Bryant W.A.R. - The OldWinburnians

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Bryant W.A.R.

WW2 individuals

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W. A. R. Bryant

Full Names

Rank /Unit  

Years at Q.E.G.S.

William Alfred Reginald Bryant
(Toby)

Lieutenant
Gordon Highlanders

1914 1932

 

Date  / Place of Birth

Date  / Place of Death

Age at Death

27th May 1914 Fordingbridge

Wednesday 22nd November 1944  North West Germany/Dutch border

30
     

William Bryant was born on the 27th of May 1914 and his home was at No 2, Ashford Park, Fordingbridge.
W.A.R. was a Prefect, a Lance Corporal in the Cadet Corps and in the Boxing Competition in the Summer term of 1932, he won the final and took the Habgood Cup.  He also did very well for the School in a Shooting Match against the Old Boys during the Reunion and presented books to the Reference Library before leaving.
At the Speech Day on the 4th of November, it was announced that William and another pupil had passed with Distinction in the Oxford School Certificate Examination, that he had obtained an 'Open' State Scholarship, to Oriel College, Oxford and that they would jointly hold the Thomas Lyne's Scholarship, which was awarded by the trustees of the Lyne's Charity, on the recommendation of the Church Wardens of The Minster. They also received a Special Prize from the Headmaster.
W.A.R. Bryant played soccer for the Old Boys against the School on the 17th December 1932 and, in the evening, at the School Concert  he joined with other Old Boys in a sketch.
The following summer he took part in the Annual Shooting Match of the Old Boys v The School and came in second in the 100 yards, Old Boys race, at the Sports on 21st March 1934.
In the Spring of 1935, the School Magazine recorded that. -
'W.A.R. Bryant has been excelling himself in the Oriel 2nd Torpid, Six bumps were achieved'. Toward Easter, he visited the town on a couple of occasions. In the Final Exams a few months later, he gained  a B.A. Class ll with honours in History and moved into 'digs' in London. Within a year, he was a Form Master at Dauntsey's School, at West  Lavington, South of Devizes.       
During the Summer Reunion of 1935 W.A.R. turned out for the Old Boys Cricket team and also, particularly due to his efforts, the Old Boys beat the School at swimming.
W.A.R seems to have lost contact with the School for some years and it is not known when he enlisted in the Army, although it is thought that initially he could have been in the Royal Artillery.
When he was killed in action, Lieutenant  Bryant (Toby) was serving in the Gordon Highlanders and attached to the 7th Battalion of the Somerset Light Infantry.  In an appreciation written  in the School Magazine in the Spring of 1945, he was described as ,"...a boy of outstanding ability....delightfully unassuming, sincere, upright,  and invariably good-humoured ".
His grave is in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery which is some five kilometres south west of Kleve.

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In a letter written on the 13th January 1946,  Major H.J.Marsh R.A.S.C., a contemporary at W.G.S., wrote to the School, about several of his friends who had lost their lives during the war, including;
"Britten and Bryant - two very distinguished 'giants' of their day  winning ungrudging respect from us all. Their names, always coupled together during their school triumphs, will remain for our generation a reminder of early erudition, promising  leadership and fine qualities; and now finally their names are as inseparable as our pride and grief in their heroism."     
(Re-printed from 'The Winburnian' No. 100. Page 31)

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