Wilkins, Ebenezer Joseph. Died 29th Apr 1917

Ebenezer Joseph Wilkins (usually known as Joseph) was born in Rugby in 1877 and baptised on 30th September at New Bilton Church. His brother Edwin Ernest, less than two years older was baptised at the same time. Their father was William Wilkins, a carpenter born in Lighthorne, Warwickshire and their mother was Sarah (nee Collins). They had married on 11th June 1867 in Rugby Parish Church. The family lived at 51 Union Street.

In the 1911 census Joseph, at the age of 34, seems to have been listed by his brother’s name, Ernest. He was a painter. Ernest, age 35 was a butler, living in Grantham. Since he was listed as a page boy in 1891 and footman in 1901, while Joseph remained at home, this seems the most logical conclusion.

Sarah Wilkins died on 16th September, 1915, aged 76, her husband William (74), died three weeks later on 6th October. In the probate index for William, Ebenezer Wilkins is described as a paperhanger.

It must have been a few months after this that Ebenezer Joseph joined the 11th Battalion, Royal Warwickshire Regiment as private no.17598. His medal roll index card, in the name of Edward Wilkins, gives no indication he served before 1916.

For more information about the movements of the 11th Bn, see the biography of Wallace Liddington, who died a few days earlier on 25th April 1917.

On the 29th April, R.W.R was involved in the second action (23rd-29th Apr) of the Battle of Arras. Early on the morning of 28th April they were in position to attack Greenland Hill

War Diary, 11th Bn, Royal Warwickshire Regiment

28.4.17
4.25am After going about 100 yds the right front Coy (D. Coy – Lieut M Shaw) commenced to make a left incline with the object of filling a gap which had occurred between us and the 63rd Bde on our left. B. Coy conformed(?) to this movement. As both the officers with the leading Coys became casualties immediately after, a few men lost direction & became mixed up with the 111th Bde. The remainder advanced but owing to the fact that all the officers and senior N.C.O.s with the exception of two Sergeants were either killed or wounded the battalion became very scattered. Detached parties with Lewis Guns occupied a general line 300 – 400 yds East of CUBA TR overlapping 63rd Bde on the left & remainder of this Bde (112th) on the right.
Battn remained in this position until the Brigade was relieved by 10th Agyll & Sutherland Highlanders just before daybreak on the 29th

29.4.17
Marched back to transport west of ST NICHOLAS
At 2p.m. Battn embussed & proceeded to DENIER & went into billets.

30.4.17 Battn rested.

Ebenezer Joseph Wilkins must have been one of the 59 other ranks listed as missing of the action from 23rd-29th April 1917. He is listed on the Arras Memorial, Bay 3.

His next of kin was his younger sister, Sarah. She put a notice in the Rugby Advertiser in 1921, on the anniversary of his death.
WILKINS – In ever loving memory of my dear brother, Pte. J. Wilkins, R.W.R. who was reported missing (presumed killed) April 29th, 1917
-Ever in the thoughts of his loving sister.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Advertisements

Wilkins, Albert E. Died 4th Apr 1917

Albert Edward Wilkins was born 11th May 1898 and baptised 27th July 1898 at The Holy Trinity Church, Oxford, the fifth son to John Henry and Sarah Ann Wilkins. They were living at 50 Friars Street, Oxford at the time of Albert’s baptism, and Albert’s father was working as a labourer. Albert’s parents had married 5th August 1890, at Holy Trinity. His mother’s maiden name was Kempton, and John and Sarah were both living at 1 Dale Street Oxford.   John and Sarah had other sons before Albert: -: –
John born 2nd December 1890, Buried 14th January 1, 2 years old
William born 1st May 1892, Buried 21 January 1893 10 months
Ernest Vincent private baptism 11th September 1894, Buried 29 September 1894, 29 days old
Frederick Baptised 22nd July 1896 Buried 17th December 1896, 6 months old
John and William were being buried 7 days apart.

29th August 1893 daughter Lizzie was born and was baptised 8th October 1893.   Lizzie and Albert and Lizzie both survived infancy and appear on the 1901 census with their mother and father and are living at 26 Bridport Street, St Ebbs, Oxford and their father is working as a general Labourer.

Unfortunately Albert’s mother, Sarah, died March 1903, aged 33 years, and was buried 13th March at Holy Trinity Oxford. Albert would have been 4 years old, and his sister Lizzie 9 years old. Albert then went to live with his grandmother, Fanny Kempton, who had been living nearby the family on the 1891 census. By 1911 Albert is with his grandmother in Rugby.   According to the 1911 census Albert is living at 19 King Edward Road, Rugby, with his grandmother, an uncle, Albert Kempton and a cousin Beatrice Evelyn Tedder. Albert is at school and Beatrice is at a Hosiery Factory.   Albert later worked for the B. T. H. was in the Generator Department. He enlisted in 1914 as reported in the Rugby Advertiser 28th April 1917. Albert was killed in action 4th April 1917.

“BUGLER A E WILKINS”
“News has been received that Bugler A. E. Wilkins, of the Rifle Brigade, was killed on April 4th. Bugler Wilkins at the age of 20 enlisted on September 4th 1914. Prior to the war he was employed in the Generator Department at the B. T. H., and resided with his grandmother, Mrs Kempton, of 19 King Edward Road, Rugby.”

Albert’s Brigade was, probably, at the fighting on the Hindenburg Line in France at the time of his death. There is an error in the Rugby Advertiser notice, it states that he enlisted aged 20 years but that was his age at the time of his death, he would have been 16 years old when he enlisted. When he was killed his father was still living in Oxford at 11 Friars Wharf St Ebbs Oxford. Albert would have been entitled to receive the Victory Medal and the British War Medal. He is buried in France in the Fins New British Cemetery, Sol-Le-Grande , Grave Reference I. AA. 17.

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

Wilkins, Reginald Gerald. Died 12th Oct 1916

Reginald (Reg) was the elder son of William Alfred Wilkins and his wife Emma nee Satchell who were married in Rugby district in 1892. He was born in Rugby in 1895, and had an older sister Florence Gertrude born in Helidon Northants, and a younger sister Winifred Maud also born in Rugby. A brother Harold Cecil born in Leicester completed the family.

His father William born in Dunchurch was a general corn dealer working on his own account in 1901 when the family were living at 287 Welford Road, Leicester. His mother Emma had been born in Rugby and was baptised at St Andrews Church on 5 October 1883, daughter of George Satchell, a labourer, and Emma of Gas Street.

William died in Rugby early in 1911; in the census of that year Emma a widow was living at 377 Clifton Road, Rugby with her children Florence, 17, working in the Mazda Lamp Dept at British Thomson Houston (BTH), Reginald, 16, a shop assistant with W H Smith, Winifred, 14, also a shop assistant (at Hortons Bazaar), and schoolboy Harold, 10. Although she says she was married for 17 years, and had six children, five living, I have been unable to find any other children than these four.

Reginald joined the 1st Battalion Royal Warwickshire Regiment as Private 16008, but there are no records of his service other than his medal card showing he was awarded the British War and Victory Medals, and the register of Soldiers’ Effects. His mother received his outstanding pay of £5.13s.4d in 1917 and a £3 War Gratuity in 1919.

Reginald was killed in action on 12 October 1916, and is buried in Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, Longueval. He was originally “presumed dead” on the Soldiers Effects register, but the grave register details have been amended. The regimental number had been misread as 16006, with the name H Wilkins of the Black Watch.   Reginald’s date of death has also been added. The CGWC citation records his parents’ address as 22 Cannon Street, St Albans, where Emma must have moved after the war. Caterpillar Valley was originally a small cemetery made in 1918, but after the war the bodies of 5,500 from a number of smaller cemeteries and the Battle of the Somme were re-interred here. However there are only 1773 named graves, the rest are unknown soldiers.

An In Memoriam appears in the Rugby Advertiser in 1921 from his mother, brother and sisters, but there appears to be no mention of his death at the time.

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

9th Sep 1916. Lady Dorothie Feilding Gains The Military Medal

LADY DOROTHIE FEILDING GAINS THE MILITARY MEDAL.

DECORATED BY THE KING.

Lady Dorothie Feilding, the Earl of Denbigh’s youngest daughter, is first on the list of the British women military medallists. The honour is awarded for her gallant service with Dr Hector Munro’s Field Ambulance. For months she tended the sick and wounded in the cellar of a house close to the Belgian trenches. The situation became so dangerous the Lady Dorothie and her companions were at last persuaded to move, and ten minutes after they had removed their belongings a German shell crashed on the house and destroyed it. King Albert bestowed on Lady Dorothie Belgium’s highest military decoration, the Order of Leopold. She was also mentioned in a French brigade order for “ giving to all almost daily the finest example of contempt of danger and devotion to duty.” The official account of the present award states that Lady Dorothie “ attended the wounded for over a year with marked devotion to duty and contempt of danger.”

Lady Dorothie Feilding, accompanied by her father, Col. The Earl of Denbigh, was decorated by the King with the Military Medal at Windsor Castle on Wednesday last, and had the honour of lunching afterwards with their Majesties.

The Military Medal is one recently instituted by the King solely for acts of bravery in the field under fire and has as its sole inscription on the back of the medal “ For bravery in the field.”

Lady Dorothie is the first British woman to receive the decoration. She returned to her work with the Munro Ambulance Corps in Belgium yesterday (Friday).

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Capt P W Nickalls, Northants Yeomanry, has been gazetted temporary major.

Sergt Harry Beers, 1st King’s (Liverpool) Regt. reported missing on August 8th, has written to state that he is a prisoner of war at Dulmen, Germany. Sergt Beers is an old St Oswald’s boy (New Bilton).

Mrs T Douglas, 87 Cambridge Street, has received news that her eldest son, Pte Frank Belcher, is lying at St Pat’s Hospital, Malta, with malaria fever, contracted in Salonika. He joined the colours on September 2nd, 1914, and after going through several engagements in France was drafted out to Salonika in October, 1915. He is now on the high road to recovery.

A FIGHTING FAMILY.—Few families have a better war record than that of Mr and Mrs Dunkley, of l5 Chester Street, Rugby. There are five sons in the Army, including two who have been reported missing for some time past. William Albert, the eldest, is in the King’s Royal Rifles, and he has a son serving with him at Salonica. Walter Ernest has served his time with the Royal Warwicks, and has just re-joined the Army from Lutterworth, having been drafted into a different regiment. Harry, who joined the Royal Warwicks, has been missing since July 30th ; and Percy John, of the Lancashire Fusiliers, has been missing since July 25th. The fifth son, Arthur Rowland, is serving with the Labour Battalion. A sixth member of the same family (Alfred Thos Dunkley) has been discharged from the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry on medical grounds, and is now employed in a controlled factory. Mrs Dunkley has two brothers serving in France, and two of her nephews are in the Army.

LOCAL CASUALTIES.

Walter Wilkins, 2nd Battalion Oxon and Bucks Light Infantry, who worked in the Illumination Department at the B.T.H, and was a member of the B.T.H hockey team, has been killed in action. He was only married a few months before the War broke out.

We learn that Transport Sergt F R Spencer, Royal Warwicks, was wounded on August 27th by a bullet which passed through his right leg. By a strange coincidence he was first attended when brought in by his own medical attendant, who is now at the front. Sergt Spencer is now in hospital at Lincoln, going on well. He had been out in France about 18 months.

ACCIDENT TO PTE J H HOLMES.

Pte J H Holmes, a member of the Rugby Advertiser staff, who joined the R.A.M.C in October last, has met with an accident in France, as a result of which he has broken his left leg in two places below the knee. In a letter to a friend he says : “ After spending a few days in three different hospitals in France, I arrived in Southampton from Boulogne on Friday. The thing which struck me most was the excellent arrangements for transporting the wounded. The hospitals, too, contain the most up-to-date instruments. The hospital I am in is a fine place, food and attention being perfect.”

TWO MORE ST MATTHEW’S OLD BOYS KILLED.

News has just come to hand that Lance-Corpl A Lewis, of the 5th Oxford and Bucks L.I. has been killed in action. He was the second son of P.C Lewis, of Rugby, and an old scholar of St Matthew’s School, where he was popular and much liked. Lance-Corpl Lewis joined the Army early in the war, and was several times wounded, on one occasion his life being saved by a cigarette case in his breast pocket, which deflected the bullet.

Pte W Goffin, of the 5th Oxford and Bucks L.I, another St Matthew’s old boy, whose home is at 35 Pennington Street, who was posted as missing after the battle, of Loos last year, is now reported as killed. Pte W Goffin’s brother, Pte H J Goffin, 7th Royal Warwickshire Regiment, has just been wounded for the second time. No less than sixteen near relatives in the Goffin family are now on active service.

STRETTON-ON-DUNSMORE.

NEWS has been received from the War Office that Lance-Corpl John Nicholas, of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, son of Mr and Mrs J Nicholas, Lime Kiln Farm, Stretton-on-Dunsmore. was wounded in action in Egypt on August 5th. His many friends will he pleased to hear his wound is not serious, the bullet having passed through the muscle of his left leg, and he is now progressing favourably in hospital at Romani. He joined at the commencement of the War, and has been in Egypt twelve months. His two youngest brothers, of the Royal Fusiliers, are also serving in France, thus making a total of three sons out of four serving with his Majesty’s Forces.

A DYING SOLDIER’S REGRET.—Our readers will doubtless remember that a few months ago a soldier billeted in the town was fined for being drunk and disorderly and disturbing an open air service of the Salvation Army. News has. now reached Rugby that this man has died from wounds. While he was being carried off the field he asked any member of the stretcher party if they visited Rugby to call at the Salvation Army Citadel and express his regret for the occurrence. The corporal of the stretcher party has since been wounded and sent to England, and on Sunday afternoon he called at the Citadel and gave the dying soldier’s message to the officer in charge.

DEATHS.

MASON.—On Sept. 1st, died of wounds, Sergt. Arthur T. Mason, Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry.
“ Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
—From his devoted and sorrowing wife.

WILKINS.—Killed in action on August 24th, Walter Wilkins, 2nd Oxford & Bucks L.I.

RUGBY PRISONERS OF WAR FUND.

SUCCESSFUL FLAG DAY.

The effort on Saturday on behalf of the fund to provide comforts for prisoners of war from Rugby and district was in all respects a great and gratifying success. Following to many Flag days for deserving objects, it may have been assumed that the public were getting rather tired of these appeals ; but the plight of prisoners captured by the Germans and incarcerated in detention camps is such that the well-organised scheme to provide them with regular supplies of comforts, such as that undertaken by the local committee, must commend itself to everybody. Certain it is that the endeavour to raise a substantial sum of money to send weekly parcels to prisoners from this locality met with very enthusiastic support. All previous records were easily broken, and the sale of flags, supplemented by donations, has resulted in approximately £500 being raised. The sale of flags in the town and village produced £211 14s 11d. It will be remembered that for the Alexandra Rose Day about £140 was raised, and this was the highest amount brought in before Saturday by “ flag day ” collections in Rugby.

Anticipating a large sale of flags, the committee secured no fewer than 35,000 for disposal in Rugby and the surrounding villages. The flags were specially made for this effort. On one side were the letters in white on blue ground, “ Rugby Prisoners of War Fund,” and on the reverse side was a picture representing three British soldiers behind a barbed wire barricade, and guarded by Germans, with the word’s, “ Help our men,” printed at the foot.

The Benn Buildings, kindly lent by the Urban District Council, formed the centre of operations, and about 300 people helped in the collection. Some of the flag sellers were astir quite early in the morning, and towards mid-day there seemed a likelihood of the supply of flags giving out, and accordingly small Union Jacks were procured and stamped with the green seal familiar to local shopkeepers ; but by carefully regulating the sales throughout the town it was not found necessary to utilise a great number of these.

Another popular feature was the sale of sprays of lavender, of which between 7,000 and 8,000 were distributed. This idea originated with Mrs Bernard Hopps, of Thurlaston, and so great was the demand that extra supplies were needed. These were provided from the gardens of Mrs Hopps, Mr W Fiint, Mrs Blagden, Mrs Dickinson, Mm Eckersley, and others.

During the day Mr W Flint, the chairman of the committee, drove round the town and through the district in his car with Mr J R Barker, the energetic secretary, and visited the various depots which had been established.

On Sunday evening a special concert in aid of the Prisoners of War Fund was given at the Empire, the promoter being Mr B Morris, the proprietor. Admission was by silver collection, taken by Mrs Cosford and Miss Kimber. Miss Phyllis Morris and the artistes at the Empire gave their services, and a special film was shown. The proceeds of this concert amounted to just under £10.

The whole of the arrangements were carried out by the Hon Secretary, Mr J Reginald Barker, who received considerable assistance in the clerical work from Miss C M Judd.

Mr Barker made full use of the local newspapers in his publicity arrangements, and took advantage of every opportunity to make the cause of the prisoners of war understood and realised by everyone, in Rugby and the surrounding villages ; and this, no doubt, helped largely to bring about such a satisfactory result.

LIGHTING OFFENCES.

Alfred G Cox, shop manager, Poplar Grove, Rugby ; Ada Teague, 13 Park Road, Rugby ; George A Towers, newsagent, 120 Cambridge Street, Rugby ; Thos Norcross, draughtsman, Lodge Road, Rugby ; and John Henry Lines, Queen’s Head Inn, West Street, Rugby, were summoned for not obscuring lights as required by the Lighting Order.

Mrs Lines appeared for her husband, who was unwell, and said there was only a small light burning for a few minutes while she opened the window to let in some fresh air.—P.S Percival said at 11.15 he saw a bright light shining from the Queen’s Head. The blinds were not drawn, but there was a shade on the wrong side of the light. When he knocked at the door the light went out, but no one answered.—Mrs Lines said the reason she did not answer the door was that she thought it was a drunken soldier, against whom she had previously locked the door.—Fined £1.

A G Cox was summoned in respect of a light at the Co-operative Society’s Furniture Stores. He admitted the offence.—P.S Percival said he saw a bright light shining through the window of the furniture shop.—Defendant said he went in at midnight for the purpose of stock-taking, and switched on the light without thinking to first draw down the blind.—Fined £1.

Mr Towers said the light was showing accidentally.—P.C Lovell said he saw a bright light shining from the bedroom. Defendant’s attention was drawn to it, and he said he was sorry it had occurred. He did all he could to comply with the regulations. Mr Towers said the window was thrown up and the blind was blown outwards by the wind.—Fined £1.

T Norcross also admitted the offence.—P.C Elkington said at 10.35 p.m he saw a bright incandescent light shining from the bedroom window on to the houses opposite. The blind was not drawn.—Defendant said he had only been in the house a week, and the blinds had not been fixed. That was the first time he had used the gas, and that was only for a minute, because he had no candle in the room.—Fined £1.

Mr W Davis, solicitor, Rugby, appeared for Mrs Teague, and pleaded guilty.—P.C Elkington stated that he saw a bright light shining from the back of Mrs Teague’s house. There were two naked lights down-stairs and one upstairs. No blinds were drawn.—Mr Davis stated that Mrs Teague, who took in boarders, had taken down the blinds that night to wash them, and had retired to bed. One of the boarders subsequently turned on the light, not knowing that the blinds had been taken down.—Fined £1.

POINTS FOR FARMERS.—The War Agricultural Committee have received official information of interest to farmers in the district on the following points :— Sulphate of ammonia can be bought during August and September for 15s per cwt nett cash on condition that it is removed from the seller’s works before September 30th. After that the price will be raised to 15s 6d per cwt. Labour Exchanges are still authorised to deal with applications for soldiers to assist with the harvest.

THE PARISH CHURCH CLOCK.—For the present the church clock will not strike the hours and quarters. In view of air raids, all clocks have to be silent at night, and the churchwardens found it too expensive for the strike to be detached every evening and connected again next morning.

27th Nov 1915. Local War Notes

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“ BUCK THE SLACKERS UP!”

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

PTE H DYER, OF DUNSMORE, KILLED.

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

MURRAY SCHOOL NOTES.

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

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

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

LETTER FROM OLD ST MATTHEW’S BOY.

WHY SO MANY MEN ARE MISSING.

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

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

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

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

DISTINGUISHED CONDUCT MEDAL.

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

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

THE ARMY’S WINTER KIT.

WARMER CLOTHES FOR THE KILTED TROOPS.

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

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

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

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

RUGBY TERRITORIALS COMFORTS’ COMMITTEE.

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

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

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

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

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

A. W. ADNITT.

2 Regent St, Rugby.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GRENADIER GUARDS.
P Gibbins, Willoughby, Rugby.

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

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

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

30th Oct 1915. Soldiers Appreciate the Rugby Advertiser

SOLDIERS APPRECIATE THE “ RUGBY ADVERTISER.”

DEAD COMRADE’S PHOTO RECOGNIZED IN THE TRENCHES.

Bandsman B Wilkins, of the Rifle Brigade, in a letter to a friend in Rugby, indicates that those who are in the habit of sending the Rugby Advertiser to men in the trenches are doing a service that is much appreciated. He says : “ I have just had a look at this week’s Advertiser, which one of our chaps had received, so do not trouble to send it this week In it you will see Rifleman Freeman’s photo. Well, I helped to bury him. He was a very decent fellow. I was only joking with him two or three hours before, but I didn’t know he lived at Kineton, so was surprised to see his photo in the Rugby paper. Rifleman Wilkins states that he is quite well, and hopes to come home on leave very shortly.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Corporal E Wiggins, Northants Yeomanry, eldest son of Mr W Wiggins, has, been gazetted to a second-lieutenancy.

Lance-Corporal Esplin, of the 8th Seaforth Highlanders, an employe of Messrs Frost and Son, has been wounded, and is now in hospital at Rubery, near Birmingham.

Mr F G Greenhill, who some years ago held the office of assistant surveyor to the Rugby Urban District Council, and who is an ex-captain of the Rugby Football Club, has received a commission as lieutenant in the Royal Engineers, and expects to proceed abroad immediately.

Official notification has been received by Mr H Newitt, 58 Abbey Street, Rugby, that his son, Pte G V Newitt (Oxon and Bucks) is in hospital at Boulogne suffering from a severe bullet wound in the abdomen. Pte Newitt worked at the B.T.H before enlistment, and has been at the front since May, He was slightly wounded about two months ago.

BILTON RIFLEMAN WOUNDED.

Rifleman Harold Smith, of the K.R.R, whose parents live at Bilton Hill, has been wounded by shrapnel and is in hospital at Cambridge. Last week he underwent a successful operation. In a letter home, he states that the Rev W O Assheton (Rector of Bilton) has visited him

ANOTHER EMPLOYE OF MESSRS FROST AND SONS KILLED.

Official news has been received that Pte W Munnings, R.A.M.C, another employe of Messrs A .Frost & Sons, printers, Warwick Street, has been killed while attending to the wounded. Pte Munnings joined the Army in September, 1914, but was discharged on medical grounds. He entered a hospital and underwent an operation. however, and was then accepted.

HOME FROM THE FRONT.

Sergt F H Lines, of the Howitzers, son of Inspector Lines, of the Rugby Police Force, has this week been home from the front.—Pte Walter R Clarke, of the Rugby Infantry Co, whose home is at 26 George Street, Rugby, is also on furlough. Both are old St Matthew’s boys, and appear none the worse for their experiences at the war.

THE SILENT NAVY.

Pte W P Clarke, Royal Marines, of H.M.S Shannon, in a letter to his old schoolmaster, Mr W T Coles Hodges, F.E.I.S, says :—“ I see quite a large number of old boys have enlisted, and that several have been laid low. Still, they have died doing their duty, as the rest of us young men are prepared to do. I am very sorry that I cannot tell you what we have done, and what we are going to do, but we have been doing our bit. Our Navy has got the right name, the ‘ Silent Navy.’ We are all longing for the big naval battle to come. I can assure you it is a bit monotonous watching and waiting for an enemy which never turns up. The only thing which they seem to have out in our line is submarines, and they always steer clear of us. Through Mr Sidwell’s tuition I have managed to represent the Royal Marines at Deal, and Chatham, and also two ships, at cricket.”

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Although the canvas for recruits has not yet commenced locally, the new appeal for men has had the effect of stimulating business at the Drill Hall, and the number of men who have offered themselves has been higher than for many weeks past. The following have been attested :

J W Shrimpton (driver), G G Batchelor and A E Beech (Royal Engineers) ; F W Anderson, P G Major, A Higgins, L Boyles, F Holder, W R Townsend, E Shirley, A Mathews, W D Reeve, T Walker, E T Dunkley, H A Muddeman, J Moore, E G Marsh, A Newhound, R.F.A ; W Gunn, M.F.P. ; E Waring, Leicesters ; E G W W Hollins, J R Holder, and H E Goodwin, R.W.R ; F R M Lee and G H Neale, R.F Corps ; G T Palmer, 220th Co A.S Corp R.E ; E A Foxon, H Bartlett, H Kendrick, A.S.C ; W. J Payne, R.A.M.C ; J G Gowing, A.S.C, M.T ; A G Hone and E Osborne, A.S.C, H.T.

The following offered themselves, but owing to medical reasons were not accepted: E Eales, T Cleaver, L Painter, W E Summerfield, H C Walden, H W Kennard, and H W Duckett.

Infantrymen are urgently required.

 

TERRITORIALS COMFORTS’ COMMITTEE.

LETTERS OF THANKS FROM THE FRONT.

Mr A Adnitt (hon secretary) and members of the Rugby Territorial Comforts Committee have received a number of letters of thanks from the recipients of the cakes which were recently sent to the local Territorial units at a result of the cake competition, held in the Church House. Below we give a few extracts :—

FROM THE HOWITZER BATTERY.

Battery S M George Hopewell, of the Howitzer Battery, writes :-“ Will you please convey to the Rugby Territorial Comforts Committee our heartiest thanks for the splendid gift of cake which we received on Saturday. I received 24 parcels in all, and sent half of them to our drivers at the wagon line and some to the Rugby men who are on the Headquarters’ Staff and in the 4th Battery, so that 160 Rugby, boys had the pleasure of enjoying their tea with cake from HOME ; and I am sure we feel greatly honoured to think that so much time, trouble, and expense has been expended on our behalf by our many generous friends, who we feel, have adopted this very practical way of expressing all their good wishes for our welfare. We were very pleased to see that a good many ladies had enclosed their names and addresses, as it is a great satisfaction to know whose hospitality one is partaking of, and to be able to thank them personally. . . . I am pleased to say that we came through the bombardment without any casualties, and thoroughly enjoyed the extra REAL work which we had to do, and are eagerly looking forward to the next similar occasion, which we hope will be more prolonged, and the last word in this long argument of nations. . . . With the exception of a few colds and other minor ailments, we are all well and in the best spirits.”

Quartermaster-Sergt Painter, of the Howitzer Battery, in a letter to Mrs C P Nickalls, states that his section had the honour of receiving the first and fourth prize winners and two highly commended cakes. He adds :—“ We were fortunate enough to receive them on Sunday morning, and they were much appreciated by the men at tea-time. If the judging had been left to the men, I am afraid they would all have been awarded first prize. On behalf of the members of the Battery I beg to take this opportunity of thanking you and the members of the Rugby Comforts Committee for the various presents which have been sent out to us from time to time.”

THE INFANTRY COMPANY.

Corporal A Branston “ C ” Company, 1/7th R.W.R (T.F), acknowledging the receipt of the cakes, says :-“ On behalf of the men I am to express their thanks to you and the good people of Rugby for their kindness to us. I can assure you that we all enjoyed the cakes immensely. There are only a few articles badly wanted by the men in my section, such as handkerchiefs and housewives, so if you know of any good person who would send us those little articles I should be very grateful.

Quartermaster-Sergt Tomlinson, of the Rugby Infantry Co, 7th R.W.R, also acknowledges the receipt of the cakes in good condition, and says :—“ With the help of Sergt Bryant I have distributed them, and we were able to reach every Rugby man now serving with the Battery, including two men in other companies and one with the second line A.S.C. Everyone was delighted with their change of fare, and scarcely know how to sufficiently thank the kind donors. However may I, on behalf of the company, ask you to convey to all concerned our deep and grateful thanks. I am sure they would have felt somewhat repaid if they could have seen the happy little groups at tea last Sunday. The happiness, too, was extended, as many shared their cake with comrades from other towns. I think our friends who made the good things, and who attached labels, will receive personal letters of thanks from the recipients. With reference to comforts you are so kindly collecting, may I ask you to withhold sending pants for the time being. We have just had an issue of these articles ; this will probably be the only issue we shall get, and wear and tear is very hard, therefore later on we shall be glad of some to replace them. I will let you know immediately the need arises. If I may I should like to suggest the following articles of which many are in need : Razors, jack knives, and enamel mugs. We are in a district where it is almost impossible to buy anything. It is a country district, and the inhabitants have all been cleared, out, and we spend several weeks in or near the firing line.”

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

BOY SCOUTS’ AMBULANCE AT THE FRONT.

DEAR SIR,—As some of your readers may be aware, there is an ambulance which was equipped by the Boy Scouts, and manned by six ex-scouts. This has been doing good service at the front, but the engine is wearing out, and the body has been found unsuitable for getting over the roads near the fighting line, where they are broken up with shell fire.

Sir Robert Baden Powell, as Chief Scout, is anxious, therefore, to provide them with, a new car, and has appealed, to the scouts throughout the country to raise the necessary funds.

It is a stringent rule of the Scout movement that there shall be no touting or begging for subscriptions, and the only way, therefore, scouts can raise money is by working for it.

In asking you, therefore to publish this letter, I am not asking for donations, but only that those of your readers who: are able, will help the scouts to raise the money themselves by providing them with work.

We have set aside the week ending November 6th for this purpose, and I would earnestly ask that any householders who are appealed to by scouts during that time will endeavour to give them some work—grass cutting, wood chopping, cycle cleaning, or, indeed, any odd jobs for which scouts are always prepared. If anyone will write to me offerings any special work, I will see that their requirements are met if possible.

Scouts applying for work should be in uniform, and all money earned by them will be devoted to the above object, being turned in to their scoutmaster, with a statement of the work done and money received.—Yours truly,

C COURTENAY WHARTON.

Assistant District Commissioner, Rugby Division of Boy Scouts.

 

WILD WEST EXHIBITION.—Broncho Bill’s exhibition will visit Rugby on Thursday next, November 4th. This exhibition has a reputation because of the originality and realism of the productions. The fact that it has to do with life “ out west ” gives it a fascination which can be rarely exceeded by other entertainments. Pictures of Wild West episodes have been produced with success, and have always appealed to audiences, but to see the real thing one should visit this exhibition. Life on the prairies is represented with striking realism, cowboys, cowgirls, Indians, and fiery prairie mustangs taking part. The scenes will leave vivid impressions in the mind of the visitor. The peculiar expertness so characteristic of a Western “ character ” is displayed with great effect. An idea of the scenes depicted will be found in our advertisement columns. There will be two exhibitions whatever the state of the weather, and arrangements have been made for the convenience and comfort of 10,000 visitors.