Chambers, Charles William. Died 21st Mar 1918

Charles William CHAMBERS, was born on 7 March 1888, in Braunston, Northamptonshire, and baptised on 13 May 1888 in Welton Northamptonshire, the eldest son of William Henry (b.c. 1859 Braunston – 1950) and Amy Alice, née Matthews, Chambers (b.c.1868 Weldon – 1927), of Braunston. They had married on 30 March 1887 in Braunston.

In 1901, William Henry Chambers was enumerated as a ‘farm labourer’ with eight children, in a house in High Street, Braunston. Then sometime between 1901 and 1903, the family moved to Hillmorton, Rugby and in 1911 William was a ‘working farm bailiff’ and living at Abbotts Farm, Hillmorton.

In 1911, Charles was 23, and a ‘farm labourer’. He then had ten younger siblings at the family home, six brothers and four sisters. However, the records show that later, until just before the war, Frank was working at British Thompson Houston in Rugby.

At some date, he enlisted in Rugby as a Private No.11054, in the 5th Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry [Ox and Bucks].

The 5th (Service) Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was formed at Oxford in August 1914 as part of the First New Army (K1) and then moved to Cranleigh, Guildford and then to Salamanca Barracks, Aldershot in February 1915 to be placed under orders of 42nd Brigade in 14th (Light) Division. They mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne on 21 May 1915.

Charles’ Medal Card shows he went to France on 20 May 1915 and he would thus have been with his Battalion when they went to France, and would have been engaged in various actions on the Western Front including in 1915: the Action of Hooge, when he probably experienced part of the first flamethrower attack by the Germans; the Second Attack on Bellewaarde and in 1916: the Battle of Delville Wood, and the Battle of Flers-Courcelette.

Then in 1917 with the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, the so called Battle of Arras and particularly, the First Battle of the Scarpe (9 – 14 April 1917) which was conducted in parallel with the attack by the mainly Canadian Divisions on Vimy Ridge, slightly to the north. Both these being in part diversions for a major French attack to the south, which in the event was unsuccessful.

The Battalion’s activities in the Arras offensive can be found in more detail in the account of the life of Charles’ colleague in the 5th Ox and Bucks, Frank Scotton who died on the first day of that action, 9 April 1917. In later 1917, the Battalion was involved in the Third Battle of the Scarpe, the Battle of Langemark, and the First and Second Battles of Passchendaele.

The following year, on 21 March 1918, the Germans launched a major offensive, Operation Michael, against the British Fifth Army, and the right wing of the British Third Army. The artillery bombardment began at 4.40am on 21 March 1918, and hit targets over an area of 150 square miles, the biggest barrage of the entire war. Over 1,100,000 shells were fired in five hours.

The formation for the British order of battle for that period, which was also known as the Battle of St Quentin (21-23 March 1918), included the 5th Ox and Bucks in the 14th (Light) Division in Gough’s Fifth Army.

The action on that first day, 21 March 1918 has already been described in some detail or consult other references.[2]. The 14th Division held a line from north of Moy to Witancourt. Whilst much of the Division ‘did not fight well’ and fell back, the forward Battalions, including the 5th Ox and Bucks, were in a salient and with five other depleted Battalions came under heavy attack from the far superior strength of five German Divisions.   The Battalion Diary[3] provides a summary of early 1918 and of the actions on 21 March 1918.

5th Service Battalion – Summary of Events, 1918.

On New Year’s Day the Battalion was on the move again back to the Somme country, where January was spent mostly in training. About the middle of the month the 42nd Brigade was ordered to shed a Battalion, and for a few days the fate of the 5th Battalion hung in the balance. Eventually, however, it was decided that the 6th King’s Shropshire Light Infantry should be broken up to furnish reinforcements, instead of the 5th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, and during February the Battalion was in the trenches at Bois d’Urvilliers, with rest intervals at Montescourt. The first twenty days of March were similarly spent, and all was quiet. Then on 21 March descended the German avalanche, … On that day and on 23 March the Battalion put up a stout fight, but, being overwhelmed by numbers, was withdrawn only with difficulty. On the 4th April it again came in for further hot fighting, and was again forced back, its casualties in the fortnight having amounted to some twenty-six officers and upwards of five hundred men.

THE GERMAN ATTACK. March 2lst
Misty morning. Action:

6.5 a.m. Battalion, under command of Major Labouchere, moves up to Battle zone. A and B Companies lose very heavily from shell-fire. Enemy reach Battle zone about 11.30 a.m. Front posts lost, having been obliterated (with their occupants) by shell-fire.   Second line held in front of Brigade H.Q. along Benay-Essigny road. Some hand-to-hand fighting; 8 prisoners taken. Enemy massing in Lambay Wood and Essigny all afternoon. Line abandoned at night; all British troops retire behind the canal at Flavy. Casualties: Lieut. B. A. Anderson, M.C., and 2nd Lieut. W. Fawcitt, killed; Major C. H. Williams, 2nd Lieut. J. F. Traynor, and 2nd Lieut. J. W. Baldwin, M.M., wounded; Missing: Lieut. W. A. Ramsay, Lieut. E. C. Cook, 2nd Lieut. F. J. Collinge, (all three afterwards reported prisoners of war,) and 2nd Lieut. R. J. McL. W. Theobald, (later reported killed).’

At some time on 21 March, Charles Chambers was one of those Killed in Action.

During this and subsequent battles the Division took very heavy casualties, losing some 6000 men, killed or injured.   The Division was withdrawn from the line and engaged in building defensive works in the rear. The 5th Battalion having taken heavy losses (see above), was withdrawn, and on 27 April 1918 was reduced to a cadre and on 16 June 1918 returned to England as part of the 16th (Irish) Division, and then on 20 June 1918, was absorbed by the 18th Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment.

After Charles’ death, the allies held the advance which had badly weakened the Germans and overextended their supply lines, and then fought back.

Because of the intensity of the battle, and as the Germans were moving forward, many of those killed were never found or formally identified. In the confusion of the retreat and rearguard action, when Charles was ‘Killed in Action’, his body was never found or was not identified.   He was probably killed in the area that the Germans overran on 21 March 1918.

Charles is remembered on Panels 50/51 of the Pozieres Memorial.   Pozieres is a village 6 kilometres north-east of the town of Albert. The Memorial encloses Pozieres British Cemetery.

The Pozieres Memorial relates to the period of crisis in March and April 1918 when the Allied Fifth Army was driven back by overwhelming numbers across the former Somme battlefields, and the months that followed before the Advance to Victory, which began on 8 August 1918. The Memorial commemorates over 14,000 casualties of the United Kingdom and 300 of the South African Forces who have no known grave and who died on the Somme from 21 March to 7 August 1918.[4]

Charles’ death was reported in the Coventry Evening Telegraph[5] together with that of one of his younger brothers Frederick,[6] who died some two weeks later. ‘… other additions to the Rugby roll of honour are … Sergt. S. Chambers and Pte. Charles Chambers, sons of Mr W. Chambers, farm bailiff, Hillmorton; …’.

Charles was awarded the Victory and British medals and the 1914-1915 Star.   He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate; on the BTH Memorial and, with his brother, on the south side of the Hillmorton Memorial – ‘CHAMBERS, Frederick, Gloucester Regt.; CHAMBERS, Charles, Oxon & Bucks L. I.’

Charles’ younger brother, Fredrick Louis Chambers (2 May 1893 – 4 April 1918), died of wounds some two weeks after Charles, also in Flanders. He originally enlisted at Rugby into the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, No.11893, and then was transferred to the 12th Entrenching Battalion, and then to the 14th (Service) Battalion (West of England) Gloucestershire Regiment, No.37798, and attached to the 7th Battalion, the Queen’s Own (Royal West Kent Regiment). He is buried in Namps-au-Val British Cemetery, south-west of Amiens, with the inscription ‘Until the Day Dawns’. At the end of March 1918, when the German offensive in Picardy began, the 41st, 50th and 55th Casualty Clearing Stations came to Namps-au-Val and made this graveyard. Charles left a widow, Julia Amy, née Sainsbury, Chambers (b.c.1896) whom he had married on 22 April 1916, at St Peter, Dartmouth Park Hill, Islington, and who was latterly of Hillmorton Road, Paddox Estate, Rugby. For some reason, he is not listed on the Rugby Memorial Gate, but is remembered with his brother, Charles, on the Hillmorton War Memorial.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS THEM

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This article on Charles William Chambers was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, December 2017.

 

Thanks to Christine Hancock of the RFHG for coordinating and providing data for the Project and to all those have transcribed and searched out and photo

[1]         https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2017/04/09/scotton-frank-died-9th-apr-1917/ .

[2]       Murland, Jerry, Retreat and Rearguard Somme 1918 – the Fifth Army Retreat, Pen and Sword Books Ltd, 2014, ISBN: 978 1 78159 2670, p.49.

[3]       Abstracted by http://www.lightbobs.com/5-oxf–bucks-li-1917-1918.html .

[4]       Information from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission web-site at https://www.cwgc.org/ .

[5]       Coventry Evening Telegraph, Saturday, 20 April 1918.

[6]       The initial ‘S’ seems incorrect and this was Fredrick Louis Chambers, Died of wounds, 4 April 1918.

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Salisbury, Wilfred John. Died 25th Mar 1917

Bristol/Z/9620/Telegraphist   Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve

Wilfred was the youngest surviving child of Edwin and Emma nee Taylor, born on 21 April 1898.   His father was born In Barby, his mother in Hillmorton, where they married on 18th May1881.

At marriage Edwin was a labourer, but spent a short time in Camden, London where his eldest child James was born in 1883, although he soon returned to Hillmorton where children Elizabeth, Emma, Harold and Wilfred were born. By 1901 Edwin had become a fishmonger, living in Lower Street, Hillmorton, and had a further child, Wallace, who died in infancy. In 1911 he was still a fishmonger and also a greengrocer, but living in Rugby at 65 Manor Road, assisted by his wife.

Wilfred was probably conscripted at his eighteenth birthday in 1916, and joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, becoming a wireless operator.

He was serving on HM Trawler “Evangel”, sweeping a minefield in the English Channel when the vessel struck a mine. All the crew were lost.   Wilfred sadly never reached his nineteenth birthday.

As well as on the Rugby Memorial Gates, he is commemorated on the Plymouth Naval Memorial, and in Rugby Baptist Church, where according to a report in the Rugby Advertiser on 7 April, he was a “most promising youth …. liked by all”.

Rugby Baptist Church

The memorial in the church reads: “This tablet and the organ in the Church are erected to the memory of those members of this Church who laid down their lives in the Great War 1914 – 1918, whose names are given herewith also as an act of thanksgiving for the safe return of the many others from this Church who served in the war.”

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Griffith, Llewellyn. Died 18th Sep 1916

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Howkins, Maurice. Died 4th Aug 1916

Ernest Howkins was born   on 19th July 1894. Almost a year later on 28th July 1895 he was baptised Maurice at Woolscott Church. His parents were William and Emma (nee King) who married in late 1893. William was a farmer at Manor Farm, Woolscott.

Around 1892 the family moved to Hillmorton, where William had taken over the farm at Hillmorton Grounds, in Barby Road. Maurice was aged 16 and at school (Lawrence Sheriff). He had a younger brother Charles, aged 6. After leaving school he became a pupil in the engineering works at Crewe.

At the outbreak of war he joined the Honourable Artillery Company and in February 1915 given a commission in the Royal Field Artillery. He later transferred to the Royal Horse Artillery and promoted to 2nd Lieutenant, 1st/5th (Lowland) Brigade. He arrived in Egypt on 2nd March 1916. He was killed on the first day of The Battle of Romani which was part of the Palestine Campaign. It is likely that he was killed by the Turkish artillery attack on Romani.

The Suez Canal was a vital supply route for goods and the ANZAC and Indian troops and equipment. Early in the War the Allies had to defend it against Turkish troops and then against the Senussi Arabs in the Western Desert, it increased in importance following the failure of the Gallipoli Campaign and defeat at Kut-al-Amra in Mesopotamia (Iraq).

In April 1916 the Turks made a strong raid at Oghratine and Katie but did not follow up the success.

This gave Lt. General Sir Archibald Murray time to build up strength.

Aerial reconnaissance showed a large enemy force leaving Beersheba on 9th July 1916.It included the Turkish 3rd Division, a German Pasha 1 Group with 5 machine gun Companies, 2 trench mortar companies plus heavy and anti-aircraft artillery. It reached Bir al Abd on 19th July.

The enemy could not attack along the coast, but had to come from the south across a waterless desert with soft sand dunes. The 52nd Division moved to Romani when the railway was completed and were joined by the 53rd Welsh Division. The Commander in charge was Major-General the Hon. Sir Herbert Lawrence. He chose to wait until the Turks attacked. They approached to 10 miles from Romani and halted for 10 days.

Late on the 3rd of July a Turkish Force followed the retreat of the 2nd Australian Light Infantry but failed to scale the Wellington Ridge. On the 4th they shelled the Allied positions but did not attack directly. It is likely that he was killed by the Turkish artillery attack on Romani.

The Turkish forces withdrew having suffered 8,000 casualties, and 4,000 prisoners were taken by the Allies. The Allies had 1,100 casualties. Lawrence did not commit to an attack quickly enough on the retreating force, missing an excellent opportunity.

He is buried in the Kantara War Memorial Cemetery grave D8. Kantara is on the east bank of the Suez Canal 160 km north-east of Cairo.

Kantara was a major base and Hospital. In January 1916 a new railway was built eastwards from Kantara to Sinai and Palestine.

Maurice Howkins is remembered on the Lawrence Sheriff School Plaque and the Hillmorton War Memorial, as well as Rugby Memorial Gates.

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Goodman, Fred. Died 3rd Aug 1916

Fred Goodman was born in 1896 and baptised that year on 23 Aug at Hillmorton Parish Church. His father was Henry Goodman, a railway servant and Janet nee Franklin. Janet was  born in Shenley, Bucks and they married in Hillmorton on 16 Dec 1886. At the time they lived in Lower Street Hillmorton, but by 1901 they had moved to 5 East Street, Rugby.

In 1911 Fred was 14 years old and working as an Office Boy at B.T.H. His father was still working on the railway, a Fire-dropper for L&NW Railway. Fred was the youngest of four children, two brothers Walter and Lewis and a sister, Nellie. Walter was away in 1911, serving with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in India (He was to die in the first month of the war, Goodman, Walter George. Died 27 Aug 1914.) The rest of the family were at 12 Bridge St, Rugby.

Fred enlisted with the 78th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, number 11032. He arrived in France on 12th July 1915. The Brigade was concentrated near St Omer, then moved to the Southern Ypres salient. In early July 1916 they moved south to the Somme during the Battle of Albert.

Fred Goodman died of wounds on 3rd August 1916. He was buried at Dernancourt Communal Cemetery. Dernancourt was a village, close to Albert, the location of the XV Corps Main Dressing Station.

According to the In Memoriam notice put in the Rugby Advertiser by his parents in August 1921, Fred died on his 20th birthday.

He is also remembered on the B.T.H. Memorial.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

22nd Jul 1916. Helping the Prisoners of War

HELPING THE PRISONERS OF WAR.

A meeting of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee was held on Wednesday evening. Mr Wm Flint, C.C, Chairman of the Committee, presiding. Also present : Mrs Lees, Rev Father Jarvis, and Messrs A E Donkin, W H Clay, C J Newman, G W Walton, J Mellor, and the Hon Secretary, Mr J R Barker. Apologies for absence were received from Mrs Blagden, Mr F R Davenport, and Mr S H Weobley.

The Chairman, in reviewing the past work of the Committee, said that, starting with a list of 13 prisoners of war, the work had grown to such an extent that the Committee were now looking after the welfare of 55 men from Rugby and the villages. The expenditure had increased so very considerably that the Executive thought the Committee should meet to consider what steps should be taken to maintain the weekly parcels to the prisoners of war.

The Hon Secretary presented a statement of accounts to date. Subscriptions and donations amounted to £526 16s 6d, and the cost of food parcels and other expenditure was £417 8s 2d, which left a balance in hand of £109 8s 4d. He was glad to be able to report that during the past week there had been a slight improvement in the subscriptions, and although the money in hand would only provide for a few weeks parcels, he was glad to be able to report that several local efforts were being made to raise funds. It was, however, very necessary that, without delay, the Committee made arrangements to secure sufficient money to carry on the work for several months ahead, especially in view of the possibilities of further names being added to the list.

Various schemes were suggested and agreed upon, the first effort to be a Flag Day, Mr Newman and Mr Barker agreeing to carry out the arrangements as early as possible.

COVENTRY MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL.

The following local cases were heard before Mr Carmichael at the Coventry Munitions Tribunal on Friday in last week.

Alick J Tabor, Woolscott, near Rugby, applied for a leaving certificate from the B.T.H.—The case was adjourned from a previous Court. Another adjournment for four weeks was granted ; and the Court instructed the lad to return to work.

G North, 113 Railway Terrace, Rugby, was fined 10s for absenting himself from work at the B.T.H without leave for the whole of the week ending July 8th, the fine to be paid in four weekly instalments.

A King, 385 Clifton Road, Rugby, was charged by the B.T.H Company with being absent from work without leave on Saturday, July 8th, for 8¾ hours on Monday, and the whole of Tuesday, July 11th. The man’s previous time-keeping had been bad, and he was fined 15s and ordered to pay in weekly instalments of 2s 6d.

F H Shorthose, 19 Market Street, Rugby, was summoned for refusing to work overtime at the B.T.H on Saturday afternoon, July 8th, thereby delaying skilled men.—He was fined 10s (2s 6d per week), and was warned by the Chairman regarding his defiant attitude before the Court.

J Asquith, Shawell, Rugby, employed at the B.T.H, was charged with failing to work diligently on the morning of July 8th, and the case was dismissed owing to the conflicting evidence. Asquith asked for expenses ; but, in reply, the Chairman informed him that he was lucky to get off.

POST LETTERS EARLY.—The Postmaster-General calls attention to the fact that in view of the restricted number of postal collections and deliveries now afforded throughout the kingdom, it is particularly desirable that letters should be posted as early in the day as possible. In many rural districts there is only one delivery, and letters for such districts, unless posted in time for early evening mails, will not be delivered until the second day after posting. Early posting also facilitates the work of the Post Office sorters, and on account of the great depletion of staff for military purposes this assistance will be much appreciated.

PUBLIC BATHS.

The Baths Committee reported the receipt of an application from the Officer Commanding a Squadron, Royal Flying Corps for facilities for his men to attend the Baths at a reduced rate. They had informed him that free use of the swimming bath was granted to all soldiers or sailors in uniform on condition that they provided their own towels and drawers, or paid the regulation price for same. The numbers attending the baths and the amounts received for the month of June as compared with the same month in 1915, were as follows :—Baths, &c : Swimming bath, 1916, 5,511 ; 1915, 6,008. Slipper baths, 1916, 1,455; l915, 1,074[?]. Receipts, 1916, £54 10s 2d ; 1915, £56 10s 7d.-Approved on the motion of Mr Walker.

RESERVOIR GROUNDS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

The Water Committee had decided that the grounds at Brownsover Mill be opened during the summer from noon to 8.30 p.m (Sundays included) so long as no damage was done.—Adopted.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Capt the Earl of Clonmell, of the Warwickshire R.H.A, is transferred to the Territorial Force Reserve.

The Rev C T Bernard McNulty, M.A, vicar of Holy Trinity, Leamington, has recently been promoted from 4th to 3rd Class Chaplain, with the rank of Major, and has been appointed Senior Chaplain of his Division.

We are pleased to note that Capt G T Hilton, of North Street and Hillmorton Road, Rugby, has been mentioned in despatches for distinguished conduct in the field.

George E Middleditch, 1st Lieutenant, Oxon and Bucks L.I, was wounded at Ypres, France, some four weeks ago. Before the War Lieut Middleditch was an apprentice (premium) in the L & N-W Rly Erecting Shop. At the outbreak of the War he joined up at once as a private. He soon got promotion—first a lance-corporal, then a corporal, next a sergeant, then a commission as 2nd lieutenant, now 1st lieutenant ; and, we understand, has been recommended for a captaincy. He was wounded in the leg and back at Ypres, and is now well again. He visited the shop on Tuesday, and received a splendid ovation from his fellow-workmen and a very hearty send-off.

CASUALTIES TO RUGBY MEN IN THE GREAT ADVANCE.

Pte J F Holmes, East Surrey Regiment, son of Mr J Holmes, of Union Street, has been seriously wounded during the recent fighting.

Capt S Morris Bickersteth (O.R), a brother of the Rev Julyan K F Bickersteth, formerly of Rugby, was killed during the attack on Serre on July 1st. He was 23 years of age.

Mrs Greenwood, Kirstall, Lower Hillmorton Road, has received news that her son, Lieut J Greenwood, Northants Regiment, the well-known Rugby and Newbold footballer, has been wounded.

Other Rugby casualties reported recently are : Diver W Elkington (11137) killed ; and F H Warden (2168), F Burberry (275), and Sapper H Barrows, R.E. ; Ptes J Varney (Rugby), A Welsby (New Bilton), and T Lee (Swinford), wounded.

LANCE-CORPL W J COOPER OF HARBOROUGH MAGNA.

Lance-Corpl W J Cooper, R.W.R, son of Mr Jack Cooper, of Harborough Magna, was killed in action on June 26th. Lance-Corpl Cooper was a native of Newbold, but had spent most of his life at Harborough Magna. He was 30 years of age, and was called up as a reservist in August, 1914, and had been in France from the beginning of the war. Prior to the outbreak of hostilities, he was employed in the Cement Works at Newbold.

NEWBOLD SOLDIER REPORTED MISSING.

Mr Tom Smith, of Newbold, has received official intimation that his son, Rifleman Tom Smith, of the Rifle Brigade, was wounded on June 1st, and has been missing since that date. Rifleman Smith, who was about 23 years of age, was employed at the Cement Works before he enlisted at the commencement of the War.

Pte Wm Curtis, Leicester Regiment, another employee of the Cement Works, and son of Mr A Curtis, has written informing his parents that he has been wounded, and is now in hospital.

BRAUNSTON.

LOCAL CASUALTY.—Mrs J Manning received news last week that her son, Pte Thomas Manning, was wounded and in a base hospital in France ; and on Tuesday notification came that he had died. Mrs Manning has three other sons serving in the Army, two in France, and one at Salonica. Much sympathy is felt with the family in their bereavement.

HILLMORTON.

MRS CASHMORE of Lower Street, has received information that her youngest son, Pte F Cashmore, of the 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, died of wounds received in the great push on the 6th inst. Previous to this Pte Cashmore had taken part in much fighting both at the Dardanelles and Egypt.

LONG ITCHINGTON.

CORPORAL CONSTABLE WOUNDED.—Mr and Mrs Ernest Constable have received an intimation from Corporal Harry Constable, stating that he is lying wounded in Firdale Hospital, Sheffield. The wounds are in both legs, right arm, and head, but he writes cheerfully, and it is hoped that he may effect a good recovery. It is barely six weeks since he was sent to the front.

DEATH OF PRIVATE SUTTON RUSSELL.-The sad news was received on Tuesday of the death of Private Joseph Sutton Russell in hospital of malarial fever on the 14th last. Private Russell enlisted in the Army Ordnance Corps in December, 1914, and was with the contingent in Mesopotamia. It was known that he had been in hospital, and only on Tuesday morning a post card was received from him, dated 6th June, on which he stated that he was out of hospital, and that his health was improving. So the shook caused by the news of his death was very great to all his relatives and friends, and, indeed, to the whole village. Before he joined the army, Private Russell had been for some years a clerk in the office at Messrs Kaye & Co’s Cement Works. He was also the Clerk to the Parish Council, assistant overseer, tax and rate collector, and Secretary to the Co-operative Society. He was of a genial temperament, and always ready to make himself useful. As a member of the Parish Church choir, and in many other capacities, he will be greatly missed. Private Russell was the life and soul at the Cricket Club in the pre-war days, and it was always a pleasure to witness his performance either as a bats man or a bowler. The deepest sympathy is felt for his widowed mother, brother and sisters, and for his fiancée, Miss Hilda Jeacock. His brother, Lance-Corpl Arthur Russell, is now in training in the Royal Warwicks.

FRANKTON.

KILLED IN ACTION.-News was received on Tuesday of the death of another of our brave village lads. Corporal Frank Doyle, a bright young fellow, was attached to the Berkshire Regiment. He enlisted early in the war. He was shot down at his post, with three more of his comrades. The sad news was conveyed to his widowed mother by the Rev R S Mitchison, of Barby, who motored to tell her. Much sympathy is felt throughout the village with Mrs Doyle in her sad loss. Mr Mitchison’s son-in-law is an officer in the same soldiers Company, and has been severely wounded.

WOLSTON.

Mr and Mrs John Orton have received news that their son, Pte H Orton, of the 1st Worcesters, has been wounded in the left hand. He is now in hospital in England, and progressing favourably. He has seen many months of fighting in France.

RIFLEMAN R B BUTLIN KILLED.—Mr J Butlin has received news of the death of his son, who was shot through the heart. He was one of Kitchener’s Army, who joined the King’s Royal Rifles. His death occurred on the 10th inst., and he was laid to rest at Potijze Military Cemetery, near Ypres. The inscription on the tomb was : “ He tried to do his duty.” Much sympathy is felt for Mr Butlin, who has lost his wife, a grandchild, and son in the space of a few months, and is himself an invalid. He has also received a sympathetic and comforting letter from the chaplain.

 

BISHOPS ITCHINGTON.

FROM THE FRONT.—Pte Thomas Thacker, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was slightly wounded in the latest attack on the West. Pte Thacker, who had previously been wounded, received some shrapnel in the ankle. He has been at his home since July 13th, and has made such good progress that he will return to his depot in the course of a few days.

DUNCHURCH.

SERGT W E CONSTABLE, youngest son of Mr and Mrs John Constable (formerly of Dunchurch), who joined the Royal Engineers early last year, has been mentioned in despatches by General Sir Douglas Haig, dated April 30th. He is to be warmly congratulated upon his distinction.

DEATHS.

CASHMORE.—Died of wounds in France,. Private F. Cashmore, 1st R.I.F., aged 24 years.

CHATER.—In loving Memory of our beloved and only child, Rifleman W. H. Chater, Machine. Gun Section, 12th R.B. Killed in action in France, June 30th, 1916, aged 31 years.
“ Sleep on, beloved, and take thy rest,
We loved you well, but God loved you best.”

COOK.—Died of wounds on July 8th, Cyril Edward, Second-Lieutenant, Royal Sussex Regiment, elder son of Sam Cook, Wargrave, Berks, and grandson of the late Mrs. Cook, of Hillmorton House, aged 23.

DOYLE.—In ever-loving memory of Corporal Frank Doyle, the dearly loved son of Betsy and the late Joseph Doyle, of Frankton. Killed in action at No Man’s Land, July 13, 1916.
“ He sleeps, not in his native land,
But ’neath some foreign skies,
And far from those that loved him best ;
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—From his loving MOTHER, BROTHERS, and only SISTER (LIZ).

5th Feb 1916. Midlands visited by Zeppelins

MIDLANDS VISITED BY ZEPPELINS.

WANTON SLAUGHTER OF CIVILIANS.

59 KILLED AND 101 INJURED.

Many people in Warwickshire did not regard it as probable, or even possible, that Zeppelins would ever come so far inland as the centre of the country, but that feeling of security was shattered on Monday night when it became known that German aircraft were cruising over a wide district, which included the Midlands and the Eastern Counties, and The Official Report from the War Office was eagerly awaited and this was issued in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Supplementary reports being issued in the evening.

From these it was gathered that the raid was undertaken by six or seven Zeppelins, and covered a larger area than on any previous occasion ; but the raiders were hampered by the mist. After reaching the coast they steered various courses, and dropped over two hundred bombs in Norfolk, Suffolk, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire, and Staffordshire. Considerable material damage was caused in one part of Staffordshire, but in no case was there any military damage.

The latest particulars of the casualties are :—

Killed : Men, 33; women, 20; children, 6; total, 59.

Injured : Men, 51; women, 48; children, 2; total, 101.

Total killed and injured, 160.

One church and a Congregational chapel were badly damaged, and a parish room wrecked. Fourteen houses were demolished, and a great number damaged less seriously by doors, window-frames, etc, being blown out. Some damage, not very serious, was caused to railway property in two places ; only two factories, neither being of military importance, and a brewery were badly damaged, and two or three other factories were damaged slightly.

In many localities pre-arranged regulations for extinguishing all lights and taking other precautions were promptly carried out, and it would appear that those places suffered most where such means to baffle the invaders were not adopted.

Trains on railways were brought to a stand-still, and in many instances passengers had to remain seated right through the night while Zeppelins were passing and repassing over them, and bombs were being dropped in the vicinity.

Some very pathetic fatalities are recorded, Staffordshire seems to have suffered somewhat badly. Two visits were paid to some districts in that county, and there was considerable loss of life.

In one house a man and his wife, with their daughter and son-in-law and their two children, were killed instantly. The bombs fell on footpath of the narrow thoroughfare, smashing in the front of the house. The occupants, who were sitting round the fire, were terribly mangled.

A boy walking along the street received the full force of the explosion and was killed on the spot, while a man standing in front of his house some distance away also met with instant death. In another case a man was carrying on his business in a small shop, and the place collapsed and he was killed. One of the bombs, falling in a field, made a hole 6ft or 7ft deep and 10ft square.

Another bomb fell in front of a public house and demolished it, but the, landlord, his wife, and their two sons had a wonderful escape.

Passing on, the Zeppelins dropped five bombs on a small township some miles away. A man walking along was killed. In an adjoining borough some heavy bombs fell, and damage was done to small houses. A family of five, sitting together here, met with an instant and terrible death, a bomb dropping directly on the roof of the house and scattering the brickwork and furniture in all directions.

In another borough, one man was killed instantly, and another has since died. The Mayoress was struck by a fragment of a bomb, and seriously injured, and now lies in a critical condition. A bomb removed a portion of the roof of a congregational church, and another dropped in a public park.

Some of the victims were killed as they hurried through the streets. In one street a woman and her child lost their lives, while another woman had both legs blown off. Over an area of about one and a half miles several bombs were dropped in all direction.

On the other hand,a great many bombs were dropped on open spaces, where they did no damage except to excavate enormous holes ; but generally speaking the raiders paid particular attention to localities where lights were visible.

The Zeppelin fleet was observed passing the coastline between 4.30 and 7 o’clock on Monday night, and most of the damage in the Midlands was done between the latter hour and about 1 a.m.

THE LIGHTING REGULATIONS.

SATISFACTORY RESULTS.

One result of the Zeppelin raid over the Midlands on Monday night has been to convince those who considered restrictions with regard to lighting which have been enforced in Rugby unnecessary and vexatious, that the authorities were right after all. The fact has been established all too clearly that these airships can reach the Midlands, and that in all probability many towns within the area covered by the visitation of the Zeppelin fleet owe their immunity from damage to the happy circumstance that the regulations had been complied with, and being in total darkness they could not be located by the navigators.

While the raid lasted, it was a very anxious time for the heads of police in the various localities.

As far as Rugby is concerned, Superintendent Clarke is much gratified with the way in which the inhabitants have fallen into line with the requirements. At Northampton about 100 tradesmen and householders were summoned this week for non-compliance, but at Rugby it has not been found necessary in any case to do anything more than to point out here and there that a little more might be done, and in every instance the suggestions of the police have been cheerfully and promptly carried out.

Superintendent Clarke feels sure the inhabitants will continue to do their best to keep their lights subdued or screened for the next few weeks, especially on dark, still nights, and, where possible, go a little farther in securing total obscuration.

In order to minimise the danger to pedestrians during the dark evenings, the posts in the Church Walk and other narrow passages in the town have been painted white. A much needed improvement has also been effected near the Lawrence Sheriffe Almshouses, where the protruding arm of the iron railings and the awkward step have been removed and the path levelled.

DEFENCE OF THE REALM.

NEW REGULATIONS.

The “London Gazette ” contains a long list of new regulations under the Defence of the Realm Act. They deal with a variety of offences. One of the regulations provides that if any person without lawful authority or excuse, by the raising of blinds, removal of shades, or in any other way uncovers wholly or in part any light which has been obscured or shaded in compliance with any directions given in pursuance of such an order, he shall be guilty of a summary offence against these regulations.”

CARRIER PIGEONS.

Another regulation provide that “if any person (a) without lawful authority or excuse kills, wounds, molests, or takes any carrier or homing pigeon not belonging to him ; or (b) having found any such carrier or homing pigeon dead or incapable of flight, neglects forthwith to hand it over or send it to some military port or some police constable in the neighbourhood, with information as to the place where the pigeon was found ; or (c) having obtained information as to any such carrier or homing pigeon being killed or found incapable for flight, neglects forthwith to communicate the information to a military post or to a police constable in the neighbourhood; he shall be guilty of a summary offence against these regulations.”

INTOXICANTS.

With regard to intoxicants, it is laid down that if any person gives, sells, procures, or supplies, or offers to give, sell, procure, or supply, any intoxicant (a) to or for a member of any of his Majesty’s forces with the intent of eliciting information for the purpose of communicating it to the enemy, or for any purpose calculated to assist the enemy ; or (b) to or for a member of any of his Majesty’s forces when not on duty with the intent to make him drunk or less capable of the efficient discharge of his duties ; or (c) to or for a member of any of his Majesty’s forces when on duty either with or without any such intent as aforesaid ; he shall be guilty of an offence against those regulations.”

HELPING THE ENEMY.

A substituted regulation sets forth that “if any person assists any prisoner of war or interned person to escape, or knowingly harbours or assists any such person who has escaped, or without lawful authority transmits, either by post or otherwise, or conveys to any prisoner of war or interned person any money or valuable security or any article likely to facilitate the escape of any prisoner of war or interned person, or in any way to interfere with the discipline or administration of any place of detention for prisoners of war or interned persons, he shall be guilty of an offence against these regulations.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

The figures for Rugby have shown a distinct falling off during the past week, and only about twenty men have attested. All of these have enlisted under the Group System, and there have been no volunteers for immediate service.

The departmental, non-combatant units are now closed, and only fighting men are needed.

The recruiting appeal tribunals for the Urban and Rural districts have held several sitting during the last few weeks, and we understand that a large number of men have been either exempted or put back until later groups.

WORK FOR DISABLED SAILORS & SOLDIERS.

Employers desirous of obtaining assistance in nearly every occupation, could obtain such help by means of disabled sailors or soldiers on application to the Recruiting Officer, Drill Hall, Park Road, Rugby, who would see that these are forwarded to the proper quarter ; or by applying direct to the Soldier’ and Sailor’ Help Society.

LIEUT. T. A. TOWNSEND, R.A.M.C., PROMOTED.

Lieutenant Thomas Ainsworth Townsend, R.A.M.C, has been gazetted Captain—promotion to date from December 25th.

Captain Townsend, who is in France, is regimental surgeon to the 24th London Regiment, which has done so splendidly in and around Loos and the Hohenzollern Redoubt. He has had a very busy time of late, and on the occasion of the visit of the sailors from the Grand Fleet to his trench, the Germans exploded five mines close to them.

We are glad to learn that he is well, and in a recent letter to his father, Captain Townsend says :—

“ We have had rather a strenuous time of late and you can imagine how welcome news is, and the Rugby Advertiser is always a joy. We are now resting in very pleasant surroundings till probably ——, when we go up to a fresh line of trenches. Last week we had a mine attack, and have had a very thrilling time on the whole. This piece of line was always rather a nasty bit and I think we got out of it pretty luckily. Strangely enough, on the day they blew up the mines, quite close to us, we had a visit from the Navy! I was fortunate enough to be in the front line at the moment, and our Colonel had taken up —(who was in command of the Naval chaps) that day. Tremendous explosions followed—hell let loose—but our men had manned the parapets in no time, and the sailors were soon letting fly with anything they could lay hands on. I only had about thirty casualties, I am thankful to say.

“ We had a pretty lucky escape in our Aid Post, which was a dug-out and unusually close to the front line—in the support trenches. An hour or so after I had got back, blest if the back part of it wasn’t blown in by a shell, and we were lucky to get off with a few bruises. My orderly (who was in rubber trench boots at the time) had one of them cut right across and got his toe damaged, and I was well bruised over the right leg and left foot—as I was standing at the time — writing up my cases !

“ I must have had a near shave, as we were all temporarily laid out for a second or two.

— behaved awfully well, as it was our second dug-out that day, in fact, -—’s third, and he took it in very good part.

“ Tea is a wonderful stand-by, and after a bit of a rest I enjoyed a very good dinner, but was simply covered with mud from head to foot. We had a pretty disturbed night, and units, from all and sundry, came in from the Brigadier downwards, through the night.

“ The next day cooled off considerably, and we have now moved into reserve, and all is well with us.”

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

HILLMORT0N SOLDIER KILLED.

Official news was received in Hillmorton on Friday last week that Pte Walter Brown, of the 11th Hants Pioneers, whose home is in School Street, Hillmorton, had been killed in action on January 23rd. Pte Brown, who leaves a widow and two children, was at one time employed in the Locomotive Department on the L & N.-W Railway, but he afterwards became a bricklayer’s labourer.

The following letter has been received by Mrs Brown from the officer in charge of his company:

DEAR MRS BROWN.—It is with regret that I have to inform you of the death of your husband, Pte W Brown, No 12272. He was wounded by rifle fire last night, and died about 8.45 a.m to-day. He was buried this evening, and the service was conducted by the Rev Webb Peploe (Major), Chaplain to the Forces. His loss will be deeply felt by all in the company and by myself, as he was always a good soldier, keen and smart, and a great example to all those with whom he came in contact, and he received his wounds whilst bravely doing his duty. In extending to you my sincere sympathy, I feel that it may be of some help to you in your loss, to know his end came quietly and he died in the execution of his duty.—Yours faithfully, CAPT. ANDREWS.

[Walter Brown is remembered on the Hillmorton War Memorial]

1 /7th WARWICKS IN THE FIGHTING

In a recent letter to his brother and sister a private of the 1st/5th Warwickshire Regiment states that they went into the trenches again on January 28th. The company they relieved had a very trying time, the Germans sending over about 2,000 shells of all sizes. Fortunately only two men were killed. The enemy also sent a bombing party to the trench, but they were soon driven out. The Germans left a chalk line so that they should be able to find their way back to their own trenches. The 7th Warwicks had to stand at attention all night as the Germans made a gas attack on the left of the Warwicks’ position, but no infantry attack followed.