10th Apr 1915. Local Casualties


RIFLEMAN G RANDLE, of the 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade, who belongs to Barby, has sent an interesting letter to the Rector, the Rev R S Mitchison. He writes :—“ Just a few lines to let you know we are both quite well and happy ; also to thank you for the last letter you wrote us. Since then we have had quite a long spell in the trenches. We were in from the 9th of March to the 24th. We had rather a hard time of it, but I am pleased to say we got through quite safe. Of course, you have seen in the papers we captured Neuve Chapelle. We were right in the thick of it. I had rather a narrow escape. I had three bullets through my pouches, coat and trousers, but only one caught my leg. It was only a slight wound, and in a few days it was quite well again. My brother got through quite safely. We came across Jesse Foster the other day. He is in our company, but I am sorry to say he has gone into hospital. He has sprained his ankle. Trusting this will find Mrs Mitchison, yourself and all the Barby friends quite well,—Yours sincerely, George Randle.”


General sympathy will he felt for Mr J W Congreve, builder, Churchover, and his family in the death of his son, Lance Corpl Fredk Congreve, of the 2nd Leicestershire Regiment, who was killed in action in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle on March 11th. The news was conveyed to the parents in a letter from Lance-Corpl Congreve’s chum, who also enclosed a letter which was presumably found on the body. The deceased, who was 25 years of age, and was very popular with all who know him. had served in the Army seven yearn, the last five of which were spent in India, from which country he was drafted to the Front in August last. Lance Corpl Congreve was a fine athlete and an excellent Rugby footballer, and possessed a number of medals, including the medal for the “ All-India Rugby Football Tournament of 1913,” which was won by the 2nd Leicesters. He also held a medal for the long jump (21ft 2 1/2ins). The 2nd Leicesters have seen a good deal of heavy lighting, and Lance-Corpl Congreve was in the trench with Pte Reynolds, of Rugby, when he was killed a few months ago. Once he had a very narrow escape, a shell bursting near him and killing nine of his comrades, and tearing the khaki great coat which he was wearing. A piece of this coat, which was blown away, is now treasured by his parents as a precious relic.

On March 31st Mr Congreve received official intimation from the War Office that his son was killed on March 10-13, at a place unknown.


Pte W Underwood (1st Royal Warwicks), of Long Lawford, whose death was reported in last week’s issue, was wounded in action by a shell, and while being removed was struck by another shell with fatal results.


News was received from the War Office on Wednesday last week by Mr and Mrs Adkins that their youngest son, John Adkins, of the King’s Royal Rifles, had been killed in action a Neuve Chapelle, France, on March 16th. No particulars of his death have come to hand, and the only consolation his aged father and mother have is that he died bravely fighting for his country and nobly did his duty. John Adkins, who was 20 years of age, joined Lord Kitchener s Army on September 2nd. previous to which he was employed at the Humber Works at Coventry. He went to France soon after Christmas, and even when invalided to the base hospital with cramp in the stomach he always wrote home cheery and hopeful letters. He re-joined his regiment on March 12th, and four days later met his death as stated. Among the young men of the village he was very much liked, though he was one of the quieter sort. He was a member of both the village football and cricket clubs, in the latter of which he showed considerable promise. Much sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Adkins. They will sadly miss the lad, who has always lived with his parents at home.


LANCE-CORPL W Smith, of this Village, who was wounded on October 21st in the leg, has been paying his friends a visit this Easter. He was looking very well, considering he has been in hospital several months. He has now returned to his regiment in the Isle of Wight. No further news has been received from his brother Joe, who is a prisoner of war. A postcard was received two months ago, but nothing has been heard of him since, except a notification from the War Office that he is a prisoner of war at Lille.


General regret will be felt among all sections of the employees of the B.T.H Company with the parents of Pte R L Douglas, of the Liverpool Scottish, who was killed in action on March 19th. The unfortunate young fellow, whose home is at Runcorn, and who previous to the mobilization last August had been employed in the Testing Department for 2 1/2 years, was shot in the head by a bullet coming sideways over the parapet of the trench, and was killed instantly. In a letter to his parents the colonel of the regiment says : ” Your son only joined the battalion on the 16th inst. with the last draft from England. A few extra men to replace casualties were required for duty in the trenches, and your son was one of those who at once volunteered for this work. the manner in which he, and indeed many more, of his comrades came forward was most commendable, and his loss is deeply felt by all his fellow-soldiers.” Previous to coming to the B.T.H he was employed by the Automatic Telephone Company, Liverpool.


We regret to learn that Rifleman W Dodson, 4th Rifle Brigade, son of Mr Edward Dodson, Newbold-on-Avon, was killed in action on March 24th. Rifleman Dodson, who was in his 22nd year, and a member of the Newbold-on-Avon II Football XV, was employed at the Cement Works at Newbold previous to joining the army in September last.


Letters received from the Warwickshire Territorials who are now at the front, indicate that they are close to the fighting, if they are not already in it. One says: “ We have moved again and are not far from the firing line. We had not been here more than half-an-hour before the Germans dropped three bombs, killing one civilian and wounding three others. I am writing this on Good Friday, and to-night we go into the trenches for 24 hours.” Another says : “ We have seen something of the damage done by the shells. The place where we are staying has been shelled all over.”

The Howitzer Battery expected to be introduced to the firing line on Monday last.


All things considered, recruiting at Rugby has been fairly good during the past week, and ten men have been attested, bringing the number who have enlisted at the Park Road Drill Hall up to about 2,250. Those attested this week were :- Royal Engineers, R C Howse and A Miller ; A.S.C, R Coles and C J Hands ; Royal Berks. A Woodley ; Army Veterinary Corps, S Davies ; Royal Warwicks, J W Higgie ; Lancashire Fusiliers, G W H Mills ; and Dorset Regiment, H Manton.