9th Mar 1918. The Paper Famine – Share Your Advertiser with Others

THE PAPER FAMINE.
SHARE YOUR ADVERTISER with OTHERS.

It is a very unusual experience in the history of a local newspaper to have to stem the tide of an increasing circulation, and our readers may feel assured it goes very much against the grain of the proprietors of the Advertiser to announce that, owing to further drastic reductions in the weight of paper they are allowed by the Government to purchase, it is impossible to satisfy the increasing demand for copies of the paper. We are rationing the supplies sent out to our agents, and it may be the increase of the price of the paper to 2d, which we find it necessary to adopt with this issue because of the enormous advance in the cost of production, will automatically assist them in the difficult task of apportioning the papers they have for sale satisfactorily among their customers.

Some will certainly have to go without—particularly those who have been in the habit of making casual purchases ; others will voluntarily relinquish the paper for the time being, but it does not follow that the actual number of readers need be reduced. On the contrary, we do not wish our friends to sever their association with their favourite journal altogether. If will be quite possible and easy for relatives or neighbours to arrange to make one copy serve for two or more households, and this is a system which “ The Times ” (London) proposes to force upon its patrons if the rationing system which they, like the Advertiser, have been compelled to adopt, does not limit the demand sufficiently. They intimate that in such an event they will only supply those people who will agree to share their copies with others.

For our part we prefer to rely upon the indulgence and voluntary co-operation of our readers to assist us in tiding over this unprecedented crisis, which we hope will only be temporary.

We have no doubt the agents for the Advertiser will be glad to assist in such a scheme by re-purchasing papers and passing them on to others who cannot otherwise be supplied. On our part, we are prepared to do this by purchasing at a penny each, clean copies brought to the Advertiser Office while it is open from 9 a.m till mid-day on Saturdays ; and in this way it should still be possible for a great many to have an opportunity peruse the Advertiser at no greater cost than before.

Newspapers are recognised as a national necessity, but further tonnage has to be saved, and food and the raw materials for munitions must come first. It is urgently necessary to release more tonnage for food supplies, and for that reason paper imports have had to be cut down.

THE FOOD RATIONING SCHEME.
POSTPONED TILL APRIL 7TH.

The National Food Rationing Scheme, which was to have come into force on March 25th, has been postponed a fortnight—to April 7th. But there are certain duties to be performed by the people as a preliminary to getting their cards, and all applications for food cards must be in by to-day (Saturday). In our advertisement columns will be found the official time table relating to these duties, which must be strictly observed.

ENFORCED CULTIVATION OF FARMS.

We understand the Warwickshire Agricultural Committee are, under the powers given to them, entering upon four farms in the vicinity of Knightlow Hill for the purpose of seeing that they are properly cultivated. The occupiers have had to turn out at a month’s notice.

ALLOTMENT-HOLDERS AND A WILD RUMOUR.

In several districts, including Birmingham, credence appears still to be given by a few people in the recent rumour that the Food Controller would take over compulsorily the produce of allotments and gardens this year. Three weeks ago the Food Production Department denied the truth of this rumour, and stated that there was no foundation for it whatever. A fortnight ago the Department renewed this assurance, and it now emphasises the denial in view of the persistence of the rumour.

RUGBY RURAL FOOD CONTROL COMMITTEE.

At the weekly meeting on Thursday in last week there were present : Mr H Tarbox (chairman), Rev R S Mitchison, Mrs Draper, Mrs Neilson, Mrs Anderson, Mrs Townsend, Mrs Peet, Messrs   J C Harrison, W Woodward, A Appleby, J Cripps, A T Watson, and T E Smart.

It was reported that 200 lbs of sugar had been deducted from the monthly allotment in respect of a school, the housekeeper of which had reported having this quantity left over from the amount alloted them for jam-making last year.

A long discussion took place as to the system by which the new sets of sugar coupons were being issued by the Postal Authorities.—It was stated that some the sub-postmasters in the district had received books of coupons, but no instructions as to how they were to be issued, and in some cases they were being handed out without regard to the question of whether the first set of coupons had been issued.—The Executive Officer was directed to write to the Postmaster, and ask that proper instructions be given to sub-postmasters in the district.

The Executive Officer read a letter from the Ministry of Food, stating that the position with regard to cheese will improve rapidly within the next two months.

The Executive Officer reported that Mr J T Clarke had been appointed to take charge of the preliminary arrangements for the rationing scheme. The period of his employment would be six weeks, and the salary £3 weekly.

This being the last meeting of the committee as then constituted, the Chairman briefly thanked the retiring members for their assistance, and also expressed his gratitude to the committee as a whole for the manner in which they had applied themselves to their duties. He mentioned that it was unique for the sole representative of organised labour to be elected chairman, and he was very grateful for the support they had accorded him.—On the motion of the Rev R S Mitchison, seconded by Mr Smart, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded Mr Tarbox for his services as chairman.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Lance-Corpl G S Taylor (OL), of the 1st H.A.C, has been given a commission in that regiment.

In the Ministry of Munitions Estimates an extra grant is included of £300 a year to the widow and children of the late Mr L S Robertson, formerly a Director of Messrs Willans and Robinson, who was drowned with Lord Kitchener when the “ Hampshire ” was torpedoed.

News has come to hand that Acting-Sergt T G H Buxton, A.T.C, R.E, has been mentioned in despatches, and promoted to the rank of Second-Lieutenant. His home is at 10 Frederick Street, Rugby. He joined up in May, 1915, and has been serving in Egypt two years.

Pte H Addison, 3rd Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who was posted as missing on May 13th last, has now been reported to have been killed in action on that date. Prior to enlisting he was employed in the B.T.H Lamp Works.

Corpl A E Lamb, 18th Middlesex Regt, has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. Corpl Lamb has seen service in China and South Africa during his twelve years with the colours. He was employed in the B.T.H controlling department previous to his joining up at Rugby in November, 1915.

HILLMORTON.

THE death of Lance-Corpl W A Blockley, D.C.L.I, took place at Fargo Military Hospital, Salisbury Plain, on February 27th. The remains were interred at Hillmorton on the 3rd Inst, with military honours, a party from Budbroke being sent at the instigation of Col Johnstone. There were many wreaths, and a large number of parishioners paid their last tribute of respect. Before joining the Army he was in the employ of a firm of chemists in Rugby. By his perseverance he gained the confidence of his employers, and was soon promoted to the position of assistant. He was the chairman of the Junior League of the Conservative Club. He joined up in December, 1916, and soon gained promotion, but his health began to fail, and consumption developed. He leaves a widow and two children. The widow desires to thank all who have so kindly shown sympathy in her sad bereavement.

HARBOROUGH MAGNA.

WAR SAVINGS.—Since its formation m January. 1917, the Harborough War Savings Association has purchased 482 15s 6d certificates.

SAPPER R BAYNES, whose parents live in this village, asks us to state that he is conversant with most of the burial grounds on the Somme, and if any relatives of soldiers who have fallen and have been buried in any of the cemeteries out there will communicate with him he will take the first opportunity of visiting the graves indicated to see if they are being attended to.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR.
WRITING ON WALLS.

To the Editor of the Advertiser.
DEAR SIR,—I would like to be allowed to protest vigorously against the growing nuisance of marking and writing with chalk on hoardings and walls in the town. Some of it may be done by thoughtless schoolboys, but more appears to be the work of youths of low and degraded intelligence, and is both disgraceful and disgusting. It is sad to think that when England should be striving to aspire to a purer life and service of God the young people can find no better thoughts or occupation than this.—Yours faithfully.
OBSERVANT.

DEATH OF A CRIMEAN VETERAN.

The death look place, at the Rugby Institution Infirmary, on Saturday, of Thomas Brown, of Lawrence Sheriffe Almshouses. He was 82 years of age, and was born near Watlington, Oxfordshire. As a young man he joined the 16th Army Battalion of the Oxfordshire Regiment, and served in the Crimea War, subsequently leaving the Army with the rank of corporal. He was very reticent concerning his early days, and left no record of the engagements in which he participated, although on occasions he favoured his personal friends with accounts of the terrible experiences through which our soldiers passed in the dark days of that war. He came to Rugby about 40 years ago, and was well known as a jobbing gardener.

The funeral took place with military honours on Wednesday afternoon, and was witnessed by a large crowd of sightseers. A firing party from Budbroke attended, together with a detachment from the Rugby Company of the Volunteer Corps, under Capt C H Fuller. The deceased was a member of the Salvation Army, and the local band attended and played the “ Dead March ” on the way to the cemetery, and also led the singing of the hymns, “ O God, our help in ages past,” and “ Rock of ages ” at the graveside, where the service was conducted Major Vickers, of Northampton, assisted by Adjutant Tickner. The Rugby Board of Guardians was represented by Messrs J W Pendred, W Dickens, Mrs Dickens, and Nurse Gordon, and amongst others present were several old soldiers, including Lance-Corpl Joe Norman, late R.F.A, another veteran, who also served through the Crimean War.

IN MEMORIAM.

BENCH.—In ever-loving memory of our dear brother, Pte J. BENCH, who passed away in a hospital at Puchevillers, France, on March 5, 1917.
“ He left us and home like a soldier brave,
Wounded though he had been ;
But now he lies in a warrior’s grave,
Dearest Joe, we should loved to have seen.
It breaks our hearts to think of him,
Of how our boy has died ;
Not one of us went near him,
Not even by his side.
And yet some time there’ll come a day
When our loved ones we shall meet,
To be together for ever and aye,
Kneeling Jesus’ feet.”
—From his loving Father, Sisters and Brothers.

FIDLER.—In loving memory of W. G. FIDLER, who died March 7, 1916, in France.
“ He sleeps not in his native land,
But under foreign skies ;
Far from his friends who loved him best,
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—From his Father and Mother.

FIDLER.—In loving memory of my dear brother, Pte. W. G. FIDLER, of Harborough Magna, who was accidentally killed in France on March 7, 1916.
“ Rest on, dear brother, in a far-off grave ;
A grave we may never see ;
But as long life and memory lasts
We will remember thee.”
—From your loving sister, Nell.

REEVE.—In loving memory of Pte. ARTHUR KIMBELL REEVE, Royal Berkshire Regiment, who died in Queen Alexandra Hospital, Dunkirk, France, on March 4th, 1917.
“ Oh ! just to clasp your hand once more,
Just to hear your voice again.
Here life to me without you
Is nought but grief and pain.
Could I have raised your dying head,
Or heard your last farewell,
The grief would not have been so hard
For me who loves you well.”
—Sadly missed by his sorrowing Wife & Daughters.

REEVE.—In loving memory of my dear son, Pte. ARTHUR KIMBELL REEVE, who died in France on March 4th, 1917.
“ One year has passed since that sad day,
When one we loved was called away.
God took him home, it was His will,
But in our hearts he liveth still.”
—Deeply mourned by his sorrowing Mother, Brothers and Sisters.

Bench, Joseph. Died 5th Mar 1917

 Joseph Bench was born in 1893 in Rugby, and his birth was registered in Q2 1893 in Rugby and he was baptised with his sister Edith Eva on 7 August 1895 at St Matthew’s Church, Rugby.

He was the son of Tom Bench, a domestic gardener from Ladbrook, born about 1845.  Tom had married Sarah Judd in late 1880 and they had six children.  Sadly in 1890 Sarah died.  Tom, with six young children soon married again, with Elizabeth Jane Spriggs in early 1893, and they had two more children, Joseph in 1893, soon after their marriage and then Edith Eva.

But in later 1898 Tom was widowed again when Elizabeth died.  Thus in 1901 Tom was recorded living at 16 Sun Street, as a widower with six children – his eldest sons Tom and George had moved to work in Manchester and his eldest daughter, Maud b.1884, was now the housekeeper for the family.  Joseph Bench was still at school.

In 1911 Tom and two unmarried sons were still at Sun Street; Joseph was now working at the Gas Works and his elder brother Frederick was a locomotive cleaner.  The Commonwealth War Graves Commission [CWGC] records thus have Joseph correctly as the ‘Son of Tom and Elizabeth Bench, of 16, Sun St., Rugby.’

 

In 1911 Joseph’s younger sister Eva – now ‘Eva Elizabeth’ – was one of 92 girls in a special school, the Barclay Home for Blind Girls at 21-27 Wellington Road, West Brighton, ‘Anne Dodd Snowball, Matron’.  Eva had been ‘blind since 3 years’.

At some date Joseph Bench joined the 10th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment as Private No.16211.  There is no surviving Service Record and his medal card does not include a date when he went to France.

The 10th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment was formed in Warwick in August [or September] 1914 as part of the Second New Army (K2).  It then moved to Salisbury Plain and joined the 57th Brigade of the 19th Division.  In March 1915 they moved to Tidworth, and on 17 July 1915 mobilised for war and landed in France.  The 19th (Western) Division was an infantry division and spent the duration of the First World War in action on the Western Front, including during 1915 – the Action of Pietre, and during 1916 – the Battle of Albert, the attacks on High Wood, the Battle of Pozieres Ridge, the Battle of the Ancre Heights, and the Battle of the Ancre from 13-18 November, which was the final large British attack of the Battle of the Somme in 1916.  The 10th Royal Warwicks would not have been involved in all of these actions, but no doubt they had a difficult time on the Somme in 1916.[1]  Also in the 57th Brigade with the 10th (Service) Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment were the 8th (Service) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment; the 10th (Service) Battalion, Worcestershire Regiment; and the 8th (Service) Battalion, Prince of Wales’s (North Staffordshire Regiment)

The New Year 1917 brought a period of severe weather conditions on the Somme which led to an unofficial ‘truce’ between the two sides.  However, Joseph was not killed in action, or of wounds, but became very ill and was taken back to either the 3rd or the  44th Casualty Clearing Station at Puchevillers, a village about 12 miles north-east of Amiens, and some 20 miles to the west of the front line.  These two Casualty Clearing Stations had come to Puchevillers in June 1916, just before the opening of the Battles of the Somme.

Sadly Joseph did not recover, but died, ‘in hospital’ at Puchevillers, France on 5 March 1917 from ‘Laryngitis and Bronchitis’.  Whether this was due to the harsh conditions or resulted from some earlier exposure to gas is unknown.  He was buried in Plot VI. E. 32., in the Puchevillers British Cemetery adjacent to the hospital.  Most of Plot VI was made by the two hospitals before the end of March 1917.

Puchevillers British Cemetery now contains 1,763 First World War burials and was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Joseph was awarded the Victory and British medals and is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate.

… his loving Father, Sisters and Brothers …’ placed an ‘In Memoriam’ in the Rugby Advertiser on the first anniversary of his death.[2]

BENCH.—In ever-loving memory of our dear brother, Pte J. BENCH, who passed away in a hospital at Puchevillers, France, on March 5, 1917.
“He left us and home like a soldier brave, Wounded though he had been;
But now he lies in a warrior’s grave, Dearest Joe, we should loved to have seen.
It breaks our hearts to think of him, Of how our boy has died;
Not one of us went near him, Not even by his side.
And yet some time there’ll come a day, When our loved ones we shall meet,To be together for ever and aye, Kneeling Jesus’ feet.”

 

 

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article on Joseph Bench was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, November 2016 – updated March 2018.

[1]         https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/units/316/royal-warwickshire-regiment/

[2]      Rugby Advertiser, 9 March 1918.  Also see Rugby Remembers, 10 March 1918.