Death of Mrs Puckle of Kineton

We regret to have to record the death on Friday of Mrs Puckle, of Pittern Hill, Kineton.

The deceased lady underwent an operation for appendicitis of a very severe type on Thursday the 14th inst., and her life was despaired of almost form the first. She leaves a husband and one child to mourn her loss. She was the elder daughter of Colonel Stanley Arnold, C.B., of Barton House, and was only thirty-eight years of age, and she was very much respected. She had been until recently a constant follower of the Warwickshire hounds.

Deep sympathy is felt for Mr Puckle, especially as he only returned from France with a fractured leg the day of the operation, not knowing of Mrs Puckle’s illness.

The funeral took place on Tuesday at Barton-on-the-Heath.

Banbury Guardian January 1915

A Letter from the Front

British and German Fortitude

A Banbury gentleman has sent us a letter from a friend serving in the 2nd Wilts Regiment at the front which describes life in the trenches. He says that in the trench they were occupying they were rapidly being flooded out. Already the front trench was six feet deep in water, the rear trench likewise and they were between the two floods and at any minute the dams might burst and they would be flooded out too. In many places the water rises from the ground and fills their trench to the depth of a foot or so, so that one has to wade through it when walking along the trench. The men off duty contrive to sleep huddled against the damp walls with their feet in the water. In spite, however, of these trying conditions they keep cheerful and rarely seem in the dumps. Their cheery nature, he says, rarely seems to desert them.

The German plight is just as bad and when a shell strikes the enemy’s trench they see the water splash up. He proceeds:- “ The Germans have not got the fortitude of our troops. Two nights ago 200 of them came up to some trenches and wanted to give themselves up, but their own officers drove them back with revolvers and for some strange reason our men did not fire. Can you imagine British troops surrendering because of the hardships they have to endure? I can’t. We hear rumours that if the war is not over in a few weeks many German regiments are going to give themselves up – evidently the enemy are getting very demoralised.

No doubt you hear we talked to them on Christmas and Boxing Day and then they said they wanted to get back home again – and so do we all – but we’ll see the job through first.”

The writer gives and account of the desolation caused to the country by the war. He says:- “ I have seen ruined villages with not a house or a farm left standing; dead cattle dotting the fields everywhere: little mounds with tiny rough crosses on the marking soldiers’ graves; a hundred or more soldiers buried in one common grave. I have seen a woman wring her hands and burst into tears as she passes the remains of her farm – and then go back to a tiny hovel to tend six children, while her husband fights for his country. Truly war is a horrible thing and one must see its awful ravages to realise fully how terrible modern warfare is.” The writer says he is writing in his “dug-out” huddled up on a box, the rain coming in through he roof and through the floor, and shells and bullets whistling above.

Banbury Guardian January 1915

Fenny Compton Marriage

Marriage of Mr T White and Miss M E Reading

The marriage of Mr Tom White, son of the late Mr William Prophet White, of Shotteswell, and Miss Mary Elizabeth Reading, daughter of the late Mr Thomas Blick Reading, and of Mrs Reading, of Contone House, took place on Tuesday week, when there was a large congregation, and previous to the arrival of the bridal party the organist, Mr F Moore, played suitable music. The bride was given away by her brother, Mr T B Reading, and was attended by Miss Eva Reading (sister), and Miss White (neice of the bridegroom). Mr Clement Cotterill of Stoneton, acted as best man. The Rev. J R Brown, the Rector, officiated at the ceremony. The hymns “The Voice that breathed o’er Eden” and “Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost”, were sung, and whilst the register was being signed the “Wedding March” was played, and a merry peal was rung upon the bells. The bride wore a dress of cream cloth, with hat trimmed with cream silk, and she carried a bouquet of lillies of the valley. The bridesmaids wore cream serge costumes. A reception was afterwards held at Contone House. The presents were numerous and handsome.

Banbury Guardian January 1915


In the early morning a British North Sea patrolling squadron of battle and light cruisers and destroyers encountered a German squadron of four battle cruisers with light cruisers and destroyers, apparently making for the British coast. They engaged them and the enemy speedily retreated. The British vessels pursued and kept up a running fight, the German cruiser Bluccher being sunk and two others badly damaged. No British vessel was lost, and the personal casualties were slight.

Banbury Guardian January 1915