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.

Hipwell, George William Ward. Died 3rd May 1917

George William Ward Hipwell was born in Old Basford, Nottingham on 9 April 1885, and was christened in New Bilton, Warwickshire on 9 December 1885.   His parents were George Henry Ward Hipwell, born in Ullesthorpe in 1859 and Annie Elizabeth, born in about 1862 in Long Lawford. In 1911 George Henry was a cabman living at 27 King Edward Road, Rugby, they had ten children and nine were still living, and living with them, in 1911.

George William was the eldest of those ten children and in 1911 he was an Electrical Engineering Fitter at BTH works in Rugby.

George William enlisted in Rugby, as a Private, No.11894, in the 5th Battalion, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. He probably joined up at the same time as many other men – many from Hillmorton – who also joined the 5th Battalion. He went to France with his Battalion on 22 July 1915.

He must have had leave as his marriage with Bertha Frances A. Ingram was registered in Rugby in the first quarter of 1916 [Rugby Q1, 1916, 6d, 1383].

George was killed in action on 3 May 1917.   The action on that day was recorded the following day, by Lieut.-Colonel, H. L. Wood, who was commanding the 5th Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

RECORD OF THE 5th (SERVICE) BATTALION.1st July 1916 to 30th June 1917.

The movements of the 42nd Brigade to positions of assembly on “Y” day and “Y”/”Z” night had been previously notified, thus:

The 5th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry from N.14.b via Brigade H.Q.(N.15.d.4.4), N.22 central, N.23.d.8.4, along the bank and via the railway. The Battalion will move by platoons in file at 3 minutes’ interval. The leading platoon to arrive at Brigade H.Q. at 8 p.m. Water will be issued to men requiring it, under Brigade arrangements at Brigade H.Q. The Battalion will be clear of Cross Roads N.22.a by 9.15p.m., and will proceed in file to their Assembly Trenches. All trenches have been labelled. All units (less 9th K.R.R.C.) will report by runner to Advance Brigade H.Q. in the Stag as soon as they are in their positions of assembly. As soon as Battalions are in their Assembly Trenches an issue of hot tea and rum will be made under Brigade arrangements. The Assembly Trenches were named “zoologically,” and the Battalion assembled for the assault in portions of the Ape, the Boar, the Buck, the Lion, and the Bison. ‘Z’ day was 3rd May and zero hour 3.45a.m. The following is Lieut.-Colonel H.L. Wood’s Official Report of action of the Battalion:

 —

At zero the Battalion was formed up as follows: A and C Companies in the front line, A on the right, C on the left; B and D Companies in the second line, B on the right, D on the left; each company in two lines of two platoons. The front line was on the taped line, the second line in Ape Trench. The German artillery and machine-guns opened fire within 3 minutes of our barrage commencing; most of the artillery fire was between Ape and Bison. Until the advance commenced at zero plus 18 there were only a few casualties from artillery fire in Ape, and none in the companies in front. On the other hand, the machine-gun fire was very heavy and accurate, and came from the left flank (either from St. Rohart Factory or from the Quarry in 0.15.c) and front (from the Quarry at 0.21.b.8.0 or from Triangle Wood).

At zero plus 18 the advance commenced and reached a line about 50 yards west of New Trench, beyond which it was found impossible to advance farther on the left. On the right of the line 2nd Lieut. Peel (A Company) found it possible to avoid the machine-gun fire by crawling, and he got a few men forward and occupied part of New Trench. As touch had been lost with the 8th K.R.R.C., 2nd Lieut. Peel brought up the reserve platoon of A Company on his right flank, and gained touch with them. This was about 4.30 a.m. About this time the remainder of A Company and part of D Company managed to get into New Trench on the left of A Company. The Germans who had been holding New Trench retired to a line about 40 yards in rear, from which they heavily bombed and opened fire with two machine-guns on New Trench. These were, however, soon silenced by rifle and Lewis-gun fire. It was, however, found impossible to advance owing to the very accurate and unceasing machine-gun fire from the left, and also to a certain extent from the front. The artillery fire also became fairly heavy about this time. The situation now was as follows: about 50 men of all companies in New Trench, and parties of B and D Companies (about two platoons in all) in a line of shell-holes about 40 yards behind. This party tried to consolidate, but found it impossible to work owing to the incessant machine-gun fire, snipers, and heavy Vane-bomb fire, which came from the left flank, probably from Hillside Work. The situation remained unchanged until about 10.45a.m., New Trench being shelled continuously, while a very heavy barrage was maintained on the Assembly Trenches. At about 10.45a.m. the troops on our right were observed retiring, and a strong enemy counter-attack in 6 or 7 waves (each estimated by those in the front line at about 150 to 200 men) was launched against New Trench. Fire was immediately opened on them with all available rifles, Lewis-guns, and two Vickers which had come up, and many casualties were inflicted, but without stopping the counter-attack. When the enemy had got within 50 yards of New Trench, and our ammunition was practically all expended, the remnants withdrew to the Assembly Trenches, bringing back as many Lewis-guns as possible. The two Vickers had to be abandoned.

… The casualties were: A Company (Right leading) 75, out of 129 who attacked. C Company (Left leading) 84, out of 118. B Company (Right Support) 57, out of 123. D Company (Left Support) 62, out of 123. H.Q. 13, out of 30, including bombers who went over behind the leading company.[1]

Of the 12 officers and 523 N.C.O.s and Men who went into action on 3 May 1917, 8 officers and 291 N.C.O.s and Men became casualties.

George William Hipwell’s body was not found and he is remembered on the Arras Memorial at Faubourg-D´Amiens Cemetery, Arras.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article  was researched and written for the Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, May 2015.

[1]         http://www.lightbobs.com/5-oxf–bucks-li-1916-1917.html