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.

 

 

 

27th Nov 1915. Local War Notes

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Earl Poulett is gazetted a temporal captain in the Warwickshire R.H.A (T.F).

Mr Harold Eaden, solicitor, Rugby, has enlisted in his group under Lord Derby’s scheme.

Armourer-Staff-Sergeant F H Dodson, 7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, writing to Mr T A Wise from the front, says : “ The other day there were three of us together out here, and the sum total of our years’ service was 100 years.”

Lance-Corpl N H Priday and Pte F Foss, of the 1/7 Royal Warwickshire Regiment, have been nominated to commissions, the former in the West Yorks (the Prince of Wales’ Own) and the latter in the East Yorks Regiment.

Mr W J Penn, son of Mr W Penn, farmer, of Wootton, has been gazetted second-lieutenant in the 12th Battalion Welsh Regiment, Nov 3rd. He is an old Northampton and County School boy , and of St John’s College, London. He has been Headmaster and Scoutmaster of Norton, near Daventry.

Sergt W C D Miles, son of Mr and Mrs Miles, of Catthorpe, has received a commission in the Westminster Dragoons. He is son-in-law to Mr and Mrs T C Thompson, of Murray Road, Rugby, and was a draughtsman on the Willesdon staff of the B.T.H Company when he enlisted, soon after war broke out. Previous to this, Lieut Miles was in the Drawing Office at the B.T.H at Rugby.

“ BUCK THE SLACKERS UP!”

Bandsman B Wilkins, of the Rifle Brigade, writing to a friend in Rugby on November 17th, says : “ I have seen the Rugby papers this week and I see the recruiting is getting better. That is what I like to see. England will need all she has got, so just buck the slackers up, and tell them the more men we can get, the better and easier they are making it for their comrades who are doing their bit out here. Nobody knows what Tommy’s troubles are till he gets out here and tries a bit ; so you see, the sooner we can get the men, the sooner we shall try and bring these terrible times to an end. Now, buck up, Rugby, and try and win back the men you have lost.”

PTE H DYER, OF DUNSMORE, KILLED.

News has been received at Dunsmore that Pte Henry E Dyer, who left his employment in the gardens at Dunsmore House to enlist in the 10th R.W.R last December, has died in Reading Hospital from wounds received at the Front. Pte Dyer, who was a native of Gloucestershire, and was 24 years of age, was wounded in the head and groin by a bomb while in a trench in France on September 6th, and succumbed to his injuries ten days afterwards. He had been at the front about two months when he received his fatal injuries. Pte Dyer had worked at Dunsmore Gardens for nearly a year before enlisting.

MURRAY SCHOOL NOTES.

Pte A S Horswell, a former member of the Murray School Staff, writing to Mr W T Coles Hodges from a “ dug out ” in the Mediterranean theatre,says : “We landed on August 9th, just three weeks after leaving England, and proceeded straight to the firing line under shrapnel fire, We saw life for four days. Talk about snipers ! They were up in the trees, absolutely surrounding us ; they were the chief cause of the casualties. Fortunately they were more or less indifferent shots, otherwise we should have come off worse than we did. Since then we have had various trips to the firing line, interspersed with spasms of “ fatigue ” work, unloading lighters, filling water-cans for the firing line, and digging. We see some glorious sunsets out here at times ; also some very fine play of light on various islands. I myself never believed the deep blue sea theory till we came out hero. In the Mediterranean you get a lovely ultra-marine in the day, which gradually darkens to deep indigo in the evening.”

Pte H F Baker, R.A.M.C, has been invalided home from the Dardanelles, and is now in hospital at Brighton. Amongst other things in a very interesting letter to his old headmaster, Mr Hodges, he describes the passing of the Rock of Gibraltar on the way home, and says : “ The top of the rock was hid from view by great white clouds. The peaks on the mainland were gilded under the sun’s rays, making a fine contrast.” He mentions that he met Arthur Webb, Lower Hillmorton Road, at Mudros, and adds that he looked very well.

Two members of the Murray School Staff have enlisted-Mr J H Fazakerley in the R.A.M.C, under Lord Derby’s scheme, and Mr A L Westbury in the R.E at Chatham, to which place he proceeded on Tuesday last.

LETTER FROM OLD ST MATTHEW’S BOY.

WHY SO MANY MEN ARE MISSING.

Lance-Corpl Harold Thompson, 6th Oxford & Bucks L.I., well-known in Rugby for his swimming prowess, an “ Old Boy” of St Matthew’s, writes to Mr R H Myers, the headmaster :—

“ We had the heaviest shelling from the Germans last week, but luckily our casualty list was all right, although the parapets were badly knocked about in places. We were just over a hundred yards from the German lines, so you can imagine that we were not over-anxious to look over the top during the day, for their snipers are very hot shots. It is very quiet all along our front now, and one would hardly think that a big engagement had taken place so recently as Sept 25th. The only remaining indications of a fight are the dead bodies between the lines, and these have to stop there, as it is so dangerous to go out to find the names, and that is what makes the missing list so great. We have sent out patrols nearly every night to find out any details about the bodies, but it is very difficult work and not very pleasant. One fellow went out and, losing his way, nearly walked into the German lines. They opened fire on him, but he happened to drop into a shell hole, and there he had to stop until the early hours of the morning, when the firing dropped off.

We happened to be in the firing on September 25th, and quite expected to go over the top, but our luck was out, and we had to cool our heels and wait, in case the Huns counter-attacked, but we were also disappointed in that. The bombardment previous to the attack was terrible. We could only see the German lines for five minutes after the guns started, but in that short time we could gather some idea of the destruction our guns were causing. About an hour before the attack started, it began to rain, and when the first soldier went over the parapet the ground was like a bog, but that did not prevent our fellows from charging impetuously. Since then it has developed into an artillery duel again. The French are still bombarding very heavily, and at night the sky is lit up all the time by the clash of the guns.

It is awful to see all the towns and villages destroyed as we move about to different parts of the line. The Huns seem to make a special mark of churches, and these is hardly a church round here that has not been damaged. The trenches are in a pretty bad condition. In places the mud and water are waist-deep. . . Please remember all the St Matthew’s “ Old Boy ” here to the teachers and pupils of the School.”

DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL.

Sergt Vernon S Robinson, of the 2nd Battalion Wiltshire Regiment, has been awarded the “ for conspicuous gallantry on the 25th September, 1915, near Vermelles. when he advanced by a communication trench leading from a trench just captured to one held by the enemy, with bombs, thus making certain that the trench was dear before is was blocked. On the 27th September he crossed several hundred yards of open country under heavy rifle fire and machine-gun fire to fetch bombs, which were urgently needed, and succeeded in bringing them to the point where they were required. In doing this Sergeant Robinson’s rifle, owing to the heavy fire, was smashed and rendered useless.”

Sergt Robinson, who is only 20 years of age, is a grandson of Mrs Robinson, 50 Manor Road, Rugby, and nephew of Mrs Lewis, 74 Manor Road. He came to Rugby six years ago, and was employed as an engine cleaner on the L & N.W.R. He was in the Special Reserve of the Royal Warwicks, and was undergoing his annual training in the Isle of Wight when the war broke out. He transferred to the Wiltshires, and went out to France in May last. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant on the field, and has also received the French Military Medal.

THE ARMY’S WINTER KIT.

WARMER CLOTHES FOR THE KILTED TROOPS.

The coming of winter has found the War Office Department whose duty it is to clothe the Army fully prepared with supplies of warm clothing for the protection of the troops against the rigours of winter warfare. The following is a list of the apparel provided by the military authorities for each soldier at the front :-

Winter service cap.
Waterproof cover for cap.
Cap comforter.
Body belt.
Woollen vest and drawers.
Shirt.
Cardigan waistcoat.
Tunic and trousers.
Fur or leather (flannel lined) jacket.
Great-coat.
Waterproof cape.
Fingerless gloves.
Woollen gloves.
Socks, puttees, and boots.

In addition, gum boots reaching to the top of the thigh are provided for men actually in the trenches. The special needs of the kilted regiments have not been overlooked, and auxiliary warm clothing is provided for them.

The authorized scale of equipment, we are informed, allows two shirts and four pairs of socks for each man. From time to time complaints reach this country that men in this or that battalion are in want of socks and shirts ; and appeals for these articles or money for purchasing them are advertised. It is stated on good authority that there is no real necessity for such appeals, as ample Government supplies are available to meet all demands made through the proper channels. Mufflers and mittens, however, are not a “ Government supply,” and the making, purchase, and collection of them is a field in which the generosity and industry of the public will be warmly welcomed.

RUGBY TERRITORIALS COMFORTS’ COMMITTEE.

DEAR SIR,—May I make a final appeal before Christmas for donations, and gifts of socks, mufflers, mittens, groceries, plum puddings, etc, for our local Territorials, appealing especially to the subscribers and old members of the Rugby E Company, 7th Warwicks

We have received very generous contributions from supporters of the Howitzer Brigade, but very few from supporters of E Company.

The weather in France is now very bad and the cold intense, in addition to which men have to walk or stand about in 18 inches of mud and water ; this is confirmed by a commanding officer on leave this week.

We hope to send every man from Rugby a Christmas parcel of groceries, etc, and a warm Christmas present, but this cannot be done without better support from the friends of the units.

If every subscriber and old member of each unit would help, we could do much to help our gallant Territorials spend a happy Christmas.—Yours faithfully.

A. W. ADNITT.

2 Regent St, Rugby.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Recruiting has not been quite so good at Rugby during the past week, either for immediate service or under Lord Derby’s Group Scheme [See next post]. The following have enlisted for immediate service with the Colours :—

KING’S ROYAL RIFLES.
H G King, 34 Campbell Street, New Bilton.
A Widdows, Heythorp, Oxon.
John Papworth, Clifton-on-Dunsmore.
A H Harwood, 24 Gas Street, Rugby.

ROYAL WARWICK REGIMENT.
T W Barrett, High Street, Hillmorton.
G Clarke, 42 Bath Street, Rugby.
W H Benjamin, Rowland Street, Rugby.
T Whiteman, 16 Winfield Street, Rugby.
Frank Boswell, Brook Street, Fenny Compton.
Geo Bradshaw, Hillmorton Wharf, Rugby.
W T Jeffs, Smith’s Lodging House, Gas St, Rugby.

3rd/7th WARWICKSHIRE REGT.
T Greasley, 108 Wood Street, Rugby.
H Moore, 47 Sandown Road, Rugby.

COLDSTREAM GUARDS.
A E Randall, 58 Manor Road, Rugby.

ROYAL ENGINEERS.
S Reader, Barrack Hill, Ravensthorpe, Northants.
S L Webb, Lawrence Sheriffe Cottages, Brownsover.

R.F.A.
Harry Hobley, Stretton-under-Fosse, Rugby.

NORTHANTS REGIMENT.
W T Cox, Ashby St Ledgers, Northants.

OXON & BUCK L.I.
G Spittle, Thurlaston, Rugby.

A. S. Corps.
John Robertson, 73 Heavy Tree Rd, Plumstead.
Geo Atkins, 70 Church End, Evers Holt, Woburn, Beds.

GRENADIER GUARDS.
P Gibbins, Willoughby, Rugby.

ARGYLE & SUTHERLAND HIGHLANDERS.
J Gurden, 22 Sandown Road, Rugby.

DRIVER, R.E.
E Brown, Melton Mowbray.

LIVERPOOL REGIMENT.
J Wilson, 68 Nelson Road, Paisley.

24th Apr 1915. “ E ” Company at the Front

“ E ” COMPANY AT THE FRONT.

Pte L Stewart, one of the Advertiser employees who volunteered for active service and is with the 7th Warwickshire (Territorial) Battalion at the front, tells us in a letter we have received from him that their Easter Sunday spell in the trenches went off very well, but his Company had two wounded. About the middle of the week they were moved on to a town upon which bombs were dropped by enemy aircraft before they had been in the place half-an-hour, injuring several people. Barring a few colds, the health of the men was A1, and they had done all that had been asked of them. With full kit on, each man carries on average 70lb—the roads were rotten for marching, and their marches had been from eight to ten miles. In a subsequent letter, he writes :—“ Yesterday we made another move, and came across the Rugby Battery. From what they told me they were soon in action, and appear to have been giving a good account of themselves. I spoke to Major Nickalls (Spring Hill). He was quite pleased the old E Company (now C Company ) were so near. The respective headquarters are within a few yards of each other. C Company went into the trenches again last night for four days. You should see the country round here ; everywhere the place has been shelled—it must have been awful. I saw Mr C T Morris Davies (the well-known International hockey player) the other day. It’s really surprising who you meet.”

Another Territorial writes :—“ We are only about 400 yards from the German trenches, and I am writing these few lines in my little dug-out, under fire. We are having a fairly quiet time just now. We get a few German shells occasionally, just to let us know they are still alive. As we are so near the German trenches we have to keep one eye shut for sleep and the other on the alert. We expect to have about four days in and four out. We are all cheerful and in the pink, only for the food, for we have to eat biscuits for nearly every meal and they are as hard as bricks. The next time we come into the trenches I shall have to bring a couple of loaves with me. We get plenty of corned beef and biscuit, but we are getting about sick of these. All the houses round this district are blown to bits. Last week I had a walk round the cemetery to see the graves of our comrades who fell at the beginning of the war. They are buried three deep in ordinary wooden coffins, and a small cross, bearing their name and regiment, is erected over them. We also see small crosses scattered about the fields showing where soldiers are buried. Whilst I am writing this the sun is shining beautifully and the country looks grand. It makes one think of the fields at home. You would laugh to see us in our little dug-outs. They are built of sandbags, about a yard high, so you see we have to duck down and creep in.”

“ I am still in the best of health,” writes other man. “ France is a lot different to what I thought it would be. We are all enjoying being out here as the weather is lovely. The place we are staying at now has been very much shelled ; the Germans shell it now occasionally, but we don’t mind and take no notice at all. We see plenty of aeroplanes out here ; the best sight I have ever seen is the wonderful way in which the aeroplanes avoid the shells which are being constantly fired at them ; they must be piloted by expert airmen for the shells burst all round them. The crucifixes out here are a lovely sight, everywhere you go you see them ; it is a wonderful sight to see a place that has been shelled and the crucifix not touched.”

THE HOWITZERS AT THE FRONT.

Corpl A Sparks, of the 5th Warwickshire R.F.A (Howitzer) Battery, writing to a friend in Rugby, under date of April 14th, graphically describes the passage across the Channel. The Wednesday night after arrival was spent in camp, and next day they entrained for the front. After 20 hours’ travelling in cattle trucks they arrived at their destination—about three miles from the firing line. “ The only indication that a great war was in progress,” he say. “ was the continual booming of the guns and the burning of magnesium flares, which the Germans send up during the night to prevent surprise infantry attacks. Otherwise everything was quite normal. On Easter Sunday morning we had a Church parade and Holy Communion, so that you will see we spent this festival pretty well the same as you did at home. On Easter Monday night, in a pelting rainstorm, we took up our place in the firing line. On Tuesday night, just a week from leaving England, we were in action for the first time, and have been in action every day since. We have done some very good firing;. Major Nickalls has been thanked for the splendid support he has given to the infantry. On Sunday we had some “ Whistling Willies ” over our line and about 40 the next day. Fortunately no one in our battery was hurt, although I am sorry to say there were about ten wounded and five killed in another battery. The only casualty we have had in the brigade is one of the Coventry Battery killed.”

“ You would be astonished at the callousness of the natives round here. Even when firing is progressing it is a common sight to see the farmers doing their ploughing, etc. Even the women and children are walking about quite close to the guns, and apparently they can see no danger.”

TERRITORIALS’ FOOTBALL MATCH.

The Howitzer Battery played their first football match in France on Saturday, April 17th. Teams:— Gunners : A Goode, Major Nickalls, Spicer, Bombardier Jesson, Corpl Watson, Lieut Pridmore, Smith, Alsop, Asher, Laurceston, and Judd. Drivers : Mills, Sergt Dosher, Woolley, Corpl Shelley, Ashworth, Wood, Judd, Turner, Taylor, Dyer, Humphries. Referee: Gunner A Jobey. The match was played just behind the firing line. The Gunners proved to be dead on the target as per usual, leading 2-0 at the interval. The Drivers proved good stayers, pulling level early in the second half. After good all-round play, the Gunners snatched a victory five minutes from time. Scorers :—Lieut Pridmore, Smith and Asher, and Taylor (2).

LOCAL WAR CASUALTIES.

COSFORD: RIFLEMAN E. STEEL.

As mentioned in our last issue, news has been received from the War Office by Mr and Mrs Steel, of Cosford, that their son, Edward Steel, of the King’s Royal Rifles, was killed in action at Neuve Chapelle on March 16th. No particulars of his death have come to hand, and the only consolation that his aged father and mother have is that he died bravely fighting for his country. E. Steel, who was 27 years of age, joined Lord Kitchener’s Army on September 2nd, previous to which he was employed by the Midland Railway Company at No. 2 Length, Rugby. He was drafted from Sheerness on February 2nd to go to France with other young men of the villages around. He was much liked, and as he always lived at home with his parents, he will be sadly missed by them, as well as by all who knew him.

RUGBY SOLDIER SEVERELY WOUNDED.

Mrs H Bottrill, of Bridget Street, Rugby, has received news that her son, Pte Frank Henry Bottrill, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was admitted to Boulogne Hospital on Easter Sunday, suffering from a severe bullet wound in the head, and as the result of an operation he has lost the sight of the left eye. Pte Bottrill who was a reservist, and is married and lives at Wellingborough, is an old St Matthew’s boy. His brother-Pte A W Bottrill, of the Coldstream Guards—was badly wounded on November 2nd, and has never really recovered from the effects of the wound. He has ,however, been back to the fighting line ; but the last news that was heard of him was that he was at Havre recuperating, although he expected to be soon drafted back to the trenches.

Mr T Thompson, of Willoughby, has had several interesting letters from his son, who is a member of the Northants Yeomanry. The regiment went out to the front last November, and was one of the earliest of the Territorial forces to go on active service. They have been in several actions, and, as may be supposed have not escaped without their share of casualties. They were in the battle of Neuve Chapelle, and fortunately the quick-firing gun team, to which he was attached, passed through the engagement without mishap. Previous to that they had been nine days in the trenches, and during that time they experienced some very cold weather. Trooper Thompson had one of his feet frost-bitten. He was sent back to the base hospital, where, unfortunately, he developed bronchitis in a somewhat severe form. His latest letters however, state that he is getting better, but it will be some time before he is quite convalescent.

 

WOLSTON.

THE LATE PTE F HOWARD.—A memorial service was held in memory of Pte F Howard, only son of Mr Fred Howard, of Wolston, who lost his life at Neuve Chapelle when fighting with the Worcestershire Regiment, as reported in our issue of the 10th inst. The service was conducted by the Ven Archdeacon T Meredith, and the large edifice was well filled by residents of Brandon and Wolston and the surrounding district ; whilst a number of soldiers home on furlough attended. The Brandon and Wolston Scouts were also present to pay their last respects to their departed comrade. The principal mourners were deceased’s father and sister, Miss Clara Howard. The proceedings were most impressive, and it was quite evident that the majority of the large congregation mourned the loss of so young a life, many of them being visibly affected. The form of memorial service was the one authorised for use in the diocese of Chichester. The hymns were : “ My God, my Father, while I stray,” “ When our heads are bowed with woe,” and “ God of the living in Whose eyes.” Before the service closed the Vicar gave a suitable address, and his remarks were listened to with rapt attention. At the close the organist, Mr W S Lole, played the “ Dead March.”

The casualties in the 7th Warwickshires reported up-to-date are : One killed and 12 wounded.

A non-commissioned officer writes :— “ The Battalion has now come out of the trenches for four days. During the four days the Battalion has lost one killed, a chap from Coventry, and about 12 wounded, although I don’t think any of them are very serious. The 5th Battalion have had three killed. We relieved the Dublin Fusiliers when our Battalion went in, and now the 8th Battalion Royal Warwicks are relieving us. Most of the the firing takes place at night ; there’s not much doing during the day, except artillery fire. The Howitzer Battery are pretty close to us, and it was reported yesterday (April 14th) that they had put three of the German guns out of action. While in the trenches many of the chaps had some very narrow escapes. One of the German shells burst in “ A ” Company’s trenches, also one in “ B ” Company’s, fortunatley without hurting anyone. I think myself the Battalion has been very fortunate at having so few casualties. We are now in ——, so that we have now been in both the countries where the fighting is.”

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Recruiting has been rather more satisfactory at Rugby during the past week, and twelve have been attested, the majority for the Army Service Corps. Their names are :—A.H C : L Morris, J C Munton, C H Brown, T W Summers, F Summers, J Ingram, P Kimberley, D Jonathan, S New. Remounts : A Penn. K.R.R : M E Goodyer. Army Veterinary Corps : J W Harris.