Tag Archives: Sandhurst

Leslie Grantham Heigham-Plumptre

Leslie was the son of J.V.N. Plumptre and Mary Ling. He was adopted by Henry Heigham and adopted his surname in addition to that of his father. He joined the school aged just nine years old from Shrewsbury House Preparatory School. He started initially as a day boy in Ashburnham in 1907 and then became a boarder in Grant’s. Leslie left in Easter 1913, then aged fifteen, and joined HMS Worcester. The ship was the home of the Thames Nautical Training College and cadets received training with a view to becoming seamen in the navy.

Leslie’s career took him in a different direction and he joined the Royal Military College, Sandhurst in 1917 before taking a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 3rd Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment in September 1917. In December he was attached to the Royal Flying Corps, and he went out to the Western Front in March 1918. Eleven days after arriving, he was wounded and invalided home, but he returned to the front on 19th May. Once again, less than a fortnight after arriving he was injured in a bombing raid. He died from his wounds on 4th June 1918.

Cadets on HMS Worcester, early 20th Century
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Lambert Alfred Graham Hanmer

Lambert Hanmer was born on the 21st October 1868. He was one of five children of Rear-Admiral John Graham Job Hanmer, and Mary Caroline, daughter of Reverend John Cobbold Aldrich, Incumbent of St Lawrence, Ipswich. He had three elder sisters: Alice, Helen and Charlotte, and one younger brother: Thomas.

He arrived at the school in 1882, and became a keen member of the music scene. He sang a solo in the 1884 school concert, and in 1884 he was a member of the Glee Club. He took part in a Horsley’s quartet ‘By Celia’s Arbour’. “This catch piece of writing was accurately rendered, though in places it seemed somewhat spasmodic and lacking in breath.”

He left the school in December 1885 and began a career in the army. He attended RMA Sandhurst from December 1887, and went on to join the West Riding Regiment as 2nd Lieutenant in March 1889.

He rose to Lieutenant with the Indian Staff Corps on the 29th October 1890. Four years later, he became Squadron Officer and Adjutant with the 1st Punjab Cavalry. He saw served in the Waziristan expedition in 1894-5, and on the North-West Frontier in 1897-8. He rose to Captain in March 1900. He served as Aide de Camp between January 1900 and October 1901.

On the 17th December 1901, Lambert married Ethel Elizabeth, youngest daughter of Colonel Thomas Heaton Lovett, Belmont, Shropshire. They had two children: Rosemary Elizabeth (born 6th January 1905), and Richard Graham Hanmer (born 5th November 1906).

In April 1905, Lambert joined the 21st Prince Albert Victor’s Own Cavalry as Squadron-Commander, and was promoted to Major by March 1907. He became Lieutenant-Colonel on the 23rd March 1915 and was awarded the DSO on the 7th February 1918.

He was serving at Tuz Kermatli, Mesopotamia when he was wounded in action. Lambert died on the 29th April 1918. The Elizabethan reported his death as follows:

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Ronald John McIver Wilson-Theobald

Ronald was born on the 20th September 1898. He was the only child of William and Rosie Wilson-Theobald. His father was a barrister-at-law in Kensington, and his mother was the daughter of Isaac Lotinga, of Sunderland, Co. Durham. He joined Ashburnham in September 1912.

In 1914, Ronald came second in the Under 16s 100 Yards race. He left the school at Easter of the same year, and in 1916, he started at RMC Sandhurst.

He was attached to the 5th Battalion Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry as a 2nd Lieutenant, in September 1917, and he went out with them to the western front in November.

He was stationed near St. Quentin, France, when the major German offensive – known as Operation Michael – was launched in the early hours of the 21st of March 1918. His battalion was defending the Somme, where they faced trench mortars, mustard gas, chlorine gas, tear gas, smoke canisters, and heavy artillery bombardment. Ronald was killed in action on that first day of the three-day long Battle of St Quentin.

The following account of that morning is by Winston Churchill, who was there carrying out an inspection as Minister of Munitions:

“And then, exactly as a pianist runs his hands across the keyboard from treble to bass, there rose in less than one minute the most tremendous cannonade I shall ever hear…It swept round us in a wide curve of red leaping flame stretching to the north far along the front of the Third Army, as well as of the Fifth Army on the south, and quite unending in either direction…the enormous explosions of the shells upon our trenches seemed almost to touch each other, with hardly an interval in space or time…The weight and intensity of the bombardment surpassed anything which anyone had ever known before.”

THE GERMAN SPRING OFFENSIVE, MARCH-JULY 1918 (IWM Q 8618)
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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:

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Harold Winning Fleming

Harold Winning Fleming’s parents were Alexander (Alec) John Fleming and Lily Huthart Brown. Alec was a medical doctor in Hampstead. Lily was a daughter of Forrest Loudon Brown, of Bombay, India. In 1891, she was working as a teacher of music, and living in Altrincham, Cheshire, with her sister and widowed mother. Alec and Lily were married in September 1894 in Altrincham, Cheshire.

Harold was born in Hampstead, London, on the 25th of April 1898. He was one of four children: he had an elder brother, Alan McKinstry Fleming, and two younger sisters, Lily Woodrow Fleming and Sheila Laudon Fleming. Before arriving at Westminster, he attended St John’s House, Hampstead.

He arrived as a non-resident King’s Scholar in September 1911, and joined Homeboarders’ House. He was absent for two terms, when he went abroad on account of his health. He left the school for good in July 1915, and attended R.M.C. Sandhurst between August 1916 and May 1917.

In May 1917, he was made 2nd Lieutenant, 1st Battalion (16th Foot) The Bedfordshire Regiment. He went out to the western front May 31, 1917, served with the Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders, and was mentioned in despatches for gallant and distinguished service.

His Chaplain wrote: “I frequently saw him both in and out of the trenches, and we all liked him for his bright and happy disposition, as well as for his keenness and great efficiency. It was no secret that he was considered one of the most promising of the junior officers in the battalion.”

On 5th October 1917, Harold was killed in action at the age of 19 by a sniper at Gheluvelt, on the Ypres-Menin Road.

One of his brother officer wrote: “I am certain that at his death the 1st Bedfords lost one of the bravest of its officers.”

Another wrote: “ The other officers of his company having become casualties early in the attack (Oppy Wood, near Arras), this officer, 2nd Lieut. H.W. Fleming who was in the trenches for the first time, assumed command throughout the attack, and in the subsequent tour of duty showed coolness, gallantry and ability, and his example afforded great encouragement to his men.”

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Colin Hyde Edwards

Colin was the youngest son of Lieutenant-Colonel Edwards and his wife, Mrs Hyde Edwards. He joined Ashburnham House in 1909 and spent two years at the school, before going on to Bradfield College.  On the outbreak of war, he attended the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, taking a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 1st Battalion of the East Surrey Regiment in May 1915.

He was reported missing on 8th May in the aftermath of the Third Battle of the Scarpe, but it was only established in September, 1917, that he had died of wounds as a prisoner of war on 22nd May that year.  He has been wounded in action near Fresnoy and taken by the enemy to a war hospital at Shelotille, Douai.  According the press-notice on his death ‘he was only 20 years of age, and had proved himself an enthusiastic young officer of the Regiment which his father was for so long associated’.

Soldiers overlooking the town of Douai, which remained in German hands until 1918.
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Nicholas George Berwick Lechmere

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The cap badge for the Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment

Nicholas was the youngest son of Sir Edmund Lechmere who was MP for Worcestershire. He arrived at the school up Ashburnham in May 1895 and studied modern languages and science, rather than Classics. He left in Election 1897 and four years later he enrolled at RMC Sandhurst.

He became 2nd Lieutenant of the Scots Guards in May 1902, just when the Scots Guards were returning home from the Boer War, but he retired from the army in 1906.

On the 23rd June 1904, Nicholas married Mary Katherine Pegg of Basingstoke, who was the only daughter of Major John Pegg, but she died after only six years of marriage. They had no children.

When war broke out, he re-joined the army as Captain of the 10th Service Battalion, Duke of Wellington’s (West Riding) Regiment and was attached to the 2nd Battalion. He was sent out to the western front in June 1915.

He was killed in action, aged 34, while attempting to capture the Hohenzollern Redoubt, near Loos

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Cecil Hurst-Brown

19150926_HurstBrown,C

Cecil was born in Bayswater, the middle son of William Hurst-Brown, a stockbroker, and his wife Ethel Mary Dredge Newbury Coles.

He was an active sportsman: a double pink whilst at school and then secretary of the University Association Football Club whilst at Christ Church, Oxford. He played cricket whilst at Westminster, gaining a place on the 1st XI and averaging 14.60 and 19.00 in the 1912 and 1913 seasons.

 

Upon the outbreak of war he left university and joined the Royal Military College at Sandhurst. On 16 December 1914, he was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant in the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, and was posted to the 2nd Battalion, which he joined in France on 7th June 1915. He died on 26th September 1915, having been wounded in action the previous day.

His younger brother, 2nd Lieutenant Dudley Hurst-Brown, 129th Battery R.F.A was wounded on 13 June 1915, and died two days later. A family historian said of Cecil’s death that “he was the second of two brothers killed within three months of each other. It sent my wife’s great grandmother [Cecil’s mother, Ethel] insane with grief – she spent the rest of her life in and out of mental hospitals – thus two casualties became three – very sad.”

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Richard Edward John Thomson

Richard Edward John Thomson was in Rigaud’s House from 1906 until 1909. He was interested in a military career from an early stage and joined the school’s Officer Training Corps, taking part in shooting competitions – with mixed success. He left the school after passing his Woolwich qualifying examination and in 1910 joined the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He joined the Indian Army in 1912 as aDouble Company Officer for the 15th Ludhiana Sikhs. With this regiment he saw active service atNowshera and Lorala before joining the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front in September 1914. He was killed in action at Neuve Chapelle on 18th May 1915.

19150518_Thomson,REJ_15thLudhianas

The same day, just a few hundred metres away,Lieutenant John Smyth of the 15th Ludhiana Sikhs, led ten volunteers on a perilous mission to supply bombs to the front line. Lieutenant Smythconveyed a supply of 96 bombs to within 20 yards of the enemy’s position over exceptionally dangerous ground, after the attempts of two other parties had failed. Lieutenant Smyth succeeded in taking the bombs to the desired position with the aid of two of his men (the other eight having been killed or wounded), and to effect his purpose he had to swim a stream, being exposed the whole time to howitzer, shrapnel, machine-gun and rifle fire. Smyth was awarded the Victoria Cross, Lance-Naik Mangal Singh the Indian Order of Merit, and every sepoy in the party the Indian Distinguished Service Medal.

Speaking at the500th Birthday Anniversary of Guru Nanak at Grosvenor House in Park Lane in December, 1969 the thenBrigadier the Rt. Hon. Sir John Smythe, Bt. V.C. made the following speech:

56 years ago I joined the 15th Ludhiana Sikhs in Loralai, Baluchistan and at once became embued with the teachings and the life of Guru Nanak. The Sikh Gurus, the Sikh religion, the Gurdwara, the Granth Sahib became part of my life. The British and Sikh officers of the Regiment were convinced that religion was an important factor in the make-up of a good soldier and we fostered that in every way possible.

 

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John McAdam Craig

According to The Record of Old Westminsters John McAdam Craig was in Rigaud’s between 27th September 1900 and July 1905. However, following his death an Old Westminster wrote the following letter to The Elizabethan:

Passing through Dean’s Yard the other day, I noticed the Roll of Honour contained the name Lieut. J. M. Craig—followed by his regiment, and then-Rigaud’s. No mention whatever of his being a K.S. Surely the entry in the last column should be K.S. (Rigaud’s). I would not even allow Rigaud’s (K.S.). Any honour there may be in belonging to any particular house, or, indeed, in being an O.W. at all, is nothing compared with that of being a King’s Scholar. I only hope that the mistake was an oversight, but, remembering how the non-resident K. SS. were treated in my day, my hope is not very great. Mr. Craig was elected Q.S. at the last Challenge in Queen Victoria’s reign, and it is as a member of that same election that I make this appeal on his behalf. I am, Sir, Yours faithfully,

QUEEN’S SCHOLAR.

Our records show that Craig was indeed elected a Queen’s Scholar in 1900, but as he opted for a non-residential scholarship he was allocated to Rigaud’s House. Fewer and fewer pupils wished to board in College at this stage in the school’s history and although 40 boys sat The Challenge that year only 12 were prepared to become full Scholars.

As well as being a scholar, Craig was a talented sportsman. An early review of his footballing abilities in The Elizabethan noted that ‘though still very light, [he] playedin excellent style, and ought with care todevelop into a first-class centre half. This clearly was the case as Craig continued to playfootball for the school, earning full pinks and leading the Rigaud’s team to victory in the Inter-House competition two years running. He also played an active role in the Officer Training Corps and joined Sandhurst immediately after leaving the school.

Craig served in India before the war, arriving in Marseilles on 12th October 1914 with the 58th Rifles in the Indian division of the Expeditionary Force. Craig was in France for less than a month when he died from wounds received on 31st October at Bethune.

Craig is seated in the centre of the front row, holding on to the trophy.
Craig is seated in the centre of the front row, holding on to the trophy.
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