Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

1st 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 in 1907.

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

Obituary. 18.12.1918 R. G. Browne (Croome’s, 1895-1899) was in the cricket and football elevens. From the Militia he joined the Manchester Regiment, and served in the South African War (medal, with 3 clasps). Only a short time ago he was mentioned in despatches (Mesopotamia), and was awarded the D.S.O. He was returning to England on leave, when he died of pneumonia on the way.’

The date of his death was amended to 11 November 1918 in the Archivist’s copy of the Radley Register. However, the evidence for this is unknown and all other sources, including the Radleian magazine, give 1 November.

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


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 …

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

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

18th October 1918

Reginald Loxley, A Social 1910, Captain, Royal Air Force. Died of pneumonia on active service in France

He served first with the RNVR, then with the Navy Air Arm the RNAS which was later amalgamated with the Royal Flying Corps to form the RAF in the summer of 1918.  He served throughout the Gallipoli Campaign and was invalided home. He died of pneumonia in Paris.

His brother, Vere, was killed on the Somme in 1916.

Aged 31

Captain R Loxley, RAF, died 1918

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

16th October 1918

Thomas Babington, G Social 1903, Lt, Indian Army. Died of pneumonia on active service in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq)

Thomas Babington was a Junior Scholar. He played for the Cricket XI and was Captain of the Soccer team. After school, he attended Magdalen College, Oxford.  He went out to India in 1913 as Professor of English Literature at the Government College, Rangoon, Burma. He joined up in 1916 as a Lieutenant in the Indian Army Reserve of Officers; promoted to Acting Captain 108th Infantry in 1917.

Aged 29

Radley College prefects, 1908

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

14th October 1918

Arthur Buchanan, E Social 1899. Lt, 45th Wing, Royal Air Force. Died of illness whilst on leave from France

Arthur Buchanan was from Cape Town, South Africa. He only attended Radley for one year. On leaving school in 1900 he went back to South Africa. He returned in 1904 to attend Trinity College, Cambridge.

He served with the Royal Flying Corps/RAF throughout the war, including some time as a prisoner-of-war in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq).

He died whilst on leave from France and is buried in Brompton Cemetery.

Aged 34

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

1st April 1918

Walter Glossop, D Social 1878. Major, 225th (Kootenay) Bn, Canadian Expeditionary Force. Died in London of illness contracted in France

At school he was a prefect and played for the Football XI. After school he became a career soldier. He retired from the Suffolk Regiment in 1905 with the rank of Major and acting Lt-Colonel. He rejoined the Army for the war, and was gazetted to the Canadian Forces. Colonel Glossop had the medal and clasp for service with the Hazara Expedition of 1888. He is buried at Brookwood Cemetery.

In 1913 he married Margaret Stirling.  Their son, Francis, was born in 1916.  He came to Radley as a War Memorial Scholar in 1930.  Francis also became a career soldier. He died of wounds received in action in North-West Europe in 1945.  The Glossops are the only father and son to be named on both the Radley War Memorials.  They are also both commemorated in Canada on the War Memorial for Kettle’s Valley. Walter’s name is among 31 Canadian remembered the Ingram Bridge Cenotaph in British Columbia, constructed in 1924.

Aged 58

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

1st June 1917

Norcliffe Gilpin, G Social 1887. Lt, Royal Defence Corps.  Died of pneumonia at the Military Hospital, Tidworth

He worked as a timber merchant and then as Clerk to London County Council. The Royal Defence Corps was founded in 1916 It was initially formed by converting the (Home Service) Garrison battalions of infantry regiments. Garrison battalions were composed of soldiers either too old or medically unfit for active front-line service; the Home Service status indicated they were unable to be transferred overseas. The role of the corps was to provide troops for security and guard duties inside the United Kingdom; guarding important locations such as ports or bridges. It also provided independent companies for guarding prisoner-of-war camps. The corps was never intended to be employed on overseas service.

Aged 44