Palmer, Henry Joseph. Died 24th Oct 1918

Henry Joseph PALMER was born on 22 December 1898 in Bicester, Oxfordshire and registered there in Q1, 1899.  He was baptised at Bicester parish church on 30 April 1899, when the family were living at St John Street, Bicester.  He was the son of James Arthur Palmer, (b.c.1866 in Hethe, near Bicester – d.c.1932 in Rugby), and his wife, Sarah Elizabeth, née Edridge, Palmer (b.c.1867, in Bicester – d.c.1943 in Rugby).

By 1901, Henry was 2, and not long after he was born  the family had moved to Rugby and were now living at 35 Victoria Avenue, Bilton.  His father was a ‘moulder’s labourer’.

In 1911, when Henry, now known as ‘Harry’, was 12, the family was living at 32 Worcester Street, Rugby.  His father was now a ‘machine moulder’.  All six of the Palmer children were at home that night, as well as a four year old niece and a border.

Unfortunately no Service Record has survived for Henry, and the only information is from his Medal Card and a listing in ‘Soldiers Died in the Great War’.[1]

Henry joined up in Leamington Spa,[2] and his Medal Card showed that he served in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (R.War.R) as a private with, latterly, the Regimental Number: 42159.  The CWGC confirms that he finished his service with this number in the 2nd/6th Battalion (Bn.).  There was no date when he went to France on his Medal Card, and he did not receive the 1914-18 Star, suggesting he went to France after the end of 1915, possibly some time after he had joined up and when he had reached the required age at about the end on 1916.

The 2nd/6th Battalion of the R.War.R. had formed in Birmingham in October 1914,[3] and when the 1st South Midland Division went to France, the 2nd took its place at Chelmsford with role in Home Defence.  The strength of the unit fluctuated as they were drawn upon for drafts for the 1st-Line battalions.  In August 1915 the division was numbered as the 61st (2nd South Midland) Division and the brigade became the 182nd (2nd Warwickshire) Brigade.  In February and March 1916 they moved to Salisbury Plain for final training.  The division moved to France, arriving by 28 May 1916.

The 2nd/6th Bn’s first action was the Battle of Fromelles on 19 July 1916, a diversionary attack in support of the Somme Offensive.  The attack was badly handled and casualties were heavy.  The 61st Division was so badly mauled that it was not used offensively again in 1916.  Thereafter, the battalion was involved in the Operations on the Ancre, 11-15 January 1917; the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line, 14 March-5 April 1917; the Battle of Langemarck, 16-18 August 1917; the Battle of Cambrai: German counter-attacks, 1-3 December 1917.  Due to the manpower shortage being suffered by the BEF, on 20 February 1918, the 2nd/6th Bn. received men from the disbanded 2nd/5th Royal Warwicks.

On the day before the German Spring Offensive, Operation Michael[4], the 61st Division was just north of St Quentin when 2nd/6th Royal Warwicks was ordered to raid the enemy line Cepy Farm and obtained prisoners from three regiments and two separate divisions, indicating that the German lines were packed ready for an attack early the following morning, 21 March.  Unfortunately, this information was not widely disseminated before the Battle of St Quentin began.

The front held by 61st Division opposite St Quentin was one of the few sectors where the attackers were delayed.  Redoubts held out for most of the day and the Battle Zone was successfully held by 2nd/6th Royal Warwicks and four other battalions.  Unfortunately, the neighbouring battalions were driven back and the 2nd/6th Bn. was ordered to retire.  It was then involved in the Actions to defend the Somme Crossings on 24-25 March.  The Division was relieved on 27 March and taken north to make a counter-attack the following day at Lamotte near Villers-Bretonneux.  This attack was shot down yards from the objective and the exhausted remnants were finally pulled out of the line on 30 March.

During the rest of Spring 1918 the battalion was involved in the Battle of the Lys, the Battle of Estaires, 11 April, when the 61st Division arrived just in time to prevent the destruction of the 51st (Highland) Division; Battle of Hazebrouck, 12-15 April; and the Battle of Béthune, 18 April.

In the ‘Hundred Days Offensive’, the 61st Division was committed to minor operations during the pursuit to the Haute Deule Canal.  On 1 October, 182nd Bde, including the 2nd/6th Royal Warwicks and the 184th Bde attacked behind a deep barrage against little resistance and then followed the German rearguards over broken ground well beyond the original objectives.

The Battalion then went into reserve until the Battle of the Selle on 24 October, when it was ordered to cross the Ecaillon stream.  2nd/6th and 2nd/7th Royal Warwicks got into trouble here, because there was uncut barbed wire on both sides of the stream that had been missed by the barrage.  Only a few men were able to struggle across and maintain themselves against counter-attacks for the rest of the day.

In this period, the three British Armies were able to continue their advance, taking nearly 20,000 prisoners in one week.  During the night of 23/24 October, the 61st Division relieved 19th Division east of Haussy to continue the advance across the River Écaillon the following day.

The Battalion War Diary[5] for this period can be found with the Diaries of the 61st Division.  The activities of the Battalion in October 1918 can perhaps best provide information as to Henry’s likely whereabouts and the occasion when he was wounded, leading to his death.

On 2 October the 182nd Infantry Brigade was relieved by the 178th Infantry Brigade, and went into billets at TREIZENNES, for re-equiping and training.  The Battalion moved by train to billets at GEZAINCOURT.  After two days rest and training the Battalion moved by rail and route march into reserve S.W. of MOEUVRES.  On 10 October they moved by route march to ANNEUX.  Apart from finding a working party, they were training until 18 October when they marched to billets S.W. of CAMBRAI, and the next day marched to RIEUX for further training until 22 October when they moved to MONTRECOURT WOOD prior to relieving the 9th Welch just west of VENGEGIES, on 23 October.

24 October – 04.00 – Under cover of artillery barrage, the village of VENDEGIES was attacked and the river ECAILLON crossed, but the Battalion had to withdraw West of the river, owing to strong enemy resistance.  Fighting continued through the day, and at about 18.00 hours the enemy withdrew.  The village was occupied immediately.  Casualties sustained 5 Officers, 182 O.R.

Henry was most likely one of those 182 O.R. casualties, assuming he was wounded in the attacks on 24 October 1918.  He was probably carried back about 10 miles to one of the Casualty Clearing Stations established in the rear, at Awoingt, near Cambrai, where he died of his wounds on the same day, Thursday, 24 October 1918.  He was 19 years old.

He was buried in the Awoingt British Cemetery, which was adjacent to the Casualty Clearing Stations, in grave reference: I. C. 18.

Awoingt is a village some 3 Kms east-south-east of Cambrai, in Nord, France.  Awoingt British Cemetery was begun in the latter half of October 1918 and used until the middle of December; the village had been captured on 9/10 October.  By 28 October, the 38th, 45th and 59th Casualty Clearing Stations were posted in the neighbourhood, and the great majority of the burials were made from those hospitals.[6]

An inscription was added to his memorial by the family, ‘We Miss Him Most Who Loved Him Best God Grant To Him Eternal Rest’, and his father’s name was given as ‘Mr J A Palmer, 32 Worcester Street, Rugby.’

Henry Joseph Palmer’s Medal Card showed that he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.  His name also appears on the War Memorial Gates, Whitehall Road, Rugby and he is also remembered on a family grave ref: M101, in the Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby.

Two days after Henry’s death, on 26 October, Erich Ludendorff, First Quartermaster General of the German army, resigned under pressure from Kaiser Wilhelm II.  The 100 days’ advance continued and only two weeks after Henry’s death, the War came to an end.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Henry Joseph PALMER 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, August 2018.

[1]      UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919, from www.Ancestry.co.uk.

[2]      UK, Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919, from www.Ancestry.co.uk.

[3]      Greater detail can be found at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/6th_Battalion,_Royal_Warwickshire_Regiment, from which this summary was prepared.

[4]      See: https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/the-1918-spring-offensive-operation-michael/.

[5]      UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, TNA ref: 61st Division, Piece 3056/2: 2/6 Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, (1915 Sep – 1919 Feb).

[6]      Edited from https://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/59900/awoingt-british-cemetery/.

13th Jul 1918. Rugby Soldier Honoured.

RUGBY SOLDIER HONOURED.

Sergt A Neal, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery has been awarded the Croce di Guerra for gallantry under shell fire with the Italian Army, and was decorated by the King of Italy on June 7th. On March 19 & 20, when the Battery was subjected to heavy shell fire, he set a fine example to all ranks by his calm behaviour and total disregard of danger. On May 20th he was N C.O in charge of a party making a dump in No Man’s Land. The party worked under continuous shell fire, and under most adverse conditions Sergt Neal again set a splendid example. He is a native of Hillmorton, and was employed as a fitter at the B.T. H. His wife lives at 12 King Edward Road.

RUGBY MILITARY MEDALIST MARRIED.—Much interest was taken in the wedding which took place at the Baptist Church, Rugby, on Wednesday, of Corpl J R Mayes, Royal Berks, son of Mr & Mrs J Mayes, of South Street, and Miss Ethel Davison, daughter of Mr & Mrs T Davison, of Acacia Grove. The bridegroom was formerly a staff-sergeant in the Boys’ Life Brigade, the members of which formed a guard of honour at the ceremony. His ambulance training with the brigade helped the bridegroom to win the coveted medal, for he gained it by going out under heavy fire, dressing the wounds of his comrades, and bringing them to safety. He has been since wounded twice, and also gassed. There was a large congregation at the ceremony, which was performed by the Pastor, the Rev J H Lees. Two hymns were sung, and Mr Harris (the organist) played the “ Wedding March.” The bride was given away by her father, and Misses Winnie and Jessie Davison (sisters) and Miss Katherine Mayes (sister of the bridegroom) attended as bridesmaids. Mr Mitchell, of Kilsby, was best man. Amongst the presents was a silver egg cruet, given by the Boys’ Life Brigade.

THE amount realised by the sale of War Bonds in Rugby for the week ended July 6th was £71,750, making a total for 40 weeks £293,305.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Lance-Corpl R Robinson (Rugby), of the Queens Royal West Surrey Regiment, has been reported missing.

Mr A D Stocks, formerly of Misterton, near Lutterworth, and in recent years articled to Messrs Seabroke & Son, solicitors, of Rugby, has received a commission in the Coldstream Guards, and is now stationed at Windsor. Mr Stocks is widely known in the Midlands as a hockey player of international fame, and also in cricket circles.

Capt A D Stoop (O.B), the Queen’s, the famous English Rugby international football player, has been awarded the Military Cross.

Capt J C Palmer, 22nd Rifle Brigade, Balkans, formerly Second-Lieutenant, Accrington Pals Battalion, and Corporal, 9th Hast Surrey Regiment, has been awarded the Military Cross for distinguished services in the field. He is the eldest son of Supt J T Palmer, Church, Lancashire, and grandson of the late ex-Supt Palmer, Rugby, and has served in Egypt, France, and the Balkans.

The death is announced, as the result of a flying accident, of Lieut Raymond Coape-Arnold, sixth and youngest son of Mr & Mrs H J F Coape-Arnold, formerly of Wolvey Hall. His machine came to grief through a side-slip. The deceased, who was an officer of considerable promise, was 26 years of age, and after completing his education he visited various parts of the world, including Canada and South Africa. On the outbreak of war he joined the South Staffordshire Regiment, and became a commissioned officer in November, 1915. He joined the Air Force last year.

Captain Eric Lattey, of the Worcestershire Regiment, has been again wounded in France, this being the third time his name has appeared in the list of casualties. Captain Lattey is the elder surviving son of Captain W C Lattey, RAM.C, of Southam, and was educated at Greyfriars School, Leamington (of which he was the captain), and at Bradfield, where he won an Entrance Scholarship. His brother was one of the earliest victims of the War, having been a midshipman on H.M.S Hawke, which was sunk in October, 1914, off the coast of Scotland.

We understand that Col F F Johnstone has resigned his position as Recruiting Officer at Rugby, and that the Drill Hall, Park Road, will be closed for recruiting after July 17th. During his term of office Col Johnstone has carried out his duties with considerable tact and consideration, and has taken a great interest in everything appertaining to the comfort and well-being of both soldiers and their dependents. Major Neilson will still have an office at the Drill Hall as National Service representative.

NEWBOLD-ON-AVON.
MISSING.—Mrs R Collins has received official notification that her husband, Rifleman R Collins, Rifle Brigade, has been missing since the night of May 27-28. He is the second son of Mr & Mrs T Collins, of Stephen Street, Rugby. and joined up soon after the outbreak of war.—Mrs Sinclair has also received notice that her husband, Pte F J Sinclair, of the Royal Berkshire Regiment, has been missing since May 28th. Pte Sinclair has been previously wounded three times.

KILSBY
MISSING.—Mr & Mrs D Conopo received news on  Monday that their son, Corpl L Conopo (Middlesex Regiment) is missing. They have already lost one son, who was drowned when serving on H.M.S Queen Mary in the Battle of Jutland.

STOCKTON
OUR MEN.—Perry Hodges has been dangerously wounded.

DECORATION.—Q.M.S. Sam Griffin, R.E, son of Mr W Griffin, Coventry Street, Southam. has been awarded the D.C.M. Last year he gained the M.C.M, and he also holds the Mons Star.

WAR WEAPONS WEEK.
£83,000 RAISED.

The result of the special effort in Rugby last week was very gratifying to those taking part is the campaign. Not only the town itself, but all the adjoining villages responded splendidly to this special call ; and although the figures have not yet been fully analysed, it is believed that the average per head of population in some of the villages is higher than that for the town The total amount invested during the six days’ campaign was £83,239 8s.

This was 66 per cent. in excess of the amount asked for by the National War Savings Committee ; and the controller, Mr Theodore Chambers, has sent the following telegram to the hon secretary for the local Campaign Committee :—

“ Very hearty congratulations upon splendid result of Rugby War Weapons Week, which is proof of to patriotism and fine spirit of its people.”

About £78,000 was subscribed through the banks, and remaining £6,000 was divided between the Selling Depot at the Lover School and the Post Office. At former about £5,000 worth of bonds and certificates were sold, Saturday being an especially busy day. The arrangements were made by the Executive Committee of the Rugby War Savings Association, of which Mr H Lupton Reddish is chairman and Mr G W Lawson secretary.

Certainly the local committee has every reason to be satisfied with this result, coming as it does so soon after their previous effort in connection with Business Men’s Week.

As a result of this the town will have the honour of giving its name to an aeroplane.

THE COAL AND FUEL ORDER.
APPOINTMENT OF LOCAL OVERSEERS.

A special meeting of the Rugby Urban District Council to appoint a local fuel overseer, as required by the Household Fuel and Lighting Order, was held on Tuesday evening. Mr W Flint (vice-chairman) presided, and there were also present : Messrs S B Bobbins, R W Barnsdale, F E Hands, W H Linnell, L Loverock, T Ringrose, R Walker, and H Yates.

The Clerk (Mr A Morson) explained that it was necessary to appoint a local overseer to carry out the Fuel and Lighting Order, which came into force on July 1st. Such appointment must be made within 14 days of the order coming into force, became after July 8th the protection of men engaged in the coal trade would depend upon the certificates granted by these officials. Although the order came into force on July 1st, the local authorities did not receive it until July 4th. The Local Government Board suggested that borough surveyors should be appointed overseers where possible.—Mr Loverock : What are the duties ?—The Clerk : The regulations occupy 94 pages. The duties will be important : coal merchants will have to be registered, and consumers will only be able to obtain their coal through the merchant with whom they are registered. The local fuel overseer will be responsible for issuing permits for merchants to obtain the coal they require and for seeing that it does not exceed the allotted portion.—The Chairman suggested that Mr Sharpe, the surveyor, would make an admirable overseer, and the Clerk said if the Council agreed to this, arrangements could be made whereby Mr Sharp could give plenty of time to the work.—Mr Loverock : If he has to carry out these duties he will have something to do.—Mr Robbins : He will have to have to have a clerk.—Mr Linnell said now that there was very little building going on Mr Tew would be able to assist the Surveyor.—The Clerk said unfortunately Mr Sharp had had to go to Yorkshire to attend his father’s funeral ; but he had informed him (the Clerk) that he was quite willing to take the post. The Clerk added that he was anxious that whoever was appointed should take up the work from the beginning—Mr Loverock : What is the remuneration ?—The Clerk replied that it was based on the number of inhabited houses in the district, but it would probably be revised.—Mr Yates said he did not always agree that they should accept the recommendations which came from the Local Government Board. If that body could not manage better than to send out an order four days after it came into operation they could not give much weight to their suggestion as to who should be appointed overseer, especially when they suggested that an official, who was supposed to be fully occupied with work, should be appointed to take over very onerous duties. Although this scheme was not of the same magnitude as the food rationing, it would entail a tremendous amount of detail work, and in the measure in which this was done effectively the comfort of their fellow-citizens would depend. If they had large queues of people whose requirements had not been attended to owing to the lark of facilities for dealing with them, the Council would be the responsible party. They should, therefore, appoint someone who would be able to devote his whole time to the work. The work would have to be put in hand straight away, and an office and staff would have to be provided. At present people who were in the habit of getting their coal in by small quantities were letting things slide, but they would come in with a rush latter. Although he had the greatest respect for Mr Sharpe’s abilities in other directions, he did not think he would have the necessary time to take on this work.

The Chairman said he had thought over the question thoroughly, and Mr Sharpe was perfectly willing to take the position and to get the scheme into working order. He proposed that Mr Sharpe should be appointed.—Mr Loverock seconded.—Mr Yates protested, and said the matter ought to be considered in all its bearings. The Clerk had suggested that in order to ensure efficient working someone should be in charge form the beginning, but to suggest that Mr Sharpe should get the scheme in order, and then hand it over to other people, was not the proper way to do it. There were men disabled from other work who might take the position, and devote the whole of their time to it. The work was not only for the coming winter, but would last for a number of winters, and to saddle an official who was already in charge of very important work with these duties was to make a hash and a fiasco of it.—The Chairman said he thought if Mr Sharpe found he could grapple with the work there was no reason why he should not keep the appointment permanently. There was little work to do for the Plans Committee now, and Mr Sharpe had rather more spare time on his hands than usual.—The Clerk pointed out that the Council could appoint Messrs Sharpe and Tew jointly if they wished, and the proposition was amended to this effect and carried. Mr H Yates voting against it.—It was decided that the offices should be situated at the Benn Buildings for the present.—The matter of appointing a committee to carry out the scheme was left to the monthly meeting of the Council.

SPRAYING POTATOES.

Continued experiments have shown that on an average of a series of years spraying has increased the yield of sound potatoes by approximately two tons per statute acre ; while in a bad season the neglect of this operation often means the loss of a large proportion of the crop.

Although there is no authentic record of an outbreak of the disease in Warwickshire up to the present time (June 24th), yet several suspicious cases have been reported ; these on investigation were found to be connected with “ leaf curl ”—caused by planting seed from worn-out stock—or were the result of a check to growth through drought. The time will, however, soon arrive when the real and dreaded disease “ blight,” which has so often ruined our crops, may be expected to again attack them. Fortunately spraying with Burgundy mixture provides a means by which serious damage may be prevented ; therefore, in view of the food shortage, it is the patriotic duty of all to spray mid-season and late potatoes as a method of insurance against loss.

It is not so necessary to spray First Earlies, because they are usually lifted before the disease affects the tubers, and it is always a good plan to lift and store them as soon as ready, and thus prevent risk from disease. Where, however, First Earlies have been planted late they should be sprayed, because the disease may develop on their tops and spread to Second Earlies or Main Crop potatoes growing near. The first sign of disease visible to the naked eye is the appearance on the leaves of blackish spots of irregular size and shape on the under surface of which a delicate white mould may be seen, especially round the edges of the diseased parts. Frequently the disease is first seen on the leaves near the tops of the haulms, but where the growth is dense (through close planting) disease may first occur on the leaves near the ground.

From the 8th to 15th of July is usually the most suitable time to give the first spraying in Warwickshire, but in some instances it may with advantage be done a week earlier. The second spraying should be done two or three weeks after the first.

Leaflets giving full particulars regarding the potato disease and spraying may be obtained on application to the Horticultural Organiser, 12 Northgate Street, Warwick.

BILTON.
WOUNDED SOLDIERS ENTERTAINED.—On Wednesday Mr B Morris, of Bilton Manor, celebrated his daughter’s birthday by entertaining about 200 wounded soldiers from the local Red Cross Hospitals. Owing to the unfavourable weather, the first part of the proceedings took place in the house, where enjoyable entertainments were given by the artistes appearing at the Empire and two entertainers from Leicester. Tea was provided in the garden, where a number of ladies and gentlemen assisted in waiting upon the guests. A gaily decorated stage had been erected on the lawn, and after tea a “ free and easy ” concert, in which several of the guests participated, was given. Several valuable presents were presented lo Miss Morris by the soldiers from the various hospitals.

NEW REGISTER ON OCTOBER 1ST.—The Local Government Board have issued an Order in Council which fixes June 29th as the date for the publication of the first list of electors and October 1st as the date when the new Register under the Franchise Act is to come into force. Naval and military voters can claim to be placed on the Absent Voters list up to July 31st. Registered civilians may be included in this list if they satisfy the Registration Officer that owing to the nature of their occupation they might not be able to vote in the ordinary way at a Parliamentary election.

THE INFLUENZA.—Owing to the widespread epidemic of influenza, all the schools in the town and New Bilton have been closed. In some cases nearly 50 per cent. of the scholars were affected. Hundreds of adults have also fallen victims, and a number of deaths from pneumonia following the influenza have been recorded.

DEATHS.

HANCOX.—In ever loving memory of our dear son and brother, who died of wounds in France on June 5, 1918.—Deeply mourned by all who knew him.

HALE.—In loving memory of my dear husband, Pte. A. G. HALE, of Yelvertoft, who was killed in action, May 28th, 1918.
God took my loved one from my home,
But never from my heart.
Too far away thy grave to see,
But not too far to think of thee.
—From his loving wife, Bernard, and all his friends.

RICHARDSON.—In loving memory of Sergt, L. RICHARDSON, of the 11th K.K.R., who was reported missing since Nov. 30th, and has now been reported killed on that date.
He marched away so bravely,
His young head bravely held ;
His footsteps never faltered,
His courage never failed ;
But his unknown grave is the bitterest blow,
None but his loved ones ever will know.
—Deeply mourned by his sorrowing mother, sisters, brother, grandmother, and Nell, of “ The Banks,” Dunchurch.

IN MEMORIAM.

BENNETT.—In loving memory of our dear brother, Pte. G. BENNETT, M.G.C, of Union Street, killed in action on July 14, 1917. Inserted by his loving brother and sister, Mr. & Mrs. T. Bennett, of Dublin.

CLARKE.—In loving memory of Gunner T. CLARKE, killed in action in France on July 11, 1917.
“ Days of sadness still come o er us,
Tears in silence often flow,
Thinking of the day we lost you :
Just a year ago.
Too far away thy grave to see,
But not too far to think of thee.”

DEXTER.—In ever-loving memory of our dear son, GUNNER P J DEXTER, who died in France July 10, 1917.
We cannot forget him, we loved him too dearly
For his memory to fade away like a dream.
Our lips need not speak, though our hearts mourn him sincerely,
For grief often dwells where it seldom is seen.
—Never forgotten by his Father, Mother, Brothers, and Sisters.

HIPWELL.—In loving memory of our dear son, Pte. ARTHUR HIPWELL, killed in action in France on July 14, 1916.
“ No one knows the silent heartache,
Only those can tell
Who have lent their loved and dearest,
Without saying farewell.”
—From his loving Father & Mother, Brothers & Sisters.

KENNEY.—In loving memory of Sergt. ROLAND ISAAC (1/7 R.W.R. Territorials), dearly beloved son of Mr. and Mrs. T. Kenney, Stretton-under-Fosse, who was killed in action on the Somme in France on July 14th, 1916 : and 23 years.
“ He fought for his country,
He answered Duty’s call ;
His home, his friends, his comforts,
He sacrificed them all ;
But he won admiration in Britain’s glorious name.”
—“ Peace, perfect peace.”—Never forgotten by his loving Mother and Father, Sisters and Brothers.

PAYNE.—In loving and affectionate remembrance of my dear son, LANCE-CORPL. E. PAYNE, killed in action at Verdun, July 15th, 1916.
A faithful son, a loving brother,
He bravely answered, Duty’s call,
He gave his life for one and all.
Two years have passed, but still we miss him,
Some may think that we forget him
When at times they see a smile,
But they little know the sorrow
Deep within our hearts concealed.
—Gone, but never forgotten by his loving father, brothers and sisters.

PAYNE.—In loving memory of Lance-Corpl. E. PAYNE, who was killed in action, July 15th, 1916.
“ We do not forget him—nor do we intend,
We think of him daily—and will to the end ;
We miss him and mourn him in silence unseen,
And dwell on the memory of days that have been.”
—From his wife and children.

PEARCE.—In loving memory of our dear son, Sergt. B. PEARCE, 8th Bedfords, who was killed in action somewhere in France, July 12th, 1917.—From father, mother, brothers and sisters.
One year has passed since that sad day,
When our loved one passed away,
But the hardest part is yet to come,
When other lads return ;
When we shall miss amongst the cheering crowd,
The face of our dear son.

THOMPSON.—In loving memory of our brother. Pte. A. H. THOMPSON, who died of wounds in France, July 17th, 1917.—Not forgotten by his brothers and sisters, Will, Tom, Emma, and Harry.

29th Apr 1916. Lord Denbigh & Conscientious Objectors

LORD DENBIGH & CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTORS.

To the Editor of the Rugby Advertiser.

Newnham Paddox, 27/4/16,

SIR,-Since my return from a year’s service in Egypt a few weeks ago, I have been reading in your paper with shame and indignation of the various attempts made by ” conscientious objectors ” and others to evade their duty to their country and save their own skins.

If you have sufficient space, perhaps you will publish the enclosed copy of a letter which I have just sent to a rev gentleman in Lancashire.

I wish he and others like him could visit the front trenches and the ruined towns and villages in France and Belgium, and see what war means. I wish they had been with me the other day when I was able to go to the front trenches on my way back through France.

I was in what before the war was a prosperous, tidy, and well ordered mining village of excellent houses. It is now half in actual ruins and half deserted by the inhabitants, but with most of the houses more or less knocked about by shells, and unbroken panes of glass are rare.

You approach this spot by a long deep communication trench which is frequently shelled, and it goes down the main street where the gutters used to run ; it branches out in various directions and these branches run in tunnels under houses and through cellars until at last one arrives at the firing trench, cunningly worked in amongst ruined walls, made up with sandbags and the various protective traverses and dug-outs.

When I got back to the headquarters, where two shells had gone through the roof the night before, after staying a short while in a telephone exchange in a cellar, while an adjoining square where the field kitchens were was being shelled for half-hour or so in hopes of catching the men coming for their food—a shell had knocked out a party of men there the night before—I found a French soldier in uniform under an escort of two British.

He had been found wandering about the forward trenches, and his movements were rightly regarded as   suspicious, so he was arrested and brought along. His story was as follows :- He had lived and worked in this village before the war, and he gave the number of his house in a certain street, now only semi-existent. He left his wife and two children, also a sister and six children, there on the day of mobilisation. He had been twice wounded himself in Champagne last year, and since his departure twenty months before he had not heard one word of his relations, and he didn’t know where they were nor what happened to them. He had got five days’ leave from his regiment to come and endeavour to obtain news of them, and when arrested he had been trying to find where his home had been. His papers were quite in order, and I believe his story was quite correct, and it is just typical of what has happened to thousands of others in the war area.

This is war as it is known to-day and practised by the Germans. This is what we wish to protect our country from.

I, too, am a ” conscientious objector.” I conscientiously object to being murdered by a Hun, to seeing my house burnt and my family ill-treated, and probably murdered too, by brutal German officers and soldiers ; also to seeing these things happen to the inhabitants of my country, though I confess it would do some of these “objectors” and sham-exemption hunters good if they were made to suffer. I object to those who are for over trying to mislead the people of this country with wrong conceptions of what we are fighting for, and what we shall be reduced to if we do not win this war or if we make an inconclusive and premature peace.

I also object to one section of the population being obliged to go through the dangers and hardships of modern war whilst undue facilities are given to others to shirk and shelter themselves behind the former.— Faithfully yours,            DENBIGH.

[Copy].

To the Rev. Percy Stoll, M.A., B.D., Vicar of St. Peter’s, Halliwell, Bolton.

SIR,—I have received from you a circular addressed to Members of the House of Lords and to which you request a personal reply. Having a few minutes to spare, I have much pleasure in sending you one.

You apparently ask on behalf of your two sons, whom you say are destined for the Ministry, total exemption from all ” complicity in this war,” in which you rightly say England is ” standing forth as the protector of weak nations,” and you say you have ” stood for 25 years for duty to God, State, and Church.” As you truly say, ” War is admittedly a gigantic evil,” but I am not aware that Christ has ever taught that nations or individuals wrongfully attacked are not entitled to make as strenuous a defence as possible.

The matter, therefore, resolves itself thus: We are fighting to defend ourselves against a nation, which knows no creed but that of force and might, and if we are defeated it is well known that we shall be utterly crushed and ruined, as a nation, and that the enemy will strive by every means in his power to land in this country and treat us to exhibitions of ” frightfulness ” of which the horror perpetrated in Belgium and France may safely be regarded as mild samples. You say that you and your sons are so averse to ” harming anyone ” that you ” would not take the sword, even against enemies.”

Let me ask you, therefore, this question : Having regard to the brutalities against inoffensive civilians—especially women and children—which have disgraced the German army in Belgium and France, are you or are you not amongst those unnatural curs who have admitted that if they saw their wives and daughters being insulted by German soldiers, they would not take any violent action to save or rescue them, even if it was in their power to do so, either by themselves or in conjunction with others.

If, owing to your objection to “ taking a sword even against enemies,” you have to admit that you would take no steps for rescue or protection under the above circumstances, I hope the female members of your congregation will take note of the fact. As women generally admire courage in a man, they will probably express their opinion of you in plain terms.

But perhaps you will say you certainly would put up a fight to the best of your ability to protect the honour and the lives of your women folk. In this case, you are no genuine conscientious objector to using violence when you or yours are in danger, and I look upon you as humbugs and hypocrites in your refusal to have any “ complicity ” in this war, which is for the purpose of protecting these islands against the savagery of German invaders.

I take it you are against all ” complicity ” either as combatants or non-combatants. Parliament, in its wisdom, has arranged that those with genuine religious objections to combatant service shall be permitted to help their country as non-combatants, who, in limited numbers, have a useful field of work open to them.

I have some respect for those Quakers, for instance, who object to fight but are ready to perform the often very dangerous duties attaching in these days to stretcher-bearers on the battle-field. I, have no vocabulary capable of expressing my contempt for those who refuse to assist in any capacity or to share the dangers and hardships of those who are so bravely defending them from a hideous fate.

If your sons can show conscientious objections to fighting themselves and taking the lives “ even of their enemies,” they can no doubt be placed in a non-combatant corps.

In this guise, they can rescue and comfort the wounded, fix wire at night time in front of the forward parapets, dig trenches, dug-outs and latrines, and carry stores and sandbags into the trenches, and perform many other useful and innocuous but necessary duties, and so allow those who are fighting for them to obtain a well-earned rest.

Your sons will be all the better ministers for having been brought into close contact with Death, suffering, and manly courage in the trenches, and will, if they are spared—as I hope they may be—come back with perhaps loftier ideas than they now apparently have as to what constitutes their duty to “ God, the State, and the Church.”

Faithfully yours.

DENBIGH,

Colonel Commanding H.A.C.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

In memory of Lieut R W Poulton Palmer, the famous Rugby footballer and captain of the English XV, who was killed in action about a year ago, a beautiful marble tablet has been placed in the Parish Church at St Helens, Isle of Wight. It bears the inscription : “ In memory of Ronald, Lieut R W P Palmer, B.A, Rugby and Balliol, 1/4th Royal Berks Regt (T.F), younger son of Edward and Emily Poulton. Killed in the trenches in Belgium, May 5, 1915. Age, 25 years. An athletic leader of rare distinction, he was endowed with even greater gifts of love and joy. ‘God is love.’ ”

P A MORSON WINS WELL-EARNED REWARD.

P A Morson, son of Mr Arthur Morson, the esteemed clerk to the Rugby Council, who has been serving as a private in the Honourable Artillery Company, has been granted a commission in the 11th Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Second-Lieut P A Morson was educated at Rugby School, and was one of four chums who sailed from England the same day, the other three being Pepperday and the two brothers Bluemel. Two have laid down their lives for the country, and the second brother Bluemel has been seriously wounded. Lieut Morson went out with 150 volunteers on July 1st of last year. He has been through practically all of the strenuous fighting in which the British troops have been engaged since that date. Second-Lieut Morson came home on short leave on Easter Monday night, and returned to the front last night.

SERIOUS ACCIDENT TO AN OLD LAURENTIAN.

News has been received that Flight Sub-Lieut Warner H Peberdy, son of Mr W W Peberdy, of Albert Street, has been invalided home from the front as the result of a serious aeroplane accidont in Flanders. Sub-Lieut Peberdy is suffering from spinal concussion and severe shock to the nerve centres, and is now taking a rest cure in the South of Ireland under medical supervision, where he is making very favourable progress. He is one of the many Old Laurentians who have come back from far corners of the Empire to do their bit for the Old Country. He came from Canada with the first squadron of aviators. Formerly he was a student engineer in the early days of the B.T.H. at Rugby, and after completing his course there he went to the United States. When the war broke out he travelled in Canada to help to organise the Canadian Curtin Aviation School, at Toronto. He acted as manager during the first three months of the school’s rapid growth to the position of the largest civilian flying school in the Empire.

WARWICKSHIRE YEOMANRY IN ACTION.

After taking part in the Gallipoli campaign, the Warwickshire Yeomanry are now fighting in Egypt, and took part in the fighting at Katia on Easter Sunday. Our mounted troops, consisting of the Gloucestershire Hussars, the Warwickshire Yeomanry, and the Worcestershire Yeomanry, who were holding a position in and about the village of Katia, were attacked by a greatly superior Turkish force, before which they fell back, fighting a rearguard action, and inflicting heavy losses on the enemy.

An Objector Sentenced.—Pte Sydney Dodd, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, a conscientious objector to military service, has been sentenced to 21 days’ imprisonment for refusing to do all military duty. Dodd was first ordered by the local Tribunal to do non-combatant service, but as a result of his appeal to the County Tribunal about a month ago he was finally put down for combatant service.

A Rupert Brooke Memorial.—It has been decided to set in Rugby Chapel a memorial of Rupert Brooke. It will take the form of a portrait medallion in marble, based on a photograph by Sherril Schell, which appears as the frontispiece of the 1914 volume of poems. The medallion will be the work of Professor J Havard Thomas. No other memorial of Rupert Brooke is at present in contemplation.