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Edward Stanley Strachan

Edward Stanley Strachan Courtesy of Jesus College, Cambridge

Second Lieutenant Edward Stanley Strachan, 8th Sherwood Foresters (Nottinghamshire and Derby Regiment), was killed in action on 14 October 1915. Initially reported as only missing, he was posted as ‘missing presumed killed’ some twelve months later.

Strachan was born on 25 July 1879, the eldest son of James Edward, a wine merchant and Elizabeth Strachan, of Kingswood, 14 Kings Avenue, Clapham Park, London.

He was educated at Merchant Taylors’ School before going up to Jesus College, Cambridge, in 1898 where he joined the Cambridge University Volunteers and subsequently the Civil Service Rifles. He coxed the College second boat in Lent term 1899.

Coming down he worked in his father’s business before becoming a partner in the grocery and wines business of T. Forman & Co, of Market Hill, Luton

He was gazetted on 7 April 1915, and went to France on 17 June. He took part in several engagements before being being killed in the attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt on 14 October 1915.

“At 0415 hrs on 14 Oct 1915 the 8th Foresters (temporarily under command of 138 Brigade) attacked the approaches to the Hohenzollern Redoubt at Loos to take pressure off the rest of 46 Division who were under severe pressure in the redoubt itself from German counter attacks. The Battalion was relieved after 25 hours fighting having established a strongpoint 80 yds short of Point 60. On the same day Capt Charles Vickers of the 7th Foresters was winning a VC by his bombing exploits inside the redoubt itself. With 170 casualties the 8th Foresters had suffered more heavily than any other Battalion in the Forester Brigade.”

He was described by his fellow officer and friend from Jesus, Jack Gray, as “…one of the best officers they had, always ready to do more than his share of the hard work.” Gray was the son of the Master of Jesus in Strachan’s time, and they had become friends at Cambridge before serving together.

Strachan has no known grave and is remembered on the Loos Memorial. In the same attack his fellow officer in the 1/8 Sherwood Foresters and Brother Mason 2nd Lieutenant Ralph Eustace Hemingway of Nottinghamshire Lodge No 1434 also fell.

Strachan is included on the Luton Roll of Honour, his name is listed on the  Jesus College, Cambridge Roll of Honour, and at Freemasons Hall, London.

He was initiated into Sir Thomas White Lodge on 7 December 1906 and passed and raised in January and March the following year.