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Surbiton pupils uncover missing World War One soldiers' names
Names missing from a plaque commemorating First World War soldiers from Shrewsbury House School have been discovered by pupils as part of a research project.
The memorial in Shrewsbury House School lists the names of former pupils who fought, as well as those who died in combat.
But research from old newspaper archives and school records revealed that three former Shrewsbury schoolboys had been left off the memorial.
Sean Smart, head of history at the school, said: “We are not sure why they were missed off since the memorial at present covers both former boys and staff, and some who survived the war.
“We can only assume that they were simply missed, that their families may have moved away or died and that there was no one around to say ‘What about my son?’”
The Ditton Road school started the history project with help from charity Western Front Association and the Commonwealth Graves Commission.
They hoped to trace the lives of past pupils to commemorate the centenary anniversary next year.
Year eight pupil William Reith, 12, said: “Now we have found something about every single person and every first name has been found.
“It has really progressed.”
Students have been researching the lives of former Shrewsbury House pupils who fought in the war
Captain Gordon DG Elton, who served with the Royal Irish Fusiliers, was killed at Ypres on November, 5, 1917 and was one of the forgotten soldiers alongside Major Hubert J Holmes and Lieutenant Philip Douetil, who both died after the war.
Sam Muller, 12, said: “We did not know anything about anyone – we spent time scouring old newspaper archives and emailing other schools. But after a while we started building a picture.”
He said he was particularly proud of the story he had found about one soldier going to Hong Kong with his father on a ship.
Mr Smart said: “I told them this is an open thing, we don’t know the answers. We will find them.
“Sometimes they got the wrong man, but we have looked over their shoulders and it has gone very well.”
The school is now considering adding the three missing names on to the existing memorial or raising money for a new one.
James Hodson, 12, said: “I really enjoyed knowing I was involved in a part of history and this was something that had never been done before.”
The year eight students’ are also searching for surviving family members or descendants as part of their research.
Peter Francis, from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, said: “It’s absolutely fantastic. – it’s something that we encourage.
"It’s exactly in keeping with the Commission’s aims, which is to engage future generations in the sacrifices of Commonwealth men and women.”
* Are you related to a soldier in the First World War that went to the school? The students would love to know. Call 020 8399 3066 if you can help.
Shrewsbury House School's Roll of Honour
Able Seaman (HG) Arthur H Berg of Surbiton - the Nelson battalion of the Royal Naval Division – killed at Battle of Gallipoli 13 July 1915 aged 21 years.
-Lt. Francis W Brown of Kingston, went on to Marlborough college - 23rd Bn of Middlesex Regt – died of wounds received in France 16th Sept 1916 aged 21 years.
- Lt John Callender of Maple Road, Surbiton, went to be a chorister at Magdalen College, Oxford - 4th Bn of the Ox and Bucks LI –killed in France 21st August 1917 aged 21 years.
- 2nd Lt Reginald C Chilvers of Surbiton (below), went on to Lancing - 10th Bn of the Norfolk Regt. – killed at Battle of Gaza 19th April 1917 aged 19 years.
-Trooper Stephen B Cooke of Surbiton- Ceylon Mounted Rifles Corps – died in Ceylon 4th June 1915 aged 28 years.
-Corporal Herbert V Curtis of Long Ditton - 13th Bn Rifle Brigade –(former staff member of Shrewsbury House School) killed on the Somme 11th July 1916.
-Captain Philip V Douetil of Surbiton, went on to Marlborough college - Calcutta Light Horse, later in 9th Hodson’s Horse, wounded in action in France in 1916. Worked and lived in India. Went on to be race horse owner. Died in 1938 aged 65 years.
-Captain Gordon D G Elton DSO MC Mentioned in dispatches 4 times - went on to Wellington College - the Royal Irish Fusiliers – killed at Ypres 5 November 1917 aged 29 years.
-2nd Lt Andrew Fairbairn of Surbiton, went on to Cheltenham - 3rd Bn attached 2nd Bn Royal Irish Regt. Was wounded, captured and died in captivity in Germany - 5th June 1915 aged 21 years.
-Lt Donald C Fairbairn MC of Surbiton, went on to Oundle – Royal Garrison Artillery regiment, later transferred to the RAF. Brother of the above, believed to have survived the war.
-2nd Lt Cyril F H Fenner of Norfolk, went on to Felsted - 2nd Bn Scots Guards –wounded in Flanders, later killed in France 24th September 1916 aged 28 years. (An older brother, Lt Commander Alfred Fenner RN, died at sea 31st January 1918 aged 32 years).
-Captain Henry C Fielding of Surbiton (below), went on to Lancing - 38th Dogras attached 59th Scinde Rifles (Frontier Force) Indian Army – killed at Neuve Chapelle 12th September 1915 aged 30 years.
-Private Cecil B French of Surbiton - 10th Bn Royal Fusiliers – killed in France 8th Feb 1916 aged 29 years.
-2nd Lt Thomas S Gent of Thames Ditton, went on to Rossall School and then Oxford University - 7th Bn Rifle Brigade killed in France 24th July 1915 aged 21 years.
-Lt. James D Gilkison of Wimbledon, went on to Rugby - 2nd Bn Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders killed in France 26th August 1914 aged 30 years.
-Captain Dugald S Gilkison of Wimbledon, went on to Rugby – The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) – killed in France 20th September 1914 aged 35 years. Brother of the above.
-Lt Eric M Graham born in India, went to boarding schools in England, first us then on to St Nicholas’s - 1st Bn South Wales Borderers – died 2nd April 1915.
-2nd Lt Ronald M Graham – the Essex Regt, attached 2nd Bn Royal Scots Fusiliers – killed in France 12th March 1915 aged 19 years. Brother of the above.
-2nd Lt Leslie G Heigham-Plumptre of Felstead went on to Westminster school - 3rd Bn the Bedfordshire Regt. attached to the RAF – died in a flying accident in France 4th June 1918 aged 20 years.
-2nd Lt Robert V Hoare of the 22nd Sam Brownes Cavalry (Frontier Force) – killed in Iraq 10th May 1917 aged 19 years.
- Major Hubert. J. Holmes MBE MC and bar - 2nd Bn Northumberland Fusiliers, awarded the MC and bar in 1916, later transferred to REME and died in 1944 .
-Lt Norman B Howell of Surbiton – Mentioned in dispatches, the 2nd Bn Queens Own (Royal West Kent Regiment) – killed in Iraq 24th July 1915 aged 22 years.
-Brigadier General Philip Howell CMG of Surbiton, went on to Lancing – II Corps General Staff – killed in France 7th October 1916 aged 37 years. Relative of the above.
-Major Rayner H Johnson MC of Surbiton, went on to Oundle - 122nd Heavy Bty –Royal Garrison Artillery –(grandson of Dr Price-Jones who built the school. The School’s Art room was named after Maj. Johnson) - killed at Battle of Cambrai 27th September 1918 aged 21 years.
-Captain Hugh O’donoghue Macan of Kingston - 4th Bn East Surrey Regiment – killed in France 1st September 1918.
-Major Gerald C De Mattos MC of Merton - the 9th Bn East Lancashire Regiment – killed in Russia 11th August 1919 aged 27 years, -2nd Lt Henry V Mills of Pillerton, went on to Cheltenham - the 321st Siege Bty, Royal Garrison Artillery - killed at Ypres 25th June 1917 aged 35 years.
-Major Harold Millard of Surbiton (below) - 7th Bn Northamptonshire Regt. (A son of a former Headmaster of Shrewsbury House School) Served in Gallipoli and France– Killed in France 11th April 1917 aged 42 years.
-2nd Lt Herbert J R Moseley of Kingston, went on to the Merchant Taylors school - the 7th Bn Rifle Brigade- killed at Arras 27th June 1916 aged 22 years.
-Midshipman Lionel G F Moultrie of St Helier – HMS Valiant – died of influenza 23rd April 1919 aged 17 years.
-RSM Henry M Murphy DCM of Surbiton - the 1st Bn Royal Dublin Fusiliers (Boer war veteran and former Drill sergeant at Shrewsbury House) – killed in France 17th May 1918 aged 40 years.
-Lt Percy Mytton of Surbiton - 8th Bn Middlesex Regt.-killed at Ypres -2nd May 1915 aged 38 years.
-Lt Douglas G Nisbet of Esher - 3rd but attached to the 5th Bn South Wales Borderers – killed in France 10th June 1916 aged 21 years.
-2nd Lt Frederick W Nisbet of Esher, went on to Marlborouh – 46 Squadron RFC – killed in France in a flying accident 14th Feb 1917 aged 19 years. Brother of the above.
-Private John R T Paradise of Kingston, went on to the HMS Worcester naval school formerly on the Thames - 1st/28th Bn London Regiment (Artists Rifles) – killed in France 30th October 1917 aged 23 years.
-Fourth Officer Harold R Parton of Blackheath – Merchant Marine - killed at sea off Crete when the SS Persia was torpedoed by U-38 on 30th December 1915 aged 20 years.
-Captain Charles J Reid of Esher - 9th Bn Royal Warwickshire Regt. – killed at Battle of Gallipoli 10th August 1915 aged 41 years.
-2nd Lt Warwick J N Ryan of St Johns, went on to Aldenham- the Dorset Yeomanry (Queens Own) attached Imperial Camel Corps, killed in Egypt - 5th September 1916 aged 26 years.
-Captain Edward S N Ryan MC of Putney – 12th Bn East Surrey Regt. – killed in Belgium 22nd October 1918 aged 23 years.
-Lt Col George E Swinton MC of Surbiton – The East Surrey Regt. Served in both world wars, died 19th January 1964.
-Private John S Wagner of Surbiton – 30th Bn Middlesex Regt. – died of influenza 26th October 1918 aged 18 years. Buried locally in Long Ditton Rifleman Arthur “Bob” J E Warburton of East Molesey, went on to Kings College- the 2nd/21st Bn London Regt. (First Surrey Rifles) - died of Influenza in Greece 14th August 1917 aged 22 years.
-Captain Claud H Woollatt of Surbiton, went on to Cheltenham, the 8th Bn the Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment) - killed on the Somme 21st August 1916 aged 29 years.
-2nd Lt Philip R Woollatt of Surbitonm went on to Cheltenham - the 7th Bn the Queens (Royal West Surrey Regiment) - killed on the Somme -14th July 1916 aged 21 years brother of the above.
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