Eric George Renton 14 August 1918

Eric George Renton was the second Oundle airman to die in five days. He was born in August 1899 in Harrogate, was in Grafton from 1913-17 and appeared regularly in the 2nd XV where he was a forward. Though he won his colours, they were not awarded that year because of a shortage of dye-stuffs. In his penultimate summer term, Grafton lost to Crosby in the Senior House cricket final, by just 12 runs, with Eric Renton contributing only 4 in his two innings. This was revenge for Crosby who had lost the Junior final to Grafton in the previous year. The next year, Renton’s last at the School, Grafton were skittled out by Laxton in the first round. 

Leaving Oundle in the summer of 1917 just as Passchendaele was beginning, he joined the RFC and in July 1918 he was in France. Just days later, on August 14th, he was patrolling over German Lines, when he was attacked by a number of enemy scouts. His observer shot down at least one of their foes but they were themselves shot down amid fierce fighting near Rosières, east of Amiens. 

He was killed two weeks before his 19th birthday and lies buried in Heath Cemetery in Harbonniers on the Somme.

C Pendrill
Yarrow Fellow