First World War Roll of Honour

Alfred Henry Dawe was born on 5 December 1895, the son of Joseph and Emily Dawe of Lewannick, Cornwall. His father was a farmer in Trevadlock. By 1901 the family had moved to Hertfordshire and Alfred was educated at the East Anglian School, Bury St. Edmunds, before joining The Leys School in Cambridge in January 1911. At The Leys, where he was in West House, he was very well regarded and stayed for two years, leaving as a sub-prefect.

Dawe matriculated at Downing College in 1913 with the intention of reading for the Natural Sciences Tripos and the Diploma in Agriculture. Following the outbreak of war, he joined the University’s Officer Training Corps in October 1914, at the start of his second year. At the end of that month he took part in the College Debating Society’s Freshmen’s debate. In early November 1914, with student numbers in College and Cambridge dropping as members left on military service, he played in a joint Downing-Queens’ rugby team against a team made up of Welsh Internationals and Cambridge Blues, afterwards described as a ‘sound hard-working forward’. By the end of Michaelmas Term 1914, Dawe had obtained his commission in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps as Temporary 2nd Lieutenant. A serious motor cycle accident delayed his going abroad with his regiment until February 1916, when he rejoined them in France.

On 11 April 1917, Dawe was acting as Captain leading his company in the capture of the heavily fortified village of Monchy. They succeeded in their objective, but Dawe was killed instantly as he went forward to select a spot to consolidate their position. He is commemorated on the Arras Memorial and on the Lewannick war memorial, donated by his aunts Elizabeth and Jane Dawe of Trevadlock.

 

Sources:

The Leys School Fortnightly obituary, 1917.

The Griffin, Michaelmas 1914 and Easter 1917.