Edward John Hassard 7 November 1918

Edward John Hassard followed in Sanderson’s footsteps by attending Dulwich College, before coming to Oundle and Dryden House in 1910. At Oundle, he was notable for never appearing in a sports team. Instead, he spoke in a school debate in favour of building a Channel Tunnel, but the motion was narrowly lost by 28 votes to 24. He also seconded the opposition in a motion deploring the government’s willingness to give Home Rule to Ireland. In his last year, he also trod the boards in scenes from two Molière plays. As a junior he was a young lady called Lucinde and later he was a less lovable character where he appeared alongside his Head of House Sybrand Rissik who, though wounded in action, would survive the war. Edward Hassard was described as expressing “the miserliness” of his character “in very pure French.” And in a School concert, he contributed one of the “lighter items” with a spirited performance, apparently much appreciated by the audience of ‘galloping Dick’. 

He left in March 1914, determined on an army career and went to Woolwich just as the War broke out. By February 1915 he had a commission in the Royal Field Artillery and served in Gallipoli that year, being invalided home after three months. In July 1916, he was sent to France and served for two years, being awarded the Military Cross, before being wounded in August 1918. He was recovering from his wounds when he contracted influenza, and this was followed by septic pneumonia. 

He died on 7th November 1918 at the Prince of Wales’ Hospital in Marylebone. An officer wrote: “We had been together twelve months, and we were all very fond of him. He never complained and was always cheerful, and was such a pleasant companion in the Mess. Under fire, too, he was coolness itself, and I shall never forget how he carried on at Messines and Ypres.” 

Just four months after his death, Edward’s brother William also died aged 28. Edward John Hassard was 23 years old at the time of his death and was buried in Norwood Cemetery in London.

C Pendrill
Yarrow Fellow