Malvern College First World War Casualty

Captain Noel Burgess Michell

Photo of Noel Burgess Michell
House and time at Malvern: Sch, 1899 - 1904.

Regiment: Royal Fusiliers.
Died: 22 March 1918 aged 33 in France. Killed in action at Jussy.
Battle: German Spring Offensive. Cemetery: Pozieres Memorial P 19-21

Son of G. B. Michell, 11 Sackville Gardens, Hove. b. 1885.
Upper V—VI. House Scholar. House Prefect. House XI Football.
Major Scholar, Trinity College, Cambridge; B.A. (First Class Class. Tripos) 1908.
Assistant Master at Lancing College and Bedales School.
Great War, Private Public Schools Batt. 1914, Captain Royal Fusiliers.
Killed in action March 12, 1918; Despatches.

'Noel Michell came to Malvern with a Scholarship in 1899. He was an interesting boy, of considerable ability, perhaps too independent and wayward to be very popular, but his character won respect, and he showed keenness for the House at football and otherwise. His Scholarship at Trinity, Cambridge, and his First Class in the Classical Tripos seemed to promise a successful career, and he did good work at Lancing and Bedales. When the crisis came, he obeyed the call to arms, and, like so many others, he has made the supreme sacrifice in the early promise of life.' (Malvernian, Jun 1918).

In a letter to The Editor of The Bedales Chronicle on 8th December 1915 he describes:
“This part of the line … is not one of the worst, except as far as mining goes. … Mining and counter-mining are perpetually going on, with the result that you never know when you and your men will be heaved up aloft or buried in the debris of an explosion. … Of course if you know where a mine is going off, you try not to be there, since, like hot-tempered teachers, they are apt to explode when you least expect them.”
He states the trenches which “in our sector of the line are habitually knee deep in mud”, and describes the rats, “of which unpleasant animals there are hundreds”. He is convinced that the British army is better fed and more supplied with ammunition than “the brutal Boche” and also has much more spirit, “joking and laughing all the time … from a profound lightness of heart, a sort of blessed cheeriness, which combined with their d.…d doggedness … will certainly win the war.”
Detailed biography at Bedales