Wood, Arthur William. Died 10th Jun 1917

Arthur was the son of Joseph Wood and Annie Hill who were married in Rugby in 1889. Joseph came from Ashton in Makerfield, Lancashire, and Annie from Harpenden, Hertfordshire. Joseph was an engine driver and had been in Rugby since at least 1869, at Union Street in 1871 and 1881 and 31 Charlotte Street in 1891.

Arthur was born at 31 Charlotte Street in 1896 and baptised at St Andrew’s Church on 19 March.   Annie was Joseph’s second wife; his first wife Jemima Shaw born Braunston Northants, whom he married at Rugby in 1869, died aged 42 in 1887 in Rugby. They had a number of children. In 1901 Joseph was still living in Charlotte Street with his second wife and their three young children Adelina, Dora and Arthur as well as son Ernest from his first marriage. By 1911 Joseph had moved to 153 Grosvenor Road, Annie had died (in 1903), Dora was no longer at home, and there was another child Marjorie born in 1901 as well as Ernest, now a labourer aged 23.

Arthur enlisted in 1915 as Private 11083 in the Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and was sent to France in May of that year. He was transferred to the 33rd Company Machine Gun Corps (Infantry) as Private 19891, and was killed in action in France in 1917. He has no known grave, and is commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres.

He was awarded the Victory and British War medals and the 1915 Star. His effects, £20 plus a war gratuity of £13 were sent to his sole legatee his half brother George Wood, an engine fitter, who took out letters of Administration in Birmingham in October 1917.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Wallace, Herbert. Died 8th Jun 1917

Herbert Wallace’s was born in Blakesley, Northamptonshire in late 1891 and baptised there on 27 December 1891.

Earlier in 1891, the family in Blakesley comprised: his father, William, a ‘Stud Groom’; mother Elizabeth; older siblings: Joseph aged 8; sister, Ethel aged 7; and brothers John, Walter and Edward, aged 5, 3, and 1.

By 1901 the family had moved to 83 Sholebrook, Wittlebury Park, near Towcester. Herbert’s father was still a stud groom. Herbert was now aged 9 and there were more children and six siblings at home, Edward, Flora, Frank, Fred, Rose and Nelly. Then in 1903, his father died, the death being registered in Towcester.   Herbert’s widowed mother remained with the younger children at 52 Whittlebury, Towcester.   At some later date his widowed mother moved to Rugby, probably to join her children.

In 1911, Herbert was 19 and a grocer’s assistant, lodging with the Hussey family at 2 Devon Cottage, Watford Road, Radlett, Hertfordshire.

He may well have moved to the Rugby area before the war to join his two brothers who were already working in Rugby in 1911, as he enlisted in nearby Coventry into the Machine Gun Corps [MGC] as Gunner, No.38424.   The MGC had been formed in October 1915.

It is not known when Herbert joined up, but he probably didn’t go to France until 1916, as he didn’t receive the 1914-1915 Star, and he would have to be trained.

He later transferred to the ‘Heavy Section’ as Private/Gunner, No.206183. The Heavy Section was formed in March 1916, becoming the ‘Heavy Branch’ in November 1916. Men of this branch crewed the first tanks in action at Flers, during the Battle of the Somme in September 1916.[1]

He was still in the ‘Heavy Branch’ in June 1917, as it was not until July 1917, that the ‘Heavy Branch’ separated from the MGC to become the Tank Corps, later to be called the Royal Tank Regiment. The later ‘Soldiers that died in the Great War’ record states ‘Royal Tank Corps’ and his Medal Card stated ‘Tank Corps’.

The Tank Corps was formed from the Heavy Branch MGC on 27 July 1917 and the Battalions adopted numbering rather than letter designations (although tank names followed the same lettering: for example, 7th Battalion tanks were all named with a letter G, like Grouse, Grumble, etc.) Each Tank Battalion had a complement of 32 officers and 374 men. Originally formed as Companies of the Heavy Section MGC, designated A, B, C and D, each Company consisted of 4 Sections of 3 tanks of each type (male and female Mk.1s). Companies also had another machine in reserve. In November 1916 the Companies were expanded to Battalions, carrying the same letter designations. A Battalion consisted of 3 Companies. Three mobile workshops provided the engineering back-up to service the tanks. An expansion programme was ordered by GHQ, to build a force of 14 additional Battalions.

As Herbert was in “A” Battalion, this would have become the 1st Battalion – possibly after his death.

… some [tanks] played a part at the Battle of Arras in April and May 1917. … The next step saw an upgrade in the production of the Mark IV. It carried more armour and had an external fuel tank. Mechanically, it was similar to the Mark II. These tanks weighed 28 tons. The Mark IV first saw service at The Battle of Messines in June 1917.[2]

The Battle of Messines took place from 7 to 14 June 1917, just south of Ypres. Seventy-two of the new Mark IV tanks had arrived in May and were hidden south-west of Ypres, and took part in various parts of the battle.

Sadly, the tanks deployment in the Third Battle of Ypres (July-November 1917) proved to be another slog through deep mud. The area became a tank graveyard as machine after machine ditched in deep trenches and shell holes, sank, stuck and was shelled. Morale in the Tank Corps was low and confidence of the rest of the army destroyed.[3]

Herbert was recorded by the CWGC as a ‘Gunner, “A” Bn Machine Gun Corps (Heavy Branch)’, but there seem to be two possible dates of death. The grave registration form gave his earlier MGC number and 7 June 1917 as his date of death, rather than his later Heavy Branch number and the later 8 June 1917 date of death given in the later CWGC record and on his headstone.   Herbert was Killed in Action on either 7 or 8 June 1917, it is assumed during one of the number of separate actions tank actions in the Battle of Messines.

His body was recovered and he was buried in Grave Reference: III. C. I5. in the Dickebusch New Military Cemetery Extension. The New Military Cemetery was begun in February 1915 and was used until May 1917 by fighting units and field ambulances, with a few further burials taking place in March and April 1918. The Extension was used from May 1917 to January 1918. The cemetery is a few miles south-west of Ypres, and a similar distance north-west of Messines.

At the date that the CWGC listed the memorial details, Herbert was described as ‘Son of Elizabeth Wallace, of 21, St. John St., Rugby and the late William Wallace’. At some date before 1911, Edward’s brothers, John, b.c.1886; and Frank, b.c.1896, had moved to Rugby to work as a ‘grocer’s assistant, and a ‘gas engineer apprentice’ respectively, and in 1911 were in lodgings at 74 Railway Terrace. It seems likely that their widowed mother, later also moved to Rugby to join them, and submitted Herbert’s name to be remembered on the Memorial Gate. Whether Herbert ever lived in Rugby is uncertain, but he joined up in nearby Coventry, and so he probably visited or even lived for a while, with his brothers, and later his mother. As he is also on the St. Philip’s memorial, perhaps he joined the family in Rugby for a time.

His mother was his sole legatee, and received £5-9-11d on 1 October 1917 and £3-10-0d on 16 October 1919.

Herbert Wallace was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

As well as being remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate, Herbert is commemorated at St. Philip’s Church, Wood Street, Rugby.

Herbert’s brother, Edward, also died in WWI, on 15 July 1916, whilst serving with the 1st Welsh Fusiliers during the Battle of the Somme.   He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial and his biography is here.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Herbert Wallace 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 Rugby Family History Group, June 2016.

 

[1]       In July 1917, the Heavy Branch separated from the MGC to become the Tank Corps, later the Royal Tank Regiment.

[2]         http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/tank-corps-in-the-first-world-war/

[3]         https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Messines_(1917); from: Edmonds, J. E., 1991, [1948], Military Operations France and Belgium, 1917: 7 June – 10 November: Messines and Third Ypres (Passchendaele). History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence, p.33, London, HMSO, ISBN: 0-89839-166-0.

24th Feb 1917. Parcels for Prisoners

PARCELS FOR PRISONERS.

The following are the contents of thè two recent parcels sent on behalf of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee to local men in German prison camps : (1) 1lb beef, ½ lb vegetables, 1 tin rations, ½lb tin cheese, ¼lb tea, ½lb Nestle’s milk, ¾lb sugar, 1/ lb margarine, 1lb jam, 1lb biscuits, 50 cigarettes, 1 tin sardines. (2) 1 tin sausages, 1 tin herrings, 1 tin oxo cubes, 1lb biscuits, ¾lb tin cocoa, ½lb cooked ham (in tin), ½lb dripping, 1 packet oatmeal, 2oz tobacco, ½lb Nestle’s milk, ½lb sugar, pepper, salt, mustard.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Second-Lieut H N Salter, 4th Leicestershire Regiment, has been gazetted first-lieutenant, dating from October 4, 1916.

Mr E P Lennon, son of Mr J P Lennon, has joined the same regiment.

P.C Bending, who has been stationed for seven years at Rugby-the last two of which have been spent as assistant clerk at the Police Station—has this week joined the Military Police Force. Before joining the Police Force, P.C Bending was a sergeant-instructor in the 21st Lancers.

Pte Harold Hopkins, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, previously notified as missing, is now reported as killed in action on July 14, 1916. Pte Hopkins, whose home was at 99 Victoria Street, New Bilton, was an “ old boy ” of St Matthew’s School, and was only 19 years of age. He had only been at the front a short time before the Somme offensive began, and he lost his life early in the struggle.

Second Lieut James Colin MacLehose, Rifle Brigade, who fell on February 14, aged 19, was the elder son of Mr James MacLehose, publisher to the University, Glasgow. He was educated at Cargilfield Preparatory School, of which he was head, and at Rugby, where he became head of the School House. At Rugby he was keenly interested in the life of the School, and in 1916 won the Crick run, the 12 mile race across country.

RUGBY SOLDIER’S DEAÌH FROM WOUNDS.

Pte J Dunn, Machine Gun Corps, who, as we reported last week, had been seriously wounded-and whose leg was amputated after a transfusion of blood—died on February 13th. Mrs Dunn, his wife, who lives at 2 Round Street, Rugby, has received letter from the Sister and Chaplain at the Hospital, both of whom state that everything possible was done for the unfortunate man, who himself made ever effort to recover, but he was too weak to resist the constant severe attacks. Pte Dunn was 27 years of age, and joined the colours eight months ago. For the last five years he had been employed at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s and for several years he played for Long Lawford Football Club.

Dunn, James. Died 13th Feb 1917

James was born in the Registration District of West Bromwich, Staffordshire, to Silas and Maria Dunn, born Ward. They married in Dudley, Staffordshire in the last quarter of 1884. James had an elder brother, Joseph born in 1886.

In the 1891 Census the family are living at 9, Tunnel Road in the Hill Top Ward of West Bromwich, Silas is a General Labourer. Silas died in June 1894 aged 30, in West Bromwich.

In the 1901 Census, Maria is a Boarder, and Charwoman, at 51, Old Meeting Street, West Bromwich, with Rose Harriet Silk as Head of the Household. Joseph, 15 is a General Labourer, James is 12, and a new brother, George is 8.

By 1911 James had moved to Rugby and was working for Willans and Robinson Engineering Works, in Leicester Road, Rugby. He played football for Long Lawford.

He married Clara Sutton in Rugby in December 1914. Clara was the daughter of Amos and Maria Sutton. Her mother was born Maria Burbury. Clara was born in Frankton, Warwickshire in 1889, and baptised at Frankton Parish Church on 13th of October, 1889. . The 1891 Census records Clara living in Frankton with her parents and 4 older siblings. In the 1901 Census, the family are living in Chapel Street, Long Lawford, Amos is a Quarryman at the Rugby Cement Works.

Clara gave birth to a son, Joseph S, his birth is recorded   in the September quarter of 1915, in Rugby.

James’ Service Records have not survived, but information shows that he joined up as a Private in The Royal Warwickshire Regiment service number 20446. The report of his death in The Rugby Advertiser in March 1917 says he signed up for the colours 6 months before his death.

He then transferred to The 196th Company of The Machine Gun Corps (Infantry). Why was this?

At the start of World War 1 each Battalion had 2 machine guns, some were old and unreliable Maxim guns. The Army brought in a programme to change to the Vickers design. And in February 1915 they increased the number to 4 per Battalion. Vickers struggled to meet not only this increase, but the ever-growing number of Territorial Battalions. They agreed to place contracts with American Companies for production under licence.

Following a review of the problems encountered at the First Battle of Ypres, a decision was made to form specialist Machine Gun Battalions. Heavy Machine guns and their crews, four per gun were transferred to the new specialist Battalions, Infantry, Cavalry and Motor. A Vickers Gun could fire 500 rounds per minute, which is the equivalent of 40 trained Riflemen. Concentrating the fire over wide range was copying the technique which had been so devastating to the British Army in the early battles.

To train the Battalion gunners to be part of a much larger Corps of Machine Gunners, a training camp was set up in northern France at Wisques, near to the port of Dunkirk. (In the Second World War a V2 rocket launch platform was sited close to Wisques.)

A team of four were allocated to each gun. It took two men to carry each gun, the gun barrel weighed 28.5 lbs, the water cooled jacket 10lbs and the tripod 20lbs.

A total of 170,500 officers and Men served in the Machine Gun Corps, during the war. 62,049 were killed or wounded. There is a Memorial to the Corps in Hyde Park, London.

The 196th Machine Gun Corps joined the 55th Division on 22nd December 1916.. The Division had relieved the 29th Division in October 1916. For the first half of 1917 the front near Ypres was officially considered to be relatively quiet, if being surrounded on three sides by the enemy can be considered relatively quiet!

In early February 1917 James was wounded and transferred to a French Hospital west of Ypres. He had suffered severe wounds in the leg and was suffering from shock and loss of blood. The surgeon was initially inclined to amputate the leg, but was concerned that the shock of an operation might kill James. He asked for volunteers to donate blood to help James to recover strength. Private T Carter of The Royal Sussex Regiment donated blood. James recovered sufficiently to stand up, but his body had become infected and without modern drugs he died on the 13th of February 1917.

He was buried in The Liyssenthoek Military Cemetery, which is 12 kilometres west of Ypres between Ypres and Poperinge. It is situated between the Allied military base camps and the town of Ypres. The Cemetery has 9,801 graves of men killed in World War 1.

James’ widow, named as Mrs J Dunn was awarded 1s 1d as the value of James’ effects in 1920. She also received his Victory and British War Medals, these were actioned on 25th February 1920.

James’ son, Joseph S Dunn died aged 8 in 1923.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Pebody, Robert Baden. Died 16th Sep 1916

Sergt. Robert Baden Pebody
Service No. 206118
Regiment Machine Gun Corps (Heavy Branch) 4th “D” coy
Cemetery/Memorial Name A.I.F. Burial Ground, Flers
Grave/Reference III. J. 12

Robert Baden Pebody was born about 1896. In the census returns for both 1901 and 1911 Robert is living with his aunt and uncle John Thomas and Margaret Ann Pebody and he is 5 and then 15 years of age, giving his place of birth as Rugby Warwickshire, but no birth or baptism record can be traced and if Robert is adopted no evidence has been found, so we do not know his parents names. He, his aunt and uncle are at 58 Oxford Street Rugby in 1901 and at 50 Hillmorton Road Rugby in 1911 and John Thomas Pebody is an Overseer at the Post Office. Robert attended Lawrence Sheriff School from 1907 – 1912, unfortunately in 1914 Robert’s Aunt Margaret died.   I have not found when Robert enlisted, but he enlisted at Coventry, according to Daventry District Remembers, and Daventry Remembers give John Thomas and Margaret as his parents living at 58 Oxford Street Daventry, (same names as his aunt and uncle and similar address on the 1911 census only at Rugby). Also Daventry Remembers states that John Thomas is living at 24 Stephen Street Rugby at the time of Robert’s death.

Robert belongs to those who crewed the first tanks in September 1916.   On the Somme Roll of Honour it reads Robert Baden Pebody, Tank D14 Company, Died of Wounds the 16th September 1916, age 21. Rest in Peace. A.I.F Burial Ground Flers.   From the Military History Forum is the following:-

In memory of Sergeant Pebody. Sergeant Pebody was 2 i/c of tank D14 commanded by 2nd Lieutenant Gordon Court which had not been in action on the 15th September but was attached to 41st division for the second day of the attack on Flers. The objective was mainly the German held Gird Trench and Gird Support in front of Guedecourt. D14 was heading down what is now Grass Lane towards Guedecourt branching off and heading over a piece of higher ground when the tank was observed to come to a halt and then suddenly explode with a shattering roar. The tank was subsequently found to have been blown to bits and Lieutenant Court and 5 of the crew were killed in the fire, Sgt. Pebody and Lance corporal Upton Army Service Corps died of wounds. It seems likely that Sgt. Pebody and Lance Corporal Upton got out of the tank perhaps to examine what had halted the tank when a German Shell hit the tank itself. Lance Corporal Upton is also buried with Robert Pebody at A.I.F. Burial Ground whilst the other members of the crew of D14 have no known grave and are commemorated on the Thievpal Memorial.

Robert Baden Pebody is remembered on the Memorial Gates Rugby and on the War Memorial at Holy Cross Churchyard, Daventry on Abbey Street. I could not find any memoriam to him in any local newspapers, only that his uncle was informed of his death.

Robert is an enigma. His service number does not lead to any other records. The original grave registration entry was for Paberny Sergt. R. 16721 Machine Gun Corps altered in red ink to read “Pebody, 206118, 4T/C” printed cemetery registers volume state “4Bn Tank Corps” CWGC.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

12th Feb 1916. Another Interesting Letter from the Front

ANOTHER INTERESTING LETTER FROM THE FRONT.

The Rev CT Bernard McNulty, Vicar of Holy Trinity, Leamington, contributes to his Parish Magazine for this month another interesting letter written from the Headquarters, Divisional Artillery, British Expeditionary Force, where he is attached as a chaplain.

“ I write again,” he says, “ from this little village in France, a village in which every little farmhouse, and every tumble-down barn, is crowded with British soldiers—troops to whom the inhabitants as a rule show much kindness and consideration, and yet think what such a state of affairs means to the people here ! The best rooms in their houses are given us, the very straw is turned out of their barns in order to make room for our men ; consider how very small is the payment which the French people receive from their Government for all this, when compared to the prices paid in England for the billeting of troops. In England the house-holder receives 3s a night for every officer who sleeps in his house, and in many cases there are several officers in the one house, and for every private soldier payment of 6d a night is made ; but here in this country the rate of payment is one franc (8d) a night per officer, and 1/2 d a night for each soldier ! When troops are stationed in any district in England, it means an enormously increased prosperity in that particular locality, or town, but here the inhabitants gain very little pecuniary benefit by our presence, for with the exception of eggs and vegetables bought from the small farms, any extras which the soldiers purchase are bought at our army canteens, a number of which are provided in every division. Yet the people, with but few exceptions, are as a rule kind and obliging, at any rate, such has been my experience, and why ? Because they fully realise that we are here to protect and safeguard their homes from a foe who is close to their very doors, and they know full well that the safety and welfare of their country is at stake, and on every French person’s lips to-day there is but one motto. It is this: ‘ Honneur et Patrie.’

“ A few days ago I passed through several French villages, and in each village, here and there, I noticed houses brightly decorated with evergreens and holly, whilst over the door in large letters the motto was printed. I asked the reason for this, and I was told that the recruits of the 1916 class were being called out, and soon I saw companies of lads marching away from their villages, as years ago their fathers marched, for there are practically no men to-day in France who do not know what it is to fight in the wars. How it thrilled my heart to see these lads ! Strong, healthy-looking youths, tramping along with their rifles on their shoulders, with heads held high, and a smile on their lips, leaving their homes, yet bravely hiding the aching hearts proud that at last the looked-for day had come for them, when they could don the uniform of their army. ‘ Honneur et Patrie.’ Such were the words over each home from which a son had gone forth, and the parents’ hands had put up those evergreens, had written the glorious motto. They, too, had hidden the aching heart. Is it not a matter of rejoicing, say they, for has not our boy gone forth to the war ? And in the silence of the night, as they whisper his name in their prayers, it will be as if they heard the voice of God answering ‘ Honneur et Patrie ‘ !

“ Ah, yes, this is the dominating thought throughout the length and breadth of France, the one thought influencing the actions of all its people. It is honour and country which makes one man eager to go forth to the battery or the trench. It is the self-same motto which makes his brother work earnestly and cheerfully in factory or workshops. In the workshops the same golden motive is inspiring labour. They know that they toil for something higher and nobler than wages. The other day I was speaking to a French interpreter, a member of one of France’s noblest families, like many another French nobleman serving to-day as a private in the army of France. He told me that his brother had large munition works near Paris, and that the workmen had petitioned that they might be allowed to work on Sundays. They stated, as their reason, that they felt they could not rest that day, whilst their brothers were fighting in the trenches ! Dare I say that the sanctity of the Sabbath is violated by labour undertaken from such a motive ?

“ Soon there is to be in Great Britain a very modified form of compulsory service. Whatever may have been our opinions on that subject in the past, to-day such a course is right because it is necessary. It is necessary for honour and country. Let that sublime thought silence the voice of opposition, and let those who are called upon to send forth their sons, remember the decorated homes of France !

“ ‘ Honneur et Patrie.’ May that, indeed, be the proud motto for all in our country during this year of 1916. I can wish no grander thing. May it be the sole motive underlying the sayings and actions of every politician who sits within the walls at Westminster. May that same motive lighten the labours of thorn who toil in our workshops, making both employers and men earnest and faithful. May it make the women of our country eager and proud to send forth their manhood, and may that same thought make our soldiers brave in the face of danger. May it also bring consolation to those who mourn ! ”

LETTERS FROM OLD MURRAYIAN8.

Mr W T Coles Hodges, headmaster of the Murray School, has received several letters from Old Boys with the Colours.

Ptes C E Williams and E A Welch, C Section, Machine Gun Company, 143rd Infantry Brigade, write:—

“ We chaps of the Machine Gun are now no longer attached to our old Battalion, for we have been formed into a Machine Gun Company; find so we are away from the rest of they old “ E ” Company. However, we are still able to see them occasionally, and we are pleased to say that they all seem to keep in fairly good health. Would you kindly thank the Rugby Territorial Comforts Committee from the Rugby boys of the Machine Gun Company for all the gifts they so kindly sent us, which were handed on to us by Q.M.Sergt Tomlinson. They were much appreciated by all. At present, there are only two Old Murrayians in our section. The trenches are a little better now than they have been for a month or two. We still have our share of mud, but it is drying up a treat.

“ Fritz is as amiable as ever, only just lately he has begun to talk too much with his artillery. He always get paid back with interest, though, by our artillery, which includes the Rugby Howitzer Battery. We are out of the trenches now, but go in again shortly. While out, we have to man a gun for anti-aircraft purposes, and we are anxiously waiting for a Taube to come over, so that we can warm our gun up a little.”

W Holmes, a sailor boy on one of H.M. warships, has also written to Mr Hodges, stating that he is having a good time and is now at sea.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

In response to the appeal of the Rugby Womens’ Volunteer Reserve for fresh fruit and vegetables for the sailors—who have to depend upon gifts from friends for such luxuries—a gift ? held at the Murray School on Friday in last week, when neatly 7cwt. of produce, consisting of artichokes, parsnips, oranges, apples, beet, cabbage, onions, carrots, turnips, etc, were received. The gifts were afterwards packed up under the supervision of Captain , Moss and Quartermaster Dickinson, of the W.V.R.

NEW BILTON SOLDIER WOUNDED.

Mr C Pegg, of 1 Addison Road, New Bilton, received an official intimation that his son, Pte George Pegg, of the Leicestershire Regiment, was wounded on January 6th. Particulars of nature of the wounds have not yet come to hand.

 

PTE FREDK BAXTER DIES OF WOUNDS.

Pte Fredk Baxter, youngest son of Mrs Baxter, New Street, New Bilton, who, as we recently reported, was seriously wounded in the knee in France on January 7th, died as the result of his injuries in Colchester Hospital on Saturday. Pte Baxter, who belonged to the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was out with a scouting party when a bullet passed through his knee, killing the officer in charge who was behind him. Pte Baxter was brought to England about three weeks ago, and it was ascertained that his injury was so serious that it was found necessary to amputate the limb. At first he made good progress, and it was hoped that he would ultimately recover, but towards the end of last week he became worse, and his mother was summoned on Saturday, but he died before she reached the hospital. He was 26 years of age, and joined the army after the outbreak of war. The body was brought to Rugby, and the funeral took place in the Cemetery yesterday (Friday) afternoon.

[Private Baxter is remembered on the Croop Hill War Memorial]

SCHOOLBOYS WITH ARMLETS.

We understand that every master of military age at Rugby School has attested or been rejected, and a number of the senior boys of the school may be seen wearing armlets, showing they, too, have done their duty in this connection.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

There have been very few enlistments under the Group System during the past week, but the majority of those who have presented themselves were single men. We would remind single men who have not yet attested that the Group System so far as they are concerned comes to an end this month, after which time they will be automatically absorbed into the Army.

POST OFFICE NOTICE.

REDUCTION OF DELIVERIES IN RUGBY.

On and from Monday, the 21st inst, there will only be two deliveries on weekdays in Rugby, at 7 a.m and 12.30 p.m. Sunday deliveries will remain for the present.

In the rural districts the deliveries are being limited to one daily, and these changes are being carried out as circumstances permit.

PROTECTIVE MEASURES AGAINST ZEPPELINS.

CONFERENCE IN BIRMINGHAM.

A DEMAND FOR EARLY WARNING.

The conference of representatives of Midland authorities, convened by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham (Alderman Neville Chamberlain), to consider the question of the better protection of the Midlands in the event of further aircraft raids, was-held on Wednesday afternoon at the Council House Birmingham. The Lord Mayor presided, and there was a large and representative attendance of nearly 100 public gentlemen from all parts of the counties of Warwick, Worcester, and Stafford.

A resolution was passed calling on the military authorities to organise a system for giving an early warning of the approach of hostile aircraft and information as to subsequent movements inland. A committee was appointed to lay before the authorities the methods which the meeting considered would best the situation.

The meeting then proceeded to discuss the various methods to be adopted in giving warning to the public, and while so engaged a telegram was received by the Lord Mayor from the Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, stating that “ the matter of organisation for conveying to police, factories, etc, information of movements of hostile aircraft being actively pressed forward by Field-Marshal Commanding-in-Chief Home Forces in co-operation with Post Office.”

TEST MOBILISATION OF BOY SCOUTS.

On Wednesday, February 2nd, a surprise mobilisation, was held of the town, troops of the Boy Scouts, the idea being to ascertain how soon the boys could turn out in the event of their being required in case of an air raid, to assist the public organisations such as the St John’s Ambulance Brigade, Red Cross Nurses, Fire Brigades, etc.

Although the Scouts were quite unaware when the mobilisation would take place, 50 responded to the call, and assembled on the B.T.H. Athlete Field. A number of the boys, of course, were prevented by overtime, and by evening classes, from taking part. After the mobilisation had taken place, the boys were practised in outpost and sentry duty under the following scheme :— Important military stores were supposed to be located in the field, the Scouts being deputed to defend same from hostile attack while some kind friends had previously undertaken to set as “ enemies ” and. endeavour to obtain access to these stores. Some of these spies were duly caught by the Scouts…

DEARTH OF PETROL

The supply of petrol available for the use of owners of private motor cars will in future be considerably restricted.

Nearly a month ago restrictions upon the supplies of petrol were foreshadowed by the British Petroleum. Company in a circular which they sent out. Now, by some companies at any rate a limit has been placed upon the number of gallons to be supplied to various districts. Hitherto the public have paid little attention to the warnings they have received that, in the national interests, private users should exercise the utmost economy. The restrictions upon the supply which have now been put into force do not affect the owners of vehicles used for commercial purposes.

THE MILK SUPPLY.

COTTAGERS & GOAT-KEEPING.

A very interesting circular has been issued by the Board of Agriculture and Fisheries, pointing out how in certain districts goat-keeping might be extended with advantage. It is well known (says the “ Lancet”) that many cottagers and others living outside the area of retail delivery find it difficult to obtain milk for their families. The large dairy farms are, as a rule, under contract to supply milk to distributing agencies in towns, or else they, turn their milk into cheese and butter. As the Board rightly says, all the objections which apply to the keeping of a cow by a cottager would be met in the case of a goat. The first; expenditure for its purchase is within his means, the housing accommodation is reduced to a minimum, the food costs little, and there is no great expense to be borne for the maintenance of the animal.

Even in the event of a cow’s milk supply being available, goats may profitably be kept to supply milk for domestic use. It is, as a rule, a most wholesome milk, and its flavour, if the food of the animal is regulated, is not any real drawback to its employment. Moreover, goat’s milk is easily digested by children, and especially infants, and, as is well known, it is fair lets likely than cow’s milk to contain tubercle bacilli of animal origin. The average goat will give at its flush three pints of milk a day, and, on the whole, calculations based on extreme cost of keep, outlay, and so forth, show that while a good supply of milk could be maintained, a very fair profit could be made. The suggestion is a valuable one, and the information contained in this circular as to how to start goat-keeping, as to the choice of breeds, as to breeding itself, housing, feeding, tethering, milking, and the care of the milk, and so forth, should be spread up and down the land.

The composition of cow’s milk and goat’s milk is much the same, although goat’s milk is superior as regards fat, which is an advantage. Human milk differs chiefly from goat’s and cow’s milk in that it contains a much smaller proportion of mineral salts and casein.

 

TO RELATIVES OF WOUNDED SOLDIERS.

AN OFFER FROM CHICHESTER.

Mr Robert Bottrill, of Rugby House. Chichester, wishes to be informed when Rugby soldiers are patients in the Graylingwell War Hospital. If relatives will communicate with him, he says he. will be very pleased to visit such soldiers and to take them motor rides ; also, if any friends of the wounded would like to visit them at Chichester, Mr Bottrill offers to provide them with a bed, etc. He adds : “ I believe we have had several Rugby boys here, and I have missed them.”

Mr. Bottrill is a native of Rugby, which explains his desire to show kindness to wounded soldiers from homes in the town who may be staying in the Graylingwell Hospital.

Stebbing, Sydney Reginald. Died 4th May 1915

Sydney Reginald Stebbing was born in Springfield Terrace Coventry[1] and his birth was registered on 3 October 1893. He was baptised on 24 Oct 1893 in Coventry, St Mark.

In 1901, aged 7, Sydney lived at 16 Newbold Road Rugby with his father Edwin Robert Stebbing, aged 54 (born 1847), a retired Army Bandmaster (1st Warwickshire Regiment and in 1911 Bandmaster at Rugby School ) and mother, Annabella Rebecca Armstrong, aged 46, along with his sibling Percy K Stebbing aged 11.   Also in the house were visitors Elizabeth E Stebbing , sister, who was single and aged 27, Benjamin C Stebbing, brother, aged 20, who was a Bandsman in the 2nd Devon Regiment and born in Aden in 1881 , and Marion L Poole, his married sister, who was 25, along with her husband William Poole aged 29, a Bank Clerk, and Horace Pears aged 23 who was a Solicitors Cashier.

In 1911, aged 17, Sydney was a boarder living at 96 Broomfield Road, Earlsdon, Coventry working as a Milling Machine Minder in the Motor Cycle trade (likely to have been Rudge Works[2]), with George Stebbing aged 29 also an engineer in the same trade, Nellie his wife aged 25, and Percival Stebbing aged 2 months. Benjamin C Stebbing, Sydney’s brother, was at this time married and living in Nottingham and was a policeman.

Sydney Stebbing enlisted in November 1914 in the 3rd Battery of the Motor Machine Gun Service as a Gunner and his regimental number was 181.   The MMGS consisted of motor cycle mounted machine gun batteries and was administered by the Royal Field Artillery. It was later called the Machine Gun Corps (Motors).

Sydney Reginald Stebbing died in action at Zonnebeke and was buried in Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery south east of Dunkirk.

The CCWG citation states

In Memory of Gunner S R Stebbing 181, 3rd Bty., Machine Gun Corps (Motors) who died on 04 May 1915 Age 21 Remembered with Honour. Hazebrouck Communal Cemetery
Grave Reference: Plot II. Row D. Grave 9.

A gravestone to Sydney and his parents can be found in Clifton Road Cemetery.   Plot number J457:

In loving memory of Gunner SYDNEY REGINALD MMGS RFA youngest son of EDWIN ROBERT and ANABELLA REBECCA STEBBING who died in France of wounds received in action at Zonnebeke on 4th May 1915 aged 21 years & 7 months. “”Nobly he answered his country’s call.”” also of EDWIN ROBERT STEBBING his beloved father who died 28th July 1933 aged 86 years. “”At rest.”” Also ANABELLA REBECCA beloved wife of EDWIN ROBERT STEBBING died May 21st 1938 aged 84. “”Re-united.””

After Sydney’s death probate was granted to his father on 21 October 1915, in the amount of £103 11s 7d.

[1] City of Coventry Roll of the Fallen: The Great War 1914-1918 written by Charles Nowell

[2] Taken from http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=129178&page=2

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM