New WW2 Sedberghian Casualties Discovered: Appeal for Reminiscences of Family and Friends Who Remember WW2 Casualties
Now that the First World War centenary celebrations have come to an end it seems an appropriate time to reflect on how Sedberghian casualties were commemorated. During WW1 the Sedberghian Magazine devoted a large section of each issue purely to remembering the lives of those who fell. School mates and teachers recorded the academic, sporting and military achievements of the fallen along with anecdotes that brought the characters to life. These rich accounts provided much of the material used in the Pilgrimage biographies and enabled both the school and the OS community to honour our fallen Sedberghians.
Sadly, due in large part to paper shortages during WW2, the fallen of the Second World War were not recorded in the same detail in the contemporary school records. It is hoped that in coming years enough information about all WW2 casualties can be found so that a thorough biography can be written for each of them. As the school records are much less detailed for Second World War casualties, this research will involve gathering information from beyond the school’s own collection. With this in mind the OS Club Chairman has requested that an appeal for information be launched. It is hoped that Sedberghian’s who lost contemporaries during WW2 will contribute reminiscences of the fallen to add to the casualty’s future biographies. Families who lost OS casualties during the conflict are also invited to contribute information about their loved ones, whether it be personal reminiscences or details of their military service.
A full list of the 201 known WW2 casualties can be downloaded by clicking here. This includes three recently discovered casualties uncovered by OS Club Assistant Ben Walkom. None of these three casualities have been recorded on the Cloisters or commemorated in school previously, work is now underway to rectify this.
Flying Officer Anthony Walker (SH 1937 – 39) died in 1945. Walker came to Sedbergh from Caldicott Prep School where he was a member of the school Scout Troop. After his death he was commemorated by the Scouts. Whilst at Sedbergh Walker sang in the school choir. In his final year at school he won the English XX Club Jewel Shooting award at Bisley and was awarded a ‘spoon’ for the best score in a postal shooting match. He joined the Royal Air Force as a Volunteer Reserve. Sadly he was killed aged 21 in an air crash in the Azores.
Lieutenant Douglas Alexander Barlow (SH 1931) was at Sedbergh for less than a year and so few records exist recording his time here. He joined the Royal Army Service Corps and was posted to Egypt where he was killed in 1942 aged 24. He is commemorated at Alamein Memorial.
Acting Major David Lovat Barclay (Hart House 1934 – 35) served with the Royal Marines in Sicily and North Africa before returning to the UK with his battalion in early 1944. As Second in Command of No. 41 Commando he guided men landing on Hermanville-sur-Mer on Sword Beach in Normandy on 6 June 1944, D-Day. Sadly he was killed on the beach by a shell and his body was never recovered. He is remembered on Chatham Naval Memorial. He was 24 years old.
Reminiscences or documents relating to any of the 201 OS WW2 casualties can be sent to the archivist at firstname.lastname@example.org
Katy de la Rivière