20th Apr 1918. Low-Flying Aeroplanes

RUGBY URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL. . . . .LOW-FLYING AEROPLANES.

Mr F E Hands reminded the Council that at an inquest held on an airman killed at Rugby recently the jury protested against the low flying which took place and he thought a similar protest should go from the Council. On the morning before the accident he saw a pony start to run away twice owing to an airman flying so close to the tops of the houses.—Mr Loverock supported, and said he saw the airman in question come down. He was flying very low, and another aeroplane which accompanied him almost struck the top of some cottages in Temple Street. He had also seen an aeroplane fly between two houses at a lower level than the roofs.—Mr Walker corroborated this, and said the incident caused a great deal of alarm amongst some ladies.—It was decided to write to the Commanding Officer on the matter.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.
[Note: these reports were printed on the edge of the page and the reproduction is very feint.]

Lieut the Hon J H P Verney, Lancers, the only son of lord Willoughby de Broke, has been wounded.

Pte Alfred William Elson, Hampshire Regt, son of Mrs Anderson, 39 Pinfold Street, New Bilton, died from wounds received in action on April 6th. Prior to the war he was employed in the winding department of the B.T.H.

Corpl T J Smith, of the Royal Field Artillery, who was formerly employed in the Main Drawing Office of the B.T.H, died from wounds on March 22nd.

Pte Douglas Hay, York & Lancashire Regt, son of[?] Mrs Hay, 102 Murray Road, was killed in action March 18th.

Second-Lieut Sidney Torrance, Lancashire [?] son of Mr W J Torrance, Warwick Street, has been severely wounded in the head and ankle during recent heavy fighting.

Sapper E Wagstaffe, Royal Engineers, an [?] in the Tool Room at the B.T.H, was killed on [?] April 6th.

Mr & Mrs J G Wilson, of 52 York Street, have received a telegram from the War Office, saying that their son, R V Wilson (O.L), Second-Lieutenant 2/7[?] Royal Warwicks (late H.A.C), had died of wounds on the April 18th. No further confirmation has yet been received.

News has reached Mr J P Lennon, [?] Rugby, that his eldest son, E P Lennon, [?] in France. He was totally blind for several days, [?] has been sent to a hospital behind the lines. [?] information says that he is now regaining his sight, and is recovering very favourably.

A BELATED COMMISSION.

A letter found in the possession of Sapper W H Linnell, jun, Pioneer Battalion, King’s [?] Regiment, a partner in the firm of Messrs Linnell [?], Rugby, whose death from wounds received in action was recorded last week, has been forwarded to his [?] by the matron of the hospital. This was evidently [?] shortly before he was wounded, and that he [?] on the previous day had been informed [?] Colonel that he was recommending him for a commission as his work had been so very satisfactory. Mr. Linnell, who was an Old Laurentian and Old Rugbian. [?] until he joined the Colours mainly responsible for management of the business. He was vice-chairman of the Rugby Master Builders’ Association and [?] of the Rugby Building Society.

HILLMORTON.
MRS RATHBONE (Hillmorton) received a telegram from the War Office on March 30th, saying that her son, Lieut G P Rathbone, North Staffs Regiment, was reported missing on March 21st, and has not heard any more news of him at present. He has not been officially reported killed, as stated in last week’s edition.

ASHBY ST. LEDGERS.
PTE HARRY KERRY, of the 2nd Royal Berkshire Regiment, third son of Mr & Mrs Amos Kerby, has been severely wounded in the left forearm, but is progressing favourably. He has served two years in France.

BRANDON.
WOUNDED.—Pte G Saunders, who for several years was manager at the Royal Oak, has been badly wounded. Although much over age, he volunteered for service, and has been in action on many occasions. This is the second time he has been wounded.

WOLSTON.
CORPL T WEBB, son of Mr & Mrs Charles Webb, Wolston, has now returned to Wolston after serving upwards of three year on active service. He joined the 1/7/ Worcesters in 1914, and was sent out to France on January 4, 1915. He went through the battle of Neuve Chapelle in 1915, and in the battle of fleur Beixin May of the same year was wounded in the left arm. He was soon again on active service at the battle of Armentieres in September. His next big battle was at the Somme in 1916, at Contamassion, where, after fighting hard for four days, he had two fingers on his left hand broken, and was sent to England. Regaining convalescence, he again went into the firing line; but at the battle of Passendale ridge was wounded by shrapnel. He had a finger partly blown off and two broken, whilst his hand was also badly smashed. Arriving in England, he was a patient at a Manchester hospital, where it was found necessary to amputate the finger. He has now received his discharge, and undoubtedly richly deserves it after the many vicissitudes he has gone through. Corpl Webb was one of the first men in the village to volunteer, and he is somewhat sad at the thought that several of his friends who joined up with him are killed. He says that one of the chief grievances of the men at the front is the single slackers at home in our large towns, who let the married men go out to fight while they hide in munition factories. He believes that we should not worry over our recent reverses, but place our confidence in our soldiers, who fight magnificently, and will eventually get the upper hand. Pte W Webb, a brother of the above, has also been crippled.

DUNCHURCH.
PRISONER OF WAR FUND.—There is being a house-to-house collection on behalf of the Prisoners of War Fund in Dunchurch and Thurlaston. Pte G Richardson, Mill Street, Dunchurch, who offered his services to take the envelopes round to all the houses, was once a prisoner of war, but has got his discharge after serving several years in the Army, his eyes being affected. When the envelopes were collected they were found to contain the large sum of £63, and there are several more to come in.

THE POTATO POSITION.
INCREASED ACREAGE PROBABLE THIS YEAR.

Already the appeal which Mr Lloyd George issued three weeks ago to the farmers of Great Britain to largely increase the acreage of potatoes is having its effect in many counties. The latest reports of the Commissioners of the Food Production Department contain numerous evidences of this fact.

The Council of the Central and Associated Chambers of Agriculture have unanimously passed a resolution “ urging on all farmers the paramount necessity of increasing the acreage of potatoes to at least the million acres appealed for by the Prime Minister.” Last year the farmer of England and Wales and Scotland grew no less than 655,704 acres of potatoes—a record planting and an increase of 97,637 acres over the area of 1916, representing an additional supply of 1,400,000 tons of potatoes. These results, achieved despite a shortage of labour and other adverse circumstances, go far to justify the faith of the Prime Minister that the British farmer will once more accomplish the impossible.

So far as can be ascertained at the moment, there already seems likely to be slight increase in the acreage both in England and Wales and in Scotland. Indeed, it may very well turn out that already we have nearly 600,000 acres of potatoes planted this year, or ready for planting, in England and Wales, and almost 170,000 acres in Scotland. But even if this year’s yields are as good as last year’s, it is extremely improbable that this acreage will supply all our requirements for 1918. Accordingly the Government asks the farmer to do his best to add another 230,000 acres, and so reach the million-acre mark which, in combination with other crops, should make the country absolutely safe so far as its food supply is concerned.

The appeal of Mr Lloyd George appeared in the Press on March 18th. It would hardly be surprising if the response of the farmers was not general and immediate. Outside one or two counties potato growing conditions is attended with definite amount of risk ; the yield is very uncertain ; there is the possibility of disease, and proper cultivation entails a good deal of extra labour, whereas labour just now is scarce on the countryside. Moreover, many farmers have had an unfortunate experience with their 1917 potato crop owing to the difficulties of transport and of marketing.

No one knowing all the facts would blame the agriculturist for thinking hard before he planted an additional acreage of potatoes without some sort of guarantee as to their sale when grown, and this guarantee has been given in the fixing of minimum prices.

A WELCOME OFFER.

An unusual request was received by the Rugby Fool Control Committee at their meeting on Thursday, when a lady wrote stating that she had the chance of purchasing a quantity of cheese, but only if she bought about ton, and she asked for permission to buy this. There were 140 members in her household, and if she obtained the cheese and the committee would allow her to retain so much as they thought was fair, she would be prepared to dispose of the remainder to the grocers in the town.—The Chairman : Tons of Cheese ! I have not seen a quarter of a pound for a long time. It seems ridiculous that a private individual should have the chance of buying tons of cheese, when a good many of us have not seen any for some time.—Mr Humphrey did not think it was fair to allow this when other people were only having half-a-pound a month.—Mr Cooke thought if there was so much cheese about Lord Rhondda should take it over, so that it could be distributed more equitably.—Mr Gay suggested that the permit should be given, and that the lady should be allowed to keep enough to last her for a certain period, and that at the end of that time they would appreciate it if she could get them some more (laughter).—The permit given, the lady to surrender 75 per cent. for distribution amongst local retailers.

DEATHS.

BATES.—Killed in Action on March 31st, Lance-Corpl. THOMAS BATES, of 1st Warwicks, only son of Mr. & Mrs. T. Bates, Ryton-on-Dunsmore ; aged 27 years.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call,
His life he gave for one and all ;
But the unknown grave is the bitterest blow,
None but aching heart can know.”
—Deeply mourned by his loving Mother, Father and Sisters.

CHAMBERS.—Pte. C. CHAMBERS, killed in action on March 21, 1918, aged 31 years, son of William and Amy Chambers, Abbotts Farm, Hillmorton.—“ Thy will be done.”

CHAMBERS.—Sergt. F. CHAMBERS, died of wounds in France on April 4, 1918, aged 24 years, beloved husband of Amy Chambers, Hillmorton Paddox.—“ Thy will be done.”

HARDMAN.—Gunner C. H. HARDMAN, the dearly beloved husband of Mrs. C. H. Hardman, 57 Rugby Road, Leamington, killed in action on March 21, 1918 ; aged 26 years.
“ He sleeps, not in his native land,
But under foreign skies ;
Far from those who loved him best,
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—Sadly missed and deeply mourned by his sorrowing Wife and Children.

HARDMAN.—In loving memory of our son, Gunner C. H. HARDMAN, who was killed in action in France on March 21, 1918.
“ We have lost him, we who loved him ;
And, like others, must be brave ;
For we know that he is sleeping
In a British soldier’s grave.”
—From his loving Father, Mother, Sisters & Brothers.

HODGES.—Killed in action on March 26th, Sapper SIDNEY J. J. HODGES, of the Royal Engineers, beloved and youngest son of the late Mr. & Mrs. Hodges, of 82 Claremont Road.

MATTHEWS.—Rifleman JOHN MATTHEWS, 3rd Rifle Brigade, died of wounds in hospital in France on March 25th, beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. William Matthews, Churchover, aged 23 years.

IN MEMORIAM.

DRAGE.—In loving memory of Pte. CHARLES HERBERT DRAGE, the dearly beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. C. Drage, of Yelvertoft ; killed in action in Egypt, April 19, 1917 ; aged 19 years.
“ Death can hide him, but not divide ;
Thou art but on Christ’s other side.
Thou with Christ, and Christ with us,
So together still are we.”
—From his ever-loving Mother, Father & Brother.

GUPWELL.—Also our dear brother, Pte. BENJAMIN GUPWELL, who died of wounds in France, April 20th, 1917.
“ God takes our loved ones from our homes,
But never from our hearts.”
—From his loving Sister and Brother.

 

Linnell, William Henry. Died 8th Apr 1918

William Henry LINNELL was born on 23 February 1880 and his birth was registered in Q2, 1880 in Rugby.  He was christened on 5 May 1880 at Holy Trinity church, Rugby.  He was the son of William Henry Linnell (senior), who was born in about 1850 in Rugby, and Emily Mary, née Moulds, Linnell, who was born in about 1853 in Exeter, Devon.  Their marriage was registered in Q3, 1877, in Nuneaton.

In 1891, the family were living at 1 Railway Terrace and William’s father was a builder.  William Henry (junior) was 11 and had one older and two younger sisters.  They also had a servant.

William attended Lawrence Sheriff School until 1894, and then entered Town House, at Rugby School until 1896.

In 1896, Henry (senior) was a Parish clerk to St. Andrew’s and the family were still living at 1 Railway Terrace,[1] but in 1901, the family had ‘expanded’ to live in both 1 & 2 Railway Terrace.  William (senior) was a ‘Builder and Contractor’ and William (junior) was working as a ‘Builder’s Manager’, with his father’s firm.

His father’s firm would become one of the larger of Rugby’s building companies, and his father also became a member of the town council and chairman of Rugby UDC from 1907 – 1909.

A photograph (left), said to be of a younger William Henry Linnell (junior) was posted on-line.[2]

William (junior) married Margaret Elizabeth née Childs, who was born in Rugby on 30 August 1882.   This was at some date after the third calling of banns on 21 May 1905 – they were both from the Parish of St. Andrew’s, Rugby.  The marriage was registered in Q2, 1905 in Rugby.

Between 1906 and 1917, William Henry (junior) and Margaret had six children – one of whom died soon after her birth.  Their births were registered as follows: Richard Henry, Q4, 1906 [b. 28 October 1906, d. May 1995, Northampton]; John Maxwell, Q1, 1910 [b. 9 January 1910 – d. 24 April 2009 in Canada]; Margaret B M, Q3, 1911 whose death was registered in Q4, 1911; Derek Childs, Q1, 1913 [b. 16 Dec 1912 – d. 24 March 1976, Midhurst, West Sussex]; Nancy Elizabeth, Q4, 1914 [b. 25 Aug 1914 – d. 12 February 2001, Hobart, Tasmania; and Pamela Marguerite ‘Peggy’, Q3, 1917 [d. 23 May 1989, New Norfolk, Tasmania].[3]

In early 1911 William’s mother died and on the night of the 1911 census, his widowed father was visiting his married daughter, Amy Boot, William’s sister, in Llandudno cum Eglwys-Rhos, Wales.  William (senior) lived until late 1928 when he died in Rugby, aged 78.

There is no obvious census return for William (junior) or his wife in 1911.  Were they on holiday?  Their second son, John ‘Max’, now 14 months old, was staying with his maternal grandmother, Susan Wilson at 8 Pennington Street, Rugby.  Perhaps they went abroad and he was considered too young.

In 1912, one of the William Henry Linnells was listed at 7 Whitehall Road, Rugby.[4]  In October 1916, William Henry (junior) was still working with his father and was mentioned in an article in the Rugby Advertiser.[5]  In the 1916 William Henry Linnell was listed at 41 Clifton Road, Rugby,[6] which would be William (junior’s) widow’s address after the war.

RUGBY FIRM COMMENDED.
Mr W H Linnell appeared in support of a claim for the exemption of Horace Walter Gilbert (23, single), electrician and wireman, 56 New Street, New Bilton. – He pointed out that the man had only been passed for “Labour at home.”  Before the war they employed about 85 men, and now there were only about 20.  This was the only man left in the electrical department, which would have to be closed down if he went. – The Military had appealed against the temporary exemption granted to Mr Linnell, jun, and the Tribunal was informed that he was going into the Army in the following week. – The Chairman: I take it you agree to the Military appeal being upheld? – Mr Linnell: That it so. – The Chairman: We will give this man to January 1st, as the other has gone.  They have done very well, I think.

Unfortunately no Service Record exists for William, but there is information in the Obituary published in the ‘Memorials to Rugbeians’, which is quoted in full below.[7]  It seems that after joining up, in Rugby, in later October 1916, he was initially a private in the Motor Transport.  He was transferred to ‘The Buffs’ (the Royal East Kent Regiment), and then upon his application, to the Royal Engineers.  After training at Chatham, he was sent to France in September, 1917, and although in the Royal Engineers, he was then attached to and served as a Private No:87659, in the 11th (Service) Battalion (Pioneers) in the King’s (Liverpool Regiment).  He may perhaps have been among the men of the R.E.s who were attached to the Battalion to give instruction in R.E. work, however, it seems that he was re-numbered when joining the King Liverpool Regiment.

The 11th Battalion had been formed in Seaforth, Liverpool in August 1914 as part of the First New Army (K1), and joined the Army Troops in the 14th Division and became a Pioneer Battalion on 11 January 1915 and on 30 May 1915 mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne, where they were engaged in various actions on the Western Front.

William would probably not have joined them until he went to France in September 1917, some time after he joined up and after the various training.  His exact locations cannot be established.

During 1917, the 11th Battalion was in action during the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, the First and Third Battle of the Scarpe, the Battle of Langemark, and the First and Second Battles of Passchendaele.

In 1918 the 11th Battalion had returned to the Somme, and William would have continued to be involved in the routine engineering of trench warfare, indeed it seems that he had been able to devise a new system of trench construction and in recognition of his work he had been recommended for a commission.  1918 started ‘quietly’ and the 11th had suffered no casualties in March prior to 21 March 1918.

However, whilst an attack by the Germans was anticipated, when launched on 21 March 1918, it was a major offensive, Operation Michael, against the British Fifth Army and the right wing of the British Third Army.  The German artillery targeted command and communications; then, the destruction of artillery; and then the front-line infantry.  The artillery bombardment began at 4.40am on 21 March 1918, and hit targets over an area of 150 square miles, the biggest barrage of the entire war.  Over 1,100,000 shells were fired in five hours.

This action starting on 21 March 1918 was known by the Allies as the Battle of St Quentin.  During the first three days, when the 11th Battalion was at Clastres, significant numbers of ‘other ranks’ of the Battalion were killed and wounded.  On 21 March, 65 Other Ranks [ORs] had been wounded; on 22 March, 5 ORs were wounded, and on 23 March, 44 ORs were wounded.

It seems that William was one of those seriously wounded on the first day, when he was in action near La Fère, some ten miles away from Clastres, and indeed even further from St. Quentin which was also mentioned as his location in one of the news articles below.

He would have been evacuated to a Battalion Aid Post, ‘Field Ambulance’ or Advanced Dressing Station, then back to a Casualty Clearing Station, before being transported back to one of the Base Hospitals – in William’s case, the No. 9 General Hospital, Rouen – some 200 kms. behind the lines.  It was reported that William ‘Died of Wounds’[8] on 8 April 1918 – this was confirmed in his obituary – he was 38 years old.[9]

Overall losses during Operation Michael were so severe that by 27 April 1918 the Division had suffered such severe casualties that it was reduced to cadre at Molingham and then moved back to England.

On 13 April a report in the War Notes of the Rugby Advertiser noted,
With deep regret we have to report the death (from wounds) of Mr. W H Linnell, junior partner of the firm of Linnell & Son, contractors, and only son of Councillor W H Linnell.  He was attached to the 11th Pioneer Battalion of the King’s Liverpool regiment, and was wounded on 21st March in the neighbourhood of St. Quentin.  He leaves a wife and five children.[10]

The next week, a report in the Rugby Advertiser noted,

A BELATED COMMISSION. –
A letter found in the possession of Sapper W H Linnell, jun, Pioneer Battalion, King’s Liverpool Regiment, a partner in the firm of Messrs Linnell, Rugby, whose death from wounds received in action was recorded last week, has been forwarded to his [?father] by the matron of the hospital.  This was evidently [?only] shortly before he was wounded, and that he [?had] on the previous day had been informed [?by his] Colonel that he was recommending him for a commission as his work had been so very satisfactory.  Mr. Linnell, who was an Old Laurentian and Old Rugbian, [?was,] until he joined the Colours, mainly responsible for management of the business.  He was vice-chairman of the Rugby Master Builders’ Association and [?was also a member] of the Rugby Building Society[11].’[12]

During the First World War, camps and hospitals were stationed on the southern outskirts of Rouen.  Almost all of the hospitals at Rouen remained there for practically the whole of the war.  They included eight general, five stationary, one British Red Cross and one labour hospital, and a convalescent depot.

After William died, like the great majority of those who died in the various Rouen Hospitals, his body was taken to the Rouen city cemetery of St. Sever.  He was buried in the St Sever Cemetery Extension in grave reference: P. IX. C. 3B.

St. Sever Cemetery and St. Sever Cemetery Extension are located within a large communal cemetery situated on the eastern edge of the southern Rouen suburbs of Le Grand Quevilly and Le Petit Quevilly.  The Extension had been started in September 1916.

Later, when a permanent gravestone replaced his temporary cross, it included his family’s message, ‘Castissimus Homo Atque Integerrimus “Beati Mundo Corde”.’ – ‘A pure and upright man – “Blessed are the Peacemakers”.’ 

The Rugby Advertiser reporting on a subsequent Council Meeting wrote,
A Councillor’s Bereavement. The Chairman then alluded to the bereavement of their much-respected colleague who a few days previously received news that his son, Harry Linnell – as he was always known in the town – had died wounds received in action fighting for his country.  In moving that a resolution recording their sympathy be inscribed on the minutes, he said he need hardly say how much they sympathised with Mr Linnell the loss of his good son, coming as it did at his time of life when he was getting on in years.  It was indeed a most terrible blow.  He whose death they were regretting was a young man of great promise, and there was no doubt he would have been of much service to his native town.  He had great ability, a most kindly and charming disposition and great industry, and all they could do was to mourn with his widow and father in the great loss which had befallen them.[13]

William Henry LINNELL is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates; and on the WWI Lawrence Sheriff School Plaque,[14] which reads,
‘In Commemoration of our Brother Laurentians who Fell in The Great War, 1914-1918, Orando Laborando.’   

He was also remembered in one of the Rugby School Memorial Volumes, which also includes a photograph of him in uniform and noted …

SAPPER W. H. LINNELL, ROYAL ENGINEERS

William Henry Linnell was the only son of William Henry Linnell of the firm of Linnell and Son, Builders and Contractors, Rugby, and Emily Mary his wife.

He entered the School in 1894 and left in 1896.  He then joined his father’s firm, and was Managing Director at the outbreak of the War.

He volunteered for service and joined as a private in the Motor Transport in October, 1916.  He was transferred to the Buffs, and, upon his application, to the Royal Engineers.  After being trained at Chatham, he was sent to France in September, 1917, and was attached to the 11th (Service) Battalion, The King’s (Liverpool Regiment).

He was seriously wounded in action near La Fère, on March 21st and died of his wounds at No. 9 General Hospital, Rouen, on April 8th, Age 38.

Shortly before he was wounded, he received notification that he was to be recommended for a Commission in the Royal Engineers, in recognition of his work in planning a new system of trench construction.

He married in 1905, Margaret, daughter of John Childs, and left five children, three sons and two daughters.[15]

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

His ‘widow & grantee, Margaret E’ received his monies owing of £11-0-7d on 1 August 1918, and his War Gratuity of £6 on 20 November 1919.

Having been helping run the family building business, he was subject to Probate which took place on 26 June 1918.  He was described as a ‘‘Sapper’, His Majesty’s Army’ – which although he had been attached to a ‘Pioneer’ Battalion, was the correct rank for a soldier in the Royal Engineers.  Probate at the London Registry was granted to his widow, Margaret Elizabeth Linnell, with his effects valued at £2539-16-0d.  His widow was living at 41 Clifton Road Rugby.  She died in 1953 in Bournemouth, Hampshire.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on William Henry LINNELL was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, January and July 2018.

[1]      Kelly, Directory of Warwickshire, 1896.

[2]      Jennifer Maltman shared this photograph on www.ancestry.co.uk on 2 November 2016.

[3]      Most of the more detailed dates have been obtained from Jennifer Maltman’s tree on www.ancestry.co.uk.  Various family photographs can also be seen there.  She is a descendant of  William Henry’s youngest child, Pamela Marguerite ‘Peggy’ Linnell, who married Peter Maltman (b.1907 – d.1982).  She now lives in Hobart, Tasmania.

[4]      Kelly, Directory of Warwickshire, 1912.

[5]      https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2016/10/14/14th-oct-1916-horses-for-the-army/ – also in Rugby Advertiser, 14 October 1916.

[6]      Kelly, Directory of Warwickshire, 1916.

[7]      Memorials of Rugbeians who fell in the Great War, Volume VI.

[8]      Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919.

[9]      Memorials of Rugbeians who fell in the Great War, Volume VI.

[10]     Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 13 April 1918.

[11]     Of which his father was Treasurer in 1915 – see: Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 3 July 1915.

[12]     Rugby Advertiser, 20 April 1918, and https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2018/04/21/20th-apr-1918-low-flying-aeroplanes/.  Some words could not be transcribed from the poor original, likely words have been suggested.

[13]     Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 20 April 1918.

[14]     Information from https://www.rugbyfhg.co.uk/lawrence-sheriff-school-plaques.

[15]     Memorials of Rugbeians who fell in the Great War, Volume VI.

 

30th Mar 1918. Fatal Flying Accident in Rugby

FATAL FLYING ACCIDENT AT RUGBY.

The death took place at the Brookfield Nursing Home this (Tuesday) morning of Mr H N Van Duzer, an officer in the American Flying Corps, as the result of injuries received in an aeroplane accident on Sunday.

The deceased officer and another aviator had been flying over the town at a very low altitude, and at about 5.30, while they were over the Eastlands Estate, something apparently went wrong with Mr Van Duzers’ engine, which caused the machine to nose dive and crash to earth. Mr Van Duzer received shocking injuries to the head, arms and legs, and was conveyed to the Brookfield Nursing Home in an unconscious condition, from which he never rallied.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Pte W H Linnell, jun, R.E, son of Mr W H LINNELL, has been wounded in the leg.

Mr J A Middleton, son of Mr & Mrs Middleton, of Watford, near Rugby, has recently been gazetted Second-Lieutenant in the M.G Corps, after serving three and a-half years in Gallipoli and Palestine.

The death from wounds is reported of Lieut H C Boycott, Coldstreams, the International hockey full back. Boycott won many prizes at lawn tennis tournaments, was a brilliant cricketer, and a smart golfer, being the first secretary of the Northamptonshire Golf Club.

Sergt H Collins, son of Mrs Collins, 73 New Street, New Bilton, has been transferred from his interment camp at Wittenberg in Germany to Holland. Sergt Collins was taken prisoner of war in the early days, and had spent four Christmases in Germany. Food parcels have been regularly sent to him through the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee.

News has been received that Pte A W Bottrill, Coldstream Guards was killed in action on March 18th. Pte Bottrill, whose parents reside at 94 Bridget Street, was an old St. Matthew’s boy. He went to the front in the first month of the War, and was in the retreat from Mons and many of the subsequent heavy engagements, being badly wounded on two occasions. The Captain, writing to his friends, remarks : He has been all through the war without once going home, except on leave, which surely is a magnificent record. There are too few of our original Expeditionary force left to tell their glorious story, and now there is yet another gone.

THE GREAT GERMAN OFFENSIVE.
SLOWING DOWN.

Since Friday last week the British Armies on the Western Front have been fighting with traditional valour and endurance against the stupendous forces launched against them by the Germans in making their promised offensive movement. In the course of three or four days of the bitterest fighting, unprecedented in the annals of war, our front line troops had to give way in front of vastly superior numbers, but have systematically retired on prepared defences. The result is, we are on an average of 15 miles farther back on a frontage of 50 miles than when the attack commenced. There has never been in the history of the War a battle of such continued intensity, and the reason for this is very clear. There has not been one wave attack, but at least three, carried out on the German side by three relays of armies. The usual breathing space which has hitherto followed the most intense period of battle has been denied to our troops, for the simple reason that the German has no sooner exhausted on army than he has put in another, the fresh troops passing through the forces which have been exhausted and carrying on the battle without loss of time.

We are not for the moment interested in German losses. They have (remarks the well-informed London correspondent of the “ Birmingham Daily Post ”) undoubtedly been colossal. We cannot even console ourselves with the effect which those losses will have upon the people of Germany when they are revealed. The only thing which interests us is the question : “ Will the German succeed in breaking the British Army and destroying our power to continue the War ?” It is treason of the worst kind to rave about a British defeat. We are not defeated because we have given ground. We cannot be defeated until our Armies are broken. The German is defeated on the day the official despatch admits that he is checked and held. The German advance is perceptibly slowing, the intensely active front is becoming perceptibly restricted. Of the 96 divisions on the British front 73 have already been identified. Considerably more than a third of all the German’s strength in France is at Present in motion against our Armies, and that enormous force has been met, checked, and decimated by less than a third of the British Army. The people who draw comparisons between this offensive and the offensive against Italy or the big push against Russia are wide of the mark. In point of morale and armament of the defender there is no comparison. So far as reserves and readiness to meet the attack are concerned there is no comparison.

Thursday morning’s news was to the effect that the Allies are holding the line, and the fighting was more in our favour.

RUGBY FOOD CONTROL COMMITTEE.

At a meeting held on Thursday in last week there were present : Mr T A Wise (chairman), Mr H Tarbox (vice- chairman), Mrs Dewar, Mrs Shelley, Mrs Townsend, Mrs Peet, Messrs A Appleby, G H Cooke, C Gay, W A Stevenson, J Cripps, J H Meller, T A Smart, A Humphrey, R Griffin, and A T Watson.

Messrs Bluemel were given permission to purchase sugar for use in their factory canteen, which, it was said supplied meals to 300 workpeople daily.

The B.T.H Company applied for permission to purchase 40 lbs of sugar for the month ending April 20th for use as a lubricant for drawing wire in their lamp factory.—Mr Stevenson enquired how the company had obtained their sugar for this purpose in the past ?—The Executive Officer replied that they had been taking it from the supply allowed for their canteen, but he had informed them that this must not be done in the future.—Mr Stevenson enquired if the company would still be allowed the same quantity for their canteen ?—Mr Mellor said the past they had been drawing 3lbs per week from the canteen for this purpose, but the difficulty experienced in getting carbon for arc lamps had caused a great run on electric lamps, and an increased quantity of drawn wire was required, with the result that they were now using about 10lbs of per week for this purpose.—The permission was granted.

On the application of the L & N-W Railway Company, it was decided to allow the licensee of the Royal Oak, Brandon, to keep a quantity of tinned meat in stock for the use of fogmen.

A letter was read from the Divisional Commissioner with reference to the new wholesale price for milk, and suggesting co-operation between districts where similar conditions are uniformity of price. The Executive Officer read the price list as under :—April, 1s 3d ; May, 1s ; June, 1s ; July, ls 2d ; August, 1s 3d ; September, 1s 3d—average ls 2¾d.—In reply to a question, the Executive Officer stated that the resolution of the committee agreeing to the price remaining at 1s 9d per gallon till the end of April would have no effect, as it had not been confirmed by the Divisional Commissioner.—In reply to Mr Stevenson, it was stated that local committees had no control over wholesale prices.—The matter was referred to the Rationing Committee.

The Finance Committee reported that they had received £216 3s 1d from the Ministry of Food, which would meet all expenses incurred by the late Urban Committee up to December 31st. A cheque had been sent to the Urban Council for this amount, and it was decided to apply to the appointing authorities for a further grant.

SUGAR FOR JAM.
OUTLINES OF DISTRIBUTION SCHEME.

Following on the statement made by Lord Rhondda in the House of Lords with regard to the distribution of sugar for jam-making, the following announcement is made by the Sugar Department of the Ministry of Food :—

Forms of application can be obtained on and after March 23rd at the offices of the Local Food Control Committees, and must be returned on or before April 4th. Applications will considered only when they are made by persons actually growing the fruit which they wish to preserve. The form of application will require the applicant to state, among other things, the number of persons rationed for sugar as members of his household and the amount of fruit which he is likely to have available for preserving. The extent to which such applications can be met will be determined by the Director of Sugar Distribution in conjunction with the Local Food Committees.

Two classes of permit will be issued to applicants, one for soft fruit available between June 8th and July 31st, and the other for hard fruit available between August 1st and September 30th. “ Soft fruit ” will be taken to mean any fruits normally ready for preserving before the end of July, and in this category rhubarb may be included. “ Hard fruit ” will be taken to mean any fruits ready for preserving after July 31st, and in any area where vegetable marrows are usually preserved the local committee may in its discretion include them also in this category.

It has been decided that in no case shall the total amount of sugar for making jam for home consumption exceed 10lbs per head of the household. There will be many people, however, who will have fruit in sufficient quantities to enable them to use more sugar than this, and in these cases they will be invited to state what weight of fruit they are prepared to convert into jam on the understanding that they are to place the jam so made at the disposal of the local food committees at prices not exceeding the current wholesale prices.

It is most important that the application forms should returned on or before April 4th.

LOOKING AHEAD.
DISAPPOINTMENT FOR WEDDING PARTY.

Considerable amusement was caused at a meeting of the Rugby Food Control Committee on Thursday afternoon last week when a letter was read from a Craven Road grocer to the effect that a customer had ordered a 12-lb ham from him for a wedding which was to take place in few months’ time. He asked for permission to sell the ham, and keep it in stock until the event took place.—The Chairman (Mr T A Wise), in reply to Mr Mellor, stated that if the customer bought the ham he could possibly be prosecuted for hoarding. A person was not allowed go into a shop and buy what he wanted, and arrange with the trader to keep it in his warehouse until it was wanted, instead of the customer keeping it himself. That would get over the hoarding order at once : and, if they consented to this, it would open the door very wide.—Mr Cooke : If it means getting excess food we shall all be getting married soon.—The committee instructed the Executive Officer to reply that thy did not approve of the arrangement.

WOMEN’S INSTITUTES.

So many of these Institutes have now been started in Warwickshire, and have been so warmly received, that a County Federation has been formed in order to link them up together, and to co-ordinate the work generally. The first Federation meeting was held at Leamington last week, when a large number of delegates from the different villages where institutes have been successfully started attended. Lady Isabel Margesson, (hon secretary of the Worcestershire Federation), speaking on behalf of the London Federation Committee, explained the scheme. In her preliminary remarks Lady Isabel laid special emphasis on the revival of rural industries, and on the development of the whole of the rural life of the country. She pointed out that, although the great object of that development was Food Production, it was not restricted to that most important endeavour. The village institutes were the response of the women of the countrywide to the call to do their utmost for their own neighbourhood. Force and strength came from acting and meeting together, and results showed that every institute had its own character and individuality. Women’s institutes were NOT to interfere with, but to co-ordinate, the activities of a place. The Government concerned itself more and more with the homes and families of the land, and women’s institutes provided a homely organisation that could receive what the Government wished to give.

Several of the secretaries present spoke of the useful work done by the institutes, and Mrs Miller (Coundon, Coventry), gave an interesting account of a scheme in hand for promoting the toy-making industry.

The meeting, having unanimously decided to form a Federation for Warwickshire, proceeded to elect its officers and executive committee. Mrs Fielden (Kineton) was duly elected vice-president, the Mayoress of Leamington chairman, and Miss Bryson hon secretary.

The eight members of the committee proposed and elected were : Lady Likeston, Lady Nelson, the Mayoress, Mrs Fielden, Mrs Miller, Miss Fortescue, Miss Sargeaunt, and Miss Bryson.

It should be noted that anyone desirous of starting a women’s institute should apply to the War Agricultural Committee, Warwick. Once started, the institute is handed over to the care of the County Federation.

IN MEMORIAM.

BATCHELOR.—In memory of Pte. THOMAS BATCHELOR, of the 5th Royal Berks, who died of wounds in Germany, December 25, 1917.
“ God knows how we shall miss him,
And He counts the tears we shed,
And whispers, ‘ Hush, he only sleeps ;
Thy brother is not dead.’”
—Sadly missed by his loving Sisters Lizzie, Nellie, Ida, Hetty, and Beatie.

CLARKE.—In ever loving memory of Pte P. CLARKE, 31st T.R., who died in the Military Hospital at Dover, March 29th, 1917.
“ The flowers we place upon his grave,
May wither and decay ;
But the love we bear for him,
Will never fade away.”
—From father, mother, brothers, and Sisters at Kilsby.

TOMPKINS.—In memory of PRIVATE WILLIAM TOMPKINS, 24th T.R., dearly-loved youngest son of the late A. J. and Mrs Tompkins, Barby, died in Fulham Military Hospital, March 25th, 1917, aged 19 years.
“ Nobly he answered duty’s call,
And for his country gave his all.
A year has 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.
—Sadly missed by his loving Mother, Brother, & Sister.