The College was founded in 1871 by the then Rector, the Reverend George Faithfull, who came to Storrington in the same year. On his arrival to the village, the Rev. Faithful rented out the Rectory, along with other buildings such as The Castle, The Palace, Mount Lodge in Church Street, Byne and Holly Cottage to create accommodation for a new “Cramming School”. He provided private education for boys of fourteen years of age and upwards to help obtain commissions in the army, entry into the civil service or university.
In 1871 the purchase of officer commissions in the British Army was abolished as part of the Cardwell Reforms. The practice of commission purchase within the cavalry and infantry had started during the reign of Charles II for those with wealth and influence and it played a major part in their advancement in rank up to Lieutenant Colonel. A new candidate had to produce evidence of having had “the education of a gentleman”, obtain the approval of his regimental colonel, and to produce a substantial sum which was proof of his standing in society and a bond for good behaviour.
The Royal Military College was founded in 1801 to train officers in staff duties and to train “gentlemen cadets” as junior officers for the infantry and cavalry. The purchase system was still in force but by 1847 there was growing criticism towards it. In 1870 open competition was the sole means of entry to nearly all the branches of the civil service and competitive examinations would soon apply to the Army.
Public schools found themselves under increased pressure to introduce modern studies and its inability or willingness to provide adequate preparation for the Army entrance examination led the way to Cramming Schools. Six months at a crammer became the accepted if not very dignified education of a Victorian gentleman.
The Royal Military Academy at Woolwich (known as the Shop) was founded in 1741 for “good officers of Artillery and perfect Engineers” and was controlled by the Board of Ordinance. It supported the technical advancements in mathematics and science and officers did not pay for their commissions but were required to pass a course, subsequent promotion was by seniority.
The abolition of the purchase of officer commissions in 1871 and the adoption of competitive examinations as the normal means of entry had a less disturbing effect on the class of young men who entered the officer corps which many had feared. In India, it remained almost impossible to live on an officers pay, and regiments with social prestige or strong local connections remained exclusive.
At the College in Storrington, the Rev. George Faithfull also coached young men for university, Colonel de Sales la Terriere of the 18 Hussars studied with the outstanding clergyman in 1874 for his entry to Oxford, and again in 1887 for the army examinations. In the early days as many as 80 pupils, some sons of aristocratic families attended the College. These, with their valets, grooms and horses occupied a large part of the village and played polo on Ravenscroft now a housing estate and allotments.
Major W.F. Austin (then a Captain) came as a tutor in 1883 and later became a partner with the Rev. Faithful, in 1888 he took over the College. Many of the pupils were drawn into the Boer War and Austin went with them in 1899. On his return, he was he was joined in partnership with Mr W A Fuller M.A. who had a distinguished academic career and the College flourished again until 1914 when the older boys went on active service.
The Great War claimed the lives of many of the pupils, tragically in 1917, Mr Fuller died in a road traffic accident near Polegate and his wife with the assistance of Mr Gerard Smith, a senior tutor and then Principle carried on the work until Mr Smith’s sudden death in 1928.
The College had originally been founded to prepare boys for the Army but now young men were attending universities and the numbers at the College fell. With the help from Captain Green RN who was a partner to a similar establishment in Bournemouth, Mrs Fuller successfully continued her work until 1931 when she retired and the College closed. To many of the old boys, she had been a friend and second mother.
In 1918, a chapel was dedicated by the Bishop of Chichester, Dr Burrows at the suggestion of the late Rector, the Rev. A F Faithful. When the College closed the alter and all the furniture and the College Roll of Honour was accepted by the Dean and Chapter of Chichester Cathedral and was used to furnish a Chapel in the North West of the Cathedral. Unfortunately, these items are now lost in time.
ROLL OF HONOUR
in date order
Lt William Sladen Hughes, 2nd Battn Royal Sussex, KIA 14 September 1914, Battle of the Aisne, age 24. Commemorated on La Ferté-sous-Jouarre Memorial. Son of Augustus Frederick Hughes of Hillbrook, Birr, King’s County, Ireland, member of Wanderers Football Club.
2nd Lt John Lawson- Smith, 1st Battn. West Yorkshire Regt, Mentioned in Despatches, KIA on 20 October 1914 at Bois Grenier, aged 22. Commemorated on Le Touret Memorial, Richebourg. Born in 1892, son of Edward Maule Lawson-Smith and Ethel Mary (Davies) of Colton Lodge, Tadcaster.
Lt Edward Waring, 1st Battn. Kings Royal Rifles, KIA 29 October 1914, age 20, commemorated on Menin Gate Memorial. Born 1894, son of Capt. William Waring of Beenham House, Reading.
Lt Musgrave Cazenove Wroughton, 12th Battn. Royal Lancers, died of wounds received during the first battle of Ypres on 30 October 1914. Treated at No.4 Field Hosp Kemmel and buried at Kemmel Churchyard, Belgium aged 23. Wroughton was the son of William Musgrave Wroughton and Edith Constance (Cazenove). They had homes at 77 Chester Square, London, and Creaton Lodge, Northamptonshire.
Educated at Harrow, and on leaving school he received a commission in the Northampton Yeomanry. When he was 20 years old, in 1912, Wroughton accompanied Baden-Powell as his ADC on a world tour in connection with the Boy Scouts‘ movement.
During school and college vacations Wroughton was a keen follower of the Pytchley Hounds of which pack his father was master for many years.
Having served four years with the Northamptonshire Yeomanry, he transferred to (Special Reserve) 12th Lancers in 1913 and accompanied his Regiment to the front in August 1914. He saw action at Mons, the Marne and the Aisne. He died on 30 October 1914 of wounds received in action at 1st Battle of Ypres on 13 October.
Lt Charles Francis Beevor (ka Frank) attached to 2 Sqn RNAS from 18th Hussars, shot down at Dixmude, 5 November 1914, age 22 and is commemorated on the Chatham Navel Memorial. Born in born in Chelsea Barracks, in 1893 to E Beatrice and Lt Colonel Walter Beevor.
Beevor with Sub-Lt Francis, The Earl of Annesley left Eastchurch to fly abroad at 15:15 on the 5 November 1914 but never reached their destination. It was reported that the aeroplane was brought down near Dixmude by a German shell and that both men were killed instantly.
Beevor, reportedly the heaviest man in the RFC, was described as “a skilful and daring pilot, who had been employed in this war in dangerous enterprises and who also seen severe service in the Balkan war.”
Lt Ernest Lionel Lane- Anderson, 1st Battn. Royal Scots Fusiliers, KIA 10th November 1914 age 20, commemorated on the Menin Gate Memorial. Born in Calcutta on 24 December 1893 India, son of George Lane- Anderson (mother unknown). By 1909 the family moved to Britain and lived in The Drive, Hove.
Ernest was educated at Brighton College and left to study for his Army examinations and enrolled at the RMC, Sandhurst in 1912, gazetted to the Royal Scots Fusiliers in 1913.
He landed in France on 14 August 1914 as part of the original BEF. He was mentioned in dispatches by Sir John French (Commander in Chief of the BEF) on 8 October 1914 for his conduct on the advance from the Marne.
His battalion were involved in heavy fighting during the first battle of Ypres and it was there that he was killed in action.
Lt Neill McNeill, 1st Battn. Black Watch (Royal Highlanders) missing believed KIA 11 Nov 1914 age 20 at Battle of Nonne Bosschen, near Polygon Wood. He is commemorated on Menin Gate Memorial. Born 18 April 1894, eldest son of Duncan McNeill, barrister of Shanghai (also served as Acting Crown Advocate at Shanghai 1901 – 02) and Emilie Margaret McNeill of 24 Yuen Ming Yuen Road, Shanghai, China.
Neil was initially educated at Horris Hill and then attended Charterhouse, one of his fellow pupils was Robert Graves.
He left Charterhouse for Hertford College Oxford, where he applied for a commission in the Black Watch Special Reserve of Officers on 7 June 1914. When war was declared he had just completed his second year at university.
Lieutenant McNeill joined the 1st Battalion from the 3rd Black Watch on 28 September 1914. The 1st had suffered heavy casualties and Neil was posted to A Company. He was commanding two platoons on the morning of 11 November 1914 in trenches at the south-west corner of Polygon Wood. His position was subjected to a heavy bombardment between 6.30 and 9 a.m. which preceeded an attack by a Division of the Prussian Guard with orders from the Kaiser to break the line at all costs.
Second Lieutenant Neil McNeill was killed during the attack defending his section of trench. The Regimental History records that he ‘was last seen on the parapet of his trench, revolver in hand, fighting gallantly to the end with all his men’.
George Eric Guy Stacpoole, 1st Battn. Royal Irish Regt, KIA 27 January 1915, St Eloi aged 23, buried Dickebusch Old Military Cemetery, Ypres. Born 10 February 1892 at Albert Road, Sefton Park, Liverpool. He was the eldest son of Richard George Stacpoole of Walton Street, Hans Place, London and of County Clare, Ireland by marriage with Edith Maude, daughter of Sir Edward Dean, 4th Bt.
He was educated at Eton and Sandhurst and was gazetted to the Royal Irish Regiment in November 1911 and joined them in India in 1912.
He arrived in France in December 1914 but was killed in January 1915 in the trenches of St Eloi.
Hon. William Alfred Morton Eden , 4th Battn. Kings Royal Rifle Corps, missing believed KIA 2/3 Mar 1915 (cwgc 3rd, battalion diary 2nd) Dickebusch, on Menin Gate Memorial. Born at 42 Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea 15 June 1892, eldest son of Rt.Hon. William Morton Eden, 5th Baron Auckland and Lady Auckland (née Sybil Constance Hutton) of The Burrow, Howard Road, Bournemouth in Hampshire.
He was educated at Hazelwood School until December 1905 and then to Eton College, from January 1906 to December 1908. He went on to Sandhurst from where he was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps on the 22nd of January 1913. He was promoted to Lieutenant in November 1914.
On the outbreak of war the battalion was based at Gharia in India and they embarked for England at Bombay on the 12th of October 1914 , reaching Plymouth on the 18th of November. They arrived at Le Havre 20 December 1914 and took over front line trenches from the French at Dickebusch, near St Eloi to the north of Ypres. Conditions in the trenches were appalling.
He died during a raid on German lines, survivors reported that William Eden was last seen at the head of his platoon at the barbed wire in front of the barricade and was the first man there. He is reported to have climbed out of the trench on the German side and was last seen running in an attempt to get around it.
He was mentioned in Sir John French’s despatches of the 31st of May 1915.
Thomond O’Bryen Horsford, 2nd Battn. West Yorkshire Regt, died of wounds near Neuve Chapelle, 14 Mar 1915, buried Estaires Communal Cemetery, Nord Pas-de-Calais, age 22. Born 14 September 1892 at Clifton, Bristol, son of Frederick O’Bryen Horsford and Cecilia Benvenuta Horsford of Camberley. His uncle was Sir Nevil Macready K.C.B., K.C.M.G. Adjutant General B.E.F.
Educated at the Merchant Taylors School and Sandhurst which he entered in 1912. He was gazetted to the West Yorkshire Regiment in January 1914. Wounded in December 1914 he returned to the front in February 1915. He was in the firing line during the Battle of Neuve Chapelle and was shot by a sniper during a lull in the battle.
Boyd Andrews, Plymouth Bn, Royal Marines, died 11th May 1915, age 34. Commemorated on Helles Memorial. He was a farmer from Margaret River, W.A., recalled to his former unit, the Royal Marines (Served from 1898-1910) at the outbreak of war, killed at Krithia, Gallipoli. Son of Rev John Marshall Andrews.
Richard Collingwood Fetherstonhaugh, 2nd Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps, Mentioned in Despatches, died of wounds at Stationary Hospital, Boulogne on the 14th May 1915 from wounds received at Richebourg, Flanders 29 April 1915 age 22. Buried Ryde Borough Cemetery, IoW, Eldest son of Maj. Gen. (retired) Richard Steele Rupert Fetherstonhaugh C.B. of Gwydyr House, Ryde, IoW. Born 3 March 1893 and educated at Wellington College and Sandhurst which he passed out in 1912. He joined his battalion at Shorncliffe, Kent and then onto Blackdown, Hampshire.
On 12 August 1914 he joined the BEF and was present at Mons, the Marne and defence of the Aisne. He was promoted lieutenant in September 1914.
His brother, Second Lieutenant George Rupert Alexander Fetherstonhaugh, 4th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers who died between 25 October 1914 to 27 October 1914, Neuve Chapelle, Western Front.
Lt Herbert Graham Wanklyn, RNAS, Dunkirk Station whose body was found off Belgian coast on 31 May 1915, aged 1. He is buried at Calais Southern Cemetery. Born 3 Aug 1895, he joined the air service on the 12 May 1914 and posted to the Central Flying School and after numerous posting arrived at Dunkirk 12 May 1915. Wanklyn took off at 0330 on a patrol to Ostend, it is unclear whether he was shot down by ground defences or suffered engine failure but his body was found in the sea nearly three weeks later on 17 June. Son of Herbert Alexander Wanklyn, merchant, of London
Wolseley Wolseley-Jenkins, 2nd Battn. Rifle Brigade, Mentioned in Despatches, KIA 25 Sep 1915 age 25 at Bois Grenier, Loos, Commemorated on the Ploegsteert Memorial. Born 11 Feb 1890, son of the late Colonel Charles Bradford Harries Wolseley-Jenkins and Mrs Wolseley-Jenkins of Abbottsfield, Shrewsbury.
John Broadwood Atkinson, 5th Battn. Royal Irish Fusiliers, died of enteric disease while on active service at No.19 General Hospital, Alexandria, Egypt on 24 Dec 1915, aged 21. He is buried at Chatby War Memorial Cemetery, Alexandria, Egypt, having been wounded at Suvla Bay (Gallipoli) on 6 Aug 1915. Born 1 Oct 1894, third son of of Joseph and Anne Atkinson of Annaghmore, Portadown in Ireland. He was born in Summer Island House in the village of Loughgall in Northern Ireland but lost his mother when he was only two years old. Crowhill, Armagh, Ireland.
Educated at Oundle (Grafton House) in 1909 and left at the end of the Lent term in 1913. He was a keen member of the Officers’ Training Corps, being Section Commander for his house. He also sang bass in the Chapel Choir and took singing lessons. He was a member of the army class and in his last year 1913, a House Prefect in Mr Norbury’s Grafton House. At the time of his death, he had been appointed temporary Captain.
Arthur Coke Burnell, 2nd Battn. Rifle Brigade. He returned home with the 4th Battalion Rifle Brigade having joined them at Delhi in 1912 and during the autumn of 1914, proceeded to France. He was wounded at the Second Battle of Ypres while acting as Adjutant, and on his return to the front he was appointed machine-gun officer to the 2nd Battalion. He fell at Fleurbaix, near Armentieres, on March 19th 1916 while helping to bring in a wounded man from between the lines, he was 21. Buried at Rue-du-Bois Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix, Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Born 11 Dec 1894, educated at Winchester College and Sandhurst, son of Thomas Coke Burnell of St Cross Grange, Winchester and 18 Preston Park Avenue, Brighton.
Lt Arthur Gorman Mitchell, 5th Battn. (attached to 2nd Battn.) Royal Irish Rifles, KIA 13 May 1916 age 19, buried Ecoivres Military Cemetery, Mont-St.-Eloi, Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Born 28 August 1896, son of Lt. Col. Arthur Brownlow Mitchell RAMC and Agnes Crawford Mitchell (Gorman, who died in childbirth) of 18 University Sq, Belfast. He was educated at Campbell College, Belfast, and Queen’s University Belfast, where he was a member of the Officer Training Corps.
He was gazetted a Second Lieutenant in the 5th Royal Irish Rifles on 8th May 1915, and joined the 2nd Battalion on 14th April 1916.
The battalion were in Brigade Reserve on 13th May 1916, at Cabaret Rouge, north of Arras. Two platoons of the battalion were sent to reinforce a garrison of 13th Cheshire Regiment men who were occupying the lip of a recently blown crater. On their way, they came under intense fire, with only a portion of them getting through with great difficulty. Four men were killed in the operation, with Arthur being killed by a sniper’s bullet.
2nd Lt Arthur Cyril Saxton, 1st Battn. (attached to 2nd Battn.) Kings Own Scottish Borderers (ex Ceylon Planters Rifle Corps), KIA 30 June 1916 aged 27 and Commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. Born c1889 in Ceylon, son of the late George Shadwell Saxton. He had served in Egypt (with CPRC), and was wounded at Gallipoli (with KOSB). Wife Beatrice Florence Bromeld of Spaxton, Somerset.
2nd Lt Frank Arnold Davies, 5th Battn. Cheshire Regt, KIA on the first day of the Battle of the Somme, 1 July 1916. Aged 23 years, buried at Gommecourt British Cemetery No.2, Hebuterne, Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Born in 1893, son of William & Maria Davies of Lower Bebington, Cheshire.
2nd Lt Ronald Hugh macGregor Pierce , 13th Battn. (attached to 9th Battn.) West Yorkshire Regt, KIA 14 Sep 1916, Somme, age 20 and is commemorated on the Thiepval Memorial. Born on 21 Apr 1896 at Cochabamba, Bolivia, son of John Timbrell Milward Pierce & Anna Wylie MacGregor, educated at Kings School Gloucester & Haileybury College 1911 – 13.
Lt Crugar Stanley Peach, 42nd Reserve Squadron (ex 16th Squadron as Observer) Royal Flying Corps (ex 1st Battn. West Yorkshire Regt.), he obtained his flying certificate at Shoreham on 28 March 1917 but was killed in a flying training accident on 24 April 1917 at Hounslow aged 20, buried Brookwood Cemetery. Born 14 July 1896 at 4 Upper Richmond Road, Wandsworth, London, he attended Haileybury College 1910-12 , son of Capt Charles Stanley Peach of Queensmead, Farnborough, Hants.
Capt Sherlock Amyas Willis, 4th Battn. Middlesex Regt, Mentioned in Despatches, died 15 May 1917 No. 20 General Hosp, Camiers age 24, from wounds received 23 April 1917 at Arras, buried Etaples Military Cemetery. Born 20 Oct 1892 Cheltenham, son of the late Sherlock Vignoles Willis (Maj. 1st Battn Royal Scots retired) and Marion Willis of Shotley, Weybridge, Surrey.
2nd Lt Geoffrey Hardy, D Battery 312th Bde Royal Field Artillery. He died on 27 May 1917 of wounds received near Ecoust while attempting to extinguish a fire in his gunpit on 26 May 1917, buried Achiet-le-Grand Communal Cemetery extension. Born 1889 Banbury son of Ellen and late Josiah Patrick Hardy of 11 Golden Manor, Hanwell, Middx.
Second Lieutenant Hardy
2nd Lt Morrice Frederick John Halliday, Gloucester Regt, attached to 6th Battn. RFC, KIA 7 June 1917 age 19 whilst flying as aerial observer at the Battle of Messines, buried Poelcapelle British Cemetery, Ypres, Belgium. Born on 29 November 1897 at Mozufferpore, Behar, India, eldest son of Morrice MacGregor and May Gertrude Halliday.
Ernest Alfred Collyer Lloyd 1st Battn. Scots Guards, KIA 31 July 1917 age 27, buried at Artillery Wood Cemetery, Boezinge, nr Ypres, Belgium. Born 1890 Kensington son of Ernest Octavius Lloyd (Member of Stock Exchange) and Margaret Lloyd of 7 Bryanston Sq, London, husband of Charlotte Edith Annette Farbridge of 68 Warwick Sq, London.
Kenneth Fleetwood Gordon Pinhey 83rd Bde. Royal Field Artillery, KIA on 2 Aug 1917 at Zillebeke Lake, age 21, buried at Huts Cemetery, Dickebusch, Belgium. Born on 23 July 1896 at Sutna, Hyderabad, India, son of Sir Alexander Fleetwood Pinhey KCSI CIE, Lt.Col Indian Staff Corps (d.1916 India) and Lady Violet Beatrice Caroline (née Gordon), (niece of ‘Gordon of Khartoum’) of 27 Wilbury Rd, Hove.
Capt Harry Stanyer Powell 1st/6th Battn (C Company), Royal Warwickshire Regt. Awarded the Military Cross (‘conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty’, citation 22 Mar 1918), died 5 Oct 1917 at No.47 Casualty Clearing Station Dozinghem of wounds received at Battle of Broodseinde 4 Oct 1917, buried Dozinghem Military Cemetery, Vleteren, nr Ypres. Born in 1893 at Smethwick, son of Harry and Edith Jane Hewlett of Carlton House, Albrighton, Wolverhampton.
Lt Samuel William Wilkinson, 237th Siege Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery, died of wounds 9 April 1918 at 58th Casualty Clearing Station, Lillers, age 23, buried Lillers Communal Cemetery, Nord-Pas-de-Calais. Born on 26 Apr 1895, son of Samuel William Wilkinson (senr.), timber merchant and Mrs Kate Wilkinson of Southdown House, Storrington (usually occupied by local doctor) and Durban, South Africa.
Lt Alexander Goble Mitchell 6th Battn. (attached to 4th Battn.) Middlesex Regt., killed in enemy air raid at Doullens 30 May 1918 age 20, buried at Bagneux British Cemetery, Gezaincourt. Born in 1897 at Stoke Damerel, Devon, son of Sir Thomas Mitchell (retired Corps of Naval Constructors) and Lady Clara Agnes Jane Mitchell of 37 Salisbury Rd, Southsea.
Lt Arthur William Oakden A Batty. 124th Bde Royal Field Artillery and Fifth Army School, died of influenza 29 June 1918 on active service, age 22 (wounded Nov 1916). Buried at Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension. Born 17 Nov 1894 son of Edward and Alice Oakden of Beeston, Nottingham.
Major Rayner Harvey Johnson 122 Heavy Battery, Royal Garrison Artillery (at one time youngest acting Major in British Army) MC, KIA in Battle of Cambrai 27 Sep 1918 age 21, buried Louverval Military Cemetery nr. Doignies (formerly Louverval Chateau British Cemetery). Born 5 Jan 1897 son of Alexander William and Caroline Johnson. Awarded the Military Cross on 1 Jan 1918 for gallantry in the field.
Lt Edward John Hassard B/110 Brigade Royal Field Artillery MC, died 7 Nov 1918 at Prince of Wales Hospital Marylebone of influenza and pneumonia, while recovering from wounds on 22 Aug 1918, buried West Norwood Cemetery, Surrey. Born 6 Sep 1895 Streatham Hill, son of William Charles Hassard, member of Stock Exchange, and Louisa Kate Hassard. Awarded the Military Cross in July 1918.
Capt. John Severn Fuller 117th Brigade Royal Field Artillery (nephew of William Arthur Fuller, Principal of the College, Church Street, Storrington), died 15 March 1919 in Hong Kong, of meningitis. He volunteered in Jan 1919 for special service in Vladivostok, Siberia and had served with the British Expeditionary Force in France /Flanders from Nov 1915. He was wounded during the Battle of the Somme on 11 Sep 1916 and invalided home. On his recovery he was seconded to 336th Bde and served in Mesopotamia from Oct 1917. Born 4 Nov 1895 Bakewell Derbyshire son of Rev. Richard Henry Fuller and Helen Sabrina Fuller.