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Posted: 28.04.17

Christ College Remembers Second Lieutenant Stephen Wriothesley Best

REMEMBRANCE DISPATCH No. 30 COMMEMORATES SECOND LIEUTENANT STEPEHN WRIOTHESLEY BEST (DAY BOY 1900-1906) WHO WAS KILLED IN ACTION ON 30th APRIL 1917.

Stephen Wriothesley Best followed his older two brothers, Walter and Arthur, to Christ College as a Day Boy in 1900. Academically successful, gaining form prizes Greek and Mathematics, he passed his Higher Certificate examinations before leaving school in 1906.

He went on to gain a civil service appointment in Edinburgh, working as a clerk in the Estate Duty office. In 1912 he began studying law at Edinburgh University and in January 1913 joined the Officers Training Corps. At the outbreak of war Stephen returned home, becoming an ‘officer Cadet’ in the Brecknockshire Battalion, South Wales Borderers and was soon gazetted Second Lieutenant.

Stephen and the Battalion arrived in Aden on 16th December 1916. After a gruelling few months facing the Turks, the Battalion was sent to India. In early 1917 Stephen and his brother, Frank, took 140 men from India to help rebuild the shattered 4th Battalion in Mesopotamia. By 13th February the brothers were in the thick of action in which Frank was killed. Wounded in the heavy shelling at Deltwa in late March, Stephen rejoined his Battalion on 21st April 1917.

At 5am on the morning of 30th April 1917, the 4th Battalion attacked Adhaim Village where Turkish forces were entrenched. Stephen was killed while leading the capture of two Turkish gun batteries. His body, with several of his men, was found close to the gunpits.
Charles W. Best claimed the medals of his three sons on 26th December 1920. Lieutenant Stephen Wriothesley Best is remembered at the Basra Memorial, Iraq. He is the third of the three Best brothers to be remembered on the Christ College War Memorial, a tablet designed by their elder brother, Walter Best.

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