|Rushden Echo, 28th May 1915, transcribed by Kay Collins
Rushden Man in Canada Waiting to go to the Front
Dear Sir, I thought I would just like to send a few lines for your valuable paper, which I look forward to every week. First of all I must explain that I belong to the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada, and have been anxious to get to the front, but fate willed otherwise, for the time being, but I am proud to say our regiment is supplying a good share to the Contingents we are sending, and I quite think that shortly the whole of our regiment will be ordered to the front.
“Thousands of Aliens in Toronto Waiting to Strike at Canada”
Pte T J Long, son of Mr and Mrs S C Long, of 1, Beaconsfield-terrace, Rushden, sends us the following interesting letter:-
Queen’s Own Rifles
At present I am attached to a unit picked out for guarding the various civic works. You would scarcely credit it, but there are thousands of aliens right here in Toronto who are waiting for an opportunity to strike at Canada, and as you know America is teeming with Germans, all ready to take arms.
It has been a severe winter this year. The thermometer sometimes reached 20 below zero, and to make thing worse we are stationed on the shores of Lake Ontario, and during this winter it has been so cold we could only stop outdoors one hour instead of the usual two. The enclosed photo, which was taken when the glass stood at 52 degrees of frost, gives you a good idea of our dress during cold weather, but for all that some of our fellows got their appendages frozen. I was very fortunate, merely sustaining a frozen moustache very frequently.
I have been reading the “Rushden Echo” with great pride and pleasure lately, and delighted to see that fellows from my home town have given such splendid showing in this great world war.
|Rushden Echo, 11th August 1916, transcribed by Kay Collins
Former Rushden Gymnast with the Canadian Contingent
Mr. T. J. Long as N.C.O. Rapid Promotions in a Crack Regiment
Sergt. T. J. Long, of the 95th battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force, son of Mr. and Mrs. C. S. Long, of Beaconsfield-terrace, Rushden, is at home on final leave before going to the fighting area, after two years and five months in Canada. He enlisted just after the outbreak of war in the Queen’s Own Rifles, Toronto, and instead of being shipped over to England straightaway, as he expected, he was detailed to an important wireless station in Canada for garrison duty, and there he remained for six months. He was then sent to Capuskasin to guard an internment camp of alien prisoners. After a time he succeeded in getting transferred to his present battalion, and about a month after his transference he received his corporal’s stripes, and six weeks later he was promoted sergeant, and after four months of hard work he was shipped over to England, reaching the home shores on June 8th. Since that time he has had six weeks’ hard training in all branches of the military art at Shorncliffe.
The battalion to which Sergt. Long belongs is one of the crack regiments sent from Canada has been given the distinction of remaining and being trained as a unit in this country. All other Canadian contingents have been split up on reaching these shores. They expect to go to the front as a unit.
In regard to the voyage over, Sergt. Long told an representative of the "Rushden Echo" that as soon as they left Halifax harbour they were all ordered to put on lifebelts, and these were kept handy and only taken off when they retires for the night, until Liverpool was reached. Nothing exciting happened until their ship was rounding the north coast of Ireland.
Then early one morning, a tiny speck was noticed on the horizon. The guns the boat carried were at once manned and got into position. The excitement ran high. All the troops on the decks at once trained their eyes on the distant object to try and ascertain what it was. After a time another object was noticed in the distance, but subsequently the excitement, which had reached fever heat, calmed down, and ended up with a tremendous cheer, as what had been thought to be enemy craft turned out to be a couple of British destroyers that had come out to escort the transport through the danger zone.
At Liverpool docks the troops met with a great ovation from the crowd that had assembled on the quay.
Before leaving England Sergt. Long was a member of the Rushden Corps of the St. John Ambulance Association, and he was also associated with the Rushden Independent Wesleyan Gymnasium Class. The training he received with both of these organisations has been very useful to him.
Sergt. Major McInerney, of the Leicester Regt., who married Sergt. Long’s eldest sister, has just returned to his regt. after having been wounded early this year in Mesopotamia. He was one of the expedition that made a plucky but ineffectual attempt to relieve the besieged troops at Kut-el-Amara. He has now returned to Mesopotamia, and his wife, who before her marriage was Miss Maud Long, is now in England, and at present is staying with her parents in Rushden for a short holiday. She has her family with her, two little girls, one of whom was born in India.