SECOND LIEUTENANT ERROL SIDNEY PLOWES
ROYAL FIELD ARTILLERY
9TH APRIL 1918 AGE 20
BURIED: BOUCHOIR NEW BRITISH CEMETERY, FRANCE
Like yesterday's inscription, Errol Sidney Plowes' comes from the first verse of Sir John Arkwright's poem, which later became a hymn, O Valiant Hearts:
O valiant hearts who to your glory came
Through dust of conflict and through battle flame;
Proudly you lie, your knightly virtue proved,
Your memory hallowed in the land you loved.
Plowes' parents chose the last line, which is more usually quoted than the line above. However, unusually, they have identified 'the land he loved' - it was South Africa, the land where he was born and brought up and where his father, Sidney Arnold Plowes, worked for the Union Castle Shipping Line in Cape Town.
Born in Rondebosch on 22 February 1898, Plowes joined the 1st South African Infantry as a private in 1916 when he was just 18. On 8 April 1917, just after his 19th birthday, he received a commission into the Royal Field Artillery, serving with the 379th Battery, 169th Brigade. He was killed in action during the fighting for Hangard Wood, part of the German's Spring Offensive, a year and a day later when he was just 20.