4th Dec 1915. Interesting Letter from an Old Murrayian

INTERESTING LETTER FROM AN OLD MURRAYIAN.

AN INSPIRING PICTURE FOR SLACKERS.

The following letter has been received by a young lady in Rugby, whose brother, an Old Murrayian, is at the front :—

“ I am in a dug-out about 15 feet under the ground, and the only illumination available is a novel one. It is a piece of rag dipped in vaseline ; but tomorrow our fresh supply of candles arrive, so I shall look forward to a ‘ bright ‘ future. I will try and describe to you what my vision of the scenery is like. To do that I shall have to gain a point of prominence ; but there are plenty of them here—namely, brickstacks—as at present my home is in the trenches which are situated in the brickfields. This district has figured in General French’s despatches a good many times, and has been the scene of some severe fighting. Evidence of this is still scattered around. It is noted for being a hot quarter, and it lives up to its name. The first thing you notice is the maze of trenches as far as the eye can reach. Some of them were demolished, and others intact, having stood the brunt of it all. The intervening ground between the firing lines, called “ No Man’s Land,” is completely ploughed up by the enormous number of shells that have burst there. One would think it impossible to get through the barbed wire entanglements. Certainly now they are intact, but you should see them after the high explosive shells have played their part and blown them to bits, and the case is altered. The chasm that one can just discern is a blown-up mine crater, and whichever side holds these craters, makes strong efforts to retain them. This is where bomb throwers shine, as parties are organised at night to try and capture them. It is very dangerous work, as there is generally a maxim gun in the crater. In the distance one can see ruined chateaux and buildings, which have tasted the power of a “ Jack Johnson,” also the coal mines (called ‘ Fosses ‘ here), which mark the vicinity of some desperate fighting. These brickstacks are the delight of the sniper, as concealment is so easy, and such a commanding view can be obtained of the surrounding country. Eleven are in our possession, and two are in the hands of the Huns, so we have a great advantage over them. The stacks, being so conspicuous, get their full share of shells, and one is very lucky if, when looking from them, he does not get a greeting of shrapnel. This is the place where Mick O’Leary won his V.C, when the Guards captured the trenches from the Huns. There are plenty of graves which contain dead Germans ; also broken rifles and equipment which once belonged to them lying about. It gets very cold at night, but we have plenty of clothes. We had a bit of sun this morning. It was the signal for the aeroplanes to make their appearance, and what a reception they had from the anti-aircraft guns. We have had a good bombardment, and I think the Huns sent over everything that Krupps manufacture. . . .“ As we pass down the road to —-, we pass several graveyards, with hundreds of wooden crosses. What an inspiring picture to place before the slackers at home. One lives and learns, and I would not exchange positions with anyone in England at the present moment. With all the hardships, everything is so jolly, and when the war is over I hope to be able to take you all for a nice trip round here and act as your guide, because I pride myself upon knowing a little bit of France now from Ypres to Arras.”

In another letter to his old schoolmaster, Mr W T Coles Hodges, F.E.I.S, the same writer, after describing the scenery near where he is stationed, says:—

“ The intervening ground between the firing trenches, called ‘ No Man’s Land,’ is dotted with dead bodies, and here friend and foe lie side by side. The rain makes everything so miserable and muddy, and it is a picture to see the men come out of the trenches, covered with mud, and knowing what it is to be strangers to a wash for a couple of days ; but still one can always bet upon having an accompaniment on the mouth organ to march with.” The writer describes the cemeteries on the La Basse-Bethune Road, and says: “ Each contains many trim little crosses, and in some cases evergreens and flowers have been planted among the graves by comrades who cherish the memory of a chum so much. Large crosses are generally erected when a considerable body of men belonging to the regiment get killed. For instance, there is one here which has the following inscription : ‘ To a platoon of Guards,’and as a platoon is from 50 to 60 strong, this goes to show what severe fighting has taken place in this vicinity. Sometimes I come across an old school chum, and then the conversation generally drifts to what is a memory to me, and a very pleasant one at that—our schooldays at Murray Road School.

NARROW ESCAPE OF AN OLD MURRAYIAN.

Pte Horace Anderson, of the 2nd Warwicks, son of Mr W Anderson, 102 Winfield Street, Rugby, is in hospital at Torquay with a shattered thumb and slight wound in the side. He was also gassed, and for a time he was in a critical condition. His mother has been to Torquay to see him, and he gave her a Testament which he was carrying in his breast pocket at the time he was acting as bomb carrier at the battle of Loos. A bullet had struck the Testament, smashing away a portion of one corner, but the missile was evidently diverted by contact with the book, otherwise it would have passed through, or dangerously near, his heart. His cap also had a bullet-hole, which entered just over the right temple, passed along the side, and out at the back, so that he evidently had two very narrow escapes from direct rifle fire ; and after being gassed he was lying in the trenches for come hours.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

The third son (William Harry) of Mr Chas Packwood, of, Warwick Street, Rugby, has joined the 2nd Battalion of the Honourable Artillery Company (Infantry). Mr Packwood now has three sons serving with the Colours.

A LUCKY BATTALION.

Driver Philip Strongitharm, of the 25th Battalion R.F.A. has this week been on leave to his home at 8 Fasy Lane, New Bilton. after about 16 months at the front. The battalion to which he belongs has seen a lot of fighting, having been at the war since August last year, but they have come through so far with comparatively few casualties amongst the men. The loss of horses has been rather serious, and in the engagement at Ypres, when taking part in the withdrawing of guns from an untenable position, Driver Strongitharm had three horses shot under him in quick succession. He has had a number of hairbreadth escapes, but has not sustained the slightest injury, and appears none the worse for his spell of active service. Like so many others who have had personal knowledge of the actual fighting in France, he believes that the German resistance is weakening and that circumstances will in time compel them to evacuate Belgium, though they have got such a firm footing in the country that it will not be an easy matter now to expel them.

TEN DAYS’ LEAVE.

Sapper T Lord, of the Royal Engineers, whose home is at 28 Bennett Street, came to Rugby on Tuesday for 10 days’ leave, after being for a while at Leicester Hospital. He was wounded in the thigh, and retains the bullet as a souvenir. He has also undergone an operation for varicose veins, so may not be fit for work in the trenches for some time. When he leaves Rugby next week he has to report himself at Newark.

Sapper T Lord was attached to the 15th Scottish (New Army) Division, which played such a distinguished part in the advance at Loos, and when Lieut Johnson of that company gained the Victoria Cross for rallying the Scottish detachment at a critical moment at Hill 70. Most of the other officers in his company were either killed or wounded. On the Thursday following the advance, Sapper Lord, with a party of ten men, under Corporal Overill, of the B.T.H, were burying the dead between the old lines, when the enemy threw over a couple of shrapnel shells, a bullet from one of which wounded Sapper Lord in the thigh. Corporal Overill also sustained a slight scalp wound. While Sapper Lord was on a hospital barge on the canal at Bethune, a German aeroplane bombed the railway station, and during the unwelcome visitor’s stay our informant says he spent the most uncomfortable minutes of any he experienced in France, Sapper Lord was conveyed to England in the Hospital ship Anglia, which has since been sunk in the channel, and is full of praise for the excellent treatment which the wounded receive from the R A.M.C, the Red Cross, and Hospital workers generally.

ANOTHER RUGBY MAN AWARDED THE D.C.M.

Amongst those who have recently been awarded the D.C.M is Bombardier J R Handyside, D Battery, 71st Brigade Royal Field Artillery. He received the distinction for conspicuous gallantry from the 26th September to the 14th October, 1915, during which time his battery was in the open and constantly under a very heavy fire. He frequently volunteered to mend telephone wires under heavy fire, thereby successfully maintaining communications. Bombardier Handyside had been previously brought to notice for coolness and bravery on the 25th September near Loos, when he repeatedly volunteered to repair wires under very heavy fire, although he was suffering from the effect of gas fumes at the time.

Bombr Handyside hails from Newcastle, but when war broke out he was working at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s, and lodged at the house of Mrs Hayward, 43 Lodge Road. Rugby. He enlisted as a gunner on September 3rd, 1914, and has now been promoted to the rank of Corporal. In addition to the D.C.M he has been awarded the French Medal Militaire.

RUGBY MAGISTERIAL,

SATURDAY.—Before T Hunter, Esq.

AN ABSENTEE.—James Crosier, 27 Newbold Road, Rugby, of the 3rd Lancashire Fusiliers, pleaded guilty to being an absentee from his regiment.—Supt Clarke stated that he had received a communication from the commanding officer of the Battalion, asking him to arrest defendant.—Remanded to await the arrival of an escort.

COVENTRY MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL

MONDAY.

LOST IN A FIELD.—Walter Crofts, a Rugby crane driver, explained that during a night walk he got lost in a field, encountered some barbed wire, and tore his hand. This was in answer to a summons by Willans and Robinson, Ltd., Rugby, alleging that he absented himself without leave.

“ Were you practising for the front ?” asked the Chairman, “ No, I was walking with my brother,” he replied. He explained other losses of time by stating that he attended a wedding on one occasion, and at another time he had his jaw fractured by a man in the shop. The Chairman said defendant seemed to find a good deal of trouble, and should be a little more careful at week-ends. He would be fined 15s.

A WORKER’S PROTEST.—That he refused to do work he was engaged upon, and stood by his bench for four and a half hours, were the complaints against Leonard J Hopkins, 99 Victoria Street, New Bilton, by the B.T.H, Coventry. His reply was that he went to enlist, and after that was put on assembling instead of his proper job as a driller. He could not earn a living, and stood idle as a protest. He was fined 2s 6d.

CHURCH LAWFORD.

THE WHITE FEATHER.—Some little stir has been caused during the last week in this village. It would seem that quite recently a young man residing in the village was the recipient of a white feather, which came to him through the post, and of course made him very angry. Being a Territorial, he at once wrote a long letter to his commanding officer expressing his willingness and readiness to fight for his country, etc, and also accusing a tradesman’s wife (whose son has been in the trenches for twelve months) in the village of sending the obnoxious article and of insulting him in various ways. As a result of this letter, the lady in question has had a visit from the local police officer on the subject, and as she and her family are, absolutely and entirely innocent of the charges made against them, they in their turn are highly indignant, and are making inquiries which may possibly result in an action for slander.

BOOKS & PERIODICALS WANTED FOR SOLDIERS & SAILORS.

SINGLE COPIES GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED AT THE POST OFFICE.

As is now generally known, there has been for some months past a scheme in operation under which magazines and books which have been given by the public for the use of soldiers and sailors, have been forwarded by the Post Office to the men free of charge.

The scheme so far has proved a great success, but with the growth of the Army the demand for literature has increased, and the Agencies recognized by the War Office and Admiralty for the distribution of literature have to face a demand to satisfy which a supply of over 100,000 items every week is required from the Post Office.

At present only about half that amount is being sent, owing to a recent falling off in the supplies handed in by the public.

It is possible that it is not known to everyone who may have books or magazines for which they have no further use that by merely handing them in loose at any Post Office, they will be at once forwarded to the distributing centre in London.

This is a good work in which almost everyone can participate with the pleasant thought that, at little or no cost or trouble, every article so given will afford much pleasure to many of the soldiers and sailors who are sacrificing so much for the nation and the common cause.

It is difficult, of course, to make this fact fully known, so that anyone will be doing a good service by merely talking about the matter to their friends.

Throughout the Rugby district during the Christmas season there will no doubt be a very large number of magazines and light literature purchased, to be lightly thrown aside when read. These are the books the soldiers and sailors are eager to get, to help them to lighten the monotonous periods of their present kind of life, so that it is earnestly hoped every person who becomes acquainted with this scheme will do all he or she can to assist.

If you have only one book or magazine you can spare, hand it in at any Post Office in the town or country district just as it is. The Post Office will tie the articles in bundles and despatch them without delay.

WHAT AN ENEMY NEWSPAPER THE SAYS OF US.

“ We see that the Englishman—unlike the good business man he is so persistently deemed—upon noting that his Eastern ally is being slowly but surely driven back, will, instead of making the best of it, do his utmost to settle down for a three year war, or four year war, working with bull dog tenacity to crush his enemy in the end. When the end will be is no concern, of his. He began the business. He will see it through. In this strange phase of the English character there is enormous strength. We may be sure that if all the belligerents are beaten into insensibility, he will still hammer away with bleeding fists, tired and exhausted. England, in her persistence, will never stop, even if she knows that the longer the war lasts the more she will bleed—even if she knows that all possible gains at the finish will not make good half of what she has lost. . . .

“ Those Germans who look forward to an early peace in this world with longing hearts must turn their eyes on England hopelessly, for as long as the sun of peace is not rising in the isles to the west of us, there is no hope of peace. And England, secure in her citadel, behind the bulwark of her fleet, can go on and on and on.”— AZ EST, (Budapest) “ Sphere.”

GRAMOPHONE NOT GONE ASTRAY.

In the Advertiser of November 20 we inserted a paragraph under the heading “ Gramophone Gone Astray,” asking for the name and address of the person who left a letter at our Office purporting to be sent from the boys at the front with reference to a gramophone which had been sent out to them. There was no response to that invitation, but Miss M Evans, of James Street, Rugby, who collected subscriptions and sent out an instrument of this kind about a month ago has received a letter from a member of E Company, stating that it came duly to hand. It sustained some damage in transit, but was put in order again, and has since been used by each platoon of C Company (in which E Company is now merged) in turn, when off duty, and, he adds, “ I can assure you many happy hours have already been passed away with it.” Each platoon can use it as often as possible, but those in the firing line do not have it, because that is impossible.

RUGBY TOWN V.A.D. AUXILIARY WAR HOSPITAL.

The Hospital is now almost completely furnished and is expected to be opened on Wednesday, the 8th December.

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23rd Oct 1915. Local Territorials do Good Work

LOCAL TERRITORIALS DO GOOD WORK.

Lance-Corporal W J Boyes, of “C” Company, 1/7 Royal Warwickshire (Territorials), writes to the editor :-

DEAR SIR,

Just a few lines to your paper to let the people of Rugby know our battalion is still going strong out here. In the recent heavy fighting we were in the first line trenches. We did not know until the last moment that the advance was to take place all along the line. Our artillery was busy, and the Rugby Howitzer Battery was well to the front with some deadly firing. For days the roar of heavy high explosives were heard, and there was hardly a moment’s silence. For the first time since we have been out here our trench mortars have been used with great success, and altogether we helped to secure what we fully believe to be the first fruits of a crushing victory. We experienced some bad luck the other night, as the Germans sent over some aerial torpedoes, which unfortunately caused some casualties, but only one of these was a Rugby man.

We have just seen a squadron of our aeroplanes pass over the German lines. It was a grand sight to witness the bursting of shells from the enemy anti-aircraft guns, hut not one of our aeroplanes was hit, although there must have been at least twenty of them passing over the German lines.

Everyone is cheerful and confident, and I know when we get orders to drive the Germans back the Warwicks will be ready.

The weather is very rough just now, and there is every prospect of a severe winter.

I know the people of Rugby will not be behind-hand in sending out a few comforts, and the boys are grateful for what they have already done for us. Hoping this will be interesting to the readers of your paper.

Lance-Corpl Boyes has two brothers also serving—one in the Berkshires and the other in the Oxford and Bucks.

THANKS FROM COVENTRY TERRITORIALS.

Pte J Gayton, 2495, “C” Co, 1/7th Royal Warwicks, writes on October 16th as follows :—

“ Dear Sir,— Please spare me a small space in your paper to thank the people of Rugby who so kindly sent out a consignment of cakes to ‘C’ Co of the l/7th R.W.R. I am a Coventry youth myself, and there are a lot more from there in the above Company and the Rugby boys who are with us very kindly shared the cakes with us. They were a treat—absolutely a luxury for us—and I can assure you and all the good people concerned that we fellows from Coventry will never forget the great kindness shown by the people and the Rugby boys here who shared with us. The day will come, I hope, when we can fully repay them.

Well, I am pleased to say our Company are all keeping well and as cheerful as can be expected ; and, of course, all are looking forward to the end and victory. When the time comes I am certain our fellows will be there, and they will give a good account of themselves. We are out of the trenches at present, but close up to the firing line in case we are wanted. Again thanking the good people of Rugby for their kindness shown,— I am, yours respectfully, (Pte) J GAYTON.”

CAKES FOR THE SOLDIERS.

A number of the recipients of cakes from the recent competition have sent acknowlegments. All of them express much pleasure and make it known, if in different words, that they are ready to face anything for us, and that the feeling that they are in the home people’s thoughts gives them much greater heart.

Messrs McDougall, Ltd, London, also write thanking all tradesmen and others who helped to make their competition successful. The helpers and receivers also wish to add thanks.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Lieut Thomas Ainsworth Townsend, R.A.M.C, who is now at the front in France, has been appointed surgeon to the 24th London Regiment (The Queen’s).

Mr B Whitbread, only son of Mr Charles Whitbread, and Mr Eddy Wilson, youngest son of Mrs E Wilson, have been gazetted to commissions in the 12th Reserve R.W.R.

Two more members of the Rugby branch of the Typographical Association, Mr J Holmes, Advertiser Office, and Mr C Wharton, of Mr Bird’s printing works, enlisted in the R.A.M.C this week.

Sergt D Hamilton, 1st K.0.S.B, who was billeted with Mr and Mrs Haggar, 7 Sycamore Grove, has been recommended for the D.C.M for organising a sniping party which effectively kept back the Turks near Krithia while the British line was being consolidated. He is a native of Clyde Bank, and has been in the Army six years.

The Rugby Prisoner of War Help Committee have received the handsome donation of 18gns, the result of a sale of surplus furniture held recently at Te Hira.

Mr Gilbert (Bert) Howkins, son of Mr G F Howkins, of Crick, has obtained a commission in the Royal Engineers. Previous to joining the Army he was in the Government Valuation Department. All three of Mr Howkins’ sons are now serving with H.M Forces, the others being in the Honourable Artillery Company and the Northamptonshire Yeomanry respectively.

Rifleman A Sansom, of 180 Oxford street, Rugby, has been slightly wounded and gassed. He was formerly a bricklayer, and joined the King’s Royal Rifles Corps. He has been in active service nine months.

Victor Cowley, son of Mr W Cowley, 12 Worcester Street, Rugby, an old St Matthew’s boy, employed by the B.T.H Co, Ltd, in the winding department, joined the 7th Battalion of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry early in September, 1914. He went to the front “ somewhere in France ” at the end of last month. While sheltering in a dug-out he was wounded by shrapnel in the face by a German aerial torpedo, which came through the roof and exploded, fatally injuring some. All the platoon were more or less wounded. He is now in hospital at Leeds, and going on satisfactorily.

A KILSBY ATHLETE KILLED.

Although official intimation has not yet been received, from the War Office, Mrs Green, of The Laurels, has been notified by Capt E R Mobbs that her husband, Pte Bert Green, was killed in action some three weeks ago—at the time of the British advance. No letter had been received from him for nearly a month, and, Mrs Green being anxious, communicated with the above-named officer, and received the sad news on Wednesday morning. The sympathy of the village is with his wife and three little daughters. At the beginning of the war he was anxious to enlist, and in January last, unable to resist the call longer, he refused the chance of a commission and joined the 7th Northants Regiment. He was attached to the company of footballers and athletes captained by the famous Rugby inter-national footballer, Capt E R Mobbs. This company is known in the Northampton district ” Mobbs’s lot.” Mr Green was looked upon as a good-natured and genial fellow, both in the village and by his business companions. He was an all-round athlete. Several years ago he used to go on a cricket tour annually with the Yorkshire Gentlemen, and has played for first-class teams. He played for both Kilsby cricket and football teams, at one time captaining the former. He also played for Watford and other village clubs, and was a good asset. For the last two or three years he was a member of the British Thomson-Houston C.C. He made some excellent scores for this club, and for two years headed the batting averages. — Sympathetic reference was made to Pte Green’s death by Mr R Dumas at the meeting of the B.T.H Athletic Club on Thursday evening.

HILLMORTON MAN KILLED IN ACTION.

Official news has been received that Pte C Kirby, of the 2nd Worcesters, only son of Mr H Kirby, of School Street, Hillmorton, and nephew of Mrs. F Paxton, 73 Murray Road, Rugby, was killed in action on September 26th in the great advance, at the early age of 22 years. The deceased joined the Army in December, 1911, and went to France in August, 1914. He was wounded in the left forearm on the 3rd of November, 1914, and went into hospital. He was back in the firing line on the 30th January, 1915, and has seen much fighting since that time.—The Vicar (the Rev R Lever) alluded to his death in his sermon on Sunday evening last, he having been a boy in the church Sunday School.

SECOND-LIEUT H D MARRIOTT KILLED IN ACTION.

Second-Lieut Hugh Digby Marriott, of the 8th Battalion of the Rifle Brigade, who, as reported last week, was killed in action in Flanders on October 9th, was a younger son, of Mr and Mrs Marriott, of Cotesbach, Lutterworth, Leicestershire. He was born on August 5th, 1895, and was educated at Temple Grove and at Bradfield College. He was entered at Brasenose College, Oxford, and was about to take up his residence there in October, 1914. Instead of this, however, he obtained a commission in the Rifle Brigade, and after the severe fighting at Hooge on July 30th-in which his brother Frederick was killed—he went out with other officers, and was appointed to the 8th Battalion.

COMMENDED FOR DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT.

Some months ago we recorded an incident in which Pte George Eaton (93 South Street) and other Rugby Territorials were attacked at a listening post by about three times their number of Germans. They defended the position bravely, and succeeded in driving off the enemy. Pte Eaton was referred to by the Corporal as being specially heroic. “ Although wounded, he kept on firing. He was a brick, and stuck to it like a man,” was the comment made upon his action at the time. His friends in Rugby will be glad to learn that for the part he took in this midnight episode he has been commended by the commanding officer “ for distinguished conduct in the field.”

ANOTHER ST MATTHEW’S “OLD BOY” WOUNDED.

Co-Sergt-Major C Favell, of the 5th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, an old St Matthew’s School athletic championship holder, and well known later as a long-distance runner, has been reported wounded and in hospital.

BILTON SOLDIERS WOUNDED.

SAVED BY A PACK.

Rifleman Tom Reeve, who at the time of enlistment resided with his parents at Bilton, and is now in hospital at Guildford, has written to a friend describing how he received his wound and narrowly escaped being killed outright. He says:—

“ It was a nasty, smack right in the middle of the back—shrapnel wound. There isn’t much chance of dodging them, as they burst overhead for a radius of 200 yards ; but I am pleased to say I have no bones broken. The thing that saved my life was my pack. It went clean through that, and made a big hole in my jacket. I had got about 500 yards from the top of our parapet when I received my share. It knocked me down, but I did not feel it much for a few minutes. I got off my equipment the best way I could, and managed to get back somehow—but only God knows how. One of my pals came to bandage me up, and just as he got to me he was shot clean dead. I was then bandaged up by our doctor and put in a dug-out to await stretcher bearers. The Germans were shelling our trenches, and I thought every minute they would drop one on our dug-out—in fact, one dropped five yards from us and killed several. . . . I am glad to say I am making a wonderful recovery.”

In a subsequent letter he describes the wound as being 7ins long and 4ins wide right across the back, so it will take some time to get healed up.

The parents of Rifleman Reeve (who now live at Holbrook Farm, Little Lawford), have received a letter from E B Kerr, one of his comrades, who says that it happened soon after they started on the big charge. They were sorry to lose him, as he was always a great help. The writer was afraid that several of the Platoon who came from Rugby had suffered.

Mr and Mrs J Stibberd, of Bilton, have received information that their son, Bugler G Stibberd, of the 11th Royal Rifles, has been wounded by a shell while in billets, and is now in hospital at Boulogne. It is not a serious wound, and he is going on favourably. He enlisted in September, 1914, and went out in July.

Pte Alf Day, of the Royal Warwicks, is in hospital at Sheffield wounded. His parents now live at Bishops Itchington, but at the time of enlistment he had resided with them at Bilton for some time, and worked as a blacksmith at Church Lawford.

BILTON.

MRS CROFTS, of this village has received a letter from her youngest son, John (who is with the 6th Batt Royal Field Artillery), dated from a hospital and stating that he has been in that institution over six weeks suffering from a cracked shin-bone. It seems he was helping to take the horses to water when the horse in front of him suddenly kicked out and caught him. Later reports state that he is progressing as well as can be expected. The unfortunate young fellow had been promoted to sergeant only a few days before his accident. Mrs Crofts’ three sons have all entered the army. Charles came over with the Canadian contingent and is at the front, a letter recently to hand stating that he had been in the trenches about a week at the time of writing. Her eldest son, William, it will be remembered, lost his life while bathing off Sheerness, about three years ago.

WOLSTON.

MR ERNEST CHAMBERS KILLED.—Mr and Mrs Ernest Chambers have been notified from the War Office that their eldest son has died from wounds. He was badly hit in the abdomen. He joined the Royal Field Artillery soon after the war broke out, and was then residing with his parents at Sidon Hill, Brandon. The place of death is not mentioned, but he was fighting in the Gallipoli Peninsula. Much sympathy is felt in the district for his relatives.

WOUNDED SOLDIERS.—Mr and Mrs Charles Elliott, of Brook Street, whose son was reported killed in a former issue of our paper, have now received the bad news that two of their nephews have been wounded. One—Fredk Goodwin, of the 2nd Hants Regiment—has four ribs injured, left leg broken, and an injury to his waist, and now lies in a Reading hospital ; while another nephew—Fredk Woolcott—is badly wounded in the arm. Both were fighting in the Gallipoli Peninsula.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Recruiting at the Drill Hall has been rather better this week, and 21 men have been attested as follows :—D Lilley, C C Wharton, J H Holmes, A Morris, and E G Cloonan, R.A.M.C ; J R Holland, L C Major, and J Stevens, R.F.A ; W Bench, J A Speor, T A Rogers, R J Jackson, A B Webb, E Wood, and J W Wood, A.O.C ; W Richardson, Royal Berks ; W H Gulever and B E Iliffe, R.W.R ; D J Hall R.H.A ; W Southall and D Barnwell, drivers, R.E.

All the units are now open, and men are urgently required for the infantry battalions.

Local arrangements for carrying out Lord Derby’s recruiting scheme are well in hand, and it is hoped that the appeal which is about to be made to the manhood of the town will meet with a ready response. In many towns already the number of recruits had been greatly accelerated, and Rugby, which has so far done exceedingly well, should not now lag behind, as it is clearly understood that any failure in this effort will result in compulsory service. The local Parliamentary Committee is representative of the three great schools of political thought and is composed of the following :- Messrs M E T Wratislaw (chairman), J J McKinnell, H Tarbox, J H Walker W Barnett, L Aviss, C J Newman, G H Rolerts, and Col F F Johnstone, with Mr A Bell and Mr F M Burton joint hon Secretaries.

TOEING THE MARK—A PERSISTENT RECRUIT.

The persistent and patriotic endeavours made by Pte A Seaton, of Old Bilton, to enter the Army should put to shame those who advance all manner of excuses to avoid service. Although barely of enlistment age and having an impediment in his speech, Pte Seaton offered himself at the recruiting office but was rejected on account of deformed toes, one on each foot.

He enquired whether he would be accepted if he had the toes amputated, and on learning that he would be taken if the operation was successful, he entered the Rugby Hospital and has both his toes removed.

He is now serving in the 7th Royal Warwicks.

1/7TH WARWICKS UNDER SHRAPNEL FIRE.

Pte W Rainbow, of the 1/7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, writing to his parents, says :—“ We had a terrible ten minutes the other night in the village, as the Germans started sending shrapnel over, and about a dozen of us were out on ration party at the time. The shells were bursting over our heads, and some of the chaps were running all over the place instead of taking cover. . . . I believe that all the chaps on that party sent up a short prayer that night, as none of us ever thought of coming out of it safe. . . . God must have seen fit to bring us out safe, for many of Kitchener’s got hit the same night. We have had a worse casualty list this few days than any time before in so short a time. You ought to hear the chaps carrying on over people at home wanting to know if we have been in the firing line yet, with chaps getting killed and wounded every day.”