20-year-old John Vere Isham (pronounced “Eye-shum”) died of blood poisoning at No. 24 General Hospital, Etaples, France on 3rd June 1916, serving as a Second Lieutenant with the 5th Dragoon Guards (Princess Charlotte of Wales’s). He was the eldest son of Sir Vere Isham (1862-1941), 11th baronet, and was born in Bury St Edmunds on 14th November 1895. Under normal circumstances, John would have inherited the Isham baronetcy on his father’s death, instead of which it was his younger brother, Gyles (1903-1976), who became the 12th Baronet in 1941.
John Vere Isham’s local connection is that he was a boarder at Packwood Haugh School, before going on to Rugby School (School House) which he attended between 1909 and 1913. He entered the Royal Military College, Sandhurst in August 1914, and obtained a commission in the 5th Dragoon Guards (Princess Charlotte of Wales’s) on 11th November 1914. He went to France in June 1915, just over a year before he died.
“He was a great favourite in the Regiment, and a most promising young Officer. I had hoped to make him Adjutant, and we all feel his loss tremendously.”
“Everyone liked him, and I don’t think there was a single soul in the Regiment who was not his friend, while, to those of us who knew him best, he stood for all that is best both as an Officer and a friend ; he was always gallant, always cheerful, and brought into action the spirit, shall I say of the hunt.”“May I now write to tell you of the high opinion the Regiment had of your son? Although he had only been with us for so short a time, he had already shown what a fine man he was.”
Heritage & Local Studies Librarian