Philip Henry Cart de Lafontaine. Courtesy of Gold and Silver Wyre Drawers.
One of the most poignant cases was that of Lieutenant Colonel Henry Cart de Lafontaine, an architect and the Commission’s Chief Inspector of Works. Before the war he was a pupil of Reginald Blomfield, later one of the Commission’s Principal Architects. In 1914 he joined the 4th Royal Fusilier Battalion of the London Regiment as a Captain. He was mentioned in Despatches for his bravery in battle.
On 27 June 1915, during fighting at Neuve-Chapelle in France, his headquarters suffered a direct hit by an enemy shell. His second-in-command was killed, while he himself experienced acute shellshock. A year later his younger brother Alfred died at the Battle of the Somme.