18th Aug 1917. Fatal Accident to an Aviator

FATAL ACCIDENT TO AN AVIATOR.

A shocking aeroplane accident, resulting in the instant death of a pilot, Lieut William Alexander Taylor, of the Royal Flying Corps, occurred near Rugby early on Friday evening last week. Lieut Taylor, who was only 21 years of age, and the son of Mr William Taylor, of Mary Hill Park, Glasgow, was flying at a height of about 3,000 feet, when one of the plane collapsed, and the machine fell to the earth. The engine was deeply embedded in the pound, and the unfortunate aviator was badly mangled. His skull and practically every bone in his body were broken, and Dr Wardrop, who was quickly on the spot, was only able to state that death had been instantaneous.

The inquest was held by Mr C H Davis, Northampton, on Saturday evening. Mr J G Harper was foreman of the jury.

Second-Lieut Frank William Balls, R.F.C, identified the body, and said deceased was 22 years old. He had been in the Flying Corps at least 18 months.

Captain Kenneth Graeme Leask, R.F.C, said the accident happened about 5.53 p.m on Friday last week. Witness was in the air at the time testing a new machine, and saw the accident. Deceased’s machine was the only other one a in the air. It went up vertically at great speed. Witness than saw the left-hand wing collapse. The machine spun upwards one turn, and then fell to the earth with a spinning nose dive. There were no flames about the machine. When deceased went up vertically witness thought he was trying to loop the loop, and probably he pulled the control back too suddenly, pausing a great strain on the planes and the left-hand plane to collapse. The machine was in order, and had been used the same day by Lieut Park, while witness had used it the night before, when he looped and spun it, and everything was all right. The speed must have been very great for the machine to speed upwards as it did. Witness was about half-a-mile away when deceased went up. Deceased had done observing in France, and also acted as a pilot. In witness’s opinion deceased was very capable pilot for the time he had flown, and on one occasion witness saw him show great presence of mind in saving two machines from clashing together. Deceased had only been in witness’s flight about ten days. Immediately witness saw the occurrence he came down.

A verdict of “ Accidental death ” was returned.

A REMARKABLE COINCIDENCE.

This is only the second fatal mishap that has occurred at the aerodrome since its institution, and when we take into account the number of aeroplanes that go up daily year in and year out, this immunity from more numerous accidents is quite re-assuring.

But there was a remarkable co-incidence about the two accidents. The records kept by Surgeon-Major Collins, the Medical Officer of the Flying Corps, show that both happened on the same day of the month, August 10th, within a few minutes of the same time of the evening, and at a spot which might be said to be identical. The other fatality was twelve months ago, when two officers came into collision.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Corpl W Hyam, Lincolnshire Regiment, son of Mr H Hyam, Drury Lane, was wounded in the last big push. He is going on well. He ia an “ Old boy ” of St Matthew’s School.

Mr P F Fullard, R.F.C., son of Mr A H Fullard, of West Haddon, who recently received his captaincy, has just been awarded the Military Cross for services at the front.

Mrs May, 8 Ringrose Court, North Street, has received information from the War Office that her youngest son, Joe, who is in the Rugby Howitzer Battery, was wounded in action on July 18th, and is now making satisfactory progress. Before the War he was an apprentice at Willans & Robinson’s.

Captain Alan Greenshields-Leadbetter, R.H.A, who was killed last week, was an Old Rugby boy. He served in Gallipoli with the 29th Division until January 8, 1916 — the night of the evacuation of Helles.

Quarter-Master-Sergt Painter, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, has been injured in action by his horse falling upon him.. His foot was fractured.

Mrs John French, of 3 Bridge Street, Rugby, has received news that her husband, Pte J French, R.W.R., has won the Military Medal in France. He has been wounded three times, and has returned to the trenches for the fourth time. He also won the Queen’s Medal in the South African War. He is the son of Mr and Mrs James French, Long Itchngton.

REV. F. B. HARBORD KILLED IN FRANCE.

General regret was occasioned in Dunchurch and Thurlaston and the district around at the news, which arrived on Sunday morning, of the death from wounds while serving as chaplain with the R.F.A of the Rev F R Harbord, vicar of Dunchurch. Mr Harbord was 49 years of age, and was the youngest son of the late W Engledow Harbord, of the Manor House, Stutton. He was preparing for Cambridge when he had a breakdown in health, and was ordered to South Africa, where he took Holy Orders. For many years he was stationed in the Orange Free State, and for two years was an acting chaplain with the Forces in the Boer War. On returning to England he was curate of Yorktown and Camberley, Surrey, 1909-10, and then rector of Pershore till his subsequent appointment to Dunchurch. On the outbreak of the present War he volunteered for service, but was not called up until August, 1916, and had completed exactly a year of service abroad on the day of his death, August 8th. He had just arranged for a further extension of leave from his parish, and in one of his last letters home wrote :- “ I cannot leave the Army when the hardest fighting is to take place.” Mr Harbord succeeded the Rev C T Bernard McNulty, Leamington, as vicar of Dunchurch five years ago, and he was exceedingly popular in the parish. He was a true friend to the poor, taking a keen interest in all matters appertaining to the welfare of his parishioners. He was one of the governors of the Boughton Trust, chairman and correspondent to the Managers of the Schools, chairman of the Almshouse Trustees, a trustee of the Poor’s Plot Charity, and a member of the Committee of the Dunchurch Working Men’s Club. He is the 19th man from Dunchurch to fall in they present War. Until recently the vicarial work at Dunchurch was undertaken by the Rev B B Carter, who relinquished duty about a fortnight ago, and has been succeeded temporarily by the Rev A F G Wardell.

In a letter to Mrs Harbord, an officer of the R.A.M.C. Writes :—“ I have just come back from a little military cemetery, where we laid to rest this afternoon, at three o’clock, the body of your husband—and to all of us—our Padre. We got the sad news this evening. I went down to the dressing station after breakfast this morning to see the arrangements carried out, and we took him back a few miles to our wagon lines. At the dressing station there was a Church of England chaplain, who saw him when they brought him in, and the end was peaceful and quiet. The doctor there assured me that he was beyond human aid. He had a billet on the main road, and, as was his custom, he used to give a cheery word to the men as they passed. It was while talking to a sergeant and one or two men that the fatal shell came. I do not think he could have suffered much pain—the shock would be so great. There were five officers and five men at the funeral, and Major Dickinson, the senior chaplain, conducted the Burial Service. How much we miss him I cannot say. We had known him now since August of last year, and had lived with him, and out here a constant friendship of a year means a great deal. We, the officers of the staff, are having a cross made to mark the spot where he is laid, and as long as we are in his area you can rest assured that the grave will be looked after. He was a personal friend to everyone, and in that degree the loss to us is a personal one. How vividly some of his great thoughts stand out-thoughts that had helped many of us to bear these hard things in the past and to look forward with some hope to the future. He used to say to us in his service and in the mess that whosoever made the supreme sacrifice out here made it as it was made two thousand years ago. It is a fine thought.”

Another officer writes :—“ I cannot possibly tell you how terribly grieved we are at the death of our Padre. He was a friend of every single man in the Divisional Artillery, and especially in this Brigade, with whom he had lived since he came out last August, and there were very few whom he did not know personally. I should think the greatest consolation you could possibly have must be the knowledge that he died as he himself would have wished—talking to some of the men outside his billet on the road where the infantry pass on their way down from the trenches, and the gunners bring their guns and ammunition wagons.”

The Commanding Officer has written :—“ I regret to have the sad task of informing you of the death of your husband in action. The best consolation I can offer you is that he suffered no pain, and that he has been tireless in his efforts throughout this trying time in cheering and looking after the men of this brigade. My staff and the whole Brigade feel his loss very deeply, and we offer you our very heartfelt sympathy in your great loss. It may comfort you to know that he performed his duties often under severe fire with cheerfulness and personal bravery. The Brigade, one and all, are deeply grieved.”

[Memorial Service also reported in this issue]

WOUNDED ENTERTAINMENT.—On Wednesday last Mr Smith and friends entertained the wounded at “ Te Hira ” with a musical programme. A sergeant acted as chairman. During the concert cigarettes were passed round, and the soldiers were very appreciative.

RUGBY SCHOOL NOTTING HILL MISSION.—Following the visit of the girl members of this Mission which is supported by past and present members of Rugby School, about 60 boys, all employed in munition work in the east end of London, have had a week’s holiday at Rugby. They arrived on Saturday, and were accommodated at the School Gymnasium. On Tuesday they played a team of wounded soldiers at cricket, and they were entertained by the R.F.C. Officers at Lilbourne on another day this week.

VARIETY OF FOOD IN WAR TIME.

In the pursuit of national economy, the daily round of mealtime is apt to become a little monotonous in these days. Any suggestions which provide change, without adding to the cost, and also show the way to use up in the form of tasty dishes such commonplace items as left-over rice pudding and stale bread , will be more than welcome to our readers.

The well-known firm of Messrs Alfred Bird & Sons, Ltd. Have sent us a copy of their very useful and well-produced cookery booklet, entitled “ Pastry and Sweets.” This contains about 120 well-tried household recipes of great interest to every housewife. They have placed a limited number of these books at our disposal. Any reader, therefore, of the Rugby Advertiser who would like to have a copy sent to them post free can obtain same by writing on a post-card to Alfred Bird & Sons, Ltd, Birmingham, and mentioning the name of this paper. As the number available is strictly limited, early application is necessary.

DEATHS.

PARNELL.—On July 23rd, 1917, Corpl. JAMES PARNELL, of Withybrook, 1st Batt. R.W.R., killed in action in France ; aged 22 years.
“ So ready to answer the call to the brave,
Although you now rest in a far-distant grave ;
More or better could any man give
Than die for his country that others might live.”

IN MEMORIAM.

LEACH.—In loving memory of our dear son, PERCY JOHN LEACH, who died at Sulva Bay, August 4th, 1915.
Two years have 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 closed his eyes.
Still sadly missed by his loving Mother and Father, Sisters and Brothers.

8th Jan 1916. Pigeons on War Service

PIGEONS ON WAR SERVICE

WARNING AGAINST SHOOTING

Attention is called by the War Office to the fact that a large number of carrier or homing pigeons are being utilised for naval and military purposes, and that recently many of these birds have been shot at and killed or wounded when homing to their lofts.

The public are earnestly requested to exercise the greatest care to avoid repetition of such unfortunate incidents, and are warned that persons convicted of wilfully shooting such birds are liable to prosecution.

Persons who are unable to distinguish with certainty carrier or homing pigeons on the wing from wood pigeons, doves, and the like, should refrain from firing at any birds of these species.

Any person who finds any carrier or homing pigeon dead or incapable of flying from wounds, injuries, or exhaustion is earnestly requested immediately to take the bird to the nearest military authorities or to the police, or if unable to secure the bird he should immediately give information to one or other of those authorities.

Information regarding the shooting of such birds should be given to the same authorities.

LOCAL WAR NOTES

Lieut C T Morris Davies, of Rugby – the Welsh international hockey player, and Captain of the Rugby Hockey Club – who has been in France for about ten months, is now on a week’s leave from his regiment, the 6th Warwickshire. He visited Rugby on Saturday last on his way to his home near Aberystwyth. The hardships of trench life do not seem to have affected his health, as he was looking exceedingly well.

L-CORPL W H ADAMS, OF DUNCHURCH, PRESUMED TO BE DEAD.

This week Mr and Mrs H Adams, of Dunchurch, received a communication from the Government to the effect that as no further news had been received concerning Lance-Corpl William Henry Adams, of the 2nd R.W.R, who has been missing since about October 20th, 1914, it was presumed that he was killed at about that date. The usual letter of condolence was enclosed. Lance-Corpl Adams, who was 24 years of age, had served nearly seven years in the Army, and had secured a first-class certificate for signalling. At the front he acted as a bicycle despatch rider, but had only been in France a week or two before he met his death. Some time ago the parents received news that their son was a prisoner at Gottingen, Germany, but inquiry being made it was ascertained that this was not so.

WELL-KNOWN JOCKEY INTERNED IN GERMANY

Mr and Mrs Davies, of Lower Street, Hillmorton, have since the outbreak of the war been anxiously waiting for news of their son, Fred Davies, who was in Germany in the summer of last year and was interned there. At last a letter has been received from him by his sister, living in Surrey. He is interned at Ruhleben, and writes to acknowledge the safe arrival of a top coat, which he says “fits a treat and is very warm.” At night the coat is used as a blanket for his bed. He adds that he is now all right for clothes, but would much appreciate condensed milk, butter, sugar, a bit of cheese, or a little tin of salmon. As a jockey Fred Davies has done well, having finished second on the list in that country. He was riding for Mr Beit, a Hamburg owner of race horses, when diplomatic relations were broken off between this country and Germany, with the result that, with many others in Germany at the time, he was detained.

OLD MURRAYIAN’S LETTER

Sapper Geo A Golby, a former scholar at the Murray School, and an “Over” Prize man, in a letter to Mr W T Coles Hodges from the front says: “I have been out here since early in October, and have got quite used to the shells, etc, screaming over my head… I look forward to receiving the Rugby Advertiser every week, and am always pleased when I see the name of one of my old school chums in the list of recruits. I think by the number of names I have seen that our school is doing its share to free the world of these barbarians, and I am sure that if those who have not enlisted could just have a glimpse of this country, they would not hesitate for a minute. Only this morning we passed about a dozen old people (all between 60 and 70 years of age, I should think) whom the Germans had shelled out of their homes. It is a sight such as these that make us so anxious to get at the Huns. .. I am pleased to say we are having a spell of fine weather just now, and goodness only knows we want it, as we are nearly up to our knees in mud in some places. This is the only thing to complain of out here; the food is extra.”

Pte George Leach (“Bogie”), another Old Murrayian, who is at present in the Near East, in a letter to his old headmaster, says: It is most interesting to see some of the natives with their garbs and costumes, and their methods of transport with market wares, which vividly remind me of the Biblical times we read about.

FROM AN OLD ST MATTHEW’S BOY

The following extract from letters of an “old boy” of St Matthew’s School to Mr R H Myers, headmaster, will be read with interest:-

Sergt Frank Chater, serving with the Nigerian Forces, writes: ” I have now been in the Cameroons some time. When I reached Africa I disembarked at Lagos, caught a train for there the same night, and after two nights and one day on the train, reached Minna. I rested there for a day, then did another day’s train journey to Baro, where I got on a steam boat and went up the River Niger to Lokaja. I stayed a coupe of days at Lokaja, then got on the River Benue and had a fourteen days’ run to Yola. The river journey is the reverse of pleasant, owing to the close proximity of the natives in a small boat. The smell from them and the engines combine to make a most uncomfortable time to be a white man. I remained three days in Yola, and then started on a fifteen days’ trek through the bush, to join the column at a place called Mora in the Cameroons. I rather fancy this is a record journey for a newcomer to the country. I turned out for action the same day that I reached the column, but nothing happened. On the following night we stormed the German position, which is on the top of a mountain. It was a terrible job, but after climbing all night up and over rocks, some of which seemed like the side of a house, we nearly reached the top by daybreak. The Germans gave us a warm reception, and we charged to try and take the fort. We were repulsed, though, and had to retire and take cover behind rocks, where we managed to hold on till dark, being neither able to advance or retire. However, under cover of darkness we managed to get away. I was fortunate to get off safely. One officer was killed and another wounded, and native soldiers were hit all round. We have now given up the idea of taking the place by assault, and are trying to starve them out. .. This scrapping in the Cameroons is not all honey by a long way. Here is a sample of my job. outpost duty in the bush, with 30 native soldiers, no one to talk to, and never knowing when you may run into German sniping parties, and the only water to be had from a filthy old well, which anyone at home would shudder to look at. Just now I am better off, being in charge of a small fort on a hill. We are, however, uncomfortably near to the German position, and they keep potting away if you try to move, so that the only chance of exercise is in the dark.

We are at the end of a range of mountains running down to the coast, and beyond the mountains is Lake Chad, only about three weeks’ trek from here. The people are all pagans, and the hill tribes are rather a poor type of native. All they wear is a goatskin round their loins. They will do anything for the white man, and appear to like the English, but we know that they supply the Germans with food and water so it is no good trusting them.

 

RUGBY FOOTBALL MATCH NEAR THE TRENCHES.

A Rugby football match between “ A ” and “ C ” Companies of the 1st/7th Warwicks was played near the trenches in France recently, which ” C ” Company won by a try. The teams were :—

“ C ” Company : R Edwards ; L Dewis, A Bale, P Hammond, Lance-corpl E Iliffe ; A Loave, Drummer W Newman ; W Arnold, S Cross, G Clarke, A Rose, W Salmons, W Gibbs, F Lombard, I Walden.

“ A ” Company : Lieut Field ; Faulkes, Sergt Atkinson, Redfern, S O Else ; West, Ralph ; Eyden, Corpl Caldicott, Corpl Goode, Prentice, Wykes, Adams, Dunn, A N Other.

MORE DAMAGE BY THE WIND.-On Saturday evening, during a recurrence of the gale, several trees on the Coventry Road between Dunchurch and the Station were blown down, and a great deal of damage was done to the telephone wires. In several places all of them were broken down. At Bilton Grange all the fancy work on the top of the vinery and glass houses for a length of between forty and fifty yards was torn away, doing great damage to the glass. Several trees also came down, and the household were very much alarmed. At Mr. Loverock’s Farm, between Dunchurch and Rugby, a wheat rick was blown over, and several sheaves of corn were carried the length of three fields away. The gale also did great damage to the roof of the wagon hovel.

 

Leach, Percy John. Died 6th Aug 1915

Private Percy John Leach was killed 6th August 1915 in action at Gallipoli. He was with the Hampshire Regiment, 2nd Battalion. Service No. 17180.

LEACH, Percy John pic

Percy Leach was born Clifton on Dunsmore near Rugby 1897 and baptised 10th April 1897 at St. Mary’s Church Clifton on Dunsmore. His parents were George and Emma Leach. Percy’s father was an engine driver for the railway. He was the third child of eight children. Percy appears on the census on 1891 as a 4 year old, the family living at Cambridge Street Rugby. By the 1901 census Percy is 14 years old and a pupil teacher and his father, George is a railway locomotive engine driver, living at 96 Oxford Street Rugby. Ten years later, on the 1911 census, Percy is with his elder married sister, Emma Hewitt, in St. Albans, is 24 years of age, unmarried and a railway engine fitter.

When he enlisted, at Rugby, into the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, Service Number 13465, he was employed in the Turbine Department at the B.T.H.

He was an Old Murrayian and was engaged at that school as a pupil teacher after which he worked several years with the L. & N. W Railway in the engine shops.   At the time of his death the family were living at 53 Claremont Road Rugby.   He was transferred to the 2nd Battalion Hampshire Regiment in June 1915 and was posted as missing 7th August 1915. His family were asking if anyone had any knowledge of his fate to communicate with them.

In August 1921 his family put a memoriam to him in The Rugby Advertiser ‘In loving memory of Percy John Leach reported missing at Sulva Bay, August 6th 1915. Always in the thoughts of Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters. “Thy will be done”.’

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM