Edward Lyon Bostock

Rank: Second Lieutenant
Regiment: Royal Sussex Regiment, 4th Battalion
Country: France
Service Number: 13778
Cemetary/Memorial: Bray Military Cemetary, Somme, France (Panel Number II. H. 55)
Awards: British War Medal
Victory Medal
1914-1915 Star

Born on 9th November 1886 in Horsham, Sussex, Second Lieutenant Bostock died of his wounds at 48 Casualty Clearing Station in France on 5th April 1917, aged 30.

He was the fifth son of Dr Edward Ingram (1842-1926), Justice of the Peace, and Sarah Bostock (nee Southey-Baker, 1845-1920) of Horsham, Sussex and, and one of ten children:

Eva May (b. 1875)
John Southey (1875-1930)
Archibald Thomas (1877-1915)
Robert Vernon (1878-1949)
Agnes Helen (1878-1961) Alpen (b. 1880)
Constance Marjorie (1881-1967)
Francis Edward Henry (1883-1955)
Dorothy (1884-1964)
Edward Lyon (1886-1917)

 

Both Edward and Neville came to Saint Ronan’s at the start of the Michaelmas Term in 1896 and were placed in Class II.

In 1898 Edward was appointed as a Prefect. He also performed in the school Christmas production, alongside his classmate J.R. Wynter, as “Two Pugilists”.

He was a keen sportsman:

Cricket – He is described as ‘a prominent performer’ – and was appointed to the committee for the 1898 season.

Football – He gained his Colours in January 1899 and was appointed Vice Captain of the team.

Gymnastics – He won prizes in 1898 and 1899, and it was said “He worked throughout with great neatness. He has the advantage of plenty of strength without being heavily made”.

Atheletics – In 1899 he won the High Jump and the Senior Quarter Mile.

In February 1899, he was appointed Second Prefect, and the Prefects’ Representative for the Grub Shop Committee. In July of the same year, he wrote the following letter to The Ronian:

“I am becoming a very good amature photograffer. If anyone wants to be taken, either singly or as a groop, will they let me know at once, and I will take you to-morrow, if it is fine.

Yours sincerely, E. L. Bostock”
Edward went on to Haileybury (1900-1904) where he entered Edmonstone House. He was followed the next year by his brother, Neville.

bostock

Edward Bostock (top row, far right) with Neville Bostock (top row 8th from the left), Haileybury 1902

In February 1906, at the age of 19, he travelled to British Columbia as a farmer with his brother Neville.  The brothers returned from Canada at the outbreak of war, with Edward enlisting in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Wiltshire Regiment.  He served with the British Expeditionary Force in France and Flanders from March 1915 for 10 days only, when he was wounded and invalided home.

 

He obtained a commission in 1916, and after being transferred to the Princess Charlotte of Wales’s (Royal Berkshire Regiment), served again in France, where he was wounded a second time, and sadly died in hospital at Bray.

 

His Colonel wrote:

 

He was leading his company in an attack on three villages when he was hit.  No one could have handled his command better.  He was up and down the line taking all care of his men and utterly regardless of himself.  I trusted him in all his work, for he had proved himself a true comrade and a gallant and noble soldier.”

 

All of the boys served in the War with two of his brothers, Archibald and Neville also being lost:

 

  • John Southey Bostock (1875-1930) gained his Bachelor of Medicine at Edinburgh in 1900. He became a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1909.  In 1913, he served in India as a Major, before going on to serve in France and Belgium.  He became a Colonel in 1930 ad Commandant of the Royal Army Medical Corps.  He was awarded the CBE.

 

  • Archibald Thomas (1877-1915) fought in the Boer War in 1899-1902 with the Suffolk Yeomanry. He went to China where he worked as an engineer on the Canton to Hankow railway.  At the outbreak of War, he resigned this position and returned to England.   He was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Northumberland Fusiliers (14th Battalion) on 5th January 1915, and was promoted to Captain on 14th   He went to France and died at the Duchess of Westminster’s Hospital at La Touquet on 30th September 1915 from wounds received at the Battle of Loos on 26th.  A brother-officer wrote, “He was a splendid officer and friend and always did more than his duty, and I miss him terribly.  On the fateful Sunday, we were in a very trying position and he was coolness personified:  in fact, he was wonderful….  I cannot tell you what a help he was to me”.

 

  • Robert Vernon (1878-1949) had joined the South African Mounted Rifles in 1900, and took part in the South African War. In World War I he was a Lieutenant of the 1st Battalion Seaforth Highlanders serving in Palestine.  He was wounded in 1918.  He subsequently went to Australia and engaged in fruit farming.

 

  • Francis Edward Henry (1883-1955) served as a Lieutenant with the Royal Field Artillery (57th Division), and was wounded on 12th October 1918. He was Mentioned in Despatches and was awarded the Military Cross.  He continued his military career and became a Major.  After the War, he returned to his education, attending Cambridge University and earning a BA in 1922 and Masters in 1926.  He went on to live in South Africa.  A detailed account of his life in Africa is given in “The Chronicles of Capota 1927-1943”, subtitled “The Travels in Africa of Major Francis E H Bostock, MC (1883-1955)”.

 

  • Neville Stanley (1888-1917) was a Second Lieutenant with the Royal Field Artillery, 162nd Brigade, “B” Battery. He was killed in action near Arras, France on 22nd April 1917, aged 29.  He had also attended Saint Ronan’s and his story is told in more detail on his profile.

 

It is believed that one of his sisters, Dorothy (1884-1963), worked as a nurse in France during the War.