Osborne, Mark Henry. Died 8th Apr 1916

Omitted from publication on 18th Apr 2016.

Mark Henry Osborne was born on 18th Jun 1889 at Harlestone, Northamptonshire and baptised there on 1st September the same year. He was the fourth child of Mark, a farm labourer and his wife Hannah (nee Goldby). They were married in Harlestone on 12th August 1883 and in 1891, when Mark Henry was a year old, the family were living with Hannah’s parents John and Eliza.

By 1901 they were no longer living with the Goldbys, but there were eight children in the household, including 10 month old Ada, the daughter of Mark Henry’s older sister Eliza, who was not listed with the family. Mark Henry was eleven years old and no occupation was given, his father and older brother John were both farm labourers.

By 1911 Henry, as he was now known, perhaps to distinguish him from his father, was 21 and an estate labourer. His parents had produced eleven children, ten of whom had survived. Only five were still living with the family, plus Ada and another granddaughter, Laura.

By the time the war started Henry Mark was employed by the London & North Western Railway in the Carriage Works in Rugby. He enlisted in Northampton on 1st September 1914, in the 1st Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment, private no. 13045, and after training arrived in France on 27th January 1915.

He would have experienced several battles during 1915 with the Northamptonshire Regiment taking heavy casualties in the attacks at Aubers Ridge and Loos. It was a cold winter and not a lot was happening in March/April 1916. The regiment was near Loos and took part in patrols and repair of trenches, when returned to billets, concerts were mentioned in the war diary. There was regular shelling by the enemy.

It is not known when and how Mark Henry Osborne was wounded, but he died on 8th April 1916 at Bethune. For much of the First World War, Bethune was comparatively free from bombardment and remained an important railway and hospital centre, as well as a corps and divisional headquarters. The 33rd Casualty Clearing Station was in the town until December 1917.

He was buried in the Bethune Town Cemetery. No inscription was added to the stone by his family, whose address is given as 82 New Cottages, Harlestone.

Mark Henry was awarded the Victory and British Medals and the 15 star.

As well as the Rugby Memorial Gates, he is remembered on the Harlestone War Memorial – as Harry Osborne, next to Criss Manning who died in 1914 and also a railway man in Rugby. They are both listed in the L&NM Railway Roll of Honour. M H Osborne was a carriage cleaner.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

8th Jun 1918. More Prisoners of War

MORE PRISONERS OF WAR.

The list of local war prisoners is still increasing, and the number has now grown to 110, so that increased subscriptions are needed to ensure that they are supplied with food parcels. It will be seen by an appeal from the committee in another column that the sum of £330 is required every month.

Mr J R Barker, the hon organising secretary, has received the badge of the British Red Cross Society and Order of St. John for his work in connection with the relief for local prisoners of war.

The following Rugby men have been reported prisoners of war :—Pte T W Florendine, Hants Regiment, son of Mr James Florendine, 19 Bridget Street (Limburg) ; Rifleman Arthur Lee, K.R.R, son of Mrs E Lee, 34 Sandown Road (Limburg) ; Pte Percy Prior, R.W.R, 20 Wood Street, Rugby, employed at the B.T.H as millwright (Soltau), and Pte W Edwards, Wilts Regt, son of Mr T Edwards, 99 Railway Terrace (Limburg).

£330 EVERY MONTH it now required to Feed the 110 Local War Prisoners.

Proofs are abundant in the assurances of exchanged prisoners that the parcels stood between them and starvation, and they speak not only for themselves but for their comrades who are still in captivity.

READ THESE EXTRACTS FROM SOME OF THEIR LETTERS :—

L.-Crpl. HARWOOD HANCOX (New Bilton), transferred to Switzerland, says : “ If it had not been for the help in food and clothing there would not be many of us alive to-day.”

Pte. A. KING (Napton), repatriated, says he “owes his life to the food you sent.”

Pte. P. G. DAVIS (Dunchurch) transferred to Switzerland, says : “ I do not know how I should have got on without your parcels ; I certainly should not have been in Switzerland now.”

Pte. P. MACE (Hillmorton), transferred to Switzerland, says “ I suppose you know that all we had to live on was the food that you sent us from England.”

FUNDS ARE URGENTLY NEEDED

Will you arrange a Flower and Vegetable Show, Fete, or other effort to raise funds this summer ?

Will you organise Weekly Collections at your place of Employment or amongst your friends ?

DONATIONS or promises of regular weekly or monthly subscriptions, which will be gladly acknowledged, should be sent to Mr. J. REGINALD BARKER, Hon. Organising Secretary,

RUGBY PRIS0NERS OF WAR HELP COMMITTEE,
9 REGENT STREET, RUGBY (Registered under the War Charities Act, 1916)

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Lieut F G Greenhill has been promoted Captain.

Driver F Calloway, 3rd Battery, 45th Brigade, an Old Murrayian, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry and devotion to duty on April 30th last.

Pte J Donovan, of the Gloucester Regiment, who, prior to joining the Army was employed in the carpenters’ shop at the B.T.H, was killed in action on April 26th.

Rifleman H Corbett, 1st Rifle Brigade, who was recently officially reported as having been killed in action on March 26th, is now reported as wounded and missing. He was formerly employed at the B.T.H.

Mr John Jones, of Cosford, has received news that his youngest son, Pte W R Jones, Machine Gun Corps, has been gassed in France—whether seriously or not has not transpired at present. Only recently Mr Jones lost his second son, Lieut E H Jones, who was killed in action.

Capt E G Passmore, son of Mr Passmore, of Ashby St Ledgers, has been awarded the Military Cross. Capt Passmore is Adjutant in the 7th Northants. He was wounded in June, 1916, and again in April, 1917. He was slightly gassed recently, and was granted leave on account of health. He returned to France the week.

Pte Will Clarke, of the Royal Mariners, who took part in the first raid on Zeebrugge, has written a cheery letter to his old schoolmaster, Mr W T Coles-Hodges, in which he states that although the injury to his spine is making slow progress, he hopes in time to regain the use of his legs and back.

Lieut A J Harris, R.E. now with the Mesopotamian force, has been recently promoted Captain. He is the third son of Mr A Harris, of Dunchurch Road, Rugby. When at Rugby School he gained a place (half-back) in the Football XV ; and in a regimental football competition, which took place last month, his side won the cup.

THE LATE LIEUT G W BARNWELL.

The widow of Second-Lieut G W Barnwell, formerly of Grosvenor Road, who was reported killed a few weeks ago, has received letters from officer friends in reference to the sad event. In one of them Lieut-Col Frurn, K.O.Y,L.I., who conveys the very deep sympathy of every officer and man in the Battalion, adds : “ He died leading his men, who love the ground he trod on.”—A fellow-officer writes :— “ Although I was not with the Battalion at the time of your husband’s death, I can give you certain details which I heard from those who were there. On the 13th of April the enemy attacked our Battalion, which was in the front line near Neuve Eglise, not far from Ypres. Your husband showed a magnificent example of coolness and courage to his men, repeatedly cheering and encouraging them during a short withdrawal. He exposed himself in throwing a field dressing to a wounded man. and received a machine-gun bullet wound in the chest, which proved almost instantly fatal. His body was subsequently carried down to Battalion Headquarters, and was almost certainly accorded there a proper burial. During the whole time I have known your husband, which is ever since he joined the Battalion, he has been a friend whom I respected most highly, and in whom I had the greatest confidence. His perpetual cheerfulness at all times, and his disregard of danger, won the respect of everyone, and he was most sincerely loved by both the officers and men of the whole Battalion. I can assure you that all of us share your loss with feelings of deep personal sorrow. His magnificent example in the field would undoubtedly have won him a decoration had he lived. Only a few days before he died, when some troops of another Battalion during an enemy attack were becoming disorganised, and beginning to retire, he rushed up and rallied them at a critical moment. We are proud of the memory of such a one. . . I am proud to have been considered his friend ; may we profit by the example he showed to us in his life, and in his death alike. We mourn a gallant comrade, and myself personally a close and trusted friend.”

BRAUNSTON.
PRISONERS OF WAR.—Gunner W H Noble, R.H.A, who was officially reported killed about two months ago, has written to say he was wounded in the right shoulder by shrapnel, and is a prisoner of War at Guben, and asks for parcels to be sent. The Rugby Prisoners of War Committee has made arrangements for a parcel to be sent at once.—Pte R G Green, Cheshire Regiment who was reported as missing last week, is now reported as a prisoner of war, sound, and at present at Limberg.

WEST HADDON.
SAILOR’S FUNERAL.—The funeral took place on Thursday last week of Painter Tom Osborne, H.M.S Fisgard, eldest son of Mr & Mrs George Osborne, West Haddon. The fatal illness was due to a long exposure in the water when torpedoed in the Atlantic. Osborne had volunteered in the special service to combat U boats. He was a brave lad, and had performed many gallant deeds. For five days he and several others were at the mercy of the waves on a raft they made out of odds and ends. They encountered some terrible weather, and were without food five days. He died in Haslar Naval Hospital. The body was brought by rail to Long Buckby Station. Twelve sailors, in charge of the Chief Painter, Mr W H Shergold. H.MS Fisgard, came at their own expense to attend the funeral and to carry deceased to his last resting place. The coffin, borne on the shoulders of six of his mates, was covered with the Union Jack. Deceased had just passed his test for P.O, and had been recommended for award for bravery and devotion to duty.

STOCKTON.
SERGT WILLS is home on leave. He has been offered a commission, and will go shortly into training. The honour conferred on the sergeant is greatly appreciated by his many friends in Stockton. A most interesting letter has been received from George Wilks, who is serving on a motor launch in the Mediterranean. He has had the opportunity of visiting Tunis and other spots in North Africa—an enjoyable experience of strange places and people.—Albert Redgrave, who is an R.A.M.C orderly in the hospital at Etaples, had an unpleasant Whit-Sunday, when the hospital was bombed by the enemy. He fortunately escaped injury himself, but one of his chums was killed.—Cyril Sheasby was posted as missing on March 21st, since which date nothing has been heard of him. This is the third man from the village of whom no news has been received, the other two being L Wincott and Lewis Wall.— Bob Bates has been home on leave this week.
THE CHURCH.—So many flowers and wreaths being placed by the war shrine that their disposal has become a difficulty, Mr Knight generously offered to place a shelf in front of the shrine, on which the flowers could be well arranged. The work has been carried out, and is not only a great convenience, but also improves the appearance of the memorial considerably. Owing to the fact that the Rector is taking charge of the parish of Shuckburgh during Mr MacLaren’s absence as Army chaplain, the services at the Parish Church are fewer in number, and the hours have undergone some modification.

EASENHALL.
Mr and Mrs F Varney of Easenhall have received news that their second son, Pte Frank Varney, Coldstream Guards, who was officially reported as missing on April 13, is now wounded and a prisoner in Germany. This is the second time he has been wounded. They have another son, Sergt C Varney, who also belongs to the Coldstream Guards, and has been wounded three times. He is now Instructor of Musketry at the Guards headquarters in France. It may be added that he was in the retreat from Mons, and has seen much active service.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
THE BURIAL OF SOLDIERS AT RUGBY.
DEAR SIR,—It may be that there are rules and regulations, but the need for some arrangement for the burial of men dying here in the service of their country was pointed out in these columns long ago, and the wish expressed—and it is the wish of the townspeople—that a free burying plot should be provided for those who are giving their lives for this country. I can assure you Rugby residents are feeling very sore about the way these are being treated.

There are at the present time scattered, unkept (because nameless) graves of men about our cemetery. Were they in France they would be well-kept, with at least a wooden cross inscribed with their name.

The “opening ” fee here again debars us from doing this small service. These minor details are of far more consequence to the bereaved away than some monuments erected afterwards.—Yours truly,
May 27th.
A CITIZEN.

MAGISTERIAL.—At Rugby Police Court on Friday in last week—before Mr A E Donkin—Pte Arthur Williams, Royal Defence Corps, Rugby, and Lance-Corpl John Craig, Scottish Rifles, Invergordon, Scotland, pleaded guilty to drunkenness.—P C Holl deposed that both men were very drunk, and Williams was trying to take care of Craig.—Williams, who was given a bad character by his officer, was fined 3s, and Craig 1s 6d. —For a similar offence William Jennings, 4 West Leyes, Rugby, was fined 1s 6d.

ABSENTEE.—At Rugby Police Court on Wednesday—before Mr A E Donkin—Samuel Winfield, no fixed abode, was charged with being an absentee from the Army—P.S Hawkes deposed that the previous afternoon he saw defendant enter a common lodging house. He followed him, and enquired whether he had any Army discharge papers or other documents. To this defendant replied, “ No ; I have not been in the Army yet. I have dodged it, and I intend to.”—Defendant informed the magistrate that he had neither been registered or medically examined, and he was remanded for the Recruiting Authorities to be communicated with.

STRUCK BY DESCENDING AEROPLANE.

While working on his garden plot at Lilbourne on Friday evening last week, John Garner, labourer, of Yelvertoft, was struck by a descending aeroplane. He was badly bruised on the left shoulder and arm, and was taken to the Hospital of St Cross at Rugby, where he is making good progress.

THE NEW RATION BOOKS.

On the first of next month the present ration cards will be superseded by ration books, the application forms for which have already been sent to many householders in the district, and the remainder will be delivered by the end of the week. These forms are returnable to the Ration Officer by June 15th, but already a number—many of which have been incorrectly filled in—have been returned to the Food Office.

Anyone experiencing difficulty in filling in the forms should attend at any of the Elementary schools in Rugby or New Bilton on Monday or Tuesday afternoon next, where the teachers will be in attendance to give advice and assistance.

At a meeting of the Food Control Committee on Thursday Mr H Tarbox drew attention to the paragraph at the back of the application forms with reference to the term “Self-suppliers.” He said a large number of persons were concerned as to whether they ought to describe themselves as self-suppliers, inasmuch as in many cases a householder would kill a pig and cure his own bacon. This, however, in many cases did not last the whole year. Could such a man describe himself as a self-supplier? This, of course, applied not only to bacon, but to people who kept their own poultry.

The Executive Officer (Mr F M Burton) said he could not answer this, because he had not received any instructions on the point.—The Chairman said he thought the only thing to be done was for everyone to use his own discretion, and if they were prosecuted to trust to the magistrates dealing leniently with them.—Mr Tarbox said he could understand the position with regard to a case where a man had a country establishment and a town house, and where supplies were sent regularly from the country place in the town residence.—Mrs Dewar asked if they could get a ruling from the Commissioner?

The Executive Officer said his opinion was that a farmer who made his own butter, or who killed a lot of rabbits on his farm, should describe himself as a self-suppler.—Mrs Dewar enquired as to the position of a person who kept sufficient rabbits to kill one per month.—The Executive Officer replied that such a man would not be considered as a self-supplier.

It was decided that an inquiry should be addressed to the Commissioner on the subject.

NEWBOLD-ON-AVON.

THROUGH the efforts of the Food Economy Committee a second instalment of vegetables has been despatched to the Warwickshire Collecting Society, and this week there is a considerable increase in the supply from the villagers—64 eggs, as well as a quantity of cabbages, onions, mint, and rhubarb, being among the contributions.

IN MEMORIAM.

EVANS.—In affectionate remembrance of WILLIAM, the beloved son of W. E, & A. M. Evans (late of Crick), who was killed in action on June 10, 1917. He will never be forgotten by Father, Mother, Sisters and Brothers.
“ Who through the fiery gates,
Enter thy rest.
Greet them as conquerors,
Bravest and best.
Every white soul of them,
Ransomed and blest.”

GREEN.—In loving memory of Sergt CHARLES GREEN, the dearly beloved son of James and Flora May Green, of Calcutt Farm, Stockton, who was killed in action in France on June 9, 1917.
“ His sufferings here are ended,
His work on earth is done ;
He fought the fight with patience,
And now the victory’s won.
We loved him— ah ! no tongue can tell
How much we loved him and how well.
God loved him too, and thought it best
To take him home with Him to rest.”

HIPWELL.—In loving memory of Gunner EDWARD WALLACE HIPWELL, second son of George Hipwell, Clifton-on-Dunsmore, who died of wounds in France. Buried at Merville, June 7, 1917.
“ Behind the guns our brave lads stand
To answer for the Motherland.”
—From his loving Father and Mother, Arthur, Fred and Reg.

TERRY.—In loving memory of our dear son, AMBROSE JOSEPH TERRY, R.W.R., who died of wounds on June 7, 1917.
“ In a hero’s grave our loved one sleeps ;
Never will we forge t our noble dead.
—From Mother and Father.

31st Oct 1914. Local War Notes

Sergt Rudlin, of Rugby, has re-joined the Colours, and is now stationed at Border Camp, Aldershot. He served for 23 years in the Royal Field Artillery. He left the service 14 years ago, and has been in the employ of the Leamington Brewery Company at Rugby for the [?].

Pte J Lord (Rugby), of the Rifle Brigade, has been promoted to the rank of corporal, and at a recent examination in marksmanship he was placed first among the N.C.O’s-His brother, Sapper T Lord, of the 4th Royal Engineers, who is stationed at Gillingham, recently gave a lecture to the inmates of the original Borstal Institution on “Building construction.”

Second-Lieutenant S A Hunter, of the 4th West Riding Howitzer brigade, son of Mr and Mrs T Hunter, of Rugby, is now training with his brigade on Doncaster Racecourse.
F Hunter, another son, has passed the September examination admitting to the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, which he entered on Friday last week.

Pte F Timms, 2nd Battalion R.W.R, has written to his parents, living at 33 Pinfold Street, New Bilton, informing them that he has been wounded by a shrapnel shell in the leg and ankle. He is at present in a hospital at Aldershot and states that, the bullets having been extracted, he is getting along quite well.

Col Nutt, commander of the 7th Reserve Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, visited Rugby on Tuesday night, and at one of the places of entertainment made a strong appeal for recruits, stating that although Rugby had done well for Lord Kitchener’s Army, the response in respect to the new reserve battalion had not to the present, been all that could be wished, only 20 having joined from the town.

On Friday last week the local Red Cross nurses, under Commandant Mrs Simey, visited the Great Central Railway Station and handed refreshments to 76 wounded British soldiers, who were passing through the station from Southampton to a northern hospital. The soldiers, several of whom had been badly wounded and had had limbs amputated, were served with tea, coffee, Bovril, beef and ham sandwiches, bananas, cakes, and biscuits. Other people on the platform gave them cigarettes and chocolates. Despite the terrible experiences through which they had passed, the soldiers seemed extremely cheerful, and were very grateful for the kindnesses they received.

INTERESTING LETTER FROM A HILLMORTON SOLDIER.

Corpl J Bush, of the 5th Dragoon Guards, writing to his sister on October 25th, says :-
“ Your letter to hand, and glad to say that I am so far in the best of health and also one of the lucky ones. It is no good swanking, as one never knows, we might be talking and singing and next minute we are dead. One of my troop, poor chap, he had just come from England, had a wash and shave, and wrote to his mother, and told her he had been in the trenches for the first time, when, all of a sudden, a shell came over, killing him and wounding 13 more. But thank God, I was one of the lucky ones, as on my right one was killed and three wounded, and on my left ten were wounded. Me and the boys are all happy. we have just had a good feed of bacon, cabbage, spuds, and turnips, and have just been relieved from the firing line for 48 hours. You need not send me any more fags or tobacco, as we get plenty now from England. This is the time that it makes you think of home and friends – when you get shells bursting all round you – and we say, ‘Thank God, that has gone over us.’ This to one of the worst wars I have been in – as fast as we kill them they keep coming up; but one Englishman is as good as ten of the chicken-hearted Germans.”
Corpl Bush is the youngest son of the late Mr J Bush and Mrs Bush, and, although only 34 years of age, has served 16 years with the Colours, during which period he has seen much active service, and possesses two medals – South Africa, 1901-2 (five bars, Transvaal, Orange Free State, and Cape Colony), and Somaliland 1902-4. Corpl Bush has an older brother who served 21 years in the same regiment as himself.

HILLMORTON MAN WOUNDED.

Mr C Osborne, of Hillmorton, has received intimation that his son, who is a private in the 2nd Warwicks, has badly wounded in the face by shrapnel during one of the recent actions at the front. He has been sent to Southampton Hospital, where he is progressing favourably.

B.T.H. RESERVIST KILLED.

The regrettable news was received on Monday by Mrs Elliott, of 35 Bath Street, Rugby, that her late lodger, William Woods, had been killed in action in France. This information came from deceased’s mother, living at Exning, Newmarket. She had received a brief message to this effect from the War Office, but knew nothing of the circumstances of her son’s death. Only a week earlier Mrs Elliott had a card from Woods then at Marne, stating that he hoped soon to return to Rugby.

Deceased was a reservist in the Royal Field Artillery. He went through the South African War, for which he received a medal, and he was called up on August 5th. Since October last year he had been working as a labourer in the Turbine Department at the B.T.H Works, and, although no communication had been received from him by the firm since the outbreak of the war, he having re-joined the Colours during the August holidays, we understand he was on the list of those to whom the firm was allowing half-pay during their absence from work on active service.-Previous to becoming an employee of the B.T.H Co, Woods was engaged for about two years as a shunter on the L & N.-W Railway at Rugby. He was 31 years of age, and a quiet, amiable man, who made quite a number of friends in the town, by whom his death will be deplored.

[William Woods is remembered on the BTH Memorial]

NEW BILTON SOLDIER REPORTED KILLED.

On Monday Mr and Mrs Hales, of 22 Pinfold Street, New Bilton, received a letter from Corporal Cross of the 1st Battalion R.W.R, to the effect that their son, Pte Harry Hales, was killed in action on Oct 13. Enclosed was a letter which his parents had sent to Pte Hales, but which evidently arrived subsequent to his death ; and the corporal, in his communication, added that some cigarettes, which were also sent, had been divided amongst his comrades. The sympathy of his colleagues was also expressed.

As the family had not heard from the War Office that their son had met with his death, this letter naturally came as a great shock to them, and this was intensified in the evening by the receipt of a cheerful letter from their son, dated October 10th. Pte Hales was 22 years of age next December, and had been in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment two years. He had not been home on furlough since last Christmas. Mr Hales has wired and written to the authorities for confirmation, but so far no further particulars have come to hand.

[Henry Hales is remembered on the Croop Hill Memorial]

INTERESTING LETTER FROM A WOUNDED RUGBY SOLDIER.

Mr C Nash, the cemetery keeper at Rugby, received cheering news from his son, Pte Harry Nash, of the 1st Northamptonshire Regiment, on Monday morning. It was to the effect that he had arrived in England again, after a pleasant voyage, and expected to be home in a few days. Pte Nash re-joined the Northampton Regiment on the outbreak of the war, and went to the front, where he was wounded on September 14th. How this occurred, and what he experienced afterwards at the hands of a brutal German, is described in the following letter:—“ I was knocked over by the explosion of a shell. A piece of the shell took the butt of my rifle off, and knocked me quite 4ft. away. It seemed to knock “ the stufffing ” out of me. I could not move, and while I lay there some of the Germans came by. One of them hit me twice with the butt end of his rifle, his first blow catching me on the left shoulder and the other one the back of my head, knocking eleven teeth out. It was raining heavens hard. I lay for nine hours before I was picked up, so you see it is not all honey. There were about 150 dead Germans lying round where I was. I was told afterwards that the Cavalry came and charged the enemy. I think it is a good job they did, or I don’t know what I should have got on their return journey.” “ You may have this published in the Advertiser,” continues the writer, “ and let Rugby people see that Rugby has got a boy in khaki fighting at the front.” Before Pte Nash re-joined the Army he assisted his father in the cemetery. He was a member of the Elborow School Orchestra, and was of great assistance to Capt W F Wood, of the 1st Rugby Company of the Boys’ Brigade, in instructing the lads in drumming and in other ways.