26th Jan 1918. Airman falls from an Aeroplane

AIRMAN FALLS FROM AN AEROPLANE.

On Tuesday morning a shocking aeroplane accident, as the result of which Second-Lieut Harold Griffith Nelson (25), a Canadian officer, lost his life, occurred near Rugby. He had been flying for nearly an hour, and when at an altitude of about 2,000ft. he was seen to fall from his machine. His body was terribly mangled, and death must have been instantaneous. The aeroplane continued its flight, and came to earth about three-quarters of a mile away. The cause of the accident has not been ascertained, and it is not known whether Lieut Nelson had strapped himself in in accordance with the rules of the Service.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Sergt J R Sacree, 10th Rifle Brigade, late assistant to Mr C T Tew, who has been missing since November 30th, is now reported a prisoner of war in Germany. This is the fourth time he has been wounded. He has won the Military Medal, and was again recommended in September last.

The younger son of Mr T Pearman, of Ryton-on-Dunsmore, has recently been promoted to the rank of Captain. He is now with his regiment in Italy.

Major T E Manning, Yeomanry, who previously captained the Northamptonshire Cricket Club, has left his regiment to take on duty as an Assistant Provost Marshal with the British troops in Italy. Major Manning was mobilised with his regiment at the outbreak of war.

Capt J H Lee, 2/1 London Regiment, who was awarded the Military Cross at last summer, has been wounded in eight places, but is making good progress. He was employed in the B.T.H Test at the time he was granted a commission in May, 1915 he was also a member of the Albert Street Congregational Church Choir.

Lieut H A Holder, of the B.T.H Drawing Office, has been promoted Captain (R.G.A). He was wounded in June last, and has now returned to the B.EF. During his stay in England Captain Holder married Miss Nancy Sleath, of Clifton-on-Dunsmore.

RUGBY PRISONERS OF WAR FUND.

The following in an extract from a letter from the North Staffordshire Regiment Prisoners of War Association to Hon Secretary of the Rugby Prisoners of War Committee :—

“ The work your committee is doing is wonderful, for we know that it not an easy matter to support local men of different regiments.”

Four additional local prisoners of war have been added this week, bringing the number up to 83. The cost to provide for these men—men from our own district—is now £230 6s 6d every four weeks.

BRAVE HILLMORTON SOLDIER DECORATED.

A pleasing ceremony was performed at the usual parade of the Rugby V.T.C on Sunday afternoon, when Lt-Col F F Johnstone, as Commanding Officer of the 2nd Batt. Warwickshire Volunteer Regt, presented Driver F Davies, R.F.A, of Hillmorton, with the Military Medal, which had been awarded him for distinguished conduct in the field under shell fire. The ceremony took place at the Howitzer Battery Drill Hall, in the presence of a fairly large company. Driver Davies was accompanied by his mother, sisters and friends, and there were also present Lieut C J Newman, Mr H Yates and Mr T Ringrose (members of the Rugby Urban District Council).

Before making the presentation Lieut-Col F F Johnstone addressed the company, and said wherever such a presentation could be made it was customary to make it before a parade of soldiers, so that the example set by one brave man could be followed by others when the opportunity arose ; and he had, therefore, taken the occasion of that parade to present Driver Davies with the medal. He then read the official description of the deed for which the medal had been awarded, from which it appeared that on April 9, 1917, a shell fell on the ammunition wagon in front of the wagon Driver Davies was driving, and a comrade, Driver Hook, was pinned under his horse. Driver Davies’s horse was also wounded, and fell on Hook. Davies was pitched into the road, but he got up and went to the assistance of his friend, and got him into a place of safety. Col Johnstone then pinned the medal on the breast of the brave young fellow, and having shaken hands with him, continued: “ The attributes of a good soldier are five, and all commence with the letter c, viz, courage, commonsense, cheerfulness, cleanliness, and cunning. He thought they might congratulate Driver Davies on possessing most of these and upon having done his duty as a right down good, brave young man and soldier, a credit to his battery and also to the town from which he came. He was again leaving for the front on Tuesday night, and they all wished him all good luck and a safe was return.”

Hearty cheers having been given for Driver Davies, his mother was presented to Col Johnstone, who shook her warmly by the hand, saying: “ It is the women like you, the women with sons like this, who are winning this War for us.”

Before joining the Army Driver Davies was employed in the tinsmiths’ shop the B.T.H.

NAPTON.

MUCH sympathy is extended Mr & Mrs Frederick Sheasby, sen, of Napton, in the death of their youngest son, Horace, at the age of 19 years. He was wounded in France on December 30th and taken to hospital, but never regained consciousness. He lived with Mr Mushing, of Lower Farm, Napton, for four years, and was a most trustworthy servant and cheerful with everyone.

RUGBY NOT A MUNITION AREA.

At a meeting of the Rugby Food Control Committee on Monday evening Mr Geo Cooke, a representative of the Rugby Trades and Labour Council, stated that the Ministry of Munitions had refused to create Rugby a munition area, which would have had the effect of preventing the eviction under any circumstances of men engaged on munition work.

THE FOOD SHORTAGE.

During the week-end the meat and margarine queues were again in evidence. The supply of margarine was smaller than usual, and many bitter complaints were made of the inadequacy of the purchases, which were only secured in many instances after dreary waits in the cold and slush. On Friday morning an angry crowd besieged one grocer’s shop under the mistaken belief that a quantity of margarine was in stock. The Executive Officer, Mr F M Burton, was summoned to the scene, and he explained the situation to the people. In order to minimise the disappointment of the crowd as far as possible, the proprietor decided dispose of his stock of jam, and for about an hour Mr Burton was busily engaged handing out the pots to the people, who subsequently dispersed in “ sweeter ” humour.

The butchers’ shops were the centres of interest on Saturday, and the shop-keepers and their assistants spent a very anxious time. Several of the traders worked till late Friday night cutting up their meat into the very smallest quantities, and even those who were lucky enough to be supplied only received infinitesimal amounts. One large establishment, containing 70 persons, was allowed 17lbs ; while many other large establishments had to be content with even less than this, in one case the supply working out at 1½ozs per person, including bone. The situation was rendered more serious by the total disappearance of rabbits, which, it was noted, coincided with the fixing of the maximum price, and all the shops were cleared out at a very early hour. The meat shortage caused a run on the fishmongers’ establishments, and small herrings, kippers, and bloaters were eagerly snapped up at 6d each, other fish fetching proportionately high prices.

NO SUGAR FOR JAM MAKING.—The Chairman of the Royal Commission on the Sugar Supply (Sir Charles Bathurst, M.P) desires to make it known that, as it will probably be impossible during the present year to make special issues of sugar to private fruit growers for the making of jam for their own home consumption, the latter would well advised to begin saving as much sugar as possible out of their own domestic rations for the above purpose. Such saving will not constitute hoarding.

POTATO BREAD.—A general notice on the use of potatoes in the manufacture of bread removes any limit to the percentage of potatoes that may be used in the manufacture of bread. As it is essential that such a general use is secured in order to conserve cereal supplies, it is the intention of the Ministry to issue at an early date an Order making the use of a certain percentage of potatoes compulsory, and as such an Order would apply to bakers and domestic bread makers alike, all makers of bread are advised at once make such arrangements as will enable them to comply with the requirements of the Order when issued.

DR DAVID’S THREAT TO CLOSE RUGBY SCHOOL.

The meat question was discussed fully at a meeting of the Local Food Control Committee, presided over by Mr T A Wise on Monday evening, when it was intimated that unless more meat could be provided, Dr David had threatened to close Rugby School.

Mr Burton (the Executive Officer) reported that there was a very serious shortage of meat in the town last week and the inspectors of three of the foreign meat shops in the town called upon him, and stated that if they were granted permits they could send more than their 50 per cent. of meat to their shops. He accordingly granted the permits.—This action was approved.—Mr Burton also reported that that afternoon he had received an application for a similar permit from one of firms, and he had promised to bring the matter before the committee. The position locally that day was that the Rugby urban and rural butchers were 17 beasts short of their 50 per cent., and the town butchers alone only got 51 sheep out of the 108 required. It was, therefore, much worse than last week.—It was decided to grant the permit, and to give the Executive Officer discretionary powers to grant others which he might deem necessary.—Mr Reeve asked how the English butchers stood if they could get extra supplies ? He could have sold more sheep last week, and he thought if the foreign butchers were allowed this privilege the English vouchers should be treated similarly provided they could get the sheep. He had eight sheep which he was willing to kill if he could do so.—The executive officer said he failed to see how the English butchers could do this, because they were limited as to their supplies, which have to be purchased through the auctioneers.—Mr Reeve said he bought these sheep several weeks ago ; but the Executive Officer reiterated his opinion that the sheep would have to be sold through the auctioneers.—Mr Reeve said he should not send them, because if he did, and he bought them, he would have to pay 3s 6d on each of them, he would also have to pay an additional 1s 6d because he was the vendor.—Mr Stevenson suggested that they write to Lord Rhondda to have the matter cleared up.—Mr Reeve also expressed the opinion that the Rugby butchers should be allowed to have their 50 per cent before other butchers received anything. In the past the big towns had largely relied on foreign meat, and now they were trying to get some of the supplies which should belong to other towns.—Mr Gay enquired whether live stock was being killed in Rugby and the carcasses sent out of the town ?—Mr Reeve replied that he had been in the habit of killing a number of beasts and sheep each week, and sending the carcasses away ; but he could not do this last week because of the shortage of meat.—Mr Burton : Then that is to the benefit of Rugby.—Mr Reeve differed from that view, and pointed out that when he sent meat away he retained all the offal, which people were very pleased to purchase.—Mr Gay thought it unfair that the town should be limited as to its supplies and for a portion of these to be sent away.—The Chairman, however, pointed out that it was Mr Reeves’ duty to continue to send meat away if he could get it. The government’s idea was that all customers should receive 50 per cent. of the supplies they were getting in October.—Mr Burton said, strictly speaking, a butcher who had been selling wholesale could not refuse to sell, otherwise the aggrieved firm would have a claim upon him. He pointed out that the foreign meat companies were in a different position to the English butchers because they received their meat frozen, and did not have to go into the open market to buy it.—Mr Cooke enquired if the additional supply could be distributed amongst the English Butchers ; but Mr Burton replied in the negative. He added that he had impressed upon the managers the necessity of cutting down their customers to 50 per cent., and not to serve them with the full 100 per cent.

THE B.T.H CANTEEN.

It was reported that, as a result of several consultations with the auctioneer vice-chairman (Mr W Howkins), the manager of the B.T.H canteen, and two other butchers, the permit of a butcher had been increased by 500lbs per week, so that he could supply meat to the B.T.H Canteen. This allowed 2ozs (uncooked) for each meal. The Executive Officer, however, understood that the butcher in question was unable to obtain this amount.—The Chairman stated that the manager of the canteen was very dissatisfied with the supplies, and complained that he could not serve all the dinners required. He (the Chairman) fully explained the situation, and pointed out that with the present shortage of meat they could not expect to get their full supply. He asked if it was expected that the B.T.H was to receive all the meat in Rugby, and other people were to go without.—Mr Mellor pointed out that in the staff restaurant they were having two meatless days per week, and there was a feeling that all the meat was being sent to the canteen in the works.

The caterer to Messrs Willans & Robinson’s also wrote complaining of the inadequate supplies of meat ; and in view of the increasing number of people dining at the works, asking that a local butcher be given a permit to supply them with 300lbs daily.—The butcher in question informed the committee that he had not accepted the offer to supply them, because he did not wish to take the trade from a colleague.—The whole question was referred to the Food Controller.

With reference to the Chester Street communal kitchen, the Divisional Commissioner wrote stating that such institutions deserve every encouragement, and authorising the committee to use their discretion as to the amount of meat to be apportioned for their use.—Miss A V Fenwick wrote stating that their requirements were 50lbs of meat daily, 10s worth of bones for soup, and 6lbs of lard or fat per week.—It was decided to give a permit for this amount.

RUGBY SCHOOL MEAT SUPPLY.

The Auctioneer-Chairman for the District wrote that he had received a complaint from Mr David, stating that the ration of meat proposed to be allowed to Rugby School was not nearly enough, and threatening, if he could not get a bigger supply, to close the School. He had wired to the Food Controller on the matter, and the only satisfaction he could get was a wire as follows :—“ Refer Headmaster of Rugby School to Food Control Committee.” It seemed to him a serious matter, and he thought the school should not be closed. He asked the committee to see what could be done, and suggested that they should see the Headmaster and ascertain what his minimum requirements were.—In a letter Dr David said he had not complained that the ration of meat supplied to the School was not nearly enough. If as he was told the ration was 2lbs, it was, in his opinion, sufficient, and even if it was not so it was not for them to complain. His complaint was that the four School butchers were not allowed to buy sufficient meat to supply anything like this ration. He therefore asked that their purchasing permits should be altered so as to allow them to send the requisite amount within that scale. With this they were perfectly prepared to be content. He could not say the minimum amount that was required.—The Chairman stated that they had sent round to all the schools and boarding-houses to ascertain what meat they received in October, so that by that means they could have the basis of their normal supplies. Returns had been received from 18 schools concerning 1,086 persons, and the meat consumption was 2,948½lbs. Some, however, had included pork pies, sausages, brawn, rabbits, game, &c, while others had not. This worked out at an average of about 2¾lbs per head per week, and he took it that the butchers could not now supply anything like that quantity.—Mr Reeve : It is impossible at the present time.—Mr Stevenson : That is more than the majority of people get in the town.—The Chairman : Under the rationing scheme boys are entitled to 3lbs of meat per week. As a munition and educational centre, he thought they should be entitled to more meat, and it was unanimously decided to support Dr David in his efforts to obtain more for the town.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
NOTICE TO CORRESPONDENTS.
FAIRNESS TO ALL.—Too late for insertion this week, but you will see by reports of Food Control Committee meeting in this issue that a rationing scheme is to put in force in Rugby.

DEATHS.

FEVERS.—In loving memory of WILLIAM, the eldest son of Mr. & Mrs. Fevers, of Woolscott, near Rugby, who was killed in action on April 11, 1917. Aged 24.
“ Oh ! how sadly we shall miss him,
There will be a vacant place.
We shall never forget his footsteps,
Or his dear familiar face.”
—From his loving Father, Mother, Sister & Brother.

IN MEMORIAM.

CHATER.—In loving memory of my dear son, Pte. W. T. CHATER, who was killed at Mesopotamia on January 23, 1917.—From Father, Mother, Brothers & Sisters.

COLLIER.—In loving memory of AMY ELIZABETH, wife of Samuel Collier, who passed away on January 20, 1914 “ At rest.”—Also of WILLIAM CHARLES COLLIER, eldest son of above, who was killed in action in France on October 9, 1917 ; aged 39 years.

McDOWELL.—In ever-loving memory of WILLIAM McDOWELL, 1st Inniskilling Fusiliers, who was killed in action on January 27, 1917.
“ There is a link death cannot sever ;
Love and remembrance last for ever.”
—Sadly missed by his Wife.

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8th Jan 1916. Pigeons on War Service

PIGEONS ON WAR SERVICE

WARNING AGAINST SHOOTING

Attention is called by the War Office to the fact that a large number of carrier or homing pigeons are being utilised for naval and military purposes, and that recently many of these birds have been shot at and killed or wounded when homing to their lofts.

The public are earnestly requested to exercise the greatest care to avoid repetition of such unfortunate incidents, and are warned that persons convicted of wilfully shooting such birds are liable to prosecution.

Persons who are unable to distinguish with certainty carrier or homing pigeons on the wing from wood pigeons, doves, and the like, should refrain from firing at any birds of these species.

Any person who finds any carrier or homing pigeon dead or incapable of flying from wounds, injuries, or exhaustion is earnestly requested immediately to take the bird to the nearest military authorities or to the police, or if unable to secure the bird he should immediately give information to one or other of those authorities.

Information regarding the shooting of such birds should be given to the same authorities.

LOCAL WAR NOTES

Lieut C T Morris Davies, of Rugby – the Welsh international hockey player, and Captain of the Rugby Hockey Club – who has been in France for about ten months, is now on a week’s leave from his regiment, the 6th Warwickshire. He visited Rugby on Saturday last on his way to his home near Aberystwyth. The hardships of trench life do not seem to have affected his health, as he was looking exceedingly well.

L-CORPL W H ADAMS, OF DUNCHURCH, PRESUMED TO BE DEAD.

This week Mr and Mrs H Adams, of Dunchurch, received a communication from the Government to the effect that as no further news had been received concerning Lance-Corpl William Henry Adams, of the 2nd R.W.R, who has been missing since about October 20th, 1914, it was presumed that he was killed at about that date. The usual letter of condolence was enclosed. Lance-Corpl Adams, who was 24 years of age, had served nearly seven years in the Army, and had secured a first-class certificate for signalling. At the front he acted as a bicycle despatch rider, but had only been in France a week or two before he met his death. Some time ago the parents received news that their son was a prisoner at Gottingen, Germany, but inquiry being made it was ascertained that this was not so.

WELL-KNOWN JOCKEY INTERNED IN GERMANY

Mr and Mrs Davies, of Lower Street, Hillmorton, have since the outbreak of the war been anxiously waiting for news of their son, Fred Davies, who was in Germany in the summer of last year and was interned there. At last a letter has been received from him by his sister, living in Surrey. He is interned at Ruhleben, and writes to acknowledge the safe arrival of a top coat, which he says “fits a treat and is very warm.” At night the coat is used as a blanket for his bed. He adds that he is now all right for clothes, but would much appreciate condensed milk, butter, sugar, a bit of cheese, or a little tin of salmon. As a jockey Fred Davies has done well, having finished second on the list in that country. He was riding for Mr Beit, a Hamburg owner of race horses, when diplomatic relations were broken off between this country and Germany, with the result that, with many others in Germany at the time, he was detained.

OLD MURRAYIAN’S LETTER

Sapper Geo A Golby, a former scholar at the Murray School, and an “Over” Prize man, in a letter to Mr W T Coles Hodges from the front says: “I have been out here since early in October, and have got quite used to the shells, etc, screaming over my head… I look forward to receiving the Rugby Advertiser every week, and am always pleased when I see the name of one of my old school chums in the list of recruits. I think by the number of names I have seen that our school is doing its share to free the world of these barbarians, and I am sure that if those who have not enlisted could just have a glimpse of this country, they would not hesitate for a minute. Only this morning we passed about a dozen old people (all between 60 and 70 years of age, I should think) whom the Germans had shelled out of their homes. It is a sight such as these that make us so anxious to get at the Huns. .. I am pleased to say we are having a spell of fine weather just now, and goodness only knows we want it, as we are nearly up to our knees in mud in some places. This is the only thing to complain of out here; the food is extra.”

Pte George Leach (“Bogie”), another Old Murrayian, who is at present in the Near East, in a letter to his old headmaster, says: It is most interesting to see some of the natives with their garbs and costumes, and their methods of transport with market wares, which vividly remind me of the Biblical times we read about.

FROM AN OLD ST MATTHEW’S BOY

The following extract from letters of an “old boy” of St Matthew’s School to Mr R H Myers, headmaster, will be read with interest:-

Sergt Frank Chater, serving with the Nigerian Forces, writes: ” I have now been in the Cameroons some time. When I reached Africa I disembarked at Lagos, caught a train for there the same night, and after two nights and one day on the train, reached Minna. I rested there for a day, then did another day’s train journey to Baro, where I got on a steam boat and went up the River Niger to Lokaja. I stayed a coupe of days at Lokaja, then got on the River Benue and had a fourteen days’ run to Yola. The river journey is the reverse of pleasant, owing to the close proximity of the natives in a small boat. The smell from them and the engines combine to make a most uncomfortable time to be a white man. I remained three days in Yola, and then started on a fifteen days’ trek through the bush, to join the column at a place called Mora in the Cameroons. I rather fancy this is a record journey for a newcomer to the country. I turned out for action the same day that I reached the column, but nothing happened. On the following night we stormed the German position, which is on the top of a mountain. It was a terrible job, but after climbing all night up and over rocks, some of which seemed like the side of a house, we nearly reached the top by daybreak. The Germans gave us a warm reception, and we charged to try and take the fort. We were repulsed, though, and had to retire and take cover behind rocks, where we managed to hold on till dark, being neither able to advance or retire. However, under cover of darkness we managed to get away. I was fortunate to get off safely. One officer was killed and another wounded, and native soldiers were hit all round. We have now given up the idea of taking the place by assault, and are trying to starve them out. .. This scrapping in the Cameroons is not all honey by a long way. Here is a sample of my job. outpost duty in the bush, with 30 native soldiers, no one to talk to, and never knowing when you may run into German sniping parties, and the only water to be had from a filthy old well, which anyone at home would shudder to look at. Just now I am better off, being in charge of a small fort on a hill. We are, however, uncomfortably near to the German position, and they keep potting away if you try to move, so that the only chance of exercise is in the dark.

We are at the end of a range of mountains running down to the coast, and beyond the mountains is Lake Chad, only about three weeks’ trek from here. The people are all pagans, and the hill tribes are rather a poor type of native. All they wear is a goatskin round their loins. They will do anything for the white man, and appear to like the English, but we know that they supply the Germans with food and water so it is no good trusting them.

 

RUGBY FOOTBALL MATCH NEAR THE TRENCHES.

A Rugby football match between “ A ” and “ C ” Companies of the 1st/7th Warwicks was played near the trenches in France recently, which ” C ” Company won by a try. The teams were :—

“ C ” Company : R Edwards ; L Dewis, A Bale, P Hammond, Lance-corpl E Iliffe ; A Loave, Drummer W Newman ; W Arnold, S Cross, G Clarke, A Rose, W Salmons, W Gibbs, F Lombard, I Walden.

“ A ” Company : Lieut Field ; Faulkes, Sergt Atkinson, Redfern, S O Else ; West, Ralph ; Eyden, Corpl Caldicott, Corpl Goode, Prentice, Wykes, Adams, Dunn, A N Other.

MORE DAMAGE BY THE WIND.-On Saturday evening, during a recurrence of the gale, several trees on the Coventry Road between Dunchurch and the Station were blown down, and a great deal of damage was done to the telephone wires. In several places all of them were broken down. At Bilton Grange all the fancy work on the top of the vinery and glass houses for a length of between forty and fifty yards was torn away, doing great damage to the glass. Several trees also came down, and the household were very much alarmed. At Mr. Loverock’s Farm, between Dunchurch and Rugby, a wheat rick was blown over, and several sheaves of corn were carried the length of three fields away. The gale also did great damage to the roof of the wagon hovel.

 

Davies, David Claud Graham. Died 15 May 1915

David Claud Graham Davies was born in Llanrwst in 1892. His parents were Thomas John Davies and Annie Louisa (nee Graham) who married at Weston Point in Cheshire in 1890. A younger son James Reginald was born in 1893 and it is possible that Thomas John died in 1894, aged 46.

In 1901 census Annie L Davies head, widow, aged 35 was a Boarding house keeper at 25 Albert Road, South Manchester. She was born in Birkenhead. David was aged 9 and James 8, both born Llanwrst One of several lodgers was Hynek Zaloudek, a ladies tailor, born in Bohemia.

Later that year Annie married her lodger and by 1911, she was living at 72 Mostyn St, Llandudno, N Wales. Two children, Robert and Herbert were listed, and stepson James Reginald Davies an engineering student aged 18. Hynek Zaloudek cannot be found. David (listed as Claude) was boarding with Alfred William Smith at 23 Charlotte Street, Rugby. He was aged 19 and, along with three other young men, was an electrical engineer at British Thompson Houston Co.

By the time the war started Claud Davies was charge hand in the Electrical Laboratory at the B.T.H Works. During his stay in Rugby, he distinguished himself as an athlete. He was a very useful member of the Rugby Hockey Club; he was a motor cyclist, and also distinguished himself as a runner, winning numerous prises at the B.T.H and other sports. He was very popular among his numerous friends.

David Claud Graham Davies. Photo from Rugby Advertiser

Whilst going through an electrical course at Bangor University, he joined the Officers’ Training Corps there, and got his certificate as a lieutenant. On coming to Rugby he, of course, gave up his connection with the corps; but early last year (1914) he received a communication from the War Office asking if he would care to join the Officers’ Reserve. He agreed to do so, was re-examined, and accepted. Subsequently he was gazetted as a second lieutenant, and was called to Woolwich early in September. He went to the front on December 11th, being attached to the 1st Siege Battery.

David Claud Graham Davies 2nd Lieut 1st Siege Battery Royal Garrison Artillery died of wounds in the field hospital. He was buried in the Town Cemetery, Bethune.

A report in the Rugby Advertiser of 22nd Mar 1915 states:

Previous to receiving his fatal wounds, Lieut Davies had several hair breadth escapes. Comrades had fallen all around him; his food even had been shot away, and he had had to subsist for a day on concentrated tablets. In his letters to friends he had expressed amazement that he should have escaped, but the communications to his mother were more guarded in tone. With the sad tidings of his death on Saturday came a letter, written on the 13th inst, stating that he was very busy and had had little sleep. He described a good meal that had just been provided, and said he expected to be fighting right through the night, and then would have a long sleep – a prediction that has unfortunately proved only too true. Second Lieut Davies was 23 years of age. He has a brother who is also at the war, but attached to a different battery.

He was awarded Victory medal, British War Medal and 15 Star.

David Claud Graham Davies appears on the BTH Memorial, as well as the Rugby Memorial Gates

His mother appears in early Rugby directories as Mrs A L Zaloudek, later as Mrs Davies of 15 Holbrook Avenue, Rugby.

 

 

 

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

8th May 1915. Exciting Times in the Trenches

EXCITING TIMES IN THE TRENCHES

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

A RUGBY SOLDIER IN A FAMOUS CHARGE.

HOW MICHAEL O’LEAREY WON HIS V.C.

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

WITH THE RUGBY INFANTRY CO.

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

LOCAL WAR CASUALTIES.

NEW BILTON GUARDSMAN A PRISONER.

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

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

The Warwickshire Yeomanry have arrived at Alexandria.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“ OUR SOLDIERS ” IN THE DARDANELLES.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

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

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