This week 100 years ago - Old Salopians in WW1

This project sets out to commemorate all former boys and masters of Shrewsbury School who gave their lives in the Great War of 1914-18. Each week the names of those from the School who died 100 years ago are published. Where possible, archival and other relevant material is included. It is hoped to build up a rolling archive over the four years of the War.

We are delighted to be linking with St Chad's Church in Shrewsbury on this project. A weekly service of remembrance is taking place every Wednesday at 5pm in St Chad’s to commemorate those from Shropshire who died this week 100 years ago. All are welcome to any of the services.

As we build up this project during the years 2014-18, do please contact Philip Lapage [] if you have any additional material you would like to present, or if we have inadvertently made any errors. We are grateful to Research Assistants Martha Pownall (MSH) and George Young (O) for their help in compiling the weekly instalments.

Please also see the Old Salopians in World War 1 page in the Old Salopian section of this website, which includes a full list of all OS who died during the War.

'The School will not forget'
A poem written by the then Headmaster of Shrewsbury School, Revd C.A. Alington, was published in The Times in December 1914. It is included in these pages, as it movingly articulates not only the thoughts of those left behind in 1914 to carry on the day-to-day business of the School, but also those of Salopians living and working here at Shrewsbury School 100 years later: To the School at War - a poem by Revd C.A. Alington, 1914

For more details about this project please see: This week 100 years ago - background

The most recent weekly instalment of news from 100 years ago is displayed below.

To view our cumulative news archive, please use the menu on the left-hand side of the screen.

The news 100 years ago


Friday 24 March 2017

  • The news this week 100 years ago: 24th - 30th March 1917
    This week we remember:

    Lieutenant Thomas Bate, 5th Bn. Royal Welsh Fusiliers.
    Moser’s, left in 1908.

    Shortly before the war, he joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and served with them in Gallipoli. He rowed in the School crew and was one of the finest swimmers that the School has ever produced. He won the Up-river Swimming Cup in no fewer than four successive years, 1905, 1906, 1907 and 1908. On the first occasion he was barely 15 years old.

    On leaving School in 1908 he went to Assam as a tea-planter but returned to Wales on the death of his father, Mr Thomas Bate, of Kesterton Hall Estate, Flint, whom he succeeded.

    His Colonel wrote: “He died in a noble manner, leading and encouraging his men in the attack on the Turkish Position on 26 March. All who were near him during the attack bear witness as to his gallant conduct throughout this day up to the time of his death. He was always to the fore, and showed an utter disregard to his own personal safety. He was a fine fighting soldier and a favourite with all ranks. I have put his name forward for recommendation, and I hope it will go through. You have every reason to feel intensely proud of him.”

    His servant said: “He died a hero, if ever there was one. He was one of our best officers; his old platoon loved him. I lost my best friend when I lost Captain Bate; I shall never forget him as long as I live. His first thought was about his men, and himself after. I never had a better master.”

    Killed in action in Gaza, Palestine, 26th March 1917, aged 27.
    Remembered on Jerusalem Memorial, Israel. Panels 20 to 22.

Friday 10 March 2017

  • The news this week 100 years ago: 10th - 16th March 1917
    This week we remember:

    Chaplain 4th Class, The Revd Vincent Coke Boddington, Army Chaplains' Department.
    Haydon’s (now Rigg’s), left in 1901. He graduated from St John’s College, Cambridge, and was appointed  Curate of East Ham, later Temporary Army Chaplain, 22nd November 1914. He contracted tuberculosis aggravated by active service and died at the Pinewood Sanatorium, Wokingham, UK on 13th March 1917, aged 30.
    Remembered at Wokingham (St Sebastian) Churchyard, England. Spec. Plot. 23.

Friday 3 March 2017

  • The news this week 100 years ago: 3rd - 9th March 1917
    This week we remember:

    Second Lieutenant Francis John Grahame Leadbitter, 11th Bn. King's Royal Rifle Corps.

    Moser’s, left in 1899, rowed Bow in the 1st VIII.

    He had been a most regular and valued member of the executive Committee of the Old Salopian Club for some years and was greatly respected by all his colleagues.

    He rowed in the Thames R.C. VIII at Henley, and in the O.S.R.C. crew and was admitted a Solicitor in 1904. Enlisting in the Inns of Court O.T.C. in December 1915, he obtained his commission in December 1916 and went out to the Front a month later.

    Killed in action in France, 5th March 1917, aged 35.
    Buried at Guards' Cemetery, Lesboeufs, France. Grave IX. Q. 9.

    Second Lieutenant John Vibart Dixon, 3rd North Midland Brigade. Royal Field Artillery, Ammunition Column (attached 2nd North Midland Brigade R.F.A.)
    School House, 2nd XI cricket, won the Bentley Elocution Prize three years in a row, left in 1915.

    Killed in action while in charge of a trench mortar battery in France, 6th March 1917, aged 20.
    Buried at Bienvillers Military Cemetery, France. Grave VI. C. 1.

Thursday 23 February 2017

  • The news this week 100 years ago: 24th February - 1st March 1917
    This week we remember:

    Major Alwyne Percy Dale OBE, 4th Bn. West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own).

    School House, left in 1898. He graduated from Clare College, Cambridge in 1902. During his university days he served with the Service Contingent of the C.U.R.V. (attached to the Suffolk Regiment, in the South African War, gaining the Queen’s Medal with five clasps. He subsequently took a commission in the 1st V.B. West Yorkshire Regiment, transferring to the Territorials in 1908 and being gazetted Captain in 1911 and Temp. Major, 23 February 1916. By profession he was a solicitor at York, being admitted in 1906.

    He was killed in action in France on 1st March 1917, aged 36.
    He is buried at Queen’s Cemetery, Bucquoy, France. Grave I. F. 3.

Friday 3 February 2017

  • The news this week 100 years ago: 3rd - 9th February 1917
    This week we remember:

    Captain Alexander Armstrong Rees, Royal Army Medical Corps attd. 7th Bn. Royal Sussex Regiment.
    Chance’s (now Severn Hill), left in 1902.  Killed in action in France, 4th February 1917, aged 32.
    Buried at Wanquetin Communal Cemetery Extension, France. Grave I. B. 15.

Friday 6 January 2017

  • The news 100 years ago: 6th - 12th January 2017
    This week we remember:

    Second Lieutenant Tom Onslow, 5th Bn. King's Shropshire Light Infantry.
    School House, left in 1915. He had gained a Scholarship at Magdalene College, Cambridge. He was in the Cricket XI and a Praepostor.

    Killed in action in France, 6th January 1917, aged 19.
    Buried at Agny Military Cemetery, France. Grave F. 20.

Sunday 1 January 2017

  • The news 100 years ago: 30th December 1916 - 5th January 1917
    This week we remember:

    Lieutenant Philip Ralph Heaton DCM, 1st/2nd King's African Rifles.
    Churchill’s, left in 1911. He settled at Naivasha, British East Africa (present day Kenya).  Before getting his commission, he saw fighting as a trooper in Bowker’s Horse, winning the D.C.M. in the first Longido fight.

    He died from an accidental wound at Kilwa, B.E.A. (present day Tanzania), 4th January 1917, aged 24.
    Buried at Dar Es Salaam War Cemetery, Tanzania. Grave 1. H. 2.