|Rushden Echo and Argus, 2oth February 1942, transcribed by Gill Hollis
War Weapons Week
Admiral Starts Rushden On Quorn Voyage
Warship Week Meeting and Parade
Admiral Sir William Edmund Goodenough, G.C.B., K.C.B., C.B., M.V.O., gave the Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds Warship Week a fine send-off at Rushden on Saturday afternoon.
His incisive personality dominated the “launching” ceremony at the Royal Theatre, and his urgent call to realise Britain’s danger and back the Navy by an unconquerable spirit will not soon be forgotten.
The meeting was held at the Royal Theatre, under the chairmanship of the Marquess of Exeter, Lord Lieutenant of the County, and began the area’s effort to raise £250,000 for the adoption of H.M. destroyer Quorn.
Coun. T. W. Cox, J.P., chairman of the Rushden Urban Council, who introduced the visitors, said the area aim of £250,000 was no mean one. They would achieve it, but not without the co-operation of every individual the “little” money as well as the “big” money.
He believed the war could not be won without considerable personal sacrifice far greater than people seemed at present to realise but he thought the people of the Rushden district would rise ton this occasion, as on others, and would show they were keenly alive to national requirements.
Referring to his friendly wager with the mayor of Bedford “a pair of good Rushden shoes to a Bedfordshire hat” Mr. Cox said he was badly in need of a new hat, and it depended upon the public as to whether he was fitted up with one.
Mr. Cox read a telegram from the Wellingborough Council chairman, Mr. F. H. Johnson : “Best wishes for a bumper success. May Captain Cox win his new hat.”
There was much applause when he read messages sent by Mr. A. V. Alexander, Sir Kinsgsley Wood and Lord Kindersley, but the biggest round was reserved for the postogram from the destroyer Quorn, which Rushden has set out to adopt.
Taking over the chairmanship, the Marquess of Exeter said: “I can only hope and trust that your Warship Week will be a very great success, and that you will follow in the steps of other Northamptonshire places and not only double your quota, but treble it.”
Lord Exeter added: “I hope some of my friends here who are keen anglers and who come and fish with me now and again will throw their ??? upon the waters so that it will come back a hundredfold.”
Admiral Goodenough spoke with great force and in an entirely unconventional style, spurning the microphone and calling off the spotlight as he settled down to a very vigorous piece of work. “Purpose” was his text.
We lived in stern times, he said. It would be criminal to try to pretend that there were any signs of the times becoming easier.
From time to time we read in the paper about courage and bravery. This was quite true, but what was even more necessary was that every man, woman and grown thinking child in the country should combine to use everything they had got for the purpose of ending the war in a victorious manner and in order that their children and grandchildren should live the lives of free men and free women.
Other people had said the same things about other wars in this country, but there never was a time when England was in such danger.
“Don’t think for a moment,” said the Admiral, “that realisation of danger is a sign of fear. It is not at all, but to deny danger would be the act of an ostrich.”
Sir William said he was one of those who disliked very much that children over the age of ten should be sent out of the country, as they were two years ago. It was very wrong that they should be taken away and not brought up to share the sacrifices of others. What was required now was the united sacrifice of the people.
Stressing the “intensely serious” character of the life the nation was now leading, he said he did not think of the Navy as a Service it was one of the three branches of the same Fighting Service. “The confidence between them,” he declared, “whatever you may read in the papers, is complete.”
Our Ships at Sea
In an emphatic tribute to the Merchant Service, Sir William said he hoped that when the war was over this Service would receive its proper status and recognition. He did not believe that people even now realised the number of ships there were at sea bringing goods to keep them alive.
Up to a short time ago 13 ozs. of every pound of bread came overseas by the gallantry, skill and constancy of the Merchant Service. And where would this neighbourhood be but for the skins and hides which were brought over seas in which at that moment, in the cold Atlantic weather, men might be struggling to keep alive?
The Loss of France
In pointing out the differences between this war and the last, Sir William exclaimed: “Poor France! One could make a speech of many hours on her lost because they were apathetic! They neither knew nor cared and there was a great nation gone.”
Now, from the North Cape to the Pyrenees, the coast was in the hands of the enemy. Two thousand British and Allied ships were needing daily protection from the submarines which, with additional bases, could find far greater opportunities of going out into the Atlantic, and from the surface raider.
“If you wonder why surface raiders get out, you look at the map and see the extent of the “field” covered. Why does the master of the hunt take out 20 hounds to trap one fox and with the scent? What we have to do is to trap these fellows without the scent, too!”
Quoting effectively from the “Preambles of War,” written at the time of the Restoration, Admiral Goodenough said there was no question of domination about them, as there was with the enemy now. Our war aim was that people should be allowed to go about their “lawful occasions,” and for this we wanted more ships.
The war strategy of this country was based on sea power nothing else at all. If we could not move armies or air forces for lack of sea power, we lost there.
The Navy was responsible for its actions and deeds, but it relied upon the unconquerable spirit of the British people. When this was realised, then we should be safe, but if in some terrible moment that spirit was lost, we were done, and rightly so too.
In this war we had hardly seen yet what the powers of the British people were. When we reinstituted command of the seas we should command not only the sea, but the future of the British race and the safety of the world.
Sir William spoke of Sir Andrew Cunningham, Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean, as a man whose name would be better known after the war than perhaps anybody else’s.
He also mentioned that Wing-Commander James’s 22-year-old son, in command of a small vessel, may have been engaged in the recent Channel action.
The Admiral closed with some telling quotations, among which he recited the message penned by Nelson on the day before Trafalgar, declaring that this should be said daily, “even as the Lord’s Prayer,” by every man, woman and grown child in the country.
Neck or Nothing
Wing-Commander A. W. H. James, M.P. for Wellingborough, said that a friend of his who had just returned to England after several years abroad told him he found the spirit in this country was extraordinary, but that he got the impression that there were an awful lot of people who did not realise what we were up against, or the horror that was now spread over the rest of Europe.
The Member observed that whenever he had been to Rushden he had been accused of not being very cheerful. Far too many people in public life went about telling people nice things and not telling them nasty things. This was a total war, but few realised what total war meant. They had got to go “neck or nothing” to win.
A vote of thanks to the principal visitors was proposed by Ald. J. W. Barker, J.P., Mayor of Higham Ferrers, and seconded by Coun. G. W. Frost chairman of the Raunds Urban Council, Mr. Frost expressing confidence that the local “Triple Alliance” would reach the desired goal and thus be able to hunt with the Quorn.
Thanking the Royal Theatre management and others, Coun. A. C. A. Colton (Higham Ferrers) said they had got perhaps £70,000 towards the £250,000, but he wanted them to be able to announce on February 23rd that they had done something similar to what they did last year about £400.000.
Those on the platform included the Mayor of Bedford (Coun. A. M. Dudeney), Mr. John White, Mr. Walter C. Tarry, Mr. W. Carey Wilson, J.P., Coun. W. E. Capon, Wing-Commander Warfield and Major Grylls.
After the speeches the audience listened with evident pleasure to a “ship’s concert” arranged by Mr. and Mrs. Don Bugby. There were sea songs and folk songs by the Rushden Adult School Male Choir, with Mr. Chris Francis conducting and Miss Mary Gomm at the pianoforte. Mr. Kenneth Macleod, of Wellingborough, sang “Here’s to the best of us” (the choir supporting him in this), “Four Jolly Sailormen” and “The Fishermen of England.” Tony Faulkner danced a hornpipe in midshipman’s uniform.
Planes Over Procession
Although the Navy could not be represented in the Warship Week parade which preceded the “launching” ceremony, the Army and Air Force supplied some striking features. The first band was that of the Northamptonshire Regiment, and ahead of it thundered a column of armoured vehicles.
The R.A.F. sent a strong contingent under the command of an officer and was also represented in the air, formations of bombers and fighters roaring over the streets, sweeping out of sight and returning at new altitudes.
The Home Guard was well represented under Lt. F. Laughton and the Air Training Corps made a smart turnout under Flight-Lieut. A. H. Whitton.
A second section of the precession following the combined Town and Temperance bands, comprised Urban Council members, R.N.V.R. men, British Legion, W.V.S., A.R.P. and ambulance services (led by Capt. J. M. Bailey, M.C., M.B.E.), the First Aid Post staff (Miss W. M. Clipson, S.S. St. J.), Wardens and Fire Guards (Mr. M. S. Boyd).
The Mission and Salvation Army bands led the way for the third section, made up of the young people’s companies, the F.S.F. (Chief Officer A. P. Timpson) and the A.R.P. transport.
Some of the A.R.P. ambulance and fire service detachments were from Higham Ferrers.
This fine procession, marshalled at Spencer Park by Mr. A. J. Sturgess, took the Wellingborough-road, Skinner’s Hill and High-street route. It set off to the tune of “A life on the ocean wave,” and the Northamptonshires were playing “Rule Britannia” as they swung past the saluting base near the railway bridge.
Here a railway dray made a platform for Admiral Goodenough, who took the salute from each contingent and was accompanied by Major Grylls (Army), Wing-Commander Warfield (Air Force), and Lieut.-Colonel V. H. Sykes (Home Guard).
Also in attendance were Coun. T. W. Cox (chairman of Rushden Urban Council), Mr. W. L. Beetenson (Clerk), Ald. J. W. Barker (Mayor of Higham Ferrers), Mr. J. Riseborough (Town Clerk), Coun. G. W. Frost (chairman of Raunds Urban Council), Mr. Carter (Clerk), Wing-Commander A. W. H. James, M.C., M.P., Coun. A. M. Dudeney (Mayor of Bedford), Mr. W. Carey Wilson, Mr. A. Maclean (general campaign secretary), Mr. E. F. Poole (Raunds secretary), Mr. s. C. Miles (Raunds), Mr. P. Stevenson (Deputy Commissioner for National Savings), and Mr. N. J. Daft (Local Commissioner).
Before the parade Mr. John White entertained the visitors and local representatives to lunch at the Queen Victoria Hotel.
Supt. Williams supervised the special police arrangements, Inspector Valentine and Special Inspector Chamberlain assisted in the parade.
The schools of the town shine brightly here, and the range of naval models made by the boys is quite remarkable in its excellence and variety. There are scores of grey warships mounted on wooden bases painted to represent the sea, all named and all built carefully to scale from pictures and plans.
Other boys have made ships and ‘planes from metal or balsa-wood parts. “The Rushden Fleet,” of more primitive materials, is a pleasing effort by the Newton-road Infants, and among the non-competitive section of ship models is the “Revenge,” made beautifully by an evacuee boy of 13.
Children have also sent patriotic embroidery, and Alfred-street School has done a special range of nautical models in pottery.
Townspeople have lent several attractive exhibits, among them some fine sailing ships and a ship which fills a narrow-necked bottle a device once regarded as something of a mystery.
A Rushden naval man, Frank Griffith, is responsible for a model of the ship on which he returned from Archangel quite recently, and another Service man named White, now on duty in the east, is represented by the “Golden Hind,” which he made at the age of 15.
The R.A.F. has sent an interesting range of aircraft models, including a large Heinkel, and a complete set of Fleet models has been lent by a Buckinghamshire clergyman.
From the navy a mine, a paravane and a depth charge are examples of “the real thing.”
The exhibition has been organised by Mr. S. A. Lawrence, headmaster of Alfred-street School, who has done well to get so many interesting things together. The small admission fees will be devoted to comforts for the men of H.M.S. Quorn.
Mr. S. Field, formerly postmaster at Rushden, is at the head of the voluntary Selling Centre staff.
Two model engineering experts, Mr. W. J. Bassett-Lowke, of Northampton, and his co-director, Mr. H. W. Franklin, accompanied by Mr. A. Woodhead, H.M.I., and Ald. C. w. Horrell, J.P., judged the models on Monday.
Mr. Bassett-Lowke expressed himself as greatly surprised at the range and quality of the exhibits, saying it was one of the best children’s exhibitions he had ever visited. The awards were :
Aircraft: 1 Gordon Wilby (aged 13), 2 J. Mepham (12), 3 B. Freeman (13).
Ship models: Scholars aged 14-15 years, 1 Kenneth Sugars; 13 years, 1 Gordon Wilby, 2 K. Smith, 3 D. Dickens; 12 years, 1 F. Tandy, 2 A. Rose, 3 T. Brown and D. Sharp; 11 years and under, 1 L. Lomas and J. Baegar, 2 J. Smart, 3 C. Line.
Pottery; 1 Alice Law.
Assisted group: 1 Brian Tarry (aircraft carrier), 2 Margaret Spencer (aircraft).
Sylvia Morris, of Stanwick, was highly commended for a non-competitive cardboard model of the “Queen Mary.”
Prizes consist of savings certificates and savings stamps.
The Rushden Echo and Argus, 27th February, 1942, transcribed by Gill Hollis
£200,231 from Warship Week
Area to Adopt H.M.S. Quorn
Thanks to a determined rally on the last two days, Rushden, Higham Ferrers and Raunds Warship Week ended in much better style than had seemed possible in mid-week. The chosen objective of £250,000 was found to be beyond reach, and there was never a prospect of approaching the extraordinary figures of the 1941 War Weapons Week, but the final total of £200,231 represented the best possible effort of a great number of investors, and, moreover, entitled the area to claim the privilege of adopting H.M. destroyer Quorn.
The Quorn link was achieved when the district had subscribed £159,000, which is the cost of a destroyer’s hull, and the £250,000 target associated with an earlier idea of paying for two corvettes had thus overlapped the actual naval objective by a considerable margin.
It was on Friday last that a new momentum came into the campaign, and great activity was observed among small investors, all genuinely anxious to see a good result. The result was the addition of £25,468 the best instalment since the opening day raising the indicators to £157,405.
Announcing this news at Rushden Council Buildings on Saturday, Ald. C. W. Horrell, J.P., pointed out that only 12 months ago £406,043 was raised through War Weapons Week a feat they could not expect to see repeated. “In the area generally,” he added, “every week is a War Weapons Week. The average amount saved in the country is £20 per head ours is £50 per head.”
Saturday’s rush to support the campaign was even greater, and, £42,826 was added a spurt which definitely surprised the organisers, who were by no means confident of reaching £200,000.
Higham Ferrers, which did so well last year, won further distinction by attaining its own objective £40,000), Rushden (target £160,000) and Raunds (target £50,000) were not so successful. Complete figures for the three centres are :-
Coun. T. W. Cox, J.P., chairman of Rushden Urban Council and of the local Savings Committee, announced the final figures at Rushden on Monday, and placed emphasis on the part played by small investors.
Although, he said, they had not quite reached their first objective of £250,000, he was very pleased that they had raised enough to pay for the hull of a destroyer, and thus adopt the Quorn. They had to remember that Warship Week had come pretty quickly after War Weapons Week, when they reached such a colossal figure. If they took the two efforts together they could congratulate the people of the area on what they had achieved.
The small investors had done exceedingly well, and he would like to pay special tribute to them.
Mr. Cox pointed out that Higham Ferrers had passed its own objective of £40,000, and that Rushden finished with a big spurt by contributing £28,088 on Saturday.
He concluded with high praise for Mr. A. Maclean, the hon secretary, who, he said, worked like a Trojan.
Investments announced during the final stage included: Mr. John White £5,000 (additional); Messrs. John White, Ltd., £5,350; Coxton Shoe Co., £1,000; John Cave and Sons, Ltd., £1,000; Northamptonshire Printing and Publishing Co., £500; Britannic Insurance Co., £2,000; Norwich Union Insurance Co., £800; Rushden Industrial Co-operative Society, £3,000 (additional to the C.W.S. investment of £3,000); Pearl Assurance Co., £2,750 (additional); Prudential Assurance Co., £900 (additional).
There was some fine work by the groups, and Higham Ferrers Council School is justly proud of the school Savings Group’s effort in contributing £1,150, more than doubling the aim of £500. In a year the group has saved £3,600 and issued 4,800 certificates the great majority of them in single 15s. units. The weekly collection is never less than £30, and in the War Weapons Week of 1941 the school raised £1,250. Councillor R. W. Janes, who organised the borough’s War Weapons Week last year, is headmaster of the school, and Miss E. M. Goodman is secretary of the group.
Rushden Tennyson-road Infants’ School raised £156.
Rushden Alfred-street, with £560 10s. is another school which distinguished itself during Warship Week. The L.C.C. scholars at the Boot and Shoe School took out more than 70 certificates and also gave 567 “ship” halfpennies to provide comforts for the crew of the Quorn. For the same purpose the Intermediate scholars gave 1,733 “ship” halfpennies.
Among the street groups Rushden Queen-street (secretary, Coun. Fred Green, J.P.) was outstanding with £761 5s., investing £461 5s. in certificates and £300 through the Post Office Savings Bank. This street set itself a target of £150 (two Lewis guns). Church-street and Alfred-street (Miss F. I. Clipson) raised over £650, Crabb-street (Mrs. Hensman) £449 11s., Prospect-avenue (Mr. L. W. Bradshaw) over £300. Griffith-street (Mrs. O. B. Lean) £128 5s., Moor-road, Station-road and Midland-road (Miss Ladds) £200 13s.
The Wellington Tannery Group at Raunds, with 34 members, contributed £409 7s., averaging £12 0s. 9½d. per member. Employees of Messrs. B. Ladds, Ltd., Rushden, raised £163.
Miss E. E. Lyman, of Rushden raised £15 5s. by a competition and handed in the money as a free gift to the Treasury.
By means of whist drives on Wednesday and Saturday of last week the Rushden British Legion Branch raised £11 5s., which has been sent direct to the officer commanding H.M.S. Quorn, and will be used as a comforts fund for the crew of the ship.
Other gifts for the Quorn include £1 2s. from a pork pie competition.
Large And Small
Mr. Maclean reports that the area’s total was made up in the following way:-
Small investments (43.3 per cent.); Certificates £53.037, deposits in Post Office and Trustee Savings Banks £12,107, Defence Bonds £20,315, gift tokens £3, savings stamps £2,374, total - £86,836.
Large investments (56.7 per cent.): 3 per cent Savings Bonds £60,030, free gifts £15, 2½ per cent War Loan £53,350, total - £113,395.
At Higham Ferrers sales at the Town Hall selling centre aggregated £7,723 18s. 6d. certificates £4,527, stamps £146 18s. 6d., bonds £3,050. Higham Ferrers Band Club invested £275 and the Working Men’s Club £250.
Cinema speakers during the campaign were Messrs. A. C. A. Colton, T. W. Cox, J.P., W. E. Capon, W. Ainge, H. R. Patenall, C.C., A. F. Weale, S. A. Lawrence, J. W. Barker, J.P., F. J. Sharwood, C.C., J. Allen and W. J. Sawford.