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Posted: 29.01.16

Christ College Remembers – Driver Reginald Somers Yorke

REMEMBRANCE DISPATCH NO. 8 HAS BEEN POSTED IN HOUSES TO COMMEMORATE REGINALD SOMERS YORKE (SCHOOL HOUSE 18-65 – 1867) WHO DIED WHILST IN GOVERNMENT SERVICE ON 29TH JANUARY 1916. ON THE CENTENARY OF DRIVER YORKE’S DEATH THE CHAPEL BELL WAS RUNG IN REMEMBRANCE.

Reginald Somers Yorke was born on 10th June 1854, the son of Captain James Charles Yorke of the 5th Dragoon Guards. He entered Christ College from Newcastle Emlyn in 1865 and left two years later, moving to Tonbridge School (1867-1872) from where he won the Judd Exhibition Scholarship at St Catherine’s College, Cambridge.

For many years Reginald served in the Chinese Imperial Customs Service but returned home to live at Scethrog near Brecon around 1907. A popular “Old Boy of the old regime” of the previous century, he took a great deal of interest in his old school. He presided as Senior Steward at the Old Breconians’ Annual Dinner in Brecon in December 1908, proposing the toast “The School: may it live long and prosper well”.

He was too old for military service in the First World War but, “being an ardent motorist”, Reginald volunteered as a driver for “Government purposes”. Coming from a family with a long history of dedicated military service, and being a former Civil Servant himself, it is likely that Reginald would have been tasked with carrying sensitive documents as well as important passengers who required anonymity. It was while engaged in this work that he contracted pneumonia. He died on 29th January 1916.

Although he is not listed on the Memorial tablet in the ante-chapel, Driver Reginald Somers Yorke has been added to the Roll of Honour because he died while in the service of his country during the First World War.

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