Remembrance - The Yorkshire Regiment, First World War


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Major Stewart W Loudoun-Shand, VC

For most conspicuous bravery near Fricourt on the 1st July I9I6.   When his company attempted to climb over the parapet to attack the enemy's trenches they were met by very fierce machine gun fire, which temporarily stopped their progress.   Major Shand immediately leapt on the parapet, helped the men over it and encouraged them in every way until he fell mortally wounded.   Even then he insisted on being propped up in the trench, and went on encouraging the non-commissioned officers and men until he died.

(Left) Major Stewart Loudoun-Shand assists men of 'B' Company from the trenches and encourages them to attack the German trenches north east of Fricourt, - 1st July 1916.
Major Stewart W Loudoun-Shand, VC

Stewart Walter Loudoun-Shand was born in Ceylon, now Sri Lanka, on the 8th October 1879.   He was the second son of Mr and Mrs John Loudoun-Shand, tea-planters, who had five sons - all ofwhom served in the Great War - and five daughters.   The family returned to Dulwich in south east London and lived at Craigelle, 24 Alleyn Park, from where they sent the boys to Dulwich College.   Stewart excelled as an athlete and cricketer and his youngest brother, Edward, was renowned as a rugby footballer, later to play for Oxford University and Scotland.
In 1896, Stewart took up an appointment as a Bank Clerk with Williams Deacon's Bank, and served as a volunteer with the London Scottish.   When the Anglo-Boer War broke out in 1899 he immediately volunteered and served with the Pembroke Yeomanry as a Lance Corporal in South Africa.   After 18 months service, in 1901, he accepted a post with a mercantile company in Port Elizabeth on the southern tip of the Cape Colony.   There he stayed for three years gaining experience before travelling to Ceylon to take up a position which his father had found for him as a tea merchant.
When war broke out in 1914, Stewart Loudoun-Shand hurried home to England to volunteer, and subsequently gained a commission in the Green Howards, aged 35 years old.   He was posted to the l0th Yorkshires and trained in Halton Park and Whitley Camps near Bagshot.   He was promoted to Captain on 14th June 1915.   On arrival in France, his battalion fought in the Battle of Loos in September 1915 and, because of heavy officer casualties, on 12th December Loudoun-Shand was given the rank of Temporary Major to command 'B' Company.
Major Stewart Loudoun-Shand was awarded a posthumous VC for his bravery in the Battle of the Somme on 1st July 1916.   The announcement of his posthumous Victoria Cross was published in The London Gazette on the 9th September 1916.   His father received the award at Buckingham Palace from H.M. King George V on 31st March 1917.   He is buried in Norfolk Cemetery Plot I, Row C, Grave 77 at Becourt, some three miles east of Albert, on the Somme.   His VC and medals are held by his family.

Information on the medal holders on this page, and other pages relating to the regiment's WW1 VC holders, is taken from "Beyond Their Duty" by Roger Chapman.   This book was specialy written to commemorate the only occasion on which all 18 Victoria Crosses won by members of the Green Howards regiment were together (April to October 2001, in the Green Howards Museum).   The book may be purchased from the Green Howards Museum Shop.

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