29th Jun 1918. Rugby Aeroplane Week

RUGBY Aeroplane Week begins next MONDAY

 IF, during the week beginning next Monday, the subscriptions from Rugby for National War Bonds and War Savings Certificates reach the total of £50,000, the authorities will give to an Aeroplane the name of our town.

 Think of our civic pride if we read in an Official despatch that

 the Aeroplane “ RUGBY ”

 has carried the war into German territory and harried the lines of communication of the foe—perhaps that it has saved Rugby men from the deadly attack of the Hun, enabling them to return unharmed to their wives and children.

 Do your duty during Rugby Aeroplane Week

 Have your Money ready for Monday—ready to buy National War Bonds and War Savings Certificates— ready to help in making Rugby Aeroplane Week a triumphant, a record success.

 Get your Pass Book. See how much money you have in the Bank. Draw the cheque and have it ready to give Rugby’s effort a flying start on Monday morning.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

The Order of the British Empire has been conferred upon Lieut-Col R Godfrey Aston, Royal Engineers, grandson of Mrs Aston, of St Matthew’s Vicarage.

Mr G H Simpson, assistant Master at Rugby School, and son of the late Dr Simpson, of Rugby, has been gazetted to a commission in the Grenadier Guards.

Second Lieut B V Bickmore, R.W.R., son of the late Mr A E Bickmore, of 25 Leicester Street, Leamington, is seconded for duty under the Forestry Directorate. He was mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s despatch of April 7th.

The following military appointment is announced: Territorial Force, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, Lieut C W Iliffe to be Captain. Captain Ilife is the son of Dr C W Ilife, Coroner for North Warwickshire, and an alderman of Coventry City Council.

The Hon Mrs A V Baillie has been awarded the “ Medaille de la Reine Elizabeth ” by the King of Belgium in recognition of the kind help and valuable assistance she has personally given to the Belgian refugees and Belgian soldiers during the War.

Pte W White, 4th South Staffs, only son of Mr R White, 214 Lawford Road, New Bilton, has been wounded. He is 19 years of age, and has been in France four months.

Pte J W Purdy, Dorset Regiment, son of Mr J W Purdy, Craven Road, who was wounded in the thigh on June 11th, formerly worked for the L & N-W Railway Company as parcel porter.

Among those on whom the Military Cross has been recently conferred are the following :—Second-Lieut, C G Darby, R.H.A, who for over a week displayed the greatest determination and capability in keeping the guns supplied with ammunition, though on several occasions he had to bring up his teams through a heavy barrage. He has at all times displayed the greatest coolness under fire. (Lieut Darby is the son of Mr John Darby, of Hillmorton.)—Lieut the Hon J H P Verney, Lancers (son and heir of Lord Willoughby de Broke), who, though heavily shelled and attacked from several directions and in imminent danger of being cut off, held a position against greatly superior numbers, and covered the withdrawal of other troops. He showed splendid coolness and determination.

The names of the following Rugby men have appeared in the recent casualty lists :—Killed : Corpl of Horse W H Waspe, Guards M.C.R. Trooper J Campbell. Wounded and missing : Pte C H Edmonds, Oxon and Bucks L.L. Missing : Lance-Sergt W Usher, Gloucester Regiment.

AUSTRALIAN CADET KILLED AT RUGBY STATION.

After the Preston to London express had left Rugby yesterday (Friday) morning at 2.40 the body of an Australian cadet was found on the line, with evidence of the wheels of the train having passed over him. The deceased had evidently travelled by the train, which had a stop of ten minutes at Rugby, for he was travelling from Llandudno to London. From the position of the body, he had got out on the opposite side of the train to the platform, and probably in endeavouring to re-enter the carriage he fell under the wheels. He had no hat or tunic on. From papers on him it was ascertained that his name was Pick. He joined up at the commencement of the war as a private, rising to the rank of sergeant, and had passed all his examinations for a commission.

DUNCHURCH.
ANOTHER son of Mr J Cleaver, postman, The Heath, Dunchurch, has joined up. All his three sons are now in the Army.

FATAL ACCIDENT TO A RUGBY FLYING OFFICER

Second-Lieut Douglas Lavington Little, R.A.F, eldest son of Mr & Mrs W G little, of 30 Vicarage Road, was unfortunately killed while flying near South Kilworth on Friday afternoon last week. From the evidence given at the inquest on Monday it appeared that Second-Lieut Little and three other officers were flying in two machines from one aerodrome to another one in the Eastern Counties, and lost their bearings.

When near South Kilworth two of the officers descended to ascertain their whereabouts, Lieut Little and another pilot meanwhile circling round. Suddenly, for some reason which could not be explained at the inquest, Lieut Little’s machine commenced to spin, and being too low down for the pilot to right it, it crashed to earth. Death was instantaneous. A verdict of “ Accidental death ” was returned.

Second-Lieut Little, who was 19 years of age, was educated at Rugby School. He entered the Royal Flying Corps as a cadet in September, 1917, and received his commission in February last.

The funeral took place with military honours in Rugby Cemetery on Thursday afternoon in the presence of a large number of sympathisers. The coffin, which was covered with the Union Jack, was conveyed on a gun carriage, drawn by six black horses, and was preceded by a firing party from the Rugby School O.T.C, under Capt C P Evers. A detachment from the Volunteer Corps, under Lieut C C Wharton, followed behind the mourners’ coaches. Six of deceased’s brother officers acted as bearers. The first part of the service was conducted by the Rev D E Shorto and the Rev C T Aston in the School Chapel. A large number of choice floral tributes were sent by : The family ; friends ; members of the Town House ; B.T.H Accountant Department ; brother officers, Staff, No. 1 T.D.S, R.A.F ; his Commanding Officer ; late colleagues in the B.T.H. Electrical Laboratory ; and shopmates at the B.T.H.

RUGBY PRISONERS OF WAR COMMITTEE.

The monthly meeting of this Committee was held at Benn Buildings on Monday evening, Mr Wm Flint, C.C, presiding. There were also present : Mrs Blagden, Mrs Lees, Mrs Anderson, Mrs Wilson, Mr A E Donkin, J. P, Mr J H Mellor, Mr G W Walton, Mr F Pepper, and the Hon Organising Secretary, Mr J Reginald Barker.

Mr Barker reported that during the past month the receipts from all sources amounted to £125 17s 6d, whilst the expenditure on food parcels was £264 16s 9d. The expenditure, large as it was, was not quite so heavy as he had anticipated, owing to a number of the new prisoners of war not becoming a charge upon the Committee until about the middle at the month. They would have to provide at least £350 for the July parcels, and by August it would cost £400 per month to feed the present number of prisoners, owing to the rise in the price at commodities and materials. There were now 128 local men in the care of the Rugby Committee, an increase of 35 men during the month, but unfortunately parcels could not be sent to several of these men as their addresses had not been definitely established.

Referring to the financial support, Mr Barker said the amount compared very favourably with the average in the past, but that, today, was quite inadequate, as they now had twice the number of prisoners to maintain, and greater support must be given to the fund in future. He said it could not be too fully known that the work of the Committee was in itself Red Cross work, and he hoped this would be borne in mind by everybody, so that the undertaking could be carried through successfully, not only for the credit of the town and district, but to prevent any of the men becoming a charge on the funds of the Red Cross Society. The abundant proofs received of the value of the food parcels emphasised over and over again the absolute necessity that they be regularly despatched to keep the men in physical and mental health, so that they would eventually return home fit to take their places as responsible members of the community.

The question at securing added and continued support to the fund was discussed at considerable length.

Mr Mellor argued that whilst fetes, dances, and concerts brought welcome addition to the funds, it must not be forgotten that to raise such a huge sum as £400 a month from their district was a very serious undertaking, and he felt it could only be done by people promising regular weekly or monthly contributions according to their means. He hoped some scheme could be devised whereby a canvass of the town could be made, to see what promises of regular support would be forthcoming.

Mr Barker said this was already being done in a number of the villages, and he had hopes that most of the districts would be able to raise sufficient money to provide for their own village men. He referred to the excellent support being given by Messrs Greaves, Bull, and Lakin, at Harbury, who were providing for four men ; the employees at Messrs Bluemel Bros, of Wolston, who were also providing for four of their men ; and the excellent support that was being given by the employees at the L & N.-W Railway in maintaining five of their former workmates. He should like to see similar enthusiasm from other sources, which would go far to relieving the strain on the fund. One or two of the people had undertaken to pay the full cost of their relatives’ food parcels, and others had promised varying amounts, but unfortunately there were many cases where the Committee could not expect any financial support.

Mr Pepper said there was some doubt as to the genuineness of certain persons collecting for the funds and in reply Mr Barker said that every collecting box issued bore the authorised label of the Committee and the name and address of the collector. The collecting cards were also specially printed and numbered, and had the name and address of the authorised collector. Any person collecting without the special box or card was unauthorised, and he would be glad to have particulars of any such cases that came to the knowledge of the members of the Committee or the public.

ROAD TRANSPORT BOARD.

A preliminary meeting of the Warwickshire County Area Road Transport Committee, which has recently been inaugurated by the Board of Trade, was held at the office of the area secretary, Mr S L Wansbrough, 33 Earl Street, Coventry, when duly appointed members from various parts of the county were in attendance. The committee’s operations practically cover the whole of the County of Warwickshire, excluding Birmingham.

Briefly, the main objects of this committee is to secure the strictest economy in the use of petrol and horse fodder. In order to effect this object all petrol-driven vehicles and all horse-driven good-carrying conveyances (carrying capacity over 15cwt) will be compulsorily registered and permits issued for their use. Very wide powers under the Defence of the Realm Act are vested in the Road Transport Board, and any breach of regulations issued by them will entail heavy penalties.

The Road Transport Board is anxious to avoid, wherever possible, putting their powers into force, but will not hesitate to do so in case of necessity. The Warwickshire County Area Road Transport Committee, therefore, invite traders to establish such co-ordination and co-operation in transport as will, if not entirely banish the considerable amount of overlapping and running empty which unfortunately now prevails, at least reduce it to the minimum possible. The powers of the Board will be used to enforce, it necessary, any scheme of co-operation for the economy of transport which has already been voluntarily adopted by the majority of members of any one trader or group of traders.

When it is thoroughly understood that this is a highly important war measure, aiming at a decreased consumption of petrol and the avoidance of the unnecessary use of fodder by reducing the number of horses on the road, there will, doubtless, be a ready desire by all traders to come into line and assist the committee and their secretary in every way possible.

Under the auspices of local tribunals various schemes are now being brought into existence with the object of preserving the businesses of those traders who have been, or may be, called to the Colours, and, inasmuch as delivery is often an essential part at such businesses, the Warwickshire County Area Committee will co-operate with all tribunals now engaged on similar work in order that traders may be spared from overlapping of authorities and that tribunals and the committee may join in exercising their powers for the general good.

THE “ RUGBY ADVERTISER.”

Readers of the Rugby Advertiser should place a regular order for the paper with their newsagent if they have not already done so, as newsagents will not now have supplies for chance customers. If any difficulty is experienced in obtaining the paper, kindly communicate with the Manager, Advertiser Office, Rugby.

DEATHS.

COLSTON.—In loving memory of Pte. ERNEST H. COLSTON, of the 5th Royal Berks Regiment, the very dearly beloved elder son of Mr. & Mrs. H. Colston. 82 York Street ; killed in action in France on June 20th, 1918 ; aged 19 years.
“ Greater love hath no man than this :
That a man lay down his life for his friends.”

LITTLE.—In loving memory of DOUGLAS LAVINGTON LITTLE, Second-Lieut., R.A.F., killed in a flying accident on June 21, 1918 ; eldest son of William Gibson and Laura Lavington Little ; aged 19 years.

IN MEMORIAM.

BIRD.—In loving memory of our dear son and brother, Pte. BERT BIRD, 1/4 Lincolns, who died of wounds received in action in France on July 1, 1917.
“ We pictured his safe returning,
And longed to clasp his hand ;
But death hath postponed our meeting,
‘Twill be in a better land.”
—From loving Mother, Brother, Sisters and three Brothers in France (Leicester).

CHATER.—In affectionate remembrance of Rifleman W. H. CHATER, 12th Rifle Brigade, killed in action at Ypres on June 30, 1916.—“ To memory ever dear.” —From Ada.

CHATER.—In ever-loving memory of our beloved and only child, Rifleman W. H. CHATER, 12th Rifle Brigade of Dunchurch, who was killed in action at Ypres on June 30, 1916.—“ To-day brings back our grief anew.””—Never forgotten by Father and Mother.

GREER.—In loving memory of Private R. GREER, 1st Royal Inniskillings, who was killed in action at the Dardanelles, on June 18th, 1915. Never forgotten by his friends at 12 Argyle Street. “ To live in hearts , we leave behind is not to die.”

 

Little, Douglas Lavington. Died 21st Jun 1918

Douglas Lavington LITTLE was born on 1 October 1898 in Finchley, Middlesex, and his birth was registered in Q4, 1898 in Barnet, Middlesex.   He was baptised on 25 December 1898 at All Saints, Headley, Surrey.  He was the eldest of two sons of William Gibson Little, who was born in about 1862 [-1931] in Islington, and Laura Lavington, née Oakley, Little, who was born in about 1876 [-1934] in Walthamstow.

They probably moved sometime after Douglas’s birth, as his younger brother was born three years later in Sanderstead, Surrey, where the family had moved before 1901, to live at Surprise View, Glossop Road, Sanderstead.  His father was then enumerated as an ‘Accountant’.

At some later date, probably some time before 1911, the family moved to Rugby – Douglas’s father had moved to take a job in Rugby and it may have been attractive because of the educational opportunities for the two boys.  Douglas attended Lawrence Sheriff School and then Rugby School.[1]

In 1911, Douglas was 12, and was living with his parents at 23 Paradise Street Rugby.  His father, now 49, was an accountant for an ‘electrical manufacturer’.  His parents had now been married for 13 years and had had two children both of whom were still living.

For a time after leaving school and before he was old enough to ‘join up’, Douglas worked in the BTH Electrical Laboratory.

There is a file for Douglas L Little at The National Archives.[2]  It has not been consulted at this time, so may include dates when he joined up and whether he had to serve – however briefly – in the army, before joining the Royal Flying Corps (RFC).  It does record that he was in the RFC before it became the RAF on 1 April 1918.  A later inquest report (see below) stated that ‘… he entered the R.A.F. as a cadet in September, 1917, and received his commission last February …’.  He would have been about 18 when he joined up.  He had ‘graduated’ – presumably he had gained his ‘flying licence’ – on 14 June 1918 – he died just a week later.

The RAF Museum holds an extensive set of record cards relating to deaths, injuries and illness suffered by Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force personnel.  Douglas’s Record Cards survive among this collection of Casualty Cards,[3] and also provide some details of his brief career.

Douglas ‘Lovington’ Little had attained the rank of 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Air Force.  He had trained at the No.1 Training Depot Station (RAF) which was based at Wittering (also known as RFC Stamford) after the end July 1917.[4]

Douglas had ‘graduated’ on 14 June 1918 and was being ‘employed’ as a pilot delivering an Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 aircraft,[5] serial no.C8617, with a Beardmore 160 hp aircraft engine, when at 5.30 pm on 21 June 1918, the machine spun into ground from 500 ft, and he was killed.

The Midland Aircraft Recovery Group reported that ‘FK8 C8617, of 1 Training Depot Station spun into the ground near South Kilworth.’[6]

His father was notified at his address at 30 Vicarage Road, Rugby.

An inquest was held and reported upon in several local newspapers.[7]

A verdict of “Accidental death” was returned at an inquest Tuesday on Second-Lieutenant Douglas Lavington Little, R.A.F., son of Mr. and Mrs. W. G. Little, 30, Vicarage Road, Rugby, who was killed in a flying accident near the town during the week-end.  It was stated that Lieut. Little and three other airmen were flying from one aerodrome to another in the Eastern Counties, and when near Rugby they lost their bearings.  Two of the officers came down to ascertain where they were, and Lieut. Little and the other one continued to circle round in the air.  Suddenly, for no accountable reason, Lieut. Little’s machine commenced to spin, and as there was not sufficient depth for the pilot to right it, it crashed to earth.  Lieut. Little was killed instantly.  He was 19 years of age, and was educated at Rugby School, he entered the R.A.F. as a cadet in September, 1917, and received his commission last February.

A notice was posted in the Rugby Advertiser on 29 June 1918.

‘In loving memory of Douglas Lavington Little, Second-Lieut., R.A.F.. killed in a flying accident, on June 21, 1918 : eldest son of William Gibson and Laura Lavington Little : aged 19 years.’[8]

Douglas Lavington Little died aged 19, on 21 June 1918 and his death was registered in Q2, 1918 at Lutterworth, this presumably being the nearest Register Office to South Kilworth, Leicestershire – the crash site was recorded as ‘near Rugby’.  He was buried in the Clifton Road Cemetery in Grave Ref:K472.

Douglas Lavington LITTLE is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates; on the list of BTH Employees who served in the War 1914 – 1918; on the BTH War Memorial;[9] in the Rugby School Memorial Chapel;[10] and no doubt in one of the volumes of the Memorials of Rugbeians who Fell in the Great War; and on the WWI Lawrence Sheriff School Plaque,[11] which reads,
‘In Commemoration of our Brother Laurentians who Fell in The Great War, 1914-1918, Orando Laborando.’   

RAF accounts are less easily interpreted than Army accounts, but it seems that Douglas’s executors received his outstanding pay of £12-8s on 20 November 1919 and then a payment from his Cox & Co officer’s account of 18s in December 1919.

It seems that Douglas’s parents lived in Rugby for the rest of their lives.  His father died in Rugby aged 69, in 1931; his mother’s death was registered in Staines, aged 57, in 1934 – she was recorded as being 58 on her gravestone.  They are both buried with their son in Clifton Road Cemetery.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Douglas Lavington LITTLE 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, February 2018.

[1]      From a reference in the later inquest report, and listed on Rugby School Memorial.

[2]      2/Lieutenant Douglas Lavington LITTLE, Royal Flying Corps, TNA Reference: WO 339/125676.

[3]      http://www.rafmuseumstoryvault.org.uk/archive/little-d.l.-douglas-lovington.

[4]      ‘john-g’ suggests at http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/topic/171495-rfc-abbreviations/, that ‘No 1 Training Depot Station, which formed nucleus flights on 20 July 1917 …’ – the flights went to Wittering on 30 and 31 July 1917.  See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Wittering, ‘The station’s training role expanded when it became the Royal Flying Corps’s No.1 Training Depot Station in 1917’.

[5]      The Armstrong Whitworth F.K.8 was a British two-seat general-purpose biplane built by Armstrong Whitworth.

[6]      http://www.aviationarchaeology.org.uk/marg/crashes1918.htm.

[7]      Coventry Evening Telegraph, Wednesday, 26 June 1918; also Birmingham Daily Post, Wednesday, 26 June 1918; also a slightly shorter version in the Warwick and Warwickshire Advertiser, Saturday, 29 June 1918.

[8]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 29 June 1918.

[9]      This is from a list of names on the BTH War Memorial when it was unveiled.  It is taken from the list published in the Rugby Advertiser, 4 November 1921 and given at https://www.rugbyfhg.co.uk/bth-war-memorial.

[10]     War Memorials on-line: https://www.warmemorialsonline.org.uk/memorial/136533, reference WMO136533.

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