Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

4th June 1919

John Tonson-Rye, F Social 1893. Captain, Motor Transport, Army Service Corps. Cause of death unknown

Originally from Ireland.  At school he was a Prefect.  After school, he returned to Ireland where he worked as a land agent, becoming a member of the Professional Institute of Land Surveyors.  There is no photograph in the War Memorial albums and no obituary beyond a note published on 26th July 1919 that he was among the dead.  The Radley Register published in 1962 incorrectly recorded his on 4th June 1918; the 1923 Register says 4th June 1919; the Commonwealth War Graves Commission records 25th May 1919.

He married Clari de la Roche in 1907. They had a son called John, born in 1910, but he was not entered for Radley despite a long family connection.

He is buried at Mazargues War Cemetery, Marseilles. ‘Marseilles was the Base of the Indian troops in France during the 1914-18 war and throughout the War the Royal Navy, the Merchant Navy, British troops and Labour units worked in the port or passed through it. Four of the town cemeteries were used, in the main, for the burial of officers and men of the Commonwealth forces who died at Marseilles.’ source CWGC

His shield still hangs in Hall.


Aged 39

The shield of John Tonson-Rye still hangs in the Dining Hall at Radley College

The British Army Register of Soldiers’ Effects – probable source of confusion over his date of death. © taken from