Meadows, Charles Herbert. Died 4th Sep 1917

Charles Herbert Meadows was born in Bilton and baptised in the parish church on 9th August 1891. His parents were Henry and Emma (nee Quincey) Meadows, who had moved to Inwood Cottage a couple of years before. Henry Meadows was born in Brigstock, Northants and married Emma there in 1888. Emma was born in Fotheringay, Northants.

Henry was a Waggoner/Horse keeper on a farm and in the 1911 census Charles was working as a Cowman on farm. His two elder brothers, Henry George and John Thomas were farm labourers.

John signed up at the start of the war and in October 1914 a letter from him was published in the Rugby Advertiser:

MAINTAINING BRITISH TRADITIONS.
Private J T Meadows, of the 1st Northampton Regiment , now serving in France (whose home is at Inwood’s Cottages, near Bilton Grange), has written stating that he is in the pink of condition. He adds : “ Times are getting better now, as you know that we are progressing favourably. The travels of the troops have been great, but the duty has been well done. The high traditions of the British Army are still maintained by the sons of many an anxious mother. Time will prove this. I suppose George and Herbert are still hard at work. Never mind ; one wing of the family is flying along. The weather is terribly hot in the day-time, but at night it is the extreme reverse ; but all these little hardships we look upon as nothing when such a prize is at stake. Four of us from Rugby are still all together.”

By November, news was received that he had been injured. He was discharged on 2nd April 1916.

Charles Herbert signed up on 1st November 1915. At the time he was employed in the Telegraph Department at Rugby Station for the L & N-W railway.

He joined the Royal Field Artillery as a gunner. He would have taken part in various actions during 1916, including the Battle of the Somme. By the middle of 1917, he would have been involved in the preparations for the Battle of Pilckem Ridge – the start of the third Battle of Ypres.

On the 20th July 1917 he was seriously wounded by a gunshot wound in the back and his parents were informed that he was lying at a casualty clearing station in France.

He died on 4th September, in a hospital near Rouen and buried in the St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen., where the dead from the many hospitals in the area were buried.

As well as the Rugby Memorial Gates, he is listed on the Bilton War Memorial, as H Meadows.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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4th Aug 1917. A Trade Union Protest

THE TRIBUNALS AT WORK.
RUGBY URBAN TRIBUNAL.

Of the nineteen cases for decision on Thursday evening in last week fourteen concerned local butchers. Mr J J McKinnell presided, and there were also present Messrs W Flint, T A Wise, L Loverock, W H Linnell, and H Yates. Mr H P Highton was the Military representative.

A TRADE UNION PROTEST.

A letter was read from the Rugby Branch of the National Union of Clerks drawing attention to the fact that during the last few months several military units who had been given exemption to find work of national importance had been sent by the officials of the Labour Exchange to fill clerical positions at a local factory, and several were so employed at present. The Union considered this practice reprehensible, unfair, and against the national interest. The case cited a coachbuilder who had been sent by the Labour Exchange to fill a position as material list clerk in the main drawing office of a local factory. This man was of military age, and was thought to a B1 man. This being so, the Union considered it unfair to the other clerks employed in the office that, whereas fully trained clerks in the lowest all medical categories were called to the Colours, they should be asked to train a man from an outside trade as a technical clerk on material list work. The N.U.C failed understand how a coach-builder could become sufficiently proficient under at least twelve months’ training to be of national importance as a clerk, while men of far greater clerical experience were declared to be non-essential. Then, too, if a B1 man (with no experience) was national importance as a clerk, why were trained clerks of all categories being called the Colours ? The clerks doing this particular class of work claimed to be specially trained as the result of experience and hard work, and if they were to train unskilled men sent to them they asked that these men should be ineligible for the Army. In conclusion, the writer said, in justice to themselves and those dependent upon them it was necessary to safeguard the conditions under which and by which they earned their living.—Mr Highton said in the case in question the man was sent to the works as a labourer, but was subsequently transferred to the offices because the other workmen made it “ too hot ” for him.—Mr Wise expressed the opinion that there was a great deal of justice in the complaint, and the Chairman concurred ; but it was pointed out that this matter was not within the purview of the Tribunal, and the Clerk was instructed to reply accordingly.

The case of the Secretary to the Rugby Trades and labour Council was again up for decision.-It was stated that this man had received exemption for a month to enable him to obtain work of national importance, and the Superintendent of the Labour Exchange had suggested that he should undertake the supervision of the structural alterations at the Trades Hall. The Tribunal had Agreed to this ; but the Advisory Committee were of opinion that the work was not of sufficient importance to justify exemption.—Temporary exemption till September was given for work of national importance to obtained.

MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL AT RUGBY.

The first sitting of the Coventry Munitions Tribunal at Rugby was held at the Court House on Friday in last week. Mr E G M Carmichael presided, and the assessors present were : Mr T W Smith (employers), Mrs Griffiths (women), and Mr W H Dexter (men).

Ernest Albert Eyres Riley, Newbold Road, Rugby, applied for a leaving certificate. He stated that he was a night driver on the power and lighting plant. On one occasion he pointed out to a day charge-hand a fault on the engine, and this man accused him of neglecting his work. This was the only time that the charge-hand had complained to him, and he contended that he was not to blame, rather that the fault lay with the chargehand. Applicant had since left the firm, but they had refused to give him a leaving certificate.—The representative of the firm pointed out that the man worked nearly six weeks after the incident referred to ; but in reply to Mr Morris (General Workers’ Union), applicant stated that he only allowed one week to elapse before giving notice.—Refused.

Walter John Farn, borer, 19 Sun Street, also asked for a leaving certificate. He stated that was wounded at Mons, and had since been discharged from the Army as medically unfit. He had been taken from the machine he was accustomed to work and put on another one, which was obsolete and too hard for him.—The representative of the firm stated that the man’s average weekly earnings were £3 7a.-Farn asked that the machine should inspected by a member of the Tribunal.—Mr Carmichael said thought this was a case in which every consideration should be shown to the man.—The firm’s representative pointed out that the difficulty was that Farn refused to give the machine a trial. It was no harder to work than his present machine.—Sent to medical referee, and ordered to give the machine trial.

For failing to work on several dates, W J Price, 9 Holbrook Avenue, was fined £2.—It was slated that this was a case persistent bad time-keeping, but the respondent contended that on a number of occasions there was no work to in the shop.—Mr Carmichael pointed out that had he had no right to leave work without permission.—The representative of the firm stated that there was no shortage in the department where respondent was employed. If the men were temporarily out of a job they were paid day work rates.

H W Jarvis, 60 Victoria Street, who had been fined on three previous occasions for losing time, was fined for a similar offence.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

News has come to hand that Major Cecil Nickalls, Hillmorton, has been wounded in the face and arm. The injuries are, fortunately, not very serious.

Sergt E H Rixom, Suffolk Yeomanry, eldest son of Mrs Rixom, Claremont Road, Rugby, has been gazetted second-lieutenant in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

Bombardier C W Packwood. Rugby Howitzer Battery, son of Mr C J Packwood. of 10 St Matthew’s Street, has been wounded in the chest in two places during the recent fighting.

Second-Lieut R L Cowley, Northants Regiment, son of Mr John Cowley, of Brackley, and formerly of Kilsby, has been missing since the historic Battle of the Dunes, and great anxiety is felt his parents, who will be glad of any news respecting him.

Bombardier Albert Goode, Rugby Howitzer Battery, son of Mr A Goode, 78 Avenue Road, New Bilton, has been severely wounded, and is now in a base hospital in France. Bombardier Goods is an old St Matthew’s boy, and was a member of the Football XV, which first won the Schools Union Football Shield in 1905. He was employed as an engineer at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s.

The Rev R W Dugdale (curate-in-charge of Holy Trinity Church) has been appointed chaplain of the Royal Flying Corps in France, and he is at present the only R.F.C chaplain in the Army.

Mr & Mrs Meadows, Inwood Cottage, near Rugby, have received information that their son, Gunner C H Meadows, was seriously wounded with gun-shot in the back on July 20th, and is lying at a casualty clearing station in France. Before joined up on November 1st, 1915, he was employed in the Telegraph Department at Rugby Station (L & N-W).

CORPL J C CHIRGWIN KILLED.

Unofficial news has been received of the death in France of Corpl J C Chirgwin, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, an assistant master at St Matthew’s School. Corpl Chirgwin was 29 years of age and a native of Cornwall. He came to St.Matthew’s School about seven years ago, soon after leaving college. He attested in the early days of the Derby scheme, and was called up eighteen months ago, and proceeded to the front last Christmas. He had two hairbreadth escapes in the recent fighting, and was killed by a stray shell last week. Corpl Chirgwin, who was shortly taking up a commission, was very popular with the pupils and staff of the school, and the news of his death was received with deep regret.

BOURTON-ON-DUNSMORE.

On Sunday last a memorial service was held at St Peter’s Church, Bourton, for the late Gunner Thomas Wilson, third son of Mr. & Mrs. T. Wilson, Gate Farm, Bourton, and who was killed in action in France on July 10th. He was a splendid specimen of manhood, and was a general favourite amongst the young people in the neighbourhood. Letters of sympathy have been received by his parents from the officers of the regiment, in which he is highly spoken of as being always cheerful, strong, and ever ready to do his duty, and his death will be a great loss to his regiment. Deep sympathy is felt throughout the village for Mr. & Mrs. Wilson and family.

MARRIAGE OF SECOND-LIEUT. L. J. HUNTER.

The marriage of Second-Lieut L J Hunter, Yeomanry, fourth son of Mr & Mrs T Hunter, Elmhurst, Rugby, to Gwenn, only daughter of Mr & Mrs S H Fraser, Kensington at St Andrew’s, Well Street, London, W, on Tuesday, July 31st. The ceremony was performed by the Rev H H Kemble, the uncle of the bride, assisted by the Rev S K Knight, Vicar of St Andrew’s. The service was fully choral, and the hymns, “ O Father all creating ” and “ O Perfect Love,” were sung. The Rev H H Kemble gave a short address. The bride, who was given away by her father, wore a gown of white charmeuse and Georgette, with a ninon train embroidered in silver, and carried a sheaf of lilies. Lieut. J. Mitchell, R.F.C., acted as best man. As the bride and bridegroom left the church Mendelsohn’s “ Wedding March ” was played. few relations and friends returned afterwards to the Langham Hotel.

THE FOOD ECONOMY CAMPAIGN.

A communication has been received from Headquarters advising the local Food Economy Campaign Committee to suspend its active stimulation of propaganda for a period ; but in order to avoid misapprehension the urgent necessity which still exists for the strictest economy in food consumption is urgently emphasised. The situation in regard to food supplies is still extremely grave. Meanwhile local committees may vigorously address themselves to their normal function of war savings.

DEATHS.

CRAWFORD.-In loving memory of Pte ERIC CLEMENT CRAWFORD, 18th Canadians, who died of wounds in University College Hospital, London, on July 23rd.-“ Greater love hath no man than that he gave his life for his friends.”-From his loving Mother and Dad, Sisters and Brother.

HART-DAVIES.-On July 27, 1917 (aeroplane accident) at Northolt, Middlesex), Lieut IVAN BEAUCLERK DAVIES, R.F.C., Rugby ; son of the late Rev John Hart-Davies and Mrs. Hart-Davies, of Southam Rectory, Warwickshire ; aged 39 years.

SPENCER.-Killed in action in France on July 22nd, Pte JAMES BARTLETT SPENCER, 11th R.W.R., son of Mr. and Mrs. Spencer, 94 Wood Street, Rugby.
“ Somewhere in France there is a nameless grave,
Where sleeps our loved one among the brave.
One of the rank and file, he heard the call,
And for his country gave his all.”

IN MEMORIAM.

DUNCUFF.-In ever-loving memory of ARTHUR FRANCES DUNCUFF, dearly beloved husband of Mildred Grace Duncuff, who died of wounds on Aug. 8, 1916.

DUNCUFF.-In ever-loving memory of our son and brother, who died from wounds received in action in France on August 3, 1916 ; aged 22 years 11 months.
“ Death hides, but it cannot divide ;
Thou are but on Christs’s other side.
Thou with Christ and Christ with me,
And so together still are we.”

GOODMAN.-In loving memory of GUNNER FRED GOODMAN, R.F.A., who died from wounds received in action on August 3, 1916 ; aged 20 years. Also Pte W. G. GOODMAN, brother of the above, of the 1st Royal Warwicks, who was killed in action on August 27, 1914 ; aged 29 years.
“ Farewell, dear sons, in a soldiers grave ;
A grave we may never see ;
But as long as life and memory lasts
We will remember thee.”
-From his loving Mother and Father.

GURNEY.-In ever-loving memory of our dear son, Pte HARRY GURNEY, of Church Lawford, who was killed in action on July 30, 1916 ; aged 21 years.
“ Could I have raised his dying head,
Or heard his last farewell.
The grief would not have been so hard
For those who loved him well.
We often sit and think of him,
And think of how he died ;
To think we could not say ‘ Good-bye ‘
Before he closed his eyes.”
-From Mother and Father, Brothers and Sister.

HOWKINS.-In proud and loving memory of Lieut. MAURICE HOWKINS, W.R., R.H.A., elder son of William Howkins, Hillmorton Grounds, Rugby, who gave his life for his country at the Battle of Romani, Egypt, August 4, 1916 ; aged 22 years. Mentioned in despatches for valuable services in the field, F.C.C. “ A fine soldier. I never wish to see a better officer ” (his C.O.).-“ Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a Crown of Life.”

NEAL.-In loving memory of our dear son and brother, WILLIAM NEAL, of the Berkshire Regt., who was killed in action on his 19th birthday, July 30, 1916.
“ One year has passed away
Since our great sorrow fell ;
Still in our hearts we mourn the loss
Of him we loved so well.”
-From Father and Mother, Sisters and Brother.

PURTON.-In loving memory of HARRY PURTON, be beloved husband of Sarah Purton, who fell asleep on December 3, 1912. Also Lance-Corpl G. H. PURTON, son of the above, who died of wounds in France on August 6, 1916 ; aged 24 years.
“ His country called, he answered with his life ;
Not gone from memory, not gone from love,
But gone to dwell with his dear father
In God’s bright home above.”
-From his loving Mother, Brother and Sisters.

 

9th Jan 1915. Local War Notes and Christmas at the Front

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

At the Rugby Cattle Market, on Monday next, Mr W Wiggins will sell by auction a sheep, which has been presented for the purpose, the proceeds of which will be given to the Belgian Relief Fund.

Mr R G S Anderson, of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who was wounded, has now re-joined his regiment.

Mr P A Morson, son of Mr Arthur Morson, of Rugby, has joined the Foreign Service Battalion of the Honourable Artillery Company.

Sergt-Instructor Bird, of the Stores Department of the B.T.H Company, has been appointed to a commission in the Northants Regiment in connection with Lord Kitchener’s Army.

Mr C G Richards, late of Rugby, is now with Royal Army Medical Corps at Diss, in Norfolk, and he expects to sail for Egypt with a detachment of the Corps in a few weeks’ time.

H Welsby, T Lee, T Batchelor, and H Webber (Rugby), and C Batchelor (Hunningham) hare joined the reserve battalion of the 7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment. The battalion has now more than 1,000 men.

Mr C F E Dean, partner of Mr W G B Pulman, solicitor, Rugby and Lutterworth, has enrolled in the Public Schools Battalion attached to the Royal Fusiliers, and left to take up duty in London on Saturday.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Recruiting still continues fairly satisfactory at Rugby. During the past week 36 men enlisted, the best day being Monday, when 15 came [?]d. So far the total for Rugby is 2,102.

AMUSING RECRUITING INCIDENT.

The recruiting officer in charge at the Drill Hall had an amusing experience on Wednesday morning. Two little boys from Pinder’s Lane-one aged 6 years 10 months and the other aged 7 years-presented themselves, and stated quite seriously that they wished to enlist as buglers, The sergeant, instead of informing the youngsters that this was impossible, entered into the spirit of the joke, got out the papers, and began to fill in the particulars. The would-be recruits expressed their willingness to join any corps to which they could be sent, and subsequently left the hall fully satisfied that they might at any be called to serve.

A SOLDIER’S THANKS.

Pte J T Meadows, of the 1st Northants Regiment, writes from the London General Hospital : ” Will you allow me space to convey my many thanks to the people of Rugby, who have so generously thought of me this Christmas and New Year, and who have made it so happy for me in my sufferings from terrible wounds received in action. The names of engagements I am unable to state, only the one where I was put out of action (Ypres). I regret to say my recovery is very slow. Through it all I remain quite happy.”

RUGBY SHUNTER’S NARROW ESCAPE.

S S Alfred Wood, of the 1st Artillery Division, who previous to being called up for active service was employed at Rugby L & N-W Railway Station as a shunter, in a letter to a friend says :-

“Things have been a bit rough at the front, but are a little better now. He was having a fortnight’s rest from the firing line, and it seemed quite a change to be away from the ‘ coal boxes.’ He was hit once, but it did not do any damage, the bullet going through his jacket and just grazing his back. One of his mates from Rugby got killed, and another had his eye taken out with a piece of shell at Ypres. In one passage he says: ‘ When we got back from the battle of Ypres they had completely blown the town to atoms. We were in a wood one day, and the

Germans started to shell us just us we were going to have a bit of breakfast—such as it was. One of our sergeants was having a wash, when over came a German shell and shot him dead. Five more were killed and wounded, and also about a dozen horses. So you see we have been through a bit. At the battle of the Aisne we had a rough time, losing nine guns out of eighteen in the Brigade and a lot of men. We lost two guns and about 40 men one day ; the Germans captured them and took them prisoners.”

KITCHENER’S RECRUIT AT THE FRONT.

Driver Jack Jones, son of Mr Rowland Jones, brewery agent, Claremont Road, who joined the new heavy battery, Garrison Artillery, in connection with Lord Kitchener’s Army, in August, was selected for the front early in November, and must have been among the first in Kitchener’s Army to go. He has written several letters home, in each of which he states that he is quite well. In one letter he says : “ Our guns have gone very well up to now, without a casualty, so I think we have been very lucky. I think we have to put all that down to the officers, because they are all very clever men. They know how to find the enemy, but the enemy has not found us yet, and I hope they won’t.” In another letter he says : “ Things out here are a bit quiet. We have been in action now about one month.”

HOW THE WARWICKSHIRE YEOMANRY SPENT CHRISTMAS.

At the time of the German raid on Scarborough the Warwickshire Yeomanry were stationed on the coast not a hundred miles from the scene of hostilities. General regret was expressed that their bit of the coast had not been selected for the attack instead of the Yorkshire coast.

A week before Christmas the regiment was moved from the coast to a few miles inland. The change was not appreciated, for the men are now quartered in a Little village of about 300 inhabitants, and five miles from any town. The last place they were at was about the size of Warwick, which, besides the ever-present attraction of the sea and shipping, boasted a couple of picture shows, and a hall where writing, &c, could be done. Also the men were billeted on private people, and consequently lived very well and had real beds to sleep in, which, after sleeping on bags of straw for the last few months, was Paradise. Army rations went down very badly after billeting for a month, after Christmas fare was a welcome break in the monotony of bread and meat and bread and jam. Most of the men are now billeted in empty houses, a troop to a house. Six or seven men occupy a room, and with the coming of Christmas hampers many enjoyable, if informal, dinners and teas were held. A whip round is made periodically for coal, and the same method was adopted to buy a couple of kettles. Some queer meals have been eaten lately ; pineapple chunks, pork pie, and cake and tea have provided many a meal, some of which have been breakfasts, others dinners or teas. Each room usually has its own store of small groceries, and every man ought soon to be a complete housekeeper. If one room is short of tea, it can often be obtained from the next by swapping a piece of coal for it. In the same way a couple of mince pies area equal to half a candle. The latter are indispensable articles of the men’s housekeeping, as there is no other means of lighting the houses, and friends sending parcels might with advantage slip a few in. A very pleasant Christmas was spent, each squadron having a real Christmas dinner, followed by a concert in the evening. Everyone enjoyed the Christmas spread, which was done in real style, turkeys, geese, roast beef, plum puddings, with fruit, nuts, and drinks ad lib. After living more or less on bully beef, this was a welcome change, and everyone enjoyed it to the full. The concert also was a great success, and was kept up till 10.30 p.m, a very late hour for soldiers, who on ordinary occasions must be in their billets by 9.30 p.m.

The regiment has been engaged in very interesting work and schemes lately, much of which has involved a good deal of cross-country riding.

A CHRISTMAS DAY TRUCE.

In a further letter home, Pte Sheasby says that on Christmas Eve they were ordered to some new trenches. We hadn’t been there many minutes before we started shouting the compliments of the season to the Germans, who were entrenched about 250 to 300 yards in fronts of us, and to our surprise they shouted back : “ Hello ! you English, if you won’t fire we won’t over Christmas ” ; so, of course, we shouted : “ All right; we won’t fire till you do.” Of course, the sentries were at their posts just the same ; but we felt more free, and hadn’t to keep bobbing down to miss stopping a bit of lead. At the same time we hardly expected them to keep to their word ; but there was not a shot fired that night by us or by the Germans opposite, although there was firing going on on our right and left. The next morning as soon as it got light and we had had breakfast, we took a walk through our barbed wire entanglements, and met them halfway between the two trenches. After hand-shakes and “ A Merry Christmas ” we exchanged cigars and cigarettes, and all had a chat and smoke together. I took a drop of whiskey, and we had a drink. They were very eager after the whiskey, you bet ; and they also seemed very eager after food too. . . Our officer came out and took our photograph, about 20 of us, Germans and British mixed together, and he has promised me one if he can get them away to be done. . . We fixed things up that neither side would fire on the other unless we were ordered to, and then we were to fire in the air until after Boxing Day ; but one of the Germans came over and volunteered the news that he had seen their orders, and that they were to make an attack on us that (Boxing night) at 12.15 p.m. Of course, we got prepared, and all stood to arms at about 11.30 with fixed bayonets, all at our posts, anxiously waiting for them. And then our big guns started to let them have it for a few minutes after that, and shelled their trenches for about three-quarters of an hour, dropping shells right into them. I think that must have put them off it and made them think that we were about to make another attack. Anyway, we stood to our posts till 2.30, and nothing happened.”

19th Dec 1914. News From The Front

WITH THE H.A.C. AT THE FRONT.

MR McKINNELL’S SON RELATES HIS EXPERIENCES.

J J McKinnell, the only son of Mr McKinnell (chairman of the Rugby Urban District Council), who is with the Honourable Artillery Company at the Front, has sent home a number of interesting letters, giving accounts of his experiences. Writing on November 18th he says :—

“ We have stayed for a week at the place from which I last wrote. My section had a comfortable billet in the front room of a cottage. We had straw down on the floor, and so got pretty warm at night ; whereas some other unfortunate people were up in a barn without a door, and places nearly as bad.

REAL WARFARE.

“ It has been a week of real war for us. One night we made a night march of three hours to reserve trenches a thousand yards behind the firing line, which we had to occupy in case we were wanted. There were one or two anxious moments on the march, owing to the “ range finders ” shot into the air by the enemy—that is, brilliant lights which enable a man with glasses , to pick out, and get the range of, objects in the distance. However, we had no shells our way.

“Just after we settled down in the trenches our artillery behind opened a tremendous cannonade on the Germans, firing from three batteries, at a rate which, I am sure, was four shots a minute. At the same time the British Infantry made an attack. This cannonade was continued for two hours or so, and then slackened off.

“ I was told afterwards, that the object of the attack was to drive some German sharp-shooters from dead ground between the English and German trenches, and that this end was achieved.

“ Our part of the battle was simply to sit still and keep our heads well down to avoid any chance bullets, which, as a matter of fact, never came. Our company had to be without overcoats, as we had not got our new ones, and it really was awfully cold. However, we must be thankful that there was no rain. very few people felt any ill-effects from the nocturnal excursion, so yon see we are pretty fit.

SPADE WORK UNDER SHELL FIRE.

“ On three other days we have been digging reserve trenches at another point about 400 yards behind the firing line. The first day we had several shells explode round us, but none nearer than 200 yards, and a few stray rifle bullets. The second day, on which I was absent on officers’ mess, they were treated to some shrapnel quite close to the trenches, and had to keep down in them for a quarter of an hour or so, as well as to rifle bullets which were obviously aimed.

“ Next day two companies went out. One company had got into position, and were digging. The other company were going along a ditch by a certain road in single file, when the Germans began to sweep the road with shrapnel fire. We all lay down in the ditch, with our faces as near the ground as they would go, for two hours, while the shells kept bursting near us. Fortunately nobody was hit. Some of the shells were only 30 yards away from us. The other company fared worse than we did, and six men were wounded, but only one at all seriously.

“ About one o’clock an Indian doctor came along the road and told us to move on and get into a safety trench, running at right angles to the road, to avoid their shelling. We did so, and sure enough before long they started shelling the road again. There were some trenches behind the road with Indian troops in them, and I think they must have got it badly this time. We remained in our trenches until dusk, and then got out and marched back.

“ By the way, shrapnel is the most deadly kind of shell there is, as it bursts in the air and shoots out bullets towards the ground. Other shells don’t burst till they bit the earth, and generally do nothing more than make a big hole. As you can imagine, there are many shell holes near the firing line.

“ Other evidences of war are villages half-destroyed and churches with only the walls standing. One church we saw was destroyed by our own shells, as the Germans had placed two quick-firing guns in it.

“A staff officer told us that a trick of the German artillery is to pick up a mark, such as a cottage, and simply shell it to pieces, the only possible object being to prevent troops billeting close up to the firing line ; otherwise it is sheer wantonness.” — P.S. We have our overcoats now.

In a letter dated November 28th the writer says :—

“ The only incident of note that I have to record is the fact that the four companies of a H.A.C have each spent 24 hours in the FIRING LINE TRENCHES, and of these two companies have had another 24 hours. “ Our own company’s little experience was to parade at 3.15 a.m, after six hours sleep, march for two miles or so along a road up to the trenches, and then walk in single file avoid attracting attention if searchlights were turned on the country for a mile along a field path to the front trenches themselves. These were much more comfortable than the reserve trenches I told you of, being wide and deep with straw at the bottom.

“ We got in about an hour before dawn. There was nothing much to do on this particular day. The German trenches were 450 yards away from us, and gave us no trouble, hardly a shot being fired from them all day. We were troubled all day with snipers, who come out beyond the trenches and direct cross-fire on the trenches when they can, even getting behind them by some means or other. Only a few of our men saw anything to fire at that day. I did not fire my rifle. . . . I expect you don’t take much notice of the things you see in the papers about the H.A.C in action. I even heard, that it is said that our drum and fife band played us to and from the trenches!! Of course, this is absolute nonsense.”

Writing still later, Mr McKinnell, jun, said the company had moved again, and were supposed to be having a rest, which probably meant that they had to work harder than before. Our section is unfortunate in its billet this time, having the top storey of a barn, which is not quite so comfortable.

A RUGBEIAN IN THE BATTLE OF YPRES.

Pte J T Meadows, of the 1st Northants Regiment, who is in hospital in London with a smashed arm, has sent his parents an account of his experience prior to and in the Battle of Ypres.

“ About October 22nd we had to take up a position on the edge of a very thick wood. It was in the middle of the day—a very bad time for us-because the Germans could see us advancing, and they let us have it for all they were worth. Battery after battery let go at us, but without effect, for the 1st Division has got used to such encounters. At 3.30 p.m we reached the desired spot, and immediately we started to entrench under the buzz and bang of shot and shell. At 5.30 p.m, the trenches finished, sentries were posted, and the vigil went on through the night till the order came along at 4.30 a.m to stand to. That meant everybody at his post, for an attack at dawn was expected—and it came, too, in full force. It was lovely popping them over in hundreds, until they got too numerous for us, and we had to retire into another wood, where we had some old trenches. We dived into them like rabbits, and waited ; but not long, for we could see them coming through the trees. Then again the banging started, but still they came on in ever-increasing numbers, until they got a bit too cheeky, so we started a bayonet charge, and we cleared the wood of them. They made awful noises, just like pigs being killed. This engagement finished at 12.30 p.m on October 23rd.

“ Nothing more occurred until October 24th at 6.15 p.m. It was very dark, and I was taking first turn on sentry. I had been on duty about 40 minutes when I discovered something creeping along turnip field in front of our trench. To make sure my eyes were not deceiving me, I ran along to the next sentry. He also had seen the night bird, so I passed word down to the officer. The order, ‘ Stand to,’ was passed back, and all were on the alert. The order not to fire was given, two men crept out of the British lines, and in two minutes that night bird, was plucked of his rifle and ammunition, and marched off a prisoner. Nothing more happened till the night of the 25th, when we received the old torments, an audience of only 6,000 waiting for us. This lasted until the 28th ; then, to our surprise, we were removed to another position. This was 10.30 p.m on the 28th. We started digging a new trench, and stuck to it all night till 4.30 a.m, when the order ‘Cease digging’ passed along. The engineers had been at work all night as well putting barbed wire about 100 yards in front of our trench. We all knew too well what that meant: the position had got to be held. From 8.30 that morning until 5 p.m shells had been bursting, and so it continued, the big battle having begun at last, and it went on night and day from the morning of the 29th until November 4th. At 11.30 a.m a bursting shrapnel shell smashed my left arm. My officer was killed by the same shell that hit me. My comrade on the left of me had a shrapnel bullet right through the neck. He went, down like a log. I bound him up and laid him along the trench. It was hard working with one hand, but I forgot my own troubles. I walked along the trench to another comrade ; I asked him to load my rifle for me, and so we went on side by side, banging away round after round of ammunition, the fusilade telling its terrible tale for seven hours. I stuck this with my one good arm till the order to charge was given, for the Germans had broken through the wire entanglements. I saw my mate, who assisted me through those terrible hours, answer the Commander’s call ; but he only went about a dozen yards, poor fellow. His turn had came. I made a hurried retreat into the wood, as I was no good for a bayonet charge. I walked three and a-half miles to a hospital, and had my arm placed at an angle of 45 degrees, and it is likely to remain so for a long, long time. I am quite happy, though wounded. It was for dear old England that I fought. We won the battle at the rate of 12 to 1.”

In an accompanying letter Meadows says if he has the fortune to get better before the war is over he shall go back and finish his duty.

In a letter written on board the hospital ship he says: “ I never thought I should get back again after days and nights, weeks and months of that terrible slaughter of human beings. I have had the gruesome work of placing some of my brave comrades in their last resting-places with only a prayer to the One above. This task is very trying to a man with the strongest nerves. It was pitch dark when I had to work with pick and hovel ; but now I am wounded I can do no more. My heart is good, but my arm won’t let me.”

21st Nov 1914. Local War Notes

It is stated that the Leicestershire Yeomanry are now in the fighting line.

C Spicer and A E Lorriman have joined the Rugby Howitzer Battery. The latter was formerly a member, but went away to America, and returned to England in order to re-enlist.

Mr R Herron, of Rugby, who for the past two years has been in training at a Baptist Theological College, has joined the Royal Army Medical Corps. He is a competent ambulance man, and has already been promoted to the rank of sergeant.

We understand that the whole of the Belgian refugees, with one exception, living at 17 Hillmorton Road, have obtained employment, three of them at the B.T.H Works at Rugby, and two others at Birmingham. A boy is also working at the shop of a tradesman in the town.

Members of the St John Ambulance Brigade are doing useful service in accompanying wounded Belgian soldiers from the Red Cross Hospital who are able to get out for walks in the vicinity of Rugby. On three days a week they are doing this, the walk generally occupying about an hour, and the men greatly appreciate the kindness shown.

The Rugby Co-operative Society’s employees have sent warm mufflers, helmets, and socks, together with supplies of cigarettes, to their comrades, 18 in number, who have joined Lord Kitchener’s Army. The gifts have been very much appreciated, and letters of thanks have been received, saying they were just the articles that were required.

On Sunday afternoon the Salvation Army Boys’ Band (under the leadership of Mr Whitmore) played patriotic airs and the various National Anthems for an hour at the Red Cross Hospital for the benefit of the wounded Belgian soldiers. The visit was greatly appreciated, and the soldiers sent to the band by way of thanks an illuminated card, the handiwork of one of their number-a graceful act of acknowledgement that the band fully reciprocated.

A QUICK PROMOTION.

George Edward Middleditch, a premium apprentice who was employed in Rugby Erecting Shop, serving his time to fitting, and enlisted in the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry Regiment in August last, has done particularly well. He showed ability and quickly rose to the rank of sergeant. This week he has received his discharge papers from this regiment and offered a commission, which he has very naturally accepted. Middleditch has gone to his home in Devon for a brief rest, and awaiting instructions from the War Office as to the regiment to which he is gazetted. Before leaving Rugby for home he visited the erecting shop to say “ good-bye ” to the workmen, who took the opportunity to warmly congratulate him on his well-merited promotion.

WAR CASUALTIES.

Pte. Arthur Hill, a reservist in the Royal Horse Artillery, who previous to the war was employed by Messrs Willans & Robinson, has written to his former land lady, Mrs Judd, of 21 Dale Street, stating that he has been wounded.

Mrs Meadows, of Inwood’s Cottages, near Bilton Grange, this week received news of her son, Pte J T Meadows, 1st Northants Regiment, who is now lying wounded in Duchess of Westminster’s Hospital in Paris, but he hopes before long to be able to return home.

Pte G T Wills, of the North Staffordshire Regiment, who resides at 57 Jubilee Street, New.Bilton, and who, as reported last week, had been wounded, was an Old Elborow Boy, and a member of the Rugby Parish Church Choir during the rectorship of the late Mr Murray. He served for one year and ten months in the South African campaign, and has written to his wife informing her that he is in a hospital at Versailles, is being well looked after, and going on as well as can be expected.

We understand that Mrs H Flavell, of 14 Newbold Road, who a few week ago received official intimation that her husband, Pte H Flavell, a reservist in the Coldstream Guards, had been posted as missing, has since received a communication from him stating that he is well.

WOUNDED AND PRISONER OF WAR.

Pte A Hirons, of the 1st Coldstream Guards, of whom nothing had been heard for some time, has written to his landlady, Mrs Green, of Hillmorton, informing her that he has been wounded in the back and been taken a prisoner by the Germans. Pte Hirons, who is a native of Churchover, served three years in the Guards, and had been on the reserve twelve months. Before mobilization he was employed in the Loco Department at the L & N. W. Railway Station, Rugby.

HOW A RUGBY SOLDIER’S LIFE WAS SAVED – A COMRADES DEVOTION.

Pte A Glen, reservist of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry, and a native of Rugby, has arrived home, on sick leave, suffering from three wounds received in the trenches at La Basse, and tells the story of how his life was saved by the devotion of a comrade.

Pte Glen, who is the caretaker of the Conservative Club in Abbey Street and is well known in town, stated in an interview with our representative that the first battle he was engaged in was at Le Cateau. About a month ago his brigade was ordered to relieve another section in the trenches at La Basse. Their position, however, was located by a spy, and the Germans immediately started business with their “Jack Johnsons.” A church steeple near the British lines was set on fire by the shells, and fell into the trenches, causing great havoc. Several hayricks were also fired, and by the light from these the Germans were able to easily locate the British, and then rake them with such a shower of shells that they were forced to retire, their places being taken by Indians. Pte Glen received a bullet wound in the head, and was also struck on the neck and shoulder by a fragment from a “ Jack Johnson,” and thus was unable to leave. A comrade remained behind to render assistance, and whilst he was bandaging Pte Glen’s head was fatally struck by a shell, which would otherwise have struck the wounded man. When Pte Glen came round in the morning the dead body of his faithful chum was laying across his back. According to Pte Glen, matters are going very well for the Allies in the Western Theatre. He added, optimistically, “ We are winning safe as eggs, slow, but sure, and at big price. There is no doubt about that. The Germans have machine guns made of papier mache ; and these, in addition to being very effective, are easily carried by one man, and thus give them a great advantage. The rifle fire of the German infantry as a body is poor ; but the companies of sharp shooters do great mischief. One significant fact struck Pte Glen very forcibly, and that was the great deterioration in the quality of the German troops now being brought into action. At the commencement of the campaign the German infantry consisted of fine set-up men ; but the troops now opposed to the British consist, for the most part, of boys from 18 to 20 years of age and old grey-headed men. Pte Glen, who was also wounded in South Africa, said[?] that he only saw one Rugby man at the front, Pte S Cockerill, of his regiment, who has also been wounded.

NEW BILTON RESERVIST WOUNDED.

Mr H Berwick, a reservist in the 1st King’s Own Regiment, has returned to England wounded, and has written to his former landlady, Mrs Smith, of 123 Lawford Road, New Bilton. In this he states that after the retirement from Mons the British took up positions on a hill, and were ordered to prepare for a night or early morning attack. They were preparing to do this when at about 400 yards away a very deadly fire commenced with a few rapid shots from what we call their ” safe deliveries ” (siege guns), which were right in among our Brigade. It was found out after we had been forced to retire that the enemy had a whole Army Corps and had been carefully watching our movements. They had, it is estimated, eight machine guns all turned on one battalion, and I am sorry to say that battalion was mine. That was our first experience, and where we lost 540 officers, N.C.O’s and men. I received a hit in the shoulder by shrapnel, the first shot they fired, which also dislocated my shoulder.” After alluding to the German use of dum-dum bullets and the abuse of the white flag,” the writer says, “ I must confess that their (German) gunners are fine shots. So would you if you were near them. If It was not for their Susie Greens (big guns), I think the English Boy Scouts could beat them, as I think their infantry is absolutely bad.” Describing a German charge at Armentierres, he states that they had been contiguously attacked by the Germans at night and early morning, and the R.E. put some wire entanglements about 200 yards in front of the British trenches, and they then waited for the Germans. We spotted them at about 600 yards, and let them come on until they got to 300 yards. Then they seemed to hesitate. All of a sudden there went up a sort of downhearted yell, and on they charged – if we can call it a charge. It was simply lovely, a great big grey mass with their heads down, and could not see where they were coming until they got on to our wires. Some of our lads thought they were on a fair ground, as their great round heads looked just like cocoanuts.” Among the places where the writer saw heavy fighting were Mons, Marne, Aisne, St Margarette, St Omar, Lille, and Armentierres.

HILLMORTON SOLDIER KILLED IN ACTION.

About a fortnight ago Mrs. G. Thorneycroft, of Hillmorton, wife of Pte. Thorneycroft, of the 1st Royal Warwicks, received the following note, written on the back of a letter she had enclosed in a package of cigarettes to her husband :-” I am very sorry to have let you know that your husband met his death on the battlefield. His letters have been opened and the cigarettes have been given to his friends. We all sympathise with you in your great loss.” The letter was undated, and was only initialled. Mrs Thorneycroft has since been in communication with the military authorities, and on Wednesday received official intimation that he was killed in action on October 23rd. Pte Thornycroft served nine years with the colours, during which time he served in India and also went through the South African War, one of his most treasured possessions being Queen Victoria’s chocolate box. He had been in the reserve for seven years, and previous to being called up was employed by Mr Whittaker, the builder. He was about 36 years of age and highly respected in the village, where much sympathy is expressed for his widow.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

During the past week 20 recruits have enlisted at Rugby Drill Hall, bringing the total figures up to 1962, exclusive of a considerable number who have gone from the town to other recruiting offices. Men are still urgently required for the various regiments of infantry of the line.-Recruiting, for the Howitzer Battery Reserve has been proceeding at Rugby and Coventry this week, and we understand that the number required has now been raised.