Captain

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

AND

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 …

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

AND

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 …

3rd April 1918

Cyprian Slocock, G Social 1910. Captain, Ox & Bucks LI. Died of wounds received in an unknown engagement

At school he was Junior Scholar and a Prefect.

died at a hospital abroad on April 3 of wounds received on March 25, aged 21, was the youngest son of the late Rev. F. H. Slocock, rector of Mottisfont, and of Mrs. Slocock, North Lodge, Maidenhead. He was educated at Lambrook, whence he gained a classical scholarship at Radley in 1910. He received his commission in November, 1914. and went to France in August, 1915. He was wounded on the Somme in 1916, and returned to the front the following year, since when he had seen much fighting. His death is in a sense one of the peculiar tragedies of this war. He was, when war broke out, looking forward to going up to Oxford and had no military desires. He was a prefect, and had been joint Editor of the Radleian, and had won the Sixth Form prize, and his instincts all pointed to a literary career. He cheerfully gave up all for his country. He became one of a little band of Old Radleian officers in the Oxford and Bucks L.l. – a sadly thinned band now alas! Ben Slocock left Radley with a singularly blameless record which he maintained to the end – an end which none was more ready to meet than he. He has fallen ‘Sed miles sed pro patria’

He is buried at Boulogne East Cemetery, Pas de Calais.

His two nephews were awarded War Memorial Scholarships at Radley.  He features in the official history of the regiment.

Aged 21

Captain Cyprian ‘Ben’ Slocock

 

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

22nd March 1918

Thomas Gibbons, MC, A Social 1910, Captain, 1st Bn, Hertfordshire Regt

Killed in action, Second Battle of the Somme

At school he was a Prefect, played for the Cricket XI and was captain of the last Soccer XI before Rugby became the official school sport.

He signed up in 1914 and served in France throughout 1915-1918.  He was mentioned in despatches and awarded the Military Cross.

Tommy was one of the most popular of Radleians; absolutely straight and trusted by all. I doubt if he ever had an enemy. Amusing and inconsequent in his talk, he was always the centre of a cheery group, for it was quite impossible to feel glum or out of temper in his presence. His death will have caused great and abiding sorrow among his countless friends, for he was loved and respected by all. In Oct, 1916, he married Edith Doris Evison, of Homefield, Coulsdon Common.

Aged 23

Captain TP Gibbons, MC, Hertfordshire Regt

Radley College Soccer XI 1913. Thomas Gibbons, Captain

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

Second Battle of the Somme

21st March 1918
Reginald Hodgson

John Moore, MC

Horace Stevens

Photographs of the Pozieres and Arras Memorials by Nick Bennett & Charlie Barber for ‘Marching in Memory’ July 2015

Reginald Hodgson, D Social 1893, Captain, 82nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Killed in action, Second Battle of the Somme

At school he was a Junior Scholar, a Prefect and won the English Literature Prize. He represented the School at boxing and went on to receive a half-blue for both boxing and fencing for Oxford University. After school he studied at University College, Oxford, became a barrister at the Inner Temple and an underwriter at Lloyd’s. He was the youngest son of Henry John Hodgson, Master of the Supreme Court of Judicature, and of Mrs. Hodgson, of Keble Road, Oxford. He had his commission early in the war, and was Lieutenant in December, 1914; he was gazetted Captain in February, 1916.

Aged 38

 

AND

Captain Reginald Hodgson

The name of Reginald Hodgson on the Pozieres Memorial.

John Moore, MC, F Social 1907, Major, Cheshire Regt, attached 71st Cpy, Machine Gun Corps, Killed in action, Second Battle of the Somme

Cheshire Regiment, attached Machine Gun Corps (killed in action on March 21), was son of the late Captain G. H. Moore, Camden Hill, Cranbrook, Kent, and of Mrs. Moore, of Filsham House, St. Leonards-on·Sea. He was twenty-four years of age; he had promotion in the Cheshires in November, 1915, and, transferring to the Machine Gun Corps, became acting Captain in June, 1917. He was at Radley, 1907-1909, and had been mentioned twice in despatches..

Aged 24

AND

The name of John Moore, MC, on the Arras Memorial.

Horace Stevens, College Staff, Lance-Corporal, 2nd/4th Bn, Ox & Bucks LI

Killed in action, Second Battle of the Somme

The name of Horace Stevens on the Pozieres Memorial.

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

Captain John Milne's name on the Arras Flying Services Memorial. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

Captain John Milne’s name on the Arras Flying Services Memorial. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

6th October 1917.

John Milne, MC, G Social 1909. Captain, 48th Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. Missing in action on 6th October 1917.  Presumed dead, 1918

He transferred from the Ox & Bucks Light Infantry to the Royal Flying Corps.  He was mentioned in despatches. He married Joan Hanmer in 1917, just a few months before he went missing.

Citation for the Military Cross: Temp. Lt. (Temp. Capt.) J. T. Milne, Gen. List and R.F.C. Whilst leading offensive patrols, he has shown great determination and courage in attacking hostile formations, although in superior numbers, at close range. He has also done long and arduous reconnaissances and secured good photographs under very adverse conditions and heavy fire, displaying throughout an admirable spirit of fearlessness and energy.

Aged 22

Captain John Milne, MC. RFC, missing October 1917

Captain John Milne, MC. RFC, missing October 1917

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

Battle of Passchendaele / 3rd Battle of Ypres


23rd August 1917

Alick Blyth

James Wilson

Maurice Mowbray

Alick Blyth's name on the Tyne Cot Memorial. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

Alick Blyth’s name on the Tyne Cot Memorial. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

The grave of James Wilson at Lijssenthoek. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

The grave of James Wilson at Lijssenthoek. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

The grave of Maurice Mowbrary at The Huts. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

The grave of Maurice Mowbrary at The Huts. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

Alick Blyth, H Social 1910. Senior Prefect, Captain of Cricket and Radley’s first Captain of Rugby

He was killed in action on the Ypres front on Aug. 23rd, 1917, aged 20. His Company Commander writes:

Our battalion was in support, but he was detailed for a special job in the line. There was a strong point called Pond Farm giving a lot of trouble. We had taken it once, but had lost it and were going for it again. Both the D Company officers had been killed, and the remnants of the Company were going over with the attacking party without an officer. Blyth at once went to the Colonel in charge of the attack and insisted on taking this Company over, which he did. The place was captured, but he was sniped through the head. This place was held by Prussians, and had before resisted seven attacks.” Those who knew him are not surprised to hear that he died so gallantly, and that “his Platoon was easily the best in the battalion.” The same officer adds that “he was nearly always ill, but would never go sick, but kept hanging on.”

Blyth had a career full of promise at Radley. Like Geoffrey Adams, whom he succeeded as Senior Prefect for one term, he combined a variety of gifts. He won the Gibbs. Heathcote, and James Scholarships in successive years, 1913-1915. and the Worsley Prize in 1915. In this year he also won a Classical Scholarship at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. He was in the Cricket Xl in 1915. and played a fine innings against Sherborne; and in the XV in 1914 and 1915. captaining it in the latter year. He was also a keen lover of literature and of nature, especially of birds, moths and butterflies. With these gifts and tastes he combined a character of unassuming gentleness, thoughtfulness, and charm, which gained him a multitude of friends.

His mother gave all the flowers for Chapel for the first Armistice Day service.

Aged 20

 

AND

Alick Blyth. Radley College Rugby XV, 1914

Alick Blyth. Radley College Rugby XV, 1914

Radley College Senior Prefects, 1915-1918: Adams, Blyth and Cancellor all died in WW1

Radley College Senior Prefects, 1915-1918: Adams, Blyth and Cancellor all died in WW1

James Studholme Wilson, MC, E Social 1900. Captain, Ox & Bucks LI, Royal Army Medical Corps

He qualified as a surgeon at the London Hospital.  He married in 1912 and had one son who was awarded one of the War Memorial Scholarships to come to Radley.  The family still maintain their connection with the school.

How much we shall all miss him you can perhaps understand better than I can tell you. He was hit early in the evening, but insisted on going on with his work for six hours after he was wounded. Our admiration for his gallantry and devotion to duty knows no bounds. His name will be a lasting and inspiring memory to the officers and men of this battalion. Two of the stretcher-bearers from his aid post who were with him when he died revisited the site in 1930.  They wrote a poem about the incident entitled ‘The Pilgrimage’.  This was discovered by the descendants of one of them in the 2000s. An excerpt was published in the Old Radleian in 2008.

  1. Citation for the Military Cross. Lieut. J. E. S. Wilson, R.A.M.C. He went up to the front line from his Aid Post through a very heavy barrage, in order to assist the wounded. By his pluck and skill he undoubtedly saved many lives. He afterwards controlled the evacuation of the casualties under heavy fire.

Aged 31

AND

Caotain James Wilson, MC. Royal Army Medical Corps

Caotain James Wilson, MC. Royal Army Medical Corps

Maurice Mowbray, MC, F Social 1910. Lt, 89th Field Company, Royal Engineers.  Killed in action

2016 Citation for the Military Cross. 2nd Lieut. M. C. Mowbray, R.E.

For conspicuous gallantry and determination, notably when consolidating a crater. His work was destroyed four times during the night by shell and trench mortar fire. He kept his party together, and displayed an utter disregard of personal safety.

After school, he trained with the Royal Engineers at Woolwich, intending a military career: He was absolutely fearless and very capable, and his men would follow him anywhere; if only he had been spared he would have done well in the service.

Aged 21

Lt Maurice Mowbray, MC. Killed at Passchendaele

Lt Maurice Mowbray, MC. Killed at Passchendaele

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

6th June 1917

Humphrey Arden, A Social 1906. 2nd Lt, 156th Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery.  Died of wounds received near Messines

He was a Junior Scholar, Prefect and rowed at stroke for the 1st VIII, competing at Henley twice. He went up to Queens’ College, Cambridge and rowed for the College and the University.  After a short time teaching at Eagle House Prep School, he was preparing to study for the priesthood at Cuddesdon when he joined up.

The Royal Garrison Artillery developed from fortress-based artillery located on British coasts. From 1914 when the army possessed very little heavy artillery it grew into a very large component of the British forces. It was armed with heavy, large calibre guns and howitzers that were positioned some way behind the front line and had immense destructive power.

After his death, his father gave the money for two War Memorial Scholarships in his memory. He is also remembered at his prep school in Oxford, where his story features on their WW1 memorial website.

Aged 25

AND

William Gourlay, B Social 1910. Captain, 5th Bn, Cameron Highlanders.  Died of wounds received in an unknown engagement

He was wounded on May 1st and succumbed to his injuries on June 6th. W.N. Gourlay rose to the position of House Prefect and filled the post with quiet dignity and force of character. Outside his own small circle of friends, among whom he was much loved and respected, he will possibly be chiefly remembered for his introduction of bagpipes to Radley.

Aged 21

2nd Lt Humphrey Arden, Royal Garrison Artillery. Died 6th June 1917

2nd Lt Humphrey Arden, Royal Garrison Artillery. Died 6th June 1917

Calvary at Yoxall to the memory of Humphrey Arden. Photo by Shirley Fisher

Calvary at Yoxall to the memory of Humphrey Arden. Photo by Shirley Fisher

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

28th April 1917

Charles MacDowell, D Social 1912. Captain, The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders).  Died of wounds received in the Battle of Arras.

He joined the Black Watch as a second lieutenant on the declaration of war. He served two years at the front with his battalion, was wounded twice, before being mortally wounded on April 8, while commanding his company. He was promoted captain shortly after his 18th birthday. His colonel writes : – “I cannot say how splendidly he has done, although so young. As keen as possible, after he was wounded his whole thoughts were for the men of his company and never once for himself.“

Aged 19

Captain Charles MacDowell, Black Watch. Died of wounds received in the Battle of Arras, 28th April 1917

Captain Charles MacDowell, Black Watch. Died of wounds received in the Battle of Arras, 28th April 1917

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Captain Hunt's grave at Warlincourt Halte Cemetery.  Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

Captain Hunt’s grave at Warlincourt Halte Cemetery. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

Today we remember …

12th April 1917

Claude Hunt, G Social 1901. Captain, Royal Field Artillery.  Died of wounds received in an unknown engagement

After school, he worked on the Stock Exchange.  He emigrated to Canada in 1912.  He is listed by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission as a Staff Captain, attached to XVIII Corps HQ, but this is not confirmed.  He was Mentioned in Despatches. He married in 1916.

Aged 30

Captain Claude Hunt, Royal Field Artillery.  Died of wounds, 12th April 1917

Captain Claude Hunt, Royal Field Artillery. Died of wounds, 12th April 1917