Tag Archives: Royal Engineers

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.

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Matthew Arden Phillimore

19160625_Phillimore,MAMatthew Phillimore was born on the 17th March 1896. He was the younger son of George Grenville Phillimore. He was admitted to the school as a King’s Scholar in September 1909.

Matthew and his elder brother Henry were the latest in a long line of Phillimores to attend the school — over 25 members of the family across 5 generations were pupils at Westminster. Members of the Phillimore family were still actively involved in school life. Matthew’s father, for example, was involved with the publication of The Elizabethan. The school was also awarding the Phillimore Translation Prize and the Phillimore Essay Prize.

In 1912, both Matthew and his brother Henry took part in the Latin Play, Famulus. The write-up in The Elizabethan reviews the performance of each:

“Mr. M. A. PHILLIMORE made a capital Dorus. He quaked with terror, said aye or no as required of him and, in general, had such an air of terrified idiocy as rendered him irresistibly comic.”

“Mr. H. A. G. PHILLIMORE as Sophrona was suitably, old and feeble, though his gait suggested rather temporary lameness in one foot than perpetual infirmity.”

At the end of his time at the school, Matthew was elected to an exhibition at Christ Church, Oxford. He matriculated in Michaelmas 1914, but he was there for just six months before joining the army on 23rd April 1915. He became a 2nd Lieutenant for the 11th (Service) Battalion of the Essex Regiment, which was billeted in Brighton, and was attached to the 9th Regiment.

In the February of 1915, eight companies of Royal Engineers were created to dig mines below the front line, and to detect and destroy enemy mines. Matthew was attached to one of these tunnelling companies and he went out to the western front in October 1915.

Matthew Phillimore was killed in action near B├®thune on the 25th June 1916. His parents gave a processional cross to the Church of St John the Baptist, Shedfield in his memory. His brother Henry was wounded in 1917, but survived the war and went on to become a preparatory schoolteacher in Abingdon.

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