This month, the snippets from the Royal Leamington Spa Courier and Warwickshire Standard Newspapers for March 1915, are focused on billeting and soldiers entertainment. The newspapers mentioned the billeting of soldiers in Henley in Arden, Southam, Kineton, Harbury, Long Itchington, Whitnash and other villages. Large numbers of soldiers arrived in Leamington and Kenilworth in March 1915.
Warwick and Country Edition Page 5, Column 4, 12th March 1915
Scottish Territorials Arrive. “Special Constables on Duty”. It was reported that about 1,000 soldiers of the Scottish Territorials had arrived in Leamington to be billeted under the charge of the Chief Constable.
Warwick and Country Edition Page 8, Column 1, 12th March 1915
Dublin Fusiliers at Kenilworth. “A Stirring Sight”. Approximately 1,200 Dublin Fusiliers had arrived in Kenilworth, having marched from Nuneaton. Their Battalion HQ was The Abbey Hotel.
Warwick and Country Edition Page 8, Column 1, 19th March 1915
Kenilworth. Billeting: Complaints and the Answer. Representatives from the Courier had interviewed many Dublin Fusiliers billeted in Kenilworth. They were generally delighted with their treatment in billets with some saying they had never received better treatment. There were some instances where men had been refused a billet. In addition, there were reports of some overcrowding where houses had been practically forced to take in more soldiers than they had beds for. The newspaper commented that 3 shillings and 4 pence a day for billeting is an extravagant rate to pay under the circumstances and that 2 shillings and 6 pence would be plenty.
Warwick and Country Edition Page 4, Column 2, 19th March 1915
“Soldiers Club at Guysdale”. A letter from Mrs C J Jones advising that the club which had been set up at Guysdale in Leamington will close after 19th March 1915 as the soldiers are no longer stationed there. The club had been set up as a place of recreation for those soldiers arriving in December 1914 who had been billeted in empty houses in the town. She commented that “I felt no effort should be spared to keep the men from the temptations of the public houses”.
Warwick and Country Edition Page 4, Column 4, 26th March 1915
Police Courts. Leamington Borough. 22nd March 1915. “Absurd Way of Expressing Sorrow”. John Henry Dovey had been accused of fighting on 13th March 1915 and of being drunk on 19th March 1915. The defendant said he “had a lot of beer, being upset about his 3 brothers who had come home wounded from the Front. One brother had lost a thumb and another had a bullet through his chest. He regretted what he had done and would promise to sign the pledge if given another chance. Fined 10 shillings and 6 pence. The Mayor told him that the excuse about his brothers coming home wounded was a very sad way of showing his sorrow. It was most absurd for a man to pretend that his sorrow was to be expressed in drink.
Warwick and Country Edition Page 4, Column 6, 19th March 1915
Local War Items. Two small boys accompanied the Royal Scots on a 12-15 mile route march at the end of which the boys were “as fresh as daisies whistling to the pipers”.
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Royal Leamington Spa Courier and Warwickshire Standard , 12th, 19th, & 26th March 1915, courtesy of Warwickshire County Record Office.