Temporary Captain Henry Bardell Adamson, aged 36, a former teacher at Solihull School, died of wounds on 30th October 1916, whilst serving in France with the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales’s Own).
Born in Foleshill, Warwickshire in 1881, he was the eldest of the three children of Rev. James Bardell Adamson, (Vicar of St Paul’s, Foleshill) and his wife Sarah Sibyl (née Barker). His mother, known as Sibyl, died in 1912 so was spared the knowledge of her son’s death.
Henry Bardell Adamson was born in Foleshill, Warwickshire on 14th December 1881, and baptised at St Paul’s Church on 25th January 1882 by his father, Rev. James Bardell Adamson. His younger siblings, Catherine Frances, and St John Bardell, were also baptised at the church in 1883 and 1887 respectively. The family then moved to Burleydam, on the Cheshire/Shropshire border, approximately five miles from Whitchurch. Rev. Adamson was Vicar of Burleydam for over 27 years from 1888 until his retirement in 1915. He died in 1922 in Shrewsbury, and is buried with his wife in Burleydam churchyard.
From 1894-1901, Henry attended Marlborough College, being awarded a Classical Exhibition to Selwyn College, Cambridge where he took his degree in 1904, and gained his M.A. in 1908. He became an Assistant Master at Solihull School, with a report on the Officer Training Corps in the Shenstonian April 1909 noting that Lieutenant H.B. Adamson had been Gazetted to a Commission on the unattached Territorial Force.
In September 1910, Mr Adamson took up a promotion to Classical and form master at Aldenham School, where he commanded the Officer Training Corps from summer 1914 until he transferred to an active unit in 1915 and went to the Front.
The Roll of Honour at Marlborough College has a photograph of Captain Adamson and notes that he joined the 12th Suffolk Regiment in August 1914, before transferring to the 21st West Yorkshire Regiment, with whom he went to France in June 1915. However, his Medal Index Card gives a Qualifying Date of 1st July 1916 for his first entering a theatre of war. An announcement in the Bury Free Press 20th May 1916 notes the following:
Service Battalions – West Yorkshire Regiment. Temporary Captain H B Adamson from Suffolk Regiment to be temporary captain, 4th April, but with seniority from 14th September 1915.
He was wounded on 22nd October and died on 30th October in hospital in Rouen. He is buried at St Sever Cemetery, Rouen, and is commemorated on war memorials at Solihull School, Marlborough College, Aldenham School, and Burleydam, as well as being mentioned on his parents’ gravestone at Burleydam.
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