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Remembered Today:

Death of Major John Loder-Symonds 31 Oct 1914

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Death of Major John Loder-Symonds 31 Oct 1914

Does any kind forum member have an idea what was happening with 1st Bn South Staffs in the Ypres  area on 31st Oct 1914? Where were the Bn?

I'm aware what happened before the 31st and to a degree after (IV Corps Troops) but not on the day.  

Sadly there is a gap in their war diary between 26 Oct to 10 Nov in Merris where they were re-constituting

Many thanks for any help


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Nice one Jrmh, many thanks

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If you would like a map send me a PM with your e-mail address for a copy.


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“Killed instantly with several brother officers on the 31st October 1914, while in command of the battalion”.

CWGC has only one officer as killed on the 31st October 1914 – that’s a Lieutenant Cecil Francis Crousaz. Age 25 and the Son of W. de P. Crousaz, (Jurat of the Royal Court), of 8, de Beauvoir Terrace, Guernsey, Channel Islands, he has no known grave and is remembered on the Ypres (Menin Gate) memorial. https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/1608640/

Bond of Sacrifice has him killed in action by a shell in a trench at Zonnebeke.


Courtesy IWM: https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205292970

8 other ranks from the 1st Battalion also died on that day.

Major John Frederick Loder-Symonds is recorded on CWGC as killed on the 1st November 1914. Aged 40 and the Son of Captain F.C. Loder-Symonds, J.P.; husband of Mary Josephine Loder-Symonds, he is shown as Commanding 1st Battalion. He too has no known grave and is recorded on the Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial. https://www.cwgc.org/find-records/find-war-dead/casualty-details/1619239/

Bond of Sacrifice has him killed in action on the 1st November 1914.

No other officers on CWGC for that day but there are two other ranks.

Civil Probate from 1915 gives date of death as 31st October 1914 at Ypres.


Image courtesy https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk

Medal Index Card has 31st October 1914.

Given that the information to produce the Bond of Sacrifice would have been fed through from the Army Records Office to HMSO in the 1920’s, still seems to have been some doubt as to his date of death – or lazy clerical work.

Brother Officers would imply plural – of course that could have been a Medical Officer\Artillery Liasion Officer \ Brigade Liasion Officer \ Interpreter etc or he could have been visiting another unit.

Hope that helps,



Edited by PRC
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Hi Peter, yes I picked that up too.  Only one other brother officer killed.  I think it more likely he was killed on the 31st 

Hi John, yes, PM on the way.  The Bde war diary is good but clearly I need the trench map to align with the place names eg U_ of Gheluvell

The 22nd Brigade War Diary reports:

31st October – The 22nd Brigade formed part of a line running from main road at U of Gheluvell through to the LL of Basserville to Kleinzillebeke-The 2nd Brigade on it’s right. 21st Brigade on it’s left. Staffords, Warwicks, Queen’s in support. Enemy’s guns opened fire about 7.00am and increased intensity up till 2.00pm against the trenches of the 22nd Infantry Brigade and Batteries in position in rear.  Many trenches became untenable for infantry, some of whom were withdrawn into the reserve trenches. Numbers of enemy infantry were seen advancing from the east south of Gheluvell and also in masses through the woods north of Zandvoorde – 2nd Brigade on the right of 22nd Infantry Brigade withdrew, thus uncovering the right of the Staffords who were heavily attacked in front, the enemy worked round in rear of the Staffords who were obliged to withdraw having heavy casualties, as also did the Warwicks who withdrew at the same time.  The 21st Brigade also retiring – A new line was occupied 200yards east of the Veldhoek cross roads through to the G of Gheluvell and the R of Basserville River 400 yards westwards and there towards Klein Zillebeke. 20th and 21st Brigades holding the front line through the R of Basserville River.  22nd Infantry Brigade in support 400 yards in the rear – very heavy casualties.

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