GAWTHROUP, Stanley George

No.16357, Private, Stanley George GAWTHROUP
Aged 20

11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment
Killed in Action on Saturday, 1st July 1916

Stanley George GAWTHROUP was born in Stow cum Quy in 1895 (Chesterton Q4-1895 3B:438), son of Robert and Elizabeth GAWTHROUP (née BIGGS).

1901 census...Aged 5, he was at Railway Crossing, Stow cum Quy with his father Robert GAWTHROUP [45] railway platelayer; his mother Elizabeth [46]; sister Sarah [22]; brothers Norman[19] and Bertie [17], both railway porters. These all born in Histon,the rest of the sibling were born in Quy, sister Elizabeth F [15], Robert [13] farm labourer, Frank W [11], Harry [8] and sister Daisy [3].

1911 census...Aged 15, a farm labourer, he was still at Railway Crossing, Stow cum Quy with his parents, brother Bertie and Robert, both farm labourers; sister Daisy Lilian

The pension card has the family at Railway Gate House, Stow cum Quy and also records another soldier Frank Gawthorp 33229 Royal Garrison Artillery. This is presumably his brother Frank who survived the war.

He enlisted in Cambridge. Records show he was a machine gunner.
He was killed on the worst day in British military history, 60,000 casualties, around 20,000 of them dead. The 11th Suffolks were part of 34th Division, as yet untried in battle, in the front of the attack opposite La Boiselle. At 7.28 a mine containing 60,000 lbs of ammonal was blown, creating a crater (Lochnagar crater) 55 feet deep and 220 feet across. 2 minutes later the attack began, the 11 Suffolks following the 10th Lincolns advancing on a line through the centre of Bailiff Wood. The Germans however were in great strength in La Boiselle and as the Suffolks advanced they immediately came under heavy machine gun fire. The lines of men were quickly reduced to groups of 3 and four and by 8 am the battle was decided. Hundreds lay wounded, a pitiful few had managed to reach the German wire. Occasionally a man rose and tried to get forward, only to fall again. Even those few who did reach the parapet were quickly despatched by flame throwers.
Of all the battalions in the battle of Albert, the 11th Suffolks fared worst, with very nearly 700 casualties (a battalion is nominally just over 1,000 men). The 11th Suffolk suffered 188 killed on the 1st July, 147 of them have no known grave.

Stanley was found after the war in the locality of the Lochnagar Crater and re-interred in 1919 in Gordon Dump cemetery

photo: Chris(tine) Eaton

photo: Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Stanley Gawthroup is buried in Ovillers-la-Boiselle (Gordon Dump) Cemetery, grave 9:F:2

click here to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website for full cemetery/memorial details