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Two Men - One Memorial


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Bells, especially in the less dear places, for these bring a swifter memory; as you may hear in the ward at Hazebrouck, and remember many great towers and little belfries at home. And there are good things to be done with the right man to help, and the right part of the river to do them in, and no crowds shouting, unless it be in the re-told tales when the lamsp are lit and the row is over. And that is a good moment when the dusty Company pileas arms in bivouac after a long day; but less good than 'Stand Down' after a night of watching, when the larks fly neutral over No Mans Land and the sun has made up his mind. And the ancient Greek tongue, because it is the perfect tongue; and the Latin, because it has fought and conquered the centuries. And the high wind on the Shropshire hills is good, and the smell of hay at evening. And the theatre and full-hearted applause, such as men and women give in England, but not in France, where they do it for hire. And best, surely, is the coming home on leave of a soldier.

But most, far most of all, that which I most rarely find; and what it is you will look for in vain I guess, for I cannot and will not tell.

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9th Battalion, The Rifle Brigade service record during this period is as follows:-

During the month of July the Battalion remained in the Arras sector and carried out two tours of trench duty and on the 28th it moved to Grande Rullecourt and the next day to Barly. On the 31st it moved to Candas. Casualties for the month were: killed, other ranks two, wounded eleven.

8th August. - The Battalion arrived at Buire-sur-Ancre from Candas and on the 19th took over some new and very shallow trenches near Delville Wood. The Battalion remained in the line until the 21st and suffered the following casualties: Lieutenant G.R.M. Pakenham wounded, 2nd Lieut. W. Hesseltine killed. Five other ranks killed and thirty one wounded.

On the 24th it returned to the front line and although not actually engaged in the attack by the 9th K.R.R.C. to clear Delville Wood on the 24th to 26th August, it rendered considerable assistance with its bombers, Lewis guns and carrying parties, and eventually relieved the remained of the 9th K.R.R.C. and was itself relieved on the 27th.

During this period Major F.W.L. Gull was wounded and nine other ranks killed and thirty seven wounded.

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From the 28th to 31st August the Battalion was again in the line and had eleven other ranks killed and thirty two wounded.

From 1st to 11th September the Battalion remained at Le Fay but on the latter date moved to Dernancourt and thence gradually moved up to the front line, arriving at Delville Wood early on the morning of the 15th and took part in the attack of that date (Flers-Courcelette).

The Battalion carried all its objectives and advanced from two to three miles past Flers and eventually stopped just short of Gueudecourt.

The following heavy casualties wewre incurred:-

Officers killed: Captains J.A. Merewether, H.W. Garton and E.K. Parsons; Lieutenant and Adjutant B.P. Lynch, Lieutenant E.H.L. Southwell, Captain R.J. Wooster, R.A.M.C. attached. Officers wounded: Lieut.-Col. T.H.P. Morris (diedof wounds on the 18th), Captain A.F. Wilmer (died of wounds), 2nd Lieut's J.P. Day, W.H. Purvis, G.H. Fairburn, G.R.M. Pakenham, J.B. Kirkpatrick, H.C. Kiek, C.S. Dennett and R.H. Hyde Thomas. Other ranks: killed 83; wounded 168; missing 43; total 294.

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This brings to a close another of the Memorial books in my collection apart from a piece by C.A. Alington who featured heavily in the lives of both officers as can be seen from their letters.

Andy

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The Cloisters,

Eton College,

Windsor.

To H.E.E.H.

My dear Hugh,

I am very glad I asked you to let me see the proofs again, for the sight has made it clear to me that a formal preface from a respectable Head Master would be something of an outrage. I can't imagine anything more alien from the spirit of the New House than a solemn 'appreciation', and no one could know better than Southwell and White how repugnant I should find the task.

On the other hand, they could not mind my writing you a letter about them: if there is one thing which this book makes plain it is that in a letter there is nothing which may not be fitly said when one is sure of one's correspondent, and they would, I think, appreciate the fiction by which I am supposed to disclose to you a lot of things about them which you know already far better than I.

For the characteristic which stands out in my mind is the amazing power which both of them had of 'making believe' - or rather of making words and events and books and circumstances generally serve their own particular mood. The language which they imposed on the New House is an illustration of it, and Southwell's power of giving a momentous gravity to the most trivial occasions is impossible to forget.

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Liked the photos of ES - show his two faces, the soldier and the scholar.

Well, Andy. looks like the end of the road for another great thread. Thanks for this - I for one appreciate your time and effort and your wilingness to share things from your collection. I think what I'll take away from this thread is the loss of two clever men, dedicated teachers and scholars both of them - a loss to a whole generation of children. I have throughly enjoyed their thoughts, strange as they were sometimes, and admire their stoic acceptance of what had to be. I'll remember too the lit windows of the school, glimmering through the fog on those winter nights they liked so much.

Thank again,

Marina

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Marina,

You are welcome. There certainly was some strange strains of thought going on there sometimes, but, a great loss of two undoubtedly clever men.

One of the reason I love these Memorial Books is that it becomes very personal sometimes, it seems as though you are sharing part of a friends life as they certainly seem like friends after going through eveything with them.

Still got to finish C.A.A.'s final bit.

Andy

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AAARGH - I'm too soon saying farewell! Sorry!

What I like is the sudden insight into how people of their time and class experienced things. Both Malcolm and Evelyn have very strong notions of duty and honour and the importance of dying well. There's never an ounce of self pity, only a longing for their former lives from time to time which is never allowed to interfere with what they had to do. It's small wonder they were so much admired by their peers. I lked Evelyn's list of things he likes - very English, very restrained, and all the sadder for it.

Marina

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No Master's meeting can ever be quite the same to me when he isn't there to address one of us on one of the subjects which he made his own, though his harangue used (you will remember) to begin with a confession that he was not quite sure on which side it was that he felt so strongly. The importance of trifles, the stores of humour to be unearthed from the common places of life, the infinite issues depending on a word or a phrase, until it was displaced form its undeserved pre-eminence by another equally unexpected, these are some of the lessons which their daily life displayed. They had, in a word, the truly 'poetic' faculty, though it did not find expression in the consecrated form of verse. Southwell's lines and his astonishing achievement in making his form into a nursery versifiers show, perhaps, what he might have done, and of course I have no means of knowing what secrets White told to his violin; but however it may have been expressed, the power was there: and if any critical reader complains that the instances I have given suggest the fancifulness of children than the inspiration of the author, I should answer that oets and children have the greatest qualities in common, and that when to their common powers of imagination they add the grace of humility they form the chosen citizens of the Kingdom of God.

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Anyone who happened to read this letter without the book which it introduces might fancy that they dominated our Society at Shrewsbury by sheer force of personality and insistence on their own lines of thought; but to read their letters is assuredly to realize that we loved them for those very qualities of humility and unselfishness which shone out so supremely in the end. And here I touch on things too sacred for speech: I can only say in all sincerity that I know of none among my friends to whom the sacrifice was greater or by whom it was made in a more noble spirit.

They would resent any attempt to draw a moral, but I think they would not mind me saying that their lives and death brought additional honour to one of the noblest of professions, for they loved the life and work of a schoolmaster as only born schoolmasters can. And there is one thing I know they would wish me to say, and that is that the life of our Society from which they went was for those few years as nearly that of a happy family as any which the whole annals of schoolmastering can show. The New House, the Staircase, the Rehoboamite Meetings, Kitch's room with its interminable discussions and uncovenated meals, - these are things which can never be forgotten while one of us remains to bless the name of Shrewsbury: it never can happen again, but let us thank Heaven for the happiness we knew and for the friends from whom we learnt so much.

Yours ever,

C.A. Alington.

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Finished now, and could not agree more with you Marina. The last part of C.A.A's letter is a good round up.

The picture of E.H.L.S. reading in the New House is just as I pictured it.

Andy

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Yes, it's like something out of MR James - he could be waiting for his students to appear to discuss something esoteric or tell a ghost story or just make buttered taost!

CAA's letter is spot on!

Marina

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Let us thank Heaven for the happiness we knew and for the friends from whom we learnt so much.

This .. I think says it all !! Thank you so much Andy for sharing this with us !!

I have followed this thread every night and tried very hard not to interupt it ! It records a time that we will never see again ....... and it has given me an insight I never had before ........ to be remembered with such love and respect and affection is something we all strive for ..... they were lucky men indeed to be so loved !

To listen to their thoughts has made me think ( as I have done many many times !! ) what a terrible waste of life ! - the talent and experience this war took from us could never be replaced - but other wars followed and more men were taken ......

My thoughts tonight have been with the ones they left behind and my heart goes out to them ..... I wonder what they would have thought of this thread !

Thank you again Andy

Annie

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Hi Annie,

Glad that you enjoyed the book, plenty more of them in my library to share, as and when people want to read them. These Memorial books, published by the family for close friends and family, never cease to move me.

Andy

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  • 2 years later...

Pals,

There's further information on Evelyn Southwell including a picture of his memorial window in Worcester Cathedral and pictures from his Oxford rowing days in this Topic:

Lt EHL Southwell, 9th Rifle Brigade, Killed 15 Sep 1916 at The Somme

Enjoy!

Cheers,

Mark

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  • 3 years later...

I'm made up - I have just managed to get hold of a Very Good copy of Two Men!

Cheers,

Mark

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Congratulations, Mark - that must be immensely satisfying.

Nice to see you on the forum again - the Yeoman Rifles thread to which you gave so much help in its early days is still going on, if a little more sporadically, with generous help from other forum pals.

Liz

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very satisfying indeed Liz - you'll probably be aware of the roots of my interest in Evelyn Southwell - I think I explained it in the Worcester cathedral window thread.

Rather stretched with work the last twelvemonth, so not had much time for the research projects, but I have been dropping into the Yeoman Rifles topic now and again - excellent!

Out of tiny acorns etc :-)

Cheers,

Mark

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Also poignant just now that Southwell was the reserve man for the British rowing VIII at the 1908 London Olympics.

Cheers,

Mark

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  • 1 year later...

Another year passed and we again reach the anniversary of Evelyn Southwell's death on 15 Sep 1916.

:poppy:

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  • 10 months later...

Following the Robert Ernest Vernede thread I have been asked by a few forum members to start another thread on one of the memorial books from my collection of these.

Tough call, as Robert's book was one that I had great difficulty putting down once I had started reading, as I enjoyed his sense of humour and style of writing tremendously.

This book tells the story of two Shrewsbury Schoolteachers, both Rifle Brigade who became known as "The Men" at Shrewsbury School, both joining the staff there in 1910 and were both killed in The Battle of The Somme.

Evelyn Southwell (E.H.L.S.)

Born-March 19, 1886.

Eton: Kings Scholar - January 1899. Magdalen College, Oxford: Demy-1904.

1st class in moderations - 1906. 2nd class in Literae Humaniores - 1908.

Stroke of College Eight. Head of the River - 1905. Head of the River - 1905 and 1906. O.U.B.C. Trials - 1905 and 1906. University crew 1907 and 1908. Stewards Challenge Cup - 1907. Leander Crew - 1908. Spare man for Olympic Crew - 1908. Assistant Master at Shrewsbury School - 1910.

Andy

Southwell was spare man for the 1908 Great Britain (Magdalen College BC) Olympic gold medal winning Coxless IV

post-20192-0-53598100-1406939707_thumb.j

Great Britain entered another Coxless IV from Leander, who they met in the Final. GB (Magdalen) won Gold by 1.5 lengths

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  • 1 month later...
  • 11 months later...

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