Weston-super-Mare, Somerset - Pages of the Sea

Weston-super-Mare, Somerset


On the day: Activities included music by Matt Norman, a specially-commissioned dance performance choreographed by Holly Noble, a reading by actor Saikat Ahamed plus other drama and history-based activities. A reading of Carol Ann Duffy’s poem by Xahnaa Adlam, joined by schoolchildren from Uphill Primary School, concluded the event.

Click here for more information about activities and timings both leading up to, and on the day.

The portrait revealed on this beach was:

John Hay Maitland Hardyman

Somerset Light Infantry

Age: 23 Date of Death: 24/08/1918

F.Z.S.S. Son of George Hardyman, M.B., F.R.C.S., and Eglantine Henrietta Keith Hardyman, of Perrymead Court, Bath.

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Lieutenant Colonel John Hay Maitland Hardyman, D.S.O. M.C. (28 September 1894 – 24 August 1918)

In May 1918, John Hardyman, aged only 23, became the youngest lieutenant colonel in the British Army. He was born in Bath to Eglantine Henrietta Keith and George Hardyman, with three brothers and two sisters. In December 1914, he was accepted for officer training with the Royal Flying Corps (forerunner of the RAF) at Brooklands, Surrey, though eventually served with the Somerset Light Infantry.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. After the enemy had penetrated allied lines, John went forward through a heavy barrage to rally the troops and repel repeated enemy attacks over two days and three nights. He encouraged them through “coolness and absolute disregard of personal danger” to maintain a tactically important position. He was killed in action at Bienvillers, France, and buried in the military cemetery there, with a memorial raised for him at St Mary’s churchyard, Bathwick, Bath.