Humphrey Kaye Bonney Nevinson was born at Lyndon Rectory on 1 December 1891, the son of Thomas and Ethel Nevinson and brought up in the village. His father was rector there between 1889 and 1909. His mother's family had strong Stamford connections which explains why he is on memorials there. Humphrey went to Oakham School between 1905 and 1909, the same year his father moved to become rector at Medbourne in Leicestershire. After leaving school, Humphrey went to work at Oldham Brewery before joining the army sometime before the FIrst World War broke out and was commissioned in the Manchester Regiment. He left Bury with his battalion the 1/10 Manchesters and sailed on the Avon to Alexandria in September 1914, first seeing action around the Suez Canal. He took part in the Gallipoli landings and was wounded in the Battle of Krithia on 4 June 1915, dying the next day on board the hospital ship Somali. He was buried at sea. On 3 June he had written to his mother and while he lay wounded he handed the letter to one of his men, Lance Corporal William Parker, who posted it (see photograph below). In it, Humphrey wrote: "My dear mother, just a line to let you know I am still very fit. I know you will always be anxious for news. That is why I just send a scrap. I really have no time for more, as we are frightfully busy now, digging day and night. I am a qualified navvy and engineer now. We are still attached to the Royal Fusiliers, and I am getting on very well. My best love to all and thanks for the letters dated May 13th. Your loving son HKB Nevinson." In September 1915 Lance Corporal Parker wrote to Mr and Mrs Nevinson from Oldham. He gave a short account of the battle and how he had found Humphrey among the wounded in the trench. Humphrey is remembered on panel 159 of the Helles Memorial. He also has a plaque inside Medbourne Church and his name is on the war memorial outside. He is also remembered in Stamford, on the town's main war memorial and on a memorial plaque on the outside facade of St Martin's Church. It is thought he is also on Oldham's war memorial, but we have not yet had the opportunity to check. But he is not remembered on any memorial in Lyndon, the village where he was born and lived until he was 18.
Most of the information about Humphrey has been kindly supplied by Paul Reeve who used Humphrey's father's notebook for an article in the Heritage of Rutland Water, published by the Rutland Local History & Record Society. Paul points out that Humphrey is mentioned in two books about the war: To What End Did They Die? by Rob Walker, and Amateur Soldiers: A History of Oldham's Volunteers and Territorials, 1859-1938 by KW Mitchinson. Finally, Paul says Humphrey was related to CRW Nevinson, the famous war artist (who went to Uppingham School) and to Basil G Nevinson, the musician after whom one of the Enigma Variations is named. CRW Nevinson's painting entitled A Star Shell featured on a £1.47 Royal Mail stamp marking the centenary of the First World War.
The picture below of Humphrey's last letter is with the kind permission of The Liddle Collection, The Brotherton Library, The University of Leeds.
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