Educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge, Ronald Sanderson was the son of Reverend Canon E. Sanderson who rowed in the Cambridge boat beaten by Oxford in 1862. Ronald rowed for Cambridge in 1899 when Oxford’s nine-year winning streak was ended and he was again in the winning Cambridge boat in 1900. Sanderson also rowed in the Head of the River boat for three years, was a member of the winning University Fours, and was also a Lower Double Sculls and Colquhoun Sculls champion.
Sanderson took a commission in the Royal Horse Artillery in May 1900 and served during the South African War, being promoted to lieutenant in 1902. He was sent to France in 1914 and remained until 1917 when he was sent home to organize a command depot of six thousand men. Now promoted to lieutenant-colonel, Sanderson returned to France in 1918 and was killed the following month when a shell burst. He was mentioned in dispatches in 1914 and also decorated with the Cross of Chevalier of the Legion of Honour.
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