Sun 31 Jul 2022 17:32

Stratford was no different to the rest of the country at the outbreak of the First World War, in a flush of patriotism our young men would rush to enlist in what was widely thought to be a potentially short lived but nevertheless ‘glorious’ conflict. Rugby players in particular, due to their team ethos and physical fitness, were specifically targeted, with large numbers enthusiastically enlisting at the outbreak of war (as can be seen in a recruiting poster from the period). Sadly, as we know, the reality of the conflict was far from the glorious adventure promised and many of our young men tragically lost their lives and failed to return. Ironically, Stratford upon Avon RFC recorded 15 players who didn't return from WW1:

‘The Lost XV’.
• Bailey, Arthur William. Gunner. 15th Battalion, Royal Horse Artillery. Died 02/08/1917, aged 24.

• Berry, Edward Bayes. Lance Sergeant. Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Died 23/09/1916, aged 32.

• Bloomer, Arnold Grayson. Lieutenant. Lincolnshire Regiment. Died 03/08/1917, aged 31.

• Bryan, Cecil Clive. Major DSO. Royal Engineers. Died 11/08/1917, aged 42.

• Burke, Thomas Campbell. Captain. 1st King George’s Ghurkha Rifles. Died 19/12/1914, aged 37.

• Hands, William Henry. Private Norfolk Regiment. Died 08/06/1918, aged 31.

• Hitchman, Frank Percival. Private. Royal Warwickshire Regiment. Died 06/10/1917, aged 22.

• Kinman, William Norman. Sergeant. MM & Bar. Royal Horse Artillery. Died 20/02/1918, aged 30.

• Lambert, Jack Dunlop. Private. Canadian Infantry. Died 07/09/1916, aged 28.

• Morgan, Leopold Cecil. Rifleman. New Zealand Rifle Brigade. Died 07/06/1917, aged 33.

• Mullaly, Charles Mylne. Captain. 2nd King Edward’s Own Ghurkha Rifles. Died 09/05/1915, aged 30.

• O'Callaghan, Duncan McKay MacDonald. Lieutenant. Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry. Died 15/03/1915, aged 23.

• Smith, Alfred Bennett. Q Sergeant. Royal Horse Artillery. Died 14/08/1914, aged 38.

• Thompson, Patrick Stapler. Lieutenant. MC. Royal Engineers. Died 27/04/1917, aged 32.

• Wilson, Harry Bernard. Lieutenant. Royal Air Force. Died 15/08/1918, aged 26.