Edward Dermot Ledlie Gonner was the only son of Professor Edward Gonner. He was born in Liverpool in March of 1893 and was brought up in West Kirby in Cheshire. He stayed in School House from 1907 until 1911. Here he enjoyed great success in House competitions, helping to make School House the ‘Cock House’ in gymnastics, athletics (twice) and cricket. He was a member of the Cricket XI and was described by the Laxtonian as “the hitter of the team, who has made some useful scores. Worth his place in the team for his fielding at extra-cover.” In the summer of 1911, his best showing was as top scorer with a plucky 35 against Sanderson’s old college Christ’s, Cambridge, when all around him fell rather cheaply. He later played for the Oundle Rovers team and played for the OO Rugby team in 1911, having played occasionally for the XV. He was also a useful and keen fives player, representing the School and described as possessing “a strong service and hits hard with both hands but does not use his head as much as he might.”
After Oundle, he spent a year at the Architectural School in Liverpool before being articled to a surveyor and land agent. He played for Birkenhead RFC and represented Cheshire.
In August 1914, as soon as war was declared, he enlisted in the Liverpool Scottish Regiment. He was invalided out of the army in the spring of 1915 and spent some time in a corn merchant’s office, and in February 1916 he married Miss Winifred Twigge. Upon his recovery, he got a commission in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment. While with his battalion, he contracted influenza which was followed by pneumonia and he died on 2nd July 1918, aged 25.
He was buried in Willaston Cheshire, where he had lived after his marriage. Sadly, his father Sir Edward Gonner, Professor of Economics at Liverpool, died just four years later – of influenza.