Not all soldiers died in battles on the active fronts. Amongst the casualties of the war, thousands of men suffered form illnesses, including pneumonia, due to the cold and rainy weather on the Western Front and the harsh and unhygienic conditions in the trenches. Some soldiers were wounded on the front and transferred to hospitals in France or in the homeland, where they later died.
The Battle of Jutland was the only naval battle of the First World War. However, the Royal Navy had deployed ships and a few wrecked, their crew drowning.
In this page, we explore the lives of the Old Oakhamians who died of pneumonia, either at home or in hospitals in France; an OO who died in a shipwreck on the coast of Orkney; an OO who was wounded and sent home to South Africa on a ship which ws torpedoed by the Germans.
Horace was born in Leicester to Joseph Henry and Louisa Baker.
Horace attended Oakham School between 1892 and 1893. Unfortunately, none of our sources mentions his successes at school. However, we know that Horace attended Milton College in Ullesthorpe as a boarder pupil where he took part in amateur drama productions.
After school, Horace worked with his father as an accountant’s clerk. He also played cricket for Leicester Ivanhoe team in 1899. He emigrated to Australia in 1902 and went to Sydney University, then Philadelphia University. He came back to Australia and worked as a veterinary surgeon and a Veterinary Lecturer. He married Fannie Letitia Rowlandson of Church Street, Hunter's Hill, New South Wales, on 16th August 1913 in Adelaide. On 26th August 1914, he enlisted as a Captain (Veterinary Officer) in 1st Brigade Australian Field Artillery.
Australian Field Artillery badge.
His battalion served in France and in Egypt and Horace also went to Gallipoli. He suffered from dysentery and was sent to the 1st Australian General Hospital of Heliopolis in October 1915. He was then sent to the 2nd Australian General Hospital of Boulogne, France for a scalp wound, and was then evacuated to Marseille.
Horace died of pneumonia on 11th April 1916. He was 39.
Horace is not mentioned in the Oakham School magazine roll of honour or War service.
Horace is buried in grave IV.A26 at Mazargues War Cemetery, Marseille. He is remembered in Oakham School chapel.
Harold was born in Montevideo, Uruguay to Christopher Joseph Musson and Kate Methven.
Harold Attended Oakham School between 1899 and 1901. His school achievements are listed below:
Oakham School Cricket 1st XI 1900 - Harold is standing second from right.
Oakham School Cricket 1st XI 1901 - Harold is standing third from right.
In his sporting career, the Oakhamian Magazine made comments upon both his cricket and rugby prowess.
Summer 1900 Cricket review: ‘Came on wonderfully towards the end of the season; should prove very useful next year, both with bat and ball; not a good field.’
Summer 1901 Cricket review: ‘A disappointing player; bowled occasionally with success.’
Winter 1900 Rugby review: ‘Worked well as a forward for the first part of the season; has latterly greatly fallen off, showing a distinct tendency to shirk the scrimmage.’
After school, Harold worked as a rancher in Argentina. He married Constance and they had two daughters. He came back to England after the war broke out and enlisted as a Second lieutenant with the Royal Field Artillery, D Battery, 149th Brigade.
Royal Field Artillery badge.
His battalion was involved in the Battle of Messines and Passchendaele (Third Battle of Ypres). Harold was wounded, probably in Summer 1917 and was sent to a hospital on the Channel coast. The brigade’s war diary records that three officers were killed and eleven were wounded in August and that "Having taken part the attack of July 31 [at Zillebeke], the Bde remained in action defending the line until August 10th."
Harold died of wounds on 26th September 1917. He was 33.
Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Christmas term 1917, Vol.33, no.3
Harold won the Military Cross in July 1917: “For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during a raid. He was acting as FOO [Forward Observation Officer] and established himself close to the objective. When the advance was held up he went forward under heavy fire and joined the infantry, and returned with information of their position. Throughout he sent in most valuable information.” He also received the Victory Medal and the British War Medal.
Military Cross, Victory Medal and British War Medal.
Harold is buried in grave XXVIII.A.9 at Etaples Military Cemetery. He is remembered in St Andrew’s Church, Buenos Aires, Argentina and in Oakham School chapel.
Portrait used with Harold Musson's family permission, via https://www.rutlandremembers.org/fallen/649/musson-second-lieutenant-harold-methven
John was born to Cuthbert Edward and Lucy Elizabeth Bradley, née Heathcote of The Lodge, Folkingham, Lincolnshire.
John attended Oakham School between 1913 and 1917. He was in School House. His school achievements are listed below:
After school, John enlisted as a Rifleman in the 1st/7th Battalion, West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own). He served at the front in the last stages of the war.
West Yorkshire Regiment badge.
John died of pneumonia at Finnis Camp, Bally Shannon, County Donegal on 21st November 1918. He was 18.
Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Easter term 1919, Vol.35, no.1
John is buried in the churchyard of St Andrew’s Church, Folkingham. He is remembered in the Oakham School chapel.
Bertram was born in Ripley, Derbyshire, to James and Elizabeth Crossley.
Bertram attended Oakham School between 1895 and 1899. His school achievements are listed below:
Bertram was confirmed by the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of Peterborough at Oakham on 31st March 1897.
While at school, Bertram passed the preliminary examination at Oxford and Cambridge Board for Law/Medicine in Summer 1899.
In his sporting career, the Oakhamian Magazine made comments upon his rugby prowess.
Winter 1897 Rugby review: ‘A promising forward; must learn to collar.’
Winter 1898 Rugby review: ‘Plays sound, honest game as forward.’
After school, Bertram became a manufacturer. He married Isobel and they had a son, James, in 1906. After his wife’s death, he lived with his son at Derwent House, Milford, Derby. He remarried to Lillie Dann of London on 30th March 1916 in London.
He served in the 1st Volunteer Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment) from 1900. He fought in France as a Captain with the 5th Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters, 139 Brigade, 6th Division.
The Sherwood Foresters badge.
He was wounded during the war and was honourably discharged. Bertram died at home from illness on 13th January 1918. He was 36.
Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Easter term 1919, Vol.35, no.1
He was awarded the Silver War Badge in 1916.
Silver War badge.
Bertram is remembered in All Saints Church in Ripley, Derbyshire, and on the Oakham School chapel.
Claude was born in Kettering to Joseph William Scott of Bay House, Oakham. Claude was the sixth of eight sons who all went to Oakham School and fought in the war. His brother Charles died of ill health after being discharged. The others survived.
Claude attended Oakham School between 1899 and 1901. Unfortunately, we do not have any record of his time at Oakham School.
After school, Claude emigrated to Canada in 1910. He became a salesman. He married Ethel Ellen. He served in the Strathcona Horse (North West Mounted Police).
The Strathcona's Horse badge.
He enlisted on the 22nd December 1914 in Canadian Army. He landed in France with the 32nd Battalion, 3rd Canadian Army Corps. He was a Sergeant on the staff of the Canadian Head Quarters.
Claude died of pneumonia on 30th November 1915. He was 26.
Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Easter term 1916, Vol.32, no.1
Claude is buried in grave 173.8 at Kensal Green Cemetery, London. He is remembered in the Oakham School chapel.
Claude Douglas Scott's grave at Kensal Green Cemetery in London.
Edward was born in Queensland, Australia to Edward Bosanquet and Laetitia Smith.
Edward attended Oakham School between 1901 and 1902. His school achievements are listed below:
After school, Edward sailed for South Africa at the beginning of June 1903 where he became a farmer. He married Dorothy Stockenstrom Hutton and they had a daughter, Rita Noèl. He joined the 2nd Battalion Imperial Light Horse as a Corporal.
Imperial Light Horse badge.
He served in German South West Africa. He then joined the Royal Garrison Artillery. He was promoted to Captain. He was wounded and invalided home on 27th March 1918.
Royal Garrison Artillery bagde.
He was returning to South Africa with his wife on board a passenger liner, SS Galway Castle, on 12th September 1918. At 7.30 am 160 miles south west of Fastnet, the ship was torpedoed by German submarine U82 which broke her back. On board were 400 South African walking wounded, 346 passengers and 204 crew members. It was thought that she would sink immediately and it appeared that U82 was lining up for another attack. Several lifeboats were swamped by heavy seas and many passengers finished up in the sea. Other ships rescued survivors who were taken back to Plymouth. 143 people drowned, including Edward and his wife.
Edward was killed on 12th September 1918. He was 33.
Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Christmas term 1918, Vol.34, no.3
Edward is remembered on the Oakham School chapel.
David was born at Tendring, Essex, to Llewellyn and Annie Gertrude Lloyd, of The Yew Trees, Kirby-le-Soken, Essex.
Thomas attended Oakham School between 1894 and 1897. His school achievements are listed below:
Thomas was confirmed in Spring 1896 by the Right Reverend Bishop Mitchinson.
In his sporting career, the Oakhamian Magazine made comments upon his gymnastics prowess.
Winter 1894 Gymnastic review: ‘Dampier-Child executed a most remarkable somersault’.
After school, Thomas went to Dartmouth College, Edinburgh University. He married Isabel A.F. and they had a daughter in 1914. He joined the Naval Engineers and was an Engineer Lieutenant-Commander on HMS Opal. His ship lost visibility in a snowstorm on 12th January 1918 and smashed into the cliffs off South Ronaldsay, Orkney.
Thomas died on 12th January 1918. He was 37.
Roll of honour in the Oakhamian Magazine, Easter term 1918, Vol.34, no.1
Thomas was mentioned in despatches for services in Destroyer and Torpedo Boat Flotillas during the period ending 31st December, 1917.
Thomas is remembered on panel 28 of Portsmouth memorial, on Sandown War Memorial and in Oakham School Chapel.