Cox, Frederick William. Died 20th Apr 1917

Frederick William COX, was born in late 1893 in Long Lawford, his birth being registered in Rugby.   He was the son of Joseph Edgar Cox J.P., C.C., a farmer, of Long Lawford, who was born in Newbold in about 1864, and his wife, Mary Elizabeth née Parriss Cox, who was born in Lamington, Warwickshire, also in about 1864. Joseph and Elizabeth’s marriage was registered in Rugby in mid-1891.

In 1901, the family were living in the ‘Farm House’ in Long Lawford – this was presumably Lodge Farm, where his father, Joseph, had lived with his family in 1891 and where Joseph Edgar Cox and his family would continue to live in 1911, when his own children included Joseph Parris Cox, 19; Frederick William Cox, 17 died; George Herbert Cox, 16; Ernest Edgar Cox, 14; Alfred Leslie Cox, 12; and Roland Lee Cox, 7.

Frederick William Cox attended Lawrence Sherriff School and joined up at the beginning of the war, as did his brother, George; they were both in the Warwickshire Yeomanry.

Frederick was No: 2280 in the 1st/1st Warwickshire Yeomanry, and was later in the Corps of Hussars, as No: 310088. His Medal Card shows that he went to No.3 Theatre of War, Egypt on 20 April 1915. A report in the Rugby Advertiser[1] in December 1915 noted that Frederick and George ‘… have been at the Dardenelles for some time’.   ‘Trooper F W Cox has been suffering from dysentery, but is now better, and is at Cyprus, …’ at that same date it recounted that ‘… his brother, Trooper G H Cox, is ill with jaundice, at Lemnos.’

George Herbert Cox was No. 2281 in the Warwickshire Yeomanry, thus joining up his brother, and he also went into the Egypt theatre of war on 20 April 1915, presumably having been with his brother since enlisting with him. He later transferred to the Machine Gun Corps as No. 164511.

The eldest son, Joseph Parris Cox, and his younger brother, Ernest Edgar Cox,[2] both joined up in December 1915, under Lord Derby’s scheme.[3] Together with George Herbert Cox, these three of Frederick’s brothers would survive the war.[4]

To return to Frederick Cox’s service in the 1/1st Warwickshire Yeomanry, they …

… mobilised in August 1914, and moved to Bury St Edmunds and then on 31 August 1914, moved to Newbury and in November 1914 to Sheringham in Norfolk, and on 17 December to Norwich.

On 11 April 1915 they sailed from Avonmouth for Egypt on ‘Wayfarer’, but were torpedoed when 60 miles NW of Scilly Isles. Although the ship did not sink, the horses had to be rescued and volunteers of the regiment saved 763 horses, receiving a Military Cross and twelve Meritorious Service Medals. They were towed to Queenstown (Ireland) and finally sailed for Egypt and arrived at Alexandria on 24 April.

They were moved to Gallipoli for service as dismounted infantry and on 18 August 1915, landed at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli. They took part in the attack on Chocolate Hill and Hill 112 [the Battle of Scimitar Hill] on 21 August. By early September 1915, severe sickness together with battle casualties resulted in temporary reorganisation, merging with 1/1st Gloucestershire and 1/1st Worcestershire Yeomanry to form 1st South Midland Regiment, 1st Composite Mounted Brigade. However, they continued in trench warfare activities in the line in the Green Hill and Chocolate Hill sectors until evacuated to Mudros on 31 October 1915.

By December 1915 they had withdrawn from Gallipoli and returned to Egypt, where in January 1916, the brigade became an independent command and was renamed as the 5th Mounted Brigade, and in February 1917, was assigned to the Imperial/Australian Mounted Division, and saw action at the First and Second Battles of Gaza, the Charge at Huj as well as the Battle of Mughar Ridge and the Battle of Jerusalem.[5]

At some date, Frederick was promoted to Lance Corporal in the Warwickshire Yeomanry.

On 28 February 1917, the cavalry of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force [EEF] – including the 1/1st Warwickshire Yeomanry entered Khan Yunus, which was between the Egyptian border and Deir el Belah, causing the Turks to withdraw to Gaza and Beersheba. The railway was pushed forward to Deir el Belah, which became the railhead on 4 April 1917, and an aerodrome and camps were established there.

In April, the 5th Mounted Brigade (under Brigadier General E. A. Wiggin) comprising the Warwickshire Yeomanry together with the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars and the Worcestershire Yeomanry, were part of the Australian and New Zealand Mounted Division (under Major General Sir H.G. Chauvel).

The First Battle of Gaza had been fought by the mounted divisions during an ‘encounter battle’ when speed and surprise were emphasised. Then Gaza had been an outpost garrisoned by a strong detachment on the flank of a line stretching eastwards from the Mediterranean Sea.

During the three weeks between the First and Second Battles of Gaza, the town was quickly developed into the strongest point in a series of strongly entrenched positions … The Ottoman defenders not only increased the width and depth of their front lines, they developed mutually supporting strong redoubts on ideal defensive ground.

The construction of these defences changed the nature of the Second Battle of Gaza, fought from 17 to 19 April 1917, to an infantry frontal attack across open ground against well prepared entrenchments, with mounted troops in a supporting role. …

The strength of the Ottoman fortifications and the determination of their soldiers defeated the EEF. The EEF’s strength, which before the two battles for Gaza could have supported an advance into Palestine, was now decimated. Murray commanding the EEF and Dobell commanding Eastern Force were relieved of their commands and sent back to England.[6]

It was probably during the Second Battle of Gaza that Frederick William Cox sustained the wounds from which he died, aged 23, on 20 April 1917. He was buried at Deir el Belah Cemetery, Palestine in grave ref: A.128.

Deir El Belah is in Palestine about 16 kilometres east of the Egyptian border, and 20 kilometres south-west of Gaza. The cemetery was begun towards the end of March 1917 and remained in use until March 1919. Most of the burials were made either from field ambulances from March to June 1917, or from April 1917 from Casualty Clearing Stations, and the 69th General Hospital.

Frederick’s death was reported in the Rugby Advertiser, where a memorial notice was also later posted.[7] He was awarded the Victory and British medals and the 1915 Star. He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate, and also on the Old Laurentians Memorial and the Newbold Memorial.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article on Frederick William COX 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, April 2017.

[1]       Rugby Advertiser, 11 December 1915.

[2]       Ernest Edgar Cox initially joined up in Rugby on 8 December 1915, and one record suggests a short time in the 3rd Bn., Gloucestershire Regiment on 16 January 1917, and soon after, on 5 April 1917, transferred to the 3rd Bn., Machine Gun Corps, No:97564 [?also No.32817]; he survived the war and his Service Records exist.   He went to France, Basrah, Suez and Port Said during his war service.

[3]       Rugby Advertiser, 11 December 1915.

[4]       Joseph Parris Cox and Ernest Edgar Cox were Executors of their father, Joseph’s Will in 1932.

[5]       Edited from http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-yeomanry-regiments-of-1914-1918/warwickshire-yeomanry/ and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warwickshire_Yeomanry.

[6]         https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinai_and_Palestine_Campaign#First_Battle_of_Gaza.2C_26_March

[7]       Rugby Advertiser, 28 April 1917 and 5 May 1917 respectively.

11th Mar 1916. A Fighting Family

A FIGHTING FAMILY.

Mrs Sansome, of 5 Gas Street, Rugby, has received official intimation that her son, Lance-Corpl George Barnet, of the 5th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, has been wounded in France, and posted as missing since September 25th last. Lance-Corpl Barnet was twice in hospital, first with wounds, and then with an attack of nerves, but returned to the trenches after recovery on each occasion. Mrs Sansome comes of a fighting family, and her two older sons are in the Army, one in the Coldstream Guards, and the other in the 7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Her husband and two other sons have attested under the Derby Scheme. She also has two brothers and two brothers-in-law fighting, and one of the latter, in the Australian contingent, has returned to France after recovery from wounds. Ten nephews of Mrs Sansome are with the colours, and one of these was sent to England, and, on recovery, drafted to the Dardanelles, where he was again wounded. Another nephew has also been wounded in the same sphere of operations.

ONLY ONE LEFT.

When the soldiers of the 87th Brigade were billeted in Rugby last spring, townspeople derived a great amount of pleasure from the concerts that were given in Caldecott Park by the bands attached to two of the regiments. Military bandsmen are as a rule fighting men as well as musicians, and are not exempt from service in the firing line ; consequently most of the gallant fellows who so willingly used their musical instruments to please their Rugby friends had to do their bit with rifle and bayonet when they got out to the Dardanelles. One of them, writing to a friend in Rugby, mentions several interesting incidents of the evacuation of Gallipoli. He says :—Our Brigade was in the centre of the firing line, and the two days before we left the Turks gave us plenty of shells all day long. We thought they had got wind of us leaving—they must have noticed that our heavy guns had gone, but the Royal Navy gave them “ What’oh!” with their 14-inch shells, and the Turks must have lost badly. When the time came we left in three parties, and things want off very well, the navy’s guns giving V and W beaches a shell or two about every half hour. We left all kinds of traps for the Turk, and I am sure he had a good laugh at some of the tricks we played him. I’ll bet they are glad to see the last of us. The weather was getting very bad for them.

We were all very sorry to have to leave so many of our friends who have given up their lives for good old England, but it could not be helped. The little bit of ground we had was getting flooded with the heavy rains, and the Turks had got more big guns along with plenty of shells, so that we were hardly ever out of fire, night as well as day. I do not think we could have lived on the rotten spot much longer. My idea is that they did the proper thing in evacuating the place.

The writer concludes :-Now as I am the only one left with the Regiment out of the band we had in Rugby, I must thank you for what you have done for us all.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

News has been received that Pte Edwin A Piper, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who has been missing since April 25th, 1915, was killed in action. Pte Piper, who was 27 years of age and a native of Caldmore, was employed in the machine room at Messrs Frost’s Printing Works.

Pte Tom Halliwell, R.A.M.C, of Murray Road, Rugby, who is at present near Salonika, in a letter to his brother states that he recently visited Salonika to get some petrol, and that the N.C.O in charge of the store was Sergt Geo Renshaw, captain of the Rugby Football Club.

The majority of the unattested single men in the Rugby Parliamentary Division, numbering between 500 and 600, have now received their Army Summons papers, and a small number presented themselves at the Drill Hall, Rugby, this week. Owing to exemptions and medically unfit men, however, the yield is not expected to be very great. Married attested men should take the opportunity now of joining departmental corps, because when their groups are under proclamation, they will not be able to do so.

RUGBY FARMERS’ MOTOR AMBULANCE.

Shortly after noon on Monday an interesting ceremony took place in Rugby Cattle Market, when the Motor Ambulance, purchased with part of the proceeds of the Farmers’ Red Cross Sale on Boxing Day, was formally handed over to the British Red Cross St John Ambulance Association. The car, which will accommodate eight sitting patients, or four stretcher cases, has been fitted up on absolutely the most modern principles. It is styled “ The Rugby District Farmers’ Red Cross Ambulance,” and next week will be in use in France. The ceremony was performed by Mr Arthur James, in the absence of Mrs James, who regretted her inability to accept the Committee’s invitation to make the formal presentation. Mr Arthur James said the amount raised in connection with the sale was considerably over £2,000, and of that sum £650 had been invested on that car. It had an exceedingly popular engine for its particular purpose, and the inside fittings were the result of a great deal of experience. In addition, they had founded three beds for a year-one being in Netley Hospital, and two in hospitals in France, and the balance, after deducting a small amount for incidental expenses, would go to the joint funds of the St John of Jerusalem Ambulance and the British Red Cross Society, which Societies had collected during the past eighteen months between 3 and 4 million pounds (hear, hear). In conclusion, Mr James emphasised the need for a continuance of support in the future.

The Rev R S Mitchison said in that ambulance all who had contributed saw something tangible, and when they read accounts of wounded men they would feel they had done their bit to try to alleviate their sufferings (hear, hear). Nothing was perfect without God’s help, and it had been suggested—and he had been very pleased the desire had been expressed—that a prayer should be offered to God to help them in their endeavour to alleviate suffering, and that He would bless and comfort the brave men who would make use of the Ambulance.

A dedicatory prayer was then offered by Mr Mitchison, followed by a petition for help in our difficulties, for protection from and victory over our enemies.

PROGRESS OF THE WAR.

Although over a fortnight has elapsed since the Germans launched their attack against Verdun, they have not achieved the object of the stroke which is to break the French line. With indomitable courage and a strategy unexcelled in the course of the war, the French are making good the temporary disadvantages suffered at the initial onslaught, and are now giving a direction to the battle favourable to themselves.

ANOTHER AIR RAID.

18 PERSONS KILLED, AND 52 INJURED.

Early on Monday morning the War Office issued a communique to the effect that a Zeppelin raid took place during Sunday night, when three hostile airships crossed over the North-East Coast. After crossing the coast the airships took various courses, and from the devious nature of their flight were apparently uncertain as to their bearings. The area visited included Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Rutland, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Essex, and Kent. As far as is known, about ninety bombs were dropped altogether. The casualties so far ascertained amount to 18 killed and 52 injured. The material damage was : Two terraces of houses practically destroyed ; one office, one public-house, a cafe, and several shops partly destroyed, and a block of almshouses badly damaged.

Intimation that Zeppelins were hovering over the country was promptly communicated to the Midlands. In Rugby warning was quietly sent to the various places of worship where evening service’s were being held. In some cases the services were completed, and in others they were brought to a close a little earlier than usual, and the congregations quietly dispersed. Special constables and members of the Volunteer Fire Brigade were called on duty to deal with emergencies if needed.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

SOLDIERS’ REST AT RUGBY STATION.

SIR,—I should like to disabuse the minds of your readers of “ any erroneous impressions ” which may have been created by Mr. J. Jones’s recent letter. It is satisfactory to learn that he fully appreciates the necessity of some place where our soldiers and sailors can pass their dreary waiting time in comfort. From personal intercourse I can say that soldiers are by no means enamoured with railway refreshment room charges, and it is to regretted that Mr. Jones should suggest a breach of the concessions (unless special permission has been obtained), which has proved to be a great boon to railway employees, who often find the accommodation barely adequate for the requirements of legitimate customers. The railway authorities in permitting on their premises and greatly assisting in the providing of their servants’ refreshment rooms, intended their sole use for the convenience of railway servants only, and not in competition against their own rooms or for the use of any class of passenger.

Whilst everyone must appreciate the material assistance so freely given by the Station War Relief Fund Committee and their good and useful work, they will find it difficult to understand why they should not be only too pleased to extend a helping hand to any scheme—instead of deprecating—which would more adequately provide for the comfort of our stranded sailors or soldiers.
Faithfully yours, W. F. HARDMAN.
26 Murray Road, Rugby.

RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF PAPER.

To Our Readers and Correspondents.

In accordance with intimation previously given the regulations for controlling the importation of paper and materials for making it, came into force on March 1st, and the necessity for reducing the size of the Rugby Advertiser has been forced upon us.

It will, therefore, be impossible to report local and district occurrences as expensively as hitherto, and we ask the indulgence of our readers and correspondents until happier circumstances permit us to return to the original size.

If our readers will also place definite orders with a newsagent or newsvendor for the regular supply of the Advertiser they will assist in preventing the wastage of paper caused by providing for casual sales.

IN MEMORIAM.

STEEL.—In loving memory of our dear son, who was killed somewhere in France on March 16th, 1915,

“ One year has passed, our hearts still sore,
Day by day we miss him more ;
His welcome smile, his dear sweet face
Never on earth can we replace.

“ We often sit and think of him,
And think of how he died—
To think he could not say good-bye
Before he closed his eyes.”
Still sadly missed by his loving Father, Mother, Sister, and Brothers.

 

26th Feb 1916. Restrictions on the Use of Paper

RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF PAPER.

A WORD TO OUR READERS.

In consequence of the restriction on the importation of paper and materials for making it which come into force on March 1st, it will be necessary for publishers to exercise the strictest economy in the use of the paper they are allowed to receive, and reduce all wastage to the lowest possible point. Newsagents will in all probability find that the extra copies they have been able to obtain to meet casual sales will have to be limited, if not stopped altogether.

Our readers who are in the habit of obtaining copies of the “Rugby Advertiser” here and there in a casual way, will greatly assist the agents and the publishers if they place an order for the paper with a particular agent, and always obtain it there, so that the number required each week may be definitely ascertained.

As the space available for news, etc, in the reduced size will be greatly curtailed, we regret that we shall not be able to insert gratuitously any Volunteer Orders for the week, appeals for gifts or subscriptions, acknowledgments of gifts, official notices, musical successes, shorthand successes, and so forth.

OLD MURRAYIANS IN THE EASTERN THEATRE.

Mr W T Coles Hodges has this week received the following letters from soldiers formerly connected with the Murray School, who are now in the Eastern theatre of the war. Pte A S Horswell, Signalling Section, 10th Middlesex Regiment, writes :—

“ The greater part of October and all November we spent in dug-outs on the side of Lala Baba. We used to go out morning, afternoon, and night doing ghastly fatigue work, such as making a road across Salt Lake, digging trenches (a specialised form of gardening), and unloading wood for lighters ; carrying railway sleepers across loose sand to load them on mule carts also forms a pleasant interlude between tea and supper, especially when the interlude is of six hours’ duration and the music is supplied by the Turkish orchestra a couple or three miles away. Of course, you know that the Peninsula is now evacuated.

“ We were at Suvla Bay . . . . At the end of November, the 26th, to be accurate, there was a violent storm that swamped the whole dug-outs and made the trenches like rivers. The storm abated at about 10 or 11 p.m. We could not sleep or lie down in our dug-outs as they were a foot deep in wet, clayey mud. Four of us got what blankets we could find in a more or less dry state, and went and found a tolerably dry spot near an ‘incinerator’ on the slopes of Lala Baba, adjoining C Beach. The next day we were due to leave the peninsula, but the sea was too rough, and our company was sent at night to guard some trenches facing Salt Lake. That night was absolutely IT. We had to do sentry-go in a blinding sleet storm and the usual accompaniment of a howling wind. The next morning the sleet stopped. I forget details, but I know our wet clothes froze on us, and whole crowds, including myself, went into the hospital on C Beach with exposure, rheumatism, frost-bite, etc.

I ultimately found myself at the Citadel Hospital, Cairo, and got into bed for the first time since leaving England. I got to Cairo on Friday, December 3rd. . . . We had an A1 Xmas at the hospital, roast beef, turkey, and plum pudding, with ail the usual accompaniments. The Citadel Hospital was formerly one of the Khedive’s palaces. It is a fine building, most picturesque, and the thing that struck me most was the colour scheme of the whole affair. The exterior was colour washed a bright orange, with a white dado affair at the top where the gutters our roofs would be. The window fittings and lattices were green, all three forming vivid contrasts. When you saw all this against a background of bright blue sky, with white splashes of cloud here and there, the effect was very striking. I could not help wishing for a camera, but at the same time I realised that it would lose the greater part of its beauty when reduced to mere black and white. It was a beautiful, building, full of opportunities for the water colour artist. The place abounded with balconies, pagodas, and odd, queer staircases in corners of quadrangles and courts, but colour was most essential in any pictorial reproduction. Without colour, ‘ musquise ’ (no good), as the natives here would say.”

The writer states that on New Year’s Day he visited the Pyramids and the Sphinx, and says:

“ The trams take you within 300 and 400 yards of it. Then there is an uphill climb, which can be done on ‘ Shanks’s pony,’ donkey, or camel. A native attached himself to me in the capacity of guide, philosopher, and friend, and discoursed in ‘ pidgin ’ English on the beauties of the Sphinx and Egypt generally, in the hope of ‘ backsheesh ‘ to come. The place, if you can call it a place, was crowded with soldiers and civilians, all bent on sightseeing. Taking things on the whole, the place resembled Hampstead Heath in fair time without the roundabouts.” The writer expressed himself as disappointed with the Sphinx and Pyramids, and adds: “ One felt that one wanted to be alone. There was too much of the military element to allow of much ‘ mysticism.’ My last impression was that of two 20th Century motor cars standing at the base of the Great Pyramid, which was built 4,000 years B.C.”

Pte Horswell was afterwards drafted to the base near Alexandria, of which he says: “ It is a very, fine town. Of course the European element is very much in evidence. French is the language spoken most—other than the native Arabic. All official notices, names of streets, etc, are duplicated in French and Arabic. There is a large Italian and Greek population, as well. There is the usual type of English shop, kept, generally by French people, and also the native bazaar. Strangely enough, there are no restaurants or cafes in the ordinary English acceptance of the term. A cafe here is usually only a drinking place, nothing to eat being obtainable.”

T Hillwell, another Old Murrayian, who is with the allied Forces at Salonica, in a letter says : “ The dawn of the 1st of November saw us step out of the train on to Serbian soil, and exceedingly thankful we were, for a night’s travelling on an open truck is not conducive to warmth. First of all, we had long marches to do, and we were struck by the excellence of the roads. They were really remarkable. November was a comparatively quiet month, so far as fighting was concerned, but the last week we were busy fighting another enemy-frost-bite. To realise what this means, one must be really on the spot. Then came the celebrated retreat, which has filled columns in the English newspapers. It was an exciting affair altogether, and it is a marvel to me how we got safely out of it. But out of it we did get, and with great credit, too. I feel really proud to have belonged to an Irish Division. Without a doubt these Irishmen can fight. So we are back again and enjoying a well-earned rest.

OLD MURRAYIAN WITH THE HOWITZER BATTERY.

Gunner A J Renshaw, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, in a letter to his old schoolmaster, says :— “I arrived safely back to the land of mud and water, commonly known as ‘ Sunny France.’ During my absence there was plenty of fun going on, and ‘Fritz’ and his ‘brudders’ gave our infantry a surprise visit the other night, but as they strongly objected to their presence in our lines they ‘struck oil’ somewhat and were soon out again on the hop. Since then we have returned their visit with much more success. Of late considerable activity has been shown, and by now they are aware of the fact that we are out for business, for we have given them ‘ cold feet ‘ this last month or so, and soon you may here with confidence of our continued success. Of that there is very little doubt. We shall fight until we have avenged the dastardly atrocities they have committed in France and Belgian.”

A ST. MATTHEW’S OLD BOY IN SALONICA.

Extracts from letter of Pte F E Morley, R.A.M.C, an “ old boy ” of St Matthew’s School to Mr R H Myers, headmaster :—

“ We were the first of the British Expedition to land at Salonica, and you can well understand that, coming from Gallipoli, many of us wondered what we were doing to land in Greece at all. Still, it did not take long to make us aware of our mission, which was, of course, to link up with the gallant Serbian Army.

“ We spent a few days at Salonica before entraining for Gyevgeli, from which place we marched across country, landing about ten miles ahead of Dviran. Here we began to link up with the French troops, which were holding fast the road to Strumnitza. Fairly good progress was made, and by the end of November we were 22 miles ahead of Dviran. The country so for had been fairly decent, for at any rate it allowed the full use of transport, but as we began to get into the hills, mule transport only was possible. To describe to you the nature of the country where we were operating is far beyond my powers. From an artistic point of view it was ideal, but for the troops—well, just impossible.

“ Matters were very quiet for some few days and the weather conditions fairly favourable. Now and again Bulgar deserters came over to us and gave information of an impending attack which subsequently proved correct.

“ The last day of November saw the hills covered with a deep snow, a keen frost and biting wind accompanying it. Never before have I faced such a blinding storm, and one had a thousand pities for the boys in the trenches who had precious little protection. I happened to be at an advanced dressing station just behind the ‘ line,’ but fortunately we were able to make use of some houses in a deserted village, so that we had the comfort of a log fire.

“ We had many cases of exposure to deal with, and more than one poor fellow dropped to sleep in the snow, but, alas ! it meant the Sleep of death.

“ One night we were sent up to the ‘ line ’ for some sick men. The frost had continued making the ground very treacherous, so that it took us a matter of three hours to cover a distance of barely four miles. At frequent points on the way we had to crawl on hands and knees, while more than once we were ‘ footing it’ knee-deep in snow. Such were the conditions under which the jolly Irish boys held the line, and when you remember that only a few weeks back we had experienced the intense heat of Gallipoli, and then were suddenly transferred to this cold region, I think that the gallant conduct of our men during the subsequent,retirement into Greece is worthy of all praise.

“ We are now camped ‘ somewhere around Salonica,’ awaiting the anticipated attack. I cannot say much about the position, but I can assure you that ‘all’s well’ on this Front, and our boys would rather relish an attack in this quarter.

“ We have had a couple of air raids at Salonica, but very little damage was done. During the second our gun-firing was splendid, and I had the pleasure of seeing one Taube brought to earth.

“ I would like to come across some of our ‘old boys,’ but have not done so yet. Good luck to them, and may the day soon come when we shall be able to greet each other, proud in the knowledge that we have done our ‘little bit’ for old England and for the honour of the school.”

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mr C Pegg, of 1 Addison Road, New Bilton, has heard from his son, Pte George Pegg, of the Leicestershire Regiment. He has been wounded in the leg, but is going on well.

The Chief Constable of Warwickshire has approved a scheme put forward by the Sutton Coldfield Volunteer Training Corps for “ police ” service in the event of a Zeppelin raid. Men have been allocated to districts in the borough, and their duty will be to see that all lights are extinguished, to regulate street traffic, and to prevent panic.

Corporal W Bale, an “ old boy ” of St Matthew’s School, serving in the 2nd Royal Welsh Fusiliers, has been promoted to the rank of Sergeant, for conspicuous gallantry on the field. Sergt Bale, who was recently mentioned in despatches, has been in the Army nine years, and was transferred from India to France on the Outbreak of the War.

WOUNDED TERRITORIALS.

1/7th Batt. Royal Warwickshire regiment : Pte. H. Snell, 2526, and Pte. A. Summers, 1351.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

During the past few weeks the number of recruits attested at the Drill Hall, Park Road, has averaged about 100 per week, of whom 70% have been single men. Those single men who wish to attest before the Military Service Act comes into force have only till midnight on Tuesday to do so, after then they will be conscripts and absorbed into the Army according to their classes.

In order to avoid a rush, which is anticipated at the last moment, men wishing to attest should visit the Drill Hall at once, and as early in the day as possible.

The Group system will remain open for married men after March 1st.

Attested men who wish to be medically examined before their groups are called up should make application to the Recruiting Officer at the Drill Hall. The medical examinations will take place at Warwick, and recruits will have to pay their own railway fare.

RUGBY COMMITTEE’S PARCELS FOR PRISONERS OF WAR ARRIVE WITHOUT DELAY.

It has been frequently brought to the notice of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee that parcels sent by individuals to prisoners of war in Germany invariably arrive after long delay and almost useless, whereas the parcels sent through the Rugby Committee get through quickly and in perfect condition. This is mainly owing to good packing, and the fact that the committee is a registered and recognised society.

The Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee are anxious to avoid this waste, and desire to make it known that they will gladly pack and forward food and clothing to any prison camp in Germany without charge.

Thus, if there are any persons in Rugby or the surrounding villages who have been in the habit of forwarding their own parcels, they are invited to send same in future to the Rugby Committee, who will indicate on the parcels the name of the giver.

Parcels should be sent to Mrs Blagden, at the Rectory, or to the Hon Secretary, Mr J Reginald Barker, 9 Regent Street, Rugby.

The Committee will also be glad to receive the names of any men from Rugby and district who are prisoners of war.

ASHLAWN HOSPITAL CLOSED.

In consequence of Ashlawn being required by the owner for residential purposes, it was closed as a V.A.D. Hospital on Tuesday last, and the patents were removed to other places.

Other premises have not yet been obtained, and Mrs E D Miller, the commandant, is looking out for a suitable house.

RUGBY PETTY SESSIONS.

TUESDAY.—Before Dr Clement Dukes (in the chair), Arthur James, T Hunter, A E Donkin, and W Dewar, Esqrs.

EXEMPTION FROM RATES.—“ Te Hira,” now used as a Red Cross Hospital, and 67 Albert Street, Rugby, occupied by Belgian refugees, were exempted from the poor rates.—A similar application was made in respect of 39 Albert Street, Rugby, also occupied by Belgians, but this was adjourned for the assistant overseer to ascertain the earnings of the occupants of the house.

DOG OWNERS’ EXEMPTIONS.—Applications had been received from 212 farmers in the division for exemptions from licenses in respect of 273 dogs, and from 49 shepherds respecting 53 dogs.—Objection was made by the police in two instances.—Superintendent Clarke mentioned a bailiff who had applied for exemption as a farmer, but at present he had no dog, although he had kept one.—It was understood the man would be having a dog soon, and the Magistrates’ Clerk ruled that in the circumstances there was no reason why the exemption should not be granted.

THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT AND AGRICULTURE.

This Act practically applies to all fit single men and widowers (without children) between the ages of 18 and 41.

The Act does not apply to men voluntarily attested under Lord Derby’s scheme.

Every man to whom the Act applies and who is not exempted will be deemed to have enlisted, as from March 2nd, 1916.

WHO MAY BE EXEMPTED.

FARMERS & MARKET GARDENERS.

Farmer (including Market Gardener and Fruit Farmer)—provided that—

(a) farming is his sole occupation and his personal labour or superintendence is indispensable for the proper cultivation of his holding ; or

(b) if he is partly occupied in another occupation, his personal labour or superintendence is indispensable for the proper cultivation of his holding and such cultivation is expedient in the national interest.

Agricultural Machinery, Steam Ploughs and Threshing Machines :-
Attendant ; Driver ; Mechanic.
Farm—Bailiff, Foreman, Grieve, Steward.
“ Beastman, Byreman, Cattleman, Stockman, Yardman.
“ Carter, Horseman, Ploughman, Teamster, Wagoner.
“ Hind (if Foreman or Ploughman).
“ Servant (if Foreman or Ploughman), Scotland.
” Shepherd.
Thatcher.
Stallion Man (a man who looks after and travels a stallion).
Stud Groom (Scotland).
Hop, Fruit, and Market Gardens : Foreman.

CERTIFICATES OF EXEMPTION.

Application must be made to the Local Tribunal for a certificate of exemption in the case of every unmarried man of military age in one of the “ certified occupations ” who has not attested and who desires to be exempted from enlistment under the Act. The fact that he may have already been “starred” makes no difference in this respect.

Such applications must be made to the Local Tribunal BEFORE MARCH 2nd NEXT.

A certificate of exemption must be granted by the Local Tribunal to any man who shows that his principal and usual occupation is one of those in the list of “ Certified Occupations ” unless an objection has been received from the military representative.

Any appeal from the decision of the Local Tribunal must be made within three days after the decision of the Local Tribunal on a forms supplied by the Clerk.

HEAVY FALL OF SNOW.—During Wednesday night there was a heavy fall of snow in the Midlands, which continued almost without intermission throughout Thursday. The landscape presented a very wintry appearance in consequence, snow lying on the ground to a depth of several inches—nearly a foot in some places. Townspeople were busy on Thursday clearing the footpaths, in accordance with the request of the Urban District Council, and in the afternoon members of Rugby School from Mr Wilson’s house were occupied in this way in front of the School buildings in Lawrence Sheriff Street. Boys at the preparatory schools were also in their element, clearing snow away, and members of the fair sex did not hesitate to show their ability to use shovels, brushes, and any other implement that came handy.

22nd Jan 1916. Local Soldier’s Experiences at the Dardanelles

LOCAL SOLDIER’S EXPERIENCES AT THE DARDANELLES.

AN INTERESTING DIARY.

Corpl H Berwick, of the King’s Own Royal Lancashire Regiment, has forwarded us his diary from the Europa Hospital, Gibraltar, recording his experiences with the British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. He is a native of Rugby, and has served seventeen years in the Army, during which time he has seen service in India and Burmah. He was present at the retreat from Mons, and the battles of the Aisne and Marne, and has since seen fighting in the Gallipoli Peninsula. He states that he kept the diary on small scraps of paper, and he has often had to write it under very heavy shell fire. On one occasion, while he was marching with his battalion to relieve some troops, he remembered, after they had covered several miles, that he had left his diary in his dug-out. Although it was raining very hard, he went back for the papers, which he rescued just in time, as his dug-out was flooded.

The first part of the diary is confined to incidents occurring on the outward journey, and the latter part to the return from the Peninsula to Gibraltar. The middle portion deals with incidents in the fighting on the Peninsula, and a few interesting extracts are appended :—

The writer states that early in October they landed at Suvla Bay, and adds: “ From what I saw of it, it must have been a very hot place where they made their landing.” On the following day he was posted to a company in the first line trenches. On one occasion a party of men were ordered to dig a well within the range of the Turks’ guns, and when they had taken their coats off for this operation the enemy opened a heavy fire on them. It was like hell for an hour, the troops rushing about to find cover, as there was none near the well; and as a result 12 men were killed and 19 wounded.

Turkish Attacks Repulsed.

“ On November 6th, at 9.20 p.m, the Turks made a very stubborn attack on our first line; they came three times, and on the third occasion they gained part of our trench ; at 3 a.m we counter attacked and retook the lost trench, with heavy casualties, and rain and hail stopped further heavy fighting. On the 7th they made an early morning attack under the star shells, but they did not get much further than our wire entanglements; our machine guns mowed the wire down as well as the Turks. On the 10th they made another stubborn attack on our trenches, and they were very plucky, as we out-numbered them by five to one. But still on they came, and we had orders not to fire until they were on the wire; then the Captain said “ Fire like hell !” and we did. They went down like skittles; we had about 16 machine guns in nice positions, and all through the day they were doing nothing but sniping. On the 11th the Turks attacked in large numbers, but our heavy naval guns surprised them, and very few of them got away.

“ On the 13th November, as I was passing through a traverse to get into a communication trench, I felt a nasty sting in the left hip. I did not attach much importance to it till the next morning, when I found I could hardly walk. I then discovered a large bruise on my hip, and found that a piece of a Turkish 11-inch shell had penetrated my haversack, gone through a pack of cards and a comb, eventually stopping at a large nickle spoon, which was badly bent. These I shall always keep as curios. I had a few narrow squeaks at Mons and on the Aisne, but not to compare with this incident.

“ On November 26th we had a large mail from home, with hundreds of parcels. When they were served out there was one for nearly every man. That was a glorious day, and the troops laid in their dug-outs all day, blowing big clouds of smoke from the Woodbines they had received from home.

A Hospital Shelled.

“ On the 27th a Battalion order was issued that all men who had only been inoculated once were to parade at the hospital. I was inoculated for the second time just before I left the boat, so I was lucky, because, although the Turks had never been known to fire on hospitals, as soon as these men were lined up outside they sent over eight shells from two guns about 900 yards away. These fell right in the centre of the group, and legs and arms were flying in all directions. You could not recognise some of the men. We buried seventeen of them that night, and there were also twelve severely wounded.”

The writer describes a combined bombardment by the British artillery and the ships off the coast, and says: “ It was like a living hell. You could not hear yourself speak, and after they had had an hour of it, it was some time before we could hear what one another wad talking about. It seemed as if the drums of our ears had gone. But it was a fine sight; the sky was lit up beautifully, and I think it accounted for a few. In the morning, on December 2nd, the Turks made an attack upon our left section of trenches, but, thanks to our machine guns, they were mown down like grass.”

“ Some ” Storm.

A terrible storm occurred on the 3rd December, and the writer says : “ After about two hours we were all standing in about three feet of water, with everything we possessed drifting down the trenches, just like a strong tide. Some of the boys lost their rifles, and at about 12, midnight, the parapets of almost every regiment caved in, and then there was nothing for it but to get out of the trenches and walk upon the top to keep oneself warm ; we had to chance whether the Turks fired or not. When it got a little light we could see that the Turks were doing exactly the same as we were. They must have been worse off than we were, as their position was in the centre of a very large hill, and we could plainly see that their trenches were overflowing, and that the water was running into our trenches. They did not fire on us, and some of our commanders gave the order to us not to fire upon them unless they fired upon us. Both parties were in this position for about five hours.” He adds that shortly afterwards it commenced to freeze very hard, and many of the men, who were suffering with frost-bite, were ordered to the field hospitals. He himself was taken on a stretcher to the hospital, suffering from rheumatic fever. On the way to the hospital they passed many men who had died from exposure.

25th Dec 1915. Christmas Arrangements at the Post Office

CHRISTMAS ARRANGEMENTS AT THE POST OFFICE.

Christmas is always the busiest season of the year with the Postal authorities, although locally there has not been so much business transacted as is generally the case. So far the busiest day was Monday, the last day for posting parcels to the Expeditionary Force, and a large number of parcels, mostly for France and Belgium, were received on that day.

In order, to cope with the increased business, a number of temporary workers have been taken on, consisting of 13 indoor employees, 13 outdoor men, 12 women letter carriers, and 6 women indoor helpers. The employment of women is an innovation caused by the scarcity of male labour, and it is stated that the fair workers have given every satisfaction up to the present.

CHRISTMAS DAINTIES FOR PRISONERS OF WAR.

The Christmas parcels sent to prisoners of war by the local committee contained a large plum pudding, a cake, packet of “ Force,” a packet of tea, sugar, milk, Oxo cubes, cafe-au-lait, sweets, and some warm clothing, A packet of cigarettes and tobacco was also sent to each man.

LETTERS OF THANKS FROM LOCAL SOLDIERS.

The Editor of the Advertiser has received several letters from local soldiers thanking friends in Rugby and district for sending Xmas parcels, and we append a few brief extracts :—

Lance-Corpl O Wilson, 1st Batt R.W.R, writes from a hospital at Birkenhead :—“ I should be very glad if I could have a small space in your newspaper to express my very best thanks to my Newbold-on-Avon friends for a parcel I have received. I have enjoyed the contents very much. It is a pleasure to know that we are thought of while we are away from our home and village. I have just returned from the front after seven months in the trenches. I have seen some stiff fighting, but I have run through quite safe. I have been sent back to England with lumbago and rheumatism through getting so wet in the trenches. I also thank kind friends for presents and cigarettes sent to me in the trenches. I always look forward to receive the Rugby paper, which I have had every week since I have been away.”

Pte W White, B Coy 6th Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, wishes to thank the subscribers of Bourton and Draycote for a parcel sent by them to him. He adds : “ We have had it rough while we have been out here. The trenches are full of water, but we have to make the best of it, although it is most trying at times.”

A MELODEON REQUIRED.

Pte A J Curtis, B Coy, 6th Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, in a letter to the Editor states that there are a large number of Rugby men in his company, and they would be very grateful if someone would send them a melodeon, because several in the platoon can play that instrument, and a little music would brighten up things in the trenches.

TO WIVES OF LOCAL TERRITORIALS.

To the Editor of the Advertiser,

DEAR SIR,—I shall be much obliged if you will kindly allow me, through your columns, to ask the wives of all the Rugby men in the 1/5th Warwickshire Howitzer Battery and in the 1/7th Warwickshire Battalion now serving in France, to be good enough to send their address and the number, age, and sex of their children, to Mrs Nickalls, Brown’s Farm, or to me not later than January 1st, 1916.—Yours faithfully,

AGATHA M WEST.
Bilton, Rugby.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Corpl Horace Neeves, of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, elder son of Mr and Mrs S Neeves, of Murray Road, Rugby, has received a commission. He has been gazetted to the Northumberland Fusiliers, and expects to proceed shortly to Bedford for training. Called up with the Yeomanry at the outbreak of the war, he went out in due time with the signalling troop to the Dardanelles, and took part in the famous landing at Suvla Bay on August 21st. He had a very narrow escape from a bullet, which lodged in a thimble carried among his belongings. Subsequently he developed dysentery, and has been for some time in a military hospital in England, but is now convalescent.

WOUNDED.

Pte J Farren, 1/7th Royal Warwickshires, has been reported wounded.

Capt the Hon O M Guest, Lothians and Border Horse and R.F.C, who is officially reported wounded, is Lord Wimborne’s youngest brother.

TERRIBLE WEATHER AT SUVLA BAY.

Lieut C H Ivens, of Rugby, writing from Suvla Bay, describes a terrible storm—such as one never sees in England—that burst over the trenches on November 26th. The rain came down in torrents, and the thunder and lightning was terrible. They were quickly flooded out, and blankets, bedding, and loose equipment were washed away. Men were wallowing up to their waists in mud and water. Snow followed, and then severe frost set in, with the result that large numbers of men were frost-bitten. Others were dropping down in the water too weak to stand, in consequence of their long immersion in the water and mud. Eventually they were marched off to a place five miles away.

WITHDRAWAL FROM SUVLA AND ANZAC.

The War Office on Monday afternoon issued the following announcement :

All the troops at Suvla and Anzac, together with their guns and stores, have been successfully transferred with insignificant casualties to another sphere of operations.

In a later announcement the War Office states :

Some further details of the evacuation of Anzac and Suvla have been received. Without the Turks being aware of the movement a great army has been withdrawn from one of the areas occupied on the Gallipoli Peninsula, although in closest contact with the enemy.

By this contraction of front, operations at other points of the line will be more effectively carried out.

Sir Charles Monro gives great credit for this skilfully conducted transfer of forces to the Generals Commanding and the Royal Navy.

REVIEW OF THE OPERATIONS.

The operations in the Dardanelles date back to January last, when a blockading squadron was reinforced by British and French stations, with Tenedos and Lemnos as bases. An attack was made on February 19 on the forts at the entrance to the Dardanelles, and a month later the forts at the Narrows were shelled. The bombardment was resumed on February 25 and 26, but whilst the entrance to the Straits had been cleared, the real defence—the forts at the Narrows—had not been touched. Other attempts followed in March, culminating on the 18th in an attack in force in which two British vessels, the Irresistible and the Ocean, and the Bouvet, of the French squadron, were sunk by mines.

The experience gained by these operations showed that simultaneous naval and land attacks were necessary for success, and the Allied forces, which included the 29th Division that was quartered in Warwickshire for a time, landed on April 25. By almost superhuman heroism a footing was gained at Cape Helles, Sedd-el-Bahr, and the adjacent beaches, and by April 27 the forces had advanced two miles into the Peninsula. Throughout May, June, and July fighting more or less severe took place, and on August 6 the great attack from Anzac (so called from the landing there of the Australian and New Zealand Corps) and Suvla Bay took place. Fighting with splendid heroism, the Australians and New Zealanders gained the summits of Sari Bahr and Chunuk Bahr, but they had to withdraw in consequence of the advance from Suvla Bay not making the progress necessary to consolidate the success. This advance had been entrusted to new contingents, including several yeomanry regiments, of British troops who had only been landed the day before at Suvla Bay.

As the result of efforts during August the British positions were further advanced, after which the operations took on the aspect of trench warfare.

In a recent statement to the House of Commons Mr Asquith stated that the losses in the Mediterranean on land and sea up to November 9 were :

Officers.                       Men.

Wounded                     2,860                          70,148

Killed                           1,504                          21,551

Missing                         356                           10,211

These, with disablements by sickness, makes a total of nearly 200,000.

 

11th Dec 1915. Christmas Mail

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.

Belgian Refugees.

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,

CHARLES DICKENS.

16th Oct 1915. Dardanelles Hero at Rugby

DARDANELLES HERO AT RUGBY.

GREAT RECEPTION FOR SERGT J. SOMERS, V,C.

A remarkably ovation was accorded to Sergt J Somers, V.C, of the 1st Inniskilling Fusiliers, on the occasion of his visit to the town on Thursday evening. The fact that he had won the coveted decoration for conspicuous gallantry at the Dardanelles, and that Mr and Mrs W D Burns, of 16 Corbett Street, Rugby, with whom he was billeted in the early months of the year, were expecting him to re-visit their home this week, became generally known to the inhabitants of the town, and it was only natural, seeing that the young soldier had so greatly distinguished himself since he and his comrades sojourned amongst us, that a welcome worthy of the town and of the man should be extended to him. Definite information as to the exact time of his arrival was not received until Thursday morning, so that the arrangements were necessarily of a somewhat hurried character, and even these had to be modified, partly because of the immense crowds that thronged the thoroughfares, and partly because of the fact that Sergt Somers had to leave the same night by the Irish Mail for Belfast, where he had to report himself yesterday (Friday) afternoon. Still, if the demonstration was impromptu and spontaneous, it was none the less sincere and convincing, and the gallant soldier was evidently greatly pleased at his reception.

It was understood that Sergt Somers would arrive from London at 5.45 p.m, and Mr J J McKinnell, chairman of the Rugby Urban District Council ; Colonel Johnstone, recruiting officer at Rugby, and other prominent townsmen, agreed to meet him at the station, whilst arrangements had also been made for the Steam Shed Band to lead the way, via Railway Terrace, Craven Road, and Cross Street, to his host’s house in Corbett Street, a landau having been chartered for the conveyance of Sergt Somers and others specially interested in the reception.

Those present on the platform to welcome Sergt Somers included : Messrs J J McKinnell (chairman), W Flint (vice-chairman), S B Robbins, A W Stevenson, H Yates, W H Linnell, R W Barnsdale, C J Newman, T Ringrose (members of the U.D.C), Mr A Morson (clerk to the Council), Lieut-Colonel F Johnstone (recruiting officer), Messrs L Aviss, M E T Wratislaw, F M Burton, E H Roberts, and T W Walton (Parliamentary Recruiting Committee). These gentlemen having been introduced to the gallant soldier, they proceeded to the exit gates, where a dense crowd, numbering several thousands, had gathered, and the moment the youthful hero, wearing the small bronze cross, for which a man will risk so much, appeared beneath the arcade, the people raised cheer after cheer, which were repeated with gusto by those at the back when they caught sight of his boyish figure in the landau. Others present in the vehicle were : Lieut-Colonel Johnstone, Mr J J McKinnell, Mr Robert Wilson Somers (Tipperary, father of Sergt Somers), and Pte Wm Divine, of 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, a part of whose leg had been blown off by a shell. Ropes were attached to the landau which was drawn by a number of stalwart admirers of Sergt Somers, preceded by the Rugby Steam Shed Band under the conductorship of Mr E R Stebbing. Mr and Mrs Burns and several members of the U.D.C followed in Mr C J Newman’s motor-car. To the strains of “ See the conquering hero comes,” the procession started up Station Road, and took the selected route to Corbett Street, the home of Mr and Mrs Burns. The streets were thronged, and it is estimated that fully 10,000 people turned out to do Sergt Somers honour ; and everywhere he was greeted with enthusiastic cheers. In Craven Road the band played ” For he’s a jolly good fellow,” but as they approached Cross Street and Corbett Street, in each of which a number of flags were flying from bedroom windows, they struck up once more, “ See the conquering hero comes.” A small decorated arch had been erected outside Mrs Burns’ house, and streamers were strung across the street, and a motto over the gateway bore the inscription, “ Welcome V.C.”

A CONGRATULATORY SPEECH.

Mr McKINNELL, addressing the crowd from the landau, said : We are here to pay honour to a brave man-who has achieved the greatest distinction any Britisher could wish to achieve. To get the Victoria Cross is any man’s highest ambition. We are very glad to welcome him home safe and sound, and we hope he may wear that bronze cross for many years to come. Not only do we honour Sergt Somers, but we honour his comrades, who used to pass through our streets in the early months of this year ; and we honour particularly those brave and gallant men who have fallen on the field of battle, and who will never come back again (hear, hear).

Sergeant Somers then entered the house, where a number of friends who had known him during his stay in Rugby were assembled to welcome him, including Pte Nestor, of the same regiment, who is wounded.

Lieut-Colonel JOHNSTONE congratulated the father of Sergt Somers upon having such a brave son.

A PRESENTATION.

Mr S ROBBINS said Mrs Burns was anxious to give Sergt Somers a small memento of the occasion, so she persuaded a few friends to spare a little in order to make a present to him to remind him of his stay in Rugby.

Mrs BURNS then said, on behalf of the friends whom Sergt Somers made during his stay in Rugby, she had great pleasure in presenting him with a wrist watch. They all hoped that he would be spared for many years to serve his King and Country (applause).

Sergt SOMERS, in reply, thanked them very much for their kindness and the splendid “turnout” they had given him that evening. He was rather surprised to see such large crowds out. He wished especially to thank Mrs Burns for her kindness to him, and all who had made him that present, (hear, hear).

A telegram was handed to Sergt Somers by Mr N Mitchelson, a neighbour, who had received it from Sergt Mudd, of the same regiment. This expressed heartiest congratulations and best wishes on behalf of all the Good Templars of the regimental lodges.

HOW THE V.C. WAS WON.

Sergt Somers received the V.C at the hands of His Majesty at Buckingham Palace earlier the same day. There were 32 others who received decorations. They were officers chiefly, and his was the only V.C. amongst them. He arrived rather earlier than had been anticipated, and, in a brief interview, explained to a Rugby Advertiser representative the circumstances in which the decoration was won at the Dardanelles.

“ I shot thirty Turks single-handed,” he said, “and knocked over fifty more with bombs. I held the trench, which was full of Turks, for four hours, and hunted the enemy out of the sap trench. When I had no bombs left I threw stones and pieces of clay at them. Eventually Captain Sullivan came up and brought some more bombs, and for this he got the V.C, so you can tell what it was like.”

Sergt Somers was struck by a splinter, which knocked him into the trench and strained his back, and it was in consequence of this injury that he was invalided home. He has been in the army 3 1/2 years, and is only 21 years of age. He is a native of Clochgordon, in Tipperary, and had a wonderful reception on his return home, where he was also presented with a gift of £250. At Londonderry, too, the inhabitants turned out in thousands to greet him, but, in spite of his popularity he is modest and unassuming, and accepts the honours conferred with a quiet, good-natured smile.

SERGT SOMERS APPEALS FOR RECRUITS.

Later in the evening a large recruiting rally was held at the Clock Tower, and addressed by Sergt Somers, V.C, and other local speakers. Sergt Somers and his friends were driven from Corbett Street to the meeting-place in a landau, decorated with flags, preceded by the Steam Shed Band, and when this arrived at the Clock Tower, where a crowd of 3,000 or 4,000 was assembled, the young soldier was greeted with roll upon roll of cheering. Flags were flown from several houses around the Square. Mr J J McKinnell presided, and there were also present on the temporary platform. Lieut-Col Johnstone, Rev C M Blagden (rector), Lieut Loverock, Mr R W Somers, Mr and Mrs Burns, Messrs M E T Wratislaw, H Yates, S B Robbins, A Bell, F M Burton, G H Roberts, and several friends of Sergt Somers.

The CHAIRMAN briefly explained the purpose of the meeting, and introduced the hero of the evening to the crowd.

COL JOHNSTONE’S APPEAL.

Lieut-Col JOHNSTONE then made a strong appeal for recruits, and pointed out that we were at present fighting in France, Dardanelles, Egypt, Africa, and Persia. Their hands were full, and that was why they wanted more men—and wanted them badly. He urged them to come forward and keep the flag flying-that dear old flag which had never once been hauled down to any nation ; they must not let it now be hauled down to the Germans (applause). He asked them to come forward and do their duty like the brave young soldier, Sergt Somers, had done his (applause), by which he had set such a glorious example to the young men. Col Johnstone remarked that in his early days he was connected with the gallant regiment to which Sergt Somers belonged, and his father once commanded it. It was, therefore, a great interest and honour for him to be the one to more or less introduce Sergt Somers as a soldier to Rugby people after the brave act he had done. Col Johnstone then detailed the great act for which Sergt Somers received the V.C, and said there were 3,800[?] men of military age in Rugby, a number of whom were engaged on munition work. After deducting these, however, there were over 1,000 in the town who could, and should, come forward to defend their country. In conclusion, he appealed to the young men of the town to visit the recruiting office, and called for three hearty cheers for Sergt Somers, V.C.

These were given with enthusiast.

SPEECH BY THE RECTOR OF RUGBY.

The Rev C M BLAGDEN addressed the gathering, and said he believed all would answer the call of their country when they understood how great the need was. Their responsibilities became greater every day. Unless they had the men they could not possibly go on with the war as they ought to go on with it. They had better say their number was up already. But it was not going to be up ; they were going to respond to the need, and were going to give to the Army all the men it wanted, because, if they did not, there was an end of Britain for ever. They must not suppose that they would be able to get out of this war with any sort of comfort now that they were in it. If they did not win they were going to be beaten all through. However, they had got to win, and win handsomely, so that they would be able to dictate terms of peace. But in order to do that and win the right sort of victory to free their country and the other countries near and dear to them from this standing menace, of Prussia they must have all the men who were capable of shouldering a rifle. Sergt Somers had proved to them what British troops could do, and there was no man who took service in his Majesty’s Army who would not have the opportunity of proving his manhood before the world.

The Rector then alluded to the number of men who had gone from Rugby—some never to return—and said if they did not get the men they would not go forward on the path of triumph which assuredly laid open before them if they got the Armies for the purpose. He urged them to come how, and not wait. Delay was always dangerous ; it would be fatal to the honour of their country now (applause).

SERGT SOMERS’ MANLY APPEAL.

Sergt SOMERS, V.C, who met with an enthusiastic reception, said : “ I got rather a surprise when I arrived at Rugby and saw so many young men knocking about-thousands of them. ‘What are you doing ? ’ he demanded. ‘ Are you all asleep ? ’ I have been out to the front twice. I have been to France, Flanders, and the Dardanelles, and am nothing the worse for it. I have got honour, in fact (applause), and I will go out again (renewed applause). I am going to keep the Union Jack flying (applause). Is there anyone coming to help me ? If I am left all alone who is going to back me up ? I have been to London to-day to see his Majesty the King (applause), who presented me with this decoration (here Sergt Somers, amid loud cheers, pointed to the Cross pinned on his breast). I have come down from London to Rugby to see if I can get any young men to back me up. I am going to the front again, and I want someone to back me up (a voice : ‘Have the women,’ and laughter). Unfortunately I am going away to-night. I am going off to Belfast to see what I can do there. ? I am going to see if I can get any recruits there, to see if they will back me up. If no one backs me up here I must go there. There are a lot of you young men working at munition works, and the old men are sitting at home. Why don’t the old men work on munitions and the young men join the colours ? (applause). I know that when young men are asked to enlist they make the excuse that they are working on munitions. I have been told it myself (a voice : ‘Let the women do it,’ Sergt Somers : Hear, hear). We also want the men who are doing nothing, walking about the streets from corner to corner, and lounging about the public-houses. ‘ Is there anyone,’ he asked, ‘ who will back me up ? . Is there anyone in favour of me, anyone coming with me ? ’ I say, ‘ Young men of Rugby, for God’s sake get into khaki if you have a drop of blood in your body. For the honour of your King and country join the Army.’ The gallant speaker mentioned that he saw the Zeppelins dropping bombs in London the previous evening, and that day had seen the damage which was done.

Mr H YATES (secretary of the Rugby Trades and Labour Council) also addressed the meeting, and said he was an out-and-out advocate of the voluntary system ; but if the voluntary system did not find the men he was out for national service and for every man who was physically able to serve (applause). He reminded them that if the Labour party’s scheme failed the only alternative was conscription. He did not want conscription ; he wanted them to win the war with the grand voluntary system, but the war must be won (applause). The call now was for more, and more men.

Mr G H ROBERTS and Mr M E T WRATISLAW having spoken, the meeting terminated with “ God save the King ” and “ For he’s a Jolly good fellow ” ; and as Sergt Somers and his friends drove off to the station the band played “ See the conquering hero comes.”

 

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

The following have been attested at the Rugby Drill Hall during the past week 😀 W Press and L C Kendrick, A.S.C (M.T) ; H J Askew, R.E ; D W Bates and S G Eliott, A.S.C ; L E Webb, 220th Company R.E ; A C Dandridge, F J Harrison (gunner), and J Johnson, R.F.A ; H Turney and A Adams, R.A.M.C.—All branches of the service are now open for recruits, and Sergt Patterson, at the Drill Hall, will be pleased to give many information to intending recruits.

So far the result of the great recruiting rally at the Clock Tower on Thursday evening has been nil, but hopes are expressed that when the eligible men have thought the matter over and allowed the stirring appeal of Sergt Somers and the other speakers to sink into their minds, recruiting locally will receive a marked impulse.