11th Aug 1917. War Anniversary Commemoration.

WAR ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION.

At the places of worship throughout the United Kingdom on Saturday and Sunday services of intercession for the victory of our arms this world tragedy were held.

At the churches in St Andrew’s parish, Rugby, on Saturday there were celebrations of the Holy Communion and a cycle of prayer throughout the day until Evensong.

On Sunday the form of services authorised by the Archbishops was used, and the charge read at Matins. After a shortened Evensong, the members of the various churches joined in procession in the following order :—Wardens, cross, priest, choir, and congregation. The members of the Parish Church, Holy Trinity, St Phillip’s, and St Andrew’s Mission met near the Hippodrome, and proceeded to the Lower School field, where they were joined by the members of St Peter’s Church. Altogether about 2,000 were in the imposing procession, and there was another 1,000 present at the short intercession service, conducted by the Rector (the Rev C M Blagden). On the platform were the clergy of the churches mentioned and Dr David. The massed choirs were conducted by Mr Hidden (Parish Church organist).

At St. Matthew’s Church on Sunday services were held in commemoration of the War anniversary. The Rev. T. Watson gave an address at early morning prayer meeting, and preached during the day. The collections amounted to nearly £50, and are to start a fund of about £140, which is being raised for a memorial window and tablet to those from the parish who have fallen in the War.

On Sunday last the Rev E Wyman conducted services at Cambridge Street Wesleyan Church in the morning, and at the Market Place Wesleyan Church in the evening. The special form of intercession was used at both places. Mr Wyman gave discourses on “ The Secret of Sustained Strength.” He said with every new problem came a feeling of uneasiness and a growing feeling of pessimism. Our enemies, knowing that anything like panic was impossible, had striven to create a feeling of uneasiness and depression that would reflect upon our Army abroad. But that endeavour had not been successful, as the morale of the British nation at home or abroad was unaffected. The time of waiting would prove a greater strength upon the nation. They needed a lofty vision, for the future spelt freedom. Their source of strength was waiting upon God, Who revealed the secret of strength and of radiant optimism.

Special reference was made to the third anniversary of the War at the Primitive Methodist Church, Railway Terrace, on Sunday evening. The Rev W Vaughan conducted the service. Taking for his text the “ Parable of the loaves,” he dealt with the unifying work of the Divine Spirit. From the process of transforming the separate grains of meal, which represented self centred individuals, into one mass of dough, he illustrated the work of God in the human race as bringing about a brotherhood not only of people within a nation, but a universal brotherhood, including all the nations of the earth, and referred to the progress of the War as a breaking down of the spirit of tyrannical rule as represented by the dynasties based on the so-called Divine right of kings. They looked forward to the triumph of the principles of brotherhood and freedom as the governing principles of the nations of the earth. This, and this only, would be a right ending of the War which, though not yet, was becoming more and more certain.

At the Congregational Church a special service was held in the morning, and was conducted by the Rev Peter Morrison, Kenilworth. There was a good congregation, and the form of service arranged by the National Free Church Council was used. The congregation stood during the reading of the roll of honour, containing the names of Church members who have joined the Army or Navy, and this was very impressive, especially when reference was made to those who have fallen. The sermon was most appropriate the occasion.

There was a good attendance at the open meeting of the Brotherhood, held in the Co-operative Hall on Sunday afternoon. The speaker was the Rev W Vaughan, who stepped into the breach at very short notice. His address was of a wartime character, and the subject was “ Freedom and Independence v Force and Tyranny.” Two solos, “ Just to-day ” and “ Nearer my God to Thee,” were nicely sung by Miss Phyllis Foxon.

At the Baptist Church on Sunday evening the Rev J H Lees (pastor) gave an address on “ The War,” and the American National Anthem was sung.

SUGAR CARDS TO BE ISSUED.

Lord Rhondda has asked the local authorities—namely, the Municipal Borough Councils and the Urban and Rural District Councils—to appoint Food Committees for administering a new scheme of sugar distribution, and later for dealing with other foodstuffs, including bread and meat. For all important foodstuffs the Food Controller will fix a general scale of prices based at each stage on the reasonable profits of traders. The committees will be entrusted with the enforcement of this scale, and will be asked to advise on any necessary modifications of it in their districts. The committees will consist of not more than twelve members ; some members may be co-opted. Each committee must include at least one woman and one representative of labour. The cost, including a special staff, will be a charge on the Exchequer. It will be the first duty of the committees to safeguard the interests of consumers. Immediately the local committees are constituted they will register grocers and other retailers of sugar, and after October 1st no retailer who remains unregistered will be allowed to deal in sugar.

THE HOUSEHOLDER’S DERBY.

The public will not be called upon to move until towards the end of September, when forms of application for sugar cards will be distributed by the Postal Authorities. These forms must be filled up by householders, and show the names, age, sex, and occupation of all members of their households. They must be posted to the Food Office not later than October 5th. The householder will receive from the Food Office a household sugar card, which must be taken to the tradesman from whom he desires to buy his sugar. The tradesman will retain one part. He will stamp the other part with his name or sign, and it must be kept by the customer, who must be prepared to produce it when making purchases. The grocer’s supplies will be authorised by the local food control office on the basis of the number of customers thus registered by him. The reorganisation of sugar distribution under the new scheme cannot be complete before December 30th. It will be the retailer’s duty, when the allowance is made regular, to see that no customer is supplied twice in one week. He may number the cards deposited with him, and keep them in order in a box ; when the purchase for the week is made he can transfer the card bearing the customer’s number to a second.

RUGBY SCHOOL NOTTING HILL CLUB.-During the past Rugby has been invaded a number of fair “ munitioneers ” from London. The girls, sixty in number, belong to the Notting Hill Club, which is supported by past and present members of Rugby School. Each year a camp is held in connection with the Club at Romney ; but this year, at the last moment, the camping ground was required by the Army, and the organisers were forced to seek “ fresh woods and pastures new.” Happily the School Authorities at once came to their assistance, and a hearty invitation was sent to the members to spend their holiday at Rugby—an offer which was gladly accepted. The spacious gymnasium has been fitted up as a dormitory, and the girls, many whom are engaged in high explosive factories, are thoroughly enjoying the quietude of Rugby and their open-air life under the shadow of the famous School, where the time passes only too quickly in cricket, fives, and other outdoor pastimes. The party is in charge of the Rev C S Donald, the head of the Mission, and the local arrangements were made by Mr C P Evers and Mr H C Bradby. On Saturday sixty boys connected with the Mission will arrive.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Bombardier G B Morgan, H.A.C, brother-in-law of Mr J M Squires, Rugby, has received a commission as Second-Lieutenant in the Royal Artillery.

Mrs Hipwell, 110 Oxford Street, has received official news that her husband, G W Hipwell, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, was killed in France on May 3rd. He was previously reported missing.

Sapper A Findlay, R.E, of Mr & Mrs James Findlay, of 171 Clifton Road, Rugby, is in the Essex County Hospital, Colchester, suffering from shell wounds received in action after two years’ service in France.

Corpl F Rixom, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, son of Mrs Rixom, Claremont Road, was picked out with others to represent the Training School to which they are attached at an investiture by the King. Subsequently the King went over to inspect the unit, and as he was doing so his Majesty noticed the gold stripes on Corpl Rixom’s arm. He stopped and asked all particulars as to how, where and when the wounds indicated were received, and expressed the hope that he was getting on all right.

Mr W T Coles Hodges, headmaster of Murray School, has received intimation from Mr John C Ensor, late of Rugby, now of Nottingham, that his son, John Leslie Ensor, was killed in action in a coast battle in Flanders. Deceased and his brother Claude, both Old Murrayians, joined at the outbreak of the War. The latter has recently been wounded. As showing how the boys in the trenches remember their old school, we might state that the Headmaster of Murray School has received a letter from an Old Murrayian congratulating the prize-winners at the recent distribution.

THE LATE LIEUT. HART-DAVIES.

At the inquest on Lieut Hart-Davis, whose death was recorded in our columns last week, evidence was given by officers who saw the accident to the effect that on the Friday evening the deceased was flying over the grounds. When, at a low altitude, he was about to land the machine, he probably turned the ’plane down too sharply, which caused it to give a nose dive, and dashed it to the ground. Lieut Hart-Davies was killed immediately, he being the pilot. It was stated that the machine had been in use during the day, and was in perfect condition to the time of the accident. Dr Hunt, R.A.M.C, who also saw the accident, examined the body, and considered that death was due to shock from the fall.—The jury returned a verdict accordingly.

A brother officer writes :—“ A gallant fellow whom we all liked immensely, and are deeply grieved that he should have been fatally injured when he so much wished to go to France, where, doubtless, he would have won honours.”

NEWBOLD-ON-AVON.

A BRAVE ELECTRICIAN.—The Officer commanding the unit in which Sergt C H Sylvester is serving—the Scots Fusiliers reports :— “ I beg to recommend Sergt C H Sylvester for an immediate award for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on the night of the —— inst-. When we were about to attack – he laid out a cable line right up to the enemy wire, only withdrawing when hotly fired on by the enemy. During our advance on – he was untiring in his efforts to keep up communication with the result that, no matter how quickly our troops advanced, there was always telephone communication to battalion headquarters. In -, where our lines were constantly under shell fire, he was always showing a marked disregard to personal danger by his example, encouraging others ; and although ill, he remained on duty till the battalion was relieved, doing excellent work. He remained with the incoming battalion till they were quite settled down, when eventually he did leave the signal office he was almost unable to walk, and had to helped to the ambulance.”

DEATHS.

HARRIS.—Killed in action in France on July 27th, Pte. J. Harris, 8th Gloucesters, youngest son of Mr. J. Harris, Harborough Magna. A devoted son and brother.

WILKINS.—On October 12th, 1916, Pte Reginald Gerald Wilkins, R.W.R., killed in action (previously reported missing), age 21 years ; the dearly-loved son of Mrs. Wilkins, 22 Cannon Street, St. Albans (late of 32 Regent Street, Rugby).

IN MEMORIAM.

OGBURN.—In loving memory of Pte H Ogburn, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who was killed some where in France, on July 30th, 1916.
“ 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 wife and children.

Hart-Davies, Ivan Beauclerk. Died 27th Jul 1917

Lieutenant Ivan Beauclerk Hart—Davies R.F.C.

21 April 1878 — 27 July 1917

Ivan Hart—Davies (known as Harty) son of the Reverend John Hart-Davies and Mrs Hart-Davies of Southam Rectory, Warwickshire, was a charismatic adventurer who touched many peoples lives.

Educated at Maidenhead and Kings School, Canterbury, he became a schoolmaster at New Beacon, Sevenoaks, and was excellent in many sporting activities. In 1905, he decided to open an insurance office in Rugby. Because of the railway and the presence of many gentry due to the hunting and polo being of paramount importance to the area, Rugby was prosperous.

He met Jennie Ward, a lady who shared his passion for motorcycles, and was also a stockbroker and owning a domestic staff agency. He decided she was the person to manage his new enterprise and she became a very important person in his life.

In 1907 Harty formed his own boy scouts troop, organising the first boy scouts camps, B.S. Fire brigade and displays at polo matches in front of royalty from various countries. This troop was organised for boys who had no educational prospects. He was criticised for not including the sons of gentlemen.

June 12 & 13 1911 he broke the end to end record, from John O’Groats to Lands End, on a Triumph motorcycle in 29 hours 12 minutes. A.C.U. Banned further attempts too dangerous. The record still stands.

June 23 & 24 1913 with a passenger, he broke the light car end to end record, 886 miles in 34 hours 39 minutes, on a 10 HP Singer cyclecar.

1914 – Whilst on holiday in Europe with three friends broke the bob-sleigh record, winning the Murren Cup, although none of them had seen a bob-sleigh previously.

1911 – Until his death, he worked with the military, testing various guns in a range near Clifton. He had obtained his aircraft licence, tested aircraft, long distance flying and endurance trained pilots and established 1″ R.F.C. Aerodrome at Clifton. Also the ability of motorcycles to climb mountains and speed, nearly being killed on more than one occasion.

With Jennie’s help, organised the Battle of Rugby for military observers. The Coventry Motorcycle & Car Club had to penetrate the defences of the boy scouts and reach the Clock Tower, using fields and canals as well as the normal roads, and many vehicles and occupants were captured. Some military observers decided that motorcycles were useless in a war because they made too much noise. National and International newspapers reported this event.

The eve before he was due to fly to France for active service, he flew his Bristol aircraft F2B No 7103 with his batman for a last look at England. Coming in to land the plane crashed killing Harty, his batman survived.

He is buried in the family grave at Southam, which is still visited by many from the U.K. and abroad.

Copyright: 1981 J.D. -Cooke

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

 

 

 

 

22nd May 1915. Casualties of the War

ANOTHER RUGBY MAN MISSING.

Mr and Mrs J Wood, of 85 Oxford Street, have received news from the front that their son, Rifleman Leslie Wood, of the Rifle Brigade, is missing. His regiment was engaged in severe fighting in the neighbourhood of Hill 60 on Sunday, May 9th, and after the battle he failed to respond to the roll call, and his fate is, at present, uncertain. Rifleman Wood joined the army in August last, and was drafted to the front about ten weeks ago. He was 21 years of age, and previous to joining the army was employed, in the Controller Factory of the B.T.H. He was a former member of the Holy Trinity Church Choir, and was also a member of the Church Troop of Boy Scouts, in which organization he took a great interest. He is a nephew of Mr W E Robotham, vice-chairman of the Rugby Board of Guardians.

PAILTON.

KILLED IN ACTION.-Much sympathy is felt with the Rev W E and Mrs Jackson, who received the news on Friday last week of the loss of their second son, Second-lieut E P Jackson, 3rd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, but attached to the 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers, killed in action. Lieut Jackson was a young man of great promise and very highly spoken of by his brother officers. Before joining the Army he was pursuing his legal studies, and after he had graduated at his college he intended to take up law as his profession. He seemed to have a peculiar aptitude for legal decisions. His College authorities, as well as his military authorities, speak in the highest terms of his work. All will regret that a young life of such promise should be out off after just having attained his majority.

HILLMORTON.

SERGEANT H. H. HANCOCKS KILLED AT HILL 60.

Mr and Mrs J Hancocks, of Hillmorton Locks, have received the sad mews that their third son, Sergt Herbert Harold Hancocks, of the 3rd Battalion King’s Royal Rifles, was killed in action at Hill 60 on April 26th. Sergt Hancocks, who was 25 years of age, had been in the Army eight years, seven, of which had been spent abroad in Crete, Malta, and latterly India. He was present when the dastardly attempt to assassinate the Viceroy, Lord Hardinge, was made, and some of the scraps of metal from the bomb were embedded in his helmet. He also assisted in lifting Lord Hardinge from the elephant, and was present at the great Durbar. He finished his term as a soldier in July last, but owing to the outbreak of war was unable to return home. His regiment landed in England in November, and proceeded to the front a few days before Christmas. Before leaving for France he spent a few days with his family at Hillmorton. He was one of the best shots in the corps, for which he was awarded at modal. He was also a first-class signaller, and acted as instructor in this branch. An enthusiastic follower of local football, Sergt Hancocks informed his patents that he always looked out for the Rugby Advertiser reports of local matches. The accompanying photograph is reproduced from a group taken in India. Another son of Mr and Mrs Hancocks is serving in Kitchener’s Army.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mr J C Brown, son of Mr J Brown, of North Street, Rugby, has received a commission as surgeon probationer in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserves.

Lieut-Col and Hon Col H Hanbury has been gazetted lieutenant-colonel of the 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

Mr Percy Read, of 86 York Street, who is a compositor at Messrs Frost & Sons, is leaving his work to join the Army. Mr Read was married about two years ago, and as an old Volunteer has been so impressed with the necessities of the military situation that he is giving up his employment and disposing of his home in order to do his “ little bit” for his country. We hope that his patriotic example will be imitated.

Some Royal Engineers were waiting at a railway crossing near Bletchley on Monday when a trainload of German prisoners captured in the Hill 60 fighting passed through. The latter, seeing the British soldiers, spat at them from the carriage windows and made insulting remarks. The Engineers disregarded the jeers, and remained standing at attention.

RUGBY MAN BADLEY WOUNDED.

Corpl F M Staines, 2nd Rifle Brigade, a son of Second Officer Staines, of the Rugby Fire Brigade, has been rather badly wounded. In a letter he states that on Sunday, May 9th, after a bombardment, they made a charge, and after they had captured three German trenches he was wounded in the left hip. He got back somehow, but while he was doing so he received another wound through the right thigh. This was at 6 a.m. on Sunday, and he had to lie where he was until 4 a.m on Tuesday before they could carry him in. He is now in hospital at Boulogne, where he states that he is receiving every attention, and where all are most kind. He concludes his letter with a request for the Rugby Advertiser.- A lady writing from the hospital states that Corpl Staines has undergone an operation, and that he is very plucky in bearing his wounds.

KINGS NEWNHAM.

It was with very great regret the news was received of the death at the battle of Ypres, on April 25th, of Pte Charles Hancox, of the 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was one of first from this village to enlist, and the first to fall in the service of his country. He was of a quiet, unassuming character, and was well liked by everyone. Charlie was a native of Long Lawford, and losing both his parents when he was quite a boy, he and his younger brother were taken to and brought up by the late Mrs Clark, of Kings Newnham, with whom they lived till her death two years ago. He proved himself deserving of all her kindness and care.

Before enlisting he worked for Mr W Dunn as a farm labourer. He went into the trenches on February 22nd. On Sunday evening, after the usual service, the Rector (Rev G W Jenkins) invited those who cared to stay to at memorial service in the Parish Church, where he was a most regular worshipper. Part of the Burial Service was read by the Rector, and the hymn, ” On the Resurrection morning,” was sung. The whole congregation remained to pay their last respect to this young soldier. He was 24 years of age. He had a very deep sense of his duty to his King and country. In a letter received from him, written shortly before his death, his concluding words were : ” Don’t worry about me; God knows best, and that is my hope.”

RUGBY FORTRESS COMPANY.

SIR,  – Lord Kitchener has told me that he needs 360,000 more men.

The War Office has asked the town of Rugby to raise a (Fortress) Company Royal Engineers, and a reply has been sent to the Secretary of the War Office to say that Rugby will raise this company.

The members of the recruiting committee, the leaders of the trades and labour organisations, and many others have done everything they can to put full information before the men. We are still short of about 60 men, especially bricklayers, blacksmiths, carpenters, and masons.

There are plenty of suitable men in Rugby who can join, and I ask them to do so at once in order that the training of the company may go on without any delay.

If man has good reasons for not coming himself, he ought to feel justified in asking others to join. If he does not feel justified in asking others to join, then I ask him again to consider the possibility of coming himself.-I am, sir, yours faithfully.

E W E KEMPSON (LIEUT).

0.C 22th Fortress Company, R.E.

During the past week the recruits have been drilling at the Howitzer Battery headquarters, and by their smartness and general aptitude for their work have surprised and delighted the experienced non-commissioned officers who are training them. It is hoped that the first batch will receive their uniform in the course of a few days.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

The following have enlisted during the past week at the Rugby Drill Hall :- E J Baker, A V Herbert, G E Manser, W V Ingram, W F Bloomfield, T H Lang, W T Boyce, W C Carrick, F G Turner, Rugby Fortress Company; T Holman, Staffords; A J Brett, R.A.M.C ;G J T Collier, Hants Regiment ; C A Bird, Leicestershires ; W H Hallam, Lincolnshire Regiment; E Harris, R.W.R ; J Dorman, L J Turner, and G Facer, Mechanical Transport. A.S.C.

THE WHITE FEATHER POSTCARD.

SIR,-I received a postcard through the post this morning with a white leather on and the following words: “ Stop playing with little boys ! Be a man ; play the game ; think it over.” It is generally a wise rule to pay no attention to anonymous letters ; but I think, perhaps, that the sender may be sincere, if ignorant, and I therefore propose to answer it.

Firstly, let me say that I spent four years with the Rugby Boy Scouts – years which cost me all my spare time and a considerable amount of money. I fail to see that I am to be condemned for doing voluntary work.

The following facts may possibly enlighten those who concern themselves with other people’s affairs :-

My business was founded by myself twelve years ago on a capital of £10, and has grown steadily owing to personal effort, until to-day we are handling about £17,000 a year in premiums. A year and a half ago a move was made to larger premises, and consequently heavier expenses were incurred. Six months later war broke out. During these eleven years I never had a salary, but have depended entirely on commission. There have been many anxious moments throughout that time, and the future is naturally very uncertain. Nevertheless, I immediately volunteered for active service in the Royal Flying Corps, armoured car section, or elsewhere, stipulating that I should be given the option of leaving the service at the end of six months. This was refused by the authorities. This insurance business is a personal one and dependent on me, and I see no reason I should be driven into bankruptcy, with the consequent dismissal of my staff and the failure of heavy obligation to some of my relatives.

The idea of sending me a white feather marks the sender as a fool. No one knows until he faces the great crisis whether he is coward or not. So far, any rate in the minor adventures of life, my nerve has not troubled me.

Finally, let me express my disgust at the action of a Rugby inhabitant who is capable of sending such an epistle through the post on a card. My only reason for dealing with the matter at all is to save the feelings of others to whom, no doubt, similar documents may be sent, I am not ashamed of my reasons, hence this letter, which I shall be glad to explain further if the sender has the courage to call at my office or write to me under his or her correct name.

I B HART-DAVIES.

3 Albert Street, Rugby, May 17th.

[Note: Lieutenant Hart Davies of the Royal Flying Corps was killed on 27 July 1917]