Shrewsbury School

The news this week 100 years ago: 1st - 7th July 1916

Thursday 30 June 2016

The first week of the Somme. The beginning of a terrible period of the war. Eleven Salopians perished this week 100 years ago, including six on 1st July - among them Malcolm White, a Master at Shrewsbury; his letters and other writings were published in 1919 with those of his colleague and friend Evelyn Southwell, who was killed at the Somme six weeks later. Extracts from their book 'Two Men' are included in the BBC 'World War at Home' national online archive.

The names of those killed are published weekly on the School website and commemorated in Services of Remembrance held every Wednesday at St Chad's Church. Thanks to Martha Pownall (MSH UVI) and George Young (O UVI) for their research since the beginning of this joint commemorative project in September 2014.

More information on the project, including a link to the full list of Old Salopians killed during the First World War, may be found here: Old Salopians in WW1 

This week we remember:

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Edmund Boote, 5th Bn. North Staffordshire Regiment
Moser’s; the youngest of three brothers at Shrewsbury, he left in 1891 and became Managing Director of his family firm. In 1892 he joined up and after promotion served in South Africa (Hon Capt., Medal) with the Volunteer Service Co. He went to France as Major, 5th North Staffords and was promoted to command. “A good officer and a very gallant gentleman.” – The Salopian
Killed in action in France, 1st July 1916, aged 42.

Buried at Gommecourt Wood New Cemetery, Foncquevillers, France. Grave II. B. 12.

Captain Charles Wilmot Evans MC, 1st Bn. attd. 4th Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment
Haydon’s (now Rigg’s); left in 1909. Mentioned in despatches for valuable service.
Killed in action in France, 1st July 1916, aged 27.
Remembered on Thiepval Memorial, France. Pier and Face 7 B.

Second Lieutenant Robert S. Jeffcock, 1st/6th Bn. South Staffordshire Regiment
Churchill’s; left in 1894. He was an artist by profession.
Killed in action in France, 1st July 1916, aged 39.
Remembered on Thiepval Memorial, France. Pier and Face 7 B.

Captain Myles Boddington MC, 6th Bn. King's Shropshire Light Infantry
School House, Choregus, two years Football XI, left in 1910 for University College, Oxford.
“His charming face, his delightful manners, made him favourite at once and everywhere, and he will be missed by a host of friends here and at Oxford and in his regiment.” - The Salopian.
After his degree in 1913 he was articled to a solicitor, but gazetted and became full Lt. in Nov. 1914 and Capt. in Oct. 1915. His MC was for conspicuous gallantry in the field; ("he could not imagine why he should receive the distinction: his friends knew better”). He fell on the first day of the Battle of the Somme.
Killed in action in France, 1st July 1916, aged 25.
Buried at Vlamertinghe Military Cemetery, France. Grave III. A. 21.

Lieutenant Reginald Squarey Maciver, 2nd Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers
Moser’s; Praepostor, left in 1911 with a Science Scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford. He rowed in his College boat at Henley in 1913 and 1914 and joined Leander. He left Oxford directly to take a commission in August 1914, and was promoted in March 1915. He had been at the Front since May 1915.
“He was universally popular and deservedly so, for he possessed in a very high degree the best of all claims to popularity, a guileless and affectionate heart and the nicest sense of honour.” – The Salopian
Killed in action in France, 1st July 1916, aged 24.
Buried at Sucrerie Military Cemetery, Colincamps, France. Grave I. H. 5.

Captain Henry Davison Riley, 11th Bn. East Lancashire Regiment
Chance’s (now Severn Hill); left in 1898 to become a member of the family firm selling fancy clothes, Houlker Street Mill, Colne. Also director of Messrs RJ Elliott & Co., cigar manufacturers, and well known on the Manchester Exchange. Founder of the Burnley Lads’ Club and taking a great interest in the industrial school movement, he was appointed County Magistrate in 1912. Gazetted to Captain in 1915.

An extract from the Manchester Guardian (10th July 1916) states, "Courageous and full of high spirits himself, he could sympathise…with the high spirited lads he had to deal with…  Let a boy meet with an accident, suffer from some slight illness, he must be told at once, and usually it was by leader and friend that the boy was attended… War, and all that stands for war, was hateful to him, but he said to me, 'How can I let my lads go and not go myself?' And so he joined the battalion in which so many of his lads were serving, and soon came to be loved by all.”
Killed in action in France, 1st July 1916, aged 35.
Remembered on Thiepval Memorial, France. Pier and Face 6 C.

Lieutenant Malcolm Graham White, 6th Bn. attd. 1st Bn. Rifle Brigade

Master, joined in 1909, graduate of King’s College, Cambridge. For the first six months of the war he remained at school, and was gazetted Captain (O.T.C.) 13th Feb. 1915. He joined up in the summer of 1915 and left for the Front in April 1916, going into action on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. A memoir containing his letters and other writings with those of E.H. Southwell, another Master, was published in 1919 under the title of ‘Two Men’.

In his final letter to Southwell on 27th June 1916, White wrote: “Oh Man, I can't write now. I am too like a coach before the Bumping Races or Challenge Oars.  So, Man, good luck. Our New House and Shrewsbury are immortal, which is a great comfort.” He died four days later, on the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Southwell was killed on 15th September.
Killed in action in France, 1st July 1916.

Remembered on Thiepval Memorial, France. Pier and Face 16 B and 16 C.

Southwell and White are featured as part of the BBC's 'World War One At Home' project, a growing national archive of stories showing how WW1 affected the people and places of the UK and Ireland. Their story was broadcast on BBC Radio Shropshire in August 2014 as part of the national commemorations of the centenary of WW1. It includes an interview with Dr Mike Morrogh, recorded shortly before his retirement from the History Faculty and as the School Archivist, and extracts from 'Two Men: A Memoir' read by Ralph Wade and Rory Fraser, who both left Shrewsbury in 2014. It is available to listen to via the BBC website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p022vjx6

More about White and Southwell is included in the 'OS in WW1' section of our website: The Two Men

Captain Alexander Macpherson Blair, 2nd Bn. South Lancashire Regiment
Haydon’s (now Rigg’s), left in 1890. He went to the front with the Overseas Contingent of the Ceylon Planters’ Rifles (as a Capt. Since 1912) but transferred in May 1915 to the South Lancs.
Killed in action in France, 3rd July 1916, aged 42.
Buried at Lonsdale Cemetery, Authuille, France. Grave III. P. 6.

Second Lieutenant Esmond Hallewell Rogers, 10th Bn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment
Bennett’s (now Severn Hill), 2 years in cricket XI, Head of the Science Side, he left in 1905 for Caius, Cambs. He played cricket for Warwickshire 2nd XI several times, and obtained his commission in Jan. 1915.
Killed in action in France, 3rd July 1916, aged 25.
Remembered on Thiepval Memorial, France. Pier and Face 9 A 9 B and 10 B.

Second Lieutenant Albert Theodore Vardy, 2nd Bn. Royal Warwickshire Regiment
School House; Football XI, Fives, Praepostor, left in 1907 with a scholarship for Pembroke College, Cambridge. Gaining a First in Classical Tripos, he became an Assistant Master at Highgate School, also Hon. Sec OS football. He enlisted at the start of the war, obtained a commission in May 1915 and went abroad in May 1916.
Shot and killed instantly while binding the wounds of a fellow officer in France, 4th July 1916, aged 27.
A fellow officer said, “Everyone is deeply cut up as he was universally adored and respected, and he was so loveable a fellow”.
Buried at Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz, France. Grave VIII. B. 10

Major Arthur Nevin Wheatley, 5th Bn. Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment)
Bennett’s (now Severn Hill); left in 1905 to join the family firm in Mirfield. He joined the Territorials and was gazetted Captain in the 5th Bn. Duke of Wellington’s in 1913. He went to France in April 1915 and was mentioned in despatches.
Died of wounds while 2nd i/c the Bn. in France, 5th July 1916, aged 28.
Buried at Etaples Military Cemetery, France. Grave I. A. 32.

Second Lieutenant Charles Dutton, 10th Bn. Lancashire Fusiliers.
Bennett’s (now Severn Hill), left in 1907. Gazetted to his Commission in September 1914, he spent a year on the Ypres Salient.
Killed in action in France 7th July 1916 aged 26
Remembered on Thiepval Memorial, France. Pier and Face 3 C and 3 D.

Private Basil Stott, 6235, 8th Bn. Royal Fusiliers.
Haydon’s (now Rigg’s), left in 1904.
Killed in action in France 7th July 1916 aged 29
Remembered on Thiepval Memorial, France. Pier and Face 8 C 9 A and 16 A.

Second Lieutenant Edward Wilson Wilkinson, 11th Bn. attd. 9th Bn. Duke of Wellington's (West Riding Regiment).
Day Boys, left in 1896.
Killed in action in France 7th July 1916 aged 38
Remembered on Thiepval Memorial, France. Pier and Face 6 A and 6 B.

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