Malvern College First World War Casualties

Statue of St George which is inscribed 'To Our Brothers', and oak panel memorial inside the chapel.

The following is a list with biographies of the 459 people who attended Malvern College and died due to the First World War. Altogether 2,833 are known to have served. There is also a corresponding page commemorating the 248 casualties in the Second World War.
There was not a month from August 1914 to November 1918 that an Old Malvernian did not become a casualty, with 6 killed on the first day of the Battle of Loos on the 25th September 1915 and 13 killed on the first day of the Battle of the Somme on the 1st July 1916.
The vast majority of casualties occurred in France and Belgium with 31 names recorded on the Menin Gate at Ypres, and 23 at Thiepval. There were also 23 casualties in Turkey due to the Gallipoli Campaign, and 16 in Iraq, including 2 near Kut.
They were in a wide range of regiments including 26 in the Royal Field Artillery, 13 in the Royal Engineers, 12 in the Worcestershire Regt, 11 in the Canadian Inf, 11 in the East Kent Regt (The Buffs), and 5 in the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Air Force.
Most were officers with 133 Captains, 125 2nd Lieutenants, 114 Lieutenants, 26 Majors, and 15 Lieutenant Colonels.
22 received the MC, 5 the DSO and 1 the DCM, as well as 3 knighthoods (the CB, CMG, and MVO).

The information below is based primarily on the memorial books held at Malvern College which Ian Quickfall, and now Paul Godsland, the Malvernian Society archivists, have arranged to be digitised with the official memorial web site still in development.
Further information was also obtained from 'The Malvern College Register 1865-1924' edited by H.G.C Salmon, 'The Malvernian' school magazine, 'A History of Malvern College 1865 to 1965' by Ralph Blumenau, and 'Malvern College: A 150th Anniversary Portrait' by Roy Allen.
Information was also obtained from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, the Unit War Diaries and Service Records held at the National Archives in Kew, and various online commemorative websites whose links have been provided.

The main battles have tried to be identified in which Old Malvernians died in. Many though were killed in the general attrition of Trench Warfare which is so vividly described in the book 'Nothing of Importance' by Bernard Adams.

Below is a map showing the locations of the 240 cemeteries where Old Malvernians are buried or commemorated in. The markers are coloured yellow for one casualty, orange for between 2 and 9, and red for 10 or more. The name of the cemetery and number of casualties can be seen by hovering over the marker, and the list of names seen by clicking on the marker. Their full biographies and pictures can be seen by clicking on 'Further Info'.

The records can be filtered and/or sorted by name, house, age, regiment, battle, date, place etc by clicking on the appropriate drop down box and then the 'Search' button below the map. The original memorial book entry can be seen by clicking on the person's picture.


Month died:
Date Died:
eg 01 July 1916 or 01 July     Died this day
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Photo of Rupert Charles Bambridge
Captain Rupert Charles Bambridge DSO
House: No 9, 1905 - 1909. Regiment: Royal Fusiliers.
Died: 23 May 1918 aged 27 in France. Died of wounds.
Cemetery: St Sever Cemetery Rouen OFFICERS B.9.4.

Born 29th April 1891, Boveney, Thornlow Rd, West Norwood. Father:Edward Charles Bambridge. Mother: Kathleen Sylvia Bailey, 121 North Side, Clapham Common.
Lower Shell—VI. School Prefect. Head of House. XXII Cricket; XL Football; Ledbury Cap.
In the London Office of the High Commissioner for the Union of South Africa.
10th Bn. Royal Fusiliers. DSO, MC and Bar, MM

'Rupert Bambridge joined the ranks of the Royal Fusiliers, and went to France in the following July. He was wounded in January 1916, and three months later commissioned. He was again wounded in the Somme battle, in which he won the M.C. To this decoration he added a Bar in the autumn of 1917. Last March he was awarded the D.S.O. for his leadership, skill, and energy in organising the counter-attack which completely established the position. Four honours are a great record, and yet an Officer in his regiment writes: "They do not do him sufficient justice." The sterner life of active service served to develop in a wider sphere the qualities which characterised him at School. His energy, fearlessness, strong sense of duty, and complete appreciation of his responsibilities as Prefect and Head of his House, will be readily recalled by those who knew him as a boy. Letters from brother officers bear witness to the same qualities. "He was the perfect type of regimental officer," writes his C.O., "brave and fearless, full of energy and zeal, loved by his men and officers. He was absolutely reliable, and I never knew him fail in any task that he was given to do. I always felt confident, when he had the job in hand, that the work would be carried out." Another officer records how on several occasions, when under a heavy bombardment, he displayed magnificent courage in looking after his men. He was the eldest of the three brothers, who won for themselves in no small degree the regard and respect of all who knew them. All three have served, and two have fallen in the service of their country'. (Malvernian, Jul 1918)

Home: 29.8.1914 - 29.7.1915
BEF: 30.7.1915 - 18.3.1916
Wounded right hand and right thigh 18.1.1916. Awarded the 'Military Medal'.
On 19.12.1916 wounded by a piece of shell in right arm. He had recovered by 25.3.1917.
1.6.1917 Posted to 10 R F. Joined in the field
29.6.1917 To command B Coy
3.12.1917 Awarded Bar to Military Cross
Died of wounds received in action (Gas).

Bar to MC Citation: 'He organised and consolidated his position and established a line of posts under a heavy shell and machine-gun fire. Later in an attack, when the advance was held up by machine-gun fire, he went forward from the support line and reconnoitred the situation. He set a fine example to his men.'

DSO Citation: 'He was ordered to lead his company in a counter-attack against the enemy who had gained a footing in part of the front line. The night was very dark, and the exact position of the enemy was unknown, but he led his men to the best position of assembly, and after a personal reconnaissance launched a counter-attack. This attack being only partially successful, he quickly organised another, which drove the enemy back a considerable distance. At dawn he launched a third attack, drove the enemy out, and completely re-established the original position. The success of the operation was largely due to his splendid leadership, skill, and energy.'

Next of kin: Edward Charles Bambridge, The Elms, Merton Hall Road, Wimbledon

Service record: WO 339/58491
Medal card: WO 372/1/214277

Photo of John Puckle
Lieutenant Colonel John Puckle DSO
House: Sch, 1884 - 1886. Regiment: Army Service Corps.
Died: 15 April 1917 aged 48 in Greece. Lost at sea on Transport 'Arcadian'.
Cemetery: Mikra Memorial

Son of Colonel H. G. Puckle (Madras Staff Corps) and Cecilia Puckle, Pitlochry. b. 1869.
Upper III—1V. XXII Football; House XI Cricket.
Peterhouse, Cambridge, 1889; R.M.C. Sandhurst; South Wales Borderers 1893; A.S.C. 1894; Major 1906;
Winner Army Rackets and Lawn Tennis Doubles.
South African War, Despatches. Queen’s Medal, D.S.O., 1902.
Husband of Mary Clifton Tabor (formerly Puckle), of 91, Grosvenor House, Park St., London.
Great War, Lieut.-Colonel 1915. Lost at sea on the transport Arcadian April 15, 1917, Despatches.

'Lieutenant-Colonel Puckle was one of the first three British officers to land in France at the outbreak of the present war, being sent out in advance of the Expeditionary Force. He was mentioned in despatches in May 1915, and was one of eighteen officers reported missing, believed drowned on April 15th. He was one of the pair who won, two years in succession, for the A.S.C. the Army Rackets Championship Doubles, and also the Army Lawn Tennis Championship Doubles.' (Malvernian, Jun 1917).

'He was ordered to Palestine in March 1917, and was drowned near Stephanos, Greece, on the 15th April, when he was officer commanding troops (about 1,600) on board H.M. Transport Arcadian. An officer wrote: “I have never experienced greater kindness from any commanding officer; His friendly courtesy, his extreme consideration for others, and his never-failing nobility of mind were conspicuous traits in him, which endeared him to all with whom he had dealings, whether official or social. We all looked up to him as the true Ideal of what an officer and a gentleman should be, and one and all admired and respected him accordingly. Of the many officers under whom I have served I have never known one with such a wonderful sense of duty.
He saved many lives by his organization on the Arcadian, and by his attention to duty and the example he set when the disaster took place.
It was a supreme test of courage and discipline which he bore unflinchingly. We who knew him and had the honour of serving under him —and it was indeed an honour—are not surprised at his self-sacrifice. He never on any occasion spared himself.”' (De Ruvigny)

Photo of Arthur Leslie Simms
Captain Arthur Leslie Simms DSO
House: No 9, 1912 - 1916. Regiment: Royal Air Force.
Died: 13 July 1918 aged 21 in United Kingdom. Killed flying in England.
Cemetery: Stourbridge Cemetery K 192

Son of G. F. Simms, Farlands, Stourbridge, b. 1897.
Modern III—Matriculation Form. House Prefect. Gymnasium IV. Flight Sub-Lieutenant R.N. 1916 ; Captain R.A.F.
Great War (overseas), D.S.C. Accidentally killed July 13, 1918.

'In June 1916 Leslie Simms received a commission in the R.N.A.F., and in the following year was awarded the D.S.C. for valuable services in home waters. He became Flight Lieutenant and an Instructor. Later he was transferred to the Experimental Construction Department. At the time of his death he was expecting orders to proceed to the front. He had repeatedly applied to be sent overseas, but his services were required at home. He was killed while flying on July 14th. The keenness, splendid nerves, and absence of fear, which he proved himself to possess throughout his School career marked him out for the Air Service. He became a keen and daring officer, and was regarded as a Flying Officer who was likely to make a name. Many will grieve for the loss of a true friend and brave man.' (Malvernian, Nov 1918).

Photo of Alfred Soames
Major Alfred Soames DSO
House: Sch, 1873 - 1874. Regiment: East Kent Regt. (The Buffs).
Died: 13 October 1915 aged 53 in France. Killed in action near Hullock Quarries.
Cemetery: Loos Memorial P 15-17

Son of Rev. Charles Soames, Rector of Mildenhall, Marlborough, and Lydia Gordon Soames. b. 1862.
Raised Corps (Bushmanland Borderers) in Cape Colony during South African War 1901—2 ;
Despatches, Medal, D.S.O. 1902 ; Great War, Major 6th Bn. The Buffs (East Kent Regiment).

'Trenches. 13.X.15. At 1pm a smoke cloud was created along the line. By about 2pm all the smoke had cleared.
At 2.15pm the order was given to charge. The men were met with a terrific fire, machine guns on three sides, while the Germans were lying on their parapets giving rapid fire. The three coys were practically wiped out.
Major Soames was one of ten officers killed, along with 400 other ranks.' (Unit War Diary)

Service record: WO 339/14769
Unit War Diary: WO 95/1860/1

Photo of Guy Thwaites
Major Guy Thwaites DSO
House: Day, 1889 - 1890. Regiment: Army Service Corps.
Died: 29 May 1917 aged 40 in Eygpt. Drowned in Egypt.
Cemetery: Khartoum War Cemetery 10 C 16

Son of Rev H G Thwaites, Limber Magna. b. 1877.
III. Mercers’ Exhibition, St. John’s College, Cambridge, 1897; BA. 1900;
Army Service Corps 1901; Major 1914; South African War 1902, Queen’s Medal with Clasps.
Great War, with Egyptian Army 1915—17; D.S.O., Despatches. Accidentally drowned in White Nile, May 29 1917.

No of records: 5. View all 459 records     Second World War