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BEDFORD MODERN SCHOOL - Memorials

World War 1 & 2 - Roll of Honour with detailed information
Compiled and copyright © 2001 Martin Edwards

With grateful thanks to Bedford Modern School
for allowing the reproduction of various photographs and articles from the Eagle,
the research information supplied by Richard Wildman, the Archivist and many others.


Bedford Modern School circa 1907

Bedford Modern School originally stood on the site of the now Harpur Centre in Bedford. The school itself moved to Manton Lane, Bedford in 1974. Here there are a myriad of memorials that are listed below.


Picture courtesy & copyright BMS

The Memorial Hall (1923) with portrait of Lt. Col. Mobbs DSO.
This picture was taken in 1953 and
forms part of the BMS Archives.

BOER WAR

Brass Plate originally unveiled 1904, with nine names, one of whom was not killed, and another of whom has no apparent military connection. Location: School Entrance Foyer.

Old Bedford Modernian's (OBM's) who died in the Boer War

Information relating to the Boer War Memorial Plaque with reference to the 'The Eagle' (School Journal) and Alumni lists. Many OBMs served in South Africa, and some sent accounts of their experiences to the editor (probably W M 'Billy' Marsh). No member of the school fought in the Boer War but a number of Old Boys were involved. The Eagle for 1900 and 1901 contains correspondence detailing the conditions in war. Nine OBM's were killed in the conflict and a memorial plaque that was unveiled by Dr. Robert Burton Poole (Headmaster 1887-1900) in April 1904 commemorates them. None of these men appear on the Bedfordshire Boer War Memorial. Certain information has been taken from the Old Boys Register 1900 and other from "THE LAST POST: OFFICERS WHO FELL IN SOUTH AFRICA 1899-1902" by Mildred G Dooner, published by Naval & Military Press.

COLE

C G S

BMS 1891-99

Paget's Horse. Died of peritonitis. Krugersdorp - The Eagle, March 1901 p.4. Lived at 2 Park View. Foster Hill Road, Bedford. At school from 2nd Term 1891 to 2nd Term 1899. In the First IV., Rowing, 1898. First XV, Rugby, 1898.

FOULKES

P von W

BMS 1893-96

Private 3244, Cape Mounted Rifles. Killed in action, Dordrecht, near Bird's River, 16 February 1900 - The Eagle, March 1900 pp. 247-8, June 1900 pp. 290-1, November 1900 p. 327. He was in School House. Started 2nd Term 1893, left 2nd Term 1896. In the First Xv, Rugby, 1895.

HARVIE

A L

BMS 1892-94

3rd Volunteer Battalion, Bedfordshire Regiment. Killed in action, Reitz, early 1901 (Lance-corporal) - The Eagle, July 1901 p.52

JOHNSON

A H

BMS 1881-88

Trooper 774, Imperial Light Horse. Killed in action. Ventersdorp, aged 27, 1st August 1900 - No entry in The Eagle card-index but 'Killed in action. Ventersdorp (aged 27) 1901' according to handwritten note (probably by H E Vipan) in BMS Register 1900. At school from 2nd Term 1881 to 2nd Term 1888.

LIPPERT

[A W D] Wilhelm Arthur David

BMS 1890-95

[Captain] Lieutenant, 2nd Battalion, Royal Lancashire Regiment. Killed in action, at Vryheid, 11th December 1900 - The Eagle March 1901 p.4. He was the eldest son of W.A. Lippert, of Eastbourne. Born October 1878. At school from 3rd Term 1890 to 3rd Term 1895. In the First IX., Cricket, 1895. First XV, Rugby, 1894-5. Entered the Royal Lancaster Regiment from the 4th Battalion, Somersetshire Light Infantry April, 1900, being promoted lieutenant, August 1900. Lieutenant Lippert was in charge of a part of 10 men on outpost duty, who were suddenly attached on a dark morning about 2.15. His conduct is stated to be most gallant. There were four outposts, and these were all fiercely attached by the enemy, but, owing to the splendind resistance made by the outposts, the troops in the rear were not seriously pressed. Lieutanant Lippert is buried at Vryheid.

ROBESON

J

BMS 1889-93

Quartermaster Sergeant 947, Robert's Horse. Died of enteric fever, 6th June 1900 at Florida, South Africa- The Eagle, 1900 p.327. At school from 3rd Term 1889 to 3rd Term 1893. In the First IV., Rowing, 1898. First XV, Rugby, 1898.

WARD

H H

BMS 1885-89

Lieutenant 24th Company, 8th Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry Killed in action at Dehoop, north-east of Calvinia, 6th February 1902 - At school from 1st Term 1885 to 1st Term 1889. Lived in Ware, Hertfordshire. He first served as a trooper, but was afterwards granted a commission, and was appointed to the 8th Battalion, Imperial Yeomanry, as a lieutenant, October 12th, 1901, with the rank of lieutenant in the army.

WOOD

Charles Carroll

BMS 1886-89

Lieutenant, 1st Battalion, Loyal North Lancashire Regiment. Died of wounds received in reconnaissance made by Col. Gough, 9th Lancers, at Belmont 10th November 1899. Aged 23. He was the youngest son of J. Taylor Wood (a Captain in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War), grandson of General R C Wood, U.S. Army and great grandson of Zachary Taylor, President of the United States of America. Lived in Spenser Road, Bedford. Born March 1876 - No entry in The Eagle card-index. At school from 3rd Term 1886 to 3rd Term 1899. Educated at Royal Military College, Kingston. He entered the Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in September, 1896, being promoted lieutenant May, 1899, and was serving with his battalion in South Africa on the outbreak of war. He was then sent to Orange River with the Mounted Infantry, and was killed in his first action.

Killed but not on memorial
JACKSON F G K BMS 1895-89
Joined 1st Term 1895 and left 2nd Term 1889. R.M.C. at Sandhurst 1890. Played for the First XV at Rugby 1888. Killed in the Mashonaland Rising.
LAWRENCE W P BMS 1876-79
Joined 1st Term 1876 and left 2nd Term 1879. Died of enteric fever during the siege of Mafeking, 1900.
SWALLOW T C BMS 1890-96
Joined 3rd Term 1890 and left 3rd Term 1896. Lived in Foster Hill Road, Bedford. Died of enteric fever at Kimberley, 1900 with Paget's Horse.

Served but not killed

GIVEN

G

BMS 1890-93,
1894-97

Imperial Yeomanry - was not killed in the Boer War. He later joined the South African Constabulary, won the MC in the First World War, fought for the Whites in the Russian civil war, and died on 2 May 1936 in Istanbul after 'a severe operation.' The Eagle, July 1936. p.469. 'How [the mistake] arose is not clear at this distance of time'

FIRST WORLD WAR

Stone tablets containing 167 incised names originally unveiled 1923. Location: Under covered area between Kaye and Liddle Quads. See separate page for transcription and details.

From The Eagle Millennium published by BMS.

"... Throughout hostilities The Eagle contained communications from Old Boys ín the various theatres of war and published regular lists of casualties and awards. In every issue the Roll of Honour provided a biography of each OBM killed. which included his war service and achievements at school.

In all, 167 OBMs died on active service just under 14% of those who joined up. The oldest casualty was Lt Col Sir George Farrar. Bt. who had left in 1875. and the best known was Lt Col Edgar Mobbs. DSO. CO of the 7th Battalion of the Northamptonshire Regiment. His charisma and leadership was transferred from the rugby field to the battlefield and he was killed on 31 July 1917 at Zilleheke in the Battle of Passchendaele. Immiedìately prior to his death he had met Lt Norman Spencer, a fellow OBM. and in the heat of battle the pair had reminisced about rugby and mutual acquaintances at school. Spencer witnessed Mobbs' heroic effort: ‘In the tornado of hostile shelling he got ahead and seeing a number of his men cut down by an undiscovered machine-gun strong-point, he charged to bomb it, certain death under such a terrific hail of shell.’ Mobbs’ body was never found and he is severally commemorated. on the list of the missing at the Menin Gate. on the school memorial tablets, by a public memorial in Northampton, by the sports trophy and by the annual rugby fixture between Northampton and the Barbarians played in his memory. There was a strong feeling at the time that Mobbs deserved a VC for his action. Amongst OBMs that honour belongs to Major George Wheeler who was awarded a posthumous VC for his valour in Mesopotamia in 1915. At the end of the war The Eagle published a comprehensive list of decorations and amongst these were 32 DSO's and 57 MC’s. One member of staff, H E Crane, died of his wounds in October 1916. He taught Modern Languages for a year before volunteering in April 1916, one of the last to do so before conscription was introduced. He was severely wounded in the leg and died in Lincoln Military Hospital soon afterwards."

SECOND WORLD WAR

Picture courtesy & copyright BMS
The Second World War Memorial (1948), with portrait of
Major Wheeler VC. This picture was taken in 1953 and
forms part of the BMS Archives.

Wooden panels containing 126 incised names originally unveiled 1948. Also Memorial Book in glass-topped display case (see below under Berkeley) containing photograph of each person with brief details of early career and war record (page turned daily in termtime by Custodian, usually from Year 10 or 11). Location: Specially constructed alcove in School Entrance Foyer. See separate page for transcription and details.

From The Eagle Millennium published by BMS.

 

"... The first OBM casualty was Lt G B Grey who was killed in November 1939. and the following Easter The Eagle reported that ‘like old war horses sniffing at the battle, quite a number who served in the Great War are serving in this.’

As in the Great War, The Eagle published lists of serving Old Boys. decorations awarded and obituaries of those killed. From Easter 1942 an additional feature was a record of prisoners of war together with locations. The most famous OBM PoW was Capt Richard Howe, MC, who had left school in 1929 and was taken prisoner at Calais during the fall of France. After persistent escape attempts, he was consigned to Colditz and became Escape Officer, 1942-5, masterminding the increasingly elaborate escape schemes.

By the end of the war over 1200 Old Boys had seen military service and 126 had been killed, a casualty rate of almost 10%. An addition to the Memorial Hall was made, with 126 names carved on oak panels in an alcove and the Memorial Book which contained photographs and personal details of all Old Boys who were killed. This was unveiled on 3 October 1948, in the presence of two former headmasters, H W Liddle and A C Powell. The latter. who gave the address, had been present at the dedication of the original memorial in 1923. As Canon Powell he would dedicate the Harpur Memorial Window on 11 November 1959."

ROYAL AND VICTORY CLOCK

This is wrongly ascribed to Bedford School in the Duxford list. The clock was subscribed to by OBM's and friends and placed in the front elevation of the entrance tower of the old BMS in Harpur Street to commemorate both the end of the War and the visit to Bedford (though not to BMS) of the King and Queen in June 1918. The clock face is still in situ but the mechanism has been replaced. There is an inscription inside the tower entrance, usually obscured by a flower-seller's stock.

LT Douglas Arthur SIMCOX (1st Bttn, Gloucestershire Regt)

The only known OBM casualty of the Korean War. Wooden plaque fixed inside the Second World War Memorial alcove (see above). Unveiled c 1981. Lieutenant P/397307, The Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment attached to The Gloucestershire Regiment. Killed in action 16th February 1951, listed in the London Gazette 3rd March 1951. Buried at UN Memorial Cemetery. Plot 4, Row 2, Grave 126. Constable in the Bedfordshire Constabulary. See also Kempston Barracks and Bedfordshire Constabulary.

LT.- COL. Edgar Roberts MOBBS DSO (1882-1917 - BMS 1892-98)


Picture courtesy & copyright BMS

Lieutenant Colonel, 7th Battalion, Northamptonshire Regiment who was killed in action in the Battle of Passchendale on Tuesday, 31st July 1917 charging an enemy machine-gun post. Age 37. Son of Oliver L. and Elizabeth Anne Mobbs, of Northampton. At school from 2nd Term 1892 to 3rd Term 1898 - lived at Olney, Buckinghamshire. Former England International Rugby Football player. Awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO). Commemorated on Yres (Menin Gate) Memorial, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Panel 43 and 45.
See also Olney and Northampton

Life size (three-quarter) posthumous portrait by Barbara Chamier, originally unveiled 1925. Location: Corridor adjacent to School Entrance Foyer.

From 'The Millennium Eagle' published by BMS.

"It has been ninety years since Edgar Mobbs played rugby for England. At school he was regarded as the greatest sportsman BMS ever produced and was a hero to every man and boy who played, and loved the game, of rugby football. He had a natural aptitude for the game, to which he added great technical skill. Since he could run 100 yards in a little over 10 seconds, it was not surprising that he became a wing three-quarter of genius.

In 1904 he was invited to play at Northampton and only a year later he was made captain. He played for the East Midlands and the Barbarians before being awarded an England cap against Wales in 1909. The new cap was said to be majestic and full of a will to win: his legendary status was born. In 1909 he captained his country against the touring Australians.

Mobbs was a charismatic leader and at the outbreak of the First World War he personally raised a company of volunteers of the Northampton Regiment, known as 'Mobbs Own'. He was killed in the battle of Passchendale, charging an enemy machine-gun post. Today there stands a memorial to him in Northampton bearing the words '...By subscriptions of admirers the world over, to the memory of a great and gallant soldier and sportsman, Lieutenant-Colonel E R Hobbs.' His name is also commemorated in the annual Mobbs Memorial Match between the East Midlands and the Barbarians."

 

MAJOR George [Godfrey] Massy WHEELER VC - BMS 1896-91

Life six (three quarter) posthumous portrait by Barbara Chamier, originally unveiled 1925. Location: as for Lt Col Mobbs. (See Second World War Memorial above for picture). NOTE: Bedford School also had a Major G Wheeler VC, who survived (no relation to the OBM Wheeler).

Major, 7th Hariana Lancers, Indian Army. Killed in action 13th April 1915. Aged 42. On 12 April 1915 at Shaiba, Mesopotamia, Major Wheeler took out his squadron in an attempt to capture a flag which was the centre-point of a group of the enemy who were firing on one of our picquets. He advanced, attacked the enemy's infantry with the lance, and then retired while the enemy swarmed out of hidden ground, and formed an excellent target for the Royal Artillery guns. On 13 April Major Wheeler led his squadron to the attack of the North Mound. He was seen far ahead of his men, riding straight for the enemy's standards but was killed in the attack. Awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross for his valour in Mesopotamia in 1915. See the Victoria Cross Reference site for more details and picture.

[SUB] LT [P] Henry Robert Anthony Cheyne BERKELEY [RNVR]

This is not a separate memorial. His grandmother Mrs Bromley gave the display case for the Second World War Memorial Book in his memory. Sub Lt Berkeley's father, Captain Reginald Berkeley MC MP (OBM) had unveiled the First World War memorial.

Henry Robert Anthony Cheyne BERKELEY, Sub-Lieutenant, 0/6050, His Majesty's Motor Torpedo Boat (HMMTB) 417, Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserve who died on Thursday, 16th March 1944. Age 21. Son of Reginald Cheyne Berkeley and Gwendoline Judith Louise Berkeley. Buried in Coxyde Military Cemetery, Koksijde, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium. Grave V. H. 1.

Background

All (except Simcox and the clock) were brought from the old BMS site to the present one in 1974. Dr Muncaster, Head of History, wrote an article on 'BMS in Uniform' for the 1999 edition of The Eagle.

Last updated 6 October, 2006
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