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Lewis, Vernon (1871-1900) | by sherborneschoolarchives
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Lewis, Vernon (1871-1900)

South African War Memorial, Sherborne School, Sherborne, Dorset, UK.


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Credit: Sherborne School Archives, Abbey Road, Sherborne, Dorset, UK, DT9 3AP.


Brevet Major Vernon Lewis, 2nd Battalion Royal Scots Fusiliers, Natal Field Force. Killed in action at the storming of Pieters Hill, South Africa on 27 February 1900, aged 28.


Born 4 September 1871.

Son of Captain Ernest Lewis (Royal Scots), Banstead Hall, Banstead, Surrey.

Attended Epsom College.

Attended Sherborne School (Wildman’s House), September 1883-April 1889; 6th form; Prefect; Head of House.

Lived at Darley-dene, Addlestone, Surrey.

Royal Scots Fusiliers 1892; Lieutenant 1894; Chitral 1895 (medal and bar); Niger operations 1897-1898 (brevet Major, despatches); South African War 1899.


Buried or commemorated at Pieters Hill, Tugela Heights, South Africa.


Extracts from a speech given by the Headmaster of Sherborne School, F.B. Westcott, following the unveiling of the South African War Memorial in the Sherborne School Chapel on 30 January 1901 ('The Shirburnian', March 1904, pp.189-192):

After the service a gathering was held in the Big Schoolroom, where speeches were to be made. After the singing of the new School song ‘Adsum,’ the Headmaster [F.B. Westcott] rose, and after a few introductory remarks upon the unpropitious weather, said that though he seemed to have been at Sherborne quite a long time, yet only two of those whose memories they were commemorating that day were in the School in his time. They were Harold de Rougemont, who, he believed, was buried close to Lord Roberts’ son, and his young friend Close, who, with many other young Englishmen, volunteered for service at the front when but a boy. Every house in the School was represented in the list he had read out. None of the lads had climbed very high in military service, yet two at least, Lewis and Lovett, were brevet-majors, and brevet-majors at a very early stage of their service. They, as a school, as well as their friends, had paid a very heavy price in the loss of their lives. Yet, at the same time, he was sure all of them would feel that these brave lives were not given for nothing, but were given for England, for our country, and for our King, and in the great cause of the British Empire. Moreover, the hope of all was that the work done in South Africa had been finished once and for all. God grant it might be so, and that the blood of those brave soldiers, and the blood of our enemies too, would cement a lasting peace. After extending a hearty welcome to Lord Methuen, the Headmaster called on his lordship to address the School.

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Uploaded on October 1, 2014