26th Jan 1918. Airman falls from an Aeroplane


On Tuesday morning a shocking aeroplane accident, as the result of which Second-Lieut Harold Griffith Nelson (25), a Canadian officer, lost his life, occurred near Rugby. He had been flying for nearly an hour, and when at an altitude of about 2,000ft. he was seen to fall from his machine. His body was terribly mangled, and death must have been instantaneous. The aeroplane continued its flight, and came to earth about three-quarters of a mile away. The cause of the accident has not been ascertained, and it is not known whether Lieut Nelson had strapped himself in in accordance with the rules of the Service.


Sergt J R Sacree, 10th Rifle Brigade, late assistant to Mr C T Tew, who has been missing since November 30th, is now reported a prisoner of war in Germany. This is the fourth time he has been wounded. He has won the Military Medal, and was again recommended in September last.

The younger son of Mr T Pearman, of Ryton-on-Dunsmore, has recently been promoted to the rank of Captain. He is now with his regiment in Italy.

Major T E Manning, Yeomanry, who previously captained the Northamptonshire Cricket Club, has left his regiment to take on duty as an Assistant Provost Marshal with the British troops in Italy. Major Manning was mobilised with his regiment at the outbreak of war.

Capt J H Lee, 2/1 London Regiment, who was awarded the Military Cross at last summer, has been wounded in eight places, but is making good progress. He was employed in the B.T.H Test at the time he was granted a commission in May, 1915 he was also a member of the Albert Street Congregational Church Choir.

Lieut H A Holder, of the B.T.H Drawing Office, has been promoted Captain (R.G.A). He was wounded in June last, and has now returned to the B.EF. During his stay in England Captain Holder married Miss Nancy Sleath, of Clifton-on-Dunsmore.


The following in an extract from a letter from the North Staffordshire Regiment Prisoners of War Association to Hon Secretary of the Rugby Prisoners of War Committee :—

“ The work your committee is doing is wonderful, for we know that it not an easy matter to support local men of different regiments.”

Four additional local prisoners of war have been added this week, bringing the number up to 83. The cost to provide for these men—men from our own district—is now £230 6s 6d every four weeks.


A pleasing ceremony was performed at the usual parade of the Rugby V.T.C on Sunday afternoon, when Lt-Col F F Johnstone, as Commanding Officer of the 2nd Batt. Warwickshire Volunteer Regt, presented Driver F Davies, R.F.A, of Hillmorton, with the Military Medal, which had been awarded him for distinguished conduct in the field under shell fire. The ceremony took place at the Howitzer Battery Drill Hall, in the presence of a fairly large company. Driver Davies was accompanied by his mother, sisters and friends, and there were also present Lieut C J Newman, Mr H Yates and Mr T Ringrose (members of the Rugby Urban District Council).

Before making the presentation Lieut-Col F F Johnstone addressed the company, and said wherever such a presentation could be made it was customary to make it before a parade of soldiers, so that the example set by one brave man could be followed by others when the opportunity arose ; and he had, therefore, taken the occasion of that parade to present Driver Davies with the medal. He then read the official description of the deed for which the medal had been awarded, from which it appeared that on April 9, 1917, a shell fell on the ammunition wagon in front of the wagon Driver Davies was driving, and a comrade, Driver Hook, was pinned under his horse. Driver Davies’s horse was also wounded, and fell on Hook. Davies was pitched into the road, but he got up and went to the assistance of his friend, and got him into a place of safety. Col Johnstone then pinned the medal on the breast of the brave young fellow, and having shaken hands with him, continued: “ The attributes of a good soldier are five, and all commence with the letter c, viz, courage, commonsense, cheerfulness, cleanliness, and cunning. He thought they might congratulate Driver Davies on possessing most of these and upon having done his duty as a right down good, brave young man and soldier, a credit to his battery and also to the town from which he came. He was again leaving for the front on Tuesday night, and they all wished him all good luck and a safe was return.”

Hearty cheers having been given for Driver Davies, his mother was presented to Col Johnstone, who shook her warmly by the hand, saying: “ It is the women like you, the women with sons like this, who are winning this War for us.”

Before joining the Army Driver Davies was employed in the tinsmiths’ shop the B.T.H.


MUCH sympathy is extended Mr & Mrs Frederick Sheasby, sen, of Napton, in the death of their youngest son, Horace, at the age of 19 years. He was wounded in France on December 30th and taken to hospital, but never regained consciousness. He lived with Mr Mushing, of Lower Farm, Napton, for four years, and was a most trustworthy servant and cheerful with everyone.


At a meeting of the Rugby Food Control Committee on Monday evening Mr Geo Cooke, a representative of the Rugby Trades and Labour Council, stated that the Ministry of Munitions had refused to create Rugby a munition area, which would have had the effect of preventing the eviction under any circumstances of men engaged on munition work.


During the week-end the meat and margarine queues were again in evidence. The supply of margarine was smaller than usual, and many bitter complaints were made of the inadequacy of the purchases, which were only secured in many instances after dreary waits in the cold and slush. On Friday morning an angry crowd besieged one grocer’s shop under the mistaken belief that a quantity of margarine was in stock. The Executive Officer, Mr F M Burton, was summoned to the scene, and he explained the situation to the people. In order to minimise the disappointment of the crowd as far as possible, the proprietor decided dispose of his stock of jam, and for about an hour Mr Burton was busily engaged handing out the pots to the people, who subsequently dispersed in “ sweeter ” humour.

The butchers’ shops were the centres of interest on Saturday, and the shop-keepers and their assistants spent a very anxious time. Several of the traders worked till late Friday night cutting up their meat into the very smallest quantities, and even those who were lucky enough to be supplied only received infinitesimal amounts. One large establishment, containing 70 persons, was allowed 17lbs ; while many other large establishments had to be content with even less than this, in one case the supply working out at 1½ozs per person, including bone. The situation was rendered more serious by the total disappearance of rabbits, which, it was noted, coincided with the fixing of the maximum price, and all the shops were cleared out at a very early hour. The meat shortage caused a run on the fishmongers’ establishments, and small herrings, kippers, and bloaters were eagerly snapped up at 6d each, other fish fetching proportionately high prices.

NO SUGAR FOR JAM MAKING.—The Chairman of the Royal Commission on the Sugar Supply (Sir Charles Bathurst, M.P) desires to make it known that, as it will probably be impossible during the present year to make special issues of sugar to private fruit growers for the making of jam for their own home consumption, the latter would well advised to begin saving as much sugar as possible out of their own domestic rations for the above purpose. Such saving will not constitute hoarding.

POTATO BREAD.—A general notice on the use of potatoes in the manufacture of bread removes any limit to the percentage of potatoes that may be used in the manufacture of bread. As it is essential that such a general use is secured in order to conserve cereal supplies, it is the intention of the Ministry to issue at an early date an Order making the use of a certain percentage of potatoes compulsory, and as such an Order would apply to bakers and domestic bread makers alike, all makers of bread are advised at once make such arrangements as will enable them to comply with the requirements of the Order when issued.


The meat question was discussed fully at a meeting of the Local Food Control Committee, presided over by Mr T A Wise on Monday evening, when it was intimated that unless more meat could be provided, Dr David had threatened to close Rugby School.

Mr Burton (the Executive Officer) reported that there was a very serious shortage of meat in the town last week and the inspectors of three of the foreign meat shops in the town called upon him, and stated that if they were granted permits they could send more than their 50 per cent. of meat to their shops. He accordingly granted the permits.—This action was approved.—Mr Burton also reported that that afternoon he had received an application for a similar permit from one of firms, and he had promised to bring the matter before the committee. The position locally that day was that the Rugby urban and rural butchers were 17 beasts short of their 50 per cent., and the town butchers alone only got 51 sheep out of the 108 required. It was, therefore, much worse than last week.—It was decided to grant the permit, and to give the Executive Officer discretionary powers to grant others which he might deem necessary.—Mr Reeve asked how the English butchers stood if they could get extra supplies ? He could have sold more sheep last week, and he thought if the foreign butchers were allowed this privilege the English vouchers should be treated similarly provided they could get the sheep. He had eight sheep which he was willing to kill if he could do so.—The executive officer said he failed to see how the English butchers could do this, because they were limited as to their supplies, which have to be purchased through the auctioneers.—Mr Reeve said he bought these sheep several weeks ago ; but the Executive Officer reiterated his opinion that the sheep would have to be sold through the auctioneers.—Mr Reeve said he should not send them, because if he did, and he bought them, he would have to pay 3s 6d on each of them, he would also have to pay an additional 1s 6d because he was the vendor.—Mr Stevenson suggested that they write to Lord Rhondda to have the matter cleared up.—Mr Reeve also expressed the opinion that the Rugby butchers should be allowed to have their 50 per cent before other butchers received anything. In the past the big towns had largely relied on foreign meat, and now they were trying to get some of the supplies which should belong to other towns.—Mr Gay enquired whether live stock was being killed in Rugby and the carcasses sent out of the town ?—Mr Reeve replied that he had been in the habit of killing a number of beasts and sheep each week, and sending the carcasses away ; but he could not do this last week because of the shortage of meat.—Mr Burton : Then that is to the benefit of Rugby.—Mr Reeve differed from that view, and pointed out that when he sent meat away he retained all the offal, which people were very pleased to purchase.—Mr Gay thought it unfair that the town should be limited as to its supplies and for a portion of these to be sent away.—The Chairman, however, pointed out that it was Mr Reeves’ duty to continue to send meat away if he could get it. The government’s idea was that all customers should receive 50 per cent. of the supplies they were getting in October.—Mr Burton said, strictly speaking, a butcher who had been selling wholesale could not refuse to sell, otherwise the aggrieved firm would have a claim upon him. He pointed out that the foreign meat companies were in a different position to the English butchers because they received their meat frozen, and did not have to go into the open market to buy it.—Mr Cooke enquired if the additional supply could be distributed amongst the English Butchers ; but Mr Burton replied in the negative. He added that he had impressed upon the managers the necessity of cutting down their customers to 50 per cent., and not to serve them with the full 100 per cent.


It was reported that, as a result of several consultations with the auctioneer vice-chairman (Mr W Howkins), the manager of the B.T.H canteen, and two other butchers, the permit of a butcher had been increased by 500lbs per week, so that he could supply meat to the B.T.H Canteen. This allowed 2ozs (uncooked) for each meal. The Executive Officer, however, understood that the butcher in question was unable to obtain this amount.—The Chairman stated that the manager of the canteen was very dissatisfied with the supplies, and complained that he could not serve all the dinners required. He (the Chairman) fully explained the situation, and pointed out that with the present shortage of meat they could not expect to get their full supply. He asked if it was expected that the B.T.H was to receive all the meat in Rugby, and other people were to go without.—Mr Mellor pointed out that in the staff restaurant they were having two meatless days per week, and there was a feeling that all the meat was being sent to the canteen in the works.

The caterer to Messrs Willans & Robinson’s also wrote complaining of the inadequate supplies of meat ; and in view of the increasing number of people dining at the works, asking that a local butcher be given a permit to supply them with 300lbs daily.—The butcher in question informed the committee that he had not accepted the offer to supply them, because he did not wish to take the trade from a colleague.—The whole question was referred to the Food Controller.

With reference to the Chester Street communal kitchen, the Divisional Commissioner wrote stating that such institutions deserve every encouragement, and authorising the committee to use their discretion as to the amount of meat to be apportioned for their use.—Miss A V Fenwick wrote stating that their requirements were 50lbs of meat daily, 10s worth of bones for soup, and 6lbs of lard or fat per week.—It was decided to give a permit for this amount.


The Auctioneer-Chairman for the District wrote that he had received a complaint from Mr David, stating that the ration of meat proposed to be allowed to Rugby School was not nearly enough, and threatening, if he could not get a bigger supply, to close the School. He had wired to the Food Controller on the matter, and the only satisfaction he could get was a wire as follows :—“ Refer Headmaster of Rugby School to Food Control Committee.” It seemed to him a serious matter, and he thought the school should not be closed. He asked the committee to see what could be done, and suggested that they should see the Headmaster and ascertain what his minimum requirements were.—In a letter Dr David said he had not complained that the ration of meat supplied to the School was not nearly enough. If as he was told the ration was 2lbs, it was, in his opinion, sufficient, and even if it was not so it was not for them to complain. His complaint was that the four School butchers were not allowed to buy sufficient meat to supply anything like this ration. He therefore asked that their purchasing permits should be altered so as to allow them to send the requisite amount within that scale. With this they were perfectly prepared to be content. He could not say the minimum amount that was required.—The Chairman stated that they had sent round to all the schools and boarding-houses to ascertain what meat they received in October, so that by that means they could have the basis of their normal supplies. Returns had been received from 18 schools concerning 1,086 persons, and the meat consumption was 2,948½lbs. Some, however, had included pork pies, sausages, brawn, rabbits, game, &c, while others had not. This worked out at an average of about 2¾lbs per head per week, and he took it that the butchers could not now supply anything like that quantity.—Mr Reeve : It is impossible at the present time.—Mr Stevenson : That is more than the majority of people get in the town.—The Chairman : Under the rationing scheme boys are entitled to 3lbs of meat per week. As a munition and educational centre, he thought they should be entitled to more meat, and it was unanimously decided to support Dr David in his efforts to obtain more for the town.

FAIRNESS TO ALL.—Too late for insertion this week, but you will see by reports of Food Control Committee meeting in this issue that a rationing scheme is to put in force in Rugby.


FEVERS.—In loving memory of WILLIAM, the eldest son of Mr. & Mrs. Fevers, of Woolscott, near Rugby, who was killed in action on April 11, 1917. Aged 24.
“ Oh ! how sadly we shall miss him,
There will be a vacant place.
We shall never forget his footsteps,
Or his dear familiar face.”
—From his loving Father, Mother, Sister & Brother.


CHATER.—In loving memory of my dear son, Pte. W. T. CHATER, who was killed at Mesopotamia on January 23, 1917.—From Father, Mother, Brothers & Sisters.

COLLIER.—In loving memory of AMY ELIZABETH, wife of Samuel Collier, who passed away on January 20, 1914 “ At rest.”—Also of WILLIAM CHARLES COLLIER, eldest son of above, who was killed in action in France on October 9, 1917 ; aged 39 years.

McDOWELL.—In ever-loving memory of WILLIAM McDOWELL, 1st Inniskilling Fusiliers, who was killed in action on January 27, 1917.
“ There is a link death cannot sever ;
Love and remembrance last for ever.”
—Sadly missed by his Wife.


17th Feb 1917. Do not Worry too much about Submarines

Mr and Mrs C Chater, of 7 Plowman Street, Rugby, have received official notification that their son, Pte W T Chater, Royal Warwicks, has died from wounds received in action in Mesopotamia on January 23rd. He was 20 years of age, and at the time of joining up in September, 1915, was employed by Mr W Elliott, mineral water manufacturer. As a footballer, he used to play for St Matthew’s.

Mrs Satchell, 94 Park Road, Rugby, has received notice from the War Office that her son, Pte W F W Satchell, 1/6th Warwicks (Terr), was wounded on February 4th in France, and is now in the 1st Australian General Hospital, Rouen.

As showing the fine spirit of our boys at the front, a member of the R.A.C writes : “ One night we (a party of stretcher-bearers) were awaiting a convoy of wounded. It was raining terribly hard, and one of the boys suddenly started singing, ‘ Adieu, adieu, kind friends adieu,’ when a wag chimed in : ‘Call it a dew, do you ? I reckon it’s raining bally hard !’”

Much regret has been occasioned in Coventry by the news of the death in France, from bronchitis and asthma, of Lance-Corpl W J McGhie, of the Machine Gun Corps(Heavy Section). Born in Rugby and educated in Edinburgh, Mr McGhie went to Coventry 21 years ago on the editorial staff of the “ Midland Daily Telegraph,” and at the time of his enlistment in June last he was joint editor of that journal. An enthusiast in matters musical, his death is a real loss to the musical life of Coventry. He took a keen interest in Association footfall, and assisted to organise the Coventry City F.C when the club first launched out into high-class football. He went to France about three months after enlistment in the Army, and took part in the fighting during the succeeding months, being slightly wounded at Thiepval. He leaves a widow and two children. His mother was a daughter of the late Mr W I Tait, the founder of the Advertiser, and is noteworthy that the death of his cousin, Mr Roland Tait of Rugby, was recorded in the same week.


A Post Office notice states that razors are urgently needed for troops, and will be thankfully received at the Post Office. The condition of the razor is not important so long as there is a blade which can be re-ground—the Cutlers’ Company, Sheffield, having undertaken to put them in proper order.


Mrs J Dunn, 2 Round Street, Rugby, has received information that her husband, Pte J Dunn, of the Machine Gun Corps, has been admitted to a casualty hospital in France, suffering from severe wounds. In a letter to Mrs Dunne, a sister of the hospital says : “ Pte Dunn was seriously wounded in the leg, and suffered from shock and loss of blood.” She added, “ The surgeon specialist said it would be necessary to amputate the leg, but he was in such bad condition that he did not think he could live through the operation, so he tried to stimulate him instead, and to get him into better condition. He asked if someone would give their blood for him, and as usual with these brave men, several offered, and Pte T Carter, of the Royal Sussex, was chosen and his blood was transferred into your husband. After this he was able to stand the operation, and his leg was amputated.” The writer added that owing to the great amount of infection which had gone through the body Pte Dunn was still in a serious condition, but they hoped he would soon be returned back to health again.


In the French newspapers on Tuesday there appeared confident statements by Sir Douglas Haig on the prospects of the Allied offensive. There is no doubt, he says, that the German front in the West—which is, and Will remain, the principal front of operations—will be broken by the Franco-British Armies. This year will be decisive in the sense that it will see the war decided on the battlefield, an event after which Germany will appear defeated militarily. It may be that the year of decision will also be the year of peace, but if Germany cannot be entirely beaten this year we shall not hesitate to carry on the war.


Speaking at Greenwich on Saturday, Captain Hamilton Benn, M.P, read the following message from Vice-Admiral Sir Reginald Bacon :-

“ Do not worry too much about submarines. The Navy will give all the worry they want. The splendid pluck of our merchant seamen will upset the German calculations at the end of the War.”

10th Feb 1917. Vicar of St Matthews not going to France


The Rev C T Aston, vicar of St Matthew’s, who had made full arrangements to work in France for four months under the auspices of the Soldiers’ Christian Association, was notified by the society last week that the Government had withdrawn all permits to civilian passengers to France, so that he will be unable to go, as anticipated. Mr Aston is naturally much disappointed, as he was looking forward to doing useful service at the Front. We understand that the Rev P E Warrington (curate at St Matthew’s), who will be leaving Rugby in a few weeks, had arranged with the Vicar and the Bishop of Worcester to stay in charge of the parish during Mr Aston’s absence.


Major J L Baird, M.P, C.M.G, D.G.O, is announced as Parliamentary Secretary of the Air Board.

Mr F J Paxton, formerly on the office staff of the Co-operative Society, has now been accepted in the Army Pay Corps, and is at present stationed at Warwick. He was organist at Lilbourne and Brownsover, and deputy choirmaster at Crick.

Mr Walter Howkins has received a letter from Sergt H K Marriott, of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, who was formerly a pupil in his office. Writing from Palestine, he gives some interesting particulars of their mode of life, and, referring to some of his comrades, he says young Briscoe from Dunchurch has been badly wounded. Squadron Sergt-Major J Tait is very well, and an excellent soldier. Capt E G Pemberton, of Claybrooke, had been slightly wounded. He adds : “ I am trying to got a commission in the Northampton Yeomanry, and hoped to hear something about it before long.


Information has come to hand that Pte T Chater, 9th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was killed in action on January 24th. Pte Chater, whose home was at 7 Plowman Street, was an old scholar of St Matthew’s School, and enlisted early in the war.


The first medical inspection for the Rugby Volunteer Corps under the new regulations was held on Sunday afternoon last, when 92 members presented themselves with satisfactory results. Nearly the whole of the men signed on for service for the period of the War, and the recent letter of the King calling on men to join the Force who are over military ago or prevented from joining the Army should have the effect of considerable swelling the ranks of the Corps.


The indicator on the Clock Tower has commenced its second round, and yesterday (Friday) morning it showed that during the week a further sum of £6,500 had been subscribed to the new 5 per cent Loan or War Savings Certificates. The total, £14,600, represents small amounts from £50 down to 3d paid in either : through the Post Office, the Bureau at the Benn Buildings, or the War Savings Certificates Clubs.

Considerable further amounts have been invested through the local Banks.

Among the amounts published are : Bluemel Bros, Wolston, £40,000 ; Lodge Sparking Plug Co, Rugby, £25,000.

MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL.—At the Coventry Tribunal on Monday, J T Lamb, employed at a Rugby factory, applied for a leaving certificate, which was refused. Lamb had refused to work on until his case was heard, and a month had already elapsed, so that only two weeks remained to complete his six weeks’ waiting time.

TANKS FILM AT THE EMPIRE.—Next week, thanks the enterprise of Mr B Morris, of the Empire, Rugby people will have the opportunity of seeing the Tanks as our brave soldiers saw them going into action against the enemy. The Tank film, which is even more enthralling in its illuminating detail than the Great Somme Film, shows every phase of the great Battle of the Ancre, including the thrilling moment of attack. The Tanks are shown from their start to their triumphant return, and the spectators are able to watch them creeping from their hiding-places and follow them till they cross the trenches and wonder over “ No Man’s Land,” and crush down the German wire entanglements. Everywhere the film has attracted large crowds, and there is no doubt that Rugby people will avail themselves of the privilege of gaining an impression of war conditions in France.


Chater, William Thomas. Died 23rd Jan 1917

CHATER Thomas William
14788, 9th Royal Warwickshire Regiment

Thomas William Chater (known as Thomas) was born on 15th April 1896 and baptised at St Matthews Church, Rugby, on 24th February 1901.

His parents were Charles Chater and Sarah Jane (nee Batchelor) who were married 18th June 1893 at St.Matthews.

By 1901 the family had moved from Victoria Street, Bilton to 45 Pennington Street, Rugby and around 1913 the family moved to 7 Plowman Street Rugby. Charles Chater worked at the Gas Works.

Thomas was the second of six children and in 1911, at the age of 14 was working as an errand boy for a bookseller.

He enlisted early in the war in the 9th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He missed most of the Gallipoli campaign arriving on 17th December 1915, shortly before the Division was evacuated to Mudros and then Egypt.

They embarked for Basra from Suez arriving 28th February 1916 to defend British interests against the Turks. In late April 1916, British commander Sir Thomas Townsend surrended the garrison of approx 10,000 men at Kut-al- Amara, considered by many to be the greatest humiliation ever to befall the British Army.

After reorganisation a new offensive against Kut was attempted. An attack was launched on the night of 13/14 December on both banks of the River Tigris. Around 50,000 men were involved in the advance.

Progress was slow and it was not until 17th February 1917 that the Turks retreated from Kut.

It would have been in this action that William Thomas was wounded. He died on 23rd January 1917 and was buried at Amara War Cemetery

On February 10th 1917 the Rugby Advertiser published, in the Local War Notes the following:

Information has come to hand that Pte T.Chater, 9th Royal Warwickshire Reg. was killed in action on January 24th. Pte Chater, whose home was at 7 Plowman St. was an old scholar of St.Matthews School, and enlisted early in the war.

Thomas is also listed on the family grave in Clifton Road Cemetery:

In Loving Memory Of
Pte WILLIAM T CHATER R W Regt killed in Mesopotamia Jan 23rd 1917 aged 21 years.
Also of Pte ARTHUR E CHATER M G C killed in France Oct 8th 1918 aged 20 years.
Also of JOSEPH G CHATER who died Nov 5th 1918 aged 17 years sons of CHARLES & SARAH CHATER.
Also of CHARLES husband of SARAH CHATER who died Oct 26th 1926 aged 56 years.

footstone: ILMO SARAH JANE beloved wife of CHARLES CHATER who died July 9th 1951 aged 78 years.


8th Jan 1916. Pigeons on War Service



Attention is called by the War Office to the fact that a large number of carrier or homing pigeons are being utilised for naval and military purposes, and that recently many of these birds have been shot at and killed or wounded when homing to their lofts.

The public are earnestly requested to exercise the greatest care to avoid repetition of such unfortunate incidents, and are warned that persons convicted of wilfully shooting such birds are liable to prosecution.

Persons who are unable to distinguish with certainty carrier or homing pigeons on the wing from wood pigeons, doves, and the like, should refrain from firing at any birds of these species.

Any person who finds any carrier or homing pigeon dead or incapable of flying from wounds, injuries, or exhaustion is earnestly requested immediately to take the bird to the nearest military authorities or to the police, or if unable to secure the bird he should immediately give information to one or other of those authorities.

Information regarding the shooting of such birds should be given to the same authorities.


Lieut C T Morris Davies, of Rugby – the Welsh international hockey player, and Captain of the Rugby Hockey Club – who has been in France for about ten months, is now on a week’s leave from his regiment, the 6th Warwickshire. He visited Rugby on Saturday last on his way to his home near Aberystwyth. The hardships of trench life do not seem to have affected his health, as he was looking exceedingly well.


This week Mr and Mrs H Adams, of Dunchurch, received a communication from the Government to the effect that as no further news had been received concerning Lance-Corpl William Henry Adams, of the 2nd R.W.R, who has been missing since about October 20th, 1914, it was presumed that he was killed at about that date. The usual letter of condolence was enclosed. Lance-Corpl Adams, who was 24 years of age, had served nearly seven years in the Army, and had secured a first-class certificate for signalling. At the front he acted as a bicycle despatch rider, but had only been in France a week or two before he met his death. Some time ago the parents received news that their son was a prisoner at Gottingen, Germany, but inquiry being made it was ascertained that this was not so.


Mr and Mrs Davies, of Lower Street, Hillmorton, have since the outbreak of the war been anxiously waiting for news of their son, Fred Davies, who was in Germany in the summer of last year and was interned there. At last a letter has been received from him by his sister, living in Surrey. He is interned at Ruhleben, and writes to acknowledge the safe arrival of a top coat, which he says “fits a treat and is very warm.” At night the coat is used as a blanket for his bed. He adds that he is now all right for clothes, but would much appreciate condensed milk, butter, sugar, a bit of cheese, or a little tin of salmon. As a jockey Fred Davies has done well, having finished second on the list in that country. He was riding for Mr Beit, a Hamburg owner of race horses, when diplomatic relations were broken off between this country and Germany, with the result that, with many others in Germany at the time, he was detained.


Sapper Geo A Golby, a former scholar at the Murray School, and an “Over” Prize man, in a letter to Mr W T Coles Hodges from the front says: “I have been out here since early in October, and have got quite used to the shells, etc, screaming over my head… I look forward to receiving the Rugby Advertiser every week, and am always pleased when I see the name of one of my old school chums in the list of recruits. I think by the number of names I have seen that our school is doing its share to free the world of these barbarians, and I am sure that if those who have not enlisted could just have a glimpse of this country, they would not hesitate for a minute. Only this morning we passed about a dozen old people (all between 60 and 70 years of age, I should think) whom the Germans had shelled out of their homes. It is a sight such as these that make us so anxious to get at the Huns. .. I am pleased to say we are having a spell of fine weather just now, and goodness only knows we want it, as we are nearly up to our knees in mud in some places. This is the only thing to complain of out here; the food is extra.”

Pte George Leach (“Bogie”), another Old Murrayian, who is at present in the Near East, in a letter to his old headmaster, says: It is most interesting to see some of the natives with their garbs and costumes, and their methods of transport with market wares, which vividly remind me of the Biblical times we read about.


The following extract from letters of an “old boy” of St Matthew’s School to Mr R H Myers, headmaster, will be read with interest:-

Sergt Frank Chater, serving with the Nigerian Forces, writes: ” I have now been in the Cameroons some time. When I reached Africa I disembarked at Lagos, caught a train for there the same night, and after two nights and one day on the train, reached Minna. I rested there for a day, then did another day’s train journey to Baro, where I got on a steam boat and went up the River Niger to Lokaja. I stayed a coupe of days at Lokaja, then got on the River Benue and had a fourteen days’ run to Yola. The river journey is the reverse of pleasant, owing to the close proximity of the natives in a small boat. The smell from them and the engines combine to make a most uncomfortable time to be a white man. I remained three days in Yola, and then started on a fifteen days’ trek through the bush, to join the column at a place called Mora in the Cameroons. I rather fancy this is a record journey for a newcomer to the country. I turned out for action the same day that I reached the column, but nothing happened. On the following night we stormed the German position, which is on the top of a mountain. It was a terrible job, but after climbing all night up and over rocks, some of which seemed like the side of a house, we nearly reached the top by daybreak. The Germans gave us a warm reception, and we charged to try and take the fort. We were repulsed, though, and had to retire and take cover behind rocks, where we managed to hold on till dark, being neither able to advance or retire. However, under cover of darkness we managed to get away. I was fortunate to get off safely. One officer was killed and another wounded, and native soldiers were hit all round. We have now given up the idea of taking the place by assault, and are trying to starve them out. .. This scrapping in the Cameroons is not all honey by a long way. Here is a sample of my job. outpost duty in the bush, with 30 native soldiers, no one to talk to, and never knowing when you may run into German sniping parties, and the only water to be had from a filthy old well, which anyone at home would shudder to look at. Just now I am better off, being in charge of a small fort on a hill. We are, however, uncomfortably near to the German position, and they keep potting away if you try to move, so that the only chance of exercise is in the dark.

We are at the end of a range of mountains running down to the coast, and beyond the mountains is Lake Chad, only about three weeks’ trek from here. The people are all pagans, and the hill tribes are rather a poor type of native. All they wear is a goatskin round their loins. They will do anything for the white man, and appear to like the English, but we know that they supply the Germans with food and water so it is no good trusting them.



A Rugby football match between “ A ” and “ C ” Companies of the 1st/7th Warwicks was played near the trenches in France recently, which ” C ” Company won by a try. The teams were :—

“ C ” Company : R Edwards ; L Dewis, A Bale, P Hammond, Lance-corpl E Iliffe ; A Loave, Drummer W Newman ; W Arnold, S Cross, G Clarke, A Rose, W Salmons, W Gibbs, F Lombard, I Walden.

“ A ” Company : Lieut Field ; Faulkes, Sergt Atkinson, Redfern, S O Else ; West, Ralph ; Eyden, Corpl Caldicott, Corpl Goode, Prentice, Wykes, Adams, Dunn, A N Other.

MORE DAMAGE BY THE WIND.-On Saturday evening, during a recurrence of the gale, several trees on the Coventry Road between Dunchurch and the Station were blown down, and a great deal of damage was done to the telephone wires. In several places all of them were broken down. At Bilton Grange all the fancy work on the top of the vinery and glass houses for a length of between forty and fifty yards was torn away, doing great damage to the glass. Several trees also came down, and the household were very much alarmed. At Mr. Loverock’s Farm, between Dunchurch and Rugby, a wheat rick was blown over, and several sheaves of corn were carried the length of three fields away. The gale also did great damage to the roof of the wagon hovel.


Chater, William Charles. Died 14th Sep 1915

CHATER William Charles

11879, 6th Bn.Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry

Born in Rugby March Quarter 1894   35 Sun Street Rugby to Henry Alfred and Maria Chater (nee Tuckey) marriage took place January 26th 1885 St. Andrews Church Rugby

1901 census shows William age 7 living with brothers Henry 15, Frederick 13, Thomas 11, Albert 5 weeks and sister Emma age 10 living 32 Bridge Street Rugby

July 22nd 1915   6th Battalion Oxford & Bucks lands at Boulogne

Rugby Advertiser September 25th 1915

Towards the end of last week Mr and Mrs H.Chater, of 32 Bridge Street, Rugby, received the sad news that their son, Pte. William Chas. Chater, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, had died in hospital in France as the result of a wound in the head.

Two of his chums (A Rainbow and H Burnham) wrote expressing their regret that ” poor old Bill ” had been wounded, but it was at first thought he might recover, and would soon be sent to a hospital in England. However news of his death on September 15th was conveyed by Sergt. J.T. Milne, of the section to which Pte. Chater belonged. It appears from the letters received that he was wounded while on sentry duty on the night of September 10th.

” The wound was in the head ” wrote the sergeant, ” caused by a rifle bullet. He was bandaged up at once, and within half-an-hour was back behind the lines in hospital, where he received every possible attention . . . He was in my section and I can only say he was an excellent boy, and I am more than sorry to lose him.”

Writing subsequently of his death, Sergt. Milne says –” From what I gather, he had no pain, and had every possible attention and comfort, I hope it may be some small consolation to you to know that he died doing his duty. I shall miss him very much. He was such a good boy and always willing ” A army chaplain (Rev. Roger Bulstrode ) wrote on September 14th stating that every thing possible was being done.” His ward happens to be a beautifully – decorated chapel lofty and airy, and as well appointed as any English hospital .

He knew me yesterday, and seemed comforted by the thought that he was under what he called ” God’s roof ” .

Writing after private Chaters death the chaplain recounts the pathetic incident that shortly before he passed away deceased spoke to him of his invalid mother. He also says, ” I am told that the nature of your sons wounds was such that even if he had been spared, partial paralysis would probably have resulted, and he could certainly never have re-joined the Army. He has died a true soldier’s death and is at least spared the years of suffering that might have been his if paralysed.”

At the time he enlisted, pte. Chater was a painter in the L.& N.W. erecting shop where he was very popular amongst the men, by whom his loss is much deplored. A few weeks ago Mr Shaw the forman, received a bright and interesting letter from him, and when the news that he had died of wounds reached Rugby , the Union Jack at the Erecting Shop was hoisted half – mast as a mark of respect.

Buried: Merville Communal Cemetery