22 August marks the anniversary of the death of Old Wellingtonian George Masterman Thompson, believed to be the first British officer to be killed in action during the First World War.
George was in the Hopetoun from 1903 to 1908, after which he went to Sandhurst and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Royal Scots. At the outbreak of the War he was serving in West Africa in the British colony of the Gold Coast, now Ghana. Allied troops were swiftly mobilised against their equivalents in the German colony of Togoland. George was commanding a small force of French Senegalese troops in an action against German forces at Chra, Togoland, when he was killed in action aged 24, on 22 August 1914. A Special French Army Order was published on 20 October commending his gallantry and he was posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palms. He is buried at Wahala Cemetery near Atakpame in what is now the Republic of Togo.
To find out more about Wellington’s involvement in the First World War, visit our new memorial website: http://memorial.wellingtoncollege.org.uk/