A Poppy
A Poppy

Memorials & Monuments
on the Isle of Wight
- Biography -
- Vernon Christopher Russell Caley -

V C R Caley Name : Vernon Christopher Russell Caley.

Son of the Rev. William Bertram Russell Caley and the late Flora Emma Caley (née Crump) (died 1904), of "Roma," Sandown, Isle of Wight.

Born 20 October 1895, Wayland, Norfolk.

  Census Information :

1901 : The Rev. and Mrs. Caley, with their children including Vernon aged 5, are at 10, (Vicarage St Matthias), Argyle Terrace, Plymouth.

1911 : Vernon Caley, aged 16, is a boarder at Dean Close School, Cheltenham.

  Service details :

Captain Vernon Christopher Russell Caley, 7th Bn., Royal Warwickshire Regiment.

Awarded Military Cross.
  Casualty Details :

Died : 22nd August 1917 aged 21

Commemorated at Tyne Cot Memorial, Belgium.

CWGC record ...
  Commemorated on these Memorials :

Christ Church, Sandown, War Memorial
County War Memorial, Carisbrooke Castle

  Documents :

Citation for Military Cross
London Gazette 22 September 1916


Friday, September 7, 1917 Page 1

Captain Vernon Christopher Russell Caley, M.C., Royal Warwickshire Regiment, killed in action on August 22nd, younger son of the Rev. W.B. Russell Caley, of Sandown and formerly vicar of St. Matthias, Plymouth, and educated at Plymouth College and Dean Close School, Cheltenham. Just previous to the outbreak of war he had begun his training as an analytical chemist, but as soon as possible joined the Inns of Court O.T.C., at Berkhamsted. He received his commission in February, 1915, and went to the front in the following July, where he was at first attached to an entrenching battalion, but after a few months rejoined his regiment. In August, 1916, he was awarded the M.C. and after going through much severe fighting without injury was mortally wounded by a shell while leading his company to an attack on August 22nd. One of his brother officers writes: - "It is not for me to remark upon his gallantry and worth, it was so well known throughout the battalion, and I may say the whole brigade." Another says: - "He was one of our very best, the bravest fellow I have met out here. He never saw danger, or if he did it worried him not at all." A third says: - "He was loved by all from the colonel to the last joined private."

National Probate Calendar 1917

20th October 1895 - 22nd August 1917

Vernon was the second son of the Revd William Bertram Russell Caley and Mrs Flora Emma Caley. The elder boy, William Leonard Bertram, followed his father into the Church, being ordained Deacon in 1914 and Priest the following year, eventually becoming an honorary Canon (later Emeritus) of Salisbury Cathedral and Rural Dean of Swaffham (Norfolk). Both boys came to Dean Close School, William for the Trinity Term 1908 but stayed only a term while Vernon, entering also in the Trinity Term 1908 , stayed at the School until the end of the Lent Term, 1912. At the entry of the two boys, their Father, the Revd W.B.R Caley, was at St Matthias's Vicarage, Plymouth, which ties in with the census return, clearly before the move to the Isle of Wight. Interestingly, the elder boy was not formally entered into the Admissions Register although Vernon was. There is very little available on Vernon's time at Dean Close School, save that he won a Science Prize in the Summer of 1911.

Nothing is known of his subsequent career other than he must have been a leader of ability to have made the rank of Captain by the age of 21 and won an MC.

A researcher's notes suggest that he was a casualty of what became known as the Third Battle of Ypres and that he was killed 'near St Julien' during what was, apparently 'the wettest August for many years'

Biography from Dean Close School, reproduced with the permission of the Headmaster, Dean Close School.
  Gallery :

Capt V C R Caley from the Dean Close Roll of Honour The Decanian November 1917 The Decanian November 1917
Images courtesy of Dean Close School. Click to enlarge.
  Further Information :

Plymouth College

Dean Close School, Cheltenham - History
Dean Close School, Cheltenham - The Foundation

Roll of Honour, Dean House School Chapel

Inns of Court OTC Berkhamsted

Inns of Court OTC Berkhamsted memorial (1)
Inns of Court OTC Berkhamsted memorial (2)
Inns of Court OTC Berkhamsted memorial (3)
  Acknowledgments :

Material from Dean Close School is reproduced by kind permission of the Headmaster, Dean Close School, with assistance from their Archivist, Charles Whitney.

Janet Griffin for newspaper and website research
  Page status :
Page last updated : 28 October 2011 - added material from Dean Close School


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