RESTRICTIONS ON THE USE OF PAPER.
A WORD TO OUR READERS.
In consequence of the restriction on the importation of paper and materials for making it which come into force on March 1st, it will be necessary for publishers to exercise the strictest economy in the use of the paper they are allowed to receive, and reduce all wastage to the lowest possible point. Newsagents will in all probability find that the extra copies they have been able to obtain to meet casual sales will have to be limited, if not stopped altogether.
Our readers who are in the habit of obtaining copies of the “Rugby Advertiser” here and there in a casual way, will greatly assist the agents and the publishers if they place an order for the paper with a particular agent, and always obtain it there, so that the number required each week may be definitely ascertained.
As the space available for news, etc, in the reduced size will be greatly curtailed, we regret that we shall not be able to insert gratuitously any Volunteer Orders for the week, appeals for gifts or subscriptions, acknowledgments of gifts, official notices, musical successes, shorthand successes, and so forth.
OLD MURRAYIANS IN THE EASTERN THEATRE.
Mr W T Coles Hodges has this week received the following letters from soldiers formerly connected with the Murray School, who are now in the Eastern theatre of the war. Pte A S Horswell, Signalling Section, 10th Middlesex Regiment, writes :—
“ The greater part of October and all November we spent in dug-outs on the side of Lala Baba. We used to go out morning, afternoon, and night doing ghastly fatigue work, such as making a road across Salt Lake, digging trenches (a specialised form of gardening), and unloading wood for lighters ; carrying railway sleepers across loose sand to load them on mule carts also forms a pleasant interlude between tea and supper, especially when the interlude is of six hours’ duration and the music is supplied by the Turkish orchestra a couple or three miles away. Of course, you know that the Peninsula is now evacuated.
“ We were at Suvla Bay . . . . At the end of November, the 26th, to be accurate, there was a violent storm that swamped the whole dug-outs and made the trenches like rivers. The storm abated at about 10 or 11 p.m. We could not sleep or lie down in our dug-outs as they were a foot deep in wet, clayey mud. Four of us got what blankets we could find in a more or less dry state, and went and found a tolerably dry spot near an ‘incinerator’ on the slopes of Lala Baba, adjoining C Beach. The next day we were due to leave the peninsula, but the sea was too rough, and our company was sent at night to guard some trenches facing Salt Lake. That night was absolutely IT. We had to do sentry-go in a blinding sleet storm and the usual accompaniment of a howling wind. The next morning the sleet stopped. I forget details, but I know our wet clothes froze on us, and whole crowds, including myself, went into the hospital on C Beach with exposure, rheumatism, frost-bite, etc.
I ultimately found myself at the Citadel Hospital, Cairo, and got into bed for the first time since leaving England. I got to Cairo on Friday, December 3rd. . . . We had an A1 Xmas at the hospital, roast beef, turkey, and plum pudding, with ail the usual accompaniments. The Citadel Hospital was formerly one of the Khedive’s palaces. It is a fine building, most picturesque, and the thing that struck me most was the colour scheme of the whole affair. The exterior was colour washed a bright orange, with a white dado affair at the top where the gutters our roofs would be. The window fittings and lattices were green, all three forming vivid contrasts. When you saw all this against a background of bright blue sky, with white splashes of cloud here and there, the effect was very striking. I could not help wishing for a camera, but at the same time I realised that it would lose the greater part of its beauty when reduced to mere black and white. It was a beautiful, building, full of opportunities for the water colour artist. The place abounded with balconies, pagodas, and odd, queer staircases in corners of quadrangles and courts, but colour was most essential in any pictorial reproduction. Without colour, ‘ musquise ’ (no good), as the natives here would say.”
The writer states that on New Year’s Day he visited the Pyramids and the Sphinx, and says:
“ The trams take you within 300 and 400 yards of it. Then there is an uphill climb, which can be done on ‘ Shanks’s pony,’ donkey, or camel. A native attached himself to me in the capacity of guide, philosopher, and friend, and discoursed in ‘ pidgin ’ English on the beauties of the Sphinx and Egypt generally, in the hope of ‘ backsheesh ‘ to come. The place, if you can call it a place, was crowded with soldiers and civilians, all bent on sightseeing. Taking things on the whole, the place resembled Hampstead Heath in fair time without the roundabouts.” The writer expressed himself as disappointed with the Sphinx and Pyramids, and adds: “ One felt that one wanted to be alone. There was too much of the military element to allow of much ‘ mysticism.’ My last impression was that of two 20th Century motor cars standing at the base of the Great Pyramid, which was built 4,000 years B.C.”
Pte Horswell was afterwards drafted to the base near Alexandria, of which he says: “ It is a very, fine town. Of course the European element is very much in evidence. French is the language spoken most—other than the native Arabic. All official notices, names of streets, etc, are duplicated in French and Arabic. There is a large Italian and Greek population, as well. There is the usual type of English shop, kept, generally by French people, and also the native bazaar. Strangely enough, there are no restaurants or cafes in the ordinary English acceptance of the term. A cafe here is usually only a drinking place, nothing to eat being obtainable.”
T Hillwell, another Old Murrayian, who is with the allied Forces at Salonica, in a letter says : “ The dawn of the 1st of November saw us step out of the train on to Serbian soil, and exceedingly thankful we were, for a night’s travelling on an open truck is not conducive to warmth. First of all, we had long marches to do, and we were struck by the excellence of the roads. They were really remarkable. November was a comparatively quiet month, so far as fighting was concerned, but the last week we were busy fighting another enemy-frost-bite. To realise what this means, one must be really on the spot. Then came the celebrated retreat, which has filled columns in the English newspapers. It was an exciting affair altogether, and it is a marvel to me how we got safely out of it. But out of it we did get, and with great credit, too. I feel really proud to have belonged to an Irish Division. Without a doubt these Irishmen can fight. So we are back again and enjoying a well-earned rest.
OLD MURRAYIAN WITH THE HOWITZER BATTERY.
Gunner A J Renshaw, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, in a letter to his old schoolmaster, says :— “I arrived safely back to the land of mud and water, commonly known as ‘ Sunny France.’ During my absence there was plenty of fun going on, and ‘Fritz’ and his ‘brudders’ gave our infantry a surprise visit the other night, but as they strongly objected to their presence in our lines they ‘struck oil’ somewhat and were soon out again on the hop. Since then we have returned their visit with much more success. Of late considerable activity has been shown, and by now they are aware of the fact that we are out for business, for we have given them ‘ cold feet ‘ this last month or so, and soon you may here with confidence of our continued success. Of that there is very little doubt. We shall fight until we have avenged the dastardly atrocities they have committed in France and Belgian.”
A ST. MATTHEW’S OLD BOY IN SALONICA.
Extracts from letter of Pte F E Morley, R.A.M.C, an “ old boy ” of St Matthew’s School to Mr R H Myers, headmaster :—
“ We were the first of the British Expedition to land at Salonica, and you can well understand that, coming from Gallipoli, many of us wondered what we were doing to land in Greece at all. Still, it did not take long to make us aware of our mission, which was, of course, to link up with the gallant Serbian Army.
“ We spent a few days at Salonica before entraining for Gyevgeli, from which place we marched across country, landing about ten miles ahead of Dviran. Here we began to link up with the French troops, which were holding fast the road to Strumnitza. Fairly good progress was made, and by the end of November we were 22 miles ahead of Dviran. The country so for had been fairly decent, for at any rate it allowed the full use of transport, but as we began to get into the hills, mule transport only was possible. To describe to you the nature of the country where we were operating is far beyond my powers. From an artistic point of view it was ideal, but for the troops—well, just impossible.
“ Matters were very quiet for some few days and the weather conditions fairly favourable. Now and again Bulgar deserters came over to us and gave information of an impending attack which subsequently proved correct.
“ The last day of November saw the hills covered with a deep snow, a keen frost and biting wind accompanying it. Never before have I faced such a blinding storm, and one had a thousand pities for the boys in the trenches who had precious little protection. I happened to be at an advanced dressing station just behind the ‘ line,’ but fortunately we were able to make use of some houses in a deserted village, so that we had the comfort of a log fire.
“ We had many cases of exposure to deal with, and more than one poor fellow dropped to sleep in the snow, but, alas ! it meant the Sleep of death.
“ One night we were sent up to the ‘ line ’ for some sick men. The frost had continued making the ground very treacherous, so that it took us a matter of three hours to cover a distance of barely four miles. At frequent points on the way we had to crawl on hands and knees, while more than once we were ‘ footing it’ knee-deep in snow. Such were the conditions under which the jolly Irish boys held the line, and when you remember that only a few weeks back we had experienced the intense heat of Gallipoli, and then were suddenly transferred to this cold region, I think that the gallant conduct of our men during the subsequent,retirement into Greece is worthy of all praise.
“ We are now camped ‘ somewhere around Salonica,’ awaiting the anticipated attack. I cannot say much about the position, but I can assure you that ‘all’s well’ on this Front, and our boys would rather relish an attack in this quarter.
“ We have had a couple of air raids at Salonica, but very little damage was done. During the second our gun-firing was splendid, and I had the pleasure of seeing one Taube brought to earth.
“ I would like to come across some of our ‘old boys,’ but have not done so yet. Good luck to them, and may the day soon come when we shall be able to greet each other, proud in the knowledge that we have done our ‘little bit’ for old England and for the honour of the school.”
LOCAL WAR NOTES.
Mr C Pegg, of 1 Addison Road, New Bilton, has heard from his son, Pte George Pegg, of the Leicestershire Regiment. He has been wounded in the leg, but is going on well.
The Chief Constable of Warwickshire has approved a scheme put forward by the Sutton Coldfield Volunteer Training Corps for “ police ” service in the event of a Zeppelin raid. Men have been allocated to districts in the borough, and their duty will be to see that all lights are extinguished, to regulate street traffic, and to prevent panic.
Corporal W Bale, an “ old boy ” of St Matthew’s School, serving in the 2nd Royal Welsh Fusiliers, has been promoted to the rank of Sergeant, for conspicuous gallantry on the field. Sergt Bale, who was recently mentioned in despatches, has been in the Army nine years, and was transferred from India to France on the Outbreak of the War.
1/7th Batt. Royal Warwickshire regiment : Pte. H. Snell, 2526, and Pte. A. Summers, 1351.
RECRUITING AT RUGBY.
During the past few weeks the number of recruits attested at the Drill Hall, Park Road, has averaged about 100 per week, of whom 70% have been single men. Those single men who wish to attest before the Military Service Act comes into force have only till midnight on Tuesday to do so, after then they will be conscripts and absorbed into the Army according to their classes.
In order to avoid a rush, which is anticipated at the last moment, men wishing to attest should visit the Drill Hall at once, and as early in the day as possible.
The Group system will remain open for married men after March 1st.
Attested men who wish to be medically examined before their groups are called up should make application to the Recruiting Officer at the Drill Hall. The medical examinations will take place at Warwick, and recruits will have to pay their own railway fare.
RUGBY COMMITTEE’S PARCELS FOR PRISONERS OF WAR ARRIVE WITHOUT DELAY.
It has been frequently brought to the notice of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee that parcels sent by individuals to prisoners of war in Germany invariably arrive after long delay and almost useless, whereas the parcels sent through the Rugby Committee get through quickly and in perfect condition. This is mainly owing to good packing, and the fact that the committee is a registered and recognised society.
The Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee are anxious to avoid this waste, and desire to make it known that they will gladly pack and forward food and clothing to any prison camp in Germany without charge.
Thus, if there are any persons in Rugby or the surrounding villages who have been in the habit of forwarding their own parcels, they are invited to send same in future to the Rugby Committee, who will indicate on the parcels the name of the giver.
Parcels should be sent to Mrs Blagden, at the Rectory, or to the Hon Secretary, Mr J Reginald Barker, 9 Regent Street, Rugby.
The Committee will also be glad to receive the names of any men from Rugby and district who are prisoners of war.
ASHLAWN HOSPITAL CLOSED.
In consequence of Ashlawn being required by the owner for residential purposes, it was closed as a V.A.D. Hospital on Tuesday last, and the patents were removed to other places.
Other premises have not yet been obtained, and Mrs E D Miller, the commandant, is looking out for a suitable house.
RUGBY PETTY SESSIONS.
TUESDAY.—Before Dr Clement Dukes (in the chair), Arthur James, T Hunter, A E Donkin, and W Dewar, Esqrs.
EXEMPTION FROM RATES.—“ Te Hira,” now used as a Red Cross Hospital, and 67 Albert Street, Rugby, occupied by Belgian refugees, were exempted from the poor rates.—A similar application was made in respect of 39 Albert Street, Rugby, also occupied by Belgians, but this was adjourned for the assistant overseer to ascertain the earnings of the occupants of the house.
DOG OWNERS’ EXEMPTIONS.—Applications had been received from 212 farmers in the division for exemptions from licenses in respect of 273 dogs, and from 49 shepherds respecting 53 dogs.—Objection was made by the police in two instances.—Superintendent Clarke mentioned a bailiff who had applied for exemption as a farmer, but at present he had no dog, although he had kept one.—It was understood the man would be having a dog soon, and the Magistrates’ Clerk ruled that in the circumstances there was no reason why the exemption should not be granted.
THE MILITARY SERVICE ACT AND AGRICULTURE.
This Act practically applies to all fit single men and widowers (without children) between the ages of 18 and 41.
The Act does not apply to men voluntarily attested under Lord Derby’s scheme.
Every man to whom the Act applies and who is not exempted will be deemed to have enlisted, as from March 2nd, 1916.
WHO MAY BE EXEMPTED.
FARMERS & MARKET GARDENERS.
Farmer (including Market Gardener and Fruit Farmer)—provided that—
(a) farming is his sole occupation and his personal labour or superintendence is indispensable for the proper cultivation of his holding ; or
(b) if he is partly occupied in another occupation, his personal labour or superintendence is indispensable for the proper cultivation of his holding and such cultivation is expedient in the national interest.
Agricultural Machinery, Steam Ploughs and Threshing Machines :-
Attendant ; Driver ; Mechanic.
Farm—Bailiff, Foreman, Grieve, Steward.
“ Beastman, Byreman, Cattleman, Stockman, Yardman.
“ Carter, Horseman, Ploughman, Teamster, Wagoner.
“ Hind (if Foreman or Ploughman).
“ Servant (if Foreman or Ploughman), Scotland.
Stallion Man (a man who looks after and travels a stallion).
Stud Groom (Scotland).
Hop, Fruit, and Market Gardens : Foreman.
CERTIFICATES OF EXEMPTION.
Application must be made to the Local Tribunal for a certificate of exemption in the case of every unmarried man of military age in one of the “ certified occupations ” who has not attested and who desires to be exempted from enlistment under the Act. The fact that he may have already been “starred” makes no difference in this respect.
Such applications must be made to the Local Tribunal BEFORE MARCH 2nd NEXT.
A certificate of exemption must be granted by the Local Tribunal to any man who shows that his principal and usual occupation is one of those in the list of “ Certified Occupations ” unless an objection has been received from the military representative.
Any appeal from the decision of the Local Tribunal must be made within three days after the decision of the Local Tribunal on a forms supplied by the Clerk.
HEAVY FALL OF SNOW.—During Wednesday night there was a heavy fall of snow in the Midlands, which continued almost without intermission throughout Thursday. The landscape presented a very wintry appearance in consequence, snow lying on the ground to a depth of several inches—nearly a foot in some places. Townspeople were busy on Thursday clearing the footpaths, in accordance with the request of the Urban District Council, and in the afternoon members of Rugby School from Mr Wilson’s house were occupied in this way in front of the School buildings in Lawrence Sheriff Street. Boys at the preparatory schools were also in their element, clearing snow away, and members of the fair sex did not hesitate to show their ability to use shovels, brushes, and any other implement that came handy.