King Edward’s School and the Great War

Memorial Roll of Honour 1914 - 1918


Somerville, Hugh Russell

Corporal ▪ 10th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, Middlesex Regiment

Hugh Russell Somerville, born on 14th September 1885, was admitted to King Edward’s School in September 1897. He lived with his widowed mother, Elizabeth, at 31, Lysways Street, Walsall. One of Hugh’s brothers, William, was also an Old Edwardian who served in the war and survived.

Hugh was a pupil of the Modern School, studying a primarily scientific, rather than classical, curriculum. He placed below average in his class across his subjects, but his strongest subject was science where he placed 10th out of 16. The 1900 School Chronicle shows that he competed in the 100 yards race, finishing second in his heat. He was a noteworthy player for the 1st XV rugby team, with several of his personal efforts being recorded in the Chronicle. One such report states that: “After lemons the School still pressed and Somerville dodging half the Warwick team, scored a try”.

On leaving School, Hugh became a clerk in a glassworks. In August 1914, he enlisted as a Private Soldier with the 10th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (Middlesex Regiment), and served in France. He was promoted to Lance Corporal in 1916, and died on 21st November of wounds received near Beaumont-Hamel, aged thirty-one. Hugh was buried at Varennes Military Cemetery, France, and is commemorated on the War Memorial in All Saints’ Church, Bloxwich. He left his estate of £259 to John Taylor Osler.