26th Aug 1916. Buy a Flag on War Prisoners’ Day


By so doing you will assist the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee to ensure a continuance of the Weekly Parcels of Food and Clothing to our own men.

The men who have fought for you, and are now experiencing the unspeakable hardships of German Prison Camp Life, look to you to help to keep them from starvation.

Here are some of the Messages received from Local Men this week :—

PTE. P. J. COLLOP (Monks Kirby), Suffolk Regt, interned at Friedrichsfeid

“ I now have the pleasure of writing to thank you and your helpers for your kindness to me, which I very much appreciate. The parcels have arrived up to date regularly, and I find them very satisfactory.”

SERGT. B. G. HITCHCOX (Rugby), 28th Canadians, interned at Dulman.

“ I was very surprised and heartily thankful to receive your welcome parcel, which arrived to-day in very good condition. I warmly appreciate your kindness and trust you will not forget me in the future.”

PTE. W. WILTSHIRE (New Bilton), Wiltshire Regt., interned at Osnabruck.

“ Just a line to let you know I am receiving parcels regularly, and in good condition. Again thanking all concerned for the parcels.”

PTE. A. H. DAVIS (Rugby), 8th Beds, interned at Dulmen.

“ The first issue of bread has arrived, for which I beg to thank you very much.”

PTE. J. SMITH (Stretton-under-Fosse), Royal Warwick Regt, interned at Friedrichfeld.

“ Have just received Dujon bread in good condition, with many thanks.”

PTE. T. DOO (Rugby), Suffolk Regt., interned at Doeberitz.

“ Many thanks for the parcels of food and bread, which I received quite safe and in good condition.”

PTE. P. MACE (Hillmorton), Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry, interned at Mannheim.

“ I now have great pleasure in answering your most welcome parcel, which arrived in excellent condition, and, also, the contents were just what one needs in Camp.”

These letters contain an Appeal for Help, to which no British heart can remain unresponsive. The Food Parcels are absolutely essential, and they get there.


Hon. Secretary and Offices :
J. REGINALD BARKER, 9, Regent Street, Rugby. Supply Depot: Benn Buildings.

THE parcels sent by the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee to local men in Germany contained this week ¼ lb tea, tin milk, tin tomatoes, tin pineapple chunks, 1lb sugar, tin cocoa, tablet of soap, tin tongue, tin health salts, and 4-lb loaf of bread.


A general meeting of this committee was held on Monday.—The Hon Secretary informed the committee that, in reply to the advertisement asking for particulars of men serving, with the date of enlistment, she had only received 150 names of men who had enlisted or been called up between August and December, 1914.—It was resolved to make a start with these 150 names as soon as possible.—After some discussion and the inspection of samples, it was decided to send out to each man a parcel containing a 2-lb tin of best boiled sweets, a pair of socks, and a small packet of boracic powder. Each parcel will also contain a card, bearing the town arms and a suitable couplet, and the name of each man will be written thereon. It is hoped that towards the end of the month the parcels will begin to go out to our splendid men abroad.



A correspondent writes :—

In a letter from the front to his father a member of the Warwickshire Regiment remarks :— “ As you say, the news in the paper is good : ‘ Slow, but sure.’ It looks all very well in print, but you want to be in it to understand what a mile or two advance means. I can’t understand the munition people being praised so much for foregoing their Bank Holiday. It proves how much the people of England know what war is. Do they realise that the men out here do seven days every week, and often twenty-four hours a day ? Some have been doing that for two years now. When the munition workers do finish they have a home and a bed to go to, not forgetting that in their spare time they can please themselves what they do.

“ What about this side of the water ? One is lucky to have a barn with a roof on, and if there is any clean straw it is hotel-de-luxe ! They ought to try a 16-mile march with a full pack on. It would do them a lot of good ; and then, when their clothes are saturated with perspiration, let them sleep in the open with only an overcoat to cover them. After that, if they were asked which they preferred—the Army or munition—I wonder which they would prefer ! What annoys me is, they seem to think they are little ‘ tin gods.’”


At Coventry Munitions Tribunal, on Friday last week, Thomas Fishwick, Rugby, asked for a discharge certificate on the ground of his wife’s health, it being necessary, he said, that she should live elsewhere. He also carried on the business of tobacconist, hairdresser, and furniture dealer.—Mr Carmichael : You have your hands full.—Applicant : No, because I have managers. He wished his discharge so that he could then dispose of his businesses.—The Court refused the application.

J Mulhern, Rugby, was said to have lost time and was fined £2.

Mr Carmichael presided at the sitting of Coventry Munitions Tribunal, held on Monday afternoon, and the assessors present were Mrs Givens for the men and women, and Mr A H Niblett for the employers. The list contained 25 cases, 10 being from Rugby.

Miss A Botterill, lamp operative, 94 Bridget Street, was summoned for absenting herself without leave. She sent a letter from Llandudno explaining her reasons for staying away, these being ill-health and the belief that the works were going to close down for the August-holidays. It was said by the firm that she took the holiday, though told she could not have the time. Her absence delayed several thousand lamps per week on a subsequent operation.—The Court imposed a fine of 15s.

A G Hanks, 2 Russell Street, was summoned for being absent from work in the Bank Holiday week. He was fined 10s, the Court taking into account that he was usually a good timekeeper.

S Fisher, 10 Chester Street, was summoned for absenting himself from work on various dates. He said he obtained permission on one day to spend it with his brother ; on the rest of the dates he was ill with his back. He was fined 5s.

F A Clewlow, handyman, 30 Sycamore Grove, was also summoned for being absent from work on one day. He received permission, it was stated, to stay out one day to attend a marriage, and remained out the next day as well. Fined 15s.

H Williams, fitter, Market St., was similarly charged. He said he had been with the firm for 13 years without a break, and sent a letter to the shop explaining his absence. He met with a cycle accident, and was hurt at the works.—The firm’s representative said the man was an old and good employee.—Defendant was fined 15s.—The Chairman said it was not fair to the other workers that certain men should take French leave.

H Page, 17 Essex Street, was similarly summoned. The condition of his health was the reason he gave for staying away.—Fined £1.—Defendant : Don’t stop any next week because I have got a short week.

A Smedley, 3 Market St., summoned for being absent, said he was absent with leave, and went with his wife and family to Old Colwyn.—The firm’s representative said that no holidays were allowed in Bank Holiday week.—Defendant said he had a day and a-half to cancel his arrangements after he had paid £1 on account of his holidays.-The representative said he never had leave, there only having been a preliminary inquiry with regard to holidays throughout the workshops. The man was a good worker and timekeeper.—The Court adjourned the case for a fortnight, as they would like to see the charge-hand and foreman.

W Bott, 22 Newland Street, New Bilton, was summoned for being absent without leave on Monday, August 7th, to Saturday, the 12th, inclusive; and was fined 15s.

G Hardy, turner, 67 Windsor Street, Rugby, was summoned for being absent without leave on August 11th and 12th and the morning of the 14th ; also with absenting himself from August 3rd to August 10th with a doctor’s certificate for diarrhoea. The firm produced written evidence from a fellow-workman, who had seen Hardy very much under the influence of drink on Friday, August 4th.—Another witness said that he stopped Hardy in the Market Place about 8.20 on Monday, the 7th inst, and informed him that he had had “ more than was good for him.” He appealed to his patriotism to go home, and go to work the next morning.—Evidence was also given to the effect that on August 8th, at 11.15 a.m, Hardy was served with drink in a local hotel.—Fined £3, to be paid by weekly instalments of 10s.

AN ABSENTEE.—At the Rugby Police Court, on Wednesday, before A E Donkin, Esq, Frank Reilly, 1 Lodge Road, Rugby, pleaded guilty to being absent without leave from the Gloucester Regiment.—Sergt Ghent stated that, as the result of a telegram from the O.C the Battalion, he saw defendant at No. 1 Lodge Road, and he then admitted that he should have returned the previous day.—Remanded in custody to await an escort.


In an account of the fighting round Thiepval the special correspondent of the “ Morning Post ” lays stress on the achievements of the Warwicks.

Mr F Stimpson, of Rugby, had three nephews serving on the Falmouth, which was sunk in the North Sea at the beginning of the week. Fortunately all of them were saved.

Gunner G Jones, son of Mr and Mrs M Jones, 49 Claremont Road, is progressing slowly but favourably in the Wellington Military Hospital, Liverpool, where he was admitted on August 5th suffering from shock. He had been at the front one year and nine months, having enlisted on August 26, 1914, in the 119th H.M R.G.A., and was drafted to the front in November of the same year.


The following is an extract from Divisional Orders by Major-General Colin Mackenzie. C.B, commanding the — Division, in which awards of the Military Cross for gallantry were set out :—

“ Captain Evelyn Penn Lucas, 2/4 Battalion Royal Berks Regiment, at Ferme du Bois, on the night 13-14 July, 1916, after careful organisation and training of the raiding party, of which he was in command, for the organisation of which he was solely responsible, proved himself a cool and capable leader ; and though himself wounded early in the attack, led his party up to the enemy wire, and continued to encourage his men to renew their efforts to attain their objective ; he kept communication with his Commanding Officer, and refused to come back to our own lines until he had seen the whole of his men who could be brought in back in safety, he himself being the last to re-enter our lines.”

Capt E P Lucas is son-in-law of the Rev R S Mitchison, of Barby, and this was the attack where Corpl Doyle, of Erankton, lost his life in behaving so gallantly bringing in the wounded.


Mr J Brooks, 41 Lawford Road, New Bilton, has received an intimation that his son, Pte J Brooks, of the Royal Warwicks, was wounded on the 1st of August. He was hit in the leg by shrapnel, and sustained a fractured bone. He is at present in hospital at Nottingham, where he is progressing favourably.


The casualty list on Thursday contained the name of Rifleman F Colbran, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, among those killed. Rifleman Colbran, who was about 22 years of age, was employed on Clifton Court Farm, where his father was bailiff, when the War broke out, and he enlisted in the K.R.R towards the end of 1914. He was a quiet young man, and generally respected by those who knew him.


Second-Lieut Albert E Rainbow, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who was killed on July 23rd, was an assistant at St Matthew’s School, Rugby, and afterwards an assistant master at Richmond British School when war broke out. He enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers before receiving his commission. The Commanding Officer, in a letter to his mother, said : “ Lieut Rainbow was with his company advancing through a village under heavy shell fire, and the conditions were trying enough to have caused even the bravest man, however old, to have faltered. But he displayed no hesitation, and his conduct was a fine example and real help to his men.”


MR & MRS S Howard, of Long Lawford, have received news that their son, Pte Stephen Howard, died of wounds on August 1st. He was the third son to join the Army, and had only been in France a fortnight. He was 23 years of age.


DEATH OF RIFLEMAN ERNEST GRANT.—Mr and Mrs Grant, Newbold, received the sad news on Saturday last that their son, Ernest, was killed on the 12th inst. Rifleman Dick Collins, writing to deceased’s brother, Alfred, who had been serving at the front, but was sent home disabled about twelve months ago, said : “ The company was on night work ; they were spotted, and machine guns and artillery played on them. Ernest received a number of wounds from machine gun fire.” The writer adds: “ Well Alf, it is another terrible blow for you all, and I am sure I myself will miss him. He was my best friend out here, and we always did all we could for one another. All his section liked him, and you can take it from me that he will be missed by all. According to the nature of his wounds, he died an instantaneous death. We were both talking only the night before of what we hoped to do when we got home, and now we are not able to do so. It has upset me, and I feel I cannot write more just now. I know almost the exact place where he was buried, and I know everything that could have been done for him has been carried out. We are in a hot place, and you yourself only too well can understand what it is like. Well, Alf, I hope you will accept mine and all the boys’ deepest sympathy in the death of so good a soldier, and you have one consolation—he died doing his duty.” Corpl Arthur Parks also writes :- “

Dear Mrs Grant,—I expect that by now you have received the bad news that Ernest has passed away while doing his duty to God, King and country. I should not he surprised if he was doing something to protect one of his men, or working in what he new was a dangerous place where he would not let one of the men go. He was always doing that—looking after his men first and last—and not bothering about himself, strong was his faith in God. I know the chaps are very sorry, for he was liked by all. He was a fine fellow in every way.” Rifleman Ernest Grant was 26 years of age, and belonged to the Rifle Brigade. He was employed at the time of his enlistment in Kitchener’s Army on September 3, 1914, at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s. He was a member of the Church Choir and a bell-ringer ; also a playing member of the Newbold Football Club. He had numerous friends, and all who knew him could not help admiring his manly principles. This is the second son Mr and Mrs Grant have lost during the War, and a third has been sent homo disabled. Much sympathy is expressed by all with Mr and Mrs Grant and family in their sad trouble.


WEST KENTS.—It will be of interest to many people in the district to hear that Pte Horace Watts was amongst the number of the West Kents who, although surrounded, kept the Germans at bay for two days. He had previously been wounded in the War, but had returned to active service. He is the youngest son of Mr and Mrs G Watts, of Brandon Wood.


FOREHEAD.—In memory of Lance-Corpl. T. W. Forehead, who died of wounds in Gallipoli on August 24, 1915.—From his loving WIFE, DAUGHTER, FATHER-IN-LAW, MOTHER-IN-LAW, and FAMILY.

GOODMAN.—In loving memory of Pte. W. G. Goodman, 1st Royal Warwicks, killed in action between Cambrai and St. Quentin, August 27,1914, aged 29 years.
“ Father in Thy tender keeping
Leave we there our dear son sleeping.”


The adjourned inquest on Lieut George P Rogers and Second-Lieut Cyril de Frece, R.F.C who were killed by the collision of two aeroplanes on August 10th, was held on Wednesday.

Second-Lieut W S F Saundby, who stated that he was a qualified pilot, deposed that he went up in a machine with a mechanic, and engaged in manoeuvres—which he described in technical detail—with another and more powerful machine, which was being flown by Lieut Rogers, a skilled pilot, with Lieut de Frece as his passenger. Both machines were in perfect condition, and were flying well. When at a height of about 2,500ft Lieut Rogers was manoeuvring for close formation over the top, and witness dived down about 500ft. Lieut Rogers also came down, and was apparently endeavouring to pass over him to the front. Witness saw that if he continued at the same speed his machine would have caught the undercarriage of the other. To give Lieut Rogers time to get clear in front he reduced the angle of his descent and slackened speed, but his propellor struck the tail or fusilage of Lieut. Rogers’ machine and cut the whole of it off. It then became unmanageable, and dived to the ground. Meanwhile witness spiralled his machine safely down.

In reply to the Foreman of the Jury, witness said the rule of the Aeronautical Society used to be that machines were not to approach within 100 metres of each other, but it was found necessary to repeal it, and there was now no rule as to distance. They had to use their own discretion when in the air.

A senior officer who witnessed the occurrence said it struck him that the machines were flying too close together to be safe, and he intended to mention it when they came down, but there was no regulation as to distance. A pilot had to judge what was a safe distance from the next machine. He thought the actual proximity of Lieut Saundby’s machine must have been obscured for the moment from Lieut Rogers’s view by the wings of the machine he was flying.

The Foreman expressed the sorrow of the Jury at the loss of such a brave pilot as Lieut Rogers was admitted to be, because at such a time the nation required all the skill they could get. The Jury felt the loss of these brave fellows, who risked their lives in the air for the good of their country.

The Coroner concurred, in these sentiments, and extended sympathy to all concerned.

The Jury returned a verdict of “ Accidental death,” and added that no blame was attached to anyone.

1st Jan 1916. Unseasonable Weather for Christmas



Heavy rain occurred on several days before Christmas, and with the barometer at a very low reading there seemed little prospect on Christmas Eve that more enjoyable conditions would prevail. On Christmas Day the weather was as unseasonable and depressing as it could be. Drenching rains, accompanied by sharp winds, set in about noon, and continued without intermission till after dark.

There was a rapid rise of the barometer during the night. Keen dry winds on Sunday improved the condition of the roads somewhat. But more heavy rain on Sunday night had prepared people for an unpleasant Boxing Bay—how unpleasant few could have anticipated. During the night and in the early hours of the morning drenching rain fell, and a wet holiday appeared inevitable. Then, however, there came a change. The rain ceased, but the wind blew with redoubled energy, and walking became exceedingly difficult.

The gale, which blew without ceasing throughout the day and into the night, developing at times into a hurricane, damped all enthusiasm for outdoor entertainment, and those who decided to “ keep the home fires burning ” had much the best of the argument.

Many trees in the neighbourhood were blown down, and roads were blocked in several places. A large elm tree in Miss Elsee’s garden, Bilton Road, and another at Westfield—about 200 yards further along the road—were brought down, and the thoroughfare was quite blocked to vehicular traffic till about seven o’clock in the evening by which time some of the obstructing limbs had been removed.

Great havoc was caused to the trees forming the avenue on the London Road between Dunchurch and Knightlow Hill. A great many of the trees were blown down, and the telegraph wires which pass along each side of the road suffered badly, being broken down in many places. During the evening a motor car ran into the dis-placed wires near the junction with the Fosse Road, and before it could be stopped the wires had diverted its course into a ditch. Fortunately the occupants were unhurt.

At Bilton four large elm trees on the north-west side of the village were uprooted, and one of them, falling across the Lawford Lane, completely blocked it for several days till the Duke of Buccleuch’s estate men from Dunchurch, who were fully occupied on the London Road, were able to turn their attention to it. A substantially-built summer house in an exposed part of the grounds of Mr F Merttens, Bilton Rise, was lifted bodily over the hedge into the adjoining field and deposited upside down.

On the morning following the storm the Rugby Post Office was cut off for a time from the London trunk telegraph service, and communication by either telegraph or telephone was found impossible with Welford, Lutterworth, Dunchurch, and quite a number of places in Northamptonshire, including the county town. This was due to the snapping of wires caused by the falling branches of trees.

During the gale the auctioneers engaged in selling gifts for the British Farmers’ Red Cross Fund experienced much difficulty in keeping their position on the planks from which they were selling. Indeed, one exceptionally strong gust lifted Mr B H Cattell and his booking clerk clean off their feet and deposited them amongst the people. Mr T Tait, while selling in another part of the market, had a like experience.

The framework of an outside blind at Mr Edward Grey’s shop in Bank Street was shattered shortly before three o’clock, and the pole crashed through a plate glass window, smashing it to fragments and exposing the millinery displayed therein to the mercy of the boisterous wind the window could be boarded up by a local builder.

Several large trees in the School Close’ were blown down and fell across the fencing on the Dunchurch Road, but fortunately without any serious result. Several trees on the Barby Road were also destroyed, some being broken off close to the base, and others uprooted. A hoarding and wall in Chapel Street was blown down, and a wall dividing two front gardens on the Clifton Road shared a similar fate. The flag-staff on the Parish Church was broken off, and other cases of minor damage are reported from the town and district.

At Dunchurch, in addition to the havoc to trees and telegraph wires on the London Road, considerable damage was caused to roofs, chimneys, and fowl-houses. A very large elm tree near Mr Arkwright’s house was levelled, and a gate was pulled up with the roots. At Bilton Grange much damage was done to the wood fencing round the gardens.


Before A E Donkin and C G Steel, Esqrs.

HELPING HIMSELF TO FALLEN TIMBER.— Alfred John Bathe (16), 93 Lawford Road, New Bilton, was charged with committing wilful damage to timber to the amount of 5s in the School Close on the 29th December, the property of Messrs Travis and Arnold, timber merchants, Rugby, also with assaulting P.C’s Lovell and Bryan while in the execution of their duty.—Defendant admitted taking boughs, as other people were also doing, and that he kicked the police in struggling with them.—P.C Lovell said at 2 p.m on the previous day he received a complaint from Mr Herbert, manager to Messrs Travis and Arnold, find went to the School Close, where he saw defendant cutting off limbs from a fallen tree with a saw. He had sawn through a bough a foot thick, and had started on another 10 inches thick. Defendant told witness he had got permission, and eventually complied with the officer’s request to come into the road. Defendant refused to give his name and address, and used bad language. He kicked P.C Bryan. Witness arrested him, and in the struggle was also kicked several times.—P.C Bryan corroborated, and said defendant kicked him in the stomach.-Defendant said there were several people in the field getting the wood, and one of them was given permission to do so.—Wm Herbert, manager for Messrs Travis and Arnold, said he had never seen defendant before, and did not give him permission. His firm were taking away the fallen timber from the School Close, and there was considerable labour involved. He felt he was justified in complaining to the police, and backed them up in the charge. People had been taking away the timber for two days, and the firm had lost more than they would get.—In reply to the Magistrates, witness said he gave one man leave to take away the brushwood.—The boy’s mother said no one tried to bring up children better than she had done.—The Chairman told defendant he had no business to cut big limbs of trees nor to use bad language or kick the police. For the damage he would have to pay 3s, for the assault on the police 4s 6d,—The boy’s mother protested that she would not pay a halfpenny, and that the fine ought to be stopped out of the boy’s pocket money.—A week was allowed in which to pay.

THURSDAY.—Before A E Donkin, Esq.

DRUNKENNESS.—Frederick Bidmead, millwright, 52 King Edward Road, Rugby, pleaded guilty to being drunk at Rugby at 9.45 p.m on December 29th.—P.S Goodwin found him helplessly drunk in James Street. He could not tell the officer where he lived, and he was locked up for his own safety.—Fined 1s 6d.

A CHARGE OF DESERTION.—Wilfred Rainbow, living with Mrs Kendrick at 30 Worcester Street, Rugby, was charged with being a deserter from the Royal Warwickshire Regiment since December 8th, 1914.—Defendant, who denied that he was a deserter, had a fit whilst in the dock, and had to be removed from the Court.—Superintendent Clarke said he received a telegram from the commanding officer asking him to arrest defendant.—Detective Mighall said defendant had re-enlisted in the Worcestershire Regiment, but was now employed at one of the works.—Remanded in custody to await an escort.

SERIOUS ACCIDENT IN THE PARISH CHURCH.—On Tuesday afternoon in last week as Richard Clarke, the assistant verger at the Parish Church, was working in the belfry he became giddy, and fell from the ladder upon which he was standing, through a trap door, a distance of about 30ft. As a result he broke his arm and severely injured his legs and face. There was no one in the church at the time, and although he was suffering great pain, the unfortunate man succeeded in reaching Mr George Over’s shop in Market Place, from whence he was conveyed to the Hospital of St Cross. After his injuries had been attended to he returned to his home. Clarke, who is nearly 70 years of age, has been employed at the Parish Church for about 40 years, and is well known to all who worship there. Despite his age, he is making good progress towards recovery.

FIRE IN A FANCY SHOP.—At about 5.30 on Tuesday afternoon a fire broke out in the window of Mr Austin’s fancy shop, 31 Chapel Street. The alarm was given by a lady who was passing, and Mr Austin fortunately succeeded in extinguishing the flames before a great deal of damage was done. The window was full of Christmas fancy goods, which burned very quickly, and the heat was so intense that the plate glass window was broken. The damage is estimated at about £10. The cause of the fire is unknown.