16th Nov 1918. The Signing of the Armistice


In the early hours of Monday morning—at five o’clock, to be precise—the plenipotentiaries sent by the German Government to Martin Foch to negotiate an armistice signified their acceptance of the terms which that great General had given to them to think over ; and, in accordance with the initial clause of those terms, the cruellest and most terrible war that has ever scourged mankind virtually came to an end six hours later, viz, at 11 o’clock on the 11th day of the 11th month of the year. The people of the British Empire had been waiting with feverish anxiety over the week-end the decision of the German Government, and when it was made known that the sword had given away to the pen, and that the armistice was an accomplished fact, the pent-up feelings of suspense and uncertainty changed to expressions of intense joy and gratification. As far as the British Nation was concerned, this joyfulness was not manifested because our bitterest enemy lay at our feet, and that it was in our power to take revenge for the wrongs it had inflicted on humanity ; but because there was an end to the further slaughter and suffering of our sailors and soldiers, and because the agony of the past four years had at last borne fruit and brought into view that prospect of peace and a warless future, for which the whole civilised world was yearning and was earnestly appealing to a Higher Power.


The news that the Germans had signed the armistice was received with great jubilation in Rugby and district on Monday morning. Shortly after ten o’clock telephone messages, conveying the glad tidings were received at the Advertiser Office and in the town, but it was fully an hour before official confirmation was forthcoming. Many people at once left work before the pre-arranged intimation was conveyed by four blasts on the B.T.H blower. The signal was sounded just about noon, and was taken up by engine men on the railway who used their whistles vigorously. The employees poured out of the various works and joined those who had already left the smaller workshops and business establishments in the town. The streets were quickly filled with people joyously exchanging congratulations, and manifesting their feelings of relief and gratification in a variety of ways ; while frequently could be heard the emotional exclamation from delighted wives and mothers : “ Thank God, I shall soon have my boy home again.

Groups of soldiers on leave, wounded soldiers, young men who were just approaching the military age, and munition workers, carrying miniature flags or national colours, paraded the streets singing patriotic songs and making any noise that they thought would indicate the extent of their jubilation. Flags were run out at almost every window, and all the streets in the town were be-flagged in an incredibly short space of time.

Motor-cars, decked with flags driving hither and thither, added to the excitement gaiety of the scenes. The drapery establishments and other shops dealing in flags and bunting were eagerly besieged by purchasers, and limited stocks on hand were quickly disposed of. Joyous peals were also rung on the bells in both towers of the Parish Church and St Marie’s and neighbouring village churches. Most of the shops in the town closed for the remainder of the day.

In expectation of a favourable outcome of the armistice negotiations, a special meeting of the Urban District Council was held on Sunday afternoon to consider what form the celebrations should take, and it was decided to hold a united thanksgiving service in the Recreation Ground.


The principal feature of the celebration on Monday was of course, the united thanksgiving service in the Recreation Ground at 3 o’clcock in the afternoon, which was attended by several thousand persons. The service was held at the band stand, and amongst those present on the stand were : Rev C M Blagden (rector), Rev Canon Mitchison, Revs G H Roper, C Davis, T H Perry, S R Hart, A W Bunnett and Arnold Penman (Wesleyan), J H Lees (Baptist), W Vaughan (Primitive Methodist), A S Le Mare and Adjutant B Carter (Salvation Army). The Rev D J Griffiths (Congregational) was away from the town, fulfilling a preaching engagement. Members of the Urban District Council present were : Messrs J J McKinnell (chairman), W Flint (vice-chairman), Lieut C J Newman, Messrs T A Wise, W H Linnell, F E HANDS, T Ringrose, H Yates, W A Stevenson, and A Morson, M.B.E (clerk).

Just before the time fixed for the service a squadron of aeroplanes, at a low altitude, came into view through the misty atmosphere of a typical November afternoon, and as they passed over the Recreation Ground the vast crowd gave vent to their appreciation of what the R.A.F had done towards securing the victory by enthusiastic cheering and the waving of countless flags and bunting.

The service commenced with the singing of the Old Hundredth, “ All People that on Earth do Dwell,” after which a lesson taken from the 2nd chapter of Joel and the 126th Psalm was read by the Rev J H Lees, and prayers of thanks to God for the great mercies He had shown to us during the past few day were recited by the Rector.

After the hymn, “ O God our help in ages past ” had been sung,

Mr J J McKinnell, J.P, C.C, addressed the gathering, and said : “ Fellow citizens, men and women of this our dear old town of Rugby, this our day (applause). The day has come, and we are filled with a very deep sense of thankfulness to Almighty God. That is the feeling that is uppermost in our hearts this day. The British nation has again fought against tyranny and oppression, not for the first or the second time in the history of the world, and has won the day (applause). Twice at least in the history of Europe did this country maintain the flag of liberty when other countries were in a very bad way. Take your minds back to the glorious times of Queen Elizabeth. Think what world have happened if the English Fleet had not brought about the destruction of the Spanish Armada. The tyranny of Spain would have engulfed the whole of Europe. Then, again, what nation was it that stuck up to Napoleon ? What nation was it that did not know when she was beaten, as Napoleon admitted ? It was the British Nation. And, again—I do not want to be vain—glorious—what nation is it to-day which has brought about this great victory ? Where would poor France have been if Great Britain had not gone to help her ? We were not immediately menaced ourselves. We simply went into the War because it was the only decent and right thing to do. Thank God we did go in, and now we have gone through with it, and we are all very, very happy. Now there is just one thing in our hearts to-day, and that is our feeling of sympathy with those among us who have lost their dearest and their best. Many, many homes in this good old town have been very hard hit, and I am quite sure that in everybody’s mind to-day is a strong feeling of sympathy for them and the hope that God will, in His great goodness, help them. This is no time for speech-making, but I want to thank you, my fellow citizens, for helping us through these four years. I think Rugby has been absolutely splendid ; from start to finish we have been steady and good, and when the recruiting was on we were the best in England at one time. I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

The National Anthem was then sung, and the gathering dispersed after three rousing cheers had been given for King George.

The singing was led by the Salvation Army Band, under the direction of Bandmaster Burton ; and the service, which was marked by earnestness and reverence was deeply impressive.

After the service the B.T.H Band, followed by a large crowd, marched through the centre of the town playing patriotic and popular airs.


In conformity with the expressed wish of the Archbishop of Canterbury, a service of thanksgiving was held in the Parish Church in the evening. The members and officials of the Urban District Council attended, and the church was filled to its utmost capacity. The service commenced with the hymn, “ God of Mercy, God of Grace,” and this was followed by a confession of sin ; Psalm 121, “ I will lift up mine eyes into the hills,” and the lesson, Isaiah xl 1-11, “ For ye, My people.” Special prayers of thanksgiving for the signing of the armistice, the victory of the Allies, and the endurance and courage of our country were said, and after the hymn, “ Jesus shall reign,” the Rector (Rev C M Blagden) gave an address. He pointed out that the uppermost thought in their minds that day was that bought out by the special service in the Recreation Ground. They saw that, though God had used them as His agents, and they were proud to have been able to serve Him, yet the results which they had achieved all came from Him. It was not their word which had helped them, but God Who had saved them from destruction. So their thanksgiving ought to be sober and solemn. A great task lay before the Empire—a task greater than many which they had yet undertaken. This would consist of solving the problems both at home and abroad which would arise when peace was finally restored ; for then they would need all the unity, forbearance, and brotherly love which they had been displaying during the past four years. There must be no exultation over the fallen enemy. Stern and just they must be, but revengeful never. On a day like that one must not forget those who had given their own lives and those who had lost the lives of their dear ones in the service of their country. These lives had been given that others might live, and the good seed which they had sown must yield an abundant harvest.

The congregation then stood up, and together made certain acts of thanksgiving ; and after reciting the Lord’s prayer, sang the hymn, “ Lights abode, celestial Salem.” The service concluded with the Blessing and National Anthem.

The Baptists held a thanksgiving service on Monday evening, conducted by the Pastor (the Rev J H Lees). Thanksgiving prayers were offered by deacons and members of the congregation, and the choir sang the hymn, “ Lest we forget.”


As the day advanced the spirits of the people became more exuberant, and it is some years since the streets of Rugby presented such an animated appearance as they did on Monday night. The Market Place and the streets in the centre of the town were thronged with happy merry-makers of both sexes and all classes, and until a late hour the joyful sounds were continued, and occasionally fireworks were discharged.

A patriotic concert was given by the Salvation Army Band in the Market Place, and this was listened to with appreciation by a large crowd.

The official intimation of the modification of the lighting restrictions was not received early enough to allow many householders to arrange for illuminated decorations. In several instances, however, such decorations were essayed, and the front garden of Mr W H Linnell’s house in Clifton Road was prettily arranged with fairy lamps, and the passers-by were asked to contribute towards Lord Roberta’s Memorial Workshops for Disabled Soldiers.

The satisfactory sum of £8 8s 7d was realised, and the little collectors (Joan, Hugh, and Lawrence Peddell) wish to thank those who contributed.


At a special meeting of Urban District Council on Monday afternoon it was decided to continue the celebration on Tuesday, and that this should take the form of a grand procession round the town, followed by the saluting of the Union Jack in the Recreation Ground. The arrangements were referred to a small committee, consisting of the Chairman (Mr J J McKinnell), Lieut C J Newman, and Messrs Linnell and F Hands ; and, despite the shortness of time at their disposal, the details were so carefully mapped out that everything passed off without a hitch. The various bodies taking part in the parade assembled at the Recreation Ground, and a few minutes after two o’clock—the pre-arranged hour—the procession moved off, preceded by a section of the Police Force, under Supt Clarke. The Band of Rugby School Officers’ Training Corps led the way, followed by Lieut-Col F F Johnstone and the O.T.C, under Capt C P Evers and other officers. A contingent of wounded soldiers from the V.A.D Hospitals, some marching and others in brakes and motor-cars, together with the V.A.D nurses, come next. The land girls made a brave show, and they were followed by a considerable body of discharged soldiers (including Bombardier Joe Norman, the old Crimean veteran) and Lieut C J Newman. Then came the Salvation Army Band, the Town Volunteer Corps under Capt C H Fuller, members and officials of the Urban District Council and other public bodies, the Headmaster and staff of Rugby School in their scholastic robes ; Rugby Town Volunteer Fire Brigade, with the steamer and manual ; Willans & Robinson’s Brigade and the B.T.H Brigade, with their respective steamer drawn by motor lorries. The B.T.H Band was followed by four clowns, after which came the St John’s Ambulance Brigade, the Divisional Boy Scouts with their colours, and a motor lorry full of khaki-clad lasses belonging to the Women’s Royal Air Force. The rear of the procession consisted of a contingent of school children in improvised military accoutrements, carrying flags and patriotic colours. These were headed by a clown as attendant-in-chief to a realistic Guy Fawkes, borne on a small box truck.

The route taken by the procession, which was lined with thousands of people, was Whitehall Road, Clifton Road, Oxford Street, Craven Road, Manor Road, Lancaster Road, Newbold Road, Market Place, Chapel Street, Warwick Street, School Street, and Hillmorton Road to the Recreation Ground.

In front of the band stand a flag staff had been erected. Around this the representative bodies assembled, and the military units were drawn up in line in front of it ; the crowd, which numbered several thousands, forming the other three sides of the square. After the Salvation Army Band had played “ Rule Britannia,” the Union Jack was run up on the staff by Clr W H Linnell, marshall and was greeted with hearty cheering and the waving of flags. The School O.T.C then fired a feu de joie, and between each of the rippling rounds the band played a few bars of the National Anthems of the Allies. The flag was then saluted, Col Johnstone receiving the. salute at the saluting base. The various contingents marched past, the wounded soldiers and the nurses receiving a great ovation from the crowd. Cheers were then given for the King, and also, at the invitation of Mr J J McKinnell, for his Majesty’s Forces on land, sea, and in the air. During the whole of this ceremony several aeroplanes, decked with flags of the Allied States, flew over the ground and gave a thrilling and daring exhibition of “ stunt ” dying, which to many, particularly the younger element, proved even more interesting than the actual ceremony.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, and after the crowd had left the ground, Lieut-Colonel F F Johnstone addressed the wounded soldiers, the discharged soldiers and nurses thanking them in turn for what they had done for the country. He expressed the hope that the wounded and discharged soldiers would be soon be restored to health. No doubt many of them would take the marks of their injuries to the grave, but they would have the satisfaction of knowing that they had done their duty to their country. To the nurses he expressed his thanks for their kind and gentle help in nursing the soldiers back to health. He did not know what England would have done without them.

Major J L Baird, M.P, C.M.G, D.S.O, was unable to attend the ceremony, owing to pressure of work at the Air Ministry, and in connection with the Demobilisation Scheme.

The Weather on Tuesday was less like that of a November day—the air was keen and crisp, and the sun shone brilliantly the whole of the day. The respective Works still being closed, the streets were again crowded with people till long after nightfall.

For the first time since the lighting restrictions came into force the clock of the Jubilee Tower was illuminated and allowed to strike the hours, and a number of additional street lamps were also lighted.

A concert, arranged by Mr J Paton was given by the Rugby Male Voice Choir in the Market Place. Mr J Cooper was the conductor, and the programme consisted of unaccompanied part songs, most of which were of a very appropriate character, and was much appreciated by a large crowd.

Nowhere was the news more joyously welcomed than among the wounded soldiers, and on Monday evening dances, to which each patient was allowed to invite a friend, were held at the Infirmary and Te Hira V.A D Hospitals. At Fitzjohn’s Hospital an impromptu concert and dance was held on Monday, and this was followed by a whist drive on Tuesday.


Before proceeding to the business of the Court at Rugby Petty Sessions on Tuesday, Dr Clement Dukes (chairman) said : “ the occasions on which I have a word to say from the Bench are usually painful, but to-day they are words of rejoicing. Yesterday we passed through one of the greatest crises we, as a nation, have yet experienced, and we come out, once again, free men of this renowned and glorious country, instead of the slaves of that arch-fiend, the fugitive Kaiser, who is condemned by the whole world, including his own people. To-day we stand as a race sorely stricken in our hearts and in our lives, but full of pride at the greatness of our sons. What we have to do now is not only to rejoice in the peace we have gained, but to show our courage in peace as well as we have shown it in war in order to wipe out the effects of the War as speedily as possible.”

Throughout the celebrations the people behaved with commendable restraint, and there was an utter absence of the regrettable incidents which so often mar occasions of national rejoicing.

Work was generally resumed on Wednesday morning, and the town returned to its normal conditions.

In all the villages around the inhabitants put out flags, etc, as soon as they heard the good news, and at the thanksgiving services, held in most instance, at the Parish Church in the evening, there were crowded and devout congregations.


Pte F Garratt (36), R.W.R, 97 Bridget Street, Rugby, has been killed in action. Previous to joining the Army he was employed at the B.T.H.


An exceptionally sad death of a young Australian soldier, Sergt Frank N Knight, son of Mr Isaac and Mrs M O Knight, Castlemaine, Victoria, Australia, has occurred from pneumonia following influenza. The deceased soldier, who was 23 years of age, “ joined up” in Australia in March, 1916. He was in France for the greater part of 1917, and had been at the front since March, 1918. On November 2nd he crossed over to England on 16 days’ leave, which he was spending with his uncle at Leicester. On the evening of his arrival he collapsed on reaching his uncle’s house, and, despite the best of medical and nursing attention, passed away as stated. Sergt Knight was of a Leicestershire family. His father was engaged by T Fielding Johnson, spinners, Leicester, and Nuneaton. Afterwards Mr & Mrs Knight removed to the Crown Hotel, Rugby, and seven years ago went to Australia. During their residence at Rugby the deceased was educated at the Lower School. Afterwards he took up engineering, and had a promising career before him.


Much sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs F Webb, of 16 Alexandra Road, who received news on Sunday of the death of their only son, Pte Arthur Edward Webb, of the 1st Leicestershire Regt. The sad event has been conveyed to the lad’s parents by the chaplain of his battalion in a sympathetic letter. Pte Webb, who was 22 years of age, was educated at the Murray School, where he was most popular with his schoolmates. He served an apprenticeship at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s as a turner and fitter. Prior to joining up, early in May, he was employed at Leicester. He had been in France just over a fortnight. His chum, Pte Percy Tyers of Leicester (who was apprenticed at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s) was killed a week previously.

Mrs McFie, 33 Albert Street, Rugby, has now received official intimation that her son, Pte Horace Horsley, of the Manchesters, who was reported missing on March 21st, is now presumed to have been killed on that date. He was 21 years of age. At the time he joined up, in May, 1917, he was an apprentice at the B.T.H. He went to France in November of the same year, and was in the big fighting during the following March, when he lost his life.

On Monday last, when it became known that the armistice had been signed, the whole village was soon decorated with flags. At Bilton Grange there was a large bonfire at night, and all the boys and masters marched up to the fire with flags, and singing “ God save the King.”

On Tuesday last the death took place at Dover of Pte J Hughes, of the Oxford & Bucks Regt, and who was only ill a short time. He was the second son of Pte J Hughes, Daventry Road, Dunchurch.

MUCH sympathy is felt for Mr & Mrs Busby, “ Brockhurst,” who received a telegram informing them of the death of their second son, Corpl George Busby, 8th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, on October 24th from wounds received in action. Corpl Busby had been transferred from Italy to France only a month when he received the gunshot wound in his side, from which he succumbed. Mr Busby has two other sons at the front—one in Egypt and one in France.

WALTER HART KILLED.—Mr & Mrs Hart have received an official intimation that their younger son, Lance-Corpl Walter Hart, K.K.R, was killed in action on the 6th ult. The sad news was nearly a month in arriving. Deep regret is felt at the untimely death of this promising young soldier. He volunteered early in the War, and had been practically four years in khaki. He had seen much fighting, and had been wounded three times. He visited home about a year ago.

A MEMORIAL SERVICE was held in the Parish Church last Sunday for Pte Fred Knight. He enlisted on September 4, 1914, and for the last three years was in France. He was esteemed by all who knew him. His parents have received the following letter from his officer :—“ I am exceedingly sorry to have to inform you that your son, Pte F Knight, was killed in action on the 23rd inst. daring our attack upon an enemy position. At the time of his death he was in charge of a Lewis gun section, and was leading them forward when a shell burst among them, killing your son and one other man, and wounding the remainder of the section. I have only been in charge of the platoon for a short time, but I had already found your son to be one of the best soldiers, and we could ill-afford to lose him.”

THE news has arrived that Pte Charles Eversden, R.W.R, was killed in action on October 23rd. He was very much respected in the village, and a letter has been received from his officer, stating that he was an excellent soldier. Mr Eversden had four sons serving, and two of them have lost their lives. Previous to joining he was employed at the Sketchley Dye Works, Hinckley. Much sympathy is felt for his father, brothers, and sister.

ABSENTEE.—At Rugby Police Court on Wednesday, before Mr J Carter, Pte George Hunt, R.W.R, was charged with being an absentee since November 7th. He was remanded to await an escort.

Recruiting has been suspended and calling up notices cancelled.

SOCIAL.—Christmas parcels will still be needed by our soldiers and ‘sailors, and, as the Rev D J Griffith remarked at the Congregational Y.P.A social on Wednesday evening, they will be the happiest gifts this year. The social, in aid of the Christmas Parcels Fund, was in every way a success. A musical programme had been arranged by Messrs Boynton and Phillips. Mr Mewis gave monologues, Miss Gibbs, Mr Phillips, and Mr Warden sang, and Mr Boynton accompanied. Refreshments were served, and games were enjoyed.


The continued bright, dry weather, combined probably with the invigorating influence of the good news of the past week, has happily led to the abatement of the influenza epidemic, and the death-rate for the past week, although still high, showed a considerable decrease on that of the preceding weeks. The total number of deaths from the epidemic in Rugby and district now exceeds 100, and of these 18 have occurred during the past week.

In our last issue we mentioned that the wife, sister-in-law, and infant child of Mr Newman, of Houston Road, Brownsover, had all died of influenza, and we are now informed that Mr Newman’s four-year-old son died from the same complaint during the weekend.


GARRETT.—On October 23, 1918, Pte. F. GARRETT, R.W.R., killed in action in France.
“ I pictured your safe returning,
And longed to clasp your hand ;
But God postponed our meeting
Till we meet in the Better Land.”
—From his loving wife Alice.

HALL.—On November 5th, at the Fort Pitt Hospital, of influenza, in his 20th year, PEVERIL AUSTIN (TOMMY) HALL, 2nd-Lieut., Royal Engineers, of the Brompton Barracks, Chatham ; and Yelvertoft Rectory, Rugby ; fourth son of the late E. A. Hall, Esq., Mozufferpore, India. Interred at Yelvertoft, November 9th.

HORSLEY.—In loving memory of Pte. HORACE HORSLEY, of “ Scotia,” 33 Albert Street, Rugby, who was killed in action on March 21, 1918 ; aged 21[?] years.
“ A loving son, a faithful brother,
One of the best towards his mother.
He bravely answered his country’s call ;
He gave his life for one and all.
We pictured his safe returning,
We longed to clasp his hand ;
But God has postponed our meeting
Till we meet in the Better Land.”
—From his loving Mother and brother Freeman.

JONES.—On November 1st, Pte. GORONWY JONES, Machine Gun Corps, who died of wounds in France, the beloved fifth son of Mr. & Mrs. John Jones, Red House, Shuckburgh ; aged 22.
“ A loving son, a faithful brother,
One of the best towards his mother ;
He bravely answered his country’s call,
he gave his life for one and all.
We pictured his safe returning,
We longed to clasp his hand ;
But God has postponed our meeting
Till we meet in the Better Land.”

WEBB.—In loving memory of ARTHUR EDWARD, the dearly beloved and only son of Frederick and Fanny Webb, of 16 Alexandra Road, killed in action (in France) on October 23, 1918.—“ Until the day breaks.”—From his sorrowing Father, Mother and Sisters.


CLARKE.—In loving memory of WALTER, younger son of the late Mr. and Mrs. E. T. Clarke, of 19 Temple Street, Rugby, who was killed in action in France on November 15, 1915.
“ There is a link death cannot sever,
Love, and remembrance live for ever.”
—Never forgotten by his Brother and Sisters.

EVERSDEN.—In loving memory of Pte. CHARLES EVERSDEN, killed in action in France on October 23, 1918 ; aged 36 years. Also of Pte. WILLIAM EVERSDEN, who died of wounds in France on November 12, 1917 ; aged 33 years.
“ For our loss we must not weep,
Nor our loved ones long to keep ;
From the homes of rest and peace,
Where all sin and sorrow cease.”
—From his loving Father, Brothers, Sister, and Alice.

PATCHETT.—In loving memory of Trooper W. I. Patchett, who died of wounds received in action on November 14, 1917. Buried at Beersheba, Imara Military Cemetery, Palestine.
“ Give me sweet thoughts of heavenly joy,
My longed-for rest ;
Where I shall sing through endless days
Songs of the blest.”
—From his loving Wife and Children.

PATCHETT.—In loving memory of WILLIAM IVENS, who died of wounds received in action near Gaza, Egypt, on November 14, 1917.
“ No father’s care did him attend,
Or o’er him did a brother bend ;
No sister there to shed a tear,
Or even his last words to hear.”
—From Dad, Brothers and Sisters.

ROBINSON.—In loving and sacred memory of our dear and only son, KENNETH, and all the brave Kitchener’s Army boys who fought and died for their friends and country at Gallipoli in 1915.—From B. & E. ROBINSON, 23 Stephen Street, Rugby.

ROUND.—In proud and ever-loving memory of our dear son and brother, WILLIAM ALFRED (WILL) ROUND, who died of wounds received in Egypt on November 14, 1917.
“ A day of remembrance, sad to recall :
The loss of our dear one, loved by us all.
We think of him in silence, and his name we oft recall,
But there is nothing left but his photo on the wall.
Fondly we loved him, he is as dear to us still ;
But in grief we must bend to God’s Holy Will.
If we could have raised his dying head or heard his last farewell.
The grief would not have been so hard for us that loved him well.”
—Too dearly loved to be forgotten by his loving Mother, Father, Sisters, and brother Fred.



2nd Nov 1918. Influenza Epidemic, Over Fifty Deaths Locally.


The influenza epidemic has assumed serious proportions locally, and from October 14th till last Thursday morning no fewer than 52 deaths from either influenza or pneumonia occurred in Rugby and the immediate vicinity. Of these over 40 have been registered within the past 12 days. A peculiar feature of the malady is that the victims chiefly consist of young and robust persons, and largely among people whose means, one would surmise, would enable them to live as well as rationing regulations will permit and engaged in healthy occupations.

During the past week there have been 17 interments in Rugby Cemetery—a figure which has surpassed all past experience. In the preceding week there were 14 burials. Two grave-diggers are normally employed at the Cemetery, but so many graves have been required that six additional men have been taken on.

No less than about 900 employers of the B.T.H Company and 200 employees of Messrs Willans & Robinson’s are suffering from influenza and pneumonia.

The seriousness of the malady is intensified by the shortage of doctors and nurses, and in many instances whole families have been stricken down, and have had to depend on the casual help of neighbours.

The few doctors that remain are working at high pressure,and they are only able to visit the most serious cases.

Owing to the shortage of voluntary helpers, caused by the epidemic, the issue of the new ration books, which should be completed by Monday, November 4th, will not be completed, until Wednesday next at the earliest.

Several social functions, including a concert at the Speech Room and the Elborow School prize distribution and concert, have been postponed owing to the outbreak.

THE INFLUENZA.—October, 1918, will long be remembered in Long Itchington as intensely exemplifying those well-known words : “ The pestilence that walketh in darkness.” There has been no blacker time in its annals since August and September, 1842, when two adults and nine children were in a few weeks carried off by scarlet fever. The present visitation of influenza has in less than a fortnight accounted for seven victims, most of whom were young and in their prime. Others still lie seriously ill, and while many are approaching convalescence, fresh cases are still failing almost daily. It has been well nigh impossible to procure adequate nursing, and in some instances patents have been kindly tended by kind-hearted neighbours, well-nigh as ill themselves. The Vicar (Rev H G Kane), whose own son has been seriously ill, has been most assiduous in visiting the sick and in administering comfort and consolation to the dying and the bereaved. Among those who have succumbed are : Mrs T H Webb, aged 33, who was only ill a few days, and leaves behind a husband, two little ones, and an aged mother. Much sympathy is felt for Mr Webb, who is well known and respected as the local carman of the L & N-W Railway. Miss Eva Jeffs, aged 19, only child of Mr & Mrs Wm Jeffs, who up to the time she contracted influenza looked the picture of health, but succumbed to pneumonia after only a few days’ illness. More recent deaths are those of Miss Violet Taylor, assistant mistress at the Schools for the past 18 years, who died on Sunday after only a few days’ illness. She was an exceedingly capable teacher, and her loss to the schools will be severely felt. The body was removed to Stratford-on-Avon for interment. On Monday occurred the death of Miss Hilda S Jeacock, who received her education and tuition at the schools here, and had also been an assistant mistress for the past 12 years. She, too, has proved an efficient teacher, and her loss is greatly deplored. Gunner F Leigh, R.G.A. is at present on service with the victorious British Army in France ; he has lost his little son Dennis, aged 2½ years. An exceedingly sad case is the death of Mrs Charles Evetts, who leaves behind a husband and eight little children. Dr Clague is unfortunately feeling the strain of continuous work night and day, and was himself obliged to knock up on Tuesday.


INFLUENZA.—Their has been an increase in the number of influenza cases in the village during the last fortnight, and in consequence the schools have had to be closed for a time.

DEATH OF DR. RING.—The greatest regret has been occasioned in Brinklow and neighbourhood by the somewhat sudden death of Dr Charles E Ring, which occurred at his residence on Tuesday. He was seized with influenza towards the end of last week, but heroically attended to his patents until he was absolutely obliged to go to bed, and, in spite of the best medical attention and nursing, he succumbed as stated. Dr Ring commenced his practice in Brinklow about ten years ago in succession to Dr James Hair, and had become well known in the village and neighbourhood as a most competent medical practitioner, and as such has been very highly esteemed. During the last few years he has had charge of the Monks Kirby and Pailton district, and has also served for about two years in France and Salonika. He leaves a widow and three children.


Second-Lieut R Aubrey Hastings Lloyd. R.A.F, who was in Rugby School XV in 1916, has died abroad from wounds.

The names of two more employees of the B.T.H Company have appeared in recent casualty lists, viz : Pte P C Roberts, Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, of the Foundry Department, died from wounds on October 18th, and Bombardier A Jones, Royal Garrison Artillery (carpenters’ shop), died from malarial fever on Oct 15th.

Pte G W Marsh, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was reported missing on October 26, 1917. Official intimation has now been received by his friends that it is now concluded that his death took place on that date.

Lieut-Col H H Neeves, D.S.O, M.C (bar), Northumberland Fusiliers, son of Mr S Neeves, Langdale, Murray Road, has been wounded in the left elbow and hip, and is now in hospital in France. Lieut-Col Neeves, who joined the Army as a private, was seriously wounded at Arras last year, when he gained the D.S.O and bar to the M.C.

Another Old Murrayian and former member of Holy Trinity Choir—Pte A C Ward, R.W.R, son of Mr & Mrs C Ward, 121 Grosvenor Road—was killed in action on September 27th at the age of 19. Before joining the Army in August, 1917, he was employed as a clerk in the L & N-W Railway Goods Depot. He had been in France since April last. Three of his brothers are still serving in the Army.

Pte Fred Knight, Oxon and Buck L.I, of Bourton, who has been killed in action, was formerly employed by the Rugby Rural District Council as a roadman. He joined the Army at the beginning of the War, and had served in France three years.


The sad news has come to hand that the Rev R W Dugdale, a curate of St Andrew’s, Rugby, was killed during a German barrage in the early hours of Wednesday last week while on duty in a regimental aid post.

Mr Dugdale was the younger son of the Rev Sydney Dugdale, Whitchurch, Salop. and was educated at Rugby and Oxford. He was ordained by the Bishop of Worcester at the Advent ordination in 1913, and commenced work in his Rugby curacy at Christmas. He remained on the staff of St Andrew’s and was in charge of Holy Trinity Church during 1914 till the summer of 1915, when he became a Chaplain to the Forces. He went to France in the following summer, and did good work at the Battle of Loos, for which he was awarded the Military Cross.

Mr Dugdale was fond of all athletic exercises. He was a great runner, and held an unbeaten record for the Crick Run. He was an active member of the Church Cricket Club and a close personal friend of the late R W Poulton (O.R.), the International football player.

The remains were buried on October 24th in the Military Cemetery at Candry, near Cambrai. There will be a memorial service in the Holy Trinity Church at 11 o’clock to-day (Saturday).

ABSENTEE.—At Rugby Police Court on Wednesday—before Mr A E Donkin—Pte Frank Batchelor, Machine Gun Corps, was charged with being an absentee since October 26th. He pleaded that he had had a lot of trouble at home, and that he intended to return early that morning, but he was prevented. As defendant had been through most of the heavy fighting, including the Retreat from Mons, and had been wounded four times, he was discharged on giving his word to return to his unit by the first train.

DIED OF WOUNDS.—Mrs A Allen has received news from the sister-in-charge of a casualty clearing station in France that her husband, Pte A Allen, of 1/5 Gloucester Regiment, was admitted to the clearing station on October 24th, severely wounded in the head, back, and buttocks, and died on October 25th. Pte Allen was 33 years of age, and before joining H.M Forces in April, 1917, was employed at the B.T.H Works. He leaves a widow and three young children, for whom much sympathy is felt.

DEATH OF SERGT RIDOUT.—The death occurred recently, at Austruther, county Fife, of Sergt Wm Ridout, of the 10th Battalion Royal Warwicks, one of the heroes of the Battle of Loos. When war broke out he was a member of the Territorial Force. He then joined the Warwicks, and soon attained the rank of sergeant. At the Battle of Loos he was badly gassed, from which he only made partial recovery, and was discharged. A cold aggravated the trouble, which he suffered from the effects of being gassed, and his end came with startling suddenness. When resident at Dunchurch, Sergt Ridout was one of the best players in the football team, and was much respected in the parish.

BRITISH AND FOREIGN SAILORS’ SOCIETY.—A flag day on behalf of this society was held at Rugby on Saturday, the arrangements being earned out under the auspices of the Young People’s Association of the Congregational Church. Mr W W Litchfield, of the Northamptonshire Union Bank, was the hon treasurer, and the Rev DJ Griffiths hon secretary. Unfortunately the influenza epidemic incapacitated about 35 friends who had promised help as flag-sellers, but those who were able to turn up worked with a will. The organising committee were Miss M Bullock, Miss Whitbread, Miss Baillie, Miss Anderson, Miss Craze, Mrs Gatecliffe, Mrs J Tame, and Mr Tom Daynes. The total of collections and subscriptions amounted to £64 18s 6d.

WAR BONDS.—During the week ended October 19th Rugby subscribed £10,330 for War Bonds, or about £500 less than the weekly quota expected from the town.

BOOKS AND MAGAZINES FOR SOLDIERS AND SAILORS.—During the month of September the books and magazines collected through the agency of the Post Office, and handed over to the various distributing organisations, filled 1,772 bags. Towards this number Rugby contributed 19 bags and Leicester 20. The demands of our soldiers and sailors are greater now than ever. The books and magazines should be handed across the counter of any post office, unwrapped and unaddressed, and within a few days the donors may rest assured they will be in the hands of our fighting men.

The following official “ Advice to Pig Keepers ” has been issued :—

Since the Board of Agriculture in the spring urged both farmers and cottagers to keep pigs, and encouraged the formation of Pig Clubs in urban district where household waste could be collected, the situation has changed greatly for the worse. A large number of people throughout the country responded to the invitation of the Board, and effected a substantial increase in the number of pigs.

It has now, however, become necessary to pig keepers that even the small allowance of concentrated food hitherto allotted to pigs may not be continued beyond January 25, 1919.

What is the pig keeper to do ? The farmer has at command a certain quantity of home-grown food ; he may be able to spare some roots, he may have chat or damaged potatoes. With these and a small daily allowance of tail or damaged grain he can keep his pigs growing, without even the allowance of offals to which he is entitled until January. No man ought to feed pigs on meal alone. Pig clubs can still command the waste that is being collected. With that and the allowance of offals they can still obtain they will be able to maintain their pigs until January. They must use their own judgment as to whether they can keep them any longer, or whether they must kill off some before that date in order to have food enough for the rest. Many cases are reported to the Board when pigs are being kept successfully on waste alone, and this is possible where the pigs are not too young.

The cottager is, perhaps, in the worst case. He must do the best he can in his own circumstances. Up to January he can still buy offal ; he has his small and damaged potatoes and a certain amount of waste and garden produce. He must get the pig on as far as he can with that, and at the worst kill it before the supply gives out.

The Board are being constantly asked whether they want pigs kept. They want every possible pig kept, but they cannot promise any food beyond January ; and they, therefore, cannot advise anyone to continue to keep pigs who does not see some way of providing for them out of local resources. The price of pork and bacon is high, and is not likely to fall. There will be a great demand for young pigs as soon as food becomes available again. These are the plain facts ; the Board want pigs, and believe in pig production, but cannot obtain any food for them from the outside. But they urge every pig keeper to make the best shift he can.


RING.—On the 29th ult., CHARLES A. EDMONSON RING, F.R.C.S.E., late Capt. R.A.M.C., the beloved husband of Grace E Ring, of Brinklow, Rugby, and eldest son of C. A. Ring, late R.N., of Pandora, Seaview, Isle of Wight—of pneumonia, aged 39.

ROBERTS.—On October 18, 1918, at King George’s Hospital, London, Pte. P. C. ROBERTS, Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry ; died of wounds received in action in Italy, in his 28th war.
—Deeply mourned by his Sisters and Brothers.


GARDNER.—In loving remembrance of our dear and only son, Pte CHARLES GARDNER, R.M.L.I., who died from wounds received in action in France on October 28, 1917.
—Ever remembered by his loving Mother & Father.

KNIGHT.—In unfading memory of FRED, the dearly beloved son of Thomas and Emily Knight, of Bourton, killed in action on October 23, 1918 ; aged 27 years.
“ At duty’s call he went to France ;
Like other lads to take his chance.
He fought for home and Country,
God knows he did his best,
And now he sleeps in Jesus,
A soldier laid to rest.”
—From sorrowing Father, Mother, Brothers, Sisters, and Gertie.

MARSH.—In ever-loving memory of Pte. W. G. MARSH, who died in France on October 26, 1917.
“ Days of sadness still come o’er us,
Tears in silence often flow,
Thinking of the day we lost him :
Just a year ago.
Too far away thy grave to see,
But not too far to think of thee.”
—From his loving friends, Mr. & Mrs. Underwood and Family.

PARKER.—In loving memory of EDWARD JOSEPH, the beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. T. Parker, of Dunchurch, who died of wounds received in action on November 3, 1914.—At rest.—Not forgotten by Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters.

THOMAS.—In ever loving memory of our dear nephew, Pte. W. H. THOMAS (Willie), killed in action October 24, 1917.
—Never forgotten by Aunt Amy & Uncle Will.


Knight, William Albert. Died 13th May 1917

Albert as he was known in the family, was born in 1895, and baptised at St Paul’s Church, Northampton on 2 June. His parents, George Walter Knight and Sarah Dudley Markham, were married in Northampton Registration District in September Quarter of 1892. George was born in Wilby Northants and Sarah in Buckingham.

They had three other children, George Walter jnr born 1893, Ernest James born 1897, and Dora Elizabeth born 1899. All four were baptised at St Paul’s; their father was a labourer, and the family were living first in Burleigh Street, Northampton when their eldest child was born, then at 6 Richmond Terrace where Albert was born. They were still there in 1901.

By 1911 they had moved to 107 Winfield Street, Rugby. George snr was unfortunately now an invalid, but his three sons were all working, George jnr and Albert at an electrical works (British Thompson Houston) and Ernest an errand boy for a boot shop. They must have thought work opportunities to be greater in Rugby than Northampton.

107 Winfield St, Rugby

Albert enlisted at the outbreak of war at Rugby as William Knight, and joined the 1st Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment, No 18263. He was sent to France on 4 December 1915, qualifying him for the 1915 Star as well as the British War and Victory medals. This is confirmed by the report of his death in the Rugby Advertiser on 2 June 1917.

The South Staffs formed part of the 7th Division which saw action all through the Battle of the Somme in 1916. In 1917 they fought throughout the German retreat to the Hindenberg Line during the Arras offensive.

On 13 May 1917 the Regiment along with the Australians was ordered to attack the heavily fortified village of Bullecourt. It was believed to be weakened by days of heavy bombardment but this was not so, and a vicious battle ensued. The Regiment was caught in crossfire at a location known as the Red Patch. After three days Bullecourt was taken with the loss of 2 officers and 37 men killed.

It was probably during this action that Albert was killed aged 22, but he may have been wounded and died later, as Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery where he is buried was occupied from April 1917 by two casualty clearing stations.

Achiet le Grand cemetery entrance

The list of Soldiers Effects records that he “died in the field” rather than was “killed in action”.   His mother as his sole legatee received his back pay of £8.18s.11d, and War Gratuity of £12.10s. His father had died in 1914.

He is commemorated on the BTH memorial in Rugby (as A W Knight) as well as the Memorial Gates.     The above notice of his death also records “He enlisted at the outbreak of war, and prior to that was employed in the BTH Winding Department. He had been in France a year, and some time ago distinguished himself by saving the life of an officer at great personal danger to himself”.