F Social

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 Ancestry.co.uk

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

11th November 1918

Robert Browne, DSO, F Social 1895, Major,  1st Bn, Manchester Regt. Died of pneumonia contracted on active service in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq)

At school he was a Prefect and played for the Cricket and Soccer teams. He became a soldier, serving in the South African War. He was married to Gladys Hopwood.

He was returning to England on leave when he died of pneumonia contracted in Mesopotamia. He is buried in France.

Aged 37

Robert Browne in the Radley College Cricket XI 1898

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

10th November 1918

Francis Storrs, Russian Order of St Anne. F Social 1897. Lt, HMS President, Royal Navy. Intelligence Corps. Died of pneumonia contracted on active service

At school, he was a prefect, the Sewell Scholar, and won the Historical Essay Prize and the Richards Gold Medal. After school he had a distinguished career as an academic, winning an Exhibition to Wadham College, Oxford, then attending Jesus College, Cambridge as a Rustat Scholar.  He became Professor at Elphinstone College, Mumbai and at Rangoon College in Burma. He qualified as a Barrister of the Inner Temple in 1911.  In 1912 he married Catherine Schiff.  They had two sons who both came to Radley on War Memorial Scholarships. The Storrs French Prize is still awarded in his memory.

In 1915 he served with the Russian Civil Service, then served with the Royal Navy in Greece in 1916.  Details of his career as the Head of Counter-Espionage in the Aegean from 1917 were published by Compton-MacKenzie in ‘Aegean memories.’ He was working for the War Office when he died from pneumonia following influenza – a victim of the great outbreak of Spanish flu which took more lives than WW1.

‘He was gifted with a charming kindliness and geniality. A colleague in the Russian work says, ‘It was impossible to work with him without loving him.’ The enthusiastic welcome with which his visits to the Radley College Mission (of which he was treasurer) were invariably hailed by the boys, showed how he had won their hearts. But, perhaps, his most marked characteristic was an unswerving devotion to duty.’ His chief writes of him: ‘I have never known anyone so zealous’ and so devoted to his work for the country for which he has given his life.’

His influence at Radley was so great among his peers that his loss was still lamented at the 1947 Centenary: ‘No truer Radleian fell in the two world wars than Francis Storrs, who died on the eve of the Armistice in 1918. No one would have rejoiced in the centenary more than he; no Old Radleian would have contributed more to the gaiety of the day.’

Aged 35

AND

Benjamin Croft, E Social 1898. Captain, London Regt (Artists Rifles). Killed in action in an unknown engagement

At school, he was a Junior Scholar. After school he went to London University, then trained as a Chartered Accountant. From 1901, he was accountant to the Board of the Green Cloth at Buckingham Palace. He served as a member of the Artists Rifles, and was commissioned in 1898. A keen all-round sportsman, Croft led the Battalion’s victorious bayonet team at Earls Court in 1914. Soon afterwards, he went to France, was advanced to Captain and was onetime attached to the 10th London Regiment.

The Battalion’s war diary, states Croft died 24 hours before the Armistice:

10.11.18: Battalion advanced in a N.E. direction and took up a line facing N.E. N. of the Mons-Maubeurge Road at 9.30 hours. While 188th Brigade passed through Asquillies (Battalion H.Q.) enemy shelled village with 5.9 howitzers causing some damage. At midday orders were received to relieve 56th Division on right. Battalion moved at 16.00 hours S. through Harvengt and took up line just E. of Harvengt. Captain Croft, B., 2 Lieutenant King, H. W., killed; 2 Lieutenant Conway, F. H., wounded; O.Rs killed 2; wounded 25. 10 November 1918: ‘Just after they had gone, I got news by runner, that poor old Croft had been killed. It is no use trying to tell you what that meant to the Battalion, or to me personally. He had not been back with us very long after a prolonged absence, and I know he felt like coming home when he rejoined us at Brias. He was always like a ray of sunshine if there was anything doing. With him were two other good fellows. 2nd Lieutenant King and Sergeant Garbutt; also a Lancer with whom they were talking at the time; a stray shell fell in the sunken road and killed all four of them.’

He was buried at Mons – a place he had last been in August 1914.

Benjamin Croft’s war medals were sold at auction in 2010

Aged 44

Lt Francis Storrs, RN

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

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

The grave of Frederick Haden at Monchy-le-Preux. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

The grave of Frederick Haden at Monchy-le-Preux. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

Battle of Passchendaele / 3rd Battle of Ypres

4th November 1917

Frederick Haden, H Social 1913. 2nd Lt, 11th Trench Mortar Battery. Killed in action, Passchendaele

Last year he passed the entrance examination at Trinity College, Cambridge, and the “Little Go,” but had not gone into residence. He went to the front on June 8, and after a short time with his battalion was attached to the T.M. Battery. His Captain expresses “the deepest sympathy and sorrow felt by the officers N.C.O.’s, and men of the battery, with whom he was a great favourite, and also the share in your loss, in that we have lost a most capable and efficient officer.”

The C.F. writes: “I had known him since his earliest days in this division, and known him for a quiet, charming boy a faithful Churchman, and quite fearless. Humanly speaking, we can ill-afford boys like that; they carry in them the promise of a tremendous manhood.”

Aged 19

AND

2nd Lt Frederick Haden. kia Passchendaele

2nd Lt Frederick Haden. kia Passchendaele

George Wilson, MC, F Social 1903. Major, 282nd Bde, Royal Field Artillery. Died of gas poisoning, Passchendaele

After school, he joined the London Stock Exchange.  He married in 1912. He joined up as a Territorial in August 1914, eventually going out to the Western Front in October 1915.  He was mentioned in despatches and promoted to the rank of acting Major.

He was one of four brothers.  His eldest brother (who also won the Military Cross) was killed in action in May 1916; his youngest brother died of wounds in November 1916.  His only surviving brother was serving at the Front with the Royal Field Artillery when George died of gas poisoning.

Aged 27

Major George Wilson, Royal Field Artillery. Died of gas poisoning, Passchendaele

Major George Wilson, Royal Field Artillery. Died of gas poisoning, Passchendaele

George Wilson's grave at Gwalia. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

George Wilson’s grave at Gwalia. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

The grave of Norman Albury at Aveloy.  Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

The grave of Norman Albury at Aveloy. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

15th September 1917

Norman Albury, F & E Socials 1911. 2nd Lt, 21st Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. Died of wounds received in an unknown engagement

He left Radley in July 1916 and joined the RFC in February 1917. At school he was a member of the earliest Rugby XV.

Aged 19

2nd Lt Norman Albury, RFC

2nd Lt Norman Albury, RFC

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 …

The grave of Charles Wilson at Level Crossing Cemetery. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

The grave of Charles Wilson at Level Crossing Cemetery. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

24th May 1917

Charles Wilson, MC, F Social 1900. 2nd Lt, 88th Cpy, Machine Gun Corps.  Killed in an unknown engagement

At school he was Head of F Social and Captain of Boats. After school, he went to Pembroke College, Oxford, where he rowed for the University, and then worked for the Dublin Stock Exchange.

Captain of the Boats at Radley, he rowed in the famous Pembroke College Eight of 1906; he also rowed in the Oxford Trial Eights in 1907. In 1912-13 he was Captain of the Lansdowne Football Club. In January, 1916, he was gazetted to the 6th Royal Munster Fusiliers from the Dublin University O.T.C., and went to the front in September, 1916. Later on he joined the Machine Gun Corps, and won the Military Cross, April 23rd, 1917. His Major writes of him : – ” His loss is very keenly felt by us, as he had become such a favourite amongst us all. He had just been awarded the Military Cross for gallantry in action on April 23rd. He was a splendid officer and a loyal and brave comrade.” Another officer writes of him :- He was one of the very best, cool and cheery in danger, and although I personally only knew him for the short period of two months, still I and all the officers, N.C.O.’s and men of the Company, learned to esteem and respect him as an example of the finest type of a soldier and gentleman. Such men as he are hard to replace, and his section would have followed him anywhere and done anything for him.’

Citation for the Military Cross He maintained control of his guns throughout the whole operations in a very effective manner. He inflicted severe losses on the enemy, and his coolness and determination was a splendid example to all.

Aged 31

2nd Lt Charles Wilson, Machine Gun Corps.  kia 24th May 1917

2nd Lt Charles Wilson, Machine Gun Corps. kia 24th May 1917

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

19th December 1916

Guy Boddington. F Social, 1906. Captain, 6th Bn, Royal Warwickshire Regt. Missing.

Guy Boddington was last seen alive on 19th December, 1916. In March 1917, The Radleian magazine reported him as ‘wounded and probably a prisoner of war in German hands.’ He is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial alongside all those others who have no known grave.

Before the War, he worked as a woollen merchant.

Aged 25