20th Apr 1918. Low-Flying Aeroplanes

RUGBY URBAN DISTRICT COUNCIL. . . . .LOW-FLYING AEROPLANES.

Mr F E Hands reminded the Council that at an inquest held on an airman killed at Rugby recently the jury protested against the low flying which took place and he thought a similar protest should go from the Council. On the morning before the accident he saw a pony start to run away twice owing to an airman flying so close to the tops of the houses.—Mr Loverock supported, and said he saw the airman in question come down. He was flying very low, and another aeroplane which accompanied him almost struck the top of some cottages in Temple Street. He had also seen an aeroplane fly between two houses at a lower level than the roofs.—Mr Walker corroborated this, and said the incident caused a great deal of alarm amongst some ladies.—It was decided to write to the Commanding Officer on the matter.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.
[Note: these reports were printed on the edge of the page and the reproduction is very feint.]

Lieut the Hon J H P Verney, Lancers, the only son of lord Willoughby de Broke, has been wounded.

Pte Alfred William Elson, Hampshire Regt, son of Mrs Anderson, 39 Pinfold Street, New Bilton, died from wounds received in action on April 6th. Prior to the war he was employed in the winding department of the B.T.H.

Corpl T J Smith, of the Royal Field Artillery, who was formerly employed in the Main Drawing Office of the B.T.H, died from wounds on March 22nd.

Pte Douglas Hay, York & Lancashire Regt, son of[?] Mrs Hay, 102 Murray Road, was killed in action March 18th.

Second-Lieut Sidney Torrance, Lancashire [?] son of Mr W J Torrance, Warwick Street, has been severely wounded in the head and ankle during recent heavy fighting.

Sapper E Wagstaffe, Royal Engineers, an [?] in the Tool Room at the B.T.H, was killed on [?] April 6th.

Mr & Mrs J G Wilson, of 52 York Street, have received a telegram from the War Office, saying that their son, R V Wilson (O.L), Second-Lieutenant 2/7[?] Royal Warwicks (late H.A.C), had died of wounds on the April 18th. No further confirmation has yet been received.

News has reached Mr J P Lennon, [?] Rugby, that his eldest son, E P Lennon, [?] in France. He was totally blind for several days, [?] has been sent to a hospital behind the lines. [?] information says that he is now regaining his sight, and is recovering very favourably.

A BELATED COMMISSION.

A letter found in the possession of Sapper W H Linnell, jun, Pioneer Battalion, King’s [?] Regiment, a partner in the firm of Messrs Linnell [?], Rugby, whose death from wounds received in action was recorded last week, has been forwarded to his [?] by the matron of the hospital. This was evidently [?] shortly before he was wounded, and that he [?] on the previous day had been informed [?] Colonel that he was recommending him for a commission as his work had been so very satisfactory. Mr. Linnell, who was an Old Laurentian and Old Rugbian. [?] until he joined the Colours mainly responsible for management of the business. He was vice-chairman of the Rugby Master Builders’ Association and [?] of the Rugby Building Society.

HILLMORTON.
MRS RATHBONE (Hillmorton) received a telegram from the War Office on March 30th, saying that her son, Lieut G P Rathbone, North Staffs Regiment, was reported missing on March 21st, and has not heard any more news of him at present. He has not been officially reported killed, as stated in last week’s edition.

ASHBY ST. LEDGERS.
PTE HARRY KERRY, of the 2nd Royal Berkshire Regiment, third son of Mr & Mrs Amos Kerby, has been severely wounded in the left forearm, but is progressing favourably. He has served two years in France.

BRANDON.
WOUNDED.—Pte G Saunders, who for several years was manager at the Royal Oak, has been badly wounded. Although much over age, he volunteered for service, and has been in action on many occasions. This is the second time he has been wounded.

WOLSTON.
CORPL T WEBB, son of Mr & Mrs Charles Webb, Wolston, has now returned to Wolston after serving upwards of three year on active service. He joined the 1/7/ Worcesters in 1914, and was sent out to France on January 4, 1915. He went through the battle of Neuve Chapelle in 1915, and in the battle of fleur Beixin May of the same year was wounded in the left arm. He was soon again on active service at the battle of Armentieres in September. His next big battle was at the Somme in 1916, at Contamassion, where, after fighting hard for four days, he had two fingers on his left hand broken, and was sent to England. Regaining convalescence, he again went into the firing line; but at the battle of Passendale ridge was wounded by shrapnel. He had a finger partly blown off and two broken, whilst his hand was also badly smashed. Arriving in England, he was a patient at a Manchester hospital, where it was found necessary to amputate the finger. He has now received his discharge, and undoubtedly richly deserves it after the many vicissitudes he has gone through. Corpl Webb was one of the first men in the village to volunteer, and he is somewhat sad at the thought that several of his friends who joined up with him are killed. He says that one of the chief grievances of the men at the front is the single slackers at home in our large towns, who let the married men go out to fight while they hide in munition factories. He believes that we should not worry over our recent reverses, but place our confidence in our soldiers, who fight magnificently, and will eventually get the upper hand. Pte W Webb, a brother of the above, has also been crippled.

DUNCHURCH.
PRISONER OF WAR FUND.—There is being a house-to-house collection on behalf of the Prisoners of War Fund in Dunchurch and Thurlaston. Pte G Richardson, Mill Street, Dunchurch, who offered his services to take the envelopes round to all the houses, was once a prisoner of war, but has got his discharge after serving several years in the Army, his eyes being affected. When the envelopes were collected they were found to contain the large sum of £63, and there are several more to come in.

THE POTATO POSITION.
INCREASED ACREAGE PROBABLE THIS YEAR.

Already the appeal which Mr Lloyd George issued three weeks ago to the farmers of Great Britain to largely increase the acreage of potatoes is having its effect in many counties. The latest reports of the Commissioners of the Food Production Department contain numerous evidences of this fact.

The Council of the Central and Associated Chambers of Agriculture have unanimously passed a resolution “ urging on all farmers the paramount necessity of increasing the acreage of potatoes to at least the million acres appealed for by the Prime Minister.” Last year the farmer of England and Wales and Scotland grew no less than 655,704 acres of potatoes—a record planting and an increase of 97,637 acres over the area of 1916, representing an additional supply of 1,400,000 tons of potatoes. These results, achieved despite a shortage of labour and other adverse circumstances, go far to justify the faith of the Prime Minister that the British farmer will once more accomplish the impossible.

So far as can be ascertained at the moment, there already seems likely to be slight increase in the acreage both in England and Wales and in Scotland. Indeed, it may very well turn out that already we have nearly 600,000 acres of potatoes planted this year, or ready for planting, in England and Wales, and almost 170,000 acres in Scotland. But even if this year’s yields are as good as last year’s, it is extremely improbable that this acreage will supply all our requirements for 1918. Accordingly the Government asks the farmer to do his best to add another 230,000 acres, and so reach the million-acre mark which, in combination with other crops, should make the country absolutely safe so far as its food supply is concerned.

The appeal of Mr Lloyd George appeared in the Press on March 18th. It would hardly be surprising if the response of the farmers was not general and immediate. Outside one or two counties potato growing conditions is attended with definite amount of risk ; the yield is very uncertain ; there is the possibility of disease, and proper cultivation entails a good deal of extra labour, whereas labour just now is scarce on the countryside. Moreover, many farmers have had an unfortunate experience with their 1917 potato crop owing to the difficulties of transport and of marketing.

No one knowing all the facts would blame the agriculturist for thinking hard before he planted an additional acreage of potatoes without some sort of guarantee as to their sale when grown, and this guarantee has been given in the fixing of minimum prices.

A WELCOME OFFER.

An unusual request was received by the Rugby Fool Control Committee at their meeting on Thursday, when a lady wrote stating that she had the chance of purchasing a quantity of cheese, but only if she bought about ton, and she asked for permission to buy this. There were 140 members in her household, and if she obtained the cheese and the committee would allow her to retain so much as they thought was fair, she would be prepared to dispose of the remainder to the grocers in the town.—The Chairman : Tons of Cheese ! I have not seen a quarter of a pound for a long time. It seems ridiculous that a private individual should have the chance of buying tons of cheese, when a good many of us have not seen any for some time.—Mr Humphrey did not think it was fair to allow this when other people were only having half-a-pound a month.—Mr Cooke thought if there was so much cheese about Lord Rhondda should take it over, so that it could be distributed more equitably.—Mr Gay suggested that the permit should be given, and that the lady should be allowed to keep enough to last her for a certain period, and that at the end of that time they would appreciate it if she could get them some more (laughter).—The permit given, the lady to surrender 75 per cent. for distribution amongst local retailers.

DEATHS.

BATES.—Killed in Action on March 31st, Lance-Corpl. THOMAS BATES, of 1st Warwicks, only son of Mr. & Mrs. T. Bates, Ryton-on-Dunsmore ; aged 27 years.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call,
His life he gave for one and all ;
But the unknown grave is the bitterest blow,
None but aching heart can know.”
—Deeply mourned by his loving Mother, Father and Sisters.

CHAMBERS.—Pte. C. CHAMBERS, killed in action on March 21, 1918, aged 31 years, son of William and Amy Chambers, Abbotts Farm, Hillmorton.—“ Thy will be done.”

CHAMBERS.—Sergt. F. CHAMBERS, died of wounds in France on April 4, 1918, aged 24 years, beloved husband of Amy Chambers, Hillmorton Paddox.—“ Thy will be done.”

HARDMAN.—Gunner C. H. HARDMAN, the dearly beloved husband of Mrs. C. H. Hardman, 57 Rugby Road, Leamington, killed in action on March 21, 1918 ; aged 26 years.
“ He sleeps, not in his native land,
But under foreign skies ;
Far from those who loved him best,
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—Sadly missed and deeply mourned by his sorrowing Wife and Children.

HARDMAN.—In loving memory of our son, Gunner C. H. HARDMAN, who was killed in action in France on March 21, 1918.
“ We have lost him, we who loved him ;
And, like others, must be brave ;
For we know that he is sleeping
In a British soldier’s grave.”
—From his loving Father, Mother, Sisters & Brothers.

HODGES.—Killed in action on March 26th, Sapper SIDNEY J. J. HODGES, of the Royal Engineers, beloved and youngest son of the late Mr. & Mrs. Hodges, of 82 Claremont Road.

MATTHEWS.—Rifleman JOHN MATTHEWS, 3rd Rifle Brigade, died of wounds in hospital in France on March 25th, beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. William Matthews, Churchover, aged 23 years.

IN MEMORIAM.

DRAGE.—In loving memory of Pte. CHARLES HERBERT DRAGE, the dearly beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. C. Drage, of Yelvertoft ; killed in action in Egypt, April 19, 1917 ; aged 19 years.
“ Death can hide him, but not divide ;
Thou art but on Christ’s other side.
Thou with Christ, and Christ with us,
So together still are we.”
—From his ever-loving Mother, Father & Brother.

GUPWELL.—Also our dear brother, Pte. BENJAMIN GUPWELL, who died of wounds in France, April 20th, 1917.
“ God takes our loved ones from our homes,
But never from our hearts.”
—From his loving Sister and Brother.

 

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.

27th Feb 1915. Appeals for more Men.

RUGBY MAN AT THE FRONT APPEALS FOR MORE MEN.

Mr C T Mewis, 44 Bath Street, has received a very interesting letter from a friend, Pte W Gardner, of the 3rd Coldstream Guards, who is at the front. Mr Gardner was formerly a policeman at Rugby, but of late was employed in the Press Department of the B.T.H.

In the course of this letter Pte Gardner recounts his experiences, from the time he first went out, in very interesting manner. He relates that on Christmas night they were sent to the trenches, but found them in such a terrible condition that they volunteered to dig some more. This request was acceded to, but the weather was so cold that their trousers and putties were frozen to their legs and their socks to their feet. During the whole of this time they were under fire, but luckily no one was hit, although some had very narrow escapes, and a bullet passed through a parcel of Christmas dainties which he was carrying in his pack. After recounting further experiences, the writer goes on to say :-

” I was very pleased to hear that the young men of Rugby have rallied round the Old Flag in its time of danger, and I hope that if there are any slackers left they will soon buck up and come in, for every man is wanted out here. They will all get out here in time, for I think this is going to be a long war yet, and every able-bodied man ought to try and do his little bit. But it wants all the single ones to come first ; then, if it comes to a pinch, the married men should get in. If they were to see some of the sights that I have since I have been here they would soon some in, I am sure. Wherever you go you are sure to find some trace of German brutality and destruction—houses and churches burnt to the ground or blown down by shells or bombs, starving women and children walking about without any home, parents, or food. It is awful. There is no doubt but that we shall win, for we are now steadily gaining ground and winning along the line all the time. The Germans do a lot of damage sniping-a game of which they are very fond. It does not take a crack shot to do it with their rifles, which have got telescopic sights on them. They can hide in a wood or house 500 yards a way, and, looking through these sights, see a man’s head through a loop-hole as plainly as if he was only two yards away. We have caught many of them, so this is first hand information. The writer adds that he has seen several Rugby men at the front, including Pte Flavell, of the B.T.H. He states states that he has slept in a number of peculiar places of late, viz. in the trenches, in the road when the mud has been 2 or 3 inches deep, in the gutter when it had been raining and the water was running down it like a young river, in a haystack, on the railway lines, in a cattle truck, barn, stable, ploughed field, cow-shed, workhouse and college, but never in a bed.”

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Although there are still hundreds of young fellows in the town and district apparently without any adequate reason for holding back, only four have joined the forces this week, this being the smallest number since the commencement of the war. The total number from Rugby now exceeds 2,200. Those joining this week were:—Royal Berkshire Regiment, A H Sear and F Parker; R. W.R, E H Healey; Leicestershire, A Tyers.

MILITARY CROSS FOR ANOTHER OLD ST. MATTHEW’S BOY.

In addition to Sergt-Major J W Goddard, mentioned in our columns last week, another old St Matthew’s boy has been awarded the Military Cross by the King, after being mentioned in Sir John French’s despatches. The recipient on whom the honour has been bestowed is Sergt-Major F A Nason, of the Army Veterinary Corps, a nephew of Mr T Nason, 130 Railway Terrace.

RUGBY RAILWAY WORKER KILLED IN ACTION.

News has been received that Mr William Dirbin, who formerly lived at 11 Spring Street, Rugby, was killed in action near Soissons in January. The deceased, who was a reservist in the Royal Field Artillery, was for several years employed in the Goods Department at Rugby L & N-W Railway Station, but was transferred shortly before the war broke out. He was called up in August last. The gallant fellow was of a quiet, unassuming disposition, and was a favourite with all who knew him ; and the news of his untimely end has come as a great shook to his wife, with whom much sympathy is expressed, and his friends.

CHEERING NEWS OF A DUNCHURCH S0LDIER.

Mr C J Beard, of Murray Road, Rugby, still receives letters occasionally from his son, Pte Sidney Beard, of the 2nd Warwickshire Regiment, who is detained as a prisoner of war at Gottingen, Germany. At the request of Mr Adams, of Dunchurch, Mr Beard wrote to his son recently, asking if he knew anything of the fate of his soldier son, Pte Willie Adams, of the same regiment. The letter was posted at Paris, and yesterday (Friday) morning Mr Beard got a reply, in which the following gratifying sentence was given :—“ I have spoken to Adams ; he is quite safe.” Private Beard has also asked for food, clothing, soap and other articles to be sent to him

Pte John Richardson, of the Coldstream Guards, the eldest son of Mr W and Mrs Richardson, The Banks, Dunchurch, volunteered for the front at the outbreak of the war, and landed in France on November 12th. He died from wounds received in action on February on 11th. He was one of the smartest of the young men that went from Dunchurch. Up to the present, in addition to Pte Richardson, the following Dunchurch men have been killed :— Lance-Corp E Parker, Lance-Corpl White, Pte R Norman, and Gunner Harry Pearce (on the Bulwark).

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

During the week the troops in Rugby have been exercised in route marching, and on Thursday they joined contingents from Leamington ; while Nuneaton and Coventry men met for similar work.

Captain the Hon E A FitzRoy, M.P. is not yet medically fit for active service, and is doing light work with his regiment.

In the area in Essex over which the German aeroplane raid took place last week-end a number of the Warwickshire Territorials, including “ E ” Company, are located.

Mr W G B Over, formerly of Rugby, who joined the colours in September last, is now engaged as musketry instructor attached to the 10th (Service) Battalion of the 19th Yorkshire Regiment. He holds the rank of Sergeant-Major, and is stationed at Aylesbury.

On Monday last coal supplied by the bag was advanced in Rugby 1d per cwt. On Monday next another halfpenny will be put upon the 4lb loaf, making the price 8d.

PROPOSED ALARM IN CASE OF AIR RAIDS

With regard to the proposal made by the Urban District Council to use the B.T.H hooter for an alarm signal in case of air raids, a correspondent living in Lower Hillmorton Road writes to point out that when the wind is blowing from a southerly direction the hooter is almost inaudible in that district, and therefore would be useless as an alarm. Our correspondent suggests that the new bell at Rugby School should be sounded as well as the hooter in case of air raids. This would ensure that when the wind was blowing from such a direction as to diminish the volume of sound from one of the alarms, it would increase that of the other. It is suggested that a key of the door giving access to the bell-rope should be left either at the Police Station or given to the police officer on duty in the town, and that immediately notice of a raid is received the officer shall make his way to the tower and ring the bell. The suggestion seems to be a good one, and we recommend it to the Urban Council for their consideration.

RUGBY PETTY SESSIONS.

Tuesday.—Before Dr Clement Dukes (in the chair), T Hunter, T A Wise, A E Donkin, and J J McKinnell, Esqrs.

HANDED OVER TO THE MILITARY AUTHORITIES,-Pte George Oliver, of the Scottish Regiment, was charged on remand with stealing a gentleman’s overcoat, of the value of £1, from the doorway of a shop belonging to Tom G Hough, pawnbroker, in Little Church Street, on February 16th.—Application was made by an officer of defendant’s regiment for the man to be handed over to the Military Authorities to be dealt with.— This course was agreed to, and defendant was remanded till next week in the same bail for the authorities to report as to whether he had been dealt with.

26 Dec 1914. No Cause to Grumble – At the Front

NO CAUSE TO GRUMBLE.

Pte J Richardson, of the 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards, writing from the front on December 9th to his sister, says :—“ You saw it in the paper about the Coldstreams being praised up, but you can take it from me it was hard-earned, and not without losing some good lads over it. . . . We are about making a general advance right into Germany, so I expect by that we shall lose a few. Still, I know the lads will meet it with a good heart . . . We can’t grumble out here ; we get plenty of tobacco and clothes—as much as you can expect. Those who talk about it being cold on the moots just want to have a night in the trenches. The bombs and the ‘ Jack Johnsons ‘ keep you ‘ warm.’ I hope you will enjoy yourselves together at Christmas. Don’t bother about me ; I shall be all right. It would only disappoint me if I thought you were sitting worrying about me. If you send me anything, send me some cake or plum pudding, and some writing paper, as I have more tobacco now than I could smoke in a month. It is ‘ get out and get under ‘ all right here. You can hear them singing in the air—the fifth of November—a long time before they reach you ; but that is what we have to watch up above, dropping the little bomb down. You must remember me to all the ‘ boys,’ and tell them to be quick and give us a hand, or else there won’t be any left for them.”

THE WARWICKSHIRE R.H.A IN ACTION.

The Warwickshire R.H.A, whose headquarters are at Warwick, went to France about six weeks ago, and after doing patrol and other work on lines of communication, eventually reached the firing line. They have been in action, and letters from gunners in the Battery state that they were successful in doing a good deal of damage to the enemy’s trenches. The Germans turned two heavy batteries upon them, and the “ Black Marias ” dropped all round the Battery, till at last the order was given to retire and leave the guns for the time being. The men retreated to a village a short distance to the rear while a heavy battery of 4.7-inch guns pumped shells into the enemy, and eventually silenced their batteries sufficiently to enable the Warwickshire men to return to their guns and man-handle them into a safer position. It was an absolute marvel how they managed to get out without being smashed up and without any casualties.

CLIFTON SOLDIER KILLED WHILE WRITING HOME.

As we briefly announced last week, Pte W J Hutt (7698) Northamptonshire Regiment, of Church Lane, Clifton, was killed at the front on November 5th. Although early this week no official intimation had been received by his wife, to whom he had only been married a short time, there is no doubt that the news is true. From particulars furnished by a friend of his, and the four men who assisted in his burial, and who have returned home wounded, it appears that the unfortunate young man was killed near Ypres while writing a letter home. He was with his regiment in the trenches for five weeks in the Battle of the Aisne, during which time they made almost imperceptible progress. Their losses in this battle were very heavy. In one week Private Hutt went through five bayonet charges, and escaped without a scratch. Previous to being called up he was employed in the Winding Department at the B.T.H.. He would have been 26 years of age next month.

 

RUGBY SOLDIER’S EXPERIENCES.

Pte J Lickorish, of the 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment, has written a lengthy letter home, in which he recounts a number of interesting experiences. Referring to their first taste of modem warfare, he says :— “ We hastily entrenched, but had to evacuate them, as the German guns were getting terribly close. We retired behind a farm in open formation, the — Regiment leading the way, and our regiment following. It was here I saw the first horrors of war. The Germans got the range on the farm, and dropped shells all round it, killing and wounding several men. As we lay waiting for the next move a shell burst directly in front of me, and the time fuse went “ plonk ” into the earth about a yard in front of me. At first I thought it was a piece of dirt, as I could see it coming, and my pal reached out for it, but soon dropped it ; it was so hot. I have got it as a souvenir. Our captain, who was afterwards taken prisoner, behaved splendidly here, and it was a treat to watch him walking about, laughing and chatting to us, while we were under shell fire. By-and-bye a battery of ours dashed up, and so diverted the shell fire from us, and we were able to retire again in safety : but about half-a-mile to our right we could see the deadly shrapnel following our troops up with hellish persistency, but with few casualties on account of the open formation. We kept this up until nightfall. Up to this we had not sighted the enemy, but behind us was one consistent rifle fire, which showed that our troops were giving the Germans some of their own medicine. . . . We could see the — Regiment piling arms. All of a sudden a whole nest of German machine guns opened fire on them, and in less than five minutes the greater part of the battalion was either killed or wounded. We could see it all, but could not help them. Transport and all was lost. That morning, and for several days afterwards, we had to live without rations as best we could. In a graphic account of an artillery duel, and relating how 2,000 Uhlans who charged the British guns were repulsed, the writer says : “ Our guns were greatly outnumbered, and gradually gun after gun of the battery was put out of action, and the gunners killed of wounded. We were forced to retire again and again and leave the guns, which we took back off the Germans the next day. Those brave gunners sang and whistled during the whole time.” The writer refers to the retirement of the Germans, and says : “ Here we could see where they had left their trade mark behind them-guns, ammunition, two aeroplanes ; in fact, nearly everything military, and thousands of empty wine bottles. They had also smashed the village and shops, and had left numbers of their dead and civilians lying about. Occasionally we scooped up numbers of prisoners. . . . A German aeroplane dropped two bombs close to us, and killed a woman and two children, causing a great panic among the people. British and French aeroplanes fought the German in mid-air and brought him down.” Describing a sanguinary fight, in which both sides lost heavily and the gallant major of his regiment was killed, the writer says : “ It was here that the Germans hoisted the white flag, and shot our men down. Can you wonder after this that we used our bayonets mercilessly ? The Germans have behaved rotten in this war so far. . . . In one place he says 1,200 German shells were fired over their trench in 24 hours, nine-tenths of which failed to explode, being very old ammunition, and this goes to prove, he adds, that the German supplies are running short.”

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE YEOMANRY AT THE FRONT.

The squadron of the Northamptonshire Yeomanry, to which Q.M.S Goodman, of Flecknoe, belongs, has for some time past been on active service at the front. The men have taken their turn in the firing line, and find the conditions in the trenches bitterly cold. One member of the squadron has had his feet frost-bitten ; but the yeomen write cheerful letters to friends, although for obvious reasons the exact locality in which they are serving with the Expeditionary Force is not disclosed.

Another trooper in the regiment writes:—“ Well, we are absolutely right among it. The Northamptonshire Yeomanry are taking their turns just as infantry in the trenches, doing three days and three nights—72 hours in all—six days’ rest before going in again. However, before we went to the trenches we did a lot of patrolling and scouting on our horses. and it was then that I found the benefit of being able to ride, which I learnt to do when following the hounds in Old England, In fact, it’s just like hunting ; only no hounds, but bullets instead. Quite half our Yeomanry are fellows who hunt, and whenever we meet another troop the first thing that happens is the giving of the ‘ View Hallo,’ so you, can rest assured that we are in high hopes of seeing the fox as well as hearing the ‘ View Hallo’ next season. Only you must keep the thing going while we are away, as you see it does good in more then one one way. Many a soldier has got a good horse out here and able to get over this country who would not be able to do so had his horse not been schooled in the hunting field, so whatever you do you must keep it going ; if you don’t,there will be no fellows to join another Yeomanry.”

E Wiggins, son of Mr Wiggins, Rugby, a member of the Northants Yeomanry, writes under date December 13th :— We returned from the trenches on Thursday last. We went in on the previous Monday. I will not describe it. All I can say is, I am thankful to have returned safely to our billet. We had our first christening under fire, and were up to our knees in mud and water most of the time. We had one casualty and some narrow escapes. The fighting went on all the night, and we were digging and making up the trenches in the daytime. We were along with an infantry regiment, and real good chaps, too, who would do anything for us. They had been in action several times. . . . and gave us some useful tips, the chief being, as the ‘ Scotties’ say, ‘ To keep your head below the bone.’ The Germans made a charge on our left, but were repulsed with loss. They charged shoulder to shoulder in hundreds. You have only to keep your head and blaze away, and bowl them over right and left. They are forced to charge, poor beggars ; and all those who retire are shot by their own officers. The Germans are very much afraid of the Gurkhas, who steel up their trenches armed only with their ‘kuris’ (long knives), and do them in. We left our horses at the farm in charge of our No. 3’s. We ride in sections of 6, and the third looks after the horses while we are away. They do not do any fighting, as we ride only within two miles of the firing line, and they bring our horses back to the billet. . . . I am pleased to say we have a good billet in a big loft, and all sleep like tops. It is a terrible job getting on and off our top coats, which get plastered from top to bottom. It is a rough lot out here, but I hope to get back soon.”

THREE DAYS AND NIGHTS IN THE TRENCHES.

GRAPHIC STORY BY A RUGBEIAN.

“ We always manage to enjoy ourselves, and I never get depressed,” wrote a Rugby tradesman’s son, serving at the front with the Honourable Artillery Company, in a letter just received by his parents. This remark followed a description of three days and three nights in the trenches during a drenching rain, and under very trying conditions. “ I am off again to the trenches,” he wrote light-heartedly. “ The strain of war has been too much for a lot of our fellows, but the physique of the H.A.C is recognised as being quite as good as that of any regiment.

NOVEL HAIR-CUT.

“ At, present I am billeted in a barn at a farmhouse. This is the best barn we have been in up to the present ; it is rainproof and not so draughty. You should have seen me in this barn, sitting on an up-turned tub having my hair-cut with a pair of nail scissors by our drummer-boy ! We are like schoolboys when the mail comes in. If General French could see us, he would say, ‘ The morale of the troops is excellent.’

“ I have just returned from three days and three nights in the trenches. Fortunately, there was only one killed out of the Company, but two officers had to be taken away ill, and several men are queer to-day as the result of the trying time we have had.”

The march to the trenches in the early morning through a turnip field, with mud over the shoe-tops and rifle fire in progress, was next described.

“ At one place we had to cross an old trench and I tried to jump it. Instead of clearing it I fell in and sank over my knees in mud and water. I scrambled up the bank and through a hedge, just in time to see our bugler disappear in another trench. I helped him out, and we presently reached our trenches in safety, although the fellow immediately behind me had a bullet through his cap.”

WITHIN FIFTY YARDS OF THE ENEMY.

The mud in the trenches was awful, but, fortunately, the part I was in was drier, being covered over with old doors and straw. We were only fifty yards from the Germans, and you can tell we had to keep a sharp look out. We had half an hour on guard and one hour off. The first day we had plum pudding for dinner and afterwards cigars supplied by the officers and the chocolate father sent. . . . It rained all night, and, in spite of our covering, the rain came through. At about 9.0 o’clock in the morning there was a very furious rifle fire, so we all jumped up and opened fire, thinking the Germans were attacking, and expecting every minute to see them rushing through the fog not 20 yards away. We kept up a terrific fire for a short time and then ceased. We were told afterwards it was an attack. When the fog cleared some of our fellows played the Germans at their own game of sniping and killed four of them.”

Orders came for the Company to spend another 24 hours in the trenches. About 20ft of the trench in which the writer was situated fell in, and he spent most of the third day on his back repairing it. There being no other food supply for the third day, the men had to draw upon their emergency rations-consisting of “ bully ” beef, biscuits, Oxo, etc.

DEAD FRENCHMEN.

“ We felt it was rather risky drinking the water,” he went on, “ as dozens of dead Frenchmen were lying all about. I fell over one on my way back in the darkness, and it was a gruesome sight. Whilst we were repairing the trench we came across a dead body. I don’t know whether it was a Frenchman or a German—the body was so decomposed. On the third day the Germans fired on our No 4 Section, and the Company drew their fire and apparently created a panic in the German lines. We were glad when the relief came, and it was a tiring march over the fields to the village. One fellow tumbled into a stream, for me to pick him out, and Turner, a ‘ Prudential ‘ man, collapsed. I carried his rifle and helped to get him to the village, where we were given some tea and had a good night’s rest.

ALWAYS CHEERFUL.

“ It was very fatiguing—three days and nights without lying down and without proper sleep. However, I am quite well and happy, but very tired. . . . Chocolate is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. I don’t know what I should have done if I had not had what father sent to me. At present we are pulling crackers. We always manage to enjoy ourselves, and I never get depressed. We don’t mind if the mud is over our boot tops. We thank goodness it to not over our knees ; and if a sniper shoots at us in the trench, we have a competition as to who can be the first to ‘spot’ him. Our officer says we all have wonderful hearts. At present I am cook. I have to get supper ready for two fellows who will be back late, and cook bacon for forty in the morning.” In conclusion the correspondent put in a good word for his officer, whom he describes as “ a Jolly good sport, and as cool as a cucumber under fire, so you need not worry about our losing heart.”