17th Jun 1916. The Postponed Bank Holiday


The suspension, by Royal Proclamation Whit-Monday as a Bank Holiday to avoid any interruption in the supply of munitions of war was patriotically observed by the public. The sacrifice of outdoor pleasure could not be regarded as serious, as the weather was cold and wet. In conformity with the wishes of the Government there were no holiday facilities on the railways. The weather on Sunday and Monday was characterised by cold winds and rain, which made fires in the house necessary and acceptable. The temperature was about 18 or 20 degrees below the proper level for the date. Such a Whit-Monday has not been experienced since 1891, when snow fell and the thermometer stood at 42 degrees at noon. But that was in May, nearly a month earlier in the season, so that allowing for the difference in time Monday was relatively colder, and it is not surprising that recourse was had to overcoats, furs, and fires—ten days from midsummer ! The bitter conditions affected all the eastern counties, the coast in particular being exceedingly cold, while the west and north were a little better.


News has been received by Mrs Watts, Benn Street, Rugby, that her husband, Sergt E Watts, of the 6th Oxon and Bucks L.I, has been wounded in France, and is now in hospital at Bradford.

Lieutenant the Hon Henry S Feilding has been transferred from K.E Horse Special Reserve to the Machine Gun Corps.

Lieut J A Maddocks, son of Mr Henry Maddocks, barrister-at-law, has been killed in action. He was in his twentieth year, and the oldest of six sons. He was educated at Oakfield, Rugby, and also at University College, London.

Miss Dora McLelland, who was trained at the Hospital of St Cross, Rugby—and is still on the staff—has been mentioned in the Birthday Honours for Nurses, first-class Royal Red Cross decoration. Miss McLelland is at present working in the Territorial Force Nursing Service.

R V Wilson (Old Laurentian), son of Mr J G Wilson, York Street, Rugby, has joined the H.A.C Infantry Division. The Old Laurentians have supplied a great many members to this distinguished Company.

The relatives of W H Brain have now received official news from the Admiralty, stating that he was drowned when his ship—the “ Indefatigable ” — was lost in the North Sea Battle.


Mr R H Myers, headmaster of St Matthew’s Boys’ School, has received the following interesting letter from an “ old boy,” P.O Telegraphist E W Penney:—

“ I thought you would like to know that I managed to come safely through our recent battle without a scratch, being luckier than I was at the ‘ Dogger Bank,’ though that was only a picnic compared with the Jutland Battle. As usual, we were in the thick of the fight, which is only natural, seeing that we fly the flag of Vice-Admiral Sir David Beatty and are flagship of the Battle Cruiser Fleet. It is a great pity we did not meet the enemy earlier in the day. Had we done so, I am certain there would have been annihilation for the High Seas Fleet ; but, of course, it is only a pleasure deferred. I can state with confidence that, although our losses were rather heavy, the German losses were much heavier in both material and men, but, unlike us, do not publish the whole of their losses, though we know them just the same. They were very brave at first, when they thought that our Battle Cruiser Squadron was alone, but immediately the Grand Fleet hove in sight they made of at full speed. It was a wretched day, the average visibility being only about 5,000 to 6,000 yards, so, aided by the darkness and mist, they escaped—but they had a good hammering first. All we ask now is to meet them a little further out, as this time they were on top of their own shores. I lost many friends in the ‘ Queen Mary ’ and other ships, but I have the satisfaction to know that they upheld the glorious traditions handed down to us by our ancestors.

“ I have had some rather unique experiences during the War. Some time ago I was fortunate to have a trip to Flanders with a party from the Grand Fleet. I spent four days in the first line trenches at ——,and afterwards we had a tour of the batteries, and spent some hours looking round Ypres, which is a sight never to be forgotten. Our trenches were pretty close to the Germans, so I was able to throw over a few souvenirs in the shape of bombs ; and, of course, the compliment was returned. I did not see any Rugby men out there, but I must say all the troops were very cheerful, and they wondered who we were, as we dressed in khaki, but kept our cap ribbons on.

“ All good wishes to the boys of the old school, past and present.”


News has been received that Rifleman A Pullen, of the Machine Gun Section, Rifle Brigade, has been killed in Francs during the taking of a German mine crater. Rifleman Pullen, who enlisted in September, 1914, and was drafted to the Front in July, 1915, was employed by Messrs Frost as a compositor before the War, and lodged at 117 Oxford Street. He is the eight employee of the firm to be killed in the War. A fellow-employee, Rifleman Negus, was killed at the same gun some time ago. Rifleman J Pyne (R.B), an employee of Messrs Frost & Son, is now in the London General Hospital suffering from a wound in the shoulder. He is making good progress.


PROMOTION.—Corpl C Hedgcock, son of Mrs Hedgcock, of Thurlaston, has been promoted to the rank of sergeant.


Mr J Pickering has received the sad news that his son, W J Pickering, had perished on H.M.S. Defence at the naval battle on May 31st. A memorial service was held in the Parish Church on Sunday afternoon and a very large congregation assembled. Special Psalms and hymns were sung by the choir, of which he was a member. The Rector (the Rev R M Bryant) delivered a most impressive and touching address.


ROLL OF HONOUR.—Mr and Mrs W Maskell have this week been notified that their son George was killed when in action in France on May 30.


A meeting to consider the question of the employment of women on the land was held at the Benn Buildings on Wednesday afternoon. There was a good attendance of ladies, over whom Dr A A David presided, supported by Miss Craig and Miss Day.

The Chairman said there were three difficulties before them in this matter of work upon farms. In the first place, he had found that a rather absurd difficulty had been encountered in the objection on the part of certain ladies to the work as degrading and beneath their dignity. He did not suppose there was anyone present who would sympathise with that opinion, but still there was the difficulty to be faced, although they could rise above it, and they must strive by precept, and more particularly by example, to oppose this absurd notion. The second difficulty was the farmer. The farmer had been abused a good deal lately, and they most not be offended with them if they did not display the enthusiasm some of them might be expected to show at the idea of having women to work for them. The third difficulty was that of organisation. It was obvious that if a number of people continued to get some big thing done, there must be a certain amount of machinery to give them the opportunity for combined effort. This had been solved by the network of organisations all over the country, and which in their county was represented by the Warwickshire War Agricultural Committee. Rugby was represented on that committee by a lady to whom the town owed a great debt of gratitude for the work she had already done, and to whom they would owe a greater debt before this task was over—Miss Whitelaw. A few weeks ago, when they decided at the School to allow boys to go out in squads to help the farmers as they did last year, he wrote to Miss Whitelaw, and pointed out that he was anxious not to get in the way of any organisation for similar employment of women, and the boys were quite willing to stand aside if necessary. Up to the present they had had more applications than they could possibly meet. They would try to arrange with some of the farmers to employ women, even if it came to the point of refusing to let the boys go to a village until the women were fully employed. Whatever they might do, he promised not to stand in the way of the employment of women labour. This call upon women was very clear and urgent, and he was very much impressed by hearing from the farmers of the fearful progress which the weeds were making. He hoped that as the result of that meeting some organisation would be brought nearer, if it was not finally decided upon. There was a considerable danger of a thing like that being taken up warmly at first, and then the people getting tired of it, but, he pointed out, that in this case the work must be kept up until the end of the harvest.

Miss Craig then addressed the gathering on the vital importance of the food supply to the nation. They had been depending too largely upon other countries for their food supply, and the farmers were now being asked to produce more, and not less, food. This was very difficult, owing to the large number of men who were being called to the colours. The land was the nation’s source of wealth, and if it failed to produce to its utmost capacity, it would mean a tremendous increase in the price of food to the well-to-do, and to the poor it would mean poverty and privation such as they had never experienced, and such as they could hardly comprehend. This was the opportunity for women to show their value to the nation. There was only one way for England to be beaten by the Germans. It was not the loss of men, because they had been told that they would fight to the last man ; it was not the loss of money, because they would fight to the last shilling ; but if their ships failed to bring in the supplies, and if the work of the farmers did not go on, if the food fell off, then indeed would their men at the front feel that they had done their bit in vain, and that alone would make them feel they could lay down their arms, having been unsuccessful.

Miss Day alluded to the fact that Lord Selborne, President of the Board of Agriculture, had asked for   400,000 women to help in the food production of the country, and there were several classes whom she thought might assist. First, there were the women who were receiving separation allowances ; they were costing the country about £30,000,000 a year ; she did not begrudge them their money, and she would be the last to suggest that the men should go away and leave their wives in want ; but if they were getting that from the nation it was their duty to do something for the nation, and she thought they could rightly demand their services (applause). They also wanted women from the towns to go out and live in the country and work on the farms regularly, not only at harvest time, but all through the year. If she could get 100 whole-time workers from Rugby she would be able to get them placed with farmers within about a week. They also desired women to undergo a course of training, either on the farms or in colleges for agricultural work, and also to obtain gangs of cyclist workers who could go out one day in each week and work for a farmer under the care of a skilled forewoman. To make this a success, they would desire six ladies to make themselves responsible for a gang one day in each week. Referring to the difficulty mentioned by the Chairman, the fact that some women thought the work was degrading, Miss Day said this could be overcome by women of education coming forward and giving a lead. This would show that whatever work was to be undertaken, provided that it was done to the best their power, was work worth doing.

Several interesting questions were asked and answered and farmers requiring workers, and women desirous of helping, were referred to Miss Whitelaw.


A meeting of the Executive of the Rugby Prisoner of War Help Committee was held at the Rectory on Saturday. Mr Wm Flint, C.C, presided.

The Hon Secretary (Mr J Reginald Barker) reported that the receipts to date amounted to £472 10s 4d, the expenditure was £314 17s 1d, leaving a balance in hand of £158 2s 3d.

Mr Barker also stated that he had completed arrangements for despatching a 4lb loaf of “ Dujon ” bread to each prisoner every week. The prisoners of war spoke very highly of this broad, and letters received showed that it arrived in excellent condition. The cost of each loaf, including packing, was 1s.

In view of the fact that the committee were now looking after the welfare of 51 men from Rugby and the surrounding villages, and that the cost of the weekly parcels of food and the special parcels of bread was about £13 per week, the Executive Committee discussed various suggestions for raising funds to ensure a continuance of the weekly parcels.

Mrs Blagden, who is in charge of the parcels sub-committee, said the parcels contained food in accordance with the instructions received from London. The supplies included butter or margarine, sugar, tea, condensed milk, cafe au lait, jam or syrup, bacon or corned beef, shredded wheat or force, soup squares, sardines or herrings, and occasionally cigarettes or tobacco.

Other items were included from time to time, such as tooth-powder and brushes, shirts, socks and under-clothing, and at the special request of a prisoner of war boots were sent.


DEANE.—Killed in action on June 3rd Edmund Bonar (1st Canadian Division), eldest son of Rev. C. H. Deane, M. A., 46 Church Street, Rugby (formerly Vicar of Willoughby).

GOUGH.-James Clecton Gough, 11th Royal Warwickshire Regiment killed by a shell in France, June 2nd, aged 30 years.


GREER.—In loving memory of Pte. Robert Greer, 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who was killed in action at Gallipoli, June 18, 1915.—Dearly loved and mourned by all at 12 Argyle Street, Rugby.

HANCOX.—In loving memory of our dear and only son and brother, Charles Hancox, Stretton-on-Dunsmore, who died of wounds received in action June 20, 1915.

“ One year has passed, our hearts still sore,
Day by day we miss him more ;
His welcome smile, his dear, sweet face,
Never on earth can we replace.
We often sit and think of him,
And think of how he died ;
To think he could not say “ Good-bye ”
Before he closed his eyes.”
Deeply mourned by his loving MOTHER, FATHER and SISTERS.

HUGHES.—In loving memory of our son Jack, killed in France, 18th June, 1915.

“ 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.”
—From his loving MOTHER and FATHER.


10th Jun 1916. The Great Naval Battle



The Admiralty issued on Sunday night a detailed list of the casualties among the officers serving in the ship which took part in the great fight in the North Sea last week. All those on board the Indefatigable, the Defence, and the Black Prince were lost ; only four of the Queen Mary and two of the Invincible were saved. The list of killed numbers 333 and includes Rear-Admirals Hood and Arbuthnot, whose flags were carried on the Invincible and the Defence respectively. Many representatives of well-known families are to be found in the list, including the Earl of Denbigh’s second son, Lieut-Commander the Hon Hugh R C Feilding, and Sub-Lieut the Hon Algernon W Percy, only son of Lord Algernon Percy, of Guys Cliff, Warwick.

The first official notification of the battle, published in Saturday morning’s papers, caused a feeling of uneasiness throughout the country, especially when read in connection with the German claims of a great victory. But a further statement, issued by the Admiralty on Sunday night, disposed finally of the impudent German pretence. It was made plain that when, after a vigorous engagement between the leading ships of the two fleets, the main body of the British Fleet came up, the German High Seas Fleet turned tail, and ran for home. In this encounter they were severely punished. The pursuit was maintained until the light failed, and after nightfall British destroyers made a further successful attack on the enemy. Having driven the enemy into port, Sir John Jellicoe cruised about the main scene of action in search of disabled vessels until noon next day, when he returned to his bases, and by the evening of June 2nd his fleet was again ready to put to sea. While the enemy’s losses are not exactly determinable, it is certain that the accounts which they have given to the world are false, and that their losses are not only relatively but absolutely heavier than ours.

The enterprise towards the north on which the German ships set out, whatever may have been its immediate object, was a challenge to the British Fleet, Admiral Sir David Beatty (whom Rugby is proud to claim as an erstwhile townsman) deliberately took up the challenge, though he had at his command only a portion, and that not the strongest, of our forces to pit against the whole navy of Germany. With wonderful gallantry and tenacity he fought, and held the enemy until our Grand Fleet could join in the conflict. The German Fleet had their chance to consider conclusions with our main sea forces, and they declined it. Some of the splendid ships and brave men in whom the nation placed a proud trust kept that trust at the last cost, and the enemy slunk away to their ports, leaving at the bottom of the sea at least four of their largest ships. In short, the German Fleet is to-day as tightly bottled up as it was before.

Lieut-Commander the Hon Hugh Cecil Robert Feilding, his Majesty’s ship Defence (killed in the North Sea battle), was the second son of the Earl and Countess of Denbigh. He was torpedo officer of this ship for three and a-half years, and for the last few months had been first lieutenant. Born in December, 1886, he was educated at the Oratory School Edgbaston, and his Majesty’s ship Britannia, whence he passed as midshipman, and obtained the prize for the highest aggregate of marks. He served as midshipman on the Mediterranean and South African Stations in his Majesty’s ships Bacchante and Crescent respectively. He gained the coveted “ Six ones ” in his examinations for lieutenant, as well as the special promotion marks for “ meritorious examination,” which caused him later on to be antedated considerably, his rank as lieutenant dating from within a few days of his twentieth birthday. Commander Feilding was awarded the Beaufort testimonial and the Whartop testimonial with gold medal for highest marks in navigation and pilotage, and also the Ronald Megaw prize and sword for those obtaining highest marks in the examinations for lieutenant. He specialised for torpedo after serving at sea in his Majesty’s ship Queen, and also in his Majesty’s ship Cornwall, when she made an interesting cruise in the Baltic. After passing very high in the advanced course at Greenwich, he served for a time on the Vernon, and was then appointed to the Defence. Commander Feilding was an officer of brilliant abilities and high promise.

Lieut Feilding was very popular with the tenants of the Newnham Paddox Estate, although he did not take any active part in public life there. Before joining the Navy he frequently shot over the farms with much success.

The Earl and Countess of Denbigh will naturally feel deeply grieved by the loss of their gallant son, and sincere sympathy will be extended to them by all ; but they will, no doubt, find comfort and consolation in the fact that he gave his life fighting gloriously in a battle which one may expect will be recorded in history as one of the decisive battles of the world, and perhaps the greatest.

Sub-Lieutenant the Hon Algernon William Percy was the only son of Lord Algernon Malcolm Arthur Percy, of Guys Cliffe, Warwick, and Lady Victoria, eldest daughter of the fourth Earl of Mount Edgcombe, and grandson of the sixth Duke of Northumberland, Lieut Percy held a lieutenant’s commission in the 3rd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers for seven years. His joined the Royal Naval Reserve in 1914. He was a Magistrate and a member of the County Council for Warwickshire.

Among local men who perished in the battle were the following :-

Harry Cooper, son of Mr John Cooper, and grandson of Mr A Finch, both of 12 Queen Street, was serving as a boy on the Defence, and as no news has been received by them it is presumed that he has been drowned. He was only 17 years of age, and joined the Navy about twelve months ago, previous to which time he was employed at the International Stores. He was an Old Elborow boy.

Gunner W H Brain, nephew of Mrs B King, Old Bilton, and of Mr F Brain, formerly of Birdingbury, and now of Houston road, Brownsover. He was 17 years of age, and joined the Navy on Christmas Day, 1914. After being trained on the Powerful, he was drafted to the Indefatigable at the beginning of the present year.

Amongst those who went down with the Indefatigable was Chief Stoker Walter Wreford, brother of Mr W J Wreford, 18 Wood Street, Rugby. Although he was not a native of Rugby, Stoker Wreford spent most of his long leave in the town, and was well known to a circle of Rugbeians. He completed his 22 years’ service at Christmas, 1913, but volunteered for service in the following August, on the outbreak of War. He was one of the crew of the Camperdown when she collided with and sank the Victoria in the Mediterranean.


Amongst those lost on H.M.S Invincible was Chief First-Class Petty Officer Mechanician William Josiah Badger, of New Bilton. Mr Badger, who had been in the Royal Navy for thirteen years, and had made remarkably good progress in his profession, was a native of Princethorpe, but went to reside at New Bilton with his parents 17 or 18 years ago. He was 33 years of age and married. His brother, Mr H Badger, lives in Bridle Road, New Bilton.



The whole Empire was shocked on Tuesday at the news that Field-Marshal Lord Kitchener, Secretary of State for War, and one of the foremost military organisers in the world, had lost his life by drowning. On the invitation of the Czar, Lord Kitchener had undertaken a visit to Russia in order to discuss important military and financial questions, when the vessel on which he was travelling, the armoured cruiser Hampshire, was sunk west of the Orkneys, either by a mine or a torpedo. Four boats were seen to leave the sinking ship, but heavy seas were running, and up to Wednesday no news had been received of any survivors, only some bodies and a capsized boat having been found by the search parties which were sent out by sea and land.

Accompanying Lord Kitchener were Brig-Gen W Ellershaw and Mr H J O’Beirne, of the Foreign Office, Sir H F Donaldson, K.C.B, and Mr L S Robertson, of the Ministry of Munitions.

A summary of Admiral Jellicoe’s message conveying the fateful information to the Admiralty appeared in our mid-week edition on Tuesday afternoon, and the distressing news was received with the profoundest regret and dismay. People after eagerly scanning the telegram would ask whether it could possibly be true, and it was with difficulty they could bring themselves to believe that it was. The depressing effect caused in the first instance soon passed away, and gave place to the feeling that the work so well begun by Lord Kitchener would be carried on with still greater determination to a victorious issue.

In a message to the army, the King says :

Lord Kitchener will be mourned by the army as a great soldier who, under conditions of unexampled difficulty, rendered supreme and devoted service both to the Army and the State.

The Admiralty announces that 12 survivors from the crew of the Hampshire have been washed ashore on a raft. So far 75 bodies have been recovered, and there is believed to be a possibility that Lord Kitchener’s body may yet be found.


Mr Leslie Robertson, who with Sir Frederick Donaldson was representing the Ministry of Munitions on Lord Kitchener’s Staff, was for many years a Director of Willans & Robinson, Ltd., Rugby, and his death is severely felt by many of the Staff with whom he came in contact. He invariably took a warm interact in the Company’s affairs, and also in the welfare and happiness of those working in the Company’s service.


Walter Gurney, younger son of Mr and Mrs J Gurney, of 67 Cambridge Street, Rugby, was included in Lord Kitchener’s party, which was lost on H.M.S Hampshire. Mr Gurney, who was 26 years of age, and was a native of Catthorpe, was valet to Mr J O’Beirne, C.V.O, C.B, of the Foreign Office, in whose service he had been about five months, during which time he had visited Rome and Paris in connection with the Allies’ Conferences. The death of Mr Gurney, who had been four times rejected for the Army, is rendered the more sad as his parents heard a few weeks ago that his only brother, who had been missing for 13 months, must be presumed to have been killed in action.


Major Darnley has just arrived in Salonika, and has also been made second in command of his battalion.

Harry Hollowell, an Old Laurentain and youngest son of Mr H Hollowell, 11 Victoria Street, Rugby, has joined the Infantry Division of the H.A.C.

Second-Lieut Eric Pearman, younger son of Mr T Pearman, Manor House, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, has been gazetted lieutenant in the 16th Service Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

Surgeon Probationer J. C. Brown, third son of Mr J Brown of North Street, Rugby, was on the leader of the 12th Destroyer Flotilla, which was in action in the naval battle off Jutland from 6 p.m till 5 a.m on June 1st. This flotilla is credited with having sunk, among other vessels, a German Dreadnought.

Capt G H Neville, 1st Somerset Light Infantry (of Dunchurch), came to England on May 26th, and after being invested by the King at Buckingham Palace with the Military Cross for valour in the field returned to duty.

Captain the Rev V F Mason, former curate at St Marie’s, has just completed one year as Chaplain to the Forces. He has been in Belgium, Egypt, and France, and was recently on short leave in England.-Captain the Rev Frederick O’Connor, also formerly of St Marie’s, and at present Chaplain to the Forces, has been twice in Egypt, was the last chaplain to leave the Gallipoli Peninsula, and is now stationed at Salonika.


The many friends of Lieut H Duncan, of the Royal Flying Corps, will be gratified to hear that he has received the Military Cross at the hands of H.M the King. Lieut Duncan was formerly employed in the B.T.H Test Department, and was a prominent member of the Test Rugby XV.


DRIVER TOM WARD, of the Royal Engineers, has been sent home suffering badly from shell shock and neurasthenia, and is now in hospital for special treatment. He was a reserve man, and was amongst the first troops to go out to France at the beginning of the war in August, 1914. He has been at the front a year and eight months, and fought in numerous battles, in which he has had many narrow escapes. He was in the retreat from Mons, the battles of the Aisne, and seven other places, as well as the first, second, and third engagements at Ypres, and it was in the latter he was finally compelled to give way from shell shock.


HOME ON FURLOUGH.—First Class Stoker Fred Jones has been home on a three weeks’ furlough. His visit was a great surprise to his wife. He has served over 13 years in the service, and has been on a torpedo boat since the outbreak of the war. He had not been home for three years, and had some thrilling stories to tell of life at sea, and also of a narrow escape he had after being washed overboard, when he managed to cling to the sides of the boat.

MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL.—Several cases from the B.T.H. Rugby, came before the Coventry Munitions Tribunal at Coventry on Friday last week.—Alonza Fothergill, 17 Newland Street, New Bilton, was charged with neglecting his work. It was proved that he was refused admittance to the works because he was intoxicated and a fine of £3 was imposed.—Charges of neglecting their work were also preferred against William Hayes painter, of Grosvenor Road, and W Ashton, foundry hand, Cambridge Street, and fines of £1 were inflicted in each case.


Since last July, by the generosity of the public, the Post Office has maintained an average supply of about 1,000 bags, containing books and magazines, per week ; but the numbers have recently fallen to about 800 per week, though our Army has greatly increased.

The people of Rugby have done well up to the present. Until about the end of last November only about three sacks a week were being sent. A special appeal was made in the columns of the Advertiser early in December, which resulted in a despatch of 18 or 20 sacks weekly. For months the size of the weekly despatches was fairly well maintained at that level ; but there has recently been a great falling off, not only from this office, but from the country generally—so much so that a special general appeal is being made to every single person to assist, if only by the giving as often as possible of a magazine or illustrated weekly paper, for which he or she has no further use.

The books and magazines should be merely handed in over the counter at any post office, unwrapped and unaddressed. They will be forwarded to the depot in London in due course in separate receptacles.


JONES.—In loving Memory of Private Arthur Jones, 10822, 6th Leicestershire Regiment. Died June 6, 1915.
“ He is gone from this world
To the home of the blest,
Released from all sorrow and freed from all pain,
Triumphant for ever with Jesus to reign.”
-From his loving Wife and Daughter.

Goddard, Cephas. Died 1st Jun 1916.

Cephas Goddard was born in Rugby in 1886. His parents were Cephas William Goddard and Ellen (nee Chapman) who married in 1869 in Kent. Cephas William had been born in Brighton, Sussex and might have been in the army. Around 1875 they had moved to Rugby where Cephas William was employed as a Teacher of Gymnastics, presumably at Rugby School. The family lived in Dunchurch Road, number 9 in 1881, 34 in 1891 and 18 in 1901. Cephus William and Ellen had a total of eleven children.

In 1908 Cephus Goddard joined the Royal Navy, he was aged 22 and working as a fitter and turner. He was 5ft 8in tall with dark brown hair and blue eyes. After several months training at Portsmouth he joined HMS Philomel as Engine Room Artificer 4th Class. Philomel was a cruiser serving with the East Indies Station, running patrols from Aden in the Persian Gulf. Cephas returned to Portsmouth and was perhaps discharged. In late 1912 he married Jessie Ford in Rugby.

On 1st January 1914 Cephas was serving on HMS Hecla, a torpedo boat carrier/depot ship. He was promoted to ERA second class in May 1915 and on 13th November 1915 he joined HMS Fortune. Fortune was an Acasta-class destroyer and had joined the 4th Destroyer Flotilla on the outbreak of war.


During the evening of 31st May 1916 the flotilla was screening the rear of the Grand Fleet in the Battle of Jutland. At 11.20 they encountered unknown ships. Believing them to be British the flotilla leader Tipperary flashed a challenge. Six opposing ships turned on their floodlights and opened up with their secondary armament. Most aimed for Tipperary which was soon ablaze. The destroyers began to return fire and launched a torpedo attack, which led to a collision among the Germans.

During this first attack, Fortune and Ardent were separated from the rest of the flotilla. They began to look for the German ships which had disengaged after battering their way though the 4th Flotilla. About 11:30pm they eventually found four large ships and engaged them. Both Ardent and Fortune were sunk in the ensuing firefight. The last anyone saw of Fortune was the ship afire but still firing as the destroyer was sinking.

Cephas Goddard, Engine Room Artificer 2nd Class, M/728 is remembered on the Portsmouth Naval Memorial and the Lawrence Sheriff School Plaque.



Cooper, Harry. Died 31st May 1916

Harry Cooper was born on 30th January 1899 and baptised at St Paul’s Church, Foleshill on 20th December, later the same year. His parents John Cooper and Sarah Ann Finch had been married at the same church on 28 August 1898. John was a carpenter and Sarah the daughter of a railway guard.

Harry Cooper – photo by permission of Rugby Library.

By 1891 the family had moved to Rugby, living at 14 Riley’s Court, Dunchurch Road. John was a carpenter & joiner and by 1911 the family, Harry now had two brothers and two sisters, lived at 8 King Street.

On 15th October 1915 Harry Cooper was sixteen years of age and a grocer’s boy when he joined the Royal Navy as a Boy 2nd class. He was 5ft 6¾in tall with auburn hair and blue eyes. After training at Portsmouth, he joined HMS Defence on 25th January 1916.

HMS Defence, stern view

HMS Defence, stern view

HMS Defence was a Minotaur-class armoured cruiser built in 1907, the last armoured cruiser built for the Royal navy. She spent the first part pf the war in the South Atlantic and in the Mediterranean, blockading German ships in the Dardenelles.

During the Battle of Jutland on 31st May 1916, she was the flagship of Rear-Admiral Sir Robert Arbuthnot, leading the First Cruiser Squadron.

Near the start of the battle soon after 18.00, after confusion and several near misses during the deployment of the British Fleet, Arbuthnot was attracted by the drifting hull of the crippled Wiesbaden. With Warrior, Defence closed in for the kill, only to blunder right into the gun sights of Hipper’s and Scheer’s oncoming capital ships. Defence was deluged by heavy-calibre gunfire from many German battleships, which detonated her magazines in a spectacular explosion viewed by most of the deploying Grand Fleet; she sank with all hands (903 officers and men).

Harry Cooper, Boy 1st Class, J/42183, is remembered on the Chatham Naval Memorial. He is also listed on the Rugby, St Phillip’s Church Memorial





Sources: Parish Registers, Census, Royal Navy Registers of Seamen’s Services, 1853-1928 on Ancestry.co.uk
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Jutland