These pages are dedicated to all, who served.


Browsing through the first hundred years of Haileybury's history, it seems incredible that so many medals were won by former pupils for "Gallantry" & for "Leadership" on the field of battle. What is true of Haileybury is equally true of the associated United Services College & Imperial Service College. Amongst their number, they include  not only professional servicemen but the volunteers , who joined for "Hostilities Only" & the conscripts.  It is especially intriguing when one considers that many acts of heroism have gone unobserved and unrecorded. Also many of the Gallantry medals were not available until late in the period e.g. the Military Cross & Military Medal were not issued until early in the Great War. Thus in the early days, gallantry was only recognized by the VC and at a slightly lower level the DCM. The DSO was issued for "Leadership in the face of the enemy"  and  appeared only in 1886. Also there were restrictions on medals as to who was eligible; the VC for many years was not issued posthumously. Gallantry in the air was not recognized until the issue of the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Force Cross in June 1918. 

There were undoubted opportunities for gallantry afforded by two World Wars & almost continuous small wars throughout the life of Haileybury. However, in view of the large number of gallantry medals awarded,  it raises the question was there something special about the regime at Haileybury  that created pupils, who almost instinctively put their lives at risk for others? 

Role models abounded . Members of the Staff won one VC, 2 DSOs,  9 Military Crosses and were Mentioned  in Despatches  13 times. The pupils themselves won another 13 VCs. 

    Also the following holders of the VC also had close relatives at Haileybury, USC or ISC :-     REVEREND  ADDISON, William Robert Fountaine ;    BLAIR, James;    BLAIR, Robert;    BRADFORD, George Nicholson;    BRADFORD, Roland Boys ;    BROWN, Francis David Millet;    CADELL, Thomas;    CHANNER, George Nicolas;    CUBITT, William George;    DEAN, Donald John;    GOUGH, Charles John Stanley;     GOUGH, John Edmund;     GRAHAM, Gerald;    HALLIDAY, Lewis Stratford Tollemache;     INNES, James John McLeod; MALCOLMSON, John Grant;    PRENDERGAST, Harry North Dalrymple;    ROWLANDS, Hugh;    RIDGEWAY, Richard Kirby.

Amongst the number of recipients of medals are not only those involved in fighting the enemy but  Doctors & Clergy as well. Several, with moral objections to fighting  still served at the Front with the Friend's Ambulance instead. However, gallantry has not only been displayed on the battle field but by those , who were confronted with equally dangerous situations in civil life, such as policemen, firemen and lifeboat volunteers. This list may well have many omissions, as the records  consulted are far from complete and all the  decorations for "Service" and campaign medals are not included. Nevertheless from 15,595 pupils it is impressive total especially when" one out of every 11 pupils lost their lives in the service of their country." {The expression is "their country" as the boys were drawn from a dozen or so countries}.

Reading the Register one is struck by the frequency that the terms "wounded", "severely wounded" & "invalided" occur. Time and time again, one finds that having been invalided out of the Services, they reappear in the next campaign; a classic case is Major Galbraith winning the Albert Medal after having lost his left leg in the Great War. Captain Read having been severely wounded in 1914 was killed in action the following year winning the VC. Herman Ledeboer had the experience of being invalided out of the Queen's Royal Regiment in 1914, he reappears with the Hampshire Regiment in Gallipoli in 1915 were he is again invalided out. He completes his service with the London Scottish being invalided out yet again in 1917.He received no gallantry award.

The Indian Mutiny effectively saw the end of the Honourable East India Company  (HEIC) and its institutions. The Military College at Addiscombe & the one for Administrators at Haileybury both closed. One of the finest armies in the World, that of the HEIC, passed into the care of the British Army. From the ashes, Haileybury College was started in 1862 in the former buildings & grounds of "Old Haileybury". It is probable that many of the boys seeking a Military career in India & who might have gone to Addiscombe now came to Haileybury. Throughout the first hundred years of Haileybury's existence enumerable small wars & campaigns were fought in which the Indian Army played a major part. The Indian Army was also heavily involved in the Boer War & both World Wars. Within a few days of the start of the Great War in 1914, Indian troops were landing in Marseille on their way to the Front. With Indian Independence in 1947, these careers as officers were no longer available to former pupils.

The Anglo - Boer Wars also saw many former pupils involved in the ranks of the volunteers ; in  the militia & yeomanry regiments, as well  as those serving with the British and Indian Armies. Also contingents of troops from the Dominions appeared on the field of battle; amongst their ranks were former pupils from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Rhodesia and those living in South Africa itself.

These volunteers also flocked to the "Colours" at the start of the Great War of 1914- 1919. A large number of former pupils did not wait for conscription, they were the volunteers in the TA, Yeomanry & the "Kitchener Volunteers", who joined for "Hostilities Only".  The regular army, "The Contemptible Little Army", as the Kaiser called them, were decimated in the campaigns of 1914. The volunteers serving with the "Territorials",  took up the burden in the campaigns of 1915. OHs serving in their ranks, featured significantly in both the lists of medals and  casualties. 

In early 1915, with the formation of the large Kitchener's Volunteer Army, vast numbers of the population flocked to "Serve their Country". There was a shortage of anyone capable of training them.  Thus anyone with any sort of military experience was thrust into leading roles.  This had a significant effect on OHs, as Haileybury had formed a Rifle Corps in 1887 & this had become an Officer Training Corps  (OTCU) in 1907.  Thus the public school OCTUs were raided for junior officers, ( and  ex- boy scouts  & Church Lad's Brigade  boys from the other volunteers became NCOs). It is from these ranks that many of the gallantry medals were to come and accounts for the disproportionate number of Military Crosses (Officers) versus Military medals (Other Ranks) awarded to OHs. The school lost 100 boys in the battle of the Somme between the 1st July 1916 & it petering out in the mud of November ; with another 52 lost the previous year at Gallipoli. Other Public & Grammar  Schools, having a Cadet force, will also have fared badly. In fact, no sections of the public were spared and there are only a few "Blessed Parishes" in the whole UK, that have no memorial with long lists of the " FALLEN." 

From late 1915, until the end of the Great War universal conscription applied. Similarly from 1939 until 1956, again " Boys" were conscripted into the Fighting Services.  The campaigns post 1945 :- Palestine, Cyprus, Canal Zone, Kenya, Malaya, Suez, Partition of India & the war in Korea were all handled by a conscripted Army.   Thereafter Haileybury's involvement declined as significantly fewer pupils chose a Military career. 

During the Victorian era the choice was mainly the Cavalry & Infantry with a high proportion going to RMA Woolwich to become "Gunners" or "Sappers". Early in the Great War saw a switch from horses to mechanized vehicles & one of our VCs was in an early tank action. However, a large number switched to the Air with the RNAS & RFC and later the RAF. This  attraction with the" Air "continued between the Wars and  saw many enlist either directly in the RAF or in the RAFVR, such that leading roles were played by "Old Boys " in the Battles of France, Malta & Britain plus in all the later action.  They were glider pilots, they flew Lysanders dropping off spies behind enemy lines & night after night they flew bombers over Europe. They were in the Fleet Air Arm protecting convoys & taking part in major battles in Norway , the Mediterranean & the Far East.

There have always been a number of outstanding sailors coming from the Schools including more than one  Sea Lord. However, between the Wars there was a great interest in motor boats and with it an influx of recruits into the RNVR. In World War 2 many "Old Boys" were to gain gallantry medals with the small ships: the MTB's, mine sweepers, midget submarines etc. as well as the larger ships. They also actively sought adventure in the :-  Commandos, Airborne, SOE, Long Range Desert Group, SAS, SBS, Chindits. etc.

A large number of Foreign awards were given by our Allies. These are shown in a separate section. A few of these are for for peacetime service to the countries involved such as "suppression of the slave trade in Egypt", founding the" Malayan rubber industry" , etc.

Campaign medals issued by the British Government have been excluded in this study . The Knighthoods & other decorations given to senior commanders are shown under the separate section on "Chivalry". They include several senior officers, who gave their lives in the Service of their country including Major General Thompson CAPPER ,KCMG CB DSO   & Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford  Leigh-Mallory KCB, CB, DSO. There are number of Civil awards in this section covering Service. 

Victoria Cross 					18
Distinguished Conduct Medal			8
Queen's Gallantry Medal				1
Distinguished Flying Cross			102
Military Cross					524
Military Medal					8
British Empire Medal				3
Distinguished Flying Medal			1
Mention in Despatches				1850
Queen's  Medal for Brave Conduct		1
George Cross & AM,  EGM				6
George Medal					3
Air Force Cross					36
Life Saving Awards				26
Colonial Police Medal				9
Sovereigns Police & Fire Medals			18
Distinguished Service Cross			46
Distinguished Service Order			462
Order of the Bath			GCB	11
					KCB	26
					CB	161
Order of St. Michael & St. George	GCMG	9
					KCMG	14
					CMG	149
Order of the British Empire		GBE	4
					KBE	19
					CBE	201
					OBE	364
					MBE	169
Royal Victorian Order			GCVO	4
					KCVO	5
					CVO	18
					LVO	7
					MVO	20
Military awards					474
Civil Awards					161
TOTAL						5187



Notes :-

This symbol denotes the loss of life in the service of his country.


Information on the recipients is an edited version of their entries in the "Haileybury and Imperial Service College Register". Additional information has been taken from a number of other sources :-

The OUSC Register 1936

The  records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.

"The VC & DSO Book" by Sir O'Moore Creagh VC GCB GCSI & E. M. Humphris

The citations are from the London Gazette.

"Haileybury 1806 - 1987" by Imogen Thomas

"Medal Year Book 2003" by James Mackay

"The Great War" issued in 13 volumes ( Author & Publisher not listed)

"Haileybury in Two World Wars" written & compiled by Andrew Hambling.

medal cards & personal military records held at PRO Kew

Some information has been culled from the internet. However many sites have been found to be transient & do not provide a permanent record, in particular this applies to the medal images portrayed on the  vendor sites . Thus they are not recorded here as sources in what is hoped will be a tribute to those, who displayed gallantry & leadership. However, we are indebted to the various webmasters for their contributions. In many cases people have kindly waived copyright in relation to this study.