REMEMBRANCE DISPATCH NO. 12 HAS BEEN POSTED IN HOUSES TO COMMEMORATE HAROLD BLAKENEY DAVIES (SCHOOL HOUSE 1909-1911) WHO WAS KILLED IN ACTION ON THE YPRES SALIENT ON 23RD APRIL 1916
Harold joined School House in January 1909, having previously attended Mill Hill School. At school he was a popular character and very much an all-rounder. He was in the Cricket XIs of 1909, 1910 and 1911 and played with great success in the XVs of 1909 and 1910. In 1911 he captained the Hockey XI. He was also a long distance runner of some merit, winning the senior steeplechase in record time in 1911 and carrying off the senior Challenge Cup in the same year.
He took up a place at Keble College in the autumn of 1911, where he won “distinction and popularity”. He played cricket, tennis, and rugby football for his college. In the summer of 1914 Harold took Honours in his Modern History finals and decided to prepare for Holy orders.
Though he was known to have felt a strong dislike for war and militarism, he “at once obeyed the call of duty and joined the officers’ training Corps”. He was commissioned into the 3rd Battalion (Reserve), West Yorkshire Regiment, and attached to the 1st Battalion which was seeing heavy action on the Ypres salient. On 23rd April 1916 he moved up to the front line for the first time and was killed less than an hour after arriving at the Front.
Second Lieutenant Harold Blakeney Davies is buried at Essex Farm Cemetery, just a few yards from C P Hazard (School House 1904-1907) who had been killed just a few days before. Harold’s grave is visited each year by Year 9 pupils from Christ College, who lay a wreath in remembrance. H B Davies is remembered on the War Memorial at Keble College, Oxford as well as on the War Memorial at Christ College.
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