Text and research by Brian Roote
Cyril was born in Reading on 14 October 1893 to William and Lillian Olney. His father was a Baptist minister and the family moved t0 258 Whitehorse Road Croydon. He started with a private education at Taunton Grammar School and when they moved to Croydon he was admitted to Selhurst Grammar School on 20 January 1908 at the relatively late age of 15. He left on 22 February 1909 and became a medical student at Guy’s Hospital with the intention of becoming a Dental Surgeon. He joined the Red Cross Society and served with them at Reading.
He enlisted from the Inns of Court OTC on October 17 1916 and was commissioned on 26 April 1917 to 2nd Lieutenant in the 4th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry. Went to France on 4 June 1917 and was appointed Brigade Bombing Officer. He was wounded and repatriated and whilst recovering he served for a year at The Red Cross Hospital Star and Garter Home in Richmond. On his return to France he was wounded and died on October 17 1917 in the Australian Hospital near Bailleul of wounds received at Passchendale Ridge on October 14th.
He is buried in Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension, Bailleul.
Cyril is remembered on the War Memorial in Selhurst Grammar School (previously known as The Borough Grammar School for Boys), Croydon Roll of Honour (as published in Croydon and the Great War, edited by Ald. H. Keatley Moore, 1920), and De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour.