The Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment

Second Lieutenant H Latimer


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Second Lieutenant Hugh LATIMER, 3rd Battalion attached 6th Battalion, Queens Own Royal West Kent Regiment, killed in action, at Ovillers, 3rd July 1916, age 19.

Son & only child of Henry Arthur Latimer, M.D., (Member of the General Medical Council), and Anne Katharine Latimer, of Swansea and Trengweath, Molyneux Park, Tunbridge Wells, Kent. 

Educated at Rugby School, 1911 to December 1914 and Scholar elect of Brasenose College, Oxford.

Obtained Commission on leaving Rugby and after fifteen months training in England he left for the Front in France in March 1916; he took part in the Battle of the Somme.

A Sergeant described the action as follows:- "I was in Mr. Latimers Platoon, and went into action with him on the morning of the 3rd July, and I kept with him till we reached the Germans second line trench. Mr Latimer then sent me to the left of the Platoon, he himself remaining on the right. At a given signal we charged, and Mr. Latimer and his Platoon got into the German second line all right, but I could not, as we were held back with machine-gun fire and bombs. About ten minutes after that I saw Mr. Latimer come out of the German trench, and that was where his body was found and buried there three or four days later after another attack was made on the sector."

One of the men, who was wounded in the attack, spoke with extraordinary affection of him and his bravery. He said that "Mr. Latimer rushed out of the trench, leading his men and calling out that it was "A privilege to be in the attack," and a brother Officer, when he heard that he was reported missing, said that he feared the worst, for " He was too daring a fighter ever to give himself up."

One of his Commanding Officers wrote of him as not only keen and intelligent, but also conspicuously upright, steady, and clean living, and at the same time always cheery.

Another Commanding Officer wrote:- "Your son was a great favourite, and one of the best Officers we have had. I hear he behaved in the most gallant way at the Front, just as I should have expected him to do."

He was much esteemed by his brother Officers, and one of them, a much older man and himself an author, wrote as follows:- "I can imagine only too well how gallant Hugh would have been in battle. It is the combination of that with his other qualities which makes one realise what an exceptional and promising life has been cut short. He was one of those rare cases where the scholar and the warrior are really mixed, and I am old enough to have appreciated the fine quality of the result."

Commemorated at Thiepval Memorial, Pier & Face 11C, France.


London Gazette 29th December 1914

INFANTRY - The under mentioned Cadets and ex-Cadets of the Officers Training Corps to be Second Lieutenants, on probation: 

Dated 30th December, 1914. Hugh Latimer. 3rd Battalion, Royal West Kent Regiment.


OBITUARY

Second Lieutenant Hugh Latimer - 3rd Battalion (Reserve) The Royal West Kent Regiment.

Hugh Latimer was the only child of Henry Arthur Latimer, M.D., Member of the General Medical Council, of Trengweath, Molyneux Park, Tunbridge Wells, and of Anne Katherine his wife.

He entered the School in 1911, and left in December, 1914, having just gained an Open Classical Scholarship at Brasenose College, Oxford.

He obtained his Commission on leaving Rugby, and after fifteen month's training in England he left for the front in France in March, 1916. He took part in the Battle of the Somme, being attached to the 6th Battalion, and fell at Ovillers, July 3rd, 1916.

A Sergeant described the action as follows:-

"I was in Mr. Latimers Platoon, and went into action with him on the morning of the 3rd July, and I kept with him till we reached the Germans second line trench. Mr Latimer then sent me to the left of the Platoon, he himself remaining on the right. At a given signal we charged, and Mr. Latimer and his Platoon got into the German second line all right, but I could not, as we were held back with machine-gun fire and bombs. About ten minutes after that I saw Mr. Latimer come out of the German trench, and that was were his body was found and buried there three or four days later after another attack was made on the sector."

One of the men, who was wounded in the attack, spoke with extraordinary affection of him and his bravery. He said that "Mr. Latimer rushed out of the trench, leading his men and calling out that it was "A privilege to be in the attack," and a brother Officer, when he heard that he was reported missing, said that he feared the worst, for " He was too daring a fighter ever to give himself up." One of his Commanding Officers wrote of him as not only keen and intelligent, but also conspicuously upright, steady, and clean living, and at the same time always cheery.

Another Commanding Officer wrote:-

"Your son was a great favourite, and one of the best Officers we have had. I hear he behaved in the most gallant way at the Front, just as I should have expected him to do."

He was much esteemed by his brother Officers, and one of them, a much older man and himself an author, wrote as follows:-

"I can imagine only too well how gallant Hugh would have been in battle. It is the combination of that with his other qualities which makes one realise what an exceptional and promising life has been cut short. He was one of those rare cases where the scholar and the warrior are really mixed, and I am old enough to have appreciated the fine quality of the result."

He bore indeed a great name and his record shows that it did not suffer in his keeping.


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