Tag Archives: Grant’s

Leonard James Moon

19161123_Moon,LJLeonard James Moon was at Westminster School, up Grants, from 1891 until 1896. He was the youngest of three brothers who were all exceptional athletes. Leonard was in both 1st XIs and continued to play association football whilst at Pembroke College, Cambridge and cricket of Middlesex in 1899 and 1901. In 1905 he played cricket for the national side against South Africa.

Wisden records that:

In the autumn of 1905 he was second in the averages for the M.C.C.’s team in America with 33.00, and before the next season opened toured South Africa with another M.C.C. side. During the latter tour he made 826 runs with an average of 27.33. He was a vigorous batsman who could cut well, and a useful wicket-keeper. At association football he gained high honours, obtaining his blue for Cambridge and playing for the Corinthians.

After university Leonard went into teaching and became Head Master of Wellesley House School, Broadstairs, Kent. After the outbreak of war, he enlisted in the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps, taking a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in the 10th Battalion of the Devon Regiment in February 1915. He served in France but lost his life in near Salonica in Greece.

Leonard was recorded in the school’s roll of honour as having died from wounds, but records found in The National Archives reveal that he actually committed suicide. Letters he left just before he died suggest that he was concerned about a rumour which had been spread about him and feared it would bring his regiment into disrepute. Leonard seems to have been suffering from paranoia as a result of what would now be identified as post-traumatic stress. A subsequent investigation found that his concerns were groundless.

Posted in The Fallen | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eric Leslie Faire

Eric Leslie Faire was born on the 30th September 1893 and was the younger son of Harry Washington Faire, of Putney. His elder brother was Washington Morley Faire, and the two boys arrived up Grant’s together in September 1905. Both brothers left the school around Easter 1909, and Eric decided to go and study languages at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland.

On the outbreak of war, Eric enlisted in the 25th (County of London) Cyclist Battalion, the London Regiment.

19161008_Faire,EL

The Cyclist Battalion was originally intended to be a home defence force. Their two main duties were firstly to ride along the English coast looking-out for signs of German invasion and secondly, once air attacks began in May 1915, to alert civilians by carrying “Take Cover” signs.

However, when the Battalion was sent out to the western front in July 1916, the ability of cyclists to contribute to trench warfare was unsurprisingly restricted. Eric acted as an Interpreter for the Battalion for a short time before he, like many others, was redeployed as a rifleman with the 9th (County of London) Battalion, London Regiment, Queen Victoria’s Rifles. He would have fought with the 169th Brigade, which was part of the 56th (London) Division in the Battles of Ginchy, Flers-Courcelette and Morval during September 1916.

The Battle of the Transloy Ridges began on the 1st of October 1916. Eric was killed in action, at the age of 23, a week later, probably as part of the attack on ‘Rainy Trench’, northeast of Lesboeufs.

Posted in The Fallen | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Victor Roundell George Biddulph

Victor Biddulph was the only son of George Tournay Biddulph and Lady Sarah Palmer, youngest daughter of Roundlell, 1st Earl of Selborne. He was born on 24th May 1897, after his parents had been married for over a decade. He shared his birthday with Queen Victoria, who insisted that the baby should be named after her. Victor was baptised the week following the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in Henry VIIth Chapel, Westminster Abbey.

Victor’s paternal uncle had been at the school in the 1850s, so it was natural that he should also attend Westminster. He joined Grant’s House as a half boarder from September 1911 until Easter 1914. He was probably planning on joining his father’s bank, or perhaps he intended to practice law. Either way, he joined the Inns of Court Officer Training Corps in 1915 and became a 2nd Lieutenant the 5th Battalion of the Rifle Brigade on 11th August 1915. His parents were keen supporters of the Ham & Petersham Rifle Club so his choice of regiment is perhaps unsurprising.

The following year Biddulph was attached to the 8th Battalion and went out to the western front on 12th July 1916. He was killed in action on the Somme, near Flers aged just 19. His body was not found, but a gravestone was added at the foot of his mother’s grave — she had died in 1910.

19160915_Biddulph,VRG

Posted in The Fallen | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dallas Gerard le Doux-Veitch

19160804_DouxVietch
Dallas Gerard le Doux-Veitch from the IWM Collection

Dallas Gerard le Doux was born in Glamorgan in 1897. He took the additional name of ‘Veitch’ from his stepfather, John Gould Veitch, who married Dallas’ mother, Dorothy, when Dallas was six years old. It was natural that Dallas would attend Westminster School as his maternal uncle and stepfather were both Old Westminsters. He joined the school on 22nd September 1910 as a member of Grant’s House, the same house his stepfather had attended in the 1880s.

He also followed in his stepfather’s footsteps onto the football pitch. Veitch senior was a football Blue and played for England against Wales in 1894, scoring three goals in the match. Veitch junior was a Cricket and Football pink, captaining the Cricket 1st XI in his final year at school, 1914.

1914 was a difficult year for the family. In October, Veitch senior died, aged only 45, after problems with his health, particularly his lungs. Dallas left school in December and entered a firm of chartered accountants, perhaps wanting to help support his mother and sister. However by April 1915 he was gazetted to the Royal Sussex Regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant. In June 1916 he was attached to the 7th Battalion and went out to the western front.

He was killed in the early morning of 4th August whilst gallantly attacking a German bombing post as part of an attempt to take the town of Pozieres. He was barely nineteen years of age.

The 7th Sussex Regiment war diary entry for that day reads:

“At 3am received orders to send one company over to RATION TRENCH to get in touch with 8th Royal Fusiliers and work up to the right, also one platoon to attack Strong Point on the right, after this had been captured they were to work down RATION and get in touch with ‘A’ Coy. ‘A’ Coy went too much to the left but reached RATION TRENCH finding the Buffs already there, Col Cope, (O.C. Buffs) ordered ‘A’ Coy to push forward and take the ridge which they reached without any difficulty but were heavily counter attacked and obliged to fall back to RATION TRANCH. The platoon on the right came under heavy Machine Gun fire and were not able to capture the Strong Point. Later in the day orders were received for two Companies to attack the right of RATION TRENCH in conjunction with attack of 9th Royal Fusiliers. Two platoons were again to attack Strong Point on right from POZIERES TRENCH ‘B & ‘D’ Coy’s attacked across the open but lost direction, some however reached their objective and got in touch with 9th Royal Fusiliers. The two platoons of ‘C’ Coy were unable to capture Strong Point owing to heavy Machine Gun fire. The result of this operation was that practically the whole of RATION TRENCH was captured and consolidated. Casualties during this two days, 2nd Lts WOOD & LE DOUX VEITCH killed, 2nd Lt’s COOKE, FITZSIMONS & ROLFE missing, Captain TROWER wounded. Other Ranks 18 killed, 25 missing, 109 wounded.”

Posted in The Fallen | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oscar Jacob Charles Kohnstamm

19160629_Kohnstam,OJCOscar Jacob Charles Kohnstamm, known as Jacob, was the second son of Rudolph and Emily Kohnstamm. He was born on 28th February 1898 and was admitted as a boarder up Grants in Play 1911. He arrived at an uneventful time; the Head of Grants noted that “nothing of importance occurred this term. There does not seem to be much talent either for work or games in the House. But many of the younger people are promising. At least it appears that there will be no big rows this year.”

Jacob seems to have got himself into trouble on a fairly regular basis. He was tanned “for ragging and breaking a window in Hall”, and again for “being out of bed at the Half”. He managed to get his younger brother Geoffrey in trouble too — they were both punished “for being out of his place for prep.”

Jacob was a member of the Junior football team and “would make a very useful forward if he had any pace. At present he is included to wander round the ball, instead of making for the opposing goal.”

Jacob’s elder brother, Norman, was made Head of Grants, but unfortunately came down with scarlet fever in 1914 and was forced to postpone his studies while he recovered. This meant that Jacob left the school in December 1913, over a year before Norman did.

In September 1914, Jacob joined the Inns of Court OTC and became a 2nd Lieutenant in the 4th Battalion (Extra Reserve) Prince of Wales’s Regiment (North Staffordshire) on the 31st March 1915. He was attached to the Machine Gun Corps in December and was sent to the western front on the 5th February 1916. He was killed in the trenches at Carnoy on the Somme, France on the 29th June 1916.

Posted in The Fallen | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Archibald Francis Noble

Archibald Noble was born on 4thJuly 1886 and was the only son of Joseph and Sarah Noble, of Ham, Surrey. He arrived up Grant’s in the September 1898.

He did not have an unblemished record at the school; the Grant’s House ledger notes that he was tanned twice in 1902. One of the occasions was for smoking in Grant’s on Saturday night, and the other was for being “more than 5 minutes late for Sunday breakfast”!

He left the school in July 1904. Following in his father’s footsteps, Archibald became a solicitor in October 1908 and worked for Bayley, Adams, Hawker and Noble, a firm based on Tower Bridge Road, Bermondsey.

On the 12th September 1914, Archibald enlisted as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 10th (Service) Battalion of the Cheshire Regiment. He was made adjutant, a role that consisted of providing administrative support to the commanding officer, and moved with the Battalion to Codford St Mary in Wiltshire. In November 1914, the battalion was billeted in Bournemouth, where Archibald was promoted to temporary Captain on 9th December. After six months in Bournemouth, they moved to Aldershot.

They were finally sent out to the western front and landed in France on the 26th September 1915. He was mentioned in despatches and was engaged in the fighting at Vimy Ridge, near Arras, in May 1916.

19160521_Noble,AF
A French soldier in the trench line below the crest of Vimy Ridge, December 1915.
Note a man looking into a periscope. (IWM Q49225)

The ridge had been under German control since October 1914 and the French had been attempting to recapture it. In May, the fighting intensified with the British mining and the German artillery and trench mortar fire. On the 21st May 1916, during heavy shelling, Archibald was killed in action at the age of 29.

Posted in The Fallen | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Douglas Charles Hamilton-Johnston

19160121_HamiltonJohnson,DC
Badge of the Black Watch

Douglas was the eldest son of Augustus and Bessie Hamilton-Johnston, who lived in Chelsea. He was born on 20th May 1889 and attended Charterhouse before arriving up Grant’s in 1904. After he left the school in 1906, Douglas matriculated at London University, and later spent some time in Frankfurt.

On his return to Britain, Douglas enrolled at RMC Sandhurst, perhaps inspired by his mother’s father who was a Major-General. After completing his training in February 1909, he joined The Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) as 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion and became Lieutenant three years later. The Bareilly Brigade was formed in 1914 as part of the Meerut division of the British Indian Army, and Douglas’s battalion became part of this new brigade.

In October 1914, Douglas arrived at the western front with his battalion and served as Transport Officer of No. 1 Company. He was wounded slightly in December by a shell at Centre Section, Festubert, but recovered and was promoted to Captain in February 1915. He was wounded a second time on the 3rd March while preparing for the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, and this time was invalided home.

Whilst back in Britain, Douglas helped to train volunteers at the training camp at Bordon, Hampshire. One of the volunteers, David Elder Robertson, wrote to his parents on 26th September 1915, following a three-week brigade exercise: “ÔǪ Well I was glad when it was over for I was a tired one without sleep. If I had not had a stripe I would have got a sleep all right but I had to look after a section. Well I told them I was handing in my stripe and I was paraded in front of the Captain [D.C. Hamilton-Johnston], and I was fairly put through the mill and asked my reason for it I made the excuse I had no notion of it and he told me I was foolish. He said I was picked out as qualified for the job and that if I changed my mind I would not be long in getting another but I stuck to my decision so he said he would see about it. I am still wearing the stripe till I am told to hand it in but I have heard no more about itÔǪ”

Douglas returned to the western front in November 1915, and went with his battalion to Mesopotamia, where he was mentioned in despatches. In January 1916, he became a temporary Major, taking over from Colonel Wauchope, who had been severely wounded at the Battle of Sheikh Sa’ad. On the 21st January 1916, Douglas lead the 2nd Black Watch in an attack on Hanna, but by the end of the day he was reported as “wounded and missing (presumed killed)”. His former commanding officer, Wauchope, wrote:

“And right well did he respond to the call of duty. Both as Adjutant, under Colonel Wauchope, and as Commanding Officer, he had complete faith in the Battalion as had the Battalion in him. He was first wounded and then killed in this assault, but he died with the knowledge that he had kept its fighting spirit unbroken to the end.”

Posted in The Fallen | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Wyndham John Coventry

19160101_Coventry,Wyndham_2

Wyndham was at the school for barely two years, joining Ashburnham House in April 1902 and leaving in July 1904 at the age of 17.

He represented Ashburnham in the Senior House Match against Grant’s in 1904. The match was not going well for Ashburnham, when: ‘About this time Aglionby unfortunately put his finger out and was compelled to leave the field. Coventry took his place behind the wickets, and the change was not forhe better.’ But he had more success when the game resumed on Friday: ‘Coventry, the only batsman to offer any resistance, was last out for a plucky 23, after batting nearly an hour and a half.’ Wyndham was rewarded with House Colours at the end of the Season.

He came from a military family. His maternal grandfather, John Joseph Grinlinton had served in the Crimean campaign and was knighted in 1894. Therefore it is not surprising that Wyndham joined the army after leaving school. After passing out from Sandhurst in 1907 he joined the Indian Army. Here he excelled in horse riding and held the unique distinction of having won both Indian Cavalry Steeplechases (for horses and ponies) on the same day in 1914.

On the outbreak of war he left India with drafts for the Western front and worked as an observer in the Royal Flying Corps until June 1915. He was then recalled to his regiment in India and joined the expeditionary force to Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) in July 1915. He took part in the battles of Kut and Ctesiphon and was mentioned in despatches by General Townshend for gallant and distinguished service in the field. He died on 1st January 1916 from wounds received in action at Ali Gharbi the previous day. His colonel wrote: ‘He is indeed a great loss to the regiment, and the Indian officers and men feel it as much as we do; we shall miss him very much’.

19160101_Coventry,Wyndham
A memorial to Wyndham in Hampshire
Posted in The Fallen | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hugh Barby Crowe

19151028_Crowe,HBHugh Barby Crowe was born in 1894 to Percy and Annie Crowe and was sent to Westminster in 1907. Unlike his Rigaudite uncles George and Harold Allen, who were at the school before him, Hugh was up Grant’s.

He quickly established himself a reputation as a talented singer and gave a solo performance of Stevens’s setting of ‘Sigh no more, Ladies’ at the Election Term Concert up School in May 1908, which “showed the audience what a great variety of beautiful boys’ voices there is at Westminster”.

When he left school to go to Cambridge, he joined a thriving and close-knit community of Old Westminsters at Trinity College. They would contribute a termly letter for the House magazine the Grantite Review, and in Play 1912 the author wrote that “Mr H. B. Crowe has already shed glory upon the revival of “Water” at Westminster by having been tried for the Trial VIII’s; he is about to wrestle with his “Little-Go” [The Little-Go was a nickname for the exams that new students would sit shortly after matriculating].

In Election 1914, the editor of the Grantite Review noted that “owing to the absence of our Oxford and Cambridge Grantite correspondents on military duties, it has been impossible to receive any correspondence from them whatsoever”. Crowe had left university in May 1912 to join the 1st Battalion City of London Regiment (Royal Fusiliers) as 2nd Lieutenant.

He rose to Lieutenant on 1st January 1914, and later became A.D.C. to Lord Lucan commanding the 1st London Infantry Brigade. On the 16th of September, Hugh became 2nd Lieutenant 4th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, but was attached to the 5th Battalion at Dover until he joined his own Battalion on the Western Front in November 1914. He was promoted to Lieutenant the following February.

It was only two months before he was invalided home from Ypres with concussion, and the Grantite Review recalls that he “came to see us when he was convalescent, like the good Grantite he was”. On his recovery, he was transferred to the 2nd Battalion and went out to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on August 14th 1915.

Hugh was acting as Military Conducting Officer on HMS Hythe, when she was involved in a collision with HMS Sarnia. They had been sailing off the coast of Gallipoli without lights to avoid attracting attention. The ship sank in ten minutes and 154 men — including Hugh Barby Crowe — were drowned.

Posted in The Fallen | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cyril Vernor Miles

LT_CVMilesJust over a month after his younger brother Alfred was killed in action, Cyril Miles was sent to fight in the Battle of Loos.

At school, Cyril was a keen sportsman, participating particularly in Cricket and Football — receiving a Pink in footer in Lent 1911. But he also earned himself a reputation for playing pranks.

In his third winter at the school, Miles and a group of friends were discovered “very busy emptying pails of water in yard to make a slide for tomorrow if it freezes”, and got into trouble for being on the roof “and snowballing people in College Street, to their amusement and their victims’ disgust as theyÔǪ were quite invisible so they say”. One evening in January 1909, Miles produced a dead mouse that had just been caught in Hall, which his friend Hobson — an aspiring doctor — skinned.

When he left the school in 1911, he went on to Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he continued to be a core member of the sporting scene. In Feburary 1914, he was mentioned in The Elizabethan:

Mr. C.V. Miles is a tower of strength to the all-victorious Pembroke Soccer team, which we believe to be so far unbeaten. He owns a small motor of a somewhat obstreperous disposition, which has on at least one occasion dragged him into the jaws of that legal code which he is said to be studying.

In August 1914, Cyril joined the South Wales Borderers as 2nd Lieutenant, and was attached to the Welsh Regiment in February 1915. He was sent out to the western front, where he was promoted to Captain on 29th July 1915. His little brother Alfred, who had been there since the previous October, was killed in Vermelles in August 1915.

Only a month later, on 26th September, Cyril was killed in action at Hulloch near Loos.

Posted in The Fallen | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment