22nd Jun 1918. Memorial Tablets in Churches.

MEMORIAL TABLETS IN CHURCHES.—The Bishop of Worcester, in this month’s Worcester Diocesan Magazine, writes :—“ I wish again to call the clergy’s attention to the growing number of large tablets which are being proposed in our churches. We have really no right to occupy the church wall space in this way. The best way to commemorate those who have died in the War is the brotherly way of one memorial for the whole parish, on which the name of comrades can be inserted. For rich persons to occupy the wall space with memorials which cannot be afforded by poorer parishioners is as objectionable as occupying the floor space by large private pews. I appeal to the church feeling of my diocese to consider this.”


CORRECTION.—In our last issue it was inadvertently stated that Lieut H N Salter, who had been awarded the Military Cross, was the son of Mr A G Salter. It should have been Mr H S Salter, of 3 Elborow Street, Rugby.

Mrs. F. Kirby, 15 Sun Street, Rugby, has been informed that her son, Pte A Kirby, R.W.F, had been wounded for the third time and brought to Southampton War Hospital. She has another son in France, and her husband is also serving in Palestine.

The following Rugby men have appeared in the casualty lists issued this week :—Killed, Rfn W Griffin, Rifle Brigade ; missing, Pte G W Wale, Border Regt, Pte J Harris (Royal Scots), and Pte B Lawley (R.W.R).

Mr and Mrs Bland have received news from the War Office that their son, Pte R G Bland, of the Lancashire Fusiliers, was killed in action on June 4th. Also a letter from the Chaplain to say he had buried him in one of the Military Cemeteries, and the Battalion had erected a cross to his memory. He was 18 years of age, and was an Elborow old boy.

Mr and Mrs Pulham, of Barby, have received a letter from their son, Rfn H W Pulham, who has been missing since April 15th, 1918, saying he is a prisoner in Philippapalis, Bulgaria. He joined the colours at the outbreak of the war, and served 12 months in France, where he was wounded on July 1st, 1916. He was transferred to Salonica in November, 1916, where he served till reported missing. He was formerly employed at the B.T.H. Machine Assembly Department.

Mr Doyle, of 71 Victoria Street, New Bilton, received news this week that his brother, Pte Thomas Doyle, had been killed in action in Palestine. This makes the third brother he has lost, Frank and Joseph Wilfred Doyle having been killed in France. They were the sons of the late Mr Joseph Doyle, and of Mrs Doyle, of Frankton.

Pte W H Fallon, Wiltshire Regt, son of Mr and Mrs Fallon, 7 Adam Street, New Bilton, who was previously reported missing, is a prisoner of war at Munster, and Pte A Backle, R.W.R., whose wife lives at 27 Pinfold Street, New Bilton, is a prisoner at Hamburg.


The meritorious Service Medal in recognition of valuable service rendered in France has been awarded to :—
Sergt H E Gregory. A.S.C., Rugby.
L-Corpl S G Hall. R.W.R., Rugby.
Reg.Q.M.S. E L Hewitt, R.W.R., Rugby.
L-CorpI J W Hooper, R.W.R., Newbold-on-Avon.
Sapper A W Rathbone, R.E., Rugby.


The Cemetery Committee reported that they had considered the question of the free interment of members of His Majesty’s Forces dying in Rugby and the neighbourhood, and recommended that in future the same facilities be granted as to Rugby men, and in case of any difficulty arising the matter should be referred to the discretion of the Chairman of the Council, Mr Stevenson, and the Clerk.—They had instructed the Clerk to allow the erection of a headstone or curbing over graves of men dying in His Majesty’s Forces and interred in the Cemetery, free of charge, where necessary.

The Public Health Committee reported that four cases of infectious disease had been noticed, of which two had been removed to the Hospital at Harborough Magna.

HUNS BEHAVE DECENTLY TO SOME PRISONERS.—Mr and Mm L Ward have received a card from their son, Lance-Corpl J Ward, who is now a prisoner at Langensalza, in Germany. He informs them that his right arm was fractured just below the right shoulder. The wound is healing up finely and he can to use his fingers a little. He further states : “ We are being treated well, under the circumstances, and we have nothing to grumble about, so cheer up and do not worry.”

PTE JAMES CASTLE.—Pte James Castle, who was an Army Reserve man when the war commenced, has just received his discharge certificate. He joined the Leicester Regt in 1903, and was mobilised when war started. He went to France on the 20th of September, 1914, and was in the thick of the fighting until the 20th of January, 1915, when he was badly injured in the knee through a trench being blown in upon him. He was then sent to an English hospital. Although his knee never got thoroughly well he did a lot of useful work in assisting in the drilling of recruits and afterwards as a Military Policeman. The certificate, which speaks highly of him, says he was honourably discharged. Being the first received at Bretford during the war it is an object of interest to the inhabitants.

P.C and Mrs Bradbury, of Napton, have recently received the news from their third son in France, Regt-Sergt-Major A H Bradbury, 2/6 R.W.R, that he has won the Military Cross. His Colonel, when wounded, handed over the command of the Regiment to him, although Bradbury himself was slightly wounded. Before joining the army Sergt-Major Bradbury was a member of the Warwickshire Constabulary, stationed at Warwick. Mr and Mrs Bradbury have three other sons in France—Corpl H Bradbury, of the Royal Engineers ; Corpl L Bradbury, of the: Army Service Corps ; and Pte M Bradbury, of the Suffolk Regiment. Mr Bradbury has served eight years in the Royal Rifle Corps, seven of which he was serving in India. He has been in the Police Force over 27 years.


SIDNEY LANE HOME.—L-Corpl Sidney Lane (K.R.R), second son of Sergt and Mrs Frank Lane, has now been invalided home. He was severely wounded in France last November, and his left leg has been amputated above the knee.

WOUNDED.—Miss Ada Allen has received a notification that her brother, Pte Walter Allen (Cheshire Regt), was wounded by a bullet through his right arm during the advance on the 30th ult He joined up in September, 1914, and though he has been through some trying experiences since then, this is the first time he has been wounded.


We are asked to remind the public that bread should be kept in a cool place during warm weather. At temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit bread made from the flour at present in use is apt to become “ ropey ”, and unsuitable for food, but at lower temperatures its keeping qualities are good. Complaints continue to be heard from time to time against the so-called war bread made from standard wheaten floor, with an admixture of flour obtained from other cereals. We are informed that the policy of raising the percentage of flour extracted from wheat and adding flour from other cereals was only adopted after the fullest scientific investigation both as to the digestibility and the nourishing qualities of the resulting product.

The present position of the cereal supplies completely vindicates the policy of dilution as applied to bread. It is authoritatively stated that no evidence whatever has been adduced that the health of the nation has generally suffered from the lowering of the quality of bread, and at the present time the stocks in the country are enough to enable the Royal Commission on Wheat Supplies to make the definite statement that the bread supply of the country is assured until the next harvest is gathered. The total saving effected up to the present is estimated as the equivalent of the cargoes of more than 400 steamers of average size, or nearly one-third of an average annual importation. It is held that such a saving could not have been effected by rationing without disastrous effects on the general national health. The outlook at the moment is distinctly promising.



At a meeting of the Rugby Food Control Committee on Thursday last week the Chairman (Mr T A Wise) referred to the dissatisfaction which has been caused by the refusal of permits to purchase sugar to people who had neglected to enclose a stamped addressed envelope with their application forma. Many people he said, thought that the committee of their own malicious stupidity made this regulation, but it was not so; it was a Government instruction, and the local officials did all they could by drawing the attention of the applicants to the regulation by placing a mark at each side of the paragraph relating to it. Any remarks about red tape had nothing to do with the Committee ; they should be addressed to the Government. Before any agitation arose over the matter he discussed the question with the Executive Officer, and they wrote to London to see if they could get some redress. They had no desire to be harsh or unfair, but when a regulation was printed on a form it saw not too much to expect that the people concerned would read it, particularly when their attention was especially attracted to it ; and the remarks which had been made concerning the committee and the officials were grossly unfair. He thought people should appreciate the difficulties under which the staff had worked.

The Executive Officer (Mr F M Burton) said with regard to the suggestion that letters should be sent to all persons who had received permits, asking them to return them for re-consideration if their fruit crop had not come up to expectation, this would have required 5,000 envelopes ; and, after consulting the Chairman and Vice-Chairman, he had placed an advertisement in the local Press, and had had some window bills printed to this effect.—This action was endorsed.

The Executive Officer read a letter from the Ministry on the subject, asking for particulars as to the number of late applications, and stating that if the number was not a large one permits could be issued. If this involved a large indent of sugar details should be sent to the Ministry before issuing the permits. As there were 685 applicants affected he had sent the details.—The Chairman said he hoped they would now get something from the London authorities.

Mr Griffin mentioned the case of a man who could not get his form when he applied for it, but left a penny for the stamp.—The Chairman : That was risky (laughter). I do not mean that as a reflection on the staff ; but if there were a number like that they could not possibly recollect all who left money.—The Executive Officer said they had quite a pile of money handed in, and every penny was used in stamps.

At a later stage of the meeting the Executive Officer stated that if people retained sugar, and had not sufficient fruit to utilise it, they would be liable to be prosecuted.—Mr Humphrey pointed out, however, that many people whose ordinary fruit crop had failed would grow marrows, and it would be impossible for them to say how many of these would be available for jam.—Mr Mellor enquired the position of a man who applied for 20lbs of sugar, and was allowed 10lbs if he had only sufficient fruit to use the 10lbs.—The Chairman : He would be perfectly right in keeping it.—Mr Appleby enquired whether the members of the committee who signed application forms as references were satisfied that the applicants had the fruit trees they claimed to have.—Mr Tarbox said he was satisfied that all those which he signed were in order ; and although many people had not got stone fruit, the vital point was to see that the sugar released was used for jam making.

ALIEN’S MISUNDERSTANDING.— Ingrid S Andersson, tailoress, 18 Bath Street, Rugby, an alien, was summoned for failing to furnish the Registration Officer with the particulars required under the Aliens’ Restriction Order.—Charles G Youngmark, tailor, 18 Bath Street, was summoned for having an alien living as a member of his household and failing to furnish the Registration Officer with the particulars required under the Order, or to give notice to the Registration Officer of the presence of an alien.—Mr H W Worthington defended both, and pleaded guilty.—Detective Mighall deposed that on June 7th Miss Andersson visited the Police Station, and said she had read in the papers that all aliens over 18 years of age had to register. She added that she had been in England since 1903. Witness asked if she was aware that she should have registered two years ago and she replied in the negative. He registered her, and on the following day he interviewed Mr Youngmark, who said Miss Andersson was his niece, and had lived with him since 1903 as an adopted daughter. He was not aware that he ought to have notified the police that she was staying with him.—Supt Clarke said after such a registration a copy had to be sent to the Chief Registration Officer at Warwick, who had ordered the proceedings.—Mr Worthington said Mr Youngmark was a Swede, who came to England 41 years ago, and had been naturalised. Miss Andersson, his wife’s niece, was also born in Sweden, and on her mother’s death Mr & Mrs Youngmark brought her to England, where she had lived continuously. Miss Andersson was not aware that friendly aliens had to be registered until she read a paragraph in the newspapers.—Both cases were dismissed without conviction under the Probation of Offenders’ Act.


DOYLE.—In loving memory of my dearest husband, Pte TOM DOYLE, of Borton, killed in action June 6th, 1916, with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call.
He gave his life for one and all ;
But the unknown grave is the bitterest blow,
None but aching hearts can know.”
— From his sorrowing wife and children, mother, sister, and brothers.

HICKINGBOTHAM.—On the 10th inst., WILLIAM (late Pioneer R.E.), eldest son of Mr. & Mrs Hickingbotham, 33 Cambridge Street, Rugby..—“ Thy will be done.”

LEVETT.—Killed in action, in Palestine, March 30th, 1918, Sergeant C. E. LEVETT, 16th N.Z.Coy., I.C.C., only son of Mr. C. A. J. and the late Mrs. Levett (nee Buchanan), Ratanui, Kiwitea, New Zealand ; and grandson of the late Captain C. R. Levett, Rugby.


HUGHES.—In loving memory of Lance-Corpl (JACK) HUGHES, who was killed in action in France on June 18th, 1915.
“ A loved one gone, but not forgotten,
And as dawns another year,
In our lonely hours of thinking,
Thoughts of him are always dear.”
—Never forgotten by his father, mother, brothers, sister Edie, Kitty and Dick.

MULCASTER.—In proud and loving memory of Coy.-Sergt.-Major J. MULCASTER, who died from disease contracted while serving with his Majesty’s Forces on June 13, 1917.—Fondly remembered by his Wife and Children.

SANDS.—In ever-loving memory of my dear husband, Pte H. SANDS (HARRY), who died on June 17th, 1917, at El-Arish, Egypt.
“ One year has passed since that sad day,
When our dear one was called away ;
Bravely he went to duty’s call,
And gave his life for one and all.”
—From his loving wife and children.

Bland, Reginald George. Died 4th Jun 1918

Reginald George Bland’s birth was registered in Q4, 1899, in Rugby (6d, 592).  He was the son of William Bland, b.1864 in Knighton, and Ellen, née Cross, Bland, b.1871, in Southam, who were married in Stockton on 7 September 1893.

The family lived at 1 Pinders Lane, Rugby, where William senior was a Cab Driver.  For the 1901 census, still at the same address in Pinders Lane, Reginald was the youngest of four children: Rosetta J Bland, 5; William A Bland, 4; Charles H Bland, 2; and Reginald Bland, 1, and his father was a ‘cabman and groom’.  By 1911, with his father still a cab driver, there were now four more children.  Charles was 12 and still at school, and then or later attended the Elborow school,[1] as did his elder brother Charles H Bland.[2]

It seems that Reginald later worked at B.T.H., as he appears on their War Memorial.  At some date, probably in later 1917, Reginald George Bland enlisted in Rugby[3] as Private, No. 62584, and was at least latterly in the 16th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers.

The 16th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers (the 2nd Salford Pals Battalion) was raised on 5 (or 15) November 1914 in Salford, by Mr Montague Barlow MP and the Salford Brigade Committee.  They began training near home and on the 28 December 1914 they moved to Conway for training. They became part of the 96th Brigade, 32nd Division and moved in May 1915 to concentrate in Shropshire at Prees Heath.  The camp was found to be too wet for training and the Division moved on 21 June 1915 to Catterick in North Yorkshire, using the firing ranges at Strenshall.  In August 1915 they moved for final training and firing practice at Codford on Salisbury Plain.  The Battalion went to France, landing at Boulogne on 22 November 1915.  Their first taste of action was at Thiepval Ridge on the Somme on the 1 July 1916, the battle resulted in the Salford Pals being almost wiped out.  The battalion was reinforced and saw action throughout the war.

Reginald’s Medal Card gives no date when he either joined up or when he went to France – it was presumably after training in UK, and when he was 18 years old in later 1917 – unless he had given a false age!  He was probably part of one of the reinforcements and but was probably not involved in 1917 when the Battalion was involved in Operations on the Ancre and later in the pursuit of the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line in early 1917.  In 1918, by which date Reginald may have been in France, the Battalion was in action on the Somme and later in the Battles of the Hindenburg Line and the Final Advance in Picardy

The Battalion War Diary is located within the 96th Infantry Brigade Documents.[4]

In April 1918, the Battalion was located about 5 miles south of Arras.  After training in early May, on 11 May, ‘The Battalion relieved the 17th R.F.s. and proceeded into the line at BOIXLEUX AU MONT, one wounded.’  They were there until 20 May when they were relieved by the 2nd Manchesters and went into reserve at BLAIREVILLE, with one wounded.

Whilst in Reserve they had one killed and 17 wounded and they then went back into the trenches on 25 May, after relieving the 15th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers, when three more men were killed and 19 wounded.  They were relieved in turn by the 2nd Manchesters on 31 May, by which date, another man had been killed and 11 more wounded.

At the start of June 1918, the Battalion were back at Blaireville in reserve, and suffered no casualties for three days.  However, on 4 June 1918, ‘The Battalion relieves the 15th LANS. FUS. ‘C’ & ‘D’ Coys. in Line.’.  Whilst taking over in the trenches that day they suffered ‘4 killed and 7 wounded’.

Reginald was one of those who were ‘Killed in Action’ on 4 June 1918, presumably when in, or taking over, the front line trenches at BOIXLEUX AU MONT.  He was only 19 years old.

He was originally buried in a small cemetery, the Blairville Orchard Cemetery [Map Ref: 51c.X.4.d.2.9.] in Plot 2, Row B, Grave 9., presumably just behind the lines and indeed where they had been when in reserve.

In 1923, this small cemetery was ‘cleared’ and the bodies were ‘concentrated’, i.e. exhumed and moved to a larger cemetery where the graves could be properly tended.  He was recovered and  reburied by ‘Local Labour under the supervision of Mr. R. Stiles, ARO’.  His identification was confirmed by the original Cross at the smaller cemetery and by his clothing.  He was reburied in Plot: VIII. M. 22., in the Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery, Souchez.  His family did not request any personal inscription on his gravestone.

The Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery is situated between two war cemeteries, one French and the other German, south of the town of Souchez in France.  Cabaret Rouge was a small café, its brick building with red tiles was distinctive in the village where most of the houses were thatched.  It stood less than a mile south of Souchez and was destroyed by heavy shelling in May 1915.

Commonwealth soldiers began burying their fallen comrades there in March 1916.  The cemetery was used mostly by the 47th (London) Division and the Canadian Corps until August 1917 and by different fighting units until September 1918.  It was greatly enlarged in the years after the war when as many as 7,000 graves were concentrated here [including as noted above, that of Reginald George Bland in 1923] from more than 100 other cemeteries in the area.  For much of the twentieth century, Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery served as one of a small number of ‘open cemeteries’ at which the remains of fallen servicemen newly discovered in the region were buried.  The Canadian ‘unknown soldier’ was selected from those in this cemetery, and many Canadians from the Battles at Vimy Ridge were buried here.

Later in June, the Rugby Advertiser recorded,
‘Mr and Mrs Bland have received news from the War Office that their son private R G Bland of the Lancashire Fusiliers was killed in action on June 4th.  Also a letter from the Chaplain to say he had buried him in one of the Military cemeteries and the Battalion had erected a cross to his memory.  He was 18 years of age and an Elborow old boy.’[5]

Rugby Directories for 1919 list William Bland a labourer of 1 Pinders Lane.  In the 1922 directory Mrs Bland is listed at the same address, William having died about March 1920 aged 56.

Reginald George Bland was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  He is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates and on the BTH War Memorial.[6]

Two of Reginald’s brothers also served

His eldest brother, William Arthur Bland was recorded as working at BTH, and then serving.  He enlisted under Lord Derby’s scheme, ‘Enlistments at Rugby under Lord Derby’s Scheme in December 1915.  ‘The following additional men have enlisted at Rugby under the Group System in connection with Lord Derby’s Recruiting Scheme.  Single Men.  Bland, Wm Arthur, 1 Pinders Lane, Rugby.’[7]  He survived the War and later married and was working as a Crane Driver in 1939.

His elder brother Charles H Bland served and was ‘Killed in Action’ on 1 July 1916, on the first day of the Battle of the Somme,[8] – see here.  His death was later recorded in the Rugby Advertiser in September.[9]



– – – – – –


Some information for this article on Reginald George Bland was initially provided for this Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by Peter Davies, and further details were added as they became ‘findable’ by searching on-line by John P H Frearson.  The article is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, May 2018.

[1]      Rugby Advertiser, 22 June 1918.

[2]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 23 September 1916, and see also .

[3]      Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919.

[4]      The National Archives, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Various Infantry Brigades, 32nd Division, Piece 2397: 96 Infantry Brigade (1915 – 1919) – also available on www.Ancestry.co.uk.

[5]      Rugby Advertiser, 22 June 1918.

[6]      The list of names on the BTH War Memorial is taken from the list in the Rugby Advertiser dated 4 November 1921.

[7]      https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/4th-dec1915-lord-derbys-scheme-part-2/.; also in the Rugby Advertiser, 4 December 1915.

[8]      Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2016/07/01/bland-charles-henry-died-1st-jul-1916/ .

[9]      Rugby Advertiser, 23 September 1916.

25th May 1918. The Recent Flying Accident Near Rugby


At a meeting of the Rugby Urban Council, acting as a Burial Board, on Tuesday evening, Mr. Stevenson referred to the criticisms which had been levelled against the Council in connection with the charge of £11 for the ground for the burial of a Royal Air Force officer who was killed in a recent flying accident. He said he was sorry to see the remarks which appeared in one of the local papers condemning the Council for its unpatriotic action. In view of the town’s record all through the war he did not think such remarks were called for, and he was also very sorry indeed to see such an educated man as the Coroner using strong remarks, particularly as he had not made himself fully conversant with the whole facts. He also deprecated the Coroner’s action in asking the Press to take up the cudgels and to start a propaganda to slander the Council. No mention had been made of the fact that on a previous occasion a flying corps officer had been interned in the cemetery free of charge, and no request had been made by soldiers or their relatives which had not been granted. Had the gentleman who had impugned Rugby’s patriotism or any of his officers, communicated with the Clerk to the Council on the matter he had no doubt that the Council would have done its duty as it always did.

The Clerk said he regretted that such a thing had ever occurred. The Council would remember that some months ago they decided that a free site should be granted to any Rugby soldier who lost his life whilst serving with His Majesty’s forces, if it was the wish of his friends. This had been carried out, and had been much appreciated by the relatives of the men. Then, about a couple of months ago, a young officer of the R F.C. met with an accident and died in Rugby, and in his discretion he (the Clerk) decided that this case came under the purview of the Council’s resolution and a free internment was granted. It seemed strange that the Military, in their statement concerning the present case, entirely omitted to mention the fact. In the present case the undertaker informed Mr. Foxon, who consulted him (the Clerk) on the matter, that it was desired to bury the young man at Rugby. He ascertained that the death did not take place in the town. He explained the circumstances very fully to the undertaker, who quite understood the position, and telephoned the facts to the Commanding Officer. From that moment until after the inquest he (the Clerk) never heard any more about the matter ; the military never approached him, and so far as he knew the funeral was to be at Rugby, and the day before the funeral they borrowed the Council’s Union Jack. Although at the inquest the Coroner was asked to communicate with him (the Clerk) he had heard nothing from him. He did not wish to say anything which would cause a continuation of any controversy, but he did think if the Military felt so very strongly on the matter they might have put themselves in touch with him, and had they done so he would have used every effort to have met the request for any soldier who had given his life for his country to be buried in their cemetery, even to the extent of providing the fees had it been necessary.

Mr. Linnell said it had always been usual to charge double fees for strangers, but he thought that, to stop the chance of similar occurrences, they should allow any soldier dying in the neighbourhood to be buried at Rugby if his friends wished it. He hoped there would be so few that it would make little or no difference to the number of interments.

Mr. Stevenson suggested that this should be referred back to the Cemetery Committee.—Mr. Robbins supported.

Mr. Yates thought it very regrettable that such a controversy had arisen. They had acted entirely within the regulations, but this was one of the unexpected emergencies arising for which there was no provision made. He supported the suggestion to refer the matter to the Cemetery Committee to see if they could frame a rule or amend the regulations to cover contingencies such as this. They wanted to scrap as much red tape as possible, and if they had officials and there were regulations they could only expect them to carry them out. They could pass no strictures on Mr. Morson although they might blame themselves for not making their regulations elastic enough to cope with such cases.

Mr. Barnsdale agreed that all soldiers whose friends desired it should be allowed a free burial in the Cemetery, but he regretted that this question had cropped up. Much had been said about it which should not have been said.

The Chairman (Mr. McKinnell) also thought it was a great pity that the matter had arisen. The gist of the matter seemed to be that while the Military felt very strongly that this young officer should be buried in Rugby Cemetery they did not get into touch with the Clerk to inquire whether the charge could be reduced or waived altogether. Had the Clerk not felt able to take the responsibility upon himself or to find the chairman of the Cemetery Committee he certainly would have authorised him to give permission for the burial, and he felt quite certain that the Council would have been only too glad to have confirmed his action.

Mr. Hands suggested that a copy of the paper containing the discussion should be forwarded to the Coroner.


DESERTER.—Wallace Harper, no fixed abode, was charged with being a deserter from the Mechanical Transport, A.S.C.—He pleaded guilty.—P.S Hawkes deposed that he met prisoner on Saturday morning in Railway Terrace, and as ha was of military age he asked to see his Army discharge papers or rejection certificate. Prisoner replied that he had neither, and that he had not been registered, examined, or called up. He gave his name as James Davis, no fixed abode ; but while he was taking his description at the Police Station witness noticed that he had been recently vaccinated ; and on being questioned about this, prisoner admitted that his name was Wallace Harper, and that he had been a deserter from Norwich since April 27th.—Remanded to await an escort.

A PATRIOTIC OFFER.—Mr Harold Cole, a retired Metropolitan policeman, was sworn in as a reserve constable, and complimented by the Bench upon his patriotism in coming forward.

DISCHARGED SOLDIERS.—The number of discharged soldiers in the different districts is as follows:—Rugby 443, Alcester 138, Atherstone 287, Brailes 30, Coleshill 85, Coventry 406, Henley 57, Kenilworth 104, Kineton 39, Leamington 429, Solihull 135, Southam 91, Stratford 157, Sutton Coldfield 241, Warwick 236.


In reply to a letter to the Military Authorities asking that low flying in aeroplanes over the town should be stopped, Capt King, the officer commanding, wrote :— “ It is impossible to eliminate all low flying, as present War conditions make a certain amount of low flying essential. Flying has to be carried out when the clouds are very low, and, consequently, the machines have to fly underneath the clouds. I will, however, try as far as possible to keep the machines from flying low over Rugby.

A hackney carriage driver’s license was granted to Miss Ida Cooper, of 83 Winfield Street. This is the first license that has been granted to a lady locally.

In presenting the Electric Committee’s report, Mr H Yates expressed the gratitude of the Committee to the B.T.H. staff & workmen for the very speedy manner in which they effected the repairs after the recent accident at the Power House. When he visited the scene of the accident with Mr Shenton, and saw the extent of the damage done, he was surprised that they should attempt to get the supply renewed for the evening. He thought the achievement reflected great credit on the staff and workmen who worked so hard to get the supply assured by eight o’clock. He therefore moved that a letter of appreciation be sent to the B.T.H.

Mr T A Wise seconded, and said the speed of the repairs was really wonderful. He did not see the damage, but those who had seen it told him that they never believed it possible that the work could be done so quickly. Praise was due also for the extraordinary presence of mind of two workmen—Messrs Smart and Newitt—who took steps immediately the accident occurred to eliminate all chance of a further explosion. Had it not been for them, he understood much more serious damage would have been done.—This was carried.

In reply to a question, the Clerk said he had received a long list of names of Rugby men who had fallen in the War, but they were not nearly complete yet, and he hoped that friends and relatives of fallen men would communicate with him at once.


The following Rugby soldiers, all belonging to the Oxford and Bucks LI., have been reported missing:—Ptes W Chamberlain, F Lenton, H Slatcher, and Corpl W F C White. Rifleman Pitham, 10 Earl Street ; Pte W H Mitchell, Worcester Regt, son of Mr and Mrs David Mitchell, Lodge Road, and Pte H Facet, Leicester Regt, have also been reported as missing.

Pte A G Shilbock, Gloucester Regt, 41 Abbey Street, Rugby, who has been reported as missing, is believed to have fallen into the hands of the Germans as he was last seen in a small group which was cut off by the enemy on March 24th. He was a fine swimmer and won three certificates at the Rugby Baths. He had been in France 12 months.

Mr. and Mrs. Bland have received news from the War Office that their eldest son, Private W Bland, of the Somerset Light Infantry, has been missing since March 21. This is their second son who has been reported missing. A third son is now in France.

Mrs. Freeman, Bennett Cottage, Bennett St., has received news from her husband. Sergt. J. Freeman, R.W.R, an old member of E Company that he is a prisoner of war in Germany. He was officially posted as missing on March 22nd.

Sergt J Webb, 1st Warwicks, Dunchurch Rd, Rugby, who, as we announced last week, was congratulated on his fine behaviour by the General commanding the 4th Division, has been awarded the D.C.M. for gallantry in the field.

Transferred to Holland after more than three years in Germany as a prisoner of war, Sergeant H Collins, of New Bilton, Rugby, writes: “ I must tell you about my last three days in Germany, just to give you an idea of the starvation out here. Three days before leaving Germany for Holland we were sent to an exchange station on the German frontier, a town called Aaken. When we arrived at the station there and marched through the streets, hundreds of children followed us begging us to give them bread and among them also were many women. Of course we had food with us from our parcels, and at our billets we threw the empty meat and jam tins away. My God, it was painful to see crowds of these women and children dash for the empty tins.

DESERTER.—On Monday, before Mr. A. E. Donkin, Driver William Henry Jones, 24 Kimberley Road, pleaded guilty to being a deserter from the Mechanical Transport, A.S.C., since April 7.—P.S. Hawkes deposed that prisoner was in plain clothes when he arrested him at his residence. He was unable to produce any Army discharge papers, and he admitted that he was a deserter.—Remanded to await an escort.

DR POWELL has heard that his son, who was reported missing, is wounded and a prisoner in Germany.

LATEST NEWS OF OUR SOLDIER BOYS.—News is now to hand that Pte Sidney Linnett, Army Cyclist Corps, previously reported missing, is a prisoner of war at Limberg. He was captured on April 9th last.—Pte Frank Lane, Grenadiers, is now reported missing. He is son of Mr & Mrs Joseph Lane, and his brother Arthur, also of the Grenadiers, was killed on March 29, 1916.

RIFLEMAN W BUTTON, 7th Batt. Rifle Brigade, has sent word to Mrs Day, of Newbold-on-Avon, that he was taken prisoner about two months ago, and is now at Langensalza, Germany. Rifleman Button resided in the village for several years, and before joining the Army in September, 1914, was employed at the Cement Works.


The prohibition of the hoarding of silver coinage and the sale or purchase at more than its face value, in Ireland, announced on Tuesday morning, is now extended to the whole of the United Kingdom. The Regulation provides that after next Monday “ no person shall retain current silver coins of a value exceeding that of the amount of silver coinage reasonably required by him at that time for the purposes of the personal expenditure of himself and his family and of his trade or business (if any).” Contravention of the Regulation constitutes an offence against the Regulations, and the burden of showing what amount of silver it is “ reasonable ” for a person to have it placed on the person charged. The Regulation also provides that any person who sells or purchases, or offers to sell or purchase, any current coin for an amount exceeding the face value of the coin, or accepts or offers to accept any such coin in payment of a debt or otherwise for an amount exceeding its face value, shall be guilty of an offence.


At a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Farmers’ Union on Tuesday, in London, progress was reported in respect of the proposed Council of Agriculture, which is to represent owners, occupiers, and labourers to watch the interests of agriculture generally against urban interests, which one member said cared only for votes and how to get the cheapest food. It was hoped the Council would protect farmers against politicians, who set party against party, and class against class. It was agreed to send a resolution to Mr Prothero and Lord Rhondda, asking for a revision of food prices, in view of the greatly increased cost of production.

“ It is curious one can buy a live rabbit without a coupon, but not a dead one. You ought to have bought a live one and wrung its neck,” said Mr. H. Jackson, the clerk at West Ham Police Court.

WHITSUNTIDE BOOKINGS.—Although the number of persons travelling during the holidays was not so large as in pre-war days, the bookings at the G.C.R. Station on Saturday showed an advance on last year’s figures. On Whit-Monday, too, the numbers were high, but in most cases tickets were taken to Willoughby or stations within easy reach of the town. On the L & N.W. Rly. the traffic was quite normal, and although no extra trains were run passengers were not unduly crowded except in a few cases. The countryside was looking at its best last week-end and presented great attraction to those who could by any means of locomotion get out a few miles to enjoy the vernal surroundings. Most of them adopted the wise precaution of taking their lunch and tea rations with them.


To the Editor of the Advertiser.

DEAR SIR,—The military situation has necessitated calling-up of a large number of agricultural labourers, which will seriously deplete the available labour during the coming hay, corn, and potato harvests. It is of vital importance that the harvest of these crops should be successfully secured this year. This success will depend largely upon boys at public and secondary schools who have reached an age that will enable them to do useful work on the land.

The extent to which farmers are counting on their help is shown by the fact that demands for over 17,000 boys have already been received at the Ministry ; and there is no doubt that these numbers will be largely increased when the full effect of the calling-up for military service has been appreciated by the farmers. Of these numbers not less than 3,000 will be required during June and July, and a further 3,500 are needed for October for potato lifting if suitable accommodation can be arranged.

In view of the above facts, I am reluctantly compelled to appeal to schools to release during term-time such groups of boys as may be necessary for getting in the harvest. This is a time of national crisis, and the ordinary considerations of education have not the same force as in normal times. As I have pointed out, it is necessary to provide men for the Army, and it is necessary to provide labour to take their places on the farms and I must urgently appeal to parents, headmasters and boys to give all the help they can.

In view of my representations as to the urgency of the national need, the President of the Board of Education concurs in this appeal, and is issuing a circular on the subject to secondary schools in England and Wales.

All offers of service must be made through the headmasters of the schools. Headmaster who have not already received the regulations, and who can offer boys of 16 and over, should communicate with this Ministry.—I am. your, faithfully.

(Signed) A C GEDDES.
Ministry of National Service, Westminster, S.W.1.


DODSON.—In loving memory of Trooper GEOFFREY H. DODSON, 10th Australian Light Horse, son of Armourer-Staff-Sergt & Mrs. Dodson, 4 St. Matthew’s Street, who was killed in action in Palestine on May 2nd, 1918 ; aged 25.


HUDSON.—In ever-loving memory of my dear husband, HENRY JOHN HUDSON, who died at Chatham Naval Hospital, May 20, 1917.
With patience he suffered, his troubles were sore.
But now it is ended, he suffers no more ;
He sleeps, we will leave him in silence to rest,
The parting was painful, but God knoweth best.
—Sadly missed by his loving Wife and Children.

Bland, Charles Henry. Died 1st Jul 1916

Charles Henry Bland was born in about 1897 in Rugby, son of William Bland, b.1864 in Knighton and Ellen, née Cross, Bland, b.1871, in Southam, who were married in Stockton on 7 September 1893.

Charles was baptised on 11 September 1898 at Saint Andrew’s Church, Rugby. On that same day Frank Harold Boyes was baptised – they later lived only about three minutes walk apart and they would join up together and die together on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.

The family was living at 1 Pinders Lane, Rugby, and his father was a Cab Driver. In 1901, still at 1 Pinders Lane, Charles was about 2 and the second youngest of four children: Rosetta J Bland, 5; William A Bland, 4; Charles H Bland, 2; and Reginald Bland, 1 and his father a ‘cabman and groom’. By 1911, his father was still a cab driver, and there were now four more children.   Charles was 12 and still at school.

Charles Henry Bland enlisted as Private, No.16936, in the 2nd Battalion of the Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire) Regiment on the same occasion, and just before Frank Harold Boyes, who was No. 16937. His date of enlistment is unknown.[1]

The 2nd Battalion of the Royal Berkshire Regiment was a Regular Army unit and was serving in India on the outbreak of war and was recalled to Britain, where, with other Regular units also stationed abroad, it helped form the 25th Brigade and was attached to the 8th Division.   They came to the Western Front in late 1914 and arrived at Le Havre on the 5 November with 30 officers and 978 other ranks. Their first job was to relieve the 1st East Surreys in trenches at Fauquissart and there they suffered terribly from trench foot and other illness’s caused by the abrupt change of climate. The next three months were spent in and out of trenches including Christmas day when they took part in the Christmas Truce.

The War diaries for the 2nd Berkshires are available, although they would not be expected to include individual soldier’s names.

Charles’s Medal Card shows that he went to France later, presumably after training in UK, arriving there on 30 June 1915. The battalion diaries[2] can be sampled to find the activities of the battalion.

On 30 June, ‘2 Companies in billets at FLEURBAIX. 2 Companies in close support billets’ and similarly on 1 July 1915 ‘2 Companies in billets at FLEURBAIX. 2 Companies in close support billets.’ 3 and 4 July, ‘In trenches near BOIS GRENIER.’

1 August 1915, the troops were in billets near FLEURBAIX; on 1 September, ‘3 Companies in billets near BAC ST MAUR. 1 Company in billets near FLEURBAIX. The Battalion proceeded to Brigade Reserve billets about 7pm. 3 Companies in billets at FLEURBAIX. 1 Company in close support of No 6 Section.’ On 1 October ‘in billets near BAC ST MAUR’; on 1 December, ‘in camp near SERCUS, France. On 1 March 1916, ‘3 Companies in Brigade Reserve Billets near CROIX LESCORNEX. 1 Company in close support of 2nd Lincolnshire Regiment.’ On 1 April, ‘In Billets at FLESSELLES.’ 1 May ‘In Divisional Reserve Camp at HENENCOURT WOODS.’ 1 June, ‘In camp at HENENCOURT WOODS.’ 15 June, ‘In trenches, right sub-section. Flank Battalions 2nd Rifle Brigade on left flank – 4th Tyneside Scottish on right flank. 55 other ranks joined Battalion. 4 men wounded, 1 man to Hospital, 2 men from Hospital.’ 25 June, ‘In camp in LONG VALLEY near ALBERT.’

30 June, ‘In camp in LONG VALLEY near ALBERT. The Battalion paraded about 9.15pm in readiness to proceeded to Assembly positions in right sub-section trenches. (Signed) Roland Haig Lieut Colonel Commanding 2nd Royal Berkshire Regt.’

The opening of the Battle of the Somme produced a more detailed diary entry.

1 July 1916, ‘Attack on OVILLERS. The Battalion took up its assembly position in accordance with Brigade Operation Order No. 100. The 2nd BN LINCOLNSHIRE REGT was on the left and the 2BN DEVONSHIRE REGT on right. Our own wire was not sufficiently cut and parties were immediately sent out by Companies to clear it. At 6.25am the intensive bombardment began as scheduled. At about 7.15am the enemy opened rifle and machine gun fire on our line; this fire was probably drawn by the 2nd DEVON REGT which at about this time attempted to line up in front of their parapet. At 7.20am Companies began filing down trenches and getting ready for the assault. At 7.30am the three assaulting Companies advanced to attack the GERMAN line. They were met by intense rifle and machine gun fire which prevented any of the waves reaching the enemy lines. A little group on the left of the Battalion succeeded in getting in, but were eventually bombed out. At about 7.45am the COMMANDING OFFICER (LT COL A.M. HOLDSWORTH) and SECOND IN COMMAND (MAJOR G.H. SAWYER DSO) were wounded in the sap on the left of our front, the COMMDG OFFICER handed over Command of the Battalion to 2nd LIEUT C. MOLLET (ACTG ADJT) by this time the parapet was swept by rifle and machine gun fire which prevented any exit from our trenches. The enemy replied to our intensive bombardment by barraging the front line from about 6.35am onwards. No message was received from other Battalions in immediate vicinity. At about 11am the order came from Bde Headquarters to “stand by” and await further orders. About 200 men of the Battalion were collected on the right of the front line and in the assembly trenches off ULVERSTON Street. At about 12.30pm news was received that the Brigade would be relieved. At about 3pm Major Hon R. BRAND, 2nd Rifle Brigade arranged to take over all the front line and with the sanction of the Brigade the Battalion was withdrawn to RIBBLE STREET. On relief by the 37th INFANTRY BDE, the Battalion marched back to bivouac in LONG VALLEY. TWO LEWIS GUNS were damaged, Steel Helmets proved invaluable and in numberless cases saved mens lives.



2 July 1916, ‘In Camp at LONG VALLEY near ALBERT. The Battalion proceeded by march route to DERNANCOURT arriving there about 7.30pm.’

Charles Henry Bland was one of those killed or missing, and his body was not found or identified and he is remembered on Pier and Face 11 D. of the Thiepval Memorial.

The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was built between 1928 and 1932 and unveiled by the Prince of Wales, in the presence of the President of France, on 1 August 1932.

Charles Henry Bland was awarded the 1914-1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. He is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates.



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This article on C H Bland 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, June 2016.

[1]       Their Service Records have not survived, and the Berkshire’s numbering is not readily usable to approximate attestation dates.

[2]       The Wardrobe, The Rifles Berkshire and Wiltshire Museum, http://www.thewardrobe.org.uk/home.