King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Salaman, Lewis Henry

Able Seaman ▪ Hawke Battallion, Royal Naval Div

Lewis Henry Salaman, born on 14th August 1882, was admitted to King Edward’s School in September 1893. During his time at School, he lived with his mother, Annie, his father, Joseph Wolff, a silversmith and electro-plater, and one of his three sisters at 13, Montague Road, Edgbaston (and later at 4, Greenfield Crescent). His father was a founding partner of the Potosi Silver Company with Phineas Harris Levi (“Cometh the man – Cometh the spoons”), who manufactured hallmarked novelty silverware, including over 2,000 varieties of souvenir spoons. All the firm’s wares bear the hallmark ‘L&S’. In 1889, Lewis organised a School excursion to the firm, for which “many applications were made and the majority had to be refused.” The boys spent two hours at the works, and were shown various processes, such as “casting, stamping and electro-plating.”

At School, Lewis excelled academically, placing consistently near the top of the First Class, taught personally by the Headmaster. He also threw himself into the School community, competing in long and short distance running, fives, the 1st XV and chess. He was also a member of the Debating Society, once arguing that, “impudence which commanded success in life was itself a kind of genius.” He was also a member of the Photographic Society, curating an exhibition at School in 1900. Lewis was also a Prefect.

After School, Lewis went on to Trinity College, Cambridge, coming away with a BA in Engineering and an interest in the military from his involvement with the Cambridge Rifle Volunteers. He returned to Birmingham and became Director of his father’s firm, the Potosi Silver Company. Passenger lists reveal that in 1906, Lewis travelled to New York aboard the SS Campania, possibly on business.

Before the war, Lewis had been Captain of the Birmingham Company of the Jewish Lads’ Brigade, and in 1914 he enlisted as an Able Seaman in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He later transferred to the Public Schools’ D Company, Hawke Battalion, Royal Naval Division, founded by Churchill in August of that year. Lewis was killed at Gallipoli by a grenade on 19th June 1915, aged thirty-two, and is commemorated on the Helles Memorial, Turkey. He left his estate of £3,287 to his wife, Alice, with whom he had fathered two children.