29th Jan 1916. Compulsion Passed – Five weeks for Unattested Young Single Men



The House of Lords passed the Compulsion Bill on Wednesday night.

This means that within five weeks from Thursday young single men for whom there is no excuse will be in khaki. Eight groups are already called up—ages 19 to 26 inclusive.


The Labour Party Conference was resumed on Thursday at Bristol. A resolution was moved in these terms :-

This the National Labour Party protests emphatically against the adoption of Conscription in any form, as it is against the spirit of British democracy and full of danger to the liberties of the people.

The voting was:

For the resolution …… 1,796,000

Against …………….. 219,000

The resolution was declared carried amidst cheers.


Lord Derby stated in the House of Lords on Tuesday night that married men were enlisting in large numbers day by day under the group system. Single men, too, were coming in in bigger proportion than the married, but not to such an extent as yet as to justify the statement that the number still left was a “ negligible quantity.”

Lord Derby mentioned that since his report was issued four lists of reserved occupations had been published, and in four days last week 100,000 badges were distributed. He appealed to the Government to stay their hand in this matter.

It is understood that a farther set of groups will be called up during next month, and a hint to “ Derby ” recruits may, therefore, prove of use. An important point in the scheme was a promise to men who attested that they would be allowed to join the regiments of their choice on being summoned to the colours, as far as this was practicable. A large number of those who responded to the call last week, however, when the first groups were instructed to present themselves, found, it is freely said, that no attention was paid to their wishes, and that they were drafted to corps in which they had no interest. If a man wishes to enter a particular regiment because of personal or local associations, or the presence of friends in the ranks, he will find it advisable, therefore, to enlist in that unit in the ordinary way a few hours before the time fixed for his appearance at a depot under the group system.


Lieut. G. T. Hilton, of the Motor Transport Section, has been gazetted captain, the promotion to date from December 1st.

The members of the Rugby Co-operative Women’s Guild recently sent a consignment of socks, and handkerchiefs to the Rugby men in the Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, and Mrs. Busby, the secretary, has received a letter of thanks from Sergt.-Major Percival Thistlewood, in which he says it gives the Rugby men great satisfaction to know “ that they are still in the memory of their native town.”

On Page 3 of this issue [Not included in this Blog] will be found an account of how the gallant 9th Warwickshires were decimated and lost, all their officers in Gallipoli. There was one officer, however, Lieut. G. H. D. Coates, formerly manager of Lloyds Bank at Rugby, who was not in the fighting. Being seriously ill, he was in hospital at Cairo at the time. Subsequently he was placed in command of the Turkish Officers Prisoners of War Hospital at Cairo, till illness again compelled another stay in hospital. We are glad to learn that he is now convalescent, and is going to Luxor for a month, and after another spell at the T.O.P.W. Hospital hopes to rejoin his regiment.

We learn that Sergt. J, Menelly, of the 1st Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, was killed on the Gallipoli Peninsula on January 1st. His parents resided at Downing Street, Belfast, and when the 89th Brigade was stationed in Rugby, he was billeted at 178 Cambridge Street. He was one of the first soldiers to interest himself in the Cambridge Street Wesleyan Soldiers’ Home, and he was subsequently appointed to take charge of the club. He was very popular with all the frequenters of the rooms, by whom he was known as “ Corporal Jim ” and, possessing a rich voice, his services as a singer were in much request. When his regiment was ordered to the front, he was appointed a range finder. The news of his death was received from Corpl Black, who was also billeted with him, and who has been invalided home with the loss of a lung through shrapnel.


News has been received by Mrs. E. A. Farndon, of Poplar Grove, that her husband, Gunner Farndon, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, has been rather badly wounded in the face by shrapnel. He is at present in a hospital in France, where he has been attended by Dr. Hoskyn, of Rugby, and is getting on well.


George Renshaw, the captain of the Rugby Football Club, who, after ten months’ service in France, is now with the Army Service Corps in Salonica, has, according to a letter he has sent to his brother, recently had a very narrow escape. A German aeroplane flew over the corps and dropped a bomb outside the tent in which the Rugby captain was sitting. The orderly outside was seriously wounded, but those inside the tent fortunately escaped injury,. The writer also states that he met George Cave, a well-known Rugby forward who has assisted the local club, at Salonica.



To the Editor of the Advertiser.

DEAR SIR,—As announced in your columns last week a committee has been formed to arrange for sending small comforts from the town to all Rugby and New Bilton men serving with the colours.

It is extremely desirable, in the first place, that a complete record should be compiled of all who joined His Majesty’s Forces, and in order to obtain this we are very anxious to secure the co-operation of any who will undertake to go round and get the names in the various parts of the town, and at the same time secure subscriptions towards the fund.

It is not anticipated that many visits will be necessary, and if those ladies and gentlemen who so kindly gave their services to the Prince of Wales’ Fund will undertake their old districts, it will be a great help towards attaining the desired end. I earnestly hope, therefore, that all who can possibly spare time will send their names in to me at 27 Sheep Street.

Yours very truly,

SIR,—Would it be out of place to suggest that the Urban Council of Rugby should set aside a piece of ground in Rugby Cemetery as a Heroes’ Portion, in which free interment could be made of soldiers who died on returning from active service or Home defence to their native town. It seems rather grim to suggest this, but the fact has to be faced that many soldiers may return broken in war and perhaps so injured that their enfeebled constitution will hardly enable them long to survive. I understand that several places have already done this, and I read that Northampton Council has set aside a portion of the civic cemetery for this purpose. The town should surely relieve the relatives and parents of the dead heroes of the necessity of paying for graves; indeed, the town should deem it an honour to grant them a last resting-place, upon which future generations could not look unmoved. I would go so far as to suggest that all Rugby men serving with the colours should be able to claim a last resting-place in this portion, no matter how long they live after the war, for they are all heroes, and should be remembered as such to the end of their days, and after.

On Active Service.


DEAR SIR,—I read Mr. Twyford’s letter in last Saturday’s issue of the Rugby Advertiser on the reception of soldiers home on leave with great interest. The City of London National Guard Volunteers have members of their corps stationed at every London terminus day and night to assist and direct soldiers from the front coming home on leave by giving advice as to train routes, etc. I am sure that if the Rugby Volunteer Corps could arrange to have one or two of their members in turn at Rugby Station to meet soldiers and could arrange for conveyances for them, those of the National Guard on duty at Euston would warn soldiers travelling to Rugby to look out at Rugby Station for similar assistance.-I am, Sir, etc.

The Paddock House, Gerrards Gross, Bucks.
January 23rd, 1916.
The Secretary, War Office, London, has sent to all Masters of Foxhounds a copy of the following, showing that their decision to continue to hunt the country is right and fully approved of :—

“ The Director of Remounts has urged upon the Director General of Recruiting that he is seriously concerned in the maintenance of hunts, as the preservation of hunting is necessary for the continuance of breeding and raising of light horses suitable for cavalry work. Lord Derby accordingly trusts that every effort will be made to carry on the hunts in the United Kingdom, but he hopes that as far as possible men ineligible for military service will be employed. But in cases where any men of military age are indispensable for the maintenance of the hunt, an appeal should be made to the Local Tribunal.”

ENCOURAGING THE POULTRY INDUSTRY.—With the increased attention being given to the poultry industry of this country, especially on account of the egg shortage due to the war, it is not surprising that efforts should be made towards the spread of knowledge on this subject in Warwickshire. At the meeting last week of the Warwickshire Education Committee a report was submitted stating that the Elementary Sub-committee had received three applications for permission to establish a poultry class, and they had instructed the Assistant Director of Higher Education to report with regard to these and also concerning poultry instruction in elementary schools in the county. There is no doubt that a great deal of good could be accomplished by the dissemination of facts bearing upon the most modern methods of feeding and rearing of birds both as regards egg, yield and flesh formation, and that having regard to the great demand there is for both eggs and table birds, the more information of a practical kind that can be circulated upon the subject in an agricultural county like Warwickshire the better.



The motor could, if properly developed, do any work on the farm except make a hen lay eggs, was the opinion expressed by Mr W J Malden, in an address to the members of the Farmers’ Club at the Whitehall Rooms on Tuesday. It was capable of tearing up deep soil or picking up a pin. He looked forward to the time when a large proportion of our crops would be cut and threshed in one operation. He also considered a motor-driven spade, to be handled by disabled soldiers, could be invented.

The horse, Mr Madden thought, would not disappear from the farm, but it was, inevitable that much of the work hitherto done by horses and men would be done by motor. The most useful form of motor for farm work had, however, yet to be determined.




An announcement of far-reaching importance was made by Mr Runciman, President of the Board of Trade, before the prorogation of Parliament on Thursday.

Replying to a question to the House of Committee, he stated that the Government had decided to relieve the pressure on shipping by cutting down some of the imports which are less essential for national existence than others, and which prevent vessels coming to our ports from being used for more urgent purposes, Paper pulp and grass for making paper have been chosen as the first subjects of the operation of this policy because of their great bulk and influence on tonnage. The annual quantity now imported is 1,000,000 tons, and the importation of a large percentage of this total will shortly be prohibited.

Mr Runciman expressed confidence that the Government could rely on the loyal co-operation of paper makers and newspaper proprietors in a step which must of necessity interfere with their business. He appealed to householders, as well as those engaged in every business and industry in which paper is used, to render assistance by exercising rigid economy in the use of paper.

The export from this country of rags and waste-paper is about to be prohibited.

The importation of other articles and materials of a bulky nature will shortly be prohibited, including the following :

Raw tobacco.
Many building materials.
Furniture woods and veneers.
Some fruits.

If necessary this list may be extended until the tonnage pressure is eased.



Prime Minister, in a written Parliamentary answer to-day, states that up to January 9th the total casualties in all fields of operations were:—

Officers, killed, wounded, and missing, 24,122.

Other ranks, 525,345.

Grand total, 549,467.


“ Tell me what you think a full pack weighs,” said the Adjutant to one of the new men.—“ Two hundred pounds, sir.”—The Adjutant gasped. “ What ! he cried, “ Haven’t you been told that it never weighs more than sixty ?”-“ Yes, sir.” said the recruit. “ But asked me what I thought it weighed, and I was thinking of the last time I had one on.”



5th Jun 1915. Alien found with camera


Agnes Louisa Richard teacher, 2 New Street, Rugby, was charged on remand with being an alien, and unlawfully having in her possession one camera, three dark slides, three boxes of plates, nine printing frames, two packets of printing paper, and two negative holders, contrary to section 22 (h) of the Aliens Restriction (Consolidation) Order, 1914 at 2 New Street, Rugby, on May 28th.-She admitted having the camera.-Detective Mighall deposed that he received information on May 27th that defendant had a camera in her possession, and on instructions from Supt Clarke, he obtained a search warrant, and went to the house with P.C Wakelin, and found the camera produced and the other photographic requisites that were mentioned in the charge. There were also several finished photographs, but all of these were of a harmless character.-Defendant said she did not know that she ought not to have a camera. She only thought the ought not to photograph, and she had not done so outside the house since the outbreak of war. She did not know that she ought not have a camera in her possession.-By the Chairman : She had received no warning that she ought not to keep a camera.-The Chairman, addressing defendant, said everybody knew her in Rugby, and although she was an alien, instead of looking upon her as an enemy they looked upon her as a friend. However, she had broken the law, and rendered herself liable to a fine of £100. The Bench agreed with what she had said that it was want of knowledge which prevented her from registering this camera, and they would take that into consideration and inflict a fine of 10s 0d only. She had better register her camera. It was important in these terrible times through which they were going that she should keep as strictly to the law as she possibly could.-On the application of Supt Clarke, the camera was ordered to be forfeited until such time as defendant could obtain permission to have same.



The following Army order has been issued :-

The Secretary of State for War desires to place on record his warm appreciation of the gallant conduct and devotion to duty displayed by Major R A Richardson and the officers,non-commissioned officers, and men of the 1st Warwickshire Yeomanry on the occasion of a torpedo attack the transport Wayfarer, on April 11, 1915. Through the prompt action of Major Richardson and the marked efficiency of the officers and men under his command only five lives were lost out of a total of 189 men, and all the horses (763 in number) were brought safely to shore. The Secretary of State for War is proud of the behaviour of the troops, and regards it as a good example of the advantages of sub-ordination and strict discipline.


On Tuesday last news came to hand that Gunner James Leslie Dunbar, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, youngest son of Sergt J Dunbar, gymnastic and drill instructor at Bilton Grange, was killed in action on May 27th. The sad news was conveyed in the following letter from Major C Nickalls, the officer commanding the Battery :-

“ DEAR MR DUNBAR,-I have a very sad duty to perform, and that is to tell you that your son Leslie was killed in action yesterday. He was on billet guard at the time, and we had just finished firing when the Germans fired eight rounds in the vicinity of the billet. One fell about four yards from your son, and a shrapnel bullet hit him in the head. He was hit at 8 p,m, and died in the field hospital two hours later, I got a doctor to him immediately, but nothing could be done. He was unconscious all the time. He was buried to-day at 2 p.m by the Rev Bernard McNulty in the field opposite where he gave his life for his country, and was lowered into his grave by the men of my Battery from Dunchurch and myself. Please accept the sincere sympathy of the officers and men of the Battery in your sad loss, which we share equally with you. Your son was a general favourite with us, and he had endeared himself to us all by his cheery disposition and his readiness at all times to take on any job that was wanted. His grave has been beautifully decorated by the men. and it will be carefully looked after by us all.”

The Rev B McNulty, who is with the Brigade as chaplain, also wrote a long and sympathetic letter to the bereaved parents, which they much appreciated, and he added: “ It is a real grief to me, for I have known him for so long.”

Leslie Dunbar was an apprentice in the erecting shop at Willans & Robinson’s when the war broke out, and he joined the Battery at the latter end of August. He was 20 years of age. Deep sympathy is felt with Mr and Mrs Dunbar in their bereavement. Mr Dunbar has not only served his country with the famous Worcestershire Regiment, but has two other sons on active service-one a staff-sergeant in the A.S.C and the other is an artificer on a submarine.

Driver O’Coy, of 36 Essex Street, with the Rugby Howitizer Battery, also writes home with intimation of the death of Gunner Dunbar “ the first casualty.” He adds: “ I am all right. It’s a bit cold to-day for a change. We get sunny weather here-red hot one day ; cold the next ; rain the next.”



“ The bravest act a man can perform under fire ” were the word written by his officer to Mrs Hammond, of Northend, in conveying the news of the death of her son, Private C D Hammond, 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards. For five years Private Hammond’s home was at Welford, and he was employed by Messrs Colebrook, fishmongers, Rugby. He joined the Rugby Howitzer Battery (Territorials), but before the outbreak of the war he enlisted in the 4th Royal Irish Dragoon Guards. His death took place on Empire Day (May 24th). On Friday last week his mother received the following letter from Second-Lieut Lionel Parsons, dated May 25th :-“ As troop officer of your gallant son, I feel I should like to express my sympathy to you for his loss. I witnessed him perform the bravest act a man can perform under fire. He carried a wounded soldier across open ground swept by shell fire, and saved his life. No man could have done more, or have behaved in a more gallant way in the whole British Army. I am proud to have had him in my troop.”

A further letter was received from Sergt H F Allaby, A Squadron, 4th (R.I) Dragoon Guards, as follows :-“ regret to have the unpleasant task of writing to tell you that your son was killed yesterday in action. Please allow me, on behalf of the squadron, to express our deep regret and sympathy in the loss you have suffered. His death was painless and instantaneous, and followed a few minutes after him performing one of the bravest acts anyone would wish to see. In your loss please think always he died in a good cause and well doing his duty.” The deceased only attained his 18th birthday last year.

Mrs Hammond’s eldest son is now serving at the front with the Rugby Howitzer Battery.


Leslie Wood, of the Rifle Brigade, has this week written home to his parents. Mr and Mrs J Wood, of 85 Oxford Street, Rugby, stating that he is wounded, and was taken a prisoner by the Germans on May 10th. He mentions that he was hit by a shell, and his wounds are not serious. He adds: “ We have been treated very well up to the present, so don’t worry about me,” Referring to the battle, he says it was too awful to speak about. It will be remembered that a fortnight ago we reported that Rifleman Leslie Wood was missing, and his friends will naturally be glad to learn the young soldier is still living, although in the hands of the enemy. Reference is made in the letter to Rifleman Keen, of 2 Winfield Street, who was reported last week amongst the missing. He is stated to have been wounded in the head, and his companions cannot say what has become of him.


In the list of killed under date May 28th appears the name of Lieut C Bourns, 4th Rifle Brigade, formerly a master at Bilton Grange.

Seaman Charles Hall, Royal Naval Brigade, who was a clerk in the office of Mr Harold Eaden, solicitor, Rugby, has been wounded in action in the Dardanelles.

So far no news has been received of Mr W H Cranch, 37 New Street, New Bilton, who was on H.M.S Majestic when she was sunk in the Dardandles ; but as his name did not appear in the list of missing issued by the Admiralty this week, it is hoped that he has been saved.


Gunner W J Durbin, of the R.F.A, an employee of the L & N-W Railway, lately residing at 11 Spring Street, Rugby, writing to his wife at Old Bilton, says :-

” We are in a very important position here, as this is supposed to be where the Germans are trying to force their way in to Calais. We are a few miles behind the firing line, and we have some very exciting moments. It is a bit of fun to see us sometimes, but the worst of it is when the Red Cross motors come by us with the poor men in, we see some awful sights at times. There were about 200 or 300 poor fellows suffering from gas lying in the next field to us, rolling about in agony and pain. Some of them have died. There is quite a little churchyard in the same field of the poor chaps who have died. If only the people at home could see the poor men suffering they would see to it that there was not a single chap left at home who is fit for service. I do not mean the married men ; keep them at home to look after the dear ones left behind. I wish sometimes I could get home for a bit ; but it is no use to talk about it as long as I keep safe and get home before the summer is over I do not mind ; but I am afraid it will not be so if they at home do not put their best effort to the call, and the others keep at work in getting plenty of ammunition out to us.” Gunner Durbin goes on to say that he is keeping A1 and getting plenty of food, and wishes to be remembered to all his old friends at Rugby, whom he hopes to have the pleasure of meeting again very soon.


On May 13, the day of the great attack upon our cavalry, the London Rifle Brigade did marvels. Only 278 men were left in the battalion, and during the day 91 of those fell. In one trench Sergt Belcher commanded four survivors of his regiment and two Hussars, whom he had picked up. His trench was blown to pieces, and he had to face a German attack which, by accurate and rapid rifle fire he succeeded in repulsing. No more heroic game of bluff has ever been played, and it saved the whole right of the 4th Division. Sergt Belcher is a nephew of Mr and Mrs J J Smith, of Kenilworth House, New Bilton.



News has just been received by Mrs Farndon, of 9 Russell Street, Rugby, that her son, Trooper Fred Farndon, of the Rugby Troop of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, has met with a regrettable accident.

“ While waiting to embark again and re-join my regiment after an exciting experience on the Wayfarer,” he wrote, “ I have been unfortunate in getting my left arm fractured from a kick from one of my officer’s chargers. I was visited by the veterinary officer, and on hearing that we were sailing again, I asked if I could go ; and, after consultation with my doctor, I was refused, much to my disappointment.”

Trooper Farndon wrote from the General Hospital at Bristol, where wounded soldiers who had been in the fighting around Ypres were under treatment. The men are chiefly suffering from shrapnel wounds, and state that it is the big guns possessed by the Germans that are doing all the mischief.

Since writing the above letter Trooper Farndon has been transferred to the Red Cross Hospital at Clevedon, Somerset, and his Rugby friends will wish for him a speedy recovery.


The following have been recruited at Rugby during the past week :-E Barber, J H Bagworth, J Knight, J Lewin, C R Holmes, and G A Fuller, Rugby Fortress Company, R.E ; J R Wilson and W Clarke, Royal Engineers ; L W Taylor and J H Enticott, Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry ; F Gardner, F Massey, and H P Watts, R.W.R ; E Franklin, K.R.R ; P Nebb, 13th Battalion Glocestershire Regiment ; W W Walker and F Gardner, Northants Regiment ; C E Payne, A.S.C (Horse Transport) ; W H Martin and P M Ashwin, Grenadier Guards ; W E Flavell, 3/4 S.M Howitzer Brigade ; W Spraggett, J Woodhouse, B E Bates, and L Thompson, Rife J Brigade. Horse transport drivers between the ages of 40 and 45 and good wheelers are required for the Army.