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Robert Arthur Patterson, Captain, Rifle Brigade

​Robert Arthur Patterson came to Cambridge for one term only in 1914 having been educated at Newbury Grammar School and Amthorsche Höhere Handelsschule, Neuss, Germany.

Born: Highbury, London on 21 March 1896

Fell in action: 12 April 1917

There is no information on Patterson for the few months he was here with 27 other freshmen. Like other students he trained with the OTC before gaining a commission at the end of 1914.

Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, Professor and Fellow of the College described Cambridge in that first Michaelmas term after the war had started: “In the courts and around the Backs the gardeners were sweeping up the leaves, as ever; but no men passed on their way to lectures ‘with the wind in their gowns’…”. He went on to describe dinner in hall “The scholar read grace with an unwonted reverence: 'Sit Deus in nobis, et nos maneamus in illo' – and we took our seats to a meal decently frugal” (Arthur Quiller-Couch. A biographical study of Q by F Brittain).

The line from the College Grace, which is still said today translates as “May God be in us and may we abide in him.”

Patterson was killed in action in France on 12 April 1917.

You can email us on ww1-project@jesus.cam.ac.uk, go to our First World War homepage, or find us on Lives of the First World War

 

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