During this week in 1915 Lt Robert Gilpin died from wounds received while on reconnaissance duty near Basra, Iraq.
He was the eldest of four brothers who came to Truro School between 1902 and 1914. His early years were spent in India, where his father was stationed as Quartermaster Sergeant with the 1st Royal Sussex, before coming to Truro School as a boarder. While at school he took part in the debating society as well as playing for the football and cricket 1st XIs. After leaving school he entered the military academy at Woolwich. He gained a commission in 1911 and joined the Royal Field Artillery, serving in India before going to Mesopotamia (Iraq) when war broke out in 1914. He wrote back to the school several times recounting his exploits; on 14 June 1915 from Ezra’s Tomb his letter included,
“I thought of May 1st, 1902, the day I joined Truro College. Funny how my mind went back to that day while sitting in the hot Persian Desert”.
In 1915 it was thought that ‘out of the 150 Old Boys who have joined the Colours he is the first to have nobly sacrificed his life for the nation, and his name will stand out the brightest of all the school “Roll of Honour”.’
He gave several gifts to the school library and museum; in 1933 a stag’s head, shot by Gilpin in India, hung over the door in the school dining room.