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Vade-Walpole, Thomas Henry Burke

Vade-Walpole, Thomas Henry Bourke, Lieut. 10th (service) Batt. Gordon Highlanders, heir presumptive to the baronies of Walpole of Walpole [G.B. 1723] and Walpole of Wolterton [G.B. 1756], elder son of Henry Spencer Vade-Walpole, of Stagbury, Surrey, and Freethorpe, Norfolk, Barrister-at-Law [great-gdson of the Hon. Thomas Walpole, M.P., yr. brother of Horatio, 1st Earl of Oxford], by his wife, Frances Selina(27 Montpelier Square, Knightsbridge, S.W.), widow of Capt. Depzil Thomas Chamberlayne, 13th Dragoons, and 2nd dau. of the late Thomas Bourke; b. Elm Lodge, Teddington, co. Middlesex, 2 Sept. 1879; owing to continued ill-health had to be educated at home; afterwards went to King’s College, London, for a course of Chemistry, but again broke down in health; volunteered his services on the outbreak of war, and was gazetted Lieut. 10th Gordon Highlanders 17 Oct. 1914; joined his battalion on the 26th of that month; went to the front 8 July, 1915, and was killed instantaneously in action at daybreak 30 Sept. 1915, being struck on the head by a rifle grenade, while in Sap 18, nearly opposite Loos. He had been all night laying gas apparatus for use in the approaching attack on Loos. The Commanding Officer wrote: “Your gallant and kind-hearted son was killed in action today, doing his duty for King and country manfully and well, and I am personally grieved about it, as all the officers and men are. Your son showed great grit and devotion to duty, and he roughed it, in the rough life we have lived since we came to France, always with a cheerful and bright view of things. He was very popular with both officers and men, and there is not a man in the regiment who does not mourn his death and sympathize with you. I trust it may help you to know that you have every reason as a mother to feel proud of your son’s manner of service; in life he did his duty always faithfully, conscientiously and cheerfully, never complaining, and he died a brave soldier and a very gallant gentleman”, and his Captain: “We are all fairly knocked over by it; he was the life and soul of the mess, and kept us all cheery. He was my best friend.” Buried “Quality Street” Burial Ground, Fosse, 7 de Bethune, Pas de Calais. His first youth was all spoilt by continued ill-heath and terrible headaches. He went round the world at 19, and round Africa by sea at 21. He was an excellent cyclist and won many medals and cups. He also worked for many years for the Charity Organization Society, first as an almoner, then as a treasurer; later he went much in society, being a good dancer and very popular. He became an expert herald and genealogist and contributed to “Notes and Queries,” and did literary work for two or three publishers, the chief one being Mr. John Lane, who called him a walking “Almanac de Gotha.” Lieut. Walpoles’s last work was to annotate fully for Mr. Lane ”Rush’s Residence at the Court of London, 1817 to 1825,” with over 1,000 names in it, many only indicated by initials; unmarried. De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-1918


First name(s)Thomas Henry Burke
Date of birth2 September 1879
Place of birthElm Lodge, Teddington, Middlesex
Family details

Son of Henry Spencer and Frances Selina Vade-Walpole. He was heir presumptive to the baronies of Walpole. 

Previous educationPrivate School
CollegeKing's College London and/or King's College London Hospital
Dates at college1898
Dept / courseScience and Engineering, Chemistry
Date enlistedOutbreak of War
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
Date of death20 September 1915
Age at death36
Rank at deathLieutenant
Place of deathOpposite Loos
Cause of deathKilled in action
Burial placeFosse 7 Military Cemetery (Quality Street) Mazingarbe
Commemoration(s)King's College Chapel

The inscription on his grave, placed there by his mother reads:-

Oh, for a glimpse of
The grave where you’re laid
Only to lay a flower
At your head. Mother



King’s College Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission; De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour 1914-1918

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