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Chaning-Pearce, Wilfrid Thomas

It is with very deep regret that we have to announce in the casualty list the name of Temp. Capt. Wilfrid Chaning-Pearce M.C., R.A.M.C.; the third son of Dr. and the late Mrs Chaning-Pearce of Montague House, Ramsgate. He was educated at "Lindenthorp." Broadstairs. And Rugby, and later entered Emmanuel College, Cambridge where he took his Science Tripos and commenced his medical studies. Continuing at Guy's in 1908 he held numerous appointments and was held in very great esteem by all with whom he associated in any way during that time, until his departure on qualifying early in 1911. Soon after the commencement of hostilities he joined the R.A.M.C., and had been serving in France practically since that time. No mention of how the Military Cross was gained has been received by the family except in the bare official announcement that it had been bestowed early in September, 1917.

The Colonel writing says:- As the officer commanding the battalion he served with us so long and so devotedly, I thought I would like to write and tell you what a grievous blow his death is. As you know he has been with us some twelve months, taking part in three general actions and numerous smaller engagements. His absolute contempt for danger and cheerful endurance of exposure and hardship were known to all, and his personality was such that he instilled confidence into those around him in moments of greatest stress. No man more thoroughly deserved the M.C. which he won for his gallant conduct in recent operations. As a Regimental Medical Officer he was the best I have ever met, in many years’ service, and no trouble was too much for him in his efforts for the health and wellbeing of both officers and men of the battalion. He met his death on October 1st, being shot by a German at close range while trying to find one of our forward companies. His body was recovered at the second attempt that night. He was buried yesterday, October 2nd, at 3.30 p.m., with such military honours as were possible under the circumstances. With the deepest sympathy to you and all others near and dear to him, from all the officers of the battalion, and particularly from those on the headquarters, with whom he lived on terms of close personal friendship.”

His early death will be a very severe blow, not only to his home circle throughout the Isle of Thanet, but also to the much wider circle of friends which he made wherever he went, and we wish to express our deepest sympathies to Dr. Chaning-Pearce and his family for the loss not only of a son, but one whose life held out so much future promise. Guy’s Hospital Gazette 3 Nov. 1917 and Guy's Hospital Reports Vol.LXX, War Memorial Number


First name(s)Wilfrid Thomas
Date of birth1881
Family detailsThird son of Dr and the late Mrs Chaning-Pearce, Montague House, Ramsgate
Previous educationLindenthorpe, Broadstairs and afterwards at Rugby and Emmanuel College, Cambridge
CollegeGuy's Hospital
Dates at college1908-1911
Dept / courseMedicine, 3rd M.B. Camb.
QualificationsB.A.: M.R.C.S.and L.R.C.P. 1911; M.B. and B.C. 1913
Military unitR.A.M.C.
Date enlistedOctober 1914
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
Decorations / medalsM.C. and Bar
Citation(s)Bar to M.C.: For, conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty, in attending the wounded men belonging to 9 different battalions, under heavy and continuous shellfire. His Aid Post, was the only one in the vicinity, in such a forward position, and he worked continuously and without rest until all the wounded had been attended to, displaying splendid devotion to duty.
Date of death1 October 1917
Rank at deathCaptain
Cause of deathShot at close range by a German, while nobly carrying out his duty
Commemoration(s)Guy's Hospital; Emmanuel College, Cambridge, Roll of Honour
SourcesGuy's Hospital Medical School Records, King's College London Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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