Bosworth, Frederick Albert. Died 30th Jun 1919

Frederick Albert BOSWORTH deserves our admiration as one of the longest serving and most decorated soldiers commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates.  He was already a member of the Territorial ‘Rugby Howitzer Battery’ before the war; and went to war with them and won the Military Medal and Bar, the French Medaille Militaire, and was Mentioned in Dispatches; he was wounded and gassed, and then volunteered for further service in Russia where he was killed in action in June 1919.  He became Rugby’s last ‘official’ Casualty on the War Memorial Gates.

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Frederick Albert BOSWORTH was born in about mid-1895 in Bitteswell.  He was the son of Frederick Bosworth [b.c.1866 in Lutterworth] and Mary Anne ‘Annie’, née Wright, Bosworth [b.c.1863 in Bitteswell], whose marriage was registered in Q4, 1894 in Leicester.  It was her second marriage.

In 1901, Frederick’s father, Frederick senior, was a ‘house painter.  The family were all living at Bitteswell.  As well as his and Annie’s three young children, there were the three older Wright step-sons aged 14, 11 and 9 from Annie’s previous marriage.

Before 1911, the family had moved to Rugby and Frederick Albert had attended the Murray School.  In 1911 they were living in a seven room house at 86 Bath Street, Rugby.  Frederick snr. was a ‘house painter’ for the builders – Messrs Linnell & Son.[1]  He had been married 17 years and they had four children.  Frederick Albert was now an ‘apprentice turner’ for a ‘mechanical engineers’, Willans and Robinson.  The other three younger children would have been at school.  Two of his wife’s Wright boys were also at home and working as a ‘fitter’ and an ‘apprentice fitter’ respectively also at a ‘mechanical engineers’ – probably also at Willans and Robinson.

Before the War, Frederick had been a member of the Territorial ‘Rugby Howitzer Battery’ – this was more properly named the 5th Warwickshire (Rugby) Howitzer Battery, 4th South Midland (Howitzer) Brigade.  From 1908 the Rugby Battery had been in temporary headquarters at the Willans and Robinson’s Engineering Works in Newbold Road, Rugby, so perhaps Frederick had seen them when he was an apprentice, and it may not be a surprise that he joined them.  In 1910, they moved to a new headquarters at 72 Victoria Avenue, Rugby, known locally as the Rowland Street Drill Hall.[2]

Whilst no Service Record survived, some details of Frederick’s service can be gleaned from his Medal Card and his CWGC entry.  Frederick was a gunner with the early number ‘233’, in the 5th Warwickshire (Rugby) Howitzer Battery.  His name and number are confirmed in the listings in the papers and diaries of its commanding officer, Col. Frank West.[3]

The Battery was the first territorial artillery unit to go to France, and they went from Southampton to Le Havre, France, on 30 March 1915.  The locations where the Battery served can be found on-line, in extracts from the Brigade Diaries.[4]  They served together until the artillery reorganisation in May 1916.

In May 1916 Brigades in the British Artillery were renumbered.  The 4th South Midland became 243 Brigade.  But its men were scattered.  The Howitzer Brigades in the British Field Artillery were split up, and their guns, officers, men and support staff redistributed to Brigades previously armed with 18 pounder guns.  … The 5th Howitzer Battery from the 4th South Midland Brigade was allocated to 241 Brigade (previously 2nd South Midland, Worcester) …[5]

During the re-organisation, Frederick was one of the men on the 5th Battery transfer list.  This listed the men of 243rd Brigade who were transferred to form the ‘D’ Howitzer battery of the 241st Brigade in May 1916.  The list included ‘No.233 Gnr. Bosworth, F.A.’[6]

During 1916, in a letter published, no doubt coincidentally, in the Rugby Advertiser on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, Frederick described some of his duties, and that he had been ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’.

Gunner F Bosworth, D Battery, 241st (S.M Brigade) R.F.A, an Old Murrayian, was mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s last despatch.  In a letter to his old schoolmaster, Mr W T Coles Hodges, he says:- “I am a telephonist in our Battery, and in this work we have many opportunities of taking part in some of the exciting incidents of this War, and it is in these little stunts that they have evidently thought me worth mentioning.”[7]

From the date of the article, his gallant actions must have been undertaken before 1 July 1916, although a later article mentioned the date as 21 July!  However, before August 1916, Frederick had been awarded a Military Medal for his actions, as reported in a long article in the Rugby Advertiser.  It was reported that he went ‘… out under heavy fire several times to repair the telephone wire in order to keep up communication with the battery’.  A later report stated that he had been ‘Repairing telephone lines and bringing in wounded under heavy shellfire.’ 

MILITARY MEDAL FOR A RUGBY HOWITZER MAN.
Battery Sergt-Major George Hopewell, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, writing to Mr A Adnitt, as Hon. Secretary of the Rugby Territorials Comforts Association to thank him for parcels of comforts received, adds:-
“ You will be pleased to know that one of our boys, Gunner Bosworth, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the field on July 21st, going out under heavy fire several times to repair the telephone wire in order to keep up communication with the battery. He was also mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s despatch for distinguished conduct in the field.
“ We have been in the thick of the fighting since July 1st, but have been very fortunate as regards casualties, as we have had only five wounded – Corpl Hipwell, Bombardiers Smith and Rixom, and Gunners Seaton and Packwood.
“ I dare say you read in the papers about our Division, together with the Anzacs, taking one of the most important points along the front on July 23rd. They were congratulated by the Commander-in-Chief and the Corps Commander on their performance.”
Gunner Bosworth is the son of Mr G Bosworth, who formerly worked as a painter for Messrs Linnell & Son, but has now removed to Essex.  His grandfather resides at Lutterworth.
In a letter to his old schoolmaster, Gunner Bosworth, an Old Murrayian, says:- “On the morning of the ‘big push’ I was on duty at our observation station, and had occasion to go out on the line and repair breakages caused by the shelling.  The O.C. was good enough to bring the incident to the notice of the General, and I have since heard the good news of being granted the above medal.”

HIGH PRAISE FOR THE HOWITZER BRIGADE.
The following letter from the Brigadier Commanding the Artillery Division to the O.C’s of the Batteries and Ammunition Columns, will be of much local interest :—
“ Will you please convey to all ranks my appreciation of the excellent work performed by the batteries and D.A.C during the last five weeks.  The preparation of gun positions for the July offensive entailed continuous and very hard work on the batteries, but this labour was well repaid in the fewness of the casualties suffered at the guns.  The Division subsequently taking over reported that they were the best positions they had yet seen.
“ The continual night firing has been particularly trying, but the shooting was consistently good, which reflects great credit on all ranks, and the successes gained by the Infantry were, in the words of the Divisional Commander, largely due to the effective support rendered by the Artillery.  I hope during this week all ranks will be able to get the rest which they all deserve.[8]

Frederick’s Military Medal was ‘gazetted’ in August 1916,
War Office, 23rd August, 1916. His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to award the Military Medal for bravery in the field to the under-mentioned Non-commissioned Officers and Men: – 233 Gunner F. A. Bosworth, R.F.A.[9]

In the reorganisation of the artillery, Frederick received a new number 840058, and at some date, probably after his actions in 1916, been promoted to Bombardier.  On 16 April 1917, Frederick had been in action which resulted in him being awarded a Bar to his Military Medal, and he had written of his experiences to his old schoolmaster.  It was later reported that he had been ‘Maintaining communications under heavy shell fire’.

HOWITZER BATTERY MAN HONOURED.
Bombardier F Bosworth, the R.F.A, has written to his old schoolmaster, Mr W T Coles Hodges, informing him that he has been awarded a bar to his Military Medal for bravery on the night of April 16th.  Another bombardier was awarded the Military Medal for the same deed.  He adds that, having been mentioned in despatches and awarded the Military Medal and a bar to same, he so far carries the honours of the Battery.[10]

The second award was gazetted in July 1917.
His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of a Bar to the Military Medal to the under-mentioned Non-commissioned Officers and Men: –
840058 Bombr. F. A. Bosworth, R.F.A.  … (M.M.s gazetted 23rd August, 1916.)[11]

The same action also led to the award of the equivalent French decoration, the Medaille Militaire, which was reported in the Rugby Advertiser in June 1917, and was formally ‘gazetted’ in July 1917.

BOMBARDIER BOSWORTH AGAIN HONOURED.
Bombardier F Bosworth, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, has been awarded the Medaille Militaire for the same action that gained for him the bar to his Military Medal.[12]

Medaille Militaire … 840058 Bombardier Frederick Bosworth, Royal Field Artillery.[13]

In August 1917 Frederick was severely wounded, and probably gassed, and it seems he was evacuated back to England for hospital treatment.  It seems that on 25 November 1917, the opportunity was taken to present him with his medals at Chatham.  The Rugby Advertiser reported in detail.

PRESENTATION TO A HOWITZER MAN.
On the occasion of the presentation of medals at Chatham on the 25th inst, Bombardier F A Bosworth R.F.A, was the recipient of medals.  The presentation was made by Colonel H R Adair, Commander Royal Artillery, Thames and Medway Garrison, who said: “The Royal Artillery has no colours.  Our colours are the proud traditions of our Regiment, to which we cling, and around which we rally, just as other Corps have rallied round their Banners.  It is men like Bombardier Bosworth who not only preserve these traditions, but, who, by their deeds, actually add to and ennoble them.  I am proud to stand here to-day representing His Majesty the King, who, you will remember is our Colonel-in-Chief, to present to Bombardier Bosworth, on his behalf, two medals, which he has gained by his own brave hands.  They are the Military Medal of England and the Military Medal of France.”
“ The records of the deeds for which he has won these read as follows:- Military Medal of England: “Repairing telephone lines and bringing in wounded under heavy shellfire.”  Bar to Military Medal of England and Military Medal of France: “Maintaining communications under heavy shell fire.”
“ These medals are a proud possession for himself and splendid heirlooms for his kindred to possess.  On behalf of our Country, our allies in France, our Regiment and its Colonel-In-Chief our King.  I shake hands with Bombardier Bosworth and wish him health and happiness and long life to wear his noble distinctions.”[14]

There do not appear to be any further details of his actions in the war, however, after the Armistice, hostilities continued in Russia until 1920, where there was still fighting in support of the ‘White Russians’ against the ‘Bolsheviks’. It seems that although he was still weak from his wounds and suffering from the effects of gas, it seems that Frederick ‘… was quite ready carry on in North Russia when the call came for help.’  He joined the 420th Battery, Royal Field Artillery, which served in Russia with the North Russian Expeditionary Force from September 1918 to July 1919.[15]

Frederick Bosworth was ‘killed in action’ on 30 June 1919.  He was buried in a local churchyard at Lumbushi Chyd, Russia.  His grave was marked by a wooden cross with his particulars, and also ‘RIP’ and ‘Killed in Action’.  ‘The grave was enclosed by a wooden fence about one foot high.’

It was intended that these isolated graves should be ‘concentrated’ and it was intended that his body would be exhumed and moved to the Murmansk New British Cemetery, where the graves could be more properly attended.  This was not permitted by the Russians.

His gravestone had already been prepared, and included the family inscription, ‘He Loved Honour More Than He Feared Death’.  It was placed instead as ‘Special Memorial ref: B. 4.’ on the wall of the Murmansk Cemetery.

Murmansk New British Cemetery was made in 1930.  The 40 burials were moved in from the Old British Cemetery that had been used by No 86 General Hospital in 1918-1919.  The special memorials commemorate officers and men known to have been buried in cemeteries elsewhere in the Murman area.  The cemetery now contains 83 burials and commemorations of the First World War.

In August 1919, the Rugby Advertiser wrote,
POPULAR RUGBY N.C.O.’s DEATH.
CORPORAL BOSWORTH KILLED IN RUSSIA.

Further details are to hand in regard to Corpl. Frederick Albert Bosworth, who, as announced in our last issue, was recently killed in action while serving with the R.F.A. with the North Russian Expeditionary Force.  Cpl. Bosworth was member the Rugby Howitzer Battery the time the war broke out, his home address being 86 Bath Street.  He remained with the local battery during its service in France until he was severely wounded in August, 1917.  For his services over there he was awarded the Military Medal, and later a bar, and the Medaille Militaire.  Although weak from his wounds and suffering from the effects of gas, Cpl. Bosworth was quite ready carry on in North Russia when the call came for help.  It was quite evident from letters received from his officers that Cpl. Bosworth did justice to his own reputation and to the good name of the battery.  The deceased corporal was at one time employed as an apprentice at Messrs. Willans and Robinson’s works, and was familiarly known to his many friends as ‘Sammy’.[16]

As well as his awards for gallantry, the Military Medal and Bar and the French, Medaille Militaire, Frederick Albert BOSWORTH was awarded the Victory and British medals and the 1914-1915 Star.  He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate.

His father and mother moved to ‘Essex’ before 1916, and after the war their contact address for the CWGC was ‘Medveza-Gora’, Hemitage Road, Higham, Rochester.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article on Frederick Albert BOSWORTH 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, October 2018.

[1]      The manager of the business, the son of its owner, William Henry LINNELL, died of wounds received in the German ‘Operation Mchael’ Offensive in 1918.  He died in hospital in Rouen on 8 April 1918 – see ‘Rugby Remembers’ for 8 April 2018, at https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2018/04/08/linnell-william-henry-died-8th-apr-1918/.

[2]      See https://sites.google.com/site/4thsouthmidlandbrigade/Home/dates-and-places-served-1, for the details of the Battery’s locations and postings.

[3]      https://sites.google.com/site/4thsouthmidlandbrigade/Home/5th-battery-list-1918.

[4]      https://sites.google.com/site/4thsouthmidlandbrigade/Home/dates-and-places-served-1.

[5]      https://sites.google.com/site/4thsouthmidlandbrigade/Home.

[6]      The list is in an Appendix to TNA ref: WO 95/2749, War Diary, 241 Brigade Royal Field Artillery, May 1916.

[7]      https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2016/06/30/1st-jul-1916-charge-against-an-enemy-alien-dismissed/, as transcribed from Rugby Advertiser, 1 July 1916.

[8]      https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2016/08/12/12th-aug-1916-down-with-diphtheria-but-not-depressed/, as transcribed from Rugby Advertiser, 12 August 1916.

[9]      The London Gazette, Supplement:29719, Page:8360, 22 August 1916, also, The Edinburgh Gazette, Issue:12976, Page:1490, 24 August 1916.

[10]     https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2017/06/06/2nd-jun-1917-cooking-demonstration-at-rugby/, as transcribed from Rugby Advertiser, 6 June 1917.

[11]     The London Gazette, Supplement 30172, Page 6824, 6 July 1917.

[12]     https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2017/06/16/16th-jun-1917-doctors-and-the-war-appeal-to-the-public/, as transcribed from Rugby Advertiser, 16 June 1917.

[13]     The Edinburgh Gazette, Issue 13114, Page 1369, 17 July 1917.

[14]     https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/1st-dec-1917-presentation-to-a-howitzer-man/, as transcribed from Rugby Advertiser, 1 December 1917.

[15]     TNA ref: WO 95/5426, 420 Battery Royal Field Artillery, Russia, September 1918 – July 1919.

[16]     Rugby Advertiser, Friday, 8 August 1919.

 

Renshaw, Alfred James. Died 23rd Oct 1918

Alfred James RENSHAW was born in Rugby in 1896 and his birth was registered in Q2, 1896.   He was baptised on 8 November 1896 at St. Andrew’s church, Rugby; when his family lived at 63 Cambridge Street and his father was a ‘Fireman’.  He was the second son, and the third child of five, of William Renshaw (b.c.1867 in Rugby) and Elizabeth, née Clarke, Renshaw (b.c.1867 in Yelvertoft).  Their marriage was registered in Q2, 1892, in Rugby.

In 1901, when Alfred was four, the family was living at 121 Cambridge Street, Rugby.  Alfred’s father was a ‘railway engine stoker’.  It seems from a later letter (below) that he would become a pupil at Murray School.

In 1911, the family was living at 149 Oxford Street, Rugby; Alfred was 14 and an ‘Errand Boy’ at the B.T.H. works.  His elder brother and sister both worked for the ‘Co-op Society’, as a ‘baker’ and a ‘shop assistant’ respectively.  His father had been promoted and was now an ‘engine driver’.  His parents had been married for 19 years and had had five children, all of whom were living.

At some date before to the war, it seems that Alfred had followed in his father’s career footsteps, and had moved to work for the L & N-W Railway, as shown in an article in the Rugby Advertiser in September 1914, entitled ‘Rugby’s Magnificent Response’, which included Alfred’s name.
The following is a list of men from the Locomotive Department of the L & N-W Railway at Rugby …, A J Renshaw, … [1]

It is not known exactly when Alfred joined up, but it must have been early in the war, indeed he was probably already in the Territorial ‘Rugby Howitzer Battery’, as his Medal Card states that he went to France on 31 March 1915, and thus qualified for the 1914-15 Star.  The card shows that he was initially in a Territorial battery of the Royal Field Artillery [RFA] and he had the very early number 52.  This early form of number, would also tend to confirm that he was already a member of the ‘Rugby Howitzer Battery’ in the local 1st/1st Warwickshire Royal Horse Artillery (Territorial Forces).  A number of other Rugby casualties served in this Battery, including: Corporal, No.187, Thomas J Smith,[2] from B.T.H. who was wounded and died of his wounds on 21 March 1918; and Lance Bombardier, No.99, C. S. Collins,[3] also from B.T.H., who died from his wounds, on the 24 October 1918, the day after Alfred.

Alfred Renshaw was confirmed as a member of the ‘Rugby Howitzer Battery’ – the 4th South Midland (Howitzer), 243 Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, 5th Rugby Battery, – in a list of the men in the papers of Frank West,[4] which included,
‘Renshaw, A. J., 52, Gnr’

A note on the later renumbering of RFA members also gives some confirmatory information.
These “long” [six figure] numbers came into use on 1 January 1917, even though the men on active service to whom they were allocated were by that time in other Brigades. … Sampling the medal cards shows that some of the men with lower service numbers on this list who usually have short service numbers too, went out to France when the 4th South Midland Brigade was first sent overseas, arriving in France, 31 March 1915.  … All men who served overseas before the end of 1915 received the 1915 Star and the qualifying date is often marked on their medal cards.

The above date, 31 March 1915, agrees with the date of entry to France on Alfred’s Medal Card – and confirms that he was originally with the 4th South Midland (Howitzer) Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.

The Battery was recalled from summer camp for training in the Chelmsford area in August 1914, and sailed from Folkestone to Boulogne in ‘mid March 1915’ and concentrated near Cassel.  The Battery left the Division on 16 April 1915.  A summary of their activity from Wikipedia,[5] is given below – it can be seen that there was considerable movement of units, and it is likely that men were also cross-posted, leading to Alfred’s alternate numbers.

The South Midland Division was ordered to join the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in France on 13 March 1915, and the artillery embarked at Southampton for Le Havre, the 1/1st Battery disembarking on 31 March.  By 4 April the division had taken over a section of the front line near Cassel.

However, artillery policy in the BEF was to withdraw heavy batteries from the divisions and group them into dedicated heavy artillery brigades, so on 16 April the battery left the South Midland Division to join Second Army Artillery in time for the Second Battle of Ypres.  At this time the practice was to move batteries between heavy brigades (later heavy artillery groups or HAGs) as required, so the 1/1st Warwickshire Bty moved to XVI Brigade RGA on 10 June, to VIII Brigade RGA on 3 July, to III Corps Artillery with First Army on 21 August, and IV Heavy Bde on 10 November.

In early 1916 the battery was moved again, to 12th HAG with Second Army (10 April), to ‘Loring’s Group’ with I ANZAC Corps (19 May), then to 44th (South African) HAG (5 August), and on to 34th HAG (27 August), which joined Fourth Army on the Somme in September. After the Somme fighting died down, the battery moved within Fourth Army to 7th HAG (30 November) and back to 44th (SA) HAG (23 December).

By the end of 1916 the obsolete 4.7-inch gun had been largely superseded on the Western Front by the modern 60-pounder.  On 28 February 1917 the battery was made up to a strength of six guns when it was joined by a section from the newly-arrived 199th Heavy Bty.  It then moved north on 13 March to join 15th HAG with First Army, arriving on 21 March. Soon afterwards (15 April) it was switched south again to Fifth Army where it joined 9th HAG on 20 April.  Through the early summer the battery continued to be switched rapidly from one HAG to another: 42nd (arriving 19 May), 16th with Third Army (5 July), 52nd with Second Army (9 July), 99th (12 July), then back to 52nd (6 August), and finally 11th (7 September).

By now, Second Army was involved in the Third Ypres Offensive, taking the lead at the Battles of the Menin Road Ridge, Polygon Wood and Broodseinde, which were notable artillery victories. The 60-pounders were used for counter-battery fire before the attack, and then as part of the creeping barrage that led the infantry onto their objectives.  However, the subsequent attacks (the Battles of Poelcappelle, First Passchendaele and Second Passchendaele) were failures. The British batteries were clearly observable from the Passchendaele Ridge and suffered badly from counter-battery fire, while their own guns sank into the mud and became difficult to aim and fire.

While the Ypres offensive was still continuing, the German and Austrian victory at Caporetto on the Italian Front led to British forces being rushed from Flanders to shore up the Italian Army. Even before their defeat the Italians had asked for the loan of heavy artillery, and now a number of units were hurriedly sent by rail, including 1/1st Warwickshire Battery, which went on 14 November.

In February 1916 Alfred was still with the Rugby Howitzer Battery, although a comment ‘I arrived safely back …’, suggests he may have had some leave in late 1915 or early 1916.

OLD MURRAYIAN WITH THE HOWITZER BATTERY.
Gunner A J Renshaw, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, in a letter to his old schoolmaster, says :— “I arrived safely back to the land of mud and water, commonly known as ‘Sunny France.’ During my absence there was plenty of fun going on, and ‘Fritz’ and his ‘brudders’ gave our infantry a surprise visit the other night, but as they strongly objected to their presence in our lines they ‘struck oil’ somewhat and were soon out again on the hop.  Since then we have returned their visit with much more success.  Of late considerable activity has been shown, and by now they are aware of the fact that we are out for business, for we have given them ‘cold feet’ this last month or so, and soon you may here with confidence of our continued success.  Of that there is very little doubt.  We shall fight until we have avenged the dastardly atrocities they have committed in France and Belgian.”[6]

It seems that in the 1916 reorganisations of the Royal Field Artillery, Alfred Renshaw was renumbered and transferred, at least latterly, into the Royal Garrison Artillery, (TF), as a Gunner, No: 314639.  He was also – before or afterwards – in the Royal Field Artillery as Gnr. No: 832129, possibly as a temporary or earlier appointment, as the CWGC still had him listed in the Royal Garrison Artillery.

The UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919 records that he was formerly No: 832129, 4th South Midland Howitzer Brigade, R.F.A.; and was then a Gunner, No: 314639, in South Midland (Warwickshire) Heavy Battery. [RGA – (TF)], Royal Garrison Artillery.

The Medal Role for the British War Medal and Victory Medal also states that he was ‘RFA. 832129 Gnr, RGA. (TF)’ and also ‘Gunner, 314639, Royal Garrison Artillery, South Midland (Warwickshire) Heavy Battery. [RGA – (TF)]’.

In May 1916, before the Battle of the Somme, the Brigades in the British Artillery were renumbered.  The 4th South Midland became 243 Brigade, but some of its men were scattered, and that may have been when Alfred was posted to the Royal Garrison Artillery.

It seems that later his first Battery was sent to Italy, but Alfred died in France, so he was not with them.  With no service records and the surviving information not giving any specific unit numbers, it seems almost impossible to be absolutely certain where he was when he was wounded.  It would probably have been by counter battery fire, as the Germans tried to halt the advancing allied forces.

However, as the CWGC has him with the 2nd/1st Lancashire Heavy Battery, RGA, it may be possible to hazard a guess.  The 2nd/1st LHB RGA was part of the 57th West Lancashire Division.  They joined the Division on 26 November 1915, received four 4.7-inch guns on 29 December 1915, and later moved independently to France, arriving on 1 July 1916 and coming initially under orders of II Anzac Corps.[7]

In 1918 the Division was engaged in:
The Battles of the Lys (9-29 April) (Divisional artillery only); the Battle of the Scarpe (26-30 August) and the Battle of the Drocourt-Queant Line (2-3 September) both being phases of the Second Battles of Arras 1918.  The Battle of the Canal du Nord (27 September-1 October) and the Battle of the Cambrai (8-9 October), in which the Division assisted in the capture of Cambrai, and both of which were phases of the Battles of the Hindenburg Line.  The occupation of Lille (17 October), and the general final advance in Artois (15 October-1 November), both being phases of the Final Advance in Artois.

The War Diary, [8] provides some indication of the activities of the 57th Division artillery.

In September, the focus of the advance was in the Cambrai area with the Divisional artillery supporting the advance as the troops moved forward toward Cambrai from the west, advancing from Graincourt, to Anneux, Cantaig-sur-Escaut, then around the south of Cambrai, to Proville, Niergnies and on to Awoingt.  Cambrai was taken in this period.

Then in October the Division was moved north via Fromelles to assist the attacks in the Lille area.  During the month the troops advanced and took Lille and passed it by via Hellemmes and on towards Froyennes, near Tournai.  However, in this period the War Diary[9] noted –

20 October – ‘Enemy resistance began to stiffen. …’.

23 October – ‘Hostile artillery continued harassing fire, mainly with field guns and trench mortars.’

The best information at present was that the 2nd/1st Lancashire Heavy Battery, RGA, was with the 57th Division and that Alfred would have been in the Lille area when he was wounded – presumably during the hostile artillery harassment.  Although he may have been wounded in later October, it  may have been in some earlier incident, as he had been evacuated a very considerable distance of some 260 kms, to one of the military hospitals at Rouen.  He died from his wounds, on the 23 October 1918, either in Rouen, or possibly on his way to a hospital there.  He was 22 years old.

After Alfred died, like the great majority of those who died in the various Rouen Hospitals, he was buried in the Rouen city cemetery of St. Sever, in the St Sever Cemetery Extension, in grave reference: S. II. FF. 12.

St. Sever Cemetery and St. Sever Cemetery Extension are located within a large communal cemetery situated on the eastern edge of the southern Rouen suburbs of Le Grand Quevilly and Le Petit Quevilly.   The Extension had been started in September 1916.  During the First World War, Commonwealth camps and hospitals were stationed on the southern outskirts of Rouen.  A base supply depot and the 3rd Echelon of General Headquarters were also established in the city.  Almost all of the hospitals at Rouen remained there for practically the whole of the war.  They included eight general, five stationary, one British Red Cross and one labour hospital, and No. 2 Convalescent Depot.  A number of the dead from these hospitals were buried in other cemeteries, but the great majority were taken to the city cemetery of St. Sever.  In September 1916, it was found necessary to begin an extension, where the last burial took place in April 1920.

Later, when a permanent gravestone replaced his temporary cross, it included his family’s message, ‘AT REST’.  The next of kin was recorded as ‘Mr. F. Keeley, 10 Lodge Road, Rugby’.  He was Alfred’s brother-in-law; Frank Keeley’s marriage to Alfred’s elder sister, Lilian, was registered in Rugby in Q2, 1917 [Rugby 6d,1369].

There were no obvious death notices or obituaries in the Rugby Advertiser, however, his death was noted in the Coventry Evening Telegraph.
‘The Roll of Honour – Coventry and District Casualties, Died of Wounds, Renshaw, 314639, Gunner, A. J. (Rugby), R.G.A.)’.[10]

Alfred James RENSHAW was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and also the 1914-15 Star.   He is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates and also on a family grave, No. K655, in the Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Alfred James RENSHAW 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 RFHG, August 2018.

[1]      Rugby Advertiser, 5 September 1914; also https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/5th-sep-1914-rugbys-magnificent-response/.

[2]      https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2018/03/21/smith-thomas-j-l-died-21st-mar-1918/.

[3]      Rugby Remembers, C. S. Collins, 24 October 1918.

[4]      https://sites.google.com/site/4thsouthmidlandbrigade/Home/5th-battery-list-1918.

[5]      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Midland_(Warwickshire)_Royal_Garrison_Artillery#cite_note-15.

[6]      Rugby Advertiser, 26 February 1916; see also: https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2016/02/26/26th-feb-1916-restrictions-on-the-use-of-paper/.

[7]      https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/57th-2nd-west-lancashire-division/, The Long Long Trail, The history of 57th (2nd West Lancashire) Division.

[8]      UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery, 57th Division, Piece 2968/2: Commander Royal Artillery (1917 Feb – 1919 Mar).

[9]      UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery, 57th Division, Piece 2968/2: Commander Royal Artillery (1917 Feb – 1919 Mar).

[10]     Coventry Evening Telegraph, Tuesday, 26 November 1918.

Hardman, Charles Henry. Died 21st Mar 1918.

Charles Henry Hardman was born in Rugby in 1892. He was baptised on 13th Mar 1892 at Bilton Church.   He was the eldest child of James Hardman and Elizabeth née Giles who were married at St Matthews on 19th Oct 1890.

To start with, the family lived at 3 Vine Place, but by 1901, when William was 9, they had moved to Overslade. Father James was a Domestic Groom.

By 1911 James and Elizabeth Hardman had 7 children, four more sons and two daughters. They lived at 36 Union Street Rugby and Charles was an Engineers machinist at B.T.H.

The following year Charles married Margaret A Salmon (or Salman). They had two children: Annie E in late 1912 and George H in 1914. Margaret later lived in Leamington

Charles Henry Hardman was mobilised with the Howitzer Battery at the start of the war and arrived in France on 31st Mar 1915 as a gunner (no.134, later 840128) with the Royal Field Artillery. He served with the 56 Battery, first with the 44 Howitzer Brigade and then from 26 May 1916 with the 34th Brigade. He would have taken part in most of the major battles of the war., including Operation Michael.

Gunner Charles Henry Hardman died on the 21st Mar 1918. He must have been killed in the Battle of St Quentin, as the site of the cemetery where he is buried, Neuville-Bourjonval was lost to the Germans on the 22nd, not to be retaken until the following September.

He was buried in a communal grave and his stone states he was “buried near this spot.”

He is also remembered on the BTH Memorial.

Charles was the third of the Hardman sons to die. Walter died in 1915 and William in 1917.

James Hardman, of 9 James Street, Rugby, took part in the opening of the Rugby Memorial gates in 1922. He pulled a cord releasing the Union Jacks to reveal the gates.

Rugby Advertiser 17th Mar 1922

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

30th Dec 1916. Military Cross for Old St Matthew’s Boy

MILITARY CROSS FOR OLD ST. MATTHEW’S BOY.

The Military Cross has been awarded to Capt Tom Marriott, son of the late Mr J Marriott, who resided at Stratford-on-Avon for nearly 40 years.

Capt Marriott was in charge of a small post at Malingali, East Africa, and being attacked by superior German forces under General Wahle, put up an unexpected resistance. He held the post for four days, until the arrival of a relief force, which drove General Wahle’s forces back. Capt Marriott was promptly awarded the Military Cross.

Capt Marriott was a scholar at St Matthew’s School, under the late Mr Phillips. He was a Lieutenant in the United States Army at that time of the Spanish-American War, subsequently volunteering in the British army for the Boer War. He was one of the first to ride into Ladysmith at the relief of that town, and rose to the rank of Captain in the South African Light Horse. Since the Boer War he has been engaged in farming in South Africa, and on the outbreak of hostilities in 1914, again volunteered for active service, and was engaged with General Botha in German West Africa. On the subjugation of that colony his regiment was transferred to German East Africa. He was wounded in the arm at Malingali in July, the same place where in December he has gained the distinction of the award of the Military Cross.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mr PC Longney, deputy-organist at Catthorpe Parish Church, and a member of the choir of St Andrew’s Church, Rugby, has joined the A.S.C, and is proceeding to France this week.

LOCAL CASUALTIES.

HOWITZER BATTERY MAN KILLED.

Mrs Ingram, of 68 Victoria Street, New Bilton, has just received official information from the War Office that her son, Driver E (Ben) Ingram, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, was killed by a shell on December 8th. He was an old New Bilton Council School boy and a former member of the Boys’ Brigade, in which he was a stretcher bearer. He had been a member of the Howitzer Battery for six years, and prior to the outbreak of the war was an assistant in Mr J J McKinnell’s shop. He was 22 years of age, and was held in high esteem by all who knew him. In a letter to his parents, Capt Lister says : “ I can assure you that his death came as a great blow to the Battery. He was a great favourite, and always willing to do any work that was to be done. Personally, I feel the blow very much. He had been my servant ever since the Battery left England, and I know full well what a very good fellow he was.” Mrs Ingram has three other sons serving, or who have served. Corpl B Ingram, Coldstream Guards, who has gone all through the present War, is well known in local football circles ; Corpl T Ingram, R.W.R, has served since the commencement of the War ; and Corpl R Ingram, of the same regiment, has been discharged through injuries received on active service.

VICAR OF ST. MATTHEW’S GOING TO THE FRONT.

Arrangements have been made for the Rev C T Aston, vicar of St Matthew’s, to take charge of a hut in France, under the auspices of the Soldiers’ Christian Association. He expects to leave Rugby in the second or third week of January, and will probably be away for five or six months. The hut to be placed under Mr Aston’s charge is a new one, now approaching completion, and is nearer the trenches than any others provided by this association. Mr Aston will take with him the good wishes of his many friends in Rugby. During his absence the work at St Matthew’s will be under the care of the Rev P E Warrington (curate). The Rev Dr David and some of the masters at Rugby School have promised to help and other clergymen from a distance are giving assistance for week-ends.

THE WEATHER.

The weather during the Christmas season has been of a wintry character, but not exactly the kind that people usually like to see at this time of the years. Following a spell of frosty weather, there was a considerable fall of snow on Friday last week. On Saturday morning rain came down for a time, and this gradually changed to snow, and when this began to accumulate in a partly melted condition, roads and footpaths were before nightfall inches deep in slush, making it most uncomfortable for people to get about to do their shopping. During the night the remaining snow became frozen, and the surface was covered with ice. This state of affairs continued till Thursday, when a thaw set in. Vehicular traffic on the ice-bound roads was carried on with difficulty, and pedestrians found it necessary to walk with the greatest care. The temperature was not particularly low, but the air was at times very raw, and only for a few moments occasionally was a glimpse of the sum obtainable. On Wednesday there was a dense fog.

A FOOD INVENTORY.

The Food Control Department is engaged on an inventory of the national stocks, resources, and expected supplies of each of the principal articles of food. This is a necessary preliminary to the devising of plans for the equitable distribution of food, and when the stock-taking is completed, as it will be shortly, the exact form of these plans in the way of preventing wasteful and extravagant misuse of food will be devised. Meatless days and sugar rationing will be first taken into consideration.

SEED POTATOES.—Arrangements have been made by the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries with the Treasury to finance a scheme for the distribution of seed potatoes. The President has invited the County War Agricultural Committees to request Borough and Urban Councils and Parish Councils to ascertain what quantity of seed potatoes is required in each village ; to collect cash with orders and to distribute seed. It is proposed that arrangements should be made to deliver the potatoes at convenient distributing centres in 1-cwt bags. Not more than 5-cwt may be supplied to each grower and the range of varieties will necessarily be limited

Ingram, Ernest Benjamin. Died 9th Dec 1916

Gunner Ernest Benjamin Ingram
Service No: – 42
Royal Field Artillery
Cemetery/Memorial Name
Pozieres British Cemetery Ovillers-La Boiselle
Grave/Memorial Reference II. G. 4.

Ernest Benjamin Ingram was born in the third quarter of 1894 to Walter and Emily Ingram, and was baptised at St. Andrews Church Rugby September 1894, the family were at this time living at Ringrose Court, Rugby and Ernest father’s occupation is given as a labourer.

By the 1901 census they are at living at 40 Sun Street, Rugby and Walter, the father was not at home (perhaps he was working elsewhere). Ernest (Ben) was with his older brothers Tom, Bertie and Richard and sisters Margaret Ellen and Kimberly Bella. Tom was working as an errand boy and Ernest attended New Bilton Council School.By the 1911 census the family were living at 22 Bridget Street, Bilton, Rugby and have another boy Arthur Edward and their father, Walter, with them. He was a Stone Mason. Thomas is a Fishmonger, Bertie is a General Labourer and Richard is a Baths Attendant with the Rugby U. D. Council and Ernest is a Butchers Assistant, the other children are all at school.

Ernest’s father died in 1914, after Ernest had joined the army.  Ernest had signed a Territorial Force Attestation Paper in 1909 and was enlisted into the 11th South Mid (H) Battery Regiment and his age was 17 years 10 months. On his attestation paper his height was 5’ 5 ½’, his girth on expansion was 35’’, his health and his development were given as good. Ernest gave his employment as labourer. In December 1916 Ernest was with ‘D’ Battery 307th Brigade in France prior to the company moving to Greece when he was killed in action. Ernest’s mother, Emily, was informed of Ernest’s death. The following was in the Rugby Advertiser of 30th December 1916 under Local Casualties.

HOWITZER BATTERY MAN KILLED

Mrs Ingram of 68 Victoria Street, New Bilton, had received official information from the War Office that her son, Driver E (Ben) Ingram, of Rugby Howitzer Battery, was killed by a shell on December 8th. He was an old New Bilton Council School boy and a former member of the Boys’ Brigade, in which he was a stretcher bearer. He had been a member of the Howitzer Battery for six years, and prior to the outbreak of war was an assistant in Mr J J McKinnell’s shop.   He was 22 years of age, and was held in high esteem by all who knew him. In a letter to his parents, Capt. Lister says:

“I can assure you that his death came as a great blow to the Battery. He was a great favourite, and always willing to do any work that was to be done.   Personally, I feel the blow very much.   He had been my servant ever since the Battery left England, and I know full well what a very good fellow he was.”  

Mrs Ingram has three other sons serving, or have served. Corpl B Ingram, Coldstream Guards, who has gone all through the present War, is well known in local football circles; Corpl T. Ingram, R.W.R, has served since the commencement of the War; and Corpl R Ingram of the same regiment, has been discharged through injuries received on active service.

His only memorial after Rugby’s Memorial Gate is at Pozieres British Cemetery, Ovillers-Boiselle France.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Turner, Arthur James. Died 19th Sep 1916

Arthur James Turner was born in 1874 and baptised in Ditchingham in Norfolk on 27th September 1874. His parents were James and Hannah (nee Dodman) who had married in 1868. Hannah died and was buried in Hedenham, Norfolk on 22nd October 1880. She was aged 34 and left a husband and five children. Arthur James was aged only six.

Times must have been hard for the family. James was an agricultural labourer and in 1883 was summoned to the Petty Sessions in Loddon by the School Attendance Officer, for neglecting to send two children to school. He was fined 2s 6d in each case. Perhaps they were need to work in the fields.

We have been unable to find the family in the 1891 census. Arthur James would have been sixteen by this time. Around March 1894 he joined the army. He sent time in India with the Royal Field Artillery and was drafted to England to train recruits during the Boer War. In 1902 he married Lizzie Gertrude Stanley. Their first child, Cyril Arthur Stanley Turner was born in Ireland in 1903 and Leslie Alan followed in 1905 and Vera Evelyn in 1907. The family were living at Bulford Camp, in Wiltshire at the time. Their fourth child, Urban H Turner was born in Rugby in 1912.

Arthur James had been was appointed Battery Sergeant-Major and Instructor in Gunnery to the Rugby Howitzer Battery in March 1910.

According to the report in the Rugby Advertiser 7th Oct 1916

“After the general mobilisation in August 1914, Sergt-Major Turner was appointed to the Divisional Ammunition Column. He finished his term of 22 years in March last, but signed on again for the period of the war, and was transferred to another Division.”

At his death he served in “B” Bty, 95th Bde, Royal Field Artillery (No 3291)

He “was killed in action on September 19th. Mrs Turner has not received official news of her husband’s death, but the Chaplain of the Division to which he was attached has written saying that her husband’s battery had been in action where the fighting was hottest, and he was one of the brave men who had given their lives for his King and country. The Chaplain added that he had read the Burial Service over his grave, near the Battery position. B.S.M. Turner who was 42 years of age, had served 22 years in the R.F.A.

He is buried at Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, west of Longueval, where many of the dead from the Battle of the Somme were buried.

He is also remembered on the Croop Hill War Memorial in Rugby. His widow lived at 64 Victoria Avenue, New Bilton. She died in 1947, aged 76.

 

12th Aug 1916. Down With Diphtheria But Not Depressed

DOWN WITH DIPHTHERIA BUT NOT DEPRESSED.

A Rugbeian has this week received a letter from his brother, who is now in a hospital in France suffering from diphtheria :—

“. . . Many thanks for sending on the dictionary. I lost mine, and as my spelling deteriorated 50 per cent without a dictionary, a dictionary becomes a very important part of my equipment. I wanted a dictionary to find the meaning of the word ‘ scabies.’ It was not in the aforesaid—that’s the right word, isn’t it ?—book. I don’t think I need refer to the dictionary for that. Sit on a box of itch-he-coo powder, it will soon explain itself . . . As you remark, diphtheria is not to be treated lightly, but it’s not thought so serious as it used to be, thanks to the injection of an anti-toxin which consists of 4,000 germs which they inject in your chest. This little army proceeds in marching order and makes a rear attack on the enemy’s trenches. After repulsing a severe counter-attack, they succeeded in opening the lines of communication again, thus enabling me to talk to Nurse and also to partake in the jellies and custards, etc. A nice soft bed to lie on—the first bed for 15 months. I made a fuss of it, too, for eight or nine days. Sister daily takes your temperature, and feels your pulse, makes the bed, and tucks you up. Dear, dear. . . . who wouldn’t have diphtheria ? Now I am stage number two, making myself generally useful washing up pots and pans, laying tables, cutting bread-and-butter, etc. I have had one swab taken since being in hospital. They take a swab every week. If you get three negatives, you are free of the germ ; but if you have positive, you are a germ-carrier, and they keep you a bit longer. My first swab was a negative.

MILITARY MEDAL FOR A RUGBY HOWITZER MAN.

Battery Sergt-Major George Hopewell, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, writing to Mr A Adnitt, as hon secretary of the Rugby Territorials Comforts Association to thank him for parcels of comforts received, adds :—

“ You will be pleased to know that one of our boys, Gunner Bosworth, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the field on July 21st, going out under heavy fire several times to repair the telephone wire in order to keep up communication with the battery. He was also mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s despatch for distinguished conduct in the field.

“ We have been in the thick of the fighting since July 1st, but have been very fortunate as regards casualties, as we have had only five wounded—Corpl Hipwell, Bombardiers Smith and Rixom, and Gunners Seaton and Packwood.

“ I dare say you read in the papers about our Division, together with the Anzacs, taking one of the most important points along the front on July 23rd. They were congratulated by the Commander-in-Chief and the Corps Commander on their performance.”

Gunner Bosworth is the son of Mr G Bosworth, who formerly worked as a painter for Messrs Linnell & Son, but has now removed to Essex. His grandfather resides at Lutterworth.

In a letter to his old schoolmaster, Gunner Bosworth, an Old Murrayian, says :- “ On the morning of the ‘ big push ‘ I was on duty at our observation station, and had occasion to go out on the line and repair breakages caused by the shelling. The O.C. was good enough to bring the incident to the notice of the General, and I have since heard the good news of being granted the above medal.”

HIGH PRAISE FOR THE HOWITZER BRIGADE.

The following letter from the Brigadier Commanding the Artillery Division to the O.C’s of the Batteries and Ammunition Columns, will be of much local interest :—

“ Will you please convey to all ranks my appreciation of the excellent work performed by the batteries and D.A.C during the last five weeks. The preparation of gun positions for the July offensive entailed continuous and very hard work on the batteries, but this labour was well repaid in the fewness of the casualties suffered at the guns. The Division subsequently taking over reported that they were the best positions they had yet seen.

“ The continual night firing has been particularly trying, but the shooting was consistently good, which reflects great credit on all ranks, and the successes gained by the Infantry were, in the words of the Divisional Commander, largely due to the effective support rendered by the Artillery. I hope during this week all ranks will be able to get the rest which they all deserve.

DEFEAT OF THE TURKS.

WARWICKSHIRE YEOMANRY DO WELL.

The Turks on Friday last week made another and disastrous attempt to reach the Suez Canal. The point chosen for the attack, which was made by 14,000 troops, was Romani, 18 miles east of Port Said. While holding the frontal attack the British, on the southern flank, retired until the enemy had become involved in the sand dunes. A counter attack was then made with all arms, which was completely successful, and at dawn on Saturday the enemy was in retreat, with our troops in vigorous pursuit. The Turks suffered heavily, and so far the British captures comprise 45 officers and 3,100 men, including some Germans, four mountain guns, and a number of machine guns. The British Commander-in-Chief pays warm tributes to the Anzac troops, the Territorials, the Royal Flying Corps, and the monitors, which, firing from the Bay of Tina, gave valuable assistance. During the day the temperature was 100 degrees in the shade.

“ The Times ” correspondent says :— “ The brunt of the fighting was borne by Anzac mounted troops. Of the British troops, the Scottish and Lancashire Territorials and the Warwickshire and Gloucester Yeomanry fought splendidly, and amply avenged the previous loss of comrades by taking over 300 prisoners and two camel guns, and inflicting very heavy casualties. From Territorials of average quality in peace times they have improved into a brigade of veterans. They left the railway at a place within sound of heavy rifle fire, and light-heartedly marched away to attack through ankle-deep sand, and thoroughly proud that their time had come. A little later, from a different spot, I saw Warwickshire and Gloucestershire Yeomanry marching over flatter country, with flankers advanced and rear guards and squadrons as well alined as on parade.”

LOCAL CASUALTIES.

Sergt H Lee, R.W.R, until the War employed in the gardens of Dunsmore, and Pte H T Gardner, of the same regiment, whose home is at Clifton, have been reported wounded.

Mr W W College, 9 Church Street, Rugby, has received official intimation that his youngest son, Pte W F College, Royal Warwicks, was reported missing on July 19th. He only joined up in November last year, and had been out in France about three months.

LIEUT E A R SMITH, of CLIFTON.

News has been received that Lieut Eric Arthur Ray Smith, R.W.R, son of Mr A E Smith, of Enfield, was killed in action on July 22nd. Lieut Smith, who was 27 years of age, and was married, occupied the Manor Farm, Clifton, until he was given a commission in the R.W.R last year, and was well known locally.

PTE ARTHUR REYNOLDS MISSING.

Mr W A Reynolds, of 26 West Leyes, Rugby, has received news that his son Arthur, a private in one of the Territorial Battalions of the R.W.R, has been posted missing since July 19th. Pte Reynolds was 20 years of age, and joined the army 12 months ago. He has been in France about two months. Before joining the army he was employed in the tailoring department of the Co-operative Society.

LANCE-CORPL EDWARD HARVEY.

Information has been received by Mrs R Harvey, Windsor Street, Rugby, that her son, Lance-Corpl Edward Harvey, of the Hampshire Regiment, was killed in action on July 1st. Lance-Corpl Harvey enlisted at the beginning of the War, prior to which he worked at Newbold Cement Works. He had been in France 15 months. He was 35 years of age and a native of Rugby. Before the War he lived in Bridget Street, Rugby. He leaves a widow and four children. Mrs R Harvey has two other sons at the front.

SECOND-LIEUT P A MORSON WOUNDED.

Mr and Mrs A Morson, of The Chace, on Monday received news that their son, Second-Lieut P A Morson, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, had been wounded on August 1st. Lieut Morson joined the H.A.C as a private, and proceeded to France on July 1, 1915. He saw much of the fighting round Ypres and Hooge, and then in April of this year he received his commission. He went all through the recent big advance until wounded on August 1st, and he is now in the Second General Western Hospital at Manchester. He received six wounds in the left hip and thigh and one in the left shoulder. An operation has been successfully performed, and his friends will be pleased to hear that he is now going on well.

PTE M E CLEAVER REPORTED MISSING.

Mrs Cleaver, of 28 Plowman Street, has been notified by the War Office that her husband, Pte M E Cleaver, of the R.W.R (T.F), has been posted as missing after an engagement on July 19th. Pte Cleaver, who was a native of Rugby, lived in the town till a year or two ago, but at the time of enlistment he was residing at Banbury. He has four young children.

In the same platoon as Pte Cleaver was an old Rugby footballer, well known as “ Zooie ” Batchelor. He is now in hospital near Liverpool, suffering from shell shock, which has rendered him deaf and dumb.

LANCE-CORPL BROMWICH, of PAILTON PASTURES.

News has been received by Mrs Bromwich, of Pailton Pastures, that her son, Lance-Corpl E J H C Bromwich, of the Northants Regiment, was killed in action on July 18th. Her husband was killed in the Boer War, and Lance-Corpl Bromwich entered the Duke of York’s School for soldiers’ sons at the age of 14. Although he was only 20 years of age, he had, therefore, served six years in the Army. He was wounded last autumn, but recovered, and was drafted to the front again.

SECOND-LIEUT E A R SMITH.

Second-Lieut Eric Arthur Rae Smith, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who, as recorded in our last issue, was killed in action on July 22nd, was the youngest son of Mr Arthur K Smith, Pencarrow, Enfield, and was 27 years of ago. For some years before the War he was in the H.A.C, and in April, 1915, obtained a commission in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, proceeding to the front last May. His Commanding officer writes : “ He was killed whilst leading with the utmost gallantry his platoon into action on the night of July 22-23. In him the Battalion has lost a truly gallant officer of great promise, who had already endeared himself to all ranks.” When Lieut Smith joined the Forces he was occupying the Manor Farm at Clifton-on-Dunsmore.

SERGT-MAJOR WILLIAM J BRYANT KILLED.

Considerable regret will be felt locally at the confirmation of the rumour, circulated in the town last week, that Sergt-Major William John Bryant, of the Rugby Infantry Company, had been killed in action. The news was conveyed to Mrs Bryant, the widow, who lives at 98 York Street, in a letter from the O.C of A Company to which Sergt-Major Bryant was attached on his promotion from the rank of sergeant. The writer says :— “ His death came as a great shock to us all. When such men as he go from us a sort of despair follows, and we feel one of our great supports has gone. He was for some time the quartermaster-sergeant of the company—a post which does not entail so much danger as that of sergeant-major. But as soon as his predeccessor (Sergt-Major Wood) was wounded he lost no time in stepping into his place, and I always remember how eager he was to be right up in the trenches, as close to the enemy as possible. His long service with the regiment, his good character and capacity for doing honest sound work, will ensure that his memory will always remain with those who have known the regiment. His loss is one that it will be hard to replace, and the sympathy of all of us goes out to you.” Sergt-Major Bryant, who was killed while leaving the trench on July 26th, was the second son of Mr Wm Bryant, of Rugby. He was 43 years of age, and leaves a widow and eight children, six of whom range from 15 to 4 years of age. He had been connected with the Rugby “ E ” Company for 25 years, and in 1914 he won one of the company challenge cups. He was a builder by trade, and was highly respected by all who knew him.

NEWBOLD-ON-AVON.

On Wednesday last Mr and Mrs Neal received official intimation from the War Office that their son, Pte W H J Neal, of the Royal Berkshire Infantry Regiment, was killed in action on July 30th. Pte Neal was 19 years of age on the day he was killed. He only enlisted on the 13th of April last as a Driver in the Royal Field Artillery. He had been transferred about a week to the Royal Berkshire Infantry Regt and sent out to France, when he met with his sad end. On enlistment he was being employed by the Sparking Plug Co, but had previously worked at the Rugby Portland Cement Co at Newbold for a considerable time. He was a bright youth, and much sympathy is expressed with his parents in their sad bereavement.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

We regret to learn that Major Darnley is lying very ill in hospital in Malta.

Lieut-Col F F Johnstone is returning to the command of the 2nd Battalion the Warwickshire Volunteer Regiment.

Temporary Lieut W C Muriel, of the 9th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, has been promoted Captain as from the 1st of July.

Capt E R Hopewell, of the 7th Worcestershire Regt, who was wounded in the recent fighting in France, has been awarded the Military Cross. He is a son of Mr E W Hopewell, formerly of Rugby.

MOTOR LORRY FATALITY.

Attempting to board a motor lorry in motion, Corporal Edgar Percival Haddock, of the Royal Engineers, stationed at Welford, Rugby, fell and sustained severe internal injuries, from which he died soon after admission to Northampton Hospital, on Friday last week. At the inquest, held at the hospital on Saturday evening, a verdict of “ Accidental death ” was returned. Corpl Haddock, who was 19 years of age, was a son of Mr Edgar Augustus Haddock, the director and principal of the Leeds College of Music and the director of the Mayfair School of Music. He was a motor engineer, and at the time of the accident was working with other members of his Company on the telegraph wires on the main road between Northampton and Rugby. He was located at Rugby for a time.

FATAL AVIATION ACCIDENT NEAR RUGBY.

TWO OFFICERS KILLED.

As the result of a collision between two aeroplanes near Rugby on Thursday afternoon one of the machines crashed to the ground, and the occupants, Lieuts Rogers and de Frece, of the Royal Flying Corps, were killed instantly. The other machine made a safe descent, saw the occupants were uninjured.

In consequence of the accident a concert, which was to have been given on behalf of a Soldiers’ Comforts Fund, was postponed.

LETTERS FROM “ E ” COMPANY MEN.

To the Editor of the Advertiser.

SIR,—As one of the old “ E ” Company Terriers, I am writing a few lines to let you know that some of us are still plodding along.

Since we came out to France some 17 months ago we have been practically under shell fire the whole of the time, with the exception of about a fortnight, when we were going to have a rest, but were recalled to have another spell in the trenches. Although up till the present time we have not been what we called “ over the top,” we have done some excellent work, for which we have been greatly praised by the various commanders. For one to say that he had not been away from the Battalion an hour during this long period of trench life hardly seems credible, but this is the case with the majority of us. All through the winter we had to keep pumps going, as the water was very often up to our thighs, and overflowed into the tops of gum boots, which we were provided with for winter trench work. Then, again, we had wiring to do at night. Doubtless, if our neighbour across the way could not find us sufficient work one way, he would do so by shelling our wire and trenches. During our tour we have experienced shell of all calibre. Among those we received there was one which we named “ Gommy Lizz ”— a most objectionable neighbour, for when it exploded it would throw pieces of metal with razor-like edges. The largest of these bombs weighed about 200lbs.

I must not forgot to tell you of the things that happen behind the lines in the way of amusements. There are three Pierrot troupes, who used to give us some splendid turns. Then, again, there is the cinematograph. This we must thank the B.S.A for. It is a splendid machine, and included engine and dynamo for lighting purposes.

Now we have the Divisional Band, which plays to our Battalion in turn. It is composed of all the best musicians in the Division. When hearing this it makes us wish we were in the Park at Rugby instead of this place.

I must now return to the trench life, as I think this is our most important work. We have been in the great offensive, for which we were highly praised, and I might also say we have been in the great advance, but am very sorry to say we lost some of our best pals. The work of our guns, both large and small, has been excellent at this point. I will now close, leaving us all in the best of spirits and health,—I remain, yours sincerely, A. V. A.

August 2, 1916.

A TREACHEROUS GERMAN.

DEAR —-— Just a few lines in haste to let you know I am all right. No doubt by now you will know we have been in for it. We have lost very nearly all of the Company. I am the only sergeant left. We have no officers ; they are all wounded or killed. We thought none of us would get through alive. We smashed them up with a seven hours’ bombardment, and then went for them. We got into their second line, and stopped there for about two hours. The slaughter was awful ; there were heaps of dead. Captain — was killed going over, two lieutenants were wounded, and the others we do not know anything about. We sent about 35 prisoners back from their front line to ours. I stood talking to the sergeant-major at the time, and one of the Germans asked for a drink of water. One of our men gave him one, and as soon as he had had a drink he snatched up a rifle that stood by the trench and shot our Company sergeant-major through both legs. I need not say what became of him. I am glad I am all right, thank God ; but their are a good many that have gone. Just fancy, it took two years to train the Battalion, and they were cut up in about two hours. But I will not say any more about it ; I want to try and forget it. GEORGE.

To Employers

Employers are reminded that it is an offence under the Munitions of War Acts 1915 and 1916, punishable by Fine not exceeding £50, for any person to Employ anyone who has been engaged in a Controlled Establishment within Six Weeks from the date of leaving unless he or she can produce a Leaving Certificate (Form M.T. 23), or a Certificate issued by the Chairman of a Munitions Tribunal.

The attention of Employers is directed to Statutory Rule No. 121 relating to Certificates, also to M.M. 14, being a Memorandum for the guidance of Employers in regard to Leaving Certificates which can be obtained upon application at any Labour Exchange.

The British Thomson-Houston Co. Ltd.
Willans & Robonson Limited.

PROSPETS OF DEARER BREAD.—There has recently been a substantial advance in the price of flour. Within three weeks it has risen by 8s a sack, and it is very possible that the effect will be that householders will have to pay more for their bread in the near future. Sugar continues to be scarce and dear, and the Sugar Commission has just issued posters urging economy in the use of this very essential article of food.

DEATHS.

HARVEY. Killed in France on July 1st, 1916, Lance-Corporal Harvey, 1st Hampshire Regiment, son of Mrs. R. Harvey, Windsor Street, Rugby, aged 35.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call,
His life he gave for one and all.”

IN MEMORIAM.

LEACH.—In loving memory of our dear son, Percy John Leach, who was killed at Sulva Bay, Gallipoli, on August 6,1915.
“ A light is from our household gone,
A voice we loved is still;
A place is vacant in our hearts
The world can never fill.
He went away to a distant land,
And fought his country’s foes;
He there was kept by Death’s grim hand :
To return to his home no more.”
—From his FATHER & MOTHER, BROTHERS & SISTER.

ROWBOTTOM.—In loving memory of Corporal S. Rowbottom, Oxford and Bucks L.I., who died of wounds received in action at Ypres, August 12, 1915. Buried near Poperinghe.
“ There isn’t much we did not share since our school-days begun ;
The same old work, the same old play, the same old sport and fun,
The same old chance that laid you out, but winked and let us through,
The same old life, the same old death, ‘Good-bye’ and ‘God bless you.’ ”
—From FRANK and ALBERT (B.E.F.).

WORMLEIGHTON..—In loving memory of Frederick James Wormleighton, R.E., killed August 9th, 1915 (In France).
“ In the midst of life we are in death.”
—From his loving mother, brothers, and sisters.