Today we remember …
|1st November 1918
Desmond Cancellor, MC, C Social 1912. Lt, 1st Bn, Hampshire Regt. Killed in action, Battle of Valenciennes
Senior Prefect. He was a Junior Scholar who played for the Cricket and Rugby teams. He won a History Exhibition to New College, Oxford in 1915, but joined up in 1916.
He was a very popular Senior Prefect. News of his death on the major Feast Day of the school was devastating. After his death, his family published a novel entitled ‘Young England’ about school-life which he had written under the name ‘Douglas Strong’.
Born in 1898, he came, here as a Scholar in 1912, and ended his School career as Senior Prefect – a position which he filled with dignity and conscientious thoroughness. He was a keen and successful athlete, who had no idea of allowing athleticism to interfere with the more real and important aspects of education. And indeed, all through his School life, there seemed to be a background of serious sincerity which guided his conduct and was the secret of his strong and quiet influence for good.
And when we read the letter which told of his cheerful devotion and unshrinking bravery during those last trying and strenuous weeks of his service, we knew that he had been consistent to the end – the same gentle cheery boy upheld by that mysterious background of strength which had been with him all through. We are told how on one occasion he swam alone across a river and single-handed rushed an enemy machine-gun which was blocking the advance of his Company – no braver deed has been done in the war.
He is featured in the Commemorations for the town of Valenciennes