14th Jul 1917, The Rugby Baking Trade – No more men can be spared.

THE RUGBY BAKING TRADE.
TRIBUNAL SAYS NO MORE MEN CAN BE SPARED.

On Thursday evening in last week the Rugby Urban Tribunal spent hours in considering the suggestion of the Military that, by means of a scheme of co-operation in the baking trade, a number of men could be dispensed with. There were present : Messrs J J McKinnell (chairman), W Flint, T A Wise, L Loverock, and H Yates. Mr H P Highton was the Military representative, and Col F F Johnstone (recruiting officer) and Mr F M Burton (secretary to the Advisory Committee) were also present. Two of the cases were applications for further exemptions, and the remaining 28, consisting of master bakers, their employees, and the employees of the Co-operative Society, were questions raised by the Military.

Mr H P Highton opened the case, and explained that, from figures which had been laid before the Advisory Committee, that body were of opinion that the quantity of bread consumed in Rugby was far beyond the requirements under Lord Devonport’s scheme. With a view to preventing overlapping and wastage of labour, a deputation from the Advisory Committee met the Committee of the Co-operative Society, and asked them to formulate a scheme for the centralisation of the baking trade locally. The reason the Co-operative Society was approached was that they possessed by far the largest plant in the town, and the Advisory Committee thought they would be much more capable of propounding a scheme. The Co-operative Committee were very reluctant to put forward such a scheme, and it was only by appealing to their patriotism that the Advisory Committee could gain their consent. This scheme was explained to the master bakers, but failed to meet with their approval. On June 13th the Advisory Committee met the master bakers to discus» this or an alternative scheme, and after this meeting the Chairman of the Master Bakers’ Association wrote to the Committee :- “ The master bakers agree to co-operate, and to leave you (the Advisory Committee) to take which employees you think fit. At the same time, we ask you to be good enough to give substitutes where possible, and to allow a little time before calling up.”—A further conference of all the parties concerned was held on June 25th, and as it then appeared that there was no prospect of arranging a definite scheme, the only course left to the Military was to call up all the bakers who had received exemptions. He wished to emphasise the fact that this had not been done on the spur of the moment. The Advisory Committee had not acted impulsively, but they had endeavoured to act in a manner which would cripple the industry to the least extent. He suggested that, after hearing the facts, the Tribunal should decide how many men should be made available for the Army, and then the members of the trade themselves could, within a week, submit a list from which the final selections could be made. If this course was adopted, he asked the bakers to consider the national interests before everything else, and to deal fairly with the Military by releasing, as far as possible, general service men. He was quite aware that the baking trade was a hard and exacting one, and that “ A ” men were most useful to them. Doubtless a system of co-operation might mean that they would have to work longer hours, but the sacrifice they were asked to make was not comparable to that which was made by the men in the trenches, or of the mother who gave up her boy.

SOME INTERESTING FIGURES.

The following statistics were then agreed upon after some discussion :—Population of Rugby and New Bilton, 28,000 ; bread baked by Co-operative Society and delivered outside the town, 2,400 loaves per week ; bread sold by private bakers in the country, 2,390 loaves ; bread sold in town by country bakers, about 90 loaves per week ; number of 4-lb loaves to sack of 280lbs, 90. It was agreed that each employee of the Co-operative Society, with the assistance of machinery, could make up 11 sacks a week, and other bakers 10 per week. On this basis it was calculated that five men were required to bake the bread which was delivered from Rugby in the country. In order to arrive at the number of bakers required to supply the town, Mr Highton suggested that they should take Lord Devonport’s rations as a basis, indeed, this was the only basis they were allowed to work on, he contended.

Mr Eaden objected, however, and pointed out that this was not a compulsory, but a voluntary ration. It was not within the province of the Military or the Tribunal to say what the public should consume, and he contended that they should work on the basis of the bread which was actually consumed in the town. A large number of railway men were employed in the town, and many of the engine-drivers, firemen, guards, &c, when starting on a journey, often took one or two meals with them, and some of them took a loaf. The Tribunal must not work on an imaginary basis, but upon facts. A few weeks ago the actual number of sacks baked in the town was 491, and if the rationing had been adhered to on a basis of 30,000 population only 312 sacks would have been required.

It was pointed out that at present the private bakers made up 258 sacks (bread only) and the Co-operative Society 182—a total of 440. To do this the private bakers would require 26 men and the Co-operative Society 17—total, 43. Of the 440 sacks made up 52 was for country delivery, leaving 388 for the town. This would bring the average consumption per head to 4 27-28ths lbs of bread. The Davenport ration of 4lbs included flour used for other domestic purposes, however.

Mr Highton contended that only 30 men were required to bake the bread necessary for Rugby and New Bilton, and five for the villages. It was possible, too, he thought, to dilute the trade by women labour. This had been tried with successful results in some towns.

Mr F M Burton gave the figures of employees in the Rugby baking trade as follows :—Private traders, whole-time bakers 29, youths 10, boys 9 ; Co-operative Society, whole-time bakers 18, women (confectionery) 4, and 1 boy. This made a total of 47 whole-time bakers, and the youths between them might do as much as two whole-time bakers.

Mr Baden contended that the private traders only had 22 whole-time men engaged in the trade.—Mr Yates pointed out that, although it had been urged that 43 men were required to bake the bread for the town and district, according to the figures only 40 men were employed, and Mr Wise drew attention to the fact that from Mr Eaden’s figures his 22 men were making up 11 sacks a week each on an average.—Mr Eaden informed the Tribunal that several of the master bakers were engaged wholly on confectionery and smalls, and others only made up a small quantity of bread. He also asked whether the Military were anxious to go on with the scheme suggested, whereby all the bread should be made at the Co-operative Society’s bakehouse.

Mr Highton replied that the Military held no brief for the scheme. He would be delighted to see a scheme adopted, but they had no means of enforcing such a scheme.—Mr Yates said, as the disparity between the capacity of a baker working at the Co-operative bakehouse and the other bakers was so little, only one sack per man per week, he failed to see that a centralisation scheme was advisable. Had there been any marked difference it would have been worth considering.—Mr Highton thought the scheme would save labour in many ways, especially in delivering.—Mr Eaden : We have very serious objections to any such scheme.

THE SCHEME EXPLAINED.

At the request of the Tribunal, Mr F M Burton briefly explained the scheme which had been put forward, and said it had been suggested that the whole of the bread should be baked on the premises of the Co-operative Society, and that the master bakers should send in their orders on the day before they required it. The cost of production, such as wages, rent, fire, light, rates, gas for the engine, &c, would be added to the costs of the flour, and the master bakers would be charged cost price. The wages of the men employed would be on the scale of the Bakers’ Union, and the control of the scheme would be vested in a committee of seven—three master bakers, three members of the Co-operative Society, and an independent chairman. Every week each master baker would receive a share of the profits based upon his purchases. The Advisory Committee were of opinion that if such a scheme was adopted it would result in a great saving of labour.—In reply to Mr Loverock, Mr Burton said, if they agreed upon Lord Devonport’s rations, the whole bread required for Rugby could be baked by 30 men at a central station.—Mr Eaden contended that there was not a suspicion of a satisfactory factor in the scheme so far as the master bakers, were concerned. When the bread was baked at the Co-operative Society the bakers would be expected to fetch it away, and before they could do so they would be charged with a proportion of the Society’s rent, rates, taxes, &c ; while at the same time their own rent would be running on. Was it suggested to cause all this upheaval and throw all these men out of business for the sake of one extra sack per week per man ? He also pointed out that if ovens were not used for any length of time they tended to deteriorate.

In giving the decision of the Tribunal, the Chairman said, after very careful consideration, they were unanimously of opinion that the state of affairs which had been disclosed did not warrant them taking any more men from the baking trade. In view of the quantity of flour baked, they did not see how they could carry on with fewer men. The two applications would be adjourned, and the exemptions, which had been reviewed at the request of the Military, would be allowed to stand.

RUGBY PETTY SESSIONS.

DR 17 PROSECUTIONS.—Austin William Harris, baker, 37 Pennington Street, Rugby, and William John Eales, farmer, Ling Hall Farm, Church Lawford, were summoned for failing to deliver to the Recruiting Officer at Rugby a statement of all their male employees of 16 years of age or over on July 2nd and June 30th respectively.-Eales wrote stating that he was too busy to answer the summons personally. He was sorry the offence had occurred, but he did not know that he had to send any forms in. He only employed two men, and one of these was over 60.—P.S Percival stated that on June 30th he called on defendant, and asked if he had sent the form in, and he replied that he did not know he had to do so.-Frank Middleton Burton, supervising clerk, Recruiting Office, Rugby, stated that on June 30th no Form DR 17 had been received from defendant. He added that the non-receipt of these forms retarded the work of the Recruiting Officer and caused considerable delay. The Military Authorities had spent large sums in advertising the regulation in the newspapers, and already they had had one prosecution in that Court.-In reply to Mr Wise, Mr Burton said the advertisement appeared for 10 or 12 weeks.—In imposing a fine of £2, the Chairman said employers must understand that they must comply with the law.-Harris admitted the offence, and pleaded ignorance.—The Chairman : What are you ?—Defendant : A baker.—Q : Don’t you ever see a local newspaper ?—A : I don’t get much time for reading.—Mr Wise pointed out that the Advisory Committee had done everything possible. They advertised the regulations conspicuously in large type, and one could not open a newspaper without seeing it.—Defendant stated that he only employed one man casually, and as this man was over military age defendant did not think he had to send a form in in respect of him.—Mr Burton said the form had not yet been sent in.-Fined £2.

LIGHTING OFFENCE.—Christopher H Pywell, dentist, Rugby, was summoned for an offence under the Lights Order, at Rugby, on June 29th.—He pleaded guilty.-P.C Lester deposed that at about midnight on June 29th he saw a bright light shining from a window at the back of 49 Church Street. The light was unshaded. On the following day witness saw defendant, and he said he would take all responsibility. He added that he switched the light on to see to write a letter, and he forgot to turn it off when he went out.—Fined £1.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Second Lieutenant Maurice V Eyden (son of Mr Alfred Eyden), 2nd Northants Regiment, has been promoted to the rank of First-Lieutenant.

Lieut M E T Wratislaw, supervisor of Warwickshire Military Service Appeal Tribunals, has been promoted to the rank of Captain.

Second-Lieut J A Hattrell, who for some time was at the Rugby Recruiting Office, but is now in the Birmingham area, has been promoted to a captaincy. He is the son of Mr G P Hattrell, of Welford.

Signaller L Smith, R.F.A, who prior to enlisting was employed for several years in the saloon of Mr A Coleman, hairdresser, Church Street, has been recommended for the Military Medal for conspicuous gallantry by remaining at his post under particularly heavy shell-fire on June 7th and 8th. He has served in France nine months. His home is at Cambridge.

Warrant-Officer A Forsyth, son of Mrs Forsyth, 48 Murray Road, has been personally thanked by the General-in-Command of the R.F.C in the East for his splendid work out there. He also obtained his commission on the field, being promoted to lieutenant. He has twice received the Serbian decorations—first the Silver Star and since the Cross of Karageorge.

Sapper W A Tandy, Royal Engineers, attached to the to the Leicester and Lincoln Territorial Brigade, has been awarded the Military Medal. Prior to the War Sapper Tandy was employed as a machine minder at Messrs Frost’s, printers.

Mrs Mulliner invited a number of people to attend a concert given on Saturday evening by the Sports Club of the 84th Squadron R.F.C, to the officers who are patients in her hospital at Clifton Court. A more beautiful or healthy position for convalescents could not be desired, and the recreative facilities have been added to by the transformation of the rose garden into an open-air theatre. This sheltered nook in the grounds lends itself admirably to such a purpose. A spacious stage has been erected at one end, and scenic effects are obtained by the tasteful arrangement of flowers, evergreens, &c. The auditorium was fairly well filled with officers and visitors, and also men of the Flying Corps and their friends, who enjoyed the excellent programme presented by the entertainers.

Corpl S Souster is amongst the names given in General Murray’s list of recommendations in his Egyptian dispatch. Corpl Souster, who lives at Grosvenor Road, Rugby, joined the Rugby Company of the Royal Engineers as surveyor on its formation, and went out to Egypt with the Company. He was afterwards put on the important work of taking the water supply across the desert, and was greatly complimented by the Chief Engineer of Egypt. He has since been promoted to a sergeant.

FOOTBALL IN FRANCE.—During their “ rest ” behind the, lines the khaki men play various games, notably, Association football. Recently the 1/7 Royal Warwicks met a team of Australians, and beat them by 12 goals to 3. In the return game, however, the tables were turned, and the Warwicks were defeated by 14 goals to 9. C M S Hayes, of Rugby, captained the Warwicks XI.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

PROPOSED MOTOR TRANSPORT VOLUNTEER CORPS, RUGBY.

DEAR SIR,—Under the above heading an article appears in your issue of June 30, stating “ representations are being made to the War Office and Petrol Committee to the effect that all petrol licenses should be made subject to membership of the Motor Corps,” and in another sentence the “ commandeering of cars ” is mentioned.

May I ask on whose authority these statements are made, so that I may have some tangible source to quote when making counter-representations ? Have the Ministry of Munitions or the Red Cross Society been consulted ?

The latter is more especially of personal interest to me, being responsible for the organisation of transport for wounded in connection with two local hospitals. Am I to understand that those car-owners who have given their help for so many months, sometimes running their cars a hundred miles in a single week for this purpose, are to be debarred from the use of their cars unless they join the Motor Volunteer Corps ?

Many car-owners, like myself, take exception to the tone of the article. The composer of it is evidently unaware of local conditions and still less of the saying that “ one catches more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

—Yours truly,            F. VAN DEN AREND.
Whitehall, Rugby, July 12, 1917.

CROOP HILL ALLOTMENTS.—An Allotment-Holders’ Association has been formed by the tenants of these allotments, the objects being : To foster the spirit of co-operation in the production of food and its distribution ; to eliminate waste labour ; to buy in bulk where practicable seeds, raw material, and implements for cultivation ; to endeavour to place under cultivation all unused land in the Bilton district, and to affiliate to kindred societies. At the initial meeting a committee of twelve was formed, with Mr Goodacre as president ; Mr R Lovegrove as chairman ; Mr W R Beasley, 14 Adam Street, New Bilton, as secretary ; and Mr W H Corfield is treasurer. The association has bought a sprayer and the members are co-operating in the spraying of the potato crop. Steps are being taken for registration of the association. Although beginning in a small way, it is felt that there is a wide field for the development of the association.

LONG ITCHINGTON.
A BRAVE SOLDIER HOME.—Gunner Mark Herbert, R.G.A, recently reported severely wounded, has now been invalided home.

IN MEMORIAM.

BARNWELL.—In ever-loving remembrance of Lance-Corpl. GEORGE T. BARNWELL, who died of wounds on July 15, 1915.-“ A day of remembrance sad to recall.”—From his loving MOTHER, SISTERS, BROTHERS and ELSIE.

BUTLIN.—In loving memory of my dear son, Rifleman R. B. BULTIN, of the K.R.R., who fell in action in France on July 10, 1916.
“ Sleep on, dear one, in a soldier’s grave ;
Your life for your country you nobly gave.”
—Ever remembered by his FATHER, BROTHER, SISTER and AUNT.

DAVENPORT.—In loving memory of our dear and only son and brother, 1210 Gunner WILLIAM EWART DAVENPORT, killed in action July 18th, 1916, aged 18 years.
Gone to the face we loved so dear,
Silent your voice we long to hear,
Your gentle hands, your loving face,
There is none can take our dear one’s place.
Fought with the brave, his life he gave,
And now he rests in a soldier’s grave.
—From his sorrowing MOTHER, FATHER, & SISTERS.

HIPWELL.—In loving memory of our dear son, Pte. ARTHUR HIPWELL, who was killed in action in France on July 14,1916 ; aged 25 years.
“Out on yonder battlefield there is a silent grave
Of one we loved so dearly, and yet we could not save.
His King and country called him ; he bravely did his best :
But God saw fit to take him to his eternal rest.”
—From his loving FATHER and MOTHER, BROTHERS and SISTERS.

KENNEY.—In loving memory of Sergt. ROLAND ISAAC (1/7 R.W.R. Territorials), dearly beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. T. Kenney, Stretton-under-Fosse, who was killed in action on the Somme in France on July 14th, 1916 ; aged 23 years.
“ He fought for his country,
He answered duty’s call ;
His home, his friends, his comforts ;
He sacrificed them all ;
But be won the admiration
Of Britain’s glorious name.”
“ Peace, perfect peace.”
—Never forgotten by his loving MOTHER & FATHER, SISTERS and BROTHERS.

LANGHAM.—Killed in action on April 20th, in France, WILLIAM LANGHAM, son of Mrs. Langham, 14 New Street, New Bilton, Rugby.
“ Not dead to those who loved him :
Not lost, but gone before ;
He lives with us in memory,
And will for evermore.”
—Never forgotten by his loving brother, Sergt. LANGHAM, B.E.F., France.

MANNING.—In loving memory of Pte. THOMAS MANNING, Northants. Regiment, of Braunston, who died of wounds on July 11, 1916, at 13 General Hospital, Boulogne.—Not forgotten by his wife GEORGINA, of Leamington.

PAYNE.—In loving memory of Lance-Corpl. E. PAYNE, who was killed in action on July 15, 1916.—“ He died a hero’s death fighting for King and country.”—Gone but not forgotten by his WIFE and CHILDREN.

6th Nov 1915. The Munitions Tribunal

THE MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL

There was a further sitting of the Coventry Munitions Tribunal on Monday, thirteen cases being down for hearing, twelve informations being laid by employers for breach of regulations under the munitions Act. Mr F Tillyard presided, and the assessors present were Messrs A Lord for the employers and G Wainwright for the men.

WORKERS’ WASTE OF TIME.

Found smoking in the lavatory at the B.T.H Works (Coventry), H Clarke (18), of 110 Kingsway, Coventry, was summoned and fined 10s. He explained to the Court that he had no work to do, but the Foreman stated that there was work if he wanted it.

Against F J Moran, 55a Lower Ford Street, and Wm James Bolton, 68 East Street, Coventry, both capstan hands at the B.T.H, the information was that they wasted time in the lavatories and were found gambling. The youths, who were before the Tribunal a month ago, were each fined 15s for the present offence.

ABSENCE FROM WORK.

Alleging three days’ absence without reasonable excuse, Willans and Robinson’s, Rugby, brought proceedings against Robert Toothhill, a tool-fitter, of Rugby, who explained that he lost two days in paying a visit to his father, who was ill. Toothill, who was stated to have lost over 60 hours in the last six weeks, was fined £1.

DUNCHURCH ARTILLERYMEN HOME FROM THE FRONT.

Two Dunchurch artillerymen, Driver R Elkington, 117th Battery R.F.A, and Bombadier C Carter, 127th Battery R.F.A, who have been at the front since the commencement of the war, are at present on short leave of absence, which, after their arduous life during the past fifteen months, is proving very welcome. The two young men were schoolboys together, and have been friends all their lives, and, by a strange coincidence, their respective batteries were located in the same field for three months, during which time they were unaware of each other’s presence, and never met until they did so in Dunchurch. They both went through the retreat from Mons, La Gateau, Ligny, and the Battles of the Marne and the Aisne. Driver Elkington’s battery afterwards moved off to Ypres, and he took part in the first great fight for that much-contested town. In this battle—which was one of the hottest in which he was engaged—he was twice wounded (once in the head), and one of the other drivers was killed and one wounded, while two of the horses attached to the gun were killed. After a spell in hospital he was transferred to La Bassee, and afterwards to Ypres, where he participated in the severe fighting and the gas attack near there on Whit Monday. In this battle he experienced a very narrow escape. While near the famous Cloth Hall a shell burst in front of his gun, killing his horse, and he himself sustained injuries that necessitated his spending nine weeks in hospital. Driver Elkington feelingly added that he was one of the few men who were left in his battery of those who went out in August, 1914.

Bombardier Carter, who has two brothers (one of whom has been wounded) at the front with the Royal Warwicks, also went through the whole of the earlier fighting, and has had many thrilling and exciting experiences. He has brought home a number of interesting souvenirs picked up on the battlefield, including a great grey coat belonging to a dead Uhlan of the 9th Regiment.

Both men are agreed that the morale at the Allied troops is superior to that of the Germans, and that the British artillery has now secured a definite superiority. The British shells, too, are more effective than those fired by the Germans. The munitions were now coming up well, but they wanted still more and more men. Bombardier Carter is of opinion that, given the necessary amount of ammunition and a good supply of reserves, the Allies will soon be able to smash through the German defences and bring the war to a satisfactory conclusion, but to do this more men and munitions are required. He added that the British anti-aircraft guns are very effective in bringing down German aeroplanes. He had met the “ E ” Company and Rugby Howitzers while at the front, and they both seemed to be doing well.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

News has been received that Rifleman Lionel T Smith, K.R.R, known as “Tiger” Smith, of Rugby, who was posted as missing after the great British advance in September, is wounded and a prisoner in Germany.

The death has occurred in London of Lieut Robert Emmet, Life Guards, elder son of Major Robert Emmet, Warwickshire Yeomanry, whose home is at Moreton Paddox, Warwick. Lieut Emmet was formerly an officer of the Yeomanry, and was only recently transferred to the Life Guards. He had been ill for some weeks.

After a stay of some 14 months in Towcester, the 2nd/1st Northants Yeomanry left on Monday morning. The men during their stay in Towcester have behaved in an exemplary manner, and had become universally liked. The town generally has greatly benefited by having the troops billeted there, and they will be very much missed. The 3rd/1st Regiment is for the time being still at Towcester.

The Territorial Forces’ Record Office have communicated with the Coventry City Police, as they are anxious to trace the next-of-kin of Private E. J Barker, No 1557 Warwickshire Yeomanry. A letter concerning him, addressed to “Mrs G Barker, Buckland House, Coventry,” has been returned through the Post Office marked “ Not to be found ” The police will be glad if Mrs Barker would communicate with them.

AN OLD “ E ” COMPANY MAN KILLED.

To the list of local heroes who fell in the gallant charge by the Territorials on the German lines has to be added the name of Pte William Baines Harris (27), nephew of Mr and Mrs James Capell, of Featherbed Lane Farm, Bilton. Pte Harris came to Rugby in 1900, and worked on Mr J H Loverock’s farm for eight years, and afterwards for Mr J E Cox. When war broke out he was working as a shunter on the railway at Bescot, and joined the North Midland Territorial Division some six weeks after. He was a member of “ E ” Company (Rugby) for some years.

PROMOTION OF A RUGBY TERRITORIAL.

Farrier Quartermaster sergeant R C Snewing, elder son of Mr and Mrs Snewing, of Bath Street, Rugby, has been appointed to a second-lientenancy in his regiment the 2nd County of London Yeomanry (Westminster Dragoons), Second Lieut Snewing enlisted as a trooper in September, 1914, and subsequently received promotion to Lance-corporal in November. Lance-sergeant in March, Sergeant in April, and Farrier-major in August last. He served in the last year of the Volunteer Form with the old F Company of the 2nd V.B Royal Warwickshire Regt, and on the inauguration of the Territorial Force, entered the Rugby Howitzer Battery, attaining the rank of Corporal. On leaving Rugby, he transferred to the 4th Kent (Howitzer) Battery, with whom he served as Sergeant during the remainder of his term.

OLD MURRAYIAN GASSED.

Rifleman Chas Read, 2nd K.R.R, an old Murrayian, in a letter to Mr W T Coles Hodges, says : “ I have been out at the front twelve months, and have been in every action of any consequence, but I came to a full stop on September 25th, the day we started the big advance. I was gassed with poisonous gas, but I am almost well now. My word, what a time it was a couple of days before the attack ! The shelling was terrible, but it gave me great pleasure to think that at last we were going to get them going, and so we did ; but I suppose this is stale news now. I am pleased to see that so many of the old Murray boys have answered the call. Many have paid the great sacrifice, but it cheers one up very much to know that the old boys of the Murray School have not been found wanting when our country’s call to arms sounded.

PTE MACE OF HILLMORTON A PRISONER.

Pte P Mace, 2nd Oxon and Bucks L.I, a son of Mr S Mace, Lower Street, Hillmorton, who was reported last week to be missing, has written to his sister, stating that he is a prisoner in Prussia, and adding, “ I am sorry to say I was wounded, and could not get back to our lines. I think they have got me now for the duration of the war, and I shall be glad of anything you can I send me, especially cigarettes, as I am spun right out. I must thank God that I am alive, as I had a very narrow escape. I was wounded in the legs and face, and they very nearly cut my nose off.” In a postcard to his parents, Pte Mace states that he would be thankful for gifts of food or cigarettes. He adds that he is now doing well.

WITH THE RUGBY HOWITZER BATTERY.

Driver Clifford Tomes of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, writes from somewhere in France” to his parents, who reside at 177 Cambridge Street :- “ There was an attack on our front yesterday, but it was repulsed by us. The 7th Warwicks are catching it pretty well. It amuses us chaps when a fellow comes back off leave and he says that people ask him if we have had any fighting yet ! I should not think they ever read the papers. It is because they never see any casualties mentioned, but that is because we have such extraordinary good luck. The gunners of our battery are everlastingly under fire, but my being a driver, I only get into it occasionally, and many a time when I have been up with the rations, the rifle and maxim fire has been terrific. We start the old rum issue next Sunday, and we are having sheep skins to keep us warm. We look like a lot of bears.; but I regard myself as a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Still I may have altered, for I think this life breaks anybody. We shall want plenty more men. Please post me an Advertiser every Friday night.

GRAMOPHONE FOR THE 1/7th WARWICKS

Miss Evans, of 13 James Street, who has a brother serving in the Rugby Company of the 1/7th Warwicks at the front, has recently collected between £5 and £6 with which she procured a gramophone and set of records, etc., from Mr J T E Brown. Albert Street, Rugby. The instrument was sent out to the C Company on the 3rd of October, and Miss Evans has received the following letter in acknowledgment :-

“ DEAR MISS EVANS,—I hardly know how to adequately thank you and all the people of Rugby for the handsome way in which you all think of us all out here. I need hardly say we all greatly appreciate your kindnesses which you are always showing to the Rugby contingent of the 1/7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment. The latest contribution, the gramophone, will greatly cheer our periods of rest, and will always be a welcome and practically indispensable part of our sing-songs, which we hold whenever opportunity offers. I am requested to thank you for this trouble and time taken up in collecting for us, and also the subscribers for the generous way in which they responded.—Assuring you of our best thanks, yours sincerely, H. B. MASON, Capt.
1/7th R. War. R.”
October 90, 1915.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Recruiting has been less brisk at Rugby Drill Hall this week, but the recruiting authorities are anticipating a busy time next week, when the canvassing returns come in. The following have been accepted :—J W Oliver and P G Burton, R.W.R ; F F Walter and A Commons, Royal Flying Corps ; J V Sanders, C H Meacham, and A E V Meacham, R.G.A ; A C Lamb, Middlesex Regt ; T A White, H Cutler, J R Wildman, and G W C Pargetter, R.A.M.C ; W T Bridgman, A H Meadows, W O Watts, A H EASON, A W Isham, J W Gray, M J B Amey, R.F.A ; W T Hinks and R Herring, 220th Co R.E ; W H Hammond and L Sheasby, R.E (drivers); R E Clements and H Essex, A.S.C ; and C Prestidge, A.O.C.

A number of other men offered themselves, but were rejected. Recruits are still urgently required for the Infantry, and all regiments of this branch of the service are open.

6th Mar 1915. Military Boxing at the Rink

MILITARY BOXING AT THE RINK.

Some very good, and also some very poor, boxing was witnessed at the Rink on Friday evening last week in aid of the Belgian Relief Fund. There was fairly good attendance, wearers of khaki predominating.

The first contest was between Sergt Brady (Scottish) and Pte Larkin (English). From the start the Scotsman asserted his superiority, and the Englishman never had a chance. In the first two rounds Brady got some hard knocks home, and in the third he sent Larkin to the ropes with a terrific swing on the back of the head, and he was counted out.

A remarkably fine fight, and one of the best of the evening, was the contest between Lance-Corpl Connelly (Scottish) and Pte Martin (English). Connelly opened with a rush, and the fighting soon waxed fast and furious. Both men received some hard blows on the face, and Martin went down on the call of time. The second round was also very fast, and Martin did well to avoid a terrific upper-cut. The third and fourth rounds produced some very fine fighting, Connelly stretching Martin out at the commencement of the former with a heavy blow on the jaw. Severe punishment was administered and received by both men in the two last rounds, and both began to hit out rather wildly, and the call “Time” evidently was welcome to both men. The “draw ”—was very popular.

Pte Williamson (Irish) v Pte Flac Irish). This “ fight ” was in striking contrast to the one preceding it. Williamson, a veritable giant in bulk and strength, had his man well in hand, and administered a series of gentle taps, which at first evoked amusement, but subsequently raised the ire of some of the onlookers. In the second round the men were ordered by the officials to fight, whereupon Williamson laid his man out, and he was counted out. At first the judges declared “ no contest,” but “subsequently gave the fight to Williamson.

Sergt Brown (English) v Lance-Corp Sturgeon (Scottish). This was a very brief affair. Sturgeon knocked the sergeant down twice in the initial round, and the second time he was counted out.

Lance-Corpl Jones (Irish) v Pte Waddington (Scottish). This was a remarkably good fight, and there was very little to choose between the men. Each man inflicted a good deal of punishment on the other, and at times the fighting was very fierce ; indeed, it never became dull. Waddington had the advantage of weight, and landed some heavy blows, but Jones had a superb defence, and was also very quick on the attack. In the fifth round Waddington forced the pace, and drove Jones through the ropes, but the latter recovered well, and had the better of the final round. Jones was declared winner on points.

Pte Ott (Irish) was unable to meet Drummer Wood (English), and his place was taken by Pte Humphreys (English), The men were very unevenly matched, and the drummer had the advantage from the beginning, sending his opponent through the ropes twice in the first round. In the second round Wood put him down with a hard blow on the head. Humphreys, though plainly unable to do so, endeavoured to continue the fight, and struggled gamely, but was knocked down again and counted out.

Drummer Crone (English) v Pte Murphy (Irish). Crone, who is a first-rate boxer, was never extended, and had Murphy at his mercy from the beginning. After a pretty display by the drummer, in which Murphy received some hard knocks, the latter retired in the third round.

The officials were officers of the various regiments.

RUGBY PETTY SESSIONS.
Tuesday.—Before Dr Clement Dukes (in the chair), A W Street, A E Donkin, and C G Steel, Esqrs.

“ DOING A BUNK.”—Ptes Jas W Burton and Wm Frisby, of “ B ”, Company, 5th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, Rugby, were charged with being absent from their regiment without leave on March 1st,—Defendants pleaded guilty.—P.C Rowbery met them on the London Road. They appeared to have come some distance, and having questioned them, he took them back to Braunston, where they admitted they had come from Northampton, and said they were “ doing a bunk.”—Prisoners were handed over to an escort that had been sent for them.

DUTY AT GUNPOWDER WORKS ENDS.

The detachment of the 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, under Captain Ewan Rotherham, who have been for the past six months on guard duty at a Royal Gunpowder Factory near London, were on Monday relieved by another regiment and were moved to the county town, where the 7th Reserve Battalion are under Col Nutt’s command. This detachment has had arduous duties to carry out, considering the trying winter weather and the cold nights which have been experienced. The men have been rather handicapped in the past month owing to an influenza epidemic, which fortunately is now disappearing. Although during the day time a certain amount of training has been gone through, it has been of a limited character, owing to the night work done. It is expected that the detachment will now take part in a more varied training, which is only possible when with a battalion.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

The following have been attested at the Rugby Drill Hall this week :—Royal Berks Regiment: C H Bland, F H Boyes, and C A Warner. A.S.C : A J Bromwich. R.F.A : J Hughes, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers (as band boy): C A Waddoups. Yorks L.I : G H Coates : and one for the Sportsman’s Battalion Royal Fusiliers.

In order to stimulate recruiting, it has been decided to grant an extra day’s leave of absence to all soldiers on furlough for each recruit accepted, obtained by their assistance. They will also be entitled to the recruiting award.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
RUGBY RECRUITING.

SIR.—I fear there is justice for your remarks this week, that well as Rugby has already done there are still many eligibles “ holding back.”

The local Works sent heavy proportions in the early days of war, as figures demonstrate, with the result that some of use are hard-pressed to find sufficient hands to execute urgent demands for war munitions. Every possible hour is being worked to fill these needs.

Mr Asquith only last Monday, in reviewing the outlook, said the “ call for men was never more urgent or imperious than to-day.” What local scope remains ? Have the shopping and farming classes been fully encouraged by their employers to send their eligibles ? Are there not quantities of these young men whose duties in their absence can well be performed by the gentler sex ?

I feel sure the Prime Minister’s call, when realized, will find further answer in Rugby and district.—Your obedient Servant,
F R DAVENPORT.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

The sum of £1 17s 7d has been collected at Kings Newnham during February for the Prince of Wales’s Fund, and £2 19s 4d at Grandborough.

The cost of the war bonus which the London and North-Western Railway are giving to their employees will amount to half a million sterling. The total amount for all the railways in Great Britain is £3,800,000.

Mr Maurice Howkins, son of Mr W Howkins, of Hillmorton Grounds, who, at the beginning of the war joined the Honourable Artillery Company as a private, has now been given a commission as Lieutenant in the 1st London Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.

We understand that A J Harris and Stanley Hidden, both of whom are at the front, accidentally met on the battle-field and exchanged greetings, which were interrupted by a German “ Jack Johnson.”

In our last issue we mentioned that it had been reported that William Derbin, a reservist, and formerly a railway worker, had been killed in action near Soissons. We are glad to hear that the report, like others, has proved incorrect, and that his relatives received a letter from him on Monday last, and dated February 25th.

In the historic effort which is now being made to force the Dardanelles, Rugby and New Bilton are represented by at least three of their sons. Leading-Seaman Gunner John Cash, an Old Murrayian, son of Mrs B Cash, of 25 Craven Road, Rugby, is on the mammoth “ Queen Elizabeth,” the most powerful warship afloat. He has also seen service on the “ Cressy,” “ Pegasus,” and another ill-fated vessel. Messrs J Harris and W H Cranch, of New Bilton, are on the “ Majestic.”

 

20th Feb 1915. Court Martial but No Spies in Rugby

DISTRICT COURT MARTIAL AT RUGBY.

A district military court martial was held at Rugby Police Station on Friday last week.

ABSENT WITHOUT LEAVE.

Lance-Corpl Edward Wharton, of one of the departmental corps stationed at Rugby, was charged under section 15 of the Army Act with being absent without leave while on active service, at Rugby, on the 6th to 8th February.-Mr Harold Eaden, solicitor, Rugby, appeared for Wharton, who pleaded guilty.-The evidence for the prosecution was that the prisoner failed to present himself for duty on the days in question, as instructed to do so by orders left at his billet, and to feed and water his horse. He was arrested on the 8th inst.

In mitigation of the offence, Mr Eaden pointed out that the man only enlisted in January last, and had not a thorough knowledge of military discipline. He had a wife and four children. The former was in a deplorable state of health, and was not expected to live. Accused had received a letter from his wife, in which she stated that she had had a very bad heart attack, and her health was so bad that she had been compelled to sell the business in which he had established her before leaving. In consequence of this letter he went to see his parents on Saturday to make arrangements for them to look after her and the children. As his duties were those of a groom, he did not think there was any harm in going away if he arranged for his work to be carried out by someone else, and he actually paid another man to do the work. He did not receive the orders from his officer which were left at his billet, otherwise he would not have gone. The man voluntarily presented himself before his officer at nine o’clock on the Monday morning. Under the circumstances, he asked them to deal leniently with the accused.

During the reading of the wife’s letter accused burst into tears.

Evidence of character was given by an officer under whom accused worked, who stated that he bore a good character and had shown particular keenness in looking after several of the horses which were sick, and had turned out at nights to look after them.

The prosecuting officer having put in a statement of accused’s character, the room was cleared for the court to consider the verdict, which will be made known in due course.

ALLEGED DISOBEDIENCE OF ORDERS AND VIOLENCE.

Pte E Grimley, “ C ” Company, of the English Regiment, stationed in the town, pleaded not guilty to two charges, i.e, to disobeying the command of a superior officer, Sergt Norman, by not marching off when told to do so and with offering violence to a superior officer while under escort by attempting to strike Sergt John David Ronald.

Sergt Norman gave evidence to the effect that on the 4th inst., at 11 p.m. “ C ” Company of his regiment were on a route march, and orders were given to them to cross a fence and re-organise in the meadow at the other wide. He noticed accused was working very slackly, and he told him to fall in. He stood on one side at first, but eventually did so. They then received the order to march off, and the platoon did so, but accused stood still, and repeatedly stated that he was not going to do any more. Witness then reported the offence.

Accused stated that he did not refuse to march. He only marched slowly.-Witness related that Grimley stood still, and said, “ I am not going to do any more.”

Corpl Weston stated that he was ordered by the Company Sergeant-Major to take charge of accused under escort, but he did not know for what reason. He gave the order, “ Quick march!” but accused took no notice. Alter two minutes and the second order he moved off. On reaching the centre of the town accused commenced to struggle with the escort, and Sergt Ronald, seeing this, came back with two more men. In the struggle the accused struck out at Sergt Ronald, and had the latter not got out of the way he would have received the blow.- Accused asked : “Was my arm free when the escort had hold of me ?,” Witness : You wrenched your right arm free in the struggle.- Q : How could I hit a a man who was behind two others marching out ? -A : You struggled towards Sergt Ronald.

Sergt Ronald stated that he saw the accused struggling with his escort, and he went back with two men. Accused wrenched his right arm free, and attempted to strike witness on the face, but he avoided the blow by raising his right arm.

In defence, the accused said that he did not hear the order given by Sergt Norman to march off. Sergt Norman told him he would have to go to the guard-room, and accused answered: “ You can put me there now, as if I am going to the guard-room I am not going to do the route march.” He had no intention of striking at Sergt Ronald.

The company officer gave evidence as to the accused’s character. He had known Grimley for about three years. He was a very good soldier, but suffered from a bad temper.-The court then proceeded to consider their finding.

Two cases of desertion also came up for hearing.

RUGBY URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL

THE TOWN AND THE TROOPS.

The CHAIRMAN said the Brigadier in command of the troops in Rugby had called upon him to express his thanks to the Council for the excellent arrangements made as regarded billeting, and help afforded to him and his officers in various ways. He also desired particularly to thank the townspeople for the very kind and hospitable way they had welcomed the soldiers and made them as comfortable us they possibly could. He (the Chairman) told him they were only too anxious in Rugby to do all they could for the soldiers, who they were pleased to find to be such a respectable, well-behaved body of men.

AIR RAID ALARMS.

The General Purposes Committee reported that they had considered the notice issued by the Chief Constable of the county respecting precautionary steps to be taken in the event of an air raid by an enemy of the country, and had arranged with the works manager of the B.T.H Co, Ltd, for the company, on receiving information from the police of an impending air raid, to give a distinctive signal on the works hooter. The signal proposed is 10 blasts on the hooter, each lasting three seconds, with three seconds intervals ; the whole period of the signal being one minute. The committee was considering with the manager of the Gas Company the policy of reducing the number of street lamps lighted and darkening the tops of the remaining lanterns. The committee desired to record their thanks to the police authorities and the management of the B.T.H Company for their ready co-operation.

The CHAIRMAN moved the adoption of this report, and said the reason that the B.T.H was chosen was that there was someone there night and day. Ten blasts on that hooter would arouse Rugby.-Mr SHILLITOE enquired if these directions would be printed for the benefit of general public. The CHAIRMAN answered that there was to be another meeting of the committee, and he supposed they would decide to advertise it.-Mr WISE thought it would be a good idea to have a test alarm to if the people noticed it (laughter).-Mr YATES asked what the people were to do. Were they to go out to look for the aircraft.-the CHAIRMAN thought it was a matter of common sense. They should go into the basement if they had one, or at any rate stop in the house and put the lights out. These directions would be inserted in the notice.-Mr NEWMAN enquired as to the B.T.H Works, with regard to the reduction of light. Their lights could be seen for a very long distance, and he asked if they would reduce theirs also.-The Clerk replied in the affirmative, and said they would immediately vacate the whole of the premises, with the exception of the Fire Station.

SUPPOSED SPIES IN THE MIDLANDS.

WARNING TO GOVERNMENT CONTRACTORS.

The Secretary of the Admiralty has made the following announcement:-

Information has been received that two persons, posing as an officer and sergeant, and dressed in khaki, are going about the country attempting to visit military works, &c.

They were last seen in the Midlands on the 6th inst., when they effected an entry into the works of a firm who are doing engineers’ work for the Admiralty. They made certain enquiries as to the presence or otherwise of anti-aircraft guns, which makes it probable that they are foreign agents in disguise.

All contractors engaged on work for his Majesty’s Navy are notified, with a view to the apprehension of these individuals, and are advised that no persons should be admitted to their works unless notice has been received beforehand of their coming.

A rumour current in the town that access was obtained at one of the Rugby Works is, we are officially informed, quite untrue.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mr L W Eadon, son of Mr W Eadon, Hillmorton Road, has enlisted as a gunner in “ A ” Battery, Reserve Battalion of the H.A.C.

The Pipers’ Band of the Scottish Regiment, with drums, by kind permission of the Commanding Officer paraded in the School Close on Monday afternoon, and played several marches and national airs to the delight of a large number of members and friends of the School.

Corpl A J Harris has been promoted owing to the services he has rendered at the front as a motor-cycle dispatch rider, to second-lieutenant in the Royal Engineers. He had the honour of being mentioned in the dispatches from General French published on Thursday last. He is now stationed at Fenny Stratford. It will be remembered that he gained his colours as a half-back in the Rugby School Football XV, and afterwards played regularly for the Rugby Club.

Pte J Bonnick, A.S.C, of Wellesbourne, who, as we announced last week had been reported killed at the front on December 2nd, has wired to his wife that he is quite well.

TWO OLD ST. MATTHEW’S BOYS MENTIONED.

Sir John French’s despatch, published on February 18th, includes the names of two old pupils of St Matthew’s Boys’ School recommended for gallant and distinguished service in the field, viz: Sergt-Major John W Goddard, of the Royal Field Artillery, eldest son of Mr J Goddard, a former gymnastic instructor at Rugby School, and Corpl (now Lieut) A J Harris, of the Royal Engineers, formerly a member of Rugby School Officers’ Training Corps, son of Mr A Harris, Dunchurch Road.

In addition to being mentioned in despatches by Sir John French, Sergt-Major J W Goddard is included in the list published yesterday (Friday) of those on whom the King has bestowed the Military Cross.

“ ASHLAWN ” RED CROSS HOSPITAL

We much regret that owing to the shortness of time given by the War Office for preparing “Ashlawn” as a hospital it has been impossible to acknowledge all the kind gifts which were sent during the first few weeks for the equipment of this hospital.

In future we hope to acknowledge the weekly gifts in this paper, which are greatly appreciated by the patients. We take this opportunity of thanking all who have been good enough to send gifts.

Many people have also very kindly lent their cars for conveying patients to and from, and also for the use of the hospital.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Recruiting still continues very slack at Rugby, only eight having been attested this week. They are :-R.W.R : J G Beasley and H S Mason. Hants Regiment : T Colledge and F H Spiers. R.A.M.C : F H D Moore, A P Webb, C Cook, and J H Wakelin.

We are informed that there are 16 regiments of Infantry which are open to men of a minimum height of 5ft 1in, but the chest standard of 34 1/2ins remains unaltered.

24 Oct 1914. News from the Front

HAVE GOT THE GERMANS “ SNOOKERED ”

Corpl A J Harris, son of Mr and Mrs A Harris, Dunchurch Road, has sent another letter home, stating that he is still fit and well. The situation in France is summed up in a phrase that billiard players will-readily understand : “ We have got the Germans ‘snookered’ and they know it.”

HORSE SHOT UNDER HIM.

Sergt W Judge, of the 20th Hussars, paid a surprise visit to his wife at 23 Jubilee Street, New Bilton, on Tuesday in last week, and remained until Saturday morning, when he returned to France. Sergt Judge, who as a reservist was called up on the outbreak of hostilities, was one of the first to be ordered to France, and was recently sent home with one of Field-Marshal Sir John French’s chargers. He took part in the Battle of Mons and the fighting round Arras, and in one engagement he had a very narrow escape, his horse being shot under him. Sergt Judge has only a very poor opinion of the much-vaunted German cavalry, and states that they will not face steady fire unless forced to do so. Their uniform in some cases is very much like that of the British Cavalry, the only distinguishing feature being the brass helmets, of the Prussians. Then, too, the British horses are far superior to any possessed by the enemy. The general contempt of Thomas Atkins for the German riflemen is shared by Sergt Judge, who states that they fire very rapidly, but register many more misses than hits. “ It is most amusing,” he adds, “ to see the British soldiers waiting in the trenches with folded arms in some instances for the Germans 300 yards away to shoot at them. Even under these circumstances it is very rarely that the Germans hit their man. During some of the engagements the Germans have outnumbered the British by 15 to 1 ; and Sergt Judge mentioned an incident which came under his notice, where 50 British completely annihilated 200 Germans. French tobacco does not meet with the sergeant’s approval, and he states that owing to the scarcity of matches the rays of the sun passed through a magnifying lens have had to be utilised for lighting pipes and cigarettes.

LOOTING AND ABUSE OF WHITE FLAG.

Gunner A G Turner, of the Royal Field Artillery, brother of Mr A Turner, newsagent, of Bridget Street, New Bilton, has recently written home ; and in an interesting account of his experiences at the front states that he has been in the thick of the fighting. “ We did our best,” the writer adds, “ and have been congratulated for our coolness, and every time we meet the Lincolns, the Scots, and others of our Brigade, they all say : “ Good old gunners ; let ’em have it.” Our section got into a tight corner, but we managed to get out unhurt. No infantry were near at the time, so we got a good gallop, and then we came into action and checked their advance again and again.” After asking to be supplied with tobacco and cigarettes, and also notepaper and envelopes, Gunner Turner continued : “ I shall never forget what I have seen and done. I have been gun-layer, and if I have seen one German drop from our shrapnel I have seen hundred. We caught them napping in one place, and as they could not get away they put up the white flag, but when our infantry advanced on them they started to open fire, and then we put the shell into them. That day we captured about 500 altogether. My word ! they have been looting the country—smashing doors and windows and taking everything they thought was any good ; but they soon move when we get into them.”

TERRIFYING “ BLACK MARIAS.”

Captain Clifford Aston, of the Royal Engineers, nephew to the Rev C T Aston, vicar of St Matthew’s, Rugby, has been under shell fire several times, and has given a vivid account of his experiences in a letter. He says : “ It is curious how terrifying the ‘Black Marias’ are. After we got out of their zone and into the shrapnel zone one felt comparatively safe, and did not mind much about them. The real reason for this is, I think, because the wounds caused by ‘Black Marias’ are so awful, and those of shrapnel comparatively slight. ‘Black Maria’ is a high explosive shell, made of thick steel from half to one inch thick. It is 8½ins in diameter and 2ft 6ins high. When it lands it bursts with terrific force, and smashes the case into hundreds of jagged splinters. If these hit one they tear great holes and pieces out of one. Pieces as big as the handle of a table knife will go right through a man, and other pieces 12ins by 4ins get thrown about with great force. It is the fear of those wounds that makes the effect, of the ‘Black Maria,’ as she does infinitely less actual damage than shrapnel shell, which only contains bullets that make clean holes.” Capt Aston has visited Rheims since the bombardment, and says that, although the cathedral is badly damaged, it is not the blackened ruin, with no roof and the walls half knocked down, one would expect to find, the structure being entirely undamaged, and stands there a beautiful building.