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.



– – – – – –


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.


16th Feb 1918. Tank Bank at Coventry


The Coventry Tank Bank was opened on Monday by the Mayor, who was accompanied by the Mayoress, Lord and Lady Aylesford, Lord Leigh, and large a number of representatives of commercial and Labour, interests. Before the Tank arrived the local bond subscription amounted to over £1,000,000, and the new announcements after Monday’s ceremony included the contributions of Courtaulds, Ltd, £100,000 ; the Mayor, £5,000 ; Lord Aylesford, £3,000 ; Lady Aylesford, £1,000 ; and Lord Leigh, £l,000.

Corpl Hutt, the Coventry man who recently received the V.C. appeared on the Tank, and handed the cheque for the citizens’ gift of £l,000, made in recognition of his bravery, to the Tank bank.

The Tank Bank results continue to be very satisfactory. Some big investments were announced on Tuesday, and more are expected.

Employees and workpeople are showing a gratifying realisation of the need to act generously. Coventry Ordnance employees, for instance, invested £33,300.

Farmers’ Day on Tuesday realised £107,303. Thus the opening two days of the Tank Bank produced £509,303.

Wednesday was Women’s Day. The opening ceremony was gracefully performed by the Mayoress.

The Earl of Denbigh, who appeared in uniform as a Colonel of the British Army, was one of the speakers. He spoke with experience of actual warfare upon the menace which faces this country if a peace of “ shreds and patches ” is arrived at.

The figures for the week up to Thursday are :—
Monday . . . . . . . . . £402,000
Tuesday . . . . . . . . . .£107,303
Wednesday . . . . . . . £100,390
Thursday . . . . . . . .. . .£72,038

Total for the four days . . £681,731


The following committee has been formed to help supply H.M. Navy with fruit and vegetables : —Mrs Brooke, Mr Burdekin (hon treasurer), Mrs Dickinson, Mr Gough, Mr A R Taylor, Mrs Paramore, Miss K Whitelaw, and Mrs H C Bradby (hon secretary).

Admiral Beatty writes that fresh vegetables have done much to maintain the health of the Fleet.

Contributions urgently required. Fruit and vegetables may be sent to the old Council Chamber, Windmill Lane (kindly lent by the Rugby Urban District Council), every Monday, between 10 a.m and 6 p.m, beginning February 18th. If contributors are unable to send their fruit and vegetables they should send a postcard to Mr Gough, Eastlands School, Clifton Road, and he will let his boys call for them weekly. Contributions of money may be sent to Mr H P Burdekin, Dalkeith Avenue, Bilton.


During the present week all persons who think they have excessive supplies of food are requested to furnish details to the Local Food Committee. A number of enquiries have already been made at the Rugby Food Office, and in each case the persons have been advised to submit a list of their stock to the committee, several of these have been received but in no case was the quantity excessive.


Previous to Christmas it was given that it was advisable to money instead of parcels of food to soldiers at the front because it had been made possible for them to purchase goods at their canteens at cheaper rates than they could be procured at home ; and, furthermore, the risk of damage or loss was not so great, and it lessened the strain on the transport service. A letter has come to hand from a trooper in the Warwickshire yeomanry, now in Palestine, which shows that the question is affected by the circumstances and locality in which the troops are situated. He writes :—

“ We have come down for a rest, and have received a quantity of mails, letters, papers and parcels, including one of your Christmas parcels. The cake and plum pudding were A1, and we enjoyed them very much indeed ; also the mince pies. Unfortunately some these were soaked owing to the heavy rain, but enough were eatable to remind us that there were still such things. I was sorry to see a letter in the Advertiser, saying that we prefer money ; but I can tell you that nothing pleases us out here more than to receive something from home, and I think it a great shame to infer that we do not appreciate a parcel from home. If these people could see us when the mail arrives I feel sure that their opinion would alter. . Of course, there are some fortunate people who are at the bases and get good food issued, but are never certain, and are frequently on bully and biscuit. It is then that your parcels are doubly appreciated. If things are very short, then we would not mind going without, and would do without rather than take everything from home.”


The funeral, with full military honours, of Lieut F G Smith, R.F.C, took place on Wednesday at Coventry. This promising young officer, a former resident of Rugby, met with a fatal accident while flying on February 8th. Lieut Smith was educated at Rugby School, and Dr David (headmaster of Rugby) with Canon Robinson (Coventry), conducted the Funeral Service. Owing to his widespread popularity, much sympathy is felt for Mr & Mrs Henry Smith. Previous to going to Rugby School he passed by County Scholarship from St. Matthew’s to the Lower School.


Quite a gloom was cast over this village on Tuesday when the sad news was received that Sergt J Webb had died of enteric fever in German East Africa. Sergt Webb belonged to the Rifle Brigade and had seen a lot of hard fighting in France, where he went on 1915. He was badly wounded, and had to undergo several operations, as a shrapnel had to be taken from his stomach. But he made a splendid recovery, and after a rest was called upon once more for duty, this time in German East Africa, where he helped to drive the Germans into Portuguese territory. Here he was promoted to acting Sergt-Major, and was attached to the King’s African Rifles to train natives. Prior to the war he was under-gamekeeper for Mr Leo Bonn, of Newbold Revel.


SOLDIER HONOURED.—Corpl H H Seeley, Signal Section, R.E, has been awarded the Mons Ribbon in France.


THE LATE LANCE-CORPL. WM RAVEN.— Since the official report of the death of Lance-Corpl Wm F Raven, letters have come to hand from his Regimental officer and comrades. Capt A Loader Hall, the officer commanding, writes that he was his own personal runner, and was a man for whom he had the greatest admiration, and he finishes thus : “ This letter is, I am afraid, only a poor appreciation of one of the finest men I have ever had in my Company.” Lieut Burton G Scrase states that his memory “ will live for ever in the minds of all who knew him,” and adds this testimony, “ I have no hesitation in saying that he has never once failed to do his duty as a soldier.” The Chaplain (Rev G C R Cooke) says that was very highly thought of also as a religious man. He was killed instantly by a bullet through the head, so he would not have suffered and I am quite sure he was ready and prepared. L-Corpl Raven’s chum, Pte A Hutton, in returning his Bible to his friends, says he read it every night before going to rest, and used to take pride in doing so.

GEORGE WINDSOR, PRISONER OF WAR.—Good news continues to be received by his parents, Mr and Mrs H Windsor, from Pte George Windsor (R.W), who has been a prisoner of war in Germany since May 3, 1917. He is now located at Gustrow in Mecklenburg. In a recent letter he say: “ I had quite a surprise packet last week. The officer I was servant to in France was wounded and captured the same day as I was, and is in a camp in Germany a prisoner war. He has found out where I am and has sent me 100 marks, German money, to the value about £3 10s English money.”


DANCE.—On Saturday evening a very successful dance was held at the Village Hall in aid of the Red Cross Hospital, Bilton, and amongst the company was a good number of wounded soldiers, who remained till about eight o’clock. There was a large company. Mrs W H Heap and Miss Commons presided at the piano ; while Mrs Powell and Mrs Shadwell had charge of the refreshments.


SMITH.—On February 8th, Lieut. F. G. SMITH, R.F.C, killed while flying ; aged 20 years.—Deeply mourned by all.

WEBB.—On February 6th, in German East Africa, of enteric fever, JOHN HENRY, second son of Mr. & Mrs. W. Webb, of Churchover, aged 24.


CLEWLOW.—In loving memory of Pte. HARRY CLEWLOW, who died of wounds received in action on February 15, 1917.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call,
And gave his life for one and all.”

DUNN.—In loving memory Pte. JAMES DUNN, the dearly beloved husband of Clara Dunn, who died of wounds received in action on February 13, 1917 ; aged 27 years.
“ Somewhere in Belgium 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 gave his all.”

29th Sep 1917. Blackberry Picking

BLACKBERRY PICKING.-During the past fortnight the scholars of various schools in Rugby and the neighbouring villages have picked 2 tons of blackberries, to be used to make jam for the Army and Navy.

UTILITY POULTRY KEEPERS’ MEETING.-There was a satisfactory attendance at a meeting held at the Eagle Hotel on Saturday to consider the formation of a branch of the National Utility Poultry Society, which, in conjunction with the Agricultural Organisation Society, is seeking to put the poultry industry on a business footing. Mr Walter Barnett (Bilton) presided, supported by Mrs Barnett, Mr E B Covington, Mr W T Fischer, &c. Mr H Tarbox read letters from a number of interested poultry keepers ; from the Secretary of the N.U.P.S, and from Capt Peirson Webber, the County Council expert, regretting inability to be present that day. After discussion, it was resolved to form a society for Rugby and district, and to convene a further meeting when the experts can tend to give details of the working of similar existing branches.


It has been decided to close – at any rate, temporarily – the Food Economy Canteen opened at New Bilton in July last, and meals will not be obtainable there after today (Saturday). Although there is no doubt that if workers had been brought to realise that meals can be obtained there far cheaper than they could be prepared at home, the canteen has not been well patronised, and there has been a weekly loss since it opened. It is gratifying to note, on the other hand, that the Chester Street canteen continues to be a great success, and there are hopes of an extension in the accommodation. Not only is bread conserved, but, thanks to the willing aid of enthusiastic honorary helpers and to the hearty co-operation of an efficient paid staff, the prices as at New Bilton, rule low for very satisfying meals. The place is always full at meal times, and many people purchase cooked food to take home. Working expenses are being met, and a weekly profit, which will go to the liquidation of the debt incurred in setting up the canteen, is being made.


Bombardier Reg Covington, R.F.A, son of Mr Richard Covington, has been gassed during the recent fighting.

The latest list of war honours contains the name of Pte J French (Rugby), Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who has been awarded the Military Medal.

Pte George Ruddle, of James Street, Rugby, is reported missing, believed killed. From his comrades it was gathered that he was almost certainly killed. He was in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

Sergt L C Cox, elder son of Mr A G Cox, Kenilworth House, Popular Grove, Rugby, after much active service in France with the King’s Royal Rifles, during which time he was wounded four times has passed first class in a special course of instruction and sails for Africa this weekend to join the King’s African Rifles. His younger Brother Albert, also with experience of the fighting in France, being twice mentioned and awarded the Military Medal, has been presented as a second-lieutenant in the King’s Liverpool Regiment.

Official intimation has been received from the War Office, that Bombardier S G Smith, son of Mrs Smith, 28 Pinfold Street, New Bilton, was killed in action in France on August 18th. He was formerly a member of the of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, and was employed by the Rover Company, Coventry when called up. A letter from the officer commanding the battalion speaks in high terms of Bombardier Smith’s performance of his duties.


CAPT E G PASSMORE, of the Northamptonshire Regiment, son of Mr S A Passmore, is in hospital at Dieppe suffering from trench fever.

News has reached the village that Pte Stowe, who was reported missing, is now a prisoner of war. This is the second prisoner of war from this village, Pte Roberts having been wounded in the leg and taken prisoner a few months ago.


KILLED IN ACTION.-Mrs Archer College, Hill Farm, Bretford, has been notified that her husband, Pte Archer Colledge, Royal Warwicks, was killed in France on September 3rd. Pte College, who went to the front in June last, lost his life in his first engagement. He was educated at Pailton Church School and was employed at Coventry Ordnance Works until called up in March last. Pte College’s Company Officer, in a letter to Mrs College, writes :- “ Although he had recently joined us, by his cheeriness and courage he soon made himself liked, and his platoon feel his loss keenly, as I do myself.” A comrade of Pte College’s, who has been in continuous action for the last 16 months, writes that the present fighting is the bitterest he has yet experienced. Pte College was 29 years of age, and leaves a widow and one child.



To-day (Saturday) an attractive event will take place in Benn’s Field, North Street, Rugby, in aid of the Rugby Prisoners of War Fund, for which a continuous and increasing flow of money is needed. The effort will consist of a great show and sale of agricultural and horticultural produce, which is being freely given by generous donors in the town and district.

Mr J J McKinnell, C.C, chairman of the Urban District Council, is the chairman of the committee, and, supported by leading residents, will open the affair at 2.30 p.m.

In the horticultural section 26 prizes are offered for competition ; and, of course, contributions of produce merely for sale will be gladly received. Already a large number of sheep, lambs, pig, rabbits, and poultry have been promised for the agricultural department ; and the auctioneers of the town, who will sell the goods, are giving their services gratuitously, as well as all others who are working so energetically to ensure success, and it only remains for the public to give their attendance-and their money-for which there will be plenty of bargains.

A large marquee. which will be lighted by electricity in the evening, will be provided ; and apart from the exhibition and sale, there will be various competitions and side-shows of an attractive nature. These will include a fire brigade competition-always an interesting item-and four brigades from Coventry will be represented in this. There will be dancing also for the young people.

For a small admission fee of 6d the visitor will, therefore, get plenty of money.

The Committee consists of Messrs. A Bell, chairman ; J Cash, hon treasurer ; G Allford, J Reginald Barker, C Cockerel, F Dunkerley, J Harker, G Harrowing, G Henton, J P Lennon, C Mewis, J J   Scrivener, F Starmore, with J R Blyth and H Lovell, joint hon secretaries.


COLLEDGE.—In ever-loving memory of Private ARCHER COLLEDGE, 20249 Royal Warwickshire Regt., killed in action on 3rd September, 1917, somewhere in France, aged 29 years.
A loving husband, true and kind,
A better father you’d never find ;
But He who orders all things best,
Has given to him eternal rest.
The end was bitter, the shock severe,
To part with one we loved most dear.
We did not see him die or hear him say goodbye ;
We miss him and mourn for him in silence unseen,
And dwell on the days is his young life has seen.
—Deeply mourned by his Wife and Child.


BARNETT.—In loving memory of Lance-Corpl. GEORGE BARNETT, 5th Oxon and Bucks, killed at the battle of Loos, Sept. 25th, 1915, son of the late James Barnett and Mrs. Sansome, 5 Gas Street. Never forgotten by his sorrowing Mother, Step-father, Brothers, Winnie and May.
He bravely answered his country’s call,
He gave his life for one and all ;
But the unknown grave is the bitterest blow,
None but aching hearts can know.

BARNETT.—In loving memory of my pal, Lance-Corpl. GEORGE BARNETT, 5th Oxford and Bucks, killed in action September 25th, 1915.
Two years had passed, my heart’s still sore,
As time rolls by I miss him more ;
His loving smile and cheerful face
No pal on earth can fill his place.
BILLIE WEBB, somewhere in France.

BROWN.—In loving memory of our dear Son & Brother, PERCY EDWIN BROWN, who was killed in action on September 25th, 1915.
Sleep on dear son and brother in your far off grave,
A grave we may never see ;
But as long as life and memory lasts,
We will remember thee.
—From Father, Mother, Sisters and Brothers.

CASHMORE.—In loving memory of PRIVATE C. CASHMORE, Oxon & Bucks L.I., who was killed in action September 25, 1915.
Our hero gone, but not forgotten,
Never shall his memory fade ;
Our sad thoughts so often wonder
To that far-off land where he is laid.
Yes, we think of him in silence,
And his name we oft recall,
But there’s nothing left to answer,
But his photo on the wall.
—From his loving Wife and Children.

EMERY.—In loving memory of ERNEST HARRY EMERY, Bdr. R.F.A., accidentally killed whilst on active service with the Salonica Forces, Oct. 1st, 1916. Interred in Mekes Cemetery.

FRANKTON.—In loving memory of our dear brother, FRED, who was killed in France on Sept. 25th, 1915.

HINKS.—In loving memory of my dear son, JOHN HINKS, of 33 Essex Street, of the 5th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, who fell asleep in action in France on September 25th, 1915.
“ The midnight star shines o’er the grave,
Of a dear son and soldier brave ;
How dear, how brave, we shall understand,
When we meet again in the better land.”
—Not for granted by his Mother, Father, Sisters and Brothers.

STENT.—In loving memory of my dear son, Corpl. P. V. STENT, who was killed in action at Loos, on September 25th, 1915.
“ Two years have passed and friends around us
Think, perhaps, the wound has healed ;
But they little know the sorrow,
Deep within our hearts concealed.”
—Silently mourned by his loving Mother, Father, Sisters, and Brother.

STENT.—In loving memory of PERCY VICTOR STENT, who was killed at Loos, Sept. 25th, 1915. “ Death divides, but memory lingers.”—From Mr. and Mrs. HARBAN and family.

STONE.—In loving memory of my dear husband, PTE. C. G. STONE, who was wounded 28th Sept., and died the 1st October, 1915.
“ They miss him most who loved him best.”
—From his loving wife Amy.

WHITBREAD.—2nd Lieut. BASIL, 14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Reported missing 22 July, 1916 ; now presumed to have been killed in action on that date.

WEST.—In proud and loving memory of FRANK WEST, Lieutenant-Colonel R.F.A. (T.), who was killed near Pozieres on September 28, 1916 ; aged 33.—“ We have found safety with all things undying.”

Smith, Joseph Charles. Died 20th Sep 1917

Joseph Charles SMITH was born in Crewe in 1897, his birth being registered at Nantwich in the 2nd Quarter of 1897.

He was the eldest son of Joseph Charles Smith [b.c.1876, Crewe] and his wife, Isobel [b.c.1873, Crewe]. They had married in 1896, and Joseph, their first child, was born in Crewe the next year.   By 1899 they had moved to Rugby and two more boys and two girls were born there.

In 1901, Joseph was three and his father was a ‘steam engine maker – fitter’; they were living at 73 York Street, Rugby. By 1911, when Joseph was 13, he was already working as a ‘Tailor’s Errand Boy’ and by then the family had moved 6 King Edward Road, Rugby, probably a larger property to house an expanded family. His father was now described as an ‘engineering worker’.

Joseph’s Service Records survives among the ‘burnt records’, which are not all readily legible, but provide considerable details of his military service.

Joseph joined up at Rugby on 1 September 1914, as a Rifleman, No.Y/532 in the 5th Battalion [Bn.] of the Kings Royal Rifle Corps [KRRC].   He declared that he was aged 18 years 4 months. It appears that he was then working as a ‘Tinsmith’s Assistant’. He was 5ft 5⅛ inches tall, and weighed 128 lbs.

His service reckoned from 1 September 1914, and he ‘joined’ at Winchester on 2 September 1914, and was then posted to the 5th Bn. KRRC on 3 September and to the 14th Bn. on the 30 October and then to the 13th Bn. KRRC on 13 July 1915. It seems he was attended a Grenade course achieving a Class II on 1 September 1916, and then was posted to the ‘D’ [?Depot] 20 April 1917.

His service dates confirm that he was – ‘Home – 1 September 1914 to 29 July 1915 [282 days]’, and then, that he went to France, ‘BEF (France) – 30 July 1915 to 19 April 1917 [264 days]’.

It seems he was posted to ‘C’ Company 13th Bn. KRRC as there is a casualty form for him when he was serving with them.

The 13th (Service) Battalion KRRC was formed at Winchester on 7 October 1914 as part of K3 and attached as Army Troops to 21st Division. They moved to Halton Park, going on in November 1914 to billets in Amersham and Great Missenden, then moved to Windmill Hill (Salisbury Plain) in April 1915 and transferred to 111th Brigade in 37th Division.[1] On 31 July 1915 they landed at Boulogne, which would agree with the date in Joseph’s Service Record.

He presumably served with them when they were in the reserve at the Battle of Loos on 26 September 1916, suffering heavy casualties, and later in the Battle of Somme in July 1916 and particularly in the Battle of Morval when the Battalion captured Geudecourt. In 1917 the Battalion was involved in the German withdrawal to the Hindenburg line and the Battalion Diary for 13th Bn. KRRC[2] noted that in March 1917 the Division had spent ‘… nearly a month in training.’ The Battalion then moved towards Arras for the forthcoming actions.

On 9 April they moved to the German Front Line trenches which had been captured a few hours before. They later advanced further and came under fire – and snow fell that night. ‘A long and tiring day was succeeded by a cold wet night, with snow and frost and no shelter for officers or men.’ On 10 April they advanced on Monchy le Preux which as they expected was defended. After much fighting, the next day, with the help of some tanks, the village was taken, but then came under enemy bombardment. The Battalion was relieved on 11 April 1917, and returned to billets at Arras. It was probably during this action in the Arras area from 9 to 11 April 1917 that Joseph was wounded.

A 13th Bn. KRRC report dated 15 April 1917 recorded that he had been wounded, and an earlier report dated 14 April from 49 FA [Field Ambulance] noted that he had a ‘GSW’ [gun shot wound] to the right shoulder. The date of the occurrence is either missing or now illegible.   However, an entry on 20 April, from 4 GH [General Hospital] appears to read ‘To England for …..’. Another entry suggests ‘Military Hospital’ ‘1/5/17’.

His Service Record confirmed his return to England for treatment: ‘Home – 20 April 1917 to 23 August 1917 [126 days].’ A later entry indicated that on 26 August 1917, he had ‘Arrived and Posted to 11th Bn.’, that is the 11th Bn. KRRC.

His new posting, the 11th Battalion KRRC, was in the 59th Brigade in the 20th Division. The Battalion Diary[3] provides considerable detail as to the activities of the 11th Battalion during this later period in the Battle of 3rd Ypres.

On 14/15 August the Battalion had left the Canal Bank, and moved to bivouac camp at Wagram Farm, and then up to near Langemark where they were relieved on 17 August.   From 18 to 27 August the Battalion was drawn back, received some replacement officers and six Military Medals were awarded to other ranks.

On 24 August, Joseph returned to France, but probably avoided the incident on the 27 August when, ‘A grenade accident caused us casualties of twenty other ranks wounded.’ On 3 September, the Battalion Diary noted ‘Reinforcements 23 O.R. received’ and this was possibly when Joseph actually reached his Battalion. In the next few days more reinforcements arrived, and training and various moves continued until the Battalion went back to the front line on 18 September, when ‘… ‘D’ Coy. came under heavy shell fire sustaining large losses’.

The action on the 19/20 September occupies several pages in the Battalion Diary, with action taking place around the Langenarck-Coedtervesten Road. The 20th Division was forming the northern defensive flank of the offensive, on a front of 1,400 yd (1,300 m) from the Poelcappelle spur to the Ypres–Staden railway flank for the Battle of the Menin Road Ridge.

‘… At 5.40 A.M the barrage opened & the front advanced to within 50 yards of the final objective and laid down until the barrage lifted when they advanced again … coming under heavy machine gun fire. … The advance was severely bombed under cover of machine & sniping fire thus holding up the line on the right … Our losses were heavy … The remnants of the Coy then got into shell holes & hung on till night fall when they withdrew … On the left the first wave reached its objective without opposition …’.

At 11p.m. after many separate smaller actions, the Battalion was withdrawn to the west of Steenbeek. The Diary entry concludes by noting that six officers were killed, with three wounded; 36 Other Ranks were killed; 43 were missing; and 127 were wounded.

Joseph was still serving with the 11th Bn. KRRC when he was posted ‘Missing’ on 20 September 1917, and later documents record, ‘Accepted for Official Purposes as having Died’ on that date. A later note on 9 July 1918, also stated ‘Regarded for Official Purposes as having Died on or since the date reported Missing’.

His record confirms his final service in Belgium: ‘ “France” – 24 August 1917 to 20 September 1917 [28 days] … [total service] … 3 years 20 days’.

Sometime, it is assumed during the assault on 20 September 1917, Joseph Charles Smith was deemed to have been ‘Killed in Action’.

His body was either never found or not identified. He is remembered on one of the Panels Panel 115 to 119 and 162A and 163A of the Tyne Cot Memorial. The Tyne Cot Memorial is one of four memorials to the missing in Belgian Flanders which cover the area known as the Ypres Salient.   Whereas those who died before 16 August 1917 are remembered on the Menin Gate, the United Kingdom servicemen who died after that date are named on the memorial at Tyne Cot. Joseph Charles Smith is also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby.

Joseph was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and the 1915 Star. His Medals were sent to his father at 6 King Edward Road, Rugby.



– – – – – –


This article on Joseph Charles SMITH 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, June 2017.

[1]       Information from:

[2]       The National Archives, UK, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), King´s Royal Rifle Corps, 37th Division, Piece 2533/1-4: 111 Infantry Brigade: 13 Battalion King´s Royal Rifle Corps (1914 Oct – 1919 Feb).

[3]       The National Archives, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, 11th Bn. King´s Royal Rifle Corps, 20th Division; also available on

30th Jun 1917. Lord Roberts Memorial Workshops



At the beginning of the present War it was realised, both by Lord Roberts and by the Committee of the Society, that in order to deal with the numbers of soldiers and sailors returning disabled it would be necessary to greatly extend the original Workshops Scheme. Various plans were discussed, but while the matter was still under consideration the great Field-Marshal passed away in the midst of his troops.


As the question of a suitable Memorial was raised, it was felt that by using the money subscribed to carry out Lord Roberts’ own suggestions and ideas with regard to the Workshops no greater and more lasting Memorial, could be given to him. After consultation, therefore, with the Countess Roberts, who gave the proposal her warmest support, it was decided to start the Lord Roberts’ Memorial Fund for Workshops for Disabled Soldiers and Sailors, and arrangements were at once made to acquire a large Factory in London, with the idea that from this centre a large manufacturing business could be established, which would give employment to all disabled men who wished to profit by the scheme.


After due consideration, the Committee decided to start Toy-making as the staple industry, to this way serving two purposes, for there was no time to lose in setting about the capture of this pre-eminently German trade.

Machinery for making wooden toys was duly installed, and the services of suitable instructors obtained.

By the end of 1915 over 80 different varieties of toys had been produced in large quantities, over 100 disabled men were employed, the public interest was aroused and the future of the Workshops as a manufacturing centre was assured.

So far so good ; but the business men in charge of the work saw much farther. They saw the need of not only providing employment for these men, but of providing a market for their goods—of manufacturing in such a way that the articles made could be sold to the trade at a trade price.

In this way—and in this way only—could they hope to make the Workshops pay their own way in the future, for it was obvious that, as the Society proposed to provide permanent employment a self-supporting industry was the only thing to be contemplated.


The problem was a stiff one. Almost every day batches of disabled men were arriving, each knowing that good work and good pay were assured him the moment he entered the Workshops. Those who had started early were now becoming experts, and the quantity of toys being turned out was enormous.

It became apparent that London alone could not deal with the constant demands for employment, and it was decided to open Provincial Branch Workshops under the control of London, thus enabling the men to work, if they desired it, in their own localities.


That the foundation of these Branches would require an immense amount of capital—a great deal more than had originally been subscribed—was obvious from the outset, as each one must be thoroughly equipped and suitably prepared before even one disabled man could be sent there. But, on the other hand, as specialisation was to be the keynote of the idea, the centre could eventually save money by arranging to manufacture goods which would assist the other Branches and the Main Workshops, and at the same time manufacturing completed articles for sale. In this way the proposed metal working Branch at Birmingham would not only make lead soldiers and other metal toys, but would provide all metal parts, hinges, bolts, dies, &c., which are wanted in the manufacture of wooden toys in London, Bradford, the Printing Branch, would print all the catalogues, posters, stationery, &c., for all the centres, and at the same time could take outside orders in abundance. And so on with every other branch.

The Workshops would thus avoid paying out to other firms what they would necessarily demand as profit, and at the same time be enabled to build up several quite distinct and important industries.


The disabled men are applying in large numbers for admission, and we want your help to give them what they ask.

The Workshops provide not for the present only, but for the whole future life of these brave men. They take them as they come, lame and halt, from the battlefield, and make of them efficient, capable workmen—not receivers of charity, but valuable units of a huge industrial and economic scheme.


Rugby’s Tribute Day is fixed for Saturday, July 7th, Mr. J. J. McKinnell, C.C., chairman of the Rugby Urban District Council, being President of the effort, and he has entrusted the organisation to Mr. J. Reginald Barker.

Every penny that can be got is wanted now. The smallest amount is not too small, but big sums are wanted too. Do not let the Workshops be held up and the work curtailed for lack of your help. Send every penny you can spare to the Hon. Treasurer, Mr. R. P. MASON, Manager, London City and Midland Bank, Rugby, and do all you can to assist the Fund in helping Rugby’s effort towards success. These Workshops are the most practical, way of finding work for our permanently disabled men in the War.


Second-Lieut O M Samson, of Rugby, has been gazetted temporary lieutenant in the R.G.A.

M House and P D Stokes, who about two years ago were prominent members of Rugby School XV, have recently been killed in action. M House was also a member of the XI.

Capt Charles H Alexander, of the Trench Mortar Section, Australian Imperial Forces, was killed in action in France on June 8th. For some years Capt Alexander was a member of the staff of the B.T.H Company, and subsequently went out to Australia, where he joined the Australian Forces on the outbreak of war. He was a brother of Mrs John Martin, of Clifton, and brother-in-law of Mr Fred Clough, of Hillcrest, Hillmorton.

Sapper G Smith, Royal Engineers Signals, son of Mr & Mrs Smith, 12 Acacia Grove, has been appointed to a temporary commission as second-lieutenant in the Special Reserve of Officers, and posted to the 3rd Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Mr Smith, who was a member of the Old Volunteer Force, was mobilized at the beginning of the War, and proceeded to France with Rugby “ E ” Company. He is a member of the permanent staff of the Post Office and an Old Murrayian.


Mr W Evans, of Catthorpe, has received official notice that his son, Pte William Evans, Royal Warwicks, was killed in action by a German shell on June 10th. He was for over two years a footman with Dr David at the School House, Rugby, and a member of the School Servants’ Cricket Club. At the time he joined—January, 1915—he was a butler at Eton College. He was seriously wounded by shrapnel on September 3rd on the Somme at the taking of Ginchy. After being in hospital three months, he returned to France in January, and had seen some severe fighting since then with the Warwicks. The Officer of his Company, writing to the parents, states that Pte Evans was killed while taking stores up to the line. As one of the Company runners, he had always shown a splendid spirit—a fine, brave boy throughout. His straight, upright character was respected and admired by all the men, and all felt his loss very keenly. Mr Evans’ second son, who is in the K.R.R, has been wounded twice and discharged as medically unfit, and his third son is serving at the Front in a Machine Gun Corps.


ROLL OF HONOUR.—Mr James Green, of Calcutt, Stockton, has received news that his son, Sergt Charles Green, R.F.A, was killed in action on June 9th. He enlisted in September, 1914, went to France the following July, and straight into action with his Battery. He went through every engagement the Battery took part in, and was wounded at the Somme in August, 1916. Since then he has been slightly wounded three times—once in the thigh by a bullet, which he pluckily extracted with his jack-knife ; once in the check, causing a nasty flesh wound ; and then again on the heel by a shell. He has also been gassed, and suffered from frozen knees, and was temporarily buried with others by the bursting of a shell. This was only a week prior to the hit that ended fatally. Letters from the Major and Lieutenant of his Battery speak highly of him as a brave and fearless soldier, and say his last action, doubtless, saved the lives of several of his comrades.


Another prisoner of war has been added to the list of the local committee, viz, Lance-Corpl C J Colley, 7th Royal Fusiliers, who is interned at Wahn. He was reported missing on April 21st, and it was not until Sunday last that he was further reported prisoner of war. His parents live at Coton House. Mr J R Barker, hon. secretary, has arranged for the standard food parcels and bread to be sent to him on behalf of the committee.

The many friends of Pte A E Hirons, of Churchover, will be glad to learn that news has at last been received of him. A letter received from another prisoner of war at Soltan says :— “ All the parcels have turned up ; it was owing to the frequent changes of address that they went astray. As soon as a parcel arrives I acknowledge and thank you for it. The chief difficulty is the address. We cannot let you know, of course, when we move and the parcels go adrift. I work in the post office here, and three weeks ago found no less than 23 parcels for Pte Hirons’ which I immediately sent on. Everything is done in order that the parcels reach their owners.”

CONCERT.—The wounded soldiers of the Rugby Infirmary Hospital gave a most enjoyable entertainment in their mess-room on Thursday last week, under the presidency of Mr W Dickens, The Commandant and most of the staff, as well as several friends from the town, attended. The programme, which was a long and varied one, was sustained throughout by the “ boys,” and every item was deservedly encored. Sergt Till (East Lancs Regiment), a fine baritone singe, was in splendid voice, and his rendering of “ Thora ” (by special request) was especially good. Others who contributed largely to the success of the evening and who deserve a word of praise were : Sergt Evans, Corp Beckett and Bostock, Ptes Heath and Holme, and “ Wee Geordie,” who impersonated Charlie Chaplin.

SPOTTED FEVER.—A fatal case of spotted fever has occurred in the Rugby rural district. All precautions have been taken.

A REGULATION has been published prohibiting an occupier of an agricultural holding in Great Britain selling or parting with possession of any horse used or capable of being used for the cultivation of the holding except with the authority of a license granted by the Board of Agriculture.


EVANS.—On June 10th, WILLIAM EVANS, the beloved eldest son of W. E. & A. M. Evans ; killed in action by a German shell in France.- “ Greater love hath no man than this that he laid down his life for his friends.”
“ Thy will be done.”

GREEN.—Killed in action in France on June 9th, Sergt. CHARLES GREEN, beloved son of James and Flora Green, of Calcutt, Stockton ; aged 28.
“ Not dead to those who loved him,
Not lost, but gone before ;
He lives with us in memory,
And will for evermore.”


ASTILL.—In loving remembrance of Pte. HERBERT ASTILL, who died of wounds received in action on June 29th, 1915.—From his sorrowing MOTHER and SISTERS.

COOMBES.—In loving memory of my dear husband, Pte. ARTHUR COOMBES, who died of wounds in King George’s Hospital, London, June 30, 1915.
“ Farewell, dear wife, my life, is past ;
You loved me dearly to the last,
Grieve not for me, but to prepare
For heaven be your greatest care.”
Also my dear son ARTHUR, who died February 26th, 1915. From loving WIFE and MOTHER.

CHATER.—In ever-loving memory of our beloved and only child, Rifleman W. H. Chater, R.B., of Dunchurch, who was killed in action at Ypres on June 30, 1916.—“ No lips need speak where the heart mourns sincerely.”—From FATHER and MOTHER.

CHATER.—In affectionate remembrance of Rifleman W. H. Chater, 12th Rifle Brigade ; killed in action at Ypres on June 30, 1916.—“ They miss him most who loved him best.”—From ADA.

COOPER.—In loving memory of 9178 Sergt. JOHN COOPER, 1st Yorks, and Lancs. Regiment ; killed in action in France on July 1, 1916.
“ Sleep on, dear brother, in a far-off grave :
A grave we may never see ;
But as long as life and memory lasts
We will remember thee.”

2nd Sep 1916. The Recruiting Officer Asks For Information

Rugby Advertiser, 2 September, 1916.
regarding the following men, as to whether they
(a) Have joined the Army ;
(b) Are excepted from the provisions of the Military Service Acts, 1916 ;
(c) Are in possession of a definite certificate or badge exempting them from liability for Military Service
(d) Are in a reserved occupation ;
(e) Have moved to another district ;
or any other information concerning them.
The above information is required to complete records in Recruiting Offices, and any communication will be treated in strict confidence.

The following are their last-known addresses :-
O. PICKLES, Railway Hotel, Rugby, age 28.
F. SMITH, 18 Gas Street, Rugby, age 29.
W. HEWITT, “ Zotha House,” Park Road, Rugby, age 30.
J. W. WALKER, 37 Wood Street, Rugby, age 30.
J. ROSS, Spring Hill, Rugby, age 18.
O. JACKSON, White Lion, Warwick Street, Rugby, age 38.
H. FRANCIS [or HEENEY], 186 Murray Road, Rugby, age 39.
T. W. ELLERTON, Bridget Street, New Bilton, age 24.
A. E. CAPEWELL, Wharf Farm, Hillmorton, age 34.
G. COOPER, Radford, age 39.
W. FIELD, Mount Pleasant, Stockton, age 27.
J. H. CARTER, 16 Oxford Street, Rugby, age 29, married.
J. TOMSON, 8 Abbey Street, Rugby, age 31, married.
A. H. WEST, Bishops Itchington, age 31, married.
A. THOROGOOD, “ Alpina,” Banbury Road, Southam, aged 32, married.
W. POMFRET, 49 James Street, Rugby, age 21, married.
A. A. BALL, Whitnash, aged 38, married.
W. CALLODENE, Licensed Hawker, Dodson’s Field, Rugby, age 40, married.
F. C. BATES, Station Road. Rugby, age 40, Rugby, married.
J. E. CRAMP, 18 Gas Street, Rugby, age 24, married.
J. W. BOSTON, 40 Railway Terrace, Rugby, age 40, married.
WM GEORGE TRUSSLER, 14 Sheep Street, Rugby, age 31, married.
G. THOMAS, 2 Elborow Street, Rugby, age 34, single.
W. H. BRERETON, 11 Rowland Street, Rugby, age 25, single.
P. COWLEY, 91 Abbey Street, Rugby, age 22, married.
J. W. WILLIAMS, 21 Worcester Street, Rugby, age 22, married.
T. BOYLES, 18 Gas Street, Rugby, age 26, married.
P. JOHNSON, Long Itchington, age 28, single.
W. T. HARREN, Butlers Marston, Kineton, age 24, married.
JOHN FITZSIMMONS, 121 Oxford Street, Rugby, age 32, married.
A. ARTHUR, 51 Manor Road, Rugby, age 37, married.
A. K. FRAZER, 3 Castle Street, Rugby, age 36, married.
H. SMITH. 36 Poplar Grove, Rugby, age 37, married.
H. WILSON, 50 King Edward Road, Rugby, age 28, married.

The following are their last-known addresses :-
H. E. TREECE, 17 Boughton Road, Brownsover, age 26, married.
WILLIAM HENRY WALKER, Westhorpe, Willoughby, age 25, single.

It must be clearly understood that Lists of Men who have failed to report themselves are compiled after every endeavour has been made to trace them, both by the Military Authorities and the Police, who furnish a written report on each individual case.
Under these circumstances any mistakes made are owing to the default either of the employers or men concerned or their relatives, who have failed to notify the change of address as required by the National Registration Act.

F. F. JOHNSTONE, Lieut.-Colonel, Recruiting Officer.
2nd September, 1916.


Sergt-Major James Ward, late of the Old Manor House, Kilsby, serving in the Ammunition Column Brigade, Canadian Artillery, who recently was awarded the D.C.M, has now been promoted to a lieutenancy in the Trench Mortar Battery of a Canadian Division.


Pte H Perrin, elder son of Mr J Perrin, Victor’s Street, Rugby, who was invalided to England on June 28th suffering from influenza and acute rheumatism, his numerous friends will be pleased to learn that a letter has been received from Sister Chell, of Seafield Hospital, Blackpool, stating that he is now well on the way to recovery. Bandsman G A Walden, of the Worcester Pioneers, whose parents reside at 20 Campbell Street, New Bilton, is in hospital in France suffering from shrapnel wounds ; but letters from two officers of the company to which Walden belongs state that he is progressing favourably.

Second-Lieut Eric P St George Cartwright, Leinster Regiment (Machine Gun Section), youngest son of Mr Arthur Cartwright, late H.M Inspector of Schools for Northamptonshire District, was killed on August 13th. He was educated at Bilton Grange, Rugby, and at Charterhouse, where he was a member of the O.T.C.

Pte John Waring, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was killed in action on July 27th. The soldier, who was aged 28, and single, was the son of Mr James Waring, of Bubbenhall. For many years he was engaged under the Warwickshire County Council in superintending road repair work.


Pte C Cashmore, of the Oxford and Bucks L.I, reported missing since September 25th last year, is now regarded by the Military Authorities as having been killed on or about that date. He formerly worked in the foundry at the B.T.H.


WOUNDED.—Mrs H Smith, of Newbold. was notified on Saturday last that her husband, Corpl Horace Smith, of the Royal Engineers, had been wounded in the back and arm. Corpl Smith enlisted soon after the war commenced. He is in hospital in France, and is progressing favourably.


CORPL WELLS WOUNDED AGAIN.—Mr George Wells has been notified that his son, Corpl F A Wells, has been wounded again. He belongs to the Royal Warwicks (T.F), and had been in France again for some time, having recovered from his previous wounds. Another brother, Harvey Wells, has been suffering from shell shock ; whilst another is at the front. Much sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Wells.

A BRAVE FELLOW.—Particulars have been received in the village of the bravery of the eldest son of Mr Fred White, who for many years resided at Bretford. Bert White as a boy attended Brandon School, and left there for agricultural work. He eventually emigrated to Canada, and when war broke out he returned to fight for the Old Country, He was eventually rejected because of a crooked toe. However, this did not quench his ardour, for he had the toe taken off, and is doing good work with the Royal Engineers. His father and mother now reside at St George’s Road, Coventry. The people of Bretford and the teachers and scholars of his old school feel proud of him.


CASUALTIES.—Second-Lieut J D Barnwell, of the R.W.R, second son of Mr W D Barnwell, is now seriously ill with blood poisoning, and Mrs Barnwell is still in France with him.—Mr and Mrs Bull, Mill Street, have received intimation that their son in the 3rd Dragoon Guards has been wounded ; and Mrs Richardson, Tail End, has received similar news in regard to Pte R Richardson, K.R.R. Pte E Walton, of Thurlaston, same regiment, has also been wounded.


REFUGEES.-A meeting of the subscribers to the Refugees’ Fund was held in the Church Room on Friday evening in last week. The Rev G A Dawson presided, and Mr W E Brown presented the audited accounts, showing a balance in hand of £1 14s. It was also explained that the family had left the village, and the man had been at work for some time ; and was, therefore, independent of any further support from the subscribers. The balance in hand (£1 14s) was unanimously voted to the Prisoners of War Fund. A very hearty vote of thanks was accorded to Mr Brown for the admirable manner the arrangements in connection with their guests had been carried out. In response, Mr Brown expressed his readiness to further any good cause during this time of national stress.


A letter has this week been received by Mr. J. Reginald Barker, Hon, Secretary of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee, from Bandsman C. Rowe, 1st Royal Welsh Fusiliers, a British prisoner of war, who has had the good fortune to be sent from Germany to Switzerland. Bandsman Rowe has been receiving help for some months from the Rugby Fund, and his letter is additional proof that the parcels of food sent every week to the local men who are war prisoners in Germany do actually reach them. It also emphasises the fact that unless these parcels are continued the men will undoubtedly starve. It therefore, hoped that the special effort the committee is making to raise funds to ensure the continuance of the weekly parcels of food and clothing will meet with a very generous response, that everyone in Rugby and the surrounding villages will give all they can possibly spare on Saturday next, September 2nd. Donations toward the Fund should be sent to Mr. Barker at 9 Regent Street, and same will be gladly acknowledged.


August 14th, 1916.

DEAR SIR,—Just a line to ask you to discontinue any parcels to Germany, as you will see by the above address that I have had the splendid luck to get into a civilised country. I received your parcels during my stay in Germany, and beg to tender my sincere thanks to your subscribers and Committee for the good they are doing.

No one at home can believe the great appreciation our boys in Germany have towards the kind people who send the parcels. They are very anxious to know whether the parcels will always continue, as otherwise THEY WON’T COME OUT OF GERMANY ALIVE.

I have been in Germany twenty-one months, and endured the terrible hardships of the first six or eight months when no packets came through.

Only just lately, at Mannheim, the parcels were delayed on account of shifting from different camps, and consequently nineteen men out of my room were in HOSPITAL ON ACCOUNT OF EATING THE GERMAN FOOD. Most of them were wounded and out of Cologne Hospital. I will be only too pleased to answer any enquiries regarding the parcels, &c.

With my sincere thanks, I am, Sir,
Yours sincerely,

Mr. J. Reginald Barker,
Hon. Secretary,
Prisoners of War Help Committee,
9 Regent Street, Rugby.


During July and August, the Warwickshire Territorials were in the thick of the fighting in France, and had a very hard time of it, and, that is to be regretted, had many casualties ; but they covered themselves with glory. Their brave deeds have been eulogized in unqualified turns by the Special Press Correspondents, who have been privileged to visit the area in which the fighting has been going on. These citizen soldiers have been drawn from Birmingham and all parts of the county of Warwick, and have left all kinds of peaceful occupations to voluntarily undertake the training necessary to fit them for such an arduous campaign. The unanimous verdict of all the correspondents is to the effect that now that fighting is their trade, our Warwickshire lads are more than a match the best professional soldiers Germany can put up against them.

Early in July they formed part of the attacking force upon Anere, a little later they were in at capture of Ovillers-la-Boiselle, and afterwards led the great push towards Thiepval. They meritoriously carried out the work allotted to them, and captured one of the Germans’ strongest points, which had hitherto successfully resisted our attacks ; and they captured 500 prisoners, which one correspondent says was the big bag of the week.

In this particular operation the Warwicks were ordered to attack at a certain time, and after the usual artillery preparation, which was violently returned by the Germans, who used gas and tear shells, they went forward with an irresistible rush—in some places having to traverse 200 or 300 yards of open ground swept by machine guns before they could come to grips with Fritz. But their own machine guns and snipers, meanwhile, played great havoc among the defenders, and so terrific was the onslaught of the Warwickshire men that many machine gun crews (who, by the way, are among the bravest of German soldiers, and most stubborn) surrendered with a freedom which had never been observed before. But, nevertheless, there were several instances of typical Hun treachery after the hoisting of white flags—but with the inevitable result to the treacherous ones.

When the Warwicks had cleared the Germans from their trenches and dug-outs, and had a little time to look round, they discovered in the dug-outs and luxuriously equipped funk holes no lack of evidence in the way of half-consumed meals and luxuries, also cigars and cigarettes which had been partly smoked, that the Germans had no idea of being “ outed ” in such a hurry.

In one dug-out there was in the midst of all the horror a comic episode, like that of a clown in tragedy. A curtain divided the dug-outs, and a Warwickshire man thrust his bayonet through it. Suddenly the curtain was drawn on one side and German soldier, yawning loudly and rubbing his eyes with the knuckles of one hand, stood there, as though to say, “ What’s up?” He had slept heavily through the bombardment and attack, and now, when he saw the English soldiers facing him believed he was dreaming. So the Warwicks took 400 yards of trenches along a front of 600 yards, and thrust the wedge closer to Thiepval.

The men were splendidly led, and the officers-among whom there were, unfortunately, many casualties—had nothing but praise for the fighting qualities of the rank and file.

Both the courage and skill of these Warwickshire troops (who have received official congratulations from Headquarters and most whole-hearted thanks from the Anzac troops fighting on their right) saved them from heavy casualties. Since then the Wilts and Gloucesters have had a similar opportunity, of distinguishing themselves and they rose to the occasion with equal success.

And these men are typical of our citizen army


Realising that men are still urgently required for the Army, the County Appeals Tribunal, sitting at the Benn Buildings, Rugby, on Friday last week, intimated, through the Chairman, that they had got to put on pressure. In several cases appeals were dismissed, and in others the period of exemption was reduced.

The members of the Tribunal present were : Messrs M K Pridmore, W Johnson, jun, P G Loveitt. Messrs M E T Wratislaw and F M Burton represented the Military Authorities, and Mr J E Cox watched the proceedings in the interests of agriculture.


The first case was that of Wm Tisot, scrap iron and metal merchant, 7 Lawford Road, New Bilton, whose appeal had been adjourned, and respecting whom a munitions order was now made.


The Military representatives had appealed against the granting by the local Tribunal of temporary exemption till February 1st to Francis T H Oldham, art student, The Cedars, Long Lawford ; but, in view of a recent Army order, that youths are not to be called up before attaining the age of 18 years 8 months, they withdrew their appeal.


“ I do as much work now in a day as I used to do in a fortnight,” said Wm Frank Holloway, (36, married), stud groom, Toft House, Dunchurch. Whose exemption to October 1st to enable his employer to make other arrangements was appealed against by the Military Authorities.—Mr Wratislaw said there were two other men on Mr Rodoconachi’s farm of less than 100 acres.—Mr Holloway said, in addition to attending to the hunter stud, he helped on the farm and assisted at any job that wanted doing.—Given to September 25th, with the warning that it was very improbable that further time would be granted.


Fredk Ernest Wm Lowe (36, married), 112 Lawford Road, New Bilton, claimed exemption on various grounds, including that of being sub-postmaster, as which he paid on Fridays 37 old age pensions.-Mr Harold Eaden pointed out the serious inconvenience it would be to these aged people to have to walk up to the General Post Office at Rugby.—The Chairman : Which concerns them most—the Germans coming or having to go a few yards extra to get their pensions ? In his statement, Mr Lowe said it would mean absolute ruin to him to join the Army, as he would have to sell everything at a sacrifice.-Given till September 25th, the Chairman remarking that men were very urgently needed, and they had got to put on pressure.


Being only passed for Labour A, John Harry Clowes, stationary engine driver for Messrs Parnell & Son, 4 Chester Street, Rugby, asked for the renewal of a certificate of exemption granted by the local Tribunal.-Mr Eadon said the firm would be content with exemption till October 1st, and this date was agreed upon.


As William Leslie Morgan (24, single), dentist, 5a Regent Street, Rugby, did not, for the second time, attend personally to support his claim (although represented by Mr Eaden), Mr Wratislaw intimated that he considered the man was a shirker.—Mr Eaden : I should be sorry to say that. On the other hand, he is a very busy man.—Appellant had been passed for home garrison duty only, and asked for either a substantial period of exemption, or for the liberty to withdraw his appeal and renew it when he received his papers calling him up.—The Clerk to the Tribunal pointed out that as appellant was an unattested man, the Tribunal could not take the latter course.—Appeal dismissed.


Temporary exemption till October 1st had been given to William Fredk Perrin (30, single), haulier and coal merchant, 177 Oxford Street, Rugby ; but the Military lodged an appeal, which was upheld on their promising not to serve the papers for a month.


Another Military appeal was that in respect of Thos Wm Harrowing, boysman at a school boarding house, 26 Manor Road, Rugby, who had been given till September 1st to find work of national importance.—Mr Worthington said the man was now working at the B.T.H, and was badged.—The Chairman : As long as he is badged he is all right.


Asserting that he supplied vegetable food for over three-quarters of Rugby, Mr J Craze asked to be allowed to retain his foreman, Harry Hyde (27, married), 16 York Street, whose exemption till November 1st did not meet with military approval.

Mr Craze said a man not used to the business and over military age was not able to lift orange boxes. Both his sons and another man had gone into the Army, and he should be hopelessly at sea (in case of illness) without his foreman.—The Chairman said we had got into such a position that we could not help ourselves, and he told applicant that he would have to see if two girls could shift his orange cases.

The foreman appealed on domestic grounds, he having a mother to support ; but the Chairman assured him his case was nothing like so hard as some others.—Exempted till October 25th, and the Chairman told Mr Craze they were rather stretching the point because he had such a good record as to his sons.


Daniel Lloyd, farmer, Brownsover, had claimed temporary exemption on behalf of his son, Evan Harrison Lloyd (23, and single), but neither attended the Tribunal.—Appellant, in a written statement, said if his son did not obtain exemption he should have no alternative to selling the stock and giving up the farm.—The appeal was dismissed.


John Gardner Hall, dentist and manufacturer of artificial teeth, 20a High Street, Rugby, who had been granted time to complete his business contracts, &c, was also absent when his case was called on, and his appeal was likewise dismissed.


HUGHES.—On August 16, 1916, Rifleman John Hughes, aged 18, son of the late Arthur William Hughes, late storekeeper of Rugby Sheds. Killed in action. Rifleman John Hughes is a cousin of Driver W. Chadburn, in France.—“ He gave his young life for his King, and country.”-From MOTHER, SISTER and BROTHER.

MESSENGER.—Killed in action on August 5, 1916, in France, Private John Thomas Messenger, of the Australian Imperial Force, son of Mr. T. T. Messenger, Barby.

SHAW.—In loving memory of Pte J. C. Shaw, of the R.W.R., second son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Shaw, of the Coventry Road, Dunchurch, who was killed in action in France on August 1, 1916 ; aged 26 years and 11 months.

“ No loved one stood beside him
To hear his last farewell ;
But we hope to meet in heaven,
And there for ever dwell.”


LINES.—Killed in action, “ somewhere in France ,” Henry, the dearly beloved son of Mr. and Mrs. C. Lines, Napton ; aged 27 years.

“ We often sit and think of you,
And tenderly breathe your name ;
Nothing left of you to look at
But your photo in a frame.”
—Deeply mourned by his FATHER, MOTHER, BROTHER, SISTERS, and MAY.

OSBORN.—In loving remembrance of George Osborn, who died in the Dardanelles on August 30,1915.

“ I often sit and think of him,
And think of how he died ;
To think he could not say ‘ Good-bye ‘
Before he closed his eyes.”


12th Aug 1916. Down With Diphtheria But Not Depressed


A Rugbeian has this week received a letter from his brother, who is now in a hospital in France suffering from diphtheria :—

“. . . Many thanks for sending on the dictionary. I lost mine, and as my spelling deteriorated 50 per cent without a dictionary, a dictionary becomes a very important part of my equipment. I wanted a dictionary to find the meaning of the word ‘ scabies.’ It was not in the aforesaid—that’s the right word, isn’t it ?—book. I don’t think I need refer to the dictionary for that. Sit on a box of itch-he-coo powder, it will soon explain itself . . . As you remark, diphtheria is not to be treated lightly, but it’s not thought so serious as it used to be, thanks to the injection of an anti-toxin which consists of 4,000 germs which they inject in your chest. This little army proceeds in marching order and makes a rear attack on the enemy’s trenches. After repulsing a severe counter-attack, they succeeded in opening the lines of communication again, thus enabling me to talk to Nurse and also to partake in the jellies and custards, etc. A nice soft bed to lie on—the first bed for 15 months. I made a fuss of it, too, for eight or nine days. Sister daily takes your temperature, and feels your pulse, makes the bed, and tucks you up. Dear, dear. . . . who wouldn’t have diphtheria ? Now I am stage number two, making myself generally useful washing up pots and pans, laying tables, cutting bread-and-butter, etc. I have had one swab taken since being in hospital. They take a swab every week. If you get three negatives, you are free of the germ ; but if you have positive, you are a germ-carrier, and they keep you a bit longer. My first swab was a negative.


Battery Sergt-Major George Hopewell, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, writing to Mr A Adnitt, as hon secretary of the Rugby Territorials Comforts Association to thank him for parcels of comforts received, adds :—

“ You will be pleased to know that one of our boys, Gunner Bosworth, has been awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the field on July 21st, going out under heavy fire several times to repair the telephone wire in order to keep up communication with the battery. He was also mentioned in Sir Douglas Haig’s despatch for distinguished conduct in the field.

“ We have been in the thick of the fighting since July 1st, but have been very fortunate as regards casualties, as we have had only five wounded—Corpl Hipwell, Bombardiers Smith and Rixom, and Gunners Seaton and Packwood.

“ I dare say you read in the papers about our Division, together with the Anzacs, taking one of the most important points along the front on July 23rd. They were congratulated by the Commander-in-Chief and the Corps Commander on their performance.”

Gunner Bosworth is the son of Mr G Bosworth, who formerly worked as a painter for Messrs Linnell & Son, but has now removed to Essex. His grandfather resides at Lutterworth.

In a letter to his old schoolmaster, Gunner Bosworth, an Old Murrayian, says :- “ On the morning of the ‘ big push ‘ I was on duty at our observation station, and had occasion to go out on the line and repair breakages caused by the shelling. The O.C. was good enough to bring the incident to the notice of the General, and I have since heard the good news of being granted the above medal.”


The following letter from the Brigadier Commanding the Artillery Division to the O.C’s of the Batteries and Ammunition Columns, will be of much local interest :—

“ Will you please convey to all ranks my appreciation of the excellent work performed by the batteries and D.A.C during the last five weeks. The preparation of gun positions for the July offensive entailed continuous and very hard work on the batteries, but this labour was well repaid in the fewness of the casualties suffered at the guns. The Division subsequently taking over reported that they were the best positions they had yet seen.

“ The continual night firing has been particularly trying, but the shooting was consistently good, which reflects great credit on all ranks, and the successes gained by the Infantry were, in the words of the Divisional Commander, largely due to the effective support rendered by the Artillery. I hope during this week all ranks will be able to get the rest which they all deserve.



The Turks on Friday last week made another and disastrous attempt to reach the Suez Canal. The point chosen for the attack, which was made by 14,000 troops, was Romani, 18 miles east of Port Said. While holding the frontal attack the British, on the southern flank, retired until the enemy had become involved in the sand dunes. A counter attack was then made with all arms, which was completely successful, and at dawn on Saturday the enemy was in retreat, with our troops in vigorous pursuit. The Turks suffered heavily, and so far the British captures comprise 45 officers and 3,100 men, including some Germans, four mountain guns, and a number of machine guns. The British Commander-in-Chief pays warm tributes to the Anzac troops, the Territorials, the Royal Flying Corps, and the monitors, which, firing from the Bay of Tina, gave valuable assistance. During the day the temperature was 100 degrees in the shade.

“ The Times ” correspondent says :— “ The brunt of the fighting was borne by Anzac mounted troops. Of the British troops, the Scottish and Lancashire Territorials and the Warwickshire and Gloucester Yeomanry fought splendidly, and amply avenged the previous loss of comrades by taking over 300 prisoners and two camel guns, and inflicting very heavy casualties. From Territorials of average quality in peace times they have improved into a brigade of veterans. They left the railway at a place within sound of heavy rifle fire, and light-heartedly marched away to attack through ankle-deep sand, and thoroughly proud that their time had come. A little later, from a different spot, I saw Warwickshire and Gloucestershire Yeomanry marching over flatter country, with flankers advanced and rear guards and squadrons as well alined as on parade.”


Sergt H Lee, R.W.R, until the War employed in the gardens of Dunsmore, and Pte H T Gardner, of the same regiment, whose home is at Clifton, have been reported wounded.

Mr W W College, 9 Church Street, Rugby, has received official intimation that his youngest son, Pte W F College, Royal Warwicks, was reported missing on July 19th. He only joined up in November last year, and had been out in France about three months.


News has been received that Lieut Eric Arthur Ray Smith, R.W.R, son of Mr A E Smith, of Enfield, was killed in action on July 22nd. Lieut Smith, who was 27 years of age, and was married, occupied the Manor Farm, Clifton, until he was given a commission in the R.W.R last year, and was well known locally.


Mr W A Reynolds, of 26 West Leyes, Rugby, has received news that his son Arthur, a private in one of the Territorial Battalions of the R.W.R, has been posted missing since July 19th. Pte Reynolds was 20 years of age, and joined the army 12 months ago. He has been in France about two months. Before joining the army he was employed in the tailoring department of the Co-operative Society.


Information has been received by Mrs R Harvey, Windsor Street, Rugby, that her son, Lance-Corpl Edward Harvey, of the Hampshire Regiment, was killed in action on July 1st. Lance-Corpl Harvey enlisted at the beginning of the War, prior to which he worked at Newbold Cement Works. He had been in France 15 months. He was 35 years of age and a native of Rugby. Before the War he lived in Bridget Street, Rugby. He leaves a widow and four children. Mrs R Harvey has two other sons at the front.


Mr and Mrs A Morson, of The Chace, on Monday received news that their son, Second-Lieut P A Morson, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, had been wounded on August 1st. Lieut Morson joined the H.A.C as a private, and proceeded to France on July 1, 1915. He saw much of the fighting round Ypres and Hooge, and then in April of this year he received his commission. He went all through the recent big advance until wounded on August 1st, and he is now in the Second General Western Hospital at Manchester. He received six wounds in the left hip and thigh and one in the left shoulder. An operation has been successfully performed, and his friends will be pleased to hear that he is now going on well.


Mrs Cleaver, of 28 Plowman Street, has been notified by the War Office that her husband, Pte M E Cleaver, of the R.W.R (T.F), has been posted as missing after an engagement on July 19th. Pte Cleaver, who was a native of Rugby, lived in the town till a year or two ago, but at the time of enlistment he was residing at Banbury. He has four young children.

In the same platoon as Pte Cleaver was an old Rugby footballer, well known as “ Zooie ” Batchelor. He is now in hospital near Liverpool, suffering from shell shock, which has rendered him deaf and dumb.


News has been received by Mrs Bromwich, of Pailton Pastures, that her son, Lance-Corpl E J H C Bromwich, of the Northants Regiment, was killed in action on July 18th. Her husband was killed in the Boer War, and Lance-Corpl Bromwich entered the Duke of York’s School for soldiers’ sons at the age of 14. Although he was only 20 years of age, he had, therefore, served six years in the Army. He was wounded last autumn, but recovered, and was drafted to the front again.


Second-Lieut Eric Arthur Rae Smith, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who, as recorded in our last issue, was killed in action on July 22nd, was the youngest son of Mr Arthur K Smith, Pencarrow, Enfield, and was 27 years of ago. For some years before the War he was in the H.A.C, and in April, 1915, obtained a commission in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, proceeding to the front last May. His Commanding officer writes : “ He was killed whilst leading with the utmost gallantry his platoon into action on the night of July 22-23. In him the Battalion has lost a truly gallant officer of great promise, who had already endeared himself to all ranks.” When Lieut Smith joined the Forces he was occupying the Manor Farm at Clifton-on-Dunsmore.


Considerable regret will be felt locally at the confirmation of the rumour, circulated in the town last week, that Sergt-Major William John Bryant, of the Rugby Infantry Company, had been killed in action. The news was conveyed to Mrs Bryant, the widow, who lives at 98 York Street, in a letter from the O.C of A Company to which Sergt-Major Bryant was attached on his promotion from the rank of sergeant. The writer says :— “ His death came as a great shock to us all. When such men as he go from us a sort of despair follows, and we feel one of our great supports has gone. He was for some time the quartermaster-sergeant of the company—a post which does not entail so much danger as that of sergeant-major. But as soon as his predeccessor (Sergt-Major Wood) was wounded he lost no time in stepping into his place, and I always remember how eager he was to be right up in the trenches, as close to the enemy as possible. His long service with the regiment, his good character and capacity for doing honest sound work, will ensure that his memory will always remain with those who have known the regiment. His loss is one that it will be hard to replace, and the sympathy of all of us goes out to you.” Sergt-Major Bryant, who was killed while leaving the trench on July 26th, was the second son of Mr Wm Bryant, of Rugby. He was 43 years of age, and leaves a widow and eight children, six of whom range from 15 to 4 years of age. He had been connected with the Rugby “ E ” Company for 25 years, and in 1914 he won one of the company challenge cups. He was a builder by trade, and was highly respected by all who knew him.


On Wednesday last Mr and Mrs Neal received official intimation from the War Office that their son, Pte W H J Neal, of the Royal Berkshire Infantry Regiment, was killed in action on July 30th. Pte Neal was 19 years of age on the day he was killed. He only enlisted on the 13th of April last as a Driver in the Royal Field Artillery. He had been transferred about a week to the Royal Berkshire Infantry Regt and sent out to France, when he met with his sad end. On enlistment he was being employed by the Sparking Plug Co, but had previously worked at the Rugby Portland Cement Co at Newbold for a considerable time. He was a bright youth, and much sympathy is expressed with his parents in their sad bereavement.


We regret to learn that Major Darnley is lying very ill in hospital in Malta.

Lieut-Col F F Johnstone is returning to the command of the 2nd Battalion the Warwickshire Volunteer Regiment.

Temporary Lieut W C Muriel, of the 9th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, has been promoted Captain as from the 1st of July.

Capt E R Hopewell, of the 7th Worcestershire Regt, who was wounded in the recent fighting in France, has been awarded the Military Cross. He is a son of Mr E W Hopewell, formerly of Rugby.


Attempting to board a motor lorry in motion, Corporal Edgar Percival Haddock, of the Royal Engineers, stationed at Welford, Rugby, fell and sustained severe internal injuries, from which he died soon after admission to Northampton Hospital, on Friday last week. At the inquest, held at the hospital on Saturday evening, a verdict of “ Accidental death ” was returned. Corpl Haddock, who was 19 years of age, was a son of Mr Edgar Augustus Haddock, the director and principal of the Leeds College of Music and the director of the Mayfair School of Music. He was a motor engineer, and at the time of the accident was working with other members of his Company on the telegraph wires on the main road between Northampton and Rugby. He was located at Rugby for a time.



As the result of a collision between two aeroplanes near Rugby on Thursday afternoon one of the machines crashed to the ground, and the occupants, Lieuts Rogers and de Frece, of the Royal Flying Corps, were killed instantly. The other machine made a safe descent, saw the occupants were uninjured.

In consequence of the accident a concert, which was to have been given on behalf of a Soldiers’ Comforts Fund, was postponed.


To the Editor of the Advertiser.

SIR,—As one of the old “ E ” Company Terriers, I am writing a few lines to let you know that some of us are still plodding along.

Since we came out to France some 17 months ago we have been practically under shell fire the whole of the time, with the exception of about a fortnight, when we were going to have a rest, but were recalled to have another spell in the trenches. Although up till the present time we have not been what we called “ over the top,” we have done some excellent work, for which we have been greatly praised by the various commanders. For one to say that he had not been away from the Battalion an hour during this long period of trench life hardly seems credible, but this is the case with the majority of us. All through the winter we had to keep pumps going, as the water was very often up to our thighs, and overflowed into the tops of gum boots, which we were provided with for winter trench work. Then, again, we had wiring to do at night. Doubtless, if our neighbour across the way could not find us sufficient work one way, he would do so by shelling our wire and trenches. During our tour we have experienced shell of all calibre. Among those we received there was one which we named “ Gommy Lizz ”— a most objectionable neighbour, for when it exploded it would throw pieces of metal with razor-like edges. The largest of these bombs weighed about 200lbs.

I must not forgot to tell you of the things that happen behind the lines in the way of amusements. There are three Pierrot troupes, who used to give us some splendid turns. Then, again, there is the cinematograph. This we must thank the B.S.A for. It is a splendid machine, and included engine and dynamo for lighting purposes.

Now we have the Divisional Band, which plays to our Battalion in turn. It is composed of all the best musicians in the Division. When hearing this it makes us wish we were in the Park at Rugby instead of this place.

I must now return to the trench life, as I think this is our most important work. We have been in the great offensive, for which we were highly praised, and I might also say we have been in the great advance, but am very sorry to say we lost some of our best pals. The work of our guns, both large and small, has been excellent at this point. I will now close, leaving us all in the best of spirits and health,—I remain, yours sincerely, A. V. A.

August 2, 1916.


DEAR —-— Just a few lines in haste to let you know I am all right. No doubt by now you will know we have been in for it. We have lost very nearly all of the Company. I am the only sergeant left. We have no officers ; they are all wounded or killed. We thought none of us would get through alive. We smashed them up with a seven hours’ bombardment, and then went for them. We got into their second line, and stopped there for about two hours. The slaughter was awful ; there were heaps of dead. Captain — was killed going over, two lieutenants were wounded, and the others we do not know anything about. We sent about 35 prisoners back from their front line to ours. I stood talking to the sergeant-major at the time, and one of the Germans asked for a drink of water. One of our men gave him one, and as soon as he had had a drink he snatched up a rifle that stood by the trench and shot our Company sergeant-major through both legs. I need not say what became of him. I am glad I am all right, thank God ; but their are a good many that have gone. Just fancy, it took two years to train the Battalion, and they were cut up in about two hours. But I will not say any more about it ; I want to try and forget it. GEORGE.

To Employers

Employers are reminded that it is an offence under the Munitions of War Acts 1915 and 1916, punishable by Fine not exceeding £50, for any person to Employ anyone who has been engaged in a Controlled Establishment within Six Weeks from the date of leaving unless he or she can produce a Leaving Certificate (Form M.T. 23), or a Certificate issued by the Chairman of a Munitions Tribunal.

The attention of Employers is directed to Statutory Rule No. 121 relating to Certificates, also to M.M. 14, being a Memorandum for the guidance of Employers in regard to Leaving Certificates which can be obtained upon application at any Labour Exchange.

The British Thomson-Houston Co. Ltd.
Willans & Robonson Limited.

PROSPETS OF DEARER BREAD.—There has recently been a substantial advance in the price of flour. Within three weeks it has risen by 8s a sack, and it is very possible that the effect will be that householders will have to pay more for their bread in the near future. Sugar continues to be scarce and dear, and the Sugar Commission has just issued posters urging economy in the use of this very essential article of food.


HARVEY. Killed in France on July 1st, 1916, Lance-Corporal Harvey, 1st Hampshire Regiment, son of Mrs. R. Harvey, Windsor Street, Rugby, aged 35.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call,
His life he gave for one and all.”


LEACH.—In loving memory of our dear son, Percy John Leach, who was killed at Sulva Bay, Gallipoli, on August 6,1915.
“ A light is from our household gone,
A voice we loved is still;
A place is vacant in our hearts
The world can never fill.
He went away to a distant land,
And fought his country’s foes;
He there was kept by Death’s grim hand :
To return to his home no more.”

ROWBOTTOM.—In loving memory of Corporal S. Rowbottom, Oxford and Bucks L.I., who died of wounds received in action at Ypres, August 12, 1915. Buried near Poperinghe.
“ There isn’t much we did not share since our school-days begun ;
The same old work, the same old play, the same old sport and fun,
The same old chance that laid you out, but winked and let us through,
The same old life, the same old death, ‘Good-bye’ and ‘God bless you.’ ”
—From FRANK and ALBERT (B.E.F.).

WORMLEIGHTON..—In loving memory of Frederick James Wormleighton, R.E., killed August 9th, 1915 (In France).
“ In the midst of life we are in death.”
—From his loving mother, brothers, and sisters.