Sunday, 11 November 2018

On the morning of Friday 9th November, the entire school body of Brighton College, including staff and pupils from all schools, united at the front quad for a short, but moving service, as we remembered with gratitude all those who have died in the course of war.

November 2018 marks the centenary of the Armistice of 11th November 1918, which ended the First World War. By the Armistice of 1918, 142 Old Brightonians had lost their lives during the conflict. The Armistice would come seven days too late for the last Old Brightonian to be killed in combat, 2nd Lieutenant Herman Grant Oxley (SC. 1906-10). On 4th November 1918 Oxley was involved in an action near the Sambre Canal, South of Catillon, in North East France. Oxley and the men under his command were pinned down against a river, and he was involved in attempting to get them back across to safety, resorting to wading or even swimming across the river. It was in this vulnerable position that Oxley was killed attempting to save the men under his command, one week before the Armistice.

Lieutenant Arthur Cave (HA. 1909-13) too, would not live to see the end of the War, after becoming infected with influenza whilst undergoing pilot training at Marston. Cave died at the Military Hospital at Chatham on 10th November 1918, one day before the Armistice, a victim of the now infamous Spanish Flu epidemic.

Even with the War officially coming to an end on the 11th November, the lives of Old Brightonians were still claimed by it. Gilbert Maurice Parkinson (SC. 1910-13) was also struck down in the influenza epidemic that ravaged Europe in the closing months of the war, dying in Italy shortly after the end of the war, on 14th November 1918. Major Sidney Martin Pearce (SC. 1906-09) would also fall victim to Spanish Flu, passing away on 6th December 1918, his 28th birthday. Another five Old Brightonians were to die in the months and years immediately following the end of the War, many from wounds sustained during their war service.

The stories of the 149 Old Brightonians killed during the First World War can be found on our website, Brighton College Remembers.

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