Wordsworth, Osmund Bartle


He was the son of the Reverend Christopher Wordsworth (Coll. 1861-1867), Sub-Dean of Salisbury Cathedral and grandson of Christopher Wordsworth, Bishop of Lincoln, who had also been in the school; and a nephew of the poet, William Wordsworth, and the third generation of his family to attend Winchester College. His mother was Mary Wordsworth, daughter of the Reverend Andrewes Reeve, Vicar of Kimmeridge in Dorset. He came to Winchester from Mr Pellatt’s school at Langton Matravers, became Prefect of Library, won the Warden and Fellows’ Prizes for Greek Prose and Greek Iambics and in his last year played in College XV.

In 1906 he went up to Trinity College, Cambridge with a Major Scholarship and graduated in 1909 in the Classical Tripos. Two years later he was appointed Lecturer in Classics at Selwyn College, Cambridge. In 1914 he published a novel entitled “The Happy Exchange”. That same year he went to Canada to take up a post on the staff of Trinity College, Toronto but returned to England in the following April to join the Army, crossing with his sister in the Lusitania on her final voyage. He was one of the last to leave the ship when she was torpedoed on 7th May 1915 and sank with the loss of nearly 1,200 lives just south of Queenstown in Ireland – an event which pushed America closer to participation in the war. Both he and his sister survived.

He was gazetted on 11th June 1915 to the 9th (Service) Battalion, Oxford and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, transferring to the Machine Gun Corps in September 1916. He was killed on 2nd April 1917 at the Battle of Arras, while posting his guns in the village of Henin-sur-Cojeul, five miles south east of Arras. He insisted on going into the open to see that all his guns were in position and while on his way from one post to the next fell shot through the heart.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Wordsworth
  • Forenames or initials: Osmund Bartle
  • House: College
  • Years in School: 1899-1906
  • Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Machine Gun Corps
  • Date of Birth: 17th May 1887
  • Date of Death: 2nd April 1917
  • How Died: Killed in Action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer B5
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Unknown but commemorated on Panel 10 of the ARRAS MEMORIAL