Porthcurno, Cornwall - Pages of the Sea

Porthcurno, Cornwall


On the day: Click here to find out more about timings and events on this beach.


The portrait revealed on this beach was:

Richard Charles Graves-sawle

Coldstream Guards

Age: 26 Date of Death: 02/11/1914

Son of Rear-Admiral Sir Charles Graves-Sawle, 4th Bart, and Lady Graves-Sawle, of 60, Queen's Gate, London; husband of Muriel Heaton-Ellis (now Mrs. A. L. C. Cavendish).

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Lieutenant Richard Charles Graves-Sawle (1888 – 02 November 14)

Richard Charles Graves-Sawle was the only son of Lady Constance Mary and Rear Admiral Sir Charles John Graves-Sawle, a baronet, so Richard was heir to the family estate. Richard was born in Kensington, London then raised in Penrice House (now a care home) in Porthpean, St Austell, Cornwall. Richard trained at Sandhurst and in 1908 enlisted in the 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards.

On 6 August 1914 he married Muriel Heaton-Ellis, but six days later left for France. His diary from that year gives an insight into the hardships faced by soldiers on the western front. Richard survived some of the earliest engagements with the German army, including the retreat from Mons and the battles of Marne and the Aisne. He was killed near Ypres, Belgium, on 2 November 1914 by a sniper’s bullet to the head while standing in a communication trench. In 2014, students at the at the University of Exeter’s Penryn Campus serialised his diary on Twitter (@RCGravesSawle).