29th Dec 1917. Suggested Rationing Scheme for Rugby


At a meeting of the Rugby Urban Food Control Committee on Thursday evening a sub-committee was appointed to formulate a rationing scheme for butter, margarine, lard, bacon, and cheese for the Urban and Rural Districts.


The Rugby Food Control Committee did not wait long before putting their new powers, enabling them to commandeer supplies of margarine, into force. The margarine queues on Friday and Saturday last were longer than ever, and there was every indication that similar scenes would experienced on Christmas Eve. Mr F M Burton, the Executive officer, however, ascertained that one of the multiple shops was expecting a consignment of four tons of margarine, and he immediately commandeered one and a-half tons, and distributed it among other grocers in the town. A notice to this effect was displayed in the window of the shop affected, and the police promptly broke up all attempts to form a queue. The action of the committee and the executive officer was greatly appreciated by many people, who were thus enabled to do their shopping with a degree of comfort which has been lacking for the past two months.


A meeting of the Rugby Waste Paper Committee was held on Thursday last week, Mr J J McKinnell, J.P, C.C, presiding. A grant of £10 was made to the Rugby Town Red Cross effort, and it was decided that at the next meeting the claims of the Prisoners of War Fund should have first consideration.—The Hon Secretary (Mr J Reginald Barker) reported that there had lately been an encouraging increase in the amount of waste paper collected by the boys of Elborow School and Murray School.—Mr McKinnell said that the Local Government Board had again urged the local authorities to collect all waste paper. Mr Barker had arranged to have every description of waste paper sorted and graded and sent to the paper mills for re-pulping, obtaining for the committee the maximum amount under the Government schedule of prices. They had, therefore, been able to devote considerable sums to local charities, and, in addition to the grant made at that meeting, had rendered substantial assistance to the Hospital of St Cross, St John’s Ambulance Brigade, the Hamilton Home, and the District Nursing Society. There were, however, other deserving objects which were in need of funds, and he trusted all who had waste paper of any kind would drop a postcard to Mr W T Simmonds, of Elborow School, or Mr W T Coles Hodges, of Murray School.


During the days immediately preceding Christmas there was the usual exodus of workers from the town, and the number of travellers was well in excess of last year, when the Government’s exhortation to the people to avoid unnecessary travelling was loyally observed. At the L & N-W Railway Station bookings were very heavy to all parts of the United Kingdom ; and the Great Central Authorities also experienced exceptionally busy times. The majority of people travelling were munition workers and their families, and of the number of visitors to the town a large portion were soldiers home on leave.


Owing to the scarcity of foodstuffs, the number of parcels despatched to the troops this year from the Rugby Post Office was not so large as usual ; but, nevertheless, during the busiest nights preceding December 14th—the last date for sending such parcels—as many as 80 odd mail sacks were sent off one night. There was, however, an enormous increase in the number of registered letters and small parcels of comforts. The labour question proved a great difficulty this year; but with the assistance of 28 extra postwomen and sorters and about a dozen spare-time workers, the rush was successfully dealt with. To relieve the counter pressure the Army allowances, amounting to over £1,000, were paid out for two weeks during the week preceding Christmas. On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday the counter staff was kept abnormally busy, and on Christmas Eve the number of parcels delivered in the town was unusually large, vis. 1,500 ; while the number on Christmas Day was 700. There was a falling-off this year in the number mainly confined to the residential quarters. In the working-class districts of the town the numbers were as large as ever.

Another unusual feature was the small quantity of poultry passing through the post, the customary ducks and geese giving places to more homely, but nowadays none the less welcome; piece of bacon.

For four days preceding Christmas the country mail motor vans were forced to make double journeys ; and although these ran rather late on several of the heaviest mornings, the times compared well with previous years.


To the Editor of the Advertiser

SIR,—Would it not be possible for Rugby to forego its delivery of letters on the Lord’s Day ? When we see so many women on the rounds we all know what it must mean in those homes, and they surely need their Sabbath rest as much as we do. In asking this I do not mean to ask that their pay shall be stopped for that day’s work, but that they should receive the same wage as now, and that we should forego our letters on that day.

London and many other large cities do without Sunday delivery, and so I think we should do the same. I believe it can only done by a resolution passed by the District Council. Will not some member propose such a resolution ? I believe he would find the whole Council ready to support him, and I am quite sure he would have the great majority of the townsmen with him. It is too much for a man to work seven days a week. What must it mean to these women ?—Believe me, sir, yours faithfully,

Vicar St Matthew’s Church.
St Matthew’s Vicarage, Rugby, Dec 24, 1917.


Dennis Over, youngest son of Mr Samuel Over, has passed out fifth in his company from the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, and has been gazetted to a commission in the Regular Army in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

Mr & Mrs C F Everett, 42 Claremont Road, have received news that their eldest son, Lance-Corpl Fredk Stanley Everett, of the Motor Transport, died from disease in the base hospital at Basra, Mesopotamia, on Sunday, December 16th. He was 21 years of age, and an Old Murrayian. Prior to joining the Army in January, 1916, he was employed as a goods clerk by the L & N-W Railway Company at Berkswell and Hampton. 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, and after the service on Sunday evening the “ Dead March ” in Saul was played to honour his memory.


In Sir Douglas Haig’s despatches of November 7th appears the name of Sergt A W Hughes, Royal Engineers. Sergt Hughes was formerly employed at the B.T.H, and has been on the Western Front 2½ years. In July last he was the recipient of a “ card of recognition ” from the General commanding the Division for distinguished conduct.


Another prisoner of war has been added to the list of the Rugby Prisoners of War Committee, viz, Lance-Corpl W H Roberts, 2nd Machine Gun Company, who is interned at Lechfeld, Bavaria. This man was formerly employed at Messrs Bluemel Bros, Ltd, Wolston. Mr Barker has arranged for the standard food parcels and bread to be sent to him as from “ his former fellow employees,” as they have generously undertaken his adoption.


MILITARY MEDAL.—This week Mrs F Cooke has received news that her brother, Corpl A Haynes, of the 28th Canadians, has been awarded the Military Medal.

MEMORIAL SERVICE.—On Sunday evening last a memorial service was held the Parish Church for Sergt S Batchelor, when a good number of the parishioners attended. The service was impressively conducted by the Rector (Rev H Smith), and one or two of Sergt Batchelor’s favourite hymns were sung. In his sermon at the evening service the Rector made allusion to the loss the parents and family, the parish, and the church had sustained by the death of Sergt Batchelor, and said it was such men that our country can ill-afford to lose. Amongst the many letters of sympathy which Mr & Mrs Batchelor have received several have come from the front, from the chaplain, the nurse, and from his lieutenant. The latter wrote:—“ Everybody who knew him recognised in him a good N.C.O and a good soldier every way.”


ROLL OF HONOUR.—Mr & Mrs Pearce, Coventry Road Dunchurch, have received intimation that their son. Pte W Pearce, K.R.R, is missing. This is the fourth son Mr & Mrs Pearce have lost in the War.


PTE W BARKER KILLED.—Mr & Mrs N Barker received news on Sunday that their son, Pte W Barker, had died from wounds in France. Deceased volunteered early in the War for the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, but was rejected owing chest measurement. Later on he joined the Royal Warwicks, and has been in the thick of the fighting. He was well known and respected in the district. His father has for many years been a member of the Wolston Parish Council, and occupied other public offices in the parish. Much sympathy is felt for Mr & Mrs Barker and family.


CORPL C DIPPLE WOUNDED.—Mr V Dipple has received news that his brother was wounded in the charge at Cambrai. Corpl Dipple was one of the Mons and Marne fighters, being attached to the 18th Hussars. His other brothers—Sergt F Dipple, R.F.A, is now stationed in Italy (he also was amongst the 1914 battles); while a third brother, Bombardier H Dipple, is also in Italy and a sister is a nursing sister in the Army.


On Boxing Day the wounded soldiers at the Infirmary and “ Te Hira ” Red Cross Hospitals numbering about 120, were entertained by the Rugby V.T.C at the Howitzer Battery Drill Hall. Tea was provided by the Red Cross Society in the small rooms, which were nicely decorated and presented a warm and cosy appearance, and this was followed by an entertainment in the Large Drill Hall. Under the supervision of Sergt S H Weobley, the members of Corps had tastefully decorated the hall with flags and garlands. The stage was arranged in a series of arches, illuminated with coloured electric bulbs, and a large Christmas tree, upon which useful and suitable presents were hung, was also illuminated by movable electric lights, arranged by Sergt O H Watson. Quartermaster Alderson as Father Christmas presented each guest with a present from the tree. An excellent programme, consisting of instrumental and vocal items, was given ; and, in addition to members of the V.T.C and wounded soldiers, were songs by Quartermaster C Prior and Miss Phyllis Vann.


The wounded soldiers at this hospital has a very pleasant round of entertainment. On Thursday last week Corpl Hawkins and friends from Rugby gave a concert, and on Saturday Mr Giggs and party went over from Rugby for a similar purpose. Dinner on Christmas Day consisted of turkey, plum pudding, &c, given by friends ; and in the afternoon the soldiers and staff were entertained by a professional conjuror from London. On Boxing Day the Southam Amateur Dramatic Company attended, and gave a concert and theatricals. The Bilton Brass Band played carols at The Hall on Sunday, and again during dinner and tea on Christmas Day. The men enjoyed and appreciated everything immensely.


The weather during Christmas was, on the whole, bright and seasonable. In the previous week frost and snow gave promise of ideal conditions, but on Monday there was a considerable rise of temperature, with drizzling rain, which quickly converted the road surfaces into sticky mud, and the outlook was not at all promising. On Christmas Day, however, a keen wind from the North with spells of bright sunshine put the roads in good order again, and outdoor exercise was quite enjoyable, and the same may be said of Boxing Day.


EVERETT.—On December 16th, at Basrah (Persian Gulf,) Lance-Corpl FREDERICK STANLEY EVERETT, of the Motor Transport, A.S.C., eldest and dearly loved son of Mr. and Mrs. Everett, aged 21. (Nature of illness not stated).—Rest in peace. Not lost, but gone before.
Father, in Thy gracious keeping,
Leave we now our dear one sleeping.

MATTHEWS.—In loving memory of PTE HARRY J. MATTHEWS, the only and beloved son of D. and M. A. MATTHEWS, of Napton, who died in hospital in France on Dec. 14th, 1917, aged 28 years.


1st Apr 1916. Great Blizzard




The weather during the last six or seven weeks has been remarkable for its uncertain end generally boisterous character. The direction of the wind during most of the period has varied from north-west to south-east, and fierce gales springing up suddenly now and again have removed a large number of trees from the landscape and done considerable damage to buildings, &c. But the most disastrous visitation came on Monday night. After a fine, fairly calm day, the wind began to increase soon after dusk, and later snow commenced to fall. About midnight the wind developed into a tempestuous gale, coming from the north, which drove the snow with blinding force. The temperature was not so low as might have been expected, and much of the snow melted as it fell ; but in spite of this, it had accumulated in open places to a depth of at least six inches by breakfast time, and as the storm continued till about six o’clock on Tuesday evening—making about 24 hours in all—that measurement was increased as the day wore on, and deep drifts and snow wreaths accumulated.

Trees and shrubs became overladen with it, and large numbers were blown down or broken so badly as to be completely spoiled. The roads were strewn with branches large and small, and on several roads free passage was obstructed by fallen trees and large limbs.

In places the snow had drifted many feet deep, and some of the rural postmen who set out from Rugby to go home in the early hours of the morning had to return. The Churchover man was stopped by deep drifts at Brownsover, and the Barby postman found no less than six trees down in one place, and it was impossible to get by with his load.

So heavy was the fall of snow in the rural districts around Rugby that on Tuesday night it was impossible for the mail vans to get into the town. Letter bags from Lutterworth, were forwarded by the G.C. Railway, but no bags were received from Southam, Welford, or Long Buckby.

Letter carriers and milk retailers, found great difficulty in completing their rounds, but they stuck to their work pluckily in spite of the inclement conditions.

The telegraph and telephone wires suffered very seriously, and were down to such an extent both in the town and country that the Central Post Office at Rugby was cut of practically from everywhere. It was therefore impossible to receive or despatch telegrams. It is feared, with the present shortage of labour, it will take a month or more to reinstate all the wires.

The cause of so much damage being done to the wires was duo to the fact that the snow, being wet, instead of dry, as it would have been with a lower temperature, clung to the wires, and soon made them look like thick cables. The extra weight, together with the wind pressure of a gale travelling 60 or 80 miles all hour, created a strain which the wires and poles could not withstand. In the early hours of Tuesday morning many of the streets of Rugby were spanned by festoons and tangles of thickened wire, and Post Office men had to go round cutting them away to allow the safe passage of the traffic.

The telephone line between Rugby and Newbold suffered considerably. Posts were tilted in all directions, and fallen wires were for a time a source of danger to pedestrians.

On the Bilton Road the telephone wires were broken away entirely by trees or branches crashing down on them.


The effects of the storm first became apparent at the L. & N.-W. Railway Station about midnight on Monday, when telegraph wires in the neighbourhood commenced to snap asunder. This extended in all directions during the early hours of Tuesday morning, and by 6 a.m. Rugby Station was practically isolated so far as telegraphic or telephonic communication was concerned. Afterwards the first intimation received of the arrival of trains was at the signals just outside the station.

In normal circumstances, the Euston to Rugby expresses occupy 1 ¾ hours, but on Tuesday it took trains six hours to travel the 83 miles. This was duo to the almost entire collapse of the wires, with the consequent suspension of what is known as the block system. The method adopted was to run trains from one signal box to another, and instructions were given at each to those in charge of the train to go forward cautiously ; and as there are between Euston and Rugby about sixty boxes, most of which were stopping places, the reason for the delay is obvious.

The 10.15 p.m., express from London, which usually reaches Rugby at 11.55, was on Monday night pulled up at Cheddington owing to a telegraph polo having fallen across the down fast line. The train returned on the same metals as far as Tring, and was then sent forward on the slow line to Rugby, The newspaper train, which was due at Rugby at 3 a.m., did not arrive until 9.30, and the first passenger train from London, which should have arrived at 5 o’clock, did not reach Rugby till 10.35. The traffic from the North was delayed to a greater extent than this even.

At Rugby Station, as elsewhere in the Midlands, no attempt could be made to adhere to the scheduled times, but Mr Hedge and the platform staff did the best they could to cope with a difficult situation. Many trains were cancelled or combined with others to save working trouble.

At country stations also there was great uncertainty about trains, but the dilemma of would-be passengers was to some extent relieved by the stopping of expresses at those stations to pick up passengers.

For hours London was without news of express trains, which were long overdue from Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Scotland. At St Pancras, Euston, and the other London termini of the main northern and western lines, friends and relatives who had come to meet passengers strolled about the platforms, lingering from time to time before the arrival indicators, waiting with patience but without anxiety for tidings of the progress of the trains. Stationmasters answered their inquiries with an outward cheerfulness which cloaked an inward restlessness. As the afternoon passed, the missing trains, one by one, came in—five, six, and oven ten hours after their time—and the stations regained their normal activity and noisiness. The passengers were much too pleased to have arrived at last to grumble at the delay. The journey had been tedious, but the carriages were warm and comfortable, and, if the continual stopping and “ crawling ” had been trying, at any rate—as one of the passengers remarked— “ it was better sitting inside than getting out and walking it.” There had been no trouble in getting food, for the periods of waiting in the stations on the way had been long enough for any man to satisfy his appetite.


The attendance at the elementary schools of the town was naturally very meagre on Tuesday morning. In some instances there were not sufficient to justify the holding of a session. Those who did arrive were often wet-footed, and it was not surprising that the head teachers sent them home again and closed the schools for the day.

Under the auspices of the Young Women’s Christian Association, a concert was to have been given in St Matthew’s Parish Room, but owing to the exceptionally inclement weather, and the sparce attendance in consequence, the event was postponed.

Between Rugby and Bilton the havoc to trees and shrubs was considerable. An elm tree at Oakfield came down across the road during the afternoon, and completely blocked the thoroughfare for the rest of the evening. Soon afterwards another, near the Hon E W Parker’s residence (Westfield), fell right across one of the greenhouses and entirely demolished the portion on which it rested. The road was partly blocked by two others at Bilton Hill, and in the vicinity of the churchyard a deplorable scene was presented. The very fine cedar tree growing inside the entrance gate to the church-yard, and some fir trees near to it, also a large elm. all of which lent a picturesque appearance to the church and its spire in the background, were laid low and entirely destroyed. In the grounds of Bilton Hall regrettable damage was also done.

This is the worst blizzard that has been experienced over the Midlands since the great storm on the 18th of January, 1881. On that occasion the temperature was down to about 20 or 25 degrees below freezing point, and the drifting snow accumulated to a much greater extent than on Tuesday last. The railway traffic between London and Rugby was entirely suspended for two or three days, and when the trains began to run it was necessary for gangs of navvies with shovels to travel with them, to remove the snow which was constantly blown into the cuttings from the adjacent fields.

But we have to go back 50 years for a parallel to the dislocation caused by the breakdown of telegraphic communication. Almost every pole and wire between Rugby and London was brought down, and for several weeks telegraphic messages to or from the South had to be carried by train between Euston and Rugby.

Since the blizzard the sun has shone brightly, and the temperature has been springlike in the daytime, This has helped on the thaw considerably.


So far as the L & N.W. Railway is concerned, it is estimated that it will take months to repair the damage done in the vicinity of Rugby to telegraph posts and wires. To the south of Rugby Station the havoc was simply appalling. On Tuesday gangs of workmen from the north began to arrive, and by Thursday the numbers had extended to some hundreds, and every available man will be needed. A length of poles, extending for several miles along the line, and erected within the last 12 months, has, it is reported. been smashed to splinters by the gale, and, of course, the many lines of wires it carried are broken down.

Rugby Station is being used as a centre for repairing purpose, and on the up platform on Thursday tons of wire of various kinds, brought from different depots, were to be seen. The trains were still running irregularly, the method of proceeding from one signal box to another being still necessary, and until a train actually arrived, the officials were unable to say whence it came or whither it was going. No guarantee could be given when a train starting out would arrive at its destination, or even whether it would get there at all ; and with a reversion to conditions prevailing before the block system was introduced, the travelling public had to submit cheerfully to many inconveniences.


The scene on the Barby Road was wintry in the extreme. Near the Polo Ground the snow drifted to a depth of some feet, reaching across the footpath to the height of the fence. More remarkable still, perhaps, was the large number of trees that were blown down. It seemed incredible that in so limited an area so much damage could be done, and the spectacle presented on Wednesday when the gale had passed and almost a dead calm prevailed, and the sun was shining brightly, gave one a good idea of the havoc that can be wrought by such Arctic weather. In this locality a motor cyclist got into a deep drift, and had great difficulty in extricating his machine from the bank of snow in which it was firmly embedded.

The Hillmorton Road, beyond the Great Central Station, was at one point quite impassable for vehicular traffic. The omnibuses were unable to run in that direction, and an attempt to resume the service on Wednesday ended in failure.


Arrangements had been made for a sitting of the Local Tribunal for the Crick District at Rugby on Wednesday, but the weather was so bad that on the previous day it was decided to postpone it. Notices to this effect were sent out to the members by Mr J W Pendred, the Clerk, but Mr I Wakefield, of Crick, and Mr T Lee, of Lilbourne, duly put in an appearance, their letters not having reached them—another effect of the storm, which had quite disorganised the rural postal service, so much so, that at most of the villages round Rugby there were no despatches or deliveries of letters till Wednesday afternoon.


On Thursday afternoon between 20 and 30 boys attending Rugby School offered their services to the Urban Council officials to assist in clearing the streets. The offer was gladly accepted, and they were immediately provided with shovels and squeeges, and under the supervision of Mr W H Clench, road foreman, they quickly and energetically set to work, and a distinct improvement was soon perceptible in the streets in which they were “ set on.”

BRANDON.—Last week the Avon was in flood for several days, and the road between Brandon and Wolston was deep in water. During the storms of Monday night and Tuesday of this week, the telegraph wires and posts on the Coventry Road were blown down, and a number of trees were uprooted.

BRAUNSTON.—Writing on Thursday, our correspondent says:—Scores of telegraph and telephone poles down, and had no mail in here since Monday.

BRINKLOW.—Considerable damage was done in this neighbourhood. The local telegraph and telephone services were cut off, owing to the wires and several of the poles being broken down, and the railway service was dislocated. Numerous trees were uprooted and broken down, and in places there were very deep snow drifts. The Schools were closed on Tuesday and Wednesday.

DUNCHURCH.—A very large number of the trees forming the avenue on the London and Holyhead Road from the Rainsbrook on the Daventry side to Knightlow Hill were blown down, and of course stopped all traffic. The telegraph wires, the repair of which, after the havoc caused by the fall at Christmas, has recently been completed by the Royal Engineers, were again broken down for long lengths in many places. Along the Southam Road, too, many trees were down, and for the first time in the memory of the oldest inhabitant the Southam mail cart failed to reach Dunchurch on Tuesday night. No letters were delivered in Dunchurch till 4 o’clock on Wednesday afternoon. Mr Butlin, the postmaster, having then fetched the bags from Rugby, and also those from Bilton. All round the district timber trees, fruit trees, and shrubs have been destroyed wholesale, and at Bilton Grange Gardens, and also at Cawston House, the damage is deplorable. Drifts of snow from four to six feet deep occurred all round the district

RYTON-ON-DUNSMORE.—Great havoc has been done by the snow and wind to telegraph poles and wires. Numbers of trees were uprooted ; tiles, slates, and pots were blown off, and considerable damage done.


A portion of the wall adjoining the Grand Hotel in Albert Street was blown down.

A chimney-pot was blown off the roof of Mr F E Hands’ house in Sheep Street, and fell into Drury Lane, narrowly missing several persons who were passing at the time.

The Watling Street Road is practically impassable, owing to the large number of telegraph poles and wires which have been brought down, and some time must elapse before this can be cleared. Many of the posts, each 12in. in diameter, were snapped off and a large number of trees in the neighbourhood were destroyed.

The worst effects of the blizzard occurred in the region of the Midlands, between Derbyshire and Staffordshire and Tring. But it was very severe over the West of England and South Wales, while London and the South Coast did not escape altogether.

Twenty-four trees are down between Stretton and Blue Boar on the London Road, and whole lengths of telegraph wires.

Agricultural operations, which have already been much retarded, have been further hindered for a week—a very serious matter for the country in all the circumstances. Further, numerous sheep and lambs were buried in the snow, and many of the latter have died from exposure.

Only a dozen wires of private telephone subscribers in Rugby, out of 240, were unbroken.

Notwithstanding the inconvenience and privation railway travellers have had to endure, their sympathies and admiration were entirely with the engine drivers, firemen, and guards who so persistently stuck to the difficult work of getting their trains safely through in the face of such terribly trying conditions.

A considerable number of railway travellers who have been stranded at Rugby Station, and unable to proceed further, have had to put up for the night at Rugby hotels.

The experience on the Great Central was no exception to that on of other lines, so far as the destruction of telegraph wires was concerned, but the delay of trains was not so great. Four to five hours late on Tuesday was the rule, two to three hours on Wednesday, and about an hour on Thursday.

A number of express and other passenger trains were lost in the Midlands for a considerable time. The 10 a.m express from Euston arrived in Glasgow at 4 o’clock on Wednesday morning. In some cases trains were more than 24 hours late.

Soldiers on leave experienced very great difficulty in reaching their destinations, and many valuable hours were lost in travelling. Men returning to France were provided on demand with a railway statement, giving particulars of their delayed journey.

Deep snowdrifts rendered Hillmorton and Barby Roads, and also the Hillmorton—Dunchurch Roads impassable. Near Willoughby the London Road was blocked for nearly a mile by snow wreaths. The road from Bilton to Blue Boar was also blocked.

One of the poplar trees which were planted many years ago in the fence on the Clifton Road side of the land now forming the grounds of the Lower School, by the late Mr W I Tait, the founder of the Rugby Advertiser, was laid low.

About a dozen motor ambulances, travelling from the North to the South, after being obliged to deviate from the proper road, were held up at Rugby on Thursday night, owing to the impassable condition of the roads.

Yesterday (Friday) trains from the North reached Rugby about 3 hours late. The journey to Euston occupied 3½ hours, and to Birmingham 1½. Travelling to other places was correspondingly slow.


Extract from “ London Gazette,” February 26th :—Lieut. R. H. H. Over, A.V.C., to be Captain, to date from August 5th, 1915.

Lieut. F. W. Simmons, an Old Boy and former member, of the staff of St. Matthew’s Boys’ School, has been appointed Captain in the 51st Battalion of the Canadian Overseas Expeditionary Force.

Eighteen offers of homes have been received by the officials of Rugby Union for the children (five in number) of a soldier fighting in France, admitted to the Institution from Wolston. One lady came down from London on Monday in the hope of being able to take one of the children away with her, but this was not permissible.

Gunner G Smith, R.F.A, has written to Mr W T C Hodges, his old schoolmaster, stating that he has been wounded a second time. During a heavy bombardment a German shell burst over his head, and a portion of it passed through his cap and bruised the back of his head ; a bullet went through his shoulder, and another part of the shell badly injured his foot. He is at present at Eaton House, Cheshire, the residence of the Duke of Westminster.

Mr F O Rybot, manager of the London City & Midland Bank at Exeter, and formerly at Rugby, is having a busy time as Treasurer of the Devon and Cornwall Belgian Relief Committee. Throughout the two counties over £21,000 has been spent in the year.


In the list of the King’s awards for heroism on the battlefield published to-day is the name of another St Matthew’s Old Boy, Pte A Norman, of the 3rd Rifle Brigade.


An official intimation was received on Sunday by Sergt. Goodwin, of Rugby, of the death on October 7th. 1914, of his eldest son, Pte. Albert Goodwin, of the 2nd Warwicks, previously reported missing. Deceased joined the Army six years ago. When war broke out he was with his regiment at Escutari. Returning to England in September, he went with his Division to France in October, and it was in the retirement at Ypres that he lost his life, a few days after his arrival at the seat of war. Pte. Goodwin was in his 23rd year.

[Private Goodwin is remembered on the Croop Hill War Memorial]



The Government has decided that in future the lists of casualties shall give no particulars other of the theatre of war in which the casualty occurred or of the battalion to which the officer or man belonged.

This decision has been arrived at in the public interest, and is a matter of military necessity. It is requested that the particulars above referred to may not be mentioned or published in obituary notices sent to newspapers by relatives or friends.


1st May 1915. News from the Trenches


Letters from members at the 7th Warwickshire Territorial Battalion continue to arrive. One of them says : “ We are having a good time out here, plenty of work, and also a lot of time for amusements. After our last four days in the trenches we arranged a couple of football matches, one between C Company and the Howitzer Battery, which ended in a draw 3—3. The second game between Coventry and Rugby men of C Company ended in Coventry’s favour. Near our billet is a large pond and it is interesting to see out fellows, indifferent to the German shells, fishing for carp. The country-side looks very beautiful in spite of the ruined homesteads, and farmers carry on as usual. We are now back in the trenches and yesterday the Germans shelled a village 200 yards from us, paying special attention to the church, which is practically in ruins. Our gunners soon silenced them, and we have had a quiet day to-day.

A private writes to his wife :—“ We are all happy and enjoying ourselves. I would like you to see us in our little dug-out, we are like gypsies. We do enjoy our meals, though bullets and shells are flying over our heads all the time. We are getting so used to them that we do not take the least bit of notice. The most dangerous work we have to undertake is going to and from the trenches, for no matter how quiet you are the Germans spot you, up goes one of their star shells, and a Maxim gun is trained on you immediately. Then it is a case of laying low till they have finished.

A corporal writes “ I should like some of our friends to have seen us when we were going to the trenches, as we were like the donkeys in Spain, loaded with provisions, and we are looking well now, as we haven’t had a wash or shave for some days, and are feeling a bit ‘grimy.’ We can’t help it, as we can’t get water for washing, but I suppose we have got to put up with it far a while.”


A Rugby Sergeant tells us that on April 19th an exciting football match took place between teams picked from Rugby men (of the late E Company, now C Company) and Coventry men. After a well-contested game, the Rugby men came out winners 2—0. When it is known that the losers had such well-known players as “ Chummy ” Lombard, “ To and From ” Read, “ Cast Iron ” Loake, etc, etc, it will be seen what a good performance was put up by the winners. “ Bleb ” Hill scored the first goal after fifteen minutes’ play. Then “ Knobby ” Clarke scored just before the interval, but was ruled off-side by the referee. Immediately before the call of time Baker scored. Iliff (the Dunchurch pet) was in the thick of the fray all through the match.


Pte L Stewart, of the Advertiser staff, who is with the 7th Warwickshire Territorial Battalion at the front, writes under date of April 26th :—We are situated the same as when last I wrote. The 7th have had another spell in the trenches, without any casualty whatever. They came out of the trenches Saturday night, but Sunday morning found them in the best of health and spirits, and seemingly none the worse for their experiences. They had several narrow shaves from shells—in fact, they had marvellous luck-but a miss is as good as a mile. The weather is really grand, we live practically an open-air life, and early to bed, early to rise, is our motto. I shall be opening the office at six in the morning when I get back, unless a bed makes me revert to the old habits. Time slips by here—every day seems alike ; but I never forget what Friday (publishing day) is with you—all so busy as of old. Sergt Dodson is attached to the Army Ordnance Store just across the road. He was soon over here to get a squint at the old “ R A.” Another private writes:—I will give you a few details of what we have to do. First of all we get here at night and relieve the other regiment who have done their four days. Night sentries are posted and their duties are to warn for any approach of the enemy, who is not very far in front of us. They do two hours on and four off, but that four off is not for rest by any means for we all have to work hard during the night, re-building shelled trenches and improving same. Then there is a party to go and fetch water, about 10 or 12 of us. This has to be fetched from a dilapidated farmhouse about 1 ½ miles away, and we are walking on open the whole of the way, so you see this is a very risky job. We are up all the night and have to stand to at 3.30 a.m for an hour in case of attack, which I am thankful to say has not yet happened. We always have bacon for breakfast and plenty of tea ; we bring a little fresh meat and bread with us. The four days we had out of the trenches were a bit rough, for although we had a little rest in the day time, we were out every night from about 7.30 to 3 a.m making and repairing trenches right in front of the German lines, which is a very much more dangerous position than in our own trenches, for we are not under any cover and the bullets whiz past our ears. Oh ! for a bed. When we go out on Saturday we get billeted in a little better place, for we then have eight days’ rest which will be very acceptable. The Germans are firing at us all day long, and my word they can shoot ; we hardly dare show our caps above the trench else all is over, but I think we have them beaten as regards artillery fire, for we keep shelling their guns and position on and off all day. It is rather a nerve shaking job this night sentry, for one is responsible for the safety of all the regiment and you cannot see many yards in front of you, so before you could say knife the enemy would have cut the wire entanglements and be on you if you did not keep up a good look out.


Mr C J Packwood, of St Matthew Street, Rugby, has recently received a letter from his son, Driver C W Packwood, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, now in France. He describes the place at which the battery is stationed as “ very slow.” The men living in the vicinity appear to be indolent, the women and dogs doing the bulk of the work. Driver Packwood states that the members of the battery are in excellent health, and they are always thankful to receive letters and parcels from friends at home.

In a letter dated April 25th, which arrived on Thursday, Driver Packwood says:—“ At the present time I am on observation duty. There is an officer and three men, myself included. We are right up in the front trenches with the Infantry, We watch the effects of our shells and report on same, being connected with the Battery by field telephone. The German trenches are only 200 yards away. We can see them in the trenches quite plainly. We have got quite familiar with their snipers. One we call Fritz, another Ginger, and another Peter. Fritz shot one of the infantry clean through the head last night. He is a crack shot. The scenes round here are really wonderful, and are a sight worth seeing. There is not a house standing-they all are absolutely blown to bits. Yesterday I went for about two miles along the first line infantry trenches, and observed the German trenches through a periscope. This letter I am sending by the man who brings our rations. He is just coming, so I must close now.



The Warwickshire Yeomanry, which left Avonmouth for foreign service three weeks ago, before they left received the following telegram from the King :—

“ I am glad to hear that the 2nd Midland Division is about to leave for the front, and much regret not to have been able to inspect the troops. I feel confident, after these months of training at home, the division, wherever employed, will give a good account of itself. Please assure all ranks that they will constantly be in my thoughts and prayers, and convey to them my best wishes for success.”

The horses belonging to the regiment, which were on board the Wayfarer when it was torpedoed, have now been taken over by the authorities and distributed, so it is understood, among other regiments. The Warwickshire Yeomanry have thus been deprived of mounts to which they had become very closely attached, and the loss will be keenly felt by the men. The men from the Wayfarer who were fortunate to escape will join their regiment at the earliest possible moment.

About 160 men were detailed off for duty on the Wayfarer, and had charge of about 1,000 horses and mules. On leaving port the officers were informed of the presence of two enemy submarines, and were warned to keep a close watch. They failed to escape the danger.


The 1st Warwickshire Yeomanry Reserve Regiment left Warwick on Monday for Cirencester Park

It has transpired that in all five men from Warwickshire were killed by the explosion on the Wayfarer. Three horses were drowned.

Harold M Over, son of Mr Samuel Over, and grandson of the late Major S Over, has been gazetted second-lieutenant in the 20th Battalion the Royal Fusiliers, He has been Musketry Instructor to D Company of this Battalion, in which position he has shown exceptional ability.

Pte W Gardner, 3rd Coldstream Guards, an ex-police-constable from this neighbourhood, writes he is now in England wounded, lying at Longshawe Lodge, Derbyshire (lent by the Duke of Rutland for British). He was wounded in the head, back, and right knee at the Battle of Le Bassee, where the Coldstreams and the Irish Guards made their famous charge. He was in hospital in France for a time, and then was sent to hospital in Sheffield, and from thence to the convalescent home.

Driver Johnson, of the Army Transport Section, who was wounded at Ypres on December 18th, and is still in hospital, spent last week-end at his home, 20 West Leyes, Rugby. Driver Johnson was wounded in the right hand, but his horse laid on him for 24 hours before he was found, and as a result of this he has lost all power in his left aide. Although the medical authorities are sanguine that he will in time regain the use of his injured limbs, they all agree that a considerable time will elapse before he does so—probably 12 months. Driver Johnson, who was one of the earliest to enlist from Rugby, was before the war employed by Messrs Willans & Robinson as a driller.



The decision of the Urban District Council to raise a Rugby Fortress Company of the Royal Engineers, as reported in our last issue, has met with general approval in the town, and the hope it expressed on all hands that the number of men necessary to complete the unit will be speedily obtained, so that the name of Rugby may be associated with another company at the front. In addition to commissioned officers and sergeants, only 94 men are required for the company, vis: Corporal (mounted), 1 ; lance-corporal (mounted), 1 ; shoeing and carriage smith, 1 ; drivers (including batmen), 15 ; blacksmiths, 9 ; bricklayers, 12 ; plasterer, 1 ; slater, 1 ; carpenters (including joiners), 20 ; clerks, 2 ; draughtsman (architectural), 1 ; electricians (field), 2 ; engine drivers (field), 3 ; fitters and turners, 4 ; harness maker, 1 ; masons, 7 ; platelayers, 2 ; plumbers (including gas fitters), 3 ; surveyor, 1 ; wheelwrights, 2 ; miscellaneous, 5.

The company must be raised on a regular basis, and the enlistment must be for three years or the duration of the war, and must be carried out at a regular recruiting office. The age for enlistment is between 19 and 38 years.

The pay of all ranks will be at the some rate as that prescribed for the Royal Engineers ; and the company, when raised, will have to be clothed, housed (by the hire of buildings or billeting only), and fed at rates approved by and to be paid for by the War Office. It is stated that the company will remain at Rugby during the initial training ; and that men, if they so desire, may be billeted in their homes. In this connection the War Office point out that unmarried soldiers necessarily living at their own homes, and not messed by their units, will draw a consolidated allowance of 2s per day. If living at home and messed by their units, they will draw a lodging allowance of 9d per day.

The expense of raising the company will for the most part, it is hoped, be provided in the town. The War Office points out that money expended by municipalities, communities, and individuals authorised to raise local units on advertisements, posters, concerts, bands, and similar items in connection with recruiting has in many cases been found by local funds, but that where this is not the case the Army Council are prepared to refund expenditure actually incurred in this direction up to a maximum of 2s for each recruit raised. In addition to these expenses, there will, doubtless, be other items which will have to be met by a local fund ; but, according to Mr J J McKinnell, to whom belongs the honour of initiating the idea of raising a local company, the total sum required should not exceed £50. Rugby has responded so liberally to all patriotic appeals during the last few months that we are sure that the promoters of the company will not find their activities crippled through lack of funds.

The Army Council will allow the sum of £8 15s for the equipment of each dismounted man, and £9 15s for each mounted man, but these sums are believed to be rather below the actual cost of equipment, and any balance will thus have to he made up out of local funds. It is hoped to commence recruiting at the Park Road Drill Hall on Monday next.


The following have been attested at the Park Road Drill Hall during the past week —Royal Warwickshire Regiment, T Morriss ; A.S.C, H J Merrick ; R.E, J W foster and G Clarke ; Bedfords, H Seaton, H Pegg, P Cleaver, and A W Leeson ; Reserve Signal Co, R.E, A J Brasher ; Rugby Fortress Co, R.E, T H Hands, J Wise, and E G Smith.


Quite a number of the men from the Rugby Post Office staff have joined the colours, and those remaining are working at high pressure. Amongst those who have recently enlisted in the Royal Engineers, where their duties will consist mainly of telegraph work, are : Messrs J T Healey, A Miller, R J Sheldon, A E Goldfinch, and A J Brasher. The latter left Rugby on Monday, and another member of the staff (Mr G D Tennant) expects to take his departure next week. To cope with the situation, a number of postmen are now doing indoor work, and other vacancies are being filled by women and girls, female labour being almost entirely used in the instrument-room.

27th Feb 1915. Appeals for more Men.


Mr C T Mewis, 44 Bath Street, has received a very interesting letter from a friend, Pte W Gardner, of the 3rd Coldstream Guards, who is at the front. Mr Gardner was formerly a policeman at Rugby, but of late was employed in the Press Department of the B.T.H.

In the course of this letter Pte Gardner recounts his experiences, from the time he first went out, in very interesting manner. He relates that on Christmas night they were sent to the trenches, but found them in such a terrible condition that they volunteered to dig some more. This request was acceded to, but the weather was so cold that their trousers and putties were frozen to their legs and their socks to their feet. During the whole of this time they were under fire, but luckily no one was hit, although some had very narrow escapes, and a bullet passed through a parcel of Christmas dainties which he was carrying in his pack. After recounting further experiences, the writer goes on to say :-

” I was very pleased to hear that the young men of Rugby have rallied round the Old Flag in its time of danger, and I hope that if there are any slackers left they will soon buck up and come in, for every man is wanted out here. They will all get out here in time, for I think this is going to be a long war yet, and every able-bodied man ought to try and do his little bit. But it wants all the single ones to come first ; then, if it comes to a pinch, the married men should get in. If they were to see some of the sights that I have since I have been here they would soon some in, I am sure. Wherever you go you are sure to find some trace of German brutality and destruction—houses and churches burnt to the ground or blown down by shells or bombs, starving women and children walking about without any home, parents, or food. It is awful. There is no doubt but that we shall win, for we are now steadily gaining ground and winning along the line all the time. The Germans do a lot of damage sniping-a game of which they are very fond. It does not take a crack shot to do it with their rifles, which have got telescopic sights on them. They can hide in a wood or house 500 yards a way, and, looking through these sights, see a man’s head through a loop-hole as plainly as if he was only two yards away. We have caught many of them, so this is first hand information. The writer adds that he has seen several Rugby men at the front, including Pte Flavell, of the B.T.H. He states states that he has slept in a number of peculiar places of late, viz. in the trenches, in the road when the mud has been 2 or 3 inches deep, in the gutter when it had been raining and the water was running down it like a young river, in a haystack, on the railway lines, in a cattle truck, barn, stable, ploughed field, cow-shed, workhouse and college, but never in a bed.”


Although there are still hundreds of young fellows in the town and district apparently without any adequate reason for holding back, only four have joined the forces this week, this being the smallest number since the commencement of the war. The total number from Rugby now exceeds 2,200. Those joining this week were:—Royal Berkshire Regiment, A H Sear and F Parker; R. W.R, E H Healey; Leicestershire, A Tyers.


In addition to Sergt-Major J W Goddard, mentioned in our columns last week, another old St Matthew’s boy has been awarded the Military Cross by the King, after being mentioned in Sir John French’s despatches. The recipient on whom the honour has been bestowed is Sergt-Major F A Nason, of the Army Veterinary Corps, a nephew of Mr T Nason, 130 Railway Terrace.


News has been received that Mr William Dirbin, who formerly lived at 11 Spring Street, Rugby, was killed in action near Soissons in January. The deceased, who was a reservist in the Royal Field Artillery, was for several years employed in the Goods Department at Rugby L & N-W Railway Station, but was transferred shortly before the war broke out. He was called up in August last. The gallant fellow was of a quiet, unassuming disposition, and was a favourite with all who knew him ; and the news of his untimely end has come as a great shook to his wife, with whom much sympathy is expressed, and his friends.


Mr C J Beard, of Murray Road, Rugby, still receives letters occasionally from his son, Pte Sidney Beard, of the 2nd Warwickshire Regiment, who is detained as a prisoner of war at Gottingen, Germany. At the request of Mr Adams, of Dunchurch, Mr Beard wrote to his son recently, asking if he knew anything of the fate of his soldier son, Pte Willie Adams, of the same regiment. The letter was posted at Paris, and yesterday (Friday) morning Mr Beard got a reply, in which the following gratifying sentence was given :—“ I have spoken to Adams ; he is quite safe.” Private Beard has also asked for food, clothing, soap and other articles to be sent to him

Pte John Richardson, of the Coldstream Guards, the eldest son of Mr W and Mrs Richardson, The Banks, Dunchurch, volunteered for the front at the outbreak of the war, and landed in France on November 12th. He died from wounds received in action on February on 11th. He was one of the smartest of the young men that went from Dunchurch. Up to the present, in addition to Pte Richardson, the following Dunchurch men have been killed :— Lance-Corp E Parker, Lance-Corpl White, Pte R Norman, and Gunner Harry Pearce (on the Bulwark).


During the week the troops in Rugby have been exercised in route marching, and on Thursday they joined contingents from Leamington ; while Nuneaton and Coventry men met for similar work.

Captain the Hon E A FitzRoy, M.P. is not yet medically fit for active service, and is doing light work with his regiment.

In the area in Essex over which the German aeroplane raid took place last week-end a number of the Warwickshire Territorials, including “ E ” Company, are located.

Mr W G B Over, formerly of Rugby, who joined the colours in September last, is now engaged as musketry instructor attached to the 10th (Service) Battalion of the 19th Yorkshire Regiment. He holds the rank of Sergeant-Major, and is stationed at Aylesbury.

On Monday last coal supplied by the bag was advanced in Rugby 1d per cwt. On Monday next another halfpenny will be put upon the 4lb loaf, making the price 8d.


With regard to the proposal made by the Urban District Council to use the B.T.H hooter for an alarm signal in case of air raids, a correspondent living in Lower Hillmorton Road writes to point out that when the wind is blowing from a southerly direction the hooter is almost inaudible in that district, and therefore would be useless as an alarm. Our correspondent suggests that the new bell at Rugby School should be sounded as well as the hooter in case of air raids. This would ensure that when the wind was blowing from such a direction as to diminish the volume of sound from one of the alarms, it would increase that of the other. It is suggested that a key of the door giving access to the bell-rope should be left either at the Police Station or given to the police officer on duty in the town, and that immediately notice of a raid is received the officer shall make his way to the tower and ring the bell. The suggestion seems to be a good one, and we recommend it to the Urban Council for their consideration.


Tuesday.—Before Dr Clement Dukes (in the chair), T Hunter, T A Wise, A E Donkin, and J J McKinnell, Esqrs.

HANDED OVER TO THE MILITARY AUTHORITIES,-Pte George Oliver, of the Scottish Regiment, was charged on remand with stealing a gentleman’s overcoat, of the value of £1, from the doorway of a shop belonging to Tom G Hough, pawnbroker, in Little Church Street, on February 16th.—Application was made by an officer of defendant’s regiment for the man to be handed over to the Military Authorities to be dealt with.— This course was agreed to, and defendant was remanded till next week in the same bail for the authorities to report as to whether he had been dealt with.