Falconer, John Keith

He was the son of John Arthur Keith Falconer Esq., of Calmsden Manor, Cirencester and came to Kingsgate House from Mr. Foster’s school, Stubbington.  Whilst at Winchester he was a member of the OTC.

He obtained a commission in the Hampshire Carabiniers, and was subsequently attached to the 14th Battalion Hampshire (Portsmouth Pals) Regiment. In the early morning of July 31st 1917, his company, under the command of Lieutenant D.G.W. Hewitt, V.C. (G, 1911-1915) (killed in action 31/7/1917 – see individual entry), was sent forward to the assault of an enemy position at St. Julien. They captured their objective, but a few minutes afterwards received a message that a neighbouring detachment of the Hertfordshires was being surrounded. Falconer at once volunteered to try and get in touch with them, and actually succeeded in reaching their Commanding Officer. Their bodies were later found lying dead side by side. It is not recorded what happened but it is likely that they were either both killed by gunfire or by a shell. Although Falconer’s body was found it is probable that like so many it was subsequently lost as no grave is recorded anywhere.

He is commemorated on Panel 5 of the Menin Memorial Gate at Ypres, and by a window in the north wall of Long Sutton Church. About one-fifth of the Battalion was killed or wounded that day, including another OW, Captain Alexander Richard Milne (A, 1909-1914) 1st Battalion Hertfordshire Regiment (see individual entry).

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Falconer
  • Forenames or initials: John Keith
  • House: K
  • Years in School: 1911-1915
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Regiment: Hampshire Regiment
  • Date of Birth: 15th June 1897
  • Date of Death: 31st July 1917
  • How Died: Killed in action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer G1
  • Decoration: NA
  • Burial Site: Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial