Military Cross

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.’’