25th Mar 1916. Two Anniversaries

TWO ANNIVERSARIES.

WHAT A K.O.S.B. THINKS OF THE CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR.

Friday. March 17th, was the anniversary of the day in 1915 on which the K.O.S.B, and other regiments which were billeted in Rugby left their quarters to proceed to the Dardanelles. They formed part of the 29th Division, which earned immortal fame by their brave and arduous fighting at the landing at Gallipoli in the following April, and onwards through that ill-starred campaign. Of that Brigade, which left Warwickshire 20,000 strong after being reviewed by the King on the London Road at Stretton-on-Dunsmore, we are informed only about 1,000 sound men remain. The remnants of the K.O.S.B are at their depot in the North of England, and one of them—a sergeant—writing to a friend in Rugby, says :—

“ I am writing this so that it will reach you on Friday, 17th, the anniversary of ‘The Day’ we left Rugby to do a bit of ‘strafing.’ What a lovely time we had in Rugby. The two months we were there will always remain in the minds of the remaining members of the 1st Battalion The King’s Own Scottish Borderers, as the happiest time they have spent during their years of soldiering. One can scarcely believe that a battalion arriving straight from India to England, with perhaps a tendency to run wild owing to the majority having been away for years, could have been fostered and cared for, and our every comfort looked to, amongst utter strangers, in the kindly and homely manner in which you people of Rugby did. To sum the whole lot up, it was absolutely home. After our own homes, Rugby took second place in our thoughts whilst on service, and we came to the conclusion that both places were the finest in the world and were worth scrapping for. What do you think of the Conscientious Objectors ? It is hardly believable that there are such THINGS calling themselves men in this world. Let them take a look into the jungle, and they will very soon find that it is natural for all things, great or small, living in this world, to defend to the death their homes and families, and especially if the Conscientious Objector makes any attempt to harm or interfere in any way whatsoever, he will jolly quick find out that his presence and interference are objected to by another sort of Conscientious Objector, who is quite willing to fight and if need be, give life itself in the protection of its offspring. Just fancy any man saying it would be against his conscience to assist any person wounded by the explosion of a bomb from a Zep. That means to say, that if his own mother or sister, and if he be married, perhaps his little infant son or daughter, were lying wounded with a main artery severed, he would stand there heedless of their cries, watching them die, when a very little attention on his part would help to stop the bleeding till a doctor came, and perhaps be the means of saving their lives. On other hand, if he himself was wounded by same bomb, what would become of him if all the doctors were Conscientious Objectors ? He would lie there howling and shouting for all manner of curses and evil things to descend upon and make the life intolerable for the doctor who professes Conscientious Objection. Others say that they object to killing of any kind, going so far as to say they refrain from eating anything that has been bled or killed to supply his food. How many times have they eaten eggs, thereby killing the fruit of flesh and blood, and also killing what would eventually have matured to a thing of flesh and blood. Let them go across to Flanders or to Egypt and Mesopotamia. There they will find hundreds of thousands of the right sort of Conscientious Objectors, whose conscience pricks them very sorely to think that they are out fighting whilst a lot of COWARDS who call themselves Conscientious Objectors are doing their utmost to dodge their duty. Whilst carrying on this way, they secretly pray that Tommy will be able to keep the enemy back from them. The British soldier does not mind in the least fighting for the Conscientious Objector’s sisters, his mother, father, or small brothers, but he conscientiously objects to fighting for the Conscientious Objector himself. The Conscientious Objector who has taken religion on as his excuse has, I am afraid, kept the Bible more often on the shelf than on his lap open, or he would have come across various passages which are against him.”

The writer concludes :—“Dear Mr —-, You might have this put in the Rugby paper if you think fit to let all the people of Rugby know that the ‘ Jocks’ haven’t forgotten their kindness to them, and also what a member of the ‘Immortal 29th Division’ thinks of the ‘Conscientious Coward.’”

THE 7TH WARWICKS.

It was a year on Tuesday last when the 1/7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment (Territorials) landed in France, having left England on the preceding day. Since then they have had their full share of work in the firing line, and have fully sustained the prestige of their county. We have from time to time published interesting letters from members of the Rugby contingent, and this week we received the following, dated March 14th :-

DEAR SIR,—Perhaps your readers will be interested in the doings of the 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment and the old E Company boys. They are all in the highest of spirits, and are looking the picture of health despite the terrible hardships they have all endured through the trying winter months in mud and water ; and have made themselves feared by their neighbours the Huns.

They have also been very highly praised for their splendid work out here by their Commander, and he hopes when the time for them to get to grips with the enemy arrives, they will still maintain the name they have made for themselves since they have been out here.

We are getting some sports up this afternoon among the officers and men. We enjoy ourselves when we come out for these short rests, after being in and out of the firing line for a month at a stretch. Hoping you will publish this in your paper, we remain—THREE OF THE OLD RUGBY COMPANY BOYS.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Staff-Sergeant W A Simpson, 21st Lancers, who has been awarded the D.C.M for going to the rescue of a comrade and an officer, and holding back the enemy with a revolver, is a Daventry man. He is a son of Mr P W Simpson, and grandson of the late Mr T Simpson, for many years manager of the Daventry Gas Works.

An ex-champion Public School boxer, Capt Ian D Dewar, son of Lord Dewar, one of the Scottish Lords of Session, has been killed in action. He had previously been wounded in August and September of last year. Capt Dewar when at Rugby won the Public Schools Lightweight Championship at Aldershot in 1911, and he captained the Boxing Club at Oxford.

Mr G H I Cowley, of Hertford Street, Coventry, solicitor, has joined an Officers’ Training Corps on the nomination of Colonel Courtenay, C.B, and during his absence his practice is being looked after by Mr Charles Martin, of 18 Hertford Street. Mr Cowley was educated at Rugby School, and is a member of a family having large landed interests in Northants, and is a grandson of the late Rev Charles Thorold Gillbee, M.A, D.D, for many years incumbent of the joint family livings of Barby and Kilsby.

Lance-Corpl Jack Bird, 12th K.R.R (son of Mrs Harris, 41 Now Street, New Bilton), is at present in Christ Church Hospital, Hants, suffering from a fractured collar bone and bruises, sustained as the result of the explosion of an aerial torpedo in the trenches. This is the second time that Lance-Corpl Bird has been wounded.

News was received on Monday that Pte Albert W Johnson, 9th Batt Royal Warwickshire Regt, and only son of Mrs Johnson, of 110 Abbey Street, Rugby, a widow, was killed in action on Jan 6th at Cape Holles. Pte Vertegans, also of Rugby, who was in the same section, put a cross, which he made himself, with a suitable inscription and verse thereon, at the head of his grave.

The number of men being called up locally has shown a considerable increase during the past week, and about sixty men have been passed through the Rugby Drill Hill. Of these only a small number were conscripts.

A notice about the “ starring ” of munition workers was issued by the Ministry of Munitions on Thursday night. In future men will only be exempted from military service if they are actually engaged on war work and can show that they are eligible for War Service badges ; not if they are engaged on private work and may be required for munitions work.

RUGBY TERRITORIAL ACCIDENTALLY KILLED.

Mrs Fidler, of Harborough Magna, has received intimation that her son, Pte William Fidler, was accidentally killed in France on March 7th, Pte Fidler was an old member of the E Company, and until quite recently he was attached to the Horse Transport Section. About a fortnight before his accident, however, he was transferred to the Warwickshire Infantry Brigade Machine Gun Company, and on March 7th he started out with a team of horses, which had recently arrived from a Remount Depot, and a wagon. Ten minutes afterwards he was found lying unconscious in the snow by the side of the load. He was taken in a motor ambulance to a field hospital which was close by, but, he only regained consciousness for a few minutes, and died in the evening. He was a quiet, reliable, and steady soldier, and will be much missed by his comrades. A sad feature is that he came home from the front on leave at Christmas to be married.

SERGT BALE TELLS HOW HE WON THE D.C.M.

The following letter has just come to hand from Sergt W J Bale. 2nd Royal Welsh Fusiliers, the St Matthew’s “ old boy,” whose home is in Lagoe Place, and who was included in the last list of recipients of the Distinguished Conduct Medal :-

“ On the night of Feb 8th I proceeded on patrol towards the enemy’s trenches, with one officer and six men. The duty of the patrol was to go and find out the condition of the enemy’s wire, and also to find out the strength of the enemy in a part of their trench called Mad Point. Everything went on all right until we were about twenty yards off their wire, when we were spotted by a German sentry, and heavy machine-gun and rifle fire was at once opened on us, and two of the patrol were slightly wounded. After it had got a bit quiet, we managed to get the patrol to safety, and following a short rest the officer and I went forward again to carry out the duty. We managed to get right up to the German wires, but after lying there for half an hour the officer got spotted and shot through the thigh, so that he was unable to move. Now I had my work cut out to get him and myself safely into our lines. I managed to get him on my back ; then I had to start and creep with him, which I can assure you is not an easy thing ; but after an hour’s struggle I got back to the lines with the officer. I received commendation for this, the second time in a month, and on March 16th, General Munro presented me with my D.C.M. medal ribbon.”

RUGBY SOLDIER REPORTED KILLED.

Rifleman F Pee, aged 19, who has been missing since July 30th, has now been reported killed in action on that date. His home was at 391 Clifton Road, Rugby, and before war broke out he worked in the machine shop at the B.T.H. He enlisted in the Rifle Brigade the beginning of September, 1914, and went to France the following May. He was in the liquid fire attack at Hooge on the 30th July, and was not seen afterwards. His name has been put on the Hooge Memorial.

BRAUNSTON.

INTERESTING LETTER FROM THE BALKANS.-An interesting letter has been received by his friends from one of the sixteen Braunston boys belonging to the 7th Royal Berkshire Regiment, who are now serving with the Salonika Force. After explaining how they were bivouacked on the side of a mountain in nice little dug-outs, and two in a hole, he says :-We are still getting lovely weather, and the hills are covered with wild crocuses, so you can tell it is warm. We get the papers you send, and although the news is a bit old when we get them, we sometimes read them over two or three times when we can’t get any books. I wonder how the Braunston Armlet men will like soldiering. I bet they get a surprise when they start ; but I am pleased they didn’t stay till they were dragged, although they stayed long enough. It is very interesting out here to watch the natives in their mountain villages. They are just as you read about them in the Bible—the old bullock waggons, and shepherds with their crooks, and the women carrying their water pitchers on their heads and shoulders. The men squat about in baggy trousers, and never seem to do any work. They seem quite satisfied to remain as they are, and I shouldn’t think they have advanced a bit for a thousand years.

The Prince of Wales’ National Relief Fund.—WASTE NEWSPAPER DEPARTMENT.—The organisers of the old newspaper scheme desire to draw the attention of householders and others in Rugby and surrounding districts to the collections of old newspapers which are being organised by the Boy Scouts Association in aid of the Prince of Wales’ National Relief Fund. Communications should be sent to Geo R Payne, Hon Sec Rugby Scouts Association, 13 Park Road, Rugby ; parcels to either Murray School between 9 a.m and 4 p.m, or B.T.H Troop Room, Lodge Road, 7.30 p.m to 9 p.m, Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Only morning, evening, weekly, and Sunday papers are required, Coloured paper is acceptable, but must be bundled separately.

IN MEMORIAM.

DODSON.—In loving Memory of our dear son William Ernest, who died of wounds in France, March 24th, 1915.
“ No loved one stood beside him
To hear his last farewell ;
No word of comfort did he leave
For those he loved so well.”
From his loving Father, Mother, Sister, and Brothers.

FOX.—In everlasting love and sweetest remembrance of our dear son, Norman Harry Fox, who fell in action on March 21st, 1915.
“ One year has passed, oh ! how we miss him.
Some may think the wound has healed ;
But they little know the pain and sorrow
Deep within our hearts concealed.”
His sorrowing Father, Mother, Brother and Sisters.

 

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9th Oct 1915. Casualties and Lucky Escapes

OLD STATION CASUALTIES

Casualties are reported unofficially to a number of young men who joined the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry from homes at the Old Station, Rugby.

Mrs Bates, 98 Old Station, heard from four sources last week-end that her son, Albert, who enlisted on August 11th last year, at the age of 17, had been killed. He was formerly connected with the butchering trade, and had been at the front since May. His death is attributed to the explosion of a bomb, used to shatter the gun he had charge of to prevent it falling into the hands of the enemy.

Pte John C Burch, son of Mrs Burch, 27 Old Station Square, is in Sheffield Hospital, wounded by a shell in the left leg. From the cheerful manner in which he writes, it is hoped the wound is not serious.

Another Old Station resident, Pte Sidney Smith, of the 2nd Northants Regiment, has been brought to Sheffield Hospital wounded in both legs, this being the second time he has been wounded in the war, and that his condition is regarded as serious is judged from the fact that his wife was sent for at the beginning of the week.

He was reservist, who served in the Boer War, and at the time he was called up to the Colours was employed as a platelayer on the L & N.-W Railway.

News was received at 2 Worcester Street, Rugby, on Sunday morning, that Pte F Bradley, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, was being treated in Lincoln Hospital for a shell wound in the leg.

BURIED BY A SHELL.

Pte Ernest J Jackson whose home is at 18 Old Station Square, had a narrow escape in France towards the end of last month. He had got through the charge all right, and had just returned to a dug-out for a rest, when a shell burst and buried him and nine others. Pte Jackson managed to wriggle about and work himself free. He dragged three of his comrades out, but had to leave the rest. Those who escaped crawled along, not knowing where they were going, whether into the enemy’s hands or not ; but as luck would have it, they heard voices, and found British ambulance men at hand. Pte Jackson is now in hospital at Brighton, he having been wounded in the foot by shrapnel. His shoulders are also bruised. This is the second escape he has had, as he was badly gassed in June, and had only just returned in the firing line. He is an old Elborow boy.

 

WOUNDED BY SHRAPNEL.

News has reached the town that Fred Lenton, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, who enlisted from Rugby, has been wounded in the right hand by shrapnel. His forehead and the back of his head were also struck. When he joined Lord Kitchener’s Army he was working at the B.T.H. A field card has this week been received from Will Lenton, his brother, saying that he is all right.

HILLMORTON CASUALTIES.

Information has been received at Hillmorton respecting three of the young men from the village who joined the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry and took part in the British advance. C Cashmore is reported to be missing ; Chas Chambers is slightly wounded, but his friends do not know his exact whereabouts ; whilst P Roberts has been wounded in the thigh. He is now in hospital at Boulogne, and the sister-in-charge has written to say he is going on well.

PRIVATE TOM SHONE KILLED.

As we recorded last week, Pte Tom Shone, of Newbold, has been killed while taking part in the advance on Loos on September 25th. A letter, written by the officer of the section to which Pte Shone belonged, conveyed the sad news to his parents that he had been killed by a German shell. Pte Shone was 19 years of age, and was the only son, and when he enlisted in Kitchener’s Army in September last year was serving his apprenticeship to the carpentry at Messrs Foster & Dicksee’s. He was a teacher at the Church Sunday School for some time, and also a member of the choir. He always took his usual seat amongst the choristers when home on leave, and was always ready to give a helping hand to anything for the welfare of the village. He was highly respected by all who knew him, and his untimely death is much regretted among a wide circle of friends, and much sympathy is felt with Mr and Mrs Shone and family in their sad bereavement. In the letter received by the parents the officer says :— “ He was one of the best fellows I had, and nicest, and I felt I could always trust him to carry out anything, and carry it out well. On the day before we made the attack I had decided to have him with me to take any important messages ; but the Captain of the Company knew of his work, and took him for himself. Unfortunately our Captain was killed just before starting, so your son, with three others got detached from us, and I never saw him again. I discovered from several sources that he got across to the German lines all right, and pushed straight on, passing us by mistake on the right hidden by some trees, and got right up into the furthest line the British reached, and was with another regiment. The Germans shelled this (as they did nearly everywhere else) very heavily, and he was killed by one of these shells. But he died right up in the front line, as one would quite expect from him. We have all lost a good soldier and a very nice fellow, and I for one mourn his and others’ loss, and can only offer to you and your family deep sympathy, with the assurance that he died doing his duty nobly, as I found he always did.”

SERGT. GLOVER, OF NEWTON, KILLED.

Information has been received of the death of Sergt J Glover, of the Royal West Kent Regiment, who was killed in France on the night of 14th September. He was shot through the head whilst out with the platoon on special duty, and died instantly. During his period of service in the Regular Army he served a number of years in Malta, and prior to mobilisation was a reservist (Corporal), and worked at the British Thomson-Houston Company, Rugby, where he won the esteem of all his fellow-workers with whom he came in contact. He was also a very familiar figure at the Drill Hall, Park Road, where he often visited his sister (Mrs Cleaver), and could be seen frequently assisting Sergt-Major Cleaver, with rifles, and other work. He was well-known by the members of “E” Company, but being a Reservist he was unable to join the Company.

On rejoining his unit, he was employed as an instructor, eventually attacked to the 6th Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment, promoted sergeant, and retained on instructional duties. He leaves a wife and one child, residing at Newton. An official notice of his death has been received, and his widow has received a letter from his Platoon Officer, who was unable to proceed with the regiment to France. He writes:—“ I cannot tell yon how sorry I was to get the news of your husband’s death. It came as a great shock to me, and you have my deepest sympathy. However, you must be proud in your sorrow, knowing that your husband died doing his duty to his King and Country. He was the very best sergeant I have ever met, and I was looking forward to seeing him, and the good old platoon, when they let me go to the front, which I hope will be soon. I think that you should be very thankful that in your husband’s case it must have been instantaneous death, as he was shot right through the head.”

Second-Lieut Yates, of the 6th R.W.K.R writes :—“ Sergt J Glover was killed on the night of the 14th, while superintending a working party, behind the trenches. It will be some consolation to you perhaps to know that his death was instantaneous, and due to no indiscretion, being caused by a stray bullet, which struck him full in the head, but you will find greater consolation in the fact that his splendid work with his platoon, and generally in the Company, was recognised, and admired by all ranks, and that his loss is very seriously mourned by officers, and men, not only in the Company, but also throughout the Battalion. At the same time thoroughly efficient, and popular with his men, he inspired both discipline and confidence in the men of his Platoon, of which he was sole commander for several months. As his successor in command, I can testify to the smartness and efficiency he had trained them in, and also to the grief which they felt at his loss. Sergt Glover is buried in the 6th R.W.K.R graveyard.”

The deceased was a native of Darenth, Dartford, Kent.

Another of Mrs Cleaver’s brothers was wounded earlier in the war ; three of her cousins have been killed in action ; two brothers and one brother-in-law are still at the front, and have been there from the time of the Expeditionary Force.

RUSSIAN HONOUR FOR LONG LAWFORD BOY.

A signal honour has been conferred upon an old Long Lawford schoolboy, Sergt Frank Knight, of the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoons, who has been awarded the Russian Medal of St. George, 1st Class. Sergt Knight was recently discharged from the 2nd Eastern General Hospital. He was wounded in the arm, but is now thoroughly recovered. His brother, Bert, is serving with the same regiment at the front.

RUGBY MAN PROMOTED.

Corpl Chas Flavell, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, whose parents live at 38 Plowman Street, Rugby, has been promoted to the rank of Company Sergeant-Major. A letter was received from him on Tuesday, in which he states he has come through the recent fighting all right, although many comrades have fallen.

A LUCKY ESCAPE.

Harry Favell, of the Coldstream Guards, whose home is in Plowman Street, Rugby, is now in Hospital suffering from shock caused by the explosion near him of a shell, by which three men were killed and he was blown into the air, but luckily escaped without being wounded. A short time ago this soldier was for a time incapacitated through the blowing in of a part of the trench, and it is not long since he was home on furlough. His brother, Fred Favell, who is in the Garrison Artillery, is reported to be fit and well.

RUGBY SOLDIER’S NOVEL DIARY.

Armourer Staff-Sergeant F H Dodson, of the 7th Warwicks, who is now engaged in the Central Armoury for the British force in France, has been home for a week, and returned to duty on Tuesday. His diary is unique, in that it is illustrated with quite a number of interesting objects and articles he has met with in France. The railway rack used for the transport of men and horses alike has been sketched in the diary, and there are various coloured drawings, such as kitchen stoves, a beer cart, wheelbarrow, etc, in addition to wayside shrines, an example of elaborate grotto work found on Church steeples, a windmill, a farmhouse with a dog turning a large wheel by the aid of which butter-making is carried on indoors ; also a village fire brigade station, with its primitive tools hung upon the walls. All these help to elucidate what is written in the journal, and naturally add to its value. Types of respirators used in the trenches to counteract poison gas were inspected by Armourer-Sergeant Dodson’s friends with interest, and he has a souvenir of the war in the form of a barrel of an E Company rifle pierced by an enemy bullet when projecting above the parapet of a trench.

LETTERS FROM OLD MURRAYIANS.

Mr W T Coles Hodges, headmaster of Murray School, has received the following letters from Old Murrayians serving at the front:—

Driver F Calloway, of the Artillery, writes :-“ I am sorry to see we are losing a lot of Old Murrayians ; but still, we cannot expect to keep going on without losing a few. I have the Rugby Advertiser sent out to me every week, and it is very interesting to see all the news. I have met several of my school chums since I have been out here, and they all wish to be remembered to you. We do not want for anything, and the French people are very good to us all ; but the Germans are a wicked lot, and their chief business appears to be the smashing of churches. There is one church here they have sent hundreds of shells at, but they can’t knock it to bits ; they can only fetch the corners of it off. They never managed to hit one thing-the Crucifix—you can always see them left standing bare.”

Sergt A F Duncuff, 6th Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, writes :—“ One does not easily forget the good old times when we were at school together and afterwards. I daresay I am not the only one who misses my game of football on Saturday afternoon. . . . Life in the trenches is not so bad in the fine weather, but at present we are having it rather wet, and it makes it very miserable. The trenches we were in before further down the line were palaces compared with these we are in now. . . . I have been in the trenches some time, but we still stick to the ball, as it were, and ‘play the game.’ I have met a number of ‘ old boys’ out here, and a talk about old times is very nice.”

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Major and Hon Lieut-Col Basil Hanbury has now ceased to be employed as a recruiting officer.

Second-Lieut A J Harris, son of Mr A Harris, of Dunchurch Road, Rugby, of the Royal Engineers, has been promoted to lieutenant.

The Rev R W Dugdale and the Rev G M Morgan, of the St Andrew’s Parish Church staff, who recently joined the Army as chaplains, are now “somewhere in France.”

W H Whitelaw, the old Oxford long-distance running blue, having served in the ranks of the Sportsman’s Battalion for nine months, has been gazetted second-lieutenant in the 20th King’s Liverpool Regiment, and is now stationed on Salisbury Plain.

Pte G P Lummas, of 13 Graham Road, signaller in the Oxford and Bucks, was wounded in the neck by shrapnel in the great advance on September 25th. He is now in hospital at Tunbridge Wells, and is going on nicely.

Information has been, received that Sapper T Lord, of the Royal Engineers, son of Mr T Lord, 28 Bennett Street, has been wounded in the thigh by shrapnel. The injuries are stated not to be of a serious nature ; but Sapper Lord is in hospital, and expects to be brought to England.

A concert was thoroughly enjoyed by the wounded and staff at “ Ashlawn ” Red Cross Hospital on Wednesday. It was given by the Albert Street Ladies’ Class, assisted by a few friends.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

The following have been attested at the Rugby Drill Hall during the past week :—T Gamble, Coldstream Guards ; A Bennett and C Knight, Royal Flying Corps ; E W Hemming, Royal Engineers ; S G Turner, 220th Fortress Co, R.E ; E Wheeler, Royal Engineers (driver) ; H Ogburn, Royal Warwick Regiment ; E J West, South Wales Borderers.

 

28th Aug 1915. Inspection of Rugby Fortress Company

RUGBY FORTRESS COMPANY.

INSPECTION BY CHAIRMAN OF URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL.

Members of the Rugby Fortress Company, together with many of those who have been specially interested in its formation, spent a very enjoyable afternoon at the residence of Mr and Mrs J J McKinnell on Monday afternoon. Invitations had been extended to members and officials of the Rugby Urban District Council and their wives ; to Colonel Johnstone, the recruiting officer at Rugby ; to members of the Recruiting Committee and to others who had helped Mr McKinnell in his successful efforts to raise a company of Royal Engineers for the town.

Amongst those able to attend were : The Rector of Rugby and Mrs Blagden, Mr and Mrs A E Donkin, Mr and Mrs L Loverock, Mr W Flint (vice-chairman of the Urban District Council), Mr G M Seabroke, Mr T A Wise, Mr W H Linnell, Mr Sam Robbins, Mr and Mrs J G Satchell, Miss Cook, Mr and Mrs W J Saville, Mr Allan Hand, Mr J H Sharp, Mr and Mrs Frank Hollowell, Mr James Darby, Mr and Mrs W H W Parsons, Mr Harry Tarbox, Mr J Walker, etc, etc.

The Fortress Company marched over from Rugby and arrived at Mr McKinnell’s residence four o’clock. They looked very smart and soldier-like, and a distinct credit to the town. Mr McKinnell, accompanied by Capt Kempson, inspected the Company, and then addressed the men. He said :-Officers, N.C.O’s and men of the Rugby Fortress Company of Engineers. I need not say how great an honour I take it to be allowed to make this inspection this afternoon. Of course, I am only a civilian ; but even I can see the excellent spirit and soldier-like bearing that the Company has on parade. This good result has not been achieved without a great deal of very hard and very interesting work, as you all know very well. You have been working very hard during the past few months, and Capt Kempson from time to time has expressed to me his very great gratification at the way his men were sticking to it and really trying to make themselves efficient ; and I am sure this afternoon you are all very much to be congratulated on the result of your efforts, self-denial and energy.

When I was asked some months ago to raise a Company of Engineers in Rugby, I must confess my heart failed me. But they had done it in other towns round Rugby, and I thought it would not do for us not to follow their example and not to do as well as any of our neighbours. We had then a very good reputation for recruiting in Rugby, and there were not so many men left ; and as we had to keep to particular trades it made the task still harder. But we had a most excellent Recruiting Committee and a very able secretary in Mr Hand. We owe very much indeed to Mr Hand for the work he has put into this business—and, further, from the outside, we were particularly fortunate in securing as our commander, Captain Kempson, who was given up by Dr David, and it is to him very largely the success of his Company is due. Also, we were extremely fortunate in having such efficient non-commissioned officers as instructors. Then we have to thank a good many people in the town. The builders have helped us with the loan of various portions of their plant ; and we have to thank all the inhabitants of the town, who have helped us whenever we asked them, as they have done through this trying twelve months. Whenever we asked them to come to our aid, they have given us their help continuously.

I now have only to wish you, when you go away from Rugby to do your duty to your country, God speed and the best of luck. I am quite sure you will always take pains to do credit to the good old town of Rugby. I express my great pleasure at seeing you all this afternoon, and I hope you will enjoy yourselves very much (applause).

Photographic groups were taken of the Company by Mr George A Dean, of High Street, and then tea was dispensed, during which gramophone selections were given. Following tea, cigars were handed round, Miss Dickinson contributed two enjoyable songs, and Mr Arthur Eckersley told amusing stories. Bowls and clock golf were provided, and were evidently appreciated, and in the evening Capt KEMPSON, on behalf of the Fortress Company, thanked Mr and Mrs McKinnell for their hospitality.

LETTERS FROM REMNANTS OF THE 29th DIVISION.

Driver Biddles, of the R.A.M.C, writing to the friends he was billeted with in Rugby, speaks of several narrow escapes he and his comrade have had from shells. One day they were out with two waggons when a shell burst about ten yards in front of the mules. He thought he was in for it, and hoped he would be lucky enough to be sent to a Rugby hospital, but he got between the mules, and except for being hit by some lumps of dirt, everything was all serene. He adds : “ I suppose you read the number of our casualties in the Advertiser. Aren’t they terrible, but in comparison with the enemies’ losses they are small.” The writer goes on : “ By the way, we notice articles in the Advertiser about all the different regiments that were billeted in Rugby, except the R.A.M.C. I wonder why this is, because in our own work we have done equally as much as any infantry regiment, and have been highly praised by the General. But I think we must be like the navy. We do our duty silently, but nevertheless efficiently.

Drummer P W Jeffery, of the 1st K.O.S.B, sends a letter to the Editor, under date August 5th, from the Greek hospital at Alexandria. He states that he was in the landing on April 25th, and was wounded on May 1st. On recovering he was sent back to the front and was wounded again on July 27th—so he thinks he has had his share of fighting. It is worse ten times than France. “Our poor old regiment has suffered heavily. My best chums have all been killed or wounded. Their thoughts were always of dear old Rugby and the time the people of Rugby gave us when we were there. We think there is no town in England more patriotic than Rugby. I notice the trenches and dug-outs are named after some of the streets in Rugby : ‘Worcester Square ’ or ‘ Wood Street Cave,’ as two of them were called. We are having a good time in the Greek Hospital. They can’t do enough for you, but give me ‘ Ashlawn ’ for two months. All the wounded who were in the 87th Brigade who were in Rugby send their best wishes,” He concludes : “ If one of your readers has a musical instrument-an old one-stringed violin-I should be glad of it. My address is : Drummer P Jeffery, 1st K.O.S.B, 87th Brigade, 29th Division, Greek Hospital, Alexandria, Egypt.”

NEWBOLD-ON-AVON.

MR AND MRS DODSON, of Newbold, received news on Thursday that their son, Private Horace Dodson, of the 7th South Staffordshire Regiment (Infantry) was wounded in action at the Dardanelles on August 15th. Private Dodson is the youngest son of Mr Dodson, and joined the army soon after the war commenced. His older brother (William Dodson) was killed in France a short time ago. Much sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Dodson.

FROM A RUGBY MAN WITH THE R.E. AT THE FRONT.

“ I have just found a moment or so in which I will try to describe the course of things on the 30th and till Sunday evening, when we returned to our dug-outs about eight miles from the firing-line. We had just got into a very refreshing sleep after some tiring days preceding Friday, when we were woke up by an awful noise, as if all the guns in the world were at work. We rushed out of our dug-outs, when we joined an officer, and then to business. The devils were pouring burning liquid on our fellows, who had to retire into the supports, but not without a fight for it. This started at 2.30 a.m. Our section was carrying ammunition and bombs, and it was hell while it lasted. But it is curious while you are in it, you get so excited, and then you would like to rush over the parapet at them. This lot lasted till about 9 a.m. and a few had gone west but a few thousand Germans had paid the price. We had lost the crater but our General was determined to retake it that day, and we disposed of many of the enemy that afternoon with our artillery. Then the infantry charged, but to no purpose, as they found it too hot, as Fitz poured thousands of shells on them. We drove them out, but could not take the trench, because of shell fire. Just after midnight the same thing began again, and we were held in support, which is the proper thing for R.E’s. After the inferno had quietened down we had to go and repair parapets and carry wounded out. I don’t mind fighting at night, but it is rotten on a nice day, because it does not seem natural. What do you think of the Rugby D.C.M’s ; Stent deserved his, and he will be getting a V.C yet, if he does not stop a bullet.

We have some fine little dug-outs, and I have a nice canvas bed, and a couple of blankets. We live A1 in camp ; Fresh meat every day and plum duff ; fresh butter and bacon. The only thing they don’t supply is N.B stout.”

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

A recruiting campaign has been commenced on behalf of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, which is materially below strength.

Lieut-Col Viscount Hampden, C.M.G, who is well-known in Warwickshire hunting circles, has been attached to headquarter units as Brigade Commander.

Lieut S A Hunter, second son of Mr and Mrs T Hunter, of “ Elmhurst,” Hillmorton Road, was last week gazetted captain and appointed adjutant in the 4th West Riding Howitzer Brigade.

On Sunday, August 22nd, the Bilton Brass Band played selections in the Caldecott Park, and collected in aid of the local Red Cross Hospital the sum of £1 3s, which has been duly forwarded to the hospital.

Rifleman J Bird, of the K.R.R, who has recently been drafted to the front, has written to his mother, Mrs Harris, of 41 New Street, New Bilton, and, referring to life in the trenches, says : ” It is not half so dangerous as you would think. All you have to do is to keep your head down and your eyes open, and everything in the garden is lovely.”

In our issue last week we stated that Lce-Corpl Howard, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, had been killed in action. It should have been Lce-Corpl Aris. His photograph appears on page 2 of this issue.

COMMISSION FOR MR McMURTRIE.

Mr B F McMurtrie. chief engineer for the Export Department of the B.T.H, has this week left Rugby to take up a commission in the R.F.A. Mr McMurtrie has been with the Company for a number of years, and has represented them in Japan.

NEW BILTON SOLDIER KILLED.

Mrs Fredk Lee, who is residing with Mr and Mrs Turner, 22 Campbell Street, New Bilton, has received official intimation from the War Office that her husband, Rifleman Fredk Lee, of the 8th Battalion Rifle Brigade, was killed in action on July 30th. Rifleman Lee, who was 22 years of age, was a native of Walton-on-the-Naze, Essex ; had resided at New Bilton for several years, and was employed by Messrs Willans & Robinson as a moulder. He enlisted on September 7th, and was married on April 28th last, proceeding to the front a few weeks afterwards. Much sympathy is expressed with his young widow.

FOUR SONS WITH THE COLOURS.

Mrs Iliffe, of 3 Lodge Road, Rugby, has now four sons serving with H.M Forces either by land or sea. The eldest, William, is in the Sherwood Foresters. He came home with his regiment from India in September, and has been at the front since November last. Herbert, the second son, is a sergeant in the Royal Garrison Artillery, and went out to Gibraltar in January. Arthur, the third son, has joined the Rifle Brigade, and is at the headquarters in Essex ; whilst Albert, the youngest, who is only 17, enlisted in the Royal Marines on Friday last week.

HOME ON SICK LEAVE.

Corpl Cecil Wood, of the 1st Royal Warwicks, has this week been spending a few days at his home in Campbell Street, New Bilton. He is by trade a printer, and was one of Messrs Frost & Sons’ employees who enlisted. About two months ago he was wounded in the chest by shrapnel. He spent a month in hospital in France and three weeks at a hospital in Essex, and is now nearly fit to return to active service. He was promoted to the rank of corporal at the front as the result, it is understood, of a bit of good work he accomplished ; but Corpl Wood is a modest soldier, and declines to say anything about it.

LCE-CORPL F KEELY, of the 1st Battalion King’s Royal Rifles, who was before the war employed in the pattern shop at the B.T.H Works, has been commended in their reports by his Commanding Officer and Brigade Commander to the Major-General commanding the 27th Division for distinguished conduct in the field.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

AGRICULTURAL SHOW DRAWN BLANK.

Recruiting has been very slack in Rugby during the past week. Despite the fact that there where no less than seven recruiting sergeants at the Warwickshire Show on Wednesday, not a single recruit was obtained, although there were present hundreds of eligible young men of fine physique, quite a number of whom treated the sergeants with very scant courtesy.

A pleasant contrast to this was the patriotism shown by a young man named E G Dodwell (a native of Buckinghamshire), who travelled from the Argentine Republic, where he held a good position as traffic inspector on the railway, to join the K.R.R Corps at Rugby. Other recruits during the week were :—J G Bromwich, S J Parker, and J Pursglove, R.W.R ; J Walker, Army Ordnance Corps ; and R Baines (band boy), Royal Scott Fusiliers.

 

26th Jun 1915. Warwickshire Yeomanry in Egypt

WARWICKSHIRE YEOMANRY.

EXPERIENCES IN EGYPT.

A member of the Warwickshire Yeomanry in Egypt writes :-“ Since I last wrote to you the Wayfarer party has arrived. They got into dock on May 15th, and came up to our camp the next day. They all look very well and fit and their adventures don’t appear to have injured their health in any way. They must have had an exiting time ! They say the sea was terribly rough at the time, and they also had it very rough on the journey here. The day after they arrived they were inspected by the Brigadier, who complimented them on the way they had behaved and the manner in which they had looked after the horses. I believe there were very few horses died indeed in spite of the fact that many of them were up to their bellies in water for 24 hours. We are still encamped in the same place, down by the sea, and much enjoy our bathes every morning. We need to bathe frequently here for it is nothing but dust everywhere, and it gets in one’s hair and works through one’s clothes. The flies also are a great nuisance, but as we cannot get rid of them we have to put up with them. We have had Australian horses given us now, as those that were on the Wayfarer are not coming out ; many of them are rather green and in poor condition at present, but I think when they have picked up a bit we shall be quite as well mounted as we were before. As we have only just got our saddles we haven’t had much chance to ride them yet, except bareback, which we have been doing every morning. The Public Gardens here are very beautiful, and of course more interesting to us because the majority of the flowers and trees are strange. In one of them a little stream runs through with hundreds of gold fish in. I saw rather an amusing incident in one of the gardens last Sunday night. About a dozen soldiers were sitting on a bank singing hymns (this, I may say, is not altogether a frequent sight), and they were singing very well such hymns as “ Onward, Christian Soldiers ” and “ Rock of Ages.” They had an admiring circle of natives of all ages and both sexes. Presently along one of the paths appeared about a dozen natives of the class which in England we describe as “ Nuts,” marching in half sections and each one playing a guitar or similar musical instrument. When they reached the “ choir ” party they halted and turning to the soldiers solemnly played the chorus of “ Tipperary ” through twice, then with many bows and good nights passed on. By the way, we have heard “ Tipperary ” played and sung more times since we left England than we should have done in twelve months at home. Once we had it played for our benefit by the band on a French battleship and we responded by singing, or trying to, their National Anthem.

Another Yeoman says :—Our daily programme is something like this : Reveille 5 a.m, roll call 5.15 a.m, feed horses, get a cup of tea, and saddle up for exercise by 6 a.m. We go out for exercise every morning, riding one horse and leading two others, returns from exercise at 8 a.m, water and feed, and have our breakfast ; nine o’clock, stables, clean horses and saddlery until 12.30 ; dinner, or rather lunch, for we have a very light meal in the middle of the day, either bread and cheese or bread and butter, with tea to drink. At 1.30 p.m we water the horses again, and afterwards got our saddlery ready for inspection at 3 p.m. From 4 p.m to 5 p.m we have evening stables ; dinner—boiled beef, potatoes, and boiled rice—at 5 p.m. As a general rule, after this we are free until bedtime, 8.45 p.m-except, of course, those who are on guard.

RUGBY TROOPER WOUNDED IN THE DARDANELLES.

News was received in Rugby on Thursday that Trooper Geoffery Hardwick Dodson, youngest son of Armourer Staff-Sergt F H Dodson, of St Matthew’s Street, has been wounded in the Dardanelles. Trooper Dodson went out to Australia four years ago, and obtained an appointment in the Civil Service. When war broke out he joined the 10th Light Horse, and went with the Australian Contingent to the Dardanelles. Armourer Staff-Sergeant Dodson is now serving with the forces in France.

LOCAL WAR CASUALTIES.

The death has taken place in the Military Hospital at Tidworth of Private A Jones, of the 6th Leicester Regiment. The deceased was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs George Jones, of Lorne Villas, Knox Road, Wellingborough, and he joined the Army soon after the outbreak of war, and made himself useful and indispensable as hairdresser and chiropodist to the battalion. He was 29 years of age. and leaves one child. Death followed an operation for appendicitis. He left Wellingborough for New Bilton about six years ago, where he had a business of his own. The remains were taken to Wellingborough for the funeral.

Rifleman L J Newton, of C Company, 7th (Service) Battalion K.R.R. has been killed in action. He was at the time of enlistment in the employ of Messrs Frost & Sons, Printers, Warwick Street, and in the June number of the journal entitled “With the Colours,” which is being published the firm in the interests of, and for the encouragement of their employees who have joined the Colours, we find the following reference :-“We record with deep regret the death of L J Newton, who was killed in action by shrapnel on June 17, 1915. Newton came to us as a compositor in February, 1914, and joined the King’s Royal Rifles in the first month of the war. He was a careful and accurate workman, a fine specimen of manhood, and held in high esteem by all. He joined the Army at a time when recruits could not be accommodated nor fed properly, yet he never grumbled, being ever-ready to bear patiently and sacrifice self to the exigencies of State. His O.C writes to his father : ” I am very sorry to have to tell you that your son, Rifleman Newton was killed suddenly to-day by shrapnel. He was at work unloading a wagon when a shrapnel burst and hit him straight through the heart ; he died immediately – absolutely no pain. I can assure you he is a great loss to my platoon, and he was one of those of whom I was most fond, being an excellent soldier and an all-round good fellow. I’m sure it will be a consolation to you later on – if not now—to know that he was killed in action doing his bit for King and Country.’ Redfearn, who was conversing with him not more than an hour before he was struck down, writes : ‘ We buried him here near the trenches, and put a small cross and a few flowers on his grave.’”

WOUNDED TERRITORIALS.

In the lists published on Wednesday the following were returned as wounded :—

TH BATT ROYAL WARWICKHIRE REGIMENT (T.FF).-Allsopp, 1942,. Pte H ; Arnold, 2412, Pte G ;Clowes, 1402, Lce-Corpl R ; Eaton, 1933, Pte L G ; Gallemore, 1456, Pte W ; Goodhall, 3414, Pte A W ; Gorrell, 1703, Pte W H ; Hazlewood, 3355, Pte W ; Rogers, 2252, Pte H.

Lance-Corpl Clowes has since been reported as having died of his wounds. He was an apprentice in the L. & N.-W. Erecting Shops at Rugby, and went out with the “ E ” Company of the 7th Warwickshire Territorials.

NEWBOLD-ON-AVON.

MR G GRANT has received a communication from his son Ernest that he has been wounded slightly in the forearm, so that of his three sons serving at the front one (Harry) is missing, and the other two, Ernest and Alfred, are both wounded.

FOOTBALL AT THE FRONT.

A member of the Rugby Howitzer Battery writes :-“ A team was chosen from our Battery to play the 5th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment during their rest from the trenches. The Battery won by one goal to nil. It was a very hard game, and you can imagine how every man in the Battery team must have played, as we have only so few men to choose from as compared with a battalion. Spicer at back and Goode in goal played especially well, whilst Major Nickalls was also very safe. The evening was very warm, and rain had been falling pretty heavily in the morning, so that the conditions were not the best : but the game was played at a good pace all through, and was thoroughly enjoyed by the good crowd of supporters from both the Battery and the Battalion. The Germans were dropping their ‘ Little Willies,’ &c, at a respectable but visible distance, but this certainly did not disturb anyone. Gunner Ashir scored the only goal of the match half-way through the first half. Battery Team : Gunner Goode, goal ; Gunner Spicer and Major Nickalls, backs ; Gunner Fanriston, Corpl Watson, and Gunner Redmayne, half-backs ; Sadd, Yarwood, Sergt Sadd, Dosher, Gunner Taylor, Gunner Ashir, and Gunner Cumbirland, forwards.

A SCENE OF DESOLATION.

Sergt G Fiddler, of the K.R.R, 36 Winfield Street, Rugby, writes home to his wife :—We are having a rest for a few days about three miles from the firing line. We came out of the trenches on Saturday. We had only been out about twenty minutes when the trenches were bombarded and blown to smithereens, so we had a bit of luck that time. Last Thursday we took four trenches and found a young German, about 16 years, chained to a machine gun, so that he should not run away, and to make him keep on firing. We took about 142 prisoners, and in the attack, when they tried to recover their lost trenches they had terrible losses. The place where we are is just on the left of a town. There is not a civilian to be seen—only soldiers. It is a mass of ruin. I went to have a look while we were in reserve. It was awful-everywhere you looked, ruin. I had a few strawberries and new potatoes out of one of the gardens, and I cooked them in the trenches.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Recruiting has again been somewhat slack at Rugby during the past week, although, perhaps, this is only to be expected when it is remembered that no less than 2,450 have been enlisted since the outbreak of the war at the Park Road Drill Hall. Those attested this week were:—E E Bromwich and C Rabin, A.S.C (H Transport): F E E Clarke, Leicestershire Regiment ; R W Lucas, 220th Rugby Fortress Company, R.E ; E Dunkley, Gloucester Bantams ; H C Cummins, Royal Berks Regiment ; G Lines, R.W.R : W H Barber, Border Regiment ; W Edwards and W Smith, Rifle Brigade.

LOCAL POLICEMEN TO ENLIST.

Seven members of the Rugby Police Force have availed themselves of the opportunity to enlist, which has been presented by the authorities. P.C Morrey has already joined the colours, and P.C’s Rose, Richards, J G Fairbrother, and Cresswell go to-day (Saturday). P.C’s F Townsend and Chipman are also leaving shortly to join.

PRISONERS IN GERMANY.

DEAR SIR,—I received the following postcard from Pte Branagan this morning, and I should like all those who have so kindly and generously sent me gifts for our prisoners in Germany to know that the parcels are being received safely and in good condition.—Yours very faithfully,

E DAISY BLAGDEN

[Copy]

DEAR MRS BLAGDEN, – Heartiest thanks for your valuable parcel, received June 5th in splendid condition. As our correspondence is limited, I cannot promise to write in answer to every parcel you send, but, T can assure you that they will arrive safely, and J might mention that you cannot send anything letter for myself and fellow prisoners. Dear Mrs Blagden, I am sure it is very kind and thoughtful of you to send the parcels. Again offering very best thanks to the I friends in Rugby,—I remain, yours obediently,!

J BRANAGAN.

THANKS FOR CRICKET BALLS.

DEAR SIR,—May I crave further space in your columns to thank the friends at Rugby who have so kindly sent cricket balls to this hospital ?

Several have been received during the past few days, and it would gladden the donors’ hearts if they could see the enjoyment derived from their gifts.—Yours sincerely,

A J G HANDS (Pte), H.A C.

Cedar Lawn Hospital, North End Road, Hampstead, June 18th.

ORGANISATION OF MUNITION WORKERS AT RUGBY.

Rugby, being one of the important Midland centres for engineering, the local Labour Exchange in Castle Street was opened on Thursday evening for the purpose of enrolling the names of munition workers. The number of applications, however, was comparatively small, but this was not unexpected, as both the large engineering works in the town are already fully occupied with Government work. Many of the men from among the staff and officers have volunteered to fill in the week-ends in this work, and others with mechanical knowledge are also being employed. The Bureau is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 6 p.m to 9 p.m ; Saturdays, 4 p.m to 6 p.m ; and Sundays, 3 p.m to 6 p.m ; and any men qualified to take up work in connection with the manufacture of munitions should immediately enrol themselves at the Bureau ; but it should be noted that men already engaged on Government work cannot be enrolled. Posters calling attention to the Bureau can be obtained from the Labour Exchange.

RUGBY SCHOOL BOYS HELP THE FARMERS.

In our last issue we referred to an intimation given by the Rev Dr David (headmaster) that members of Rugby School would be willing to assist farmers in the hay-fields and in other farm work, such as cleaning and thinning crops. We understand that a number of applications have been received through Messrs Tait. Sons, & Pallant, and Messrs Howkins & Sons, and that squads of five and upwards, each in charge of a N.C.O, are being sent out. The boys are chiefly members of the O.T.C. They are suitably dressed for the duties undertaken, and take with them on their bicycles hoes, spuds, and other necessary tools. They are helping not merely in the hay-fields, but in spudding thistles and cleaning farm crops generally. Reports to hand indicate that they are doing the work satisfactorily, and comply readily with the instruction given, so that the experiments promises to prove successful from all points of view.

 

 

17 Apr 1915. Rugby Territorials Ready For Anything

LETTER FROM THE FRONT.

T Wallace, who is with the Rugby Howitzer Battery at the front, writing to his mother, says they had a lovely passage across the Channel, and then a 24-hours’ journey by rail—after which he made up his mind never to say anything against English railways. He adds : “ We have not seen any Germans yet—only a few prisoners ; but we can hear the guns quite plain. We are in a place where the Germans have been over once and were driven out at the point of the bayonet. . . . I am looking forward to taking my clothes off to-night for the first time since Sunday, and getting some sleep. Don’t forget to send the Advertiser out. There is nothing else I want. We were well served out with clothing before leaving England. We are living in an old chapel—fairly comfortable—for the present. We don’t know how long it will be before our battery has a packet at the Germans—but I don’t think it will be long.”

RUGBY TERRITORIALS READY FOR ANYTHING.

Four old Murrayians attached to the machine gun section of the 1st-7th Royal Warwicks, at present “ somewhere in France,” have written to their old schoolmaster, in which they say :—“ So far we are all feeling fit and ready for anything. After leaving our training quarters in England we had a very pleasant voyage across the water, except for the fact that we were rather overcrowded in the boat. On landing we spent the first night under canvas, and left the following day for some unknown destination. We were 24 hours in the train, which unfortunately was not quite as luxurious as the old L & N-W Railway. They packed us in cattle trucks ; but still, we made it an enjoyable journey. Since leaving the train we have had various billets, such as barns and empty houses, which have plenty of ventilation, thanks to the German shells. During our short stay in one of the base towns we had plenty of trench digging, which served to keep us fit. We had our first spell in the trenches about five days ago, and spent the best part of Easter there. The Germans evidently did not forget that it was Easter, for they sent, us one or two nice eggs over in the shape of shrapnel. At present we are billeted in a town which is used for resting troops, a few miles behind the firing line. Taking it on the whole, under the present conditions we are enjoying ourselves and getting plenty of good food.”

RIFLEMAN DODSON.

Rifleman Dodson, of the Rifle Brigade, son of Mr Edward Dodson, of Newbold-on-Avon, who, as reported in the Advertiser last week, was killed on March 24th. Deceased, who was 22 years of age, was working at the Cement Works at the time he enlisted in September. He went to France about six weeks ago. He fell in a battle during which a friend from Cosford, who went out with him, was bayonetted and killed. He was a member of the Newbold II football team, of which he was vice-captain for two years, and he sometimes played for the first team.

RUGBY TOWN PLAYER KILLED IN ACTION.
PRIVATE GEORGE RICE.

Followers of Association football in Rugby and district will hear with regret that George Rice, one of the half-backs of the Rugby Town Club, has been killed in action. Pte Rice, who was a reservist in the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, and who, previous to being called to the colours, was employed as a polisher at the B.T.H, Coventry, was 28 years of age, and leaves a wife and three children. Rice was a popular player, and a clever half-back, and before, signing on for the Rugby Club he did good service for Lord Street Juniors and Longford, and possessed a handsome set at medals, comprising Winners ; Two “ Midland Daily Telegraph,” one Birmingham Junior, four Coventry and Warwickshire League Championship, two Bedworth Nursing Cup, two Rugby Hospital Cup. Runners up: One Coventry and Warwickshire League, two “ Midland Daily Telegraph,” two Foleshill Nursing Cup, and the Coventry Nursing Cup.

RUGBY TERRITORIAL INJURED.

Bombardier A J Vingoe, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, has written to his wife, residing at 10 Kimberley Road, Rugby, stating that he has been invalided to England and is now in hospital at Southend, as the result of injuries received “ somewhere in France ” on Easter Monday. Bombardier Vingoe was with the advance party of the battery, which was expecting to go into action on the following day, when he fell down some steps in a barn and fractured his arm. Previous to the war, Bombardier Vingoe, who is believed to be the first local Territorial to sustain injuries, was employed as an instrument maker at the B.T.H.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

The following have been accepted at the Rugby Drill Hall during the past week :—Royal Warwick Regiment, J Varney, A Farmer, and V G Paremain ; A.S.C, E H Blinco, E Badby, J Bansfield, H S Pemberton, and C Hart. Butchers and bakers are required for the Army Service Corps, and also men for the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Dr WHEELER, North Street, Rugby, is serving with the Royal Army Medical Corps, and Dr Grant, of Albert Street, is serving with the Highland Light Infantry.

Harry Douglas, son of Mr and Mrs Douglas, of 87 Cambridge Street, also late of the Rugby Town Fire Brigade, has been invalided home through injuries received while serving in the Royal Field Artillery.

The 9th (Service) Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, quartered at Blackdown, Surrey, did an exceptionally good performance in the recent musketry course, coming out top of the 13th Division of Lord Kitchener’s New Army. The weather was not conducive to good shooting, and the men had to use the new service rifle, to which they were not well acquainted. In the “ A ” Company of the Battalion, who scored most points in the course, there are a good many Rugbeians.

Pte Clifford, 2nd Grenadier Guards, attached to the 1st Irish Guards, who was serving in the Rugby Police Force when be was recalled to the Colours last August, has been shot through the left hand. Pte Clifford, who has been at the front from the commencement of the war, is the third member of the Rugby Police Force who has been wounded, the others being Pte Higginson, of the 2nd life Guards, and Pte Nicholls, Gloucesters. Pte Clifford, who had resolved to enlist in the army, had only a few days to serve in the Police Force when he was called up.

G P Rathbone, youngest son of Mr W T Rathbone, Hillmorton, who enlisted in the 3rd Birmingham City Battalion in October, has received a commission as second lieutenant in the 11th North Staffordshire Regiment. He is at present undergoing a course of instruction at Leeds University previous to joining the regiment.

NEW BILTON MAN WOUNDED A SECOND TIME.

Mrs H Anderson, 39 Pinfold Street, has received news that her son, Pte John Elson, of the Northumberland Fusiliers, was wounded by a bullet in the arm, on April 3rd, in the field, and is at present in hospital at Guildford. Pte Elson, who is a reservist, and was employed by a local builder before the war, has himself written to his mother stating that he is progressing well. This is the second time he has been wounded in this war, the first occasion being several months ago, when he sustained a rather serious gunshot wound in the back and side.

MORE SOLDIERS AND MILITARY WORKERS BADLY NEEDED.

The Chairman of the Urban District Council has received a letter from Colonel Browne, commanding the sixth recruiting area, urging that more men for the Royal Warwickshire Regiment are badly needed, and stating that if we are to carry this war through successfully and quickly every man of eligible age ought either to be under arms, making munitions of war, or serving their country in some capacity.

Colonel Browne appeals through the Chairman of the Urban District Council to the small employers of labour to release every available man, and expresses the opinion that if these employers realised the very critical position of the very existence of their business owing to the war they would co-operate in every way.

Colonel Browne acknowledges how splendidly Rugby has done, but urges that more men are still wanted.

RUGBY VOLUNTEER TRAINING CORPS.

There are now upwards of 250 members of this organisation in Rugby, and it is hoped that all the other men who are eligible will come forward and join the Corps. The duties the Corps is now asked to undertake, which were outlined in a recent issue, make it extremely urgent in the national interests that a strong and efficient force should be raised. However urgent a man’s private business is it is desirable that all should recognise that the existence of that business depends upon the safety of the country, and that they should be prepared to devote a small portion of their time in assisting to preserve this safety.

RUGBY YEOMEN ON THE WAYFARER.

The “ C ” Squadron of the Warwickshire Yeomanry have left their war station for a foreign destination and sailed last week-end.

The Squadron, which includes the Rugby Troop, passed through Rugby Station on Thursday midnight en route for the port of embarkation.

Amongst those on board the Wayfarer, which is supposed to have been torpedoed or mined when off the Scilly Isles, and was subsequently beached at Queenstown, were at least three members of the Rugby Yeomanry Troop-Troopers Farndon, Ellis Reeve, and Biddle. Mr A H Reeve, butcher, of North Street, had a telegram from his son on Monday to say he was safe.

A Falmouth contemporary states that the Wayfarer left Avonmouth with equipment and some men on board. Interviewing one of the rescued yeomen, a correspondent states that at 2.15 on Sunday afternoon a frightful explosion was heard. Steam and smoke rose to a tremendous height, and there was big smashing of glass. The hay which was on board for the horses was blown everywhere. The men took to the boats—one of which contained nearly 50—and rowed about until they were picked up. The men had to get away from the Vessel in what they stood up in and for the rest all was lost, including in some instances a fair amount of money.

The main body of yeomen sailed on another vessel.

SWINFORD YEOMAN REPORTED DROWNED.

A report has reached Swinford that Trooper E R I Powell, son of the Rev J G Powell, vicar of Swinford, has been drowned. It is stated that the boat in which he and others were making their escape from the Wayfarer after the explosion capsized.

CASUALTIES AMONG L & N-W RAILWAYMEN.

According to the April number of the “ L & N-W Railway Gazette,” there were 1,058 casualties reported among L & N-W Railway men with the Forces between February 19th and March 15th. The list includes the following :—Killed: H R Barwick, East Anglian Engineers (Wolverton). Died from wounds: T C Tooth, Bucks Territorials (Wolverton); C Manning, Northamptonshire Regiment (Rugby). Wounded or sick: J W Windsor, 1st Worcester Regiment (Rugby) : F White; 3rd Worcester Regiment (Northampton) ; C J Houghton, 1st Bedford Regiment (Bletchley) ; W Rawlins, Duke of Cornwall’s L.I (Northampton) ; J Taylor, Middlesex Regiment (Wolverton) ; C Rose, Royal Field Artillery (Wolverton) ; W J Cooke, Oxford and Bucks L.I (Wolverton) ; J H Busson, Army Service Corps (Rugby).

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

THE DRINK QUESTION.

SIR,—It is gratifying to read in your last issues Mr R Dumas’ opinion that drinking habits have not interfered with the work of the B.T.H Company. I would claim for the Rugby Land Society a large share in bringing about so satisfactory a result. That society in all their conveyances have prohibited any buildings erected on their plots being used as public-houses, with the result that in all the streets they have laid out the residents are freed from the temptations that are so frequent in the central and older part of Rugby,

It is somewhat curious that in the older parts the licensed houses are to be found in groups of three, and here and there two adjoin one another.

The site of the licensed house in Oxford Street was obtained independently of the Land Society.

April 14th.            J W KENNING.

SHOP ASSISTANTS AND THE WAR.

DEAR SIR,—As a shop-assistant (and grocer, too), may I write in defence of myself and assistants generally and try to show to a certain class of people who are never tired of throwing out silly sarcastic remarks, devoid of all humour, as to why we shop-assistants are not supposed to be enlisting in the numbers that we might. Let me refute that statement, for I know grocery firms in Rugby who have sent 20% and over of their employees to the colours. This means a very serious handicap to the carrying on of “ Business as usual.”

No doubt more could be spared, if certain section of the so-called “ patriotic ” public would be patriotic enough to have a little more consideration for the short-handed tradesman, who, and justly too, is obliged to keep up, if possible, a full staff to deal competently with his customers—the patriotic (?) section, who wave flags, and shout “ Enlist! enlist ! ” to the man who calls for orders ; and then telephones three and four times a day for goods to be “ sent at once ! ” or “ I shall go elsewhere ! ” Is it likely that master men are going to release their trained assistants when they are open to such competition as this ? And do these particularity patriotic persons stop to think if they are giving up themselves half so much as they are expecting these shop assistants to give up ?

How many shop-assistants are being dealt with in the same manner as are the recruits from the Works here in Rugby, who, I believe, receive a third pay (or half-pay, if married), and an open place when they return ?

This is a matter purely for the master-men I know, but it make a vast difference in the quality of our patriotism, and it eases the road to the Drill Hall. Not that I maintain that shop-assistants should be treated in the same liberal manner, but it is, just a point in my argument that should not be lost sight of when sneering at shop-assistants for not enlisting.

I and others often get sneered at by the very people who are keeping us here, who spend enough on one dinner of the week to pay a dozen of we assistants a part of our pay while fighting our battles, and their’s.

Let these people help to send us, we are ready and eager to go, ready to give up not only our positions, but, maybe, our lives. Let us go as their “ special ” soldiers, as they cannot go themselves. If this is too much for them to do, if this is too “ real ” a way for them to show their patriotism for our dear old country, then do not sneer at the shop-assistant, if he also puts self first. Give him a little more encouragement, a little more real help, and show him that you are really patriotic, then you will be surprised at the vast number of shop assistants who are willing to join the army and do their “ little bit.”— Believe me, Dear Sir, Yours faithfully,

B. L. H. (THE GROCER’S MAN).

 

10th Apr 1915. Local Casualties

BARBY.

RIFLEMAN G RANDLE, of the 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade, who belongs to Barby, has sent an interesting letter to the Rector, the Rev R S Mitchison. He writes :—“ Just a few lines to let you know we are both quite well and happy ; also to thank you for the last letter you wrote us. Since then we have had quite a long spell in the trenches. We were in from the 9th of March to the 24th. We had rather a hard time of it, but I am pleased to say we got through quite safe. Of course, you have seen in the papers we captured Neuve Chapelle. We were right in the thick of it. I had rather a narrow escape. I had three bullets through my pouches, coat and trousers, but only one caught my leg. It was only a slight wound, and in a few days it was quite well again. My brother got through quite safely. We came across Jesse Foster the other day. He is in our company, but I am sorry to say he has gone into hospital. He has sprained his ankle. Trusting this will find Mrs Mitchison, yourself and all the Barby friends quite well,—Yours sincerely, George Randle.”

LCE-CORPL F. CONGREVE, of CHURCHOVER.

General sympathy will he felt for Mr J W Congreve, builder, Churchover, and his family in the death of his son, Lance Corpl Fredk Congreve, of the 2nd Leicestershire Regiment, who was killed in action in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle on March 11th. The news was conveyed to the parents in a letter from Lance-Corpl Congreve’s chum, who also enclosed a letter which was presumably found on the body. The deceased, who was 25 years of age, and was very popular with all who know him. had served in the Army seven yearn, the last five of which were spent in India, from which country he was drafted to the Front in August last. Lance Corpl Congreve was a fine athlete and an excellent Rugby footballer, and possessed a number of medals, including the medal for the “ All-India Rugby Football Tournament of 1913,” which was won by the 2nd Leicesters. He also held a medal for the long jump (21ft 2 1/2ins). The 2nd Leicesters have seen a good deal of heavy lighting, and Lance-Corpl Congreve was in the trench with Pte Reynolds, of Rugby, when he was killed a few months ago. Once he had a very narrow escape, a shell bursting near him and killing nine of his comrades, and tearing the khaki great coat which he was wearing. A piece of this coat, which was blown away, is now treasured by his parents as a precious relic.

On March 31st Mr Congreve received official intimation from the War Office that his son was killed on March 10-13, at a place unknown.

PTE. W. UNDERWOOD, of LONG LAWFORD.

Pte W Underwood (1st Royal Warwicks), of Long Lawford, whose death was reported in last week’s issue, was wounded in action by a shell, and while being removed was struck by another shell with fatal results.

PTE. J. ADKINS, OF STRETTON-ON-DUNSMORE.

News was received from the War Office on Wednesday last week by Mr and Mrs Adkins that their youngest son, John Adkins, of the King’s Royal Rifles, had been killed in action a Neuve Chapelle, France, on March 16th. No particulars of his death have come to hand, and the only consolation his aged father and mother have is that he died bravely fighting for his country and nobly did his duty. John Adkins, who was 20 years of age, joined Lord Kitchener s Army on September 2nd. previous to which he was employed at the Humber Works at Coventry. He went to France soon after Christmas, and even when invalided to the base hospital with cramp in the stomach he always wrote home cheery and hopeful letters. He re-joined his regiment on March 12th, and four days later met his death as stated. Among the young men of the village he was very much liked, though he was one of the quieter sort. He was a member of both the village football and cricket clubs, in the latter of which he showed considerable promise. Much sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Adkins. They will sadly miss the lad, who has always lived with his parents at home.

PRINCETHORPE.

LANCE-CORPL W Smith, of this Village, who was wounded on October 21st in the leg, has been paying his friends a visit this Easter. He was looking very well, considering he has been in hospital several months. He has now returned to his regiment in the Isle of Wight. No further news has been received from his brother Joe, who is a prisoner of war. A postcard was received two months ago, but nothing has been heard of him since, except a notification from the War Office that he is a prisoner of war at Lille.

B.T.H. EMPLOYEE KILLED IN ACTION.

General regret will be felt among all sections of the employees of the B.T.H Company with the parents of Pte R L Douglas, of the Liverpool Scottish, who was killed in action on March 19th. The unfortunate young fellow, whose home is at Runcorn, and who previous to the mobilization last August had been employed in the Testing Department for 2 1/2 years, was shot in the head by a bullet coming sideways over the parapet of the trench, and was killed instantly. In a letter to his parents the colonel of the regiment says : ” Your son only joined the battalion on the 16th inst. with the last draft from England. A few extra men to replace casualties were required for duty in the trenches, and your son was one of those who at once volunteered for this work. the manner in which he, and indeed many more, of his comrades came forward was most commendable, and his loss is deeply felt by all his fellow-soldiers.” Previous to coming to the B.T.H he was employed by the Automatic Telephone Company, Liverpool.

NEWBOLD FOOTBALLER KILLED IN ACTION.

We regret to learn that Rifleman W Dodson, 4th Rifle Brigade, son of Mr Edward Dodson, Newbold-on-Avon, was killed in action on March 24th. Rifleman Dodson, who was in his 22nd year, and a member of the Newbold-on-Avon II Football XV, was employed at the Cement Works at Newbold previous to joining the army in September last.

WARWICKSHIRE TERRITORIALS AT THE FRONT.

Letters received from the Warwickshire Territorials who are now at the front, indicate that they are close to the fighting, if they are not already in it. One says: “ We have moved again and are not far from the firing line. We had not been here more than half-an-hour before the Germans dropped three bombs, killing one civilian and wounding three others. I am writing this on Good Friday, and to-night we go into the trenches for 24 hours.” Another says : “ We have seen something of the damage done by the shells. The place where we are staying has been shelled all over.”

The Howitzer Battery expected to be introduced to the firing line on Monday last.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

All things considered, recruiting at Rugby has been fairly good during the past week, and ten men have been attested, bringing the number who have enlisted at the Park Road Drill Hall up to about 2,250. Those attested this week were :- Royal Engineers, R C Howse and A Miller ; A.S.C, R Coles and C J Hands ; Royal Berks. A Woodley ; Army Veterinary Corps, S Davies ; Royal Warwicks, J W Higgie ; Lancashire Fusiliers, G W H Mills ; and Dorset Regiment, H Manton.