Our Felsted Chapel is full of memories of young men who were barely old enough to leave school, going out to fight in a country that they didn’t know, for a King that they hadn’t met. Doing so because they were sure that they were fighting for what was right.
One of the worst jobs that the Headmaster had to do was to read the names of those who died, as the news came in. I am so grateful to live in a time when I don’t have to do that. There is plenty in the world that we would want to change, but that is not one of those things. Always value peace and friendship wherever you go, whoever you are.
Here are the stories of two brave young Felstedians, who died for our freedom.
Sergeant Carl Latham died on 1st July 1916 - the same day that John Leslie Green VC fell - after whom the Green Room in Windsor’s is named, and whose plaque is up on the wall in the transept. Latham was in Mont’s until 1913, when he left as a 15 year old to join up. He was a hockey player and cricketer, and won an event on sports day in 1913 for throwing a cricket ball. As an 18 year old, he was asked to lead a troop of men across no man’s land, as a diversion. The heavy guns were supposed to have meant that they had no opposing guns to face. The reality was that, as they walked at the guns, 4,000 men fell. Latham was an officer, but was only 18 years old.
2nd Lt Geoffrey Bolton was in Mont’s as a 10 year old and left at the age of 16 to join up. He won colours for boxing, and in the picture, you can see that he was a league captain in the prep school. At the age of 17, this young man was an officer; he got as far as the wire, in no man’s land, and was hit in the stomach and died 15 minutes later.