Lancelot Shadwell Jennings

MiD (WW1)


Additional Information: 

Son of the late William Jennings and Hannah L. MacCallum (formerly) Jennings, of Edinburgh.

  • CWGC
  • Archives New Zealand

Biographical Notes:

“Advice has privately been received of the death of Captain Lancelot S. Jennings, late senior science master at the Waitaki Boys' High School, and a nephew of Mr D. H. Jennings, of Tamar street. He was educated at Nelson College, where he gained several high scholastic distinctions, including the Simmons Prize for Literature. He captained the College cricket eleven, and as a schoolboy the Nelson provincial representaitive eleven. On gaining a university entrance scholarship, he proceeded to Canterbury College, where he took the M.Sc. degree, and was nominated for the Rhodes Scholarship. During Professor Chilton's visit to England Mr Jenning [sic] acted as lecturer in biology at Canterbury College. He accepted the science mastership at Wanganui College, and then was appointed senior science master at the Waitaki High School. His work at that institution was highly appreciated, and he showed a rare teaching capacity. He was imbued with the highest scientific enthusiasm, and was himself a brilliant research student. He proceeded to the front with a lieutenant's commission, but was promoted to a captaincy in Egypt. He was evidently killed in action during the last sharp advance by the New Zealanders in France. The deepest sympathy is felt for his young and talented wife, who shared her husband's scientific interests. The death of Captain Jennings is keenly felt by all at the Waitaki High School, and will be generally deplored all over the Dominion where this brilliant scholar and distinguished athlete was held in well-deserved esteem. Captain Jennings, who was an active member of the Oamaru Tennis Club, was one of New Zealand's most skilful tennis players, and at the last New Zealand tournament in which he played immediately before his enlistment he was runner-up to the champion, Ollivier. With better opportunities for practice he would almost certainly have attained Dominion championship honors. He won very comfortably in 1914 the Otago championship, defeating Bray, who had previously put Ollivier out. Jennings was popular in athletic circles, for despite his undoubted ability he was modest of his attainments and always willing to give the less fortunate a helping hand. His death means no less a loss to the Dominion than to Waitaki. The last letter received from Captain Jennings stated that he was withm reach of a tennis court behind the lines and was looking forward to his next spell off duty for a game with young Wilding*, his old Christchurch companion.” (* Probably refers to a younger brother of Anthony Wilding, as Anthony Wilding had been killed in action the previous year in May 1915.) [Oamaru Mail, Volume XLVI, Issue 12957, 23 September 1916, p4]


"Mr Frank Milner was appointed as the third Rector of Waitaki Boys' High School from a field of 46 applicants. Mr Milner was the Deputy Rector at Nelson College, where he was also an old boy. His departure from Nelson College is recorded in the Nelsonian (their school magazine - of which Milner was the Editor). Tributes to him were led by the 1906 head boy Lancelot (Lance) Jennings. The Nelsonian states "Jennings expressed his great regret at Mr Milner's departure and tendered his congratulations upon the high position of trust conferred on him. He hoped it would not be their last would there be with Nelson a lasting connection with the future of Waitaki High School."
Indeed, this was not their last meeting. After leaving Nelson College, Jennings attended Canterbury University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree. Choosing to take his science degree into the teaching profession, he came to Waitaki in 1914 as the senior Science teacher. A talented sportsman he represented the Nelson district at Cricket while still at school where he captained the 1st XI. He was an even more accomplished tennis player winning the Otago champs in 1914 and going on to be runner up in the NZ champs despite limited preparation. Many compared him with Anthony Wilding who won Wimbledon 4 times. In 1912 he was runner up for the Rhodes scholarship.
In 1915 he embarked as a Lieutenant with the Otago Infantry Battalion where he first served in Gallipoli and was then transferred to the western front in France. On 15 September 1916 he was killed in action leading his men in an assault on a German machine gun post at Flers during the Battle of the Somme. He was the only master killed in WW1." [Source:, accessed 12/10/2021]

Public Contributions:

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Personal Tributes:


Service Number: 
Lancelot Shadwell Jennings
Name variation:
Lancelot Shadwill Jennings (BDM Online)
Date of Birth:
15 March 1888
Place of Birth:
Takaka, Nelson, New Zealand
Next of Kin: 
Mrs Lance Jennings (wife) (née Bella Dytes MacIntosh Cross, remarried MacCallum), c/o G R Ryder, John Street, New Plymouth
Date of Enlistment:
12 March 1915
Locality on Enlistment: 
Waitaki High School, Oamaru
Place of Enlistment: 
Trentham, Wellington, New Zealand
Marital Status on Enlistment: 
Marital Status on Death: 
Occupation on Enlistment:
Waitaki Boys' High School, Oamaru
NZEF, Otago Regiment, 2 Battalion, 14 (South Otago) Company

Casualty Details

Cause of Death:
Killed in action
Date of Death:
15 September 1916
Day of Death:
Age at Death: 

Embarkation Details

Embarkation Body:
6th Reinforcements
Embarkation Place:
Wellington, New Zealand
Embarkment Date:
14 August 1915

Willochra or Tofua
Suez, Egypt (19 September 1915)

Text in italics supplied by Cenotaph Online, Auckland War Memorial Museum


Cemetery Reference: 
Cemetery Location: 
Lancelot Shadwell Jennings
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