Gresham's School in Wartime

We would like to invite people who have an interest in our WWI story to get in touch with us through the blog. Our sixth form researchers will be contributing their own experiences of the project to the blog and we hope to update the website as new material becomes available. If you have any relevant comments or contributions of stories or archive material we would be delighted to hear from you.

If you would like to submit a blog entry, please email Liz Larby.

Henry Neil Newsum - older brother of Clement Neill who died on 27/9/1917 - by Kit and Dolf

Henry was a boarder in Howson’s between 1908 and 1912.  He received colours in rugby and hockey as well as being a good cricketer, and was made a School prefect. In 1912, as School Captain, Henry played an important role on the ceremony for laying the foundation stone of the Chapel, handing a copper box to Sir Edward Busk, Chairman of Governors, for burial as a time capsule. Henry attended University College, Oxford before becoming a timber merchant in the family business in Lincoln.  He joined the Lincolnshire Regiment in 1915, serving as a Captain, and won the Military Cross for a courageous act of reconnaissance. Both brothers trained their companies for the action of 26 September 1917 which claimed the life of the younger, and it was probably due to the insistence of a CO that Henry stay behind that the family did not lose two sons that day.  After the War Henry created a unique memorial to his brother by having his study in Howson’s panelled in oak complete with a beautifully carved school crest and plaque.  Much later, in 1932, he wrote a book about the experience, ‘Behind a Mask – the European War 1914 – 18’, perhaps inspired by the death of his brother. He married Beatrice Hillas, and sent his son David to Gresham’s (Farfield 1942-46). Henry Newsum died in 1968 and was buried in the cemetery at St. Peter’s Church, Eastgate, Lincoln, where there is a memorial window to his brother.  He is pictured below in a 1911 cricket XI, front row, left.