Sunday last, the fourth anniversary of the declaration of war, was observed by special intercession services throughout the country. At the various churches in Rugby and the villages around the congregations, despite the holiday exodus, were good.
In the afternoon a drumhead service, arranged by the members of the Rugby Branch of the Discharged Sailors’ and Soldiers’ Association, was held in the Lower School held, by permission of the Rev S R Hart, and was attended by several thousand persons. The members of the association paraded in the Recreation Ground, and, preceded by the B.T.H Band, marched via Hillmorton Road, School Street, Sheep Street, and Church Street to the Lower School field. The service was very brief but impressive, and was conducted by the Rev C M Blagden (rector). The hymns, which were accompanied by the band, were :—“ Hark, my soul, it is the Lord ” ; “ Oft in danger, oft in woe,” and “ Eternal Father, strong to save.”
[Note: many other services were reported around the town]
“ B ” Company at the 2nd Volunteer Battalion, Royal Warwickshire, left their headquarters in good strength on the 4th inst, to join their battalion and the other battalions of the Regiment at a brigade camp in the South of England. In the unavoidable absence at the Commanding Officer and the second in command, Capt C H Fuller is in command of the 2nd Battalion during camp and Second-Lieut Wharton is in command of “ B ” Company. Sunday being Remembrance Day, the Rector of Rugby (Chaplain to the Company) attended at headquarters, and conducted a short service before the company moved off.
LOCAL WAR NOTES.
A comprehensive programme, including many unique competitions, diversions, and side-shows, has been arranged for the Grand Red Cross Fete at Clifton Manor on Saturday, August 31st.
In a letter to a friend, Gunner S Walton, R.G.A, who before enlisting was employed in the Advertiser Printing Works, says :—“ We arrived at Hong Kong last Tuesday, and, so far as I can see at present, I rather fancy I shall like the place. Any way, it is a pleasant change from the dusty plains of the Punjaub. . . . I found Will Spraggett (a former member of the Old Rugby Volunteers) at Hong Kong Hospital. He was looking very well. He wasn’t half-surprised to see me, I can tell you. He is a sergeant in a London Regiment.”
Pte W Smith, Northamptonshire Regiment (Rugby), has been reported killed in action, and Pte R L S Healey, Gloucester Regiment (Rugby), has been posted as missing.
Pte W E Howard, Northants Regiment, youngest son of Mr & Mrs S Howard, Long Lawford, is a prisoner in Germany. Before joining up in April, 1917, he was employed at the Rugby Portland Cement Works, and he had been in France almost a month when he was captured on June 27th.—Pte J Isham, Devonshire, son of Mr & Mrs F Isham, Leamington Hastings, is a prisoner at Langensalza, Germany, and Pte Bernard Keates, Wiltshire Regiment (Rugby), is interned at Limburg, and is suffering from wounds in the back and stomach.
The following Rugby men have been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the field :—Pte E F Head, R.W.R ; Driver F Calloway, F.R.A ; and Sapper J W Bartlett, R.E.
We are asked to state that Mr Bertram Shepherd, who formerly resided at Rugby, is now a prisoner of war.
MILITARY CROSS FOR CAPT LAKIN.
The Military Cross has been awarded to Captain (Acting Major) M L Lakin, D.S.O, Hussars, Spec. Res., for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in operation whilst commanding a company of Tanks. He led his company across most difficult country, and successfully held up the enemy for ten hours. Later, when fighting on foot a rearguard action with Lewis guns, he remained behind the infantry, who had retired, for eight hours, inflicting severe losses on the enemy. Capt Lakin is the youngest son of Sir Michael Lakin, Bart, of Warwick, and is 37 years of age. He entered the Army in 1900, and served in South Africa. He attained his captaincy in 1908, and retired in 1911 ; but on the outbreak of the War he re-joined his old regiment, the 11th Hussars. He has been twice mentioned in despatches, and won the D.S.O in 1915. Before the War he was well known as a polo player and as a master of foxhounds in Ireland.
NEWS OF CAPTAIN T. A. TOWNSEND.
We are pleased to learn that Mr T S Townsend, of Clifton Manor, has, in response to an appeal he inserted in several daily papers for information as to the whereabouts of his son, Capt T A Townsend, M.C, R.A.M.C, received letters which justify the strongest hope that the missing officer is a prisoner of war, and, although badly wounded, still alive.
Pte M S B Shorrock, of the 1/20th London Regiment, writing from hospital in France under date August 2nd, says :—
“ I have read in the Continental edition of the ‘ Daily Mail,’ dated the 1st inst, your notice in respect of your son, Captain T A Townsend, M.C. R.A.M.C, who was medical officer to the battalion to which I belong, and under whom I have served as a stretcher-bearer on several occasions. The last occasion, however, was from the last day of November to December 6, 1917. Owing to illness, I regret I had not the good fortune to serve him during our engagement of last March. Nevertheless, I feel I am in a position to give you information which may prove of interest to you. A friend of mine, Pte Michael Foley, who, like myself, is a stretcher-bearer, and served your son, Capt Townsend, of whom I received a full account of the March offensive immediately on my return to the battalion, was actually with your son within a few minutes of his having been wounded and taken prisoner. The actual date on which Capt Townsend was taken prisoner on being wounded was on Saturday, March 23rd. and not on Sunday. March 24th, which latter date has apparently been officially reported to you. May I respectfully point out that your son could easily have escaped but for the fact that he was an exceptionally brave man and such a grand example for many. My friend has informed me that from the moment of the onslaught Capt Townsend worked most nobly and brilliantly. On the third day, however, both his corporal (Corpl Kelly, one of my dearest friends) and our Commanding Officer, Col Grimwood, were wounded, Capt Townsend immediately dressed each, and remained with them. Capt Townsend was wounded when the enemy was no considerable distance away. Previously to his having been wounded he was seen to perform a most conspicuous act of gallantry in face of the enemy. I am somewhat dubious of giving you details of this particular act owing to the censorship restrictions. Perhaps I may have an opportunity of communicating these details under somewhat pleasanter circumstances.
“ Now comes an item of extreme interest Corpl Kelly, to whom I have referred, states distinctly in a letter which he has sent through to one of our boys, that ‘There are here with me (in hospital) the M.O, Capt Townsend ; Pte Smith, ‘ B ‘ Company ; and Drummers (reserve stretcher bearers) Bridger and Roberts. We are all getting on slowly but surely !’
“ I am afraid that no one knows exactly whereabouts your son was wounded, but, however that may be, so it may not have proved possible for him to unite you.”
After promising to endeavour to obtain further information, the writer adds —
“ Your son proved himself marvellous in ‘ Bourion Wood,’ when he worked unceasingly under awful conditions. I never was able to understand however he managed to escape being gassed. No greater man ever attended the wounded and dying as did he on that never-to-be-forgotten occasion.
“ I fear there is nothing else I can add at present. I will again write you so soon as is possible. Meanwhile may you soon hear from your brave son.”
This statement is substantially confirmed by another letter Mr T S Townsend has received from Capt W T Cave, who was captured on the same day by the Germans, and who reports that Capt Townsend was in hospital at Cambrai on March 27th and 28th, badly wounded.
DEATH OF PTE. FRED BARNWELL.
GENERAL regret is felt in this village at the death of Pte Fred Barnwell, of the Marines, which took place in hospital last week-end. Pte Barnwell, who was 31 years of age, worked for many years at Bawnmore, and afterwards for Messrs Willans & Robinson, till he was called up about nine months ago He went out to France about the middle of July, and had only been there a few days when he was returned to England with serious heart trouble. Other complications set in, his friends were sent for, death taking place not long after their arrival. He was the main support of his widowed mother, Mrs Barnwell, of Lawford Road, Bilton, and was a great favourite in the village, being a member of the Working Men’s Club, the Cricket and Football Clubs, and for many years a chorister at the Parish Church. At village entertainments Fred Barnwell’s songs were usually a feature and very popular, and he was always ready to lend a helping hand to any useful work. The sympathy of the whole parish is extended to his mother and his fiancée, who was making preparations for their future marriage.
The remains were brought home for internment, and the funeral took place at the parish church on Thursday. The coffin, covered with many beautiful floral tributes, was borne by six members of the Bilton Brass Band, of which deceased was formerly a member. The Burial Service was read by the Rector, the Rev W O Assheton, R. D, and hymns were sung by the choir in the church and at the graveside.
Representatives of the various village institutions, to which the deceased belonged, followed the relatives in the cortege, and the church was filled with parishioners and friends anxious to show their sympathy and respect. Blinds were drawn at most of the houses. In the evening a muffled peal was rung on the bells, deceased having been one of the band of ringers.
PRISONER OF WAR.—Mrs R Collins has received news that her husband, Rifleman R Collins, 2nd Battalion, rifle Brigade, who has been missing since May 27th, is a prisoner of war at Frankfort.
LIEUT WILFRED COLEMAN WOUNDED.—Mr & Mrs T P Coleman, of Marston Hall, have been notified that their son, Lieut Wilfred Coleman, has been wounded again. When war was declared he was a member of the 3rd Troop of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, and was called up at once. He went out to the Dardanelles in April, 1915, where he was wounded. His next active service was in Egypt, where he soon met with promotion, and afterwards rose to sergeant. Here he saw much fighting. For his good work he was offered a commission, and after training in Egypt went to Palestine, where again he helped to rout the enemy on numerous occasions. His parents were looking forward to his home-coming, but he was sent to France, although he had been fighting for so long. He is now in hospital in France, wounded in the hand, head and neck, but is making good progress.
PTE G BOSTOCK.—Mr & Mrs Arthur Bostock have received news from the War Office that their son, Pte G Bostock, of the Machine Gun Corps, has been killed. It is now nine months since his parents were notified that he was missing. He joined the Army more than three years ago, and saw a lot of fighting in France, where he was previously wounded. Deceased was a finely built young man, and before joining the Army was a respected employee of Mrs W Eales, grocer, of Coventry. Much sympathy is felt for his parents, who are respected inhabitants, and have resided in the parish for many years.
AEROPLANE DESCENDS.—The landing of an aeroplane in the parish on Wednesday afternoon caused considerable excitement, hundreds of people rushing to the spot. Fortunately the pilot was unharmed, though Dr Ormerod was quickly on the scene in case his services were needed. The machine; which sustained little damage, was guarded by volunteers until it could be got away again.
FOR PRISONERS OF WAR.
NEW PARCEL SCHEME.
The limit of weight for parcels for prisoners of war has been raised from 10lbs to 15lbs each. The Rugby Prisoners of War Help committee are now despatching to all Rugby and district men through the Regimental Care Committees of each man’s unit one 15lbs parcel per week, instead at three 10lb parcels every fortnight The weight of food will, therefore, remain the same, but there will be a considerable saving in the cost of parking materials as well as labour. The usual bread parcels will be maintained.
The cost of the new parcels will 15s each, or £3 every four weeks, and an additional 7s 6d per mouth for bread ; thus the cost to provide for each man is now £3 7s 6d every four weeks, or £3 13s per calendar month. The total cost of the food parcels for all the men on the Rugby Committee’s list now exceeds £400 a month, all of which has to be raised by voluntary subscriptions.
This week’s parcel contains : 2lbs of beef, ½-lb vegetables, 1lb tin rations, ½lb tea, 1lb tin milk, ½-lb dripping or margarine, 1lb tin jam, 1½lbs biscuits, 1 packet Quaker oats, grape nuts or milk pudding, 50 cigarettes, 1 tin sardines, 1 tablet soap, 1lb tin herring, 1lb beans, ¼lb cocoa, ½-lb bacon.
Next week’s parcel will consist of : 1½lbs biscuits, ½-lb cocoa, 1lb milk, 1lb Lyle’s syrup, 1lb rice or dates, 1 small potted meat, 1 tablet soap, 1lb tin rations, 1lb tin sausages, 1lb sugar, 1lb suet pudding, ¼-lb chocolate, ½-lb tin veal, ham or beef, 1 packet Quaker oats, grape nuts or milk pudding, 2ozs tobacco, 1lb cured beef.
Relatives and friends who would like a parcel sent in their own names to local prisoners of war should send the cost of same, i.e. 15s, to the Hon Organising Secretary, Mr J Reginald Barker, 9 Regent Street, Rugby, who has undertaken this special service in the hope of maintaining the “ home-touch ” with the prisoners.
Correspondents should in every case quote the regimental number, rank and battalion of the prisoner in whom they are interested.
RUGBY FOOD CONTROL COMMITTEE.
At a meeting of this committee, held on Thursday in last week, there were present : Messrs T A Wise (chairman), H Tarbox (vice-chairman), Mrs Dewar, Mrs Shelley, Mrs Townsend, Messrs A Appleby, J Cripps, G Cooke, T Ewart, R Griffin, A Humphrey, C Gay, W A Stevenson, and A T Watson.
The Executive Officer (Mr F M Burton) intimated that the butchers had decided to take all imported meat for the week ended August 10th, and all English meat for the following three weeks.—Mr Cooke : I admire their decision. Everybody will be away next week.
The Executive Officer reported that the work in connection with the new ration books had now been completed, and the committee passed a vote of thanks to Mr J T Clarke and the ladies who had rendered voluntary assistance.
It was reported that the Housewives’ Committee had distributed the cheese handed over to them by the committee.—The Executive Officer stated that the Housewives’ Committee had been accused of making a profit out of the cheese by charging 8½d per lb for it, but that was the price they paid to the Food Control Committee. These accusations had been made, not by the people who had received the cheese, but by those who wanted to buy some and had been unable to do so.—Mrs Shelley said members of the Housewives’ Committee had been insulted by many people, who had said they were liable to be prosecuted for charging the extra ½d per lb.—The Executive Officer : It is not Government cheese.
It was decided to grant facilities to the committee arranging the Rugby Hospital Fete to obtain supplies for refreshments; and the Executive Officer was directed to make the necessary arrangements.
The Education Committee of the Co-operative Society wrote stating that the annual children’s treat was to be held on August 10th, and requesting the committee to allot 40lbs of fat to the Confectionery Department of the Society to make 2,000 small cakes for the children, and also to allow them ½-lb of tea.—The Executive Officer pointed out that all the fat was allotted, so that the committee could not allow the society an extra supply.—A member suggested that dripping should be used ; but the Executive Officer replied that coupons were required for this ; 1lb of dripping could be obtained for one coupon.—Mrs Shelley said the usual tea now had to be dispensed with ; but the committee wished to give each child a small cake, otherwise they would get very hungry.—The Chairman said the New Bilton children had their annual treat in his field the previous day, and he was very much struck by the fact that they all brought their tea with them ; even the smallest infant brought a small parcel.—It was decided that no additional fat could be allotted for this purpose ; but the committee agreed to offer the promoters permission to obtain sufficient tea for each child.
Permission was given to the committee of the Hillmorton Show and Sports to purchase 3lbs of tea for supplying refreshments.
The Executive .Officer reported that 15 licenses for the sale of meat without coupons were granted on the previous Saturday evening in respect of 274lbs of beef and 325lbs of brawn, suet, &c. This showed a decrease of 276lbs of beef and an increase of 225lbs of other meat.
“ WAR BREAD ” AND ITS EFFECT.—A searching enquiry into the effect of the war bread and flour on the general health of the population in typical industrial areas has been made by the Local Government Board, and the results are now under the consideration of the Minister of Food. The general deduction is the war bread and war flour are to be considered as only among the many factors affecting the health of the community. Other elements, such as the diminished supply of fats, the rationing of meat, and the scarcity and enhanced price of fruit and fresh vegetables enter into the calculation, and all have their effect on the general health. As far as bread and flour are concerned, the worst days are over.
WASPS AND FRUIT.—While there have been no general complaints this year as to the presence of wasps nests, reports have been received from one or two districts, in which it is said that nests appear to be rather numerous. It may be well, therefore, to remind leaders to keep a look-out for nests, and to destroy them by any of the well-known methods. There is so little fruit this year that it would be a pity if that little were to be eaten by wasps ; while, further, wasps’ nests in the harvest fields may at any time lead to serious accidents.
The date for returns of Registration Forms expired on the 31st ult, but a large number of owners of goods-carrying vehicles have failed to register. Another 14 days has, therefore, been granted, but particular stress is laid on the fact that if any owner fails to register he not only becomes liable to serious penalties, but will probably have his vehicles impounded, licenses cancelled, and petrol removed. All goods-carrying vehicles (except horse-drawn up to 15cwt load capacity) must be registered and permits issued for use thereof.
HOLIDAY BOOKINGS FROM RUGBY.
Not since the critical days of August, 1914, has there been such an exodus of holiday makers from Rugby as was experienced during the week-end. Many people, with a patriotism which is commendable, if hardly wise from a health point of view, have dispensed with their regular holidays since the beginning of the War, but the constant strain and stress of war conditions has been such that in many cases the only alternative to a break down in health has been a complete rest far away from all the worries, anxieties, and petty annoyances of business. This being so, a number of local businesses establishments closed on Saturday evening for the week ; while other traders suspended business until Thursday morning. The large works also closed on Friday for ten days, and this afforded many of the workers an opportunity, of which full advantage was taken, of accompanying their families on holiday.
The bookings at the L & N-W Railway were exceptionally heavy, Blackpool and North Wales, with about 250 each, attracting the largest numbers of visitors. Scottish, Irish, and South Coast resorts were also well patronised. Friday and Saturday were the two busiest days, and on Monday and Tuesday the local bookings were very heavy.
“ The busiest time we have had since the War started ” is the report of an official at the Crest Central Station. All the trains were packed to their utmost capacity, and the rush of passengers was reminiscent of pre-war excursions to Cleethorpes and other popular seaside resorts. Bookings to the West of England, London, Yorkshire, and Cleethorpes were exceptionally heavy ; but all through bookings to Scarborough and the North-East Coast watering places were suspended. Owing to the inclement weather, the number of short-distance tickets issued on Bank Holiday was rather below the average.
BARNWELL.—On August 2nd, at the Military Heart Hospital, Colchester, Pte. FREDERIC BARNWELL, 1st Battalion, R.M.L.I., aged 31 years.—“ Peace, perfect peace.”
ARIS.—In loving memory of Lance-Corpl. MARK ARIS, killed in action on August 6, 1915.
“ There is a link Death cannot sever,
Love and remembrance last for ever.”
—Fondly remembered by his loving Sisters and Brothers.
PURTON.—In loving memory of my dear son, Lance-Corpl. G. H. PURTON, late Oxon and Bucks L.I., who died of wounds in France on August 6, 1916 ; aged 24 years. Also of my dear husband, HARRY PURTON, who passed away on December 3, 1912 ; aged 43 years.
“ Can we forget them ?
Ah! no, never,
For memory’s golden chain
Binds us on earth
To them in heaven
Until We meet again.”
—From Mother, Ernest, Rose, and Violet.
REYNOLDS.—In ever-loving memory of my dear husband, Pte. HARRY REYNOLDS, who died of wounds received in action at St. John’s Ambulance Hospital, France, on August 12, 1917.—“ R.I.P.”—Sadly missed by his Wife and Children, Spencer and Eva.