17th Aug 1918. The Rugby Volunteers at Camp

THE RUGBY VOLUNTEERS AT CAMP.

The Rugby Volunteers returned on Sunday last the Brigade camp on Salisbury Plain of the 5th Volunteer Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, after a very successful period in training. The camp was pitched in one of the most favoured positions on the Plain ; and while the weather was unsettled for the first day or two, it left nothing to be desired for the remainder of the time.

Life under canvas was a new experience for a great many of the men, but they very quickly settled down, and the excellent discipline proved that every man had gone into camp determined to do his duty to the utmost. The rapid improvement of the whole Brigade was very noticeable, and was the subject of comment by the Inspecting Officers.

In the absence of Lieut-Col F F Johnstone and Major Glover, the 2nd Battalion was under the command of Capt C H Fuller as being the next senior battalion officer, and with Capt C Beck (Atherstone) as second in command. The battalion was divided into three companies, Rugby forming No 1 Company, with Stratford-on-Avon and Wellesbourne under the command of Lieut E H Frost (Wellesbourne), senior officer, the other company officers being Second-Lieut C C Wharton (Rugby) and Second-Lieut Bourne, of Atherstone.

The 2nd Battalion came in for its full share of camp duties. These, as well as their drill and training generally, were carried out with smartness, and the work of their machine gun sections attracted more than usual attention, and on inspection they were stated to be among the most efficient Volunteer gun sections that had been seen ; while the work of the Brigade, as a whole, was reported as being the best in the Southern Command.

The days were fully occupied with the various branches of training, and demonstrations were also provided by Horse Artillery and Cavalry from neighbouring centres. In addition, a visit was arranged from a demonstration squad of New Zealanders in squad and arms drill, and from a squad from the Tidworth Schools in physical training, military games, and bayonet fighting. All these “stunts,” were of great interest to the Brigade, and afforded excellent instruction.

There was no ceremonial inspection, but each battalion was inspected on different occasions while carrying out their work by H.R.H the Duke of Connaught (Commander-in-Chief of the Volunteer Forces), Sir Henry Slater (General Officer Commander-in-Chief of Southern Command), and General Ashburner (Inspector-General of Infantry), all of whom expressed their gratification at the progress which was being made.

Friday afternoon was set apart for Brigade sports, and the events were keenly contested by men of all ages. Indeed, one veteran of 71 ran in one of the heats of the 100 yards handicap, and won his heat. Of the five battalions the second met with the greatest success, for out of 19 prizes this battalion secured 11. Local prize-winners were : Capt Fuller, Second- Lieut Wharton, Sergts Watson and Murray, Corpl Batchelor, Ptes Cattell, Hodson, Tait, and Wolfe.

The 2nd Battalion also had an instructional competition in tent patching, rapidity in assembling and putting on equipment, and squads drilled by privates.

Col D F Lewis (County Commandant) commanded as Brigadier, and he is to be congratulated on the success of the camp. Attendance was voluntary, and there is little doubt that many men who were not there, or could not attend, must wish they had been present, and the prospect of another camp ought to stimulate recruiting during the next few months.

The Brigade moved out of camp by battalions on Sunday morning, and left by special trains, and the appearance of the men sufficed to show the great benefit they had all derived.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Lance-Corpl Percy John Round, 2nd Royal Berkshire Regiment, reported missing since May 27th, is now a prisoner of war at Munster, Germany.

Corpl F W Rixom, Rugby Howitzer Battery, second son of Mrs Rixom, 108 Claremont Road, has been gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in the R.F.A.

Capt E G Passmore, M.C, Northants Regiment, son of Mr S A Passmore, Ashby St Ledgers, has been slightly wounded by shrapnel in the hand. This is the third time Capt Passmore has been wounded.

Telephonist T P Cotching, R.G.A, 37 Graham Road, formerly employed by the B.T.H Company, has been badly gassed. For nine days he was completely blind, but he is now slowly recovering.

H S Woodford, son of Mr A Woodford, of 22 Hastings Street, Leicester, has been gazetted Second Lieutenant in the R.E. He was apprenticed to the B.T.H at Rugby, and joined the Army soon after the outbreak of the War.

The following names appear in the list of ladies connected with local hospitals brought to the notice of the Secretary of State for War. Miss O Chaplin, nurse at Clifton Court Officers Hospital ; Miss E Alderson, Nursing Member, Te Hira, secretary of Rugby Town V.A.D. Hospital ; Miss M Tolley, Nursing Member, Southam Hospital ; Mrs L Burdekin, Infirmary V.A.D., Rugby ; Miss L Dickins, Brailes Hospital ; Mrs I H Miller, Rugby District ; Miss C Morris, Pailton House Hospital ; Mrs A M Simey, Te Hira, Rugby.

AN ABSENTEE.—On being discharged from hospital, Pte Daniel Farn, 27th Durham light Infantry, proceeded to his home in Newland Street, New Bilton, instead of joining his unit. The sequel was provided at Rugby Police Court on Wednesday, when he was brought before Mr A E Donkin and remanded to await an escort.

KILSBY.
PRISONER OF WAR.—Lance-Corpl L J Conopo, previously reported missing has written home to say he is a prisoner of war.

FATAL ACCIDENT TO FLIGHT CADET GIBBS.

While flying from a Yorkshire aerodrome on August Bank Holiday, Flight Cadet David Gibbs, youngest son of Mr & Mrs A B Gibbs, of 14 Kimberley Road, Rugby, lost his bearings, and attempted to land at Whitley Bridge. An eye-witness states that Cadet Gibbs, who was a competent pilot, planed down from a considerable height, but when near the ground he apparently decided to change his landing place, and the attempt to alter the direction caused the machine to nose dive and crash to earth. The unfortunate young man received terrible injuries, from which he died on Thursday last week without recovering consciousness.

At the inquest at Doncaster on Friday a verdict of “ Accidental death ” was returned.

Cadet Gibbs, who was only 20 years of age, was educated at Newbold School, and the Lower School, Rugby. When he enlisted as a private in the 5th Buffs a little over two years ago he was employed in the United Counties Bank at Coventry. About eight months ago he was transferred as a cadet to the Royal Air Force, and he had practically finished his course of instruction when the accident happened, and his parents were looking forward to welcoming him home this week. He was a talented violinist, and he frequently played at concerts given in the town.

FATAL ACCIDENT TO CADET PERCY F. WATSON.

While flying on the North-East Coast late on Monday night Cadet Percy Fredk Watson (18), son of Mr F Watson, Post Office overseer, Ormdale, Murray Road and Lieut Reynolds, Merton Park, Surrey, met with an accident, and received injuries which shortly afterwards proved fatal. Cadet Watson was educated at the Lower School, and until he joined the R.A.F in October last he was employed as a clerk by Messrs Styles & Whitlock. He was a bright lad with a genial disposition, and he was very popular with all with whom he came in contact. A fortnight before the accident he visited his home on leave.

At the inquest on Wednesday it was stated that the two men were engaged in a practice flight at night. Half-an-hour after they ascended the aeroplane was seen to take a sharp vertical turn at a height of 500ft, and was next observed in flames on the ground. Both men were shockingly injured, and Watson only lived a quarter-of-an-hour, and his companion five hours.—Verdict : “ Accidental death.”

COVENTRY APPEALS TRIBUNAL

A WIDOW’S SACRIFICE.
Mr H Eaden applied for the exemption of Dennis Mansfield Izzard (18, Grade 1), 43 Bridget Street, Rugby. He said it was presumed that this lad was the sole surviving son of his widowed mother. Two of his brothers had joined the Rifle Brigade—one had been killed, and the other, who was drafted to Mesopotamia, had not been heard of for 14 months. Letters sent to him had been returned, and enquiries had been made through the War Office, but without effect. The case was one which came under the Royal Proclamation.—The Chairman said it was a very doubtful case. The Tribunal sympathised very much with Mrs Izzard, and the best course would be to adjourn the case for enquiries to be made of the Local Government Board.—Mr Meredith said if it could be proved that letters had been returned he would be prepared to stretch a point.—The Chairman said it was a hard case, but he thought the wisest thing to do to prevent complications in the future was to adjourn the case for two months, and this course would be adopted.

“ It simply means that you are asking that this man should stop at home to nurse his wife,” remarked the Chairman during the hearing of a National Service appeal against the exemption till December 1st of Francis Edward Jones (41, Grade 2), Alexandra Arms.— On behalf of respondent, Mr H W Worthington pleaded the illness of Mrs Jones, and he pointed out that two years ago his client was exempted on taking up work in a controlled factory, where he is still engaged.—The Chairman said the Tribunal could not agree that there was any exceptional hardship, and the appeal would be allowed, the man not to be mobilised until October 15th.

A National Utility Order—his own work to be regarded as within the meaning of the order was granted to Harold Henry Gregory, 56 York Street (24, Grade 3), manager of Halford’s Cycle Depot, High Street, Rugby.

The case of Harold Eaden, solicitor, Church Street (39, Grade 3), which had been adjourned sine die, was reinstated at the request of the National Service representative, and a National Utility Order was issued. Mr Eaden to devote 12 hours per week to work of national importance.

The appeal of Arthur Elliott (40, Grade 1), watch and instrument repairer, High Street, Rugby, against an order to join up in 28 days was dismissed, but he was allowed 42 days’ calling-up notice to enable him to complete work in hand.

John Ellard (30, Grade 1), farmer, Willoughby, appealed against the adverse decision of the Rugby Rural Tribunal ; but as he was one of the quota of agriculturists to be released by the county and no exceptional domestic hardship was pleaded, the application was refused.

HARVESTING THE BLACKBERRIES.

The statement which has been going the round of the daily Press that all blackberries were going to be commandeered by the Government is, it appears, incorrect ; but steps are being taken to prevent the crop, which this year promises to be exceptionally heavy, being wasted. As much fruit as possible is to be collected under a scheme organised by the Ministry of Food to provide jam for the needs of the Navy and Army during the coming year. The Education Authorities have patriotically come forward, and have arranged that throughout the country facilities shall be given to teachers and scholars to assist, and during the blackberry season they will be given special holidays on suitable days to enable the available crops of blackberries to be gathered.

The general arrangements for the Midlands will be under the direction of Mr R J Curtis (Food Commissioner). In each county will be a county organiser, and, acting under him, local collecting agents in each school or district. The latter will arrange for the collection, weighing, invoicing, packing, and sending of the blackberries gathered by the scholars and other pickers under his charge. The pickers will be paid at the rate of 3d per lb for the blackberries brought by them to the school or the packing depot, and for his various duties the local collecting agent will receive 3s per cwt, together with a sum not exceeding 1s per cwt for transit by road to the railway station, whence the blackberries will be sent to the jam manufacturers, carriage forward. It is thought that, generally speaking, the allowance of 1s per cwt will be sufficient to cover the cost of road transport.

The county organiser for Warwickshire is Mr Donkin.

The co-operation of everyone concerned is sought. It is hoped that farmers and landowners will grant all possible facilities for the picking of the fruit, without which the jam supply for the services will be wholly inadequate.

TAINTED MEAT AT RUGBY.
QUANTITY CONDEMNED BY THE INSPECTOR.

Some outspoken criticisms concerning the quality of the frozen meat which has recently been consigned to the town were made at a special meeting of the Urban District Council on Monday evening. The subject was raised by Mr S Robbins (chairman of the Health Committee), who said a consignment which arrived on Saturday morning was in a disgusting condition, and it was so offensive that he did not like having to go into the building where it was stored. Four or five sides were quite black.—Mr F E Hands : I did not see it, but I smelt it.—Mr Robbins : It was dreadful, and something ought to be done by this Council.

Mr Loverock enquired whether the meat was despatched in a bad condition ? It could not have been on the railway long enough to get into such a state.—Mr Robbins replied that the meat was covered with canvas, and as soon as this was removed the condition was observable. These canvases were put on when the meat was frozen.—The Chairman (Mr McKinnell) : Yes; it is put on right away. I have heard all sorts of tales about the number of years such meat is kept in cold storage, but I can scarcely believe them.—Mr Robbins said the meat would not have been sent to the town had the canvas been removed, because in some places it was quite rotten.—Mr Loverock : That was why some people could not get meat on Saturday. I could not.

In reply to Mr Hudson, Mr Robbins said the meat was condemned by the Inspector of Nuisances, who had the power to do so without consulting the Medical Officer.—The Chairman : It is rather a serious matter.—Mr Robbins : In this case the Government lose, but if bad fish is condemned the loss falls on the proprietor of the shop.—Mr Hands : The abominable part about it is that, if the local Food Committee makes a complaint, they are told by the officials in Birmingham that they must either take it or leave it.—The Chairman : Yes ; what happens is that the meat comes here as food for the town, and if the Health Committee condemn any of it the town has to go short by that amount.

Mr Ringrose agreed that something should be done, because the meat smelt very bad. He went past several butchers’ shops, and he had never noticed such a smell from the shops of Rugby since he had known the town. Rugby was in the centre of one of the largest meat supplying districts in the Midlands, and people complained that while cattle were sent from their market to other districts this class of meat was sent in exchange.—Mr Robbins : I went into one shop, and some of the meat which was sent out was not fit to eat.

The Chairman enquired how much meat was condemned ?—Mr Robbins replied that three sides were condemned, but if it had been left to him he would have condemned the lot. He added : I took care my family had none of it. We went without.

The Chairman said the Food Committee had protested very strongly about the quality of meat which was sent to the town, but it had had no effect. The Government admitted that the quality of the meat was not everything to be desired, and the only thing the Council could do was to write to the Local Government Board on the subject.—Mr Loverock suggested that they should write to Major J L Baird, M.P, and explain the situation to him.—The Chairman said he supposed if the people continued to eat this very undesirable meat the health of the town would suffer.—Mr Loverock : It is bound to.—Mr Robbins said new diseases were continually turning up, and it was not known from what cause they came ; but he failed to see how they could expect otherwise with such meat as this being consumed.—The Chairman : There is no doubt the food is responsible.—Mr Robbins proposed that a very strong letter be sent to the Local Government Board. Although only three sides were condemned, had it not been Saturday morning the whole lot would have been condemned.—Mr R S Hudson seconded.

Mr Robbins : Mr Parsons told me that in pre-war times he would have condemned the lot.—Mr Loverock added that the Inspector informed him that before the war anyone selling any of the meat which was sent out last week would have been prosecuted.—Mr Hudson : Would it not have been better to have condemned the lot and have let the people go without ?—Mr Robbins : We could not do that.—Mr Hands : There is a big risk in eating it.—Mr Robbins : The butchers risk it, and we cannot do as we did in pre-war times. We have got to shut our eyes a lot.—Mr Loverock : Such a quantity of cattle will be coming in shortly that we ought not to have this stuff foisted upon us.—Mr Robbins : The people do not complain of foreign meat. It is the quality.

It was unanimously decided to write to the Local Government Board and Major Baird. M.P, as suggested.

THE COAL SHORTAGE.
URGENT NEED FOR ECONOMY.

It is doubtful whether the public fully realises the seriousness of the coal position. It is a fact that the shortage of coal is giving the authorities far greater anxiety than the food question. Unless the public co-operates by exercising the most stringent economy, grave inconvenience, if not hardship, will have to be suffered during the coming winter.

The demand for coal is constantly increasing—the demand, that is to say, for purposes absolutely essential to the prosecution of the War. Not only have we to provide for ourselves, but for practically all our principal Allies as well. We have to help the United states in France, France itself, and Italy. Notwithstanding this help, the French ration provides for but 1 ton 8 cwt of coal for a family of five for a year, and in Italy they have practically no coal at all for household purposes. When, therefore, we are asked to economise here, it has to be remembered that one effect is to help our Allies in France and Italy, who are infinitely worse off than we are.

The difficulties at the mines are enormous. Miners make splendid soldiers, and they have joined up with a readiness that is beyond all praise. But this very quality, whilst so greatly helping our work in the field, produces a special drain on the industry of coal getting. The withdrawal of men from the mines has inevitably lessened output, for which it is impossible for those who remain to give us full compensation. The public, however, may feel assured that the appeals for intensified exertions issued by the Miners’ leaders and emphasised by the Prime Minister, will meet with a ready response. Great as may be the exertions of the miners, however, there will still be need for the strictest economies by householders.

No doubt there are many ways in which householders may secure substantial savings in consumption. Old customs of keeping roaring firm in several rooms during the winter will have to be dropped, and fires that are burnt must to some extent be assisted by the use of wood, peat, slack, or coke. Every effort should be made, in particular, to lay in stores of wood, and nothing that can be used to keep a fire going should be wasted. The problem of saving must in the main be dealt with by each householder for himself, according to his particular circumstances. Some may be able to get wood where others cannot ; some may be able to breakfast in the kitchen, and thus save lighting any but the kitchen fire till later in the day ; some, again, may in some measure be able to act co-operatively with neighbours. Whatever the expedient used, coal consumption must be drastically reduced—and reduced now.

AN UNUSUAL CATCH.—While Mr J W Lord and Mr F Ludlow, of Castle Street, Rugby, were walking along the side of the canal between Winwick and Elkington on Saturday morning their attention was attracted by an unfamiliar sound. On investigating this, they found a fine specimen of a heron caught on a night line. They released the bird and brought it to Rugby, where it was viewed with interest by many of Mr Lord’s friends. It was subsequently set at liberty. The wings measured 6ft 6ins from tip to tip, and its bill was 7ins long.

DEATHS.

GEORGE.—On June 19th, in hospital at Limburg, Germany, in his 21st year,. HUBERT TREHERN, the youngest and dearly beloved son of Walter and Harriett George, of 2 High Street, and Trehern House, Pennington Street, Rugby.

IN MEMORIAM.

COX.—In loving memory of our dear brother, Pte. FREDERICK FRANCES COX, who lost his life through shell shock on August 16, 1917, in France ; aged 24 years.
“ A year has gone, and still we miss him ;
From our memory he’ll ne’er fade.
His life he gave for King and country ;
In heaven we hope to meet again.
We often sit and think of him,
And tenderly breathe his name ;
Nothing have we left of him,
But his photo in a frame.”
—Never forgotten by his sorrowing Brother & Sisters.

GILLINGS.—In loving memory of Rifleman WALTER GILLINGS, who died of wounds on August 18, 1917, in France.
“ Nobly he did his duty,
Bravely he fought and fell ;
But the sorrows of those that mourn him,
Only aching hearts can tell.”
—Lovingly remembered by Annie.

GILLINGS.—In loving memory of Rifleman WALTER GILLINGS, who died of wounds on August 18, 1917.— Ever remembered by Mr. & Mrs Fox & Family.

Watson, Percy Frederick. Died 12th Aug 1918

Percy Frederick Watson was baptised at St Andrew’s, Rugby, on 14 January 1900. His birth address was 9 Charlotte Street, Rugby. His parents were Frederick Watson (b 1870 in Rugby), a Post Office overseer, and Eleanor Jane Watson, née Elkins (b 1873 in Rugby). Percy was educated at the Lower School and was then employed as a clerk by Messrs. Styles & Whitlock, auctioneers, Bank Street, Rugby.

He joined the RAF in October 1917 where he was given flying training as a Flight Cadet. On 12th August 1918, whilst on a practice night flight near the North-East Coast with 2nd Lieut Francis W P Reynolds of Merton Park, Surrey, his aircraft failed at a height of 500 feet and fell to the ground. Due to the severity of his injuries, Percy lived for only 15 minutes.

It was reported in the Rugby Advertiser of 17th Aug 1918 (the same edition that recorded the death of Flight Cadet Gibbs in a similar accident):

 FATAL ACCIDENT TO CADET PERCY F. WATSON.

 While flying on the North-East Coast late on Monday night Cadet Percy Fredk Watson (18), son of Mr F Watson, Post Office overseer, Ormdale, Murray Road and Lieut Reynolds, Merton Park, Surrey, met with an accident, and received injuries which shortly afterwards proved fatal. Cadet Watson was educated at the Lower School, and until he joined the R.A.F in October last he was employed as a clerk by Messrs Styles & Whitlock. He was a bright lad with a genial disposition, and he was very popular with all with whom he came in contact. A fortnight before the accident he visited his home on leave.

 At the inquest on Wednesday it was stated that the two men were engaged in a practice flight at night. Half-an-hour after they ascended the aeroplane was seen to tale a sharp vertical turn at a height of 500ft, and was nest observed in flames on the ground. Both men were shockingly injured, and Watson only lived a quarter-of-an-hour, and his companion five hours.—Verdict : “ Accidental death.”

He was buried in Clifton Road Cemetery, Rugby in a grave which is the responsibility of the CWGC. He is also remembered on the Lawrence Sheriff Memorial Plaque

At the time of his death, Percy’s parents were living at 111, Murray Road, Rugby.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

 

23rd Jan 1915. Letters from the front

A BRINKLOW REPRESENTATIVE IN THE TRENCHES.

Private Bernard Wolfe, son of Mr Augustine Wolfe, railway missioner, Bolton, probably one of the first of Kitchener’s Army to participate in actual fighting, sends home a striking account of his experiences. Private Wolfe joined in the last week of August, and has been in the firing line since December 21. His father is a native of Brinklow, and is well-known to Railway Mission men at Rugby. His grandfather and great-grandfather were also residents of Brinklow.

“ The Germans dropped between 20 and 30 shells over our trenches, but did no damage. Our artillery got their range beautifully, and dropped shell after shell right among them, and eventually succeeded in silencing their batteries. Our company (“ D ” Company) lost three men and a few wounded.

“ The German shell devastation in some of the towns and villages here is beyond all imagination. Cafes, houses, convents, are all deserted, and everything left holus bolus. Some of the brave Belgians remain in their remnants of homes. They have lost everything but their great and noble hearts and I don’t think there is compensation available on this earth to make good their losses and deprivations, I think the German troops are getting demoralised, and I honestly think the war will end suddenly, and will surprise all nations when it does collapse.

” It is very weird at night-time. Picture a dark night. British trenches and German about 70 or 80 yards from one another, with just an occasional rip zip of bullets to let each side know there’s a watch being kept. Then the “ Allemandes ” send a fire ball across, just like an enormous blue light, which illuminates the whole length of trenches. And then, what ho! bob down ! if you don’t you get it, for as soon as the light goes up volley after volley comes as long as the light lasts, which will be 30 or 40 seconds.”

FROM A LILBOURNE MAN.

An interesting letter has been received by Mrs Barnett, of Lilbourne, from her husband. Private A Barnett, 1st Royal Warwicks, in which he says that life in the trenches with such wet weather is most trying—otherwise, he states that he in in a good slate of health. Barnet says : ” I received a parcel just before Christmas from Miss Mary Mulliner, Clifton Court (where he was employed before the outbreak of war). Please thank her if you see her. I am also so pleased the children received toys from the Court ; I am sure they would be pleased. We are having four days in the trenches and four out, the different regiments relieving one another as soon as it gets dusk. I believe the trenches we occupy are in Belgium, but when we are out at rest, we are in France. We have had about four months of it now. I wish we could get out of the danger zone for a while for a good rest. At a place near Armentieres we had 31 days in the trenches without coming out, the enemy being entrenched about 200 yards away. We are nearer now—only 100 yards separating us. You can imagine we have to be very careful in our movements. We were on fairly good terms with them at Christmas, not a single shot being exchanged. They said they would not fire if we did not, and the truce was kept, and we were able to enjoy Christmas rather better. Bitter foes as we are we were able to talk to some of them, also exchange cigarettes and cigars. Anyone that did not se it could not believe that such a thing could happen in warfare : nevertheless, it’s true. Some of our men got hold of souvenirs, but I failed to manage one myself.

“ Our Battalion has suffered very badly : out of 1,110 men I am afraid there is not above 200 left. No doubt many are prisoners of war. When we arrived here we encamped near Langy. Just when they had completed a big retirement from Mons, we took up some trenches at Bueq-Le-Long, and on being relieved we reckoned on a rest. Instead of that we had four days’ march, resting at Rozet-St-Albin, Crepy, Rully-Verberi, and St Omer. From the latter place we rode with motor transport, packed in like sardines for three hours, to Caistre. Next morning we advanced and encountered the enemy at a place called Meteren, which they occupied and were made to evacuate alter a sharp encounter lasting about three hours. Our casualties numbered about 100. It was raining all the time and we were soaked to the skin. During our march through France I did not see anything that took my fancy much. I do not know what there is to make a fuss about. Old England can compare with it for scenery or anything else—except that it is a little warmer here.”

A NAPTON MAN AT THE FALKLAND ISLANDS.

William Watson, of Napton, writing from H.M.S Cornwall on December 9. 1914, says :- “ Dear Mother,— Just a line to let you know how we are getting on. I think the last time I wrote to you was when we were at Montevideo.

On December 7th we arrived at the Falkland Islands, and all of a sudden, when we were in the midst of coaling, we heard a gun fired. It was the Germans come to bombard Port Stanley. Directly we knew we stopped coaling, and our ship and four more British ships, viz, the Inflexible, Invincible, Carnarvon, and Glasgow, gave chase. When we had been steaming along as fast as we could go for about one and a-half hours we saw the smoke of five German ships. At last we gradually got nearer, and the Inflexible engaged with the Scharnhorst. We caught the Leipzic up, and had an engagement with her, which lasted four hours. By the way, I forgot to tell you I am wireless messenger, and I was on watch when we were in action. We fired over 1,000 rounds of lyddite shell at them before we set the Leipzic on fire. We have had several bad hits ourselves, one of which passed through the funnel down into the painters’ shop ; but we put the fire out before it did very much damage. At last, about ten minutes past seven, we hit her right forward with a lyddite shell, and she caught on fire. You ought to have seen he r; I stood and watched her. At last she made a headlong plunge, and down she went. I think out of about a crew of 900 eighteen were saved. Five of them we have in our sick bay. Of the five German ships four have been sunk and one escaped, but she will get captured sooner or later. Out of our crew there are only about four injured, and no one killed. Well, mother, I think we shall come home. Tell them all at Napton I am quite well and happy.”

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

On October 14th the sister of Scout J Farn, [?] Worcester Regiment, forwarded to him on the Continent a parcel, containing some cigarettes and handkerchiefs. On October 21st. however, he was wounded, and never received the parcel. This has recently been returned to another sister of Scout Farn, to whom he had left his property by his will , the authorities evidently being under the impression that he had been killed. The parcel has probably an interesting history attached to it, because when it was opened a piece of shrapnel shell was found inside it, the letter and some notepaper were torn to shreds, and the handkerchiefs were perforated, evidently by pieces of shell, but how this came about is a mystery. We are informed that Scout Farn, who is still in Cedar Lawn Hospital, Hampstead, has undergone two operations, and is going on as well as can be expected. He was wounded by fragments of shrapnel in the right arm.

Trooper Harvey Woods, of the 17th Lancers, is paying a short visit to his home in William Street, Rugby, from the front. His regiment was drafted from India to France, and this is the first time he has been home for seven years. While wishing to say nothing as to the actual fighting, Trooper Woods states that his regiment has been diverted from its ordinary duties, and has been serving in the trenches. In fact, he came straight from the trenches to Rugby. In many instances the men are standing waist deep in water. He spent Christmas Day very quietly in the reserve trenches.

NEW BILTON SOLDIER WOUNDED.

Mrs H Anderson, 39 Pinfold Street, New Bilton, has received official news that her son, Pte John Elson, 1st Northumberland Fusiliers, received a gunshot wound in the back in action on January 7th, and is at present in a General Hospital at Rouen. Pte Elson, spent Christmas Day in the trenches, has also written home to say that the wound is not serious. Mrs Anderson has another son in the Howitzer Battery and one in Lord Kitchener’s Army, and her husband has also a son wounded at the front.

WITH THE HON. ARTILLERY COMPANY AT THE FRONT.

The following extracts from a letter from a “ H.A.C. ” man at the front to his friends at Rugby will be read with interest :-

“ While doing duty in the trenches the other day one of our men went back to a barn to fetch something, and on returning he was shot. He went down with a call for help. I ran along the communicating trench in order to assist him, when a bullet took my shoulder strap off. Our officer recalled me at once. Some time after our bugler crawled out to the man, bound up his wounds, and stayed with him till dusk. He was shot soon after nine o’clock in the morning. They were sniped all the day through, but fortunately they were not hit. When we picked him up at dusk one of the men in my section was shot through the arm and knee.

“ Another day, owing to the continual rain, the communicating trench got full of water. It was my lot to cut a way through the side to enable the water to drain away. I had to stand for an hour up to my middle in the water ; it was bitterly cold, and I felt very exhausted towards night—so much so that I tumbled over when marching home. Our officer insisted on my riding his horse back, for which I was grateful. Unfortunately he has since been killed. He was a great favourite with the men.

“Early in the New Year we determined to have a festive gathering to which we invited some of the Scots Guards. The barn was lit up with candles. When the plum pudding arrived all the lights were extinguished and the brandy set alight. Of course, it was received with cheers.”

“ The other day, on our return after three days in the trench’s we decided to have a concert, so we stopped up all the cracks and crevices, so that no light could be seen from outside. The concert commenced, but we could not have it to ourselves. The Germans took part in part. They commenced to shell us. Towards four o’clock we had to clear out, and whilst packing up our wagon two shrapnel shells burst just over us in the trees, but luckily no one was hit.

“ We attended a very impressive service the other night ; it was held in a convent. The chaplain used a small electric torch, so that he could read the service. We all stood round and sang ‘God save the King,’ and, as you may suppose, the line ‘ Scatter his enemies’ was emphasised.”

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

During the past week 27 recruits have been sworn in at Rugby. Their names are :—R.A.M.C, W Bax and W D Bottrill ; Northants Regiment, G S Carr ; R.F.A, H Dale, H Blythe, W H Morgan, C E Godwin, F B Allibon, W F Bolton, and E A Baines ; Gloucesters, T M Horrell ; A.S.C, W J Barnwell, A Copeman, I Green, A J Townsend, and T Worrall ; R.W.R, J Smith, E Summer, and C E Newman ; Dublin Fusiliers, J Cody ; Worcester Regiment, H Wells ; Lancashire Fusiliers Bantams, F Lowndes and P J Dunkley ; Oxford and Bucks L.I, E Harvey and W Jephcott ; Coldstream Guards, E W Davenport and H Payne.