Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

7th November 1918

Frederick Wells, F Social 1894, Lt,  Horse Transport, Army service Corps. Died of pneumonia contracted on active service

After school, he was ranching in South Africa from 1899-1902 (at the height of the Boer War). He then moved to Guernsey where he was a fruit grower until 1916.

In 1908 he married Mary Stewart. She had already been widowed twice; he was her third husband. Her second husband was also an Old Radleian,  TNF Davenport.  The couple had one son of their own, and Frederick was stepfather to the four sons from Mary’s previous marriages.  Her eldest son, Cecil Draper, was also killed in WW1.  Frederick’s death meant that Mary was widowed three times before she was 45. All the younger boys and Frederick’s step-grandsons, were awarded War Memorial Scholarships to enable them to attend Radley.

Frederick Wells and Cecil Draper are the only father and son to both be recorded on Radley’s WW1 War Memorial.

Aged 38

Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

5 days until Armistice

War in your homeland

Today we feature: Radley College Serving Register, 1913-1941. This began life as a list of those Radleians who went into a military career straight from school, but in 1914 events overtook it and all Radleians from 1914-1918 were listed, with a retrospective note of ‘what they did in the War.’

The van der Becke brothers from Antwerp, Belgium came to E Social in September 1914. They returned home in April 1915 and disappear from all Radley records.

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

5th November 1918

Reginald Blackburn, E Social 1902. Lt,  9th Bn, Bedfordshire Regt. Died of pneumonia contracted on active service.

After school, he went to Exeter College, Oxford.  He was a Lloyds Underwriter. In 1912 he married Hazel Coghlan.

He died in hospital at Brocton in Staffordshire from pneumonia contracted on active service.

Aged 29

Lt Reginald Blackburn

Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

6 days until Armistice

A school during wartime

Maintaining normal school routines must have been very difficult during the War.  Staff from all areas joined up or were conscripted, leaving the operational side very short-handed, while the teaching staff were replaced by much older, retired teachers or academics from Oxford who had never taught young boys at all.  Parents struggled to find fees, with their own staff or fathers at the Front and rising inflation.

Today we feature: Radley College Revenue Account for the year ending 31 December 1915. The accounts list many boys whose fees were in arrears.  Note the new technology: the College now has a telephone, typewriters and a gas works.

Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

7 days until Armistice

A school during wartime

Today we feature: Radley College Musical Society Minute Book. The Society was formed in 1915. They played some music by contemporary composers but were hampered throughout WW1 by lack of instrumental players. By November 1918, with the end of the War in sight, they resolved to re-found the school orchestra who had not played since 1913

Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

8 days until Armistice

Today we feature: Radley College Officers’ Training Corps (now CCF) Certificate A. Awarded to Andrew Nugee 1 May 2012. Cert A was a fast track to officer training that allowed young officer cadets to proceed straight to commissions in Kitchener’s New Army in 1914.

AND Radley College OTC cap badge. A replica of this badge will be worn by all the CCF this term in memory of those who fell in WW1. RC Archives Collection

Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

9 days until Armistice

Brothers in Arms

Andrew Nugee Andrew was severely wounded in the fierce fighting following the Germans’ first use of liquid fire flamethrowers at Hooge, within one week of reaching the Front.  In 1921 he took Holy Orders and served as a vicar for the rest of his life, including as Chaplain to St Dunstan’s Hostel for servicemen blinded in WW1.

Today we feature: Appointment as a 2nd Lieutenant in the New Army, 2 November 1914. Addressed to Magdalen College, Oxford, where he had just taken up residence as an undergraduate.

Countdown to Peace – an exhibition for WW1

10 days until Armistice

‘The poets are waiting’

Today we feature: ‘Young England’ by ‘Douglas Strong’, published posthumously 1919. Desmond Cancellor (C 1912) became Senior Prefect in 1916. He wrote ‘Young England’ whilst convalescing from wounds received in 1917. He returned to the Front in October 1918, won the Military Cross and was killed one week later on 1 November 1918.

 The novel is a thinly disguised description of life at Radley: ‘he was no blind lover of a system under which he had risen to the top; he longed for its reform and this book describes his own constructive policy for change along the lines of re-adjustment between games and work, body and brain, but it went beyond and touched the spiritual life of the school. There lay his deepest discontent.’ (From the preface by Cyril Hepher)

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

31st October 1918

Thomas Irwin, H Social 1910. Lt. 2nd Bn, Sherwood Foresters. Died of wounds received in the Second Battle of Cambrai

At school he played for the Cricket XI and the Racquets Pair. ‘It was in the latter that he made his mark and was conspicuous at Queen’s Club for his cool and clever game. On leaving he enlisted as a private  in the P.S.B.,but later entered Sandhurst, and took a commission in the Sherwood Foresters. He was very badly wounded in 1916, being shot through the lung. He went out again to France this year, and died of wounds on Oct. 31 (received on Oct. 8).’

He died in England and is buried at Brookwood Military Cemetery.

Aged 22

Lt Thomas Irwin