Radley’s first Rugby team

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

15th June 1918

Edward Monson, MC, E Social 1912. Lt, 331st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Died of wounds received near Béthune

He was a member of Radley’s earliest Rugby team in 1914.

He passed in Woolwich in 1916 and was a Lt. in R.F.A. He went to France in Feb., 1918, and fought all through the Somme retreat, back to Amiens. He and another officer volunteered to take their guns into the infantry line, where they stayed for twelve hours. For this he gained the Military Cross. On the 29th he was gassed. His last action was on the night of June 14-15, when he was wounded by the explosion of a shell, which penetrated his steel helmet. He never recovered consciousness, and died on June 15. He had evidently made his mark in the Battery, both as a brave officer and a keen sportsman.

Citation for the Military Cross. This officer volunteered for special service, he and another officer at dawn taking two guns in front of the infantry line without escort and engaging the enemy, bringing back the limbers for more ammunition, and using it up. This action checked the enemy advance and afforded time for the withdrawal of the infantry.

Aged 20

Edward Monson in the 1914 Rugby team

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

The grave of William Marshall at Beulencourt. Photographed for 'Marching in Memory' for Combat Stress, July 2015

The grave of William Marshall at Beulencourt. Photographed for ‘Marching in Memory’ for Combat Stress, July 2015

Today we remember …

Battle of the Somme

12th October, 1916. William Marshall. A Social, 1910. 2nd Lt, 7th Bn, Suffolk Regt. Killed in action at Gueudecourt.

William Marshall was a member of Radley’s first Rugby XV in 1914. After school, he went to Sandhurst, intending to follow a military career. He was slightly wounded in September 1916 and had not been back at the Front for long before he was killed at Gueudecourt.

Aged 19

William Marshall, 2nd Lt, 7th Bn, Suffolk Regt. kia Battle of the Somme

William Marshall, 2nd Lt, 7th Bn, Suffolk Regt. kia Battle of the Somme

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

AH 'Sam' Hales, Captain, 1st Bn, Wiltshire Regt. kia First Battle of the Somme

AH ‘Sam’ Hales, Captain, 1st Bn, Wiltshire Regt. kia First Battle of the Somme

Today we remember…

5th July 1916. Arthur Hoare ‘Sam’ Hales, MC. Schoolmaster.  Captain, 1st Bn, Wiltshire Regt.  Killed in action at Canal du Nord, Battle of the Somme.

‘Sam’ Hales was educated at Rugby and Corpus, Oxford, taking honours in moderations and in the final school of modern history. He was in the Rugby School XV of 1900, and afterwards played for the Harlequins and the Monkstown team of 1902. At Oxford he was a rowing ‘Blue’ and rowed in the 1904 and 1905 Boat Race crews. He was an extremely popular teacher at Radley where he was one of the group of young Dons who encouraged the growth of Rugby as the school’s major sport.

He enlisted immediately war was declared in August 1914, as a private. He was awarded his commission ‘for gallantry.’ He won the Military Cross in March 1915 ‘for bringing in the wounded under heavy fire.’

The Radleian published a letter from him describing everyday life in the trenches:

I have heard several times from Mr. Hales, who is sergeant in the Wiltshires. It will be news to hear that, during his first three days in the trenches, even he was absolutely dead beat, as they had to carry up sandbags to mend the gaps in the trenches. His legs absolutely gave out. On the first night he fell into a Jack Johnson hole and was not dry for a week afterwards. Nor could he use his rifle for a day and a half as it was jammed with mud. He is full of praise for the food and bully beef. He has been under heavy fire several times, but he claims to be very good at keeping his head down. When we returned this term we heard that he had been wounded, but his own account is as follows; “A graze on head and arm from a bullet that splintered through a sand bag. Both wounds quite dry by the time I left the trenches next day.’’

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

The grave of Charles Ellerton at Ecoivres Cemetery. Photographed for 'Marching in Memory' for Combat Stress, July 2015

The grave of Charles Ellerton at Ecoivres Cemetery. Photographed for ‘Marching in Memory’ for Combat Stress, July 2015

Today we remember …

19th May  1916.  Charles Ellerton. Don.  Capt, 10th Bn, Cheshire Regt.  Killed in action during preparations for the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
Charles Ellerton was born in Cheshire in 1884. He was a Scholar of Jesus College, Cambridge, who came to teach at Radley early in 1914. He signed up almost immediately war broke out in 1914.Extract from a letter received from an Officer at the Front re Captain C. F. Ellerton: ‘He died at the head of a party of his company charging the enemy. It was an act of unnecessary bravery, as it was only a small party and he might have detailed it to a subaltern. I was told by a witness that he saved the life of one boy who was going to be bayoneted, by rushing in front and throwing a bomb at the Germans. He was at first badly wounded and refused to be carried away, ordering the stretcher bearers to save themselves. Immediately afterwards he was killed.’‘I saw his grave this afternoon. He is buried in the little cemetery in the wood at Mount St. Eloi. He was just reported missing, because it was not until the next night that it was possible to recover his body.’

The schoolboys he taught at Radley remembered him as ‘Though only here for a comparatively short time he made his influence felt in many ways here – on the “Rugger-field,” in “school,” and with the “recruits,” and there are many to whom the news of his death came as a real grief.’

Aged 32

Memorial1

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

The name of Richard Coote on the Loos Memorial. Photographed for 'Marching in Memory' for Combat Stress, July 2015

The name of Richard Coote on the Loos Memorial. Photographed for ‘Marching in Memory’ for Combat Stress, July 2015

Today we remember …

13th October 1915.  Richard Coote, A Social 1906.  Captain, 8th Bn, Royal Berkshire Regt.  Killed in action at Hulluch, Battle of Loos.

 

After school he trained as a lawyer at Lincoln’s Inn. Whilst living in London he was a very active supporter of the Radley Mission at St Peter’s, Wapping.

 

Aged 23.  He was one of three brothers who all served in WW1. His brother, George, fell in 1918

 

 

 

Richard Cote, Captain, 8th Bn, Royal Berkshire Regt. kia 13 October 1915

Richard Cote, Captain, 8th Bn, Royal Berkshire Regt. kia 13 October 1915

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

The name of Lance Vidal on the Loos Memorial. Photographed for 'Marching in Memory' for Combat Stress, July 2015

The name of Lance Vidal on the Loos Memorial. Photographed for ‘Marching in Memory’ for Combat Stress, July 2015

25th September 1915

Battle of Loos

This must be considered the darkest day in the history of Radley College. Eleven men from the College fell on this one day during the Battle of Loos and an unknown number were wounded. Many of the men were volunteers in Kitchener’s New Army, so the list of the Fallen includes young men from Radley village who had worked for the College and the first serving schoolmaster to be killed.

Although the long-drawn out campaigns of Gallipoli, the First Battle of the Somme, the Third Battle of Ypres (Paschendaele) claimed more lives overall, 25th September must stand forever as a day of mourning.

Lancelot Vidal, Schoolmaster, Tutor of A Social.  2nd Lt, 2nd Bn, Ox & Bucks Light Infantry.  Reported missing, believed killed in action on the first day of the Battle of Loos.

‘For days, even weeks, we entertained hopes that the news might be false, but eight weeks have now elapsed, and we can now only fear the worst.  He was last seen in the German trenches in the attack on Sept. 25th. when in charge of a machine gun … it has since been learnt that he was killed by a shell whilst pushing forward with his section in the early morning of September 25.’

Lance Vidal was the first serving schoolmaster of Radley College to fall in the Great War. He volunteered in 1914, having held the post of Tutor of A Social for two weeks. He was a popular Don at Radley and was one of those instrumental in introducing and promoting rugby football as the school’s major sport. He had played for Harlequins before joining Radley. He was also Master in Charge of Cricket.

Memorial1

Commemorating the Fallen of WW1

Today we remember …

23rd June 1915. Ronald Morkill, B Social 1905. Lt, Royal Flying Corps. Killed in a flying accident near Brighton.  He was the first Radleian airman to die in WW1.Aged 22.  He married Ellen Wilkinson in 1914

Ronald Morkill, Lt, RFC. Killed in a flying accident, 23 June 1915

Ronald Morkill, Lt, RFC. Killed in a flying accident, 23 June 1915