Lieutenant R A Biddulph

Robert Assheton Biddulph was born on 4 Aug 1891, the 5th child but only son of Assheton Biddulph and Florence Caroline Biddulph (nee Boothby) of Moneyguyneen, County Offaly, Ireland. He was married, in 1916, to Derreen Ussher, youngest daughter of W S Holt, of Ball Copse Hall, Brent Knoll, Somerset.

He was educated at Harrow School and went up to Exeter College, Oxford where he was 1st Whip and Secretary to the College Beagles, He had taken over the Mastership when War broke out. He won the College 'grind' three years in succession. Was a member of the OTC and while on manoeuvres in 1912, when attached to the Royal Scots Greys, received the 1st class certificate for Scouting. When with the Special Reserve of The Bays he won for the Regiment the Subaltern's Cup for ' Skill at Arms.'

Lieutenant Biddulph was given a Commission in the Queen's Bays and went to the Front with his Regiment on 24 May 1915, where he remained for ten months. He then returned home to be married and was given extension of leave for treatment by an aurist, having suffered from deafness owing to the bursting of a shell close by him. He was sent to Aldershot, in April 1916, where he contracted a severe attack of influenza. Having resumed duty, though still convalescent, he got very wet while on the march, and this brought on rheumatic fever, which affected his heart, and he died after six months illness, on 19 Nov 1916. He was 25 years old and had been married for only 8 months. His father had died in January of that year.

Captain Grant, of the Queen's Bays, wrote, "It is too sad to think that such a good sportsman and man in every way should have had such a short life. He was most popular out here and everywhere, and I have lost a great friend."

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by Stephen Luscombe