RUGBY SCHOOL FARMING SQUADS.
From “ The Meteor ” (the journal of Rugby School) we gather that this year the farming squad season extended from May 16th to July 24th ; 75 squads (comparing with 55 last year) have been sent out to assist the neighbouring farmers. Most of the work took the form of hoeing and spudding, which is a little tedious after a bout of four or five hours.
In the last month many parties have rendered assistance in the hay harvest. The earnings of the squads were allocated as follows :—Hospital of St Cross, £15 ; Y.M.C.A, £8 13s ; Mine-Sweepers’ Fund, £5 ; Blue Cross, £5 ; Rugby Prisoners of War Fund, £3, total, £36 13s.
“ The Meteor ” also records the experiences of one of the squads in the Evesham district—at Pensham, near Pershore :—
On Monday, July 2nd, a squad of 21 started off for a fortnight’s work on the land—an entirely new experiment. After a long journey, during which we seemed to do nothing but change from one train to another we reached Pershore Station at about 1.30 p.m. The cyclists of our party went ahead into the town (1½ miles from the station) to find where Pensham was. Having found the farm, they returned to guide the weary “ labourers,” who found three miles in the blazing heat quite sufficient. After doing the first natural thing—ordering tea—we all went for a bathe in the river Avon, which was only two or three hundred yards from the farm. All the squad except four slept in a fairly capacious barn, with as much straw as they wished ; but the quartet preferring the open air and chancing the rats slept on a straw rick, in which they made great havoc by digging themselves in.
For the next three days we only did six hours a day, 9 a.m—1 p.m, 2 p.m—4 p.m. After work was over we were allowed to do anything we liked—in moderation. Our first day in the field made us all feel that 6 hours in the form room would be infinitely preferable to the work we were doing, which consisted of weeding mangolds with pen-knives! But fortunately as the days went on the work became better. On Friday and for the rest of our stay we did eight hours a day, after which most of us felt we should never be able to straighten our backs again. . . . We were very fortunate in having fine weather all the time, except on Sunday, when it really did not matter.
The work chiefly consisted of picking broad and French beans, “ topping ” runner beans, pulling docks and hoeing. It was generally considered that a fortnight is just about the right length of time for work of that sort.
The chief amusements were bathing, boating, fishing (for pike which would not bite), riding horses (if they could be caught), chasing pigs, and, on the last night, strafing beans.
COMMANDEERING OF HAY AND STRAW.
FARMERS’ AND DEALERS’ MINDS RELIEVED.
The Secretary of the War Office announces that two new Army Council Orders are being gazetted dealing with hay and straw, one taking possession of all hay and straw, and the other regulating the price of these commodities. There are one or two points in which they differ from previous Orders of a similar nature, and one in particular will relieve the minds of farmers. Under the new Order wheat straw may now be used for bedding and other than feeding purposes. A point which will also commend itself to dealers in straw is that the difference between “ producers’ ” and “ retailers’ ” prices is now £2, instead of 30s. Further, the retailers’ prices for lots of 10cwt and less for both hay and straw are somewhat increased.
POSSESSION WANTED.—Henry Webb, Gipsy Row, High Street, Hillmorton, was sued by Mrs Emily Forrest, Stoke Newington, for possession of cottage and premises.—Mrs Webb attended, and said that her husband was a prisoner of war in Germany.—For the plaintiff it was stated that the rent was £3 18s in arrears.—Mrs Webb said that she had not paid her rent because the agent had insulted her, and he had also refused to do any repairs. He had threatened that he would take the roof and doors off. She was willing to pay the arrears, and should leave the house as soon as she could get another one.—Plaintiff was non-suited because the notice had been served on the wife, whereas the husband was the tenant.
INSPECTION OF RUGBY V.C. AND VOLUNTEER MOTOR TRANSPORT.
Brigadier-General T C P Calley, C.B, M.V.O, of the Southern Command, made a tour of inspection of the 2nd Battalion Warwickshire Volunteer Regt on Saturday and Sunday last. The inspection of the Rugby Corps, B Company, took place on Sunday afternoon at the Howitzer Battery Headquarters. There was no ceremonial parade, the inspection being for the purpose of seeing squad work. The Inspecting Officer was accompanied by Lord Leigh (Lord Lieutenant of Warwickshire), Colonel F F Johnstone (O.C. the Regiment), Major Glover (Second in Command), Captain Johnson (adjutant), and Lieut Stranger Jones (Transport Officer) and others.
There was a good parade, under Capt C H Fuller. The Company was inspected in bayonet fighting, trench warfare and bombing, and an infantry attack across adjoining land, under command of Lieut M W Yates.
THE INSPECTING OFFICER AND UNIFORM.
General Calley, after congratulating the squads on the good progress they had made, addressed those who had taken part in the attack, and said he was very pleased with what he had seen. The attack was very well done, and it showed they had been well taught and that they had used their brains, and meant to learn and understand what they were doing. Presently they might have to do this in the open, and in this connection he gave them a little advice with regard to firing orders and the words of command. The attack was carried out as well as any he had seen, and great credit was due to their commanding officer and instructors. Evidently the members of the Company had paid attention to what had been said to them, and they had brought both their brains and their bodies to bear on it. He would be very happy to report to the General that he had seen a very good body of men. He wished them every success in their patriotic effort, and said he hoped to come and see them again when they had their uniform, adding he could not understand how it was they were not provided with it, and that he was going to make enquiries about the matter on his return, as most of the Battalions in the country had now got uniform and equipment, and he hoped the Rugby Corps would have them very soon.
COUNTY OF WARWICK MOTOR VOLUNTEER CORPS.
The inspection of the Rugby Section of the County of Warwick Motor Volunteer Corps was made on the arrival of the General. The cars, lorries, and motor cycles present, capable of transporting upwards of 50 men and four tons of supplies, were drawn up in line on the smaller parade ground. The General inspected each motor in turn and afterwards addressed the members of the corps, expressing his gratification at the manner in which Rugby motorists had responded to the appeal for volunteers, and stated that after what he had seen in this and other towns he was of the opinion that the Government should recognise the Motor Corps as a body and make provision for the necessary petrol supply, etc, for conducting the work of the Corps. He said that Lord Leigh had consented to be nominated for the command of the Corps.
Major Glover afterwards addressed the members present, explaining the object of the movement, and stated that over 500 private motorists had already been enrolled in Birmingham and the County of Warwick.
In a short address given by Lord Leigh, he expressed great pleasure in being nominated for the command of the Corps.
Further motor volunteers with either cars, lorries, or motor cycles, are urgently needed. There are also a few vacancies for experienced motor mechanics capable of undertaking repairs. Application for full particulars as to enrolment should be made to Mr Bernard Hopps, Thurlaston, near Rugby.
DISTRESSING FATAL ACCIDENT.
Co-Sergt-Major Charles John Simpson, Motor Cycle Section of the R.E, second son of the late Mr John Simpson and Mrs Simpson, 28 Craven Road, Rugby, met with his death under exceptionally sad circumstances at Houghton Regis recently. The deceased was a valuable and highly esteemed non-commissioned officer, and it was stated at the inquest that he had been shooting at a tin with a miniature rifle in the yard of the camp. Deceased was showing his little boy, aged 4½ years, how to use the rifle, and on one occasion he held the rifle while the boy pulled the trigger and fired at the tin. At the same time some men came up to speak to deceased, and while he was talking he brought the rifle down to the ground. The boy said, “ Let me shoot it, daddy ” ; and deceased pulled the rifle, which was pointing to another sergeant, towards himself. The boy then bent down, touched the trigger, and discharged the rifle. The bullet entered deceased’s mouth, and caused practically instantaneous death.—A verdict of “ Accidental death ” was returned.—The funeral was witnessed by a large number of sympathisers. The coffin was placed on a gun carriage, drawn by six horses, with three sergeants as outriders. Six company sergeant-majors acted as pall bearers. The chief mourners were : Mrs Simpson (widow), Mrs Simpson (mother), Mrs N Brevig, Miss Winnie Simpson, Mr Bert Simpson (sisters and brothers), Mrs Walker (mother-in-law), Miss Walker (sister-in-law), Mr N Brevig (brother-in-law), and Mrs H Simpson (sister-in-law). Deceased was a Freemason, and a number of members of the craft attended the funeral, as well as a numerous contingent of the Motor Cyclists Co., under the command of Capt W F How, R.I Rifles, and a large number of deceased’s fellow N.C.O’s from the Signal Depot. Amongst those present were Lieut-Col E H Leaf, R.E, Commandant Army School of Signalling ; Lieut-Col W F Danter, R.E, Camp Commandant, and Capt O P Edgcumbe, D.C.L.I, Adjutant. The floral tokens were so numerous that it was found necessary to have a party from the Motor Cyclists’ Co. to carry the wreaths which could not be accommodated on the gun carriage. The three brothers of deceased, who was 33 years or age, are still on active service.
LOCAL WAR NOTES.
Dr H J Beddow has left the town to take up a commission in the R.A.M.C.
Mr W J W Gilbert, Blandford House, has gained a commission in the Army Service Corps (Horse Transport). He joined the Royal Gloucester Hussars (Yeomanry) in May, 1916 as a trooper.
The Rev G A Studdert-Kennedy, C.F (formerly of Rugby), vicar of St Paul’s, Worcester, has just gained the Military Cross for bravery on the Western front. Whilst in charge of a temporary dressing station, he found the supply of morphia was exhausted, and went under heavy shell-fire to procure more. He also brought two severely wounded men into a place of safety. He was chosen to preach the National Mission to the troops in France, and gave addresses in all the base camps and at the front.—“ Church Times.”
The Military Medal and bar has been awarded to Pte J Enticott, Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, for acts of gallantry on the field in carrying out his duties as a stretcher bearer in December, 1916, and May, 1917. At the time of enlistment Pte Enticott worked at the B.T.H, and previously for some years on the L & N-W Railway.
R V Wilson (Old Laurentian), late H.A.C, son of Mr J G Wilson, York Street, has been gazetted Second-Lieutenant, and has received a commission in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment, Parkhurst, Isle of Wight.
A tale that is going the round and causing some amusement among our boys is that of a Tommy on one of our Eastern fronts, having his photograph taken in the regulation shorts and thin vest, a copy of which he sent home. His mother, in thanking him for his photo, remarked : “ But, dear me, you should have let me know before that you were so short of clothes, and I would have sent you some on !”
WOUNDED SOLDIERS ENTERTAINED.—On Wednesday afternoon Mr B Morris, of the Empire, entertained about 250 wounded soldiers, together with their nurses and assistants, from Rugby Town V.A.D, “ Te Hira,” Bilton Hall, St John’s, and Pailton Red Cross Hospitals, to a garden party at the Manor House, Bilton. An excellent programme was given by the artistes appearing at the Empire this week : Black and White, The Pallangers, The Deldees, Wolfland (comedian), Miss Danby (soloist), “ One of the Boys ” (ventriloquial sketch), and Rolando Martin. A sketch was also performed by Misses Morson, A Pratt, Walrond, and F Shillitoe. A substantial tea was provided for the visitors, and at the conclusion Mr and Mrs Morris and their family were cordially thanked by the guests, who evidently appreciated and enjoyed the entertainment.
BLIND SOLDIERS AND SAILORS.—A meeting of the workpeople was recently held at Willans & Robinson’s Rugby, which was addressed by Mr F R Davenport and Mr Macaulay (a blind representative) on the objects of the Institute for the Blind, and particularly on the training of blinded soldiers and sailors at St Dunstans Hostel. The appeal was sympathetically received, and a committee of the workpeople was at once formed to put in operation a scheme to enable all employees of the company to contribute weekly, for a period of 12 weeks, to this most deserving object.
PTE L J YOUNG.-In connection with the death in action, on July 3rd, reported in our last issue, a letter has been received by his mother, Mrs J Young, of Church Street, from the Commanding Officer, stating that her son was wounded in the front line trenches by a shell on July 3rd.
NEWS OF MISSING HUSBAND WANTED.—For many months Mrs Richard Fell has been anxiously awaiting news of her husband, and after fruitless enquiries from the authorities and other likely sources, she asks us to make known the following facts, in the hope that she may obtain tidings through returned soldiers or comrades who have known him. He had served 12 years in the Royal Warwicks on the outbreak of the war, and joined up in November, 1914. In November, 1915 he was transferred to the Rifle Brigade, and proceeded with his regiment to India. Here he was on duty in the Punjaub, and corresponded regularly with his wife. His last letter was posted in Bombay, and received on December 21st, 1916. He then believed he was about to sail for Salonica or Mesopotamia, but no further tidings of his whereabouts have come to hand. His wife also has three little children dependent upon her, and is, naturally, in great anxiety.
KILLED IN ACTION.—Mr & Mrs Arthur Clarke have received news that their son, Driver Thomas Clarke, Royal Garrison Artillery, was killed in France on July 11th. He enlisted shortly after the outbreak of war, previous to which he was employed at the B.T.H, Rugby.
THE ROLL OF HONOUR.—A gloom was cast over the village when it became known that Mr Arthur Clarke had received official news that his other son, Pte Lucas Clarke, had been killed in action on July 8th. They have received letters of sympathy from two of their sons’ officers, in which it is stated that he was a splendid man, and is missed by all ranks in his Company. He was killed instantaneously by a shell which burst in the dug-out where he was sleeping.
COPE.—In loving memory of Gunner PERCY LESLIE COPE,
who was killed in action in France on June 21st, 1917, aged 22.
Not dead but sleepeth.
Somewhere there is a nameless grave,
Where sleeps our loved one among the brave ;
One of the rank and file—he heard the call,
And for the land he loved he gave his all,
—From his Wife and Son, 62 Lawford Road, New Bilton, Rugby.
ALLSO.—In ever-loving memory of our dear son and brother, Lance-Corpl PERCY ALLSO, who was killed in action in France on July 27, 1916 ; aged 23.—
“ Greater love hath no man than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”—From his
loving FATHER MOTHER, and FAMILY.
DUNKLEY.—In loving memory of our dearly-beloved son, Pte. HARRY DUNKLEY, who was killed on July 30th, 1916, somewhere in France.—Also in loving memory of our dear beloved son, Pte. PERCY JOHN DUNKLEY, who was killed somewhere in France on July 25th, 1916.—15 Chester Street, Rugby.
HOWARD.—In ever loving memory of our dear son and brother, Pte. STEVEN HOWARD, who died of wounds in France, August 1st, 1916, age 28.
“ A little time has passed, and friends around us
Think the wound is almost healed ;
But they little know the sorrow
Deep within our hearts concealed.”
—Never forgotten by his loving MOTHER and FATHER, BROTHERS and SISTERS, and also from A. CROFT, Long Lawford.
PRESTON.—In loving memory of Rifleman JACK PRESTON, 7th K.R.R,,who was killed in action on July 30, 1915.—“ Loved and lost awhile.”—From MOTHER, FATHER, and SISTERS.
REFEARN.—In loving memory of Rifleman JOSE (Tim) REDFEARN, 7th K.R.R., who died from wounds on July 21, 1915. Buried in Lyssenthock Cemetery.
“ He sleeps not In his native land,
Bur ‘neath a foreign sky,
And far from those who loved him best,
In a soldier’s grave he lies.”
—From WIFE and DAUGHTERS.
SHAW.—In loving memory of Pte. J. C. SHAW (JACK), R.W.R., who was killed in action on August 1, 1916.
“ The midnight stars are gleaming
On a grave I cannot see,
Where sleeping without dreaming
lies one most dear to me.”
—From his loving WIFE and CHILDREN.
SIMS.—In loving remembrance of HARRY SIMS, the dearly beloved elder son of LOUIE SIMS JENKINS, who was killed in action in France, July 30th, 1915, aged 19.
Sweet be thy rest, thy memory dear,
‘Tis sweet to breathe thy name ;
In life I loved thee very dear,
In death I do the same.
—From his still sorrowing Mother.
SIMS.—In ever sweetest remembrance of our dear brother HARRY SIMS, killed in action, July 30th, 1915.
Gone from our sight, but to memory ever dear.
—From his Brothers Bert, George, and Trevor ; Sisters Daisy and Mabel.
SMITH.—In loving memory of HERBERT, the dearly-loved son of FREDERICK and the late SARAH J. SMITH ; killed in action July 30th, 1915.
“ We miss and mourn thee in silence unseen,
And dwell on the memories of days that have been.”
—From FATHER, BROTHERS and SISTERS.
THOMPSON.—In loving memory, of my dear husband, Pte. ALFRED HENRY THOMPSON, who died of wounds in France on July 17th, aged 34.—“ Sleep on, dear one, till we meet again.”—From his loving WIFE and CHILDREN.
WAREING.—On July 23rd, 1916, STANLEY, the only son, of JAMES WAREING, of Lilbourne Farm, reported missing—now reported killed. Aged 18.
I often sit and think of him,
And think of how he died ;
To think he could not say “ Good-bye,”
Before he closed his eyes.
-Mother, Father, and Sisters.