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Richard William Jennings, Lieutenant, Worcestershire Regiment

Richard William Jennings, came up in 1907, following his brother Arthur Richard Jennings (1905); both attended Bradfield College in Berkshire.

Born: Kings Stanley, Gloucestershire on 6 March 1889

Died of wounds: La Boiselle, 3 July 1916

A "splendid" lightweight boxer

He studied Law and graduated in 1910 with an LLB. While he was here he was a member of the relatively new Cambridge University Boxing and Fencing Club, founded in 1896, and was by all accounts a “splendid” light-weight boxer.

In his second year he was deemed to have “put up a stout fight as the light-weight representative [for the University] but though he had far the better of his opponent, and would probably have knocked him out in the next round, he was unfortunately defeated on points.” (Chanticlere, May Term 1909, p6).

There is no report in Chanticlere of his bouts in 1910 but a newspaper report records him as being a “champion” in 1909-10. The Jesus College Society Annual Report 1917 obituary for him claims that he also beat the champion of the hospitals and a challenger from the Army (p27).

The Jesus College Society Annual Report, 1917 also records that “He was also a very cool and clever motor cyclist” (p27).

Battlefield heroism

He enlisted in September 1914 and was soon commissioned to the Worcestershire Regiment where he was described as “an A1 officer, as brave as a lion, and loved and respected by us all” (The Jesus College Society Annual Report , p27).

There is a further note added to his biography in the College archives that reads “he was brought in by a reprobate private soldier, Tom Turrall whose heroism was recognised by the award of a VC, Jennings having survived long enough to tell the tale”.

There is a more detailed account available in Worcestershire Regiment in the Great War Vol 1, by Captain H. FitzM. Stacke.

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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