William Donald Raby 8 October 1918

William Donald Raby, born in May 1899, was from Didsbury in Manchester and came up to Oundle and Grafton House in September 1913. We know little of his school career apart from a photo in rugby kit with his friend William Woodeson, probably taken during the Michaelmas Term of 1916. The only reference to him in the Laxtonian Magazine is as Philostrate, master of the revels to Duke Theseus in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. 

On leaving school in 1917, he joined the Manchester University OTC and then an officers’ cadet battalion in Cambridge. Completing his training in May 1918, he joined the Royal Welsh Fusiliers and was killed on 8th October 1918 at the head of his men. 

He and his company attacked the village of Villers Outreaux from one side, while others attacked from the other side. Tanks were being used at this stage “to mop up the village.” 

He was just 19 years old and lies buried in Prospect Hill Cemetery in Gouy south of Cambrai.

C Pendrill
Yarrow Gallery