Ormsby, Vincent Alexander

He was the son of Captain George Fred Ormsby, late 2nd Dragoon Guards, of Thames Ditton, and received his earliest education at Reverend T. J. Nunn’s preparatory school at Maidenhead. He played against Eton in 1883 and was gazetted to the 1st Battalion East Surrey Regiment.  In 1890 he was transferred to the Indian Army, and then joined the 1st Battalion 3rd Queen Alexandra’s Own Gurkha Rifles, which his grandfather had helped to raise in 1816. He saw much service in India, taking part in the Tirah and North-West Frontier campaigns (1897-1989).

In August 1914, he was in command of the 2nd Battalion 3rd Gurkha Rifles and proceeded with them to France. After several months of service there, during which time he was awarded the C.B. and mentioned in Despatches, he was sent at the end of 1915 with his battalion to Egypt, and was shortly afterwards given the command of a Territorial Brigade. He was present at the actions of Katia and Romani in the district east of the Suez Canal, being again mentioned in Despatches, his fourth time.

Early in 1917 the Brigade was ordered to France.  In the early hours of  May 2nd of that year  Ormsby was killed in action, struck by shrapnel pieces which severed his jugular vein. He died almost immediately.

His name stands at the head of the Wykehamist name-board, at one time in the possession of the School although since lost. The history of this board was published in the Wykehamist of February 1916:  BEF, France 23rd December 1915 Dear Mr. Editor,– It may interest some of your readers to hear that there is a farmhouse, more or less ruined, about half a mile behind the British line near Estaires, which is called Winchester House, and that a board is kept there on which Old Wykehamist visitors can inscribe their names, and the dates during which they were at Winchester. The following is the list of names and dates carved on this board with varying skill:– V.A. Ormsby 78-83 E.W. Tennant 11-14 E.G.T. Dalton 98-01 F.G. Bonham-Carter 91-96 V.T. Hill 84-89 R.S. Lambert 08-12 L.C.B. Russell 08-12 H.H. Burn 09-13 A.G. Brace 99-03 C.H. Seymour 00-05 C. Aylmer 00-03 L.J.P. Butler 89-93 P. Solomon [08-11] A.R. Pym 05-09 K.R. Habershon [03-08] D.C. Parsons 03-08 F.G.R.B. Stephens [99-05] I am, yours, etc., L.J.P. Butler

Brigadier Ormsby is also commemorated on the war memorial in the parish of Thurgoland near Sheffield as his family home was Huthwaite Hall in Thurgoland.  Vincent spent his early years in this house and his sisters, Phyllis and Beatrice, lived their throughout their lives.

War: World War 1

  • Surname: Ormsby
  • Forenames or initials: Vincent Alexander
  • House: C
  • Years in School: 1878-1883
  • Rank: Brigadier General
  • Regiment: 3rd Gurkha Rifles
  • Date of Birth: 17th July 1865
  • Date of Death: 2nd May 1917
  • How Died: Killed in action
  • Location in War Cloister: Outer H2
  • Decoration: C.B.