Everett, Frederick Stanley. Died 16th Dec 1917

Frederick Stanley EVERETT was born in 1897 in Daventry, the son of Charles Frederick (born 1869, Marsh Gibbon, Buckinghamshire) and his wife, Edith Annie, née Wall, Everett who were married on 18 July 1895 in Daventry, Northamptonshire. They moved to Narborough in Leicestershire in about 1899 for two or so years, before moving to Rugby at some date before 1901.

In 1901, the family were living at 118 Abbey Street, Rugby, and in 1911 the family were at 42 Claremont Road Rugby, a six room house. Frederick now had six younger siblings and was working as a ‘junior railway clerk’. His father was also a ‘railway clerk’.

Frederick attended the Murray School and in 1909 was highly commended in a competition to make a model dog kennel,[1] and in 1910 when in Form ‘St. VII’ received an Attendance Prize.[2] ‘He was at one time a teacher in the Murray Sunday School and secretary of St Andrew’s Guild Cricket Club. He was also a member of St Peter’s Church Choir, …’[3]

Frederick had been employed as a Goods Clerk by the L & N-W Railway Company at Berkswell and Hampton.[4]

He joined up when he was aged 18 in January 1916,[5] into the Army Service Corps as No.DN2/155017. When he went abroad is unknown, but it was probably after training, later in 1916. He went to Mesopotania and was part of the 971st MT [Motor Transport] Company.   At some date he was promoted to Lance Corporal.

In 1914, Baghdad had been the headquarters of the Turkish Army in Mesopotamia. It was the ultimate objective of the Indian Expeditionary Force ‘D’ and the goal of the force besieged and captured at Kut in 1916. On 11 March 1917, the British entered Baghdad … The British Indian Army played a significant role … but the position was not fully consolidated until the end of April.

Amidst the confusion of the retreat a large part of the Ottoman army (some 15,000 soldiers) was captured.[6] Given the continually depressing news in France and elsewhere, this was a significant and newsworthy achievement. British forces (and Russians, advancing from the north and east) closed in on the Turks throughout the autumn of 1917.[7]  Baghdad became the Expeditionary Force’s advanced base, with two stationary hospitals and three casualty clearing stations.

By 18 November 1917, the distribution of the Mesopotamia Expeditionary Corps,[8] suggested that the No.971 Mechanical Transport Company was equipped with Ford vans and was on the Tigris Front and they were in the Basra or Baghdad Garrison as Army Troops in the 18th Division which had just begun to be formed, although the bulk of the units (most of which were to come from India) had not yet arrived in Mesopotamia on that date.

The supply lines had become overlong and General Maude had died of cholera on 18 November 1917. He was replaced by General William Marshall who halted operations for the winter.

‘… conditions in Mesopotamia defy description.   Extremes of temperature (120 degrees F was common); arid desert and regular flooding; flies, mosquitoes and other vermin: all led to appalling levels of sickness and death through disease.   Under these incredible conditions, units fell short of officers and men, and all too often the reinforcements were half-trained and ill-equipped. Medical arrangements were quite shocking, with wounded men spending up to two weeks on boats before reaching any kind of hospital. These factors, plus of course the unexpectedly determined Turkish resistance, contributed to high casualty rates. …’[9]

11012 killed,
3985 died of wounds,
12678 died of sickness,
13492 missing and prisoners (9000 at Kut),
51836 wounded.’[10]

Frederick Everett died on 16 December 1917, aged 21. He was one of the very many who ‘Died of Sickness’ in the base hospital at Basra. He was buried in the Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery in Plot III. G. 11. His gravestone bears the wording, ‘Father in Thy Gracious Keeping, Leave we now our Dear One Sleeping’. 

Baghdad (North Gate) War Cemetery is today located in a very sensitive area in the Waziriah Area of the Al-Russafa district of Baghdad. … The North Gate Cemetery was begun in April 1917 and has been greatly enlarged since the end of the First World War by graves brought in from other burial grounds in Baghdad and northern Iraq, and from battlefields and cemeteries in Anatolia where Commonwealth prisoners of war were buried by the Turks.[11]

When news of his death reached Rugby in December 1917, after the service at St Peter’s church on Sunday evening ‘… the ‘Dead March’ in Saul was played to honour his memory.’[12]

Frederick Stanley EVERETT was awarded the British War and Victory Medals, and is also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Frederick Stanley Everett was researched and written for the Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, October

[1]       Rugby Advertiser, 6 November 1909.

[2]       Rugby Advertiser, 5 November 1910.

[3]       Rugby Advertiser, 29 December 1917.

[4]       Rugby Advertiser, 29 December 1917; also info. given in Birmingham Daily Post, Friday, 28 December 1917.

[5]       Rugby Advertiser, 29 December 1917; also info. given in Birmingham Daily Post, Friday, 28 December 1917.

[6]         https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesopotamian_campaign.

[7]         http://www.1914-1918.net/mespot.htm.

[8]         http://www.314th.org/Nafziger-Collection-of-Orders-of-Battle/917BKMA.pdf.

[9]         http://www.1914-1918.net/mespot.htm.

[10]     Data from ‘Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire’, London: HMSO, 1920.

[11]         https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/57303/baghdad-(north-gate)-war-cemetery/.

[12]     Rugby Advertiser, 29 December 1917.

Holmes, Bertie. Died 20th Nov 1917

Bertie Holmes was born in Leicester in 1894 and baptised on 3rd June at St Lukes, Leicester, to William and Sarah Ann (nee Facer).

In 1901 he was living at 18 Union St., Rugby with his parents and 2 siblings. William was a bricklayer’s labourer.

By 1911 Bertie was with his with his mother at 26 New St., New Bilton. His profession was given as “Bore-maker Cylinder” and he was aged 16. Sarah Ann, a char woman, is listed as married, although William is not with the family. Perhaps he had died, as in early 1912 she married George Etherington.

Bert must have signed up at the start of the war, joining the 1st battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (service no. 1664) a letter written to the Rugby Advertiser on 24 July 1915 states that he had been in France from November 1914:

A REQUEST FOR RAZORS.
Pte H Holmes, 1664 B Company, 1st Royal Warwicks, serving with the British Expeditionary Force, whose home is at 47 Wood Street, Rugby, has written us stating that there are twelve or more men in the regiment to his knowledge without razors, and if any of our readers have old razors that will shave the men referred to would be glad of them. We understand that all men have razors served out to them as part of their equipment, but apparently the men Pte Holmes refers to have lost theirs. Our correspondent informs us that he went out to France on November 11th last year, and has been in hospital twice. He adds:” We are out of the trenches now for a longer rest. Our regiment took part in that affair on July 6th. We were called up on the night we were going to be relieved, but had to stop owing to the Germans keeping on counter-attacking. The Old Warwicks helped to hold them back well.”

 

Another report on 18th September 1915 records a letter sent to his old schoolmaster at Murray School:
“I have been in hospital myself with gas poison, but it was not very serious. The first time they gassed us was about the 27th of April, and we lost a terrible number of men. The time I got the gas was last Whit-Monday morning (it was not so bad that time). The gas seems to take all the use out of your body, make your eyes smart and run, and your throat sore. It is rotten stuff. We had only got respirators then, but now we have got gas helmets, which are very good, as no gas can get through for two hours. So now we are prepared for it, but on the first occasion we had nothing at all for it. The next time we stepped into the mud again was on the 8th of July, when the Rifle Brigade took the trenches alongside of the Yser Canal. The order came up for us to reinforce the Lancashires because the Germans continued to make counter-attacks. On the 10th they made seven attacks, but they were no good, because a German officer and 26 men were made prisoners, and he said they were all that were left of 600. I have met both lots of Rugby Territorials. We have had the Infantry on the left of us in the trenches, where we are now, and we have had the Battery firing on the trenches in front of us.”

He would have fought in most of the battles on the western front and was awarded the DCM with the following citation:
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Acting as a company runner for two years, he has been in the majority of the actions in which the battalion has taken part. He has always proved himself most reliable, and on many occasions has taken messages through very heavy fire, displaying singular devotion to duty.

He died in the aftermath of Passchendaele. His death is “officially accepted to be” on 20th November 1917.

His name is listed on the Arras Memorial.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

 

Golby, George Arthur. Died 22nd Mar 1917

George Arthur GOLBY, was born in Paddington, London, in about early 1895, the son of Arthur John Golby, a painter, and his wife, Emma née Hamer, who was born in Marylebone, London. Arthur and Emma’s marriage had been registered in Greenwich in Q2 1894. Whilst George was born in Paddington, it seems likely his mother had been visiting her parents.

The family seems to have been established in Rugby, where Arthur John Golby had been born in about 1868 in Hillmorton, his father in turn having come to Hillmorton from Oxfordshire, before the 1880s, to work as a bricklayer.

George was christened at Hillmorton on 14 April 1895 and his sister was born in Rugby in about 1897.   By 1911 the family were living at 5 Paradise Street, Rugby.

George attended Murray School, where he was the ‘… winner of the Over Prize – which is offered annually to the boy who, in the opinion of his fellows, shows the best example of true manliness – in 1907.’[1] By 1911, when George was 16, he was a Clerk for an Electrical Engineers, and living with his parents and younger sister. He is not mentioned on the British Thompson Houston memorial, so must have worked for another firm in Rugby.

There is some confusion over George’s military service. His death notice suggested that he was a ‘…L-Corpl … of one of the Rifle Corps …’, however, his Medal Card and the CWGC describe him as Sapper No.95858 in the 89th Field Company Royal Engineers [RE]. His Medal Card also stated that he went to France on 30 October 1915, although there is no specific mention of reinforcements arriving with the 89th around that date in the War Diary.

The 89th Field Company were attached to the 14th Division which had been in action in August and September 1916 at Hooge, Delville Wood and Flers-Courccelette. It seems likely that George was part of the general reinforcement during the ‘quieter’ winter period as between 30 October and George’s death on 22 March 1917, the 14th Division and hence the 89th were not in any major actions, although they would later be actively involved in the battles at Scarpe in April 1917.

George wrote a letter to W T Coles Hodges which was published in the Rugby Advertiser in January 1916.[2]

OLD MURRAYIAN’S LETTER

Sapper Geo A Golby, a former scholar at the Murray School, and an “Over” Prize man, in a letter to Mr W T Coles Hodges[3] from the front says: “I have been out here since early in October, and have got quite used to the shells, etc, screaming over my head … I look forward to receiving the Rugby Advertiser every week, and am always pleased when I see the name of one of my old school chums in the list of recruits. I think by the number of names I have seen that our school is doing its share to free the world of these barbarians, and I am sure that if those who have not enlisted could just have a glimpse of this country, they would not hesitate for a minute. Only this morning we passed about a dozen old people (all between 60 and 70 years of age, I should think) whom the Germans had shelled out of their homes. It is a sight such as these that make us so anxious to get at the Huns. … I am pleased to say we are having a spell of fine weather just now, and goodness only knows we want it, as we are nearly up to our knees in mud in some places. This is the only thing to complain of out here; the food is extra.”

However, George was killed ‘… by a stray shell …’ on 22 March 1917 which was a month before the battle of Arras, when he was involved in work just to the south of Arras making the preparations for that battle.

The 89th Field Company’s War Diary[4] relates that in later February 1917 the Company had been strengthening defences in Arras, working to prepare Advanced Dressing Stations, strengthening cellars, preparing Trench Mortar positions and signal stations. From 18-20 March 1917 they were working on bridging trenches and were subjected to heavy shelling by the Germans. Then on 21 and 22 March …

21 March – … Nos. 3 and 4 Sections with two parties of 80 men each from 41st Bde, clearing main road through Beaurains.

22 March … Work the same as 21st. … No.4 Section caught by shellfire in Ronville … casualties, Lce Cpl Mitchell, Lce Cpl Golby, Saprs Anderson, E Durston, J Jones, Little, killed, …

Three more of the Engineers in that working group were wounded and two concussed.

George was buried at Beaurains Road Cemetery, Beaurains in grave ref: 1 C 21. His mother chose the inscription, ‘Lord we asked of thee life. But thou hast given him life everlasting’. The cemetery was near where he had been working on the southern outskirts of Arras. The five other men from his Field Company who were killed by the same shell were buried beside him in graves C18 to C23.

The cemetery was only begun a few days before Beaurains was captured by Commonwealth forces on 18 March 1917 [just four days before George’s death]. It was a month before the Battle of Arras began, and the Germans were still in nearby Tilloy-les-Mofflaines. The cemetery was used (sometimes under the name of Ronville Forward Cemetery) until the beginning of June by the 14th (Light) Division Burial Officer and by fighting units.[5]

George was awarded the Victory and British medals and the 1915 Star. He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate. The Rugby Advertiser noted that ‘… all the Over prizemen, who are of military age are actually in the firing line, and that two have made the great sacrifice, the other being Corpl Barnwell.’[6]

After the war, his mother was writing to the CWGC from 202 Ducane Road, Shepherd’s Bush, London, and it seems that Emma and George had moved to London – George’s death was registered in Hammersmith in 1927.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

This article on George Arthur GOLBY was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, February 2017.

 

[1]       From a notice of death in the Rugby Advertiser.

[2]       Rugby Advertiser, 8 January 1916.

[3]       Wm Thos Coles Hodges of 17 Gainsborough Street, Rugby, was headmaster of Murray School from at least 1906.

[4]       Royal Engineers, 14th Division: Piece 1889/3: 89 Field Company Royal Engineers (1915 May – 1919 Jun). Also available at www.ancestry.co.uk.

[5]       CWGC, http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/…

[6]       Lance Corporal George Thomas BARNWELL, No.3026, 1st/6th Bn South Staffs, was killed on 15 July 1915. He was the son of J and E Barnwell of 35 Claremont Road, Rugby and buried in Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. See https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2015/07/15/barnwell-george-thomas-died-15th-jul-1915/.

4th Dec 1915. Interesting Letter from an Old Murrayian

INTERESTING LETTER FROM AN OLD MURRAYIAN.

AN INSPIRING PICTURE FOR SLACKERS.

The following letter has been received by a young lady in Rugby, whose brother, an Old Murrayian, is at the front :—

“ I am in a dug-out about 15 feet under the ground, and the only illumination available is a novel one. It is a piece of rag dipped in vaseline ; but tomorrow our fresh supply of candles arrive, so I shall look forward to a ‘ bright ‘ future. I will try and describe to you what my vision of the scenery is like. To do that I shall have to gain a point of prominence ; but there are plenty of them here—namely, brickstacks—as at present my home is in the trenches which are situated in the brickfields. This district has figured in General French’s despatches a good many times, and has been the scene of some severe fighting. Evidence of this is still scattered around. It is noted for being a hot quarter, and it lives up to its name. The first thing you notice is the maze of trenches as far as the eye can reach. Some of them were demolished, and others intact, having stood the brunt of it all. The intervening ground between the firing lines, called “ No Man’s Land,” is completely ploughed up by the enormous number of shells that have burst there. One would think it impossible to get through the barbed wire entanglements. Certainly now they are intact, but you should see them after the high explosive shells have played their part and blown them to bits, and the case is altered. The chasm that one can just discern is a blown-up mine crater, and whichever side holds these craters, makes strong efforts to retain them. This is where bomb throwers shine, as parties are organised at night to try and capture them. It is very dangerous work, as there is generally a maxim gun in the crater. In the distance one can see ruined chateaux and buildings, which have tasted the power of a “ Jack Johnson,” also the coal mines (called ‘ Fosses ‘ here), which mark the vicinity of some desperate fighting. These brickstacks are the delight of the sniper, as concealment is so easy, and such a commanding view can be obtained of the surrounding country. Eleven are in our possession, and two are in the hands of the Huns, so we have a great advantage over them. The stacks, being so conspicuous, get their full share of shells, and one is very lucky if, when looking from them, he does not get a greeting of shrapnel. This is the place where Mick O’Leary won his V.C, when the Guards captured the trenches from the Huns. There are plenty of graves which contain dead Germans ; also broken rifles and equipment which once belonged to them lying about. It gets very cold at night, but we have plenty of clothes. We had a bit of sun this morning. It was the signal for the aeroplanes to make their appearance, and what a reception they had from the anti-aircraft guns. We have had a good bombardment, and I think the Huns sent over everything that Krupps manufacture. . . .“ As we pass down the road to —-, we pass several graveyards, with hundreds of wooden crosses. What an inspiring picture to place before the slackers at home. One lives and learns, and I would not exchange positions with anyone in England at the present moment. With all the hardships, everything is so jolly, and when the war is over I hope to be able to take you all for a nice trip round here and act as your guide, because I pride myself upon knowing a little bit of France now from Ypres to Arras.”

In another letter to his old schoolmaster, Mr W T Coles Hodges, F.E.I.S, the same writer, after describing the scenery near where he is stationed, says:—

“ The intervening ground between the firing trenches, called ‘ No Man’s Land,’ is dotted with dead bodies, and here friend and foe lie side by side. The rain makes everything so miserable and muddy, and it is a picture to see the men come out of the trenches, covered with mud, and knowing what it is to be strangers to a wash for a couple of days ; but still one can always bet upon having an accompaniment on the mouth organ to march with.” The writer describes the cemeteries on the La Basse-Bethune Road, and says: “ Each contains many trim little crosses, and in some cases evergreens and flowers have been planted among the graves by comrades who cherish the memory of a chum so much. Large crosses are generally erected when a considerable body of men belonging to the regiment get killed. For instance, there is one here which has the following inscription : ‘ To a platoon of Guards,’and as a platoon is from 50 to 60 strong, this goes to show what severe fighting has taken place in this vicinity. Sometimes I come across an old school chum, and then the conversation generally drifts to what is a memory to me, and a very pleasant one at that—our schooldays at Murray Road School.

NARROW ESCAPE OF AN OLD MURRAYIAN.

Pte Horace Anderson, of the 2nd Warwicks, son of Mr W Anderson, 102 Winfield Street, Rugby, is in hospital at Torquay with a shattered thumb and slight wound in the side. He was also gassed, and for a time he was in a critical condition. His mother has been to Torquay to see him, and he gave her a Testament which he was carrying in his breast pocket at the time he was acting as bomb carrier at the battle of Loos. A bullet had struck the Testament, smashing away a portion of one corner, but the missile was evidently diverted by contact with the book, otherwise it would have passed through, or dangerously near, his heart. His cap also had a bullet-hole, which entered just over the right temple, passed along the side, and out at the back, so that he evidently had two very narrow escapes from direct rifle fire ; and after being gassed he was lying in the trenches for come hours.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

The third son (William Harry) of Mr Chas Packwood, of, Warwick Street, Rugby, has joined the 2nd Battalion of the Honourable Artillery Company (Infantry). Mr Packwood now has three sons serving with the Colours.

A LUCKY BATTALION.

Driver Philip Strongitharm, of the 25th Battalion R.F.A. has this week been on leave to his home at 8 Fasy Lane, New Bilton. after about 16 months at the front. The battalion to which he belongs has seen a lot of fighting, having been at the war since August last year, but they have come through so far with comparatively few casualties amongst the men. The loss of horses has been rather serious, and in the engagement at Ypres, when taking part in the withdrawing of guns from an untenable position, Driver Strongitharm had three horses shot under him in quick succession. He has had a number of hairbreadth escapes, but has not sustained the slightest injury, and appears none the worse for his spell of active service. Like so many others who have had personal knowledge of the actual fighting in France, he believes that the German resistance is weakening and that circumstances will in time compel them to evacuate Belgium, though they have got such a firm footing in the country that it will not be an easy matter now to expel them.

TEN DAYS’ LEAVE.

Sapper T Lord, of the Royal Engineers, whose home is at 28 Bennett Street, came to Rugby on Tuesday for 10 days’ leave, after being for a while at Leicester Hospital. He was wounded in the thigh, and retains the bullet as a souvenir. He has also undergone an operation for varicose veins, so may not be fit for work in the trenches for some time. When he leaves Rugby next week he has to report himself at Newark.

Sapper T Lord was attached to the 15th Scottish (New Army) Division, which played such a distinguished part in the advance at Loos, and when Lieut Johnson of that company gained the Victoria Cross for rallying the Scottish detachment at a critical moment at Hill 70. Most of the other officers in his company were either killed or wounded. On the Thursday following the advance, Sapper Lord, with a party of ten men, under Corporal Overill, of the B.T.H, were burying the dead between the old lines, when the enemy threw over a couple of shrapnel shells, a bullet from one of which wounded Sapper Lord in the thigh. Corporal Overill also sustained a slight scalp wound. While Sapper Lord was on a hospital barge on the canal at Bethune, a German aeroplane bombed the railway station, and during the unwelcome visitor’s stay our informant says he spent the most uncomfortable minutes of any he experienced in France, Sapper Lord was conveyed to England in the Hospital ship Anglia, which has since been sunk in the channel, and is full of praise for the excellent treatment which the wounded receive from the R A.M.C, the Red Cross, and Hospital workers generally.

ANOTHER RUGBY MAN AWARDED THE D.C.M.

Amongst those who have recently been awarded the D.C.M is Bombardier J R Handyside, D Battery, 71st Brigade Royal Field Artillery. He received the distinction for conspicuous gallantry from the 26th September to the 14th October, 1915, during which time his battery was in the open and constantly under a very heavy fire. He frequently volunteered to mend telephone wires under heavy fire, thereby successfully maintaining communications. Bombardier Handyside had been previously brought to notice for coolness and bravery on the 25th September near Loos, when he repeatedly volunteered to repair wires under very heavy fire, although he was suffering from the effect of gas fumes at the time.

Bombr Handyside hails from Newcastle, but when war broke out he was working at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s, and lodged at the house of Mrs Hayward, 43 Lodge Road. Rugby. He enlisted as a gunner on September 3rd, 1914, and has now been promoted to the rank of Corporal. In addition to the D.C.M he has been awarded the French Medal Militaire.

RUGBY MAGISTERIAL,

SATURDAY.—Before T Hunter, Esq.

AN ABSENTEE.—James Crosier, 27 Newbold Road, Rugby, of the 3rd Lancashire Fusiliers, pleaded guilty to being an absentee from his regiment.—Supt Clarke stated that he had received a communication from the commanding officer of the Battalion, asking him to arrest defendant.—Remanded to await the arrival of an escort.

COVENTRY MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL

MONDAY.

LOST IN A FIELD.—Walter Crofts, a Rugby crane driver, explained that during a night walk he got lost in a field, encountered some barbed wire, and tore his hand. This was in answer to a summons by Willans and Robinson, Ltd., Rugby, alleging that he absented himself without leave.

“ Were you practising for the front ?” asked the Chairman, “ No, I was walking with my brother,” he replied. He explained other losses of time by stating that he attended a wedding on one occasion, and at another time he had his jaw fractured by a man in the shop. The Chairman said defendant seemed to find a good deal of trouble, and should be a little more careful at week-ends. He would be fined 15s.

A WORKER’S PROTEST.—That he refused to do work he was engaged upon, and stood by his bench for four and a half hours, were the complaints against Leonard J Hopkins, 99 Victoria Street, New Bilton, by the B.T.H, Coventry. His reply was that he went to enlist, and after that was put on assembling instead of his proper job as a driller. He could not earn a living, and stood idle as a protest. He was fined 2s 6d.

CHURCH LAWFORD.

THE WHITE FEATHER.—Some little stir has been caused during the last week in this village. It would seem that quite recently a young man residing in the village was the recipient of a white feather, which came to him through the post, and of course made him very angry. Being a Territorial, he at once wrote a long letter to his commanding officer expressing his willingness and readiness to fight for his country, etc, and also accusing a tradesman’s wife (whose son has been in the trenches for twelve months) in the village of sending the obnoxious article and of insulting him in various ways. As a result of this letter, the lady in question has had a visit from the local police officer on the subject, and as she and her family are, absolutely and entirely innocent of the charges made against them, they in their turn are highly indignant, and are making inquiries which may possibly result in an action for slander.

BOOKS & PERIODICALS WANTED FOR SOLDIERS & SAILORS.

SINGLE COPIES GRATEFULLY ACCEPTED AT THE POST OFFICE.

As is now generally known, there has been for some months past a scheme in operation under which magazines and books which have been given by the public for the use of soldiers and sailors, have been forwarded by the Post Office to the men free of charge.

The scheme so far has proved a great success, but with the growth of the Army the demand for literature has increased, and the Agencies recognized by the War Office and Admiralty for the distribution of literature have to face a demand to satisfy which a supply of over 100,000 items every week is required from the Post Office.

At present only about half that amount is being sent, owing to a recent falling off in the supplies handed in by the public.

It is possible that it is not known to everyone who may have books or magazines for which they have no further use that by merely handing them in loose at any Post Office, they will be at once forwarded to the distributing centre in London.

This is a good work in which almost everyone can participate with the pleasant thought that, at little or no cost or trouble, every article so given will afford much pleasure to many of the soldiers and sailors who are sacrificing so much for the nation and the common cause.

It is difficult, of course, to make this fact fully known, so that anyone will be doing a good service by merely talking about the matter to their friends.

Throughout the Rugby district during the Christmas season there will no doubt be a very large number of magazines and light literature purchased, to be lightly thrown aside when read. These are the books the soldiers and sailors are eager to get, to help them to lighten the monotonous periods of their present kind of life, so that it is earnestly hoped every person who becomes acquainted with this scheme will do all he or she can to assist.

If you have only one book or magazine you can spare, hand it in at any Post Office in the town or country district just as it is. The Post Office will tie the articles in bundles and despatch them without delay.

WHAT AN ENEMY NEWSPAPER THE SAYS OF US.

“ We see that the Englishman—unlike the good business man he is so persistently deemed—upon noting that his Eastern ally is being slowly but surely driven back, will, instead of making the best of it, do his utmost to settle down for a three year war, or four year war, working with bull dog tenacity to crush his enemy in the end. When the end will be is no concern, of his. He began the business. He will see it through. In this strange phase of the English character there is enormous strength. We may be sure that if all the belligerents are beaten into insensibility, he will still hammer away with bleeding fists, tired and exhausted. England, in her persistence, will never stop, even if she knows that the longer the war lasts the more she will bleed—even if she knows that all possible gains at the finish will not make good half of what she has lost. . . .

“ Those Germans who look forward to an early peace in this world with longing hearts must turn their eyes on England hopelessly, for as long as the sun of peace is not rising in the isles to the west of us, there is no hope of peace. And England, secure in her citadel, behind the bulwark of her fleet, can go on and on and on.”— AZ EST, (Budapest) “ Sphere.”

GRAMOPHONE NOT GONE ASTRAY.

In the Advertiser of November 20 we inserted a paragraph under the heading “ Gramophone Gone Astray,” asking for the name and address of the person who left a letter at our Office purporting to be sent from the boys at the front with reference to a gramophone which had been sent out to them. There was no response to that invitation, but Miss M Evans, of James Street, Rugby, who collected subscriptions and sent out an instrument of this kind about a month ago has received a letter from a member of E Company, stating that it came duly to hand. It sustained some damage in transit, but was put in order again, and has since been used by each platoon of C Company (in which E Company is now merged) in turn, when off duty, and, he adds, “ I can assure you many happy hours have already been passed away with it.” Each platoon can use it as often as possible, but those in the firing line do not have it, because that is impossible.

RUGBY TOWN V.A.D. AUXILIARY WAR HOSPITAL.

The Hospital is now almost completely furnished and is expected to be opened on Wednesday, the 8th December.

27th Nov 1915. Local War Notes

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Earl Poulett is gazetted a temporal captain in the Warwickshire R.H.A (T.F).

Mr Harold Eaden, solicitor, Rugby, has enlisted in his group under Lord Derby’s scheme.

Armourer-Staff-Sergeant F H Dodson, 7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, writing to Mr T A Wise from the front, says : “ The other day there were three of us together out here, and the sum total of our years’ service was 100 years.”

Lance-Corpl N H Priday and Pte F Foss, of the 1/7 Royal Warwickshire Regiment, have been nominated to commissions, the former in the West Yorks (the Prince of Wales’ Own) and the latter in the East Yorks Regiment.

Mr W J Penn, son of Mr W Penn, farmer, of Wootton, has been gazetted second-lieutenant in the 12th Battalion Welsh Regiment, Nov 3rd. He is an old Northampton and County School boy , and of St John’s College, London. He has been Headmaster and Scoutmaster of Norton, near Daventry.

Sergt W C D Miles, son of Mr and Mrs Miles, of Catthorpe, has received a commission in the Westminster Dragoons. He is son-in-law to Mr and Mrs T C Thompson, of Murray Road, Rugby, and was a draughtsman on the Willesdon staff of the B.T.H Company when he enlisted, soon after war broke out. Previous to this, Lieut Miles was in the Drawing Office at the B.T.H at Rugby.

“ BUCK THE SLACKERS UP!”

Bandsman B Wilkins, of the Rifle Brigade, writing to a friend in Rugby on November 17th, says : “ I have seen the Rugby papers this week and I see the recruiting is getting better. That is what I like to see. England will need all she has got, so just buck the slackers up, and tell them the more men we can get, the better and easier they are making it for their comrades who are doing their bit out here. Nobody knows what Tommy’s troubles are till he gets out here and tries a bit ; so you see, the sooner we can get the men, the sooner we shall try and bring these terrible times to an end. Now, buck up, Rugby, and try and win back the men you have lost.”

PTE H DYER, OF DUNSMORE, KILLED.

News has been received at Dunsmore that Pte Henry E Dyer, who left his employment in the gardens at Dunsmore House to enlist in the 10th R.W.R last December, has died in Reading Hospital from wounds received at the Front. Pte Dyer, who was a native of Gloucestershire, and was 24 years of age, was wounded in the head and groin by a bomb while in a trench in France on September 6th, and succumbed to his injuries ten days afterwards. He had been at the front about two months when he received his fatal injuries. Pte Dyer had worked at Dunsmore Gardens for nearly a year before enlisting.

MURRAY SCHOOL NOTES.

Pte A S Horswell, a former member of the Murray School Staff, writing to Mr W T Coles Hodges from a “ dug out ” in the Mediterranean theatre,says : “We landed on August 9th, just three weeks after leaving England, and proceeded straight to the firing line under shrapnel fire, We saw life for four days. Talk about snipers ! They were up in the trees, absolutely surrounding us ; they were the chief cause of the casualties. Fortunately they were more or less indifferent shots, otherwise we should have come off worse than we did. Since then we have had various trips to the firing line, interspersed with spasms of “ fatigue ” work, unloading lighters, filling water-cans for the firing line, and digging. We see some glorious sunsets out here at times ; also some very fine play of light on various islands. I myself never believed the deep blue sea theory till we came out hero. In the Mediterranean you get a lovely ultra-marine in the day, which gradually darkens to deep indigo in the evening.”

Pte H F Baker, R.A.M.C, has been invalided home from the Dardanelles, and is now in hospital at Brighton. Amongst other things in a very interesting letter to his old headmaster, Mr Hodges, he describes the passing of the Rock of Gibraltar on the way home, and says : “ The top of the rock was hid from view by great white clouds. The peaks on the mainland were gilded under the sun’s rays, making a fine contrast.” He mentions that he met Arthur Webb, Lower Hillmorton Road, at Mudros, and adds that he looked very well.

Two members of the Murray School Staff have enlisted-Mr J H Fazakerley in the R.A.M.C, under Lord Derby’s scheme, and Mr A L Westbury in the R.E at Chatham, to which place he proceeded on Tuesday last.

LETTER FROM OLD ST MATTHEW’S BOY.

WHY SO MANY MEN ARE MISSING.

Lance-Corpl Harold Thompson, 6th Oxford & Bucks L.I., well-known in Rugby for his swimming prowess, an “ Old Boy” of St Matthew’s, writes to Mr R H Myers, the headmaster :—

“ We had the heaviest shelling from the Germans last week, but luckily our casualty list was all right, although the parapets were badly knocked about in places. We were just over a hundred yards from the German lines, so you can imagine that we were not over-anxious to look over the top during the day, for their snipers are very hot shots. It is very quiet all along our front now, and one would hardly think that a big engagement had taken place so recently as Sept 25th. The only remaining indications of a fight are the dead bodies between the lines, and these have to stop there, as it is so dangerous to go out to find the names, and that is what makes the missing list so great. We have sent out patrols nearly every night to find out any details about the bodies, but it is very difficult work and not very pleasant. One fellow went out and, losing his way, nearly walked into the German lines. They opened fire on him, but he happened to drop into a shell hole, and there he had to stop until the early hours of the morning, when the firing dropped off.

We happened to be in the firing on September 25th, and quite expected to go over the top, but our luck was out, and we had to cool our heels and wait, in case the Huns counter-attacked, but we were also disappointed in that. The bombardment previous to the attack was terrible. We could only see the German lines for five minutes after the guns started, but in that short time we could gather some idea of the destruction our guns were causing. About an hour before the attack started, it began to rain, and when the first soldier went over the parapet the ground was like a bog, but that did not prevent our fellows from charging impetuously. Since then it has developed into an artillery duel again. The French are still bombarding very heavily, and at night the sky is lit up all the time by the clash of the guns.

It is awful to see all the towns and villages destroyed as we move about to different parts of the line. The Huns seem to make a special mark of churches, and these is hardly a church round here that has not been damaged. The trenches are in a pretty bad condition. In places the mud and water are waist-deep. . . Please remember all the St Matthew’s “ Old Boy ” here to the teachers and pupils of the School.”

DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL.

Sergt Vernon S Robinson, of the 2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment, has been awarded the “ for conspicuous gallantry on the 25th September, 1915, near Vermelles. when he advanced by a communication trench leading from a trench just captured to one held by the enemy, with bombs, thus making certain that the trench was dear before is was blocked. On the 27th September he crossed several hundred yards of open country under heavy rifle fire and machine-gun fire to fetch bombs, which were urgently needed, and succeeded in bringing them to the point where they were required. In doing this Sergeant Robinson’s rifle, owing to the heavy fire, was smashed and rendered useless.”

Sergt Robinson, who is only 20 years of age, is a grandson of Mrs Robinson, 50 Manor Road, Rugby, and nephew of Mrs Lewis, 74 Manor Road. He came to Rugby six years ago, and was employed as an engine cleaner on the L & N.W.R. He was in the Special Reserve of the Royal Warwicks, and was undergoing his annual training in the Isle of Wight when the war broke out. He transferred to the Wiltshires, and went out to France in May last. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on the field, and has also received the French Military Medal.

THE ARMY’S WINTER KIT.

WARMER CLOTHES FOR THE KILTED TROOPS.

The coming of winter has found the War Office Department whose duty it is to clothe the Army fully prepared with supplies of warm clothing for the protection of the troops against the rigours of winter warfare. The following is a list of the apparel provided by the military authorities for each soldier at the front :-

Winter service cap.
Waterproof cover for cap.
Cap comforter.
Body belt.
Woollen vest and drawers.
Shirt.
Cardigan waistcoat.
Tunic and trousers.
Fur or leather (flannel lined) jacket.
Great-coat.
Waterproof cape.
Fingerless gloves.
Woollen gloves.
Socks, puttees, and boots.

In addition, gum boots reaching to the top of the thigh are provided for men actually in the trenches. The special needs of the kilted regiments have not been overlooked, and auxiliary warm clothing is provided for them.

The authorized scale of equipment, we are informed, allows two shirts and four pairs of socks for each man. From time to time complaints reach this country that men in this or that battalion are in want of socks and shirts ; and appeals for these articles or money for purchasing them are advertised. It is stated on good authority that there is no real necessity for such appeals, as ample Government supplies are available to meet all demands made through the proper channels. Mufflers and mittens, however, are not a “ Government supply,” and the making, purchase, and collection of them is a field in which the generosity and industry of the public will be warmly welcomed.

RUGBY TERRITORIALS COMFORTS’ COMMITTEE.

DEAR SIR,—May I make a final appeal before Christmas for donations, and gifts of socks, mufflers, mittens, groceries, plum puddings, etc, for our local Territorials, appealing especially to the subscribers and old members of the Rugby E Company, 7th Warwicks

We have received very generous contributions from supporters of the Howitzer Brigade, but very few from supporters of E Company.

The weather in France is now very bad and the cold intense, in addition to which men have to walk or stand about in 18 inches of mud and water ; this is confirmed by a commanding officer on leave this week.

We hope to send every man from Rugby a Christmas parcel of groceries, etc, and a warm Christmas present, but this cannot be done without better support from the friends of the units.

If every subscriber and old member of each unit would help, we could do much to help our gallant Territorials spend a happy Christmas.—Yours faithfully.

A. W. ADNITT.

2 Regent St, Rugby.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Recruiting has not been quite so good at Rugby during the past week, either for immediate service or under Lord Derby’s Group Scheme [See next post]. The following have enlisted for immediate service with the Colours :—

KING’S ROYAL RIFLES.
H G King, 34 Campbell Street, New Bilton.
A Widdows, Heythorp, Oxon.
John Papworth, Clifton-on-Dunsmore.
A H Harwood, 24 Gas Street, Rugby.

ROYAL WARWICK REGIMENT.
T W Barrett, High Street, Hillmorton.
G Clarke, 42 Bath Street, Rugby.
W H Benjamin, Rowland Street, Rugby.
T Whiteman, 16 Winfield Street, Rugby.
Frank Boswell, Brook Street, Fenny Compton.
Geo Bradshaw, Hillmorton Wharf, Rugby.
W T Jeffs, Smith’s Lodging House, Gas St, Rugby.

3rd/7th WARWICKSHIRE REGT.
T Greasley, 108 Wood Street, Rugby.
H Moore, 47 Sandown Road, Rugby.

COLDSTREAM GUARDS.
A E Randall, 58 Manor Road, Rugby.

ROYAL ENGINEERS.
S Reader, Barrack Hill, Ravensthorpe, Northants.
S L Webb, Lawrence Sheriffe Cottages, Brownsover.

R.F.A.
Harry Hobley, Stretton-under-Fosse, Rugby.

NORTHANTS REGIMENT.
W T Cox, Ashby St Ledgers, Northants.

OXON & BUCK L.I.
G Spittle, Thurlaston, Rugby.

A. S. Corps.
John Robertson, 73 Heavy Tree Rd, Plumstead.
Geo Atkins, 70 Church End, Evers Holt, Woburn, Beds.

GRENADIER GUARDS.
P Gibbins, Willoughby, Rugby.

ARGYLE & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS.
J Gurden, 22 Sandown Road, Rugby.

DRIVER, R.E.
E Brown, Melton Mowbray.

LIVERPOOL REGIMENT.
J Wilson, 68 Nelson Road, Paisley.