Corpus Christi College Roll of Honour 1914-1918
ABEL, John Duncan (CCC Scholar-elect 1916)
Military service WWI (commenced service 19 December 1916):
2nd Lieutenant, Seaforth Highlanders. France. Killed in action on 26 March 1918 (aged 20).
[Not listed in Biographical Register.]
ADDENBROOKE, Arthur (CCC 1901-1905)
Born Kidderminster, 30 May 1882, 4th son of Edward Homfray Addenbrooke, surgeon, of Kidderminster.
Educated Warwick School.
Classics Moderations (not classified) 1903; 3 Modern History 1905; BA 1905. Secretary, Rugby 1903-1904, Captain 1904-1905; Secretary, Cricket 1903, Captain 1904; College Recorder 1904; President, Church Society 1902.
Oxford Teacher Training Course – Oxford University Diploma in Geography and Certificate in Regional Geography.
Assistant Master, Victoria College, Jersey 1905-1906; Assistant Master and Housemaster, Epsom College 1907-1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1916 (mobilised August 1914):
Captain, 14th Royal Warwickshire Regiment. France 1915, 1916. Mentioned in Dispatches, France, 1916. Died on 5 October 1916, in London, of wounds received in action on the Somme (aged 34).
AGLIONBY, Arthur Hugh (CCC 1905-1908)
Born London, 4 November 1885, 4th son of the Revd Francis Keyes Aglionby, DD, Vicar of Christ Church, Westminster, and Amy [Bickerseth].
Educated Westminster School 1899-1905.
Classics Moderations (not classed) 1906; 2 Literae Humaniores 1908; BA 1908; MA 1912.
Assistant Master at prep schools in St Andrews and Bournemouth; Assistant Master, Trinity College School, Port Hope, Ontario.
Military service WWI 1914-1918, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915 (commenced service 4 August 1914):
Lieutenant, Acting Major, 219th Siege Battalion, Royal Garrison Artillery. France, 1916-1918. Military Cross 1918 [according to Biographical Register] 1 January 1919 [according to War Service]. Died on 7 November 1918 of wounds received in action at Moen, near the Scheldt (aged 33).
ALEXANDER, Harry (CCC 1897-1900)
Born Oxton, Cheshire, 6 January 1879, 1st son of W.H. Alexander, cotton broker, of Oxton.
Educated Uppingham School, Rutland 1891-1897.
3 Classics Moderations 1899; Pass groups: English Law 1899, French Language and Literature and Political Theory and Institutions 1900; BA 1900. Captain, Cricket 1900; Secretary, Athletics 1899.
Oxford University Rugby Blue 1897, 1898.
England Rugby XV 1900 (Captain), 1901, 1902.
Assistant Master, Stanmore Park Prep School. Subsequently professional singer.
Author of How to Play Rugby Football: The Theory and Practice of the Game (1902).
Married 1913 Louise Risby; 1 daughter, Jean, born 1914.
Military service WWI 1915 (commenced service 1 August 1915):
2nd Lieutenant, Grenadier Guards. France and Belgium. Killed in action at Hulluch on 17 October 1915, on his second day in the trenches (aged 36).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 1:
Lieutenant Harry Alexander, 1st Grenadier Guards, who was killed on October 17, was a famous Rugby forward. Born in 1879, he was educated at Uppingham and Corpus Christi, Oxford, where he took his degree in 1900. He was formerly as assistant-master at Stanmore Park Preparatory School, and afterwards came out as a professional singer. He gained his colours at Uppingham in the Rugby XV, and on proceeding to Oxford he played in the Inter-University matches of 1897 and 1898. Afterwards he assisted Birkenhead Park, Richmond, and Cheshire County. He was chosen for the North v. South trial games in 1900, and afterwards played in seven International matches – v. Scotland 1900 and 1901; v. Wales 1901 and 1902; and v. Ireland, 1900, 1901, and 1902. Lieutenant Alexander joined the Grenadier Guards last summer, and while at Marlow camp with the Reserve Battalion organised the river sports for the Guards at the camp. He left Marlow with a draft for the front on October 8, and was killed within two days of reaching the trenches.
BALLARD, Godfrey Adolphus (CCC 1913-1914)
Born Woodstock, Oxfordshire, 11 June 1895, only son of Adolphus Ballard, solicitor, of Woodstock.
Educated Oxford High School.
No Oxford University exams.
Military service WWI 1914-1915, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915 (commenced service 1 September 1914):
Service in the ranks before Commission. 2nd Lieutenant, 23rd London Regiment. France. Missing, believed killed in action in Loos on 26 September 1915 (aged 20).
BARKER, Arthur (CCC 1910-1914)
Born Bradford, 12 July 1891, only son of Abraham Barker, superintendent of evening schools, Bradford.
Educated Bradford Grammar School.
Scholar; 1 Classics Moderations 1912; 2 Literae Humaniores 1914; BA 1914.
Assistant Master, Llandovery College 1915.
Military service WWI 1917-1918 (commenced service 5 June 1917):
2nd Lieutenant, 150th Heavy Battalion, Royal Garrison Artillery. France, Belgium. Died on active service at Schlebusch, Cologne on 20 December 1918, of injuries from an accident (aged 27).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 4:
A. Barker was educated at Bradford Grammar School and Corpus. In 1910 he was elected scholar and gained a 1st in Moderations and 2nd class in Lit Hum. After taking his Degree he read for the Diploma in Education and spent some time at Whitgift Grammar School. He was a firm believer in the educational value of the Classics, and a good representative of the modern school in his method of teaching.
In September 1915 he was appointed Sixth Form Master at Llandovery in South Wales, where he exercised a good influence over the Classical work of the School, and took a keen interest in the Literary and Debating Society.
In the Spring of 1917 he enlisted in the R.G.A., rose to non-commissioned rank, and sometime later was gazetted. He was killed accidentally at Cologne in December 1918, a month after the signing of the Armistice.
BARTHOLOMEW, (George) Hugh Freeland (CCC commoner-elect 1915)
Born 8 June 1896, 1st son of John George Bartholomew, LLD, FRGS, FRSE, cartographer, and Janet [Macdonald] of Edinburgh.
Educated Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh.
Military service WWI (commenced service 4 January 1915):
Lieutenant, Acting Captain, 14 Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. France. Mention in Dispatches France, 1917. Died on 2 October 1917, of wounds received in action (aged 21).
BEACHCROFT, Gerald William (CCC 1899-1903)
Born Upper Norwood, Surrey, 28 October 1880, 4th surviving son of Francis Porten Beachcroft, ICS (retired), of Sydenham, London SE.
Educated Rugby School 1894-1899.
3 Classics Moderations 1901; 3 Literae Humaniores 1903; BA 1903. Diploma in Education 1904. Secretary, Cricket 1901, Captain 1902; Secretary, Athletics 1901; Secretary, Owlets 1902.
Language student, France and Germany.
Assistant Master, Dulwich College.
Military service WWI 1915-1917 (commenced service 29 May 1915):
2nd Lieutenant 3rd, attached to 7th, King’s Own (Royal Lancaster Regiment). France and Belgium. Killed in action at Oostaverne on 31 July 1917 (aged 36).
BLATHWAYT, Major Henry Wynter (CCC 1896-1900)
Born Ashmadnagar, Bombay Presidency, 19 September 1877, 3rd son of Charles George Blathwayt, ICS (retired), and Alice May [Fowler], deceased, of Bromyard, Worcester; step-mother Georgina Mary [Weekes].
Educated Rugby School 1891-1896.
2 Classics Moderations 1898; 3 Literae Humaniores 1900; BA 1900. Secretary, Tenterden Essay Club 1899.
Royal Field Artillery 1900-1917: 2nd Lieutenant 1900, Lieutenant 1903.
Married the Honourable Elizabeth Helen [de Grey]; 2 sons, 1 daughter.
WWI (serving August 1914):
Major and Adjutant, Royal Field Artillery. France. Killed in action on 30 November 1917, at Cambrai (aged 40).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 2:
It was my good fortune to know Blathwayt very well during the four years that we spent together as undergraduates. Fonder of outdoor life than of books, he yet possessed a very clear head as well as really remarkable powers of concentration whenever he needed to employ them. To me he seemed to unite those physical and mental qualities that should make an ideal soldier, and everyone felt that he was doing the right thing when in 1900 he accepted a commission. Since then, to my great regret, I have only seen him once, and, in consequence, am not in a position to say anything of his military career.
A most modest and unassuming character, it was some time before he took the fullest part in the life of the College, but I cannot imagine that he ever had, or could have, an enemy, and at the end of his time his admirable qualities had been universally recognised. While he worked hard enough to take a creditable class in Mods and Greats, it was in the open air that he found his truest self-expression. He played all games keenly, and in 1899 and 1900 he stroked two Torpids and an Eight – all of them successful boats; but my own most vivid recollections of him are connected with long walks and scrambles that we and other Corpus men took together in various hilly countries. He was an especially fine walker, and though he had at that time done no serious climbing, I can well remember watching him clambering up the dangerous side of the Coupeé in Sark, and admiring the skill and ease with which he accomplished the feat.
Such are my recollections of a friend as generous and as warm-hearted, and of a man as true and honourable, as any I have known. His loss will be bitterly regretted, and not least by his old friends of Corpus.
BOURDILLON, Tom Lowis (CCC 1906-1910)
Born Chupra, Patna Division, Bengal, 15 October 1887, 1st son of Lt-Col Sir James Austin Bourdillon, KCSI, ICS (retired), and Mary Wake [Lowis] of Liphook, Hampshire.
Educated Marlborough College, Wiltshire 1901-1906.
3 Classics Moderations 1908; 3 Modern History 1910; BA 1911. Secretary, Rugby 1908, Captain 1909; Secretary, Hockey 1907-1908, Captain 1908-1909; Secretary, Owlets 1909.
Fed Malay States Civil Service 1911-1915.
Military service WWI 1915-1917 (commenced service March 1915):
Major, 8th Kings Royal Rifle Corps. France, Belgium. Wounded. Military Cross, 15 September 1916.
Although wounded, he led his company with great courage and initiative, and organised the consolidation of the position gained.
Killed in action at Stirling Castle, near Ypres, on 24 August 1917 (aged 29).
BROWN, Gerald Dick (CCC 1905-1909)
Born London, 14 August 1886, 2nd son of James Wyld Brown, gentleman, of Eastrop Grange, Highworth, Wiltshire.
Educated Harrow School 1900-1905.
3 Classics Moderations 1907, 4 Literae Humaniores 1909; BA 1909. Secretary, Cricket 1908, Captain and Secretary 1909; Secretary, Owlets 1907, President 1907.
Tea-planter, Langdale Nanuoya, Ceylon 1909-1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1918 (commenced service September 1914):
Service in the ranks before Commission. Major, 1st Wiltshire Regiment, attached to 11th Lancashire Fusiliers. Egypt, 1914; France, 1915-1918. Military Cross, 20 October 1916. Killed in action 14 April 1918, at Bailleul (aged 31) [according to Biographical Register]; missing, believed killed in action, September 1918 (aged 32) [according to War Service].
BUCKELL, Christopher James Allardyce (CCC 1909-1913)
Born Cheltenham, 25 December 1890, only son of William Robert Buckell, FRCS, of Cheltenham.
Educated Marlborough College, Wiltshire 1904-1909.
Scholar; 2 Mathematics Moderations 1910; 2 Physiology 1913; BA 1913.
Military service WWI 1914-1917, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (commenced service December 1914):
Service in the ranks before Commission. 2nd Lieutenant, 3rd Norfolk Regiment. France, Palestine. Killed in action at Gaza on 19 April 1917 (aged 26).
BUSHELL, Christopher VC (CCC 1906-1909)
Born Neston, Cheshire, 31 October 1887, 2nd son of Reginald Bushell, deceased, of Neston.
Educated Rugby School 1901-1906.
3 Modern History 1909; BA 1909. Secretary, Boat Club 1907-1908, Captain 1908-1909; College Captain 1908; Secretary, Owlets 1908, President 1909.
Solicitor’s Office, Liverpool 1909; called to Bar, Inner Temple 1911. Special Reserve of Officers, Queen’s Regiment (Royal West Surrey Regiment) 1912.
Married 24 August 1915 Rachel, daughter of the Revd E. Lambert, at the Parish Church, Wye, by the Revd D.W. Hobson. 1 daughter, born 15 June 1916.
Christopher Bushell Prize of books, for Modern History undergraduates, established 1923.
Military service WWI 1914-1918 (mobilised 4 August 1914):
Lieutenant colonel, 7th Queen’s (Royal West Surrey Regiment). France, August-September 1914, 1915-1918. Wounded twice (including once at the Battle of the Aisne, 1914). Mentioned in Dispatches, France, 1916, 1917. Distinguished Service Order, 1 January 1918. Killed in action on 8 August 1918, near Morlancourt (aged 30).
Victoria Cross won on 23 March 1918, West of St Quentin Canal and North of Tergnier.
From C.C.C. Roll of War Service 1914-18:
For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty when in command of his battalion.
Lt.-Col. Bushell personally led C Company of his battalion, who were co-operating with an Allied regiment in a counter-attack, in face of very heavy machine-gun fire. In the course of this attack he was severely wounded in the head, but he continued to carry on, walking about in front of both English and Allied troops, encouraging and reorganising them. He refused even to have his wound attended to until he had placed the whole line in a sound position and formed a defensive flank to meet a turning movement by the enemy. He then went to brigade headquarters and reported the situation, had his wound dressed, and returned to the firing line, which had come back a short distance. He visited every portion of the line, both English and Allied, in the face of terrific machine-gun and rifle fire, exhorting the troops to remain where they were, and to kill the enemy.
In spite of his wounds this gallant officer refused to go to the rear and had eventually to be removed to the dressing station in a fainting condition.
To the magnificent example of energy, devotion, and courage shown by their commanding officer is attributed the fine spirit displayed and the keen fight put up by his battalion, not only on the day in question, but on each succeeding day of the withdrawal.
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV No. 3:
Of Christopher Bushell’s fame as a soldier I know no more than the newspapers have recorded; for in his letters he seldom said much of himself. But from our school-days at Rugby until the outbreak of war I was intimately connected with him as any of those who delighted to call him their friend. Since he went to France with the first seven divisions we were able to meet on three occasions, one being that of his marriage.
Of Bushell at Rugby I remember little. At the School House, to which he belonged, the Arnold tradition was rigorously maintained. Friendship between its members and boys of other houses were few, and these, as a rule, were formed in the XV, XI or VIth, School institutions where Houses met on a neutral field. Christopher Bushell was intensely loyal to his House. He did not attain in work or games to a School distinction, and therefore outside his house he was perhaps but little known.
It was in Bushell’s second year at Oxford that we really met. The men of Bushell’s year at Corpus were so united as to be called “the Push”. Having discovered his powers on the River he became their acknowledged leader. It was customary then, and it may be again, for those who lodged in the front quad to find room daily in turn for all members of the College present at lunch. These heterogeneous banquets initiated the Freshmen into Corpus society, but it was Bushell’s special genius to secure that their embarrassments did not completely overwhelm the tyro hosts. He knew how to exercise authority with tact and to smooth over the most painful situations. So it was at the College Dining Club and in other spheres of hospitality. It was to him that first anxious College authorities looked to preserve a semblance of decorum in the excitements of a College Bump Supper. They did not look in vain.
On his gifts for leadership the writer remembers that strenuous calls were made when a party of thirteen undergraduates (how few of them, alas, are now alive!) set forth at three sailing craft, of various peculiarities but all unstable, to learn navigation and cooking and to explore the Norfolk Broads. Bushell was not the most skilful helmsman. Anthony Simpson was a born shipmaster, and George Willink an apt apprentice. But it was Bushell who maintained discipline in the fleet. He saw to it that we dived for the cutlery which, unwashed, had lain overnight on deck, and eventually had pitched overboard. Standing ankle-deep in a sunny beach, he would forbid strong swimmers in the waves to tempt further the treacherous currents of the Norfolk coast. It was he who painfully calculated the daily cost of our messing, and withheld the extra sardine-tin which would have brought it above the figure which economy enjoined.
Later on, in London, the Rugby Home Mission Clubs for Boys afforded more serious exercise to his talents. Perhaps the layman is pat to underrate the amount of exertion which a day’s devilling in chambers demands. Bushell, at any rate, did not spare himself when it was over. He threw himself into the practical side of social work in Notting Dale, seldom missing his night in charge of a boys’ club, while he was on the managing committee of the Cavendish Club, and one of the original founders of the Cavendish Association. Once a week throughout the season he rode to hounds in Essex. Again, in company with the writer he walked many a weekend and public holiday over the south-eastern cliffs and down the pilgrim-roads, debating the while some question of the day with a vigour that has seldom seemed since the War to have deserved.
He was the most exhilarating of companions. He knew how to draw out the best in men. He broke down their reserves of shyness or sullenness, and healed their discontents with the magic of his sympathy. He was ever admiring the hand of Providence and rejoicing at the goodness which he saw about him.
At Oxford he had not spared time to think seriously of soldiering. Not until after some months in London did he feel the claims of military service. Then, without interrupting his other activities, but at some loss of his society to his friends, he proceeded to qualify for and obtain a commission in the Special Reserve of Officers, being gazetted to the Queen’s, in which Roderick Haigh and Colonel Mackworth were then both serving.
There he has since displayed in their full development the signal gifts of comradeship, endurance, leadership, and self-sacrifice of which his College and his friends had seen the promise. Their fame will enrich the annals of Corpus; to have known their possessor is the proud consolation of his friends.
CALDER, Kenneth William (CCC 1912-1914)
Born Stanmore, Jamaica, 13 November 1892, 4th son of John Vassal Calder, sugar-planter, of Worthy Park, Jamaica.
Educated Potsdam School, Jamaica.
CCC Rhodes Scholar, Jamaica; 2 Mathematics Moderations 1913. Secretary-elect, Cricket, for 1914-1915.
Military service WWI 1914-1915 (commenced service 30 September 1914):
Service in the ranks before Commission. 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Field Artillery. Egypt 1915; Gallipoli, 1915. Died on 21 December 1915, of wounds received in action at Cape Helles (aged 23).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 2:
Kenneth Calder, who died on December 21, 1915, of wounds received in action while serving with the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, was the third son of Mr and Mrs J.W. Calder of Jamaica, and was twenty-two  years of age. He came to Corpus as Rhodes Scholar in October, 1912, as his brother Oliver had done before, and immediately set about making good the reputation which had preceded him as an all-round man at games. He rowed in the Torpids in 1913 and 1914, and played Soccer, Hockey, and Cricket for the College both years that he was up. At the end of the Summer Term, 1914, he was elected Secretary of the Cricket XI and of the “Wasps”. He joined the King Edward’s Horse as a trooper when he came up, largely owing to his great love of horses. The outbreak of war found him on his first visit home to Jamaica since coming to Oxford. He had only been home a few days, but hurried back to join his regiment, then training near Canterbury. As there appeared to be no immediate call for cavalry in France he took a commission in the R.F.A. in November, 1914. Throughout the time he was up he took a leading part in College life. His cheerfulness, generosity, and straightforwardness made him many friends. His death is a very real loss to those who knew him, but they are grateful for the privilege and memory of his friendship.
CALLAWAY, The Revd Robert Furley (CCC 1891-1895)
Born Harbeldown, Kent, 9 October 1872, 4th son of John Callaway, gentleman, of Guildford.
Educated Bury St Edmunds School.
2 Classics Moderations 1893; 2 Literae Humaniores 1895; BA 1895. Secretary, Church Society 1893, President 1893, 1895.
Wells Theology College 1895; Deacon 1896, Priest 1897, Oxford; Curate of Abingdon 1896-1898, of St Cuthbert’s, Tsolo, South Africa, 1898-1902; Principal, St Bede’s Theology College, Umtata 1902-1905; Chaplain to Bishop of St John, Kaffarina, 1902-1905; Priest Vicar of St John’s Pro-Cathedral, Umtata 1903-1905; Superior, East Pondoland, Missioner, Holy Cross Mission 1911-.
Married Amelia Grace.
Letters published in Letters from Two Fronts: RF Callaway, Mission Priest, a Selection of His Letters from South Africa 1900-1914, and from France 1914-1916, ed. K. Callaway (1917).
WWI (service commenced 2 October 1914):
Temporary Chaplain to the Forces (4th Class), afterwards 2nd Lieutenant, Sherwood Foresters. France, Belgium, 1914, 1915, 1916. Killed in action on 18 September 1916, near Ginchy (aged 43).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 4:
Robert Furley Callaway came up to Corpus in October, 1891, from St Alban’s School, as a Commoner. He was somewhat younger and less developed in character than his contemporaries, but his personal charm secured him many friends. Though neither, in the strict sense of the words, a scholar nor an athlete, he was a hard worker, and took creditable classes both in Honour Mods and Lit Hum, and secured a seat in the College Torpid. He took his full share in the social life of the College, and it was largely due to his initiative that the Church Society was started. His period at Oxford was marked by a strong development of character. He had always plenty of moral courage, and his friendships and studies served only to deepen his faith and confirm his determination to spend his life in the service of others.
On leaving Oxford he studied at Wells, and went thence to the St Cuthbert’s Mission in Kaffraria to which he was ordained. After some years he married and took a parish, but missionary work once more claimed him, and he took charge of the Holy Cross Mission in Pondoland East. In 1914 his health broke down, and he was sent home, arriving in England just as war was declared. It was characteristic of him that failing to obtain a chaplaincy at once he enlisted in the R.A.M.C. and went to Aldershot. There he was soon discovered and appointed Chaplain to one of the large Hospitals there, and later to the Cavalry Brigade. He could not rest, however, till he got to the front, and he served at Ypres with the 2nd Cavalry Division. It was no real surprise to those who knew him that he then decided that he must serve his country in a militant capacity, though he was well-nigh 43 years of age. He knew that the men to whom he was devoted were going through hell (there is no other word for it) and he felt that he must share it to the full with them. He obtained a commission in the Staffordshires, and after a short training at home went to the front as a 2nd Lieut. He was killed in a most gallant attempt to bring in a wounded man under a murderous fire from machine guns, an attempt which practically meant certain death.
His C.O. wrote of him, “I can’t tell you how much I shall miss him and what a loss he is to the battalion. He had such high ideals and was the bravest of the brave. Our only consolation is that his influence and memory will remain with us for good, but I, personally, and the whole battalion who knew him had the greatest affection and admiration for him.”
“The whole motive of his life,” one of his best friends writes of him, “was love and sacrifice, and his death seems to be just the perfecting of his life.”
First affection, then respect, then admiration, was what those who knew him felt for him. In the example of his life and death he is one of the children of whom the wisdom of Corpus is for ever justified.
CHAVASSE, Aidan (CCC 1910-1914)
Born Oxford, 26 July 1891, 4th son of the Rt Revd Francis James Chavasse, DD, Bishop of Liverpool, and Edith [Maude] of Liverpool.
Educated Liverpool College.
Exhibitioner; 2 Mathematics Moderations 1912; 3 Modern History 1914; BA 1914. Secretary, Athletics Sports 1911; Secretary, Pelican Essay Club 1913, President 1913.
Military service WWI 1915-1917, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced August 1915):
Lieutenant, 17th King’s (Liverpool Regiment). France, Belgium. Wounded and missing, presumed killed in action near Zillebeke on 5 July 1917 (aged 25).
CHOLMELEY, Roger James (CCC 1890-1894)
Born Swaby, Lincolnshire, 4 January 1872, 2nd son of the Revd James Cholmeley, Rector of Swaby.
Educated St Edwards School, Oxford, 1885-1890.
Scholar; 1 Classics Moderations 1892; Chancellor’s Latin Verse 1893; 2 Literae Humaniores 1894; BA 1894. Secretary, Owlets Club 1893, President 1893.
Assistant Master, Manchester Grammar School 1895, City of London School, 1898; Professor of Latin and Classical Literature, Rhodes University College, Grahamstown, South Africa 1905; Senior Classics Master, Scottish College, Melbourne, 1909; Classics Lecturer and Librarian, University of Queensland, 1911.
Married 1896 Lilian Mary, daughter of the Revd T.D. Lamb.
Author of De moribus et vitae consuetudine in Saxea, quae dicitur aetate (1893); Principiorum liber (1910); edited Theocritus’ Idylls (1901).
Military Service South African War, City Imperial Volunteers 1900.
WWI 1915-1919 (service commenced 9 August 1915):
Captain, 13th Cheshire Regiment. France, North Russia, wounded twice. Military Cross, 27 September 1917. Drowned at sea on active service in North Russia on 16 August 1919 (aged 47).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 5:
Cholmeley came up to Corpus from St Edward’s School as a Scholar in 1890. He took his degree in 1894 with a First in Mods and a Second in Greats. In 1893 he won the Chancellor’s Prize for Latin Verse – “The Stone Age” – in Lucretian hexameters.
He coxed the Torpid in 1891 and 1892 and the Eight in 1893. He grew taller while he was up, but was always slightly built. The writer remembers how Cholmeley – below the average height – commonly walked about Oxford in company with the tallest man of his year.
Between 1895 and 1915 he held various educational appointments at home and in the dominions, interrupted by a spell of service with the Imperial Yeomanry in South Africa. When the war broke out in 1914 he was Lecturer in Greek and Librarian in the University of Queensland at Brisbane. He was making a good thing of the Library in that infant University. The writer visited him there in 1913, and appreciated the librarian’s enthusiasm and his judgement in the selection of books.
However, spare of frame as he was and none too robust, a scholar to his finger-tips and getting on towards middle age, he was still a born fighter, and he left his Greek class and his Library to join in the great conflict. Returning to England, he accepted a commission in the Cheshire Regiment, but not for office work nor any of the tasks appropriate to middle age: he must be in the trenches, for choice the front trench, or, better still, out beyond the front trench. He was wounded twice, and it was “keenness in volunteering for every raid and patrol, and fearlessness and untiring energy in collecting information for his brigade” as forward observing officer, that won him his Military Cross.
At one period of his life he had devoted his leisure to acquiring Russian, and after the Armistice he served with the British troops in North Russia. He was drowned on the night of August 16, “washed overboard while overhauling machine guns which were required for action at daybreak. The vessel was heavily laden and behaving badly in a very heavy sea, hence this imperative duty was dangerous.” The quotation is from an official letter, and it adds, “Capt. Cholmeley’s death is greatly to be deplored. His zeal and energy were an example to all ranks; in him the Service has lost a very capable and gallant officer.”
He leaves behind him a widow and one daughter. Cholmeley will be remembered for his edition of Theocritus, a work of great promise, first published in 1901, while he was serving in the South African War. He had left it to others to revise his proofs, and the book appeared with many misprints and some judgements which he might afterwards have reconsidered, thereby incurring some unfavourable criticism. It is now in its second and revised edition, and can be judged on its merits. A more elaborate work than any earlier English edition, it breaks new ground and shows a wide range of reading, especially in the Alexandrian and later writers. It is a young man’s book, always clever and bright, and revealing something of its author’s combativeness. Perhaps his views will not all stand the test of time, but any future editor will always have to reckon with him, and the edition contains some emendations which are almost certainly right.
He was always a spirited and dashing verse-composer in various metres, both in Latin and especially in Greek – for his heart was in Greek – and it is greatly to be hoped that some of these may be collected and published.
He was an omnivorous reader. In the trenches he read the Odyssey twice, the Iliad, some Plato and Herodotus; also Caesar, “one of the finest books ever written,” he called it; and in hospital in Oxford, suffering from a painful wound, he was found poring over the Republic and Leaf’s Homer and History.
He leaves behind him the memory of a fine scholar and an intrepid spirit.
CLARKE, Eric Fitzgerald (CCC 1913-1914)
Born Richmond upon Thames, 1 April 1894, 1st son of Frederick William Alfred Clarke, Civil Servant, of Bromley, Kent.
Educated Dulwich College 1907-1913.
Scholar, Classics; no Oxford University exams. Secretary, Sundial Society 1914.
Contributed to Punch.
Military service WWI 1914-1917, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced 20 August 1914):
Captain 3rd, attached to 13th, London Regiment (Major). Malta, 1914; Khartoum; Gallipoli, 1915; Egypt, 1915, 1916; France, 1916-1917. Killed in action at Neuville Vitasse near Arras on 9 April 1917 (aged 23).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 6:
We are grown accustomed in these latter days to the ways of Death, yet our familiarity with them in nowise lessens the shock caused by these violent partings; and it was with very great grief that his friends heard of the recent death of Eric Clarke. We went up to C.C.C. together in 1913, and for a short year it was my privilege to know him as an intimate friend.
In those days we formed a little group of undergraduates as ardent as any who every met round a winter fire, in all seriousness to get the world in order and thresh out the secrets of the universe: we had the brooding mystic, tall and dark, with Yeats ever on his tongue; the fiery radical and would-be universal reformer; the philosopher, calm and stately, with a pitying smile for our weaknesses; and a host of others. The whole circle was dominated by the keen intellect and commanding ability of Eric Clarke; a sceptic, not with the cold reasoning of the cynic, but with the fervent and unbiased mind of the genuine seeker of truth; a critic of the best kind, with a logic that pierced to the root of things, and a judgement entirely unprejudiced.
Endowed with undeniable literary gifts, which would assuredly have made their mark had he been allowed to live, he was also the possessor of a rare an unaffected histrionic faculty, perhaps never more prominent than when one summer evening he recited to us Walt Whitman’s two greatest rhapsodies, in tones that will love for ever in the memory of those who heard him. He also added to his other activities considerable political ambition, and made a very successful début at the Union; he possessed in abundance those qualities which make for success in direction – a neat epigrammatic turn, a clean grasp of facts, considerable powers of rhetoric, and no small amount of dialectic skill.
And, above all, he was the very best of comrades and the kindest of friends; sympathetic, unselfish, and slow to take offence, with a delicate sense of humour which made him a most delightful companion.
That time, ephemeral indeed, is past and gone. Our little circle is scattered to the four winds, and not a few of its members have laid down their lives for the great cause. But none have left a greater blank, no one harder to fill, than he who is the subject of this lament: we mourn many young lives, cut off with the promise of their future yet budding; but none more deeply than him we mourn today.
Yet perhaps their work is not done; perhaps those of us, too often the least talented, who are elected to survive the holocaust, may profit by some faint reflection from the dazzling brilliance that is over our more worthy comrades, which may help us in their absence to carry on the work of the world. And in this spirit I conclude what I cannot feel to be an inadequate appreciation of one who was an intimate friend and a beloved comrade; in the hope that from the glorious deaths of our friends, we who yet live may derive as much of comfort for our war-worn souls, as we did of profit and pleasure while they lived: living, they set us many a noble example; the noblest of all in the manner of their end.
COLES, Arthur Norman (CCC 1910-1913)
Born London, 29 October 1891, 1st son of Frederick Pinchard Coles, stockbroker, of Hyde Park, London W.
Educated Eton College 1905-1910.
3 Mathematics Moderations 1912; pass groups: Political Theory and Institutions, 1912, Greek Philosophy and History and English Law 1913; BA 1914. Secretary, Boat Club 1911-1912.
Stockbroker, London 1913-1914.
Married Dorothy, daughter of Robert Frothingham.
Military service WWI 1914-1916, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced 29 August 1914):
Lieutenant, 8th Rifle Brigade. France. Killed in action on 24 August 1916, Delville Wood (aged 24).
CONNOP, Harold Arno (CCC Classics Scholar-elect 1917)
Educated Nottingham High School.
Military Service WWI (service commenced 1 August 1917):
Flight Sub-lieutenant [according to Biographical Register]; Flight Lieutenant [according to War Service], Royal Naval Air Service. France, 1918. Died on 31 March 1918, from injuries received in aerial action (aged 18).
COOMBS, (Henry) Whitaker (CCC 1911-1914)
Born Frome, Somerset, 7 January 1893, only son of the Revd Arthur Henry Coombs, Baptist Minister, of Sale, Manchester.
Educated Manchester Grammar School 1909-1911.
Scholar; 1 Mathematics Moderations 1912; 2 Mathematics 1914; BA 1914. Secretary, Association Football Club 1912-1913, Captain 1913-1914; Secretary, Cricket 1913, Captain 1914.
Assistant Mathematics Master, Wellington College, Berkshire 1914.
Fiancé of Phyllis Hope [Taunton].
Military service WWI 1915-1916 (service commenced January 1915):
Lieutenant, Northumberland Fusiliers. France, 1916. Died on 2 July 1916, of wounds received in action on the Somme (aged 23).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 5:
I well remember the scene at the lower end of the Scholars’ table on the first day of October Term, 1911, when the new Scholars were eyeing each other in the rather furtive manner of Freshmen eager to make friends but rather afraid to start. Several of us, more bold than the rest, had formed a small coterie, when we noticed opposite us a quiet youth with a firm chin and a slightly drooping eyelid. We soon got to know him, and quickly became friends. He was Henry Whitaker Coombs, know to as later as “Cherub” or Whitaker, to distinguish him from the venerable Henry Coombs, the Common Room man.
Throughout his ‘Varsity Career he maintained that quiet air of reserve, but before he left he was the most popular man of his year – and no wonder, because he was undoubtedly the finest character. If he had chosen to specialise he could have made a ‘Varsity reputation for himself in nearly any single branch of work or games, but he preferred to distribute his energies, and thus while sacrificing his chance of a Blue or a ‘Varsity Prize he contributed more than anyone else to helping the College in every branch of games, to developing its social life, and by his high character to showing us a true ideal of the very best type of English gentleman. He was no narrow Puritan, but he had definite principles of honour and right, which while never obtruding unnecessarily he was always ready to maintain by example and argument against the shallow paradoxes which a certain type of Oxford Intellectual delights to propound. I well remember a discussion between us about the most intimate affairs of life, when I adopted a cynical and sophistical attitude which he upset with a mixture of sturdy common sense and irrefutable logic. I refused to accept his arguments at the time, but I went away convinced in heart and more than half ashamed of myself.
Coombs was undoubtedly a born athlete. Tall and wiry, he never seemed to have a spare ounce of flesh on him, and was always in perfect condition, due largely to his temperance in every form of self-indulgence: in addition he possessed a cool head and that perfect co-ordination of eye and wrist which goes so far in every form of game. In his first year, besides getting his College colours for “soccer” and cricket, he rowed bow in the Torpid which made six bumps and brought us into the first division. Though weighing little more than nine stone, he was as strong as a horse, and could put in the work of a man two stone heavier: in addition, he rowed a very pretty blade, and would doubtless have got into the Eight if cricket had not claimed him. In his last year Coombs was captain of the soccer and cricket teams, both very successful, and in addition he played rugger, hockey, and tennis for the College in his spare afternoons. At soccer he was a tower of strength as back. At cricket, after he had scored three centuries running in College matches, the ‘Varsity authorities deigned to notice his existence by giving him his Authentics in his last year. It was perhaps worth recording that on this occasion the little boys at Lynam’s School, to whom he was then teaching mathematics, clubbed together and presented him with an Authentics tie. Such was the admiration with which he had inspired them. If he had been at a big athletic college there is little doubt that he would have got his Blue at both soccer and cricket; but had he been given the chance of beginning his ‘Varsity career again and a free choice of a College, I am certain that he would still have chosen Corpus.
Of his mathematical attainments I am hardly in a position to judge; suffice it to say that he was a College Scholar, obtained a First in Honour Mods, and would undoubtedly have obtained a First in Finals and probably a ‘Varsity prize had it not been for his multitudinous other activities. But his intellectual interests were much wider than mathematics alone. He belonged to every literary as well as every sporting club in Corpus, and was as capable of holding his own in argument and debate as he was on the athletic field. He had a delicate and subtle sense of humour, and after listening attentively to some bombastic harangue he would quietly demolish it with a few telling phrases or a witty reductio ad absurdum.
It is impossible in a short account to describe every side of his character. Perhaps not everyone knew that he spent most Spring Sunday afternoons “birding” – i.e. roaming the countryside with a faithful friend to take photographs of birds’ nests, and often climbing inaccessible trees to do so. He was very keen on music, and generally attended the Balliol concerts. He was deeply interested in all social problems, and was an active supporter of the Social Science Club. But above and beyond all his manifold interests, his athletic achievements and his great intellectual gifts, what will always live with his friends as an everlasting memory is his innate modesty and entire absence of “swank”, his clean and lofty ideals, and the sterling force of character which pervaded all he did.
Of his military career I know little, for though I was several times stationed near him, we always just failed to meet; but I heard that he was an excellent officer, as he could not fail to be. He was in truth
A perfect gentile knighte,
a staunch friend, a brave man, and a true Christian, and his life was an example to all of Honour and Chivalry.
COUPLAND, Herbert (CCC 1891-1895)
Born Harrogate, 22 September 1872, 2nd son of Joseph Coupland, pharmaceutical chemist.
Educated Ripon Grammar School.
1 Classics Moderations 1893; 2 Literae Humaniores 1895. Secretary, Owlet Club 1893, President 1894; Treasurer, Cricket 1894.
Indian Civil Service 1895-1918: Assistant Collector and Magistrate, Bengal; Assistant Settlement Officer, Joint Magistrate and Deputy Collector 1903; Magistrate and Collector, Bengal, 1907; Secretary to Bengal Board of Revenue 1907; Magistrate and Collector, Bihar and Orissa 1912; Secretary, Revenue Department, Bihar 1915; Official Chief Secretary to Government 1915-1918.
Married Beatrix Rosamond.
Military service WWI:
Captain, Chota Nagpur Light Horse. India. Died August 1918, in Leeds (aged 45).
de PASS, William Hugh David (CCC 1911-1914)
Born London, 14 October 1892, only son of Charles Benjamin de Pass, Stock Exchange, of Kensington, London SW.
Educated Wellington College, Berkshire 1906-1911.
3 Classics Moderations 1913.
Father established fund for CCC Library, in memoriam.
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 4:
We have to record to gifts to the Junior Library. W. de Pass, who was killed in France in the spring of 1918, bequeathed us his books, which have now been placed on the shelves of the Library; in the case of duplicates, the copies already in our possession were sold and replaced by those of the bequest. Mr Charles de Pass has most generously further supplemented the legacy of his son by a gift in his memory of £350, the income from which will be spent on the purchase of books for the Junior Library. The books bought under this gift will bear a special label with an inscription indicating the source from which they have been bought. The College owes a great debt to Mr de Pass for supplementing the resources of the Library at a time when the prices of books have increased: his gift has a self-perpetuating and increasing character that will keep alive the memory of the donor and his son in the minds of future generations of Corpus men who profit by it.
Military service WWI 1914-1918, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced August 1914):
Lieutenant, 13th Middlesex Regiment (Captain). France and Belgium. Wounded 1917. Missing, believed killed in action at Pouzeau-Chaulnes on 25 March 1918 (aged 25).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 5:
In a casualty list issued a few months ago it was officially stated that Lieutenant William Hugh David de Pass, 6th Bn (attached to 13th Bn) The Middlesex Regt, who had previously been reported “Missing, believed Killed” since March 25, 1918, was now presumed to have been killed in action on that date.
William de Pass was educated at Mr Ernest Smith’s Preparatory School at Enfield Chase, and at Wellington College, Berkshire. He came into residence at Corpus as a Commoner in October 1911. Most Freshmen, at the beginning of their first Term at Oxford, experience a feeling of acute shyness owing to the fact that the surroundings in which they find themselves are so unlike anything they have known before, and that they are as yet strangers to every one of their companions. It was in these circumstances that I first met William de Pass. With him as a companion such feelings were, however, but short-lived, and very soon the New Buildings became a very cheery spot and one where life was well worth living. So it was with Willie, all through his three years at Oxford. His rooms, both in College and later in Oriel Square, were always crowded with friends; so much so, indeed, that one wondered sometimes how he ever managed to find time to do his reading. That he did so was due to the thoroughness with which he always carried out everything which he began. He took Honour Moderations in 1913, and was in the middle of his preparation for the History Schools at the time of the outbreak of war. In addition to this he played “Rugger” for the College, and was a familiar figure at the Owlets.
Nominally, he would have had another year at Oxford, but when the war came he threw up his work and decided to join the Army. Characteristically enough he decided not to accept a Commission, preferring to enlist in the ranks on the grounds that, in spite of his O.T.C. experience, he had not sufficient military knowledge to justify his accepting a Commission forthwith. Accordingly, in the face of the remonstrances of his friends, he enlisted in August 1914, in the 16th (Public Schools) Bn The Middlesex Regt, and immediately went into training at Kempton Park. The heavy casualties of the Flanders campaign during the winter of 1914-15, and the obvious difficulty which even as late as the Spring of 1915 was being experienced in recruiting the junior commissioned ranks of the New Armies then in the making, caused him to alter his attitude on this question; and eventually he was gazetted to the Special Reserve of his own Regiment in April 1915. After a few days’ leave he joined his Battalion at Chatham, where he was stationed until he proceeded overseas in May 1916. On joining the Expeditionary Force in France he was posted for duty with the 13th Battalion of his Regiment and served with them until he was wounded at Guillemont in August 1916.
After a four months’ spell in hospital he re-joined his Reserve Battalion at Chatham and was immediately given the command of a Company. Ultimately, he was again passed fit for general service and re-joined the 13th Battn in September 1917. Except for a few days’ leave in March 1918, just before the great German offensive was launched against the right flank of the British Army, he never returned to England; for it was during the retreat that followed that he met his death while superintending a part of his company from the village of Puzeau near Chaulnes. Exact information is lacking, but it is believed that he was blown to pieces by a German shell which exploded among the platoon which he was commanding.
Although he served five years in the O.T.C. and always went to camp each year, like many of the officers killed in the war William de Pass was essentially one of the most peaceable of men. Nothing but the most urgent crisis could have made him adopt the profession of arms; but when the need arose he never hesitated in his choice, and lived to become a most efficient officer. His death at the age of twenty-five constitutes a very real loss to all who knew him, while an irreparable gap is made in the ranks of those members of Corpus who were Freshmen in 1911.
DEVAS, Bertrand Ward (CCC 1901-1905)
Born Kensington, London, 7 February 1882, 3rd son of Charles Stanton Devas, political economist and author, of Bath.
Educated Stonyhurst College, Lancashire 1898-1901.
3 Classics Moderations 1903; 2 Literae Humaniores 1905; BA 1906; MA 1907. Secretary, Debating Society 1902; Secretary, Tenterden Essay Club 1903, President 1904; Secretary, Pelican Essay Club 1904, President 1904.
Barrister, Inner Temple 1907; W Circuit, Bath, Bristol and Somerset Sessions 1907-1914; appointed to National Insurance Commission 1911.
Married 25 September 1915 Elizabeth Helen [Fleet], at Westminster Cathedral.
Military service WWI 1914-1916 (service commenced November 1914):
Lieutenant, 2nd Suffolk Regiment (Captain). France. Killed in action at Serre on 13 November 1916 (aged 34).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 3:
Among the names of those posted as “missing” during the war, who must now be presumed to have been killed in action, is that of Bertrand Ward Devas, who was a Commoner of the College from 1901 to 1905, took a third in Mods and a second in Greats, coxed the College boat for two or three years, and was subsequently called to the Bar from the Middle Temple. He was a son of the well-known Catholic writer C.S. Devas, was educated at Beaumont and Stonyhurst, and though very tolerant of heresy in others, he remained always a most loyal and devoted member of his Church. On his father’s death he found himself relieved of the necessity of earning a living and free to devote himself to pursuits more congenial, if less remunerative, than the Law. He made a home for himself in Wapping, near the “Old Stairs”, where he helped to organise a Social Club for the Catholic Irish boys of the Port of London, in connexion with which he equipped, at his own expense and in his own quarters, an excellent clinic. In the summer of 1916 Devas went to France with a commission in the Suffolk Regiment. He was sent straight into the thick of the fighting on the Somme, where after a very few days he seems to have met his end.
Bertrand Devas, with or without his dog “Stodge”, was a prominent and popular figure in the College. He was a member of many social and literary Societies, and was always ready with some lively and ingenious contribution to their discussions. He had considerable natural gifts for speculation, and if his interests had run more strongly in that direction would have made a true philosopher. But, as time showed, what he really loved was not so much wisdom as humanity. At Wapping he showed himself a born philanthropist.
DEWHURST, Robert William Millington (CCC Mathematics Scholar-elect 1914)
1st son of R. Paget Dewhurst, ICS, of High Wycombe.
Educated Malvern College.
Military service WWI: (service commenced 26 August 1914):
Lieutenant, 5th Wiltshire Regiment. Mesopotamia. Mentioned in Dispatches, Mesopotamia, 1916. Died, 25 April 1916, of wounds received in action (aged 20).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No 3:
Lieutenant Robert William Millington Dewhurst, of the Wiltshire Regiment, the eldest son of Mr R. Paget Dewhurst, ICS, of Littlecote, High Wycombe, and Gouda, India, died of wounds on April 26, aged 20. He was educated at Lindisfarne, Blackheath, where he won the senior scholarship to Malvern College, where he was a member of the O.T.C. He gained a mathematical scholarship at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, in November, 1913, and on leaving Malvern in July, 1914, he was awarded a leaving scholarship and the Dowdeswell Prize for mathematics. He received his commission in August, 1914, and was gazetted to the Wiltshire Regiment in September of that year.
DIGBY, The Revd Lionel Kenelm (CCC 1902-1907)
Born Bramley, Surrey, 15 November 1883, 1st son of Reginald Digby, land-agent, and Caroline Grace [Boddington] of Geashill Castle, King’s County, Ireland.
Educated Harrow School 1897-1902.
3 Classics Moderations 1904; 3 Literae Humaniores 1906; BA 1906; 2 Theology 1907; MA 1909.
Leeds Clergy School 1907; Deacon 1908, Pretoria, Priest 1909, Birmingham; Curate of St Andrew’s, Bordesley, Birmingham 1908-1915; Rector of Tittleshall, Swaffham 1915-1918.
Military service WWI 1918 (service commenced 15 May 1918):
Private, 7th Norfolk Regiment. France. Killed in action at Faumont on 18 October 1918 (aged 34).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 4:
The death of Lionel Kenelm Digby, only son of Mr and Mrs Digby of Glashill Castle, King’s County, stands out as a horrific sacrifice even among the countless sacrifices which the war has brought. All who were at Corpus between 1902 and 1906 will well remember his unfailingly cheerful and unselfish personality, while those who took an interest in the College rowing during that time will not forget how much the success of the Eights of 1905 and 1906 was due to his skilled coxing.
For some time before he left Oxford Digby had felt that his life-work lay in the ministry of the Church. After a period at Leeds Clergy School he became a curate at St Andrew’s, Bordesley, Birmingham. To that outwardly not very attractive parish he gave seven years of devoted service, which left no doubt that he indeed found his true vocation. In 1915 he exchanged the heart of the town for the depth of the country by accepting the living of Tittleshall, Norfolk. He had been there nearly three years, when the disaster of March 1918 removed the ban which the authorities had placed on combatant service for the clergy.
At this supreme moment Digby could no longer withstand the impulse, which he had long felt, to share to the full the dangers and hardships which so many of those he had been living and working for were called upon to face. Accordingly, of his own deliberate choice, he enlisted in the ranks, confident that thus he would be rendering the truest service. After cheerfully enduring the rigours of three months’ training at Felixstowe, he left for France on September 13, where he was drafted into the 7th Norfolks and immediately sent up the line. He was not to come through the two short months of fighting which remained. On October 18 he was badly wounded by a shell, and died on the same day in a Field Ambulance. In his last letter he had said that he did not dread death at all, for why should he, if there was any truth in our religion? The words are a fitting memorial of one who had always found his happiness in faith, and fresh faith in happiness. In his life and in his death Lionel Digby has shown to many, and not least to the present writer, who had known him since Harrow days, what true Christianity can mean.
DUGDALE, The Revd Richard William (CCC 1908-1912)
Born Salisbury, 9 November 1889, 2nd son of the Revd Sydney Dugdale, Vicar of Lower Beeding, Sussex, and Edith [Marshall].
Educated Rugby School 1903-1908.
Exhibitioner; 2 Classics Moderations 1910; 2 Literae Humaniores 1912; BA 1912; MA 1915. Treasurer, Debating Society 1908.
Travel in India 1912. Deacon 1913, Priest 1915; Curate, Rugby 1913-1915.
WWI, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced June 1915):
Temporary Chaplain [according to Biographical Register]; Chaplain [according to War Service] to the Forces (4th Class), attached to 5th Division, Norfolk Regiment, West Yorkshire Regiment, Middlesex Regiment. France, 1915-1918. Military Cross, 3 March 1917. Killed in action at Solesmes near Beaurain on 23 October 1918 (aged 28).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV No. 3:
R.W. Dugdale followed his brother, J.S. Dugdale, to Corpus from Rugby, coming up as a Classical Exhibitioner in 1908. After taking a Second both in Mods and Lit Hum he took Orders, and returned to Rugby as the curate of another Corpus man, the Rev C.M. Blagden. On the outbreak of War he “joined up” as a chaplain, and soon had his devotion honoured by a Military Cross; but he was not, alas, destined to see its victorious issue. The following is an extract from a friend’s letter:
“How Dick would have revelled in the peace celebrations! These crowds in Piccadilly and Trafalgar Square put one in mind of the gorgeous ‘beanos’ we had after beating Rugby or Cheltenham at Rugger or bumping ‘Pembe’ in the Togger. Dick Dugdale was always a great hand at festive assemblies in honour of great events, whether it was somebody’s ‘twenty-firster’ or the end of ‘Schools’. He had such a fund of animal spirits that for pure fun and reckless abandon he could knock spots off the weaker brethren who depended on artificial stimulants to gaiety. That is the picture of him that comes first to mind – his zest for good-fellowship and fun. He had a bit heart and a wonderful capacity for sympathy and intimacy with men of all kinds. With each of his friends he established an intimate and personal relationship based on some bond of common interest or affection peculiar to the two. He had the rare gift of being close and intimate friends with men of many different types, and of evoking in each a richer expression of their highest self. It was stimulating and inspiring to be with him. His radiant personality dissolved all coldness and reserve, and the most unlikely persons developed a point of view, or at least a sense of humour, in his presence.
“Coming from Rugby with a reputation as a great runner and athlete, and with a number of old school friends in the senior years, he was at once picked out as one of the leading spirits of his year and elected to all the College clubs. This position he held all through. He took the lead and achieved distinction in every sphere – athletic, social, intellectual, and religious.
“His intellectual development during his time at Oxford was remarkable. Being naturally of a sanguine and orthodox bent he was at first inclined to shrink from the more extravagant immaturities of some of his friends. But his natural inclination towards sympathy and understanding rather than dissent soon gave him the measure of this malaise of youth, and many a clever undergraduate learnt to take himself less seriously by finding his views listened to respectfully but not over-seriously by one so sane and large-hearted.
“Both in his work and his recreations he set himself a high standard. Aristotle’s Ethics became an adventure when tackled in Dick’s company in the spirit of a toughish climb up Skaw Fell. He had the natural man’s love of pleasure and idleness, and though effort and achievement seemed to come spontaneously, he used to confess an inward struggle to keep up to the mark. It was then in the most intimate moments that he would humbly avow his belief in prayer, and one got a glimpse of the strength and simplicity of his inmost springs of action.
“Most loveable, most gentle, and most strong, he was the ideal type of Christian priest. The loss to the Church and to those who would have come under his spell is even greater than the loss to his friends and to those who have known him and treasure his memory. His enthusiasm for reform, his humanity, and his strength of purpose assured him a future rich in honour and full of benefit to his country. Cut short on the eve of victory, his life is an inspiration and example, and his death an earnest of the truth by which he lived.
EDKINS, Harrison (CCC Charles Oldham Scholar-elect 1915)
Educated Dulwich College.
Military service WWI (service commenced September 1915):
2nd Lieutenant, 21st London Regiment (1st Surrey Rifles). France, 1916. Killed in action at High Wood on 15 September 1916 (aged 20).
FORREST, Evelyn Arthur Atherley (CCC 1910-1914)
Born Bath, 4 January 1892, 1st son of Col George Atherley William Forrest, deceased, of Bath.
Educated Sherborne School, Dorset 1904-1910.
Commoner then Exhibitioner; 2 Mathematics Moderations 1912; 2 French 1914; BA.
Military service WWI 1914-1915 (service commenced September 1914):
Service in the ranks before Commission. Lieutenant, 11th, attached to 7th, Gloucestershire Regiment. Gallipoli. Died at Malta on 9 December 1915, from blood poisoning contracted while on active service (aged 23).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 2:
Evelyn Arthur Atherley Forrest came up to Corpus in Michaelmas, 1910, as an Exhibitioner from Sherborne. He entered the School House, Sherborne, with an exhibition, in September, 1904, and worked his way up into the Sixth Form within two years. In 1908 he became Head of the School. He was in the School Rugby XV for his least two seasons, and carried off the prize for high jumping more than once. He was also a very keen swimmer and diver, and obtained several prizes for these at school.
His football career at Oxford, which looked so promising at first, was unfortunately brought to an early close during his first term, owing to an accident in a College match, and he was unable to play again until his fourth year. It was then that he developed the delight in scouring the country round Oxford on a bicycle; few men during their short stay at Oxford had such a good knowledge of the surrounding country. He obtained a Second Class in Mathematical Moderations in 1912, and a Second Class in French Finals in 1914.
Arthur Forrest had always had a great love of music, and was no mean performer on the piano and organ. Both at school and at Oxford he took a prominent part in the musical world. For a long time it had been his wish to take up music as his profession, and he was overjoyed when it was definitely decided that he should do so. For several years he had been composing music, which in many cases showed signs of great things to come in the future. But just when, at last, he was going to devote himself to serious musical study, war was declared. At the time we were spending a holiday together in Sweden, where Forrest had several intimate friends. As soon as he could get home he volunteered for service, in spite of the frank dislike he had always had to a military career. He first of all enlisted in one of the Public Schools Battalion, from which he obtained a commission as Second Lieutenant in the 11th Gloucesters in November, 1914, obtaining his Lieutenancy after a few months. He went out to the Dardanelles in September, 1915, and died at Malta from the effects of frost-bite on December 9.
One of his fellow officers writes as follows about him: “I met Arthur Forrest at Belhus Park Camp, Essex. He spoke Swedish, French, and German. He eventually was attached to the 7th Gloucesters, and arrived at Suvla about September 28. He was posted to A Company, and was very sporting in serving under Rathbone, who was really junior in him in service though an older man. He was in the firing line from the day he landed. He volunteered for and puzzled out the detail of ‘wiring’ the entanglements, taught all the ‘wirers’, and did splendid work in this branch. He did well in the flood of November 28, and stuck to his men for four days. He was carried to the field ambulance, operated on at Malta, and died the same night. He was buried at Porte des Bombes Cemetery, Malta, with full military honours, a gun carriage and twenty-six men in the firing party. Four buglers sounded the Last Post. These honours are exceptional at the present time. The sounding of the Last Post was especially pathetic as he had taught the buglers in his own regiment himself.”
Arthur Forrest was one of my greatest College friends, and I shall always remember his simple and good character. I always admired him for the amount of pains and energy which he put into everything he did, and the unflinching way in which he carried on until his task was completed. He was the same till the very last, and stuck to his men in the trenches, when his life might have been saved if had given in sooner.
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 3:
By the death in action in Gallipoli of Ernest Arthur Forrest the College loses a man who stood out from among his fellows by his wonderful capacity for enthusiasm. He had a curious assortment of interests – French, music, bicycling, and Sweden were among his hobbies – and to each of them he devoted all his great powers of mind and character with an intensity that amounted to almost genius.
He went to Sherborne College, which does not, like most English Public Schools, stifle a boy’s individuality, but rather tends to encourage and develop it. Forrest, with his independence of character and thought, naturally came to the fore, and in his last year he was Captain of the School. In this position he found scope for his energies in redressing several abuses, and though his actions made him unpopular with a few, they won the approbations of all those who had the best interest of the school at heart.
He came up to Corpus with a Mathematical Exhibition, but his heart was never in the work, and his brain would acknowledge none save the heart as master. He devoted a great deal of his time to the Musical Union, and also to the French Club, of which he was secretary for a term. He did little work for Math. Mods and the result was that he got a Third, and hence forfeited his Exhibition.
He chose History for his Final School, not so much from any interest in the subject as from a desire to secure his degree. His ambition was always to study music, which he would certainly have done had he lived, and indeed during his last year at Oxford he had a composition performed at Queen’s Hall, which won a good deal of appreciation from the critics.
During his last two years at Oxford he developed an enthusiasm for Sweden. Not content with visiting the country, he learnt the language and studied old Swedish folk-songs and dances at a special school during two Summer Vacs. It was a mutual admiration for Sweden which brought us together and led me to know him for his true worth.
Forrest was a good athlete who did not care much for games. He got his fifteen colours at Sherborne and played in the Freshers’ match, but during his last two years only an energetic secretary could persuade him to play for the College. He also swam well and played some tennis.
In September, 1914, I met him in the Market Place at Epsom, where we had both come down with the Public Schools’ Brigade. Shortly afterwards he got his commission and I did not hear of him again till I read of his death, but I am certain that he must have made an excellent officer, once his enthusiasm for soldering was aroused.
The intense keenness with which he pursued every subject he took up sometimes roused a smile among the Philistines, but I think most of the College liked him, no one was his enemy, and a few loved him dearly.
The simplicity and independence of his character combined with his great gift of enthusiasm – a breath of the divine spirit – held out for him a future of much promise: his death is a great loss to all who knew him well, but it was a sacrifice which I am certain he made willingly.
GIRLING, Charles John (CCC Mathematics Scholar-elect 1916)
Educated Wellington College, Berkshire.
Military service WWI (service commenced December 1915):
2nd Lieutenant, 1st Hampshire Regiment. France, Belgium. Died on 23 October 1916, of wounds received in action on the Somme (aged 19).
GOLDIE, Barré Herbert (CCC 1896-1900)
Born Jubblefrore, CP, India, 27 January 1877, 1st son of Col James O. Goldie, of Hove, Sussex.
Educated Wellington College, Berkshire 1890-1896.
2 Classics Moderations 1898; 4 Literae Humaniores 1900; BA 1900; MA 1903.
Master, MAO College, Aligarh; scholastic work 1914 – obtained leave from Nizam of Hyderabad to join IARO.
Military service WWI 1915 (service commenced January 1915):
2nd Lieutenant, Indian Army Reserve of Officers, attached to 32nd Lancers. Egypt. Died on 29 April 1915, of wounds received in action in Egypt (aged 38).
From Pelican Record Vol. XII, No. 12:
Educated at Wellington College and Corpus Christi, Oxford, where he took honours, he was engaged in scholastic work when war broke out, but obtained leave from the Nizam of Hyderabad to leave his post in order to take a commission. He was attached to the 32nd Lancers at Jubbulpore, where he went to Egypt to join in the Imperial Service Cavalry.
GOODWIN, William Alexander Delap (CCC 1912-1914)
Born Tralee, Co. Kerry, 22 December 1892, only son of Singleton Goodwin, county surveyor, of Tralee.
Educated Bromsgrove School, Worcestershire.
Scholar, 2 Classics Moderations 1914.
Military service 1914-1916, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced November 1914):
Lieutenant, 8th York and Lancaster Regiment. France, 1916. Killed in action at Ovillers on 1 July 1916 (aged 23).
GRANTHAM, Richard Aubrey Fuge (CCC 1914-1915)
Born Hampstead, Middlesex, 15 August 1895, 1st son of Richard Fuge Grantham, MICE, civil engineer, of Hampstead.
Educated Rugby School 1909-1914.
Pass Classics Moderations 1915. Vice-President, Sundial Society 1915.
Military service WWI 1915-1917 (service commenced October 1915):
2nd Lieutenant, 2nd Lincolnshire Regiment. France, 1916. Killed in action near Bouchesvesnes Farm on the Ancre, 4 March 1917 (aged 21).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 6:
R.A.F. Grantham was one of a scanty band of nine freshmen who came up to Corpus, from Rugby, in Michaelmas, 1914, the first Term after the outbreak of the war. Few men have been better members of their College in worse times than he. His was one of those natures which are most susceptible to the influence of Oxford, and he completely surrendered himself to it; there was no side of College life in which he did not take part and delight. It is safe to say that had he come up in normal times he would have found a place among the foremost men of the College.
Though he possessed no natural inclination for a military life and had eyesight so defective as to constitute a serious disability, he entered the O.T.C. as soon as it would accept him, and was at once one of its keenest members; he secured a commission in the Lincolns in January, 1916, and within little more than a year of doing so he was killed, while gallantly leading his men to victory.
By the men of his own year, and indeed by all who knew him, his loss has been very deeply felt, as being that of one who represented all that was best in Corpus life; he early realised the seriousness of the conflict in which he was determined to take his part, and he died as he had lived, seeing where his duty lay and unflinchingly resolved to do it.
GRIFFIN, Reginald Herbert (CCC 1897-1901)
Born Market Drayton, Shropshire, 22 February 1879, 4th son of M.H. Griffin, gentleman, of Havenhurst, Berkhamsted.
Educated Marlborough College, Wiltshire, 1893-1897.
Scholar; 1 Classics Moderations 1899; 2 Literae Humaniores 1901; BA 1913. Secretary, Boat Club 1899-1900, Captain 1900-1901; Secretary, Owlets 1900, President 1900; President, Pelican Essay Club 1900.
War Office 1901; Colonial Office 1903; staff of Governor-General, South Africa 1910; Assistant Secretary to Secretary for Colonies 1912.
Military service WWI 1915-1917 (service commenced 11 November 1915):
Captain, 21st Siege Battalion, Royal Garrison Artillery. France and Belgium. Died on 7 July 1917, of wounds received in action near Proven (aged 38).
From Pelican Record, Vol. XIV No. 1:
Among the older members of the College whom the war has carried away, there is probably no one who represents a greater loss both to the country and to their friends than Reginald Herbert Griffin. Coming up from Marlborough in October 1897, he at once made his mark in the College, and easily became a general favourite. Alike in his work and in his play, all that he did was marked by the effortless “grace of a naturally artistic mind”, which was preserved from extremes by a delicate sense of humour and a keen perception of the ludicrous. After obtaining a First in Moderations, and just missing a First in Generals, he entered the Colonial Office, in which he had risen to be a first class clerk, and would probably have had a distinguished career, if he had not insisted on joining the colours. We extract the following from an admirable obituary published in The Times of October 11, 1917:
“His critical sense, joined to delicate and accurate discernment, gave a particular charm and distinction to his conversation, always enriched by his scholarly mind, wide range of reading and retentive memory, no less than by his shrewd and searching humour and power of repartee. All those who admired his great gifts loved him for entire genuine unselfishness and warmth of heart. They delighted in his lighter qualities, his enthusiasm for and proficiency in games, his buoyant, happy nature, and his perfect temper. They found constant help in his uprightness, in his calm and self-reliant judgement, and in his hatred of everything that was mean and unworthy. By his death the public service is poorer, and to his intimate friends there is a void beyond repair.”
GRIFFITHS, Walter Harold (CCC Classics Scholar-elect 1914)
Educated St Dunstan’s College, Catford.
Military service WWI (service commenced 1914):
Service in the ranks before Commission. 2nd Lieutenant, 12th, attached to 7th, Royal West Kent Regiment, Royal Army Medical Corps. France. Killed in action, 30 September 1916 (aged 20).
GRIFFITHS, William Percival (CCC Scholar-elect 1914)
Educated Worcester Cathedral School and Bedford School.
Military service WWI:
Captain, 10th Battalion Royal Welsh Fusiliers. Killed in action, 30 March 1915 (aged 20).
Griffiths was omitted from the War Memorial. [Not mentioned in either the War Service or the Biographical Register.]
HAIGH, (Charles) Roderick (CCC 1907-1910)
Born Oxford, 3 September 1888, 1st son of Arthur Elam Haigh, deceased, Fellow of CCC 1901-1905, and Louisa Matilda Forth [Pilcher]; guardian, Giles Theodore Pilcher of Godalming, Surrey.
Educated Winchester College 1902-1907.
3 Classics Moderations, 1909; pass school groups: Greek Philosophy and History 1909, Military History[?] 1910; BA 1910. President, Debating Society 1910.
2nd Lieutenant, Queen’s (West Surrey) Regiment, Gibraltar 1911, South Africa, France 1914.
Bequest left to honour father used for Roderick Haigh Exhibition; 2 book prizes for Classics Moderations established from bequest, 1922.
Military service (serving 4 August 1914):
Lieutenant and Adjutant, British Expeditionary Force, Belgium 1914. Killed in action on 7 November 1914, at Klein Zillebeke, Ypres Salient (aged 26).
From Pelican Record Vol. XII, No. 4:
It is difficult to measure the loss which the College, his family, and his many friends have sustained by the death in action on Nov. 7 of Charles Roderick Haigh.
As his father was both an undergraduate and a Fellow of the College within my time, and his mother was the sister of another old Corpus man, I had known him from his cradle, and shall always be grateful for his boyish friendship.
It was therefore a very great happiness to me when, after his time at Winchester, during which I had necessarily seen less of him, he came to his father’s College as an undergraduate. And I can truly say that, during forty-five years of College life, I have met with very few who have given me such an impression of absolute truth and straightness, of unswerving loyalty to duty, of unfailing rightness, not only of action, but of thought and feeling. His devotion to the memory of his father and mother, his solicitude for his sisters and brother, his affection and admiration for his friends were unbounded. What he had in himself he found in others. His brother officers, his College chums, were always “simply splendid”. And some of us, who are sadly conscious of being only quite ordinary people, might have been surprised if we could have seen how his enthusiasm transformed us, and would have been moved, I hope, to try and become a little less unlike what he fancied us. Nor would it be right to omit, though it is a thing to be mentioned with reverent reserve, the deep and genuine religion which was the basis of his whole character.
When the war broke out, he was recalled with his battalion from South Africa, and ordered to the front. I know that he went, fully realising the possibility that lay before him, but counting it the highest honour which can befall a soldier, to be allowed to give his life for his country and his king. For him, therefore, we must not grieve. Almost ever since I heard of his death Shakespeare’s glorious words have been beating in my brain:
‘Your son, my lord, has paid a soldier’s debt.’…
‘Had he his hurts before?’
‘Ay, on the front.’
‘Why then, God’s soldier he be!
Had I as many sons as I have hairs,
I would not wish them to a fairer death.’
May his memory and example long continue to inspire those who knew him.
From Pelican Record Vol. XII, No. 5:
…That his affectionate regard for those under his command was reciprocated is amply proved by a letter written by one of the privates of his battalion to his uncle, Mr. G.T. Pilcher. After describing the gallant leading of Haigh and the other officers in the action in which he fell, he adds: “I pray that you will accept the sympathy of a private soldier; I can assure you he was liked by all.” One of his brother officers wrote: “Short as was his association with the Regiment, he made a name that will never be forgotten by his brother officers … He was at once the admiration and the envy of us all.” The Colonel of his battalion, who himself received eleven wounds, says in a letter to the present writer: “He was indeed a most capable officer, a brave soldier, and a true and loyal friend.”
HALES, Arthur John Shirley Hoare (CCC 1900-1904)
Born London, 27 November 1881, 1st son of Maj-Gen Arthur Hales, of Sydenham, London SE.
Educated Rugby School 1895-1900.
3 Classics Moderations 1902; 3 Modern History 1904; BA 1904; MA 1914.
Secretary, Boat Club 1901-1902, Captain 1902-1904. Oxford University Rowing Blue, 1904, 1905.
Assistant Master, Radley College, Berkshire 1906-1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1916 (service commenced 10 August 1914):
Service in the ranks before Commission. Captain, 1st Wiltshire Regt. France, 1914-1916; wounded. Military Cross, 15 April 1915. Mentioned in Dispatches, France 1915. Killed in action at Leipzig Redoubt on the Somme, 5 July 1916 (aged 34).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 6:
To many years of Corpus men the name of “Sam” Hales brings recollections of pain, terror, and admiration. His fame ran ahead of him; and on the first night of Term the mockers were busily exploiting it to chill the enthusiasm of those who had devoted themselves to the river-gods. Experience showed him no less terrible than his repute, yet more than kind. His voice was a thing of wonder, not often heard in entreaty, sometimes paralysing by reproach or objurgation, sometimes imparting something of his own tremendous driving energy. Many will remember (forsitan et meminisse iuvabit) a Bump Supper speech of his, developing at length the single theme that “the younger members of the College must learn to shove”. Everyone knew he practised what he preached, and that just because he had “guts” he had been chosen out of a very bad ‘Varsity crew to row the following year in a good one. And so no one resented the stentorian rebuke, or mistook for slave-driving the masterful determination which was bent on making summer days laborious (Oxford summer days too) in pursuit of ends for which no pots were given, and in scorn of the Lotus Eaters who lay on the banks in a spacious security. Many hearts must have sunk with a “needle” and knees been loosed when he changed, as he often did, a Free Stone to a full course. But he had his reward in the rise of the boats he coached; at his command men did violent stomach exercises in the vacation, and his crews acknowledged that it was owing to his untiring labours that they were in winning eights, and reaped the joys that the fraternity of the river gives. When he went down, it was only to Radley, whence he made a regular point of coming over to coach: mellowed in manner, perhaps, yet just as keen. The barge’s welcome was symbolically given by the smile on George Best’s face, as he ferried him over from the towpath, and prophesised “You’re in for it, Sirs”.
The last time I saw him was in summer days again; but in Flanders at La Brique near Ypres in August, 1915. From the midst of a peaceful slumber suddenly I leapt up as though wakened by the last trump. But it was just Hales walking away down the trench, which he had come to visit before taking over; unchanged save for the uniform, the monocle, and the Military Cross. That night the relief did not work smoothly: there were blocks; and I heard him say, “Oh come on, let’s go over the top”. Communication trenches were against his principles, and made solders afraid – moles instead of men. And afterwards when he discovered our sins of omission, committed in ignorance by a new battalion, he wrote a long letter of advice, stern, just, and kindly – like lessons to those given on the towpath (or in Hall), but for a more dreadful service. He belonged to a regiment famous for work and fighting; and he, if anyone, could show an example of courage, endurance, and determination; qualities required in a leader of men, in which character who can doubt he was found approved when he fell?
HANKEY, Donald William Alers (CCC 1907-1910)
Born Brighton, 27 October 1884, 4th son of Robert Alers Hankey, deceased, gentleman; guardian C.T.A. Hankey of Brighton.
Educated Brighton Day School; Rugby School 1898-1901.
RMA Woolwich 1901-1903; 2/Lt RGA 1903; Mauritius 1904-1906; sick leave, London 1906, worked for ordination; resigned commission 1907; travel on Continent.
2 Theology 1910; BA 1911. Secretary, Owlets 1909, President 1910.
Travel in British East Africa 1910; Leeds Clergy School,1911 – declined ordination; Oxford and Bermondsey Mission 1911-1912; labouring in Australia 1912-1913 – articles for Westminster Gazette on disillusionment with emigrant life; intended purchase of West Australian Farm for Bermondsey Boys 1914.
Articles on war for The Spectator. Author of Lord of All Good Life (1914); A Student in Arms (1915); A Passing in June 1915 (1915); The Beloved Captain…Selected Chapters from ‘A Student in Arms’ (1917); Religion and Common Sense (1917); The Cross (1919); Letters (1919). Related publication: The Story of Donald Hankey by K.G. Budd (1931).
Military service WWI 1914-1916 (service commenced August 1914):
Service in the ranks before Commission. Sergeant, Rifle Brigade, then 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Garrison Artillery, then 3rd Royal Warwickshire Regiment. France and Belgium, 1915-1916. Killed in action at Le Transloy, near Morval, the Somme on 12 October 1916 (aged 31).
Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 4:
We take the liberty of quoting from The Spectator the following appreciation:
I looked with love and admiration on his genius, for genius it was in the true sense – an inspiring spirit an invisible flame that burnt in the man like a lamp, a lamp lit by the hand of God. In spite of a certain fierceness of soul, and a disposition to an occasional outbreak of something which one might almost call waywardness of judgement, he was at heart one of the most reasonable, and indeed humble-minded, men I have ever known. I used sometimes, though sharing to the full his admiration of the private soldier, to be amused at the way in which he looked upon his friends in the ranks. It was almost a case of a tigress and her cubs. Yet in spite of that, when I sent him back some articles in which I thought he went too far of his chastening of the bad or indifferent type of officer, and had given an impression – or shall I say I was in danger of giving an impression? – which would have been unfair to our officers as a whole, he took my point at once and generously and openly admitted that he was wrong. The result was the admirable article on “The Good side of ‘Militarism’” – published on September 2nd – which was perhaps one of the best things he ever wrote.
Perhaps the best epitaph is that he was never happy but in making other people happy. Certainly that was the effect of the book, A Student in Arms, on all who took the trouble to understand its meaning. There was a radiance of happiness that came from it which I can only call glorious. And yet no man sought to parade an easy optimism less than he did. The notion of his trying to write “an encouraging book” was, I know, never in his mind. He wrote because of the overmastering spirit within him, and thus his work was happy and made for happiness. It was “blessed”, and so was he who wrote it, in what I am sure is the true meaning of the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” To see God, to realise God, must be the supreme happiness, and something of this he possessed because he was pure in heart. By “pure in heart” who can doubt that our Lord meant single-minded – the man who has one clear purpose, who is not, like so many of us, of mixed purposes? Most of us in the abstract want to do what is right, but we want to do it in such a way that it will dovetail nicely in with the mosaic of our lives, with our worldly and selfish or purely utilitarian aims. We want to mix a little or a good deal of this world with our other-worldliness. Only the man who truly is “pure in heart” is free from this taint of mixed motives. His one desire is the seeing of God and following it. While he follows the Good in the light of Truth, he–
Is happy as a Lover; and attired
With sudden brightness, like a Man inspired.
Assuredly “A Student in Arms” was the “Happy Warrior” of ever there was one. He did not seek the glory of arms, though he obtained it. Still did he less seek the glory of letters, though it is plain for all who have eyes to see that it was his. He did not seek the glory of God and it is his. He is now God’s soldier.
HENDERSON, William James (CCC Charles Oldham Scholar-elect 1914)
Educated Dulwich College.
Military service WWI (service commenced 8 October 1914):
Captain, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. France. Military Cross 24 June 1916. Mentioned in Dispatches, France, 1916. Killed in action on 6 July 1916 (aged 20).
HERDMAN, Arthur Widdrington (CCC 1905-1909)
Born North Shields, 31 January 1886, only son of the Revd Robert Morrison Herdman, deceased, and Mary Herdman of Ripon.
Educated Trent College, Derbyshire.
3 Modern History 1909; BA 1909.
Military service WWI 1914 (serving 4 August 1914):
Lieutenant [According to Biographical Register]; Captain [According to War Service], 1st Shropshire Light Infantry, British Expeditionary Force. France. Killed in action near Lille on 25 October 1914 (aged 28).
From Pelican Record Vol. XII, No. 4:
A.W. Herdman was a Commoner of the College, and was in residence for the academic years 1905-9.
He read Modern History, and was placed in the 3rd Class in the Final School. After going down, he became connected with Lloyd’s as a marine underwriter, but soon joined the Army, obtaining a commission in the Shropshire Regiment. During the year before the war he was stationed at Curragh, but on the outbreak of war he was sent to the front with his regiment, and was killed in action on October 25, 1914.
Mr. Herdman was a man of great size and powerful physique. He had a keen intelligence and a boundless energy. He was a most capable officer, and was making a mark in his profession. His friends will remember him for his unvarying good temper and kindliness. He was a most attractive personality; there was a delightful contrast between his great, loose-limbed figure and his gentle and modest manners. He was an unselfish comrade and a loyal friend. Corpus has had no more worthy or honourable sons than Arthur Widdrington Herdman.
HITCHCOCK, Reginald Francis (CCC Classics Scholar-elect 1916)
Educated Bristol Grammar School.
Military service WWI (service commenced 1916):
2nd Lieutenant, Machine Gun Corps. Missing, 1918 [according to Biographical Register]; killed in action 14 April 1918.
HOLMS, John Cyril (CCC 1909-1912)
Born London, 28 November 1891, 1st son of Douglas Lyon Holms, stockbroker, of London.
Educated Beaumont College.
2 Modern History 1912; BA 1912.
Solicitor’s articles 1912-1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1915, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced August 1914):
Captain, 1/9th London Regiment (Queen Victoria Rifles). France, 1915. Died of wounds on 10 September 1915, received in action at Carnoy (aged 23).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 1:
John Cyric Holms came up to Corpus in Michaelmas 1909, as a Commoner from Beaumont College. During his three years of residence he gained the affection of all, both senior and junior members of the College, by his frank, genial, and modest character, and by his energetic participation in all the activities around him. He was an enthusiastic and most efficient member of the Officers’ Training Corps, during a time when Corpus held the record for the percentage of its members who were enrolled in that body.
As a student Holms was thorough and accurate, and with considerable powers of insight. His extreme care and modesty prevented him from doing full justice to himself, and when he left College his powers were not yet fully developed. He gained a very creditable Second Class in the History School, and then went into the legal profession in London, a profession for which he was particularly suited, owing to his high standard of honour, and accurate and thorough intellectual qualities. But for his untimely death, he would have shortly become a partner in one of the largest and most respected firms in London.
When the war broke out, Holms volunteered for service in the 9th London Regiment, in which he rose to the rank of Captain. As a soldier he displayed the same high qualities as before, an extreme sense of duty, a clear and effective grasp of all difficult problems. He died of wounds on September 10, in France, received when making a sketch of the enemy’s position, before an attack which was to be made from the British lines. He had volunteered for this task, and only survived the wounds which he received in it about one hour.
Holms was a member of the Roman Catholic Church, and a deeply religious man. He was of a singularly unspoiled and charming character, one whom it is good to have known, and whose memory his friends will always cherish.
HOUSE, Malcolm Hutchinson (CCC Classics Scholar-elect 1916)
Educated Rugby School.
Military service WWI (service commenced July 1916):
2nd Lieutenant, 8th Rifle Brigade. France, 1916-1917. Killed in action at Chèrisy on 3 May 1917 (aged 19).
HURD, Douglas William (CCC 1913-1914)
Born Highgate, London, 2 December 1895, 1st son of Percy Angier Hurd, journalist and author, of Highgate.
Educated Marlborough College, Wiltshire 1908-1913.
Pass Classics Moderations 1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1916 (commenced August 1914):
Captain, 7th Middlesex Regiment. Gibraltar, 1914; France, 1915; Belgium. Killed in action near Leuze Wood , the Somme, on 15 September 1916 (aged 20).
Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 4:
D.W. Hurd came up to Corpus from Marlborough as a Commoner in October, 1913. He played Rugby for his College in his first term, and won a History Exhibition. At the outbreak of war he was already an officer in the 7th Battalion, the Middlesex Regiment, and in the autumn of 1914 he went out with that battalion to Gibraltar. In early 1915 he came to France. He took part in the battles of Givenchy, Gommécourt, and others, and served continuously in the trench-warfare in France and Flanders until his death. He was promoted to the rank of Captain in the summer of 1916, and in September was shot through the head whilst leading his company over the parapet near Leuze Wood.
Hurd’s personality was a very equable one. He was seldom ruffled, for he was usually very silent except among his intimate friends, and therefore rarely incurred dislikes or inspired even momentary antagonisms. His sense of humour, moreover, was too strongly developed, and his detachment from the ordinary polemical atmosphere of undergraduate conversation too complete to allow him to become embroiled in controversy or heated in argument. Indeed his rôle was often that of the peacemaker, and by the quiet humorous interposition of a few words he could change partisanship to laughter and make absurd the finality of the bitter repartees. If, on the other hand, the atmosphere were frivolous, he was as light-hearted as anyone. Then his humour had full play, his reticence and shyness were largely abandoned, and he became the soul of good fellowship.
Another strong characteristic of his was his perseverance. If he undertook a thing he finished it. In games, in scholarship, indeed in all he did, it was not the brilliance of outstanding genius that made him successful, but this quality of doggedness and steadiness. He had the faculty of taking infinite pains.
Indeed in all his qualities Hurd was very characteristically British. He loved games, and a quiet, uneventful life, and honest broadminded learning. He hated display, and he distrusted everything oratorical or even fluent, even when it amused him. Perhaps he was often wrong in attributing insincerity and sophistry to what was merely vivid and persuasive. At any rate it is a national habit to do so.
HOPKINS, James Randolph Innes
Subsequently INNES-HOPKINS, James Randolph (CCC 1895-1898)
Born Nunthorpe, Yorkshire, 8 October 1876, 5th son of William J.R. Hopkins, JP, DL, colliery owner, of Darlington.
Educated King’s School, Canterbury.
3 Classics Moderations 1897; pass school groups: Greek and Roman History and Political Theory and Institutions 1897, Greek Philosophy and History 1898.
Lord Methuen’s forces, South African War. Business in Winnipeg and Saskatoon, Canada.
Married 1904 Doreen Maud, daughter of the Hon Reginald Parker.
Military service WWI (service commenced 22 September 1914):
Captain, 5th Canadian Light Infantry [According to War Service]; Canadian Expeditionary Force [According to Biographical Register]. France. Killed in action near Festubert on 24 May 1915 (aged 38).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. I:
James Randolph Innes-Hopkins entered C.C.C. from King’s School, Canterbury, in October, 1895, and graduated in 1899 . He served in the South African War in Lord Methuen’s forces. A few years later he came to Canada and was engaged in business in the West, first at Winnipeg and later at Saskatoon. Being Adjutant of the 27th Light Horse, Canadian Militia, he volunteered for active service, and went to the front as a Captain in the 5th Infantry Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. He was killed on May 24th when leading his men in a charge near Festubert. A brother officer writes: “He was by far the most popular officer we had, and his loss will be deplored by all ranks, as he was beloved by us all.”
JANASZ, James George Gee (CCC 1912-1914)
Born Norwood, Surrey, 4 January 1893, only son of Joseph Adolf Leo Felix Janasz, gentleman, of Boscombe, Hampshire.
Educated Sherborne School, Dorset 1907-1912.
Pass Classics Moderations 1914. Secretary, Church Society 1913-1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1915 (service commenced 4 November 1914):
2nd Lieutenant, 3rd Dorsetshire Regiment, attached to 2nd Wiltshire Regt. France. Killed in action on 15 June 1915, at Festubert (aged 22).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No.2:
George Janasz was killed in action on June 15, 1915, at the last battle of Festubert, aged twenty-two years. He was educated at Sherborne and came into residence at Corpus as a Commoner in October, 1912. On the outbreak of war he was unable to come at once owing to a severe illness which he had had the previous spring. However, in November, 1914, he was passed fit and got a commission in the 3rd Battalion of the Dorsetshire Regiment. He went out to France on March 28, 1915, and was posted to the 2nd Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment, with which he served till his death. He died, like his friend Geoffrey Ramsbotham, leading an attack. Perhaps an extract from a letter written by his C.O. is the best description we could wish: “He died gallantly, leading his men against the enemy, and was shot through the head about 200 yards from the German trenches. His Captain, who is the only officer not hit in the two leading companies, could not say enough in his favour today. England can ill afford to lose such men.” Nothing more need be added, but to his intimate friends his death is an irreparable loss.
LUSHINGTON, Sidney Edward James Chippendall (CCC Commoner-elect 1914)
Military service WWI (service commenced 9 September 1914):
2nd Lieutenant, 11th Hampshire Regiment. Lieutenant General List. Aide-de-camp to General officer commanding, Royal Auxiliary, 41st Division. France and Belgium, 1916. Died on 25 September 1916, of wounds received in action in the Battle of the Somme (aged 20).
MALCOLM, Pulteney (CCC 1913-1914)
Born Bakloh, India, 4 August 1894, only son of Lt-Col Pulteney Malcolm, MVO, DSO, Chief Constable of Cheshire, IA retired, of Bunbury Heath near Tarporley, Cheshire.
Educated Eton College 1908-1913.
No OU exams; won University Sculls 1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1918, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced 29 August 1914):
Lieutenant, 1st Grenadier Guards (Captain, King’s Coy). France. Wounded. Killed in action at Mory St Léger on 25 August 1918 (aged 24).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 3:
Pulteney Malcolm had only a year of residence before the war broke up the University, but in that time he became prominent in the College, where his influence was always for good. He stroked the Torpid and the Eight, and threw himself into College life; if he had stayed out his time he would have done much for its rowing. For he was a loyal member of the society, was as ambitious for it as for himself, and would spare himself no pains to serve it. He was a good oar, and indefatigable in that as in anything else that he took up: he had a singularly attractive charm of manner and “a free and open nature”; and behind it lay a strong and determined character. He was ambitious in the best sense of the word, and, while enjoying and giving himself to Oxford life, looked beyond to what was to follow it. It was in this spirit that, without being at all a born scholar, and having plenty to distract him, he worked steadily and capably for his Schools; and no one who knew him could have doubted that he would have risen to a position of rank in whatever profession he chose. One who knew him well writes – and no words could describe him better: “He was a lad with a strong sense of personal religion – the religion of the old Scottish Covenanter and of the best of our soldiers, which might be summed up by saying he knew he was expected to know his King’s Regulations, for by them he stood to be judged. Beyond this his worship was all for tradition: tradition was the inspiration of his life – his race, his name came first, but his private school, Eton, Oxford, Corpus, the Regiment and the Company (his beloved King’s Company) – all these were to him realities; he must keep up the tradition at any cost – better it if he could. When he was appointed to the command of the King’s Company, he wrote that he daily prayed to be worthy of it, and he said to a friend that his earnest wish was ‘that I may lead as I have been led’.”
That wish was granted. After covering twelve miles partly on tricycle, partly on foot, he arrived in time to take part in a British attack near Mory on August 25. They attacked in a dense fog. His C.O. writes: “For most of the time I saw him, setting a wonderful example to all the men, of courage and devotion to duty. His Company, which he was leading, had just reached their final objective when the fog suddenly lifted, and he and the party of men with him were cut off by large forces of the enemy. They fought on most gallantly, and most of them were killed … I always regarded him as an officer infused with the truest Grenadier spirit, who was absolutely loyal to the core. The men would do anything for him. They were all loud in his praises after the battle.”
MAUDE, Louis Edward Jospeh (CCC 1910-1914)
Born Oxford, 14 July 1891, only son of the Revd Joseph Hooper Maude, Rector of Hilaray, Downham Market, Norfolk, and Louisa Frederica Grey [Fuller].
Educated Trinity College, Glenalmond 1905-1910.
Scholar; pass Classics Moderations 1912; 2 Literae Humaniores 1914; BA 1915. Secretary, Hockey 1912-1913, Captain 1913-1914; Secretary, Pelican Essay Club 1913; President 1913; Secretary, Owlets 1913, President 1913.
Civil Service exam 1914. GPO 1915.
Mother made a donation for the College Barge, in memoriam.
Military service WWI 1915-1916, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced May 1915):
2nd Lieutenant, King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. France. 1914-1915 Star. Killed in action at Fricourt on 1 July 1916 (aged 24).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 4:
In Lewis Maude the Pelican Record has lost a very able and most entertaining contributor, whose humorous descriptions of the achievements of the various College Teams were a constant delight. A friend writes:
Maude was last seen carrying ammunition to his platoon across No Man’s Land. We are all, unhappily, too familiar with what is meant by No Man’s Land not to know that he died as a very brave soldier. And yet Maude was a soldier neither by inclination nor by training; he hated the very idea of fighting, and disliked physical pain and discomfort even more than most men. Yet knowing this and with a vivid imagination of what war means now, and in face of strong opposition from his department, he took a commission, gave up the comforts and occupations that he loved, and offered the life of an only son to his country. Surely no man is braver than the coward who knows what is before him but subdues his fears; and Maude was one who would have been a coward but for his indomitable moral courage, which never showed more gloriously than in this crowning self-sacrifice.
For four years he was a familiar, almost notorious, figure in Oxford. Eccentric in habit and bearing and careless of dress he was at once conspicuous even in Oxford. Lecturers must often have wondered what would be the ultimate fate in the schools of the florid untidy undergraduate who made pyramids of inkpots or carried on whispered conversations with his neighbour while they lectured. But they would have been astonished at the precision with which his mind had seized the subject of the lectures, and the lucid exposition he could subsequently give. In fact his mind was unceasingly active, and the secret of his eccentric bearing was that his mind worked upon the material given it too quickly for the supply, and his energy expended itself in movements of which his mind was often unconscious. No subject was too trivial or too abstruse to interest him, and he had thought, if not very deeply, on all subjects, at any rate far more widely than most men. Added to this he had a clear and trenchant literary style, and a graceful humour which made his academic work a pleasure to him and those who worked with him. His many-sided character only a complete biography could unfold to those who did not know him well, while to those who knew and loved him no words are necessary.
In life he was a good friend and a pleasant comrade; in death he was a good leader and a brave officer; in such a life and death there is truly nothing to regret, but the tragedy remains that a man who could do so much that was beyond the possibilities of others should have to die for what anyone could do as well.
MILLS, Henry Valentine (CCC 1900-1904)
Born Pillerton Hersey, Warwickshire, 23 November 1881, 1st son of Francis Mills, barrister, of Pillerton Hersey.
Educated Cheltenham College 1894-1900.
Scholar; 2 Mathematics Moderations 1901; 3 Mathematics 1904; BA 1908.
Married Frances Georgina.
Military service WWI 1915-1917 (service commenced October 1915):
2nd Lieutenant, Royal Garrison Artillery. France and Belgium. Killed in action at Vlamertinghe, Ypres on 25 June 1917 (aged 35).
MOCATTA, Robert Menzies (CCC 1911-1914)
Born Southport, Lancashire, 16 July 1892, 2nd son of the Revd Henry Elias Mocatta, headmaster of Min-y-don Prep School, Old Colwyn.
Educated Haileybury, Hertfordshire 1906-1911.
2 Mathematics Moderations 1913; pass school groups: Greek Philosophy and History, Political Theory and Institutions and Religious Knowledge 1914; BA 1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1915, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced July 1914):
2nd Lieutenant, 5th Royal Welch Fusiliers. Gallipoli. Killed in action on 10 August 1915 at Gallipoli (aged 23).
MORRIS, Henry (CCC 1912-1914)
Born Bangor, Caernarvon, 10 May 1893, 1st son of the Revd Silas Morris, Principal of North Wales Baptist College, of Bangor.
Educated Rugby School 1906-1912.
Scholar; 2 Classics Moderations 1914.
Military service WWI 1915 (service commenced 9 January 1915):
2nd Lieutenant, 6th, attached to 3rd, Middlesex Regiment. France. Killed in action in assault on Hohenzollern Redoubt, Battle of Hulluch on 28 September 1915 (aged 22).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 1:
An Englishman very seldom understands the Celtic temperament; and there was much of this in Henry Morris. Probably that is why he continually surprised us by exhibiting a practical capacity, when put to the test, that was by no means suggested in his dreamy, rather detached manner, and the hesitation which had largely disappeared in his period of soldering before he left for the Front. As a small boy at Rugby, with precocious brains and an execrable handwriting, he was at one time rated as a “freak”, true to the familiar classification adopted by the average juvenile British male when puzzled by the obvious difference between himself and a small, unathletic, unpractical-looking scholar, who spoke Welsh and had an unaccountable, rather introspective imagination. Yet that very frail, almost feeble boy was five years later a footballer of real merit in a strong House VX scrummage; and the “mad” scholar was a Head of the House who, in some way of his own, united in harmony the very jarring factions of the moving spirits in that House; and proved a Head of the School of excellent sanity and no little resolution, gaining the respect of all in a way that nothing but real merit can gain it among the strange standards of a Public School. The writer did not know him as an undergraduate at Corpus, except on visits to Rugby. He had clearly expanded; but his development at Oxford was arrested by the war, to be continued surprisingly in a Battalion of the Middlesex Regiment. A brief glimpse of him in May, 1915, just before he went overseas, showed that too familiar sight of this year – a boy suddenly grown into a man with immense possibilities doomed to be ruined by a German bullet in the middle of their chief expansion.
A most loyal and devoted Rugbeian, thoroughly happy in his College and proud of it, he owed the really deep allegiance of his heart and mind to Wales and her mountains, her people and her language. The writer does not forget a certain day’s scrambling with him on Tryfaen: it was Henry Morris’s own mountain, so it seemed, which only he of the party could pronounce alright and certainly only he intimately understood. His delight in Welsh names was extreme; to hear him utter such words as “Y Waen-der”, “Carnedd Llewellyn”, and the rest of them, was a real joy. Among these he was at home; and among the Welsh people he had meant to cast his lot. The more immediate duty of destroying Teutonism cut short the service that he was bound to have rendered to his own country of Wales.
NEWTON, William John (CCC Commoner, matriculated 1879)
Born 4 December 1860, at Aberdeen, only son of James Newton.
Educated at Liverpool College.
4 Literae Humaniores, 1883.
Military service WWI (serving 4 August 1914):
Major, 4th Cheshire Regiment. Died on 16 February 1915, of illness contracted while on active service (aged 54).
NORRIS, Frederick (CCC 1913-1915)
Born Lambeth, London, 27 January 1894, 3rd son of Walter Norris, oven builder, of Kennington, London SE.
Educated St Olave’s Grammar School.
Scholar; 1 Classics Moderations 1915; Hertford Scholar 1915. Secretary, Sundial Society 1915.
Military service WWI 1915-1917 (service commenced 6 July 1915):
Captain, 23rd Middlesex Regiment. France. Killed in action on 7 June 1917 (aged 23).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 1:
Among the men whose loss the College and the country has to deplore, none possessed a more brilliant mind or more sterling character than Frederick Norris, and about no one’s merits did there exist a more complete and enthusiastic agreement in all classes of the College community. He came to Corpus from St Olave’s School, Southwark, in October 1913, having obtained a Classical Scholarship in December 1912, as the best of an unusually strong field, and soon began to show his quality by obtaining an honourable mention in the Hertford Scholarship examination and rowing bow in the College Eight in the summer of 1914, and getting a proxime accessit, with his contemporary and friend P.J. Williams (who laid down his life only a few weeks earlier), in the Ireland Scholarship examination in December. In 1915 he obtained a First Class in Moderations and the Hertford Scholarship, going down at the end of the Summer Term to do his duty by his country with the same resolution, gallantry and thoroughness which he had displayed in all his work.
We extract the following from an appreciation which has appeared in The Olavian of last July. “One of his tutors says: ‘He was the ablest pupil I have had since I taught at Oxford, not merely as a Classical Scholar, but also for his genuine strength and breadth of mind. He thoroughly earned and deserved the distinctions he won up here, and he had much more undeveloped in him which we hoped would have given him a distinguished future career. And with it all he had a strong sense of duty and an earnestness of purpose which all him knew and appreciated.’ Prof A.C. Clark, who had very kindly offered to give Norris some special instruction, writes similarly: ‘He seemed to have a real genius for scholarship, and I thought him one of the most promising men with whom I have had to deal. He always had ‘le mot juste’, which is a rare gift, and his verse compositions showed taste and feeling quite out of the common. He was a man who would always have been in the running for University Scholarships in any year, and his success in gaining the Hertford was the due reward of merit. What struck me most about him was that he was not merely receptive. He listened critically, thought for himself, and there was a note of originality in all he did.’”
OLIVER, John Milner (CCC 1901-1905)
Born Manchester, 24 July 1882, 1st son of John Robinson Oliver, cotton-spinner, of Bowdon, Cheshire.
Educated Manchester Grammar School 1897-1901.
2 Mathematics Moderations 1903; 2 Jurisprudence 1905; BA 1905
Solicitor 1909; partner, Tatham, Worthington & Co., Manchester 1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1916 (service commenced September 1914):
Lieutenant, [according to War Service]; Captain [according to Biographical Register], 16th Manchester Regiment. France. Killed in action at Trônes Wood on 1 July 1916 [According to War Service]; on 9 July 1916 [According to Biographical Register] (aged 33).
OWEN, Francis Whitwell (CCC 1913-1914)
Born Mundesley, Norfolk, 25 September 1894, 5th son of Edward Charles Everard Owen, schoolmaster, of Harrow, Middlesex.
Educated Rossall School, Lancashire 1908-1913.
Scholar, Classics; no Oxford University exams.
Military service WWI 1914-1916, (service commenced September 1914):
Private, 18th Royal Fusiliers, attached to Royal Engineers. France. Killed in action on 31 March 1916 (aged 21).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 3:
Francis Whitwell Owen, Royal Fusiliers, attached R.E. (killed in action on March 31), was twenty-one years old, and the fifth son of Rev E.C.E. Owen, Assistant Master at Harrow School, and Mrs Owen. He was educated at Orley Farm School and Rossall School, of which he was a Foundation scholar, and held the leaving scholarship to the University. He was elected to a classical scholarship at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and had been a year in residence when war broke out. He enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers in September, 1914, and went out to the front in November, 1915. After being for some time with the Royal Fusiliers in the trenches, he was attached to the Royal Engineers, and was with them when he was killed.
Francis W. Owen came up to Corpus in October, 1913, as a classical scholar from Rossall, where he had been head of the Sixth Form for some considerable time.
I was a Freshman in the same year as he, and I have a very distinct memory of the occasion in which we first met. No man was more anxious for friendship; yet he did not open out easily, his manner towards strangers was shy and reticent. His trait was deceptive, for it led people to set him down as a clever, thoughtful, but rather quiet individual. They could not credit him with much eloquence in conversation; still less would they suspect him capable of joie de vivre, or of wit.
Some people would never break through the first barrier of his reserve. To those, however, who were interested in him and who cultivated his friendship, as I did myself – this barrier quickly gave way. One could not fail to remark upon the completeness of the change. Owen’s friends will always remember him as a humourist; for humourist he was in the true sense of the word. He possessed an extraordinary faculty for “grotesqueness”, for uttering laughable absurdities – which were an endless source of delight to those who knew him.
No Freshman ever entered upon his Oxford life with more delight, with more sense of relief. One may say without hesitation that he was not a public school type; he was no athlete, and at a public school athletic ability is worshipped. Moreover, the faults of an English public school system, its conventions, its bigotry, were only too apparent to him. Owen was a man of intellect and a deep thinker, it must have been a great joy to him to experience the freedom of Oxford life, to think as he liked, to make friends to who he could unfold himself, assured of a sympathetic hearing. Not that he failed to enjoy the lighter side of life. He could be as young as any undergraduate – which is saying a good deal. He was at all times a good companion.
There was in him a sincerity of conviction on serious subjects, which is rarely found in an undergraduate; affection and the endless striving to say clever things were abhorrent to him. Christianity was his creed, and he was not ashamed to admit it; in fact, he would argue for it with an astonishing eloquence. His Christianity was not of the conventional church-going type – but it was something very real and it guided his life.
On the outbreak of war he enlisted in a battalion of the Public Schools’ Brigade: how he met his end I have not heard, yet I know that the sacrifice was willingly made. He was strongly opposed to militarism, but when war broke out he realised the justice of his country’s cause and devoted himself, heart and soul, to the duty of becoming an efficient soldier. The news of his death will be a sad blow to those who knew him; Corpus has paid a heavy price, but the College has lost no personality more interesting than his.
PEEL, Alfred (CCC 1914-1915)
Born Leyland, Lancashire, 27 January 1895, 2nd son of the Revd J. Edward Peel, Wesleyan Minister, of Newbury.
Educated Kingswood School, Bath; Bradford Grammar School.
Scholar; no Oxford University exams.
Military service WWI 1915-1917 (service commenced 14 August 1915):
2nd Lieutenant, 6th, attached to 2nd, Royal Berkshire Regiment. France. Killed in action on 5 May 1917 (aged 22).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 6:
Alfred Peel, of Bradford Grammar School, was elected a Scholar of the College in December 1913, coming into residence in the following year. He immediately joined the O.T.C., of which he was a keen member for a year; during the summer vacation he received a commission in the Royal Berkshire Regiment.
His death adds one more to the long list of promising scholars whose loss the College mourns, for he was undoubtedly a man of more than ordinary ability and character. A true Yorkshireman in type, if he was somewhat reserved in character, he yet possessed remarkable qualities of strength and judgement, which must have developed during his career at Oxford to bring distinction both upon himself and upon the College.
RADCLIFFE, David (CCC 1913-1914)
Born Lyme Grove, Prescot, Lancashire 6 December 1894, 1st son of Frederick Morton Radcliffe, solicitor, of Prescot.
Educated Winchester College 1908-1909.
No Oxford University exams. Acting Secretary, Boat Club 1914.
Trust fund for CCC Boat Club set up in memoriam by his father, 1920.
Military service WWI 1914-1916, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commended December 1914):
Service in the ranks before Commission. Lieutenant, 24th Royal Fusiliers (Captain). France. Killed in action near Bully-Grenay, near Loos, on 18 March 1916 (aged 21).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 3:
Though prevented from ill health from taking his commission at the outbreak of the war, David Radcliffe has been among the first of those who came up to Corpus in October, 1913, to fulfil his self-devotion to his country. Before taking up residence in College as a Commoner, he was educated at Winchester. At Corpus his friendliness and camaraderie at once made him popular with the men of his year, and his sportsmanship, rather than any pre-eminence in intellectual athletics, enabled him to make the College’s interests and reputation the objects of his own efforts. In his first term he stroked a crew in the College Fours, and was counted as a most desirable man for the Torpid; but illness compelled him to be out of residence the following term. He recovered sufficiently to return to a seat of the Eight of 1914, and contributed towards the precarious process of welding a crew together, not only of naturally rowing ability, but also the indispensable qualities of keenness, sociability, and cheerfulness. As his health was again causing him considerable trouble, he decided, when war was declared, to come up for the Michaelmas Term, 1914, and to devote his time to the acquisition of an efficient knowledge of Officers’ Training Corps work before taking a commission.
His College life was marked by an eagerness to maintain all the traditions of Corpus, albeit for hard and fast regulations he had but moderate respect: his rooms were always hospitably open and never failed to afford a source of fresh entertainment. During his last term he spent long hours in perfecting his knowledge of military tactics and strategy; after he had received his commission, the enthusiasm and whole-heartedness with which he threw himself into the performance of his military duties were soon recognised and rewarded by promotion, and he eventually received his captaincy in the 24th Royal Fusiliers.
His popularity with his fellow-officers and men was no mystery to those who knew him well at College, for he possessed at least two qualities which impressed themselves most favourably on others: he was intensely human, never failing in sympathy and generosity, and he was unfeignedly enthusiastic about every association with which he was identified and every hobby he pursued. While with his regiment, his ardour and energy were unceasing; he never remitted his solicitude for the safety of his men or his provisions for their comfort, and their affection for him seems in consequence to have been very strong. His death in action on March 18, 1916, when he exposed himself to fire in order to assist the artillery in checking a bombardment of his trench by rifle grenades, was scarcely more of a surprise than his popularity to those familiar with his character. He refused no risk which might contribute to the success of the military object in view, and was always willing to undertake the most dangerous and exacting work.
His colonel wrote as follows about him: “It is only another case of what always seems to be the way – that the best men go first. He was a most capable officer and had great influence in the regiment. Socially he is a tremendous loss to the officers’ mess. He was such a very thorough gentlemen.” One of his non-commissioned officers thus bespeaks the regard in which his men held him: “No officer ever won greater respect. He was happiness himself, and always trying to impart the same to his men; and was never more happy than when he was trying to make all with him happy and comfortable. Unfortunately he had never any thought of danger, and, of course, like a good soldier, set an example which has deprived us of a good officer.”
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 6:
We are pleased to record a benefaction to the College Boat Club, which cannot fail to touch the hearts of all Corpus men. David Radcliffe came into residence in October, 1913, rowed at 2 in the “Eights” of 1914, and, joining the forces at the end of 1914, have his life in action on March 18, 1916. In memory of him, his father, Mr F.M. Radcliffe, has offered to the College a sum of £500 invested in War Loan, with two years’ accrued interest, to be held as a trust fund, the income to be applied every fourth year to the purchase of a racing eight. It is proposed to affix in the successive boats a plate with a suitable inscription on the thwart occupied by David Radcliffe in 1914, and to place a photograph of him in the Barge. All Corpus men will thank Mr Radcliffe for his generosity in so materially assisting the Boat Club, and further, will deeply feel that he is helping us to perpetuate an inheritance bought not by money but by the lives of so many of our best and strongest. In our determination to restore the activities of peace, we must not forget the devoted self-sacrifice of the past members of our boats and our teams, who have not lived to enjoy the health and vigour of mind and body matured on the Isis and on our playing fields; and future generations may well draw inspiration from the memory of one who strove heartily for the College in his brief career, and hearkened to a higher call of duty.
RADCLIFFE, William Yonge (CCC Commoner-elect 1914)
Military service WWI (service commenced 26 August 1914):
2nd Lieutenant, 5th Wiltshire Regiment. Gallipoli. Died on 19 August 1915, of wounds received in action at Chunuk Bair (aged 20).
[Not mentioned in Biographical Register.]
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII No. 1:
William Yonge Radcliffe, Second-Lieutenant in the 5th Battalion of the Wiltshire Regiment, who died of wounds received at the Dardanelles on August 19, was to have come up to his father’s old College in October, 1914. He was a nephew of his Honour Judge Radcliffe, and belonged to a family which has suffered heavily for its patriotism.
RAIKES, Frederick Monro (CCC 1891-1895)
Born Paddington, London, 1 April 1872, 1st son of Robert Taunton Raikes, solicitor, of Enderfield, Chislehurst, Kent.
Educated Radley College, Berkshire 1885-1891.
3 Classics Moderations 1893; pass school groups: Greek Philosophy and History, Greek and Roman History and English Law 1895; BA 1895. Secretary, Boat Club 1894-1895; Secretary, Pelican Essay Club 1894; Secretary, Owlet Club 1894, President 1895.
Married Harriet, daughter of Sir J.A. Kempe, KCB, 1900.
Military service WWI 1915-1917 (service commenced 25 September 1915):
2nd Lieutenant, Brecknockshire Batallion, South Wales Borderers, attached to Machine Gun Corps. France. Killed in action on 22 February 1917, at Sanna-i-yat, Mesopotamia (aged 44).
RAIKES, John Francis (CCC Mathematics Exhibitioner-elect 1914)
Educated Radley College.
Military service WWI (Service commenced October 1914):
Service in the ranks before Commission. 2nd Lieutenant, 3rd Essex Regiment. France, 1915-1916. Killed in action 10 October 1916 (aged 20).
RAMSBOTHAM, Geoffrey Bury (CCC 1912-1914)
Born London, 14 June 1893, 2nd son of Philip Bury Ramsbotham, gentleman, of Ernsborough, Honiton.
Educated Wellington College, Berkshire 1907-1912.
Scholar; Jurisprudence Prelims 1912; then Modern History. Secretary, Lawn Tennis 1914.
Two-handled silver cup bequeathed to the College in his memory.
Military service WWI 1914-1915, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced 15 August 1914):
Lt. 3rd Royal Sussex Regiment, attached to 1st South Staffordshire Regiment. France, Belgium. Mentioned in Dispatches, France, 1915. Killed in action at Festubert, near Ypres, on 16 May 1915 (aged 21).
From Pelican Record Vol. XII, No.6:
The Pelican Record owes Ramsbotham a special debt of gratitude, for he was a most energetic and capable member of the Committee, always ready to meet any emergency, and do, if necessary, more than his share of the work.
Geoffrey Bury Ramsbotham, who died in action near Ypres on Sunday, May 16, was a scholar of this College. He matriculated in Michaelmas, 1912, and was in his second year when he obtained his commission in the Third Battalion of the Royal Sussex Regiment, and was attached to the First Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment. It was while fighting with this regiment that he met his death.
To those who knew him it will seem needless to record that he made an able and popular officer, whose ready wit and indomitable perseverance were a contestant example and stimulus to his men. But the quality which we found in him most noteworthy was his extraordinary modesty.
While still at Oxford he was reading History, though he was never to sit for his examination in this School. A scholar of unusual ability and industry, he was no less interested in the other pursuits of Oxford life.
He rowed in the College Torpid. He was Secretary of the C.C.C. Tennis Club. He was a good player of Rugby football, an able debater in the Pelican Club, and a member of the Owlets and “The Wasps”.
His friends from Wellington who proceeded him in Corpus had spoken of him as a “good fellow” of sterling worth – and he was anticipated as a fine athlete and a valuable asset to the social life of College. His arrival did more than fulfil our expectations, for his rooms were soon to become the social centre of College life. He combined (what is rare) a fine sense of humour and a splendid facility of speech with the patience and interest of a good listener. And his dramatic talent for anecdote in his lighter moods lent a vividness to every topic, yet never allowed his hearers to realise that it was he who bore the brunt of the entertainment, while they listened, laughed, and admired. Indeed his enthusiasm, his modesty, and his genial charitable outlook endeared him to all who met him. He stood for us as the perfect model of a gentleman.
It was too much to hope that such a man should long remain among us in these bitter times. But his love of the College and his interest in its affairs are manifest in the long letters he always found time to write home to his friends during the moments of brief relaxation in the trenches. It was characteristic of him that these said little of himself and much of other persons and other things: it was characteristic, too, that he kept closely in touch with Oxford, for he was faithful and devoted to his College in word and deed – as he was loyal to his country.
His death was a fit ending to his fine brief life. And if the spectacle of so much promise, cast away before it could attain fulfilment is pitiful, it is ennobling to look on his heroic ending.
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No.1:
A beautiful two-handled silver cup was bequeathed by G.B. Ramsbotham to the College, bearing the inscription: ‘This Cup was bequeathed to the President, Fellows, and Scholars of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, by Geoffrey Bury Ramsbotham, Esq., Scholar of the same College 1912-1914, Lieut. 3rd Batt. Royal Sussex Regiment, August, 1914, attached 1st Batt. South Staffordshire Regiment, December, 1914.’ The cup and its legend will keep alive the name of a brave man and a loyal son of Corpus.
RAYNER, Harold Leslie (CCC 1909-1913)
Born Hampstead, 19 January 1890, 2nd son of Edward Rayner, gentleman, of Wadhurst.
Educated Tonbridge School, Kent 1904-1909.
Scholar; 1 Classics Moderations 1911; 2 Literae Humaniores 1913; BA 1913. College Captain 1911-1913; Secretary, Boat Club 1910-1911, Captain 1911-1913; Secretary, Pelican Essay Club 1911, President 1911.
Read for Geography Diploma, Oxford 1913-1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1916, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced 22 December 1914):
2nd Lieutenant, 9th Devonshire Regiment. France, 1915-1916. Killed in action on the Somme on 1 July 1916 (aged 26).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 4:
The loss of those for whom we have special regard has become so terribly frequent in these days that it seems as though no further loss could add to the bitterness of regret. Yet all who knew H.L. Rayner will have experienced a new shock of sorrow at the news of his death in action. In a pre-eminent degree he won affection and admiration from very different types of men. He had a rare quality of character and a many-sided ability that made him the obvious leader of the College: and there are few men who could have carried his successes in Scholarship, in Athletics, and in College society with such an unaffected modesty, few men whose popularity had so large an element of respect. Those who were at the Bump Supper in 1913 will remember the wonderful enthusiasm with which he was greeted as he rose to speak.
He was naturally reserved, and rarely bared his deepest thoughts: but his friends knew that his mind was as lofty as it was strong, and if he had lived he would have made an honourable name in his chosen work. Tonbridge and Corpus lost in H.L. Rayner a gallant and distinguished son, and England a man of a sort she can ill afford to spare.
READ, Harry Esmond (CCC 1911-1914)
Born Bromley, Kent, 2 May 1892, only son of Henry Manuel Read, banker, of London W.
Educated Marlborough College, Wiltshire 1906-1911.
Pass Classics Moderations 1912. Secretary, Owlets 1914, President 1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1917 (service commenced 25 November 1914):
Lieutenant, Lincolnshire Yeomanry. Captain, Royal Flying Corps. France. Killed in action near Crevecoeur on 10 August 1917 (aged 25).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 4:
We regret to record the death of H.E. Read, reported missing on 10 August 1917, confirmation of which was received by his father late last year. His friends and contemporaries remember him as a fine cross-country runner, and an active member of the College. Quiet and modest in character, he was full of energy and determination. All these qualities and his general efficiency and capability were full of promise for the future. The account of his death received from a French officer is a noble tribute to his memory, and shows how gallantly he met his death.
“It was 6 o’clock on the morning of August 10, 1917, that I saw approaching from the north a flight of six friendly units. It was the flight commanded by Captain Read. A battle against six German machines soon took place above the village of Crèvecoeur, where two German machines were brought down in a vertical line.
“The friendly flight continued without any change of direction, when a still larger number of Germans consisting of eight machines coming from the east took the flight of Captain Read in the flank and appeared to attach it. Captain Read made a sharp turn towards the Germans, as if to challenge them, and then courageously accepted the combat.
“Two more German machines were already disabled and compelled to land in the parish of Esnes (four kilometres from Selvigny), when I suddenly saw our brave hero waver and then crash to the ground…
“Thus, Sir, I have carried out your wish for particulars, and it is a great comfort to me to have been able to furnish you with them. I shall persevere all my life the remembrance I have of your dear and gallant son, whose heroic death is an everlasting glory to his name, a support to your sorrow, a glory to his country, and an ineffaceable glory to the alliance of our two great nations – France and England.”
ROBINSON, Thistle (CCC 1911-1914)
Born London 31 December 1891, 4th son of Richard Atkinson Robinson, chemist, of Putney, London.
Educated St Paul’s School, London.
Scholar; 1 Classics Moderations 1913; War Decree 1917. Secretary, Hockey 1913-1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1918, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced September 1914):
Service in the ranks before Commission. Lieutenant, 26th Royal Fusiliers. France and Italy. Wounded 1917. Military Cross (posthumous), 8 March 1919. Killed in action at Courtrai on 25 October 1918 (aged 26).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 5:
It was one of the tragedies of the Great Agony that some of its smallest blows were struck in the last few weeks of the war when victory was already all but complete. Until then the band of scholars who came up to Corpus in 1911 had suffered only one casualty, in Henry Whitaker Coombs; then, almost simultaneously, it was bereft of two of the most brilliant and gallant of the band, of Thistle Robinson and Samuel Watts.
The nephew of an old and loyal member of the College, the Rev Thomas Thistle, Thistle Robinson came up to Corpus in October 1911 from St Paul’s, and very soon asserted himself as one of the leading spirits in the College. When war broke out he had obtained his First in Moderations, and was showing every promise of repeating his success in Greats. He joined up at once, and in the winter of 1915 was quartered for some time in Oxford as a Lieutenant in the Royal Fusiliers. He returned to Oxford several times subsequently, while convalescing from wounds, and, despite the tumult of the war, always manifested a lively interest in the affairs of the intellect, though he had chosen for himself the career of a civil servant, in which his strong intelligence, sound judgement, and devotion to duty would undoubtedly have conducted him to the higher distinctions. On one of these occasions he seriously entertained the idea of taking his Degree, but desisted on the ground that it would be better to do so in company with his friends, and to celebrate their victory in a place more suitable for such a purpose, he thought, than London. He loved Oxford, and the peaceful culture of which it is the home; but that did not prevent him from adapting himself to a very different sort of life, and excelling in it. As witness these letters written to his father by the General Commanding the 41st Division, by his Commanding Officer – ‘I wish to place on record my appreciation of the gallant conduct of Lieut T. Robinson, R.F., on October 14, 1918, during the advance north of Menin, when he silenced and captured some enemy guns, thus enabling the line to advance.” His C.O. wrote:
From Lieut-Col, Commanding 26th, R.F.
‘Dear Sir Richard,
‘I should like you to know what a really gallant fellow your son was, and how much we thought of him in the Regiment.
‘He had a very trying time earlier on, and I thought in this attack he would not be able to face the line again; but he was most persistent and anxious that he should come. How well he did, and what an example through all the fierce fighting which led to the Armistice, through those who saw him can know. I sent in his name for the M.C. before his last battle – no one ever carried it better. Those of us who fought will never forget the names and deeds of men like your son, who made this peace possible.”
RODGER, Matthew [Mathew] Freer (CCC 1904-1907)
Born Helensburgh, Dumbartonshire, 5 November 1885, 2nd son of Campbell Rodger, manufacturer, of Helensburgh.
Educated Merchiston Castle School, Edinburgh 1900-1904.
Pass Classics Moderations 1905; 3 Literae Humaniores 1907; BA 1907. Secretary, Rugby 1905-1906, Captain 1906-1907; Secretary-elect, Pelican Essay Club 1906; College Recorder 1907.
Freiburg University 1907. Edinburgh University, BA, LLB 1911. Admitted Writer to the Signet 1911.
Military service WWI 1914-1916 (service commenced 26 September 1914):
2nd Lieutenant, 4th Cameronians (Scottish Rifles). France. Killed in action near Le Transloy on 23 October 1916 (aged 30).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 5:
Mathew Rodger has gone. But few Corpus men can really appreciate the meaning of those four words, and those few will certainly not need to be reminded of it; yet they would not suffer him to depart without placing among other records of the Pelican some memorial, however unworthy, to a friendship which they will only count more precious in loss.
The bare facts of Rodger’s Corpus career are soon told. He came up in 1904 from Merchiston, where he had been captain of the School. After a residence of three years he left with a third in Greats, a class which those who knew him felt to represent but poorly an exceptionally clear and able mind, a deep interest in theoretical problems, and a very genuine literary gift. In athletics, meanwhile, he had done yeoman service to the College. He became successively secretary and captain of the Rugby VX, in which his skill and experience at three-quarter were often the mainstay of a combination at times somewhat lacking in these qualities. From his unvarying position at bow he helped to raise the College boat well into the first division from the last place but one on the river, and he also rowed in an eight which acquitted itself with conspicuous credit at Henley. All the teams and crews of which he was a member derived a peculiar inspiration from his sturdy physical strength, quiet perseverance, and unfailing good humour.
After leaving Oxford Rodger became a Writer to the Signet at Edinburgh, a life which his retiring nature never found wholly congenial, though he threw his habitual energy into his work. Thenceforward he was seen by his English friends only on occasional holidays, all the more treasured for their rarity. At such times he showed at his best, most of all perhaps when cruising on his beloved West Coast. Keen without rashness, cheerful and philosophic in moments of danger, he stands out clearly in memories of these expeditions as the unmistakable leader.
Shortly after the outbreak of war he obtained a commission, and was afterwards attached to the 2nd Battalion (Regular Army) of the Scottish Rifles, with whom he went to France in May, 1915. His sterling qualities and athletic training fitted him admirably for the trials and hardships of the Front, and fleeting glimpses of him at home on leave always reveals his old cheerful and courageous self. We were hoping great things for him, when all at once the end came on October 23 in a successful attack on a German trench. His brother wrote afterwards in a letter to one of Mathew’s friends, “MacHarry his captain, who had also become a great friend, fell with him on the same day. Mathew in his last letter to me said, ‘MacHarry is going strong and I am his faithful second.’ So he was, to the death. I think his outstanding virtue was his faithfulness, with himself, to his friends, to anyone who had any claim on him whatsoever, to his country, to his God.” For those who are faithful unto death there is a promise.
From Signet Magazine Issue 7 (August 2014):
Mathew Freer Rodger (1885-1916) Lieutenant, 2nd Cameronians
Rodger holds the unique distinction among Writers to the Signet of this or perhaps any era of having been married after his death. His was a case that was to make the newspapers of the day and no doubt provide much gossip in the drawing rooms and offices of Edinburgh…
He obtained his commission in the 3rd Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) in September 1914, subsequently transferred to 4th Cameronians in 1915, and was finally attached to 2nd Cameronians. He served continuously in France from May 1915 until his death on 23rd October 1916. Rodgers was killed while leading his company in the advance towards Transloy during the battle of the Somme. They were attacking trenches six other battalions had tried and failed to take. A total of 81 Cameronians died on this day.
Despite the late stage of the war and an inevitable weariness due to the attrition of so many tragic deaths, the Scots Law Times’ editor was moved enough to comment: “His is one of the many promising lives cut short by this merciless was which has exacted so heavy a toll from the legal profession”.
Merchistonian Magazine printed a letter from a fellow old boy: “I remember last winter reaching a tent camp at Merbecque in the perishing cold. I think he must have seen how perished I was having spent a long time in the East. On returning a little later from duty to my tent I was ever so astonished to find Mathew busy with some pioneers he had collected, making my tent more comfortable. I have never forgotten the incident of ceased to remember his out of the way kindness.”
However, both publications failed to mention the developing story of “Mrs” Rogers and the fatherless child. Rodgers and his “wife” first met in January 1910 and subsequently they became “on very affectionate terms”, as the newspapers of 1916 reported. At home on leave from the front he gave her an engagement ring and while slipping it on her finger said “You are all mine Nell, be good till I come back”. She then informed her parents of the forthcoming marriage. On 1st February 1916 she was sitting by the fire in her room when Rodgers tapped at the window, and climbing through, in the splendid euphemism of the day, “took her on his knee”.
“What subsequently took place”, as the report went on, “was on the faith of his engagement to marry her”. Almost exactly nine months later a child was born, on 30th October 1916, and Nell registered the birth as legitimate. Sadly, Mathew had been killed just one week before his son was born. He had tried without success to obtain leave before the child was born in order that he could marry his fiancée. His letters from the front were produced in court as evidence of his frequent promises to marry her. To the credit of the legal system of the time, Lord Anderson granted a decree of declaratory of marriage, stating that it “was a clear case”. Following this declaration of marriage, Mrs Rodgers was entitled to the WS widows’ pension (from the WS Dependants’ Annuity Fund) which she enjoyed until her death in Australia on 11th April 1930.
ROYAL-DAWSON, Oswald Sidney (CCC 1903-1907)
Born Ealing, Middlesex, 16 February 1885, 2nd son of Charles Royal-Dawson, coffee planter (retired), of W Kensington, London.
Educated St Paul’s School, London 1896-1903.
Scholar; 2 Classics Moderations 1905; 3 Literae Humaniores 1907. Secretary, Pelican Essay Club 1905, President 1905; Secretary, Owlet Club 1906, President 1906.
Journalist, London, 1907.
Military service WWI 1914-1917 (service commenced 5 November 1914):
Captain, 5th Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Salonika, 1915-1916; France, 1917. Died on 25 August 1917, of wounds received in action (aged 32).
SALTER, John Henry Raymond (CCC Commoner-elect 1917)
Born 17 December 1898, son of Dr Salter of Scarborough.
Educated Wellington College, Berkshire.
Military service WWI:
2nd Lieutenant, Royal Flying Corps. Killed in action 13 October 1917 (aged 18).
Salter was omitted from the War Memorial. [Not mentioned in War Service.]
SHAW, Alexander Morton (CCC 1906-1909)
Born Stanliand, Yorkshire, 3 March 1888, 2nd son of Thomas Edward Shaw, manufacturer, of Halifax.
Educated Harrow School 1901-1906.
2 Jurisprudence 1909; BA 1910.
Called to Bar, Inner Temple 1911; NE Circuit, Leeds, Bradford and West Riding 1911-1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1918 (service commenced September 1914):
Captain, 12th Yorkshire Regiment. France, 1916-1918. Killed in action near Steenwerck, near Sailly sur Lys, on 10 April 1918 [according to Biographical Register]; on 11 April 1918 [according to War Service], (aged 30).
SIMPSON, Athony Henry (CCC 1906-1910)
Born Rugby, 25 December 1887, 2nd son of James Herbert Simpson, physician and assistant schoolmaster, of Rugby.
Educated Rugby School 1901-1906.
Scholar; 3 Chemistry 1910; BA 1910. Secretary, Pelican Essay Club 1908, President 1909.
Assistant Master, Tonbridge School 1911-1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1915 (service commenced 4 August 1914):
2nd Lieutenant, 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment. France. Died on 1 February 1915, in hospital at Boulogne, of illness contracted on active service (aged 27).
From Pelican Record Vol. XII, No. 5:
Anthony Henry Simpson, who died on February 1 last of acute bronchitis in hospital in Boulogne, was a man of whom Corpus may well be proud. His death in the service of his country has brought great sorrow to his brother and sister and to all his friends, but for him it was only fitting.
One always seemed to look upon Tony as a soldier. Certainly he had the spirit of a true soldier. He was never happier than when doing something which would make for greater efficiency in this respect, whether it was training at camp with his O.T.C., or doing an attachment at Aldershot, or finding his way across country with map and compass. Both in his military duties and in his profession as a schoolmaster he was a hard and enthusiastic worker, with an entire absence of show, never letting personal convenience weigh at all. He had no use for the shirker.
He came to the College as a scholar from Rugby in 1906. It was a great disappointment to him that he was not allowed to row, as he was very keen on the College doing well on the river and in athletics as in schools. When Lord Haldane explained the new O.T.C. scheme at Oxford, he at once took it up keenly, and was for some little time the N.C.O. in charge of the Corpus section. This gave him scope for helping the College in another way, the importance of which was perhaps not fully appreciated at the time.
Whatever he took up, he did with his characteristic energy. When in 1911 he was appointed a science master at Tonbridge School, where his loss is keenly felt, he was given charge of a company in the O.T.C., and was able to make use of the knowledge and experience which he had gained.
Shortly after the outbreak of war he got himself attached to the depot of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment at Warwick and did most valuable work training recruits through the autumn. In December he was posted to the 3rd Battalion, stationed in the Isle of Wight, which waiting to be gazetted to the Special Reserve and to join one of the regular battalions at the front.
He went out to France on January 19, and after a week at Rouen he proceeded up country. But on the very day that he was to have joined the 1st Battalion, he was taken ill and brought down to Boulogne, where he died.
By nature extremely modest and of unswerving loyalty to his friends, with a keen sense of duty and zeal in its fulfilment, he set us an example which it will be difficult to follow.
SMITH, Geoffrey Bache (CCC 1913-1914)
Born West Bromwich, Staffordshire, 18 October 1894, 2nd son of Thomas Smith, deceased, commercial clerk.
Educated King Edward’s School, Birmingham.
Exhibitioner, Pass Classics Moderations 1914. Secretary, Sundial Society 1914.
Military service WWI 1915-1916 (service commenced January 1915):
Lieutenant, 19th Lancashire Fusiliers (Adjutant). France. Died on 3 December 1916, of wounds received in action near Warlincourt (aged 22).
SMITH, Harry Marsden (CCC 1911-1914)
Born Bolton, 13 July 1892, 4th son of Joseph Smith, insurance agent, of Bolton.
Educated Church Institute, Bolton.
2 Mathematics Moderations 1913. Vice-President, Sundial Society 1913.
Military service WWI 1914-1917 (service commenced October 1914):
Temporary Lieutenant [according to Biographical Register]; Lieutenant [according to War Service], 11th, attached to 1st, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. France. Died as a prisoner at the Feldlaz, St Quentin on 27 February 1917, of wounds received in action (aged 24).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 1:
Henry Marsden Smith, Commoner of the College (1911-1914), is unhappily included in the terribly heavy list of Corpus casualties. Commencing his education at the Bolton Church Institute School, he gained three valuable scholarships, one of which he voluntarily relinquished. On entering Corpus he read for Mathematical Honours, and obtained a Second Class in Moderations in 1913. Eager to serve his College, no less in sports than in academic studies, he gained a place and his colours in the Association team, and in 1914 represented his College successfully in the Varsity chess team against Cambridge. On the outbreak of war be at once responded to the call of duty, and joined the Oxford O.T.C. in October 1914, and on December 22 was gazetted Second-Lieutenant in the Loyal North Lancashires’ 11th Battalion. Crossing to France in August 1915, he was attached to the 2nd Royal Welch Fusiliers. Twice wounded, first in February 1916, and more seriously later in the year, he was invalided home and promoted First-Lieutenant. On January 30, 1917, he returned to France with his old regiment, and February 21 re-entered the trenches. On the 26th, in the dark of morning, he went out with a party to enter the German lines to gain information. He attained his object and was returning when he was hit and rendered unconscious by a bomb from a trench-mortar. Unable to regain our lines, he died in the enemies’ hands on the same day in hospital, and was buried in the military cemetery at St Quentin.
During his three years of residence in Corpus he was most popular with his contemporaries, and won his way by valuable service to a prominent position in the College’s literary and athletic circles. Courteous and unassuming in his manner, he displayed a strong personality, and was a keen worker in his studies; but his interests were never centred exclusively on them. His death in action has given cause to lament the premature close of a career of great promise.
SMITH, Hugh Stewart (CCC 1908-1911)
Born Edgbaston, Birmingham, 12 April 1889, only son of Hugh Arthur Nind Smith, banker, and Charlotte Millicent Smith of Birmingham.
Educated Shrewsbury School 1902-1908.
4 Modern History 1911, BA 1912. Secretary, Athletics 1911; Secretary, Pelican Essay Club 1910; President, Owlets 1910; Secretary, Debating Society 1910.
Wren’s 1911. Colonial Civil Service 1912-1915: District Officer, N Nigeria.
Author of Verses (1919).
Military service WWI 1915-1916, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced April 1915):
Captain, 2nd Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. France, 1915-1916. Killed in action at High Wood, the Somme, on 18 August 1916 (aged 27).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 4:
When Hugh Stewart Smith arrived at Corpus in 1908 the peculiar qualities which afterwards distinguished him were not at first very apparent. Though he took part vigorously in College festivities and played most games well, he did not appear to care much for the rôle of inconspicuous enthusiast for all College doings which is expected of a freshman. By his second year, however, he had gained a reputation in College not only as an arbiter elegantiarum, but also as a wit. He did much to enliven the proceedings of certain learned College Societies, and he could always be relied on for that most difficult of accomplishments, an after-dinner speech. But there was a very different side to his character. Though he lived in a Midland city, he was passionately fond of the wilder sort of English country. Some part of every vacation he spent at a lonely farmhouse on the moors, alone for choice, fishing – he was a first-rate trout fisher, and had caught sundry fish even in the ditch behind the College ground.
I spent six weeks alone with him at Oxford in 1911, after the end of our last summer term, nominally preparing for the Civil Service Examination. I think it was having to spend in a city of the dead those six weeks of wonderful weather which decided him against further cramming. He came to Wren’s in London for a few weeks, but an appointment in the Nigerian Government Service being offered him, he said good-bye gaily to us pale-faced students, and set forth to the wilds where he would be as lonely as he wished.
He wrote the most delightful letters from Nigeria, full of details of the exigencies of daily life which made a Home Civilian blush for shame. And now and then he sent some stirring poems to the Pelican Record, such as we have been led to expect from many Corpus men abroad. Indeed, after he had gone down he became much more typically a Corpus man. His correspondents will remember how keenly interested he was in news of Corpus which reached him.
At the time of the outbreak of war he had already, I have learnt, made his mark in the province. Accompanied by a single subaltern and a party of twenty Nigerian Rifles he had succeeded in pacifying a large and troubled district, perhaps not respecting overmuch the lives and property of disturbers of the peace. He was to come home in August, 1914, to qualify for promotion. But it was held to be indispensable for political Officers to remain at their posts in Nigeria, and his leave was delayed. He could not bear to be out of it with his contemporaries were in arms, and wrote despairing letters home. When at length he got leave his first business was at the Colonial Office, where he persuaded the authorities to accept his resignation on terms, in default of obtaining their permission to serve for the war. Nothing became him better than the months he spent subsequently in training, submitting cheerfully to the discipline which he had always detested before. I saw him on short leave from France after he had spent many weeks in or near the trenches in a murderous section of our line. The vivid descriptions, grim and humorous at once, brought home to me more than anything else what it was like.
His friends will miss above all the pleasure of his letters, written under conditions the like of which some of us now have found in other tropical climates to make writing an almost impossible task. In a service where nature does its utmost to destroy vitality, the loss of one so intensely alive is a disaster only equalled by our personal loss.
SQUIRE, Stanley Charles (CCC 1912-1914)
Born Llangrove, Hereford, 26 June 1893, 2nd son of the Revd Charles Edward Squire, Vicar of Southrop, Lechlade.
Educated St John’s School, Leatherhead.
Scholar; Chemistry, Mechanics, Physics Prelims 1912-1913. Secretary, Association Football Club 1913-1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1915 (service commenced 28 August 1914):
Lieutenant, 7th Gloucestershire Regiment. Gallipoli. Killed in action at Chanah Bair on 9 August 1915 (aged 22).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 1:
… Nor did I know that Squire was actually in the Dardanelles until I heard of his death … The impression which Squire made was of a quiet reserve of strength, never obtruded, but ready to be called upon when needed. And it was called upon to some purpose in the field; for he died a Captain after but a short period of military experience. It is hard to believe that we shall not see [him] again, and that lives which showed so much promise have been removed forever from our earthly ken. We can but grasp the poet’s faith:
I know transplanted human worth
Shall bloom to profit otherwhere.
STEWART, Cyril Henry (CCC Scholar-elect 1914)
Military service WWI:
Private, Border Regiment. France. Killed in action on 5 July 1916 (aged 20).
STOKOE, James Clarke (CCC 1912-1915)
Born Newry, Co. Down, 6 January 1893, 1st son of James Clarke Stokoe, deceased, surgeon dentist.
Educated Manchester Grammar School 1906-1912.
Scholar; 1 Classics Moderations 1914.
Military service WWI 1915, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced 25 March 1915):
2nd Lieutenant, 14th Manchester Regiment, attached to 6th Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. Gallipoli. Killed in action in the Dardanelles, Gallipoli on 11 December 1915 (aged 22).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 2:
Of the band of freshmen, now sadly thinned, who four years ago came up to Corpus, James Clarke Stokoe appeared least likely to develop into a fighting man: the short stature, the spectacles and the large head seemed suited well enough to the rôle of a classical scholar of the College, but hardly to that of a leader in a war. Yet strangely enough of all his fellow freshmen he could be most truly described as what is known as “a born fighter”, and to those who knew him intimately the melancholy news of his death in action came as a shock, indeed, but not as a surprise. In the scope for the expression of personality provided by the various activities of College life, Stokoe soon showed what manner of man he was. One of the first incidents in the writer’s recollection happened in Stokoe’s first year when he was bracketed first in the competition for the O.T.C. shooting prize. He had very bad sight and had shot only twice before on a full size range, but the preponderance of odds against him had the effect merely of stimulating him to a corresponding degree of effort. His was a nature that revelled in a forlorn hope, and it was only when the situation seemed desperate that he could be induced to exercise to their fullest extent his undoubtedly great abilities. His achievement in Honour Mods, for instance, was an effort of the eleventh hour when, after a year’s comparative idleness, a stupendous effort placed him high up in the first class.
If in action he were capable of a high courage, in thought he became almost reckless. There was no generally accepted idea or mere utterance of opinion even, that he would not challenge, rejoicing not so much in the rightness of his own case if ever he had one, as in the wrongness always discoverable in other people. His genius for this method of controversy would seem to belong not to Manchester, the scene of his education, but to Ireland, the land of his birth, and to that Ireland which is neither Catholic nor, in the strict sense of the word, Protestant, the intellectual home of Swift and Bernard Shaw. It is perhaps a pity that this Hibernian pastime of dragging his coat and the inevitable consequences of someone treading on the tail of it, should have given rise to misunderstanding of Stokoe’s real nature which was at heart compassionate and full of generous impulses. It was only typical that he, who had so much to give, should, in the hour of his country’s need, have given unhesitantly and without stint.
STUART, The Hon Andrew John
Subsequently STUART, Viscount (CCC 1899-1903)
Born Wimbledon, December 1881, 1st son of Andrew John Stewart, Madras Civil Service (retired), and Emma Georgina [Stevens] of Folkstone.
Educated Shrewsbury School 1894-1899.
3 Classics Moderations 1901; 3 Literae Humaniores 1903; BA 1904.
Failed Indian Civil Service exam. Literary work and scholarship, especially on education and agricultural questions. Private Secretary to Christopher Turner of Stoke Rochford. Became Viscount Stuart and heir to earldom when father succeeded his cousin as 6th Earl Castle Stewart, 1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1915 (service commenced 8 October 1914):
Lieutenant, 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers. France. Killed in action at the Battle of Loos, 25-27 September 1915 (aged 33).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 1:
We reprint the following from The Times:-
“We regret to record that Lieutenant Viscount Stewart, 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers, eldest son of the Earl and Countess of Castlestewart, was killed in action in France between September 25 and 27.
“Andrew John, Viscount Stewart, was born at Wimbledon on December 27, 1880, and was educated at Shrewsbury and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, for the Indian Civil Service. Failing to pass he turned to literary and scholastic work, interesting himself greatly in later years in some of the great questions of the day – notably education and agriculture. He was private secretary to Mr Christopher Turner, of Stock Rochford. Soon after the war broke out he applied for a commission, and was appointed to the 6th Royal Scots Fusiliers. In May last he proceeded to France, where between September 25 and 27 he was killed in action.
“Lord Stuart was the author of some verses entitled ‘Sailor, what of the debt we owe you?’ which we print elsewhere. In commenting upon them a writer in the Spectator remarked upon the fine spirit expressed in them, and that fine spirit expressed in his verses found full expression in their author’s life.”
TATE, William Louis (CCC 1909-1913)
Born Bangalore, India, 21 August 1890, 1st son of William Jacob Tate, deceased, ICS, and Mrs Tate of Cheltenham.
Educated Cheltenham College 1906-1909.
3 Classics Moderations 1911; 3 Literae Humaniores 1913; BA 1913. Vice-President, Sundial Society 1912, President 1912.
Military service WWI, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (serving 4 August 1914):
Lieutenant, Royal Fusiliers (Regular). France 1915 [according to Biographical Register]; France and Belgium [according to War Service]; wounded and hospitalised February 1915. Killed in action at Kemmel near St Eloi, Flanders on 13 March 1915 (aged 24).
From Pelican Record Vol. XII, No. 6:
William Louis Tate fell in action on March 13, 1915, in Flanders, shot through the head by a shrapnel bullet in the trenches, which were being subjected to heavy firing. The men were ordered to take cover, but as an officer (he was the last one left in the trench) he went up and down to see what he could do. Eight of his men were killed before he was, and many wounded. One of the latter reported that “Mr Tate was bandaging a man with a torn breast when he was hit by a piece of shrapnel. All of that was left cried when Mr Tate died, for he was very kind to us. Often, on being relieved after a spell in the trenches, some of the men were unable to walk back to billets. Mr Tate would stay behind, exposed to fire in open ground, until stretchers came to take the last man away.”
On the night of February 12, Tate was ordered to attach a house from which the enemy were sapping into our trenches, and to draw fire until the engineers could lay a mine. As soon as he appeared among the Germans he was fired upon and wounded in the thigh, but he kept the enemy engaged until the mining was accomplished. The house was successfully demolished. Tate was sent to hospital for a week and kept there, as he afterwards discovered (after much protesting on his part to be discharged on account of the slightness of his wound), in order that he might get some sleep, which he had done without for nine days and nine nights. He wrote home from hospital expressing his joy at being given a hot bath, which made his skin visible once more, for he had been coated to the eyes in mud from the trenches. Indeed, these trenches had been so filled with water that on coming out of them the companies which had held them had only five rifles that would fire and that were not jammed with mud and water. The enemy, had they known, would have had a grand opportunity. After a week in hospital Tate rejoined his battalion, which had now moved to a position south-west of St. Eloi, near to a village, Kemmel, dominated by a hill of the same name which the Germans had shelled persistently for months past. By January already 300 “Obus” had fallen on it. At its foot is a château whose owners are now in England. About twenty years ago the châtelaine erected in a corner of the park, by the road side, for passers-by to pray at, a grotto to Our Lady of Lourdes; and there inside the park are the graves of W.L. Tate, of his Colonel, and about forty other officers. The shells still fall thickly all around, and the village of Kemmel is in ruins, but so far this particular hallowed ground has been miraculously spared, it seems. But in any case, “we and the enemy treat each other’s burial grounds with every consideration”; so wrote the Adjutant, and he also added, “we miss your son very much; he is a great loss to us.” A wounded officer while in London said, “Your son was always so jolly and cheery, and ready for anything that had to be done.”
W.L. Tate was gazetted as 2nd Lieutenant to the 5th Battalion Royal Fusiliers (Regular Army), receiving as a University Honours Candidate fourteen months’ antedate. He joined it at Dover, its head-quarters, on December 26. After two weeks he was deputed to fetch away from Winchester about 100 invalided men from the 3rd Battalion, which had recently come from India. After a few days at Winchester, the Colonel of the 3rd, who had evidently taken a liking to Tate, asked if he would go with him to the Front. This offer Tate of course accepted joyfully, and sailed with the battalion on January 18. Two days later he was promoted lieutenant.
After he fell, his first Colonel wrote, “It was a great shock to us all to see your son’s name among the gallant fallen. He was most popular with his brother officers, and I feel sure was a credit in every way to the regiment on the field of battle.”
The above description of W.L. Tate’s life as a soldier gives a just idea of his fine qualities. Under a rather shy and retiring exterior a strong character was concealed. Those who knew him well remember his gentleness, his unselfish temper, his keen interest in literature, his high ideals; and while they deplore the loss of a life which had real promise in it, rejoice that their memories of him are only of good.
TAUNTON, Cuthbert Patmore (CCC 1913-1914)
Born Waterloo, Lancashire, 2 November 1894, 3rd son of Francis Henry Taunton, insurance, of Grassendale, Liverpool.
Educated Stonyhurst College, Lancashire 1904-1913.
Scholar; no Oxford University exams.
Military service WWI 1915 (service commenced 27 January 1915):
2nd Lieutenant, South Staffordshire Regiment. Gallipoli. Killed in action in Gallipoli on 9 August 1915 (aged 20).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 1:
C.P. Taunton came up to C.C.C. as a scholar from Stonyhurst in 1913, but he was elected two years earlier, when only sixteen, on the exceptional promise of his work. He had more of the spirit of youth even that the ordinary undergraduate; but though he was one of a year of good scholars, none of them had more latent capacity; and a successful career, as well as a brought and attractive nature, was cut off by his death. Though he had no natural taste for a soldier’s life, he faced its dangers and discomforts with courage and without grumbling, turned his brain to new uses, and made a good officer. He had been in the trenches on the south of the Peninsula of Gallipoli, and in one of his last letters, dispatched before the new landing at Suvla Bay, he wrote: “As regards returning to Oxford, that will have to be decided after the far greater question as to whether I return to England at all.” A week afterwards he was killed.
THOMSON, Alan Graham
Subsequently GRAHAM THOMSON, Alan (CCC 1900-1904)
Born Edinburgh 15 May 1882, 3rd son of Andrew Thomson, deceased, timber-merchant, of Edinburgh.
Educated Edinburgh Academy 1888-1900.
3 Classics Moderations 1902; Aegrotat Literae Humaniores 1904; BA 1904.
Carnegie Shield (golf) 1902. Writer to the Signet 1907; of Mitchell and Baxter, Writer to the Signet 1914.
Married 1914 Alice, daughter of Robert Weir.
Military service WWI 1915-1917 (service commenced 19 June 1915):
Captain, 7th Royal Scots. France and Belgium. Killed in action [according to Biographical Register]; missing, believed killed in action [according to War Service] on 26 September 1917 (aged 35).
THOMSON, Patrick Grant (CCC 1914-1917)
Born Carlisle, 26 July 1895, 2nd son of Stuart John Thomson, deceased, analytical chemist, of Edinburgh.
Educated Edinburgh Academy 1908-1914.
Scholar; 1 Modern History 1917. Secretary, Sundial Society 1916-1917.
Military service WWI 1917-1918 (service commenced June 1917):
Corporal, 1st Wiltshire Regiment. France. Died on 29 November 1918, of wounds and illness contracted while on active service, Rochdale (aged 23).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 5:
Patrick Grant Thomson came up to Corpus from Edinburgh Academy as an history scholar in 1914. He was one of the few who began and completed his University course under the abnormal conditions of war-time before the Army medical authorities reverse their previous decisions and accepted him for service. Though he only began to specialise in history in the last year at school, he obtained a distinction in History Previous at the end of his first Term, and a first class in Finale, in spite of six months’ interruption on Red Cross work in France, which he was finally compelled to abandon owing to a severe attack of asthma. His achievement in the Final school was the more remarkable in that his last vacation and term were disturbed by the claims of the military, which at one time threatened to baulk him altogether of the reward of his studies. He appeared to have a remarkable facility for absorbing the substance of all he read with main ideas from their surrounding details, which was the envy of his less fortunate friends. He never seemed to be working against time, and the eleventh-hour cramming of the average-schools’ man he regarded as folly. War-time conditions, unfortunately, gave him little scope for other activities, but he took a keen interest in the few college enterprises which were not extinguished in the flood of militarism, and so played his part in preserving the traditions of college life. He was at all times a delightful companion, a loyal and unselfish friend, and possessed of an optimism which the hardships of fourteen months’ training and fighting in the ranks during the death struggle of the spring and summer in Flanders entirely failed to shade.
Probably much of his success came from the imperturbability of temperament and the quiet strength of conviction and purpose which could not but impress themselves on all who knew him intimately. That these qualities, combined with his great intellectual natural abilities, would have ensured him a successful career is certain, and his death at the moment when such a career was just opening to him is something more than a personal loss, and is the more cruel as he had practically recovered from the severe leg wounds received in October when he succumbed to heart failure, following influenza.
VAUGHAN, Percy Cecil (CCC 1897-1901)
Born Millom, Cumberland, 15 October 1879, 4th son of Cedric Vaughan, civil engineer, of Millom.
Educated Rugby School 1893-1897.
3 Classics Moderations 1899; 2 Jurisprudence 1901.
Called to Bar, Lincoln’s Inn 1902. London practice 1902-1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1917 (service commenced September 1914):
Service in the ranks before Commission. 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Garrison Artillery (Special Reconnaissance). France and Belgium, 1917. Killed in action on 25 September 1917, at Ypres (aged 37).
WAKE, Charles Baldwin Dury (CCC Charles Oldham Scholar-elect 1918)
Educated Rugby School.
Military service WWI (service commenced June 1918):
2nd Lieutenant, 2nd King’s Royal Rifle Corps. France, 1918. Killed in action near St Quentin on 25 September 1918 (aged 19).
WATERS, Reginald Rigden (CCC 1912-1914)
Born Coventry, 6 March 1894, only son of Hubert David Waters, wine-merchant, of Coventry.
Educated Rugby School 1908-1912.
Pass Classics Moderations 1913. Vice-President, Sundial Society 1914, President 1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1916, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced December 1914):
Captain [according to Biographical Register] 2nd Lieutenant 1st Royal Warwickshire Regiment (Capt.) [according to War Service]. France. Killed in action near Le Transloy on the Somme on 24 October 1916 (aged 22).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 4:
Reginald Rigden Waters came up to Corpus from Ruby in October, 1912. He was reading Law; but when the war broke out he gave himself up entirely to O.T.C. work and spent his last term of residence in strenuous military training. He received his commission in the Special Reserve Battalion of the Royal Warwickshire Regiment in December, 1914, and went to France on May 1, 1915. With the exception of one or two short leaves, he remained there, in the front line most of the time, until he was mortally wounded on October 23, 1916. He died on the following day, and was buried during the action close to his Battalion Head-quarters near Lesboeufs. He received his first promotion in January of this year, and obtained his company in September, though the promotion did not appear in the Gazette until after his death.
At Corpus he enjoyed that universal popularity which is always given to the unobtrusive enthusiast who does rather more than he talks. He was quiet in his ways, a good listener with a knack of inserting the incisive remark in a conversation, thereby giving it a bite which it would otherwise have lacked. One was always certain to find congenial company in his rooms; for he took a keen interest and a capable part in all sides of the College life, both athletic and intellectual. His particular bent was towards Natural History, whereof he had a very considerable knowledge.
He displayed even in those incredible days before the war a rare enthusiasm for things military; and the efficiency of the College platoon of the O.T.C. was chiefly due to his keenness. He frequently combined his favourite pursuit of butterflies with road-reconnaissance and tactical tours. The thorough study of military subjects, which he made at this time, must have contributed very largely to his great success as an officer. But this military knowledge alone would have been nothing without the character that went with it. He possessed in a marked degree those characteristics which made the officers of the New Army generally so efficient – the keenness, the conscientiousness, the quickness of wit and the ability to lead, and in addition such physical and athletic prowess as enabled him to endure at the front longer than most men without sickness – while he had not the drawback of complete ignorance in military matters, which hampered so many of them. His Colonel, in a letter, which is rare in terms of praise even among such many letters, said of him: “I cannot tell you how I shall feel his loss and how much I appreciated his services to my battalion. He was a gallant and good officer and I had every confidence in his leadership.” A brother-officer more intimately wrote: “He was always ready and willing to tackle any sort of job, no matter how dangerous, and was quite one of the best subalterns in the battalion. He was universally liked by both officers and men.”
With him passes almost the last surviving member of his year of those who have been out to the front. They went out knowing generally, but thinking little of the conditions. As action drew nigh, there must have been keen realisation and much mental and physical revulsion from what was demanded of them. Yet all this was conquered. They reached the zenith of human effort, and were caught up on high. All is very well with them now that their sacrifice and ours has been accepted. Of such both Oxford and England may be most justly proud, and among such conspicuous was Reginald Waters.
WATTS, Samuel (known as ‘Noël’) (CCC 1911-1914)
Born Manchester, 24 December 1892, 1st son of Samuel Watts, cotton spinner (retired), of Edale Ho, Derbyshire.
Educated Manchester Grammar School 1906-1911.
Scholar; 1 Classics Moderations 1913.
Distinctions, Ireland and Craven competitions.
Military service WWI 1914-1918 (service commenced 1914):
Service in the ranks before Commission. Lieutenant, 20th Manchester Regiment, attached to Trench Mortar Battery. France; wounded (twice). Died on 28 October 1918, London, of illness contracted while on active service (aged 25).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 5:
“Noël” Watts – so he was most familiarly known – came up to Corpus in 1911 from Manchester Grammar School, where he had already won a reputation for hard work and sound scholarship. He confirmed this reputation at the University by gaining an unusually brilliant First in Classical Mods, and completing with distinction for the Ireland and Hertford Scholarships.
Watts’ strength of will and tenacity of purpose marked him out from other men. Whatever his hand found to do he did it with his might. An unusual power for getting through work, combined with a remarkably accurate memory, would undoubtedly have brought him high academic success, had his life taken the course it seemed destined to run.
The outbreak of the war found Watts at the end of his third year. Within a week he had enlisted in the Public Schools’ Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. The change of outlook and of aim was complete, but it was accepted with prompt cheerfulness, and all the old energy and keenness were reflected into the channels of a soldier’s life. He received his commission in the Manchester Regiment in November 1914, and served in France, being twice wounded. When about to go abroad for the sixth time he fell a victim to pneumonia, and died in London on October 28, 1918.
To many of his contemporaries it may have seemed that Watts’s interests where wholly centred upon his work. Those who knew him better will remember many directions in which his enthusiastic nature expressed itself – his youthful excursions into politics, and his genuine love of good music. But perhaps he was seen at his best among his own Derbyshire hills, filled with the zest of the open air, delighting in long tramps over the moorland, and mixing in unaffected friendship with the people of the countryside.
For his college he entertained all the feelings of a most dutiful son, and he would have been proud to lay the tribute of his life and work at the feet of his Alma Mater.
WEARNE, Frank Bernard VC (CCC 1913-1914)
Born Kensington, London, 1 March 1894, 2nd son of Frank Wearne, wine-merchant, of W Hampstead.
Educate Bromsgrove School.
Pass Classics Moderations 1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1917, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (service commenced September 1914):
Service in the ranks before Commission. 2nd Lieutenant, 3rd, attached to 11th, Essex Regiment. France. Mentioned in Dispatches, France, 1916. Killed in action at Loos on 28 June 1917 (aged 23).
Posthumous Victoria Cross won at Loos on 28 June 1917 for saving flank despite severe wounds.
From C.C.C. Roll of War Service 1914-18:
For most conspicuous bravery, when in command of a small party on the left of a raid on the enemy’s trenches. He gained his objective in the face of much opposition and by his magnificent example and daring was able to maintain this position for a considerable time according to instructions. During this period 2nd Lt. Wearne and his small party were repeatedly counter-attacked. Grasping the fact that if the left flank was lost his men would have to give way, 2nd Lt. Wearne at a moment when the enemy’s attack was being heavily pressed and when matters were most critical, leapt on the parapet and followed by his left section ran along the top of the trench firing and throwing bombs. This unexpected and daring manoeuver threw the enemy off his guard and back in disorder. Whilst on the top of the trench, 2nd Lt. Wearne was severely wounded, but refused to leave his men. Afterwards he remained in the trench during operations, consolidating his position, and encouraging all ranks. Just before the order to withdraw was given this gallant officer was again severely hit for the second time, and while being carried away was mortally wounded. By his tenacity in remaining at his post though severely wounded, and his magnificent fighting spirit he was enabled to hold on to the flank.
WILDING-JONES, Hugh Wynn (CCC 1915-1916)
Born Haywards Heath, Sussex, 3 March 1896, 1st son of William Wilding-Jones, solicitor, of Tonbridge, Kent.
Educated Tonbridge School 1910-1915.
No Oxford University exams.
Military service WWI 1916-1918 (service commenced 6 July 1916):
Lieutenant, 3rd, attached to 11th, Royal Welch Fusiliers. France, 1916-1917; Salonika, August 1918. Died on 22 September 1918, of wounds received in action near Lake Doiran, Salonika (aged 22).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 5:
Wilding-Jones came up to Oxford from Tonbridge in October 1915, and in a very short time became popular with everyone. Men of the most diverse temperaments found pleasure in his society, for his qualities were such as to command universal approval. His attitude was one of kindly tolerance to all opinions, which never degenerated into sentimentality. Perhaps the main charm of his society was to be found in his unfailing fund of quiet humour, which played genially round the follies of mankind, and was entirely devoid of any suspicion of ill-nature. He loved to gather a company of freshmen in his room above the Junior Library, and frequently we almost “talked the stars to rest”. When first he came up he was troubled by the fear that his eyesight would prevent him from entering the Army, and he was delighted when he was accepted for a commission later in the Term. During his service he passed, like many others, from our ken, but we always cherished the hope that we should meet again in Oxford and enjoy many more happy days together.
Dis aliter visum. But though death has taken him from our midst he has a sure place in our memory, where he will remain until the Perfect Day.
WILLIAMS, Percy John (CCC 1913-1915)
Born Croydon, 3 December 1894, 3rd son of Ernest Williams, Civil Servant, of S Croydon.
Educated Whitgift Grammar School.
Scholar; 1 Classics Moderations 1915; Chancellor’s Latin Essay Prize 1915. President, Sundial Society 1915.
Military service WWI 1915-1917 (service commenced June 1915):
2nd Lieutenant, 6th East Surrey Regiment, attached to Royal Berkshire Regiment. France, 1917. Died on 31 May 1917 [according to Biographical Register]; 17 May 1917 [according to War Service], of wounds received in action (aged 22).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIII, No. 6:
P.J. Williams came up from Whitgift Grammar School to Corpus in 1913. He was probably the most promising that school has ever had. This promise he fulfilled in no slight measure during his two years of residence. He only just failed to get the Craven Scholarship. He took a First Class in Moderations with the greatest ease. He also won the Chancellor’s Prize for Latin Essay, and was proxime accessit in the Hertford. A brilliant academic future undoubtedly lay before him. He did everything, whether on his own particular subjects or not, with the ease of a consummate scholar. As his ability lay in this direction, and he was of a retiring disposition, he was not so well known to many in the College as others, and it was left to those of us who were up after the outbreak of war to get to know and appreciate him more intimately. At the end of the Summer Term, 1915, he joined the Inns of Court O.T.C., and was granted a commission in the following summer. In a few months he went out to France. He had not been there long before he was very severely wounded, in the early part of May, 1917, and died in hospital a few days later.
WILLINK, George Ouvry William (CCC 1907-1911)
Born London, 1 February 1888, 1st son of Henry George Willink, barrister, and Mary Grace [Ouvry] of Burghfield, Berkshire.
Educated Eton College 1901-1907.
2 Modern History 1911; BA 1912. Secretary, Boat Club 1908-1909, Captain 1909-1911; College Captain 1909-1911.
Called to Bar, Inner Temple 1914.
Military service WWI 1914-1918, membership of the University Contingent of the Officers’ Training Corps prior to 1915, (mobilised 4 August 1914):
Captain, 2/4th Royal Berkshire Regiment. France. Military Cross, 18 October 1917. Mentioned in Dispatches, France, 1917. Killed in action at Villers Bretonneux [according to Biographical Register]; at Lamotte [according to War Service] on 28 March 1918 (aged 30).
From Pelican Record Vol. XIV, No. 2:
G.O.W. Willink came up to Corpus in 1907. He had rowed, and played “Rugger”, for Eton. Here he was Captain of the Boat Club, and under his auspices the VIII rose to the first division and to the eighth place on the river, a higher position than it had occupied for nineteen years. In 1911 he took his degree with a second class in History, in 1913 he was called to the Bar, and joined the Inns of Court O.T.C. When the war broke out he was kept at Berkhamsted as captain and employed in training work. In 1916 he was set free, and joined the Berks Territorials, proceeding to France in that summer. He was mentioned in dispatches in 1917, and gained the M.C., rescuing some buried gunners under heavy fire. His Brigadier wrote that he ought to have had the M.C. half a dozen times, and that a recommendation for the D.S.O. only failed to get through owning to a technicality. On March 23, 1918, rejoining his regiment, he found that his C.O. had been killed, and through the tremendous days following he was in command of the battalion. At the close of them his brigade, in co-operation with General Carey’s famous stand, took part on March 28 in a counter-attack near Villers Bretonneux. It was here, ahead of his men, that he fell, shot through the forehead, advancing. His soldier servant writes: “Captain Willink was rather overworked the five days he was in charge of the battalion, but he was quite cheerful and kept up the spirits of the men; and even when we were making the attack, every now and then he would start singing, so I am sure he was quite happy.” They went into action that day 250 strong, with 11 officers, and came out with 60 men and 3 officers. But after eight days’ sleepless fighting they had helped to stem the torrent, and Amiens was saved.
Corpus has always been united, but Willink was one of a particularly harmonious and united year. From a don’s point of view, as from an undergraduate’s, he was an ideal member of the College; taking from it what it had to give and repaying the debt fully in the river, in the schools, in College life. Those who knew and admired – and to know was to admire – his simplicity and strength of character, his unselfishness, his sense of duty, his generous nature, his solid, practical English ability, foresaw him a tower of strength in whatever walk of life he was found. He gave his powers and his life to his country in a sharper ordeal than those of peace. We must be grateful for his service, his memory, and his example.
George Willink was one of those Etonians whom Providence or their own wisdom determines to send to Corpus. He came without advertisement, in which there was a demonstrable fitness with his own character. He hated all showiness and blowing of trumpets, just as he liked the indecency of Oxford riots and junketings. There was in this no assumption of superiority, nor any cold incapacity for mirth. Though reserved, he was approachable for all; and he had a chuckle which itself communicated laughter. But by nature he was always of an equal and gentle simplicity, or rather, to be just, not by nature only, but also by the influence of his Berkshire home. I do not imagine that any of the Corpus Eights that rowed in Henley in 1909-10 will forget the hospitality of that house, or were unaffected by its atmosphere. My only recollection is of a lovely March Sunday in 1915 when I chanced to call in and found a farewell gathering to his younger brother. George was fretting against the authority that kept him, the elder, tied to the Inns of Court, and was reproaching himself in the same spirit as he did for falling ill once at Oxford during Races: not forseeing that his own later adventure on the fields of France would bring an earlier death. I am sure his presence in a company or battalion was a ground of assurance. In quietness and confidence was his strength which was infectious: not an unimaginative quietness nor an ignorant confidence. It is great in fighting to be with or under a man who worries neither himself nor others. It was so in a boat, of which he was a mainstay. These same qualities, together with his unselfishness, made him a delightful companion on a holiday. Once at Westwater some members of Corpus were exchanging the river for the hills. Climb on a rope he would not; but though he refused to attempt the pleasures of such a sport, he would not deny the possibility of their being real; unlike others in such circumstances, who, being philosophers, have neither climbed nor admitted its delights, through envy or contentiousness. And it was comfortable to feel that, in case of a fall, he was down below, as being βoήv άγθóς.
About a week before he was killed he came to Caix, where I met him by the church of that delightful village. He spent four days of peace – such peace as was possible in rear of the battle of March 21, and we renewed the Oxford days. On the 24th he left to rejoin his battalion and to command it, one of those that fought in the desperate struggle of the 5th Army. I asked for a field postcard, but the news was of his death. Thus he was the second of the VIII of 1908 to be killed, the first, by long precedence, being Roderick Haigh, like him, one of a true and stout heart. “He was killed leading a company in a counter-attack.” About the same time a friend of his was doing a similar act, and won the V.C. Willink won Death. Familiarity with death lessens the surprise but not our indignation when such men leave so soon their manhood and youth. Yet, if there are ideals, it was a great death, to be mourned, but not repented of.
YOUNG, George Edward Savill (CCC 1902-1906)
Born Aston, 20 January 1884, 5th son of the Revd Henry Savill Young, of Englefield, Reading.
Educated Bradfield College, Berkshire 1898-1902.
3 Classics Moderations 1904; 2 Modern History 1906; BA 1907. Secretary, Association Football Club 1904-1905, Captain 1905-1906; Captain, Hockey 1905-1906; Secretary, Owlet Club 1904, President 1905. Oxford University Hockey Blue 1906.
Royal Irish Constabulary 1908- (first place in exam).
Married 1914 Alison Jane, only daughter of the Revd Frederick John Poole, deceased, at St Thomas’s Orchard Street, by the Revd H.B. Young.
Military service WWI 1914-1917 (serving 4 August 1914):
Major, Irish Guards. France, wounded. Died at No. 34 Casualty Clearing Station on 31 March 1917, of wounds received in action (aged 33).
Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry. Died 29 September 1915.
Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (Territorial Force). Died 23 July 1916.