RUGBY SCOUTS WHO HAVE FALLEN.
MEMORIAL SERVICE AT THE PARISH CHURCH.
AN IMPRESSIVE CEREMONY.
A memorial service to the Rugby Scouts who fell during the war was held in the Parish Church on Wednesday evening. The troops assembled at the Murray School, and, headed by the B.T.H. Military Band, marched to the church via Murray Road, Whitehall Road, Hillmorton Road, High Street, Church Street, returning after the service via Clifton Road and Bath Street to the school. The arrangements for the service were in the hands of the Rev. T. F. Charlton. In the unavoidable absence of the District Commissioner (the Earl of Denbigh) owing to an engagement in London, and the County Commissioner (Lord Leigh), who was on official duty in connection with the Royal visit to Birmingham, the parade was in charge of Assistant District Commissioner C. C. Wharton, with Scoutmaster W. T. Cols* Hodges as his adjutant. Major Claude Seabroke, who is a vice-president of the Scouts ; Mrs. Seabroke, secretary of the Girl Guides’ Association, and Mr. J. J. McKinnell, a member of the Executive Committee of the Scouts, also attended the service. The whole of the nave was reserved for the Scouts, which they more than half-filled, and there was a considerable number of the public also present. The service was conducted by the Rev. T. F. Charlton and the Rev. R. B. Winser.
The Rev. T. Charlton read the list of names of the fallen as :—
S.M. I. B Hart-Davies, A.S.M.’s D. Hay, R. V. Wilson. H. J. F. Irving and J. Spencer, P.L.’s W. Lintern, C. Batchelor. S. Stibbard, B. Whitbread, S. H. Dicken and M. B. Andrews, 2nd P.L.’s W Page and R B. Pebody, Scouts C. S. Collins, L. S. Docker, S. Elliott, J. H. Jenkins, F. Moloney, H. Smith. W. Packwood, J. Seymour, T. Shone, E Colston, J. E. Bassett, W. Gibbs, H. Lister, and F. P. Watson.
The rev. gentleman remarked that these were all they had a record of. He also read the Scout promises, and the Scouts then repeated their pledge after him. The “ Last Post ” was sounded on bugles by A.S.M.’s Rufford, Herringshaw, and Donald Herringshaw, of the 5th Company, followed by the reveille. While this was done the colours were held by other Scouts standing at the foot of the chancel steps. The service concluded by singing three verses of the National Anthem.
FATE OF LIEUTENANT H. B. LEVER.
Vicar and Mrs. Lever Still Hopeful.
The retiring Vicar [of Hillmorton] received intimation on the 19th October that his youngest son, 2nd Lieut. H. B. Lever, was wounded on the 14th October. He joined the Colours June 10th, 1916, and after four months’ training at Tring left for France, and was slightly wounded in the left hand in battle on Easter Monday, 1917. On June 10th, 1917, he returned to England to take up a Commission. His Cadetship was spent at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, and he was gazetted to the 5th Bedfords at the end of November, when, after four months at Crowborough, he crossed to France and shortly afterwards took a course of training in the Trench Mortars. The following letter was received by the Vicar, October 18, 1918 :—It is with great regret that I write to say that your son, 2nd Lieut. H. B. Lever, is wounded and missing. I have been all over the ground where the fight took place, and found his service book, but no other trace, and so there is every hope that he is a prisoner. I have very good evidence that the enemy were taking care of our wounded. He took part in an effort to get across a canal, and for the moment we were driven out. He had gained a great reputation with the Battery, and the men are full of praise for him, as also are the officers and men of this Battalion. Any news of his being a prisoner will come direct to you, and I should be glad if you would let us know if you hear, especially as I feel more than usual interest, as I know your district well.—Yours sincerely, alfred S. Mayne, C-F. C/E, H.Q., 1st Worcester Regt.
The following letter was received by Mrs. H. B. Lever on October 15, 1918.—Dear Mrs. Lever,—I am afraid I have to write and tell you that your husband was wounded on the 14th inst, by an enemy machine gun, and was, as far as I can ascertain, taken prisoner soon after. The information I can get is very scanty, as the whole of the detachment under his command also failed to come back, with the exception of one man, who was wounded early in the action, and was evacuated to hospital before I could see him. Your husband was co-operating with an Infantry Company on a very gallant action which had to be undertaken. I have interviewed the only surviving officer engaged, and he told me that the services rendered by your husband were invaluable, and that his bravery was magnificent. He had silenced several enemy machine guns, thereby saving for the time being many lives. His servant was with him when he was wounded, and was carrying him back when he, too, was shot. Your husband was last seen lying on a stretcher waiting to be evacuated when it was found that the Company was completely surrounded and outnumbered. We all trust that he is now a prisoner, and that he will recover from his wound, as he was captured soon after being hit. A search party was sent out to find him as soon as it was dusk, but they were unable to obtain any trace, and so I think we may hope that he will be safe. I will personally see that his kit is packed and forwarded in the usual way. Of your husband I cannot speak too highly. He was a man who I am proud to have had the privilege to have served with. His personal bravery under fire was known by everybody. On the 7th of this month his own gallantry saved a critical situation, and his conduct on that date has been spoken of by all the officers in the Brigade. He was respected and admired by all who knew him, his men trusted him implicitly, and we, his brother officers, cannot yet realise our loss. To us he is irreparable, both on parade and in the Mess. Please accept my sincerest sympathy, for though his loss to us seems everything, I believe I can realise vaguely what it means to you. There is hope, and I confidently believe that he will return to you when all this is settled.—Yours very sincerely, Robert E Barringer (Major).
The Vicar and Mrs. Lever most sincerely thank the parishioners for their kind sympathy in their great anxiety. They are still hopeful, as they have heard from a repatriated prisoner that their son was seen in a casualty clearing station some days after the action.
WELCOME HOME.—In continuation of the Baptist Sunday School Week, a supper and concert were given in the schoolroom on Tuesday evening last week to the old boys who have returned from the Army. About seventy invitations were sent out, and upwards of 40 old boys accepted. The Rev. J. H. Lees presided, and the church deacons present were : Messrs. G. H. Hardwick, J. A. Cooke, F. Cox, F. A. Parker, J. J. Thompson, and E. A. Greer. After an excellent supper, the Chairman imposed the loyal toast, and cordially welcomed the guests. A short address of welcome was also given by the church secretary, Mr. J. J. Thompson. Mr. W. Hill paid a tribute to the fallen, which was honoured in silence, and the health of the boys who have not yet returned, and of those who have returned, were proposed by Messrs. F. A. Parker and J. A. Cooke respectively, and responded to by Sergt.-Major Avery (who was home on leave) and Mr. Norman Harris. An excellent programme of music, etc., was supported by Mrs. Hutton, Miss Spencer, Messrs. H. Cawthorne, H. Birkett, Wheatley (cornet), Sladen (concertina), and Oewn (comedian). Mrs. R. C. Herron was the accompanist.
The following men of the Northants. Yeomanry have been awarded the Croce di Guerra by the King of Italy : Sergt. R. M. Allan (Clifton) and W. C. Berry (Rugby). Sergt. L. Pedley (Rugby), of the Northants Regiment, has also been awarded the Croce di Guerra.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
RUGBY SOLDIER’S PLEA.
“ IS THIS FAIR TREATMENT ? ”
SIR,—I am sending this letter to you, hoping you will find a little space for it in your valuable paper.
In am one of the Rugby Fortress Company, RE, and, as you know, we were formed in May, 1915, and during the three years and four months, during which time we have been in Egypt, not one-sixth of the Company have had “ Blighty ” leave—and our unit is not an isolated case either. Perhaps the people of Rugby, like everybody elsewhere, have the opinion that we have had a soft job out here, and do not want to get home. But such is not the case, I assure you. I will admit that we have not had such heavy fighting on this front, but we have had various other things to contend with.
My object in writing to you is to give you some idea of our chances of getting home, which at present amount to nil. Since the Armistice was signed not more than 35 of our chaps have been demobilised out of a strength of 150. What about the officers ? They have all been on leave to “ Blighty,” and one has gone home again, having signed on for the Army of Occupation. The officer who brought us out went on leave about May last year, and was recalled just before last Christmas. He is now following his civilian profession.
Now we come to the part which is getting our “ backs up.” Our present O.C. came back from “ Blighty ” leave in the first week of January this year, and probably before this letter is published he will be home again. No doubt it is another leave, but a permanent one.
Now I ask you : Is this fair treatment ? I know what my answer is—a big NO ! When he has gone we shall be left in charge of fresh officers, who, no doubt, will have very little interest in us. But I sincerely hope that our new O.C. will do more for his men than the old ones have done.
Hoping you will kindly publish this letter, and thanking you in anticipation,—Yours, &c.,
WAITING FOR DEMOB.
Egypt, May 4, 1919.
THE PEACE FESTIVITIES.
RUGBY COUNCIL ASKED TO VOTE £667.
SUGGESTED DATES NOT APPROVED.
The suggested dates for the national celebrations in connection with the declaration of peace—i.e., August 3, 4. and 5—do not meet with the approval of the local Peace Celebration Committee, and at a meeting on Tuesday evening the Urban District Council decided to write to the Local Government Board, suggesting that the celebrations should be put off till the end of August, which is usually regarded as the holiday month.
The question arose as a result of a letter from the committee asking the Council to grant £667 for expenses in connection with the celebration as under :—
Bands . . . . .£150
Fireworks … .. .. 223
Decorations . . . . 125
Procession . . . . . . 70
Entertainments . . . . 52
Sports and Ground . . . 45
Total . . . . £667
As regarded the provision of dinners for the old people and teas for the children, these would he provided by public subscription. The letter went on to state that the committee regarded the dates fixed as unsuitable and as likely to greatly reduce the support and attendance at the events proposed by the committee. They had decided to pass no resolution on the matter, pending official confirmation. A programme of events, which has already been published, was enclosed.
The Chairman (Mr. W. Flint) pointed out that one of the objections to the proposed dates was that the schools would then be closed, and if they wished to give a treat to the scholars it was essential that the schoolmasters and mistresses should be available to look after the children. He wished to know the feelings of the Council, and whether they would like to make any recommendation on the matter, because, if so, it would be wise to do so at once. During the early part of August many people would be away from home, and a large number had already made arrangements for that week. These people, however, would naturally prefer to be at home for the peace celebrations.
Mr. Hands suggested that the Council send a strong letter of protest against the proposed dates. If the date suggested by the Local Government Board was adopted, it would mean that hundreds of thousands of people up and down the country would be unable to take part in the festivities in their own towns. It was unfair to expect them to hold their festivities with the town depleted by at least one-third of the inhabitants.—Mr. McKinnell asked if the pronouncement had been declared authoritative. It had been stated in “ The Times,” but not in Parliament.—The Chairman : It was contradicted the next day.—Mr. Yates also spoke in opposition to the suggested dates, and said that at such a time people naturally wished to rejoice at home and amongst their own friends. The holiday month was not suitable for such festivities.—Mr. Hands pointed out that the later in the summer the celebrations were held the better it would be for the firework display. People would not want to look at the works in the daylight.—A resolution in the terms outlined above was passed.
With regard to the financial aspect of the letter, Mr. Linnell said Mr. Wharton had given definite estimates, but he hoped the Council would regard them as approximate and not tie the Committee down to these exact figures.—Mr. Wise agreed, and moved a resolution to the effect that the Council approve generally of the scheme prepared by the Peace Celebration Committee, and authorises the expenditure from the district fund of such sums as are approved and passed by the Committee’s Finance Sub-committee. He thought such procedure was in order, but whether the auditor would consider such expenditure reasonable it was impossible to say. He did not wish a resolution to be put down suggesting definite figures which the Committee would have to keep these or come to the Council every time they wanted to alter anything, and two or three things would want alteration if the celebration was held in August. Moreover, no credit had been allowed for what they might receive from New Bilton. New Bilton was to be included in the festivities at Rugby, and the New Bilton representatives on the committee were of opinion that when a rate was levied on Bilton the New Bilton share would be handed over to the Rugby Committee. This would probably amount to between £50 and £60.
The Clerk said he wished to utter a word of warning. They must be very careful about the rates from a neighbouring parish being spent in Rugby or any of Rugby’s rates being spent in another parish. Moreover, he doubted the ability of New Bilton to raise a rate.
Mr. Wise replied that the rate would he levied over the whole parish, and the arrangement was for the New Bilton share to be paid over to the Rugby Committee.
Mr. Stevenson said he did not agree with the proposal to leave the financial decisions in the hands of the Peace Celebrations Committee. This should be managed by the Council’s Finance Committee. These were gentlemen on the Finance Sub-committee of the Peace Committee who were not members of the Council which was responsible to the people.
The Chairman : Mr. Wise is Chairman of that Committee, and Messrs. McKinnell and Foxon are members. The only person unconnected with the Council is Mr. Fraser, so we are quite safe. We all know how Mr. Wise looks after the interests of the town.
Mr. McKinnell : Mr. Davenport is a member.
Mr. Wise : And Mr. Whiteley.
Mr. Stevenson : I have no doubt with regard to the Committee. It is the principle.
Mr. Wise said he shared Mr. Stevenson’s feelings in the matter, but the whole thing had been allowed to pass out of their hands. Like Topsy, the Committee had “ growed,” and no one knew how it had grown. While the principle expounded by Mr. Stevenson was quite right, they had now reached such a stage when it was impossible to proceed upon it, but he could assure them no excessive expenditure would be passed by the Finance Committee. In fact, he would be prepared to bring any matter he thought fit before the Council. He was not afraid of being in a minority of one.
The resolution was agreed to.
BARNETT.—On May 21st, at 8 Earl Street, Rugby, 203588 Rifleman HENRY ALFRED JOHN BARNETT, only son of Mrs. Barnett, aged 49 years.—R.I.P.
BASKOTT.—In loving memory of Pte. Edward Baskott, second son of Walter and Elizabeth Baskott, late of Rugby, died of gas poisoning May 14, 1918, at the 1st Australian Hospital, Rouen. “ They miss him most who loved him best.”
BRADSHAW.—In loving memory of Corporal F. J. Bradshaw, Royal Engineers, killed near Bailleul, May 23th[?], 1918. Deeply mourned by his brothers. “ Sleep on, dear brother, and rest in peace.”
HUDSON.—In loving memory of Henry John Hudson, of New Bilton, who died in Chatham Naval Hospital, May 20th, 1917.
MASON.—In loving remembrance of Arthur Alec Mason, od Long Buckby, who was lost on H.M.S. Goliath in the Dardanelles, May 13th, 1915.
“ Until the day breaks.”
PERRY.—In loving memory of Pte. A. J. Perry, Royal Marine L.I., who died of wounds in France, May 22, 1917.
“ Fresh in our hearts his memory clings,
Yet still out grief is sore :
Not dead to those who loved him,
Not lost, but gone before.”
—From Mother, Brother, and Sister.
VICKERS.—In loving remembrance of our dear son-in-law, Sergt. T. C. Vickers (Tom), Warwick Yeomanry, torpedoed on Leasow Castle May 27th, 1918.
“ Oh ! For the touch of a vanished hand,
For the sound of a voice that is still.”