Sands, Henry. Died 17th Jun 1917

Henry Sands was born in Atherstone in late 1882. His parents were Joseph Sands and Jane (nee Alcott) who had married at Atherstone parish church on 19th January 1881. Henry was the second of three sons. The family lived in Long Street, Atherstone where Joseph was a joiner.

On 28 March 1910, Henry Sands married Jennie May Knight at Welford. He was aged 28 and a groom/gardener. Jennie was a domestic servant. By the 1911 census they were living at 8 Orton’s Court in Rugby, together with their 10 month old son William Charles. Henry was a van driver/porter at a furniture store. Three more children were born: Edith in 1913, Lucy in 1915 and (posthumously) Winifred in 1917.

It is not known when Henry enlisted, but probably towards the end of 1916, judging by the birth of his last child in the third quarter of 1917. He joined the 1st/4th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment as a private (no 203316).

The Battalion took part in the Second Battle of Gaza, 17-19 April 1917, when the 1/4th and 1/5th battalions between them suffered 75% casualties, about 1,100 men.

Private Henry Sands died in Egypt on 17th June 1917, of diphtheria. He was buried at the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery, situated at Kantara East on the eastern side of the Suez Canal, 160 kilometres north-east of Cairo and 50 kilometres south of Port Said.

In the early part of the First World War, Kantara was an important point in the defence of Suez against Turkish attacks and marked the starting point of the new railway east towards Sinai and Palestine, begun in January 1916. Kantara developed into a major base and hospital centre and the cemetery was begun in February 1916 for burials from the various hospitals, continuing in use until late 1920.

Wording on his gravestone added by his wife was:

There was an announcement published in the Rugby Advertiser, 22 June, 1918

SANDS – In ever-loving memory of my dear husband, Pte H. SANDS (HARRY), who died on June 17th, 1917, at El-Arish, Egypt.
” One year has passed since that sad day,
When our dear one was called away;
Bravely he went to duty’s call,
And gave his life for one and all.”
– From his loving wife and children

His wife, Jennie May died in 1958 in Coventry RD aged 68.



Saul, William Jackson. Died 6th Aug 1916

William was born in Leamington, Warwickshire, in the summer of 1881 [1] and was christened there on 6th July.[2]

His parents were Joseph (24) a gardener, and Georgiana (28), both from Norfolk. In 1881 they lived at Launton Cottage, Leamington and William was their first child [3]. They went on to have 4 more children, 2 boys and 2 girls.

In the 1891 census the family are living in Draycott Hill farm, Bourton on Dunsmore [Recorded as Joseph Sane and family on Ancestry]. Joseph is now a farmer and he appears to have moved around, as his first 3 children were born in Leamington, daughter Ethel (4) was born in Birdingbury and his son Frank(1) was born in Bourton. William (9) is recorded as a scholar.

In the 1901 census, Joseph and family are living at 23 Cambridge Street, Rugby. His 17 year old son Ernest is working as a butcher’s assistant, as is his lodger, Major G Gibbs. [5]

William is absent from the census. He had moved to Norfolk where he was a lodger in Bacton Rd, North Walsham, working as a butcher.[5] In the third quarter of 1902 he married Lottie Worts (18) who was a draper’s assistant also living in North Walsham. [6]

The Rugby Almanack gives us more information about the period before the next census.

In the 1901-1903 Directory, J W Saul, fruiterer, is living at 49 Railway Terrace Rugby

In the 1904-1906 Directory Mrs Saul is living at 163 Cambridge Street.

In the 1906-1908 & the 1909-1911 Directories, William is recorded as living at 163 Cambridge Street as a shop manager [7]

The 1911 Census confirms that William and Lottie are living at 163 Cambridge St. He is a Butcher’s Manager, while his mother, father, brother’s Ernest and Frank and sister Lucy are living at 95 Bath Street. Joseph is a farmer and dealer and Ernest and Frank are both Home and Colonial Butchers. All three are employers. We don’t know if William worked in the family shop.[8]

William joined the 1st 1st Warwickshire Yeomanry. He was Private 2919.

In August 1914 they moved on mobilisation to Bury St Edmunds and the brigade came under command of 1st Mounted Division.

On 31 August 1914 they moved with the brigade to Newbury and transferred to 2nd Mounted Division.

In November 1914 they moved with the brigade to Norfolk, and the regiment moved to Sheringham and then on 17 December to Norwich.

The Warwickshire Yeomanry, a cavalry regiment containing over 20 Rugby men, sailed for the Middle East in April 1915. Off the Scilly Isles, their horse transport ship Wayfarer was torpedoed by a German U-boat, and limped back to Bristol. Five men were lost but 763 horses on board were saved. In August 1915 the Yeomanry eventually arrived at Gallipoli, suffering heavy losses fighting as dismounted infantry. [9]

William died on 6th August and is buried at Kantara Cemetery, Egypt.
[For details of the action in which he died see the Biography of Harold George Loverock, died 5th August.]

His medal rolls Index Card states that he entered the theatre of war on the 6th November 1915. He was awarded the Victory, British and Star medals [10]

A payment of £5 3s and 3 pence was made to his widow Lottie on 23/11/16 and a War Gratuity of £4 10s was also paid to Lottie on 16/09/19, by which time she had remarried and is recorded as Lottie Oakes [11], Lottie was then living in Coventry.

Williams parents had also moved to Coventry by the time of his death and were living at 87 Highfield Sr, Foleshill, Coventry. [12] In fact the City of Coventry Roll of the Fallen: The Great War 1914-1918 records him as living at this address [13]



[1] Ancestry England & Wales Free BMD Birth Index

[2] Ancestry England & Wales Christening index 1530-1980

[3] Ancestry 1881 Census

[4] Family Search 1891 census; Ancestry 1891 census

[5] Ancestry 1901 census

[6] Ancestry England & Wales, Free BMD Marriage Index, 1837-1915

[7] Rugby Alamanack, Rugby Library

[8] Ancestry 1911 census

[9] The Long Long Trail: The British Army in the First World War

[10] British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index cards, 1914-1920

[11] Ancestry UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929

[12] Ancestry, UK, Commonwealth War Graves, 1914-1921

[13] City of Coventry Roll of the Fallen: The Great War 1914-1918 by Charles Nowell

Loverock, Harold George. Died 5th Aug 1916

Harold George Loverock was the second son of Lewis and Edith Loverock (nee Bromwich) he was born on the 7th December 1890, and baptised on the 6th march 1891 in St Matthews church Rugby. Lewis Loverock was a draper and a justice of the peace. In 1911 he was living at Greylands 47 Hillmorton Road with his second wife Edith whom he married in the first quarter 1886 in Rugby, along with Hilda Mary 15, Phylis May 9 and Reginald 7,their other children being Violet 24, Edith 21, Harold 22, a draper’s assistant at 244 High Road Chiswick and Gerald 18 was a pupil farmer at Hillmorton Grounds Farm.

Sometime after the census of 1911 Harold left England for South Africa and on the outbreak of world war one joined the Natal Light Horse part of General Botha’s army.

“Before the surrender, German South West Africa fell for a short time in the hands of the enemy. There were about seventy prisoners taken but after a few hours the colonial troops started to shell the enemy position and the prisoners of war were advised to run for their lives which they did. Unfortunately some were wounded. Harold he discharged to a commission on Tuesday 15th June 1915 and obtained a passage home on a ship of the Union Castle mail steamship the Dover Castle upon which he landed in London on 3rd August 1915 . He came home and he is now endeavouring to obtain a commission in some branch of H.M Army ”
(Rugby Advertiser 21st Aug 1915 and County of Warwickshire Roll of Honour by Kenneth Fowler)

He obtained a commission in Warwickshire Yeomanry on the 2nd October1915 and after training was sent to Mudros (a military base on the island of Lesbos) on 6th November 1915, they were sent to Egypt.

The Warwickshire Yeomanry war diary it states the following :

August 4th Friday

Reveille 04:00 Breakfast 04:30 Regiment marched out 06:00 strength 15 officers 362 ordinary   ranks 361 horses 29 mules camels 130 carrying regimental stores ammunition nor rations. Arrived Giliban Sidings 08:30 watered and fed horses. Received orders from G.O.C.5th m Brigade to leave all stores at Giliban under dismounted party, remainder to be ready to march to Pelusium at 09:30. Arrived 2 miles short of Pelusium at 13:00.met brigade Major and received verbal orders to proceed W of Canterbury Hill with all possible speed to endeavour to connect up with Col Yorke and Composite Regiment who were holding two Battalions of the enemy at HOD-ABU-ADI

Advancing from HOD-EL –ENNA.Got in touch with Col Yorke after marching on bearing of 140 Degrees at 14:27 received a message from Col Yorke “Am advancing E.S.E.about 700 yards to Canterbury Hill“ to be forwarded to G.O.C. that we are in touch

14:45 Moved Regiment up in rear of Composite Position enemy being engaged all this time

15:18 General Wiggins .Major Findlay (Bth MAJ N.Z.& R.Bde ) to the front Composite Regiment working from front N.Warwicks to take up their position S of Hod –es _Seifaniya and leaving a strong post S to make direct attack on enemy flank N.E. this was done but owing to ridge running S.E.from Hod –El –Edna being held by three machine guns and a few rifle men some delay was caused, at the commencement we were able to inflict some loss on the enemy. but Lieut Stafford and others were wounded .

Our machine guns bought into action against this position and 6,000 rounds   fired with considerable success, supported by 2 troops with rifle fire. 2 troops of “C “ squadron and 1 of “B” squadron were thus enabled to gallop round wire on the right flank and join up with COMPOSITE REGT. Our post on S in the meantime was heavily engaged. Lieut.LOVEROCK and S.S.MALINS were killed. Enemy now hurried up re-inforcements from S.E.whom we had to engage until dusk before we could retire on our three troops. Three Squadron then retired to Hod-nighilifali, the place of rende-vous. Recovered all wounded and marched at 21:15 to Pelusium watered and fed at 23:30.

In the county of Warwickshire Roll of Honour it states that Second Lieutenant Harold George Loverock 1st/1st Warwickshire Yeomanry 5th (Independent) Mounted Brigade Died of gunshot wounds and a fractured skull in the 1st /3rd East Lancashire Field Ambulance on Saturday 5th August 1916.

He received the 1914/15 star, the British war medal and the victory medal; he was buried in the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery Egypt.

Harold George Loverock is also remembered on the Lawrence Sheriff School Plaque and on the family grave in Clifton Road Cemetery.


Battle area on the Sinai Peninsular of Egypt where Second Lieutenant Harold George Loverock was fatally wounded’




Howkins, Maurice. Died 4th Aug 1916

Ernest Howkins was born   on 19th July 1894. Almost a year later on 28th July 1895 he was baptised Maurice at Woolscott Church. His parents were William and Emma (nee King) who married in late 1893. William was a farmer at Manor Farm, Woolscott.

Around 1892 the family moved to Hillmorton, where William had taken over the farm at Hillmorton Grounds, in Barby Road. Maurice was aged 16 and at school (Lawrence Sheriff). He had a younger brother Charles, aged 6. After leaving school he became a pupil in the engineering works at Crewe.

At the outbreak of war he joined the Honourable Artillery Company and in February 1915 given a commission in the Royal Field Artillery. He later transferred to the Royal Horse Artillery and promoted to 2nd Lieutenant, 1st/5th (Lowland) Brigade. He arrived in Egypt on 2nd March 1916. He was killed on the first day of The Battle of Romani which was part of the Palestine Campaign. It is likely that he was killed by the Turkish artillery attack on Romani.

The Suez Canal was a vital supply route for goods and the ANZAC and Indian troops and equipment. Early in the War the Allies had to defend it against Turkish troops and then against the Senussi Arabs in the Western Desert, it increased in importance following the failure of the Gallipoli Campaign and defeat at Kut-al-Amra in Mesopotamia (Iraq).

In April 1916 the Turks made a strong raid at Oghratine and Katie but did not follow up the success.

This gave Lt. General Sir Archibald Murray time to build up strength.

Aerial reconnaissance showed a large enemy force leaving Beersheba on 9th July 1916.It included the Turkish 3rd Division, a German Pasha 1 Group with 5 machine gun Companies, 2 trench mortar companies plus heavy and anti-aircraft artillery. It reached Bir al Abd on 19th July.

The enemy could not attack along the coast, but had to come from the south across a waterless desert with soft sand dunes. The 52nd Division moved to Romani when the railway was completed and were joined by the 53rd Welsh Division. The Commander in charge was Major-General the Hon. Sir Herbert Lawrence. He chose to wait until the Turks attacked. They approached to 10 miles from Romani and halted for 10 days.

Late on the 3rd of July a Turkish Force followed the retreat of the 2nd Australian Light Infantry but failed to scale the Wellington Ridge. On the 4th they shelled the Allied positions but did not attack directly. It is likely that he was killed by the Turkish artillery attack on Romani.

The Turkish forces withdrew having suffered 8,000 casualties, and 4,000 prisoners were taken by the Allies. The Allies had 1,100 casualties. Lawrence did not commit to an attack quickly enough on the retreating force, missing an excellent opportunity.

He is buried in the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery grave D8. Kantara is on the east bank of the Suez Canal 160 km north-east of Cairo.

Kantara was a major base and Hospital. In January 1916 a new railway was built eastwards from Kantara to Sinai and Palestine.

Maurice Howkins is remembered on the Lawrence Sheriff School Plaque and the Hillmorton War Memorial, as well as Rugby Memorial Gates.