17.
Mordaunt-Smith, Second Lieut Lionel St George, 2nd R.I.F., May 15th.
Upperton, Rfn Joseph, Oxford Street.*
Hardman, Rfn Walter, James Street.*
Humphreys, Rfn Fred, Lagoe Place.*
* Rifle Brigade, missing since May 9th.
Leake, Lieut, 9th R.W.R., Leamington Hastings, died of spotted fever, May 29th.
Dunbar, Gunner J L. Rugby Howitzer Battery, Bilton Grange, May 27th.
Altree, Rfn H, K.R.R., Rugby, May 9th.
Berridge. Rfn G, Rifle Brigade, Barby, May 13th.
Mason, Eng. Room Artificer, A. A., Rugby and Long Buckby, H.M.S. Goliath.
Hammond, Pte C D, Rugby, May.
Hill, Pte Lewis, E Company, 7th R.W.R., Newbold, May 29th.
Clifton, Pte Thomas, Worcester Regiment, Brinklow, May 9th.
Hence, Corpl Wm, 2nd Border Regiment, Newbold, May 16th.
Freeman, Gunner Harold, R.F.A., Bilton (died of pneumonia), June 7th.
Waterhouse, Capt Rennie, B.T.H., 7th Lancashire Fusiliers, Dardanelles, May 10th.
Brooke, Lieut Alfred, Bilton Road, 2nd Post Office Rifles, June 14th.
Reynolds, Pte Frank, 2nd Northants Regiment, Dunchurch Road (missing since May 7th).
Grant, Pte H, Newbold (missing since May 9th).
Hunt, Regt-Sergt-Major A J, R.H.A., Rugby, May 28th, Dardanelles.
Clowes, Lance-Corpl R, E Company, 7th R.W.R., Rugby, died of wounds.
Hughes, Lance-Corpl J, E Company, R.W.R., Rugby, June 18th.
Jones, Pte A, 6th Leicesters, New Bilton, died from appendicitis.
Newton, Rfn L J, 7th K.R.R., Rugby, June 17th.
Williams, Pte J, Newbold, Rifle Brigade (missing since May 10th).
Hands, Pte J, Scots Guards, Napton, shot by sniper.
Coleman, Pte G W, 5th Oxon and Bucks L.I., of New Bilton (missing).
Foster, Rfn Jesse, Barby.
Hancox, Pte Charles, Stretton, died of wounds.
Coombes, Pte Arthur, New Bilton, 1st R.W.R., died of wounds in July, buried at New Bilton.
Sutton, Drvr William, Rugby Howitzer Battery, Newton, accidentally shot at rest camp, July 4th.
Astill, Pte Herbert, 5th Oxon and Bucks L.I., Hillmorton, died of wounds received while bringing in wounded, June 29th.
Pegg, Pte Harold, Bedford Regiment, New Bilton, died from septic poisoning.
Benford, Rfn A T, K.R.R., Rugby, July 6th.
Underwood, Pte Cyrus, 1st R.W.R., Bilton, July 9th.
Rogers, Second Lieut H G, 9th Somerset L.I., Rugby, in July at Dardenelles.
Martin, Sergt, 7th K.R.R., Bilton, July 1st.
Docker, Pte Leonard, Coldstream Guards, Rugby, July 8th.
Davenport, Pte Hy Herbert Davenport, formerly of Churchover, June 22nd.
Smith, Pte Wm, Lutterworth (missing since June 6th).
Barnwell, Lance-Corpl George Thomas, 1/6th S. Staffs (T.F.), Rugby, died from wounds in July.
Fiddler, Rfn H, 7th K.R.R., Plowman Street, July 20th.
Redfearn, Rfn J, 7th K,R.R., Victoria Street, New Bilton, died from wounds July 23rd.
Roberts, Sergt C H, K.R.R., Rugby, July 30th.
Tomlinson, Rfn Wm, K.R.R., Rugby, July 30th.
Preston, Rfn John Henry, 7th K.R.R,, Rugby, July 30th.
Smith, Rfn Herbert, K.R.R., Rugby, July 30th.
Marriott, Sec-Lieut F E, Rifle Brigade, Cotesbach, July 30th.
Watts, Lance-Corpl A E. K.R.R., Rugby, August.
Coley, Rfn G, K.R.R., Rugby, July 31st.
Goadby, Rfn George, K.R.R., Bilton, August 7.
Wormleighton, Sapper F, Royal Engineers, Rugby, August 10th.
Rowbottom, Corpl S, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Rugby, August 12th.
Pepperday, Pte Leslie, H.A.C., Rugby, August 13th.
Walker, Pte J E, R.W.R., Brinklow, October 14th, 1914.
Aris, Lance-Corpl M, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Rugby, August 6th.
Sims, Rfn J H, 8th K.R.R., Rugby, July 30th.
Lee, Rfn F, Rifle Brigade, New Bilton, July 30th.
Wright, Lance-Corpl T, Monks Kirby
Norman, Pte Bert, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Rugby August 25th.
Justice, Pte A, 5th Oxon and Bucks L.I., Newton.
Wadsworth, Rfn W, K.R.R., Hillmorton (missing since July 30th).
Hitchcock, Pte Clifford, 7th Batt, 2nd Canadian Contingent, Rugby, August 27th.
Cockerill, Pte T, K.O.Y.L.I., Hillmorton, August 25th.
Leach, Pte Percy John, 2nd Hants, Rugby (missing since August 7th, Dardanelles).
Evans, Rfn Harold, K.R R., Rugby, August 7th.
Ward, Pte T L Walter, 2nd Hants, New Bilton, missing since August 7th, Dardanelles).
Forehead, Lance-Corpl W T, 7th South Staffs, Rugby, died from wounds August 24th.
Jiggle, Pte Edgar, 9th R.W.R., Rugby (missing since August 10th.)
Ward, Lance-Corpl A Wood, 7th South Staffs, Rugby, August.
Joyce, Lance-Corpl P, 9th R.W.R., Rugby (missing since August 10th).
Chater, Pte W, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Rugby, died from wounds, September 15th.
Peel, Corpl R R, 66th Field Coy., R.E., Rugby, Sept. 1st, Dardanelles.
Osborne, Gunner Geo, 92nd Batt. R.F.A., died from dysentery at Dardanelles on August 21st.
Wilson, Lieut Hugh Stanley, 8th Worcesters, Rugby School, Sept. 15th.
Hopkins, Pte Frank, 6th Dorsets, Long Lawford, September.
Bluemel, L-Sergt N E, H.A.C., Rugby, died of wounds Sept. 23rd.
Hollis, Pte H T, 9th R.W.R., Frankton, August 10th.
Negus, Rfn E, 12th Rifle Brigade, Rugby, September 21st.
Shone, Pte Tom, Rugby, September 25th
Towers, Pte Martin Victor, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Harborough Fields Farm, Harborough Magna, September 26th.
Hinks, Pte John, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Rugby, September.
Barber, Corpl F, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Rugby, September 25th.
Bates, Pte A, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Rugby, September.
Snutch, Pte B, Rugby (missing since Battle of Loos).
Cashmore, Pte C, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Hillmorton (missing since Battle of Loos).
Stent, Corpl Percy, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Rugby, September 25th.
Glover, Sergt, Royal West Kents, Newton, September 14th.
Russell. Gunner P E, R.F.A, Rugby, October 3.
Sleath, Rfn F W, 12th R.B., Clifton, Sept. 25th.
Marriott, Sec-Lieut Digby, R.B., Cotesbach, October 9th.
Lintern, Bugler W, 12th R.B., Clifton, Sept. 25th.
Dunn. Sec-Lieut R I, Royal Engineers, Kings Newnham (missing since Sept. 25th).
Attenburgh, Pte W G, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Rugby. Sept. 25th.
Freeman. Rfn George, 5th R.B., Kineton, October.
Busson, Pte, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Rugby, October 17th.
Kirby, Pte C, 2nd Worcesters, Hillmorton, September 26th.
Green, Pte Bert, 7th Northants, Kilsby, Sept.
Goffin, Pte Wm, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Rugby (missing since Sept. 25th).
Chambers, Pte E, R.F.A., Wolston.
Reader, Pte, 9th R.W.R , Wolston.
Elliott, Pte F. R.W.R., Wolston.
Morris, Pte H W. Oxon and Bucks L.I., Wolston.
Page. Bugler Wilfred, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Rugby, Sept. 25th.
Izzard, Pte, Rugby.
Garratt, Pte Frank, 2nd Coldstream Guards, Braunston, October.
Munnings, Pte W, R.A.M.C., Rugby.
Robinson, Pte Kenneth, R.F.A., Rugby, Sept. 29th.
Stone, Pte S G, 2nd Worcesters, Rugby. Oct. 9th.
Langham, Pte W, Oxon and Bucks L.I., New Bilton, October.
Davis, Pte Walter, Oxon and Bucks L.I., New Bilton (reported missing in October).
Louch, Pte T, 3rd Coldstream Guards, Newbold-on-Avon, October 8th.
Summers, Pte Fred, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Rugby (missing since Sept. 25th).
Harris, Pte W B, Bilton, Territorial Force.
Bacon, Sec-Lieut Dudley F C, 4th Durham L.I., att. 2nd Northumberland Fusiliers, late of Wolston, died from wounds, November 1st.
Morton, Bomb T, R.G.A, Pailton, died of pneumonia.
Sheasby, Sapper Francis L, R.E., Napton, October 15th.
Dodd, Corpl E, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Rugby, October 16th.
Woodhouse, Pte Percy, 2nd Oxon and Bucks L.I., Rugby (missing since Sept. 25th).
Bellingham, Gunner W, R.F.A., Rugby, died of wounds, October 27th.
Wise, Lance-Corpl. H,, 7th Staffs, Kilsby, Aug. 9th.
Attenborough, Pte W, Oxon and Bucks L.I., Wolston.
Dyer, Pte H, 10th R.W.R., Dunsmore, died from wounds, Sept. 18th.
Collins, Rfn John, K.R.R., Kineton, died from wounds, November 25th.
Goldfinch, Gunner A, R.F.A., Willoughby, died from enteric, October 19th.
House, Rfn John Alfred, K.R.R., Rugby, November 10th.
Dodd, Com-Sergt-Major A J,. 1st R.W.R., shot by mistake by sentry in France.
Dorman, Sergt J T, A.S.C., Rugby, died of appendicitis in France.
Lieut James Forbes, RE., Rugby, December.
Keane, Lieut F J P, Rugby, November 25th, near Baghdad.
Clarke, Pte W, 6th Dorsets, Rugby, Nov. 15th.
Abbott, Rfn Ernest, 12th R.B., Rugby, Dec. 10.
Poulton-Palmer, Lieut R. W. (O.R.), Royal Berks ; international Rugby football player.
Powell, Lieut. Kenneth (O.R.), famous lawn tennis player.
PRISONERS OF WAR.
The following men are known to be prisoners :-
Phelps, Pte A, New Bilton, Rifle Brigade.
Hancox, Lance-Corpl, Rugby, R.W.R.
Hirons, Pte A, Coldstream Guards, Churchover.
Beard, Pte Sidney, Rugby, 2nd R.W.R.
Adams, Pte W, Dunchurch.
Collins, Corpl H, New Bilton, Coldstream Guards.
Wood, Rfn C, Rugby, Rifle Brigade.
Smith, Pte L, Rugby, K.R.R.
Mace, Pte J, Hillmorton, Oxon and Bucks L.I.

 

THE ISSUE OF ARMLETS was resumed at the Drill Hall on Tuesday afternoon.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Contrary to expectations in some quarters, there has been a lull in recruiting locally during the past week, and only a few men have enlisted ; but it is expected, now that compulsion appears to be a certainty, matters may look up somewhat.

A large supply of armlets has been received, and grouped men may obtain one by producing their white cards.

We are asked to point out that attested men who write to the recruiting authorities, and desire an answer, will save the officials a good deal of unnecessary work if they mention, when writing, their group number, and whether married or single.

WEAR YOUR ARMLETS.

The King has written to Lord Derby expressing the hope that every man who is entitled to wear the Armlet will do so, “ as a proof to his fellow-countrymen ” of his response to the King’s call for recruits.

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Sanders, Alfred Edwin, died 30th Dec 1914

Alfred Edwin Sanders was born in Barrowden, Rutland in 1893. He was the eldest son of William Cooper Sanders and Sarah Agnes (nee Betts). Formerly an agricultural labourer, William Sanders was a labourer in a stone quarry in 1901 and in 1911 a labourer at a lime works. In 1911 Alfred was a 19 year old farm labourer and living with his parents.

By 1914 he was working for the L. & N.W. Railway in Rugby and when the war started he joined the army as a private in the 3rd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards (regimental number 11020). He returned at Barrowden for a visit in October before arriving in France on 11th November 1914.

On 23rd December he celebrated his 22nd birthday and on Christmas Day he wrote a letter home.

“I got your parcel all right on Christmas-eve, and also one from Mrs Cave (Barrowden), one from where I used to lodge at Rugby, and one from Edie Clarke (Barrowden), and also a letter from dear Jane. So I think I got on all right for Christmas, don’t you, in the three parcels I got? Besides yours was socks and cigarettes. I shall be thinking about you at home this Christmas ‘scoffing’ plum-pudding and cake. And poor me living out here in the wet and cold, and the bullets and shells flying about something awful. Yes, my dear mother, if I get out of this alive I shall be a lucky boy, as the Germans are not half ‘hot stuff,’ and it’s most awful to see the poor soldiers as they get shot … I also got Mrs Stapleton’s (Barrowden) parcel. I hope you have had a good holiday this Christmas, and also Jack. But I don’t expect it will be much of Christmas in England this year, with so many lives being lost. I feel proud to think that people at home all think so much about me … I cannot write any more this time, as my hands are so cold, and there are no fires out here. Give all the kiddies a Christmas kiss for me, especially little Reggie. So long!”

(Grantham Journal, 16 Jan 1915 – http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/ )

On the 30th December 1914 he was shot in the head while fighting in the trenches and died six hours later. He was buried in the Bethune Town Cemetery, Grave number III. B 20

A photo postcard of the King and Queen, received at Christmas, was forwarded home for preservation.

Alfred Edwin Sanders is also remembered on the Memorial in St Peter’s Church, Barrowden

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Reynolds, Arthur. Died 10th Dec 1914

Arthur Reynolds was born Albert Arthur BAYLISS in 1891. He was baptised on 28th May 1893 in Southam Parish Church, Warwickshire. His parents were George Bayliss and Emily (nee SEATON) who married in Southam on 5th April 1890. Later in 1893 George Bayliss, a labourer, died at the age of 35. In 1896, Emily married Alexander REYNOLDS, a labourer and Town Cryer of Rugby.

By 1901 the family was living at 4 Gas Street, Rugby. Arthur is listed as Arthur Bayliss, step son of Alexander.

He attended Murray School and in 1908, at the age of 18, Arthur, now known as Arthur Reynolds, joined the Leicestershire Regiment. He was 5ft 6 ½in and 132 lb. He had a fresh complexion and brown hair and eyes.

 

Rugby Advertiser 9 January 1915

Rugby Advertiser 9 January 1915

After time at Shorncliffe and Aldershot, in March 1910 he sailed for India where he spent the next 4 years. On 12th October 1914, he landed at Marseilles in France with the 2nd Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment.

On 10th December 1914 Arthur died of wounds in Northern France. The fighting of the First Battle of Ypres had died down by now and soldiers had settled down to life in the trenches. The “Christmas Truce” was near. It is not known how long he before he had been wounded; if it was in battle or by sniper fire.

Arthur is buried at Le Touret Military Cemetery, Richebourg-L’avoue.

 

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Edmans, Frank Sidney. Died 26th Nov 1914

Frank Sidney Edmans was born on 17 October 1893 and baptised on 12 November 1893 in Walthamstow London.
In 1901 the family were living in Waverley Road Walthamstow with their first three children and a boarder.
In 1911 the family were living in Rugby at the Cooperative Cottages in New Bilton.
1911 Census
Name Age Born
William Arthur Edmans b 1867 44 Shoreditch Middx
Beatrice Mary Eliza Edmans 43 Dalston Middx
Frank Sidney Edmans 17 Walthamstow Middx
Violet Beatrice Edmans 14 Dalston
William George Edmans 10 Walthamstow
Lillian Gladys Edmans 8 Walthamstow
Ivy Grace Edmans 7 Walthamstow
Albert Edward Edmans 3 Wolston
Harold Ernest Edmans 2 Wolston

In 1911 Frank was a celluloid bicycle pump overhauler and his father, William, was a celluloid bicycle handle polisher, both in the Cycle Accessories industry in Rugby
(In Walthamstow in 1910 23 cycle manufacturers were listed, representing about 16 per cent of those in Essex, though doubtless many of them were small works merely assembling components.)

There is a naval record for Frank in 1912. He must therefore have already been serving in the Royal Navy before the outbreak of war. Frank was at that time a Stokerman Second Class no. SS 115220, on HMS Bulwark.
Following the outbreak of the First World War HMS Bulwark was attached to the Channel Fleet, conducting patrols in the English Channel. On 26 November 1914, while anchored near Sheerness, she was destroyed by a large internal explosion for the loss of 736 men. Two of the 14 survivors died later in hospital. The explosion was likely to have been caused by the overheating of cordite charges that had been placed adjacent to a boiler room bulkhead. The body of Frank Sidney Edmans was not recovered for burial.

Also on the naval record Frank S Edmans won the Star, Victory and British War Medals.

The Commonwealth War Graves entry reads
Frank Sidney Edmans
Death Date: 26 November 1914
Cemetery: Portsmouth Naval Memorial
Service Number SS/115220

UK, Commonwealth War Graves Register

UK, Commonwealth War Graves Register

Edams 2

Portsmouth Naval Memorial

On his death in 1914, Frank’s mother Beatrice lived at 82 Co-op Cottages, Lawford Street, New Bilton, Rugby.

 

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Parker, Edward Joseph. Died 3rd Nov 1914

4316, 1st Bn. Coldstream Guards. Died 03 November 1914, aged 32

Edward Joseph Parker was born in Dunchurch and baptised there on 20th March 1882. His parents were Thomas, a labourer from Wappenbury and Elizabeth (nee Barnett) who married in Dunchurch in 1873. Edward Joseph was the fourth of six children and by 1901 was a painter’s apprentice and living with his parents in Dunchurch.

In 1908, while living in Clifton Road, he married Nellie May Hancock. Nellie was born in Bicester, Oxfordshire and probably in service in Yelvertoft at the time. In 1909 they had twins, Nelly May and Edward Charles and by 1911 the family was living in Corbett Street, Rugby. Edward Joseph was a shunter on the L&NW railway.

Although his service record does not survive, an article in the Rugby Advertiser of 14th November 1914 provides the information that he had served three years with the Coldstream Guards, probably in South Africa and was then in the reserves. This explains why he was called up at the start of the war and arrived in France on 30th August 1914. He died of wounds on 3rd November 1914 and was buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery.

Edward Joseph Parker. Rugby Advertiser 14th Nov 1914

Edward Joseph Parker. Rugby Advertiser 14th Nov 1914

“RUGBY GUARDSMAN’S DEATH FROM WOUNDS.

General sympathy will be felt with Mrs E J Parker, of 19 Corbett Street, Rugby, who has received information that her husband, Lance-Corpl Parker, of the Coldstream Guards, has died from a gunshot wound in the back in a hospital in France. The first news that her husband had been wounded was conveyed to Mrs Parker early last week in the following letter from Sister Cameron, of the Hospital:- ” Your husband has been very badly wounded, and I am very much afraid he will not recover. He wished to send a message to you just to say that he had been wounded, and was anxious to get well for your sake and the baby’s, and to send his love.” The official news did not arrive until November 4th, and shortly after this the following letter was received from the Rev Hedley R Burrows, chaplain of the Forces :- ” You will have heard by this time that your husband has been taken to his rest.   He died here of his wounds at 1.45 p.m on November 3rd. I was with him just about an hour before the end, and gave him the Blessing. He gave me your address, and sent his love to you and the children. The doctors and nurses worked with great skill and devotion to save his life. I hope you will be comforted in your great loss, and sustained by the sense of power that Christ will bring to all those who suffer in the faithful discharge of their duty. No act of duty done is ever forgotten or thrown away.” Lance-Corpl Parker, who was 32 years of age and a native of Dunchurch, was well known in the town. He had been in the employ of the L & N- W Railway for ten years, and when called up was head shunter. He had served three years with the colours and nine in the reserve, and had signed on for further service. He leaves a widow and two young children, with whom much sympathy is expressed. In one of his letters from the front he said: ” Things are a bit warm, shells bursting over and around us all day, and we are burrowed in the ground like rabbits. I have just been touched with a bit on the lip and foot, but nothing to hurt – got a thick lip, that’s all.” On October 15th he wrote : ” We are still in the trenches and in the same place ; but, of course, we must not say where. I expect when we move it will be a move with a vengeance, and I hope that I shall go through it all right. Still, ‘what is to be will be.’ I thought we should be home for Christmas, but I am doubtful about it now. I am afraid there is some very heavy work to be done yet. It will take a lot more men, and I think that there will be little trouble to get them according to the papers.”
(Rugby Advertiser, 14 November, 1914.)

As well as the Rugby Memorial Gates, Edward Joseph Parker is also listed on the Dunchurch Memorial. Entries in the Rugby Advertiser In Memoriam also remember him.

PARKER.—In loving memory of Edward Joseph Parker, who died at Boulogne Hospital, from wounds received in action, November 3rd, 1914. Gone, but not forgotten by his loving parents.
(Rugby Advertiser, 6 November, 1915.)

PARKER.—In loving memory of EDWARD JOSEPH, the beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. T. Parker, of Dunchurch, who died of wounds received in action on November 3, 1914.—At rest.—Not forgotten by Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters.
(Rugby Advertiser, 2 November, 1918.)

 

 

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Dale, Harry. Died 1 Nov 1914

Harry Dale was killed or died as a result of enemy action 1st November 1914.

He was an able seaman aboard the HMS Good Hope which was sunk with all hands in the Pacific Ocean off the Chilean coast at the battle of Coronel.

Harry had been at sea before for 12 years and 5 years in the reserve, and had been one of the crew of the ships accompanying King George V and Queen Mary when they were Prince and Princess of Wales making a tour of the overseas dominions. Harry had belonged to the Portsmouth command. Fanny, his wife, had received a letter from him, posted at Cape Horn, before the battle saying that the HMS Good Hope had been chasing the Germans and had several scrapes but were all right. He had been living at 88 Abbey Street, Rugby with his wife Fanny and his daughter, also Fanny, aged 8 years.

Harry had been born in Birmingham in 1879 and his wife had also been born there. On the 1891 census he had been living in King Edwards Road with his mother Harriet and younger sister Lilly Maud. On the 1901 census he is listed as a member of the crew on board HMS St George has an able seaman. Harry and Fanny were married in Birmingham in 1902.

On the 1911 census he and his family are living at 120 Abbey Street Rugby and he is working as a labourer, for the B.T.H. Company in the wiring department where he had been working for 5 to 6 years, and was a member of the B.T.H. Fire Brigade and, according to his obituary, in the Rugby Advertiser 21st November 1914, he was popular with all who knew him.

Biography of Harry Dale. Rugby Advertiser 21 Nov 1914

Biography of Harry Dale. Rugby Advertiser 21 Nov 1914

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Fletcher, Thomas. Died 30 Oct 1914

Thomas Fletcher was born in Southam, Warwickshire on 29th July 1876. His parents were Alfred, a brazier and Emma (nee Loveridge). Thomas worked as a labourer at Southam Cement Works and in 1897 he married Emily Manning.

In December 1894, aged 18 Thomas had joined the 3rd Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment – the local militia. He was listed as present at the annual training until 1900 when he marked absent and was struck off on 23rd January 1900. This was because he had enlisted in the Royal Welch Fusiliers on 31st October 1899, in Birmingham. Army number 6183.

He gave his age as 19 years 3 months old and it states that he had previously served 5 months in the Warwickshire Regiment and had been discharged by purchase. On his Attestation Form his occupation is given as Labourer and Groom.

His description as given on the Medical Examination Form is: Height – 5ft 7in, Weight -124lbs, Chest – min 33in, max 34in
Complexion Fresh & Freckled, Eyes – Brown, Hair – Black
Distinctive Marks – Female figure back r. forearm. Anchor back right hand
The Approving Officer described him as “ a respectable and intelligent youth”

By March 1901 he was training at Bulford camp with Sitwells Mounted Infantry and a month later was in South Africa, serving with 22nd Mounted Infantry. On 6th Feb 1902, he was wounded, “Severe gunshot left hand”, and in March 1903 he was transferred to the Reserves and returned home to live at 128 Wood Street, Rugby. He worked as a shunter on the railway and by 1914 he and his wife had four children.

In 1911, when his service was complete, he re-engaged in the Reserves, so that when war was declared in 1914, he was immediately called up.

He arrived in France on 4th October, with the Royal Welch Fusiliers. His war was to last 27 days.

After fighting at the battle of Langemark (21-24th Oct) a few miles north-east of Ieper (Ypres) in Belgium, by 29th October 1914 he was in Zandvoorde, a small village about 4 miles south-east of Ypres.

“The ridge running north from here towards the Menin Road was thinly held by the Royal Scots Fusiliers and 1st Royal Welch Fusiliers, who had been in action since 19th October. Throughout the day the Germans attacked believing the line to be strongly defended, but a combination of valiant defence and German incompetence – shells landing in the midst of their own machine-gun sections – meant that the line held until the evening when the surviving officers decided it was time to fall back from a position that was now almost surrounded. Only 120 wounded men reached the new British line closer to Ypres, and of the Welch Fusiliers only 86 returned.”
(The Ypres Salient, A guide to the Cemeteries and Memorials of the Salient – Michael Scott, page 135)

It is not known exactly when or how Thomas Fletcher died but it was during this battle – part of the 1st Battle of Ypres. Bodies were buried by the Germans in unmarked graves, so he has no known grave, but is probably in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery at Zandvoorde.

His name is inscribed on the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, Panel 22.

Grave of an unknown soldier of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers at Zandvoorde

Grave of an unknown soldier of the Royal Welch Fusiliers at Zandvoorde

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