PRIVATE JOHN RUSHBY
Quoted from Arthur Smith's Etwall, a portrait of a Derbyshire village.
"Other employees left the Sewage farm to join the Colours even before conscription was introduced, and in some cases gave more than their services to their country. John Rushby, from Wlllington Road, was one of the earliest to enlist, in December, 1914, the Farm Committee agreeing to pay his wife a war allowance of nine shillings and sixpence a week, (48p) half his wages, for the duration.
In 1912 he had played in the cricket team known as the Master's Eleven In the Annual match against the Village. This was a traditional fixture, Inaugurated by the Reverend Cochrane, Master of Etwall Hospital in 1889, and many University and County cricketers had made guest appearances in it over the years so, although young Rushby made only two runs for his side. the mere fact of his having been invited to play was taken as a great honour.
He subsequently earned a far greater honour on some foreign field, and his name appears on the Village War Memorial with eighteen others, including the brothers, Harold and Frank Gregson, who played in the matches of 1895 to 1897 and 1904 respectively, and Thomas Blood, who played in 1893."
John Rushby married Hilda Daisy Smith, and their daughter, Lilian Annie Rushby was baptised in St Helen's Church, Etwall, on the 13th February 1916. The baptismal entry reads Father, John, a soldier, and her mother, Hilda Daisy.
The death of John Rushby, in action, in January 1917, was the second tragedy to befall Hilda Daisy Smith, as she had lost her young brother, George, killed in action in August 1915.
After many years of widowhood, Daisy Rushby married a widower, William Oakton, in St Helen's Church, Etwall, in 1943. A member of the Oakton family, still living in the village, remembers her as "Aunty Daisy".