18th Mar 1916. The War Tribunal – Local Appeals



RUGBY RURAL DISTRICT.—Thursday. Present: Mr J Johnson (chairman), Rev F Challenor, Messrs C E Boughton-Leigh, H Tarbox, J H Walker, and H Flowers. Messrs M E T Wratislaw and F M Burton represented the Military Authorities.

The Vicar of Marton supported an application for exemption by the village postman, who has 3 brothers serving, leaving appelant, whose parents were dead, to keep his sister.-Application refused.

A Newbold farmer, occupying 381 acres, obtained a 2 months’ exemption for his stockman. A single man, who occasionally helped with the milking.-The Military representatives opposed on the ground that there was sufficient help on the farm.

The proprietor of general stores at Wolston applied on behalf of the manager of his stores at Brinklow on the ground that he could not find a substitute, and the man had four brothers in the army.-The man said he was married, and had attested believing that every single man possible would be called up first.—Mr Flowers : Do you think Lord Derby has broken his pledge ?—A He does not seem to be getting on with it very well.—The manager said he had four brothers at the front ; one was a prisoner of war in Germany, and one was maimed for life.—The Chairman : That is a fine record for one family.—Application refused.

A further postponement was asked for the assistant overseer, the Clerk to the Parish Council, and school attendance officer at Wolston, who had already been put back ten groups. When he first offered for the army he was rejected, but since then he had been passed by the doctor.—A belated appeal had been received from the County Director of Education, stating that it was in the national interest that the attendance at school should be enforced, but this could not be considered.—The personal application was refused.-Undersized, and with defective eyesight, a cellarman and manager at a Newbold public house appealed, chiefly on the score of ill-health. He had attested because he thought it the duty of every Englishman to do so, and he thought he might do something of a non-combatant nature.—A medical certificate was produced, stating that the man was suffering from nervous debility, and at present was unfit for service abroad. Refused.—The bailiff at Princethorpe Priory claimed on behalf of the ladies there that a trap horseman, luggage carter, etc, was indispensable. Nearly 200 acres of land are occupied, 70 being arable. This man was said to be very useful in attending to farm stock in general.—Exemption refused.—On the grounds of “ national interest ” and “ certified occupation,” a working farmer at Frankton appealed. He had previously been “ starred ” by the Tribunal,-and had not attested, so now renewed his application.—Conditional exemption.—Described as a shepherd and cowman, and doing general skilled farm work, a single man from Bilton appealed as being indispensable to the welfare of the farm on which he is employed.—Refused.


Although a shell turner, engaged on high explosive shells, a young man living in Lawford Road, New Bilton, asked for exemption on conscientious grounds, and also on the ground of financial hardship. If he was called for military service great strain would be put upon his mother, sister, and young brother who was gifted as a scholar. He had conscientious objections to combatant service, and hated the thought of taking life. He regarded it on a duty to allow people to live as long as God willed, and thought a good Christian should help to relieve sickness, distress, and suffering.—Mr Flowers : Does not your consciences prick you a bit when you are making these shells ?—A : When I went to the works I could not make a choice of my job.—In reply to the Clerk, applicant said the reason he did not want to go to the war was because he objected to killing men.—Mr Walker : Would you like to join the Corps to make holes to bury the dead ?—A : No, I should not. I have never seen a dead man yet.—The Clerk : Have you any objection to help the wounded ?—A : I could not say “ no ” if a man happened to be wounded or injured.—Mr Walker : How long have you had this kind of a conscience ?—A : A long time.—The application was refused.


Permission was granted for an interview by a Welsh farmer, living at Draycote, who had been called up under the Military Service Act, and who said he thought as a farmer he was exempt. He applied too late for his papers to send in an appeal. He occupied 215 acres, of which 50 were arable, and he had since January only had a lad of 14 to help him. He had 63 head of cattle and 80 ewes, of which 50 had yet to lamb.—The Clerk said in the case of a man who had good reasons for the delay, the Tribunal had power to deal with such an application.—The Chairman said he was sure it was a genuine case, and applicant was told to till up the form, which would be dealt with by the Advisory Committee, who would probably recommend an exemption.


On Thursday a deputation from the Rugby Chamber of Trade, consisting of Messrs C H. Rowbottom, E H Bennett, and H Lupton Reddish, waited upon Colonel Johnstone, Recruiting Officer for the Rugby district, and laid before him the following points in regard to attested members of the Chamber :—

That it seems unfair that single men should be allowed to shelter themselves from Military service by entering controlled establishments.

That one of the grounds of appeal by an attested man is that serious hardship would ensue if the man were called up for Army service, owing to his exceptional financial or business obligations or domestic position.

That the skilled workman admittedly puts his brains and ability into his work. The man who has a retail business also does this, and, in addition, puts in his capital, and maintains and increases his business by constant personal thought and attention.

That it is a custom in certain retail trades to make large purchases in advance, e.g., spring and autumn goods are often purchased six months beforehand.

That serious hardship and loss will, in many cases, ensue to attested retail tradesmen, both single and married, by their being called up for Army service.

That attested men now employed in controlled establishments should be released for military service.

That attested single and married men having retail businesses should be given the opportunity of entering controlled establishments to take the place of single men released for military service, a portion of each day, or week, or in any case leaving them free to attend to their businesses during the remainder of each day or week.

That attested men, in order to qualify for work in controlled establishments, would be willing at once to give up some portion of each day to learn the work, so that, when their group is called up, they will be in a position to effectively take up the work without delay.

That failing this, attested single and married men, having retail businesses, be trained for military service in Rugby, or some town near, for a portion of each day, or week, to attend to their businesses. This would be on the lines of what was done in the case of the Rugby Fortress Company.


A meeting, convened by the Chairman of the Rugby Urban District Council, has recently been held to agree upon joint action in the event of a hostile air raid. It was the opinion that the two essentials to be aimed at to secure protection from damage were darkness and silence, and that arrangement should be made with the Superintendent of Police, when the presence of Zeppelins is notified, to warn by telephone the Fire Brigade, Special Constables, V.T.C., Boy Scouts, O.T.C., and St. John Ambulance, to each of whom duties will be assigned to get the two essentials promptly observed by the inhabitants ; and also to render aid in the event of casualties, fires, or damage being caused.


The casualties reported amongst L. & N.W.R. men serving with the Forces are estimated at 3,520.

Mr James Renshaw, of the Black Horse, has received a copy of “ The Balkan News,” an English newspaper published, at Salonika, containing an account of a football match (Association) between the Main Supply Depot (Army Service Corps) and the 28th Divisional Cyclists Corps, which ended in a draw, 3-3. Sergt G Renshaw, captain of the Rugby Club, played for the A.S.C, scored one of the goals, and gained honourable mention.


Amongst the awards for gallantry on the Western front just announced is the name of Corp (now Sergt) W J Bale, 2nd Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who has gained, the Distinguished Conduct Medal. Sergt Bale has been previously “ mentioned in despatches,” and was recently promoted for bravery in the field.

A number of conscripts have been passed through the Drill Hall this week, and several married attested men have joined before the calling up of their group.

Conscientious objectors passed for non-combatant service are to be formed into Non-Combatant Companies with the distinctive letters on their caps, N.C.C. They will not bear arms of any kind.


Atkins.—In loving memory of our dear son, who was killed at St. Eloi, in France, March 16th, 1915.

“In a far and distant land,
Where the trees and branches wave,
Lies a dear and loving son,
One we loved but could not save.
Just one year since Jesus called him,
How we miss his cheerful face ;
But he left us to remember,
None on earth can fill his place.”
Silently mourned by his loving Father & Mother.

ATKINS.—In loving memory of our dear brother, who was killed at St. Eloi, in France, on March 16th, 1915.

“ One year has passed, our hearts still sore,
Day by day we miss him more ;
His welcome smile, his dear sweet face,
Never on earth can we replace.
We often sit and think of him,
And think of how he died ;
To think he could not say good-bye
Before he closed his eyes.”
—Still sadly missed by his loving Brothers & Sisters.

[This is Rifleman John Sheasby Atkins of Stretton on Dunsmore.
CWGC gives his date of death as 15th March]

JUDD.—In loving memory of our dear son and brother, Rifleman G. Judd, who was killed at Neuve Chapelle, March 17th, 1915.



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Judd, George. Died 17th Mar 1915

George Judd’s birth was registered in the third quarter of 1889 in Rugby.[1]

Photograph of George Judd from a public tree on Ancestry.co.uk

Photograph of George Judd from a public tree on Ancestry.co.uk

In the 1891 census George was aged 1 and lived with his parents Henry and (Eleanor) Annie and older sister Alice, aged 3, at 27 Union Street, Rugby. His Norfolk born father was a “Rural Letter Carrier”.

By 1901 they had moved to 16 Winfield Road and father, Henry, was still a ‘rural postman’.

In the 1911 census George was aged 21 and a carpenter in an electrical works. He now lived at 14 Winfield Street, Rugby (which may have been the same house that had been renumbered) with his parents and his younger brother Harry. His father was now a retired postman.

When George joined up, he was 25 and was still employed as a carpenter at BTH. George was a member of the Congregational Young Men’s Bible Class and the family attended the Cambridge Street Wesleyan Church.   George was engaged to be married to a young lady from Rugby. [2]

He was one of the first Rugby men to join the new army, enlisting in the 2nd Battalion of the Rifle Brigade on 31 August 1914 as rifleman No. Z449, and left for the Depot on 2 September.

The 2nd Battalion had returned from India, in late October 1914, and joined 25th Brigade, 8th Division at Hursley Park, Winchester and proceeded to France landing at Le Havre on the 6 November 1914.

It seems that George was not with them at that date, probably still being ‘in training’ and was first posted to Queensbury Pier and then to guard duty at Munster, which duty was too important for him to receive any home leave.

On 2 January 1915 he was drafted to go to the front, and entered into the French theatre of war on 4 January 1915.

At this time he was about the only local man in the battalion at the front, but a few weeks later a considerable batch of Rugby men, nearly 600, were sent to join the King’s Royal Rifles.[3]

The Battle of Neuve Chapelle began on the 10th of March 1915, a British offensive in the Artois region of France and broke through at Neuve-Chapelle, but the British were unable to exploit the advantage. More troops had arrived from Britain and relieved some French troops in Flanders and enabled a continuous British line to be formed from Langemarck to Givenchy. The battle was intended to cause a rupture in the German lines, which would then be exploited with a rush to the Aubers Ridge and possibly Lille, the railway terminus from the east and south-east which was used by the Germans. [4]

On the 10th March, at 8:05 am the 25th (right) Brigades of the 8th Division assaulted the German trenches on the north-west of the village. On 12th and 13th at Layes Bridge the 2nd Battalion Rifle Brigade incurred severe casualties from machine gun and artillery fire. On the 13 March the Germans kept up a sustained heavy bombardment, unaware that the attack had ended.[5] During those actions the Battalion won two VCs.

The action at Neuve Chapelle was called off on 13 March, however, heavy shelling continued. From 16th to 20th March, the 2nd Battalion were holding the line, until relieved by the 2nd Berkshires on the 20th March.

Having survived the various assaults, it was presumably in the shelling that would have continued over the days after the main assault whilst the 2nd Battalion were still in the front line, that George was ‘Killed in Action’ by the explosion of a shell in his trench on 17 March. [6]

George’s Medal Card states he had won the Victory, British and 1915 Star Medals.

The Commonwealth War Graves citation records his parents as Henry Judd and Eleanor A Judd, who were, at the time of George’s death, living in Westgate Road, Hillmorton Paddox, Rugby

George is remembered on Panel 44 of the Le Touret Memorial at Armentieres, Pas de Calais and on the Memorial Gate, Rugby.


[1] freebmd

[2] Taken from Rugby Advertiser, 10 April 1915.

[3] Taken from Rugby Advertiser, 10 April 1915

[4] See more at: http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/alliedarmy-view.php?pid=6863#sthash.dZLjpNWm.dpuf

[5] http://www.britpolitics.co.uk/neuve-chapelle-first-battle-first-world-war-1915

[6] Taken from Rugby Advertiser, 10 April 1915