17th Jan 1919. Back from Germany

BACK FROM GERMANY.
WITHYBROOK GUARDSMAN’S TRYING EXPERIENCES.

Pte A W Cure, of the 1st Coldstream guards, a son of Mrs Cure, of Withybrook, arrived home from Germany on December 16th. He was taken prisoner after the retreat from Mons, and was thus a prisoner for over four years. He lives at 172 Humber Avenue, Coventry, and bears strong traces of the strain and stress of his confinement. He was first sent to Dobritz Camp, about 10 miles from Berlin, but spent the last year at Cotbuss Camp, further south and some 40 miles from the Austrian frontier. He says all food was very strictly rationed, and prisoners suffered most for want of good meat, the principal food being slops and soups. As to the populace of Germany itself, he found that some suffered severely, especially in the big towns, but that the countryside had practically the same rations as in peace times. The work he was put to was in the cement trade. He found the Hun guards in the majority of cases bullies.

He speaks very thankfully with regard to the parcels sent out to him from Rugby and Coventry—indeed without, without them he cannot think how he would have survived at all.

He writes to the Editor :—“ Will you kindly allow me a small space in your paper, as I fell it my duty to thank all kind friends and citizens of Rugby for their kindness and generosity to me in sending food parcels, which I must say were very much appreciated by me. I must thank Mr J R Barker and his Committee for the very kind help. I was captured Sept 17, 1914, and experienced some very trying times while in the hands of the enemy, but I am glad to say they could not break the spirit of a British soldier. Being a reservist, I was called up at the outbreak of war, august 4, 1914. I must conclude by wishing one and all a much brighter and more prosperous New Year, 1919.”

NEWBOLD-ON-AVON.
ALL the men from this village previously reported prisoners of war have now returned safely, the last arriving on Saturday in the person of Pte W Button, of whom nothing had been heard for some time.

LEAMINGTON HASTING8.
PTE DAVID ISHAM, of the Devons, returned to his home on Sunday, after being a prisoner in Germany since May, 1918. He is the youngest son of Mr F Isham, of the Almsrooms. After capture he had a somewhat rough time on a journey to Saxony, where he was put to work in a coal mine. Thanks to a fairly regular supply of parcels, for which he wishes to express his thanks, he has not been short of food, and has been well treated.

FRANKTON.
MILITARY MEDAL.—Pte John Shelsy[?], of this village, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry on the field. Since the commencement of the war he has done good work with the Ambulance, and, being a Reservist, has seen much service.

BOURTON-ON-DUNSMORE.
RETURNED PRISONER OF WAR.—Corpl W White, who has been a Prisoner of War for the last nine months has returned home. He states that both at Cassel and Chimnitz he was very fairly treated. Just before he return he received the sad news of the death of his father.

LONG ITCHINGTON.

MR & MRS H COCKERILL have received an official notification that their son, Pte Harry Cockerill, R.W.R. Lies buried in the Vis-en-Artois Cemetery, lying 10 miles E.S.E of Arras. He was killed on September 1st last.

MR & MRS JOSEPH LANE have received a communication from the Red Cross Society, stating that evidence has reached them pointing to the possibility that their son Pte Ernest Lane, reported missing on September 2nd last, may be a prisoner of war. His correct number has been furnished by a man, who states that he saw him captured. They are, however, advised to receive the news with caution.

THE DISCHARGED MEN.
ASSOCIATION’S DOINGS IN RUGBY & DISTRICT.

Don’t forget the grand Football Final to-morrow (Saturday) between Rugby Discharged Sailors and Soldiers and Wycliffe Foundry, Lutterworth, at Eastlands, Clifton Road. Kick off at 2.30 p.m. Prompt.

Mrs Arthur James will present the Cup to the winning team. Roll up in your hundreds and shout for the soldier boys in royal blue and white. Several prominent players are taking part in the match.

The annual meeting of the Association was held on the 12th inst. It was attended by a large number of members, presided over by the Chairman, Mr J Cain. Keenness was the keynote throughout. Nineteen new members were elected, and the officials for the ensuing year elected.

An interesting report was made by the Chairman upon a propaganda meeting held at Southam last week, where 15 new members were made. It is proposed to form a branch of the Association in the district, and open an Institute at an early date. Several well-known local residents attended the meeting and promised their hearty support to the scheme.

The Chairman and treasurer are finding themselves very busy on Monday evenings now in the Committee Room, advising upon pensions, etc.

IN AND AROUND RUGBY.

MAJOR B J HASLAM, D.S.O, R.E, reported missing and wounded on August 4th, 1918, is now reported to have been killed in action on that date. He was the eldest son of the late Mr. J B Haslam, H.M.I.S. of Rugby, his first wife, the daughter of Mr G Udney, of the Bengal Civil Service. He was educated at Rugby and Woolwich.

SINN FEINERS ARRESTED AT RUGBY.—Two Sinn Feiners (who will be tried at the London Guildhall to-day) were arrested at Rugby L and N.W. Railway Station last Saturday. Sensational revelations as to the methods by which the Sinn Fein Army is being secretly munitioned through an English agent are expected to be made during the hearing.

SOLDIERS ENTERTAINED.—On Saturday the Rugby branch of the Women Workers’ Federation entertained between 70 and 100 wounded soldiers from the local Red Cross Hospitals to a sumptuous meat tea and social in the Trades Hall. In the evening games, interspersed with songs, were played. The artistes included Miss Gibbs, Miss Jackson, Messrs Phillips, Heap, and Jackson.

THE “ St Matthew’s Parish Magazine ” states—the Memorial Window we are intending to erect in The Church as a memorial to those gallant men living in, or associated with, our Parish is now completed. All that remains, before it can be erected is to obtain the complete list of names to place on the brass tablets on either side of the window. We should therefore be greatly obliged if the names might be sent in to Mr Myers at once, so that we may have the window in by Easter.

ST JOHN’S V.A.D HOSPITAL.—A “ break up ” concert and dance were given at this hospital on Saturday evening, to which a large number of friends were invited. Mrs Arthur James presided, and also played the accompaniments. Mr Hearnshaw’s party and a Brandon party provided a vocal and instrumental programme. During an interval Sergt Hughes, on behalf of the patients, thanked Mrs James, the commandant, for making St John’s such an excellent home for the wounded. In reply, Mrs James regretted that her duties at Waterloo Station prevented her doing so much at the hospital as she would have like.

DUNCHURCH.

A dance has been held at the Village Hall on behalf of the Blind Soldiers and Sailors. Refreshments were served by the women of the Mothers’ Union, and Mrs W W Heap supplied the music for the dance.

The Green Man Hotel Parcel Fund closed a very successful career with the signing of the Armistice. The receipts from March, 1915, to November, 1918, were £115 8s 10d, which was distributed as follows :—Parcels despatched, or their value to solders on leave (188) £87 13s 8d, Bilton Red Cross Hospital £14 1s 8d, Rugby & District Prisoners of War Fund £11 11s 6d, St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blinded Soldiers £2 2s ; total £115 8s 10d.

A dance in aid of the funds of the St Dunstan’s Hostel for blinded Sailors and Soldiers was held in the Village Hall on New Year’s Day. In spite of the inclement weather, there was a large attendance, and the organisers, who have been working all through the winter on war charities under the direction of Mrs Arkwright and Miss Rowland, are to be congratulated on their success. The proceeds amounted to £11 11s.

MARTON.
PROPOSED WAR MEMORIAL.—A public meeting, convened by the Vicar, was held in the schools on Wednesday in last week to discuss ways and means of providing a suitable war memorial for the village. The Vicar suggested that an appropriate memorial would be a clock in the church tower. After lengthy discussion, it was finally agreed to erect in the church a tablet commemorating the names of villagers who had served in the War. If sufficient support was forthcoming, the aim should be to build a village hall for recreative purposes for both sexes. A large and representative committee was appointed to carry out the scheme. The officers appointed were : Mr E Carter, secretary ; Mr N Wilson, assistant secretary ; and Mr F Glover, treasurer.

NEW BILTON.
WAR MEMORIAL.—A meeting was held in the Church House, New Bilton, on Thursday evening of last week, and was well attended. The Rev C C Chambers presided, and said the object of the meeting was to consider the placing of a stained glass window at the east end of the church as a memorial to parishioners who had given their lives for their country. He emphasised the fact that the proposed scheme was not antagonistic to any suggested by the Parish Council, but churchpeople generally thought that something in the way of beautifying the church should be done. The Vicar produced a sketch of the proposed window at an estimated cost of 209[?] guineas. It was certainly a large sum, but similar amounts had been raised before, and he was very optimistic concerning the proposed venture. The meeting unanimously adopted the scheme, and a committee to consider ways and means was appointed.

DEATHS.

GRIFFITH.—On November 5, 1918, in Palestine, Pte. F. M. H., the dearly beloved husband of D. Griffith ; also beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. Griffith, Kilsby.
“ Sleep on, dear brother, in a far-off land,
In a grave we may never see ;
But as long as life and memory lasts
We will remember thee.
Could I have raised your dying head,
Or heard your last farewell,
Our grief would not have been so hard
For one we loved so well.
—From his sorrowing Wife and Children, Mother, Father & Sisters.

Griffith, Llewellyn. Died 18th Sep 1916

Llewellyn Griffith was born in Hillmorton and baptised there on 21st Feb 1897. His parents were John and Sarah Ann (nee Wolfe) who married in Hillmorton Parish Church on 11th Dec 1873. Llewellyn was the youngest of nine children and his father was a railway labourer. Soon after his birth the family moved to 74 South Street, Rugby where John worked on the railway. By 1911 John was employed as a boiler cleaner. Llewellyn, aged 14 was an engine cleaner, like his elder brother Albert. Other members of the family worked for B.T.H including Llewellyn’s sixteen year old sister Lily.

Llewellyn Griffith must have joined the 7th Bn, King’s Royal Rifle Corps (No. R/1651) near the start of the war; perhaps he is the L Griffiths in the list of volunteers from the Locomotive Department of the L & N-W Railway at Rugby published in the Rugby Advertiser of 5th September 1914.

In another report published in October 1915, he writes to Mr Hodges, headmaster of Murray School:
“Rifleman L Griffith, 7th K.R.R Corps, has also written to Mr Hodges, and states that the Rugby boys remaining in the Battalion are quite well. He adds : I am glad to see that the Old Murray Boys have responded well to the call. The Old Boys have not disgraced the school’s name.”
(Rugby Advertiser, 16 October, 1915)

By September 1916 the 7th Bn, Kings Royal Rifle Corps had taken part in many actions, including the Battle of Hooge in 1915, the first division to be attacked with flamethrowers. Now they were at the Somme. At 11.45 pm on 14th September the Battalion “moved up to Delville Wood and took up its position in artillery formation in the front of the wood at 1am” At 6.20 they left their trenches and attacked ” ‘Tanks’

which were used for the first time came up on the Bn’s right flank … but were unable to take their objective owing to M. G. fire on both flanks.” There was confusion on returning to trenches “owing to some of the 42nd IB returning to our trenches and many of the 7th KRR going forward with the 42nd IB.” Heavy shelling continued all day and “they remained until the following evening being shelled the whole time.” At 7 pm they received orders to retire.

Casualties: 12 officers and the Medical officer, other ranks: Killed 21, Wounded 189, Missing 120. “Great Gallantry was shown by all ranks”

This is probably the action in which Rifleman Llewellyn Griffith was injured. He died of wounds on 18th September 1916 at the No 1 New Zealand Hospital and was buried at St Pierre Cemetery, Amiens.

In the Register of Soldiers’ Effects Llewellyn’s sole legatee is named as his sister Lily, perhaps because their father John Griffith had died in 1914. Lily Griffith married John Mawby in 1917. This perhaps led to the confusion in the CWGC record which names Rifleman L Griffith as the son of Mrs Manby, of 74 South Street, Rugby.

He is listed on the Rugby Steam Shed Plaque as well as Rugby Memorial Gates.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM