Thompson, Frederick Thomas. Died 12th Apr 1918

Frederick Thomas THOMPSON was born in Rugby in late 1881. He was the second son of John Harris Thompson, who was born in Little Houghton, Northamptonshire and whose birth was registered in Hardingstone, Northamptonshire in Q3, 1856, and Elizabeth Charlotte Pool née Goode, Thompson, who was born in New Bilton and whose birth was registered in Rugby in Q2, 1854. Their marriage was in Rugby on 24 January 1879 and registered in Rugby in Q1, 1879.

Frederick was baptised on 19 October 1881 at St. Andrew’s church, Rugby, when the family were living at 5 Clifton Cottages and his father was a ‘fireman’.

In 1891, Frederick’s father’s career had progressed, he was now an ‘engine driver’, and the family were living at 14 Paradise Street, Rugby. Frederick was nine years old and had an elder sister and brother, and two younger sisters.

In 1901 the family were living at 41 Lower Hillmorton Road, Rugby, but Frederick, who would have been 19, was not at home that night and has not been located.

In 1911, Frederick was still single, aged about 29 and working as a ‘chauffeur’ and living at Westfield Cottage, Bilton Road, Rugby. Meanwhile, his parents had moved to 7 Albert Street, Milverton, Leamington Spa, where they would still be living when the CWGC were dealing with cemetery records after the war. His father was an ‘LNWR Engine Driver’.

There are no surviving military Service Records for Frederick. He joined up as a Private, No.M2/156874 in the Army Service Corps (A.S.C.)- probably as he had driving experience as a Chauffeur. His Medal Card does not give any date when he went abroad. He was latterly in the 648th MT Company, A.S.C.

The 648th Company was formed on 9 February 1916. Originally a Water Tank Company [MT] in UK, it then went to East Africa. Tracking other members of the 648th suggests that some, at least, went to East Africa in August 1917 – when a Charles Hutchinson ‘died at sea’ whilst on H. S. Araguaya on 29 August 1917.

The Company’s role in East Africa was as the 4th Auxiliary [MT] Company [maintenance services] Artillery Support. An earlier company 570th, which was formed in September 1915 and also served in East Africa was absorbed into 648th Company in June 1917.

There is no War Diary – but at the outbreak of the First World War Tanzania was the core of German East Africa. On 8 August 1914, the first recorded British action of the war took place here, when HMS Astraea shelled the German wireless station and boarded and disabled two merchant ships – the Konig and the Feldmarschall. From the invasion of April 1915, Commonwealth forces fought a protracted and difficult campaign against a relatively small but highly skilled German force under the command of General von Lettow-Vorbeck. The Royal Navy systematically shelled the city [of Dar-Es-Salaam] from mid August 1916, and on 4 September the deputy burgomaster was received aboard H.M.S. Echo to accept the terms of surrender. Troops, headed by the 129th Baluchis, then entered the city. On 12 September 1916, Divisional GHQ moved to Dar-Es-Salaam, and later No.3 East African Stationary Hospital was stationed there. The town became the chief sea base for movement of supplies and for the evacuation of the sick and wounded.

It seems likely that the 648th Company arrived after these events.

It seems that Frederick became sick and was probably evacuated to the 52nd Casualty Clearing Station, at Mingoyo, in Tanganyika. He was suffering from Dysentry. He died from that disease on 12 April 1918 – and was thus originally buried in grave Ref: 2. A. 2. [originally numbered C2] in the nearby Mingoyo Cemetery.

In the 1960s and 1970s when smaller and outlying cemeteries became too difficult to maintain, his body was ‘concentrated’.[1] It was identified by the ‘Unit A.S.C. on metal cross; on iron cross No. 156874 & unit A.S.C.M.T.’ that had identified his grave at Mingoyo.

Frederick Thomas Thompson was re-buried at the Dar Es Salaam War Cemetery, Tanzania, in grave reference: 5. M. 12.. His family had the inscription ‘Peace Perfect Peace’ added to his memorial stone.

The Dar-Es-Salaam War Cemetery is located on the coastal side of Bagamoyo Road, which heads north-west along the coast from the centre of Dar-Es-Salaam. It is about 5 kilometres from the city centre. The cemetery was created in 1968 when the 660 First World War graves at Dar Es Salaam (Ocean Road) Cemetery had to be moved to facilitate the construction of a new road. … During the early 1970s, a further 1,000 graves were brought into this site from cemeteries all over Tanzania, where maintenance could no longer be assured.

Frederick Thomas THOMPSON was awarded the British War and Victory Medals.   He is also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road, Rugby and on his family’s grave at Plot L80, at the Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby.

His mother died in 1930, probably in Leamington, her death being registered in Warwick. His father died in Rugby in 1933.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on Frederick Thomas THOMPSON 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, March 2018.

 

[1]       Individuals who were originally buried in smaller or isolated cemeteries, were, at a later date, exhumed and reburied in main war cemeteries. The concentration of cemeteries allowed otherwise un-maintainable graves to be moved into established war grave cemeteries where the Commission could ensure proper commemoration.

 

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23rd Feb 1918. Local Elections Postponed

LOCAL ELECTIONS POSTPONED.
A HINT ON THE SAVING OF PAPER.

A memorandum issued by the Local Government Board to local authorities points out that the Parliament and Local Elections (No. 2) Act which received the Royal Assent last November, provides that the next statutory elections of county and borough councillors, district councillors, guardians, and parish councillors, which would ordinarily take place in March and April, shall be postponed, or in the case of elections already postponed under previous Acts further postponed for a year, and that accordingly the term of office of the existing councillors and guardians shall be extended by one year.

Having regard to the importance of economy in paper, it is desirable that local authorities in any notices, &c, which are issued by them should use as little paper as possible by, for instance, having the matter printed on both sides of a sheet and in as small a type as is convenient. Small envelopes should also be used whenever practicable.

THE DISPOSAL OF SURPLUS PRODUCE.—A Fruit and Vegetable Collecting Society has recently been formed in the county for assisting small growers to dispose of their surplus garden produce. In connection with this local branches or depots will be formed in various parts of the county, and it is hoped that a branch will be started for the Rugby Rural District. Each branch depot will have to employ a local manager, whose duty will be to collect, pack, market, and consign the produce, and a minimum profit of 15 per cent. will be aimed at in all transactions. The nett profits will be used first to pay dividend on the share capital of the society and a bonus will be paid to the members in proportion to the amount of business done through the society. A general manager will be appointed by the County Society to assist local branches with advice or by finding markets for produce.

THE TEMPORARY MARGARINE RATIONING SCHEME.
EXTENSION DECIDED UPON.

At a meeting of the Joint Urban and Rural Food Control Committees, on Monday, Mrs Dewar asked if the period of the temporary margarine rationing scheme would be extended ?—Mr F M Burton replied that when they fixed the period of the temporary scheme at four weeks they had hoped that by the end of that time the permanent scheme would be in operation. Unfortunately, however, this would not be the case, and he had discussed the matter with Mr Fellows, as a result of which asked for power to have a further supply of coupons printed. These would be sent round to the tradesmen, who would issue them to the people when they lodged their last coupons with them. He thought it would take a month or six weeks to get the scheme in force.—This was agreed to.

SUGAR FOR JAM.
SAVING IS NOT HOARDING.

The Director of Sugar Distribution, on behalf of the Food Controller, wishes it to be understood that sugar proved to have been saved from weekly rations will not be regarded as hoarded, and that if the purpose of this saving is for jam-making it is immaterial whether the fruit to be preserved is grown or purchased by the preserver.

COVENTRY’S TANK TOTAL.—The official return of Coventry Tank Week is £1,370,236, representing £10 10s 9d per head of the census population of 130,000. A feature of the week’s subscription is the huge issue of 15s 6d certificates through the Post Office. There were 155,907 transactions, representing £120,827. The Bank of England section of the Tank took £775,265.

HUNTING SEASON TO CLOSE EARLY.

At a largely attended meeting of the M.F.H Association, held at Tattersall’s, Knightsbridge, London, on Thursday, February 14th, it was unanimously resolved :— “ That owing to the short supply of cereals and to assist in economising the stock of provender in the country, this meeting of the Masters of Foxhounds’ Association has voluntarily agreed to stop hunting on Saturday, March 2nd, for this season.”

SUMMER TIME TO BE FIVE WEEKS LONGER.

Summer-time (putting the clock on an hour) is to begin on Sunday, March 24, a fortnight earlier than last year, and to end on September 29, three weeks later than last year.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

The parents of Rifleman Leonard Thompson, Rifle Brigade, who reside at 12 Union Street, have received official intimation that their son, who has been missing since May 3rd last, is now presumed to have been killed on that date. He was only 19 years of age, and was an old St Matthew’s boy.

Mr R E Driver, 137 Newbold Road, has received official notice from the War Office that his son, J C Driver, Air Mechanic, Royal Flying Corps, who has been missing since December 31st, is now believed drowned on the occasion of the sinking of the Osmanieh in the Eastern Mediterranean. Before joining up he was employed in the L & N-W Railway Loco Department, and was a general favourite with his shopmates. He was an old Elborow boy.

BRANDON.

PTE F BLACKMAN WINS MILITARY MEDAL.—Pte F Blackman (of the 29th Division, Essex Regiment) has been awarded the Military Medal for gallant conduct and devotion to duty in the field on the 20th-22nd November, 1917. His name and deeds have been entered in the records of the 29th Division. Pte Blackman is a son-in-law of Mr Horace Amos, of Brandon, and for several years was in the gardens at Brandon Hall. He was wounded twice and gassed once in 1917. He won his present distinction for running with messages through streets infested with snipers, and nor giving in until absolutely exhausted, and thereby greatly assisting the advance. His wife and son are still residing at Brandon.

NORTH KILWORTH.
GERMAN PRISONERS.—About 40 German prisoners arrived here on Tuesday night, and were located in commodious premises in the village secured for the purpose. They are to be utilised in ploughing and agriculture, having been specially selected. They are a small type of men, and comprise Germans, Prussians, and Bavarians. Mr H B Finch (Lutterworth) is in control of the agricultural arrangements for the breaking up of the land and supply of the horses, &c.

CHURCHOVER.
A MEMORIAL SERVICE was held at the Parish Church on Thursday evening, February 14th, for Sergt John Webb, R.B, who died in German East Africa from enteric fever. The service was conducted by the Rev L G Berrington, and there was a good congregation. Hymns 537 and 716 were sung. On Sunday evening the Rector preached a very impressive sermon, in which he referred to Sergt Webb. Mr & Mrs W Webb have received the usual telegram from the Secretary of State expressing the sympathy of his Majesty and the Queen.

IN MEMORIAM

PHILLIPS.—In loving memory of ERIC SUTHERLAND PHILLIPS, Captain, 8th Battalion Border Regiment, eldest son of Mr. & Mrs. J. A. Phillips, St. Aubyn, Hillmorton Road, who died of wounds received in action in France on February 21, 1917 ; aged 22.
“ There laid the world away ; poured out the red
Sweet wine of youth ; gave up on the years to be
Of work and joy, and that unhoped serene,
That men call age ; and those that would have been,
Their sons, they gave, their immortality.”

 

13th Oct 1917. War Prisoners’ Food Parcels – Serious Increase in Cost.

WAR PRISONERS’ FOOD PARCELS.
SERIOUS INCREASE IN COST.
NEED FOR FUNDS GREATER THAN EVER.

The standard parcels of food which are sent to the Rugby and district men who are prisoners of war in Germany have this week been increased in cost from 6s to 8s each owing to the continual rise in price of all commodities and materials. As six of these parcels are sent in the course of each month to every man, in addition to 26lbs of bread, costing 7s 6d, it will thus be seen that, instead of an expenditure of £2 3s 6d per man per month, the cost is now £2 15s 6d. There has been a further addition to the list this week, the total number of men in the care of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee being now 78. The cost to feed these men is, therefore, £216 9s per month. About one-third only of this amount is guaranteed, the remainder having to be met by general subscriptions. Without these parcels of food the prisoners of war would be in a perpetual state of semi-starvation, as the food supplied to them by the German authorities is not sufficient for their proper nourishment, as well as being unpalatable. More funds are, therefore, needed to enable the Rugby Committee to continue the regular supply of parcels so vitally necessary to our unfortunate countrymen. Practically all the parcels reach their destination, and are acknowledged with gratitude. One can help by sending a donation, becoming a regular subscriber, organising concerts, whist drives, &c, throughout the winter months, or “ adopting ” a prisoner.

The Hon Secretary, Mr J Reginald Barker, will, gratefully acknowledge all contributions, which should be sent to him at the registered Office of the Committee, 9 Regent Street, Rugby.

“ FRANCE’S DAY ” AT RUGBY.

The flag day in aid of the French Red Cross, held at Rugby on Saturday last, was crowned with success ; and, in view of the fact that it was a town effort only, the financial result, which was in advance of past flag days confined to the town, was very gratifying. The weather in the early hours was very miserable for the first relay of workers ; and although the rest of the day was bright, it was very cold. There were several varieties of emblems, and these were sold by 150 fair helpers, some of whom, with a brief respite for meals, remained at their posts from 5.30 a.m till dark. The district superintendents were : Mrs A G Salter, Mrs J R Barker, Miss O’Beirne, Miss Hinks, Miss B Wood, Miss G Woods, Miss D Roberts, Miss Robbins, and Miss Baillie. Four of the sellers—Misses Jessie Mills, P Batchelor, P Hinks, and G Hinks—were attractively dressed in French national costume. The highest individual amount was yielded by Miss Priors box (£3 9s 2d), and Miss D Eadon was second with £3 0s 6½d.

Mr J J McKinnell (chairman of the Urban Council) was president of “ The Day,” the organisation of which was again in the hands of Mr J R Barker, and he was assisted at the supply depot, Bonn Buildings, by Mrs B B Dickinson, Mrs Barker, and Miss Robbins. The counting of the money was supervised by Mr R P Mason, manager of the London City and Midland Bank, and he was assisted by Mr J Ferry and the Hon Organiser.

The amount realised was £92 0s. 5d.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Sergt A G Barford. M.G.C, has received the following from the Major-General Commanding his Division :— “ I have read with great pleasure the report of your Regimental Commander and Brigade Commander regarding your gallant conduct and devotion to duty in the field on August 10, 1917, during an attack on Westhoek Ridge.” Sergt A G Barford joined Kitcheners’s Army in August, 1914, and has been out in France just over two years. He is a son of the late Mr George Stops Barford, of Plumpton Manor, Northamptonshire, and of Mrs Wells, Claybrooke, and grandson of the late Mr George Eagles, of Little Lawford.

Lance-Corpl Bert Warden, R.W.R, has been posted as missing since August 27th. He was 20 years of age, a member of “ E ” Company, and had been in France 2½ years. For the last two years he acted as a Lewis gunner, and had been wounded four times. He fought on practically the whole length of line from Ypres to St Quentin, and participated in the Battle of Loos, the Somme offensive, and most this year’s fighting round Ypres. He was an Old Murrayian.

On October 4th Second-Lieut E W White, who at the time of joining up was a clerk in the National Provincial Bank, Rugby, was killed in action. He joined as a private, but he was soon picked out by his Colonel as a promising officer, and after training received his commission. His home was at Burton-on-Trent.

AN URBAN COUNCIL EMPLOYEE KILLED.

Mrs A M Thompson, of 49 Union Street, Rugby, has received official notification that her husband, Pte L Thompson, of the Yorkshire Regiment, was killed by a shell while in action on September 23rd. He would have been 33 years of age in November, and had been a number of years in the employ of the Urban Council as a dustman, in which capacity he was an excellent workman and much respected. He joined up in September, 1916, and had been abroad about four months. He leaves a widow and four little children. Mrs Thompson has received a sympathetic letter from the Major commanding, and the sad news has been also conveyed by Pte F C Walton, a comrade, who hails from Thurlaston, and has since writing been wounded.

PTE W HOUGHTON KILLED.

In a letter received this week by Mrs Houghton, the Chaplain of a clearing station in France communicates the sad information that her husband, Pte W Houghton, Machine Gun Corps, died on October 4th. When brought in he was suffering from a wound in the neck. He was in no pain, and quite conscious and cheerful, and in the ordinary way of things it did not appear to be a severe wound. Unfortunately he died in the operating theatre after an operation had been performed. Pte Houghton was 31 years of age, and was the youngest son of the late Mr Houghton and of Mrs Houghton, Queen Street, Rugby. For many years he had been employed by the Rugby Co-operative Society, and was manager successively of the branches at Kilsby, Hillmorton, and Bilton. He joined the Warwicks on November 7, 1916, and had been in France nine months. He leaves a widow and one child, now residing at Eastleigh, Southampton.

LOCAL FOOD CONTROL COMMITTEES.

Assisted by a capable and enthusiastic band of workers, Mr F M Burton, the executive officer for the Rugby Urban District, has made considerable progress with the organisation of the local food control machinery. So far 91 sugar retailers, 61 potato retailers, and seven wholesale dealers in potatoes have registered, and certificates authorising the purchase of sugar have been issued to caterers, institutions, and manufacturers.

The number of persons to be catered for under the householders’ rationing system is approximately 21,000, and the first batch of sugar cards was dispatched through the post on Wednesday. Unfortunately, however, the Executive Officer and his staff have been greatly handicapped by the careless manner in which some of the application forms have been filled in. In many instances—and these cases are, strangely enough, not confined to the least educated section of the community—the applicant has failed to fill in his or her address, while important details have been omitted from other forms. In those cases where children are attending school the address and other details can be easily ascertained, but in others the task of obtaining the particulars is a formidable one. In cases where the address has been given, but the form otherwise filled up inaccurately, the householders will be visited by canvassers, who have kindly volunteered their services. In some instances applicants have added particulars which are not required by the regulations. One person has written across his form an indignant protest, in which he asks : “ Are we living in Germany ?” and continues : “ Want of sugar will not make England give up its liberty. By what right should a man be required to give occupation ? Prussian ways and systems will not be tolerated in this country.” Another applicant has added to the particulars concerning her eight months old daughter the information, “ Bottle fed ” ; while in another case the early arrival of an increase in the family is clearly foreshadowed. A number of ladies and gentlemen have placed their services at the disposal of the Executive Officer, and the Assembly Room at the Benn Buildings presents the appearance of a hive of industry.

THE RURAL DISTRICT.

Mr F Fellows; executive officer for the Rural District Control Committee, and his assistants have also made satisfactory progress, and the task of issuing the sugar cards is now in hand. Fortunately the application forms in this district have, on the whole, been correctly filled in, and the number of incomplete forms has been negligible, although one applicant followed the instructions too literally, and addressed his application to the Paddington Committee, the name on the model form posted in the district for the guidance of householders. The approximate number of consumers in the district is 17,750. Sixty-six sugar retailers, 30 potato retailers, and 13 wholesale dealers in potatoes have been registered.

CHEESE MAKING.

The Agricultural Committee reported that the cheese making classes had been most successful. At Kineton 19 students attended, and 16 of these were now making cheese at home. At Pillerton 13 attended, of whom 12 are now regularly making cheese. They asked the Council to sanction cheese making classes for 1918-19 at a cost not exceeding £100.

DEATHS.

BRADSHAW.—Killed in action in France on September 24, 1917, Pte. ERNEST BRADSHAW, R.W.R., dearly beloved husband of Eilen Bradshaw, 39 Wood Street, and son of Mr. J. Bradshaw, 8 Newbold Road, Rugby; aged 37.

CUFAUDE.—In loving memory of 45459 EDWARD HENRY CUFAUDE, of the 9th Suffolk Regiment, son of the late John Cufaude, solicitor ; killed in action September 22, 1917, near Hill 70 ; aged 26.

PEARCE.—In loving memory of Gunner H. C. PEARCE, R.F.A., who fell in action on September 11, 1917.
“ Sleep on, loved one, in your far-off grave :
A grave I may never see ;
But as long as life and memory lasts
You will be always dear to me.”
—Alice.

SAVILLE.—On September 28th, near Ypres, WALTER STANLEY SAVILLE, eldest son of the late Mr. Walter John & Mrs. Saville, 93 Clifton Rd., Rugby; aged 22.

TAYLOR.—In ever-loving memory of our dear son and brother, Pte. W. TAYLOR, aged 26 years, who was killed in France.—They miss him most who loved him best.—From his sorrowing Father, Mother, Brother and Sisters.

THOMPSON.—In loving memory of my dear husband, Pte. L. THOMPSON, 49 Union Street, who was killed in action on September 23, 1917 : aged 33 years.—“God takes our loved one from our home, but never from our hearts.”—From his loving Wife & Children.

IN MEMORIAM.

BARBER.—In ever-loving memory of DAD, who passed away suddenly on June 26th, 1913, and of dear brother FRED, killed in action on September 25, 1915.—From Mother, Brothers and Sisters.

CHAMBERS.—Gunner E. CHAMBERS, son of Mr. & Mrs. E. Chambers, of Wolston, died of wounds, Oct. 11, 1915.
“ Rest on, dear brother, in a far-off grave :
A grave we may never see ;
But so long as life and memory lasts
We shall always remember thee.”
—Father, Mother, Sisters and Brothers.

DYKE.—In loving memory of Corpl. OTHELLO DYKE, of the R.W.R., who was killed in action on October 12, 1916.—“ Peace, perfect peace,”—Not forgotten by his loving Sisters and Brothers.

WILKINS.—In loving memory of our dear brother, Pte. R. G. WILKINS, killed in action on October 12, 1916.
“ Re-union is our abiding hope,
Only those who have loved and lost
Can know the bitterness of gone.”
—Sadly missed by EVELYN and WINIFRED.

WILKINS.—In loving memory of my deadly-beloved son, Pte. REGINALD GERALD WILKINS, R.W.R., late, of 32 Regent Street, previously reported missing, now believed killed ; aged 21 years.

 

Thompson, Levi. Died 23rd Sep 1917

Levi Thompson was born in 1884 at Newbold-on-Avon to Thomas Thompson (b 1852 in Newbold-on-Avon), railway worker, and his wife, JaneThompson, née Webb, (b 1847 in Dunchurch).

In 1906 Levi was married at Rugby to Ada Mary Curtlin (b 1888) of Thurlaston. They had 4 sons; Levi Frank (b 1907), Herbert William (b 1909), Walter S (b 1912) and Frederick L (b 1914). The 1911 census returns show that the family home was at 49 Union Street, Rugby and that he was employed by Rugby Council as a labourer.

During WW1 he enlisted in the 9th Battalion, Yorkshire Regiment, regimental number 235470. He was sent to the Belgian Flanders front about May 1917, where he died during the Third Battle of Ypres on 23 September 1917. He is one of the many United Kingdom servicemen with no known grave whose names appear on the Tyne Cot Memorial. A notice of his death appeared in the Birmingham Evening Despatch on 13 October 1917.

He was survived by his widow and 4 sons.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Thompson, Alfred Henry. Died 17th Jul 1917

Alfred Henry Thompson was born in the winter of 1882 at Newbold on Avon, fifth of the seven children of Thomas and Jane (nee Webb) Thompson. He was baptised at St. Boloph’s, Newbold on Avon on 10 December, 1882. Thomas Thompson, of Newbold married Jane Webb, of Dunchurch at St. Peter’s Dunchurch on 30 September, 1873. They lived at Newbold until at least December 1884. Thomas’s occupation is stated as labourer. From 1884 onwards he was a railway servant, said to be a horse shunter in 1891 and a railway drayman in 1901. The family had moved away from Newbold, being at Little Pennington Street, Rugby in 1891, Abbey Street, Rugby in 1901 and New Street, New Bilton in 1911. By the time of the 1911 census Alfred Henry Thompson had married and was living at 44, Union Street, Rugby, with his wife, Annie Elizabeth (nee Curtlin) and their first son, William Henry, also stepson Archibald Frank Pittham (from Annie’s first marriage). Annie was from Thurlaston and married Alfred Henry at St. Peter’s, Dunchurch on 21 July, 1906. One further child was born in January 1912 – Walter Sydney. Following Alfred’s death in 1917, Annie married a third and final time, to Frederick Charles Pope (b.1875 – d.1948). They were still living at Union street in 1917. At the time he joined up Alfred was working for the British Petroleum Company, who had a depot in the town.

Walter Sydney Thompson emigrated to Western Australia in 1952 with his wife, Louisa (nee Kirby) and three children, and mother, Annie Elizabeth. Annie died in Western Australia in 1982 at the age of 96. Walter died in 1993.

William Henry Thompson, the first son, born 1907 in Rugby, remained there and died in 1969.

Archibald Frank Pittham, the stepson, fully supported by Alfred Henry, was born at Dunchurch in 1904, and died at Northampton in 1968, having moved there with his wife and two children prior to the second world war.

Alfred attested at Rugby on 11 December, 1915. Described as aged 33 years and 1 month, a labourer and never having served in H.M. forces before. Held on reserve until September 1916, his attestation had been approved in February, 1916, at No. 3 Depot, Hilsea barracks, Portsmouth, and appointed to the Royal Regiment of Royal Horse and Royal Field Artillery, number 164470. He joined the No. 3 Depot as Gunner in September, 1916. Transferred to the infantry as a private in November, he finally transferred to the Durham Light Infantry as a private in January, 1917 and posted to France on the 11 January, 1917 as part of the British Expeditionary Force. Initially with the 15th D.L.I. At this time the 13th Durham Light Infantry were at the front near Ypres. The weather was poor. Very cold with rain and snow.

In July Alfred was with the 13th D.L.I., who on 6th July relieved the 8th King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry at HILL 60 only 4500 metres from Ypres. This position was repeatedly fought over. It had been gained in the June during the battle of Messines, and remained in British control until April 1918. Alfred was in “D” Company of the 13th D.L.I. who were deployed at the front line, east of HILL 60. The 12th Battalion Durham Light Infantry relieved the 13th D.L.I. on the 10th July, who withdrew to Micmac camp, West of Dickebusch. In the period 7 July to 12 July, nine members of the 13th D.L.I. died. Six of whom have no known grave. Alfred Henry Thompson died after this period of fighting. He reached No.3 Canadian Casualty Clearing Station, at Remy sidings, 9000m west of Micmac, 20000m from the Ypres Salient. He is recorded in the Canadian C.C.S. war diary as dying on the 16th (all other records state 17th) of July of gun shot wounds to arm and side. Other records states left arm, and lung damage.

He was buried in the adjoining Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery. Unlike the graves of many of his comrades, his was not disturbed by shelling or fighting.

He was entitled to receive the Victory and British War medals. These were delivered to his widow in November 1921.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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

Doctors and The War.

APPEAL TO THE PUBLIC.

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

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

YOU can help in following ways :-

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

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

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

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

SPECIAL REQUEST.

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

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

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

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

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

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

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

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

BOMBARDIER BOSWORTH AGAIN HONOURED.

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

A NEW BILTON MAN ESCAPES from GERMANY

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

LONG ITCHINGTON.

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

RUGBY PRISONERS OF WAR FUND.
FLAG DAY RESULT.

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

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

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

THE WEATHER & THE CROPS.

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

RUGBY MEAT TRADE.

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

AIR RAID ON LONDON.

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

DEATHS.

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

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

IN MEMORIAM.

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

Thompson, Leonard. Died 3rd May 1917

Leonard Thompson was born in Rugby around 1898. We have been unable to find a birth registration although six of his seven siblings were registered in Rugby. The eldest, Daisy was born in Penge, Surrey around 1891.

Leonard’s father was Charles Thompson born around 1870 in Maids Moreton, near Buckingham. His mother was Lily (nee Hughes) from Ely in Cambridgeshire. It is not known when and where they married – the 1911 census stated they had been married for 22 years. At that time the family was living at 12 Union Street, Rugby. Charles was a groom with polo ponies and Lily a shopkeeper. Three daughters worked at the Electric Lamp factory and 17 year old Charles jnr. was a groom, perhaps with his father. Leonard (13) and the rest of the children were at school; a later report said that he had attended St Matthews School.

Leonard joined up in June 1915. He was one of 25 men listed in the Rugby Advertiser of 5th of that month as having been recruited. Leonard joined the 9th Bn Rifle Brigade (No. S/12635). It is not known when he arrived in France (his medal roll index card has not been found) but would have fought in many of the battles on the western front in 1916.

At the beginning of May 1917 the Rifle Brigade was preparing to take part in the Battle of Bullecourt, the final phase of the Battle of Arras. A report found in the War Diaries gives the details:

By midnight 2/3.5.17, the Battalion were all formed up in the Assembly Trenches where tea and rum were issued.

At Zero – 10 the first wave left the front Assembly Trenches, and lined up on the tape 250 yards towards and parallel to the objective.

At Zero + 42 minutes the second wave left the front Assembly Trenches.

No report was ever received from the Coys in the first wave, communication to these Coys after daylight being impossible. Eight of these Coy runners became casualties.

The first wave evidently bore too much to the Right, and struck the new Boche trench. This was wired and held by the enemy…

The first wave, with the exception of some moppers up who found an abandoned Boche Machine Gun which they stripped, had passed on in advance of this trench by Zero + 40.

From accounts from survivors the line carried on in spite of heavy casualties from enfilade Machine Gun fire, but few, if any, ever reached the rear of HILL SIDE WORK.

All the Officers of the first wave – total 8 – appear to have become casualties very early in the day, some being wounded several times…

The second wave went over the line and kept their direction, leaving the Wiggle just to their left, then bringing up their right shoulder, thus avoiding the valley which was prohibited as a line of advance.

Owing to it then being lighter, this wave came under Machine Gun fire sooner than the first wave and also came up against Machine Gun positions which had been established after or missed in the dark by the first wave, in addition to enfilade fire from across the valley.

The second wave was finally held up just in front of SPOTTED DOG Trench which was held by the enemy, and dug in in a line of shell holes about 600 to 700 yards in front of APE Trench.

No one, with exception possibly of individuals, actually got into SPOTTED DOG…

Those (in the shell holes) were subjected to a succession of vane bombs and egg bombs, while Machine Guns prevented any movement.

Later orders were received to withdraw but contact was made with only two platoons.

On the night of 4/5.5.17 2/Lt Round who had organised and held a strong point with 12 men, sent back for more bombs. The party was recalled.

During the night of 5/6.5.17, Rf, Atkins got back from a shell-hole where he had been guarding 2 wounded men, one of whom he brought back.

The report continues with a list of “reasons for failure”. There is a carefully typed list of “Casualties by Companies” with percentages. In the first wave, “A” Coy suffered 75%, “B” 53%, “C” 73% and “D” 70%. Of the second wave, the rest of  “D” Coy 48% and “B” 54%

Leonard Thompson would have been amongst these casualties. A short paragraph in the Rugby Advertiser of 16th June 1917 states that he had been missing since May 4th.

His body was never found and his name is listed on the Arras Memorial. He was aged 20.

It appears that Charles Thompson died in late 1915, aged 50. Leonard’s gratuity was paid to his mother Lily.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Note: The man on the Rugby Memorial Gates is listed as L Thompson. There is another man, Levy Thompson, who died on 23rd September 1917. It is not known which of them the inscription is intended to represent. We will be remembering both.