Buck, Geoffrey Sebastian

He was the son of Dr. Sir Percy Carter Buck, of Harrow, and Lucy Elizabeth Buck. He entered Mr. Bell’s House (Major Gawain Bell, killed in action 1917, Housemaster of Bramston’s / Culver’s Close – see individual entry) from the Oxford Preparatory School. He became a Commoner Prefect and a member of Sixth Book, and edited The Wykehamist. He won his Lords cap in 1914, when his coolness and confidence saved Winchester from defeat; and played in Commoner XV and 2nd XI (Association).

According to his obituary in the Wykehamist of December 1918 “he was clearly of no normal type. He had aready thought things out more than most boys of much older age: and his independent attitude towards work and games must have struck all who came in contact with him as something unusual in a school boy. He read widely, but always because books interested him, not because they were the books to read: and it was in the same spirit that he played his football and his cricket. The result was that he educated himself rather than was educated: and that as an athlete he developed a rare quality of nerve and enterprise which often enabled him to succeed where others failed.”

He left school immediately war broke out, although he had another year to run, and in the autumn of 1914 went to Malta to join a battalion of the Royal Fusiliers. The regiment was ordered to France in March 1915. After sixteen months in the trenches he was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and became a pilot of exceptional daring and ability. He won the M.C. in May 1917, and the Distinguished Flying Cross in July 1918, for bringing his machine home from a raid over enemy territory through a heavy thunderstorm.

In July 1917 he was sent to England to join a Testing Squadron, and returning to France in July 1918 in command of a flight of Handley Page bombers, was attached to 83 Wing of the Independent¬†Force (the RAF’s early strategic bombing arm) at Nancy. A week after the raid which won him his D.S.O. and after another air-raid over enemy territory at night he crashed into a petrol tank tower at Rambervillers, near Nancy, and was killed instantly.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Buck
  • Forenames or initials: Geoffrey Sebastian
  • House: H
  • Years in School: 1910-1914
  • Rank: Captain
  • Regiment: Royal Air Force
  • Date of Birth: 17th May 1897
  • Date of Death: 2nd September 1918
  • How Died: Killed in flying accident
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer G1
  • Decoration: M.C., D.F.C.