Roy Faraday

Rank Lieutenant
Service No Unknown
Date of Death 07/06/1917
Age  20
Regiment/Service

London Regiment (City of London Rifles) 2nd/6th Battalionn, attached 74th Company Machine Gun Corps

Cemetery St Quentin Cabaret Military Cemetery. Belgium. This is located 10.5kms south of Ypres. St. Quentin Cabaret was an inn near the village of Wulverghem (now Wulvergem) and the front line. At times, it was used as battalion headquarters. The cemetery was begun in February 1915 by the 46th (North Midland) Division and continued to be used by the divisions holding the sector until it fell into German hands in April 1918.

 

Roy Faraday was born on 3rd September 1896 in Highgate to Charles Faraday (b.1861), a goldsmith, and his wife Florence, nee Gilbey (1869-1956). He was educated at Highgate School and then became a law student. Roy had one elder sister, Lorna (1891-1979), who was to become a music student. The family appear to have moved with reasonable regularity, notably moving to 14 Holly Park, Finchley just before 1910 and later moving down the road to 28 Holly Park, only a third of a mile from St Luke's Church in Mountfield Road.

Roy entered the army as a private, enlisting on 7th September 1914 in the Artists Rifles (28th Reserve) Battalion County of London Regiment. His enlistment papers were signed by the headmaster of Highgate School. He was discharged from the territorials on 25th February 1915, his character being described as 'very good', and his appointment as a Second Lieutenant in the 6th Battalion of the City of London Rifles Reserve took effect the next day. On 19th March 1915 he was based at Cambrian House, Burgess Hill, West Sussex.On 7th March 1916, Roy was promoted to Lieutenant.

Roy was killed in action on the first day of the Battle of Messines (7th –14th June 1917), an offensive conducted by the British Second Army on the Western Front near the village of Messines in Belgium. The battle started with the simultaneous explosion of a series of mines placed by the Royal Engineers' tunnelling companies beneath German lines, which created 19 large craters and was described as the loudest explosion in human history.

Roy’s grave has a unique inscription, rather than the standard war grave inscription: “Divine providence extends to the most minute particulars of life”.

The July 1917 monthly magazine of St Luke’s Finchley lists Roy’s death in the Roll of Honour, saying ‘he was the only son of Mr and Mrs C.A. Faraday of Holly Park and great grandson of the famous electrician and philosopher, Michael Faraday. He was a most promising and popular young officer. Those who knew him here can imagine that he was well beloved’. This entry was then amended in the August 1917 magazine, saying ‘Roy Faraday was incorrectly stated to have been the great grandson of the famous philosopher and electrician, Michael Faraday. His great grandfather was a cousin of the philosopher’.