Covington, Reginald Frederick. Died 22nd May 1918

Reginald Frederick COVINGTON was born in Northampton in about 1894, and his birth was registered in Q1, 1894He was the son of George Frederick Covington, born in about 1861 in Northampton, and Kate, née Westley, Covington, who was born in about 1867 in Sherrington, Buckinghamshire.  They had married on 25 December 1890 at St Michael and All Angels church, Northampton.

It seems that the family moved from Northampton to Wellingborough between 1897 and 1901, when the family was living at 9 Oxford Street, Wellingborough.  Reginald’s father was a ‘fruitier’.  The family then moved to Rugby

Before 1911 they moved again, to Rugby, and Reginald attended school at St. Matthew’s. He had been a holder of the Robertson Cup for the best all-round athlete in the school.[1] When Reginald was 17, the family were living in a six room house at 28 North Street, Rugby.  He had two younger sisters.  His father was a ‘Fruitierer & Confectioner’, and he was working as a ‘Compositor’ – later he would work for the family business and managed his father’s branch shop in Lawford Road.

It is uncertain when he joined up, although an obituary stated that he ‘… joined the army … in the early days of the War.’[2]  He joined up as a Gunner, No.1160, in the Royal Field Artillery – Territorial Force, and at a later date, but prior to September/October 1917, he was renumbered as No:840787.

It seems that he did not go to France until at least late 1915, as he did not receive the 1914-1915 Star, but he was certainly in France prior to September/October 1917, as he was wounded and/or gassed as mentioned in two local papers.

In September 1917, the ‘Local War Notes’ reported
Bombardier Reg Covington, R.F.A, son of Mr Richard[3] Covington, has been gassed during the recent fighting.[4]

It was probably the same occurrence that was reported in October 1917, in the Coventry Evening Telegraph,
Roll of Honour, Coventry and District Casualties.
Wounded … Covington, 840787, Gnr. R., Rugby, R.F.A.[5]

An official Casualty List in October also listed him a ‘Wounded’ under the Royal Field Artillery listing.[6]

It seems that he was sent back to England for treatment, but returned to France in about early 1918.  The CWGC record states that he was latterly in the ‘D’ Battery of the 275th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery.

The 275th (1/1st West Lancashire) Brigade RFA Territorial Force was based at Windsor Barracks, Spekeland Street, Liverpool.  The Brigade came under the orders of the West Lancashire Division.  The divisional artillery crossed to France, landing at Le Havre on 1 October 1915.

The West Lancashire Division, now titled the 55th (West Lancashire) Division, was ordered to re-form in France and the artillery rejoined it at Hallencourt between 2 and 4 January 1916.  A new “D” Battery was formed for the Brigade on 7 May 1916.  There were later various reorganisations as the batteries were switched around.

In 1918, the 55th Division relieved the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division in the front line at Givenchy and Festubert on 15 February.  Here, it faced numerous strong enemy attacks in March 1918.

Whilst the front had been comparatively quiet, an attack was anticipated and on 21 March 1918, the Germans launched a major offensive, Operation Michael, against the British Fifth Army and the right wing of the British Third Army.  The German artillery targeted command and communications; then, the destruction of artillery; and then the front-line infantry.  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.

Early April was comparatively quieter, but it was a lull before a storm, with the Division involved in the Battle of Estaires (9-11 April) including the Defence of Givenchy (9-17 April) and the Battle of Hazebrouck (12-15 April), the latter two being phases of the Battles of the Lys.

The Defence of Givenchy was to become the single most famous action fought by the Division.  ‘It was afterwards publicly stated by an officer of the German General Staff that the stand made by the Division on April 9th and the days which followed marked the final ruination of the supreme German effort of 1918’, says the Divisional history.

The 275th RFA Brigade Diary gives information on their various actions in April and May, but there do not seem to be any specific large scale actions at and just before Reginald died of his wounds.

The 275th Artillery Group was in the line in early April and on 9 April, the ‘B’, ‘C’ and ‘D’ Batteries of the 275th were moved back section by section.  On 10 April there was considerable hostile bombardment which included about 10% of gas shells of various types.  In spite of attacks, it seems the German advances on Givenchy and Festubert were driven back and indeed some 700 prisoners were taken.  On 25/26 April, the 164th Infantry Brigade attacked Givenchy to re-establish the old line.  The 275th put down smoke and shrapnel to cover one of the flanks.  The 55th Division were congratulated on their fine work during this battle.

There is less information recorded for May, and Reg was probably wounded, possibly by German counter-battery shelling, sometime in April or May.  If earlier, he might have been expected to have been evacuated further to a base hospital, so it was probably about mid-May.

Reginald’s Medal Card states that he ‘Died of Wounds’ on 22 May 1918 and the Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects stated that he died at the ‘2/1 Wessex Field Ambulance’,[7] France.  Their movements may provide some further information on Reginald’s location.

The 2/1st Wessex Field Ambulance, was largely a Devonshire unit but was attached to the 55th West Lancashire Division from January 1916 to November 1918.  In April 1918 they were in the area La Basse/Givenchy and near Bethune on 9 April 1918, and had an Advanced Dressing Station just behind Givenchy during the German attacks of April 1918.

The RAMC War Diary for the 55th Division provides details of the movement orders for the 2/1st Wessex Field ambulance, and during the month they were moved to some ten different locations in response to the German assaults.

During May the 2/1st Wessex Field Ambulance quartered around Drouvin, and it seems likely that Reginald died of his wounds at the Field Ambulance there on 22 May 1918 and was buried in the nearby Houchin British CemeteryHis body was buried in grave ref: I. B. 18.   Later, when a permanent gravestone replaced the temporary cross, his family’s message, ‘Though Far Away to Memory Ever Dear’ would be inscribed upon it.

Houchin is a village situated between Barlin and Bethune, about 5 kilometres south of Bethune. Houchin British Cemetery was opened in March 1918 when the 6th Casualty Clearing Station came to Houchin.  From April to September the German advance made Houchin unsafe for hospitals, and the cemetery was used by the 55th (West Lancashire) Division.

In June 1918, the Rugby Advertiser reported,
Gunner Reginald Covington.  Mr G F Covington, of North Street, has received news that his only son, Gunner Reg Covington, R.F.A. died of wounds received in action on May 22nd.  He was 23 years of age, and joined the army – prior to which he managed his father’s branch shop in Lawford Road – in the early days of the War.  Towards the end of last year he was badly gassed, but he returned to France a few months ago.  An old St. Matthew’s boy, he was at one time the holder of the Robertson Cup for the best all-round athlete in the school.[8]

The Coventry Evening Telegraph also reported his death in June 1918,
Roll of Honour, Coventry and District Casualties Died of Wounds
… Covington, 840787, Gnr. R., Rugby, R.F.A [9]

An official Casualty List in July also confirmed that he ‘Died of Wounds’ under the Royal Field Artillery listing.[10]

Reginald Frederick COVINGTON is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates.  His Medal Card showed that he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

His mother, Kate, as sole Legatee, received his back-pay of £6-7-1d on 28 August 1918, and his War Gratuity of £13-10s on 9 December 1919.



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This article on Reginald Frederick COVINGTON 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, February 2018.

[1]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 1 June 1918.

[2]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 1 June 1918.

[3]      This would seem to be in error, there are no other Reg Covingtons with a father Richard.

[4], and Rugby Advertiser, 29 September 1917.

[5]      Coventry Evening Telegraph, Friday, 19 October 1917.

[6]      Weekly Casualty List (War Office & Air Ministry), Tuesday, 23 October 1917.

[7]      2/1 Wessex Field Ambulance, a file is available at TNA ref: WO 95/2919/1, 1916 Jan. – 1919 Apr., and various information can be found on Google.

[8]      Rugby Advertiser, Saturday, 1 June 1918.

[9]      Coventry Evening Telegraph, Thursday, 27 June 1918.

[10]     Weekly Casualty List (War Office & Air Ministry), Tuesday, 2 July 1918.


Chant, George Frederick. Died 23rd Mar 1918

George Frederick CHANT was born on 28 January 1880, in Enfield, Middlesex, the son of Anthony Chant, a coachman from Yeovil, Somerset, and Ellen, née VALE, Chant who was born in Westminster. George was baptised on 20 June 1880 at the Enfield Jesus Chapel, Enfield, when the family was living in Turkey Street.

In 1891 the family were living in ‘the cottage’ in Enfield, apparently not far from the ‘Spotted Cow’ beer house. The family seems to have remained in Middlesex, but George was elsewhere and has not been found in the 1901 or the 1911 censuses.

However, it seems that he was one of the many workers who came to work in Rugby at the expanding British Thompson Houston (BTH) works in the years before the war. Thomas moved to Rugby and went to work in the BTH Stores. He married with Alice E. Welch, the marriage being registered in Rugby in Q2, 1915.   They later lived at 43 Union Street, Rugby.

At some date, possibly somewhat later in the war, he joined up in Rugby as a Driver, No.88840 in the Royal Field Artillery. There is no surviving Service Record, so the details of his service are unknown – and being in the Artillery it is less easy to plot his progress. His Medal Card shows him in the Royal Field Artillery but there is no qualification date for when he went abroad, so it was probably in 1916 or even later. In March 1918, he was serving with the Royal Field Artillery, at the Headquarters, 4 Corps.

However, on 21 March 1918, the Germans launched a major offensive, Operation Michael, against the British Fifth Army and the right wing of the British Third Army. The German artillery targeted command and communications; then, the destruction of artillery; and then the front-line infantry. 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.

Whilst the first bombardment of artillery positions was on 21 March, artillery attacks continued and George Frederick CHANT was ‘killed in action’ on the third day of the battle on 23 March 1918, aged 23. Because of the intensity of the battle, with the Germans moving forward in strength, and in the confusion of the retreat and rearguard action, the bodies of many of those killed were never found or identified.

George Frederick CHANT is remembered on Bay 4 of the Arras Memorial which is located at the entrance to the Faubourg d’Amiens Cemetery in France.   The memorial commemorates almost 35,000 servicemen from the United Kingdom, South Africa and New Zealand who died in the Arras sector between the spring of 1916 and 7 August 1918, the eve of the Advance to Victory, and have no known grave. [One of the] … most conspicuous events of this period … was the German attack in the spring of 1918.

His death was reported in the Coventry Evening Telegraph,[1]

THE ROLL OF HONOUR. Coventry and District Casualties.

The following Coventry and district casualties are notified in the latest lists:
Killed. … Chant, 88840, Dvr. T. (Rugby), R.F.A. …

George Frederick CHANT is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates, and his name appears also appears as ‘CHANT G F’ on the list of ‘BTH Employees Who Served in the War 1914 – 1918’; and as ‘CHANT George F’ on the list of names on the BTH War Memorial when it was unveiled in 1921.[2]

His Medal Card showed that he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

The Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects, 1901-1929 showed that his back pay of £1-16-2d was paid to his widow ‘Alice E’ on 25 June 1918, and then his War Gratuity of £17, in two payments: £5-13-4d on 27 November 1919 and £11-6-8d on 25 February 1920.



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This article on George Frederick CHANT 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, January 2018.

[1]       Coventry Evening Telegraph, Thursday, 16 May 1918.   The death in action of Lce.-Bdr. F. Ward, No.11115, (Rugby), who was also in the R.F.A., was notified in the same edition – he is not on the Rugby Memorial Gate.

[2]       Taken from the list published in the Rugby Advertiser, 4 November 1921.

Smith, Thomas J L. Died 21st Mar 1918

Thomas J L SMITH, having such a common surname, and probably having moved from some distance to work at British Thompson Houston (BTH) in Rugby, has not been specifically identified, although some parts of his life and his military career can be followed briefly in the records.

Before the war Thomas was working in the BTH Drawing Office, and this is later confirmed as his name appears as ‘SMITH T J L’ on the list of ‘BTH Employees Who Served in the War 1914 – 1918’; and as ‘SMITH Thomas J L’ on the list of names on the BTH War Memorial when it was unveiled in 1921.[1]

A search for births found nothing definitive, however a search for a marriage produced a registration in Rugby in Q3, 1914 [6d, 1583] between Thomas J L SMITH and a Nellie M DAVIS.

Further searches for Thomas – and indeed Nellie, with her almost equally common surname – in Rugby proved fruitless and it is likely that he was one of many workers who came to work in Rugby at the expanding British Thompson Houston works in the years immediately before the war.

Thomas joined up early, and indeed, the various dates could suggest that he may have already been a member of the territorial force. On his Medal Card he is listed as Thomas J Smith, a Corporal, No.187, – a very early number – in the 1st/1st Warwickshire Royal Horse Artillery (Territorial Forces). At a later date it seems he was transferred to the ‘Som Royal Horse Artillery’ – probably the Somerset Royal Horse Artillery – as No.618345 – a much later style number.

The Warwickshire Royal Horse Artillery was a Territorial Force Royal Horse Artillery battery that was formed in Warwickshire in 1908. On the outbreak of war on 4 August 1914, many territorial members volunteered for overseas service and the unit was split into 1st Line (liable for overseas service) and 2nd Line (home service for those unable or unwilling to serve overseas) units.

The 1st Line battery was embodied with the 1st South Midland Mounted Brigade on 4 August 1914 at the outbreak of the First World War. Initially, the brigade moved to Diss, Norfolk and joined the 1st Mounted Division. Later in August, a concentration of mounted brigades was ordered to take place around the Churn area of Berkshire and the brigade moved to the racecourse at Newbury.

At the end of October 1914, the Warwickshire Battery departed for France, landing at Le Havre on 1 November. The Warwickshire Royal Horse Artillery was the first Territorial Force artillery unit to go overseas on active service, spending the whole of the First World War on the Western Front, mostly with 1st Cavalry Division and 29th Division.

The ‘qualifying date’ i.e. the embarkation date on Thomas’s Medal Card, is 31 October 1914, thus it seems that he was indeed with the battery when it went to France on 1 November 1914. He would thus have also qualified for the 1914 Star.

It is uncertain what Thomas’s movements were thereafter. The activities of the 1st/1st Warwickshire RHA are well documented, however, Thomas’s Medal Card also includes the ‘Som Royal Horse Artillery’ – and a later service number: 618345 – and although also well documented they fought in different actions.   However, still with this same later number, Thomas is recorded by CWGC as being in “A” Bty. 298th Bde., Royal Field Artillery. When and why he might have transferred between these various batteries is uncertain – and no Service Record survives to record his movements.

Suffice to say he remained on the Western Front and at some date before late 1917 he had been promoted to Corporal and in later 1917, he won the Military Medal for bravery in the field.

His Majesty the KING has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of the Military Medal for bravery in the Field to the under mentioned Non-commissioned Officers and Men:-
… 618345 Cpl. T. J. Smith, R.F.A. (Rugby).[2]
… 618345 Cpl. T. J. Smith, R.F.A. (Rugby).[3]

Rather than outlining his possible movements and actions in three different Batteries, until any further information appears, one must assume that he was involved in a great many actions, and being in the artillery was less likely to be killed than as a front-line infantryman. As mentioned the CWGC indicates that in March 1918 he was with “A” Bty. 298th Bde. Royal Field Artillery.

On 4 April 1917, 298th (N. Midland) Bde, RFA (TF) was re-designated as 298th Army Brigade, RFA.[4]

During 1918, 298th Brigade, RFA was an Army Brigade, RFA and from 28 February 1918 to 30 March 1918 it was supporting the 14th (Light) Division of III Corps.[5]

However, on 21 March 1918, the Germans launched a major offensive, Operation Michael, against the British Fifth Army and the right wing of the British Third Army. The German artillery targeted command and communications; then, the destruction of artillery; and then the front-line infantry. 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.   It was possibly during this initial shelling of the British artillery positions early on 21 March 1918 that Thomas was killed.

The Brigade War Diary indicates that on 21 March 1918 the Brigade was in positions in the Montescourt area. Early that morning it was ordered to fire on a line between Sabliere Farm – Manufacture Farm. The Brigade Wagon Lines were heavily shelled with 40 horses, one officer and four men killed and six wounded.[6]

It is possible that Thomas was killed, or indeed wounded, later dying, on that occasion during the shelling in advance of the opening of Operation Michael.   The 61st (South Midland) Casualty Clearing Station which was stationed at Ham from January – March 1918,[7] started to receive casualties at 5.00a.m. on 21t March 1918.[8]

Thomas could have been one of the early casualties, and was either already dead on arrival or died soon afterwards and he was buried adjacent to the Casualty Clearing Station. There appears to be some confusion in the description on the CWGC site [unless there really was a pre-existing German cemetery on the site] however, it seems that the CCS were burying their dead, including Thomas, in what would later become the Muille-Villette German Cemetery, after the area was over-run.

The British soldiers buried in what became a largely German Cemetery at Muille-Villette were ‘concentrated’ [exhumed, moved and reburied] in 1919. The Ham British Cemetery was constructed next to and just behind the Muille-Villette German Cemetery, and the British graves were regrouped in this new cemetery, which explains the same map reference being used.

Thomas’s body could be identified as he was originally buried under ‘Foot Board: E55’ at ‘MR: 66D Q 2a 1-4’ from ‘Official Identity’. He was reburied in Plot ref: I. E. 21 at the new Ham British Cemetery. There was no age or personal family message on the gravestone.

Ham is a small town about 20 kilometres south west of St. Quentin … The British Cemetery is in the village of Muille-Villette. In January, February and March 1918, the 61st (South Midland) Casualty Clearing Station was posted at Ham, but on 23 March the Germans, in their advance towards Amiens, crossed the Somme at Ham, and the town remained in German hands until the French First Army re-entered it on 6 September 1918. Ham British Cemetery was begun in January-March 1918 as an extension of Muille-Villette German Cemetery,[9] made by the Casualty Clearing Station.

In 1919 the British graves in the earlier and German cemetery were reburied in the new British Cemetery, together with those ‘concentrated’ from two other German cemeteries, and communal cemeteries and churchyards.

His death was recorded in the Coventry Evening Telegraph, but seems to have been missed by the Rugby Advertiser.

‘The Roll of Honour, Warwickshire Casualties. Rugby Men in Casualty Lists. Three employees of B.T.H. to make the supreme sacrifice are: Corpl. T. J. Smith, R.F.A., Sapper E. Wagstaffe, R.E., and Pte. Alfred William Elson, Hampshire Regt., …’.[10]

Thomas J L Smith is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gates as well as on the BTH Memorial to those who fell, as noted above. His Medal Card showed that he was awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal, the 1914 Star and the Military Medal for ‘bravery in battle on land’.

On the back of his medal card is written, ‘N M Smith applies for her late husband’s medals 7.11.20’, which also confirms his marriage with Nelly M Davis.



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This article on Thomas J L Smith 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, January 2018.


[1]       Taken from the list published in the Rugby Advertiser, 4 November 1921.

[2]       Supplement, The London Gazette, 12 December 1917, p.13021.

[3]       Supplement, The Edinburgh Gazette, 13 December 1917, p.2569.

[4]       The brigade’s war diary for the period January 1916 to February 1916 can be found at The National Archives under WO95/3016. Its war diary from March 1917 to February 1918 can be find under WO95/456. Information from Dick Flory at

[5]       Information from ‘quigs1969’ at; and from Dick Flory at

[6]       Information from ‘quigs1969’ at; and from Dick Flory at

[7]       However the 61st CCS Diary states that the CCS at Ham and their patients were evacuated by 23 March and the area was captured by the Germans.   One reference [] suggests the CCS were also in Ham from March – April 1918, and then were at Vignacourt, although the War Diary suggests they had withdrawn.

[8]       WWI War Diaries, 1914-1920, Royal Army Medical Corps, 61st Division, from, p.290-291.

[9]       See comment in text above as to the sequence.

[10]     Coventry Evening Telegraph, Saturday, 20 April 1918.

Hardman, Charles Henry. Died 21st Mar 1918.

Charles Henry Hardman was born in Rugby in 1892. He was baptised on 13th Mar 1892 at Bilton Church.   He was the eldest child of James Hardman and Elizabeth née Giles who were married at St Matthews on 19th Oct 1890.

To start with, the family lived at 3 Vine Place, but by 1901, when William was 9, they had moved to Overslade. Father James was a Domestic Groom.

By 1911 James and Elizabeth Hardman had 7 children, four more sons and two daughters. They lived at 36 Union Street Rugby and Charles was an Engineers machinist at B.T.H.

The following year Charles married Margaret A Salmon (or Salman). They had two children: Annie E in late 1912 and George H in 1914. Margaret later lived in Leamington

Charles Henry Hardman was mobilised with the Howitzer Battery at the start of the war and arrived in France on 31st Mar 1915 as a gunner (no.134, later 840128) with the Royal Field Artillery. He served with the 56 Battery, first with the 44 Howitzer Brigade and then from 26 May 1916 with the 34th Brigade. He would have taken part in most of the major battles of the war., including Operation Michael.

Gunner Charles Henry Hardman died on the 21st Mar 1918. He must have been killed in the Battle of St Quentin, as the site of the cemetery where he is buried, Neuville-Bourjonval was lost to the Germans on the 22nd, not to be retaken until the following September.

He was buried in a communal grave and his stone states he was “buried near this spot.”

He is also remembered on the BTH Memorial.

Charles was the third of the Hardman sons to die. Walter died in 1915 and William in 1917.

James Hardman, of 9 James Street, Rugby, took part in the opening of the Rugby Memorial gates in 1922. He pulled a cord releasing the Union Jacks to reveal the gates.

Rugby Advertiser 17th Mar 1922



Pridmore, Reginald George. Died 13th Mar 1918

Reginald George Pridmore was born on the 29th April 1886 in Edgbaston Birmingham, the eldest of three children to George William and Sarah Louisa nee Bailey. They were married on the 6th July 1885 in St Matthew’s church, Rugby. In the 1891 census he was living with his parents and two year old sister at 86 Railway Terrace, Rugby. By 1901 his parents were living in Watford with two daughters, Madge, 12 and Constance, 8. Reginald was a pupil at Bedford County School. He was then educated at Bedford Grammar, which later changed its name to Elstow school, where he was a very keen sportsman. he played Hockey for England, winning a gold medal at the 1908 Olympics, and in the final scored four goals which stood as a record for forty four years. He also played cricket for Warwickshire County Cricket club on fourteen occasions As a middle order batsman. In the 1911 census it states he was an Artistic Metal Worker; the business his father ran in Coventry.

(picture from Great War Forum)

From his officer records in Kew he applied for a commission in the Warwickshire Territorial Force Association on 14th September 1914, in the 4th South Midland Howitzer Brigade. He was residing at 1 Lansdown Place in Coventry, and his occupation was given as stockbroker. On the form it states he had applied for a temporary commission in the regular army but had not been gazetted to date (this was dated 14th August 1914),and he had been for three years in Elstow School Bedford O.T.C.(officer training corps ). Also in the papers it states that Elstow school was previously known as Bedford County School. The papers stated that he was attached to the 5th Rugby Battery off the 243 brigade which became D Howitzer Battery of 241 brigade on the 18th May 1916.

Reginald George Pridmore became Second Lieutenant on 17th September 1914 and from the records of the R.F.A. that he disembarked from England on the 30th March 1915.

He was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry during operations as a Forward Observations officer having displayed great coolness under fire. On one occasion he and his lookout man were partly buried during heavy shelling but carried on sending reports. This is believed to be on the 20th October 1916.

Whilst in France, orders were given and the brigade moved to Italy to carry on fitting there. In the supplements to the London Gazette from the 19th March we learn that on 20th Jan 1917, 2nd Lt (Temp Lt) R.G.Pridmore M.C. be acting Capt. From the same publication dated 29th June 1917, 2nd Lt (actg. Capt.) R.G. Pridmore M.C. was to retain the acting rank of Capt. On the 23rd April 1918 Lt. (actg. Capt) R.G.Pridmore M.C. (since killed in action) wa to be acting Major whilst commanding Batts  (5th March 1918.)

From the war diaries, we learn that the brigade were at Arcade and on the 5th March Major R.G.Pridmore took command of C battery 240. Nothing else was reported until the 10th when half yearly recommendations for the King Birthday Honours were submitted. Then on the 13th, batteries did a little firing in the morning. C battery was heavily shelled in the afternoon with 5 or 4 2s and an occasional 11 inch.

His late Battery Commander writes (in the Rugby Advertiser 30th Mar 1918):

He was killed by a direct hit on his position, where he had remained to telephone after sending all his men into safety. As his Commanding Officer for 3 1/2 years, I have never met a more gallant officer or a more cheery companion. In times of stress his unfailing good spirits and total disregard of danger inspired me to carry on and set us all a grand example. He was buried 10 miles from here with full military honours, and there were present the general of the Division, the C.R.A. and every senior officer in the Division who could possibly attend; also 100 N.C.O’s and men of the Rugby Howitzer Battery.

Major R.G.Pridmore was killed & 1 or S Chapman was badly wounded, all batteries of 240 withdrawn from action and went to 5 D.A.W.

In the National Probate Calendar for 1918 reads Pridmore Reginald George of 18 Regent Street Coventry died 13th March 1918 in Italy. Probate London 15th August to George William Art Metal Manufacturer Effects £156 10s 4d,

When he died his comrades added an inscription on the wooden cross which read

“A Most Gallant Sportsman and Comrade“. His name also appears on the Elstow Bedford County School Memorial, and City of Coventry Roll of the fallen. From the Commonwealth War Graves Register I have copied the following

He was buried at Giavera Cemetery Italy Plot 1, Row D, Grave 5

Information from two books by Nigel Mc Creay, The Extinguished Flame, and Final Wicket, and from the National Archives.



1st Dec 1917. 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.”


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.


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.


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.”


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.


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.


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.


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.

Meddows, 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.