Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

From August 2014 until 2019, each man named on the War Memorial at Radley College will be remembered by name in Chapel on the centenary of his death. The database of all those who fell in WW1 and WW2 can be accessed at http://www.radleyarchives.co.uk/

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

20th September 1918

Charles Newton, G Social 1912. 2nd Lt, 104th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Killed in action in an unknown engagement

At school he was a Junior Scholar who won the French Prize, a prefect, and played for the Rugby XV. He enlisted as a private in the Royal Field Artillery when he left school in 1916. He achieved his commission after additional training.

He is buried at Templeux-le-Gerrard, on the Somme.

Aged 19

2nd Lt Charles Newton, kia 20 September 1918

Radley College 1st XV, 1915

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

18th September 1918

Arthur Clegg-Hill, DSO, C Social 1891. Lt-Col (commanding), 12th Bn Cheshire Regt. Killed in action, Battle of P Ridge, Macedonia, Greece

At school, he played for the Soccer XI.  On leaving school, he became a career soldier and served in the 2nd South African War.  In 1902, he became a farmer in South Africa.  He returned to service on the outbreak of WW1.  He was twice mentioned in despatches and awarded the DSO.

His battalion was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palm for the action at P Ridge:

Citation for the Croix de Guerre with Palm awarded to 12th Bn. Cheshire Regt.

A GALLANT CHESHIRE BATTALION. AWARDED THE CROIX DE GUERRE WITH PALM. On Sunday, March 2, the General Officer Commanding-in-Chief, British Salonika Force, on behalf of General Franchet d’Esperey, the G.O.C. in Command Allied Armies in the Orient, presented the 12th (Ser.) Battalion Cheshire Regiment with the Croix de Guerre with Palm, in recognition of their gallant conduct and magnificent attack on September 18, 1918. The battalion was mentioned in a French Army Order as “a marvellous battalion, which has shown the finest qualities of courage, enthusiasm, and endurance.” The order continues :- ” On September 18, 1918, gallantly led by Lt.-Col. the Hon. A. R. Clegg·Hill, D.S,O., in person, it rushed to the assault of a strongly fortified position, showing a magnificent spirit of self-sacrifice. In spite of a cross fire from artillery, trench mortar, and machine guns, and of the loss of its commanding officer, who fell mortally wounded, the battalion continued to advance, making light of its heavy casualties, and thereby giving a glorious example of heroism, and the loftiest traditions of the British Army.”

In the December dispatch of General Sir G. Milne, G.O.C. in Command, British Salonika Force, the battalion is again mentioned for its attack on the ” P” Ridge in September. “After severe fighting the 12th Battalion Cheshire Regiment succeeded in reaching the third line of trenches. At this point they came under a devastating machine gun fire, and, unable to make further progress, were eventually compelled to fall back to their original position. In their heroic attempt they had lost about 65 per cent. of their strength, including Lieutenant- Colonel the Hon. A. R, Clegg-Hill, D.S.O., who fell at the head of the battalion.”

Aged 41

Radley College Soccer XI 1896 (unnamed – includes Arthur Clegg-Hill)

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

14th September 1918

George Plater, E Social 1899. Private, 2/20th Bn, London Regt. Killed during the ‘Advance to Victory’ in an unknown engagement

He was at Radley for just one year, leaving in 1900.  George Plater’s death was not recorded in The Radleian magazine in 1918.  He is not included on the War Memorial. He is listed as still alive in the 1923 and 1962 Registers, both of which record that he went to work on the London Stock Exchange after leaving school. Work on updating the Registers in the 1990s received confirmation of his death in 1918, via the family of his sister, who was his only surviving relative in 1918.

He was killed during the ‘Advance to Victory’ and is among 9000 servicemen who have no known grave who are listed on the Vis-en-Artois memorial.

Aged 34

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

30th August 1918

George Simpson, G Social 1910. Lt, Cheshire Regt. Died of wounds received in an unknown engagement

He volunteered for service on the outbreak of war and received his commission in March, 1915; he served in France until July, 1916, when he was wounded; he returned to France on Aug. 30, 1917, and met his death exactly a year later.

He was an only son. He is buried at Terlincthun Cemetery, Pas de Calais.

The War Memorial Committee Minutes record the George Simpson Exhibition which was created in his memory to help Radleians at university.  The first recipient was George Mallaby, Senior Prefect in 1921, to help him go to Oxford; others aided by the gift were RE Raikes at London University and Vincent O’Connor at Oxford.  Vincent O’Connor became one of the most significant donors of rare and valuable books to Radley College Library – a skill in collecting which he gained at Oxford.

Aged 22

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

23rd August 1918

John Gladstone, G Social 1909. Captain, 6th Bn, Leicestershire Regt. Killed in action, Battle of Albert

At school he rowed for the First VIII in 1912. After school he worked ‘with Messrs Lysaght Ltd.’ – a steel-working company in Bristol.

He joined up immediately on the outbreak of the war: received his commission on Aug. 28, 1914, in the Leicestershire Regiment. He went to France in July, 1915, and was wounded in July, 1916.He returned to France in January, 1917; he was severely wounded in the following April and was shortly afterwards promoted Captain and mentioned in dispatches. He again went to France in May and was killed on 18th September, 1918.

The Radley Register and Commonwealth War Graves Commission disagree with the obituary in The Radleian and give his date of death as 23rd August 1918.

Aged 23

Captain John Gladstone’s grave at Serre Road No 1. Photographed for ‘Marching in Memory’ July 2015

Radley College First VIII, 1912. John Gladstone at bow

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

21st August 1918

Nicholas van Gruisen. E Social 1904. Captain, Liverpool Regt. Killed in action, Battle of Albert

He went straight into the army on leaving school in 1909.

Aged 29

Nicholas van Gruisen’s grave at Bienvillers Military Cemetery, Pas de Calais. Photographed for ‘Marching in Memory’ July 2015

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

20th August 1918

Ernest Wood, D Social 1911. Lt, 1st Bn, North Staffordshire Regt. Killed in action in an unknown engagement

At school he played for the Cricket XI. He went to Sandhurst after leaving school.

He passed out, of Sandhurst in July, 1915, and went to the front a year later and was present at the actions on the Somme. He was wounded in June, 1917, but returning to France in April last was kilIed on July 20th.

He is buried at Bully-Grenay Communal Cemetery, Pas de Calais. The town of Bully-des-Mines in France invited Radley College to participate in their Centenary Commemorations for WW1.  They honoured the men buried there with a major exhibition from 22-29 April 2016, which featured Ernest Wood’s story.

Aged 21

Lt Ernest Wood, kia 20 August 1918

Radley College Cricket XI 1914

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