King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Mason, Philip Granville

Major ▪ 3rd Dragoons

Philip Granville Mason, born in 1872, was admitted to King Edward’s School in January 1885. While he was at School, Philip lived with his widowed father, Edwin, a solicitor, and his five siblings, in Yardley. The Masons were an old Yardley family and his father’s legal practice was an established firm later continued by Philip’s brother, Edgar.

At School, Philip was a cricketer, “medium of pace with great accuracy of pitch and control over the ball, making a first class school bowler”, taking 9 wickets in one match against Trinity College, Cambridge in 1890, but was less successful as a fielder. He also played rugby for the 1st XV, but, according to the 1887 Chronicle, “was too fitful and indifferent a player to be an acquisition to any team.”

Philip was a career soldier, first joining the South Staffordshire Militia and later gaining a commission in the 7th Dragoons. He served in the Boer War, performing work “scouring the country for marauding commandos”, rising to the rank of Captain with the 20th Hussars. For his service in South Africa, in 1902, he was awarded the Queen’s South Africa Medal with four clasps. By the time war broke out with Germany, Philip had been promoted to Major, and was welcomed by the 3rd Dragoons as a popular officer. During his service in France and Flanders, he distinguished himself again, winning the Legion of Honour in February 1915 and the Distinguished Service Order soon afterwards, for his “brilliant defence against overwhelming odds” at Hooge Fort, for which he was also mentioned in dispatches. Philip was killed by a shell on 26th September 1915, aged forty-three, while defending a captured German trench near Loos. He is buried in Vermelles British Cemetery, France. His widow, who was living at Eastbourne at the time, applied for his medals after the war.