Malvern College Second World War Casualty

Lieut. Richard George French

House and time at Malvern: 7, 1932 - 1937.

Regiment: R.A..
Died: 06 December 1941 aged 23 in Libya. Killed in action.
Battle: Western Desert Campaign: June 1940 – February 1943. Cemetery: Knightsbridge War Cemetery, Acroma 16. E. 12.

Son of Richard and Winifred French, of Torquay, Devon, and of Steaperton Park rd., Clevedon, Somerset.
Hist. VI. School Prefect. Head of House. Football XXII. Cricket XL.
Exhibitioner and State Scholar of Exeter College, Oxford.
73 Anti-Tank Regt. Royal Artillery

'Few boys at Malvern can have had more friends than "George" French, and he never had an enemy in his life. His genial solidity and reliability were obvious at once, but he was what is often called a slow developer, so that it was only gradually that one came to realize how much ability and positive determination lay behind it. For instance he was the last on the list of Scholarship winners when he entered Malvern, but before he left he had not only won an Open Exhibition in History at Exeter College, Oxford, but also a State Scholarship—and these are very hard to get.
At games too, especially football, he seemed at first to be slow and clumsy, but he grew to be good enough to miss a School XI by only a narrow margin, and he did at least as much as more brilliant players to win the Football Cup for his House.
He was the ideal Head of House, combining vigour and enterprise with wisdom and humour in just the right proportions, and spreading round him the atmosphere of his own cheerful enthusiasm.
Such men as he run the greatest risks in war, especially in such fighting as the Libyan Campaign where individual courage and determination count for so much: for one can imagine that a Commanding Officer, called upon to choose a subaltern for a difficult and dangerous task, would naturally turn to him. All who remember him at Malvern would wish to offer their deepest sympathy to his parents in their great loss.' (Malvernian, March 1942)

Unit war diary: WO 166/1645 (Not found in this war diary - 73rd anti-tank regiment at Godalming in Dec 1941)