|21st April 1917
Lewis Sheppard. B Social 1910. Royal Flying Corps. Killed in a flying accident
Lewis Sheppard left Radley in 1914 to join up as a 2nd Lt in the Somerset Light Infantry. He transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1916.
He was a boy of more than average ability. A great talker and with many interests, he has left his mark, though he was not here long enough to become distinguished. He joined the Flying Corps and was killed on April 21 by an accident on his way back to the advanced base in Flanders.
Today we remember …
|3rd April 1917
John O’Beirne, G Social 1907. Lt, 25th Sqn, Royal Flying Corps. Killed in action on photographic reconnaissance
After school, he trained as a mining engineer. He had just finished his three years’ training at the School of Mining, Camborne, when war broke out. He joined the Special Reserve of Officers in September, 1915, and went to the front but was invalided home after the first battle of Ypres. Later he went to Sandhurst and received a commission in the regiment, joined the R.F.C., and went to the front in May, 1916.
His brother, Arthur, G Social 1901, was killed in July 1917
Today we remember …
|Battle of the Somme
23rd July 1916. Reginald Settle. F Social, 1906. 2nd Lt, 15th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. Killed in action over Hébuterne.
At Radley, he played for the Soccer XI.
He joined the Army Service Corps (Motor Transport) as a private in November, 1914, and after passing a special examination was sent to France the same week that he enlisted. He was promoted sergeant in the ASC and is shown in that uniform in the War Memorial Album photo opposite.
In June, 1916 he obtained a commission in the Royal Flying Corps. The Imperial War Museum’s ‘Lives of the First World War’ features his story:
Despite being in charge of General Haig’s motor transport Reg wanted to see more action. In the summer of 1916 he had broken up with his girlfriend. He applied to join the Royal Flying Corps. He was killed in a small plane with an open cockpit while flying over German lines. He was sitting directly behind the pilot who heard a single shot but thought it had missed them. The plane flew normally but when the plane landed the pilot found Reginald dead was a rifle wound. He wrote to tell Reginald’s parents about the circumstances of their son’s death.
|24th April 1916. James Freeman, C Social, 1910. 2nd Lt, 29th Sqn, Royal Flying Corps Killed in a flying accident over Flanders. He survived a serious crash shortly before in which his plane broke up in mid-air. The photo opposite was taken soon after: ‘I have before me, as I write, a photograph taken just after by one of his greatest friends. There he stands, with the pleasant trustful smile on his face that many of us knew so well.’ from his obituary in The Radleian.
At school, James Freeman rowed for the 1st VIII, was a keen member of the Corps, and nowadays would be most often found in the Design Centre: ‘devoted to the carpenter’s shop. Thrust away in a corner by the stables one may still see – causam lacrymis! – that wonderful motor car which he constructed with such delight…’ His closest friend was Gilbert Whittet, also of C Social and a member of the VIII, who was to die on the Somme just three months later. Gilbert Whittet’s parents generously included James jointly with Gilbert in a stained glass window put up in Chapel in 1917. The window depicts four figures, St Michael, St George, King Alfred, and King Arthur, and portraits of the two young men.
This is a window of tears. … But it is also a Window of Pride – just Pride – Radley is proud to-day that two young lives have shown the stuff which Radley can produce – proud that two boys have shown what a clean tender true friendship can be. They walked in this House of God as friends and in that nearer Presence they are friends still … Remember that Military Service with all its glamour is only on the same footing as your service here. The one great principle is duty. They had to be trained and equipped, to go through drudgery, self-denial, and learning and labour; they did their duty and won their reward…
Like Michael fight for God against the powers of evil. Like St George learn habits of courtesy towards your fellow men. Like King Arthur and his Knights practice perfect chivalry to all women. Like King Alfred learn to be a ruler for good – of yourselves first, and then of Society round you. …
Bishop Hook, speaking at the unveiling of the memorial window to Freeman and Whittet in 1917.
Today we remember …
|23rd June 1915. Ronald Morkill, B Social 1905. Lt, Royal Flying Corps. Killed in a flying accident near Brighton. He was the first Radleian airman to die in WW1.Aged 22. He married Ellen Wilkinson in 1914|