The First VIII of 1914: What Happened Next

The First VIII of 1914: What Happened Next

The photographs collected by William Todd-Naylor for his album to celebrate his crew's achievements in May 1914 bring to the modern viewer an especial poignancy in the light of what we know would happen later that summer. So here are some details of what we know happened to each member of the Univ First VIII of 1914 in the months and years following their triumph.

The photographs are almost all taken from the official group photo of the crew.

Our bow Myles Matthews enlisted with the Royal West Kent Regiment. He was killed at the Battle of the Somme on 3 July 1916.

Arthur Donne (2) became a Captain with the Royal Marines, and was severely wounded on the Somme and lost an eye. He joined the Colonial Service, working in what is now Tanzania. He died in 1968.

Alexander Bailward (4) joined the North Somerset Yeomanry. His University College Record obituary says that he was ‘severely wounded’ during the war, but ‘overcame his lameness and his disabilities by his strength of character and his cheerfulness’. He joined the Colonial Service in East Africa and retired to Kenya, where he died in 1961.

Alan Cope (5) joined the East Kent Regiment, and was awarded a military MBE. Nothing is known of his later career, and he died in 1950.

John Llewellin (6) served with the Dorset Royal Garrison Artillery in France, and was awarded the Military Cross. He had the most distinguished career of our crew: he became a Conservative MP in 1929, and held several government posts until he lost his seat in 1945, and was created a Baron. He became the first Governor-General of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, and died in 1957.

Christopher Tinne (7), seen here with the trophy which he did so much to help Univ to win, joined the Royal Field Artillery, and served in Belgium (where he was badly gassed), France, Salonika and South Russia. He later became Bursar of the newly-founded St. Peter’s College in 1930. He died in 1971.

Charles Rowlatt (Stroke) joined the 13th Rifle Brigade, but was badly wounded on the front: his University College Record obituary says that he never completely recovered from this experience. After a long period in hospital joined the Censor’s department in the War Office, and was awarded an MBE. He was the only member of the crew to come back to Univ after the war to complete his degree, after which he returned to Eton as a teacher, becoming Vice-Provost in 1952. He died in 1959.

James Clapperton (Cox) joined the City of London Yeomanry and then the 5th Devonshire Regiment. Nothing is known of his later career, and he died in 1948.

This leaves William Todd-Naylor himself. He joined the 8th Battalion of the King’s Royal Rifle Corps in August 1914. He was wounded in the shoulder at Hooge near Ypres in July 1915, and on his recovery he rejoined his unit, just in time for the Battle of the Somme. He was killed in action on 24 August 1916 at the Battle of Delville Wood. He was his parents’ only son.