In the space of 3 days from 18-20 March 1916, three Radleians fell.
The first, on 18 March, was Geoffrey Graves, E Social 1907. Originally from Devizes in Wiltshire, he emigrated to Canada after leaving school. He returned to Europe with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, 1st Canadian Mounted Rifles. Commonwealth War Graves Commission describes him as 'Intelligence Officer.' Was he Radley's first spy?
Second, on 19 March, was Mervyn Richardson, D Social 1908. At Radley he was Captain of Boats and went on to row for Leander. He became a friend of Siegfried Sassoon, serving in the same regiment, and is mentioned in Sassoon's autobiography 'Memoirs of a fox-hunting man.' He took part in the Boxing Day football match in 1914.
Third, on 20 March, was Noel Gibbs, A Social 1899. He was a farmer in East Africa. He served as a Trooper with the East African Mounted Rifles and was shot by a sniper at Kahe Road, German East Africa (now Tanzania). In 2013 we were asked to supply his photo to Graham Jones in Tanzania 'custodian of his war medals.'
The photos of the graves of Geoffrey Graves, at Menin Road South, and Mervyn Richardson, at Musgrave Point 110, in France were taken by Nick Bennett and Charlie Barber last summer.
To see who we remember today please click here to visit Radley's WW1 Commemoration.
Photos can be viewed below.
Caption: Geoffrey Graves, E Social 1907
Caption: Mervyn Richardson, D Social 1908
Caption: Noel Gibbs, A Social 1899