Lieutenant Raymond Asquith is buried at Guillemont Road Commonwealth Cemetery (Photo: Centenary News)

100 Years Ago: UK Prime Minister's son killed in action

Posted on on 15 September 2016
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Britain's First World War Prime Minister, Herbert Asquith, suffered a personal tragedy on 15 September 1916 when his eldest son, Raymond, was killed on the Somme.

Also killed that day was David Henderson, son of the British Labour Party Leader, Arthur Henderson.

Lieutenant Raymond Asquith was shot in the chest while leading an attack near Ginchy. He died a short while later from his wounds.

Lt. Asquith, who was 37 and serving with the Grenadier Guards, interrupted his promising career as a lawyer to enlist in 1914.

The inscription on his gravestone reads: "Small time but in that small most greatly lived this star of England" a quotation from William Shakespeare's Henry V.

Herbert Asquith, Prime Minister since 1908, was forced to resign in December 1916 amid criticism  of his wartime leadership. He was replaced by David Lloyd George, who'd won acclaim for boosting shell production as the newly-created Munitions Minister in 1915.

Daily commemorations are being held at the Thiepval Memorial until 18 November 2016 to mark the 141 days of the Battle of the Somme. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) has also just published a guide to historic locations on the Somme.

Sources: Commonwealth War Graves Commission; Wikipedia

Images: Centenary News

Posted by: CN Editorial Team