Augustus Tilbury (1887-1917)

Augustus Tilbury (b1887)
Augustus Tilbury (b1887) [1]

1887. Augustus was born 5 Mar in Southhampton, the sixth son and 14th child of Edward and Esther.

1896. Augustus (8) was admitted to Winchester College as a quirister on 28 Apr and left 4 Apr 1903. He and brothers Edward and Ernest were all quiristers (younger boys who sing in the chapel choir) at the College.

1901. The Census lists Augustus (13) and his brother Ernest (12) as boarders at 64/3 Kingsgate St, Winchester. This address was Quirister House, a boarding house of Winchester College. There were 16 students in the house ranging in age from 10 to 15, all choristers. They were under the care of schoolmaster Edward C.Williams (37) and his family: wife Louisa Alice (37) and sons Kenneth (9), Lionel (7) and Donovan (1), as well as a matron and a nurse. Quirister House was also a school for the boarders and for a few day-boys who attended for lessons. Today the College's quiristers still live in Quirister House but attend a nearby prep-school for lessons. In the period of the Tilbury boys attendance at the College, the boys also helped serve food and clear tables in the main dining hall and had some of their meals there. [2]

Winchester College had 2488 members of its community serve in the armed forces during WWI.  513 died, serving predominantly in the army. The total number of boys in the school, in each year between 1914 and 1918, was no more than 450. Effectively, Winchester College lost a generation of young men to the Great War.

1914. At the outbreak of war Augustus was in America, but returned home immediately and enlisted in the 1st Hampshire Battery of the Royal Horse Artillery. He afterwards gained a commission, being gazetted 2nd Lieutenant from 5th September 1915. He served initially with a London Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery but for many months before his death was with a Heavy Trench Mortar Battery, RFA.

1917. Augustus first served in France, entering the war on 14 Apr. His address was recorded as Portman House, Omdurman Rd, Southampton. He was Killed In Action two months later on 8 Jun 1917 at Bullecourt France, during action on the Hindenburg Line. At the time he was a 2nd Lieutenant (Acting Captain). He lies in grave I.I.1 of the Mory Abbey Military Cemetery and is commemorated on his parents’ grave in Southampton Old Cemetery. [3]

Augustus was a bachelor, his parents were deceased and his eldest brother was abroad. His next-of-kin was listed as sister, Miss S. Tilbury, Municipal Buildings, Johannesburg, S.Africa. He died intestate, with an estate of £205.10.2.

1919. On 25 Oct the War Office sent correspondence with the wish of the Army Council, on behalf of H.M. Government, that the next-of-kin of all officers and men who had fallen in the defence of their country should receive a plaque and scroll, bearing the name and regiment, as a memorial of their patriotism and sacrifice. The initial notice was sent to E.F. Tilbury, 34 Portland Terrace, Southampton. On 10 Dec the notice was sent to T.G.E. Tilbury Esquire, 132 Berea Rd, Durban, Natal, S.Africa.

1920. On 29 Jan the same notice and a reminder were sent to E.F. Tilbury, 34 Portland Terrace, Southampton. On 16 Sep the notice was sent to Augustus' sister Miss D.G. Tilbury, c/o Mrs Henry Browning, Hoplands, Kingsomborne, Nr. Stockbridge, Hants., where it finally met with success. On 21 Sep a reply was received from Dorothy (sent 16 Sep), address as above but permanent address stated as c/o Mrs Prince, 77 Livingstone Rd, Southampton, Hants. Dorothy stated that she had been granted Letters of Administration for the settlement of her brother's affairs. All her brothers and sisters were abroad in Africa, the Phillipines and America and she planned to be going abroad in a few months time. The War Office had mistakenly stated Augustus' middle name as William (probably a coincidence that Augustus' uncle was named Augustus William?), which Dorothy corrected.

I believe the following may be a transcript of the scroll that was received from the Army Council:


In Memory of

Royal Field Artillery
who died on
Friday, Sth June 1917.

Commemorative Information

Cemetery: MORY ABBEY MILITARY CEMETERY, MORY, Pas de Calais, France
Grave Reference/ Panel Number: Location: I. I. 1.

Mory is a village between Arras and Bapaume, and about 2 kilometres east of the village of Ervillers. Mory-Abbey Military Cemetery is 450 metres north of the village on the north side of the road to Ecoust-St Mein opposite a large farm called "L'Abbaye".

Historical Information:
Mory village was occupied by British troops in the middle of March, 1917; lost after obstinate defence by the 40th and 34th Division a year later; and recaptured towards the end of the following August, after severe fighting, by the 62nd (West Riding) and Guard Division. The 189 German burials in a Plot on the West side of the cemetery were made by German troops in March-August, 1918, or (in thirteen cases) by British troops in September, 1918. The British Plots were begun at the end of March, 1917, and carried on by fighting units until 1 March, 1918, and again in August and September, 1918, as far as Plot III inclusive. The graves (including many of the Guards Division, and chiefly of 1918) in Plots IV and V were added after the Armistice by the concentration of graves from the bafflefields between St. Leger and Bapaume. The grave of one United States airman has been removed to another burial ground. There are now over 600, 1914-18 war casualties commemorated in this site. Of these, over 100 are unidentified and a special memorial is erected to one soldier from the United Kingdom known to be buried among them. The cemetery covers an area, exclusive of the German Plot, of 2,794 square metres and is enclosed by a rubble wall.

The following were the only considerable burial grounds from which British graves were brought to this cemetery:-

  • GRENADIER GUARDS CEMETERY, ST. LEGER, on the road to Vraucourt, which contained the graves of 24 men of the 2nd Grenadier Guards and two other soldiers from the United Kingdom who fell on the 27th August, 1918.
  • HALLY COPSE EAST CEMETERY, ST. LEGER, between "Hally Copse" and the road to Vraucourt, which contained the graves of 49 soldiers from the United Kingdom (all of the Guards Division except one) who fell in August, 1918.
  • MORY FRENCH CEMETERY, 800 metres South-West of the" village, in which three soldiers from the United Kingdom were buried in February and March, 1917. [4]


[1] Photo: Winchester College at War
[2] Winchester College
[3] Winchester College at War
[4] ? Army Council (provided by David Tilbury of Oregon)

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