Grave stone of Geoffrey Staniland
|Died||13 April 1915(aged 34)|
|Cause of death||Shrapnel wounds|
|Resting place||Sint-Jan-Baptistkerk, Dranouter|
|Education||Boston Grammar School (1890s)|
|Notable work(s)||Founder member of the Old Bostonian Club|
|Parents||Robert William Staniland|
|Relatives||Meaburn Staniland (brother), Meaburn Staniland (grandfather), John Meaburn Staniland (nephew)|
He did well at school, and seems to have overshadowed his older brother, Meaburn Staniland.
Their father was the Town Clerk of the Boston Borough and also a Lieutenant Colonel in C Company of the Boston Volunteers, a local Territorial Army unit.
Both Geoffrey and brother joined the Territorial Army and both reached officer ranks in the 4th Battalion of the Lincolnshire Regiment. Soon after war broke out in August 1914, the Regiment was posted to France eventually to face the hell of the trenches.
Geoffrey was a Platoon Commander with the rank of Lieutenant. After a tour of duty in the front line trenches, where they endured heavy shelling and mortar fire, he and his men were pulled back to a rest area behind the lines on 14th April 1915. While they were in the open, the enemy’s long range artillery opened up, and shells fell around them. Geoffrey immediately ordered everyone to take cover in the nearby dugouts. He remained standing in the open, directing his men to safety. A shrapnel shell exploded near to him, and slivers of steel pierced his body. He was terribly wounded. Even so he struggled to his feet, ran on for a dozen yards, then fell, never to rise again. His last words, uttered to one of his men who rushed to help him, were “Never mind me: see that the men get to a place of shelter”. Geoffrey was probably leading a patrol of about three men when he died, engaged in a trench raid, which was "normal trench routine".