Sunday, 15 October 2017

Edgar Mobbs

Edgar Mobbs [Image source: Wikimedia]

Monday 15th October 1917: Donations of £1,800 have so far been received from subscribers to the memorial fund set up following the death of former England Rugby international player Lieutenant-Colonel Edgar Mobbs on 31st July. An in memoriam souvenir booklet published for the benefit of the fund includes the following interesting letter written by a fellow old boy of Bedford Modern School, 2nd Lieutenant N. Spencer, with the heading “How he charged to certain death”:
“I was F.O.O. in the stunt, and went over the top and saw Mobbs. Perhaps I was one of the last officers he spoke to. Anyway, my last sight of him is something that will be worth remembering of him in the old Bedford Modern School. We had waited three hours for the time to come, and the rain, mud, etc., well, the papers tell you all this. Then the minute came – forward through seas of mud and terrific shelling … I was right behind Mobbs, introduced myself to him just before the hour as an old B.M.S. boy, and talked about Rugger and R. C. Stafford. In the tornado of hostile shelling he got ahead, and, seeing a number of his men cut down by an undiscovered machine gun strong point, he charged it to bomb it – certain death under such a terrific hail of shell – and he went down. I have seen men, and good men, but for a man of his standing and his rank it was magnificent. I sat down afterwards in a captured dugout, and instead of that picture, I saw the old three-quarter in his own “25” get the ball from a crumpled up scrum and go clean through scrum and on. The same man, the same determination, a born leader.”
Source: Bedfordshire Standard 12th October 1917

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