In Memoriam: Nevill Hampton Wallis

Photograph of Nevill Hampton Wallis in uniform

Nevill Hampton Wallis

Nevill Hampton Wallis died of wounds received in action in France on 25th May 1918, aged 26 years.

Nevill attended Bootham from 1905 to 1909.  His hobbies at school included music and archaeology, and he was a member of the school Natural History Society.

The school magazine, “Bootham”, of Febraury 1906 contains a report of the Christmas Exhibition, Natural History of 1905. It shows that Nevill won a prize for Entomology.

“ENTOMOLOGY. It is pleasing to note that several boys have taken up this deserving branch since last show. Thus we find several collections in progress, most of which are as yet small. …….Wallis and Burford each have made a good beginning……… ..”

Nevill continued collecting and in the following Christmas Exhibition he won another prize for Entomology:

“ENTOMOLOGY. …….  N. H. Wallis also has a small collection of butterflies and a few moths.”

In early 1907, Nevill became a curator of Entomology in the school Natural History Society. In the Autumn term of 1907, he joined the committee of the school Junior Essay Society.

The report of the Autumn School Term in “Bootham” of February 1908 tells us:

“Often on Wednesday evenings you can hear loud applause from the Lower Schoolroom, where the Junior Essay Society holds its conclaves. The meetings are characterised by a deal of good, sensible work, papers and discussion, some diverting nonsense, and the able management of the Committee, Todd, Brockbank, Pearman, Wallis and Milner.”

 “Bootham” of June 1908 has the report of the Spring Term.

“The concerts this Term were of unusual interest, and were especially welcome, as our athletic events had suffered so from rain.

Of no less interest was the Upper Schoolroom concert, about ten days later. A quartette, consisting of Wallis, Watson, Pearman and Brockbank, first sang, Barringer played a piano solo, Clothier recited ” Ben and the Butter,” Wallis played on the ‘cello, then came a scene from Alice in Wonderland, in which Gibbons, Brockbank, Gray and Lister took the parts. Last of all was a chorus by the class.”

 In 1909, Nevill became a curator of Drawing at school, and also of Meteorology. He took readings of the Sun Recorder.

In the Autumn Term of 1908, Nevill passed the Cambridge Extension Examination.

“The Cambridge Extension Lectures were given this term by J. B. Stoughton-Holborn, M.A., on Gothic Architecture. Most of the Lower Senior and a few of the Upper Senior took the course, and the examination in December resulted in the following eleven boys passing out of the fifteen who entered :— L. H. Gilbert (with distinction), C. L. Ashby, R. E. Barringer, F . A. Brockbank, N. M. Brown, W. E. J. Clothier, A. C. Dent, A. S. Jennings, A. H. Pumphrey, N. H. Wallis and A. B. Webster. A larger number might have done likewise but for the rule debarring boys younger than 15 from taking the examination.”

The report of the Autumn School Term also includes the following:

“The Charades, based on the “The Rivals,” were given at the Retreat, on Wednesday night, and in the John Bright Library on the last night. …….. Wallis and Milner contributed some very good scenery.”

 Nevill’s entry in “Bene Decessit” in the October 1909 issue of “Bootham” reads:

“NEVILL H. WALLI S leaves from the Lower Senior. A good musician and archaeologist.”

 The next we hear of Nevill is in the July 1918 Issue of “Bootham”, which reports Nevill’s death:

“WALLIS.—On the 25th May, 1918, of wounds received in action in France, Nevill Hampton Wallis, of Brighton (1905-9), in his 26th year.”

and

“In Memoriam

NEVILL HAMPTON WALLIS (1905-9) died of wounds at Wimereux Hospital the Saturday we were meeting at Jordans. He was wounded on April 30th by a shell bursting about two feet from him and blowing him into the air; in hospital his left leg was amputated above the knee; his left arm had been badly shattered. His parents were with him for a fortnight and he passed peacefully away on the 25th. The funeral took place next day at Boulogne Cemetery. He was in the R.F.A., and had been continuously with his Battery in the 9th Division (so much praised by Sir Douglas Haig) since April, 1917. He was a Second Lieutenant, and had served nine months in 1916 with the Artists’ Rifles.”

The December 1918 issue of “Bootham” contains a letter from Nevill’s father:

“In Memoriam

NEVILL HAMPTON WALLIS (1905-09). See last number of BOOTHAM.

His father writes :—

“It has been a great consolation to know how he was really loved by his men. Three have called on us—two on leave and one wounded, in hospital. They all say his men were his first care. He started a canteen for them, which was most successful, and provided them with many comforts. One told us that if there was a dangerous job to be done he would always go himself instead of sending a man, and, as he put it, ‘ Mr. Wallis could always get what he wanted done without giving an order.’ ”

N. H. Wallis, previous to the war had a position on the staff of Messrs. R. Fry and Co., the Brighton firm of mineral water manufacturers, of which his father is the managing director. “

Second Lieutenant Nevill Hampton Wallis is buried in Boulogne Eastern Cemetery, France.

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