Sear, Arthur Henry. Died 10th Mar 1917

Arthur Henry Sear was born in Frankton in 1880 and was baptised there on 15th February. His father Levi George (known as George) Sear was a coachman born in Berkshire or Buckinghamshire. His mother was Ellen Pacey born in Norton Lindsey, Warwickshire. They married in Leamington on 18th August 1873.

Arthur had an elder brother Ernest Frederick Walter (born 1875) and a sister Gertrude Ellen (born 1876)

By 1891 the family were living at 30 Union Street, Rugby. George, aged 40 was listed as Ret(ired) and, in the disabilities column “Invalid”. He died in early 1892. By 1901 Arthur was living with his widowed mother and sister at 24 Round Street. He was aged 21 and a domestic gardener. Gertrude married in 1906, and by 1911 George was living alone with his mother at the same address. He was a jobbing gardener. Ellen Sear died in 1913.

Arthur Henry Sear joined the Royal Berkshire Regiment in February 1915 as a private, number 16879. The Rugby Advertiser of 27th Feb, reported that he was one of only four recruited that week. The total number from Rugby had passed 2,200.

He arrived in France on 23rd Jun 1915, shortly after the regiment had fought in the Battle of Festubert, with many casualties. He would have taken part in the Battle of Loos in autumn 1915. In 1916 came the Delville Wood and the Battle of the Ancre.

At the start of March 1917 the Royal Berkshires were camped at Poziers, moving to the front line on the 4th. They were relieved and some men were on fatigue duties at night. It was quiet, there was snow on the 7th and on the 9th preparations were made for a forthcoming attack.

War Diary of 1/R Berks Regt:

10/3/17 Front Line Nr IRLES

At 5.15. am the Batln attacked GREVILLERS TRENCH in conjunction with the 1st K.R.R.C. on the left. The trench was captured at once and a line of posts established in front, to facilitate the digging of a new assembly trench for a future attack. A Company were on the right and established a defensive flank. 100 prisoners (including 1 Officer) 3 Machine Guns and 2 Light Trench Morters were captured.

Casualties Lt BRAZIES killed, 2/lt LAYERS and 2/lt DENHAM wounded.

Other Ranks 10 killed, 83 wounded and 1 missing.

The enemy commenced shelling the captured line at about 12 noon and continued throughout the day, but made no effort to recapture the position.

Shelling continued the next day and the battalion was relieved that night and returned to billet in Albert about 4am on 12th March

Arthur Henry Sear was “killed in action” on 10th March 1917. He must have been one of the 10 other ranks killed. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial.

His sole legatee was his sister Gertrude who had married Albert John Mann.



Griffith, Llewellyn. Died 18th Sep 1916

Llewellyn Griffith was born in Hillmorton and baptised there on 21st Feb 1897. His parents were John and Sarah Ann (nee Wolfe) who married in Hillmorton Parish Church on 11th Dec 1873. Llewellyn was the youngest of nine children and his father was a railway labourer. Soon after his birth the family moved to 74 South Street, Rugby where John worked on the railway. By 1911 John was employed as a boiler cleaner. Llewellyn, aged 14 was an engine cleaner, like his elder brother Albert. Other members of the family worked for B.T.H including Llewellyn’s sixteen year old sister Lily.

Llewellyn Griffith must have joined the 7th Bn, King’s Royal Rifle Corps (No. R/1651) near the start of the war; perhaps he is the L Griffiths in the list of volunteers from the Locomotive Department of the L & N-W Railway at Rugby published in the Rugby Advertiser of 5th September 1914.

In another report published in October 1915, he writes to Mr Hodges, headmaster of Murray School:
“Rifleman L Griffith, 7th K.R.R Corps, has also written to Mr Hodges, and states that the Rugby boys remaining in the Battalion are quite well. He adds : I am glad to see that the Old Murray Boys have responded well to the call. The Old Boys have not disgraced the school’s name.”
(Rugby Advertiser, 16 October, 1915)

By September 1916 the 7th Bn, Kings Royal Rifle Corps had taken part in many actions, including the Battle of Hooge in 1915, the first division to be attacked with flamethrowers. Now they were at the Somme. At 11.45 pm on 14th September the Battalion “moved up to Delville Wood and took up its position in artillery formation in the front of the wood at 1am” At 6.20 they left their trenches and attacked ” ‘Tanks’

which were used for the first time came up on the Bn’s right flank … but were unable to take their objective owing to M. G. fire on both flanks.” There was confusion on returning to trenches “owing to some of the 42nd IB returning to our trenches and many of the 7th KRR going forward with the 42nd IB.” Heavy shelling continued all day and “they remained until the following evening being shelled the whole time.” At 7 pm they received orders to retire.

Casualties: 12 officers and the Medical officer, other ranks: Killed 21, Wounded 189, Missing 120. “Great Gallantry was shown by all ranks”

This is probably the action in which Rifleman Llewellyn Griffith was injured. He died of wounds on 18th September 1916 at the No 1 New Zealand Hospital and was buried at St Pierre Cemetery, Amiens.

In the Register of Soldiers’ Effects Llewellyn’s sole legatee is named as his sister Lily, perhaps because their father John Griffith had died in 1914. Lily Griffith married John Mawby in 1917. This perhaps led to the confusion in the CWGC record which names Rifleman L Griffith as the son of Mrs Manby, of 74 South Street, Rugby.

He is listed on the Rugby Steam Shed Plaque as well as Rugby Memorial Gates.



Abbott, Thomas Ernest. Died 11th Dec 1915

Thomas Ernest Abbott was born September Qtr 1889 in Rugby. The only surviving son of Elizabeth Ann Boor & Thomas Chapman Abbott. Married 9th June 1888 in St Matthews Church Rugby. Although originally from Woodford Northamptonshire.

In 1891 they were living at 86 Lawford Street, he was a Joiner Carpenter, Thomas Ernest was 1 year old. By 1901 they had moved to 37 Stephen Street, still a Joiner Carpenter, and Thomas Ernest was now 11 years old, and at school. 1911 shows them living at 43 Oliver Street, Thomas Ernest aged 21 years of age was working as Piuse Clerk in the engineering trade.

Thomas Ernest enlisted in the Army in Rugby on 3rd September 1914 age 25 years and 2 months, as a Rifleman in the 12th Bn Rifle Brigade. No S/1854. After training he was sent to France and sadly he died of his wounds, as stated on his service record by “61st Field Ambulance”, on 11th December 1915 aged 26 years and 5 months. He was most likely involved in The Battle of Loos which started on 25th September 1915 which is where the 61st Field Ambulance Corps were situated. His service life was short at just 1 year and 3 months.

Thomas was awarded 3 medals;- Victory Medal, British Medal and 15 Star. Qualifying date 21st July ’15. His medals have remained in the family after being handed to his father Thomas Chapman Abbot.

As reported on Ancestry on the name of Thomas Chapman Abbott;
His only son Thomas Ernest Abbott died 1915. His posthumous award from King George V was given to his only surviving brother, William C. Abbott, to pass on to his only son, Arthur Abbott as there were no other males left in the Abbott line. Arthur passed it on to his son Frederick C. Abbott who passed it on to his son Nicholas C. Abbott.

He is remembered with Honour on Y Farm Military Cemetery, Bois Grenier, In the North of France also on the Rugby Memorial Gates.



Haines, Charles Lionel Richard. Died 10th Oct 1915

Charles Lionel Richard Haines was born on 9th September 1891 in Otterbourne, Hampshire. His father, Charles James, was an engineer at the waterworks there. Charles James had been born in Bermondsey, London and married Amelia Emma Adams on 14th July 1888 at Newington Parish Church. Charles Lionel Richard had a younger sister, Millicent Ethel Haines

By 1911 Charles Lionel Richard was living in Balderton, Nottinghamshire. He had been apprenticed to James Simpson and Co of Newark, a manufacturer of steam engines and pumps for waterworks. He was a student and then teacher at Newark School of Science and Art. He was a member of Newark Hockey Club and the Rowing Club there.

By the start of the war he was working in the drawing office at Willans and Robinson in Rugby and signed up at the start of September 1914, together with many other staff members and men from the company. He joined the Royal Engineers as a sergeant (No. 43159). He arrived in France on 10th July 1915 and took part in the Battle of Loos, where so many Rugby men lost their lives. He was hit by shrapnel and died in Netley Hospital two weeks later of pneumonia. He was buried in Putney Vale Cemetery.

Haines memorial, Putney Vale Cemetery

Haines memorial, Putney Vale Cemetery

By this time his parents had moved back to London and lived at “Rogate, 76 Worple Road, Wimbledon. Charles Lionel Richard Haines was aged 24.

As well as Rugby Memorial Gates, he is remembered on the Willans & Robinson plaques. In Newark he is listed on the Rowing Club Memorial, Newark Cemetery War Memorial and the Borough of Newark Roll of Honour at St Mary’s Church.



Russell, Percy Edgar. Died 3rd Oct 1915

Russell, Percy Edgar   – d. 3 October 1915

Percy Edgar Russell was born in later 1893 in Rugby. His parents were Thomas and Annie (née Whiteman) Russell. His father was born in Newnham, Northants, and his mother in Kilsby. They married in Rugby in early 1883.

Percy’s father worked on the railway, latterly at least for the London and North Western Railway. He was a farm servant by the time he was 15, but moved to Rugby before 1881, when he was a lodger at 21 Railway Terrace and a ‘Railway Labourer’, but he obviously had ability and ambition, as by 1891, he was a ‘Fireman on Railway’, married, and living at 17 Spring Street. He was promoted to be a ‘Railway Engine Driver’ before 1901 and by then had moved again to 80 Bath Street, Rugby. By 1911, they had had eleven children, although two had died, probably young, but nine were still living and the family had moved again to 106 Grosvenor Road, Rugby.

Percy Edgar was the fifth surviving child of the family, and had three older sisters and a brother: Elizabeth M, b.c.1884; Ada J, b.c.1886; Rufus Oscar b.c.1890 and Violet Mary b.c.1892; and then three younger sisters and a brother: Mabel May b.c.1895; Elsie Nora b.c.1897 and Ernest Edward b.c.1900; and Lilly ‘Doro’, b.c.1902.   All the children were born in Rugby.

Percy went to the Murray Road School, and later, in 1911, now 17, had become a ‘motor mechanic’.   It seems he then changed employment and before the war was ‘… employed as a turner at Messrs. Willans and Robinson’s.   He enlisted at the beginning of the war …’.[1]

Russell, Percy Edgar

Percy joined up into the RFA (Royal Field Artillery) as a Gunner, No.11026. The RFA was ‘… the most numerous arm of the artillery, the horse-drawn RFA was responsible for the medium calibre guns and howitzers deployed close to the front line and was reasonably mobile. It was organised into brigades’.[2]  Percy was in ‘D’ Battery of the 71st Brigade.

The 71st Brigade was formed as part of the Second New Army, K2, and originally comprised  Nos. 223, 224 and 225 Batteries RFA and the Brigade Ammunition Column. It was placed under command of the 15th (Scottish) Division and moved to France with it from 7 to 13 July 1915.[3] This agrees with Percy’s Medal Card which states that he went to France on 8 July 1915.

The brigade remained with 15th (Scottish) Division throughout the war. In February 1915 the three six-gun batteries were reorganised to become four four-gun batteries and were titled as A, B, C and D, the latter being Percy’s battery.

Their first significant engagement was at the Battle of Loos, by which date Percy had indeed ‘… been at the front several months …’.[4] His death was reported as being on four different dates: 3 August; 26 September; what may be considered to be the ‘official date, in the final CWGC records, 3 October 1915; however, his Medal Card gives the fourth alternative, 4 October 1915.

The newspaper report on 16 October,[5] which gave the earliest date, was probably in error, but the cause is probably correct in that he ‘… was killed by a shrapnel bullet from a German shell on Sunday August 3rd.’ 3 August 1915 was actually a Tuesday![6] The 26 September was a Sunday – as was 3 October 1915.

The next week, the paper published a photograph of Gunner Russell,[7] although his Medal Card also confirmed that he had been promoted to Bombardier.

It is assumed that he was killed during the artillery actions in support of the Battle of Loos – the battle being named after the small village of Loos-en-Gohelle near where he died (for further information see Rugby Remembers). The Commonwealth War Graves reported that he ‘… died of wounds, aged 22, on 3 October 1915’, and this later date seems quite likely, as he was buried behind the earlier German lines, to the east of Loos, which was not in British hands until after 25 September when the battle started.

Quite why he was so far forward, and almost in the front line, is uncertain. The artillery, which was in any case short of ammunition, was normally further to the rear, and indeed, the roads were choked and any advance would have been difficult. He may therefore have been active in a more dangerous role, assisting an Observation Officer in reporting the fall of shells, reporting back to the guns and sending them further instructions.

He was originally buried at Trench Map Ref: G.36.a.6.7., in or near Tosh Cemetery, which was probably near where he was killed. In 1915 this was behind the lines until after the initial stages of the battle. The 1918 trench map (see map) shows the area surrounded by trenches. Tosh Cemetery was on the north-east side of the village of Loos-en-Gohelle, close to a communication trench called Tosh Alley. By the end of the war it contained the graves of 171 soldiers from the United Kingdom (118 of whom were Irish) and five from Canada. It was used from October 1915 to September 1917 (Located at the red square on the trench map).

Percy was one of a group of 20 men (including three Royal Engineers and eleven men from the 8th Seaforth Highlanders[8] and five other unknown soldiers, one a Highlander) reported in the CWGC ‘Concentration Report’ as having been killed on 25 September, and, in Percy’s case, 26 September 1915, and who were buried by a ‘Flying Squadron’.

His grave was originally marked with a (presumably named) cross and his body was exhumed and moved to a larger ‘concentration’ cemetery after the war. The concentration document was dated 16 August 1919.

The larger ‘concentration’ cemetery was the Dud Corner Cemetery, near Loos-en-Gohelle, (Trench Map Ref: G.34.a.6.6.) (see the dark green square on map) where he was reburied in Grave Reference:V. K. 16..

Russell - graves and trench map

Loos-en-Gohelle is a village 5 kilometres north-west of Lens. Dud Corner Cemetery is located about 1 kilometre west of the village, to the north-east of the D943 the main Lens to Bethune road.

The name ‘Dud Corner’ is believed to be due to the large number of unexploded enemy shells found in the neighbourhood after the Armistice. The only burials here during hostilities were those of four Officers of the 9th Black Watch and one Private of the 8th Royal Dublin Fusiliers, close to Plot III, Row B; the remainder of the graves were brought in later from isolated positions near Loos and to the North, and from certain small cemeteries.[9]

Percy was awarded the British and Victory medals and the 1915 Star, and these would have been later sent to his mother who in 1915, was reported, quite possibly incorrectly, at 108 Grosvenor Road, Rugby.

As well as being remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates, he is also remembered on his family’s grave, ref: H183, in the Clifton Road Cemetery.




= = = =


This summary was prepared for the Rugby Family History Group by John P H Frearson in September 2015.   Thanks are due to other members of the Group for copying data in the local newspaper and to Christine Hancock for managing the project and producing the ‘Rugby Remembers’ blog.

[1]       Rugby Advertiser, 16 October 1915.

[2]       The Long Long Trail, The British artillery of 1914-1918; see:


[4]       Rugby Advertiser, 16 October 1915.

[5]       Rugby Advertiser, 16 October 1915.


[7]       Rugby Advertiser, 23 October 1915.

[8]       The 8th Seaforth Highlanders were in the first wave of 44th Brigade, at Loos; they suffered 502 casualties, of which 23 were officers.

[9]       Information from CWGC website at

Stone, Sidney George. Died 1st Oct 1915

Sidney George Stone was born in Margate, Kent in 1892. His parents were William Stone and Frances Louisa (nee Cork) who were married at St John’s Church, Margate on 14th October 1879. William was a labourer, in 1881 agricultural, by 1911 working for the council.

In 1909 Sidney George had moved to Newbold upon Avon. He lived with his brother William Henry Stone and his family at Canal House, Newbold. William was a quarry foreman at the Cement Works and Sidney worked for him as a signal man for quarry engine. While living in Newbold and Rugby he made many friends and played football with the Harborough and Easenhall team.

Sidney George Stone

By the time Sidney enlisted in the Worcestershire Regiment in September 1914, he was working in the BTH foundry. Early in 1914 he had married Amy Lee and they lived at 34 Sandown Road, Rugby. A son Sidney H. was born in April 1915 and his father saw him for only a few days before he was ordered to the front.

Sidney George Stone arrived in France on 1st June 1915 and died from wounds exactly four months later on 1st October 1915. His wife had not heard from him for five weeks and it was feared that something serious had happened to him. He was aged 23. He had two brothers also serving and his wife had four brother who had joined the army.

Private Sidney George Stone, 15063, 2nd Bn. Worcestershire Regiment was buried in the Bethune Town Cemetery. Bethune was an important hospital centre. It is not known how he received his injuries., but the 2nd Worcesters took many casualties in an action at Cité St Elie on 26th September 1915, part of the Battle of Loos.

He is remembered on the BTH War Memorial and the Newbold upon Avon War Memorial, as well as the Rugby Memorial Gates.



Phipps, Lionel Lush. Died 28th Sep 1915

Lionel Lush Phipps’ birth was registered in the second quarter of 1896, and he was baptised on 16 May 1896 at Hardingstone in Northamptonshire.

His father, Albert Edward Phipps was a solicitor, and his mother was variously recorded as Marie Quita; Mari Zuita (on Lionel’s baptism record); both Margarita and Mariquita (on her marriage transcriptions); and Mariquita (on Lionel’s CWGC record)!   Their marriage was registered in Portsea in Q2, 1890 and they lived in Hardingstone.

At the end of March 1901, aged 5, Lionel and his mother were staying with his aunts, Emma and Amy Lush, at the home of his grandfather, Joseph Lush at Ryde on the Isle of Wight.   Later, Lionel attended Repton School in Derbyshire, and was enumerated there, aged 15, in the 1911 census.

He would probably have been a member of the school cadet training force, and he joined the army ‘straight from school’. He was commissioned soon afterwards into the 7th Battalion of his local Northamptonshire Regiment as a

Temporary Second Lieutenant with effect from 22 September 1914.[1] His younger brother was in the same Regiment.

Lionel Lush Phipps portrait

After his death, a photograph appeared in the local paper.[2]

The 7th (Service) Battalion was formed at Northampton in September 1914 as part of K3 and came under command of the 73rd Brigade in the 24th Division.   They moved to the South Downs and into billets in Southwick between November 1914 and April 1915, and then on to Woking in June 1915.   On 2 September 1915 they landed at Boulogne.[3]

This agrees with Lionel’s Medal Card which recorded that he went to France on 2 September 1915.


There is fairly good information on their movements in the Diaries and reported on the Web.[4]

The 7th Battalion was part of 24th Division and had only just arrived in France when it was allocated as Reserve for the offensive at Loos on 25th September.

Already tired from the forced march, though only five men fell out, they were held back too far from the Front line (a decision that was instrumental in Sir John French losing his job) and did not arrive in the line until late on the 25th. Being relatively “unscathed” by the forced marches of the previous days, the 7th Northamptonshires were sent up to the battle before the rest of the division on the evening of the 25th rather than on the 26th like much of the rest of the division.

They were given no instructions at all on reaching the front line and instead they were just told to follow an officer of the 9th Division up to relieve one of the assaulting battalions. Led by ‘C’ Company the battalion crossed the battlefield in full kit negotiating seven trenches before they reached the battalion they were to relieve. They formed a defensive flank between the Hohenzollern Redoubt and Fosse 8 which they held overnight.   On the 26th they were then hit by a German counter-attack against ‘B’ Company trenches which were bombed, but the attack was repulsed. Lt. Morley of B Company would have been recommended for the VC that day, but both he and his senior officer, Colonel Parkin, who had intended to recommend him, were killed. On one occasion the battalion received instructions to retire and had withdrawn most of the way back to their lines before being sent back across 600 yards of ground to take up their positions back in the front line.

On Monday 27th September 1915, ‘C’ and ‘D’ Companies near Fosse 8 were attacked from the rear by Germans using bombs. Captain Mansfield collected a mixed force of men and counter-attacked to relieve ‘C’ Company. A further counter-attack to regain the village at Fosse was cancelled after several senior officers, including General Thesiger were killed by a shell whilst organising the attack.

The battalion held their positions for the rest of the day before being relieved on the evening of the 27th.

A more detailed account in the war diary noted:

27 September 1915: Auchy area: The men of 73rd Brigade holding the positions east of Fosse 8 are in an exhausted condition, having no food, water or sleep for 48 hours.

12.00 noon: Heavy enemy shelling of Fosse 8 and tracks to the North (Trois Cabarets) begins and continues all afternoon and evening.

Heavy enemy shelling of Fosse 8, tracks to the North (Trois Cabarets) and communication trenches leading up to the Hohenzollern Redoubt continues throughout the night.

2.30am: An attack against Fosse 8 by the 1/Royal Berkshires, detached from Carter’s Force, is halted 70 yards from their objective, after crossing half a moonlit mile under fire.

Dawn: German infantry attacks 21st Brigade in Stone Alley, adjacent to Vermelles-Hulluch road, but is beaten off by 2/Wiltshires. Shortly afterwards, an enemy attack in battalion strength hits 73rd Brigade in Fosse and Slag Alleys. (The men of this Brigade holding the positions east of Fosse 8 are in an exhausted condition, having had no food, water or sleep for 48 hours.)

7th Northamptonshires are forced back to cottages at Corons de Pekin, North of the Fosse 8 Dump [a slag heap from a coal mine]. The enemy places a heavy machine-gun on the slopes of the Dump, and brings the area between the Dump and the Hohenzollern Redoubt under fire.

Note: the heaps alongside them [the pits] are called Fosses. Most important areas included the dump at Fosse 8, in front of Auchy, and the Quarries in front of Hulluch.   Both positions were strongly fortified by the enemy, the one at Fosse 8 being called the Hohenzollern Redoubt.

Phipps - Loos - Fosse 8 - Trenches

Attack on Fosse: 28 September 1915: 9.30am: 85th Brigade of 28th Division, supported by 83rd Brigade, attacked at the Dump and Fosse 8. Many casualties were suffered by both sides in desperate fighting in the confined trenches around the Hohenzollern Redoubt. At around 4.00pm, 2nd Guards Brigade attacks Puits 14 bis, but after suffering very heavy casualties from machine-guns firing from in front of Bois Hugo they are ordered to halt.

There were heavy losses – Battalions at the time had some 650-750 men: the 7th Northamptonshires lost 377, of which 11 officers, including their Lt. Col. A. Parkin, in the attacks around Fosse 8.

For more information go to ‘Battle of Loos’ on Rugby Remembers or for a more detailed report on the Battle of Loos, go to:

Overall in the Battle of Loos, more than 61,000 British casualties were sustained: 50,000 in the main fighting area between Loos and Givenchy and the remainder in the subsidiary attacks. Of these, 7,766 men died.

A more specific mention of Lionel Phipps is given in a later history of the Battalion.[5]

The casualties had been heavy in numbers, but numbers alone do not represent the seriousness of the loss to the battalion.   … Captain V. D. Shortt, Lieutenant L. L. Phipps, both of whom had already been wounded earlier in the battle, were killed; … What the battalion owed to these officers cannot be expressed in words, but those who served under them or with them cannot hear the Battle of Loos mentioned without recalling their characters to memory with love and pride. … The casualties amounted to 402 all ranks, and included very many of the best of the battalion, and it was not long before rumour reached Northampton that the battalion had been ‘wiped out’, … the Battle of Loos in 1915 from its very newness to all ranks, was the severest trial that the 7th Northamptonshire Regiment was called on to face during four years’ constant fighting in France and Flanders.

Temporary Lieutenant Lionel Lush Phipps, was just one of the 402 who were wounded and died at and around Loos on 28 September 1915. He had been in France and Belgium for a mere four weeks.

He is buried at the Noeux-Les-Mines Communal Cemetery, in plot I. K. 12., and is remembered also on the Rugby Memorial Gates.

He was awarded the British and Victory Medals and the 1914-15 Star. His file is available at The National Archives at Reference: WO 339/14355.

In fact the date of Lionel’s death was never entirely clear. The memorial notice inserted in the local newspaper read ‘Phipps, killed in action in France, on 26th or 27th September … younger son …’.[6] A notice elsewhere in the same newspaper confirmed that he was ‘… educated at Repton and joined the 7th Northamptonshire regiment on leaving school.   He was a very popular young officer and an all-round sportsman. His father is a Captain in the National Reserve, and his brother Ronald was recently wounded in the foot whilst serving in France.’

Whilst Lionel is remembered in Rugby, as yet, no connection with the town has been found!

As noted above, his older brother, Lieutenant Roland H. Phipps, was also a Lieutenant in the Northamptonshires and had been wounded in the foot, a few months earlier.[7] He survived the war and died in 1964, aged 66.




[1]       The London Gazette, 22 September 1914, Issue:28910, Page:7488.

[2]       Northampton Mercury, Friday, 8 October 1915.



[5]       H. B. King, M.C., 7th (S.) Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment, 1914-1919, Gale & Polden, Ltd., 1919.

[6]       Northampton Mercury, Friday, 8 October 1915.

[7]       Northampton Mercury, Friday, 6 August 1915.

Bush, John Wheler. Died 28th Sep 1915

2nd  Lieutenant John Wheler Bush

John Wheler Bush was born in 1886 to Robert Francis Evans Bush and Grace Marianne Bush.  Baptised 29th October 1886 in St. Andrews Parish at Holy Trinity Church Rugby.  His father was a schoolmaster and the family, before John was born, consisted of his parents and his elder brothers Paul and Raymond and were living at 23, Hillmorton Road Rugby.  The following year, 1887, John’s father, Robert, died at the age of 32 years.  The family then were living in Goldington Avenue, Bedford in 1891 with Grace Bush given as living on her own means.  On the 1901 census the family is back in Rugby and resided at 17, Warwick Street, Rugby. John and Raymond were attending Rugby School and their elder brother Paul was an engineering Steam Electrical Pupil and their mother was on the staff of NSPCC.   They also have a servant, a cook, Elizabeth Davidson, with them.

John married Hester Francis Cobb in 21st November 1914 at Marylebone London.

He joined the Royal Scots Fusiliers and his wife was living, at the time of his death at 72 Redcliffe Square, Earls Court, London.

There appears to be no known grave for John and his date of death is given as between 25th and 28th September, 1915. His name is on the Loos Memorial , panel 47A.

Rugby Advertiser 16th October 1915

BUSH – Killed in action in Flanders, September 28th, 2nd Lieutenant John Wheler Bush, 2nd Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers aged 29.  Youngest son of the late Robert Francis Evans Bush of Rugby, and Mrs. Bush, a dearly loved husband of Hester Frances Bush.




Frankton, Walter Frederick. Died 27th Sep 1915

Walter Frederick Frankton

Service No.  21537

Private   3rd Battalion Grenadier Guards

Killed in action 27th September 1915

Walter Frederick Frankton was born in Rugby in 1876 to George and Elizabeth (Betsy) Frankton, living at 7, Little Elborow Street, Rugby and was baptised 34th April 1881 at St. Matthews Church Rugby.  He appears on the censuses for 1881, 1891, 1901 with his mother, father brother and sisters.  He was at school in 1891 and by 1901 he is a labourer.  He married Alice Maud Reynolds in 1904, and on the 1911 census they are living at 20 Lawford Road Rugby, with their two children Frederick, born 1906, and Maud born 1911.  Frederick, as he seems to be called by the family, rather than Walter, is working as a grocers carman for UDCR.  He was killed in action at Loos, his wife, Maud, and sisters, Sarah and Polly and once by his brother William, remembered him every year, in the memoriam column of the Rugby Advertiser.

“In loving memory of Private Frederick Frankton Grenadier Guards of Lawford Road killed 27th   at Loos.

“Could we have raised his head or heard his last farewell,

The grief would not have been so hard For those who loved him well

A light is from the household gone

A vacant place in our home which never shall be filled”

From loving wife, children and Mr. & Mrs Reynolds.”  Rugby Advertiser 7th October 1916


“In loving Memory of our dear brother Private Frederick Frankton who was killed in action 28th September 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 sisters Sarah and Polly and brother Will.” Rugby Advertiser 30th September 1916

He appears to have no known grave as his only memorial on panel 6 of the Loos Memorial.




Powell, Horace. Died 25th Sep 1915

Horace POWELL was born in Long Eaton, Derbyshire and his birth was registered in Shardlow at the end of 1895. His father, Henry, was born in about 1862, in Coventry and was a machine tool maker. His mother, Alice, was born two years later in Emscote, Warwick. The family appear to have moved around, indeed, Horace’s elder sister, Alice, was born in Germany in 1891, although his eldest sister was born in Coventry in 1885.

In 1901, Horace was only five years old, and the family were living in Coventry. By 1911, the family had moved to 106, Craven Road, Rugby and Horace, now 15, was working as a ‘turner in iron industry’ ‘engineering’.   It is assumed that he was already working at BTH, where he is known to have been working in the BTH Tool Room prior to enlisting.

He joined up as a rifleman, number Y/531, in the 9th Bn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps.

The 9th (Service) Battalion of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps was formed at Winchester in August 1914 as part of K1 and came under orders of 42nd Brigade in 14th (Light) Division. They moved to Aldershot, going on to Petworth in November and in February 1915 returned to Aldershot.

The 9th Bn. landed at Boulogne on 20 May 1915, although it seems that Horace did not arrive until slightly later, as his medal card showed that he arrived in France on 13 August 1915.

The Battalion had fought in the action at Hooge Crater, being in the first Division to be attacked by flamethrowers. ‘The loss of the Battalion in this short action was 17 officers and 333 other ranks. … The Battalion took no further part in any important fighting until the Battle of Loos on September 25th, where they again experienced very hard fighting, lost heavily, but won further credit for their gallant services.’[1]

On 25 September 1915, the 9th Bn. were in action in one of the main diversions for the Battle of Loos, the Second Attack on Bellevarde [see separate article in Rugby Remembers]. Bellevarde Farm was only about 500m north of Hooge. On this day, another eight Rugby men, from the 5th Battalion of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, were killed in action, with none having a known grave. The 9th Kings Royal Rifle Corps were in action to the left of the 5th Ox. and Bucks.

Before the date of his final action, Horace was promoted from Rifleman to acting Corporal, but was reported missing, presumed killed, on the first day of the attack on Bellevarde Farm, on 25 September 1915.

Horace was originally buried as an ‘unknown soldier’, probably near where he fell as the given Map Reference: 28.I.11.b.15.49. was near Railway Wood, some 500 yards north-west of Bellevarde Farm. His unnamed body was recovered after the war and he was identified by his ‘titles and boots, stmp. [stamped] 531’, and that part of his boot was ‘forwarded to base’.

 Powell - map-exhumation-railway

 Above: Map with 25 yard square I.11.b.15.45 (marked in green), locating the small cemetery. The site of Horace’s exhumation, 28.I.11.b.15.49, would be a few yards immediately north of the green square on the map, and thus probably part of that same small battlefield cemetery in the disused railway cutting.

The marked square on the trench map was the location of a small battlefield cemetery to the west of Railway Wood in the middle of the disused railway cutting – it is today the route of the N37 Zuiderring road from Ypres to Zonnebeke, near where it crosses Begijnenbosstraat.

Several soldiers were buried initially in this cemetery, including, notably, the alleged youngest casualty of WWI, the fourteen year old John Condon, who was killed on 24 May 1915, and who was reburied in Poelcapelle Cemetery, where his is the best known and most visited grave of any soldier who died in the Great War, although some researchers now suggests that Condon was actually 20 years old, and indeed it is argued that his body may have been misidentified and a completely different soldier, Patrick Fitzsimmons, who had the same number in another regiment, may well be buried there![2]

Horace Powell was also reburied in Poelcapelle British Cemetery, in Grave Reference: LIV. F. 7. This cemetery is located some ten miles north of Bellewaarde, and was built after the war, and many individual burials and the burials in several smaller cemeteries were concentrated into the Poelcapelle British Cemetery, which is located 10 Kms north-east of Ieper town centre on the Brugseweg (N313), a road connecting Ieper to Brugge in west-Vlaanderen.

Horace was awarded the British and Victory medals and the 1915 Star.