Old Boys who fell in the 2 World War
Eric Arnold (1931-7 Army)
Peter G Campion (1923-33 Army)
John A Chapman (1927-32, Navy)
John A C Clarke (1936-9 RAF)
Stanley R Colbert (1934 – 8 RAF)
Colin D P Cuthbert 1929-36 Army)
Sidney C M Dicker (1922-8 Army)
Richard F Gower (1926-9 RAF)
Gordon H Gudgeon (1927-32 Army)
Edward G C Holbrook (1922-5) Navy,
Bernard Howe (1930-37 RAF)
Charles R Jarratt (1930-9 RAF)
Peter M Jennings (1927-32 RAF)
Herbert E Jones (1931-34 Army)
Henry William Little
Vivian Lower (1922 – 9 RAF)
Alexander F McDonald (1933-7 Navy)
Hugh C J McRae (1918-23 Navy)
Douglas B Neale (1932-6 RAF)
Herbert J Ody (1928 – 31 RAF
Thomas H Parrott (1929 – 33 RAF)
John B Philips (1931-6 RAF)
Sidney J Plater (1925 – 31 RAF)
Douglas Rolfe (1931-7 RAF)
Kenneth Sellwood (1937 – 41 Army)
Alkyne R P Shields (1939-41 RAF)
Gordon Smith (1934-8 Army)
Derek E Teden (1925 – 30 RAF)
J G Wadmore (1927 – 32) RAF
Joseph A Wicks (1931-4 Army),
Hereford Wagner (Civilian PoW)
Frank Wood (1931-39 RAF)
We are currently developing this page and gradually adding obituaries for each of the fallen and so all entries are currently WiP.
(Please note that if a forebear is listed here, their name is read out in an Act of Commemoration every November. You are welcome to attend this event which is held at St Mary’s Church, Thame. Please contact us via this email for more details.)
Sydney C Maskell Dicker
After taking a BSc at Reading University, he became a science master at Deal Central School. He was also a keen Scouter and was a Group Scoutmaster.
He was commissioned as 100923 Captain Charles Maskell-Dicker and served with the 5th Btn Wiltshire Regiment. He is buried at the St Manvieu War Cemetery, Calvados, France having been killed on 24 July 1944.
Peter G Campion
News of Peter Campion was sent to the school in 1942 by his cousin D R Steel who had also been at the school. His letter said, ‘My cousin Peter had been in the Middle East since January 1940 and had been through the previous march of Benghazi and then back to Tobruk where he remained throughout the siege.’
John A C Clarke
He was reported missing from an operation over Stuttgart in October 1944.
Gordon Halliday Gudgeon
Gordon Gudgeon was born in Hendon, Middlesex in 1916 to parents Henry Halliday Gudgeon, L.D.S. R.C.S., and Daisy Caroline Gudgeon (nee Morris).
A keen cricketer he played for the 1st XI: he was described as “a steady left-hander, who with added experience, will make a reliable batsmen’ and was in the Old Tamensians Rugby XV in 1936.
In December 1940 Gordon was commissioned into the Kings Royal Rifle Corps.
On 12 October 1941, he visited the school when a 2 Lieut. as he was in Oxford for some months undergoing training as a liaison officer.
The Fusiliers formed part of the 8th Army, serving in North Africa and on into Italy. Gordon was attached to the East Surrey Regiment and fought at Monte Cassino in May 1944 before he was killed in an engagement at Lake Trasime taking the Trasime Line.
He died on 7th June 1944 age 28 and is buried in Rome War Cemetery, Rome, Italy.
His father had died in 1938 but his mother died in 1968.
Richard Francis Gower
Son of Herbert and Ethel Gower of Cromer, Norfolk. Born in Bourne, Lincs in 1916. Admitted to LWGS as a day boy in September 1926 placed in Form II. Left in July 1929. In 1938 he joined the RAF on a Short Service Commission as 40693 Pilot Officer Richard Francis Gower of the 49 Squadron RAF. Died 11 August 1940 aged 24 when his Handley Page Hampden that had taken off from RAF Scampton was shot down over Dortmund while on a bombing mission. All four crew members were killed:
Pilot:P/O 40693 Richard Francis Gower 24 RAF killed.
Nav:A/Gnr:77934 P/O Edwin Arthur Harris 29 RAFVR killed.
Obs:Sgt 581137 Alfred James Baum RAF killed.
Wop:A/Gnr:Sgt 751725 Percy William Norman Jelley RAFVR killed.
Edward G C Holbrook
In 1938 he was an actor manager at Sadlers Wells, and in 1939 he was married in London.
The following appeared in the January 1942 edition of the Tamensian magazine. ‘G C Holbrook dictates to his typist at DTM (LIS) – whatever that may mean – Admiralty on Nov 28 1941. So secret his is work there that he gives no news at all of himself, except that he gets ‘shot away on jobs at literally a moments notice and with usually no time to do more than a phone call.’ He was serving as a Lieutenant RNVR.
He died on 2 November 1943 in an explosion on HMS Cormorant off Naples, Italy.
Pilot Officer P M Jennings
Crashed in a bomber before reaching the Continent and was buried in Little Milton on 26 Feb 1944. He had volunteered for the RAF in October 1939 and on completing his training in Canada, served in Bomber Command. He was commissioned in October 1943. He had completed more than twenty trips over Germany, and was awarded the 1939-44 star. He leaves a widow.
Henry William Little
1027322 Sergeant Henry William Little, Royal Air Force VR 70 Sqn. Died 23 March 1943 and commemorated at the
Alamein Memorial, Alamein, Egypt. Henry played in the First XI where it was noted, ‘Played for his good slow bowling. Kept a very accurate length and had a natural body swerve. Somewhat lackadaisical in the field.’
F/O V Lower
Initially reported ‘missing believed killed’ in operations over the Bay of Biscay it was subsequently learned that he died with the rest of his crew on a Liberator on 2 September 1943. He joined the RAF and was trained in the UK, then in Miami and finally in Canada. On various operations he twice had to bale out and on the second occasion he spent 13 hours in a dinghy with six other people. He died off Cape Finisterre.
Hugh Charles James McRae
Hugh was born 29 November 1909, the only son of Sir Charles James Hugh McRae, Kt, JP, and Lady Edith Sophia McRae (nee Farnie). He had one sister Marjorie. When growing-up the family home was Nideen, Flower Lane, Hendon in the London Borough of Barnet. In 1936 his father Charles was Sheriff of the City of London.
Hugh joined the school in 1918. In 1921, he won a the Easter Holiday Reading Prize (Junior) and the Form IV English Prize. In 1922 and 1923, he won further reading and recitation prizes.
However, he did not figure in the sports records at all (rugby, cricket, swimming etc) other than when became third in the cricket ball throwing event in 1923.
Hugh joined the Navy after LWGS as an officer cadet and, in 1926, had distinguished himself to win the Kings Gold Medal while training at HMS Worcester. This was presented to him by the Duke of York in a ceremony on 8 September 1926
He was appointed a Midshipman in 1927.
17.09.1926 entered RN as a cadet
01.09.1927- 08.1929 HMS Emperor of India (battleship) (Atlantic)
02.01.1930- 041930 promotion course, RN College, Greenwich [HMS President]
11.08.1930-1931 promotion course, Portsmouth
13.04.1931- 09.1932 HMS Wessex (destroyer) (Home Fleet and promoted to Lieutenant.)
03.02.1933- 07.1935 HMS Despatch (cruiser) (Mediterranean)
07.02.1936- 02.1938 First Lieutenant, HMS Cockchafer (River gunboat China)
He married Frances Mary Mason in 1935 and they set-up their family home at Airandene, Wise Lane, Mill Hill, Middlesex. However when Hugh was stationed in China in 1936, Frances moved there too albeit having to sail on a commercial liner – the Perseus – that departed Liverpool in September 1936. A daughter Jean was born in Shanghai in 1937.
After serving in China for two years, Hugh returned to the UK and joined the destroyer HMS Grafton in July 1938. The Grafton was assigned to the 1st Destroyer Flotilla in the Mediterranean Fleet and his wife and daughter set up home in Malta in January 1939. The Grafton was refitting in Malta when World War II began in September 1939
At the evacuation of Dunkirk, Lt McRae was second in command on the Grafton which was part of the 1st Flotilla.. During the Siege of Calais, Grafton had escorted the light cruisers Arethusa and Galatea as they provided naval gunfire support for the 30th Motor Brigade on 26 May. The following day she evacuated over 1,600 troops from the beaches of La Panne and Bray, northeast of Dunkirk. On the morning of 29 May, she stopped to rescue survivors from the destroyer Wakeful, which had been torpedoed and sunk earlier that morning by the German E-boat S-30. While rescuing survivors from Wakeful off Nieuwpoort, Belgium, Grafton was struck in the stern by a torpedo from the German submarine U-62. This seriously damaged the ship, and also triggered a secondary explosion which damaged the bridge, killing the captain and another officer. 13 ratings and the Canteen Manager were also killed. The ship’s back was broken, but she remained afloat long enough for all survivors (including McRae) to be rescued by the destroyer Ivanhoe and the transport Malines. Ivanhoe sank Grafton with naval gunfire, as she was too badly damaged to be towed to safety.
Sadly, there was a tragedy that was all part of the sinking of the Grafton.
On 1 August 1940 McRae was promoted to Lt Commander.
He died 14 December 1940 when commanding the French torpedo boat Branlebas, which was lost in a storm, 25 miles south-west of Eddystone. Almost the entire ship’s crew were lost – bar three survivors (1 Briton Wilfred Sealey and 2 Frenchmen):
ARKLAY, George, Chief Petty Officer Stoker, P/7046, MPK
BALLS, Edgar C, Ty/Act/Gunner (T), MPK
BARROW, Stanley, Able Seaman, P/SSX 25271, MPK
BARRY, Patrick, Act/Stoker Petty Officer, P/K 61230, MPK
BATCHELOR, William H, Stoker, RFR, P/SS 123085, MPK
BEVAN, Eldred I, Able Seaman, P/SSX 19020, MPK
BLINKHORN, Walter J, Stoker 2c, P/KX 104402, MPK
BOX, Ernest, Able Seaman, P/JX 140444, MPK
BROWN, Cyprian P, Able Seaman, P/J 15442, MPK
BURNSIDE, John, Stoker 1c, P/KX 89585, MPK
BUTLER, Patrick, Stoker 2c, P/JX 201430, MPK
CAMERON, William R, Able Seaman, P/SSX 20541, MPK
CARRAHER, Walter G E, Stoker 1c, P/K 60353, MPK
CARTER, George E, Sick Berth Attendant, P/MX 59537, MPK
CLARKE, Philip J, Yeoman of Signals, P/JX 129290, MPK
COLLAS, George, Motor Mechanic, P/MX 72192, MPK
CONROY, John, Stoker 2c, P/KX 104425, MPK
COULSON, William, Able Seaman, P/SSX 30162, MPK
CUNNINGHAM, Andrew G, Petty Officer, P/ESD 12/80, MPK
CUNNINGHAM, Andrew G, Petty Officer, RNVR, P/ESD/80, MPK
CUSA, Arthur W, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 217437, MPK
DANCE, Joseph E, Stoker 1c, RFR, P/K 64751, MPK
DENNIS, Reginald L, Act/Leading Seaman, P/JX 132696, MPK
DOLLERY, Albert G, Act/Stoker Petty Officer, P/KX 80017, MPK
DOWLING, Kenneth H, Engine Room Artificer 3c, P/MX 48551, MPK
DOWSE, Vernon C, Ordinary Telegraphist, P/JX 202432, MPK
DRAYSON, Albert C, Able Seaman, P/JX 141275, MPK
DYER, Charles J, Assistant Steward, P/LX 24122, MPK
EARL, Gordon B P, Engine Room Artificer 4c, P/MX 58506, MPK
EDWARDS, Albert W, Petty Officer, P/J 102808, MPK
FAIRBURN, Royden F, Chief Engine Room Artificer, P/M 27335, MPK
FLOATE, Vivian F H, Leading Supply Assistant, P/MX 56362, MPK
FOWLER, William H, Able Seaman, P/JX 144792, MPK
FROGGATT, Alfred, Able Seaman, P/SSX 30655, MPK
GARDNER, Norman, Act/Petty Officer, P/JX 127590, MPK
GLOAG, John, Assistant Steward, P/LX 24286, MPK
GRAHAM, Albert C, Stoker Petty Officer, P/K 66286, MPK
GRAVOUIE, Kleber V F, Engine Room Artificer 5c, P/MX 71618, MPK
GREEN, Lionel, Ordinary Signalman, RNVR, P/SD/X 1028, MPK
GREENFIELD, James, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 190491, MPK
GROVES, David, Able Seaman, P/J 110459, MPK
GUILE, Stanley H, Chief Petty Officer Stoker, P/K 62905, MPK
HAMER, Richard, Stoker 2c, P/KX 104460, MPK
HARE, Rupert S, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 217649, MPK
HAY, John, Act/Leading Seaman, P/JX 131209, MPK
HOBBS, John S, Stoker 1c, P/KX 84009, MPK
HODGSON, Sydney G, Commissioned Engineer, MPK
HORNIGOLD, John C, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 190594, MPK
HUNT, William T, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 188846, MPK
HURDEN, James A, Able Seaman, P/SSX 20573, MPK
JACKSON, John E, Stoker 2c, P/KX 104731, MPK
JACOBS, Robert C, Act/Engine Room Artificer 5c, P/MX 61680, MPK
KEEBLE, Geoffrey L, Sub Lieutenant, MPK
KELLY, Martin J E, Leading Seaman, P/JX 125357, MPK
KIDD, Gerald G, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 190597, MPK
KING-WOOD, Edward J, Lieutenant, RNVR, MPK
KIRK, Gilbert G, Cook (O), P/MX 56685, MPK
KNOX, Alexander, Able Seaman, P/SSX 24375, MPK
LANGSTAFF, Sydney, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 201467, MPK
LIKELY, Herbert H, Able Seaman, P/JX 145836, MPK
LILLYWHITE, William H C, Able Seaman, P/J 11860, MPK
LOWES, Joseph A B, Stoker Petty Officer, P/KX 84019, MPK
LUXFORD, William G, Act/Leading Stoker, P/KX 83427, MPK
MACKAY, Angus S, Signalman, P/JX 155665, MPK
MARSH, William, Stoker 1c, P/KX 82805, MPK
MARTINEZ, Pedro, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 225906, MPK
MAXWELL, Adam B, Able Seaman, P/SSX 25151, MPK
MCBRIDE, William C, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 217275, MPK
MCGINLAY, James, Stoker 1c, P/KX 88122, MPK
MCGRATH, William, Stoker 2c, P/KX 104624, MPK
MCRAE, Hugh C J, Lieutenant Commander, MPK
MILAM, Leslie H N, Act/Stoker Petty Officer, P/KX 80938, MPK
MORGAN, Joseph V, Act/Leading Stoker, P/KX 84097, MPK
MOUZER, Charles, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 190603, MPK
NEW, William J, Leading Steward, P/LX 21469, MPK
PARKER, Charles E, Stoker 1c, RFR, P/K 58664, MPK
PERSCHKY, William H, Able Seaman, P/JX 182279, MPK
PETERS, Leslie G, Ordinary Telegraphist, P/SSX 31642, MPK
PICTON, Alfred W, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 194485, MPK
PLATER, Patrick, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 217383, MPK
POUNDS, George S, Chief Petty Officer, P/J 6267, MPK
RANSOM, Frederick J, Leading Cook, P/MX 50641, MPK
RICHARDSON, James, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 190739, MPK
ROSE, William A, Ordinary Seaman, C/JX 190621, MPK
SMITH, Edward C, Telegraphist, P/SSX 26959, MPK
SMITH, Joseph E, Act/Leading Stoker, P/KX 86648, MPK
SMITH, Ralph G L, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 189202, MPK
SPIERS, Josiah, Signalman, P/SSX 20173, MPK
STANSBIE, Vincent T, Stoker 1c, P/KX 91078, MPK
STEAD, Harry, Act/Stoker Petty Officer, P/KX 76610, MPK
STONER, Frank, Stoker Petty Officer, P/K 59721, MPK
SWAN, Paul, Able Seaman, P/JX 225916, MPK
TURTON, Percy A, Ordinary Seaman, P/JX 188977, MPK
USHER, James, Stoker, RFR, P/SS 120585, MPK
VARNDELL, William H, Stoker 1c, P/KX 85428, MPK
VOKES, Frederick J, Chief Petty Officer Stoker, P/K 28596, MPK
WARNER, Andrew, Leading Seaman, P/JX 225941, MPK
WHEELER, Joseph, Petty Officer, P/J 9422, MPK
WHITELEY, John H, Stoker 1c, P/K 59429, MPK
WHITING, Ernest H, Act/Leading Seaman, P/JX 133244, MPK
WYATT, Frederick W, Telegraphist, P/JX 198311311, MPK
The Branlebas was a La Melpomene Class Torpedo Boat that had been seized or requisitioned a few months earlier. It was noted at the time that they were built overweight and lacked stability but this was less of an issue when they served in the Med, which was their original postings during the 1930s. Clearly they were unsuited to conditions in the English Channel.
The War Cabinet Weekly Resume held at the National Archives says ‘The British-manned French torpedo-boat Branlebas apparently broke her back and foundered off the Lizard in heavy weather while escorting a convov to Dartmouth on the 14th December. 3 survivors were picked-up.’
Online records say that at 0900 hours on the 14th Dec a heavy-head sea caused her to break her back at the after end of the engine room. The stern section separated, turned over and sank immediately. Another witness apparently said there was a raging storm, the ship rolled and went down bow first in a very short space of time.
The three survivors were rescued from a life raft four days later. The English survivor was Wilfred Sealey a telegraphist. His watch had stopped at 9.15 am.
Hugh McRae was 31 when he died and he is commemorated at the Portsmouth Naval Memorial, Southsea, Hampshire, United Kingdom. In the death notice placed in the press, his wife recorded that he ‘radiated happiness to all.’
In his will, Hugh left £1226 to his wife, daughter and father. At some time thereafter his father and mother moved into the house at Mill Hill and when his father died in 1951, he left £134,500 to the family. In the 1950s, the family (Edith Frances and Jean) moved to Whitefriars, The Close, Totteridge. Hugh’s daughter Jean married Ian Jones in 1962. Hugh’s widow Frances died in 1997.
Douglas B Neale
Douglas visited the school on 18 October 1941 on his way back to his RAF station from Wycombe, where he had just been fined by the magistrates for speeding. He was then a flying instructor, and his own instructor had been a Tamensian, P L Parrott.
Thomas Hayward Parrott
Flying Officer Parrott was in Bomber Command and was the first OT reported killed when he died in 1940.
He was the son of Francis Hayward Parrott and Evaline Mary (or Mary Evaline) Parrott (nee Monnickendam), who were married in 1917. Thomas spent his early years at the family home, The Camp, Little Kimble, near Princes Risborough. He was admitted to LWGS as a boarder in September 1929, placed in Form III and in Hampden House, and left July 1933 from Form V. Of no more than average academic ability. Passed School Certificate in July 1933 but won no prizes for work. Quite a good sportsman, especially in Rugby. Played ‘ a very good game’ at scrum half in the inter-house competition 1931. Played in 1st XV and awarded colours 1932. 1933 Secretary of Rugby. Report in Tamensian 1933 describes him as vastly improved but his passing rather wild. Awarded House Colours 1931. In Cricket XI 1933 described as ‘steady batsman but nearly always late on the ball. Fairly good field apart from his throw in’. Third in High Jump spring 1933. Joint House Captain 1932-3. In his last term his housemaster wrote of him. “[He] will probably leave in this term much to our regret. His modesty, good nature, skill and courage at games, particular Rugger, have made him deservedly popular.”
He joined the RAF in 1936 and was Gazetted as an Acting Pilot Officer in August of that year. When War broke out he was transferred to 77 Squadron as a Flying Officer based at RAF Driffield. On 19/20 March he took part in the first attack on an enemy land target (Hornum, on the island of Sylt); on 11/12 May he took part in the first big attack on the German mainland (the exits of Mönchengladbach). On the second night of this mission, 12 May, he took off once again from RAF Driffield in his Armstrong Whitworh Whitely Mark V but his plane was shot down close to the the city, four of the crew died but one survived and was captured and spent the war as a PoW. Details:
Type: Whitley Mk.V
Serial number: N1366, KN-?
Flying Officer (Pilot) Thomas. H. Parrott, RAF 39112, 77 Sqdn., age unknown, 12/05/1940, Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, D
F/O D. Blew PoW. Blew was interned in Camp L3. PoW No.594. F/O D. Blew has also been spelled as F/O D. Blue.
Sergeant (Obs.) Thomas T. Atchison, RAF 580497, 77 Sqdn., age 23, 12/05/1940, Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, D
Leading Aircraftman (W. Op.) Terence Poad, RAF 551624, 77 Sqdn., age 19, 12/05/1940, Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, D
Aircraftman 2nd Class (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Tudno Jones, RAF 624943, 77 Sqdn., age 20, 12/05/1940, Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, D
Airborne 2025 11May40 from Driffield. Crashed near Mönchengladbach, Germany. This was the first bomber to crash inside Germany while carrying out a bombing operation on a mainland target.
Between the outbreak of war in 1939 and the end of December 1940 77 Squadron lost 27 aircraft on operations, of which 2 crashed on return and 2 ditched. The casualties were 92 aircrew killed or missing believed dead and 21 taken prisoners of war. Near the end of this period Berlin was attacked on several occasions and Turin twice, the latter target was at the extreme range for Whitley aircraft. Five aircraft were lost in the raids on Berlin.
Sydney J Plater
Was a Sergeant-observer in the RAF. His younger brother J R Plater who was working in a bank had also joined the RAF as an observer.
Kenneth was the son of William John Sellwood and he had been brought up in Tetsworth. Killed in action in France on 6 August 1944, he was a Lance-Corporal serving in the 10 Battalion, Highland Light Infantry (City of Glasgow Regiment) and only 18. Although a Scottish Regiment the Highland Light Infantry had less than half Scots in its ranks. In the cemetery at St Charles de Percy where Kenneth is buried there are ten burials from his battalion: five from Oxon/Bucks and only three from Scotland.
The HLI were part of the 15th Division which landed in Normandy a few days after D-Day and progressed through northern France. Kenneth died in the major thrust made from Caumont l’Evente towards Vire, to drive a wedge between the German 7th Army and the Panzer Group West.
In the announcement of his death in the Thame Gazette, the following was written:
He rests now with the brave,
His young life he gave
For France and for his country,
Besides being commemorated in the school, his name can be found on the War Memorial at Tetsworth.
A R P Shields
Flying Officer Shields was first reported missing on 9 November 1944.
G E Smith
Taken prisoner in Africa and was ‘killed on ship’ while being transferred to Italy. He was a gunner in the Artillery. His brother H J Smith was a Sergeant in the RAF and wireless operator and survived the War.
(Much of this comes with kind permission of the Rugby History Society).
Derek Edmund Teden was born in Highgate, London on July 19th 1916, the son of Frank and Zilla Teden. Educated first at Lord Williams School for five years (1925 – 30) and second at Taunton School. He came to the school along with his younger brother B L Teden.
Before Derek left the school he played once in the 1st XV against Oxford Municipal School (LWS won 51-3), the school magazine noting ‘it was unfortunate that none of the second XV games could be played as there were a number of promising players among the younger boys. Teden i. who played once in the first XV., as a three-quarter, was very plucky and had a good idea of the game.’
(At LWS it is recorded that the younger Teden ii won the U13 High Jump with a height of 3ft 11ins and the Long Jump with a distance of 12ft 11ins. He was also a strong swimmer coming first in ‘Style’ and 2nd in the 60 years. For his athletic and swimming prowess he was awarded House Colours.)
In the 6 Form at Taunton D E Teden apparently did not show the promise on the rugby pitch that he was eventually to fulfil (and which had been noted at LWGS) and could not find a steady place in the school fifteen. After completing his studies Teden continued his association with the school turning out for the Old Tauntonians side and it was here that he was discovered by Richmond in a match between the two teams. A live wire prop Teden was invited to move his allegiance to the more prestigious London club where his form soon began to move him through both the ranks of the Richmond club and those of English rugby. By 1937 Teden was playing for Middlesex and was further selected as a reserve for England ’s match against Ireland. He also came to the attention of the Barbarians’ selectors and pulled on the famous black and white hoops for the first time during the Mobbs Memorial match, losing to the East Midlands by 13-3 on 4 March 1937.
It was to be a further two seasons before Teden eventually made his breakthrough into the full England side, but finally on 21 January 1939 he received the call from the English selectors to take on Wales at Twickenham. Played in a sea of mud the treacherous conditions defeated the Welsh backs in a match that was to be decided by the opposing packs. The Welsh made a great battle of the game but were comprehensively outplayed upfront. England had most of the play and it was generally accepted that in better conditions would have won by a far greater margin than the final three points to nil score line suggested. For Teden it was to be a dream start to his international career, scoring the only try of the match and as the Times put it, “what greater honour could have befallen a new front row man like D. E. Teden than to join in such a scrummaging triumph.”
After such a debut Teden’s place in the England side was never in doubt and he was to play in both of the remaining matches of the season. Returning to Twickenham, just down the road from Teden’s own Richmond club, on February 11th England next took on the Irish. This was England ’s fiftieth match at the Twickenham stadium, but unfortunately there were to be few celebrations by the home side in its wake. The Irish, with a better balanced team that was both agile and canny, outplayed an English side that was quite simply not good enough on the day. The English pack, generally regarded as the best out of the four home unions, had trouble holding its own, whilst their backs folded under the pressure that they faced. Teden himself had a good game tackling well and having another try disallowed, but in the final analysis Ireland were worthy of their five points to nil victory.
England ’s final match of the 1939 campaign involved travelling to Murrayfield to take on Scotland , the previous season’s champions, on March 18th. Rain before play was expected to favor the English, although few expected the complete ascendancy that their pack were to show as they overcame the debacle of the Ireland match. Such was their hold on the game that the Scottish backs were hardly to see the ball during the encounter, although this was offset by the general underperformance the opposing English back line. Despite their dominance throughout the match the English pack seemed content to pass the ball to their backs, who continually squandered their chances, rather than play it themselves and at the end of play England’s eventual nine point to six victory was thanks to a number of successful kicks rather than the tries that should probably have been scored. Non the less England took the Calcutta Cup and managed to claw back a share of the championship title, sharing this honor with both Wales and Ireland and leaving Scotland to face the ignominy of the wooden spoon. The following month Teden again joined the Barbarians, this time for their Easter tour to Wales, beating Cardiff by eleven points to six on April 8th and loosing by twelve points to three two days later. Although he would finish the season with Richmond and would turn out a few times for Rosslyn Park and in charity matches after the outbreak of war, Teden’s all too short rugby career was now essentially over.
Prior to the coming hostilities Teden had developed an interest in flying joining the Royal Auxiliary Air Force and being commissioned as an acting Pilot Officer on 27th October 1938 in number 604 (County of Middlesex) Squadron. He was mobilized along with the rest of the reserve forces as war flared in Europe and by late in 1940 was serving with 206 Squadron. This was a member of the Coastal Command of the Royal Air Force and tasked with maritime reconnaissance and combating the growing threat posed by the German U Boats. On October 15th 1940 Teden, along with the rest of his crew took off in a Lockheed Hudson with orders to carry out a SA5 patrol. This meant flying in a figure of eight pattern over the North Sea and was essentially a reconnaissance mission to give early warning of any seaborne invasion. The operational plan for this mission involved Teden and his crew being on station by 2300, flying two circuits and then returning to their base. Teden, his aircraft and crew were never seen again, and no trace of them was found despite a concerted search over their operational area the following day. Although their fate is unknown and may have been due to mechanical failure rather than enemy action, it was considered most likely by the squadron’s commanding officer that they encountered a German night fighter patrol and were shot down. At the time Derek Teden was just twenty four years old.
Hereward M S Wagner
Hereward was one of three brothers who attended the school. He was the second eldest son (of the four) born in 1889. The other brothers were Edgar (born in 1886), Alwyn (two years younger) and Ethelbert (three years younger and who was killed in the 1 World War.)
Their father Christian was born at Dover in 1848. At some stage he moved to Malaya where he became the Deputy Commissioner Federated States Police Commission. All the children were born in Malay (in the Parak part of the Malay Federated States) but in the late 19 century they returned for a period of time to the UK and in the 1901 census Christian’s occupation is given as deputy commissioner of police and they are living at 4 Woburn Road, Bedford.
Hereward arrived at the school sometime just before 1900. He is mentioned in the school’s terminal lists in the first entry, dated April 1906. He is again mentioned in July and December 06. It is probable that he left in the summer of 1907 around the age of 18. Our conjecture is that Hereward returned to Malay and worked on plantations as he is not in the 1911 Census. If this was the case Hereward returned to England at some stage thereafter as we know that he sailed from London bound for Penang Malaysia on 3 April 1914, and the ship’s record notes his occupation as Rubber Planter, single and aged 25. However in 1916 he married Hilda, and he and his wife had a son born on 6th September 1917. They were stationed on ‘The Dour Estate’ in the Batu Caves District.
In total they had four children: Frank, Hubert, Phyllis and Gurth. They remained in Malay where Hereward ran rubber plantations – although (he travelled back to England on a number of occasions in the 1920s and 30s.) As the 2 World War began the family – bar Hereward – escaped to Perth, Australia. Hereward was captured by the Japanese and interned as a Civilian PoW.
On his release at the end of the War, he first was repatriated to England arriving in October 1945. It is not known whether his family was here (but it is thought not) but eventually he joined his wife in Perth and they lived at 2 St George’s Terrace. He died there on 24 March 1950 aged 60.
In the Tamensian Sep 1952, it is noted that Alwyn W S Wagner (also living in Swan, Western Australia) contributed £100 to the John Hampden fund as his brother had ‘recently’ died ‘resulting from three years in a Japanese POW camp.’ (After leaving Lord Williams’s, Alwyn went up to St John’s College, Oxford before joining the Army at the start of the 1 World War and then the RFC. He died in Australia in 1961.)