As part of the 150th preparations, we have researched the lives of some of our earliest students and uncovered two young men who were killed at the Battle of the Somme but whose names are not on the school memorial at the entrance to the College Chapel. Hence they have never been specifically ‘remembered’. Wonderfully, this is being rectified and their names will be carved on in the next two to three months (the experts in this are few and far between and therefore very busy).
In the meantime, both names will appear in temporary form on Monday 11 November so if you happen to be up at the College, do pop along to the memorial. THe School has also produced Forget-me-not stickers for all pupils and staff to wear for Remembrance Day.
Benedict Hanly Ball
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Benedict Ball is listed on the 1901 census return for St George’s. He was 17. In 1912 he married Frances Murphy in Ireland. When war broke out, Benedict had been married for two years and was building his career in London but by November 1915 he was a temporary second lieutenant with the Hampshire Regiment. By September he had been transferred to the 14th Battalion, which arrived in France in March 1916. Four months later, the Battle of the Somme began. Of the 570 men from the Hampshire Regiment in action on just one day, 457 died, including 17 officers, one of whom was Benedict. His body was never found and he was declared to have been killed in action. He was 32. He was posthumously awarded the Victory and British medals. His sacrifice is remembered on the memorial plaque for staff of the London Assurance Corporation…
…on the Thiepval Memorial, designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens, that ccommemorates more than 72,000 men who died in the Somme sector and have no known grave, the majority of whom died during the Somme offensive of 1916.
Below, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission unfortunately misspelled his name by adding an ‘e’ to Hanly:
Paul Ambrose Mariano
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Paul Mariano was 19 when the census return for St George’s lists him among the school’s boarders, giving his place of birth as ‘Rangoon, British Burmah’. A maritime passenger list records the arrival in London, on 3 September 1906, of the SS Herefordshire, which had sailed from Rangoon; aboard were Masters P A Mariano (aged 14), V J Mariano (15) and G W Mariano (12), all bound for St Boniface College in Plymouth. The next record containing Paul’s name concerns his arrest on 22 December 1913 after he mistook a woman’s ‘glad eye’! He was found not guilty and discharged despite admitting that he had given a bit of incorrect information: He did not go to the Roman Catholic Church that night to say his prayers, although he said some prayers in walking through the churchyard.
The medal card detailing his qualifications for the 1915 Star, Victory and British War medals states that Paul Mariano was a private in the Cheshire Regiment and had arrived in France on 14 April 1915. He was killed in action on 25 September 1916 in France, probably during the Battle of Morval (one of the battles of the Somme), which lasted from 25 to 28 September 1916. Paul’s name is inscribed on the Thiepval Memorial in France, which commemorates those who died in the Somme sector who have no known grave.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s certificate in commemoration of
Private Paul Ambrose Mariano.