Egerton, Charles Ralph
Ralph Egerton was born on 28th April 1907, the fourth son of Charles Augustus Egerton and Lady Mabel Egerton, of Mountfield Court, Robertsbridge, Sussex. He entered the school as an Exhibitioner, becoming Head of his House in 1923. He was interested in Natural History and became Secretary of the School Society in 1924. He was a good shot, representing the school at Bisley in 1925. Going up to New College, he was whipper-in to the beagles. He was called to the Bar in 1935 but practised little.
A keen member of the Sussex Yeomanry before the war, he went to France as Major 98th Field Regiment, Royal Artillery, Surrey and Sussex Yeomanry, equipped with 18 pounder guns. A second Wykehamist, Major the Hon. Francis Alan Stewart-Mackenzie of Seaforth (A 1923-1928) was serving as OC 392 (Surrey) Battery (killed in action 11th September 1943 – see individual entry), and another – 2nd Lieutenant the Hon. Rowland Roberts Blades (I 1925- 1931) – was also with the Regiment.
In May 1940 he was reported missing near Hazebrouck. A year later he was officially reported killed at Achin on 25th May 1940. During the afternoon Egerton and Viscount Cowdray, a Captain in the Sussex Yeomanry, left on a scouting mission in two lorries. They ran into an ambush and he was seen to jump into a ditch with his driver under machine gun fire. Cowdray had had his driver killed next to him and with his elbow smashed, he managed to turn his vehicle on the road and return to camp. It was noted that the vehicle was riddled with bullet holes. He eventually had his arm amputated.
Thirty-three years old when he died, Egerton is buried in grave 15.E.4 of the Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille. He is also commemorated on the war memorial of All Saints’ Church, Mountfield, East Sussex and at St Giles Church, Shermanbury, West Sussex, as well as on the Lloyd’s of London War Memorial. His brother Captain Edward Brassey Egerton (17th Lancers), who went to Eton, had been killed in 1918 (for further information see http://www.chch.ox.ac.uk/fallen-alumni/captain-edward-brassey-egerton)
- Surname: Egerton
- Forenames or initials: Charles Ralph
- House: F
- Years in School: 1920-1925
- Rank: Major
- Regiment: Royal Artillery
- Date of Birth: 28th April 1907
- Date of Death: 25th May 1940
- How Died: Killed in Action
- Location in War Cloister: Inner E1
- Decoration: NA
- Burial Site: Terlincthun War Cemetery, Wimelle: Grave 15.E.4