McArthur, Hugh Dayrell

Second son of Donald and Eleanor McArthur of Hans Mansions, London, and younger brother of Valentine Goold McArthur (I 1897-1901). He arrived at Winchester in Common Time 1902 and played in the soccer XI in 1907, and in OTH VI in 1905 and 1906. According to one source, one of his ‘plants’ in ‘Sixes’ sailed out over the canvas, over Meads Wall and ended up in the Itchen (though this is more likely to have been Logie). He also played for Lords in 1906-07.  From 1910 he was a member of the MCC.

After leaving school he worked for the family company of steel merchants, McArthur & Co of Bristol (which is still in existence). He left the company in 1911 but records do not say what he did between then and the outbreak of the war; his family believe that he found employment in the Bristol area.

On the outbreak of the First World War, he took a commission in the Gloucestershire Regiment. He is listed in Winchester records as serving with 3rd Battalion, a reserve unit stationed in Bristol which stayed there throughout the war; in fact, he had been commissioned into 9th Battalion on September 17th 1914.   Aged twenty-six, he was accidentally killed on active service in England on November 3rd 1914. He fell from the platform of Bristol Temple Meads railway station under the wheels of a train, which severed his legs and he died of his injuries whilst being taken to hospital.

There is no entry for him in Wykehamists Who Died in the War, though he is listed in the Wykehamist War Service Roll 1914-1919. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has no listing for his grave, meaning that he was buried in a civilian one (though many who are in such graves are listed by the CWGC).   His grave has been located at Brompton Cemetery and is marked with a Celtic Cross.  Situated to the east of the main path close to the north entrance it is inscribed  “In loving memory of/HUGH DAYRELL McCARTHUR/Sec Lieut Gloucestershire Regiment/died November 5th 1914 aged 26 years” (With thanks to Michael Day of Bath for this information).

As a result of research carried out by an ex-member of staff, Shaun Hullis, and contacts with the family, McArthur’s name was added to War Cloister on Remembrance Sunday 2009. The following report appeared in The Trusty Servant of November 2010:   Remembrance Sunday, 2009   Thanks to some extraordinary detective work by former member of Common Room, Shaun Hullis, a brief and dignified ceremony in War Cloister, in the presence of his family, recognised Hugh Dayrell McArthur (I, 1902-07) as an official casualty of war some eighty-five years after War Cloister had been dedicated. McArthur’s death was unusual to the extent that he was killed in a train crash in Temple Meads Station, Bristol on 3rd November 1914, having been commissioned into the Gloucestershire Regiment. Although his name had been included on the Roll of Honour in Hopper’s, it had not been included in War Cloister. Shaun put forward a case to the Ministry of Defence, who confirmed that he should be officially classified as a war casualty and also listed in the Commonwealth War Graves Commission’s Debt of Honour Register. The Reverend Paul Burt, Senior Chaplain, was pictured with members of the McArthur family: Sam (C1994-1999), James (I1963-1968), and Dayrell (I1959-1964).

War: World War 1

  • Surname: McArthur
  • Forenames or initials: Hugh Dayrell
  • House: I
  • Years in School: 1902-1907
  • Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Gloucester Regiment
  • Date of Birth: 15th March 1888
  • Date of Death: 4th November 1914
  • How Died: Accidentally killed
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer G2
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Brompton Cemetery and commemorated on the UNITED KINGDOM 1914-1918 WAR MEMORIAL, BROOKWOOD