In the news 100, 50 and 25 years ago
November 4, 1916
Rifleman R Coles, of the London Regiment (Post Office Rifles) in a letter to Mr RH Myers, headteacher at his old school, St Matthews, writes of his experience fighting at High Wood. “It was the first time ‘Tanks’ were used. I was never more surprised in my life than when I saw them coming down shell holes and over trenches. It was great and made me feel proud of England to think we had got something which the enemy had not.”
# When I picked out the archive story above, from our 1916 edition, I thought it would make an interesting piece about a soldier’s first encounter with a tank. Then I read on - and I think you might like to know the rest of the story too.
It continues: “On this eventful morning we were all ‘standing to’ waiting for 5.15 and on the minute the order was given. ‘Over you go, lads’ and we were soon over. We got through the wood all right but at the edge the enemy gave us a very heavy curtain fire. It was awful, but we lost comparatively few and on we went into the open. It was a grand sight to see all our boys advancing, just like one straight line as far as you could see.
Unfortunately about 150 yards from the wood, I was shot right through the right foot and right wrist. For a few minutes I lay down and then I got up to get my rifle and in doing so received another wound in my right thigh, so I had to get to a shell hole. After about four hours some of the boys carried me to one of the German trenches we had taken.
I was all right there for a time till we had heavy shelling and I got buried up to my ears - a sensation I never want again.
When they dug me out I was a wreck, but some of my companions were dead when they got them out. It seemed impossible to get stretcher bearers, so I decided to try and crawl back, and succeeded after over seven hours’ crawling.
When I got to the dressing station it was 25 hours after being wounded; but what a relief it was to get there and have my wounds attended to!
Then followed a weary journey on stretchers and motors and jolting of French hospital trains. I was glad to find myself at last at Bristol, and it does seem a treat to be back in dear Old England. Everyone in this hospital is so kind that it is just like being at home.”
November 4, 1966
The fate of North Street taxi rank will be decided solely by the Minister of Transport - there will not be a public inquiry. This is stated in a letter from Rugby MP Mr WG Price to Mr Bryan Beckett of BlackwoodAvenue, one of the local taxi proprietors leading the fight against Rugby Corporation’s intended transfer of the stand to Albert Street. Objectors will be asked to submit further observations, then a decision will be taken by the Minister.
October 31, 1991
A multi-storey car park that cost tax payers £3million has not yet done the job it was designed to do, it is claimed. The John Barford block, off James Street opened a year ago this week and is still causing controversy with claims that it is under-used, closing times are too early and more efforts could be made to encourage people into town. Cllr Barford, after whom it was named, answered criticisms saying it was not built for the present and the need for it would grow.