School History

Easter 1917

Volume XI Easter 1917 No. 61

We regret to announce the death of Sub-Lieut. A.A. Wolfe, R.N.V.R., which took place in France recently.  Wolfe entered the school in 1908, and left in 1915 to join the R.N.V.R. Then he was sent to Gallipoli and in November 1915, was gazetted Sub-Lieutenant.  From Gallipoli he was invalided home, and was afterwards sent to France, where he met with his untimely death.

Wolfe was a most brilliant scholar.  He obtained first class honours with distinction in Mathematics in both the Cambridge Senior and Junior Examinations. In 1914 he secured the Exhibition to Queen's College Oxford.

We would venture to express our most sincere sympathy with all his relations.

War Notes

Second-Lieut. Barker, now attached to the Flying Corps, is home on sick leave.  He got slightly wounded in the neck by an "Archie", and was afraid it wasn't serious enough to get him back to Blighty.  But he always was a pessimist.

His companion at Sandhurst, Second-Lieut. Dlef, A.S.C., has also been home on leave, and is taller than ever.  He says the mud is awful, but he looks on the bright side, as he adds that he owes his life to it, for several times he suffered nothing worse than a mud bath when he might have been blown to pieces.

It is with great regret that we announce the death of Tom Drew, of the H.A.C.  He was blown to pieces by a shell in France.

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The following are extracts from the last letter Mr Hobbs wrote.  We quote them because they show his fine optimistic spirit: -

You will see that I have changes from a broiling hot climate to something cooler.  Up to the present I haven't seen much fighting here.  When I was in the front line things were quiet, and since I have been busy initiating Tommy into the use of various infernal machines as bombs.  However, I am now re-joining battalion.  I expect all of you in England are in the wildest state of excitement over the signs of the times.  The clerk of the weather also got fearfully excited, but has now decided to smile, after all, on our efforts.

We find this garden of a country a continued delight after our life on what may have been once one of the garden islands of ancient Greece, but certainly hasn't been anything but a sandy, scorching, dusty island for some centuries. I believe, quite recently Byron sang its praises. I can't say I ever particularly admired his taste before the War, and now I am a confirmed non-admirer.

We are close enough up, but so far have been mainly organizing.  It will come soon enough, I've no doubt, but there are much duller places for training.  I suppose it really is in the nature of things for Jupiter Pluvius to join in the grumbling of artilleries, and he has been almost as persistent about it.

I have been fortunate in my special work, as I am in an out-of-the-way little cottage, close to a farm, and so have been able to ger such luxuries as dairy butter, eggs, milk, and even gorgeous cream in abundance.

I hear quite frequently from some of the Masters, and so get most of the School and Southampton news.

Looking forward to the time when all this business will be settled, and so settled that there isn't a lump sticking up anywhere to give trouble.

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School Magazines are playing a great part in this War.  An Old Edwardian says he has seen other men get their school "mags", and it made him long for his.  He adds that the day you do not get a letter is always rotten.  One man told him that he would rather get a letter from his bank, saying his account was over-drawn, than to get nothing at all.

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Sub-Lieut. Arthur Frederick Wolfe, R.N.V.R., was born July 31st, 1897, and educated at King Edward VI Grammar School, Southampton.  He entered the School in June 1908, being placed in Form I.  He passed through every Form with distinction, and wound up a brilliant school career by becoming 'Head Boy' and winning the Southampton Exhibition at Queen's College, Oxford, December 1914.  The merit of his papers in Mathematics caused him to be elected 'Scholar' of that College.

Leaving School in April 1915, he enlisted in the University and Public School (Hawke) Battalion April 12th 1915.  He sailed for Gallipoli on his birthday, 1915, and was invalided home in October of that year.  He was granted a Commission in the Royal Naval Division October 25th 1916.  He was wounded and missing, believed killed, while fighting in France, February 4th 1917.

Extracts of letter from his Commanding Officer to Mr Wolfe (father), and dated February 10th, 1917: -

"He led a very successful attack on a German strong point, the taking of which was vital to the operations in hand.  The attack was described to me by an officer who witnessed it, 'as a brilliant and dashing assault'.  Your son was the soul of this attack, which captured the post in question and put the enemy to flight, inflicting severe casualties on them.  You have the sympathy of every officer and man in this Battalion".

From the Company Commander: -

"On the afternoon of February 4th your son 'went over' with my Company to take a strong point that had been worrying us for the past 16 hours.  Previously to this he had behaved splendidly in leading a bombing attack, and during this time and also during the assault, he carried the admiration of his fellow officers.  We offer you and his mother our deepest sympathy".