Habershon, Kenneth Rees

Captain / Rifle Brigade

1889 - 1916

Kenneth Rees Habershon was born 8 August 1889, the second son of Dr Samuel Herbert Habershon of Harley Street, London, and elder brother of Captain Leonard Osborne Habershon (F, 1907-1912), East Yorkshire Regiment, who fell on 18 November 1916 (see individual entry).

Kenneth came to Winchester College in September 1903 from Mr H Bull's school at Farnborough. Like his brother, he was in F House, Hawkins'. In his last year Kenneth was Head of his House. He also rose to the Senior Division of Sixth Book, played in OTH XV and VI in 1907 and 1908, was 12th man for Lords' in 1908 and played in the Soccer XI in the same year. 

He left Winchester in December 1908 for New College, Oxford, and then worked in Canada when he left Oxford three years later. He was in business at Winnipeg when war broke out but immediately returned to England, and, refusing to wait for a commission, enlisted. After a few months in the ranks he was gazetted to the 12th Battalion Rifle Brigade and went to France in July 1915.

Kenneth fell near Ypres on 12 February 1916. He had insisted on going out under heavy fire to relieve a comrade and was struck by a shell while on the way.

His name stood on a Wykehamist name-board, which afterwards came into the possession of the School, although it was subsequently lost. The story of the name-board is told in the following letter to The Wykehamist (549, February 1916): 'BEF, France December 23rd 1915 Dear Mr. Editor,– It may interest some of your readers to hear that there is a farmhouse, more or less ruined, about half a mile behind the British line near Estaires, which is called Winchester House, and that a board is kept there on which Old Wykehamist visitors can inscribe their names, and the dates during which they were at Winchester. The following is the list of names and dates carved on this board with varying skill:– V.A. Ormsby 78-83 E.W. Tennant 11-14 E.G.T. Dalton 98-01 F.G. Bonham-Carter 91-96 V.T. Hill 84-89 R.S. Lambert 08-12 L.C.B. Russell 08-12 H.H. Burn 09-13 A.G. Brace 99-03 C.H. Seymour 00-05 C. Aylmer 00-03 L.J.P. Butler 89-93 P. Solomon [08-11] A.R. Pym 05-09 K.R. Habershon [03-08] D.C. Parsons 03-08 F.G.R.B. Stephens [99-05] I am, yours, etc., L.J.P. Butler'

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