John Bertram Partington taught Classics at Oakham School between 1910 and 1913 and also took part in the school's Officers Training Corps in which many of the boys who died during the First World War would have served as well. He was a vicar's son and was born at Netherfield Vicarage in Sussex to the Reverend Thomas Partington in May 1884. John was educated at Summerfield in Oxford, Radley, and at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he went with an Exhibition in 1903 and taking Honours in the Classical Tripos in 1907. He had just moved from Oakham to St Edward's School in Oxford to be Classics Master when the First World War began. John was commissioned in the 4th Battalion the Devonshire Regiment on 9 October 1914 and served in Lahore in modern-day Pakistan before being sent to Australia in command of an escort of German prisoners. In October 1916 he rejoined his regiment which was by now in Mesopotamia [Iraq]. On 3 February 1917 the Devons took part in a major attack on the Turkish lines south of Kut-el-Amarrah. Victory came at a high price. Out of 15 officers and 403 men who took part in the assault, only five officers and 186 men emerged unscathed. John, now a Captain, was one of those killed, probably by concussion from a shell explosion as he was found dead and apparently unwounded in a Turkish trench with almost all his men. He was 32 and is buried in Amara War Cemetery, grave XXI.J.5, although he no longer has a headstone due to the ground conditions there. Instead he is commemorated on a screen wall at the cemetery. He is also remembered on Netherfield war memorial, in the chapel of Oakham School and on the war memorial at Pembroke College.
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