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Edward Radcliffe-Nash

Edward Radcliffe-Nash (June 9, 1888 – February 21, 1915) was a British horse rider who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics.

Education and military Career

Born in London on June 9, 1888 to Lieut-Colonel Edward Nash JP (Late Essex Regiment) of Ballycartee, Tralee, Co. Kerry, and Constance, daughter of John Radcliffe of Moorfield Withington, JP.

Educated at Mr. Bulls Preparatory School, Westgate on Sea (1898 – 1902), Eton (1902 – July 1905) and Sandhurst Military College into which he passed the entrance exams on August 15, 1905 with the position of 119 from a cadetship of 196 receiving 7,838 marks. He commenced his period at Sandhurst Military College in September 1905. Edward Radcliffe Nash left Eton at the earliest possible moment (giving up all that Eton could give him over the next two years) to enroll at Sandhurst to enable him to gain seniority in the Army. In July 1906 Edward Radcliffe Nash graduated from Sandhurst Military College with the position of 87 from 218 cadets. On August 29, 1906, Edward Radcliffe Nash was gazetted as 2nd Lieutenant into the 16th Lancers and joined his Regiment on October 3, 1906. He was promoted to Lieutenant on January 15, 1909 and Captain on October 10, 1914. Edward Radcliffe Nash qualified at the School of Musketry in their examinations on October 14, 1910.

He went to France with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in August 1914. He took part in the retreat from Mons, the battles of the Marne, the Aisne and the First Battle of Ypres. He was killed in action near Ypres on February 21, 1915, when the 16th Lancers suffered severely through the blowing up of a trench. At the time of his death he was acting Adjutant of his Regiment. Captain Edward Radcliffe Nash was mentioned in Lord John French’s Dispatches of 8 October 1914 (London Gazette October 19, 1914).

Sporting career

Edward Radcliffe Nash was a splendid all round sportsman. He distinguished himself at Eton as a long distance runner and as a “wet bob”. In 1905 he won the Junior Sculls and stroked his Junior House Four up to “head”, the last time that the colours of Miss Evan’s were seen on the river.

Whilst at Sandhurst he proved himself to be a remarkable athlete, winning against competitors considerably older than himself in the equivalent of the “Victor Ludorum” cup. After joining the 16th Lancers he ran twice in the Army Championship for the mile, being second on both occasions with practically no training. However he devoted himself to riding. He was well known at Olympia and represented Britain at the Stockholm Olympic Games in 1912. He did not finish the Individual eventing (Military) competition, also the British team did not finish the team event. However in the individual jumping event he finished 29th on The Flea.

He was first and second in successive years at the Grafton Pont-to-Point, won his Regimental Light Weight Steeplechase on two occasions and was “placed” at a number of other meetings at which he rode.

In De Ruvigny’s Roll Of Honour 1914 – 1924 it is said that : - “As conspicuous for dash, energy and endurance in War as in sport, he was the ideal cavalry officer and appeared to have a distinguished career before him. His exuberant vitality found expression in all that he said or did, and one who knew him well, observed on hearing that he had been killed: “Of all the deaths in this war, his death is the hardest to realise”.”

Captain Edward Radcliffe Nash is buried in the Ypres Town Cemetery, Ieper, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium, Row G, Grave 4.

Captain Edward Radcliffe Nash had a younger brother, Llewellyn Charles Nash (a Captain in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps) who died of wounds on September 28, 1915.


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