23rd Sep 1916. Fatal Accident to a Soldier


As Gunner Edward Brady, R.F.A., was cycling down Spoilbank Hill in the direction of Clifton he collided with Mr Billing, of Caldecott Street, and Miss Hall, of Clifton, who were walking in the same direction. The cyclist was thrown on his head, and sustained a badly fractured skull and other injuries. The pedestrians were also considerably shaken. Assistance was procured, and Gunner Brady was conveyed to the Hospital of St Cross, where he died on Saturday morning. His home is at Edinburgh.

The inquest was held at the Police Court, Rugby, on Tuesday afternoon, Mr E F Hadow was the coroner, and Mr B Patchett was chosen foreman of the jury.

Dr Clement Dukes stated that deceased was admitted to the Hospital of St Cross between 10.30 and 11 on Friday evening last week. He was accompanied by another doctor, who telephoned to witness, stating that he had done all he could for the man, and there was no necessity for him to come to the hospital that evening. Witness saw Brady the following morning, and found he was suffering from concussion of the brain only, but he could not ascertain any fracture. Witness was called to deceased at about a quarter to twelve, and when he arrived found that life was extinct. He was satisfied that the cause of heath was haemorrhage, which might have come on suddenly, making the body rigid, and in that rigidity he died. Such a thing was quite common in the case of concussion of the brain. Deceased was unconscious at the time he came under his care.

Elizabeth Cook, married woman, living at Denstone, Glasgow, identified the body as that of her brother, and he was 25 years of age. He resided in Glasgow until the outbreak of war, when he joined the R.F.A as a reservist, he having previously served three years with the colours. He came to Rugby from Scotland five weeks ago, and when he left the North he could not ride a bicycle.

Elizabeth Mary Sutton, wife of A Sutton, of 23 Charlotte Street, Rugby, said deceased was billeted with them from August 22nd until quite recently. He was a quiet, steady man and a total abstainer. On the 10th of September he left them to go into billets at Clifton, and on the 15th inst she met him in the Market Place, Rugby, and told him to go round to her house to have an injury on the hand bandaged. When she arrived home at eight o’clock he was still there with two other soldiers of the same section. He left about 9.30 with his bicycle. He had not learned to ride long, but he occasionally used a bicycle when he was living with her. When he left the house on the night in question his bicycle was in good condition, so far as she knew, and the lamps were lit. She told him to be careful, and he said he would be all right ; he had every confidence in himself.

Ernest Walter Billing, clerk, of 19 Caldecott Street, Rugby, said on Friday evening he and a young lady were walking in the direction of Clifton. He was pushing a bicycle, and they were walking on the extreme left-hand side of the road. Both his lamps were lit. When they were half-way down the hill near the railway bridge he heard a cry from behind, and almost immediately afterwards something collided with him and knocked him down. It subsequently transpired that it was the deceased man and his bicycle. Witness had not seen him coming, or heard anything of him until the shout. There was not time for him to turn round after he heard deceased. It was simply a “ yell and a smash.” Witness was stunned, and when he came round he found deceased lying on his back in the road, his head pointing towards Clifton, and the bicycle was lying near him. The young lady pulled the bicycle off witness. Deceased was unconscious, and witness and his companion did what they could to restore him. He was bleeding profusely from a wound on his face, and his head was covered with blood. Shortly afterwards a soldier came along, and they carried deceased to the side of the road, and witness sent the soldier for assistance on his bicycle. A motor lorry came along shortly afterwards, and deceased was placed in this and conveyed to the hospital. Witness received an injury to the bottom of the back where he was struck by deceased’s bicycle.

Dora Hall, who was present with the last witness, said she was knocked down on to the grass by the force of the impact, and her head struck the road. She could not tell whether she was knocked down by a bicycle or by one of the men. She was the first to recover, and found both the men unconscious, and the bicycle was lying on her companion. His lamps went out immediately the collision took place. Mr Billing subsequently recovered consciousness, and they then did what they could for Pte Brady.

The Coroner described the occurrence as one of those regrettable accidents which might occur at any time. There seemed to be a suggestion that this unfortunate man was not so expert in riding a bicycle as he might have been.

The jury returned a verdict of “ Accidental death,” and added that they thought the front brake of the bicycle was not sufficiently strong for such a steep hill. They expressed their sympathy with the relatives of the deceased, and the Coroner concurred in this.


A war-marriage of local interest took place on the 14th Inst, at the Wesleyan Church, Ulverston, between Armament-Staff-Sergt Stribling and Hilda, youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs John Ferry, of “ Southgate,” Elsee Road, Rugby. The ceremony was performed by the brother of the bride, the Rev John Wilson Ferry, of Measham. The bride’s simple robe of ivory eolienne was enhanced by a veil of fine point lace. She was given away by her father, and attended by a number of V.A nurses in uniform from Fairview Auxiliary Hospital, of which she is sister-in-charge. All the wounded men in the hospital sufficiently convalescent were present at the ceremony, and formed a guard of honour as the bride and bridegroom left the church. The marriage was by license owing to the bridegroom’s immediate return to the front.


Mr R H Myers, headmaster of St Matthew’s School, has received the following interesting letter from an “ old boy ” who is an N.C.O in the Warwickshire Yeomanry, now on active service in Egypt :-

“ I thought perhaps you might like an account of our recent doings out here during the attack on the Canal by a mixed force of Turks and Germans. They were supported by artillery, but did not manage to being their larger pieces nearer than Katia. I should think the size of the guns captured in front of Romani was equal to our 3-inch, but in subsequent fights they threw 6-inch shells at us.

“ On August 4th we took part in repelling the Turks’ attack on the rail-head, and in the afternoon we led the flank counter-attack. The enemy attempted to bring up reinforcements, but our machine guns got on them, and mowed lines down as they came over the sand ridges. It was during this fight that Lieut Loverock was killed. He was leading his troop round the enemy’s position when a sniper got him through the head. I helped to place him on a horse. He is buried at a place called Pelusium.

“ The next day we attacked Katia. The enemy were entrenched and supported by guns of large calibre throwing high explosive shells. We had no artillery, and were, therefore, compelled to retire ; but the next day a move was made in conjunction with infantry. When we arrived we were surprised and pleased to find Katia evacuated. We were able to chase this enemy as far as Oghratina, returning to Katia, where we rested the next day. I say rested, but there were guards and patrols to do, though no actual fighting. One would like to write an account of the precautions taken, but this is not permissible at present.

“ The next day we made a move to Oghratina, with the object of ascertaining where the enemy had placed their guns. For about five hours we were shelled vigorously, but fortunately not much damage was done, our casualties being chiefly amongst the horses. After occupying Oghratina we moved up to Bir-el-Abd, where the enemy had constructed earthworks and trenches with a view to holding the place. Our artillery served us excellently here, searching the ground systematically for a good distance. The enemy had evidently moved off in a great hurry, as they left quite a lot of stores, &c. There were many of them dead and wounded in front of the position. We searched the battlefield afterwards, and found many groups of dead sitting as if asleep behind bushes or in gun-pits. They were not all Turks, of course ; here and there we came across some of our own men stretched out as if trying to reach the positions, when the end came. We have seen some terrible sights, but one tries to forget the horrible side, and think only of the cause for which we are fighting.

“ We stayed a few days at D-, but as the water was infected with cholera germs we moved elsewhere.

“ The plague of flies is fearful, and has to be seen to make one believe that there could be so many in one place at one time.

“ At Katia there is an ancient well and cypress tree, said to have been where Joseph watered and sheltered on his way in Egypt. The water tasted like milk to us, but we were not allowed to drink it on our return.”


Lieut J J McKinnell, of the Royal Warwicks, son of the Chairman of Rugby Urban District Council, has been wounded in the leg, and is now in a hospital at Oxford.

The following Rugby men have been wounded :—Sergt E R Bulter, Pte E Ingram, R.W.R, Sapper F Armstrong, R.E, and Pte E Hempstock, Rifle Brigade, Pte W Quartermain and Pte A A Fox, R.W.R. ; Pte J W Dunn, South Staffords ; Lance-Corpls A W Bottrill and H L P Tomlin, Northants Regt ; Lance-Corpl J W Oliver, R.W.R., Hillmorton.

The following Rugby names have appeared in recent casualty lists :—Killed : Pte H Lines, R.W.R, Pte F J Nichols, King’s Own Lancashire Regiment, and Driver P G Major, R.F.A. Missing : Pte G Lock, Norfolk Regiment ; Pte C H Bland and Pte F H Boyes, Royal Berkshire Regiment.

Gunner A J White, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, son of Mr and Mrs W White, 22 Grosvenor Road, has been severely wounded in the side with shrapnel, and is now in hospital at Manchester. Previous to the War he was a fireman on the L & N-W Railway.



Corpl Poxon, of the Royal Engineers, has been awarded the Military Medal. This has caused great satisfaction not only to his relatives but to the whole of the inhabitants. He is the second son of Mr J and Mrs Poxon, of the Rose and Crown Hotel. He joined the Royal Engineers on the 1st of September, 1914, and is now with a signal section in France, where he has been for upwards of 16 months. He has been in a number of engagements, but with the exception of slight ill-effects to his eyes from a gas attack, has come through unscathed. Like his father, Mr John Poxon, he is well known and respected in the district, and is very popular with his comrades in his Company. He is 23 years of age, strongly built, and very unassuming. Even in writing home to his father he seemed to mention his award as a secondary consideration, for he did not refer to it until towards the end of the letter, and then did not state for what conspicuous act he received it. As a boy, Corpl Poxon was a pupil at Ryton-on-Dunsmore School, where his father then resided. He afterwards attended Bablake School, Coventry. The staff and scholars of both schools will be proud of his success.

WOUNDED.—Private W Drinkwator, Royal Warwicks, son of Mr Joseph Drinkwater, was wounded some short time ago. He received a shrapnel wound in the foot, and was sent to Cardiff Hospital, where he is now progressing favourably.


The higher commands in the new Volunteer Force have already been gazetted, including that of Col D F Lewis, C.B, as county commandant of the Warwickshire Regiment ; and on Sunday last Colonel Lewis attended to inspect the Rugby Volunteer Corps in Caldecott’s Piece, when 100 men were on parade, under the command of Mr C H Fuller. Col F F Johnstone (in command of the 2nd Battalion) and Major F Glover (acting adjutant) were also present.

The Corps was drawn up in line, and after presenting arms, Col Lewis passed down the ranks. The Corps then marched past in column of route, an afterwards in column of platoons, Col Lewis taking the salute. Some Corps movements under Mr Fuller, and afterwards under Mr Haigh (second in command), were then gone through. The platoons and the recruits were also exercised in platoon drill under their Commanders ; and Col Lewis, in addressing the recruits, congratulated them on the progress they were making, and said that he felt sure that they would appreciate the benefit of their training.

Addressing the rest of the Corps, Col Lewis said that he noted a very marked improvement since he last met them in October. Important duties had now been assigned to the Corps in lines of communication, and he was responsible himself for finding the necessary men for this duty. He urged each man to be a recruiting sergeant and increase the numbers. The unexpected was constantly happening, and they must not allow themselves to be taken by surprise. It was silly to say there was no chance of their country being placed in danger ; they must, above all things, be prepared, and he hoped that every man who was able to join the Corps would realise this fact, and become a Volunteer without delay. It would be seen later on how important this matter was in the interests of the country.
Army Service Corps.

An Officer will attend at RUGBY DRILL HALL on MONDAYS between 11.30 and 1 o’clock and 2 to 4.30 in each week until further notice for the purpose of examining men for M.T., A.S.C.
Applicants must be experienced Motor Drivers, Fitters, or Turners.

F. F. JOHNSTONE, Lt.-Colonel, Recruiting Officer, Drill Hall, Rugby:
16th Sept., 1916.

WOUNDED SOLDIERS AT THE EMPIRE.—About 100 wounded soldiers from the “ Te Hira,” Pailton, and Bilton Red Cross Hospitals visited the picture matinee at the Empire on Monday afternoon. This matinee is always free to wounded soldiers from the hospitals.


SHONE.—In loving memory of our dear brother Tom, who was killed in action, September 25th, 1915.
“ He sleeps, not in his native land.
But ’neath some foreign skies,
And far from those that loved him best ;
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—From FLO and HORACE.

SHONE.—In loving memory of Rifleman Tom Shone, 12th Rifle Brigade, who was killed in action at Loos, September 25th, 1915.
“ We often sit and think of him,
And tenderly breathe his name.
Nothing left for us to look at
But his photo in the frame.
Some day our eyes shall see
That dear face still kept in memory.”

STENT.—In loving memory of Percy Victor Stent, who was killed in action September 25th, 1915.
“ Death divides, but memory lingers.”
-From Mr. and Mrs. HARBAN and Family.

STENT.—In loving memory of Corpl. P. V. Stent, killed 25th September, 1915. Sadly missed.
“ One of the first to answer the call,
For the land he loved he gave his all ;
Somewhere in France, in a nameless grave,
Lies my dear son among the brave.”