Tag Archives: Eton College

The Eton Rifles

It was Eton College that gave me the WW1 bug and one friend in particular imparts me with newspaper cuttings and snippets.  One such newspaper cutting was given to me a few days ago and again has an Eton College link. It is a known fact that many of the young men from Eton College and other Public Schools left school in the spring and summer and by the autumn and winter had joined the the ranks of ‘the fallen’.  One in five young men from these schools did not return. Information from a new book tells that King Edward School, Lytham was the hardest hit public school with a third of ex-pupils who went to war being killed.  The National Archives has a graph detailing six public schools, the numbers serving, numbers killed and a percentage.  Eton College had 5650 young men serving with over 1100 being killed.  While Sedbergh had 1250 serving with losses of 251.  Eton in this graph seemed to come off the worst.  But saying that Eton seemed to fair very well when it came to The Old Etonians being awarded the Victoria Cross followed close by Harrow. Anyway, back to my newspaper article that features Eton’s first viii rowing team for 1913. Namely, Lindsay Campbell ; Charles Rowlatt ; Sigurd MacCulloch ; Ronald Backus ; Augustus Dilberoglue ; Richard Buckley ; Ian Napier ; Stephen Fairbairn ; Edmond Elliott. Only three of the first viii team for 1913 died in The Great War, firstly –

Dilberoglue AugustusAugustus Dilberoglue – he was born on 13th January 1894, he was the son of Planton and Julia Dilberoglue who around the time of their sons death were living at The Lodge, 19 Southfields Road, Eastbourne.  The family had previously been living in Cairo as Planton had been a Judge of the Native Court of Appeal.  He was educated at Summerfields, Eton and Christ Church, Oxford, where he was when war broke out.  He obtained a commission and later attended Sandhurst.  1915 saw him being gazetted to the 3rd King’s Own Hussars.  Augustus served with his regiment in Shorncliffe, Ireland, with the BEF in France and Flanders and was KIA on 1 April 1918 nr Domart.  He rests in Hourges Orchard Cemetery Domart-Sur-La-Luce CWGC cemetery. His Commanding Officer wrote that he had a very high opinion of him, he was a fine young man and would be a great loss.  A fellow officer said he was of the finest character and a good friend.  He went on to say that he did not think he had ever met a more morally fearless character and that his squadron and troop fellow officers all loved him. While at Eton he had been captain of his house and in his last year captain of boars.  He rowed bow in the vii in 1912 and no 5 in the vii in 1913.  During that year he also won the School Pulling with G W Withington.  In 1914 he rowed no 7 in the Christ Church boat First Torpids.  He was a member of the Cavalry Club, the Vikings Club and of the Leander Club. Dilberoglue richardPlanton and Julia lost another of their sons – Richard Nicholas Dilberoglue who was also educated at Southfield and Eton and Sandhurst and joined the Coldstream Guards.  He was KIA when a shell exploded at his feet and he rests in Ginchy.  He also had wonderful tributes paid to him. Richard’s medal card, like his brother’s give their parents address in Eastbourne, but Richards gives a previous address of Buckingham Gate SW1. Richard and Augustus also had another brother serving in the Welsh Guards, Pandeli Dilberoglue who survived The Great War and lived until 1952.  

Sigurd MacCulloch (MacCullock) – Sigurd Harold MacCulloch was the son of John J and Matilda J MacCullochserved as a 2/Lieutenant  in the Seaforth Highlanders and died of wounds near Albert in 20 December 1915 aged 21.  He rests in Mailly-Maillet Communal Cemetery Extension.  An address on his medal card tells that the family lived at 8 Caurtfield Gardens, SW7.  The London Gazette for 4 March 1915 states that “The undermentioned Second Lieutenants to be Lieutenants” Sigurd H Macculloch’s entry had a note in brackets ‘(since died of wounds received in action)’. Sources:-De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour Ancestry CWGC Christ Church, Oxford.

elliot esmond

Esmond Elliot –  Was born on 25 September 1895, to Gilbert John Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, Earl of Minto and his wife Mary Caroline Grey.  Esmond like the other young men in this entry he attended Eton College and was coxwain in the Eton College eight in 1911,12,13.  During the Coronatian year he was Page of Honour when the new King and Queen went to Holyrood.  He served in the Scots’ Guards with a rank of Lieutenant and acted as A.D,C, to the Major General commanding the Guards Division in France.  He Died of Wounds on 6 Aug 1917.  A note on his Medal Card dated 7 February 1922 has his mother, The Rt. Hon. Mary, Countess of Minto, of 48 Chelsea Park Gardens,  SW3, applying for her dead sons medals.on year, he was Page of Honour when the King and Queen  were at Holyrood.

The London Gazette
The Sunday Times


Same name, same age but oh, so different lives

Tonight is census night and whoever is in your house tonight should be on your census form.  This decades census asks different questions to those in previous times and is based more on social and cultural subjects.  Some, sorry, many family historians question the use of this census in 100 years time.  Basic information is being left out, for example it is not asking for a middle name, yet this is now we distinguish a John Smith from a John W Smith.  Where were we born, again another question that could distinguish our John Smith from the other.  But who are we to argue ?

Yesterday I was thinking, I do that sometimes, about the 1911 census and wondered if I could find two people with the same name, born in the same year with two totally differing backgrounds and lifestyles.  I chose a family from one of my war memorial transcriptions but could not find the family on the 1911 census – foiled again! So this morning with a new vigour, 2 monitors (making life easier) and using the pc not the laptop I started my quest for these two people.  Who would they be, how old would they be and what would their every day life be like.  My challenge is on and a cuppa is called for.  Cuppa by my side and here we go !

Who are these young men? What name did I decide upon? How old are they? Questions hopefully we will all find the answers too.

The name – John Radcliffe.  The year of birth – 1886 (as per 1911 census).  Place of birth, well this is where the difference really starts.

Firstly, John Douglas Henderson Radcliffe was born in 1886, the summer of 1886 to Alexander Nelson Radcliffe and his wife Isabel Grace nee Henderson, whom he had married in the late spring of 1884 in Kensington.  Alexander was a solicitor and in the 1911 census he was living with his wife, 4 children, 2 visitors (Noel Burn Rosher b1876 Consulting Engineer born in Higham and Percy Otto St Clair Wilbraham Perryman b 1886 , Asst Dist Commt Uganda born Redhill) and 7 servants (incl cook, nurse, kitchen maid and house maid + butler and footman) all residing on the night of the census at 45 Kensington Square – in total 15 people in 20 rooms.

45 Kensington Sqr

Alexander of Bag Park  was born in Paddington in 1856 and died in Widecombe, Devon in March of 1944.  His wife Isabel was born in March of 1861 in Fremantle, Australia.

John Douglas Henderson Radcliffe had been a pupil at Eton College, leaving by 1904 and going on to Balliol, Oxford where he was known for his satirical humour and sense of fairness.  He rowed in the Eight and was Captain of the Boat Club and according to sources was a first rate coach and gave up his spare time to ‘the river’, being devoted to his College – Balliol. In 1911 he was elected was a Fellow of All Souls College and delighted in the traditions and atmosphere.

After Oxford he joined his father as a solicitor but it was politics that was his goal.  In 1913 he married Mary Augusta  Garlinda Bolitho and only too shortly after The Great War broke out.   John joined the KRRC, serving as a Captain. In July of 1915 there was desperate fighting near Hooge.  John  was KIA on 30 July 1915 aged 30 when the enemy over ran the trench held by Capt., Radcliffe and his men. John  is remembered on the Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres.  John had been living with Mary at 20 Craven Street, Charing Cross and he left over £1,500 pounds to her on his death.

So ended John’s life, a life of privilege and opportunities.  A life lived in Eton, Oxford and London.  Would he, had he had the chance, been able to influence the politics post war? Who knows, but one thing is certain, he left a small piece of himself with all whom he met and was certainly fondly remembered and loved.

Now, which John Radcliffe born in the same year, well we find him in Leeds, the son of John William and his wife Mary Ann.  One of 3 surviving children out of 8, John was also born in 1886 and in 1911 living at 36 Wellclose View, Leeds.  John W was a 61 year old Organ Builder born in Bolton and his wife was also 61 and hailed from Leeds. John jnr was aged 25 and a Textile Printers Foreign Correspondent and his sister Lilian aged 31 was a Co-op Stores Cash Clerk – 4 people living in 5 rooms.

30-36 Wellclose View, Leeds. Leodis Archive

The houses around Wellclose View were terraced, more than likely on a hill.  The terrace ends, those facing the next street had bay windows and attics with full  windows making use of the roof space.  The doors were straight onto the cobbled streets  and most of the houses had usable cellars.

Did our 2nd John fight in WW1, I don’t know.  I’ve looked on SWDTGW, Medal Cards, CWGC and Army Pension records and there is not one John Radcliffe that gives a clue to him being our John.  Let’s hope if he did go to foreign shores, he at least came home to his family.

Did John marry ? There is a marriage for  John Radcliffe in Leeds in the June ¼ of 1912, could this be him ? And there are no deaths that stand out any more than others.

I think it goes to show that if you fit into any of the following categories :- The Great, The Good or The Bad you are recorded very well in historical documents.  But, if like John, and his family, you went about your business, sometimes with a little to spare at the end of the week and others the week was longer than the money, records are limited.

If anyone knows of John Radcliffe of Leeds, please let me know I’d like to know what happened to him.