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Oakham School Archives

Explore the history of the school through the documents and objects that have been left behind...

Introduction

The attack was launched by the Allies on 1st July 1916 to divert German resources from the attack on Verdun. It was preceded by a weeklong bombardment of the German lines (approximately 1.6 million shells were fired). The battle lasted for 4 months. In the north were 11 British divisions of the new 4th Army commanded by Rawlinson, Gough and Allenby. In the south were 5 French divisions commanded by General Fayolle and General Micheler. The German army was led by General von Below. Tanks were introduced for the first time by the British. These are armoured vehicles that run on endless metal chains. On the first day, 60,000 British soldiers and 20,000 German soldiers lay dead. This is the worst day in British military history. There were 420,000 British casualties (dead and wounded), 195,000 French casualties, and 450,000 German casualties by the end of fighting. The Allies won just 10km on the Western front.

Old Oakhamians who Fell During the Battle of the Somme

James Edward Atter

1896 – 16th April 1916

 

James was born to James and Margaret Atter of Windybrow, Melton Mowbray. His younger brother Christopher Francis was also killed during the war.

Bank House, 1911 - James is standing second from the right.

 

Life at Oakham School

James attended Oakham School between 1910 and 1914. His school achievements are listed below:

  • Debating society: Spring 1912 to Spring 1914.
  • Rugby under 14: Winter 1910.
  • Rugby 1st XV: Winter 1912 to Winter 1913.
  • Cricket 1st XI: Spring 1913 to Summer 1914.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI 1913 – James is sitting at the front left.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI 1914 – James is standing second from right.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI 1914 – James is standing second from right.

Oakham School Magazine Reviews

In his sporting career, the Oakhamian Magazine made comments upon both his cricket and rugby prowess:

Summer 1913 Cricket review: ‘A most persevering but by no means successful cricketer; his stance at the wicket is cramped and he is by no means safe in the field.’

Summer 1914 Cricket review: ‘As a field has improved out of all knowledge, and is quite a useful change bowler. He has been consistently unsuccessful as a bat, failing entirely to produce last season’s form.’

Winter 1913 Rugby review: ‘A very keen forward, always up with the ball and frequently helps the three-quarters in attack. Has no use for the off-side rule.’

 

After Oakham and the War

After school, James enlisted on 5th August 1914 as a Private in the 1st / 5th Battalion Leicestershire Regiment, 138 Brigade, 46th Division.

Leicestershire Regiment badge.

His battalion went to France in February 1915. He fought at the Somme and was killed by a rifle shot on 16th April 1916. He was 19.

Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Summer term 1916, Vol.32, no.2

James is buried in Ecoivres Military Cemetery Mont St Eloi, near Arras, in grave I.A.14 and is remembered in Oakham School chapel.

James Edward Atter's grave with Oakham School motto.

 

Bibliography:

https://www.rutlandremembers.org/fallen/645/atter-private-james-edward

https://www.royalleicestershireregiment.org.uk/history-of-the-regiment-2

Richard Waltham

19th February 1894 - 18th August 1916

Richard was born in Heidelberg, Western Australia to Joshua Frederick Waltham and Constance Winifred. 

He attended Oakham School in 1905.

After Oakham

Little is known about Waltham's life after Oakham. We do know that he was a farmer in Australia when he was 21 years old and enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in Perth, Western Australia on the 4th March 1915. 

Australian Imperial Force Badge

Australian Imperial Force cap badge.

Waltham's Sign up papers

Waltham's World War One Attestation on joining the Australian Army. 

Richard would travel all the way to France where he took part in action at the Somme. It was on the18th August 1916, during the height of the battle, that Waltham was killed. He is laid to rest in the Poziers British Cemetery in France. 

Waltham Grave

Waltham's grave in Poziers British Cemetery.

Bibliography

John Paul Bromhead

1893 – 03rd August 1916

John Paul Bromhead

John Paul was born to Newton & Mary Bromhead of Nonnan Cottage, West Road, Oakham, Rutland.

Bank House, 1911 - John is sat in the second row in the centre.

Life at Oakham School

John Paul attended Oakham School between 1904 and 1912. He was in School House. His school achievements are listed below:

  • One Hundred Yards U13: 2nd place - Spring 1905.
  • Mile: 1st place, Spring 1911.
  • Steeplechase: 2nd place, Spring 1911.
  • One hundred Yards: 1st place, Spring 1911.
  • Quarter Mile: 1st place, Spring 1911.
  • Cricket U14: Summer 1907.
  • Cricket 1st XI: Summer 1911; Captain - Summer 1912.

Oakham School XI Cricket 1911 - John is standing second from right.

Oakham School XI Cricket 1912 - John is standing second from right.

  • Rugby 2nd lot: played as a forward - Winter 1906 to Winter 1907.
  • Rugby 1st XV: played as a forward - Winter 1908 to Winter 1910; Captain - Winter 1911.

 

  • Debating Society: Spring 1910 to Spring 1912.
  • O.T.C.: Lance-Corporal - Winter 1910; Colonel-Sergeant - Summer 1911.

The School Corps in 1911 - John is sat on the second row, fifth from the right.

  • History Prize: Summer 1907.
  • Rutland Scholarship: was elected to the scholarship - Spring 1907.
  • Higher Certificate at the Oxford and Cambridge Board Exam: with Distinction in Divinity - Summer 1908; Summer 1909; Summer 1910; with Distinction in Scriptures - Summer 1911; with Distinction in Scriptures and History - Summer 1912.
  • Dr Wood’s Latin Composition Prize: Summer 1909; Summer 1911; Summer 1912.
  • Mr Adam’s Divinity Prize: Summer 1909; Summer 1911; Summer 1912.
  • Dr Wood’s English Composition Prize: Summer 1910; Summer 1911; Summer 1912.
  • Form 6 History Prize: Summer 1910.
  • Trustees’ Prize for Form 6: Summer 1911.
  • The Dean of Peterborough’s History Prize: Summer 1911.

 

  • Games’ Committee: Winter 1910 to Summer 1912.
  • Prefect: Winter 1909 to Summer 1911.
  • Head Prefect: Winter 1911 to Summer 1912.

School House Cricket team, c.1907 - John is sat at the front on the right.

Oakham School Magazine Reviews

In his sporting career, the Oakhamian Magazine made comments upon his cricketing, rugby and running prowess.

Winter 1907 Rugby Review: ‘amongst the best of the forwards’.

Winter 1908 Rugby Review: ‘quite a promising player; he dribbles well and does his share of the tackling’.

Winter 1909 Rugby Review: ‘a greatly improved forward; he uses his feet better than anyone else in the team and tackles well.’

Winter 1910 Rugby Review: ‘the best tackler amongst the forwards’; ‘a good dribbler and by far the leading forward in the matter of tackling; a hard worker all through.’

Winter 1911 Rugby Review: ‘a capable captain and a really good forward. Works hard in the scrum, dribbles well, is keen in following up and never spares himself in defence; a good hooker.’

Spring 1911 Athletics Sports Committee of Management: ‘the best runner of the school this year’. 

Spring 1911 Athletic Sport Review: ‘the best runner of the school this year.’

Summer 1911 Cricket Review: ‘as a batsman has a good eye but awkward style; very active but too uncertain as a catch to be considered a good field’.

Summer 1911 Cricket Review: ‘a fluky batsman whose successes have been due to luck rather than skill; moderate ground field, but a fairly trust worthy catch in the country.’

 

The Oakhamian Magazine also made comments upon his debating abilities:

Spring 1910 Debating Society Review: ‘He knew his subject very well and spoke in a clear straight-forward way that won everybody’s approval.’

 

After Oakham and the War

John won a Johnson Exhibition and a scholarship to study Classics and Theology at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. He gained a BA in the Classical Tripos. He joined the army as a Private (Army Number 9898) in the 8th Battalion of The Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment), 36 Brigade, 12th Division Army.

The City of London Regiment badge.

He fought in the Somme from the start. He took part in the attack on Ovilliers in July. He was killed in action on 3rd August 1916 near Pozieres. He was 22.

 

John was awarded the Military Medal posthumously.

Military Medal.

John does not have a grave but he is remembered on Pier 16A of the Thiepval Memorial.

Bromhead's name on the Theipval Memorial.

Bromhead's name on the Theipval Memorial.

 
Bibliography:

https://www.rutlandremembers.org/fallen/527/bromhead-private-john-paul-

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/f3/Medal%2C_decoration_%28AM_2016.26.1-8%29.jpg

Lancelot John Austen “Jack” Dewar

08th October 1896 - 13th November 1916

Jack Dewar Military Photograph

Jack was born to Reverend David Dewar and Annie Dewar of Holy Trinity Vicarage, Loughborough.

Informal photo of Jack Dewar.

 

Life at Oakham School

Jack went to Oakham School from 1911 to 1915. His school achievements are listed below:

  • Debating Society: Spring 1912 to Spring 1915.
  • Drama: played “First Landlady” in scenes from The Frogs of Aristophanes - 1914.

 

  • Fives Competition: won the Junior Cup - Spring 1912.
  • Fives Competition: won the Senior Cup - Spring 1913.
  • Fives Challenge Cup: Spring 1914.
  • Cricket 2nd XI: Spring 1912.
  • Cricket 1st XI: Summer 1913 to Summer 1914; Captain, Summer 1915.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI 1913 - Jack is standing second from right.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI 1914 - Jack is sat far right.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI 1914 - Jack is sat far right.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI 1915 – Jack is sitting in the center.

  • Rugby 1st  XV: played as a three-quarter - Winter 1912 to Winter 1914; Captain - Winter 1915.

1914-1915 Oakham School Rugby XI - Jack Dewar

Oakham School Rugby 1st XV 1914 -  Jack is sitting second from right.

  • Swimming Six-lengths: 1st place - Summer 1914.
  • Cross Country Steeplechase: 3rd place - Spring 1915.
  • Fenwick Shooting Prize Cup: Summer 1914.

 

  • Waite memorial Prize: Summer 1912.
  • Higher Certificate at Oxford and Cambridge Board Examination: Summer 1915.
  • Dr Wood’s English Composition Prize: Summer 1915.
  • Form 6 History Prize: Summer 1915.

 

  • Honorary Secretary to the Games’ Committee: Winter 1914 to Summer 1915.
  • Prefect: Winter 1914 to Summer 1915.
  • Head Prefect: Winter 1915.

Oakham School Magazine Reviews

In his sporting career, the Oakhamian Magazine made comments upon both his cricketing and rugby prowess.

Summer 1913 Cricket Review: ‘A steady batsman; he has good defence, but no punishing power at present; a good field’.

Summer 1914 Cricket Review: ‘A useful steady bat. He must make up his mind to hit out more. A lamentably bad judge of a run: a really good field’.

Summer 1915 Cricket Review: ‘As a batsman has a good defence, but is deficient in punishing powers: a persevering bowler and an admirable field anywhere; his management of the bowling at his disposal frequently invited criticism’.

Winter 1913 Rugby Review: ‘A lightly-built wing three-quarter who does not shew up to advantage, owing to lack of pace. Should be distinctly useful next year’.

Winter 1914 Rugby Review: ‘Improved since last season. Takes his passes well but is inclined to do too much on his own and to starve his wing. Tackling weak’.

Winter 1915 Rugby Review: ‘Has come on a great deal since last year both in attack and defence: he has a useful swerve but is apt to stop running in the act of giving a pass’.

 

After Oakham and the War

Jack joined the Royal Marine Light Infantry as a Second Lieutenant. He landed in France on 8th July 1916. He fought with the 2nd Royal Marine Battalion.

Royal Marines Regiment Badge

The Royal Marine Regiment badge.

He was involved in the attack of Beaucourt-sur-L’Ancre on 13th November 1916. He died of wounds inflicted during the attack in no man’s land. He was 20.

Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Easter term 1917, Vol.33, no.1

He is buried in grave II C38 in the Ancre British Cemetary in Baumont-Hamel.

Jack Dewar's Grave

Jack Dewar's grave at Ancre British Cemetery. On the school's battlefield's trip, pupils visit Jack's grave and have a remembrance service in which they lay poppy wreaths on his headstone.

 
Bibliography

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Belt,_souvenir_(AM_2008.16.1-16).jpg

https://www.rutlandremembers.org/fallen/631/dewar-second-lieutenant-lancelot-john-austen-jack

William Horace Lantsbery Dewhirst

1st January 1874 – 7th October 1916

 

William was born of William Alfred and Mary Ann Dewhirst of Nothwood, Apperley, Leeds.

Life at Oakham

William attended Oakham School between 1886 and 1890. His school achievements are listed below:

  • Confirmation: Winter 1888.
  • Music: in the Quartet of the school concert - Winter 1889.
  • Debating Society: Spring 1890.
  • Lower Certificate at the Oxford and Cambridge Examination Board: Summer 1890.

 

After Oakham and the War

William became a clerk after his schooling. He joined the 8th Battalion Royal Fusiliers, City of London Regiment, as a Private, 36 Brigade, 12th Division.

Dewhirst's regiment badge

The regiment badge of the Royal Fusiliers. 

His division was ordered to attack the German trenches “Bayonet” and “Barley”. William was killed during a bayonet attack on Bayonet Trench on 7th October 1916 during the Battle for Transloy Ridge. He was 42.

Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Christmas term 1918, Vol.34, no.3

Although not an Oakhamian, his young brother Alfred was also killed during the war.

He is buried in Harrogate (Harlow Hill) cemetery and remembered on the Pier 16A of the Thiepval Memorial.

Dewhirst's name on the Thiepval Memorial. 

 
Bibliography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Medal_(South_Africa)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_War_Medal

https://www.rutlandremembers.org/fallen/630/dewhirst-private-william-horace-lantsbery

Harold Edward Dyson

1893 – 31st July 1916

HE Dyson military photograph

Harold was born in Sheffield, Yorkshire to Henry and Hannah Dyson.

 

Life at Oakham

He attended Oakham School between 1904 and 1910. During his time at the school, Harold achieved:

  • Form 1 Drawing prize: Summer 1905.
  • Form 2 Drawing prize: Summer 1906.
  • Royal Drawing Society Annual Examination: Passed Division III - Summer 1906.
  • Trustees’ Drawing Prize: Summer 1909.

 

  • Rugby 2nd Lot: a forward - Winter 1906.
  • Rugby 1st XV: Winter 1908 to Winter 1909.
  • High jump Under 15: 2nd place - Spring 1908.
  • Fives Junior Competition: lost semi-final - Spring 1908.
  • Cricket 1st XI: Summer 1909.

Oakham School Cricket XI 1909 - Harold is standing third from left.

  • Easter Entertainment: played a milkman in The Area Belle - Spring 1909.

Oakham School Magazine Reviews

A keen sportsman, the school’s magazine often commented upon his abilities on the pitch.

Summer 1909 Cricket review: ‘Bowled fairly well at times, but was generally too erratic; no batsman, but an energetic field with a smart throw-in’.

Winter 1908 Rugby Review: ‘More useful as a place-kick than anything else; he is occasionally conspicuous in the open, but is late in getting into the scrum and goes for his man too much high’.

Winter 1909 Rugby Review: ‘A good place-kick, but too pronounced a winger to be a really effective forward’.

 

After Oakham and the War

Harold went onto work in banking after he left school, specifically becoming a clerk.

He joined the 1st/4th Hallamshire Battalion, The Yorkshire & Lancastershire Regiment, 148 Bridgade, 49th Division, as a Second Lieutenant and was shipped out to Boulogne, France on the 14th April 1915. On the front, his colleagues described him as a ‘charming companion’ and a ‘splendid officer, loved by all who knew him’.

Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment Badge

The Yorkshire and Lancastershire regiment badge.

His battalion fought at the Somme, near Pozieres. They were involved in fighting around the area of Authuille Wood.

Harold was killed near Pozieres on the 31st July 1916, just one month into the Somme campaign. He was 23.

Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Christmas 1916, Vol.32, no.3

Harold was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

Victory Medal British War Medal

Left: The British Victory Medal. Right: The British War Medal.

Harold is buried in the Blighty Valley Cemetery, Authuille Wood, in grave I.A.25.

H E Dyson's Grave

Harold Dyson's grave in Authuille Wood.
 
Bibliography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Medal_(South_Africa)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_War_Medal

https://www.rutlandremembers.org/fallen/629/dyson-second-lieutenant-harold-edward

William Reginald Favell

1882 – 2nd July 1916

 

William Reginald was born to Richard and Ada Favell of 348 Glossop Road, Sheffield, Yorkshire. There seems to be a debate as to when he was born. The school register and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission recorded his date of birth in 1882 but William Reginald wrote on his attestation papers that he was born on 18th June 1885.

 

Life at Oakham

William Reginald attended Oakham School between 1896 and 1900. His school achievements are listed below:

  • High Jump: 2nd place - Spring 1897.
  • Broad Jump under 16: 2nd place - Spring 1898.

 

  • Drawing Examination: passed Division III - Summer 1897.
  • Form 3 French prize: Summer 1897.

 

  • Rugby 2nd XV: Winter 1897; Captain - Winter 1899.
  • Rugby: Captain of the Wasps - Winter 1899.

 

  • Cricket 2nd  XI: Summer 1898 to Summer 1899.

 

  • House Prefect: Winter 1899 to Summer 1900.
  • Committee of Management for Sport member: Spring 1900.

Oakham School Magazine Reviews

In his sporting career, the Oakhamian Magazine made comments upon his rugby prowess.

Winter 1897 Rugby Review: ‘Of the forwards, perhaps Favell, who is one of the new choices, played as well as anybody’.

Winter 1899 Rugby Review: ‘A hard-working, sturdy forward, always on the ball; tackles and kicks well.'

 

After Oakham and the War

William Reginald emigrated to Canada where he worked as a rancher. He also joined the local militia. When the war broke out, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant into the 4th Hallamshire Battalion, of the Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment, 148 Brigade, 49th Division.

Yorkshire and Lancashire Regiment Badge

The Yorkshire and Lancashire regiment badge. 

His battalion landed at Boulogne on the 14th April 1915. On the first day of the Somme, William Reginald and his battalion were in reserve in Thiepval Wood. On 2nd July 1916, they were ordered to relieve the Royal Irish Rangers who had survived the first assault and hold the British line.

William Reginal was killed in action at the Battle of Albert. He was 34.

Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Christmas term 1916, Vol.32, no.3

He was awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

Victory Medal British War Medal

Left: The British Victory Medal. Right: The British War Medal.

William Reginald is buried in grave F.4 in Authuille Military Cemetery, Somme.

Favell's Grave

William Reginald Favell's grave in Authuille.
 
Bibliography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Medal_(South_Africa)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_War_Medal

Charles Edward Fishbourne

1869– 6th October 1916

C E Fishbourne

Charles was born to Joseph and his wife in Country Carlow, Ireland.

Life at Oakham

Charles went to Oakham School between 1879 and 1886. During his time at the school, he achieved:

  • Music: sang a duet from St. Paul with Bryan in addition to an Irish melody: 1884.
  • Debating Society: Spring 1885 to Spring 1886.
  • Cricket 1st XI: Summer 1885.
 

After Oakham and the War

He went on to study at Trinity College Dublin.

Charles had a long military career. He was first of all commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Lincolnshire Regiment. During his time with the Lincolnshire, he fought in the Anglo-Sudan war, fighting in the Battle of Omdurman where he was wounded on 2nd September 1898.

Lincolnshire Regiment Badge

The Lincolnshire Regiment badge.

Having healed, he then went to serve in South Africa, fighting in the Battle of Belmont.

In 1914, he was created a Major, commanding the Northumberland Fusiliers in Newcastle.

Northumberland Fusiliers badge

The Northumberland Fusiliers Regiment badge.

During the war, his battalion landed in Le Harvre, France on 14th August 1914.

Charles died of wounds he received near Thiepval during the Battle of the Somme 6th October 1916. He was 47.

Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Christmas term 1916, Vol.32, no.3

He was mentioned in dispatches. One of the officers wrote how the ‘officers and men worshipped him, and his going is not only a loss to the Battalion, but to the army’. He won a Victory medal and British war medal.

Victory Medal British War Medal

Left: The British Victory Medal. Right: The British War Medal.

Charles is buried in an officers grace, A.12.3 at St Sever Cemetery, Rouen.

Fishbourne's Grave

Charles Fishbourne's grave in Rouen.

 
Bibliography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Medal_(South_Africa)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_War_Medal

https://www.rutlandremembers.org/fallen/643/fishbourne-lieutenant-colonel-charles-edward

John Woodall Marshall

1892 – 1st July 1916

 

John Woodall was born to Dr Thomas and Rebecca Marshall of 5 St Michael’s Terrace, Westoe, South Shields, Northumberland.

 

Life at Oakham

John Woodall attended Oakham School between 1906 and 1909/1910. His school achievements are listed below:

  • Form 3 Prize: Summer 1907.

 

  • Rugby 2nd lot: Winter 1906.
  • Rugby 1st XV: a forward - Winter 1907 to Winter 1908.
  • Shooting Competition: Spring 1908.

 

  • Debating Society: Spring 1908.

Oakham School Magazine Review

In his sporting career, the Oakhamian Magazine made comments upon his rugby prowess.

Winter 1908 Rugby Review: ‘Showed very little improvement on last year’s form. He displayed plenty of energy but most of it was quite misplaced.’

 

After Oakham and the War

John Woodall became an Articled Clerk and married Rebecca. He joined the French Foreign Legion before fighting in the British army. He served during the war in the 27thbattalion, 4th Tyneside Irish of the Northumberland Fusiliers.

Northumberland Fusiliers badge

The Northumberland Fusiliers' regiment badge.

His battalion landed in France in January 1916. He became a Lieutenant and was part of the 103rd Brigade. On the first day of the Somme, his battalion was supposed to follow the Royal Scots and advanced to Contalmaison. But heavy machine guns caused a lot of casualties and the British were forced to retire to Shelter Wood, about halfway to their objective.

John Woodall was killed in action on 1st July 1916. He was 24.

Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Christmas term 1916, Vol.32, no.3

John Woodall was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry in May 1916. "He went to the assistance of a NCO wounded on patrol and carried him into safety under heavy fire."

The Military Cross

The Military Cross medal.

John Woodall is buried in grave IX.B.2 in the Gordon Dump Cemetery in Ovillers la Boiselle.

Marshall Grave

John Woodall Marshall's grave in Ovilliers La Bioselle.
Bibliography

https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/1225696

https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Royal_Northumberland_Fusiliers_Cap_Badge.jpg

https://www.rutlandremembers.org/fallen/621/woodallmarshall-lieutenant-john-mc

Oliver Henry Cecil Odell

27th December 1894– 10th September 1916

O H C Odell in military uniform

Oliver was the son of Thomas and Annie Odell and was born in Uppingham. The family moved to Preston in 1911. In some records, Oliver’s name is spelt O’Dell. 

 

Life at Oakham

Odell attended Oakham School between 1907 and 1911. At school, Oliver achieved:

  • Rugby under 14: Winter 1907 to Winter 1908.
  • Captain of the Invincibles (3rd Lot): Spring 1909.

 

  • Christmas Entertainment: Alto leader - Winter 1909 and Winter 1910.
  • Debating Society: Spring 1910.

The School Corps in 1911 - Oliver is standing on the third row, second from the right.

After Oakham and the War

After School, he emigrated to Canada, but returned to enlist in the army. Oliver joined the 1st/3rd Royal Fusiliers (City of London Battalion), 167 Brigade, 56th Division.

Odell Regiment Badge

The Royal Fusiliers regiment badge.

At the battle of Ginchy, the battalion had just taken over Leuze Wood and still had considerable German defences surrounding the wood and the area. No casualties are mentioned in the battalions diary for the 10th (when Oliver is meant to have died) but on the 11th, heavy shelling is noted and one officer and eight others were killed, and two officers and ninty-three soldiers wounded.

Oliver was killed on the 10th September at the Battle of Ginchy. He was 21.

Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Christmas term 1916, Vol.32, no.3

Oliver won the Victory medal and the British War Medal.

Victory Medal British War Medal

Left: The British Victory Medal. Right: The British War Medal.

Oliver is buried in the Flatiron Copse Cemetery, Mametz, in grave III.I.4.

Odell Grave

Oliver Henry Cecil Odell's grave in Mametz.

 
Bibliography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Medal_(South_Africa)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_War_Medal

https://www.corby.gov.uk/sites/default/files/ODELL%20Oliver%20H%20C.pdf

https://www.rutlandremembers.org/fallen/558/odell-second-lieutenant-oliver-henry-cecil

John Norman Pickering-Clarke

1894 – 14th July 1916

 

John was born to Henry and Ellen in Leicester.

 

Life at Oakham

John attended Oakham School between 1907 and 1911 where he went on to participate in:

  • Rugby under 14: Winter 1907.
  • Rugby 1st XV: Winter 1909.
  • Cricket 1st XI: Summer 1910 to Summer 1911.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI 1910 - John is sat front right.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI 1911 - John is standing third from left.

 

After Oakham and the War

John was initially in a reserve battalion before transferring to the Leicestershire Regiment as a Second Lieutenant for the 10th Battalion (attached to the 7th), 110 Brigade, 21st Division. His battalion landed in France on the 7th July 1916.

Leicestershire Regiment Badge

The Leicestershire Regiment badge.

John was killed in action during the Battle of Bazentin during the Battle of the Somme on the 14th July 1916. He was 21.

Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Christmas term 1916, Vol.32, no.3

He won the Victory and British War Medal.

Victory Medal British War Medal

Left: The British Victory Medal. Right: The British War Medal.

Although John has no grave, he is remembered at the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 2C and 3A. The Oakham School chapel, built as a memorial to those who died during the First World War, saw the Bishop’s chair presented in honour of John.

John's name in the Theipval Memorial. 

 

Bibliography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Medal_(South_Africa)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_War_Medal

https://www.rutlandremembers.org/fallen/638/pickeringclarke-second-lieutenant-john-norman

Benjamin Stanley Robinson

1895 – 1st July 1916

B S Robinson

Benjamin was born to Harry and Annie Robinson in Spilsby, Lincolnshire.

 

Life at Oakham

Benjamin went to Oakham school between 1906 and 1909, before transferring to Sherborne. Some of his achievements at Oakham include:

  • Nottingham Musical Festival: 2nd place for boys piano - 1908.
  • Half Mile handicap: 3rd place - Spring 1909.
  • Easter Entertainment: played piano in the interval - Spring 1909.

Oakham School Magazine Reviews

His piano skills are noted within the Oakhamian magazine.

‘As a pianist Robinson showed great promise, and is likely to make a greater reputation for himself in the near future. At present he plays with taste, accuracy, and composure. And that's not a bad set of qualities to begin with.’

 

After Oakham and the War

After school, Robinson joined RMC Sandhurst. He trained to become a Lieutenant in the 2nd Battlion Prince Charlotte of Wales’s Royal Berkshire Regiment.

Royal Berkshire Regiment Badge

The Royal Berkshire regiment badge.

The battalion in fact, travelled to India during the summer of 1914, when the First World War was beginning. But within two months of leaving and with escalating European tensions, the battalion returned to England only to be reposted to Le Havre on the 5th November 1914.

Benjamin was killed on the very first day of the Battle of the Somme (taking part in the Battle of Albert) along with along 20,000 other British soldiers. It would be the worst single day of losses in the whole history of the British army. The wire in front of the battalion’s trench was not cut properly. Nonetheless, they began to attack at 7.30 am, being met with intense defensive fire from the Germans. None of the waves of attack reached the German’s front line. Initially reported as missing, Robinson was eventually found to be one of the 150 men from the battalion to be killed.

Benjamin was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was 21.

Benjamin was awarded both the Victory and the British War Medal.

Victory Medal British War Medal

Left: The British Victory Medal. Right: The British War Medal.

He is buried in Ovillers Military Cemetery, grave VIII.D.3.

B S Robinson Grave

Benjamin Stanley Robinson's grave  in Ovilliers.
 
Bibliography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Medal_(South_Africa)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_War_Medal

https://www.rutlandremembers.org/fallen/612/robinson-lieutenant-benjamin-stanley

https://www.flickr.com/photos/sherborneschoolarchives/9339757483

Arthur Frederick Taverner

25th July 1897 – 12th October 1916

A F Taverner military photo

Arthur was born in Loughborough to Frederick and Frances Taverner. His father was a Reverend of St John’s Rectory (Stamford, Lincolnshire), and later Wing Rectory (Oakham, Rutland).

Junior House, 1910 - Arthur is standing second from the right.

Bank House, 1911 - Arthur is standing on the far right.

 

Life at Oakham

Arthur attended Oakham School between 1909 and 1915. His school achievements are listed below:

  • Rugby Under 14: Winter 1910.
  • Rugby 1st XV: a full-back -  Winter 1914.

Oakham School Rugby XV 1914 - 1915

Oakham School Rugby 1st XV 1914 - Arthur is sitting on the far right.

  • 220 Yards Under 15: Summer 1912.
  • Cross Country Steeplechase: 3rd place - Spring 1914.
  • Cross Country Steeplechase: 4th place - Spring 1915.

Taverner Running

Arthur running during a race.

  • Fives Challenge Senior Cup: lost final - Spring 1914.
  • Cricket 1st XI: Summer 1915.

Oakham School Cricket XI 1915

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI 1915 - Arthur is standing third from right.

Oakham School Cricket 1st XI 1915 - Arthur is standing in the centre.

  • Debating Society: Spring 1915.
  • Easter Entertainment: The Frogs of Aristophanes, played Bearers and Frogs.

 

  • Prefect: Easter 1915—Summer 1915.
  • Head Musician: Easter 1915—Summer 1915.
  • Assistant Editor of Magazine: Easter 1915—Summer 1915.
  • Games’ Committee: Summer 1915.
  • Higher Certificate at the Oxford and Cambridge Board Examination: Summer 1915.

Oakham School Magazine Reviews

In his sporting career, the Oakhamian Magazine made comments upon both his cricketing and rugby prowess.

Cricket review: ‘A steady batsman and one who might have made runs if he had only let himself go sometimes: useful in the field’.

Rugby Review: ‘Good in the loose, tackles and dribbles well. Uses his weight in the scrum’.

 

After Oakham and the War

After school, Arthur attended RMC Sandhurst. His military career began in September 1915 when he joined the 9th The King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, 16 Brigade, 6th Division, as a Second Lieutenant.

The King’s Shropshire Light Infantry badge

The King’s Shropshire Light Infantry regiment badge.

His battalion embarked to France in June 1916, just one month before the beginning of the Battle of the Somme. Just over a month into his service in France, Arthur was transferred over to the 1st Battalion of the regiment.

Unfortunately, Arthur’s stint on the front line lasted around four months. On the 10th October 1916, Arthur's battalion were to support the York and Lancaster Regiment in attacking the German trenches near Gueudecourt. The Shropshire battalion’s aims were to advance and occupy the Misty and Rainbow trenches. It would be from these trenches that the Yorkshire and Lancastershire would launch their subsequent attack. A German machine had survived some of the allied artillery bombardments and, unfortunately, one it its bullets hit Arthur whilst in charge of a night working party.

Arthur died of his wounds on 12th October 1916. He was 19.

Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Christmas term 1916, Vol.32, no.3

Arthur won the Victory Medal and The British War Medal.

Victory Medal British War Medal

Left: The British Victory Medal. Right: The British War Medal.

Arthur Taverner is buried in Grove Town Cemetery, Meaulte, grave I.B.1.

A F Taverner Grave

Arthur Frederick Taverner's grave in Meaulte.

 
Bibliography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Medal_(South_Africa)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_War_Medal

https://www.rutlandremembers.org/fallen/418/taverner-second-lieutenant-arthur-frederick

George Holbrook Eric Vidler

1896 – 9th July 1916

 

George was born in Bramshaw, Lyndhurst, Hampshire to George Paxton and Elsie Mary Vidler.

 

Life at Oakham

He attended Oakham School between 1910 and 1914. During his time at the school, Vidler achieved:

  • Royal Drawing Society Annual Examination: Passed Division I - Summer 1911.
  • Royal Drawing Society Annual Examination: Passed Division II - Summer 1912.
  • Form 4 English Prize: Summer 1912.
  • Form 5 French Prize: Summer 1914.

 

  • Rugby 2nd Lot: Winter 1912 to Winter 1913.

 

  • Debating Society: Spring 1914.

 

After Oakham and the War

George left school early in order to go to RMC Sandhurst and to join in the war. He became a Lieutenant in the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Edinburgh’s Wiltshire Regiment, 21 Birgard, 20th Division and was transported over to France on the 5th July 1915. Whilst on the front, he developed a courageous reputation; being described as someone ‘without fear, and would go anywhere and do anything’.

Wiltshire Regiment badge

The Wiltshire Regiment badge.

His Regiment fought at the Battle of Albert. The objective of the mission for the British was to capture the wood and Contalmaison village. This would help pave the way for a later, much larger attack. One company assisted the French in attacking the Germans from the right whilst the other two, accompanied by artillery bombardment, progressed forward through the wood.

George died on the 9th July 1916, at Trones Wood during the Battle of Albert. He was just 19.

Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Christmas term 1916, Vol.32, no.3

A promising talent who could have possibly gained the Military Cross, he was instead awarded the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.

Victory Medal British War Medal

Left: The British Victory Medal. Right: The British War Medal.

Although George has no grave, he is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 13A.

Vidler's name engraved on the Thiepval Memorial.

 
Bibliography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Medal_(South_Africa)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_War_Medal

https://www.rutlandremembers.org/fallen/651/vidler-lieutenant-george-holbrook-eric

Basil Vaughan Wood

1888 – 3rd July 1916

 

Basil was born to Edward and Ethel Vaughan Wood in Maidstone, Kent.The family would later relocate to Yealmpton, Devon. Edward Vaughan Wood was a doctor.

BV Wood

 

BV Wood and JH Jerwood

Basil is sitting, with John Hugh Jerwood standing.

Basil attended Oakham School between 1900 and 1906. He was a pupil in School House. His achievements at school are listed below:

  • Debating Society: Spring 1905.
  • Trustees’ Form 3 Prize: Summer 1903.
  • Rugby 1st XV: Winter 1905.
  • Rugby Captain of 2nd Lot: Winter 1903.
  • Cricket 2nd XI: Summer 1905 to 1906.
  • Cricket 1st XI: Summer 1906.

Oakham School Cricket XI 1906 - Basil is standing second from the right.

  • Swimming Two-lengths under 15: 1st place - Summer 1903.
  • Shooting Event: 29 marks - Spring 1905.
  • High Jump: 2nd place - Spring 1906.

Oakham School Magazine Reviews

A keen young sportsman, the Oakham School Magazine regularly wrote about Basil and how he was a sportsman in the school’s teams.

Winter 1903 Rugby review: ‘was the Captain & a very good one too; he is a useful player, who ought to do well in a year of two’.

Winter 1905 Rugby review: ‘Rather out of his place at three-quarters owing to want of speed […] affair tackler’.

Summer 1906 Cricket review: ‘A thoroughly good fieldsman anywhere in from of the wicket and not too close in; an indifferent batsman’.

 

After Oakham and the War

After school, Basil went to Ceylon to be a tea planter.

Not much is known how, when, and why Wood joined up but we do know that he became a Second Lieutenant in the 6th Battalion, Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment, 37 Bridgade, 12th Division, and was in France fighting from the 30th November 1915.

Regiment Badge

Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regiment badge.

During the Battle of Albert, a small battle which made up the greater Somme campaign, Basil was killed on the 3rd July 1916 – on the third day of the whole campaign. His battalion had been tasked with attacking Ovillers (a fortified town on the German line). The 6th Battalion were the left flank of the attack and were meant to be covered by a curtain of artillery fire as they were advancing. While some of the 6th Battalion made it to the German lines, the German defence was too strong, the attack fizzled out and no gains were made.

Basil was killed during this attack on 3rd July 1916. He was 28.

Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Christmas term 1916, Vol.32, no.3

Basil was awarded the Victory and British War Medal for his service.

Victory Medal British War Medal

Left: The British Victory Medal. Right: The British War Medal.

Basil has no grave sight but is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, Pier and Face 11C.

B.V. Wood's name engraved on the Thiepval Memorial.

 

Bibliography

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victory_Medal_(South_Africa)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_War_Medal

http://yaldinghistory.webplus.net/page267.html

https://www.rutlandremembers.org/fallen/655/wood-second-lieutenant-basil-vaughan

Somme Images