Pratt, Frederick Charles. Died 1st March 1917

Frederick Charles PRATT was born in very late 1896 or early 1897 in Wolston, and his birth was registered in early 1897 in Rugby.   He was the son of George Pratt, a gardener from Newton and his wife Elizabeth who was born in Lambourne, Berkshire. Frederick had seven brothers and sisters.

His eldest sister was born in Clifton in about 1893 but in 1901 the family was living at Priory Hill Lodge, Wolston. Before 1911 the family had moved again and was living at 1 Bridle Road, New Bilton, Rugby – ‘Fred’ aged 14, was still at school.

When war broke out Fred would have been 17, and officially too young to join up. However he could well have lied about his age because he joined up in the 6th Battalion of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry – the ‘Ox and Bucks’ – as Private No.11097. It is known that a Charles James Keeber signed up in Rugby on 31 August 1914 with an only slightly lower number 11068, and numbers up to 14707 were still being used by the Ox and Bucks in later 1914. This must be speculation as his service record has not survived, but it is likely that he did not hesitate to join up in 1914.

The 6th (Service) Battalion of the Ox and Bucks was formed in September 1914 at Oxford as part of the Second New Army (K2) and then moved to Aldershot to join the 60th Brigade of the 20th Division. In March 1915 they moved to Larkhill, on Salisbury Plain for further training.

On 22 July 1915 the Battalion mobilised for war and landed at Boulogne – and Fred’s Medal Card shows that he also went into the France and Belgium theatre of war on that date.   The battalion undertook trench familiarisation and training and was then in various actions on the Western front including in 1916:- the Battle of Mount Sorrel, the Battle of Delville Wood, the Battle of Guillemont, the Battle of Flers-Courcelette, the Battle of Morval, and the Battle of Le Transloy.

The New Year 1917 brought a period of severe weather conditions on the Somme which led to an unofficial ‘truce’ between the two sides.   The Battalion Diary provides scant details in early 1917, but in February ‘… the Battalion took several tours of duty in the trenches in front of Guillemont, losing 8 men killed and 2nd Lieuts. Higlett, Skoulding, J. W. Wright, and 26 men wounded. 2nd Lieuts. Skoulding and Wright had been with the Battalion less than a week.’

Fred’s Medal Card notes: ‘DoW’ that is that he ‘Died of Wounds’ and this together with the location of his burial in Rouen, some 100 miles from where the 6th Battalion had been in action, suggests that he reached one of the rear area hospitals, which implies that he must have been wounded quite a few days before he died on 1 March 1917.

He was probably one of those 26 men from the battalion wounded in February ‘…in the trenches in front of Guillemont.’ He would have been moved to a Battalion Aid Post, ‘Field Ambulance’ or Advanced Dressing Station, then back to a Casualty Clearing Station, before being transported back to one of the Base Hospitals – in Fred’s case in Rouen. During the First World War, camps and hospitals were stationed on the southern outskirts of Rouen. Almost all of the hospitals at Rouen remained there for practically the whole of the war. They included eight general, five stationary, one British Red Cross and one labour hospital, and No. 2 Convalescent Depot.

Sadly he died there and like the great majority of the dead was taken to the Rouen city cemetery of St. Sever.   He was buried in the St Sever Cemetery Extension in grave reference: O. IV. S. 2.

St Sever Cemetery and St. Sever Cemetery Extension are located within a large communal cemetery situated on the eastern edge of the southern Rouen suburbs of Le Grand Quevilly and Le Petit Quevilly. The extension had been started in September 1916.

The Battalion carried on, in and out of the line as before, with camps at Carnoy and Guillemont; and then moved gradually forward as the German retreated to the Hindenburg Line [14 March – 5 April 1917].

Fred was awarded the Victory and British medals and the 1915 Star.

He is remembered also on the Rugby Memorial Gate and also in Rugby Baptist Church, where there is a Memorial Tablet above the Minister’s vestry in the Church. It notes …

‘This tablet and the organ in the Church are erected to the memory of those members of this Church who laid down their lives in the Great War 1914- 1918, whose names are given herewith also as an act of thanksgiving for the safe return of the many others from this Church who served in the war.’
‘On waters deep in the treacherous mud.
On rock bound heights and burning sand.
They poured the offering of their blood.
They kept the honour of the land.’
A.W. Leeson

 

RUGBY REMEMBERS HIM

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This article on Frederick Charles Pratt was researched and written for a Rugby Family History Group [RFHG] project, by John P H Frearson and is © John P H Frearson and the Rugby Family History Group, November 2016.

23rd Sep 1916. Fatal Accident to a Soldier

FATAL ACCIDENT TO A SOLDIER.

As Gunner Edward Brady, R.F.A., was cycling down Spoilbank Hill in the direction of Clifton he collided with Mr Billing, of Caldecott Street, and Miss Hall, of Clifton, who were walking in the same direction. The cyclist was thrown on his head, and sustained a badly fractured skull and other injuries. The pedestrians were also considerably shaken. Assistance was procured, and Gunner Brady was conveyed to the Hospital of St Cross, where he died on Saturday morning. His home is at Edinburgh.

The inquest was held at the Police Court, Rugby, on Tuesday afternoon, Mr E F Hadow was the coroner, and Mr B Patchett was chosen foreman of the jury.

Dr Clement Dukes stated that deceased was admitted to the Hospital of St Cross between 10.30 and 11 on Friday evening last week. He was accompanied by another doctor, who telephoned to witness, stating that he had done all he could for the man, and there was no necessity for him to come to the hospital that evening. Witness saw Brady the following morning, and found he was suffering from concussion of the brain only, but he could not ascertain any fracture. Witness was called to deceased at about a quarter to twelve, and when he arrived found that life was extinct. He was satisfied that the cause of heath was haemorrhage, which might have come on suddenly, making the body rigid, and in that rigidity he died. Such a thing was quite common in the case of concussion of the brain. Deceased was unconscious at the time he came under his care.

Elizabeth Cook, married woman, living at Denstone, Glasgow, identified the body as that of her brother, and he was 25 years of age. He resided in Glasgow until the outbreak of war, when he joined the R.F.A as a reservist, he having previously served three years with the colours. He came to Rugby from Scotland five weeks ago, and when he left the North he could not ride a bicycle.

Elizabeth Mary Sutton, wife of A Sutton, of 23 Charlotte Street, Rugby, said deceased was billeted with them from August 22nd until quite recently. He was a quiet, steady man and a total abstainer. On the 10th of September he left them to go into billets at Clifton, and on the 15th inst she met him in the Market Place, Rugby, and told him to go round to her house to have an injury on the hand bandaged. When she arrived home at eight o’clock he was still there with two other soldiers of the same section. He left about 9.30 with his bicycle. He had not learned to ride long, but he occasionally used a bicycle when he was living with her. When he left the house on the night in question his bicycle was in good condition, so far as she knew, and the lamps were lit. She told him to be careful, and he said he would be all right ; he had every confidence in himself.

Ernest Walter Billing, clerk, of 19 Caldecott Street, Rugby, said on Friday evening he and a young lady were walking in the direction of Clifton. He was pushing a bicycle, and they were walking on the extreme left-hand side of the road. Both his lamps were lit. When they were half-way down the hill near the railway bridge he heard a cry from behind, and almost immediately afterwards something collided with him and knocked him down. It subsequently transpired that it was the deceased man and his bicycle. Witness had not seen him coming, or heard anything of him until the shout. There was not time for him to turn round after he heard deceased. It was simply a “ yell and a smash.” Witness was stunned, and when he came round he found deceased lying on his back in the road, his head pointing towards Clifton, and the bicycle was lying near him. The young lady pulled the bicycle off witness. Deceased was unconscious, and witness and his companion did what they could to restore him. He was bleeding profusely from a wound on his face, and his head was covered with blood. Shortly afterwards a soldier came along, and they carried deceased to the side of the road, and witness sent the soldier for assistance on his bicycle. A motor lorry came along shortly afterwards, and deceased was placed in this and conveyed to the hospital. Witness received an injury to the bottom of the back where he was struck by deceased’s bicycle.

Dora Hall, who was present with the last witness, said she was knocked down on to the grass by the force of the impact, and her head struck the road. She could not tell whether she was knocked down by a bicycle or by one of the men. She was the first to recover, and found both the men unconscious, and the bicycle was lying on her companion. His lamps went out immediately the collision took place. Mr Billing subsequently recovered consciousness, and they then did what they could for Pte Brady.

The Coroner described the occurrence as one of those regrettable accidents which might occur at any time. There seemed to be a suggestion that this unfortunate man was not so expert in riding a bicycle as he might have been.

The jury returned a verdict of “ Accidental death,” and added that they thought the front brake of the bicycle was not sufficiently strong for such a steep hill. They expressed their sympathy with the relatives of the deceased, and the Coroner concurred in this.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

A war-marriage of local interest took place on the 14th Inst, at the Wesleyan Church, Ulverston, between Armament-Staff-Sergt Stribling and Hilda, youngest daughter of Mr and Mrs John Ferry, of “ Southgate,” Elsee Road, Rugby. The ceremony was performed by the brother of the bride, the Rev John Wilson Ferry, of Measham. The bride’s simple robe of ivory eolienne was enhanced by a veil of fine point lace. She was given away by her father, and attended by a number of V.A nurses in uniform from Fairview Auxiliary Hospital, of which she is sister-in-charge. All the wounded men in the hospital sufficiently convalescent were present at the ceremony, and formed a guard of honour as the bride and bridegroom left the church. The marriage was by license owing to the bridegroom’s immediate return to the front.

WARWICKSHIRE YEOMANRY IN EGYPT.

Mr R H Myers, headmaster of St Matthew’s School, has received the following interesting letter from an “ old boy ” who is an N.C.O in the Warwickshire Yeomanry, now on active service in Egypt :-

“ I thought perhaps you might like an account of our recent doings out here during the attack on the Canal by a mixed force of Turks and Germans. They were supported by artillery, but did not manage to being their larger pieces nearer than Katia. I should think the size of the guns captured in front of Romani was equal to our 3-inch, but in subsequent fights they threw 6-inch shells at us.

“ On August 4th we took part in repelling the Turks’ attack on the rail-head, and in the afternoon we led the flank counter-attack. The enemy attempted to bring up reinforcements, but our machine guns got on them, and mowed lines down as they came over the sand ridges. It was during this fight that Lieut Loverock was killed. He was leading his troop round the enemy’s position when a sniper got him through the head. I helped to place him on a horse. He is buried at a place called Pelusium.

“ The next day we attacked Katia. The enemy were entrenched and supported by guns of large calibre throwing high explosive shells. We had no artillery, and were, therefore, compelled to retire ; but the next day a move was made in conjunction with infantry. When we arrived we were surprised and pleased to find Katia evacuated. We were able to chase this enemy as far as Oghratina, returning to Katia, where we rested the next day. I say rested, but there were guards and patrols to do, though no actual fighting. One would like to write an account of the precautions taken, but this is not permissible at present.

“ The next day we made a move to Oghratina, with the object of ascertaining where the enemy had placed their guns. For about five hours we were shelled vigorously, but fortunately not much damage was done, our casualties being chiefly amongst the horses. After occupying Oghratina we moved up to Bir-el-Abd, where the enemy had constructed earthworks and trenches with a view to holding the place. Our artillery served us excellently here, searching the ground systematically for a good distance. The enemy had evidently moved off in a great hurry, as they left quite a lot of stores, &c. There were many of them dead and wounded in front of the position. We searched the battlefield afterwards, and found many groups of dead sitting as if asleep behind bushes or in gun-pits. They were not all Turks, of course ; here and there we came across some of our own men stretched out as if trying to reach the positions, when the end came. We have seen some terrible sights, but one tries to forget the horrible side, and think only of the cause for which we are fighting.

“ We stayed a few days at D-, but as the water was infected with cholera germs we moved elsewhere.

“ The plague of flies is fearful, and has to be seen to make one believe that there could be so many in one place at one time.

“ At Katia there is an ancient well and cypress tree, said to have been where Joseph watered and sheltered on his way in Egypt. The water tasted like milk to us, but we were not allowed to drink it on our return.”

LOCAL CASUALTIES.

Lieut J J McKinnell, of the Royal Warwicks, son of the Chairman of Rugby Urban District Council, has been wounded in the leg, and is now in a hospital at Oxford.

The following Rugby men have been wounded :—Sergt E R Bulter, Pte E Ingram, R.W.R, Sapper F Armstrong, R.E, and Pte E Hempstock, Rifle Brigade, Pte W Quartermain and Pte A A Fox, R.W.R. ; Pte J W Dunn, South Staffords ; Lance-Corpls A W Bottrill and H L P Tomlin, Northants Regt ; Lance-Corpl J W Oliver, R.W.R., Hillmorton.

The following Rugby names have appeared in recent casualty lists :—Killed : Pte H Lines, R.W.R, Pte F J Nichols, King’s Own Lancashire Regiment, and Driver P G Major, R.F.A. Missing : Pte G Lock, Norfolk Regiment ; Pte C H Bland and Pte F H Boyes, Royal Berkshire Regiment.

Gunner A J White, of the Rugby Howitzer Battery, son of Mr and Mrs W White, 22 Grosvenor Road, has been severely wounded in the side with shrapnel, and is now in hospital at Manchester. Previous to the War he was a fireman on the L & N-W Railway.

WOLSTON.

CORPL SILAS POXON AWARDED THE MILITARY MEDAL.

Corpl Poxon, of the Royal Engineers, has been awarded the Military Medal. This has caused great satisfaction not only to his relatives but to the whole of the inhabitants. He is the second son of Mr J and Mrs Poxon, of the Rose and Crown Hotel. He joined the Royal Engineers on the 1st of September, 1914, and is now with a signal section in France, where he has been for upwards of 16 months. He has been in a number of engagements, but with the exception of slight ill-effects to his eyes from a gas attack, has come through unscathed. Like his father, Mr John Poxon, he is well known and respected in the district, and is very popular with his comrades in his Company. He is 23 years of age, strongly built, and very unassuming. Even in writing home to his father he seemed to mention his award as a secondary consideration, for he did not refer to it until towards the end of the letter, and then did not state for what conspicuous act he received it. As a boy, Corpl Poxon was a pupil at Ryton-on-Dunsmore School, where his father then resided. He afterwards attended Bablake School, Coventry. The staff and scholars of both schools will be proud of his success.

WOUNDED.—Private W Drinkwator, Royal Warwicks, son of Mr Joseph Drinkwater, was wounded some short time ago. He received a shrapnel wound in the foot, and was sent to Cardiff Hospital, where he is now progressing favourably.

VOLUNTEER CORPS INSPECTION.

The higher commands in the new Volunteer Force have already been gazetted, including that of Col D F Lewis, C.B, as county commandant of the Warwickshire Regiment ; and on Sunday last Colonel Lewis attended to inspect the Rugby Volunteer Corps in Caldecott’s Piece, when 100 men were on parade, under the command of Mr C H Fuller. Col F F Johnstone (in command of the 2nd Battalion) and Major F Glover (acting adjutant) were also present.

The Corps was drawn up in line, and after presenting arms, Col Lewis passed down the ranks. The Corps then marched past in column of route, an afterwards in column of platoons, Col Lewis taking the salute. Some Corps movements under Mr Fuller, and afterwards under Mr Haigh (second in command), were then gone through. The platoons and the recruits were also exercised in platoon drill under their Commanders ; and Col Lewis, in addressing the recruits, congratulated them on the progress they were making, and said that he felt sure that they would appreciate the benefit of their training.

Addressing the rest of the Corps, Col Lewis said that he noted a very marked improvement since he last met them in October. Important duties had now been assigned to the Corps in lines of communication, and he was responsible himself for finding the necessary men for this duty. He urged each man to be a recruiting sergeant and increase the numbers. The unexpected was constantly happening, and they must not allow themselves to be taken by surprise. It was silly to say there was no chance of their country being placed in danger ; they must, above all things, be prepared, and he hoped that every man who was able to join the Corps would realise this fact, and become a Volunteer without delay. It would be seen later on how important this matter was in the interests of the country.
MECHANICAL TRANSPORT
Army Service Corps.

An Officer will attend at RUGBY DRILL HALL on MONDAYS between 11.30 and 1 o’clock and 2 to 4.30 in each week until further notice for the purpose of examining men for M.T., A.S.C.
Applicants must be experienced Motor Drivers, Fitters, or Turners.

F. F. JOHNSTONE, Lt.-Colonel, Recruiting Officer, Drill Hall, Rugby:
16th Sept., 1916.

WOUNDED SOLDIERS AT THE EMPIRE.—About 100 wounded soldiers from the “ Te Hira,” Pailton, and Bilton Red Cross Hospitals visited the picture matinee at the Empire on Monday afternoon. This matinee is always free to wounded soldiers from the hospitals.

IN MEMORIAM.

SHONE.—In loving memory of our dear brother Tom, who was killed in action, September 25th, 1915.
“ He sleeps, not in his native land.
But ’neath some foreign skies,
And far from those that loved him best ;
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—From FLO and HORACE.

SHONE.—In loving memory of Rifleman Tom Shone, 12th Rifle Brigade, who was killed in action at Loos, September 25th, 1915.
“ 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.”
—From FATHER, MOTHER, and SISTERS.

STENT.—In loving memory of Percy Victor Stent, who was killed in action September 25th, 1915.
“ Death divides, but memory lingers.”
-From Mr. and Mrs. HARBAN and Family.

STENT.—In loving memory of Corpl. P. V. Stent, killed 25th September, 1915. Sadly missed.
“ One of the first to answer the call,
For the land he loved he gave his all ;
Somewhere in France, in a nameless grave,
Lies my dear son among the brave.”
—From his MOTHER & FATHER, BROTHER & SISTERS.

29th Jul 1916. Some After Effects of the Great Offensive

SOME AFTER EFFECTS OF THE GREAT OFFENSIVE.

An artillery officer who is in the great offensive writes to a friend in Rugby :- “ For days before the attack we were firing continuously, and on the actual day we got rid of a prodigious amount of ammunition. Fortunately[?], there was a bit of a lull after the attack, and we got some well-needed rest. So tired was one of my Sergeants that a rat gnawed at his face as he was lying in his dug-out. In a sleepy way he brushed it on one side, but it only returned, and finally he slept on, to find his face a mass of blood in the morning.

“ As for my Subalterns, they did nothing but eat and sleep for many days.

“ The Battery did very well, especially —who was complimented on the “ gallantry and initiative ” which he displayed.

“ It was rather sad to see our wounded come back, but they all seemed very cheery, and generally were hugging a German helmet, cap, pistol, or something as a souvenir. We escaped very fortunately in the casualty line, only having one N.C.O and two horses wounded, but on the day of the attack the Bosches fired gas shells at us, which made us all very sick and faint. On the whole, however, our worst enemy is the rain. There have been some extraordinary heavy showers, which have flooded our gun-pits and dug-outs at times. We are experts at mud shovelling, but it takes a lot of work and ingenuity to keep our homes from washing down. Getting out of bed in the morning is a work of fine art. We sleep in bunks in two rows, and the puzzle is, how to get into your boots without stepping on the floor, which, has or three inches of mud. It’s Wonderful how clever one gets at standing on one leg. The trenches are of course, very often waist deep in water, and it is often a choice between staying in and getting wet through, or jumping, out and risking a bullet. All the same we manage to keep merry and bright.”

WOLSTON.

AT CONTALMAISON.—Pte T Webb, writing to a friend says : “ Just to let you know I and the Wolston boys are still in the pink after a few days with the Germans. No doubt you have been having good news of the ‘boys’ this last few days. I shall never forget it. Talk about the Loos and Neave Chapelle battles, this was the worst I have ever been in. It was on July 8th when we had orders to get ready and stand-to. For five hours our artillery, with all sorts of shells, bombarded the village of Contalmaison, till there was hardly a wall or house left standing. The time came, and over we went with fixed bayonets and bombs. We had about 250 yards to go. We got there, and what a game we had chasing the Germans in and out of cellars and dug-outs. After holding on to the village a little time we had to retire owing to shells and machine gun fire from the Germans, but a little later on we made again for the village, and secured it this time. It was a sight to see the Germans lying about. We made 60 prisoners, and they seemed glad to be taken. One of them, who could speak rather good English, said they had just come from Verdun for a rest, and then the English started on them. One chap had the chance to get back to his lines, but refused to do so. They were rather tall, but only old men and boys, 16 or 50. We were up to our knees in mud and water, but they could not shift the Worcester sauce, which was a bit too strong for them. We hung on until we got relieved by another division the next night. We have pushed them back a few miles this time. It was a treat to look round their dug-outs. One I went down was about 40ft under the ground, fitted up with several compartments. It was more like an hotel, with spring beds, tables, and everything for use. On the walls were all sorts of photos and picture postcards from relatives and friends from Germany. The kitchen took our eye most ; it was fitted up with cooking stoves, boilers for making soup, and pots of all sorts. I think they were there, as they thought, for the duration of the War ; but we caught them napping, and use their hotel for ourselves now. We are having a quiet rest, and hope to be with them again very soon.”

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mr Evan Percy Biddles, of Clifton, who has been in Paraguay, South America, for four years, his given up a good post there, and has returned home to serve his country.

Second-Lieut S A Miller-Hallett, South Wales Borderers, killed on July 11th, was in the Rugby School Cricket XI in 1908 and 1909. He was the second son of Mr A Miller-Hallett, of Chelsfield, whose XI provided very good club cricket in Kent some years ago.

Lieut A H Hales, Wiltshire Regiment, killed on July 5th, was a versatile athlete. Educated at Rugby and Corpus, Oxford, he gained his rowing Blue, and was at No. 3 in the Varsity crews of 1904 and 1905. As a Rugby footballer he was in his School XV in 1900, and afterwards played for the Harlequins and Monkstown. He was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry in March, 1915.

Tuesday was the last day for unattested men who had not received calling up papers to report under the Military Service Act, but, probably owing to the thorough manner in which the calling-up process has been gone through locally, only one man reported at Rugby Drill Hall.

Mr Harry Hoare, so well known a few years ago in connection with the Rugby, Football, Cricket, and Hockey Clubs, now holds the rank of Major in the Army Service Corps, and Acts as Senior Supply Officer to the 38th Welsh Division.

SERGT J SOMERS, V.C, WOUNDED.

Sergt James Somers, of the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers, formerly billeted with Mrs Burns, Corbett Street, Rugby, who gained the Victoria Cross in the Dardenelles, was wounded for the third time in the great advance, and is at present in hospital at Newcastle.

LOCAL CASUALTIES.

The following Rugby men, belonging to the Rifle Brigade, have been reported wounded :—Rifleman J F Earl (5556), Rifleman J Hughes (235), Rifleman F P Liddington (751), Acting-Corpl A Packer (1283), Rifleman H Fulham (8), and Rifleman T C Smith (2426).

Corpl P Hammond, of E Co, R.W.R, son of Mr W D Hammond, 1 Kimberley Road, was wounded in the face on June 19th, but has now recovered and returned to the firing line.

Mr and Mrs W Aland, of 30 Arnold Street, received news on Sunday that their son, Pte Roy Aland, of the Warwicks, had been severely wounded by gun shot, the head, shoulders, back, and both arms and both legs being involved. The parents went over to France to see their son without delay. Pte Aland was employed as a foreman at Rugby when he enlisted, and has spent sixteen months in the trenches.

William Ewart Davenport, only son of Mr and Mrs A Davenport, of Harborough Magna, was killed in action on July 19th. Deceased was 18 years of age, and previous to the war was employed by the L & N.-W Railway as a cleaner. In a letter to the bereaved parents, his officer says : “ An officer and three telegraphists, including your son, were engaged on telephone work. The shelling was so severe that they took shelter in a dug-out. Immediately a shell dropped on this dug-out, killing all the occupants. The bodies were recovered and buried in a cemetery back of the lines.” The officer adds : — “ He was always cheerful, kind, obliging, and willing to do anything to help and further his work. Your son was a hard-working telephonist, who took a keen interest in his work, and was not afraid to go into the danger zone if it was necessary in the course of his duty.”

Flags were flying half-mast at the L & N.-W Stations and at sub-stations to Rugby, early in the week, as the result of the news that two of the late employes—C W Standish, of the Northamptonshire Regiment, and C A Jeeves, of the King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry—had been killed in the general advance in France. Standish was a cleaner, whose home is at Peterborough. He had a leg amputated in France, and was brought to a hospital in England, where gangrene set in, and he died. Jeeves came from Bedford. This makes six men connected with the Rugby Engine Shed who have been killed, and, in addition, nineteen have been wounded.

Mrs Ward, of 170 Lawford Road, New Bilton, received on the 7th inst. an official communication that her son, Pte Thomas Walter Ward, who has been reported missing since August 6, 1915, is now regarded as dead. Pte Ward, who enlisted in the Oxford and Bucks Regiment in September, 1914, was home on sick leave in June of last year, and, re-joining his regiment, was shortly afterwards transferred to the Hampshire Regiment, and left England for the Dardanelles. Pte Ward was a prominent member of the New Bilton Rugby Football and Cricket Clubs, and was very popular with all who knew him. Previous to the War he worked at Willans & Robinson’s. Much sympathy is felt for Mr and Mrs Ward in their great loss. They have a younger son, Lance-Corpl Sidney Ward, serving in France.

Lieut J Greenwood, of the Northampton Regiment, the well-known Rugby and Newbold footballer, is in hospital at Birmingham suffering, from wounds. Lieut Greenwood, who before the War was a teacher at Eastlands School, took part in the fighting at Fricourt during the first stage of the advance, and was wounded by a sniper in a tree on July 12th. His collar-bone is badly fractured, and he is also suffering severely from shock ; but his many friends will be pleased to hear that he is now making good progress.

CORPL A M BLADES, OF BROWNSOVER.

On Thursday Mr. Tom Blades, of Brownsover, received the sad news that his son, Corpl Albert Moisey Blades, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, has died of wounds received during the recent fighting in France. Deceased, who was 21 years of age, enlisted early in the war.

B.T.H MEN KILLED.

Acting Sergt C F Miller, R.E, and Pte Pearson, Siege Co, R.E, two employes of the B.T.H, have been killed in the recent advance. Sergt Miller, who was an Irishman, was formerly in the Test, and Pte Pearson was employed in the Generator Dept.

A BRAVE SOLDIER.

Corpl Doyle, whose death was reported last week, lost his life under the following circumstances :—After the attack on the German trenches volunteers were called for to bring in the wounded. Corpl Doyle was one of the first to volunteer. He brought in one wounded soldier safely, and was bringing in another when he was shot dead. His Commanding Officer (Capt Lucas) says : “ His conduct was beyond all praise. A better or braver soldier never lived.”

RIFLEMAN JOHN LAMBOURNE, OF CLIFTON.

The death took place, as the result of founds received in the great offensive on July 9th, of Rifleman John Lambourne, Rifle Brigade, son of Mr Wm Lambourne, of Clifton. Rifleman Lambourne, who was only 17 years of age, joined the Army when he was 16, and had been in France since last December. He was formerly employed at the B.T.H Works.

DUNCHURCH

PTE J HUGHES, of the K.R.R, has arrived in Birmingham suffering from wounds. Of two companies of his regiment, in one of which he was fighting, there were only seven men left. He it the eldest son of Mr and Mrs J Hughes, Daventry Road, Dunchurch.—Pte R Elkington, Mill Street, who has been in many engagements, is home for a few days before going to Egypt.—Lieut J W Barnwell, R.W.R, Daventry Road, is suffering from wounds in France. Mr Barnwell has gone to see him.— Pte Carter, of the Territorials has also been injured, and is in London.

BRINKLOW.

ROLL OF HONOUR.—The parishioners of Brinklow extend their deepest sympathy to Mr and Mrs T Kenney and family in their grief at the loss of their son, Roland Kenney, who has been killed in action during our great offensive. Roland joined the Territorials just prior to the War, and like many others, volunteered for service abroad, where he has been for over twelve months. He was of a particularly lively nature, and was always a prominent figure in all the outdoor sports the village. He undoubtedly made a good soldier, and was accordingly promoted to the rank of sergeant.

LONG ITCHINGTON.

MONTAGU PEARSON KILLED.—On Monday morning the news was officially confirmed of the death of Lance-Corpl Montagu Pearson (South Staffs Regiment), eldest son of Mr and Mrs W J Pearson. He was killed while fighting in France on the 1st inst. Previous to the War he had been employed at the B.T-H Works at Rugby, and enlisted from there on August 17, 1914. He took part in the operations in Gallipoli, where he was wounded on August 9, 1915. Last January he paid a short visit home. He was 23 years old. Lance-Corpl Pearson was of fine athletic build and a keen lover of sport. For several years he had done good service for the local Football Club, of which he latterly held the position of captain. He will be greatly missed by many.

THE ROLL OF HONOUR.—On Sunday the Vicar (Rev W E Ellis) made feeling reference to the three deaths which have, within the past three weeks, occurred in the ranks of our local soldiers—Rowland Evetts, Montagu Pearson, and Sutton Russell. The loss of the latter he particularly instanced as one which touched himself very keenly. From the time when a very little lad he attended the Church Schools he found Joseph Sutton Russell a very regular attendant there, and also as a member of the Church Choir. From the time of his confirmation he had always been a devout and regular communicant. The sermon was followed by the singing of Dr Neale’s hymn, “ They whose course on earth is o’er.”

SOUTHAM.

KILLED IN ACTION.—News was received on Friday last week of the death in action of Pte Arthur Adams, of the Manchester “ Pals ” Regiment. Deceased, who was highly respected in Southam, was the eldest son of Mr and Mrs H Adams, of Oxford Street, was of a bright and cheery disposition. Before the War Pte Adams was a grocer in Manchester. He leaves a widow, for whom much sympathy is felt.

DEATHS.

DAVENPORT.—On July 19th (killed in action), William Ewart, R.F.A, only son of Mr and Mrs. A. Davenport, Post Office, Harborough Magna. Aged 18 years.
“ He sleeps not in his native land.
But neath some foreign skies ;
And far from those that loved him best.
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—From his loving mother, father, and sisters Jess and Della.

LENTON.—In loving memory of William Henry (Will), dearly beloved son of the late Mr. and Mrs. T. Lenton, Wood Street, who died from wounds in France, July 19,1916, aged 36 years.
“ Lord, ere I join the deadly strife,
And battles terrors dare ;
Fain would I render heart and life
To Thine Almighty care.
And when grim death in smoke wreaths robed,
Comes thundering o’er the scene,
What fear can reach a soldier’s heart
Whose trust in Thee has been.”

MANNING.—On July 11, 1916, died of wounds in France, Thomas Manning, Northants Regiment, of Braunston, beloved husband of Georgina Manning, of Leamington Spa.

SEENEY.—Killed in action in France, July 2, 1916, Signaller W. Seeney, R.W.R.,of Bourton, aged 18.
“ We loved him—oh! no tongue can tell
How much we loved him and how well ;
His fresh young life could not be saved,
And now he sleeps in a soldiers grave.”
—Deeply mourned by his loving MOTHER, SISTERS and BROTHERS.

IN MEMORIAM.

TOMLINSON.—In loving Memory of William Tomlinson, K.R.R.’s, killed in action at Hooge, July 30,1915.
“ 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.”
-From his loving father, mother, sisters, and brothers.

PRESTON.—In loving Memory of Rifleman Jack Preston, 7th K.R.R., killed in action, July 30, 1915.
“ Somewhere in France there is a nameless grave,
Where sleeps our loved one amid the brave.
One of the rank and file, he heard the call,
And for the land he loved he gave his all.”
—Father, mother, and sisters.

REDFEARN.—In loving Memory of Rifleman Joseph Charles (Tim) Redfearn, 7th K.R.R., died of wounds, July 21, 1915.
“ Had he asked us, well we know
We should cry, ‘ O spare this blow.’
Yes, with streaming tears should pray,
‘ Lord, we love him ; let him stay.’”
—His wife and daughters, High Street, Thame.

SMITH.—In loving memory of Herbert, the dearly loved son of Frederick Smith. Killed in action in Flanders, July 30, 1915.—“ We loved you well ; God loved you best.”—FATHER, SISTER and BROTHERS.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.

A BRITISH SOLDIER.

To the Editor of the Advertiser.

SIR,—I was talking to a wounded boy of the Hampshire Regiment on the platform of Rugby Station the other day. I asked him what his wounds were ? He replied : “ My right arm is shattered, three fingers off left hand,” and he also had a large gash across one cheek. He had been at Loos, Hulluck, and Ypres ; and, as he termed it, had had the biggest part of a shell. He added : “ I am no more use, sir; but I am glad I went.” A little thing like this, I think, helps to show the spirit of our men and the stuff they are made of.—I am, yours faithfully,

CORBET SMITH.
July 26, 1916.

EGGS FOR WOUNDED SOLDIERS.—At Rugby Railway Mission a collection of eggs was made on Sunday afternoon, and no fewer than 250 were received, including 64 from the men working in the Locomotive Department at Rugby Station, to whom a special appeal had been made. Mr J J Thompson gave the address at the service, which was well attended, and the eggs, having been received by Mr Frank Ward, were placed in a large nest, made of hay and decorated with the national colours by Mrs Beard. The eggs were afterwards distributed between the three local Red Cross Hospitals.

PRISONERS OF WAR FUND.

The usual monthly meeting of the Executive Committee of the Rugby Prisoners of War Fund was held on Wednesday.

The Hon Secretary (Mr J R Barker) reported that to date the subscriptions amounted to £545 13s 10d, and the expenditure on food parcels &c, was £432 11s 5d, leaving a balance in hand of £113 2s 5d, sufficient for six weeks’ parcels. During the week subscriptions amounted to £18 17s 4d, including the sum of £8 3s collected at the V.T.C Sports on Saturday last. This was the first week for some time that the receipts exceeded the expenditure.

All outstanding accounts were passed for payment, and as this would be the last meeting of the financial year, the Secretary was instructed to prepare the accounts for audit, so that a balance-sheet could be issued early next month.

This week’s parcels contained ¼-lb tea, jar of marmalade, one large tin salmon, one large tin fruit, one tin of cafe au lait, one tin potted meat, one tin condensed milk, tin cocoa, tablet of soap, ¼-lb sugar.

RAILWAY CONCESSION TO MUNITION WORKERS.—For the convenience of munition workers who have to go from Rugby to Coventry in the early morning the L & N-W Railway have arranged to run a train from Rugby at 5.5 a.m, and arrive at Coventry at 5.20 a.m. It will commence on Monday, July 31st, and be continued for a fortnight to see whether the number of passengers justifies permanent running of the train.

22nd Jul 1916. Helping the Prisoners of War

HELPING THE PRISONERS OF WAR.

A meeting of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee was held on Wednesday evening. Mr Wm Flint, C.C, Chairman of the Committee, presiding. Also present : Mrs Lees, Rev Father Jarvis, and Messrs A E Donkin, W H Clay, C J Newman, G W Walton, J Mellor, and the Hon Secretary, Mr J R Barker. Apologies for absence were received from Mrs Blagden, Mr F R Davenport, and Mr S H Weobley.

The Chairman, in reviewing the past work of the Committee, said that, starting with a list of 13 prisoners of war, the work had grown to such an extent that the Committee were now looking after the welfare of 55 men from Rugby and the villages. The expenditure had increased so very considerably that the Executive thought the Committee should meet to consider what steps should be taken to maintain the weekly parcels to the prisoners of war.

The Hon Secretary presented a statement of accounts to date. Subscriptions and donations amounted to £526 16s 6d, and the cost of food parcels and other expenditure was £417 8s 2d, which left a balance in hand of £109 8s 4d. He was glad to be able to report that during the past week there had been a slight improvement in the subscriptions, and although the money in hand would only provide for a few weeks parcels, he was glad to be able to report that several local efforts were being made to raise funds. It was, however, very necessary that, without delay, the Committee made arrangements to secure sufficient money to carry on the work for several months ahead, especially in view of the possibilities of further names being added to the list.

Various schemes were suggested and agreed upon, the first effort to be a Flag Day, Mr Newman and Mr Barker agreeing to carry out the arrangements as early as possible.

COVENTRY MUNITIONS TRIBUNAL.

The following local cases were heard before Mr Carmichael at the Coventry Munitions Tribunal on Friday in last week.

Alick J Tabor, Woolscott, near Rugby, applied for a leaving certificate from the B.T.H.—The case was adjourned from a previous Court. Another adjournment for four weeks was granted ; and the Court instructed the lad to return to work.

G North, 113 Railway Terrace, Rugby, was fined 10s for absenting himself from work at the B.T.H without leave for the whole of the week ending July 8th, the fine to be paid in four weekly instalments.

A King, 385 Clifton Road, Rugby, was charged by the B.T.H Company with being absent from work without leave on Saturday, July 8th, for 8¾ hours on Monday, and the whole of Tuesday, July 11th. The man’s previous time-keeping had been bad, and he was fined 15s and ordered to pay in weekly instalments of 2s 6d.

F H Shorthose, 19 Market Street, Rugby, was summoned for refusing to work overtime at the B.T.H on Saturday afternoon, July 8th, thereby delaying skilled men.—He was fined 10s (2s 6d per week), and was warned by the Chairman regarding his defiant attitude before the Court.

J Asquith, Shawell, Rugby, employed at the B.T.H, was charged with failing to work diligently on the morning of July 8th, and the case was dismissed owing to the conflicting evidence. Asquith asked for expenses ; but, in reply, the Chairman informed him that he was lucky to get off.

POST LETTERS EARLY.—The Postmaster-General calls attention to the fact that in view of the restricted number of postal collections and deliveries now afforded throughout the kingdom, it is particularly desirable that letters should be posted as early in the day as possible. In many rural districts there is only one delivery, and letters for such districts, unless posted in time for early evening mails, will not be delivered until the second day after posting. Early posting also facilitates the work of the Post Office sorters, and on account of the great depletion of staff for military purposes this assistance will be much appreciated.

PUBLIC BATHS.

The Baths Committee reported the receipt of an application from the Officer Commanding a Squadron, Royal Flying Corps for facilities for his men to attend the Baths at a reduced rate. They had informed him that free use of the swimming bath was granted to all soldiers or sailors in uniform on condition that they provided their own towels and drawers, or paid the regulation price for same. The numbers attending the baths and the amounts received for the month of June as compared with the same month in 1915, were as follows :—Baths, &c : Swimming bath, 1916, 5,511 ; 1915, 6,008. Slipper baths, 1916, 1,455; l915, 1,074[?]. Receipts, 1916, £54 10s 2d ; 1915, £56 10s 7d.-Approved on the motion of Mr Walker.

RESERVOIR GROUNDS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

The Water Committee had decided that the grounds at Brownsover Mill be opened during the summer from noon to 8.30 p.m (Sundays included) so long as no damage was done.—Adopted.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Capt the Earl of Clonmell, of the Warwickshire R.H.A, is transferred to the Territorial Force Reserve.

The Rev C T Bernard McNulty, M.A, vicar of Holy Trinity, Leamington, has recently been promoted from 4th to 3rd Class Chaplain, with the rank of Major, and has been appointed Senior Chaplain of his Division.

We are pleased to note that Capt G T Hilton, of North Street and Hillmorton Road, Rugby, has been mentioned in despatches for distinguished conduct in the field.

George E Middleditch, 1st Lieutenant, Oxon and Bucks L.I, was wounded at Ypres, France, some four weeks ago. Before the War Lieut Middleditch was an apprentice (premium) in the L & N-W Rly Erecting Shop. At the outbreak of the War he joined up at once as a private. He soon got promotion—first a lance-corporal, then a corporal, next a sergeant, then a commission as 2nd lieutenant, now 1st lieutenant ; and, we understand, has been recommended for a captaincy. He was wounded in the leg and back at Ypres, and is now well again. He visited the shop on Tuesday, and received a splendid ovation from his fellow-workmen and a very hearty send-off.

CASUALTIES TO RUGBY MEN IN THE GREAT ADVANCE.

Pte J F Holmes, East Surrey Regiment, son of Mr J Holmes, of Union Street, has been seriously wounded during the recent fighting.

Capt S Morris Bickersteth (O.R), a brother of the Rev Julyan K F Bickersteth, formerly of Rugby, was killed during the attack on Serre on July 1st. He was 23 years of age.

Mrs Greenwood, Kirstall, Lower Hillmorton Road, has received news that her son, Lieut J Greenwood, Northants Regiment, the well-known Rugby and Newbold footballer, has been wounded.

Other Rugby casualties reported recently are : Diver W Elkington (11137) killed ; and F H Warden (2168), F Burberry (275), and Sapper H Barrows, R.E. ; Ptes J Varney (Rugby), A Welsby (New Bilton), and T Lee (Swinford), wounded.

LANCE-CORPL W J COOPER OF HARBOROUGH MAGNA.

Lance-Corpl W J Cooper, R.W.R, son of Mr Jack Cooper, of Harborough Magna, was killed in action on June 26th. Lance-Corpl Cooper was a native of Newbold, but had spent most of his life at Harborough Magna. He was 30 years of age, and was called up as a reservist in August, 1914, and had been in France from the beginning of the war. Prior to the outbreak of hostilities, he was employed in the Cement Works at Newbold.

NEWBOLD SOLDIER REPORTED MISSING.

Mr Tom Smith, of Newbold, has received official intimation that his son, Rifleman Tom Smith, of the Rifle Brigade, was wounded on June 1st, and has been missing since that date. Rifleman Smith, who was about 23 years of age, was employed at the Cement Works before he enlisted at the commencement of the War.

Pte Wm Curtis, Leicester Regiment, another employee of the Cement Works, and son of Mr A Curtis, has written informing his parents that he has been wounded, and is now in hospital.

BRAUNSTON.

LOCAL CASUALTY.—Mrs J Manning received news last week that her son, Pte Thomas Manning, was wounded and in a base hospital in France ; and on Tuesday notification came that he had died. Mrs Manning has three other sons serving in the Army, two in France, and one at Salonica. Much sympathy is felt with the family in their bereavement.

HILLMORTON.

MRS CASHMORE of Lower Street, has received information that her youngest son, Pte F Cashmore, of the 1st Royal Irish Fusiliers, died of wounds received in the great push on the 6th inst. Previous to this Pte Cashmore had taken part in much fighting both at the Dardanelles and Egypt.

LONG ITCHINGTON.

CORPORAL CONSTABLE WOUNDED.—Mr and Mrs Ernest Constable have received an intimation from Corporal Harry Constable, stating that he is lying wounded in Firdale Hospital, Sheffield. The wounds are in both legs, right arm, and head, but he writes cheerfully, and it is hoped that he may effect a good recovery. It is barely six weeks since he was sent to the front.

DEATH OF PRIVATE SUTTON RUSSELL.-The sad news was received on Tuesday of the death of Private Joseph Sutton Russell in hospital of malarial fever on the 14th last. Private Russell enlisted in the Army Ordnance Corps in December, 1914, and was with the contingent in Mesopotamia. It was known that he had been in hospital, and only on Tuesday morning a post card was received from him, dated 6th June, on which he stated that he was out of hospital, and that his health was improving. So the shook caused by the news of his death was very great to all his relatives and friends, and, indeed, to the whole village. Before he joined the army, Private Russell had been for some years a clerk in the office at Messrs Kaye & Co’s Cement Works. He was also the Clerk to the Parish Council, assistant overseer, tax and rate collector, and Secretary to the Co-operative Society. He was of a genial temperament, and always ready to make himself useful. As a member of the Parish Church choir, and in many other capacities, he will be greatly missed. Private Russell was the life and soul at the Cricket Club in the pre-war days, and it was always a pleasure to witness his performance either as a bats man or a bowler. The deepest sympathy is felt for his widowed mother, brother and sisters, and for his fiancée, Miss Hilda Jeacock. His brother, Lance-Corpl Arthur Russell, is now in training in the Royal Warwicks.

FRANKTON.

KILLED IN ACTION.-News was received on Tuesday of the death of another of our brave village lads. Corporal Frank Doyle, a bright young fellow, was attached to the Berkshire Regiment. He enlisted early in the war. He was shot down at his post, with three more of his comrades. The sad news was conveyed to his widowed mother by the Rev R S Mitchison, of Barby, who motored to tell her. Much sympathy is felt throughout the village with Mrs Doyle in her sad loss. Mr Mitchison’s son-in-law is an officer in the same soldiers Company, and has been severely wounded.

WOLSTON.

Mr and Mrs John Orton have received news that their son, Pte H Orton, of the 1st Worcesters, has been wounded in the left hand. He is now in hospital in England, and progressing favourably. He has seen many months of fighting in France.

RIFLEMAN R B BUTLIN KILLED.—Mr J Butlin has received news of the death of his son, who was shot through the heart. He was one of Kitchener’s Army, who joined the King’s Royal Rifles. His death occurred on the 10th inst., and he was laid to rest at Potijze Military Cemetery, near Ypres. The inscription on the tomb was : “ He tried to do his duty.” Much sympathy is felt for Mr Butlin, who has lost his wife, a grandchild, and son in the space of a few months, and is himself an invalid. He has also received a sympathetic and comforting letter from the chaplain.

 

BISHOPS ITCHINGTON.

FROM THE FRONT.—Pte Thomas Thacker, of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, was slightly wounded in the latest attack on the West. Pte Thacker, who had previously been wounded, received some shrapnel in the ankle. He has been at his home since July 13th, and has made such good progress that he will return to his depot in the course of a few days.

DUNCHURCH.

SERGT W E CONSTABLE, youngest son of Mr and Mrs John Constable (formerly of Dunchurch), who joined the Royal Engineers early last year, has been mentioned in despatches by General Sir Douglas Haig, dated April 30th. He is to be warmly congratulated upon his distinction.

DEATHS.

CASHMORE.—Died of wounds in France,. Private F. Cashmore, 1st R.I.F., aged 24 years.

CHATER.—In loving Memory of our beloved and only child, Rifleman W. H. Chater, Machine. Gun Section, 12th R.B. Killed in action in France, June 30th, 1916, aged 31 years.
“ Sleep on, beloved, and take thy rest,
We loved you well, but God loved you best.”

COOK.—Died of wounds on July 8th, Cyril Edward, Second-Lieutenant, Royal Sussex Regiment, elder son of Sam Cook, Wargrave, Berks, and grandson of the late Mrs. Cook, of Hillmorton House, aged 23.

DOYLE.—In ever-loving memory of Corporal Frank Doyle, the dearly loved son of Betsy and the late Joseph Doyle, of Frankton. Killed in action at No Man’s Land, July 13, 1916.
“ He sleeps, not in his native land,
But ’neath some foreign skies,
And far from those that loved him best ;
In a hero’s grave he lies.”
—From his loving MOTHER, BROTHERS, and only SISTER (LIZ).

11th Sep 1915. Dogged Determination to Win

DOGGED DETERMINATION TO WIN.

Second-Lieut A K Bennett, of Elmdon House, Rugby, writes home from the Dardanelles in a letter dated 24th August (at which date he was fighting in the Anzac region), as follows:

“ We are now in the thick of it. I was sent of last night to piquet a line at a place called ‘Dead Man’s Hollow.’ We had to dig ourselves in under a perfect hail of bullets. We kept on digging up dead Turks, which stank like poison. It is fair murder out here : just this very instant one of our men has dropped with a wound in his thigh. They are using us as R.E and ordinary infantry. Our men stick it quite well.

“ The nights are very trying, however, for one’s nerves. There is not one step you can take without the fear of being mown down by machine guns or snipers.

“ I am quite well, but very tired. A wash, shave, or sleep is out of the question. The mail is the only enjoyment we get out here. France must be a picnic to this show. Now as I look in front of me I can see a large bay, and monitors are coming close into the shore to fire over our heads. They do excellent work round here.

“ I was taking a party of men to help to shift the wounded the other day, when a huge shell burst just over us. It was like having your back blown through your chest.

“ If you could never imagine how we are situated. The landing here must have been a miracle. Dust blows down our throats and parches them ; we may march miles up gullies and down saps without a drop of water. Every step you take feels as if a great piston was sticking the top of your head, and you simply keep on like a machine.

“ I have made up my mind to come through this lot somehow. Things are going on as well as can be expected, and we all fight on with the dogged determination to win.

RUGBY ENGINEER INJURED AT THE DARDANELLES.

Sapper T A Ramsey (Rugby), who is with the Royal Engineers at the Dardanelles, writing home, says :—“ We are again in the thick of it. We have been here only a few days, but in that time I have seen a lot, and also done something. The place where we are now cannot be compared with the one where we were before. The other place was a girls’ school compared with this. Ten of us were an a dangerous job a few nights ago. We had to go out in front of our trenches and bring the barbed wire fence (entanglements) in. It was a job, and we were under fire the whole time. Two of the party were wounded in this operation, and Sapper Ramsey continues : ” This was on a night previous to an attack at early dawn. We had to stand by all night, and most probably you will have seen from the papers how it came off before you get this letter. We have got plenty of work to do here, both good and dangerous, but I am glad to say all our company are standing it well, and I am feeling grand and in fine condition, and not in the least down-hearted and miserable.”

0n August 22nd Sapper Ramsey wrote stating that he was on a hospital ship owing to an accident which occurred to him on the previous Monday. While he was at work in a well he was injured in the ear and head by a pick, and unfortunately septic poisoning had set in. He anticipated undergoing an operation that afternoon.

RUGBY SOLDIER WOUNDED IN THE DARDANELLES.

Mr J W Colcutt, 6 Abbey Street, has received news that his son, Pte Ed Colcutt, 2nd Hants, was wounded in the ankle and heel by shrapnel bullets in the first week in August in the Dardanelles. Pte Colcutt, who enlisted at the outbreak of war, throwing up a clerical appointment in the B.T.H Lamp Factory to do so, is at present in a hospital at Alexandria, and is doing well.

WOLSTON.

FRANK ELLIOTT REPORTED KILLED.-Private Frank Elliott, the youngest son of Mr Charles and Mrs Elliott, of Brook Street, is reported to have been killed on the 10th August. The parents have not yet received official intimation from the War Office. They obtained the news through the following letter :—“Dear Mrs Elliott,-I am sending you a line, as Frank, being a great pal of mine here—and I am very sorry to say that his duty was finished on the 10th August—was shot through the heart, and died almost instantaneously, after a very gallant fight. Please excuse me writing, but I thought you would like to know. I am still safe, and trust to keep so. I think this is all. From yours, &c, T WALLACE.” Only on the 9th of August Frank Elliott was reported by a wounded soldier to have carried another wounded soldier two miles to a place of safety. While living at Wolston he was a member of the Brandon and Wolston Football Club, and played a good game at half-back. He was fighting at the Dardanelles.

GERMAN PRISONERS TALK ABOUT OUR ARTILLERY AND — PEACE.

A letter has been received from Lance-Corpl G H Tompkins, who is serving with the 5th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry in Flanders, as follows :- “ Where we were was the hottest fire in the whole line. Sleep was out of the question. Old soldiers told us they had never been through anything like it before. . . . Last Saturday our battalion paraded, and our Colonel addressed us for the work we had done, and said he must mention the special work done by six men. I was the sixth man, and I was commended for sticking to my post under heavy shell fire and cheering my men up. After it was over most of the men shook hands with me, and my sergeant-major told me he had put in my name for another stripe. . . . The prisoners we have taken tell us that the chief of topics of conversation in their trenched are our artillery—and peace.” Lance-Corpl G H Tompkins, before the war, was employed in the Coventry Works of the B.T.H Company.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Mr J S Brown, Coventry, having urged the Postmaster-General to reduce the parcel charges to the Expeditionary Force, has received a letter stating that as a considerable increase in the number of parcels would immediately follow reduction, it is not practicable to proceed further with the question which Mr Brown raised.

The “ Pals Company,” as such, has ceased to exist. Under the four-company system Rugby and Leamington each provide two platoons to form “ C ” Company. The Leamington platoons are Nos. 11 & 12.

St Thomas’s Hospital possesses a bed endowed anonymously in memory of Tom Hughes, the inscription being as follows :-“ March, 1899. Anon. Tom Hughes’ bed. In memory of Tom Hughes, Q.C, author of ‘Tom Brown’s School Days.’ Born 1823, died 1896.”

The Minister of Munitions has made an Order under section 4 of the Munitions of War Act, declaring 180 additional establishments, including Bluemels (Wolston), as controlled establishments under the Act as from Monday last. A total of 715 establishments have now been declared as controlled under the Act from the date of the first Order, July 12th to September 6th inclusive.

Mr Allan Hand, Conservative agent for the Rugby Division, is leaving Rugby on Sunday for a destination “ somewhere ” on the East Coast to join the 81st Provisional Battalion as second lieutenant. Mr Hand would have been accepted for foreign service some time ago, but was suffering from varicose veins, for which he underwent an operation last October, but it did not result in an entire cure. The War Office is now accepting for home service men who were not considered physically fit for active service.

There is no longer any secret as to the intentions of the Government in relation to men of recruitable age—from 19 to 41 years of age. Their names are available, as a result of national registration, and local authorities are busily engaged in transferring the necessary particulars to the much-discussed pink forms. These will shortly be handed to the military authorities, who will take steps to organise recruiting on much more extensive lines than at present. The voluntary system will, of course, be strictly adhered to.

The recent notice issued by the War Office in reference to rifles and ammunition has, it is stated, been received by Volunteer Training Corps with derision. The War Office has graciously announced that Volunteers will be permitted to purchase rifles and ammunition, but they attach a condition that rifles must not cost more than £2 10s, and ammunition not more than £5 per 1,000 rounds. It is pointed out that at the present time it is impossible to get a reliable weapon at the price mentioned. Ammunition, too, costs at least £6 per 1,000 rounds.

OLD MURRAYIAN ROLL OF HONOUR.

News has just been received at the Murray School that two other Old Murrayians, both of whom are well known to the younger generation of “ old boys,” have made the supreme sacrifice—Walter Ransome, who left the town about 12 years ago, was a steward on the Good Hope, and went down with the vessel in the battle in the Pacific ; and Rifleman Harold Evans, K.R.R, was killed in France on August 7th.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

The past week has been another good one so far as recruiting is concerned, and 17, the majority being Rugby men, have been attested at the Drill Hall, as under :—F Corbett, F H Potton, J Bennett, 0 Askew, J Bryan, P A Gilks, C Griffin, C J Wilson, F J Blundell, T Kenny, 220th Fortress Co, R.E ; A G Horsefall, R.A.M.C ; J Ellis, L New, A.S.C ; E Haynes, R.F.A ; A Burton, R.G.A ; T Kirby and H G Busson, Royal Warwicks.

THE RUGBY FORTRESS COMPANY.

Mr J J McKinnell. chairman of the Rugby Urban District Council, has received the following letter from the War Office under date September 8th :-

“ SIR,—I am commanded by the Army Council to offer you and those associated with you their sincere thanks for having raised the 220th (Army Troops) Company (Rugby), Royal Engineers, of which the administration has now been taken over by the Military Authorities.

The Council much appreciate the spirit which prompted your offer of assistance, and they are gratified at the successful results of the time and labour devoted to this object, which has added to the armed forces of the Crown the services of a fine body of men.

The Council will watch the future career of the Company with interest, and they feel assured that when sent to the front it will maintain the high reputation of the distinguished Corps of which it forms part.—I am, sir, your obedient servant, “ B B CUBITT.”

 

 

12th Jun 1915. A Fierce Struggle

A FIERCE STRUGGLE.

Pte A Goode, attached to the machine gun section of the 1st Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment, “ somewhere in France,” in a letter his father, 173 Cambridge Street, Rugby, says :-

“ I suppose by this time you will have read about the great fight we had on May 9th. I shall never forget it. We have named it “ The bloody Sunday.” We went into the trenches at ten o’clock on the Saturday night, and lay there during a bitterly cold night. At five o’clock on Sunday morning the big guns commenced their music, which was terrible, and it lasted an hour. Then came the order to advance to do or die. We had to go over five lines of breastworks, 200 yards of open ground between each. All the time the enemy were raining upon us shrapnel shells, “ coal-boxes,” and lead from machine guns ; but we never faltered, and as chum after chum went down we set our teeth and gripped out guns tighter. When we had passed the last breastwork we took a breather for two minutes ; then for the German trenches 350 yards in front—is was hell itself, I can tell you. We charged them with the bayonet, but it was beyond the power of man to get through their barbed wire fences. Blood, however, flowed like water ! But our time will come when we will avenge our brave chums who gave their lives on that field for home and country. The fight lasted through 24 hours, until the Monday. It was a terrible sights after we had finished to see dead and wounded. Never mind ; we are all ready and willing again when wanted ; but we are getting less in numbers—I mean we who came here first. Will the young men of England pluck up and come out and give us a hand ? It is about time some of them threw away the tennis bats and golf clubs and learn to use a rifle, and come out and help us. We have a very stubborn enemy, and he will take some shifting ; but by the help of men, guns, and ammunition, we shall do it—for we are still British and have the hearts of men. Pluck up, slackers, and give us a hand.”

IMPUDENT GERMAN SNIPERS.

Drummer W Newman, of the 7th Battery Royal Warwickshire Regiment, brother to Mr C J Newman, architect, of Rugby, in a letter from the front says:—“ The weather out here is grand, but it is enough to roast us as we do our sentry duty, which is nothing but standing and watching through a periscope at the enemy’s lines. They have been rather cheeky this time. For instance, during Saturday night one of their patrols must have been very near to ours, for in the morning, when we looked over the parapet, we saw fastened on a willow tree, about 200 yards away, a board with the words painted on it: ‘Przemysl Zunicherobert.’ The last word we take to mean ‘re-taken.’ However, if they come out doing those tricks too many times they will find a ‘pleasant surprise’ waiting for them in the way of a bomb or a shot from one of our patrols.”

CASUALTIES IN THE SEVENTH WARWICKSHIRE BATTALION.

The following casualties in the Warwickshire Territorial Battalion are reported under dates May 19th and 22nd :-

KILLED.—Brooks, 1168, Sergt E.

WOUNDED.—Evans, 2785, Pte R O ; Hobbs, 2632, Pte W R ; Shearsby, 2741, Pte A ; Tuggey, 2578, Pte W ; Ball, 1621, Pte R ; Blundell, 2452, Pte R ; Coltman, 1814, Lce-Corpl W C ; Cook, 2269, Pte J ; Dolman, 2649, Pte ; Dunn, 2511, Pte W ; Fowler, 2064, Pte W H ; Hughes, 1755, Pte J ; Mence, 1802, Pte F ; Ramsden, 2377, Pte J A ; Sadler, 1287, Lce-Corpl J ; Sale, 1674, Pte J ; Savage, 909, Pte W ; South, 1986, Sergt G ; Taylor, 1071, Corpl H A ; Ward, 2762, Pte E ; Wormell, 2536, Pte J

 

LOCAL CASUALTIES OF THE WAR.

“ E ” COMPANY’S CASUALTIES.

A member of “ E ” Company (now merged with “ C ” Company of the 7th Warwickshire Territorial Battalion), writing under date June 6th, says :-

“ The weather here is glorious ; we are all brown as berries and in the very best of health. On Tuesday last I paid the Company a visit. They were off to the trenches that night ; but, to judge by the interest displayed in an inter-company cricket match, you would never believe that within an hour or two they would be doing their whack in the trenches. The news, I’m sorry to say, is by far the worst since our arrival in France, and concerns members of the old ‘E’ Company. On Thursday, May 27th, Lance-Corpl R Clowes and H Rogers were wounded. The former, I regret to say, died on June 2nd. On Friday night, May 28th, there was a most exciting episode, in which the Rugby lads came through with flying colours, but with further loss. The following are, as far as I could gather, the details :—A party, including Corpl W Bromwich, Ptes L Hill, L Eaton, and P Hall, were out on the listening post, when a party of Germans came out and tried to surprise them. The enemy opened fire, killing L (Bleb) Hill, a Newbold lad, and wounding L Eaton. The latter stuck to his post, and continued firing until help arrived, consisting of a party under Sergt G Ward. I expect the enemy gave it up for a bad job, and upon examination by our chaps we found they had left one dead. Our men brought him in, and he proved to be an iron cross man. His rifle has been despatched to England, and will some day repose in the Rugby Drill Hall as a war trophy. The Company has been congratulated by the Colonel, as undoubtedly by their watchfulness and presence of mind they saved an awkward situation. Corpl Bromwich has since been promoted lance-sergeant. Some of this news may be stale by now, yet I think the Rugby people should learn what their lads are doing. At the request of several I have been asked to point out that what they consider to be an insult to them is the booming of the troops who were billeted in Rugby as “ The Rugby Soldiers, &c.” The sentiments expressed to me are that only the Battery and ‘E’ Company, &c, really come under that nomenclature. We appear to be off the picture. We were the original ‘ Rugby soldiers ’ long before this war broke out, and still claim that honour ; and, what’s more, refuse to allow any other troops—no matter what splendid work they have done, sacrifices they have made, and losses suffered—to step into our rightful position in the hearts and sympathies of the people of Rugby. The Rev B McNulty conducted a service a week last Wednesday. He was quite pleased to drop across Rugby men.”

LOCAL WAR CASUALTIES

CAPT RENNIE WATERHOUSE KILLED.

Capt Rennie Waterhouse, of the 7th Lancashire Fusiliers, who is reported as having been killed in the Dardanelles on May 10th, was formerly a member of the B.T.H Company’s staff as an engineer in the contract and turbine sales department. He was the third son of Mrs T C Waterhouse, of Lomberdale Hall, Bakewell, and of Thorncliffe, Kersal Edge, Manchester, and all his brothers are serving with H.M Forces. Capt Waterhouse, who during his residence in Rugby lived at Epworth, Clifton Road, owned a textile mill at Rheims, which has been destroyed by the Germans.

BILTON.

MUCH regret has been caused in this village by the death of Gnr. Harold Freeman, of the Royal Field Artillery, son of Mr H Freeman ; and the greatest sympathy is felt for the bereaved relatives. Harold, a strong, well-built young fellow, was a painter and plumber by trade, and his unassuming manner and genial disposition made him a general favourite in the place. He was a member of the Cricket and Football Clubs, and also of the Working Men’s Club, for which he did a great deal of useful work when it became necessary to renovate the club premises last summer. He also belonged to the Foresters’ Court, and in all respects his conduct was exemplary. When the war broke out he at once realised that it was his duty to obey the call to arms, and enlisted in the Royal Field Artillery. He quickly made himself an expert artilleryman, and was several times offered promotion, but preferred to remain a private. His Battery was daily expecting orders to go to the front; everything was in readiness, and he was looking forward to the opportunity of seeing active service, when some time last week he was taken ill with pneumonia, complications developed, and he passed away on Monday at the age of 26. The body was brought to Bilton on Wednesday night and placed in the Memorial Chapel, near his home at The Magnet, to await burial yesterday (Friday) afternoon.

NEWBOLD-ON-AVON.

THE DEATH OF PTE. HILL.

Mr and Mrs Hill, parents of Pte Hill, of the Rugby Territorial Company, who, as reported last week, was killed in action, have received a letter from Sergt Ward, who says :—

“ I wish to express my deepest sympathy with you all in the loss of such an excellent soldier as your son, who was killed whilst doing his duty on Friday, May 28th, at about 1 a.m. We are all sorry at the loss of his services, for he was one of our best men. Whenever he was called upon to perform any duty, no matter what it was, he did it with a cheerful spirit. This time he was out on the listening post, which is in front of our lines between 50 and 60 yards, when a party of Germans attacked them. Every man performed his duty splendidly. His comrade by his side was also wounded, but kept on firing until a party reinforced them, and made it possible for us to get his body and retire to the trenches. His death was avenged by a German’s death, whose body was fetched in. There is not a man in the Company that will not miss him, for a good many times when on the march he has made the march go easy by singing a song. He was in my section, and there is no one out hero who will miss him more than I shall. I must express to you the deepest sympathy on behalf of the section to which he belonged, also the whole platoon. Louis was buried by the side of our other unfortunate comrades. He suffered no pain or agony, for death was instantaneous.”

To the letter is appended the following note by Capt Mason :—

“ Unfortunately no time to write a letter, but the above expresses the opinion of officers as well as men. On behalf of the officers I most deeply sympathise with you in your bereavement.”

Q.M.S A C Tomlinson also writes:-

“ It is with deepest regret and sincere sympathy that we have to tell you of the death of your son, Pte L Hill. He met his death gallantly, fighting in defence of the post entrusted to him. His memory is proudly established in the hearts of all his comrades. He was always cheery, always happy, and every man in the Company was his friend, and we all miss his bright presence. It may be a comfort for you to know that his death was instantaneous and without pain. He died fighting for his King, his country and his home, and no man can wish for a prouder death.”

Mr and MRS J HIPWELL received a notification from the War Office on Sunday last that Corpl William Hence, C Company, 2nd Border Regiment, was killed in action on May 16th. He was employed at Messrs Willans & Robinson’s, and joined the regiment soon after the war commenced. He was 25 years of age, and has made his home with Mr and Mrs J Hipwell (Newbold) from a boy. He had been previously wounded, and was away in hospital for seven weeks, but returned to the firing-line again a short time ago.

WOLSTON.

MR AND MRS A OWEN, of Wolsten, have now heard definitely that their son is amongst the missing and they have received official intimation that he has been missing since an action near Ypres on the 25th of April last. Since that date no information has come to hand as to his whereabouts.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

Capt G T Seabroke, of the East Lancashire Regiment, son of Col Seabroke, Rugby, has been gazetted major.

Mr P G Chamberlain, M.A, of No. 3 Market Place, Rugby, has joined the H.A.C (Infantry Battalion).

The French Military Authorities have requested Dr Frances Ivens (formerly of Harborough Parva) to start a Field Hospital between the firing line and Royaumont. With the approbation of the Scottish Committee, Dr Ivens agreed to do so and to have it ready at 48 hours’ notice.

Brev-Col R A Richardson, of the Warwickshire Yeomanry, whose gallant conduct on the occasion of the torpedo attack on the Wayfarer was referred to in an Army Order, published last week, is a brother of Mrs Mulliner, of Clifton Court.

Mrs H R Lee, of 78 Campbell Street, New Bilton, has received official intimation that her husband, Pte Lee, of the 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment, a former employee of the B.T.H, is in a hospital at Rouen suffering from a slight scalp wound.

It is gratifying to learn that the complaints which have been made in certain quarters of slackness among workmen employed in the manufacture of munitions do not apply to Rugby, and that the local representatives of the allied engineering trades are rendering every assistance. In accordance with Press regulations we abstain from giving further details.

TWO RUGBY CLERICS JOIN THE FORCES.

We understand that the Rev S M Morgan, curate-in-charge of the Church House, and the Rev R W Dugdale, curate-in-charge of Holy Trinity Church, have been appointed by the Chaplain-General as chaplains to H.M. Forces in the 63rd and 64th Brigades, now stationed at Tring, and that they will be leaving Rugby shortly. We are sure that they will carry with them the hearty good wishes of all Rugbeians.

RECRUITING AT RUGBY.

Eighteen recruits have been accepted at Rugby Drill Hall during the past week, as follows :- S W Wareing, J E Burnham, and T Batchelor, R.W.R ; T Jennings, 13th Gloucesters : G B Cox, Leicesters ; F Southam, Rifle Brigade ; F Gardner, Oxon and Bucks L.I ; H Bishop, A.S.C (H.T) ; W R Seaton, Welsh Guards ; J Clarke and W H Moseley, Army Vet. Corps ; H Bate, F C Woodhouse, S C Hobbs, W R Davis, E W Ellson, and S H Oswell, Rugby Fortress Company. R.E ; F Morrey, Household Cavalry.

HAIRDRESSERS’ CHARGES.

A meeting was held on Monday last by the Rugby hairdressers to discuss the advisability of increasing their saloon charges. It will be remembered that about twelve months ago the Rugby Hairdressers’ Association fixed a minimum price of 1½d for shaving and 3d for haircutting, which abolished 1d shaving in Rugby. The better-appointed shops have decided that, owing to the rapid increase of expenses—both business and domestic—and the flourishing state of the labour market they will increase their charges to the following prices:—Shaving, 2d; hair-cutting, 4d; ditto (boys under 14), 3d; singeing, 4d; shampooing, 4d. The new prices are to come in force on Thursday, June 10th.

It was mentioned that a great number of their customers had joined his Majesty’s Forces, and were now in training or at the front, and those who were serving his Majesty in the local works were working so many hours that they are unable to attend the saloon, and therefore cause a considerable fall in the saloon takings. It was decided by those who have adopted the new prices to attend the Warwickshire Reservists at the old prices, and the same privilege will be extended to those customers who have donned the khaki when they come home on furlough.

NOTICE TO WARWICKSHIRE LICENSED VICTUALLERS.

The Chief Constable of Warwickshire (Captain J T Brinkley) has issued the following notice to licensed victuallers under the Intoxicating Liquor Laws :- “Complaints being received from Red Cross Hospitals in the county that wounded soldiers are being supplied with drink in the public-houses, and, in some instances, return in an intoxicated condition, license holders are requested not to serve them with intoxicants. The Brigadier-General commanding this district informs me that unless this request is observed as far as it is possible to do so, it will be necessary to put the premises complained of out of bounds for all troops, with the further liability of being closed altogether under the Defence of the Realm regulations if further complaints are received.