Horsfall, (Capt) Robert Elcum

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Horsfall, (Capt) Robert Elcum

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1890-1917

History

Son of Howard Douglas Horsfall and Emily Mabel Horsfall. He was born on 12 November 1890 at Mere Bank, Liverpool. He was educated at St Peter's court, Broadstairs, later spending 4 years at Eton where he was in Mt Impey's house. After an extended tour in Canada and the United States, he entered for a short time the service of the Bank of Liverpool, where he took the Bankers preliminary and final examinations, passing in all subjects with distinction in two consecutive years. He developed a taste for archaeology, and paid several visits to Egypt, where his knowledge of Arabic materially assisted his studies. Both there and in Mesopotamia he was associated with Professor Garstang in exploring expeditions, being with him at Meroe when the famous head of Augustus, now in the British museum, was found. Later he joined King's College, Cambridge; a brilliant paper was produced by him in the entrance examination upon the history of Egyptian slavery from the earliest times procuring for him the unusual distinction of admission to the University without being required to complete the preliminary examination. While at the University he took up boxing. Robert won the first prize in the College Long Vacation Essay, with an essay on "The Freedom of the Press From Milton to Corbett". But a promising scholarly career was cut short by the events of 1914. Immediately at the outbreak of the First World War, he enlisted and was assigned to the The King's Regiment (Liverpool), being appointed Captain of the 12th Battalion in June 1916. Shortly afterwards when reconnoitring at night, he has the misfortune through the collapse of a parapet, to impale himself on a broken bayonet. Later in the year he was invalided home with a broken fibula, which kept him for some time in the UK, later rejoining his old regiment for a short period of time, where he was much beloved by his brother officers, and the men. He was often entrusted with the work of liaison officer. He was killed in action in Cambrai (France) on 20 November 1917, aged 27.

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