Lancelot John Austen Dewer, known as Jack, was a pupil at Oakham School between 1911 and 1915 and died during the closing stages of the Battle of the Somme. A keen cricketer, he was in the school's First Eleven of 1914, one of five team members who would later die in the First World War. Jack was born in Northampton on 8 October 1896, the younger son of the Reverend David Dewar and his wife Annie. The family later moved around Leicestershire, as his father was vicar of St Luke's church in Glen Parva in Leicester, and then Holy Trinity Church in Loughborough. Jack was commissioned in the Royal Marine Light Infantry as a Second Lieutenant on 15 Jan 1916, and travelled to France on 8 July 1916 where he joined the 2nd Battalion. He was killed four months later during the Battle of the Somme, just a month after his 20th birthday. His battalion attacked Beaucourt-sur-L'Ancre on 13th November 1916, in the final stages of the Somme offensive and was involved in heavy hand-to-hand fighting. Jack died in no man's land close to Gordon Trench near Beaumont-Hamel and was buried nearby. After the war his body was reburied in the very beautiful Ancre British Cemetery, Beaumont-Hamel in grave II.C.38. He is also remembered in Oakham School Chapel. Every year, pupils from Oakham School's Third Year visit his grave as part of an annual trip to the battlefields (see photograph below). His elder brother David, known as Sonnie, was also killed in the First World War two years after Jack in 1918. Their mother moved to 31 Gledhow Gardens in South Kensington during the war after their father had died.
See where all our Rutland soldiers died during the Battle of the Somme on our interactive map.
Pictures below of Oakham School Cricket First XI courtesy Andrew Renshaw, author of Wisden on the Great War.
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