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Recruits WWI
and Recruiting

Rushden Echo, 14th August, 1914, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Higham Ferrers Police Court

There were no cases at the petty sessions on Monday. Ald. Owen Parker notified the Press that the difficulties of would-be recruits have now been overcome. Mr. Barritt, of Alliance-terrace, Wellingborough, had, he said, been appointed to act as recruiting officer for Rushden and Higham district, and all wishing to join His Majesty’s army should report themselves to Mr. Barritt. Mr. Parker also said that a recruiting officer would shortly be resident in either Rushden or Higham.

Rushden Echo, 21st August, 1914, transcribed by Gill Hollis


A meeting representative of Rushden, Higham, Irthlingborough, and Raunds was held at the Town Hall, Higham Ferrers, on Monday evening, to meet Sir Ryland Adkins, K.C., M.P., chairman of the Recruiting Committee of the Northants Territorial Force Association. Alderman Owen Parker, J.P., presided, and there were present:-

Higham Ferrers, the Mayor (Ald. T. Patenall), Mr. W. Hirst Simpson, B.A., C.C., Mr. F. J. Simpson.

Rushden, Messrs. J. S. Clipson, J.P., A. H. Sartoris, J.P., F. Knight, J.P., G. Miller, C.A., J. Claridge, J.P., C.C., C. Cross, C.C., and W. Bazeley.

Irthlingborough, Mr. Hazeldine, C.C.

Raunds, Mr. J. Shelmerdine, J.P., and Mr. John Adams, C.C.

Sir Ryland Adkins, M.P., gave an address, stating that the Northants Territorial Force Association were anxious to promote the recruiting of Lord Kitchener’s Army of 100,000 men. Sir Ryland explained that the period of enlistment in Lord Kitchener’s Army was merely to the end of the war, but should the war unfortunately last over a period of three years, the term of service would then come to an end, unless the individual cared to re-enlist.

In the course of a discussion as to the best means of securing recruits, it was stated that the greatest difficulty to be met would be the fear on the part of would-be recruits that at the end of the period of service they would have difficulty in securing situations. Several of the employers of labour present undertook to keep open situations for all their employees who enlisted in Lord Kitchener’s Army, and it was stated that many other employers in the district would adopt the same course. The hope was earnestly expressed that the whole of the employers would do the same, and it was felt that under such circumstances there would be a hearty response.

Col. Fawcett attended the meeting at the request of Sir Ryland, and gave some useful information.

It was decided to form a local Advisory Committee, as follows: Messrs. Owen Parker (chairman), F. J. Simpson (secretary), Patenall, W. H. Simpson, Higham Ferrers; Sartoris, Knight, Clipson, Bazeley, Claridge, Miller, Cross, Rushden; Hazeldine, Irthlingborough; Shelmerdine and Adams, Raunds.

Rushden Echo, 4th September 1914, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Rushden and District War Items

In Northamptonshire up to yesterday the number of recruits for the Army was 1,555.

Recruits Leaving Rushden

“Goodbye, give us your fist!” One heard the remark most days this week at the Rushden station during the dinner hour as new recruits left home for an uncertain period. Yesterday dinner-time upwards of 150 people crowded round the young men who have applied for the King’s shilling. Not a few were sobbing, but these were the recruits’ sisters or someone else’s sisters. Everyone seemed proud that the towns-people were responding in such good numbers for the country’s cause. Many were the threats to end the career of any measly alien daring to question the supremacy of England and her Allies. There was no flunking among the men; in fact, they might have been going on a pleasant holiday by their jocularity. Colour Sergeant Bettles, was kept very busy getting his men off by train after train and the sight as the parties left made one hope there was as much enthusiasm from all other parts of the Empire. On one train labels were put on by wags: “To Vienna! To Berlin!”

Recruits From Rushden

During the time that Colour Sergt. Bettles has been recruiting officer for Rushden and the district, (since Aug. 1st) over 260 recruits have been sent by him to Northampton, including some this morning. On Tuesday five were conveyed from Higham by Mr. Fenton, in his motor car, five from Ringstead station and three from Irchester station. Those from Rushden station were as follow:- Aug. 18th, 1; 21st, 2; 24th, 7; 25th, 11; 26th, 1; 27th, 5; 28th, 3; 29th, 5; 31st, 25; Sept 1st, 26; 2nd, 67; 3rd, 33.

Rushden Echo, 11th September 1914, transcribed by Gill Hollis


Colour-Sergt. Bettles, of Rushden, has had another busy week with the recruiting. Although the numbers have not been quite so large this week as last, there is no doubt that the inhabitants of the town are fully alive to the situation. There is no fear of recruits failing to come forward. The results this week are as follow:- Monday 33, Tuesday 33, Wednesday 7, Thursday 0. This brings up the total for Rushden for the past three weeks to 279.

Rushden Echo, 29th January 1915

New Recruiting Station—Colour-Sergt. F. Draper has taken over, as a recruiting station, No. 87, High-street, Rushden, formerly the Labour Exchange (near the Post Office), in place of the Drill Hall, which was formerly used. It will be utilised for recruiting for all branches of His Majesty’s service.

Rushden Echo, 5th February 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

Rushden Recruits — The Co-op Employees

Rushden recruits this week include three employees of the Rushden Co-operative Society Ltd., viz., Messrs Thacker (bakery), Reginald Hodgkin (Butchery department), and Eric Bellamy (grocery stores).

Rushden Echo, 2nd April 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

Rushden Lad’s Trousers – Patriotism Unique

In order to try and gain admission to the forces, a Rushden lad, several years under the required age for Kitchener’s Army, borrowed a pair of long trousers to replace his short ones. He passed the local recruiting officer and proceeded to Northampton. But his friends, apprised of the youngster’s intentions and initial success, telephoned to the authorities at headquarters before he arrived. The officers asked him to produce his birth certificate, which, of course, he was unable to do. We understand that the would-be recruit has some kind of physical trouble, so that the attempt to enlist shows commendable patriotism.

Rushden Echo, 9th April, 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Recruiting—To stimulate recruiting, the band of the 5th Gordons visited Rushden on Saturday and headed a parade round the town, the route taken being Washbrook-road, High-street, Park-road, High-street South, Wellingborough-road and Midland-road. The following corps were represented:- The Rushden Troop of Boy Scouts, C.L.B., the Rushden Corps of St. John Ambulance Association accompanied by 1st Class Sergt. T. J. Wright and Pte. T. J. Swindall, of the Royal Naval Sick Berth Reserve, who were on week-end leave from Chatham Walcombe Hospital; C Company (Rushden) Volunteer Training Corps, under Commanders R. F. Knight and G. R. Turner, and the Special Constables under Inspector Osborne and Sergt. R. Knight. Several soldiers home on leave also participated in the procession. A collection was taken en route for the Y.M.C.A. funds. Earlier in the day parades were arranged for Irthlingborough and Higham Ferrers.

Rushden Echo, 30th April 1915

Men in Training for the Front and
The 'Rushden Echo' always in Front

Rushden men in B Company, 4th Northamptons, who will shortly be leaving for the Front. They are, like all other Rushdenites, pleased with a copy of the ‘Rushden Echo.’

L Helsdown, Kempston, C Childs, S Perkins, Lce-Cpl. Bradshaw,
C Cook, S Letts, T Woodcraft, Lce-Cpl. Salter

Rushden Argus, 10th September 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins
see also: Feast 1915
Recruiting Staff at Rushden
The Men Who Point the Way to Duty’s Call
left to right: Top row: Pte Wills (A.S.C., Kitchener's Army), Rushden; Pte. Sherwood (Kitchener's Army, Northants Regt.), Rushden; Pte. Starmer (Northants Regt.), wounded at Neuve Chapelle, been through the South African Campaign; Pte. T. Ashby (ex-R.A.M.C., now attached to the 3rd Northants); Lance-Corpl. Heard, 2nd Northants (wounded at Ypres, seen service in Egypt), Peterborough; Pte. W. Denton, Northants (wounded at Mons), Rushden; Pte. Jarvis (3rd Northants, Kitchener's Army), Raunds.

Front row: Seaman A. B. Clayton (wounded in the Dardanelles on the Empress of India), Rushden; Col.-Sergt. Draper (went through the Egyptian Campaign), Higham Ferrers; Second Lieut. Perkins, B.Sc. (1/4th Northants), Rushden; Trooper W. Baker (late of the 20th Hussars), Rushden; Lance-Corpl. Harbour (10th Batt. Canadian Regt. travelled 5,000 miles to serve his country, wounded by shrapnel 13 times; left Rushden 10 years ago for Canada).

Photo by C. F. Chapman

The Rushden Echo, 8th October, 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Recruiting Meeting at Rushden - The Voluntary System or Conscription

A great recruiting campaign was held in Rushden, last Saturday in conformity with popular gatherings which were being held in other towns throughout the country.

At 7 p.m. the Rushden V.T.C., Special Constables, Church Lads brigade, Boy Scouts, and a number of regular soldiers under Capt. Stocken, paraded at the recruiting headquarters, 100, High-street, Rushden, and subsequently headed by the Rushden Rifle Band, marched round the town via High-street, Church-street, Wellingborough-road, Washbrook-road, and High-street North to the Green, where a large crowd assembled to listen to the speeches.

Ald. G. Miller, J.P., presided at the meeting, supported by Councillor Ha………, Irthlingborough, Capt. Stocken, Mr. G. R. Turner, and Second Lieuts. B. Miller and L. Perkins.

The Chairman said that upon the result of that campaign depended the issue between voluntarism and conscription. If many thousands of recruits were not obtained that day, conscription was bound to come, but he hoped that it would not be necessary to resort to such extreme measures.

Rushden Argus, 22nd October 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

Rushden Recruits - Enthusiastic Send-Off of the New “Boys”

On the platform at Rushden Station - by C F Chapman

The recruits who have joined the Northants Regt. during the past two weeks left Rushden by the 11.49 a.m. train for Colchester on Tuesday morning.

They "fell in" outside the recruiting office and marched through the town, and were met by the Rushden Rifle Band, who played them to the station. Here they were bidden farewell by the Rector and Mr. G. Miller, C.A., and a large number of inhabitants.

Mr. Miller gave a message from Sir Ryland D. Adkins stating Col. Stopford Sackville's gratification and pleasure at the splendid response of the men to their country's call. He (the speaker) hoped before many days had passed by he would have the opportunity of addressing a similar gathering, for Northamptonshire had to send out very quickly another 300 men. They were in the fight were the "Steelbacks''—in the greatest of all fights, the fight for liberty and freedom.

The Rev. P. Robson, Rector of the parish, said his first word was one of gratitude to them for coming forward for their country's sake in the hour of her need and danger. (Applause.) He knew perfectly well that their response to such a call had cost them all something. It had meant the giving up of good jobs in Rushden, leaving home and friends; please God it might be only for a short time. They had counted the cost and they would have their reward. Their reward was the knowledge that they were doing their bit in their day and generation for their country in the hour of her need. They had by their sacrifice earned the gratitude of the town. (Applause) He thanked them for the splendid example they had set the other men of the town. It was a fine thing to see so many of them ready to go forward. He then bade them "Good-bye," which he said they all knew meant "God be with you. God bless you," he said, "and keep you. God be with you till we meet again." They were going through a period of discipline. It was always hard and irksome at first, but he was quite sure they would stick to it. Rushden lads were not afraid of facing difficulties and he was quite sure Capt. Stocken would be proud of the men he had taken from Rushden. They belonged to one of the most famous regiments in the British Army. They were called the "Steelbacks," and it was a great honour to belong to such a regiment. He was sure they would add lustre to the regiment. The "Steelbacks" always found it more difficult to retreat, than to advance. The "Steelbacks'' always remained steady, and he was sure they would always live up to their regiment’s reputation and remain steady under the most difficult circumstances. Please God they would come home again. There were many of them who believed in prayer, and they would all pray for them. He wished them good luck in the name of the Lord.

Capt. Stocken, on behalf of his men, of whom he said he was proud, thanked the speakers very much for their kind words and the band for its services. He also thanked the manufacturers who were paying the band for the time taken to play them off. (Applause) He was pleased with the smart appearance of the men and said a great deal of it was due to his N.C.O.s and men, but mostly to the men, who had worked hard and put their hearts into it. No regiment had move records than the "Steelbacks." and there was one record which was generally known. The "Steelbacks" had never given up a trench they had charge of during the whole of the war. (Loud applause) He was very proud of his men, and was sure they would be a credit to the regiment and to the town. (Applause)

Messrs. R. W. Knibbs, J. Adams, E. Austin and C. Bates, of the Athletic and Band Clubs, presented each man with a packet of cigarettes, as also did Mrs. Cartwright, of High-street, and Mr. Evans, of the Victoria Hotel.

Cheers were then heartily given for the men and the officers.

As the men were entraining the band played "Tho girl I left behind me" and "Auld Lang Syne," and as the train steamed out of the station, "God save the King."

Rushden Echo, 22nd October 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis

To the 8th Battalion Northants Regiment

Bland, W.          

Wright, I.

Waller, G.

Winsor, G.

Elliott, J.

Foster, C. A.

Stokes, G. H.

Reynolds, C. G.

Coles, T. H.

Hancock, I.

Church, G. E.

White, F.

Woodhams, B.

Denton, F.

Tebbutt, I.

Warner, F. W.

Clipstone, G.

Mackness, A. H.

Bryant, F.

Mitchell, J.

Wiggin, C. H.

Copperwheat, H. R.

Seamark, J.

Rushden Argus, 22nd October 1915

Footballer Enlists
Mr Eric Tomkins Joins R.F.C.

We learn that Mr Eric Tomkins, of Queen-street, Rushden, has been accepted for the Royal Flying Corps. Mr Tomkins was half-back for the Northampton Football Club. He expects to leave Rushden in a day or two.

Eric Tomkins
Eric Tomkins

Rushden Echo, 29th October, 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Local Recruits

The following local young men have enlisted in the 8th Northants Regiment during the past week:-

Dickens, Albert, Harborough-road, Rushden

Roberts, Charles, Newton-road, Rushden

Banks, Sidney, Moor-road, Rushden

Parker, T. H., Montague-street, Rushden

Parker, R., Pratt-road, Rushden

Hobbs, J., Fletcher-road, Rushden

Davis, C. H., Westbourne-grove, Rushden

Cook, H., Brookfield-road, Rushden

Recruits 1915
The caption is 3/4th Northamptonshire Regiment Recruits - November 1915
Photograph taken by C F Chapman (Washbrook Road) - courtesy of Carl Truett

The Rushden Echo, 5th November, 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Recruiting In Rushden
Offices at Higham Ferrers & Irthlingborough to be Opened Shortly

The following is a list of the men who have enlisted in the 8th Northants since our last issue:-

Abbott, F. W., Higham-road, Rushden

Denton, A., Cromwell-road, Rushden

Groom, W., Newton-road, Rushden

Married Men and the Army

In view of the uncertainty in the minds of many married men in Rushden who are eligible for the Army we are asked to draw attention to Mr. Asquith’s speech in the House of Commons. “I am told by Lord Derby,” Mr. Asquith said, “that there is some doubt among married men who are now being asked to enlist whether they may not be called upon to serve, having enlisted, while younger and unmarried men are holding back and not doing their duty.” Mr. Asquith removed this impression, and said that the obligation of married men to enlist should not be enforced until the unmarried men had been enrolled – by voluntary effort, he hoped, but as a last resort, by other means. Mr. Asquith expressed his confidence that the young unmarried men would not shirk the defence of their country.

The Rushden Echo, 5th November, 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Recruiting in Rushden
Capt. Stocken’s Stirring Appeals
The Northamptonshire Regiment: One to be Proud of
New Scheme For “Pals” - Rushden Chaps “Good Sports”

Stirring appeals for recruits for the Northants Regiment were made at the Rushden theatres on Saturday night by Capt. Stocken, who, in each instance, emphasized the fact that it was a Northamptonshire man’s obvious duty, in joining the colours, to attach himself to his County regiment in preference to others. Speaking at the Royal first house the Captain said that it was the Rushden young men’s own fault that he had to make another appeal. He ought to have left the town long ago but he had not yet been able to obtain as many men as he wanted. He had not come to Rushden to force men to enlist but rather to help them. The headquarters, 100, High-street, was not only a recruiting office but also an enquiry office. It had been reported to him that a lot of Rushden men had joined the R.A.M.C. If that was so he felt rather sorry for them, as it showed that they were not good enough for the County Regiment. Another corps of which Rushden men seemed very fond was the R.G.A. That was a very fine corps, but at time when the R.A.M.C. and the R.G.A. got full up, the overplus of men was transferred to infantry regiments, as it was infantry that was needed, and infantry that they were going to have. A new scheme had been formulated as an inducement to Rushden men to enlist – a “Pals” section, particulars of which might be seen on bills posted in various parts of the town. He had a very clever sergeant in his office, who, by the way, was a Rushden man, and the scheme was the outcome of his suggestion. They were now asking Rushden men to come forward and offer themselves for the 8th Battalion Northants Regiment in batches of ten. They would train together, live together, beat the Germans together, and, he hoped come back together. Men only needed to use their common sense to realise that if they joined the R.A.M.C. or R.G.A., they stood a very good chance of being transferred to some infantry regiment, and thus become separated, whereas if they joined their County Regiment he was prepared to guarantee that they would be all together in the same section, same platoon, same company, and same battalion. They would be all pals together, and it would be more like being at home. The King asked them to enlist. God bless him, he wished him a speedy recovery. Particulars of the new scheme had been sent to each club in Rushden, and they had asked each club to form a section of its own. The chance for men to enlist in gangs of from four to six was the finest opportunity yet given them. One could not say too much in praise of their own County Regiment. Why Northamptonshire men joined other regiments he could not conceive. The Guards were admittedly one of the finest regiments in the British Army, and yet at the Battle of Talavera, it was the Northants that saved the Guards. That fact alone ought to make them proud of their County Regiment. At the Battle of Talavera, the English centre, comprising the Guards, was broken, and they were being forced to retire on all sides, when up came a beautiful line, in beautiful formation, the 48th regiment of foot, viz., the Northants Regiment. It looked at one time as though the French were winning, until the Northants wheeled their companies and allowed the retreating men to pass through and form up in their rear. They then re-attacked the French and whilst they were doing that the other regiments came up, charged with the bayonet, and won the victory. That was entirely owing to the Northants Regiment, and all Rushden chaps ought to be proud to join such a regiment. Why they joined other regiments he could not imagine and would like to be told. It could not be that they were afraid, as he had yet to meet a Rushden man who was a coward. It could only be that they did not comprehend the need of the County Battalion. He had many times warned them that they would be given a personal call with the registration cards, and he honestly believed that that scheme would be put into effect during the coming week. He urged Rushden men not to hold back until they were pestered and badgered by canvassers but to come forward voluntarily. Personally, he was proud of his recruits, especially as that afternoon they had beaten the Windmill at football.

In the course of a similar appeal at the Palace second house Capt. Stocken made feeling reference to the martyrdom of Nurse Cavell and urged Rushden men as Englishmen to do their part in avenging her murder. She died for her country, he said, and every man, if he was worthy of the name of a man, could not but feel proud of her heroism. (Applause.) In paying tribute to the value of the British Navy, Captain Stocken said that there was no shadow of a doubt that, if it were not for the work of the fleet, Rushden might have suffered the fate of many towns in Belgium, there would be no food, and Britain would have ceased to be a nation. The British Army had also done its bit at Loos, and well the Germans knew it. (Applause.) Help was now to be given to Serbia, which country appeared in a very bad plight. Things might not, however, be so bad as they appeared in the connection, as military tactics were not always easy to understand, but it was obvious that England must have men, and it was up to the citizens of the United Kingdom to supply the need. Englishmen ought to be proud of their country, and proud of the opportunity of volunteering for their King and country. (Hear, hear.) During his stay in Rushden he had found Rushden fellows to be gentlemen. He had never had a hard word from any one of them, and he believed they would come forward if they only realised that they were really wanted. They were jolly good chaps in Rushden as was evidenced by what his men had done that afternoon by beating the Windmill F.C. 2-1. Perhaps some would say that his men were lucky, any how they were good sports. Both sides had played the game as Englishmen should. (Applause.) The British and French soldiers played the game. They did not murder women as did the Germans. The Germans were not to be trusted, even when they hoisted the white flag. The captain concluded with the appeal that the ensuing week should be a record of recruiting in Rushden.


5th November, 1915

Presentation to Captain Stocken
By Rushden and District Recruits

This morning a pleasing ceremony took place in the Recreation Ground. The men who have enlisted in the 8th Northants during the last three weeks, and are about to leave for Colchester, wished to express in some practical manner their great appreciation of the care and time which Capt. Stocken has spent upon them during their preliminary drill. To meet this end a collection was made amongst the men and during the morning parade Capt. Stocken was asked to accept a solid silver cigarette case by Sergt. S. T. Fox on behalf of the recruits.

Sergt. Fox made a suitable speech in making the presentation, and Capt. Stocken thanked the men most heartily for the gift, which he said he would value more than anything else he might have.

Three cheers were heartily given for the Captain.

Rushden Echo, 12th November 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Another Batch of Enlistments

Lieut. E. Franklin Smith has been sent to Rushden from the headquarters of the 8th Battalion Northants to assist Capt. Stocken at the new recruiting depots opened at Irthlingborough, Higham Ferrers, etc.

The draft of 50 recruits which, as reported in this issue, left Rushden on Monday for headquarters and were met at Colchester by the band and about 150 men. These included the previous draft from Rushden, with full equipment and arms, and they looked very smart. The C.O., Brevet Col. E. R. Hartigan, congratulated Capt. Stocken on the very fine physique of the men he had brought with him that day, and said that he trusted that within the next week or so he would bring a further draft equally as good. The men of the new draft were splendidly received, and settled down in their new quarters at once, perfectly contented at meeting so many of their own pals again.

Further recruits for the Northants:-

Furnell E. H.  Bythorne.        
Groom W.  Newton-road, Rushden. 
Smart A. G.  Raunds. 
Bailey A. E.  Higham Ferrers.
Richardson J.  Irchester.
Tyers H.  Irchester.
Waite J. L.  Rushden.
Richards A.  Raunds.
Cave A.  Rushden.
Wills J.  Irthlingborough.
Richardson C. H.  Pemberton-street, Rushden.
Wright E. H.  Rushden.
March W. H.  Rushden. 
Makeham F.  Rushden.
Betts H.  Harborough-road, Rushden. 
Ingram J.  Irthlingborough.
Eales L. J.  Irthlingborough. 
Key M. J.  Westbourne-grove, Rushden.
Green S. C.  Wellingborough-road, Rushden. 
Hales J. G.  Westbourne-grove, Rushden. 
Underwood P.  Wellingborough-road, Rushden. 
Wiggins H. W.  Pytchley-road, Rushden.
Hill F.  Grove-road, Rushden.
Fowler W. T.  Irchester. 
Annies W. J.  Raunds.
Rushden Echo, 19th November 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

Recruiting in Rushden
The Steelbacks - Another Batch of Enlistments

Second Lieut. L. Perkins, 3/4th Northants (Territorials) has secured the following recruits for his battalion during the past fortnight:-

Ayres, V

7 Oswald-road, Rushden

Stocker, A

6 Oswald-road, Rushden

Knight, Thomas

26 Newtown-road, Raunds

Hooton, F

10 Ebenezer-terrace, Rushden

Harris, F

6 Fitzwilliam-street, Rushden

Palmer, F

42 Spencer-road, Rushden

Tebbutt, H

90 Newton-road

Brown, H

15 Fletcher-road, Rushden

Sawford, J

East View, Farndish-road, Irchester

Deadman, Sid

Bottom Farm, Yelden

Sharp, G


Gathergood, A H

19 Pemberton-street, Rushden

Cowley, Arthur

94 Cromwell-road, Rushden

Stringer, Bill

Depot, Raunds

Munns, C W

11 Rectory-road, Rushden

Gumbrell, Jas W


Barlow, Arthur


Parker, H T

21 Montague-street, Rushden

Bates, H H

8 Denmark-road, Rushden

Tite, G F


Jacquest, W E


Bailey, A E

Portland-road, Rushden

Pope, B

56 Washbrook-road, Rushden

The Drill Hall is the headquarters of the Territorials, and the above recruits meet there for drill.

The 8th Northamptons

The following recruits for the 8th Northants have enlisted since our last issue:-

Fowler, W T


Annies, W J


Walker, G H

Wellingboro-road, Rushden

Austin, David


Furness, R


Ward, F C

Co-operative-row, Rushden

Lewis, G J

High-street, Rushden

Mead, F

Victoria-road, Rushden

Harris, A

High-street South, Rushden

Hall, W

East Grove, Rushden

Linnell, T

Great Addington

Scrimshaw, W A

Midland-road, Rushden

Lewis, W

High-street, Rushden

Gale, F

Duck-street, Rushden

Charles, J H B

Higham Ferrers

Drage, L


Mayes, J J

Higham Ferrers

Boddington, J


Horne, C C W


Meeks, F C


The Windmill Club, Rushden, have the honour of being the first club in the town to send enough men to form a section.

We understand that great efforts are being made to form a Pal'€™s Section in Irthlingborough, for the 8th Northants.

It will be noticed from the above list of 20 recruits for the 8th Northants eleven are from outlying districts.

Rushden Echo, 26th November 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

Rushden Boxer - Joins the Colours

Fred Jones, the Rushden bantam-weight boxer, has joined the Army.

Rushden Echo, 26th November 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

Recruiting in Rushden

The following are the latest recruits for the 8th Northamptons:-

Horne, C C W


Meeks, F C


Panter, J A


Lewis, H H


Mayes, F B


Wingfield, A


Bradshaw, Wm


Day, J W


Newell, R P

Higham Ferrers

Robinson, F


Out of the last 20 recruits eight were from Rushden and 12 from the outside. The 150 recruits comprise 79 from Rushden and 71 from the district.

A cheque for £10/17/1½ has been handed to the Higham V.A.D. Hospital as the result of the football match three weeks ago. This week a cheque for £9/3/3 has been sent to Mr. Holloway, of Northampton, treasurer for the Northants prisoners of War Relief Fund, as the result of last Saturday'€™s football match.

Rushden Echo, 26th November 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins


Wm Orpin, who was for three years in service as footman at Rushden House, has enlisted in the 18th Battalion King'€™s Royal Rifles, and joins at Brighton on Tuesday. He will be sent to Winchester.

Rushden Echo, 26th November 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

Joins the A.S.C.

Mr. F. W. Dix, the famous Raunds athlete, cyclist, and skating champion, has, with his brother, joined the motor transport section of the Army Service Corps.

Rushden Echo, 3rd December 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Recruiting In Rushden - Local Men Join The Steelbacks - Latest Enlistments

A further draft of 45 recruits for the Northants Regiment left Rushden last Friday by the 11.49 a.m. train. The men fell in at the Green, and, headed by the Rushden Rifle Band, marched via High-street to the station, where a large crowd had assembled to see them off. The men were drawn up in the station approach and were addressed by Alderman G. Miller and Owen Parker (chairman of the East Northants Recruiting Committee).

Mr. Miller expressed thanks to the various clubs and tradesmen in the town who had thoughtfully provided the men with cigarettes.

Ald. Parker congratulated the men of the draft upon having joined a very fine regiment. He expressed the belief that the men of that district would not wait to be fetched but would come forward voluntarily.

Capt. Stocken, in response, expressed thanks to Ald. Parker and Ald. Miller, and said that although the previous drafts he had sent from Rushden were fine bodies of men, that present draft was in his opinion the best and most efficient draft he had sent to Colchester. (Applause.) Although the men had only joined a fortnight previously, they had been doing drill that was usually confined to recruits of five weeks’ standing, and he had actually taken some of the men from the ranks to act as section leaders. He expressed the hope that the next draft would be as good, and that within a week or so he would have another 200 recruits. (Laughter.) It was no laughing matter, continued the Captain, as there were at least 600 men eligible for the army remaining in Rushden. He did not want to go and fetch them but hoped that they would offer themselves voluntarily. He expressed thanks to the Athletic, Town Band and Windmill Clubs for presenting the men with cigarettes and also to Mr. W. A. Evans, the Co-operative Society and Messrs. Tailby and Putnam for similar favours.

The Rifle Band played appropriate music as the men waited their train and the Town Band Club Male Voice Choir, under Mr. W. Hardwick, rendered “Comrades in arms.” The train moved off to the strains of the National Anthem.

The recruiting officials desire us to state that the office, 100, High-street, Rushden, is again open at the usual time and that further recruits will be welcomed.

Yesterday Captain Stocken returned to the Battalion, and the duties at Rushden will be taken over by Captain H. C. Wright.

Up to last night 90 recruits had enlisted at the Rushden office, 87 High-street, through Col.-Sergt. Draper, under the Derby’s scheme.

Rushden Echo, 3rd December 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins


Mr. Albert Noble and Mr. Frank Noble, sons of Mr. J Noble of London, Canada, late of Rushden, have both enlisted in the 70th Battalion Overseas Infantry, Canadian Regiment.

Rushden Echo, 10th December 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

Enrolling at Rushden – Big Push

Yesterday and today the recruiting office at Rushden has been thronged with men anxious to enrol under Lord Derby’s scheme. So great had been the rush that the recruiting officers have found difficulty in dealing with the men. The office was open until 11p.m. yesterday, and this morning at 9.30 there were no attestation papers left. A further supply was received at noon. Up to yesterday mid-day about 260 men had enrolled during the week, and over 100 were put through last night. It is expected that by this evening the number will exceed 400.

Rushden Echo, 10th December 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

Minister Enlists

Mr. Thomas Litchfield, a former teacher at the Newton-road schools, Rushden, and subsequently a Congregational pastor, has joined the officers Training Corps.

The Rushden Echo, 17th December, 1915

Rushden’s Fine Response
To Lord Derby’s Appeal - Remarkable Rush of Recruits
Less Than A Hundred Eligibles Not Enrolled

Unprecedented scenes in the matter of recruiting were witnessed in Rushden during the last few days of enrolment under Lord Derby’s scheme. So great was the rush that the regular recruiting stations proved totally inadequate to deal with the number of men who presented themselves, so that it became necessary to requisition Alfred-street Schools for the purpose.

Even here, although the arrangements were excellent, the officials found their task no sinecure, and, although everybody worked with a will, several would-be recruits complained of being kept in their birthday suits, whilst awaiting the medical examination. On the whole, however, the spirit of the men was excellent, and the disqualified ones were soon brought into a state of amiableness by the jokes of their companions.

One optimist was heard to declare that it might be worse in the trenches, whilst another individual of truculent visage, who had successfully passed the doctor, was delighted at the prospect of having to do some “swearing,” as he termed it. The clerk who filled in his attestation papers was given tangible evidence of the gentleman’s abilities in that direction.

A perplexed look appeared on the faces of several when asked their religion. One young man desired to be put down as a Morman, whilst another was obviously unable to answer the question.

“Oh, put him in the band,” said Col. Sergt. F. Draper, meaning the Church of England.

“I ‘dornt’ belong to the ruddy Band,” replied the recruit, “I belong to the Athletic!”

The Medical Examinations

were expeditiously carried out by Drs. Greenfield, Davies, Owen, and Baker, and the work of filling in attestation and medical papers was efficiently carried out by Messrs. W. W. Rial, S. Saddler, A. Mantle, E. L. Brightwell, V. Carrington and Rattan, and two members of the Rushden V.T.C. (Second-in-command G. R. Turner and Pte. B. Tomkins) together with Col.-Sergt. F. Draper and his staff.

Capt. Wright, Lieut. L. Perkins, Ald. G. Miller, and Councillors J. Claridge, F. Knight, T. Swindall, and W. Bazeley were busy attesting the men.

If every town in the British Isles has done so well as Rushden under Lord Derby’s scheme then without doubt the voluntary system has received striking vindication, although evidence goes to show that fully 70 per cent. of the men who have enrolled are married. This fact in itself, however, is no tangible proof that the single men of the district have shirked their responsibilities, as it must be remembered that many bachelors had previously joined His Majesty’s forces, and an examination of the figures, viz., a totalling up of those who have enrolled as “Derby men,” those who had previously enlisted, and those of military age obviously ineligible through physical defects, reveal the fact that fewer than 100 eligibles remain in the town. The offices had to be open on Sunday.

We are able to state that at least 1,200 men presented themselves for enrolment. Of this number 1,060 passed the doctor, and the remaining 140 were rejected as “unfit.” Truly a magnificent result. We can only hope that it is the intention of such as have not enrolled to present themselves for immediate service, as we should be sorry to see the necessity arise for a measure of compulsion.

The V.T.C.

The Rushden Company of the V.T.C. has already received into its ranks for training several of the newly enrolled Derby men, and the company is still open to receive others. Drills are on Tuesday and Friday evenings at 8 o’clock at the Drill Hall, Church-street, Rushden, and on Sundays at 10 a.m. on the Town Cricket Ground.

The men receive instruction in infantry training, physical drill, musketry, and signalling, and are already engaged in the useful work of patrolling the railway and guarding bridges.

Rushden Echo, 17th December 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Lord Derby’s Scheme

The approximate number of Rushden men who presented themselves for enrolment was 1,300. Of these 250 were rejected as unfit, leaving 1,050 who were passed into the Special Army Reserve.

Rushden Echo, 17th December, 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Route March at Rushden - Recruiting Rally
Volunteers and Special Constables - Joined by Lord Derby’s Recruits

A route march and recruiting rally organised by the Rushden recruiting authorities was held on Sunday morning, and, taking into consideration the fact that snow was falling heavily in the earlier part of the morning, the number of men who turned up for parade was very satisfactory. It was hoped that practically all the newly-enrolled men would parade, in which case there would have been a most imposing demonstration of Rushden’s patriotism, but the number of Derby men that fell in with the disciplined bodies of the town at the Drill Hall, Church-street, at 10.30 a.m. amounted to barely 100.

Many of the Special Army Reserve men were, however, included in the ranks of the V.T.C. and special Constables, and these, of course, marched with their respective organisations.

The order of the procession was as follows:- Col.-Sergt. Draper acting as drum major, the Rushden Rifle Band under Conductor E. Whitworth, men of the 8th and 4th Northants under Capt. Wright and Lieut Perkins respectively, the Rushden Company V.T.C. under Commandant R. F. Knight and Second-in-Command G. R. Turner, Higham V.T.C. under Commandant F. W. Margetts, Rushden and Higham Special Constables under Inspector Osborne, the Rushden Boy Scouts with drum and bugle band, and the Derby recruits. The latter formed fours very creditably, and marched with good alignment considering that they were for the most part untrained men. The outward route, which was well lined with spectators, was via High-street, High-street North, and Rushden Hill, to Kimbolton-road, where the company was wheeled, returning to Rushden via Wellingborough-road and Hayway to the Drill Hall, where they were dismissed.

The Rushden Echo, 24th December, 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Recruiting In Rushden
Hearty Send Off For Recruits
Over 200 Men for the 8th Northants
Lieut. Perkins Does Well

On Tuesday a further batch of Rushden men, recruited for the 8th Battalion Northants Regiment, left by the 11.49 a.m. train for Colchester, in the charge of Sergt. Fox. The men, who numbered about a dozen, were the recipients of enthusiastic cheers from the large crowd which had assembled at the station to see them off, and as they entrained the Rushden Rifle Band played patriotic airs, and suitable selections were sung by the Town Band Club Male Voice Choir, under the conductorship of Mr. W. Hardwick. Cigarettes, etc., were distributed amongst the men, by the generosity of various clubs and tradesmen in the town.

The 8th Northants recruiting campaign in Rushden was thus brought to a conclusion and it is gratifying to report that during the campaign in the town upwards of 200 men have been secured for this battalion of the county regiment.

A further contingent of about 40 men obtained during the past two months for the 3/4th Northants Regiment by Lieut. L. Perkins, B.Sc., left Rushden by the 1.19 p.m. train and were given a hearty send off. They fell in at the Drill Hall under the command of Lieut. Perkins, and headed by the Rushden Rifle Band, with Col. Sergt. Draper acting as drum major, they marched to the station approach, where they were addressed by Mr. T. Swindall, J.P. (chairman of the Rushden Urban Council) and the Rev. P. E. Robson, M.A. (Rector of St. Mary’s).

Mr. Swindall expressed his pleasure in being afforded the opportunity of wishing the men success. He was confident that they would do their utmost to bring the great war to a successful issue. There was far more significance in a soldier’s uniform to-day than in bygone years. They were going to fight not only for themselves but for those they were leaving behind. He wished every man amongst them good luck, and trusted that they would all come back safe and sound.

The Rev. P. Robson said that he was present that afternoon as the representative of the St. Mary’s branch of the C.E.M.S. to convey to the men the hearty good wishes of the members, and to present to the men of the 3/4th Northants cigarettes and sweets purchased with the proceeds of a collection recently taken at one of their meetings. They had something to be proud of in the fact that they were going to fight for their country, and the country would never forget the services by the Territorial Forces at a critical time in her history. At a time when the British Army was badly in need of men, the Territorials had stepped into the breach. He wished them good luck in the name of God and trusted that all would safely return to their homes.

Cigarettes were presented to the men by the Rushden Athletic and the Town Band Clubs, Messrs. Tailby and Putnam, and St. Mary’s C.E.M.S.

Lieut. Perkins, in expressing thanks on behalf of his men, said he was proud of his boys, all of whom he had recruited locally. He trusted he would be able to secure a further 40 Rushden men for his battalion.

On the initiative of the Rev. P. Robson, three hearty cheers were given for Lieut. Perkins, and as the men entrained the Rushden Rifle Band contributed “Auld Lang Syne,” and as the train moved off the “National Anthem.”

Rushden Echo, 31st December 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins

Rushden Recruit

Mr. John Richard Marriott, third son of Mr. and Mrs. R. Marriott, of Rushden, has enlisted in the King’s Royal Rifles. Mr. and Mrs. Marriott’s second son, 2nd Lieut. R. A. Marriott, of the 4th Northants, is in the Gallipoli Peninsula, and is fit and well.

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