Tag Archives: Royal Fusiliers

Nevil Ford Furze

Nevil Furze was born on 30th April 1897. He was the youngest son of Herbert Furze, of South Kensington, and Mary Ford, daughter of Edward Tidswell, of Chigwell, Essex. He was admitted to the school in April 1912, where he joined Homeboarders’ house.

During his time at the school, Furze threw himself into the Football and Cricket scene, earning House Colours in both sports. The Elizabethan contains some congratulatory comments about some of his performances:

“The start of the second half was sensational; the Visitors pressed; Carless cleared and sent out to Furze, who ran through the whole defence and scored with a beauty (2-1).” (1st November 1914 against Old Wykehamists).

He left the school in July 1914 and, in September, enlisted in the 18th (Service) Battalion (1st Public Schools) the Royal Fusiliers. He became a 2nd Lieutenant with the 3rd Battalion (Reserve) The Queen’s (Royal West Surrey) Regiment in June 12, 1915, and went out to the western front attached to the 2nd Battalion in September 1915.

Furze was involved in the operations at Bucquoy in March 1917. He was killed while leading a night attack there on 14 March 1917. Following the unsuccessful British attacks, the Germans retired from Bucquoy.

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Stephen Arthur Herbert Codd

19160909_Codd,SAHStephen Codd was the only son of Arthur and Florence Codd of West Hampstead. He was born on the 24th October 1891, and was admitted to Homeboarders House as a non-resident King’s Scholar in 1905.

He was a keen public speaker, regularly participating in the Debating Society. On 17 February 1910, Stephen argued in favour of Vivisection: he “fluently demonstrated what benefits had been conferred upon mankind by vivisection, and indulged in some rather gruesome detail.”

In his final year at school, he won first place in the Orations — a public speaking competition — and was commended for his “sweeter voice” and was “word perfect” in the final performance of a passage from Isaiah predicting the fall of Babylon.

Stephen left the school in July 1910, and entered the office of the High Commissioner for South Africa, Herbert, 1st Viscount Gladstone. However, after three years, Stephen decided to take holy orders, and went to King’s College London, where he gained the Wordsworth Latin Prize in the Intermediate B.D. Exam, in 1914.

In September 1914, he enlisted in the Universities and Public Schools Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, and was made 2nd Lieutenant, 11th (Service) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regt in the December of that year. He was attached to the 7th Battalion and went out to Gallipoli on 24th September 1915. That November, Gallipoli was hit by a great blizzard; Stephen suffered from frostbite and was invalided home.

After his convalescence, he went out to the western front on 24th August 1916, where he took part in the attack at High Wood. The plan was to use tanks later on in the month, and Stephen’s regiment was preparing the way by attempting to penetrate into the German trenches. Stephen was the only officer of his battalion to succeed in doing so, but he was never seen again.

In June 1917, the King’s College Review quoted a letter that Stephen’s Colonel wrote: “The regiment attacked on the 9th and your son gallantly led his men into the enemy’s lines but were driven out by superior numbers. Your son was last seen at the head of his men… he was a brave splendid officer and at once made himself popular with his brother officers and men.”

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William Vernon Rayner

William Vernon Rayner was in Homeboarders house from 1894 until 1898. Rayner played cricket for the school, although it is difficult to see why he was included on the team as he was not a good fielder and the most runs he is recorded as scoring is 4! He played for the school against Charterhouse and Eton, as well as in a special match against a team made up of members of the House of Lords and the House of Commons. In football, he played as a forward for Homeboarders. He scored their only goal in a 4-1 loss against Rigaud’s in the house football final in 1897. He performed even better in goal and in a match against the Old Carthusians in 1898 played ‘splendidly, saving shot after shot in fine style’ ensuring his team won 6-0.

After leaving school he became a solicitor and practiced in Smith Square. In the 1911 census he is noted as boarding at No. 10 Vincent Square. He then moved to Buenos Aires where he worked for the British Consulate. On the declaration of war, he returned to England and enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers. He served as a Lance-Corporal in France but was sent home wounded in March 1916. He returned to the front in late June 1916, and reported ‘missing’ three weeks later, when the advance was made near Bethune; presumed killed in action July 23, 1916.

19160723_Rayner,WV

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Eric Hinckes Bird

Eric Hinckes Bird was a member of Rigaud’s House from 1907-1912. After leaving school he went to the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. He obtained a commission just after the outbreak of the war and initially served as a Lieutenant in the City of London Regiment of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. He was invalided home after six months on the western front in which his Regiment was involved in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, the Battle of Aubers and the action of Bois Grenier. He recovered and returned to active service and subsequently became attached to the Royal Flying Corps as an Observer. He was sent out to France in June 1916.

His aircraft, an FE2b fighter, was returning from a successful bombing raid on Henin Leitard early in the morning of 26th June. As the aircraft returned home it was attacked by German Fokkers and, along with other allied aircraft, became embroiled in a frenzied fight.

Bird’s pilot, 2nd Lieutenant Riley made a forced landing near Mazingarbe but the aircraft ran into hidden barbed wire defences, turned over and was wrecked. Riley was thrown on to his head and suffered a severe concussion but he later recovered. Bird was less fortunate receiving a blow to the back, breaking and wrist and dislocating a shoulder and died of his wounds the following day.

German solider Lt. Max Ritter von Mulzer claimed to have caused the aircraft to crash.

Max Ritter von Mulzer pictured in his Fokker aircraft
Max Ritter von Mulzer pictured in his Fokker aircraft
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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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Gerald John Mortimer Moxon

Gerald Moxon was born on 22nd November 1893, the only son of J. P. Moxon and joined the school in 1908 up Ashburnham. He opted to study “the modern tongues and sciences”, joining the school-wide rivalry between the Moderns and the Classics which, by 1908, had taken a poetic turn:

“Classics indeed can strut righte well
And talke and boast in their conceit;
But ne’ertheless in things that count
They’ll finde the Modernes hard to beat.”

by C.M. Goodall (AHH 1906-09)

Gerald played in the winning Ashburnham Junior House Football team in 1909. The Ashburnham House ledger records that he played outside right, but that he “also played back instead of last. He is a dashing player, very fast, and goes straight for the man (and usually gets him too!). He is a much better outside right than back.”

19160327_Moxon

A celebratory Supper was held in honour of the victory on Tuesday 21st December. A song specially composed for the occasion was performed, the chorus went —

“Oh don’t let me play ‘gainst Ashburnham
For never that game I’ll forget
I was charged and knocked over the touch-line
While the rest put the ball in the net.”

(sung to the tune of The Tarpaulin Jacket)

On 1st of October 1913, Gerald joined the 7th Batt. Royal Fusiliers and was attached to the 4th Battalion in September the following year. He went out to the western front, but received a wound to the head on 20th October 1914 and was invalided home. He was promoted to temporary Lieutenant in February 1915 and returned to the front in March. By July, Gerald had achieved the rank of temporary Captain. He was killed in action at St. Eloi at the age of 22 on 27th March 1916. He was the 3rd member of the winning Ashburnham Junior Football teamto lose his life in the war — after R. Chalmers and J.W.H. McCulloch — and he was not the last…

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