Ham, Michael Gervase

He was the second son of the Very Reverend Herbert Ham MA, FRCO, Provost of Derby, of Wood End, Cromford, Matlock, and Hilda Annie Ham (daughter of Sir Alfred Seale Haslam, of Breadsall Priory, Derbyshire).

He entered the School from Bramcote in September 1931. He won distinction as a fencer, being in the winning Kirby Cup teams of 1934 and 1936, when he won Silver Foils and was Captain of School Fencing. He was an admirable draughtsman and intended to make art his career. There was real promise in his work, and he won the Headmaster’s Prize for art. In July 1936 he left for Worcester College, Oxford, where he read English and studied art. He took his degree in 1939.

He had almost completed his training for a commission in the RAFVR when the failure of an engine caused his death, near Bicester, at the age of twenty-three, on November 29th 1940. On Tuesday, December 3rd 1940, he was laid to rest in grave 288 of Dethick Lea and Holloway Cemetery, Matlock.

His school-friend 2nd Lieutenant E. Grismond (‘Gris’) B. Davies-Scourfield MC (B1932-1936), who was a prisoner of war in Colditz Castle, did not hear of Ham’s death until November 1943:  “Bad news reached me from home in letters received during my ten days in the cells. These told me that… Michael Ham, my very great friend from Winchester days, had been killed on flying training. Bad news of this kind was of course terribly depressing…”


War: World War 2

  • Surname: Ham
  • Forenames or initials: Michael Gervase
  • House: B
  • Years in School: 1931-1936
  • Rank: Sergeant Pilot
  • Regiment: RAF Volunteer Reserve
  • Date of Birth: 8th November 1917
  • Date of Death: 29th November 1940
  • How Died: Killed in an Accident
  • Location in War Cloister: Inner G2
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Dethick Lea and Holloway Cemetery, Matlock, Derbyshire: Grave 288