Christ College Remembers ... Major John Kenrick Lloyd Fitzwilliams

Christ College Remembers ... Major John Kenrick Lloyd Fitzwilliams

REMEMBRANCE DISPATCH No. 50 COMMEMORATES MAJOR JOHN KENRICK LLOYD FITZWILLIAMS (CHRIST COLLEGE 1896-1898) WHO WAS KILLED IN ACTION 30TH AUGUST 1918.


John Kenrick Lloyd Fitzwilliams was born at the family home at Cilgwyn, Newcastle Emlyn, Cardiganshire. He was the youngest of ten children (eight boys, two girls). All eight of the Fitzwilliams boys entered military service and four were to die while serving their country before the end of the First World War. William Logie Lloyd Fitzwilliams, one of two old Breconians who died in the Boer War, is memorialized in the Christ College Chapel.

John and Gerard Fitzwilliams joined Christ College in 1896, each having achieved a House scholarship. In 1899 John gained a military scholarship to Dover College. He passed out from the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich in 1904 and began his military career, joining the 139th Battery Royal Horse Artillery. As an able linguist he was sent to Moscow for a year to learn Russian and went to Germany to learn the language, He also served for four years in India.

He arrived in France on 6th November 1914 and sent detailed letters home describing his experiences at the Front. In November 1916 he was awarded the Military Cross, cited as "a gallant and capable battery commander", and promoted to Major. In April 1917 he was wounded and sent home, returning to the war as a propaganda officer on the Eastern Front touring the Front to rally the Russian troops to the Allied cause.

John requested that he be sent back to his unit in France and on 30th August, just two weeks after his arrival, this "very gallant soldier and gentleman" was killed by a German shell in the little wood known as "Bois du Sart", not far from Vimy Ridge and the towns of Arras and Douai, whilst the Allies were pushing on in the Great Advance to Cambrai.

Major John Kenrick Lloyd Fitzwilliams MC is buried at the Vis-en-Artois Cemetery, Haucourt and is remembered on the Christ College War Memorial.