Harry Lenton Staniland

My Grandfather Harry Lenton Staniland was born at 75 Cleveland Street in Thorne Doncaster in 18/10/1888 , youngest son of Thomas Barley Staniland (former joint owner of the Thorne boat Building yard and subsequently shopfitter and builder in Doncaster and the builder of houses in Thorne Road ) and Annie Staniland (nee Rusby).

He attended Doncaster Grammar School and in 1908  started work at the old Great Northern Railway Company in Doncaster before leaving in 1910 to take up a position as an accountant with the São Paulo Railway Company in São Paulo Brazil.

In 1914 he returned to the UK and on 08/01 /2015 in Pontefract, he signed up for Royal Field Artillery Special Reserve as a Private  rising to Bombadier 11/06/1915. A photograph below from his album is believed to show his gun crew in training.


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He was sent to France on 21/05/1915 . He is shown far left in the photo of other cadet officers below right.

five officers

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He applied for a commission on 29/11/1915 and was commissioned as 2nd Lieutentant 08/07/1916.

In September 1916 ( during the Battle of the Somme 1st July -18th November 1916 ) whilst serving as a Lieutenant in the 119th Battery , 27th Brigade , ( 6 pounders ) , East of Albert , he fought at the battle of Flers -Courcellette (15th  -22nd September 1916) which was the first the first time in which tanks were used in warfare .His battery were situated in Longueval in a sunken road between Delville Wood ( Devil’s Wood ) and Trones Wood and provided a rolling support barrage on 15th September in advance of these first 3 tanks ( and infantry ) which advanced from a set off point in front of Delville Wood and the most advanced  of which ended the day to the north east of Flers having advance up the main Street of Flers before coming to a halt due to mechanical failure on the road between Flers and Lesboeufs ( subsequently known as “Bulls Road ” by the British soldiers ) and close to the site today known as Bulls Road Cemetry.

He was wounded , with “a blighty” in the left hand , on 26th September 1916  whilst reconoitering a new location for his gun battery “at Gueudecourt” in a location believed to be near trench lines to the east of Flers along “Bulls Road ” looking over towards Gueudecourt , which at the time was still under the control of the Germans before being taken in a later push (after the official end of the Battle of the Somme) on 30th November 1916.

The trench map

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below is a a linen map which belonged to Harry and shows ;(i) The trench lines as at 03/09/1916 – in red (ii) his pencil signature , arcs and calculations for the rolling barrage lines for his guns believed to be supporting the tanks (iii) The new trench lines established after 15/09/1916 shown in blue (iv) A blood stain in the top left hand corner believed to be from his “blighty” wound .


Following his woumding he was sent back along the lines and subsequently embarked to England from Le Harvre on 3rd October 1916 on HMHS Carisbrook Castle arriving in Southampton on 4th October and being treated and transfered to Western General Hospital Manchester being given leave until 11/11/1916 before being discharged and finally being confirmed fit for duty again 7th December 1916 and transferred from the Western Command to the Eastern Command on 3rd January 1917 to 68th Divisional Artillery at Bungay , Norfolk .


His military records from here-on were appparently lost during enemy action in WWII and the only other information we have is that he was demobilised 02/02/1919.

Harry Staniland web

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He returned to Brazil to resume his Railway accountancy career in 1919 , returning several times to Doncaster including in 1925/26 whn he met and married Grace Evelyn Clarke on 26th January 1926 before returning with her to Brazil where the bought up their 3 children John , Richard ( my father) and Margaret . John subsequently took over the family estate agency , auctioneers and Chartered Surveying practice of Stanilands in Doncaster and surrounding villages (founded in 1922 by Harry’s brother Douglas L. Staniland ) . In 1947 Harry retired as Chief Accountant as the Sao Paolo Railway Comany returning to the UK to retire but remained active in community life in Doncater as a member of the Town Field Ward Committee of The Doncaster Conservative Association . He lived in Thorne Road , Doncaster  until his death on 29/11/1963.

William Richard Staniland 11/02/2017



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