William Reginald Favell was at Oakham School between 1896 and 1900, and during this time was a prefect and rugby Colour. He came from Sheffield, the son of Richard and Ada Favell of Belmont House, Glossop Road. He went out to Canada and worked as a rancher and joined the local militia. On 8 December 1914 he attested for the Canadian army but instead of joining up there he came home and was was commissioned into the 4th (Hallamshire) Battalion York and Lancaster Regiment, 148 Brigade, 49th Division as a Second Lieutenant. When the Battle of the Somme began on 1 July 1916, William's battalion was in reserve in Thiepval Wood. The next day it was ordered to relieve remnants of the Ulster Division who had survived the initial assault and who were clinging to part of the German front line. The battalion war diary states: "Two Companies were to relieve Royal Irish Rangers in A line and 2 Companies to hold British front line from Thurso Street to Inverness Avenue." It then records 2nd Lieutenant WR Favell along with 15 soldiers had been killed along with 88 soldiers who had been wounded. William is buried in Authuille Military Cemetery, grave F.4, and is remembered in Oakham School Chapel. The Commonwealth War Grames Commission has his age as 34, but on his attestation papers William wrote that he was born in 1885 which would mean he was 31 when he died. Another Oakham School pupil, Harold Dyson, was in the same battalion and died nearby at the end of July.
See where all our Rutland soldiers died during the Battle of the Somme on our interactive map.
A family website is here.
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