14th Oct 1916. Horses for the Army



The two last issues of “ The Field ” contain articles by Col Mulliner, of Clifton Court, in which, he discusses the supply and maintenance of horses for the army after the war. It will be remembered that Col Mulliner was responsible for raising the Howitzer Brigade which was formed at Rugby and Coventry, and he was at once met with the difficulty of supplying it with horses. He, found that hiring, whether for their camps or for the local weekly or bi-weekly trainings, was not merely a waste of money, but that the number of horses which could be hired for Saturday afternoons and certain evenings of the summer months was ridiculously small. The absence of proper stabling was also a serious draw-back. To meet the difficulty, Col Mulliner, after investigating various continental systems, finally instituted the boarding-out system, which is now known as the “ Mulliner Scheme.” The success that attended this scheme in promoting the efficiency of units by which it was adopted, combined with greater economy and convenience, is Col Mulliner’s justification for putting forward a vaster and more comprehensive scheme to deal with all, or nearly all, the army horses of the kingdom.

Col Mulliner points out that it is abundantly proved that the horse still remains an absolute necessity in modern warfare, and he takes it for granted National Service in some form will be continued. He calculates that for permanent use, and for periodical training, manoeuvres, etc, something like 300,000 horses is the fewest number which must always be immediately available for monthly trainings in peace, and for mounting the army in time of war.

As to where this number of horses is to be obtained, Col Mulliner reminds us that at the conclusion of hostilities the Government will be in possession of a large number still serviceable, and instead of selling these off at once, or even gradually, most likely at ridiculous prices, he suggests that they should be retained to inaugurate his scheme, and sent to the “ homes ” which will, if the scheme is adopted, have bean arranged for them.

Probably doubts may be raised as to the ability to provide homes for so large a number of horses, but judging from the great success of the scheme in Warwickshire, and if the whole country and towns are properly worked, it may be found that users of horses willing to receive them and board them will be found in fair numbers.

What we have to consider is that whereas the stock of horses actually possessed by the Army at the outbreak of war was something under 25,000, when the war is at an end probably ten times that number will be required to keep the standing army in a state of efficiency. How is this to be done ? Either the State must maintain some 300,000, more or less, or the sane number (less those required at permanent establishments) should be kept and used by individuals while remaining the property of the State. Col Mulliner urges that if the scheme is adopted, the necessary organisation should be taken in hand at once, and not left till the end of the war.


After running on the L & N-W Railway for nearly a year, the passenger engine of the “ Prince of Wales ” type, named in honour of the late Nurse Cavell, was recently brought to Rugby Erecting Shop for repairs. These were completed yesterday (Friday), and before the locomotive left Rugby the idea occurred to Mr J Shaw, the shop foreman, to have it decorated in honour of the brave British lady after whom it was named. The men willingly fell in with the idea, and there was no lack of autumn flowers to adorn the engine. Prominence was given on the side to the motto, “ Lest we forget,” and also to a special wreath subscribed for by those employed in the Erecting Shop. Other wreaths, and also small Union Jacks, were included in the general scheme of decoration, which was carried out in an effective and pleasing manner, the work when finished being greatly admired.

RUGBY NURSE HONOURED.—At the recent investiture held at Buckingham Palace on October 7th, His Majesty the King presented Miss Mabel Allibone, of Charles Street, Rugby, with the Royal Red Cross for valuable services rendered during the war. Miss Allibone, who is a native of Rugby, was called up for nursing services on the outbreak of the war.


When notification is received of probable Zeppelin raids police officers and the special constables for Rugby are called out, and it is part of their duty to patrol the streets and roads, and where lights are showing to request people to extinguish them.

It does not seem to be generally understood that in such circumstances all lights are to be extinguished at the request of the responsible Military or Police Authorities., and neglect or refusal may involve the offender in serious penalties.

It is not in such a case a question of whether only a “ dull subdued light ” is being shown ; but, however weak or small the illumination, a request to extinguish it from the Military Police or Special Constables must be instantly complied with.


R ATHEY, an Old Laurentian, formerly pupil and teacher at the Murray School, who has seen service in the ranks in France, has been gazetted to a second lieutenancy in the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders.

The weekly parcels sent to the 64 local men who are prisoners of war in Germany this week contained tea, tin of milk, large tin of corned beef, large tin of tomatoes, tin of sauce, tablet of soap, ½-lb of margarine, 2lbs of biscuits, and a thick, warm woollen vest.

“ The Rennbahn Church Times ” it the title of a little magazine issued by the British prisoners in the internment camp at Rennbahn. A copy for September has been sent to Mr J R Barker by Pte F A Ward, of the 2nd Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, a Ryton-on-Dunsmore man, who is interned there. It consists of eight small pages, the first of which contains an illustrated line drawing of the interior of the church. The price is 10 pfennigs, about 1d, or 5s for the home country. The September issue is the first anniversary number, but the editor docs not wish to stay there longer than he can help, so he will not express the hope that the journal will have a long run.


Mrs T Howard, 26 Clifton Road, has received a letter from her son, Pte Samuel L Howard, of the R.A.M.C, dated September 16th, saying he has been wounded by a piece of shrapnel through the right knee. He has been operated upon three times, and is now in Hospital at Rouen.—Pte S L Howard joined the R.A.M.C in September, 1915, and was sent to France in April, 1916.

Gunner Joseph Fenton, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, son of Mr T Fenton, 9 Pinfold Street, New Bilton, has been rather seriously wounded in the back and shoulder by a tear shell, while asleep behind the lines, and is at present in the Hospital at Ashton-under-Lyne. Gunner Fenton was before the war a ringer at the Parish Church.—Driver H Hughes, another member of the Battery, living at Paradise Street, Rugby, has also been wounded, and is in a hospital in England.


News has been received at the B.T.H that Corpl L Davies, R.E, has been killed in action. Previous to enlistment Corpl Davies, who is a Welshman, was employed in the Chemical Laboratory at the B.T.H. He was about 26 years of age.


The casualty list of St Matthew’s School continues to now at a rapid rate. During the last three weeks the following have been notified :— Lieut W D Wroe, Lincolnshire Regiment, a former member of the teaching staff, killed in action ; old boys—Rifleman F J Green, King’s Royal Rifles, died from wounds ; Rifleman G Norman, King’s Royal Rifles, killed in action ; Pte H Hopkins, Royal Warwickshire Regiment, missing ; Rifleman R Coles, London Regiment ; Rifleman W Harris, King’s Royal Rifles ; Lance-Corpl H Thompson, Oxford and Bucks LI ; Pte G Baker, Royal Warwickshire Regiment ; and Pte J W West, Australian I.E.F, wounded.


The Inhabitants are pleased to hear that Gunner G Redmanyne of the Rugby Howitzer Battery has gained the Military Medal for bravery.

Corpl Walter Ryland, of this village, at present serving with the B.E.F. in the Railway and Canal Troops, has been offered a commission in the Motor Machine Gun Corps, but owing to medical unfitness was unable to accept it.



A service in memory of the late Lieut-Col F C B West, R.F.A, of “ Bawnmore,” Bilton, who was killed in action on September 29th, was held in St Mark’s Church, Bilton, on Friday afternoon, when despite the inclement weather, the church was filled with friends and neighbours anxious to show their respect for the gallant colonel. The members of the family present were : Mrs F C B West (widow), Mrs Bowen Coulthurst (sister), Mrs West (stepmother), Miss West (half-sister), Mr and Mrs Dewar, Capt Michael Dewar, Miss Dewar, Dr and Mrs Sadler, Mrs Bartholomew, and Miss Bartholomew, of Towcester. Amongst others who attended were Col H H Mulliner, of the Howitzer Brigade, Major Hardisty, representing the Warwickshire County Association, Major Mortimore. D.S.O, once adjutant of the brigade, Major Claude Seabroke, Capt Thomas, Rev G M Hardwich, Mrs C G Steel, Mr H P Burdekin, Mr J J McKinnell, Mr and Mrs W Brooke, Mrs Nickalls, Mr H V Wait, Mr A Adnitt, Mr F E Hands, Mrs Assheton, Mr and Mrs S Robbins, Mr A J Ashew, Mr G Whiteman, Mr F Betts, Mr F Fellows, Miss Scott, etc, and also members of the New Bilton Cheerup Club, of which Mrs West is a prominent supporter. The service, which was of a brief, simple, but impressive character, was conducted by the Rector, Rev W Assheton, R.D. At the commencement the organist, Mr J E Boynton, played “ O rest in the Lord.” Psalm cxxi was chanted, and the special lesson was taken from the third chapter of Solomon. The hymns used were “ The saints of earth and those above,” and “ For all the saints who from their labours rest.” At the conclusion of the service the organist played Beethoven’s “ Marche Funebre.”


Arising out of the first case on the list—that of Bertram Henry Waring, 13 Earl Street, Rugby, shepherd and stud-groom in the employ of Mr Chas Wilson, Three Horse Shoes Hotel—discussion took place with reference to the letter circulated by the Army Council to recruiting officers that, subject to certain considerations, no more men from among those now employed in agriculture will be called to the colours till January 1st next.—The Tribunal granted a temporary exemption till December 6th, and Mr Channing asked what about what about the new ruling, the man being engaged in agriculture ?— Mr Wale : He must be fully engaged in agriculture.

Mr Eaden said one of his clients had received notice not to attend that day, as he was not to be called up.—The Chairman said the Tribunal had received no instructions whatever about the new Army Order.—The Clerk (Mr Nelson) understood the Military proposed to adjourn the case referred to, which would not affect the decision.—The Chairman understood the position was that although the Tribunal might decide that a man engaged in agriculture should go, the Military would not call him up till January, but that had nothing to do with the Tribunal.—This appellant would be given to December 6th, and it was very doubtful if they would extend that, as they thought it was a case where the man might be replaced.


Mr W H Linnell appeared in support of a claim for the exemption of Horace Walter Gilbert (23, single), electrician and wireman, 56 New Street, New Bilton.—He pointed out that the man had only been passed for “ Labour at home.” Before the war they employed about 85 men, and now there were only about 20. This was the only man left in the electrical department, which would have to be closed down if he went.—The Military had appealed against the temporary exemption granted to Mr Linnell, jun, and the Tribunal was informed that he was going into the Army in the following week.—The Chairman : I take it you agree to the Military appeal being upheld ?—Mr Linnell : That it so.—The Chairman : We will give this man to January 1st, as the other has gone. They have done very well, I think.


Absolute exemption was asked for by Mr Cockerill, of Birdingbury (through Mr Harold Eaden), in respect of his cowman, Wm Bethuel Ingram (30, married).—Given till January 1st.


In appealing on behalf of Capt Henry Boughton-Leigh, R.F.A, Brownsover Hall, for Walter Congreve, estate carpenter, Churchover, Mr Worthington mentioned an additional reason for his exemption. Capt Boughton-Leigh had been requested by the War Office to fell about 50 trees on his Northamptonshire estate, and this work would fall upon Congreve, who was now the only man left, with the exception of an aged gardener.—The Chairman said he thought the army could provide its own tree fellers. The man having been passed for general service, there would be no total exemption in this case.—Given till December 6th, and the Chairman said it was extremely improbable that the time would be extended.


“ Please decide my case in my absence, as I am very busy getting ready to join the army,” wrote Frederick Ernest Wm Lowe, grocer, sub-postmaster, etc, 112 Lawford Road, New Bilton. He added : “ As I have rather a large business which I shall have to close down, I cannot waste my time by coming to Coventry.”—The Clerk said appellant only asked for a short time.—The Chairman : Where a man meets as like this, we ought to help him.—Given 21 days.


Temporary exemption to December 1st had been granted by the Local Tribunal to Richard Bruno Meerholz, hairdresser, of 23 High Street, Rugby, who had been passed for labour B, but the Military appealed, Mr Wratislaw stating that there were other hairdressers in Rugby whose businesses had been closed, and who were natural born British subjects, whereas this man was naturalised. In reply to the Chairman, appellant said he had been naturalised eight years.—Given to November 30th, with the intimation that it would not be much use making a further application.


THURSDAY.—Before T Hunter, Esq.

FAILING TO REPORT HIMSELF.—Percy Douglas Elliott, 80 Bridget Street, Rugby, pleaded not guilty to a charge of being an absentee under the Military Service Act since August 17th.—He called A Corbett, Elliott held a War Service Badge Certificate.—It transpired that defendant left the B.T.H Works on July 26th, and was now employed at the Standard Motor Works, Coventry, but was not yet badged.—The Military representative said defendant offered no explanation why he should not join the Army, and the Magistrate said his proper procedure was to have appealed to the Tribunal. He could only fine him £1, to be deducted from his pay, and hand him over to the Military Authorities.


BUSSON.-In loving memory of our dear son, WILLIAM ALFRED BUSSON, who was killed in France on September 26th, 1914 ; aged 31.
“ He gave his life for his country.”

BUSSON.-In loving memory of our dear son, ERNEST CHARLES BUSSON, who was killed in action in France on October 17, 1915 ; aged 23 years.
“ He bravely answered duty’s call,
His life he gave for one and all ;
But the unknown grave is the bitterest blow,
None but aching hearts can know.”

HAWKINS.—In loving memory of Pte. ALFRED HAWKINS, of Harborough Magna, previously reported wounded and missing, May 10, 1915 ; now reported dead. R.I.P.—“ To live in the hearts of those we leave behind is not to die.”

LANCASTER.-Previously reported to be wounded and missing between May 8 and 11, 1915, now officially presumed to have been killed, Major J. C. LANCASTER, ROYAL Warwickshire Regt., elder son of the late Robert Lancaster, of Allesley, Warwickshire, and of Mrs. R. Lancaster, of The Grange, South Nutfield, Surrey, and grandson of the late John Lancaster, M.P., Bilton Grange, near Rugby.

7th Oct 1916. Lieut-Colonel West Killed in Action


The news, which came to hand on Friday last week that Lieut.-Colonel F C B West, R.F.A, of Bawnmore, Bilton, had been killed in action was received with the deepest regret in Rugby and neighbourhood. The unfortunate event happened on September 29th. While riding, as he had often done before, down a section of road which was much subjected to the enemy’s artillery fire, a shell burst close to him, killing him instantly, and wounding his orderly, Driver Barlow, who had been with him since before Christmas, 1914. Both their horses were killed. Col West was buried in the cemetery in which the remains of Lieut Wyley, Major Brown, and Major Stone, who had been killed only a few days previously, were laid to rest.

When at Baddow, before going out to France, and also for some time afterwards, Col West, Capt Kidd—subsequently promoted Major—and Lieut Wyley were working together on the Head-Quarter Staff. Then they were separated, and it is a sad coincidence that all three of them were killed within a period of ten days in different parts of the line.

Lieut.-Colonel West was the only surviving son of the late Rev C F C West, Fellow of St John’s College, Oxford, and Vicar of Charlbury. He was educated at Cheltenham College & St John’s College, Oxford, where he rowed for his college in 1904 and 1905, both in Torpids and Eights. He took his degree in 1905, and was called to the Bar in 1907, but never practised. On the formation of the Territorial Force he received a commission in the R.F.A, and went to the front with his brigade as commanding officer in March, 1915. He married, in June, 1909. Agatha Mary, elder daughter of William Dewar, of Rugby. He leaves a widow and four daughters, to whom the deepest sympathy is extended.

Lieut-Col West took a very great interest in the Territorial movement, and always preferred to be regarded as a “ Territorial.” He did his utmost to prove that the term was synonomous with proficiency, and, being keen himself on gunnery, he spared no pains to ensure the effectiveness of the officers and men in his command and to explain technical details to them.

He was the first Captain of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, when it was formed some years ago through the instrumentality of Col Mulliner, and was afterwards promoted to Major and transferred to the Coventry Battery. In August, 1914, as Lieut-Colonel, he succeeded Col Mallock to the command of the Brigade.

Polo and hunting were his favourite sports and for a season he acted as master of a pack of hounds in the South of Ireland.

Col West was a member of the Lawrence Sherriff Lodge of Freemasons, and for a time served on the House and Finance Committee of the Hospital of St Cross. He took the greatest interest in the Working Men’s Club at Bilton (of which he was a vice-president), and generously assisted in the provision of the new Club premises a few years ago.


Captain Charles Edward Anderson (Gordon Highlanders), of Rokeby House, Rugby, who was killed in France on July 20th, has left estate of the value of £8,929, the whole of which he gave to his mother, Mrs. Anne Rose Anderson.


Second-Lieut Horace Neeves, of the Northumberland Fusiliers (the Old Fighting 5th), son of Mr and Mrs S Neeves, of Murray Road, Rugby, has been promoted to the rank of captain. The gallant young officer was formerly in the Warwickshire Yeomanry, and took part in the landing at Suvla Bay. On returning home he received a commission with the Northumberland Fusiliers, has been at the front since June, and has seen a lot of fighting.
The second son of Mr and Mrs Neeves is serving with the Australian Light Horse.


The Rev R E Inglis (Rugby and Oxford), whose death occurred, at the age of 53, from shell-burst while tending wounded, was an old English Rugby International. After getting his XI and XV colours at Rugby, he played against Cambridge in 1883 and 1884. He played for England in all three matches of 1886. His club football was identified with that of Blackheath. Mr Inglis was the youngest son of the defender of Lucknow, Major-General Sir John Inglis, and we believe we are correct in stating that his son was the googlie bowler of this year’s Rugby XI. Mr Inglis volunteered to join the Forces as a chaplain, and went to the front in July, 1915. During the time he was at Rugby School as a Town boy, his mother, Lady Inglis, lived at The Lawn, Newbold Road.


Mr T Reynolds, builder, Dunchurch Road, Rugby, received official intimation on Thursday that another of his soldier sons, Corpl J Reynolds, of the Grenadier Guards, had been seriously wounded and was in Chichester Hospital. Prior to joining the army Corpl Reynolds was in the Metropolitan Police Force, and was expecting early promotion. Mr Reynolds had four sons in the army. Two have been killed and two wounded.


Pte J R Bradley, of the Northumberland, Fusiliers, who was killed in action on September 1st, was prior to the War employed by the B.T.H Company on the outside construction staff.


Mrs Lee, of 34 Sandown Road, Rugby, received a letter from Sergt Burton, of Hillmorton, this week, informing her that her son, Pte H Lee, of the R.W.R, was killed in action on September 3rd. The writer said he was in command of the platoon, and saw him struck by a piece of shell in the head, and he died in a very short time. He was a brave and noble soldier, and highly respected by all N.C.O’s and men of his Company, for he always did his duty well, “ and feared nothing.” Deceased was 25 years of age, and before, the war was employed as a labourer in the Test Department. He was in the reserve, and was mobilised at the commencement of the war. He had already been wounded. Mrs Lee has four other sons at the front, two of whom have been wounded, and a son-in-law was killed 12 months ago.


MEMORIAL SERVICE.—On Sunday evening a memorial Service was held in the Parish Church for Reginald Bartlett and Joseph Barnett, who have fallen in France. The Vicar preached an impressive and comforting sermon from St John xiv 27.

Mr J W Barnett, 264 Western Road, Leicester, has received official information that her husband, Pte J W Barnett, Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, was killed in action on September 11th. Deceased was the second son of Mr and Mrs J Barnett, Rossmount, Hillmorton Paddox. He was 27 years of age, was called up in February, and sent to France early in July. Prior to his enlistment he was employed by the Leicester Tramway Company.


KILLED IN ACTION.—Quite a gloom was cast over this village on Friday when it was known that Pte Frank Sutton, of the Grenadier Guards was killed in action on September 15th. Frank was liked and respected by all who knew him. He was working in Coton House gardens when he answered his country’s call. Mrs Sutton’s three sons have all joined the colours, and the deepest sympathy of the parish is extended to her in the great loss that she has sustained. A memorial service was held in the church an Saturday by. the Rev L J Berrington. All the parish was represented. The xe Psalm and Hymns 536 and 537 were sung, and the service was very impressive.


On Sunday, Sept 10, the collections at both Dunchurch and Thurlaston Churches were devoted to the Lord Kitchener National Memorial Fund. The satisfactory sum of £32 7s 6d was sent up to headquarters.

Sergt W J Constable, R.E, youngest son of Mr and Mrs John Constable, late of Dunchurch, has gained the Military Medal for bravery.—Private Fissard, of the R.E, who has been home on sick leave, has gone to Bletchley to a rest camp for three months.

The Dunchurch Girls’ and Infants’ School have sent £2 to St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blind Soldiers, £2 to the Jack Cornwell Ward in the Star and Garter Home, £1 to Bilton Red Cross Hospital, and 11s to Mrs Neilsen for egg fund. The money was the proceeds of the entertainment held in the spring, and also includes contributions by the children for the Jack Cornwell Memorial Fund during the month.


News has been received by Mr and Mrs J Nicholas, of Lime Kiln Farm, Stretton-on-Dunsmore, that their youngest son, Percy, was wounded in action at the Battle of Thievpal. He received shrapnel wounds in both arms and hands. He is going on well in hospital in Cambridge. This is the second son wounded in action.


Claude Henry Hammond, aged 21, formerly of New Bilton, and of Rugby, charged at Lancaster with giving false information to Morecambe boarding-house keepers and wearing a naval uniform at Morecambe without authority, was committed for six months. Accused stayed at three places in Morecambe, and registered in false names. He described himself as a graduate of Pembroke College, Cambridge, and gave the name of a relative at Nottingham. All the statements were false. He was a deserter, and was wanted at Sheffield and Blackpool for false pretences.


BARNETT.—Killed in action, September 11th, 1916, Pte. J. W. BARNETT, 6399, Queen’s London Regiment, second son of Mr. & Mrs. J. Barnett, Rossmount, Hillmorton Paddox.
“ Oh ! just to clasp your hand once more,
Just to hear your voice again ;
Here life to us without you
Is nought but grief and pain.
Could we have raised your dying head,
Or heard your last farewell ;
The grief would not have been so hard
For us who loved you well.”

GREEN.—On September 7th, RFN. FREDERICK JOHN GREEN, King’s Royal Rifles, died of wounds in France, the dear son of Frederick and the late Louisa Greenfield Green, of 4 Gladstone Street, New Bilton, aged 25.—Sadly mourned by his Father, Brothers, Sisters, and Minnie.

WARD.—On September 3rd, Rifleman C. WARD, 10th Rifle Brigade, second son of Thomas and Mary Ward, of Brandon. Killed in action in France.
“ We often sit and think of him,
And tenderly breathe his name ;
Nothing left for us to look at
But his photo in the frame.
Some day our eyes shall see
That dear face still kept in memory.”


FRANKTON.—In loving memory of Pte. Frederick Frankton, Grenadier Guards, of Lawford Road, Rugby, killed on 27th September, 1915, at Loos.
“ Could we have raised his dying head,
Or heard his last farewell ;
The grief would not have been so hard,
For us who loved him well.
A light is from the household gone,
The voice we loved is still’d.
A vacant place is in our home,
Which never can be filled.”
—From his loving Wife, Children, and Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds.

RUSSELL.—In loving memory of Gunner PERCY EDGAR RUSSELL, R.F.A., who was killed in action, October 3, 1915.—“ He gave his life that others may live.”— Never forgotten by FATHER, MOTHER, SISTERS and BROTHERS.