7th Mar 1919. Wounded Men on Camels

WOUNDED MEN ON CAMELS.
INCIDENTS OF THE PALESTINE FIGHTING.

An interesting letter has been received from Lieut. Edward B. Bloxam, of the 1st Cape Corps, written from Cairo, on October 1st last. It gives an excellent idea of the conditions of service in the Palestine fighting. Lieut. Bloxam is a son of Mr. Roby Bloxam, of Christchurch, New Zealand, a nephew of Miss Bloxam, Bilton Road, Rugby, and a great nephew of the late Mr. M. H. Bloxam, the well-known antiquarian. He writes :—I presume you received an official cablegram notifying you that I had been wounded. My right tibia is fractured, and the two wounds where the bullet went in and out are small and clean. The doctor says that I shall be in bed for eight or ten weeks, and that it will be four months before I rejoin my unit. I got pipped in the big advance which you will have heard about. It started on the 18th, and I was hit on the morning of the 20th. Up till then we had had no heavy fighting. On the night of the 18th two Companies took and held a hill called Square Hill. That was the original objective of one Company, D. A and B Companies had already taken their positions and consolidated. My Company, C, had to go through D Company and take and hold three knolls 600 yards beyond and north of Square Hill. We had only three platoons, and were given a knoll each to take. My platoon consisted of 9 men. The others were laying wire, and the Lewis gun team nine men. As it was daylight before we took Square Hill, and C Company were required to help consolidate our original objective was abandoned. This was fortunate, as it took two battalions to take the three knolls the next day. On the night of the 19th I took my platoon out and brought in a Turkish gun which we had fired upon during the day. On the morning of the 20th, whilst acting as right flank guard to two Companies I had to charge across a flat valley 600 yards. Not many of my men got across, as we were exposed to both frontal and enfilade fire, and there was no cover. The enemy fire was very heavy, but I managed to get within about 50 yards of the other side when I got hit in the leg. That was about 6 a.m., and we did not finally get the objective till five in the afternoon, as Johnny counter-attacked, and the hills had to be retaken. I had to play possum the whole day, as if I moved at all half a dozen snipers had a pot at me. About sundown the stretcher bearers came out, and they were kept busy for some time. From the Regimental dressing station we were sent on camels, two patients per camel, one on either side, in specially made baskets, about two miles to a brigade station. Here we were dressed again and immediately moved off again in a two-wheeled ambulance, about four miles. There we slept the night, and next morning were put in a four-wheeled ambulance. In this we travelled eight hours. It was an awful trip over very rough roads, and we were very thankful to get to our destination, Mary’s Cross. There we were dressed again and sent by motor ambulance to Ram Allah. Next morning we moved on by motor ambulance to Jerusalem, A day was spent there, and then we were put in a Red Cross train. The final night we stopped at Gaza, the second at Kantara, on the Suez Canal. We then came on here, arriving on September 25th. My wound was all right then, but they have since had to operate on it and remove a piece of dead bone. This is a very good Hospital, and the winter season here has just started, so the weather is good. There are six officers of the Cape Corps in various Hospitals here, but I am the only one in this Hospital. Out of 13 who went into action, six were killed and six wounded.  I have just received copies of congratulations. General Allenby wires to the Mayor of Cape Town that the Cape Corps fought with the utmost bravery, and rendered splendid service. Brigadier-General Pearson, of the 53rd Division, writing to the C.O., says :—“ I desire to thank you and your very gallant regiment for all you have done since joining my Brigade. It is no idle remark to say that the whole army was astounded at the splendid performance you put up during the recent operations.” The Brigadier-General, Royal Artillery, 53rd Division, writing to Brig.-General Pearson says that it gives the gunners the greatest satisfaction to be able to support such magnificent infantry. The gallantry displayed by the Cape Corps Battalion was of the highest order and beyond praise.

“ ONE OF THE WORST TYPES OF SCOUNDREL.”
BOGUS WAR HERO.

Claud H. Hammond, a Private in the Northumberland Fusiliers, was charged with unlawfully wearing the ribbon of the military medal.—Pleaded guilty.

Detective Mighall deposed that he visited a house in Oxford Street. He went to the front and P.S. Hawkes to the back. When witness knocked at the door, prisoner, without waiting to see who it was, bolted out of the back door, and was stopped by P.S. Hawkes. He was wearing a brooch with the ribbon of the Military Medal and the Mons Ribbon. He also had three wound stripes. Prisoner admitted to him that he had no right to wear the Military Medal ribbon, but he said he was entitled to the Mons ribbon.

Addressing the Bench. prisoner said : “ I have been very foolish. I only had it on two days. I had no intention of doing any harm. It was simply ‘ a bit of swank.’ ”

Superintendent Clarke said prisoner had been sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for illegally wearing an officer’s uniform, six months for false pretences, and he had also been convicted for giving false information. He was not entitled to the Mons Star, and he had only been wounded once. It was pointed out that the military authorities looked upon this as a serious offence, and they were anxious to put a stop to it, for the sake of the men entitled to wear such decorations.

The Chairman (addressing Hammond) : You are one of those scoundrels who try to make out that you have done your best for your country, and that you have been in the very thick of the hardest fighting of all at Mons, and then you come here and say you were swaggering. You are one of the worst types of scoundrel, and we send you to gaol for six months, with hard labour.

RUGBY VOLUNTEER COMPANY.
INTERESTING PRESENTATIONS.

On Sunday, 23rd ult., the Volunteer Company paraded at the Headquarters, Howitzer Battery Drill Hall, to be photographed prior to disbandment, and the members of No. 1 Platoon seized the opportunity to present Lieut. Yates, the Platoon Commander, with a silver Queen Anne coffee set. The presentation was made by Platoon-Sergt. Weobley, who, on behalf of the N.C.O.’s and men, and two former N.C.O.’s (Lieut. S. Brown and Lieut. Pywell), referred to the respect and goodwill all felt towards Lieut. Yates. When he was appointed to the Command of the Platoon on April 1st, 1917, the remark was made “ We are lucky to get such an officer,” and time had proved the truth of this, for they had always found him an efficient officer, a thorough sportsman, and a gentleman. They all wished him good health, and hoped he would live many year, to enjoy the use of their present.—In reply, Lieut. Yates thanked the members for the forbearance they had extended to him, and the cheerful and willing way in which they had tackled the work set them. He could not wish to be associated with jollier and more zealous comrades than those he had the honour to know in No. 1 Platoon.

A presentation was also made to 2nd Lieut. C. C. Wharton by Sergt. S. O. Watson, on behalf of the N.C.O’s and men of No. 2 Platoon, as a small token of their appreciation of the immense amount of work he had put in on behalf of “ B ” Company and No. 2 Platoon in particular. They hoped he would accept it as a symbol of their association during the most exacting period of the world’s history. Second Lieut. Wharton, in returning thanks, referred to the loyally and discipline which the platoon had always shown. He had joined them in the early days as a private without any idea of being promoted to such a position. When he was selected for promotion it meant going over the heads of others who no doubt were eligible and equally qualified ; but it was a source of much personal gratification that there had been no resentment, but, on the other hand, nothing but loyal co-operation. He had learnt much during their association together, as he was sure they had all done, of the beneficial results of all working and pulling together with a good will and for a common object, and he hoped they would not forget the great lesson they had learned.

Platoon Sergt E. R. Briggs, acting commander of No. 3 Platoon, was also presented with a pipe and pigskin tobacco pouch by Sergt. Gauntley, on behalf of the members of the platoon.

COL. JOHNSTONE’S VALEDICTORY ADDRESS.

At the close of the parade, Colonel Johnstone, addressing Capt. Fuller, the officers, N.C.O’s and men, said although of late he had been prevented by rheumatism from seeing as much of their work as he would have liked, he had always been interested to learn of their progress.

Captain Fuller had handled the Company with military knowledge, firmness, and tact, by the exercise of which he had done a very great deal to bring the Company to that state of excellence which caused Inspecting Officers to speak so well of them. He also wished to thank those officers and N.C.O’s who had by their readiness to take courses of instruction contributed greatly to the efficiency of the Company.

Referring to the commencement of the Volunteer Force, he said he regretted that in those days his duties as Recruiting Officer prevented him giving more of his time, but he complimented them on the sense of duty and loyalty which had caused them to stick to their work in spite of earlier lack of official recognition and encouragement. The Rugby Company had, by discipline and readiness to learn, made themselves the smartest Company in the Battalion. The times of stress which had led to the formation of the Volunteer Force were now over, but he hoped that, should the necessity for such a force again arise, every one of them would once more come forward to do his duty.

STRETTON-ON-DUNSMORE.
SOLDIER’S WELCOME HOME.—A hearty and successful welcome home to those who have returned from the army has been held to the schools. The welcome, which was organised by the War Memorial Committee, consisted of an elaborate spread of roast pork, ham, tongue, pork pies, and sweets of every variety. A packet of cigarettes was presented to each man by Mrs. T Meredith, and thanks are also due to the Northampton and Leamington Brewery Companies for their gifts of beer. After supper a smoking concert was held, Mr. L. Lister Kaye being in the chair. The usual toasts were drunk and songs were given by soldiers and others. Mr Leeson, of Coventry, presided at the piano, and added much to the pleasure of the company by his humorous items. It is hoped to repeat this welcome at some future date when the remainder of the men have returned. Towards defraying the cost of this entertainment the sum of £10 12s., being the proceeds of two dances recently held for this purpose, was handed to the committee by the ladies who organised the dances.

IN AND AROUND RUGBY.

THE INFLUENZA.—During the past week 16 deaths from influenza and pneumonia have been reported in Rugby against 20 in the preceding week.

THE Mercantile Marine Service Association are making an appeal to which it is to be hoped the public of Rugby will readily respond. It is to help the men and dependents of the men who made victory possible—the heroes, the obscure heroes of the Mercantile Marine An advertisement elsewhere in this edition goes into details of the appeal, which we heartily commend to our readers.

RUGBY’S WAR MEMORIAL.
HANDSOME DONATIONS OFFERED.
The first meeting of the Rugby War Memorial Committee was held on Thursday evening, when Mr. A. Morson, M.B.E., reported that he had had some handsome donations offered, among them one of £500 and another of £300.

DEATHS.

BARROWS,—On Monday, Feb. 24th, at the Military Hospital, Belfast, Sapper HARRY DESTER, R.E., the youngest and dearly beloved son of Mrs. Barrows, 16 Bennett Street, aged 37. Interred at Rugby Cemetery, Saturday, March 1st.

IN MEMORIAM.

BENCH.—In fond memory of our dear brother, Pte. J. BENCH, who passed away in France, March 5th, 1917.
“ But oh ! for the touch of a vanished hand,
And the sound of a voice that is still.”
—From his loving Father, Sisters, & Brothers.

FIDLER.—In fond and loving memory of Pte W. G. FIDLER, of Harborough Magna, who was killed in France on March 7, 1916.
“ Could we have raised his dying head,
Or heard his last farewell,
The grief would not have been so hard
For them that loved him so well.”
—From Dad, Mother, Sisters & Brothers.

REEVE.—In memory of my beloved husband, ARTHUR KIMBELL REEVE, who died in France on March 4, 1917.—Never forgotten by his loving Wife and Daughters.

REEVE.—In memory of my dear son, ARTHUR KIMBELL REEVE, who died in France on March 4, 1917.—Always in the thoughts of his loving Mother, Brothers and Sisters.

 

19th Jan 1918. Visits of Workmen to the Front

VISITS OF WORKMEN TO THE FRONT.

The Rugby District Committee of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers have, through their Executive Council, been invited by the Ministry of Munitions to appoint a representative to visit the Front, in view of the educational value of such visits. The committee have replied to the Ministry, declining the invitation in the following terms:—“ After over three years of war the committee believe that the engineers of this district are as conversant with all the horrors of the ghastly business as they consider they need be. Contact with those who have had experience of the battle front and actual experience of the privations at home are considered sufficient from the view-point of ‘ educational value.’ The committee are much more concerned with the education of their children in the arts of peace than their own education in the bloody horrors war. They decline to be a party to the utilisation of public funds and time in the manner suggested in the invitation, and declare that what workman want is not the opportunity to visit the Front, but the opportunity to meet representative fellow-workers of all belligerent nations in order to endeavour to arrive at a common understanding with a view to stopping the slaughter and securing an immediate and lasting peace.”

HEAVY SNOWFALL.

During the night of Tuesday, Wednesday the heaviest snowfall this winter occurred. The surface was covered to the depth of 9 or 10 inches, and the branches of trees and shrubs were thickly covered with snow, which weighed them down. The countryside presented a most beautiful appearance in the bright sunshine on Wednesday ; but traffic on the roads was greatly impeded. Prompt efforts were made by the Town Surveyor to get the snow removed from the streets in the centre the town, but owing to lack of labour, &c, it was quite impossible to do so much in this direction as in previous years, but a great deal was cleared out. There was another fall of snow early on Thursday, which added another inch or so to the total downfall.

A thaw, with rain, set in on Thursday. The country mails have been delayed each day from two to four hours, and the Southam mail was “ hung up ” for a considerable time at Bilton on two occasions.

This is the heaviest fall of snow experienced in this district since April 24-26, 1908, when the measurements were 14 inches.

DUNCHURCH AVENUE TO BE PRESERVED.

The Committee appointed by the Warwickshire County Council to confer with the Duke of Buccleuch as to the preservation of the Avenue on the London Road had an interview with his Grace last week, The Duke put forward an alternative scheme by which the Avenue may be preserved, he being as anxious as the public that it should remain. The scheme will be duly considered by the committee.

LOCAL PEERS AND WOMEN’S SUFFRAGE.—Several peers well known in Warwickshire took place in the division in the House of Lords on Thursday last week, when Woman Suffrage was voted upon, and carried by 63 votes. Those in favour included of the suffrage included the Earl of Denbigh, the Bishop of Worcester, and Lord Willoughby de Broke.

RUGBY’S SUBSCRIPTION TO WAR BONDS for the week ended January 12th was £3,170. making the total for 15 weeks £73,650. The weekly quota is £10,800. The total for Leamington is £95,635 ; Nuneaton, £13,565 ; Warwick, £44,135 ; Banbury, £57,259.

TRAVELLING WITHOUT A TICKET.—At Coventry, on Monday, Levi Haxby, 75 Avenue Road, New Bilton, was summoned for travelling on the railway on November 28th last without having previously paid his fare and with intent to avoid payment. Defendant admitted the offence, and said he was very sorry. He did not know what possessed him to it. It should not occur again. Fined 40s, or 28 days.

TWO BOYS MISSING.

Two boys—one Arthur Frederick Brewin, aged 10, and the other George Alfred Catlin, of Leicester, son and nephew respectively of Mr A H Brewin. of 122 Abbey Street—went for a walk towards Clifton about 9 a.m on December 27th, and up to the present have not been heard of. It is supposed they were seen crossing Clifton Mill Farm about 11 a.m same day.

Arthur Frederick Brewin (10), dark complexion, was wearing brown and black tweed coat and vest, darker knickers, laced boots and cap.

George Alfred Catlin (14), dark, was wearing light grey suit, with striped blue and black football jersey under it, laced boots and cap.

The police were advised same night, but nothing has been heard of the lads.

Any information would be gladly welcomed by A H Brewin at 122 Abbey Street.

LOCAL WAR NOTES.

ROYAL RED CROSS FOR A RUGBY NURSE.
Sister M F Fell, of the Territorial Nursing Service, and daughter of Mr E T Fell, High Street, has been awarded the Royal Red Cross for valuable services with the Armies in France. Sister Fell has also served in England and Malta, and for the last six months has been in a surgical team in the Clearing Stations at Ypres and Cambrai.

Lieut “ Pat ” Maloney, of Ontario and the R.F.C, who is recovering from wounds in a hospital near Hyde Park, takes short walks with the aid a stick made from part of a Boche ’plane. “ Pat ” was well known and himself very popular at Lilbourne during his stay there from April to September last year.

Bombardier Hessey, R.F.A, of 68 Victoria Street, New Bilton, recently died of pneumonia in Ripon Hospital. Previous to joining up in February, 1915, he was employed as painter and decorator by Messrs Foster and Dicksee. He had already served in the Navy for 14 years, and was invalided out. Being anxious to “ do his bit,” again, he with some difficulty got accepted for the army, and in due course went out to France, where he was twice wounded. In February, 1916, he went out to German East Africa, where he served about twenty months. He contracted malarial fever and was sent home invalided in August last, and subsequently complications set in which culminated in his death at the age of 37. His remains were brought to New Bilton and interred in the new Cemetery with military honours.

Lieut C A Hall, 1/8th London Regiment, son-on-law of Mr W T Smallwood, 14 Victoria Street, has been awarded the M.C, and has also been promoted to the rank of Captain.

The name of Capt G H D Coates (temporary Lieut-Col), of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, is among those which have been brought to the notice Genera Sir E Allenby for distinguished services with the Egyptian Expeditionary Force.

Mrs Banner, 178 Murray Road, has received news that her cousin, Pte William Milne, of the Worcestershire Regiment, eldest son of the late Sergt T Milne, instructor at Rugby School, was killed in action on January 1st. He was an old St Matthew’s boy, and leaves a widow and two children.

Corpl Yates, who married at St Peter’s Church, Rugby, on Wednesday, is an old “ E ” Company man. He met with an accident while on manoeuvres, which disabled him for service. After receiving his discharge papers he re-joined, but has been accepted for sedentary service only. Sergt Yates, his father, volunteered, and has been out since the early months of the War and had some narrow escapes, being on one occasion several days in the German lines and reported missing.

CAPT A W FIELD (O.R) BELIEVED KILLED.

Mr Edward Field, clerk to the Warwickshire County Council, has received information of the presumed death of his son, Capt Archibald Field, R.F.C. The sad intelligence was received on Tuesday in a letter from his Major, which stated that the Captain was shot down over the enemy lines by hostile machines whilst he was taking photographs on January 9th. His machine was seen to fall to pieces, and he is missing and believed killed. Capt Field was educated at Orwell House, Felixstowe, and Rugby. He saw much of the fighting throughout Flanders before the first Battle of Ypres, being one of the first members of the British Army to enter Ypres. The Major of his Squadron writes that his loss to the Squadron is a great one, as he has been a long time with them, and had done some splendid work. Capt Field’s three brothers are still serving.

ANOTHER PRISONER OF WAR.

Gunner H Maule, R.G.A, is a prisoner of war in Germany, interned at Munster i/W, Rennbahn. He was captured on November 30th. For nearly 10 years Gunner Maule worked in the quarry at the Rugby Cement Works. He had been in France over 12 months. His home is at Long Lawford. Mr J R Barker, hon secretary of the Rugby Prisoners of War Help Committee, has arranged for the standard food parcels and bread to be despatched to this man.

PRESENTATION OF MEDAL.

Col F F Johnstone has been deputed to present the Military Medal to Driver Ward, of Hillmorton, for conspicuous conduct in the field. The presentation will be made at a parade of the Rugby Volunteers at the Howitzer Battery Headquarters on Sunday next, 20th inst., at 2.45 p.m, when all friends of Driver Ward and the public generally are cordially invited to be present.

LONG ITCHINGTON.
MISSING.—Mrs Edward Ayres has now received official information that her eldest son, Pte Edward Ayres, R.W.R. has been posted as missing.

VOLUNTEER SHOOTING.—At the parade of the “ B ” (Rugby) Company of Volunteers on Sunday last the cup and prize given by the Officer commanding were presented. The cup for the best score for last year in the two stages of regulation shooting on the open range was secured by Corpl Seymour, and the prize for the best score by a man qualified to shoot on the open range after March 18th last fell to Pte Paulin. Capt Fuller impressed on the men the great importance of the use of the rifle and good shooting.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR.
FOOD AT RUGBY SCHOOL.
To the editor of the Advertiser.

SIR.—In order to prevent misconception, I should be glad if you will publish our arrangements in the past and our intentions for the future in regard to supply of food for Rugby School. Since February, 19170, the boys have been restricted by the desire of the Controller to an average of 5lbs of bread and 3lbs of meat per week. In December last a scale of rations was issued by the Ministry of Food for boy of 13-18 years of a age as follows :—Bread and flour, 6lbs ;cereals, 24ozs ;meat, 2lbs ; margarine, &c, 5ozs. This scale has since been withdrawn, and it is not likely that the quantities will be increased. Until it is re-issued we propose to abide by it, but we do not expect at present to obtain the full quantity of meat.

The purchase by the boys of extra food has for a long time been restricted to a minimum, and no food parcels are allowed to be sent from home. I hope that this statement will make it clear that we neither desire nor receive more than our share of local or other supplies.—I am, Sir, &c, A A DAVID.

THE FOOD SHORTAGE.

The shortage of meat was again felt locally during the week-end, although the situation was by no means so acute as it was reported to be in other towns. Many householders took the wise precaution of ordering their Sunday joint early in the week. These people received first consideration, and several butchers kept their doors closed till the middle of the morning to enable the depleted staffs to deal with these orders. Many who had neglected to take this precaution experienced considerable difficulty in obtaining supplies, and several of the shops were besieged by queues of housewives, but by the time the shops were closed again most people had received a supply of some sort. As may be supposed, every scrap of meat was quickly cleared out, even bones being bought eagerly.

The situation on Saturday was aggravated by a shortage of fats, of which smaller suppliers than usual were received. The result was that many were able to obtain even a small quantity, and householders of all classes had to be content with dry bread for Sunday tea.

Beef was very scarce at the cattle market on Monday, and the butchers were only allowed one-half of their present requirements, which was equal to one-quarter of their October sales. The cattle available were divided between butchers from Rugby and other parts of the county, and the local butchers will have to depend on other markets to make up their full quantity allowed under the latest order. There was an extra supply of sheep, however, and several butchers made up for the beef shortage by increased purchases of mutton. The new system of grading mutton for sale came into force on Monday, and its operation should prove very advantageous to the butchers.

The butchers are again reminding the public by advertisement in another column that, till further notice, their shops will be closed on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Notwithstanding the slushy and uncomfortable state of the streets, queues were to be seen at most of the butchers’ and provision dealers’ shops yesterday (Friday) morning, and stocks were quickly cleared on.

UTILITY POULTRY-KEEPERS are invited to meetings on Monday (see advertisement), when Capt Peirson-Webber will give addresses in connection with the formation of a local society.

DEATHS.

HESSEY.—On December 17th, in Ripon Military Hospital, Bombardier W. F. HESSEY, R.F.A., of 68 Victoria Street, New Bilton, of pneumonia ; aged 37.