Watts, John Sidney George. Died 30th Jul 1917

John Sidney George WATTS was born in 1896 in Rugby and registered in the last quarter of that year as Sidney George Watts. He was the middle of the five sons of Albert Edward Watts and his wife Annie Elizabeth (née Bailey). His father, Albert, was born in Newbold and worked as a railway engine stoker on the L & N W railway.

In 1901, he was four years old and enumerated as John S G Watts. His family was living in Old Station Square, Rugby. By 1911 they had moved to 38 Dale Street, Rugby. He was now 14 and enumerated as ‘Sidney George Watts’ and was working as a grocer’s errand boy.

Henry’s Service Records do not survive so little is known of his Service Career. It is not known when he joined up, although he enlisted at Rugby,[1] probably later in 1915, as he did not receive the 1915 Star, and thus there was no embarkation date on his Medal Card. He would not have been 18 years old until just before 1915.

He joined up as a Private, No.28015 in the 10th (Service) Battalion (Bn.) of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment (RWarR). 

The 10th (Service) Battalion was formed in Warwick in August 1914 as part of the Second New Army (K2) and then moved to Salisbury Plain and joined the 57th Brigade of the 19th Division. In March 1915 they moved to Tidworth.

On 17 July 1915 they mobilised for war and landed in France and the Division engaged in various actions on the Western Front. In 1915: the Action of Pietre; in 1916: the Battle of Albert; the attacks on High Wood; the Battle of Pozieres Ridge; the Battle of the Ancre Heights and the Battle of the Ancre. John would have joined with a draft of reinforcements and was possibly involved in some of these but more probably was in action in 1917 in the Battle of Messines. The Battalion would be later involved in the various actions of the Third Battle of Ypres which started on 31 July 1917.

John was probably wounded during the various aftermaths of the Battle of Messines (7-14 June 1917) and during the preparations for the Third Battle of Ypres, probably during the few days before that battle.

The reports in the 10th Battalion War Diary,[2] for the weeks before John’s death, provides the following summary of information:

On 10 July 1917 the Battalion which had been in reserve, was relieved and for a period in mid-July formed working parties until 17 July when further training started. On 19 July there was an inspection by the GOC of 57th Brigade. On 20 July one OR [Other Rank] was wounded during training. At night on 22 July, the Battalion relieved the 7th Bn., Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in the trenches at Roozebeek, Delbske Farm and Denys Wood. They remained in the trenches until relieved on 29 July 1917 when they returned to hutments at Butterfly Farm – the Butterfly was the symbol of the 57th Brigade. During this period of seven days in the trenches, the Battalion was subjected to intermittent shelling, a fairly ineffective gas attacks and particularly heavy shelling on 28 July. There were continuing casualties with ORs killed and/or wounded each day: 23 July – 4 wounded; 24 July – 2 killed, 3 wounded; 25 July – 3 killed, 4 wounded; 26 July – 1 killed, 10 wounded; 27 July – 1 killed, 6 wounded; 28 July – 1 killed, 4 wounded; 29 July – 3 wounded.

During that week of comparative ‘routine’ in the trenches, 34 men were wounded – one of these was probably John Watts – unless he had been wounded some time before, but in that case he would probably have already been evacuated to a hospital further west or even back to England.

He was probably evacuated to an aid post and then through the field ambulance system back to the Convent of St. Antoine in Locre, some 10kms west of the Oosttaverne area, where he had been in action, and some 10kms south-west of Ieper [Ypres]. He was probably at the Convent when he died of his wounds on 30 July 1917.

He was buried in Grave Ref: I. B. 9. in the adjacent Locre (now Loker) Hospice Cemetery. This was in Allied hands during the greater part of the war, and field ambulances were stationed in the Convent of St. Antoine. The Hospice Cemetery was begun in June 1917 by field ambulances and fighting units and was used until April 1918.

John Sidney Watts was awarded the British War and Victory Medals and is also commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates in Hillmorton Road.

Two payments were made to his mother, Annie Elizabeth, as sole legatee: £15-12-2d owing in back pay on 22 October 1917 and a War Gratuity of £14-0-0d on 4 November 1919.

John Sidney Watts’ brother, Albert Edward Joseph Watts (below left), was also killed in the War. His biography was published in Rugby Remembers on 26 August 1914.[3] He had joined up very early in the war and went to France on 22 August with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, and was killed four days later on 26 August in the Battle of Le Cateau and buried in Fontaine-Au-Pire Communal Cemetery, Plot 1, Row A, Grave No. 3.

There is a story in the family that Albert and John’s mother wore a Royal Warwickshire tie brooch for the rest of her life.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

– – – – – –

 

This article on John Sidney WATTS was researched and written for the Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson with additional material, particularly on his brother, Albert Watts, from Catherine Corley and is © John P H Frearson and the RFHG, July 2017.

[1]       As detailed in Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919.

[2]       The National Archives, WWI War Diaries (France, Belgium and Germany), 1914-1920, Piece 2085/3, 10 Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment, July 1915-March 1919.

[3]       https://rugbyremembers.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/watts-albert-edward-joseph-died-26-aug-1914/

Advertisements

12th May 1917. Food Economy Campaign

FOOD ECONOMY CAMPAIGN.—In connection with the Food Economy Campaign in Rugby a series of cookery demonstrations has been arranged. A central establishment will be opened very shortly in High Street, where demonstrations will be given during the afternoons and evenings. This will probably be followed by local demonstrations in other parts of the town. A scheme for the establishment of communal kitchens for Rugby is also well in hand.

AN ALLOTMENT HOLDERS’ ASSOCIATION for Rugby is in course of formation (see advt).

THE KING’S PROCLAMATION urging the necessity of economising in food consumption was read at various places of worship at Rugby on Sunday last.

NEW BILTON.

A COMMUNAL KITCHEN.—The War Economy Food Committee having applied for the use of the Wesleyan. Schoolroom at New Bilton as a communal kitchen, the trustees met on Monday night to consider the matter, and unanimously decided to place the school at the disposal of the committee, subject to certain details to be arranged by the stewards.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Second-Lieut E Wilson, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, son of Mrs Wilson, of Bridget Street, is in hospital at Rouen suffering from a broken leg.

Second-Lieut H H H Lister, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, only son of Mr and Mrs H L Lister, Clifton Road, Rugby, is reported missing on May 4, 1917.

Pte Longney, writing from France, says :—“ By a curious coincidence, it was my pleasure, when passing down the street of the town where I am stationed, to see the Red Cross ambulance car presented by the Rugby and District Farmers’ Association. It is doing a splendid did work, and looks in good condition.”

Mr R George Hudson, son of Mr R S Hudson, York Street, who has been with the Artists’ Rifles in France for the past twelve months, has been given commission, and posted to a Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. News has since been received that Second-Lieut. Hudson, who is an old St Matthew’s boy, has been severely wounded.

Rifleman J C Smith, K.R.R, the eldest son of Mr J C Smith, has been admitted to hospital with gun-shot wounds in the right shoulder.

Capt T Marriott, son of the late Mr J Marriott, of Stanford-on-Avon, who was recently awarded the Military Cross, has been promoted to the rank of Major. He is an “ old boy ” and former member of the staff of St Matthew’s Boys’ School.

The relatives of Pte F H Watts, of 21 Cross Street, Rugby, have received intimation that he was wounded on April 25th for the third time. On this occasion he received injuries in the thigh, arm, and chest through an accident. He is now in the General Hospital, Birmingham, and is making favourable progress.

Official news has been received by Mr T H Cleaver, late of the Horse and Jockey Inn that his son Joseph V Cleaver has been killed in action in France on April 11th. Before the war he was employed by the Leamington Brewery Company. He was one of the first to join up under Lord Derby’s Group System. This is the second son Mr Cleaver has lost in action, and two more, George and Austin, were wounded earlier in the War.

Evan P Biddles, gunner in the R.F.A, youngest son of the late Mrs John Biddles, Newton, Rugby, and of Estancia Loma-Pora, Villa Concepeion, Republic del Paraguay, South America, has died from wounds in France. Less than a year ago he returned to England to enlist after giving up an important post as Majordomo for the Paraguay Land and Cattle Company, and in December last crossed to France, and has practically been in action ever since. His age was 22.

News has just been received by Mr and Mrs Bull, 49 Manor Road, Rugby (late of Lower Shuckburgh, near Daventry), that their only son, Bombardier Bull, was killed in action on the night of May 3rd. At the age of 16 he joined the Warwickshire R.H.A in November, 1915, and went to France in the following May, where he has been in the fighting line ever since. A letter was received on Wednesday morning from his Officer, who writes :-“ Your son, Bombardier Bull, was gallantly doing his duty under heavy shell-fire, and a 4.2 shell just caught him and another man, Fitzgerald. You can be perfectly certain that his death was quite instantaneous and completely without pain. I have known your son since he was under me in the 3rd Warwick Battery, nearly two years ago. He showed signs of being a very fine soldier then, and has since very fully redeemed that early promise. I cannot say how deeply your son is regretted both by officers and men.”

NEWS FROM A RUGBY OFFICER REPORTED KILLED.

Capt S E Jones, of the 10th Yorkshire Regiment, formerly a bank manager at Rugby, who was officially reported killed on February 27th, is evidently a prisoner of war in Saxony. Mr Mason, his successor at Rugby, has just received a card from him stating that his eyes are getting better (so that he was apparently wounded in the face), and adding: “ Do send us food and clothing.”

RUGBY & DISTRICT WAR PRISONERS’ DAY, Saturday, June 2nd.

There are sixty-seven men from Rugby and district who have fallen into the hands of the Enemy, and they are still calling for food.

For nearly two years the Rugby Committee have organised funds by means of which beyond any shadow of doubt many of these men have been saved from starvation.

To ensure they do not lack the food necessary to keep them in health and strength, further funds must be raised at once.

THE RUGBY PRISONERS OF WAR HELP COMMITTEE therefore appeal to you to assist their efforts by sending a Donation now to the Hon. Organising Secretary,
Mr. J. REGINALD BARKER,
9 Regent Street, Rugby,
who will gratefully acknowledge same.

NEWBOLD-ON-AVON.

WOUNDED.—Mrs Parr at the Three Horse Shoes, Newbold, has received official information that her husband, Private F Parr, Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry, has been wounded in France, and is in hospital at Rouen.—Mrs T Harris of Newbold learns that her husband, Pte Thos Harris, belonging to a Northampton Regiment, had been wounded in the head and right arm on April 23rd in Egypt, and was lying in hospital seriously ill.—Mr and Mrs West of Rugby (late of Newbold) have also received intimation that their son, Pte C West, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, has been wounded in France.

LONG LAWFORD.

Mr and Mrs Elkington, Long Lawford have received the following official note concerting their son :- “ The Major-General, 20th (Light) Division, has received a report of the gallant conduct of R G Elkington, K.R.R.C, on April 4, 1917, in courage and personal bravery in the storming of the village of Métz, and he wishes to congratulate him on his fine behaviour.” This is the second occasion that Sergt Elkington has been mentioned for his conduct in the field, the last time during a night attack, on August 23, 1916, at Guillemont. His parents have been pleaded to learn that he has received the ribbon for the Military Medal from the General Commanding.

BRANDON.

MAJOR D C M BEECH.—The many friends of Mr Douglas Beech, the only surviving son of Colonel R J Beech, J.P, D.L, will be pleased to hear that he has been acting as Brigadier Major and is on Foreign Service.

RUSSIAN FLAG DAY AT RUGBY.
A SPLENDID RESULT.

Rugby’s effort on behalf of the Russian wounded on Saturday last was crowned with success ; and, despite the fact that this time the appeal was made only in Rugby and New Bilton, upwards of 25,000 flags were sold, realising £110 16s 6d—the highest sum ever obtained by a flag day restricted to the town. The effort was held under the auspices of the Rugby Urban District Council, and the organisation was again ably carried out by Mr J R Barker, who, at the special request of the Chairman of the Council, has consented to organise all official flag days in Rugby. He was assisted by a willing band of 150 fair vendors, and by means of a system of relays sellers were to be found in the streets all day. The Council placed the Benn Buildings at the disposal of Mr Barker for a depot ; and here Mrs B B Dickinson and Mrs J R Barker rendered yeoman service in handing out fresh supplies and receiving the collecting tins as they were retained. Mr R P Mason, manager of the London City and Midland Bank, again undertook the duties of treasurer, and supervised the counting of the money, in which he was assisted by Mr J Ferry and the Hon Organiser. The £110.16s 6d was made up as under :- Coppers, £76 19s (the largest sum, received in coppers on a flag day) ; silver, £32 17s 6d ; and one Treasury note for £1, .which was placed in the box of Mr Barker’s daughter. The highest amount (£2 15s) was collected by Miss G Woods in the B.T.H district, and she was closely followed by Miss Sparkes (£2 14s 2d), of the same district.

DEATHS.

BIDDLES.—Died of gas poisoning just behind the lines in France, April 22nd, from wounds received in action same day, EVAN P. BIDDLES, gunner in the R.F.A., youngest son of the late Mrs. John Biddles, Newton, Rugby, and Estancia Lomapora, Villa Concepcion, Republic del Paraguay, S. America ; aged 22 years.

BULL.—Killed in action, on May 3rd, in France, THOMAS HENRY BULL, late of Shuckburgh ; aged 18.
“ Sleep on, dear brother, in a far-off grave ;
A grave we may never see ;
But as long as life and memory lasts
We will remember thee.
—From FATHER, MOTHER, and SISTERS.

HINCKS.—Lance-Corpl. E. W. HINCKS, Middlesex Regiment, youngest son of Mr and Mrs. Marlow Hincks, Southam Holts, officially reported killed in action in France on 12th April ; aged 20.—Deeply mourned.

ROBINSON.—In loving memory of OWEN, the dearly beloved son of Mr. and Mrs. C. Robinson, Catthorpe, who died from wounds received in action on March 28th. Laid to rest in the British Military Cemetery, near Arras,-“ Loyal to duty even onto death.”

IN MEMORIAM.

MASON.—In loving remembrance of ARTHUR ALEC MASON, of Long Buckby, who was lost on H.M.S. Goliath in the Dardanelles on May 13, 1915.—“ Till the day breaks and the shadows flee away.”

SMITH.—In loving memory of Trooper WILLIAM SMITH, son of James and Elizabeth Smith, of Lutterworth, reported missing May 13, 1915,—“ Greater love hath no man than this.”

26th Aug 1916. Buy a Flag on War Prisoners’ Day

BUY A FLAG ON WAR PRISONERS’ DAY, SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 2.

By so doing you will assist the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee to ensure a continuance of the Weekly Parcels of Food and Clothing to our own men.

The men who have fought for you, and are now experiencing the unspeakable hardships of German Prison Camp Life, look to you to help to keep them from starvation.

Here are some of the Messages received from Local Men this week :—

PTE. P. J. COLLOP (Monks Kirby), Suffolk Regt, interned at Friedrichsfeid

“ I now have the pleasure of writing to thank you and your helpers for your kindness to me, which I very much appreciate. The parcels have arrived up to date regularly, and I find them very satisfactory.”

SERGT. B. G. HITCHCOX (Rugby), 28th Canadians, interned at Dulman.

“ I was very surprised and heartily thankful to receive your welcome parcel, which arrived to-day in very good condition. I warmly appreciate your kindness and trust you will not forget me in the future.”

PTE. W. WILTSHIRE (New Bilton), Wiltshire Regt., interned at Osnabruck.

“ Just a line to let you know I am receiving parcels regularly, and in good condition. Again thanking all concerned for the parcels.”

PTE. A. H. DAVIS (Rugby), 8th Beds, interned at Dulmen.

“ The first issue of bread has arrived, for which I beg to thank you very much.”

PTE. J. SMITH (Stretton-under-Fosse), Royal Warwick Regt, interned at Friedrichfeld.

“ Have just received Dujon bread in good condition, with many thanks.”

PTE. T. DOO (Rugby), Suffolk Regt., interned at Doeberitz.

“ Many thanks for the parcels of food and bread, which I received quite safe and in good condition.”

PTE. P. MACE (Hillmorton), Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry, interned at Mannheim.

“ I now have great pleasure in answering your most welcome parcel, which arrived in excellent condition, and, also, the contents were just what one needs in Camp.”

These letters contain an Appeal for Help, to which no British heart can remain unresponsive. The Food Parcels are absolutely essential, and they get there.

PLEASE GIVE LIBERALLY ON SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 2.

Hon. Secretary and Offices :
J. REGINALD BARKER, 9, Regent Street, Rugby. Supply Depot: Benn Buildings.

THE parcels sent by the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee to local men in Germany contained this week ¼ lb tea, tin milk, tin tomatoes, tin pineapple chunks, 1lb sugar, tin cocoa, tablet of soap, tin tongue, tin health salts, and 4-lb loaf of bread.

SOLDIERS’ & SAILORS’ COMFORTS’ COMMITTEE.

A general meeting of this committee was held on Monday.—The Hon Secretary informed the committee that, in reply to the advertisement asking for particulars of men serving, with the date of enlistment, she had only received 150 names of men who had enlisted or been called up between August and December, 1914.—It was resolved to make a start with these 150 names as soon as possible.—After some discussion and the inspection of samples, it was decided to send out to each man a parcel containing a 2-lb tin of best boiled sweets, a pair of socks, and a small packet of boracic powder. Each parcel will also contain a card, bearing the town arms and a suitable couplet, and the name of each man will be written thereon. It is hoped that towards the end of the month the parcels will begin to go out to our splendid men abroad.

 

THE SOLDIER’S LOT COMPARED WITH THAT OF THE MUNITION WORKER.

A correspondent writes :—

In a letter from the front to his father a member of the Warwickshire Regiment remarks :— “ As you say, the news in the paper is good : ‘ Slow, but sure.’ It looks all very well in print, but you want to be in it to understand what a mile or two advance means. I can’t understand the munition people being praised so much for foregoing their Bank Holiday. It proves how much the people of England know what war is. Do they realise that the men out here do seven days every week, and often twenty-four hours a day ? Some have been doing that for two years now. When the munition workers do finish they have a home and a bed to go to, not forgetting that in their spare time they can please themselves what they do.

“ What about this side of the water ? One is lucky to have a barn with a roof on, and if there is any clean straw it is hotel-de-luxe ! They ought to try a 16-mile march with a full pack on. It would do them a lot of good ; and then, when their clothes are saturated with perspiration, let them sleep in the open with only an overcoat to cover them. After that, if they were asked which they preferred—the Army or munition—I wonder which they would prefer ! What annoys me is, they seem to think they are little ‘ tin gods.’”

RUGBY CASES AT THE MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL.

At Coventry Munitions Tribunal, on Friday last week, Thomas Fishwick, Rugby, asked for a discharge certificate on the ground of his wife’s health, it being necessary, he said, that she should live elsewhere. He also carried on the business of tobacconist, hairdresser, and furniture dealer.—Mr Carmichael : You have your hands full.—Applicant : No, because I have managers. He wished his discharge so that he could then dispose of his businesses.—The Court refused the application.

J Mulhern, Rugby, was said to have lost time and was fined £2.

Mr Carmichael presided at the sitting of Coventry Munitions Tribunal, held on Monday afternoon, and the assessors present were Mrs Givens for the men and women, and Mr A H Niblett for the employers. The list contained 25 cases, 10 being from Rugby.

Miss A Botterill, lamp operative, 94 Bridget Street, was summoned for absenting herself without leave. She sent a letter from Llandudno explaining her reasons for staying away, these being ill-health and the belief that the works were going to close down for the August-holidays. It was said by the firm that she took the holiday, though told she could not have the time. Her absence delayed several thousand lamps per week on a subsequent operation.—The Court imposed a fine of 15s.

A G Hanks, 2 Russell Street, was summoned for being absent from work in the Bank Holiday week. He was fined 10s, the Court taking into account that he was usually a good timekeeper.

S Fisher, 10 Chester Street, was summoned for absenting himself from work on various dates. He said he obtained permission on one day to spend it with his brother ; on the rest of the dates he was ill with his back. He was fined 5s.

F A Clewlow, handyman, 30 Sycamore Grove, was also summoned for being absent from work on one day. He received permission, it was stated, to stay out one day to attend a marriage, and remained out the next day as well. Fined 15s.

H Williams, fitter, Market St., was similarly charged. He said he had been with the firm for 13 years without a break, and sent a letter to the shop explaining his absence. He met with a cycle accident, and was hurt at the works.—The firm’s representative said the man was an old and good employee.—Defendant was fined 15s.—The Chairman said it was not fair to the other workers that certain men should take French leave.

H Page, 17 Essex Street, was similarly summoned. The condition of his health was the reason he gave for staying away.—Fined £1.—Defendant : Don’t stop any next week because I have got a short week.

A Smedley, 3 Market St., summoned for being absent, said he was absent with leave, and went with his wife and family to Old Colwyn.—The firm’s representative said that no holidays were allowed in Bank Holiday week.—Defendant said he had a day and a-half to cancel his arrangements after he had paid £1 on account of his holidays.-The representative said he never had leave, there only having been a preliminary inquiry with regard to holidays throughout the workshops. The man was a good worker and timekeeper.—The Court adjourned the case for a fortnight, as they would like to see the charge-hand and foreman.

W Bott, 22 Newland Street, New Bilton, was summoned for being absent without leave on Monday, August 7th, to Saturday, the 12th, inclusive; and was fined 15s.

G Hardy, turner, 67 Windsor Street, Rugby, was summoned for being absent without leave on August 11th and 12th and the morning of the 14th ; also with absenting himself from August 3rd to August 10th with a doctor’s certificate for diarrhoea. The firm produced written evidence from a fellow-workman, who had seen Hardy very much under the influence of drink on Friday, August 4th.—Another witness said that he stopped Hardy in the Market Place about 8.20 on Monday, the 7th inst, and informed him that he had had “ more than was good for him.” He appealed to his patriotism to go home, and go to work the next morning.—Evidence was also given to the effect that on August 8th, at 11.15 a.m, Hardy was served with drink in a local hotel.—Fined £3, to be paid by weekly instalments of 10s.

AN ABSENTEE.—At the Rugby Police Court, on Wednesday, before A E Donkin, Esq, Frank Reilly, 1 Lodge Road, Rugby, pleaded guilty to being absent without leave from the Gloucester Regiment.—Sergt Ghent stated that, as the result of a telegram from the O.C the Battalion, he saw defendant at No. 1 Lodge Road, and he then admitted that he should have returned the previous day.—Remanded in custody to await an escort.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

In an account of the fighting round Thiepval the special correspondent of the “ Morning Post ” lays stress on the achievements of the Warwicks.

Mr F Stimpson, of Rugby, had three nephews serving on the Falmouth, which was sunk in the North Sea at the beginning of the week. Fortunately all of them were saved.

Gunner G Jones, son of Mr and Mrs M Jones, 49 Claremont Road, is progressing slowly but favourably in the Wellington Military Hospital, Liverpool, where he was admitted on August 5th suffering from shock. He had been at the front one year and nine months, having enlisted on August 26, 1914, in the 119th H.M R.G.A., and was drafted to the front in November of the same year.

AWARD FOR GALLANTRY.

The following is an extract from Divisional Orders by Major-General Colin Mackenzie. C.B, commanding the — Division, in which awards of the Military Cross for gallantry were set out :—

“ Captain Evelyn Penn Lucas, 2/4 Battalion Royal Berks Regiment, at Ferme du Bois, on the night 13-14 July, 1916, after careful organisation and training of the raiding party, of which he was in command, for the organisation of which he was solely responsible, proved himself a cool and capable leader ; and though himself wounded early in the attack, led his party up to the enemy wire, and continued to encourage his men to renew their efforts to attain their objective ; he kept communication with his Commanding Officer, and refused to come back to our own lines until he had seen the whole of his men who could be brought in back in safety, he himself being the last to re-enter our lines.”

Capt E P Lucas is son-in-law of the Rev R S Mitchison, of Barby, and this was the attack where Corpl Doyle, of Erankton, lost his life in behaving so gallantly bringing in the wounded.

LOCAL CASUALTIES.

Mr J Brooks, 41 Lawford Road, New Bilton, has received an intimation that his son, Pte J Brooks, of the Royal Warwicks, was wounded on the 1st of August. He was hit in the leg by shrapnel, and sustained a fractured bone. He is at present in hospital at Nottingham, where he is progressing favourably.

RIFLEMAN COLBRAN, of CLIFTON.

The casualty list on Thursday contained the name of Rifleman F Colbran, King’s Royal Rifle Corps, among those killed. Rifleman Colbran, who was about 22 years of age, was employed on Clifton Court Farm, where his father was bailiff, when the War broke out, and he enlisted in the K.R.R towards the end of 1914. He was a quiet young man, and generally respected by those who knew him.

SECOND-LIEUT A E RAINBOW KILLED.

Second-Lieut Albert E Rainbow, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who was killed on July 23rd, was an assistant at St Matthew’s School, Rugby, and afterwards an assistant master at Richmond British School when war broke out. He enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers before receiving his commission. The Commanding Officer, in a letter to his mother, said : “ Lieut Rainbow was with his company advancing through a village under heavy shell fire, and the conditions were trying enough to have caused even the bravest man, however old, to have faltered. But he displayed no hesitation, and his conduct was a fine example and real help to his men.”

LONG LAWFORD.

MR & MRS S Howard, of Long Lawford, have received news that their son, Pte Stephen Howard, died of wounds on August 1st. He was the third son to join the Army, and had only been in France a fortnight. He was 23 years of age.

NEWBOLD-ON-AV)N.

DEATH OF RIFLEMAN ERNEST GRANT.—Mr and Mrs Grant, Newbold, received the sad news on Saturday last that their son, Ernest, was killed on the 12th inst. Rifleman Dick Collins, writing to deceased’s brother, Alfred, who had been serving at the front, but was sent home disabled about twelve months ago, said : “ The company was on night work ; they were spotted, and machine guns and artillery played on them. Ernest received a number of wounds from machine gun fire.” The writer adds: “ Well Alf, it is another terrible blow for you all, and I am sure I myself will miss him. He was my best friend out here, and we always did all we could for one another. All his section liked him, and you can take it from me that he will be missed by all. According to the nature of his wounds, he died an instantaneous death. We were both talking only the night before of what we hoped to do when we got home, and now we are not able to do so. It has upset me, and I feel I cannot write more just now. I know almost the exact place where he was buried, and I know everything that could have been done for him has been carried out. We are in a hot place, and you yourself only too well can understand what it is like. Well, Alf, I hope you will accept mine and all the boys’ deepest sympathy in the death of so good a soldier, and you have one consolation—he died doing his duty.” Corpl Arthur Parks also writes :- “

Dear Mrs Grant,—I expect that by now you have received the bad news that Ernest has passed away while doing his duty to God, King and country. I should not he surprised if he was doing something to protect one of his men, or working in what he new was a dangerous place where he would not let one of the men go. He was always doing that—looking after his men first and last—and not bothering about himself, strong was his faith in God. I know the chaps are very sorry, for he was liked by all. He was a fine fellow in every way.” Rifleman Ernest Grant was 26 years of age, and belonged to the Rifle Brigade. He was employed at the time of his enlistment in Kitchener’s Army on September 3, 1914, at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s. He was a member of the Church Choir and a bell-ringer ; also a playing member of the Newbold Football Club. He had numerous friends, and all who knew him could not help admiring his manly principles. This is the second son Mr and Mrs Grant have lost during the War, and a third has been sent homo disabled. Much sympathy is expressed by all with Mr and Mrs Grant and family in their sad trouble.

BRANDON.

WEST KENTS.—It will be of interest to many people in the district to hear that Pte Horace Watts was amongst the number of the West Kents who, although surrounded, kept the Germans at bay for two days. He had previously been wounded in the War, but had returned to active service. He is the youngest son of Mr and Mrs G Watts, of Brandon Wood.

IN MEMORIAM.

FOREHEAD.—In memory of Lance-Corpl. T. W. Forehead, who died of wounds in Gallipoli on August 24, 1915.—From his loving WIFE, DAUGHTER, FATHER-IN-LAW, MOTHER-IN-LAW, and FAMILY.

GOODMAN.—In loving memory of Pte. W. G. Goodman, 1st Royal Warwicks, killed in action between Cambrai and St. Quentin, August 27,1914, aged 29 years.
“ Father in Thy tender keeping
Leave we there our dear son sleeping.”
—From FATHER & MOTHER.

THE FATAL ACCIDENT TO TWO AVIATORS.

The adjourned inquest on Lieut George P Rogers and Second-Lieut Cyril de Frece, R.F.C who were killed by the collision of two aeroplanes on August 10th, was held on Wednesday.

Second-Lieut W S F Saundby, who stated that he was a qualified pilot, deposed that he went up in a machine with a mechanic, and engaged in manoeuvres—which he described in technical detail—with another and more powerful machine, which was being flown by Lieut Rogers, a skilled pilot, with Lieut de Frece as his passenger. Both machines were in perfect condition, and were flying well. When at a height of about 2,500ft Lieut Rogers was manoeuvring for close formation over the top, and witness dived down about 500ft. Lieut Rogers also came down, and was apparently endeavouring to pass over him to the front. Witness saw that if he continued at the same speed his machine would have caught the undercarriage of the other. To give Lieut Rogers time to get clear in front he reduced the angle of his descent and slackened speed, but his propellor struck the tail or fusilage of Lieut. Rogers’ machine and cut the whole of it off. It then became unmanageable, and dived to the ground. Meanwhile witness spiralled his machine safely down.

In reply to the Foreman of the Jury, witness said the rule of the Aeronautical Society used to be that machines were not to approach within 100 metres of each other, but it was found necessary to repeal it, and there was now no rule as to distance. They had to use their own discretion when in the air.

A senior officer who witnessed the occurrence said it struck him that the machines were flying too close together to be safe, and he intended to mention it when they came down, but there was no regulation as to distance. A pilot had to judge what was a safe distance from the next machine. He thought the actual proximity of Lieut Saundby’s machine must have been obscured for the moment from Lieut Rogers’s view by the wings of the machine he was flying.

The Foreman expressed the sorrow of the Jury at the loss of such a brave pilot as Lieut Rogers was admitted to be, because at such a time the nation required all the skill they could get. The Jury felt the loss of these brave fellows, who risked their lives in the air for the good of their country.

The Coroner concurred, in these sentiments, and extended sympathy to all concerned.

The Jury returned a verdict of “ Accidental death,” and added that no blame was attached to anyone.

13th May 1916. Rugby Soldier Decorated with the D.C.M.

RUGBY SOLDIER DECORATED WITH THE D.C.M.

PLEASING CEREMONY IN THE CALDECOTT PARK.

Sunday was a great day for Sergt Bale, of the 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers, whose home is in Lagoe Place, Rugby. Arrangements had been made to present him in Caldecott Park with a Distinguished Conduct Medal, awarded for bravery in France, and the occasion partook somewhat of the character of a civic function, there being present Messrs J J McKinnell (Chairman), W Flint (Vice-chairman), T A Wise, W H Linnell, T Ringrose, H Yates, R W Barnsdale, and W A Stevenson (members of the Rugby Urban District Council). Col F F Johnstone, recruiting officer at Rugby, consented to make the presentation, and the local Volunteer Training Corps paraded, under Company Commander C H Fuller ; also the Royal Defence Corps (late the 5th South Lancashire Regt), with Lieut Gandy in charge ; and the 1st Company Boys’ Brigade, under Capt W F Wood. These formed a “ hollow square ” on the greensward, and cleared a space for the ceremony, which was witnessed by a large concourse of people.

DEEDS OF GALLANTRY.

Colonel Johnstone, in making the presentation, said the medal was given to N.C.O.’s and men of H.M forces performing gallant duties beyond their ordinary duties. The special duty performed by Sergt Bale was that on February 9th, 1916, he was ordered out with a reconnoitring party, consisting of one officer, one sergeant, one corporal, and four men, to ascertain the strength of the enemy’s trenches, what they contained, and what entanglements there were before those trenches. The party proceeded about 9.30 at night, and after they had been out an hour or so the sergeant and one of the privates got wounded. Corpl Bale (as he was then) took these men, one by one, under the enemy’s fire, into a place of safety. The whole patrol then returned to the trenches, and, after a certain amount of rest, Lieut McKay and Corpl Bale volunteered to go out again and finish their reconnoitring duties. When they got up to the wire entanglements, the officer was wounded through the thigh. Corpl Bale went to the assistance of his officer, taking him up, under fire, and carrying him back into the trenches. Now, those acts of bravery really deserved the Victoria Cross (hear, hear). Those deeds reflected very much upon the soldier-like conduct of Corpl Bale, and he had pleasure in pinning the decoration upon his breast. He felt sure all would agree with him in thinking Corpl Bale richly deserved this promotion to the rank of sergeant and also the Distinguished Conduct Medal (applause). Having pinned the medal on the solders tunic, Colonel Johnstone said he trusted the gallant deeds would long live in their memories, and that when the young men present were called upon to do their duty in the face of the enemy they would emulate the example of Sergt Bale (cheers).

MR MCKINNELL’S TRIBUTE.

Mr J J McKinnell, as Chairman of the Urban District Council, congratulated Sergt Bale, in the name of the town, on the great honour he had achieved. They felt that he had conferred lustre upon the name of Rugby, and he wanted Sergt Bale to understand that his fellow-citizens were extremely proud of him (cheers). The town of Rugby, which they all loved so much, had, he thought he might say, with becoming modesty, earned a good name in the last troublous months that we had passed through. He believed Rugby did very well all through the time of recruiting, and he was sure her sons, who had gone forth to fight in the various theatres of war, would acquit themselves creditably, and they sent Sergt Bale forth with their best wishes that his future would be covered with more laurels (applause).

HUMOROUS PREDICTION RECALLED.

Cheers having been given for Sergt Bale, Capt W F Wood made a short speech. It afforded him more pleasure than he could find words to express to be present at that ceremony, especially as Sergt Bale was one of his old boys (applause). It was some ten years since Sergt Bale joined the Brigade, and proved himself to be a hard worker. That morning he had met a soldier and a sailor, who reminded him that at the Llandudno camp some years ago he told Sergt Bale he would live either to be hanged or to earn the Victoria Cross (laughter and applause). He thought Sergt Bale was on the right way to win one or the other (laughter).

Sergt Bale expressed his thanks for the honour that had been done him, and his pleasure to have been so much congratulated during the three weeks he had been on leave. Sergt Bale then reviewed his exploits in France, including the retreat from Mons, and the circumstances under which, in addition to winning the medal, he had been twice mentioned in despatches.

ANOTHER PRESENTATION.

Colonel Johnstone then presented the Donegal Bronze Medal to Corpl Murray, of the 3rd Platoon of the Rugby Volunteer Training Corps, given by the National Rifle Association, for a creditable total of 397 points out of a possible 450, and entitling the holder to take part in the Donegal Competition at Bisley.

Mr McKinnell, addressing the V.T.C., said they had been working now for some months, and he thought they had received very little encouragement from the Government. Their fellow-citizens had, perhaps, regarded them with a sort of kindly curiosity, but they had gone on working steadily; they had given up their evenings and their Sundays in order to train themselves to be of use to their country in any supreme crisis, which they hoped would never come ; and latterly they had turned out of their comfortable beds in the middle of the night in order to help their fellow-citizens. He wanted the Corps to understand that their fellow-citizens thought well of them, and appreciated the work they were doing (applause).

Company Commander C H Fuller, on behalf of the Training-Corps, thanked Mr McKinnell for his kind words.

Cheers were given for Colonel Johnstone, who, in acknowledgment, said he very much appreciated the way in which recruits came forward first of all. There were not so many to come forward now, but under the new system to be commenced he hoped they would have more, and that many others would follow the example of the brave Sergeant and would come back to the country with the V.C. or the D.C.M. (hear, hear).

Sergt Bale was then played back to his home in Lagoe Place by the band of the Boys’ Brigade, and afterwards enjoyed a motor car drive with several friends.

At the Empire Picture Palace on Monday night Sergt Bale was presented by B Morris, on behalf of the management, with a wrist watch.

Sergt Bale belonged to the 1st Rugby Company Boys’ Brigade for four years, and was a bugler in the band. He left at the age of 16 to join the army, and is one of about 300 old members of the Brigade now serving in H.M. Forces by land or sea. Up to the present there have been few casualties amongst them.

The V.T.C. spent the afternoon in useful exercises in the fields between Hillmorton and Barby, returning at 8.30 p.m.

WARWICKSHIRE TERRITORIALS.

The 35th meeting of the Warwickshire Territorial Force Association was held on Monday at Birmingham, the Earl of Craven presiding. The War Office letter, dated April 10 last, regarding the administration of the Volunteer Force by the County Association was considered, and on the motion of Colonel Wyley, seconded by Colonel G M Seabroke, a resolution was passed agreeing to undertake the administration of the Volunteer Training Corps in the county on the county basis, and a committee was appointed for the purpose.

Colonel Lewis, Commandant of the Warwickshire Volunteer Training Corps, said they had in Warwickshire five battalions of infantry, a very useful corps of electrical engineers, and a small cycle corps. The 1st Battalion had now the names of nearly 900 members on its books, the second something like 1,500, the third had never been higher than 700, the fourth about 700,and the fifth about 800. Later enlistments had denuded these figures, but he hoped that if an appeal were made the city battalions would have 600 members each to start with, and the county battalions more. In all there were about 1,350 men clothed, armed, and equipped. There was no machinery for maintaining that state of equipment.

It was mentioned that 19 non-commissioned officers and men of the Warwickshire Territorials had received D.C.M. medals, and the payments, numbering 15,525 had been made in respect of separation allowances to wives, children, and dependants of soldiers. The cost of administration was considerably less than the maximum sum fixed by the Government.

Colonel Marsh said there ought to be some arms to be had from Ireland.—Colonel Lewis: The Territorial Force has already applied for them.

The question arose as to the payment and the granting of separation allowances to members of the Volunteer Force in the event of its mobilisation. The opinion was expressed by one member that if the Force was mobilised to repel an invading enemy they would automatically receive the Army pay under the term “ deemed on actual military service.”—Colonel Wyley said the question of pay, allowances, etc, was a matter for future consideration.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

War casualties among London and North-Western Railway men number 3,683, of whom 725 have died.

Second Lieut K W Lane (son of the Rev F D Lane, formerly Vicar of Clifton) who, as reported last week had been dangerously wounded, is progressing favourably.

Viscount Feilding, D.S.O, Coldstream Guards, son of the Earl of Denbigh, has been promoted to a captaincy.

The following appointments have been gazetted :—South Midland Brigade : Major (temporary Lieut.-Col) F C B West to be Lieut.-Col. 17th December, 1914. Capt (temporary Major) C P Nickalls to be Major. 17th December, 1914.

The Postmaster-General announces that the despatch of matches by post to the troops has resulted in numerous fires which have destroyed a large quantity of mails. It has consequently been necessary to entirely prohibit their despatch to any destination. The friends of Lieut Allan Hand, 81st Provisional Battalion, T.F, will be pleased to hear that he is now well on the way to recovery. He was taken ill with measles near the end of March, pneumonia subsequently developed, and for a time he was in a very critical condition, and had to undergo an operation.

Mr S E Rogers, who has been with the B.T.H Company for many years, and who joined the 5th Warwickshire Howitzer Battery in August, 1914, has been transferred to the 6th Somerset Light Infantry, to which regiment he has been gazetted as Second Lieutenant. It will be remembered that his brother, H G Rogers, of hockey renown, held a commission in the Somersets at the time of his death last June in the Dardanelles. Two other brothers, F G and W J, are also joining the army, the first-named a cadet at the Royal Military College, Camberley, and the latter (also a well-known hockey player) just back from the West Coast of Africa, to enter the London Scottish Regiment.

Several old Rugbeians have recently arrived in England with the Canadian contingents, including Walter Hillyard, a former employe at Messrs Frost’s and an ex-member of ” E ” Company; and the brothers Albert and Walter Francis. A grandson of the late Mr Richard Over, of Rugby, is also with the contingent.

Lieut F J Hadden, Remount Squadron, an old Rugbeian, who died of pneumonia on May 5 in Egypt, was before the war a tea-planter in Ceylon, where he was well known in connection with all sports, notably racing and polo. He was 55 years of age.

CAPT H PODMORE AWARDED THE D.S.O.

Rugbeians, past and present, will welcome the announcement which has been made this week that Capt H Podmore, O.R, an assistant master at Rugby School, has been awarded the D.S.O. for conspicuous gallantry in the field. The news was received in a letter from Lieut-Col W T Wyndowe, commanding the 6th Battalion Northants Regt, and which reads : “ We have just got the news that Capt Podmore has got the D.S.O for gallantry and devotion to duty on the morning of the 13th April, when his company, after enduring an intense bombardment, repulsed a raid that the enemy attempted on our front line. Though he had only one, the young officer doing duty with the company, they stuck to their parapets like heroes, inspired by the coolness and entire disregard of danger of their commander.” A really good fast bowler, Capt Podmore frequently assisted the Rugby Cricket Club some two or three seasons ago. His father was a fine Rugby football player, and represented Oxford v Cambridge in the first Rugby match between the Varsities.

ANOTHER ST. MATTHEW’S OLD BOY KILLED.

Notification has just been received of the death of Pte H P Watts, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, who was killed in action on April 5th. The mother of Pte Watts, who lives at 10 Bridget Street, New Bilton, has received a message of sympathy from Lord Kitchener. Pte Watts was educated at St Matthew’s Boys’ School, and is the fourteenth old boy of that school to be killed in action. He was 23 years of age, and was working at the Newbold Cement Works when he enlisted. He left England at the end of October.

B.T.H MEN REPORTED KILLED.

Information has reached Rugby that Bombardier E Cox, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, was killed by a shrapnel shell on Thursday week. Gunner Cox was formerly a charge hand in the Turbine Department at the B.T.H, and was well known and generally respected in the works. He came to Rugby six or seven years ago as a fitter. Major Nickalls, in a letter reporting Bomb Cox’s death, says : “ I and my officers, N.C.O’s, and men grieve for the loss of not only a grand man and a fearless soldier, but one who had endeared himself to us all by his splendid devotion to duty, his great ability, his untiring energy, and unfailing cheeriness. He set a great example to the Battery, and, speaking as his Battery Commander, I am deeply grateful to him for all his good work.”

Official news has been received at the B.T.H that Pte Bert Blake, of the Wiltshire Regt, who was reported to be missing on June 16th last, was killed in action on that date. Prior to the war Pte Blake was employed in the Purchasing Department of the B.T.H.

Mr and Mrs J Gurney, late of Catthorpe, now living at 67 Cambridge Street, Rugby, have received official intimation of the death of their son, Lance-Corpl John Thomas Gurney, Royal Warwickshire Regt, who had been reported missing since April 25, 1915. He was employed at the B.T.H before the war, and was called up on Reserve.

CALLING UP THE LAST MARRIED GROUPS.

The new proclamation, calling the remaining groups of married men to the colours was posted in Rugby yesterday (Friday). It refers to men in groups 42 to 46, and the commencing date of the call is June 13th. A further proclamation calls up men of group 24 as they attain the age of 19, and the same date applies.

CONSCIENTIOUS OBJECTOR ARRESTED AND RELEASED.

A peculiar situation arose out of the arrest of a conscientious objector named Horace Kingston, gardener, of Hillmorton, who failed to answer a summons to join the Colours on Monday. He was brought before a magistrate (A S Donkin, Esq), and admitted that he was an absentee under the Military Service Act, but added that he was a Christadelphian and a conscientious objector. He would refuse to obey any orders from the Military authorities.-Mr Donkin: You know you are liable to be fined £25 ?—Defendant : Yes, but I can’t help that.-He was remanded to await an escort and fined £2, which was ordered to be deducted from his Army pay.-After the Magistrate had left the Court a sergeant from the recruiting station arrived, and asked for the man’s release, explaining that they had received instructions that he was not to be arrested.-The Assistant Clerk pointed out that the man had already been fined £2, which could not be altered.

THE LATE PERCY HEFFORD.-Mr and Mrs W F Wood have had erected in the cemetery a handsome memorial stone with a double grave kerb in memory of their son, Percy Hefford, second officer of the ill-fated Lusitania. Sunday was the first anniversary of the sinking of the vessel, and flowers were placed upon the grave space by relatives and friends. They included a tribute from the widow, now living in Philadelphia.

IN MEMORIAM.

BERRIDGE.—In loving Memory of my dear son, George Edward Berridge, Barby, who was killed in action somewhere in France, May 13th, 1915.
“ One year has passed, oh how we miss him.
Some may think the wound has healed ;
But they little know the pain and sorrow
Deep within our hearts concealed.”
—From his loving Mother and Brother.

KEEN.—In loving Memory of our dear son and brother, Arthur William, killed in action, May 9th, 1915.

PORTER.—In ever loving Memory of our dear son and brother George, who was killed in action on May 8th, 1915, at St Elei.
—Sadly missed by his loving Mother, Father, Brothers and Sister.

SLEATH.—In loving Memory of Trooper Sam Sleath, of the Leicestershire Yeomanry, who fell in action, May 13, 1915, at Ypres, aged 22 years.
“ He sleeps not in his native land,
But ‘neath some foreign skies ;
And far from those who loved him best,
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
-From his loving Mother, Father, Sister, and Brothers.

Watts, Albert Edward Joseph. Died 30th Jul 1915

Albert Edward Joseph Watts died 30 July 1915

Albert Watts’ birth was registered in 1894 in Northampton.

In 1901, when Albert was 7, his family were living at 8 Old Station, Rugby. The members of his family were his father Albert E Watts, mother Annie E Watts, siblings Henry John S G, Charles M, Edgar H, along with an aunt and cousin. Albert’s father was a Railway Engine Stoker.

In 1911 the family lived at 38 Dale Street. Albert was now aged 17 and a core maker in an iron foundry. The family subsequently moved to 2 Worcester Street, Rugby.

Albert enlisted as a Private in the 7th Battalion of The King’s Royal Rifle Regiment, No. R/1607. He must have enlisted at a similar time to Rifleman Herbert Smith, regimental number R/1621. They both went out to France.

He had been promoted to Lance Corporal before he was killed in action at the Battle of Hooge on 30 July 1915. (See more information about the Battle of Hooge Crater, on Rugby Remembers)

The Rugby Advertiser reported:

Amongst the men of the King’s Royal Rifles from Rugby and district who have recently been killed in action or are missing, it is feared must be included the name of Lance-Corpl Bert Watts, whose parents live at 2 Worcester Street, Rugby. The first intimation that Lance-Corpl Watts was missing came from his “pal”, Rifleman Alf Potter, whose home is in Victoria Avenue, New Bilton. The following extract from the letter to Mrs Watts – “We went to the trenches the other night, and towards evening some bombardment started, and both sides had a very hot time of it. Everything went all right till the evening. I saw Bert, and we had a chat together. There was going to be an attack, so we had to leave one another, and both of us wished the other the best of luck. There was a charge made and Bert was seen to fall and many others.   In the evening we were released from the trenches and we had a lot of chaps either killed, wounded or missing.   I enquired who they were and was told Bert was one of them. You can guess how I felt when I heard this – absolutely down-hearted.’

Albert was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.

Albert Smith has no known grave but is commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial, Panel 51 and 53.  He is also remembered on the Rugby Memorial Gate.

There is a Kings Royal Rifle Corps Memorial which stands beside Menin Road (now next to a theme park).

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

 

 

Watts, Albert Edward Joseph. Died 26 Aug 1914

We have discovered two candidates for the A E Watts who is listed on the Rugby Memorial Gates, so we will be remembering both of them.

Alfred Watts

The first is Albert Edward Joseph Watts, who was born in Swinford, Leicestershire on 17th Oct 1893, the son of Albert Edward Watts and his wife Annie Elizabeth (nee Bailey). Albert senior was born in Newbold and worked as a railway engine stoker on the L & N W railway.

In 1901 the family were living in Old Station Square, Rugby and by 1911 had moved to 38 Dales Street. By this time Albert junior was working as a core maker in an Iron Foundry. At the age of 17 he was the eldest of five children, all boys.

He must have joined up soon after war was declared and landed in France on 22nd August with the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. He was killed four days later on 26th August in the Battle of Le Cateau. He was buried in Fontaine-Au-Pire Communal Cemetery, Plot 1, Row A, Grave No. 3.

His brother John Sidney also joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and died in 1917

There is a story in the family that Albert and John’s mother wore the Royal Warwickshire tie brooch for the rest of her life.

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM