Herbert William Degetan Stone

Waldemar and Herbert Schmidt were the sons of Waldemar and Alma Louise Schmidt of South Kensington. Both boys attended Westminster School as members of Home Boarder’s house, the house for day pupils. The younger brother, Herbert, was born on 26th May 1876 and was admitted to the school in September 1892. He became an exhibitioner in 1893 and a non-resident Queen’s Scholar in 1894.

Whilst at the school, Herbert got involved in the music scene. He sang a contralto solo in the School Concert in 1894 and in the 1896 concert, he performed the violin: “the violin duet played by H.W.D. Schmidt and A.R. Astbury formed an acceptable variety, both performances showing careful training and great promise.”

After school, Herbert became a clerk in the London and Westminster Bank before moving to Shanghai to work in marine insurance in 1898. By 1904, he was working as a clerk at Union Insurance Society of Canton in the Queen’s Buildings, Hong Kong, alongside his brother, who was a manager there.

Herbert returned to London in the August of 1913 and following the outbreak of war, he enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers in the Public School battalion on 10th December 1914.

On May 5th 1915, Herbert changed his surname from Schmidt to Stone; his brother also decided to change his surname, but he chose to become Smith. Later that month, Herbert became 2nd Lieutenant with the 4th Battalion (Extra Reserve) Connaught Rangers and went out to the western front in December 1915 where was attached to the Royal Irish Rifles.

He was killed in action at Mont St. Eloi on the 26th April 1916.

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