9th Nov 1918. An Unfounded Rumour

AN UNFOUNDED RUMOUR
PREMATURE REJOICING.

Feverish excitement was caused in the town on Thursday afternoon by the circulation of a rumour that an armistice had been signed at 2.30 p.m.

In several instances workpeople gave themselves up to jubilation, and work came to a standstill, until it was found later in the day that the statement had not come through an official source and was premature.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Capt George Alan C Smith, M.C, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, who has been killed by a shell in France, was the elder son of the Master of Dulwich College. At Rugby he was head of his house (Mr G F Bradby’s), and played in the School XV for two seasons, captaining the team during his last term.

Lieut G T S Horton, Royal Hussars, son of Mr T Horton, J.P, Ashlawn House, near Rugby, has been awarded the Military Cross.

Sergt A J Chadwick, of Kilsby, who has been on active service since December, 1914, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry on the field.

Lance-Corpl W L Gilks, Yorks & Lancs Regt, son of the late Mr Lewis Gilks, farmer, Grandborough, has been killed in action. He enlisted in August, 1914, and had seen considerable foreign service.

The following Rugby men have been posted as missing :—Pte E Cox, Pte F Smyth, Pte C Spokes, and Pte W Boote, all of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment ; Ptes A Webster, Royal West Surrey Regiment ; A J Webster, London Regiment ; G Watkins, R.W.R, and H Cockerill, M.G.C, have been reported killed ; and Pte W H Newman, Royal Berks Regiment, has died of wounds. Lance-Corpl R G Salmon, M.G.C, has been taken prisoner.

Gunner F J Lines, youngest son of Mrs Lines and the late Mr Lines, 17 Spring Street, died of wounds on October 6th. He was an old Murrayian, 20 years of age, and before joining the army in August, 1916, he was employed by the late Mr C B Jones, hairdresser, Murray Road, who has also been killed in action.

Lance-Corpl H Evans (23), son of Mr W Evans, Thurlaston, formerly of Crick, has died at Norwich Hospital from pneumonia, contracted on active service. He joined the K.R.R on September 2, 1914, and saw a good deal of heavy fighting round Ypres. He was wounded at Hooge in 1915, and again on the Somme in 1916. He was subsequently invalided home, and afterwards was transferred to the Mechanical Transport, A.S.C. He contracted a chill while on duty, and after laying up for a few days he reported for duty too soon, caught another chill, and died on Wednesday. In peace time he was well known as a footballer and cricketer. An elder brother was killed in June last, and another brother is in France.

Pte Victor Cowley, son of Walter Cowley, 34 Poplar Grove, 1st Dorset Regt, has been reported missing since September 30. He joined up in September, 1914, had been twice wounded, and went to France for the third time in March last. He was an old St Matthew’s boy, and before the war was employed in the Winding Department of the B.T.H.

Pte Bernard Woodward, youngest son of Mr and Mrs T Woodward, 39 Stephen Street, has been wounded.

Ptc A Allen, Gloucester Regt, who was employed in the B.T.H Foundry before the war, died from wounds on October 25th.

The Northants Yeomanry, twice mentioned by the Earl of Cavan in his official despatches for distinguished service in Italy last week, is commanded by Sir Charles Lowther, formerly Master of the Pytchley Hounds, and includes amongst its officers Major T E Manning, captain of the Northamptonshire County cricket team.

The death occurred at Stratford-on-Avon, on Tuesday, of ex-Sergt Norman Kinman, of the Warwickshire Royal Horse Artillery, who was well known in athletic circles in the Midlands prior to the War. He was a prominent sprinter and an excellent Rugby footballer, doing fine work for Stratford-on-Avon as wing three-quarter. He gained his Midland cap, and also toured with Leicester. He volunteered at the outbreak of war, and was dis-charged in February of this year after a bad gas attack, having gained his Mons Star and Military Medal. He was 30 years of age.

MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR REV. R. W. DUGDALE.

A choral requiem in memory of the Rev R W Dugdale, curate in charge, who was killed in France recently, was celebrated at Holy Trinity Church on Saturday (All Souls’ Day). The celebrant was the Rev G H Roper, assisted by the Rev T H Perry. The 42nd Psalm was chanted at the beginning of the service, and the hymns were : “ Lord, it belongs not to my care,” and “ Let Saints on Earth.” At the conclusion of the service the Nune Dimittis was sung. The congregation included Mrs Hardy and Miss Dugdale (sisters), Canon Simpson, Capt & Mrs C P Evers, Messrs F J Kittermaster, C H Fuller, F Thompson, G E Over, W Brooke, A W Sheasby, W T Coles Hodges, C E L Wright, F W Cooke, W. M. and E R Giding. Senior P.M (representing the Lodge of Rectitude, Freemasons, of which the Rev R W Dugdale was chaplain), A Coaton, Mr & Mrs H Marple, Mrs C N Hoare, Miss Gray, Mike Tomlinson, Miss Dean, Miss Buckley, Miss Stuart, Mrs Stokes, Mrs Stanley, Miss Cope and Mrs Ray (representing Murray School, of which he was chaplain), Misses Hollowell, Miss Sargent, Miss Longstaff, Miss Lines, Mrs Beasley, &c.

DUNCHURCH.

The funeral of Leonard J Hopkins, aged 18 years, son of Mr and Mrs Wm Hopkins of Dunchurch, took place at Dunchurch on Tuesday last. Deceased, who was a private in the Devon Reserves, died after a short illness in Waveney Hospital, Ballymena, Ireland. Before joining the army he was employed as gardener at Thurlaston Grange, and a bunch of mauve chrysanthemums (his favourite flower) was sent by Mr Appleby, bearing the word, “These flowers he tended so carefully during his life are sent as a token of deep sympathy from all at Thurlaston Grange.” The funeral service was conducted by the Vicar, the Rev. E P Rowland, and the coffin was borne by four soldiers staying in the village.
Among the flowers were tributes from Mrs Mallam, Mr and Mrs Appleby, Mr and Mrs Dew, Mrs Borsley, Mr and Mrs Tomlin, and Mrs Busby. The deceased was very popular with the boys of the village, and in addition to the above were wreaths from “His Chums,” Pte R Jennings (serving in France), and the Scholars and Staff of Dunchurch Boys’ School. The people of the village fell the deepest sympathy with Mr and Mrs Hopkins in their bereavement.

LONG ITCHINGTON.

THE ROLL OF HONOUR.—Mr and Mrs Joseph Lane have now received official information that their son, Pte Ernest Lane (R.W.R), formerly porter at the Station here, was wounded and is missing from September 2nd last.—Mr and Mrs Fred Sabin have been advised through a letter from Pte T Sewell (his chum) that their younger son, Pte Edward Sabin (R.W.R), has been killed in action. His friend saw him fall, and was with him till death took place. The news has come as a great shock to Mr and Mrs Sabin, the latter of whom has been seriously ill with influenza.

SERGT RUSSELL WOUNDED.—News is to hand that Sergt F Russell (West Riding Regt) was wounded as he was leading his platoon into action on the 14th ult, a piece of shrapnel penetrating his left fore-arm. He was operated on, and is now at Nottingham. Sergt Russell, who served all through the Boer War, was called up as a Reserve in August, 1914, and has seen a great deal of hard and severe fighting in the present war.

WOLSTON.

DEATH OF CORPL L PAGE.—The news arrived at Wolston recently of the death of Corpl Lewis Page, Warwickshire Yeomanry, from dysentry in Egypt. Corpl Page was the third son of Mrs Page and the late Mr W Page, of Wolston, and was in his 35th year. Before hostilities commenced he was a member of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, and was in business as a hay and corn merchant. Much sympathy is felt for his mother and brothers and sister, and for his young widow, who resides at Coventry. Three brothers of the deceased are still fighting.”

SOLDIERS’ CHRISTMAS PARCELS.—The sum of £56 13s 3d has been collected in the parishes of Brandon, Wolston, and Bretford. The committee have sent 74 presents of 12s each to men abroad, and 24 of 5s each to men in England, and £4 4s 5d for parcels to the six prisoners of war. The total expenses were £2 0s 10d.

LIEUT-COL. H. H. PODMORE, D.S.O.

On Saturday afternoon a portrait of Lieut-Col H H Podmore, D.S.O, Northants Regiment, killed in action in December, 1917, was unveiled in the Temple Speech Room by the Headmaster, Dr A A David. The painting was by Mr Charles Miller, and it was presented to the School by the past and present members of Mr B B Dickinson’s house.
Mr R G C Levens, head of the house, formally presented the portrait in “pleasant memory of Col Podmore’s tutorship.”
Dr David accepted the gift on behalf of the School from “ the house which Hubert Podmore served, loved, and inspired.” He added that the memorial was happily conceived, and before unveiling it he wished to thank the past and present members of the house who had joined in the gift, and who desired—and rightly desired—to set it among the pictures of those whom Rugby remembered with gratitude and with honour. They were also grateful to the artist. His was a hard task, but be (Dr David) thought when they saw the picture they would agree that his insight and his skill had been equal to it. He had seen in the photograph, and revealed to them again, what they remembered in the man. Dr David then formally unveiled the portrait, and, having done so. he said :—“ I do not suppose any of us knows a man whose features and expression more faithfully imaged the character within. If the face is ever the window of the soul it was so in him. There was nothing that he had need to hide, therefore the window was not darkened. I wonder if those who follow us here will know from this picture what manner of man he was ? I think they will.”

“ FEED THE GUNS ” CAMPAIGN.

A great effort is being made to extend this campaign in the local villages, and in connection with it representatives of Rugby Rural District (North) and Monks Kirby Rural District Local Committee met at St Matthew’s Boys’ School, Rugby, on Saturday afternoon, last, when the Earl of Denbigh presided, supported by Mr E H Carter, O.B.E (hon county secretary), and Mr R H Myers (hon local secretary).—Mr Myers gave an account of the progress of the organisation, and intimated that final arrangements had been made for a gun to tour the villages during Gun Week (Nov 18-23), when it is hoped that a sum of at least £66,000 will be subscribed in War Bonds and War Savings Certificates.—Lord Denbigh urged those present not to relax their efforts, in view of the satisfactory military position, but to vigorously prosecute the financial campaign til final victory is obtained.

THE INFLUENZA EPIDEMIC.

There are signs this week that the influenza epidemic, which has claimed so many victims locally, is now on the wane, although unfortunately the death roll is still very high. Since the outbreak of the epidemic the number of deaths from influenza in Rugby and the immediate neighbourhood totals 86, of which 61 have occurred in Rugby and New Bilton. In Rugby alone 27 deaths from these diseases were registered last week, and another 14 occurred in the villages immediately adjacent to the town. Thirteen deaths were registered during the first three days of the present week. . . .

NEEDLESS ALARM.

Some alarm has apparently been caused in Cromwell Road by the proposal that the Mitchison Home is to be used as a hospital for influenza patients. Residents in that neighbourhood may feel assured there is no cause to be uneasy.

RUGBY MAN’S FOOLISH ACT.
UNLAWFULLY WEARING AN OFFICER’S UNIFORM.
A HEAVY FINE.

A remarkable story was told to the Mansfield Magistrates on Thursday last week in a case in which Percy Thos Tallis, a mechanical engineer, now on Government work at Coventry, living in Cross Street, Rugby, and whose father is an innkeeper in the town, was charged with unlawfully wearing the uniform of an officer of the R.A.F at Sutton in Ashfield on October 23rd. After being arrested by Insp Brooks, defendant made a statement, in which he said he received information that his brother, who had been seriously wounded, was lying in a military hospital at Nottingham. He went there to see him, his wife joining him the next day. On the 20th ult he made the acquaintance at a hotel of a man named Millus, who was wearing an officer’s uniform. He suggested that he (defendant) should put on a similar uniform and be photographed in it. He agreed to this, and after putting on the uniform they went into the streets, where Millus persuaded him to accompany him to Mansfield. He did so, and the next day, at Millius’s request, he consented to visit Mansfield again. They took tickets there, but alighted at Sutton, where he was arrested.
Mr W Gamble, who defended, pleaded guilty, but urged extenuating circumstances. When Millus saw defendant at the hotel he said, “Put on this uniform and be photographed in it.” Defendant several times refused to do so, and it was only after Millus said he belonged to the military police, and that no harm would result, that defendant consented. He went out with the intention of being photographed in the uniform, and then coming back and taking it off. but Millus persuaded him to go to Mansfield. It was evidently a case of a strong mind overcoming a weaker mental capacity. Defendant committed this foolish act, but Mr Gamble submitted that no real harm had been done. At Mansfield he found Millus was wanted on a charge, so the latter could afford to be reckless. Defendant bore an excellent character. This had been a lesson to him, and defendant would take care that he would not repeat such foolishness again.
The Chairman told defendant he had been guilty of a most foolish act, and had rendered himself liable to a much heavier penalty than the Bench proposed to inflict. He would have to pay £10, and they hoped this would teach him a lesson.—The money was paid.

NEW RATION BOOKS IN USE.

The new ration books came into use on Monday, and for the next six months they will be the medium by which the available supplies of meat, fats, sugar, and jam will be equitably distributed among the population. Should the War come to an end during the period there is no likelihood that the necessity for rationing will cease. Organised distribution of food, in fact, will have to be continued for many months after fighting stops. No exception is likely to be taken to the maintenance of restrictions. Rationing from the first has worked smoothly in this country, and has been accepted as the fairest—and indeed the only—method of apportioning foods the supply of which is insufficient to meet the normal demand.
Only one change is associated with the use of the new book. Jam, marmalade, and honey are added to the list of rationed articles. It was originally intended that syrup and treacle should also be included; but Lord Bledisloe, the Director of Sugar Distribution, announces that there is no need to surrender coupons when buying these foods. In view of the quantities in which jam is customarily sold, the ministry of Food has arranged that the jam coupons in the ration books may be used in each case in the week marked on the coupon, or in any of the seven succeeding weeks. The red coupon numbered 1 for the week ending November 9th may be used at any time before December 29th. A customer, therefore, may hold his coupons over for seven weeks, and in the eighth week buy a 2-lb jar of jam with the eight coupons saved.

WARWICKSHIRE WAR AGRICULTURAL COMMITTEE.

The following reports have been made by the Executive Committee and the Women’s War Agricultural Committee to the County Council :—
The work of the harvest in this county has, generally speaking, been completed, notwithstanding the shortage of labour and bad weather experienced for the last six weeks. The inspection of farms has been continued, and in 34 cases cultivation orders have been issued. In three cases recommendations have been made to the Board of Agriculture to determine tenancies, and in two cases derelict land has been compulsorily taken for improvement. The total acreage ordered to be broken up is at present 35,103 acres.
Orders have been received from the Board of Agriculture for a re-survey of the county for the purpose of more carefully classifying the grassland and for obtaining particulars of all farms not properly cultivated. It is proposed to put this in hand forthwith. The committee continues its efforts to retain skilled men in their employment on the land, releasing for service only those who can best be dispensed with ; 1,402 soldiers from the distribution centre at Budbrooke Barracks are employed on the land. Additional camps have been established at Kingsbury and Mancetter. The total number of prisoners employed is 636, of which 507 are in the camps, 49 are billeted with farmers, and 80 are out with migratory gangs. Including the horses at the prisoner camps, there are 218 under the committee’s control. The number of tractors in the county is 73.
The organisation of threshing has been successfully carried out, district committees were formed, and districts allotted to threshing proprietors. Shortage of drivers has somewhat handicapped the work, but every endeavour is being made to rectify this.
During the past season Mrs Bedhall has given 92 demonstrations in fruit preservation, with an average attendance of 38. One week was devoted to training pupils to work the district canneries established in the county. Thirty visited have been made to such canneries for the purpose of giving further advice and assistance.
The appeal to school children to pick blackberries to be made into jam for the Army and Navy was taken up with keenness, and has been conducted with great success. Already 29 tons 7 cwt have born sent to jam factories.
The Women’s Agricultural Committee reported :—During the past quarter the principal work has been the formation of gangs of woman for threshing. These gangs consist of a number of women, varying from four to six, one of whom is invariably the forewoman. Twenty gangs are already at work, comprising approximately 90 women, and from reports already received they appear to be giving satisfaction. We are prepared to supply any further gangs that may be asked for. We have a total number of 406 girls working in the county at this time, and a welfare officer has been appointed from London to supervise their recreation and general well-being. The total number of L.A women trained in this county since April, 1917, is 261, a very large percentage of whom are still on farm work here, and we are greatly indebted to the farmers who have undertaken to help our committee in this way.

WARWICKSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL.
LAND FOR EX-SERVICE MEN.

At a quarterly meeting of the Warwickshire County Council, held at Warwick on Tuesday, Lord Algernon Percy, presiding, the Small Holdings Committee presented a report on the provision of land for ex-service men, and recommended “that the Small Holdings and Allotments Committee be charged with the matter of dealing with the settlement of ex-service men on the land in the county, all the powers of the Council being delegated to them.”
Alderman Sir H R Fairfax-Lucy moved an amendment : “ That the County Council considers the proposals of the Board of Agriculture for the provision of land for ex-service men a most unsatisfactory one, as it does not enable these men to become the owners of their holdings, and that, further, they consider that the powers of borrowing for purchasing land and adaptation should be restored, and that they should be informed at an early date on what terms loans will be issued for that purpose.” He pointed out that under the policy of the Board of Agriculture County Councils could take up land only through the powers of the board to obtain loans, and this depended on the adoption of the system of a perpetual rent charge. He thought it was their duty to ascertain the demand for land, and this information could be obtained through the Territorial Force Association, which had relations with discharged soldiers. It would be the duty of the County Council to find loans for those who had experience and capital to take up land. It would be necessary for the Small Holdings Committee to continue to press for the re-establishment of their old powers.—The amendment was carried.

SHOP HOURS IN RUGBY.

The following copy of a letter, written by a Rugby housewife to the Secretary of the Housewives’ Committee, was sent to us last week too late for insertion :—
DEAR MADAM,—We understand your committee tried some time ago to get some consideration and convenience for busy workers to do their shopping. They are the majority ; they are the ready cash people ; yet all our wants and purchases have to be crowded into Friday night and Saturday afternoon, waiting in crowded shops, getting served in a take-it-or-leave-it-quick style. If there was a later hour—say, 7.30 on Tuesday—it would ease both server and served at the week-end.
Does it ever occur to traders that the shops are already closed morning, noon, and night to the workers for four whole days?
Can we who have twenty minutes to half-an-hour’s walk home and live the same distance from the town sandwich a tea-dinner and a wash in-between, and yet get in town even by seven o’clock ? No, not for a bit of cotton wool or a pound of oatmeal, or any other necessary for whatever illness or emergency is in the home. If we—the majority—have still to be put to this inconvenience, there is no need for the leisured minority to require four days in which to make their purchases.
Why not even things up a bit ?—Yours very truly,
“ A.E.W.”

DEATHS.

ELLARD.—On October 30th, at 29 Station Hospital, Cremona, Italy, Trooper W. J. ELLARD, 14th Corps, Northants Yeomanry, younger son of Z. J. Ellard, Barby, aged 27 years.

EVANS.—On November 6th, at the Military Hospital, Norwich, Pte. HARRY EVANS, the beloved second son of W. E. & A. M. Evans.—“ Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”

GILKS.—Killed in action on October 13th, Lance-Corpl. WM. L. GILKS, Yorks. and Lancs. Regt., aged 22.

HOPKINS.—On October 30th, at Ballymena, Ireland, of pneumonia, Pte. L. J. HOPKINS, the dearly beloved son of Elphinstone and Annie Hopkins, Dunchurch, aged 18 years.

LINES.—On October 6th, Gunner F. J. LINES, R.F.A., youngest and dearly beloved son of Mrs. Lines and the late Mr. H. Lines, 17 Spring Street, who died of wounds received in action in France ; aged 20. Never forgotten.

OLDHAM.—Killed in action on October 24th, in France, HARRY, fourth son of the late Stephen and Annie Oldham, 33 Stephen Street, Rugby (late of Long Lawford), aged 25 years.—Deeply mourned by his loving Mother and Brothers and fiancee Lottie.

PEARMAN.—On November 4th, at Warley Military Hospital, after a short illness of pneumonia, HERBERT CARL, elder and beloved son of Thomas and Ada Pearman, of Ryton-on-Dunsmore, in his 23rd year.

STIBBARDS.—On the 31st October, 1918, at the 1st Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge, Seaman HARRY FRANK STIBBARDS, B.Z. 11286, “Attentive III,” passed peacefully away after a short illness, contracting pneumonia. Much suffering patiently borne. Interred in Cambridge Military Cemetery.—Deeply mounted by all who knew him.

WEBSTER.—In memory of ARTHUR JAMES WBSTER, beloved son of Mr. &. Mrs. Webster, of 9 Old Station Square, Rugby, who was killed in action during the evening of September 28, 1918.
“ A loving son, a faithful brother,
One of the best towards his mother ;
He bravely answered his country’s call,
He gave his life for one and all.
We pictured his safe returning,
We longed to clasp his hand ;
But God has postponed our meeting
Till we meet in the Better Land.”
—From his loving Mother, Father, and Brothers and Sisters.

IN MEMORIAM.

ELKINGTON.—In proud and loving memory of our dear son and brother, JOHN THOMAS ELKINGTON (JACK), who fell in action “ somewhere in France ” on November 10th, 1916.—“ God’s Will be done.”
“ Just when his hopes were brightest,
Just when thoughts were best ;
He was called from this world of sorrow
To that Home of eternal rest.
Never a day but his name is spoken,
Never a day but he’s in our thoughts ;
A link from our family chain is broken ;
He’s gone from our home, but not from our hearts.
His loving smile, his cherry ways,
Are pleasant to recall ;
He had a kindly word for each,
And died beloved by all.”
—Too dearly loved to be forgotten by his Mother, Father, and Sisters, of Long Lawford, Brothers in France and Germany.

 

Hopkins, Leonard John. Died 30th Oct 1918

It is unusual for soldiers from Dunchurch to be included on the Rugby War Memorial Gate, so it was uncertain if the correct L. Hopkins had been identified.  However, no other more suitable candidate has been found.  If any information for any other L Hopkins is available, please advise this site, and he can be included.  Meanwhile, a young man, who died aged only 18, is certainly deserving of being Remembered.

 

Leonard John HOPKINS was born on 16 July 1900 in Dunchurch and registered there in Q3, 1900.  He was baptised St Peter’s Church, Dunchurch on 26 August 1900.  He was the first child of Elphinstone Henry Edward Hopkins, (b.c.1872 in Kilsby, Northamptonshire – d.c.1953 in Rugby), and his wife, Annie Maria, née Norman, Hopkins (b.c.1875, in Dunchurch – d.c.1955, Birmingham).  Their Banns were called on Sundays, 17 and 24 September and 1 October 1899, at Dunchurch, where they married on 11 October 1899, when she was 25 and he was 27.  He was then a ‘hedge carpenter’,[1] and the son of a ‘miller’ and her father was a ‘thatcher’.

In 1901, Leonard was 8 months old, and the family were living in Dunchurch.  Leonard’s father was now a ‘carter for a corn dealer’.

In 1911, when Leonard, was 10, the family was living in a three room house on The Green, at Dunchurch.  The head of the household was Leonard’s 78 year old maternal grandfather, John Norman.  His father was working as a ‘horse driver, waggoner’ for a ‘corn & coal carter’.  Leonard now had a four year old younger brother, Archibald.  It seems that Leonard attended the Dunchurch Boys’ School.

Unfortunately no Service Record has survived for Leonard, and the only information is from a listing in ‘Soldiers Died in the Great War’,[2] and information on the CWGC site.

Leonard joined up in Coventry,[3] and he served as a private, No: 81288, in the 4th (Reserve) Battalion (Territorials) of the Devonshire Regiment.

3/4th, 3/5th and 3/6th Battalions of the Devonshire Regiment formed at Exeter, Plymouth and Barnstaple respectively on 25 March 1915.  They moved to Bournemouth in August 1915, and then on 8 April 1916  became Reserve Battalions and the 4th then absorbed the 5th and 6th on 1 September 1916 at Hursley Park near Winchester.  The Battalion remained in England (moving to Bournemouth in October 1916, Sutton Veny in March 1917 and Larkhill in early 1918), until going to Ireland in April 1918.  Thereafter it was stationed at various times at Belfast, Londonderry and Clonmany.[4]

This confirms why Leonard was in Ireland in later 1918.  When he joined up he was probably still too young to go abroad, and the 1st/4th and 2nd/4th Devonshires were already in India, or by 1918, in Egypt or Mesopotamia respectively.  Whilst he was in Ireland, he became ill and died of pneumonia in the Waveney Hospital, Ballymena, Ireland.

Leonard’s body was returned to his home village of Dunchurch, for burial.  The family included an expression of gratitude to their friends in the Rugby Advertiser, 9 November 1918,[5]

MR & MRS. HOPKINS would like express their gratitude to all their kind friends who have shown such kindness and sympathy to them in their great sorrow; also for the beautiful Floral Tributes and all those who contributed towards them.

Also in that edition of the Rugby Advertiser was a report on the funeral.

DUNCHURCH – the funeral of Leonard J Hopkins, aged 18 years, son of Mr and Mrs Hopkins of Dunchurch, took place at Dunchurch on Tuesday last.  Deceased, who was a private in the Devon Reserves, died after a short illness in Waveney Hospital, Ballymena, Ireland.  Before joining the army he was employed as gardener at Thurlaston Grange, and a bunch of mauve chrysanthemums (his favourite flower) was sent by Mr Appleby, bearing the words, ‘These flowers he tended so carefully during his life are sent as a token of deep sympathy from all at Thurlaston Grange’.  The funeral service was conducted by the Vicar, the Rev E P Rowland, and the coffin was borne by four soldiers staying in the village.  Among the flowers were tributes from Mrs Mallam, Mr and Mrs Appleby, Mr and Mrs Dew, Mrs Borsley, Mr and Mrs Tomlin, and Mrs Busby.  The deceased was very popular with the boys of the village, and in addition to the above were wreaths from ‘His chums’, Pte R Jennings (serving in France), and the Scholars and Staff of Dunchurch Boys’ School.  The people of the village feel the greatest sympathy with Mr and Mrs Hopkins in their bereavement.’[6]

Leonard was buried in Dunchurch churchyard, and has a CWGC gravestone.  The inscription added to his gravestone by his family was, ‘HIS SUN WENT DOWN WHILE IT WAS YET DAY’.  His father’s name, Mr E Hopkins,  is given as the next of kin in the CWGC records.

As Leonard did not serve abroad – Ireland was part of the United Kingdom and counted as a ‘Home’ posting – he was not entitled to any medals and thus there is no Medal Card.

As well as his CWGC gravestone in St Peter’s church churchyard in Dunchurch, where he is remembered as ‘Hopkins L J’, Leonard is also remembered the War Memorial Gates, Whitehall Road, Rugby as ‘Hopkins L’ and as ‘Leonard J Hopkins’, on the Dunchurch War Memorial, on the Green opposite Guy Fawkes House, Dunchurch.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Leonard John HOPKINS 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, August 2018.

[1]      He may have just been a ‘hedger’, although http://www.grown-furniture.co.uk/history.html notes that ‘the Irish ‘hedge carpenter’ was a recognised craftsman, able to create a variety of useful wooden items.  He was so called for his ability to find many of the shapes he needed for his products – be they tools, farm implements, or furniture – growing naturally.’

[2]      UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919, from www.Ancestry.co.uk.

[3]      UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919, from www.Ancestry.co.uk.

[4]      Edited from: https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/devonshire-regiment/.

[5]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 9 November 1918.

[6]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 9 November 1918.

3rd Mar 1917. Kilsby Soldier Decorated with the Albert Medal.

KILSBY SOLDIER DECORATED WITH THE ALBERT MEDAL.

Pte Joseph Thomas Laurence, second son of Mr and Mrs J Laurence, of Kilsby, has recently been decorated by the King with the Albert Medal for saving life on land. Pte Laurence is in the Army Serviced Corps, and has been out in France just two years. While a German 21-centimetre shell, in which several holes had been bored, was being ” steamed ” in a laboratory for the purpose of investigation, the box of shaving in which it was packed caught fire. The officer in charge of the laboratory at once sent for help to the nearest Army Service Corps fire station, ordered all persons to leave the building, and warned the inhabitants of the neighbouring houses that a serious explosion was imminent. On receipt of the request for help Pte Laurence was one of those who at once collected fire extinguishers and proceeded by motor to the laboratory. They entered the building, played on the fire, which had spread considerably, and after about two minutes were able to reach the burning shell, which they dragged into the yard and extinguished. At any moment after the fire broke out the shell might have exploded with disastrous results. Pte Laurence has just been on a visit to his home at Kilsby.

PROMOTION FOR MAJOR VISCOUNT FEILDING, D.S.O.

Major Viscount Feilding, D.S.O, is promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel as Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster-General of the 8th Division. Viscount Feilding’s promotion has been very rapid, inasmuch as he re-joined from the Special Reserve as Junior Lieutenant Coldstream Guards.

OLD MURRAYIAN HONOURED.

Corpl Edwin Welsh, of the Machine Gun Corps, son of Mr E Welsh, 23 Oxford Street, has been awarded the Military Medal. Corpl Welsh, who is 21 years of age, was member of the old “ E ” Company, and went to France with them. He was an old Murrayian, and was at one time a member of the School Fifteen.

MURRAY SCHOOL AND THE WAR LOAN.

At the request of Dr David, the scholars attending the Murray School drew and painted nearly one hundred posters, which were distributed in the town for exhibition in shop windows. In addition, a number of attractive posters, which were changed every day, were exhibited outside the School. These were entirely the work of the boys. The Penny Bank and War Savings scheme, which is confined to boys attending the School, showed considerable improvement during the period devoted to the War Loan Campaign.

TWO SONS REPORTED DEAD.

Mrs H Hunt, of 99 Victoria Street, New Bilton, has received official information that her eldest son, Pte Leonard John Hopkins, Royal Marines, was killed in action on February 2nd. Pte Hopkins, who was 19 years of age, enlisted at the commencement of the war, prior to which he was employed at the B.T.H. He was an old St Oswald’s boy. Another son of Mrs Hunt, Pte Harold Hopkins, R.W.R, who had been missing since July 14th, 1916, was last week reported killed on that date.

ANOTHER B.T.H AIRMAN KILLED.

News has been received at the B.T.H that Lieut W E[?] Carse, .F.C, was killed in action while flying on February 18th. Before enlisting at the commencement of the War, Lieut Carse was employed in the Test Department at the B.T.H.

MIDLAND OFFICERS HONOURED.

For valuable services rendered in connection with the war the names of the following officers have, amongst others, been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War : Beech, Lieut-Col R J, Warwickshire Yeomanry : Elton, Lieut-Col A G G, R.W.R ; Fairbrother, Capt W H, R.W.R.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

In the recent fighting on the Somme, Pte A Parsons, of the H.A.C,s son of Mr W H W Parsons, of Rugby, was wounded, and is now in Hospital in England.

The many friends of Dr and Mrs Relton will be pleased to hear that their son, Lieut B C Relton, who was dangerously wounded in action on the Tigris, is now making a good recovery. On Monday Dr Relton received a telegram from his son, in which he said he was doing well, and had embarked for Bombay.

Pte W Scarlett, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, son of Mr H Scarlett, of Long Lawford, has been admitted to the British General Hospital at Sheikle Sard, suffering from severe wounds.

Mr and Mrs J H Phillips, of St Aubyn, Hillmorton Road, have received news of the death from wounds received in action in France of their eldest son, Capt E S Phillips, of the Border Regiment. The deceased officer enlisted in the Oxon and Bucks L.I in September, 1914. He was given a commission in the 8th Battalion Border Regiment in November, 1914. He went to France September 1915, and was promoted Lieutenant in November, 1915. After being in several actions on the Somme, he was invalided home September, 1916. He rejoined his regiment on November 30th, 1916, and was promoted to Captain in December. He died on February 21st, aged 22 years. His Colonel writes : “ He was a most excellent young officer, always willing and cheerful. During the time when he was in charge of the Machine Gun Detachment of the Battalion he did very good work. He was very plucky under fire, and a very good leader. We shall all miss a cheery plucky comrade, and a great favourite in the Battalion.”

Lieut A B Crump, South African Heavy Artillery, has been promoted to Captain, R.G.A.

MR C J Packwood, of Warwick Street, has already three sons serving with His Majesty’s Forces. Another son (John N Packwood) is joining up on Monday when he will enter the wireless department of the Royal Naval Reserve.

An interesting occurrence took place at the Training Camp of the 7th Reserve Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment on Wednesday, when three medals, awarded for conspicuous bravery in the field, were presented by Brigadier-General F H Gorges, C.B, D.S.O, commanding South Midland T.F Reserve Brigade. The recipients were : Corpl W Holyoak (Nuneaton), Military Medal ; Pte T Mason (Coventry), Military Medal ; and Pte L G Eaton (Rugby), Distinguished Conduct Medal. During and enemy raid on Messines on May 28, 1915, being in a listening post with one N.C.O and two other men, after being wounded in the head and after losing one of party (killed), Eaton carried on til the raid was successfully passed. This man is also in possession of the Croix de Guerre (French honour).

Driver C E Cox, of the R.F.A, residing in Abbey Street, Rugby, met with an accident in France a few months ago, by which he sustained a fractured skull. He was treated in a hospital at Newcastle and a convalescent home in Northumberland, after which he visited his home in Rugby. On the strength of a medical certificate, he obtained an extension of leave, and returned to his depot on Thursday, February 22nd. His relatives desire to state that there is no truth in the statement which has been made that he was a deserter and was taken to the depot under escort.

PRISONERS OF WAR.

As an outcome of the resolution unanimously passed by the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee (reported in another column), by which that body has undertaken to complete the whole cost of six regulation food parcels and 26lbs of bread every month to each of the local men who are prisoners of war in Germany, the sujoined letter has been received from headquarters in London :-

THE HON SECRETARY,

Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee,

DEAR SIR,-Sir Starr Jameson and his committee are very pleased to hear that your committee have set before themselves the tack of providing the entire cost of feeding the 67 local men who are prisoners of war in Germany. If this can be done, it speaks very well for the public spirit of a small town like Rugby. We often find that people wonder why the cost of feeding all our prisoners of war is not borne by the British Government. The answer is that there was no unwillingness on the part of our Government to shoulder the burden, but that under the Hague Convention it is the duty of the enemy country to feed and provide clothing for all prisoners of war taken prisoners by that country. The German authorities do not admit that they fail in the duty imposed on them by the Hague Convention in any way, but they are willing to allow gifts to prisoners to any extent. We in England consider that without these “ gifts ” our prisoners would starve.

The entire organisation of sending food and clothing to all our prisoners has now been undertaken by the British Red Cross Society, of which the Central Prisoners of War Committee and its allied associations are a branch. The entire cost of the scheme is estimated to be close upon £1,00 per day, and this is guaranteed by the British Red Cross Society. You will, therefore, see that all local help that can be obtained is as necessary as it is welcome.-Yours faithfully,

P D AGNEW, Managing Director,
Central Prisoners of War Committee,
4 Thurloe Place, London, S.W,
26th February, 1917.

DEATHS.

FRENCH.-In loving and lasting remembrance of Pte. OLIVER FRENCH, Royal War. Regt., youngest son of Mr. R. French, Napton, who died of pneumonia February 10th at a Military Hospital in France ; aged 36 years.

SMITH.-Killed in France, January 29th, GEORGE EDWARD SMITH, Kilsby.

“ Had he ask’d us-well, we know
We should cry, ‘O spare this blow !
Yes, with streaming tears should pray :
Lord, we love him, let him stay.”

24th Feb 1917. Parcels for Prisoners

PARCELS FOR PRISONERS.

The following are the contents of thè two recent parcels sent on behalf of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee to local men in German prison camps : (1) 1lb beef, ½ lb vegetables, 1 tin rations, ½lb tin cheese, ¼lb tea, ½lb Nestle’s milk, ¾lb sugar, 1/ lb margarine, 1lb jam, 1lb biscuits, 50 cigarettes, 1 tin sardines. (2) 1 tin sausages, 1 tin herrings, 1 tin oxo cubes, 1lb biscuits, ¾lb tin cocoa, ½lb cooked ham (in tin), ½lb dripping, 1 packet oatmeal, 2oz tobacco, ½lb Nestle’s milk, ½lb sugar, pepper, salt, mustard.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Second-Lieut H N Salter, 4th Leicestershire Regiment, has been gazetted first-lieutenant, dating from October 4, 1916.

Mr E P Lennon, son of Mr J P Lennon, has joined the same regiment.

P.C Bending, who has been stationed for seven years at Rugby-the last two of which have been spent as assistant clerk at the Police Station—has this week joined the Military Police Force. Before joining the Police Force, P.C Bending was a sergeant-instructor in the 21st Lancers.

Pte Harold Hopkins, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, previously notified as missing, is now reported as killed in action on July 14, 1916. Pte Hopkins, whose home was at 99 Victoria Street, New Bilton, was an “ old boy ” of St Matthew’s School, and was only 19 years of age. He had only been at the front a short time before the Somme offensive began, and he lost his life early in the struggle.

Second Lieut James Colin MacLehose, Rifle Brigade, who fell on February 14, aged 19, was the elder son of Mr James MacLehose, publisher to the University, Glasgow. He was educated at Cargilfield Preparatory School, of which he was head, and at Rugby, where he became head of the School House. At Rugby he was keenly interested in the life of the School, and in 1916 won the Crick run, the 12 mile race across country.

RUGBY SOLDIER’S DEAÌH FROM WOUNDS.

Pte J Dunn, Machine Gun Corps, who, as we reported last week, had been seriously wounded-and whose leg was amputated after a transfusion of blood—died on February 13th. Mrs Dunn, his wife, who lives at 2 Round Street, Rugby, has received letter from the Sister and Chaplain at the Hospital, both of whom state that everything possible was done for the unfortunate man, who himself made ever effort to recover, but he was too weak to resist the constant severe attacks. Pte Dunn was 27 years of age, and joined the colours eight months ago. For the last five years he had been employed at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s and for several years he played for Long Lawford Football Club.

Hopkins, Harold. Died 14th Jul 1916

Harold Hopkins is recorded by the CWGC as the son of ‘Mrs Edith E Hunt of 99 Victoria Street New Bilton Rugby’.

In 1891, his mother, Edith Hopkins was a 19 year old servant in Coventry.   She was born in 1872 in Broadwell, Warwickshire. It seems that she had two sons before she married Harry Hunt, in late 1899 – the marriage being registered in Rugby.

The 1901 census confirmed Edith Hunt’s marriage with Harry Hunt, who was born in Gloucestershire and was a ‘Bricklayer’s labourer’. They are recorded with two ‘sons’ with the Hopkins name: Harold’s slightly older brother, Leonard, who was born in Bilton in about 1898; and Harold, who was born in Leeds a year later in about 1899. They were now living in Bakehouse Lane, Bilton.   There was now also a baby daughter, Amelia E J Hunt, and there were three further daughters, Beatrice, Rose and Selina before 1911.

By 1911, the family had moved to live at 99 Victoria Street, New Bilton, Rugby. Harry Hunt was a ‘Labourer’ for ‘Engineers’. He and Edith had been married for 11 years and the six children were all still living. Harold was still at school.

The CWGC record shows that Harold Hopkins joined the 1st/7th Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, as No:4345[1]. His Medal Card does not give the date when he went to France.

1/7th Battalion was raised in Coventry in August 1914 as part of the Warwickshire Brigade, South Midland Division. They moved to the Chelmsford area, in August 1914. The South Midland Division spent many months in England training until 13 March 1915 when it was warned to prepare for overseas service to reinforce the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) on the Western Front which had suffered heavy casualties in the winter of 1914-1915.

On 13 May 1915, it became part of the 143rd Warwickshire Brigade, in the 48th (South Midland) Division. They landed at Le Havre on 22 March 1915.

After training at Bailleul went into the trenches in that district. In July they were sent south to Courcelles, and after further training went again into the trenches near Hebuterne before Gommecourt. In that district, with billets at Fonquevillers, they remained till June 1916.[1]

The Division was involved in the Serre Sector of the Somme from 1-12 July 1916 and the Battle of Pozières.

Harold probably went into the French theatre of war with his Battalion on 22 March 1915, or possibly, as he does not seem to have been awarded the 1915 Star, somewhat later in early 1916 as part of ‘reinforcement’. On 1 July 1916, the …

The British attack on July 1, 1916, … the north of the British line … [included the] 48th and 4th Divisions, with the four Warwickshire Territorial battalions in the 143rd Brigade, … Its line faced Serre and Beaumont Hamel … the 48th Division was in reserve, with the exception of the 143rd Brigade, which was attached for that day to the 4th Division. … In the 143rd Brigade the 5th and 7th Royal Warwickshire were to hold the trenches, whilst the other two battalions attacked towards Serre. … the 5th and 7th, which suffered only from artillery fire, the casualties were comparatively slight.

In the northern region the 5th and 7th Royal Warwickshire remained in the front trenches till 4 July, … Meantime a steady advance had prepared the way for the assault of the second German position on a line from Longueval to Ovillers. The 48th Division had now returned to the line and was in a position near Ovillers. The assault was delivered on 14 July just before dawn.[2]

From the positions occupied during the day, an advance from the left side of Bazentin le Petit Wood, along the second position trenches towards Pozières, offered the possibility of an attack from three sides.   The 10th Cheshires tried a daylight attack on Ovillers but was repulsed by machine-gun fire and the 1/7th Royal Warwicks (48th Division), tried to exploit the success of the 3rd Worcesters and its attacking companies, in spite of heavy casualties, reached their objective, which they held for several hours till forced by enfilading shell-fire to fall back. The Cheshires attacked again at 11:00 p.m. and captured the objective but casualties were so high that they had to withdraw.[3],[4]

Harold Hopkins was ‘Killed in Action’, aged only 17, sometime during 14 July 1916, probably during the assault on Orvillers and Bazentin. His body was not found or identified and he is remembered on Pier and Face 9A, 9B, and 10B, of the Thiepval Memorial.

The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was built between 1928 and 1932 and unveiled by the Prince of Wales, in the presence of the President of France, on 1 August 1932.

He was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates and also at the Croop Hill cemetery, Rugby

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

 

– – – – – –

 

This article on Harold Hopkins 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, June 2016.

[1]       http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?/topic/8768-royal-warwickshire-regiment/

[2]       http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?/topic/8768-royal-warwickshire-regiment/

[3]         https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Bazentin_Ridge, from Miles, W. (1992) [1938]. Military Operations France and Belgium, 1916: 2nd July 1916 to the End of the Battles of the Somme. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence II, p.88, Imperial War Museum & Battery Press ed., London: Macmillan, ISBN:0901627763.

[4]       http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?/topic/8768-royal-warwickshire-regiment/

25th Sep 1915. Local War Notes

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mr Sydney Hall and Mr J Hoare, servers at St Andrew’s Mission Church and members of the Brotherhood of St Ardan, have enlisted in the R.W.R.

Capt A D Coates, of the 9th Warwickshire Regiment, which has figured prominently in the Dardanelles fighting, has recovered from his illness, and is now at Cairo in charge of the Turkish officer prisoners.

Sergt Donnithorne, of the 1st Border Regiment, who was billeted with Mr and Mrs Lane, 79 Manor Road, has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal, for ‘ a bit of work I have done out here ’ (the Dardanelles), as he puts it in a letter to his friends in Rugby.

On Monday afternoon the wounded soldiers from Ashlawn Hospital were entertained at the picture matinee at the Empire through the kindness of Mr B Morris, the proprietor. Cigarettes, &c, were handed round to the visitors, who spent a highly enjoyable time.

Mrs Stokes, wife of Farrier Q.M Sergt Stokes, informs us that the rumour which has been circulated regarding her husband’s supposed death is quite untrue. He is in hospital suffering from a general breakdown, which has affected his eyesight. A letter received from him on Wednesday, however, contained favourable news.

Pte James Plumb, of the 10th Royal Warwicks, and an old scholar of St Matthew’s Schools, has written to his mother, who resides at 21 Union Street, Rugby, to state that he has been wounded, but not seriously. He was out sniping on September 13th, when he was struck in the calf of his leg by a bullet, which passed out at the knee. He is now in a base hospital at Boulogne, where he is very comfortable and going on well. When Pte Plumb enlisted he was working at the Rugby Gas Works. He joined in September, 1914, and went over to France about three months ago. His father is also serving in 2/7th Royal Warwickshire.

NEWS OF A RUGBY YEOMAN.

Included in a number of wounded soldiers from the Dardanelles who arrived at “ Ashlawn ” Red Cross Hospital on Monday, was Trooper Ambrose Cole, of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, who brought cheering word to Mr Albert White, chief clerk at the L & N.-W Erecting Shop, respecting his son, Trooper Cyril White, whom he left quite well and in the best of health.

LETTER FROM AN OLD MURRAYIAN.

Sapper Tuckey, of the 78th Field Co, R.E, an Old Murrayian, has sent a number of interesting views showing Ypres before and after the bombardment to his old schoolmaster. We give a few extracts from his letter :—“ It is a terrible sight to see glorious architecture, such as the Cathedral of St Martin, the Cloth Hall, and other such places lying in heaps of ruins ; but still, one takes little notice of such things, for human nature gets surprisingly hard-hearted out here. . . . . No one will ever be able to say that the Old Murrayians were found wanting. I receive the local paper every week, so naturally I am well acquainted with the news, and watch with great interest everything concerning Old Murrayians. I met some of the old-timers a few days ago while behind the lines, and I do not think any of us look the worse for our Continental tour. There is rather a strange thing in a desolate village ‘somewhere in Belgium ’—a small church in ruins, but the crucifix is standing untouched and the inscription on the remains of the tower, ‘Suceedo Combustis,’ which is rather appealing to the passing troops, don’t you think ? ”

RUGBY SAWYER CONGRATULATED BY THE KING.

Mr Frederick Branston, a sawyer, in the employ of Messrs Travis & Arnold, of Rugby, and living in Chester Street, has this week received the following letter from the Privy Purse Office at Buckingham Palace, dated September 20th, 1915 :-

“ SIR,—I have the honour to inform you that the King has heard with much interest that you have at the present moment four sons and two sons-in-law serving in the Army and Navy.

“ I am commanded to express to you the King’s congratulations, and to assure you that his Majesty much appreciates the spirit of patriotism which prompted this example in one family of loyalty and devotion to their Sovereign and Empire.—I have the honour to be, sir, your obedient servant,

“ F M PONSONBY,

“ Keeper of the Privy Purse.”

We may explain that Mr. Branston has five sons serving with the colours (not four, as mentioned in the letter), and that he is himself employed on Government contracts.

OLD MURRAYIAN GASSED WHILE AT RESCUE WORK.

Driver S G Smith, 41, 3/4th Warwickshire Battery, an Old Murrayian, has written to his old schoolmaster, informing him that he has been gassed, and adding the following particulars :— “ I thought I would like to see a little more life than I did with the Battery, so I went to do a bit of mining and sapping under the German first line trenches, and found what I went for. For about a week all went well, but we could hear the Germans working over the top of us ; therefore it was a case of who should get there first. We could hear them talking when everything was quiet. One Sunday evening at about five o’clock I was in the dug-out, when all of a sudden the whole place was shaken ; and, knowing something was the matter, we jumped up. We were ordered to fall-in and hurried to the firing trench. Then we found that the Germans had blown our sap in. We could not go down for a time because there was so much gas ; but after we had worked and had got some air in, they asked for men to try to get our comrades out. I was one who volunteered, and we went down, but could not stand it long. -We found five dead at the bottom of the shaft. We worked hard for about four hours, and then there was a big rush of gas, and I don’t remember any more until I came round in the dressing station.” Driver Smith adds that he has been in several hospitals, and is now nearly well again.

A LAWFORD MAN KILLED.

Mr Henry Hopkins, of the Sheaf and Sickle Inn, Long Lawford, has received intimation that his son, Pte Frank Hopkins, of the 6th Dorsets, has been killed.

Capt Courtenay Dutton, writing to convey the intelligence, says :” I regret to have to inform you that your son was killed early this morning by a shell bursting on the parapet. His death was practically instantaneous, and he suffered no pain. Curiously enough his own officer was killed by a bullet about two hours previously in the same place. Your son was a good soldier, and in expressing my sincerest sympathy, I would add that you may be to a certain extent comforted in your grief by the knowledge that your son died the most honourable death a man can die.”

Sergt J Jeacock, of the same Company, has also written to inform the parents, and adds :” He was at his post when he was hit. We had a hot time of it for about a quarter of an hour. I am very sorry to lose my old chum like that. We used to work together and we joined together. He was one of the best we had out here.”

Pte Hopkins was employed at Bluemels when he enlisted about twelve months ago. He was an active member of the Lawford Football, Cricket, and Rifle Clubs, and was much liked and respected in the village.

WOUNDED SOLDIERS’ OUTING TO STANFORD PARK.

Recently, when Lord and Lady Braye entertained wounded soldiers from Leicestershire hospitals at Stanford Hall, the men at the Ashlawn Hospital, Rugby, although invited, were unable to be present because, his Lordship was informed, vehicles were not available to convey them to the rendezvous.

Lord Braye kindly repeated his invitation, and Mr F van den Arend undertook to arrange the motor transport. The Leicestershire men have had several successful tours, and one of the features that has contributed largely to the success of the outings has been the enthusiasm which has been shown to the gallant men when passing through the different places. The villagers decorated their houses, and showered cigarettes, chocolates, and fruit upon the wounded in the cars.

The Ashlawn men are going to Stanford Hall to-day (Saturday), September 25th, and we are asked to mention that they will start from the hospital at 2.0 o’clock, pass through Dunchurch, down the London Road to Stretton-on-Dunsmore, then turn off through Wolston and Church Lawford to New Bilton.

The cars will line up opposite the Rugby Portland Cement Works. Here they will be met by the B.T.H Military Band about 2.35 p.m, and will pass in procession through New Bilton, Warwick Street, High Street, Market Place, Church Street, Clifton Road, Clifton, by St Thomas’ Cross (Newton), Catthorpe and Swinford to Stanford Park.

On the homeward journey they will start at 5.30 p.m, and travel via Yelvertoft, Crick, and Hillmorton.

We have so doubt people on the routes indicated will be glad of the opportunity of showing enthusiastic appreciation to these gallant defenders of the Empire.

HOW THE WARWICKSHIRE YEOMANRY FOUGHT AT THE DARDANELLES.

LOCAL MEN WOUNDED, BUT NOT SERI0USLY.

“ I am writing this from my little ‘ hole ‘ in the hill,” says Sergt-Major Tait, of C Squadron of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, now at the Dardanelles. ” We left our base on August 17th, and arrived here ‘somewhere at the front’ on the 20th or thereabouts. I have lost count of time since we have been in the real thing. We had our baptism of fire as soon as we landed, being shelled by the Turks for about five minutes. Fortunately no one was hit, and we reached our bivouac without mishap. We had a few casualties while in bivouac, as we had to go to the shore for water, and the Turks or Germans, knowing or being able to see when the men went to draw water, sent some shrapnel over them, and succeeded in bagging one or two. They used to send us one or two ‘haters ’ at meal times just to pass the time of day—sometimes they burst and sometimes not. They seat 14 at us one morning, but did no damage. We are on the side of a hill about — miles from the coast, and when our ships shell the enemy the shells come right over us, and make a terrific noise. It was funny at first to see the men ‘ duck ‘ when one came over ; but it was only natural, and I suppose I was one of the ‘ duckers.’ They are getting used to it now.

“ Our shells have been making terrible work in the enemy’s camp trenches, according to reports of men who have been in the first lines. They say they found Tucks or Germans mixed up together in heaps of 10 or 15. They asked for an armistice to bury their dead, but this was refused, because the last time they had one they did not bury the dead, but moved their big guns to the rear and set them up in other positions ; so our fellows had the job of burying their dead when they had taken their trenches. Since we landed they have been pushed back about —— miles. Perhaps you will have heard of our doings by the time you get this, but you may not have got details.

“ We left our base at 4.20 p.m. on Friday, the 20th. with orders to join the Division by 7.30 p.m. All went well until we got about two miles on our journey. We had cross a large extent of perfectly flat country to our objective and covered with patches of gorse. We must have made a good mark for the enemy’s guns, for as soon as we got to the edge of the gorse they opened fire on us with shrapnel, high explosives, and incendiary shells. They had got the range, and officers and men began to drop. For three-quarters of an hour they rained shrapnel upon us, and it is marvellous how any of us came through the storm alive.

“ My squadron lost 27 killed and wounded. We were the luckiest of the lot, and lost the least men being on the right of the column. Men were going down in one’s and twos every time a shell burst, and, to make matters worse, the devils set fire to the gorse.

“ After being under fire for about a quarter of an hour we had the order to double, but we could only go about 100 yards, and had to walk the rest. This was the time the casualties were heaviest.

“ We eventually reached the foot of the hill to the accompaniment of the cheers of those who had watched us from the hillside. When the roll had been called we found we had lost about 70 in the regiment, but several walked in afterwards only slightly wounded.

“ When we reached our objective we thought we had finished, but after half-an-hour’s rest we were told, to advance to the reserve trenches one and a-half miles to the front. Fortunately by this time it was getting dark. We were taken over the top of the hill and down the other side, where we again came under fire—this time from machine guns and snipers. We had a few more casualties, but only wounded, no one being killed and finally we got to the trench where we threw of our packs, said a fervent prayer, and tried to go to sleep. But the excitement of the past events made this impossible.

“ We have since heard of fellows having marvellous escapes. One officer had the back of his helmet shot away, and also the collar of his coat, but did not get wounded. Several men can show holes in their clothes and helmets. I was hit with a bullet on one of the pouches, and it knocked three clips of cartridges out, but did not hurt me. I came through without any other mishap, so I offered up a prayer of thankfulness to the Almighty for bringing us through what can be literally called ‘ hell on earth.’

This is the only time any troop have been brought across the open since operations commenced in this part of the seat of war, and everyone who saw our advance says that the Yeomanry have earned a name for themselves.

“ The only thing that is a bit of a trouble is the water. It is only issued twice a day. and as bully beef and biscuits make one thirsty, it is trying—put the water is good when we get it. The men in the firing line are looked after first, which is as it should be—the men in the reserve trenches forming fatigues for getting food and water to the first line, and they do it cheerfully day and night. It is really wonderful how the fellows have adapted themselves to circumstances.

“I am feeling quite fit and well, with the exception of a slight cold. It is very hot in the day, and gets cold towards early morning. We expect the rainy season to commence shortly.

“ When you see Mr J E Cox tell him his two sons are in the next dug-out to me. They are both all right, and came through without a scratch. Bert White’s son was left at — camp to look after the horses—if he only knew what a lucky fellow he was.

“ We do not get a very good service post here, and have had no letters since we left the base. We are now pretty ‘cosy,’ not over-worked, and plenty of bully and tea.

“ I hope you will be able to read this, as it is written in rather an uncomfortable position, lying on my back in the dug-out whilst the shells are coming over.

“ We are rather troubled with snipers, but the Australian bushmen are dealing with them. One chap lives close to me, and he says he has shot 17 since he has been on the job. They got three yesterday—one dressed in a K.O.S.B uniform. They say the snipers are principally Kurds.”

“ A LIVING SHEET OF FIRE & BULLETS.”

Corpl Horace Neeves, of the Signal Troop of the 1st South Midland Mounted Brigade, has written to his parents, Mr and Mrs S Neeves, of Murray Road, Rugby, giving an interesting account of his experiences in the fighting on Hill 70, following the landing at Suvla Bay at the Dardanelles. He was working on the staff at Rugby Post Office, when at the outbreak of war the Rugby Troop of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, of which he had been a member for six or seven years, was mobilised. Having been for, some months at Alexandria, he went with the South Midland Mounted Brigade (with which his troop is incorporated) to the Dardanelles, and experienced some heavy fighting in the advance from Suvla Bay, the last stage of which, he says, was “like going through a living sheet of fire and bullets.” He felt one or two bits of stuff, probably dirt, thrown up by shrapnel, hit him in the face ; but he remarks that otherwise he came through quite safely. However, on returning to hospital, suffering from a severe attack of dysentry, it was found that Corpl Neeves had had a narrow escape. A shrapnel bullet had entered his haversack, had passed through four folds of the housewife it contained, and had become embedded in a thimble which was crumpled up and possibly saved his life. We understand that Corpl Neeves has been invalided home, and is now on a transport ship on his way to England.

 

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

The following have been attested at the Rugby Drill Hall this week :—E Imeson and S O’Donnell, Gloucester Bantams ; K W Smallwood R.E, Telegraph ; W Courtman, R.G.A ; W E Hughes, T W Hughes, and H Panter, R.F.A ; T Cleaver and J E Newman, 220th Fortress Co, R.E.

COVENTRY MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL.

MORE PROCEEDINGS.

A sitting of the Coventry And District Munitions Tribunal was held at the Labour Exchange offices, at which Mr F Tillyard, of Birmingham, presided. There were also present : Mr T Clarke (employers), Mr J G Chater (employees), together with the Clerk (Mr P E Wilks) and Mr D G Bolland {assistant clerk).

SLEEPY WORKER.

The allegation against James Cullen, turner, of 93 Winfield Street, Rugby, an employee of the British Thomson-Houston Co, Ltd, was that he had been found asleep on two separate occasions whilst engaged on important Government work.

Prior to the hearing of the case Cullen asked for an adjournment on the ground that his trade union secretary, and a witness were not present, but the Court decided to proceed with the case.

Mr J Bale, foreman, stated that at 4.25 a.m on the 8th inst. he found Cullen asleep by the side of his machine. After taking his name and number he walked down the shop, and when about half-way down he heard Cullen’s machine running again. Cullen’s explanation was that owing to the nature of his work the breakfast half-hour had been re-arranged, and that the time when the foreman came up was his breakfast time, 4 a.m to 4.30, half-an-hour later than usual.

Launcelot Wakelin, in charge of the shop, said that on the 9th inst. he saw Cullen lying full length across the floor near the machine, fast asleep. When asked for his name and number Cullen was abusive, and refused to give them. He had watched Cullen for fully ten minutes to make sure he was asleep.

Cullen admitted lying down, but emphatically denied being asleep, and stated that it was customary for men to lie down and watch the material running through.

After consideration, the Chairman announced that the Court had come to the conclusion that Cullen was not “diligently attending to his work,” which was an infringement of the Munitions Act. The first case had been withdrawn, and a fine of £1 was inflicted for the offence on the 9th inst.—Cullen : If I did wrong once I did wrong twice.—The Chairman : You are being fined on your own admission that you were lying down at your work.—Cullen : I refuse to pay a halfpenny until see my solicitor.—The Chairman : There is no appeal to this decision.

GOVERNMENT CARRIER PIGEONS.

A WARNING.

The Press Bureau issues the following announcement :—

“ Notice is hereby given that carrier or homing pigeons are being used for certain purposes in connection with his Majesty’s Service, and attention is called to the fact that anyone who shoots or kills a carrier or homing pigeon whilst on passage renders himself liable to prosecution.”