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Wartime snippets & Fundraising

Extract from a Note Book of J E Smith

3rd May 1794 - Enrolled in Northants Yeomanry (Wellingborough Dvision) Thomas Fletcher, Rushden, Cornet. [lived at Rushden Hall]

18 Sep 1795 - Rushden - Wanted for the service of the Navy a Volunteer for the Parishes of Ringstead & Rushden – a Bounty of £25 will be given by applying to the Churchwardens of the said Parishes.


The Rushden Echo, 9th April, 1915, transcribed by Jim Hollis

America and The War - Sympathy with the Allies - Bernardhi’s Mission

An English resident in New York, writing to a member of the “Rushden Echo” staff, says:-

“The American people are on the side of the Allies and have sent many ship loads of clothes and food both to the soldiers fighting and to the hungry Belgians. There are a great many naturalised Americans of German parentage; even some of them sympathise with the Allies. But there is a great deal of advertising done here for the German side. For instance, General Von Bernardhi, with the permission of the Kaiser, is sending a series of articles on the war to the ‘Sun,’ a very moderate daily New York paper. This morning I see in big letters ‘England the Cause of the Outbreak. Victory for Germany.’ It is riling when one knows the truth to be otherwise. Of course, just now affairs in Mexico are very serious. Mr. Wilson is having a troublesome time as President. It was announced that for three weeks he would not receive any visitors, but was going to make a deep study of the political situation.”

Rushden Echo, 16th April 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis

Lights Out

Instructions were received last night by the Rushden Police by telephone at about 7 p.m. to notify the proprietors of all factories, and the most brilliantly lighted establishments in the town to be prepared to extinguish all lights at 15 minutes’ notice. As a precaution all the street lamps and principal shop lamps were extinguished by about 9.30 p.m. and the lights of Lord John Sanger’s circus were shaded. This order was probably due to the presence in Essex of hostile aircraft. The police authorities are gratified at the promptitude shown by the townsfolk generally in complying with the order.

Lord John Sanger’s circus and menagerie, which visited Rushden yesterday, was a decided attraction and proved to be a magnificent show. The tents were pitched yesterday morning in Bayes’ Field, Washbrook-road. There were two performances, at 2.30 and 8 p.m., and both were well patronised. The chief feature of the programme was the grand Cossack display, a realistic exhibition of the fine horsemanship of the Russian cavalry in war-time, and of the peculiar and fascinating way in which the Russian peasants dance. Other very interesting and original items were the four performing sea-lions, which executed a series of very clever and comical tricks, comprising balancing, tumbling, ball-spinning, etc.; the flying Danes, in a skilful aerial gymnastic display; the elephants’ gymnasium; and a clever exhibition of wire-walking, including Pimpo’s wire-walking elephant; and many other attractive features. An element of fun was introduced throughout the show by Pimpo, the equestrian comedian. He was quite a source of delight for the children and his comical antics provoked much mirth. A good programme of music was provided by the band, which was conducted by Mr. J. Perry. After each performance all the animals were exhibited and fed in the menagerie.

Rushden Echo, 3rd March 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins

Lieut. Franklin Smith, who was in charge of the Lord Derby recruits at Rushden, has been presented by them, on the occasion of his wedding, with a silver-plated salad bowl and servers.

Rushden Echo, 3rd March 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins

The Red Cross committee have taken up the scheme of the National Egg Collection for Sick and Wounded Soldiers. Half a million eggs are wanted weekly. A start was made this week, Newton-road mixed school (Per Miss Source) collecting 211 and Newton-road infants (per Miss Scott) 166. The eggs have been sent to headquarters by Mrs. Walter Robinson, secretary of the local Red Cross Society.

Rushden Echo, 10th March 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins

Serbians—The Rushden committee have sent 737 garments, 136 pairs of boots, and 60 hats to Cromwell-road, London, for Serbian refugees.

Rushden Echo, 5th May 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins

Empire Day was observed at the day schools on Wednesday. The scholars at the Alfred-st. School were paraded outside and Mr. Rial (headmaster) ran up the furled Union Jack. As it unfurled the children sang “Unfurl the Flag.” Mr. Rial during the morning gave an address on the “Union Jack,” and said the red stood for territory, the blue for our naval power, and the white for justice and freedom. The children were given appropriate lessons by their teachers. In the afternoon the scholars painted the Union Jack, and Mr. Rial gave another address. Similar celebrations took place at the other elementary schools.

Rushden Echo, 14th July 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins

A Flower and Egg Service was held on Sunday afternoon in St. Mary’s Church, conducted by the Rector (the Rev. P. Robson). An address was given by the Rev. P. J. Richards, Vicar of St. Peter’s. Generous gifts of flowers and eggs were brought by the scholars, and 700 eggs were sent away for the wounded soldiers, in addition to which about 100 were sent to the sick in the town. [see letter from Sgt. G. Freeman 18th Aug 1916]

Rushden Echo, 21st July 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins

Wellingborough Police Court – This Day (Friday)
Before Col. J. Hill, Mr. Hazeldine, Mr. W. Bazeley, Mr. E. Parsons and Mr. Gent.

Arthur Simpson, Rushden, for driving a trap at night without a red rear light, was fined 6/0.

Annie Beeby, 92, Park-road, Albert Green, 111, Washbrook-road, all of Rushden, were fined 6/0 each for breaches of the Lighting Restriction Order.

Rushden Echo, 28th July 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins

Naval Sick Berth ReserveThe authorities on Sunday last applied to the Rushden Corps of the St. John Ambulance Brigade for more men for the Royal Naval Sick Berth Reserve, and the following were decided upon as eligible. Ptes. W. Partridge, W. Chattall, F. Chattall, J. W Smith, W. Frisby, C. Boyce, G. Linger, E. Hobbs, A. Drage, H. Maddams, A. Warr, and H. Deighton. The Rushden Corps have already 44 members on active service. The men mentioned above have all passed the medical examination, with one exception, and they are now awaiting orders.

Rushden Echo, 15th September 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins

A Sale of Work on behalf of her Soldiers’ Comforts Fund was arranged by Miss Nellie Gates and was held yesterday in the grounds of Rose Mount, Irchester-road, by permission of Mr and Mrs J Knight. The effort was most successful, and attracted a good number of visitors. The stalls comprised a fancy stall in charge of the Misses Nellie Gates and Connie Selwood, a confectionery stall supervised by Misses Lily Knight and Flossie Sharwood, and a bran pie under the direction of the Misses Gwennie Brightwell and Rene Selwood. Little Miss Gates is to be heartily congratulated on the success of her effort, which was the means of raising £3/3/3. For the past twelve months she has been working very hard making socks, scarves, wallets, etc., for the soldiers at the front. She has 36 men on her list to whom she writes regularly and who thoroughly appreciate her kindness to them, as is shewn by the many letters of thanks she has received. Nellie is not able to attend school like other little girls, being a little invalid, so she is devoting the time she thus has at her disposal to the worthy end above mentioned.

Rushden Echo, 26th October 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Over twelve bushels of chestnuts have been collected by the Rushden Boy Scouts in the grounds of Rushden Hall, at the invitation of Mrs Sartoris. Secretary C Cox, Scountmaster Fountain, and Assist. S M Parkin were in charge of the boys. The chestnuts are required for munition purposes.

Rushden Echo, 5th October 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

A Curious Mistake—Quite a number of Rushden people, it is said, have wrongly addressed their forms relating to sugar cards to the “District Food Office” at “Podington.” The error is said to have arisen through misreading the specimen forms which have been posted round the town. In that specimen appears the line “District Food Office, Paddington”, the first three words being in printed characters and the word “Paddington” in imitation handwriting, to show where the name of the district should be written in. Evidently the word “Paddington” was misunderstood as “Podington.”

Rushden Echo, 23rd November 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins

Wymington - Motor Ploughing, by lamplight was a war-time novelty to be seen on Tuesday night from the Bedford-road, the driver being Mr. Jack Smith, son of Mr. W. W. Smith, farmer, Wymington and Rushden.

Rushden Echo, 18th January 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

Soup Kitchen - Last night, at a meeting dealing with the food problem, Mr. G. W. Coles stated that the Rushden Co-operative Society had decided to open soup kitchens for the children and to sell the soup at as reasonable price as possible. The Society did not mean to make a halfpenny profit on it, their idea being that the children, at any rate, should have sufficient food to keep them warm.

Rushden Echo, 1st February 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

An Interesting Photograph has been received by Mr. and Mrs. G. W. Button, of Rushden, from their son, Mr. Percy Button, who is a wireless telegraphist on board the S.S. ---. The photograph which was taken off the coast of German East Africa, shows Mr. Button on an “oil tank,” reading a copy of the “Rushden Echo.” The particular issue he is reading contains a report of the lamented death of Lieut. Thomas Litchfield, of Rushden, one of his old schoolfellows. Mr. Button is able occasionally to pay a visit to an old Rushdenite in the person of Mr. A. E. Long. The photograph may be seen in the “Rushden Echo” Office window.

Rushden Echo, 8th February 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

A Soup Kitchen, intended mainly for the children of the town, was opened by the Co-operative Society on Wednesday and Thursday, and 36 gallons of excellent soup was dispensed at 3d. a quart. The kitchen will be opened (at the High-street stores) each Wednesday and Thursday from 11.30 to 12.30, until further notice.

Rushden Echo, 22nd February 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

An Army Biplane, bearing the inscription “Presented by His Majesty the Sultan of Johore,” descended in Mr. Ashwell’s field off the Wellingborough-road on Tuesday about 2p.m., and was placed under the guard of men of the Rushden Platoon Volunteers. The men, in reliefs, remained on guard throughout the whole of Tuesday and Wednesday nights and yesterday.

Rushden Echo, 13th September 1918, transcribed by Kay Collins

Coal and Wood Competitions—In connection with the Hospital Parade, the coal (137lbs. 14ozs.) was won by Mrs Upton, junr. The wood (1ton 2cwt. 8lbs.) was won by Mr. T. Perkins.

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