5th Jan 1918. Carrier Pigeons Must Not Be Molested.


In consequence of the indiscriminate shooting of these useful birds and the grave results that may ensue from the loss of them, it may be as well to call attention to the fact that under the Defence of the Realm Regulations a heavy penalty is imposed for killing, wounding, molesting carrier or homing pigeons not belonging to that person. Any pigeon found dead or incapable of flight must be handed over to a police constable or military post. There is also a penalty on any person neglecting to give information who has knowledge of birds being thus found, and a reward is offered for information which may lead to the conviction of offenders.


The Sugar Rationing Scheme came into force locally on Monday, and has so far worked very smoothly. The whole of the registered sugar retailers have received sufficient quantities of sugar to supply all their customers, and the only complaints received have been from people who have neglected to comply with the requirements as regards filling in and depositing their forms with the retailers. In view of all the circumstances, the number of people who neglected to do this was surprisingly small.

During the past week has been a considerable shortage of margarine locally, and with the exception of a few very small consignments none had arrived in the town on Thursday morning since Xmas Eve.


The new system of selling fat cattle by weight, as ordered by the Food Controller, came into force at Rugby Market on Monday, and, so far as could be judged, worked to the satisfaction of all concerned.

Under the new instructions all fat cattle are consigned as heretofore to the auctioneers, and are then graded by a committee consisting of the auctioneer, a farmer, and a butcher, and sold by weight at prices fixed according to the grade, the farmer receiving the full value of the beast without reductions for expenses or auctioneers’ fees.

The supply of beef was quite as good as was exported in the circumstances, but there was a falling off as compared with recent weeks, many farmers having disposed of their stock in anticipation of possible restrictions, but unlike many other towns, there was sufficient to satisfy the requirements of local butchers for the time being.

To the Editor of the Advertiser.

DEAR SIR,- Now that the council had allotments for everyone, don’t you think it time for the single men in lodgings (often two or three in the same house) to speak for some ground and do their bit, and do it now ? I know they are badged men, so are all the married men, who are working all the ground they can get. I wonder if the single men, when they eat their vegetables, think who have grown them with so many men away fighting ? Most of these men live in the houses of soldiers’ wives or widows, and perhaps pay good board money ; but could they not get some ground and supply the vegetables at small cost ? I do not suggest that they should work for nothing. They may say they do not know how to start gardening. It was the same with many on the Clifton Road allotments, yet look at the result ! Beginners are not laughed at ; there are several women on the Clifton Road allotments who have, I am sure, not done gardening before, yet they buy their sack of lime and carry it themselves to their allotments. If these single men are too busy to read their local papers and get to know how their help is wanted, why do not their fellow-workmen give them a hint or two ? They may be only thoughtless, and it is possible they might be glad to give their spare time in such a good cause.



On Christmas Day the patients of the Isolation Hospital, Harborough Magna, had a most enjoyable time. Matron and nurses did everything possible to make it a joyful festival, and everything looked very bright and cheerful. The wards were beautifully decorated, one of the chief features being a Christmas tree, from which the Matron gave each patient a gift. The early morning was spent by the nurses singing carols, and after a good dinner, which everyone enjoyed, the patients were entertained by the nurses. Those who were able joined in games, &c. At the conclusion of the happy time cheers from the patients rewarded the Matron and nurses, and showed that they had appreciated all that they had been done for them. The Matron wishes most sincerity to thank all the kind donors who helped to make the Christmas time happy for her little patients.

RUGBY INSTITUTION.—Through the kindness of the Commandant, a party of wounded soldiers, under the charge of Staff-Sergt Rouse, gave an enjoyable evening’s entertainment to the inmates of the above on Friday last week. The programme consisted of character sketches, songs and duets. The chair was taken by Mr W E Robotham.

BOYS’ BRIGADE ENTERTAINED.—On Boxing Night the lst Rugby Company Boys’ Brigade, to the number of 75, were entertained to supper by Mr & Mrs H C Bradby and Mr G F Bradby. After supper they visited the pictures, where seats had been reserved for them by their hosts and hostess.


On Saturday afternoon about 120 wounded soldiers from the Infirmary and Te Hira Red Cross Hospitals were entertained to tea, and a concert afterwards, in New Big School, which had been kindly lent by Dr David.

The party was organized by Mrs Prior and Miss Donkin, who were largely helped by kind gifts of flour, cake, jam, sugar, scones, cigarettes, and matches from friends in the town ; the tea being given by local caterers, who provided the urns, crockery, &c. The entertainment, which followed, consisted of songs, recitations, and a play, entitled “ Susan’s Embellishments,” by Mr Arthur Eckersley, the characters being admirably taken by Miss Dukes, Miss Lawrence, Miss Campbell, and Mr Eckersley. Songs were sung by Mrs Prior (with ‘cello accompaniment by Mr A E Donkin), Mr Ingham, Staff-Sergt Rouse, Sergt Sharp, and Lance-Corpl Bailey. Mrs King Stephen gave an amusing recitation. At the conclusion of the entertainment each received a useful present.

THE NEW YEAR.— In pre-war days it was the custom at Rugby, as elsewhere, for the Scottish section to welcome the New Year by assembling round the Clock Tower, drinking healths and singing “ Auld Lang Syne ”—a celebration in which many Southerners joined. Like some other customs, however, this has fallen into desuetude during the War, because, in the first instance, many of the younger element have left the town, and also because the scarcity of that indispensible accompaniment—whisky. Not more than 50 people assembled to see the passing of 1917 and the birth 1918 ; and these, after exchanging mutual good wishes, dispersed without the customary singing and dancing round the Clock Tower.


LADY CLARE FEILDING, a daughter of the Earl of Denbigh, has been mentioned in dispatches for valuable services during the War. Viscount Feilding, who mentioned for the third time a few weeks ago, has just been awarded the C.M.G.

Two concerts were given at Bulkington on Thursday, December 27th, by the Misses Woodward, their pupils, and friends in aid of St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blind Soldiers and Sailors. The sum of £42 10s was realised.

Miss Dorothy Walding, daughter of Mrs Walding, The Limes, Hillmorton Road, Rugby, has been mentioned in dispatches by Sir Douglas Haig for work as a V.A.D nurse in France. Miss Walding, who was trained at the Hospital of St Cross, was one of the first to go out to France. She was also selected as one of the first of the staff of 30 nurses to go to Italy.

Second-Lieut A R Whatmore, A.S.C, well known in Rugby through his giving his services in amateur theatrical entertainments and as a vocalist at concerts, was mentioned in Sir D Haig’s recent dispatches.

Lieut-Col W Elliott Batt, R.F.A, who was mentioned in Sir D Haig’s recent dispatches, has been awarded the Companionship of the Order of St Michael and St George for services rendered in connection with military operations in the field (dated January 1, 1918).

Second-Liuet J E Davies, younger son of the late Mr J H Davies and Mrs Davies, of Wedgnock Park, has been promoted a Lieutenant in the King’s Liverpool Regiment. He was educated at Warwick school, and at an early stage of the War he joined the Oxford and Bucks, and was promoted to the rank of sergeant. He took part in the Battle of Loos, and was afterwards recommended for a commission, being posted to the King’s Liverpool. He went out again to the front, and was badly wounded. In civil life he was engaged as an engineer at the British Thomson-Houston Works at Rugby.

Capt M D Cloran, M.C., R.G.A., an engineer on the staff of Messrs Willans & Robinson, has received a bullet wound in the thigh and is now in hospital at Manchester.

Mr W A Stevenson, secretary of the Rugby branch of the N.U.R and a member of the Urban District Council, will form one of the delegation of railwaymen who have been invited by the Government to visit the Western Front.

Two Hinkley neighbours, Pte George Mason and Pte W A Hurst, whose birthdays were on the same day, join up together in 1916, were trained together, fought together, fell side by side in the same action, and were buried together.

News has been received that Second-Lieut J E Baskott, of the Royal Garrison Artillery, died of wounds on December 11th. Prior to joining the Army he was employed in the Machine Shop at the B.T.H.


There is a very urgent need for certain skilled men and boys for the R.N.A.S. Skilled wood-workers of categories 1, 2, and 3 are required. Boys in grades 1 or 2 between the ages of 16½ and 18 are also required for enrolment in the R.N.A.S for the duration of the War. They must have some experience of engineering or woodworking trades and a high standard of education.


Considerable pleasure has been expressed locally at the announcement that Major C P Nickalls, the officer commanding the Rugby Howitzer Battery, has been awarded the D.S.O. Major Nickalls has been connected with the Battery for some years, and he is deservedly popular with all ranks.


A number of remarkable acts of bravery are recorded in the list of awards of the Albert Medal, published in the “ London Gazette ” ; among them is a record of the manner in which our townsman, Dr Hoskyns, gained the Medal.

By a railway accident in France a man was pinned down by the legs under some heavy girders. The wreckage was on fire, and the flames had reached the man’s ankles, when Capt Charles R Hoskyns, R.A.M.C, crawled into a cavity in the burning wreckage, and after releasing one of the man’s legs amputated the other. The man was then drawn out alive, Capt Hoskyns keeping hold of the main artery until a tourniquet could be put on.


DIES OF WOUNDS.—News has been received by Mr Thos Gulliver, of Broadwell, that his son, Private Harry Gulliver, of the Warwicks, has died of wounds in France. Much sympathy is expressed for his parents who have now lost both their sons, the younger one being killed in action a few weeks ago.


ROLL OF HONOUR.—News has been received by Mrs J Williams that her thirds son, Pte Alfred T Williams, was killed in action in France on November 28th. Pte Williams, who was 23 years of age, enlisted in the 12th Lancers in September, 1914, and prior to that time was employed Coventry. Much sympathy is felt for Mrs Williams, this being the second son who has died for his country.


A few days before Christmas, Miss Kathleen Bolam, lady superintendent at Bilton Hall Red Cross Hospital, attended at Buckingham Palace and was presented by the King with the decoration of the Royal Red Cross, for which she had been recommended. Miss Bolam was afterwards received at Marlborough House by Queen Alexandra, who complimented her on her excellent work. This is the only distinction of the kind that has been awarded in Warwickshire.


Corpl J C Barclay, 4th South Staffordshires, son of Mr A M Barclay, 23 Murray Road, reported missing on November 3rd, has written home saying that he is a prisoner of war at Limburg A/Lahn. An old Territorial, Corpl Barclay was mobilised at the outbreak war, and had been in France 15 months.

Lance-Corpl E A Bromwich, 1st Battalion Coldstream Guards, second son of Mr E A Bromwich, Newton House Farm, has been officially reported a prisoner of war in Germany, but the address of his internment camp has not yet been received. Lance-Corpl Bromwich is well known in Rugby ; he worked for his father on the milk round for 10 or 11 years. His wife lives at Newton.

Pte L Lixenfield, son of Mr & Mrs J Lixenfield, of Wolston, is a prisoner of war in Germany, and interned at Munster. He was formerly in the employ of Messrs Bluemel Bros, Ltd.

Arrangements are being made by the Hon Secretary of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee (Mr J Reginald Barker) to forward the standard food parcels and bread to these prisoners.


The following letter has been received by J R Barker, hon secretary of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee, from Pte William Turner, Royal Munster Fusiliers, who is interned Giessen :- November 19th, 1917.

DEAR MR BARKER.—Just a few words to you in acknowledgment of your parcels, which I receive regularly and in good condition. I receive everything with the exception of tobacco. I wish to thank you very much, also your committee in Rugby, for what you have done for us out here. . . I am in the very pink, thanks to your medicine. Yorkshire Relish is unnecessary, as the air here is of the best. I am at present working near a famous English resort in peace time, called Bad Langenswabbach, also not many miles from Wiesbaden. I am on the land as a farm helper—a position I do not fancy very much, but I have no choice. One thing, I can start farming when I return, as I now understand all farming work.—I remain, yours very gratefully. WILLIAM TURNER.


During the year just passed the sum of £103 10s 1d has been raised by subscriptions and donations for the purpose of supplying cigarettes and tobacco to the soldiers in the two Rugby Hospitals. Four-fifths of the amount was subscribed by friends who contributed 1s or 2s per week each. Altogether £83 9s 3d has been spent in purchasing the fragrant weed, which has been supplied free of duty by the Sailors and Soldiers Smokes Society. The administrators of the fund, Mr H N Sporberg and the Rev W H Payne-Smith, hoped that one year’s operations might enough, but that hope has not been realised, and both hospitals are, and are likely to remain, full to their limit.


BARKER.—In loving memory of Pte. WILLIAM BARKER (Wolston), who died of wounds in France on December 15, 1917 ; aged 29 years. “ Rest in peace.”

GULLIVER.—In ever-loving memory of HARRY, the eldest and only surviving son of Mr. & Mrs. T. A Gulliver (Broadwell), who died of wounds in France on December 23. 1917, aged 28 years.
“ We loved him—oh ! No tongue can tell
How much we loved him and how well.
His fresh young life could not be saved,
And now he lies in soldier’s grave.”
—From his loving Father, Mother, and Sisters.

Bromwich, Frederick. Died 8th May 1917

Frederick Bromwich was born in Rugby in about 1879. His father was Edwin Bromwich, who was born in Rugby in 1852. He married Mary A. [née Sharp] Bromwich, who was born in Middlesex, in Rugby in 1875. In 1881 Edwin Bromwich was a shoemaker, living at 26 Ploughman Street, Rugby; in 1891 he had become a football maker, now at 21 Plowman Street – although this may have been the same house renumbered by the Post Office.

By 1901 the family had moved to 5 Round Street, and Frederick’s father was now working as a boot-maker, whist Frederick had started work as a groom.

In early 1909, Frederick married Fanny Hodges in Rugby. She was some six years his junior. By 1911, Frederick, now 32, was a ‘vanman’, and the couple lived at 39 Temple Street, Rugby. At some date they moved to Chapel Street, Long Lawford, Rugby.

At some date after the outbreak of the war, he enlisted at Rugby as a Private, No.22391, in the 15th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

With only the minimum details on his Medal Card and no surviving Service Record, it is difficult to reconstruct Frederick’s service history. His service number can be compared to similar numbers and a William Jarvis, No.22396, only five different, appears to have joined up on 30 October 1916.   Whilst this is well into the war, it must be remembered that at the outbreak of war Frederick was already 35 and married,[1] but the conscription of married men had started in June 1916.

The 15th Battalion (2nd Birmingham) Royal Warwickshire Regiment had been formed in Birmingham by the Lord Mayor and a local Committee in September 1914. The Battalion moved to Sutton Coalfield and then in June 1915 to Wensleydale to join the 95th Brigade of the 32nd Division and later moved to Salisbury Plain.

On 21 November 1915 the Battalion mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne and on 14 January 1916 had transferred to 13th Brigade in the 5th Division. In March 1916, still before Frederick had joined up, the Division took over a section of front line near Arras, between St Laurent Blangy and the southern edge of Vimy Ridge. When the offensive opened on the Somme on 1 July 1916, the 5th Division was enjoying a period of rest and re-fit and was in GHQ Reserve. However, this restful time was not destined to last and in July 1916 they moved some 50 miles south to reinforce the Somme.

It is unlikely that Frederick had received sufficient training to have been involved on the Somme, but in October 1916 the Division had left the Somme and was holding a quieter line near Festubert and this may have been when newer recruits would have joined the 15th Battalion as reinforcements. Whilst there was a constant threat from enemy artillery and sniper fire, in comparison with the Somme it was a relatively tranquil period that lasted until March 1917.

In early April 1917 they moved to Arras for the various phases of the Battles of Arras, starting with the attack on Vimy Ridge from 9-12 April 1917; and then three Battles of the Scarpe, 9-14 April; 23-24 April 1917; and 3-4 May 1917; and the subsidiary attack on La Coulotte on 23 April 1917.

However on the date that Frederick died, 8 May 1917, the 15th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment was ordered to attack the German-held village of Fresnoy [in full Fresnoy-en-Gohelle], which was about 8 miles north-east of Arras and west of Vimy.

The Battalion War Diary records that preparations did not go smoothly. The men were ordered forward to a forming up point several hours before the attack, from where they would launch their offensive. Unfortunately, orders were issued, countermanded and reissued, and the men were moved forlornly around the forming up area, all the while artillery fire. Time passed, and eventually the attack was cancelled for that day and postponed until 0200 on the 9th. Sadly, the delay and confusion meant that the Warwicks were held in the jump off zone for several hours, coming under German artillery fire and sustaining casualties of six other ranks killed, 18 wounded.[2]

Terry Carter provided a summary of the 9 May attack in his book The Birmingham Pals:

Before the men even got to the German positions many casualties were caused by shellfire catching them whilst crossing No Man’s Land. Despite these early losses men of the 15th Royal Warwicks reached their objectives in and around Fresnoy, but because they were now weak in numbers and both flanks in the air, the remaining men had to pull out and return to the jumping off line. During this failed attack the Battalion lost 206 men; sixty of these were killed. Once back in the jumping off trench, the 15th Royal Warwicks were relieved by the 16th, who then suffered four days of concentrated artillery bombardment, in which twenty five men lost there [sic] lives.[3]

Another soldier in the 15th Battalion, Private Ernest Powell, No.22718, who died on the same day as Frederick, was buried in the same cemetery.

… he died whilst engaged in a fight for the nearby village of Fresnoy in which 104 men were killed. A colonel commanding the battalion wrote a report of the “disaster” of 8th May and concluded that the men were “attempting to hold an impossible salient as a defensive postition”, that there was no aerial or artillery support and the appalling weather turned the area into a sea of mud with “visibility being NIL”.

Frederick was ‘Killed in Action’ on 8 May 1917. He is buried in the Orchard Dump Cemetery, Arleux-En-Gohelle in Grave Reference: I. E. 4. The cemetery is about a kilometer west of Arleux-en-Gohelle, which is about two kilometers west of Fresnoy.

The Orchard Dump Cemetery was only begun in April 1917, to serve the new front opening with the Battles of Arras, and it was used by the units holding that front until the following November. The original burials are in Plot VI, Row K, and Plot I, Rows A to F which latter plot includes Frederick’s grave. He was one of the first casualties to be buried there, in the seemingly less regimented area, now surrounded by the more orderly ranks of graves.

The cemetery was greatly enlarged after the Armistice by the concentration of graves, mostly of unknown soldiers, from the neighbouring battlefields and from other burial grounds. During the 1939-45 War, the cemetery was used again by a casualty clearing station. The site was given by the widow of a Captain in the French 72nd Infantry Regiment, killed in action in August 1914.

Frederick Bromwich does not appear to be related to John George Bromwich who is also commemorated on the War Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby.




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This article on Frederick Bromwich 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, July 2014.


[1]       Conscription during First World War began when the British government passed the Military Service Act in 1916. The act specified that single men aged 18 to 45 years old were liable to be called up for military service unless they were widowed with children or ministers of a religion. Married men were exempt in the original Act, although this was changed in June 1916.   The age limit was also eventually raised to 51 years old

[2]       http://www.frontlinelivinghistory.com/#!social–blog/c1muy.

[3]       Terry Carter, The Birmingham Pals, at http://www.frontlinelivinghistory.com/#!social–blog/c1muy

Bromwich, John George. Died 29th Jul 1916

John George Bromwich was born in late 1887, in New Bilton, Rugby, Warwickshire. His father, Charles Dunkley Bromwich, a gas fitter, was born in about 1862 in Fenny Stratford, Buckinghamshire, but by 1881 was a widower lodging together with his son, John, with the Burdett family at 9 Victoria Street, New Bilton. His wife, John’s mother, had died in late 1890, when John was three years old. In 1901, they were still lodging with the Burdetts, but now at 21 Victoria Street, quite possibly the same house, renumbered in the Post Office’s street reordering. He was 13 and his elder brother, Frederick was working as a plumber, presumably with his gas fitter father.

John married to Eva Emily Walker of 17 Union Street, Rugby, when he was 21 and she was 18, on 8 November 1908. Their son, Wilfred George Bromwich, was born on 27 January 1910.

In 1911, John was aged 23 and living with his wife and son at 11 Union Street, Rugby. He was a ‘turncock’ for the Urban Council. In the 1911 census, Eva appears twice: at her married home as Eva Bromwich; and at her parents’ home, 21 Union Street, as Eva Walker!   Whilst she had been 18 when she married in late 1908, she was now apparently aged 19 in early 1911!

John joined the 16th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment as a Private, No.14531. He joined up in August 1915 as noted in the Rugby Advertiser of 28 August 1915.

As with the 14th and 15th Battalions, the 16th (Service)(3rd Birmingham) Battalion was raised in September 1914 by the Lord Mayor and a local committee, from men volunteering in Birmingham. These units were additionally entitled 1st, 2nd and 3rd City of Birmingham Battalions, and were known as The Birmingham Pals.

The 16th Battalion went to Malvern in March 1915; then to Wensleydale; and after training, on 26 June 1915 they came under command of 95th Brigade, 32nd Division, and went to Codford, Salisbury Plain on August 1915.

John’s Medal Card provides little information except his regiment, rank and number and his entitlement to the Victory and British War Medals.

The Brigade, and it is assumed John Bromwich, landed at Boulogne on 21 November 1915, and on 26 [or 28] December 1915, transferred to 15th Brigade, 5th Division. On 14 January 1916 they transferred to 13th Brigade[1] still with 5th Division. In March 1916, 5th Division took over a section of front line between St Laurent Blangy, just east of Arras and the southern edge of Vimy Ridge, just north. In July 1916 they moved some 50 miles south to reinforce the Somme and were in action in the ‘Subsidiary attacks’ at High Wood, some four miles east of Albert, from 20-25 July 1916.[2]

The limited information available can be used to deduce something of John’s final days. The dates and locations suggest that he was wounded during the Battle for High Wood between 20 and 25 July. He was obviously badly wounded, but was stable enough to be evacuated, probably by hospital train, to a base hospital at Rouen, some 100 miles behind the front line.

During the First World War, Commonwealth camps and hospitals were stationed on the southern outskirts of Rouen. A base supply depot and the 3rd Echelon of General Headquarters were also established in the city. Almost all of the hospitals at Rouen remained there for practically the whole of the war. They included eight general, five stationary, one British Red Cross, one labour hospital, and No.2 Convalescent Depot. The great majority of the dead from these hospitals were taken to the city cemetery of St. Sever.[3]

He ‘died of wounds’ on 29 July 1916 and was buried in Grave Reference: B. 37. 7. at the St. Sever Cemetery, Rouen. This was in the original cemetery, by September 1916, some time after John’s death, it was necessary to begin an extension. St. Sever Cemetery now contains 3,082 Commonwealth burials of the First World War; the Extension contains a further 8,348 Commonwealth burials.

John George Bromwich does not appear to be closely related to Frederick Bromwich who is also commemorated on the War Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby.




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This article on John George Bromwich 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, May 2015.

[1]       There seems to be some inconsistency in the various accounts, between the 15th and 13th Brigade;

[2]       16th Batt. RWR info: http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com; http://battlefields1418.50megs.com/regiment012.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Order_of_battle_for_the_Battle_of_the_Somme.

[3]       http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/16900/ST.%20SEVER%20CEMETERY,%20ROUEN.