9th Feb 1918. The New Franchise Law.

THE NEW FRANCHISE LAW.

The Representation of the People Bill on Wednesday night received the Royal Assent. The revolution it creates in the parliamentary franchise is shown by the following summary :—

Voters increased from 8,357,000, to about 16,000,000.

6,000,000 women voters enfranchised, 5,000,000, being wives of electors.

Youths of 19 who have served or are serving in the Army or Navy in connection with the war to have votes.

Soldiers and sailors to vote in foreign lands or at sea by post or by proxy.

“ Conscientious ” objectors who have refused all work of national importance disqualified during war and for five years after.

Number of M.P.’s increased from 670 to 702.

All polling in a general election on one day.

Six months’ residence qualification.

General election under new register possible in August or September.

SAUSAGE MAKING BY THE GOVERNMENT.

We understand representatives of the Government are looking round in the Midlands for suitable premises for the establishment of a sausage factory, at which it is proposed to deal with 18 to 20 tons of meat per day. A building with about 10,000 square feet floor area is required. When made the sausages are to be sold to the public at fixed prices through retailers.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mr & Mrs Horsey, of 23 Manor Road, have received news that their son 2nd A.M E Horsey, R.F.C, was in the Osmanich, which was blown up by a mine on the 31st December, and sank in five minutes. He was in the water about half-an-hour before he was picked up, and he is now in Egypt.

Sergt F C Gurney, King’s Royal Rifles, eldest son of Mr T Gurney, bookbinder, of 30 Cambridge Street, has been awarded the Military Medal. He is an old Murrayian.

Second-Lieut J Y Rouse, R.F.A, headmaster of Eastlands Boys’ School, was wounded by shrapnel in the ankle on January 25th. He had only been with the guns two days when he received his wound.

SECOND-LIEUT H H H LISTER (Presumed Killed).

Second-Lieut H H H Lister, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, reported wounded and missing on May 4th, 1917, is now presumed by the War Office to have been killed in action on that date. He was 19 years of age, and was the only child of Mr & Mrs H L Lister, of 107 Clifton Road, Rugby. He was educated at the Lower School of Lawrence Sheriffe (1906-11), and Rugby School (1912-15).

TRANSFERRED TO HOLLAND.

Sergt A Phelps, of New Bilton, 1st Batt. Rifle Brigade, has been transferred from his prison camp in Germany to Scheveningen, Holland. For over two and a-half years Sergt Phelps has regularly received his parcels his through the Rugby Prisoners of War Committee. The recent repatriations and transfers of prisoners of war to neutral countries has now reduced the number of men in the care of the Rugby Committee to 74. To provide the necessary food parcels and bread for these men the sum of £205 7s is required every four weeks.

LONG ITCHINGTON.

LOST AT SEA.—Mrs Eli Raven has received the sad intelligence from the War Office that her second son, Sapper Eli Raven, R.E, has been missing since the 30th December, and is believed to be drowned. Presumably he was on board the Aragon when she was and sunk in the Mediterranean. Mrs Raven, lost her husband after a long illness in 1916, and her eldest son, Richd Raven (Coldstreams), was killed in action last July. She has now only one son left,—Driver Albert Raven, R.H.A, now serving “ somewhere France.”

DEATHS.

LISTER.—On May 4, 1917, Second-Lieut. H. H. H. LISTER, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, reported wounded and missing at Bullecourt, now presumed to have been killed in action, aged 19, only child of Mr. & Mrs. H. L. Lister, of 107 Clifton Road, rugby.

IN MEMORIAM.

COLING.—In affectionate remembrance of our dear son, CHRISTOPHER, who was killed in action on February 4th, 1917.
“ Yes, we shall meet our boy again.
Far up in that Home above ;
Where war and strife will be no more.
But all will be peace and love.”
—From Father Mother, Brothers and Sister.

DATSON.—In loving memory of CHARLES DATSON, beloved husband of May Datson (late of Brownsover) who died of wounds in France on February 9, 1917.
“ What though in lonely grief I sigh
For him beloved, no longer nigh ;
Submissive would I still reply.
‘Thy will be done.’”

ELLIOTT.—In loving memory of Lance-Corpl. H. J. ELLIOTT, of the Rifle Brigade, beloved son of H. D. A. Elliott, who was killed in action in France on February 12, 1917.
“ Had we been asked, how well we know.
We should say, ‘Oh ! Spare this blow,’
Yes, with streaming tears, would say :
‘Lord, we love him, let him stay.’
He bravely answered duty’s call.
He gave his life for one and all :
But the unknown grave is the bitterest blow,
None but his loved ones ever know.”
—From his sorrowing Mother, Father & Brothers.

FRENCH.—In loving remembrance of Pte. OLIVER FRENCH, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, youngest son of Robt. & Emma French, of Napton, who died in France on February 10, 1917.
“ I Heard the Voice of Jesus say,
‘Come unto Me and rest.’”

RICHARDSON.—In loving memory of Pte. J. RICHARDSON, Coldstream Guards, who died of wounds received in action on February 11, 1915.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call,
His life he gave for one and all.”
—Sadly missed by his Mother, Brothers, Sisters, and Grandmother, of The Banks, Dunchurch.

 

Lister, Herbert Henry Holden. Died 4th May 1917

Herbert Henry Holden LISTER was born on 27 March 1898 in Rugby.[1] He was the only son of Herbert Lister Lister (born in Rugby in 1870) and Sarah Lister (née Holden, born in Wolston in 1868).   He was baptised on 24 April 1898 at St. Matthews Church, Rugby.

In 1901 the family was at 105 Clifton Road, Rugby, the home of Herbert’s widowed paternal grandfather, Henry Lister. Herbert’s father, also Herbert Lister, was shown on the census as a Railway Clerk and his mother, Sarah, was probably looking after Herbert’s three older cousins: Nellie -14, Elsie – 12, and Charles – 10.

In 1911 the family, – Herbert (senior), Sarah and Herbert (junior) – was at 235 Railway Terrace, Rugby.   Herbert being only 13 was still at school. The records show that he attended Lawrence Sheriff School, and it seems that his education was sufficient that when he joined up, he was selected for Officer training. Possibly he had been a member of a school cadet force and had some preliminary training. By 1917 his parents had moved again and were living at 107 Clifton Road, Rugby

Herbert’s full Service Record is held at The National Archives,[2] and have yet to be consulted, but he gained a Commission and became a Second Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

In August 1914, the 2nd Battalion[3] was in Malta and was one of nine battalions recalled from overseas service. They returned to England on 19 August 1914.   They were formed up and mobilised from 31 August and 4 October 1914 at Bolton’s Bench, Lyndhurst in Hampshire, the site of one of the Great War army camps and joining the 22nd Brigade, 7th Division. Over 4 and 5 October the Division embarked at Southampton, landed at Zeebrugge during 6 and 7 October, reached Ghent on 9 October and arrived at Ypres on 14 October 1914 after the fall of Antwerp.

When Herbert joined them is unknown at present, but his date of entry to France is not recorded on his Medal Card and he did not receive the 1915 Star, so he probably did not join his battalion in France until 1916 at the earliest, possibly in the reinforcement after the battle of the Somme.

The 7th Division saw action in France and Belgium on the Western Front until 17 November 1917 when it was transferred to the Italian front, serving there for the remainder of the War. Actions in France included various parts of the Battles of Ypres – 19/10/1914; including the Battle of Langemarck – 21/10/1914; and the Battle of Gheluvelt – 29/10/1914; the Rouges Bancs – Well Farm Attack – 18/12/1914; the Battle of Neuve Chapelle – 10/03/1915; the Battle of Auber’s Ridge – 09/05/1915; the Battle of Festubert – 15/05/1915; action at Givenchy – 15/06/1915; the Battle of Loos – 25/09/1915; and in 1916 the various battles of the Somme including the Battle of Albert – 01/07/1916; the Capture of Mametz – 01/07/1916; the Battle of Bazentin Ridge – 14/07/1916; the Attack on High Wood – 20/07/1916; the Battle of Guillemont – 03/09/1916. In 1917: Operations on the Ancre – 11/01/1917 and 21/02/1917; and following the German retreat/withdrawal to the Hindenburg Line – 14/03/1917.

Herbert was Killed in Action with ‘D’ Company of 2nd Bn, RWarR during the Battle of Bullecourt, which commenced on 3 May 1917. This was one of the actions in the Arras area, of which the result was somewhat inconclusive. An Anglo-Australian assault on German positions around Bullecourt during April failed to penetrate the German lines so plans were made for second attempt. Shortly before 04.00am on 3rd May, 62nd Division attacked Bullecourt village while the 2nd Australian Division, both in V Corps, Fifth Army, attacked east of the village, their objective to penetrate the Hindenburg Line and capture the town of Hendecourt-les-Cagnicourt. Strong German resistance held out until the exhausted Australian troops were relieved by 7th Division and 1st Australian Division.

The 2nd Bn. RWarR were part of the 22nd Brigade in the 7th Division and the Battalion Diary devotes several pages to the actions prior to and on 4 May 1917.

On 1 May the Battalion was ‘In Billets & Ruins COURCRELLES’, then on the night of 2/3 May they moved to ‘MORY COPSE’. As noted above, they were a reserve for the attack on the Hindenburg Line. After the attack of the 62nd Division was unsuccessful, the Battalion was ordered to attack Bullecourt. ‘D’ Company provided two platoons to ‘A’ Company and two platoons to ‘C’ Company for carrying and mopping up. ‘A’ Company was on the right and ‘C’ Company was on the left and also formed a defensive left flank. Their sector included a railway embankment which provided some cover, but they were subject to strong shelling and machine gun fire; and the wire was also uncut.

‘The strength of the Battalion going into action was:- 20 Officers, 609 Other Ranks. After the Action the strength was:- 8 Officers, 362 Other Ranks. Only 3 junior Officers were left out of those who carried out the attacks.’

They reorganised and gathered up men and carried out a further strong patrol, but were held up …

‘… The enemy held his fire until they reached the 2nd belt of wire which was uncut, and then opened strong rifle and M.Gun fire which caused heavy casualties. Communication was impossible as the signal lamp was broken by shell fire and both pigeons had died of shell shock. The attack was a failure.’

By the end of the day two Lieutenants were known to have been Killed in Action; six were wounded and four, including Herbert Lister, were ‘Missing’ – all four had actually been Killed in Action and their bodies, and indeed those of the two known to have been killed were never recovered or identified.

The next day the Battalion was relieved and left the Railway Embankment for a ‘camping ground at MORY-ABBAYE’.

Herbert Lister is now remembered, as are the other five officers from the Battalion killed that day, on Bay 3, of the Arras Memorial, which is located in the Faubourg-d’Amiens Cemetery, to the west of Arras, near the Citadel.

In total 102 members of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment were killed that day and were never recovered or identified, and are all remembered on Bay 3 of the Arras Memorial.

The Arras Memorial commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918, the eve of the Advance to Victory, and have no known grave. The memorial was designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens.

Herbert Henry Holden LISTER was awarded the Victory and British medals.   His Executor was his father, Herbert Lister Lister, who received his Gratuity of £35-0-0 on 4 December 1919.

As well as the arras Memorial, he is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate and on the Lawrence Sheriff School Plaque:- ‘In Commemoration of our Brother Laurentians who Fell in the Great War –   1914-1918 – Orando Laborando’

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Herbert Henry Holden LISTER was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by Anne Rogers and John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, December 2016.

[1]       UK, British Army Lists, 1882-1962.

[2]       Officers Service Papers, TNA ref:WO 339/71149, 2/Lieutenant Herbert Henry Holden LISTER, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

[3]         https://www.forces-war-records.co.uk/maps/units/668/royal-warwickshire-regiment/2nd-battalion/

 

21st Oct 1916. Conscientious Objectors in Warwick Prison

WARWICKSHIRE STANDING JOINT COMMITTEE.
CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS IN WARWICK PRISON.

The conditions under which conscientious objectors are accommodated at Warwick Prison were described in a report presented to the Warwickshire Standing Joint Committee at their meeting at Warwick on Monday. The report stated that the men “ will live in the prison, and for the most part work on the premises, though some of them may at a later date be sent to such work as may be arranged outside. They will not be subject in any way to penal discipline ; they will be allowed to leave the prison premises when their work is done, and at other times, with the permission of the agent in charge. If a man absconds, he will not be liable to arrest, but will be reported, with a view to his being recalled to the Army, or, if his prison sentence is unexpired, to be sent back to prison.”

RUGBY BOARD OF GUARDIANS.
MORE ACCOMMODATION NEEDED FOR WOUNDED SOLDIERS.

The Chairman informed the Board that he had that day received a telephone message from Mr Michell, stating that the War Office had applied for further accommodation for wounded soldiers to be made in Rugby ; and Mr Steel, in conjunction with Mr Michell, wondered if provision could be made for any accommodation in the Workhouse Infirmary. A small committee had been appointed, consisting of the Chairman of the Board, the Vice-Chairman, Mrs Dewar, Miss McClure, Messrs Steel, C H Rowbottom, F M Burton, Garratt, and Salter ; and they had decided to get on with the work of the Board as quickly as possible, and meet that afternoon with the Guardians approval. The Local Government Board Inspector (Mr Nesbit) would have to be consulted before any arrangement could be made, and the question was whether the committee should have power to act. Personally, he thought, to the point of self-sacrifice, they ought to do everything they could ; and if it was possible, without undue strain upon the officers, he thought they should place the whole of the infirmary at the disposal of the Military Authorities (hear, hear).

It was decided to adopt the committee’s suggestion, and to give them power to act.

Mr Hicken asked if they had one of the Children’s Homes to spare ?- The Chairman said that was a most important suggestion, and it would be considered by the committee.—Mr T Mitchell mentioned that the Small-pox Hospital at Lawford Heath was vacant ; but the Chairman said that was not under the control of the Guardians.

DISTRICT APPEALS TRIBUNAL.

DEBADGING OF MARRIED MEN AT THE B.T.H WORKS.

Letters from Mr H N Sporborg, of the B.T.H Co, were read by Mr Wratislaw in answer to the statements made at a previous sitting of the Tribunal that married men were debadged while single employees were retained, and that the debadging was done by the foreman. Mr Sporborg said there was no truth whatever in the statement made by Walter Alderman, a joiner, of 85 Wood Street (whose case had been adjourned), that he was being taken in preference to single men in the building department whose work he could do. In proof of that a list of the single men retained and their occupations was given. That the question of debadging was left to the foreman of the shop was incorrect as regarded Alderman’s case, because he was debadged by the Inspector of the Ministry of Munitions.—Mr Wale : Don’t say any more. The Inspector might have been a tailor.—The Chairman pointed out to Alderman that the letters did not bear out his statement that a lot of single men were kept back. Evidently they were not.—The Military appeal against an exemption was upheld.

WAGES OF CHARGE HAND AT THE REFUSE DESTRUCTOR.

Mr John H Sharp, Surveyor to the Rugby Urban Council, appeared in support of an appeal for a further exemption for Arthur Williams, 15 Bennett Street, in charge at the Refuse Destructor. He said he had advertised, but had not been able to replace the man. Mr Wratislaw’s statement that a substitute sent by the Military was told he would be offered 30s a week was declared by Mr Sharp to be absolutely wrong.—Mr Wratislaw produced a postcard as evidence.—Mr Sharp said he saw the man, and made an appointment to meet him at the Destructor, but the man never went near the place.—The Chairman said if a man was so vital they ought to offer more than 30s.

Mr Wale thought such a man should be worth 9d an hour, which was a lot more than 30s a week. It was not a question of wages, but a question of getting a man.—Mr Wratislaw said if a man could get better wages he was not going to work for 30s.—Mr Sharp replied that if a man was satisfied with his wages, that had nothing to do with the case.—Mr Wale was quite certain there were attested men, unfit for military service, who could do this work, and Mr Wratislaw said the Military could send a suitable man.—The Surveyor : Suited to this work ?—Mr Wale : I have to take what the Military send me. I take the goods the gods provide, and don’t grumble.—Final exemption till November 30th was granted.

WORK OR WAGES ?

John Shanks farmer, Cawston, again appealed for his son George (33, single), who had been exempted till August 31st.-Mr Eaden asked for the case to be adjourned sine die, but the Tribunal refused nor would they grant an exemption till January 1st.-Mr Wratislaw : You should have taken the man we sent last August.-Mr Eadon : You sent two or three, but they didn’t like the work.-Mr Wale : Perhaps they didn’t like the wages.—Mr Eaden : The wages were all right.—Mr Eaden informed appellant that under the new Army Order his son would get till 1st of January.—The Chairman : We don’t make it the 1st of January.

Mr Channing associated himself with the appeal of Mrs Colledge, baker and corn dealer, Brandon, on behalf of her son, Sydney George Colledge, 27, single.—The Chairman : We have put him back once.—Mr Channing : If you do to again, I think that will meet the case.—Appeal dismissed, but allowed 28 days.——Francis Buckingham, carter, Combe Fields, asked for further exemption on domestic grounds, and offered to undertake farm work.—Appeal dismissed, but given 14 days.

MILITARY APPEALS.

The Military appealed against the exemption to January 1st granted to Thos Scrawley, fitter, 15 James Street, Rugby, employed by Messrs Foster & Dicksee, for whom Mr Herbert Watson, secretary to the firm, appeared. It was stated that this was the only fitter left.—Mr Wratislaw said Mr J Darby, sen, did nearly all the repairs to the Rugby Fire Brigade appliances, and a blacksmith was also employed by the firm.-Appellant said he did three parts of the Fire Brigade work, but if the Tribunal would give him the chance he would go into munition works.—The Chairman : You have spoilt your own case ; that settles it.—Final exemption till December 31st.

An appeal by the Military against temporary exemption to December 31st granted to Richard Edward Williams (37, married), proprietor of a laundry business in Stephen Street, was dismissed.-Ernest Manners, general dealer, 4 Windmill Lane, agreed to accept December 31st as final, and an order for this date was made.——Thos Arthur Stephenson (29), woollen and rag merchant, Newbold Road, placed in Class C (3), claimed that his work was of national importance, but the Tribunal considered he should do something different, and adjourned the case for 14 days to see what could be arranged.-Exception was taken by the Military to the temporary exemption till January 1st granted to Thos Hubbard Deacon (18), plumber’s apprentice, Newbold-on-Avon, but the Tribunal dismissed the Military appeal.-The appeal of the Military was upheld in the case of George Mascord White (22, single), shoeing and general smith, Dunchurch, to whom temporary exemption was granted till January 1st.-Walter Wm Heap (37, married), builder, Dunchurch, was also given to January 1st, .whilst Chas Wells, School Street, Wolston, a haulier in the employ of Kirby Bros, was allowed till December 1st, with leave to appeal again.—Alfred Webster, farm labourer, Woolscott, was given till January 1st.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Lady members of Albert Street Bible Class and a few friends gave a tea and concert to 44 wounded soldiers at “ Te Hira ” on the 11th inst. It was greatly enjoyed.

Lieut Stanley Hidden, previously of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, has been gazetted Adjutant of the Army Service Corps of the 1st Mounted Division at the Headquarters of the Division.

As a result of the horticultural exhibition held at the Conservative Club recently, the sum of £30 was raised after paying all expenses, and this was equally divided between the Rugby Prisoners of War Fund and Rugby Soldiers Comforts Fund.

Drummer W Newman, of the Rugby Territorials, younger son of Mr C J Newman, Benn Street, has just been invalided to England from France, suffering from a severe attack of rheumatism. He is now in hospital at University College, London.

The parcels sent by the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee to local men in German prison camps this week contained : ¼-lb tea, 1lb sugar, tin Nestles milk, half-cheese, tin sardines, tin rabbit and onions, a blackberry and apple pudding, and 2lbs biscuits. In addition, a warm woollen undervest and pants have been sent to each man.

ANOTHER MILITARY MEDAL.

The Military Medal has been awarded to Rifleman H E Lister, of the Rifle Brigade. The Major-General commanding the Division notifies that he has received a report of the gallant conduct of Rifleman H E Lister on September 4 and 5, 1916, for continuously carrying messages under heavy rifle and shell fire near Guillemont, and he wishes to congratulate him on his fine behaviour. Rifleman Lister is a grandson of Mr H Lister, 105 Clifton Road, Rugby. He was formerly an apprentice in the pattern shop at the B.T.H. He joined up in September, 1914, and was wounded once in the following year.

CAWSTON HOUSE HOSPITAL RE-OPENED.

After being closed for about eight months, Cawston House has been re-opened by Mr C E and Mrs Blyth for the reception of wounded soldiers. An urgent request was received from the authorities on Thursday week, and by Monday everything in the way of equipment and staff was ready, and ten wounded soldiers were brought in during the day.

A GOODS GUARD KILLED.

Mr and Mrs Edwards, of 42 Windsor Street, have received news that their oldest son, Lance-Corpl Edwards, of the London Regiment, was killed in the great fight on September 15th. The first intimation came from a sergeant of another regiment, who, when making a short cut to new lines of trench, came across the body of a young man, who, in company with some others, had been caught by machine gun fire. In the man’s pockets were two photographs of a wife and two children, which had apparently been pierced by a bullet ; also a wallet, &c, all of which the sergeant was able to send to the address written on the photos—that of the deceased’s wife at Rowington, near Warwick, together with a letter full of comfort and sympathy. Lance-Corpl Edwards, who enlisted at the outbreak was a goods guard on the L & N-W Railway, and was 26 years of age. He was discharged on account of physical defects soon afterwards, but was recalled in 1915, and transferred from the K.R.R to a London regiment. He usually carried the photographic in the left pocket of his tunic.

LONG LAWFORD.

MR & MRS ELKINGTON have received news that their youngest son, Ronald, has been promoted to be sergt in the King’s Royal Rifles. He has also been a recipient of congratulations from Major-General Douglas Smith for gallant conduct and fine behaviour on the night of August 23rd and 24th during the attack on Guillemont. Sergt Elkington, is only 20 years of age, and he has three brothers and two brothers-in-law on active service.

STRETTON-ON-DUNSMORE.

MISSING.—Pte F Linnett, Royal Warwickshire Regt, whose home is at Stretton, is reported as having been missing since September 3rd. He is 26 years of age, unmarried, and has served nine years with the colours. He has not been home on leave for seven years.

BRETFORD.

Pte Arthur Wilson, of the Royal Inniskillings, has received his discharge, owing to ill-health. He was at the Dardanelles and in Serbia, where last winter he was severely frost bitten. From this he has suffered severely, and it is feared that it will be years before his strength returns.

AN ABSENTEE.—At the Rugby Police Court, on Thursday (before T Hunter, Esq), Pte Arthur Collins, of the R.W.R, 45 New Street, New Bilton, pleaded guilty to being an absentee from his Battalion since October 14th, and was remanded to await an escort.

MURRAY SCHOOL BOYS’ INGENIOUS DEVICE.—Two boys attending the Murray School—Frank James Clarke (13) and Thomas George Mann (12)—have been working on a design for an aircraft shell, and have submitted the drawings to the Coventry Ordnance Company. The officials of the Company have expressed themselves as very interested in the idea, and are considering the details.

DEATHS.

EDWARDS.—On September 15th, in France, Albert Victor, the dearly loved eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Edwards, of 42 Windsor Street, Rugby.

EDWARDS.—Killed in action in France on September 15, 1916, Lance-Corpl. A. V. EDWARDS, London Regiment, the dearly loved husband of Bessie R. Edwards.

THORNE.—Officially reported missing since October 13, 1915, now concluded killed, Lance-Corpl. CHARLES THORNE, Leicester Regiment, elder son of George and Kate Thorne, of Lutterworth ; aged 22.

15th May 1915. Rugby Victims of Poison Gas

A RUGBY VICTIM OF POISON GAS.

Pte A Angell, 1st Royal Warwicks, son of Mrs Angell, of 17 Little Pennington Street, Rugby, is at present in a hospital at Lincoln suffering from the effects of the ghastly German poison gas. In a letter to his mother, written on May 9th, he says: “ I have been poisoned by that gas which the German murderers use. I went into action three weeks ago. After marching two days and two nights we arrived within 50 yards of the German trenches, and when we halted they opened fire on us.” The writer then goes on to tell of the losses suffered by the Battalion, and said that of five Rugby men who went into action he was the only one left. They were forced to retire, and he and 20 others took shelter in a “ Jackson hole.” Five of the party were unwounded, one died in the writers lap, and the others were suffering terrible agony. They were only 100 yards from the German trenches, and had to remain in the shelter from 4.45 a.m to 8.30 the following evening, and numerous shells dropped all around them. “ After this we were in the trenches for nine days. The Germans were not satisfied with our losses, s they poisoned us out of it. We must have lost many more men by this means. I am a very lucky chap. I was picked up half unconscious by a Frenchman in the centre of Ypres, on the main road. I wonder what the English people would think if   they could see Ypres as it is—burnt down to the ground.” Pte Angell concludes with the hope that he will be home on leave shortly.

A CHURCH LAWFORD MAN’S EXPERIENCE OF POISON GAS.

W Cooke, son of Mr H M Cooke, has written home to his parents. His letter is dated May 6th, and he says :-“ A few lines at last I I’ll bet you have been worrying at not hearing from me, but I am all right. We have been advancing and I could not write until now. I dare say you will see in the papers that our Regiment has been cut up, and we have only a few hundreds left. We have been relieved now, and it will be some time before we take any active part again. We have been through hell this last eight days, and I never want another time like it. The German shelling is awful, but I thank God we are back out of it now. Alf was wounded in the leg, and Hancox is among the missing. I would not mind if they would fight fair, but the dirty dogs have been using that gas on us. One has to fight with a wet cloth over one’s nose and mouth, and I have seen some of our fellows go raving mad. My nerves are a bit shattered now, but otherwise I am all right, so don’t worry. We have not had any letters while we have been advancing, so I expect I shall have a few from you, Mother, altogether. Write me along letter soon.”

(The Alf mentioned in the letter is Alfred Day, of Bishops Itchington, who enlisted with W Cooke, and before enlistment worked as a blacksmith at Church Lawford. Charles Hancox was a labourer from Kings Newnham.)

 

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Two trains, each containing two hundred wounded, passed through Rugby (L & N-W) on Sunday evening between six and eight, and were supplied with refreshments by the Rugby Town Red Cross Society. The men had been fighting as recently as Sunday last, and had crossed the Channel on Sunday morning.

News has come to hand that wounded soldiers belonging to the different regiments which were billeted in Rugby and took part in the invasion of Gallipoli are now in hospital at Malta.

A movement is being organised in Warwickshire to secure the services of more transport drivers for the Army. An appeal is to made to motor-car owners in Warwickshire to release their men wherever practicable.

Mr and Mrs William Matthews, of Churchover, received news on Monday that their son, Pte John Matthews, of the Rifle Brigade, was wounded on May 5th by a shrapnel bullet in the leg just above the knee. He is at present in hospital in Manchester. Pte Matthews, who is 21 years of age, joined the army early in September, and was drafted to the front on April 1st. He was for some years footman at Mr B B Dickinsons’ boarding-house in Rugby.

Driver Harry Batson, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, writing home to his sister at 35 Bridget Street, Rugby, states that he has been on duty at observation posts in the trenches, which were knee deep in mud and water. When traversing the trenches it is necessary to keep well down to avoid being seen by the enemy’s snipers. The trenches were only 50 yards apart. The enemy’s guns had been very active round here of late, and had succeeded in setting fire to some ruined farms close to.

Mr Charles Henry Lister, a grandson of Mr Henry Lister, 105 Clifton Road, Rugby, was an engine-room artificer on H.M.S Maori, which was lost off the Belgian Coast through striking a mine on Saturday. The friends of Mr Lister have received intimation that he is a prisoner of war at Doebritz, Germany. Mr Lister’s brother, Rifleman Herbert Edward Lister, who joined the Rifle Brigade on the outbreak of war, is now in a hospital in London, suffering from a bullet wound in the left hand.

Second Lieutenant H J Gwyther, attached to the 2nd Manchester Regiment, now with the expeditionary force in France, has been wounded. Mr Gwyther, when engaged at the B.T.H Co, Rugby, was a prominent playing member of the Rugby Hockey Club.

In Saturday’s “ London Gazette ” appeared the announcement that the late Lieut Michael FitzRoy, son of the Hon E A FitzRoy, M.P, and Mrs FitzRoy, had been gazetted captain. He was selected by his Colonel for the command of a company shortly before the battle of Neuve Chapelle, in which, unfortunately, he was killed. The late Lieutenant was nearly the youngest officer in the regiment, being but nineteen years of age and he had only been in the army six months.

HOWITZER’S “ SHELLING COMPETITION.”

Two further letters have just been received by Mr and Mrs C J Packwood, of St Matthew’s Street, from their son, Charles, who is serving at the front with the Rugby Howitzer Battery, and   from these we make the following extract :- “ Things go on just about the same. We have a sort of shelling competition between ourselves and the Germans. It is their turn now. They are shelling a ridge. I expect they think we are there, but we are not. I expect later on we shall have our go, and we always register the most points. All the ‘bhoys’ are ‘in the pink’ ready for earthing.”

HOT MEALS IN THE TRENCHES.

A hot dish of curried fowl or a hot beef-steak and kidney pudding, are luxuries not usually found on the battlefield, but these and a host of other appetising dishes, may now be enjoyed by the aid of a new invention just put upon the market by Messrs, Crosse and Blackwell. This unique and valuable adjunct to the soldier’s kit is known as the “Joffrette” Heater, and costs but 1s. 6d. complete. Its construction is so simple and yet so effectual that a tin or bottle of preserved food can be thoroughly heated is a few minutes by simply lighting the cake of solidified alcohol supplied with the Heater (additional cakes costing but 3d. each). It is without doubt one of the cheapest yet one of the greatest boons which can possibly be suggested for use in trenches.

The Heater cannot explode or get out of order, the flame is invisible and impervious to wind, and while it is of peculiar utility at the present time, it is equally serviceable for boating parties, picnics and household use where a hot maid or a cup of tea or coffee is quickly required. The “Joffrette” Heater is stocked by all the principal Grocers. Ask your Grocer for one.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

NATURALIZED GERMANS AND THE MAGISTERIAL BENCH.

SIR,—Though Rugby may contain few, if any, enemy Aliens, it is surely essential that Mr Merttens, although naturalized, should resign immediately his seat on the Bench, which he appears to have vacated during wartime.

The idea of even a naturalized German sitting in judgment on Rugby citizens after the war is repugnant, and especially one with views such as Mr Merttens has in the past expressed. If he has not already resigned, Rugby will expect his fellow Magistrates to see that he does so.-Yours truly, CITIZEN.