November 7, 2016

Stannard, Horace Augustus

Service number: 1710913 | Rank: Private | Regiment: 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers (City of London Regiment)

Died, July 1, 1944.
Buried FOIANO DELLA CHIANA WAR CEMETERY, Italy.  II. A. 3.

Aged 31.  Son of George William and Flora Gertrude Maud Stannard; husband of Evelyn Louisa Stannard, of Brandon, Suffolk.

WHAT I KNOW ABOUT HORACE …

Horace’s birth was registered in the summer of 1912, and his parents were George William and Flora Gertrude Maud (nee Watson).  In 1934

On Saturday 10th November 1934, Horace married Evelyn Louisa Butcher, at St. Peter’s church, Brandon.  A report in the Thetford & Watton Times described the wedding,

“The bride, who was given away by her father, was beautifully attired in an ankle length dress of white satin with veil and orange blossom and white heather.  Her bouquet was of white chrysanthemums and fern.

There were four bridesmaids.  Miss R. Grover (friend) and Miss May Stannard (sister of the groom) were attired in pink silk ankle length dresses with head dresses of gold leaves and gold shoes.  They carried bouquets of bronze chrysanthemums and fern.  Miss Irene Butcher (sister of the bride) and Miss Sheila Elmer (cousin of the bride) wore dresses of blue with head-dresses of silver leaves and shoes to match.  Their bouquets were of white chrysanthemums and fern.

Mr George Elmer was best man, and Mr Childs also assisted.  A reception was held at the bride’s home.  Their future home will be at Little Lodge Farm, Santon Downham.”

At the time Horace’s family were living in Thetford Road and Evelyn’s were in George Street.  The fact that their wedding was printed in a local newspaper may indicate they had some status within the town.  The couple went on to have a child.

During the war, Horace served with the 2nd Battalion, Royal Fusiliers and most likely saw action at the siege of Monte Cassino in Italy, before the Allies captured Rome and pressed further northwards.  It was at Gabbiano that the 2nd Battalion earned their battle honours.  On 1st July 1944, it was recorded,

“In this engagement, 2/Royal Fusiliers advanced in the face of heavy fire from enemy infantry, mortars and artillery and captured this strong position.”

It was during this battle that Horace was killed.  On July 29th, the Thetford & Watton Times reported his death,

“It has officially been announced that Pte. Horace Stannard has been killed in action in the Mediterranean theatre of war.  Pte Stannard was a native of Downham Market, but has lived in Brandon for the past 15 years.  He leaves a widow and one child.”

I would suggest the reporter meant to say Horace was born in Santon Downham, not Downham Market.  A month later the Bury Free Press recorded a memorial service to Horace,

“In July a Service was held for a Brandon man, Private Horace Augustus Stannard, who was killed in action in the Mediterranean. The Service was held at the Methodist Church on London Road, Brandon, and the Rev A.J. Wiffen and Mr W.H. Thoday, a L.C.C. Schoolmaster, formerly of Brandon, paid tributes. His widow and other relatives attended the Service.”