Morgan, Arthur Conway Osborne


Born in Cambridge, Arthur Conway Osborne Morgan was the only son of the Reverend Henry Arthur Morgan of Cheyne Gardens, London, formerly Master of Jesus College, Cambridge and Charlotte, nee Barnes. His early schooling was at St Faith’s, Cambridge and Temple Grove School, East Sheen. He was a Commoner Prefect and for two years was in Sixth Book, winning the King’s Gold Medal for Latin Essay in 1903. He went up to Trinity College, Cambridge on leaving Winchester and took his Degree with Honours in Classics in 1906. He was President of the Union that year and won the Chancellor’s Gold Medal for English Verse with a poem entitled “Michelangelo”. He spent a year on the continent studying French and German and was then called to the Bar. While in London he became interested in the after-care of young prisoners and lectured to them in Pentonville and Wormwood Scrubs.

He served for some time before the war with the 3rd North Midland Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery and later with the Honourable Artillery Company but at the beginning of the war transferred back to the North Midland Brigade and accompanied them to France.

On 13th October 1915, during the Battle of Loos, his brigade were detailed to take part in an attack on trenches known as “Big Willie” and “Dump Trench” and to take another two. The attack was to be preceded by a shell and gas attack, but the shells failed to achieve much and the gas did not reach the German lines. The attack very quickly came to a standstill and as Morgan’s commanding officer wrote to┬áhis mother: “In the attack on a redoubt here he was in charge of a bomb-gun [mortar], and, seeing the infantry hanging back and recognizing the great importance of taking the trench, he dashed in front of the infantry and led them on and occupied the trench, all the infantry officers having been shot down. He was shot dead in the act of cheering others on who were still behind. The report of his conduct has been forwarded to the GOC of the division.” He went on: “Your son has given his life for his country doing a very courageous action. We all loved him and feel the loss very acutely. He was always so cheerful and plucky under all circumstances, and always set a great example to us all of personal bravery”. His name appeared in Despatches.

Arthur Morgan is also commemorated on the War Memorial at Jesus College, Cambridge, where his father was Master from 1885-1912.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Morgan
  • Forenames or initials: Arthur Conway Osborne
  • House: F
  • Years in School: 1899-1903
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Royal Field Artillery
  • Date of Birth: 11th January 1885
  • Date of Death: 13th October 1915
  • How Died: Killed in action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer B4
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: CANADIAN CEMETERY NO 2, NEUVILLE ST VAAST: Grave 13.C.7