John Raphael


Journalist Lesley Bellew visited St Jude's today to look at the memorial (in background) to John Raphael for an article she is writing about the First World War.

Lieutenant John Edward Raphael (born 1882) was the only child of Albert and Harriette Raphael, of 5 Wild Hatch. He was educated at Merchant Taylors’ School and St John's College, Oxford, became a member of Lincoln's Inn and was called to the bar in 1908. 



Jack Raphael was a keen sportsman. He won 14 blues at Oxford: four for Rugby, three for cricket, three for swimming, and four for water polo. He won nine Rugby International Caps for England, and captained Surrey at both rugby and cricket. 

At the outbreak of the First World War he joined the King's Royal Rifle Corps raised by his cousin, Sir Herbert Raphael, M.P. for West Derby. He died of wounds – received on June 7th at the battle of Messines – on June 11th, 1917. An officer who was with him when he was wounded writes: " I have seen gallant men in many parts of the world, under all sorts of conditions, but never in my experience have I been so impressed by such a magnificent display of sheer pluck and unselfishness as was shown by Lieut. J. E. Raphael."

A memorial service was held at St Jude's on June 24, 1917.

The monument (on the north wall of the church near the organ) by the sculptor Charles Sykes (the designer of the 'Spirit of Ecstasymascot for Rolls Royce cars), was paid for by Jack's mother in recognition of his close friendship with the vicar, Basil Bourchier, who had been a contemporary at Merchant Taylors'. It was unveiled on 26th October 1919 by Dr Nairn, the Head Master.

Read more about John Raphael here and Lesley's in Daily Express article.


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