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Knight, Ronald Victor

The late Lieut. R. V. Knight, R.N.A.S., who was killed in England through his machine coming down in a spinning nose dive, was formerly captain of Bedford School. While there he played three-quarter in the County Championship for the East Midlands, and later on in the same competition for his home county of Somerset. While in his ‘teens he was reserve three-quarter for the English XV.

He joined Guy’s as a Dental Student in May, 1914, but joined the University of London O.T.C. at the outbreak of war, and from there obtained a commission in the London Rifle Brigade serving in France for over a year. Afterwards he transferred to the Cyclist Corps, and finally joined the Navy.
Since leaving Guy’s he has played several times for the latter. A big powerful runner, with a fine hand-off and a good knowledge of the game, he was also an excellent place kicker.
He leaves a widow and daughter, and is the second captain of Bedford School Rugby of recent years to lose his life this year in a flying accident in England.

Lt. Knight, when at Neuchatel in Switzerland, started an Association Football Club, which has since carried all before it. He stood 6ft. 2in. and was broad in proportion, perhaps the reason of which he was known among his friends as “Tiny.” During his winter holidays among the Alps, he proved his skill at ski-ing, skating and ice-hockey, while in summer he was devoted to cricket, tennis and motor cycling.

His genial and generous disposition was such that he not only never did a mean action, but could not bear to entertain an unkind thought of anyone. He seemed to know everyone in the sporting world and will be sadly missed. Guy’s Hospital Gazette 21 April, 1917

Flight Sub-Lieutenant R. V. Knight had been flying for six months and was an assistant instructor at an East Coast Flying School, when he fell on March 12th, aged 25. He was educated at Wells and Bedford Grammar Schools, and at Neuchatel. After a time at Bristol University he went to Guy’s Hospital, and on the declaration of war volunteered for service and was appointed lieutenant in a London battalion, with which he fought at the battles of Festubert and Loos. In Rugby football he was captain at Dedford, held the East Midland and Somerset caps, played at Bath in the first match against the South Africans, and was reserve for England at the age of 19. He was also a good hockey player, swimmer and cricketer. He is much regretted as a true friend and a good sportsman. The Times 21 June 1917


First name(s)Ronald Victor
Date of birth30 March 1894
Family detailsSon of John N. Knight, Oil Merchant and Ironmonger, of Milton Hill, Wells and Marie Knight. Husband to Gwendolyn Knight, and father to a daughter Beryl aged one.
Previous educationWells Cathedral School; Bedford Grammar school and Neuchatel; Bristol University.
CollegeGuy's Hospital
Dates at college1 May 1914
Dept / courseL.D.S.
Military unitRoyal Naval Air Service
Date enlisted1914
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
CampaignsFrance May to November 1915 (inval)
Date of death12 March 1917
Age at death23
Rank at deathFlight Sub-Lieutenant
Place of deathRAF Cranwell
Cause of deathPlane crash through engine failure. O.T.C. says that he was killed in a flying accident whilst instructing
Burial placeWells Cemetery
Commemoration(s)Guy's Hospital Memorial
SourcesGuy's Hospital Medical School Records, King's College London Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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