Today we remember …
|9th May 1915. Today we remember two Radleians who fell on the Western Front.Cyril Holland (born Cyril Wilde), E Social 1898. Captain, Royal Field Artillery. Killed in action at the Battle of Aubers Ridge, probably at Festubert. His brother, Vyvyan, believed that Cyril endeavoured to compensate for his father (Oscar’s) disgrace by his own courage in battle. Cyril and Vyvyan Wilde were sent to different schools after their father’s imprisonment in Reading Gaol, and their names changed to ‘Holland’ to conceal their identities. The name of Cyril’s father was omitted from the Radley Register until 1947. We do not know whether his school friends or teachers knew the tragic story of Cyril Wilde’s family|
| Robert Woodward, A Social 1891. Lt, South Wales Borderers. He is recorded in Radley Register as ‘killed in action at Richebourg l’Avoué in an unknown engagement’. This was originally thought to be during the 2nd Battle of Ypres, but recent research by his family has identified it as Aubers Ridge. He studied Natural Sciences at Oxford, then became a barrister, member of the Inner Temple in 1904.
The battle in which he (and I see poor Cyril Holland) died coincided in time with Second Ypres but was not part of that German assault. Instead it was part of British effort to help the French further south and it is properly called The Battle of Aubers Ridge. Robert’s records reveal he was promoted Captain just before his death and that he led A Company, 1st Battalion SWB. They took terrible casualties in a battle which, measuring losses against men engaged, was the worst yet for a British offensive. (Information from Alan Weir, family member, 18 October 2016)