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Francis Edmund Storrs, Lieutenant, Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve

​Francis Edmund Storrs came up to Jesus College in October 1902 from Radley College in Oxfordshire.  He was a Rustat Scholar and took his BA in 1905 having gained a 2:1 in the Classical Tripos, Part I.

​Born: Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk on 13 April 1883

Died of pneumonia, 10 November 1918

The obituary for Storrs in the Jesus College Cambridge Society Annual Report 1919 hints at him being an active member of the College saying that he was “a rowing man and a prominent member of our debating societies.” Despite deeming it unwise “to give the personal characteristics of each” casualty (Annual Report 1916, p. 16), they describe Storrs as having “many gifts not the least being his keen sense of humour.” (p. 31)

Storrs rowed throughout his student life, though it appears he, and the rest of the first Lent boat 1903, did not get off to an auspicious start as Chanticlere described them as “most disappointing”.  The went on to say that “Each man was willing to work hard till he was tired, but then it seemed the majority of the crew thought it unnatural to go on” (Chanticlere, Easter and Michaelmas Terms 1903, p. 458).   Storrs was in the second boat for the May races that year which fared somewhat better due, Chanticlere thought, to “weeks of practice”. (p. 472)

Within just two pages of Chanticlere, Michaelmas Term 1904, edition we find out there were several other strings to Storrs’ bow, not least appearing as first and third messengers in the Greek Play in Michaelmas Term 1903.  He was also a member of the Theological Society, where he gave “a most illuminating lecture on the Devil” that was “illuminated by lantern-slides which N L Watson had specially prepared for the occasion”. (Both on p. 479) On the following page we discover that Storrs took an active role in the Cambridge Union, being elected to the Committee in Michaelmas Term 1904.  He had apparently given “a witty speech on the subject of Thibet” [sic] which may have aided his election to the committee. (p. 480)

After leaving College in 1906 he was, according to the obituary in the Annual Report 1919, “a Professor of English Literature in Bombay, but later came home, joined the bar and married.” (p. 31). There is little on his war record in the College Archives other than to say he was given a temporary commission as a Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1916 and subsequently died of pneumonia on the day before the armistice.

Storrs and his colourful career merit a Wikipedia entry. You can perhaps imagine why the Annual Report was reticent on the subject.

You can email us on ww1-project@jesus.cam.ac.uk, go to our First World War homepage, or find us on Lives of the First World War.

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