Colonel Terence Conner, DSO, KPM.
Colonel Terence Conner DSO, KPM
Terence was of the breed of men who believed in the British Indian Army not merely as a fighting machine, but as an upholder of civilised standards.
Born in India, Terence Seymour Conner returned to England and joined the School in September 1905 in Honiton, a keen games player who represented the School at; Rugby, 2nd XV Colours 1907-08; 1st XV Colours 1909-10-11, and Hon Sec 1911. Cricket: 2nd XI 1908, 2nd XI Colours 1908; 1st XI Colours 1909-10. Hockey: King Cup 1910 and 1st XI Colours 1910, later adding Polo when he joined the army, he left the school in 1911 and returned to India where he was apprenticed to a tea planter. With the outbreak of WW1 he joined the Indian Army Reserve and commissioned into the 26th Punjabis.
Sent to Mesopotamia, the regiment was involved in a campaign against the Turks at Dujaila and then the Battle of Kut al Amara, a victory that avenged General Townshend’s surrender there and paved the way for the British advance on Baghdad.
Terence volunteered to take part in two expeditions into Northern Burma, then under the jurisdiction of the British Indian Government, where the League of Nations was pressing Britain to abolish slavery and human sacrifice. King George V presented him with a DSO for ‘Gallantry and Distinguished Service in the Field’ and the King’s Police Medal.
Terence, a Captain in the 2/15th Punjabis, was given permission to leave his regiment and take part in the campaign in the valleys and mountains of Northern Burma. 8,800 slaves were released and they did their best to stamp out human sacrifice, but two officers and several soldiers were killed.
Terence rafted 360 miles down the Irrawaddy and the experience he gained proved invaluable when the Burma Rebellion broke out in 1930 and indeed in WW2 when he trained his battalion to fight the Japanese in 1944. The Burma Rebellion was led by Saya San ‘The Magician King’, who claimed his spells made his men invulnerable to British bullets. Terence was given command of the Eastern Battalion of the Burma Military Police and sent into the jungle to destroy the rebels, who deprived of food and forced into the open were crushed by the end of 1932.
Saya San was captured and hanged, an original rebel shirt marked with the supposedly protective symbols. The bloodstained hole in the centre shows the symbols didn’t work.
In 1933 he returned to his regiment and went back to the North West Frontier and remained there until 1939 engaged continuously in warlike operations, in which the British Lee Enfield rifle was pitted against hill tribesmen with the long-barreled jezail.
During WW2, Terence was chosen to form the 6/15th Punjabis to defend Ceylon against possible Japanese attack. After the attack diminished he returned to Burma where his battalion distinguished itself
Terence settled in Tanganyika after retiring from the army in 1947 and left India when it became independent and became an expert and much admired farmer and went to all the Olympic and Commonwealth Games between 1960 and 1972 and was on the Hockey Appeal Juries. He retired to Nairobi where he died in 1994 in his 100th year.
Terence had married in 1938 to Josephine Fulks.
He was driving his car and a keen supporter of sport till the end. He was immensely proud of Allhallows, so much so he sent Shaun Conner (V 70-75) nephew there, when his father died, and Shaun’s cousin Christopher Hodgson (C 52-55). 4/14