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Cecil was the youngest of Frederick and Lily Alphonsine Maria Schooling’s four children. He was baptised 21st November 1884 in Battersea. He entered Tonbridge School in September 1897 and left at Christmas 1901. He was in Germany until 1903, then went up to Pembroke College, Cambridge intending to read Law but changing to Theology. He graduated BA on 16th June 1906 and MA on 3rd February 1910.
On leaving Cambridge in 1906 he went to Wells Theological College and was ordained Deacon in 1907 and Priest in 1908. Till 1910 he was curate of the Cathedral Church, Wakefield, and since then had been for six years a curate at Croydon Parish Church, responsible for St Edmund’s Mission and the Welcome Hall. He became a Temporary Chaplain (4th Class) on 5th December 1916 going immediately to France. After four months of hospital duties he was appointed chaplain to an infantry brigade, and went to the Front.
Of the day Cecil died, the Deputy Chaplain-General wrote to Cecil's parents "Your son was hit by a fragment from a shell that burst on the far side of the street. Seemingly no one knew that he was touched, for he stopped a lorry and clambered in. He was taken to a field ambulance about two or more miles back, and himself got out and tried to walk into the tent, when he fainted. "His command over himself when so badly wounded and with his wound undressed was remarkable. There would have been no chance for him, however, even had he been dressed at once. He appears to have behaved in a most gallant manner."
At his memorial service at Croydon Parish Church it was said that on the day he was killed “He had left his billet, a place of comparative if not complete safety, to go out into the road to warn some of his men to take cover, as there was danger abroad, and as he went to do this for his men a shell came, struck him and enabled him to claim a hero's death. He died as he would have wished to die, for his Church and for his country, and it was granted to him for his last moments to be characteristic of his whole life, to serve others and to save others, and so dying he had served his Church and country well"
He was posthumously Mentioned in Despatches.
Cecil’s brother Eric, and cousin Vernon Francis Symondson also died.
Thank you to Tonbridge School and Pembroke College Cambridge for their assistance.
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