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Public Schools and the Great War


Moonraker
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Does anyone know where I might find a list of former King's College School KIA?

and/or can anyone tell me if a "Thomas Francis" or a "David Francis" is on that list?

Thanks,

Thomas

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Does anyone know where I might find a list of former King's College School KIA?

and/or can anyone tell me if a "Thomas Francis" or a "David Francis" is on that list?

Thanks,

Thomas

KCS Wimbledon?

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KCS Wimbledon is my bet, but I suppose it could be Cambridge.

I'm trying to track down a lead that is a hand written note and rubber stamp imprint on an RNVR enrollment document. The hand written note says: "Kings Coll: Sch: (sic)". The rubber stamp imprint says: " P.S. Bn".

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Hello Dick (!!)

I haven't run a check yet, but the info you have COULD be interpreted as Kings College - Scholar, not School.

The additional reference almost reads as Public Schools Battalion, implying RMLI more than RNVR (unless the reference is to previous military experience...

No Francis found with Kings or College but there are these 5 (from Cambridge, Canterbury Wimbledon and Aberdeen!)

GOLDSMITH LEWIS WILBERFORCE

GOSS LEONARD SIDNEY

TAYLOR JOHN OGILVIE

WATERS REGINALD WILLIAM

WATSON ROGER WENTWORTH

This chap might fit, if time frame gells:-

FRANCIS, DAVID. Rank: Sub-Lieutenant. Date of Death: 13/11/1916.
Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Nelson Bn. R.N. Div.
Panel Reference: Pier and Face 1 A. Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL
There are many T Francis and Thomas Francis entries, but only one with a marine involvement, a Thomas Joseph Francis, assistant steward aboard the HMHS Glenart Castle (a Classic Thread on the forum!)....
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....I haven't run a check yet, but the info you have COULD be interpreted as Kings College - Scholar, not School.....

.....This chap might fit, if time frame gells:-

FRANCIS, DAVID. Rank: Sub-Lieutenant. Date of Death: 13/11/1916.

Regiment/Service: Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. Nelson Bn. R.N. Div.

Panel Reference: Pier and Face 1 A. Memorial: THIEPVAL MEMORIAL

There are many T Francis and Thomas Francis entries, but only one with a marine involvement, a Thomas Joseph Francis, assistant steward aboard the HMHS Glenart Castle (a Classic Thread on the forum!)....

Yes he is on the Thiepval Memorial. I'm trying to find out which "Public School" or "University" etc he went to prior to the war.

I hadn't realized that "Sch:" could be interpreted as "scholar" rather than school. That would increase the number of possible institutions he could have attended.

His full name is actually "Thomas David Francis" (dob 23 Feb, 1890). Why he enrolled in the RNVR as "David" Francis I do not yet know.

Thank you BTW

Do any schools or universities still keep or archive Pre-Great War enrollment/student information?

Cheers,

Thomas

P.S. He is my Great Grand Uncle and I was named after him.post-95984-0-80428100-1389566595_thumb.j

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So, have I found "your" GG uncle? It very much seems that way but you didn't QUITE confirm it, and you then say he was both David and Thomas, so it's the one and only, not two....?

You'll note from that extract that, in common with the Army, an enlisted man has to be discharged on paper and rejoined as a commissioned officer, so that explains the Sub Lieutenant connection written at the top of the form.

Now, there are expert Pals on here for the Royal Naval Division, so I suggest you go back to your first post and by using the "FULL edit" advanced option you can then add the details for David requesting a look up of the relevant War Diary for the period from 12 July 1915 until November 1916. It may be available without charge by the kindness of some Pals, otherwise they'll give you the proper reference to order from the National Archives in Kew.

You may also be lucky to obtain details of the address to contact for RND Officers Service records for David - you might just be lucky!

Oh - and sorry about the tongue in cheek reference to "Dick" Francis!!

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I hadn't realized that "Sch:" could be interpreted as "scholar" rather than school. That would increase the number of possible institutions he could have attended.

His full name is actually "Thomas David Francis" (dob 23 Feb, 1890). Why he enrolled in the RNVR as "David" Francis I do not yet know.

.attachicon.gifimage.jpg

Given the abbreviated word "Coll:" almost certainly refers to College, I'd say the writer is using the colon to signify abbreviation and I think we can be 90% confident that this reference is to KCS Wimbledon.

KCS Cambridge was the choir school for King's College and IIRC was only a prep school.

Have you contacted Dick Flory about a KCS Memorial Roll?

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So, have I found "your" GG uncle? It very much seems that way but you didn't QUITE confirm it, and you then say he was both David and Thomas, so it's the one and only, not two....?

You'll note from that extract that, in common with the Army, an enlisted man has to be discharged on paper and rejoined as a commissioned officer, so that explains the Sub Lieutenant connection written at the top of the form.

Now, there are expert Pals on here for the Royal Naval Division, so I suggest you go back to your first post and by using the "FULL edit" advanced option you can then add the details for David requesting a look up of the relevant War Diary for the period from 12 July 1915 until November 1916. It may be available without charge by the kindness of some Pals, otherwise they'll give you the proper reference to order from the National Archives in Kew.

You may also be lucky to obtain details of the address to contact for RND Officers Service records for David - you might just be lucky!

Oh - and sorry about the tongue in cheek reference to "Dick" Francis!!

Yes, you found him. He was KIA/missing 13/11/16.

Thanks for the advice.

No worries about "Dick" Francis.

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Given the abbreviated word "Coll:" almost certainly refers to College, I'd say the writer is using the colon to signify abbreviation and I think we can be 90% confident that this reference is to KCS Wimbledon.

KCS Cambridge was the choir school for King's College and IIRC was only a prep school.

Have you contacted Dick Flory about a KCS Memorial Roll?

I don't know who Dick Flory is, nor why I would contact him about a KCS Memorial Roll.

I'll contact him as you suggest just the same. (Assuming someone can tell me how to go about contacting him.)

Thanks,

Thomas

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You'll find rflory on one of the preceding pages of this thread.....

Like Mark very into Public School contributions in the Great War, so when he wakes his sleepy Californian head he'll no doubt be a worthwhile cross reference for you...

Meantime, see if there are any threads relating to the Nelson Battalion of the RND especially for November 1916.

You may also get contact info to see if the RN officer files might have survived for him.

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No mention of KCS Wimbledon in Dick's Classic Thread: British school registers and rolls of honour, but that doesn't mean Dick does not have the school's memorial book, just that no-one till now has asked for a look-up.

You could post your request there perhaps?

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It might be worth checking the University of Cambridge war list (available online from archive.org) and University of London roll of honour (available online via the Senate House library website as I recall) to rule out the interpretation as a scholar of King's College

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Great to see the photo which includes Siggurd Macculloch, one of my Chailey men. I'd not seen this image before.

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I haven't read all this thread but no doubt many out there are aware of: 'The PS Battalion in The Great War' by Steve Hurst

Read it a few years back and found it very good.

Interesting point made in another book was that in many PS the boys who weren't any good at sport joined the cadets, because less skill was required. They were ridiculed according to the author. How general this was I don't know. It's an interesting observation.They then found themselves as leader class in some ways by default.

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Not true in our school. The OTC (now CCF) has always been very sporty. The two school captains who died in the First World War, John Hartington MC and John Maddox, one the senior cadet and one the 2i/c, were both keen sportsmen and captains of the school football and cricket teams.

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Nor in my school - corps was compulsory for all the Lower Remove, though very occasionally a boy got off on religious grounds. After that, it was voluntary and reasonably well supported. We certainly did not see it as needing less skill nor do I remember it being avoided by the more sporty boys, but then a large number of our boarders were children of serving military men and we had a strong tradition of boys opting for careers in the Services.

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  • 3 months later...

Good afternoon

I am thinking of buying 'Public Schools and the Great War' by Seldon and Walsh and would appreciate members' thoughts - is it just a detailed role of honour (not that that's a bad thing) or an analysis of the schools' impact on the British Army?

Many thanks, Yperman

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I was asked to review it and when I last checked the review was pending online publication. The great Michael Howard wrote the Foreword . The book examines the public schools and their ethos and the impact not only of public schoolboys on the war, but also the impact of the War on the public schools. Among points of interest I had not previously appreciated were that a number of public schools then had 'Grammar School' in their titles and some that weren't public schools in 1914, like Kingston Grammar, are now. Furthermore, public schools were important for officer recruitment not only in the British Army, but even the Australian Army. I would strongly recommend it.

Michael

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To say that this diary "proves" that Seldon was wrong (as The Spectator claims) is simplistic nonsense. Moonraker is correct - it is an alternative view, and goes to show (as if we didn't already know) that so much (everything?) in WW1 is not black and white; just shades of grey.

William

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Just to point out that the existing thread has just been resurrected, mainly because I posted there today, so Yperman might like to close this one or the mods may wish to merge the two.

Moonraker

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Thank you for the feed back. Yperman

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To say that this diary "proves" that Seldon was wrong (as The Spectator claims) is simplistic nonsense. Moonraker is correct - it is an alternative view, and goes to show (as if we didn't already know) that so much (everything?) in WW1 is not black and white; just shades of grey.

William

Thought this thread had closed. Lord Crawford's service is covered in Reginald Pound's The Lost Generation though content of diary is not touched upon. Most officers in the first months of the war who were 'temporary gentlemen' had received university commission's and had OTC experience. Although as WiiliamRev points out never take the simplistic answers. The more you dig into the Great War the more it defies established theories

Bom T

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