Acworth, John Arden

He was the younger son of Harry Arbuthnot Acworth of Great Malvern, and Anna Mary Godby Acworth (daughter of Colonel C V Jenkins, 47th Bengal Light Infantry). HisĀ older brother was Major Douglas Harry Acworth M.C. (D, 1899-1903), Indian Army, who died of influenza at Port Said in January 1919 (see individual entry). He came to Winchester from Twyford School where he was Head Boy. He was in Culver House with the Reverend F P David and in his last year won the King’s Gold Medal for English Essay and the Moore-Stevens Divinity Prize. He went up to Magdalen College, Oxford in the autumn of 1916, and spent a term waiting until he was old enough to join an Officer Cadet Battalion.

He was gazetted on April 25th 1917, after four months training at Oxford, to the 3rd/8th Battalion Worcestershire Regiment at Catterick, and two months later was transferred to the 1st/7th Battalion, Worcestershires, proceeding to France on June 27th 1917. The Wykehamist of October 1917 recorded that the last visit he paid in England before leaving for France, apart from to his own home, was to Winchester and his old House.

He went into action for the first and only time on October 9th of that year, towards the end of the campaign which culminated in the capture of Passchendaele Ridge. He fell severely wounded in the chest by a shell splinter in the early morning while in command of his company. He was taken to a Field Ambulance Unit and a dressing station, and then to No. 4 Casualty Clearing Staiton (Dozinghem) at Westvleteren. However, a few days later gas gangrene developed in the wound, and he died on October 13th. The Hospital Matron wrote to his father that “everything possible was done for him, he died very suddenly at 4.45 p.m. on October 13th”. He had been conscious very nearly to the last, and showed himself, as the Matron testified, “a good patient”.

Like his brother, he took no prominent part in school games, but was an excellent horseman and shot.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Acworth
  • Forenames or initials: John Arden
  • House: D
  • Years in School: 1911-1916
  • Rank: 2nd Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Worcester Regiment
  • Date of Birth: 20th May 1898
  • Date of Death: 13th October 1917
  • How Died: Died of wounds
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer F6
  • Decoration: NA