Captain Claude William Treherne

Researched and written by Anne Wright

Captain C W Treherne
Royal Army Medical Corps
Died of wounds, 12.8.1917
Age, 29

Claude William Treherne’s family were steeped in military and medical service. His father was Major-General Sir Francis Harper Treherne, Surgeon-General and his mother Meliora Alianor (Aline) Cotgrave Farmar, who was born in India, was the daughter of an army captain. Claude was the second of three sons born to his parents who were married on 2 August 1884 at St Peter’s Church, Southampton. Their first child Reginald Charles, arrived in 1886, to be followed by Claude in the summer of 1888 at Aldershot and the third son, Brian Cecil was born in October 1890 in India. His mother survived his birth by just three months; she died on 31 January 1891and was buried at Meerut, Bengal. Her last child died shortly afterwards on 23 March 1891.

Claude was educated at Wellington College before pursuing his medical training at St Thomas’ Hospital between 1906 and 1912; he emerged with Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS) and as a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians (LRCP). He served as a senior obstetric house-physician at St Thomas’ Hospital before becoming house surgeon of the West London Hospital. Claude then had his first experience of military conflict when he was a British Red Cross Medical Officer in the Balkan War, 1912-13.

In June 1914 he was in Vancouver where he acted as a witness at the wedding of his brother to Edith Matilda Burpee. Claude’s fellow witness was the bride’s sister, Marjorie Frances, who he would marry at St James’ Church in Weybridge on 14 February 1917 on her twenty-second birthday. At the time of their marriage the couple were based in the town – at The Chestnuts on Monument Hill with his uncle and aunt, Cecil and Sarah Treherne. By this time, Claude was a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps having taken a commission as a Lieutenant on 21 August 1914. He was promoted a year later. Claude rose to become Assistant Director of Medical Services for the 37th Division. He was wounded on 31 July 1917 near Wytschaete (7 km south of Ypres). This was the first day of the Third Battle of Ypres (‘Passchendaele’). Claude was taken to No. 1 British Red Cross Base Hospital, also known as the ‘Duchess of Westminster’s Hospital’ at Le Touquet where he died of his wounds on 12 August. Marjorie Frances served with the Red Cross as a VAD Nurse.

Claude was buried at Etaples Military Cemetery (XVII.E.26), the largest Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery in France, with over 10,000 identified casualties, 5 km west of Le Touquet. He was mentioned in Haig’s Despatches on 7 November 1917. His wife was a widow after just six months of marriage but she remarried on 12 January 1920 to her husband’s first cousin Lt Henry Campbell Treherne, RN at St James’ Church, the son of Cecil and Sarah Treherne. Claude’s father also served in the war and during its later stages was Director of Medical Services of the Third Army.

Sources:

Curry/Currey/Currie Family Tree, www.ancestry.co.uk
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915, www.ancestry.co.uk
War Memorials, www.kingscollections.org
Surrey, England, Church of England Marriages, 1754-1837, www.ancestry.co.uk
Surrey, England, Electoral Registers, 1832-1962, www.ancestry.co.uk

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