Medley, Bertram Antony


The younger son of Dudley Julius Medley and Isabel Medley, daughter of the Reverend John Gibbs of Speen House, Newbury. His father was Professor of History at the University of Glasgow. Bertram came to Winchester from Cordwalles School and was a School Prefect and a member of College XV in his last year, and took a prominent part in the proceedings of Natural History Society, being especially interested in botany. He won the Duncan Prize for Reading in 1914 and had intended to go up to Balliol College, Oxford the following October.

He was gazetted that same month to the Highland Light Infantry and went to the front in April 1915. During the operations of September 25th that year, during the Battle of Loos, his company of the 2nd Battalion was one of those leading the attack at Givenchy. After taking several lines of trenches they were bombed back to their former position. Medley fell severely wounded, but refused to be moved until all his men had been got away. The ground shortly afterwards fell into German hands and it is presumed that he died of his wounds. His name appeared in Lord French’s Despatch of January 1st 1916.

He is also commemorated on the War Memorial at Mears Ashby in Northamptonshire where it is recorded the Medley family lived around 1910-1914.

Also in 2nd Division’s attack, but south of the canal, two other Wykehamists died that day: 2nd Lieutenant Alexander Douglas Gillespie (Coll.1903-1908), 2nd Battalion, Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, and Captain Arthur Kilby (F1898-1902), 1st Battalion, South Staffordshire Regiment; the latter won the Victoria Cross for his unsuccessful attack on the Railway Triangle. Nine Wykehamists in all died at Loos on September 25th 1915, making it the single worst day of conflict up to that point for the College since records began.

The War Diary of 2nd Battalion Highland Light Infantry, together with a typed edition of a document entitled “The Tale of the Adventures of Sir Bertram the Knight from the day when he set forth on his perilous voyage until he returned safely back home again”, a diary of his time at the front, is in the College Archive, and can be seen by contacting the  Archivist, Suzanne Foster, on sf@wincoll.ac.uk

 

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Medley
  • Forenames or initials: Bertram Antony
  • House: College
  • Years in School: 1908-1914
  • Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Highland Light Infantry
  • Date of Birth: 23rd February 1895
  • Date of Death: 25th September 1915
  • How Died: Wounded and died in German hands
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer E5
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Unknown but commemorated on Panels 108 and 112 of the LOOS MEMORIAL