Military Cross

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

Battle of Passchendaele / 3rd Battle of Ypres


23rd August 1917

Alick Blyth

James Wilson

Maurice Mowbray

Alick Blyth's name on the Tyne Cot Memorial. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

Alick Blyth’s name on the Tyne Cot Memorial. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

The grave of James Wilson at Lijssenthoek. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

The grave of James Wilson at Lijssenthoek. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

The grave of Maurice Mowbrary at The Huts. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

The grave of Maurice Mowbrary at The Huts. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

Alick Blyth, H Social 1910. Senior Prefect, Captain of Cricket and Radley’s first Captain of Rugby

He was killed in action on the Ypres front on Aug. 23rd, 1917, aged 20. His Company Commander writes:

Our battalion was in support, but he was detailed for a special job in the line. There was a strong point called Pond Farm giving a lot of trouble. We had taken it once, but had lost it and were going for it again. Both the D Company officers had been killed, and the remnants of the Company were going over with the attacking party without an officer. Blyth at once went to the Colonel in charge of the attack and insisted on taking this Company over, which he did. The place was captured, but he was sniped through the head. This place was held by Prussians, and had before resisted seven attacks.” Those who knew him are not surprised to hear that he died so gallantly, and that “his Platoon was easily the best in the battalion.” The same officer adds that “he was nearly always ill, but would never go sick, but kept hanging on.”

Blyth had a career full of promise at Radley. Like Geoffrey Adams, whom he succeeded as Senior Prefect for one term, he combined a variety of gifts. He won the Gibbs. Heathcote, and James Scholarships in successive years, 1913-1915. and the Worsley Prize in 1915. In this year he also won a Classical Scholarship at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He was in the Cricket Xl in 1915. and played a fine innings against Sherborne; and in the XV in 1914 and 1915. captaining it in the latter year. He was also a keen lover of literature and of nature, especially of birds, moths and butterflies. With these gifts and tastes he combined a character of unassuming gentleness, thoughtfulness, and charm, which gained him a multitude of friends.

His mother gave all the flowers for Chapel for the first Armistice Day service.

Aged 20

 

AND

Alick Blyth. Radley College Rugby XV, 1914

Alick Blyth. Radley College Rugby XV, 1914

Radley College Senior Prefects, 1915-1918: Adams, Blyth and Cancellor all died in WW1

Radley College Senior Prefects, 1915-1918: Adams, Blyth and Cancellor all died in WW1

James Studholme Wilson, MC, E Social 1900. Captain, Ox & Bucks LI, Royal Army Medical Corps

He qualified as a surgeon at the London Hospital.  He married in 1912 and had one son who was awarded one of the War Memorial Scholarships to come to Radley.  The family still maintain their connection with the school.

How much we shall all miss him you can perhaps understand better than I can tell you. He was hit early in the evening, but insisted on going on with his work for six hours after he was wounded. Our admiration for his gallantry and devotion to duty knows no bounds. His name will be a lasting and inspiring memory to the officers and men of this battalion. Two of the stretcher-bearers from his aid post who were with him when he died revisited the site in 1930.  They wrote a poem about the incident entitled ‘The Pilgrimage’.  This was discovered by the descendants of one of them in the 2000s. An excerpt was published in the Old Radleian in 2008.

  1. Citation for the Military Cross. Lieut. J. E. S. Wilson, R.A.M.C. He went up to the front line from his Aid Post through a very heavy barrage, in order to assist the wounded. By his pluck and skill he undoubtedly saved many lives. He afterwards controlled the evacuation of the casualties under heavy fire.

Aged 31

AND

Caotain James Wilson, MC. Royal Army Medical Corps

Caotain James Wilson, MC. Royal Army Medical Corps

Maurice Mowbray, MC, F Social 1910. Lt, 89th Field Company, Royal Engineers.  Killed in action

2016 Citation for the Military Cross. 2nd Lieut. M. C. Mowbray, R.E.

For conspicuous gallantry and determination, notably when consolidating a crater. His work was destroyed four times during the night by shell and trench mortar fire. He kept his party together, and displayed an utter disregard of personal safety.

After school, he trained with the Royal Engineers at Woolwich, intending a military career: He was absolutely fearless and very capable, and his men would follow him anywhere; if only he had been spared he would have done well in the service.

Aged 21

Lt Maurice Mowbray, MC. Killed at Passchendaele

Lt Maurice Mowbray, MC. Killed at Passchendaele

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

The grave of Laurence Garnett at Brandhoek. Photographed for Marching in Memory, June 2015

The grave of Laurence Garnett at Brandhoek. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

7th June 1917

Laurence Garnett, G Social 1905. Lt, 100th Anti-Aircraft Battery, Royal Field Artillery. Killed in action, Battle of Messines Ridge

He played for the Cricket and Soccer XIs and represented the school at fencing.  He went to Brasenose College, Oxford.  In 1912, he emigrated to Canada, but returned on the outbreak of the War.

His elder brother was killed at Kut-el-Amara in 1915.

Aged 26

AND

Lt Laurence Garnett, Royal Field Artillery. kia Battle of Messines Ridge

Lt Laurence Garnett, Royal Field Artillery. kia Battle of Messines Ridge

Eric Lambert, MC, D Social 1896. Lt, 8th Bn, Yorkshire Regt.  Died of wounds received in an unknown engagement

At school he was a Prefect and played for the Cricket and Soccer X1s.  After school, from 1904-9, he worked as a merchant with companies in Yokohama and Kobe, Japan, and then in electrical engineering in Kobe from 1910.

Aged 34

Eric Lambert. Radley College Prefects, 1901

Eric Lambert. Radley College Prefects, 1901

The grave of Eric Lambert at Railway Dugouts. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

The grave of Eric Lambert at Railway Dugouts. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

The grave of Charles Wilson at Level Crossing Cemetery. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

The grave of Charles Wilson at Level Crossing Cemetery. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

24th May 1917

Charles Wilson, MC, F Social 1900. 2nd Lt, 88th Cpy, Machine Gun Corps.  Killed in an unknown engagement

At school he was Head of F Social and Captain of Boats. After school, he went to Pembroke College, Oxford, where he rowed for the University, and then worked for the Dublin Stock Exchange.

Captain of the Boats at Radley, he rowed in the famous Pembroke College Eight of 1906; he also rowed in the Oxford Trial Eights in 1907. In 1912-13 he was Captain of the Lansdowne Football Club. In January, 1916, he was gazetted to the 6th Royal Munster Fusiliers from the Dublin University O.T.C., and went to the front in September, 1916. Later on he joined the Machine Gun Corps, and won the Military Cross, April 23rd, 1917. His Major writes of him : – ” His loss is very keenly felt by us, as he had become such a favourite amongst us all. He had just been awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in action on April 23rd. He was a splendid officer and a loyal and brave comrade.” Another officer writes of him :- He was one of the very best, cool and cheery in danger, and although I personally only knew him for the short period of two months, still I and all the officers, N.C.O.’s and men of the Company, learned to esteem and respect him as an example of the finest type of a soldier and gentleman. Such men as he are hard to replace, and his section would have followed him anywhere and done anything for him.’

Citation for the Military Cross He maintained control of his guns throughout the whole operations in a very effective manner. He inflicted severe losses on the enemy, and his coolness and determination was a splendid example to all.

Aged 31

2nd Lt Charles Wilson, Machine Gun Corps.  kia 24th May 1917

2nd Lt Charles Wilson, Machine Gun Corps. kia 24th May 1917

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Detail of Charles Henderson's memorial window in Radley College Chapel. Photographed by Roger Shaw

Detail of Charles Henderson’s memorial window in Radley College Chapel. Photographed by Roger Shaw

Today we remember …

Battle of the Somme

17th November 1916. Charles Henderson, MC, Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. E Social, 1900. Captain, 71st Battery, Royal Field Artillery. Killed in action at Martinpuich.

From Radley he passed fourth into the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and was gazetted to the Royal Field Artillery in 1906. He was killed by a shell which landed on the mess dug out of his battery.

At the time of his death he had passed his balloon course, and was an interpreter in French. During his last week’s leave he obtained the Royal Aero Club’s certificate as a pilot. He served in the battles of the Aisne and Marne with the R.F.A., and joined the Royal Horse Artillery during Ypres, 1914. He was present at the battles of La Bassee, Vermelles, Loos, Hulluch, and Hohenzollern, and was awarded the Cross of the Legion of Honour for commanding his battery during the last three battles. His name was sent up three times for the Military Cross.

His Brigadier-General wrote: He had a great future in front of him. His ability alone was far above the average, and his energy and power of getting work out of his men were extraordinary. I can honestly say that no officer in France served his King and country with greater zeal, ability, and courage, and I only wish that we all possessed in the same marked degree all those qualities which go to make a first-class soldier. His services up to the time of his death had only been rewarded by the Legion of Honour, and I much regret that such a magnificent soldier had not received further recognition.

He is commemorated by a stained glass window in Radley College Chapel.

Aged 29

The grave of Charles Henderson at Flatiron Copse Cemetery. Photographed for 'Marching in Memory' for Combat Stress, July 2015

The grave of Charles Henderson at Flatiron Copse Cemetery. Photographed for ‘Marching in Memory’ for Combat Stress, July 2015

Charles Henderson, MC, Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. Captain, 71st Battery, Royal Field Artillery. kia Battle of the Somme

Charles Henderson, MC, Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. Captain, 71st Battery, Royal Field Artillery. kia Battle of the Somme

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

The Butterworth Memorial in the Music School at Radley College. Designed by Laurence Whistler

The Butterworth Memorial in the Music School at Radley College. Designed by Laurence Whistler

Today we remember …

Battle of the Somme

20th September 1916. George Butterworth, MC. Don & Composer. Lt, 13th Bn, Durham Light Infantry. Killed in action at Pozieres.

George Butterworth was educated at Eton and Trinity College, Oxford, and from a very early age evinced great musical talent. One of his compositions was played at an Eton school concert while he was still a boy there. Among his musical publications are two cycles of songs from Housman’s “Shropshire Lad,” and an orchestral rhapsody, played at the last Leeds Festival, also at Queen’s Hall in the spring of 1914. He also devoted much time to the collection and arrangement of folk songs and folk dances in collaboration with Mr. Cecil Sharpe, and he took an active part in the formation and in the work of the Folk Dance Society. He contributed musical criticism to The Times intermittently for several years, and whatever he wrote showed shrewd judgment, sound knowledge, and independence of view. He was, in fact, a musician of great promise as well as a man of sterling character, who, if he had not given his life to a greater cause, would undoubtedly have done much to further a national ideal of musical art in this country. The Radleian

As a Don at Radley, he inspired a love of English pastoral music, reflected in the Music Society Minutes after he left. With Lance Vidal (kia 25 September 1915) he encouraged the boys to take up Morris dancing. He composed part of the Shropshire Lad Suite whilst at Radley.

Letter from his Commanding Officer to his father:

DEAR SIR ALEXANDER, I feel I must write you a note to tell you how deeply I grieve with you and yours for the loss of your gallant son. He was one of those quiet, unassuming men whose path did not appear naturally to be a military one, and I had watched him doing his duty quietly and conscientiously.

… Later we went into a line on the right of the Australians, S.E. of Pozieres.

Here we were about 450 yards from the Germans, and I gave orders to dig a trench within 200 yards of them so that we could attack with some chance of success.

This trench was dug in a fog, and was a very fine deep trench which saved many lives in the days to follow, and your son again superintended the work, and it was called Butterworth trench on all the official maps.

… Your son was in charge, and the trench was very much blown in and shallow, and I begged him to keep his head down. He was cheery and inspiring his tired men to secure the position which had been won earlier in the night. Within about a minute of my leaving him he was shot. I could ill afford to lose so fine a soldier…

Aged 31

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Robinson, JY Shield NU4croppedToday we remember …

Mesopotamia Campaign

23rd August 1916. John Robinson, MC. A Social, 1899. Captain & Adjutant, 7th Bn, North Staffordshire Regt.. Died of wounds received in the Battle of El Hannah, Mesopotamia (now Iraq).

John Robinson was one of the most distinguished Radleians to die in the War. At school he played for the Cricket and Football XIs and was Head of A Social. After school, he went to Merton College, Oxford, where he graduated with honours in history. He played Hockey for Oxford University for four years, became an international player and went on to win Gold for Great Britain at the 1908 Olympics.

After leaving university he became a schoolmaster. He enlisted in an OTC immediately War was declared, receiving his commission in September 1914. He served in the Gallipoli Campaign. He was Mentioned in Dispatches and awarded the Military Cross in February, 1916. The same month he was sent to Mesopotamia. He was wounded in the spine in April and died from the injury in August 1916.

His shield still hangs in Hall.

Aged 31

John Robinson, Captain & Adjutant, 7th Bn, North Staffordshire Regt. Died of wounds in Mesopotamia

John Robinson, Captain & Adjutant, 7th Bn, North Staffordshire Regt. Died of wounds in Mesopotamia

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

AH 'Sam' Hales, Captain, 1st Bn, Wiltshire Regt. kia First Battle of the Somme

AH ‘Sam’ Hales, Captain, 1st Bn, Wiltshire Regt. kia First Battle of the Somme

Today we remember…

5th July 1916. Arthur Hoare ‘Sam’ Hales, MC. Schoolmaster.  Captain, 1st Bn, Wiltshire Regt.  Killed in action at Canal du Nord, Battle of the Somme.

‘Sam’ Hales was educated at Rugby and Corpus, Oxford, taking honours in moderations and in the final school of modern history. He was in the Rugby School XV of 1900, and afterwards played for the Harlequins and the Monkstown team of 1902. At Oxford he was a rowing ‘Blue’ and rowed in the 1904 and 1905 Boat Race crews. He was an extremely popular teacher at Radley where he was one of the group of young Dons who encouraged the growth of Rugby as the school’s major sport.

He enlisted immediately war was declared in August 1914, as a private. He was awarded his commission ‘for gallantry.’ He won the Military Cross in March 1915 ‘for bringing in the wounded under heavy fire.’

The Radleian published a letter from him describing everyday life in the trenches:

I have heard several times from Mr. Hales, who is sergeant in the Wiltshires. It will be news to hear that, during his first three days in the trenches, even he was absolutely dead beat, as they had to carry up sandbags to mend the gaps in the trenches. His legs absolutely gave out. On the first night he fell into a Jack Johnson hole and was not dry for a week afterwards. Nor could he use his rifle for a day and a half as it was jammed with mud. He is full of praise for the food and bully beef. He has been under heavy fire several times, but he claims to be very good at keeping his head down. When we returned this term we heard that he had been wounded, but his own account is as follows; “A graze on head and arm from a bullet that splintered through a sand bag. Both wounds quite dry by the time I left the trenches next day.’’