Tag Archives: Rigaud’s

Arthur Bracebridge Challis

Arthur Challis was born in 1872, and was accepted into Westminster in 1885, joining Rigaud’s House. During his time at the school he participated in the Glee Club, performing on notable occasions, but his principle passion was football. He played in many inter-house and inter-school competitions, and continued to play both for and against the school as an Old Westminster. He left in 1888, and worked thereafter as a solicitor, practicing as part of the firm ‘Hayward, Smith and Challis’.

He served in the Queen’s Westminster Volunteers 1900-1902 and later the West Kent Yeomanry, where he remained until 1914. He retired from the Yeomanry with the rank of Sergeant, and became 2nd Lieutenant when he joined the Home Counties Heavy Battery R.G.A (Royal Garrison Artillery) that same year. He climbed the ranks of his division, becoming Major in March 1916. He was sent to the Western Front in 1917, commanding the 133rd Heavy Battery R.G.A. It was here that he lost his life, and died in action at Agincourt in September 1918.

Rigaud’s Football Team in 1896, a few years after Challis left.

 

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

Thomas Colwell Johnson

Thomas Colwell Johnson was born in 1897 of mixed heritage, with an American mother and an English father. He joined Westminster School in 1912 and was admitted to Rigaud’s. Upon leaving the school, he travelled extensively, taking full advantage of his dual heritage and spending much time in the United States, as well as in South America and Europe. In the early autumn of 1914, he travelled to Australia, and it is here that he volunteered to join the war effort.

He enlisted as a Private in the 1st Battalion Australian Imperial Force, and was sent to Gallipoli, were he served until wounded. He was sent to Egypt to recover and from there to the Western Front. He was wounded once again in July 1916, and was again invalided until he recovered. His courage earned him a special mention for gallant conduct in 1918, and a few months later he once more braved the Western Front. It was here that he died in action, passing way on 18th September 1918.

Members of the Australian Imperial 1st Battalion at Gallipoli, 1915
Posted in The Fallen | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Gavin Ferguson Young

The tombstone of Gavin Ferguson Young, at the Vaulx Hill Cemetery in France.

Gavin Ferguson Young was born on 8th July 1899. He was brother to Fergus Ferguson Young, who had also attended Westminster school at the turn of the century. Young was admitted to Westminster in September 1913, joining Rigaud’s. In 1917 he became both Head of Water and Monitor for Rigaud’s, before leaving the school in July of that year.

He joined the Royal Naval Air Service a few months later, and became Flight Sub-Lieutenant in March 1918. He then moved to the central branch of the Royal Air Force, becoming an active pilot and Lieutenant in April 1918. He was sent to the Western Front in April 1918, and after many months of operation was killed in action in September that same year.

 

 

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

Edwin Charles Kay Clarke

Edwin Charles Kay Clarke was the only son of stock-broker Charles Sidney Clarke and his wife Elizabeth Clarke. He was born in 1908 and admitted to Westminster in 1910, joining Rigaud’s House. He was an accomplished cricketer and won the Pashley Cup for bowling two consecutive years in a row. He left the school in 1910, and joined the Inns of Court Officers’ Training Corps in 1911. He remained with this division for five years, and was promoted through the ranks to become a Captain in 1916.

In 1918 he joined the 8th Battalion of the London Regiment, an unusual regiment that were not affiliated with the Territorial Force, but instead was treated as a corps in its own right. Clarke was sent to the Western Front with the London Regiment in May, and was killed during an attack on Massiere’s Wood in August of that year.

Cricket scores for Edwin Charles Kay Clarke in his final year at Westminster.

 

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

Horace Clare Waterfield

Horace Clare Waterfield was born on the 12th April 1876 at East Sheen, Surrey. He was the son of Sir Henry Waterfield, and his first wife, Katharine Jane, daughter of George Edward Wilmot Wood. Horace came from a staunch Westminster Family; both his father and his maternal grandfather had attended the school before him, as did several other relatives, including his elder brother Richard and his younger brother Frederick. Horace was admitted to the school in September 1889 and joined Rigaud’s.

After leaving the school in April 1894, he won the Brown Scholarship to the Royal Agricultural College at Cirencester. He was awarded a Gold Medal in 1896, and started work as a land agent in England.

He married Margaret Elspeth on the 25th June 1906. Margaret was the daughter of Colonel Edward William Creswell, R.E. They had at least one daughter, Jean Katherine Mita Waterfield and one son Donald Waterfield.

The family emigrated to Nakusp, British Columbia in around 1912, and Horace managed an apple ranch.

He enlisted as Lieutenant with the British Columbia Regiment, Canadian Infantry in October 1916, and went out to the western front in May 1917. He was wounded in action on 26th April 1918, and died in Etaples on the 5th of May.

His daughter remained in Nakusp, and married a Christopher Spicer, who established Spicer’s Farm. Horace’s twin granddaughters now continue the farming tradition in Arrow Lakes Valley.

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

George Hepburn

George followed his elder brother into Westminster School, joining Rigaud’s in 1903.  He left the school at the end of the Election term, 1905, but returned again for the Lent and Election terms in 1906.  He played football for his house and for the school and, according to an article in The Elizabethan, whilst ‘hardly an ideal back, played many good games’.

On leaving the school he joined the Technical College in South Kensington and took a BSc. He then won a nomination to the Royal Engineers at Chatham in 1909 and was appointed first at Rosyth for a year, before entereing the Indian Public Works Department as an assistant engineer in 1911. He returned to England in May 1916 and joined the army, taking a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Engineers in July 1916. He went out to the western front in February 1917, serving with the 98th Field Company and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in January 1918. He was killed by a shell along with several other officers as they sat at mess.

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

Eric Alfred Whitehead

Eric was the younger son of Alfred North Whitehead, a mathematician, philosopher and Fellow of the Royal Society and his wife Evelyn. He joined Rigaud’s House in April, 1914 and left the school two years later in 1917. Whilst Whitehead had a place to study at Balliol College, Oxford, he joined the Royal Flying Corps in the autumn of 1917. He went out to the western front in February 1918 where he was killed in action whilst on flying patrol.

Before the war the philosopher Bertrand Russell had been a close friend to the Whitehead family. However, contrasting attitudes towards the war pulled the friendship apart. Russell, a pacifist, opposed the British government and defended the rights of conscientious objectors. His actions ultimately led to his being imprisoned for several months in 1918.  The Whitehead family felt that the war was necessary to secure peace in Europe and all of Alfred North Whitehead’s children served in the war effort.  Eric’s death was a great loss to the family.

Alfred North Whitehead published a book An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Natural Knowledge in 1919, which he had been working on since before the war. He dedicated to his son with the following words:

‘Killed in action over the Foret de Gobain giving himself that the city of his vision may not perish. The music of his life was without discord, perfect in its beauty’

Alfred North Whitehead
Posted in The Fallen | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Alexander John Maxwell Gordon

Alexander Gordon joined Westminster in 1907 and boarded in Rigaud’s House.  We do not know much about his first few years at the school.  In 1912 he took part in his houses’ Tug of War Team, weighing in at 11st, by the following year’s match, he had gained 10lb.  He was also part of the Officer Training Corps, obtaining the rank of Lance-Corporal whilst at the school and performing well at shooting matches.

When Gordon left the school in July 1913 and took up a place at Pembroke College, Cambridge.  However, shortly after the outbreak of war, he joined the Queen’s Westminster Rifles, a natural choice given the rifle practice he had had at school.  He took a commission at a 2nd Lieutenant in November and was promoted through the ranks, becoming a Captain in November 1916.  He went out to the western front in September 1917 and was killed in action at Moeuvres in November as part of the capture of Bourlon Wood.

Gordon was buried in Hermies Hill British Cemetery in France.  His death is recorded on a family memorial in Highgate Cemetery.

British infantry, having moved up into captured German trenches at Havrincourt, just south of Moeuvres and Bourlon, on 20th November 1917.
Posted in The Fallen | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Franklyn Theodore Rowland Rowlands

Franklyn Rowlands born in Torrington Cottage in Porthcawl on the South Wales coast on the 25th September 1898. He was the only son of His Honour Judge Rowland Rowlands and Mary, daughter of Gwilym Thomas. Franklyn’s parents were predominantly based in London because of his father’s work.

However, Franklyn continued to live in Porthcawl with his Uncle Charles, who was a law student and domestic nurse – and a rugby player. Franklyn eventually joined his parents in St John’ s Wood, and was recorded as living there by the 1911 census. But he continued to return home to Wales during the school holidays, staying with either his Uncle Charles, or his Grandfather Moses.

Franklyn arrived up Rigaud’s in May 1913. He was a keen sportsman. He was captain of the 2nd XI, and he earned his pink and whites in June 1916. He was on the winning Swimming team in July 1916.

Upon Franklyn’s leaving the school, the Head of Rigaud’s noted in the house ledger (written in July 1916):

“The most apt remark I can say about him is that:-

When he was good, he was very very good

But when he was bad, he was         .

He was a weak character, with a good heart. He meant well, but had strange fits of temper & coarseness. On the whole he was a great asset to the House in games & will be a sad loss now he has gone.”

He went on to RMC Sandhurst, and became 2nd Lieutenant, 3rd Battalion, South Wales Borderers on the 1st of May 1917. He was attached to the 2nd Battalion and went out to the western front in October 1917. Only the following month, he was reported missing in action near Rumilly, Cambrai, France on the 21st November 1917.

The following notes were appended to the Head of Rigaud’s comments in the House Ledger:

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

Edmund Davison

Edmund Davison’s first years at the school were spent in the shadow of his elder brother, Ralph, who was two years above him in Rigaud’s.  Once his brother had left, Edmund came into his own.  He excelled at sport, playing for the House team, initially described as a ‘useful and speedy half though not a polished player’.  He rose to the 2nd XI and finally appeared in the 1st XI in his final year at the school, receiving full pinks.  He won the 300 yard race at Athletic Sports, with a time of 36 2/5 seconds, leading most of the way and winning ‘fairly easily in average time’.

Edmund was particularly valued in the house as a recruiting sergeant for the Officer Training Corps, getting 14 boys to join in his first term alone.  He rose through the ranks here and ended his school career as the head of the school’s force, the Company Sergeant Major.  He was also appointed a monitor, Head of House and elected Head Town Boy.  His last at school was tinged with sadness though, as his elder brother was killed in action on 9th May 1915.

Edmund joined the army immediately upon leaving the school and took a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Sussex Regiment.  He was sent to the front with the 12th Battalion in June 1916 and invalided home wounded in October 1916.  Upon his recovery, he returned to the front in July 1917.  His death was reported in The Elizabethan:

Mr. DAVISON, the youngest son of Mrs. Davison, of Gordon Square, was at the School from April 1910 to Christmas 1915. His loss is much regretted by the present generation, who remember his zeal and efficiency as an Officer of the Corps. He was wounded soon after going to the Front, but recovered and returned. We have before had to record the death of his elder brother, and we feel deeply for his widowed mother in her heavy loss.

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