Welby, Richard WIlliam Gregory (1888-1914)
by Christopher Horne


(16 October 1888 – 16 September 1914)

Dick Welby left Eton in July 1906; he decided to go to Christ Church to join the Grenadier Guards.

A brother officer writes “We had a very severe action on Tuesday, when Dick Welby was wounded in the shoulder. We were very short of officers owing to some heavy casualties. He pluckily insisted on remaining on duty to help us through this difficulty and remained on duty the following day. On the third day we got a terrible shelling and poor Dick was killed. His death was absolutely instantaneous – he was hit in the head by a shrapnel bullet – so he had no pain or suffering, and he was cheerful and happy up to the minute before his death. I can’t tell you how we all deplore Dick’s loss, nor how gallantly he did his duty to the end, and I hope his people will accept the most deep and hearty sympathy of all his brother officers”.

As a boy he was intensely ambitious and it hurt him cruelly to fail; sometimes he seemed too anxious, perhaps too self centred, though blameless always in other ways. But sympathy, life’s crowning gift, came to him with manhood, and many have said of him since his death, what one of the best of his school fellows always said “He was my greatest friend”.

(From The Eton College Chronicle )