Rank: Second Lieutenant
Date of Death: 27/07/1917
Regiment/Service: Royal Sussex Regiment attd. 9th Bn.
Awards: D C M, M M
Panel Reference Panel 20.
Memorial YPRES (MENIN GATE) MEMORIAL
Born in 1894 at Woodford, son of George (Wholesale Tea and Coffee Dealer, later a Blender and Expert Taster) and Annie Gertrude Compton. 1901: With his family at “Clevedon” Chelmsford Road South Woodford.1911: A Farm Pupil boarding with William Passmore and family, on their grazing and dairy farm at Applesham, Shoreham by Sea Sussex.
This Old Bancroftian left Farming to join the Royal Garrison Artillery in 08-14, but within days volunteered for the Royal Sussex Regiment. Sent to France in 03-16, he was wounded in 07-16 and repatriated to England. While in the UK he gained a Commission in his Regiment. He won DCM for gallantry forcing his way through uncut barbed wire and heavy machine gun fire, and organising a bombing party which cleared 100 yards of a German trench. His MM was gained by bringing to safety a wounded man while under fire. He returned to France in 06-17. On his second night in the trenches at Ypres, he impressed his Battalion Commander while showing him around various posts, and giving encouragement to the men of his Company. The next night he undertook a reconnaissance patrol some way from British lines, returning with valuable intelligence.
During 16/17-07-17, he was waiting for heavy German shelling to end, when after a five minute lull, the Sergeant Major suggested it was quiet enough to leave the trench. Within seconds of doing so, another shell landed, killing him and his Sergeant. It was noted that there were no more incoming shells for “a very long time afterwards”.
He was second in charge of his Company and described as a brave and capable Officer. The Battalion Commander wrote “Compton’s two medals were an outward sign of only a small part of his real worth”.
X/R 2/LT Rex Compton (Brother).
Memorial: Rolls of Honour: Bancroft’s School. St Mary’s Church.
Separate Folder: NO.
Principal Sources: Ancestry. Woodford Times. The Bancroftian.
Qualification: Borough Resident.