9th Feb 1918. The New Franchise Law.


The Representation of the People Bill on Wednesday night received the Royal Assent. The revolution it creates in the parliamentary franchise is shown by the following summary :—

Voters increased from 8,357,000, to about 16,000,000.

6,000,000 women voters enfranchised, 5,000,000, being wives of electors.

Youths of 19 who have served or are serving in the Army or Navy in connection with the war to have votes.

Soldiers and sailors to vote in foreign lands or at sea by post or by proxy.

“ Conscientious ” objectors who have refused all work of national importance disqualified during war and for five years after.

Number of M.P.’s increased from 670 to 702.

All polling in a general election on one day.

Six months’ residence qualification.

General election under new register possible in August or September.


We understand representatives of the Government are looking round in the Midlands for suitable premises for the establishment of a sausage factory, at which it is proposed to deal with 18 to 20 tons of meat per day. A building with about 10,000 square feet floor area is required. When made the sausages are to be sold to the public at fixed prices through retailers.


Mr & Mrs Horsey, of 23 Manor Road, have received news that their son 2nd A.M E Horsey, R.F.C, was in the Osmanich, which was blown up by a mine on the 31st December, and sank in five minutes. He was in the water about half-an-hour before he was picked up, and he is now in Egypt.

Sergt F C Gurney, King’s Royal Rifles, eldest son of Mr T Gurney, bookbinder, of 30 Cambridge Street, has been awarded the Military Medal. He is an old Murrayian.

Second-Lieut J Y Rouse, R.F.A, headmaster of Eastlands Boys’ School, was wounded by shrapnel in the ankle on January 25th. He had only been with the guns two days when he received his wound.

SECOND-LIEUT H H H LISTER (Presumed Killed).

Second-Lieut H H H Lister, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, reported wounded and missing on May 4th, 1917, is now presumed by the War Office to have been killed in action on that date. He was 19 years of age, and was the only child of Mr & Mrs H L Lister, of 107 Clifton Road, Rugby. He was educated at the Lower School of Lawrence Sheriffe (1906-11), and Rugby School (1912-15).


Sergt A Phelps, of New Bilton, 1st Batt. Rifle Brigade, has been transferred from his prison camp in Germany to Scheveningen, Holland. For over two and a-half years Sergt Phelps has regularly received his parcels his through the Rugby Prisoners of War Committee. The recent repatriations and transfers of prisoners of war to neutral countries has now reduced the number of men in the care of the Rugby Committee to 74. To provide the necessary food parcels and bread for these men the sum of £205 7s is required every four weeks.


LOST AT SEA.—Mrs Eli Raven has received the sad intelligence from the War Office that her second son, Sapper Eli Raven, R.E, has been missing since the 30th December, and is believed to be drowned. Presumably he was on board the Aragon when she was and sunk in the Mediterranean. Mrs Raven, lost her husband after a long illness in 1916, and her eldest son, Richd Raven (Coldstreams), was killed in action last July. She has now only one son left,—Driver Albert Raven, R.H.A, now serving “ somewhere France.”


LISTER.—On May 4, 1917, Second-Lieut. H. H. H. LISTER, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, reported wounded and missing at Bullecourt, now presumed to have been killed in action, aged 19, only child of Mr. & Mrs. H. L. Lister, of 107 Clifton Road, rugby.


COLING.—In affectionate remembrance of our dear son, CHRISTOPHER, who was killed in action on February 4th, 1917.
“ Yes, we shall meet our boy again.
Far up in that Home above ;
Where war and strife will be no more.
But all will be peace and love.”
—From Father Mother, Brothers and Sister.

DATSON.—In loving memory of CHARLES DATSON, beloved husband of May Datson (late of Brownsover) who died of wounds in France on February 9, 1917.
“ What though in lonely grief I sigh
For him beloved, no longer nigh ;
Submissive would I still reply.
‘Thy will be done.’”

ELLIOTT.—In loving memory of Lance-Corpl. H. J. ELLIOTT, of the Rifle Brigade, beloved son of H. D. A. Elliott, who was killed in action in France on February 12, 1917.
“ Had we been asked, how well we know.
We should say, ‘Oh ! Spare this blow,’
Yes, with streaming tears, would say :
‘Lord, we love him, let him stay.’
He bravely answered duty’s call.
He gave his life for one and all :
But the unknown grave is the bitterest blow,
None but his loved ones ever know.”
—From his sorrowing Mother, Father & Brothers.

FRENCH.—In loving remembrance of Pte. OLIVER FRENCH, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, youngest son of Robt. & Emma French, of Napton, who died in France on February 10, 1917.
“ I Heard the Voice of Jesus say,
‘Come unto Me and rest.’”

RICHARDSON.—In loving memory of Pte. J. RICHARDSON, Coldstream Guards, who died of wounds received in action on February 11, 1915.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call,
His life he gave for one and all.”
—Sadly missed by his Mother, Brothers, Sisters, and Grandmother, of The Banks, Dunchurch.


10th Jun 1916. The Great Naval Battle



The Admiralty issued on Sunday night a detailed list of the casualties among the officers serving in the ship which took part in the great fight in the North Sea last week. All those on board the Indefatigable, the Defence, and the Black Prince were lost ; only four of the Queen Mary and two of the Invincible were saved. The list of killed numbers 333 and includes Rear-Admirals Hood and Arbuthnot, whose flags were carried on the Invincible and the Defence respectively. Many representatives of well-known families are to be found in the list, including the Earl of Denbigh’s second son, Lieut-Commander the Hon Hugh R C Feilding, and Sub-Lieut the Hon Algernon W Percy, only son of Lord Algernon Percy, of Guys Cliff, Warwick.

The first official notification of the battle, published in Saturday morning’s papers, caused a feeling of uneasiness throughout the country, especially when read in connection with the German claims of a great victory. But a further statement, issued by the Admiralty on Sunday night, disposed finally of the impudent German pretence. It was made plain that when, after a vigorous engagement between the leading ships of the two fleets, the main body of the British Fleet came up, the German High Seas Fleet turned tail, and ran for home. In this encounter they were severely punished. The pursuit was maintained until the light failed, and after nightfall British destroyers made a further successful attack on the enemy. Having driven the enemy into port, Sir John Jellicoe cruised about the main scene of action in search of disabled vessels until noon next day, when he returned to his bases, and by the evening of June 2nd his fleet was again ready to put to sea. While the enemy’s losses are not exactly determinable, it is certain that the accounts which they have given to the world are false, and that their losses are not only relatively but absolutely heavier than ours.

The enterprise towards the north on which the German ships set out, whatever may have been its immediate object, was a challenge to the British Fleet, Admiral Sir David Beatty (whom Rugby is proud to claim as an erstwhile townsman) deliberately took up the challenge, though he had at his command only a portion, and that not the strongest, of our forces to pit against the whole navy of Germany. With wonderful gallantry and tenacity he fought, and held the enemy until our Grand Fleet could join in the conflict. The German Fleet had their chance to consider conclusions with our main sea forces, and they declined it. Some of the splendid ships and brave men in whom the nation placed a proud trust kept that trust at the last cost, and the enemy slunk away to their ports, leaving at the bottom of the sea at least four of their largest ships. In short, the German Fleet is to-day as tightly bottled up as it was before.

Lieut-Commander the Hon Hugh Cecil Robert Feilding, his Majesty’s ship Defence (killed in the North Sea battle), was the second son of the Earl and Countess of Denbigh. He was torpedo officer of this ship for three and a-half years, and for the last few months had been first lieutenant. Born in December, 1886, he was educated at the Oratory School Edgbaston, and his Majesty’s ship Britannia, whence he passed as midshipman, and obtained the prize for the highest aggregate of marks. He served as midshipman on the Mediterranean and South African Stations in his Majesty’s ships Bacchante and Crescent respectively. He gained the coveted “ Six ones ” in his examinations for lieutenant, as well as the special promotion marks for “ meritorious examination,” which caused him later on to be antedated considerably, his rank as lieutenant dating from within a few days of his twentieth birthday. Commander Feilding was awarded the Beaufort testimonial and the Whartop testimonial with gold medal for highest marks in navigation and pilotage, and also the Ronald Megaw prize and sword for those obtaining highest marks in the examinations for lieutenant. He specialised for torpedo after serving at sea in his Majesty’s ship Queen, and also in his Majesty’s ship Cornwall, when she made an interesting cruise in the Baltic. After passing very high in the advanced course at Greenwich, he served for a time on the Vernon, and was then appointed to the Defence. Commander Feilding was an officer of brilliant abilities and high promise.

Lieut Feilding was very popular with the tenants of the Newnham Paddox Estate, although he did not take any active part in public life there. Before joining the Navy he frequently shot over the farms with much success.

The Earl and Countess of Denbigh will naturally feel deeply grieved by the loss of their gallant son, and sincere sympathy will be extended to them by all ; but they will, no doubt, find comfort and consolation in the fact that he gave his life fighting gloriously in a battle which one may expect will be recorded in history as one of the decisive battles of the world, and perhaps the greatest.

Sub-Lieutenant the Hon Algernon William Percy was the only son of Lord Algernon Malcolm Arthur Percy, of Guys Cliffe, Warwick, and Lady Victoria, eldest daughter of the fourth Earl of Mount Edgcombe, and grandson of the sixth Duke of Northumberland, Lieut Percy held a lieutenant’s commission in the 3rd Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers for seven years. His joined the Royal Naval Reserve in 1914. He was a Magistrate and a member of the County Council for Warwickshire.

Among local men who perished in the battle were the following :-

Harry Cooper, son of Mr John Cooper, and grandson of Mr A Finch, both of 12 Queen Street, was serving as a boy on the Defence, and as no news has been received by them it is presumed that he has been drowned. He was only 17 years of age, and joined the Navy about twelve months ago, previous to which time he was employed at the International Stores. He was an Old Elborow boy.

Gunner W H Brain, nephew of Mrs B King, Old Bilton, and of Mr F Brain, formerly of Birdingbury, and now of Houston road, Brownsover. He was 17 years of age, and joined the Navy on Christmas Day, 1914. After being trained on the Powerful, he was drafted to the Indefatigable at the beginning of the present year.

Amongst those who went down with the Indefatigable was Chief Stoker Walter Wreford, brother of Mr W J Wreford, 18 Wood Street, Rugby. Although he was not a native of Rugby, Stoker Wreford spent most of his long leave in the town, and was well known to a circle of Rugbeians. He completed his 22 years’ service at Christmas, 1913, but volunteered for service in the following August, on the outbreak of War. He was one of the crew of the Camperdown when she collided with and sank the Victoria in the Mediterranean.


Amongst those lost on H.M.S Invincible was Chief First-Class Petty Officer Mechanician William Josiah Badger, of New Bilton. Mr Badger, who had been in the Royal Navy for thirteen years, and had made remarkably good progress in his profession, was a native of Princethorpe, but went to reside at New Bilton with his parents 17 or 18 years ago. He was 33 years of age and married. His brother, Mr H Badger, lives in Bridle Road, New Bilton.



The whole Empire was shocked on Tuesday at the news that Field-Marshal Lord Kitchener, Secretary of State for War, and one of the foremost military organisers in the world, had lost his life by drowning. On the invitation of the Czar, Lord Kitchener had undertaken a visit to Russia in order to discuss important military and financial questions, when the vessel on which he was travelling, the armoured cruiser Hampshire, was sunk west of the Orkneys, either by a mine or a torpedo. Four boats were seen to leave the sinking ship, but heavy seas were running, and up to Wednesday no news had been received of any survivors, only some bodies and a capsized boat having been found by the search parties which were sent out by sea and land.

Accompanying Lord Kitchener were Brig-Gen W Ellershaw and Mr H J O’Beirne, of the Foreign Office, Sir H F Donaldson, K.C.B, and Mr L S Robertson, of the Ministry of Munitions.

A summary of Admiral Jellicoe’s message conveying the fateful information to the Admiralty appeared in our mid-week edition on Tuesday afternoon, and the distressing news was received with the profoundest regret and dismay. People after eagerly scanning the telegram would ask whether it could possibly be true, and it was with difficulty they could bring themselves to believe that it was. The depressing effect caused in the first instance soon passed away, and gave place to the feeling that the work so well begun by Lord Kitchener would be carried on with still greater determination to a victorious issue.

In a message to the army, the King says :

Lord Kitchener will be mourned by the army as a great soldier who, under conditions of unexampled difficulty, rendered supreme and devoted service both to the Army and the State.

The Admiralty announces that 12 survivors from the crew of the Hampshire have been washed ashore on a raft. So far 75 bodies have been recovered, and there is believed to be a possibility that Lord Kitchener’s body may yet be found.


Mr Leslie Robertson, who with Sir Frederick Donaldson was representing the Ministry of Munitions on Lord Kitchener’s Staff, was for many years a Director of Willans & Robinson, Ltd., Rugby, and his death is severely felt by many of the Staff with whom he came in contact. He invariably took a warm interact in the Company’s affairs, and also in the welfare and happiness of those working in the Company’s service.


Walter Gurney, younger son of Mr and Mrs J Gurney, of 67 Cambridge Street, Rugby, was included in Lord Kitchener’s party, which was lost on H.M.S Hampshire. Mr Gurney, who was 26 years of age, and was a native of Catthorpe, was valet to Mr J O’Beirne, C.V.O, C.B, of the Foreign Office, in whose service he had been about five months, during which time he had visited Rome and Paris in connection with the Allies’ Conferences. The death of Mr Gurney, who had been four times rejected for the Army, is rendered the more sad as his parents heard a few weeks ago that his only brother, who had been missing for 13 months, must be presumed to have been killed in action.


Major Darnley has just arrived in Salonika, and has also been made second in command of his battalion.

Harry Hollowell, an Old Laurentain and youngest son of Mr H Hollowell, 11 Victoria Street, Rugby, has joined the Infantry Division of the H.A.C.

Second-Lieut Eric Pearman, younger son of Mr T Pearman, Manor House, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, has been gazetted lieutenant in the 16th Service Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

Surgeon Probationer J. C. Brown, third son of Mr J Brown of North Street, Rugby, was on the leader of the 12th Destroyer Flotilla, which was in action in the naval battle off Jutland from 6 p.m till 5 a.m on June 1st. This flotilla is credited with having sunk, among other vessels, a German Dreadnought.

Capt G H Neville, 1st Somerset Light Infantry (of Dunchurch), came to England on May 26th, and after being invested by the King at Buckingham Palace with the Military Cross for valour in the field returned to duty.

Captain the Rev V F Mason, former curate at St Marie’s, has just completed one year as Chaplain to the Forces. He has been in Belgium, Egypt, and France, and was recently on short leave in England.-Captain the Rev Frederick O’Connor, also formerly of St Marie’s, and at present Chaplain to the Forces, has been twice in Egypt, was the last chaplain to leave the Gallipoli Peninsula, and is now stationed at Salonika.


The many friends of Lieut H Duncan, of the Royal Flying Corps, will be gratified to hear that he has received the Military Cross at the hands of H.M the King. Lieut Duncan was formerly employed in the B.T.H Test Department, and was a prominent member of the Test Rugby XV.


DRIVER TOM WARD, of the Royal Engineers, has been sent home suffering badly from shell shock and neurasthenia, and is now in hospital for special treatment. He was a reserve man, and was amongst the first troops to go out to France at the beginning of the war in August, 1914. He has been at the front a year and eight months, and fought in numerous battles, in which he has had many narrow escapes. He was in the retreat from Mons, the battles of the Aisne, and seven other places, as well as the first, second, and third engagements at Ypres, and it was in the latter he was finally compelled to give way from shell shock.


HOME ON FURLOUGH.—First Class Stoker Fred Jones has been home on a three weeks’ furlough. His visit was a great surprise to his wife. He has served over 13 years in the service, and has been on a torpedo boat since the outbreak of the war. He had not been home for three years, and had some thrilling stories to tell of life at sea, and also of a narrow escape he had after being washed overboard, when he managed to cling to the sides of the boat.

MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL.—Several cases from the B.T.H. Rugby, came before the Coventry Munitions Tribunal at Coventry on Friday last week.—Alonza Fothergill, 17 Newland Street, New Bilton, was charged with neglecting his work. It was proved that he was refused admittance to the works because he was intoxicated and a fine of £3 was imposed.—Charges of neglecting their work were also preferred against William Hayes painter, of Grosvenor Road, and W Ashton, foundry hand, Cambridge Street, and fines of £1 were inflicted in each case.


Since last July, by the generosity of the public, the Post Office has maintained an average supply of about 1,000 bags, containing books and magazines, per week ; but the numbers have recently fallen to about 800 per week, though our Army has greatly increased.

The people of Rugby have done well up to the present. Until about the end of last November only about three sacks a week were being sent. A special appeal was made in the columns of the Advertiser early in December, which resulted in a despatch of 18 or 20 sacks weekly. For months the size of the weekly despatches was fairly well maintained at that level ; but there has recently been a great falling off, not only from this office, but from the country generally—so much so that a special general appeal is being made to every single person to assist, if only by the giving as often as possible of a magazine or illustrated weekly paper, for which he or she has no further use.

The books and magazines should be merely handed in over the counter at any post office, unwrapped and unaddressed. They will be forwarded to the depot in London in due course in separate receptacles.


JONES.—In loving Memory of Private Arthur Jones, 10822, 6th Leicestershire Regiment. Died June 6, 1915.
“ He is gone from this world
To the home of the blest,
Released from all sorrow and freed from all pain,
Triumphant for ever with Jesus to reign.”
-From his loving Wife and Daughter.

13th May 1916. Rugby Soldier Decorated with the D.C.M.



Sunday was a great day for Sergt Bale, of the 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, whose home is in Lagoe Place, Rugby. Arrangements had been made to present him in Caldecott Park with a Distinguished Conduct Medal, awarded for bravery in France, and the occasion partook somewhat of the character of a civic function, there being present Messrs J J McKinnell (Chairman), W Flint (Vice-chairman), T A Wise, W H Linnell, T Ringrose, H Yates, R W Barnsdale, and W A Stevenson (members of the Rugby Urban District Council). Col F F Johnstone, recruiting officer at Rugby, consented to make the presentation, and the local Volunteer Training Corps paraded, under Company Commander C H Fuller ; also the Royal Defence Corps (late the 5th South Lancashire Regt), with Lieut Gandy in charge ; and the 1st Company Boys’ Brigade, under Capt W F Wood. These formed a “ hollow square ” on the greensward, and cleared a space for the ceremony, which was witnessed by a large concourse of people.


Colonel Johnstone, in making the presentation, said the medal was given to N.C.O.’s and men of H.M forces performing gallant duties beyond their ordinary duties. The special duty performed by Sergt Bale was that on February 9th, 1916, he was ordered out with a reconnoitring party, consisting of one officer, one sergeant, one corporal, and four men, to ascertain the strength of the enemy’s trenches, what they contained, and what entanglements there were before those trenches. The party proceeded about 9.30 at night, and after they had been out an hour or so the sergeant and one of the privates got wounded. Corpl Bale (as he was then) took these men, one by one, under the enemy’s fire, into a place of safety. The whole patrol then returned to the trenches, and, after a certain amount of rest, Lieut McKay and Corpl Bale volunteered to go out again and finish their reconnoitring duties. When they got up to the wire entanglements, the officer was wounded through the thigh. Corpl Bale went to the assistance of his officer, taking him up, under fire, and carrying him back into the trenches. Now, those acts of bravery really deserved the Victoria Cross (hear, hear). Those deeds reflected very much upon the soldier-like conduct of Corpl Bale, and he had pleasure in pinning the decoration upon his breast. He felt sure all would agree with him in thinking Corpl Bale richly deserved this promotion to the rank of sergeant and also the Distinguished Conduct Medal (applause). Having pinned the medal on the solders tunic, Colonel Johnstone said he trusted the gallant deeds would long live in their memories, and that when the young men present were called upon to do their duty in the face of the enemy they would emulate the example of Sergt Bale (cheers).


Mr J J McKinnell, as Chairman of the Urban District Council, congratulated Sergt Bale, in the name of the town, on the great honour he had achieved. They felt that he had conferred lustre upon the name of Rugby, and he wanted Sergt Bale to understand that his fellow-citizens were extremely proud of him (cheers). The town of Rugby, which they all loved so much, had, he thought he might say, with becoming modesty, earned a good name in the last troublous months that we had passed through. He believed Rugby did very well all through the time of recruiting, and he was sure her sons, who had gone forth to fight in the various theatres of war, would acquit themselves creditably, and they sent Sergt Bale forth with their best wishes that his future would be covered with more laurels (applause).


Cheers having been given for Sergt Bale, Capt W F Wood made a short speech. It afforded him more pleasure than he could find words to express to be present at that ceremony, especially as Sergt Bale was one of his old boys (applause). It was some ten years since Sergt Bale joined the Brigade, and proved himself to be a hard worker. That morning he had met a soldier and a sailor, who reminded him that at the Llandudno camp some years ago he told Sergt Bale he would live either to be hanged or to earn the Victoria Cross (laughter and applause). He thought Sergt Bale was on the right way to win one or the other (laughter).

Sergt Bale expressed his thanks for the honour that had been done him, and his pleasure to have been so much congratulated during the three weeks he had been on leave. Sergt Bale then reviewed his exploits in France, including the retreat from Mons, and the circumstances under which, in addition to winning the medal, he had been twice mentioned in despatches.


Colonel Johnstone then presented the Donegal Bronze Medal to Corpl Murray, of the 3rd Platoon of the Rugby Volunteer Training Corps, given by the National Rifle Association, for a creditable total of 397 points out of a possible 450, and entitling the holder to take part in the Donegal Competition at Bisley.

Mr McKinnell, addressing the V.T.C., said they had been working now for some months, and he thought they had received very little encouragement from the Government. Their fellow-citizens had, perhaps, regarded them with a sort of kindly curiosity, but they had gone on working steadily; they had given up their evenings and their Sundays in order to train themselves to be of use to their country in any supreme crisis, which they hoped would never come ; and latterly they had turned out of their comfortable beds in the middle of the night in order to help their fellow-citizens. He wanted the Corps to understand that their fellow-citizens thought well of them, and appreciated the work they were doing (applause).

Company Commander C H Fuller, on behalf of the Training-Corps, thanked Mr McKinnell for his kind words.

Cheers were given for Colonel Johnstone, who, in acknowledgment, said he very much appreciated the way in which recruits came forward first of all. There were not so many to come forward now, but under the new system to be commenced he hoped they would have more, and that many others would follow the example of the brave Sergeant and would come back to the country with the V.C. or the D.C.M. (hear, hear).

Sergt Bale was then played back to his home in Lagoe Place by the band of the Boys’ Brigade, and afterwards enjoyed a motor car drive with several friends.

At the Empire Picture Palace on Monday night Sergt Bale was presented by B Morris, on behalf of the management, with a wrist watch.

Sergt Bale belonged to the 1st Rugby Company Boys’ Brigade for four years, and was a bugler in the band. He left at the age of 16 to join the army, and is one of about 300 old members of the Brigade now serving in H.M. Forces by land or sea. Up to the present there have been few casualties amongst them.

The V.T.C. spent the afternoon in useful exercises in the fields between Hillmorton and Barby, returning at 8.30 p.m.


The 35th meeting of the Warwickshire Territorial Force Association was held on Monday at Birmingham, the Earl of Craven presiding. The War Office letter, dated April 10 last, regarding the administration of the Volunteer Force by the County Association was considered, and on the motion of Colonel Wyley, seconded by Colonel G M Seabroke, a resolution was passed agreeing to undertake the administration of the Volunteer Training Corps in the county on the county basis, and a committee was appointed for the purpose.

Colonel Lewis, Commandant of the Warwickshire Volunteer Training Corps, said they had in Warwickshire five battalions of infantry, a very useful corps of electrical engineers, and a small cycle corps. The 1st Battalion had now the names of nearly 900 members on its books, the second something like 1,500, the third had never been higher than 700, the fourth about 700,and the fifth about 800. Later enlistments had denuded these figures, but he hoped that if an appeal were made the city battalions would have 600 members each to start with, and the county battalions more. In all there were about 1,350 men clothed, armed, and equipped. There was no machinery for maintaining that state of equipment.

It was mentioned that 19 non-commissioned officers and men of the Warwickshire Territorials had received D.C.M. medals, and the payments, numbering 15,525 had been made in respect of separation allowances to wives, children, and dependants of soldiers. The cost of administration was considerably less than the maximum sum fixed by the Government.

Colonel Marsh said there ought to be some arms to be had from Ireland.—Colonel Lewis: The Territorial Force has already applied for them.

The question arose as to the payment and the granting of separation allowances to members of the Volunteer Force in the event of its mobilisation. The opinion was expressed by one member that if the Force was mobilised to repel an invading enemy they would automatically receive the Army pay under the term “ deemed on actual military service.”—Colonel Wyley said the question of pay, allowances, etc, was a matter for future consideration.


War casualties among London and North-Western Railway men number 3,683, of whom 725 have died.

Second Lieut K W Lane (son of the Rev F D Lane, formerly Vicar of Clifton) who, as reported last week had been dangerously wounded, is progressing favourably.

Viscount Feilding, D.S.O, Coldstream Guards, son of the Earl of Denbigh, has been promoted to a captaincy.

The following appointments have been gazetted :—South Midland Brigade : Major (temporary Lieut.-Col) F C B West to be Lieut.-Col. 17th December, 1914. Capt (temporary Major) C P Nickalls to be Major. 17th December, 1914.

The Postmaster-General announces that the despatch of matches by post to the troops has resulted in numerous fires which have destroyed a large quantity of mails. It has consequently been necessary to entirely prohibit their despatch to any destination. The friends of Lieut Allan Hand, 81st Provisional Battalion, T.F, will be pleased to hear that he is now well on the way to recovery. He was taken ill with measles near the end of March, pneumonia subsequently developed, and for a time he was in a very critical condition, and had to undergo an operation.

Mr S E Rogers, who has been with the B.T.H Company for many years, and who joined the 5th Warwickshire Howitzer Battery in August, 1914, has been transferred to the 6th Somerset Light Infantry, to which regiment he has been gazetted as Second Lieutenant. It will be remembered that his brother, H G Rogers, of hockey renown, held a commission in the Somersets at the time of his death last June in the Dardanelles. Two other brothers, F G and W J, are also joining the army, the first-named a cadet at the Royal Military College, Camberley, and the latter (also a well-known hockey player) just back from the West Coast of Africa, to enter the London Scottish Regiment.

Several old Rugbeians have recently arrived in England with the Canadian contingents, including Walter Hillyard, a former employe at Messrs Frost’s and an ex-member of ” E ” Company; and the brothers Albert and Walter Francis. A grandson of the late Mr Richard Over, of Rugby, is also with the contingent.

Lieut F J Hadden, Remount Squadron, an old Rugbeian, who died of pneumonia on May 5 in Egypt, was before the war a tea-planter in Ceylon, where he was well known in connection with all sports, notably racing and polo. He was 55 years of age.


Rugbeians, past and present, will welcome the announcement which has been made this week that Capt H Podmore, O.R, an assistant master at Rugby School, has been awarded the D.S.O. for conspicuous gallantry in the field. The news was received in a letter from Lieut-Col W T Wyndowe, commanding the 6th Battalion Northants Regt, and which reads : “ We have just got the news that Capt Podmore has got the D.S.O for gallantry and devotion to duty on the morning of the 13th April, when his company, after enduring an intense bombardment, repulsed a raid that the enemy attempted on our front line. Though he had only one, the young officer doing duty with the company, they stuck to their parapets like heroes, inspired by the coolness and entire disregard of danger of their commander.” A really good fast bowler, Capt Podmore frequently assisted the Rugby Cricket Club some two or three seasons ago. His father was a fine Rugby football player, and represented Oxford v Cambridge in the first Rugby match between the Varsities.


Notification has just been received of the death of Pte H P Watts, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who was killed in action on April 5th. The mother of Pte Watts, who lives at 10 Bridget Street, New Bilton, has received a message of sympathy from Lord Kitchener. Pte Watts was educated at St Matthew’s Boys’ School, and is the fourteenth old boy of that school to be killed in action. He was 23 years of age, and was working at the Newbold Cement Works when he enlisted. He left England at the end of October.


Information has reached Rugby that Bombardier E Cox, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, was killed by a shrapnel shell on Thursday week. Gunner Cox was formerly a charge hand in the Turbine Department at the B.T.H, and was well known and generally respected in the works. He came to Rugby six or seven years ago as a fitter. Major Nickalls, in a letter reporting Bomb Cox’s death, says : “ I and my officers, N.C.O’s, and men grieve for the loss of not only a grand man and a fearless soldier, but one who had endeared himself to us all by his splendid devotion to duty, his great ability, his untiring energy, and unfailing cheeriness. He set a great example to the Battery, and, speaking as his Battery Commander, I am deeply grateful to him for all his good work.”

Official news has been received at the B.T.H that Pte Bert Blake, of the Wiltshire Regt, who was reported to be missing on June 16th last, was killed in action on that date. Prior to the war Pte Blake was employed in the Purchasing Department of the B.T.H.

Mr and Mrs J Gurney, late of Catthorpe, now living at 67 Cambridge Street, Rugby, have received official intimation of the death of their son, Lance-Corpl John Thomas Gurney, Royal Warwickshire Regt, who had been reported missing since April 25, 1915. He was employed at the B.T.H before the war, and was called up on Reserve.


The new proclamation, calling the remaining groups of married men to the colours was posted in Rugby yesterday (Friday). It refers to men in groups 42 to 46, and the commencing date of the call is June 13th. A further proclamation calls up men of group 24 as they attain the age of 19, and the same date applies.


A peculiar situation arose out of the arrest of a conscientious objector named Horace Kingston, gardener, of Hillmorton, who failed to answer a summons to join the Colours on Monday. He was brought before a magistrate (A S Donkin, Esq), and admitted that he was an absentee under the Military Service Act, but added that he was a Christadelphian and a conscientious objector. He would refuse to obey any orders from the Military authorities.-Mr Donkin: You know you are liable to be fined £25 ?—Defendant : Yes, but I can’t help that.-He was remanded to await an escort and fined £2, which was ordered to be deducted from his Army pay.-After the Magistrate had left the Court a sergeant from the recruiting station arrived, and asked for the man’s release, explaining that they had received instructions that he was not to be arrested.-The Assistant Clerk pointed out that the man had already been fined £2, which could not be altered.

THE LATE PERCY HEFFORD.-Mr and Mrs W F Wood have had erected in the cemetery a handsome memorial stone with a double grave kerb in memory of their son, Percy Hefford, second officer of the ill-fated Lusitania. Sunday was the first anniversary of the sinking of the vessel, and flowers were placed upon the grave space by relatives and friends. They included a tribute from the widow, now living in Philadelphia.


BERRIDGE.—In loving Memory of my dear son, George Edward Berridge, Barby, who was killed in action somewhere in France, May 13th, 1915.
“ One year has passed, oh how we miss him.
Some may think the wound has healed ;
But they little know the pain and sorrow
Deep within our hearts concealed.”
—From his loving Mother and Brother.

KEEN.—In loving Memory of our dear son and brother, Arthur William, killed in action, May 9th, 1915.

PORTER.—In ever loving Memory of our dear son and brother George, who was killed in action on May 8th, 1915, at St Elei.
—Sadly missed by his loving Mother, Father, Brothers and Sister.

SLEATH.—In loving Memory of Trooper Sam Sleath, of the Leicestershire Yeomanry, who fell in action, May 13, 1915, at Ypres, aged 22 years.
“ He sleeps not in his native land,
But ‘neath some foreign skies ;
And far from those who loved him best,
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
-From his loving Mother, Father, Sister, and Brothers.

Gurney, John Thomas. Died 25 Apr 1915

John Thomas Gurney. Lance Corporal. 1st Btn Royal Warwickshire  Regiment.  Died 25th April 1915.

John Thomas was the son of James & Minnie Priscilla Gurney,  he was born December Qtr 1884 in Catthorpe Leicestershire.  James was born in Rugby and became a cattleman and herdsman in Catthorpe Leics.  He later returned to live in Rugby.

John was the eldest of 6 children, only 3 were to survive to 1911. He helped his father on the farm and in 1901 aged 16 he was recorded a “Cowman on Farm” in Catthorpe.

By 1911, John now aged 25 years and single, had enlisted  in the Army, the 1st  Btn Royal  Warwickshire Regiment, and was serving in India and Ceylon, with the rank of Lance Corporal.  Reg No 316. John died 25th April 1915 aged 31 years.

He is Remembered With Honours in The New Irish Farm Cemetery. West Vlaanderen Belgium.  Known to the troops as “Irish Farm” and contained 54 soldiers,  later to be enlarged as time passed.

He was awarded 3 medals; Victory Medal, British Medal and Clasp. Qualifying date 19th September 1915. Killed in Action.



Gurney, Frederick William. Died 15th Mar 1915

Frederick William Gurney’s birth was registered in the second quarter of 1895 in Newport Pagnell registration district, Buckinghamshire.

In the 1901 census the family were living in Duncombe Street, Fenny Stratford, Buckinghamshire.   Frederick, aged 5, was the youngest of seven children and his parents were Lewis Gurney aged 45 and Hannah Gurney aged 42. His father was a Railway Inspector in the Permanent Way Department of the railway. His parents married in 1880, in Leighton Buzzard.

Unfortunately Frederick’s mother Hannah died in the second quarter of 1904.

In the 1911 census it shows that Frederick’s father, Lewis, had married again to Alice Warwick, and Alice’s two children by a former marriage (who had been born in Rugby) were in the household along with five of Lewis’s older children and two children from his second marriage to Alice. Frederick was, at age 15, a “disengaged errand boy”. The family was living at Duncombe Street, Fenny Stratford. Frederick’s father was still a Railway Inspector with the LNWR railway.

Alice Gurney died aged 40 in the third quarter of 1913. Lewis would only have been aged 57.

In the second quarter of 1914 Frederick’s father, Lewis, married for a third time, in the registration district of Newport Pagnell, to a lady, Emma Howe.

Frederick enlisted with the 4th Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifles on 2 September 1914 in Rugby. He was posted on 9 September. His trade on enlistment was a cleaner. [1]

The 4th battalion came under the orders of 80th Brigade in the 27th Division and embarked from Southampton, landing in Le Havre on 20 December 2014 to concentrate on the area between Aire and Arques. Under the command of Col George Thesiger, on the night of 14-15 March, Frederick was probably fighting with the battalion in a counterattack to recapture key positions in Saint Eloi, near the southern shoulder of the Ypres Salient, which had been taken during a German attack several hours earlier. Although the battalion finally recaptured Saint Eloi, the Germans beat back the 4th’s repeated attacks. The battalion suffered over 100 casualties in the partially successful attack: 34 killed in action (including six officers), 63 wounded and six missing.[2]

It appears that Frederick was one of the 34 killed in action. He “died of wounds received in Action 15.3.15” according to the military history sheet of his service record.[3]

Frederick Gurney was awarded the British, Victory and 1915 Star Medals.

In the record of Soldiers who died in the Great War, Frederick William Gurney’s death is recorded as 16 March 1915.   In the Register of Soldiers Effects, Frederick William Gurney, Regimental number Z2264, left £2 14s 8d to Lewis Gurney, Father and Sole Legatee who lived at 39 Duncombe Street, Buckinghamshire [4].

Frederick is remembered on Panel 46 – 48 and 50 of the Menin Gate Ypres and the Rugby Steam Shed Memorial Plaque.

[1] ancestry.co.uk Short Service Attestation

[2] Edited from http://www.armchairgeneral.com/cdg-56-british-rifle-brigade-in-world-war-i-1915-2.htm

[3] ancestry.co.uk

[4] Both references from ancestry.co.uk


NOTE: There is another F W (Francis William) Gurney, also living in Duncombe Street, Fenny Stratford, who died 15th September 1916. He enrolled at Norwich and served in the Norfolk Regiment. His father was born in Rugby.
Since Frederick William enrolled in Rugby and also had a family connection with the town, we assume he is the F W Gurney on the Rugby Memorial.