Donovan Frederick Gordon Selby
Lance Corporal, Honourable Artillery Company
Age 16, Mat. A: 'A plucky boy. Has very fair ability.'
Donovan Frederick Gordon Selby was a student at Alleyn’s until 1914 and lived at 80 Helix Road, Brixton Hill with his parents, Frederick and Mary, and his two sisters. He joined the war effort a year after leaving school in May 1915 and was posted to the Honourable Artillery Company where he served as a Signaller. In 1916, he was sent overseas with the HAC to the Western Front where he served in France from October 1916 to May 1917. In November 1916, he received a promotion to the rank of Lance Corporal. Donovan served with this rank until December 1916 when he was asked to stand down from the role as it had proved to be too much pressure on him. After gaining more experience and confidence at the front, he was awarded his Lance stripes again in March 1917. Donovan continued to serve in France with the HAC until May 1917 when he was reported as Missing in Action. After receiving no news about his whereabouts, he was assumed to have been killed on May 3rd 1917. After Donovan's death, his Commander wrote home to his parents and stated that his passing would be felt strongly by the whole platoon who considered him a 'very capable leader and a real comrade'. When the conflict came to an end in 1918, his family received the British War and Victory medal on his behalf.