Tompson, Hew Francis Carver
He was the only son of Major-General Reginald Henry Dalrymple Tompson CB, CMG, DSO (I1893-97), a distinguished gunner and staff officer, of Bay Tree Cottage, Bentley, Hampshire. His mother – Bridget Dorothea Tompson – was the daughter of the Venerable F.N. Thicknesse (C1871). He left as a Commoner Prefect, had some success at cricket and gymnastics, and managed to pass into RMC Sandhurst.
At the Royal Military College he had the chance to volunteer for the Royal Artillery, and after training at Larkhill with 110 OCTU was posted to 78 (Duke of Lancaster’s Yeomanry) Medium Regiment. He was promoted Lieutenant in August 1941.
Some months before leaving England in the autumn of 1941 he was posted to 11 (Honourable Artillery Company) Regiment, RHA, which went out to the Western Desert as part of 1 Support Group in 1st Armoured Division. On the way, there was time for an Old Wykehamist dinner, as described in the following letter to The Wykehamist (880, February 1942):
During the recent visit of this convoy to a certain port, an Old Wykehamist dinner was held at the Cumberland Hotel. “Domum” was sung, and followed by the traditional hot, in which College and the younger generation of ‘C’ defeated ‘A’ and ‘I’. The only baker we could obtain came off a sofa, and was two feet square and harder than most – an excuse which ‘A’ and ‘I’ put forward for their defeat. The excuse was not accepted.
The following were present at the dinner:
G. Keble Moberly C1884-87
G.S. Moberly C1910-14
R.E.E. Christian C1902-05
P.H. Duranty A1894-97
J.D. Eggar A1930-35
H.F.C. Tompson I1933-38
J.L.F. Armitage Coll.1933-37
I am, Sir, yours, etc.,
J.L.F. Armitage, Lieut., RHA
11th Regt., Royal Horse Artillery
11th November, 1941
By late December 1941 the unit had reached Tobruk but on January 21st the Germans launched a strong attack, which prompted a hurried British withdrawal from Libya. Tompson was killed on January 21st 1942, at the age of twenty-one, during a dive-bombing attack on his battery. His Colonel wrote of him as “always keen and cheerful and very efficient.”
He is commemorated in column 13 of the Alamein Memorial. Three days later, Armitage, the author of the above letter, was mortally wounded whilst in action with the battery.
- Surname: Tompson
- Forenames or initials: Hew Francis Carver
- House: I
- Years in School: 1933-1938
- Rank: Lieutenant
- Regiment: Honourable Artillery Company, Royal Horse Artillery
- Date of Birth: 19th February 1920
- Date of Death: 21st January 1942
- How Died: Killed in Action
- Location in War Cloister: Inner A2
- Decoration: NA
- Burial Site: Commemorated on the Alamein Memorial, column 13