Captain Selwyn Lucas LUCAS-TOOTH
Date of birth: 19 March 1878
Date of death: 20 October 1914
Killed in action aged 35
Buried in the Le Touquet Railway Crossing Cemetery Plot A 10
Selwyn was born in Sydney, Australia, the eldest of the three sons of Sir Robert Lucas Tooth [hyphenated in 1904] and Helen Tooth, his cousin. Their fathers had gone to Australia in the early years of the 19th century.
The families went back and forth between Australia and England, and Selwyn was sent to school at W. Ratcliff’s Preparatory School, Font Hill, East Grinstead before going to Eton and coming up to Christ Church in 1898.
In April 1904, he joined the 5th [Militia] Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers being promoted Lieutenant in May 1905. Two years later, he was promoted Captain in the 3rd Reserve Battalion.
On 16 June 1908, he married Everild Blanche Marion daughter of Sir Edward L Durand. Their only child Everild Vera Undine Lucas-Tooth was born on 27 March 1909. In 1911, they visited Australia leaving their daughter with her maternal grandparents.
At the outbreak of war, Selwyn was sent to France and was shot by a sniper on 20 October 1914.
Probate was granted to his brother and a bank accountant on 14 September 1915. He left £5,328-16s.
His Colonel wrote “Captain Lucas-Tooth was commanding one of the companies in the front line, and after, gallantly, leading his company in a successful attack was, on the following day, killed instantaneously in the front trenches. He had only been a short time with the battalion, but from the first he proved himself a capable officer in every way and had won the respect and affection of both officers and men of the regiment. His loss is deplored by all of us.”
Corporal W. Piper wrote “ Captain S. Lucas-Tooth was my company officer during the time he was in France and I was with him in the trenches at the time of his death – the news of his death was received by the men of his company as a great shock --- he died like a soldier and a gentleman.”
His brother, Lucas, who had been killed on 14 September 1914 was Mentioned in Despatches and, posthumously, awarded the DSO. Their father died on 19 February 1915, and their surviving brother, Archibald, inherited the baronetcy. When he was killed on 12 July 1918, the baronetcy expired.
In December 1920, the Australian newspapers carried reports that the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords had reserved judgement in the case of the claim of the “infant daughter” of Selwyn Lucas-Tooth to inherit part of the estate of her grandfather, which was bequeathed to the heir to the baronetcy. The House of Lords announced that a baronetcy had been conferred on Hugh Vere Lucas-Tooth, the eldest son of Selwyn’s eldest sister Beatrice. She had married Hugh Warrand who changed his name by Deed Poll to that of Lucas-Tooth.
The three sons of Sir Robert Lucas-Tooth are commemorated in the Kameruka Hall, New South Wale. He bought the estate in 1864 and put into practice, there, his humanitarian social ideas, providing his tenant farmers with six-roomed cottages, a school, a church, a meeting hall, store and post office. It remained in the ownership of his descendants for some 150 years.