SECOND LIEUTENANT A. M. ADAMS, M.C., 9TH BATTALION THE KING’S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT)
Arthur Marston Adams, son of the late George Arthur Adams of Rock Ferry, died of wounds received in Belgium on September 20, 1917. He entered the School in 1906, and on leaving in 1910worked with Lever Brothers, Limited, in their export department. In October 1915 he joined the Artists' Rifles O.T.C., obtained his commission in June 1916, and went out to France in August of the same year. He saw a lot of fighting on the Somme and elsewhere, and was awarded the Military Cross in May 1917 'for conspicuous gallantry and devotion when in charge of reconnoitering patrols and raiding parties, frequently under hazardous conditions. On one occasion he entered an enemy sap, capturing prisoners, and returned without a casualty.’ His Colonel wrote: - ‘I now write to tell you how sorry I am to lose such a very excellent officer. I put him in command of a company before the attack, and up to the time that he was wounded he led his men in a splendid manner. He has always been a very great help to me in the battalion, and we are all very sorry to lose him.' A brother officer wrote: - ‘He came nobly forward to fight for an honourable and just cause, acquitted himself with courage and fortitude in all enterprises, endeared himself in the hearts of the men, and displayed all the noble qualities which are the inheritance of his race. His charming manner made him a great favourite among the officers, who all mourn his loss.’
REV. N. ALDRIDGE, CHAPLAIN TO THE FORCES.
NOEL ALDRIDGE, son of the late Charles Aldridge, F.R.I.B.A., of Birkenhead, was born in 1879, and died of pneumonia at Cleveland, Transvaal, on September 7, 1916. He entered the School in 1893 and left in 1897, after which he took a B.A. degree at Liverpool University. In 1901-2 he fought in the Boer War as a sergeant in the Royal Engineers. Returning to England in 1903 he entered Lichfield Theological College, and was ordained in the same year. He returned to South Africa, and in 1906 was vicar of Rodepoort, and in 1910 of Cleveland. When the war broke out he took an Army Chaplaincy and served through the campaign in German SouthWest Africa, being ' mentioned in despatches.’ He was worn out as the result of this campaign and would have come home, but it was important that ‘St. George's Home’ an orphanage of which he had been appointed ‘Head.’ should be built. At this he worked as bricklayer, joiner, etc., and got everything in order; but three days before the chapel was to be opened he died, after five days' illness. His Bishop, who travelled up specially to be present at his funeral, wrote of him:- ‘His death is the biggest blow which the diocese has received for many a long day, and scores of individuals, and I among them, will miss him as a friend more than they can say. ... He had such very special gifts for the work which he was doing at St. George's Home - gifts, so far as my experience goes, such as you find extraordinarily seldom combined in one man. He was a genius with boys: he combined the sentiment and love of a mother with the sternness and discipline of a father; to his natural gifts for such work he had added, by sheer hard work and study, just that practical capacity for turning his hand to anything that had to be done, from putting up a building to soling a shoe or cooking a dinner, which stood him and his boys in such good stead. And he thought. I always felt about him that he was growing all the time; he was dead keen on becoming a real expert in his particular job, and he bent all his energies to that end. Very levelheaded and thoroughly sane, an old head on young shoulders, and with it all a humble heart and a very simple and childlike faith in our Blessed Lord.’
LIEUTENANT C. W. ARKLE, ROYAL AIR FORCE, CHARLES W. ARKLE, son of the late W. B. Arkle of Birkenhead, was born in 1893, and was accidentally killed near Boulogne on September 27, 1918. He entered the School in 1904 and left in 1908, subsequently serving an apprenticeship of four years at Cammell Laird's. In October 1914 he joined the Royal Engineers as a despatch rider, and crossed to France in June 1915. Early in 1916 he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, and returned to England in March 1917. After lecturing and instructing in aerial observation in England, he returned to France in January 1918. His death took place at Marquise Aerodrome, outside Boulogne, as the result of an accident. While starting up an aeroplane in order to test the engine, he slipped and was struck by the propeller. Two days before his death the aerodrome was heavily bombed at night, and his commanding officer had recommended him for a mention in despatches for the work which he did in reassuring the men and attending the wounded while himself exposed to attack from the air.
LIEUTENANT E. S. ASHCROFT, 17TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). EDWARD STANLEY ASHCROFT,
second son of Charles Wesley Ashcroft of Birkenhead, was born in Liverpool in 1882, and died of wounds while a prisoner in the hands of the Germans on May 12, 1918. He entered the School in 1896 and left in 1900, He was a School Prefect, Captain of the Football XV, and a member of the Cricket XI. On leaving School he went into business in Liverpool, and for many years played three-quarter for Birkenhead Park and Cheshire. On one occasion he was chosen to represent the North of England, but was unable to play owing to an injury. In August 1914 he joined the ranks of the 17th King's (Liverpool Regiment), and later obtained his commission. Ongoing to France in July 1916, he was attached to the 12th Battalion, and in the Battle of the Somme was badly wounded in September. He rejoined in September 1917, and on April 29, 1918, he was reported ‘wounded and missing.’ After several months without news, it was announced that he had died of wounds shortly after being taken prisoner. His loss is a severe one, and one which concerns the School very greatly, for he had for many years been the life and soul of the work at the School Mission. He had a positive genius for work of this sort. Night after night he gave up to the Club. But it was a great deal more than the regularity of his attendance there that has made his loss an irreparable one. He loved the work for its own sake, and formed real friendships with many of the boys, upon whom his strong, straight, and manly character had a tremendous influence. Most of his spare time was devoted to the interests of young people, and in addition to all that he did at the School Club he was superintendent of a Sunday school. He realised more than most the value and duty of service, and in living up to the highest ideals which he set before himself he was actuated by the highest of all motives—the love of God.
LIEUTENANT W. ASHCROFT, I9TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). WILLIAM ASHCROFT, eldest son of Charles Wesley Ashcroft of Birkenhead, was born in Liverpool in 1881, and was killed in action near St. Quentin on March 22, 1918. He entered the School in 1896 and left in 1900. He was a School Prefect, Captain of the Cricket XI, and a member of the Football XV. On leaving School he went up to Caius College, Cambridge, with a Classical Exhibition. He returned to Liverpool after taking his degree and studied law, and when war broke out was a partner in the firm of Dodds, Ashcroft & Cook. For some years he had played as a forward in the Birkenhead Park Rugby XV, and also for Cheshire. In August 1914 he joined the ranks of the 17 th King's (Liverpool Regiment), and later obtained a commission in the 19th Battalion. He crossed to France in 1915, and was Adjutant of his battalion during the Battle of the Somme in 1916. On April 9, 1917, he was badly wounded during the Battle of Arras, but, after some time in England, he went back to France in January 1918, where he was killed two months later. He devoted practically all his spare time to social work in connection with the Wesleyan Church, and was Sunday School Superintendent at the Central Hall Mission in Liverpool. To him the School, too, owes a great deal, for no Old Boy was ever more devoted, and as Honorary Secretary of the Old Birkonian Society he did a vast amount of ungrudging work both for the School and for its Old Boys. He was better known to the present boys of the School than any other Old Boy, and his loss was felt by very many of them. Possessing a simple and childlike nature, he made friends very readily with those younger than himself, and was never happier than when with them; while the influence of his truly Christian life upon them makes his untimely death little short of a tragedy.
SECOND LIEUTENANT F. ASHCROFT, 18TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). FREDERICK ASHCROFT, fourth son of Charles Wesley Ashcroft of Birkenhead, was born in Liverpool in 1886, and was killed in action at Arras on April 9, 1917. He entered the School in 1896 and left in 1905. He was a School Prefect, Captain of the Cricket XI, and a member of the Football XV. He was in the cricket team for four years and in his last year made more runs than have ever been made by any boy in one year at the School, besides taking over a hundred wickets. As a footballer he was a remarkably good half-back, and can have been equalled by few other schoolboys. He was, unfortunately, injured while still at School, and was unable to play while at Cambridge. He went up to Emmanuel College with a Classical Exhibition and on taking his degree became a schoolmaster, working first at Hillside, Godalming, and afterwards at Rhos-on-Sea Preparatory School. In August 1914 he joined the ranks of the 17th King's (Liverpool Regiment), and later obtained a commission in the 18th Battalion. He went to France in January 1917, and was killed three months later. To him a soldier's life was particularly distasteful, and few can have realised how great was the sacrifice he made in leaving a life which he enjoyed thoroughly for one which his sensitive nature made very hard for him. Of a simple and affectionate disposition, but shy and reserved, he was not well known to many, but all respected him and saw in him a man of high ideals and straight character. He loved his work, and was eminently suited to it, and his death is among the most pathetic of all that the war has caused when one considers how he must have suffered in a life for which he was but little fitted. As a schoolmaster he had the knack of making the boys his friends, and his loss was felt as a personal one by many who had been taught by him. The secret of his influence was his beautiful simplicity and natural goodness.
LIEUTENANT C. B. ASTLEY, IOTH (SCOTTISH) BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGT.). CHRISTOPHER BASIL ASTLEY,
youngest son of Rev. John Henry Astley, M.A., late of New Brighton, was born on April 5, 1896, and died of wounds on July 37, 1918, at Rouen. He entered the School in 1911, was in the Cricket XI, and showed much promise both as a cricketer and footballer; he left in 1912, and was, on the outbreak of war, in business in Liverpool. On August 6, 1914, he enlisted in the Liverpool Scottish, and subsequently obtained his commission in the same battalion. In October 1916 he crossed to France and was attached to the London Scottish, and was congratulated by the commanding officer for bringing in some very valuable information gained in a night patrol. The following May he transferred to his own battalion, and after a few hours with them was wounded and returned to England. In April 1918 he was accepted for transfer to the R.A.F., and meanwhile was attached to the 6th Seaforth Highlanders. On one occasion he succeeded in bringing in seven German prisoners from a night patrol, thereby saving the battalion many casualties, and for this he was recommended for the Military Cross. On July 21 he was wounded in the neck by a piece of shrapnel, and died six days later in hospital. His Colonel wrote:- ‘I cannot tell you how grieved I was to hear of his death. He was a first-class officer, and I was very sorry that he had elected to try for the R.A.F., as he was doing excellent work with us, and would have got command of a company in a short time. I hope that you and Mrs., Astley will accept my very deep sympathy and my thanks on behalf of the regiment for his gallant sacrifice.’ The Chaplain wrote: - ‘I saw a good deal of your son while he was with us, and I know how much he was liked and admired by officers and men alike. He always attended the celebration of the Holy Communion when he was out of the line, and I was very much struck by his fine character.’ A Major of the Liverpoo l Scottish wrote: - ‘Chris. has certainly died a glorious death, having loyally and faithfully done his duty, and in this knowledge you may possibly gain some consolation; also from the fact and I feel sure of this, that he has died beloved by all who knew him especially those of us his brother officers of the old 2 nd Battalion. He was a splendid young officer, a fine comrade and a very gallant soldier.’
SECOND LIEUTENANT C. N. BAILDON, I5TH BATTALION THE DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY. CHRISTOPHER NEVILE BAILDON,
son of Frederick Nevile Baildon of Liverpool, was born on May 1, 1893, and was killed in action near Arras on May 3, 1917. He entered the School in January 1908 and left in December 1909, going into the Royal Insurance Company in Liverpool. Previous to the war he had for four years been in the ranks of the 4th Cheshires, and was mobilised with them in August 1914. In March 1915 he obtained a commission in the 18th Durham Light Infantry, and was subsequently attached to the 21st Battalion. On March 7, 1916, he went to France with the 15th Battalion, and on the Somme on July 1, 1916, he led his men over the top, but was wounded at once. He returned to France in December, and was made acting Captain, and served as Town Major at Boiry St. Marc. His battalion was with the First Army at the Battle of Arras, and they were the first to break into the Hindenburg Line, a part of which they took from the Germans. This was lost later, and after two attacks had failed to recover it, all being killed who had made the attempt, he volunteered to try again. Of this act a senior officer said that no braver deed had been done during the war, and that no decoration would have been too great to confer. The attack succeeded, but Baildon was wounded, and after fighting on was killed by the explosion of a mine. His body was never recovered. No letters of the ordinary kind were received by his parents, as the mails went down in the Channel, but subsequent letters told of how his â€˜memory was revered,â€™ and his bravery and fine character remembered.
CAPTAIN G. L. BAND, IOTH BATTALION THE NORTHUMBERLAND FUSILIERS. GEORGE LAIDMAN BAND,
youngest son of William George Band of Birkenhead, was killed in action in France on June 20, 1917 He entered the School in 1905 and left in 1912, having previously been in the Preparatory since 1903. At the outbreak of war he was with the firm of Simpson, Roberts & Co., provision merchants, Liverpool. Having been in the Liverpool Scottish prior to hostilities he was at once called up, and went out to France in the ranks in November 1914. He was early invalided home, and obtained his commission in April 1915, and returned to France in September of the same year. At the time of his death he held the rank of Captain and Adjutant. He was ‘mentioned in despatches’ in November 1916. A brother officer wrote: - ‘It was a very sad and unfortunate day for the battalion, as it lost through one shell three of its best and most honoured members - your son, the Commanding Officer, and the Assistant Adjutant.'
MAJOR W. BATES, CANADIAN INFANTRY. WILLIAM BATES,
second son of William Bates, late underwriter of the Sea Insurance Company of Liverpool, was born in 1880, and died of wounds received on March 18, 1916, in France. He entered the School in 1891 and left in 1893. He was for a few years in business in Liverpool, but in 1903 he sailed for Canada to take up farming. He was a keen Volunteer, and attained the rank of Major in the 22nd Saskatchewan Light Horse in 1911. On the outbreak of war he was employed on various important military duties in Canada and England until December 1915. He had only been three months in France when he was wounded by shrapnel, and died five days later. His Colonel wrote: - â€˜He was a very gallant and efficient officer, and one that could not be spared. He was beloved by his men, and was a man that had the happy knack of getting the best out of his company.â€™
CAPTAIN L. J. BATES, M.C., TANK CORPS. LEONARD JOHN BATES,
youngest son of William Bates, late underwriter of the Sea Insurance Company of Liverpool was accidentally killed during disembarkation at Dublin on November 14, 1917. He entered the School in 1895, having previously been in the Preparatory, and left in 1900. He was a member both of the Cricket XI and Football XV. He became an engineer, and from 1910 till November 1914 was acting in that capacity at Lobitos, in Peru. On returning to England he joined the 18th Royal Fusiliers, and saw service in France. In September 1916 he returned to France in charge of a tank - the first time they were in action. In July 1917 he was promoted Captain, and later received the Military Cross. The description of the deeds for which this was given reads as follows: - â€˜As section commander he led his tanks into action on foot, on several occasions guiding them over difficult ground under heavy fire. It was due to his resource and great gallantry that the tanks of his section reached their objective and rendered valuable assistance to the infantry.â€™ He was buried in Dublin with the fullest military honours.
CAPTAIN A. H. BAZETT, 4TH BATTALION THE CHESHIRE REGIMENT. ARTHUR HUGH BAZETT,
only son of Mr. and Mrs. Bazett formerly of Birkenhead, was born on February 8, 1890, and was killed in action at Gallipoli on August 9, 1915. He entered the School in 1899, after a year in the Preparatory, and left in 1904, when he entered Marlborough College. At the outbreak of war he was a salesman in a cotton merchant's office in Liverpool. In March 1909 he joined the 4th Cheshire Regiment, and took his commission in November of the same year. In July 1914 he reached the rank of Captain. Having volunteered for foreign service as soon as war was declared, he went out to Gallipoli with his regiment, and very soon afterwards fell in action while leading his men.
CAPTAIN E. A. BELL, ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS. EDWARD AUGUSTINE BELL, M.B., B.Sc.Lond, son of William Bell, M.R.C.S., J.P., was born at New Brighton on September 20, 1877, and accidentally drowned while on active service in France on July 11, 1916. He entered the School, where he was in the Football XV, in 1893, and left in 1896, entering King's College, London, with a scholarship. He gained both Junior and Senior Scholarships, the Tanner Prize for obstetrics, and was Prosector at the Royal College of Surgeons. Qualifying M.R.C.S.Eng. in 1902, he took the M.B.Lond. in the same year and the B.Sc. in 1903. After holding the post of House Surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital, he settled in New Brighton as assistant, and subsequently partner, to his father, at whose death in 1915 he succeeded to the whole practice. In November 1915 he was appointed Surgeon to the British Hospital at Wimereux, and later was attached as Surgeon Specialist to the Anglo-American Hospital. He was bathing at Wimereux in the evening, after a heavy day's work, and it is supposed that he was exhausted, as, when almost in his depth, he called for help, and sank before assistance reached him. Captain Bell was a keen athlete, playing for his hospital in the Inter-Hospital Cup Ties, and as a tennis player he represented Cheshire and won prizes in many open tournaments. One of his colleagues in France writes of him: - â€˜Bell worked for the patients day and night, and was loved by them all. He did forty-six operations the day before he died, and was quite exhausted by it. His was a fine nature, strong and true and capable, tender and untiring with the men, loyal to all our interests. He died in the midst of his work and at the height of his unselfishness.â€™
PRIVATE W. H. BELL, 3RD BATTALION SOUTH AFRICAN INFANTRY. WILLIAM HENRY BELL,
son of Joseph Bell, was born at Lisburn, in Ireland, on March 27, 1870, and was killed at Agagia, in Egypt, in the campaign against the Sennussi. He entered the School in 1883 and left in 1887. During the Boer War he joined Strathcona's Horse in Canada, where he had been for some years in the North-Western Mounted Police. He rose to be a sergeant, and was offered, but refused, a commission. At the outbreak of the great war he was in South Africa, and joined the Natal Light Horse. He fought in putting down the rebellion against the British Government, and later in the campaign in German South-West Africa. When this was ended he joined the South African Infantry, though considerably over age, and came to England for training. This latter body was sent to Egypt to put down the Sennussi Rebellion, and here he fell in the Battle of Agagia on February 26, 1916.
SECOND LIEUTENANT C. C. M. BELL, ROYAL AIR FORCE. CALLUM CRAIG MUNRO BELL was born in Trinidad on June 3, 1899, and was accidentally killed while flying on August 16, 1918. He entered the School in 1909 and left in 1916. He was in the Football XV, and showed promise also in cricket. In the corps he held the rank of lance-corporal. Before leaving School he passed the preliminary examination of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. On September 3, 1917, he joined the Inns of Court O.T.C., and after three months' training transferred to the Royal Flying Corps as a cadet. In less than two months he obtained his commission. His Squadron Commander said of him that he was one of the very best pupils and airman they had ever had; he was the first in his squadron to obtain his ‘wings,’ and was under instruction for special duty as a flying scout. In July 1918 he was entrusted with the duty of flying new machines to France, and was employed upon other special services. While flying on August 16, 1918, the left wing of his aeroplane, which carried the lateral controls, broke, and he ‘crashed’ from 250 feet, being killed instantaneously.
LIEUTENANT J. M. BIBBY, 8TH BATTALION THE EAST YORKSHIRE REGIMENT, JOSEPH MORTON BIBBY,
eldest son of Joseph Bibby of Birkenhead, was reported ‘missing’ on May 13,1917, after an attack before Monchy, in France, and has not been heard of since. He entered the School in 1903 and left in 1904. At the time of the outbreak of war he was a junior director of the firm of J. Bibby & Sons, Limited, seed crushers, Liverpool. With his two brothers he joined the ranks of the 17th King's (Liverpool Regiment), and went overseas with his regiment to France, where he was wounded. He subsequently obtained a commission, and a fortnight after his Colonel reported that he went into the above battle with his men but that no trace of him was afterwards ever discovered.
PRIVATE C. L. BIBBY, I7TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). CHARLES LESLIE BIBBY,
second son of Joseph Bibby of Birkenhead, died of wounds received in France on August 17, 1916. He entered the School in 1903 and left in 1909. He was a member of the Football XV. With his brothers he enlisted in the 17th King's (Liverpool Regiment), and after some months' training crossed to France. He was reported as wounded a few days before the battle at Guillemont, but he had evidently returned almost immediately, for he was present at the battle on July 30, 1916, when he was wounded and lay out in the open for twenty-four hours before being brought in. He died of his wounds seventeen days later at Abbeville, and his body lies buried in the Communal Cemetery of that city.
CAPTAIN W. H. BLOOR, ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY. H. BLOOR, second son of Alderman Henry Bloor, J.P., of Hoylake, was born on July 18, 1891, and was killed in action at Ypres on January 3, 1918. He entered the School in 1902, having previously been in the Preparatory, and left in 1907. After leaving School he served his apprenticeship with the Thames & Mersey Marine Insurance Company, and later transferred to the National Provident Institution. He had, since 1907, been in the Denbighshire Hussars as a trooper, and at the time of the Investiture of the Prince of Wales at Carnarvon Castle was chosen as one of the Body Guard. In 1915, having reached the rank of sergeant in the Denbighshire Hussars, he obtained his commission in the R.F.A., and at the time of his death was acting Major, His Colonel wrote: - ‘He was a very gallant and capable officer, and was greatly loved by the officers and men of the brigade’ The Chaplain wrote: - ‘I admired his simple, manly character immensely: he was so good to the men and so thoroughly capable and dependable.’ WILLIAM
CAPTAIN C. R. BOLTON, 19TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). CECIL ROWLEY BOLTON,
the eldest son of Walter Rowley Bolton of Birkenhead, was killed in action near Arras on February 22, 1917. He entered the School in 1899 and left in 1905. For the first seven years after leaving School he was with the Royal Insurance Company, and for two and a half years subsequently with Messrs. Boutcher, Mortimore & Co. On joining the 1st City Battalion (Pals) K.L.R. he was at once given a commission, owing to his previous experience in the Cheshire Engineers and 4th Cheshires. He obtained his Captaincy in January 1915, and went to France in September 1916. He was killed in action near Arras on February 22, 1917, being buried by a German trench mortar and killed instantaneously. His Colonel wrote: - ‘Your loss is a great one, and I, too, of course in a much lesser degree, have suffered a great loss in losing one of my best officers. Brave, intelligent, and hard-working to a degree, a man whom, though I had only known a few months, I had learned to love and respect.’ And the Chaplain wrote: - ‘I saw a lot of him at one time or another, and I well remember a long talk after dinner one day in his mess, where we spoke of the things that matter in this life, and I shall look back on that evening as a memory of a good man: would that we were all like him.’ To him the School owes a debt of gratitude, for it was he who started the Company of the Boys' Brigade in connection with the School Mission (Boys' Club), which without him could never have reached its present flourishing condition.
LIEUTENANT A. BOWEN, 8TH BATTALION THE MANCHESTER REGIMENT. ALAN BOWEN, son of the late Essex Bowen, M.D.,
of Birkenhead, was killed in action at Krithia, Gallipoli, on August 7, 1915. He entered the School in 1890 and left in 1896. After leaving School he had been for a number of years in the Liverpool & London & Globe Insurance Co. (Manchester branch). At the beginning of the war he joined the 8th Manchesters as a private, and after obtaining his commission went out to Gallipoli with a draft in July 1915. He was among those who fell before Krithia, of whom nothing was ever seen again. His Colonel wrote as follows: - â€˜I had only recently met Lieutenant Bowen, and had noted him as an officer who would be of great use to his country in the field.â€™
SECOND LIEUTENANT D. C. B. BRIEN, 3RD CHESHIRE ENGINEERS. DESMOND CECIL BAGGE BRIEN, son of the late Dr. E. H. Brien of Rock Ferry, Birkenhead, was born
in November 1894, and was killed in action in France early in October 1915. He entered the School in 1910 and left in 1911. During that time he was a member of the School House. At the time of the outbreak of war he was in business in Liverpool. After crossing to France, he had not seen much fighting before he was reported ‘missing.’ No further news was ever heard of him, and it is not even known on which of the days of severe fighting, between October 1 and 4, he was killed. There is no photo of Second Lieutenant Brien.
SECOND LIEUTENANT P. T. BRUCE, IOTH (SCOTTISH) BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGT.), ATTACHED ROYAL AIR FORCE.
PHILIP THOMSON BRUCE,
elder son of Thomas W. Bruce of Birkenhead, was born on June 13, 1898, and was shot down and killed south of Albert on May 30, 1918. He entered the School in 1909, having previously been in the Preparatory, and left in 1916. He was in the Football XV, and was an excellent forward of the light but plucky type. In the School Corps he held the rank of lance-corporal. He joined the Liverpool Scottish in July 1916, and soon afterwards was sent to an O.C.B. Transferring to the R.A.F., after some months' training he went out to France on March 30, 1918, and joined the 43rd Squadron. After being reported ‘missing’ for some weeks, news was received from Germany that he had been shot down and killed. His Squadron Commander wrote: - ‘He was on patrol duty with the rest of the flight when they got into a scrap with a number of Huns, south of Bapaume. He was last seen fighting with three or four Huns, of whom two were engaged and drawn off by his Flight Commander. He was seen diving down, having control of his machine, but was not seen again. He is a great loss to the squadron, as he was very keen and an excellent pilot. He is credited with putting a Hun down in flames in the last fight.’
LIEUTENANT J. L. CHESTER, 9TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). JAMES LESLIE CHESTER,
only son of James Thomas Chester, J.P., of Wallasey, was born on September 4, 1895, and was killed in action in France on July 6, 1915. He entered the School in 1905 and left in 1913, and during his last year was Head of the House and Captain of the Cricket and Football teams. His early promise in both these games was fulfilled as a member of Birkenhead Park Cricket Club and New Brighton Football Club. On leaving School he worked in the office of an architect and surveyor in Liverpool, and found time to give valued assistance at the School Mission in the evenings. For some years he had been in camp regularly with the Mission, where he was invaluable and beloved by all. In fact, he was in camp when war broke out, and returned on August 9, 1914, to enlist as a private in the 6th King's (Liverpool Regiment). On November 16 he obtained his commission in the 9th Battalion, and crossed to France on March 12, 1915. On June 21 he was promoted Lieutenant, after having seen a lot of hard fighting and having had many narrow escapes. At the time of his death he was acting Captain. Many letters received by his parents show that the estimate formed of his character at School, where his powerful influence for good was widely felt, was amply borne out in the army. His Colonel wrote of him: - ‘Your gallant little son was one of the best officers I ever met for his age. I placed him in command of a company some weeks ago, and his ability and command over men were wonderful, and I am sure had he been spared he would have achieved distinction in his military career.’ The following extracts from a letter written by a sergeant bear out the same thing: - ‘It seems to me as though someone dear had gone out of our lives. I can truthfully say every man in the platoon, and in fact the whole of “A” Company, worshipped him. He was the finest soldier officer we had, and also a thorough gentleman ... I myself have had over twelve years’ army experience, and never knew such affection shown for an officer as was felt towards Mr. Chester. We have lost more by losing your lad than words can express. To us he was our ideal officer. ... He was truly our guide, philosopher, and friend.... Our captain died like a soldier, and let us pray his life was not given in vain for the cause we are fighting for.’
PRIVATE W. COOP, IOTH (SCOTTISH) BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGT.). WILFRID Coop, son of the
late John Hague Coop of Ashton-under-Lyne, was Sixth Form Master at the School from 1906 till 1914. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School and St. John's College, Cambridge, where he was a Classical Scholar. He took a Second Class in both parts of the Classical Tripos. Though more than most people he disliked the idea of fighting and had little natural aptitude for a soldier's life, he was ill at ease until he had joined the ranks of the Liverpool Scottish in November 1914. After a very short period of training he crossed to France in January 1915, and died of wounds received at Hooge on June 16, 1915. It may be said of him that he was a model Sixth Form Master. Judged by the success of his pupils in Scholarship examinations at the Universities, his record at the School was a remarkable one. Few can point to two Classical Scholarships in one year at Trinity College, Cambridge. But he was something more than just a great teacher. He inspired his pupils with a genuine keenness on their work, as well as with a deep affection for himself. Owing to his very retiring disposition he was not very well known to the majority of the School, but those who did know him felt that they owed more to him than they could say, and all respected and admired him for his keenness on the School, his simplicity, and the obvious beauty of his character. Those who knew him even slightly realised what a sacrifice he was making in leaving the work he loved for a life that was entirely distasteful to him. His loss is among the heaviest that the School has been called upon to bear.
SECOND LIEUTENANT A. P. DAVIES, ROYAL FLYING CORPS, P. DAVIES, son of the late Peter Davies of New Brighton, was born on April 7, 1899, and was accidentally killed while flying on March 22, 1918. He entered the School in 1912 and left in 1915, and took up motor engineering. In 1917 he joined the Inns of Court O.T.C., but later transferred to the R.F.C. He was on his second solo flight when he met with his fatal accident. It was thought that he flew too high and fainted at the height of about 12,000 feet. ARTHUR
CAPTAIN G. W. DEAKIN, ROYAL ENGINEERS. GEORGE WELSBY DEAKIN, elder son of Thomas Deakin, J.P., of Birkenhead, died at West Kirby, as the result of an illness contracted in the course of his duties, on March 21, 1916. He entered the School in 1892 and left in 1893. He then went to Liverpool University, and was afterwards admitted by examination as an Associate Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers. He was also a member of the Society of Mechanical Engineers, He served his articles with the late C. H. Belve of Liverpool, on whose recommendation he carried out the important work of setting out the Transporter Bridge across the Mersey at Runcorn. He also subsequently carried out the construction of a large steel swing bridge, the largest built up to that time, at the Bristol Docks. He was an excellent performer on the violoncello, and many will remember listening to him with great pleasure at School concerts, where he was always enormously popular. Soon after the war began he was offered and accepted a commission as Captain in the Royal Engineers. He was sent up to the War Office and promoted to the rank of Staff Captain. His illness, which eventually proved fatal, was the result of his work and the conditions under which it was done. The Director of Movements at the War Office wrote: - â€˜During nearly the whole of his service your husband was attached to the War Office staff, where he was engaged on special work which, by his high professional experience and devotion to duties, was brought by him to a successful conclusion, and earned the appreciation of the Authorities with the British Expeditionary Force for whom the work was carried out. Apart from his work, your husband had endeared himself to all the staff by his kindly personality.â€™
RIFLEMAN C. N. DOD, 6TH (RIFLES), ATTACHED 10TH. BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). CHARLES NORMAN DOD,
third son of T. H. Dod, late of Birkenhead, was born in 1897, and was reported ‘missing’ in France in April 1918. He entered the School in 1908 and left in 1912, having previously been in the Preparatory. When war broke out he was in the Union Marine Insurance Company, Liverpool, and in May 1916 he enlisted in the ranks of the 6th King's (Liverpool Regiment), being then under nineteen years of age. In August of the same year he went to France, and was in the front line trenches. He was reported ‘missing’ after being in action on April 29, 1918, near St. Quentin. From information subsequently received it appears that he was then attached to the 89th Trench Mortar Battery, with which he had been for six months. The enemy were attacking in great numbers, and Dod, with four others in an advanced post, held on till the enemy were thirty yards away. They then received orders to fall back on the main line, and in doing so were caught by machine-gun fire in the open. Only one man got back, who reported having seen Dod hit in the neck and fall, presumably dead.
LIEUTENANT H. J. M. EDGAR, ‘DRAKE BATTALION’ ROYAL NAVAL DIVISION. HAROLD JOHN MARTIN EDGAR,
second son of John Edgar of Birkenhead, was killed in action near Cape Helles, Gallipoli on May 10, 1915. He entered the School in 1894 and left in 1897. He was in the Football XV, and afterwards played for some years for the Birkenhead Park and Cheshire XV's; he also rowed in the Mersey Rowing Club crew at Henley. At the outbreak of war he was in New York acting as secretary of the British & Foreign Marine Insurance Co. He immediately came to England, and obtained a commission in the Royal Naval Division, with which he crossed on the Antwerp expedition, but was recalled after arriving at Dunkirk. After a certain amount of further training he embarked with the R.N.D. for Egypt, and eventually landed near Cape Helles at the end of April 1915. He was killed in the trenches by a sniper whilst in command of his company.
SECOND LIEUTENANT J. B. EMMOTT, IOTH BATTALION THE MANCHESTER REGIMENT. JOHN BARLOW EMMOTT was the son of the late Professor George Henry Emmott, Dean of the Faculty of Law at Liverpool University, and nephew of the Rt, Hon. Lord Emmott, P.C., G.C.M.G. He was killed at Achi Baba Hill, Gallipoli, on June 4, 1915. He entered the School in 1902 and left in 1905, after which he went to Manchester University, where he took the degree of Bachelor of Commerce in 1909. He was with the firm of Emmotts & Wallshaw, Ltd., cotton spinners, Oldham, when war broke out, and had been since 1913 in the 10th Manchesters (Territorials). After seven months' training at Cairo he crossed to Gallipoli. It was while supporting the 2nd Royal Fusiliers that he was killed. After taking five lines of trenches his company had to fall back through lack of support on the flanks: almost all the officers and men were killed. His Colonel wrote: - ‘He fell while cheering and leading his men.’
PRIVATE A. C. FARMER, CALGARY RIFLES, CANADIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. ALECK C. FARMER, son of the late J. H. Farmer of Liverpool, was born on July 13, 1887, and was reported ‘missing’ at Ypres on April 23, 1915. He entered the School in 1902 and left in 1903, after which he studied architecture at Liverpool University, and then entered a firm of architects in Liverpool. He was in the ranks of the Liverpool Scottish until he went to Canada in 1910 as an architect. In 1914 he joined the Canadian Expeditionary Force and came to England to complete his training. Early in 1915 he crossed to France, and since the night of April 23 nothing further has been heard of him.
PROBATIONARY FLIGHT OFFICER W. E. FLOYD, ROYAL NAVAL AIR SERVICE. WILLIAM ERIC FLOYD, elder son of Dr. William Robert Floyd of Birkenhead, was killed in a flying accident at Chingford on January 21, 1918. He entered the School in 1909 and left in 1917. He was Head of the House and Captain of the Cricket and Football teams for two years. As an athlete he was exceptionally brilliant and had a future before him. On several occasions, before and after leaving School, he played in the Public Schools' games in London, and together with his greatest friend, B. H. M. Jones, with whom he frequently played, had made quite a name for himself as a coming Rugby footballer. As a cricketer he was a very promising bat and wicket-keeper. He was Captain of the School ‘Fives’ and was a sergeant in the Corps. He left School to train as a pilot in what was then the Royal Naval Air Service. He was well on the way to passing out from Chingford when some unaccountable accident occurred and he ‘crashed,’ being killed instantly. Innumerable letters of sympathy have testified to the extent of his popularity wherever he went. It is true to say of him that at School he was beloved by all, both masters and boys. He won for himself the position he reached in the School partly by his athletic ability, but more by his solid character and determination. His position in the affections of all was won by a charm and beauty of character that few are fortunate enough to possess.
SECOND LIEUTENANT L. W. FOX, IOTH (SCOTTISH) BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). LESLIE WILLMAN Fox, only son of the late Robert John Fox of Birkenhead, was killed in action at Ypres on July 31, 1917. He entered the School in 1905 and left in 1911, having previously been in the Preparatory since 1901. He had been for some years in a shipping office in Liverpool, but his chief interest in life was his work among the poor boys of Birkenhead. For this work he had a real genius, and to him the School Mission owes more than can ever be calculated. As an officer in the Company of the Boys' Brigade he had for some years done invaluable work, and as the President of West Cheshire Boys' Brigade said of him in connection with this work, ‘many a poor boy in Birkenhead will have good reason to bless his memory.’ His Colonel wrote of him: - ‘Your son was killed while advancing at the head of his men, and was leading them with the utmost determination. For a long time he had been in charge of the Battalion Scouts, for which work his extraordinary coolness and courage particularly fitted him. He was marked out for early promotion, and his death is a great loss to the battalion.’ His Sergeant wrote: - ‘I was Mr. Fox's servant for a time, and I must say Mr. Fox was a real good friend to me, and there is no one will miss him more than myself. ... All the boys in the platoon send their deepest sympathy to you, and all of them admit what a real good friend they have lost.’
LIEUTENANT J. L. FRASER, 3RD BATTALION SEAFORTH HIGHLANDERS. JAMES LESLEY FRASER, eldest son of Duncan C. Fraser of Birkenhead, was born in June 1896, and died in Birkenhead on March 31, 1919. He entered the School in 1905, having previously been in the Preparatory, and left in 1914, being Head of the School in his last year and a member of the Football XV. In the Corps he reached the position of sergeant. He left School to train for the army, and after a few months with the Inns of Court O.T.C. obtained his commission. He first saw fighting in Mesopotamia, where he was wounded twice, in April 1916. He was invalided home for treatment for a wound in the knee, which caused considerable trouble. While in hospital he unaccountably developed tuberculosis, from which he eventually died. His loss to the School is a very great one, for his loyalty as an Old Boy was above the ordinary. On one occasion when he was at home on leave for three weeks he did not let a single day pass without putting in an appearance at the School. But it was for something more than his loyalty that he was beloved by all who knew him at the School. It was for his beautiful and strong character; for his transparent goodness, charm, and kindliness. That the same opinion was formed of him wherever he went is shown by all the letters received after his death. A brother officer wrote: - ‘He really was a fine chap. Absolutely one of the best fellows it has been my lot to meet, and I look back on the time spent with Lesley as amongst the happiest of days.’ His Commanding Officer wrote: - ‘He was a very good officer, and I valued his services highly.’ A school-fellow wrote of him: - ‘Lesley was about the finest man I knew, fearless in upholding what he thought was right, and he did good without making any fuss about it.’ While another said: - ‘I always used to think that Lesley must have had a good influence wherever he went, as he was so straightforward and strong willed, and I know that in the army especially it is the life a man leads and his actions that do more than any words, and there is nothing more that men think more of than a strong will for good things.’
LANCE-CORPORAL H. FREESTONE, I7TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). HORACE FREESTONE, son of Joseph T. Freestone of Bromborough, was born on July 11, 1894, and was reported ‘missing’ in action in Trones Wood in July 1916. He was later reported as ‘killed’ on July 11, the anniversary of his birthday. He entered the School in 1910, where he was in the Cricket XI, and left in 1912. At the outbreak of war he had served two years of his apprenticeship to a firm of Liverpool cotton brokers. He joined the ‘Cotton Contingent’ of the 17th K.L.R., and was promoted lance-corporal about a year later. His Platoon Commander wrote of him: - ‘I feel it my duty to write to you about your son. I have been his platoon officer since the beginning of the war, and I feel his loss enormously. He was a man I had the utmost confidence in, and if I gave him any job to do I knew that it would be properly done. He was a true British soldier and a gentleman, and I feel his loss not so much as a soldier as a personal friend, and I sincerely hope he has only been wounded and may soon be with us again.’
LIEUTENANT-COLONEL A. ST. H. GIBBONS, I3TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). ALFRED ST. HILL GIBBONS, son of the late John Gibbons of Liverpool, died of wounds received after the taking of the village of Bazentin le Grand, in France, on July 15, 1916. He entered the School in 1869. Some years later he went to Christ's College, Cambridge, and immediately afterwards obtained a commission in the Militia Battalion of the East Yorkshire Regiment, from which he retired with the honorary rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. He was best known as the explorer of the Upper Zambesi who completed the work which Livingstone had begun. He was a big-game hunter, a naturalist, and an ethnologist. In 1898 he again, at the request of Cecil Rhodes, visited Central Africa, and completed the survey of Barotseland and the Zambesi, continuing his journey northward by the Great Lakes and the Nile. He was, it is believed, the second white man to cross the continent from the Cape to Cairo. He published two books – ‘Exploration and Hunting in Central Africa,’ and ‘Africa from South to North through Barotseland’. In 1900 he volunteered for service in South Africa, and remained there until the end of the war, and afterwards took up farming in Northern Rhodesia, whence he returned in 1914 to place his services at the disposal of his country. He was twice ‘mentioned in despatches’ from France, and his General wrote to him thanking him for what he had done.
LANCE-CORPORAL H. W. GREEN, 4TH BATTALION THE CHESHIRE REGIMENT. HAROLD WAKEFIELD GREEN, second son of Dr. C. Theodore Green of Birkenhead, was killed in action at Gallipoli on August 11, 1915. He entered the School in 1906 and left in 1911. Previous to the outbreak of war he was in the Royal Insurance Company in Liverpool, and had joined the 4th Cheshires in November 1913. His Company Commander said of him, in those days: ‘He is keen, always keen.’ He went out to Gallipoli in July 1915, and landed at Suvla Bay on August 8. Three days later one of his company was wounded, and as a sergeant was struggling to bring him in, he ran out of cover to help. He was killed instantaneously before he could reach them.
SECOND LIEUTENANT K. S. GREGORY, 2/7TH BATTALION THE ROYAL WELCH FUSILIERS, ATTACHED MACHINE GUN CORPS. KENNETH STUART GREGORY, second son of Alfred William Gregory of Birkenhead, was born on November 30, 1893, and was killed in action near Poelcappelle on November 10, 1917. He entered the School in 1910 and left in the same year. He entered the office of the British & Argentine Meat Co., Ltd., and in September 1914 volunteered for service. He went to France with the Machine Gun Corps in February 1917, and amongst other engagements fought in the Battle of Messines Ridge. He was a section commander at the time he was killed, and a brother officer wrote that his section had done remarkably good work that day. His Commanding Officer wrote: - â€˜He had led his section most gallantly forward in the advance, and went forward to reconnoiter his final objective, when he was shot dead by a sniper. He was a most excellent officer, about the smartest in the company, and his place will be most difficult to fill. I had seen him only a short time before, when giving him his instructions, and he seemed most happy and cheerful, and he remained so to the last, encouraging his men in the advance over the swampy ground.â€™
LIEUTENANT G. HADDOCK, 24TH BATTALION (VICTORIA RIFLES), CANADIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. GEOFFREY HADDOCK, son of Herbert James Haddock, C.B., Commodore R.N.R., was killed at Courcelette, France, on September 17, 1916. After a year in the Preparatory, he entered the School in 1905 and left in 1911; he was a School Prefect and a member of the cricket and football teams. After leaving School he went to Canada, where he was private secretary to the president of the Grand Trunk Railway. In August 1914 he joined the Canadian Highlanders, but was transferred on receiving his commission. On crossing to France he was for some months at Ypres and St. Eloi, and then on the Somme. At Courcelette he went into action on September 14, and fought on until the night of September 17, 1916. His Colonel wrote: - ‘From the very day your son joined my battalion in Montreal he has been close to me, and only the other day General Byng, our Corps Commander, at an inspection asked me who your son was - so smart and soldierly he looked. His place can never be filled. .. . The devotion of your son to duty has been an inspiration to us all’ A brother officer wrote: - ‘Geoff was a born leader, and his example will help those of us who are left. The standard he set for us is very high, and I only pray that we can live up to it. ... It is such as he that make our country what it is to-day.’
SECOND LIEUTENANT T. H. HAMMOND, MACHINE GUN CORPS. THOMAS HILL HAMMOND, son of the late Dr. T. Hammond, was born in 1897, and was killed in action in Belgium on October 31, 1918. He entered the School in 1913 and left in 1916. He was in the Football XV,and in the Corps held the rank of corporal. Shortly after leaving School he joined the ranks of the Liverpool Scottish, being soon afterwards transferred to the Machine Gun Corps. He saw considerable service in France as an N.C.O., and returned to England in October 1917, and was in hospital for three months with trench fever. After further training at Kinmel Park he was gazetted to the Machine Gun Corps, and had only been in France again for a week when he was killed. His Major wrote: - â€˜I had just gone round the machine gun emplacementsand had congratulated him on the excellent position of his gun. He was standing by it with the section sergeant when a shell burst close to and killed him instantaneously. If it had not been for the splendid position of his gun the whole team would have been casualties. He had only been with us two days, but the whole battalion felt his loss very keenly. He was a very able officer, and we were very sorry to lose him.â€™
PRIVATE F. F. HARPER, I7TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). FRANK FOSTER HARPER, only child of Thomas H. Harper of Birkenhead, was killed in action in France on July 30, 1916. He entered the School in 1905 and left in 1910. On leaving School he obtained a position in the Liverpool & London & Globe Insurance Company, and at the outbreak of war was an assistant surveyor in the fire branch In August 1914 he joined the 17th Battalion K.L.R., and crossed to France in November 1915. After spending the winter of 1915-16 in the trenches, the division was attached to the Somme sector. Harper was slightly wounded on June 37, 1916, but was back again to take part in the attack on Guillemont Farm on July 30. He was in the machine gun section, and during the advance they waited in a shell hole for an opportunity to proceed. A German gas shell exploded and carried off practically the whole section. Many letters received subsequently tell of his bravery and cheerfulness on all occasions, which they attribute to his knowledge that he was doing his duty in obeying his country's call.
FLIGHT SUB-LIEUTENANT A. F. HARVEY, ROYAL NAVAL AIR SERVICE. ARTHUR FRANCIS HARVEY, son of Edmund Harvey of Wallasey, was born on June 2, 1898, and accidentally killed while flying in Sussex on March 24, 1917. He entered the School in 1910 and left in 1915. He was in the Cricket XI, and was very useful to the side as a left hand bowler. In the Corps he proved himself a keen and promising soldier, and eventually attained to the rank of sergeant. He had always been keenly interested in everything connected with aviation, and had had considerable experience in flying before meeting with the fatal accident, in which he was killed instantaneously.
LIEUTENANT C. S. HAUGHTON, 23RD (NORTH-WESTERN) BATTALION THE RIFLE BRIGADE. CHARLES STANLEY HAUGHTON, son of Alfred Beresford Haughton of Birkenhead, was born in 1873, and died at the 3rd General Hospital, London, on February 4, 1919. He entered the School in 1885 and left in 1891, and was a Prefect in his last year. Previous to the outbreak of the war he was a cotton broker in Liverpool, and was a member of the Birkenhead Park Football Club and Oxton Cricket Club. He was also a keen yachtsman. After receiving his commission he was sent to India, where he remained for three years, and had only been home for a month at the time of his death. In India he specialised in musketry and qualified as a machine gunner. His Commanding Officer wrote of him that he was one of the best, always happy and cheerful, and that they were all devotedly attached to him.
CAPTAIN F. W. HAWKES, I/5TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT), PERCEVAL WARBURTON HAWKES, son of J. E. Hawkes of Birkenhead, was born on March 31, 1884, and was killed in front of Festubert on April 9, 1918. He entered the School in 1899 and left in 1901, when he obtained a position in Lloyds Bank, Limited, Liverpool. In 1905 he joined the 1st Volunteer Battalion Cheshire Regiment (afterwards the 4th Cheshires), and rose to be a sergeant. In 1909 he took a commission in the 5th King's (Liverpool Regiment) T.F., and was promoted Captain in 1916. Through ill-health he was not passed for overseas service until towards the end of 1917, when he crossed to France. Some months later he took part in very heavy fighting in which his battalion, at very great cost, acquired much glory. He was reported ‘missing,’ and at a considerably later date news of his death came through from prisoners of war. Though he had thus given thirteen years of military service to his country and obtained many prizes and certificates for musketry, his chief interest was in the scout movement. Since 1909 he had taken an active part in the work of the Boys' Own Brigade, and while on military service at Norwich raised a troop of scouts and acted as Scoutmaster until going to France. A fellow-worker in this movement writes of him: - ‘His untiring interest in work among boys and his sincere loyalty and love for the boys themselves were a most valuable asset to us of the B.O.B., and I personally shall miss him in many ways, not least for his accurate and painstaking help in connection with all matters relating to drill and discipline.’
SECOND LIEUTENANT W. A. HEYWORTH, 5TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). WILFRED ALEXANDER HEYWORTH, only son of Harold Ormerod Heyworth of Upper Norwood, was born at Buenos Aires on March 24, 1896, and was killed in action near Arras on May 23, 1916. He entered the School in 1910 and left in 1912. He was in the Cricket XI and was a very promising player, as he afterwards showed as a member of Sefton Cricket Club. Before the war he was in business in Liverpool, but joined the Liverpool ‘Pals’ Battalion in the very early days, later obtaining a commission in the 5th King's (Liverpool Regiment), with which he continued until the time of his death. His Colonel wrote: - ‘To me his death came as a peculiar, personal blow, for I had the greatest regard and affection for him, looking upon him as one of the best and finest types " that I have ever had under me, and in addition his own personal qualities endeared him to us all’ His Major wrote: - ‘When he joined my company he quickly established himself in the affections of his brother officers and men of the company. He was a very keen and capable soldier, taking the greatest interest in his work, and doing it well. I assure you that the sympathy of every officer, N.C.O. and man of “A” Company is with you. They will feel they have lost a friend.’ The Adjutant wrote: - ‘I cannot speak too highly of your son. He was splendid - imbued with a high sense of duty and doing that duty cheerfully and well. He endeared himself not only to his brother officers, but also to his men, and there was not a man in his platoon who would not have followed him anywhere.’
SECOND LIEUTENANT J. F. HICKSON, 9TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). JAMES FERGUSSON HICKSON, son of the late J. S. Hickson of Birkenhead, was born on September 26, 1886, and died of wounds received in action in Flanders on July 31, 1917. He entered the School in 1897, having previously been in the Preparatory, and left in 1901. He then entered the Maritime Insurance Company in Liverpool. He took a keen interest in Rugby football, and was for some time secretary of Birkenhead Park Football Club, for which he played regularly, as well as for Cheshire on several occasions. In 1911 he went out to Canada, and on the outbreak of war he joined the Royal North-West Mounted Police, and spent twelve months training and helping to round up enemy aliens. Being anxious to see active service in Europe, he refused a commission in the police and transferred to the Royal Canadian Dragoons, with whom he went to France in March 1916, but was recalled and gazetted to the 9th King's (Liverpool Regiment) in March 1917, and almost immediately was sent back to France. Four months later he was mortally wounded in the Third Battle of Ypres. His Colonel wrote: - ‘Your son has done splendid work since joining the battalion, and I consider him the best subaltern I had. His men would go anywhere with him, and he was most popular with us all.’ His Captain wrote: - ‘I found in him a true and genuine pal, always keen and smiling and altogether my right-hand man, and I assure you that when he received his wounds he was gallantly leading his men in an attack against strong fortified defences. His men thought the world of him, and I am honoured to relate he was the most popular officer in the battalion.'
PRIVATE S. D. HILLIS, IOTH (SCOTTISH) BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). SAMUEL DENYS HILLIS, second son of Samuel Hillis of Birkenhead, was reported ‘missing’ after the charge of the Liverpool Scottish at Hooge on June 16, 1915, and in October the War Office received notice from Germany that he had been killed in action. He entered the School in 1903 and left in 1910, having previously been for two years in the Preparatory. He matriculated at Liverpool University and took the degree of B.Sc. with honours (and Class) in 1913. At the outbreak of war he had done a year's research work in metallurgy, and had taken the M.Sc. degree. In September 1914 he enlisted in the Liverpool Scottish, and crossed to Flanders the following January.
PRIVATE E. C. HUGHES, 10th (SCOTTISH) BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT), ERIC COULTHARD HUGHES, son of Edward M. Hughes of Great Crosby, was born in 1897, and was reported ‘missing’ on August 12, 1916, before Guillemont and Combles. He entered the School in 1913 and left in 1914. Soon after leaving School he was indentured as an apprentice to the Mersey Docks & Harbour Board, and he was in the audit office. In April 1915 he joined the ranks of the Liverpool Scottish and crossed to France in July 1916. At the time of his death he was with the 1/9th King's (Liverpool Regiment), having volunteered to join a draft to be attached to this battalion. On August 13 he was asked by his Captain to act as his runner in place of a married man. He was one of the first three men over the top that evening, and must have advanced some fifty yards before he was wounded, for he was seen in a shell hole by one of his comrades in the next “wave”. No further definite news was ever heard of him from that time, though it is believed that he passed through the First Aid Post. Most probably he was killed by a shell between that point and the Advanced Dressing Station, or possibly in the latter, which was blown up that night.
SECOND LIEUTENANT M. T. HUGHES, I4TH BATTALION THE ROYAL WELCH FUSILIERS. MAURICE T. HUGHES, son of Edward J, Hughes of Birkenhead, was born on July 11, 1895, and was killed in action in France on May 30, 1916. He entered the School in 1907 and left in 1913. He was a School Prefect for one year and was in the Football XV. On leaving, he was articled to a firm of surveyors and valuers in Liverpool and attended the Liverpool University. He was a member of the Mersey Rowing Club, and also played for Birkenhead Park Football Club. On the outbreak of war he was on holiday in Wales, but returned to join up in the 1st Battalion of the Liverpool ‘Pals’. After five months' service with them he obtained his commission in the Welsh Fusiliers and went out to France in February 1916. He saw service at Givenchy, Festubert, and Laventie, and it was at the last-named place that, during a very heavy bombardment, while continuously going up and down the trenches to cheer his men, he was caught by a shell and killed instantly. His Colonel wrote of him: - ‘He was faithfully doing his duty, as he always did, and his loss is a great blow to me personally and his brother officers, with whom he was so popular. He was a gallant boy. Had he lived he would have won great honours.' His Major wrote: - ‘M. T. was one of my greatest pals. He was universally loved and respected by all of us, officers and men. He was one of the finest and most fearless men I have ever known, and he always did his duty without question. One very marked thing in his life was his tremendous faith; he always looked upon this life as the beginning of a far better life.' His Captain wrote: - ‘He was an ideal officer, possessing those qualities which are essential to the success of a soldier in the trenches - a cheery disposition and full of grit.’
CAPTAIN J. B. HUGHES-GAMES, M.C., THE DURHAM LIGHT INFANTRY. JOSHUA BOWER HUGHES-GAMES was the eldest son of the late Rev, Joshua Wynn Hughes-Games, formerly of Birkenhead. He died of pneumonia at Shrewsbury on October 17, 1918. He was born in 1888, and entered the School in 1898, which he left to go to Shrewsbury School. In 1907 he entered Queensâ€™ College, Cambridge, as a scholar, and in 1910 he took a First Class (and Division) in the Classical Tripos. At the time of the outbreak of war he was teaching at the Forest School. On obtaining a commission in the Durham Light Infantry he first went to Egypt in December 1915, and then to France in January 1916. He received the Military Cross for his services in France. On October 1, 1916, he was wounded, and after twenty months in hospital was discharged on July 5, 1918. At the time of his death he was working as a temporary master at Shrewsbury.
SECOND LIEUTENANT J. JOHNSON, INDIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. JOHN JOHNSON, son of the late G. H. Johnson of Birkenhead, was born on June 27, 1896, and was killed in action in Mesopotamia on January 9, 1917. He entered the School in 1907, and on leaving in 1913 he entered the Ocean, Accident & Guarantee Corporation, Ltd., in Liverpool. Almost immediately after the outbreak of war he joined the 5th King's (Liverpool Regiment), and was later drafted to the 10th East Surrey Regiment. Upon getting his commission he was attached to the Machine Gun Section of the Indian Expeditionary Force, and went out to Mesopotamia. He took part in a considerable amount of fighting, and was in the long march on Kut. He was killed some time later by a sniper. The Turks were attempting, under cover of night, to put up barbed wire in front of their position, and, while in charge of the machine guns which tried to prevent them from doing so, Johnson was shot through the heart by a sniper who was concealed in a palm tree.
LIEUTENANT B. H. M. JONES, ROYAL AIR FORCE. BENEDICT HENRY MELVILL JONES, younger son of Benedict Jones, formerly of Birkenhead, was born at Rock Ferry on August 17, 1897, and was killed while flying in England on April 14, 1918. He entered the School in 1907 and left in 1915. He was Head of the School and of the House, a sergeant in the Corps, and Captain of the Football XV for two years, being one of the best players the School has ever had. As an all-round athlete he was brilliant. In the sports he won every open event, and created records in the mile, putting the weight, and the long jump. During his time of training in England he played football in many of the games which were arranged by the Richmond Club, and made a great name for himself, being freely spoken of as a coming International. Before leaving School he won an Exhibition in mathematics at Emmanuel College, Cambridge. In April 1916 he obtained a commission in what was then the Royal Flying Corps, and went to France in August of the same year. In November he was wounded, and returned to England, and after some time was posted to Orfordness Experimental Station, where he soon became the best experimental pilot on the station. He went twice again to France, once with his brother. Major B. M. Jones, to do some flying to test various instruments under actual war conditions. It was some months later, on his return to England, that he was killed. He had gone up in a very high wind to try some experiments and, when attempting to land, something went wrong and the machine ‘crashed.’ No one knows what was the cause, but all are agreed that he could not possibly have made a mistake, his control over the machine being so complete. One who knew him better than most said of him: - ‘The real record of his life is in the hearts of all who knew him. I know of no exception; everyone loved him and thought him absolutely alone in his powers and character.’ Those who knew him will agree with this statement. To those who did not know him it is impossible to describe such a life and character.
PRIVATE T. B. JONES, INNS OF COURT O.T.C. THOMAS BERTRAM JONES, son of Robert T. Jones (educational secretary, Birkenhead), died on October 26, 1915, from the results of an attack of typhoid fever contracted while training at Berkhampstead with the Inns of Court O.T.C. He entered the School in 1907 and left in 1914, having previously been in the Preparatory for a year; he was a member of the cricket team during his last two years. After leaving School he was appointed on the staff of Alfred Holt & Co., Liverpool. In June 1915 he joined H.M. Forces, and became a member of the Inns of Court O.T.C. to train for his commission. Though only having served with Alfred Holt & Co. for so short a time, they wrote that he had gained their ‘very highest respect,’ and that ‘he had proved by his high character and ability that he was well fitted for the work to which he had decided to devote himself.’
LIEUTENANT R. A. LLEWELYN DAVIES, 3RD BATTALION THE ROYAL FUSILIERS (CITY OF LONDON REGIMENT). ROLAND ARTHUR LLEWELYN DAVIES, only son of Maurice Llewelyn Davies, formerly of Birkenhead, was born on April 20, 1893, and was killed in action in France on October 4, 1918. He entered the School in 1905, and was Head of the School when he left at Christmas 1910; he was a member of the Football XV. He went up to Cambridge in 1911 with an Open Classical Scholarship at Trinity College, and in 1914 was placed in the second bracket of the First Class in the Classical Tripos, He played in the Freshmen's Match, was in the Trinity Rugby XV, and rowed in the â€˜Ruggerâ€™ boat in the Lent Races. Between School and the University he spent some months in France and Germany. He was an exceptionally good German scholar. He obtained a commission in the A.S.C. in October 1915, and went to Albania as a member of the British Adriatic Mission. For his services at Durazzo he was awarded the Serbian Distinguished Service Medal. When the Serbian Army left Corfu he was selected to remain in the island, and for a time was in command of the British detachment there. In September 1917 he transferred to the Royal Fusiliers, and served in Macedonia on the Struma and Doiran fronts. Early in the following summer his battalion was moved to France, and while taking part in the British advance, which proved to be the beginning of the end of the war, he was killed instantaneously at the head of his platoon.
CAPTAIN R. B. LUPTON, 12TH BATTALION THE ROYAL SUSSEX REGIMENT. REGINALD BANISTER LUPTON, second son of the late Henry Lupton of Birkenhead, was killed in action at Ypres on August 1, 1917. He entered the School in 1893 and left in 1898, having previously been in the Preparatory for a year. Previous to the war he was in business in Liverpool with his father's firm. For a year he was in France in the ranks of the 6th Battalion King's (Liverpool Regiment). When he returned to France with a commission he was transferred to the 4th Royal Sussex Regiment. His Colonel wrote: - ‘He commanded “B” Company, and had gallantly led it all through the great attack on July 31, had won all his objectives, and had consolidated them under very heavy shell fire and very bad weather conditions. His company were holding their gains on August 1 when I regret to say that your stepson received wounds from which he died the same day. The loss to the battalion is irreparable; he was one of the most efficient and trustworthy officers I had, and I cannot replace him easily. He was popular throughout the battalion, and will be deeply missed by officers and men.’
BOMBARDIER D. Q. MACSWINEY, ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY. DENIS QUIN MACSWINEY, third son of the late Lieut.-Colonel Eugene V. MacSwiney, died of wounds received in Belgium on March 20, 1916. He entered the School in 1900 and left in 1903. He was for some time in the State Insurance Company, after which he served for eight years in the Regular Army, mostly in India. Coming over from India with the Lahore Division in October 1914, he fought at La Bassee, La Chapelle, and Ypres. Having been overseas by October 1914 he became entitled to the “Mons” ribbon and medal for 1914.
CAPTAIN J. R. MACSWINEY, M.C. 10TH (SCOTTISH) BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). JOSEPH R. MACSWINEY, fifth son of the late Lieut.-Colonel Eugene V. MacSwiney of Birkenhead, was born on March 23, 1892, and died of pneumonia at Oswestry on November 2, 1918. He entered the School in 1904, having previously been in the Preparatory, and on leaving in 1908, entered the State Insurance Company in Liverpool. He was in France in the ranks of the Liverpool Scottish in 1914, and obtained his commission the next year. On April 13, 1918, he won the Military Cross, the official description of the award being as follows: - “During the night the enemy attacked the strong point known as “Route A” Keep, north-west of Festubert, and was completely repulsed. Captain MacSwiney commanded his company in an attack on a strong point. Having captured the first objective, he went forward to reconnoitre, and found a company of another battalion which had lost all its officers and had not reached its objective. He brought up his own company and completed the capture of the position, taking nine prisoners and one machine gun. He then organised the defence and repelled a counter-attack two hours later.” After his death his Colonel wrote: - ‘Your son was a most gallant and trustworthy officer, and was beloved of his fellow officers and his men. I really cannot tell you how grieved we all are.’
PRIVATE B. F. MACSWINEY, 1OTH (SCOTTISH) BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). BRISCO FRANCIS MACSWINEY, second son of the late Lieut.-Colonel Eugene V. MacSwiney, was killed in action at Hooge, Flanders, on June 16, 1915. He entered the School in 1900 and left in 1901. At the outbreak of war he was in the Royal Insurance Company, and had for six years been in the Cheshire Engineers. He at once enlisted in the Liverpool Scottish, and served with them in the early days of the war, being thus entitled to the ‘Mons’ ribbon and medal for 1914.
SECOND LIEUTENANT N. C. MARSH, 1ST BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). NICHOLAS CLAYTON MARSH, elder son of Kenrick Clayton Marsh of Hoylake, was born on November 14, 1895, and was killed in action at Cuinchy, in the Battle of Loos, on September 25, 1915. He entered the School in 1905 and left in 1912, and was in both the Cricket XI and Football XV. On leaving School he spent some time in France and then entered Lloyds Bank in Liverpool. On the outbreak of war he enlisted in the 4th Cheshires, and seven months later obtained a commission in the King's Liverpool Regiment. In June he went to France, and was attached to the 1st Battalion, and was killed in an attack three months later. His Colonel wrote: - â€˜On September 25 the battalion was ordered to attack a very strong position which the enemy have held for many months. "B" and D" Companies led the attack, your boy commanding a platoon in the former. The attack, though unsuccessful, was most gallantly carried out. Nothing could have exceeded the bravery of your son, whose body was recovered ahead of all others, and very close to the enemy's wire entanglements. Once again please accept the deepest sympathy and the regret of us all, and my own personal sense of loss in an officer who had endeared himself to us all by his charm of manner and devotion to duty, and who died as a gallant British officer at the head of his men.â€™
GUNNER D. McC. BROWN, ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY. DONALD McCULLOCH BROWN, only son of John McCulloch Brown of Birkenhead, was killed in action near Langemarck on October 11, 1917. He entered the School in 1910, and left in 1913 to enter a cotton merchant's office in Liverpool. It was at Easter, 1916, that he entered the army, crossing to France in February 1917. He spent in all eight months overseas, during the latter part of which he was employed as a despatch rider. In this capacity he had many adventures and narrow escapes, and was once wounded. His Major wrote of him: - â€˜He died like the good soldier he was, doing his duty to his King and country. He was immensely popular with both officers and men, and we all looked on him as one of the nicest lads in the battery. His loss is keenly felt by all of us.â€™
CAPTAIN E. F. MEADOWS FROST, 5TH (CITY OF GLASGOW) BATTALION THE HIGHLAND LIGHT INFANTRY. EVELYN FAIRFAX MEADOWS FROST, son of Meadows Frost of West Kirby, Cheshire, died in hospital at Cape Helles, Gallipot on December 30, 1915, from wounds received in action on the 19th. He entered the School in 1889 and left in 1894. On leaving School he served his apprenticeship with Laird Bros., at the end of which he joined the staff of John Brown & Co., Ltd., Glasgow, afterwards going to the Federated Malay States, where he became manager of a large rubber estate. He had, since 1907, held a commission in a Volunteer battalion, and in 1913 became a Captain in the 5th H.L.I. At the outbreak of war he reported to the Singapore Command, and was retained on the staff, and after the mutiny there was appointed D.A.A.G. and Q.M.G., an appointment he held until August 1915, when he rejoined his battalion at Gallipoli. His Commanding Officer wrote: - ‘It may prove some consolation in your present grief, and a source of pride when that grief has somewhat abated, to learn that his death was a splendidly honourable one. On December 19 he was shot down—we think by fire of a machine gun—while leading his company to the assault of an enemy trench which the regiment had been ordered to capture, and eventually did capture at terrible cost. I actually saw him fall and then crawl painfully back to where his men were hesitating to cross the fire-swept zone. Though hit in several places, he urged them forward, and continued to cheer them on until he fainted through exhaustion’
PRIVATE H. W. H. MEERES, ROYAL FUSILIERS. H. W. H. MEERES was an assistant master at the School from 1904 till 1908. During that time he took an active interest in the School, and, as regards out-of-school activities, in football especially. He was a keen player himself, and played â€˜forwardâ€™ for the Birkenhead Park XV. When war broke out he had been for some years away from Birkenhead, and in the very early days of the war joined the ranks of the Royal Fusiliers, being killed in action on March 19, 1915.
SECOND LIEUTENANT L. M. NARES, 24TH VICTORIA RIFLES, M.G.S., CANADIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. LESLIE MOWBRAY NARES, son of W. G. Nares, and grandson of Vice-Admiral Sir George Nares, K.C.B., was killed in action in France on September 39, 1916. After a year in the Preparatory he entered the School in 1900, and on leaving in 1904 went to Canada, where for some years he was engaged in engineering. For some time after coming over to France he acted as a sergeant, refusing to take a commission, but was eventually persuaded to do so. He was killed while leading his men in a heavy attack on the German trenches. His Brigadier wrote of him: - â€˜Lieutenant Nares was a very capable and popular officer, and was beloved by all ranks, both in his battalion and the Machine Gun Company.' While his Captain wrote: - â€˜It was a tremendous loss to the company and myself personally, and was greatly felt by all the men under his command, as he was respected and loved by all, and they would have followed him anywhere. ... He died like a man, doing his duty.'
PRIVATE A. NICKELS, NEW ZEALAND EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. ARTHUR NICKELS, younger son of Alfred Nickels of Birkenhead, was born on October 13, 1885, and was killed at Gallipoli on August 8, 1915. He entered the School in 1898, having previously been in the Preparatory, and left in 1902. He was a member of the Cricket XI. After serving his time in a ship broker's office in Liverpool, he went to New Zealand in 1909 to take up sheep farming. He was among the first to volunteer in August 1914, and sailed with the First Expeditionary Force, escorted by H.M.S. Sydney, which during the voyage destroyed the Emden. After landing in Egypt he saw some service against the Turks. He crossed to the Dardanelles in April 1915. It was in an attack at Sari Bair that Nickels was reported ‘missing’ on August 8, 1915. This position commanded the Dardanelles, and was taken by the New Zealanders and Gurkhas, but had subsequently to be abandoned through lack of support. A later report showed that Nickels was killed in this attack. A sergeant's account was: - ‘The charge began at 4 A.M. on the 8th. The Wellingtons, with Arthur amongst them, took the first trench. About 6 P.M. Arthur was hit by a bullet through the forehead and was killed instantaneously’
SECOND LIEUTENANT R. E. NOWELL, ROYAL FLYING CORPS. ROGER E. NOWELL, son of the late Samuel Nowell, was born on November 19, 1893, at Altoona, U.S.A., and was killed in an engagement with enemy aeroplanes near Ayre, in France, on September 22, 1917. He entered the School in 1906 and left in 1909. On leaving School he was apprenticed to Cammell Laird & Co. Ltd., and was with them at the outbreak of war. He immediately tried to join Kitchener's Army, but was rejected owing to his height. As he had always been interested in the science of flying, he next tried to obtain a commission in the R.N.A.S. or R.F.C., and after much delay, which he found it hard to bear, he was at last granted one in the R.F.C. After about a year's training he went to France, and was shortly afterwards killed whilst fighting against great odds. His Commanding Officer wrote of him: - â€˜It is with regret that I have to tell you that there is now no chance of our finding your son's body, as it has been ascertained that he fell out of the machine at about 10,000 feet and came down in the German lines. There is no doubt he died nobly. All these fine fellows who go up daily to give battle, often against great odds, must die nobly, because the weaklings simply cannot face it, and I know your son was as keen as anyone could be."
SECOND LIEUTENANT C. R. H. ORFORD, l6TH BATTALION THE LANCASHIRE FUSILIERS. CHARLES ROBERT HADFIELD ORFORD was killed in action in Flanders in July 1917. He entered the School in 1913 and left in 1913, and was at the time of the outbreak of war with the firm of Glazebrook, Steel & Co., shippers, Manchester. In March 1916 he joined the ranks of the Welsh Guards, subsequently obtaining a commission, and on crossing to France in March 1917 he transferred to the Lancashire Fusiliers. He was killed by a shell after an eighteen hours' bombardment. His Colonel wrote: - ‘His death is a great blow to all of us. He had been with us long enough for us to form a very high opinion of him. We all liked him immensely as a comrade, and I had seen enough of his work to realise that the battalion has lost one of the most promising of the junior officers. Only a few days before his death he had done a very daring patrol, when he swam through some very deep water and explored some land beyond, his men following him without hesitation, for they had learnt to trust him as a brave and cautious patrol leader.’ The Chaplain wrote: - ‘All who knew him-officers, N.C.O's. and men-admired him. I did more than that: I loved him - loved him for his generosity, his bigheartedness, his delightful manner, his gentleness, but above all for his real, genuine goodness-Godliness.’
LIEUTENANT R. D. PATERSON, 20TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). ROBERT DENZIL PATERSON, only son of the late Robert Paterson and Mrs. Noble of Rock Ferry, was born on December 18, 1892, and was killed in action in France on October 12, 1916. He entered the School in 1902 and left in 1911. He was a School Prefect, Head of the House, and Captain of the Cricket XI, and was in the Football XV. On leaving School he went up to Clare College, Cambridge, where he was in the cricket and Association football teams, editor of the Magazine, President of the Debating Society, and a member of the Hawks Club. After taking his degree he went as a master to Capthorne School, in Sussex, and on the outbreak of war first joined the ranks and later obtained a commission. At the time of his death, which occurred between Guedecourt and Le Sars, he was acting Captain and Adjutant. His Colonel wrote: - ‘May I offer you my very sincere sympathy? He died doing his duty gallantly to the end.' His Major wrote: - ‘He was a very competent and keen officer, and one in whom I had every confidence; he will be a great loss to the army and the country.' Another officer wrote: - ‘It certainly requires the very highest form of courage to stick on when things are as terrible as they were on the Somme, and I know from various sources that Roy refused several times to leave his men when he might very well have done so, simply because he had a strong sense of honour and duty. I knew him as an excellent and capable officer myself, and several others, men as well as officers, have told me he was both courageous and efficient in France.' The Master of Clare College wrote: - ‘As soon as your son came up, his energy and personality won him the regard and affection of all who knew him, and his memory will .not soon fail here.'
SECOND LIEUTENANT W. R. PICKTHALL, ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY. WILLIAM ROY PICKTHALL, son of Henry A. Pickthall, formerly of Birkenhead, was born on October 24, 1892, and was killed on September 15, 1918. He entered the School in 1902 and left in 1908, having previously been for four years in the Preparatory. After a long sea voyage for the sake of his health, he entered the offices of the White Star Line in Liverpool. In 1913 he went to Montreal and took up an appointment on the staff of the Montreal Star, He joined the Forces the day after war was declared, and came over with the First Canadian Contingent. He was in France for over two years as a private and as a despatch rider, and latterly as a corporal in the Canadian Signal Company. He came through many perils, and was one of the only two survivors of his Signal Company. After training in England he returned to France with a commission in the R.F.A. in November 1917. It was in September 1918 that he was killed while in the mess by a direct hit, which blew the whole place to pieces. His Major wrote: - â€˜By the death of your son not only have the battery and brigade lost a most valued and efficient officer, but also the whole of the Royal Field Artillery. I would like you to know that your son's name had just been submitted for recommendation for honours in the Field.'
MAJOR T. A. PRENTICE, I/4TH BATTALION THE CHESHIRE REGIMENT. THOMAS ALFRED PRENTICE, eldest son of the late John George Prentice of Birkenhead, was born in 1883, and was reported ‘wounded and missing’ at Suvia Bay, Gallipoli, on August 13, 1915. He entered the School in 1894 and left in 1900. He was a School Prefect, and was in the cricket and football teams. On leaving School he became a cotton broker, and was latterly a partner in his firm. In 1903 he took a B.A. degree at Trinity College, Dublin. Always interested in military matters, he joined the Cheshire Engineer Volunteers in 1903, and later was given a commission in the 1st Cheshire Volunteers, now the 4th Battalion The Cheshire Regiment, after training at Chelsea and taking a course of musketry at Hythe. Since August 12, 1915, when he was reported ‘missing,’ no further news has been heard of him. The last that is known is that on that day he was wounded while endeavouring to relieve a party of Norfolks who had got into a tight corner. A search party which was sent out later in the day failed to find any trace of him. It was probably the death he would have chosen for himself. As he told a friend he lived for the Service, and, as has been said above, he was an ardent Territorial, and one of those who in time of peace did the work of training men which was to prove of priceless value in the war. No keener soldier or more gallant man left the shores of England to fight for his King and Country.
PRIVATE F. S. PRICE, 7TH CANADIANS. FREDERIC SYDNEY PRICE, third son of William Holroyd Price, formerly of Liverpool, was born on August 29, 1892, and was mortally wounded on Vimy Ridge on April 9, 1917. He was brought to England, and died at Norfolk War Hospital on May 5. He entered the School in 1903 and left in 1910. He was in both the cricket and football teams, and after leaving School showed considerable promise as a footballer with Birkenhead Park Football Club. At the time of the outbreak of war he was in Canada and enlisted at once, coming over with the first detachments to leave that country.
PRIVATE H. H. PRICE, 2/IST BATTALION THE OXFORDSHIRE AND BUCKINGHAMSHIRE LIGHT INFANTRY. HUBERT HOLROYD PRICE, eldest son of William Holroyd Price, formerly of Liverpool, was born on November 13, 1887, and was killed in action in France on March 25, 1918. He entered the School in 1901 and left in 1905. Before the war he was a Professional Associate of the Surveyors' Institute in the Land Valuation Office at Dorchester. In the first week of the war he offered his services, but the authorities would not release him, but in October 1915 he enlisted voluntarily under the Derby scheme. No news was ever received as to how he met his death, and little is known beyond the fact that he was serving in some transport work and, with a number of Engineers and other units gathered together under General Carey, he was with the body alluded to by Mr. Bonar Law in the House of Commons as having saved the situation between March 21 and 25, 1918, at the beginning of the Germans' last great offensive.
CAPTAIN F. PRIESTLEY, M.C., 1ST BATTALION THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH’S (WILTSHIRE REGIMENT). FREDERICK PRIESTLEY, fourth son of the late William Hudson Priestley of Birkenhead, was born in 1891, and was reported ‘wounded and missing’ (presumed killed) on the Marne on May 27, 1918. He entered the School in 1905 and left in 1907. Before the war he was working as a land agent in Canada. During his time in the army he saw a great deal of service. He first of all served in Gallipoli and then in Mesopotamia, taking part in the relief of Kut, and at the time of his death he had for some months been fighting in France. He was wounded four times, and in March 1918 was awarded the Military Cross. Since May 27, 1918, when he was reported “missing” no further official news has been heard of him. The following letter from one of his men gives the only information that has been received: - ‘I last saw Captain Priestley as we were retreating down a sunken road on the Marne front on May 27. He had been wounded, but was able to walk, though not very fast. We wanted to help him along, but he would not let us, and made us see that all the team got out all right. Then I lost sight of him suddenly, and as there was a lot of machine-gun fire going on, I am afraid that he may have been hit again. He deserved a V.C. that day if ever anyone did. He was a splendid man, and the most popular officer in the battalion. I do hope he is safe.’
SECOND LIEUTENANT J. A. PROCTOR, ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY. JAMES ADOLPHUS PROCTOR, third son of Mr, and Mrs. Proctor of ‘Preswylfa,’ Aberdovey, was born on July 5, 1896, and was killed by a shell on September 18, 1918, north-west of St. Quentin, and is buried at Marteville, near Vermand. He entered the School in 1909 and left in 1913, and was in the Football XV. On leaving School he entered the shipping firm of Alfred Holt & Co., in Liverpool. He was not accepted when first he tried to join the Forces, but eventually he went out to France as a gunner in the R.F.A. in 1917. He was afterwards recommended for a commission, and returned to England for training. In August 1918 he went back to France, and had only been out again for three weeks when he was killed.
PRIVATE J. G. RASCHEN, 1OTH (SCOTTISH) BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGT.). JOHN GODWIN RASCHEN, younger son of John Raschen of Birkenhead, was killed in action at Hooge on June 16, 1915. He entered the School in 1908 and left in 1913. He was a School Prefect, and was in the Football XV during his last year at School. He had for about six months been in a cotton broker's office in Liverpool. On attaining the age of eighteen he enlisted as a private in the Liverpool Scottish. He had been granted a commission in the Cheshire Regiment, and was shortly to have returned to England for training, but fell in the famous charge at Hooge on June 16, 1915, the first big engagement in which he took part. Most of his officers were killed on the same occasion, but letters from many who knew him testify to the high esteem in which he was held by all for his ‘lovable’ nature and “splendid sportsmanlike” qualities. He was last seen fighting with his bayonet amongst the foremost. One of his companions relates that when he went over the top to the charge he was singing.
LIEUTENANT N. ROYSTON, ROYAL AIR FORCE (KITE BALLOON SECTION). NORMAN ROYSTON, fourth son of Ernest Richard Royston, late of Birkenhead, was born in 1899, and died in hospital in Scotland on November 5, 1918. He entered the School in 1910 and left in 1911, having previously been in the Preparatory. Though young when leaving the School, which he did owing to the fact that his family left the neighbourhood, he was never a member of any other school. He had done valuable observation work in conjunction with submarine squadrons in the Grand Fleet, when he developed pneumonia and died.
SECOND LIEUTENANT B. D. ROYSTON, 1ST LANCASHIRE H.B., ROYAL GARRISON ARTILLERY. BASIL DRAGE ROYSTON, third son of Ernest Richard Royston, late of Birkenhead, died of wounds received near Armentieres on October 2, 1916. He entered the School in 1905 and left in 1911. Previous to the outbreak of war he had been engaged in fruit farming. His Major, in writing to explain how he was killed, said: - â€˜He was examining one of his guns to see if the shell had injured it (it was the last of a two-hours' heavy bombardment of the position), and a splinter injured him internally fatally; but he was very brave, and kept encouraging his men until he was taken away in an ambulance.â€™ His Captain said that no one could ever take his place, and that his men were devoted to him and would follow him through anything.
LIEUTENANT D. H. SCOTT, 17-TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). DUDLEY HOLME SCOTT, son of the late George Scott of Birkenhead, was born on September 21, 1878, and died of wounds received in the Somme district on July 2, 1916. He entered the School in 1888 and left in 1893. He was in the School Cricket XI, and was a useful bat, afterwards playing cricket for Oxton Cricket Club. As an athlete his chief claim to distinction was in the hockey world. For several years he played for the Cheshire County team, and also for the North of England, and in 1904 he represented England against Ireland. At the time of the outbreak of hostilities he was in business in Liverpool as a cotton salesman, and joined the Forces in the early days of the war.
SECOND LIEUTENANT V. C. SHAW, CHESHIRE BRIGADE, ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY. VICTOR CHARLES SHAW, second son of Charles Harold Shaw of Rock Ferry, was born on May 24, 1894, and died of pneumonia at Rouen on October 16, 1916. He entered the School in 1905 and left in 1912. He was in the Football XV, and was a School Prefect and Head of the South. When war broke out he was serving apprenticeship in the cotton trade in Liverpool, and was at once called to the Colours, having six months previously joined the ranks of the 4th Cheshires. He accepted a commission in the Cheshire Brigade, R.F.A., in July 1915, and crossed to France in March 1916. During practically the whole of the seven months that he was in France he was in the fighting line, serving with a Trench Mortar Battery attached to the 29th Division, and took part in the advance on the Somme. His work was heavy and continuous; he became badly run down, and contracted erysipelas and pneumonia, from which he died in a few days. His Colonel wrote: - â€˜I formed a very high opinion of his capabilities as a soldier. As a man I liked him very much indeed, and I am truly sorry (as we all are) that he has been taken from us.â€™
LIEUTENANT W. G. F. SMITH, 3RD BATTALION THE PRINCE OF WALES’S (NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE REGIMENT). WILLIAM GERALD FURNESS SMITH, second son of Rev. George Furness Smith, was killed in action at Ypres on July 5, 1915. He entered the School in 1898 and left in 1907; he was Head of the House in 1905 and of the School in 1906, and Captain of the Football XV in 1906-7. He went to Clare College, Cambridge, with an Exhibition in 1907, and took his degree in Classics (and Class, and Division) in 1911. After a year at Ridley Hall he took the Theological Tripos (and Class) and went as Classical Tutor to St. John's College, Agra, to which he hoped eventually to return. At the outbreak of war he was on the staff of St. Aidan's College, Birkenhead, and joined the Public Schools' Battalion. In March 1915 he went to France, attached to the 1st Battalion North Staffordshire Regiment, and was killed four months later. His Colonel wrote: - ‘Your son did his duty in all respects from the time he joined my battalion, and with experience gained out here had become a reliable and useful officer. His loss will be deeply felt by his brother officers and the men of his company.’ General Allenby wrote: - ‘Will you please accept and convey to the officer commanding the North Staffs Regiment our appreciation of and gratitude for the gallant behaviour of Lieut. Smith of that regiment with his grenadier party, who came to the support of the 41st Brigade yesterday morning, and his counter-attack on the Germans who had demolished a barricade and rushed a trench on the left of our line. I would also express our deep sorrow on hearing that this brave officer has died of his wounds, and would offer our sympathy to his regiment.’
LIEUTENANT W. STANLEY ALLAN 7-TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). WILLIAM STANLEY ALLAN, eldest son of James Allan of Mapleholme, Bidston Road, Oxton, was killed while leading his platoon in a night attack on the German trenches at Festubert on May 15, 1915. He entered the School in 1903 and left in 1908, and was in the Football XV. He went to Liverpool University, after which he was in the head office of the Liverpool & London & Globe Insurance Company, Limited. He was, in the days before the war, a private in the 4th Cheshires, and afterwards held a commission in the 7th King's (Liverpool Regiment). When war broke out he was in England on holiday, having just returned from Canada. His intention was to go back to Canada and take up a commercial appointment there. In March 1915 he went to France with his old battalion, the 7th King's (Liverpool Regiment), but two months later he was killed in an attack just as the enemy lines were reached. A brother officer wrote: - â€˜Stanley was killed last Saturday, 15th inst., leading his platoon as part of a night attack on the German trenches. He led them most gallantly right up to the trench, and was fatally hit just as he reached it. He died a man's death, and we miss him very greatly. The attack was successful, but cost the 7th Battalion very heavily both in officers and men.â€™
SECOND LIEUTENANT H. H. SWIFT, 9TH BATTALION THE LOYAL NORTH LANCASHIRE REGIMENT. HAROLD H. SWIFT, son of Thomas Swift of Birkenhead, was born in 1890, and was killed in action at Westhoek Ridge, Ypres, on August 10, 1917. He entered the School in 1904 and left in 1908; he was a member of the Football XV. On leaving School he first had four years' training in London before joining his father's firm in Birkenhead. Prior to the war he had served for several years in the Territorial Force, and on the outbreak of war was mobilized as a corporal in the 4th Cheshire Regiment. Two years later he obtained a commission in the Sherwood Foresters, and shortly afterwards crossed to France with this regiment, but was transferred three months later to the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. He was killed in an attack during the third Battle of Ypres.
SECOND LIEUTENANT J. M. S. SYKES, 5TH BATTALION THE GORDON HIGHLANDERS. JAMES MARTYN STRICKLAND SYKES, third son of the late R. G. Sykes of Birkenhead, was killed in action in France on November 13, 1916. He entered the Preparatory in 1903 and the Big School in 1907, which he left in 1915. He was a School Prefect and a leading member of the Football XV; in the Corps he held the rank of sergeant. On leaving, he immediately joined the Inns of Court O.T.C., and in the spring of the next year he obtained his commission in the 5th Gordon Highlanders. In August 1916 he went over to France, and in November was killed at Beaumont Hamel in the very early stages of the attack. His Colonel wrote: - ‘Although with the battalion so short a time, he soon proved himself a fine, courageous officer, and he died a noble death in the performance of his duty and while leading his platoon.’ The Chaplain wrote: - ‘No one could know your boy and not love him. He was such a dear lad, always cheery, always happy, always considerate of others. In the short time that I knew him that was very plain, and I cannot write of his death without feeling that we of the battalion have lost one of our very best.’
CAPTAIN A. McMILLAN TAYLOR, 4-TH BATTALION THE CHESHIRE REGIMENT. ARCHIBALD MCMILLAN TAYLOR, third son of the late Daniel Taylor of Birkenhead, was born in 1881, and was reported ‘wounded and missing’ on August 10, 1915, at Suvia Bay, Gallipoli. He entered the School in 1893 and left in 1898, and during his time there played a prominent part in the life of the School. He was a Prefect, Captain of the Cricket XI, and a leading member of the Football XV. He was engaged in business in Liverpool previous to the war, and during this time made a name for himself as a Rugby football player. Two achievements of his in the football world have created a record—he played fifty times for the Cheshire County team, and in every position on the field. For many years he played cricket for the Oxton Cricket Club, and was a good first team bat, but a large portion of his time in the summer was devoted to work with the Volunteers. He was mobilised at the outbreak of war with the 4 th Cheshire Regiment, in which he held a commission, and in July 1915 he left for the East. On August 8 the Cheshires landed at Suvia Bay, and on August 10 Taylor was reported ‘missing.’ No further news has ever been heard of him. A brother officer writes: - ‘I should like to tell you briefly what you will never hear from him— how well he did during the battle of the 9th and loth. I got separated from my company, and was with Captain Taylor until a few minutes before he was wounded. He had all his officers killed; he continually reorganized and rallied the line, leading it forward himself under the heaviest fire. His coolness and foresight under fire were an example and an inspiration to all of us. He was constantly called upon to make most important decisions at a moment's notice, and his promptitude and grasp of the situation would, I am sure, have earned him distinction had some higher commander been on the spot to take note.'
LIEUTENANT-COMMANDER J. TENISON, ROYAL NAVY. JULIAN TENISON, only son of the late Charles Tenison, B.L., M.R.I.A., and grandson of the late William Crompton Ashlin, was born June 22, 1885. He was killed in command of Submarine E4, August 15, 1916, after a strenuous period of service in the North Sea Flotilla, the main operations of which were on the German coast. Tenison entered the School in 1897, and left the same year for Tasmania. In 1900 he returned to England and joined H.M.S. Britannia (training-ship). As a midshipman in H.M.S. Ocean he was on the China station at the time of the Russo Japanese War; and subsequently in H.M.S. Leviathan he was ‘doggie’ - i.e. midshipman A.D.C. to Captain, afterwards Vice-Admiral, Sir Christopher Cradock. It was Cradock who encouraged him to volunteer for the Submarine Service, which he joined in 1906, very quickly winning the reputation of a good emergency man. At the outbreak of the Great War he was serving his year as a lieutenant in a battleship, H.M.S. Dreadnought (Flag), 4th Battle Squadron. Shortly after his promotion to Lieutenant-Commander he returned to the submarine depot at Harwich, and was given the command of E4 (his earlier commands had been in the “C” Class of submarines). In announcing his death his Commanding Officer wrote of him: - ‘Duty was his watchword’; another senior officer said, ‘He is a great loss to the Navy’; and the Chaplain, who knew him well under the exacting conditions of war, wrote: - ‘Everybody loved Julian.'
CAPTAIN R. J. TIPTON, 3RD BATTALION WEST LANCASHIRE ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY, ATTACHED ROYAL FLYING CORPS. RICHARD JAMES TIPTON, third son of John W. Tipton of Birkenhead, was born on April 25, 1892, and died of wounds received in France on March 12, 1918. He entered the School in 1902 and left in 1909. He was a School Prefect, and in the Football XV. He afterwards played on many occasions for Birkenhead Park Football Club. He had before the war been for some time in the 3rd West Lanes R.F.A., and was in training when war broke out. In May 1916 he transferred to the R.F.C., and went to Egypt with the 14th Squadron in the autumn of the same year. He was twice ‘mentioned in despatches’ - first on the Western Frontier by Sir John Maxwell, and also when on the Eastern by Sir Archibald Murray. On June 18, 1916, whilst in a bombing raid on El Arish he was forced to come down in enemy country, but managed to destroy his machine before being taken prisoner by the Turks. For fourteen months he was a prisoner at Kastamani, in Asia Minor, but, with two officers from Kut, he escaped, and after forty-nine days of perilous journey, with many exciting adventures, including re-capture and rescue by bandits, he reached Russia and eventually England. The account of his adventures was told in Blackwood's Magazine for May 1918. He had the honour of a private interview with His Majesty the King at Buckingham Palace. Although offered three months' leave, he immediately rejoined the R.F.C., and shortly afterwards went to France. While bringing down an enemy machine he was hit by a machine-gun bullet, and, though mortally wounded, managed to bring back his machine a distance of eight miles to safety. Lieutenant-Colonel J. P. Reynolds wrote of him: - ‘Of all the young men I have had to do with in my busy life, Dick stands out as the one whose personal magnetism has affected me most. It is seldom that one finds in one person so many high qualities as those with which he was endowed. “Those of mind were high indeed, but those of character with him took the lead.”’ Lieutenant Colonel C. T. Maclean wrote: - ‘Your son had not been with us very long, but was already looked upon as one of our most gallant officers, and his death is a great shock both to the squadron and his many friends in the wing. I am enclosing part of a report sent to me by some R.A. officers about his gallant conduct when he landed very badly wounded.’ Staff-Captain John Selwyn wrote: - ‘I think I was one of the first people in the brigade to meet Dick when he first came out here, and I shall never forget how much all of us were impressed by his cheery keenness; in fact, I think there have been few people who have inspired such affection, coupled with respect, as Dick did in the all too short time he was with us. Everybody in the squadron simply loved him.
LIEUTENANT W. N. D. TYSON, I5TH BATTALION THE CHESHIRE REGIMENT. WILLIAM NOEL DAWSON TYSON, son of the late William John Tyson of New Brighton, and grandson of the late John D. Tyson, was born on December 7, 1897, and was killed in action in France, September 29, 1918. He entered the School in 1911 and left in 1914. He was a member both of the Cricket XI and Football XV. On leaving School he joined the firm of John D. Tyson & Co., marine insurance brokers, of Liverpool, and shortly before his death he became a junior partner in the firm. In March 1918 he was wounded in the head during a night attack in Aveluy Wood, but returned to France in August. Shortly after his return he was killed instantaneously by machine-gun fire when leading his men in an attack. His Commanding Officer wrote: - ‘Our battalion was advance guard to the brigade. He was in command of the vanguard, when they struck a strong enemy position with many machine-gun nests. He extended his men and boldly attacked the position, being killed instantly by machine-gun fire, but doing his duty by locating and finding the strength of the enemy position, probably thereby saving many lives, as we were enabled to make a strong encircling movement and capture the village within a few hours. He died a noble death, and by giving his life without hesitation undoubtedly saved heavy losses amongst his comrades. We miss him very much, as he was so popular with all ranks - a gentleman and a fine soldier. Can any man be more? He gave his life without hesitation for others.’ His Captain wrote: - ‘It has been a terrible blow for us all. “Ty.,” as we always called him, and myself were the best of friends. We have lost one of the truest of friends and a fine sportsman, and the men simply adored him; he was always so kind to them, and they knew they were dealing with a gentleman, a fearless officer, and one who would not send anyone where he would not go himself. I can only say that no officer has done finer work for his company, and his loss is being keenly felt by us all.’
PRIVATE E. G. VANCE, IOTH (SCOTTISH) BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). ERIC GEORGE VANCE, younger son of Thomas Arthur Vance of Birkenhead and Huasco, Chile, was killed in action near Bethune on June 5, 1916. He entered the School in 1912 and left in 1914. After leaving School he was in a branch office of the Bank of Liverpool, and in October 1914 he enlisted in the Liverpool Scottish. He crossed to France in May 1916, being then attached to the 4th Battalion Gloucester Regiment. Very shortly afterwards he was killed while making his way by night to the trenches.
LANCE-CORPORAL W. A. WARD, 24TH VICTORIA RIFLES, CANADIAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE. WALTER ARTHUR WARD, second son of George Henry Ward, late of Neston, Cheshire, was born in 1888, and was killed on sentry duty at Loos on October 1, 1915. He entered the School in 1901 and left in 1903. When war broke out he was in Canada, and soon after he joined the Forces he crossed to France with one of the early Canadian contingents. He was killed as stated above, and his body lies buried at Rossignol.
PRIVATE G. R. WARD, 42ND ROYAL (CANADIAN) HIGHLANDERS. GEORGE ROBERT WARD, third son of George Henry Ward, late of Neston, Cheshire, was born in 1891, and was killed in the trenches in France on January 11, 1916. He entered the School in 1901 and left in 1903, though then still quite young. This was due to the fact that his parents left the neighbourhood of Birkenhead, taking him with them. When war broke out he was engineering in Canada, but very soon joined the Canadian Highland Regiment, and crossed with them to France in 1915. After only a few months of active service he was killed.
LIEUTENANT M. G. WHITE, 6TH (ATTACHED 1ST) BATTALION THE RIFLE BRIGADE. MALCOLM GRAHAM WHITE, third son of the late Arnold White of Birkenhead, was born in 1887, and was killed in action near Madly-Maillet on July 1, 1916. He entered the School in 1898; was a School Prefect and Head of the House for two years, and was in the Cricket XI and Footba ll XV. In addition to this he was a musician of a very high order, and on many occasions, both as a boy and as an Old Boy, played the violin at the School concert. He went up to King's College, Cambridge, in 1905, and was the Captain of the College Boat in 19 09 and was a member of the Rugby Football XV. He was honorary secretary of the University Musical Club, and sang in King's College Choir as a voluntary member for four years, being afterwards a Master at the Choir School. After spending some time abroad at Berlin and Rouen, he became an Assistant Master at Marlborough College, and in 1910 went to Shrewsbury School, where he was at the time of the outbreak of war. Here he played a prominent part in the school life and became extraordinarily attached to the place, as many of his letters later showed. He was a Captain of the School O.T.C., but was never easy in his mind until he obtained a Lieutenant's commission in the Rifle Brigade in May 1915. In February 1916 he crossed to France. About four months later he was reported' missing,' and sometime later ‘presumed killed.’ It is only possible to quote very briefly from the many letters which were written after his death became known. His was a most remarkable and beautiful character, and his life, though short, accomplished more than most others. His last letter to his family before going into action ought to be quoted as giving some idea of the sort of man he was: ‘And now, I just want to say to you all, that, if I don’t come through it, you must all be quite cheerful about it. I am quite happy about it, though of course I can’t deny that I am very keen to come home again. I look at all this from a very personal point of view, almost a selfish point of view. It seems to me that, if I die in this action, it gives me a great simple chance of making up for a lot of selfishness in the past. And when I want to reconcile myself to the idea of not coming back again, I just think of all those selfish mistakes I’ve made, and I am almost glad of the opportunity to put them right. That’s my view of it. It is not priggish – I hope it doesn’t sound like that.’ As a commentary on the above we quote from a letter of a fellow-officer who had known him at Shrewsbury: - ‘I have never known such a real Christian. That was a fine letter of his which was shown me. Fancy Malcolm talking about being selfish. I doubt if he knew what selfishness meant. If he did, it was only the more fully to understand unselfishness. It was that and his utter sincerity and genuineness which made him what he was. His ideal was always so high, and he was never falling short of it. His ideas were just wonderful, and in the six years that I have known him I have learnt more of what real religion means that anyhow else.’
SECOND LIEUTENANT H. B. WILLIAMS, M.C., 5TH (ATTACHED I3TH) BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). HARRY BEN WILLIAMS, youngest son of Harry Ben Williams of Birkenhead, was killed in action in France on May 3, 1917. He entered the School in 1904 and left in 1913. He played a leading part in the life of the School and was a School Prefect in his last year. On leaving, he went to Cambridge with an open Classical Scholarship at St. John's College. Soon after the outbreak of war he went to France with the Friends' War Victims Relief Expedition. He returned to England in April 1915 and enlisted in the army, and after many months spent with the Inns of Court O.T.C. at Berkhampstead as a sergeant he was finally passed ' medically fit' and obtained a commission. Going to France in January 1917 he took part in all the heavy fighting round Arras in the spring of that year. On April 9 he was awarded the Military Cross for ‘conspicuous gallantry in action,’ but did not live to hear the award, for he fell on May 3, 1917, near Monchy-lePreux, leading his men in an attack on the German positions. His Commanding Officer wrote: - ‘I feel unable to express my sympathy with you in the great loss which you have sustained in the death of your son. He showed keen ability in his work as an officer. He had no fear, but, what is more valuable, he had a cool head and great control of men in action. Your sorrow is shared by many officers and men of his company.’
CAPTAIN A, F. WILLMER, 9TH BATTALION THE RIFLE BRIGADE. ARTHUR FRANKLIN WILLMER, eldest son of Arthur Washington Willmer, J.P., of Birkenhead, was born on January 10, 1890, and died of wounds received in action in France on September 20, 1916 He entered the School in 1899 and left in 1909. During that time he was closely associated with every branch of School life. For two years he was head of the School; he was in the Football XV for three years, and the Cricket XI for four, being Captain his last two years. He won the Senior Challenge Cup two years running. He went up to Oxford in 1909, having won the first Classical Scholarship at Brasenose College. At Oxford he had an equally distinguished career. He was a leading light in the College cricket and football teams, and also rowed in a College Torpid; on different occasions he represented the University in athletic sports. Cricket XI, and Football XV. He obtained a First Class in Moderations in 1911, and in Greats in 1913. When war broke out he had just completed a year's work in preparation for being called to the Bar, and he took the final examination in October 1914, passing with distinction and winning several special prizes. In November 1914 he joined the Inns of Court O.T.C. Ongoing to France he was wounded in the spring of 1915, and on September 18, 1916, was fatally wounded while acting as Major of his battalion. Though comment on such a career is unnecessary, the following extracts are taken from an article in the Oxford Magazine of November 10, 1916: - ‘It is difficult to overestimate what the College owed to him. He belonged to a generation which was a landmark in the history of the College, and was probably the ablest and not the least influential of this contemporaries ... Intellectually, Willmer was a remarkable man; he had a singular gift of seeing both sides of a question, whilst retaining an unusual clearness of view and definiteness of judgment... He sacrificed an almost certain studentship at the Inns of Court, and a very good chance of a Fellowship at All Souls... when he received a nasty wound in the face in 1915 in the Ypres salient, another Brasenose officer in his battalion wrote of his bearing: “Willmer was magnificent!” His death is one of the greatest tragedies the College has had to face: his devotion during duty, high principles, and crystal-clear intellect had justified us in predicting him for a distinguished career.’
CAPTAIN W. WILLMER, I9TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). WALTER WILLMER, son of the late Charles Watkin Willmer of Birkenhead, was killed in action near Guillemont, in France, on July 30, 1916. He entered the School in 1899 and left in 1903. At the time of the outbreak of war he was with the firm of Willmer Bros. & Co., Ltd., printers and publishers, of Birkenhead. He joined the 19th King's (Liverpool Regiment) when they were formed, training entirely with them at Knowsley, Grantham, and Larkhill. At the time of his death he was commanding a company, of which he had taken over the command about three weeks previously. He was killed instantaneously by machine-gun fire, and all who came back said that his conduct was absolutely magnificent under a perfectly raking fire.
SECOND LIEUTENANT F. WILSON, 3RD BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT), FRANK WILSON, third son of George R. Wilson of Birkenhead, was killed in action on Vimy Ridge on June 3, 1916. He entered the School in 1903 and left in 1908, being a School Prefect in his last year. He played for the Birkenhead Park and Cheshire Football XV's. After leaving School he was with the firm of T. & J. Harrison, shipowners, until the outbreak of war. In August 1914 he joined the ranks of the 4th Cheshires, and after obtaining his commission he was drafted out to the Western Front, attached to the 1st King's (Liverpool Regiment). He was ' mentioned in despatches' in January 1917. His Commanding Officer wrote: - â€˜I was very grieved at your son's death, and send you some particulars of how it occurred. The Germans exploded a camouflet, in which were four miners and men, and your son immediately descended, and was the means of saving all, but at the expense of his own life, being past human aid when brought to the surface. Our Medical Officer attempted artificial respiration for two and a half hours; but your son was too badly poisoned. I consider your son behaved very gallantly, and I have recommended him for the V.C., which in my opinion he deserved, and which I hope he will get. His death is a great loss to the regiment; he always did his work particularly well.â€™
CAPTAIN B. WOODHOUSE, ROYAL ARMY MEDICAL CORPS. BERNARD WOODHOUSE, son of the late Lister Woodhouse, died of wounds received in Belgium on September 5, 1917. He entered the School from the Preparatory in 1899 and left in 1903. From University College Hospital, London, he qualified and passed into the R.A.M.C. equal first, afterwards holding appointments as House Surgeon and House Physician at Westminster and University College Hospitals. From the outbreak of war he served on the Western Front with the 8th Railway Company, R.E., and with various Field ambulances and regiments. The following is an extract from the letter of the Colonel of the 130th Field Ambulance: - â€˜We all loved him; he was always so brave and cool in action, so bright and cheerful, and was a man of infinite kindness and great thoughtfulness for others, especially for the wounded and sick. I valued his ability, tact, and force of character.â€™
SECOND LIEUTENANT G. WRIGHT, 3/6TH BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). GEORGE WRIGHT, younger son of the late James Wright of Birkenhead, was born in 1889, and died of wounds in France on September 19, 1916. He entered the School in 1902 and left in 1905. When war broke out he was on the staff of the Pacific Steam Navigation Co., Ltd., Liverpool. He obtained a commission in the above regiment in 1915, and was made musketry instructor. He crossed to France in July 1916, and during the two following months he was twice in action, being slightly wounded on the first occasion. On September 9 he was again in action and was dangerously wounded in the head. He was moved to the Liverpool Merchants' Mobile Hospital at Etaples, where he died on September 19. His Commanding Officer wrote of him: - â€˜It is with the very deepest regret that I have to tell you that I have just received word that your son, Lieut. Wright, has died from wounds in hospital.. . . How sorry we all are, and his men too, I cannot tell you. He was a very brave fellow and showed great courage in the preceding action and the one in which he was wounded, leading his platoon with great pluck and dash. His men had the greatest admiration for him as well as his brother officers.â€™
PRIVATE R. W. WYSE, IOTH (SCOTTISH) BATTALION THE KING'S (LIVERPOOL REGIMENT). RODERICK WYNFIELD WYSE, son of Dr. Richard Wyse of Birkenhead, was born in Stirlingshire on May 25, 1897, and was killed in action during a bombardment near Cambrai on November 30, 1917. He entered the School in 1910 and left in 1914. At the outbreak of war he was a second year medical student at the Liverpool University. He saw fifteen months' service in France with the Liverpool Scottish, and his principal work lay with the stretcher-bearers. During the whole of his service he was never home on leave, and details of his experiences in France are therefore few.
Information about Old Birkonians who lost their lives in World War 1.