Mansel-Pleydell, John Morton

2nd Lieutenant / Royal Artillery

1884 - 1916

Twin son of the Reverend Canon John Colville Morton Mansel-Pleydell, former Vicar of Sturminster Newton, Dorset and Canon of Salisbury Cathedral at the time, he came to Winchester from Fonthill School. He was appointed a Commoner Prefect his last year and went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, taking his degree in 1906 with a Second Class in the Classical Tripos. He subsequently spent several years abroad in Canada and Malaya.

He returned to England on the outbreak of war and obtained a commission in the Royal Field Artillery, going to the front in August 1915. He acted for a time as A.D.C. on the Personal Staff, returning to his battery later. He was partly responsible for the development of a height finder, an important improvement in anti-aircraft gunnery which was adopted by the War Office.

He died of wounds at Amiens on September 22nd 1916. His twin brother Evan Morton Mansel-Pleydell (E, 1897-1901), Royal Horse Artillery, died of fever in 1910 while on service at Lucknow and both brothers are commemorated on a plaque and hymn-board in St. Nicholas’ Church, Winterborne Clenston, Dorset. The plaque reads: In memory of John Morton Mansel-Pleydell, Lieutenant RFA, twin brother of Evan Morton Mansel-Pleydell, RHA, who died at Amiens, September 23rd 1916, From wounds received in the Battle of the Somme. This tablet is placed by his affectionate sister Cicely. “My times are in His hand”.    The hymn-board reads: In memory of J.M. Mansel-Pleydell who died of wounds in France September 21st 1916.

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