13th Nov 1915. Letter from old St Matthew’s boys

LETTER FROM OLD ST. MATTHEW’S BOYS.

Pte Frank Morley, R.A.M.C, an “old boy” of St Matthew’s School, writing from Gallipoli to Mr R H Myers, the headmaster, say :-

It is always a pleasure to receive the Advertiser and read of the doings of the “ old boys.” St Matthew’s has indeed contributed its quota, and I feel proud to be included amongst the number.

We, in company with the 11th Division, took part in the new landing on the Peninsula. As you are aware, we did not quite achieve our object, but I feel sure that the surprise landing demoralized the Turks, who were anticipating an attack from the Asiatic coast.

It seems to me that people at home are only just beginning to realise the gravity of the situation. The fighting out here is of a different character, and on a different scale to that in France. I think Mr Winston Churchill aptly described the position when he said, “ The armies there are like men fighting on a high and narrow scaffolding above the surface of the earth.” We must indeed be prepared to make great sacrifices before the final goal is reached.

I will not trouble you with details of the new landing. We certainly had an exciting time, and for the first ten days had to work like Trojans, We were generally up at 3.30 a.m, and walked fully three miles to the Regimental Aid Post to collect the wounded. Motor or horse transport was out of the question, as there were no roads, and the ground generally very rough and treacherous. It was a poor sort of “ joy ride ” the patients had, yet I cannot call to mind, a single word of complaint.

The Warwickshire Yeomanry came along a fortnight after the landing was made. They acquitted themselves well in their first engagement, for it was no easy task to cross an open plain with shells bursting thick and furious. They helped to carry out a good piece of work, and all honour due to them.

We have had a splendid opportunity of watching the Navy at work, and can fully appreciate their good work. Without their aid it would be absolutely impossible to land, let alone exist, on the Peninsula.

For the present we have turned our back on the Peninsula, and are now in a different country, where we await orders. Mr Censor will not permit me to disclose our whereabouts, so I must leave you guessing.

Pte Arthur Tacey, A.S.C, another “ Old boy,” writes to Mr Myers from the Dardanelles :- “ We are having a hard time of it out here, strenuous work every day and nothing to eat but biscuits, bully beef, and jam. Still, we are not downhearted, and keep looking for the bright side, which we hope will not be very long in appearing now, though we all feel that we are on a very funny outing. One’s thoughts often turn to the old school and the happy times spent there. In the waits in our dug-outs we often amuse ourselves with making up doggerel rhymes, and I send you my last contribution.”

Summerdown Convalescent Hospital,

E Division, Hut 1, Eastbourne.

5/11/15.

DEAR SIR,—I am writing to ask you if you would kindly be good enough to insert this in your paper, as you see by the above address that I am writing this from a convalescent hospital and pleased to say that I am progressing favourably. I should, however, like the people of Rugby to know how the boys answered the country’s call last August ; as near as I can say about 100 enlisted in the 5th Oxford and Bucks, and I am pleased to say there are still some of them left, although, perhaps, few. We had what they call our baptism of fire on June 16th while waiting in reserve for the 6th Division. Here we lost one officer and 50 N.C.O and men whale taking over the position on June 19th. I might say I unluckily got gassed and somewhat blinded, and was away from my regiment six weeks. When I did rejoin on August 17th I luckily escaped a shell, which burst only a matter of a few feet off ; but on September 25th I was wounded and now I am enjoying my convalescent rest. I tell you it is not really so bad being a soldier, and if this letter should reach the eye of any “ slacker,” I hope it will have some effect in changing his mind, for I can assure them that men are wanted and will be had. So play the game and join.

I am, yours faithfully,

PTE. E. JACKSON.

OUR YOUNGEST TERRITORIAL.

We reproduce a photograph of Alfred Charles Hayward, son of Mr H E and Mrs Hayward, of 38 Winfield Street, Rugby, who is, we understand, the youngest of Rugby’s Territorials. Before the outbreak of war he was attached to E/Company of the 1/7th Warwickshires, and went with them to Rhyl for the annual encampment during the August Bank Holiday week in 1914. He was then within a month of being 14 years of age. As will be remembered, the battalion had scarcely, arrived in camp when they were ordered to mobolise at their war station in the south of England. They were eventually moved by stages to Leighton Buzzard, from whence they had a route march of 135 miles through Dunstable, Hitchin, Ware, Epping, Brentwood, Stock, Chelmsford, and other places to Totham. This occupied 11 days, and the distances covered each day ranged from 3 to 20 miles. On another occasion they went out on a three days’ march. Young Hayward marched with them, and never had to fall out. The sight of such a youngster striding along with the regiment naturally attracted much attention from spectators, and if is said that sympathetic mothers were often moved to mingle tears with admiration. He was medically examined and reported fit, but not old enough for active service, and when the battalion went to France, Bugler Hayward returned to Coventry to act with the reserve lines. He is still there waiting for the time when he can go on active service. It would be interesting to know whether there if a younger territorial in the country.

 

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Lance-corporal Arthur Mason, 6th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, who has been spending eight day’s leave at his mother’s resident 40 Rutland Gardens, Hove, returned to Flanders on November 6th.

Mr J Walker, of 58 Lawford Road. Rugby, who went to East Africa with Colonel Driscoll’s Legion of Frontiersmen in April, is now serving as second-lieutenant, the promotion dating from September 8th.

It is reported that six members of the 1/7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment-the County battalion—have been reported for Distinguished Conduct in the Field : Second-Lieuts Brian Ash and Sherwood ; Pte P W Hancocks (a Warwick man), Lce-Cpl Berry, Sergt Gerrard, and Q-M Shepherd.

A considerable number, of the clerical staff at the London and North-Western Railway Company’s works at Crewe have received permission to join the colours, and their places will be taken temporarily by women. Many of the unmarried men are enlisting under Lord Derby’s group scheme.

Mr H Pratt, of 4 School Street, Rugby, has enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps, and left Rugby for the Farnborough Flying Station yesterday (Friday) morning.

Since it was drafted to the front in June last, the 5th Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, in which many Rugby and district men enlisted, has been continuously engaged in strenuous work in an important position of the British line where fighting had been most desperate, and it has nobly upheld the glorious traditions of this famous regiment. The casualties have been exceptionally heavy, and are as under : Officers killed, 13 ; wounded, 19 ; N.C.O’s and men killed, wounded, and missing, nearly 900.

THE KING’S MESSENGER.

Corpl Fred Clarke, who carried out instructions to summon a doctor to attend his Majesty the King on the occasion of his recent accident in France, has been recognised by Hillmorton people from his portrait in a pictorial paper as a soldier of the same name who at the time he enlisted resided in the village.

ANOTHER LOCAL SOLDIER MISSING.

Pte Percy Woodhams, of the 2nd Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, is reported to have been missing since September 25th, the date of the great advance by the Allies in France. At the time Pte Woodhams enlisted, shortly after the outbreak of war, his father resided in Cambridge Street but he has since left the neighbourhood. Pte Woodhams was working at the B.T.H until within a short time of his enlistment.

TWO LOSSES IN TWELVE MONTHS.

Official news was received by Mrs Dodd on Saturday that her son, Corpl E Dodd, of the 5th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, was killed in action on October 16th. Corpl Dodd, whose home was at 11 Bennett Street, joined, the regiment when the war broke out. He formerly worked at the Gas Works and subsequently for Mr Young, contractor. He was 37 years of age and single. He became a smart soldiers and five weeks after enlistment was made corporal. Although he joined in August, 1914, he did not go out till October 1st, and he was killed on the 16th. On the 20th October last year his father died from the effects of an accident, so that Mrs Dodd has sustained two heavy losses within the twelve months, and the greatest sympathy will be extended to her.

LORD DERBY’S RECRUITING SCHEME.

CANVASSING COMMENCES LOCALLY,

The great efforts to secure recruits for the Army inaugurated by Lord Derby it now in full swing locally. Sub-canvassing committee rooms have been opened in the various wards, the blue cards were issued on Monday, and canvassing commenced the same evening.

The voluntary system is now on its trial, and only three weeks remain in which to prove whether it will or will not suffice to give up the number of men required to carry the war to a successful issue. To make the scheme a success every eligible man who can be spared should enlist, either for immediate service, or in the reserve, and it therefore behoves everyone to ask themselves whether the reasons which the held to be valid for not enlisting are not, after all, mere excuses.

Rugby has already done remarkably well—few towns have done better-but there are still many young men who could well be spared and who have no legitimate excuse for holding back, who should answer to the call ; and the fact that the single men are to be called on first will doubtless assist many married men, hesitating between two duties, to make a decision.

So far, the result of the canvass has been disappointing, and eligible men have not responded to the call with the readiness which was at one time anticipated. Only a few men have, so far, enlisted under the group system. The only regiments which are open at present are infantry of the line.

The groups in which recruits may place themselves are for single men numbered 1 to 23, for each year of age respectively, from 18 to 40; and for married men the groups are numbered 24 to 46 inclusive for ages respectively 18 to 40.

The following have enlisted during the past week :-W J Timms, G Beck, A Frisby, S H Garlick, B Hardy, T C Manby, E C Long, J R M Cave, R.G.A ; T W Rennison, 13th Batt E Yorks ; L A Fudge, H W Driver, R.H.A ; P Smith, W Nown, W J Dunkley, G Baker, C Allen, G Hollis, R.F.A ; E G Bristow, W G Heighton, H C Robinson, W J Riley, F J Hornby, A Varney, A Richardson, R.W.R ; C P Croft, C T Newcomb, K.R.R ; A Varney, 220 F Co, R.E ; J Masters, Coldstream Guarda ; W Parrett, F C Warren, C W Maycock, G Blundell, R.E ; J O’Brian, and J Webster, R Scots Fusiliers.

9th Oct 1915. Casualties and Lucky Escapes

OLD STATION CASUALTIES

Casualties are reported unofficially to a number of young men who joined the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry from homes at the Old Station, Rugby.

Mrs Bates, 98 Old Station, heard from four sources last week-end that her son, Albert, who enlisted on August 11th last year, at the age of 17, had been killed. He was formerly connected with the butchering trade, and had been at the front since May. His death is attributed to the explosion of a bomb, used to shatter the gun he had charge of to prevent it falling into the hands of the enemy.

Pte John C Burch, son of Mrs Burch, 27 Old Station Square, is in Sheffield Hospital, wounded by a shell in the left leg. From the cheerful manner in which he writes, it is hoped the wound is not serious.

Another Old Station resident, Pte Sidney Smith, of the 2nd Northants Regiment, has been brought to Sheffield Hospital wounded in both legs, this being the second time he has been wounded in the war, and that his condition is regarded as serious is judged from the fact that his wife was sent for at the beginning of the week.

He was reservist, who served in the Boer War, and at the time he was called up to the Colours was employed as a platelayer on the L & N.-W Railway.

News was received at 2 Worcester Street, Rugby, on Sunday morning, that Pte F Bradley, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, was being treated in Lincoln Hospital for a shell wound in the leg.

BURIED BY A SHELL.

Pte Ernest J Jackson whose home is at 18 Old Station Square, had a narrow escape in France towards the end of last month. He had got through the charge all right, and had just returned to a dug-out for a rest, when a shell burst and buried him and nine others. Pte Jackson managed to wriggle about and work himself free. He dragged three of his comrades out, but had to leave the rest. Those who escaped crawled along, not knowing where they were going, whether into the enemy’s hands or not ; but as luck would have it, they heard voices, and found British ambulance men at hand. Pte Jackson is now in hospital at Brighton, he having been wounded in the foot by shrapnel. His shoulders are also bruised. This is the second escape he has had, as he was badly gassed in June, and had only just returned in the firing line. He is an old Elborow boy.

 

WOUNDED BY SHRAPNEL.

News has reached the town that Fred Lenton, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, who enlisted from Rugby, has been wounded in the right hand by shrapnel. His forehead and the back of his head were also struck. When he joined Lord Kitchener’s Army he was working at the B.T.H. A field card has this week been received from Will Lenton, his brother, saying that he is all right.

HILLMORTON CASUALTIES.

Information has been received at Hillmorton respecting three of the young men from the village who joined the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry and took part in the British advance. C Cashmore is reported to be missing ; Chas Chambers is slightly wounded, but his friends do not know his exact whereabouts ; whilst P Roberts has been wounded in the thigh. He is now in hospital at Boulogne, and the sister-in-charge has written to say he is going on well.

PRIVATE TOM SHONE KILLED.

As we recorded last week, Pte Tom Shone, of Newbold, has been killed while taking part in the advance on Loos on September 25th. A letter, written by the officer of the section to which Pte Shone belonged, conveyed the sad news to his parents that he had been killed by a German shell. Pte Shone was 19 years of age, and was the only son, and when he enlisted in Kitchener’s Army in September last year was serving his apprenticeship to the carpentry at Messrs Foster & Dicksee’s. He was a teacher at the Church Sunday School for some time, and also a member of the choir. He always took his usual seat amongst the choristers when home on leave, and was always ready to give a helping hand to anything for the welfare of the village. He was highly respected by all who knew him, and his untimely death is much regretted among a wide circle of friends, and much sympathy is felt with Mr and Mrs Shone and family in their sad bereavement. In the letter received by the parents the officer says :— “ He was one of the best fellows I had, and nicest, and I felt I could always trust him to carry out anything, and carry it out well. On the day before we made the attack I had decided to have him with me to take any important messages ; but the Captain of the Company knew of his work, and took him for himself. Unfortunately our Captain was killed just before starting, so your son, with three others got detached from us, and I never saw him again. I discovered from several sources that he got across to the German lines all right, and pushed straight on, passing us by mistake on the right hidden by some trees, and got right up into the furthest line the British reached, and was with another regiment. The Germans shelled this (as they did nearly everywhere else) very heavily, and he was killed by one of these shells. But he died right up in the front line, as one would quite expect from him. We have all lost a good soldier and a very nice fellow, and I for one mourn his and others’ loss, and can only offer to you and your family deep sympathy, with the assurance that he died doing his duty nobly, as I found he always did.”

SERGT. GLOVER, OF NEWTON, KILLED.

Information has been received of the death of Sergt J Glover, of the Royal West Kent Regiment, who was killed in France on the night of 14th September. He was shot through the head whilst out with the platoon on special duty, and died instantly. During his period of service in the Regular Army he served a number of years in Malta, and prior to mobilisation was a reservist (Corporal), and worked at the British Thomson-Houston Company, Rugby, where he won the esteem of all his fellow-workers with whom he came in contact. He was also a very familiar figure at the Drill Hall, Park Road, where he often visited his sister (Mrs Cleaver), and could be seen frequently assisting Sergt-Major Cleaver, with rifles, and other work. He was well-known by the members of “E” Company, but being a Reservist he was unable to join the Company.

On rejoining his unit, he was employed as an instructor, eventually attacked to the 6th Battalion Royal West Kent Regiment, promoted sergeant, and retained on instructional duties. He leaves a wife and one child, residing at Newton. An official notice of his death has been received, and his widow has received a letter from his Platoon Officer, who was unable to proceed with the regiment to France. He writes:—“ I cannot tell yon how sorry I was to get the news of your husband’s death. It came as a great shock to me, and you have my deepest sympathy. However, you must be proud in your sorrow, knowing that your husband died doing his duty to his King and Country. He was the very best sergeant I have ever met, and I was looking forward to seeing him, and the good old platoon, when they let me go to the front, which I hope will be soon. I think that you should be very thankful that in your husband’s case it must have been instantaneous death, as he was shot right through the head.”

Second-Lieut Yates, of the 6th R.W.K.R writes :—“ Sergt J Glover was killed on the night of the 14th, while superintending a working party, behind the trenches. It will be some consolation to you perhaps to know that his death was instantaneous, and due to no indiscretion, being caused by a stray bullet, which struck him full in the head, but you will find greater consolation in the fact that his splendid work with his platoon, and generally in the Company, was recognised, and admired by all ranks, and that his loss is very seriously mourned by officers, and men, not only in the Company, but also throughout the Battalion. At the same time thoroughly efficient, and popular with his men, he inspired both discipline and confidence in the men of his Platoon, of which he was sole commander for several months. As his successor in command, I can testify to the smartness and efficiency he had trained them in, and also to the grief which they felt at his loss. Sergt Glover is buried in the 6th R.W.K.R graveyard.”

The deceased was a native of Darenth, Dartford, Kent.

Another of Mrs Cleaver’s brothers was wounded earlier in the war ; three of her cousins have been killed in action ; two brothers and one brother-in-law are still at the front, and have been there from the time of the Expeditionary Force.

RUSSIAN HONOUR FOR LONG LAWFORD BOY.

A signal honour has been conferred upon an old Long Lawford schoolboy, Sergt Frank Knight, of the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoons, who has been awarded the Russian Medal of St. George, 1st Class. Sergt Knight was recently discharged from the 2nd Eastern General Hospital. He was wounded in the arm, but is now thoroughly recovered. His brother, Bert, is serving with the same regiment at the front.

RUGBY MAN PROMOTED.

Corpl Chas Flavell, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, whose parents live at 38 Plowman Street, Rugby, has been promoted to the rank of Company Sergeant-Major. A letter was received from him on Tuesday, in which he states he has come through the recent fighting all right, although many comrades have fallen.

A LUCKY ESCAPE.

Harry Favell, of the Coldstream Guards, whose home is in Plowman Street, Rugby, is now in Hospital suffering from shock caused by the explosion near him of a shell, by which three men were killed and he was blown into the air, but luckily escaped without being wounded. A short time ago this soldier was for a time incapacitated through the blowing in of a part of the trench, and it is not long since he was home on furlough. His brother, Fred Favell, who is in the Garrison Artillery, is reported to be fit and well.

RUGBY SOLDIER’S NOVEL DIARY.

Armourer Staff-Sergeant F H Dodson, of the 7th Warwicks, who is now engaged in the Central Armoury for the British force in France, has been home for a week, and returned to duty on Tuesday. His diary is unique, in that it is illustrated with quite a number of interesting objects and articles he has met with in France. The railway rack used for the transport of men and horses alike has been sketched in the diary, and there are various coloured drawings, such as kitchen stoves, a beer cart, wheelbarrow, etc, in addition to wayside shrines, an example of elaborate grotto work found on Church steeples, a windmill, a farmhouse with a dog turning a large wheel by the aid of which butter-making is carried on indoors ; also a village fire brigade station, with its primitive tools hung upon the walls. All these help to elucidate what is written in the journal, and naturally add to its value. Types of respirators used in the trenches to counteract poison gas were inspected by Armourer-Sergeant Dodson’s friends with interest, and he has a souvenir of the war in the form of a barrel of an E Company rifle pierced by an enemy bullet when projecting above the parapet of a trench.

LETTERS FROM OLD MURRAYIANS.

Mr W T Coles Hodges, headmaster of Murray School, has received the following letters from Old Murrayians serving at the front:—

Driver F Calloway, of the Artillery, writes :-“ I am sorry to see we are losing a lot of Old Murrayians ; but still, we cannot expect to keep going on without losing a few. I have the Rugby Advertiser sent out to me every week, and it is very interesting to see all the news. I have met several of my school chums since I have been out here, and they all wish to be remembered to you. We do not want for anything, and the French people are very good to us all ; but the Germans are a wicked lot, and their chief business appears to be the smashing of churches. There is one church here they have sent hundreds of shells at, but they can’t knock it to bits ; they can only fetch the corners of it off. They never managed to hit one thing-the Crucifix—you can always see them left standing bare.”

Sergt A F Duncuff, 6th Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, writes :—“ One does not easily forget the good old times when we were at school together and afterwards. I daresay I am not the only one who misses my game of football on Saturday afternoon. . . . Life in the trenches is not so bad in the fine weather, but at present we are having it rather wet, and it makes it very miserable. The trenches we were in before further down the line were palaces compared with these we are in now. . . . I have been in the trenches some time, but we still stick to the ball, as it were, and ‘play the game.’ I have met a number of ‘ old boys’ out here, and a talk about old times is very nice.”

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Major and Hon Lieut-Col Basil Hanbury has now ceased to be employed as a recruiting officer.

Second-Lieut A J Harris, son of Mr A Harris, of Dunchurch Road, Rugby, of the Royal Engineers, has been promoted to lieutenant.

The Rev R W Dugdale and the Rev G M Morgan, of the St Andrew’s Parish Church staff, who recently joined the Army as chaplains, are now “somewhere in France.”

W H Whitelaw, the old Oxford long-distance running blue, having served in the ranks of the Sportsman’s Battalion for nine months, has been gazetted second-lieutenant in the 20th King’s Liverpool Regiment, and is now stationed on Salisbury Plain.

Pte G P Lummas, of 13 Graham Road, signaller in the Oxford and Bucks, was wounded in the neck by shrapnel in the great advance on September 25th. He is now in hospital at Tunbridge Wells, and is going on nicely.

Information has been, received that Sapper T Lord, of the Royal Engineers, son of Mr T Lord, 28 Bennett Street, has been wounded in the thigh by shrapnel. The injuries are stated not to be of a serious nature ; but Sapper Lord is in hospital, and expects to be brought to England.

A concert was thoroughly enjoyed by the wounded and staff at “ Ashlawn ” Red Cross Hospital on Wednesday. It was given by the Albert Street Ladies’ Class, assisted by a few friends.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

The following have been attested at the Rugby Drill Hall during the past week :—T Gamble, Coldstream Guards ; A Bennett and C Knight, Royal Flying Corps ; E W Hemming, Royal Engineers ; S G Turner, 220th Fortress Co, R.E ; E Wheeler, Royal Engineers (driver) ; H Ogburn, Royal Warwick Regiment ; E J West, South Wales Borderers.

 

3rd Jul 1915. Belgians Charged with Theft

BELGIANS CHARGED WITH THEFT.

Yesterday (Friday), at the Occasional Court, before A E Donkin, Esq, two Belgians – Petre John Van Weser, 15 Rowland Street, Rugby, and Gabriel Joseph Peeters, 65 Pinfold Street, New Bilton – were charged with stealing 21lbs weight of metal, of the value of 17s 6d, the property of Messrs Willans & Robinson, Ltd, on July 1st. – Sergt Brown gave evidence of the recovery of the metal and the arrest of prisoners. Weser stating that the brass articles were given them by another man. – Prisoners were remanded in custody till Tuesday.

RUGBY MAGISTERIAL.

SATURDAY:-Before T Hunter & J J McKinnell, Esqrs.

HIS THIRD APPEARANCE.—George Le Clerg, a Belgian labourer, lately lodging in Lower Hillmorton Road, was charged with being drunk and disorderly on June 25th. – P.C Field said at midnight he went in the company of P.C Wakelin to the Lower Hillmorton Road, and there found prisoner very drunk and excited. Witness said the defendant gave more trouble in the town than all the other Belgians put together. On the night in question he had been fighting with his landlord, who had put him into the street, and it was with difficulty the officers got him to the Police Station.-Inspector Lines said this was defendant’s third appearance at the Court for drunkenness this year. – Mr Hunter suggested that prisoner’s employers should be informed of the facts, and asked to get some of the other Belgians to speak to defendant and become responsible for his good behaviour – Defendant was fined 6s, and was warned that if he did not keep himself straight he might be sent back to Belgium.

Mr T. HUNTER’S FOUR OFFICER SONS.

Mr T Hunter, J.P, C.A, of “ Elmhurst,” Hillmorton Road, has four sons serving in his Majesty’s Army.

S A Hunter, the Midland Counties’ footballer, is in the 4th West Riding Howitzer Brigade, and has been promoted from second-lieutenant to lieutenant. He has about completed a month’s gunnery training on Salisbury Plain, and will then take up his duties again at the depot at Otley, Yorkshire.

The next son, Wilfred Hunter, who was in the Rugby Howitzer Brigade, passed the Sandhurst examination in February, and has been transferred to the Royal Military College, Woolwich. After completing his course there, he will be gazetted to the Royal Garrison Artillery.

L J Hunter, who went out to the front with the Northamptonshire Yeomanry in November, was given a commission in April in the Army Service Corps, and is now at a supply depot at Newcastle-on-Tyne.

F Hunter, the youngest son, who is only 18 1/2 years, passed out of Sandhurst on April 17th, and was gazetted second-lieutenant in the Gordon Highlanders. He was attached to the Royal Flying Corps in May, and on June 11th gained his pilot’s certificate.

ELBOROW “OLD BOY ” INJURED BY POISON OAS.

Pte Ernest Jas Jackson, of 18 Old Station Square, Rugby, is in hospital at Havre, suffering from the effects of poison gas. He was on the way to the trenches on June 19th when a gas shell burst quite near him. Two men were killed by it, three were wounded, and Pte Jackson and another were affected by the fumes, which have injured the former’s eyes. He enlisted with other old Elborow boys in the 5th Battalion of the Oxford and Bucks light Infantry on September 1st last year, and after a course of training was sent to the front about six weeks ago. Previous to Joining the Army Pte Jackson was employed at the B.T.H Works.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Thirteen recruits have been accepted at the Drill Hall, Park Road, Rugby, during the past week. Their names are :—W Muddiman and J W King, Northants Regiment ; R Graham, Connaught Rangers ; H E Moon, G Ellerton, W Hobley, 220th (Rugby) Fortress Co, R.E ; C Freeman, 216th (Nuneaton) Fortress Co, R.E ; W J Barrett and G Wallace, A.S.C ; G Fairbrother, J A Richards, J A Cresswell, P G G Rose, Corps of Military Police.

THE WAR LOAN.

WILLANS & ROBINSON SUBSCRIBE FOR £15,000.

The new war loan is being taken up very well indeed locally by small investors through the Post Office. The £5 multiples are the most popular form of investment, the demand for scrips of smaller amounts not being so great as might have been expected. At the Rugby Post Office the staff have done quite a good amount of business in relation to the loan this week, the amount subscribed running into some hundreds of pounds, and quite a substantial sum has been transferred by depositors from the Post Office Savings Bank.

At a meeting on Wednesday the Directors of Willans & Robinson decided to subscribe for £15,000 of war loan, and made application for it following day.

SUGGESTED PRECAUTIONS IN CASE OF AIR RAIDS.

In response to the appeal of Col G M Seabroke (chief officer of the Rugby Fire Brigade), published in our last issue, for six owners of motor-cars to offer the loan of their cars for the conveyance of first-aid appliances in case of an air raid, and for 24 Boy Scouts to volunteer their services in such an eventuality, we are informed that Mr G F Brown, fruiterer, has already offered the loan of his car, and the following members of the 1st Rugby Troop of Scouts have volunteered for duty :-J Andrews, A Anderson, R Smith, C Fenley, W Bailey, A A Cordall, R Hartley, and S Davis.

 

22nd May 1915. Casualties of the War

ANOTHER RUGBY MAN MISSING.

Mr and Mrs J Wood, of 85 Oxford Street, have received news from the front that their son, Rifleman Leslie Wood, of the Rifle Brigade, is missing. His regiment was engaged in severe fighting in the neighbourhood of Hill 60 on Sunday, May 9th, and after the battle he failed to respond to the roll call, and his fate is, at present, uncertain. Rifleman Wood joined the army in August last, and was drafted to the front about ten weeks ago. He was 21 years of age, and previous to joining the army was employed, in the Controller Factory of the B.T.H. He was a former member of the Holy Trinity Church Choir, and was also a member of the Church Troop of Boy Scouts, in which organization he took a great interest. He is a nephew of Mr W E Robotham, vice-chairman of the Rugby Board of Guardians.

PAILTON.

KILLED IN ACTION.-Much sympathy is felt with the Rev W E and Mrs Jackson, who received the news on Friday last week of the loss of their second son, Second-lieut E P Jackson, 3rd Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, but attached to the 1st Battalion South Wales Borderers, killed in action. Lieut Jackson was a young man of great promise and very highly spoken of by his brother officers. Before joining the Army he was pursuing his legal studies, and after he had graduated at his college he intended to take up law as his profession. He seemed to have a peculiar aptitude for legal decisions. His College authorities, as well as his military authorities, speak in the highest terms of his work. All will regret that a young life of such promise should be out off after just having attained his majority.

HILLMORTON.

SERGEANT H. H. HANCOCKS KILLED AT HILL 60.

Mr and Mrs J Hancocks, of Hillmorton Locks, have received the sad mews that their third son, Sergt Herbert Harold Hancocks, of the 3rd Battalion King’s Royal Rifles, was killed in action at Hill 60 on April 26th. Sergt Hancocks, who was 25 years of age, had been in the Army eight years, seven, of which had been spent abroad in Crete, Malta, and latterly India. He was present when the dastardly attempt to assassinate the Viceroy, Lord Hardinge, was made, and some of the scraps of metal from the bomb were embedded in his helmet. He also assisted in lifting Lord Hardinge from the elephant, and was present at the great Durbar. He finished his term as a soldier in July last, but owing to the outbreak of war was unable to return home. His regiment landed in England in November, and proceeded to the front a few days before Christmas. Before leaving for France he spent a few days with his family at Hillmorton. He was one of the best shots in the corps, for which he was awarded at modal. He was also a first-class signaller, and acted as instructor in this branch. An enthusiastic follower of local football, Sergt Hancocks informed his patents that he always looked out for the Rugby Advertiser reports of local matches. The accompanying photograph is reproduced from a group taken in India. Another son of Mr and Mrs Hancocks is serving in Kitchener’s Army.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mr J C Brown, son of Mr J Brown, of North Street, Rugby, has received a commission as surgeon probationer in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserves.

Lieut-Col and Hon Col H Hanbury has been gazetted lieutenant-colonel of the 7th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

Mr Percy Read, of 86 York Street, who is a compositor at Messrs Frost & Sons, is leaving his work to join the Army. Mr Read was married about two years ago, and as an old Volunteer has been so impressed with the necessities of the military situation that he is giving up his employment and disposing of his home in order to do his “ little bit” for his country. We hope that his patriotic example will be imitated.

Some Royal Engineers were waiting at a railway crossing near Bletchley on Monday when a trainload of German prisoners captured in the Hill 60 fighting passed through. The latter, seeing the British soldiers, spat at them from the carriage windows and made insulting remarks. The Engineers disregarded the jeers, and remained standing at attention.

RUGBY MAN BADLEY WOUNDED.

Corpl F M Staines, 2nd Rifle Brigade, a son of Second Officer Staines, of the Rugby Fire Brigade, has been rather badly wounded. In a letter he states that on Sunday, May 9th, after a bombardment, they made a charge, and after they had captured three German trenches he was wounded in the left hip. He got back somehow, but while he was doing so he received another wound through the right thigh. This was at 6 a.m. on Sunday, and he had to lie where he was until 4 a.m on Tuesday before they could carry him in. He is now in hospital at Boulogne, where he states that he is receiving every attention, and where all are most kind. He concludes his letter with a request for the Rugby Advertiser.- A lady writing from the hospital states that Corpl Staines has undergone an operation, and that he is very plucky in bearing his wounds.

KINGS NEWNHAM.

It was with very great regret the news was received of the death at the battle of Ypres, on April 25th, of Pte Charles Hancox, of the 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was one of first from this village to enlist, and the first to fall in the service of his country. He was of a quiet, unassuming character, and was well liked by everyone. Charlie was a native of Long Lawford, and losing both his parents when he was quite a boy, he and his younger brother were taken to and brought up by the late Mrs Clark, of Kings Newnham, with whom they lived till her death two years ago. He proved himself deserving of all her kindness and care.

Before enlisting he worked for Mr W Dunn as a farm labourer. He went into the trenches on February 22nd. On Sunday evening, after the usual service, the Rector (Rev G W Jenkins) invited those who cared to stay to at memorial service in the Parish Church, where he was a most regular worshipper. Part of the Burial Service was read by the Rector, and the hymn, ” On the Resurrection morning,” was sung. The whole congregation remained to pay their last respect to this young soldier. He was 24 years of age. He had a very deep sense of his duty to his King and country. In a letter received from him, written shortly before his death, his concluding words were : ” Don’t worry about me; God knows best, and that is my hope.”

RUGBY FORTRESS COMPANY.

SIR,  – Lord Kitchener has told me that he needs 360,000 more men.

The War Office has asked the town of Rugby to raise a (Fortress) Company Royal Engineers, and a reply has been sent to the Secretary of the War Office to say that Rugby will raise this company.

The members of the recruiting committee, the leaders of the trades and labour organisations, and many others have done everything they can to put full information before the men. We are still short of about 60 men, especially bricklayers, blacksmiths, carpenters, and masons.

There are plenty of suitable men in Rugby who can join, and I ask them to do so at once in order that the training of the company may go on without any delay.

If man has good reasons for not coming himself, he ought to feel justified in asking others to join. If he does not feel justified in asking others to join, then I ask him again to consider the possibility of coming himself.-I am, sir, yours faithfully.

E W E KEMPSON (LIEUT).

0.C 22th Fortress Company, R.E.

During the past week the recruits have been drilling at the Howitzer Battery headquarters, and by their smartness and general aptitude for their work have surprised and delighted the experienced non-commissioned officers who are training them. It is hoped that the first batch will receive their uniform in the course of a few days.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

The following have enlisted during the past week at the Rugby Drill Hall :- E J Baker, A V Herbert, G E Manser, W V Ingram, W F Bloomfield, T H Lang, W T Boyce, W C Carrick, F G Turner, Rugby Fortress Company; T Holman, Staffords; A J Brett, R.A.M.C ;G J T Collier, Hants Regiment ; C A Bird, Leicestershires ; W H Hallam, Lincolnshire Regiment; E Harris, R.W.R ; J Dorman, L J Turner, and G Facer, Mechanical Transport. A.S.C.

THE WHITE FEATHER POSTCARD.

SIR,-I received a postcard through the post this morning with a white leather on and the following words: “ Stop playing with little boys ! Be a man ; play the game ; think it over.” It is generally a wise rule to pay no attention to anonymous letters ; but I think, perhaps, that the sender may be sincere, if ignorant, and I therefore propose to answer it.

Firstly, let me say that I spent four years with the Rugby Boy Scouts – years which cost me all my spare time and a considerable amount of money. I fail to see that I am to be condemned for doing voluntary work.

The following facts may possibly enlighten those who concern themselves with other people’s affairs :-

My business was founded by myself twelve years ago on a capital of £10, and has grown steadily owing to personal effort, until to-day we are handling about £17,000 a year in premiums. A year and a half ago a move was made to larger premises, and consequently heavier expenses were incurred. Six months later war broke out. During these eleven years I never had a salary, but have depended entirely on commission. There have been many anxious moments throughout that time, and the future is naturally very uncertain. Nevertheless, I immediately volunteered for active service in the Royal Flying Corps, armoured car section, or elsewhere, stipulating that I should be given the option of leaving the service at the end of six months. This was refused by the authorities. This insurance business is a personal one and dependent on me, and I see no reason I should be driven into bankruptcy, with the consequent dismissal of my staff and the failure of heavy obligation to some of my relatives.

The idea of sending me a white feather marks the sender as a fool. No one knows until he faces the great crisis whether he is coward or not. So far, any rate in the minor adventures of life, my nerve has not troubled me.

Finally, let me express my disgust at the action of a Rugby inhabitant who is capable of sending such an epistle through the post on a card. My only reason for dealing with the matter at all is to save the feelings of others to whom, no doubt, similar documents may be sent, I am not ashamed of my reasons, hence this letter, which I shall be glad to explain further if the sender has the courage to call at my office or write to me under his or her correct name.

I B HART-DAVIES.

3 Albert Street, Rugby, May 17th.

[Note: Lieutenant Hart Davies of the Royal Flying Corps was killed on 27 July 1917]