Author: archives602

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

10th August 1918

Henry Utterson, DSO. E Social 1892. Lt-Col, 15th Bn, Lancashire Fusiliers. Killed in action, Battle of Amiens

After leaving Radley he went to Sandhurst, serving with the Dorsetshire Regt. In the South African War 1899-1902 he fought at the Relief of Ladysmith and at Spion Kop

He served through the South African War (Queen’s Medal, 5 clasps, and King’s Medal, 2 clasps) and with the West African Frontier Force, 1904-1907. He served in Mesopotamia, 1914-1915,where he gained the D.S.O. and was 3 times mentioned in dispatches. He was invalided to England after being wounded at Ctesiphon. From 1917 onwards he commanded a battalion of the Lancaster Fusiliers on another front.

Citation for the DSO DISTINCTIONS. D.S,O. Major Henry Kelso Utterson, 2nd Bn. Dorsetshire Regt., for conspicuous gallantry and ability. He led his men with marked coolness and skill when assaulting a strong redoubt. He behaved very gallantly in several engagements, during one of whIch he took command of his battalion, when all the senior officers had been killed or wounded, and led a successful charge resulting in the capture of the enemy’s trenches.

He married Beatrice Hill in 1916

Aged 40

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

8th August 1918

James Payne, A Social 1902, Lt, 1st Bn, Tank Corps (attd), formerly Seaforth Highlanders.  Killed in action, Battle of Amiens

After leaving Radley in 1905 he went into business, and became Assistant Manager to J. and N. Phillips & Co., Manchester. Since 1912 he was farming in British Columbia. He was a Lieutenant in the Tank Corps when he was killed on Aug. 8.

Aged 30

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

Sessions & Donald with their damaged RE 8 in France, 1917

20th June 1918

Donald Sessions, MC, B Social 1911. Lt, No 2 School of Aerial Gunnery, RAF. Killed in a flying accident over Kent

He was the youngest of four brothers who were all at Radley.

Citation for the Military Cross. Temp. 2nd Lt. D. H. Sessions, Gen. List and R.F.C. During two months he did 111 hours’ flying on artillery work, often under heavy anti·aircraft fire. He constantly observed most successfully for the artillery, causing direct hits on gun pits, fires, and explosions.

In 2017 this stunning photo was produced from an original print from a glass plate negative and sent to us by Blair Sessions (A Social 1955), Donald’s great-nephew.  Donald is the pilot sitting on the wheel of his RE 8, near Ypres in 1917. The story of the four Sessions brothers and this photo featured in the Old Radleian magazine 2017

Aged 21

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

15th June 1918

Edward Monson, MC, E Social 1912. Lt, 331st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Died of wounds received near Béthune

He was a member of Radley’s earliest Rugby team in 1914.

He passed in Woolwich in 1916 and was a Lt. in R.F.A. He went to France in Feb., 1918, and fought all through the Somme retreat, back to Amiens. He and another officer volunteered to take their guns into the infantry line, where they stayed for twelve hours. For this he gained the Military Cross. On the 29th he was gassed. His last action was on the night of June 14-15, when he was wounded by the explosion of a shell, which penetrated his steel helmet. He never recovered consciousness, and died on June 15. He had evidently made his mark in the Battery, both as a brave officer and a keen sportsman.

Citation for the Military Cross. This officer volunteered for special service, he and another officer at dawn taking two guns in front of the infantry line without escort and engaging the enemy, bringing back the limbers for more ammunition, and using it up. This action checked the enemy advance and afforded time for the withdrawal of the infantry.

Aged 20

Edward Monson in the 1914 Rugby team

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

The grave of Richard Colborne at Dainville. Photographed for ‘Marching in Memory’ July 2015

28th May1918

Richard Colborne, E Social 1900. Chaplain (4th Class), 1st Bn, London Regt

Killed in an unknown engagement near Arras whilst bringing in wounded men

At school, Richard Colborne was an Exhibitioner who won the History and Literature Prizes, was Second Prefect and played for the Football XI.  After school, he won an Exhibition to Worcester College, Oxford, and then trained for the priesthood.  His first curacy was at Great Gaddesdon , Herts.  Then, in 1916, he took up the post of Curate-in-Charge at St John’s Merton.  He was called up in 1917.

He was second Prefect, a member of the Football XI, and won the Senior Quarter by sheer pluck (and incidentally the Sports’ Cup). On leaving, he went up to Worcester College, and later took work at a Preparatory School at Hemel Hampstead. 

He was ordained deacon in 1912 and priest in 1913, and worked at Romford, and later at Merton, where he was most popular and greatly esteemed by his parishioners. He was wounded on Jan. 4, and killed in action on May 28 while assisting in bringing in the wounded. His chief described him as “one of the finest chaplains” he had ever had. He was Secretary of the Radleian Society during 1916-7, and brought out the last Year Book. He leaves very many friends who mourn his death.

Addenda. 2.4.1919 The Radleian. Memorial. A handsome new reading desk has been placed in St. John’s Church, Romford, to commemorate the memory of Rev. R A P . Colborne, T/C.F., who died of wounds last year

As Secretary of the Radleian Society, he was responsible for scouring the newspapers, writing to families and compiling all the information about Radleians serving during WW1.  His meticulous work forms the basis of the War Memorial and of all the records in this Commemoration.

Aged 32

Rev Richard Colborne, Chaplain to the Forces

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

27th May1918

Ralph Bell, C Social 1905. Captain, 98th Sqn, Royal Air Force

Killed in action in an unknown engagement

The death of Ralph Bell was one of the very few missed by the Radleian Society recorders during WW1.  Consequently, he is not named on Radley’s war memorial.

The last entry for him in the Radley Register published in 1923 simply stated that he left the school in 1907.  This entry was reprinted in 1962.  In the 1980s, the Radleian Society was planning an updated version of the Register and so conducted extensive research into those ORs with whom they had lost contact over the years.  A handwritten note in the Archivist’s annotated copy of the 1962 register updated the information on Ralph Bell:

‘Went to Canada; 1st W Ontario Regt, and 98th Sqn RFC; Captain; married. Died on active service in France 27th May 1918’.

Aged 27


George Coote, A Social 1910, Lt, 50th Bn, Machine Gun Corps

Killed in action 2nd Battle of the Aisne

He was a School Prefect who played for the Cricket XI.

He obtained a commission In the Royal West Kents in December, 1914. and later on was transferred to the M.G.C. In July 1917, he was wounded and came back to England. He returned to France in April, 1918, and was killed in action May 27th, 1918. The news of his death will be a great grief to many Old Radleians. He was of a retiring nature, but his was a character,- like that of his great friend, Rupert ffolkes, – of which the very simplicity commanded admiration.

His best friend, Rupert ffolkes, was killed on 30th December 1917.  Richard Coote, George’s older brother, was killed in action at the Battle of Hulluch on 13th October 1915. Their eldest brother, Peter, was badly wounded in 1917.

He is recorded on the Soissons Memorial, Aisne

Aged 22

Captain Ralph Bell remembered on the Arras Flying Memorial. Photographed for ‘Marching in Memory’ July 2015

Lt George Coote

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

26th  April 1918

Henry Savory, D Social 1910. 2nd Lt, 3rd Bn Worcestershire Regt

Died of wounds received in the Second Battle of Kemmel

At school he was a prefect.  After school he went to Jesus College, Cambridge, then trained at Sandhurst.

He died of wounds received in action in the Mount Kemmel battle on the 26th April, the same day that he was wounded. Educated at Remenham, Hindhead, and at Radley, he matriculated at Jesus College, Camb., in 1914, but owing to the outbreak of war, after undergoing a somewhat serious operation, entered Sandhurst in 1915. Unfortunately the physical disability recurred, and debarred from military service he took up the engineering course at Jesus. In May, 1917, he was however classed B I, and joining the Cambridge O.T.C. was given a commission (Durham L.l.) in September, and sent to the 108th T.R.B. at Aldershot, finally going to France in January, 1918, with a battalion of the Suffolks. On the 21st March, at the opening of the German attack, he was with the 5th Entrenching Battalion, and after days marching and countermarching with his platoon, was attached to the 3rd Worcesters, with whom he was in action on the 26th April. The Commanding Officer writes “all regret his loss as he would have made a valuable officer.

He was an only child.

Aged 21

2nd Lt Henry Savory

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

The VIII on the river 1903. EN Balme rowing at 2

22nd April 1918

Edward Balme, MC. A Social 1899. Lt, 11th Bn Essex Regt

Died of wounds received in an unknown engagement

He was a prefect who played for the 1st teams for football and rowing.  After school he trained at St George’s Hospital but did not continue with a medical career.  He joined up as a private with the Honourable Artillery Company in  September 1914.

In 1915 he was given a commission in the Essex Regt., and went to Gallipoli where he won the M.C. for gallantry at Sulva Bay, and was mentioned in despatches by Sir Charles Munro. Later he served in Egypt, and then in France, being invalided home in 1917. In March, 1918, he went to France again, and was mortally wounded on April 21st near Ypres, and died of wounds the next day.

Aged 33


Frank Harston, MC. Don

Captain, East Lancashire Regt. Killed in action in an unknown engagement

Citation for the Military Cross. Lt. (temp. Capt.) Frank Northey Harston, E. Lanc. R. He rendered most valuable service as Brigade Major during the advance. When a gap occurred he proceeded at great risk of capture and under continuous fire to rectify matters before daylight. He set a magnificent example throughout.

He was educated at Highfield Preparatory School, Liphook (then Southampton), and Eastbourne College, and at both was head of the school. He went to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he obtained a scholarship, and took first class Classical Honours. After leaving Cambridge he was at different times assistant master at Clifton College and Radley College. At the outbreak of war he joined the Public Schools Brigade, but in October, 1914, was gazetted to a commission in the Leicestershire Regiment, with which he proceeded to France in July, 1915, as captain and adjutant. In January, 1916, he was appointed to the General Staff of a Division and almost at the same time was granted a regular commission. In February, 1917, he was promoted and appointed brigade major of an infantry brigade, in which capacity he was serving at the time of his death. He had been twice mentioned in dispatches and in May of last year was awarded the Military Cross.

The modern battlefield has proved a strange school of poets, and the love of nature was never more intimate and more real, than in this nightmare of destruction and rampant mechanism. There were two men here, whom we knew well, richly endowed with that quality, – not a rare one, perhaps, but often disguised, – the love of Earth: I mean Frank Harston and his friend Lance Vidal.  The official notice of his death, in our last number, reveals nothing of the man: I can, at least, say something of my own knowledge of him as a friend.

Both these men as we knew them were sane, sterling, generous souls, devoid of affectation and vanity. Such men are not as they had never been; something endures in the consciousness of everyone who associated with them.

When nearly every incident of the past is forgotten, a few luminous scenes remain, clear in the memory, like sunlight striking on a distant hill. I remember fishing with Harston, near Bablockhithe, one afternoon in summer. He was a gay and delightful companion, as he was, I imagine, punctilious and strict in form: for he did nothing by halves. Last April he wrote to me expressing the wish that we should one day go fishing together again; and his letter recalled the whole scene most vividly, – the mown grass lying in swathes by the stream, the conversation we had sitting in the inn-garden, and the ride home in the dusk.

Personally, I shall always remember him and Vidal as men who loved earth and the sun, and who, full of the joy of living, were not afraid to enter the enchanted “Woods of Westermain,”-the mystery in nature.  In Memoriam Frank Harston

Aged 28

Lt Edward Balme

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

14th April 1918

Hugh Malcolmson, Croix de Guerre. C Social 1893. Ambulance Driver, French Red Cross

Killed in action whilst rescuing wounded men

His family was from Ireland.  After leaving school, he was a cattle rancher in Argentina from 1907-9.  He then returned to Ireland where we worked as a farmer.  In 1907 he married Muriel Briscoe.

Aged 38

The burial record of Hugh Malcolmson. ©CWGC

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

10th April 1918

George Bloomfield, D Social 1913. Private, 1/6th Bn, Northumberland Fusiliers

Missing, presumed killed in action, Battle of the Lys

His family were based in Djenan-es-Saouda, El Biar, Algiers.  He left Radley in 1917 and went straight into the ranks serving in France.  There is no obituary in The Radleian

Aged 19

Private George Bloomfield, Northumberland Fusiliers

George Bloomfield’s name on the Ploegsteert Memorial. Photographed for ‘Marching in Memory’ July 2015

Private George Bloomfield, Northumberland Fusiliers