Sebastian, Skinner Raymond


Born in Tulse Hill, London, he was the third son of Lewis Boyd Sebastian (C1863-1869), barrister, of Lincoln’s Inn and 12 Lexham Gardens, London. His mother was Harriet Maria Sebastian (daughter of Bengt Reinhold Lennartson, of Stockholm and Gothenburg). He was one of four Wykehamist brothers: the others were Lewis Francis Theodore Sebastian (C1896), who soon left owing to illness and died in 1898, Gerald Noel Boyd Sebastian (C1897-1900), and Erroll Graham Sebastian (C1906-1911). Sebastian received his early education from Mr. T.H. Mason at Rottingdean, and in his last year at Winchester was a House Prefect and a member of OTH XV.

In 1905 he went up to University College, Oxford, graduating in 1908 with Honours in Jurisprudence. He was called to the Bar by Lincoln’s Inn in 1910 and two years later went out to Shanghai where he also practised as a barrister, with Platt, Macleod and Co.

He returned to England on the outbreak of war and in March 1915 was gazetted to 3rd Battalion, Hampshire Regiment. In September he was attached to 5th Battalion, Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry and went with them to Flanders, where, apart from one brief interval, he stayed until his death. He was appointed Adjutant in November 1915 and in June 1916 became a Lieutenant and took part in the fighting around Delville Wood during the Battle of the Somme.  He received the M.C. and was promoted to Captain in January 1917 and then returned to England to take a Senior Officers’ Course at Aldershot. He was appointed Lieutenant Colonel to command his old battalion in 14th Light Division in August 1917.  His name appeared twice in despatches, on May 18th 1917 and December 18th 1917.

They were in the trenches near St Quentin when the German Spring Offensive commenced on 21st March 1918, and on 23rd Sebastian was struck by a shell whilst directing the retreat and severely wounded.  His signaller, Private George Burbridge, showed remarkable courage in successfully removing him to hospital at Rouen; however he died of his wounds on 27th March.

One of his officers wrote of him “a braver man or one more deeply loved by both officers and men would be hard to find.”

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Sebastian
  • Forenames or initials: Skinner Raymond
  • House: C
  • Years in School: 1900-1903
  • Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Regiment: Oxford & Bucks Light Infantry
  • Date of Birth: 30th October 1886
  • Date of Death: 27th March 1918
  • How Died: Died of wounds
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer B6
  • Decoration: MC
  • Burial Site: ST SEVER CEMETERY, ROUEN: Grave B.4.20