13th Jun 1919. A Happy Reunion, Rugby Lower School Past and Present


The annual re-union at Rugby Lower School was held as usual this Whitsuntide.

The annual sports were held on Saturday, when there was a good attendance, and some very exciting finishes were witnessed. . . .

The annual general meeting was held on Saturday evening, when the President (Mr. W. J. R. Hartwell) presided over a good attendance, and submitted the report for the past year, as follows :—The Committee congratulates the members on the continued financial prosperity of the Society. The number of new members elected was 16, the membership now being 245, as compared with 229 last year. After careful consideration, it was felt that this was not an opportune time for various reasons to revive the annual dinner, which has now been in abeyance for five years. Instead, a smoking concert had been arranged. Before this time next year peace will, we hope, be concluded, in which case the quinquennial dinner will be held on the Whit Monday, and every member is asked to make an effort to be present, more especially as the Society will then attain its majority. Needless to say, we heartily welcome back those Old Laurentians who have been serving in the Navy, Army, and Air Force ; the total number who have served being, as far as can be ascertained, about 350. Of these, 60 have laid down their lives, 49 have been wounded, 8 taken prisoners of war, and 5 are missing. The distinctions gained include 1 D.S.O, 1 O.B.E. (Military Division), 7 Military Crosses, 2 D.C.M., 5 Military Medals, 1 Meritorious Service Medal, 1 Croix de Guerre, 1 Order of Leopold, and one mentioned in despatches. Some progress towards the provision of a fitting memorial to those who have laid down their lives has been made by the Committee. A fund has been opened, and already amounts to £103 13s. As soon as something definite is settled, efforts will be made to reach every Old Laurentian, inviting them to subscribe. The Committee felt that they would be interpreting aright the feelings and wishes of all Old Laurentians when they considered the possibility of some having lost their lives in the war, and having left behind them children to be educated. It was felt that there may be cases in which assistance could be rendered in providing a secondary education for such boys and girls. Feeling that it is a duty for us to render such help, a recommendation on the matter will be submitted to your consideration to-night. It is with deep regret that we have to record, during the past year, the deaths, amongst others, of Rev. G. J. Powell, who was senior assistant master for some time from the opening of the school in 1879 ; of Mr. T. M. Lindsay, drawing master for 27 years ; also of Mr. R. R. Redfern, President of this Society, 1909-1910. One member of the Committee. Mr. C. A. Eyden, has made the supreme sacrifice. To their relatives, and those of the other Old Laurentians who have passed away, we tender our sincerest sympathy, as also to the Headmaster in the great loss which he has sustained. With regard to the finances of the Society, we brought forward a balance of £45 10s. 7d. The income from the “ Griffin ” and subscriptions has been £30 2s., while dividends and interest amounted to £1 16s. 2d., making a total of £77 7s. 9d. The expenditure amounted to £18 16s. 1d., thus leaving a balance to be carried forward of £58 11s. 8d.. the greater part of which is invested in 5 per cent. Exchequer Bonds. The Committee urge all Old Laurentians. especially those who intend to reside abroad, to become life members, thereby ensuring a permanent link between them and the School, both Past and Present. The cost is two guineas. In concluding, the Committee wish to place on record their appreciation of the work of the hon. Secretary (Mr. Ralph B. Liddington), and to express the hope that a return to a more normal condition of affairs may find the Society enlarging in sphere of usefulness.

The report and accounts, details of which had been circulated at the meeting, were passed, on the proposition of Mr. S. T. Laughton, seconded by Mr. A. C. Marple. . . . Confederation was deferred until the War memorial had been discussed.

In introducing the latter subject, the Chairman referred to the proposal for the erection of a bronze tablet in the school lobby, and asked for further suggestions.

Replying to a question as to whether it was intended to inscribe on the tablet the names only of those who had fallen, the Secretary said they wanted the meeting to decide that point. He also stated that, in addition to the £103 already subscribed, promises had been received for a further £57. The amounts varied from half a crown upwards, also that the list would not be published. He then gave particulars regarding two designs for tablets, sketches of which were exhibited. One, to hold the names of the fallen only, and the other the names of all who had served during the war, the cost being £121 and £310 respectively. The latter, with the fixing and a stone or other surrounding, would ultimately cost about £450. The other suggestions received were for a pavilion, the reconstruction of the organ, and the provision of a plain brass tablet.

Mr. S. T. Laughton said he did not think it would be the wish of the fallen for them to go to an elaborate expense on anything which was not useful. He suggested that the names of the fallen should be inscribed on a brass tablet to be placed in the school, and that the remainder of the money be spent on a pavilion on the school’s new ground.

The Headmaster said it was intended to send circulars to all who had served, and to the families of the fallen, asking for particulars of service. Then to have the names inserted in a book, to be bound and preserved with the School Records, where it would always be a testimony to those who had served during the last four years.

A general discussion as to the kind of tablet and a suitable position followed.

Mr. Collison said he had been asked by an Old Boy to suggest the provision of baths for the school.

Mr. Lister said that in matters like that their difficulty was the great cost of building.

Replying to Mr. Laughton, the Headmaster said that the Parents’ Association proposed to put up a clock as a memorial.

Further discussion followed, and ultimately Mr. W. T. Coles Hodges proposed, and Mr. E. P. Morris seconded, that the first charge on the fund should be the erection in the Big Room of a tablet containing the names of the fallen. This was carried unanimously.

Mr. J. Morton proposed, and Mr. G. J. Daniels seconded, that a sum not exceeding £125 be spent on the tablet, and that the matter be left to the Committee, with the addition of Mr. E. M. Betts. This was also passed unanimously.

Mr. S. T. Laughton suggested the planting of a memorial oak to the fallen, and to this the meeting agreed ; also that the remainder of the money subscribed should go to the proposed Education Fund.

Mr. J. Morton, speaking regarding the Committee’s recommendations, said it appeared as if they were likely to have a fair amount of money which could go to this fund ; he was of opinion that it would enable them to widen its scope, and, if funds permitted, he would like them to consider whether they could not do something to give the boys and girls a start in life after leaving school.

Mr. L. Lubbock proposed, and Mr. J. Morton seconded, that the remainder of the money subscribed be held to form the nucleus of the fund for the education and maintenance of the children of Old Laurentians who, through service in the war, are unable to give a secondary education to their children. This was carried without a dissentient.

The question of the provision of a roll of some kind in the school of those who had been wounded was raised, the matter ultimately being left to the Committee. Consideration of the question of making a levy was adjourned.

The meeting closed with a vote of thanks to the President for presiding, and for his services during the year.

IN the latest official casualty list appears the following :—Previously missing, now reported died as prisoner of war in German hands :— Clements, 307487, Corpl. F. (Rugby), R W R.

A letter was read from the Local Government Board to the effect that parish council would be allowed to expend a reasonable amount out of the rates for the celebration of peace, and there was no objection to the proposed arrangement between the Parish Council and Rugby Urban District Council.

A letter was received from the War Office offering the Council a German field gun and carriage on the recommendation of the Lord Lieutenant of the County.—Mr. Barnett : We must put it on the green.—The Chairman suggested, in view of the geographical division of the parish, that the Council should apply for two guns, one for each ward.—This was agreed to.

The clerk said he had already approached the War Office, and he had received a reply to the effect that the distribution of guns was being made entirely upon the recommendation of the Lord Lieutenant. The number of applications for these trophies far exceeded the number available for such a purpose, but in all cases in which units have substantiated their claims to trophies their wishes are ascertained as to allocation, and as for as possible these are carried out. . . .

Co. Q.M. Sergt. L. E. Pyle. 1st Border Regiment, whose home is at Clifton, has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal. He went to the Dardanelles with the 29th Division, and has also served in France. He has signed on for a further period of service.

SOLDIERS’ WELCOME HOME.—The village will be en fete on Monday afternoon and evening when, in the Rectory grounds, a great welcome home will be given to those of the village who have been on active service. There will be a tea, &c., and the Bilton band will be in attendance. Visitors are welcome, and will be charged 1s. Admission, the villagers being admitted free.

SOLDIERS’ SUPPER.—The returned soldiers were recently given a supper in St. Leonard’s schoolroom, the proceeds of a whist drive. They were joined by the Rector and the committees of the War Memorial and others funds. The catering was done by Mr. Wills, who was assisted in the arranging of the tables, etc, by the ladies, of the above committee, Messrs. C. and P. Kimberley and V. Butler. Mr. House, who went through the whole of the South African War and was awarded a medal (Quenn Victoria’s reign), was called upon for a speech. Miss Holden, schoolmistress, was next presented with a gold brooch by Mr. P. Kimberley, an old schoolboy, who had been in different war zones, and lastly in Greece. This was the gift of her old boys, who had through the war. Miss Holden said the brooch would always remain one of her treasured possessions. After the speeches Mr. Cockerill gave selections on a gramophone. Songs were given by members of the party.

WARRIORS’ WELCOME HOME.—One of the most interesting gatherings in the history of the village was held at the new schools last Wednesday evening, when the returned soldiers and sailors were welcomed home. It was unfortunately impossible, owing to many being still with H.M. Forces, to secure the presence of all the men. But they were well represented by the 85 comrades who sat down. The arrangements were in the hands of the Crick Soldiers’ Fund committee, composed of the Rev. H. Hatherley, Dr. Smith, and Messrs. Cowley, Howkins, Jacob, Lewis, Marson, Morgan, F. Towers, and Spatshott. Proceedings commenced with a supper, an excellent repast admirably served by Messrs. Hobley, of Rugby. After the loyal toast had been honoured, Mr. Marson proposed “ The Crick Soldiers and Sailors,” and emphasised the debt of gratitude the village owed to those men who had so worthily upheld its traditions, and in cordially welcoming them home once more, thanked them for their great services. Dr. Smith, in responding, said he wished to lay particular stress on the work of the Soldiers’ Parcels Committee, and especially thanked Messrs. Lewis and Haswell and various ladies associated with them in this work during the war. Major Hemsley said many of the men present were doubtless glad to be free from various irksome, if necessary, phases of army life, and from the delicate attentions of sundry Sergeant-Majors ; but he could assure them no one appreciated more than he did the joy of being in old England once more (hear, hear). A smoking concert followed, during which cigarettes, etc., kindly given by Mrs. W. H. Cowley and Mrs. T. Cowley, were distributed. A delightful and varied entertainment was given by the White Jester Concert Party from Birmingham, whose efforts during the war have been indefatigable. They have given over 100 voluntary entertainments in aid of the Red Cross, etc.

WAR SAVINGS ASSOCIATION.—A public meeting was called last week to consider the advisability or otherwise of closing this branch. There was a very small attendance, besides the hon. Treasurer and secretary only about half a dozen members showing up. After some discussion it was decided to wind the branch up—that is, the adults’ part—as Miss Price has offered to continue the children’s branch, which is doing very well. Since the commencement they have put in £170 5s. 6d. The Association started on July 29, 1916, and the total received up to date is just over £1,700. This includes the two villages, Church Lawford and Kings Newnham. Both Mr. A. Appleby, the hon. Treasurer, and Rev. H. Smith, who was ably carried out the duties of hon. secretary, were warmly thanked for their services. Mr. Appleby, who is leaving the village, was asked to accept the best wishes of the other members of the committee. Thanks were also passed to Miss Price for her work in connection with the children’s branch. At the close of the meeting Mr. Appleby handed to Miss A. W. Townsend 10s., which was left over from the Soldiers’ Christmas Parcels Fund, and this, with a small balance which Miss Townsend has in hand from another source, it was decided to send to the St. Dunstan’s home for blind soldiers.

A FEW WORDS to Employers.

THERE ARE MANY MEN WHO FOUGHT HARD FOR YOU who are ready to work hard for you. They are waiting now for jobs which you have, or will soon have, open. Some of them are receiving Out-of-Work Pay at the Employment Exchanges. They would rather work.

You can help in the great resettlement in industry which is now in progress by notifying existing and impending vacancies for men (or women) to the nearest Employment Exchange.

AMONG THOSE who are waiting are OFFICERS AND MEN OF HIGHER EDUCATION who, having finished Army service, have now to be placed in civil life. Most of these men have proved themselves leaders of men. Is not that a recommendation ? Can you employ them, or, aided by the State, train them ?

If you can employ or train an ex-officer or man of higher education, notify the fact without delay to the nearest District Directorate of Appointments Department (the Post Office will give you the address) or write direct to the Department at St. Ermin’s Hotel. S.W. 1.


Many an officer or man who is “ disabled ” in the military sense is quite fit for civil work. Thousands of these men have been found work.

THERE ARE highly educated women, too—WOMEN FITTED FOR PROFESSIONAL LIFE—who are anxiously seeking positions. Fully trained nurses, also those heroic women who braved danger and disease “ out there,” are now being demobilised and are seeking re-employment.

If you can employ a highly-educated woman, write at once to the Professional Women’s Registry, 16, Curzon Street, Mayfair, W.1, and see if they can help you.

If you want the services of a nurse who has returned to civil life, write to the Nurses Demobilisation and Resettlement Committee, 16, Curzon St., Mayfair, W.1., or in the case of Scotland, 112, George St., Edinburgh.

ALL the necessary Government organisation for resettlement of workers of both sexes and all classes has been set up. But it cannot succeed without your help. By communicating with any of the organisations referred to above you incur no liability. You will be helped as far as it is possible for willing service to help you. You will be put in touch with good men and good women, and you will be spared as much trouble as possible.

WORK MEANS HAPPINESS. To most of those who risked everything when the call of service came it means life.

Will you not co-operate with those whose task it is to effect complete resettlement ?


EVANS.—In loving memory of WILLIAM, the beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. W. E. Evans (of Thurlaston), late 14th Batt., R.W.R., killed in action June 10, 1917.
“ Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away,
In Jesu’s keeping we are safe and they.
It is enough, earth’s struggles soon shall cease
And Jesus call us to heaven, perfect peace.”
—From Dad, Mother, Sisters & Brothers.

LEE.—In loving memory of Pte. W. LEE, 1st R.W.R., who died at Birmingham, June 5th, from wounds received in action on April 15th, 1918. After much suffering, sweet rest.—Lovingly remembered by his sisters, Polly, Em, and Alice.

LEE.—In loving memory of our dear brother, Pte. WILLIAM LEE, 1st Royal Warwicks, died of wounds received in action in June, 1918.—“ Rest in peace.”—Fondly remembered by his sister Lou and Family at Long Lawford, also brother Dick and Family, Vicarage Hill.


31st Jan 1919. “Woodbine Willie” Former Rugby Curate’s War Experiences


“ The Bookworm,” writing the “ Weekly Dispatch ” says :—There is a man now in France who will soon be one of the great forces guiding England. His name is Kennedy, and he is a parson—the Rev G A Studdert-Kennedy, M.C., C.F. He is known the length of the British line as “ Woodbine Willie ” because while the fighting was on he was always in the front line trenches distributing encouragement and Woodbines. He is the man whom the authorities chose to hearten the men in the retreat of 1918. His fame is almost legendary in France. They say he should have won the V.C., and tell you the story of how he met the Hun face to face. He is a brave man, but he is more than that—he is a man who by sheer downright sincerity and earnest eloquence has captured the hearts of men—real men. His fame is spreading at home. He has written books, two small volumes of poetry, “ Rough Rhymes of a Padre,” one of “ Rough Talks,” and a third called “ The Hardest Part,” which, as the author says, is “ literally theology hammered out on the field of battle.” These books are not selling by the thousand, they are selling by the hundred thousand. The first printing of “ More Rough Rhymes ” was 30,000 copies, and they were sold out at once. A word as to the man himself. Before the war he was Vicar of St Paul’s, the poorest parish in Worcester. He is of Irish extraction and is the son a Leeds vicar. He was educated at Leeds Grammar School and Trinity College, Dublin. Taking holy orders he started first as curate at St Peter’s, Rugby. He first preached to soldiers in Worcester Cathedral. He was a power before the war. He will be a force after it. The war has set the fire in him ablaze. He has been through the hell of it. Religious books leave me cold, but I read “ The Hardest Part ” and “ Rough Talks ” at one sitting. They are the most powerful books their kind since Bunyan.


With a view of showing the appreciation of Rugby and district of voluntary services that have resulted in the raising of some £14,000 locally for charitable purposes during the war, and services that have saved much more by providing free office accommodation and clerical assistance, it is proposed to make a public presentation to Mr J Reginald Barker. To that end, a subscription list has been opened, and Mr R P Mason, of the London Joint City and Midland Bank, is acting as hon Treasurer and secretary of the presentation fund.

Mr Barker’s activities have been especially pronounced in connection with his work as hon organiser of the Rugby and District Prisoners of War Fund, but as hon organiser and secretary of all the Rugby official Flag Days his name has also been constantly before the public throughout the war period, and his energy in raising, for charitable purposes, money in Rugby and district has been eminently creditable to all concerned—few towns of its size have, indeed, a better record in that respect than Rugby.

The end the war, and the resultant happy closing down of the operations of the Prisoners of War Fund, is deemed to be an especially appropriate occasion for giving Mr Barker some expression of the appreciation of the town and district of the services he has so ungrudgingly and at considerable self-sacrifice rendered, and Mr Mason’s invitation to the public to forward subscriptions to him for this purpose is signed by Mr J J McKinnell, J.P, C.C, Chairman of Rugby Urban District Council, and by Mr W Flint, C.C, Chairman of the Rugby Prisoners of War Fund.

LOCAL SOLDIERS HONOURED.—Farrier-Sergt G H Sumner, 26th Battery, 17th Brigade, R.F.A, and Sapper R H Read, R.E, both of Rugby, have been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal in recognition of valuable services rendered with the armies in France and Belgium.

MR AND MRS CLEMENTS, 33 Winfield Street, Rugby, have received information that their second son, Corpl Fred Clements, aged 21, died in Zebest War Hospital, Germany, on October 24. He joined the army in 1914, and went to France in June, 1915. On June 22 he was wounded and taken prisoner. Prior to joining up he was employed in the export office, B.T.H. This is the second son Mr Clements has lost in the war, and a third is still with the Army in France.

ACCIDENT TO DEMOBILISED SOLDIER.—An accident happened last week to a fitter named Clarke, of 102 Grosvenor Road, who is employed at the Engine Sheds of the L & N.-W Railway. He was removing a heavy axle-box, when it slipped, and pinned his right hand against the wall the “ pit,” badly lacerating one of his fingers. Dr Hoskyn is hopeful of saving it. The strange thing about the accident is that it was only the fifth day of Mr Clarke’s return to civil employment, after fighting for four years and five months in the war, through which he passed unhurt.


A meeting of the Parish Council was held in the Schools on the 21st inst, Mr F Gwinn presiding. The Clerk was instructed to put a notice on the Parish Board asking discharged soldiers who required land for small holdings to give in their names to the Council as early as possible. Mr A Pegg was appointed the Council’s representative on the School Management Board. A discussion followed upon a suitable War Memorial for the village.


Several interesting suggestions as to the form of a proposed parish memorial to the Bilton men who have fallen in the war were put forward at a meeting called for the purpose and held in the Church House, Bilton, on Friday evening. Capt M E T Wratislaw (chairman of the parish council) presided, and there were also present Messrs J H Veasey, F M Burton, A J Askew, J Cripps, G H Frost, R Lovegrove, E J Smith, F Blick (parish councillors), Lady Rowena Paterson, Rev W O and Mrs Assheton, Mr. and Mrs W Barnett, Rev C C Chambers, Mr and Mrs R B Wright, and a number of parishioners.

The Chairman, in opening the proceedings, said if there was one lesson which they had learned by the war, it was the value of co-operation and comradeship, and therefore hoped that whatever form their memorial might take it would be a parish memorial. He did not wish to see one committee in Bilton collecting for one purpose and another in New Bilton collecting for another. If separate memorials were required in either ward they should be quite apart from what called the war memorial. Hitherto there had been a feeling that New Bilton should be put on one side ; but he wanted them, on this occasion, to unite and have one parish memorial. If they decided to have a memorial in each ward, he thought they should be identical in character, and that each should commemorate the men from both wards, and not only the names from the ward in which it was to be erected. The question as to what form the memorial should take had been considered by the Parish Council, and various suggestions, such as the provision of a recreation ground, parish room, reading room, and museum had been made ; but it was felt that none of these would be a proper war memorial. In his opinion a war memorial should be distinctive ; it should commemorate the names of fallen men, it should be inexpensive as regarded upkeep, and no portion of the expenses should fall upon the rates. For these reasons the parish council were unanimous that these suggestions were quite outside the scope of a war memorial. However, they were quite willing to receive suggestions.

It having been formally decided that steps be taken to raise a memorial to the men from both wards who have fallen, the following were elected to serve on the committee, a nucleus of which was formed by the members the parish council :—The Rural District councillors ; Mr and Mrs Barnett, Rev W O and Mrs Assheton, Miss Line, Mrs West, Mrs G H Frost, Mr M Watkiss, and Mr G Spencerley, with power to co-opt additional members, on the understanding that both wards shall be equally represented on the full committee.

Suggestions were then invited. The Chairman suggested that whatever memorial be erected it should contain only the names of men who have died in the war. In addition a volume could be prepared containing the names of all men who had served in the forces.

Mrs West, who was unable attend, wrote suggesting the names of all men who had served in the forces should be inscribed somewhere where all could see them. She also thought it would be a good idea to erect a water trough and drinking fountain on the green, or that a really good Celtic Cross should be erected, or the old village cross be restored by a first-class man.

Miss Watts wrote proposing that either a large room be erected over the Working Men’s Club in which parish meetings, etc, could be held, or a stained glass window should be placed in the church.

A Lady suggested that a fund should be raised to assist the widows and children of fallen soldiers.

Mr Barnett said he thought the most suitable place to erect any monument would be the Churchyard. All their men who had fallen in the war would naturally have found a resting-place there, and would add greatly to the beauty of their church and churchyard if a lych gate was erected as a memorial.

Lady Rowena Paterson asked if it would be possible to endow a bed at the Hospital of St Cross.—Mr Barnett : It would cost £1,000.

Mr Burton supported Lady Rowena Paterson’s suggestion. With regard to Mr Barnett’s proposal, he thought that gentleman would agree with him that if the idea was approved it should include a similar gate at the other place of worship, because they must take into consideration the fact that men of more than one denomination had fallen for their country.—Mrs Assheton : But the churchyard is the churchyard of the parish. It is not denominational, and a lych gate there could represent all.—The Chairman : Yes, every resident has the right to be buried there.—Mrs Assheton : Then it is necessary to have a gate at each place ?—Mr Burton agreed that every resident had the right of burial in the churchyard, but that was only owing to the force of circumstances over which some people had no control. One could not get away from the fact, however, that the churchyard was sectarian.

It was decided to refer the suggestions to the committee, who will report on them or any other idea which they may prefer at the annual parish meeting.


SIR,—It would appear that the reports in the local Press of the recent meeting of the Urban District Council to consider the form which the Rugby War Memorial should assume have conveyed to the minds of many of our townspeople a wrong conception of the suggestion I was privileged to make on behalf of a number of my fellow-workers.

The great war, with its horrors of cruelty, destruction, and death, is not at all likely to be forgotten by the present generation, as history will hand it down through the years that are yet to be, but we consider homage is certainly due to the brave men whose heroism and sense of duty have secured for humanity the Dawn of Liberty and Peace. It was with this object in view that we suggested a monument to our local lads erected at the Whitehall. Most of them we had worked with in factory, office, or shop, and whether they had sprung from “ the Villa ” or “ the slum,” had done their bit to give the world a speedy and lasting Peace. We asked for a memorial worthy of the town, worthy of the object it was intended it should commemorate, and which should record the name and protect from oblivion the individual identity of each soldier who enlisted from the Rugby Parish. Unfortunately, many of these brave lads are now taking their final rest beneath foreign soil, far beyond the reach of relatives or friends. Might not our suggested memorial provide an appropriate Shrine whereon each recurring Anniversary of Peace tokens of affection and remembrance could be placed ?

The present moment can hardly be considered opportune to embark upon a large and elaborate scheme of town improvement. That has to depend for its successful accomplishment upon public subscriptions, especially when our local charitable and benevolent institutions are appealing for increased financial assistance that they may efficiently carry on their work, and Disabled Soldiers and Sailors and their dependents, along with similar organisations, are all urgently pressing their claims to our townspeople’s support. Would it not be advisable, under existing circumstances, to promote a less pretentious scheme like ours, which would adequately meet all desires to commemorate an event of such world-wide importance and the honourable part taken therein by Rugby’s citizens ?—Yours etc, WILL F HARDMAN,
26 Murray Road, Rugby.


McDOWELL.—In loving memory of my beloved husband, Corpl. WILLIAM McDOWELL, 1st Inniskilling Fusiliers, missing January 27, 1917, now reported killed.
“ I who love you sadly miss you,
As it dawns another year ;
In my lonely hours of thinking,
Thoughts of are ever near.”
—Sadly missed by his Wife.

23rd Nov 1918. Return of Repatriated Prisoners.


Several Warwickshire and Northamptonshire prisoners of war, who have been repatriated under the terms of the Armistice, have returned to their homes during the past week.

We understand that one of the men was captured near La Bassee on August 9th. With a number of comrades he was taken to a camp six miles behind the lines, when they remained for several days, subsisting on a daily diet of a quarter of a loaf, a small portion of black sausage, and water. After refusing to give any information to the German Intelligence Officer, they were removed to Fort Macdonald at Lille, where they were kept in close confinement for six weeks, their sole exercise being a daily visit to the canteen to draw their nauseating rations. No tobacco was provided, and there were no facilities for washing—in fact, our informant was only allowed to wash once during the three months of his captivity. The Germans behaved with the uttermost brutality to the unfortunate men, and orders were in many cases quickly followed by blows with the butt-end of a rifle. Several of the prisoners died as a result of the scanty food and revolting conditions under which they were kept. When the German retirement began, the prisoners, numbering about 400, were ordered to “ man-handle ” the horse transport from Lillie to Tournai, and on arrival at this place they were placed in a camp near the Railway Station, which at that time was receiving constant attention from the Allied airmen. Unfortunately, a number of the prisoners were killed in some of the raids. At Tournai the midday meal consisted of boiled red cabbage, and the men considered themselves lucky if they were allowed a small portion of bread for tea. This diet, however, was little inferior to that served out to the German troops. The next move was to St Reneld, fifteen miles from Brussels, and while they were at that place they were thrilled with the news of the signing of the armistice. Apparently the news was motived as enthusiastically by the Germans as by their unfortunate victims, for the enemy troops immediately gave themselves over to orgies of drinking and pillaging, many of them also selling machine guns and other military equipment to the Belgium civilians. The day after the armistice was signed, the prisoners were ordered to pull the transports Brussels, but on the way they met a party of released British prisoners, whereupon they pulled the transports into a field and returned to the camp, where they were released and sent on their journey back to the British lines without any ration. On the way they subsisted on field turnips and food given to them by the Belgian civilians, and after walking for fifteen miles they fell in with a detachment of the British Army, by whom they were enthusiastically received. “ They only gave us ordinary army fare,” our informant added, “ but after the unappetising food we had been served so long, it seems quite a banquet.”

As an illustration of the callous nature of the Germans, it is sufficient to add that shortly before he was captured our informant was wounded by shrapnel in the leg and face ; these wounds were unattended by his captor—were simply left to heal naturally.

Two of the men, Gunner Harry Maule, R.G.A (captured during the Battle of Cambrai in November, 1917), Pte Francis Bailey, R.W.R, hail from Long Lawford.

During the next few weeks the remaining prisoners of war will probably be repatriated, and we shall be pleased if relatives and friends of any local prisoners will inform us of their return, together with any further particulars which may be of interest to our readers.


A special meeting of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee was held at the Benn Buildings on Monday last, Mr William Flint, C.C, presiding. There were also present : Mrs Wilson, Mrs Anderson, Mr A E Donkin, J.P, Mr F R Davenport. C.C, Mr R P Mason, Mr G W Walton, Mr C J Newman, Mr A W Shirley, and Mr J Reginald Barker (hon organising secretary).

Mr Barker said that the immediate repatriation of our prisoners of war being made one of the terms of the armistice, the committee would welcome the news that it no longer necessary to send individual parcels of food to our prisoners in Germany. It would, of course, be several weeks before all the men returned to England, and in the meantime the Central Prisoners of War Committee were despatching food in bulk for distribution, as opportunity occurred, through the British Red Cross Society Depot at Rotterdam. The work the Rugby Committee had undertaken during the past 3½ years had thus reached the end, and there was now no need to appeal for further subscriptions and donations, because the money they had in hand would provide for any outstanding liabilities with Regimental Care Committees and leave a substantial balance. The armistice news had resulted in an almost complete falling-off in financial support. During the first week of the current month over £100 was received, but the last nine days had produced only £11. The committee had provided all parcels necessary up to the end of November, and there was a deficit of £350 on the month, but it was fortunate they had sufficient funds in hand to meet this. Mr Barker gave the committee some interesting figures. He said they had raised nearly £7,000, not including a sum of more than £1,000 remitted direct to Care Committees by adopters of individual prisoners of war, which helped to relieve the strain on the local fund. Nearly £4,000 of this amount had been raised in the past twelve months, so that with the growth in the number of prisoners there had been an equal growth in the revenue. Twelve months ago there were 61 men on the Rugby list, costing £125 per month, and they concluded their efforts, with a list of 149 men, costing over £500 per month.

On the proposition of Mr Newman, seconded by Mr Walton, it was resolved that the committee postpone their final meeting for a few days to enable the Hon Secretary to have the accounts completed and present the balance-sheet to a public meeting of subscribers to the fund.

The Chairman said he could not let the committee depart without thanking them for the good work they had done and also to voice the thanks of the committee to the people of Rugby and district for the very loyal support they had given over a long period. He also paid a special tribute to the Hon Secretary for the very efficient manner in which he had organised and managed the whole of the affairs of the committee (applause).—Mr Donkin said he envied Mr Barker the success he had attained in his efforts on behalf of our prisoners in Germany. He felt Mr Barker would always be proud of his work and rewarded by the knowledge that the prisoners were grateful to him for all he had done.

Mr Walton proposed a vote of thanks to the Chairman for the courteous and generous manner in which he had conducted the meetings, remarking that he was always in his place, even on occasions when he was far from well.—Mr Donkin seconded, and the resolution was enthusiastically carried.

Mr Barker thanked the committee for their kind expressions. He had had their whole-hearted support all through, and had received much encouragement from the Chairman. He valued the many letters he had received from the men in their prison camps and the knowledge that the parcels were of such vital importance to the prisoners had determined him to continue to the end the work he had undertaken. Now that the end had come no one was more thankful in the knowledge that the men were now being released from their sufferings, and that the food sent had helped largely to relieve their distress.


The following communication baa been sent to the Prime Minister :—
“ SIR,—I have the honour to confirm a telegram sent you this evening, and which correctly represents the feeling amongst the engineering community employed at the different works at Rugby, reading as follows :—
“ The whole of the engineering community employed on munitions of war at Rugby is much concerned to learn the harrowing details of the manner British prisoners are endeavouring to reach our lines, and demand that some adequate and drastic measures be taken immediately to feed, clothe, and transport these men, irrespective of any difficulties or restrictions imposed by the armistice or the German authorities.
“ I have the honour to be, yours obediently,
“ (Signed) J P GREGORY.
“ c/o The British Thomson-Houston Co, Rugby.
“ November 20, 1918.”


Lieut J H Clark, R.A.F, who before joining the Army was employed on the outside construction staff at the B.T.H, died on November 4th as the result of an aeroplane accident.

Mr J M Skinner, of 83 Abbey Street, received a message of sympathy from the King and Queen on November 6th on the loss of his son, Pte R J Skinner, of the West Yorkshire Regiment, who was officially reported to have been killed in action. However, Mr Skinner last week received a letter from his son, in which he says he is in good health and anxious to have a “ peep,” into Germany.

Trooper Frederick Farndon. of the Prince of Wales Inn, Rugby, has been awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for distinguished and gallant services rendered on the occasion of destruction or damage by enemy action to transports.

Mr C E and Mr Clements, 33 Winfield Street, have lost their son, Gunner E E Clements, R.F.A, from pneumonia, under sad circumstances, after seeing a lot of service in France. He worked as a fitter in the L & N-W Railway Sheds, and when war broke out he answered the first call, and joined Kitchener’s Army in August, 1914. He served three years in France, and was twice badly wounded. During the big German offensive in May this year he was gassed. On recovering he returned to his regiment, when he was called out of the ranks and told that he would have his discharge in two days’ time after good service. On the following day he was struck down with influenza, which developed into pneumonia, to which he succumbed on the 14th inst. The funeral took place at Rugby Cemetery on Saturday last. He was borne to the grave by six of his former workmates, and a large number of flowers testified to the esteem in which he was held.


The influenza epidemic still shows signs of abating, although the death-rate continues alarmingly high. During the last week 16 deaths from this cause were registered locally, making a total of over 120 since October 14th. There is still a considerable amount of illness in the town and district, but fortunately in the majority of cases it is not of so virulent a nature as that experienced at the beginning of the epidemic.


A SAD RECORD.- During the past week three military funerals have taken place – a record that has never been experienced previously in the parish. The deceased soldiers were: Pte L Howkins (6th Devons), Pte G Hughes (Oxford and Bucks L.I.), and Pte W Evans (Royal Warwicks), all of whom died from pneumonia. There have been four other deaths and a great deal of illness in the parish.

MR T BRAIN, postman, Mill Street, Dunchurch, has received official news that his son, Pte G Brain, R. W. R, was killed in action on November lst. Pte Brain, who had only been in the Army eight months, played three quarter back for the Dunchurch Football Club, and was also a member of the Dunchurch Brass Band and a ringer at the Parish Church.



Several matters of more than usual importance from a parochial point of view were considered at a meeting of the Bilton Parish Council, held at New Bilton on Monday, when there were preset : Messrs J H Veasey, vice-chairman (who presided), F M Burton, J J Cripps, A J Askew, J H Lambert, R Lovegrove, A T Watson, F J Smith, F W Hunt, and F Fellows (clerk).


The New Bilton Ward Committee reported that, whereas the yearly average of interments in the cemetery was only 40, no less than 20 funerals had taken place during the past month. . . . .


A letter was read from Capt M E T Wratislaw (chairman of the Council), in which, after apologising for his absence owing to military duties, he said : “ As regards the War Memorial, I have not been able to give the matter any lengthy consideration, as, of course, the armistice has only just been signed, and peace is not yet declared, so that I think a public meeting is a little premature. I hope New Bilton will not be forgotten. Any form of memorial should be, if possible, in both wards. The first thing would be to perpetuate the names of all fallen by a tablet in both wards. If a museum or reading room is built I have a nucleus in the Potter Bar Zeppelin frame and some shell noses for the former. I do not like the institution of a club for discharged men only. We still have the invested balance of King George’s Coronation Fund, and a drinking fountain might be erected in both wards, with the addition of the roll of all fallen men and a tablet of the Coronation. Again, the provision of open spaces in both wards would have my strongest support.”—Mr Lovegrove suggested that the Council build public baths or a free library. They had the power to do this by adopting certain Acts.—The Chairman, however, expressed the opinion that any memorial should be provided by voluntary subscriptions. Moreover, if they adopted Mr Lovegrove’s suggestion, it would mean higher rates in future for maintenance, and many of the smaller property owners in the parish were already hard put to it to raise the present rates.—After discussion, the further consideration of the question was referred to the respective Ward Committees, who will report to a subsequent meeting of the Council.


DANCE—After the cessation of hostilities a dance was got up at the Schools to celebrate the happy event, and also to assist the Soldiers’ Christmas Parcels Fund. It proved very successful, and by its means £3 8s 6d has been netted for the fund. The Excelsior Band (leader, Mr W Priest) volunteered their services, and the refreshments were kindly provided by Mrs Henry Powell. The arrangements were made by Mrs G Wright, Misses O Powell, M Whitehead, A Whitehead, C Spraggett, M Spraggett, and N Lane, assisted by Mr H T Wright (late of R.W.R) and Pte Alex Askew (N.Z Medical Corps).

THE ROLL OF HONOUR.—The Long Itchington roll of honour contains 230 names. Of these 29 have given their lives for their country, five are missing, four are prisoners of war, eight have been decorated, one has been mentioned in despatches, 16 have been honourably discharged, and upwards of 50 are known to have been wounded.

FEEDING THE GUN.—In connection with the campaign to raise the money of War Bonds in this district, the gun arrived here at 10 o’clock on Tuesday morning, and remained until 1 p.m. The children welcomed it with cheers and waving flags, and a goodly number of people assembled round it when it was unlimbered on the village green. The demonstrations given by the genial corporal gunner in charge were much appreciated, and the shrapnel scars on the carriage were examined with a pathetic interest.

A VETERAN NATIVE.—The arrival here last week of Gunner Wm Salt, R.F.A, from Mesopotamia on a visit created no small interest, and he received a hearty welcome not only from his own family, but from many old friends. He enlisted 17 years ago, and it is now some 13 years since he last came home. He was located in India when the War broke out, and eventually proceeded to Mesopotamia, where he has for some time past been attached to General Maude’s staff.


MILITARY CROSS FOR CAPT D C M BEECH.—News has reached Brandon that Capt D C M Beech has been awarded the Military Cross Captain Beech is the Second son of Colonel R J and Mrs Beech of Brandon Hall. He received his military training at Sandhurst, and before the war broke out was connected with the 20th Hussars. He was early in the fighting, and at the very beginning saw much service in France. He was afterwards sent to Egypt. Here he acted as Brigadier-Major (temporary), and did fine service. Capt Beech lost his elder brother at Ypres, and is now the sole surviving son of Colonel Beech. The news caused much pleasure amongst the residents at Brandon. His father, Colonel Beech, has also been much service in France, but recently has been very ill. The hard work in France told upon his constitution, but we are pleased to say that, although still confined to the house, his health is improving.

SCHOOL CLOSURE.—Brandon School has been closed by the Medical Officer of Health. Fifty per cent of the scholars were absent, through illness, on the last day of opening. The whole of several families are in bed through influenza.


FUNERALS.—The funeral took place in Southam churchyard on Monday . . . of a German prisoner, who died after a short illness at one of the local prison camps, in which many of the men have suffered from the prevailing epidemic. The coffin. covered with the German flag, was borne to the grave by deceased’s fellow prisoners, many others following. The English guard of four formed the firing party. Lieut Crawford was the officer in charge. The service was conducted by the local Roman Catholic priest.

TUESDAY.—Before Dr Clement Dukes (in the chair), and Messrs A E Donkin and T A Wise.

SEQUEL TO NEW BILTON TRAGEDY.—On behalf of the Rugby Board of Guardians, Mr H Lupton Reddish applied for an order to be made committing a boy named Jack Ernest Hill, aged 13, to an Industrial School. He said the boy was an illegitimate child, and his mother committed suicide on November 4th while distracted with grief at the death of her husband, which took place the same evening from pneumonia. On November 6th the boy was taken to the Workhouse, and on the 10th inst he ran away. He was fetched back the same day, and subsequently was taken before the Guardians, when he promised Canon Mitchison to behave better in future. An hour later he ran away again, and was brought back at nine o’clock by his aunt. He was then seen by Mr Robotham (the vice-chairman of the Board), and after giving a further promise of amendment, he was cautioned that a repetition of the offence might result in him having to appear before the Justices. Early in the afternoon he ran away again, and was brought back by his aunt. Three years ago the boy was brought before the Bench on a charge of stealing apples.—In reply to the Chairman, Mr Reddish said the boy was not a suitable subject for a lunatic asylum, and there was as yet no means of dealing with him under the Mental Deficiency Act.—Continuing, Mr Reddish said in August last the boy had a sunstroke, and he suffered from partial paralysis of the left side. He was backward in his education, and it was thought that if he was sent to an Industrial School he would be under supervision and discipline, and would also be taught a trade. It was impossible for the officials of the Workhouse to keep a watch on him, and the Guardians could only punish him to a certain extent by locking him up—a procedure which was not advisable in a case of this kind.—The boy was sent to an Industrial School for three years. . . . .


CHEESE.—On November 7th, in France, of pneumonia, following influenza, the Rev. WILLIAM GERARD CHEESE, M.A., Chaplain to the Forces, Vicar of Duddington, Northants., aged 35, youngest son of the late Rev. J. A. Cheese, Vicar of New Bilton, Rugby.

CLEMENTS.—On the 12th inst., at Horton War Hospital, Epsom, EUSTACE EDWIN, the dearly beloved eldest son of C. E. & M. F. Clements, Gunner, R.F.A., of “ flu ” and pneumonia ; aged 25 years.—Deeply mourned.

COLING.—In ever loving memory of Corpl. ARTHUR TOMPKINS, who was killed in action “ somewhere in France,” November 8th, aged 21 years.
“ We pictured his safe returning.
We longed to clasp his hand ;
But God has postponed our meeting
Till we meet in the Better land.”
—Deeply mourned by his sorrowing Parents, Brother, Sister, and Dorothy.

DAVENPORT.—At Queen Alexandra Military Hospital, Millbank, London, Pte. C. W. DAVENPORT, Coldstream Guards, the dear and only son of Charles and Maria Davenport, of Harborough Magna, died November 14, 1918 ; aged 24 years.—“ His end was peace.”
“ A light is from our household gone,
A voice we loved is still.”

HUGHES.—In loving memory of Pte. JAMES AMOS HUGHES, who passed away on November 11th at the Military Hospital, Dover, after a short illness, aged 22 years.
“ Father, in Thy gracious keeping,
Leave Thee now Thy servant sleeping.”
—From his sorrowing Father, Mother, Sisters and Brother, also Brother in France.

WEBSTER.—Killed in action in France on September 28th, ARTHUR, the dearly beloved grandson of Thomas Webster, of 71 Abbey Street, Rugby, aged 19 years.
“ A day of remembrance, sad to recall,
The loss of our dear one, loved by us all.
We think of him in silence, and his name we oft recall ;
But there is nothing left but his photo on the wall.
Fondly we loved him. he is as dear to us still,
But in grief we must bend to God’s Holy Will.
If we could have raised his dying head, or heard his last farewell,
The grief would not have been so hard for us that loved him well.”
—Too dearly loved to be forgotten by His loving Grandad, Aunt & Uncle, & cousins Eveline & Frances.

WILDMAN.—On November 2nd, in hospital in France, died from wounds received in action, JOSEPH WALTER WILDMAN.

Clements, Eustace Edwin. Died 12th Nov 1918

Eustace Edward CLEMENTS was the son of Charles Edwin, [b.c. 19 April 1866 in Wing, Buckinghamshire] and Mary Ellen, née Lee, Clements [b.c. 1865 in Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire], who were married on 28 December 1891 at Saint Andrew’s church, Rugby.

Mary Ellen and her parents – Frederick, who was born in Hillmorton, and Jane Lee – had lived in Rugby at least from 1864 when Mary’s sister, Minnie, was born there and in 1871 and 1881, when they were living at 768 Old Station, Rugby.  In 1881, Mary Ellen was 21.

Mary Ellen returned to Rugby to have her first child, Eustace, whose birth was registered, as Eustace Edwin Clements, in Q1, 1893 in Rugby [Rugby, 6d, 577].  Eustace was baptised in Rugby at St Andrew’s church on 12 March 1893.  His military Service Record though, would later give his birth place as Northampton – his early home – and his second name as Edward – and indeed on one record his religion as Roman Catholic!

In 1901, the family were still living in Roade St. Mary, Buckinghamshire, with their children: Eustace E Clements, 8; Dorothy Clements, 6; Freddy Clements, 3; and Oscar Clements, 2.   In 1919 Sidney and Edwin Clements would be given as the names of his surviving brothers.

Before 1911, the family had moved back to Rugby and in 1911 were living at 33 Winfield Street, Clifton Road, Rugby.  Charles was working as a Railway Signal Fitter for the LNWR.  Eustace, now aged 18 was working, as an ‘engine fitter apprentice’, also with the LNWR.  His younger brother, Frederick, was 13 and still at school,

Eustace Clements. photo by permission of David Boult

There are two sets of surviving Service Records for Eustace – or Eustace Edward or Edward as he was known to the military.  One set of records of five pages, and one set of 23 pages, with some duplications.  There is also a Medal Card and his CWGC entry.  Unfortunately the Service Records are of very poor legibility in many cases, and parts are missing as they were probably recovered from the ‘burnt records’.

Eustace volunteered early for war service and was attested in Rugby on 31 August 1914.  When he enlisted he was 21 years and 232 days old.  He was 5 foot 11½ inches tall; weighed 160 lbs; had grey eyes and light brown hair, and his religion was Church of England.  He was certified ‘Fit for service in the Royal Garrison Artillery, RFA’.  He became a Gunner, No.1679, in the Royal Field Artillery.  His previous trade was listed as ‘fitter’.

From 31 August 1914 to 12 September 1917 one set of records suggest he was on a ‘Home’ posting – which would seem to be in conflict with other records, and omits one of his postings in France!

He was initially in 51st (R) Battery, R. F. A. and had various postings before the end of December 1914 and would later be promoted to Corporal.  On 1 September 1914 he was at Hilsea,[1] then on 9 September 1914 he was posted to ?13 Reserve Brigade, and on 15 December he was at Frome and on 17 December 1914 with ?/111 Battery.

His military career was not faultless.  On 29 March 1915 he was ‘absent without leave from 10pm 29/3/15 until 2pm 30/3/15, 16 hours’ and was admonished and forfeited one day’s pay.  Then at Winchester on 20 May 1915 he was ‘Absent from town piquet’ and was confined to barracks for two days.  On 10 September 1915 at Lille Barracks,[2] he was ‘Absent from base [or ‘leave’?] 12 noon to 4.30 pm, 4½ hrs.’ for which he received 7 days field punishment No 2.

On 28 May 1915 it seems he was posted to the B/113th Brigade, and was vaccinated in July 1915.  Although an alternative record stated that he went to France on 25 September 1915 after ‘home service’ of 1 year and 25 days, however, there is again confusion as Eustace’s Medal Card stated that he went to France on 20 September 1915.  He would, in either case, have been entitled to the 1914-1915 Star.

He served in France until 10 June 1917 [one record stated 1916!] as on 7 June 1917 he was wounded and was evacuated first to 20th General Hospital, Dannes Camiers, and then ‘Home’ by ship on 11 June 1917 and admitted to the Horton War Hospital with ‘Gun S W right forefinger crushed, contusions of leg’.  He was discharged on 17 July 1917, however another report notes ‘Finger healed but distal joint stiff.  Has [morn]ing massage.  Sent to Command Depot’.

Indeed, he was posted to the Command Depot at Rippon on 28 July 1917 and then posted to 56th Reserve Brigade on 31 August 1917 until 12 September 1917.   He was then posted back to France on 13 September 1917 and seems to have been moved to A/307 Brigade from Base on 26 September 1917, and then to A/306 Brigade F. A. on 8 November 1917.

On 12 December 1917 he was wounded again, presumably comparatively slightly as he was discharged on 17 December 1917.

On 9 May 1918 he was wounded yet again and apparently suffered a ‘… Shell wound severe …’ and was evacuated back to England on 10 May 1918.  On arrival ‘Home’ on 11 May 1918, he was initially admitted to Southwark Military Hospital, London S.E.[3] being treated for ‘… ? gas shell poisoning?’ until 16 July 1918, when he was sent to the Convalescence Hospital,  Eastbourne, until 10 August 1918.

On 19 August 1918 he was posted to 60th Reserve Battery, R.F.A. and granted ‘Leave with free warrant’.  Presumably he was now no longer fit for front line service as on 17 October 1918 he had a ‘compulsory transfer into the Labour Corps as Private, No.669461 at Sutton’.  This suggests that he had been medically rated below the ‘A1’ condition needed for front line service.

Being less than fully fit for service, it was perhaps not surprising that he was taken ill again, struck down by the flu epidemic was sweeping the world.  He died, aged 25, in the Horton War Hospital, Epsom, on 12 November 1918, from ‘Acute Bronchio-Pneumonia & Influenza’.

The second page of a telegram on 13 November 1918 confirms ‘F C Labour Corps 1 acute Lobar pneumonia 2 influenza Warspital Epsom’.  Only the name ‘Clements’ can be read on the first page.

After a funeral in Rugby, he was buried in Rugby’s Clifton cemetery in plot, J192, with a CWGC headstone as Gunner Eustace Edwin Clements, Royal Field Artillery,[4] Service Number, 1679.  The CWGC has him as aged 24.

His headstone also remembers his brother Frederick Clements who most probably died in a Prisoner of War camp near to Berlin.  His family’s chosen inscription on Eustace’s headstone reads: ‘Also in Memory of 307487 Corporal F. Clements Royal Warwickshire Regt. 24.10.18.’

Three items were published in the Rugby Advertiser on 23 November,[5] a report on his death and funeral; the family’s announcement of his death; and their ‘Acknowledgement’ and thanks to friends.

Mr C E and Mrs Clements, 33 Winfield Street, have lost their son, Gunner E E Clements, R.F.A. from pneumonia, under sad circumstances, after seeing a lot of service in France.  He worked as a fitter in the L & N-W Railway Sheds, and when war broke out he answered the first call, and joined Kichener’s Army  in August, 1914.  He served three years in France, and was twice badly wounded.  During the big German offensive in May this year he was gassed.  On recovering he returned to his regiment, when he was called out of the ranks and told that he would have his discharge in two days’ time after good service.  On the following day he was struck down with influenza, which developed into pneumonia, to which he succumbed on the 14th inst.  The funeral took place at rugby Cemetery on Saturday last.  He was borne to the grave by six of his former workmates, and a large number of flowers testified to the esteem in which he was held

CLEMENTS. – On the 12th inst., at Horton War Hospital, Epsom, Eustace Edwin, the dearly beloved eldest son of C. E. & M. E. Clements, Gunner, R.F.A., of “flu” and pneumonia; aged 25 years. – Deeply mourned.’

MR & MRS CLEMENTS & FAMILY wish to thank all kind Friends and Neighbours for sympathy shown to them in their bereavement; also for all floral tributes sent.

Eustace is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate and also on the Rugby Loco Steam Shed Memorial,[6]

In July 1919 his father filled in the declaration of next of kin, and on 19 September 1919 Eustace’s effects were sent from Nottingham to his father’s solicitors in Rugby.  They included,
‘Correspondence, Wallet, Photos, Badge, Holdall, 3 Razors In Cases, 2 Toothbrushes, 2 Shaving Brushes, Button Stick, Housewife, Meal Cards, Letters, Shaving Soap, Pencil, Disc, Bag, ?Piece Bread Pouch, Cig Papers, Watch Strap, Tin Tablets, 2 Button Brushes, 3 Handkerchiefs, Metal Pins, Hairbrush, Mirror, Wound Stripe, 4 Blue Chevrons, 2 Pocket Books.’

The family were then living at 33 Winfield Street, Rugby.  It seems that his mother received a separation allowance of 5 shillings per week.

Eustace was awarded the Victory and British medals and the 1914-1915 Star which were sent to his father in 1922.



– – – – – –


This article on Eustace Edwin Clements 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, November 2017.

[1]      Hilsea Lines includes 18th- and 19th-century fortifications built to protect the northern approach to Portsea.

[2]      The Lille Barracks were one of the six barracks in the Aldershot Marlborough Lines which were built in about 1890; the Lille barracks were demolished in 1958.

[3]      St Saviour’s Infirmary in East Dulwich Grove … was built in 1887 by the Guardians of the Poor of the parish of St Saviour’s, Southwark.  The Royal Army Medical Corps took over control of the infirmary in East Dulwich Grove on 11 November 1915, which at the insistence of the guardians was named Southwark Military Hospital.  The hospital was fully equipped for 800 patients … the existing Medical Superintendent Dr A  Bruce was appointed the rank of Major and served as its Officer in charge for most of the three and half years the hospital was used by the military. … Altogether 12,522 wounded and sick servicemen were cared for at Southwark Military Hospital of whom [only] 119 died; a very small percentage of those admitted and a tribute to the skill of the doctors, surgeons and nurses.  See http://www.dulwichsociety.com/2010-summer/532-southwark-military-hospital.

[4]      Whilst Eustace had later been in the Labour Corps, this Corps always suffered from its treatment as something of a second class organization, and the men who died are typically commemorated under their original Regiment, with the Labour Corps being secondary.

[5]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 23 November 1918.

[6]      From a report of the unveiling, Rugby Advertiser, 11 March 1921; see also https://www.rugbyfhg.co.uk/rugby-loco-steam-shed-memorial.

Clements, Frederick C. Died 24th Oct 1918

Very little was found initially to connect Frederick C CLEMENTS to Rugby – until he was found remembered on his brother’s CWGC headstone in the Clifton Road Cemetery.

He was the son of Charles Edwin, [b.c. 19 April 1866 in Wing, Buckinghamshire] and Mary Ellen, née Lee, Clements [b.c. 1865 in Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire], who were married on 28 December 1891 at Saint Andrew’s church, Rugby.

It would seem that Mary Ellen and her parents, Frederick who was born in Hillmorton, and Jane Lee had lived in Rugby at least from 1864 when Mary’s sister, Minnie, was born there and in 1871 and 1881, when they were living at 768 Old Station, Rugby.  In 1881, Mary Ellen was 21.  Mary Ellen would return to Rugby in 1893 to have their first child, Eustace E Clements.

Frederick, also known as Freddy, was born in 1897 in Roade St Mary, Northamptonshire, and the family were still living there in 1901, with children: Eustace E Clements, 8; Dorothy Clements, 6; Freddy Clements, 3; and Oscar Clements, 2.

Before 1911, the family had moved to Rugby and in 1911 were living at 33 Winfield Street, Clifton Road, Rugby.  Charles was working as a Railway Signal Fitter for the LNWR.  Young Frederick was 13 and still at school, whilst his elder brother, Eustace, now aged 18 was at work, as a ‘fitter’s apprentice’, also with the LNWR.

It is possible that Frederick later worked at BTH as three F Clements are remembered as having served: –
Clements F. Commercial Stores Rugby
Clements F. Export Dept., Rugby Private Royal Warwick – [the correct Regiment].
Clements F.C. Drawing Office Rugby Sapper Royal Engineers

However there is only a ‘CLEMENTS, Frank’ recorded on the BTH memorial, who could have been any of these – and perhaps this was how Frederick or Freddy was known!

There is a Medal Card for a Frederick C Clements, in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and a CWGC entry and information that match – it may not be any of the F or F C Clements of BTH above.  However the listing found on his brother’s memorial confirms that he is the appropriate soldier to be remembered.

Frederick probably enlisted in Rugby, as Private No.307487, in the 2nd/7th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.  He would later be promoted to Corporal.

The 2nd/7th Battalion of the RWR was formed in Coventry in October 1914 as a second line battalion, and together with the Birmingham recruited 2/6 Battalion became part of 2nd Warwickshire Brigade, 2nd South Midland Division in the Northampton area.  They moved to Chelmsford area in March 1915.  In August 1915 they were redesignated as the 182nd Brigade, 61st (2nd South Midland) Division, and went to train on Salisbury Plain in March 1916.  They landed in France on 21 May 1916.[1]

Frederick’s Medal Card has no date when he went to France, suggesting that this was after 1915 as there was no necessity to prove the need to award a 1915 Star.  His six figure army number seems to be a later one, so that he may have gone to France anytime after early to mid 1916.  However, as he was not born until 1898, unless he lied about his age, he would not have reached the necessary age of 18 until sometime in 1916.

Frederick could have been involved in a number of actions in 1916 to 1918, and details of the 61st Division’s war can be found in the War Diaries and on the web.[2]  That said, from 1916 the 2/7th RWR were active in many campaigns and further details can also be found on the interactive maps on the Web.[3]

Actions included the attack at Fromelles, a diversionary attack during the Somme offensive (19 July 1916); operations on the Ancre at Grandcourt following the halt to the Somme offensive (11 January 1917); the German retreat / strategic withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line (14 March 1917); the Battles of Ypres –  Pond Farm (18 August 1917); the Battle of Langemarck (18 August 1917); the Battle of Cambrai, German Counter-Attacks (1 December 1917); the Battle of St. Quentin at the opening of the German Spring Offensive, ‘Operation Michael’ (21 March 1918); the various Battles of the Lys – the Battles of Estaires (11 April 1918); Hazebrouck (12 April 1918) and Bethune (18 April 1918)

In October 1918 as part of the final advance in Picardy and the Battle of the Selle (24 October 1918) when a night attack by Third and First Armies took high ground to the east of the River Selle and having allowed time for the supporting heavy artillery to catch up, all three British Armies were able to continue their advance, taking nearly 20,000 prisoners in one week.  61st (2nd South Midland) Division transferring to XVII Corps, Third Army in mid-October.

During the night of 23 / 24 October the Division relieved 19th Division east of Haussy to continue the advance across the River Écaillon (L’Écaillon) the following day.  The 2/7th Warwicks had just come from a few days in billets at Rieux (south of Cambrai) and moved towards the village of Sommaing with the objective to take the village.[4]

However, whilst his fellow 2/7th Battalion comrade, from Rugby, Harry Oldham, who was Killed in Action on 24 October 1918 was buried nearby in the Canonne Farm British Cemetery at Sommaing, Frederick Clements who died on the same day, was buried near to Berlin. That cemetery includes a great many casualties ‘concentrated’ from smaller cemeteries in Germany, many associated with prisoner of war camps or work camps. Towards the end of the war, the British blockade was leaving the Germans short of food, and in turn the prisoners were on starvation rations.[5]  Earlier wounds, poor food and the cold led to considerable numbers of deaths in these camps.

This would suggest that Frederick had been captured some time, perhaps a considerable time,  before 24 October 1918, during one of the Battalion’s earlier actions, and then been transported back to a German POW camp, where  he later died on 24 October 1918.  He was probably buried in the local POW camp cemetery.  It was these smaller cemeteries that were concentred to the Berlin South-Western Cemetery, at Stahnsdorf.

Frederick Clements is now buried in the Berlin South-Western Cemetery, Brandenburg, Germany, in grave reference: X. C. 3., being one of 1175 casualties.  The cemetery is in the village of Stahnsdorf which lies approx 22kms south west of Berlin and approx 14kms to the east of Potsdam.

Frederick was awarded the Victory and British medals.  He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate and also in Rugby’s Clifton cemetery in plot J192, on the CWGC headstone of his elder brother, Gunner Eustace Edwin/Edward Clements  Service Number, 1679, who died soon after his younger brother on 12 November 1918, aged 24, and was buried in Clifton Cemetery, Rugby.  The inscription included on that headstone reads: ‘Also in Memory of 307487 Corporal F. Clements Royal Warwickshire Regt. 24.10.18.’

It was that inscription that allowed Frederick Clements and his family to be identified.



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This article on Frederick C Clements 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, November 2017.

[1]      http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk, supplemented by info from http://battlefields1418.50megs.com/regiment012.htm.

[2]      http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/61st-2nd-south-midland-division/

[3]      https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/maps/units/4736/182nd-infantry-brigade/27th-battalion/

[4]      http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/ – together with quote from War Diary, available on Ancestry.co.uk.

[5]      Van Emden, Richard, Prisoners of the Kaiser, the last POWs of the Great War, Pen & Sword, 2009; ISBN: 978-1-848840-78-2.