Reynolds, Thomas Henry. Died 12th Aug 1917

Thomas Henry Reynolds was the eldest son of Thomas Henry and Mary Ann (nee Wells), and elder brother of George Ellis Reynolds  who had died on 31 July 1917 at Ypres.

Thomas was born in Rugby in 1879 and baptised at St Andrews Church on 7 December 1883. In the 1881 census he was with his parents and baby sister Mary in the household of his paternal grandmother Sarah and her second husband Thomas Hibbert in Pinders Lane.

In the 1891 Census he was aged 12 and named as Harry Reynolds, living at 14 Pinders Lane Rugby with his parents and 6 siblings. By 1901 Thomas was aged 22, a baker of bread, living at 61 James Street Rugby with his parents and 6 siblings including his younger brother George.

On 10th January 1904 Thomas aged 25 married Emily Perkins age 24 in St. Mary’s Church Clifton Rugby, and by 1911 they had 2 children, Eva Perkins Reynolds who was born in 1908 in Newton near Rugby and Henry Spencer Reynolds born in 1904 in Rugby.

Thomas Henry was a coal cake man and carter working for Ellis & Sons coal merchants, living in Newton in 4 rooms. Emily’s mother ran the Post Office in Newton together with her daughter.

Thomas’s army attestation of 10 May 1916 and his medal card state that he first joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment as Private No 203552, was transferred to the 5th Battalion of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and sent to France on 10 June 1917. He received a severe gunshot wound in the left leg on 28 July for which he was treated in the field, later being admitted to hospital at Etaples where he died on 12 Aug, aged 37. He is buried in Grave XXV M6A in Etaples Military Cemetery.

Thomas is mentioned together with his brother in the Rugby Advertiser of 18 August 1917 as being an Old Murrayan, formerly a clerk at Rugby Station in the goods yard of Ellis & Sons, coal merchants.

He received the British Empire and Victory medals. His widow was granted a pension of £1.2s.11d a week for herself and their two children, as well as his back pay of £2.8s.3d and War Gratuity of £3. Emily continued to run the Post Office on her own after Thomas’s death.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Reynolds, George Ellis. Died 31st Jul 1917

George Ellis Reynolds –
By kind permission of Claire Heckley

George Ellis Reynolds was born in Pinders Lane, Rugby on 20 July 1894, and baptised at St Andrews Church on 22 September. In 1901 he was the youngest child aged seven living at 61 James Street, Rugby with his parents Thomas and Mary Ann Reynolds (nee Wells) and siblings Thomas (22), Alice (17), Kate (16), Rose (14), Georgina (13), Louisa (9) and Annie (10). His father Thomas was an engine driver (stationery).

In 1911 George was 17, an upholsterer, living at 100 Oxford Street with his parents and sisters Kate, Annie and Louisa.

The Rugby Advertiser of 18 August 1917 notes that he enlisted in September 1914 and that previously he worked as an upholsterer for Sam Robbins Ltd. He was an Old Murrayan and a keen footballer, playing for both Rugby and Northampton.

George joined the 2nd Rifle Brigade as no Z/2327, and had risen to the rank of Sergeant by the time of his death on 31 July 1917 during the third battle of Ypres. He is commemorated on the Menin Gate at Ypres and recorded by the Army and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission simply as George.

He is mentioned on his parent’s grave in Clifton Road Cemetery as well as on the Rugby Memorial Gates. He was killed twelve days before his elder brother Thomas Henry Reynolds (qv).

He was awarded the British Empire and Victory medals and the 1915 Star – he had been posted to France on 16 March 1915 where his Battalion was heavily involved in the attack on Fromelles in May during the Battle of Aubers Ridge.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

25th Nov 1916. Military Funeral

MILITARY FUNERAL.

On Wednesday afternoon, in Rugby Cemetery, the burial took place, with military honours, of Corpl John Henry Gilbert Reynolds, 2nd Grenadier Guards, son of Mr T Reynolds, builder, Dunchurch Road, who died in Chichester Hospital on November 20th of wound’s received in action at the age of 25 years. This is the third of Mr Reynolds’s sons who have fallen in the war, and his only surviving son—Pte Ernest Reynolds, of the Royal Warwicks—is now in Birmingham Hospital, and obtained leave to attend the funeral. Previous to joining the army, Corpl Jack Reynolds was in the Metropolitan Police Force, and eight of his former friends from the Islington sub-division, under an Inspector, attended the funeral. A firing party from Warwick was also present, together with a bugler, who sounded the “ Last Post ” at the graveside. The Rev A W Bunnett, Westminster, conducted the service. In addition to the family mourners there were present : Rev J H Lees, Messrs C G Steele, T A Wise, S Cox, J Ferry, and L-Corpl J Norman, a Crimean veteran. The floral tributes, which were very beautiful, were sent by “ His sorrowing father, brother, and sisters ” ; “ In ever loving memory of my darling Jack, from Mabs ” ; “ A Tribute of respect from the officers and men of the Islington Sub-Division Metropolitan Police ” ; Mrs Stubbs and Gladys ; Mr and Mrs P Cooke ; Mr and Mrs Busby and Sergt and Mrs Sherwood ; Cousins Harry and Emily ; “ In affectionate memory of a brave soldier from his friends at Fairlawn ”; Mr and Mrs Pottrill and Marjorie ; Aunt Mrs Charlton and Aunt Mrs Burnham ; Sister and Nurses, K AI Ward, Graylingwell Hospital, Chichester ; “ In memory of a brave comrade, from the patients of K A1 Ward, Graylingwell” ; Uncle Harry, Aunt Rachel, and Aunt Lucy ; and Mrs W P Brooks, 78 Dunchurch Road, Rugby.

[For biography see last post]

RUGBY URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL.

SYMPATHY WITH A BEREAVED TOWNSMAN.

The Clerk mentioned that he had received an intimation that Mr T Reynolds, of Dunchurch Road, had lost his third son in the recent fighting, who was to be brought from Chichester hospital to Rugby for burial. He remarked that it seemed an especially sad case, because Mr Reynolds had only four sons, three of whom were now dead, and the fourth was lying wounded in hospital in Birmingham.—Mr Wise, in proposing a vote of sympathy on behalf of the Council and the town with Mr Reynolds, said he did not know of any family in Rugby that had suffered so heavily in the war.—Mr Robbins seconded, and said just before war broke out Mr Reynolds lost his wife, and he knew of no harder case.—The Chairman said in the early days of the war Mr Reynolds was frequently speaking to him about his sons, who were very fine fellows, and he was sure the town would like them to pass that vote of sympathy.—The Council signified their assent to the proposition by standing up.—In his remarks, Mr Wise suggested that, if possible, the Council should provide the grave free, and, meeting later as a Burial Board, they decided to do this. The advisability of adopting a similar course in other cases of Rugby men dying through the war and brought home for interment was referred to the Cemetery Committee, together with a suggestion that a portion of the burial ground should be set apart for such interments.

FIREMEN AND THE WAR.

Some time ago (the Clerk said) the Council sent a petition to the Government supporting an application by the National Fire Brigades Union that members of Volunteer Fire Brigades should be exempt from Military service. This had failed, and the national Fire Brigades Union had written to inform the Council of the fact.-Mr Newman informed the Council that thirteen members of the Rugby Fire Brigade, had actually joined the colours, and two men were going, leaving 14 of the original members still in the Brigade, and five old members, who had come forward to help in the present crisis.

ROAD SERVICE IN FRANCE.

The Surveyor had received a letter respecting the endeavour to raise 10,000 men for road service in France, and asking the Council’s hearty co-operation in an effort to provide a Warwickshire Company of 250 men, also pointing out that all able-bodied men up to 50 years of age, used to pick and shovel, would be eligible.—Mr Yates pointed out that several of the Council’s employees who had worked on the roads were now serving, and they might do useful work on the roads in France.—The Chairman : We have several in the Rugby Fortress Company, the steam roller driver included.—Referred to Highways Committee.

The Electric Lighting Committee reported that they had given directions that the free supply of current to houses occupied by the Belgian Refugees Committee be discontinued. Reports had been received alleging wrongful use of current supplied to a consumer, and they recommended that proceedings be taken against the man.—The report was agreed to.

RUGBY VOLUNTEER CORPS.

As announced on another page, an entertainment is to be held at the Co-operative Hall on Thursday and Friday next in aid of the Corps funds, and we are informed that the demand for tickets has made it necessary to increase the number of reserved seats. An impression, however, appears to be prevalent that the Corps does not require funds, but that the Government will find all the necessary equipment. No regulations on this point have bet been promulgated by the Government, but it is clear that they will not provide Complete equipment nor funds for general running expenses, which will have to be met by voluntary effort. It is to help this fund that members and friends have organised the forthcoming concert.

Lord French, speaking at the Guildhall Banquet, said : “ We must always act and appear as if we believe and know invasion to be possible, and then we shall never be taken by surprise.”

Although the fact is not so generally known, the whole of the Special Constable Force for air raid service in the town is provided by the Corps. These men turn out at all hours of the night when Zeppelins visit our shores. Such services cannot be over-rated, and this alone should be sufficient to earn the support of every worthy citizen in this appeal for funds.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Pte Miles Berry, R.A.M.C, son of Mr and Mrs Berry, of Brownsover (late of Stockton), has been awarded the D.C.M.

Mr H Lupton Reddish has received intimation that his son, Pte H W L Reddish, of the H.A.C (Infantry), was wounded in the right arm and knee on Tuesday week by shrapnel while attacking. He has undergone an operation, and is going on satisfactorily. He is now in hospital in France.

Among those who were decorated on Saturday last by H.H the King for distinguished service in the field was Lieut H S Harrison, son of Mr H P Harrison, of Guilsborough (formerly of Hillmorton), who received the Military Cross for conspicuous bravery in leading his men and constructing a “ block ” in a sunken road under very heavy and persistent enemy fire.

Mr O M Samson, an assistant-master at Rugby School, and Well known as a cricketer—Somerset County and Rugby Club—has joined the Officers* Cadet Battalion at Topsham, near Exeter, to learn gunnery. His place in the Army Class has been filled by a member of the School.

Mc[?] Harry Pratt, of School Street, who has been in France since May with a section of the Royal Flying Corps, is now promoted to 1st Air Mechanic, dating from October 1st.

Rugby Prisoners of War Christmas Parcels.—The Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee have this week despatched their Christmas parcels to the local men in prison camps in Germany. The contents included : 1lb tea, one tin cafe au lait, one tin condensed milk, 1lb sugar, one fruit pudding, one Christmas pudding, one tin of ox-cheek and vegetables, one tin salmon, one tin of sausages, one packet of chocolate, one tin of peppermints, one tin mustard, one card darning wool and needle, 100 cigarettes, and 1lb tobacco. There were 65 parcels.

THE KING AND HIS ARMIES.—To follow on the famous Somme picture at the Empire this week we understand Mr Morris has booked the second War Office official film of the series. It is entitled “ The King Visits his Armies in the Great Advance,” and will be presented about the middle of December.

IN MEMORIAM.

PEARCE.-In loving memory of WALTER, the dearly loved son of H. & C. Pearce, of Dunchurch, who was killed on H.M.S. Bulwark, November 26, 1914.
“ There is a link death cannot sever,
Sweet remembrance lasts for ever.”
—From his FATHER and MOTHER.

ROWE.—In loving memory of Pte. Geo. H. Rowe, who died from exposure at Gallipoli on Nov. 28, 1915.
“ Thy will be done was hard to say,
When one we loved was called away.”
—From his ever-loving WIFE, CHILDREN & FATHER.

Reynolds, John Henry Gilbert. Died 20th Nov 1916

John Henry Gilbert Reynolds was born in Long Lawford, near Rugby in late 1891. His father was Tom Reynolds and his mother Emma Julia (nee Burnham). They had married in Church Lawford parish church in 30th August 1897. John Henry Gilbert (known as Jack) was the second of four sons. At the time, Tom was a bricklayer living at 3 Burnham Cottage, Long Lawford.

Emma died two years later in 1899, at the age of 33. Tom remarried in 1900 to Maria Bagnall. Together they had three more children, two girls and then another boy.

In 1901 the family were living in Campbell Street, New Bilton. By 1911 they had moved to 18 Dunchurch Road. Tom was a Builder/Bricklayer working on his own account. Jack was not with the family. He was in the Metropolitan Police Force. By the time the war started he was expecting promotion.

It is not known when Jack enlisted, probably early 1915 (he was awarded the 1915 star medal) He was mentioned as “a London policeman, being a corporal in the Grenadier Guards” in an article in the Rugby Advertiser in June 1915. His brother Frank had been reported missing at this time.

According to his Medal Roll card, he arrived in France on 6th November 1915. When he died, just aver a year later he was a Lance Corporal in the 5th Reserve Battalion, Grenadier Guards. This battalion spent the war on home soil, at Chelsea. Perhaps Jack was transferred to the 1st or 2nd Battalion, both of which took part in the final actions of the Battle of the Somme – The Battles of Flers-Courcelette and Morval in September 1916.

On 7th October it was reported that he had been seriously wounded and was in Chichester Hospital. He died there on 20th November and was buried in Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby.

He is listed in the order of service for service at Westminster Abbey on 17th May 1919 “In Memory of the Officers and Constables of the Metropolitan Police, who in the Great War have laid down their lives for their King and their Country”
He is listed there as P.C. 893 Reynolds J. H. G. of N Division

His brother Frank died in 1915 and Herbert had died only a few weeks before on 5th September 1916. Two cousins also died in the war.

Picture from Rugby Advertiser 10th Mar 1922.

Picture from Rugby Advertiser 10th Mar 1922.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

7th Oct 1916. Lieut-Colonel West Killed in Action

LIEUT-COLONEL WEST KILLED IN ACTION.

The news, which came to hand on Friday last week that Lieut.-Colonel F C B West, R.F.A, of Bawnmore, Bilton, had been killed in action was received with the deepest regret in Rugby and neighbourhood. The unfortunate event happened on September 29th. While riding, as he had often done before, down a section of road which was much subjected to the enemy’s artillery fire, a shell burst close to him, killing him instantly, and wounding his orderly, Driver Barlow, who had been with him since before Christmas, 1914. Both their horses were killed. Col West was buried in the cemetery in which the remains of Lieut Wyley, Major Brown, and Major Stone, who had been killed only a few days previously, were laid to rest.

When at Baddow, before going out to France, and also for some time afterwards, Col West, Capt Kidd—subsequently promoted Major—and Lieut Wyley were working together on the Head-Quarter Staff. Then they were separated, and it is a sad coincidence that all three of them were killed within a period of ten days in different parts of the line.

Lieut.-Colonel West was the only surviving son of the late Rev C F C West, Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford, and Vicar of Charlbury. He was educated at Cheltenham College & St John’s College, Oxford, where he rowed for his college in 1904 and 1905, both in Torpids and Eights. He took his degree in 1905, and was called to the Bar in 1907, but never practised. On the formation of the Territorial Force he received a commission in the R.F.A, and went to the front with his brigade as commanding officer in March, 1915. He married, in June, 1909. Agatha Mary, elder daughter of William Dewar, of Rugby. He leaves a widow and four daughters, to whom the deepest sympathy is extended.

Lieut-Col West took a very great interest in the Territorial movement, and always preferred to be regarded as a “ Territorial.” He did his utmost to prove that the term was synonomous with proficiency, and, being keen himself on gunnery, he spared no pains to ensure the effectiveness of the officers and men in his command and to explain technical details to them.

He was the first Captain of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, when it was formed some years ago through the instrumentality of Col Mulliner, and was afterwards promoted to Major and transferred to the Coventry Battery. In August, 1914, as Lieut-Colonel, he succeeded Col Mallock to the command of the Brigade.

Polo and hunting were his favourite sports and for a season he acted as master of a pack of hounds in the South of Ireland.

Col West was a member of the Lawrence Sherriff Lodge of Freemasons, and for a time served on the House and Finance Committee of the Hospital of St Cross. He took the greatest interest in the Working Men’s Club at Bilton (of which he was a vice-president), and generously assisted in the provision of the new Club premises a few years ago.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Captain Charles Edward Anderson (Gordon Highlanders), of Rokeby House, Rugby, who was killed in France on July 20th, has left estate of the value of £8,929, the whole of which he gave to his mother, Mrs. Anne Rose Anderson.

SECOND-LIEUT HORACE NEEVES PROMOTED.

Second-Lieut Horace Neeves, of the Northumberland Fusiliers (the Old Fighting 5th), son of Mr and Mrs S Neeves, of Murray Road, Rugby, has been promoted to the rank of captain. The gallant young officer was formerly in the Warwickshire Yeomanry, and took part in the landing at Suvla Bay. On returning home he received a commission with the Northumberland Fusiliers, has been at the front since June, and has seen a lot of fighting.
The second son of Mr and Mrs Neeves is serving with the Australian Light Horse.

INTERNATIONAL O.R KILLED BY A BURSTING SHELL.

The Rev R E Inglis (Rugby and Oxford), whose death occurred, at the age of 53, from shell-burst while tending wounded, was an old English Rugby International. After getting his XI and XV colours at Rugby, he played against Cambridge in 1883 and 1884. He played for England in all three matches of 1886. His club football was identified with that of Blackheath. Mr Inglis was the youngest son of the defender of Lucknow, Major-General Sir John Inglis, and we believe we are correct in stating that his son was the googlie bowler of this year’s Rugby XI. Mr Inglis volunteered to join the Forces as a chaplain, and went to the front in July, 1915. During the time he was at Rugby School as a Town boy, his mother, Lady Inglis, lived at The Lawn, Newbold Road.

LOCAL CASUALTIES.

Mr T Reynolds, builder, Dunchurch Road, Rugby, received official intimation on Thursday that another of his soldier sons, Corpl J Reynolds, of the Grenadier Guards, had been seriously wounded and was in Chichester Hospital. Prior to joining the army Corpl Reynolds was in the Metropolitan Police Force, and was expecting early promotion. Mr Reynolds had four sons in the army. Two have been killed and two wounded.

PTE J R BRADLEY.

Pte J R Bradley, of the Northumberland, Fusiliers, who was killed in action on September 1st, was prior to the War employed by the B.T.H Company on the outside construction staff.

PTE H LEE KILLED.

Mrs Lee, of 34 Sandown Road, Rugby, received a letter from Sergt Burton, of Hillmorton, this week, informing her that her son, Pte H Lee, of the R.W.R, was killed in action on September 3rd. The writer said he was in command of the platoon, and saw him struck by a piece of shell in the head, and he died in a very short time. He was a brave and noble soldier, and highly respected by all N.C.O’s and men of his Company, for he always did his duty well, “ and feared nothing.” Deceased was 25 years of age, and before, the war was employed as a labourer in the Test Department. He was in the reserve, and was mobilised at the commencement of the war. He had already been wounded. Mrs Lee has four other sons at the front, two of whom have been wounded, and a son-in-law was killed 12 months ago.

HILLMORTON.

MEMORIAL SERVICE.—On Sunday evening a memorial Service was held in the Parish Church for Reginald Bartlett and Joseph Barnett, who have fallen in France. The Vicar preached an impressive and comforting sermon from St John xiv 27.

Mr J W Barnett, 264 Western Road, Leicester, has received official information that her husband, Pte J W Barnett, Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, was killed in action on September 11th. Deceased was the second son of Mr and Mrs J Barnett, Rossmount, Hillmorton Paddox. He was 27 years of age, was called up in February, and sent to France early in July. Prior to his enlistment he was employed by the Leicester Tramway Company.

CHURCHOVER.

KILLED IN ACTION.—Quite a gloom was cast over this village on Friday when it was known that Pte Frank Sutton, of the Grenadier Guards was killed in action on September 15th. Frank was liked and respected by all who knew him. He was working in Coton House gardens when he answered his country’s call. Mrs Sutton’s three sons have all joined the colours, and the deepest sympathy of the parish is extended to her in the great loss that she has sustained. A memorial service was held in the church an Saturday by. the Rev L J Berrington. All the parish was represented. The xe Psalm and Hymns 536 and 537 were sung, and the service was very impressive.

DUNCHURCH.

On Sunday, Sept 10, the collections at both Dunchurch and Thurlaston Churches were devoted to the Lord Kitchener National Memorial Fund. The satisfactory sum of £32 7s 6d was sent up to headquarters.

Sergt W J Constable, R.E, youngest son of Mr and Mrs John Constable, late of Dunchurch, has gained the Military Medal for bravery.—Private Fissard, of the R.E, who has been home on sick leave, has gone to Bletchley to a rest camp for three months.

The Dunchurch Girls’ and Infants’ School have sent £2 to St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blind Soldiers, £2 to the Jack Cornwell Ward in the Star and Garter Home, £1 to Bilton Red Cross Hospital, and 11s to Mrs Neilsen for egg fund. The money was the proceeds of the entertainment held in the spring, and also includes contributions by the children for the Jack Cornwell Memorial Fund during the month.

STRETTON-ON-DUNSMORE.

News has been received by Mr and Mrs J Nicholas, of Lime Kiln Farm, Stretton-on-Dunsmore, that their youngest son, Percy, was wounded in action at the Battle of Thievpal. He received shrapnel wounds in both arms and hands. He is going on well in hospital in Cambridge. This is the second son wounded in action.

WEARING NAVAL UNIFORM WITHOUT AUTHORITY.

Claude Henry Hammond, aged 21, formerly of New Bilton, and of Rugby, charged at Lancaster with giving false information to Morecambe boarding-house keepers and wearing a naval uniform at Morecambe without authority, was committed for six months. Accused stayed at three places in Morecambe, and registered in false names. He described himself as a graduate of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and gave the name of a relative at Nottingham. All the statements were false. He was a deserter, and was wanted at Sheffield and Blackpool for false pretences.

DEATHS.

BARNETT.—Killed in action, September 11th, 1916, Pte. J. W. BARNETT, 6399, Queen’s London Regiment, second son of Mr. & Mrs. J. Barnett, Rossmount, Hillmorton Paddox.
“ Oh ! just to clasp your hand once more,
Just to hear your voice again ;
Here life to us without you
Is nought but grief and pain.
Could we have raised your dying head,
Or heard your last farewell ;
The grief would not have been so hard
For us who loved you well.”
—From his sorrowing WIFE, FATHER, MOTHER, BROTHERS and SISTERS.

GREEN.—On September 7th, RFN. FREDERICK JOHN GREEN, King’s Royal Rifles, died of wounds in France, the dear son of Frederick and the late Louisa Greenfield Green, of 4 Gladstone Street, New Bilton, aged 25.—Sadly mourned by his Father, Brothers, Sisters, and Minnie.

WARD.—On September 3rd, Rifleman C. WARD, 10th Rifle Brigade, second son of Thomas and Mary Ward, of Brandon. Killed in action in France.
“ We often sit and think of him,
And tenderly breathe his name ;
Nothing left for us to look at
But his photo in the frame.
Some day our eyes shall see
That dear face still kept in memory.”

IN MEMORIAM.

FRANKTON.—In loving memory of Pte. Frederick Frankton, Grenadier Guards, of Lawford Road, Rugby, killed on 27th September, 1915, at Loos.
“ Could we have raised his dying head,
Or heard his last farewell ;
The grief would not have been so hard,
For us who loved him well.
A light is from the household gone,
The voice we loved is still’d.
A vacant place is in our home,
Which never can be filled.”
—From his loving Wife, Children, and Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds.

RUSSELL.—In loving memory of Gunner PERCY EDGAR RUSSELL, R.F.A., who was killed in action, October 3, 1915.—“ He gave his life that others may live.”— Never forgotten by FATHER, MOTHER, SISTERS and BROTHERS.

Reynolds, Herbert. Died 5th Sep 1916

Herbert was born in Long Lawford in 1897. His father was Tom Reynolds, a Bricklayer and Emma Julia (nee Burnham). They had married in Church Lawford parish church in 30th August 1897. Herbert was the youngest of four sons. Emma died two years later in 1899, at the age of 33. Tom remarried in 1900 to Maria Bagnall. Together they had three more children, two girls and then another boy.

In 1901 the family were living in Campbell Street, New Bilton. By 1911 they had moved to 18 Dunchurch Road. Tom was a Builder/Bricklayer working on his own account and 14 year old Herbert was an office boy.

Herbert joined the Rifle Brigade, (number S/4594) and landed in France on 21st July 1915. If he is the H Reynolds mentioned as a member of the Wesleyan Sunday School, he volunteered in August 1914.

On 16th October 1915, the Rugby Advertiser printed a letter from Corporal Herbert Reynolds:

THE BRITISH ADVANCE.
GRAPHICALLY DESCRIBED BY A RUGBY SOLDIER.

Corpl Herbert Reynolds, of the Rifle Brigade, son of Mr T Reynolds, of Dunchurch Road, Rugby, in a letter to Mr J W Faulkner, captain of the 2nd Rugby Company of the Boys’ Brigade—in which the writer was formerly Colour-Sergeant—gives a realistic account of the recent capture of German trenches by the British. He says :—

“ On Friday night we went into the assembly trenches, 100 yards behind the fire trench, and lay there all the night. It rained hard all night, so it was a bit uncomfortable crawling around in the mud. At about four o’clock the ‘ fun ’ started. We had to keep our heads pretty low to escape the shells. At six o’clock it really began, The earth trembled and shook, and up went a mine and half of the enemy trench ! My word, it did shift some earth ! Immediately the bombardment started. It was hell itself—one continual burst of high explosives and shrapnel. Then we threw out a smoke screen, and the “ Scotties ” and the Indians charged, capturing the trenches easily. Next our turn came to go over. We lined the fire trench and watched our Captain for the order. He jumped up, waved his stick, ‘Come on,’ he said, and as one man we got over the parapet to face a perfect hell of rifle, machine-gun, and shrapnel fire. At the foot of our barbed wire we lay down in extended order and waited for the next advance. Up and on again ! Down again ! The fire is terrible and we must advance by short 15 yards rushes. The German trench is about 300 yards distant. When we get within about 30 yards we crawl, and then finish up with a rush, and into the trench.

“It is in the hands of our troops, but all the time we are subjected to a terrible enfilade fire. We held the trench for about eight hours, but we could not get our bombs across, so had to give ground before their bombing from the flanks. Men were being blown to pieces, and we were powerless. We hung on to the last and then got the order to retire. You cannot possibly imagine what the shell fire was like, but, believe me, when once you’ve seen in it, well, you are not keen to go again for a bit. The return journey was worse than the outward one, and how I came back whole I don’t know. Just outside the enemy’s trench a piece of shell caught me in the back and ripped a hole in my trousers and pants. It knocked me flying, but it only bruised me a bit. We came back all right though, and lined the support trenches. Then it rained in torrents and we got wet through to the skin. When the news came that we were to go out that night, you can bet we were thankful. The communication trench was knee-deep in water, but we did not mind that so long as every sight of that terrible scene of carnage was left behind.”

Herbert was reported “Killed in Action” on 5th September 1916. His name is listed on the Thiepval Memorial. He is also remembered on the BTH Memorial and on the family grave in Clifton Road Cemetery.

Reynolds memorial, Clifton Road Cemetry

Herbert’s brother Frank, three years older, died in 1915 and another brother John was to die in November 1916. Two cousins also died in the war.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

 

12th Aug 1916. Down With Diphtheria But Not Depressed

DOWN WITH DIPHTHERIA BUT NOT DEPRESSED.

A Rugbeian has this week received a letter from his brother, who is now in a hospital in France suffering from diphtheria :—

“. . . Many thanks for sending on the dictionary. I lost mine, and as my spelling deteriorated 50 per cent without a dictionary, a dictionary becomes a very important part of my equipment. I wanted a dictionary to find the meaning of the word ‘ scabies.’ It was not in the aforesaid—that’s the right word, isn’t it ?—book. I don’t think I need refer to the dictionary for that. Sit on a box of itch-he-coo powder, it will soon explain itself . . . As you remark, diphtheria is not to be treated lightly, but it’s not thought so serious as it used to be, thanks to the injection of an anti-toxin which consists of 4,000 germs which they inject in your chest. This little army proceeds in marching order and makes a rear attack on the enemy’s trenches. After repulsing a severe counter-attack, they succeeded in opening the lines of communication again, thus enabling me to talk to Nurse and also to partake in the jellies and custards, etc. A nice soft bed to lie on—the first bed for 15 months. I made a fuss of it, too, for eight or nine days. Sister daily takes your temperature, and feels your pulse, makes the bed, and tucks you up. Dear, dear. . . . who wouldn’t have diphtheria ? Now I am stage number two, making myself generally useful washing up pots and pans, laying tables, cutting bread-and-butter, etc. I have had one swab taken since being in hospital. They take a swab every week. If you get three negatives, you are free of the germ ; but if you have positive, you are a germ-carrier, and they keep you a bit longer. My first swab was a negative.

MILITARY MEDAL FOR A RUGBY HOWITZER MAN.

Battery Sergt-Major George Hopewell, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, writing to Mr A Adnitt, as hon secretary of the Rugby Territorials Comforts Association to thank him for parcels of comforts received, adds :—

“ You will be pleased to know that one of our boys, Gunner Bosworth, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the field on July 21st, going out under heavy fire several times to repair the telephone wire in order to keep up communication with the battery. He was also mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s despatch for distinguished conduct in the field.

“ We have been in the thick of the fighting since July 1st, but have been very fortunate as regards casualties, as we have had only five wounded—Corpl Hipwell, Bombardiers Smith and Rixom, and Gunners Seaton and Packwood.

“ I dare say you read in the papers about our Division, together with the Anzacs, taking one of the most important points along the front on July 23rd. They were congratulated by the Commander-in-Chief and the Corps Commander on their performance.”

Gunner Bosworth is the son of Mr G Bosworth, who formerly worked as a painter for Messrs Linnell & Son, but has now removed to Essex. His grandfather resides at Lutterworth.

In a letter to his old schoolmaster, Gunner Bosworth, an Old Murrayian, says :- “ On the morning of the ‘ big push ‘ I was on duty at our observation station, and had occasion to go out on the line and repair breakages caused by the shelling. The O.C. was good enough to bring the incident to the notice of the General, and I have since heard the good news of being granted the above medal.”

HIGH PRAISE FOR THE HOWITZER BRIGADE.

The following letter from the Brigadier Commanding the Artillery Division to the O.C’s of the Batteries and Ammunition Columns, will be of much local interest :—

“ Will you please convey to all ranks my appreciation of the excellent work performed by the batteries and D.A.C during the last five weeks. The preparation of gun positions for the July offensive entailed continuous and very hard work on the batteries, but this labour was well repaid in the fewness of the casualties suffered at the guns. The Division subsequently taking over reported that they were the best positions they had yet seen.

“ The continual night firing has been particularly trying, but the shooting was consistently good, which reflects great credit on all ranks, and the successes gained by the Infantry were, in the words of the Divisional Commander, largely due to the effective support rendered by the Artillery. I hope during this week all ranks will be able to get the rest which they all deserve.

DEFEAT OF THE TURKS.

WARWICKSHIRE YEOMANRY DO WELL.

The Turks on Friday last week made another and disastrous attempt to reach the Suez Canal. The point chosen for the attack, which was made by 14,000 troops, was Romani, 18 miles east of Port Said. While holding the frontal attack the British, on the southern flank, retired until the enemy had become involved in the sand dunes. A counter attack was then made with all arms, which was completely successful, and at dawn on Saturday the enemy was in retreat, with our troops in vigorous pursuit. The Turks suffered heavily, and so far the British captures comprise 45 officers and 3,100 men, including some Germans, four mountain guns, and a number of machine guns. The British Commander-in-Chief pays warm tributes to the Anzac troops, the Territorials, the Royal Flying Corps, and the monitors, which, firing from the Bay of Tina, gave valuable assistance. During the day the temperature was 100 degrees in the shade.

“ The Times ” correspondent says :— “ The brunt of the fighting was borne by Anzac mounted troops. Of the British troops, the Scottish and Lancashire Territorials and the Warwickshire and Gloucester Yeomanry fought splendidly, and amply avenged the previous loss of comrades by taking over 300 prisoners and two camel guns, and inflicting very heavy casualties. From Territorials of average quality in peace times they have improved into a brigade of veterans. They left the railway at a place within sound of heavy rifle fire, and light-heartedly marched away to attack through ankle-deep sand, and thoroughly proud that their time had come. A little later, from a different spot, I saw Warwickshire and Gloucestershire Yeomanry marching over flatter country, with flankers advanced and rear guards and squadrons as well alined as on parade.”

LOCAL CASUALTIES.

Sergt H Lee, R.W.R, until the War employed in the gardens of Dunsmore, and Pte H T Gardner, of the same regiment, whose home is at Clifton, have been reported wounded.

Mr W W College, 9 Church Street, Rugby, has received official intimation that his youngest son, Pte W F College, Royal Warwicks, was reported missing on July 19th. He only joined up in November last year, and had been out in France about three months.

LIEUT E A R SMITH, of CLIFTON.

News has been received that Lieut Eric Arthur Ray Smith, R.W.R, son of Mr A E Smith, of Enfield, was killed in action on July 22nd. Lieut Smith, who was 27 years of age, and was married, occupied the Manor Farm, Clifton, until he was given a commission in the R.W.R last year, and was well known locally.

PTE ARTHUR REYNOLDS MISSING.

Mr W A Reynolds, of 26 West Leyes, Rugby, has received news that his son Arthur, a private in one of the Territorial Battalions of the R.W.R, has been posted missing since July 19th. Pte Reynolds was 20 years of age, and joined the army 12 months ago. He has been in France about two months. Before joining the army he was employed in the tailoring department of the Co-operative Society.

LANCE-CORPL EDWARD HARVEY.

Information has been received by Mrs R Harvey, Windsor Street, Rugby, that her son, Lance-Corpl Edward Harvey, of the Hampshire Regiment, was killed in action on July 1st. Lance-Corpl Harvey enlisted at the beginning of the War, prior to which he worked at Newbold Cement Works. He had been in France 15 months. He was 35 years of age and a native of Rugby. Before the War he lived in Bridget Street, Rugby. He leaves a widow and four children. Mrs R Harvey has two other sons at the front.

SECOND-LIEUT P A MORSON WOUNDED.

Mr and Mrs A Morson, of The Chace, on Monday received news that their son, Second-Lieut P A Morson, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, had been wounded on August 1st. Lieut Morson joined the H.A.C as a private, and proceeded to France on July 1, 1915. He saw much of the fighting round Ypres and Hooge, and then in April of this year he received his commission. He went all through the recent big advance until wounded on August 1st, and he is now in the Second General Western Hospital at Manchester. He received six wounds in the left hip and thigh and one in the left shoulder. An operation has been successfully performed, and his friends will be pleased to hear that he is now going on well.

PTE M E CLEAVER REPORTED MISSING.

Mrs Cleaver, of 28 Plowman Street, has been notified by the War Office that her husband, Pte M E Cleaver, of the R.W.R (T.F), has been posted as missing after an engagement on July 19th. Pte Cleaver, who was a native of Rugby, lived in the town till a year or two ago, but at the time of enlistment he was residing at Banbury. He has four young children.

In the same platoon as Pte Cleaver was an old Rugby footballer, well known as “ Zooie ” Batchelor. He is now in hospital near Liverpool, suffering from shell shock, which has rendered him deaf and dumb.

LANCE-CORPL BROMWICH, of PAILTON PASTURES.

News has been received by Mrs Bromwich, of Pailton Pastures, that her son, Lance-Corpl E J H C Bromwich, of the Northants Regiment, was killed in action on July 18th. Her husband was killed in the Boer War, and Lance-Corpl Bromwich entered the Duke of York’s School for soldiers’ sons at the age of 14. Although he was only 20 years of age, he had, therefore, served six years in the Army. He was wounded last autumn, but recovered, and was drafted to the front again.

SECOND-LIEUT E A R SMITH.

Second-Lieut Eric Arthur Rae Smith, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who, as recorded in our last issue, was killed in action on July 22nd, was the youngest son of Mr Arthur K Smith, Pencarrow, Enfield, and was 27 years of ago. For some years before the War he was in the H.A.C, and in April, 1915, obtained a commission in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, proceeding to the front last May. His Commanding officer writes : “ He was killed whilst leading with the utmost gallantry his platoon into action on the night of July 22-23. In him the Battalion has lost a truly gallant officer of great promise, who had already endeared himself to all ranks.” When Lieut Smith joined the Forces he was occupying the Manor Farm at Clifton-on-Dunsmore.

SERGT-MAJOR WILLIAM J BRYANT KILLED.

Considerable regret will be felt locally at the confirmation of the rumour, circulated in the town last week, that Sergt-Major William John Bryant, of the Rugby Infantry Company, had been killed in action. The news was conveyed to Mrs Bryant, the widow, who lives at 98 York Street, in a letter from the O.C of A Company to which Sergt-Major Bryant was attached on his promotion from the rank of sergeant. The writer says :— “ His death came as a great shock to us all. When such men as he go from us a sort of despair follows, and we feel one of our great supports has gone. He was for some time the quartermaster-sergeant of the company—a post which does not entail so much danger as that of sergeant-major. But as soon as his predeccessor (Sergt-Major Wood) was wounded he lost no time in stepping into his place, and I always remember how eager he was to be right up in the trenches, as close to the enemy as possible. His long service with the regiment, his good character and capacity for doing honest sound work, will ensure that his memory will always remain with those who have known the regiment. His loss is one that it will be hard to replace, and the sympathy of all of us goes out to you.” Sergt-Major Bryant, who was killed while leaving the trench on July 26th, was the second son of Mr Wm Bryant, of Rugby. He was 43 years of age, and leaves a widow and eight children, six of whom range from 15 to 4 years of age. He had been connected with the Rugby “ E ” Company for 25 years, and in 1914 he won one of the company challenge cups. He was a builder by trade, and was highly respected by all who knew him.

NEWBOLD-ON-AVON.

On Wednesday last Mr and Mrs Neal received official intimation from the War Office that their son, Pte W H J Neal, of the Royal Berkshire Infantry Regiment, was killed in action on July 30th. Pte Neal was 19 years of age on the day he was killed. He only enlisted on the 13th of April last as a Driver in the Royal Field Artillery. He had been transferred about a week to the Royal Berkshire Infantry Regt and sent out to France, when he met with his sad end. On enlistment he was being employed by the Sparking Plug Co, but had previously worked at the Rugby Portland Cement Co at Newbold for a considerable time. He was a bright youth, and much sympathy is expressed with his parents in their sad bereavement.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

We regret to learn that Major Darnley is lying very ill in hospital in Malta.

Lieut-Col F F Johnstone is returning to the command of the 2nd Battalion the Warwickshire Volunteer Regiment.

Temporary Lieut W C Muriel, of the 9th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, has been promoted Captain as from the 1st of July.

Capt E R Hopewell, of the 7th Worcestershire Regt, who was wounded in the recent fighting in France, has been awarded the Military Cross. He is a son of Mr E W Hopewell, formerly of Rugby.

MOTOR LORRY FATALITY.

Attempting to board a motor lorry in motion, Corporal Edgar Percival Haddock, of the Royal Engineers, stationed at Welford, Rugby, fell and sustained severe internal injuries, from which he died soon after admission to Northampton Hospital, on Friday last week. At the inquest, held at the hospital on Saturday evening, a verdict of “ Accidental death ” was returned. Corpl Haddock, who was 19 years of age, was a son of Mr Edgar Augustus Haddock, the director and principal of the Leeds College of Music and the director of the Mayfair School of Music. He was a motor engineer, and at the time of the accident was working with other members of his Company on the telegraph wires on the main road between Northampton and Rugby. He was located at Rugby for a time.

FATAL AVIATION ACCIDENT NEAR RUGBY.

TWO OFFICERS KILLED.

As the result of a collision between two aeroplanes near Rugby on Thursday afternoon one of the machines crashed to the ground, and the occupants, Lieuts Rogers and de Frece, of the Royal Flying Corps, were killed instantly. The other machine made a safe descent, saw the occupants were uninjured.

In consequence of the accident a concert, which was to have been given on behalf of a Soldiers’ Comforts Fund, was postponed.

LETTERS FROM “ E ” COMPANY MEN.

To the Editor of the Advertiser.

SIR,—As one of the old “ E ” Company Terriers, I am writing a few lines to let you know that some of us are still plodding along.

Since we came out to France some 17 months ago we have been practically under shell fire the whole of the time, with the exception of about a fortnight, when we were going to have a rest, but were recalled to have another spell in the trenches. Although up till the present time we have not been what we called “ over the top,” we have done some excellent work, for which we have been greatly praised by the various commanders. For one to say that he had not been away from the Battalion an hour during this long period of trench life hardly seems credible, but this is the case with the majority of us. All through the winter we had to keep pumps going, as the water was very often up to our thighs, and overflowed into the tops of gum boots, which we were provided with for winter trench work. Then, again, we had wiring to do at night. Doubtless, if our neighbour across the way could not find us sufficient work one way, he would do so by shelling our wire and trenches. During our tour we have experienced shell of all calibre. Among those we received there was one which we named “ Gommy Lizz ”— a most objectionable neighbour, for when it exploded it would throw pieces of metal with razor-like edges. The largest of these bombs weighed about 200lbs.

I must not forgot to tell you of the things that happen behind the lines in the way of amusements. There are three Pierrot troupes, who used to give us some splendid turns. Then, again, there is the cinematograph. This we must thank the B.S.A for. It is a splendid machine, and included engine and dynamo for lighting purposes.

Now we have the Divisional Band, which plays to our Battalion in turn. It is composed of all the best musicians in the Division. When hearing this it makes us wish we were in the Park at Rugby instead of this place.

I must now return to the trench life, as I think this is our most important work. We have been in the great offensive, for which we were highly praised, and I might also say we have been in the great advance, but am very sorry to say we lost some of our best pals. The work of our guns, both large and small, has been excellent at this point. I will now close, leaving us all in the best of spirits and health,—I remain, yours sincerely, A. V. A.

August 2, 1916.

A TREACHEROUS GERMAN.

DEAR —-— Just a few lines in haste to let you know I am all right. No doubt by now you will know we have been in for it. We have lost very nearly all of the Company. I am the only sergeant left. We have no officers ; they are all wounded or killed. We thought none of us would get through alive. We smashed them up with a seven hours’ bombardment, and then went for them. We got into their second line, and stopped there for about two hours. The slaughter was awful ; there were heaps of dead. Captain — was killed going over, two lieutenants were wounded, and the others we do not know anything about. We sent about 35 prisoners back from their front line to ours. I stood talking to the sergeant-major at the time, and one of the Germans asked for a drink of water. One of our men gave him one, and as soon as he had had a drink he snatched up a rifle that stood by the trench and shot our Company sergeant-major through both legs. I need not say what became of him. I am glad I am all right, thank God ; but their are a good many that have gone. Just fancy, it took two years to train the Battalion, and they were cut up in about two hours. But I will not say any more about it ; I want to try and forget it. GEORGE.

To Employers

Employers are reminded that it is an offence under the Munitions of War Acts 1915 and 1916, punishable by Fine not exceeding £50, for any person to Employ anyone who has been engaged in a Controlled Establishment within Six Weeks from the date of leaving unless he or she can produce a Leaving Certificate (Form M.T. 23), or a Certificate issued by the Chairman of a Munitions Tribunal.

The attention of Employers is directed to Statutory Rule No. 121 relating to Certificates, also to M.M. 14, being a Memorandum for the guidance of Employers in regard to Leaving Certificates which can be obtained upon application at any Labour Exchange.

The British Thomson-Houston Co. Ltd.
Willans & Robonson Limited.

PROSPETS OF DEARER BREAD.—There has recently been a substantial advance in the price of flour. Within three weeks it has risen by 8s a sack, and it is very possible that the effect will be that householders will have to pay more for their bread in the near future. Sugar continues to be scarce and dear, and the Sugar Commission has just issued posters urging economy in the use of this very essential article of food.

DEATHS.

HARVEY. Killed in France on July 1st, 1916, Lance-Corporal Harvey, 1st Hampshire Regiment, son of Mrs. R. Harvey, Windsor Street, Rugby, aged 35.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call,
His life he gave for one and all.”

IN MEMORIAM.

LEACH.—In loving memory of our dear son, Percy John Leach, who was killed at Sulva Bay, Gallipoli, on August 6,1915.
“ A light is from our household gone,
A voice we loved is still;
A place is vacant in our hearts
The world can never fill.
He went away to a distant land,
And fought his country’s foes;
He there was kept by Death’s grim hand :
To return to his home no more.”
—From his FATHER & MOTHER, BROTHERS & SISTER.

ROWBOTTOM.—In loving memory of Corporal S. Rowbottom, Oxford and Bucks L.I., who died of wounds received in action at Ypres, August 12, 1915. Buried near Poperinghe.
“ There isn’t much we did not share since our school-days begun ;
The same old work, the same old play, the same old sport and fun,
The same old chance that laid you out, but winked and let us through,
The same old life, the same old death, ‘Good-bye’ and ‘God bless you.’ ”
—From FRANK and ALBERT (B.E.F.).

WORMLEIGHTON..—In loving memory of Frederick James Wormleighton, R.E., killed August 9th, 1915 (In France).
“ In the midst of life we are in death.”
—From his loving mother, brothers, and sisters.