Frederick Raymond Milholland 27 February 1918

Frederick Raymond Milholland, Head of School on Speech Day 1914, was killed in France just three and a half years later. He was born on New Year’s Day 1896 in Kingston, Jamaica and came across the waters to Oundle and New House in September 1909. He had great academic prowess, carrying off a raft of prizes; four in 1912, five in 1913 and six in 1914. He was the top school classicist in his last two years, and he was also a great sportsman and a member of the XV in his last three years at School. In 1913 he was described thus: “improving considerably in the course of the season, he is fast enough and strong enough to make a really good forward.”

In December 1914, he captained New House to victory 28-3 against School House in the House final. Frederick Milholland was also the obvious choice as Captain of the School and he held that position for four terms. In his last term, he won an exhibition to Balliol College, Oxford and was elected Rhodes Scholar for Jamaica.

However, he never took up his place at Oxford; instead he went straight into the Yorkshire Regiment as a 2nd Lieutenant. In 1916, he was wounded in Mametz Wood on the Somme and in the next year won promotion to the rank of captain. He died near Bethune in France in a Casualty Clearing Station on 27th February 1918. He was out with a runner inspecting the front line when he was hit by a sniper. He died an hour after reaching ‘hospital’. 

He was buried at Choques Military Cemetery near Bethune, close to the Laxton House boy, Henry Cox who had been killed at Vimy Ridge the previous year.

On Speech Day 1918, Frederick’s father sailed to England from Jamaica and, in what must have been a most moving moment, proposed the vote of thanks to the staff and the Grocers on behalf of his three sons educated at Oundle. The Master of the Grocers’ Company in reply remarked on how fond he was of “Captain Milholland” revealing that if he had lived, he would have been made a member of the Company.

Frederick Milholland was 22 years old at the time of his death.

C Pendrill
Yarrow Fellow