Webb, Arthur Edward. Died 23rd Oct 1918

Arthur Edward WEBB’s birth was registered in Q3, 1896 in Rugby.  He was the son of Frederick Webb, b.c.1861 in Rugby, (d. 4 January 1947), and Fanny, née Shaw, Webb, b.c.1862 in Dunchurch, (d. 25 October 1945).  They had married on 11 June 1885 in Dunchurch when Frederick was a printer and Fanny a servant.

In 1901 Arthur was four, and the family was living, as they had in 1891, at 81 James Street, Rugby.  Arthur’s father was not at home on census night 1901, as that night he and his brother were with their widowed mother in Yardley, Worcestershire.

Arthur attended the ‘Murray School’, Rugby. 

By 1911, his father, now 50, had been married for 25 years.  He was a ‘Compositor’ in the ‘Advertiser office’ and the family had moved to 16 Alexandra Road, Rugby – a six room house.  Arthur Edward, now 14, was an ‘office boy’ at a steel works; his eldest sister, Hilda Annie was 25 and was working at ‘etching BTH Works’; the next eldest, Alice Jessie was 22 and was a ‘clerk at BTH Works’; and the youngest, Elsie Newman, was 18 and a ‘Clerk in Coop Society’.  Two of the original six siblings had died before 1911.

Arthur later served an apprenticeship at Messrs. Willans & Robinson’s as a turner and fitter.  Prior to joining up, he was employed at Leicester.

Arthur apparently enlisted in November 1915, under ‘Lord Derby’s Scheme’, as indicated by an item in the Rugby Advertiser.

Lord Derby’s Recruiting Scheme, Local Enlistments under the Group System.
The following have enlisted at the Rugby Drill Hall under the Group system.  A considerable number of the men have enlisted under Reserve B for munition workers.
… Webb, Arthur Edward, 16 Alexandra Road, Rugby.[1]

Arthur would become a Private No:48241 in the 1st Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment.  Arthur’s Medal Card did not have any date for when he went to France, and he did not gain the 1914-15 Star, which both support the date he enlisted under Lord Derby’s Scheme, and confirm that this would have been after late 1915.  However, it seems likely that he was in the ‘Reserve B’ list as his work was probably involved with Munitions.  This is confirmed in a later item in the Rugby Advertiser (obituary below) which stated that he was ‘… joining up, early in May [1916] …’, and that when he was killed in October 1918, he ‘… had been in France just over a fortnight’.

1st Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment was in Fermoy, Ireland, when war broke out in August 1914.  They were mobilised with 16th Brigade and returned to England, where 6th Division concentrated near Cambridge for training.  They proceeded to France on 10 September 1914, landing at St. Nazaire.  They marched to the Aisne to reinforce the hard-pressed BEF before moving north to Flanders.  They were in action at Hooge in 1915.  On 17 November 1915 the battalion transferred to 71st Brigade, but were still in 6th Division.  In 1916 they were again in action at Battle of Flers-Courcelette on the Somme, and again in the Battle of Morval and the Battle of Le Transloy.  In 1917 they were in action at Hill 70 and Cambrai.  In 1918 they saw action in the Battle of St Quentin, the Battles of the Lys, the Advance in Flanders, the Battles of the Hindenburg Line [12 September – 12 October 1918] and the Pursuit to the Selle [prior to the Battle of the Selle (17-25 October 1918)].[2]

It seems that Arthur might only have joined the Battalion towards the middle of October 1918 and would probably have missed the actions at the end of the Hindenburg battles, namely:

The Battle of the St Quentin Canal, 29 September – 2 October 1918,
The Battle of Beaurevoir, 3 – 5 October 1918,
The Battle of Cambrai, 8 – 9 October 1918,
The Pursuit to the Selle, 9 – 12 October 1918.

The War Diary of the 1st Battalion[3] provides information on the Battalion’s positions and actions in October 1918.  There is very considerable detail of the movements in some 20 poorly legible handwritten pages, which include map references but a paucity of actual place names.  However, the general progress of the Battalion can be followed as they advanced in a north-easterly direction, some 20 miles south-east of Cambrai.

On 3 October the battalion was preparing to move to Magny-la-Fosse, where they were on 6-7 October.  By 12 October they had moved to Bohain-en-Vermandois, and were in billets there on 16 October until 19 October when they received 43 O.R.s as ‘new recruits’ – 20 were immediately sent for Lewis gun training.

Bearing in mind Arthur had only been in France for two weeks when killed, he may well have been one of those new recruits, as it would probably have taken some days to travel from the coast to join his Battalion.

The next day the Battalion seems to have moved back westward to Brancourt, and then very quickly up to St. Souplet and on to Le Quennelet, a distance of some ten miles.  The next day, 21 October, shelling was observed at Bazuel, about a mile ahead of them.  They were coming into the front line of the advance and on 22 October, four men were wounded, two by shellfire and two by rifle fire.  They prepared for an attack on Pommereuil on 23 October, and the Diary gives detailed dispositions.

By midday on 23 October, the Regimental Aid Post had already dealt with 3 Officer and 74 Other Rank casualties which, from later figures, suggests that the majority of the casualties were incurred in the initial part of the attack.

At 21.15 the Battalion was relieved.  Because of the muddy state of the road from Bazuel, the guides were delayed in reaching the Battalion at the front and the relief was not completed until the early hours.  The move back was competed at 4.15am, when tea and rations awaited the men.  At noon the Battalion moved to billets at St. Souplet.

By 25 October, the casualties suffered during operations from 20-24 October 1918 were listed.

Killed         Wounded         Missing
Officers               0                  5                     nil
O.R.s                   8                  85                    33

It seems that Arthur Webb would have been among those eight O.R.s ‘Killed in Action’ during the attack on Pommereuil.

A report in the Rugby Advertiser noted,

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. 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,[4] of Leicester (who was also apprenticed at Messrs. Willans & Robinson’s) was killed a week previously.[5]

In the same issue of the Rugby Advertiser, the family posted an ‘Acknowledgement’,
MR and MRS. F. WEBB and DAUGHTERS, of 16 Alexandra Road, wish to thank all Friends who have shown sympathy with them, and sent Letters of Condolence in their sad bereavement in the loss of their only son, killed in action.

That issue also contained the death notice,
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.

Arthur was killed in action, aged 22, on 23 October 1918 and was buried in grave ref: I. B. 4., at St Souplet British Cemetery, very near to the Battalion Headquarters for the action on 23 October.  When his temporary cross was replaced with a memorial headstone, the family had the following inscription engraved on it – ‘REUNION OUR ABIDING HOPE’.

St. Souplet is a village about 6 kilometres south of Le Cateau, which is a small town approximately 20 kilometres south-east of Cambrai.  St. Souplet village was captured by the American 30th Division on the 10 October 1918.  The American troops made a cemetery of 371 American and seven British graves on the South-West side of the village, on the road to Vaux-Andigny.  A smaller British cemetery was made alongside.  The American graves were removed after the Armistice and the seven British graves were moved into the British cemetery.  Further British graves were brought in from the surrounding battlefields.

Because of the Battalion’s location, it is likely that Arthur was buried in the cemetery soon after his death, and was not one of those moved to the cemetery later.  Certainly his position in the central ‘Plot I’ suggests that he was one of the first to be buried there.  There is also no record on the CWGC site of him being ‘concentrated’ from any of the other cemeteries, most of which contained burials from much earlier in the advance, and which are fully documented.

Arthur Edward WEBB’s Medal Card showed that he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  He is also commemorated on a pillar of the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby.



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This article on Arthur Edward WEBB was researched and written for the Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, August 2018.


[1]      https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2015/11/27/27th-nov-1915-lord-derbys-scheme/, and Rugby Advertiser, 27 November 1915.

[2]      Edited from: https://wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/battalion.php?pid=4905.

[3]      UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Leicestershire Regiment, 6th Division, Piece 1622/1-5: 71 Infantry Brigade: 1 Battalion Leicestershire Regiment (1918 Jan – 1919 Apr).

[4]      This was Private TYERS, H. P., No: 48242, who died on 10 October 1918; he was buried at Tincourt New British Cemetery, some 10 miles west of the 1st Leicester’s positions on 3 October.  It is likely that he had been wounded and evacuated to one of the Casualty Clearing Stations located at Tincourt.

[5]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 16 November 1918.


Parkinson, Horace James Ankers. Died 1st Jul 1917

Horace James Ankers PARKINSON’s birth was registered in Q1 1892 in Rugby. He was the son of Samuel Parkinson, b.c.1866 at Forge Mills, Warwickshire, and Amy née Flavell Parkinson b.c.1858 in Rugby. Their children were all born in Rugby.

Horace was baptised at St Matthew’s, Rugby on 31 January 1892, when his father was recorded as a ‘bank clerk’. In 1901 the family were living at 15 Arnold Street, Rugby.   Horace attended the ‘Lower School’, Rugby (Lawrence Sheriff School).

By 1911, his father, Samuel Parkinson, had become a ‘Bank Accountant’ and the family had moved to 281 Clifton Road, Rugby – an eight room house. Horace and his elder brother, Samuel, had both started working and were now ‘Bank Clerks’. After Horace left school he worked for the Parrs Bank,[1] Leicester, and for some time at the Lutterworth Branch. His sister, Amy, was not listed with an occupation.

It is assumed that his father was at Lloyds Bank, as when the congregation of Holy Trinity Church became interested in a scheme for providing hospitality for a number of Belgian refugees, it was decided to open an account with Lloyds Bank, and to ask Mr Parkinson to act as Treasurer.[2]

Horace joined up as a Private in June 1916 in the 10th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment, as indicated by a later report.

H J A Parkinson, youngest son of Mr and Mrs Parkinson, of Clifton Road, Rugby, who joined the 10th Leicester Regiment in June last, has been granted a commission as Second-Lieutenant in the 3/4th Leicesters.[3] He holds a first-class certificate as a hand-grenade specialist, and he is now with his regiment in England. The elder son is now in the Motor Red Cross Ambulance in France.[4]

By April 1915, the 10th (Reserve) Battalion had converted into a Reserve battalion and became the 1st Reserve Brigade. It became the 5th Training Reserve Battalion of 1st Reserve Brigade on 1 September 1916. After training, Horace was commissioned into the 1/4th Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment. This Battalion had been formed in Leicester and had landed at Le Havre as part of the Lincoln and Leicester Brigade in the North Midland Division on 3 March 1915, and on 12 May 1915, the Battalion became part of the 138th Brigade, 46th (North Midland) Division. The Battalion saw action in the German liquid fire attack at Hooge and the action at the Hohenzollern Redoubt in October 1915. The Battalion embarked for Egypt at Marseilles on 21 January 1916, but was disembarked the next day when the move was cancelled and the Battalion was then again engaged in actions on the Western Front.

After being commissioned in early 1916, Horace’s Medal Card shows that he went to France on 9 May 1916, where he would have joined his Battalion.

Horace would most likely have been involved with the 4th Battalion in the attack at Gommecourt in July 1916 as part of the Somme offensive, and then in 1917, with the operations on the Ancre, the occupation of the Gommecourt defences, the attack on Rettemoy Graben on 12 March 1917 and the actions during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line and finally with the attack on Lievin in June 1917.[5]

The War Diary of the 1/4th Battalion provides information on the Battalion’s positions and actions in early June, when they had four days of practice for an attack, on 1 & 2 June by Battalion and then on 3 & 4 June in Brigade strength:[6]

5th – Rest day for the Brigade. Plans for the attack changed. The operation is to be a raid on a large scale.

6th – Went up to the trenches, the companies billeted in cellars in Lievin.[7] Quiet night except for our own guns. …

7th – Day spent issuing bombs etc and making final preparations for the raid. Very hot day.

8th – Heavy artillery bombardment of enemy positions commencing at 5am and continuing until zero hour (8.30pm) + 3 minutes. … The assembly was complete at 7.45pm, and at 8pm the enemy barraged the position of assembly though fortunately little harm resulted. … They found a large number of enemy in Fosse 3 where there were 11 buildings with many dugouts.   These were dealt with with bombs and mobile charges. Heavy casualties were inflicted upon the enemy and two officers & 12 OR taken prisoner. … The whole operation was a great success. … The withdrawal commenced at 1am on 9th June and all companies were back in cellars by 3am. … 2/Lieut E C Doudney, 2/Lieut J Douglas, 2/Lt D T Soper, 2/Lt H J A Parkinson were wounded and there were 70 OR killed & wounded.

9th – Battalion in support in Lievin …

For an operation that was ‘a great success’ there were significant losses.   The news of Horace’s wounding was reported on 23 June 1917.

Mr & Mrs Parkinson, of Old Bank House, Southam, and formerly of Rugby, have been informed that their son, Second-Lieut Horace J A Parkinson, of the 4th Leicestershire Regiment, was seriously wounded in France on the 8th inst. He was educated at the Lower School, Rugby, and before joining the Army was in Parrs Bank, Leicester, and formerly at the Lutterworth Branch. He is making satisfactory progress.[8]

A later report in the Rugby Advertiser mentioned,

… in May, 1916 – he went out to France, where he took part in a lot of fighting. He received the wounds which ultimately resulted in his death while leading his men to attack a position at Lens about a month ago [c. June 1917]. He was 26 years of age, and being 6ft 5ins high and proportionately built, he was a fine looking officer.[9]

He was evacuated back to England and to the First Eastern General Hospital, Cambridge, where he died of his wounds. His home address was still given as 281 Clifton Road, Rugby, although at some date before mid 1917, his parents had moved to live in Southam at the Old Bank House.

A notice of his death was posted in the Rugby Advertiser.

PARKINSON. – On 1st inst., at the Military Hospital, Cambridge, of wounds received in action in France, Second-Lieut. Horace J A Parkinson, the dearly beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. S. Parkinson, of the Old Bank House, Southam.[10]

He was buried in the Clifton Road Cemetery (plot J258) and a detailed report was provided by the Rugby Advertiser, which provided further information on Horace’s life.

An Old Laurentian Dies From Wounds.

The death took place on Sunday Morning last, in the Military Hospital, Cambridge, of Second-Lieut H J A Parkinson, son of Mr & Mrs S Parkinson, of the Old Bank House, Southam and formerly of Rugby. … The funeral took place in Rugby on Wednesday, and was of a semi-military character. The cortege started from Clinton House, the residence of Mr W M Webb, an old friend of the family, … there were also present in Holy Trinity Church, where the first part of the service took place. … Eight sergeants of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment from Bugbroke acted as bearers, and the firing party was provided by the same regiment. … As the procession entered the church Mr W E Ellen (organist) played appropriate music, … The service at the graveside was witnessed by a large crowd of sympathisers.[11]

Some two weeks later the Parkinson family thanked their sympathisers and it was also reported that they had received a telegram from the King and Queen.

Mr and Mrs. Parkinson and family, of the Old Bank House, Southam, desire to give their sincere thanks to all those who hare so kindly sympathised with them in their great sorrow in the death their son, Second-Lieut. Horace J. A. Parkinson.[12]

Mr. and Mrs. Parkinson, of the Old Bank House, Southam, have received the following telegram from Buckingham Palace:- ‘The King and Queen deeply regret the loss you and the Army have sustained by the death of your son in the service of his country. Their Majesties truly sympathise with you in your sorrow.’[13]

Probate was granted on 23 August 1917 at the London Registry to his father ‘Samuel Parkinson, Bank Manager’, and his mother ‘Amy Parkinson (wife of the said Samuel Parkinson)’. Horace’s effects were valued at £423-16-9d.

In September 1917, the Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects recorded payments of £5-5-1d and £4-2-2d. On the 17 September 1917, a payment – probably a gratuity – was made of £58-10-0d.

His Medal Card showed that he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Horace Parkinson is commemorated on a pillar of the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby and on the Old Laurentians Memorial.



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This article on Horace James Ankers PARKINSON was researched and written for the Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, June 2017.

[1]       Parr’s Bank Ltd (1788-1918), was established in Warrington, and was a past constituent of The Royal Bank of Scotland Group.

[2]       Information from Rugby Remembers [ https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/14th-nov-1914-belgian-refugees/ ] – abstracted from Rugby Advertiser, 14 November 1914.

[3]       This is probably a misprint for the 1/4th Battalion.

[4]       Information from Rugby Remembers [ https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/19th-feb-1916-should-motor-buses-be-encouraged-in-war-time/ ] – abstracted from Rugby Advertiser, 19 February 1916.

[5]       Information in part from: https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/units/268/leicestershire-regiment/.

[6]       UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Leicestershire Regiment, 46th Division, Piece 2690/1: 1/4 Battalion Leicestershire Regiment (1915 Feb – 1919 Jun).

[7]       Lievin is about 5 miles west of Lens, and about 25 miles south-west of Lille.

[8]       Rugby Advertiser, 23 June 1917.

[9]       Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 7 July 1917.

[10]     Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 7 July 1917.

[11]     Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 7 July 1917.

[12]     Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 28 July 1917.

[13]     Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 28 July 1917.

Brown, Percy Edwin. Died 25th Sep 1915

Percy Edwin BROWN’s birth was registered in early 1890 in Rugby, and in 1891, he was living at his widowed maternal grandmother’s house at 10 Gas Street, Rugby, with his parents, Rugby born John Brown, and his mother, Harriet, who was born in Hillmorton. By 1901 the family had moved to 153 Lower Street, Hillmorton, and his father was working as a bricklayer’s labourer.

By 1911, Percy had already become a soldier as No. 8533, in the 2nd Bn. Leicestershire Regiment. He was probably in a home depot company, as the bulk of the 2nd Battalion was in India until 12 October 1914, when the Division was brought back from India to France as the British Battalion of the Garhwal Brigade of the 7th Indian Division and landed at Marseilles for service in France.

The early spring of 1915 saw a great hammer blow delivered by British troops on the German position at Neuve Chapelle between 10-13 March 1915. The 2nd Battalion led the brilliant attack on the right … and quickly overwhelmed the enemy holding the trenches covering the village and woods at Neuve Chapelle.[1]

However, according to his Medal Card, Percy would have missed this action as he did not go to France until 1 April 1915, and would have been part of the reinforcements for the Battalion.

On the 25 September 1915 the Battle of Loos began, as the Allies tried to break through the German defences in Artois and Champagne and restore a war of movement. A fuller description of the battle is given elsewhere on this site.

During that first day, Percy was killed, and he has no known grave. He is remembered on the Loos Memorial, which forms the sides and back of Dud Corner Cemetery. His name is included on the 2nd Bn. Panels 42 to 44.

He was awarded the Victory and British medals and the 1915 Star.

[1]       History abstracted from: http://www.royalleicestershireregiment.org.uk/history-of-the-regiment/?p=2



26th Jun 1915. Warwickshire Yeomanry in Egypt



A member of the Warwickshire Yeomanry in Egypt writes :-“ Since I last wrote to you the Wayfarer party has arrived. They got into dock on May 15th, and came up to our camp the next day. They all look very well and fit and their adventures don’t appear to have injured their health in any way. They must have had an exiting time ! They say the sea was terribly rough at the time, and they also had it very rough on the journey here. The day after they arrived they were inspected by the Brigadier, who complimented them on the way they had behaved and the manner in which they had looked after the horses. I believe there were very few horses died indeed in spite of the fact that many of them were up to their bellies in water for 24 hours. We are still encamped in the same place, down by the sea, and much enjoy our bathes every morning. We need to bathe frequently here for it is nothing but dust everywhere, and it gets in one’s hair and works through one’s clothes. The flies also are a great nuisance, but as we cannot get rid of them we have to put up with them. We have had Australian horses given us now, as those that were on the Wayfarer are not coming out ; many of them are rather green and in poor condition at present, but I think when they have picked up a bit we shall be quite as well mounted as we were before. As we have only just got our saddles we haven’t had much chance to ride them yet, except bareback, which we have been doing every morning. The Public Gardens here are very beautiful, and of course more interesting to us because the majority of the flowers and trees are strange. In one of them a little stream runs through with hundreds of gold fish in. I saw rather an amusing incident in one of the gardens last Sunday night. About a dozen soldiers were sitting on a bank singing hymns (this, I may say, is not altogether a frequent sight), and they were singing very well such hymns as “ Onward, Christian Soldiers ” and “ Rock of Ages.” They had an admiring circle of natives of all ages and both sexes. Presently along one of the paths appeared about a dozen natives of the class which in England we describe as “ Nuts,” marching in half sections and each one playing a guitar or similar musical instrument. When they reached the “ choir ” party they halted and turning to the soldiers solemnly played the chorus of “ Tipperary ” through twice, then with many bows and good nights passed on. By the way, we have heard “ Tipperary ” played and sung more times since we left England than we should have done in twelve months at home. Once we had it played for our benefit by the band on a French battleship and we responded by singing, or trying to, their National Anthem.

Another Yeoman says :—Our daily programme is something like this : Reveille 5 a.m, roll call 5.15 a.m, feed horses, get a cup of tea, and saddle up for exercise by 6 a.m. We go out for exercise every morning, riding one horse and leading two others, returns from exercise at 8 a.m, water and feed, and have our breakfast ; nine o’clock, stables, clean horses and saddlery until 12.30 ; dinner, or rather lunch, for we have a very light meal in the middle of the day, either bread and cheese or bread and butter, with tea to drink. At 1.30 p.m we water the horses again, and afterwards got our saddlery ready for inspection at 3 p.m. From 4 p.m to 5 p.m we have evening stables ; dinner—boiled beef, potatoes, and boiled rice—at 5 p.m. As a general rule, after this we are free until bedtime, 8.45 p.m-except, of course, those who are on guard.


News was received in Rugby on Thursday that Trooper Geoffery Hardwick Dodson, youngest son of Armourer Staff-Sergt F H Dodson, of St Matthew’s Street, has been wounded in the Dardanelles. Trooper Dodson went out to Australia four years ago, and obtained an appointment in the Civil Service. When war broke out he joined the 10th Light Horse, and went with the Australian Contingent to the Dardanelles. Armourer Staff-Sergeant Dodson is now serving with the forces in France.


The death has taken place in the Military Hospital at Tidworth of Private A Jones, of the 6th Leicester Regiment. The deceased was the youngest son of Mr and Mrs George Jones, of Lorne Villas, Knox Road, Wellingborough, and he joined the Army soon after the outbreak of war, and made himself useful and indispensable as hairdresser and chiropodist to the battalion. He was 29 years of age. and leaves one child. Death followed an operation for appendicitis. He left Wellingborough for New Bilton about six years ago, where he had a business of his own. The remains were taken to Wellingborough for the funeral.

Rifleman L J Newton, of C Company, 7th (Service) Battalion K.R.R. has been killed in action. He was at the time of enlistment in the employ of Messrs Frost & Sons, Printers, Warwick Street, and in the June number of the journal entitled “With the Colours,” which is being published the firm in the interests of, and for the encouragement of their employees who have joined the Colours, we find the following reference :-“We record with deep regret the death of L J Newton, who was killed in action by shrapnel on June 17, 1915. Newton came to us as a compositor in February, 1914, and joined the King’s Royal Rifles in the first month of the war. He was a careful and accurate workman, a fine specimen of manhood, and held in high esteem by all. He joined the Army at a time when recruits could not be accommodated nor fed properly, yet he never grumbled, being ever-ready to bear patiently and sacrifice self to the exigencies of State. His O.C writes to his father : ” I am very sorry to have to tell you that your son, Rifleman Newton was killed suddenly to-day by shrapnel. He was at work unloading a wagon when a shrapnel burst and hit him straight through the heart ; he died immediately – absolutely no pain. I can assure you he is a great loss to my platoon, and he was one of those of whom I was most fond, being an excellent soldier and an all-round good fellow. I’m sure it will be a consolation to you later on – if not now—to know that he was killed in action doing his bit for King and Country.’ Redfearn, who was conversing with him not more than an hour before he was struck down, writes : ‘ We buried him here near the trenches, and put a small cross and a few flowers on his grave.’”


In the lists published on Wednesday the following were returned as wounded :—

TH BATT ROYAL WARWICKHIRE REGIMENT (T.FF).-Allsopp, 1942,. Pte H ; Arnold, 2412, Pte G ;Clowes, 1402, Lce-Corpl R ; Eaton, 1933, Pte L G ; Gallemore, 1456, Pte W ; Goodhall, 3414, Pte A W ; Gorrell, 1703, Pte W H ; Hazlewood, 3355, Pte W ; Rogers, 2252, Pte H.

Lance-Corpl Clowes has since been reported as having died of his wounds. He was an apprentice in the L. & N.-W. Erecting Shops at Rugby, and went out with the “ E ” Company of the 7th Warwickshire Territorials.


MR G GRANT has received a communication from his son Ernest that he has been wounded slightly in the forearm, so that of his three sons serving at the front one (Harry) is missing, and the other two, Ernest and Alfred, are both wounded.


A member of the Rugby Howitzer Battery writes :-“ A team was chosen from our Battery to play the 5th Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment during their rest from the trenches. The Battery won by one goal to nil. It was a very hard game, and you can imagine how every man in the Battery team must have played, as we have only so few men to choose from as compared with a battalion. Spicer at back and Goode in goal played especially well, whilst Major Nickalls was also very safe. The evening was very warm, and rain had been falling pretty heavily in the morning, so that the conditions were not the best : but the game was played at a good pace all through, and was thoroughly enjoyed by the good crowd of supporters from both the Battery and the Battalion. The Germans were dropping their ‘ Little Willies,’ &c, at a respectable but visible distance, but this certainly did not disturb anyone. Gunner Ashir scored the only goal of the match half-way through the first half. Battery Team : Gunner Goode, goal ; Gunner Spicer and Major Nickalls, backs ; Gunner Fanriston, Corpl Watson, and Gunner Redmayne, half-backs ; Sadd, Yarwood, Sergt Sadd, Dosher, Gunner Taylor, Gunner Ashir, and Gunner Cumbirland, forwards.


Sergt G Fiddler, of the K.R.R, 36 Winfield Street, Rugby, writes home to his wife :—We are having a rest for a few days about three miles from the firing line. We came out of the trenches on Saturday. We had only been out about twenty minutes when the trenches were bombarded and blown to smithereens, so we had a bit of luck that time. Last Thursday we took four trenches and found a young German, about 16 years, chained to a machine gun, so that he should not run away, and to make him keep on firing. We took about 142 prisoners, and in the attack, when they tried to recover their lost trenches they had terrible losses. The place where we are is just on the left of a town. There is not a civilian to be seen—only soldiers. It is a mass of ruin. I went to have a look while we were in reserve. It was awful-everywhere you looked, ruin. I had a few strawberries and new potatoes out of one of the gardens, and I cooked them in the trenches.


Recruiting has again been somewhat slack at Rugby during the past week, although, perhaps, this is only to be expected when it is remembered that no less than 2,450 have been enlisted since the outbreak of the war at the Park Road Drill Hall. Those attested this week were:—E E Bromwich and C Rabin, A.S.C (H Transport): F E E Clarke, Leicestershire Regiment ; R W Lucas, 220th Rugby Fortress Company, R.E ; E Dunkley, Gloucester Bantams ; H C Cummins, Royal Berks Regiment ; G Lines, R.W.R : W H Barber, Border Regiment ; W Edwards and W Smith, Rifle Brigade.


Seven members of the Rugby Police Force have availed themselves of the opportunity to enlist, which has been presented by the authorities. P.C Morrey has already joined the colours, and P.C’s Rose, Richards, J G Fairbrother, and Cresswell go to-day (Saturday). P.C’s F Townsend and Chipman are also leaving shortly to join.


DEAR SIR,—I received the following postcard from Pte Branagan this morning, and I should like all those who have so kindly and generously sent me gifts for our prisoners in Germany to know that the parcels are being received safely and in good condition.—Yours very faithfully,



DEAR MRS BLAGDEN, – Heartiest thanks for your valuable parcel, received June 5th in splendid condition. As our correspondence is limited, I cannot promise to write in answer to every parcel you send, but, T can assure you that they will arrive safely, and J might mention that you cannot send anything letter for myself and fellow prisoners. Dear Mrs Blagden, I am sure it is very kind and thoughtful of you to send the parcels. Again offering very best thanks to the I friends in Rugby,—I remain, yours obediently,!



DEAR SIR,—May I crave further space in your columns to thank the friends at Rugby who have so kindly sent cricket balls to this hospital ?

Several have been received during the past few days, and it would gladden the donors’ hearts if they could see the enjoyment derived from their gifts.—Yours sincerely,

A J G HANDS (Pte), H.A C.

Cedar Lawn Hospital, North End Road, Hampstead, June 18th.


Rugby, being one of the important Midland centres for engineering, the local Labour Exchange in Castle Street was opened on Thursday evening for the purpose of enrolling the names of munition workers. The number of applications, however, was comparatively small, but this was not unexpected, as both the large engineering works in the town are already fully occupied with Government work. Many of the men from among the staff and officers have volunteered to fill in the week-ends in this work, and others with mechanical knowledge are also being employed. The Bureau is open on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 6 p.m to 9 p.m ; Saturdays, 4 p.m to 6 p.m ; and Sundays, 3 p.m to 6 p.m ; and any men qualified to take up work in connection with the manufacture of munitions should immediately enrol themselves at the Bureau ; but it should be noted that men already engaged on Government work cannot be enrolled. Posters calling attention to the Bureau can be obtained from the Labour Exchange.


In our last issue we referred to an intimation given by the Rev Dr David (headmaster) that members of Rugby School would be willing to assist farmers in the hay-fields and in other farm work, such as cleaning and thinning crops. We understand that a number of applications have been received through Messrs Tait. Sons, & Pallant, and Messrs Howkins & Sons, and that squads of five and upwards, each in charge of a N.C.O, are being sent out. The boys are chiefly members of the O.T.C. They are suitably dressed for the duties undertaken, and take with them on their bicycles hoes, spuds, and other necessary tools. They are helping not merely in the hay-fields, but in spudding thistles and cleaning farm crops generally. Reports to hand indicate that they are doing the work satisfactorily, and comply readily with the instruction given, so that the experiments promises to prove successful from all points of view.



Webb, George William. Died 27th Apr 1915

George William Webb’s birth was registered in the first quarter of 1885 in Dunton Bassett near Lutterworth, Leicestershire.

Picture of George William Webb from Rugby Advertiser 1st May 1915

Picture of George William Webb from Rugby Advertiser 1st May 1915

In 1891 he was aged 6 and at home with his parents William (Labourer) and Mary Ann Webb (nee Crane) in Dunton Bassett, with siblings Emma aged 7, Carrie aged 4 and Leonard aged 1.

In 1901 he was boarding with Mr and Mrs Hall at 43 Lawford Road, Rugby and was working as a Labourer at the Cement Works in Rugby.

He joined the militia of the 1st Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment (Regimental number 6548) in 1902, aged 17, having signed up for 12 years.   In 1905 his military record states he was fit for India.

However by 1911, aged 26, he was back living with his parents and younger brothers Alfred, aged 14 and Lewis, aged 10, and was working as a Bricklayers Labourer.

He married Carrie in about 1912 (name and date not verified) and had two children, one of whom was born after his death. He was working in the winding department of BTH when called up in August 1914, again into the 1st Battalion of the Leicester Regiment.  

On 19 August 1914 the Battalion moved to Cambridge and left for France landing at St Nazaire on 10 September 1914.

In the Spring of 1915 it appears George was involved in the action of Bois Grenier, which was a diversionary attack coinciding with the Battle of Loos.

On 28 April 1915 George was killed, aged 30, and is buried at

Y Farm Military Cemetery
Departement du Nord
Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France
Plot: C

Bois Grenier is a small village in the Department of the Nord, about 4 kilometres due South of Armentieres.

George William Webb’s name also appears on the Memorial Cross, Main Road, Dunton Bassett.

Dunton Bassett War Memorial

Dunton Bassett War Memorial


A report of George Webb’s death was published in the Rugby Advertiser on 1 May 2015 stating that Lance Corporal G Webb was killed by the bursting of a shrapnel shell in his trench on Wednesday afternoon April 28th. Death was stated as instantaneous. He served 8 years in the Army, five of which were in India and four in reserve.

Following his death his wife was delivered of his effects, listed below, and later his War and Victory Medals.

1 I Disc
2 photos, 1 purse
English money one half crown
French money 64 cents
1 watch (glass broken)
1 shilling stamp
1 fourpenny stamp

From November 1915 Carrie Webb was granted a pension of 18/6 per week for her and her two children.



Green, John Henry. Died 26 Apr 1915

John Henry Green was baptised on 24 October 1880 at Newbold on Avon, the son of Thomas Green and Rhoda (nee Matthews). On their marriage in the same church in 1876, Thomas’ occupation was labourer and they both resided in Long Lawford.

In 1881 Thomas, an agricultural labourer, and Rhoda were living in Newton. Neither John nor his elder brother Thomas were listed with them on the census. By 1891 Thomas was an engine driver and the family were living in Catthorpe. John was aged 10 and there were three more children: George (9) and Sarah Ann (7). The family was still in Catthorpe in 1901, when John was a 20 year old labourer/carman.

The following year John Henry Green married Elizabeth Annie P S Wheeler and by the 1911 census the couple were living in Catthorpe with their four children. John was a farm labourer.

It is not known when he joined the 7th Battalion, Leicestershire Regiment (regimental no. 16825), but he served for less than six months. We have been unable to find him on the medal rolls, so perhaps he never went abroad. He died in Tidworth Military Hospital on 26th April 1915 after an operation and was buried in Catthorpe Churchyard.

“There were many beautiful floral tributes, and in addition to those sent by the relatives, from the following friends:- “A” Company 7th Leicesters; N.C.O.’s and men of 7th Leicesters; A Friend; Alice and Bernard Robinson; His Village Friends; Mr & Mrs Nash and his Fellow Workmen on the Catthorpe Estate; Miss Emily Lloyd Spier.
Mrs Green, the widow, desires to thank all the parishioners and friends outside for their sympathy and kindness in her time of sorrow.”
(Rugby Advertiser 1 May 1915)

CWGC grave of John Henry Green in Catthorpe Churchyard

CWGC grave of John Henry Green in Catthorpe Churchyard


Reynolds, Arthur. Died 10th Dec 1914

Arthur Reynolds was born Albert Arthur BAYLISS in 1891. He was baptised on 28th May 1893 in Southam Parish Church, Warwickshire. His parents were George Bayliss and Emily (nee SEATON) who married in Southam on 5th April 1890. Later in 1893 George Bayliss, a labourer, died at the age of 35. In 1896, Emily married Alexander REYNOLDS, a labourer and Town Cryer of Rugby.

By 1901 the family was living at 4 Gas Street, Rugby. Arthur is listed as Arthur Bayliss, step son of Alexander.

He attended Murray School and in 1908, at the age of 18, Arthur, now known as Arthur Reynolds, joined the Leicestershire Regiment. He was 5ft 6 ½in and 132 lb. He had a fresh complexion and brown hair and eyes.


Rugby Advertiser 9 January 1915

Rugby Advertiser 9 January 1915

After time at Shorncliffe and Aldershot, in March 1910 he sailed for India where he spent the next 4 years. On 12th October 1914, he landed at Marseilles in France with the 2nd Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment.

On 10th December 1914 Arthur died of wounds in Northern France. The fighting of the First Battle of Ypres had died down by now and soldiers had settled down to life in the trenches. The “Christmas Truce” was near. It is not known how long he before he had been wounded; if it was in battle or by sniper fire.

Arthur is buried at Le Touret Military Cemetery, Richebourg-L’avoue.