16th Feb 1918. Tank Bank at Coventry


The Coventry Tank Bank was opened on Monday by the Mayor, who was accompanied by the Mayoress, Lord and Lady Aylesford, Lord Leigh, and large a number of representatives of commercial and Labour, interests. Before the Tank arrived the local bond subscription amounted to over £1,000,000, and the new announcements after Monday’s ceremony included the contributions of Courtaulds, Ltd, £100,000 ; the Mayor, £5,000 ; Lord Aylesford, £3,000 ; Lady Aylesford, £1,000 ; and Lord Leigh, £l,000.

Corpl Hutt, the Coventry man who recently received the V.C. appeared on the Tank, and handed the cheque for the citizens’ gift of £l,000, made in recognition of his bravery, to the Tank bank.

The Tank Bank results continue to be very satisfactory. Some big investments were announced on Tuesday, and more are expected.

Employees and workpeople are showing a gratifying realisation of the need to act generously. Coventry Ordnance employees, for instance, invested £33,300.

Farmers’ Day on Tuesday realised £107,303. Thus the opening two days of the Tank Bank produced £509,303.

Wednesday was Women’s Day. The opening ceremony was gracefully performed by the Mayoress.

The Earl of Denbigh, who appeared in uniform as a Colonel of the British Army, was one of the speakers. He spoke with experience of actual warfare upon the menace which faces this country if a peace of “ shreds and patches ” is arrived at.

The figures for the week up to Thursday are :—
Monday . . . . . . . . . £402,000
Tuesday . . . . . . . . . .£107,303
Wednesday . . . . . . . £100,390
Thursday . . . . . . . .. . .£72,038

Total for the four days . . £681,731


The following committee has been formed to help supply H.M. Navy with fruit and vegetables : —Mrs Brooke, Mr Burdekin (hon treasurer), Mrs Dickinson, Mr Gough, Mr A R Taylor, Mrs Paramore, Miss K Whitelaw, and Mrs H C Bradby (hon secretary).

Admiral Beatty writes that fresh vegetables have done much to maintain the health of the Fleet.

Contributions urgently required. Fruit and vegetables may be sent to the old Council Chamber, Windmill Lane (kindly lent by the Rugby Urban District Council), every Monday, between 10 a.m and 6 p.m, beginning February 18th. If contributors are unable to send their fruit and vegetables they should send a postcard to Mr Gough, Eastlands School, Clifton Road, and he will let his boys call for them weekly. Contributions of money may be sent to Mr H P Burdekin, Dalkeith Avenue, Bilton.


During the present week all persons who think they have excessive supplies of food are requested to furnish details to the Local Food Committee. A number of enquiries have already been made at the Rugby Food Office, and in each case the persons have been advised to submit a list of their stock to the committee, several of these have been received but in no case was the quantity excessive.


Previous to Christmas it was given that it was advisable to money instead of parcels of food to soldiers at the front because it had been made possible for them to purchase goods at their canteens at cheaper rates than they could be procured at home ; and, furthermore, the risk of damage or loss was not so great, and it lessened the strain on the transport service. A letter has come to hand from a trooper in the Warwickshire yeomanry, now in Palestine, which shows that the question is affected by the circumstances and locality in which the troops are situated. He writes :—

“ We have come down for a rest, and have received a quantity of mails, letters, papers and parcels, including one of your Christmas parcels. The cake and plum pudding were A1, and we enjoyed them very much indeed ; also the mince pies. Unfortunately some these were soaked owing to the heavy rain, but enough were eatable to remind us that there were still such things. I was sorry to see a letter in the Advertiser, saying that we prefer money ; but I can tell you that nothing pleases us out here more than to receive something from home, and I think it a great shame to infer that we do not appreciate a parcel from home. If these people could see us when the mail arrives I feel sure that their opinion would alter. . Of course, there are some fortunate people who are at the bases and get good food issued, but are never certain, and are frequently on bully and biscuit. It is then that your parcels are doubly appreciated. If things are very short, then we would not mind going without, and would do without rather than take everything from home.”


The funeral, with full military honours, of Lieut F G Smith, R.F.C, took place on Wednesday at Coventry. This promising young officer, a former resident of Rugby, met with a fatal accident while flying on February 8th. Lieut Smith was educated at Rugby School, and Dr David (headmaster of Rugby) with Canon Robinson (Coventry), conducted the Funeral Service. Owing to his widespread popularity, much sympathy is felt for Mr & Mrs Henry Smith. Previous to going to Rugby School he passed by County Scholarship from St. Matthew’s to the Lower School.


Quite a gloom was cast over this village on Tuesday when the sad news was received that Sergt J Webb had died of enteric fever in German East Africa. Sergt Webb belonged to the Rifle Brigade and had seen a lot of hard fighting in France, where he went on 1915. He was badly wounded, and had to undergo several operations, as a shrapnel had to be taken from his stomach. But he made a splendid recovery, and after a rest was called upon once more for duty, this time in German East Africa, where he helped to drive the Germans into Portuguese territory. Here he was promoted to acting Sergt-Major, and was attached to the King’s African Rifles to train natives. Prior to the war he was under-gamekeeper for Mr Leo Bonn, of Newbold Revel.


SOLDIER HONOURED.—Corpl H H Seeley, Signal Section, R.E, has been awarded the Mons Ribbon in France.


THE LATE LANCE-CORPL. WM RAVEN.— Since the official report of the death of Lance-Corpl Wm F Raven, letters have come to hand from his Regimental officer and comrades. Capt A Loader Hall, the officer commanding, writes that he was his own personal runner, and was a man for whom he had the greatest admiration, and he finishes thus : “ This letter is, I am afraid, only a poor appreciation of one of the finest men I have ever had in my Company.” Lieut Burton G Scrase states that his memory “ will live for ever in the minds of all who knew him,” and adds this testimony, “ I have no hesitation in saying that he has never once failed to do his duty as a soldier.” The Chaplain (Rev G C R Cooke) says that was very highly thought of also as a religious man. He was killed instantly by a bullet through the head, so he would not have suffered and I am quite sure he was ready and prepared. L-Corpl Raven’s chum, Pte A Hutton, in returning his Bible to his friends, says he read it every night before going to rest, and used to take pride in doing so.

GEORGE WINDSOR, PRISONER OF WAR.—Good news continues to be received by his parents, Mr and Mrs H Windsor, from Pte George Windsor (R.W), who has been a prisoner of war in Germany since May 3, 1917. He is now located at Gustrow in Mecklenburg. In a recent letter he say: “ I had quite a surprise packet last week. The officer I was servant to in France was wounded and captured the same day as I was, and is in a camp in Germany a prisoner war. He has found out where I am and has sent me 100 marks, German money, to the value about £3 10s English money.”


DANCE.—On Saturday evening a very successful dance was held at the Village Hall in aid of the Red Cross Hospital, Bilton, and amongst the company was a good number of wounded soldiers, who remained till about eight o’clock. There was a large company. Mrs W H Heap and Miss Commons presided at the piano ; while Mrs Powell and Mrs Shadwell had charge of the refreshments.


SMITH.—On February 8th, Lieut. F. G. SMITH, R.F.C, killed while flying ; aged 20 years.—Deeply mourned by all.

WEBB.—On February 6th, in German East Africa, of enteric fever, JOHN HENRY, second son of Mr. & Mrs. W. Webb, of Churchover, aged 24.


CLEWLOW.—In loving memory of Pte. HARRY CLEWLOW, who died of wounds received in action on February 15, 1917.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call,
And gave his life for one and all.”

DUNN.—In loving memory Pte. JAMES DUNN, the dearly beloved husband of Clara Dunn, who died of wounds received in action on February 13, 1917 ; aged 27 years.
“ Somewhere in Belgium there is a nameless grave,
Where sleeps our loved one among the brave.
One of the rank and file, he heard the call,
And for the land he loved gave his all.”

9th Feb 1918. The New Franchise Law.


The Representation of the People Bill on Wednesday night received the Royal Assent. The revolution it creates in the parliamentary franchise is shown by the following summary :—

Voters increased from 8,357,000, to about 16,000,000.

6,000,000 women voters enfranchised, 5,000,000, being wives of electors.

Youths of 19 who have served or are serving in the Army or Navy in connection with the war to have votes.

Soldiers and sailors to vote in foreign lands or at sea by post or by proxy.

“ Conscientious ” objectors who have refused all work of national importance disqualified during war and for five years after.

Number of M.P.’s increased from 670 to 702.

All polling in a general election on one day.

Six months’ residence qualification.

General election under new register possible in August or September.


We understand representatives of the Government are looking round in the Midlands for suitable premises for the establishment of a sausage factory, at which it is proposed to deal with 18 to 20 tons of meat per day. A building with about 10,000 square feet floor area is required. When made the sausages are to be sold to the public at fixed prices through retailers.


Mr & Mrs Horsey, of 23 Manor Road, have received news that their son 2nd A.M E Horsey, R.F.C, was in the Osmanich, which was blown up by a mine on the 31st December, and sank in five minutes. He was in the water about half-an-hour before he was picked up, and he is now in Egypt.

Sergt F C Gurney, King’s Royal Rifles, eldest son of Mr T Gurney, bookbinder, of 30 Cambridge Street, has been awarded the Military Medal. He is an old Murrayian.

Second-Lieut J Y Rouse, R.F.A, headmaster of Eastlands Boys’ School, was wounded by shrapnel in the ankle on January 25th. He had only been with the guns two days when he received his wound.

SECOND-LIEUT H H H LISTER (Presumed Killed).

Second-Lieut H H H Lister, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, reported wounded and missing on May 4th, 1917, is now presumed by the War Office to have been killed in action on that date. He was 19 years of age, and was the only child of Mr & Mrs H L Lister, of 107 Clifton Road, Rugby. He was educated at the Lower School of Lawrence Sheriffe (1906-11), and Rugby School (1912-15).


Sergt A Phelps, of New Bilton, 1st Batt. Rifle Brigade, has been transferred from his prison camp in Germany to Scheveningen, Holland. For over two and a-half years Sergt Phelps has regularly received his parcels his through the Rugby Prisoners of War Committee. The recent repatriations and transfers of prisoners of war to neutral countries has now reduced the number of men in the care of the Rugby Committee to 74. To provide the necessary food parcels and bread for these men the sum of £205 7s is required every four weeks.


LOST AT SEA.—Mrs Eli Raven has received the sad intelligence from the War Office that her second son, Sapper Eli Raven, R.E, has been missing since the 30th December, and is believed to be drowned. Presumably he was on board the Aragon when she was and sunk in the Mediterranean. Mrs Raven, lost her husband after a long illness in 1916, and her eldest son, Richd Raven (Coldstreams), was killed in action last July. She has now only one son left,—Driver Albert Raven, R.H.A, now serving “ somewhere France.”


LISTER.—On May 4, 1917, Second-Lieut. H. H. H. LISTER, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, reported wounded and missing at Bullecourt, now presumed to have been killed in action, aged 19, only child of Mr. & Mrs. H. L. Lister, of 107 Clifton Road, rugby.


COLING.—In affectionate remembrance of our dear son, CHRISTOPHER, who was killed in action on February 4th, 1917.
“ Yes, we shall meet our boy again.
Far up in that Home above ;
Where war and strife will be no more.
But all will be peace and love.”
—From Father Mother, Brothers and Sister.

DATSON.—In loving memory of CHARLES DATSON, beloved husband of May Datson (late of Brownsover) who died of wounds in France on February 9, 1917.
“ What though in lonely grief I sigh
For him beloved, no longer nigh ;
Submissive would I still reply.
‘Thy will be done.’”

ELLIOTT.—In loving memory of Lance-Corpl. H. J. ELLIOTT, of the Rifle Brigade, beloved son of H. D. A. Elliott, who was killed in action in France on February 12, 1917.
“ Had we been asked, how well we know.
We should say, ‘Oh ! Spare this blow,’
Yes, with streaming tears, would say :
‘Lord, we love him, let him stay.’
He bravely answered duty’s call.
He gave his life for one and all :
But the unknown grave is the bitterest blow,
None but his loved ones ever know.”
—From his sorrowing Mother, Father & Brothers.

FRENCH.—In loving remembrance of Pte. OLIVER FRENCH, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, youngest son of Robt. & Emma French, of Napton, who died in France on February 10, 1917.
“ I Heard the Voice of Jesus say,
‘Come unto Me and rest.’”

RICHARDSON.—In loving memory of Pte. J. RICHARDSON, Coldstream Guards, who died of wounds received in action on February 11, 1915.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call,
His life he gave for one and all.”
—Sadly missed by his Mother, Brothers, Sisters, and Grandmother, of The Banks, Dunchurch.