30th Oct 1915. Soldiers Appreciate the Rugby Advertiser



Bandsman B Wilkins, of the Rifle Brigade, in a letter to a friend in Rugby, indicates that those who are in the habit of sending the Rugby Advertiser to men in the trenches are doing a service that is much appreciated. He says : “ I have just had a look at this week’s Advertiser, which one of our chaps had received, so do not trouble to send it this week In it you will see Rifleman Freeman’s photo. Well, I helped to bury him. He was a very decent fellow. I was only joking with him two or three hours before, but I didn’t know he lived at Kineton, so was surprised to see his photo in the Rugby paper. Rifleman Wilkins states that he is quite well, and hopes to come home on leave very shortly.


Corporal E Wiggins, Northants Yeomanry, eldest son of Mr W Wiggins, has, been gazetted to a second-lieutenancy.

Lance-Corporal Esplin, of the 8th Seaforth Highlanders, an employe of Messrs Frost and Son, has been wounded, and is now in hospital at Rubery, near Birmingham.

Mr F G Greenhill, who some years ago held the office of assistant surveyor to the Rugby Urban District Council, and who is an ex-captain of the Rugby Football Club, has received a commission as lieutenant in the Royal Engineers, and expects to proceed abroad immediately.

Official notification has been received by Mr H Newitt, 58 Abbey Street, Rugby, that his son, Pte G V Newitt (Oxon and Bucks) is in hospital at Boulogne suffering from a severe bullet wound in the abdomen. Pte Newitt worked at the B.T.H before enlistment, and has been at the front since May, He was slightly wounded about two months ago.


Rifleman Harold Smith, of the K.R.R, whose parents live at Bilton Hill, has been wounded by shrapnel and is in hospital at Cambridge. Last week he underwent a successful operation. In a letter home, he states that the Rev W O Assheton (Rector of Bilton) has visited him


Official news has been received that Pte W Munnings, R.A.M.C, another employe of Messrs A .Frost & Sons, printers, Warwick Street, has been killed while attending to the wounded. Pte Munnings joined the Army in September, 1914, but was discharged on medical grounds. He entered a hospital and underwent an operation. however, and was then accepted.


Sergt F H Lines, of the Howitzers, son of Inspector Lines, of the Rugby Police Force, has this week been home from the front.—Pte Walter R Clarke, of the Rugby Infantry Co, whose home is at 26 George Street, Rugby, is also on furlough. Both are old St Matthew’s boys, and appear none the worse for their experiences at the war.


Pte W P Clarke, Royal Marines, of H.M.S Shannon, in a letter to his old schoolmaster, Mr W T Coles Hodges, F.E.I.S, says :—“ I see quite a large number of old boys have enlisted, and that several have been laid low. Still, they have died doing their duty, as the rest of us young men are prepared to do. I am very sorry that I cannot tell you what we have done, and what we are going to do, but we have been doing our bit. Our Navy has got the right name, the ‘ Silent Navy.’ We are all longing for the big naval battle to come. I can assure you it is a bit monotonous watching and waiting for an enemy which never turns up. The only thing which they seem to have out in our line is submarines, and they always steer clear of us. Through Mr Sidwell’s tuition I have managed to represent the Royal Marines at Deal, and Chatham, and also two ships, at cricket.”


Although the canvas for recruits has not yet commenced locally, the new appeal for men has had the effect of stimulating business at the Drill Hall, and the number of men who have offered themselves has been higher than for many weeks past. The following have been attested :

J W Shrimpton (driver), G G Batchelor and A E Beech (Royal Engineers) ; F W Anderson, P G Major, A Higgins, L Boyles, F Holder, W R Townsend, E Shirley, A Mathews, W D Reeve, T Walker, E T Dunkley, H A Muddeman, J Moore, E G Marsh, A Newhound, R.F.A ; W Gunn, M.F.P. ; E Waring, Leicesters ; E G W W Hollins, J R Holder, and H E Goodwin, R.W.R ; F R M Lee and G H Neale, R.F Corps ; G T Palmer, 220th Co A.S Corp R.E ; E A Foxon, H Bartlett, H Kendrick, A.S.C ; W. J Payne, R.A.M.C ; J G Gowing, A.S.C, M.T ; A G Hone and E Osborne, A.S.C, H.T.

The following offered themselves, but owing to medical reasons were not accepted: E Eales, T Cleaver, L Painter, W E Summerfield, H C Walden, H W Kennard, and H W Duckett.

Infantrymen are urgently required.




Mr A Adnitt (hon secretary) and members of the Rugby Territorial Comforts Committee have received a number of letters of thanks from the recipients of the cakes which were recently sent to the local Territorial units at a result of the cake competition, held in the Church House. Below we give a few extracts :—


Battery S M George Hopewell, of the Howitzer Battery, writes :-“ Will you please convey to the Rugby Territorial Comforts Committee our heartiest thanks for the splendid gift of cake which we received on Saturday. I received 24 parcels in all, and sent half of them to our drivers at the wagon line and some to the Rugby men who are on the Headquarters’ Staff and in the 4th Battery, so that 160 Rugby, boys had the pleasure of enjoying their tea with cake from HOME ; and I am sure we feel greatly honoured to think that so much time, trouble, and expense has been expended on our behalf by our many generous friends, who we feel, have adopted this very practical way of expressing all their good wishes for our welfare. We were very pleased to see that a good many ladies had enclosed their names and addresses, as it is a great satisfaction to know whose hospitality one is partaking of, and to be able to thank them personally. . . . I am pleased to say that we came through the bombardment without any casualties, and thoroughly enjoyed the extra REAL work which we had to do, and are eagerly looking forward to the next similar occasion, which we hope will be more prolonged, and the last word in this long argument of nations. . . . With the exception of a few colds and other minor ailments, we are all well and in the best spirits.”

Quartermaster-Sergt Painter, of the Howitzer Battery, in a letter to Mrs C P Nickalls, states that his section had the honour of receiving the first and fourth prize winners and two highly commended cakes. He adds :—“ We were fortunate enough to receive them on Sunday morning, and they were much appreciated by the men at tea-time. If the judging had been left to the men, I am afraid they would all have been awarded first prize. On behalf of the members of the Battery I beg to take this opportunity of thanking you and the members of the Rugby Comforts Committee for the various presents which have been sent out to us from time to time.”


Corporal A Branston “ C ” Company, 1/7th R.W.R (T.F), acknowledging the receipt of the cakes, says :-“ On behalf of the men I am to express their thanks to you and the good people of Rugby for their kindness to us. I can assure you that we all enjoyed the cakes immensely. There are only a few articles badly wanted by the men in my section, such as handkerchiefs and housewives, so if you know of any good person who would send us those little articles I should be very grateful.

Quartermaster-Sergt Tomlinson, of the Rugby Infantry Co, 7th R.W.R, also acknowledges the receipt of the cakes in good condition, and says :—“ With the help of Sergt Bryant I have distributed them, and we were able to reach every Rugby man now serving with the Battery, including two men in other companies and one with the second line A.S.C. Everyone was delighted with their change of fare, and scarcely know how to sufficiently thank the kind donors. However may I, on behalf of the company, ask you to convey to all concerned our deep and grateful thanks. I am sure they would have felt somewhat repaid if they could have seen the happy little groups at tea last Sunday. The happiness, too, was extended, as many shared their cake with comrades from other towns. I think our friends who made the good things, and who attached labels, will receive personal letters of thanks from the recipients. With reference to comforts you are so kindly collecting, may I ask you to withhold sending pants for the time being. We have just had an issue of these articles ; this will probably be the only issue we shall get, and wear and tear is very hard, therefore later on we shall be glad of some to replace them. I will let you know immediately the need arises. If I may I should like to suggest the following articles of which many are in need : Razors, jack knives, and enamel mugs. We are in a district where it is almost impossible to buy anything. It is a country district, and the inhabitants have all been cleared, out, and we spend several weeks in or near the firing line.”



DEAR SIR,—As some of your readers may be aware, there is an ambulance which was equipped by the Boy Scouts, and manned by six ex-scouts. This has been doing good service at the front, but the engine is wearing out, and the body has been found unsuitable for getting over the roads near the fighting line, where they are broken up with shell fire.

Sir Robert Baden Powell, as Chief Scout, is anxious, therefore, to provide them with, a new car, and has appealed, to the scouts throughout the country to raise the necessary funds.

It is a stringent rule of the Scout movement that there shall be no touting or begging for subscriptions, and the only way, therefore, scouts can raise money is by working for it.

In asking you, therefore to publish this letter, I am not asking for donations, but only that those of your readers who: are able, will help the scouts to raise the money themselves by providing them with work.

We have set aside the week ending November 6th for this purpose, and I would earnestly ask that any householders who are appealed to by scouts during that time will endeavour to give them some work—grass cutting, wood chopping, cycle cleaning, or, indeed, any odd jobs for which scouts are always prepared. If anyone will write to me offerings any special work, I will see that their requirements are met if possible.

Scouts applying for work should be in uniform, and all money earned by them will be devoted to the above object, being turned in to their scoutmaster, with a statement of the work done and money received.—Yours truly,


Assistant District Commissioner, Rugby Division of Boy Scouts.


WILD WEST EXHIBITION.—Broncho Bill’s exhibition will visit Rugby on Thursday next, November 4th. This exhibition has a reputation because of the originality and realism of the productions. The fact that it has to do with life “ out west ” gives it a fascination which can be rarely exceeded by other entertainments. Pictures of Wild West episodes have been produced with success, and have always appealed to audiences, but to see the real thing one should visit this exhibition. Life on the prairies is represented with striking realism, cowboys, cowgirls, Indians, and fiery prairie mustangs taking part. The scenes will leave vivid impressions in the mind of the visitor. The peculiar expertness so characteristic of a Western “ character ” is displayed with great effect. An idea of the scenes depicted will be found in our advertisement columns. There will be two exhibitions whatever the state of the weather, and arrangements have been made for the convenience and comfort of 10,000 visitors.

30th Jan 1915. News from Home and Abroard



Pte R Barnes, Scots Guards, of Harborough Magna, was formerly a goods shunter at Rugby Station, and had transferred to Willesden when called up. He went out with the Expeditionary Force, and was wounded on October 29th. He was sent back to hospital in London, and has just had a spell at home. He is returning to the front on Monday next. Relating how he got his wound he writes :—

“ Here the morning I got wounded we partook of breakfast biscuit, we hadn’t time to have any more. Just then these Germans came in the back way, and tried to sell us some lead in the shape of shells and bullets. They came along in front of us in thousands. Oh ! yes ; they must have thought we were all in bed asleep so early in the morning—5.0 a.m. No ; we simply waited on them, and whatever they asked for we supplied them very quickly. But, no, they were hungry that morning, and still they came on. Our little line rallied, and then retired about 200 yards. On came those worn-out Germans, thinking we were running back to England. But, no. My ! What a shock they received when we turned round to meet them. Yes, quite 20,000 of them came in full view. Down went their first line. On we went. Still they came. Then our artillery found them. Off they went in all directions. What was left of them was very little. Their dead lay in heaps scattered about. I should think their casualties were about 15,000 to 20,000 dead and wounded that morning. But their shells burst over my head, and I happened to be in the way of a shrapnel bullet, so it lodged itself in my arm, and I was sent home. Then they found the bullet hiding behind my funny bone. What a place to hide ! Well, I have an opinion, like everybody else, and that is, that in the end the Allies will win by a very large majority. Wishing all our boys the best of luck, and a quick end to the great war.”


Mr Jim Hedges, son of Mr Fred Hedges, 63 Campbell Street, New Bilton, who is a sailor on H.M.S Canopus, has written several interesting letters home, in which he refers to the part played by this ship in the Battle of the Falkland Islands. The writer is an old St Matthew’s schoolboy, and was an expert swimmer, on one occasion winning the “ Manning ” Cup at the Public Baths.

In a letter dated November 22nd, and written from Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, he says “ We have been through pretty strenuous times while we were at sea, and after we left Gibraltar we spent a considerable time in the tropics, and the heat made it very uncomfortable for us, besides various other things which take place under war conditions. We went round the other side of South America via the Straits of Megellan, and I must say the scenery was marvellous, made more so by the snow. We have now anchored at Stanley, which is not a very big place, and we are likely to be here for some time to come. Unlike the North Sea fleet, we do not get our breakfast ‘ Daily Mirror,’ and you can guess how the September papers, which some of the chaps had sent yesterday, were scanned eagerly by everybody. A Hillmorton chap on this ship had half an Rugby Advertiser sent to him, which was welcome to both of us. Summer is coming here now, though it is always snowing ; but don’t worry at all about me, because I am in the best of health and safe, although we are not exactly living on roast duck and peas every day, we are quite all right, and ready for any stray Goebens and Breslaus that like to come along.”

On December 8th—the day of Admiral Sturdee’s great Victory—the writer in another letter home says :— I have just left this letter to go to action stations against eight German ships, the account of which you will read in the paper sooner than here. Things were going on as usual here until the engagement this morning. Our ships (not us) are chasing them, and I give them two more hours afloat.”

On December 18th he writes :-“ As I hear that the mail has not gone, I feel I would just like to tell you what went on the day before yesterday. About 9 a.m on December 8th five German warships, with three auxiliaries, were seen approaching the Falklands. Three remained off and two drew up to battle position, and stood by to give the wireless station a broadside. Meanwhile the Canopus, which was guardship at Stanley and moored head and stem on the mud, had gone to action station. As the German crew were seen to man their guns the Canopus fore turret let drive with a 12-in. shell, which missed by inches. The remainder of the ships in harbour were useless. As it was, our first shell richochetted, and half of the shell cleared the after parts of the upper deck of the German ship, Gneisneau. The two ships immediately withdrew out of range, the Gneisneau with clouds of steam issuing a midships. Unfortunately we could not get off the mud till floodtide, so the Cornwall and the Carnarvon went outside ; and the Germans, thinking they had another easy thing, like the Chili Battle, slewed round and came to engage the two small cruisers. Imagine their feelings when out from behind the Islands came the Inflexible and Invincible, followed by light cruisers—Bristol, Glasgow, Kent, and Macedonia, an armed merchant ship. We heard the guns booming for some time, and two or three hours afterwards we got the news : “ Scharnhorst and Gneisneau (the two big ones) sunk.” Later we heard : “ Nurnberg sunk by H.M.S Kent, and Leipzig sunk by Cornwall.” Now we are waiting to hear of the sinking of the Dresden, as the big ships are chasing her. Of the Karlsruhe, the ship off East Africa, more anon. Our ships saved a large number of German officers and men, and we have got a lot aboard Canopus having the time of their lives. The success of the engagement and the saving of the wireless station was due to the Canopus lookouts, and being in a position to fire on emergency, although it was unexpected on both aides.



Men are still urgently needed for practically al branches of the his Majesty’s Army. Apparently this fact is far from being realised in this district, but although a great many men have been recruited at Rugby Drill Hall, over 2,000 in fact, there are still hundreds in the town who could enlist, but who are remaining deaf to the call, as is shown by the figures for the last few weeks, which have shown a considerable falling off.

Nuneaton has already caught and surpassed Rugby’s total, while the percentage of recruits from Birmingham, which at one time did not compare very favourably with that of Rugby, is now in advance of our town.

Bearing these facts in mind, it is hoped that, with the incentive to recruiting which has been provided in other towns by the billeting of soldiers, the young men of Rugby, who have no reasonable excuse for holding back, will roll up at the Drill Hall in Park Road, where every facility for joining any branch of the service will be given by the Recruiting Officer, Colour-Sergt Winchcomb, who is always most courteous and urbane to any who are desirous of doing their part. Rugby has led the Midlands in recruiting in the past, and it would be a thousand pities if the town, of which we are all so proud, now falls into a third or fourth position.

With a view to assisting those desirous of joining, Colour-Sergt Winchcomb announces that in this district the Royal Engineers are open for carpenters, tailors, office telegraphists, saddlers and shoeing smiths. Drivers may be accepted from 5ft 3in and upwards, and others from 5ft 4in and upwards. The pay of saddlers and shoeing smiths is 5s per day. The Foot Guards are open to men of a minimum height of 5ft 8in. The R.F.A is open for gunners and drivers—the former from 5ft 6in to 5ft 10in, and the latter from 5ft 3in to 5ft 7in. The Houshold Cavalry, Royal Horse Guards only, are accepting men from 5ft 9in to 6ft 1in. Good pair-horse drivers are required by the A.S.C for horse transport, and shoeing smiths up to 45 years of age are also required at 5s per day. Wheelers, clerks, and bakers are also desired, and will be paid at the ordinarv A.S.C rates. These may be accepted up to 40 years of age. Mechanical transport drivers may pass the eyesight test with the aid of spectacles, and are accepted if physically fit to perform the work required of them. Men enlisting in the Infantry may be appointed to any regiment, but no man recruited in any district outside the Scottish command other than a bona-fide Scotsman can be appointed to a Highland Regiment. Those who do not want to attach themselves to any branch of the Regular troops may still show their patriotism by joining the Territorials, Yeomanry, Howitzers, and infantry.

The following have enlisted this week :- R.A.M.C., J Humphreys, Cyril Everest, E E Bazeley, and H Clements ; A.S.C, J E W Kingston, W H Thomas, B Darling, J Newbury, F Gardner, and E W Robinson ; R.W.R, R Colledge ; Oxon and Bucks L.I. A Woodward ; K.R.R. J Noon ; Cheshire Regiment, J O’Donnell ; Royal Dublin Fusiliers, R Cantillon ; Border Regiment, John Nolan ; Bedfordshire Regiment, Alfred Dye ; Lancashire Fusiliers, Walter Summer ; Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, Duncan Reynolds ; R.F.A, G Taylor.


The characteristic cheerfulness of the average British Tommy was admirably illustrated by an incident which occurred at Rugby last week. A good lady was sympathising with several soldiers upon the fact that they would probably be sent to the war, whereupon one of the khaki-clad heroes replied cheerfully, “ Don’t you worry about us, missis ; that’s what we get paid for.”

An amusing instance of hero worship occurred in the town the other day. A young recruit in the new Army was walking along the Lawford Road with his brand new equipment and the proud air of one who was doing his duty, when he was met by two urchins, about six years of age. The smaller of the two drew himself up stiffly, and in the approved military manner gave the salute, to which the soldier responded. The other boy, with a cynical smile, made a remark to his companion which was inaudible to the passer-by ; but the little lad, with a sigh responded in a tone of envy : “ My word, but don’t I wish I was him.”


“ Of all the towns I have been in,” said a soldier to our representative the other day, “ I have nowhere been treated so well as at Rugby, and in saying this I believe I can speak for the whole of our regiment.” The soldier, a Scotchman, has seen service in different parts of the world, and has been stationed at various centres in the United Kingdom ; but the kindness extended to the troops at Rugby far exceeded that shown by other communities, and evidently he will be sorry when the time comes for him to leave such a hospitable centre.


The first drill of this Corps will take place on Saturday, 30th January, at the Drill Hall. Fall in promptly at 7.30. Uniform to be worn.

As there is considerable doubt in the minds of some parents about allowing their sons to join, we will try and make clear our principles.

Our great aim is to train all scouts between the ages of 15 and 17 years, so that in the event of a grave national emergency we may be capable of rendering assistance even if only in a small way. One person fully trained and efficient is as good as a dozen untrained persons. If we train our boys they will be able to take their places when they are required, perchance relieving some trained body of men who could be of greater service elsewhere.

Remember the scouts of Belgium, who stood up with their fathers and elder brothers and did a man’s share of the work. Remember our own scouts, who remained at their posts during the Scarborough raid. Are we going to be less ready to prepare ourselves, and when prepared, to do our duty ? We all pray that our own fair country will not be devastated as Belgium and France has been, but if such an event comes to pass, and the Germans we may be sure will try to do so, we must be ready. Whether they come, or whether they do not, it is our duty to prepare ourselves. If your boys wish to train themselves, weask you to give them your written consent to do so. They will not be compelled to do anything or go anywhere, but let us have them ready if they should he needed. Remember Louvain !

W A RANDLES, Scoutmaster, 5th Rugby (B.T.H) Troop.



On Saturday last some of our Scouts were busy doing a ” good turn.” Detachments’ from the Lower, Murray and Elborow School troops paraded at the Benn Buildings with trucks, carts and large baskets to deliver toys and other gifts to our soldiers’ children. About 390 parcels were sent out, and the recipients were delighted with their presents. The parade was under the command of Hon Scoutmaster W T Coles Hodges and Assistant Scoutmaster L F Muriel.

It says something for the energy and intelligence displayed by the lads that the actual work of delivery was easily accomplished before tea, though the homes were as widely separated as Oak Terrace in the south, Boughton Road in the north. York Street in the west, and Spoilbank in the east.

The following boys were on duty, and the Christmas Gifts Committee, through their Secretary, have expressed their appreciation of their work :—Lower School : Scouts Ashby, Fenley, Lovatt, Milner, Sheasby, Stribley, and Watson. Murray School: Scouts Hart, Atkinson, Holes Pennington, Malin, Hasselwood, Kay, Winterburn, Clarke, Virnals, and Harris. Elborow School : Scouts Amos, Easton, Irons. Chaplain, Maynard, Hemmings, Hopcraft, Snook, Silvester, Toomes, and Wright.

16th Troop : Fall-in to-day (Saturday) at 2.30 p.m : (a) First and second-class cooking ; (b) judging distance, number, height, &c.