OVER FIFTY DEATHS LOCALLY.
The influenza epidemic has assumed serious proportions locally, and from October 14th till last Thursday morning no fewer than 52 deaths from either influenza or pneumonia occurred in Rugby and the immediate vicinity. Of these over 40 have been registered within the past 12 days. A peculiar feature of the malady is that the victims chiefly consist of young and robust persons, and largely among people whose means, one would surmise, would enable them to live as well as rationing regulations will permit and engaged in healthy occupations.
During the past week there have been 17 interments in Rugby Cemetery—a figure which has surpassed all past experience. In the preceding week there were 14 burials. Two grave-diggers are normally employed at the Cemetery, but so many graves have been required that six additional men have been taken on.
No less than about 900 employers of the B.T.H Company and 200 employees of Messrs Willans & Robinson’s are suffering from influenza and pneumonia.
The seriousness of the malady is intensified by the shortage of doctors and nurses, and in many instances whole families have been stricken down, and have had to depend on the casual help of neighbours.
The few doctors that remain are working at high pressure,and they are only able to visit the most serious cases.
Owing to the shortage of voluntary helpers, caused by the epidemic, the issue of the new ration books, which should be completed by Monday, November 4th, will not be completed, until Wednesday next at the earliest.
Several social functions, including a concert at the Speech Room and the Elborow School prize distribution and concert, have been postponed owing to the outbreak.
THE INFLUENZA.—October, 1918, will long be remembered in Long Itchington as intensely exemplifying those well-known words : “ The pestilence that walketh in darkness.” There has been no blacker time in its annals since August and September, 1842, when two adults and nine children were in a few weeks carried off by scarlet fever. The present visitation of influenza has in less than a fortnight accounted for seven victims, most of whom were young and in their prime. Others still lie seriously ill, and while many are approaching convalescence, fresh cases are still failing almost daily. It has been well nigh impossible to procure adequate nursing, and in some instances patents have been kindly tended by kind-hearted neighbours, well-nigh as ill themselves. The Vicar (Rev H G Kane), whose own son has been seriously ill, has been most assiduous in visiting the sick and in administering comfort and consolation to the dying and the bereaved. Among those who have succumbed are : Mrs T H Webb, aged 33, who was only ill a few days, and leaves behind a husband, two little ones, and an aged mother. Much sympathy is felt for Mr Webb, who is well known and respected as the local carman of the L & N-W Railway. Miss Eva Jeffs, aged 19, only child of Mr & Mrs Wm Jeffs, who up to the time she contracted influenza looked the picture of health, but succumbed to pneumonia after only a few days’ illness. More recent deaths are those of Miss Violet Taylor, assistant mistress at the Schools for the past 18 years, who died on Sunday after only a few days’ illness. She was an exceedingly capable teacher, and her loss to the schools will be severely felt. The body was removed to Stratford-on-Avon for interment. On Monday occurred the death of Miss Hilda S Jeacock, who received her education and tuition at the schools here, and had also been an assistant mistress for the past 12 years. She, too, has proved an efficient teacher, and her loss is greatly deplored. Gunner F Leigh, R.G.A. is at present on service with the victorious British Army in France ; he has lost his little son Dennis, aged 2½ years. An exceedingly sad case is the death of Mrs Charles Evetts, who leaves behind a husband and eight little children. Dr Clague is unfortunately feeling the strain of continuous work night and day, and was himself obliged to knock up on Tuesday.
INFLUENZA.—Their has been an increase in the number of influenza cases in the village during the last fortnight, and in consequence the schools have had to be closed for a time.
DEATH OF DR. RING.—The greatest regret has been occasioned in Brinklow and neighbourhood by the somewhat sudden death of Dr Charles E Ring, which occurred at his residence on Tuesday. He was seized with influenza towards the end of last week, but heroically attended to his patents until he was absolutely obliged to go to bed, and, in spite of the best medical attention and nursing, he succumbed as stated. Dr Ring commenced his practice in Brinklow about ten years ago in succession to Dr James Hair, and had become well known in the village and neighbourhood as a most competent medical practitioner, and as such has been very highly esteemed. During the last few years he has had charge of the Monks Kirby and Pailton district, and has also served for about two years in France and Salonika. He leaves a widow and three children.
LOCAL WAR NOTES.
Second-Lieut R Aubrey Hastings Lloyd. R.A.F, who was in Rugby School XV in 1916, has died abroad from wounds.
The names of two more employees of the B.T.H Company have appeared in recent casualty lists, viz : Pte P C Roberts, Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, of the Foundry Department, died from wounds on October 18th, and Bombardier A Jones, Royal Garrison Artillery (carpenters’ shop), died from malarial fever on Oct 15th.
Pte G W Marsh, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was reported missing on October 26, 1917. Official intimation has now been received by his friends that it is now concluded that his death took place on that date.
Lieut-Col H H Neeves, D.S.O, M.C (bar), Northumberland Fusiliers, son of Mr S Neeves, Langdale, Murray Road, has been wounded in the left elbow and hip, and is now in hospital in France. Lieut-Col Neeves, who joined the Army as a private, was seriously wounded at Arras last year, when he gained the D.S.O and bar to the M.C.
Another Old Murrayian and former member of Holy Trinity Choir—Pte A C Ward, R.W.R, son of Mr & Mrs C Ward, 121 Grosvenor Road—was killed in action on September 27th at the age of 19. Before joining the Army in August, 1917, he was employed as a clerk in the L & N-W Railway Goods Depot. He had been in France since April last. Three of his brothers are still serving in the Army.
Pte Fred Knight, Oxon and Buck L.I, of Bourton, who has been killed in action, was formerly employed by the Rugby Rural District Council as a roadman. He joined the Army at the beginning of the War, and had served in France three years.
THE REV R. W. DUGDALE KILLED BY A SHELL.
The sad news has come to hand that the Rev R W Dugdale, a curate of St Andrew’s, Rugby, was killed during a German barrage in the early hours of Wednesday last week while on duty in a regimental aid post.
Mr Dugdale was the younger son of the Rev Sydney Dugdale, Whitchurch, Salop. and was educated at Rugby and Oxford. He was ordained by the Bishop of Worcester at the Advent ordination in 1913, and commenced work in his Rugby curacy at Christmas. He remained on the staff of St Andrew’s and was in charge of Holy Trinity Church during 1914 till the summer of 1915, when he became a Chaplain to the Forces. He went to France in the following summer, and did good work at the Battle of Loos, for which he was awarded the Military Cross.
Mr Dugdale was fond of all athletic exercises. He was a great runner, and held an unbeaten record for the Crick Run. He was an active member of the Church Cricket Club and a close personal friend of the late R W Poulton (O.R.), the International football player.
The remains were buried on October 24th in the Military Cemetery at Candry, near Cambrai. There will be a memorial service in the Holy Trinity Church at 11 o’clock to-day (Saturday).
ABSENTEE.—At Rugby Police Court on Wednesday—before Mr A E Donkin—Pte Frank Batchelor, Machine Gun Corps, was charged with being an absentee since October 26th. He pleaded that he had had a lot of trouble at home, and that he intended to return early that morning, but he was prevented. As defendant had been through most of the heavy fighting, including the Retreat from Mons, and had been wounded four times, he was discharged on giving his word to return to his unit by the first train.
DIED OF WOUNDS.—Mrs A Allen has received news from the sister-in-charge of a casualty clearing station in France that her husband, Pte A Allen, of 1/5 Gloucester Regiment, was admitted to the clearing station on October 24th, severely wounded in the head, back, and buttocks, and died on October 25th. Pte Allen was 33 years of age, and before joining H.M Forces in April, 1917, was employed at the B.T.H Works. He leaves a widow and three young children, for whom much sympathy is felt.
DEATH OF SERGT RIDOUT.—The death occurred recently, at Austruther, county Fife, of Sergt Wm Ridout, of the 10th Battalion Royal Warwicks, one of the heroes of the Battle of Loos. When war broke out he was a member of the Territorial Force. He then joined the Warwicks, and soon attained the rank of sergeant. At the Battle of Loos he was badly gassed, from which he only made partial recovery, and was discharged. A cold aggravated the trouble, which he suffered from the effects of being gassed, and his end came with startling suddenness. When resident at Dunchurch, Sergt Ridout was one of the best players in the football team, and was much respected in the parish.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN SAILORS’ SOCIETY.—A flag day on behalf of this society was held at Rugby on Saturday, the arrangements being earned out under the auspices of the Young People’s Association of the Congregational Church. Mr W W Litchfield, of the Northamptonshire Union Bank, was the hon treasurer, and the Rev DJ Griffiths hon secretary. Unfortunately the influenza epidemic incapacitated about 35 friends who had promised help as flag-sellers, but those who were able to turn up worked with a will. The organising committee were Miss M Bullock, Miss Whitbread, Miss Baillie, Miss Anderson, Miss Craze, Mrs Gatecliffe, Mrs J Tame, and Mr Tom Daynes. The total of collections and subscriptions amounted to £64 18s 6d.
WAR BONDS.—During the week ended October 19th Rugby subscribed £10,330 for War Bonds, or about £500 less than the weekly quota expected from the town.
BOOKS AND MAGAZINES FOR SOLDIERS AND SAILORS.—During the month of September the books and magazines collected through the agency of the Post Office, and handed over to the various distributing organisations, filled 1,772 bags. Towards this number Rugby contributed 19 bags and Leicester 20. The demands of our soldiers and sailors are greater now than ever. The books and magazines should be handed across the counter of any post office, unwrapped and unaddressed, and within a few days the donors may rest assured they will be in the hands of our fighting men.
HOW TO FEED THE PIG.
NO OFFAL AFTER JANUARY.
The following official “ Advice to Pig Keepers ” has been issued :—
Since the Board of Agriculture in the spring urged both farmers and cottagers to keep pigs, and encouraged the formation of Pig Clubs in urban district where household waste could be collected, the situation has changed greatly for the worse. A large number of people throughout the country responded to the invitation of the Board, and effected a substantial increase in the number of pigs.
It has now, however, become necessary to pig keepers that even the small allowance of concentrated food hitherto allotted to pigs may not be continued beyond January 25, 1919.
What is the pig keeper to do ? The farmer has at command a certain quantity of home-grown food ; he may be able to spare some roots, he may have chat or damaged potatoes. With these and a small daily allowance of tail or damaged grain he can keep his pigs growing, without even the allowance of offals to which he is entitled until January. No man ought to feed pigs on meal alone. Pig clubs can still command the waste that is being collected. With that and the allowance of offals they can still obtain they will be able to maintain their pigs until January. They must use their own judgment as to whether they can keep them any longer, or whether they must kill off some before that date in order to have food enough for the rest. Many cases are reported to the Board when pigs are being kept successfully on waste alone, and this is possible where the pigs are not too young.
The cottager is, perhaps, in the worst case. He must do the best he can in his own circumstances. Up to January he can still buy offal ; he has his small and damaged potatoes and a certain amount of waste and garden produce. He must get the pig on as far as he can with that, and at the worst kill it before the supply gives out.
The Board are being constantly asked whether they want pigs kept. They want every possible pig kept, but they cannot promise any food beyond January ; and they, therefore, cannot advise anyone to continue to keep pigs who does not see some way of providing for them out of local resources. The price of pork and bacon is high, and is not likely to fall. There will be a great demand for young pigs as soon as food becomes available again. These are the plain facts ; the Board want pigs, and believe in pig production, but cannot obtain any food for them from the outside. But they urge every pig keeper to make the best shift he can.
RING.—On the 29th ult., CHARLES A. EDMONSON RING, F.R.C.S.E., late Capt. R.A.M.C., the beloved husband of Grace E Ring, of Brinklow, Rugby, and eldest son of C. A. Ring, late R.N., of Pandora, Seaview, Isle of Wight—of pneumonia, aged 39.
ROBERTS.—On October 18, 1918, at King George’s Hospital, London, Pte. P. C. ROBERTS, Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry ; died of wounds received in action in Italy, in his 28th war.
—Deeply mourned by his Sisters and Brothers.
GARDNER.—In loving remembrance of our dear and only son, Pte CHARLES GARDNER, R.M.L.I., who died from wounds received in action in France on October 28, 1917.
—Ever remembered by his loving Mother & Father.
KNIGHT.—In unfading memory of FRED, the dearly beloved son of Thomas and Emily Knight, of Bourton, killed in action on October 23, 1918 ; aged 27 years.
“ At duty’s call he went to France ;
Like other lads to take his chance.
He fought for home and Country,
God knows he did his best,
And now he sleeps in Jesus,
A soldier laid to rest.”
—From sorrowing Father, Mother, Brothers, Sisters, and Gertie.
MARSH.—In ever-loving memory of Pte. W. G. MARSH, who died in France on October 26, 1917.
“ Days of sadness still come o’er us,
Tears in silence often flow,
Thinking of the day we lost him :
Just a year ago.
Too far away thy grave to see,
But not too far to think of thee.”
—From his loving friends, Mr. & Mrs. Underwood and Family.
PARKER.—In loving memory of EDWARD JOSEPH, the beloved son of Mr. & Mrs. T. Parker, of Dunchurch, who died of wounds received in action on November 3, 1914.—At rest.—Not forgotten by Father, Mother, Brothers and Sisters.
THOMAS.—In ever loving memory of our dear nephew, Pte. W. H. THOMAS (Willie), killed in action October 24, 1917.
—Never forgotten by Aunt Amy & Uncle Will.