Son of F. E. Thornhill, Cross Hall Lodge, St. Neots, Hunts, b. 1891.
Lower IV—Modern I. House Prefect.
Trinity College, Cambridge; B.A. 1913; East Kent Regt. 1912. 1st Bn. The Buffs (East Kent Regiment).
Great War, Lieutenant 1914. M.C., Despatches.
'Robert Thornhill went up to Trinity, Cambridge, and after taking his degree obtained a commission in the East Kent Regiment in 1912. He took part in the early campaigns, was mentioned in Despatches, and was one of the first recipients of the Military Cross. He was reported wounded and Missing in October 1914, and, as nothing further has transpired, he is now presumed to have been killed. He was one of those keen, cheerful boys who contribute so much to the life of a House. He gave of his best at School, as he did afterwards on the battle-field.' (Malvernian, Dec 1919).
"On the 23rd October, 1914, Thornhill and his platoon were sent forward to reconnoitre a gap in the line where the enemy had pushed the 2nd York and Lancs out of some trenches. There appeared to be no enemy in the gap and Thornhill and his men rushed forward to secure the trench. Unfortunately Thornhill and ten of his men were shot down at 15yds range by a hidden machine gun post. Only ten of the party returned unhurt, bringing seven of the wounded with them, but were obliged to leave Thornhill who had actually fallen into the trench and several others."