Life During Wartime: News from July 1916

Grays and Tilbury Gazette July 1916.


The following are the successful candidates for the William Palmer scholarships:

Boys – P. Coushman, H. King, and P. Pigg (Bridge Road School) Girls – D.M. Griggs (Quarry Hill) and M. Heymer (Arthur Street)


This week has seen a change of management at the Grays Empire Theatre; Mr. H. Lowe, manager of the Coronation Theatre, Manor Park, having been appointed to the position at Grays. Mr. Lowe has had considerable experience in catering for the public amusement, and there is every reason to believe the Empire [Theatre] will continue to prosper under his control, and that its patrons will appreciate his efforts on their behalf. As a happy augury he was presented with a silver cigarette case by his staff on leaving Manor Park.


The Sanitary Inspector reported that several vans had pitched on land adjoining the Southend Road, Fobbing. This was contrary to the Council’s bye-laws and he had written the owners of the land complaining of the nuisance so occasioned. Mr Dowson mentioned that he had also sent the Recruiting Officer notice. Probably this would have some effect, as there were certain to be some young men among the van-dwellers. It was agreed to serve notice on the van-dwellers forthwith.


The death occurred on June 1st [1916] of Regimental Sergt-Major [RSM] Frederick William West of the R.P.A. The deceased came to Grays from Punjab, India, about five years ago, and was residing at 140 High Street, Grays. He had been in in France since July last, but was invalided home with a nervous breakdown. He was then sent to Preston, where he died of heart failure.

RSM West went through the battle of Loos, and after that he was stationed at Ypres, where he was picked up unconscious in the trenches while laying telephone wires, and was invalided home in March [1916] suffering from severe shock, from which he never recovered, dying suddenly at Preston. Previous to this war he served in the R.H.A. in the Boer War, having been wounded twice. He received the Queen’s Medal and six bars. He then served nine years in India, and was discharged at Christchurch, Hants, in 1912.

His funeral took place at Preston, where he was buried with full military honours. The chief mourners were; Mrs. West (widow), Mr. W. West and Mr. Thomas West (brothers) from Purfleet. He leaves a widow and five children to mourn his loss.

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