Manners, Hon John Neville (1892-1914)
by Christopher Horne

Hon John Neville Manners

(6 January 1892 – 2 September 1914)

John Manners left Eton at the end of the summer of 1910. However the record of his singularly bright and happy life is written it must be inadequate; for it cannot recall the winning personality in which all who knew him delighted, nor the many aptitudes which he revealed. Above all, the affection that he inspired cannot be described without an appearance of exaggeration.

Physically he was the embodiment of easy skill, without any taint of professionalism or inclination to over rate his ability, of which, in fact, he was rather inclined to make light. He got his Field in 1909 and played racquets for the School in 1910 with E.L. Bury, reaching the final at Queen’s to be beaten by Charterhouse after a very hard game.

He got his Eleven in 1910 and his second innings at Lord’s, when Eton just won, was a feature of the game at its most critical period. He played racquets for Oxford as well as tennis, and only this summer he won the Army Championship, unexpectedly beating Captain Luther. But to have prominence given to his athletic record is probably not what he would have wished. He had an intellectual side as well, with more than average taste and interest. He appreciated and enjoyed history and poetry and threw himself with zeal into his House Dramatic Society.

From Eton he went to Balliol and thence into the Grenadier Guards. In his frequent and welcome visits here after he had left, his friends felt that he still retained unspoiled the happy simplicity of character which made him so lovable. When war broke out his regiment was amongst the first to go abroad and for some time cheery letters came from him. During the retirement, with which the Allies began the campaign, he was reported missing, and no hope now remains that he survived the fighting of September 2 at Villers Cotterets, south of Soissons.

(From The Eton College Chronicle )