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Lang, Sidney Drummond

Sidney Drummond Lang was born in 1886. He was educated in the first place at the Roan School, Greenwich. His earliest ambition was to study medicine, but this did not materialise, and he eventually became a schoolmaster. He studied for a degree in his spare time, and in 1911 became an Evening Student at King's College, in the Arts Faculty. He was a keen worker and passed the Special Intermediate Examination in 1912. He was well on in his Final Course when the war broke out, and though not a man of robust health, his indomitable spirit would have undoubtedly brought him academic success. The spirit that animated him in all he did was insistent that he should serve his country at all costs. After no fewer than nine rejections on account of his eyesight, he was accepted in September 1914, and served for six months as a private in the Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry. In May, 1915, he obtained a commission in the 2/5 King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. His letters were then full of happiness and confidence. "I am of course making every endeavour to get 'out yonder'" he writes in October 1915: and again in March, 1916, "I am at present Battalion Musketry Officer - a most interesting job": and at the same time he was greatly pleased at being awarded the B.A. War Degree. His battalion left for France on January 13th, 1917 and he writes, "I am enjoying myself to the uttermost, and I am greatly bucked at my good luck in at last getting out of here." Less than six weeks later he had given his life for his country. His Captain writes: "he was wounded by a sniper .. . . . He was absolutely devoid of fear of any kind, and, so far as I can learn, when he was hit he was standing with map and compass taking a bearing." And a comrade says, "He was very popular with his battalion, and everyone spoke very highly of him, but all prophesied his early 'casualty,' as he lived in the world of old-fashioned war, where it was infra dig for an officer to take cover."

Those who knew Lieutenant Lang at King's College will realise what a privilege it was to work with him, and to learn from his example that the character of the keen and diligent scholar, sometimes almost overborne with the strain of scholastic work and study, is not incompatible with that of the brave soldier and true hero. King's College Review June 1917


First name(s)Sidney Drummond
Date of birth1886
Place of birthWest Ham
Family detailsSon of Frederick William and Eleanor Lang, of 'Glenfairn', Avondale Rd, Fleet, Hants.
Previous educationRoan School, Greenwich
CollegeKing's College London and/or King's College London Hospital
Dates at college1910-14
Dept / courseEvening Classes, Arts and Science
QualificationsB.A. (Lond) War degree
Military unitOxford and Bucks Light Infantry; King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. 2/5th Bn. Territorial
Date enlistedSept 1914, commissioned May 1915
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
CampaignsFrance Jan 1917
Decorations / medalsBritish War and Victory Medals
Date of death23 February 1917
Age at death30
Rank at death2nd Lieutenant
Place of deathFrance
Cause of deathShot by a sniper and died of wounds
Burial placeDernancourt Communal Cemetery Extension
Commemoration(s)King's College Chapel
SourcesKing's College London Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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