Lieutenant

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 …

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

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 …

24th March 1918

Donald MacIver, B Social 1899, Lt, 3rd Bn, South Lancashire Regt

Killed in action, Second Battle of the Somme

He left school before 1902 and became a farmer.  He enlisted with the Liverpool Scottish on 6th August 1914 and went to the Front immediately.  He was wounded in 1914, but returned and served in France until 1918.

His name is recorded on the Pozières Memorial

Aged 33

Donald MacIver, B Social 1902

Donald Maciver’s name on the Pozieres Memorial. Photographed by Nick Bennet & Charlie Barber for ‘Marching in Memory’ July 2015

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

3rd December 1917

Dominic Watson, A Social 1902. Lt, Somerset Light Infantry. Killed in action in an unknown engagement

He was the Master of Bath and County Harriers from 1911-1914.

In October, 1914, he joined the 19th Hussars as a private, but afterwards transferred to the West Somerset Yeomanry. As he was anxious to go oversea he took a commission in the Somerset Light Infantry, and left England in October, 1916. He had seen much severe fighting. His only brother fell in the South African War.

Aged 30

Lt Dominic Watson, Somerset LI

Lt Dominic Watson, Somerset LI

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 …

Clive Moore's name on the Arras Memorial.  Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

Clive Moore’s name on the Arras Memorial. Photographed for Marching in Memory, July 2015

15th August 1917. Clive Moore, H Social 1910. Lt, 43rd Squadron, Royal Flying Corps. Missing in action on 15th August 1917, death confirmed in June 1918

He left Radley just as the war broke out, and took a commission in the Royal Fusiliers. Although he loved the life when training, eventually after serving in France, he transferred to the R.F.C.  He was reported missing on Aug. 15th, and it is now believed that he has been killed, as no news has been received of him since that date.

He was developing into a very strong and capable man, but it was more especially in his straightness of character that he made- his mark amongst all with whom he came into contact.

Aged 20

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

Third Battle of Ypres – Passchendaele

31st July 1917. Walter Jessopp, H Social 1909. Lt, Machine Gun Corps.  Killed in action, Passchendaele

His company commander writes :-“He was a great favourite with all my officers and his men loved him. . . His courage and splendid character were brought to the notice of the General commanding the brigade, and he has been mentioned for his good work from time to time.”

Listed on the Menin Gate.

Aged 20

Lt Walter Jessopp, Machine Gun Corps. Killed at Passchendaele

Lt Walter Jessopp, Machine Gun Corps. Killed at Passchendaele