Boys from Loughton School who fought in the First and Second World Wars:

Frank A Biner (1898 – 1917)

Frank left Loughton School in 1915 to join the 28th London Rifles (Territorials) and was appointed Lance Corporal and in 1917 promoted to Second Lieutenant.

This is a report written on the day of Frank’s tragic death.

“Today on the Western Front, 9 Wing assisted 2 Brigade by bombing Honnecourt (27 Squadron RFC), Menin Station (25 Squadron RFC) and Crevecoeur (25 and 27 Squadron). Providing fighter cover was 22 Squadron RFC in their Bristol F2bs. Lieutenant Sydney Arthur Oades and 2nd Class Air Mechanic John Harvey Jones had a smidgin of good news when they claimed to have shot down an enemy two-seater in flames north of Roulers.
After that it all went downhill. First Lieutenant L R Titchener and Second Lieutenant Herbert Kenneth Johnstone were killed when their Bristol F.2b (A7230). collided in mid air with another F2b (A7268) with 2nd-Lieutenant Frank Amsden Biner and 1st Class Air Mechanic David Ward Clement on board. All four crew were killed.

2nd Lieutenant F Goodchap and 2nd Lieutenant Alfred Henry Middleton were slightly luckier as they were taken prisoner when their F2b suffered engine trouble and they were forced to land behind enemy lines.” (War Office archives)

Primrose McConnell (1890 – 1918)

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That unusual and somewhat puzzling name, Primrose McConnell, inevitably aroused interest during the reading, long ago, at the annual reunion dinner of the Roll Call honouring those Old Loughtonians who lost their lives during the First World War. Which probably led to more of the young McConnell’s background emerging when a collection of documents were found by Daniel Church among the papers of his late father, who was an Old Boy of Loughton School.

The 1907 School Magazine showed a photograph of the young Primrose McConnell accompanied by a tribute from the School. (abbreviated)

“He joined the School’s First Form in September 1898, aged 8. From the start he displayed much individuality of character, with very decided opinions on many subjects, which he clung to with tenacity. His progress through school was steady, sure and firmly founded. In his last year in 1906, he was Senior Monitor and School Captain and won the respect and esteem of both masters and boys alike.”

The photograph is clearly of a good-looking young man and no explanation is given for the unusual name for a boy. Perhaps his contemporaries at school might have known the answer.

But among millions of tragedies in the dreadful war that began eight years after he left school, Primrose McConnell’s gifts and influence were never given their chance to flower in full maturity. Just before the end of the First World War, some ten years after the photograph was taken, Captain P McConnell, MC, of the Royal Field Artillery, lost his life in battle.

Captain. “D” Battery, 101st Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. Killed in action in France & Flanders on 18th September 1918. Aged 28. Son of Primrose and Katherine McConnell, of North Wycke, Southminster, Essex B. Sc., Medallist and Steven Scholar in Agriculture (Edinburgh University). Born at Ongar, Essex. Awarded the Military Cross. Commemorated: Doiran Memorial, Greece.
(extract from Essex: Southminster War Memorial)

Philip David Lloyd:

Left Loughton School to work in Chigwell Urban District Council and learnt to fly at Stapleford Aerodrome and joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve. On 24th August 1940 Sergeant Pilot Lloyd married his sweetheart but after only two weeks he took up his posting with 41 Squadron at Catterick. Over the next few weeks the squadron took heavy losses and on 15th October, set off on a routine coastal patrol from which he never returned. 12 Days later his body was recovered on the beach at Herne Bay. Philip Lloyd was then returned to the little church at High Beach where he had married just two months before.

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