Cheesman, George Leonard

He was the son of George Cheesman of Wilbury Gardens, Hove. He entered College from Mr. C. Holland’s school at Hove, was a College Prefect his last year and stood on XV Dress. He was a leading member of Rifle Corps (as it then was), military affairs always possessing a special interest for him. In 1903 he was elected to a Classical Scholarship at New College, Oxford, and took his degree in 1907 with First Classes in both Classical disciplines.

After a year’s teaching at Christ Church, he returned to New College with a Fellowship and was rapidly winning a solid reputation as a student and teacher of ancient history. His particular interest lay in the study of the Roman Empire. He travelled extensively in those districts of Europe which had earlier been Roman provinces, and took part in the excavations at Corbridge and Ribchester. In 1911 he won the Arnold Prize with an essay on the “Auxilia of the Roman Army”, which was published, in an expanded form, early in 1915. He was a member of the Council of the Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies and a frequent contributor to its Journal; and for several years he wrote the articles on Latin inscriptions for The Year’s Work in Classical Studies. He had also studied closely the history and politics of the Near Eastern countries and was an excellent linguist.

He had served some years before in the Volunteers and on the outbreak of war immediately applied for a commission. He was gazetted to the 10th Battalion Hampshire Regiment, and left for Gallipoli in the summer of 1915. There were five Wykehamists serving with the 10th Battalion, Hampshire Regiment by the time it reached Gallipoli: the Adjutant, Captain F.M. Hicks; Terence Allen Shone; W.S. Cowland, Cheesman; and Lieutenant George Edgcombe Hellyer (K1906-1909), both in ‘A’ Company. Neither of them would return. He fell on August 10th of that year during fierce fighting on Chunuk Bair, above Anzac Cove.

His papers are lodged with New College, Oxford and the Bodleian Library.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Cheesman
  • Forenames or initials: George Leonard
  • House: College
  • Years in School: 1897-1903
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Hampshire Regiment
  • Date of Birth: 14th September 1884
  • Date of Death: 10th August 1915
  • How Died: Killed in action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer A6
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Unknown but commemorated on the HELLES MEMORIAL Panel 125-134 or 223-226 228-229 & 328.