22nd Jul 1916. Helping the Prisoners of War

HELPING THE PRISONERS OF WAR.

A meeting of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee was held on Wednesday evening. Mr Wm Flint, C.C, Chairman of the Committee, presiding. Also present : Mrs Lees, Rev Father Jarvis, and Messrs A E Donkin, W H Clay, C J Newman, G W Walton, J Mellor, and the Hon Secretary, Mr J R Barker. Apologies for absence were received from Mrs Blagden, Mr F R Davenport, and Mr S H Weobley.

The Chairman, in reviewing the past work of the Committee, said that, starting with a list of 13 prisoners of war, the work had grown to such an extent that the Committee were now looking after the welfare of 55 men from Rugby and the villages. The expenditure had increased so very considerably that the Executive thought the Committee should meet to consider what steps should be taken to maintain the weekly parcels to the prisoners of war.

The Hon Secretary presented a statement of accounts to date. Subscriptions and donations amounted to £526 16s 6d, and the cost of food parcels and other expenditure was £417 8s 2d, which left a balance in hand of £109 8s 4d. He was glad to be able to report that during the past week there had been a slight improvement in the subscriptions, and although the money in hand would only provide for a few weeks parcels, he was glad to be able to report that several local efforts were being made to raise funds. It was, however, very necessary that, without delay, the Committee made arrangements to secure sufficient money to carry on the work for several months ahead, especially in view of the possibilities of further names being added to the list.

Various schemes were suggested and agreed upon, the first effort to be a Flag Day, Mr Newman and Mr Barker agreeing to carry out the arrangements as early as possible.

COVENTRY MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL.

The following local cases were heard before Mr Carmichael at the Coventry Munitions Tribunal on Friday in last week.

Alick J Tabor, Woolscott, near Rugby, applied for a leaving certificate from the B.T.H.—The case was adjourned from a previous Court. Another adjournment for four weeks was granted ; and the Court instructed the lad to return to work.

G North, 113 Railway Terrace, Rugby, was fined 10s for absenting himself from work at the B.T.H without leave for the whole of the week ending July 8th, the fine to be paid in four weekly instalments.

A King, 385 Clifton Road, Rugby, was charged by the B.T.H Company with being absent from work without leave on Saturday, July 8th, for 8¾ hours on Monday, and the whole of Tuesday, July 11th. The man’s previous time-keeping had been bad, and he was fined 15s and ordered to pay in weekly instalments of 2s 6d.

F H Shorthose, 19 Market Street, Rugby, was summoned for refusing to work overtime at the B.T.H on Saturday afternoon, July 8th, thereby delaying skilled men.—He was fined 10s (2s 6d per week), and was warned by the Chairman regarding his defiant attitude before the Court.

J Asquith, Shawell, Rugby, employed at the B.T.H, was charged with failing to work diligently on the morning of July 8th, and the case was dismissed owing to the conflicting evidence. Asquith asked for expenses ; but, in reply, the Chairman informed him that he was lucky to get off.

POST LETTERS EARLY.—The Postmaster-General calls attention to the fact that in view of the restricted number of postal collections and deliveries now afforded throughout the kingdom, it is particularly desirable that letters should be posted as early in the day as possible. In many rural districts there is only one delivery, and letters for such districts, unless posted in time for early evening mails, will not be delivered until the second day after posting. Early posting also facilitates the work of the Post Office sorters, and on account of the great depletion of staff for military purposes this assistance will be much appreciated.

PUBLIC BATHS.

The Baths Committee reported the receipt of an application from the Officer Commanding a Squadron, Royal Flying Corps for facilities for his men to attend the Baths at a reduced rate. They had informed him that free use of the swimming bath was granted to all soldiers or sailors in uniform on condition that they provided their own towels and drawers, or paid the regulation price for same. The numbers attending the baths and the amounts received for the month of June as compared with the same month in 1915, were as follows :—Baths, &c : Swimming bath, 1916, 5,511 ; 1915, 6,008. Slipper baths, 1916, 1,455; l915, 1,074[?]. Receipts, 1916, £54 10s 2d ; 1915, £56 10s 7d.-Approved on the motion of Mr Walker.

RESERVOIR GROUNDS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

The Water Committee had decided that the grounds at Brownsover Mill be opened during the summer from noon to 8.30 p.m (Sundays included) so long as no damage was done.—Adopted.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Capt the Earl of Clonmell, of the Warwickshire R.H.A, is transferred to the Territorial Force Reserve.

The Rev C T Bernard McNulty, M.A, vicar of Holy Trinity, Leamington, has recently been promoted from 4th to 3rd Class Chaplain, with the rank of Major, and has been appointed Senior Chaplain of his Division.

We are pleased to note that Capt G T Hilton, of North Street and Hillmorton Road, Rugby, has been mentioned in despatches for distinguished conduct in the field.

George E Middleditch, 1st Lieutenant, Oxon and Bucks L.I, was wounded at Ypres, France, some four weeks ago. Before the War Lieut Middleditch was an apprentice (premium) in the L & N-W Rly Erecting Shop. At the outbreak of the War he joined up at once as a private. He soon got promotion—first a lance-corporal, then a corporal, next a sergeant, then a commission as 2nd lieutenant, now 1st lieutenant ; and, we understand, has been recommended for a captaincy. He was wounded in the leg and back at Ypres, and is now well again. He visited the shop on Tuesday, and received a splendid ovation from his fellow-workmen and a very hearty send-off.

CASUALTIES TO RUGBY MEN IN THE GREAT ADVANCE.

Pte J F Holmes, East Surrey Regiment, son of Mr J Holmes, of Union Street, has been seriously wounded during the recent fighting.

Capt S Morris Bickersteth (O.R), a brother of the Rev Julyan K F Bickersteth, formerly of Rugby, was killed during the attack on Serre on July 1st. He was 23 years of age.

Mrs Greenwood, Kirstall, Lower Hillmorton Road, has received news that her son, Lieut J Greenwood, Northants Regiment, the well-known Rugby and Newbold footballer, has been wounded.

Other Rugby casualties reported recently are : Diver W Elkington (11137) killed ; and F H Warden (2168), F Burberry (275), and Sapper H Barrows, R.E. ; Ptes J Varney (Rugby), A Welsby (New Bilton), and T Lee (Swinford), wounded.

LANCE-CORPL W J COOPER OF HARBOROUGH MAGNA.

Lance-Corpl W J Cooper, R.W.R, son of Mr Jack Cooper, of Harborough Magna, was killed in action on June 26th. Lance-Corpl Cooper was a native of Newbold, but had spent most of his life at Harborough Magna. He was 30 years of age, and was called up as a reservist in August, 1914, and had been in France from the beginning of the war. Prior to the outbreak of hostilities, he was employed in the Cement Works at Newbold.

NEWBOLD SOLDIER REPORTED MISSING.

Mr Tom Smith, of Newbold, has received official intimation that his son, Rifleman Tom Smith, of the Rifle Brigade, was wounded on June 1st, and has been missing since that date. Rifleman Smith, who was about 23 years of age, was employed at the Cement Works before he enlisted at the commencement of the War.

Pte Wm Curtis, Leicester Regiment, another employee of the Cement Works, and son of Mr A Curtis, has written informing his parents that he has been wounded, and is now in hospital.

BRAUNSTON.

LOCAL CASUALTY.—Mrs J Manning received news last week that her son, Pte Thomas Manning, was wounded and in a base hospital in France ; and on Tuesday notification came that he had died. Mrs Manning has three other sons serving in the Army, two in France, and one at Salonica. Much sympathy is felt with the family in their bereavement.

HILLMORTON.

MRS CASHMORE of Lower Street, has received information that her youngest son, Pte F Cashmore, of the 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, died of wounds received in the great push on the 6th inst. Previous to this Pte Cashmore had taken part in much fighting both at the Dardanelles and Egypt.

LONG ITCHINGTON.

CORPORAL CONSTABLE WOUNDED.—Mr and Mrs Ernest Constable have received an intimation from Corporal Harry Constable, stating that he is lying wounded in Firdale Hospital, Sheffield. The wounds are in both legs, right arm, and head, but he writes cheerfully, and it is hoped that he may effect a good recovery. It is barely six weeks since he was sent to the front.

DEATH OF PRIVATE SUTTON RUSSELL.-The sad news was received on Tuesday of the death of Private Joseph Sutton Russell in hospital of malarial fever on the 14th last. Private Russell enlisted in the Army Ordnance Corps in December, 1914, and was with the contingent in Mesopotamia. It was known that he had been in hospital, and only on Tuesday morning a post card was received from him, dated 6th June, on which he stated that he was out of hospital, and that his health was improving. So the shook caused by the news of his death was very great to all his relatives and friends, and, indeed, to the whole village. Before he joined the army, Private Russell had been for some years a clerk in the office at Messrs Kaye & Co’s Cement Works. He was also the Clerk to the Parish Council, assistant overseer, tax and rate collector, and Secretary to the Co-operative Society. He was of a genial temperament, and always ready to make himself useful. As a member of the Parish Church choir, and in many other capacities, he will be greatly missed. Private Russell was the life and soul at the Cricket Club in the pre-war days, and it was always a pleasure to witness his performance either as a bats man or a bowler. The deepest sympathy is felt for his widowed mother, brother and sisters, and for his fiancée, Miss Hilda Jeacock. His brother, Lance-Corpl Arthur Russell, is now in training in the Royal Warwicks.

FRANKTON.

KILLED IN ACTION.-News was received on Tuesday of the death of another of our brave village lads. Corporal Frank Doyle, a bright young fellow, was attached to the Berkshire Regiment. He enlisted early in the war. He was shot down at his post, with three more of his comrades. The sad news was conveyed to his widowed mother by the Rev R S Mitchison, of Barby, who motored to tell her. Much sympathy is felt throughout the village with Mrs Doyle in her sad loss. Mr Mitchison’s son-in-law is an officer in the same soldiers Company, and has been severely wounded.

WOLSTON.

Mr and Mrs John Orton have received news that their son, Pte H Orton, of the 1st Worcesters, has been wounded in the left hand. He is now in hospital in England, and progressing favourably. He has seen many months of fighting in France.

RIFLEMAN R B BUTLIN KILLED.—Mr J Butlin has received news of the death of his son, who was shot through the heart. He was one of Kitchener’s Army, who joined the King’s Royal Rifles. His death occurred on the 10th inst., and he was laid to rest at Potijze Military Cemetery, near Ypres. The inscription on the tomb was : “ He tried to do his duty.” Much sympathy is felt for Mr Butlin, who has lost his wife, a grandchild, and son in the space of a few months, and is himself an invalid. He has also received a sympathetic and comforting letter from the chaplain.

 

BISHOPS ITCHINGTON.

FROM THE FRONT.—Pte Thomas Thacker, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was slightly wounded in the latest attack on the West. Pte Thacker, who had previously been wounded, received some shrapnel in the ankle. He has been at his home since July 13th, and has made such good progress that he will return to his depot in the course of a few days.

DUNCHURCH.

SERGT W E CONSTABLE, youngest son of Mr and Mrs John Constable (formerly of Dunchurch), who joined the Royal Engineers early last year, has been mentioned in despatches by General Sir Douglas Haig, dated April 30th. He is to be warmly congratulated upon his distinction.

DEATHS.

CASHMORE.—Died of wounds in France,. Private F. Cashmore, 1st R.I.F., aged 24 years.

CHATER.—In loving Memory of our beloved and only child, Rifleman W. H. Chater, Machine. Gun Section, 12th R.B. Killed in action in France, June 30th, 1916, aged 31 years.
“ Sleep on, beloved, and take thy rest,
We loved you well, but God loved you best.”

COOK.—Died of wounds on July 8th, Cyril Edward, Second-Lieutenant, Royal Sussex Regiment, elder son of Sam Cook, Wargrave, Berks, and grandson of the late Mrs. Cook, of Hillmorton House, aged 23.

DOYLE.—In ever-loving memory of Corporal Frank Doyle, the dearly loved son of Betsy and the late Joseph Doyle, of Frankton. Killed in action at No Man’s Land, July 13, 1916.
“ He sleeps, not in his native land,
But ’neath some foreign skies,
And far from those that loved him best ;
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—From his loving MOTHER, BROTHERS, and only SISTER (LIZ).

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.