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Holmes, Basil Ralph Gardiner (1894-1917) | by sherborneschoolarchives
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Holmes, Basil Ralph Gardiner (1894-1917)

Sherborne School, UK, Book of Remembrance for former pupils who died in the First World War, 1914-1918.


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


Details: Basil Ralph Gardiner Holmes (1894-1917), born 27 September 1894 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, son of Ralph Sheriton Holmes (solicitor, Clerk to the Gosforth Urban District Council and to the River Tyne Port Sanitary Authority) and Eleanor Holmes (née Williams) of 3 Devonshire Terrace, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.


Attended Sherborne Preparatory School.


Attended Sherborne School (Abbey House) September 1908 - April 1912.


Occupation: Actor. A member of Miss Annie Horniman’s company at the Gaiety Theatre, Manchester (the first repertory theatre in England) where on 22 September 1913 he appeared as Rix in ‘Hiatus’. He also appeared at the Court Theatre and the Coronet and appeared with Mr James Welch in ‘When Knights were Bold’.


WW1, 2nd Lieutenant, ‘A’ Battery, 38th Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, 3/4th Northumbrian (County of Durham) Brigade (Territorial Force). Received his commission in July 1915; joined London Anti-Aircraft defences, and was in charge of a Station. 7 August 1915, 2nd Lieutenant, 4th Northumbrian (Howitzer) Brigade.


Killed in action in Flanders on 1 or 2 October 1917.


Commemorated at:

Brandhoek New Military Cemetery no.3, II. K. 15,%20B%20...


Sherborne Preparatory School roll of honour


Sherborne School: War Memorial Staircase; Book of Remembrance.


Obituary, 'The Shirburnian', February 1918: 'Second Lieutenant Basil Ralph Gardiner Holmes, R.F.A., who was killed on October 1st by a bomb, was the only child of Mr and Mrs R. Sheriton Holmes, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and had just completed his 23rd year. He received his commission in July, 1915, and was subsequently detailed for work in connection with the London anti-aircraft defences, being ultimately put in charge of one of the stations. He was educated at Sherborne School, and shortly after leaving school went to Manchester to join Miss Horniman's company at the Gaiety Theatre (appeared in 'Hiatus', 22 September and 6 October 1913 and 'Loving As We Do', 2 February 1914). He was also in that company at the Court Theatre and at the Coronet, and later played with Mr James Welch in 'When Knights were Bold' and in other productions. Lieut. Holmes was well known as a singer and actor at soldiers' entertainments. He had the gift of making many friends, and after his death letters bearing testimony to the charm of his personality were received, not only from his fellow-officers, but from men under his command. His death undoubtedly deprived the stage of one who would have gone far.'


The Stage Yearbook 1918: ‘Death was busy in the ranks of the theatre during the year. "Some to the wars to try their fortune there," and to find glorious record upon its "purple testament." No exact record of lives laid down can be given, for enlistment was often under other than stage names. But a list as complete as possible, which appears elsewhere, includes Arthur Scott Craven (Capt.), Evelyn Beerbohm (Major), Marcus Draper (Lieut.), Charles Bibby, Leopold Profeit (Capt.), Basil Holmes (Lieut.), J. H. Stanners, Lewis C. Howard (Major), C. V. Sandford (Lieut.), Alan Fisher, Oliphant Down (Capt.), R. Hope Lumley (Lieut.), T. W. J. Wilson (Lieut.), and Frank Cody (Lieut.).'

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Taken on July 22, 2013