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.

 

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27th Feb 1915. Appeals for more Men.

RUGBY MAN AT THE FRONT APPEALS FOR MORE MEN.

Mr C T Mewis, 44 Bath Street, has received a very interesting letter from a friend, Pte W Gardner, of the 3rd Coldstream Guards, who is at the front. Mr Gardner was formerly a policeman at Rugby, but of late was employed in the Press Department of the B.T.H.

In the course of this letter Pte Gardner recounts his experiences, from the time he first went out, in very interesting manner. He relates that on Christmas night they were sent to the trenches, but found them in such a terrible condition that they volunteered to dig some more. This request was acceded to, but the weather was so cold that their trousers and putties were frozen to their legs and their socks to their feet. During the whole of this time they were under fire, but luckily no one was hit, although some had very narrow escapes, and a bullet passed through a parcel of Christmas dainties which he was carrying in his pack. After recounting further experiences, the writer goes on to say :-

” I was very pleased to hear that the young men of Rugby have rallied round the Old Flag in its time of danger, and I hope that if there are any slackers left they will soon buck up and come in, for every man is wanted out here. They will all get out here in time, for I think this is going to be a long war yet, and every able-bodied man ought to try and do his little bit. But it wants all the single ones to come first ; then, if it comes to a pinch, the married men should get in. If they were to see some of the sights that I have since I have been here they would soon some in, I am sure. Wherever you go you are sure to find some trace of German brutality and destruction—houses and churches burnt to the ground or blown down by shells or bombs, starving women and children walking about without any home, parents, or food. It is awful. There is no doubt but that we shall win, for we are now steadily gaining ground and winning along the line all the time. The Germans do a lot of damage sniping-a game of which they are very fond. It does not take a crack shot to do it with their rifles, which have got telescopic sights on them. They can hide in a wood or house 500 yards a way, and, looking through these sights, see a man’s head through a loop-hole as plainly as if he was only two yards away. We have caught many of them, so this is first hand information. The writer adds that he has seen several Rugby men at the front, including Pte Flavell, of the B.T.H. He states states that he has slept in a number of peculiar places of late, viz. in the trenches, in the road when the mud has been 2 or 3 inches deep, in the gutter when it had been raining and the water was running down it like a young river, in a haystack, on the railway lines, in a cattle truck, barn, stable, ploughed field, cow-shed, workhouse and college, but never in a bed.”

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Although there are still hundreds of young fellows in the town and district apparently without any adequate reason for holding back, only four have joined the forces this week, this being the smallest number since the commencement of the war. The total number from Rugby now exceeds 2,200. Those joining this week were:—Royal Berkshire Regiment, A H Sear and F Parker; R. W.R, E H Healey; Leicestershire, A Tyers.

MILITARY CROSS FOR ANOTHER OLD ST. MATTHEW’S BOY.

In addition to Sergt-Major J W Goddard, mentioned in our columns last week, another old St Matthew’s boy has been awarded the Military Cross by the King, after being mentioned in Sir John French’s despatches. The recipient on whom the honour has been bestowed is Sergt-Major F A Nason, of the Army Veterinary Corps, a nephew of Mr T Nason, 130 Railway Terrace.

RUGBY RAILWAY WORKER KILLED IN ACTION.

News has been received that Mr William Dirbin, who formerly lived at 11 Spring Street, Rugby, was killed in action near Soissons in January. The deceased, who was a reservist in the Royal Field Artillery, was for several years employed in the Goods Department at Rugby L & N-W Railway Station, but was transferred shortly before the war broke out. He was called up in August last. The gallant fellow was of a quiet, unassuming disposition, and was a favourite with all who knew him ; and the news of his untimely end has come as a great shook to his wife, with whom much sympathy is expressed, and his friends.

CHEERING NEWS OF A DUNCHURCH S0LDIER.

Mr C J Beard, of Murray Road, Rugby, still receives letters occasionally from his son, Pte Sidney Beard, of the 2nd Warwickshire Regiment, who is detained as a prisoner of war at Gottingen, Germany. At the request of Mr Adams, of Dunchurch, Mr Beard wrote to his son recently, asking if he knew anything of the fate of his soldier son, Pte Willie Adams, of the same regiment. The letter was posted at Paris, and yesterday (Friday) morning Mr Beard got a reply, in which the following gratifying sentence was given :—“ I have spoken to Adams ; he is quite safe.” Private Beard has also asked for food, clothing, soap and other articles to be sent to him

Pte John Richardson, of the Coldstream Guards, the eldest son of Mr W and Mrs Richardson, The Banks, Dunchurch, volunteered for the front at the outbreak of the war, and landed in France on November 12th. He died from wounds received in action on February on 11th. He was one of the smartest of the young men that went from Dunchurch. Up to the present, in addition to Pte Richardson, the following Dunchurch men have been killed :— Lance-Corp E Parker, Lance-Corpl White, Pte R Norman, and Gunner Harry Pearce (on the Bulwark).

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

During the week the troops in Rugby have been exercised in route marching, and on Thursday they joined contingents from Leamington ; while Nuneaton and Coventry men met for similar work.

Captain the Hon E A FitzRoy, M.P. is not yet medically fit for active service, and is doing light work with his regiment.

In the area in Essex over which the German aeroplane raid took place last week-end a number of the Warwickshire Territorials, including “ E ” Company, are located.

Mr W G B Over, formerly of Rugby, who joined the colours in September last, is now engaged as musketry instructor attached to the 10th (Service) Battalion of the 19th Yorkshire Regiment. He holds the rank of Sergeant-Major, and is stationed at Aylesbury.

On Monday last coal supplied by the bag was advanced in Rugby 1d per cwt. On Monday next another halfpenny will be put upon the 4lb loaf, making the price 8d.

PROPOSED ALARM IN CASE OF AIR RAIDS

With regard to the proposal made by the Urban District Council to use the B.T.H hooter for an alarm signal in case of air raids, a correspondent living in Lower Hillmorton Road writes to point out that when the wind is blowing from a southerly direction the hooter is almost inaudible in that district, and therefore would be useless as an alarm. Our correspondent suggests that the new bell at Rugby School should be sounded as well as the hooter in case of air raids. This would ensure that when the wind was blowing from such a direction as to diminish the volume of sound from one of the alarms, it would increase that of the other. It is suggested that a key of the door giving access to the bell-rope should be left either at the Police Station or given to the police officer on duty in the town, and that immediately notice of a raid is received the officer shall make his way to the tower and ring the bell. The suggestion seems to be a good one, and we recommend it to the Urban Council for their consideration.

RUGBY PETTY SESSIONS.

Tuesday.—Before Dr Clement Dukes (in the chair), T Hunter, T A Wise, A E Donkin, and J J McKinnell, Esqrs.

HANDED OVER TO THE MILITARY AUTHORITIES,-Pte George Oliver, of the Scottish Regiment, was charged on remand with stealing a gentleman’s overcoat, of the value of £1, from the doorway of a shop belonging to Tom G Hough, pawnbroker, in Little Church Street, on February 16th.—Application was made by an officer of defendant’s regiment for the man to be handed over to the Military Authorities to be dealt with.— This course was agreed to, and defendant was remanded till next week in the same bail for the authorities to report as to whether he had been dealt with.

21st Nov 1914. Local War Notes

It is stated that the Leicestershire Yeomanry are now in the fighting line.

C Spicer and A E Lorriman have joined the Rugby Howitzer Battery. The latter was formerly a member, but went away to America, and returned to England in order to re-enlist.

Mr R Herron, of Rugby, who for the past two years has been in training at a Baptist Theological College, has joined the Royal Army Medical Corps. He is a competent ambulance man, and has already been promoted to the rank of sergeant.

We understand that the whole of the Belgian refugees, with one exception, living at 17 Hillmorton Road, have obtained employment, three of them at the B.T.H Works at Rugby, and two others at Birmingham. A boy is also working at the shop of a tradesman in the town.

Members of the St John Ambulance Brigade are doing useful service in accompanying wounded Belgian soldiers from the Red Cross Hospital who are able to get out for walks in the vicinity of Rugby. On three days a week they are doing this, the walk generally occupying about an hour, and the men greatly appreciate the kindness shown.

The Rugby Co-operative Society’s employees have sent warm mufflers, helmets, and socks, together with supplies of cigarettes, to their comrades, 18 in number, who have joined Lord Kitchener’s Army. The gifts have been very much appreciated, and letters of thanks have been received, saying they were just the articles that were required.

On Sunday afternoon the Salvation Army Boys’ Band (under the leadership of Mr Whitmore) played patriotic airs and the various National Anthems for an hour at the Red Cross Hospital for the benefit of the wounded Belgian soldiers. The visit was greatly appreciated, and the soldiers sent to the band by way of thanks an illuminated card, the handiwork of one of their number-a graceful act of acknowledgement that the band fully reciprocated.

A QUICK PROMOTION.

George Edward Middleditch, a premium apprentice who was employed in Rugby Erecting Shop, serving his time to fitting, and enlisted in the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry Regiment in August last, has done particularly well. He showed ability and quickly rose to the rank of sergeant. This week he has received his discharge papers from this regiment and offered a commission, which he has very naturally accepted. Middleditch has gone to his home in Devon for a brief rest, and awaiting instructions from the War Office as to the regiment to which he is gazetted. Before leaving Rugby for home he visited the erecting shop to say “ good-bye ” to the workmen, who took the opportunity to warmly congratulate him on his well-merited promotion.

WAR CASUALTIES.

Pte. Arthur Hill, a reservist in the Royal Horse Artillery, who previous to the war was employed by Messrs Willans & Robinson, has written to his former land lady, Mrs Judd, of 21 Dale Street, stating that he has been wounded.

Mrs Meadows, of Inwood’s Cottages, near Bilton Grange, this week received news of her son, Pte J T Meadows, 1st Northants Regiment, who is now lying wounded in Duchess of Westminster’s Hospital in Paris, but he hopes before long to be able to return home.

Pte G T Wills, of the North Staffordshire Regiment, who resides at 57 Jubilee Street, New.Bilton, and who, as reported last week, had been wounded, was an Old Elborow Boy, and a member of the Rugby Parish Church Choir during the rectorship of the late Mr Murray. He served for one year and ten months in the South African campaign, and has written to his wife informing her that he is in a hospital at Versailles, is being well looked after, and going on as well as can be expected.

We understand that Mrs H Flavell, of 14 Newbold Road, who a few week ago received official intimation that her husband, Pte H Flavell, a reservist in the Coldstream Guards, had been posted as missing, has since received a communication from him stating that he is well.

WOUNDED AND PRISONER OF WAR.

Pte A Hirons, of the 1st Coldstream Guards, of whom nothing had been heard for some time, has written to his landlady, Mrs Green, of Hillmorton, informing her that he has been wounded in the back and been taken a prisoner by the Germans. Pte Hirons, who is a native of Churchover, served three years in the Guards, and had been on the reserve twelve months. Before mobilization he was employed in the Loco Department at the L & N. W. Railway Station, Rugby.

HOW A RUGBY SOLDIER’S LIFE WAS SAVED – A COMRADES DEVOTION.

Pte A Glen, reservist of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and a native of Rugby, has arrived home, on sick leave, suffering from three wounds received in the trenches at La Basse, and tells the story of how his life was saved by the devotion of a comrade.

Pte Glen, who is the caretaker of the Conservative Club in Abbey Street and is well known in town, stated in an interview with our representative that the first battle he was engaged in was at Le Cateau. About a month ago his brigade was ordered to relieve another section in the trenches at La Basse. Their position, however, was located by a spy, and the Germans immediately started business with their “Jack Johnsons.” A church steeple near the British lines was set on fire by the shells, and fell into the trenches, causing great havoc. Several hayricks were also fired, and by the light from these the Germans were able to easily locate the British, and then rake them with such a shower of shells that they were forced to retire, their places being taken by Indians. Pte Glen received a bullet wound in the head, and was also struck on the neck and shoulder by a fragment from a “ Jack Johnson,” and thus was unable to leave. A comrade remained behind to render assistance, and whilst he was bandaging Pte Glen’s head was fatally struck by a shell, which would otherwise have struck the wounded man. When Pte Glen came round in the morning the dead body of his faithful chum was laying across his back. According to Pte Glen, matters are going very well for the Allies in the Western Theatre. He added, optimistically, “ We are winning safe as eggs, slow, but sure, and at big price. There is no doubt about that. The Germans have machine guns made of papier mache ; and these, in addition to being very effective, are easily carried by one man, and thus give them a great advantage. The rifle fire of the German infantry as a body is poor ; but the companies of sharp shooters do great mischief. One significant fact struck Pte Glen very forcibly, and that was the great deterioration in the quality of the German troops now being brought into action. At the commencement of the campaign the German infantry consisted of fine set-up men ; but the troops now opposed to the British consist, for the most part, of boys from 18 to 20 years of age and old grey-headed men. Pte Glen, who was also wounded in South Africa, said[?] that he only saw one Rugby man at the front, Pte S Cockerill, of his regiment, who has also been wounded.

NEW BILTON RESERVIST WOUNDED.

Mr H Berwick, a reservist in the 1st King’s Own Regiment, has returned to England wounded, and has written to his former landlady, Mrs Smith, of 123 Lawford Road, New Bilton. In this he states that after the retirement from Mons the British took up positions on a hill, and were ordered to prepare for a night or early morning attack. They were preparing to do this when at about 400 yards away a very deadly fire commenced with a few rapid shots from what we call their ” safe deliveries ” (siege guns), which were right in among our Brigade. It was found out after we had been forced to retire that the enemy had a whole Army Corps and had been carefully watching our movements. They had, it is estimated, eight machine guns all turned on one battalion, and I am sorry to say that battalion was mine. That was our first experience, and where we lost 540 officers, N.C.O’s and men. I received a hit in the shoulder by shrapnel, the first shot they fired, which also dislocated my shoulder.” After alluding to the German use of dum-dum bullets and the abuse of the white flag,” the writer says, “ I must confess that their (German) gunners are fine shots. So would you if you were near them. If It was not for their Susie Greens (big guns), I think the English Boy Scouts could beat them, as I think their infantry is absolutely bad.” Describing a German charge at Armentierres, he states that they had been contiguously attacked by the Germans at night and early morning, and the R.E. put some wire entanglements about 200 yards in front of the British trenches, and they then waited for the Germans. We spotted them at about 600 yards, and let them come on until they got to 300 yards. Then they seemed to hesitate. All of a sudden there went up a sort of downhearted yell, and on they charged – if we can call it a charge. It was simply lovely, a great big grey mass with their heads down, and could not see where they were coming until they got on to our wires. Some of our lads thought they were on a fair ground, as their great round heads looked just like cocoanuts.” Among the places where the writer saw heavy fighting were Mons, Marne, Aisne, St Margarette, St Omar, Lille, and Armentierres.

HILLMORTON SOLDIER KILLED IN ACTION.

About a fortnight ago Mrs. G. Thorneycroft, of Hillmorton, wife of Pte. Thorneycroft, of the 1st Royal Warwicks, received the following note, written on the back of a letter she had enclosed in a package of cigarettes to her husband :-” I am very sorry to have let you know that your husband met his death on the battlefield. His letters have been opened and the cigarettes have been given to his friends. We all sympathise with you in your great loss.” The letter was undated, and was only initialled. Mrs Thorneycroft has since been in communication with the military authorities, and on Wednesday received official intimation that he was killed in action on October 23rd. Pte Thornycroft served nine years with the colours, during which time he served in India and also went through the South African War, one of his most treasured possessions being Queen Victoria’s chocolate box. He had been in the reserve for seven years, and previous to being called up was employed by Mr Whittaker, the builder. He was about 36 years of age and highly respected in the village, where much sympathy is expressed for his widow.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

During the past week 20 recruits have enlisted at Rugby Drill Hall, bringing the total figures up to 1962, exclusive of a considerable number who have gone from the town to other recruiting offices. Men are still urgently required for the various regiments of infantry of the line.-Recruiting, for the Howitzer Battery Reserve has been proceeding at Rugby and Coventry this week, and we understand that the number required has now been raised.

7th Nov 1914. War Casualties

Scout J Farn, 2nd Worcesters, has been wounded at the front. His brother, Driver W J Farn, was wounded at the Battle of the Aisne.

George Lines, a reservist in the Coldstream Guards, living at Newbold, has been wounded, and is reported to be in Sheffield Hospital. Lines was also wounded in the Boer War.

Lieut O’Connor, of the Cameronians, son of Mrs O’Connor, Overslade Manor, arrived home yesterday (Friday) with an injured ankle. He has a staff appointment in the 7th Division, and hopes in a few days to return to his duties.

The parents of Pte Harry Hales, 1st R.W.R, of Pinfold Street, New Bilton, have received official intimation that their son was killed in action on October 13th. Last week we reported that they had already received intimation, from a comrade of their son’s, of his death.

The death took place on October 31st, at Plymouth, of enteric fever, contracted on voyage whilst crossing with Canadian Contingent, of Aubrey, aged 20, younger son of Percy Ridley-Thompson, of Park Close, Bloxham, Banbury, and formerly of The Croft, Dunchurch. Deceased was an old pupil of Mr T Arnold Wise, of “ Oakfield,” Rugby.

Pte Harry Nash, of the 1st Northamptonshire, Regiment, son of Mr C Nash, the cemetery-keeper at Rugby, arrived home on Thursday. He looks very well, although he is still lame.

RUGBY OFFICERS WOUNDED.

The two sons of Mrs Anderson, of Rokeby Farm, Rugby, who have been in the fighting line, have been wounded, and as a result are now back in England. Lieut C E Anderson, of the Gordon Highlanders, was shot through the knee, and is now under treatment at the Empire Hospital, Vincent Square, London. His brother, Second Lieutenant R G F Anderson, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was wounded in the head by shrapnel, and has been brought to his home at Rugby, where for the present he has to be kept very quiet, and is not allowed to see visitors. Mrs Anderson has another son in the army, Lieut W R W Anderson, 4th South Midland Howitzer Brigade, who is in camp at Great Baddow, Essex.

A WOUNDED RUGBY SOLDIER.

News reached Mr George Cook, of 13 Temple Street, Rugby, on Monday evening that his son, Ernest, who is a private in the Oxford and Bucks light Infantry, has been wounded, and is now in hospital at Tidworth, Wilts. Pte Cook went to the front with his regiment early in September, and on October 21st was wounded in the left leg and the right cheek. “ I hope to be on sick leave in Rugby before very long,” he says, and adds: “It is so different here to what it is in the trenches, for I am so comfortable.”—Before enlisting, Pte Cook assisted for a time at the School Armoury, and then worked at the locomotive engine sheds at Rugby. He was also in the Territorial Army before joining the Regulars.

B.T.H EMPLOYEE WOUNDED.

News has been received that Pte A J Vineall, of 65 Winfield Street, Rugby, has been rather badly wounded in the foot, and is at present in hospital at Leeds. On Tuesday he had several toes amputated, and on Wednesday, when visited by his wife, was still suffering from the effects of this, but appeared to be going on well. Pte Vineall, who was attached to the East Surrey Regiment, is a reservist, and has served 12 years with the colours, eight of which were spent in India. He also went through the South African War. Before being called up he was a fitter in the B.T.H foundry.

“ MISSING.”

Mrs H Flavell, of 14 Newbold Road, recently received intimation from the War Office that her husband, a reservist in the Coldstream Guards, was missing. She has, however, since received a post card from her husband, dated after the day mentioned in the War Office message, and the assumption is that he has become detached from his unit. Pte Flavell was an employee of the B.T.H Co.

WOUNDED WARWICKS FROM RUGBY HOMES.

In the fighting in the neighbourhood of Ypres, France, the 2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment has taken a gallant part, and several men, whose homes are in Rugby and district, have been wounded.

Pte Wm B Wheeler, youngest son of Mr and Mrs J Wheeler, of 135 Abbey Street, Rugby, was wounded at Menin, near Ypres, on Trafalgar Day (October 21st), and is now in hospital at Portsmouth. He has a bullet ground in his right fore-arm, and says he received it where the heaviest and hardest fighting was going on. He adds in a letter to his parents :

“ It is hard fighting, I can tell you with those “ Jack Johnsons ” and shrapnel flying about in all directions. It’s a treat to be clear of them for a time. Whilst we were in a hospital in France, the German aeroplanes dropped two bombs just outside.” Describing the battle, he states: ” We were under heavy fire of big guns and so we retired for a short distance. Then we advanced still under the heavy firing, and moved so rapidly that we got within fifty yards of the German guns, thinking we were going to capture them, this being our intention, but as our artillery was giving a flanking fire, the officers would not take them. I was on the extreme right when I got hit.” Pte Wheeler mentions a number of comrades who were also wounded, and considers it is a wonder there are any of his Company left to tell the tale.

Lce-Sergt Wm Harper, whose home is at 20 Old Station, Rugby, is also wounded, being under treatment at a hospital at Aldershot. His parents went to see him on Thursday last week, and have a souvenir in the shape of a crumpled up whistle, which was struck by shrapnel and is considered to have saved their son’s life. His chief wound is in the arm, which was broken, and the flesh lacerated by a shell. Sergt Harper was ordered to the front with his regiment from Malta. Within six weeks of leaving Southampton for France he was back again wounded in the leg and arm. During the whole of the time from his embarkation at Malta until he was treated for wounds, he had not removed his clothes nor slept in a bed, and he has passed days without food and water, so strenuous and fierce has been the conflict in the trenches.

Pte F Batchelor, whose parents live at 35 Worcester Street, Rugby, is another soldier from the same regiment who has been wounded, he having been shot through the muscle of the right arm, on October 27th. He has this week been recuperating at Rugby, and told an Advertiser representative some of his experiences. He landed with his regiment at Zeeburghe, in Belgium, and first got into touch with the enemy near Ghent. He was one of a patrol party of 28 sent out to ascertain what force the enemy had in the neighbourhood, and that got to within 1½ miles of the German headquarters. The party was billeted in two houses, and then learnt with surprise that two doors away was a house occupied by 32 Uhlans. “We are in for a warm time,” remarked the officer, adding that each man was thenceforth to shift for himself. Refugees provided the soldiers with civilian clothing and walking sticks, and with their military dress tied up in bundles, the men mingled with the fugitives, and took train with them to Bruges, where they re-joined the column and marched to Ostend. The water here had been poisoned, and many dead fish floated on the surface. The troops entrained, intending to proceed to Antwerp, but news came of the fall of that city, and the column journeyed instead towards Ypres, and there joined the main French and Belgian armies.

“ C ” Company, to which Pte Batchelor belongs, was billetted in Zonnebeke, which place was left at 8.0 a.m, without a German in sight, but on returning at 1.45 p.m there was a large number of the enemy in the vicinity. The infantry took up a position behind a church, in which a number of wounded lay, and the position was vigorously shelled. Pte Batchelor was included in a patrol consisting of a lance-corporal and three men, who came upon a Uhlan in a tree, with platform and signalling equipment complete, his duty being to indicate what effect the German artillery was having upon the Allies positions. The patrol might have overlooked him had he not shouted out excitedly, “ English, mercy,” but he omitted to throw down his arms, and the patrol opened fire, and killed him.

Pte Batchelor had several narrow escapes. Although wounded, he was crawling along to the aid of a comrade shot in the abdomen, when the lance-corporal told him to go back for treatment, and went himself to the assistance of the man calling out, and promptly received five bullet wounds in his right arm. Having had his own wound dressed at the field station, Pte Batchelor proceeded with other wounded soldiers to Ypres, where 400 of them were looked after by the Sisters of a Convent. Subsequently he reached Boulogne, and crossed the Channel to Southampton. He was for a short time in Chatham Hospital, and in the next bed was lying Pte Osborne, of Hillmorton, who was shot in the cheek and ear, which has resulted in partial deafness. Pte Batchelor has seen some terrible sights, the most sickening being that of a comrade who received the full force of a shell, which blew away completely his head and left arm—a spectacle which filled all who witnessed it with a thirst for revenge. Lieut-Col Loring, though wounded in the foot, still continued to direct operations. He has since been killed in action. Pte Batchelor is now quite convalescent, and had orders to report himself at headquarters at Warwick yesterday (Friday).