16th Jun 1917. Doctors and the War – Appeal to the Public

Doctors and The War.

APPEAL TO THE PUBLIC.

THE ARMY needs all the Doctors of military age who can be spared and this district has answered the appeal to best of its ability.

This means that the Doctors who are left must work much harder than usual, and they can only give the medical service that is really necessary if the Public help them.

YOU can help in following ways :-

If your Doctor has regular consulting hours never send for him to come to your house if the patient can go to the Doctor. This saves much time in visiting.

Never go to the Doctor’s house except during his proper surgery hours, except in great urgency.

Always send your messages for visits before he leaves home in the morning, except in urgent and sudden cases of illness.

Never send through the night except in urgent or sudden cases.

SPECIAL REQUEST.

Be loyal to your own Doctor if he is on Service. Tell any Doctor you may go to while he is away that your own Doctor is away on Service. You will then be attended FOR HIM, and when he comes back both you and the Doctor who has been acting for him will have the satisfaction of knowing that you did your duty by him while he was doing his duty by the Country.

Issued by the Central Medical War Committee, 429, Strand, London.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Rifleman Leonard Thompson, Rifle Brigade, whose parents live at 12 Union Street, has been reported missing since May 4th. He was 20 years of age, and was an old St Matthew’s boy. He joined the army two years ago.

Mr and Mrs Boyes, of Railway Terrace, Rugby, have received information that nothing further has been heard of their son, Pte F H Boyes, Royal Berkshire Regt, who was reported missing on July 1st, 1916, and it must be presumed he has been killed. Pte Boyes was a drummer in the 1st Rugby Boys’ Brigade before enlisting in March, 1915, when only 16 years of age. He was in France before attaining his 17th birthday. Another son, Pte F E Boyes, Oxon & Bucks L.I., has been twice wounded ; whilst a third son, Pte W J Boyes, 7th Warwicks, has also served.

The Misses Kathleen and Erica Cooke, daughters of Mr C J B Cooke, of Crewe, and formerly of Rugby, are doing war work in Paris—driving ambulances for the Red Cross.

The following have been reported wounded :- Pte Spooner (O & B), Rugby ; Pte F Burton (R.G.A), Dunchurch ; and Pte F Knight (Oxford & Bucks), Dunchurch, second time.

Mr Bernard Ellis, chairman of the well-known firm of Joseph Ellis & Sons, Ltd, has now received information which leaves little doubt that his second son, who as reported missing on May 20th, was killed in an encounter with German aeroplanes over the German lines He was not yet 19. Mr Bernard Ellis’s eldest son is recovering from very serious wounds received at the front during an attack last April.

BOMBARDIER BOSWORTH AGAIN HONOURED.

Bombardier F Bosworth, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, has been awarded the Medialle Militaire for the same action that gained for him the bar to his Military Medal.

A NEW BILTON MAN ESCAPES from GERMANY

On Saturday morning Mr & Mrs W J Wiltshire, of 18 Victoria Avenue, New Bilton, received the welcome intelligence that their son, Pte W J Wiltshire, of the 1st Wilts Regiment, who was captured by the Germans at the Battle of the Marne, had escaped from Germany, and this was followed up by a telegram on Sunday to the effect that Pte Wiltshire had arrived in England, and was quite well. During the greater part of his imprisonment Pte Wiltshire, who was an old soldier and was called up as a reservist at the beginning the War, was interned in Hanover.

LONG ITCHINGTON.

PRIVATE THOMAS SPRAGGETT, Royal Warwicks, returned from the front for a short furlough. He has been in France since 22nd October, 1915, and has seen much fighting. On Saturday last he was married at Leamington to Miss F M Smith, of Emscote. The happy couple are spending their short honeymoon among their friends. Pte Spraggett is the son of Mr and Mrs Thos Spraggett of this village.

RUGBY PRISONERS OF WAR FUND.
FLAG DAY RESULT.

The total sum raised as a result of the special effort for local prisoners of war on Saturday, June 2nd, was £752 9s 3d, and a number of donations have been promised, but have not yet been received. This sum does not include the proceeds of the prize competition which has been organised on behalf of the fund by the Rugby Trades and Labour Council, and which is expected to produce a very handsome addition. The donations amounted to £512 5s 2d, and the sale of flags to £138 9s 2d in Rugby and £101 11s 11d the country.

SALVATION ARMY WAR FLAG DAY.—A Tommy has said : “ You cannot get away from the Salvation Army in France,” and such was the case last Saturday in Rugby, when helpers of the Salvation Army were very energetic in collecting for the war work of that denomination, which includes refreshment and recreation huts, hostels, and naval and military homes[?], motor ambulance, food parcels and clothing for prisoners of war, etc. Nearly 10,000 flags were sold, and the proceeds amounted to £51. The work was organised by Commandant J Walker. During the afternoon the Senior and Junior Bands paraded the town and collected £8. Those who collected were : Mr and Mrs Burton, Messrs Robert Neale, Arthur Reade, and =Robbins ; Misses Phyllis Dodd, Edith Giddens, Kate Mays, Ada Wild, Rosina Allen, Doris Fiddler, Mary Linley, Elsie Clifton, Esther Keen, F and M Robotham, and L Kirtland. Mrs Handford and family collected in Lutterworth, and Mrs Paget in Bourton.

A BEER FAMINE exists in many parts of Warwickshire, especially the country districts. Some houses have been temporarily closed because of the uncertainty of obtaining supplies, and it a common thing to see in the window of a public-house “ No draught beer on sale.”

THE WEATHER & THE CROPS.

The present spell of dry weather has given ample opportunity for the destruction of the heavy crop of weeds, both on the farm and in the gardens. Quite a number of women have been employed in terminating the unusual growth of thistles, &c, among the corn. A few copious showers would now be very acceptable. The rain is especially needful for the planting in the garden and as a refresher for early peas. The growth of the potatoes exhibits, as a rule, great irregularity, but in a few cases may be seen of exceptional promise. Wheat has decidedly improved lately and oats and barley look well. Beans too, will probably turn out better than was at one time expected. There is a good-show of grass, and hay-making will, doubtless, soon be in full swing.

RUGBY MEAT TRADE.

The London Central Meat Company asked for a renewal of exemption for their local manager, George Robinson, 40, married, B1, 142 Murray Road. Lieut Wratislaw explained that in view of the Tribunal’s contention that there should be no preferential treatment in the foreign meat trade the representatives of the three foreign meat companies held a conference with the Advisory Committee, and one of the firms offered to send a man to this shop, which could be managed by a female, to cut up the meat, but this offer was refused by the company. The firm’s representative explained that prior to the War there were 13 foreign meat shops in the town, but now there were only four, and three of these were selling English meat. The Central Meat Company was the only shop selling solely foreign meat. At the meeting with the Advisory Committee they pointed out that the scheme suggested was unworkable because all the meal arrived at the same time, and when the man was required by the Central Meat Company he would be busy at his own shop. The firm who made the offer had since agreed that the scheme could not be worked.—In reply to the Chairman, Lieut Wratislaw said he did not think any English butchers in the town had had to close down. The Chairman expressed the opinion that some re-adjustment was necessary in the meat trade. The present plan was absolutely restricting competition and in view of the facts elucidated, the Tribunal did not think it was the public interest that the man should taken into the Army. Three months’ conditional exemption.

AIR RAID ON LONDON.

A raid made by 15 aeroplanes on London on Wednesday resulted in 104 persons being killed and upwards of 400 injured. Ten children were killed and 50 injured in a school in the East-end, upon which a bomb fell. As far as is known only one enemy aeroplane brought down.

DEATHS.

CANHAM.—On May 28th, while on duty as a signaller, after only one week in France, ARCHIBALD, the second son of Mrs. Canham, Hillmorton, and dearly-beloved husband of Laura Canham, late of 19 Benn Street, Rugby, aged 36 years.

HIPWELL.-Died from wounds June 7th, “somewhere in France,” Gunner EDWARD WALLACE HIPWELL, second son of George Hipwell, Clifton-on-Dunsmore (late of Brinklow Station), aged 25 years.

IN MEMORIAM.

HANCOX.-In affectionate remembrance of our dear and only son and brother, CHARLES HANCOX, who died of wounds at Stationary Hospital, St. Omar, France, June 20th, 1915.
“ Somewhere in France ” there is a nameless grave,
Where sleeps our loved one among the brave,
One of the rank and file-he heard the call,
And for the land he loved he gave his all.
—From his sorrowing Mother, Father, and Sisters.

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27th Nov 1915. Local War Notes

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Earl Poulett is gazetted a temporal captain in the Warwickshire R.H.A (T.F).

Mr Harold Eaden, solicitor, Rugby, has enlisted in his group under Lord Derby’s scheme.

Armourer-Staff-Sergeant F H Dodson, 7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, writing to Mr T A Wise from the front, says : “ The other day there were three of us together out here, and the sum total of our years’ service was 100 years.”

Lance-Corpl N H Priday and Pte F Foss, of the 1/7 Royal Warwickshire Regiment, have been nominated to commissions, the former in the West Yorks (the Prince of Wales’ Own) and the latter in the East Yorks Regiment.

Mr W J Penn, son of Mr W Penn, farmer, of Wootton, has been gazetted second-lieutenant in the 12th Battalion Welsh Regiment, Nov 3rd. He is an old Northampton and County School boy , and of St John’s College, London. He has been Headmaster and Scoutmaster of Norton, near Daventry.

Sergt W C D Miles, son of Mr and Mrs Miles, of Catthorpe, has received a commission in the Westminster Dragoons. He is son-in-law to Mr and Mrs T C Thompson, of Murray Road, Rugby, and was a draughtsman on the Willesdon staff of the B.T.H Company when he enlisted, soon after war broke out. Previous to this, Lieut Miles was in the Drawing Office at the B.T.H at Rugby.

“ BUCK THE SLACKERS UP!”

Bandsman B Wilkins, of the Rifle Brigade, writing to a friend in Rugby on November 17th, says : “ I have seen the Rugby papers this week and I see the recruiting is getting better. That is what I like to see. England will need all she has got, so just buck the slackers up, and tell them the more men we can get, the better and easier they are making it for their comrades who are doing their bit out here. Nobody knows what Tommy’s troubles are till he gets out here and tries a bit ; so you see, the sooner we can get the men, the sooner we shall try and bring these terrible times to an end. Now, buck up, Rugby, and try and win back the men you have lost.”

PTE H DYER, OF DUNSMORE, KILLED.

News has been received at Dunsmore that Pte Henry E Dyer, who left his employment in the gardens at Dunsmore House to enlist in the 10th R.W.R last December, has died in Reading Hospital from wounds received at the Front. Pte Dyer, who was a native of Gloucestershire, and was 24 years of age, was wounded in the head and groin by a bomb while in a trench in France on September 6th, and succumbed to his injuries ten days afterwards. He had been at the front about two months when he received his fatal injuries. Pte Dyer had worked at Dunsmore Gardens for nearly a year before enlisting.

MURRAY SCHOOL NOTES.

Pte A S Horswell, a former member of the Murray School Staff, writing to Mr W T Coles Hodges from a “ dug out ” in the Mediterranean theatre,says : “We landed on August 9th, just three weeks after leaving England, and proceeded straight to the firing line under shrapnel fire, We saw life for four days. Talk about snipers ! They were up in the trees, absolutely surrounding us ; they were the chief cause of the casualties. Fortunately they were more or less indifferent shots, otherwise we should have come off worse than we did. Since then we have had various trips to the firing line, interspersed with spasms of “ fatigue ” work, unloading lighters, filling water-cans for the firing line, and digging. We see some glorious sunsets out here at times ; also some very fine play of light on various islands. I myself never believed the deep blue sea theory till we came out hero. In the Mediterranean you get a lovely ultra-marine in the day, which gradually darkens to deep indigo in the evening.”

Pte H F Baker, R.A.M.C, has been invalided home from the Dardanelles, and is now in hospital at Brighton. Amongst other things in a very interesting letter to his old headmaster, Mr Hodges, he describes the passing of the Rock of Gibraltar on the way home, and says : “ The top of the rock was hid from view by great white clouds. The peaks on the mainland were gilded under the sun’s rays, making a fine contrast.” He mentions that he met Arthur Webb, Lower Hillmorton Road, at Mudros, and adds that he looked very well.

Two members of the Murray School Staff have enlisted-Mr J H Fazakerley in the R.A.M.C, under Lord Derby’s scheme, and Mr A L Westbury in the R.E at Chatham, to which place he proceeded on Tuesday last.

LETTER FROM OLD ST MATTHEW’S BOY.

WHY SO MANY MEN ARE MISSING.

Lance-Corpl Harold Thompson, 6th Oxford & Bucks L.I., well-known in Rugby for his swimming prowess, an “ Old Boy” of St Matthew’s, writes to Mr R H Myers, the headmaster :—

“ We had the heaviest shelling from the Germans last week, but luckily our casualty list was all right, although the parapets were badly knocked about in places. We were just over a hundred yards from the German lines, so you can imagine that we were not over-anxious to look over the top during the day, for their snipers are very hot shots. It is very quiet all along our front now, and one would hardly think that a big engagement had taken place so recently as Sept 25th. The only remaining indications of a fight are the dead bodies between the lines, and these have to stop there, as it is so dangerous to go out to find the names, and that is what makes the missing list so great. We have sent out patrols nearly every night to find out any details about the bodies, but it is very difficult work and not very pleasant. One fellow went out and, losing his way, nearly walked into the German lines. They opened fire on him, but he happened to drop into a shell hole, and there he had to stop until the early hours of the morning, when the firing dropped off.

We happened to be in the firing on September 25th, and quite expected to go over the top, but our luck was out, and we had to cool our heels and wait, in case the Huns counter-attacked, but we were also disappointed in that. The bombardment previous to the attack was terrible. We could only see the German lines for five minutes after the guns started, but in that short time we could gather some idea of the destruction our guns were causing. About an hour before the attack started, it began to rain, and when the first soldier went over the parapet the ground was like a bog, but that did not prevent our fellows from charging impetuously. Since then it has developed into an artillery duel again. The French are still bombarding very heavily, and at night the sky is lit up all the time by the clash of the guns.

It is awful to see all the towns and villages destroyed as we move about to different parts of the line. The Huns seem to make a special mark of churches, and these is hardly a church round here that has not been damaged. The trenches are in a pretty bad condition. In places the mud and water are waist-deep. . . Please remember all the St Matthew’s “ Old Boy ” here to the teachers and pupils of the School.”

DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL.

Sergt Vernon S Robinson, of the 2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment, has been awarded the “ for conspicuous gallantry on the 25th September, 1915, near Vermelles. when he advanced by a communication trench leading from a trench just captured to one held by the enemy, with bombs, thus making certain that the trench was dear before is was blocked. On the 27th September he crossed several hundred yards of open country under heavy rifle fire and machine-gun fire to fetch bombs, which were urgently needed, and succeeded in bringing them to the point where they were required. In doing this Sergeant Robinson’s rifle, owing to the heavy fire, was smashed and rendered useless.”

Sergt Robinson, who is only 20 years of age, is a grandson of Mrs Robinson, 50 Manor Road, Rugby, and nephew of Mrs Lewis, 74 Manor Road. He came to Rugby six years ago, and was employed as an engine cleaner on the L & N.W.R. He was in the Special Reserve of the Royal Warwicks, and was undergoing his annual training in the Isle of Wight when the war broke out. He transferred to the Wiltshires, and went out to France in May last. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on the field, and has also received the French Military Medal.

THE ARMY’S WINTER KIT.

WARMER CLOTHES FOR THE KILTED TROOPS.

The coming of winter has found the War Office Department whose duty it is to clothe the Army fully prepared with supplies of warm clothing for the protection of the troops against the rigours of winter warfare. The following is a list of the apparel provided by the military authorities for each soldier at the front :-

Winter service cap.
Waterproof cover for cap.
Cap comforter.
Body belt.
Woollen vest and drawers.
Shirt.
Cardigan waistcoat.
Tunic and trousers.
Fur or leather (flannel lined) jacket.
Great-coat.
Waterproof cape.
Fingerless gloves.
Woollen gloves.
Socks, puttees, and boots.

In addition, gum boots reaching to the top of the thigh are provided for men actually in the trenches. The special needs of the kilted regiments have not been overlooked, and auxiliary warm clothing is provided for them.

The authorized scale of equipment, we are informed, allows two shirts and four pairs of socks for each man. From time to time complaints reach this country that men in this or that battalion are in want of socks and shirts ; and appeals for these articles or money for purchasing them are advertised. It is stated on good authority that there is no real necessity for such appeals, as ample Government supplies are available to meet all demands made through the proper channels. Mufflers and mittens, however, are not a “ Government supply,” and the making, purchase, and collection of them is a field in which the generosity and industry of the public will be warmly welcomed.

RUGBY TERRITORIALS COMFORTS’ COMMITTEE.

DEAR SIR,—May I make a final appeal before Christmas for donations, and gifts of socks, mufflers, mittens, groceries, plum puddings, etc, for our local Territorials, appealing especially to the subscribers and old members of the Rugby E Company, 7th Warwicks

We have received very generous contributions from supporters of the Howitzer Brigade, but very few from supporters of E Company.

The weather in France is now very bad and the cold intense, in addition to which men have to walk or stand about in 18 inches of mud and water ; this is confirmed by a commanding officer on leave this week.

We hope to send every man from Rugby a Christmas parcel of groceries, etc, and a warm Christmas present, but this cannot be done without better support from the friends of the units.

If every subscriber and old member of each unit would help, we could do much to help our gallant Territorials spend a happy Christmas.—Yours faithfully.

A. W. ADNITT.

2 Regent St, Rugby.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Recruiting has not been quite so good at Rugby during the past week, either for immediate service or under Lord Derby’s Group Scheme [See next post]. The following have enlisted for immediate service with the Colours :—

KING’S ROYAL RIFLES.
H G King, 34 Campbell Street, New Bilton.
A Widdows, Heythorp, Oxon.
John Papworth, Clifton-on-Dunsmore.
A H Harwood, 24 Gas Street, Rugby.

ROYAL WARWICK REGIMENT.
T W Barrett, High Street, Hillmorton.
G Clarke, 42 Bath Street, Rugby.
W H Benjamin, Rowland Street, Rugby.
T Whiteman, 16 Winfield Street, Rugby.
Frank Boswell, Brook Street, Fenny Compton.
Geo Bradshaw, Hillmorton Wharf, Rugby.
W T Jeffs, Smith’s Lodging House, Gas St, Rugby.

3rd/7th WARWICKSHIRE REGT.
T Greasley, 108 Wood Street, Rugby.
H Moore, 47 Sandown Road, Rugby.

COLDSTREAM GUARDS.
A E Randall, 58 Manor Road, Rugby.

ROYAL ENGINEERS.
S Reader, Barrack Hill, Ravensthorpe, Northants.
S L Webb, Lawrence Sheriffe Cottages, Brownsover.

R.F.A.
Harry Hobley, Stretton-under-Fosse, Rugby.

NORTHANTS REGIMENT.
W T Cox, Ashby St Ledgers, Northants.

OXON & BUCK L.I.
G Spittle, Thurlaston, Rugby.

A. S. Corps.
John Robertson, 73 Heavy Tree Rd, Plumstead.
Geo Atkins, 70 Church End, Evers Holt, Woburn, Beds.

GRENADIER GUARDS.
P Gibbins, Willoughby, Rugby.

ARGYLE & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS.
J Gurden, 22 Sandown Road, Rugby.

DRIVER, R.E.
E Brown, Melton Mowbray.

LIVERPOOL REGIMENT.
J Wilson, 68 Nelson Road, Paisley.

Robinson, Kenneth Bradshaw. Died 29th Sep 1915

Kenneth Bradshaw Robinson was born on 13 December 1890, and the birth was registered in early 1891 in Walsall, Staffordshire.   He was just four months old on 5 April 1891 for the census. His parents were enumerated as ‘Berry’, actually Benjamin, Robinson, a gardener, born in about 1855 at Calthorpe, Leicestershire, and his wife, Emily née Hirons (1858-1926) from Thurleston, Warwickshire. He had a sister, some five years his senior, Ethel C. Robinson, b.c.1886.

In 1891 the family were living in Wolston, Warwickshire and he was educated at schools in both Dunchurch and Rugby.

In 1911 he was still single, aged 20 and living at 23 Stephen Street, Rugby with his parents. He was then working as a ‘Turner’ at the Cellenloid Works, however, at some date between 1911 and 1914 when he enlisted, he started working for J. Parnell and Son, the well known Rugby builders and would later be listed on their ‘Roll of Honour’ – a list of employees who served in WWI (see below).

His Medal Card provides some details of his military service, but there are no more detailed Service or Pension records. Fortunately, De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour provided considerable additional details which are collated below,[1]

Kenneth Robinson enlisted early in the war in August 1914 and was a Gunner, No.10362 in the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery [RFA]. He embarked for the ‘(3) Egypt’ Theatre of War on 14 July 1915, and in August 1915 would have landed in Gallipoli.

The eight month campaign in Gallipoli was an attempt to force Turkey out of the war, to relieve the deadlock of the Western Front, and to open a supply route to Russia. The Allies had landed on 25-26 April 1915 at Cape Helles, and north of Gaba Tepe, an area soon known as Anzac.

On 6 August, further troops were put ashore at Suvla, just north of Anzac, and this was probably when Kenneth Robinson would have landed. The aim of the Suvla force had been to secure the high ground around the bay and salt lake, but confusion, indecision and delays allowed the Turks to reinforce and only a few of the objectives were taken.

Kenneth was in action on Chocolate Hill, an area of raised ground at the eastern end of the Salt Lake, which had been captured on 7 August 1915, but once taken, no further advance was then made. He was wounded at about 4pm on 29 September 1915 on Chocolate Hill when a high explosive shell, burst in the gun emplacement, and a fragment hit him in the abdomen. He ‘passed away quite peacefully’ from his wounds at about 6.30pm the same day. He was buried by a tree on the west slope of Chocolate Hill.

The full text of the entry in De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour
ROBINSON, KENNETH BRADSHAW, Gunner, No. 10362, A Battery, 59th Brigade, R.F.A., only son. of Benjamin Robinson, of 23, Stephen Street, Rugby, co. Warwick, by his wife, Emily; b. Walsall, co. Stafford, 18 Dec. 1890; educ. Dunchurch and Rugby; was employed at Parnell & Son’s, Builders, Rugby; enlisted in Aug. 1914, after the outbreak of war; went to Gallipoli in Aug. 1915, and died there 29 Sept. following, from wounds received in action at Chocolate Hill the same day. An officer wrote: ‘He was wounded yesterday about 4 p.m. by a high-explosive shell, which burst in the gun emplacement, and a fragment hit him in the abdomen. He passed away quite peacefully about 6.30 p.m. We buried him by a tree on the west slope of Chocolate Hill.   The service was conducted by the Army Chaplain of the 31st Infantry Brigade. Most of the men, in fact all that could be spared, attended, as he was a great favourite with us all and a brave man,’ and a comrade: ‘The whole battery feel the loss very much; he was very popular, a dear kind friend and a’ brave, noble soul.’

The CWGC entry stated that … ‘He was a member of ‘A’ Battery 59th Brigade Royal Field Artillery. He died of wounds on 29 September 1915 and was buried in the Green Hill Cemetery, Suvla, in Turkey’. Green Hill, where the present cemetery is located and Chocolate Hill, where Kenneth died and was originally buried, are adjoining areas of raised ground which rise from the eastern shore of the Salt Lake. The cemetery lies on the east side of the Anzac-Suvla Road.

The Green Hill Cemetery was made after the Armistice when isolated graves were brought in from the battlefields of August 1915 and from small burial grounds in the area. These earlier burial grounds included Chocolate Hill.   The records show that whilst Kenneth’s grave is thought to have been moved and relocated in the Green Hill Cemetery, its actual identity is unknown. He is commemorated on a ‘Special Memorial H.12’, with three other soldiers who were ‘… believed to be buried in this cemetery but whose graves have not been identified’.

Robinson - grave believed etc 3 crop

 

In Rugby he is commemorated on a pillar of the Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby.   He is also recorded on the Parnell ‘Roll of Honour’[2] as being killed and being in the RFA – the Royal Field Artillery.

Parnell WWI

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

 

[1]       De Ruvigny, Roll of Honour, 1914-1919, vol.2, p.264.

[2]       The Roll of Honour is held at the Warwick Modern Records Centre and reproduced with their permission.