9th May 1919. Smokes for Soldiers


The hon. Secretaries of the Rugby Hospitals’ Tobacco Fund, the Rev. W. H. Payne-Smith and Mr. H. N. Sporborg, have issued a statement summarising the work during the war. In 1918 the sum of £80 16s. was given to the fund. As a result a regulated supply of cigarettes and tobacco to Rugby’s wounded soldier guests in both hospitals was able to be maintained without fail. In the report for 1917 the Hon. Secretaries anticipated that the expenditure would rise in 1918, and in the early part of the year that was the case. But both hospitals were closed for a time, and the funds, therefore, had not only sufficed for 1918 and for the first quarter of 1919 till the final closing of the hospitals, but had left a balance of £28 12s. 7d. This had been given to the Hospital of St. Cross. Rugby, and it is hoped that the subscribers will approve. The work of the fund has been highly appreciated both by the men and by the staff of the hospitals ; and the Hon. Secretaries desire to express their warm thanks to all friends who have so generously contributed to the fund.

A summary of the expenses and receipts shows that the receipts in 1917 were £102 10s. 1d., and in 1918 £80 16s. The expenses were :—Cigarettes, &c., in 1916, £5 13s. 6d. ; 1917, £77 15s. 9d. ; 1918, £52 3s. 9d. ; 1919, £16 19s. 9d. Printing two reports, £2 0s. 9d. ; and balance to Hospital of St. Cross, £28 12s. 7d.


The splendid services of the V.A.D.’s of Warwickshire during the war were put on record in the annual report presented by Mr. E. K. Little (the County Director) at the annual meeting of the county branch of the British Red Cross Society, held at the County Hall, Warwick, and reference was made to the importance of maintaining V.A.D. organisation in order that those associated with it might be able to render valuable work in several directions in time of peace. Lady Craven presided over the meeting, at which there was a good attendance.

Mr. Little spoke of the strenuous work done at the hospitals, only three of which, he said, now remained open—Weddington, St. Bernard’s, and Southam—and they were remaining open in order to continue to assist the 2-1st Southern General Hospital for a short time longer. In the matter of maintenance grant it could hardly be said that the War Office had treated the auxiliary hospitals liberally. The aggregate cost of maintenance and administration in 1918 amounted to just over £20,000. Towards this the Army paid approximately £73,000 and the War Pensions Committees £450, and the balance of £16,550 was raised voluntarily, either in money or kind. During the war period 39 hospitals had been opened as units of the Warwickshire branch ; of these, 8 had run for two years and over, 10 for three years and over, and 11 for over four years. The number of beds thus provided rose gradually from 180 in 1914 to the high water mark of 2,010 in 1918. In all, 35,248 sick or wounded men had been admitted as in-patients to the hospitals. Last year a large number of discharged men were treated as out-patients ; some 4,934 visits were on record, and the number was, in fact, considerably more.

Lady Craven expressed public thanks to Mr. Little for his magnificent work.

General Quayle Jones drew attention to suggestions that the society should observe two principles in keeping up its work and organisation : That the work done during peace should be of a nature calculated to fit the personnel undertaking it for rendering better services during war ; and that the broken victims of the war should be the first care of the peace activities of the B.R.C.S. He read to the meeting an important memorandum which has been issued on the work of the B.R.C.S in peace. This suggested that the following were activities which might be usefully undertaken, and “ which would be of undoubted benefit to the ex-patients of naval and military hospitals” :—

(1) Cottage Hospitals : It is suggested that the number of these hospitals should be extended and that this class of institution should be made the peculiar care of our detachments and generally supervised by our County Director.

(2) Ambulances : The care of motor ambulances for local work and all first-aid equipment might be placed under the local detachment. This work should be organised in connection with the local hospitals.

(3) Care Visitors : The local detachment might undertake the duty of visiting broken men and reporting to the county organisation cases which were in need of assistance, whether pecuniary or medical. The county should, it is suggested, set up machinery to supplement the official care for such men.

(4) Red Cross Reserve : It is suggested that all ex-members of detachments who have attained a certain standard of proficiency should be registered on a Red Cross Reserve maintained by a Central V.A.D. authority.

(5) Technical Reserve of the Territorial Force : The detachments should be encouraged to undertake their old work with such modifications as experience may suggest. The detachments should train with the men and be officially recognised on field days and in summer camps as part of the military organisation.


Major F. Clover, who has temporarily taken over command of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion R.W.R., in issuing a special corps order, states with regard to the late officer commanding that Battalion :—

Now that the mortal remains of the Commandant of the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, have been laid to rest, the painful duty fall, upon me to give expression to the sorrow every Officer, Non-commissioned Officer and man feels in the loss the Battalion has sustained. From the earliest stages of the Volunteer Movement in Warwickshire—first in the promotion of the Leamington Defence Corps, and later when the various Corps throughout the county were organised into Battalions-Colonel Johnstone placed his ripe experience at the disposal of those who were collecting up the threads of disjointed and scattered groups, and forming them into a cohesive whole. Through those trying times his tact, judgment, experience, and determination were invaluable, and contributed largely to the formation of one of the largest and best equipped Battalions in the country.

During the period he was engaged in recruiting duties, and his services transferred to a neighbouring Battalion, his regret at severance from the Battalion he had taken such an active part in forming, was great, and none rejoiced more heartily than he when he was restored to the command.

As a drill he was facile princeps. In those earlier Concentrations, which were the joy of his heart, none who moved under the magic of his word of command will readily forget its vibrant tones and compelling force.

For myself I feel I have lost a friend in addition to a capable chief, and I am sure the same sense will pervade all those who came beneath the charm of his influence.

Latterly we had seriously conferred together on the future of the Volunteer force, and our position with regard to it. His counsel was that until the authorities had decided what was to be our part in the defence of the country, our duty is to remain as we are and endeavour to save it from disintegration. He argued that we still possess the skeleton of an organisation, and the time might come when it would be again clothed in the flesh and live for Home Defence. If we accept this view, I believe we shall be best preserving the memory of one we hold dear.

It now only remains for me to ask for that ready assistance from all ranks that was so cheerfully given to my predecessor—at least until such time as the future of the Volunteer Movement is determined, when it is my hope to be relieved of my command to make way for a younger and stronger man, with more time at his disposal and well versed in lessons learnt from the war.


HARDMAN.—In loving memory of our dear son, Rifleman WALTER HARDMAN, Rifle Brigade, who was killed in France on May 9, 1915.
“ This day brings back a memory
Of a loved one laid to rest,
And those who think of him to-day
Are those who loved him best.”
—From his loving Mother and Father, Brothers and Sisters.

PORTER.—In ever-loving memory of our son and brother, GEORGE RUPERT PORTER, who fell in action on May 8, 1915.
“ We little thought his time so short
When on leave he came.
Out to the Front he bravely went,
Never to return again.
Friends may think we have forgotten him
When at times they see us smile ;
But they little know the heartaches
That the smile hides all the while.”
—From his sorrowing Mother, Father, Brother and Sisters.

REYNOLDS.—In loving memory of my dear husband, John Reynolds, who died of wounds received in action May 8th, 1918.—From his sorrowing wife and sonnie Jack.
“ A face is from our household gone,
A voice we loved is still,
A place is vacant in our home
Which can never be filled.”