World War I

Old Mulgravians’ War Memorial

The Old Mulgravians’ War Memorial, a stained-glass window in Lady Chapel of  St Oswald’s Church, Lythe near Whitby, was unveiled on 28 Mar 1920. Noel Downing was among the former pupils of the Mulgrave Castle School who together with the headmaster Lord Normanby contributed in honouring their fallen friends. The surviving correspondence below includes 2 letters – a letter of appeal and a detailed description of the Memorial on its completion. The list would indicate that about 20 per cent of all the school pupils were killed. Continue reading →
Last updated on 27 October 2018 by E Morgan

Rev Thomas Henley Flynn

Tom Flynn was born in Falmouth on 11 Jan 1889 the son of Rev Canon John Stephen Flynn. He attended Harrow School and Corpus Christi College, Oxford, matriculating in 1908. He was a life long friend of Noel Downing who was a contemporary of him at both Harrow and Oxford.  Continue reading →
Last updated on 7 February 2020 by JJ Morgan

The Pow-Wow: Unofficial Journal of U.P.S. Brigade

The Pow-Wow as defined by its creators was The Unofficial Journal of the Universities and Public Schools  (U.P.S.) Brigade (118th and later 98th). The intention was both to chronicle training in Epsom, Ashtead, Leatherhead, Woodcote, Clipstone and Tidworth and to amuse “two or  three thousand members of the Brigade for a few minutes each Friday”. Noel Downing treasured a complete set of 38 numbers issued from 18 Nov 1914 to 3 Sep 1915. Continue reading →
Last updated on 17 January 2019 by E Morgan

Balfour Anthony Trotter

Balfour Anthony Trotter was born on 12 Jan 1888, the son of a solicitor. He went to Harrow School 1902-1907 and matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford in 1907 the same year as Noel Downing. The two were life long friends. Continue reading →
Last updated on 14 February 2021 by JJ Morgan

21st Battalion (4th Public Schools) Royal Fusiliers

Shortly after the outbreak of the First World War, Noel Downing enlisted and joined the 21st Battalion (4th Public Schools) Royal Fusiliers. In early Oct 1914 he arrived in Ashtead, Surrey where he was billeted. Noel kept a series of postcards that illustrate the new recruits’ arrival and early training and the construction of a vast encampment of huts in Woodcote Park, Epsom. Continue reading →
Last updated on 23 July 2023 by E Morgan

Wilmot Evans’ Service Records, 1909-1916

This is a timeline of Wilmot Evans‘ military career. He was commissioned into the South Staffordshire Regiment at the age of 19. He served in Gibraltar and South Africa during peacetime and fought on the battlefields on the Western Front during the First World War until he was killed at the age of 25. Continue reading →
Last updated on 18 July 2020 by E Morgan

Joseph Dezitter’s Pictures of Bergues

During the First World War, Joseph Dezitter (1883-1957), a Flemish artist, was mobilised and participated in the Belgian campaign where he was seriously wounded in 1914. After recovering he joined the ambulance auxiliary services in Northern France. Travelling between military hospitals, he took the opportunity to paint the places he visited. Continue reading →
Last updated on 4 October 2019 by E Morgan

Friends’ Ambulance Unit, Dunkirk

The Quakers ran the Friends’ Ambulance Unit including the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Dunkirk for most of the duration of the First World War. One of its purposes was  that members of the Society of Friends should be able to carry out their patriotic duty without having to serve in the Military on conscientious grounds. However, it also recruited from beyond the Quaker community. Continue reading →
Last updated on 23 June 2023 by JJ Morgan

Noel Downing to Mother Letter, Mar 1915

This is the only war letter that has survived written by Noel Downing to his mother Hannah Pitt Downing.   It has no date but it seems to recount his early experiences at Ashtead as a private with the Royal Fusiliers and that would make it most probably around Mar 1915. It would seem to post date the other letter address-headed Ashtead to his sister Mary as the Public School boys are being moved from billets (like Mrs Drew) into the new camp.  Continue reading →
Last updated on 14 October 2018 by JJ Morgan

Ladas Lewis Hassell

Ladas Lewis Hassell was a fellow officer and good friend of Wilmot Evans in Jersey throughout May 1915 to early 1916. Lieutenant Hassell was born in Kent in 1894 and joined the army via the Jersey Militia. Continue reading →
Last updated on 16 January 2019 by JJ Morgan

Richard Hellier Agard Evans

Richard Hellier Agard Evans, known as Hellier, was born on 19 Jan 1898 in Saxony, Germany, the son of Ernest Agard Evans and Jean Playfair Gow-Gregor. He was a great grandson of Richard Evans and Mary Shaw-Hellier. He is recorded as being at boarding school in Clifton in Bristol in the 1911 census. His only brother Archibald Agard Evans was born in 1906. Continue reading →
Last updated on 8 February 2021 by JJ Morgan