Worsley, John Fortescue


The fourth son of Godfrey Thomas Worsley, Headmaster of Evelyns School, Hillingdon, Uxbridge and Frances Worsley, daughter of the Reverend Stephen Melcup Hill, Rector of Shelsley Beauchamp, Worcestershire. He came to Winchester from Cordwalles School and was one of the best runners of his time in the school. He went up to Magdalen College, Oxford in 1907 and took his degree in Jurisprudence. He gained his Blue for long distance running and afterwards ran for the Thames Hare & Hounds and the Uxbridge AC. He left England for a career as a solicitor in Calcutta.

He returned home to join the army in July 1915 and went to France with 3rd Battalion, Grenadier Guards in November that year. His older brother, Second Lieutenant Evelyn Godfrey Worsley (A1898-1903), joined the same battalion late in August 1916, but was killed a fortnight later, in an attack at Ginchy on 17th September (see individual entry).

John Worsley was killed in action at Fontaine Notre Dame, near Cambrai, on November 27th 1917. The Battle of Cambrai had been in progress since November 20th, and Fontaine Notre Dame was the closest to Cambrai itself that Allied Forces were to penetrate. It and Bourlon Wood were crucial points to any defence, and the Germans had made strenuous attempts to recapture the village. One Wykehamist, Captain Andrew Knowles Fraser MC (Coll.1906-1911) had already died in its defence (November 22nd 1917).

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Worsley
  • Forenames or initials: John Fortescue
  • House: A
  • Years in School: 1902-1907
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Grenadier Guards
  • Date of Birth: 1st December 1888
  • Date of Death: 27th November 1917
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer C3
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Unknown but commemorated on Panel 2 of the CAMBRAI MEMORIAL, LOUVERAL