21st Sep 1918. Suggested Memorial to Rugby Men

RUGBY URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL.

Several matters of more than ordinary intent, including a suggestion for Rugby a memorial to local soldiers killed and maimed in the War, was discussed at the monthly meeting of the Urban Council on Tuesday, when there were present : Messrs J J McKinnell (chairman), W Flint (vice-chairman), T A Wise, W H Linnell, R Walker, W A Stevenson, R S Hudson, T Ringrose, C J Newman, F E Hands, S Robbins, and H Yates.

WELCOME TO LIEUT NEWMAN.

Before proceeding to the formal business, the Chairman, on behalf of the Council, welcomed Lieut C J Newman on his return from active service, and also conveyed to him the sympathy of the Council in the death of his wife. The circumstances were peculiarly sad, and he wished Lieut Newman to realise how deeply his colleagues felt for him in his deep sorrow.—Mr Newman said he was pleased to be back again to do his duty for the public of Rugby, and especially the electors of the Central Ward.

SUGGESTED MEMORIAL TO RUGBY MEN.

An interesting discussion took place on the consideration of a letter from the Rugby Branch of the National Association of Discharged Sailors and Soldiers, asking the Council to assist them in providing an institute (where they could hold their meetings), a library, &c, for men discharged from the various forces.—The Chairman suggested that the letter be referred to the Estates Committee.—Mr Newman said he desired to raise the question of a war memorial to their local men. So far nothing had been done, except to arrange for a collection of photographs to be placed in the Library.—The Clerk (Mr A Morson, M.B.E) explained that other steps had been taken. Some time ago, at the suggestion of the Council, he invited the relatives of soldiers killed in the War to forward the names to him, and he now had a very long list.—Mr Newman contended that this was not going far enough. They should now consider the question of providing a fitting memorial to those who had been killed or maimed in the War, and a list of their names should be suitably preserved. Rugby did not lend itself to statuary ; and, after all, a statue was only a nine days’ wonder after it was unveiled. He therefore suggested that they should go further than this, and erect some houses, with all the modem conveniences and improvements for discharged soldiers who had been maimed in the War. In connection with this it might also be possible to erect an institute for the discharged soldiers.—The Chairman : It is a huge job.—Mr Robbins supported Mr Newman’s suggestion, and said if they did not aim at something big they would not get anything. Houses for discharged soldiers would be much more useful than a monument.—The Chairman suggested that they should deal with the subject matter of the letter first. If these discharged men had to wait until the Council had raised the money for providing an institute they would have to wait a long time. He proposed that the letter be referred to the Estates committee to see if that body could find suitable premises for them.—Mr Yates said he would like to have more information from the association as to what they had in mind. He had considered the question very carefully, and he was not in favour of providing any institute for setting these men apart from the rest of the civilian population. They wanted these men, when they returned to civil life, to take their part in the reconstruction of society with the rest of the community as far as possible, and they did not wish to set up any class feeling between those men who had been away and those who had not. If they only wanted a place to hold their meetings in it was the duty of the Council to find them one ; but he believed they were well provided for in that respect at present.—Mr Newman said he did not agree with these remarks. A discharged soldier had the right to ask for anything he liked, and why should he not be allowed to do as he liked ? When the War was over the discharged sailors and soldiers would be a force to be reckoned with, and they must do all they could to entertain them and provide them with decent surroundings, and not leave them in the streets to die like dogs, as they had done in the past. This was his sole idea in suggesting the provision of houses and an institute for these men.—The letter was referred to the Estates Committee.

The question of a war memorial was then considered, and the Chairman said he took it that they would desire it to be a Memorial to all who went out to fight for them, whether they came back from the War or not. He thought they would have to set up a special committee to deal with the matter, The first thing, however, was to get the money, and then they could decide what to do with it. He agreed with Mr Newman that Rugby did not lend itself to statuary, and he thought the suggestion that an institute should be provided was a very good one. However, if they had the money now they would not be able to spend it.—Mr Newman : There are ways and means for everything in this world.—The question was referred to the General Purposes Committee.

JAM MAKERS THANKED.

The Chairman said it would be within the knowledge of the members that since their last meeting a committee of local ladies had been very energetic in making jam for the military and the civil population. They had made 7,350lbs. and he believed that, with one exception, the whole of the work had been done voluntarily. He especially mentioned Mr W Barnett (chairman of the committee), Lady Rowena Patterson, and Mrs Nickalls in connection with this work, and a hearty vote of thanks was accorded to the committee ; also to the gas Company for lending the premises for making the jam, and Mr Alfred Over for providing storage facilities.

FRANCE’S DAY.

The following message was read from the President of the French Republic in reply to the congratulatory telegram sent to him on the occasion of the celebration of France’s Day, July 14th :—

“ The President of the French Republic is very much affected by the congratulations and good wishes which you have sent on the occasion of France’s Day, and thanks you warmly in the name of the French people, who are closely united to the British people in the defence of right and liberty.—R POINCARE.”

It was decided to have this letter, together with several others, including one from Admiral Beatty, framed and hung in the Council Chamber.

SUGGESTED COLD STORAGE.

A letter was read from the Rugby Food Control Committee, asking the Council to take immediate steps to provide a cold storage for Rugby District—Mr Robbins : Who has got to pay for it ?—Mr Wise pointed out that at present they had nothing of this kind in the town. He thought such a building would be very useful, and it might even be a paying investment. It was a question as to whether they would get permission to erect such a building, even if they decided to do so ; but he thought at present it was important that perishable foods should be stored in the localities where they were needed, and it would be a great boon to the community at large if such a building could be erected.—Mr Yates moved that the letter be referred to the Markets Committee. He believed it was necessary that they should have a cold storage in the town, because one thing they had learned from the shortage of commodities was the sinfulness of waste : and even when they did get more food it would be necessary to have somewhere to store that portion which was not required for immediate consumption.—Mr Wise promised that the Food Committee would assist the Council with any figures they could obtain from traders likely to use the storage.—The Chairman : If the town grows, as it will do sooner or later, we are bound to have a cold storage.—Mr Stevenson suggested that the letter should be referred to a Joint Markets and Plans Committee, and this was agreed to.

THE BATHS.

The Baths Committee reported that in view of the great need for economy in coal and light during the winter, the committee propose to further consider the re-opening of the slipper baths at their next meeting, but their present proposal is to open the baths on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only, instead of the whole week.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Sergt T C Vickers, Yeomanry, Rugby, has been officially reported drowned ; and Pte W Everton, Tank Corps, Rugby, has died of wounds.

Rifleman A V Pitham, Rifle Brigade, Rugby has been wounded and captured by the Germans ; and Pte H Lawley, RW.R, has also been reported a prisoner of war.

Capt J Oscar Muntz, youngest son of Mr F E Muntz, of Umberslade, died of wounds on September 4th at the age of 42.

W F W Satchell, son of Mr & Mrs W F J Satchell, 94 Park Road, Rugby, has been granted a commission as Second-Lieutenant in the Royal Warwickshire Regt.

Pte Lewis Lewis, City of London Regiment, son of ex-P.C Lewis, 35 King Edward Road, was killed in France on August 8th. He was nearly 19 years of age, an old St Matthew’s boy, and an employee at Rugby Post Office. He joined the Army in October, 1917, and was drafted to France in April.

Mrs Hutt, 15 Bridget Street, New Bilton, has received news that her son, Pte J H Lines, Royal Berkshire Regiment, was killed in action on August 27th. He of was 19 years of age, and before joining the Army in July 1917, he was employed at the L & N-W Railway Loco Sheds. Another son of Mrs Hutt was killed in France last year.

Mr & Mrs N Austin, 3 Oliver Street, Rugby, have received official notice that their youngest son, Pte Cecil Austin, 1st R.W.R, was killed in action in France on August 30th. Pte Austin was only 19 years of age. He joined up on February 14, 1916, and went to France the following year. When he had only been there a few weeks he was invalided back with dysentery, and was in hospital five months. He only re-joined his regiment in July, and was sent to France for the second time the following week. His eldest brother, Wilfred Austin, has been serving in Egypt since January, 1915.

Intimation has been received by Mr H C Samson, Hillmorton Road, Rugby, that his son, Second Lieut O M Samson, died of wounds on the 17th inst. Lieut Samson was an assistant master at Rugby School (Army Class). He was an 0 for Blue at cricket, and also played for Somersetshire. At Rugby he was of great assistance to the Rugby Club, with which he frequently played. He also made one of a very successful Rugby hockey team captained by Mr F J Kittermaster for several years.

Corpl H Rogers, M.M, 1st Royal Warwickshire Regt., has recently been awarded the bar to the Military Medal for gallantry. The Major-General of his Division has also written congratulating him on his fine behaviour. Corpl Rogers, who is a native of Flore, Northants, and nephew of Mrs H Miller, 10 Alfred St, Rugby, has been twice wounded, and before the War was employed at Rugby L & N-W Railway Station.

Driver Jack Hillyard, A.S.C, son of Mr Charles Hillyard, 20 Frederick Street, Rugby, was killed on August 22nd. He was 24 years of age, and before joining up in October, 1914, he was employed as a vanman by Mr J J McKinnell. He served three years and three months in France, and only returned to the front a few weeks prior to his death. He was educated at New Bilton Council School. At one time Mr Hillyard had six sons in the Army ; two have been discharged, and three are still serving.

Mr and Mrs Southern, of 77 Windsor Street, have received a letter from the Commanding Officer of the Regiment notifying the death of their youngest son, Pte S Southern, in action on September 4th. His platoon went forward in the attack over a difficult piece of ground, and when it became inevitable that a message must be sent back he volunteered to carry it. He had very nearly got into safety when a bullet hit him in the head, causing instantaneous death. His loss to the Company (the officer adds) is a very real one. He was doing excellent work, was very popular, and they could ill spare him. Pte Southern was awarded the Military Medal on May 30, 1917. He joined up at the commencement of the War, previously being employed at the B.T.H Works. This is the second son of Mr & Mrs Southern who has fallen in the War.

Pte John James Brookes, R.W.R, eldest son of Mr John Brookes, 41 Lawford Road, New Bilton, was killed in action on August 30th. He was 22 years of age, and was a member of “ E ” Company when war broke out, and was mobilised with them. He had seen a good deal of heavy fighting, and had been wounded three times. Before the War he was a cleaner in the L & N-W Railway Loco Sheds.

Mr William Fleet, 98 Lawford Road, Rugby, has received news that has youngest son, Pte Cyril William Fleet, 6th Dorsets, died of wounds on September 10th. He was 32 years of age, and before joining the Army at the commencement of the War he worked at the Cement Works. He was gassed a short time ago, and only returned to France a fortnight before his death.

Pte Albert Thomas Gibbs, London-Irish Rifles, eldest son of Mr & Mrs A B Gibbs, 14 Kimberley Road, Rugby, has died while a prisoner of war in Germany. Pte Gibbs was employed on the L & N-W Railway. He enlisted about twelve months ago, and had only been in France a short time when he was taken prisoner. He was 35 years of age, and leaves a widow and two children. His younger brother, Flight Cadet David Gibbs, was recently killed in an aeroplane accident.

News has been received at Coombe Abbey that Lord Uffington, the Earl of Craven’s heir, is lying seriously wounded in France, and has had a leg amputated above the knee.

NEWBOLD-ON-AVON.
NEWS has been received that Corpl J Seymour, who in last week’s issue was reported wounded and suffering from enteric, has since died. He belonged to the Rugby Howitzer Battery at the outbreak of war, and has served with them since in France and Italy. He leaves a widow and two children, for whom much sympathy is felt.

WOLSTON.

LIEUT WILFRED COLEMAN WINS THE MILITARY CROSS.—News has just reached Wolston that Lieut Wilfred Coleman has been awarded the Military Cross for gallantry on the banks of the Marne, He is the only son of Mr & Mrs T P Coleman, of Marston Hall. When war was declared he was a member of the 1st, Troop of the Warwickshire Yeomanry. In April, 1916, he went out to Egypt, and from there to Gallipoli where he was wounded. He was afterwards among the Yeomanry in Egypt when so many of them were killed or taken prisoners. He was subsequently sent into training at Cairo for a commission, and was then attached to the 5th Devons with whom he has gamed his present honour. He has now been transferred to the Royal Air Force.

DEATH OF TWO SONS.—Deep sympathy is felt for Mr & Mrs Robert Clarke, who heard in two days of the death of two of their sons. Pte William Clarke, of the Oxon and Bucks L.I, had been missing since March 21st ; but a friend—Pte Harrison—has written to say that he saw him killed. On the next day a notification was received from the War Office that their youngest son—Pte Joseph Clarke, of the Coldstream Guards—was killed on August 22nd. Both sons were respected employees of Messrs Bluemel, and were well known in the district They had been in France for a long time.

LEAMINGTON HASTINGS.
KILLED.—Sergt J Major, son of Mr H Major, of Station Cottages, has been killed in action. He joined up at the outbreak of war, being the first recruit from the parish. A memorial service was held in the church on Sunday evening.

DUNCHURCH.
MR & MRS H PEARCE, Coventry Road, learn that their son, Pte W Pearce, K.R.R, who was badly wounded and was a prisoner of war, has been repatriated, and is in London, where he has undergone an operation to his head.

ITCHINGTON.

HARRY COCKERELL KILLED.—On Saturday official intimation was received by Mr & Mrs H W Cockerell that their only son, Pte Harry Richard Cockerell, R.W.R, was killed in action on the 1st inst.  A sympathetic letter from the chaplain attached to the regiment states that Pte Cockerell fell fighting gallantly in one of the most important engagements of the War, and was killed instantaneously by a shell. The rev gentleman adds: “ He will be much mused.” Before he was called up Pte Cockerell had joined his father in his business as plumber and decorator. He had gained the respect of all, and was greatly beloved by many friends. Sincere sympathy is accorded to Mr & Mrs Cockerell and family in their sad loss.

HARRY COOKE GASSED.—Mr & Mrs John Cooke have been informed that their eldest son, Rifleman Harry Cooke, Rifle Brigade, is in hospital in France suffering, from gas poisoning. He was quite blind for three days after the occurrence, but is progressing favourably. His younger brother, Rifleman Reg Cooke, K.R.R, reported missing last May, has not since been heard of.

DR CLAGUE TO REMAIN.—When Dr Clague was medically examined at Coventry in June last he was passed for service in Grade 1. At the end of August he received his orders to join the Army in October. On the 3rd inst. Long Itchington people solemnly protested against being left without a resident doctor. On the 11th inst. Dr Clague underwent a second medical examination at Birmingham, and has now been totally rejected as unfit for military service. His services as a medical man will, therefore, be retained in the village.

STOCKTON.
OUR MEN.—Cecil Wall has been wounded in the thigh, and is making satisfactory progress ; and Ernest Hall has been gassed, fortunately without very serious effects.

THURLASTON.
ON TUESDAY morning, Mr & Mrs W Hirons, Coventry Road, were notified that their fourth son, Pte G Hirons, R.W.R, had been killed. He was formerly in the employ of Mr J Johnson, J.P, Thurlaston, and was the finest young man in the village. He was 6ft in height and well-built, although only 19 years of age, and he was much respected by everybody in the parish. Mr & Mrs Hirons have another son—J Hirons—badly wounded in France. They had four sons in the Army till two of them were killed. The two remaining in the Army are members of the Warwickshire Police Force, one having been stationed at Sutton Coldfield, and the other at Shipston-on-Stour.

RUGBY & DISTRICT FOOD CONTROL COMMITTEE.

THE SHORTAGE OF MILK.
A letter was read from a milk retailer complaining that she was unable to get a proper supply of milk, and pointing out that unless the committee could help her she would be unable to allow her customers the quantity to which they were entitled.—Mrs Shelley said this was a very hard case. The woman was a widow and an invalid, and was dependent upon her business for a livelihood ; whereas some of the other retailers were employed at the works, and were still keeping their businesses going.—Mr Cooke moved that the whole milk question be re-considered by the Rationing Committee. He believed that the town was threatened with a milk Monopoly, and that the situation was very serious.—Mr Humphrey drew attention to the fact that large quantities of milk were used daily in the canteens at the B.T.H and Willans & Robinson’s, and he suggested that they should use instead either dry milk or condensed milk in barrels. The fresh milk could then be distributed amongst the public.—In reply to Mr Gay, the Executive Officer said the committee had no power to commandeer milk ; but. if necessary, they could take over the whole milk supply of the town.—Mr Gay supported Mr Humphrey’s suggestion, and proposed that the two firms be approached on the matter. The Chairman : We do not want to be trouble with the workmen if we do this ?—Messrs Gay and Cooke replied in the negative.—The Chairman : We do not want it to be said that we wish to rob the workman of his milk.—Mr Gay : With the average workman his wife and children come first. They will be quite willing to forego fresh milk in the canteen in order that the children may have it.—It was decided that the executive Officer should approach the two firms on this question. and that the Rationing Committee should meet to consider the whole question of milk supply.—Mr Stevenson : Will they consider the retail price ?—The Executive Officer : The price will have to be revised at the end of September.

OTHER ITEMS.
A quantity of second grade bacon has now been received, and it was pointed out that the price of this was 1s 8d per lb straight from the case, and 1s 10d per lb washed and dried.—Both the Executive Officer and Mr Humphrey remarked that this bacon is very nice, almost as good, in fact, as the better quality bacon.—Mr Cripps : Do not praise it too much, or it will be 2s per lb next week.

DEATHS.

AUSTIN.—In loving memory of our darling boy, Pte. CECIL AUSTIN, 1st R.W.R., youngest son of Mr. & Mrs. Austin, 3 Oliver Street, Rugby, who was killed “ somewhere in France ” on August 30, 1918 ; aged 19 years. One of the very best.—From Dad and Mother.

FLEET.—Officially reported having died from gunshot wounds in France on September 10th, Pte. CYRIL WILLIAM FLEET, aged 32, youngest son of William Fleet, 98 Lawford Road, Rugby.

LINES.—In ever-loving, memory of my dearest and youngest son, Pte. J. H. LINES, of the Royal Berks., who was killed in action on August 27th “ somewhere in France ” ; aged 19 years.
“ We do not forget him, nor do we intend ;
We think of him daily, and will to the end.
We miss him and mourn him in silence unseen,
And dwell on the memory of days that have been.”
“ In the midst of life we are in death.”
—Not forgotten by his sorrowing Mother, Father, Brothers and Sisters.

WHITE.—Killed in action in France on July 29th, Pte CHARLES WHITE, 1st Batt. Royal Warwickshire Regt., second son of the late William White, formerly of Willoughby, and Ann White, Carterton, Clansfield, Oxon ; aged 33.

IN MEMORIAM.

CASHMORE.—In loving memory of our dear brother, Pte. CHARLES CASHMORE, 5th Oxon 7 Bucks L.I.
“ Three years have passed,
No one knows
What was this gallant hero’s end
No wooden cross or mound to show
Where he fell fighting against the foe.”
—From his ever-loving Sister, Nell, Violet, and brother George.

CUFAUDE.—In loving memory of No. 40549 EDWARD HENRY CUFAUDE (Yelvertoft) who fell in action on Hill 70 on September 22. 1917.
“ May we in Thy sorrows share,
For Thy sake all peril dare,
Ever know Thy tender care.

GREEN.— In ever loving memory of EDWARD (BERT) GREEN, who fell at the Battle of Loos, September 23-27, 1915.
—Sadly missed by his wife and children.

GRIFFITH.—In loving memory of LLEWELLYN GRIFFITH, who died of wounds on September 18, 1916.—“ Gone from sight, but to memory ever dear.”—From loving Brothers and Sisters—74 South Street.

HOPKINS.—In loving memory of FRANK, the youngest son of Henry Hopkins, late of Long Lawford, killed in action in France on September 18, 1915.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call ;
He gave his life for one and all ;
But thee unknown grave is the bitterest blow,
None but our aching hearts can know.”
—Never forgotten by his loving Father, Sisters, and Brothers.

NEAL.—In loving memory of Bombardier FRANK NEAL, R.F.A., who died of wounds on September 19, 1916.—Never forgotten by his loving sister Carrie.

THOMPSON.—In loving memory of our dear brother LEVI, who was killed in action in France on September 23, 1917.—Not forgotten by his Brothers and Sisters, Will, Tom, Emma, Fanny.

 

Lines, George Henry. Died 26th Aug 1918

George Henry was born in Daventry in 1899. son of Elizabeth Lines (formerly Maltby, nee Shaw). In the 1901 census, aged 2 and appearing as Henry Bennett, he lived with his mother, named as Elizabeth Bennett, at 8 Rose Court Daventry with two sisters, Daisy and Zillah. There were three older siblings, Herbert, Ernest and Evelyn Maltby. It stated that Elizabeth was married but no husband is listed.

In 1911 he was living as George Lines in Rugby at 15 Bridget street, with his step-father Richard Hutt, his mother Elizabeth, and siblings Hubert and Phoebe Maltby, his sister Zillah Lines and step brother Harry Hutt.
(Elizabeth Louisa Shaw married William Lines in 1881, William Maltby in 1888 and Richard Hutt in 1903. It is not known who Mr Bennett was.)

George Henry joined the army first in the Somerset Light Infantry service number 40590 then being transferred to Royal Berkshire (Princess Charlotte of Wales) Regiment with a service number 48573. He was in the 5th Battalion which was part of the 36th Brigade of the 12th Division. In the war diary’s we read that the battalion was cleaning up and refitting from the 17th August to the 20th August prior to moving north of Morlancourt on the 21st to take over from 6th Queens Regiment. They moved positions until on the 25th the battalion had orders to attack east of Carnoy at between 04:00-04:30 am.

Battalion formed up at 3:30am. The battalion marched by compass for three and a half miles and reached forming up place at 4:45.The barrage was then over. The battalion attacked right and left on village of Carnoy A & B Company’s leading followed by C& D in the rear. A & C on the left B & D on the right held up by heavy machine gun fire on final objective and heavy casualties ensued. Trench was made with London 10 on right but failed to gain trench with 7 R. Sussex on left. Heavy fighting on left flank and enemy after two attempts rushed over and captured a number of our men. 2/ Lt Stapleton killed trying to get away and many men. 2/Lt Tutton badly wounded and died.

From the battalion records they have daily casualty returns and on the 26th august the returns read as follows:
Trench strength 14 0fficers 310 men
Officers Killed 2 wounded 1
Other Ranks Killed 43 Wounded 97 Missing 31

At the start of August the number of men had stood at:
28 Officers and 718 men so this regiment had suffered heavy losses

Private Lines, George Henry, Service No 48573 died 26th August 1918

An announcement of his death was published in the Rugby Advertiser of 21st Sep 1918:
LINES – In ever-loving memory of my dearest and youngest son. Pte J. H. Lines, of the Royal Berks., who was killed in action on August 27th “somewhere in France”, aged 19 years.
“We do not forget him, nor do we intend;
We think of him daily, and will to the end.
We miss him and mourn him in silence unseen,
And dwell on the memory of days that have been.”
“In the midst of life we are in death.”
–Not forgotten by his sorrowing Mother, Father, Brothers and Sisters.

He was buried in the Peronne Road Cemetery , Maricourt France. Memorial reference 1v.H.34.

The inscription on his gravestone reads:
REST IN PEACE

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

26 Dec 1914. No Cause to Grumble – At the Front

NO CAUSE TO GRUMBLE.

Pte J Richardson, of the 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards, writing from the front on December 9th to his sister, says :—“ You saw it in the paper about the Coldstreams being praised up, but you can take it from me it was hard-earned, and not without losing some good lads over it. . . . We are about making a general advance right into Germany, so I expect by that we shall lose a few. Still, I know the lads will meet it with a good heart . . . We can’t grumble out here ; we get plenty of tobacco and clothes—as much as you can expect. Those who talk about it being cold on the moots just want to have a night in the trenches. The bombs and the ‘ Jack Johnsons ‘ keep you ‘ warm.’ I hope you will enjoy yourselves together at Christmas. Don’t bother about me ; I shall be all right. It would only disappoint me if I thought you were sitting worrying about me. If you send me anything, send me some cake or plum pudding, and some writing paper, as I have more tobacco now than I could smoke in a month. It is ‘ get out and get under ‘ all right here. You can hear them singing in the air—the fifth of November—a long time before they reach you ; but that is what we have to watch up above, dropping the little bomb down. You must remember me to all the ‘ boys,’ and tell them to be quick and give us a hand, or else there won’t be any left for them.”

THE WARWICKSHIRE R.H.A IN ACTION.

The Warwickshire R.H.A, whose headquarters are at Warwick, went to France about six weeks ago, and after doing patrol and other work on lines of communication, eventually reached the firing line. They have been in action, and letters from gunners in the Battery state that they were successful in doing a good deal of damage to the enemy’s trenches. The Germans turned two heavy batteries upon them, and the “ Black Marias ” dropped all round the Battery, till at last the order was given to retire and leave the guns for the time being. The men retreated to a village a short distance to the rear while a heavy battery of 4.7-inch guns pumped shells into the enemy, and eventually silenced their batteries sufficiently to enable the Warwickshire men to return to their guns and man-handle them into a safer position. It was an absolute marvel how they managed to get out without being smashed up and without any casualties.

CLIFTON SOLDIER KILLED WHILE WRITING HOME.

As we briefly announced last week, Pte W J Hutt (7698) Northamptonshire Regiment, of Church Lane, Clifton, was killed at the front on November 5th. Although early this week no official intimation had been received by his wife, to whom he had only been married a short time, there is no doubt that the news is true. From particulars furnished by a friend of his, and the four men who assisted in his burial, and who have returned home wounded, it appears that the unfortunate young man was killed near Ypres while writing a letter home. He was with his regiment in the trenches for five weeks in the Battle of the Aisne, during which time they made almost imperceptible progress. Their losses in this battle were very heavy. In one week Private Hutt went through five bayonet charges, and escaped without a scratch. Previous to being called up he was employed in the Winding Department at the B.T.H.. He would have been 26 years of age next month.

 

RUGBY SOLDIER’S EXPERIENCES.

Pte J Lickorish, of the 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment, has written a lengthy letter home, in which he recounts a number of interesting experiences. Referring to their first taste of modem warfare, he says :— “ We hastily entrenched, but had to evacuate them, as the German guns were getting terribly close. We retired behind a farm in open formation, the — Regiment leading the way, and our regiment following. It was here I saw the first horrors of war. The Germans got the range on the farm, and dropped shells all round it, killing and wounding several men. As we lay waiting for the next move a shell burst directly in front of me, and the time fuse went “ plonk ” into the earth about a yard in front of me. At first I thought it was a piece of dirt, as I could see it coming, and my pal reached out for it, but soon dropped it ; it was so hot. I have got it as a souvenir. Our captain, who was afterwards taken prisoner, behaved splendidly here, and it was a treat to watch him walking about, laughing and chatting to us, while we were under shell fire. By-and-bye a battery of ours dashed up, and so diverted the shell fire from us, and we were able to retire again in safety : but about half-a-mile to our right we could see the deadly shrapnel following our troops up with hellish persistency, but with few casualties on account of the open formation. We kept this up until nightfall. Up to this we had not sighted the enemy, but behind us was one consistent rifle fire, which showed that our troops were giving the Germans some of their own medicine. . . . We could see the — Regiment piling arms. All of a sudden a whole nest of German machine guns opened fire on them, and in less than five minutes the greater part of the battalion was either killed or wounded. We could see it all, but could not help them. Transport and all was lost. That morning, and for several days afterwards, we had to live without rations as best we could. In a graphic account of an artillery duel, and relating how 2,000 Uhlans who charged the British guns were repulsed, the writer says : “ Our guns were greatly outnumbered, and gradually gun after gun of the battery was put out of action, and the gunners killed of wounded. We were forced to retire again and again and leave the guns, which we took back off the Germans the next day. Those brave gunners sang and whistled during the whole time.” The writer refers to the retirement of the Germans, and says : “ Here we could see where they had left their trade mark behind them-guns, ammunition, two aeroplanes ; in fact, nearly everything military, and thousands of empty wine bottles. They had also smashed the village and shops, and had left numbers of their dead and civilians lying about. Occasionally we scooped up numbers of prisoners. . . . A German aeroplane dropped two bombs close to us, and killed a woman and two children, causing a great panic among the people. British and French aeroplanes fought the German in mid-air and brought him down.” Describing a sanguinary fight, in which both sides lost heavily and the gallant major of his regiment was killed, the writer says : “ It was here that the Germans hoisted the white flag, and shot our men down. Can you wonder after this that we used our bayonets mercilessly ? The Germans have behaved rotten in this war so far. . . . In one place he says 1,200 German shells were fired over their trench in 24 hours, nine-tenths of which failed to explode, being very old ammunition, and this goes to prove, he adds, that the German supplies are running short.”

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE YEOMANRY AT THE FRONT.

The squadron of the Northamptonshire Yeomanry, to which Q.M.S Goodman, of Flecknoe, belongs, has for some time past been on active service at the front. The men have taken their turn in the firing line, and find the conditions in the trenches bitterly cold. One member of the squadron has had his feet frost-bitten ; but the yeomen write cheerful letters to friends, although for obvious reasons the exact locality in which they are serving with the Expeditionary Force is not disclosed.

Another trooper in the regiment writes:—“ Well, we are absolutely right among it. The Northamptonshire Yeomanry are taking their turns just as infantry in the trenches, doing three days and three nights—72 hours in all—six days’ rest before going in again. However, before we went to the trenches we did a lot of patrolling and scouting on our horses. and it was then that I found the benefit of being able to ride, which I learnt to do when following the hounds in Old England, In fact, it’s just like hunting ; only no hounds, but bullets instead. Quite half our Yeomanry are fellows who hunt, and whenever we meet another troop the first thing that happens is the giving of the ‘ View Hallo,’ so you, can rest assured that we are in high hopes of seeing the fox as well as hearing the ‘ View Hallo’ next season. Only you must keep the thing going while we are away, as you see it does good in more then one one way. Many a soldier has got a good horse out here and able to get over this country who would not be able to do so had his horse not been schooled in the hunting field, so whatever you do you must keep it going ; if you don’t,there will be no fellows to join another Yeomanry.”

E Wiggins, son of Mr Wiggins, Rugby, a member of the Northants Yeomanry, writes under date December 13th :— We returned from the trenches on Thursday last. We went in on the previous Monday. I will not describe it. All I can say is, I am thankful to have returned safely to our billet. We had our first christening under fire, and were up to our knees in mud and water most of the time. We had one casualty and some narrow escapes. The fighting went on all the night, and we were digging and making up the trenches in the daytime. We were along with an infantry regiment, and real good chaps, too, who would do anything for us. They had been in action several times. . . . and gave us some useful tips, the chief being, as the ‘ Scotties’ say, ‘ To keep your head below the bone.’ The Germans made a charge on our left, but were repulsed with loss. They charged shoulder to shoulder in hundreds. You have only to keep your head and blaze away, and bowl them over right and left. They are forced to charge, poor beggars ; and all those who retire are shot by their own officers. The Germans are very much afraid of the Gurkhas, who steel up their trenches armed only with their ‘kuris’ (long knives), and do them in. We left our horses at the farm in charge of our No. 3’s. We ride in sections of 6, and the third looks after the horses while we are away. They do not do any fighting, as we ride only within two miles of the firing line, and they bring our horses back to the billet. . . . I am pleased to say we have a good billet in a big loft, and all sleep like tops. It is a terrible job getting on and off our top coats, which get plastered from top to bottom. It is a rough lot out here, but I hope to get back soon.”

THREE DAYS AND NIGHTS IN THE TRENCHES.

GRAPHIC STORY BY A RUGBEIAN.

“ We always manage to enjoy ourselves, and I never get depressed,” wrote a Rugby tradesman’s son, serving at the front with the Honourable Artillery Company, in a letter just received by his parents. This remark followed a description of three days and three nights in the trenches during a drenching rain, and under very trying conditions. “ I am off again to the trenches,” he wrote light-heartedly. “ The strain of war has been too much for a lot of our fellows, but the physique of the H.A.C is recognised as being quite as good as that of any regiment.

NOVEL HAIR-CUT.

“ At, present I am billeted in a barn at a farmhouse. This is the best barn we have been in up to the present ; it is rainproof and not so draughty. You should have seen me in this barn, sitting on an up-turned tub having my hair-cut with a pair of nail scissors by our drummer-boy ! We are like schoolboys when the mail comes in. If General French could see us, he would say, ‘ The morale of the troops is excellent.’

“ I have just returned from three days and three nights in the trenches. Fortunately, there was only one killed out of the Company, but two officers had to be taken away ill, and several men are queer to-day as the result of the trying time we have had.”

The march to the trenches in the early morning through a turnip field, with mud over the shoe-tops and rifle fire in progress, was next described.

“ At one place we had to cross an old trench and I tried to jump it. Instead of clearing it I fell in and sank over my knees in mud and water. I scrambled up the bank and through a hedge, just in time to see our bugler disappear in another trench. I helped him out, and we presently reached our trenches in safety, although the fellow immediately behind me had a bullet through his cap.”

WITHIN FIFTY YARDS OF THE ENEMY.

The mud in the trenches was awful, but, fortunately, the part I was in was drier, being covered over with old doors and straw. We were only fifty yards from the Germans, and you can tell we had to keep a sharp look out. We had half an hour on guard and one hour off. The first day we had plum pudding for dinner and afterwards cigars supplied by the officers and the chocolate father sent. . . . It rained all night, and, in spite of our covering, the rain came through. At about 9.0 o’clock in the morning there was a very furious rifle fire, so we all jumped up and opened fire, thinking the Germans were attacking, and expecting every minute to see them rushing through the fog not 20 yards away. We kept up a terrific fire for a short time and then ceased. We were told afterwards it was an attack. When the fog cleared some of our fellows played the Germans at their own game of sniping and killed four of them.”

Orders came for the Company to spend another 24 hours in the trenches. About 20ft of the trench in which the writer was situated fell in, and he spent most of the third day on his back repairing it. There being no other food supply for the third day, the men had to draw upon their emergency rations-consisting of “ bully ” beef, biscuits, Oxo, etc.

DEAD FRENCHMEN.

“ We felt it was rather risky drinking the water,” he went on, “ as dozens of dead Frenchmen were lying all about. I fell over one on my way back in the darkness, and it was a gruesome sight. Whilst we were repairing the trench we came across a dead body. I don’t know whether it was a Frenchman or a German—the body was so decomposed. On the third day the Germans fired on our No 4 Section, and the Company drew their fire and apparently created a panic in the German lines. We were glad when the relief came, and it was a tiring march over the fields to the village. One fellow tumbled into a stream, for me to pick him out, and Turner, a ‘ Prudential ‘ man, collapsed. I carried his rifle and helped to get him to the village, where we were given some tea and had a good night’s rest.

ALWAYS CHEERFUL.

“ It was very fatiguing—three days and nights without lying down and without proper sleep. However, I am quite well and happy, but very tired. . . . Chocolate is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. I don’t know what I should have done if I had not had what father sent to me. At present we are pulling crackers. We always manage to enjoy ourselves, and I never get depressed. We don’t mind if the mud is over our boot tops. We thank goodness it to not over our knees ; and if a sniper shoots at us in the trench, we have a competition as to who can be the first to ‘spot’ him. Our officer says we all have wonderful hearts. At present I am cook. I have to get supper ready for two fellows who will be back late, and cook bacon for forty in the morning.” In conclusion the correspondent put in a good word for his officer, whom he describes as “ a Jolly good sport, and as cool as a cucumber under fire, so you need not worry about our losing heart.”

 

19th Dec 1914. Post Early for Christmas

CHRISTMAS AND THE POST OFFICE

In view of the great strain on the officials of the Post Office at holiday time an official announcement has been issued giving hints to the public to facilitate the delivery of Christmas cards, postal packets, and letters. The following are among the recommendations: Letters, &c, should be posted early in the day on December 21, 22, 23, 24, and 31 ; Christmas cards should be posted not later than the morning of Wednesday, the 23rd ; supplies of postage stamps should  be purchased beforehand.

RUGBY POST OFFICE & THE WAR.

From the Rugby postal district 24 sorting clerks and postmen have joined the colours, and it has been necessary to fill the vacancies by assistants who have had experience in some office, as well as retired female sorting clerks, who are now married. The places of postmen who have left for the war are being occupied by temporary men obtained through the Labour Exchange, and who are now getting somewhat accustomed to the work. At the same time, there is no doubt during the Christmas season the staff, both indoor and out, will have to be extended to its utmost capacity in order to deal successfully with the exceptional pressure.

RUGBY POSTMEN AND CHRISTMAS BOXES.

In previous years the postmen at Rugby have made a collection of Christmas-boxes ; but this year, in consequence of the war, the men have decided not to adopt this course. At the same time, if any generous townspeople care to “tip” the postmen during the forthcoming festive season, they will naturally be grateful to receive such acknowledgement of their services to the public.

MORE BELGIAN REFUGEES ARRIVE AT RUGBY.

Twelve Belgian refugees, who have recently reached England from Holland, arrived in Rugby on Wednesday evening as the guests of the Fellowship Relief Committee, and are now comfortably housed at the home furnished for them at 39 Albert Street. A member of one of the families—a baby—is ill, and has been left behind in hospital ; but will join the party later. The guests are of the artisan class, and are apparently of just the type the committee were hoping to be able to entertain. There are two families. One consists of a man, his wife, and four children, with whom is also attached a single man. The other family consists of a man and his wife and two daughters. One of the latter is married, and has a little boy. The two groups were brought over to London from Holland on Sunday and Tuesday respectively. One of the men is an engine driver, and the other is a tailor. Two lady members of the committee accompanied them from London ; others met the guests at the railway station, and gave them a cordial greeting, conducting them to the home, where the refreshment committee had an appetising meal in readiness, the house looking warm and inviting. The refugees have already settled down happily in their new quarters. A large number of townspeople have assisted in gifts or loans of furniture and in many other ways, and the committee desire to publicly thank all who have afforded those responsible for the arrangements so much support and practical encouragement.

The guests of Holy Trinity Church Relief Committee, 11 in number, were sent down from London to Rugby on Saturday. They consist of three families, the men being a dock labourer, a fireman in a factory, and a carpenter respectively. They are refugees from Antwerp, who at the time of the bombardment fled into Holland. At Rugby Station they were met by the Rev R W Dugdale, Mrs St Hill, and Mr Marple ; whilst other members of the committee prepared tea at the house that has been furnished at 67 Albert Street. Some of the refugees visited the Empire on Thursday night, and greatly enjoyed the entertainment.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

During the past week the figures for recruiting in Rugby and district have shown a distinctly upward tendency, 15 having been drafted to the various depots and 30 others are waiting for final approval. In order to meet the convenience of intending recruits who do not wish to leave home until after Christmas the majority of the men now coming in are only put through the primary examinations and will come up for final approval after Christmas.

The Parliamentary Recruiting Committee census paper, so far as Rugby is concerned, has been very successful, and men are coming in every day. Of those who signified their desire to serve, if necessary, quite half were married men. Most of the recruits enrolled at Rugby this week have come in from the country districts.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mr E G Roscoe, Clifton-on-Dunsmore, is No 1 of a gun crew in the Anti-Aircraft Corps, Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve.

One wounded Belgian and six wounded English soldiers were brought to the Red Cross Hospital at Rugby on Tuesday, coming by train from Birmingham. One was a bad amputation case, and to convey this man to the Hospital the “ Mary Wood ” ambulance was used.

Mr H K Ault, of Lloyds Bank, has joined the Public Schools’ Battalion.

RUGBY SOLDIER A PRISONER IN GERMANY.

Pte Sidney Beard, son of Mr and Mrs C J Beard, of 46 Murray Road, who belongs to the 2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment, is now a prisoner of war at Gottingen, near Hanover. Writing to his parents on November 30th, he says : “ It is nearly six weeks since [missing] and during that time I have written five letters two being addressed to you. For some reason or another, I haven’t received a single answer from anyone.” There is very little information given in the letter, for obvious reasons, but the request for “ cake, cheese, jam, butter, tea, cocoa, sugar, and milk, in fact, anything to eat,” seems to indicate clearly that incarcerated British soldiers in the enemy’s hands are not faring at all sumptuously.

ST MATTHEW’S BOYS’ SCHOOL, RUGBY.

Amongst those badly wounded in recent engagements, and now in hospital, are the following St Matthew’s “ old boys ” :—Lance-Corpl Frank Chater, 7th Dragoon Guards ; Pte A W Botterill, 1st Coldstream Guards ; Bandsman John Milne, 2nd Scottish Rifles ; and Sergt H Dougen, 3rd Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Sergt H Lee, 2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment, has also been wounded, but is recovering, and is now in Rugby.

Second-Lieut F S Neville, 6th Northamptonshire Regiment, formerly assistant master at St Matthew’s Boys’ School, has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant.

B.T.H RESERVIST KILLED IN ATLANTIC BATTLE.

Amongst those killed on the recent naval battle off the Falkland Islands in which the British sank four German cruisers, was Walter John Kind, of the Royal Marines. Mr Kind, who was 29 years of age, was a naval reservist, and prior to the war he was employed in the power station at the B.T.H., where be was very popular among his fellow workers. The news of his death was conveyed to his father, who resides at Wellington Street, Leicester, on Saturday ; but no details were available. A sad feature of the affair is that the unfortunate young man was engaged to be married to a Rugby lady.

Midshipman Lawlor who died of typhus fever on board his ship while engaged in the transport of camels in the Persian Gulf. He was a grandson of Mr J Lawlor, a Rugby Guardian, and formerly stationmaster at Marton, where he was well known.

CLIFTON MAN REPORTED KILLED IN ACTION.

Mrs W J Hutt, of Church Lane, Clifton, recently received a letter from a friend of her husband’s at the front, stating that the latter, Pte W J Hutt (7698), Northamptonshire Regiment, had been killed in action on November 5th. No official news, however, has been sent to Mrs Hutt, who is staying with friends at Canons Ashby. Pte Hutt, who was a reservist, had been employed for some years by the B.T.H Company, and was in the winding department when he was called up. He has resided in Rugby and Clifton for some years.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

CHRISTMAS AND OUR WARWICKSHIRE TERRITORIAL BATTALION.

DEAR SIR,—I have received a letter from Colonel Elton, officer commanding the 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, appealing for funds to enable him to give the men under his command a good time on Christmas Day, and asking me, as chairman of the Council, to make an appeal for subscriptions from Rugby to carry out his proposal. The number of men stationed at Witham belonging to the 7th Battalion, and which includes our own Rugby Company, is about 900. I shall be extremely glad to receive subscriptions for this purpose, and any sent to me at the Benn Buildings will be acknowledged, and I will see that the amount goes to Col Elton.—Yours faithfully,

J J McKINNELL, Chairman U.D Council.

Benn Buildings, Rugby, Dec 17.