John Morton Mansel-Pleydell
Location: St Mary’s Church, Sturminster Newton, Dorset, DT3 6EG
Details on cross:
2ND LIEUT J.M. MANSEL-PLEYDELL
107TH BDE R.F.A
22ND SEPT 1916
Text type (e.g. hand-written, GRU tags, carved): GRU Tags
Cross dimensions (millimetres please)
Shaft Height: 880
Cross beam width 400:
Width of wood: 70
Thickness or depth 40:
Mounting to wall: Freestanding on wooden base
Detailing: Chamfered edges to cross piece
Evidence of use in field (earth marking, cracking, staining, shrinkage): Splaying at top of shaft looks like it may have been hammered into the ground
Surface insertion depth (into ground if apparent): n/a
Finish (varnish, paint, oiled, unfinished etc): Unfinished
Condition (cracked, paint peeling, woodwork, damage etc): Fair, some slight cracking.
Notes and observations: 2nd Lt John Morton Mansel-Pleydell was born in 1884, the son of Canon John Colvile and Beatrice Maud Mansel-Pleydell. He attended Winchester College and Trinity College, Cambridge, and then went to work in Canada and Malaya. He returned to England at the outbreak of war and was commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery in December 1914. He left for France in August 1915 and died of wounds on 22nd September 1916 during the battle of the Somme. He is buried in St Pierre Cemetery, Amiens. His father was vicar of Sturminster Newton at the time of his death.
While serving with the RFA he is jointly credited with the invention of a height finder for anti-aircraft gunnery which was adopted for use by the War Office.
There is more about him on the Winchester College website.
Survey and photographs Andrew Macdonald
Date of survey: 19/03/17