6th Jul 1918. Rugby Yeomen on Torpedoed Transport

RUGBY YEOMEN ON TORPEDOED TRANSPORT
There were six Rugby men—Lance-Corpl Cyril White, Troopers Ellis Reeve, Baker, Labraham, Cox, and Carew (R.T.H.), all of the Warwickshire Yeomanry on board the transport, Leasowe Castle, when she was torpedoed in the Mediterranean on May 27th. Lance-Corpl Cyril White, who is the son of Mr & Mrs Albert White, 155 Clifton Road, has this week returned home on leave, after an absence of three years and three months, having passed through many adventures, some very pleasant and others the reverse.
“ It was very early on Sunday morning—the Warwicks’ unlucky day,” he informed a representative of the Advertiser, “ that we were torpedoed. The sea was beautifully calm at the time, and the moon was shining brightly overhead. ‘ In the old days,’ he remarked, humorously, ‘ we often said, “ ‘What a glorious moon,’” “ but I can tell you we cursed it pretty well that morning after the ship was struck. At the time I was lying on the boat deck asleep. The force of the explosion threw me completely out of my bed, and the sudden rush of water swept my life-belt, equipment, &c, overboard. I was in charge of number 6 boat group, and after the explosion I got my crew together, and we managed to get three boats down. The spirit of the men was admirable, and as they were struggling in the water many of them sang, ‘ Swim, Sam, Swim,’ and other popular songs. While the men were being disembarked from the doomed vessel a Japanese destroyer circled round, throwing out a dense smoke screen, and at the moment when the bow of the vessel finally sank beneath the waves, dragging in her wake many brave fellows, the smoke obliterated the light of the moon, and the effect was most uncanny, the deathly stillness being broken only by the last despairing cries of some of the doomed men. The last I saw of our good old Colonel Col Cheape,” continued Corpl White, “ was just before the ship sank, when he was standing on the bridge talking to the Captain as calmly as if on parade. Sergt Viccars, whose wife lives in Wood Street, was unfortunately drowned. Together with another sergeant, he was attempting to carry an injured man to the side of the ship, when the vessel lurched forward, and he was swept away. The injured man and the sergeant were saved, but nothing more was seen or heard of Sergt Viccars, a very gallant N.C.O.—Corpl White added that the rescued men were taken on board a Japanese destroyer and very hospitably entertained. After a rest in Alexandria they embarked for Italy, and travelled overland to France, everywhere being most enthusiastically welcomed. While at Genoa Station he met a Rugby member of the Royal Warwicks, Mr J A Panther, of Little Church Street, who informed him that all the Rugby men in the R.W.R in Italy were quite well.”

FATAL AEROPLANE ACCIDENT.
PILOT’S MIRACULOUS ESCAPE.

The story of a pilot’s miraculous escape from death was told at an inquest held on Monday to enquire into the death of Air Mechanic Richard Smith, R.A.F (23), son of Mrs Smith, 67 Sturgeon Street, Rishton, Lancs, which took place following an accident on Sunday morning last.

The pilot, Lieut John Joseph McDonald, stated that on the previous morning he decided to make a flight in a scout machine, and as the air mechanic in charge said it was working all right he took off straight away. The engine sounded in good condition in all the cylinders. Air Mechanic Smith asked witness to take him up, but he replied that he was not accustomed to taking passengers. Finally, however, he decided to take him. He started to fly towards the west, and when he was about 50 yards up the engine began to splutter. He tried to adjust matters, but as the engine did not pick up he pulled the throttle right off, and started to turn to the left. The machine began to nose dive ; and witness, seeing that a smash was inevitable, stood up in the seat behind Air Mechanic Smith, and caught hold of him with the intention of keeping him from falling forward on to the petrol tank. When the machine struck the ground witness was thrown clear of the machine, and the passenger was thrown against the petrol tank. Had the machine been 500ft up he would have been able to plane down all right, but there was insufficient depth at the time that he attempted to turn.

Second Air Mechanic James McCarron deposed that he examined the engine of the aeroplane before the flight, and it was then working satisfactorily. The aeroplane went up all right, but after she had been in the air a couple of minutes she began to choke and misfire owing to too much petrol passing into the engine. The pilot tried to turn as if he was returning to the Aerodrome, and the machine then crashed to earth.

Lieut Edward James Allman, R.A.F, corroborated this, and said when the pilot had half-turned the aeroplane the engine spluttered out as if it was choked. The aeroplane then spun round and nose dived to ground.

Surgeon-Major Chester Collins deposed that when he was called to the scene of the accident deceased was sitting in the wrecked aeroplane. He was quite unconscious, and while they were extricating him he had a severe haemorrhage. He was suffering from a fracture of the front of the skull, his right eye was completely destroyed, and his brain injured. He also received other injuries. The cause of death was haemorrhage. Had it not been for this he might have lived for some time, in which case in all probability meningitis would have set in, as it had in other cases investigated locally where the injuries were similar. Death took place an hour and a-half after the accident. Had the pilot been able to hold deceased back as he tried to he would not have received the injuries to the front of his skull. Witness understood that Smith was up for a “ joy ride ” when the accident occurred.

Verdict : “ Accidental death.”

ACCIDENTS IN THE AIR FORCE.—Major Baird (secretary to the Air Ministry), replying to Mr Outhwaite in the House of Commons on Thursday last week, said it was not in the public interest to state how many officers and men of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Air Force had been killed by accident in this country during the past six months. There was no justification whatever for alarm on the ground that there was an undue number of accidents.

THE FATAL ACCIDENT AT RUGBY STATION.

The inquest on the young Australian cadet, Walter Reginald Pick, aged 22, whose dead body (as we reported in our last issue) was found lying on the line at Rugby Station on Friday, June 28th, was conducted by Mr E F Hadow on Monday.

Lieut William Richard Bishop, Australian Flying Corps, deposed that deceased was a cadet in the 6th Officers’ Cadet Battalion, and was stationed at Oxford. He was preparing to take up a commission, and he left Australia in November, 1915.

Fred Percy Clare, 23 Essex Street, carriage shunter, employed by the L & N-W Railway Company, deposed that at about 3.20 a.m. on June 28th, he saw an object which he at first thought was a brown paper parcel, lying across the rails on the up line, but on a closer examination he found it was deceased, lying face downwards, with his head in the 4-foot way. The Preston train had shortly before gone over the rails, and the body could not have been lying there long, or it would have been seen, because a number of people crossed the rails at that spot. He informed the signalman of the discovery, and the train from Carlisle, which was then due, was stopped. With the help of the assistant stationmaster the body was removed. There was no sign of any struggle having taken place. A telephone message was sent through to London, and deceased’s stick and coat were found in a carriage in the Preston train at Euston.

Albert George Whiting, assistant stationmaster, deposed that the platform at Rugby was on the reverse side to that at most stations. After the discovery of the body he sent a message along the line, asking that the train should be searched. The first-class compartments were searched without success at Willesden, and deceased’s possessions were found in a 3rd-class carriage at Euston. No door was found open, and had there been any passengers in the carriage they could have left the train at Willesden. Deceased was travelling in a Caledonian coach, the doors of which shut automatically. There was no means of detecting whether such doors were shut deliberately, or whether they shut through the movement of the train. There was nothing to suggest that deceased fell out of the train ; but from the evidence witness was of opinion that he got out deliberately, and when the train moved off he tried to jump in again, and fell on to the line.

Ernest Wm Lines, 87 Abbey Street, carriage examiner, deposed that he examined the Preston train when it was in Rugby Station, and everything was then in order. No doors were open, and he saw no one outside. From the position of the body, he concluded that three vehicles passed over it.

The Coroner described the accident as a mystery, and said, in his opinion, the theory of Mr Whiting was borne out by the external evidence. It was for the jury to say how the accident occurred, for that it was an accident he thought they were all agreed.

A verdict of “ Accidental death ” was returned, the jury adding that there was no evidence to show how he got on to the line.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Lance-Corpl C O Meates, Gloucester Regiment, of Rugby, has been awarded the Military Medal.

Pte J E Hensman, R.W.R, of Rugby, is reported missing.

Pte A Moore, Leicestershire Regiment, Lutterworth, has been wounded.

Lieut T W Walding, Machine Gun Battalion, son of Mrs Walding, of “ The Limes,” who was recently reported missing, has written stating that he is a prisoner of war in Germany.

Lance-Corpl Cox, of the Military Police, who before joining the Army was stationed at Dunchurch, has been awarded the Military Medal.

Mr J A Phillips, of St Aubyn, Hillmorton Road, has received a letter, dated June 1st, from his son, Second-Lieut K Me N Phillips, 3rd Northumberland Fusiliers, attached 1/5 Durham Light Infantry, who was posted as missing on May 27th, stating that he is safe and well, but is a prisoner of war at Limburg, Nassau. He was in the 50th Division at Craonne.

Capt Rudolph Elwes (Coldstream Guards), second son of Mr Gervase and Lady Winefride Elwes, has been awarded the Military Cross. He was recently taken prisoner after taking part in the glorious 48 hours’ stand made by the Coldstreams from April 12th to the 14th. His company was eventually surrounded and cut off. Mr Gervase Elwes has sufficiently recovered from his recent operation to be able to return to Billing Hall.

We have received a letter from Corpl F Joyce, R.F.A, of Bilton, enclosing a copy of the “ Balkan News ” for June 15th, which contains the announcement that : “ An Old Rugbeian dinner will be held at the Officers’ Rest House, Salonica, on July 2nd. Hon Sec, Lieut W F Hawkins.” In his letter Corpl Joyce says he has been a constant reader of the Rugby Advertiser many years, and he always looks forward to it, as it keeps one “ in touch with things going on in the good old town of Rugby.”

Mr & Mrs H Colston, 82 York Street, Rugby, have been notified that their elder son. Pte Ernest H Colston, Royal Berkshire Regiment, was killed in action on June 19th. Pte Colston, who was only just 19 years of age, had been in France since last December. He was an “ old boy ” of St Matthew’s School, where he was very popular, and was head boy when he left to enter the L & N-W Railway offices at Coventry. He was a member of the St Matthew’s XV, which won the Schoolsa’ Union Shield in 1913. He had been in St Matthews’s Church Choir for eight years. In a letter of sympathy to his parents his officer speaks of him as a young soldier of the highest promise.

Mr & Mrs Alfred Eyden, “ Denaby,” St Matthew’s Parade, Northampton, have been advised that their younger son, Lieut Maurice V Eyden, 2nd Northants Regiment, reported missing on May 27th, is a prisoner of war in Germany and quite well. His only brother (Royal Engineers) was killed in France on May 19, 1918.

Mrs Ingram, 61 Victoria Avenue, New Bilton, has received a letter from the Captain of the Company to which her son Leonard, who died from wounds on May 29th, belonged. The writer says : “ He was wounded on the 29th by a machine gun bullet in the right side under the ribs. . . Your son was a splendid fellow, the ‘ life and soul ‘ of my Company, and was always so cheerful and full of good humour under the most trying circumstances. He was a very gallant soldier, and in the heavy fighting we had here for the first three days—April 12, 13 & 14—he did most excellent work for me by taking urgent messages to the Battalion Commander, running through an absolute hell to deliver them. This he volunteered to do when I had lost my Company runners. His were deeds of gallantry I shall never forget.”

IN ENEMY HANDS.—Subscriptions to the Rugby Prisoners of War Fund during the past week have shown a marked improvement, £120 being received from all sources. The knowledge that in the absence of local support the men would become a charge on the funds of the British Red Cross Society has, no doubt, stimulated interest. To continue to provide in full for the Rugby and district men in enemy hands £400 per month has now to be raised for this branch of Red Cross work. Fortunately no additional names have been reported to the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee this week. There are now 130 Rugby and district men prisoners of war in Germany.

WAR BONDS.—During the week ended June 29th, Rugby contributed £1,030 to National War Bonds. The weekly quota for the town is £10,870.

ON THURSDAY (Independence Day) the Stars and Stripes were flown from several buildings in the town.

INFLUENZA is now very prevalent in the town, several hundred cases having occurred.

DUNCHURCH.
MRS H WEBB, Coventry Road, has received news from the War Office that her husband, Pte H Webb, of the Warwicks, is missing.—Pte P Grant, Mill Street, has been wounded in the leg, and is at St John’s Hospital, Barby Road, Rugby.

MRS W RICHARDSON, The Banks, has received news that her second son, Sergt L Richardson, of the K.R.R, has been killed. This is the second son Mrs W Richardson has lost. Sergt Richardson was a member of the Dunchurch Brass Band, and one of the best performers. He was very much respected in the village, where the news of his death has caused deep regret

LEAMINGTON HASTINGS.
MISSING.—Mr F Isham has received official news that his son, Pte David Isham, of the Royal Devons, has been reported missing in France since May 26th. He has been previously reported missing, but proved to be away from his unit.

LONG ITCHINGTON.
GASSED.—Sergt C T Tiff, Royal Shropshire Light Infantry, is in a base hospital suffering from gas poisoning.

STRETTON-ON-DUNSMORE.
WOUNDED.—Information has been received by Mrs Fell that her husband, Corpl E T Fell, of the Machine Gun Corps, has been wounded severely by a shell in the thigh. He is now progressing favourably in hospital in Italy. It is just twelve months ago since Corpl Fell had a narrow escape and received very bad shell shock in France.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
SCHOOLBOY LABOUR ON THE LAND.

To the Editor of the Advertiser.
DEAR SIR,—A considerable number of boys of 14 and 15 are anxious to help on farms during the holidays. They are too young for the ordinary camps, but capable of doing very useful work locally. If local farmers will let me know of their requirements I shall be pleased to pick out suitable boys. Only one reply was made to my former letter, and there, I understand, the boys did valuable work.—Yours faithfully,
Lower School. Rugby,
S R HART.

IN MEMORIAM.

ASTILL.—In loving memory of Pte. HERBERT ASTILL, who died from wounds received in action on June 29, 1915. “Gone, but not forgotten.”—From his sorrowing Mother.

BLAND.—In loving memory of our dear son, Pte. C. BLAND, killed in action on July 1, 1916.
“ God takes our loved ones from our homes.
But never from our hearts.”
—From his loving Mother and Father, Brothers and Sisters.

COLLINS.—In loving memory of our dear son, Pte. H. E. COLLINS, who was killed in action in France on July 3, 1916.
“ Days of sadness still come o’er us,
Tears in silence often flow.
Thinking of the day we lost him :
Just two years ago.
Too far away thy grave to see.
But not too far to think of thee.”
—Never forgotten by his loving Father, Mother, Sisters & Brother, of 45 New Street, New Bilton.

COOPER.—9178 Sergt, JOHN COOPER, Yorks & Lancs. Regt., killed in action in France on July 1, 1916.
“ Sleep on, dear brother, in a far-off grave,
A grave we may never see ;
But as long as life and memory lasts
We will remember thee.”
—From Mother, Sister and Brother.

EADON.—In ever-loving memory of Pte. GEORGE EADON, of the 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who was killed in action in France on July 1, 1916.
“ Some where abroad our dear one sleeps,
A hero laid to rest.”
—Never forgotten by his loving Father, Mother, Sisters and Brother.

SEENEY.—In loving memory of Signaller BILLY SEENEY, killed in action on July 2, 1916 ; aged 18.
“ Sleep on, dear one, in your foreign grave :
A grave we may never see ;
But as long as life and memory lasts
We shall remember thee.”
—Sadly missed by his Mother, Sisters and Brother.

WATSON.—In loving memory of Pte. ARTHUR JAMES (JIM), dearly beloved son of Thomas and the late Harriett Watson, 51 Pinfold Street, New Bilton, who was killed in action on July 2, 1916.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call ;
He gave his life for one and all.”
—From his Father, Brothers and Sisters.

WHITE.—In loving memory of ALBERT JAMES, dearly beloved husband of Ethel Maud White, and eldest son of Mr. & Mrs. James White, of 70 Murray Road, who gave his life for his country on June 30, 1917.

Ingram, Leonard Walter. Died 29th May 1918

Leonard Walter INGRAM was born in Rugby, and registered there in Q3, 1898.  He was christened Leonard Walter Ingram on 9 October 1898 at St. Andrew’s church, Rugby.  He was the youngest of four sons of Joseph Ingram, who was born in Rugby in early 1859, and Mary Ann, née Pike, Ingram, who was born in Crick in about 1860.

Leonard’s parents were married at Crick on 16 June 1890, but soon afterwards were living at 10 Russell Street, Rugby and then by 1891, when his father was still a groom, the couple were living at 96 Cambridge Court, Rugby.

By 1901 the family had moved to 1 East Union Street, and Leonard’s father was now working as a ‘general labourer’; there were now four boys aged between two to ten.

By 1911, Leonard was 13 and a ‘schoolboy’ and it was later reported that he attended Elborow School.[1]  The family had moved again to live at 61 Victoria Avenue, New Bilton, Rugby.  His father gave no occupation, maybe he was not well, and indeed he died in Rugby, three years later, in late 1914, aged 54.  His mother was then a ‘laundress’ at the Workhouse.  His three elder brothers were respectively: a Labourer, a Chemist’s Porter and an Errand Boy for a Fruitier.

With only the minimum details on his Medal Card and no surviving Service Record, it is difficult to reconstruct Leonard’s service history.  A later report[2] stated that by 1918, he had been in the army for three years, so it seems that he enlisted sometime in 1915, as a Private, No. 266513, in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.  His six figure service number is likely to have been issued later in the war, and he would not have been 18 and eligible for overseas service until 1916.  He did not win the 1914-1915 Star which again suggests that he did not go to France until after late 1915.   When he died he was with the 15th Battalion, the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

The 15th Battalion (2nd Birmingham) Royal Warwickshire Regiment had been formed in Birmingham by the Lord Mayor and a local Committee in September 1914.  The Battalion moved to Sutton Coalfield and then in June 1915 to Wensleydale to join the 95th Brigade of the 32nd Division and later moved to Salisbury Plain.

The 15th Battalion mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne on 21 November 1915 and on 14 January 1916 transferred to the 13th Brigade in the 5th Division.  In March 1916, quite possibly still before Leonard joined up, the Division took over a section of front line near Arras, between St Laurent Blangy and the southern edge of Vimy Ridge.  When the Somme offensive opened on 1 July 1916, the 5th Division was enjoying a period of rest and re-fit and was in GHQ Reserve.  However, this restful time was not destined to last and later in July 1916 they moved some 50 miles south to reinforce the Somme.

It is unlikely that Leonard had yet received sufficient training to have been involved on the Somme, but in October 1916 the Division had left the Somme and was holding a quieter line near Festubert and this may have been when newer recruits would have joined the 15th Battalion as reinforcements.  Whilst there was a constant threat from enemy artillery and sniper fire, in comparison with the Somme it was a relatively quiet period that lasted until March 1917.

In early April 1917 the Battalion moved to Arras for the various phases of the Battles of Arras, starting with the attack on Vimy Ridge from 9-12 April 1917; and then the three Battles of the Scarpe, 9-14 April; 23-24 April 1917; and 3-4 May 1917; and the subsidiary attack on La Coulotte on 23 April 1917, and then, on 8 May 1917, the 15th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment was ordered to attack the German-held village of Fresnoy [Fresnoy-en-Gohelle], about 8 miles north-east of Arras and west of Vimy.

The Battalion also took part in the Battle of Polygon Wood in September 1917; the Battle of Broodseinde (4 October); the Battle of Poelcappelle (9 October 1917); and the Second Battle of Passchendaele (July to November 1917).

In late November to early December 1917, the Battalion moved from France to Italy to strengthen the Italian Resistance.

Some four months later, the Battalion returned to France by train between 1 and 6 April 1918.  This would have been in part in response to the German attacks of Operation Michael, although the main initial thrust would have been over by the date of their return.  The Battalion War Diary[3] details the period in April which would be referred to later by the Company Captain.

From 7 to 10 April they were in Billets and ‘cleaning up’ and training, and then marched to Sus-St-Leger and ready to move at two hours notice.  They entrained for Monicourt, arriving mid-afternoon on 11 April.

Early morning on 12 April, they detrained at Thiennes and prepared to bivouack in Bois d’ Amont just south of the Nieppe Canal, however at midday they were ordered to ‘dump kit’ and prepare to attack Merville.  They moved to Le Foret and dug in and then advanced in mid-afternoon, and at 5.15pm ‘Touch joined with enemy at Le Corbie.’  At 5.45pm they attacked the enemy in the brickfields, which were cleared and held.  7 ‘Other Ranks’ (O.R.s) were killed and 84 wounded.

From midnight to noon on 13 April there was increasingly heavy enemy shelling.  Massed enemy attacks in the mid afternoon were beaten off by Lewis gun and Machine Gun fire.  Five O.R.s were killed and 35 wounded.

On the morning of 14 April there was more heavy shelling and another enemy attack was beaten off.  Later on 14 April, the Battalion was relieved by the 2nd King’s Own Scottish Borderers.  11 O.R.s had been killed and 57 wounded.

It was in this period when Leonard ‘… did most excellent work … by taking urgent messages to the Battalion Commander, running through an absolute hell to deliver them.  This he volunteered to do when I had lost my Company runners.  His deeds were of a gallantry I shall never forget.’[4]

The Battalion War Diary[5] shows that in May the Battalion was alternating between ‘the Front’ and periods ‘In Reserve’.

At the beginning of May, the 15th Battalion was ‘In Reserve’ working on the Reserve Trenches by day and wiring on the Support Line by night.  They relieved the 14th Bn. RWR in the front line from 3 to 9 May and carried out patrols, work on trenches and salvage and were then relieved by the 12th Bn. Gloucestershire Regiment.  The Battalion received a gas bombardment as it withdrew to Arcade camp.

They then were able to have baths and clean equipment, worked on the Divisional Lines, undertook training, and had a church parade on the Sunday.  Casualties in the period had been light with only occasional men wounded.  On 16 May they relieved the 1st Cheshire Regiment ‘in support’.  Whilst ‘in support’ the Battalion provided carrying parties and working parties on the support line until 23 May, when they relieved the 2nd King’s Own Scottish Borderers in the front line.

From 24 to 27 May the situation was quiet and patrols were sent out at night.  One O.R. was killed on 27 May, and on 28 May one O.R. was killed and one wounded.

A larger raid was carried out on the night 28/29 May, when two Machine Gun posts were attacked, the garrisons killed, the machine guns put out of action, and some prisoners taken.  The raid took only 20 minutes – and there were ‘eight slight casualties’.  The Battalion was relieved by the 1st Devon Regiment on 29 May, and the total day’s casualties were nine O.R.s wounded.  The Battalion retired to billets to rest and clean up at Thiennes, which was shelled in its turn on 31 May.

Assuming that Leonard was one of the O.R.s wounded when taking part in the raid on the night of 28/29 May, his wound was not so ‘slight’ and he subsequently died.  This was confirmed in two reports in the Rugby Advertiser.
LOCAL WAR NOTES. – Mrs Ingram, 21 Victoria Avenue, New Bilton, has received news that her son, Pte L Ingram, aged 20, was wounded on May 29th, and died the same day.  He was an old Elborow School boy, and has been to the Army three years.  Second time wounded.[6]

Also, a letter, published in the Rugby Advertiser, from …
‘… the Captain of the Company to which her son Leonard, who died from wounds on May 29th, belonged. … The writer says: “He was wounded on 29th by a machine gun bullet in the right side under the ribs. … Your son was a splendid fellow, the ‘life and soul’ of my Company, and was always cheerful and full of good humour under the most trying circumstances.  He was a very gallant soldier, and in heavy fighting we had here for the first three days – April 12, 13 & 14 [see summary edited from War Diary above] – he did most excellent work for me by taking urgent messages to the Battalion Commander, running through an absolute hell to deliver them.  This he volunteered to do when I had lost my Company runners.  His deeds were of a gallantry I shall never forget.”’[7]

Leonard died on 29 May, probably having been evacuated to the 54th Casualty Clearing Station at Aire, some way behind the lines, where he was later buried in the Aire Communal Cemetery in Grave Reference: II. K. 34.

Aire is a town about 14 Kms south-south-east of St. Omer.  From March 1915 to February 1918, Aire was a busy but peaceful centre used by Commonwealth forces as corps headquarters. … The burials in plots II, III and IV (rows A to F) relate to the fighting of 1918, when the 54th Casualty Clearing Station was at Aire –  the town was, for a while, within 13 kilometres of the German lines.

Leonard was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  There is no additional family inscription on Leonard’s gravestone, but his father had died in 1914 and by the date such matters were being decided in the 1920s, his mother may have been unwell as she died, at 64, in mid-1924.

Leonard is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate, and on the New Bilton War Memorial which is located by the chapel in the Croop Hill Cemetery, Addison Road; it bears the inscription ‘In the Great War these died for England 1914-1919’.

An ‘In Memorium’ note was published soon after news of his death was received.

INGRAM.—In ever loving memory of my dearest and youngest son, Pte. LEONARD INGRAM, 15th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who died from wounds in France on May 29th ; son of the late Joseph and Mary Ingram, 61 Victoria Avenue, New Bilton ; aged 20 years
“His sufferings here are ended, His work on earth is done;
He fought the fight with patience, And now the victory’s won.
I loved him, oh, no tongue can tell, How much we loved him and how well.
God loved him, too, and thought it best, To take him home with Him to rest.”
“Though lost from sight, to memory ever dear.”[8]

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Leonard INGRAM 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, February 2018.

 

[1]              Rugby Advertiser, 15 June 1918.

[2]              Rugby Advertiser, 15 June 1918.

[3]      WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 5th Division, The National Archives Ref: Piece 1557: 13 Infantry Brigade (1915 – 1919).

[4]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 6 July 1918.

[5]      WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), Royal Warwickshire Regiment, 5th Division, The National Archives Ref: Piece 1557: 13 Infantry Brigade (1915 – 1919).

[6]      Rugby Advertiser, 15 June 1918.

[7]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 6 July 1918.

[8]      Rugby Advertiser, 15 June 1918.

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

15th Apr 1916. Alien Woman’s Roaming Habits

RUGBY PETTY SESSIONS.

TUESDAY.—Before Lord Braye, Dr Clement Dukes, T A Wise, A. E Donkin, and J J McKinnell, Esqrs.

ALIEN WOMAN’S ROAMING HABITS.-Marth E Goodman, 16 Charlotte Street, Edgbaston, Birmingham, was charged on remand with that she, being an alien, failed to furnish to the registration officer of the district particulars within 48 hours of her change of address, at Rugby, on the 5th inst.—Defendant said she was an English woman by birth and married a Russian. The husband wrote to the effect that his wife had left his home without his consent to roam about. She had done so before last year, and at such time her mind became unhinged. He asked the Bench to deal with under probation with such a warning as would make such an impression on her as to compel her to return to her husband and child and lead an honourable life.—The Clerk : Why don’t you stay with your husband ?—Defendant : I do.—The Chairman : Then why are you here ? Defendant replied that she had come away on business connected with some work that she was doing.—The case was adjourned till the following day, for her husband to be sent for.-Defendant : In the meanwhile, where will I be.—The Clerk : Down below.—Defendant I : don’t like being down below very well. Good morning.

On Wednesday defendant was brought before T A Wise, Esq. Her husband appeared, said he was willing to take her home, and was allowed to do so, defendant being warned by the magistrate that she must not roam about without registering herself.

WINDOWS NOT SHADED.

Arthur Willis, engineer, 137 Murray Road, Rugby, was summoned for not shading or reducing the inside lights of his dwelling-house so that no more than a dull subdued light was visible outside, at Rugby at 9.55 p.m on 4th Inst.—Defendant claimed that the light was sufficiently dull, there being curtains drawn across.—P.S Percival said he went to the back of defendant’s premises and saw a gas jet full on in the back kitchen, there being no blind down or curtain drawn. The light was showing on to the house adjoining. There was also another window, screened with a light buff blind, which was showing the light through. When this was pointed out to defendant he laughed, and said if he had got to pay he could do so, and didn’t care.—Defendant said the light in the scullery was put up because he heard somebody in next garden, and this proved to be the police officer.-The Clerk said the order stated that there must be no more than a dull light visible from any direction outside.-Sergt Percival (recalled) said the light had been in the scullery for some time before they went into the adjoining garden.—The Chairman said they found there was a light from the house, and fined defendant £1.

SUMMONS AGAINST SUPT. CLARKE FAILS.

Supt Edward J Clarke, Rugby, was summoned by Charles Gay, 87 Sandown Road, Rugby, for not shading or reducing the inside lights of a room at the Police Court at Rugby on the 3rd inst.—Mr Harold Eaden defended, and pleaded not guilty.—Complainant stated that on the evening of the 3rd April, at 9.58 p.m. he was in Railway Terrace, and saw a brilliant light coming from three electric lights situate in a room beneath the Police Court. It was coming from the room on the right-hand side of the entrance door.—By Mr Eaden : He did not take the trouble that evening to enquire whether Supt. Clarke was in possession of this room. He saw one of Supt Clarke’s officers in the room on previous evening.

John William Higginbotham, called by complainant, said he saw in the room a man in plain clothes turning over papers.—By Mr Eaden : He was in as good a position as complainant to see who was in the room, but could not see below his bust, and it was agreed among the crowd to shout to the man to pull the blinds down. The rest of the building was darkness.

John Roland Fletcher corroborated.

Mr Eaden said the room in question was in the occupation or control of the Superintendent until November last year, when the Royal Warwick Reserves asked for the room for an orderly room. Supt Clarke put the suggestion forward to his superior officer, and it was returned with a suggestion that the proposal should come before the Bench, because it was considered at Warwick that it was a matter more for the local Justices, in conjunction with the Superintendent, and he understood that as a result the room was given entirely to the military for the time being. Since November last the police had had no occupation of the room. They were not responsible for the cleaning and even had not a key of the room. If an offence had been committed, it was done by neither Supt Clarke nor his servant.

Supt Clarke gave evidence in support of Mr Eaden’s statement.

P.S Brown said on the night in question he was in charge room at the Police Station when a representative of the Military Police came in with someone in charge, and then went across to the orderly room.

The Chairman said the Magistrates had come to the conclusion that the prosecution entirely failed, and the prosecutor in this case must pay the costs. It seemed quite clear that the premises had been handed over to another body other than the police, and therefore that body was responsible for what took place in that room. The prosecution, therefore, against the police was entirely misdirected.—Mr Eaden asked for defendant’s costs, including the solicitor’s fee, and Lord Braye said these would be allowed. He added that the Bench were entirely satisfied with the manner in which Supt Clarke had carried out his duties under the Lighting Order in the premises over which he had direct control.

ALLEGED INACCURATE STATEMENT.—Mr Woodworth, of Hillmorton Road, summoned last week for an infringement of the Lighting Order, attended the Court and took exception to certain statements reported in our local contemporary. It was there stated that Inspector Lines said he had previously cautioned defendant. This, Mr Woodworth said, was incorrect, as no previous warning had been given, and as the heavy had been levied probably under a misapprehension, he asked for mitigation of the penalty.—Inspector Lines was called, and denied that any such statement was made by him. Defendant had not been previously warned.—Mr Woodworth also pointed out that in another case Mr Donkin was reported to have said : “ In no case have the police taken action without previous warning.” This statement by Mr Donkin was therefore incorrect, as no warning had been given in his (Mr Woodworth’s) case.—It was pointed out that the fine of £2 was in respect of two windows, and Lord Braye said the Bench were not prepared to go back upon their decision of previous week.—Mr Woodworth then expressed hope that the representative of the paper he referred to, who was present, would correct his report this week.

COVENTRY MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL, Monday.—W W Wilson, 9 St John Street, Rugby, assistant metallurgical chemist, v Willans and Robinson, Ltd, Rugby. This was an allegation that his leaving certificate was unreasonably withheld. He said he had obtained an appointment with the Aeronautical Inspection Department at an increased salary, his present remuneration being 50s a week. The firm’s representative said they could not spare the man. The Court refused the certificate, and the applicant was informed that if he asked for an increase of salary no doubt the firm would consider it.

RUGBEIANS generally will be sorry to learn that Major C Beatty, D.S.O., Canadian Headquarters, has had the misfortune to lose his left arm, which was amputated at the elbow, as the result of a bullet wound. Major Beatty, it will be remembered, was training at Bedford Cottage, Newmarket,, where he had charge of Lord Howard de Walden’s horses, as well as of others in different ownerships. He is an elder brother of Admiral Sir David Beatty, and won his D.S.O. in the South African war.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

A telegram has been received from the War Office stating that Capt A N C Kittermaster, O.R., Worcestershire Regiment, is reported from Basra as “ Missing, believed killed, April 4th to 5th.”

Mr and Mrs Keen, of 2 Winfield St, Rugby, received official report on Friday last that their son, Rifleman A Keen, Rifle Brigade, was killed. Deceased has previously been reported missing since 9th,May, 1915. He was 19 years of age, and before the war was apprenticed to the carpentry trade under Mr Bodycote, builder, Murray Rd.

The Warwickshire Yeomanry, who for sometime past have been stationed in Norfolk, have just been removed to another county on the East Coast.

Official intimation has been received that Lieut C H Ivens, only son of Mr J H Ivens, Hillmorton Road, Rugby, has been wounded, but whether seriously or not has not yet been indicated.

DUNCHURCH.

H Carter and E Doyle have joined the Warwicks.

WITHYBROOK.

The sad news has been received that Percy Ingram, the only son or Mr and Mrs Walter Ingram, has been killed in action. The deceased was one of the first men of the village to volunteer for active service, and the joined the Warwickshire Regiment. Deep sympathy is felt for his parents.

MARTON.

WORKING PARTY FOR SAILORS AND SOLDIERS.-The result of the working-parties held in this village during the winter months on behalf of our sailors and soldiers is that some 90 shirts and 30 pairs of socks have been made and distributed to them through different channels. After forwarding a parcel at Christmas to all local men on active service, it was decided that the rest of the garments should be divided between the Jackanapes Society (for hospitals) and the British Prisoner of War Depots. Several friends who were unable to attend the meetings worked diligently in their own homes, one worker having knitted a dozen pairs of socks since the war began. Many others kindly gave money for the purchase of materials, the total subscriptions for this purpose amounting to £11 5s 6d.

DANCE.—On Friday evening a dance, arranged by Willans and Robinson’s Athletic Club, was held in the Co-op Hall on behalf of a fund for sending comforts to men in the Rugby Howitzer Battery. The company numbered over 200. Messrs Crowther and F Ward were the M.C’s, and Mr Flowers’ orchestra supplied the music.

PRESENTATION.—On Saturday Mr Arthur Ingram, stage manager at the Empire, left his employment to join his group under the Derby Scheme. Mr Ingram, who lives at Avenue Road, New Bilton, has three brothers serving in the Army. On Saturday he was presented by the staff and artistes with a silver watch, and a collection was made at each performance on his behalf, and resulted in £5 being realised.

 

 

Note: In recent weeks the Rugby Advertiser has been reporting on the Appeal Tribunals. We have not been posting these as the names of the men concerned were not published. This week they have started including the names, so we will include these in the next post.
RugbyRemembers