Samson, Oswald Massey. Died 17th Sep 1918

Oswald Samson was an assistant master at Rugby School, the youngest of the three sons of Charles H Samson FRIBA and his wife Wilhelmina (Mina).  Charles was born in Kent and his wife in Hertfordshire, they were married at Royston in 1872.

Oswald was born in Taunton in 1881 and baptised at Taunton St Mary on 8 August that year.  His father was an architect, the family home being The Laurels, Maplegrove Road.  His two older brothers were Harold Overell Samson and Charles Potter Samson.

In 1891 Oswald was a scholar aged 9 living with his parents still at The Laurels in Taunton.  He attended Cheltenham College 1895-8, and in 1899 entered Hertford College, Oxford, where he studied mathematics and graduated in 1902 with an Honours degree.  He was a keen cricketer and played for Somerset 1900-1913.  He joined the staff of Rugby School in September 1903.  By 1908 he was living at 41 Hillmorton Road.  His parents had come to Rugby to join him, maybe once he had been appointed to Rugby School, by which time his father would have been 65 and probably retired.  The family was certainly comfortably off, as the house in 1911 is listed as having 12 rooms, and there were two resident servants.

Oswald Massey Samson

Oswald joined the Royal Garrison Artillery as Gunner 194259, and according to his medal card was promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in April 1917.  At the time of his death he was in 143rd Siege Battery.  He died of wounds on 17 September 1918 and is buried in the Peronne Communal Cemetery Extension on the Somme.  This cemetery contains the reburied remains from 11 small cemeteries in the area, of soldiers who were mainly first interred in September 1918 including Oswald.

A brief obituary appeared in the Taunton Courier of 9 October 1918.  Probate was granted to his two brothers, his estate amounting to almost £6000.  His mother had predeceased him in 1917, his father died in 1925.

As well as being commemorated on the Rugby Memorial Gates, his name appears on memorials in Taunton St Mary, Hertford College and Rugby School Memorial Chapel.  He was awarded the Victory and British War medals.




Taunton parish register on Ancestry

Censuses  1891 RG12/1877/106 p16;  1901 RG13/2276/118 p4;  1911 RG14/18600

Taunton Courier 9 Oct 1918 p4 Col 5 on Findmypast


Probate register 1919

Medal card

General Register Office indexes

Wikipedia story/3889241


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