1914 News

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August 8th

Called Up - Several reservists in the Army and Navy have been called up by the Government in view of the grave situation

August 15th

Commandeered 0 Several tradesmen and farmers in this district have had their horses commandeered by the Government agents for use in the War. In many instances this had caused great inconvenience.

Reservists - Over 30 reservists in Nelson and District left the village for their various depots on Wednesday and Thursday. Some had to go to Cardiff while others had to report themselves at such widely scattered places as Lichfield, Bodmin, Devonport, Oxford and London. The majority left by the midday train on Wednesday. A crowd of several hundreds assembling at the G.W.R. station to give them a hearty send-off.

August 22nd

Balfour Club - Ten of the club members including Mr Bob Williams, the treasurer, are now on active service. The steward has received letters from Mr Williams and Mr Tom Andrews, both of whom belong to the Royal Welsh Fusiliers. The letters state they are in Wrexham awaiting orders.

September 5th

Recruiting - There has been a good response locally to Lord Kitchener’s appeal for men. In addition to the reservists and territorials called up, over a dozen young men have enlisted. Nelson is now represented in the various forces by nearly 50 men.

Our Emergency Force - A splendid response has been made locally to the appeal for an emergency force. At a meeting held at the National Schoolroom and Messrs Abraham, Day, Osbourne and Witcombe were appointed as instructors. About 30 men have joined already and the drills, which take place three times weekly, are watched by a large number of people.

September 12th

One Of The First - Mrs Edwards of Thomas Street received an intimation from The War Office on Saturday that her son Private William Edwards of the Royal Welsh Fusiliers had been wounded in The War and is now in hospital at Aldershot. Private Edwards has seen service in Burma and India and has been in the army for seven years.

September 19th

Territorial News - Colour Serjeant T Edwards of Shingrig Road has been transferred from Pembrokeshire where his battalion is stationed to Pontypridd in order to help form the new Battalion of the 5th Welsh. Colour Serjeant Edwards is admirably suited for this kind of work, as he has been connected with the volunteers and territorial forces for over 22 years.

Narrow Escape - Private W Edwards (Royal Welsh Fusiliers) arrived at his home in Nelson on Thursday night. It appears he was struck in the left foot by a piece of shrapnel at the Battle of Mons and he relates a thrilling account of that engagement. He hopes that in a few weeks he will be able to leave for the front again.

October 3rd

Re-enlistment - Mr Frank Every, the local postman and conductor of the Nelson brass band, has answered Lord Kitchener’s appeal to Ex- N.C.O.’s at the time of the South African War. Mr Every was on the reserve but served throughout that campaign as a serjeant in the Wiltshire Regiment, gaining both the Queen’s and the King’s medals with several clasps. He is now acting as musketry serjeant instructor at Devizes, headquarters of the Wiltshire Regiment.

October 10th

On Furlough - Private Albert Matthews (15th Hussars), son of Mr and Mrs Henry Matthews, Shingrig Road, is now in Nelson on a brief furlough. Private Matthews was stationed in South Africa after the Boer War for some years, but returned with his regiment to England about three years ago. He subsequently left the army and returned to South Africa where he rejoined his wife whom he had married whilst on services there. On this outbreak of war he volunteered for active service with the South African Expeditionary Forces, and landed in England last Monday week, straight away rejoining his old regiment.

A Thrilling Experience - The newspapers on Friday last contained an account of the British steamer “Bankfields” being blown up by a mine in the Atlantic whilst homeward bound from South America with a cargo of sugar. The account also stated that the crew were taken off by a German transport. This is the vessel on which Mr Ernest Cole, eldest son of Rev E.S. Cole, Primitive Methodist Minister at Nelson, is an apprentice and naturally the family at Nelson was gravely perturbed until they received an assurance from the owners on Saturday that all the crew were saved, and would proceed to England as soon as they were released.

November 7th

Good News - Our readers will be interested to learn that the Reverend E.S. Cole, Oakfield, Nelson, has received a letter from his son, Ernest Cole, who was an apprentice of the S.S. Bankfields which was blown up by a German mine in the Atlantic Ocean assuring family and friends of his safety. The letter says Mr Cole is now on his way home from Kingston, Jamaica and expects to reach Avonmouth on November 8th.

Wounded at The Front - Two of Nelson’s soldiers have been wounded at The Front, one of them for the second time. News reached Nelson the latter end of last week that Bugler W Gardner of the Welsh Regiment had been severely wounded in the fighting in Northern France and has been sent home to an English hospital. The other case is probably unique for this district as the soldier, Corporal W Edwards of the Welsh Fusiliers has been wounded for the second time, and has been invalided home again. Corporal Edwards has been to The Front twice and has taken part in two of the most important and most trying engagements, and is now paying his second visit to an English hospital at Cambridge. The Corporal has a bullet wound in his shoulder. He will be released from hospital this week and hopes to be back on the front line within a month.

With the Colours - Among the many young men of Nelson who have rallied to the Colours is Mr Tom Loveridge, Shingrig Road. An old soldier, he served throughout the South African War as a bugler in the Warwickshire Regiment. He has now been made a Corporal in the same regiment. He was home for a few days last week, but has now proceeded to the front.

November 14th

Wounded at The Front - News has reached Nelson that Corporal Tom Loveridge of the Warwickshires has been wounded severely. The Corporal only went to the front three weeks ago. Other Nelson men who have been wounded are Private John Maddison, Coldtream Guards, Bugler W Gardner and Corporal W Edwards, Welsh Regiment.

November 21st

False Report - Consternation was caused in Nelson on Monday morning by a report in newspaper which stated that Bugler W Gardner of the Welsh regiment, only son of Mr and Mrs H Gardner, High Street, Nelson had died of wounds in an English hospital. Family had not been informed, so they contacted hospital for details. Bugler Gardner replied that he was still alive and kicking, and would be home soon.

Corporal Honoured - Corporal Will Edwards, Royal Welsh Fusiliers, was the guest of honour at a banquet given by the inhabitants of Nelson at the Royal Oak on Thursday. After the food and entertainment, Corporal Edwards gave a brief resume of the fighting he had participated in and described how he had been wounded. It appears that on the second occasion a German bullet struck his knapsack and passed through his shoulder. Corporal Edwards was given a hearty send-off by a large crowd of admirers at Nelson G.W.R. station on Sunday morning when he left for Wrexham. He expects to be at The Front again in a few weeks time, and thus make his third acquaintance with the German huns.

November 28th

Prisoner of War - Mrs Huckle, Nelson, has received a postcard from her husband, Private J Huckle of the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry, stating that he is a P.O.W. in Germany. No details are given as to how he was captured.

From the Front - Letters received home from John Parkins, Heol Fawr, who is in the North Staffordshire Regiment. He states he is alive and feeling well. He has been through some very severe fighting.

December 5th

Nelson Man Promoted on Battlefield - Serjeant Tom Loveridge, Warwickshire Regiment, of 63 Shingrig Road, owes his life to a cigarette case that was presented to him by a friend, the day before he left home to join his regiment. He now lies at the Western General hospital, Manchester, and has had his left arm amputated, having been wounded in three places simultaneously by a bursting shell.
Serjeant Loveridge served through the South African War as a bugler and was formerly a Corporal in the Warwickshires. On the call for ex-army men, he immediately responded and rejoined his old regiment as a Private. Within a fortnight he was promoted to Corporal and was further promoted to Serjeant on the battlefield. In a recent letter to a friend in Nelson, he states:

    When I left England I was a Corporal. Up to the 5th November we had been in the trenches fifteen days and had made three charges. On this particular morning, we made a charge about 7am in a thick fog, which gave me promotion, and also gave me my wounds. We had the Germans on the run on my side, but on turning my head to the left, I could see the Welsh Fusiliers in trouble, so I ran to our two machine guns and told the gunners to send a cross-fire right across our line, and I can tell you it was a success, for it simply mowed down our enemy.
    After it had gone quiet, the Captain of the Welsh Fusiliers asked who gave the order. Our officer said that I did. I was sent for and promoted to Serjeant on the spot. But my luck did not stay with me for long, for I knocked over with shrapnel about two hours after that and the worst of it was, I was there for sixteen hours before they could get me away, and it was raining all the time.

December 19th

Several of the Nelson recruits in Kitchener’s Army have now returned home on furlough. Without exception, they all express their satisfaction with the life.
We should like to congratulate Corporal M Andrews upon his promotion. Corporal Andrews is stationed in Dublin and was one of the first to enlist from Nelson.

[1914 News]