30th Sep 1916. Further News from Switzerland

FURTHER NEWS FROM SWITZERLAND.

Our readers will recall a letter we printed about a month ago from Bandsman C Rowe, of the Welsh Fusiliers, who was a prisoner of War in Germany, and who was fortunate enough to be sent to Switzerland. Mr J R Barker, the hon secretary of the Rugby Prisoner of War Help Committee has this week received another interesting letter from Bandsman Rowe (who is at Leysin, Switzerland), dated September 14. He says :-

“ Last night I received your most welcome letter, and was so pleased to hear you received mine all right.

“ As regards giving you any news to interest your subscribers, about the best news-or I should say the worst—is that if the parcels stop, there is not much chance of our men leaving Germany alive. I was asked in each camp by my comrades not to forget to send a letter to each Fund which sends parcels and thank them on behalf of our lads in Germany. If the people could only witness our poor mens’ faces when they don’t appear on the packet roll which is posted up on the arrival of the mail, I’m positive that your fund would be soon swelled. Many of the men have been through those terrible times in 1914 and early 1915, and I can assure you, sir, that they are a brave lot ; they will face any hardships, but they won’t on any account work on anything connected with ammunition.

“ The men who suffer most are those down salt and coal mines. When they are sick they are placed in a room with no attention given them, and some horrible tales will be told after the war by those men. The parcels you send are just what our men require, but if you hear of a man on Commando, or Working Party, then it would be advisable to send something in place of bread, especially in the months of May until August. You will notice I am going well into next year, but it is best to he prepared. I have had a few letters asking me about the possibilities of the Germans looting our mens’ food. Well, sir, I am sure there is not much chance for that to happen, as the people are so much afraid of the Government. They were begging for bread when I left, so you can see they have put their pride in their pockets.

“ I must conclude now, sir, wishing your fund success, which it really deserves.—With best regards, I am yours sincerely, C ROWE.”

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

In our last issue we mentioned that the expenses in connection with the War Prisoners’ Flag Day included the cost of 3,500 flags. It should have been 35,000.

The remains of Lieut Rogers, of the Royal Flying Corps, who was killed as the result of a collision between aeroplanes near Rugby in August, were sent to Canada, and the interment took place, with full military honours, at Barrie, Ontario, on September 4th.

Pte J H Fazakerley, Signal Section attached to the R.W.R, who before joining up was a member of the teaching staff of the Murray School, in a letter to Mr W T Coles Hodges says : “ In our last little do—‘ Some Battle ‘ we call it—I had hardly any sleep for several nights, and in the later stages I had to exert will power such as I have never exerted before in my life to make myself run quickly under the fire of shells, machine guns, and rifles from shell hole to shell hole, my limbs being so weary ; and when we were relieved and we had retired behind the firing line—well, you bet we did that with the shells flying about—on a further march, I was not the only one who dropped from the line, an slept the sleep of the just for six solid hours in the sludge.” Pte Fazakerley adds that he received a copy of the School Magazine, “ The Murrayian,” and he had shown this to several friends, who were very pleased with its novelty and contents.

LOCAL CASUALTIES.

Mrs Cousins, 1 Windmill Lane, has received information that her husband, Corpl F Cousins, of the Machine Gun Corps, was wounded in the big advance on September 15th. His steel helmet no doubt saved his life. The shell, which fell at his feet, made a large hole in the ground, and killed two men of his gun team who stood a few yards away. He is going on satisfactorily in hospital at Shrewsbury.

Colonel and Mrs Wyley, of Coventry, received the sad news on Friday morning that their only son, Lieutenant Wyley, Adjutant R.F.A, had fallen in action. On Tuesday last, September 19th, he was struck by a shell. He was buried in the cemetery at Avebury, near Albert. He was educated at Dunchurch Hall and Balliol College, Oxford, where he steered the college boat in 1911 and 1912, and was a member of the college football XV. His father was also an Old Rugbeian, and has been for the best part of his life associated with the Volunteer and Territorial organisation of the County. He was a very popular officer, and the greatest sympathy is felt for him and Mrs Wyley in their loss.

PTE R BARTLETT.

Mrs Smith of Lower Hillmorton has received information that her son, Pte Reg Bartlett was killed in action on September 17th. Pte Bartlett was an old Elborow boy, and was working at the B.T.H at the time of enlistment in August, 1914. He had previously been wounded four times. His mother has four sons and one son-in-law serving in the army, and one son-in-law has been discharged.

ANOTHER COUNCIL EMPLOYEE KILLED.

Mrs Anderson, 76 Campbell Street, New Bilton, has received news that Pte John Hirons, of the R.W.R, died of shot wounds on his 21st birthday on September 13th. About a fortnight ago Mrs Anderson received a letter from the Chaplain stating that Pte Hirons was badly wounded, and the card announcing his death said he was quite cheerful up to the last. Pte Hirons, who was a native of New Bilton, and was educated at the Council School, was at the outbreak of the war employed as a road man by the Rugby Urban District Council. He had been at the front some time, and was wounded in May last.

DAYLIGHT SAVING.

At the end of this week we shall revert to Greenwich time. It will be necessary to put all our clocks and watches back one hour on the night of Saturday-Sunday, just as we put them forward one hour on the night of May 20-21. We have now had a summer’s experience of daylight saving, and although the Act is only a war time measure, the universal opinion is that it has been a great success, that the evils foretold by some regarding its adoption have not come about, and that the advantages, particularly to the workers, have been such that a reversion to the old state of things would be well-nigh impossible.

DEATHS.

GREEN.—On the 3rd September, Pte. Albert Green, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, son of Mr. C. Green, of Lilbourne, killed in action in France.
“ He sleeps not in his native land,
But ’neath some foreign skies ;
And far from those who loved him best.
In a hero’s grave he lies.”

GRIFFITH.—On the 18th September, at New Zealand Hospital, Amiens, France, Rifleman L. GRIFFITH died of wounds. Aged 19.
“ Could we have raised his dying head,
Or heard his last farewell ;
The grief would not have been so hard,
For us who loved him well.
“ A light is from the household gone.
The voice we loved is still’d.
A vacant place is in our home,
Which never can be filled.”
—From his loving Brothers and Sisters, 74 South St.

LISSAMER.—Pte. WILLIAM ARTHUR LISSAMER, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, youngest son of Thomas and Emily Lissamer, who was killed in action on the 15th September by shell fire.
“ He sleeps not in his native land,
But ’neath some foreign skies ;
And far from those he loved the best.
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
“ Death divides, but memory lingers.”
—From his loving FATHER and MOTHER.

OLDS.—In memory of Pte. G Olds, of Gaydon ; killed in action, August 30, 1916.
“ He gave his life for others.”

SMITH.—Killed in action in France, September 17th, 1916, REG., beloved son of the late W. H. Bartlett and Mrs. Smith, Hillmorton.—Deeply mourned by his loving MOTHER, DAD, BROTHERS, SISTERS, & TRIXIE.

IN MEMORIAM.

BARBER.—In loving memory of dear FRED, who was killed in action at Ypres on September 25th, 1915
—From his Mother, Sisters, and Brothers

FRANKTON.—In loving memory of our dear brother, Pte. FRED FRANKTON, who was killed in action on September 25, 1915.
“ He sleeps not in his native land,
But ‘neath some foreign skies ;
And far from those that loved him best,
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—From his two SISTERS, SARAH & POLLY, & BROTHER WILL.

GREEN.—In ever loving memory of Private EDWARD (BERT) GREEN, who was killed in the battle of Loos, September 25th-27th, 1915.
—From his loving Wife.

HINKS.—In loving memory of my dear son, Pte. J. HINKS, 10546, Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry, who was killed in the Battle of Loos, September 25,1915 ; aged 24.
“ He sleeps not in his native land,
But ‘neath some foreign skies ;
And far from those that loved him best,
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—From his MOTHER, FATHER, BROTHERS & SISTERS.

POWELL.—In ever-loving memory of our dear boy, Corpl HORACE POWELL, aged 20, who was killed at Loos, September 25, 1915.
“ Lost to sight, but to memory ever dear.”
— From all who loved him.

SNUTCH.—In loving memory of Rifleman H. SNUTCH, who was killed in action at Loos on September 25, 1915.—“ He gave himself for a wounded comrade.”
—From his MOTHER, FATHER & BROTHER.

STONE.—In memory of my dear husband, SIDNEY GEORGE STONE, who died of wounds received in action, September 28, 1915.—Not forgotten by his loving WIFE.

17th Jul 1915. More Reports from the Front

INTERESTING LETTER FROM A RUGBY TERRITORIAL.

Mr W F Wood, Market Place, last week received a very interesting letter from Pte W H Evans, “C” Company (formerly “E” Company), 1/7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment (son of Mr W Evans, tailor), from which we make the following extracts :—

I must write in sympathy with you in the loss of your stepson. But it must be a consolation to you knowing that he died doing his duty, the death of a true Englishman. He has set an example for all Rugby fellows to follow, more so the fellows out here who belonged to the Brigade and knew him so well. . . . We are now out of the trenches and have marched for four nights, so, of course, are a good way back from the firing line, and it is a real treat to be out of the sound of gun and rifle fire. We are now billeted in a village where the Germans have not been ; so everything is standing and the natives are living their simple life. So you see we are faring well. I often think of the times I had while in your Brigade, and one thing often comes across my mind. That is, while at Conway one year we had to sleep eight in a tent, and we grumbled. You had us in front of you, and talked to us, and said that perhaps some day we should be glad to sleep twelve in a tent. Your words have come true, for we have slept in some “rum places” since we have been out here—cow sheds where the cows have been a few hours before, loft with rats for company, and lots of funny places, but we must not grumble, for it has got to be done, and the sooner this lot is over the better.-The writer then refers in sympathetic terms to the death of Corpl Johnson, which we recorded at the time, and says that he often used to talk with him at the front of the old days with the Brigade. He adds : “ It was a blow to me, for he was my best chum.”—In conclusion, he expresses the hope that the Brigade is up to strength, and wishes it the best of success.

Both Pte Evans and Corpl Johnson were old members together of the Boys’ Brigade, the former being the bass drummer and the latter a side drummer. They both won the Recruits’ Cup for shooting the first year they were in the Territorials.

AN “OPEN LETTER” TO THE CITIZENS OF RUGBY.

FROM MEMBERS OF THE 1ST BORDER REGIMENT.

SIR,-We have read with interest the “ open letter ” published in the Advertiser of last month, and we are sure that the feelings expressed therein are reciprocated by the whole of the 87th Brigade, especially the Border Regiment. It will interest the good people of Rugby to know that those of their late guests who remain of the 87th Brigade are faring pretty well, under the circumstances, thanks to the rotten marksmanship of the Turkish artillery, the shells of which the boys have christened “ Wandering Willies ” and “ Algys.” With regards to the “ Wandering Willies,” they got their name on account of the wandering habits of the gun they are fired from, which after every shot wanders across the peninsula to another position. As regards the “ Algys,” their christening is due to the fact that they are too gentle to hurt. We are of opinion that the gun which fires the “ Algys” is manned by a blind gun crew !

The boys would like to know if there are any vacancies in the B.T.H harriers, as we can recommend the Turks as very good runners—when they see us fixing our bayonets.

The majority of our Brigade have been wounded, but have left the various hospitals and gone back to the peninsula. You will have learnt that our list of killed is rather heavy, but we have the consolation of knowing that the Turkish list is far heavier than ours.

Wishing every prosperity to the citizens of the town that so hospitably entertained us, we conclude with best wishes to all our late landladies from the boys of the 1st Border Regiment.—Sir, believe us to be, Yours, etc,

9973 Pte William E Groom,
8213 Pte W A Little.
9794 Pte S George.
8387 Pte G Weller.
5701 Pte T Grunder.

“DEAR OLD RUGBY.”

APPRECIATION FROM SERGT MILLS, OF INNISKILLING FUSILIERS.

Sergt E A Mills, 1st Batt Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, writing from Graylingwell War Hospital, Chichester, Sussex, states :—“ After the delightful time we spent in dear old Rugby, we have undergone some trying experiences, which you have read about in Sir Ian Hamilton’s dispatch, and I am sure the people of Rugby feel proud to know of the splendid exploits of the soldiers of the 87th Brigade, who formed a part of the renowned 29th Division. During all those trying experiences all you could hear was ” Roll on, Rugby,” but alas ! many of those splendid fellows will never see that picturesque town again, but those of us who are left will have the consolation of knowing that the people of Rugby will always have our fallen comrades in their minds. I consider myself very fortunate in arriving back in dear old England again, although a Turkish sniper only missed my “Cupid’s dartboard” by half-an-inch, and I am hoping to pay a visit to your town before I go out again to do a little more for King and country and the world’s peace. I must take this opportunity of thanking those ladies who inserted that splendid letter to the soldiers, which I happened to read in your paper, which I receive from my respected friends in Oxford Street. I must conclude now, by wishing every success to all the residents of “Dear old Rugby.”—I remain, respectfully yours, SERGT. MILLS, of the “ Skins.”

 

HILLMORTON SOLDIER’S NARROW ESCAPE.

VALISE BLOWN AWAY.

Machine-Gunner R S Bartlett, of the 5th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, son of Mrs T Smith, of School Street, Hillmorton, has sent home a souvenir of the war, his valise, or what remains of it, for whilst entering the trenches, it was blown off his back by the explosion of a shell, which killed four comrades and wounded two others badly. Gunner Bartlett must have had a very narrow escape, judging by the torn and threadbare appearance of the remnants of the “ rucksack,” as he calls it, which we have had an opportunity of inspecting. It seems almost incredible, from the appearance of the valise, that the wearer should have escaped, yet in letter to his mother, he is able to record that he got off “ without a scratch.” It is not surprising that he adds, “It gave me a ‘oncer’ at the time, and I thought my back had gone.” Home cured ham was in the valise, “ but better that than me,” observes the soldier, “ and I am still in the pink.”

In a letter to a brother, Pte Bartlett gives additional particulars. He says:-“ When we were coming to the trenches on Saturday night they sent a tidy lot of ‘souvenirs,’ I can tell you, and blew my large coat, canteen of sugar and tea, some home-cured ham, cake, and all the sweets ; two bars of carbolic soap and writing-case, water-proof sheet and two sandbags, also a loaf ; and it left just the back of the rucksack on. I went to look for some of it after, but all I could find was an envelope on the parapet. I wondered what hit me for a minute, and I thought my back had gone. Toby Bates got his rucksack cut a bit in front of me. I asked him how he was and he said “ all right.” We started to laugh till we turned to look at the back of us and that did it. We had to pull Ayres out. . . . Billy Chamberlain got wounded coming up, and he was reported missing. . . . It’s the worse “ do ” we have had, but most of us are none the worse for it, and the other poor chaps have done their duty.”

LOCAL CASUALTIES OF THE WAR.

WELL-KNOWN RUGBY ATHLETE KILLED.

Members of the Rugby Hockey and Cricket Clubs in particular, and the residents of the town in general, will hear with regret that Second Lieut H G Rogers, of the 9th Somerset Light Infantry, has been killed at the Dardanelles. Second-Lieut Rogers, who received his commission in September last, had resided at Rugby for four or five years before the outbreak of the war, and was formerly employed on the staff of the B.T.H and latterly with Mr Ivan B Hart-Davies. He was a fine all-round athlete and especially excelled in hockey. He was a prominent member of the Rugby Club, and had also played for Warwickshire and the Midland Counties, and narrowly missed securing his inter-national cap. Second-Lieut Rogers was also an excellent cricketer, and did useful service for the premier local eleven. Of a most genial disposition, he was very popular with all with whom he came in contact, and his early death will be mourned by a large circle of friends. He was about 24 years of age.

Writing to a friend in Rugby from the Dardanelles, under date of June 21st, the late Second-Lieut Rogers said :—“ I landed a month ago and was attached to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers—a topping crowd, who did awfully well in the landing. Well, from the first we have not been out of shell-fire ; even landing they shell the beach, and it is perfectly beastly. Leman von Sanders must be told to stop it. Three other Somerset men came out with me, and, thank God, we are all here still, although we have lost since we landed about eight officers and 300 men—quite enough ! Still things are very merry and bright. We have only had two real scraps—one on the 4th, when we had to attack up a nullah, which was not pleasant, and then on top a couple of days in some perfectly rotten trenches, which held all right. Then lately we had five days in the trenches. I had a perfectly lovely bit, jetting out at right angles to our main line and with the Turks only about forty yards away on two flanks. The trench had only just been taken from the Turks, and was in an awful state, dead all along the bottom less than an inch down, and built into the sides all over the place. Well, we had a beastly time for three days and nights. I averaged three hours’ sleep per 24 hours, and then not consecutive hour’s all five days. Then, on the night of the third day, at 8.30 p.m, they attacked us in force on both sides, throwing any number of hand-bombs (awful things), and eventually, about 5.30 a.m, they got half the sap, but we drove them out again by 6.30, and still hold the trench. A wounded man, who gave himself up, said that 500 men had come up specially for the attack, and only three got back. I was ‘severely’ wounded. I was sitting on the parapet firing my revolver at the brutes ten yards away, when one of their bullets just took the skin off my first finger. I tell you I did not stay sitting there long ; it was lucky. We are just at the end of our rest and expect to go up to-night, so will have an exciting time again.”

SERGT. MARTIN, OF BILTON, REPORTED KILLED.

Sad news has been received by Mr and Mrs Martin, of 4 Addison Terrace, Bilton, concerning their son, Sergt D C Martin, of the 7th King’s Royal Rifles. The official communication is to the effect that he has been wounded in action, but the officers’ letters carry the tidings beyond this, and there seems no doubt from what is learnt from this and other sources, that the unfortunate soldier has been killed. Sergt Martin joined the forces on the outbreak of the war, and received quick promotion. At the time he enlisted he was employed at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s, and previously he worked for a number of years at the Rugby engine-sheds; first as a cleaner and subsequently as a fireman. He was popular and much liked amongst his associates, and being fond of football he assisted both the Village Club and the Elborow Old Boys. Amongst the latter he had several intimate friends, and joined the army with them. For a number of years Sergt Martin belonged to the Rugby Infantry Co, so he was not unfamiliar with military matters when he enlisted in the King’s Royal Rifles.

Major Geoffrey St Aubyn, in a letter to the parents, says: “I regret to inform you that Sergt Martin was killed in action on 1st of July, 1915. Please accept my sincerest sympathy in your great loss. Your son promised to be a really good soldier. He had been in my Company since he joined the army, and his promotion was very quick because I thought so well of him. Please allow me to convey to you the sympathy of his comrades in the Company, both officers and men.”

Another letter which was much appreciated by the parents, has been received from Lieut G H Gibson. It is dated July 10th, and it as follows : “ Dear Mr Martin,—Just a line to tell you as best I can, how sad and sorry I am to lose your son. He died a soldier’s death, and I should like you to know how highly we all thought of him. I knew him very well, and I feel a sense of great personal loss. You have my very deep sympathy. May God give you strength to help you through. We have one consolation, that he died doing his duty. Would that he could have been spared, but God willed otherwise.—With my sincere sympathy, Believe me, Yours sincerely, G H Gibson, Lieut.”

BILTON MAN KILLED IN ACTION.

Mr and Mrs Maddocks, of Bilton, have received news that their son, Pte Cyrus Underwood (aged 22), who enlisted in the 1st Royal Warwicks on December 4th, was killed in action on July 9th.

In a letter conveying the sad news to Mrs Maddocks, a chum of the late Pte Underwood says:—“ I can assure you he died without any pain, as he was shot through the forehead by a sniper. He lived about half-an-hour after, but never regained consciousness. You have my deepest sympathy. I have already missed him very much, not only me but a good many more in our company, as I don’t think he was disliked by anyone. He was killed in the early hours of Friday morning, July 9th, I was with him in a dug-out all day on Thursday, and we had some fun together. I can hardly realize his old cheery face has left us for ever.”

Lce-Corpl J Dark confirms the regrettable news, and says deceased was a bomb thrower, and it was while throwing bombs at the Germans that he was killed. He adds: “ Your son was respected by all his comrades and we deeply mourn the loss of him.”

For several years Pte Underwood was employed at Bilton Grange as a footman.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

J H Watts and Arthur Massey, both of Long Lawford, and Bertie Howard, of Dunsmore Stud Farm, have enlisted in the 3/7th Batt Royal Warwickshire Regiment, which is in training at Wedgnock, near Warwick.

F C E Rendall, B.A. has been appointed to a second-lieutenant in the 13th Service Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He has been selected to attend a class of instruction at Fort Purbrook, Portsmouth, and Saturday, July 17th.

Leslie K Phillips, second son of Mr J Phillips, of St Aubyn, Hillmorton Road, Rugby, has received a commission as second-lieutenant in the Royal Marine Light Infantry (Portsmouth Division), stationed at Gosport. He was a pupil at “Oakfield” School, and is also an Old Rugbian. His elder brother, Eric S Phillips, is a second-lieutenant in the 8th Battalion of the Border Regiment.

Second-Lieutenant A K Bennett, son of Mr A Bennett, of Elmdon House, Rugby, who some months ago was detailed from the 9th Battalion Warwicks to the Divisional Cyclists Corps, sailed with his Division a fortnight ago to join the Mediterranean Force. In his letters home he refers to the splendid accommodation on the troopship, and the excellent health and spirits of all on board, notwithstanding the great heat they were experiencing during the voyage.

RUGBY SOLDIERS WOUNDED.

News has been received by Mrs C Batchelor, of 16 Pinder’s Lane, that her son, Pte A J Batchelor, who enlisted in the 5th Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry at the commencement of the war, was wounded in the hand on June 24th, and is now in the Cumberland Hospital at Carlisle, where he is doing well.

News has been received by Mrs W Sansome, of 5 Gas Street, that her son, Lance-Corpl Samuel George Barnett, of the 5th Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, was wounded in the back in France on June 16th. He has now been discharged from hospital and admitted to a convalescent home.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

The following have been accepted at the Rugby Drill Hall during the past week :—E Hartopp and F Coleman, Leicester Regiment ; A W Ades and J Harvey, Royal Sussex Regiment ; G Holloway and F S C Pickering, R.W.R ; F Rogers, Army Service Corps ; F Bull, Worcester Regiment ; E F Mack, East Kents.

It has been decided to accept for enlistment in the Infantry not only men who are fit for service in the Field, but also those who are fit for garrison service abroad, or for home service only.

In future no man will be rejected provided he is free from organic disease and is fit for duty in garrisons at home or abroad.

Men enlisted “ Fit for home service only,” although enlisted for general service, who are at the moment only fit for garrison service, will not be taken for service in the Field unless they become fit.

In future men will be enlisted as follows :-

(a) Service in the Field at home or abroad.

(b) Garrison service at home or abroad.

(c) Home service only.

F F JOHNSTONE, Lieut-Col,

July 14, 1915.             Recruiting Officer.