28th Oct 1916. The Boy Scouts – A Record of Useful Work

THE BOY SCOUTS’ ASSOCIATION.
(RUGBY DIVISION) — A RECORD OF USEFUL WORK.

The annual general meeting of the above Association will be held at the Benn Buildings, High Street, Rugby, on Saturday, November 4th, at 3 p.m. when all those interested in the Boy Scout movement are invited to attend.

After the business—approval of balance sheet, election of officers, etc—the President, Mr Arthur James, will present the Divisional Colours to the 2nd (Laurentian) troop. These colours are awarded quarterly to the troop which has made the greatest progress during the quarter. The Patrol Competition Cup, given by Mr W T Coles Hodges, will also be presented to the winning patrol.

The meeting will terminate with a short display by the winning troop and patrol.

That the Division has been active will be evident from a perusal of the following report prepared by the Assistant District Commissioner :-

GENERAL PROGRESS.—It is encouraging to be able to report that the Division has maintained its strength, in spite of various adverse circumstances. A number of the boys were only waiting to attain the necessary age before joining the Forces, but the loss to the Division has been made up by the additional recruits. The corps of officers has suffered further depletion, due to its members joining the colours, and several troops are in abeyance, or have been badly handicapped from this cause, or due to the remaining officers being so much occupied with some form of war work as to be unable to devote the necessary time to the troops. The 1st (Town) Troop, which has been without a scoutmaster for some time, has been disbanded, but, on the other hand, the 16th (Elborow) Troop has been restarted under the scoutmastership of one of the Clergy ; and the Wolf Cub Pack, composed of boys too young to be scouts, has also been re-started, two ladies having kindly undertaken the office of Cubmaster. The 17th (Frankton) Troop, which had become very small in numbers, has had to be disbanded owing to the Lady Scoutmaster having to resign on account of her health. A satisfactory feature of the year’s work is the increasing efficiency of the Patrol System, under which the boys work together in teams of about eight, under a leader and a second, who are encouraged to take full responsibility for the leadership and instruction of their patrols. The Division now comprises 230 scouts and 18 wolf cubs, 120 of the scouts having passed their second class tests, and 31 being first close scouts. The total number of badges held for proficiency in various subjects is 744, as against 500 last year, and this increase is in spite of the fact that it is the senior boys who have been lost to the Division.

ROLL OF HONOUR.—The total number of members of the Division who have joined His Majesty’s Forces is now 152, 117 of these being scouts, and 35 officers. Three have died in their country’s service.

NATIONAL SERVICE.—The scouts have continued to distribute circulars and notices for various organisations, particularly for the Red Cross Society (V.A.D) and the St Cross Hospital. They have collected some 1,300 eggs for the wounded in the Rugby Town (V.A.D) Hospital. They have also collected waste paper and bottles for various funds, including 2 tons of old newspapers (which realise £8 per ton) for the National Relief Fund, and bottles which have realised about £2, to be given to the St John’s Ambulance Association. Owing to the shortage of labour, the 5th (B.T.H) Troop have provided a squad of boys each Saturday during the summer to assist the Bath Superintendent in cleaning out the Public Baths.

MOBILISATION IN CASE OF AIR RAID.—Although the scouts have been mobilised several times according to the scheme outlined in my last report, there has happily been no occasion for the practical application of their services.

DIVISIONAL COLOURS.—The new system of awarding these Colours according to the marks earned during the quarter, has proved satisfactory in that the Colours have passed from troop to troop, thereby stimulating the interest. Since my last report they have been won for the three quarters as follows :—1st quarter, 9th (Hillmorton) Troop, 2nd quarter, 3rd (St George’s) Troop , 3rd quarter, 2nd (Laurentian) Troop.

CAMP.—Preliminary arrangements were made for the holding of a Divisional summer camp, but owing to various adverse circumstances, and particularly to the inadequate number of Scoutmasters available to take charge, it was reluctantly decided by the Scoutmasters’ Committee, and with the approval of the Executive Committee, that it was impossible to hold such a camp this year. Some troops, however, held successful Troop camps in the neighbourhood, and one or two troops kept weekend camps going during the summer, thereby affording opportunities for the camp training, which is so desirable a feature of the scout movement.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Maurice Victor Eyden (O,R), younger son of Mr Alfred Eyden, of Northampton, formerly residing in the Clifton Road, Rugby, has been gazetted 2nd Lieutenant 3rd Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment (Steelbacks), after a course of training in the Inns of Court O.T.C.

Second Lieut Percy W Ivens, son of Mr W Ivens, of Harborough Parva, has recently been gazetted to Suffolk regiment. He joined the army in September, 1914, did six months’ service in France and four months’ training at a Cadet School prior to receiving his commission.

LOCAL CASUALTIES.

Pte Cooke, of the Royal Warwicks, has been invalided from France, and is now in hospital at Carrington, suffering from bullet wound in the left hand. Pte Cooke, who was an apprentice at Messrs Frost & Sons, went out in November, 1914, and has been through most of the fighting out there in which the Warwicks have been engaged.

SECOND-LIEUT H E BRITTON (R.F.A) KILLED.

Second-Lieut H E Britton, R.F.A, who has died of wounds in France, was employed in the Controller Engineers’ Department at the B.T.H for about twelve years. He was the son of the Rev J Willis Britton, and several years ago he did useful service as a forward for the Rugby Football Club, and he was later a playing member of the Hockey Club. In August, 1914, he joined the Howitzer Battery, and proceeded with them to the front. About twelve months ago he was granted a commission. He was about 34 years of age.

B.T.H CASUALTIES.

Amongst B.T.H men who have been killed in France during the past month are : Sergt M P O Brown, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, and Lance-Corpl E P Kittle, of the same regiment. Before the War Sergt, Brown was employed in the Foundry Department, and Lance-Corpl Kittle in the Punch Shop.

NEWBOLD-ON-AVON.

PTE A J SMITH KILLED.—Mrs Anderson, Worcester Street, has received official news that her son, Pte A J Smith, was killed in action in France on August 24th last. Pte Smith was a native of Newbold, and belonged to the Oxford and Bucks Light. Infantry. He enlisted soon after the war commenced, and previously was working at the B.T.H. He was a good footballer, and played with the Newbold 2nd Team for several years. Afterwards be joined the New Bilton St Oswald’s team.

WOLSTON.

SERGT F C VINCENT.—Great satisfaction was felt in Wolston when the local Press announced that he had been awarded the D.C.M. This makes the second honour to a member of the Wolston Football Club. Recently Mr Silas Poxon was awarded the Military Medal, and both were members of the Brandon and Wolston Football Club. Sergt Vincent resided in Wolston for a number of years, and attended the Wolston School. He finished his education at Bablake School, Coventry.

BOURTON-ON-DUNSMORE.

Mr and Mrs White have received news that their son, Corpl W F C White, has been wounded in the thigh, and is now in hospital in Newcastle-on-Tyne. He joined the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry on August 31, 1914, was sent out to France July, 1915, and was promoted Corporal in September last.

LONG ITCHINGTON.

REECE BULL HONOURED.—Amongst the names selected for honours in the Service Battalion of the Royal Warwicks in connection with the effort to relieve the Kut Garrison occurs that of Corpl Reece Bull (No. 4022). He is the son of Mr and Mrs Jim Bull, of this village, and has partaken in many actions. He was seriously wounded in France by shrapnel on June 17, 1915, and also injured by falling debris. His many friends offer him their sincere congratulations in the distinction he has attained.

COVENTRY MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL.
At the Coventry Munitions Tribunal on Thursday in last week the following Rugby cases were dealt with :-

W G Tasker, Rugby, was fined 10s for being absent without leave on Monday night, October 9th.-For losing 50 hours in the nine weeks ending September 30th, Miss P Burton, of Bilton Hill, was fined 10s, to be paid in two weekly instalments.-A similar penalty was imposed on Miss M Sparkes, New Bilton, who had lost 50¾ hours in the same period.

Miss E Rhead, Rugby, was charged with being absent without permission on the afternoon of Monday, October 2nd, and the morning of the following day.—The girl stated that she had taken a friend home in the mid-day interval on Monday, and by the time she had been to the chemist for her it was four o’clock.—The Chairman asked why she did not go back to the factory then ; and she said it was no use going back for two hours. On the Tuesday morning she was expecting a soldier friend from the front, and the train aid not arrive until after the starting time.-The case was declared proven ; but, in view of the expense of going to Coventry and the loss of time, it was dismissed, and she was warned not to come before them again.

C Morbery, Rugby, for being on the premises worse for liquor on the night of October 9th, was fined 10s.——F J Marchant was fined 10s for being absent on October 3rd ; and E R Harratt, Rugby ; A J Pitts, Badby ; and G Dexter, Rugby, were fined £1 each for similar offences.

At the Thursday sitting, A Harrison, Rugby, was fined 30s, to be paid in three weekly instalments, for being absent from the 3rd to the 10th October, both dates inclusive.—In view of the man’s excellent record, the case against E Hall, of Rugby, who was charged with absenting himself on October 3rd, was dismissed.- A Alcock, Rugby, was similarly summoned ; but in view of his previous good record, the case was adjourned for one month.—R H Masters, Newbold, was charged with a like offence. He claimed that he was entitled to these days, as he had worked during the “ rest period ” ; but the firm replied that he asked for Tuesday, and took Tuesday and Wednesday.—The case was dismissed.-J Ireson, Rugby, was summoned in respect of October 3rd ; but wrote stating that he had 14 teeth extracted during the “ rest period.”—Fined 2s 6d for failing to notify the firm.

WOMEN ON THE LAND.

The Warwickshire War Agricultural Committee have reported to the Warwickshire County Council that 1,479 women had now been registered by the District Sub-Committees, of which number 786 are, or have been working on the land. Of the women registered, a large proportion, owing to domestic ties, are only able to undertake casual work. It was anticipated there will be an increased demand for this class of labour next spring. The Committee add :- Although women undertaking temporary war work in agriculture are able to obtain exemption in almost every case from the employed person’s share of the contributions payable under the National Health Insurance Act, 1911, such exemptions do not relieve the employers of their share the contributions. Farmers do not object to paying the contributions, if the women in respect of whom they are paid can obtain some benefits in return, but having regard to the temporary nature of their employment it is impossible for these women to obtain any benefits, as the periods of their employment are not of sufficient duration to permit of the payment of the number of contributions necessary to qualify for the benefits. Claiming contributions from farmers under such circumstances is an injustice, against which we have protested to the Board of Agriculture, but we regret to say the Government are unwilling to move in the matter.

FARMER : “ Can you cure bacon ?” New Hand (a girl help) : “I’m afraid I can’t. You see, I came as a farm hand—not as a vet.”—From “ Punch.”

HEARD IN THE CHILDREN’S COURT.

A BAD BOY.-The wife of a soldier stationed in Egypt asked for an order for her son to be sent to an industrial school. He was quite beyond her control.-Mr P A Crofts said he knew the case. The boy was quite un-manageable. His mother had flogged him severely, but he only turned round and laughed. He was always stealing.-Supt Clarke : Perhaps she does not flog him right. They don’t laugh when I flog them.—An order was made.

DEATHS.

EMERY.—In glorious memory of BDR. ERNEST H. EMERY, who was accidentally killed, whilst on active service somewhere in Greece, October 1st, 1916, aged 19 years.
“ Thou hast done thy life’s work ; enter into rest.”

WILSON.—Killed in action in France on September 3rd 1916, Lance-Corpl S. W. WILSON, Oxford and Bucks L.I., the dearly loved husband of Louisa Wilson, Swinford.
“ Now the labourers task is o’er ;
Now the battle day is past ;
Father, in Thy gracious keeping,
Leave we now thy servant sleeping.”

IN MEMORIAM.

CATER.—In loving memory of ERNEST CATER, youngest son of the late Francis and Annie Cater, of Watford. Reported missing March 15, 1915. Now presumed to have been killed on that date.

15th May 1915. Rugby Victims of Poison Gas

A RUGBY VICTIM OF POISON GAS.

Pte A Angell, 1st Royal Warwicks, son of Mrs Angell, of 17 Little Pennington Street, Rugby, is at present in a hospital at Lincoln suffering from the effects of the ghastly German poison gas. In a letter to his mother, written on May 9th, he says: “ I have been poisoned by that gas which the German murderers use. I went into action three weeks ago. After marching two days and two nights we arrived within 50 yards of the German trenches, and when we halted they opened fire on us.” The writer then goes on to tell of the losses suffered by the Battalion, and said that of five Rugby men who went into action he was the only one left. They were forced to retire, and he and 20 others took shelter in a “ Jackson hole.” Five of the party were unwounded, one died in the writers lap, and the others were suffering terrible agony. They were only 100 yards from the German trenches, and had to remain in the shelter from 4.45 a.m to 8.30 the following evening, and numerous shells dropped all around them. “ After this we were in the trenches for nine days. The Germans were not satisfied with our losses, s they poisoned us out of it. We must have lost many more men by this means. I am a very lucky chap. I was picked up half unconscious by a Frenchman in the centre of Ypres, on the main road. I wonder what the English people would think if   they could see Ypres as it is—burnt down to the ground.” Pte Angell concludes with the hope that he will be home on leave shortly.

A CHURCH LAWFORD MAN’S EXPERIENCE OF POISON GAS.

W Cooke, son of Mr H M Cooke, has written home to his parents. His letter is dated May 6th, and he says :-“ A few lines at last I I’ll bet you have been worrying at not hearing from me, but I am all right. We have been advancing and I could not write until now. I dare say you will see in the papers that our Regiment has been cut up, and we have only a few hundreds left. We have been relieved now, and it will be some time before we take any active part again. We have been through hell this last eight days, and I never want another time like it. The German shelling is awful, but I thank God we are back out of it now. Alf was wounded in the leg, and Hancox is among the missing. I would not mind if they would fight fair, but the dirty dogs have been using that gas on us. One has to fight with a wet cloth over one’s nose and mouth, and I have seen some of our fellows go raving mad. My nerves are a bit shattered now, but otherwise I am all right, so don’t worry. We have not had any letters while we have been advancing, so I expect I shall have a few from you, Mother, altogether. Write me along letter soon.”

(The Alf mentioned in the letter is Alfred Day, of Bishops Itchington, who enlisted with W Cooke, and before enlistment worked as a blacksmith at Church Lawford. Charles Hancox was a labourer from Kings Newnham.)

 

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Two trains, each containing two hundred wounded, passed through Rugby (L & N-W) on Sunday evening between six and eight, and were supplied with refreshments by the Rugby Town Red Cross Society. The men had been fighting as recently as Sunday last, and had crossed the Channel on Sunday morning.

News has come to hand that wounded soldiers belonging to the different regiments which were billeted in Rugby and took part in the invasion of Gallipoli are now in hospital at Malta.

A movement is being organised in Warwickshire to secure the services of more transport drivers for the Army. An appeal is to made to motor-car owners in Warwickshire to release their men wherever practicable.

Mr and Mrs William Matthews, of Churchover, received news on Monday that their son, Pte John Matthews, of the Rifle Brigade, was wounded on May 5th by a shrapnel bullet in the leg just above the knee. He is at present in hospital in Manchester. Pte Matthews, who is 21 years of age, joined the army early in September, and was drafted to the front on April 1st. He was for some years footman at Mr B B Dickinsons’ boarding-house in Rugby.

Driver Harry Batson, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, writing home to his sister at 35 Bridget Street, Rugby, states that he has been on duty at observation posts in the trenches, which were knee deep in mud and water. When traversing the trenches it is necessary to keep well down to avoid being seen by the enemy’s snipers. The trenches were only 50 yards apart. The enemy’s guns had been very active round here of late, and had succeeded in setting fire to some ruined farms close to.

Mr Charles Henry Lister, a grandson of Mr Henry Lister, 105 Clifton Road, Rugby, was an engine-room artificer on H.M.S Maori, which was lost off the Belgian Coast through striking a mine on Saturday. The friends of Mr Lister have received intimation that he is a prisoner of war at Doebritz, Germany. Mr Lister’s brother, Rifleman Herbert Edward Lister, who joined the Rifle Brigade on the outbreak of war, is now in a hospital in London, suffering from a bullet wound in the left hand.

Second Lieutenant H J Gwyther, attached to the 2nd Manchester Regiment, now with the expeditionary force in France, has been wounded. Mr Gwyther, when engaged at the B.T.H Co, Rugby, was a prominent playing member of the Rugby Hockey Club.

In Saturday’s “ London Gazette ” appeared the announcement that the late Lieut Michael FitzRoy, son of the Hon E A FitzRoy, M.P, and Mrs FitzRoy, had been gazetted captain. He was selected by his Colonel for the command of a company shortly before the battle of Neuve Chapelle, in which, unfortunately, he was killed. The late Lieutenant was nearly the youngest officer in the regiment, being but nineteen years of age and he had only been in the army six months.

HOWITZER’S “ SHELLING COMPETITION.”

Two further letters have just been received by Mr and Mrs C J Packwood, of St Matthew’s Street, from their son, Charles, who is serving at the front with the Rugby Howitzer Battery, and   from these we make the following extract :- “ Things go on just about the same. We have a sort of shelling competition between ourselves and the Germans. It is their turn now. They are shelling a ridge. I expect they think we are there, but we are not. I expect later on we shall have our go, and we always register the most points. All the ‘bhoys’ are ‘in the pink’ ready for earthing.”

HOT MEALS IN THE TRENCHES.

A hot dish of curried fowl or a hot beef-steak and kidney pudding, are luxuries not usually found on the battlefield, but these and a host of other appetising dishes, may now be enjoyed by the aid of a new invention just put upon the market by Messrs, Crosse and Blackwell. This unique and valuable adjunct to the soldier’s kit is known as the “Joffrette” Heater, and costs but 1s. 6d. complete. Its construction is so simple and yet so effectual that a tin or bottle of preserved food can be thoroughly heated is a few minutes by simply lighting the cake of solidified alcohol supplied with the Heater (additional cakes costing but 3d. each). It is without doubt one of the cheapest yet one of the greatest boons which can possibly be suggested for use in trenches.

The Heater cannot explode or get out of order, the flame is invisible and impervious to wind, and while it is of peculiar utility at the present time, it is equally serviceable for boating parties, picnics and household use where a hot maid or a cup of tea or coffee is quickly required. The “Joffrette” Heater is stocked by all the principal Grocers. Ask your Grocer for one.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

NATURALIZED GERMANS AND THE MAGISTERIAL BENCH.

SIR,—Though Rugby may contain few, if any, enemy Aliens, it is surely essential that Mr Merttens, although naturalized, should resign immediately his seat on the Bench, which he appears to have vacated during wartime.

The idea of even a naturalized German sitting in judgment on Rugby citizens after the war is repugnant, and especially one with views such as Mr Merttens has in the past expressed. If he has not already resigned, Rugby will expect his fellow Magistrates to see that he does so.-Yours truly, CITIZEN.