Barnett, Henry Alfred John. Died 21 May 1919

Henry Alfred John BARNETT was born in about July 1870 in Clifton upon Dunsmore and registered in Q2, 1870 in Rugby.  He was the eldest son of Alfred John Barnett, a miller (b.c.1843 in Clifton) and his wife Jane, née Newby, Barnett (b.c.1841 in Cassington, Leicestershire).  Their marriage was registered in Barrow in Q3, 1867.

In April 1871, Henry was ten months old; he had a two year old sister, Henrietta, who was also born at Clifton on Dunsmore.  They also had an elder ‘step’-sister Ada who was eleven, and born in Ratcliffe on Wreak.  In 1871, his father was a ‘miller journeyman’.

By 1881, his father had died and his widowed mother was working as a dressmaker, and the family, which now included another daughter, Edith, aged five, (she was born on 13 July 1875) was living on the Lilbourne Road, Clifton.

Some time before 1891, the family moved to Rugby, and probably that was when Henry attended the Lawrence Sheriff School.  By 1891 Jane and two of the children were living at 2 Earl Street.  Jane was still a ‘dressmaker’, Henry was 20 and a grocer’s assistant, his elder sister, now enumerated as Harriett had no occupation.  Edith was missing, but reappeared with the family in 1901, when they were at 8 Earl Street.  Henry was by then a ‘cycle agent’, and his mother and his two sisters were all working as ‘Dressmaker – Own Account’.

By 1911 the family home had the fuller address 8 Clifton Cottages, Earl Street, Rugby.  They were all still working at home: Henry was a ‘cycle repairer’ and his mother and sisters still running their business his mother being a ‘Dressmaker’ and his sisters undertaking ‘Dressmaking & General Sewing’.

At some date Henry moved to 174 Murray Road.  With war declared, Henry did not rush to sign up, but was recruited later in late November 1915 under Lord Derby’s Scheme,

The following have enlisted at the Rugby Drill Hall under the Group system.  A considerable number of the men have enlisted under Reserve B for munition workers. …
Single Men … Barnett, Alfred Henry John, Newbold-on-Avon.[1]

Although no Service Record survives, his Medal Card states that he became a Rifleman, No.236 in the Rifle Brigade, and latterly he served as No.203588 in the 21st Battalion, the Rifle Brigade.

It is assumed that he would have been under training until mid-1916, however the …
… 21st (Midland), … Battalion [of the Rifle Brigade] was formed in accordance with an Army Council Instruction on 29 November 1915.  The Battalions were made up of supernumerary TF [Territorial Force] Companies, formed from National Reservists who were used for guarding vulnerable points in Great Britain.  The Battalions were posted for Garrison duty overseas in 1916.   The 21st went to India via Egypt, …[2]

It seems unlikely that Henry actually went to Egypt and India, as on 28 April 1917, Henry was captured and became a ‘Prisoner of War’ in Germany.  It was some months until the news reached Rugby, and the Rugby Advertiser reported in September,
Lance-Corpl F H Hadfield, K.R.R, of 4 Charlotte Street, and Pte H A J Barnett, R.W.R., of 174 Murray Road, have written home stating that they are prisoners of war in Germany.  The news of Pte Barnett’s capture has only just reached his parents although he was taken prisoner on April 28th. … .[3]

After his period of training it seems likely that Henry had missed going to Egypt and India, but had probably been attached to another Battalion in France.  He would have remained a PoW for the rest of the war.  Whilst it seems he returned home after the Armistice, conditions for prisoners were such that they would have been ill fed, weakened and likely in poor health when released.

His death was confirmed by the Register of Soldiers’ Effects which noted that he died on ‘21-5-19, Illness at Home’ and the death was registered in Rugby in Q2, 1919.  He was aged 49.  His death certificate would probably provide further details of the cause of death.

He was buried in a ‘private grave’ in Plot L.8. at the Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby.  There do not appear to be any reports of his funeral in the Rugby Advertiser.

Henry Alfred John BARNETT was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.  He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates; at the Clifton Road Cemetery; and on the WWI Lawrence Sheriff School Plaque,[4] which reads,
‘In Commemoration of our Brother Laurentians who Fell in The Great War, 1914-1918, Orando Laborando.’  

The Register of Soldier’s Effects noted that his outstanding pay of £37-15-4d, which included his War Gratuity of £26, was paid to his ‘sole Legatee, Jane’ – his mother – on 19 March 1925.  She died soon afterwards; her death was registered in Rugby in Q2, 1920 – she was 79.

It seems that Henry’s elder sister, Harriett, married in 1917 with Ernest Moore; she died aged 80 in Rugby in 1949.  His younger sister, Edith remained single, and was still a ‘seamstress’ in 1939 at 8 Earl Street, Rugby.  She died in St. Luke’s Hospital, Rugby on 28 January 1962 aged 85.



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This article on Henry Alfred John BARNETT was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, October 2018.

[1], transcribed from Rugby Advertiser, 27 November 1915.


[3], transcribed from the Rugby Advertiser, 1 September 1917.

[4]      Information from

Sharman, Percy John. Died 1st Apr 1918

Percy John SHARMAN was born in Rugby in about 1892. He was the son of Sherwin Sharman, who was born in Kings Cross, London in about 1870 and worked as a joiner, and Florence Annie Landon née Branston, Sharman, who was born in Napton on the Hill, Warwickshire, in late 1869 and later lived at Marton. They were married at some date after their last banns were called on 14 June 1891 at Frankton, Warwickshire.

In 1901 the family were living at 25 Queen Street Rugby, and they were still living there in 1911. Percy had attended St. Matthew School, and in 1911 was 19 and an ‘Iron Moulder (learner)’.   His younger brother, Albert Sidney Sharman, who was 18, was a ‘machine hand’ and would later join up as No.19849 in the Gloucestershire Regiment. There are surviving Pension Records for Sidney, who joined up aged 22 years and six months on 12 May 1915, joined the BEF, was wounded in the hand, and survived the war, serving until 1919.

There are no surviving military Service Records for Percy. He joined up as No.S/1289, Rifleman P. J. Sharman in the 11th Battalion of the Rifle Brigade. He would later be promoted to Lance-Corporal. His Medal Card shows that he went to France on 21 July 1915

The 11th (Service) Battalion of the Rifle Brigade was formed at Winchester in September 1914 as part of K2 and came under command of the 59th Brigade in the 20th (Light) Division. They moved to Blackdown, going on in February 1915 to Witley and then in April to Hamilton Camp (Stonehenge). On 21 July 1915 the Battalion landed at Boulogne which is also the date given on Percy’s Medal Card for his arrival in France – so he landed in France with his battalion.

In 1916 he is recorded as a rifleman in the 11th Battalion Roll Book of NCOs and Men, and the Battalion was engaged in various actions on the Western front: the Battle of Guillemont in 1916 and the attacks on Steenbeek, and on Rue Des Vignes in 1917.

On 20 November 1917, after the actions earlier in the Battle of 3rd Ypres, the 11th Battalion were part of the British Third Army which launched an attack towards Cambrai. The method of assault was new, with no preliminary artillery bombardment.   Instead, a large number of tanks were used in significant force. However, having started well, with large gains of ground being made, the German reserves brought the advance to a halt. Ten days later, a German counter-attack regained much of the ground.

On 5 February 1918, the 11th were reinforced by some of the men from the 10th Battalion which had been disbanded near La Clytte. The 11th Battalion was then heavily involved with various actions, in particular, the various defences against Operation Michael.

In the spring of 1918, a German attack had long been predicted and it was finally delivered in the early hours of 21 March 1918. It came after an intense artillery bombardment and the strength of the infantry attack was overwhelming. Within hours, the British Army was undertaking a desperate fighting retreat along a wide front. .[1]

The 20th (Light) Division, which included the 11th Battalion was heavily engaged in the Battle of St Quentin, which was the start of the German assault, Operation Michael. The Germans launched a major offensive against the British Fifth Army, and the right wing of the British Third Army. The artillery bombardment began at 4.40am on 21 March 1918, and hit targets over an area of 150 square miles, the biggest barrage of the entire war. Over 1,100,000 shells were fired in five hours.

The actions of Operation Michael have already been described in some detail.

There is a slight uncertainty as to the actual date of Percy’s death, so it may be that in addition to the Battle of St Quentin, he may have been involved in the subsequent actions at the Somme crossings and the Battle of Rosieres.   Possibly he was wounded and captured and died in German hands.

His exact date of death may have been ‘presumed’. His Medal Card notes ‘Acc as Dead’ i.e. Accepted as Dead. An earlier record on one of the CWGC documents suggests that his date of death was 20 March 1918. It was later recorded by the CWGC as being 1 April 1918. Percy was 26 years old.

By 1 April 1918, the 11th Battalion was pulling out of the front line having suffered very heavy casualties in the various rearguard actions. Percy was not listed as killed or wounded on the extensive lists enclosed with the Battalion War Diary, although the lists may not be complete. He may have been missing or wounded and buried by the Germans. The date of death may signify the date that the 11th pulled back.

Percy was originally buried with [at least] seven others at Map Reference (M.R.): 66D C23c 9-2. These soldiers were later ‘concentrated’ [disinterred, moved and reburied] in September 1919 from that smaller ‘cemetery’ to the Pargny British Cemetery, Somme, France, at M.R. 66D C16c 2-2. Percy’s body was identified by his identity disc/s and he was reburied at Pargny in grave ref: II. E. 17. No additional inscription was added to his memorial by the family.

Pargny is a village about 15 kilometres south of Peronne, which is between Amiens and Saint-Quentin. The British Cemetery is one kilometre south of the village.   The Cemetery was made after the Armistice, by concentrations from the surrounding battlefields and from the Pargny German Cemetery, which was a little way North-East of Pargny Church, and contained the graves of 32 soldiers from the United Kingdom. The majority of the burials in this cemetery are those of officers and men of the 61st (South Midland) and 8th Divisions [and in Percy’s case, the 20th Division], whose resistance at the Somme crossings on 24 March 1918, materially helped to delay the German advance.

Percy John SHARMAN was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and the 1915 Star. He is also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby and on his family’s grave at Plot H171, at the Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby.

In 1919, the Rugby Advertiser noted,
‘St. Matthew’s “Old Boy” Killed, Rifleman P. J. Sharman, Rifle Brigade, whose home was at 25, Queen Street, Rugby, reported missing last year, has now been notified as killed in action in March, 1918.  He was an old pupil of St. Matthew’s Boys’ School, and 27 years of age.’[2]




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This article on Percy John SHARMAN was researched and written for the Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, January 2018.

[1], by ‘John_Hartley’.

[2]      Rugby Advertiser, Friday, 30 May 1919.

Morris, Richard. Died 30th Nov 1917

Richard W MORRIS was born at Newbold in 1894, the son of Richard W Morris (b.c.1862 at Harborough Magna, Warwickshire,) and his wife, Fanny, née Walker, Morris, who had married at St Andrew’s church, Rugby on 7 October 1886, when he was living at 780 Old Station, Rugby, and she was also living in ‘Old Station’.

By 1901, when Richard was 7 years old, the family had moved to live at Newbold and his father was a labourer at a ‘cement works’. By 1911 the family was living at 86 Abbey Street, Rugby.   Richard’s father was now a ‘Blacksmith’s Striker’ at the ‘BTH Works’ and Richard was the fourth of six children aged between 13 and 24, who were all living at home – three of his siblings had died before 1911. Richard was a ‘labourer’ and like his father was also at the ‘BTH Works’.

There are no extant military Service Records, only Richard’s Medal Card which shows that he went into the French ‘theatre of war’ on 16 June 1915. He had joined up as No.Z/258, Rifleman R. Morris in the 11th Battalion [Bn.] of the Rifle Brigade.   However he doesn’t appear to be under that name or number in the December 1915 to January 1916 Roll Book.

The 11th (Service) Battalion of the Rifle Brigade was formed at Winchester in September 1914 as part of K2 and came under command of the 59th Brigade in the 20th (Light) Division. They moved to Blackdown, going on in February 1915 to Witley and then in April to Hamilton Camp (Stonehenge). On 21 July 1915 the Battalion landed at Boulogne which appears to be a month or so after Richard is recorded as having arrived in France – maybe he was initially in another unit.

On 20 November 1917, after having taken part in various actions earlier in the Battle of 3rd Ypres, the 11th Battalion were part of the British Third Army which launched an attack towards Cambrai. The method of assault was new, with no preliminary artillery bombardment. Instead, a large number of tanks were used in significant force. However, having started well, with large gains of ground being made, the German reserves brought the advance to a halt. Ten days later, a counter-attack regained much of the ground.

It was probably during this German counter-attack that Richard Morris was killed in action on 30 November 1917. His Medal Card declares that he was ‘Acc[epted] as Dead’ as his body was either never found or never identified. He is remembered with his fellow Riflemen on Panels 10 and 11 of the Cambrai Memorial which is located an elevated terrace in the Louverval Military Cemetery, Louveral, France, 11 kms north of Arras. The monument commemorates more than 7,000 servicemen from Britain and South Africa who died in the Battle of Cambrai and whose graves are not known.

Richard MORRIS was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and the 1915 Star. He is also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby; on the BTH List of ‘Employees Who Served’; and on the BTH War Memorial.[1]



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This article on Richard MORRIS was researched and written for the Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, October 2017.

[1]       The List is that published in the Rugby Advertiser, 4 November 1921.

Lane, Bertram Charles. Died 13th Oct 1917

An Apology – this article was originally scheduled to be posted on 9 November 2017, but the subsequent discovery of an article in the Rugby Advertiser published today, showed that Bertram Lane died somewhat earlier than originally believed. That article also provided some further information which allowed the biography to be updated before its tardy publication.

= = = =

Bertram Charles LANE was born in Watford in 1892/3, near Rugby, but in Northamptonshire. His birth was registered in Q1, 1893 in Daventry [3b, 113].   He was baptised on 26 February 1893 in Watford. His father was a ‘wagoner’.

He was the third of three sons of William and Fanny, née Collett, Lane, and he also had two younger sisters. His parents were both from Kingham in Oxfordshire and had married in mid 1888, and had moved to Watford before 1889 when their first son was born.   In 1901 they were living in Home Lane, Watford and William was a ‘Timber wagoner’

Bertram’s father died before 1911, when Bertram was with his widowed mother and the family and they were living at 76 Bath Street, Rugby. He was then working as a ‘clerk’ for an ‘electrical engineering company’, probably BTH, as just before the war he was working in the BTH Drawing Office.

A later memorial notice suggested that he joined up ‘… at the beginning of the War, …’[1] This was not clear in the Service Records that survive for Bertram. He enlisted as a Rifleman, No.Z2331 in the Rifle Brigade.

It is not known into which Battalion he was initially posted.   However, the date of 30 April 1915 on one Medal Card, for his Silver War Badge, was probably his last date on ‘Home Service’, as he went to France on 1 May 1915. Three Battalions of the Rifle Brigade all went to France in May, and it seems likely that Bertram was in either the 7th, 8th or 9th Service Battalion which were in the 41st, 41st and 42nd Brigades respectively and all in the 14th (Light) Division.

The 7th, 8th and 9th Service Battalions were all formed in Winchester on 21 August 1914, went to Aldershot, moved elsewhere for training and then back to Winchester. In May 1915 they moved to France and landed at Boulogne. At some date Bertram was promoted to Lance-Corporal.   In 1915 the three Battalions were all involved when the Germans made their gas attack at Hooge, and the 9th Bn. also took part in the Battle of Loos. In 1916, the 7th and 9th Bns., took part in the Battle of Delville Wood (15 July – 3 September 1916), and the Battle of Flers-Courcelette (15 – 22 September 1916), both during the Battle of the Somme – the 8th Bn. was also involved at Flers-Courcelette.

A later article records ‘…On September 11, 1916, he was severely wounded in the head by shrapnel, and after spending a considerable time in a base hospital in France and King George’s Hospital, London, …’.[2]   This suggests that he was wounded during the constant ongoing actions and shelling on the Somme, between the dates of the above two main battles.

He survived, and as confirmed above, would have been evacuated through the casualty clearing system, to a French Base Hospital and then to UK. On 25 April 1917 he was discharged under ‘King’s Regulations Para 392 (xvi) – No longer physically fit for service – Wounds’.   A note on his Medal Card refers to ‘see B E Lane for SWB’ – that was the Silver War Badge which was awarded to injured soldiers who could no longer serve and this avoided the harassment that was received by those men out of uniform that the public thought should be joining up and serving their country.

Bertram Charles Lane was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and the 1915 Star. His War Medal had to be returned for correction as it had been incorrectly stamped. As mentioned, he also held the Silver War Badge as he had been wounded.

Bertram had ‘… enjoyed fairly good health until a fortnight before his death, …’ which occurred on Saturday, 13 October 1917, at St Cross Hospital, Rugby,[3] his death being registered in Q4 1917 [Rugby, 6d, 681]. He was 24, ‘the son of Mrs. Lane, Eardaley House, Bath Street’. He was buried in grave ref: J552 at Clifton Road Cemetery.[4] As he had died later and in UK, it seems that his grave was not marked nor his death listed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, although he probably should have been on the CWGC lists as he was reported to have ‘died as a result of wounds received in action’ and he should perhaps still be included.[5]

A memorial notice in the Rugby Advertiser noted,
LANE.—In ever-loving memory of our dear friend, BERT, who died 13th October, 1917, from wounds received in France.—Nell and Ernie.

Bertram Charles Lane was also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby; on the BTH List of ‘Employees Who Served’; and on the BTH War Memorial.[6]



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This article on Bertram Charles Lane was researched and written for the Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, July 2017.

[1]       Rugby Advertiser, 20 October 1917.

[2]       Rugby Advertiser, 20 October 1917.

[3]       Rugby Advertiser, 20 October 1917.

[4]       From a list of names on the RFHG CD of Monumental Inscriptions and the RFHG website.


[6]       The List is that published in the Rugby Advertiser, 4 November 1921.

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.



Thompson, Leonard. Died 3rd May 1917

Leonard Thompson was born in Rugby around 1898. We have been unable to find a birth registration although six of his seven siblings were registered in Rugby. The eldest, Daisy was born in Penge, Surrey around 1891.

Leonard’s father was Charles Thompson born around 1870 in Maids Moreton, near Buckingham. His mother was Lily (nee Hughes) from Ely in Cambridgeshire. It is not known when and where they married – the 1911 census stated they had been married for 22 years. At that time the family was living at 12 Union Street, Rugby. Charles was a groom with polo ponies and Lily a shopkeeper. Three daughters worked at the Electric Lamp factory and 17 year old Charles jnr. was a groom, perhaps with his father. Leonard (13) and the rest of the children were at school; a later report said that he had attended St Matthews School.

Leonard joined up in June 1915. He was one of 25 men listed in the Rugby Advertiser of 5th of that month as having been recruited. Leonard joined the 9th Bn Rifle Brigade (No. S/12635). It is not known when he arrived in France (his medal roll index card has not been found) but would have fought in many of the battles on the western front in 1916.

At the beginning of May 1917 the Rifle Brigade was preparing to take part in the Battle of Bullecourt, the final phase of the Battle of Arras. A report found in the War Diaries gives the details:

By midnight 2/3.5.17, the Battalion were all formed up in the Assembly Trenches where tea and rum were issued.

At Zero – 10 the first wave left the front Assembly Trenches, and lined up on the tape 250 yards towards and parallel to the objective.

At Zero + 42 minutes the second wave left the front Assembly Trenches.

No report was ever received from the Coys in the first wave, communication to these Coys after daylight being impossible. Eight of these Coy runners became casualties.

The first wave evidently bore too much to the Right, and struck the new Boche trench. This was wired and held by the enemy…

The first wave, with the exception of some moppers up who found an abandoned Boche Machine Gun which they stripped, had passed on in advance of this trench by Zero + 40.

From accounts from survivors the line carried on in spite of heavy casualties from enfilade Machine Gun fire, but few, if any, ever reached the rear of HILL SIDE WORK.

All the Officers of the first wave – total 8 – appear to have become casualties very early in the day, some being wounded several times…

The second wave went over the line and kept their direction, leaving the Wiggle just to their left, then bringing up their right shoulder, thus avoiding the valley which was prohibited as a line of advance.

Owing to it then being lighter, this wave came under Machine Gun fire sooner than the first wave and also came up against Machine Gun positions which had been established after or missed in the dark by the first wave, in addition to enfilade fire from across the valley.

The second wave was finally held up just in front of SPOTTED DOG Trench which was held by the enemy, and dug in in a line of shell holes about 600 to 700 yards in front of APE Trench.

No one, with exception possibly of individuals, actually got into SPOTTED DOG…

Those (in the shell holes) were subjected to a succession of vane bombs and egg bombs, while Machine Guns prevented any movement.

Later orders were received to withdraw but contact was made with only two platoons.

On the night of 4/5.5.17 2/Lt Round who had organised and held a strong point with 12 men, sent back for more bombs. The party was recalled.

During the night of 5/6.5.17, Rf, Atkins got back from a shell-hole where he had been guarding 2 wounded men, one of whom he brought back.

The report continues with a list of “reasons for failure”. There is a carefully typed list of “Casualties by Companies” with percentages. In the first wave, “A” Coy suffered 75%, “B” 53%, “C” 73% and “D” 70%. Of the second wave, the rest of  “D” Coy 48% and “B” 54%

Leonard Thompson would have been amongst these casualties. A short paragraph in the Rugby Advertiser of 16th June 1917 states that he had been missing since May 4th.

His body was never found and his name is listed on the Arras Memorial. He was aged 20.

It appears that Charles Thompson died in late 1915, aged 50. Leonard’s gratuity was paid to his mother Lily.



Note: The man on the Rugby Memorial Gates is listed as L Thompson. There is another man, Levy Thompson, who died on 23rd September 1917. It is not known which of them the inscription is intended to represent. We will be remembering both.




Bradby, Daniel Edward. Died 9th Apr 1917

Daniel Edward Bradby was born in the summer of 1896 in Rugby. The first son of Rugby schoolmaster Henry Christopher Bradby and Violet Alice Bradby (nee Milford). He was baptised at Rugby parish church – St. Andrew’s – on 5 September 1896. Their address being 11 Hillmorton Road.

He had three siblings. Matthew Seymour Bradby, Royal Naval officer (1899 – 11 June 1963), Robert Christopher Bradby, publisher (18 January 1905 – 16 December 1982), Edward Lawrence Bradby, schoolmaster (15 March 1907 – 20 August 1996) and Anne Barbara Bradby (30 July 1912 – 15 October 2001). By April 1899 the family were living at 46 Church Street, Rugby. Before 1911 to after 1918 Henry C Bradby and family lived at ‘School Field’, near the head of Barby Road – a Rugby School property. Edward Henry Bradby – grand-father of Daniel – had been a schoolmaster at the (then) recently formed Haileybury College, Hertfordshire.

Daniel was educated at Rugby Public School. He was in School House, an able cricketer and footballer, he was a member of the Rugby School cricket XX. Also a member of the school’s Officers’ Training Corps. He left a the end of the autumn term, 1914, with a commission in the Army. Rank made up to temporary Lieutenant (from 2nd Lieut.), effective 16 Sept. 1916. Then temporary Captain (from Lieut.), effective 16 Oct. 1916.

As a 20 year old at the date of his death he was a Captain and Battalion Acting Adjutant, leading ‘B’ Company, 9th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade – part of the 42nd Infantry Brigade.

On the 24 March (1917) the Battalion was relieved from the trenches by the 8th Rifle Brigade and moved to Arras for rest. The next move was on 29 March to billets at Fosseux until 4 April when they moved in ‘full marching order’ to the caves at Ronville. Operations against the Germans were then made between the 5th and 11th April. Bradby was killed on the 9th leading part of ‘B’ Company in an attack on position where two machine guns were set. A further attack led by Captain J M Buckley and eight other ranks was successful. Sixty Germans and the two machine guns were captured. Lieut H M Smith and 15 other ranks were wounded. Capt Buckley was awarded the Military Cross for his efforts.

The London Gazette cites
“Temp. Capt. Joseph Michael Buckley, Rif.Bde.
For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He led two companies in the most gallant manner, and was largely responsible for the success of the operations. He gained his objective, capturing sixty prisoners and two machine-guns.”

Bradby was posthumously awarded the Victory Medal and 1915 Star. He is buried at the Tilloy British Cemetery, Tilloy-Les-Mofflaines.

You, whose forebodings have been all fulfilled,
You who have heard the bell, seen the boy stand
Holding the flimsy message in his hand
While through your heart the fiery question thrilled
‘Wounded or killed, which, which?’-and it was ‘Killed-‘
And in a kind of trance have read it, numb
But conscious that the dreaded hour was come,
No dream this dream wherewith your blood was chilled-
Oh brothers in calamity, unknown
Companions in the order of black loss,
Lift up your hearts, for your are not alone,
And let our sombre hosts together bring
Their sorrows to the shadow of the Cross
And learn the fellowship of suffering.

Henry Christopher Bradby – April 1918




Wilkins, Albert E. Died 4th Apr 1917

Albert Edward Wilkins was born 11th May 1898 and baptised 27th July 1898 at The Holy Trinity Church, Oxford, the fifth son to John Henry and Sarah Ann Wilkins. They were living at 50 Friars Street, Oxford at the time of Albert’s baptism, and Albert’s father was working as a labourer. Albert’s parents had married 5th August 1890, at Holy Trinity. His mother’s maiden name was Kempton, and John and Sarah were both living at 1 Dale Street Oxford.   John and Sarah had other sons before Albert: -: –
John born 2nd December 1890, Buried 14th January 1, 2 years old
William born 1st May 1892, Buried 21 January 1893 10 months
Ernest Vincent private baptism 11th September 1894, Buried 29 September 1894, 29 days old
Frederick Baptised 22nd July 1896 Buried 17th December 1896, 6 months old
John and William were being buried 7 days apart.

29th August 1893 daughter Lizzie was born and was baptised 8th October 1893.   Lizzie and Albert and Lizzie both survived infancy and appear on the 1901 census with their mother and father and are living at 26 Bridport Street, St Ebbs, Oxford and their father is working as a general Labourer.

Unfortunately Albert’s mother, Sarah, died March 1903, aged 33 years, and was buried 13th March at Holy Trinity Oxford. Albert would have been 4 years old, and his sister Lizzie 9 years old. Albert then went to live with his grandmother, Fanny Kempton, who had been living nearby the family on the 1891 census. By 1911 Albert is with his grandmother in Rugby.   According to the 1911 census Albert is living at 19 King Edward Road, Rugby, with his grandmother, an uncle, Albert Kempton and a cousin Beatrice Evelyn Tedder. Albert is at school and Beatrice is at a Hosiery Factory.   Albert later worked for the B. T. H. was in the Generator Department. He enlisted in 1914 as reported in the Rugby Advertiser 28th April 1917. Albert was killed in action 4th April 1917.

“News has been received that Bugler A. E. Wilkins, of the Rifle Brigade, was killed on April 4th. Bugler Wilkins at the age of 20 enlisted on September 4th 1914. Prior to the war he was employed in the Generator Department at the B. T. H., and resided with his grandmother, Mrs Kempton, of 19 King Edward Road, Rugby.”

Albert’s Brigade was, probably, at the fighting on the Hindenburg Line in France at the time of his death. There is an error in the Rugby Advertiser notice, it states that he enlisted aged 20 years but that was his age at the time of his death, he would have been 16 years old when he enlisted. When he was killed his father was still living in Oxford at 11 Friars Wharf St Ebbs Oxford. Albert would have been entitled to receive the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. He is buried in France in the Fins New British Cemetery, Sol-Le-Grande , Grave Reference I. AA. 17.


21st Oct 1916. Conscientious Objectors in Warwick Prison


The conditions under which conscientious objectors are accommodated at Warwick Prison were described in a report presented to the Warwickshire Standing Joint Committee at their meeting at Warwick on Monday. The report stated that the men “ will live in the prison, and for the most part work on the premises, though some of them may at a later date be sent to such work as may be arranged outside. They will not be subject in any way to penal discipline ; they will be allowed to leave the prison premises when their work is done, and at other times, with the permission of the agent in charge. If a man absconds, he will not be liable to arrest, but will be reported, with a view to his being recalled to the Army, or, if his prison sentence is unexpired, to be sent back to prison.”


The Chairman informed the Board that he had that day received a telephone message from Mr Michell, stating that the War Office had applied for further accommodation for wounded soldiers to be made in Rugby ; and Mr Steel, in conjunction with Mr Michell, wondered if provision could be made for any accommodation in the Workhouse Infirmary. A small committee had been appointed, consisting of the Chairman of the Board, the Vice-Chairman, Mrs Dewar, Miss McClure, Messrs Steel, C H Rowbottom, F M Burton, Garratt, and Salter ; and they had decided to get on with the work of the Board as quickly as possible, and meet that afternoon with the Guardians approval. The Local Government Board Inspector (Mr Nesbit) would have to be consulted before any arrangement could be made, and the question was whether the committee should have power to act. Personally, he thought, to the point of self-sacrifice, they ought to do everything they could ; and if it was possible, without undue strain upon the officers, he thought they should place the whole of the infirmary at the disposal of the Military Authorities (hear, hear).

It was decided to adopt the committee’s suggestion, and to give them power to act.

Mr Hicken asked if they had one of the Children’s Homes to spare ?- The Chairman said that was a most important suggestion, and it would be considered by the committee.—Mr T Mitchell mentioned that the Small-pox Hospital at Lawford Heath was vacant ; but the Chairman said that was not under the control of the Guardians.



Letters from Mr H N Sporborg, of the B.T.H Co, were read by Mr Wratislaw in answer to the statements made at a previous sitting of the Tribunal that married men were debadged while single employees were retained, and that the debadging was done by the foreman. Mr Sporborg said there was no truth whatever in the statement made by Walter Alderman, a joiner, of 85 Wood Street (whose case had been adjourned), that he was being taken in preference to single men in the building department whose work he could do. In proof of that a list of the single men retained and their occupations was given. That the question of debadging was left to the foreman of the shop was incorrect as regarded Alderman’s case, because he was debadged by the Inspector of the Ministry of Munitions.—Mr Wale : Don’t say any more. The Inspector might have been a tailor.—The Chairman pointed out to Alderman that the letters did not bear out his statement that a lot of single men were kept back. Evidently they were not.—The Military appeal against an exemption was upheld.


Mr John H Sharp, Surveyor to the Rugby Urban Council, appeared in support of an appeal for a further exemption for Arthur Williams, 15 Bennett Street, in charge at the Refuse Destructor. He said he had advertised, but had not been able to replace the man. Mr Wratislaw’s statement that a substitute sent by the Military was told he would be offered 30s a week was declared by Mr Sharp to be absolutely wrong.—Mr Wratislaw produced a postcard as evidence.—Mr Sharp said he saw the man, and made an appointment to meet him at the Destructor, but the man never went near the place.—The Chairman said if a man was so vital they ought to offer more than 30s.

Mr Wale thought such a man should be worth 9d an hour, which was a lot more than 30s a week. It was not a question of wages, but a question of getting a man.—Mr Wratislaw said if a man could get better wages he was not going to work for 30s.—Mr Sharp replied that if a man was satisfied with his wages, that had nothing to do with the case.—Mr Wale was quite certain there were attested men, unfit for military service, who could do this work, and Mr Wratislaw said the Military could send a suitable man.—The Surveyor : Suited to this work ?—Mr Wale : I have to take what the Military send me. I take the goods the gods provide, and don’t grumble.—Final exemption till November 30th was granted.


John Shanks farmer, Cawston, again appealed for his son George (33, single), who had been exempted till August 31st.-Mr Eaden asked for the case to be adjourned sine die, but the Tribunal refused nor would they grant an exemption till January 1st.-Mr Wratislaw : You should have taken the man we sent last August.-Mr Eadon : You sent two or three, but they didn’t like the work.-Mr Wale : Perhaps they didn’t like the wages.—Mr Eaden : The wages were all right.—Mr Eaden informed appellant that under the new Army Order his son would get till 1st of January.—The Chairman : We don’t make it the 1st of January.

Mr Channing associated himself with the appeal of Mrs Colledge, baker and corn dealer, Brandon, on behalf of her son, Sydney George Colledge, 27, single.—The Chairman : We have put him back once.—Mr Channing : If you do to again, I think that will meet the case.—Appeal dismissed, but allowed 28 days.——Francis Buckingham, carter, Combe Fields, asked for further exemption on domestic grounds, and offered to undertake farm work.—Appeal dismissed, but given 14 days.


The Military appealed against the exemption to January 1st granted to Thos Scrawley, fitter, 15 James Street, Rugby, employed by Messrs Foster & Dicksee, for whom Mr Herbert Watson, secretary to the firm, appeared. It was stated that this was the only fitter left.—Mr Wratislaw said Mr J Darby, sen, did nearly all the repairs to the Rugby Fire Brigade appliances, and a blacksmith was also employed by the firm.-Appellant said he did three parts of the Fire Brigade work, but if the Tribunal would give him the chance he would go into munition works.—The Chairman : You have spoilt your own case ; that settles it.—Final exemption till December 31st.

An appeal by the Military against temporary exemption to December 31st granted to Richard Edward Williams (37, married), proprietor of a laundry business in Stephen Street, was dismissed.-Ernest Manners, general dealer, 4 Windmill Lane, agreed to accept December 31st as final, and an order for this date was made.——Thos Arthur Stephenson (29), woollen and rag merchant, Newbold Road, placed in Class C (3), claimed that his work was of national importance, but the Tribunal considered he should do something different, and adjourned the case for 14 days to see what could be arranged.-Exception was taken by the Military to the temporary exemption till January 1st granted to Thos Hubbard Deacon (18), plumber’s apprentice, Newbold-on-Avon, but the Tribunal dismissed the Military appeal.-The appeal of the Military was upheld in the case of George Mascord White (22, single), shoeing and general smith, Dunchurch, to whom temporary exemption was granted till January 1st.-Walter Wm Heap (37, married), builder, Dunchurch, was also given to January 1st, .whilst Chas Wells, School Street, Wolston, a haulier in the employ of Kirby Bros, was allowed till December 1st, with leave to appeal again.—Alfred Webster, farm labourer, Woolscott, was given till January 1st.


Lady members of Albert Street Bible Class and a few friends gave a tea and concert to 44 wounded soldiers at “ Te Hira ” on the 11th inst. It was greatly enjoyed.

Lieut Stanley Hidden, previously of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, has been gazetted Adjutant of the Army Service Corps of the 1st Mounted Division at the Headquarters of the Division.

As a result of the horticultural exhibition held at the Conservative Club recently, the sum of £30 was raised after paying all expenses, and this was equally divided between the Rugby Prisoners of War Fund and Rugby Soldiers Comforts Fund.

Drummer W Newman, of the Rugby Territorials, younger son of Mr C J Newman, Benn Street, has just been invalided to England from France, suffering from a severe attack of rheumatism. He is now in hospital at University College, London.

The parcels sent by the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee to local men in German prison camps this week contained : ¼-lb tea, 1lb sugar, tin Nestles milk, half-cheese, tin sardines, tin rabbit and onions, a blackberry and apple pudding, and 2lbs biscuits. In addition, a warm woollen undervest and pants have been sent to each man.


The Military Medal has been awarded to Rifleman H E Lister, of the Rifle Brigade. The Major-General commanding the Division notifies that he has received a report of the gallant conduct of Rifleman H E Lister on September 4 and 5, 1916, for continuously carrying messages under heavy rifle and shell fire near Guillemont, and he wishes to congratulate him on his fine behaviour. Rifleman Lister is a grandson of Mr H Lister, 105 Clifton Road, Rugby. He was formerly an apprentice in the pattern shop at the B.T.H. He joined up in September, 1914, and was wounded once in the following year.


After being closed for about eight months, Cawston House has been re-opened by Mr C E and Mrs Blyth for the reception of wounded soldiers. An urgent request was received from the authorities on Thursday week, and by Monday everything in the way of equipment and staff was ready, and ten wounded soldiers were brought in during the day.


Mr and Mrs Edwards, of 42 Windsor Street, have received news that their oldest son, Lance-Corpl Edwards, of the London Regiment, was killed in the great fight on September 15th. The first intimation came from a sergeant of another regiment, who, when making a short cut to new lines of trench, came across the body of a young man, who, in company with some others, had been caught by machine gun fire. In the man’s pockets were two photographs of a wife and two children, which had apparently been pierced by a bullet ; also a wallet, &c, all of which the sergeant was able to send to the address written on the photos—that of the deceased’s wife at Rowington, near Warwick, together with a letter full of comfort and sympathy. Lance-Corpl Edwards, who enlisted at the outbreak was a goods guard on the L & N-W Railway, and was 26 years of age. He was discharged on account of physical defects soon afterwards, but was recalled in 1915, and transferred from the K.R.R to a London regiment. He usually carried the photographic in the left pocket of his tunic.


MR & MRS ELKINGTON have received news that their youngest son, Ronald, has been promoted to be sergt in the King’s Royal Rifles. He has also been a recipient of congratulations from Major-General Douglas Smith for gallant conduct and fine behaviour on the night of August 23rd and 24th during the attack on Guillemont. Sergt Elkington, is only 20 years of age, and he has three brothers and two brothers-in-law on active service.


MISSING.—Pte F Linnett, Royal Warwickshire Regt, whose home is at Stretton, is reported as having been missing since September 3rd. He is 26 years of age, unmarried, and has served nine years with the colours. He has not been home on leave for seven years.


Pte Arthur Wilson, of the Royal Inniskillings, has received his discharge, owing to ill-health. He was at the Dardanelles and in Serbia, where last winter he was severely frost bitten. From this he has suffered severely, and it is feared that it will be years before his strength returns.

AN ABSENTEE.—At the Rugby Police Court, on Thursday (before T Hunter, Esq), Pte Arthur Collins, of the R.W.R, 45 New Street, New Bilton, pleaded guilty to being an absentee from his Battalion since October 14th, and was remanded to await an escort.

MURRAY SCHOOL BOYS’ INGENIOUS DEVICE.—Two boys attending the Murray School—Frank James Clarke (13) and Thomas George Mann (12)—have been working on a design for an aircraft shell, and have submitted the drawings to the Coventry Ordnance Company. The officials of the Company have expressed themselves as very interested in the idea, and are considering the details.


EDWARDS.—On September 15th, in France, Albert Victor, the dearly loved eldest son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Edwards, of 42 Windsor Street, Rugby.

EDWARDS.—Killed in action in France on September 15, 1916, Lance-Corpl. A. V. EDWARDS, London Regiment, the dearly loved husband of Bessie R. Edwards.

THORNE.—Officially reported missing since October 13, 1915, now concluded killed, Lance-Corpl. CHARLES THORNE, Leicester Regiment, elder son of George and Kate Thorne, of Lutterworth ; aged 22.

Salmon, John Robert Albert. Died 7th Oct 1916

John Robert Albert Salmon was born 1897 in Rugby Warwickshire and he was baptised on 26th March 1897 at St. Andrew Church Rugby his parents were George Henry Salmon and Harriet nee Smith who were married in Rugby in 1892.

In 1901 UK Census John R A Salmon was age 4 and living Temple Street Rugby with parents and 2 siblings, his father George was a carpenter.

By 1911 UK census his name was written as Robert Salmon aged 14 living 45 Lower Hillmorton Road Rugby with parents and 2 siblings, Reginald age 17 Apprentice Electrical draughtsman at BTH and his sister Edith aged 16 and her occupation was forming electrical lamp filaments at BTH, it also told us his parents had been married for 18 years and that they have had 3 children all alive and they live in 5 rooms. His father George Salmon was a carpenter.

His father George Henry Salmon was born the end of 1867 in New Bilton Rugby he was the son of John R Salmon born 1840 and Sarah nee Loomes who was born 1839 in New Bilton, John R Salmon’s birth was registered as Robert John Albert Salmon in 1840 Q4 Rugby, they married in 1862 in Rugby.

John Robert Salmon “joined up” 7th September 1914 his Short Service Attestation tells us that he was 19 years old, when he was actually 17 years old, his trade was joiners apprentice at Foster & Dicken [Dicksee] Ltd., his regimental number was S1578 in the 12th Battalion Rifle Brigade it also tells us he was 5ft 5.3/8 inches tall and his weight was 116 lbs chest measurement was 34 inches with a range of expansion of 2.1/2 inches his eyes were light blue with dark brown hair he was C of E.

He was posted to France on 21st Jul 1915 and on 4th August 1916 was wounded in action and it is noted that on 15th August 1916 he remained on duty. On 7th October 1916 was missing and was recorded as having died on that date.

Medical record says inoculated October 1914 and in February 1915 he was vaccinated.

15th November 1917 Effects – Form 118A from the War Office in London SW7 gives us details of his personal property as “no effects” to his father Mr George Henry Salmon of 17 Lower Hillmorton Road Rugby. Signed by C Harris Assistant Financial Secretary.

Between 20th -27th March 1919, H Salmon (presumed this to be his mother Harriett Salmon) signed for his 15 Star Medal.

17th February 1921 his father Mr G H Salmon signed for his British War Medal

In Aug 1921 H Salmon (again presumed to be his mother Harriett) signed for his Victory Medal.

John Roberts Military History Sheet gives his next of kin as his mother Harriet Salmon his father’s name George Henry Salmon is crossed out, presumably this was crossed out after his father died in 1930

Army Form W.5080 dated 29 May 1919 Statement of names and addresses of all the relatives of the above named deceased S1578 Rifleman John Robert Salmon, it says not married and didn’t have any children, it gives his fathers name as G H Salmon and his mother as H Salmon it says full blood brother R G Salmon age 25 born 1894 it gives full blood sister as Edith May Salmon age 24 born 1895 all living 17 Lower Hillmorton Road Rugby.

His father George Henry Salmon died 1st July 1930 in Rugby and his probate tells us he was living at 17 Lower Hillmorton Road Rugby his effects of £515.   13s.   11d     he left to William Thomas Kettle grocers manager who was born in 1898 in Rugby. George Henry Salmon is buried in Clifton Road Cemetery Rugby

His mother Harriett Salmon nee Smith born Kilsby on 29 March 1870 and in the 1939 register she was a widow living 17 Hillmorton Road Rugby, Harriett’s death was 15th August 1949 at The Hospital of St. Cross Rugby; her probate shows her effects of   £915.   14s.   4d     she left to her eldest Son Reginald George Salmon engineering draughtsman. Harriett s buried in Clifton Road Cemetery with her husband George Henry Salmon

His brother Reginald George Salmon married Dorothy Ivy Dale in 1922 in Rugby.

His sister Edith May Salmon married Fred Rhodes in 1918 in Rugby. Edith May Rhodes died 18th February 1971 age 76 and is buried with her parents George Henry and Minnie Salmon in Clifton Road Cemetery Rugby.

Rachel Andrews
28th Sep 2016