1st Dec 1917. Presentation to a Howitzer Man

PRESENTATION TO A HOWITZER MAN.

On the occasion of the presentation of medals at Chatham on the 25th inst, Bombardier F A Bosworth R.F.A, was the recipient of medals. The presentation was made by Colonel H R Adair, Commander Royal Artillery, Thames and Medway Garrison, who said : “ The Royal Artillery has no colours. Our colours are the proud traditions of our Regiment, to which we cling, and around which we rally, just as other Corps have rallied round their Banners. It is men like Bombardier Bosworth who not only preserve these traditions, but, who, by their deeds, actually add to and enoble them. I am proud to stand here to-day representing His Majesty the King, who, you will remember is our Colonel-in-Chief, to present to Bombardier Bosworth, on his behalf, two medals, which he has gained by his own brave hands. They are the Military Medal of England and the Military Medal of France.”

“ The records of the deeds for which he has won these read as follows:- Military Medal of England: “Repairing telephone lines and bringing in wounded under heavy shellfire.” Bar to Military Medal of England and Military Medal of France: “Maintaining communications under heavy shell fire.”

“ These medals are a proud possession for himself and splendid heirlooms for his kindred to possess. On behalf of our Country, our Ally of France, our Regiment and its Colonel-In-Chief our King. I shake hands with Bombardier Bosworth and wish him health and happiness and long life the to wear his noble distinctions.”

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Capt E Wood, Manchester Regiment, son of Mr T T Wood, The Laurels, Park Road, has been awarded the Military Cross.

Pte W Wilks, Cameron Highlanders, an old Murrayian, has been wounded by shrapnel a second time, near Ypres, and has undergone three operations. He is now in a Military Hospital near Norwich.

The many friends of Mr A Clarke, Spencer House, Crick, will be glad to hear that his eldest son, who was serving in France with the 1st Gordon Highlanders, has been promoted to Captain.

Lord Leigh is gazetted Colonel of the Warwickshire Volunteer Regiment.

Lieut R W Friend, son of Mr R Friend, of Rugby, who has been serving in Salonika for about two years in the A.S.C, has been promoted to Captain and Adjutant. He was educated at Rugby School, and passed through Sandhurst. After leaving school he was a prominent player of both the Rugby Cricket and Football Clubs.

Gunner Harold Richard Hazlewood, R.F.A, second son of Mr & Mrs Hazlewood, Weedon, has been killed in action. In a sympathetic letter the Chaplain said :—“ He died a soldier’s death at the gun.” The deceased who was 21 years of age, was educated at Weedon Boys’ School, and afterwards at the Town and County School, Northampton. On leaving school he was articled to Mr W J Pearce, auctioneer, Northampton, and joined up in January, 1915, proceeding to France in January, 1916. He was in the Somme push, the Battles of the Vimy Ridge, Beaumont Hamel, &c ; was wounded in March, 1917, and had been recently recommended for his commission on account of meritorious service.

RUGBY PRISONERS OF WAR COMMITTEE.

At the monthly meeting of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee on Monday evening at the Benn Buildings, the Hon Secretary, Mr J Reginald Barker, reported that during the past month there had been further charges on the funds of the Committee. An additional prisoner of war had been added to the list—Pte T Bachelor, 5th Royal Berkshire Regt, of Napton, who is interned at Mulheim A/Ruhr. A lady had offered to pay for this man’s food parcels, and the Committee would only have to be responsible for the 26lbs of bread per month. Pte J Pescow, 1st Northants Regt, of Clifton, interned at Konigsmoor bei Tolstedt, who had been on the Rugby list for over two years, but who had been fully “ adopted,” had again become a charge to the Committee, as the guarantee on his behalf were only now 22/6 per month, the Committee, therefore having to provide a difference of 33/- per month. Mr Barker further reported that the subscriptions and donations received during November would cover the cost of the month’s standard parcels and bread.

The Chairman, Mr William Flint, C.C, said that this was indeed satisfactory, especially in view of the many other efforts, and showed there was no lack of support for the prisoners of war. He trusted that this excellent result would continue.

With regard to Christmas dinner table collection for the fund, Mr Barker said he had nearly completed the arrangements.

The scheme involved an immense amount of work, but many ladies had offered their services as helpers, and if a few more would assist every house in the town would have its appointed collector.

The response from the villages was excellent, and there only remained a few districts to fix up. He estimated that between 9,000 and 10,000 houses would be canvassed in the town and villages.

CHRISTMAS PARCELS FOR PRISONERS OF WAR

The Postmaster-General announces that the German authorities have decided not to admit parcels for prisoners of war in Germany between the 12th and 22nd of December next. Parcels intended for delivery to prisoners of war in Germany for Austo-Hungary by Christmas Day should, therefore, be posted without delay. In accordance with the arrangements made last year parcels reaching the camps in Germany before Christmas will be delivered not earlier than 24th December if they are prominently marked “ Weihnachtspaket.”

AID FOR ALIEN ENEMIES,

The fifth report of the Emergency Committee for the assistance of Germans, Austrians, and Hungarians in Distress has just been issued. The committee was convened in the early days of the war by the Religious Society of Friends, “ to aid innocent ‘ alien enemies ‘ in Great Britain rendered destitute by the war.”

The list of subscriptions from July 1, 1916 to June 30, 1917, totals £13,226 7s 6d. There are 74 amounts, ranging from £60 to one shilling under the heading of “ Anon,” and other subscribers include Messrs Cadbury Bros, £200 ; Mr J B Crosfield £100 ; eight members of the Fry family, and three Rowntrees.

Viscount Haldane sends £25, and the two largest subscribers are F Merttens and Edith M Ellis, and who send £500 each. The report states that in London alone more than 5,000 cases of need have been dealt with.

DR TANGYE’S MILITARY SERVICE.—At the meeting of the Mid-Warwickshire Joints Sanitary Committee on Thursday last week, presided over by Mr P E Shepheard, it was resolved, on the motion of Mr H Hulme, seconded by Mr Lloyd Evans, that the release of Dr C E Tangye for military service extended be extended for the period of the War on the same conditions that were agreed when he was released for a year’s service. Dr Tangye is in Aldershot Command, and is responsible for the sanitation of three large military camps, but may be called upon for foreign service at any time.

POLICE COURT.—At Rugby Police Court on Thursday, before Mr A E Donkin, Pte Fredk Curtis, of the Canadian Forestry Corps, was charged with being an absentee.—P.S Tromans deposed that on the previous evening he saw defendant in the Railway Hotel. He suspected him of being an absentee, and he called him outside and asked to see his pass. Defendant would not produce this, and admitted that he was an absentee. Remanded to await an escort.

ACORNS FOR STOCK.

The Food Production Department again drawn the attention of stockowners to the necessity of making full use of this year’s crop of acorns. In places where these are still lying on the ground collecting parties of children and others should be organized without delay. Landowners are urged to put no unreasonable obstacles in the way.

DEATHS.

BARNWELL.—In loving memory of my dear son, Pte. H. BARNWELL, 2/7 Royal Warwickshire Regiment (of Bilton), who died from wounds received in action in France on November 19, 1917 ; aged 27 years.—From his loving Mother, Brothers, and Sisters.

ROUND.—In loving memory of our dear son, Pte. W. A. Round, who died of wounds in Egypt on November 14, 1917.
“ When we last we saw his smiling face,
He looked so strong and brave ;
We little thought how soon he would be
Laid in a soldier’s grave.
He bravely answered duty’s call,
He bravely fought and fell ;
He did his best for one and all
And those who loved him well.”
—From his loving Father and Mother.

ROUND.—In loving memory of our dear brother, Pte. W. A. ROUND, who died of wounds in Egypt on November 14, 1917.
“ In health and strength he left his home,
Not thinking death so near ;
It pleased the Lord to bid him come,
And in His sights appear.”
—From his loving Sisters and brother Fred.

IN MEMORIAM.

DODD..—In memory of Coy.-Sergt-Major DODD, R.W. Regiment, killed in France on December 2, 1915.—Sadly missed, Bill.

EDMANS.—In loving memory of our dear son, FRANK, who was killed on H.M.S. Bulwark on November 26, 1914.—“ Three years have passed, how much we miss him.”—From Father & Mother, Brothers & Sisters.

EVERSDEN.—On November 12, WILLIAM, youngest son of Joseph Eversden, of Withybrook, who died of wounds in France ; aged 33 years.
“ For days and nights he bore great pain.
We hoped for cure, but hoped in vain.
God saw it, too, and thought it best
To take him to His Home of Rest.”
—From his loving Father, Sister and Brothers.

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Meaddows, Albert Edward Sharp. Died 14th Oct 1917

Albert Edward Sharp Meddows was born in the third quarter of 1889 and was baptised 1st November 1889 at St. Botolph’s Church, Newbold-on-Avon, Warwickshire. He was the first child of William Henry and Mary Ann Meddows. His father’s occupation is put as a Carman. The small family appears on the 1891 census and their address is Old Wood Yard, Newbold on Avon, Rugby William Henry is a Carrier and Post Office Worker. By the time of the 1901 census the family has grown with the addition of five more children, Percy Samuel, Horace Charles, Elsie Mary, Harold Thomas and finally in 1900 William Henry. Their address is Grocers Shop, Newbold Village, Newbold on Avon, Rugby, Warwickshire, and William is down as a Postmaster Grocer, working on his own account, Mary Ann is Post Mistress and the children are all at school.

In 1903 Mary Ann died, and was buried 12th March 1903 in St. Botolph’s churchyard Newbold on Avon leaving children aged from 2 to 13 years of age. 1911 census gives William as a widower, with Percy assisting his father in his business. Horace and his sister, Elsie, are wheeling daub to the drying shed at the cement works. Albert is not with the family, he is living at Ashton Hayes, Near Chester. On the census paper the first name Albert is slightly smudged and you can only see the “lbert” Edward Sharp Meddows born Newbold- on-Avon, Warwickshire. He is working as a Stableman/Groom and is 21 years old.

William Henry the father died 2nd February 1915 aged 52 years, leaving a will; probate was granted to John Martin the elder, farmer 23rd February, Effects £327 16s 6d.

Albert E. S. Meddows married Constance Foster in Richmond, Surrey in 1914. Two children were born, Albert V. Meddows 1914 and Edward Meddows 1916 registered in Richmond, Surrey, mother’s maiden name Foster. Albert enlisted at Bristol in 1914 giving his place of residence Mortlake, Surrey.

Albert served with The Army Service Corps, Royal Engineers and the Royal Field Artillery

Albert has service numbers R40/87534, 202420 and number313019. At the time of his death Albert was a sapper with 5th HQ Signal Company attached to the 34th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery. He is buried in Bard Cottage Cemetery, Ypres (Ieper), Arrondissement Ieper, West Flanders (West-Vlaanderen) Belgium.

Grave Reference: Plot: V. A. 46.

He was awarded the Victory Medal and British War Medal. His name is on both the Rugby Memorial Gates Hillmorton Road and on the Newbold War Memorial at St. Botolph’s Church Newbold on Avon

Albert’s two younger brothers Horace and Harold both served in WW1.

Harold Thomas was baptised at St Botolph’s 28th May 1898, and he also served in the war with the Royal Warwickshire Regt., Service Number 21114. He enlisted 10th August 1916 and was discharged 4th December 1917 due to sickness and received the Silver War Badge 22nd January 1918.   The Silver War Badge was given to men discharged from active service, due to wounds or illness. Harold died 26th March 1919 aged 20 years, and was buried in Clifton Road Cemetery Rugby. He has a Commonwealth War Grave Headstone which also has written on it “also his sister Elsie Mary wife of George Arthur Creed 13th June 1968 age 73”. The British War Medal and The Victory Medal were also awarded to him.

Harold Thomas is on both the Newbold War Memorial at St. Botolph’s Church and on the Rugby Memorial Gates Hillmorton Road Rugby.

Horace Charles was born in 1894 and was baptised 13th May 1894.   Horace was with the Worcestershire Regiment, enlisted 2nd March 1916, Service Number 35171. He was discharged 29th January 1919.   He was 24 years old, and received the Silver War Badge 3rd March 1919, and also the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. He married Frances D. Doyle in 1922. He lived until 1950 and died in Rugby, Warwickshire aged 56 years.

The youngest brother of all, William Henry, born 8th August 1900, baptised 16th September 1900. William enlisted the Royal Air Force 22nd August 1918, Service Number 287077; and on his entry papers his next of kin was Elsie M Creed, his sister. He died in 1971, his death registered in Kidderminster.

Percy Samuel married Annie L. Redgrave in 1919, marriage registered in Medway, Kent. On the 1939 Register they are living at 35, Churchfield Road, Bexley, Kent and Percy is a Police Constable with the Metropolitan Police Force. He died at the age of 68, his death registered at Sidcup Kent.

Elsie Mary, the only sister, married George Arthur Creed 24th July 1915 at Newbold-on -Avon and is buried with her brother Harold in Clifton Road Cemetery. Rugby.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Meadows, Charles Herbert. Died 4th Sep 1917

Charles Herbert Meadows was born in Bilton and baptised in the parish church on 9th August 1891. His parents were Henry and Emma (nee Quincey) Meadows, who had moved to Inwood Cottage a couple of years before. Henry Meadows was born in Brigstock, Northants and married Emma there in 1888. Emma was born in Fotheringay, Northants.

Henry was a Waggoner/Horse keeper on a farm and in the 1911 census Charles was working as a Cowman on farm. His two elder brothers, Henry George and John Thomas were farm labourers.

John signed up at the start of the war and in October 1914 a letter from him was published in the Rugby Advertiser:

MAINTAINING BRITISH TRADITIONS.
Private J T Meadows, of the 1st Northampton Regiment , now serving in France (whose home is at Inwood’s Cottages, near Bilton Grange), has written stating that he is in the pink of condition. He adds : “ Times are getting better now, as you know that we are progressing favourably. The travels of the troops have been great, but the duty has been well done. The high traditions of the British Army are still maintained by the sons of many an anxious mother. Time will prove this. I suppose George and Herbert are still hard at work. Never mind ; one wing of the family is flying along. The weather is terribly hot in the day-time, but at night it is the extreme reverse ; but all these little hardships we look upon as nothing when such a prize is at stake. Four of us from Rugby are still all together.”

By November, news was received that he had been injured. He was discharged on 2nd April 1916.

Charles Herbert signed up on 1st November 1915. At the time he was employed in the Telegraph Department at Rugby Station for the L & N-W railway.

He joined the Royal Field Artillery as a gunner. He would have taken part in various actions during 1916, including the Battle of the Somme. By the middle of 1917, he would have been involved in the preparations for the Battle of Pilckem Ridge – the start of the third Battle of Ypres.

On the 20th July 1917 he was seriously wounded by a gunshot wound in the back and his parents were informed that he was lying at a casualty clearing station in France.

He died on 4th September, in a hospital near Rouen and buried in the St Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen., where the dead from the many hospitals in the area were buried.

As well as the Rugby Memorial Gates, he is listed on the Bilton War Memorial, as H Meadows.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Deakin, Arol. Died 16th Aug 1917

Arol DEAKIN’s birth was registered in about 1889 in Eccleshall Bierlow RD in the border district of Derbyshire and Yorkshire. He would later state that he had been born in Sheffield. He was the second of three sons of Benjamin Deakin, a rolling-mill labourer(born c.1864, in Sheffield), and his wife,Sarah A, née Horsfield,(born c.1869, also in Sheffield).

In 1891, when Arol was one year old, and his elder brother, Arthur, was four, they were living at 155 Burgoyne Road, Sheffield; his mother’s sister, Martha H Horsfield and a niece were with them.

In 1901, the family were still at that same address in Sheffield. Arol’s father was now an ‘enquiry agent’ and the eldest son, Arthur, now 14, was working as a ‘screw turner’. There was now another younger brother, Benjamin, who was six years old. Arol was enumerated as ‘Ar/nold’ which raises the question of his true name – as this entry would have been by his father and not added by an enumerator or an official. Although he was Arol on most documents, it may be that this was an oral transcription of ‘Arnold’, or indeed ‘Harrold’ without its H or D. We will probably never know, but Arol was the name he used when joining the army and in his short later life.

It seems that on 7 November 1907, Arol’s elder brother, Arthur Deakin emigrated to America on the S.S.Ivernia from Liverpool to Boston, USA. He was 21 and an ‘engineer’. This seems to have been an exploratory visit, as he must have returned, and he then emigrated again on the same ship on 15 June 1909.   He was followed a few months later by their father, Benjamin, who travelled from Liverpool on the S.S.Merion to Philadelphia, in Pennsylvania, USA, arriving on 27 December 1909, whilst his wife remained at 21 Channing Street, Sheffield. His final destination was stated as Boston, USA. In 1911, Arol’s mother was still at 21 Channing Street, Sheffield, with their youngest son, Benjamin, now 16 and an apprentice bricklayer. However, by 1917, Arol’s mother and his younger brother, Benjamin, had also moved to join the family in Ontario, Canada.

Before 1911, Arol had moved to Rugby, presumably for work. On 2 April 1911, although a boarder, Arol filled in and signed the census form for the Wright household at 32 Lawford Road, New Bilton, Rugby.   He was then aged 21 and a ‘stenographer’ working for an ‘electrical engineers’. His landlord, John William Wright was an ‘electrical engineer’, also working for an ‘electrical engineers’. Arol was latterly working in the BTH Contracts Department.

Later, in the 3rd quarter of 1911, Arol’s marriage with Dinah Ethel Wright was registered in Rugby [Rugby, Q3, 1911, 6d, 1078]. They had a daughter, Eileen in 1913, and a son, John Arol in about early 1916.

At some date after war was declared, Arol enlisted in Rugby. He was not awarded the 1915 Star, and there is no date of ‘entry into theatre’ on his Medal Card, so it is unlikely that he joined up early – indeed as he was married, he was probably exempt for a time, and probably went to France in 1916, or even as late as earlier in 1917.

He was initially a Gunner, No.186, in the Territorial Royal Field Artillery, where he was later promoted to the rank of Corporal. He was later renumbered as No.840016 in the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery, and was posted into the 2nd/4th (South Midland) Heavy Trench Mortar Brigade.

Heavy trench mortars provided support to the infantry, and were generally stationed much closer to the front line than much of the artillery. As he died just behind the Ypres salient, it is most likely that he was in action providing support just prior to or during the Battle of Langemarck (16 – 18 August 1917), which was one of the actions of the Third Ypres offensive. He probably came under counter-battery fire from the German artillery and was wounded.   There do not appear to be other members of his unit in the cemetery, but on that same day 87 men of the Royal Field Artillery were killed in action or died of wounds at various points on the front, most of them in the Ypres salient.

It seems likely that Arol was transferred to Mendinghem casualty clearing station, which was about 10 miles north-west of Ypres. He did not recover and died of his wounds on 16 August 1917.   He was buried in the adjacent Mendinghem Military Cemetery in Grave Reference: IV. E. 38.

The Mendinghem Military Cemetery is just beyond the village of Proven. Mendinghem, like Dozinghem and Bandaghem, were the popular names given by the troops to casualty clearing stations in the area during the First World War. In July 1916, the 46th (1st/1st Wessex) Casualty Clearing Station was opened at Proven and this site was chosen for its cemetery. The first burials took place in August 1916. In July 1917, four further clearing stations arrived at Proven in readiness for the forthcoming Allied offensive on this front and three of them, the 46th, 12th and 64th, stayed until 1918.[1]

The Register of Effects[2] confirms Arol’s rank, number and place and date of death. His back pay of £22-2-6d was paid to his widow and sole legatee, Dinah E, on 8 December 1917, and his War Gratuity of £14-10-0d was paid to her on 19 January 1921.

Arol Deakin was awarded the British War and Victory Medals. He is commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby and also listed on the New Bilton War Memorial.[3] He is listed on the role of BTH Employees who served in the 1914-1918 war, and also as ‘DEAKIN, Arol’, on the BTH War Memorial.[4]

His death was listed as one of the ‘Local Casualties’ by the Sheffield Daily Telegraph in his former home town:   ‘Corpl. Arol Deakin, R.F.A., son Mr. and Mrs. B. and S. A. Deakin, Toronto, Canada, died of wounds August 16th.’[5]

This confirmed that his mother had joined his father, and that they were now living in Toronto, Canada. It seems that his youngest brother went with them, as a Benjamin Deakin, now 30 and a ‘silver polisher’, married with Edith Dickinson, a ‘box maker’, on 26 May 1925 at the Riverdale Methodist church in York, Ontario. His father died aged 58 on 20 August 1918 in York, Ontario, Canada and was buried there at Saint John’s Norway Cemetery.

Arol’s widow, Dinah, remarried with John Edwards in Rugby in 1919; they had three children registered in 1920, 1925 and 1931. After John’s death aged 55 in mid 1932, she married for a third time with Henry Chaplin in mid 1933. Dinah died aged 69 in Rugby in 1960.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article on Arol Deakin 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, August 2017.

[1]       Information edited from: www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/… .

[2]       UK, Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929.

[3]       The war memorial is by the chapel in Croop Hill Cemetery, Addison Road, Rugby.

[4]       This is from a list of the names on the BTH War Memorial when it was unveiled, and is taken from the list published in the Rugby Advertiser, 4 November 1921.

[5]       Sheffield Daily Telegraph, Tuesday, 11 September 1917.

Cope, Percy Leslie. Died 21st Jun 1917

Percy Leslie COPE, was born in Molesey, Surrey in 1894. He was baptised on 2 December 1894 at St. Mary’s church, East Molesey, Surrey.   His father, John Cope, was an ‘Iron Moulder’ who had been born in Basingstoke, as had Percy’s mother, Harriet Elizabeth, née Fisher, Cope, and Percy’s two oldest brothers.

The family later moved to East Molesey where Percy and his two other brothers were born. However, by 1901, when his youngest brother was two years old, the family had moved to New Bilton, Rugby, living at 14 Victoria Avenue. John Cope and his eldest son were both working as foundry ‘moulders’.

By 1911, the family were at 8 Victoria Avenue, New Bilton, Rugby. The eldest son was no longer at home, but Percy was now a ‘trimmer’ and his father and his two other elder brothers were ‘moulders’, and all four were employed in an iron foundry.

Percy enlisted in Rugby, as a Gunner, No.125, later renumbered as No.840038, in ‘D’ Battery of the 63rd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery (RFA). His exact enlistment date is unknown, but it was probably in 1914, as he went to France on 31 March 1915, thus becoming entitled to the 1915 Star.

In general the Territorial Force (TF) artillery units were under command of the TF Divisions. The 63rd Brigade was formed as part of the First New Army, K1. It originally comprised Nos. 199, 200 and 201 Batteries RFA and the Brigade Ammunition Column and was under the command of the 12th (Eastern) Division. There were various reorganisations[1] which typically affected D Battery.

One reorganisation was on 25 May 1916, when D Battery left to join 65 Brigade which was also under command of 12th (Eastern) Division, and was replaced by B (Howitzer) Battery from 65 Brigade RFA.   It was then renamed as the new D (Howitzer) Battery.

It may have been that this provided the opportunity for Percy to take leave as in Q2, 1916 he must have been in Rugby, when his marriage to Violet Beatrice Edmans was registered. She had been born in about 1896 in Hackney, London. Percy’s military records note that their son, Leslie F Cope, was born on 24 September 1916. This would suggest that he was also in Rugby in about December 1915.   With no surviving Service Records it is not possible to establish if and why this was the case, two leaves in a short period seem unlikely, but perhaps he had been wounded.

There were further reorganisations on 30 August 1916 and 7 January 1917, although the Brigade remained with 12th (Eastern) Division throughout the war. In 1917, the Division took part in the offensive at Arras, and moved to the front in that sector on 14 January. It did not leave other than for periods of rest until towards the end of 1917. Thus Percy would have spent his final months in the Arras area. When the Division was relieved on 16 May and moved to the area of Le Cauroy, it had suffered a total of 141 officers and 3380 other ranks casualties since 25 April 1917. Between 17 May and 19 October 1917, the Division held positions east of Monchy le Preux, mounting several raids and small scale attacks and beating off some made against them, notably in the area of Hook Trench – Pick Avenue – Tites Copse.[2]

Whilst his Medal Card noted that Percy was ‘K in A’ – ‘Killed in Action’ – on 21 June 1917, he may have died of wounds. His place of death is recorded[3] as ‘37th Field Ambulance’, which suggests that he may have been wounded at an earlier date and have been evacuated to the nearby 37th Field Ambulance.

The 37th Field Ambulance was attached to the 12th (Eastern) Division from February 1917, and was based approximately 8 miles from Arras.

The Battalion diary does not record men killed, merely their main duties and targets, and 21 June 1917 does not include any unusual activity. However, a few days before at 12.30pm on 17 June 1917 there was a ‘Very heavy hostile barrage on our trenches’.[4] He may have been wounded in that incident – although analysis of the fatalities from the Brigade in June, when their Field Ambulance was using the Bunyans Cemetery at Tilloy-les Mofflaines suggests that there were casualties from various batteries of the 63rd Brigade buried there on 14 June, 18 June [3No], and Percy on 21 June 1917.

He was buried in Grave Reference: E. 3. in Bunyans Cemetery, Tilloy-Les-Mofflaines. This is a very small cemetery in the Pas de Calais area with only 54 identified casualties. It is 4 kilometres south-east of Arras on the main road to Cambrai. The village of Tilloy-les-Mofflaines was captured on 9 April 1917 by the 3rd Division, which was followed up by the 37th. Bunyans Cemetery (the origin of the name is not known) was begun by infantry units (Row A) after the advance in April 1917 and Rows B to E were made between April and 4 July 1917 by the 62nd and 63rd Brigades, Royal Field Artillery.

A death announcement appeared in the Rugby Advertiser.[5]

COPE. – In loving memory of Gunner Percy Leslie Cope, who was killed in action in France on June 21st, 1917, aged, 22. Not dead but sleepeth.
Somewhere 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 Wife and Son, 82 Lawford Road, New Bilton, Rugby.

Percy was awarded the Victory and British medals and also received the 1915 Star. He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate and also on the New Bilton War Memorial which is by the chapel in Croop Hill Cemetery, Addison Road, Rugby.

Percy’s widow, Violet, was later recorded by the CWGC as living at 82 Lawford Road, New Bilton, Rugby. The Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects recorded that she was paid various sums outstanding: £10-14-5d on 28 January 1918 and £21-8-8d on 18 April 1918.   After Violet remarried with Henry Belcher, in Rugby – this marriage being registered in Q2 1919 – it was thus as Violet Belcher that she was paid Percy’s War Gratuity of £13-12-0d on 19 December 1919.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article on Percy Leslie COPE was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, June 2017.

 

[1]       The Long Long Trail, http://www.1914-1918.net/rfa_units_63.html.

[2]       Information from: http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/order-of-battle-of-divisions/12th-eastern-division/.

[3]       The Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects

[4]       War Diary, The National Archives, Ref: WO 95/1838, 63 Brigade Royal Field Artillery, 1915 Jan. – 1919 Apr.

[5]       Rugby Advertiser, 28 July 1917.

Handyside, John Robert. Died 19th May 1917

John Robert HANDYSIDE was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1886, the son of John and Jane Handyside.   He was baptised on 15 September 1886 at St Anne’s, Newcastle on Tyne.

In 1901, John’s father was a ‘Blacksmith’s Labourer’ and the family lived at 15 Rippenden Street, Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne. John was then 14 years old and had five younger siblings.

In 1911, John, now 25 and still single, was a labourer in an engineering works and still at home with the family. A family of eight in a three roomed house would have been somewhat crowded.

Sometime between 1911 and 1914 John moved to Rugby to work ‘… at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s, and lodged at the house of Mrs Hayward, 43 Lodge Road, Rugby’.[1]

‘His enlistment was reported in the September 1914, ‘Supplementary List, No. 3.’ from Willans & Robinson Ltd.[2] By January 1916, ‘The employees from Messrs Willans and Robinson’s with the colours consist of 15 officers (including one staff-captain) and 233 men, 248 in all.   Of these, two officers and ten men have already been killed, …’[3]

A later report confirmed that John ‘… enlisted as a gunner on September 3rd, 1914, and has now been promoted to the rank of Corporal.’[4] He enlisted initially as No. 11029 with ‘D’ Battery, 71st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. 71st Brigade was part of the New Army K2 and its service is summarised below.[5]

‘LXXI Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, made up of 223, 224 and 225 Batteries RFA and the Brigade Ammunition Column served with 15th (Scottish) Division. 15th (Scottish) Division was formed in September 1914, as part of Kitchener’s Second New Army. In February 1915 the three six-gun batteries were reorganised to become four four-gun batteries and were titled as A, B, C and D. 71 Brigade proceeded to France in the second week of July 1915. They were in action in the Battle of Loos in 1915.

In spring 1916, they were involved in the German gas attacks near Hulluch and the defence of the Kink position. On the 22nd May 1916 the Brigade Ammunition Column merged with other columns of the divisional artillery to form the 15th Divisional Ammunition Column. On the 7th of June 1916 D Battery exchanged with C Battery, 73 (Howitzer) Brigade of the same division, each adopting the others name. 71 Brigade were in action during the Battles of the Somme, including the Battle of Pozieres, the Battle of Flers-Courcelette and the capture of Martinpuich, The Battle of Le Transloy and the attacks on the Butte de Warlencourt.   The brigade was reorganised in early December 1916. C Battery was split between A and B Battery to bring them up to six guns each. B Battery, 73 (Howitzer) Brigade joined and was renamed C Battery, 71 Brigade. On the 22nd of January 1917 a section of two howitzers from 532 (Howitzer) Battery, 72 Brigade joined to make D (Howitzer) Battery up to six guns.

In 1917 they were in action in the First and Second Battle of the Scarpe, including the capture of Guemappe during the Arras Offensive. They then moved north to Flanders and were in action during the Battle of Pilckem and the Battle of Langemark.’

One of John’s three Medal Cards shows that he went to France on 8 July 1915, which agrees with the above 71st Brigade history.

During his earlier period in France, a later report mentioned,
‘Bombardier Handyside had been previously brought to notice for coolness and bravery on the 25th September near Loos, when he repeatedly volunteered to repair wires under very heavy fire, although he was suffering from the effect of gas fumes at the time.’[6]

This may have been the occasion when, as a Corporal, another Medal Card noted that he was ‘Mentioned in Dispatches’.[7]

Sometime before the end of November, whilst he was an Acting Bombardier and still in ‘D’ Battery, 71st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery he was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) and there were several [similar] reports.

‘ANOTHER RUGBY MAN AWARDED THE D.C.M.
‘Amongst those who have recently been awarded the D.C.M is Bombardier J R Handyside, D Battery, 71st Brigade Royal Field Artillery. He received the distinction for conspicuous gallantry from the 26th September to the 14th October, 1915, during which time his battery was in the open and constantly under a very heavy fire. He frequently volunteered to mend telephone wires under heavy fire, thereby successfully maintaining communications.’[8]

‘11029 Bombardier J. R. Handyside, ‘D’ Battery, 71st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. For conspicuous gallantry from the 26th September to the 14th October, 1915, during which time his battery was in the open and constantly under a very heavy fire. He frequently volunteered to mend telephone wires under heavy fire, thereby successfully maintaining communications. Bombardier Handyside had been previously brought to notice for coolness and bravery on the 25th September near Loos, when he repeatedly volunteered to repair wires under very heavy fire, although he was suffering from the effect of gas fumes at the time.[9]

In addition, he was also awarded the Medaille Militaire,[10] and was subsequently promoted to Sergeant and it might have been during the reorganisation of the 71st Brigade in early December 1916, that he was promoted to Sergeant and transferred to ‘C’ Battery, 70th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.

70th Brigade was also part of the New Army K2, and also in the 15th Division, indeed the 70th, 71st and 72nd Brigades were largely working together and in May 1917, were generally in the Feuchy to Tilloy areas to the East of Arras. This was during the aftermath of the Battle of Arras which had been in progress from 9 April to 16 May 1917, with the 70th Brigade in the Tilloy area.

‘C/70 came up into the line’ on 15 May and the 16, 17 and 18 May were ‘quiet all day’ with an attack at 8.20pm on the 18 May which did not gain its objective. On 19 May, the War Diary recorded,
‘Quiet day.   Preparation for attack. A/70 came into the line for the attack.   Attack by the XVII corps.[11] Our batteries assisted by shelling the enemy’s defenses on the Brigade front.’

Some time during this ‘Quiet day …’, 19 May 1917, John Handyside was ‘Killed in Action’.

John was buried in the Faubourg D’Amiens Cemetery, Arras in Grave: V. F. 13.   There was no additional inscription on his headstone.

The Faubourg-d’Amiens Cemetery is the main CWGC cemetery in the western part of the town of Arras. The Commonwealth section of the cemetery was begun in March 1916, behind the French military cemetery established earlier. It continued to be used by field ambulances and fighting units until November 1918.

John R HANDYSIDE was awarded the Victory and British Medals and the 1915 Star. He is remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates and in St. Philip’s Church, Wood Street, Rugby.
‘The memorial takes the form of a stone tablet framed in light oak, and bears the figures of our Lord, St John, and the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is in the south chancel of the church, and by its side, as a part of the memorial, is another picture of the entombment of our Lord. The Tablet bears the following inscription:- Like as Christ was raised from the dead even so should we also walk in the newness of life.’[12]

His mother as Sole Legatee received John’s outstanding pay of £41-0-11d on 11 September 1917; then a further £1-2-0 on 13 October 1917; and a War Gratuity of £15-10-0 on 24 October 1919. She received a further Gratuity for his D.C.M. of £20-0-0d on 28 September 1921.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

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

[1]       Rugby Advertiser, 4 December 1915; as reported in Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com, 4 December 1915.

[2]       Rugby Advertiser, 5 September 1914; as reported in Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com, 5 September 1914.

[3]       Rugby Advertiser, 1 January 1916; as reported in Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com, 1 January 2017.

[4]       Rugby Advertiser, 4 December 1915; as reported in Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com, 4 December 1915.

[5]         http://www.wartimememoriesproject.com/greatwar/allied/fartillery.php?pid=9943.

[6]       Rugby Advertiser, 4 December 1915; as reported in Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com, 4 December 1915.

[7]       The Medal Card mentions ‘London Gazette, 1/1/16 p.19 [or 9]’ although this has not been found.

[8]       Rugby Advertiser, 4 December 1915; as reported in Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com, 4 December 1915.

[9]       The London Gazette, 26 November 1915, Supplement: 29384, Page: 11896; also The Edinburgh Gazette, 1 December 1915, Issue: 12878, Page: 1822; also Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 1 January 1916.

[10]     Rugby Advertiser, 4 December 1915; as reported in Rugby Remembers, https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com, 4 December 1915; also Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 1 January 1916.

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[11]     In April 1917, XVII Corps attacked east of Arras near the River Scarpe, but was bogged down in rain and snow.

[12]     From a report of the unveiling, Rugby Advertiser, 12 November 1920, see http://www.rugbyfhg.co.uk/rugby-st-philips-church. It is not known if the Memorial in St Philip’s Church still exists.

Turner, Arthur James. Died 19th Sep 1916

Arthur James Turner was born in 1874 and baptised in Ditchingham in Norfolk on 27th September 1874. His parents were James and Hannah (nee Dodman) who had married in 1868. Hannah died and was buried in Hedenham, Norfolk on 22nd October 1880. She was aged 34 and left a husband and five children. Arthur James was aged only six.

Times must have been hard for the family. James was an agricultural labourer and in 1883 was summoned to the Petty Sessions in Loddon by the School Attendance Officer, for neglecting to send two children to school. He was fined 2s 6d in each case. Perhaps they were need to work in the fields.

We have been unable to find the family in the 1891 census. Arthur James would have been sixteen by this time. Around March 1894 he joined the army. He sent time in India with the Royal Field Artillery and was drafted to England to train recruits during the Boer War. In 1902 he married Lizzie Gertrude Stanley. Their first child, Cyril Arthur Stanley Turner was born in Ireland in 1903 and Leslie Alan followed in 1905 and Vera Evelyn in 1907. The family were living at Bulford Camp, in Wiltshire at the time. Their fourth child, Urban H Turner was born in Rugby in 1912.

Arthur James had been was appointed Battery Sergeant-Major and Instructor in Gunnery to the Rugby Howitzer Battery in March 1910.

According to the report in the Rugby Advertiser 7th Oct 1916

“After the general mobilisation in August 1914, Sergt-Major Turner was appointed to the Divisional Ammunition Column. He finished his term of 22 years in March last, but signed on again for the period of the war, and was transferred to another Division.”

At his death he served in “B” Bty, 95th Bde, Royal Field Artillery (No 3291)

He “was killed in action on September 19th. Mrs Turner has not received official news of her husband’s death, but the Chaplain of the Division to which he was attached has written saying that her husband’s battery had been in action where the fighting was hottest, and he was one of the brave men who had given their lives for his King and country. The Chaplain added that he had read the Burial Service over his grave, near the Battery position. B.S.M. Turner who was 42 years of age, had served 22 years in the R.F.A.

He is buried at Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, west of Longueval, where many of the dead from the Battle of the Somme were buried.

He is also remembered on the Croop Hill War Memorial in Rugby. His widow lived at 64 Victoria Avenue, New Bilton. She died in 1947, aged 76.