Gerald Stanway

Bank: Parr’s Bank

Place of work: Chesterfield branch

Died: 5 October 1917


Gerald Stanway was born in Moss Side, Lancashire, in 1893, the son of Samuel Hill Stanway and his wife Mary Ellen. From about 1909 he worked for Parr’s Bank, including at its Manchester Exchange and Chesterfield branches.


During the First World War Stanway left his job at the bank's Chesterfield branch to join the army. By 1917 he was a Second Lieutenant in the Staffordshire Regiment, on active service on the Western Front. He died in Belgium on 5 October 1917 of wounds received in action at the Battle of Passchendaele. He was 23 years old.


Gerald Stanway is commemorated on a bank war memorial at NatWest Chesterfield branch.

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Message of remembrance 


David Platt November 5 2022 10:05AM

Extract from the war memoirs of his cousin, Harold Platt Mechanist Staff Sergeant Major, Army Service Corps:

“Gerald {Stanway}, the youngest of the three, was born on the 6th May 1892 and died of wounds at Passchendaele on the 5th October 1917. Before the war he had been a bank clerk of some considerable ability. He joined the South Staffordshire Regiment after passing out 4th of a class of some 400 entrants at Camberley or Sandhurst. He was an exceedingly bright lad, far above the average. He was employed at one of the Command Head Quarters and was wounded when going to the trenches. This was about ¾ of a mile from where I was. His mother, my aunt, had sent me a few lines to say his death had taken place but little more was known beyond the Governments usual communication of ‘it regrets to announce, Lt G Stanway had died of wounds’. The last time I saw him was in France for a few minutes when he rode over to my unit at Raincheval. I visited Boezinge Field hospital to where he was taken. The hospital was a collection of marquees and tents with a cemetery being formed. Nearly 200 officers were admitted during the day and night, and during the night he was brought in. I spoke to the sister on duty and asked her if she could kindly give me any particulars of my relative’s death. She said the Sister in charge on that date was off duty and took me to her place. She was resting but got up and brought her book with her to the Officer’s Ward. Looking through her book she said “he was on that bed there”, pointing to one. She stated he was brought in suffering badly from shock and he did not realise the seriousness of his condition. He had H.E. wounds in the right and left forearms, a thigh wound, and perforated intestines. Little could be done for him beyond getting him to make a statement to put things in order, which he signed, and morphine was injected and he passed out. I thanked the Sister for getting up from her rest and giving me the sad ending of a brilliant fine youth who, had he lived, would have done well indeed for he was well above the average. He was buried in a shallow grave in Dozinghem Military Cemetery, West Vleteren, Plot 1, Row B, Grave 20. I visited the grave after his death as we were located ¾ of a mile distant at the time. This was a very sad day. The graves were dug by Chinese Labourers and they were in water at a few feet down; I should estimate 3’ 6”. A trench was dug and five or six men, all sewn in canvas, were placed in the trench with a short space between each. A peg was stuck in the ground at the head on which was given the unlucky man’s particulars.

A cross had not then been erected for any of the graves. On my return from the hospital and cemetery I worked late at night to make a cross for my relative’s grave. Though the woodworkers in the workshop had volunteered to help, I wanted to make it myself as the last token I could give to my cousin. I made a cross of symmetrical beauty, painted it white, and lettered it. The O.C. permitted me to take it for erection in the Box Car. When I arrived at the cemetery the Sgt in charge stated he was sorry but it stood too high; it was more than the permitted height in this cemetery. I stated that I had seen much higher memorials in a Colonial Troop’s Cemetery earlier on; some of their graves had aircraft propellers crossed on top of them. He told me the graves in the Colonial Cemetery were different and did not come under the same regulations. He said if it was cut down to the regulation height it would be all right. He offered to do this for me, and erect it. If I would give him particulars of where we were moving to he would send a photo to me. I gave him 10 francs for his offer and later, after we had moved, the photo reached me. The symmetric beauty had gone; even after death and burial in a foreign land regulations were in force. Later a stone memorial was erected. What I thought at the time I was informed the cross I had made was not of regulation size can be summarised as ‘Some gallant youths, who knew no fear, for what a world they died, and what the politician’s told them, we know that they lied.’  Or the words by Alexander Pope ‘In vain may heroes fight, and patriots rage, when secret wealth, creeps from knave to knave.’”