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 [phl@shrewsbury.org.uk] 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

2016

Thursday 10 November 2016

  • 'The School will not forget' - Remembrance Day 2016
    This Remembrance Sunday, as is customary, the entire School will gather around the Sir Philip Sidney War Memorial for the annual Act of Remembrance to honour the Salopians who were killed in the two World Wars.

    As the cadets of the CCF stand smartly to attention and a hush falls over the assembled throng, the Heads of School will read out one fifth of the names on the War Memorial. Over the course of their five years at the School, each pupil will hear the names of all 321 Salopians killed in World War I and the 259 killed in World War II.

    Since September 2014, the School has been focusing its commemorations in particular on the Salopians who died in the First World War. During the week marking the 100th anniversary of their deaths, their names and obituaries are published on the school website and they are included in the weekly Services of Remembrance held at St Chad’s Church in Shrewsbury.

    The 321 Salopians killed represent around one-fifth of those who served; a further 336 were wounded, 42 of them twice, 15 three times and 5 four times. The losses among many other Public Schools were similarly heavy. Having all had some basic military training in the School OTC, most of the young volunteers were quickly made junior officers, whose job was to lead the way over the top and expose themselves to the greatest danger as an example to their men. The casualty figures among junior officers were higher than in any other rank.

    The photo below is typical of many in the School Archive and shows the Praepostors (School Prefects) in 1914. The details that follow are, sadly, also typical.

    Back row:

    Cyril Adolphus Stuart (Rt)  A ‘keen’ Salopian with a talent for running. He was Senior Whip and won 48 cups during his time at Shrewsbury, an abundance of medals and he ‘killed’ (won) in the main cross-country race against Aldershot. He entered the medical profession but enlisted in the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry with other Salopians. A ‘favourite’ of the Colonel, other privates and men, he was promoted to Lance-Corporal just prior to leaving England. 

    One Salopian remarked, “He was a man whom we admired very much… chiefly, I think, because he was one of those few who can be an important person in the place, and still be decent and nice to everyone great or small”. A letter from Mr Woodroffe describes one of several occasions on which he encountered Stuart after he left Shrewsbury: “I said: ‘Well, Stuart, how are you getting on?’ and he answered, ‘Awfully well. It’s hard work, but I’m thoroughly enjoying it.’ This was after a severe winter, roughing it in the ranks.” Woodroffe recalls that on their third meeting, after ten days in the trenches with a long march before them and having not slept for 24 hours, he was met with exactly the same response, before having “a few minutes talk about Shrewsbury”.

    He died of wounds in France, 11th August 1915, aged 20, and is buried at Le Treport Military Cemetery, France. Plot 1. Row H. Grave 1A.

    F.S.H. Ward  Did not serve. He returned to Shrewsbury as a Master 1916-19.

    C.H. Dwyer (I)  Despite his diminutive size (according to The Salopian, he was known as ‘The Midget’ among his friends), he was a fearless hitter in cricket, Captain of the Gymnasium (representing the School for two years at Aldershot), in the Football XI, and a Gentleman of the Runs. He left Shrewsbury intending to qualify for the Army as a profession, but was unable to pass, owing to weak eyesight. He therefore accepted a temporary commission in the 5th (Service) Battalion. K.S.L.I., but was shortly afterwards transferred to the 10th Worcesters. He eventually went back to his old Battalion as Captain and Adjutant. He was killed in France by a sniper while on very difficult reconnaissance work, 17th November 1916, aged 21. He is remembered on the Thiepval Memorial, France, Pier and Face 5 A and 6 C.

    John Hinmers (M)  Major, King’s Shropshire Light Infantry. Wounded three times; awarded the MC and the Croix de Guerre.

    William Sydney Kemp Russell (I) Captain, Royal Sussex Regiment and K.R.R.C. Staff. Mentioned in despatches; awarded an OBE.

    Frank Shirley Nalder (O) Oldham's first Head of House, Choregus of the Chapel Choir. Shunning Christ Church, Oxford, for the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, he went from France to Salonika, returning to England with malaria for an 18-month recovery. He returned to Greece in June 1918. On 18th September 1918, in the last week of the Salonika operations, he was killed while leading his company in an attack. He was 23. He is buried at Doiran Military Cemetery, Greece. Grave IV. C. 2.

    Thomas Kenyon Twist (M)  Flight Group Commander, RAF. Mentioned in despatches twice, MC.

    Front row:

    Edward Pitcairn-Jones (SH) 2nd Lieutenant, Rifle Brigade. He was Head of School House and won an Exhibition to Oriel College, Oxford. He died of wounds in France, 13th May 1916, aged 20.

    From his obituary in The Salopian: “Initially he showed talent as a rower but this was swiftly cut short for medical reasons; he narrowly missed out getting his School Colours for football which was a shame due to his ‘natural activity’.  …He was entirely fearless and unselfish and there was no one whose respect he did not win… He died of a very painful wound, but he found time to think of everyone but himself, making light of his own sufferings and facing death with perfect readiness and absolute faith.” He is buried at Avesnes-Le-Comte Communal Cemetery Extension, France. Grave I. A. 19.

    Basil Ellis (SH)  Scholar, Head of House, Cricket XI for two years, 2nd XI Football, and Captain of his House Boat. He won a scholarship to Wadham College Oxford, which he evidently did not take up. Instead he enlisted in the King’s Shropshire Light Infantry and was almost immediately made a 2nd Lieutenant, based on his O.T.C. experience at school. He was promoted Lieutenant on 1st October. He was killed by a shell in Belgium with two others who went to his assistance while lying wounded, 16th June 15, aged 20.

    The Salopian adds “We took the time to send his last greeting to the other Shrewsbury fellows in the Battalion. He had a ‘reserved manner’ but most knew beneath that he had the warmest of hearts, a love of literature and a good sense of humour.” He is buried at Perth Cemetery (China Wall), Belgium. Grave II. A. 17.

    H.St.L.B Moss  Did not serve.

    Francis Kitchin-Smith (M)  Wounded and prisoner of war.

    Denis La Touche (I) Captain of the Shooting VIII for three years, contributing greatly to the increase in the standard of shooting at the School over the following years, a Gentleman of the Runs and subsequently Huntsman and good cross-country runner. He won a Scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he received an ‘Oswald Smith’ Exhibition. He enlisted as a Private in the 5th King’s Shropshire Light Infantry, in which he was promoted 2nd Lieutenant. He was soon transferred to the 8th Welsh, promoted Captain in February 1915, and sailed for the Dardanelles in the summer. He was killed in action after the landing at Anavarta on 8th August 1915: he was reported missing after the attack on Chanok Bair but his body was found by an Officer of the East Lancs., who himself was wounded while burying him. He was aged 20.

    The Salopian remarks that he was "unselfish and unassuming in a marked degree, - in spite of the distinctions gained in several fields – he won the affection of all with whom he came into contact; and with his simplicity of character was joined unswerving loyalty to the School and to the House – one of the best of Salopia’s sons.”
    He is remembered on Helles Memorial, Turkey. Panel 140 to 144.

    Hubert Stones (SH)  Captain, Royal Lancaster Regiment. Mentioned in despatches.

    Donald Goolden (R) Head of House. He enlisted at a Private in the Public Schools Batallion of the Royal Fusiliers, being gazetted to a commission in the 6th Batallion, 14th April 1915. He was killed by a shell while going up to the trenches near Guillemont, France, 14th August 1916 aged 21. He had won the respect of all ranks and “he lived a good and happy life” – The Salopian. He is buried at Peronne Road Cemetery, Maricourt, France. Grave IV. G. 7.

    "The School will not forget" is a line from a poem written by Revd C.A. Alington, Headmaster of Shrewsbury School from 1906-1916, which was published in The Times: To the School at War