Tag Archives: Water

John Herbert Williams

John Herbert Williams was in his late 50s when the First World War broke out.  He had a well-established career as a Barrister and Judge, he was appointed a reporter on the staff of the Law Reports in 1911, and was one of the editors of ‘Smith’s Leading Cases,’ brought out several editions of ‘Goodeve’s Personal Property’ and collaborated in a book on ‘The Law of Ejectment.’

Williams had been successful at school, joining Grant’s in 1869 and passing the Challenge in 1872.  He remained a Queen’s Scholar at the school until 1876, when he was elected to Trinity College, Cambridge with the prestigious Triplett Scholarship.  He was athletic at the school and rowed in the 1st VIII and played for the football 1st XI

Anxious to take a share in war service, he applied for and received a commission and went to France to take up the appointment.  He was then 60 years of age.  Soon after arriving in France he was taken ill and invalided home.  He died in the war hospital at Reading.

Williams is almost certainly in this photograph of the Westminster VIII of 1876. Unfortunately, the caption and photograph has been damaged so we are unable to tell which he is.
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Thomas Reginald Dawson

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Dawson’s grave at Beckenham Cemetery

Thomas Dawson was elected as a King’s Scholar at Westminster School in 1909. He was Secretary of the school’s Scientific Society and an active debater. In one debate he argued against compulsory military service stating that ‘Englishmen are becoming keener every year to volunteer, which makes compulsory service unnecessary.’

Dawson was true to his word and although he won a scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford in July 1914, he joined the army on the outbreak of the war. He took a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 19th Battalion of the London Regiment but it was nearly a year before he was sent out to see active service on the Western Front.

Dawson was wounded at the Battle of Loos on 25th September 1915. He was sent back to England to have his wounds treated and ended up in hospital in Vincent Square, not far from the school. He died there from his wounds on 4th February 1916 and a number of pupils were able to attend his funeral at St. Philip’s, Sydenham and burial at Elmer’s End Cemetery, now known as the Beckenham Cemetery. Many of them would have remembered him from his time at the school.

The following letter was sent to the Editor of The Elizabethan following his death:

It is with some diffidence that I ask for the inclusion of this letter, because the paragraphs of eulogy that appear with absolute precision in most school magazines on the dead condemn themselves by their sentimental universality as in most cases obviously untrue. Nor shall I eulogise now. Much might be written upon the three young King’s Scholars whom the battle has claimed so far as its toll. First, we saw the death of W. B. W. Durrant, next of K. T. D. Wilcox, and now it is T. R. Dawson—all three only sons. But it is of the last that I should like to speak, for I was one of the few who knew him well, and it would be a pity if to future generations of Westminsters he were but a name on the wall. Not popular, not distinguished in athletic or intellectual ability, not striking except in a personality of extraordinary obstinacy and endurance. Such characteristics devoted to low ideals might have brought fame. Directed on the side of the angels, they were realised in full only by those to whom it was given to know him to the very end. It is as the first Head of Water after the revival that the School collectively owes him the deepest gratitude. Head of Water, but he gave up his place in the four when he saw someone better to fill it. But reference to foregoing pages would show in how many ways he did the ‘spade-work’ while others held more showy positions. And it was only his obstinacy that got him into the Army when the War called for officers, for, like Hannibal, he was blind in one eye. And, personally, may the gratitude be recorded of one who knew what it was to be able to rely on him absolutely when all others might fail– gratitude that ‘Bacchus’ Dawson did live once?

Yours as before,

εγρηγορος  Φρονημα

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Edward Townshend Logan

Edward Logan was born in Valparaiso, Chile where his father worked as a copper merchant. He arrived at Westminster at the age of 15, and joined Grant’s House.

He achieved fame within the school for his disastrous performance in the Junior Sculls in July 1882. The report in The Elizabethan reads “the most remarkable feature of this race was Logan’s course, from a Surrey station into the Middlesex bank; Hawkins, who remained for some time in obscurity, suddenly forged ahead at the corner, and won, while Crews, rowing very pluckily, passed Logan, when stranded, thus securing the second place.”

In 1888, six years after leaving school, he joined the Cheshire Militia, rising steadily through the ranks over the following decades. In the Boer war, he served as a Captain with the Mounted Infantry and was mentioned twice in dispatches. On the 22nd January 1896, he married Hilda Emma Frances Duckworth, a widow, in Rossett, Denbighshire.

He was awarded the Queen’s Medal (three clasps), the King’s Medal (two clasps) and, on 24th March 1901, he received a Distinguished Service Order Medal for the “gallant leading of the advanced guard.” At the end of the Boer War, Logan left the army to join the South African Constabulary, where he rose to Commandant of Middleburg, Transvall.

He returned to England in 1907, and lived with his wife at Christleton Bank, Cheshire. He re-joined the army, where he became commanding officer of the 3rd batt. Cheshires in Birkenhead. At the outbreak of war, he was soon put in command of the 5th Durham Light Infantry and sent to France — to the Battle of Loos — in September 1915.

Lieutenant Colonel Logan was killed in action on the 25th September, along with his younger brother. According to the Cheshire Observer, attendance at the service in his honour was “striking testimony to the high esteem and warm regard in which he was held”.

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Throughout the rest of the war, his widow organised support for the Cheshire Regiment from the people of Christleton.

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