Alexander Jewell Stannard 19 August 1917

The next victim of the battle in Flanders, was one of the mostly highly ranked of Oundelians. Major Alexander Jewell Stannard was from Southsea, near Portsmouth, born in August 1891. He was, like so many, an only son. He was a Sidney man from 1905-08, and a member of the XV. In the review of the rugby season of 1908, he was described as “most useful, for a light-weight, always on the ball and playing a capital game.” In that same season, he helped Sidney become Cock House at Rugby, beating Grafton in the final.

He was also keen on the Cadet Corps and a useful shot, being ranked 10th at the school in his last year. He appeared in a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream but only in the guise of one of the (four) lords attending Theseus, Duke of Athens.

He spent some time at London University and became a regular attender of OO dinners in London and Cambridge, the one in January 1913 attracting record numbers of OOs - some 67 in all.

Doubtless influenced by his OTC work at school, he entered Sandhurst. After serving a year as 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Artillery Special Reserve of Officers, he joined the regular army in June 1914 and found himself in France in September 1915 with a siege battery. He remained with them throughout rising from Captain in August 1916 to Acting Major from early 1917. He was killed by a shell on 20th August 1917 while serving with the Australians in the Heavy Artillery Division of the 1st Anzac Corps.

One month after his death, he was mentioned in dispatches having served “continuously with the battery” for exactly two years and having “on many occasions displayed great gallantry under shell fire” and being “a fine example to his men”.

An officer wrote: “He was an excellent officer in every way: conscientious, painstaking and thorough, and he endeared himself to us all. His men, I am told, deeply feel his loss also. Your son did his duty to the end.”

He was 26 years old at the time of his death and was buried in the Huts Cemetery a few miles south-west of Ypres.

C Pendrill
Yarrow Fellow