1st Jan 1916. Christmas at Rugby



As usual, Christmas was made very enjoyable for the girls of the Hamilton Home. On Christmas morning each child received a present from the House Committee and also from the Matron, Assistant Matron, Miss H Pryde, and the Matron of St Margaret’s, Nidd. Miss L Devon sent each child a sausage for breakfast, Mrs Blagden and the Rev W H Payne-Smith gave the pork for dinner ; Mrs S R Hart sent fruit and nuts ; Mrs Sporborg mince pies ; Mrs Colbeck cakes and sweets ; Miss Loverock, Christmas cake ; Mrs Hefford, cakes ; Mrs Blagden and Mrs Evers, crackers ; and Miss Winifred Mann, oranges, apples, and nuts. The Rector is also making a Christmas gift to the private chapel, and Miss Head has made a quantity of lace for the same purpose. Extra fare was provided at all the meals, and the evening was spent in dancing and music. On Monday the 14 girls were each allowed to invite a friend to tea, which was served in the committee room. Amongst those who attended were the Rector (Rev C M Blagden), Rev T F Simcox, Mrs Hart, Mrs Evers, Mrs Sporborg, and Mrs Hoare. After tea the Rector presented prizes to four girls—May Ison, Irene Chown, Annie Keyte, and Alice Kingston—in recognition of the progress they have made. The first three prizes were given by the committee and the other by Mrs James, who called in to see the children while they were at dinner. Nuts, fruit, and sweets were distributed amongst the children, who thoroughly enjoyed themselves with games and dancing till 9 o’clock. The Home was prettily decorated with evergreens and paper festoons by the Matron and Assistant Matron. Flowers and holly for decorating were kindly sent by Mrs Barnett, of Bilton Hall.


The juvenile inmates of the McClure and Townsend Homes, Charles Street, spent a very enjoyable Christmas. The Rev R S Mitchison (Chairman of the Board of Guardians) kindly sent turkeys for dinner and cakes and fruit for tea, which, it is needless to say, were thoroughly appreciated by the children, who were also regaled with other suitable fare. Mr J G Satchell sent gifts of money for purchasing presents for the children, and great excitement prevailed when the little ones, who were early astir, compared the presents which Santa Claus had placed in their stockings. Other gifts were received from the Rev C T Aston, books and chocolate ; Mrs Salter, oranges and books ; Mrs C P Evers, toys and scrap book ; Mrs Clement Dukes and Mrs Dewar, sweets ; Mrs Taylor, Clifton Road, cards ; Mrs Wise, toys ; Misses Townsend, Hillmorton Road, fruit ; Misses Townsend, Kings Newnham, preserved fruit ; and Miss Macaulay, a scrap book. Miss McClure visited the homes during the dinner hour and gave each child a penny, and Mr and the Misses Satchell paid visits during the afternoon.


Special fare was provided for the inmates of the Fellowship Belgian Refugee Home on Christmas Day, in addition to a Christmas tree, which was loaded with presents. Each child received handkerchiefs and toys from the tree, and small presents were also given to the adults. Two friends also sent slippers for each child. A plentiful supply of oranges and apples was also provided.


A real English Christmas was spent by the Belgian guests at Newton House and The Beeches, Clifton. Both houses were nicely decorated for the occasion, and a sumptuous tea was provided. Christmas trees, heavily laden with presents given by members of the committee and friends, were also provided, and each child received an acceptable gift. At The Beeches one of the boys made a speech in French of welcome and thanks to those present.


The convalescent soldiers at Te Hira spent a most enjoyable Christmas. At three o’clock the Rector (Rev C M Blagden) conducted a religious service in the hospital. A Christmas tree was arranged for the men, but owing to the limited accommodation at the hospital, Mr W N Wilson kindly placed the dining hall at his house at their disposal. The tree was hung with suitable and useful gifts, provided by the nurses and a few friends, and each soldier received several of these. Carols were sung, and the men were unanimous in their expression of gratitude for what was done for them, and all say they will never forget the pleasant Christmas they spent at Rugby.


As a result of the efforts of the Rugby Carol Party, which, under the direction of Mr George Hidden, sang carols in the town during the week preceding Christmas Day on behalf of the Blind Soldiers and Sailors’ Fund, a cheque for £32 16s 4d has been forwarded to the National Institute for the Blind. The ringing, which was very good, was much appreciated, and everywhere the singers were heartily welcomed. The choir, which consisted of 36 voices, was very enthusiastic, and sallied forth each evening in all weathers, but owing to lack of time it was impossible to visit every part of the town. The National Institute wishes to thank the choir and the public who supported them so generously and willingly, for the handsome donation.


The infants attending the Market Place Wesleyan Sunday School had a tea and Christmas party on Thursday. Games were indulged in, and the little folk had a happy time. Mr W Butcher and Mr T Holdom had most to do with the arrangements.


Christmas Day, 1915, will long be cherished in the memory of the patients who happened to be in the Hospital of St Cross. Although, owing to the war, the decorations were on a less elaborate scale than usual, no efforts were spared to make the festival a really happy one, and that the staff succeeded in their endeavours was proved by the smiling faces all around. The patients were awakened early in the morning, and, there was great excitement in the Children’s Ward while the mysterious contents of their stockings were brought to light. When this excitement had abated somewhat, the sisters and nurses, in conformity! with their usual custom, visited all the wards and sang carols, which were much appreciated. The ladies also visited the Nursing Home and sang to the patients there. Immediately after the dressings were over. Father Christmas appeared on the scene and handed round presents to the patients. An excellent breakfast was provided, but the meal of the day was the dinner, which consisted of turkey, plum pudding, jelly, custards, wines, etc. This was thoroughly, enjoyed by all, and proved to be one of the best Christmas dinners ever served in the Hospital. After dinner crackers and fruit were distributed. In the afternoon the Rev F W Worcester conducted a service in the chapel, which had been decorated by Miss Dukes and Miss Elsee. This was followed by a substantial and appetising tea, consisting of Christmas cake and other dainties, after which an adjournment was made to the Children’s Wing, where games were indulged in till bedtime.—On Monday afternoon the patients, with a few visitors, assembled in the hall for tea, after which a short entertainment was given in the Children’s Wing to all the patients. This consisted of a play, “ The Eviction,” and a duologue, “ The Geese and the Cherry Brandy.” The artistes were Miss Dukes, Mrs Morgan, and Mr Arthur Eckersley, assisted by Mr Morgan, and their efforts gave the greatest pleasure to the patients and the staff.


An effort, made by St Andrew’s Mission Church Council to provide Mr S J Swift, of 198 Oxford Street, Rugby (who is partially paralysed) with a self-propelling chair, has been remarkably successful. Quite a large number of people have taken a practical interest in the matter, with the result that, after defraying the cost-£35, including accessories-there was a balance of about £9 to hand to Mr Swift.

THE BROTHERHOOD.—Mr W H Clay presided over a good attendance at the Rugby Brotherhood on Sunday last. Mr J E Cox, J.P, was the speaker, and his subject was : “ A Brave Man.” Mr A R Woodhams sang “ Ave Maria ” (from “ Cavaleria Rusticana ”) and “ Nazareth,” and Mr Aincham, leader of the band, played a violin solo, “ Cavatina.” Three letters, thanking the Brotherhood for the gift of the Journal each month and the Christmas cards, were received from members in the trenches.

WHIST DRIVE AND DANCE.—On Wednesday evening in last week the annual whist drive and dance, in connection with the B.T.H. Winding Department, was held in the Church House, and a very pleasant time was spent. Messrs W Busby and F Brickwood were the M.C.’s for whist. During an interval a short programme was gone through by Miss L Eales, Mr C Mewis (humorous), and Mr O E Piercey (cornet solo). Dancing was afterwards indulged in to music supplied by Mr R Woodhams. The M.C.’s were Messrs W Busby, A Taylor, and J Twigger.

BOXING NIGHT DANCE.— Mr Flowers held his annual ball in the Co-Operative Hall on Monday evening, and, as on former occasions, this was very successful. Upwards of 200 were present, and dancing was kept up until 4 a.m. on Tuesday to excellent music supplied by Mr Flowers’ orchestra. Evergreens and Japanese lanterns were utilised for decorating the room, and the effect was very pretty, especially in the twilight waltzes. Refreshments were provided by the Co-operative Society. The company was unanimously of opinion that the dance was the best held during the present season, and Mr Flowers deserves congratulation upon the success of his efforts.

THE EMPIRE.—Mr Morris is providing an excellent holiday programme at the Empire this week. The principal attraction is the side-splitting comedy sketch, “ Helping a Pal,” which is presented by Johnny McElroy and his company. The sketch is abounding in humorous and ludicrous situations, and keeps the audience in peals of laughter for the whole twenty minutes. Irving and West make their first appearance here in an acrobatic and dancing act, and have created a very favourable impression. The return visit of Barlow and Brookes, comic baritone and tenor, is very popular, and their humorous interlude was much enjoyed. The pictures this week are of more than ordinary interest. During the first three nights the final numbers of “ The Black Box.” were shown, and a new serial, “ The Broken Coin ”—featuring Lucille Love and Francis Ford—which promises to be even more enthralling than its three predecessors, commenced.

GUESSING COMPETITION.—The weight of the bacon pig exhibited at Mr A Robotham’s shop was 22 score 16 lbs, and the guessing ranged from 5 scores to 26 cwt (probably intended for scores). The nearest guess was made by Mr W Lawson, 22 score 5lbs ; Mr H Groom came next with 22 score 4 lbs, and there were 7 guesses of 22 score. The pig at the Craven Road shop weighed 19 score 17 ¾ lbs. Mr J Hems hit the exact weight, and two others, Mr C Core and J Hilliard, put it at 19 score 19 lbs. The money received, amounting to £2 11s 1d, has been handed over to the Local Prisoners of War Fund.


For a fortnight before Christmas the staff at Rugby Post Office were busy, mainly with parcels sent from the district to soldiers at the front. These have been exceptionally numerous, special arrangements having to be made in some instances to bring them in from the country. On the whole, the pressure of work just about Christmas time was not so overwhelming as had been anticipated. Owing to the fact that the High Street office is now closed, there has, of course, been a good deal to do at the Central Office, and at times the energies of the staff were taxed to the utmost ; but all worked with a will and any obstacles were quickly overcome.

On Christmas Day about 900 parcels were delivered in Rugby, and there was an equal number distributed on Boxing Day. It was noticed that very little poultry was sent through the post this year, and there was also a marked falling off in Christmas cards compared with previous years. The usual staff, depleted by 50% owing to the war, was supplemented by temporary helpers to the number of from 35 to 40, of whom 15 were women. Mails from the villages kept good time, in spite of the heavy state of the roads. The new postal rates were not observed as they should have been by some people, and as a consequence a proportion of the correspondence had to be surcharged.

THE BANKS in Rugby will be closed to the public to-day (Saturday), in accordance with proclamation, to enable the depleted staffs to balance up the accounts for the year.


11th Dec 1915. Christmas Mail


The Postmaster-General has issued a notice regarding the posting of Christmas mail for the British Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders.

To secure delivery on or before Christmas Day letters must be posted not later than December 17th, and parcels not later than December 13th. Military exigencies render it necessary to limit the amount of parcel traffic for the troops during the Christmas season, and the public are enjoined to limit the use of the parcel post to articles of real utility. Fruit, perishable articles of all descriptions, bottles, pudding basins, and the like are prohibited, and will not be accepted for transmission. The maximum weight for a single parcel will be reduced to 7lb as from December 1st. All parcels must be completely and fully addressed, with the name and address of the sender on the outside, and securely and strongly packed in covers of canvas, linen, or other strong material.

Parcels not meeting these requirements are unlikely to reach their destination safely, and if observed in the course of post, will be returned to the senders.


Many thousands of Post Office servants have joined the colours, and many thousands are joining in response to the appeal which the Postmaster-General has just made.

It is difficult already (says an official statement) to maintain a prompt despatch and delivery of letters and other postal packets. It may become impossible to do so unless the public assist by posting letters or other packets as soon as they are ready for despatch, and by refraining from holding them over until every thing can be posted in one consignment just in time for collection and despatch by night mails. It would be of especial assistance if large batches of letters or circulars, or parcels or any other postal packets, could be handed in before midday, or, at all events, early in the afternoon, whenever possible.

Enquiries and purchases at post offices should be made early in the day. and the number of transactions should be reduced by purchasing stamps, postcards, and other stationery in large quantities at one time.


The result of the appeal for Christmas puddings for Rugby men serving with the colours has been very gratifying. No fewer than 436 puddings have been supplied, and those who have assisted in the scheme may be sure their kind thought and generosity will be appreciated.

In larger and smaller quantities the puddings have been sent to twenty-six detachments at home and abroad, and the list shows in what a variety of units Rugby men are known to be serving. Amongst the chief consignments were the following :—

1st Warwickshire Yeomanry. British Mediterranean Force, per Reg Sargt-Major J Tait, 20 men ; 1/5th Warwicks (Howitzer) Battery. British Expeditionary Force, per Batt Sergt-Major G Hopewell, 5 officers and 143 N.C.O’s and men ; Coventry Battery. 5 men ; Headquarters Staff. 4th South Midland (Howitzer) Brigade, British Expeditionary Force, per Sergt-Major Taylor, 11 N.C.O.’s and men ; Ammunition Column, 48th Division, per Sergt Morten, [?] N.C.O’s and men ; 2/4th Warwick (Howitzer) Battery, Essex per Sergt Deakin, 16 N.C.O’s and men ; Ammunition Column 2/4th South Midland (Howitzer) Battery, per Quartermaster-Sergt Bennison, 6 N.C.O’s and men ; 2/2nd South Midland F.A Brigade, Great Baddow, per Driver H J Cleaver, 4 men ; 1/7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, British Expeditionary Force, per Company Quartermaster Sergt Tomlinson, 11 men ; 2/7th Ditto,per Sergt-Major Cleaver, A Co. 10 N.C.O’s and men ; B Co, 3 men ; C Co. 30 N C.O’s and men ; D Co, 3 N.C.O’s ; 3/7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Coventry, per Sergt Smith, 11 N.C.O’s and men ; 81st Prov Battalion, Essex, per Company Quartermaster-Sergt Fawcett, 65 N.C O’s and men ; 3/4th Battery, Bristol, 150 men ; Recruiting Depot at Coventry, per Capt Thomas, 3 men ; and Rugby Fortress Co, Buxton, per Capt Kempson, 24 puddings.

Puddings have also been sent singly to other Rugby soldiers. The parcels have been so apportioned that each man will receive 1lb weight of pudding, and there are well over 700 Rugby soldiers to share in this seasonable gift.

We understand there is urgent need in the trenches for what are known as “ Tommy’s cookers.” These cost 3/6 each, and the committee are making an effort to raise funds to send out a number, in addition to other things that it is known will prove acceptable to those who have gone out from Rugby homes to fight our country’s battles.


The monthly meeting of the members was held at the Town Hall, Rugby, on Monday last, Mr J Reginald Barker (Chairman of the Chamber) presiding.

The Chairman stated that a deputation from the Chamber had waited upon the Postmaster of Rugby, with a view to postal facilities being given to the public, either by the reopening of the High Street Post Office, or the opening of another office in that district, and that the Postmaster intimated that, for reasons of economy, it was not possible for this to be done.

The Secretary (Mr H Lupton Reddish) read a letter received from the Postmaster, notifying the Chamber that, to enable the work of the Post Office to be carried on as efficiently as possible with a greatly depleted and constantly decreasing staff, and also in the interests of economy, it was proposed to abolish one of the present deliveries of letters in the town, and asking for an expression of opinion from the Chamber. The matter was fully discussed, and it was resolved to suggest to the Postmaster that the 7 a.m delivery remain as at present, that the 10.35 a.m delivery be abolished, and that the 5.0 p.m. delivery be accelerated so as to place at 4.0 p.m, which would catch most of the mails at present falling into the 5.0 p.m delivery.

The Secretary also read a copy of a letter received by the Clerk to the Rugby Higher Education Committee from the Director of Education at Warwick, suggesting, on the advice of the Home Office, the establishment of classes for the training of girls and women in commercial work. It was felt that in a town like Rugby this was not necessary, and a resolution was passed to that effect.

It was decided by the members to keep their shops open all day on the Wednesday before Christmas, and to close them on the night of the 24th inst. until the following Tuesday morning.

In view of the war, it was resolved that the annual dinner be not held.


Bombardier Gordon G Hadley, R.F.A, of Abbey Street, Rugby, has been invalided home from the Dardanelles suffering from dysentery.

In a recent football match played at Malta a Rugby team proved the victors. The whole of the team was drawn from former pupils of St Matthews and Murray Schools.


Pte Fred Wood, son of Mr W F Wood, hatter, of the Market Place, Rugby, and a member of the Rugby Volunteer Fire Brigade, has just been home for five days’ leave. He belongs to the South Midland Division Cycle Corps, and has been at the front since February. Campaigning with him has not been a “ bed of roses,” and he has had narrow escapes, but is fit and well, notwithstanding his hard experiences.


We cull the following extracts from an article entitled “ Us,” which appears in the current issue of “ The Mercury,” the official organ of the Training Ship Mercury, relating to an old Murrayian, son of Mr D Merrett, who gained a scholarship entitling him to training on the ship :-

Merrett (“ A ” 2)—One badge. “ Euge ” has been in charge of the dining-hall for many weeks. A big, strong, capable boy. Plays the cornet well. A very good swimmer. As the saying goes, he is “ worth his place ” in any side. He keeps goal for the first XI. A very good bugler. His head is screwed on right. He himself is fully aware, when he works or takes charge, what result he is aiming at. “ Euge,” will you, with your quiet manner, stick to it and make a fine working hand for England ? Takes responsibility well. He can box ; it all helps. He is tall ; his eyes are brown.

The same article also refers to McMeeken (“ C ” 1), another old Murrayian on the ship, of whom it says : “ He is slow, but can work well. Should arrange to keep quiet, steady, and never give advice. Swims well.”



Sergt Reed, of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, is still at the Dardanelles, and writes very interesting letters to his friends in the homeland.

Mrs Keen, of 2 Winfield Street, with whom he and Sergt Mudd were billeted early last year, got a letter the other day in which he speaks of the requisiton of a brass band. “ When sitting outside our dug-out, or going for a quiet stroll, one fancies he is sitting in the Park at dear old Rugby,” he says; and adds, “ It is perfectly safe at night, as the Turks never attempt to fire a shell after dark.”

Sergt Mudd is in the Beech Hospital, Holyhead, and is looking forward hopefully to Christmas leave, providing inflammation does not set in again, and, after visiting his home, he intends spending a day or two at Rugby, where he made so many friends amongst Temperance people. He has forwarded a letter received from Sergt Reed, from which we make the following extracts :-

The Turks made an attack two nights ago, but with the usual result. None ever reached our trenches, and very few reached their own again, three lines of dead men lying between the two firing lines the following morning. The system of working the reliefs is greatly improved. We do four days in the firing line, four in support or reserve, and then go back to our winter quarters for eight. . . . I am sure you would be quite surprised if you could just see this place now. To see them playing football in the afternoon, hardly two miles behind the firing line, one would almost forget we were in a hostile country, and all in full view of the hill. Our fellows beat the K.O.S.B’s one nothing, after playing extra time yesterday afternoon, in the Peninsula Cup. We have also got a band and a corps of drums, so there is plenty of music every night. I often wonder what the Turks must think when they hear the band playing every night, and the drums playing retreat. I am pleased to say the Good Templar Lodge is still going strong. I have had two sessions since coming back from the firing, and initiated four more members. Bro Stevenson . . . was telling me this morning that he has got another fifteen or sixteen candidates for initiation. so we are not doing too badly. “ Limber ” Lyons is back with us again, and is of great assistance to me in carrying out the Initiation Ceremony. A vote was taken some time ago in the Battalion as to whether we should have cocoa or rum, but unfortunately we lost. However I don’t intend “ giving them best ” yet.



The great recruiting boom which has set in all over the country during the past few days spread to Rugby, and the scenes witnessed daily at the Drill Hall in Park Road this week are reminiscent of the enthusiasm of the early days of the war, and affords proof that the eligible men of Rugby are determined that the town shall not lose the excellent reputation for recruits which it secured last year.

Throughout the week there has been a constant stream of men of all classes and ages anxious to enrol either for immediate service or under Lord Derby’s group system, and the officials have been working at high pressure from early morning till late at night.

The boom reached its height on Thursday, when the accommodation of the Drill Hall was taxed to the uttermost, and it was found necessary to attest a number of men without submitting them to medical examination, although all men, so far as possible, were so examined.

Valuable clerical help is being rendered by ladies, mainly school teachers ; and men who are ineligible for military service.

Despite the fact that members of the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee visited some of the rural centres and attested several hundred recruits, the crush was so great at Rugby on Thursday that men were being attested at midnight, and there was another rush early on Friday morning.

We understand that the single men are still hanging back, and that the majority of those who have been attested during the past few days are married.

To-day (Saturday) is the last day upon which recruits can be received for the Group System.


Mr Harry Yates a member of the Urban District Council, and Secretary of the Rugby Trades and Labour Council, has enlisted under the Group System.


Two sons of Mr J E Cox, of Long Lawford, “ J. P. and E E,” have this week enlisted under Lord Derby’s scheme. Two other sons enlisted in the Warwickshire Yeomanry at the commencement of the war, and have been at the Dardanelles for some time. Trooper F W Cox has been suffering from dysentery, but is now better, and is at Cyprus ; and his brother, Trooper G H Cox, is ill with jaundice at Lemnos. All Mr Cox’s sons of military age have now enlisted.


Coventry Munitions Tribunal sat on Friday afternoon last week at the Labour Exchange, Coventry, under the chairmanship of Professor F Tillyard. The assessors were Messrs T Nettleton (for the men) and H F L Hemmings, Rugby (for the employers), and also present were Messrs P E Wilks (clerk) and D G Bolland (assistant clerk).


The B.T.H., Rugby, brought complaints against two of their workmen for breach of the regulations by absenting themselves from work—the defendants being Francis Horner, Barby, near Rugby, and F W Chatland, 23 Spring Coventry.

“ When I got home,” said Homer, “ I found my brother home from the front for the time for twelve months.”

The Chairman : And you took two days of to have a festive time ?—Yes, sir, a day and a half.

The Chairman : The least you could have done was to let the firm know your intentions.

It was stated that defendant had an excellent record for timekeeping.—The Court found the defendant guilty, and adjourned the case, imposing no penalty.

Chatland stated that he was ill, but it was pointed out that he did not notify the firm. He was fined 10s.

Belgian Refugees.

As it was now a year since the Rugby Relief Committee undertook the care of Belgian refugees and appointed a sub-committee to deal with them, to the sub-committee it seemed well to give a short account of what had been done. Last autumn, No 17 Hillmorton Road, lent by Mr Kittermaster for six months rent free, was prepared by the sub-committee and many other helpers for a party of refugees. All the furniture was given or lent, sheets for the beds and towels being almost the only things which had to be bought. Twenty-eight refugees arrived there and were comfortably established at the end of October. At first they were entirely supported by the Relief [ Fund,*but after a time, when the men began to work, fresh arrangements were made, and for many months now all wage earners had been self-supporting. They were allowed to have the house at half rent by the landlord, and were keeping themselves without any help from the committee at all. Some time last summer there were disagreements among the different families, and two sets of relations were moved out into other lodgings* furniture being chosen for them from No 17 Hillmorton Road. These two groups had still to be helped, but they also were to a large extent self-sup-porting, two women and one man being in regular work. In October also the Old Girls’ Welcome Club was lent rent free for six months by Mr Hawksley and furnished by another section of the committee, and though there was more difficulty in finding suitable occupants, owing to a lull in the flow of refugees, finally a family was installed there, and were given weekly help for a time till they also were able to pay their way. Besides these two main sources of expenditure, the committee had helped two Belgian workmen by buying them compasses for their work, and they had bought tools for a Belgian boy. They had purchased clothes for several needy families, helped Belgian soldiers in various ways, paid fares back to London for working-men and their families, and had tried to help others by advice and visits. They were allowing 6s a week to a workman whose wages were insufficient to support his family in lodgings, and they were giving 2s a week towards the maintenance of a boy who was beginning on small pay at the B.T.H. There were several other homes for refugees in Rugby, but no account could be here given of their work, as they were not under the management of the Central Committee.

The balance-sheet submitted showed that the receipts were :—Donations, £380 11s 9d ; weekly receipts, £51 1s 9d ; refugees’ contribution to rent, £21 10s ; total, £453 3s 6d. The payments were weekly cash to No 17 Hillmorton Road, £171 13s 1d ; ditto to Newbold Road, £23 16s 3d ; rent of 17 Hillmorton Road, £25 ; Urban District Council rates, £3 13s ; poor rates, £3 13s ; coal account, £10 6s ; Marsh (tools), £1 14s 11d ; Over (compasses, etc), £2 14s 6d ; railway fares paid, £7 10s 1d ; allowances to Belgians, cost of lodgings, etc, £35 13s 7d ; advertising and sundry expenses, 16s 4d ; cheque books, 9s 6d ; balance in hand, £166 3s 3d ; total, £453 3s 6d.

Mrs BRADBY said they had given a rather fuller report because they thought it possible subscribers might not know what had been done, and it might be advisable for them to know through the local Press. Their weekly outgoing at present in the way of relief was very small indeed—only about 12s a week—the majority of the refugees being now self-supporting.

The CHAIRMAN said it was very satisfactory. He thought the committee would like him to thank Mrs Bradby for the excellent report and for the work she and the other members of a very small committee had done in connection with the, Belgian refugees. He knew they gave many hours and a great deal of thought to looking after the refugees, and the report was a very excellent one.


The Hospital was opened on Wednesday last, when four from the First Southern General Hospital, R A.M.C.T., Edgbaston, were met at the station by officials of the Red Cross Society and the Order of St John, and taken to “ Te Hira.”



SIR,—Thinking that some one or other of your ten thousand subscribers may suggest or supply a remedy for what seems a grievance, I crave your indulgence for the narration of what follows.

A war-worn soldier of Kitchener’s Army, who had enlisted at Rugby in the early enthusiastic days, arrives back in the small hours of the morning, Saturday—Sunday, at the L. & N.-W. Railway Station.

He is home for a few days’ leave, his destination being some place for which he has to change at “ Rugby Junction.”

He asks for a cup of coffee at the Refreshment Booms, tendering therefore a 10/- note. The cup of coffee was withdrawn across the counter, change for the note not being authorised or available.

The L. & N.-W. Railway Company do not allow soldiers to remain in its station under the circumstance in which this soldier found himself, and he was left to wander up and down Rugby’s streets for the hours till the departure hour of his connecting train. Is there no remedy ?—Yours faithfully,


18th Sep 1915. A Good Word for our Territorials




If little is heard nowadays of the Rugby Infantry Company, it must not be assumed they are not taking their due share of the work and risk involved by the great and terribly conflict being fought out in France. As a matter of fact during the six months that have passed since they entered the war zone, the Rugby lads have been practically under fire the whole time, save perhaps for a period of three weeks or so. High explosive shells are sent their way daily, but the battalion of which they form a part has been singularly free hitherto from the evil effects of these unwelcome visitors, most of the casualties that have occurred in their ranks being due to rifle fire.

The period has not been uneventful, and an interesting story might be told of the movement of the unit from place to place, and of the varied conditions that have been experienced, but the censorship that is exercised over correspondence, and the need for reticence impressed upon soldiers returning home for a short leave, precludes this. As the Rugby men invariably “ play the game,” those desirous of learning such details must for the time being content their souls in patience.

Still, tidings of the brave fellows who have gone from Rugby homes to “ do their bit ” are always looked for with interest—sometimes, alas! with anxiety and a sense of dread-and learning that Company Q.M.S. Alfred Tomlinson was back in the town for a few days of well earned rest, a representative of the Rugby Advertiser interviewed him a day or two ago, and found him willing to communicate information as far as was expedient, without in any way divulging what might be of assistance to the enemy.


“ We are in some excellent trenches now,” said Q.M.S. Tomlinson, in reply to a natural question as to the comfort of the Rugby Infantry contingent, to which he belongs. “They are some of the best trenches we have been in, and unless there is to be a forward move shortly, many are hoping that we shall stay there for some time to come. Of course, there is shell firing continually, rifle firing being now much more intermittent than formerly.”


At the front soldiers find plenty of work to do. The idea that they simply stand still in the trenches looking through loop-holes for stray Germans on whom they may bestow a bullet is quite erroneous. Men are detailed off for sentry duty, and then at specified hours both day and night those in the trenches ; stand to arms. Ration parties have to go down the trench to bring up the food for meals ; and, moreover the trenches have to be kept scrupulously clean. “ At the present moment they are a picture of cleanliness,” said our informant.


“ I think two outstanding features of this campaign have been the sanitary arrangements and the food arrangements, and to these may be attributed the good health of the troops. As to provisions, the food is excellent, and there is plenty of it. I don’t say that there is over abundance, or that the food is much varied, but we get enough. Water is the chief difficulty. I don’t believe I have drunk a quart of water unboiled since I have been out there. In the first trenches we occupied the men cooked their own food and had their little fire by which to boil the water, but in the present trenches we are not allowed to do this. Smoke always gives the enemy an inkling of where the men are in the trenches and draws their shell fire. The water for the bottles is brought a considerable distance now and is pretty good, but water for cooking purposes is taken from wells.


Q.M.S. Tomlinson spoke of the Rugby men whom he had left behind for a few days as being in good spirits and cheerful. “ Life in the trenches is not exactly ideal—you cannot expect happy conditions in warfare—but with this reservation our men are really cheerful. The fact that we are kept pretty well occupied prevents us from becoming depressed. It has been trench warfare. We nave not been seriously attacked and we have not attacked on our part. It has just been a question of holding the line ; and we have been rather lucky compared with other battalions, in the small dumber of casualties that have befallen us, these being chiefly due to rifle fire.


“ I have always had, and still retain, a feeling of pride in the Territorial for the work he is doing. If all the soldiers on our side are doing their part as well as our men are doing their’s, then all I can say is we have got some good troops.”


Confirmation is given by Q.M.S. Tomlinson of the reports brought home by others from the front that the men engaged in the actual fighting are confident that success will eventually crown the efforts of the Allies. ” There is an optimistic feeling at the front. You may read in the papers of the reverses that have befallen Russia, but that makes no difference. Everyone out there takes it for granted that we are bound to win. There can be only one end, and that is the end we are out for. I would rather stop out there two years longer and really finish the job, than that there should be a compromise now.”




With the winter approaching the attention of the public may appropriately be drawn to the excellent work that is being undertaken by the Rugby Territorials’ Comforts’ Committee, of which Mrs West and Mrs Nickalls are joint presidents, and Mr A Adnitt, Regent Street, hon secretary.

The committee has been formed to send comforts to Rugby Territorials, whether in the Infantry, Howitzers, or Yeomanry, and as quite a variety of articles are now badly needed, a fine opportunity is presented for showing appreciation of the services of local men who are taking such an heroic part in their country’s cause. Shirts, socks, and underclothing (including pants, which are not supplied by the Government), are urgently required just now, and the committee appeals through our columns for such gifts, and also money to defray the cost of carriage. We would also draw attention to the appeal for 1,500 plum-puddings for local Territorials, of whom there are quite 2,000 on service, in addition to Rugby men who are soldiers and are serving in the regular army. It will thus be seen that to carry out the committee’s wish to supply every Rugbeian with present necessities and special Christmas fare, a generous response will be essential.


Expressions of warm appreciation have already been received by Mr Adnitt, in acknowledgment of parcels already sent out.

Sergt W J Bryant, of the Rugby Infantry Company, says : ” Just a line to thank you for socks on behalf of the Rugby boys of No 9 Platoon. We all appreciate your thinking of us very much. They could not have come at a better time, as they arrived just before we went into the trenches.”

Battery Sergt-Major G Hopewell, of the Rugby Howitzers, writes “ I have received three parcels containing 36 pairs of knitted socks and eight shirts. My men want 10 pairs of underpants and 12 undervests badly, and I should be pleased to receive any old books you have to spare. I have already written you (under cover to Mrs Nickalls), acknowledging shirts and socks. . . . Again thanking you most sincerely for all the work you are doing on our behalf.”


In the letter referred to, posted “ Somewhere in France,” on August 22nd, Sergt-Major Hopewell writes :—

” Will you please express our heartiest thanks to the Rugby Comforts’ Committee for the three parcels of socks and shirts which I have received for distribution among the men of the Rugby Howitzer Battery.

“These kindly gifts are always very keenly appreciated, but they were more than ever welcome on this occasion, as a number of men were reduced to one shirt and one pair of socks each, so they could not have arrived at a more opportune moment.

“ We are very grateful indeed for the money, time, and trouble, which the ladies of Rugby are expending on our behalf, and we should be very pleased if you would convey to them our sincere thanks for their interest in our welfare and personal comfort. I am pleaded to say we are all quite well and fit, and although we get a good number of shells and rifle bullets round, no one has been hurt up to now. Things are fairly quiet on our front at present, but we are waiting in keen anticipation of the time when we hope the grand move forward will begin, and we shall have the satisfaction of driving the enemy back to his own country.”


Company Q.M.S Alf C Tomlinson, of the Rugby Infantry Company, acknowledging 54 pairs of socks, says :-

“ Thank you all so much for looking after our comfort. . . .Skirts, socks, also underclothing, are always welcome. We are not the best of “ laundry-maids,” nor can we darn artistically ; and naturally these articles get the roughest wear. . . .

“ Nothing could have given more pleasure,” says the writer, “ nor could they have arrived at a happier moment. We had just finished a very trying eight days in the trenches—mud and water the whole time. I don’t suppose there were a dozen pairs of good socks left in the Company—certainly not a clean pair, so you can imagine the pleasure, not less the comfort, the T.C.C gifts gave. No less appreciated is the knowledge of the kind thoughts of Rugby friends for Rugby’s Territorial soldiers.”

Referring to the present and future needs of the men, Q.M.S Tomlinson says : “ We should be pleased to have a few ‘housewives,’ cards, magazines, and games. These would add greatly to our pleasures. A little later on, when the weather gets colder we shall be glad to ask you for some of the warmer articles you mention.



DEAR SIR,—The first intention of a few girls and their friends to make a number of cakes for the Rugby and District Territorials Comforts Dispatch Committee, and to hold a small competition, has met with sufficient encouragement, especially from the prize-givers, to enable them to ask all girls to join in, so that every Rugby man “somewhere in France, etc” will have a reminder from home early in October.

The R.T.C Committee have kindly consented to take over all on the day of judging, when they will be on show, and the prizes given. These have been offered by a well-known flour firm, and are now increased to ten prizes value in all £3 15s, on behalf of the Rugby and district men.

Group I promises cakes “ for ” and “ not for ” competition. Other groups are asked to form up and promise 100 or as many as possible. Secretaries please note. Girls please enter names early. No entrance fee. No carriage to pay. No risk, except that of getting a prize.

Mrs West, Bawnmore, Bilton, has kindly undertaken to receive names of those responsible for groups until next week, when their addresses will be made known for receiving entries and supplying the recipes. For date, place, and where to see prizes, ask for recipes.-Yours very truly,


DEAR SIR,—Will you allow me to express to those of your readers who kindly sent gifts for a hospital ship which is fetching wounded from the Dardanelles the hearty thanks of the matron and staff.

By the kindness of many friends in many places 612 swabs, 204 bandages, 47 shirts, 24 night-shirts, 60 pairs of socks, 51 handkerchiefs, 73 lavender bags, 235 hospital bags, 240 muslin squares, and some lozenges were ready for the third voyage.

No more muslin squares are needed, as these can be washed and used again as a protection from the flies ; but the other things will all need to be replaced and woollen caps and mufflers will be needed for the next voyage, and chocolates and cigarettes are always acceptable. I shall be most grateful for any further help,—Yours truly,


Norwood, Clifton Road, Rugby.


Mr J W Shaw, representing Messrs Willans & Robinson, Ltd, complained that Jean Delrez, moulder, a Belgian, of 71 Bridget Street, Rugby, had absented himself from work without permission. It was explained that Delrez had been warned prior to his leaving. By means of the interpreter, Mr Scheldt, Delrez stated that he had not been treated properly. His earnings were £2 12s a week, and he claimed that he was not getting the district rate of wages. The Chairman expressed the view that the proper course for a man wishing to leave his employment was to first of all give legal notice, according to the rules, and apply for consent to leave. If it was refused he should appeal to that Court. In this respect the rule was not clear, and he advised the firm to communicate with headquarters. The complaint was dismissed.

A complaint against another Belgian, Jean Puraye, Coventry, by the same firm was also dismissed. Puraye said he thought he could leave when he liked, the same as in other workshops. His reason for wishing to leave was that to “ join his wife in Ireland.”

The Chairman said that in this case there had been no offence. The firm might put up a notice demanding a month or six weeks’ notice, and then when necessary they could come to the Court for decision.


In connection with the national movement initiated by the N.U.R for an advance of 5s per week to all railway employees, irrespective of grade, we are informed that a fortnight ago the Rugby Branch of the N.U.R, which has a membership of over 800, forwarded a resolution to the Head Office asking for such a movement to be set on foot.

A prominent official of the Rugby Branch of the N.U.R, in discussing the situation, stated that the reasons the men were making their request for an all-round advance was that large numbers of railwaymen, including over 80,000 members of the Union, have joined the colours, and only in a few cases have their places been filled. This, coupled with the great increase in traffic consequent upon the transportation of troops, stores, &c, has thrown considerably more work upon railwaymen, who have, without exception, worked loyally and well many hours longer than usual. The cost of living, too, has considerably increased, and the opinion is universally expressed on the railways that the men’s patriotism and devotion to duty should be rewarded.

Our representative asked whether there was any likelihood of a strike, and was informed that the men did not anticipate resorting to drastic methods, because both they and the companies recognised the great responsibilities resting upon them, and he thought that the companies would be prepared to meet the men in a conciliatory manner.



10th Jul 1915. Belgians Charged with Theft – The Trial


Two Belgian workmen, Petros John Van Wezer, 15 Rowland Street, Rugby, and Gabriel Joseph Peeters, 65 Pinfold Street, New Bilton, were charged on remand by John Ward, on behalf of Messrs Willans & Robinson, Ltd, with stealing 21lbs weight of metal, of the value of 17s 6d, on July 1st.

Mr H Lupton Reddish, solicitor, Rugby, prosecuted, and Mr Harold Eaden, solicitor, Rugby, defended.

Mr Reddish, in opening the case, said where stolen goods were found in the possession of a person the presumption was that person had stolen them, but in this case (if it was decided to have it dealt with by the Bench) their Worships would be dealing with the case as both judge and jury, and a jury in a charge of stealing was always told if the evidence was not sufficient for them to justify a conviction on that charge could bring in a conviction of receiving stolen goods ; and it would be for their Worships to decide in this case which of the two courses would be the more applicable. They were aware of the unfortunate plight in which Belgian refugees came to England. Most of them were destitute and homeless, and whatever they possessed certainly would not include pieces of metal such as would be produced in this case. Both the defendants had worked for a short time at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s (one for a day only). These petty pilferings were always going on at these large works, and the Company had felt compelled to bring the case forward.

John Ward, foreman millwright at Willans & Robinson’s Works, living at Lawford Fields,, identified the metal as the property of the Company.—By Mr Eaden : He did not think it possible for a man to carry a parcel of metal (like that produced) unobserved from the works, and he thought the pilfering had probably been going on for weeks. He had no reason to suspect Van Wezer. They had a man in their employ named De Herdt. who lived in one of the houses erected by the Company. De Herdt would have equal access to the brass as the other men, if not better access.

P.S Brown deposed that on Thursday last week he received certain information, in consequence of which he made enquiries, and saw the two defendants in the Market Place. He told them he was making enquiries about some metal which they had offered for sale, and asked them to show him where it was. Wester said, “ De Herdt gave us the metal,” and conducted witness to certain licensed premises, where he produced a parcel from a shelf under the counter in the bar. Witness found the parcel contained the articles of brass produced. In the presence of the defendants the landlord said Wezer left the parcel. The officer said he was present when Mr Ward identified the metal as the property of Messrs Willans & Robinson, Ltd. Its weight was 21lbs, and its value was stated to be 17s 6d. When charged with the theft Peeters said, through an interpreter, “ He has told the truth this morning ” ; and Van Wezer replied, “ I am not guilty.”

The evidence of the witnesses was interpreted to defendants by Mr Delvaulx.

Mr Eaden asked Sergt Brown if he had been able to find out who stole the metal. The officer replied that he knew no more than he had stated, but he reckoned the two defendants stole it. He heard the men had been offering the metal for sale, and had taken it to a public-house. The landlord did not tell him whether Peeters was with Van Wezer when he took the metal into the house.

The licensee of the public-house in which the metal was found, said Van Wezer went into the bar on Thursday, July 1st, and, speaking in broken English, asked if he could leave the parcel in question. He had known defendant as a customer for about six weeks, and, acting on witness’s advice, the man left the parcel under the counter. Witness did not examine the parcel nor handle it in any way. Van Wezer called for a glass of ale, and asked if his friend—whom he took to be Peeters—had been in, and he replied that he had not.—By Mr Eaden : He had other Belgian customers, but did not know De Herdt by name, though he might know him by sight. He did not remember another Belgian with his wife and daughter coming in on the Tuesday. Van Wezer’s act was perfectly open, and the story the men told to the police was perfectly truthful, there being no attempt to deceive.

Victor Delvaulx, civil engineer, said he was at present acting as interpreter between the Belgian workmen employed at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s and the Works Management. He was present when the two defendants started work, and also when they were charged with stealing the metal by Sergt Brown, the police evidence on the point being correct.

Defendants elected to be dealt with by the Bench, and on their behalf Mr Eaden pleaded not guilty.

Mr Eaden, addressing the Bench in defence, said his submission was that the two defendants were entirely the innocent tool of De Herdt, and that their act right through was the act of innocent men. There was no suggestion that they endeavoured to secrete the parcel or to deal with it as one would expect a criminal to deal with it. The men knew De Herdt, who had a wife and daughter, and last Tuesday was removing from Worcester Street to a new house, and defendants offered to give him a hand. In the course of the morning one of them picked up a rather heavy parcel, which was ostensibly a parcel of clothing. One of the men remarked that the parcel seemed very heavy, at which the De Herdts smiled, but nothing was then said, because other people were present. In the evening of the same day they went to a public-house, and when outside De Herdt said : ” I have a job for you. I will tell you what we were smiling about. That heavy parcel inside the clothing contained a lot of scrap copper, which I have been collecting from the Works.” De Herdt invited Van Wezer to sell it for him as his agent. He did not say definitely he would not do this, but replied : ” I don’t like the job ; I am afraid of it.” De Herdt pressed him still further, and then he absolutely declined to touch it. Next day the men had occasion to go to De Herdt’s house, because Peeters was rather skilled as a bootmaker, and he had some repairs to do for the De Herdt family. Van Wezer was again asked to sell the metal, but he refused. On the following day he was again asked by Mrs De Herdt to sell the metal. She seemed to have over-persuaded him. He took it away, and on her instructions went to a shop and endeavoured to sell it. The deal did not come off, and Van Wezer took the parcel to the public-house, and left it there for De Herdt to take it away. De Herdt did not tell him that the property was stolen and he would be guilty of no offence in taking it. His submission was that the proper person was not before the Bench that day. There was no evidence on the part of the prosecution that these two men took the metal from the Works, and, so far as Peeters was concerned there was no evidence that he ever handled the metal. At most the offence alleged against him was that he was at certain times in the company of Van Wezer, who, it was admitted, took the metal to the public-house. There was not even the suspicion of a case against Peeters of having stolen or received this metal, and he submitted that defendant was entitled to be acquitted as an innocent man, and so far as Van Wezer was concerned, he submitted there was no, case against him, for the reason that he was over-persuaded.

The Chairman announced that the Bench had decided to dismiss the case against Peeters.

Mr Reddish submitted that the two men were acting together at the time, but the Chairman said there was no evidence of that, and that was the feeling of the Magistrates on the matter.

On the decision of the Bench being communicated to Peeters, he fainted away.

The Court then adjourned for an hour.

When the Court resumed, Mary Anderson, the landlady of De Herdt’s in Worcester Street, gave evidence of the removal of the goods, and said only one man, who usually wore blue overalls, assisted. The goods consisted of two very large boxes, which contained all the family’s belongings, and these were removed in two journeys. She did not see a bundle taken away, and she did not remember having seen Van Wezer before.

Madame Christine De Herdt said their goods were removed in two boxes and one parcel. The latter contained soiled linen, and was not a heavy bundle. The wife of Van Wezer helped her, and whilst they were moving Van Wezer and Peeters were at the house in Worcester Street, also at the huts, where they were now living. Van Wezer had been to the huts about three times since they had removed there.—By Mr Eaden : The large parcel was tied up in bedclothes. Mrs Van Wezer took up the parcel alone, but witness offered to help her, as she had a free hand. After the removal, her husband, Van Wezer, and witness went together to a public-house, and there conversed on the war. On the following day Peeters and Van Wezer went to their house about some boots he was repairing. Van Wezer and Peeters also went on the next day, but neither of them took anything away from the house.

Germaine De Herdt, daughter of the last Witness, said when they removed from Worcester Street, there was a parcel containing washing clothes, wrapped up with cloth. On the following Thursday morning Peeters and Van Wezer went to the huts, but neither of them took anything away.—By Mr Eaden : She could have easily carried the parcel alone. Peeters and Van Wezer helped to carry the big boxes.

Defendant, giving evidence on oath, said he helped the De Herdts to move, Peeters being with him. The bundle was wrapped up in a counterpane, and when they got to the fence in front of the huts, he threw it over. De Herdt protested, and said it was dangerous. He added : “ My wife knows what is in it, and if she does stupid things she must take the consequences.” Later in the day, De Herdt spoke to him privately. He said I have a job for you ; will you do it ? ” We asked what it was, and De Herdt said he had at home a parcel containing little pieces of copper, which he had been collecting. Defendant replied: “ I have nothing to do with this. Why do you come to me for this job ? ” De Herdt told him the copper was in the bundle of dirty clothes. Next day De Herdt asked why he refused to take the copper away, because it was not stolen. He still declined to have anything to do with it. On Thursday morning Mrs De Herdt called him inside the house and asked him to sell the contents of the parcel for her husband. She asked him not to be afraid, as the copper was not stolen, and he could use the name of her husband. Peeters then went into the house and saw De Herdt’s daughter give him the parcel. He took the copper to a shop-keeper, but he refused to take it, and, fearing to keep the parcel any longer, as it might get him into trouble, he took it to the public-house, asking the landlord to keep it until another man (meaning De Herdt) came to fetch it away.—By Mr Reddish : De Herdt did not tell him the copper came from the Works, but he said he could get some more. When De Herdt told him he had a job for him, he explained that it was to sell the copper. He had got the idea there was something wrong about it, and so he refused to have anything to do with it, knowing that bits of copper were not picked up in the street. When, on the Thursday, Mde De Herdt asked him to take the copper away and sell it, she told him not to be afraid, as he should have some of the money. He never had any conversation with De Herdt about sharing the money if he sold the copper.

Mr Reddish enquired what defendant said to the shopkeeper when he offered him the copper ? —Defendant said he asked : “ Do you want this?” and the shopkeeper said : “ No; not enough.” Thereupon he left the shop.

Peeters was called to corroborate the statement of Van Wezer as to receiving the metal from Miss De Herdt, but his evidence was not taken, and the Chairman intimated that the Bench thought there might be a charge of receiving the metal knowing the same to have been stolen, and Mr Eaden was invited to address the Magistrates

Mr Eaden said his client was over-persuaded on the third day to take the metal away. It was perfectly clear there was no bargain struck. Van Wezer tested the matter by taking it to a shop. He might have had some slight guilty knowledge when he did this ; but taking the metal to the shop opened his eyes, and he left the metal at a public-house, telling the landlord another man would call for it. Therefore he submitted there was not the guilty knowledge which was essential to the charge of receiving this property. He was not satisfied at the time he took the metal to the shop that it had been stolen. Afterwards, when he was satisfied, he parted company with it. That, he submitted, was evidence of the man’s innocence—it was burning his fingers and he wanted to get rid of it at once.

The Chairman said the Bench were not satisfied that defendant had guilty knowledge that the metal was stolen. Therefore, the case against him was dismissed.

Addressing the interpreter, the Chairman said the Magistrates wished to thank him for his great kindness and ability. He had a very difficult task, and had been a great assistance to the Bench and the advocates.

Mr Reddish said both Mr Eaden and himself concurred in what the Chairman had said, as without an interpreter they could not have got along.

3rd Jul 1915. Belgians Charged with Theft


Yesterday (Friday), at the Occasional Court, before A E Donkin, Esq, two Belgians – Petre John Van Weser, 15 Rowland Street, Rugby, and Gabriel Joseph Peeters, 65 Pinfold Street, New Bilton – were charged with stealing 21lbs weight of metal, of the value of 17s 6d, the property of Messrs Willans & Robinson, Ltd, on July 1st. – Sergt Brown gave evidence of the recovery of the metal and the arrest of prisoners. Weser stating that the brass articles were given them by another man. – Prisoners were remanded in custody till Tuesday.


SATURDAY:-Before T Hunter & J J McKinnell, Esqrs.

HIS THIRD APPEARANCE.—George Le Clerg, a Belgian labourer, lately lodging in Lower Hillmorton Road, was charged with being drunk and disorderly on June 25th. – P.C Field said at midnight he went in the company of P.C Wakelin to the Lower Hillmorton Road, and there found prisoner very drunk and excited. Witness said the defendant gave more trouble in the town than all the other Belgians put together. On the night in question he had been fighting with his landlord, who had put him into the street, and it was with difficulty the officers got him to the Police Station.-Inspector Lines said this was defendant’s third appearance at the Court for drunkenness this year. – Mr Hunter suggested that prisoner’s employers should be informed of the facts, and asked to get some of the other Belgians to speak to defendant and become responsible for his good behaviour – Defendant was fined 6s, and was warned that if he did not keep himself straight he might be sent back to Belgium.


Mr T Hunter, J.P, C.A, of “ Elmhurst,” Hillmorton Road, has four sons serving in his Majesty’s Army.

S A Hunter, the Midland Counties’ footballer, is in the 4th West Riding Howitzer Brigade, and has been promoted from second-lieutenant to lieutenant. He has about completed a month’s gunnery training on Salisbury Plain, and will then take up his duties again at the depot at Otley, Yorkshire.

The next son, Wilfred Hunter, who was in the Rugby Howitzer Brigade, passed the Sandhurst examination in February, and has been transferred to the Royal Military College, Woolwich. After completing his course there, he will be gazetted to the Royal Garrison Artillery.

L J Hunter, who went out to the front with the Northamptonshire Yeomanry in November, was given a commission in April in the Army Service Corps, and is now at a supply depot at Newcastle-on-Tyne.

F Hunter, the youngest son, who is only 18 1/2 years, passed out of Sandhurst on April 17th, and was gazetted second-lieutenant in the Gordon Highlanders. He was attached to the Royal Flying Corps in May, and on June 11th gained his pilot’s certificate.


Pte Ernest Jas Jackson, of 18 Old Station Square, Rugby, is in hospital at Havre, suffering from the effects of poison gas. He was on the way to the trenches on June 19th when a gas shell burst quite near him. Two men were killed by it, three were wounded, and Pte Jackson and another were affected by the fumes, which have injured the former’s eyes. He enlisted with other old Elborow boys in the 5th Battalion of the Oxford and Bucks light Infantry on September 1st last year, and after a course of training was sent to the front about six weeks ago. Previous to Joining the Army Pte Jackson was employed at the B.T.H Works.


Thirteen recruits have been accepted at the Drill Hall, Park Road, Rugby, during the past week. Their names are :—W Muddiman and J W King, Northants Regiment ; R Graham, Connaught Rangers ; H E Moon, G Ellerton, W Hobley, 220th (Rugby) Fortress Co, R.E ; C Freeman, 216th (Nuneaton) Fortress Co, R.E ; W J Barrett and G Wallace, A.S.C ; G Fairbrother, J A Richards, J A Cresswell, P G G Rose, Corps of Military Police.



The new war loan is being taken up very well indeed locally by small investors through the Post Office. The £5 multiples are the most popular form of investment, the demand for scrips of smaller amounts not being so great as might have been expected. At the Rugby Post Office the staff have done quite a good amount of business in relation to the loan this week, the amount subscribed running into some hundreds of pounds, and quite a substantial sum has been transferred by depositors from the Post Office Savings Bank.

At a meeting on Wednesday the Directors of Willans & Robinson decided to subscribe for £15,000 of war loan, and made application for it following day.


In response to the appeal of Col G M Seabroke (chief officer of the Rugby Fire Brigade), published in our last issue, for six owners of motor-cars to offer the loan of their cars for the conveyance of first-aid appliances in case of an air raid, and for 24 Boy Scouts to volunteer their services in such an eventuality, we are informed that Mr G F Brown, fruiterer, has already offered the loan of his car, and the following members of the 1st Rugby Troop of Scouts have volunteered for duty :-J Andrews, A Anderson, R Smith, C Fenley, W Bailey, A A Cordall, R Hartley, and S Davis.


19th Jun 1915. A Local Artilleryman’s Exeriences


Corpl F Prestidge, of the R.F.A, has written a very interesting letter to his sister at Thurlaston, in which he says:—“ I have a bit of interesting news for you this time, as three days before I received your parcel we were shelled out of our billet in — Only one was hit, and that was the sergeant-major, who is in England now ; but the poor horses caught it severely. We had half of them inside a yard and half at the back of some houses in the open ground. Strange to say, those in the semi-covered position caught it hot, and those outside were practically unhurt. We all slept in a factory about 200 yards away, and at about five o’clock in the morning we were roused by hearing shells bursting close to, and as they seemed to get nearer, of course, we rushed out and made for the horses. I made for the yard where my horses were picketted, and what a sight I saw. A shell had burst just behind my horses, which were tied to a picketing rope round the wall. Some of the poor things had broken loose, and lay about the yard with legs broken and all sorts of wounds. I went off and got my sub-section together, and in a very short time we had all that could walk away at a safe distance, but of the 27 in my sub-section five were dead and twelve were wounded. It will show how curious is the bursting of a shell when I tell you that my gun team were all standing together, and both the leaders were killed, while the ‘ centres’ were only slightly wounded, and the wheelers were scarcely touched, although the shell burst directly behind the team I suppose if it had happened half-an-hour later I should not be writing this now, as we should all have been with the horses, getting ready for exercise.”


A bombardier in the Rugby Howitzer Battery sends home an account of a day’s work in action :—“ Two mines under the German trenches were successfully exploded ; rifle, machine gun, and artillery fire was opened on the German trenches, immediately the explosion took place. The mountain guns swept the ground behind the crater at a range of 150 to 300 yards. For some time after the explosion nothing could be observed owing to the heavy cloud of dust and smoke. When the atmosphere had cleared it was seen that the north-west corner of the parapet for quite 30 yards was completely demolished. The firing of the Howitzers was particularly effective. They obtained six direct hits on the enemy’s near parapets, and placed the remaining rounds into the trenches. Almost immediately after the explosion the enemy replied with rifle grenades from their trenches, and at 10.26 a.m their guns opened upon — Our Howitzers fired 10 rounds on the enemy’s communication trenches, five of which dropped in the trenches. The enemy retaliated by shelling with ‘Black Marias’ and ‘White Hopes.’ Working parties of the enemy appeared, and were constantly driven to shelter by our machine guns and artillery fire, but the mounds of earth thrown up by the explosion afforded them a good deal of cover, and rendered observation and effective machine gun fire somewhat difficult. During the afternoon our artillery fired intermittently at enemy’s working parties. A forward observing officer reported that one large working party was completely exterminated by a shell from the Howitzer Battery.”


THURSDAY.—Before T Hunter, Esq.

ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE.—Jack McCarthy was charged with being absent without leave from the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, stationed at Colchester.-Detective Mighall said he received information that defendant came to Rugby in uniform, but was afterwards seen about in civilian clothes. Witness spoke to him on the previous day, and he admitted being absent from his regiment without leave, so he was taken into custody.-Superindent Clarke said he had received a wire stating that an escort would arrive that day.- Defendant was remanded in custody to await the escort, was given permission by the Magistrate to resume his regimentals.

ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE.—Pte J Batchelor, of the 7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment (T.F.), residing at 7 Union Street, Rugby, was charged at Rugby Police Court, on Friday, before T Hunter, Esq, with being absent without leave from the depot, Rugby Drill Hall.-Detective Mighall gave evidence of arrest and after Supt Clarke had read a letter from the Officer commanding ordering his arrest, defendant, who belongs to the Company acting bridge-guard in the town, was remanded to await an escort.


Recruiting at Rugby has been rather slacker this week. The following have been attested:- E R Earle, A.S.C(M.T) ; E H Paget. W Abbott, F Morrey, E J Robinson, G A Carse, W Green, and J E Wright, Rugby Forties Co (R.E) ; R Parker, F S Hooker, R.W.R ; J Allen, Army Veterinary Corps ; J L Jeffrey, R.A.M.C ; S Toon, Dorset Regiment ; W C F Alsop, Signal Co Royal Engineers ; and A L Lloyd, Army Pay Corps.


The Rev H E Stevens, formerly a curate at the Parish Church, Rugby, and afterwards vicar of St Oswald’s, New Bilton, is serving as a chaplain in the Navy.

The Rev A R Whatmore, formerly of Rugby, who has been engaged in the theatrical profession for some time, has offered his services and been accepted in the work of making shells and ammunition. Mr Whatmore could not join the army through his inability to pass the doctor.

Mr P J James, who, when in Rugby a few years ago was a prominent member of the Rugby Cricket Club, and since going out to Adelaide played regularly for South Australia as a fast bowler, has recently arrived in England to enlist in the army. He joined the 9th Service Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment as a second lieutenant, and is quartered at Grimsby. Previous to that he did some training at Sevenoaks, Kent.

Last week Mrs C Hyde, of 2 Rokeby Street, Rugby, received news that her son, Second-Lieut H W Hyde, of the 3rd Royal Sussex Regiment, attached to the 2nd Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who, as we reported recently, has been missing since May 15th, was prisoner of war in Germany. Unfortunately, however, later information was to the effect that an error had been made, and that no definite news of Lieut Hyde was forthcoming, although a brother officer has written stating that he believes he was killed during the heavy fighting about May 15th.

No less than seventy-seven men from the parish of Bulkington are serving with the colours, and almost every family in the village is represented.


REPORTED MISSING.—Mr G Grant, Newbold, has received a notification from the War Office that his son, Harry, has been reported missing from the 9th of May, He belonged to the Rifle Brigade, and joined at the commencement of the war. Mr Grant has two other sons who joined at the same time, one of them being wounded some time ago, and is still in hospital.


Job Greenwood, son of the late Mr W Greenwood, schoolmaster of Newbold-on-Avon, who was acting as Pay Sergeant to D Company of the 2/7 R.W.R, stationed at Colchester, has received a commission in the 8th Service Battalion of the Northampton Regiment, He leaves for Pembroke on Monday, in order to take a course of instruction for officers. It will be remembered that Joe Greenwood played football both for Rugby and Newbold.


Corpl Potterton, of the 2nd battalion Rifle Brigade, whose home is at 32 Regent Street, Rugby, was promoted on June 2nd to the rank of Sergeant, whilst serving at the front. Sergt Potterton was formerly employed at the B.T.H Works, where he was prominently associated with the Athletic Club, and the news of his promotion will be received with pleasure by all who knew him.


Mrs G Colledge, of Brinklow, received a letter from her son, Pte Phil Colledge, of the Royal Welsh Fusilers, who has been twice wounded, and is now in hospital at Liverpool. Mrs Colledge has three sons serving. Pte Colledge writes:-“ Dear Mother,—You will see by this letter that the Germans have been touching me up a bit. I had twelve wounds, but none were very bad, only my legs ache so much. I had five in my legs and thighs, three in my arms, one in my chest, one in my face, and two little ones in my back.


Amongst the survivors of H.M.S Majestic was Mr W H Cranch, a gun layer, whose home is at 37 New Street, New Bilton. Mr Cranch, who is in the Royal Fleet Reserve, is at present on a short visit his wife and family, who are naturally overjoyed at his providential escape. Seen by a representative of the Rugby Advertiser on Thursday, Mr Cranch stated that his ship was struck on the port side by a torpedo at ten minutes to seven on the morning of May 27th. A loud explosion immediately occurred, and the rush of water caused the old battleship to heel over at an angle of 45 degrees, and within two minutes she was completely bottom upwards. The sea was dotted with hundreds of sailors swimming for their lives. Fortunately a number of French trawlers, which had been engaged in transport work, were close to the scene, and the large majority of the men were quickly taken on board these ; while others were rescued from wreckage or swam ashore to the Seddul Bahr Beach. Mr Cranch was fortunately picked up by a French tug, and taken on board a French destroyer, which subsequently proceeded to Lemnos. The rescue work was carried out very expeditiously, and the longest period anyone was in the water was about 20 minutes. The Majestic had been engaged in the task of forcing the Dardanelles from the commencement, and Mr Cranch stated that she was struck by shells—which did little damage—on numerous occasions. She was one of the ships that covered the splendid landing of the Colonial troops at Gaba Tepe, and at the time that she was torpedoed she was flying the Admiral’s flag, which had been transferred from the Triumph, sunk two days earlier.


It is gratifying to learn that this Company is now almost at full strength, 88 having been enrolled to date. Several tradesmen, four blacksmiths, four masons, and one wheelwright, are still required, however ; and it is advisable that anyone wishing to join the Company should do so at once, because the men now enrolled are making excellent progress, and any not joining now may run the risk of being left behind when the Company leaves Rugby.


The Chairman of the Belgian Refugee Committee reported, amongst other things, as follows:

Acting on the recommendation of the War Relief Committee, we, the Central Refugee Committee for Warwickshire, have appointed the following representatives in the Petty Sessional Divisions of the county and co-opted them members of our committee : Father Ryan for Alcester, Mr Sale for Atherstone, Lady Catherine Berkeley for Brailes, the Rev J A Watson for Burton Dassett, Colonel Monckton for Coleshill, Mr Bolding for Henley-in-Arden, Mr van den Arend for Rugby, Mr Lattey for Southam, and Mr Ashfield for Stratford. Miss Leigh, one of the original members of our committee, acts for us in Kenilworth. We also engaged the services of a Belgian interpreter, Mons Laurent. This gentleman met by appointment our local representative, and with them visited the refugees in their homes, taking down on printed forms their occupations and wages in this country and their former employment in Belgium, and bringing reports to us of any cases where either the refugees or those looking after them wished for our assistance or advice. Upwards of 50 towns and villages were visited in this way, representing 648 Belgians, and we have been able in many cases to advise and make suggestions for the benefit of the parties concerned. As a case in point, we discovered a man in South Warwickshire who had been without work for six months. We removed him and his wife to Warwick and he is now employed at the Emscote Mills. The Government Belgian Commission with a view to ascertaining the feasibility of starting large workshops in each county for securing suitable employment for the Belgians, requested us to fill up a tabulated form, showing the occupations of the Belgians in their own country and also stating whether they were employed here. The result showed that except in the case of moulders and fitters, of whom we have 33 (all working in Rugby) there were not sufficient numbers engaged in any one trade to warrant the setting up of workshops in this area.

The Commission then asked us to let them have particulars of all the unemployed men in our district; these we returned as 45, mainly consisting of professional men or those incapacitated from work. Of those employed besides the moulders and fitters there are 28 engaged on farm work, 15 in gardens, 16 in motor works, 13 it the Ordnance works, 7 as domestic servants, and the rest as clerks, teachers, carpenters, tailors, and tanners. We have just received a list of fresh arrivals from the police, numbering 87, mainly fitters and moulders who are working at Rugby.

The actual number of Belgians now under our supervision—not including the 87 new arrivals just mentioned, is 801. There are also 27 nuns and 24 independent Belgians.

As regards the local work done by our committee, we have 21 refugees of the artisan class at the Myton Hostel, the men being employed at the Emscote Mills, where they get good wages, one-third of which they pay towards their maintenance. We have had the same family at the Nelson House for five months ; the man has been apprenticed at a motor works, and we hope soon to get him a job.

A very generous gift of frozen meats and dry goods has been received from Australia through the Sidney Consignments Committee for distribution among our local refugees.

On the whole I am able to report that the condition of the refugees in the committee’s area is satisfactory, no cases of neglect have come under our notice, and they are much more contented than they were at first owing to suitable employment having been found for so many.

6th Feb 1915. Narrow Escapes and an Opinion of the German Troops


Thursday’s papers contained in the list of soldiers wounded at the war the name of Pte H Goode, of the Lancashire Regiment. Pte Goode is the son of Detective-Inspector Goode, of Rugby, and when the war broke out was called up as a reservist, being at the time foreman cleaner in the locomotive engine-sheds. He went through several of the earlier engagements of the war, and his friends in Rugby hope his wounds are not serious.


Driver F H Johnson, 115th Heavy Battery R.G.A. of West Leyes, Rugby, who enlisted in Lord Kitchener’s Army at the outbreak of the war, is at present in a hospital at Sheffield, suffering from wounds received at the front. In a letter to his friends he states that he got up last week for the first time since he was wounded-eight weeks ago. His hand and arm are nearly well, but he cannot use his fingers yet. At the time he was hurt his horse had its head blown clean off. Driver Johnson had a marvellous escape, as the horse fell before he could clear himself from the saddle. The horse rolled right over him, injuring his hand and back terribly. He really thought he should never see Old England again.


Bombardier W Hudghton, Royal Field Artillery, of 21 Jubilee Street, New Bilton, who is at present in Lincoln Hospital suffering from injuries received while acting as a dispatch rider about a fortnight ago, passed through a very unpleasant experience, from which he was only extricated by his own coolness. From a letter written to his wife, it appears that he was carrying a message from one General to another, and while he was galloping across a ploughed field his “ old friend,” his horse, received three shots, and “ the poor beggar died.” Bombardier Hudghton was pinned under his horse, and two Germans, observing this, and presumably thinking that he was incapacitated, advanced towards him. They, however, failed to perceive him take his carbine from its place, and he managed to shoot one. The “ other bloke ” then pointed his rifle at the New Bilton man, but the latter got his shot home first, thus accounting for the pair. Bombardier Hudghton is now suffering from injuries to the knee caused by his horse falling with him.



A member of the Rugby Police Force, who was called up to his regiment on the outbreak of hostilities, paid a brief visit to Rugby this week, and in an interview gave a few of his experiences to our representative. He took part in the initial fighting round Mons and the glorious retreat, and also in subsequent engagements, and thus has an interesting story to relate.


He saw a very brave act performed by a German. The Company to which he belonged charged a German natural trench and took the enemy by surprise. The bulk of the Germans threw up their hands in token of surrender, while others ran away, but were immediately shot down. One man, however, fought on, and an Englishman went for him with a bayonet. The German seized the bayonet with one hand, and when another man went for him he took hold of his bayonet with the other hand. A third man came up, however, and with a well-directed thrust accounted for him ; the German, grinding his teeth, made use of a few choice expressions as he fell. Upon searching this man they found him to be in possession of the Iron Cross.


As has already been reported, the opposing troops fraternised together on Christmas Day at various parts of the line, but at one point an exceedingly unfortunate incident occurred. The Rugby man, thinking he had some friends in the Monmouthshire Regiment, walked along to their trenches, and there saw a sergeant who had been mortally wounded while trying to fraternise with the Germans. It appears that the sergeant had advanced unarmed towards the German trenches, carrying a box of cigarettes, and motioned to the enemy to come the remainder of the distance, but they refused to do so. He, therefore, returned to his trench, but shortly afterwards started off again, intending to go the whole way this time. When he got half across, however, a shot was fired, and over he went, but, although he was mortally wounded, he managed to get up again and run to his own trench, not, however, before one of his mates had accounted for one of the Germans, who were sitting outside their trenches, so that it was “ a life for a life.” Firing went on as usual then for a time, but, subsequently a better spirit prevailed, and the Germans apologised to the Monmouths for shooting their sergeant, explaining that it was an accident.

The Rugby sergeant’s Christmas dinner consisted of chicken, boiled cabbage, and potatoes and splendid plum-pudding. He explained that it was only with the Saxons that the English fraternised. These men were far more gentlemanly than any other German race, in fact, they “ played the game.” The Prussians, who, with the Uhlans were mainly instrumental for the outrages, did not believe in that sentiment


The sergeant’s opinion of the German troops was that they were first-class soldiers ; they were very clever and had their share of pluck. One advantage the British had ; the Germans were not so good at pushing home an attack as the British were. As an illustration he stated that on one occasion the Germans were massed in preparation for an attack, but they were observed by the British just in the nick of time, and a heavy rifle and Maxim fire was directed upon them. They could hear the German officers, who were at the rear of the men, urging them on in very strong terms, but without avail, and the enemy soon turned and fled, whereas the British would have pushed the attack home at all cost. At the commencement of the war they leaned to the opinion that the German infantry were not good shots, but they had since learned, differently ; and they had discovered that the Germans had corps of snipers who were deadly. While the German officers were fine men, who knew their work, the British officers were the bravest men in the world. As an example of coolness and pluck, he stated that he was one day in a building with a captain, when a shell came hurtling through the roof. They both escaped via the window, and almost before the masonry had ceased to fall, the captain had whipped out a camera and obtained a snap-shot. Speaking of the German artillery, the sergeant’s experience was that its bark was worse than its bite. Whereas the British only fired when they had a target, the Germans were continually blazing away whether there was a target or not, and they must have wasted a great quantity of ammunition in this way.


After relating to our representatives stories of outrages on women, and the manner in which three British cavalrymen were done to death and mutilated by the Uhlans, the sergeant stated that the British had had a great number of there stretcher-bearers shot by the Germans. At the commencement of the war they always put the Red Cross flag in a prominent place upon the buildings, which were used for treating the wounded, but it was found that the flag only drew fire, and the hospitals were invariably shelled. Now, instead of putting the flag in a prominent place it was simply stuck in the ground near the hospital, to show the troops where to take the wounded.




A meeting of the Warwickshire War Relief Fund Committee was held at the Shire Hall, Warwick, on Wednesday, Lord Algernon Percy presiding.

The Organising Committee reported that the conditions of trade throughout the area of the County Committee seemed good, and very little distress existed up to the period ending January 30th, the number of civil cases of distress dealt with by the local committees was 66, the total sum thus expended in relief being £112 12s 9d. Further grants amounting to £185 had been made to local committees. This brought the total amount of the grants made to local committees to £325.

The Hon Treasurer reported that the balance at the bank was £6,083, including £500 already ear-marked for the Warwickshire Branch of the Red Cross Society. It was decided to send £3,275 to the Prince of Wales’s Fund as a second instalment.

Mr Batchelor, the chairman of the Belgian Refugees’ Sub-Committee, reported that the number of refugees at present in the county area was about 1,300, excluding the large towns. The question of employment had proved to be a most difficult problem. A few farmers had applied for agricultural labourers, but in most cases they could not undertake to find accommodation for the families, which was essential. The question of whether refugees, receiving hospitality and earning wages, should contribute towards their maintenance, had been much discussed, and finally the Birmingham Committee, in conjunction with managers from various homes, had agreed to recommend that refugees should be asked to contribute one-third of their wages towards their maintenance, and that they be advised to bank as much as possible of the remainder for the day of repatriation.


On Saturday, Mrs H H Mulliner and Mr F van den Arend visited the Alexandra Palace, London, to select more refugees for Newton House and “ The Beeches ” Clifton. From the 4,000 refugees in this building they chose the following :- Aloysuis Ogiers, cabinet-maker, Buoght, and his wife and seven children ; and Andrie Avaerts, coachman, Antwerp, and his wife and four children. They also brought away a tailor and his wife and child, for the Welford Refugees’ Committee ; and Sidoni Buylaert, the wife of a soldier, her five children, and brother, Henri Torfs (who has volunteered for service but been rejected), for the Barby and Kilsby Committee, who have provided an excellently furnished house for their reception.

On Wednesday, Mr Van den Arend fetched another family, Edward Hoeyendonck, railway worker, his wife and four children, for “ The Beeches.” This family comes from the neighbourhood of Malines, and left on August 24th, since when they travelled from place to place, reaching London a fortnight ago.

We are informed that there are now 83 Belgian refugees working in the town, who are not receiving the hospitality of any committee, and these are all registered by the Board of Trade at the office of the Newton House War Refugees’ Committee, which is regarded by the authorities in London as the official committee in Rugby. We understand that the Newton House Committee only provides funds for the refugees there, which, with those at “ Beeches,” now number 102, and that they will shortly apply for financial assistance from the residents of Rugby. Money has been sent by several people, including a very acceptable cheque for £75 from Mr W Wiggins, part of the proceeds of the sale of a sheep in Rugby Market.


The past week has been one of the slackest experienced at the Drill Hall for same time. The following have been attested :- A.S.C : F H West, E S Watts, A Turrall, and A V Brown. R.W.R : W F Woolfe, A F Brown, W Warland, and E W Nicholls. Oxon and Bucks L.I : R Megson. Coldstream Guards : C R Lee. 16th Lancers : J H Toomey. R.F.A : W F Hessey. R.M.A.C : John Clarke.

2nd Jan 1915. Christmas Celebrations


To the Editor of the Advertiser.

SIR,—As Newton House now accommodates 50 refugees (as many as it will contain with comfort), the committee have accepted Mrs Buzzard’s generous offer in placing The Beeches, Clifton, rent free, at their disposal.

All available money will be wanted for purchasing food, so I venture to appeal for the loan of such articles of furniture as are necessities. At Newton House the furniture has been lent by members of the committee and their friends ; but as this source of supply is nearly exhausted, we are compelled to make a public appeal for the requirements of The Beeches.

Accommodation is urgently needed for further families, rendered homeless by the devastation of their country. Many of the expected guests at The Beeches will be friends and relations of those now at Newton House, and it will be understood how eagerly their arrival is looked for. It is only lack of the necessary furniture which delays the house being opened.

The committee realise that the total requirements (sufficient for 40 inmates) can only be obtained in small lots. No doubt in Rugby there are many who will spare something ; the loan of one bed or blanket, or one chair, &c, will be of help.

On receipt of a postcard our energetic and most capable Hon Secretary (Mr van den Arend, King Street, Rugby) will send to fetch anything which is offered ; he will also acknowledge its receipt, and include it in the inventory, and have it labelled wherever possible. Further, he will do his utmost to ensure the safe return of everything to the lenders when this cruel war is ended.

Loans will also be acknowledged in the columns of the Advertiser.—Yours truly.


President of the Newton House Committee.

P.S.—The principal items required are 40 beds (some being cots), 120 blankets, 80 sheets, about 100 chairs, some tables and chests of drawers, as well as cooking utensils, china, knives, forks, spoons, lamps, and candle stands.

It has been suggested that the employees of firms in the town and neighbourhood might wish to equip a room complete, to which the name of the particular firm could be given for the time being. The Advertiser staff, acting on this suggestion, has undertaken to furnish one room, by lending articles they can spare and subscribing the necessary funds to purchase the remainder.


The wounded British and Belgian soldiers who are being cared for in Rugby School Sanatorium were not forgotten during the festive season, and arrangements were made for them to celebrate the day in a fitting manner. Each man was the recipient of a suitable present, and a Christmas tree was also provided, and furnished with acceptable gifts for their delectation. Later in the day a number of friends visited the soldiers and gave them a pleasant entertainment, which included French songs and recitations, and altogether a most enjoyable time was spent.


The Belgians who are the guests of the Fellowship Committee at 39 Albert Street were specially provided for on Christmas Day. As their seasonable gift the committee presented each adult with a pair of new boots, and two well-wishers in the boot trade provided the children with slippers. Special Christmas fare was also arranged for by the catering sub-committee, and a friend having given a Christmas tree, one or two others set to work and had no difficulty in getting sufficient toys, &c, with which to adorn it, so that the young people sojourning at the house had as happy a time as could be wished.


The Women’s Co-operative Guild provided their annual children’s evening in the Large Hall on Tuesday. Nearly 400 attended, including many of the Belgian refugees in the town, who, with their children, were specially invited. After an excellent tea (dispensed by members, including Miss McClure), a varied programme was gone through. Mr C Bockin (chairman of the Educational Committee) presided, supported by Mrs J T Franklin (vice-president of the Women’s Guild). Instrumental selections were given by Masters Hough, Watson and Allen, and Miss Lily Barnett ; songs were rendered by the Misses Vann, Wilson, and Maizie Hammond, also Eric Sheffield. Some good dancing was done by the Misses Mewis and Thacker, and by Miss MacKay. Belgian children also sang National Anthems ; Maizie Hammond and Phyllis Hayes recited ; and all the performers acquitted themselves creditably. Then came a lantern entertainment, the narratives being related by Mr W S Read, whilst Mr A E Holdom manipulated the lantern. After the children had retired the adults remained for a little dancing, in which the Belgians joined.


The following shows how Christmas was spent at Witham:—

December 25.—9.45 a.in, church parade ; 11 a.m, Marathon race, about four miles, 25 competitors, won by a man of H Company, Pte Bale (E Company) being one minute behind him, and Pte Harris (E) was fourth ; 1 p.m, dinner to troops in the various halls, schoolrooms, &c, lent by the inhabitants of Witham. The food was cooked by the inhabitants, who also came and waited upon the men during their dinner. The menu included roast beef, vegetables, and plum pudding, with beer, mineral waters, and cigarettes. These extras were provided by subscriptions which wore kindly sent by the Mayors of Coventry, Leamington, Warwick, Nuneaton, and others. In the evening the men were allowed the use of the halls, &c, again for concerts held by the companies, and the men were provided with refreshments.

Dec 26.—The Right Half Battalion played the Left Half Battalion at Rugby football, and in the afternoon at Association, the Left Half winning in the morning and the Right Half in the afternoon. At 6 p.m a tea was provided by the inhabitants of Witham in the various halls, &c, at which concerts were again held in the evening.

Lieut-Col Elton, officers, non-commissioned officers, and men of the 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, Witham, wish to thank all those who have so kindly contributed towards their Christmas fund. The great kindness of friends at home has been very much appreciated by all ranks at this season, and they beg to tender their very grateful thanks.


Owing to the number of players who have joined the colours and financial considerations, Rugby Town Association F.C have resigned from the Northants League.


George Renshaw, captain of Rugby F.C, has enlisted in the Army Service Corps, and left for headquarters at Aldershot yesterday (Friday). G W Grubb, a Rugby forward, and C G Dadley, captain of Newbold Second XV, have also joined the same branch of the service.


During the past week about 40 men have enlisted in Rugby. This is the best record for some weeks past.


It is very satisfactory to learn that the efforts of the Rugby Urban District Council to secure the billeting of soldiers in the town has had effect, and unless anything unforeseen happens we shall have, on or about the 10th or 11th of the month, two battalions (about 1,600 men), which are journeying from India, billeted in the town. The troops are the 1st Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers and the 2nd Battalion Royal Fusiliers.

Captain Erskine-Murray, from the Headquarter Staff of the Southern Command, Salisbury Plain, visited Rugby on Thursday morning, and had a long interview with the Chairman of the Urban Council, Mr J J McKinnell, and the officials, with whose help the town was divided into two sections—one for each battalion. These sections were sub-divided into quarters, in each of which about 200 men will be billeted. It is expected that the men will be here for about a month.

There is no doubt that Rugbeians, with their usual open-handed generosity, will give the soldiers a right royal welcome ; but we are asked to urge upon all the advisability of refraining from treating the men to alcoholic liquors.


News has been received that Driver Fred Johnson, R.F.A, of West Leyes, has been wounded at the front. Before leaving to join the colours, Driver Johnson was employed as a driller at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s. Driver Johnson, who is in a Belgian Hospital, is wounded in the right hand, and is unable to write home. A fellow patient has communicated with Mrs Johnson, and informed her that they had a fine time at Christmas, and each man, on waking, on Christmas morning, found a stocking filled with good things on his pillow, a happy thought, which, as he remarked, reminded them of “ childhood days.”


26th Dec 1914. More Refugees and Presents for the Front


The Belgian refugees who are now the guests of the Fellowship Relief Committee at 39 Albert Street, Rugby, have expressed themselves as very grateful for what has been done for their comfort. They include :—

Josephus Crokaerts, a tailor, 36 years of age, and Maria, his wife, with their four pleasing children — Irma (aged 12), Elizabeth (10), Dorothea (9), and Henri (6).

Emmanuel Dasquisne (59), a locomotive engine driver, and his wife, Philomene. They have two daughters—Francesea (aged 23) and Bertha (aged 19). Francesea is married, her surname now being Verammen. She has two children—Jean (aged 2) and Francois (an infant), who, being sick from the effects of the voyage, was left behind in a London Hospital, but is expected to join the family shortly.

With this party is also August Verlinden, aged 29, who is by occupation a railway transport worker.

Josephus Crokaerts is somewhat of a linguist. He is a trousers maker, but has served in the Belgian Police Force. In addition to speaking Flemish and French, he has a fair knowledge of English.

M Crokaerts is a native of Lierre, which town was invaded by the Germans early in October. The week following their arrival he and his family left for Antwerp, whence they were conveyed in a collier to Rotterdam in Holland. Here they spent five days before being transferred to Delft, where they made their home with other refugees for eight weeks. Subsequently the family was removed to Flushing, and after, a stay of eight days they were brought over to London, spending one night only at the Crystal Palace, before coming to Rugby under the care of members of the Fellowship Committee.

Dasquesne has been employed for 42 years on the Belgian State Railway, and has a long-service medal. He also served for a time in the army. He and his family come from Malines.

All the men have expressed a willingness to do work for which they are fitted, the understanding being that they receive trades union rates of wages, and the committee has arranged that whatever is earned by them shall go to a special fund to rehabilitate the families when the way is open for them to return to Belgium.

The Belgian refugees being entertained by the congregation of Holy Trinity Church consist of three families, viz : Petrus Henri Franz Wagemans, a ship’s fireman, his wife and two children ; Petrus Joseph Wagemans, a dock labourer, his wife and two children; and Petrus Alphonsus Venmans, a carpenter, and his wife and one child. The whole of the party, who belong to Antwerp, were in the city during the awful days of the German bombardment, and when the place was evacuated by the Allies they crossed the border into Holland. They are being well looked after by the committee, of which Mr J Gilbert, jun, is the hon secretary, and are very grateful for their treatment.


Everything possible is being done to give the refugees at Newton House a pleasant time this Christmas, and many pleasing and useful presents have been sent by friends and sympathisers in the district to the unfortunate inmates. Each of the men, women, and children have received a pair of slippers and handkerchiefs. One local gentleman has presented the men with a handsome pipe each, with the words “ Newton House, 1914” engraved on the silver band, which they will doubtless treasure for many years. The children of the Rugby Weseyan Schools have sent their own toys and gifts of clothing to the juvenile refugees, and, on behalf of the New Bilton Girls’ Club, Miss Loverock has forwarded a very acceptable quantity of clothing. Gifts have also been received from Mrs H H Mulliner, Mrs Fenwick, Mrs Anderson, Mrs Trower, Mrs Barnard, Mrs Arthur James, Mrs Boughton-Leigh, Mrs Robbins, Miss Martin, Mrs Dicksee, and Mr F van den Arend.— Messrs B Morris & Sons, London, have sent tobacco and cigarettes for the men.

We are informed that the Newton House Committee intend opening another house in the district for the reception of 40 more refugees, and particulars as to this will appear in our next issue.


A SCHEME originated by the Dunchurch and Thurlaston Working Men’s Club to send each soldier on active service from the two village’s Christmas gift, met with such a hearty response from rich and poor alike that within ten days the sum of £35 was collected. As a result 57 men have each received a parcel, containing a sweater, a pair of thick woollen pants, and a pair of Army socks ; and 30 others each a box of 100 cigarettes. To each of the above parcels a Balaclava helmet has been given by Mrs Powell, knitted by herself and several ladies of the village and the girls of Dunchurch Girls’ School. Mrs Dew has also given a dozen scarves and cuffs, knitted by herself and friends ; and Mrs John Mitchell, of Biggin Hall, has sent seven pairs of socks.



A SHORT time ago it was decided to form a committee to arrange to send presents this Christmas to the men of this village who are now serving in his Majesty’s Forces, both home and abroad. The committee consisted of Messrs E I Appleby, J Livingston, V Ball, F Oldhams, W England, Mrs Hawker, and Mrs Pettifer. A collection was made in the village, by which a substantial sum was collected. This was spent in cigarettes, tobacco, and chocolate, which were divided into lots, containing one packet of chocolate, one box of cigarettes, and one box of tobacco. To the non-smokers two packages of chocolate were sent. With each present a card was enclosed, bearing the words : “ With best wishes, from Long Lawford friends.” The following is a list of the men who are in the firing line and on foreign service, and a present was sent to each :—Pte G Colledge, B Company, 7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 4th Division, 10th Brigade ; Pte G Hawker, A Company, 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment ; Gunner H Hawker, 25th Brigade, R.F.A, 1st General Advance Base ; Pte H Payne, No. 2031, 1st Battalion, A Company, Royal Warwickshire Regiment ; Pte H Scarlet, No. 9193, 2nd Northants Regiment, D Company ; Gunner A Everton, No. 31637, No. 4 General Base, 14th Brigade, R.F.A ; Pte W Underwood, No. 9880, B Company, 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 10th Infantry Brigade ; Pte W Painting, 6th Dragoon Guards ; Pte E Mathews, No. 524, 1st Royal Warwick Regiment, C Company (Field Service) ; Pte. E Hirons, No. 2426, 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment, now in Royal Baths Hospital, Harrogate, Yorkshire ; Pte W Hirons, No. 2394, 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment ; Sergt F W Knight, No. 4700, B Squadron, 4th Dragoon Guards. Serving in the Navy : C W Clarke, stoker, 20 mess, H.M.S Dolphin, Fortblock House, Portsmouth ; W Jones. Men at home : Battery, G Coles, R Humphries, A Hutchings, S Sutton, and F Howard ; reserves, F Richards and J Webb ; Kitchener’s Army, G Adams, H Adams, A Colledge, E Cox, J Elkington, R Elkington, W Elkington, W Oldham, J Price, W Pettifer, S Pettifer, W Scarlett, E Underwood, W Watts, E Watts, R Wagg, P Gamble, H Hancox, F Hopkins, C Howard, G Loydall, T Langham, J Mawby, W Wing, C West, W J Hirons, and G Brain. A present was also sent to Pte George Payne. No. 1518, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who is at present a prisoner of war at Meckenberg, Germany.

To the Editor of the Advertiser.

No. 2 Temp. Hosp., Exeter, Dec. 18.

SIR,—I should esteem it a great favour if you would allow me through your valuable paper to thank the kind friends at Long Lawford for the gift of tobacco and chocolate, which I received to-day. I had already received a small present from the Germans on September 13th in the shape of an ounce of shell in the left thigh, which caused me to leave the field. The shell was removed on November 17th. I am pleased to say I am now progressing favourably, and was greatly pleased with my surprise packet from Lawford, for which I thank my kind friends one and all. Wishing them all a merry Christmas,—From F C CRAME (Sergt), 16th (The Queen’s) Lancers.


BELGIAN REFUGEES.—In last week’s issue it was stated that the two houses given for refugees was furnished by the donors. This is not the case, practically all the furniture having been given or lent by friends in the village.

THE MEMBERS of the Working Men’s Club have not forgotten their comrades who have joined the colours. They subscribed a sum of money, and sent a parcel to each one—19 altogether—containing tobacco, cigars, chocolate, &c. for Christmas. Useful presents have also been sent, by the Rector and Mrs Assheton and other parishioners to all those who have gone from Bilton.


There are well over thirty men from Kilsby homes now serving with the army or navy, and the residents have not been unmindful of them this Christmas-time. Helmets, mufflers, socks, mittens, tobacco, and cigars, have been judiciously distributed. In all more than 400 particles have been sent out, either to the men serving with the colours or to the Red Gross Society. Grateful and touching letters have been received in acknowledgment, showing how much the gifts, and the kind thought that has prompted them, has been appreciated.


Mr and Mrs Wise, of Kilsby, received a letter from the King on Monday morning, congratulating them upon the fact that they have five sons serving with the colours—four in the navy and one in the army.


Christmas is the season for open-hearted generosity, and, in spite of the war, there will be no lack of this desirable quality during the present festive time. An example of the kind of thing that is unobtrusively taking place came under our notice the other day. A soldier arrived in Rugby too late in the day to catch a train for his home at Long Itchington. He was explaining in a casual way his dilemma to a Rugbeian whom he met, and the latter very generously volunteered to hire a taxi-cab to convey the belated soldier to his destination—an offer that was gladly accepted ; and late that night the man on leave arrived in style amongst his relatives.

19th Dec 1914. Post Early for Christmas


In view of the great strain on the officials of the Post Office at holiday time an official announcement has been issued giving hints to the public to facilitate the delivery of Christmas cards, postal packets, and letters. The following are among the recommendations: Letters, &c, should be posted early in the day on December 21, 22, 23, 24, and 31 ; Christmas cards should be posted not later than the morning of Wednesday, the 23rd ; supplies of postage stamps should  be purchased beforehand.


From the Rugby postal district 24 sorting clerks and postmen have joined the colours, and it has been necessary to fill the vacancies by assistants who have had experience in some office, as well as retired female sorting clerks, who are now married. The places of postmen who have left for the war are being occupied by temporary men obtained through the Labour Exchange, and who are now getting somewhat accustomed to the work. At the same time, there is no doubt during the Christmas season the staff, both indoor and out, will have to be extended to its utmost capacity in order to deal successfully with the exceptional pressure.


In previous years the postmen at Rugby have made a collection of Christmas-boxes ; but this year, in consequence of the war, the men have decided not to adopt this course. At the same time, if any generous townspeople care to “tip” the postmen during the forthcoming festive season, they will naturally be grateful to receive such acknowledgement of their services to the public.


Twelve Belgian refugees, who have recently reached England from Holland, arrived in Rugby on Wednesday evening as the guests of the Fellowship Relief Committee, and are now comfortably housed at the home furnished for them at 39 Albert Street. A member of one of the families—a baby—is ill, and has been left behind in hospital ; but will join the party later. The guests are of the artisan class, and are apparently of just the type the committee were hoping to be able to entertain. There are two families. One consists of a man, his wife, and four children, with whom is also attached a single man. The other family consists of a man and his wife and two daughters. One of the latter is married, and has a little boy. The two groups were brought over to London from Holland on Sunday and Tuesday respectively. One of the men is an engine driver, and the other is a tailor. Two lady members of the committee accompanied them from London ; others met the guests at the railway station, and gave them a cordial greeting, conducting them to the home, where the refreshment committee had an appetising meal in readiness, the house looking warm and inviting. The refugees have already settled down happily in their new quarters. A large number of townspeople have assisted in gifts or loans of furniture and in many other ways, and the committee desire to publicly thank all who have afforded those responsible for the arrangements so much support and practical encouragement.

The guests of Holy Trinity Church Relief Committee, 11 in number, were sent down from London to Rugby on Saturday. They consist of three families, the men being a dock labourer, a fireman in a factory, and a carpenter respectively. They are refugees from Antwerp, who at the time of the bombardment fled into Holland. At Rugby Station they were met by the Rev R W Dugdale, Mrs St Hill, and Mr Marple ; whilst other members of the committee prepared tea at the house that has been furnished at 67 Albert Street. Some of the refugees visited the Empire on Thursday night, and greatly enjoyed the entertainment.


During the past week the figures for recruiting in Rugby and district have shown a distinctly upward tendency, 15 having been drafted to the various depots and 30 others are waiting for final approval. In order to meet the convenience of intending recruits who do not wish to leave home until after Christmas the majority of the men now coming in are only put through the primary examinations and will come up for final approval after Christmas.

The Parliamentary Recruiting Committee census paper, so far as Rugby is concerned, has been very successful, and men are coming in every day. Of those who signified their desire to serve, if necessary, quite half were married men. Most of the recruits enrolled at Rugby this week have come in from the country districts.


Mr E G Roscoe, Clifton-on-Dunsmore, is No 1 of a gun crew in the Anti-Aircraft Corps, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.

One wounded Belgian and six wounded English soldiers were brought to the Red Cross Hospital at Rugby on Tuesday, coming by train from Birmingham. One was a bad amputation case, and to convey this man to the Hospital the “ Mary Wood ” ambulance was used.

Mr H K Ault, of Lloyds Bank, has joined the Public Schools’ Battalion.


Pte Sidney Beard, son of Mr and Mrs C J Beard, of 46 Murray Road, who belongs to the 2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment, is now a prisoner of war at Gottingen, near Hanover. Writing to his parents on November 30th, he says : “ It is nearly six weeks since [missing] and during that time I have written five letters two being addressed to you. For some reason or another, I haven’t received a single answer from anyone.” There is very little information given in the letter, for obvious reasons, but the request for “ cake, cheese, jam, butter, tea, cocoa, sugar, and milk, in fact, anything to eat,” seems to indicate clearly that incarcerated British soldiers in the enemy’s hands are not faring at all sumptuously.


Amongst those badly wounded in recent engagements, and now in hospital, are the following St Matthew’s “ old boys ” :—Lance-Corpl Frank Chater, 7th Dragoon Guards ; Pte A W Botterill, 1st Coldstream Guards ; Bandsman John Milne, 2nd Scottish Rifles ; and Sergt H Dougen, 3rd Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Sergt H Lee, 2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment, has also been wounded, but is recovering, and is now in Rugby.

Second-Lieut F S Neville, 6th Northamptonshire Regiment, formerly assistant master at St Matthew’s Boys’ School, has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.


Amongst those killed on the recent naval battle off the Falkland Islands in which the British sank four German cruisers, was Walter John Kind, of the Royal Marines. Mr Kind, who was 29 years of age, was a naval reservist, and prior to the war he was employed in the power station at the B.T.H., where be was very popular among his fellow workers. The news of his death was conveyed to his father, who resides at Wellington Street, Leicester, on Saturday ; but no details were available. A sad feature of the affair is that the unfortunate young man was engaged to be married to a Rugby lady.

Midshipman Lawlor who died of typhus fever on board his ship while engaged in the transport of camels in the Persian Gulf. He was a grandson of Mr J Lawlor, a Rugby Guardian, and formerly stationmaster at Marton, where he was well known.


Mrs W J Hutt, of Church Lane, Clifton, recently received a letter from a friend of her husband’s at the front, stating that the latter, Pte W J Hutt (7698), Northamptonshire Regiment, had been killed in action on November 5th. No official news, however, has been sent to Mrs Hutt, who is staying with friends at Canons Ashby. Pte Hutt, who was a reservist, had been employed for some years by the B.T.H Company, and was in the winding department when he was called up. He has resided in Rugby and Clifton for some years.



DEAR SIR,—I have received a letter from Colonel Elton, officer commanding the 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, appealing for funds to enable him to give the men under his command a good time on Christmas Day, and asking me, as chairman of the Council, to make an appeal for subscriptions from Rugby to carry out his proposal. The number of men stationed at Witham belonging to the 7th Battalion, and which includes our own Rugby Company, is about 900. I shall be extremely glad to receive subscriptions for this purpose, and any sent to me at the Benn Buildings will be acknowledged, and I will see that the amount goes to Col Elton.—Yours faithfully,

J J McKINNELL, Chairman U.D Council.

Benn Buildings, Rugby, Dec 17.