In Memoriam: Arnold Simkin Jennings

Arnold Simkin Jennings

Arnold Simkin Jennings of Bulmer, North Yorkshire, was with the Royal Army Medical Corps and died of pneumonia on the 21st December 1918, in Salonika, aged 25 years.

Arnold was born in Jarrow-on-Tyne in 1893 and attended Bootham School from 1907 to 19011.

At school, Arnold was interested in Botany. The February 1909 issue of the school magazine, “Bootham” contains the Seventy-fifth Annual Report of Bootham School (York) Natural History, Literary & Polytechnic Society. January, 1909.  The section on Botany tells us:

“A. S. Jennings has got about 150 species. He has also done good work, and has found Astragalus danicus and Geranium phoeum.”

He won a prizes for Botany and Natural History Diaries in the Christmas Show, 1908.

In 1909 he became a Curator of Botany in the school Natural History Club.

“Bootham” of March 1910, in the report of the Natural History Club contains the following:

“At the beginning of the Autumn Term an Exhibition of Holiday Work was held in the Art Room. The Plants of A. W . Graveson, A. S. Jennings, J. M. Goodbody and E. A. Seale, ……… all deserve special mention.”

and in the Botany section:

“A. S. Jennings has doubled his collection, and has about 300 species. He has found Villarsia nymphceoides and Deadly Nightshade (Atropa Belladonna).”

“…..the very neat and painstaking work of Jennings is very praiseworthy.”

In the report on Natural History Diaries we read:

“Besides the volumes of competitors for the Old Scholars’ Exhibition, no fewer than 15 boys have sent in diaries this year, making the task of the judge by no means an easy one.

Taking both the quality and quantity of the work accomplished into consideration, there is no doubt that the three best books are by Jennings, A. A. Smee and Woods.

Jennings has produced two very readable volumes on plants, with interesting remarks on most of the species found by him during the year. His study of individual plants in the spring, and his comparative studies of pollen under the microscope, should be followed up next year, when his collection should occupy less of his time.”

The season 1909-10, Arnold was playing Second Boys XI Football.

“Bootham” of October 1910 has the report of the Summer Term:

“Another characteristic of the term has been the uniform excellence of the Plant Stand, on which we heartily congratulate Graveson and Jennings.”

In 1910, Arnold was a Registrar of the school Natural History Club.

“Bootham” of March 1911 tells us:

“At the beginning of the Autumn Term an exhibition of Holiday Work was held in the Art Room. The Plants of A. W. Graveson, A. S. Jennings, and J. M. Goodbody…….all deserve special mention”

In the Botany section of the Natural History Report in the same issue we read:

“The “Floral Calendar” competitions in the Spring and Summer Terms stimulated the study of botany considerably; the three chief enthusiasts were A. S. Jennings, J. B. Hume and E. F. Payne. In the spring term A. S. Jennings was successful, whilst in the summer term E. F. Payne came first after a very keen struggle. A.S. Jennings has increased his neat collection to about 370 species, and has found Linum perenne and several other rarities.

Three enthusiastic botanists, A. W. Graveson, J. B. Hume and A. S. Jennings paid a flying visit to Rievaulx during the Summer Term, and found many rare plants, including Actcea spicatai Primula farinosa, and Ophrys muscifera.”

In the Autumn term of 1910, Arnold was made a Reeve (similar to Prefect). He also joined the committee of the school Football club.  He was still playing Second XI boys football. In the Football captain’s notes on the team, in “Bootham” of May 1911, we read:

“JENNINGS, A. S.—Playing a fairly good game without undue bustle. He will cause the opposing forwards considerable inconvenience in a good-natured sort of way.”

In the same issue:

“SENIOR ESSAY SOCIETY. This term has been as prosperous for the Essay Society as was the Autumn one, although fewer meetings have been held. The outstanding essays were written by Mr. Alexander, A. S. Jennings, J. B. Hume, B. A. Townson, and G. S. 320 BOOT HAM. Gregory.”

By the 1910-11 Football season, Arnold was playing First XI Football and in 1911 he was President of the school Natural History Club.

“Bootham” of November 1911 has Arnold’s “Bene Decessit” entry:

“A. S. JENNINGS has been a reeve since last September. He played for the ist boys’ XI. at football, and as a botanist was second only to Graveson. He was a good speaker and essayist. He leaves from the College Class, intending to enter the Civil Service.”

The Seventy-eighth Annual Report of Bootham School Natural History, Literary & Polytechnic Society. January, 1912 notes that:

“We have further to regret the loss of A. S. Jennings, E. F. Payne, and J. B. Hume, all of whom showed themselves enthusiastic and successful flower hunters.”

The next we hear of Arnold is in the March 1916 issue of “Bootham”, under Bootham School War Lists,

“Under Military Discipline :— [Those whose rank is not stated may or may not be privates.]

Jennings, A. S., R.A.M.C.”

In May 1916, Arnold wrote to Old York Scholars’ Association Whitsuntide Meeting:

“A letter from Arnold S. Jennings, dated Salonika, May 23rd, 1916, covering subscriptions to BOOTHAM and the O.Y.S.A., had contained the following: “I hope this will reach you in time for Whitsuntide. I am sure all Old Scholars will be thinking of the old school and its associations at this time, and I hope that those who are lucky enough to be at the Gathering this year will have a happy time, though it is sad to know that some Old Scholars will never again be present. . . .

“I have heard from Hamish Davidson two or three times. He appears to be getting on well.

“By the way, what a happy hunting-ground this would be for the Natural History Society; flowers in profusion which would gladden Graveson’s heart and make Adair jump for joy. Snakes, lizards, tortoises, huge dragon-flies, large beetles, ants of all kinds, some glorious butterflies, and a wonderful variety of shells (not the projectile). Birds are numerous, including storks, eagles, vultures, hawks, and others I do not know. Why not let the annual excursions come out here?

“Oh! to be in Good Old York,

Now that Whitsun’s here.

“Greetings and sincerest wishes for a happy and successful Whitsuntide to all Old Scholars. “”

The October 1916 issue of “Bootham”, in “Bootham Oversea” records:

“ARNOLD S. JENNINGS (1907-1911), R.A.M.C., writes from * * * * * : ” I was awfully pleased to get the post card with numerous old scholars’ good wishes and signatures, and the picture of the dear old science school—and should like to thank each one for his message : it was most kind, and I appreciated being remembered out here more than I can say. Am glad to know O. S. had a good time, and perhaps next year, if this miserable war is over, I shall put in an appearance. . . . I’ve not come across any O. S. out here—most seem to be either in France or Egypt; anyhow, they’re lucky in not having struck this awful hole. There is nothing doing. . . . It’s frantically hot and you stream in perspiration even when you’re doing nothing, which is not often. We’re very busy in hospital. . . . I’ve unearthed P. N. Whitley (pacifist son of the Deputy-Speaker, who is doing Y.M.C.A. work there— R.K.C.) and we had quite a nice chat together. . . . He is an optimist and expects us all to eat our Christmas dinner in Blighty—good luck to him! … . Now I’ve just got two parcels from home and I’m itching to see what’s what and wonder if they’ve put some decent tobacco in. “”

“Bootham” of June 1917 contains a note from Archibald Carmichael (Bootham 1906-8) which contains the following:

“A few days ago I had a note from A. S. Jennings; he is in General Hospital at Salonika.”

In “Bootham Oversea” in “Bootham” of May 1918, we read the following:

“ARNOLD S. JENNINGS (1907-11) writes most interestingly from Salonika, where he has at last been run to earth after many and devious postal pursuits. He refers to this epistolary game of Hare and Hounds as follows: ” The idea of invoking the aid of ‘ The Hielan Laddie ‘ [the ‘ H. L.’ is ARCHIE CARMICHAEL (1906-9)] was fine, and you see it has proved successful. He visited me some months ago and I had a very pleasant hour with him. But from the time I saw him clamber upon a W.D. motor lorry and begin his bumpy journey to town I have neither seen nor heard of him. Wher e has he vanished to? I rather think he must be in England. “This surmise is correct. A. CARMICHAEL is at present training for a Commission in the R.F.A., near Exeter. “I have always thought,” continues A. S. J., “that the O.Y.S.A. was a fine thing, but having been abroad for two years I have appreciated it more and more. Many an O.S. must have been thankful for the comradeship extended to him through the O.S. . . . I know I can manage a useful grin when ‘ BOOTHAM ‘ comes, and am happy for days after, reading of old faces and old places, and going over in my mind old times and incidents. You ask me what I look like now. Well, that’s rather a startler; I’m afraid I haven’t had much time for a close personal study of my appearance other than when I shave in the morning, but I have often been hailed with remarks upon my looks—and ancestry—by various folk, chiefly Sergeant-Majors, since joining the Army. .. . If you can imagine me slightly thinner, slightly taller, a little more tanned, and a few years older, then you have me! “Going on to speak of his experiences, he says: “We have had a terribly hot summer—much worse than last year-—and in consequence have been pretty busy in hospital. Large numbers of sick have been through our hands, mostly suffering from malaria and dysentry, enteric, and various other fevers. It’s an awful place for Englishmen, especially when conditions or living are not of the best, and I do not recommend it to you for your holidays! Besides, as you may have read, more than half the town has been burnt out, and whereas it never did look a particularly inviting place, it now looks the very picture of dreariness and desolation. However, the fire may turn out to be a saving grace, for there is an excellent chance now to rebuild the place upon more modern lines: the one blessing is that numerous insanitary and ramshackle buildings have been properly fumigated; they are no more, and the air does smell sweeter! . . . The only excitement we get is in the way of air raids, and these have been few and far between lately, though earlier in the year they were daily occurrences. You knew you’d have bacon for breakfast and an aerial display afterwards, and the taubes came as regularly as the man for the rent. “In conclusion, JENNINGS speaks of some oldtime castles in the air. “Folk can say as much as they like about the glamour of the East, “he says, “they can write reams about the beauties of the Orient, but from my experience of this portion of the globe give me England, and the grey North of England, too ! There is no finer country the world over. I remember I used to have deep yearnings for travel. I was keen on taking up sailoring, etc., but years have added wisdom, and I want nothing more than a peaceful habitation in the old country, with a congenial task and books and friends about me. When we’ve had sugar in our tea, or in some other way have eaten more than is usual, I dream of such future times, and I imagine I must look the picture of content in those dreams. Ah, me, what a life! “”

The same issue contains the O.Y.S. War-time Service Lists.

“Old York Scholars serving in the Navy and Army

Jennings, A. S., R.A.M.C.”

In “Bootham” of July 1918, Arnold writes from Salonika:

“JENNINGS, having “just turfed your letter of last September out of my kit,” proceeds to philosophise interestingly of things in general and of himself in particular. He seems mightily contented, the only fly whose presence in the ointment he is willing to admit being “that 5.30 is a beastly time to rise every morning. “”

In the December 1918 issue of “Bootham”, in “Across the Months”, we read:

“ARNOLD S. JENNINGS (1907-11) was the happiest man in Macedonia the day that BOOTHAM arrived. Every page of it made glorious reading for him. ” On the rare occasions when I take a walk I invariably bless the old N.H. Club, for to those who have had no such training a promenade out here is bereft of a good deal of its entertainment, while I can find pleasure in every step.””

However, “Bootham” of August 1919, includes the Headmaster, Arthur Rowntree’s address to the Old York Scholars’ Association. Whit Monday Meeting , June 9th, 1919, which includes:

“I want for a moment or two to refer to one boy, Jennings, who before he came to the school had no connection at all with Bootham, and his family had no connection with it. His friend wrote from Salonica to the parents to tell them that their son had died from pneumonia, and spoke with great affection of him. “His sleeping place is on a cliff above the sea, beautifully kept, where he will lie, lulled to sleep by the music of the sea which he loved.”

The same issue of “Bootham” contains his “In Memoriam” entry as follows:

“ARNOLD SIMKIN JENNINGS (1907-11). He finished his school career with a reeveship for a year. He was a member of the football team, a steady halfback; he was known as a good speaker and essayist and a great botanist, “second only to Graveson” we said when he left us. During the war he spent more than three years with the R.A.M.C. in Salonika: it has been my privilege to hear from him from time to time. Here are some sentences from his letter dated July 15th, 1918:

“I was delighted some few days ago to receive the card of greetings from the O.Y.S.A., and felt I must respond to its invitation and report myself to you.

“I should like to thank each one for his (and her) kind thought: such messages from the Old School are so welcome; coming as a breath of good fresh air. They build up anew one’s flagging spirits, brighten the future and make one ready and eager to carry on.

“My lucky star was still in the ascendant three or four days later when BOOTHAM arrived, and I was the happiest lad in Macedonia that day. This number of BOOTHAM is great. The news of O.S., though sad in the case of many, is especially interesting; the details of the N.H. Club’s work, the general news of the School and everything from cover to cover make glorious reading. Of the many excellent photographs, I think my vote goes to ‘ the men who tanned the hide of us,’ my only regret in connection with it being that I am not back for some more tanning by the same men.

“On the rare occasions when I take a walk, I invariably bless the old N.H. Club, for to those who have not had such training, a promenade out here is bereft of a good deal of its entertainment, while I can find pleasure at every step. A little while ago an enterprising person here conceived the idea of obtaining a collection of the flora of this country by offering prizes for collections made by soldiers, the whole ‘ issue ‘ finally being sent to the British Museum. I began such a collection but I found myself unable to continue through lack of time and opportunity, both to get the specimens and to prepare them. I was sorry to have to give it up. I am enclosing a rather ancient copy of the Balkan News—the standard journal of Macedon— which may be of interest.

“Yesterday was a great day here—the French fête day. Salonika was very gay and festive: Alexander of Greece was in the town and Frenchmen and Greeks alike were in a state of intense happiness and, incidentally, of equally intense intoxication. As is usual on such occasions, there was a fire in the town: Salonika would not enjoy itself without some such spectacle, and, of course, there were a few arguments which were settled in the usual manner—the most alert and decisive gesticulating contestant losing his temper and his pocket-knife (an implement of useful length, strength and ‘ edge ‘), the former flying to the winds of Heaven, the latter to his opponent’s throat. The slowest Greek always’ gets it in the neck ‘ on these occasions, and the 28th General Hospital always gets the Greek! When Greek meets Greek on a fête day in Salonika, no one should miss the sport: it’s better than bull-baiting in Spain or broncho-busting in Yankee-land. The preliminaries are exciting, interesting and funny, while the climax is deliriously fatal.

“But I must not try your patience further.””

In the same issue, under “Deaths”:

“JENNINGS.—On the 21st December, 1918, of pneumonia, at Salonika, Arnold Simkin Jennings (1907-11), of Malton, aged 26 years.”

Corporal Arnold Simkin Jennings is buried at Mikra British Cemetery, Kalamaria.

In Memoriam: Joseph Herbert Garbutt

Photograph of Joseph Herbert Garbutt in uniform.
Joseph Herbert Garbutt

Joseph Herbert Garbutt, of York, was killed in action in France on 10th November 1918, aged 22 years.

He was born in York in 1896 and attended Bootham School from 1909 to 1912 as a day boy.  

Jospeh’s hobby whilst at school was the Workshop. The school magazine, “Bootham” of March 1911 contains the report of the school Christmas Exhibition of 1910. This shows that in the Worskshop section, book-shelves class:

“Garbutt’s double book-stand in oak came, however, a good second.”

“Bootham” of May 1911 reports on the Fives Class Tournament:

“FIVES REPORT—1910-1911.

The Class Championship tournament was played as usual -during the Autumn Term, resulting in the following medal winners :—

Middle Schoolroom : J. H. Garbutt.”

In Athletics that summer, Joseph was third in the Junior Cup High Jump.

In the Christmas Exhibition of 1911, Joseph won first prize for his book-shelves.

The March 1913 issue of “Bootham” contains his “Bene Decessit” entry, as follows:

“J. H. GARBUTT was a member of the Upper Schoolroom when he left. During his eleven terms at School he did a good deal of work in the Workshop, and was President of the Junior Essay Society for some time. He played football for the 2nd XI.”

The next we hear of Joseph is in the March 1917 issue of “Bootham”, in the “Across the Months” section:

”J. H. GARBUTT wrote from an Essex camp in December. He is with the **** * Rifles.”

The May 1918 issue of “Bootham” contains Old York Scholars War-time Service Lists:

“Old York Scholars serving in the Navy and Army

Garbutt, J. H., London Regt.”

However the August 1919 issue of “Bootham” reports, under “Deaths”:

“ GARBUTT.—On the 10th November, 1918, killed in action, Joseph Herbert Garbutt (1909-12), of York, aged 23 years.”

and the same issue has Joseph’s “In Memoriam” entry as follows:

“JOSEPH HERBERT GARBUTT (1908-12). Garbutt tried to enlist several times but was rejected as medically unfit, and so joined the St. John Ambulance Association as a motor-driver. He gave practically the whole of his time to this work, and his services both on the road and in the garage were much appreciated by the York branch of the S.J.A.A.

In November, 1916, he was passed fit for General Service and joined the Artists Rifles, proceeding to France in September, 1917. He was wounded in the heavy fighting at Passchendaele in October, and rejoined his unit after several weeks in hospital.

He was killed by shell-fire on November 10th, 1918 (the day before the signing of the Armistice), near Haveng, a few miles south of Mons, during the rapid advance which was taking place at that time. He was buried, with full military honours, at Haveng on November 11th , 1918.

At the time of his death he held the rank of sergeant and was very highly spoken of by his officers, who more than once asked him to take a commission.

He showed the true spirit of fellowship inculcated by Bootham, and by many acts of kindness and sympathy endeared himself to his brother N.C.O.’s and the men under him.                   W. E. W.”

Sergeant Joseph Herbert Garbutt is buried Harveng Churchyard, Hainaut, Belgium.

In Memoriam: Aubyn Harrisson Pumphrey

Photograph of Aubyn Harrisson Pumphrey in uniform.
Aubyn Harrisson Pumphrey

Aubyn Harrisson Pumphrey, of Stockton-on-Tees, died of pneumonia following influenza in Paris on the 23rd October, 1918, aged 26 years.

He was born in 1892 and attended Bootham School from 1905 to 1910. He was keen on Natural History at school.

The School magazine, “Bootham”, of February 1907, in the report of The Seventy-third Annual Report of Bootham School (York) Natural History, Literary & Polytechnic Society, January, 1907 tells us that in the Christmas Exhibition, in Entomology:

“A. H. Pumphrey has made a few microscopic preparations of various parts of insects.”

and

“A. H. Pumphrey shows 9 microscopic slides very neatly prepared, but rather disconnected in idea.”

Aubyn won the prize for Microscopy. He also won the Workshop prize for Book Shelves.

In 1907 he became an assistant Secretary for the school Natural History Club, and also a curator of Zoology.

“Bootham” of February 1908 has The Seventy-fourth Annual Report of Bootham School (York) Natural Hlstory, Literary & Polytechnic Society January, 1908.  It contains, in the section on Natural History Diaries:

“A. H. Pumphrey has not written so much, but he has some successful photos, of nests and young birds. Both he and Levin would do better to spend more time on preparing photographic illustrations, which are more valuable than copies of bird pictures, or even of stuffed birds.”

The Workshop report in this issue contains the following:

“The year 1907 has not shown such a large output of work as sometimes : the quality, however, has been good, and things were busier in the Summer term than usual. ……… Some improvement has been shown in wood-turning. There has been less boxmaking and a greater variety in the way of picture frames, serviette rings, tool handles and candlesticks. Holmes and A. H. Pumphrey are the two best in this line.”

Aubyn won prizes for Natural History Diaries and Workshop Turning. In 1908 he additionally became a curator of Microscopy for the Natural History Society.

The February 1909 issue of “Bootham” contains The Seventy-fifth Annual Report of Bootham School (York) Natural History, Literary & Polytechnic Society. January, 1909. It shows that Aubyn had by now joined the committee of the Society and was a Registrar. The report tells us:

“During the Spring Term six meetings were held : all full of interest, and showing evidence of good work. On one occasion A. H. Pumphrey gave a very good account of the birds which he had seen at Bamborough during the Christmas holidays. The value of the paper was considerably increased by a number of excellent blackboard diagrams.”

and

“At the beginning of the Autumn Term an Exhibition of Holiday Work was held in the Art Room. ……. the Diaries of H . G. Burford, R. B. Graham, D. Eliott, A. B. Cohen, D. Gray and A. H. Pumphrey showed what good use had been made of spare moments during the vacation.”

and

“Many excellent reports dealing with the holiday activities already referred to were read at the various meetings held throughout the Term. In addition to these, several members contributed papers giving the results of their observations in the neighbourhood of York. …… Special reference ought to be made to A. H. Pumphrey’s lantern slides of “Bird Life” at Skipwith and other places. Those of the gull’s nests are worthy of Mr. Lazenby.”

and in the report of the Christmas Exhibition of 1908:

“The other feature of the Show is A. H. Pumphrey’s set of lantern slides of Natural History subjects, which, in the judges opinion, is one of the best pieces of work ever exhibited.“

They awarded the 1st Prize to Aubyn, three of whose slides—the view of the Minster and the two views of birds’ nests with eggs—were especially commended.”

Aubyn also won Workshop prizes for Tables, and Turning.

Aubyn joined the committee of the Photographic Club at school and the football committee for 3rd and 4th teams.

In December 1908, Aubyn passed the Cambridge Extension Lectures exam.

In the Autumn of 1909, Aubyn was the President of the school Natural History Society. “Bootham” of March 1910 tells us, in The Seventy-sixth Annual Report of Bootham School (York) Natural History, Literary & Polytechnic Society. January, 1910, that:

“During the Spring Term four meetings were held, all full of interest, and showing evidence of good work. On one occasion A. H. Pumphrey gave a very good account of the birds which he had seen at Bamborough during the Christmas holidays.”

and

“the Diaries of A. H. Pumphrey, A. B. Cohen, R. Darby and C. Holden showed what good use had been made of spare moments during the vacation.”

In the report of the Photographic Club in this same issue, we read:

“The exhibits, as a whole, were good, and consisted of lantern slides, prints and enlargements. Of the lantern slides those of A. H. Pumphrey were undoubtedly the best” and “In some of the exhibits—especially those of A. H. Pumphrey— careful choice of subject is combined with a neatness of printing and mounting, which the judges warmly commended.”

Aubyn received further praise for his photographic entries in the Christmas Show 1909:

“In the Pickard Instantaneous Competition the judges at last found a photograph undeniably instantaneous—the photograph by A. H. Pumphrey of the Delagrange aeroplane in full flight at Doncaster.”

and

“The photographs entered for the Pickard Time Exposure Prize received special commendation from the judges, A. H. Pumphrey’s picture of crocuses, “Signs of Coming Spring,” being described as one of the best photographs ever entered by a member of the School.”

This same issue of “Bootham” contains the Report of Committee For Awarding the Old Scholars’ Natural History Exhibition:

“For this year’s Exhibition there is only one competitor, Aubyn H. Pumphrey. He has sent in a diary of observations of birds, illustrated with many excellent photographs of nests. From most of these he has made lantern slides. His work is patient and painstaking, and neatly set out; he has made some study of flight, and the construction of feathers, and also of protective colouring. He has done good work in the Natural History Club, and some of his blackboard drawings illustrative of his lectures are reproduced on a well-known postcard. The judges were very much pleased with his use of the loose leaf system for his diary, a method which has also to some extent been adopted by Graveson. This system needs to be used with discretion, but for some purposes it is an invaluable way of arranging records of observations. We award Aubyn H. Pumphrey the sum of five pounds.”

In the Autumn Term 1909, Aubyn was playing in the 2nd XI Football team:

“Nov. 20, v. ACKWORTH. Won, 7—1. Won in spite of the absence of three prominent forwards. A. H. Pumphrey (3) was the principal scorer”

In the Spring Term, 1910, Aubyn became a Reeve at school. (A Reeve is similar to a prefect.)

The October 1910 issue of “Bootham” contains Aubyn’s “Bene Deccessit” entry:

“A. H. PUMPHREY has been in the School for five years, and was made a reeve last January. He has been a prominent member of the Natural History Club, and gained the Old Scholars’ award last year for his ornithology and photographs of birds. He played for the second football XI last season.”

The Natural History report for the year after Aubyn left Bootham notes his absence:

“A. H. Pumphrey and R. B. Graham, our two most accomplished ornithologists, both left us last summer, and we badly miss Pumphrey’s diary in the Show this year.”

After he left school he was an Apprentice Sugar Miller.

At the Thirty-Sixth Annual Meeting of the Old York Scholars’ Association, Whit-Monday, June 1st, 1914, Aubyn was elected to serve three years on the O.Y.S.A. Committee.

It is reported in the March 1915 issue of “Bootham” that Aubyn H Pumphrey was working under the Friends War Victims’ Relief Committee. He had volunteered in 1914 for their work in France. He undertook engineering work, and helped evacuate invalids and refugees.

The next we hear of Aubyn is in the June 1917 issue of “Bootham”, which contains the report of the Old York Scholars’ Association Meeting. Whitsuntide, 1917. It contains a letter as follows:

“ Chalons sur Marne, ” 28th May, 1917.

 To Bootham School, York, Angleterre.

Meilleurs salutations de deux war victims and deux F.A.U., se trouvant dans la meme ville.

AUBYN PUMPHREY.  RICHARD BARROW.  ROBERT SCRIMGEOUR.  RALPH BROWN.”

At the Meeting it was proposed and accepted that Aubyn H. Pumphrey be reappointed to remain on the committee “for the period of the war.”.

In “Bootham” of July 1918 we read:

“AUBYN H. PUMPHREY (1905-I0), FRANCIS GlBBINS (1903-7), and LONGSTRETH THOMPSON (1904-6) send news of their work in the F.W.V.R. ” I am now at N , ” writes A. H. P., ” running- a small saw-mill belonging to the American Red Cross. .. . I am the only F.W.V.R. here, but I am fortunate in having a nice little room a t the A.R.C. depot. ” He meets a number of interesting people, mainly Americans, but finds it somewhat lonely being’ separated from the rest of the F.W.V.R. men.”

and

“ALEXANDER S. HAMILTON (1910-15) is with a convoy, F.A.U., and has had a very hot time during the recent retreat. One dark evening he was driving downhill into a town that was being bombed. A car came alongside with Aubyn Pumphrey on board. They had just time to hail one another—ships that pass in the night.”

Then “Bootham” of December 1918 reports, in “Bootham Oversea”:

“Once again we have to close this article upon a note not unmixed with sadness. Most readers will have heard by this time of the death from pneumonia of AUBYN PUMPHREY (1905-10). His four years’ work in France with the F.W.V.R.C. has been of a most devoted character, and when he fell ill his “leave” had voluntarily been long delayed. T. EDMUND HARVEY speaks of PUMPHREY’S chivalry,” and those of us who knew him well recognise how apt is the term. We shall cherish the memory of his unselfish work for humanity. “

And in “Deaths”:

“PUMPHREY.—On 23rd October, 1918, at Paris, of pneumonia, while serving with the F.W.V.R., Aubyn Harrisson Pumphrey, of Stockton-on-Tees (1905-10), aged 26.”

His “In Memoriam” is in the April 1919 issue of “Bootham”, as follows:

“AUBYN HARRISSON PUMPHREY (1905-10) volunteered in 1914 for the work of the Friends’ War Victims’ Relief Committee in France, working at hut building in Sermaize, then in the agricultural and in the motor departments, being one of those who helped amid the gas shells in evacuating invalids and refugees from Rheims. In 1917 the Mission undertook reconstruction work in the Somme area, and he was asked to take charge of a saw mill near Noyon, which was to prepare timber for the adjoining department of the Oise; this he set up himself, and ran with the help of a scratch team of French workmen, sometimes snatching a few hours at week-ends to join on his motor cycle the neighbouring Mission Equipe at Ham, though often he stayed to repair machinery which was at work all the week. When the German advance came, in March, 1918, he was busy day and night helping the civilians to evacuate, falling back with the American Red Cross to Compile, and working without rest, having to drive his car for days together in a gas mask. He was later asked to take charge of the motors of a mobile hospital near the front, looking forward to return when the pressure was less to the purely civilian work of the F. W. V. R. C. as soon as he was needed there. More than once he was urged to take his overdue leave, but he steadily refused; he could not go, he said, while the need was so great. Worn out thus, he came up to Paris in October with the influenza fever upon him; he had not strength to resist the pneumonia that developed, and passed away in the British hospital on October 23rd, 1918. Keen on his work and the ideals beyond it, unsparing of himself, and withal so chivalrous, courteous and modest, his memory shines bright in the hearts of his friends.      T. E. H.”

Another tribute to Aubyn is given in the diary 1917-19 of William Bell, a fellow worker in the F. W. V. R. C., and entitled “A Scavenger in France”, as follows:

“23 OCTOBER. Aubyn Pumphrey passed away to-day, as a result of pneumonia following upon an attack of “Spanish Influenza,” according to the doctor who attended him. Pumphrey was one of the group who worked at Ham all last winter; and was in charge of a saw-mill at Noyon most of the time his engineering knowledge being thus made use of. He was a tireless worker; anxious at all times to give of his best; and one of the most lovable of men. I feel that he has died at his post through sticking to it too long when he was very ill. But, like all true soldiers who fall on the field of battle, he did his duty to the very last and “How can man die better?”

Aubyn Harrisson Pumphrey is buried in the cemetery of St. Cloud, near Paris.

In Memoriam: Jacob Johnson Henderson

Photograph of Jacob Johnson Henderson
Jacob Johnson Henderson

Jacob Johnson Henderson, of Alston, Cumberland, died of wounds received in France on 17th October, 1918, aged 23 years.

He was born on 12th January 1895 and attended Bootham School from 1910 to 1912.  He played 1st XI cricket and football at school.

The school magazine, “Bootham”, of March 1911 contains the report of the Old Scholars’ Natural History Exhibition, Christmas, 1910.  It shows that Jacob won a prize in the Workshop section for his Coal box.  The Football report in this issue shows that Jacob was playing in the 1st XI. “Henderson played well in his place, but lacks weight.”

The May 1911 issue of Bootham contains notes by the Football captain:

“HENDERSON, J. J.—Is too light, and lacks just that dash which would make him really useful, for he can play good football when he isn’t nervous and hustled.”

“Bootham” of March 1912 shows that Jacob was still playing 1st XI football.  In a match against Hymer’s College: “Henderson scored two goals.”  The Football notes by the Captain for this season included:

“HENDERSON, J. J.— Has improved during the season, and done quite well at times. He will never “move mountains” however. His dribbling and passing and shooting are all good when he is at his best.”

The November 1912 issue of “Bootham” shows that Jacob was playing 1st XI Cricket.  In Notes on the Team by the Captain:

“HENDERSON, J.—Going in early, has contributed some very useful defensive innings, playing straight and watching carefully. Occasional change bowler. Fair in the field, but slow in the return.”

The same issue has his “Bene Decessit” entry:

“J. J. HENDERSON leaves from the Lower Senior after two years here. He played football and cricket for the Ist XI and twice helped his bedroom to win the football tournaments.”

We don’t hear of Jacob again until the March 1916 issue of “Bootham”, where, under “Bootham School War Lists”, we read:

“Under Military Discipline :—

[Those whose rank is not stated may or may not be privates.]

Henderson, J. J., Inns of Court O.T.C., Squadron.”

Jacob had joined up in September 1915 and was in the Suffolk Yeomanry during the war.

In December 1917, “Bootham” tells us, in “Across the Months”:

“JACOB J. HENDERSON (1910-12) may be in Gaza, Beersheba, or any other Old Testament town by now. He met Douglas Allen in Alexandria.”

He served in Palestine. In May 1918 he was transferred to France. The May 1918 issue of “Bootham” tells us:

“J. BARRINGTON GOODBODY (1900-5) writes from France a much travelled Captain. M. Haughton, who won the M.C. at Beersheba, and J. J. Henderson are with him.”

Jacob died of wounds received in action in France. The December 1918 issue of “Bootham” records his death:

“HENDERSON.—On 17th October, 1918, of wounds received in action in France, Jacob Johnson Henderson, of Alston (1910-12), aged 23.”

The April 1919 issue of “Bootham” has his “In Memoriam” entry:

“JACOB JOHNSON HENDERSON (1910-12), Lieut., Suffolk Yeomanry, younger son of Robert and Isabella Henderson, Lovelady Shield, Alston, was born in 1895, and educated at the Friends’ Schools, Wigton, Ackworth, and Bootham. On leaving school he went into Lloyds Bank at Bellingham, and when war broke out he was in the Head Office in London.

In September, 1913, he joined the Inns of Court O.T.C., and on finishing his training, left for Egypt in October, 1916. He took part in the Palestine campaign, and was at Gaza and Jerusalem. He was accidentally wounded in April, 1918. In May he was transferred to France, and in September obtained leave, when he spent a very happy time at home. He was wounded in action in France on October i6th, 1918, and died the following day at the 51st Casualty Clearing Station, and was buried by the Chaplain (W. A. Rundell) at Estaires.

He was of a very happy, affectionate disposition, and endeared himself to all with whom he came in contact, the large number of letters received by his family testifying to his popularity both in civil life and in the Army. His bank managers have written of his capability and promise; and in the words of his Lieut.-Col., “He was a most efficient and promising officer, and had led his company in the absence of the Company Commander most gallantly for some time past.””

Quotations from Letters received:

Bank Manager— “This terrible war has deprived a mother of a much-loved son, the country of a gallant soldier, and the Bank a promising member of its staff.”

Lieut.-Colonel— “I wish to sympathise with you on behalf of myself and the whole regiment in the great loss you have sustained through the death of your son. We shall all miss him terribly. He was a most efficient and promising officer, and had led his company in the absence of the Company Commander most gallantly for some time past.”

Adjutant— “He was certainly one of our most popular officers.” , “He was esteemed by all who knew him for his capability and promise.”

One of his men— “He was one of the best fellows we had, and everyone was very sorry to hear the news.”                            S. W.”

Lieutenant Jacob J. Henderson is buried at Estaires Communal Cemetery, in northern France.

In Memoriam: Philip John Meyer

Photograph of Philip John Meyer
Philip John Meyer

Philip John Meyer, of York, died of pneumonia while serving in Paris on 16th October, 1918, aged 31 years.

He was born at Bramley near Leeds in 1887 and attended Bootham School from 1902 to 1906.  He did well at school.  He was a Reeve and was an asset to the school Band.

Philip was active in the Natural History Club at school, and in the school Christmas Exhibition of 1903 he won prizes, along with his brother Sebastian Burtt, for Entomology and Coleoptera.  The Natural History Report for that year includes the following (from the school magazine “Bootham” of March 1904):

“ENTOMOLOGY . Perhaps the chief work in this branch has been done by the brothers Meyer, who show upwards of 80 specimens of Lepidoptera collected during the year, including Large Tortoiseshells from the New Forest, and a number of butterflies from Normandy ; they also show a few Coleoptera, including a Longicorn Beetle from the New Forest.”

The May 1904 issue of “Bootham” tells us, in the Athletics Report, that Philip won the Gym event.

The Natural History Club Report of 1904, printed in “Bootham” of February 1905, shows that in the Christmas Exhibition, Philip won second prize for his Natural History Diary.  The Entomology Report tells us:

“P. J. and S. B. Meyer secured amongst other butterflies and moths, White Admiral, Female Silver Washed Fritillary, Dark Green Fritillary, Painted Lady, Drinker and Hummingbird Hawk, in the New Forest.  They also found Eyed Hawk, Goat, and Vapourer Moth caterpillars in Hampshire.”

and

“P. J. and S. B. Meyer had considerably improved their collection of butterflies and moths, and took second prize; and their collection of beetles also received a prize.”

“Bootham” of  February 1906 includes the Natural History Report for 1905.  The Entomology Report contains the following:

“P. J. and S. B. Meyer have added some twenty-two new species to their butterflies, most of which were collected in Southern France and the Balearic Isles. The most noteworthy finds are four specimens of Papilio machaon, two of Vanessa c-album, Colias edusa and Saturnia pavonia.   Their collection of beetles has also been increased by about twenty new species, of which may be mentioned Osmoderma emerita, Sisyphus schaefferi and Ocypus cyaneus.”

and

“The brothers P . J. and S. B. Meyer have considerably improved on last year’s entomology, and they now possess a valuable collection—neatly and carefully arranged.”

The report of the Christmas Show for 1905 includes the following:

“Three collections of crystals are on view. R. K. Wilson, who shows 22 species in various stages of their growth and also a notebook, is well ahead of W. A. Wilson with 19 species, and A. A. Pollard with 2, though the last has some beautiful specimens. On the same lines are a collection of compounds of lead, and two excellent notebooks, by P. J. Meyer.”

In 1905, Philip was a curator of Meteorology in the Natural History Club.

The report of the Autumn Term 1905 includes the following:

“On the 8th and 9th morning school was partially given up in order that Mr. Theodore Nield might talk to us about “The Effect of Alcohol on the Brain”; notes were taken, and essays afterwards sent in for a prize, which was won by P . J. Meyer.”

On the last night of Autumn term 1905, a grand concert took place at school, which was organised by Philip.  There were solos on piano, violin and singing by members of staff at school, “whilst instrumental music in duets, quartettes, a septette, and in full orchestra was rendered by various members of the band.”

Philip was a member of the Football Second XI in 1905.  He was also a member of the Senior Essay Club, and in the Spring term of 1906, “It was also felt to be an excellent precedent, when P. J. Meyer gave us a short lecturette, with lantern slides, on the Mediterranean.”

The September 1906 issue of “Bootham”, in the report of the School Summer Term tells us:

“Towards the end of the month, P. J. Meyer tried for a scholarship at Dalton Hall, but as he only decided to enter four days beforehand, he did not expect to be successful.”

Philip left school in 1906, and the September 1906 issue of “Bootham” contains his “Bene Decessit” entry:

“P. J. MEYER came to School in September, 1902, and when already in the Upper Senior a slight breakdown in 1905 caused his removal for two terms. Since his return he has done well, especially at mathematics, but indecision spoilt his chances of passing his exams. Undecided still as to his future, he is at present going to Dalton Hall to study science. He has interested himself in the Natural History club, making a good collection of butterflies (in the holidays), and recording the weather; he has done his duty as a Reeve; and been good in goal at times. But his services have been really great to the School band.”

The February 1907 issue on “Bootham” tells us:

“PHILIP J. MEYER (1902—6), has passed the Matriculation Examination Victoria Universities Joint Board.”

And then in the October 1908 issue we are told that Philip passed the Chemistry Examination for his Bachelor Degree from Manchester University.

We don’t hear of Philip for some years, and them in the July 1918 issue of “Bootham” we read, in “Across the Months”:

“PHILIP J. MEYER (1902-6) has for some time been Financial Secretary to the F.W.V.R. Committee in Paris. Lately he has been supervising the settling, in Southern France, of refugees from the newly-invaded areas.”

And then in the December 1918 issue, under “Deaths”:

“MEYER.—On 16th October, 1918, at Paris, of pneumonia, while serving with the F.W.V.R., Philip John Meyer, of York (1902-5), aged 31.”

Philip was with the Friends’ War Victims’ Relief Committee during the war. He died of pneumonia following influenza while working with them in Paris.

The April 1919 issue of “Bootham” has an “In Memoriam” piece for him, written by his brother:

“”PHILIP JOHN MEYER (1902-6) was born at Bramley, near Leeds, in 1887, and was at Bootham from 1902 to 1906.

Leaving school as a Reeve, with a musical and gymnastic record, he studied at Manchester University, during part of which time he was in residence at Dalton Hall. Both at school and college his health frequently interfered with his work, but he entered business in Leeds with the indomitable energy which to the last concealed his limitation of strength. His knowledge of French and German stood him in good stead in his commercial relations with foreign firms, and he was an extensive traveller, visiting at various times most of the countries in Europe. At home he was well known in the philaletic world.

In 1917 he became attached to the London office of the War Victims’ Relief Committee, and worked there for three months, after which he proceeded to Paris as Accountant to the Mission. His duties in France took him to many of the field “équipes,” where, as everywhere, his skill as a pianist was in great request. As acting Treasurer to the Mission he remained in Paris during the greater part of 1918, succumbing to pneumonia following influenza in October of that year. His grave lies in the little cemetery of St. Cloud, only a few feet from those of his cousin, Sadie Henwood, and of his school-fellow, Aubyn Pumphrey.                   S. B. M”

There is also mention of Philip in the publication “A Scavenger in France, Being Extracts from the Diary of an Architect, 1917-19”, by William Bell *, as follows:

“CHAPTER XII. IN PARIS AND SAVOY.

15 OCTOBER. The first member of the Unit to fall a victim to La Grippe passed away to-night in the person of our worthy accountant on the Paris staff, Philip Meyer. He was the gentlest of souls, a thorough master of his work, and a musician to the finger-tips; and his cheerful presence will form a sad blank in the lives of those of us who were privileged to call him our friend. “

Philip John Meyer is buried in the cemetery of St. Cloud, near Paris.

(* See http://www.public-library.uk/dailyebook/A%20scavenger%20in%20France%20-%20being%20extracts%20from%20the%20diary%20of%20an%20architect%201917-19.pdf p.262 )

 

In Memoriam: Maurice Lea Cooper

Photograph of Maurice Lea Cooper in uniform
Maurice Lea Cooper

Maurice Lea Cooper, of Co. Dublin, was killed in action in Belgium on the 2nd October, 1918, aged 19 years.

He was born on 18th December 1898 and attended Bootham School from 1914 to 1916. 

In the school Christmas Show of 1914. Maurice won Workshop prizes for Trouser Press and Turning.

The December 1915 issue of the school magazine, “Bootham”, contains the Aquatics Report:

“The Bedroom Team-Race Trophy, presented by the Oxford Branch of the O.Y.S.A., was won by No. VI., who possessed three youthful but speedy performers in E. M. Baker, O. Massingham and M. L. Cooper, and bettered last year’s time by 3-5ths of a second.”

He was also third in the Senior 25 yards.

The same issue also contains the report of the Christmas Show 1915.

“The five trouser-presses are carefully made and finished, Pumphrey’s and Cooper’s being the best. On the whole we are glad to have fewer of these than last year.”

Bootham Magazine of October 1916 has his “Bene Decessit” entry:

” M. L. COOPER leaves from the Lower Senior, after a stay of two years. He played on the 2nd cricket eleven, and obtained his colours on the 2nd football eleven. He was an able tennis player, and took an interest in the Workshop and Library.”

Maurice joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1917. 

“Bootham” Magazine of May 1918 contains the “O.Y.S. War-time Service Lists”:

“Old York Scholars serving in the Navy and Army.

Cooper, M. L., Sec. Lieut., R.F.C “

and in the same issue, “Across the Months”:

“MAURICE L. COOPER (1914-16) says he is just about due for leave, “which is very bon. “He is “close to where Ronald Altham and Peter Wilson hang out.” “Glad to say the war suits me admirably—nothing to do, and all day to do it in ! as the weather is ‘ dud stuff ‘ for flying. Would really have written before but the inertia natural to man prevented me! “”


“Bootham” of July 1918  reports in “Across the Months”:

“M. L. COOPER (1913-16). Congratulations. We understand that forty-two flying men have been decorated with the new Distinguished Flying Cross. The first Irishman in the number is Lieutenant M. L. Cooper, R.A.F., for “acts of gallantry when flying on active operations against the enemy. “The portrait is good in the Motor News, June 22nd.”

Then in “Bootham” December 1918 we see under “Deaths”:

“COOPER.—On 2nd October, 1918, killed in the air over Belgium, Maurice Lea Cooper, of Glenageary, near Dublin (1914-16), aged 20.”


“Bootham” of April 1919 has his, “In Memoriam”:

“MAURICE LEA COOPER (1914-16) came to Bootham in September, 1914, and stayed two years. He was not a boy of great intellectual ability, and left from the lower senior.
His leisure time was spent in the workshop in winter and in tennis and swimming in summer. At the one length he was only beaten by boys above the average of Bootham’s best. 
We shall always remember him for his engaging manners and affectionate good nature—an Irish generosity which was ready to give of its best without stint. To those who knew him the gallant story of his death on October 2nd, 1918, would cause admiration and perhaps a little envy, but no surprise. He had won captain’s rank and the Distinguished FIying Cross, and was enjoying a well-earned rest behind the lines, when news came that his squadron was hard pressed. He begged so earnestly to be sent back that his Major, knowing the value of such an example, could not refuse his request; and so, not only not grudging the first “mile,” but gladly going the “twain,” he met his death. As an epitaph suggesting at once his generous good nature and his healthy enjoyment of life, we may quote the words—scrawled with a burnt stick in July, 1914, across the cellar wall at Kendal, whence he proceeded to Bootham— 

” On the whole sorry to leave.” ”


Captain Maurice Lea Cooper is buried at Dadizeele New British Cemetery, Flanders.
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In Memoriam: Robert Ian Alexander Hickes

Photograph of Robert Ian Alexander Hickes in uniform.
Robert Ian Alexander Hickes

Robert Ian Alexander Hickes, of Market Weighton, was killed in action in France on 30th August, 1918, aged 19 years.

He was born on 12th January 1899 and attended Bootham School from 1914 to 1917. 

Ian joined Lower Senior class in the Spring of 1914.  He joined the Microscopy section of the school Natural History, Literary & Polytechnic Society.

The school magazine, “Bootham”, of  March 1915 reports that he won a prize for microscopy.  He had prepared a set of micro-preparations of crystals.  He also won a prize for his Natural History diary.

“Bootham” of December 1915 reports that:

“Matriculation results were announced late in the term; sixteen had passed, Braithwaite getting honours with distinctions in five subjects and Hickes honours with three distinctions.”

“EXAMINATION RESULTS.

UNIVERSITY OF LONDON.

SENIOR SCHOOL : MATRICULATION STANDARD.

Honours.

R. B. Braithwaite, e, em, c, I, f.

R. I. A. Hickes, em, me, c.

Distinctions : e = distinction in English, h in History, m in Mathematics, em in Elementary Mathematics, me in Mechanics, c in Chemistry, Theoretical and Practical, I in Latin, g in Greek, f in French.”

Also

“It has been decided to continue the Ambulance Drill again this year, and with the experience of those who have already gained the certificate to command us we have quickly passed the more elementary stages, and hope to be working with a motor ambulance next term. One afternoon a week is devoted to it, and on the last Tuesday of November we were inspected by a sergeant of the St. John Ambulance Association, who expressed himself highly satisfied with the work that was done. Section eight, under the command of Hickes, was placed first with twenty-six out of thirty, but as the lowest was only twenty-two there was very little to choose between them.”

“Bootham” of March 1916, in the report of School Term Autumn 1915, gives an account of the Charades.

“We had expected much, and were not disappointed. The cast was not so large as on previous occasions, and therefore it was more select, all adapting themselves to their parts as though to the manner born. The scenes were taken from selected parts of “Our Mutual Friend,'”‘ and the intervals were enlivened by selections from Mrs. Sparkes and her trio of violinists. “Comparisons are odious,” says the old proverb, and in this case indeed almost impossible—all were so good; but Hickes, as the amorous though not very intellectual Sampson, we must confess surprised us, and we would like to congratulate him on the amusement which his part afforded.”

In 1916, Ian Hickes was curator of Microscopy at the school, and later a curator of Meteorology.

Moving on to October 1916, “Bootham” reports:

“University of London, First Examination for Medical Degrees.

R. V. Brown.

R. I. A. Hickes.”

Then in the June 1917 issue of “Bootham” we read:

“Football Notes, by the Captain.

HICKES, R. I. A.—A useful back who has got through a great deal of work. Always playing a strong game, he has usually been successful in breaking up the attack of his opponents. Good with his head.”

In “Bootham” of December 1917 we have the Report of Summer Term 1917.

“Mr. Arnold Rowntree very kindly gave away the prizes to those who were leaving. This was the first presentation under the new scheme by which all money won is accumulated and one prize bought at the end of the time at school. A certificate was given with each stating for what achievements it had been won. We were all glad to have Arnold Rowntree with us on this occasion and to feel from his words of appreciation his keen interest in all our doings. At the close we heard that the Commemoration Scholarship had been divided between R. I. A. Hickes and J. R. B. Moulsdale.”

“Examination Results.

MIDSUMMER, 1917.

Bootham School Commemoration Scholarship.

R. I. A. Hickes.

J. R. B. Moulsdale.

University of London: Intermediate Science Examination

R. I. A. Hickes, 3rd Class Honours in Chemistry.”

His Bene Decessit entry in this issue of “Bootham” reads as follows;

“R. I. A. HICKES played right-back for the 1st XI. and obtained the 1st Boys’ Colours. He was a keen meteorologist and also took a large amount of interest in the Lads’ Club in York and in the Bootham School Camp. Hickes passed matric. with honours two years ago. During his two years in the College he obtained his 1st M.B. and also passed Intermediate Science of London University with 3rd Class Honours in Chemistry. He was a reeve and shares the Commemoration Scholarship with Moulsdale.”

In “Across the Months” from this same issue we read:

“R. IAN A. HICKES (1914-17) is a Cadet in the R.F.C. Cadet Wing, *****. He joined up at *****, and had rather a thin time to begin with. “The training in this wing is a course of five weeks’ instruction in drill, machinegunnery, signalling, military law, map reading, etc. I was pleased to hear of so many medicals once more. It is a pity if such a privilege is not used to the fullest extent. I had hoped to come and see you at Old Scholars. Indeed, there was talk of a victual in Abbatt’s study, and Billy Barber wanted me to play, but no leave is given at this stage. “”

“Bootham” of  May 1918 contains the “O.Y.S. War-time Service Lists, including the following:

“Old York Scholars serving in the Navy and Army

Hickes, R. I. A., Sec. Lieut., R.F.C.”

“Bootham” of July 1918 has the Report of Old York Scholars’ Association. Whitsuntide meeting of 1918 at Jordans.

“ROGER DARBY, who has taken up the work of the Scholarship Fund, said that the report was quite satisfactory. The scholarship had been divided between Ian Hickes and John Moulsdale, but neither was yet able to use any of it because they were going into the Army.”

On 30th August 1918 Ian was the pilot of a bomber plane shot down over occupied France. He and his navigator both died and were buried in a small village cemetery there.

The December 1918 issue of “Bootham” reports, under “Deaths”:

“HICKES.—On 30th August, 1918, killed in the air over France, Robert Ian Alexander Hickes, of Market Weighton (1914-17), aged 19.”

His “In Memoriam” is in the April 1919 issue of “Bootham”:

“ROBERT IAN ALEXANDER HICKES (1914-17). Hickes will always be associated in my mind with his two predominant qualities—an infinite capacity for hard work, and a strongly developed sense of duty. Unlike us weaker mortals, he would never leave a chemical analysis unfinished nor a mathematical problem unsolved, and when at some hard piece of work he was quite unapproachable in every sense of the word; I have never seen anyone else so barricaded in by note- and text-books. His conscientiousness gave him an almost oppressive sense of responsibility and dignity during his year as a Reeve. It was largely his sense of duty that made him during this period throw himself so wholeheartedly into the Lads’ Club, and into encouraging younger members of the N.H. Club in botany and microscopy.

No mention of Hickes would be complete without reference to his histrionic talent. For two years the “charades” might be truthfully said to be Hickes. In 1915 his rendering of the speechless rustic a-courting in Our Mutual Friend was more widely imitated among the lesser fry than anything else in my experience; whilst his Sir Anthony Absolute of the following year, although a little heavy, was easily the chef d’oeuvre of the evening.

Hickes may be summed up as a clever Yorkshireman : his mentality was North Country, not quick, but very sound; and his soul was true Yorkshire. He well deserved the Commemoration Scholarship awarded him. R. B. B.”

Second Lieutenant Robert Ian Alexander Hickes is buried at Latour-en-Woevre Communal Cemetery, France.

In Memoriam: Oliver Bell

Photograph of Oliver Bell in uniform.
Oliver Bell

Oliver Bell, of Cheshire, was killed in action on 24th August, 1918, aged 20 years.

He attended Bootham School from 1913 to 1916.  He was a cricketer and a member of the school Natural History Society.

The school magazine, “Bootham”, of  March 1914 contains The Eightieth Annual Report of Bootham School Natural History, Literary & Polytechnic Society January, 1914.

In the report of Christmas Show, Botany Section, we read:

“Bell, however, secured the second prize for the Floral Calendar.”

 and in the same issue, “Pets” report:

“During the summer lizards were kept (and subsequently lost) by Shaw, Bell, Strange and others. Many of them have since been discovered in various parts of the premises.”

 and in the same issue, “Prizes”, Oliver got a prize for Presses in the Workshop section.

In the following year, Oliver won prize for “Bedtable,Tray” in the Workshop section.

“Bootham” of  December 1915 contains cricket report:

“SECOND XI. (Boys’) RESULTS.

June 9, v. ARCHBISHOP HOLGATE’S, Home. Lost, 60 and 54—54 and 66. Although we won on the first innings, our opponents just pulled off the game in the second innings. Bell took seven wickets for 21 runs.

June 16, v. BRIDLINGTON G.S., Away. Won, 186 for 9—46. The first victory of the season. Lean made 39, Hamilton 31, and Strange 20. Bell took five wickets for 24.”

In 1916, Oliver became a Librarian of the school Natural History Society.

“Bootham”, of October 1916, lists cricket Matches:

“ARCHBISHOP HOLGATE’S, June 7, Away. Won, 57—44. On a “mountainous” wicket the bowlers on both sides did well. Bell’s rapidly-scored 13 saved us from defeat. Bell took two wickets for 1 run”

In the Royal Life Saving Society Awards: July, 1916, Oliver achieved a Bronze Medallion.

The same issue of “Bootham contains Oliver’s “Bene Decessit” entry:

“O. BELL was best known in the realms of sport. He obtained his 1st eleven colours at cricket and his 2nd eleven colours at football. He was a fives player and an able tennis player. He was a librarian, and leaves from the Lower Senior.”

In December 1917, “Bootham” reports, in “Across the Months”:

“OLIVER BELL (1913-16), Second Lieut., R.F.C., was recently at * * * * * training and met Geoffrey Newman and “Cuddy Scrim ” there. He hears fairly regularly from A. S. Hamilton.”

“Bootham” of May 1918, in “O.Y.S. War-time Service Lists.” contains:

“Old York Scholars serving in the Navy and Army.

Bell, O., Sec. Lieut., R.F.C.”

Then in “Bootham” December 1918, under “Deaths” we read:

“BELL.—On 24th August, 1918, killed in the air over France, Oliver Bell, of Disley, Cheshire (1913-16), aged 20.”

“Bootham of April 1919 has Oliver’s “In Memoriam” entry:

“OLIVER BELL (1913-16). It was with very deep regret that we heard of the death of Oliver Bell, killed whilst flying in France.

He will be remembered by his contemporaries as popular and easy-going, as a keen reader, and player of games.

On leaving Bootham he joined the Artists’ Rifles, but wishing to take a commission in the Air Force, he was transferred, in June, 1917, to the Flying School at Reading, and did his first flying at Bramham Moor. He went into an advanced training squadron at South Carlton, near Lincoln, where he had a small crash, through his engine failing when taking off. He then went to the School of Aerial Gunnery at Hythe, and on to the School of Aerial Navigation at Stonehenge. After a flight from there to Bristol, he and his pilot crashed from 200 feet, owing to engine trouble, the pilot being killed, but Bell escaping unhurt.

He joined the 99th Squadron (long distance bombing), and went to France at the end of April, 1918. The Independent Force was then being built up, and the work was arduous. On all their raids they were under fire from the “Archies” nearly all the way, and were constantly attacked by superior numbers of enemy scouts. Bell was a very good aerial shot, and he and his pilot more than held their own.

Bell came home for 14 days’ leave in July, and on his return to his squadron found his usual pilot (who had never been over the line without him) in hospital. He then flew with his Flight Commander, and they were killed together on August 24th, 1918. He is buried at Charmes, on the Moselle.

Bell was mentioned for distinguished services in General Trenchard’s dispatch on the work of the Independent Force* His Squadron Commander writes:

“I cannot tell you how I sympathise with you in your loss. Your son was a most excellent officer in every way, and very popular in the squadron. He had done some particularly good work over the lines, and always showed himself keen and energetic,” An old scholar who was with him during part of his training writes:

“I was terribly distressed when I heard about ‘ Sammy ‘ Bell, because I was with him at two training squadrons, and his characteristic ‘ don’t-care-a-damn’ spirit was just the stimulant that most of us required at that period. Although I was with him for only a short time, we had many a pleasant talk together, and I always came away greatly refreshed and with a light heart.”

Another wrote who had only known him for a short period, thus showing the sort of impression he made on those who met him. He had just received a photograph of Bell.

“I think it a good likeness of the lad—as good, in fact, as you will get in a photograph. The one thing that distinguished him from all others needed a painter, not a photographer; and the painter should have painted him as St. Michael, going forth to right the wrong. I always fancied him so—he had exactly that expression in his countenance and that light in his eyes; and I once said to somebody at the club table that if he got into enemy hands they couldn’t but treat fairly a lad with a face like his.” J. C. M.”

Second Lieutenant Oliver Bell is buried at Charmes Military Cemetery in France.

 

In Memoriam: Harwood Woodwark Barton

Photograph of Harwood Woodwark Barton in uniform
Harwood Woodwark Barton

Harwood Woodwark Barton, of Whitby was killed in a flying accident on 2nd July, 1918, aged 17 years.

He attended Bootham School from 1915 to 1916. Harwood played football for the school second XI. He was a member of the school Natural History Society, joining the Microscopy section.  The Eighty-Second Annual Report of Bootham School Natural History, Literary & Polytechnic Society January, 1916, (reported in the school magazine, “Bootham”, of March 1916) tells us that:

“Barton shows 30 micro-slides accompanied by a diary.”

He received a school prize for microscopy.

In the Bedroom Athletics Trophy tournament 1916 at school, Harwood did well, being the highest scorer in the Junior (under 15) section.   Harwood nearly took the individual Athletics Junior Cup:

“The Junior Cup was won by Gillett ii, though the first places were equally shared by him with Nickalls and Barton.”

Harwood won the 880 Yards, and Hurdles, was second in High Jump and Gymnastics and third in 220 Yards.

In the summer of 1916, Harwood was playing cricket for the school.  The October 1916 edition of “Bootham” reports on one of the matches:

“THE F.A.U., June 6, Home. Won, 105—82. With the exception of Moulsdale the first wickets fell for disappointingly small scores, but. Massingham and Barton saved the side, making 20 and 32 respectively.”

The notes on the team by the Captain include:

“BARTON, H. W.—A useful and capable bat, with a good forward reach, some power of scoring, and alertness never to miss a run. An extremely promising wicket-keep.”

The same issue of “Bootham” report the results of the Aquatics tournament.  Harwood did well in this, coming second in many of the events (Open: 220 Yards, Plunge; Senior: 100 Yards, 25 Yards, and 25 Yards on Back).  Overall he took second place in the Championship, as was awarded the Clayton Bronze Medal.

Harwood left Bootham School in 1916.  He played cricket for the Old Scholars in the match against the school in May 1917.

The June 1917 issue of “Bootham”, in “Across the Months” reports that:

“H. W. BARTON is hoping to join the R.F.C.”

However the July 1918 issue of “Bootham” reports, under “Deaths”:

“BARTON.—On the 2nd July, 1918, killed whilst flying in England, Harwood W. Barton (1915-16), aged 18.”

The April 1919 issue of “Bootham” has his “In Memoriam” entry:

“HARWOOD WOODWARK BARTON (1915-16), Flight Cadet, R.A.F., was killed whilst flying on duty, July 2nd, 1918.

He came to Bootham after being five years at Ackworth, and early showed considerable independence of character, which seemed destined to make whatever career he embarked on a successful one ; and above all his personality was marked by a buoyancy of spirits and brightness of demeanour which won him friends on all sides.

Well might his CO. write: “His great characteristic of cheerfulness was a great asset in these days.”

Fired with ambition to take his part in the war, he entered the Flying Service very young. At school he had entered with zest into everything that took place, especially outdoor life, and when a cadet he was one of the prime movers in a large sports meeting, which, alas was fated to be held on the day when, with full military honours, his body was laid to rest at his home town.

It was not only on the playground that his interests were centred, for his keenness in learning every detail of his profession was noted, and at the aerodrome his instructors were agreed that he had in him the making of a first-class pilot.

Although devoid of fear, he did not take unnecessary risks, and it was all the more regrettable, therefore, that he should meet his death, soon after starting to fly alone, in one of those mishaps which are inseparably connected with an aviator’s career.  R. K. S”

Flight Cadet Harwood Woodwark Barton is buried in his family vault at Whitby Cemetery.

In Memoriam: Geoffrey Birdsall

Photograph of Geoffrey Birdsall
Geoffrey Birdsall

Geoffrey Birdsall, of Scarborough, was injured on 16th June 1918 during enemy artillery bombardment and died, in France, on the 17th June, 1918, aged 19 years.

He was born in 1899 and attended Bootham School from 1913 to 1917. He was a Reeve *.              (* equivalent of Prefect)

In his first term at Bootham, Geoffrey won prizes for his Archaeology Diary and a Workshop prize for Bookshelves.

The school magazine, “Bootham”, of December 1915 reports external examination results.  Geoffrey achieved passes in Latin and Greek in the University of London, Senior School (Matriculation Standard) examinations.

In the Autumn term of 1915, Geoffrey was a member of the school Senior Reading  and Discussion Society.

The July 1916 issue of “Bootham “ reports on the school’s Bedroom Football Tournament.

“Birdsall played a fine plucky game in goal for XIII.”

The October 1916 issue of “Bootham” reports external examination results:

“Oxford and Cambridge Schools Examination Board,

Higher Certificate Examination.

(Latin, Greek, Elementary Mathematics, and History.)

G. Birdsall.”

 “Bootham”, issue of March 1917, contains the Eighty-Third Annual Report of Bootham School, York Natural History, Literary & Polytechnic Society January, 1917. The report of the Senior Essay Society includes the following:

“During the Session 1915-16 the Committee awarded the first prize to G. Birdsall for a very clearly written essay entitled “The Fall of Jerusalem.””

and

“G. Birdsall’s essay on Modern Education was quite a feature of one meeting, and gave rise to considerable discussion.”

Phootograph of title page of Geoffrey Birdsall's essay on modern education in Bootham's "Observer" volume XXXII.
Title page of Geoffrey Birdsall’s essay on modern education in Bootham’s “Observer” volume XXXII.

The same issue contains a report on the Senior Reading and Discussion Society:

“A debate on the “House System” was held some time later, G. Birdsall moving the resolution that ” The House System as at present obtaining at Bootham School ought to be abolished. ” O. B. Lean moved an opposing motion. The resolution won by 18 votes to 9.”

“Bootham” of June 1917 tells us that Geoffrey came third in the 440 Yards race in the school Athletics Tournament.

The report on the school Summer Term of 1917, in “Bootham” issue of December 1917, contains the following:

“Some weeks later the Society met at the Master’s table for breakfast, this taking the place of the strawberry tea in the garden in days of peace, though the strawberries themselves were as good as ever. Mr. Rowntree announced that G. Birdsall’s Essay, entitled ” More Wailing, ” had taken first prize for the year.”

This issue also includes external examination results for midsummer 1917:

“North Riding County Council Major Scholarship.

(£6o a year for three years.)

G. Birdsall (Classics).”

and his “Bene Decessit” entry:

“G. BIRDSALL was a prominent member of the committees of the Senior Essay and Debating Societies. He was a keen debater and brilliant essayist. He obtained the Senior School Certificate two years ago and the Oxford and Cambridge Higher Certificate the following year. During his last year he was a reeve and won a Major Scholarship of the North Riding County Council in Classics. He leaves us to join the Artists’ Rifles O.T.C.”

Photograph of Bootham School Reeves, 1917, including G. Birdsall
Bootham School Reeves 1917, G. Birdsall seated, second from right.

His scholarship was celebrated in school by a half-holiday in the Autumn term.

The May 1918 issue of “Bootham” contains Old York Scholars War-time Service Lists. Under  “Old York Scholars serving in the Navy and Army” we see:

“Birdsall, G., London Regt.”

Then in the July 1918 issue we read, under “Deaths”:

“BIRDSALL.—On the 17th June, 1918, killed in action in France, Geoffrey Birdsall (1913-17), aged 19.”

and his “In Memoriam” entry:

“GEOFFREY BIRDSALL (1913-17) fell on June 17th. ” His loss is felt as a heavy blow in the School; he is the second Old Boy to fall within a year of leaving School. Two letters lie before me; one looking forward to Whitsuntide, the other written after he had received the postcard. He writes in customary vein. He has no news to give, he sits in a shallow chalk depression, he writes in the front line with nothing between himself and Fritz. He would give anything to be with us on Whit-Monday: ‘ anyhow, I shall be thinking of the old School.’ The postmark of the second letter is June 13th; he speaks of heartfelt pleasure and gratitude on receiving the postcard with its load of well-known signatures. ‘ The only thing that could ever assure me that I really used to wander in the Academic groves of the Senior Essay Society is the characteristically bold, large signature of R. B. Braithwaite, though I am quite sure that I should no longer be able to engage in debate with a member of the Leighton Park Staff. I should very much like personally to thank everyone who signed my postcard, but I am afraid that it is impossible. I hope that we shall soon have the war well over, and that better times are in store for us.’ So this fine-natured boy departed, leaving us the memory of his strong soul, his intellectual force, his loyal spirit.””

Private Geoffrey Birdsall is buried in Pernois British Cemetery, Somme, France. The inscription reads: “OF SCARBORO’ AGED 19 MEMBRA SUMUS CORPORIS MAGNI”.