Shrewsbury School

The news this week 100 years ago: 18th - 24th December 1915

Friday 18 December 2015

This week we remember:

Captain John Euel Witherden ‘Jack’ Bath, 5th Bn. Royal Berkshire Regiment.
School House, Praepostor, Choregus, Gentleman of the Runs. He left in 1912 and gained a Bible Clerkship at All Souls’ College Oxford. Represented Oxford against Cambridge in running, also ran with Thames Hare and Hounds. Gazetted from Cadet (O.T.C.) to Temporary 2nd Lieut.

In a letter published in The Salopian, he wrote “It is hardly decent, I know, to answer letters in a hurry, but I feel that you will probably forgive me in consideration of the pleasure I derive from thinking, as I write, of this day last year, but at this hour one didn’t find it too hot sitting on the river bank waiting for Headroom to go down to the starting point, and everyone was happy and nothing seemed to matter at all. And it’s nice to think that something of the same sort is happening at this minute, a quarter to six on this Saturday afternoon, as I sit in a dug-out seven feet by three, which smells, though they tell me the smell is healthy, while the rain comes down steadily making everything a quagmire, except where the trench has made a corduroy pavement, and one’s only food for consolation lies in two thoughts, one that the Hun can’t be enjoying it any more than I, the other that he was a benefactor who invented gum boots. There, that must be the longest sentence in the world! There’s another thing too that bucks me up, the extraordinary goodness – I can’t think of a better word – of the men.”
A brother Officer wrote of him: “It will be a long time, I think, before I will stop missing him.”
Killed in action by a shell while doing the rounds of the trenches with his Colonel, in France 22nd December 1915 aged 22.
Buried at Guards Cemetery, Windy Corner, Cuinchy, France. Grave III. J. 3.

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