19th Jan 1918. Visits of Workmen to the Front

VISITS OF WORKMEN TO THE FRONT.

The Rugby District Committee of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers have, through their Executive Council, been invited by the Ministry of Munitions to appoint a representative to visit the Front, in view of the educational value of such visits. The committee have replied to the Ministry, declining the invitation in the following terms:—“ After over three years of war the committee believe that the engineers of this district are as conversant with all the horrors of the ghastly business as they consider they need be. Contact with those who have had experience of the battle front and actual experience of the privations at home are considered sufficient from the view-point of ‘ educational value.’ The committee are much more concerned with the education of their children in the arts of peace than their own education in the bloody horrors war. They decline to be a party to the utilisation of public funds and time in the manner suggested in the invitation, and declare that what workman want is not the opportunity to visit the Front, but the opportunity to meet representative fellow-workers of all belligerent nations in order to endeavour to arrive at a common understanding with a view to stopping the slaughter and securing an immediate and lasting peace.”

HEAVY SNOWFALL.

During the night of Tuesday, Wednesday the heaviest snowfall this winter occurred. The surface was covered to the depth of 9 or 10 inches, and the branches of trees and shrubs were thickly covered with snow, which weighed them down. The countryside presented a most beautiful appearance in the bright sunshine on Wednesday ; but traffic on the roads was greatly impeded. Prompt efforts were made by the Town Surveyor to get the snow removed from the streets in the centre the town, but owing to lack of labour, &c, it was quite impossible to do so much in this direction as in previous years, but a great deal was cleared out. There was another fall of snow early on Thursday, which added another inch or so to the total downfall.

A thaw, with rain, set in on Thursday. The country mails have been delayed each day from two to four hours, and the Southam mail was “ hung up ” for a considerable time at Bilton on two occasions.

This is the heaviest fall of snow experienced in this district since April 24-26, 1908, when the measurements were 14 inches.

DUNCHURCH AVENUE TO BE PRESERVED.

The Committee appointed by the Warwickshire County Council to confer with the Duke of Buccleuch as to the preservation of the Avenue on the London Road had an interview with his Grace last week, The Duke put forward an alternative scheme by which the Avenue may be preserved, he being as anxious as the public that it should remain. The scheme will be duly considered by the committee.

LOCAL PEERS AND WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE.—Several peers well known in Warwickshire took place in the division in the House of Lords on Thursday last week, when Woman Suffrage was voted upon, and carried by 63 votes. Those in favour included of the suffrage included the Earl of Denbigh, the Bishop of Worcester, and Lord Willoughby de Broke.

RUGBY’S SUBSCRIPTION TO WAR BONDS for the week ended January 12th was £3,170. making the total for 15 weeks £73,650. The weekly quota is £10,800. The total for Leamington is £95,635 ; Nuneaton, £13,565 ; Warwick, £44,135 ; Banbury, £57,259.

TRAVELLING WITHOUT A TICKET.—At Coventry, on Monday, Levi Haxby, 75 Avenue Road, New Bilton, was summoned for travelling on the railway on November 28th last without having previously paid his fare and with intent to avoid payment. Defendant admitted the offence, and said he was very sorry. He did not know what possessed him to it. It should not occur again. Fined 40s, or 28 days.

TWO BOYS MISSING.

Two boys—one Arthur Frederick Brewin, aged 10, and the other George Alfred Catlin, of Leicester, son and nephew respectively of Mr A H Brewin. of 122 Abbey Street—went for a walk towards Clifton about 9 a.m on December 27th, and up to the present have not been heard of. It is supposed they were seen crossing Clifton Mill Farm about 11 a.m same day.

Arthur Frederick Brewin (10), dark complexion, was wearing brown and black tweed coat and vest, darker knickers, laced boots and cap.

George Alfred Catlin (14), dark, was wearing light grey suit, with striped blue and black football jersey under it, laced boots and cap.

The police were advised same night, but nothing has been heard of the lads.

Any information would be gladly welcomed by A H Brewin at 122 Abbey Street.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

ROYAL RED CROSS FOR A RUGBY NURSE.
Sister M F Fell, of the Territorial Nursing Service, and daughter of Mr E T Fell, High Street, has been awarded the Royal Red Cross for valuable services with the Armies in France. Sister Fell has also served in England and Malta, and for the last six months has been in a surgical team in the Clearing Stations at Ypres and Cambrai.

Lieut “ Pat ” Maloney, of Ontario and the R.F.C, who is recovering from wounds in a hospital near Hyde Park, takes short walks with the aid a stick made from part of a Boche ’plane. “ Pat ” was well known and himself very popular at Lilbourne during his stay there from April to September last year.

Bombardier Hessey, R.F.A, of 68 Victoria Street, New Bilton, recently died of pneumonia in Ripon Hospital. Previous to joining up in February, 1915, he was employed as painter and decorator by Messrs Foster and Dicksee. He had already served in the Navy for 14 years, and was invalided out. Being anxious to “ do his bit,” again, he with some difficulty got accepted for the army, and in due course went out to France, where he was twice wounded. In February, 1916, he went out to German East Africa, where he served about twenty months. He contracted malarial fever and was sent home invalided in August last, and subsequently complications set in which culminated in his death at the age of 37. His remains were brought to New Bilton and interred in the new Cemetery with military honours.

Lieut C A Hall, 1/8th London Regiment, son-on-law of Mr W T Smallwood, 14 Victoria Street, has been awarded the M.C, and has also been promoted to the rank of Captain.

The name of Capt G H D Coates (temporary Lieut-Col), of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, is among those which have been brought to the notice Genera Sir E Allenby for distinguished services with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force.

Mrs Banner, 178 Murray Road, has received news that her cousin, Pte William Milne, of the Worcestershire Regiment, eldest son of the late Sergt T Milne, instructor at Rugby School, was killed in action on January 1st. He was an old St Matthew’s boy, and leaves a widow and two children.

Corpl Yates, who married at St Peter’s Church, Rugby, on Wednesday, is an old “ E ” Company man. He met with an accident while on manoeuvres, which disabled him for service. After receiving his discharge papers he re-joined, but has been accepted for sedentary service only. Sergt Yates, his father, volunteered, and has been out since the early months of the War and had some narrow escapes, being on one occasion several days in the German lines and reported missing.

CAPT A W FIELD (O.R) BELIEVED KILLED.

Mr Edward Field, clerk to the Warwickshire County Council, has received information of the presumed death of his son, Capt Archibald Field, R.F.C. The sad intelligence was received on Tuesday in a letter from his Major, which stated that the Captain was shot down over the enemy lines by hostile machines whilst he was taking photographs on January 9th. His machine was seen to fall to pieces, and he is missing and believed killed. Capt Field was educated at Orwell House, Felixstowe, and Rugby. He saw much of the fighting throughout Flanders before the first Battle of Ypres, being one of the first members of the British Army to enter Ypres. The Major of his Squadron writes that his loss to the Squadron is a great one, as he has been a long time with them, and had done some splendid work. Capt Field’s three brothers are still serving.

ANOTHER PRISONER OF WAR.

Gunner H Maule, R.G.A, is a prisoner of war in Germany, interned at Munster i/W, Rennbahn. He was captured on November 30th. For nearly 10 years Gunner Maule worked in the quarry at the Rugby Cement Works. He had been in France over 12 months. His home is at Long Lawford. Mr J R Barker, hon secretary of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee, has arranged for the standard food parcels and bread to be despatched to this man.

PRESENTATION OF MEDAL.

Col F F Johnstone has been deputed to present the Military Medal to Driver Ward, of Hillmorton, for conspicuous conduct in the field. The presentation will be made at a parade of the Rugby Volunteers at the Howitzer Battery Headquarters on Sunday next, 20th inst., at 2.45 p.m, when all friends of Driver Ward and the public generally are cordially invited to be present.

LONG ITCHINGTON.
MISSING.—Mrs Edward Ayres has now received official information that her eldest son, Pte Edward Ayres, R.W.R. has been posted as missing.

VOLUNTEER SHOOTING.—At the parade of the “ B ” (Rugby) Company of Volunteers on Sunday last the cup and prize given by the Officer commanding were presented. The cup for the best score for last year in the two stages of regulation shooting on the open range was secured by Corpl Seymour, and the prize for the best score by a man qualified to shoot on the open range after March 18th last fell to Pte Paulin. Capt Fuller impressed on the men the great importance of the use of the rifle and good shooting.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
FOOD AT RUGBY SCHOOL.
To the editor of the Advertiser.

SIR.—In order to prevent misconception, I should be glad if you will publish our arrangements in the past and our intentions for the future in regard to supply of food for Rugby School. Since February, 19170, the boys have been restricted by the desire of the Controller to an average of 5lbs of bread and 3lbs of meat per week. In December last a scale of rations was issued by the Ministry of Food for boy of 13-18 years of a age as follows :—Bread and flour, 6lbs ;cereals, 24ozs ;meat, 2lbs ; margarine, &c, 5ozs. This scale has since been withdrawn, and it is not likely that the quantities will be increased. Until it is re-issued we propose to abide by it, but we do not expect at present to obtain the full quantity of meat.

The purchase by the boys of extra food has for a long time been restricted to a minimum, and no food parcels are allowed to be sent from home. I hope that this statement will make it clear that we neither desire nor receive more than our share of local or other supplies.—I am, Sir, &c, A A DAVID.

THE FOOD SHORTAGE.

The shortage of meat was again felt locally during the week-end, although the situation was by no means so acute as it was reported to be in other towns. Many householders took the wise precaution of ordering their Sunday joint early in the week. These people received first consideration, and several butchers kept their doors closed till the middle of the morning to enable the depleted staffs to deal with these orders. Many who had neglected to take this precaution experienced considerable difficulty in obtaining supplies, and several of the shops were besieged by queues of housewives, but by the time the shops were closed again most people had received a supply of some sort. As may be supposed, every scrap of meat was quickly cleared out, even bones being bought eagerly.

The situation on Saturday was aggravated by a shortage of fats, of which smaller suppliers than usual were received. The result was that many were able to obtain even a small quantity, and householders of all classes had to be content with dry bread for Sunday tea.

Beef was very scarce at the cattle market on Monday, and the butchers were only allowed one-half of their present requirements, which was equal to one-quarter of their October sales. The cattle available were divided between butchers from Rugby and other parts of the county, and the local butchers will have to depend on other markets to make up their full quantity allowed under the latest order. There was an extra supply of sheep, however, and several butchers made up for the beef shortage by increased purchases of mutton. The new system of grading mutton for sale came into force on Monday, and its operation should prove very advantageous to the butchers.

The butchers are again reminding the public by advertisement in another column that, till further notice, their shops will be closed on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Notwithstanding the slushy and uncomfortable state of the streets, queues were to be seen at most of the butchers’ and provision dealers’ shops yesterday (Friday) morning, and stocks were quickly cleared on.

UTILITY POULTRY-KEEPERS are invited to meetings on Monday (see advertisement), when Capt Peirson-Webber will give addresses in connection with the formation of a local society.

DEATHS.

HESSEY.—On December 17th, in Ripon Military Hospital, Bombardier W. F. HESSEY, R.F.A., of 68 Victoria Street, New Bilton, of pneumonia ; aged 37.

Milne, John Robert. Died 1st Feb 1915

John Robert Milne
6174, 2nd Bn., Cameronians (Scottish Rifles)

Bandsman John Robert (Jack) Milne was born around 1883 in Dublin, Ireland. His father was Colour Sergeant Thomas Milne, who became a drill instructor at Rugby School.

After attending St Matthews School, Jack joined the Scottish Rifles in August 1898 as a band boy and served throughout the Boer War. At 6ft 2in, he was a keen sportsman and was in the Battalion football and cricket teams.

At the outbreak of WW1 he was with his regiment in Malta and after a short stay in England (including twelve hours in Rugby) he arrived at the front on 5th November 1914.

On November 29th he was injured at Armentieres. Some comrades who had been sent out to get water got too close to the German lines and two of them were shot. Jack, a stretcher bearer was the first to reach the casualties and started to dress one of the wounded men. He was shot by a sniper 200 yards away. The bullet entered close to the spine and came out under the left breast. He remained conscious and was taken to the Field Hospital.

“He kept very bright and cheerful all the time until his death. He remained at the base hospital until the New Year, and then was brought to England and taken to the Royal Herbert Hospital (Woolwich), where he lay for another 32 days, although paralysed from the waist downward, to all appearances improving; but on the 1st February he seemed to get a change, and gradually faded away without having had any pain.”
(Rugby Advertiser 13 Feb 1915)

The funeral took place on the 5th February 1915 and he was buried with full military honours at Shooters Hill Cemetery. The Band of the Royal Field Artillery preceded the gun carriage. His two brothers, Will and Thomas, lowered him into the grave.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

12th Dec 1914. Rugby’s Splendid Example

THE NEED FOR MORE MEN.

Few districts can boast of such an excellent record as Rugby with regard to the response to the call for men to join the colours. Since the outbreak of hostilities upwards of 2,000 men (two battalions) have joined Lord Kitchener’s Army, and there is no doubt that, had it not been for the cold water thrown on recruiting by the War Office during the boom these figures would have been considerably enhanced. Rugby’s 2,000 compares very well with the figures of any other district in the United Kingdom, and had all districts done as well as this pro ratio to population, Lord Kitchener would already have secured more than his two million men, and there would have been no necessity for the household census and the persistent talk of conscription. Not only have the numbers from Rugby been good, but the men themselves have been excellent, and commanding officers of the depots to which they have been sent have spoken in high terms of their fitness and respectability. Since the advent of the engineering works to the town, a large proportion of the population has consisted of young men, and it the very cream of these who have responded to the country’s call-fine, clean, healthy, fellows, for the most part, who, we confidently believe, will, if they have the opportunity, nobly maintain the honour the town of their birth or adoption. The recruits have been drawn from all sections of society, and the members of the local trades unions have responded remarkably well. No less than 345 members of the unions affiliated to the Rugby Trades and Labour Council have enlisted, and this figure is very satisfactory considering that many of the members are over enlistment age, and also that the members of the largest union, the N.U.R, are not allowed to enlist.

Then, too, the villages in the district have nothing to be ashamed of in this respect, every man having enlisted from some of the smaller communities. The 2,000 recruits for Lord Kitchener’s Army, however, does not exhaust Rugby’s contribution to the national forces, as when the Army and Navy were mobilized, several hundreds of reserves were called up, notably from Rugby and New Bilton.

The Rugby Howitzer Battery and E Company R.W.R have volunteered for foreign service practically to a man, and hope to leave England very shortly.

Now that the figures from Rugby have passed the two thousand mark, it may be of interest to give a list of the regiments which the Rugby men have entered. The King’s Royal Rifles are easily ahead. With regard to the Royal Warwick Regiment, a considerable number attributed to that regiment joined at the commencement of the war for general service, and may thus have been transferred to other units. The reason that the number from Rugby joining this famous regiment is comparatively small is that it was quickly filled up, and local men had to choose other infantry regiments, the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, which has recently suffered considerably, being the most popular of these. The figures are :-

King’s Royal Rifles  466

Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry  315

Royal Warwickshire  275

Royal Field Artillery  249

Royal Engineers  130

Cavalry (including 35 in Hussars, and 34 in Lancers)    87

Army Service Corps    56

Royal Berkshire Regiment   50

South Staffordshires    38

Worcestershire  31

Royal Amy Medical Corps  28

Royal Garrison Artillery  24

Rifle Brigade 19

Guards (6 Coldstreamers, 12Grenadiers)  18

These figures do not include men who enlisted prior to August 20th, and a number who were accepted for miscellaneous units. Many men in the Rugby recruiting area have also enlisted at other recruiting offices.

Other regiments chosen by local men were : Remounts, Army Ordnance Corps, Gloucesters, North Staffs, King’s Own Scottish Borderers, Royal Wiltshires, Royal Fusliers, Northamptonshire Regiment, Northumberland Fusiliers, Dorsets, Norfolks, East Yorks, East Lancs, Royal -sh[?], Seaforth Highlanders, Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, Life Guards, Dragoons, Leicestershires,and Birkenhead Bantams.

Although Rugby has done well, however, it can do better still, and we feel certain that there are hundreds of young fellows who have no ties, whose duty it is to answer to the call of the country in her hour of need. The whole of the infantry regiments are now open to receive suitable recruits, and also the R.A.M.C, the A.S.C, cavalry of the line (except the 1st and 2nd Life Guards), and the Royal Engineers.

All who wish to enlist should apply at the Drill Hall, Park Road (at the earliest possible date), where they will be promptly attended to by Co.-Sergt Winchcombe. and advised as to the best arm of the service for them to join.

The figures for the past week are better than have been experienced for some time, and 28 recruits have been accepted at Rugby. This number includes 11 from Priors Marston, who enlisted on Wednesday afternoon. Among this party were four brothers named Haynes, of whom three, W J, W F, and A F were accepted and one rejected ; and the patriotic mother of these lads remarked to the recruiting officer: “ If I had a dozen sons I should feel it my duty to let them all go.” Two of their cousins also enlisted. Sergt Handley, Coldstream Guards, has been assisting Colour-Sergt Winchcombe during the past week, and has already rendered very useful service.

RUGBY SHUNTER PROMOTED ON THE FIELD.

Thomas Loveridge, who before joining the Royal Warwickshire Regiment was employed as a shunter on the L & N-W Railway at Rugby, has been promoted to the rank of sergeant on the field for saving the Welsh Fusiliers at a critical moment. His portrait appeared in “ The Daily Sketch ” yesterday (Friday).

LOOKING FORWARD TO THE SHELLS AGAIN.

A lance-corporal, in the Welsh Fusiliers, writing to his parents in Rugby under, date November 27th, says :-“We are having a well-deserved rest for eight days ; then we go back again to the trenches. It has started to thaw a bit, and it makes the roads and trenches awfully muddy and very hard to bring the guns into action. I am writing this in a cafe which has been wrecked by the Germans. They have looted all the large shops-anything that is no good they burn. The shelling is not so severe ; but the snipers are still active. They are mostly all crack shots. We are in a large town now. The Germans keep flashing their searchlights on the town to see if reinforcements are coming. Many of our chaps have got colds caused by the wet trenches. The Indian troops are doing some good work. They are so hot-headed they want to charge the Germans all the time. It has gone a little warmer, but we still long for a good    fire. This town is crowded with refugees. They can tell you some awful stories of the Germans wrecking their homes. We go back to the trenches in five days, and shall look forward to the shells again.”

“ A SPLENDID SIGHT.”

Pte J Bale, 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, who is with the Expeditionary Force, has written to his parents, residing at 2 Lagoe Place, Rugby, and says: “You saw in the Rugby Advertiser what was going on during the 16 days up till the time that lance-corporal out of our Battalion wrote to his mother. He and I are the only two in the 2nd Battalion who come from Rugby, and I can tell you it was all perfectly true. Both of us have had our comrades shot down beside us ; we have both been very lucky, and we have not stopped a bit of shell or a bullet from a German sniper. They fire at us at a very short range,and some of them are excellent shots with their rifles, and I am certain they must say the same about us, for as soon as any one of them shows a little of himself out of the trench he goes down like a log of wood. One Saturday night during last month they made several attacks on us, but as soon as they showed themselves out of the trenches to make a fierce attack we let them have it. We fired into them as fast as our rifles would let us, and it was raining to make things worse : but when it was day light the result was a splendid sight-from the German trenches to ours was a thick line of Germans, all stiff and cold ; some of them had got up to our barbed wire, and they were lying across it like ‘ dirty washing.’ All this happened during the 25 days we were in the trenches, without a rest, wash and shave, and brush up. The result of these 25 days to the Battalion was about 300 killed and wounded. We had three days’ rest after that, and now we have taken up some different trenches, where the fighting is not quite so fierce. We are all happy and singing all day long.”

In another letter Pte Bale says :- “I was pleased to see that the good old St Matthew’s School is still thinking of the ‘old boys.’ There are a lot of names of ‘ old boys ‘ that I know on the programme, but I don’t think many are out here yet. . . At present I am sitting in my trench, which is not very pleasant, as we had snow a few days ago. It has been freezing ever since, and I can assure you we are nearly frozen out. The fighting now is pretty calm, but the weather is cold.”

AN ENJOYABLE PICNIC.

Pte A Bottrill, 1st Coldstream Guards, son of Mr H Bottrill, 94 Bridget Street, who, as we reported recently, is an inmate of a hospital at Versailles, suffering from wounds, has written home. He says : “This last month in Belgium has been so hot that it was been as much as we could do to look after our lives, fighting day after day and night after night, and no sleep. It has been like a nightmare, and at times I thought I should go mad, with dead and dying men on all sides. When I got hit I didn’t think I should get away alive, as there were shells on all sides, and the Germans had got through one part of our line.

Several times I had to lie down because the bullets were coming so thick, and I thought escape was impossible. That is how I kept going until I took cover in a wood, where I found several dead Frenchmen and horses ; but, thank God, I am alive. We have had some losses, but there is one consolation : we have made those infernal Germans squeal more than once, and if they have warmed us up we have done in about ten times as many. But they have got to know us now, and they say we Coldstreamers are ten times worse than hell-and that’s hot enough. On Oct 29th we fought back to back, and on the day I got hit we finished up after a most adventurous and enjoyable three picnic (I don’t think).” Further on Pte Bottrill says : “ When my chum, who is in here wounded, rode a cow from the firing line you would have laughed. The general and home staff officers were watching his antics from a farm building, and had a good laugh over it. My friend says he didn’t care ; it was quicker than walking if it did make him sore.”

HAPPY AT THE FRONT.

Pte F Collins, of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, in a letter from the front to his uncle, Mr T Wilson, of Spring Street, received on Wednesday morning, states : “You cannot understand how much a letter will cheer us Tommies up at the front, especially when no news is forthcoming. You will be pleased to hear that I am quite well and in the beet of health, and I must tell you that we are all very happy up at the front in spite of all hardships. They will not discourage us one little bit. One would think we were out here for sport, and not for the war, according to the spirit of the troops. We have been provided with new warm clothing, &c, since we have been back in billets, having a well-earned rest after coming out of the trenches. This regiment has evidently been in for some severe fighting. A casualty list published on Tuesday contained the names of no less than 55 men killed.

WAR CASUALTIES.

OLD MURRAYIAN’S NOBLE DEATH.

In reply to a letter from a local gentleman asking for details of the death of Gunner Thrasher, son of Mrs A Henson, 6 Charlotte Street, Rugby, Major C C Robertson, 11th Battery R.F.A, writes :- “ This man was killed in action whilst gallantly serving his gun under fire, his death being instantaneous and without suffering. He was shot by a bullet through the heart. Please convey my sincere sympathy to his mother, and say that she may be proud of the conduct of her son, who was doing his duty manfully and well. It will be a comfort to her to know he was spared all suffering and pain.” Gunner Thrasher, whose death we reported recently, was only 20 years of age and a late pupil of the Murray School, which may well be proud of numbering such a gallant lad among its “ old boys.”

NEW BILTON MAN KILLED IN ACTION.

Much sympathy will be felt for Mrs C Dagley, of 11 Bridget Street, New Bilton, who on Saturday evening received official intimation that her third son, Pte Charles Jackson Dagley, 2nd Dragoon Guards (Queen’s Boys), had been killed in action on October 31st. Pte Dagley, who was only 22 years of age, was the son of the late Mr Charles Dagley, and had been in the Army nearly five years. Previous to enlisting he was employed at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s. His elder brother is at the front with the Coldstream Guards.

OLD ST MATTHEW’S BOY SEVERELY WOUNDED.

Mr F J A Sparks, “ Oakville,” Stephen Street, Rugby, has received a postcard from one of the hospitals at the front, stating that Bandsman J Milne, of the Scottish Rifles, has received a severe wound of the spine, causing paralysis. His condition is grave, but there is no immediate danger. Bandsman Milne is an old St Matthew’s boy, and his father, the late Colour-Sergt Milne, was for many years an instructor to the Rugby School Officers’ Training Corps.