Pte. Ernest Hodson D.C.M.
|The Rushden Echo, 25th June, 1915, transcribed by Gill Hollis
A RUSHDEN CANADIAN
Pte. Ralph Linnitt, third son of Mr. and Mrs. John Linnitt, of 46, Portland-road, Rushden, has come over from Canada with a contingent from Vancouver, B.C. Pte. Linnitt landed at Devonport quite safely, and we are pleased to learn is quite well and in good health. He is hoping when they get settled a little in Kent, where they are now in camp in England, to be able to come to Rushden and pay his mother and father and his sister a visit for a few days. Not only will the relatives of Pte. Linnitt be pleased to welcome him home to Rushden, but his friends and all who know him will be glad to see him once more.
Pte. Linnitt belongs to the Westminster Fusiliers, who have been stationed at Hastings Park, Vancouver, and are now in camp in Kent. Writing to his parents he tells them it is a very nice place; they are getting settled, and will finish training in England.
|The Rushden Echo 30th July 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins
Rushden Boy Scout Now with the Canadians
Gunner James Walker, formerly of Rushden, who is with the Canadian Contingent in England, has been visiting his Rushden friends this week. He is looking hale and hearty, and, when he goes to the front, as he shortly expects to do, he will, we are sure, give a good account of himself. As a youth he was apprenticed to Mr. Robert Marriott, builder, of Rushden, and was engaged in paperhanging, etc. About four years ago he left England for Canada, proceeding to Manitoba. Then he went into the United States, and settled in Chicago. Last December-five days before Christmas-he went to Winnipeg to spend his holidays with his brother, who is in Canada, and there he felt it his duty to join the Canadian Contingent, which he did. He is attached to the Ammunition Park, Artillery Details. He says that 95 per cent. Of the men in the Canadian Contingent are British-born. Those who are Canadian-born have, as a rule, left good homes to serve the empire, and they are well-educated and fairly well-off.
Gunner Walker was formerly Assistant Scout Master of the Rushden Troop, and he was for some time a bugler in the Rushden C.L.B.
|Rushden Echo, 14 April 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins
Sausages for One An Amusing Incident
A soldier in the Canadian Contingent has been spending a week-end at Rushden with his aunt, Mrs Fisher, wife of Dr C R Fisher, of Wellingborough-road, Rushden. In relating his experiences he told of an amusing incident.
After leaving the trenches he was in a French village, and saw over a small shop a notice “Fresh Sausages and New Laid Eggs For Sale.” He went in and ordered four sausages to be prepared and three eggs to be boiled.
“For monsieur?” inquired the lady in surprise.
“Oui” (“Yes”) he replied.
“No, no, not four sausages for monsieur.”
“Yes, yes,” he said, “I’m hungry.”
Still uttering her protestations the lady went to prepare the meal. In due course she returned with two sausages, nicely preparedeach nearly two feet long and thicker than the soldier’s arm!
|The Rushden Echo Friday 3rd August 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins
Pte. Ernest Jackson, of the Canadian Contingent, who appears in the above group of former Rushdenites, has been visiting Rushden during the last few days. He is the son of the late Mr. J. T. Jackson, who forms one of the group, and who formerly lived in the Hayway, Rushden. The late Mr. J. T. Jackson was for some years a loyal member of the Rushden Men’s Adult School and the Adult School Male Choir, being a vice-president of the choir. About six years ago he emigrated to Canada, and a couple of years ago he decided to return to Rushden, where he intended to settle down again, but unfortunately died on the voyage across the Atlantic.
It was ten years ago that Mr. Ernest Jackson emigrated to Canada, and he and his brother William, who was also in Canada, enlisted in the Canadian Contingent. Both boys before their emigration were members of the Rushden Adult School Male Choir from its commencement. Pte. William Jackson has been in France for the last seven or eight weeks, but Ernest had to undergo an operation, after which he had been spending a brief leave with his siter, Mrs. W. Dickens, of Orchard-place, Rushden. Pte. Ernest Jackson, who married a daughter of Mr. Alfred Cox, of Westbourne-grove, Rushden, has done very well in Brandon, Manitoba, where a number of Rushdenites have made their abode.
Mr. Harry Elstow, who appears in the group, was a reservist, and was called up at the beginning of the war. Mr. Spavins and Mr. Walker enlisted in the Canadian Contingent. Mr. J. Clarke, Mr. J. York, and Mr. T. Church are now in Brandon. Mr. C. Clarke (Saskatchewan) enlisted in the English Forces and, as stated, Mr. J. T. Jackson died at sea.
|Rushden Echo, Friday 14th September 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins
Rushden Canadian in Hospital
The Capture of Hill 70 - Advance Under Gas-Shell Bombardment
A Never-to-be-Forgotten Experience - Sergeant T Long’s Leg Shattered
A vivid description of the taking of Hill 70 is given by Sergt T J Long, of the Canadians, son of Mr and Mrs C S Long, of Rushden, in a letter to the Editor of the “Rushden Echo.”
Sergt Long, who is in the County of Middlesex War Hospital near St Albans, writes:-
Once more I am able to write and tell you about a successful attack in which I took part, but narrowly escaped with my life. On the night of August 14th we moved out of our billets, loaded up in the usual battle array, and started across country for our assembly position. That night all roads leading to Hill 70 were crowded with troops moving up, and many a joke was passed from one battalion to another regarding the thrashing in store for Fritz on the morrow.
When about half-way to our position, the enemy suddenly “opened up” a heavy bombardment with gas shells, covering the country in the rear of our lines. The order was immediately given to don gas masks. As long as I live I will never forget that journey. In the first place, it was muddy and slippery, and pitch dark. Then to crown it all, each man was carrying nearly 100lbs. load, consisting of bombs, shovels, sandbags, ammunition, rations, etc., etc. Well, after crawling along for two hours, we managed to get clear of the affected area, and to everybody’s great relief the air was found to be clear, and gas masks could be put away.
We reached our position just before dawn, and took up our proper formation. In the early part of the battle we were to support the attack, which meant “standing to,” and taking all the shelling Fritz always gives to the support lines.
At dawn our artillery came to life, and as usual, lived up to its splendid reputation. Fritz did not shell our position as much as we expected, he seemed to have his hands full up in front. Very soon prisoners began to scurry towards us, then a few of our own wounded, who were able to tell us that all was going well, but that Fritz was putting up a stiff fight in some parts, and by this time had got his artillery in working order, which of course, made the task heavy. However, by noon all our objectives were taken, and this hill, which had been the scene of some hard fighting in the early days, was ours.
At dusk we received orders to move up to reinforce the front line. We got there all right, but had to go through about three heavy barrages. Fortunately, we did not get many casualties in doing so. That night we worked hard to make some sort of a trench. At daylight Fritz started to snipe, and it was a case of duck and run in low parts of the trench. About noon I was crossing overland a few yards, in order to visit one of my posts, when I received a terrific blow on the lower left leg. I rolled in the trench, and one glance at my leg showed me it was not an ordinary bullet which had struck me. I yelled for a stretcher-bearer, who soon revealed a shattered leg. I have a feint recollection of being bound up and put on a stretcher. I then lost consciousness, and for 24 hours remember nothing. I “came to” in a hospital, and was surprised to find I still possessed two legs. After spending a week in France, I was shipped to England. I am going on fairly well, but expect to be hors-de-combat for some considerable time.
|Rushden Echo, Friday 26th October 1917, transcribed by Kay Collins
KilledPte. Mason, who left Rushden some time ago for Canada, and joined the Canadian Contingent, was killed in the Battle of Vimy Ridge. His comrade, Pte. J. Flowers, of the same regiment, who is a brother-in-law of Mr J T Bettles, of Newton-road, Rushden, found among the deceased soldiers’ papers the photograph of a Rushden girl, which he forwarded to Mr Bettles, who, however, does not know the name of the subject.