WILD THYME NEEDED FOR WAR PURPOSES.
AN OPPORTUNITY FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN.
Many people are anxious to help their country in the present crisis, and children will be interested to learn that there is a way in which they can assist. Wild thyme, which grows plentifully in certain localities—and also the cultivated variety for the matter of that—forms the basis of an important disinfectant, of which there is just now a great shortage.
At Rugby School Chemical Laboratory arrangements have been made in connection with some work asked for by the War Office, by which large quantities of thyme can be dealt with.
Here is a splendid opportunity for school children to render valuable aid, and an appeal is made to boys and girls of the district to collect as much thyme as they possibly can during the next six weeks, and forward the same to Mr B B Dickinson, 5 Barby Road, Rugby.
Of course, it is expected that this will be done voluntarily, as there is no fund from which payment can be made ; but no doubt many children will be glad during their holidays to gather the thyme growing wild in the locality near their homes, and if in each village community one or two leading residents will interest themselves in the scheme, and see that the thyme when collected is duly despatched to Mr Dickinson, their assistance will be much appreciated.
In most large gardens, too, there is sure to be a certain quantity of the cultivated thyme in the portion allotted to herbs, and this will also prove most acceptable. Anyone willing to contribute or help in any way is invited to communicate with Mr Dickinson, who will be glad to give further information.
SHIRTS AND SOCKS WANTED FOR “ E ” COMPANY.
Mrs Spencer, 17 High Street, Rugby appeals to the people of Rugby on behalf of the Rugby boys of the old “ E ” Company, serving in France, for shirts and socks, or subscriptions for purchasing same. The boys are badly in need of both shirts and socks, and Mrs Spencer will be pleased to receive same at her residence to forward to them. Some have already been sent out, but many more are needed, as there are between 60 and 70 boys of the old “ E ” Company serving in France.
APPRECIATION OF RUGBY LANDLADIES’ MESSAGE.
To the Editor of the Rugby Advertiser.
DEAR SIR,—Seeing in a copy of your excellent paper a message for “ the boys from the landladies,” I now take the opportunity on behalf of my comrades of letting you know how much the letter, or rather message, was appreciated,
I myself received the paper while in the Red Cross Hospital at Giza, Cairo, Egypt, where I am recovering from wounds received in Gallipoli, and after perusing its columns I blue-pencilled the message and re-posted this good old Advertiser to my chum on the Peninsula. A few days afterwards I received a letter telling how the paper was passed from hand to hand along the trenches of my regiment (the Inniskillings), and how the message brought memories back and gave the battalion something to talk about—for landladies were the sole topic in the trenches for the next week, and all were saying how they would enjoy themselves in Rugby when they had completed the job on hand, viz, dealing out to their “ Oriental friends ” a very-much-needed lesson.
Well, I will close now, wishing you and your paper the best of luck. Hoping I am not intruding on your valuable time, and at the same time thanking the people who inserted the message,—I am, sir, yours truly,
C BEST (Bandsman),
Red Cross Hospital, Giza, Cairo, Egypt.
July 15th, 1915.
NEW BILTON GUARDSMAN’S EXPERIENCES.
Pte George Walden, of the 2nd Coldstream Guards, who went out to the front with the original Expeditionary Force, is visiting his patents at 20 Campbell Street, New Bilton, on sick leave, having been wounded in the wrist at La Bassee on June 15th. During the ten months that he was at the front Pte Walden took part in the big engagements in which the British were concerned, vis, the Retreat from Mons, the Battle of the Aisne, the first attempt on Ypres, and the glorious charge in the La Bassee brickfield. In his opinion the worst engagement, however was the rearguard action in the retreat from Mons, when the British covered 186 miles in eight days. Personally, Pte Walden has been very lucky, for although practically the whole of the original battalion to which he belongs has been wiped out, it was ten months before he was hit, although on more than one occasion he has had narrow escapes. On one occasion during the fighting round Ypres he had an exceedingly close shave. Being a staunch teetotaller, he refused tea with rum in it, and went out to fetch some water. The Germans caught sight of him, however, and opened fire with a machine gun. Realising his danger, he fell on to his stomach, and crawled the remainder of the way. On his return he was again fired upon, but luckily reached the lines safely. Our representative then asked Pte Walden what was his opinion of the personnel of the German army, and whether the stories to the effect that it was not so good now as at the beginning of the war were true ? In reply, he stated that there was little doubt but that the flower of the German Army had been destroyed, but the present troops were quite as good as their predecessors in trench warfare. It was in advances and retirements, however, that the difference was apparent, and in these directions the German troops of to-day were vastly inferior to those Germans who faced the British in the early days of the campaign. The original Prussian Guards were a fine body of fighters, but by the Kaiser’s orders they were pitted against the British Brigade of Guards, who completely wiped them out. Pte Walden paid a tribute to the marksmanship of the German troops and to their effective use of the hand-bombs. In conclusion, he wished to remind readers through the medium of this paper that the most acceptable gift at the front is “ Woodbine ” cigarettes, which are in greater request than any other brand.
WOUNDED SOLDIERS ENTERTAINED.—A party of nineteen wounded soldiers from the “ Ashlawn ” Hospital, Rugby, were very kindly entertained on Tuesday last week, by Mr and Mrs Wilcox, of “ The Knob,” Stretton-on-Dunsmore. The party, in charge of a nurse, arrived about three o’clock by break, which Mr Wilcox had sent for them, and various amusements, including whist, were indulged in till four o’clock, when tea was provided indoors, as, owing to the uncertain weather, it was not thought advisable to sit outside. After tea the party spent the time strolling round the garden. A start was made for home about six o’clock. The wounded men were very hearty in their thanks, and were loudly cheered by the villagers when they left. On the kind invitation of Mr and Mrs Wilcox, many of the inhabitants assembled to meet the soldiers, and were hospitably entertained afterwards. Among the wounded guests were some men who were present with their regiments when the King inspected the famous 9th Division on the London Road, a few days before their departure to the Dardanelles. The drive down the London Road was, therefore, particularly interesting to those men.
GRENADE-THROWER WOUNDED.—Recently Messrs F W Neal and Thomas Neal went to London to see their brother Jack, who lies badly wounded in the King George Hospital. Jack Neal was one of 25 picked men who were instructed to throw hand-grenades into the German trenches, which were only about 13 yards away. Before throwing the soldier pulls a piece out of the ball, which leaves him only a few moments before it goes off. Somehow one that Jack Neal was going to throw went off in his hand, which it very badly damaged. The extent he does not yet know. He has part of a finger off and one hanging loose ; he is also badly wounded down the right leg, and it is said it is miraculous that he escaped alive. Jack Neal enlisted in December. The other week he just escaped with his life. His company were asleep in the trenches with someone on watch when his pal (Tibbs, from Napton) shouted to them to get out quick. He had to call several times before the worn-out soldiers heard him, and just as they bolted to safety a shrapnel shell came down where they had been asleep. It killed the fellow who followed Jack Neal when racing from the spot, and smashed up Neal’s rifle.
SAPPER C W WALTON’S LUCKY ESCAPE.
Sapper Charles W Walton, of the Royal Engineers, youngest son of Mr E Walton, 81 Claremont Road, recently had a remarkable escape from death at the front. On July 1st, at Festubert, he was working with a small party, including Sapper Snook, of Rugby, who, as we reported last week, was also wounded, when he was struck by a bullet in the region of his heart. Upon examination it was found that the bullet had struck a pay book and wallet, which were in a pocket immediately over Sapper Waltons heart. These evidently diverted the course of the bullet, and saved the young man’s life. The book and wallet, together with the contents of the latter, were considerably damaged, and at first sight bear the appearance of having been gnawed by a mouse. Sapper Walton joined the Army in August, and is now in the Sussex County Hospital, Brighton, where he is doing well. On Friday last week his photograph appeared in a daily paper in connection with a garden party given for wounded soldiers there.
THE WARWICKSHIRE YEOMANRY IN EGYPT.
A Rugby member of the Warwickshire Yeomanry in writing to a friend, states that they are now encamped in one of the best parts of Alexandria, close to the sea, where there is some fine bathing. The regiment has been turned into an army of occupation, so that there is little prospect at present of them seeing any fighting ; and this, the writer says, has given rise to a certain amount of grumbling, the men not liking their inactivity. He states that he receives the Rugby Advertiser each week, and notices that recruiting is still going on, and ventures the opinion that some of those who are hanging back ought to go to Egypt and see some of the wounded Australians, who had been brought back from the Dardanelles. These had not only bullet wounds, but deliberate atrocities had been committed upon them by the Turks. “ If these men could only see such sights as we who are here do Lord Kitchener would have 3,000,000 men.” At present, he says, the Yeomanry are doing routine work, principally training the horses they received to replace those which were on the Wayfarer. They recently experienced a dust storm. The wind blew half a gale, carrying dust and sand with it, and filling everything with fine sand. The temperature was 108 in the shade and 132 in the sun, and the men of the regiment, who were in “ stalls ” at the time, went into the sea and stood with the water up to their chins for two hours. The storm lasted from 9 a.m to 3.30 p.m ; and the men, he facetiously adds, were “ eating ” sand for two days afterwards. He concludes with the opinion that there is no place to beat Warwickshire, with its green fields, even if it is cold and wet. One can have too much sand and sunshine.
BRITISH TROOPS IN A FAVOURABLE POSITION.
RUGBY SOLDIER’S OPINION.
Bombardier Turner, of the Royal Field Artillery, whose home is at 21 Plowman Street, and who has been at the front since the commencement of the war, visited his home for a few days this week. This is the second time Bombardier Turner has been home on leave, the first occasion being in January last. Although he took part in the retreat from Mons, and has been in most of the great fights since then, he has, fortunately, so far escaped injury. Nevertheless, he has had many narrow escapes. He is now attached to the grenade section with the Royal Engineers, and his duty consists in keeping the infantry men well supplied with hand grenades and operating the trench mortars. In his opinion, the British force is now in a better position than it has been in since the commencement of the war-in fact, had they been as strong last August the retreat from Mons would never have taken place. They now had plenty of ammunition, good serviceable guns and men, and, he added : “ If Mr Lloyd George will only keep on giving us ammunition like he is now doing we shall be all right.” Life at the front is evidently not all hard work, although there is plenty of that and to spare, for Bombardier Turner informed our representative that the trenches have now been made very comfortable, with arrangements for pumping out water in case of floods, and facilities for games are provided. Sports of various kinds are arranged in the rest camps, and recently a horse-jumping competition for a small gold cup, presented by King Albert, took place between the British and the Belgians, ending in a win for the latter. In an international football match the British Cavalry Division defeated the Belgians, and secured the medals given by the King of Belgium. Cricket and other games are also indulged in, and Bombardier Turner, who left on Thursday for the front, volunteered the information that the troops were quite cheerful and only waiting to “ slash it across the Germans.”
RUGBY MEN WIN THE D.C.M.
News has just been received in Rugby that one of the first volunteers to enlist from the B.T.H Works has been decorated with the Distinguished Conduct Medal. This decoration has been awarded to Pte A Hotz, of the 1st East Surrey Regiment, for conspicuous gallantry on Hill 60, where he placed himself in front of a communication trench occupied by the enemy, and on the enemy advancing attacked them with hand grenades and dispersed them. Pte Hotz was employed in the construction department at the B.T.H Works, and the members of the staff are naturally very pleased that this award for gallantry has been received by one of their number.
Lce-Corpl P V Stent, of the 5th Service Batt Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, whose parents live at 28 Worcester Street, Rugby, has received the D.C.M for valour in the trenches, He was a bomb-thrower, and succeeded in taking a trench almost entirely by himself. He brought back with him an explosive mine and showed it to his Colonel. Lce-Corpl Stent was for seven years in “ E ” Company, Rugby, and when he enlisted at the beginning of the war was employed as a moulder at Willans & Robinsons.
RECRUITING AT RUGBY.
The following have been recruited at Rugby Drill Hall during the past week :-H Smith, R.W.R ; J Ryan, Scottish Rifles ; J Clowes, R H Lucas, R S Hirons, H R Hirons, and H Matthews, East Kent Regiment ; E Humphries Webb, Oxon and Bucks L.I ; E J Dalzel, J Welch, and H Lines. R.A.M.C ; C A Goodman, R.F.A ; J Andrews, R.G.A.
More recruits are still wanted, and arrangements have been made for each town to raise its own Company, to be drilled together. At present those who are willing to join are asked to send in their names to the Recruiting Officer, Drill Hall, Rugby. When sufficient men have been obtained to start training they will be called up.