Shaftesbury Grammar School War Memorial

Neils John Tunnington

Surname: Tunnington
Other names: Neils John
Other people in this story:
John Tunnington
Anna Berthine Tunnington
Locations in this story:
Ripley, Knaresborough, Yorkshire
Shaftesbury Grammar School, Shaftesbury, Dorset
Church Road, Wavertree, Liverpool
Thiepval Memorial, France
All Hallows Church, Allerton, Liverpool

Neils John Tunnington was born in 1891 in Ripley, Knaresborough, Yorkshire. He was the son of John Tunnington, a domestic gardener, and Anna Berthine Tunnington, who was Danish. He attended Shaftesbury Grammar School from January 1905 to December 1908. He played for the school football and cricket teams of 1906, 1907 and 1908, captaining the cricket team in 1908. He passed the Cambridge Junior Locals in July 1907 (II Class Honours, distinguished and top boy in England in Physical Geography). After leaving school he was articled to a Liverpool firm of Chartered Accountants, and passed his final Institute of Chartered Accountants examination shortly before war broke out. He was living at 21 Church Road, Wavertree, Liverpool.

By October 1914 he had joined the King’s Liverpool Regiment (Service No. 16098) and at the time of his death held the rank of Corporal. He died at the Somme on 30th July 1916 and his name appears on the Thiepval Memorial, France (Pier and Face 1 D, 8 B and 8 C). He was also remembered on the memorial at All Hallows Church, Allerton, Liverpool. He was awarded the 1915 Star, Victor and British War medals.

His death was recorded in the Shaftesbury Grammar School magazine and his character described: “N.J. Tunnington was an old boy who kept very closely in touch with the School after he left. While here he was good at work and games, straight as a die, and a general favourite with everybody. He was a first class shot, and was “sniper” to his platoon. His commanding officer speaks of him as ‘a fine soldier, trustworthy to the utmost degree, and of great personal charm and character.’ He last visited the School on October, 1915, shortly before going out to France.”

As a former pupil his name was recorded on the Shaftesbury Grammar School war memorial, now in Shaftesbury School.  A "First List of Old Shastonians Serving in H.M. Forces" was produced by Shaftesbury Grammar School in September 1915. It shows the regiment in which Niels served and the date and term in which he left school. Throughout the war a hand-written list was also compiled of Shaftesbury Grammar School old boys serving in the armed forces. An asterix can be seen next to Niels' name, indicating that he had died. The board is now at Gold Hill Museum. 

Printed Sources: 

Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, October 1914
Shaftesbury Grammar School Magazine, November 1916
First List of Old Shastonians Serving in H.M. Forces, September 1915 

  • List of Old Shastonians 1
  • List of Old Shastonians 4
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys 7
  • Shaftesbury Grammar School Old Boys 1

Links to related web content / sources:
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The National Archives