Synge, Francis Patrick Hamilton
Son of Alexander Hamilton Synge of Glanmore Castle, Co Wicklow, and Georgina Graves, he entered Chernocke House from Mr L Griffiths’ school in Hastings. He was a House prefect in his last year, played in OTH XV and rowed in the school IV.
He went into business and on the outbreak of the war was with Messrs Boulton Brothers & Co., before joining the Home Defence. A few months later he obtained a commission in the 3rd Battalion Irish Guards, going to the front that autumn. He was twice wounded, once at the Battle of Loos and again a few months before his death. He received the M.C. for his courage in the field up to that date and a mention in Despatches.
He fell in action at Elverdinghe on 29th July 1917 during the preparations for the opening of the Third Battle of Ypres, otherwise known as Passchendaele. The Irish Guards were moving up into the line and were noticed by a German aeroplane, which signalled a barrage in which Synge and 40 of the men were either killed or wounded. His commanding officer wrote: “As an officer and a friend I know of no one else in the battalion who was more beloved by the men; he was indeed an ideal leader of men, brave and capable and utterly unselfish…. one whom we all knew and loved as a very gallant gentleman”.
In 2008 Dix Noonan Webb, specialist medal auctioneers, sold for £3,800 Synge’s 1914-1915 Star, his posthumously awarded British War & Victory Medals together with a memorial plaque and a typed account of the action for which he was awarded his M.C. It is not known where they currently are.
- Surname: Synge
- Forenames or initials: Francis Patrick Hamilton
- House: A
- Years in School: 1902-1907
- Rank: Captain
- Regiment: Irish Guards
- Date of Birth: 5th February 1889
- Date of Death: 29th July 1917
- How Died: Killed in action
- Location in War Cloister: Outer C3
- Decoration: M.C.
- Burial Site: BLEUET FARM CEMETERY, YPRES: Grave I.B.19