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Capt Arthur de Bells Adam (MC)
1885 - 1916


CPL David Wallace Crawford
1887 - 1916


Lce-Corpl John Joseph Nickle
1894 - 1916


Pte 17911 Morton Neill
1897 - 1916


Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft
1883 - 1918
Lieut Edward Stanley Ashcroft

Pte 22312 Harry Stanley Austin


  • Age: 24
  • From: Liverpool
  • Regiment: The King's (Liverpool Regiment) 20th Btn
  • K.I.A Sunday 30th July 1916
  • Commemorated at: Guillemont Rd Cem
    Panel Ref: IV.K.10

Harry Stanley was born in December 1891 at 10 St John's Road Waterloo to Liverpool born joiner Thomas Edwin Austin and his Liverpool born wife Sarah Jane (nee Jones).
They married on 05th July 1883 at St Michael's Church, Toxteth where Sarah lived. They had four boys and two girls, Harry was their fourth child. On 27th December 1891  he was baptised at St John's Church, Waterloo, his parents then living in St John's Road.
 
The 1901 Census shows the Family at 45 Argo Road, Waterloo 
 
The 1911 Census shows Harry as 19 year old joiners assistant living at 38 Lyra Rd, Waterloo with his parents and four other siblings. His elder brother William Hugh having married in 1910 and moved out.
 
On 06th November 1914 aged 23 Harry enlists in Liverpool as Private 22312  joining the 20th (Pals) Battalion of The King's Liverpool Regiment. He is described as being 5 foot 8 and a half inches tall, weighed 140 lbs with a 36 and a half inch chest. He has blue eyes and fair hair. His religion is stated as Church of England and his occupation stated as a Clerk. His next of kin is his father Thomas Edwin of 38 Lyra Road Waterloo.

Formed in November 1914 the 20th Battalion were originally billeted at Tournament Hall, Knotty Ash before on 29th January 1915 they moved to the hutted accommodation purposely built at Lord Derby’s estate at Knowsley Hall. On 30th April 1915 the 20th Battalion alongside the other three Pals battalions left Liverpool via Prescot Station for further training at Belton Park, Grantham. They remained here until September 1915 when they reached Larkhill Camp on Salisbury Plain. He arrived in France on 7th November 1915. 

His Army records show he was at home 1 year 1 day until the 7th November 1915 then sent to France with the BEF for the next 266 days.He was granted leave to return to the UK on 20 May 1916 and rejoined his unit 17 Jun 1916. He was reported missing between 30 July 1916 and 5 Aug 1916. He was eventually declared killed in action on 30th July 1916 at Guillemont.
 
Harry now rests at Guillemont Road Cemetery Picardie France at Plot IV K10.

The 20th King’s Battalion Diary records:

“At 4.45am prompt the attack was launched. Unfortunately, a thick mist prevailed and it was impossible to see more than 10 yards ahead. This continued until about 6 o’clock when it lifted slightly, but it was still too hazy and impossible to see what was happening 100 yards ahead. This being so, it was not surprising to find that the attacking waves were experiencing great difficulty in maintaining connection.”

At 6am, Lt. RE Melly, No.1 Company, reported that his men had taken the German Maltz Horn trench.

At 6.30am, 2/Lt. CP Moore reported that he had 150 men, 4 Stokes Mortars and 2 Lewis Guns, but he was the only officer. He also said that due to the fog, both his “flanks were in the air” i.e. he was not in contact with neighbouring troops.

At 9.10am, Moore was still not in contact at his flanks, and now he had only 75 men, he had sent out 2 patrols and neither not returned. Later Moore established communication with the French on his right.

Around 10.00am, 2/Lt Musker reported that he had just over a company with him, but his left flank was suffering from German machine gun fire. Later he reported that he had over 30 casualties from the machine gun fire. His flanks were also “in the air”. No contact was made with this party until the remnants returned around 9.30pm, all runners sent were killed or missing. The War Diary states that this group had: ”held the ground won all day, and this permitted the consolidation of the ground won on the Maltz Horn ridge with little interference from the enemy”.

Relief for 20/Kings had been planned for 11.00pm, but it was 5.00am on the 31st July before it took place, ending a tragic day for the Liverpool Pals.

Casualties for 20th Battalion were 16 Officers and 357 Other Ranks

When darkness fell on the battlefield the 30th Division held a line from the railway on the eastern side of Trones Wood , southwards and including Arrow Head Copse, to east of Maltz Horn Farm. On this line the division was relieved by the 55th Division during the early hours of the 31st July. 

The events of 30th July 1916 were regarded at the time as Liverpool’s blackest day. There follows an extract from The History of the 89th Brigade written by Brigadier General Ferdinand Stanley which gives an indication of the events of the day.

Guillemont

Well the hour to advance came, and of all bad luck in the world it was a thick fog; so thick that you couldn’t see more than about ten yards. It was next to impossible to delay the attack – it was much too big an operation- so forward they had to go. It will give some idea when I say that on one flank we had to go 1,750 yards over big rolling country. Everyone knows what it is like to cross enclosed country which you know really well in a fog and how easy it is to lose your way. Therefore, imagine these rolling hills, with no landmarks and absolutely unknown to anyone. Is it surprising that people lost their way and lost touch with those next to them? As a matter of fact, it was wonderful the way in which many men found their way right to the place we wanted to get to. But as a connected attack it was impossible.

The fog was intense it was practically impossible to keep direction and parties got split up. Owing to the heavy shelling all the Bosches had left their main trenches and were lying out in the open with snipers and machine guns in shell holes, so of course our fellows were the most easy prey.

It is so awfully sad now going about and finding so many splendid fellows gone.    

His elder brothers William Hugh, Thomas Edwin and Arthur Frederick also served in France in the War .

Arthur Frederick served in the King's Liverpool Regiment and was reported Missing presumed dead on 9 May 1918 but was actually a POW and returned home after the War.
 
Harry is commemorated on the Waterloo and Seaforth Memorial.