King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Boddington, Ralph Thomas

Second Lieutenant ▪ 1st London Regiment

Ralph Thomas Boddington, born on 8th June 1883, was admitted to King Edward’s School in September 1895. His father Samuel was a wool merchant and a Justice of the Peace. He lived with his father and mother, Elizabeth Mary, at 48, Hagley Road, Edgbaston. He had an older brother, AJ Boddington, who was also an Old Edwardian but didn’t serve in the war.

While at School, Ralph enjoyed a prolific athletic career. In July 1902, he competed in various events: he came third in the half-mile handicap race, “[leading] off in capital style…[but was] unable to make further effort once his pace-maker left him”; he won the one mile open race, “although his time was rather feeble”; he came second in the long jump as part of a yearly rivalry with ENW Johnston, with “considerable interest [being] shown in the event as last year Johnston had only been victorious over Boddington by the narrow margin of ½ an inch”; he came second to Johnston again in the 120 yards hurdle race, “a somewhat disappointing performance, none of the competitors having had any practice in hurdling”. A month earlier, Ralph had come close to winning the School cross-country run: “He looked very fresh, and had he not missed the track, would doubtless have rendered a better account of himself.” He also played rugby: “Breaks away smartly from the lineout, and can pass and take passes well. Dribbles excellently, and is fairly fast: a keen tackle.”

After School, Ralph gained entry to Merton College, Oxford. He later practised as a solicitor and married Muriel Jesse (née Harris).

Ralph joined the 1st London Regiment as a Second Lieutenant in 1915. He was killed on 2nd November 1917 in Palestine, while leading his men in an attack on a Turkish trench. He is buried in Gaza War Cemetery.