NEW BILTON MAN KILLED BY AEROPLANE.
A CHRISTMAS TRAGEDY.
On Christmas Eve Pte Richard Thomas Wilson, Royal Air Force, son of Mrs Wilson, 1 New Street, New Bilton, was accidentally killed at Ramsey Upward Aerodrome. Pte Wilson was in charge of the night flares, and while he was assisting to guide an aeroplane to its landing place he was caught by one of the wings and so badly injured that he died within a quarter of an hour. The funeral took place with military honours at New Bilton on Monday. Representatives from deceased’s unit attended, and the firing party was provided by a detachment from the Rugby Company of the Volunteers.
Pte Wilson was 46 years of age, and was previously employed by Mr Shears as a plasterer’s labourer. He joined the Army six months ago.
LOCAL WAR NOTES.
Bombardier John Hirons, R.F.A, formerly employed in the B.T.H Lamp Factory, died in Italy from bronchial pneumonia on December 22nd.
Corpl W Haggar, Worcester Regiment, was reported missing on March 21st, and until last week his parents, Mr and Mrs J Hangar, 10 Alexandra Rd, Rugby, had received no tidings. They have now obtained through the Red Cross the following report from a returned prisoner of war :—“ On March 21st, about 11 a.m, I saw W Haggar killed by a bullet. He was hit in the heart, death being instantaneous. I was five yards away. We were compelled to leave the body in a shallow trench, as the Germans were pressing forward. It occurred on the St Quentin front. Corpl Haggar had just returned for the second or third time after being wounded.” Previous to joining up at the outbreak of war Corpl Haggar was employed at the B.T.H. He was awarded the Military Medal for gallant conduct in June, 1917. Two brothers are still serving in France.
TO WOUNDED SOLDIERS AND RELEASED PRISONERS.— By an advertisement in another column it will be seen that any released prisoner of war in Rugby or district are invited to the B.T.H employees’ Christmas Party.
AT the Rugby Cattle Market on Monday a number of surplus Army horses were submitted by auction by Mr W Wiggins. Some useful animals were included, and good prices were realised, the highest price being 82 guineas. Mr Wiggins will offer a similar consignment next week.
VICTORY BALL IN HONOUR OF LANCE-CORPL VICKERS, V.C.
A WARWICKSHIRE HERO.
On Thursday next a grand Victory ball in aid of the testimonial fund to Lance-CorpI Arthur Vickers, the first member of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment to win the Victoria Cross, will take place in the Co-op. Hall, Rugby. Similar balls have been held or arranged in other large centres in the county, and the promoters have secured the patronage of many leading residents.
It is interesting to recall that Lance-Corpl Vickers was at one time employed by the B.T.H Company at Rugby as a brass caster, and at that time he resided at 80 Railway Terrace. He will be present at the ball, and it is expected that Mr F O Roberts, M.P, will also attend. The testimonial fund already stands at about £500.
A contemporary says : “ Lance-Corpl Vickers, V.C, may be permitted to believe that the figure five is his lucky number. He is one of a family of five, stands 5ft. high (or low), was rejected five times before his acceptance for the Army, won the coveted decoration in the fifth month he was in France on the 25th September, 1915. Out of 850 who went into the assault only 55 returned. Truly, the lance-corporal may with justice regard life as a game of fives.”
VISIT TO B.T.H WORKS.
On Thursday Lance-Corpl Vickers paid a visit to the B.T.H Works, where he was received, on behalf of the Company, by Mr G Ralph. Mr S London, and several other officials. Mr J J McKinnell, J.P. C.C, was also present. L-Corpl Vickers was entertained to lunch in the spacious Works Canteen, and during an interval was introduced to the workpeople by Mr G A Maley, chairman of the Canteen Committee, who explained that Vickers was the first ex-employee of the Company to win the V.C. The gallant fellow was loudly cheered by the diners, and the pianist played “ See the Conquering Hero Comes.” After briefly returning thanks, Vickers was kept busy for some time autographing photographs. He with Mr McKinnell and Sergt-Major Blythe were afterwards shown round the Works by Mr Ralph.
NEWBOLD PARISH COUNCIL.
VILLAGE HALL SUGGESTED AS WAR MEMORIAL.
This question was again considered, and Mr Cox suggested that a parish meeting should be called to make suggestions, unless the Council were prepared with any scheme to lay before the parishioners. They wished to carry the whole parish with them as far as possible.—The Chairman : May we obtain money out of the rates ?—Mr Cox : No ; it must be raised voluntarily.—The Chairman : The erection of a village hall has been suggested.—Mr Cox : Yes ; such a thing would be very useful; but it means spending a lot of money, and unless the inhabitants subscribe generously it cannot be obtained.—After further discussion it was decided to adjourn the further consideration of the matter until the annual parish meeting in March, when suggestions from the parishioners will be invited.
CHRISTMAS CELEBRATIONS.- On Boxing Day all the school children of Dunchurch and Thurlaston, to the number of 200, were entertained at the Village Hall to a capital tea, provided mainly by the members of Mrs Arkwright’s working party, aided by the gifts of many kind friends. Each child received from a beautifully decorated Christmas tree a toy or useful article at the hands of Father Christmas, ably personated by Mr E Amos. The entertainment was a pleasant surprise to the children, and all the more enjoyable as being a return to pre-war conditions ; indeed to some of the younger ones it was altogether a new experience. The presence of a large number of men home on leave, and the return of several prisoners of war, added much to the joy of the festive season. The services at the Parish Church and at Thurlaston were well attended on Christmas Day. At the Bishop’s request, last Sunday was observed as a “ Day of Remembrance,” recalling the lessons and experiences of the war.
When they were expecting his return home the parents of Pte Rupert Barratt, 2/6 Royal Warwicks, of Brickhill Cottages, Cawston, who was taken prisoner on April 22nd last, were notified of his death at Tournai on July 12th. A week or so later after receiving this sad news Pte Barratt’s father succumbed to pneumonia after a few days’ illness.
Pte F Ward, of the Oxford & Bucks Infantry, who has been a prisoner of war since 1915, is home on leave. Pte J T Tompkins, of the 12th Norfolks, who was wounded the day Jerusalem fell, has been home on a 12 days’ leave.
“ OUR DAY ” IN WARWICKSHIRE.
Mr W I Shaw, the hon treasurer of the British Red Cross Society in Warwickshire, states that the collections for “ Our Day ” in the county realised £8,227 8s 8d, as against £5,288 13s 1d in 1917, and £2,237 4s 1d in 1916. The collection in the Coleshill Division (per Mr T Clayton) was £1,500, a magnificent total. In Coventry city it was £1,256 ; in Kenilworth (per Mrs Rotherham) £511 15s 3d ; in Leamington £402 13s 10d ; in Rugby district £400, and in the Southam division £4400 6s 1d. In many districts the was doubled this year, and altogether the result was remarkably good, and reflects great credit upon the ladies and gentlemen who organised and conducted the collection.
A special appeal was made this year for “ Our Day ” for funds so urgently required for the needs of the British Red Cross Society, and sincere thanks are tendered to all those who by their efforts have made Warwickshire contributions such a notable success.
DISPUTE OVER JAM COUPONS.
LADY’S LETTERS TO RUGBY FOOD CONTROL COMMITTEE.
There was little business of public interest at the meeting of the Food Control Committee on Thursday, when there were present : Mr H Tarbox (in the chair), Mrs Dewar, Mrs Shelley, Messrs A Appleby, W Brooke, J Cripps, R Griffin, A Humphrey, C Gay, G H Mellor, F S Hodgkins, and W A Stevenson.
THE IMPROVED MILK SUPPLY.
A milk retailer wrote explaining that she was now receiving more milk than she required, and unless she was allowed to supply the B.T.H canteen again she would have to discontinue taking milk from one farmer. The worry of having too much milk was worse than having not enough.—The Executive Officer (Mr Burton) agreed that there was now a surplus supply of milk locally, due to the working of the Registration Scheme, and it was decided to allow any surplus to be equally divided between the B.T.H and W & R canteens.
The Executive Officer explained that in conformity with the instructions of the Ministry of Food, he had applied to all persons who received more than the specified quantity of sugar for preserving for the surrender of jam coupons. He wrote to Mrs Nickalls, of the Ridgway, amongst others, asking for the surrender of jam coupons. To this Mrs Nichalls replied : “ I think your letter is very extraordinary. I received 20lbs extra sugar and put aside half the jam—14lbs—for the Government. I then went to the Food Control and was told that they did not require the jam after all. You now require coupons for 40lbs of jam. All I can say is I have naturally used the coupons and have none to send. If I had had proper notice, of course I should not have used them.” The Executive Officer replied : “ Coupons equivalent to the amount of sugar granted over and above 6lbs per head of the household must be surrendered. I note that you say you have none to send. Surely this would apply to the coupons up to this week, as it would be an offence to use coupons now which are not available till later. If I this is so, I must ask you to forward the number of coupons required at your earliest convenience.” Mrs Nickalls then sent a postcard, as follows :—“ If you can show me the official Gorvernment notice from headquarters, you can have the coupons.”—Mr Burton added that he then ascertained the name of the retailer with whom she was registered, and he wrote asking him not to supply her with any more jam until further notice.—Mr Stevenson : In view of the correspondence, I move that a letter be sent demanding that these coupons be sent, and. failing this, that action be taken at once. We can’t be insulted like this.—Mrs Dewar said she quite agreed with the action of the Committee, but the unfortunate thing was that some of the smaller committees were not doing this.—The Executive Officer pointed out that the instructions of the Ministry on the point were very definite.—The Chairman said they could not allow this case to pass, or the dignity of the Committee would be upset altogether.—The resolution was carried.
It was reported that from January 26 the sugar ration would be ¾lb per head.
The Executive Officer reported that the Divisional Commissioner was holding 10cwt of cheese for distribution in the district each month, and the basis of allocation was approved.—It was noted that at present cheese supplies were very short.
WILLANS & ROBINSON LTD.
IMPORTANT DEVELOPMENTS IN LOCAL INDUSTRY.
A development of importance to local industry is foreshadowed in the recent registration of a new Company, termed the English Engineering Co. with a capitol of £5,000,000. This Company is formed to co-ordinate the interests of the Coventry Ordnance Works, Phoenix Dynamo Co, and Dick Kerr & Co. The latter Company recently acquired by purchase of shares predominating interest in Willans & Robinson’s and some minor concerns. Since the Coventry Ordnance Company represent mainly the interests of Cammell, Laird & Co, the Fairfield Shipbuilding Co, and John Brown & Co, it will be seen that this group becomes of first importance in the engineering world.
The new English Engineering Company will, as the central or parent company, represent a very important coalition of purely British engineering manufacturers, and it is to be expected that the co-operation thus assured will make for increased production and employing power.
We understand that this development will not entail any changes in the local management of Willans and Robinson, and that Mr Davenport will continue his direction thereof.
BOSWORTH.—On Dec. 5th, 1918, at the American Base Hospital, Toul, France, Private THOMAS BOSWORTH, 2nd Linc’s Fusiliers, of pneumonia ; released prisoner of war ; aged 35 ; youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Bosworth, Lutterworth.—“ The Lord watch between me and thee when we are absent one from another.”
HAGGER.—In loving memory of Corpl. W. HAGGAR, 2/8 Worcester, fifth son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Haggar, Alexandra Road, Rugby, who was killed at St. Quentin, on March 21st, 1918 (previously reported missing). Aged 28.—“ Thy will be done.”—From Father, Mother, Brothers, sisters, and Ida.
HIRONS.—On December 22, 1918, at Facura 3rd Military Hospital, Italy, Bombr. JOHN, the dearly loved youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. R. Hirons, Kilsby, in his 29th year.—“ Thy will be done.”
—From his sorrowing Father & Mother, Brothers and Sisters.
JOHNSON.—In loving memory of our dear brother, L/Corpl. GEORGE JOHNSON, of the R.W. Regt., who died of wounds in France on January 4, 1918.
“ Sleep on, dear brother, in a far-off land,
In a grave we may never see ;
But as long as life and memory last
We will remember thee.”
—Ever remembered by his loving Mother & Sisters.
SHEASBY.—In proud and loving memory of PRIVATE HORACE SHEASBY (HOD), of Napton, who died of wounds Dec 30th, 1917. Ever in the thoughts of May, and sadly missed by his best chum W Webb. R.I.P.