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Remembered Today:

Liet. Col. Raymond Vernon Doherty-Holwell

Tom Morgan

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I have been doing a bit of research into this officer who was KIA 9.1.17 at the age of 34 and is buried in Poperinge New British Cemetery. Google shows that he was MID in January 1915 and was awarded the DSO in June 1915. I also learned that he was a student at Cheltenham College and from CWGC I have details of his parents. His father had been a Major in the Worcestershire Regiment.

The times has a mention of his attendance of a Royal Engineers Dinner pre-war and a notice of his death.

Does anyone know anything else about this officer or have any details of his Active Service? I should like to know what his specific "job" was and how he came to be killed. All advice gratefully received.


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Thanks Coldstreamer. The references you give are ones which give notice of temporary promotion to Lieut. Col. while serving as Assistant Director of Signals - things like that. Very useful to me and thanks again!


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Don't know how much of this you already have but here goes.

From “Leaving all that was dear – Cheltenham and the Great War” by Joe Devereux and Graham Sacker

“Lieutenant-Colonel Raymond Vernon Doherty-Holwell was born on the 18th July 1882 at Glanmire, Co. Cork, the son of Major Martin Doherty-Holwell of the Worcestershire Regiment and Sarah Elenora Annie Doherty-Holwell. He attended Cheltenham College between 1896 and 1899, going on to the Military Academy Woolwich from where he was commissioned into the Royal Engineers on the 4th February 1901. He was promoted Lieutenant in 1904 and Captain in 1911, whilst stationed at Aldershot. He went to France with the expeditionary force in August 1914 and was mentioned in the despatches of Lord French for the battle of the Aisne in October. Promoted Major in 1916 and temporary Lieutenant Colonel, he was admitted to the Distinguished Service Order for gallant services in the field and was mentioned on two further occasions. In January of 1917 he was at Army Signals HQ of 8 Corps at Ypres when he was killed in action and is buried in Poperinghe New Military Cemetery, Plot II, Row B, Grave 12. There is a photograph of him in “The War Illustrated” page 72 of Volume 6. In his will, his address is given as 43 St. James Street, Middlesex and administration was given to his mother who is described as a widow.

He is commemorated on the Cheltenham Borough (Promenade) War Memorial”

From War Illustrated 3rd March 1917

From Cheltenham College Register (September 1896):

"Son of Major Martin Doherty Holwell, Worcestershire Regiment, Junior United Service Club, London; born 18th July 1882. Middle 5(2)M- Upper 6M. Hazelwell. Left December, 1899.

Mathematical Scholar, 1896; Stewart Prize, 1899. Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, 1899. 2nd Lieutenant, Royal Engineers, 1901; Lieutenant, 1904."

The Times 16th January 1917

"LIEUTENANT-COLONEL RAYMOND VERNON DOHERTY HOLWELL, D.S.O., R.E., was killed on January 9. Born in 1882, he was the only son of Mrs. Doherty Holwell and of the late Major Martin Doherty Holwell, 2nd Worcestershire Regiment. He obtained his first commission in the Royal Engineers in February, 1901, and was gazetted Captain in February, 1911, and Major last November. He had been on active service since the outbreak of war, was mentioned in despatches in October, 1914, and awarded the D.S.O. in June, 1915."



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Pam that's an excellent, detailed post for which I thank you. There was a lot that I didn't know. I'm very grateful to you.


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