Martin, John Joseph. Died 25th Jun 1918

John Joseph MARTIN’s birth was registered in Q3, 1890 in RugbyHe was the son of John Joseph Martin, who was born in about 1851 in Ireland, and Ellen, née Oldham, Martin, who was born in Long Lawford, in about 1860.  Their marriage was registered in Q4, 1888, in Rugby.

In 1891, the family was living at 18 Chapel Street, Rugby.  John’s father was a ‘groom, domestic servant’.  There were two children at that date – John, who was ‘10 months’ old, and had an elder brother George who was ‘23 months’ old.  The apparent reason for this ‘precision’ can be found in the biography of their younger brother, Lawrence Alfred Martin, who died on 12 September 1916.

It seems they returned to Ireland between about 1896 and 1899, as three of the children were born there in that period, however, by 1901, the family had moved back to Rugby to live at 39 School Street, Hillmorton.  John’s father was a ‘groom at a livery stable’.

By 1911, John, the eldest son, was 20, and already ‘In the army’ – his name had been crossed out by the enumerator as he wasn’t with the family that night!  He was enumerated at the Aliwal Military Barracks, South Tidworth, Hampshire, and was in the 18th Queen Mary’s Own (QMO) Hussars.

Meanwhile in 1911, the rest of the family were now living at 12, Jubilee Street, New Bilton, Rugby.  Also at home that night were John’s younger siblings: Lawrence Martin, 16, who was working in the lamp department at BTH, but who would later join up; Mary Ellen Martin, 14, a tailoress; and Christina A Martin, 12; and Wilfred E V Martin, 8, who were both still at school.  Their father, now 60, was a ‘Groom’, and he and his wife had been married for 23 years and had had seven children of whom five were still living.  They would live in Rugby for the rest of their lives.  John’s father died there aged 78, in about mid 1932; and his mother died there, aged 79, in about early 1939.

Unfortunately no Service Records have survived for John, but it seems that he joined up in Rugby, prior to 1911, and he served as either No: 5275, (on later CWGC records), or more probably as No: 5276 (as recorded on most earlier CWGC records; soldiers who died in the War; and his Medal Card) in the 10th (Prince of Wales’s Own Royal) Hussars in the Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line.  At some date he was promoted Sergeant.

The Regiment was based at Potchefstroom in South Africa at the start of the war, so John may have gone out to serve with them after being enumerated at Tidworth in 1911.  They returned to the UK and joined up with the 6th Cavalry Brigade in the 3rd Cavalry Division at Ludgershall, then on 8 October 1914 landed at Ostende as part of the British Expeditionary Force for service on the Western Front.  Soon afterwards, on 20 November 1914, in Belgium, they transferred to the 8th Cavalry Brigade in same Division, in order to bring that Brigade up to strength.

John’s Medal Card states that he went to France, on 6 October 1914, which fits with him serving in the 10th Hussars and going to France with them in 1914 – and he thus became eligible for the 1914 Star – and he would have then been involved in the various actions of the 8th Cavalry Brigade.

The 8th Cavalry Brigade served with the 3rd Cavalry Division on the Western Front until March 1918.  It joined the division too late to take part in any of the 1914 actions, but in 1915 the Division saw action in the Second Battle of Ypres (Battle of Frezenberg Ridge, 11-13 May) and the Battle of Loos (26-28 September).  1916 saw no notable actions, but in 1917 the Division took part in the Battle of Arras (First Battle of the Scarpe, 9-12 April).  At other times, the brigade formed a dismounted unit and served in the trenches (as a regiment under the command of the brigadier).

In March 1918, the Indian Cavalry elements were sent to Egypt.  The British and Canadian units remained in France and most were transferred to the 3rd Cavalry Division causing it to be extensively reorganized.  The yeomanry regiments were concentrated in the 8th Cavalry Brigade which left the 3rd Cavalry Division on the 12/14 March 1918 and transferred to the 6th Cavalry Brigade in same Division.

Whilst it was fairly quiet at the start of 1918, John would have continued to be involved in the daily routine of a Cavalry Regiment.  The front was comparatively quiet prior to 21 March.

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

The War Diary of the 10th Hussars whilst serving with the 6th Cavalry Brigade is available and a summary of activities in the four months before John’s death is summarised below.[1]

At start of March 1918, they were at Tertry where on 9 March one of the huts was bombed, six were killed, 35 wounded, six of whom died in hospital.  On 13 March they moved to the Devise area, and from 18-20 March they found working parties and then on 21 March ‘Heavy enemy bombardment of the whole front line opposite started about 4.30am.  The Regiment was ordered to stand to, and moved out at 5pm and marched to Beaumont near Ham, where the Brigade bivouacked in a field.  The dismounted Brigade was ordered to be formed next morning.’  On 22 March ‘The dismounted Brigade left by bus early in the morning …’.

They moved to Pontoise and then Carlepont and later to Choisy where a bomb injured an officer on 28 March.  On 30 March they were at Airion and moved to Sains-en-Amienois and the next day – 31 March – to bivouacs at Racineuse Farm.  Another group had gone to Lagny and then on to Elincourt and Chevincourt in period 26 to 29 March, sustaining one killed, 15 wounded and four missing.  A third group was in Naureuil on 23 March, and then dug in at Abbecourt and later went to Les Bruyers.

On 1 April the Brigade moved to Gentelles Wood.  On 2 April they moved on to Fouilloy.  Then on 4 April they came under heavy fire at Bois de Hamel and lost about 50 horses.  They were shelled again on 5 April at Blagney-Tronville.  On 6 April they moved to Camon where they ‘reorganised’ on 7 April.   On 11 April they marched to Buire-au-Bois and then on 12 April to Hestrus and later to billets at Aumerval.  From 14-30 April, they stood to and saddled up each day and were ready at short notice.

May started in the same way until on 5 May they moved to Rougefay and the next day to Villers l’ Hopital and then to Contay where they stood to until 16 May.  On 17 May they moved to camp at Belloy-sur-Somme.  They were then cleaning and training until the end of the month when they moved to Behencourt, and bivouacked half a mile south west of the chateau.

The Brigade stood to each day until 14 June when they were relieved by the 7th Cavalry Brigade and moved back to Belloy-sur-Somme.  From 15 to 24 June there was training and a ‘scheme’ was carried out on 22 June, however, ‘owing to the large numbers of cases of influenza in the Brigade, it was decided to move the Brigade to another area.’  On 25 June the Brigade moved to the Soues area, and then billeted at Reincourt until the end of July.

It seems there was constant movement in response to the German advances, the Cavalry effectively being in place as a readily moved ‘backstop’.  They moved, sometimes on a daily basis, from some 30kms south of Arras, to an area, similarly distant, to the west and south-west of the town.  There was no obvious major enemy action in the period prior to John’s death, when he might have been wounded, however, the mention of the ‘large number of cases of influenza’ may suggest that John was affected badly and for that reason was evacuated to a Casualty Clearing Station.

Whether wounded in routine sniping or shelling, or suffering from influenza, John was evacuated for some considerable distance behind the lines, assuming that he was taken to the 21st Casualty Clearing Station at Wavens – some 50kms west of Arras – next to where he was later buried.

John Martin died, aged 28, on 25 June 1918.  He was buried in the Wavans British Cemetery in Grave Ref: B. 3.  This is a very small cemetery with only 44 graves and was made by the nearby 21st Casualty Clearing Station in May-September 1918.  The cemetery contains 43 Commonwealth burials of the First World War and one German war grave.  The flying ace Major J T B McCudden, VC, DSO and Bar, MC and Bar, MM, who died of wounds on 9 July 1918, some two weeks after John Martin, is buried in the same row as John Martin in Grave 10.

Later, when a gravestone replaced the temporary cross, probably in the 1920s, no additional family message was engraved upon it.  His parents were still at 12, Jubilee Street, New Bilton, Rugby.

John Joseph Martin is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates and also on the New Bilton War Memorial, by the chapel in Croop Hill Cemetery, Addison Road, which states ‘In the Great War these died for England 1914-1919’.  The family were Roman Catholic and John – and his brother, Lawrence – are remembered at St. Marie’s Church, Rugby, ‘To the Memory of the Men of this Congregation who Fell in the Great War 1914-1918 …’.

His Medal Card showed that he was awarded the British War Medal, the Victory Medal and the 1914 Star.

His mother received his outstanding pay of £13-15-2d on 13 March 1919 and his War Gratuity of £25-10s on 2 January 1920.

John Martin’s younger brother, Lawrence [or Lawrence] Alfred Martin, also served and was killed in action with the 6th Battalion, the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry.  He died on 12 September 1916.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on John Joseph MARTIN 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]      WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-20, Household Cavalry and Cavalry of the Line, 3rd Cavalry Div., 6th Cavalry Brig., 10th Prince of Wales Hussars, March 1918 – March 1919, TNA ref: WO 95/1153.

[2]      https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2016/09/12/martin-lawrence-alfred-died-12th-sep-1916/.

 

8th Dec 1917. Using Potatoes to Save Bread

USING POTATOES TO SAVE BREAD.

Sir Arthur Yapp, the Director of Food Economy, is anxious that the present very large surplus stock of potatoes and vegetables should be utilised in all private houses, and also in hotels, restaurants, and other public eating places, in such a way as to save bread.

It has been brought to his notice that in many public eating places the charge for a portion of potatoes and other vegetables is so relatively high as to encourage people to order bread instead. This is very much against the national interest at present, and Sir Arthur Yapp desires it to be clearly understood that he expects the management of all public eating places to alter their arrangements accordingly.

It is stated that it is still quite common for meat, eggs, etc, to be served on toast or bread. This practice should be immediately discontinued, and the use of bread should be discouraged in every way possible, so long as potatoes and other vegetables are abundant.

In particular, it is most if desirable that in all public eating places as little bread as possible should be served at lunch and dinner when potatoes and other vegetables are available in abundance, as at present.

Sir Arthur Yapp urges the public to give their full support to these recommendations, as this is of great importance in utilising the national food supply to the utmost advantage.

NOW TO OBTAIN SUGAR.
A NEW PROCEDURE.

It is important to remember that after December 31st you can only obtain sugar by one of the following systems ; that you can only use the system which applies to your particular case :—

A.—THE HOUSEHOLD SYSTEM.—If you have already deposited with your grocer a household sugar card, and if you are still a member of the same household, you must go to your grocer after December 8th and ask for Declaration Forms. When you have filled these up your grocer will give you a Retailers Sugar Ticket for each member of the household, which must be shown when buying sugar after December 31st.

B.—THE COUPON SYSTEM.—If you have not registered with your grocer on a Household Sugar Card, or if you have left the household from which you were registered, you must go to a Post Office before December 15th, ask for an application form, fill it up, and post it as directed. You will later receive a Ration Paper, which will entitle you to get Sugar Coupons from a Post Office.

AN ABSENTEE.—At Rugby Police Court on Monday —before Mr J E Cox—Corporal Charles Hammett, of Long Lawford, was charged with being an absentee from the Agricultural Company.—P.C Hunt gave evidence of arrest and defendant was remanded to await an escort.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mr A Marsh, 15 Little Elborow Street, Rugby, has received intimation that his son, Pte A Marsh (24) of Leicesters, was killed in action on November 2nd ; and that another son, Pte G W Marsh, of the Warwicks, was posted as missing on October 26th. The former was, before joining up, employed as a labourer by the late Mr W C Musgrave, and the latter worked for J Young, builder. Both were Murray school boy.

Mrs Bennett, 1 Hillmorton Road, has kindly forwarded to the funds of the Rugby War Hospital Supply Depot the sum of £3, the proceeds of her chrysanthemum show on November 21-24.

A SON OF THE VICAR OF GRANDBOROUGH KILLED.

The Rev John Martin, vicar of Grandborough, has just received the sad news of the death in France of his second son, Second-Lieut F H Martin, R.E, 84th Field Company. The Commanding Officer writes : “ He was shot by a German sniper whilst setting out a new piece of engineering work behind our front line. It is a consolation that he did not suffer, as he was killed instantly. He was interred by the Rev P H Hargreaves, C.F, in a military cemetery near Gonzeancourt. He had only been a very short time with the 84th Field Company. I can assure you that all the officers and men realise what a really excellent fellow he was, and we all feel we have lost a good comrade and an extremely valuable officer.” Second-Lieut F H Martin is brother of Capt C G Martin, V.C, D.S.O, R.E, and had only a few months since come home from Egypt, where he was engaged in engineering work for the Egyptian Government, to offer himself to the War Office for military service. After a few months at Newark, he left for the front in September last. He had given a few months to military work near the Suez Canal, where he was employed in laying down pipes to carry fresh water from the Canal into the desert for 21 miles. He has another brother in the R.A.M.C, who is now in India. Second-Lieut F H Martin was born in China in 1888. He was educated in Bath and Clifton College (while at Clifton he was captain of the Cricket XI). and at Pembroke College, Cambridge. He had passed the examination for the I.C.E.

THE LATE CAPT FRANK NEVILLE.

Mrs T Neville of Rugby, whose son, Capt Frank Neville, was killed in action, as recorded in our last issue, has received a sympathetic letter from the Colonel commanding the battalion. He writes : “ I much regret that I should have been home on leave when this great loss happened to my battalion. It is difficult for me to express what your son was to the battalion ; he was a very exceptional soldier—in fact, during over two years of service in France I have not met his equal as a company commander ; and had he lived I should certainly have recommended him for rapid advancement. As a man he was loved by every man in the regiment. I, as battalion commander, was immensely proud of him, for he was a grand figure of a man and the most cheery of comrades. He overcame all difficulties with a laugh. You may be a proud mother to have had such a son. May you do as he would have wished, and bear bravely your great loss.”

DUNCHURCH.

NEWS was received on Tuesday that Pte C E Tuckey, 1st Royal Warwicks, previously reported wounded and missing, was killed in action on or about October 4th. He was the second son of the late Mr & Mrs Thomas Tuckey, of this village.

MR & MRS GAMBLE DAVIS, Mill Street, have received news that their son, Percy, has gone through a second operation, and is getting on well. He is a prisoner in Germany.

MR & MRS J BULL, Mill Street, have received news that their son has been wound in Palestine. This is the second time.

BRANDON.

PTE G BOSTOCK MISSING.—Mr & Mrs Arthur Bostock, of Brandon, have been notified that their eldest son, Pte G Bostock, is missing. He had been in France for a long time. His parents have resided in the district all their lives.

FRANKTON.

ROLL OF HONOUR.—Mrs Doyle has received the sad news that her youngest son, Pte W Doyle, Q.O.O.H, was killed in France. Much sympathy is felt for the bereaved mother, this being the second son she has lost in the War. One brother is now at home wounded, and the fourth son is in Egypt. A memorial service was held on Sunday afternoon, when the Rector (Rev C Lunn) gave a sympathetic address. The Rev H F B Shuckburgh read the lessons. There was a large congregation.

WOLSTON.

LIEUT OWEN W W W MEREDITH MISSING.—Mrs Meredith, late of Wolston Vicarage, has received news that her son is missing. He had been in France for some short time, and was attached to the Royal Flying Corps. While residing in Wolston his cheerful disposition and amiable manner made him very popular. He is the only son of Mrs Meredith, who now resides at Leamington and the late Ven Archdeacon T Meredith, for upwards of seven years Vicar of Wolston.

DEATHS.

DOYLE.—In loving memory WILFRED JOSEPH (BILL), who was killed in France, November 11th, 1917 ; aged 19 years.
“ When last we saw his smiling face,
He looked so strong and brave,
We little thought how soon he would be
Laid in a soldier’s grave.”

IN MEMORIAM.

MAYES.—In fond and loving memory of our dear son and brother, Lance-Corpl. HORACE MAYES, who died of wounds received in action in France at the General Hospital, Bristol, December 6th, 1916 ; aged 20 years.
“ A devoted son, a faithful brother,
One of the best towards his mother.
He bravely answered Duty’s call,
His life he gave for one and all.
“ Some may think that we forget him,
When at times they see us smile ;
But they little know the sorrow
Which that smile hides all the while.
“ Gone but not forgotten—
Oh no ! not one so dear.
He is gone to his home in heaven,
And with a smile we will meet him there.”
—From his sorrowing Mother, Father, Sisters, and Brother.

 

Martin, Lawrence Alfred. Died 12th Sep 1916

Lawrence Alfred Martin’s birth was registered in the third quarter of 1894, although the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) records suggested that he was 33 when he was killed, which made searching for him somewhat more challenging! He was reported by CWGC to be the son of ‘John Martin, of 12 Jubilee Street, New Bilton, Rugby’.

Initial searches could not identify him in the censuses and it was thought possible that the family moved to Rugby after the 1911 census. However, examination of war memorial records, particularly for his father’s home village, New Bilton, and at St. Marie’s Catholic Church, suggested that he had a brother ‘J. Martin’ who was also killed in WWI, and that possibly some of the family worked at BTH, although again perhaps there was a discrepancy in the records – this time with initials!

At first there also seemed to be no obvious birth or other records for a Lawrence Alfred Martin!   However, having found both his parents’ and his brother’s names, it was possible to locate the census records.   It seemed that Lawrence [or Lawrance in one transcription!] had been born in Dublin, Ireland.

In 1891, the Martin family was living at 18 Chapel Street, Rugby. Lawrence’s father, John Martin, had also been born in Ireland.   Lawrence’s mother, Ellen née Oldham, was born in Long Lawford. They had married at St. Andrew’s Church, Rugby, on 11 November 1888. Their eldest child, George Henry had apparently been registered in Rugby in Q3 1888, before his parents’ marriage, however, the 1891 census return gave an unusually and unnecessarily ‘precise’ age of 23 months, which was presumably intended to suggest that his birth was later, after their marriage, in about May 1889! The next son, John Joseph jnr was registered in Q3 1890 – and he was ‘10 months’ old for the April 1891 census.

The family must then have moved back to Ireland, where three more children were born including Lawrence in 1894, and two daughters, Mary and Anne (or Christina Annie) in about 1886 and 1888.

They moved back to Hillmorton, and in 1901, Lawrence’s father, John Martin, was a groom at a Livery Stables, and the family was living at 39 School Street, Hillmorton. Their youngest son, Wilfred, was born in about 1902.

In 1911 Lawrence was still living with his family, now at 12 Jubilee Street, New Bilton, and was working in the Lamp Department at BTH in Rugby. However, the list of BTH employees who served in WWI included only: Martin J; Martin T; and Martin T E E; – there was no Martin L A. Had Lawrence moved on? – or was there another error?   The brother Martin J, and Martin T E E are known, although a Martin T is not obvious.

Searching the CWGC records for further Martins with Rugby connections found a Sergeant John Martin, Service No:5275, who died on 25 June 1918,[1] aged 28, who served with the 10th (Prince of Wales’s Own Royal) Hussars.   Most importantly, he was also the son of ‘John and Ellen Martin, of 12, Jubilee Street, New Bilton, Rugby’ – and thus Lawrence’s elder brother, born in about 1890.

Unfortunately Lawrence’s service records have also not survived so his date of enlistment and any personal details therein are not available. However, the ‘UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919’ record showed that Lawrence joined up at Rugby, as a Private, No:11109, in the 6th (Service) Battalion of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (‘Ox. and Bucks.’). In due course, he was promoted to Lance-Corporal.

In summary, the 6th (Service) Battalion of the Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was formed at Oxford in September 1914 as part of Kitchener’s New Army, K2 and then moved to Aldershot to be placed under the orders of 60th Brigade in 20th (Light) Division and in March 1915, moved to Larkhill, Salisbury Plain. On 22 July 1915 they mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne. Lawrence’s ‘Medal Card’ indicated that he went into the ‘France and Belgium’ theatre on that date, 22 July 1915, so he was with the main mobilisation.

After trench familiarisation and training, they were engaged in various actions on the Western Front.   This included periods in the trenches and periods behind the lines in reserve, when there was training, marches and various other fatigues. Then in 1916 they were involved in the Battle of Mount Sorrel near Ypres, Belgium, from 2 to 14 June 1916. They were also involved in various early actions in the Battle of the Somme, including the Battle of Delville Wood from 15 July to 3 September 1916; and the Battle of Guillemont, from 3 to 6 September 1916; and after Lawrence’s death, the Battle of Flers-Courcelette from 15 to 22 September 1916.

Whilst these are summary dates, there was on-going action associated with these ‘battles’ in the trenches and elsewhere. Exactly where Lawrence was on 12 September 1916 when he was ‘Killed in Action’, aged about 23, not 33, was unknown, indeed, his death was only ‘officially accepted as on or about 12.9.16 France’. His body was not recovered or identified, and he has no known grave, and is therefore remembered on Pier and Face 10 A and 10 D of the Thiepval Memorial.

The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916. The memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, was built between 1928 and 1932 and unveiled by the Prince of Wales, in the presence of the President of France, on 1 August 1932.

He is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates, on the St. Marie’s Church Memorial and the New Bilton War Memorial. Also on all three, is ‘J Martin’, and the fact that they were both on St. Marie’s memorial and thus Roman Catholics, first supported the assumption that Lawrence and John were brothers. Lawrence is also remembered on ‘Ireland’s Memorial Records 1914 – 1918’.

Lawrence Alfred Martin was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, and the 1915 Star.

The Register of Soldiers’ Effects, showed that his father, John Martin, received £6-9-8d on 21 June 1917, and then a war gratuity of £8-10-0 on 10 October 1919.

His brother, John J Martin, had been a soldier from before 1911, but was, as noted, ‘Killed in Action’ on 25 June 1918. His story will be told in Rugby Remembers in due course.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

[1]       He is buried in Grave Reference: B. 3. at the Wavans British Cemetery.

7th Aug 1915. Rugby Prisoners of War Fund

RUGBY PRISONERS OF WAR RELIEF FUND.

WHAT TO SEND AND HOW TO PACK IT.

A meeting of the committee recently appointed to take over this fund was held at the Benn Buildings, on Thursday evening, the Chairman, Mr W Flint, C.C, presiding. It may be mentioned that the fund, which has hitherto been collected and administered by Mrs Blagden, will now be managed by this committee, which is quite a representative one.

It was decided to call the fund “ The Prisoners of War Help Committee (Rugby Branch).”

Mrs J H Lees (wife of the Rev J H Lees, Baptist Church) and Mr F R Davenport (General Manager of Messrs Willans & Robinson, Ltd) were co-opted on the committee.

The Hon Secretary (Mr J Reginald Barker) reported that he had been able to obtain considerable information as to articles required by our soldiers who were prisoners of war in Germany, and also special directions for packing and despatching the same, which he explained to the meeting.

Mr Barker said a new order had just been issued to the effect that tin boxes containing food or cigarettes, tin covers of boxes, or tin in any form whatever, is not allowed to be sent to prisoners of war. Any parcels containing tin will in future be refused and the parcel confiscated. Fresh fruit and meat cannot be sent.

On no account must letters or newspapers be enclosed in parcels.

Parcels under 11lbs in weight must be sent by post, and there would be no charge for postage.

Arrangements had been made with the American Express Co, Haymarket, S.W, for the transportation of packages exceeding 11 lbs and up to 112 lbs in weight. There would be no charge for transport, provided special labels were used, and the parcels would be received at any railway parcels office, and forwarded to London and then to Germany free of charge. A receipt will be sent from London for all parcels despatched.

In the present circumstances no guarantee can be given of the delivery of any parcel to the person to whom it is addressed, but it is believed that the arrangements made are the most secure that are possible and there is every confidence that, saving accidents, parcels will be properly delivered, provided they are packed and despatched in accordant with the rules laid down.

The time taken for transmission of a parcel varies according to the situation of the camp in which the addressee is interned, and may be estimated at from 15 to 18 days. As it takes about three weeks for letters to arrive here from Germany, it will be seen that the receipt of a parcel cannot be acknowledged under five or six weeks at the earliest.

SUGGESTED LIST OF ARTICLES TO BE SENT.

Bread is much asked for and needed by British prisoners in Germany, but some of the bread sent even before it leaves England is in bad condition, and delays on the journey make it uneatable before it reaches the prisoners. Bread for sending to prisoners must be extra well-baked, not too light, and must be quite cold before being packed. It should not be packed in tins which exclude all air, but each loaf should be carefully wrapped in paper, grease-proof if possible, then placed in corrugated cardboard or a stout cardboard box. At present parcels (under 11 lbs) sent by parcel post in most cases reach their destination in a shorter time than parcels sent by other agencies, which is an advantage to be considered in sending bread.

Other articles of food which will be most acceptable are :- Tea, biscuits, cocoa, cheese (small whole cheeses are best), sugar, chocolate, cake, milk tablets, chocolate, cocoa milk and sugar (in cubes), crushed oats, dried peas, lentils, soup packets, dried vegetables, dried fruits (apples, French plums, raisins, etc), meat paste and essences.

Miscellaneous articles such as : Tobacco, plug twist and cigarettes, packs of cards and games, ordinary washing soap, papier mache plates and cups, tooth brushes, carbolic soap, shaving brushes.

Articles for personal use : Hair brushes and combs, handkerchiefs, pencils, outer clothing (for civilians only), needles and thread, buttons, underclothing.

Books (in separate parcels). Books must not have any reference to the war or political subjects, or any matter offensive to Germany.

The committee will be grateful for gifts of any of the articles of food mentioned in the schedule. Gifts in kind may be left at the Rectory at any time, and any article mentioned in the Hon Secretary’s report will be welcomed. Subscriptions should be sent to either of the Hon Treasurers—Mrs Blagden, The Rectory, or Mr C J Newman, Henry Street—and will be duly acknowledged.

The committee earnestly hope that any person knowing of any prisoner of war whose relations cannot afford to send comforts, will let the Hon Secretary, Mr J R Barker, 9 Regent Street, have full details of his address.

CAMP REGULATIONS.

New regulations have been issued from German headquarters which order that all prison camps in Germany shall conform to uniform rules.

The camp is to be in a healthy locality, special care is to be taken in regard to questions of sanitation and hygiene, and adequate washing and bathing facilities are to be provided.

Officers buy their food and clothing and it is to be provided in proper variety and at reasonable prices. N.C.O’s and men have three meals a day, consisting of : Morning, coffee, tea, or soup ; noon, plentiful fare of meat and vegetables ; night, substantial plain meal.

The meals must be sufficient for proper nourishment, and Commandants are authorised to increase the amount of meat or vegetables if required. The same amount of bread is to be provided as for German soldiers.

In canteens at each camp food and underclothing can be purchased at fixed low prices.

Parcels from home containing food and tobacco are allowed.

Clothing will be provided if and when needed.

Prisoners are allowed to write one letter a fortnight and one postcard a week. Officers limited to letters of six pages and men to four pages. In special urgent circumstances of business or family affairs exceptions may be allowed.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

THANKS FROM PRISONERS OF WAR.

DEAR SIR,—Many thanks for inserting my letter in your paper, for I have this week received a parcel of food from some very kind friends of Rugby, who request that my communication to them should be made through the same periodical, so I should be very thankful if you would again insert the following :—Dear Rugby friends, we, Pte Grant and Pte Payne, wish to thank you for your kindness in sending so promptly to our help, parcels which we accept with the sincerest gratitude, and we are very glad to know that we still have someone who thinks of us a little, and should the time come when we can return this kindness, we shall think it a grateful occupation.-We remain, Your sincere friends,

T GRANT AND G F PAYNE.
No 1417 Pte T Grant,
2nd Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
Gefangenlager, Altdamm, Germany.

A CLUB-FOOTED RECRUIT.

Charles Henry Maynard, of 8 Victoria Street, New Bilton, a machine-minder at Messrs Frost & Sons’ Printing Works, has for some time felt that he would like to “ do his bit ” for his country, but he regarded himself as physically unfit by reason of a congenital club-foot. However, he recently wrote a personal letter to Lord Kitchener at the War Office expressing his earnest wishes, and pointing out that, although club-footed, he could box, swim, run, walk, cycle, etc. He made out as good a case for himself as possible, which was only natural, he being very anxious to get into the army, and a few days later—as the result of the communication to headquarters-a recruiting sergeant called upon him and, acting on his advice, Maynard enlisted in the R.A.M.C. He left his home for Salisbury Plain to commence training on Tuesday morning. The enterprising recruit had, of course, to satisfy a doctor that was physically sound, save for the foot, and his ambition for a military life was doubtless influenced by the fact that he has two brothers in the service—one being in the navy and the other in the army, the latter being a lance-sergeant with the Territorial force in India. Mr Maynard came to Rugby from Croydon six years ago. He has a wife and three children. He is ambitious to merit promotion and his future career will be watched with interest by those who know him, all of whom will wish him well.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Recruiting has been somewhat slacker at Rugby during the past week. The following have been accepted :—H H F Cleaver, 213th Fortress Company, R.E ; C H Maynard, R.A.M.C ; P Cleaver, C E Jenkins, and H L Benjamin, R.W.R ; E Hackleton and D T Cousins, Oxon and Bucks L.I.

VOLUNTEER TRAINING CORPS AT WARWICK PARK.

During the past week the 2nd Battalion Warwickshire Regiment of the V.T.C have been encamped in Warwick Park, under the command of Lieut-Colonel Johnstone. The camp commenced on Saturday, when about 250 men went under canvas, each man being responsible for his own expenses. A detachment attended from Rugby, under the command of Mr C H Fuller, commandant ; and a number of these made the journey by train, under Sergt Yates, and the remainder marched, under Mr Robinson. The latter party arrived at Leamington in time to accompany the Leamington members to the Park, via the Old Road. Very useful work has been accomplished by the members, who paraded three times daily for about two hours, the reveille sounding at 5 a.m. Company and Battalion drills, each ending with an attack, have been held, and the members have also been practised in trench and field work, and mounting guard. On Bank Holiday sports were arranged, but owing to the heavy downpour in the morning and the storms of the afternoon the attendance fell considerably below expectations. There were, however, a fair number of visitors to the camp. The Rugby members were well represented among the prize-winners. Messrs W T Sidwell and Bell won their respective heats in the 100 yards race, and in the final Mr Sidwell finished second, and Mr Bell, who lost considerable ground through slipping at the start, third. There were a good number of entries for the N.C.O’s race, in which Mr W H Cluett finished second. Messrs Sidwell and Whitworth finished first in the three-legged race. Rugby did fairly well in the tug-of-war, registering a surprising win over Leamington 4, after two good pulls, in the first round. Owing to lack of weight, however, they were defeated in the second round by Knowle. A great feature was the officers’ race, which ended in a popular victory for the Colonel.—The weather during the week-end was not at all what could have been desired, but, on the whole, a very pleasant and instructive time was spent. The majority of the Rugby members left on Tuesday, but several remained for the whole week. The other local officers present were: Messrs Gough, Robinson, and Alderson.

BILTON.

THE FRIENDS of Sergt Martin, of the 7th K.R.R, who, as recorded in a recent issue of Advertiser, died from wounds sustained in action on July 1st, have received official intimation from the Army Council, and also a letter through Lord Kitchener, expressing the true sympathy of the King and Queen for them in their sorrow. Lieut-Col Rennie, the C.O of the Regiment, also writes :-” I am extremely sorry to have to tell you that your son, Sergt Martin, died of wounds the day after he was hit by a shell in the head. I can only offer you my deepest sympathy for a loss that cannot be replaced. He died a noble soldier’s death in action. He is a great loss to the battalion, and had been doing very well indeed.”

THE ROLL OF HONOUR.

LANCE-CORPORAL STENT.

5th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, who, as we reported in our last issue, has been awarded the D.C.M for gallantry in action, is an Old Murrayian. He formerly belonged to the Rugby “ E ” Co, R.W.R, and was one of the famous machine-gun section known as “ The Mad Eight.”

 

 

17th Jul 1915. More Reports from the Front

INTERESTING LETTER FROM A RUGBY TERRITORIAL.

Mr W F Wood, Market Place, last week received a very interesting letter from Pte W H Evans, “C” Company (formerly “E” Company), 1/7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment (son of Mr W Evans, tailor), from which we make the following extracts :—

I must write in sympathy with you in the loss of your stepson. But it must be a consolation to you knowing that he died doing his duty, the death of a true Englishman. He has set an example for all Rugby fellows to follow, more so the fellows out here who belonged to the Brigade and knew him so well. . . . We are now out of the trenches and have marched for four nights, so, of course, are a good way back from the firing line, and it is a real treat to be out of the sound of gun and rifle fire. We are now billeted in a village where the Germans have not been ; so everything is standing and the natives are living their simple life. So you see we are faring well. I often think of the times I had while in your Brigade, and one thing often comes across my mind. That is, while at Conway one year we had to sleep eight in a tent, and we grumbled. You had us in front of you, and talked to us, and said that perhaps some day we should be glad to sleep twelve in a tent. Your words have come true, for we have slept in some “rum places” since we have been out here—cow sheds where the cows have been a few hours before, loft with rats for company, and lots of funny places, but we must not grumble, for it has got to be done, and the sooner this lot is over the better.-The writer then refers in sympathetic terms to the death of Corpl Johnson, which we recorded at the time, and says that he often used to talk with him at the front of the old days with the Brigade. He adds : “ It was a blow to me, for he was my best chum.”—In conclusion, he expresses the hope that the Brigade is up to strength, and wishes it the best of success.

Both Pte Evans and Corpl Johnson were old members together of the Boys’ Brigade, the former being the bass drummer and the latter a side drummer. They both won the Recruits’ Cup for shooting the first year they were in the Territorials.

AN “OPEN LETTER” TO THE CITIZENS OF RUGBY.

FROM MEMBERS OF THE 1ST BORDER REGIMENT.

SIR,-We have read with interest the “ open letter ” published in the Advertiser of last month, and we are sure that the feelings expressed therein are reciprocated by the whole of the 87th Brigade, especially the Border Regiment. It will interest the good people of Rugby to know that those of their late guests who remain of the 87th Brigade are faring pretty well, under the circumstances, thanks to the rotten marksmanship of the Turkish artillery, the shells of which the boys have christened “ Wandering Willies ” and “ Algys.” With regards to the “ Wandering Willies,” they got their name on account of the wandering habits of the gun they are fired from, which after every shot wanders across the peninsula to another position. As regards the “ Algys,” their christening is due to the fact that they are too gentle to hurt. We are of opinion that the gun which fires the “ Algys” is manned by a blind gun crew !

The boys would like to know if there are any vacancies in the B.T.H harriers, as we can recommend the Turks as very good runners—when they see us fixing our bayonets.

The majority of our Brigade have been wounded, but have left the various hospitals and gone back to the peninsula. You will have learnt that our list of killed is rather heavy, but we have the consolation of knowing that the Turkish list is far heavier than ours.

Wishing every prosperity to the citizens of the town that so hospitably entertained us, we conclude with best wishes to all our late landladies from the boys of the 1st Border Regiment.—Sir, believe us to be, Yours, etc,

9973 Pte William E Groom,
8213 Pte W A Little.
9794 Pte S George.
8387 Pte G Weller.
5701 Pte T Grunder.

“DEAR OLD RUGBY.”

APPRECIATION FROM SERGT MILLS, OF INNISKILLING FUSILIERS.

Sergt E A Mills, 1st Batt Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, writing from Graylingwell War Hospital, Chichester, Sussex, states :—“ After the delightful time we spent in dear old Rugby, we have undergone some trying experiences, which you have read about in Sir Ian Hamilton’s dispatch, and I am sure the people of Rugby feel proud to know of the splendid exploits of the soldiers of the 87th Brigade, who formed a part of the renowned 29th Division. During all those trying experiences all you could hear was ” Roll on, Rugby,” but alas ! many of those splendid fellows will never see that picturesque town again, but those of us who are left will have the consolation of knowing that the people of Rugby will always have our fallen comrades in their minds. I consider myself very fortunate in arriving back in dear old England again, although a Turkish sniper only missed my “Cupid’s dartboard” by half-an-inch, and I am hoping to pay a visit to your town before I go out again to do a little more for King and country and the world’s peace. I must take this opportunity of thanking those ladies who inserted that splendid letter to the soldiers, which I happened to read in your paper, which I receive from my respected friends in Oxford Street. I must conclude now, by wishing every success to all the residents of “Dear old Rugby.”—I remain, respectfully yours, SERGT. MILLS, of the “ Skins.”

 

HILLMORTON SOLDIER’S NARROW ESCAPE.

VALISE BLOWN AWAY.

Machine-Gunner R S Bartlett, of the 5th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, son of Mrs T Smith, of School Street, Hillmorton, has sent home a souvenir of the war, his valise, or what remains of it, for whilst entering the trenches, it was blown off his back by the explosion of a shell, which killed four comrades and wounded two others badly. Gunner Bartlett must have had a very narrow escape, judging by the torn and threadbare appearance of the remnants of the “ rucksack,” as he calls it, which we have had an opportunity of inspecting. It seems almost incredible, from the appearance of the valise, that the wearer should have escaped, yet in letter to his mother, he is able to record that he got off “ without a scratch.” It is not surprising that he adds, “It gave me a ‘oncer’ at the time, and I thought my back had gone.” Home cured ham was in the valise, “ but better that than me,” observes the soldier, “ and I am still in the pink.”

In a letter to a brother, Pte Bartlett gives additional particulars. He says:-“ When we were coming to the trenches on Saturday night they sent a tidy lot of ‘souvenirs,’ I can tell you, and blew my large coat, canteen of sugar and tea, some home-cured ham, cake, and all the sweets ; two bars of carbolic soap and writing-case, water-proof sheet and two sandbags, also a loaf ; and it left just the back of the rucksack on. I went to look for some of it after, but all I could find was an envelope on the parapet. I wondered what hit me for a minute, and I thought my back had gone. Toby Bates got his rucksack cut a bit in front of me. I asked him how he was and he said “ all right.” We started to laugh till we turned to look at the back of us and that did it. We had to pull Ayres out. . . . Billy Chamberlain got wounded coming up, and he was reported missing. . . . It’s the worse “ do ” we have had, but most of us are none the worse for it, and the other poor chaps have done their duty.”

LOCAL CASUALTIES OF THE WAR.

WELL-KNOWN RUGBY ATHLETE KILLED.

Members of the Rugby Hockey and Cricket Clubs in particular, and the residents of the town in general, will hear with regret that Second Lieut H G Rogers, of the 9th Somerset Light Infantry, has been killed at the Dardanelles. Second-Lieut Rogers, who received his commission in September last, had resided at Rugby for four or five years before the outbreak of the war, and was formerly employed on the staff of the B.T.H and latterly with Mr Ivan B Hart-Davies. He was a fine all-round athlete and especially excelled in hockey. He was a prominent member of the Rugby Club, and had also played for Warwickshire and the Midland Counties, and narrowly missed securing his inter-national cap. Second-Lieut Rogers was also an excellent cricketer, and did useful service for the premier local eleven. Of a most genial disposition, he was very popular with all with whom he came in contact, and his early death will be mourned by a large circle of friends. He was about 24 years of age.

Writing to a friend in Rugby from the Dardanelles, under date of June 21st, the late Second-Lieut Rogers said :—“ I landed a month ago and was attached to the Royal Dublin Fusiliers—a topping crowd, who did awfully well in the landing. Well, from the first we have not been out of shell-fire ; even landing they shell the beach, and it is perfectly beastly. Leman von Sanders must be told to stop it. Three other Somerset men came out with me, and, thank God, we are all here still, although we have lost since we landed about eight officers and 300 men—quite enough ! Still things are very merry and bright. We have only had two real scraps—one on the 4th, when we had to attack up a nullah, which was not pleasant, and then on top a couple of days in some perfectly rotten trenches, which held all right. Then lately we had five days in the trenches. I had a perfectly lovely bit, jetting out at right angles to our main line and with the Turks only about forty yards away on two flanks. The trench had only just been taken from the Turks, and was in an awful state, dead all along the bottom less than an inch down, and built into the sides all over the place. Well, we had a beastly time for three days and nights. I averaged three hours’ sleep per 24 hours, and then not consecutive hour’s all five days. Then, on the night of the third day, at 8.30 p.m, they attacked us in force on both sides, throwing any number of hand-bombs (awful things), and eventually, about 5.30 a.m, they got half the sap, but we drove them out again by 6.30, and still hold the trench. A wounded man, who gave himself up, said that 500 men had come up specially for the attack, and only three got back. I was ‘severely’ wounded. I was sitting on the parapet firing my revolver at the brutes ten yards away, when one of their bullets just took the skin off my first finger. I tell you I did not stay sitting there long ; it was lucky. We are just at the end of our rest and expect to go up to-night, so will have an exciting time again.”

SERGT. MARTIN, OF BILTON, REPORTED KILLED.

Sad news has been received by Mr and Mrs Martin, of 4 Addison Terrace, Bilton, concerning their son, Sergt D C Martin, of the 7th King’s Royal Rifles. The official communication is to the effect that he has been wounded in action, but the officers’ letters carry the tidings beyond this, and there seems no doubt from what is learnt from this and other sources, that the unfortunate soldier has been killed. Sergt Martin joined the forces on the outbreak of the war, and received quick promotion. At the time he enlisted he was employed at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s, and previously he worked for a number of years at the Rugby engine-sheds; first as a cleaner and subsequently as a fireman. He was popular and much liked amongst his associates, and being fond of football he assisted both the Village Club and the Elborow Old Boys. Amongst the latter he had several intimate friends, and joined the army with them. For a number of years Sergt Martin belonged to the Rugby Infantry Co, so he was not unfamiliar with military matters when he enlisted in the King’s Royal Rifles.

Major Geoffrey St Aubyn, in a letter to the parents, says: “I regret to inform you that Sergt Martin was killed in action on 1st of July, 1915. Please accept my sincerest sympathy in your great loss. Your son promised to be a really good soldier. He had been in my Company since he joined the army, and his promotion was very quick because I thought so well of him. Please allow me to convey to you the sympathy of his comrades in the Company, both officers and men.”

Another letter which was much appreciated by the parents, has been received from Lieut G H Gibson. It is dated July 10th, and it as follows : “ Dear Mr Martin,—Just a line to tell you as best I can, how sad and sorry I am to lose your son. He died a soldier’s death, and I should like you to know how highly we all thought of him. I knew him very well, and I feel a sense of great personal loss. You have my very deep sympathy. May God give you strength to help you through. We have one consolation, that he died doing his duty. Would that he could have been spared, but God willed otherwise.—With my sincere sympathy, Believe me, Yours sincerely, G H Gibson, Lieut.”

BILTON MAN KILLED IN ACTION.

Mr and Mrs Maddocks, of Bilton, have received news that their son, Pte Cyrus Underwood (aged 22), who enlisted in the 1st Royal Warwicks on December 4th, was killed in action on July 9th.

In a letter conveying the sad news to Mrs Maddocks, a chum of the late Pte Underwood says:—“ I can assure you he died without any pain, as he was shot through the forehead by a sniper. He lived about half-an-hour after, but never regained consciousness. You have my deepest sympathy. I have already missed him very much, not only me but a good many more in our company, as I don’t think he was disliked by anyone. He was killed in the early hours of Friday morning, July 9th, I was with him in a dug-out all day on Thursday, and we had some fun together. I can hardly realize his old cheery face has left us for ever.”

Lce-Corpl J Dark confirms the regrettable news, and says deceased was a bomb thrower, and it was while throwing bombs at the Germans that he was killed. He adds: “ Your son was respected by all his comrades and we deeply mourn the loss of him.”

For several years Pte Underwood was employed at Bilton Grange as a footman.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

J H Watts and Arthur Massey, both of Long Lawford, and Bertie Howard, of Dunsmore Stud Farm, have enlisted in the 3/7th Batt Royal Warwickshire Regiment, which is in training at Wedgnock, near Warwick.

F C E Rendall, B.A. has been appointed to a second-lieutenant in the 13th Service Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He has been selected to attend a class of instruction at Fort Purbrook, Portsmouth, and Saturday, July 17th.

Leslie K Phillips, second son of Mr J Phillips, of St Aubyn, Hillmorton Road, Rugby, has received a commission as second-lieutenant in the Royal Marine Light Infantry (Portsmouth Division), stationed at Gosport. He was a pupil at “Oakfield” School, and is also an Old Rugbian. His elder brother, Eric S Phillips, is a second-lieutenant in the 8th Battalion of the Border Regiment.

Second-Lieutenant A K Bennett, son of Mr A Bennett, of Elmdon House, Rugby, who some months ago was detailed from the 9th Battalion Warwicks to the Divisional Cyclists Corps, sailed with his Division a fortnight ago to join the Mediterranean Force. In his letters home he refers to the splendid accommodation on the troopship, and the excellent health and spirits of all on board, notwithstanding the great heat they were experiencing during the voyage.

RUGBY SOLDIERS WOUNDED.

News has been received by Mrs C Batchelor, of 16 Pinder’s Lane, that her son, Pte A J Batchelor, who enlisted in the 5th Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry at the commencement of the war, was wounded in the hand on June 24th, and is now in the Cumberland Hospital at Carlisle, where he is doing well.

News has been received by Mrs W Sansome, of 5 Gas Street, that her son, Lance-Corpl Samuel George Barnett, of the 5th Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, was wounded in the back in France on June 16th. He has now been discharged from hospital and admitted to a convalescent home.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

The following have been accepted at the Rugby Drill Hall during the past week :—E Hartopp and F Coleman, Leicester Regiment ; A W Ades and J Harvey, Royal Sussex Regiment ; G Holloway and F S C Pickering, R.W.R ; F Rogers, Army Service Corps ; F Bull, Worcester Regiment ; E F Mack, East Kents.

It has been decided to accept for enlistment in the Infantry not only men who are fit for service in the Field, but also those who are fit for garrison service abroad, or for home service only.

In future no man will be rejected provided he is free from organic disease and is fit for duty in garrisons at home or abroad.

Men enlisted “ Fit for home service only,” although enlisted for general service, who are at the moment only fit for garrison service, will not be taken for service in the Field unless they become fit.

In future men will be enlisted as follows :-

(a) Service in the Field at home or abroad.

(b) Garrison service at home or abroad.

(c) Home service only.

F F JOHNSTONE, Lieut-Col,

July 14, 1915.             Recruiting Officer.