Posted: November 4, 2018

In Remembrance

Selwyn will be remembering those who died in conflict with services in the chapel on Sunday November 11th. There will be a two minutes silence in Old Court at 11am; and later at 6pm the choir will sing Parry’s Songs of Farewell to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Our archive images for November feature the description of a chance meeting on the battlefield in 1918 by Montague Spinney (SE 1906, pictured below) and Robert Close (SE 1907). Spinney was serving as a chaplain while Close was a lieutenant with the Yorkshire Regiment when they met in May 1918 – only a few days before Close was killed on 27th May. Spinney had read Music at Selwyn and was a Music Scholar while Close had read History. Sadly, Close left a young wife and child when he died.

The letter reads as follows: “We were being driven back on the Lys, near Le Croix du Bac, V, tho’ I was Chaplain to the 13th East Surreys, we were so short of officers that I was in charge of building some trenches to try & stop the Boche advance. We were all being shelled & machine gunned rather wickedly when, suddenly up came The 50th Div., & a young officer came up to me & asked if I was in charge. I said “No”, he’d find them over in the farmhouse nearby”. He looked at me – for we all looked alike in our tin hats & khaki – and said “My goodness, Spinney, what are you doing out here”. Then we parted & I never saw him again. He was a fine lad & I always liked him at Selwyn.”