24th Nov 1917. Food Parcels for Men on Active Service

FOOD PARCELS FOR MEN ON ACTIVE SERVICE.

To the Editor of the Advertiser.

DEAR SIR,—Enquires into the reason for the local shortage of certain essential foodstuffs have brought the information that the Authorities were making first claim upon these for our Armies in the field ; and having had the opportunity on several occasions lately of mixing with a number of men straight from the trenches, and quite unknown personally to me, I have raised the question of food supplies, and feel sure that Rugbeians will be glad to know that without exception the men, who belonged to various units from different parts of the front, gave me the assurance that they were now very well fed, and that of most of the things which we are short they are receiving a sufficiency. They have been unanimous, too, in stating that it was quite unnecessary, and even wasteful, to send them either food or tobacco from home, and that I should be justified in giving publicity to the fact that the majority of them would prefer money, with which they can obtain little comforts when they have opportunities of getting them—tobacco and cigarettes they can buy duty free, and of practically any brand they choose. One article they are always glad to see, and cannot get enough of, is the humble sock. They assert that a clean pair of socks is a luxury, and often hard to obtain even to come home in for their leave.

I understand, too, that the old ration of biscuit and bully beef has been modernised, and is now served in an appetising mince.

At this season numbers of people will be contemplating sending parcels to the boys : and feeling that they would mostly desire to do their bit in the most acceptable way, I respectfully suggest that it take the form of money and socks.—Yours faithfully,

HARRY TARBOX,
Chairman Rugby Rural Food Control Committee.

PIGS FOR HOME CONSUMPTION.

AN UNFOUNDED RUMOUR.

A rumour has been widely circulated in the Midland Counties to the effect that pig-keepers are forbidden to kill their pigs for their own consumption, and as the consequence has been that large numbers have been killed in an immature condition.

Mr Ernest Parke, the chairman of the Brailes Rural District Council, has received a letter, dated November 21st, from the Minister of Food, as follows :—

“ There is no truth in the rumour that any order made by this Department forbids farmers and their labourers to kill their pigs for their own consumption.”

THE FOOD QUESTION.

NATIONAL VALUE OF THE POTATO.

An interesting discussion as to the best means of turning the present abundant potato crop to the greatest national advantage took place at the Ministry of Food on Monday. After providing for the normal consumption, there is, said Sir Arthur Yapp, a surplus of considerably over 2,000,000 tons of potatoes, which, if utilised during the next six months—a most critical period—in lieu of bread, will save 500,000 ton of grain, this being sufficient to keep the whole of the United Kingdom in bread for two months. In the course of an interest Dr J Campbell gave some important figures illustrating the economic food value of the potato. The said that 2 2/3 lbs of potatoes had an equivalent food value of 1 lb of bread. There was a national gain in the fact that one acre of land devoted to the growth of potatoes produced twice the quantity of flesh-forming protein compared with the same land devoted to wheat 4½ times more starch, and 3½ times more potash. He thought, therefore, that the acreage given over to potatoes should be increased to rather than reduced. Having recommended the greater use of potato flour in bread-making, he suggested that no bread should be served at meals when potatoes were abundant.

THE FOOD SHORTAGE LOCALLY.

The shortage of certain articles of food locally, which has during the past fortnight become acute, is causing considerable uneasiness and inconvenience in the town. Several commodities, such as matches, tea, butter, bacon, and other fats, are practically unobtainable, and then only in very small quantities. Several shops dealing largely in these articles have been besieged with customers, and housewives complain bitterly of the many hours spent, without result, in shopping. Shopkeepers are their wits’ end to supply the demands of the public, and in many cases commodities, of which the supply is limited, are reserved for regular customers. The Co-operative Society has adopted the rationing system in respect of a number articles, members being served only on the production of their old sugar cards—those issued by the society. In many cases customers have added to the difficulties of retailers by adopting an unreasonable attitude, and a reflection of this state of affairs was provided at the County Appeals Tribunal on Wednesday evening, when a grocer’s manager was exempted for six months, a representative of the firm pleading that it was unsafe to leave a woman in sole charge owing to the threatening attitude of numerous customers.

RUGBY BUTCHERS BEFORE THE TRIBUNAL.

A special sitting of the Appeal Tribunal was held at Rugby on Wednesday evening to consider the claims of the Rugby butchery trade. Present : Messrs H W Wale (chairman), KV Rotherham, S J Dicksee. Capt M E T Wratislaw was the National Service representative.

The first three cases were applications for further periods of exemption.—On behalf of George William Thomson, 39, married, West Street, Mr Eaden suggested that the position was such that the man should not be called upon to join the Army. His wife’s health was delicate, and she had been advised by a specialist that she must shortly undergo an operation.—Capt Wratislaw said this was one of the men he was pressing for. The man’s business was situated in a district where there were plenty of shops to supply the public, and Mrs Thomson was capable of carrying on her husband’s business. Messrs Thomson and Haddon worked together, and he suggested that Mr Haddon should co-operate, and so release Thomson, whose business could still be preserved by his wife carrying it on.—Mr Thomson said his wife occasionally assisted in the shop by serving a pennyworth of suet, and so on ; but she was unable to cut up meat to advantage. Her health too, was delicate, and she could not stand for any length of time.—Mr. Eaden also appeared for Mr A J Haddon, 38, married, Lawford Road.—Capt Wratislaw suggested that this man should be allowed to remain in order that he could co-operate with Mrs Thomson to keep her husband’s business going.—George Roland Harris, 30, married, 41 Park Road, was described by Mr Eaden as one of the best slaughterers in the town, and he was always willing to help other butchers in case of need. His business premises were situated in a thickly populated part of the town, and on both sides the nearest butchers were some distance away. His wife assisted in the shop.—Capt Wratislaw said this was also one of the men he was asking for.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Corpl E E Simons, of the Royal Engineers, landlord of the New Inn, Sharnford, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the field.

News has been received at the B.T.H that Lieut Herbert Proctor, of the Royal Engineers, who prior to the War was engaged in the Special Engineering Department, died on November 11th as the result of an accident in France.

Mr & Mrs Collins, 45 New Street, New Bilton, have received official news that their eldest son, Pte A Collins, Royal Warwicks, aged 29, was killed in action in France on October 26th. He was also wounded in September last year. He is their second son who has fallen in the War, and their youngest son, who is now recovering from wounds, has been wounded twice in France.

NEWS has reached Rugby that Capt Ernest Wood, Manchester Regiment, elder son of Mr T Wood, a Rugby accountant, has won the Victoria Cross. He enlisted in a Pals Battalion as a private in the early months of the War, and his brother, Capt Arnold Wood, also serving in the Manchesters, was another Pals Battalion recruit. Details of the exploits for which the coveted distinction has been awarded have not yet been known to his friends.

D.S.O. FOR CAPT P F FULLARD, M.C.

The D.S.O has just been awarded to Capt P F Fullard, M.C, Worcestershire Regiment and Royal Flying Corps, a son of Mrs Fullard, now living at 44 Clifton Road, Rugby. This gallant officer was educated at Norwich Grammar School. He joined the Inns of Court O.T.C in September, 1915, and subsequently received a commission in the Worcestershire Regiment and the R.F.C. He went out in April, 1917, and speedily won the Military Cross, and subsequently a bar to the same for daring work in the air. He is only just 20 years of age. On Saturday last, when taking part in a Rugby football match behind the lines in France, he unfortunately had his legs broken.

DISCHARGED SAILORS AND SOLDIERS.—A whist drive and dance was held in the Co-operative Hall on Friday, November 16th, in aid of the branch funds. The prize-winners were : Mrs A Neal, Miss C Gilbert. Miss Lockwood (Mr H V Ramsey, Mr Griffiths. A large number attended. Brown’s orchestra supplied the dance music. The first prize for ladies was a gramophone, value £6 6s, kindly presented by Mr J T E Brown.

PERSONAL PARCELS FOR PRISONERS OF WAR.

A new scheme comes into force on December 1st, which will enable the NEXT-OF-KIN of a prisoner of war to send a “ Personal Parcel,” not exceeding 11lbs in weight and not less than 3lbs in weight, so as to minimize the risk of loss in the post. The “ Personal Parcel ” may be sent once a quarter only. It may NOT be packed and dispatched by any authorized association, and must NOT bear the British Red Cross label. It must be packed and dispatched through the Post Office by the next-of-kin or relative, who receives a special coupon, and the coupon must be affixed to the parcel.

In the case of men in the care of Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee applications for coupons should be addressed to the Hon Secretary, Mr J Reginald Barker, 9 Regent Street, Rugby ; where the applicant is not the prisoner’s next-of-kin the written permission of the next-of-kin must accompany the request for the coupon.

WHAT MAY BE SENT.

Any of the articles noted below may be included :—

Pipe, housewife, cloth brushes, sponge, handkerchiefs (one a quarter), buttons, pencils, shaking soap (one stick a quarter), tooth powder, health salts, chess, draughts, dominoes, pomade, insecticide powder, cap badges and badges of rank, braces and belts (provided they are made of webbing and include no rubber or leather), dubbin, hob-nails, shaving brush, sweets, safety razor, combs, medal ribbons, bootlaces (mohair), hair brushes, brass polish, pipe lights, tooth brushes, mittens and mufflers (one pair each every quarter).

Relatives are warned that the inclusion in the parcel of any article not mentioned in the above list will entail the confiscation of the parcel. Persons who pack their parcel should use strong cardboard boxes, and should have pack the articles in such a manner that they will not move or rattle.

DEATHS.

PATCHETT.—Died of wounds on November 14, 1917, in Egypt, WILLIAM IVENS PATCHETT, 1st Warwickshire Yeomanry, the beloved husband of Ellen Patchett, 7 Manor Road, Rugby.
“ A sudden loss, a shock severe,
To part with him we loved so dear.
Our loss is great, we’ll not complain ;
But trust in Christ to meet again.”

BEASLEY.—Pte. C. Beasley, of Napton, was killed in France Oct. 26th, 1917. Deeply mourned by his loving mother, father, brothers, and sisters.
Only a private soldier,
But a mother’s son,
Buried on a field of battle,
His duty he done.
He served King and country—
God known did his best ;
But now he sleeps in jesus,
A soldier laid to rest.
He sleeps besides his comrades,
In a hallowed grave unknown ;
His name is written in letters of love
On the hearts he has left at home.
A day of remembrance sad to recall,
A dearly loved son and brother missed by us all.
—Deeply mourned by us all at home.

COLLINS.—In loving memory of our dear son, Pte. A. COLLINS, of the 15th Royal Warwicks, who was killed in action in France on October 26, 1917 ; aged 29.
“ A sudden loss, a shock severe,
To part with him we loved so dear ;
Our loss is great, we’ll not complain,
But trust in Christ to meet again.”
—Deeply mourned by Father and Mother, Sisters and Brother.

FRENCH.—In loving memory of Pte J. FRENCH, of the R.W.R. (of Long Itchington), who killed in action on 26th October, 1917.—From his beloved Wife, Children, Father and Mother.
When last we saw his smiling face,
He looked so strong and brave ;
We little thought how soon he would be
Laid in a soldier’s grave.
He bravely answered duty’s call,
He bravely fought and fell ;
he did best for one and all,
And them who loved him well.

THOMAS.—In ever-loving remembrance of Pte. W. H. THOMAS, killed in action in France on October 24, 1917. —From sorrowing Aunt and Uncle, Amy and Will.

THOMAS.—Killed in action Oct. 24, Pte. WILLIAM HENRY THOMAS, beloved nephew of Mr. and Mrs. ROSE, 78 Boughton Road.—Deeply mourned.

IN MEMORIAM.

PEARCE.—In loving memory of WALTER, the dearly-loved son of H. and C. PEARCE, of Dunchurch, who was killed on H.M.S. Bulwark, Nov. 26th, 1914.
There is link death cannot sever.
Love and remembrance last for ever.
—From Father and Mother.

 

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Collins, Arthur William. Died 26th Oct 1917

Arthur William Collins was born in 1888 in Bittesby, Leicestershire and baptised at Claybrooke on 22nd April, that year.

In 1891 the family was living in Willey where William, an agricultural labourer, had been born. Arthur’s mother, Jane (nee Loyde) came from Church Eaton in Shropshire. They were still there, at Cross in Hand Cottage, in 1901 where William was now a waggoner on a farm. No occupation was given for thirteen year old Arthur.

By 1911 they had moved to Rugby, Arthur William was 23, a cement loader. He lived with his parents at 128 New Street, New Bilton. William was also worked at the Cement Works, as a shunter.

Arthur William Collins enlisted with the 15th Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regiment (private 17406), probably sometime in 1916. In October that year he had returned home as the Rugby Advertiser of 21 October, 1916 reports :

AN ABSENTEE.—At the Rugby Police Court, on Thursday (before T Hunter, Esq), Pte Arthur Collins, of the R.W.R, 45 New Street, New Bilton, pleaded guilty to being an absentee from his Battalion since October 14th, and was remanded to await an escort.

In the report of his death, it states that he was wounded in September 1916, probably during the Somme Offensive. A few months earlier, in early July his younger brother Harry had been killed and it was reported then that the family had three other sons serving.

Arthur William Collins died on 26th October 1917, the first day of the Second Battle of Passchendaele, the final phase of the 3rd Battle of Ypres. His body was never found or identified and his name is listed on the Tyne Cot Memorial. He was 29 years of age.

His parents address was given as 45 New Street, New Bilton. He is also listed on the Croop Hill Memorial, Rugby.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

 

16th Sep 1916. Round-up for Shirkers at Rugby

ROUND-UP FOR SHIRKERS AT RUGBY.

On Friday evening last week, and again on Saturday, the local police, in conjunction with the Military Authorities, had a round-up for the purpose of ascertaining how many men are shirking their obligations under the Military Service Act. The Empire, Palace, and the railway stations were visited, and men of military age were challenged to produce their papers. Men were also accosted by police officers in the streets. So thoroughly had the Military Authorities locally done their work, however, that, although a number of men who failed to produce their papers were escorted to the Police Station, they were all able to give satisfactory explanations of their presence in civil life. Both the military and police carried out their duties in a courteous manner, and people generally cheerfully acquiesced on the request, “ Show your papers, please ! ”

RUGBY PETTY SESSIONS.
TUESDAY. Before Dr Clement Dukes (in the chair), T Hunter, T A Wise, J E Cox, and J J McKinnell, Esqrs.

WAR PENSIONS SUB-COMMITTEE IMPOSED UPON.

Grace Anderson, late of Holbrooke Avenue, Rugby, who had been arrested at Woodville, near Burton-on-Trent, was charged on remand with obtaining £2 by false pretences from Agatha Mary West, at Rugby, on August 11th.—On the date named Mrs West was acting as temporary secretary to the local War Pensions Sub-Committee. Prisoner called upon her and represented that she was the widow of Sergt Alec Anderson, of the 1st Battalion Scots Guards, who was killed in action at Loos on September 25th last year. She said she was entitled to a pension, and, believing her story to be true, Mrs West advanced her £2. When enquiries were made of the Officer commanding the 1st Scots Guards it was found that no such man as Sergt Anderson had ever belonged to the battalion. Prisoner had then left the town, and a warrant for her arrest was issued.

The Magistrates’ Clerk said he had seen a letter, in which defendant alleged it was true her husband was killed as stated. If that was so she had better plead not guilty.

Defendant said her husband was killed, and that his name was Anderson, but she gave the wrong number and the wrong battalion, she was not entitled to any more money from the War Pensions Committee.—Mr H Lupton Reddish, solicitor, Rugby, prosecuted.

Mrs West said on the 11th prox. she was acting as secretary temporarily to the local War Pensions Committee of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Families Association. Defendant came to see her, and from information she gave witness filled up the form produced, which defendant signed as correct. This form stated that the pension awarded to the applicant was 10s, and the date of award March 16th. Defendant requested that 10s should be advanced that day, and that the committee would help her to find her a place as cook, which they did. Witness advanced her 10s by way of loan. That afternoon or next day defendant called on witness at Bilton. She said she had got a place, and asked for an advance to get clothing. Witness then advanced her 30s, making £2 in all. She told witness that when she was in service she would not need her pension, and would pay the money back as soon as the pension became due.

Asked what she had to say, defendant said she would not have done it had she not been hard up. Her papers were at her home in Liverpool, and she had not written for them because she did not wish her friends to know of the case. Her husband was in the King’s Liverpool Regiment, and since March she had regularly received her pension. She came into the Rugby district because she thought a change would do her good.

Supt Clarke said defendant’s proper name was Grace Lester, and she had undergone one month’s hard labour in 1913 for stealing by trick two ladies’ dresses.

Defendant, whilst admitting the conviction, said she was married to Anderson in 1914.—Supt Clarke said he knew nothing of the man referred to in the letter produced, but he had refused to go bail for defendant. The police had interviewed defendant’s parents, who had not seen her for three years, and declined to have anything to do with her.

The Chairman told defendant a very serious charge was brought against her, and she seemed to have a very bad character. They sent her to Warwick Gaol for three months with hard labour.

[Messrs Hunter and McKinnell, being members of the War Pensions Sub-Committee, did not adjudicate in this case.]

THE TRIBUNALS AT WORK.
COUNTY APPEAL TRIBUNAL.

Mr W K Pridmore (Mayor of Coventry) presided at the Appeal Tribunal held at the Benn Buildings on Wednesday evening. Others present were : Messrs W Johnson, jun, K Rotherham, and W Hill. Mr M E T Wratislaw and Mr F M Burton were the Military representatives.

Frank Walding, boot and shoe dealer, living at 52 Caldecott Street, Rugby, who had been exempted by the Tribunal till September 1st, made application for a further period on business grounds, but this was refused.—Exemption till January 1st. 1917, was given to Horace William Dale, a coal carter, living at 28 Bridge Street, whose previous exemption had expired.—William Henry Smith, plasterer and fitter, Birdingbury asked for a further exemption, and was refused, as was also the application, on business grounds, of Ernest Archie Bromwich, Newton House Farm, Rugby.— Mr Bromwich : Well, I shall sell my farm up. I will see an auctioneer at once.—The Chairman : Very well ; go now. Don’t stand here.

The Military appealed against an additional exemption which had been granted to Joseph Hill, Pailton, and this was upheld, on the Military promising not to serve calling-up papers until October 15th.—Thomas Watts, Stretton-on-Dunsmore, canal labourer and puddler, appealed on business grounds, and was given conditional exemption.—The Military appealed against the conditional exemption which had been granted by the Tribunal to Arthur Williams, a charge hand and refuse destructor at the Urban Council refuse disposal works. The appeal was upheld, and exemption given till October 14th.

The Military also appealed against the additional exemption till October 1st which had been granted to Horace Walter Gilbert, electrician and wireman, living at 58 Newland Street, New Bilton, and this case was adjourned.—Hercules Castley, 22 James Street, carpenter and joiner, appealed on medical grounds, and against the decision of the Rugby Urban Tribunal. This also was adjourned for the case to again go before the Medical Authorities at Budbrooke.—Joseph George Bennett, carriage builder and wheelwright, 7 Gladstone Street, New Bilton, appealed against the withdrawal of the exemption which had been granted to him, and he was given till December 1st.—Archie Ernest Robinson, tobacconist and off-licensed retailer, living at 1 Abbey Street, appealed against the decision of the Urban District Council, but their decision was upheld.—Evan Harris Lloyd, farmer, Brownsover, appealed against the decision of the Rural District Tribunal withdrawing his conditional exemption, and the case was adjourned for the Military to find a substitute.—Ernest Tomlin, grocer, draper, etc, of Dunchurch, asked for exemption, and was given until January 17th by agreement, this to be final.—The application of Horace Basil Wane, schoolmaster, of Bilton Grange, was refused.—Walter Russell, Whitehall Farm, whose exemption had been withdrawn, appealed against this, but his application was refused, the Military promising not to serve the papers until the 15th October.

Freddie Cooper, Brinklow, labourer and haulier’s carter, whose exemption had been withdrawn, unsuccessfully appealed against the decision.-Sidney George College, bread baker and corn dealer, of Brandon, who had been given exemption till September 15th without further appeal without permission, was now given till October 14th.—William Frederick Brooks, carrier, Flecknoe, appealed for exemption, but this case was adjourned for a substitute to be found by the Military.—The appeal of Edward William Steane, jun, batcher, of Marton, was refused by the Tribunal.—Frank William Goode, shepherd and horseman, of Broadwell, was given one month exemption, final, and, as he was an unattested man, this will carry two months.

MUNITION WORKERS WASTING TIME.—Cecil Winn, apprentice, 12 Railway Terrace, Rugby, claimed through Samuel Winn, his father, a shell turner, from Harry Carter, machinist, 14 Railway Terrace, Rugby, to recover possession of a show Homer pigeon, value 5s, wrongfully detained by defendant.—The case was heard late in the afternoon, and Samuel Winn said his son had been fetched back to work.—Defendant said it was a “ blooming ” neighbour’s quarrel, and the pigeon was a stray one.—His Honor elicited the information that both men were working on munitions, and said they were wasting time by coming into Court over a pigeon worth only 2s 6d or 3s. He awarded the pigeon to plaintiff, with no reflection on anybody, and expressed the hope that this would be the end of the quarrel.

OVERSTAYING HIS LEAVE.—Lance-Corpl Harry Gilbert, who had been arrested at 6 St Matthew Street, Rugby, was charged with being an absentee without leave from the 1st Royal Warwicks. He said he came out of hospital on sick leave, and should have gone back on Tuesday night.—P.S Goodwin said a telegram was received instructing the police to arrest, and when he acted upon it the previous morning he found Gilbert fully dressed and with his bag packed ready to go away.—Defendant said he had a railway warrant to return if he was allowed to do so ; but the Magistrate decided to remand him to await an escort.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mr L W Eadon, second son of Mr W Eadon, of Hillmorton Road, who enlisted in the H.A.C soon after the outbreak of the War, has been gazetted to a second lieutenancy in the R.F.A.

Mr B C Simmonds, son of Mr W T Simmonds, headmaster of the Elborow School, and Mr Everard Turner, son of Mr E Turner, of 30 Lancaster Road, Rugby, have been gazetted to second lieutenancies in the Infantry Machine Gun Corps. Mr Turner has already seen active service with the Oxford and Bucks L.I. in France.

Mr T Collins, of 37 Stephen Street, Rugby, has received a letter from his second son, Rifleman R Collins, of the Rifle Brigade, stating that he was wounded in a German trench, which had been captured three hours before. He had two wounds in the left thigh, one in the right, and one in the right shoulder. Rifleman Collins, who is now in a Military Hospital at Stockport, is an old St Matthew’s boy, and previous to the War was employed by Messrs Parnell & Son. Although he is not quite 19 years of age, this is the second time he has been wounded, the first occasion being at Ypres over twelve months ago. He enlisted on September 3, 1914.

PTE F J SUMMERS NOTIFIED AS KILLED.

Mr F H Summers, of Bridget Street, has received a notification from the War Office that his son, Pte F J Summers, Oxford & Bucks L.I, missing since September 25th of last year, is killed. Pte Summers was an old boy of St Matthew’s School, and a prominent, junior footballer and athlete.

ST MATTHEW’S OLD BOYS WOUNDED.

Amongst the casualties in the great advance are Gunner F Favell, R.G.A, Rifleman R Collins, Rifle Brigade, Pte E J Hewitt, Royal Warwickshire Regt, and Pte A Barrows, Dorset Regt, all wounded.

B.T.H CASUALITIES.

Great regret will be felt by employees at the B.T.H at the news that Corpl Frank Thistlewood, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, has been killed in the recent advance. Corpl Thistlewood, who was 35 years of age, enlisted in September, 1915, prior to which date he had been employed for several years in the Cost Statistics Department. He was a native of Leamington.

Official news has been received at the B.T.H that Pte Newell, of the Royal Fusiliers, has been posted as missing since August 7th last, and his parents have received private intimation that he was killed on that date. Pte Newell enlisted early in the year, and was formerly employed in the B.T.H Drawing Office. He was a native of Nottingham, and was well known in B.T.H athletic circles.

Sergt J D Sutton and Lance-Sergt A J L Moore have been wounded—the latter seriously and the former in the stomach with shrapnel. Both were natives of Loughborough, and enlisted in the same battalion of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, as Corpl Thistlewood, in September, 1914. Sergt J D Sutton was employed in the Accountancy Department, and Sergt Moore, who was visited by his mother in France, in the Cost Department.

BRANDON.

MR & MRS HENRY BARNETT, of Brandon, have received news that their son, Corpl Wilfred Barnett, of the K.R.R, has been wounded. His escape from death was lucky, as the missile happened to strike a cigarette-case he had in his pocket, and deflected it on to his head. His brother Albert, some few weeks ago, was struck in 90 places by shrapnel, but is now recovering.

DUNCHURCH.

CASUALTIES.—Pte W Wilkes (Mill Street), of the Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, has been wounded in the foot and leg, and is in hospital at Halifax, going on fairly well ; and Sergt C T Hedgcock, of the 22nd Brigade, Machine Gun Company, has been wounded in the head.

BRINKLOW.

PTE FRANCIS COMPTON, nephew of Mr W Compton, of Brinklow, has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery on the field.

CLIFTON.

Mr James Morton, the sub-postmaster here, has been called up, and it now in the Durham L.I.

WOLSTON.

WOUNDED SOLDIERS.—Pte W Barker, Royal Warwicks, has been wounded in the arm and is in hospital. He is the second son of Mr N Barker.—Pte J E Flowers, the second son of Mr John Flowers, of Brook Street, is in hospital at Newport, Mon., having had one of his fingers blown off. He has been in France about 18 months, and has been in a number of engagements at Ypres with the Rifle Brigade.
NEW ATTENDANCE OFFICER.-Mr Gumbley, of Warwick, is now school attendance officer for the district in place of Mr A J Poxon, who is in training with the Royal Naval Flying Corps. He is an old soldier, and has six sons serving their King and country, three of whom are at present in France.

THE PARCELS sent this week by the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee to local men who are prisoners of war in Germany contained :- ¼lb of tea, 1lb sugar, 1 tin of herrings in tomatoes, 1 tin of condensed milk, 1 tin of baked beans, ½-lb of butter, 2-lb box of biscuits and one pair of socks.

 

IN MEMORIAM.

BARNETT.—In loving memory of Lance-Corpl. Samuel George Barnett, of the 5th Oxon and Bucks, killed in action, September 25th, 1915 ; aged 21.
“ We often sit and think of him,
And tenderly breathe his name ;
Nothing left for us to look at
But his photo in the frame.
Some day our eyes shall see
That dear face still kept in memory.”

HOPKINS.—In loving memory of Frank, the beloved and youngest son of Henry Hopkins, of Long Lawford, who was killed in action in France, September 18th, 1915.
“ He sleeps, not in his native land,
But ‘neath some foreign skies,
And far from those that loved him best ;
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—From his FATHER, BROTHERS & SISTER.

MASON.-In loving memory of Sergt. Arthur T. Mason, beloved and only son.—From his sorrowing MOTHER and SISTER, 40 Rutland Gardens, Hove, Brighton.

 

Collins, Henry Edward. Died 3rd Jul 1916

Henry Edward Collins was born in early 1891 in Willey, Warwickshire. He was 3 months old for the 1891 census on 5 April. He was the son of William Collins, b.c.1866 in Willey, and his wife, Jane, who was born in about 1864 in Church Eaton, Shropshire.

The family seems to have moved about, having children born in Shropshire, Staffordshire and Warwickshire. In 1901, William Collins was a ‘waggoner on farm’ in Willey, and in 1911 he was a ‘Shunter’ at the cement works in Rugby

In 1911, Henry Collins was a ‘window cleaner’ and living with his family at 128 New Street, New Bilton, Rugby, which being located off the Lawford Road, would have been convenient for his father’s and elder brother’s work at the cement works. Indeed, Henry also ‘… prior to the War was employed at the Cement Works.’[1]

Henry Edward Collins enlisted in Rugby in January 1915,[2] as Private, No.17451 in the 8th Battalion, the Gloucestershire Regiment.

The 8th (Service) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment was raised Horfield Barracks, Bristol, in August – September 1914, as part of Kitchener’s Second New Army and joined 57th Brigade in 19th (Western) Division. They trained at Perham Down and in March 1915 moved to Tidworth for final training. They proceeded to France on the 18 July 1915, the division concentrating near St Omer

Henry’s Medal Card shows that he went to France on 9 August, slightly later than the main body of the Battalion.

The Battalion’s first action was at Pietre, in a diversionary action supporting the Battle of Loos. It may have been here that Henry ‘… was previously wounded and invalided home to England, and returned to the front on recovery.[3]

In 1916, the Battalion was in action during the Battle of the Somme, capturing La Boisselle.[4],[5] The Division was actually ‘in reserve’ on 1 July 1916, when …

… La Boisselle was attacked by the 34th Division of III Corps … but the bombardment had not damaged the German deep-mined dug-outs … The III Corps divisions lost more than 11,000 casualties and failed to capture La Boisselle or Ovillers, … The advance of the 103rd Brigade was over ground with a fold, which meant that the disastrous attack by the preceding brigades could not be seen as the brigade advanced to be engaged by artillery and machine-gun fire, which inflicted 70 percent casualties, before the troops had reached the British front line. … The 19th (Western) Division [including the 8th Gloucesters] was rushed forward from the reserve, in case of a German counter-attack on Albert. The 19th Division continued the attack and captured most of the village by 4 July.[6]

It was presumably after this advance from the reserve that Henry was killed, aged 25, on 3 July 1916, or, as stated in a letter to his mother from a friend of her son, on 4 July 1916. That letter stated ‘… that a small wooden cross had been erected on his grave’.[7]

Collins, Henry E is listed by the CWGC as one of those killed or missing, on 3 July 1916 and whose body was not found or identified. No doubt the ‘small cross’ was lost in the shelling during and after the assault on La Boisselle. He is now remembered on Pier and Face 5 A and 5 B of the Thiepval Memorial.

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

He is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates.

Henry Edward Collins was awarded the 1915 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

His ‘mother and sole legatee, Jane’ received £2-4-0d on 13 September 1916 and £6-0-0d on 9 September 1919.

His younger brother, George Thomas Collins [b.c.1896], of 45 New Street, New Bilton also enlisted at Rugby under the Group System in connection with Lord Derby’s Recruiting Scheme.[8]

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Henry Edward Collins was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, June 2016.

[1]       Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 22 July 1916.

[2]       Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 22 July 1916.

[3]       Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 22 July 1916.

[4]         http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/battalion.php?pid=6182

[5]         http://www.remembering.org.uk/glosregtofficers/glos_regt_offrs_orbat.htm

[6]         https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capture_of_La_Boisselle

[7]       Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 22 July 1916.

[8]       Lord Derby’s Scheme, part 2, Recruiting At Rugby, Rugby Advertiser, 4 December 1915.

8th May 1915. Exciting Times in the Trenches

EXCITING TIMES IN THE TRENCHES

Corpl Morris Davies, of Rugby, the well-known international hooker player, who is now serving in the 6th Warwickshire Regiment, with the British Expeditionary Force, writes to a friend in Rugby, under date April 29th :- If you join the Flying Corps, I can only say you will join the finest body of sportsmen or experts in the world. What you see about our pilots in the paper is true. We lads in the trenches see them all day and welcome them more than I can say. I will just tell you two little stories of the last two days. Last Monday morning, 6 a.m, an English airman came over our lines. He flew over the Germans and they sent 15 shells at him. He came back only to return, and again 15 shells were fired at him, again he came back, only to return once more. He went over the German lines four times, and in all 54 shells burst round him. He then ran home. Last Tuesday, about 4 o’clock in the afternoon, we saw a machine coming over the G lines, about 1,000ft up, directly he got over the G lines he fell to not more than 70ft. The Germans stood up in their trenches and gave him two minutes’ rifle fire as hard as they could. Out chaps then got up and let the Germans have it full in the face ; some got it, I’ll bet. The aeroplane wobbled badly, and some say the observer then took charge, and the machine rose, just cleared our lines and some trees, and off for home. It was a thrilling moment. It must have been engine trouble to start, then perhaps the volplane started things going. He must have been hit. I came out of the trenches last night after 96 hours. We had quite an easy time on the whole. The German snipers are devils. They are at us all day and all night, and you take it from me they can shoot. I wouldn’t be our top row of sand-bags for £1,000 a week. On Tuesday night I took a working party out in front of our parapet. After we had been out 2 ½ hours, the Germans spotted us. The snipers then gave us a few souvenirs. Then their lines opened on us, together with a machine gun. We all lay in a hole like rats for five minutes, and then one at a time I gave the order to up and jump the parapet back into the trench. Ye Gods, see the lads get over. All well. I have seen Redmayne, B Relton, Pomeroy, S Rogers, Jerry Lee, and various others, and Will, the Scotch three-quarter. I am now lance-corporal, and I believe, I am to get my second stripe to-night.

A RUGBY SOLDIER IN A FAMOUS CHARGE.

HOW MICHAEL O’LEAREY WON HIS V.C.

Ptc W Gardener, of the 3rd Coldstream Guards, an ex-member of the Rugby Police Force, who previous to being called up on August 1st was employed at the B.T.H. Works, visited Rugby on sick leave on Friday in last week. Pte Gardener, who was amongst the earliest to be sent to the front, has had some thrilling experiences and more than one narrow escape. As we announced last week, he was wounded in the head, and knee at La Bassee on February 16th, and was only discharged from the hospital at Sheffield about ten days ago. It was in the famous charge in the La Bassee brickfield, which was graphically described by “ Eye-witness ” at the time, that Pte Gardener was wounded. Lord Feilding, D.S.O, eldest son of the Earl of Denbigh, led the charge, and Pte Gardener waxed eloquent in speaking of this gallant young officer, remarking that he was one of the finest men he had ever seen. It was on the same occasion that Sergt O’Learey, of the Irish Guards, set the world talking by the marvellous exploit which gained for him the coveted “ V.C.” Pte Gardener was an eye-witness of O’Learey’s gallantry, and he informed our representative that he never saw a man run so hard in his life as the Irishman did when single-handed he charged the German position. “ He was over the wall before the whistle went,” added Pte Gardener, “ and was half-way across the space before the rest of his company had started. He was only an ordinary, slim-looking chap, but he got excited like the rest of us do, only a little more so.” Pte Gardener described the German troops as a “ dirty lot of blighters ” and added that he had seen them bayoneting British wounded. The British troops were having to rough it at the front ; but, he added optimistically, “ We are winning slowly, and the general advance will soon come off. When we do charge the Germans they run like rabbits. They don’t like cold steel.” Pte Gardener is still receiving surgical treatment for his knee, which was badly injured by a portion of a “ Jack Johnson.”

WITH THE RUGBY INFANTRY CO.

Pte F P Moore, of the machine-gun section C Company (formerly E Company), of the 7th Battalion R.W.R, writing from “France or Belgium” to a friend in Rugby, says :-“ We are still at the ‘four in and four out ’ shifts, and go in for the third shift to-night (April 28th). We all marched down to a city near to here and had a good bath. This last four days out we spent in hutments, some four miles behind the firing line. The trenches, or rather the firing line here, is most weird and complex, as far removed from a straight line as possible. At night you can hear firing all round you—front, rear, and flank—at varying distances. We generally get a little shelling each day, and then an aeroplane or two goes up over the German lines, taking no notice of the shells they fire at it. We counted 100 shells at one machine, all wide, and never any sign of a hit yet. The pieces of shell fall in our trenches, so we have to look out. The worst part so far is the march to and from the trenches in full pack. Shell fire is a bit rotten also.”

LOCAL WAR CASUALTIES.

NEW BILTON GUARDSMAN A PRISONER.

Mr H Collins, of 73 New Street, New Bilton, has received news that his son, Acting-Lance-Sergt Harry Collins, of the 1st Coldstream Guards, who has been missing since December 21st, is a prisoner of was at Wittenbuy, Germany, but nothing has been heard from Lance-Sergt Collins himself, although his parents have communicated with him. It will be remembered that Lance-Sergt Collins, who is not yet 20 years of age, and who evidently has a successful career before him, was wounded at the commencement of the war, and spent a few days at his home before returning to the front on November 2nd.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

The Warwickshire Yeomanry have arrived at Alexandria.

Mr Lewis Loverock his received news that his son, Second Lieutenant Gerald Loverock, has been wounded, but no details are yet to hand.

Early on Tuesday morning an airship was seen hovering around in the vicinity of Rugby, and then it took a turn over Northants before returning to its base. No alarm was manifested by the people, the nationality of the ship being recognised.

Mr W G Gurney, eldest son of Mr John Gurney, formerly of Rugby, has been given a commission in the 10th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Mr Gurney was at one time a member of the Nuneaton Rugby football team.

Mr Herbert Ringrose, of Rugby, has left for France, to take up ambulance duties with the Red Cross Society, and is at present at Boulogne Hospital. For a number of years he has been a member of the Fire Brigade and Ambulance Corps, and has recently carried out the secretarial duties.

Mr J J McKinnell, son of Mr J J McKinnell, of Rugby, who has been serving in the trenches for some six months past, has obtained a commission as second-lieutenant in the 3rd (Reserve) Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and will, we understand, be quartered in the Isle of Wight.

Lance-Sergt T Harris, of the 1st Warwicks, son of Mr T Harris, 22 Corbett Street, Rugby, has been badly wounded in both legs, and it has been necessary to amputate his right foot. He is now in hospital at Boulogne, He went out in August last year, and has been in most of the large battles. His parents do not know at present when or where the wounds were sustained.

The first list of casualties sustained during the land operations in the Dardanelles contained the name of Capt Dudley Graham Johnson, D.S.O, of the 2nd South Wales Borderers, the regiment which was recently billeted in New Bilton. Capt Johnson is reported to have been wounded. He gained his decoration by his gallant behaviour at Tsingtau on the night of November 5th. He showed conspicuous ability during the operations against the German positions there, and exhibited great gallantry in rescuing several wounded men, although he was exposed to heavy fire from the machine guns.

“ OUR SOLDIERS ” IN THE DARDANELLES.

Nowhere, perhaps, is the progress of the land forces in the Dardanelles watched more eagerly than in Rugby and the surrounding districts, and this interest is accounted for by the fact that the four regiments which were billeted in the town, and who won, the hearts of the residents in a remarkably short space of time, are taking part in this historic effort. The gallant fellows, who are affectionately referred to by Rugbeians as “ Our soldiers,” have been in action almost daily since April 25th, and, judging from the officers casualty list, their losses have been very heavy. The Scottish lads have to mourn the loss of their gallant commanding officer, Lieut-Col Koe, and several other able officers ; whilst the Border Regiment has lost its three senior and several company officers.

We gather from an announcement of death in a morning paper, that Lieut-Colonel Robert Ouseley Cuthbert Hume, of the 1st Battalion Border Regiment, has died of wounds received in the Dardanelles. When the Border Regiment and Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers came to Rugby in January, the supreme command was vested in Colonel Hume, who was the senior officer. He was a gentleman of charming personality, and won the golden opinions of all with whom he came in intact. He was very popular with the men under his command, and his kindly unassuming disposition endeared him to all ranks. Members of the staff of the Advertiser had frequently to apply to Colonel Hume for such information as the censorship regulations permitted us to publish, and they always found him most courteous and ready to give all the assistance he could.

Lieutenant-Colonel Hume was born in April, 1867, and obtained his commission as lieutenant in August, 1886. His promotions came in 1895, 1908, and 1912. With his regiment in India he took part in the Waziristen Expedition (1894-5), receiving the medal with clasp, and he had the Tirah medal with two clasps for service in the North-West frontier in 1897-8. He was the eldest son of the late Captain Walter Hume, of Rock Lodge, Lynton, Devon.

Lieut-Colonel Koe, owing to ill-health, was not with his regiment during the greater part of their stay in Rugby, but the news that he was to accompany his men to the front caused considerable jubilation, he being a very popular officer.

Among the other officers of the K.O.S B’s who have been killed is Lieut T A G Miller, an excellent Rugby footballer. Lieut Miller played back for his regiment against Rugby Town and District, and his fearless tackling and perfect touch-finding marked him at one of the best backs seen on the Rugby ground for some time.

Lieut Cheatle, who in also amongst the killed, played in the same match, as did Lieuts Agar and Renny, who are wounded.

Lieut Verschoyle, of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, who is reported as wounded, played football for his regiment against the Rugby School XV.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

The following recruits have been attested at the Drill Hall this week by Company Sergeant-Major Winchcomb, in addition to six members for the Fortress Company (220 R.E) :—A.S.C (Remounts), J J Hancock and A S Blick ; R.E, H Turner and A Court ; Reserve Signalling Co R.E, G D Tennent ; R.W.R, J H Tustain ; Royal Flying Corps (M.W), D Weir.

Recruiting is to be re-opened for the 13th (Pioneer, Forest of Dean) Battalion Gloucester Regiment.

12th Dec 1914. Rugby’s Splendid Example

THE NEED FOR MORE MEN.

Few districts can boast of such an excellent record as Rugby with regard to the response to the call for men to join the colours. Since the outbreak of hostilities upwards of 2,000 men (two battalions) have joined Lord Kitchener’s Army, and there is no doubt that, had it not been for the cold water thrown on recruiting by the War Office during the boom these figures would have been considerably enhanced. Rugby’s 2,000 compares very well with the figures of any other district in the United Kingdom, and had all districts done as well as this pro ratio to population, Lord Kitchener would already have secured more than his two million men, and there would have been no necessity for the household census and the persistent talk of conscription. Not only have the numbers from Rugby been good, but the men themselves have been excellent, and commanding officers of the depots to which they have been sent have spoken in high terms of their fitness and respectability. Since the advent of the engineering works to the town, a large proportion of the population has consisted of young men, and it the very cream of these who have responded to the country’s call-fine, clean, healthy, fellows, for the most part, who, we confidently believe, will, if they have the opportunity, nobly maintain the honour the town of their birth or adoption. The recruits have been drawn from all sections of society, and the members of the local trades unions have responded remarkably well. No less than 345 members of the unions affiliated to the Rugby Trades and Labour Council have enlisted, and this figure is very satisfactory considering that many of the members are over enlistment age, and also that the members of the largest union, the N.U.R, are not allowed to enlist.

Then, too, the villages in the district have nothing to be ashamed of in this respect, every man having enlisted from some of the smaller communities. The 2,000 recruits for Lord Kitchener’s Army, however, does not exhaust Rugby’s contribution to the national forces, as when the Army and Navy were mobilized, several hundreds of reserves were called up, notably from Rugby and New Bilton.

The Rugby Howitzer Battery and E Company R.W.R have volunteered for foreign service practically to a man, and hope to leave England very shortly.

Now that the figures from Rugby have passed the two thousand mark, it may be of interest to give a list of the regiments which the Rugby men have entered. The King’s Royal Rifles are easily ahead. With regard to the Royal Warwick Regiment, a considerable number attributed to that regiment joined at the commencement of the war for general service, and may thus have been transferred to other units. The reason that the number from Rugby joining this famous regiment is comparatively small is that it was quickly filled up, and local men had to choose other infantry regiments, the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, which has recently suffered considerably, being the most popular of these. The figures are :-

King’s Royal Rifles  466

Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry  315

Royal Warwickshire  275

Royal Field Artillery  249

Royal Engineers  130

Cavalry (including 35 in Hussars, and 34 in Lancers)    87

Army Service Corps    56

Royal Berkshire Regiment   50

South Staffordshires    38

Worcestershire  31

Royal Amy Medical Corps  28

Royal Garrison Artillery  24

Rifle Brigade 19

Guards (6 Coldstreamers, 12Grenadiers)  18

These figures do not include men who enlisted prior to August 20th, and a number who were accepted for miscellaneous units. Many men in the Rugby recruiting area have also enlisted at other recruiting offices.

Other regiments chosen by local men were : Remounts, Army Ordnance Corps, Gloucesters, North Staffs, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, Royal Wiltshires, Royal Fusliers, Northamptonshire Regiment, Northumberland Fusiliers, Dorsets, Norfolks, East Yorks, East Lancs, Royal -sh[?], Seaforth Highlanders, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Life Guards, Dragoons, Leicestershires,and Birkenhead Bantams.

Although Rugby has done well, however, it can do better still, and we feel certain that there are hundreds of young fellows who have no ties, whose duty it is to answer to the call of the country in her hour of need. The whole of the infantry regiments are now open to receive suitable recruits, and also the R.A.M.C, the A.S.C, cavalry of the line (except the 1st and 2nd Life Guards), and the Royal Engineers.

All who wish to enlist should apply at the Drill Hall, Park Road (at the earliest possible date), where they will be promptly attended to by Co.-Sergt Winchcombe. and advised as to the best arm of the service for them to join.

The figures for the past week are better than have been experienced for some time, and 28 recruits have been accepted at Rugby. This number includes 11 from Priors Marston, who enlisted on Wednesday afternoon. Among this party were four brothers named Haynes, of whom three, W J, W F, and A F were accepted and one rejected ; and the patriotic mother of these lads remarked to the recruiting officer: “ If I had a dozen sons I should feel it my duty to let them all go.” Two of their cousins also enlisted. Sergt Handley, Coldstream Guards, has been assisting Colour-Sergt Winchcombe during the past week, and has already rendered very useful service.

RUGBY SHUNTER PROMOTED ON THE FIELD.

Thomas Loveridge, who before joining the Royal Warwickshire Regiment was employed as a shunter on the L & N-W Railway at Rugby, has been promoted to the rank of sergeant on the field for saving the Welsh Fusiliers at a critical moment. His portrait appeared in “ The Daily Sketch ” yesterday (Friday).

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE SHELLS AGAIN.

A lance-corporal, in the Welsh Fusiliers, writing to his parents in Rugby under, date November 27th, says :-“We are having a well-deserved rest for eight days ; then we go back again to the trenches. It has started to thaw a bit, and it makes the roads and trenches awfully muddy and very hard to bring the guns into action. I am writing this in a cafe which has been wrecked by the Germans. They have looted all the large shops-anything that is no good they burn. The shelling is not so severe ; but the snipers are still active. They are mostly all crack shots. We are in a large town now. The Germans keep flashing their searchlights on the town to see if reinforcements are coming. Many of our chaps have got colds caused by the wet trenches. The Indian troops are doing some good work. They are so hot-headed they want to charge the Germans all the time. It has gone a little warmer, but we still long for a good    fire. This town is crowded with refugees. They can tell you some awful stories of the Germans wrecking their homes. We go back to the trenches in five days, and shall look forward to the shells again.”

“ A SPLENDID SIGHT.”

Pte J Bale, 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who is with the Expeditionary Force, has written to his parents, residing at 2 Lagoe Place, Rugby, and says: “You saw in the Rugby Advertiser what was going on during the 16 days up till the time that lance-corporal out of our Battalion wrote to his mother. He and I are the only two in the 2nd Battalion who come from Rugby, and I can tell you it was all perfectly true. Both of us have had our comrades shot down beside us ; we have both been very lucky, and we have not stopped a bit of shell or a bullet from a German sniper. They fire at us at a very short range,and some of them are excellent shots with their rifles, and I am certain they must say the same about us, for as soon as any one of them shows a little of himself out of the trench he goes down like a log of wood. One Saturday night during last month they made several attacks on us, but as soon as they showed themselves out of the trenches to make a fierce attack we let them have it. We fired into them as fast as our rifles would let us, and it was raining to make things worse : but when it was day light the result was a splendid sight-from the German trenches to ours was a thick line of Germans, all stiff and cold ; some of them had got up to our barbed wire, and they were lying across it like ‘ dirty washing.’ All this happened during the 25 days we were in the trenches, without a rest, wash and shave, and brush up. The result of these 25 days to the Battalion was about 300 killed and wounded. We had three days’ rest after that, and now we have taken up some different trenches, where the fighting is not quite so fierce. We are all happy and singing all day long.”

In another letter Pte Bale says :- “I was pleased to see that the good old St Matthew’s School is still thinking of the ‘old boys.’ There are a lot of names of ‘ old boys ‘ that I know on the programme, but I don’t think many are out here yet. . . At present I am sitting in my trench, which is not very pleasant, as we had snow a few days ago. It has been freezing ever since, and I can assure you we are nearly frozen out. The fighting now is pretty calm, but the weather is cold.”

AN ENJOYABLE PICNIC.

Pte A Bottrill, 1st Coldstream Guards, son of Mr H Bottrill, 94 Bridget Street, who, as we reported recently, is an inmate of a hospital at Versailles, suffering from wounds, has written home. He says : “This last month in Belgium has been so hot that it was been as much as we could do to look after our lives, fighting day after day and night after night, and no sleep. It has been like a nightmare, and at times I thought I should go mad, with dead and dying men on all sides. When I got hit I didn’t think I should get away alive, as there were shells on all sides, and the Germans had got through one part of our line.

Several times I had to lie down because the bullets were coming so thick, and I thought escape was impossible. That is how I kept going until I took cover in a wood, where I found several dead Frenchmen and horses ; but, thank God, I am alive. We have had some losses, but there is one consolation : we have made those infernal Germans squeal more than once, and if they have warmed us up we have done in about ten times as many. But they have got to know us now, and they say we Coldstreamers are ten times worse than hell-and that’s hot enough. On Oct 29th we fought back to back, and on the day I got hit we finished up after a most adventurous and enjoyable three picnic (I don’t think).” Further on Pte Bottrill says : “ When my chum, who is in here wounded, rode a cow from the firing line you would have laughed. The general and home staff officers were watching his antics from a farm building, and had a good laugh over it. My friend says he didn’t care ; it was quicker than walking if it did make him sore.”

HAPPY AT THE FRONT.

Pte F Collins, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, in a letter from the front to his uncle, Mr T Wilson, of Spring Street, received on Wednesday morning, states : “You cannot understand how much a letter will cheer us Tommies up at the front, especially when no news is forthcoming. You will be pleased to hear that I am quite well and in the beet of health, and I must tell you that we are all very happy up at the front in spite of all hardships. They will not discourage us one little bit. One would think we were out here for sport, and not for the war, according to the spirit of the troops. We have been provided with new warm clothing, &c, since we have been back in billets, having a well-earned rest after coming out of the trenches. This regiment has evidently been in for some severe fighting. A casualty list published on Tuesday contained the names of no less than 55 men killed.

WAR CASUALTIES.

OLD MURRAYIAN’S NOBLE DEATH.

In reply to a letter from a local gentleman asking for details of the death of Gunner Thrasher, son of Mrs A Henson, 6 Charlotte Street, Rugby, Major C C Robertson, 11th Battery R.F.A, writes :- “ This man was killed in action whilst gallantly serving his gun under fire, his death being instantaneous and without suffering. He was shot by a bullet through the heart. Please convey my sincere sympathy to his mother, and say that she may be proud of the conduct of her son, who was doing his duty manfully and well. It will be a comfort to her to know he was spared all suffering and pain.” Gunner Thrasher, whose death we reported recently, was only 20 years of age and a late pupil of the Murray School, which may well be proud of numbering such a gallant lad among its “ old boys.”

NEW BILTON MAN KILLED IN ACTION.

Much sympathy will be felt for Mrs C Dagley, of 11 Bridget Street, New Bilton, who on Saturday evening received official intimation that her third son, Pte Charles Jackson Dagley, 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen’s Boys), had been killed in action on October 31st. Pte Dagley, who was only 22 years of age, was the son of the late Mr Charles Dagley, and had been in the Army nearly five years. Previous to enlisting he was employed at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s. His elder brother is at the front with the Coldstream Guards.

OLD ST MATTHEW’S BOY SEVERELY WOUNDED.

Mr F J A Sparks, “ Oakville,” Stephen Street, Rugby, has received a postcard from one of the hospitals at the front, stating that Bandsman J Milne, of the Scottish Rifles, has received a severe wound of the spine, causing paralysis. His condition is grave, but there is no immediate danger. Bandsman Milne is an old St Matthew’s boy, and his father, the late Colour-Sergt Milne, was for many years an instructor to the Rugby School Officers’ Training Corps.

19th Sep 1914, New Bilton Guardsman’s Experiences.

Corporal Collins, of the Coldstream Guards, son of Mr H Collins, of New Street, New Bilton, who has recently, in company with fifty other soldiers, brought a party of 350 German prisoners to England, has written home, and in the course of his letter says : ” We have had a rough voyage coming over, but not so rough as at the front ; it is ” a regular devil ” there, but I would like to go back again. I left the Battalion last Tuesday. We were close on the Germans then, in fact we had been fighting on the Monday. I had to leave to the Battalion to go to the Hospital, as I had a had a festered foot, and I had to travel 300 miles by train to a place called St Nazare, on the French coast to get to the Hospital. I was three days going and the train was half-a-mile long, with sick and wounded. When I got there on Thursday night I went to the Hospital, and asked to come out the next morning to go to the Front, but I got put on this job. There is one thing, I am safe now, but I would SOONER BE WITH THE BOYS again at the Front, although I don’t like the shells flying around. I was at the Battle of Mons, and I can tell you it has been “ a devil ” in France ; homes are desolate, and the roadside and fields are littered with dead Germans horses and the graves where our chaps are buried. There has been fighting every day since the Battle of Mons. I have seen sights which turn anyone. I have had some narrow escapes with my Company. These German prisoners are as happy as can be, and say they are better off now with the British,”