The following is a list with biographies of the 248 people who attended Malvern College and died due to the Second World War. There is also a corresponding page commemorating the 459 casualties in the First World War.
The fallen are commemorated at Malvern with the statue of St. George, which is inscribed 'To Our Brothers', and the names themselves are written on a marble memorial in the Ante-Chapel.
After the Phoney war had ended, there was not a month from May 1940 to May 1945, that an Old Malvernian did not lose their life, though unlike the First World War there were not major spikes in losses on a particular day or month.
5 were killed in the Battle of Dunkirk at the end of May 1940, and 4 during the Battle of Britain between July and October 1940.
3 OMs lost their lives during the Blitz between September 1940 and May 1941.
21 lost their lives in the Western Desert Campaign between June 1940 to February 1943 with 5 buried at El Alamein War Cemetery and 6 commemorated at the Alamein Memorial.
4 were killed during the Allied invasion of Sicily between July and August 1943, and 5 at the Battle of Monte Cassino between January and May 1944 with 8 commemorated at the Cassino Memorial And Cemetery.
8 were killed after the D-Day landings during Operation Overlord between June and August 1944, and 2 in Operation Market Garden in September 1944.
In South-East Asia, 2 were killed during the Japanese-Thai occupation of Malaya between Dec 1941 and Jan 1942, 4 were killed during the Japanese occupation of Singapore in February 1942, and 7 were killed during the Burma Campaign between 1942 and 1945.
Most (97) OMs served in the R.A.F. with many in Bomber Command. 22 are commemorated at Runnymede Memorial as they have no known grave.
14 served in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve, 5 in the Royal Navy, 31 in the Royal Artillery, and 4 in the Royal Tank Regiment, with the remainder disbursed among 75 other units.
George Chesterton in the Remembrance Day Service of 2009, having described the lives and loss of five of his friends, reflected:
'Some of these brave men have no known grave, but we must remember them, along with all the tens of thousands of others, who gave their lives for their homelands and their friends. It is thanks to them that all of us sit in this Chapel, from a wide variety of countries and backgrounds and are able to sit together in security and friendship.'
The information below is based on 'The Malvern College Register, Second Supplement, 1949' edited for the Malvernian Society by F. W. Roberts, the 'The Malvernian' school magazine, and 'Malvern College: A 150th Anniversary Portrait' by Roy Allen.
Further information was also obtained from the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website, the Unit War Diaries held at the National Archives in Kew, and various online commemorative websites whose links have been provided.
Below is a map showing the locations of the 126 cemeteries where Old Malvernians are buried or commemorated in. The markers are coloured yellow for one casualty, orange for between 2 and 4, and red for 5 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 can be seen by clicking on 'Further Info'.
The records can be filtered and/or sorted by surname, house, age, regiment, date, place etc by clicking on the appropriate drop down box and then the 'Search' button below the map.
Son of Matthew Wright Breckenridge and Winifred Agnes Breckenridge, Caldwell, Irvine, Ayrshire.
Mod. V. House Prefect.
Husband of Rae Isobel Breckenridge, of Troon, Ayrshire.
Chartered Accountant with Matthew Wright & Nephew of Irvine, Ayrshire.
130 Field Regt. Royal Artillery
Unit war diary extract:
'Jan 1st 1943 - 494 Fd Bty en route Maungdaw - Indin (Map Sheet 84 D/11 Burma)
5 Jan - Major Brenckenridge O.C. 494 Fd Bty, Captain Watson, and 4. O.R.s killed in action on Mayu Pen.
6 Jan - 494 Bty fired on Laungchang from Kodingauk in support of 5/8 Punjab.'
Unit war diary: WO 172/2304
Son of N. W. R., Sedgwick, 126 Fog Lane, Didsbury, Manchester
Hist. VI. School Prefect
Styring School. (Hist.)
Queen's College, Oxford.
1st Bn. Royal Welch Fusiliers
Distinguished Service Order for gallantry in Burma. Killed in action, May, 1944.
'Donbaik, Burma. 18th March 1943.
14 Pl. ‘C’ Coy. Under comd. of Lt Rostron, was ordered to attack an enemy strong point, S 16.
Lt Rostron reached his objective, suffering heavy casualties in his advance, only five of his Pl. arriving on the objective with him, the remainder having fallen to heavy mortar and machine gun fire.
The objective itself was found to be unoccupied by the enemy and Lt Rostron pushed further on toward his Coy. objective. When continuous enemy mortar and M.G. fire made further advance impossible, he commenced to dig in. During the whole of the day his position was subjected to frequent mortaring and M.G. fire. Enemy snipers killed two of his party.
Toward the end of the day, Lt. Rostron succeeded in contacting elements of D Coy. who had reached their objective, M 16. Lt Rostron took command of this party, and though isolated by enemy fire from any source of reinforcements, continued to hold his position throughout the remainder of the day until 0430 hrs, on 19th March, when he was ordered by loudspeaker to withdraw.
Lt Rostron then organised the withdrawal of the whole party, including several wounded and making his way round an enemy M.G. post eventually reached our lines.
Throughout the day and night this officer had set a magnificent example of leadership and devotion to duty.'
(Awarded D.S.O. – London Gazette 1-6-43)
DSO Citation WO-373_30_1
Speaking after the War, Field Marshal Sir William Slim said of this last attack on Donbaik:¬“It was a battle which should never have been fought, It is a hard thing to say but it is so .... The last and final assault.... were led by the Royal Welch Fusiliers and on that day they showed valour which I think has rarely been surpassed. They stormed the position, they took it and were on top of those bunkers but they could not get inside them. They stood there until, I am afraid, most of them had been knocked out by the machine guns and artillery. As a place of sheer courage, I do not think it has ever been surpassed…”
Battle of Donbaik at burmastar
The following is an extract form the unit war diary a year later in April 1944:
Battle of Kohima: Sitrep 1RWF 22 Apr 1944 – 1100hrs. Earlier this morning D Company, led by Capt John Rostron DSO were ordered to move forward and take up a position on the ridge line at Gr 471667. They are now under enemy fire. 2 x enemy reported killed.
1130hrs. Capt John Rostron DSO killed by sniper.
Son of William Huyshe Yeatman-Biggs and Muriel Barbara Yeatman-Biggs, of Long Hall, Stockton, Wiltshire.
Head of House.
Husband of Katharine Edith Clare Yeatman-Biggs, of Stockton. M.A. (Oxon.).
10th Bn. Green Howards (Yorkshire Regiment) attd. 7th Bn. Leicestershire Regiment
Served with the Chindits.
Unit war diary extract:
13 May 1944
At 0420 hrs Coln attacked in bivouac by Jap patrol with ponies estimated 30 strong. Original intention to stay until first light, and then clean up. Japs, however, made excellent use of cover, and as they were inflicting casualties on men and mules, and it was not known whether they were an advance party of a bigger force moving up behind, it was decided to pull out, Main portion of Coln moved down boulder strewn chaung with precipitous sides. It eventually became necessary to leave the chaung. This necessitated off-loading the mules, and ma-handling loads up the side for some 200ft. Japs failed to follow up, probably due to fact that their officer was killed.
Arrived bivouac chaung 775770. Ref maps Burma Map ref 83 P/NE, 83 P/SE.
Killed officers - two (Major Yeatman-Biggs and Lieut Sutton)
Rank and file - six'
Unit war diary WO 172/4900
Son of Mr. and Mrs. George Stainton, of Glengorse, Battle, Sussex.
Army VI. House Prefect.
16 Field Regt. Royal Artillery
Unit war diary: WO 172/4642
Son of Donald Ashford Palmer and Mabel Beatrice Palmer, of Sale Hill Ho., Sheffield.
Hist VI. House Prefect. Swimming Colours 1939. Sergeant in Corps.
York and Lancaster Regiment and No. 1 Commando
Unit war diary: DEFE 2/48
Only son of Howard Frederick and Madeleine Hall Jeavons, of Edgbaston, Birmingham, and 62 Cotton Lane, Moseley, Birmingham.
Bus VI. School Prefect. Head of House. Cricket XXII.
Queen's College, Cambridge.
77 Lt. A.A. Regt. Royal Artillery attd. 7th Bn. Worcestershire Regiment
He was killed during the attack on the village of Dawete in Burma along with 2 other officers and 15 men.
Unit war diary: WO 172/7676
Son of Arthur Mitchell Hughes, and of Emily Hughes, of Hale, Cheshire, and Holmside, St. Margaret's Rd., Bowdon, Cheshire.
With Manchester Ship Canal Co.
3. H.A.A. Regt. Royal Artillery
Captured by Japanese, November, 1942. Died in hospital in Rangoon after being released from P.O.W. camp.
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