Robert Hoare 9 October 1917

Robert Hoare, aged 31, was the oldest of the ‘Laxton School 5’ – five boys from Laxton School who all died at Passchendaele in a two week period from 4th -19th October 1917.

He was a Nassington boy and left Laxton School in 1904. He taught for a year at his old school “learning the methods of education”, as Sanderson put it. He was apparently still able to play for Laxton School at cricket and football at this time and was briefly secretary and treasurer of the Old Laxtonian Club. This excellent grounding allowed him to gain a post as school master in charge of Geography at Halesowen Grammar School in the West Midlands.

At that time, he had joined the Territorials and became a 2nd Lieutenant in the Worcesters in 1912. He was heavily engaged in the Battle of the Somme in 1916 and was promoted Captain. By October 1917, the Worcesters were called to Passchendaele. In the darkness and pouring rain on 9th October, Robert Hoare led his Company into action, attacking the German held village of Poelcapelle. They took prisoners and gained some muddy territory, but Hoare was killed. He had frequently told his Colonel that if he were to be killed, it would be when leading his men into battle. He lies buried in Poelcapelle cemetery. On his headstone, his parents inscribed a verse from Isiah: “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace”.

C Pendrill
Yarrow Fellow