2ND LIEUT. ROTHERAM BAGSHAWE CECIL, 5TH BATTN. SHERWOOD FORESTERS (NOTTS. AND DERBY. REGT.) (T.F.). KILLED IN ACTION NEAR GOMMECOURT, JULY 1ST 1916. AGED 21. At the School 1909-12 (Park House). 2nd Lieut, Rotheram Bagshawe Cecil was the younger son of the late Rotheram Cecil and Mrs. Cecil, of the Manor House, Dronfield, Derbyshire. His elder brother, who was not an Old Tonbridgian, joined the Artists Rifles in 1916, but died on November 7th, and our sympathy must indeed go out to their mother in her bereavement. Entering the School in May 1909, from Rottingdean School, Rotheram Bagshawe Cecil left from the Science Remove at Christmas 1912, having become a Lance-Corporal in the O.T.C. With a view to taking up similar work, he was working under the Earl of Wilton's Estate Agent and was doing very well. He was gazetted a 2nd Lieutenant in the Sherwood Foresters (Notts, and Derby. Regt.) (T.F.) July 21st 1915, and after a comparatively short period of training sailed on January 8th 1916, with two other officers and a draft of men, in some doubt as to their destination. They landed at Marseilles and were sent to join the first-line Battalion in the North of France. It is evident from the letters of his brother officers that he did much good work, and on one occasion, when he went out alone, he brought back very valuable information about the enemy's position. In March 1916, his Company were holding a trench within twenty yards of the German trenches, and he was at the time in command of the firing line when the Germans exploded a large mine under a portion of the trench that by good fortune was unoccupied at the moment. Some thirty Germans, who crawled over to occupy the crater, were wiped out by machine-gun fire, and 2nd Lieut. Cecil was himself the first to gain and occupy the edge of the crater. Another party of Germans who attempted to rush the crater met with the same fate as the first, and, after his Company Commander had arrived and taken command, Cecil did some effective shooting from the edge of the crater. He is stated to have been specially recommended to the General for his services on this occasion. The Battalion were complimented by the General. The Germans, instead of gaining ground, had suffered heavy casualties and inflicted practically none. In his letter home he described the crater as so vast that the Manor House and stables could easily have been buried in it, and gave a vivid description of his sensations and experiences, paying enthusiastic tribute to the coolness of the men and the wonderful accuracy of the artillery. On the first day of the great offensive, July 1st, 1916, the Battalion took part in the attack north of Gommecourt described in an article in the Daily Mail by Mr. Beach Thomas under the heading of "The feat of the battle" It appears that they reached the third-line trenches and were then surrounded and apparently refused to surrender. 2nd Lieut. Cecil and ten other officers, including the CO. and a Major, were reported as "missing" and no definite news as to their fate could be obtained, but it has for some time been clear that they must have been killed. His Company Commander testified to his conspicuous bravery and services on many occasions, and added: - "He has been an ideal Platoon Commander, zealous in doing his duty, and always most concerned as to the feeding and general comfort of the men whom he was proud to command as they were to obey him." Some of his men who were talking of him were heard to say that he was "one of the right sort-no nonsense about him. Off with his coat and do the job" ; and a brother officer wrote: - "I do hope you have good news of your son. He was so popular with all of us and such a good officer.

How He Died
Where He Died
Died Age
School House
Date Entered
Date Left
School Achievements

Entering the School in May 1909, from Rottingdean School, Rotheram Bagshawe Cecil left from the Science Remove at Christmas 1912, having become a Lance-Corporal in the O.T.C.