20th Jun 1919. Atlantic Airmen Welcomed at Rugby, Enthusiastic Scenes at the Station


Enthusiastic scenes were witnessed at Rugby Station on Tuesday afternoon, when the two Atlantic airmen, Capt. Alcock and Lieut. Brown, passed through on the Irish Mail on their way from Holyhead to London. The daily press had announced that the train would stop at Rugby, where Miss Marguerite Kennedy, Lieut. Brown’s fiancee, would join the party, and about an hour before the mail was due some hundreds of the general public gathered in the vicinity of the Station. They were doomed to disappointment, however, as only travellers and a few persons specially interested were allowed to pass the gates. This notwithstanding, a large crowd assembled on the up platform, and when the train steamed into the station, it was the signal for a loud outburst of cheering, which was repeated time after time as Capt. Alcock, youthful and resourceful looking, attired in a lounge suit, stepped smilingly on to the platform, where he was besieged by a host of admirers and autograph hunters. In the meantime Lieut. Brown remained in the saloon, where he was joined by Miss Kennedy—a slim daintily dressed girl with a charming smile and laughing eyes—and her parents, Major and Mrs. Kennedy, who had arrived earlier in the afternoon. The private greetings over, Lieut. Brown, who was wearing the light blue uniform of the Air Service, joined his companion at the carriage dour, and he, too, came in for a rapturous reception, the crowd by this time being augmented by several hundred people who had scaled the temporary barrier. The train stopped about ten minutes, and as it resumed its journey the cheers broke out afresh, and the crowd pressed forward, everyone being anxious to wring the gallant fellows’ hands.

The police arrangements were under the charge of Det. Inspector Goode, of the Company’s Police, and P.S. Hawke.

Considerable disappointment was expressed by the people unable to gain admission to the platform. and in this connection we have received the following letter :—
To the Editor of the Advertiser.

SIR,—May I be allowed to inquire, through the medium of your columns, why a certain number of the public were refused admission to the L. & N.-W. Railway platform on Tuesday last, when the heroes of the great Atlantic flight passed through the station. The precise hour of their arrival was publicly announced in practically every daily newspaper, and yet a crowd of townspeople—members of the British Nation and Empire to which these airmen belong—were denied the privilege of doing honour to two men whose great achievement has thrilled the civilised world.

We in Rugby have not often the opportunity of publicly paying tribute to bravery and skill, and we deeply regret it when we are not allowed to show our appreciation of them. I know I am voicing the opinions of many in the disappointed crowd (for whom there was ample space on the platform), and we should be very grateful if any explanation could be made to us, so that we may know what to expect on a similar great occasion.—-Yours, etc,

One of the Disappointed Crowd.


An official of the Company to whom a copy of this letter was shown by a representative of the Rugby Advertiser, pointed out that the Station premises are private property, and that the Company has a perfect right to exclude anyone who does not desire to travel. “ Moreover,” he said, “ our staff, while sufficient for ordinary duties, is quite incapable of controlling a large crowd, and had all who wished been allowed to enter the station, the officials would have been unable to cope with them.” “ As it was, “ he added, “ the routine work of the staff was seriously interfered with.” Reference is made in the letter to the fact that the visit of the airmen to Rugby was widely advertised, but, the official pointed out, the advertisement was not issued by the Railway Company, who cannot be held responsible for announcements made by outside sources.


The picturesque little village of Churchover was en fete last Monday, the day being observed as a general holiday. The streets were decorated with flags, and on all sides there was evidence of an enthusiastic welcome home to the men of the village returned from active service. It was a very happy reunion.

An interesting programmer had been arranged by an efficient committee, and splendid sports were witnessed throughout the day, which happily was very fine. At about four o’clock, on the arrival of the Bilton Brass Band, a procession was formed outside the Village Hall and proceeded towards the Vicarage. The returned soldiers fell into line under the orders of Lieut. Smeeton immediately after the band, and were followed by the residents of the entire village. The Rev. L. G. Berrington, who awaited their arrival, preceded them to the church, where a short and very impressive memorial service was held. The edifice was crowded to its fullest capacity. The choral service was accompanied by the band, and an appropriate selection of hymns was rendered. The Rector delivered an address, and chose at his text : “ He shall swallow up death in victory.” Referring to the memory of the men who had made the supreme sacrifice, he said : “ They have died for a cause that was just and not their own, and their reward will be a crown in the world beyond. They have won a victory which will ensure national progress and the building up of happy homes, and foster in their hearts a greater love and dependence on the Almighty.”

Later an excellent repast was provided in the Hall for the guests and their friends, . . . .

The Vicar presided, and welcomed the men on behalf of Churchover. Mr. T. Arnold returned thanks on behalf of the men, and stated how fully both his comrades and himself appreciated the great kindness of their fellow-townsmen. A letter was read from Mrs. Arthur James, Coton House, expressing her regret at being unable to attend the festivities. The following toasts were honoured :—“ The King and Army and Navy,” “ The Guests,” and “ Our Fallen Comrades’ ” (in silence). During tea the band discoursed a pleasing selection of music, which was highly appreciated. The continuance of the programme of the sports, which had been temporarily suspended, was resumed. The obstacle race and the pudding race caused great amusement.

. . .  In the Vicarage grounds, after the conclusion of the sports, Miss Miller, accompanied by Mrs. Berrington on the piano, sang in very pleasing style. Dancing continued during the evening, and suitable music was provided. Supper at 10 p.m. brought an agreeable day’s proceedings to a close.


Arising out of the minutes, Mr. Newman, of the Discharged and Demobilised Sailors’, Soldiers’, and Airmen’s Association, mentioned that at the last meeting of the Association the question of peace celebrations was discussed. As they knew, the members helped considerably in trying to bring about the peace, and they wished to draw attention to the fact that there seemed to be nothing arranged for the mothers, widows, and orphans of soldiers. It was suggested that the old people and children should be entertained, but the members of the Association felt that something should be done for the classes he had mentioned. Peace Day would be a hard day for many people, and they should, therefore, try if possible to make their lot happier than it would otherwise be if they were left severely alone.—The Chairman said he had met Mr. Wharton, the secretary to the Peace Celebration Committee, and they had decided to ask the Association to send a representative to their next meeting. This representative could raise the question, and it would come before the Council in due course.

Mr. Newman said the Association felt very strongly the fact that they were not represented in any way on the Peace Rejoicing Committee. They thought they should have been asked as soon as—if not before—any other body. In fact, they felt no strongly on this point of entertaining the widows and orphans, etc., that if the Peace Committee can do nothing they intended doing it themselves.—The Chairman said he hoped Mr. Newman would make it quite clear to the Association that the fact that they were not directly represented was due to a pure oversight. They desired every public body to be represented.


In accordance with the wishes expressed by the members of a deputation which waited upon the Rector of St. Mane’s, a meeting was convened and held at the conclusion of the usual evening devotions last Sunday. There was a very large and representative attendance, and it was unanimously decided that a permanent memorial be elected in the church grounds to perpetuate the memory of the Rugby Catholics who had fallen in the war.

The Rev. S. Jarvis, Rector, presided. An influential committee was appointed to raise the necessary funds and carry out the various proposals connected with this laudable object. A further meeting will be held on June 29th at the schools attached to the church, at which the report of the committee will be submitted and considered.


The Disposal Board of the Ministry of Munitions are including several aerodromes that are not required for Government purposes in the sale of Government property. Of these, two are situated at Goldhanger and Stow Maries, in Essex, two in Suffolk at Burgh Castle and Covehithe, .one at Lilbourne, and the others are at Ramsey (Hunts), Telscombe (Suffolk), and Edzell (Kincardine).


COLSTON.—In ever treasured memory of our beloved son, ERNEST H. COLSTON, killed in action in France, June 20th, 1918, aged 19 years. “ At rest—his duty done.”

ELKINGTON.—In ever loving memory of DRIVER W. ELKINGTON, .F.A.., killed in action in France June 17th, 1916. From his Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters.

HUGHES.—In ever loving memory of L/c (JACK) HUGHES, who was killed in action in France, June 18, 1915.
“ We pictured his safe returning,
And longed to clasp his hand,
But God postponed the meeting—
‘Twill he in the Better Land.”
— Never forgotten by his Loving Father and Mother, Sister and Brother.

MARLOW.—To the precious memory of PRIVATE JOHN MARLOW, York and Lancs. Regt., killed in action at Messines on June 18th, 1917.
“ Now the labourer’s task is o’er,
Now the battle-day is past,
Father, in Thy gracious keeping
Leave we now our dear one sleeping.”
—Never forgotten by Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters and Daughter.
“ In life we loved you dearly,
In death we do the same.” (Ciss?)

SANDS.—In loving memory of PTE. HARRY SANDS, 1/4 Norfolks, who died June 17th, 1917. Buried at El-Arish Military Cemetery.
“ There is a link death cannot sever,
Love and remembrance last for ever.”
—Sadly missed by his loving Wife & Children.