3rd Mar 1917. Kilsby Soldier Decorated with the Albert Medal.


Pte Joseph Thomas Laurence, second son of Mr and Mrs J Laurence, of Kilsby, has recently been decorated by the King with the Albert Medal for saving life on land. Pte Laurence is in the Army Serviced Corps, and has been out in France just two years. While a German 21-centimetre shell, in which several holes had been bored, was being ” steamed ” in a laboratory for the purpose of investigation, the box of shaving in which it was packed caught fire. The officer in charge of the laboratory at once sent for help to the nearest Army Service Corps fire station, ordered all persons to leave the building, and warned the inhabitants of the neighbouring houses that a serious explosion was imminent. On receipt of the request for help Pte Laurence was one of those who at once collected fire extinguishers and proceeded by motor to the laboratory. They entered the building, played on the fire, which had spread considerably, and after about two minutes were able to reach the burning shell, which they dragged into the yard and extinguished. At any moment after the fire broke out the shell might have exploded with disastrous results. Pte Laurence has just been on a visit to his home at Kilsby.


Major Viscount Feilding, D.S.O, is promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel as Assistant Adjutant and Quartermaster-General of the 8th Division. Viscount Feilding’s promotion has been very rapid, inasmuch as he re-joined from the Special Reserve as Junior Lieutenant Coldstream Guards.


Corpl Edwin Welsh, of the Machine Gun Corps, son of Mr E Welsh, 23 Oxford Street, has been awarded the Military Medal. Corpl Welsh, who is 21 years of age, was member of the old “ E ” Company, and went to France with them. He was an old Murrayian, and was at one time a member of the School Fifteen.


At the request of Dr David, the scholars attending the Murray School drew and painted nearly one hundred posters, which were distributed in the town for exhibition in shop windows. In addition, a number of attractive posters, which were changed every day, were exhibited outside the School. These were entirely the work of the boys. The Penny Bank and War Savings scheme, which is confined to boys attending the School, showed considerable improvement during the period devoted to the War Loan Campaign.


Mrs H Hunt, of 99 Victoria Street, New Bilton, has received official information that her eldest son, Pte Leonard John Hopkins, Royal Marines, was killed in action on February 2nd. Pte Hopkins, who was 19 years of age, enlisted at the commencement of the war, prior to which he was employed at the B.T.H. He was an old St Oswald’s boy. Another son of Mrs Hunt, Pte Harold Hopkins, R.W.R, who had been missing since July 14th, 1916, was last week reported killed on that date.


News has been received at the B.T.H that Lieut W E[?] Carse, .F.C, was killed in action while flying on February 18th. Before enlisting at the commencement of the War, Lieut Carse was employed in the Test Department at the B.T.H.


For valuable services rendered in connection with the war the names of the following officers have, amongst others, been brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War : Beech, Lieut-Col R J, Warwickshire Yeomanry : Elton, Lieut-Col A G G, R.W.R ; Fairbrother, Capt W H, R.W.R.


In the recent fighting on the Somme, Pte A Parsons, of the H.A.C,s son of Mr W H W Parsons, of Rugby, was wounded, and is now in Hospital in England.

The many friends of Dr and Mrs Relton will be pleased to hear that their son, Lieut B C Relton, who was dangerously wounded in action on the Tigris, is now making a good recovery. On Monday Dr Relton received a telegram from his son, in which he said he was doing well, and had embarked for Bombay.

Pte W Scarlett, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, son of Mr H Scarlett, of Long Lawford, has been admitted to the British General Hospital at Sheikle Sard, suffering from severe wounds.

Mr and Mrs J H Phillips, of St Aubyn, Hillmorton Road, have received news of the death from wounds received in action in France of their eldest son, Capt E S Phillips, of the Border Regiment. The deceased officer enlisted in the Oxon and Bucks L.I in September, 1914. He was given a commission in the 8th Battalion Border Regiment in November, 1914. He went to France September 1915, and was promoted Lieutenant in November, 1915. After being in several actions on the Somme, he was invalided home September, 1916. He rejoined his regiment on November 30th, 1916, and was promoted to Captain in December. He died on February 21st, aged 22 years. His Colonel writes : “ He was a most excellent young officer, always willing and cheerful. During the time when he was in charge of the Machine Gun Detachment of the Battalion he did very good work. He was very plucky under fire, and a very good leader. We shall all miss a cheery plucky comrade, and a great favourite in the Battalion.”

Lieut A B Crump, South African Heavy Artillery, has been promoted to Captain, R.G.A.

MR C J Packwood, of Warwick Street, has already three sons serving with His Majesty’s Forces. Another son (John N Packwood) is joining up on Monday when he will enter the wireless department of the Royal Naval Reserve.

An interesting occurrence took place at the Training Camp of the 7th Reserve Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment on Wednesday, when three medals, awarded for conspicuous bravery in the field, were presented by Brigadier-General F H Gorges, C.B, D.S.O, commanding South Midland T.F Reserve Brigade. The recipients were : Corpl W Holyoak (Nuneaton), Military Medal ; Pte T Mason (Coventry), Military Medal ; and Pte L G Eaton (Rugby), Distinguished Conduct Medal. During and enemy raid on Messines on May 28, 1915, being in a listening post with one N.C.O and two other men, after being wounded in the head and after losing one of party (killed), Eaton carried on til the raid was successfully passed. This man is also in possession of the Croix de Guerre (French honour).

Driver C E Cox, of the R.F.A, residing in Abbey Street, Rugby, met with an accident in France a few months ago, by which he sustained a fractured skull. He was treated in a hospital at Newcastle and a convalescent home in Northumberland, after which he visited his home in Rugby. On the strength of a medical certificate, he obtained an extension of leave, and returned to his depot on Thursday, February 22nd. His relatives desire to state that there is no truth in the statement which has been made that he was a deserter and was taken to the depot under escort.


As an outcome of the resolution unanimously passed by the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee (reported in another column), by which that body has undertaken to complete the whole cost of six regulation food parcels and 26lbs of bread every month to each of the local men who are prisoners of war in Germany, the sujoined letter has been received from headquarters in London :-


Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee,

DEAR SIR,-Sir Starr Jameson and his committee are very pleased to hear that your committee have set before themselves the tack of providing the entire cost of feeding the 67 local men who are prisoners of war in Germany. If this can be done, it speaks very well for the public spirit of a small town like Rugby. We often find that people wonder why the cost of feeding all our prisoners of war is not borne by the British Government. The answer is that there was no unwillingness on the part of our Government to shoulder the burden, but that under the Hague Convention it is the duty of the enemy country to feed and provide clothing for all prisoners of war taken prisoners by that country. The German authorities do not admit that they fail in the duty imposed on them by the Hague Convention in any way, but they are willing to allow gifts to prisoners to any extent. We in England consider that without these “ gifts ” our prisoners would starve.

The entire organisation of sending food and clothing to all our prisoners has now been undertaken by the British Red Cross Society, of which the Central Prisoners of War Committee and its allied associations are a branch. The entire cost of the scheme is estimated to be close upon £1,00 per day, and this is guaranteed by the British Red Cross Society. You will, therefore, see that all local help that can be obtained is as necessary as it is welcome.-Yours faithfully,

P D AGNEW, Managing Director,
Central Prisoners of War Committee,
4 Thurloe Place, London, S.W,
26th February, 1917.


FRENCH.-In loving and lasting remembrance of Pte. OLIVER FRENCH, Royal War. Regt., youngest son of Mr. R. French, Napton, who died of pneumonia February 10th at a Military Hospital in France ; aged 36 years.

SMITH.-Killed in France, January 29th, GEORGE EDWARD SMITH, Kilsby.

“ Had he ask’d us-well, we know
We should cry, ‘O spare this blow !
Yes, with streaming tears should pray :
Lord, we love him, let him stay.”