CHRISTMAS MAILS AND PARCELS.
The Postmaster-General has issued a notice regarding the posting of Christmas mail for the British Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders.
To secure delivery on or before Christmas Day letters must be posted not later than December 17th, and parcels not later than December 13th. Military exigencies render it necessary to limit the amount of parcel traffic for the troops during the Christmas season, and the public are enjoined to limit the use of the parcel post to articles of real utility. Fruit, perishable articles of all descriptions, bottles, pudding basins, and the like are prohibited, and will not be accepted for transmission. The maximum weight for a single parcel will be reduced to 7lb as from December 1st. All parcels must be completely and fully addressed, with the name and address of the sender on the outside, and securely and strongly packed in covers of canvas, linen, or other strong material.
Parcels not meeting these requirements are unlikely to reach their destination safely, and if observed in the course of post, will be returned to the senders.
HOW TO RELIEVE PRESSURE.
Many thousands of Post Office servants have joined the colours, and many thousands are joining in response to the appeal which the Postmaster-General has just made.
It is difficult already (says an official statement) to maintain a prompt despatch and delivery of letters and other postal packets. It may become impossible to do so unless the public assist by posting letters or other packets as soon as they are ready for despatch, and by refraining from holding them over until every thing can be posted in one consignment just in time for collection and despatch by night mails. It would be of especial assistance if large batches of letters or circulars, or parcels or any other postal packets, could be handed in before midday, or, at all events, early in the afternoon, whenever possible.
Enquiries and purchases at post offices should be made early in the day. and the number of transactions should be reduced by purchasing stamps, postcards, and other stationery in large quantities at one time.
CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS FOR RUGBY SOLDIERS.
The result of the appeal for Christmas puddings for Rugby men serving with the colours has been very gratifying. No fewer than 436 puddings have been supplied, and those who have assisted in the scheme may be sure their kind thought and generosity will be appreciated.
In larger and smaller quantities the puddings have been sent to twenty-six detachments at home and abroad, and the list shows in what a variety of units Rugby men are known to be serving. Amongst the chief consignments were the following :—
1st Warwickshire Yeomanry. British Mediterranean Force, per Reg Sargt-Major J Tait, 20 men ; 1/5th Warwicks (Howitzer) Battery. British Expeditionary Force, per Batt Sergt-Major G Hopewell, 5 officers and 143 N.C.O’s and men ; Coventry Battery. 5 men ; Headquarters Staff. 4th South Midland (Howitzer) Brigade, British Expeditionary Force, per Sergt-Major Taylor, 11 N.C.O.’s and men ; Ammunition Column, 48th Division, per Sergt Morten, [?] N.C.O’s and men ; 2/4th Warwick (Howitzer) Battery, Essex per Sergt Deakin, 16 N.C.O’s and men ; Ammunition Column 2/4th South Midland (Howitzer) Battery, per Quartermaster-Sergt Bennison, 6 N.C.O’s and men ; 2/2nd South Midland F.A Brigade, Great Baddow, per Driver H J Cleaver, 4 men ; 1/7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, British Expeditionary Force, per Company Quartermaster Sergt Tomlinson, 11 men ; 2/7th Ditto,per Sergt-Major Cleaver, A Co. 10 N.C.O’s and men ; B Co, 3 men ; C Co. 30 N C.O’s and men ; D Co, 3 N.C.O’s ; 3/7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Coventry, per Sergt Smith, 11 N.C.O’s and men ; 81st Prov Battalion, Essex, per Company Quartermaster-Sergt Fawcett, 65 N.C O’s and men ; 3/4th Battery, Bristol, 150 men ; Recruiting Depot at Coventry, per Capt Thomas, 3 men ; and Rugby Fortress Co, Buxton, per Capt Kempson, 24 puddings.
Puddings have also been sent singly to other Rugby soldiers. The parcels have been so apportioned that each man will receive 1lb weight of pudding, and there are well over 700 Rugby soldiers to share in this seasonable gift.
We understand there is urgent need in the trenches for what are known as “ Tommy’s cookers.” These cost 3/6 each, and the committee are making an effort to raise funds to send out a number, in addition to other things that it is known will prove acceptable to those who have gone out from Rugby homes to fight our country’s battles.
RUGBY CHAMBER OF TRADE.
The monthly meeting of the members was held at the Town Hall, Rugby, on Monday last, Mr J Reginald Barker (Chairman of the Chamber) presiding.
The Chairman stated that a deputation from the Chamber had waited upon the Postmaster of Rugby, with a view to postal facilities being given to the public, either by the reopening of the High Street Post Office, or the opening of another office in that district, and that the Postmaster intimated that, for reasons of economy, it was not possible for this to be done.
The Secretary (Mr H Lupton Reddish) read a letter received from the Postmaster, notifying the Chamber that, to enable the work of the Post Office to be carried on as efficiently as possible with a greatly depleted and constantly decreasing staff, and also in the interests of economy, it was proposed to abolish one of the present deliveries of letters in the town, and asking for an expression of opinion from the Chamber. The matter was fully discussed, and it was resolved to suggest to the Postmaster that the 7 a.m delivery remain as at present, that the 10.35 a.m delivery be abolished, and that the 5.0 p.m. delivery be accelerated so as to place at 4.0 p.m, which would catch most of the mails at present falling into the 5.0 p.m delivery.
The Secretary also read a copy of a letter received by the Clerk to the Rugby Higher Education Committee from the Director of Education at Warwick, suggesting, on the advice of the Home Office, the establishment of classes for the training of girls and women in commercial work. It was felt that in a town like Rugby this was not necessary, and a resolution was passed to that effect.
It was decided by the members to keep their shops open all day on the Wednesday before Christmas, and to close them on the night of the 24th inst. until the following Tuesday morning.
In view of the war, it was resolved that the annual dinner be not held.
LOCAL WAR NOTES.
Bombardier Gordon G Hadley, R.F.A, of Abbey Street, Rugby, has been invalided home from the Dardanelles suffering from dysentery.
In a recent football match played at Malta a Rugby team proved the victors. The whole of the team was drawn from former pupils of St Matthews and Murray Schools.
HOME ON LEAVE.
Pte Fred Wood, son of Mr W F Wood, hatter, of the Market Place, Rugby, and a member of the Rugby Volunteer Fire Brigade, has just been home for five days’ leave. He belongs to the South Midland Division Cycle Corps, and has been at the front since February. Campaigning with him has not been a “ bed of roses,” and he has had narrow escapes, but is fit and well, notwithstanding his hard experiences.
OLD MURRAYIAN ON THE “ MERCURY.”
We cull the following extracts from an article entitled “ Us,” which appears in the current issue of “ The Mercury,” the official organ of the Training Ship Mercury, relating to an old Murrayian, son of Mr D Merrett, who gained a scholarship entitling him to training on the ship :-
Merrett (“ A ” 2)—One badge. “ Euge ” has been in charge of the dining-hall for many weeks. A big, strong, capable boy. Plays the cornet well. A very good swimmer. As the saying goes, he is “ worth his place ” in any side. He keeps goal for the first XI. A very good bugler. His head is screwed on right. He himself is fully aware, when he works or takes charge, what result he is aiming at. “ Euge,” will you, with your quiet manner, stick to it and make a fine working hand for England ? Takes responsibility well. He can box ; it all helps. He is tall ; his eyes are brown.
The same article also refers to McMeeken (“ C ” 1), another old Murrayian on the ship, of whom it says : “ He is slow, but can work well. Should arrange to keep quiet, steady, and never give advice. Swims well.”
FOOTBALL AND GOOD TEMPLARY AT THE DARDANELLES.
MEMORIES OF “ DEAR OLD RUGBY.”
Sergt Reed, of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, is still at the Dardanelles, and writes very interesting letters to his friends in the homeland.
Mrs Keen, of 2 Winfield Street, with whom he and Sergt Mudd were billeted early last year, got a letter the other day in which he speaks of the requisiton of a brass band. “ When sitting outside our dug-out, or going for a quiet stroll, one fancies he is sitting in the Park at dear old Rugby,” he says; and adds, “ It is perfectly safe at night, as the Turks never attempt to fire a shell after dark.”
Sergt Mudd is in the Beech Hospital, Holyhead, and is looking forward hopefully to Christmas leave, providing inflammation does not set in again, and, after visiting his home, he intends spending a day or two at Rugby, where he made so many friends amongst Temperance people. He has forwarded a letter received from Sergt Reed, from which we make the following extracts :-
The Turks made an attack two nights ago, but with the usual result. None ever reached our trenches, and very few reached their own again, three lines of dead men lying between the two firing lines the following morning. The system of working the reliefs is greatly improved. We do four days in the firing line, four in support or reserve, and then go back to our winter quarters for eight. . . . I am sure you would be quite surprised if you could just see this place now. To see them playing football in the afternoon, hardly two miles behind the firing line, one would almost forget we were in a hostile country, and all in full view of the hill. Our fellows beat the K.O.S.B’s one nothing, after playing extra time yesterday afternoon, in the Peninsula Cup. We have also got a band and a corps of drums, so there is plenty of music every night. I often wonder what the Turks must think when they hear the band playing every night, and the drums playing retreat. I am pleased to say the Good Templar Lodge is still going strong. I have had two sessions since coming back from the firing, and initiated four more members. Bro Stevenson . . . was telling me this morning that he has got another fifteen or sixteen candidates for initiation. so we are not doing too badly. “ Limber ” Lyons is back with us again, and is of great assistance to me in carrying out the Initiation Ceremony. A vote was taken some time ago in the Battalion as to whether we should have cocoa or rum, but unfortunately we lost. However I don’t intend “ giving them best ” yet.
RECRUITING RUSH AT RUGBY.
MARRIED MEN IN THE MAJORITY.
The great recruiting boom which has set in all over the country during the past few days spread to Rugby, and the scenes witnessed daily at the Drill Hall in Park Road this week are reminiscent of the enthusiasm of the early days of the war, and affords proof that the eligible men of Rugby are determined that the town shall not lose the excellent reputation for recruits which it secured last year.
Throughout the week there has been a constant stream of men of all classes and ages anxious to enrol either for immediate service or under Lord Derby’s group system, and the officials have been working at high pressure from early morning till late at night.
The boom reached its height on Thursday, when the accommodation of the Drill Hall was taxed to the uttermost, and it was found necessary to attest a number of men without submitting them to medical examination, although all men, so far as possible, were so examined.
Valuable clerical help is being rendered by ladies, mainly school teachers ; and men who are ineligible for military service.
Despite the fact that members of the Parliamentary Recruiting Committee visited some of the rural centres and attested several hundred recruits, the crush was so great at Rugby on Thursday that men were being attested at midnight, and there was another rush early on Friday morning.
We understand that the single men are still hanging back, and that the majority of those who have been attested during the past few days are married.
To-day (Saturday) is the last day upon which recruits can be received for the Group System.
A COUNCILLOR’S EXAMPLE.
Mr Harry Yates a member of the Urban District Council, and Secretary of the Rugby Trades and Labour Council, has enlisted under the Group System.
FOUR SONS ENLISTED.
Two sons of Mr J E Cox, of Long Lawford, “ J. P. and E E,” have this week enlisted under Lord Derby’s scheme. Two other sons enlisted in the Warwickshire Yeomanry at the commencement of the war, and have been at the Dardanelles for some time. Trooper F W Cox has been suffering from dysentery, but is now better, and is at Cyprus ; and his brother, Trooper G H Cox, is ill with jaundice at Lemnos. All Mr Cox’s sons of military age have now enlisted.
COVENTRY MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL.
Coventry Munitions Tribunal sat on Friday afternoon last week at the Labour Exchange, Coventry, under the chairmanship of Professor F Tillyard. The assessors were Messrs T Nettleton (for the men) and H F L Hemmings, Rugby (for the employers), and also present were Messrs P E Wilks (clerk) and D G Bolland (assistant clerk).
TWO DAYS’ FESTIVITY.
The B.T.H., Rugby, brought complaints against two of their workmen for breach of the regulations by absenting themselves from work—the defendants being Francis Horner, Barby, near Rugby, and F W Chatland, 23 Spring Coventry.
“ When I got home,” said Homer, “ I found my brother home from the front for the time for twelve months.”
The Chairman : And you took two days of to have a festive time ?—Yes, sir, a day and a half.
The Chairman : The least you could have done was to let the firm know your intentions.
It was stated that defendant had an excellent record for timekeeping.—The Court found the defendant guilty, and adjourned the case, imposing no penalty.
Chatland stated that he was ill, but it was pointed out that he did not notify the firm. He was fined 10s.
As it was now a year since the Rugby Relief Committee undertook the care of Belgian refugees and appointed a sub-committee to deal with them, to the sub-committee it seemed well to give a short account of what had been done. Last autumn, No 17 Hillmorton Road, lent by Mr Kittermaster for six months rent free, was prepared by the sub-committee and many other helpers for a party of refugees. All the furniture was given or lent, sheets for the beds and towels being almost the only things which had to be bought. Twenty-eight refugees arrived there and were comfortably established at the end of October. At first they were entirely supported by the Relief [ Fund,*but after a time, when the men began to work, fresh arrangements were made, and for many months now all wage earners had been self-supporting. They were allowed to have the house at half rent by the landlord, and were keeping themselves without any help from the committee at all. Some time last summer there were disagreements among the different families, and two sets of relations were moved out into other lodgings* furniture being chosen for them from No 17 Hillmorton Road. These two groups had still to be helped, but they also were to a large extent self-sup-porting, two women and one man being in regular work. In October also the Old Girls’ Welcome Club was lent rent free for six months by Mr Hawksley and furnished by another section of the committee, and though there was more difficulty in finding suitable occupants, owing to a lull in the flow of refugees, finally a family was installed there, and were given weekly help for a time till they also were able to pay their way. Besides these two main sources of expenditure, the committee had helped two Belgian workmen by buying them compasses for their work, and they had bought tools for a Belgian boy. They had purchased clothes for several needy families, helped Belgian soldiers in various ways, paid fares back to London for working-men and their families, and had tried to help others by advice and visits. They were allowing 6s a week to a workman whose wages were insufficient to support his family in lodgings, and they were giving 2s a week towards the maintenance of a boy who was beginning on small pay at the B.T.H. There were several other homes for refugees in Rugby, but no account could be here given of their work, as they were not under the management of the Central Committee.
The balance-sheet submitted showed that the receipts were :—Donations, £380 11s 9d ; weekly receipts, £51 1s 9d ; refugees’ contribution to rent, £21 10s ; total, £453 3s 6d. The payments were weekly cash to No 17 Hillmorton Road, £171 13s 1d ; ditto to Newbold Road, £23 16s 3d ; rent of 17 Hillmorton Road, £25 ; Urban District Council rates, £3 13s ; poor rates, £3 13s ; coal account, £10 6s ; Marsh (tools), £1 14s 11d ; Over (compasses, etc), £2 14s 6d ; railway fares paid, £7 10s 1d ; allowances to Belgians, cost of lodgings, etc, £35 13s 7d ; advertising and sundry expenses, 16s 4d ; cheque books, 9s 6d ; balance in hand, £166 3s 3d ; total, £453 3s 6d.
Mrs BRADBY said they had given a rather fuller report because they thought it possible subscribers might not know what had been done, and it might be advisable for them to know through the local Press. Their weekly outgoing at present in the way of relief was very small indeed—only about 12s a week—the majority of the refugees being now self-supporting.
The CHAIRMAN said it was very satisfactory. He thought the committee would like him to thank Mrs Bradby for the excellent report and for the work she and the other members of a very small committee had done in connection with the, Belgian refugees. He knew they gave many hours and a great deal of thought to looking after the refugees, and the report was a very excellent one.
RUGBY TOWN V.A.D. AUXILIARY WAR HOSPITAL.
The Hospital was opened on Wednesday last, when four from the First Southern General Hospital, R A.M.C.T., Edgbaston, were met at the station by officials of the Red Cross Society and the Order of St John, and taken to “ Te Hira.”
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
A SOLDIER’S UNPLEASANT EXPERIENCE.
SIR,—Thinking that some one or other of your ten thousand subscribers may suggest or supply a remedy for what seems a grievance, I crave your indulgence for the narration of what follows.
A war-worn soldier of Kitchener’s Army, who had enlisted at Rugby in the early enthusiastic days, arrives back in the small hours of the morning, Saturday—Sunday, at the L. & N.-W. Railway Station.
He is home for a few days’ leave, his destination being some place for which he has to change at “ Rugby Junction.”
He asks for a cup of coffee at the Refreshment Booms, tendering therefore a 10/- note. The cup of coffee was withdrawn across the counter, change for the note not being authorised or available.
The L. & N.-W. Railway Company do not allow soldiers to remain in its station under the circumstance in which this soldier found himself, and he was left to wander up and down Rugby’s streets for the hours till the departure hour of his connecting train. Is there no remedy ?—Yours faithfully,