Hellyer, George Edgcombe

Second son of Robert Edgcombe and Anne Hellyer of Farlington House, Havant. His two brothers were also at Winchester: Francis Edgcombe Hellyer (E,1902-1905) and Tom Edgcombe Hellyer (K,1912-1917), the latter died of a fever in India in September 1932. His mother donated the five flower vases designed by Reginald Gleadowe, the College’s art master, in Tom’s memory for use on the altar in Chapel. The Wykehamist of July 31st 1933 also records: “The School is greatly indebted to Mrs. Hellyer, mother of Capt. T. E. Hellyer, RFA (K, 1912-17), who died on September 8th, 1932, for the gift of six beautifully bound Service books for use in the Sanctuary of Chapel. W. W. Gooddy (‘A’) has designed and illuminated the lettering of the inscriptions in these volumes.”

George Hellyer entered Kingsgate House from Wayneflete School and on leaving Winchester in 1909 went up to Christ Church, Oxford, where he won distinction as an oarsman; he was captain of the College Boat Club, rowed in the VIII which won the Visitors’ Plate at Henley in 1912 and also in the University Trials in 1912 and 1913.

When the war came he joined the 10th Battalion Hampshire Regiment and went with them to the Dardanelles. Three Wykehamists were serving with the Battalion by the time it reached Gallipoli: Walter Storey Cowland (D1901-1907, Staff 1919-1942), Hellyer, and Lieutenant George Leonard Cheesman (Coll.1897-1903), killed in action 10th August 1915 (see individual entry). The war diary of Captain F M Hicks (Staff 1909-1946) and a Captain in the Hampshire Regiment at Gallipoli with Hellyer, records in detail the vicious fighting at Chunuk Bair, above Anzac Cove when allied forces comprising New Zealand and Australian troops, together with several British regiments including the Hampshires, succeeded in capturing the high ground from the Turks who were using it as an artillery position. Captain Hick’s diary records the prominent role Hellyer played in the success of this action, although it was recaptured by the Turks a few days later. The 10th Hampshires were then detailed to take part in what was to be the last major assault at Gallipoli, the disastrous Battle of Hill 60 during which Hellyer was mortally wounded on August 22nd 1915, while rallying his company for a final advance over a ridge swept by artillery and machine-gun fire. He died at sea the same evening, presumably having been evacuated from the battle area for hospital treatment, and was buried at sea.

Hellyer is also commemorated on the War Memorial at St. Andrew’s Church, Farlington.

On August 21st 1916, a year after Hellyer’s death, the following notice appeared in The Times: HELLYER – In loving memory of my husband, Captain George Edgcombe Hellyer, 10th Hampshires, who died at sea on the 22nd Aug. 1915, of wounds received in Gallipoli the previous day, aged 23.

Captain Hellyer married early in 1915 Miss Freda Rokeby Price.

Source: The War Diaries of Captain F M Hicks.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Hellyer
  • Forenames or initials: George Edgcombe
  • House: K
  • Years in School: 1906-1909
  • Rank: Captain
  • Regiment: Hampshire Regiment
  • Date of Birth: 4th May 1892
  • Date of Death: 22nd August 1915
  • How Died: Killed in action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer D5
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: HELLES MEMORIAL