Richard Sayer writes : Having established contact with the descendants of OF Gus Agar, VC, DSO, the SOF proposed, and both Paul Taylor and the Agar family agreed, to commemorate Agar’s heroism on the centenary of his VC action, Monday 17th June, with a short service in the College Chapel.
Headmaster Paul Taylor welcomed a full chapel of over 250 pupils, six members of the Agar family, members of College staff, Governors, and a dozen OFs. Following a stirring rendition of I Vow To Thee My Country, Jonathan Agar, great nephew, narrated the story of his ancestor’s virtually single-handed attack, whilst acting under-cover for the Secret Service, on the Russian fleet seized by the Bolsheviks in Kronstadt, Russia. He torpedoed and sank a cruiser, and two months later led another attack which sank two battleships. In WWII his command HMS Dorsetshire was sunk within 8 minutes by a Japanese bomber. Agar kept his 650 crew treading water, warding off sharks, with the injured in the centre and the rest in the outer ring, for 30 hours until rescue arrived.
Lt. Colonel Martin Myers-Allen laid a wreath on the Agar memorial in the Chapel, and College Chaplain Brynn Bayman closed the service by quoting the eternal lines from R.L.Binyon’s poem. After the service two interviews were conducted on Radio Suffolk, one aired before the service with Paul Taylor, followed by a longer interview with the family at 2.40pm on the Leslie Dolphin Show. Coffee was provided in Paul’s Court for guests after the service.
Before and after the special chapel service there were features on BBC Radio Suffolk. The prior article can be heard at 1.25.18 and the article afterwards can be heard at 1.40.08.. His distinguished article can be read here.
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