Clive Burrell was the last of the “Dryden seven” to die. Of the seven boys standing in the Dryden group photograph of ten boys taken in 1910, six were already dead. Now nearly two weeks after the official end of hostilities, the flu pandemic removed a seventh member of the group.
For Llewellyn Jones, former Dryden Housemaster, and now back in Oundle in charge of the new Bramston House, it was another bitter blow. Clive Burrell was born in August 1893 and was the fifth of six sons of the Burrell family. He was in Dryden for three years (1907-10) and was school cox in his last two years. After leaving school, he entered his father’s business (he was described as a colour manufacturer) and became a director.
A late-comer to the war, he joined the Honourable Artillery Company in March 1917 and, after training at Finsbury Park and Leeds, went to France in September of that year, attached to one of the batteries as a driver. He saw much fighting in 1918, as the Allies pushed the Germans back on the Western Front but the regimental diary serves to remind us that at this stage of the War, losses were still heavy.
In early April 1918, the diary claims that “there was day and night bombardment by H(igh) E(xplosive) gas shells, containing three types of gas, therefore inflicting burns, loss of sight and breathlessness. The area was so saturated by gas that often re-inforcements were affected before they reached the battery.”
Just as victory was being celebrated, Clive contracted influenza and died on 23rd November 1918 in a Canadian Hospital in Valenciennes, aged 25. He was the third Burrell brother to die as a result of the War.