George Eric Venner (Sc. 1905-09)


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Major, Sherwood Foresters
Born: November 28th 1891
Died: July 8th 1916

Age at Death: 24

Killed in action, Contalmaison, France, July 9th 1916
Son of G.E.S. Venner of 76 Carlton Hill, London.

A donation to the memorial statue has been made in honour of this soldier by Stepan Popov:

"He sacrificed his life for the sake of others as a great hero."

Major George Eric Venner
George Veneer was born on November 28th 1891 in London, England. His family circumstances have very difficult to trace, possibly because they were either lived elsewhere in the British Empire,  most probably India,  or they died when Venner as very young. It is clear that in 1911 he was living, if only temporarily, with his grandfather, a wealthy ex-Naval Captain called Charles Edwin Sidebottom, in Arlingham, Gloucestershire. After leaving the College in 1909 Venner immediately underwent officer training and then received a commission in the Nottinghamshire and Derby Regiment (“Sherwood Foresters”).  It appears that in 1912 he was posted with the 1st Battalion, Sherwood Foresters to Bombay, India and there may have met Margaret Dawson, who had connections with India, who he was to marry in Farnham, Hampshire in Spring 1916.

On the outbreak of war the 1st Battalion, Sherwood Foresters was withdrawn from India and joined the BEF in France in November 1914. After taking part in the battles of Neuve Chappelle and Loos Venner was promoted to Major on 2nd December 1915. In the next summer the battalion participated in the opening attacks of the Somme Offensive. It was in the course of one such attack on Trônes Wood at Contalmaison that Venner was killed on 8th July 1916.

His grave is in Dantzig Alley British Cemetery, Mametz, France. There is also a memorial plaque in the College Chapel which reads:

TO THE GLORY OF GOD AND IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY HUSBAND
G ERIC VENNER
MAJOR 1ST SHERWOOD FORESTERS
KILLED IN ACTION AT CONTALMAISON
8TH JULY 1916 AGED 24

 Source: LEST WE FORGET PROJECT, Brighton College 2014/15

 

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