6th Jul 1918. Rugby Yeomen on Torpedoed Transport

RUGBY YEOMEN ON TORPEDOED TRANSPORT
There were six Rugby men—Lance-Corpl Cyril White, Troopers Ellis Reeve, Baker, Labraham, Cox, and Carew (R.T.H.), all of the Warwickshire Yeomanry on board the transport, Leasowe Castle, when she was torpedoed in the Mediterranean on May 27th. Lance-Corpl Cyril White, who is the son of Mr & Mrs Albert White, 155 Clifton Road, has this week returned home on leave, after an absence of three years and three months, having passed through many adventures, some very pleasant and others the reverse.
“ It was very early on Sunday morning—the Warwicks’ unlucky day,” he informed a representative of the Advertiser, “ that we were torpedoed. The sea was beautifully calm at the time, and the moon was shining brightly overhead. ‘ In the old days,’ he remarked, humorously, ‘ we often said, “ ‘What a glorious moon,’” “ but I can tell you we cursed it pretty well that morning after the ship was struck. At the time I was lying on the boat deck asleep. The force of the explosion threw me completely out of my bed, and the sudden rush of water swept my life-belt, equipment, &c, overboard. I was in charge of number 6 boat group, and after the explosion I got my crew together, and we managed to get three boats down. The spirit of the men was admirable, and as they were struggling in the water many of them sang, ‘ Swim, Sam, Swim,’ and other popular songs. While the men were being disembarked from the doomed vessel a Japanese destroyer circled round, throwing out a dense smoke screen, and at the moment when the bow of the vessel finally sank beneath the waves, dragging in her wake many brave fellows, the smoke obliterated the light of the moon, and the effect was most uncanny, the deathly stillness being broken only by the last despairing cries of some of the doomed men. The last I saw of our good old Colonel Col Cheape,” continued Corpl White, “ was just before the ship sank, when he was standing on the bridge talking to the Captain as calmly as if on parade. Sergt Viccars, whose wife lives in Wood Street, was unfortunately drowned. Together with another sergeant, he was attempting to carry an injured man to the side of the ship, when the vessel lurched forward, and he was swept away. The injured man and the sergeant were saved, but nothing more was seen or heard of Sergt Viccars, a very gallant N.C.O.—Corpl White added that the rescued men were taken on board a Japanese destroyer and very hospitably entertained. After a rest in Alexandria they embarked for Italy, and travelled overland to France, everywhere being most enthusiastically welcomed. While at Genoa Station he met a Rugby member of the Royal Warwicks, Mr J A Panther, of Little Church Street, who informed him that all the Rugby men in the R.W.R in Italy were quite well.”

FATAL AEROPLANE ACCIDENT.
PILOT’S MIRACULOUS ESCAPE.

The story of a pilot’s miraculous escape from death was told at an inquest held on Monday to enquire into the death of Air Mechanic Richard Smith, R.A.F (23), son of Mrs Smith, 67 Sturgeon Street, Rishton, Lancs, which took place following an accident on Sunday morning last.

The pilot, Lieut John Joseph McDonald, stated that on the previous morning he decided to make a flight in a scout machine, and as the air mechanic in charge said it was working all right he took off straight away. The engine sounded in good condition in all the cylinders. Air Mechanic Smith asked witness to take him up, but he replied that he was not accustomed to taking passengers. Finally, however, he decided to take him. He started to fly towards the west, and when he was about 50 yards up the engine began to splutter. He tried to adjust matters, but as the engine did not pick up he pulled the throttle right off, and started to turn to the left. The machine began to nose dive ; and witness, seeing that a smash was inevitable, stood up in the seat behind Air Mechanic Smith, and caught hold of him with the intention of keeping him from falling forward on to the petrol tank. When the machine struck the ground witness was thrown clear of the machine, and the passenger was thrown against the petrol tank. Had the machine been 500ft up he would have been able to plane down all right, but there was insufficient depth at the time that he attempted to turn.

Second Air Mechanic James McCarron deposed that he examined the engine of the aeroplane before the flight, and it was then working satisfactorily. The aeroplane went up all right, but after she had been in the air a couple of minutes she began to choke and misfire owing to too much petrol passing into the engine. The pilot tried to turn as if he was returning to the Aerodrome, and the machine then crashed to earth.

Lieut Edward James Allman, R.A.F, corroborated this, and said when the pilot had half-turned the aeroplane the engine spluttered out as if it was choked. The aeroplane then spun round and nose dived to ground.

Surgeon-Major Chester Collins deposed that when he was called to the scene of the accident deceased was sitting in the wrecked aeroplane. He was quite unconscious, and while they were extricating him he had a severe haemorrhage. He was suffering from a fracture of the front of the skull, his right eye was completely destroyed, and his brain injured. He also received other injuries. The cause of death was haemorrhage. Had it not been for this he might have lived for some time, in which case in all probability meningitis would have set in, as it had in other cases investigated locally where the injuries were similar. Death took place an hour and a-half after the accident. Had the pilot been able to hold deceased back as he tried to he would not have received the injuries to the front of his skull. Witness understood that Smith was up for a “ joy ride ” when the accident occurred.

Verdict : “ Accidental death.”

ACCIDENTS IN THE AIR FORCE.—Major Baird (secretary to the Air Ministry), replying to Mr Outhwaite in the House of Commons on Thursday last week, said it was not in the public interest to state how many officers and men of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Air Force had been killed by accident in this country during the past six months. There was no justification whatever for alarm on the ground that there was an undue number of accidents.

THE FATAL ACCIDENT AT RUGBY STATION.

The inquest on the young Australian cadet, Walter Reginald Pick, aged 22, whose dead body (as we reported in our last issue) was found lying on the line at Rugby Station on Friday, June 28th, was conducted by Mr E F Hadow on Monday.

Lieut William Richard Bishop, Australian Flying Corps, deposed that deceased was a cadet in the 6th Officers’ Cadet Battalion, and was stationed at Oxford. He was preparing to take up a commission, and he left Australia in November, 1915.

Fred Percy Clare, 23 Essex Street, carriage shunter, employed by the L & N-W Railway Company, deposed that at about 3.20 a.m. on June 28th, he saw an object which he at first thought was a brown paper parcel, lying across the rails on the up line, but on a closer examination he found it was deceased, lying face downwards, with his head in the 4-foot way. The Preston train had shortly before gone over the rails, and the body could not have been lying there long, or it would have been seen, because a number of people crossed the rails at that spot. He informed the signalman of the discovery, and the train from Carlisle, which was then due, was stopped. With the help of the assistant stationmaster the body was removed. There was no sign of any struggle having taken place. A telephone message was sent through to London, and deceased’s stick and coat were found in a carriage in the Preston train at Euston.

Albert George Whiting, assistant stationmaster, deposed that the platform at Rugby was on the reverse side to that at most stations. After the discovery of the body he sent a message along the line, asking that the train should be searched. The first-class compartments were searched without success at Willesden, and deceased’s possessions were found in a 3rd-class carriage at Euston. No door was found open, and had there been any passengers in the carriage they could have left the train at Willesden. Deceased was travelling in a Caledonian coach, the doors of which shut automatically. There was no means of detecting whether such doors were shut deliberately, or whether they shut through the movement of the train. There was nothing to suggest that deceased fell out of the train ; but from the evidence witness was of opinion that he got out deliberately, and when the train moved off he tried to jump in again, and fell on to the line.

Ernest Wm Lines, 87 Abbey Street, carriage examiner, deposed that he examined the Preston train when it was in Rugby Station, and everything was then in order. No doors were open, and he saw no one outside. From the position of the body, he concluded that three vehicles passed over it.

The Coroner described the accident as a mystery, and said, in his opinion, the theory of Mr Whiting was borne out by the external evidence. It was for the jury to say how the accident occurred, for that it was an accident he thought they were all agreed.

A verdict of “ Accidental death ” was returned, the jury adding that there was no evidence to show how he got on to the line.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Lance-Corpl C O Meates, Gloucester Regiment, of Rugby, has been awarded the Military Medal.

Pte J E Hensman, R.W.R, of Rugby, is reported missing.

Pte A Moore, Leicestershire Regiment, Lutterworth, has been wounded.

Lieut T W Walding, Machine Gun Battalion, son of Mrs Walding, of “ The Limes,” who was recently reported missing, has written stating that he is a prisoner of war in Germany.

Lance-Corpl Cox, of the Military Police, who before joining the Army was stationed at Dunchurch, has been awarded the Military Medal.

Mr J A Phillips, of St Aubyn, Hillmorton Road, has received a letter, dated June 1st, from his son, Second-Lieut K Me N Phillips, 3rd Northumberland Fusiliers, attached 1/5 Durham Light Infantry, who was posted as missing on May 27th, stating that he is safe and well, but is a prisoner of war at Limburg, Nassau. He was in the 50th Division at Craonne.

Capt Rudolph Elwes (Coldstream Guards), second son of Mr Gervase and Lady Winefride Elwes, has been awarded the Military Cross. He was recently taken prisoner after taking part in the glorious 48 hours’ stand made by the Coldstreams from April 12th to the 14th. His company was eventually surrounded and cut off. Mr Gervase Elwes has sufficiently recovered from his recent operation to be able to return to Billing Hall.

We have received a letter from Corpl F Joyce, R.F.A, of Bilton, enclosing a copy of the “ Balkan News ” for June 15th, which contains the announcement that : “ An Old Rugbeian dinner will be held at the Officers’ Rest House, Salonica, on July 2nd. Hon Sec, Lieut W F Hawkins.” In his letter Corpl Joyce says he has been a constant reader of the Rugby Advertiser many years, and he always looks forward to it, as it keeps one “ in touch with things going on in the good old town of Rugby.”

Mr & Mrs H Colston, 82 York Street, Rugby, have been notified that their elder son. Pte Ernest H Colston, Royal Berkshire Regiment, was killed in action on June 19th. Pte Colston, who was only just 19 years of age, had been in France since last December. He was an “ old boy ” of St Matthew’s School, where he was very popular, and was head boy when he left to enter the L & N-W Railway offices at Coventry. He was a member of the St Matthew’s XV, which won the Schoolsa’ Union Shield in 1913. He had been in St Matthews’s Church Choir for eight years. In a letter of sympathy to his parents his officer speaks of him as a young soldier of the highest promise.

Mr & Mrs Alfred Eyden, “ Denaby,” St Matthew’s Parade, Northampton, have been advised that their younger son, Lieut Maurice V Eyden, 2nd Northants Regiment, reported missing on May 27th, is a prisoner of war in Germany and quite well. His only brother (Royal Engineers) was killed in France on May 19, 1918.

Mrs Ingram, 61 Victoria Avenue, New Bilton, has received a letter from the Captain of the Company to which her son Leonard, who died from wounds on May 29th, belonged. The writer says : “ He was wounded on the 29th by a machine gun bullet in the right side under the ribs. . . Your son was a splendid fellow, the ‘ life and soul ‘ of my Company, and was always so cheerful and full of good humour under the most trying circumstances. He was a very gallant soldier, and in the heavy fighting we had here for the first three days—April 12, 13 & 14—he did most excellent work for me by taking urgent messages to the Battalion Commander, running through an absolute hell to deliver them. This he volunteered to do when I had lost my Company runners. His were deeds of gallantry I shall never forget.”

IN ENEMY HANDS.—Subscriptions to the Rugby Prisoners of War Fund during the past week have shown a marked improvement, £120 being received from all sources. The knowledge that in the absence of local support the men would become a charge on the funds of the British Red Cross Society has, no doubt, stimulated interest. To continue to provide in full for the Rugby and district men in enemy hands £400 per month has now to be raised for this branch of Red Cross work. Fortunately no additional names have been reported to the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee this week. There are now 130 Rugby and district men prisoners of war in Germany.

WAR BONDS.—During the week ended June 29th, Rugby contributed £1,030 to National War Bonds. The weekly quota for the town is £10,870.

ON THURSDAY (Independence Day) the Stars and Stripes were flown from several buildings in the town.

INFLUENZA is now very prevalent in the town, several hundred cases having occurred.

DUNCHURCH.
MRS H WEBB, Coventry Road, has received news from the War Office that her husband, Pte H Webb, of the Warwicks, is missing.—Pte P Grant, Mill Street, has been wounded in the leg, and is at St John’s Hospital, Barby Road, Rugby.

MRS W RICHARDSON, The Banks, has received news that her second son, Sergt L Richardson, of the K.R.R, has been killed. This is the second son Mrs W Richardson has lost. Sergt Richardson was a member of the Dunchurch Brass Band, and one of the best performers. He was very much respected in the village, where the news of his death has caused deep regret

LEAMINGTON HASTINGS.
MISSING.—Mr F Isham has received official news that his son, Pte David Isham, of the Royal Devons, has been reported missing in France since May 26th. He has been previously reported missing, but proved to be away from his unit.

LONG ITCHINGTON.
GASSED.—Sergt C T Tiff, Royal Shropshire Light Infantry, is in a base hospital suffering from gas poisoning.

STRETTON-ON-DUNSMORE.
WOUNDED.—Information has been received by Mrs Fell that her husband, Corpl E T Fell, of the Machine Gun Corps, has been wounded severely by a shell in the thigh. He is now progressing favourably in hospital in Italy. It is just twelve months ago since Corpl Fell had a narrow escape and received very bad shell shock in France.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
SCHOOLBOY LABOUR ON THE LAND.

To the Editor of the Advertiser.
DEAR SIR,—A considerable number of boys of 14 and 15 are anxious to help on farms during the holidays. They are too young for the ordinary camps, but capable of doing very useful work locally. If local farmers will let me know of their requirements I shall be pleased to pick out suitable boys. Only one reply was made to my former letter, and there, I understand, the boys did valuable work.—Yours faithfully,
Lower School. Rugby,
S R HART.

IN MEMORIAM.

ASTILL.—In loving memory of Pte. HERBERT ASTILL, who died from wounds received in action on June 29, 1915. “Gone, but not forgotten.”—From his sorrowing Mother.

BLAND.—In loving memory of our dear son, Pte. C. BLAND, killed in action on July 1, 1916.
“ God takes our loved ones from our homes.
But never from our hearts.”
—From his loving Mother and Father, Brothers and Sisters.

COLLINS.—In loving memory of our dear son, Pte. H. E. COLLINS, who was killed in action in France on July 3, 1916.
“ Days of sadness still come o’er us,
Tears in silence often flow.
Thinking of the day we lost him :
Just two years ago.
Too far away thy grave to see.
But not too far to think of thee.”
—Never forgotten by his loving Father, Mother, Sisters & Brother, of 45 New Street, New Bilton.

COOPER.—9178 Sergt, JOHN COOPER, Yorks & Lancs. Regt., killed in action in France on July 1, 1916.
“ Sleep on, dear brother, in a far-off grave,
A grave we may never see ;
But as long as life and memory lasts
We will remember thee.”
—From Mother, Sister and Brother.

EADON.—In ever-loving memory of Pte. GEORGE EADON, of the 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who was killed in action in France on July 1, 1916.
“ Some where abroad our dear one sleeps,
A hero laid to rest.”
—Never forgotten by his loving Father, Mother, Sisters and Brother.

SEENEY.—In loving memory of Signaller BILLY SEENEY, killed in action on July 2, 1916 ; aged 18.
“ Sleep on, dear one, in your foreign grave :
A grave we may never see ;
But as long as life and memory lasts
We shall remember thee.”
—Sadly missed by his Mother, Sisters and Brother.

WATSON.—In loving memory of Pte. ARTHUR JAMES (JIM), dearly beloved son of Thomas and the late Harriett Watson, 51 Pinfold Street, New Bilton, who was killed in action on July 2, 1916.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call ;
He gave his life for one and all.”
—From his Father, Brothers and Sisters.

WHITE.—In loving memory of ALBERT JAMES, dearly beloved husband of Ethel Maud White, and eldest son of Mr. & Mrs. James White, of 70 Murray Road, who gave his life for his country on June 30, 1917.

Advertisements

Reeve, Frank Basham. Died 21st Mar 1918

Frank Basham REEVE was born in early 1888 in Rugby, and baptised on 31 March 1888 at St. Andrew’s church, Rugby.   He was the son of William (b.c 1848) and Caroline née Ince (b.c.1847) Reeve who had been born in Frankton, Warwickshire and in Essex respectively. They had married in 1871, and their first child was born in Ryton on Dunsmore.

In 1891 the family was living at 33 Arnold Road, Frank was three years old and had six older and one younger sibling; his father was a baker. By 1901, the family had moved to 158 Cambridge Street, Rugby, and by 1911 the family had moved again to 14 Cambridge Street, Rugby; Frank’s parents had now been married 40 years.   Frank was 23 and a ‘General Labourer’ at British Thompson Houston (BTH) in Rugby, where his elder sister also worked, in the ‘Lamp Dept.’.

It is uncertain exactly when he enlisted, but his name is included in a list of BTH employees who had joined up which was published in the Rugby Advertiser on 5 September 1914.

‘BTH – FROM THE WORKS. – This is an additional list of men who have left to join the Colours from August 27th up to and including September 2nd: … Reeve,…’[1]

He thus enlisted in Rugby between 27 August and 2 September 1914, as a Private No.11873, in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry [Ox and Bucks].   His initial Battalion is not definitely known, but his Medal Card has a reference to the 6th Battalion as did his identity discs. He would later be promoted to Lance Corporal. His CWGC entry states that he was later in the 2nd/4th Battalion of the Ox and Bucks.

Frank’s Medal Card shows that he went to France on 22 July 1915, which would suggest that he was indeed with the 6th Battalion Ox and Bucks, as they landed in Boulogne on that date.

6th (Service) Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was formed at Oxford in September 1914 as part of the Second New Army (K2). After some initial training with very little equipment, they moved to Deepcut, near Camberley and then to Aldershot to join the 60th Brigade of the 20th Division.   In March 1915 they moved to Larkhill, Salisbury Plain. On 22 July 1915 they mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne, and after trench familiarisation and training engaged in various actions on the Western front including in 1916: the Battle of Mount Sorrel, the Battle of Delville Wood, the Battle of Guillemont, the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, the Battle of Morval, and the Battle of Le Transloy. In 1917: the German retreat to the Hindenburg Line, the Battle of Langemarck, the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge, the Battle of Polygon Wood, and the Cambrai Operations.

On 15 February 1918 the Army reorganised and Brigades were reduced from four to three Battalions. The 6th Battalion Ox and Bucks was disbanded at La Clytte and the remaining personnel transferred to the 2/4th and 5th Battalions, and the 14th Entrenching Battalion. It seems most likely that this was when Frank joined the 2nd/ 4th Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.

The 2nd/4th (Service) Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry had landed in France much later than the 6th Battalion, on 24 May 1916, and had been involved in many of the actions in France and Flanders including in 1916: the Attack at Fromelles (the unsuccessful diversionary tactic during the Battle of the Somme), and in 1917: the Operations on the Ancre, the German Retreat to the Hindenburg Line, the Battle of Langemark, and the German counter attacks.

Soon after Frank transferred to the 2/4th Ox and Bucks in 1918, he would have been involved in the opening of the Battle of St Quentin, when, on 21 March 1918, the Germans launched a major offensive, Operation Michael, against the British Fifth Army, and the right wing of the British Third Army.   The artillery bombardment began at 4.40am on 21 March 1918, and hit targets over an area of 150 square miles, the biggest barrage of the entire war. Over 1,100,000 shells were fired in five hours.

The action on that first day, 21 March 1918 has already been described in some detail (see Operation Michael or consult other references.[2]).

An outline of the actions of the 2nd/4th Battalion at that date are included in the Battalion history.[3]

On the night of 18/19 March the Battalion went into the front line. C Company was on the right, in front of Fayet; B Company, under the command of Wallington, was on the left, just south of Gricourt. A went to Fayet itself and D Company, commanded in Robinson’s absence by Rowbotham, provided the garrison of Enghien Redoubt, which was a quarry near Selency Château; Battalion Headquarters also were at this redoubt. During the night of March 20 a raid on the Battalion’s right was carried out near Cepy Farm by the 182nd Brigade. It was successful. German prisoners from three divisions corroborated our suspicion that the great enemy offensive was about to be launched. From headquarters to headquarters throbbed the order to man battle stations. Ere dawn was due to lighten the sky a dense mist shrouded everything and added a fresh factor to the suspense.

Early on March 21, only a short time after the Colonel had returned from visiting the front line posts, the ground shook to a mighty bombardment.   At Amiens windows rattled in their frames. Trench mortars of all calibres and field guns, brought to closest range in the mist and darkness, began to pound a pathway through our wire.   Back in artillery dug-outs the light of matches showed the time; it was 4.50 a.m. The hour had struck. Our guns, whose programme in reply was the fruit of two months’ preparation, made a peculiar echo as their shells crackled through the mist. Some ‘silent’ guns fired for the first time.

On all headquarters, roads, redoubts, and observation posts the enemy’s howitzer shells were falling with descending swoop, and battery positions were drenched with gas.

In the back area the fire of long-range guns was brought with uncanny accuracy to bear against our rest billets, transport lines, and dumps.   Cross-roads, bridges, and all vital spots in our communications, though never previously shelled, were receiving direct hits within a short time of the opening of the bombardment. The Berks had casualties at Ugny. Some English heavy batteries, recent arrivals on the front and seemingly undiscovered by the enemy, were now knocked out almost as soon as they had opened fire. The Artillery level crossing was hit by an early shell which blocked the road there with a huge crater. Never in the war had the Germans flung their shells so far or furiously as now.

By daylight all front line wire had been destroyed, and our trenches everywhere were much damaged. The mist hung thick, but the Germans did not yet attack. About 9.30 a.m. the barrage was felt to lift westwards from Fayet and the fitful clatter of Lewis guns, firing in short bursts with sometimes a long one exhausting a ‘drum’, was heard. In the front line showers of stick bombs announced the enemy’s presence.   Everywhere it seemed that quick-moving bodies in grey uniforms were closing in from either flank and were behind.   In the mist our posts were soon over-run. Few of our men were left to rally at the ‘keeps’. A messenger to A Company’s platoons, which had been stationed in support at the famous ‘Sunken Road’, found that place filled with Germans. Before noon the enemy had passed Fayet and his patrols had reached Selency and the Cottages.

At Enghien Redoubt Battalion Headquarters had received no news of the attack having begun; the dense mist limited the view to fifty yards. The earliest intimation received by Colonel Wetherall of what was taking place was enemy rifle and machine-gun fire sweeping the parapet. At one corner of the redoubt some of the enemy broke in but were driven out by D Company with the bayonet. Outside Headquarters the first three men to put their heads over were killed by Germans, who had crept close along the sunken road which leads from Favet to Selency Château. The rifles and machine guns of the garrison opened up and gained superiority. The defence, destined to last for many hours, of Enghien Redoubt proved an important check to the enemy’s advance and helped to save many of our guns.

At 12 noon, after several patrols had failed to find out whether the enemy had captured Holnon, the Colonel himself went out to see all that was happening. He did not return, and shortly afterwards Headquarters were surrounded by the enemy, who had made ground on either flank. Nevertheless till 4.30 p.m. Cunningham, the officer left in command, held out most manfully. Of all the companies, Jones and less than fifty men had escaped capture. They reached the ‘Battle Line’ of trenches east of Holnon Wood, and there joined the Gloucesters, who had not yet been engaged in the fighting. The enemy, having captured Maissemy, Fayet, and Holnon, paused to reorganise as evening fell.

Towards evening on the 21st the Berks, who were in reserve when the attack started, were sent to counter-attack against Maissemy, which had been lost by the division on our left. Near the windmill, which stands on the high ground west of the village, Dimmer, the Berks V.C. Colonel, was killed leading his men on horseback. This local attempt to stem the German onslaught proved of no avail. At 10.30 a.m. on March 22 the enemy, whose movements were again covered by mist, pressed the attack against the Battle Line. Almost before the Gloucesters knew they were attacked in front, they found themselves beset in flanks and rear.

At noon the enemy from its north side had penetrated Holnon Wood.   Gloucesters and Oxfords fell back to join the garrison of the Beauvoir Line, all parts of which were heavily engaged by evening. A gallant resistance, in which the Gloucesters under Colonel Lawson were specially distinguished, was made by the 184th Infantry Brigade. The General encouraged the defence in person.   But the line was too weakly manned long to withstand the enemy; though parts of it held till after 8 p.m. on March 22, before midnight the whole of this last Army Line had been lost. The enemy had ‘broken through’.

The Battalion Diary[4] also provides a briefer summary of the actions on 21 March 1918.

March 21 – Our positions were subjected to a severe enemy bombardment commencing at 4.30 a.m., gas shells being freely used on our back areas and keeps. At 9 a.m., under a heavy smoke barrage, a strong hostile attack was launched, penetrating the Forward Zone and surrounding Enghien Redoubt. The garrison of the latter, D Company and Battalion H.Q., held out till 4 p.m., at which time, owing to casualties, they attempted to fight their way out. The remainder of the Battalion (Captain G. K. Rose says they were less than 50 men.) attached themselves to 2/5th Glosters. Casualties: Killed, 5 other ranks; Missing, believed killed, Lieut. G. E. Bassett, 2nd Lieuts. R. G. H. Gough, W. H. Flory, C. C. Hall; Wounded and Missing, 2nd Lieut. E. Little and 31 men; Wounded, 32 men; Missing, Captain K. E. Brown, M.C., Captain C. E. P. Foreshew, M.C., Captain F. T. Cahill (M.O.R.C.U.S.A.), 2nd Lieuts. R. Ostler, J. Pett, C. H. Wallington, M.C., V. C. Gray, J. C. Cunningham, J. W. Mallett, F. A. Naylor, G. Shelley, G. V. Rowbotham, M.C., C. H. Leach, P. J. Sims, and 494 other ranks. Total: 19 officers and 562 other ranks. Later statistics show that of these 525 missing men, 407 were made prisoners, 54 of them being wounded. The number of killed must therefore have been upwards of 120 men.

At some time on 21 March 1918, Frank Reeve was one of those ‘upward of 120 men’ ‘Killed in Action’.

Frank Reeve was originally buried, or his body was later found, probably near to where he fell at Map Reference ‘62B S. 5. a 0 7’, which was in Fayet, about two kilometres north-west of St. Quentin. It was some way forward of the Enghien Redoubt which features in the above accounts of the defence of the area. As there were another nine soldiers found at the same map reference this was probably a temporary battlefield graveyard or shell crater where they had been buried.   There was a cross marking one grave which tends to confirm this.

In 1920, Frank’s body was recovered and ‘concentrated’ [i.e. exhumed and re-buried]. He was identified by his identity disk which also gave his earlier 6th Battalion. The burial record was later amended to read 2nd/4th Battalion. He is now buried in Chapelle British Cemetery, Holnon in grave ref: II. I. 18.   Holnon is a village six kilometres west of St Quentin and south of the main road to Vermand and Amiens. … Chapelle British Cemetery, named from a wayside shrine, was made after the Armistice, by the concentration of graves of 1917-18 from the battlefields West of St. Quentin.

Frank Reeve was awarded the Victory and British medals and although his Medal Card includes the 1914-1915 Star, this appears to have been deleted – possibly it had not yet been issued – or there was confusion caused by his change of Battaion. He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate; on the BTH War Memorial, as Frank Reeves;[5] and on the list of BTH Employees ‘Who Served in the War 1914 – 1918’ – as F B Reeves.[6]

Frank’s father, William, predeceased him in 1914. His mother, Caroline lived until she was aged 93, in 1940.   After the war she had lived at 168, Murray Road, Rugby.

After Frank’s death, the 2nd/4th Battalion Ox and Bucks were in action at the Somme Crossings, the Battle of Estaires, the Battle of Hazebrouck, and   the Battle of Bethune. The allies held the advance which had badly weakened the Germans and overextended their supply lines, and then from August 1918 fought back. The 2/4th Battalion fought in the Battle of the Selle, and the Battle of Valenciennes, and ended the war S.E. of Valenciennes, France.

One of Frank’s elder brothers, Arthur Kimbell Reeve, an old boy of St. Matthew’s School,[7] also died in WWI and is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate. Born in about 1876, he served in the 13th Battalion, Princess Charlotte of Wales’s Regiment (The Royal Berkshires). He died on 4 March 1917, in Queen Alexandra Hospital, Dunkirk of spotted fever. His life is recorded  for 4 March 1917, and further details of Arthur’s life were also provided in the Rugby Advertiser for 17 March 1917

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Frank B REEVE was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, December 2017.

[1]       https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2014/09/05/5th-sep-1914-rugbys-magnificent-response/

[2]       Murland, Jerry, Retreat and Rearguard Somme 1918 – the Fifth Army Retreat, Pen and Sword Books Ltd, 2014, ISBN: 978 1 78159 2670, p.49.

[3]       Rose, G. L., The story of the 2/4th Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, available at http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20395/20395-h/20395-h.htm#img185. Chapter XIII – The Great German Attack of March 21.

 

[4]       Abstracted by http://www.lightbobs.com/24-tf-bn-oxf–bucks-li-1917-1918.html.

[5]       From a list of names on the BTH War Memorial when it was unveiled. The list was published in the Rugby Advertiser, 4 November 1921. See https://www.rugbyfhg.co.uk/bth-war-memorial.

[6]       https://www.rugbyfhg.co.uk/bth-employees-who-served-war-1914-1918-m-y.

[7]       https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2017/04/07/7th-apr-1917-death-of-lieut-g-redmayne/

[8]       https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2017/03/04/reeve-arthur-kimbell-died-4th-mar-1917/.

[9]       https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2017/03/17/17th-mar-1917-high-french-honour-for-miss-ivens/

9th Mar 1918. The Paper Famine – Share Your Advertiser with Others

THE PAPER FAMINE.
SHARE YOUR ADVERTISER with OTHERS.

It is a very unusual experience in the history of a local newspaper to have to stem the tide of an increasing circulation, and our readers may feel assured it goes very much against the grain of the proprietors of the Advertiser to announce that, owing to further drastic reductions in the weight of paper they are allowed by the Government to purchase, it is impossible to satisfy the increasing demand for copies of the paper. We are rationing the supplies sent out to our agents, and it may be the increase of the price of the paper to 2d, which we find it necessary to adopt with this issue because of the enormous advance in the cost of production, will automatically assist them in the difficult task of apportioning the papers they have for sale satisfactorily among their customers.

Some will certainly have to go without—particularly those who have been in the habit of making casual purchases ; others will voluntarily relinquish the paper for the time being, but it does not follow that the actual number of readers need be reduced. On the contrary, we do not wish our friends to sever their association with their favourite journal altogether. If will be quite possible and easy for relatives or neighbours to arrange to make one copy serve for two or more households, and this is a system which “ The Times ” (London) proposes to force upon its patrons if the rationing system which they, like the Advertiser, have been compelled to adopt, does not limit the demand sufficiently. They intimate that in such an event they will only supply those people who will agree to share their copies with others.

For our part we prefer to rely upon the indulgence and voluntary co-operation of our readers to assist us in tiding over this unprecedented crisis, which we hope will only be temporary.

We have no doubt the agents for the Advertiser will be glad to assist in such a scheme by re-purchasing papers and passing them on to others who cannot otherwise be supplied. On our part, we are prepared to do this by purchasing at a penny each, clean copies brought to the Advertiser Office while it is open from 9 a.m till mid-day on Saturdays ; and in this way it should still be possible for a great many to have an opportunity peruse the Advertiser at no greater cost than before.

Newspapers are recognised as a national necessity, but further tonnage has to be saved, and food and the raw materials for munitions must come first. It is urgently necessary to release more tonnage for food supplies, and for that reason paper imports have had to be cut down.

THE FOOD RATIONING SCHEME.
POSTPONED TILL APRIL 7TH.

The National Food Rationing Scheme, which was to have come into force on March 25th, has been postponed a fortnight—to April 7th. But there are certain duties to be performed by the people as a preliminary to getting their cards, and all applications for food cards must be in by to-day (Saturday). In our advertisement columns will be found the official time table relating to these duties, which must be strictly observed.

ENFORCED CULTIVATION OF FARMS.

We understand the Warwickshire Agricultural Committee are, under the powers given to them, entering upon four farms in the vicinity of Knightlow Hill for the purpose of seeing that they are properly cultivated. The occupiers have had to turn out at a month’s notice.

ALLOTMENT-HOLDERS AND A WILD RUMOUR.

In several districts, including Birmingham, credence appears still to be given by a few people in the recent rumour that the Food Controller would take over compulsorily the produce of allotments and gardens this year. Three weeks ago the Food Production Department denied the truth of this rumour, and stated that there was no foundation for it whatever. A fortnight ago the Department renewed this assurance, and it now emphasises the denial in view of the persistence of the rumour.

RUGBY RURAL FOOD CONTROL COMMITTEE.

At the weekly meeting on Thursday in last week there were present : Mr H Tarbox (chairman), Rev R S Mitchison, Mrs Draper, Mrs Neilson, Mrs Anderson, Mrs Townsend, Mrs Peet, Messrs   J C Harrison, W Woodward, A Appleby, J Cripps, A T Watson, and T E Smart.

It was reported that 200 lbs of sugar had been deducted from the monthly allotment in respect of a school, the housekeeper of which had reported having this quantity left over from the amount alloted them for jam-making last year.

A long discussion took place as to the system by which the new sets of sugar coupons were being issued by the Postal Authorities.—It was stated that some the sub-postmasters in the district had received books of coupons, but no instructions as to how they were to be issued, and in some cases they were being handed out without regard to the question of whether the first set of coupons had been issued.—The Executive Officer was directed to write to the Postmaster, and ask that proper instructions be given to sub-postmasters in the district.

The Executive Officer read a letter from the Ministry of Food, stating that the position with regard to cheese will improve rapidly within the next two months.

The Executive Officer reported that Mr J T Clarke had been appointed to take charge of the preliminary arrangements for the rationing scheme. The period of his employment would be six weeks, and the salary £3 weekly.

This being the last meeting of the committee as then constituted, the Chairman briefly thanked the retiring members for their assistance, and also expressed his gratitude to the committee as a whole for the manner in which they had applied themselves to their duties. He mentioned that it was unique for the sole representative of organised labour to be elected chairman, and he was very grateful for the support they had accorded him.—On the motion of the Rev R S Mitchison, seconded by Mr Smart, a hearty vote of thanks was accorded Mr Tarbox for his services as chairman.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Lance-Corpl G S Taylor (OL), of the 1st H.A.C, has been given a commission in that regiment.

In the Ministry of Munitions Estimates an extra grant is included of £300 a year to the widow and children of the late Mr L S Robertson, formerly a Director of Messrs Willans and Robinson, who was drowned with Lord Kitchener when the “ Hampshire ” was torpedoed.

News has come to hand that Acting-Sergt T G H Buxton, A.T.C, R.E, has been mentioned in despatches, and promoted to the rank of Second-Lieutenant. His home is at 10 Frederick Street, Rugby. He joined up in May, 1915, and has been serving in Egypt two years.

Pte H Addison, 3rd Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who was posted as missing on May 13th last, has now been reported to have been killed in action on that date. Prior to enlisting he was employed in the B.T.H Lamp Works.

Corpl A E Lamb, 18th Middlesex Regt, has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery in the field. Corpl Lamb has seen service in China and South Africa during his twelve years with the colours. He was employed in the B.T.H controlling department previous to his joining up at Rugby in November, 1915.

HILLMORTON.

THE death of Lance-Corpl W A Blockley, D.C.L.I, took place at Fargo Military Hospital, Salisbury Plain, on February 27th. The remains were interred at Hillmorton on the 3rd Inst, with military honours, a party from Budbroke being sent at the instigation of Col Johnstone. There were many wreaths, and a large number of parishioners paid their last tribute of respect. Before joining the Army he was in the employ of a firm of chemists in Rugby. By his perseverance he gained the confidence of his employers, and was soon promoted to the position of assistant. He was the chairman of the Junior League of the Conservative Club. He joined up in December, 1916, and soon gained promotion, but his health began to fail, and consumption developed. He leaves a widow and two children. The widow desires to thank all who have so kindly shown sympathy in her sad bereavement.

HARBOROUGH MAGNA.

WAR SAVINGS.—Since its formation m January. 1917, the Harborough War Savings Association has purchased 482 15s 6d certificates.

SAPPER R BAYNES, whose parents live in this village, asks us to state that he is conversant with most of the burial grounds on the Somme, and if any relatives of soldiers who have fallen and have been buried in any of the cemeteries out there will communicate with him he will take the first opportunity of visiting the graves indicated to see if they are being attended to.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR.
WRITING ON WALLS.

To the Editor of the Advertiser.
DEAR SIR,—I would like to be allowed to protest vigorously against the growing nuisance of marking and writing with chalk on hoardings and walls in the town. Some of it may be done by thoughtless schoolboys, but more appears to be the work of youths of low and degraded intelligence, and is both disgraceful and disgusting. It is sad to think that when England should be striving to aspire to a purer life and service of God the young people can find no better thoughts or occupation than this.—Yours faithfully.
OBSERVANT.

DEATH OF A CRIMEAN VETERAN.

The death look place, at the Rugby Institution Infirmary, on Saturday, of Thomas Brown, of Lawrence Sheriffe Almshouses. He was 82 years of age, and was born near Watlington, Oxfordshire. As a young man he joined the 16th Army Battalion of the Oxfordshire Regiment, and served in the Crimea War, subsequently leaving the Army with the rank of corporal. He was very reticent concerning his early days, and left no record of the engagements in which he participated, although on occasions he favoured his personal friends with accounts of the terrible experiences through which our soldiers passed in the dark days of that war. He came to Rugby about 40 years ago, and was well known as a jobbing gardener.

The funeral took place with military honours on Wednesday afternoon, and was witnessed by a large crowd of sightseers. A firing party from Budbroke attended, together with a detachment from the Rugby Company of the Volunteer Corps, under Capt C H Fuller. The deceased was a member of the Salvation Army, and the local band attended and played the “ Dead March ” on the way to the cemetery, and also led the singing of the hymns, “ O God, our help in ages past,” and “ Rock of ages ” at the graveside, where the service was conducted Major Vickers, of Northampton, assisted by Adjutant Tickner. The Rugby Board of Guardians was represented by Messrs J W Pendred, W Dickens, Mrs Dickens, and Nurse Gordon, and amongst others present were several old soldiers, including Lance-Corpl Joe Norman, late R.F.A, another veteran, who also served through the Crimean War.

IN MEMORIAM.

BENCH.—In ever-loving memory of our dear brother, Pte J. BENCH, who passed away in a hospital at Puchevillers, France, on March 5, 1917.
“ He left us and home like a soldier brave,
Wounded though he had been ;
But now he lies in a warrior’s grave,
Dearest Joe, we should loved to have seen.
It breaks our hearts to think of him,
Of how our boy has died ;
Not one of us went near him,
Not even by his side.
And yet some time there’ll come a day
When our loved ones we shall meet,
To be together for ever and aye,
Kneeling Jesus’ feet.”
—From his loving Father, Sisters and Brothers.

FIDLER.—In loving memory of W. G. FIDLER, who died March 7, 1916, in France.
“ He sleeps not in his native land,
But under foreign skies ;
Far from his friends who loved him best,
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—From his Father and Mother.

FIDLER.—In loving memory of my dear brother, Pte. W. G. FIDLER, of Harborough Magna, who was accidentally killed in France on March 7, 1916.
“ Rest on, dear brother, in a far-off grave ;
A grave we may never see ;
But as long life and memory lasts
We will remember thee.”
—From your loving sister, Nell.

REEVE.—In loving memory of Pte. ARTHUR KIMBELL REEVE, Royal Berkshire Regiment, who died in Queen Alexandra Hospital, Dunkirk, France, on March 4th, 1917.
“ Oh ! just to clasp your hand once more,
Just to hear your voice again.
Here life to me without you
Is nought but grief and pain.
Could I have raised your dying head,
Or heard your last farewell,
The grief would not have been so hard
For me who loves you well.”
—Sadly missed by his sorrowing Wife & Daughters.

REEVE.—In loving memory of my dear son, Pte. ARTHUR KIMBELL REEVE, who died in France on March 4th, 1917.
“ One year has passed since that sad day,
When one we loved was called away.
God took him home, it was His will,
But in our hearts he liveth still.”
—Deeply mourned by his sorrowing Mother, Brothers and Sisters.

7th Apr 1917. Death of Lieut G Redmayne

DEATH OF LIEUT G REDMAYNE.

Sincere regret was felt in the Rugby district last week-end when news was received of the death from pneumonia at Windermere of Lieut G Redmayne, who for about two years had been serving in France as a gunner with the Rugby Howitzer Battery. He won the Military Medal, and had been granted a Commission, and it was whilst on leave in England as a result of this promotion that he contracted the serious illness which resulted in his death.

For several years Mr Redmayne lived at Dunchurch, where he was a pupil to Mr C G Bolam, late agent to the Duke of Buccleuch, and during that time he assisted Rugby F.C as a three-quarter back, doing valuable service with the 1st XV. Afterwards he took up Association Football. He was very popular in the district, and sincere regret is felt at the untimely end of so gallant and promising a soldier.

Mr Redmayne was the mainstay of the Dunchurch Cricket Club and a good runner, and while at Dunchurch always took part in the cross-country run on Good Friday. Apart from his athletic prowess, he was generous and kind-hearted, and will be much missed by Dunchurch people. He was a keen supporter of the Working Men’s Club, the members of which have sent a letter of condolence to Mr and Mr Redmayne, and also a handsome wreath. A memorial service was held in the Parish Church on Wednesday evening. Special hymns and Psalms were sung, and an appropriate address was delivered by the Rev B B Carter. Mr E R Gilling, the organist, played “ Prelude in C Minor ” (Chopin), “ O rest in the Lord ” (Mendelssohn), and “ Dead March ” from “ Saul ” (Handel). A large number of parishioners attended.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Recent casualties announced include :- Wounded : W J Edwards (Stockingford), Royal Fusiliers ; A Taylor (Rugby), Royal Welsh Fusiliers ; A Lee (rugby), King’s Royal Rifle Corps.

Mr William George Thompson, son of Mr Edward Thompson, East Haddon, had just been gazetted as First Lieutenant in the 2nd 20th London Regiment.

Harry Judd, only surviving son of Mr H Judd, Winfield Street, has passed his examinations as Fourth-class artificer in the Royal Navy, and goes to Portsmouth in a few days. Until recently he had been working in the drawing offices at the B.T.H Works.

Last month’s casualties to “ old boys ” of St. Matthew’s School include Pte E J Hewitt, Warwickshire Regiment, and Pte A K Reeve, Berkshire Regiment, whose deaths have been notified in previous issues of the Advertiser. Pte A P Prowse, Northamptonshire Regiment, a member of the School staff, has recently been severely wounded, having lost his left arm and received a number of shrapnel wounds, in addition to shell shock. He has been removed to England, and hopes are entertained of his recovery. Pte Prowse attested in the early days of the Derby scheme, was called up last June, and went to the front in September.

MARRIAGES

BUSH-BOURNE.-On March 29th, at St. Stephen’s Church, Westbourne Park, by the Vicar, the Rev. Shepley Smith, PAUL FRANCIS WHELER BUSH, Lieut., R.F.C., eldest son of Robert Evans Wheler Bush, of Oakfield, Rugby, and Mrs. Bush, of 21 Abbey Court, Abbey Road, to KATHLEEN, youngest daughter of the late Wykeham Bourne and Mrs. Bourne, of 53 Oxford Gardens, W.

DEATHS.

KINGHAM.—On March 1st (killed in action), Pte. CHARLES H. KINGHAM, M.G.S., 54th Battalion, Canadians (brother of Mrs. James Cave, 3 Charlotte Street, Rugby) ; aged 32.—In loving memory.

LANGHAM.—On March 23rd, Pte. HAROLD ALFRED, Churchover, (died of wounds, in France); aged 18 years and 9 months.

SALISBURY.-In loving memory of WILFRID JOHN SALISBURY, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Salisbury, 65 Manor Road, who was killed on active service (mine sweeping), March 25th, 1917.
“ Our hearts are broken,
But wait a little while,
And we shall pass the golden gates
And clasp thy loving hand.”
—From Father and Mother, Sisters and Brothers.

IN MEMORIAM.

PRESTIDGE.-In loving memory of our dear son and brother, JOSEPH PRESTIDGE, Barby, aged 21 years. Killed in action in France, April 11, 1915.
“ He sleeps, not in his native land,
But under foreign skies;
Far from those who loved him best,
But in a hero’s grave he lies.”

17th Mar 1917. High French Honour for Miss Ivens

HIGH FRENCH HONOUR FOR MISS IVENS.

The French Government has awarded a gold medal, the Medaille des Epidemies, to Miss Mary Hannah Frances Ivens, medical superintendent of the Auxiliary Hospital No. 301 Royaumont Abbey. Miss Ivens, formerly of Harborough Parva, holds the degrees of Master of Surgery and Batchelor of Medicine, and is curator of the Museum and demonstrator in practical pathology at the Royal Free Hospital, and a Fellow of the Obstetric Society of London. Silver, silver-gilt and bronze medals have also been awarded to several nurses at the Royaumont Abbey Hospital.-“ Paris Daily Mail.”

THE LATE LIEUT MACLEHOSE.

The “ British Weekly ” for last week contained the following :- “ Warm sympathy is expressed for Mr James Maclehose, the distinguished publisher to the University of Glasgow, who has lost his elder son in the War. The young officer was only 19, and he was killed in France on St. Valentine’s Day, 1917. His short career was full of promise and od performance. He was head of the School House at Rugby, where he was a cadet officer in the Rugby Officers’ Training Corps.”

ANOTHER OLD ST MATTHEW’S BOY DEAD.

Pte Arthur K Reeve, 13th Royal Berkshire Regiment, died in Queen Alexandra Hospital, Dunkirk, France, on Sunday, March 4th, from spotted fever after two days’ illness. Before joining the Army he was employed by Mr Hollowell, builder, and lived at 16 Cambridge Street. He leaves a wife and two children. Pte Reeve was the third son of Mrs Reeve, 168 Murray Road, and was 41 years of age and an old St Matthew’s boy. The Captain of his Company, in a letter to Mrs Reeve, says her husband’s illness was quite short, and he died after being in hospital two days. The writer adds : ” Your husband was a good soldier and liked by all who knew him. I trust you will find consolation in the fact that he died whilst doing his duty and fighting for King and country, just as much as if he had died in the firing line.”

NATIONAL SERVICE.

In response to a request by the President of the Local Government Board and the Director-General of National Service, a committee has been formed by the Urban District Council to conduct the National Service recruiting campaign in Rugby. The Rev T F Churlich and Mr J T Clarke have been appointed joint honorary secretaries, and the headquarters of the committee will be at the Benn Buildings.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Second-Lieut B F McMurtrie has recently been promoted to Lieutenant and transferred to the Headquarters Staff of the Division.

Mr Wm Howkins, of Hillmorton Grounds has received from the War Office an expression of the King’s appreciation of the services of the late Lieut Maurice Howkins, of the Royal Field Artillery, who was mentioned in a despatch from Sir A Murray in October last year for gallant and distinguished service in the field. The letter adds : “ His Majesty trusts that their public acknowledgment may be of some consolation in your bereavement.” Lieut Howkins, it will be remembered, was killed in Egypt.

Second-Lieut Maurice Lewis George Richardson, South Lancashire Regiment, attached to the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who was killed in action on the 28th ult., was the only son of the Rev Lewis Richardson and Mrs Richardson, of Binley Parsonage, Coventry, and was 19 years of age. Lieut Richardson, who was educated at Oakfield, Rugby, and St. Edward’s School, Oxford, received his commission in June, 1915, and went to the front a year later. For good work done as a bombing officer in January of this year he was mentioned in Despatched.

DEATHS.

ELLIOTT.-Killed in action on February 12th, L.-Corpl. HARRY JOHN ELLIOTT, Rifle Brigade, second son of Henry and Ann Elliott, of Bubbenhall.

REEVE.-On March 4th, in the Queen Alexandra Hospital, Dunkirk, France, ARTHUR KIMBALL REEVE, Royal Berkshire Regiment, beloved husband of Frances Amanda Reeve, 16 Cambridge Street, Rugby ; aged 41 years.

IN MEMORIAM.

ATKINS.-In ever-loving memory of our dear son, who was killed at St. Eloi, France, March 16, 1915.
“ Dear son, we miss thy hand-clasp ; we miss thy loving smile.
Our hearts are broken, but wait a little while,
And we shall pass thy golden gates.
God, comfort us, my son ; God, help us to wait.”
-Ever in the thoughts of his MOTHER & DAD.

ATKINS.-In ever-loving memory of our dear brother, who was killed at St. Eloi, France, March 16, 1915.
“ Had we but one last fond look
Into his loving face,
Or had we only got the chance
To kneel down in his place,
To hold your head, dear brother,
While your life’s blood ebbed away.
Our hearts would not have felt so much
The tears we shed to-day.
So ready to answer the call to the brave,
Altho’ you now rest in a far distant grave.
More or better could any man give
Than to die for his country that others might live.”
-From his loving SISTERS and BROTHERS.

SKINNER.-In loving memory of Pte. GEORGE GAULD SKINNER, 19th Canadians, who was killed by a sniper “ somewhere in Belgium,” March 14, 1915.
“ Oh ! just to clasp your hand once more,
Just to hear your voice again.
Here life to me without you
Is nought but grief and pain.
Could I have raised your dying head,
Or heard your last farewell,
The grief would not have been so hard
For me who loves you well.”
-Sadly missed by his sorrowing wife, CHARLOTTE.

STEEL.-In loving memory of our dear son, EDWARD, who was killed in action somewhere in France, March 16, 1915.
It would ease our hearts to know
How he met his fatal blow ;
But we know he was doing his share
For King and country in the foreign land over there.
-His ever loving father, Mother, Sister & Brothers.

Reeve, Arthur Kimbell. Died 4th Mar 1917

Arthur Kimbell Reeve was probably born in June 1876, he was baptised at St. Matthew, Rugby, on 25th of June 1876. His parents were William Reeve and Caroline Sturmer, who were married in June 1870 in Risbridge, Suffolk. Arthur had 5 brothers and 3 sisters.
In the 1881 Census, the family were living at 4, Laurel Terrace, Rugby. Father William is a Baker. In 1891, they had moved to 33, Arnold Street, Rugby, William continues to bake. The eldest brother, Ralph Frederick, 18 is a Coach Painter, and Edward is a Salesman.
Arthur was married to Frances Amanda Bushill on the 8th of April 1901 at New Bilton Parish Church, Rugby. Frances parents were Thomas Bushill, a Bricklayer and Emily Elizabeth.
Emily was a Dressmaker before their marriage working from home with her younger sister Maude. Emily was baptised at Church Lawford on 30th July 1876.
Arthur and Frances had two daughters, Frances Maud born in June 1902 and Edith in December 1903, both in Rugby.
In the 1911 Census Arthur and Frances are living at 16, Cambridge Street, Rugby, Arthur is a House Painter. Next door at Number 14 are his parents. Frances’ father and elder brother are bricklayers in the 1911 Census. In The Rugby Almanac for 1912, 13 and 14, Arthur Reeve is a Painter and his father a baker, Thomas Bushill is a bricklayer at 36, New Street.
William Reeve died in 1914.
Arthur joined Princess Charlotte of Wales’s Regiment (The Royal Berkshires) as a Private, with the reference number 29932. His entry in The Commonwealth War Graves Remembrance states he was in the 13th Battalion. This was a Volunteer ‘Labour’ Battalion formed in July 1916 in Corsham, and they moved to France on 21 September, 1916. I have contacted the Regimental Museum about Arthur but there is a 3 month waiting list for responses.
Arthur died on the 4th of March, 1917, in The Queen Alexandra Hospital, Dunkirk of spotted fever after an illness lasting 2 days. Spotted fever is a tick-bourne disease. It was probably Helvetica Spotted fever, which is prevalent in Sweden, Switzerland and France. It causes small red spots, fever, muscle pain, headache and respiratory problems. Today it can be cured by antibiotics but these were not discovered until many years later. Arthur was awarded the British War and Victory Medals
Arthur is buried in the Dunkirk Town Cemetery Grave Reference I.F.3.
Two days after Arthur’s death the USA declared war on Germany.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

23rd Oct 1915. Local Territorials do Good Work

LOCAL TERRITORIALS DO GOOD WORK.

Lance-Corporal W J Boyes, of “C” Company, 1/7 Royal Warwickshire (Territorials), writes to the editor :-

DEAR SIR,

Just a few lines to your paper to let the people of Rugby know our battalion is still going strong out here. In the recent heavy fighting we were in the first line trenches. We did not know until the last moment that the advance was to take place all along the line. Our artillery was busy, and the Rugby Howitzer Battery was well to the front with some deadly firing. For days the roar of heavy high explosives were heard, and there was hardly a moment’s silence. For the first time since we have been out here our trench mortars have been used with great success, and altogether we helped to secure what we fully believe to be the first fruits of a crushing victory. We experienced some bad luck the other night, as the Germans sent over some aerial torpedoes, which unfortunately caused some casualties, but only one of these was a Rugby man.

We have just seen a squadron of our aeroplanes pass over the German lines. It was a grand sight to witness the bursting of shells from the enemy anti-aircraft guns, hut not one of our aeroplanes was hit, although there must have been at least twenty of them passing over the German lines.

Everyone is cheerful and confident, and I know when we get orders to drive the Germans back the Warwicks will be ready.

The weather is very rough just now, and there is every prospect of a severe winter.

I know the people of Rugby will not be behind-hand in sending out a few comforts, and the boys are grateful for what they have already done for us. Hoping this will be interesting to the readers of your paper.

Lance-Corpl Boyes has two brothers also serving—one in the Berkshires and the other in the Oxford and Bucks.

THANKS FROM COVENTRY TERRITORIALS.

Pte J Gayton, 2495, “C” Co, 1/7th Royal Warwicks, writes on October 16th as follows :—

“ Dear Sir,— Please spare me a small space in your paper to thank the people of Rugby who so kindly sent out a consignment of cakes to ‘C’ Co of the l/7th R.W.R. I am a Coventry youth myself, and there are a lot more from there in the above Company and the Rugby boys who are with us very kindly shared the cakes with us. They were a treat—absolutely a luxury for us—and I can assure you and all the good people concerned that we fellows from Coventry will never forget the great kindness shown by the people and the Rugby boys here who shared with us. The day will come, I hope, when we can fully repay them.

Well, I am pleased to say our Company are all keeping well and as cheerful as can be expected ; and, of course, all are looking forward to the end and victory. When the time comes I am certain our fellows will be there, and they will give a good account of themselves. We are out of the trenches at present, but close up to the firing line in case we are wanted. Again thanking the good people of Rugby for their kindness shown,— I am, yours respectfully, (Pte) J GAYTON.”

CAKES FOR THE SOLDIERS.

A number of the recipients of cakes from the recent competition have sent acknowlegments. All of them express much pleasure and make it known, if in different words, that they are ready to face anything for us, and that the feeling that they are in the home people’s thoughts gives them much greater heart.

Messrs McDougall, Ltd, London, also write thanking all tradesmen and others who helped to make their competition successful. The helpers and receivers also wish to add thanks.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Lieut Thomas Ainsworth Townsend, R.A.M.C, who is now at the front in France, has been appointed surgeon to the 24th London Regiment (The Queen’s).

Mr B Whitbread, only son of Mr Charles Whitbread, and Mr Eddy Wilson, youngest son of Mrs E Wilson, have been gazetted to commissions in the 12th Reserve R.W.R.

Two more members of the Rugby branch of the Typographical Association, Mr J Holmes, Advertiser Office, and Mr C Wharton, of Mr Bird’s printing works, enlisted in the R.A.M.C this week.

Sergt D Hamilton, 1st K.0.S.B, who was billeted with Mr and Mrs Haggar, 7 Sycamore Grove, has been recommended for the D.C.M for organising a sniping party which effectively kept back the Turks near Krithia while the British line was being consolidated. He is a native of Clyde Bank, and has been in the Army six years.

The Rugby Prisoner of War Help Committee have received the handsome donation of 18gns, the result of a sale of surplus furniture held recently at Te Hira.

Mr Gilbert (Bert) Howkins, son of Mr G F Howkins, of Crick, has obtained a commission in the Royal Engineers. Previous to joining the Army he was in the Government Valuation Department. All three of Mr Howkins’ sons are now serving with H.M Forces, the others being in the Honourable Artillery Company and the Northamptonshire Yeomanry respectively.

Rifleman A Sansom, of 180 Oxford street, Rugby, has been slightly wounded and gassed. He was formerly a bricklayer, and joined the King’s Royal Rifles Corps. He has been in active service nine months.

Victor Cowley, son of Mr W Cowley, 12 Worcester Street, Rugby, an old St Matthew’s boy, employed by the B.T.H Co, Ltd, in the winding department, joined the 7th Battalion of the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry early in September, 1914. He went to the front “ somewhere in France ” at the end of last month. While sheltering in a dug-out he was wounded by shrapnel in the face by a German aerial torpedo, which came through the roof and exploded, fatally injuring some. All the platoon were more or less wounded. He is now in hospital at Leeds, and going on satisfactorily.

A KILSBY ATHLETE KILLED.

Although official intimation has not yet been received, from the War Office, Mrs Green, of The Laurels, has been notified by Capt E R Mobbs that her husband, Pte Bert Green, was killed in action some three weeks ago—at the time of the British advance. No letter had been received from him for nearly a month, and, Mrs Green being anxious, communicated with the above-named officer, and received the sad news on Wednesday morning. The sympathy of the village is with his wife and three little daughters. At the beginning of the war he was anxious to enlist, and in January last, unable to resist the call longer, he refused the chance of a commission and joined the 7th Northants Regiment. He was attached to the company of footballers and athletes captained by the famous Rugby inter-national footballer, Capt E R Mobbs. This company is known in the Northampton district ” Mobbs’s lot.” Mr Green was looked upon as a good-natured and genial fellow, both in the village and by his business companions. He was an all-round athlete. Several years ago he used to go on a cricket tour annually with the Yorkshire Gentlemen, and has played for first-class teams. He played for both Kilsby cricket and football teams, at one time captaining the former. He also played for Watford and other village clubs, and was a good asset. For the last two or three years he was a member of the British Thomson-Houston C.C. He made some excellent scores for this club, and for two years headed the batting averages. — Sympathetic reference was made to Pte Green’s death by Mr R Dumas at the meeting of the B.T.H Athletic Club on Thursday evening.

HILLMORTON MAN KILLED IN ACTION.

Official news has been received that Pte C Kirby, of the 2nd Worcesters, only son of Mr H Kirby, of School Street, Hillmorton, and nephew of Mrs. F Paxton, 73 Murray Road, Rugby, was killed in action on September 26th in the great advance, at the early age of 22 years. The deceased joined the Army in December, 1911, and went to France in August, 1914. He was wounded in the left forearm on the 3rd of November, 1914, and went into hospital. He was back in the firing line on the 30th January, 1915, and has seen much fighting since that time.—The Vicar (the Rev R Lever) alluded to his death in his sermon on Sunday evening last, he having been a boy in the church Sunday School.

SECOND-LIEUT H D MARRIOTT KILLED IN ACTION.

Second-Lieut Hugh Digby Marriott, of the 8th Battalion of the Rifle Brigade, who, as reported last week, was killed in action in Flanders on October 9th, was a younger son, of Mr and Mrs Marriott, of Cotesbach, Lutterworth, Leicestershire. He was born on August 5th, 1895, and was educated at Temple Grove and at Bradfield College. He was entered at Brasenose College, Oxford, and was about to take up his residence there in October, 1914. Instead of this, however, he obtained a commission in the Rifle Brigade, and after the severe fighting at Hooge on July 30th-in which his brother Frederick was killed—he went out with other officers, and was appointed to the 8th Battalion.

COMMENDED FOR DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT.

Some months ago we recorded an incident in which Pte George Eaton (93 South Street) and other Rugby Territorials were attacked at a listening post by about three times their number of Germans. They defended the position bravely, and succeeded in driving off the enemy. Pte Eaton was referred to by the Corporal as being specially heroic. “ Although wounded, he kept on firing. He was a brick, and stuck to it like a man,” was the comment made upon his action at the time. His friends in Rugby will be glad to learn that for the part he took in this midnight episode he has been commended by the commanding officer “ for distinguished conduct in the field.”

ANOTHER ST MATTHEW’S “OLD BOY” WOUNDED.

Co-Sergt-Major C Favell, of the 5th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, an old St Matthew’s School athletic championship holder, and well known later as a long-distance runner, has been reported wounded and in hospital.

BILTON SOLDIERS WOUNDED.

SAVED BY A PACK.

Rifleman Tom Reeve, who at the time of enlistment resided with his parents at Bilton, and is now in hospital at Guildford, has written to a friend describing how he received his wound and narrowly escaped being killed outright. He says:—

“ It was a nasty, smack right in the middle of the back—shrapnel wound. There isn’t much chance of dodging them, as they burst overhead for a radius of 200 yards ; but I am pleased to say I have no bones broken. The thing that saved my life was my pack. It went clean through that, and made a big hole in my jacket. I had got about 500 yards from the top of our parapet when I received my share. It knocked me down, but I did not feel it much for a few minutes. I got off my equipment the best way I could, and managed to get back somehow—but only God knows how. One of my pals came to bandage me up, and just as he got to me he was shot clean dead. I was then bandaged up by our doctor and put in a dug-out to await stretcher bearers. The Germans were shelling our trenches, and I thought every minute they would drop one on our dug-out—in fact, one dropped five yards from us and killed several. . . . I am glad to say I am making a wonderful recovery.”

In a subsequent letter he describes the wound as being 7ins long and 4ins wide right across the back, so it will take some time to get healed up.

The parents of Rifleman Reeve (who now live at Holbrook Farm, Little Lawford), have received a letter from E B Kerr, one of his comrades, who says that it happened soon after they started on the big charge. They were sorry to lose him, as he was always a great help. The writer was afraid that several of the Platoon who came from Rugby had suffered.

Mr and Mrs J Stibberd, of Bilton, have received information that their son, Bugler G Stibberd, of the 11th Royal Rifles, has been wounded by a shell while in billets, and is now in hospital at Boulogne. It is not a serious wound, and he is going on favourably. He enlisted in September, 1914, and went out in July.

Pte Alf Day, of the Royal Warwicks, is in hospital at Sheffield wounded. His parents now live at Bishops Itchington, but at the time of enlistment he had resided with them at Bilton for some time, and worked as a blacksmith at Church Lawford.

BILTON.

MRS CROFTS, of this village has received a letter from her youngest son, John (who is with the 6th Batt Royal Field Artillery), dated from a hospital and stating that he has been in that institution over six weeks suffering from a cracked shin-bone. It seems he was helping to take the horses to water when the horse in front of him suddenly kicked out and caught him. Later reports state that he is progressing as well as can be expected. The unfortunate young fellow had been promoted to sergeant only a few days before his accident. Mrs Crofts’ three sons have all entered the army. Charles came over with the Canadian contingent and is at the front, a letter recently to hand stating that he had been in the trenches about a week at the time of writing. Her eldest son, William, it will be remembered, lost his life while bathing off Sheerness, about three years ago.

WOLSTON.

MR ERNEST CHAMBERS KILLED.—Mr and Mrs Ernest Chambers have been notified from the War Office that their eldest son has died from wounds. He was badly hit in the abdomen. He joined the Royal Field Artillery soon after the war broke out, and was then residing with his parents at Sidon Hill, Brandon. The place of death is not mentioned, but he was fighting in the Gallipoli Peninsula. Much sympathy is felt in the district for his relatives.

WOUNDED SOLDIERS.—Mr and Mrs Charles Elliott, of Brook Street, whose son was reported killed in a former issue of our paper, have now received the bad news that two of their nephews have been wounded. One—Fredk Goodwin, of the 2nd Hants Regiment—has four ribs injured, left leg broken, and an injury to his waist, and now lies in a Reading hospital ; while another nephew—Fredk Woolcott—is badly wounded in the arm. Both were fighting in the Gallipoli Peninsula.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Recruiting at the Drill Hall has been rather better this week, and 21 men have been attested as follows :—D Lilley, C C Wharton, J H Holmes, A Morris, and E G Cloonan, R.A.M.C ; J R Holland, L C Major, and J Stevens, R.F.A ; W Bench, J A Speor, T A Rogers, R J Jackson, A B Webb, E Wood, and J W Wood, A.O.C ; W Richardson, Royal Berks ; W H Gulever and B E Iliffe, R.W.R ; D J Hall R.H.A ; W Southall and D Barnwell, drivers, R.E.

All the units are now open, and men are urgently required for the infantry battalions.

Local arrangements for carrying out Lord Derby’s recruiting scheme are well in hand, and it is hoped that the appeal which is about to be made to the manhood of the town will meet with a ready response. In many towns already the number of recruits had been greatly accelerated, and Rugby, which has so far done exceedingly well, should not now lag behind, as it is clearly understood that any failure in this effort will result in compulsory service. The local Parliamentary Committee is representative of the three great schools of political thought and is composed of the following :- Messrs M E T Wratislaw (chairman), J J McKinnell, H Tarbox, J H Walker W Barnett, L Aviss, C J Newman, G H Rolerts, and Col F F Johnstone, with Mr A Bell and Mr F M Burton joint hon Secretaries.

TOEING THE MARK—A PERSISTENT RECRUIT.

The persistent and patriotic endeavours made by Pte A Seaton, of Old Bilton, to enter the Army should put to shame those who advance all manner of excuses to avoid service. Although barely of enlistment age and having an impediment in his speech, Pte Seaton offered himself at the recruiting office but was rejected on account of deformed toes, one on each foot.

He enquired whether he would be accepted if he had the toes amputated, and on learning that he would be taken if the operation was successful, he entered the Rugby Hospital and has both his toes removed.

He is now serving in the 7th Royal Warwicks.

1/7TH WARWICKS UNDER SHRAPNEL FIRE.

Pte W Rainbow, of the 1/7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, writing to his parents, says :—“ We had a terrible ten minutes the other night in the village, as the Germans started sending shrapnel over, and about a dozen of us were out on ration party at the time. The shells were bursting over our heads, and some of the chaps were running all over the place instead of taking cover. . . . I believe that all the chaps on that party sent up a short prayer that night, as none of us ever thought of coming out of it safe. . . . God must have seen fit to bring us out safe, for many of Kitchener’s got hit the same night. We have had a worse casualty list this few days than any time before in so short a time. You ought to hear the chaps carrying on over people at home wanting to know if we have been in the firing line yet, with chaps getting killed and wounded every day.”