Elphick, William Roy. Died 7th Jun 1916

William Roy Elphick was born on 15th April 1894 in India. His father was Major Harry William Elphick, M.B. of the Bengal Medical Department. His mother was Jane Isabel Keyes and his parents married in Cheltenham in early 1890, shortly before departing for India.

Harry William was placed on half pay in March 1905 and returned to live in Rugby, where he died the following year, at the age of 40. By 1911 the family had moved from 46 Newbold Road to 77 Albert Street, Rugby. William Roy was aged 16 and had an elder sister and two younger brothers.

He attended Lawrence Sheriff and Rugby School. When at Rugby he got his colours for football, and also played with the XI, at cricket, being a particularly good bowler. He also assisted the town clubs in both branches of sport.

In August 1914 William Roy Elphick was gazetted into the Indian Army, second lieutenant in the 108th Indian Infantry, part of the Aden Brigade. In early 1916, stationed in an outpost in the desert, he was attacked by the Turks in superior numbers. On being relieved he was sent, in charge of prisoners, to India. He died, of Cholera, in Bombay, on 7th June 1916. He was buried at Bombay (Sewri) Cemetery, with a cross erected by his Brother Officers.

Design for cross on grave of W R Elphick (cwgc website)

Design for cross on grave of W R Elphick (cwgc website)

In 1962, because of the difficulty of maintaining graves in independent India, his remains were moved and re-buried near to the Kirkee Memorial in Poona, near Bombay.

He is remembered on the Lawrence Sheriff Memorial Plaque and the Rugby School Roll of Honour.





Rugby Advertiser, 24 June, 1916.
Lawrence Sheriff School and Two World Wars, Ed: David Howe, 2013

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