[From King William's College: Centenary Notes & Pictures, 1933]
The College War Memorial takes the form of a Celtic Cross made of Cornish grey granite about 20 feet high. It was designed by R. F. Dodd, O.K.W. The memorial was unveiled on 28th July, 1922, by Sir George Beatson, M.D., G.C.B. (also an O.K.W.), after a service in the Chapel in which the Lord Bishop of the Diocese (Dr. Denton Thompson) took part, assisted by the Lord Bishop of Warrington (Dr. E. H. Kempson, Principal 1900-22) ; the Ven. the Archdeacon of Man ; and Canon Kermode. His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor (Sir W. Fry, K.C.V.O.) was present.
The cross stands on a base of three ascents, and a pedestal which bears on engraved bronze plates the names of the College Roll of Honour. On the cross itself is a bronze replica of the ancient Sword of State of the Isle of Man, which for many centuries was carried before the Governor, and also before Bishop Barrow our Founder.
In the Chapel the last window on the west side of the nave was filled with two coloured panels, one representing St. George, the other King Arthur. This window was dedicated by Dr. Kempson during the Service which preceded the unveiling of the Cross outside. The window bears the inscription Ad majorem dei gloriam et in piam memoriam alumnorum qui pro Patria et. fide mortem occuberunt, MDCCCCXIV-MDCCCCXIX.
In 1926 the new gateway at the western end of the quadrangle was erected out of the balance of the War Memorial fund.
The Roll of Honour contains the names of one hundred and thirty-one Old Boys who died on active service in the War during the years 1914-19. Five hundred and forty-six Old Boys served in the War in all branches of H.M. Forces.
Decorations won by O.K.W.'s during the War comprise the following: one Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire ; three Companions of the Order of St. Michael and St. George ; two Commanders of the Order of the Bath; five Officers of the Order of the British Empire; one Member of the Order of the British Empire ; four Companions of the Order of the Indian Empire ; sixteen Companions of the Distinguished Service Order (three with Bars) ; forty Military Crosses (six with Bars) ; 22 one Distinguished Service Cross ; three Distinguished Flying Crosses; two Distinguished Conduct Medals; one Meritorious Service Medal; nine Old Boys were mentioned in Dispatches; two Croix de Guerre (Belgium) ; two Orders of the Crown (Belgium) ; two Crosses of the Legion d'Honneur.
In the South African war sixty-six old boys were on active service. The most prominent O.K.W. was Sir George White, V.C., the hero of Ladysmith. Many decorations were gained, including the Victoria Cross awarded to Captain R. Johnston of the Imperial Light Horse. At a most critical moment in the battle of Elandslaagte, 21st October, 1899, the advance was checked by very severe fire at point- blank range. Captain Johnston rushed forward under this heavy fire, and rallied the men, thus enabling the flanking movement, which decided the dap, to be carried out.
The College contingent of the Officers' Training Corps was formed in 1911 with an establishment of two platoons, the original officers being Lieut. K. A. R. Sugden, the founder of the Corps, Second-Lieut. E. H. Stenning and Second-Lieut. L. T. Watkins ; there were ninety-eight cadets on the strength, the Sergt.-Major being the Hon. N. F. Somerset (School House) (later Brevet Major, D.S.O., M.C.), son of the Rt. Hon. Lord Raglan, Lieutenant-Governor of the Isle of Man, and Chairman of the Trustees.
In July, 1914, the Corps (104 cadets) went into camp at Aldershot. Capt. Sugden, Lieut. Stenning and all the cadets of seventeen and over offered themselves for active service. The officers were prevented from proceeding to France by the War Office on the grounds that O.T.C. officers were required for training their School corps from which the army was to be re-officered. Two cadets were accepted as recruits in Liverpool on the return journey from camp and were probably the first Manx army recruits of the war. They were A. K. McFarlan (Junior and Colbourne) (later Lieut. and Bombing Officer, killed May, 1916) and A. M. Margerison (Colbourne and Wilson's) who served throughout the War and was three times wounded.
Forty-five former members of the Corps were killed on active service, and forty-five were wounded. Sergt.-Major-Instructor R. J. Ryan obtained a commission and as a Major proceeded to the U.S.A. as an Instructor to the American Army.
Among the many honours won by former cadets were seven D.S.Os., two D.S.Cs., twenty-five M.Cs., two Croix de Guerre, three M.Ms., and three D.C.Ms. Captain Stenning served as Instructor to officers during 1915 and 1916 to men of the R.N.D. at Blandford, and finally as Demobilising officer at Chelsea. He became Major in 1925 and was awarded the Territorial Decoration by H.M. the King in 1931.
The College Corps has the distinction of being the only armed force on the Island. During the War it was employed guarding prisoners of war at Douglas-the only occasion when any contingent of the O.T.C. (Junior Division) was used as an armed party for actual military duty. The Corps also supplied parties to assist at the landing of Naval airships on the College field.
MAJOR STENNING, T.D.
THE OFFICERS' TRAINING CORPS IN 1912.
The Corps has the privilege of mounting a guard of honour on the occasion of Royal visits to the Island and also for H.E. the Lieutenant-Governor at the Tynwald Ceremony annually.
It was in recognition of the Corps' services that the War Office presented to the College the captured howitzers and guns now mounted outside the Science buildings and at the junior House.
The present Officers of the Corps are: Captain R. W. Smith; Lieutenant W. K. Smeeton and Second-Lieutenant M. H. O'Grady.
THE O.T.C. ENTRENCHING ON "HANGO" DURING THE WAR.
H.R.H. PRINCE GEORGE INSPECTING THE GUARD OF HONOUR, 1932.