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Bugbrooke and the Great War - Page 12 October to December 1917

Page 1 - Overview, Info & Articles Page 2 - August, September 1914 Page 3- October 1914 - January 1915
Page 4- February 1915 - May 1915 Page 5 June 1915 - September 1915 Page 6   October15-January 1916
Page 7- February 1916 - May 1916 Page 8- June 1916 - Sept 1916 Page 9 December 16 - January 1917
Page 10 February - May 1917 Page 11 June - September 1917 Page 12-Oct 1917-Dec 1917
100 Years Ago. October-November 1917
The memorial plaque in church to the 27 Bugbrooke men who fell in the Great War, lists them in order of rank. The first two are Lieutenant HORACE WHITE and Sergeant
FRANK NIGHTINGALE and both of these men were killed within a month of each other in
October and November 1917, along with another man listed on the plaque, Pte RICHARD DAVIS. All dying 100 years ago. There is a moving article following this one on FRANK NIGHTINGALE written by a member of his family, so no more will be said of him here.
HORACE WHITE and RICHARD DAVIS however should be mentioned.

HORACE ARTHUR WHITE was born in 1893 in Bugbrooke, the son of ARTHUR WHITE, a master bricklayer who worked for the Grand Junction Canal Company. He attended Bugbrooke School and went on to Northampton Grammar School for Boys. He
must have volunteered soon after the outbreak of war, for he joined as a Private gaining
rapid promotion to Temporary Second Lieutenant from 18 December 1914, and later
posted to the Northamptonshire Regiment. Horace went to France in September 1915,
and was serving with the Royal Irish Fusiliers when he was severely wounded in the head on 20 November 1917. Sadly, he died of his wounds two days later. The first curt and un-punctuated telegram to his family – his father in Bugbrooke – reporting that Horace had a dangerous gunshot wound and compound skull fracture.

In the school log book on the 23rd October, Frank Wright the Headmaster, received a telegram from France saying that Lieutenant HORACE WHITE had been killed. The flag was flown at half mast on the school flagpole. Frank Wright reported that he was well liked by all who knew him, and that he had only been married that midsummer.

RICHARD DAVIS was born in Bugbrooke in 1886. His father ran the village newsagents and his mother a private school in the village. Aged 15 we know he was working as an apprentice baker in Daventry and he enlisted in Bethnal Green, Middlesex. His war record sadly was one of the many destroyed by fire during the second world war, but we do know that he was killed in action at Ypres on the 18th October 1917. He is commemorated on the Tyne Cot Memorial at Zonnebeke in Belgium.

FRANK WILLIAM WRIGHT, son of the village headmaster, had enlisted in September 1914. He served on the front until he was discharged on 17th October 1917 due to a wry neck aggravated by active service. His discharge papers along with his wallet were lost on Huddersfield station and he spent many years battling bureaucracy to get replacements. After the war he moved to London and worked for the Daily Express. Men were still being called up under conscription, and in this period ARTHUR JEYES and GEORGE ALLEN from Bugbrooke, joined up and spent until 1919 in France and Germany.

In early October, several children were admitted to the school from London, sent
here to escape the Zeppelin raids there. However on the 19th October, Zeppelin L 45,
one of a squadron of 11 airships which attacked England, was trying to reach Sheffield, but instead meeting strong head winds, dropped bombs on Northampton and London. The Zeppelin passed over Castle Station in Northampton and dropped 22 bombs near it, killing one woman outright, her twin daughters dying soon after. The area was now in the war zone, and the deaths were the first war deaths in Northampton since the civil war.
L 45 then reduced altitude to try to escape the winds but was forced back into the higher
air currents by aircraft. The airship then had mechanical failure in three engines and was
blown over France, eventually coming down near Sisteron. It was set on fire and the
crew surrendered. A memorial has recently been placed in St James to commemorate
the 100th anniversary of this event and the ensuing deaths.

In the village, the school children were very busy picking blackberries.Throughout
the country rural schools were instructed to ‘employ their children in gathering
blackberries during school hours’ for the Government jam making scheme.

Bugbrooke School rose to the challenge and supervised by their teachers groups went out into the fields from 1st October to the 22nd October; to harvest what was obviously a bumper crop. The School Log records that the school children gathered a total of 622lbs of blackberries, which were taken to Northampton to be sent to the jam factories set up for jam to be sent to the troops. Jam was a valuable source of vitamins, vital to keep troops healthy.

There is no mention of any payment for this work, but the next year in 1918, when food rationing had been introduced, the school did similar work and was paid money which was distributed amongst the children.

In the war, Peru, Uruguay and Brazil all declared war on Germany in October. Russia on the other hand, was going through its revolution, and the new Bolshevik government under Lenin, was in discussions with Germany to conclude a separate if humiliating peace treaty. The eventual withdrawal of the Russian troops from the war, would be countered by the American forces arriving on the Western Front.

The war had just one year left to run and another 12 Bugbrooke men were to die in
that time.
Geoff Cooke for the 100 Years Project.