PRIVATE JOHN EDWARD SCHOLES
10TH OCTOBER 1917 AGE 25
BURIED: SOLFERINO FARM CEMETERY, BRIELEN, DENMARK
There are no quotation marks round this inscription, nevertheless it is a quotation. However, I think the saying must have had a life of its own separate from the book in which it appears as the context is humorous rather than noble. Robert Louis Stevenson (1850-1894), in his book, Travels With a Donkey in the Cevennes (1879), describes how, losing patience with his donkey's slow pace, he decides to hit her. After the third attempt, the others having had no effect, he declares, "I am worthy the name of an Englishman, and it goes against my conscience to lay my hand rudely on a female". So feeling extremely guilty, especially as the donkey is exhibiting signs of distress, he stops beating her at which the donkey goes slower and slower. Eventually they are overtaken by a peasant who initially sympathises with Stevenson and then falls about laughing saying that the donkey has fooled him. The peasant picks up a stick and beats the donkey soundly whereupon it picks up its heels and trots along happily, showing no signs of distress and never slowing down. You can see why I think the quotation must have had a life of its own separate from Stevenson's book.
John Scholes' sister chose his inscription, both parents were dead. Scholes was a volunteer; his medal card shows that he entered a theatre of war on 5 May 1915, which would fit with him having enlisted in the 2nd/5th Battalion Lancashire Fusiliers in September 1914. On the day Scholes died of wounds, the 2nd/5th had been out of the front line training and resting since 23 September when they came out of action on the Menin Road, which is probably when Scholes was wounded.