Second Lieutenant, Royal Sussex Regiment
Born: July 29th 1895
Died: September 25th 1917
Age at Death: 22
Killed in action Ypres, France, September 25th 1917
Son of Herbert Botting, Menin Road, Brighton.
Member of the Royal College of Organists.
Grave Reference: Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium
A donation to the memorial statue has been made in honour of this soldier by the Tiplady Family.
2nd Lieutenant William Rolph Botting
William Botting was born on the 29th July 1895 in Brighton. He was the elder son of Dr Herbert Botting, a musician, and his wife Florence (nee Rolph). Like his parents Botting pursed an interest in music, becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists on leaving the school and acting as assistant organist at St. Augustine’s Church, Brighton. However he also took a job as an article clerk in a London Solicitors’ firm and joined the Inns of Court OTC in January 1915. He did not actually join the regular army for some time because he was only commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the 11th battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment on 26th March 1917, some two years later.
The 11th Battalion, Sussex Regiment took part in several of the key engagements in the Third Battle of Ypres (also known as Passchendaele), including Pickem Ridge, Langemark and in late September 1917 the assault on the Menin Ridge. It was there that on 25th September 1917 Botting was killed in action during the final successful assault on the ridge, which took advantage of a brief window of dry weather amongst the rain and mud which has characterised the popular memory of the campaign.
After his death the regimental Chaplain wrote to his parents:
‘I have never met anyone of a more beautiful character…Your son, amongst others, fell in the forefront of the Empire’s great battle-line a gallant and a splendid fellow in the day of trial’
He is buried in Tyne Cot Cemetery, Belgium and commemorated on the Menin Gate.
Source: LEST WE FORGET PROJECT, Brighton College 2014/15