A GRATEFUL VOLUNTEER COMPANY.
RUGBY PRESENTATION TO CAPT. C. H. FULLER.
The B Company (Rugby) of the 2nd Vol. Batt. Royal Warwickshire Regiment assembled at Headquarters on Sunday last (the only day of the week on which they could all attend) to he photographed before they are disbanded, but the weather was unsuitable, and it was postponed till the 23rd inst. At 2-15.
There was a very strong muster, and Capt C H Fuller took the opportunity of thanking the Company for the support they had given him during the past four years. He referred to the difficulties and disappointments of the early days of the Volunteer Movement, and the excellent results that had been obtained since the recognition of the Force by the War Office as an integral part of the Home Defence against any invasion emergency. He said a great many of them had worked together from January, 1915, and some hundreds had passed through the Company into the Army, and had testified to the advantages they gained from the training they had received. All who had been, and still were, members of the Company had been actuated throughout by a sense of duty which had led to the excellent discipline which had been shown and which he felt sure could not be surpassed by any other unit. Capt Fuller said that it was difficult to find words adequately to express his gratitude for the loyalty which had been shown him by each one of the Officers, N.C.O’s and men. He took no credit to himself for the success of the Company, as it was the discipline and devotion to duty which had been shown by all ranks which had made his Command so easy and successful. He had always tried to act up to the principle of being in the first place fair to everyone and then of being firm. He could not be too thankful for the good spirit which had always prevailed, and he wished to say how grateful he was to those who out of their holidays had attended Instructional Courses at the various centres of instruction, which had produced such good instructors on whom so much depended. He thanked also these who had given up so much time at the ranges, in the orderly room and on other duties. They had been called upon to be prepared for an emergency which everyone hoped, and many felt might never arise, but their keenness never slackened. Now that their work was coming to an end he hoped the reward would be in the lesson they had learnt from the success of unity of purpose and good comradeship—two attributes which were needed so much now, and at all times, in everyday life.
An interesting presentation was then made by Lieut M W Yates, who said that on behalf of all the officers, N.C.O’s and men of the Rugby Company he was going to ask Capt Fuller to accept a small gift as an appreciation of the feelings of respect and goodwill held for him by the members of this Company. He felt justified in doing it [at] this stage in view of the arms and equipment having been withdrawn preparatory to disbandment.
He said that when the Volunteer movement first started the work was carried on under very discouraging conditions, and as time went on many asked themselves whether it was worth while spending so much effort on a movement which was apparently one of such indifference to those outside. This feeling was very strong, and it was entirely due to Capt Fuller’s zeal and keenness that those under him were inspired to hang together through that trying time. After the Volunteers had been placed on an official footing great strides were made due to the advantage taken by officers and N.C.O’s of the Courses of Instruction at various Army Schools, and he was certain that the reason the Company benefited so greatly by these facilities was the confidence Capt Fuller had in his officers and N.C.O’s to carry out the schemes of instruction with the result that the Company had attained a high state of efficiency.
On behalf of all members of the Company Lieut Yates thanked Capt Fuller for the courteous and sportsmanlike way in which he had always treated them, which had gone so far towards the maintenance of a spirit of friendliness and good fellowship in their Company. He, therefore, asked Capt Fuller to accept a silver salver, which he hoped would be a perpetual reminder of the cordial relations which had always existed between the Officers, N.C.O’s and men of the Rugby Company and their Commanding Officer.
Capt Fuller, in acknowledging the gift, said he had lived long enough to have witnessed many presentations, and it was generally a figure of speech for the recipient to say he was taken by surprise. But he assured them that in his case this was really true. The surprise was complete, and he could not find words to thank them sufficiently. He had tried to do his duty, but felt that he had done nothing to deserve such a recognition as this. However, he was evidently mistaken, for it was quite impossible for the Company to have come forward in a body in this way with such a handsome gift unless they had a genuine desire to show him their appreciation. He thanked Lieut Yates for all he had said about him as well as every Officer, N.C.O and man for their generous present—he would always value it, and it would constantly remind him of his work with them in the Company, which had always been so pleasant, and with the result of which, through their loyalty and support, he was justly proud. They had formed close ties of friendship, and he hoped they might meet together on other occasions to keep them alive.
WAR HONOURS.—Recent honours lists have contained the names of the following Rugby men :—Meritorious Service Medal : Q.M.S F G Ansell, Lancashire Fusiliers ; Sergt O H Hootton, Oxon and Bucks L.I. ; and Sergt J Bottrill. Military Medal : Corpl J P Webb, Tank Corps ; Pte C R Bates, 5th R.W.R. ; and Gunner E Thomason, 400th Battery, 14th R.F.A, “ A” Brigade. Bar to Military Medal : Sergt W J Keenan, 4th Worcester Regiment.
SERGT F H LINES, Rugby Howitzer Battery, son of Inspector Lines of Rugby, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the Field.
D.C.M.—L-Corpl J Vale, 2nd Bn Oxford & Bucks L.I, has been awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.
MILITARY MEDAL.—Sergt R E Lewin, R.W.R, who, for a short time, was a prisoner-of-war in Germany, has been awarded the Military Medal for conspicuous bravery in leading his platoon into action and devotion to duty.
Christmas Presents to Soldiers.—With the money collected from the villagers, and the proceeds of a whist drive and dance, 8s each has been sent to 42 soldiers and two widows. The recipients have thanked the donors for their kindness. There was a balance of £2 8s, which has been sent to St Dunstan’s Hostel.
HANDSOME GIFT.—A parish meeting was held on Monday evening to consider the question of a War Memorial. Mr F Shaw was in the chair. It was decided to build a Memorial Hall, and a committee was appointed to deal with the matter. Mr Shaw promised to give the site and £100 towards the fund. Mr Hooper was elected secretary and treasurer. It has also been decided to erect a brass tablet in the church, on which will be inscribed the names of those who have fallen in the war.
WAR MEMORIAL.—On Tuesday evening last a meeting was held at the schools of subscribers to the War Memorial to be erected in the church. The Vicar (Rev H G Kane) presided. Amongst various schemes submitted, the erection of an oak pulpit in place of the present stone and marble structure seemed to meet with most favour, but no final decision was arrived at.
VILLAGE HALL FOR HILLMORTON.
WAR MEMORIAL AGREED UPON.
A parish meeting was held in the Council Schools on Tuesday evening for the purpose of securing suggestions for the erection of a memorial in commemoration of those who had fallen in the War. The chair was taken by Mr J W Cockerill, and amongst those present were—Messes M T T Anderson, A F Cockerill and J Killworth (members of the Parish Council) ; Capt Miller, Major and Mrs Nichalls, Mrs Parnell, Rev R Lever, Miss Hands, Mr and Mrs C W Perkins, Mr and Mrs F Dyson, Mr and Mrs Allard ; Messrs W Perkins, A Mercer, J Canham, G Burton, G Taylor, W Garratt, G Webb, J J Brown, L W Fitter, W Walton, H Sotton, C Conning, J Roberts, G Pettifer, and others. Mr F Clayson acted as clerk.
In his opening remarks the Chairman said : Some months ago Col Bucknill offered to convey to the Parish Council the Green Gardens on condition that the Council converted them into a public garden or pleasure ground for the resort of the inhabitants. In making the offer Col Bucknill informed them that he had already promised the corner plot, facing the old cross, to the vicar and churchwardens, who had been left a legacy of £750 by the late Mrs M Rogers for the purpose of building a village hall. Col Bucknill went on to say that a suitable building could not be erected for the sum mentioned, and suggested that the Parish Council try to persuade the trustees of Mrs Rogers to combine with them so that a suitable building could be erected as a memorial. Several meetings were held, and as they were unable to accept Col Bucknill’s terms, as a whole, the offer was withdrawn, and a new offer made, in the event of a combination of funds taking place, to give a slightly larger plot of land and head the subscription list with a suitable cash donation (cheers).
Capt Miller wished to know what was the present position.
The Chairman : The Parish Council suggest the building of a village hall, providing the trustees of Mrs Rogers’ bequest would combine with them.
Mr Cockerill said that so far as the trustees were concerned, they were quite willing. But it must be distinctly understood that the offer was subject to the approval of the Charity Commissioners. As to the management, they were prepared to suggest that the three trustees and two others, elected from the Parish Council, should form the committee. He had been informed that there would not be much difficulty in this respect.
Major Nickalls said that, after the remarks they had just listened to, he had great pleasure in proposing that the Parish Council scheme be adopted. What he, and no doubt others, wanted to see was something erected in the parish to commemorate the brave deeds of those who had fallen, and when they came to look round, Hillmorton had not done so badly (cheers). What could be more appropriate as a war memorial than a village hall, containing the names of those who had fallen, the wounded, and also those who had served ? (cheers).
Mr G Burton seconded the proposition.
Mr J J Brown said that before the proposition was put he would like to know whether they could have “ their glass of beer ” in the hall.
Mr Cockerill : That has not been considered in the scheme, but I should say not.
Mr Brown : I am afraid you won’t get the money you want then. That is what the “ boys ” are expecting. He thought they ought to be able to have “ their glass,” so as to save going into a public house.
Capt Miller said he did not think anyone would withhold their subscriptions on the grounds stated by Mr Brown.
The proposition was then put to the meeting, and carried unanimously.
Mr C Allard proposed that the Parish Council, together with five elected from that meeting, form the committee for the purpose of putting the scheme into operation.
Major Nickalls seconded, and this was agreed to.
Seven names were submitted, the following being elected—Mrs Parnell, Major Nickalls, Capt Miller, and Messrs C Allard and H Capell.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
RUGBY WAR MEMORIAL.
QUESTIONS TO BE ANSWERED.
SIR,—Much interest is being taken in proposed memorial to the men of Rugby who fell or who served in the great War. There is deep and sincere feeling among the townspeople generally, many of whom mourn near and dear relatives, whom bodies now lie in foreign lands, that it should be a memorial in every way worthy of the men who answered the call to save us and our country.
The character, form and site of the proposed memorial call for the most careful and thoughtful consideration, and it is also essential that the opinion of the townspeople should be ascertained as widely as possible, and that a thoroughly representative committee should be constituted.
With this object in view, might I suggest that you invite a number of representative citizens to contribute their opinions to your columns as a lead to the townspeople and a guide to the committee which might be formed at a town’s meeting ?
I think attention ought especially to be directed to the following points :—
(1.) Do you agree there should be a monument ? If so, please give suggestions as to character and form, and state what in your opinion would be the most suitable site.
(2.) Have you any other proposal for any other memorial in addition to, or apart from, a monument ? If so, please state proposal.
(3.) Have you any suggestion as to the constitution of the committee which will deal with arrangements ?
Hoping this suggestion will receive consideration,—Yours, &c,
[Our columns are always open to ventilate suggestions regarding the welfare and development of the town and district, and we particularly welcome the opinions of residents on this important topic. All those interested will have an opportunity of hearing representative citizens at the public meeting to be held in the Benn Buildings to-night (Friday).—Ed R.A.]
We desire to acknowledge the kindness of those Readers who have brought waste paper to our Office during the past twelve months, and to notify them that we have now DISCONTINUED collecting it.
SALE OF ARMY HORSES.—On Monday Messrs Howkins & Sons disposed of a consignment of 50 surplus Army horses, 36 draught, and 14 riders at Rugby Cattle Market. A large company of buyers attended from the surrounding districts, and capital prices were realised. Draught horses made up to £70 each, several making between £50 and £60 each. The riding horses made up to £37 each, cobs from £20 to £28 each. We understand that 50 more are coming for sale next Monday.
CHEDGEY.—In loving memory of ROBERT EDWIN CHEDGEY, Bitteswell, Lutterworth, officer’s steward, H.M. Destroyer, “ Norman,” drowned at sea, February 23, 1918, aged 23 years. Also his brother, PERCY JAMES CHEDGEY, Sergeant, 9th London Regiment, who died of wounds near Arras, March 22, 1917, aged 24 years.—“ Though they die, their names shall ever swell the scroll of British glory.”