Royton Roll of Honour

A week or so later a Private Nield, from the Longsight area of Royton, a close friend of William wrote home to his family and stated that Standring had been shot in the head and was dead. The following week William's sister, Sarah, received official notification that he had been killed in action. Sarah's husband Stephen Palmer was to be killed himself the following January.
The men of the 7th King's Royal Rifle Corps who are listed as dying alongside William Standring that day were:

AUSTIN GEORGE Rifleman R/20711    
BAILEY G 26 Rifleman Y/1653 from Merthyr
BAILEY THOMAS 30 Rifleman R/10976 from West Bromwich
BARBER PERCY 22  Rifleman R/20659 from Walthamstow
BEARD DAVID 20 Rifleman  R/22029  from Essex
BENSAUDE IC Rifleman R/20638    
BOLLEN EDWARD Rifleman  Y/515    
BOWERS HARRY Rifleman Y/1072    
BRIGHT HERBERT 31 Rifleman R/20469    
BUTLER PF Rifleman A/3600    
CAROLINE WILLIAM  Rifleman R/21982    
CHOPPEN  FRED Rifleman R/10818    
CLEWLOW HENRY 29 Rifleman R/12077 from Staffordshire
COLE SAMUEL Rifleman R/28373    
CROWTHER JACK Rifleman 8958    
CUFFLEY  CHARLES Rifleman R/22231    
DAVEY WC Rifleman R/6600    
DAVIES ALFRED 19 Rifleman from London
DAVIES DJ Rifleman R/13072    
DE SATGE FG Captain        
DIGHTON  ROBERT 24 Rifleman R/22207 from London
DONALD WILLIAM Rifleman A/3083    
DORE WALTER Rifleman R/13337    
FELLOWES HAROLD Rifleman R/16626    
FITCH HARRY Rifleman R/20648    
FLOYD E  Rifleman R/22346    
GARLAND ALFRED Rifleman    R/19137    
HADDEN ALBERT Lance Serjeant R/8272    
HADDEN ALBERT Rifleman R/20396    
HALL SAMUEL 35 Rifleman  12111 from Eccles
HARCOURT HERBERT Rifleman R/18531    
HARDY ALBERT Rifleman R/20934    
HARRIS ALBERT Rifleman Y/1629    
HARRIS JOHN Rifleman R/6708    
HARROP JOSEPH Rifleman    R/10436    
HEAVER HARRY Lance Corporal A/1719    
HOUCHIN PERCY Rifleman R/20732    
JENKINS HENRY Rifleman R/20584    
LARCOMBE JAMES  Rifleman R/14879    
LATHAN REUBEN Rifleman R/11447    
LEE-SHARP GEORGE Rifleman R/21435    
LEWIS JOHN Rifleman Y/1874    
LONGLEY  RICHARD DCM Lance Serjeant A/326    
MACK HENRY Rifleman A/1227    
MACKENZIE ARTHUR Rifleman R/947    
MANN WILLIAM  Rifleman R/14297    
MOONEY GEORGE Rifleman R/21130    
NEWBOLD GEORGE Rifleman Y/939    
ORR ROBERT Rifleman R/13241    
PEACH PERCY 22 Rifleman  Y/1494 from Burton-on-Trent
PEAKMAN  GEORGE Rifleman  A/3168    
PEARSALL J Rifleman R/11904    
POPPY FREDERICK  Rifleman A/1571    
PRICE ERNEST Rifleman R/10964    
QUARMBY  JAMES 19 Rifleman R/14357 from Ashton-under-Lyne
RANDALL  JJ 27 Rifleman A/2949    
RICHARDSON MATTHEW Lance Corporal A/745    
ROBERTS WALTER Rifleman R/12332    
SAMUELS L Rifleman R/20985    
SAYER THOMAS 20 Rifleman R/12860 from Hampshire
SKILLICORN WILLIAM Rifleman R/10663    
SMITH THOMAS 19 Lance Corporal R/1528 from Darwen
STEVENS  ALBERT 24 Rifleman R/21963 from London
STRONG ERNEST Rifleman R/21434    
THORPE BENJAMIN 20 Rifleman R/12670 from London
UMBERS GW Rifleman 14824    
VINCENT ARTHUR 24 Rifleman R/18344 from Devon
WASON EDWARD Rifleman R/21362    
WHEELER GEORGE 20 Rifleman R/16568 from London
WHITNEY  CHARLES 26 Corporal A/3092 from London
WILKES ALFRED 19 Serjeant 61981 from London
WOOD WILLIAM Rifleman R/12583    
WOOLFORD JAMES Rifleman R/21969    
WRIGHT FRANK 20  Corporal A/405 from London

The Battalion's next action was to be William Standring's last. This was the first day of the Battle of Flers-Courcelette on September 15th 1916. The objective was to smash holes in the German defences by the use of massed artillery and infantry attacks. At 06:20 all four infantry battalions of the 41st Brigade advanced. The 7th KRRC were part of the second line along with the 7th Rifle Brigade. The intial wave consisting of the 8th KRRC and 8th Rifle Brigade took their objectives against stout German resistance. Once this was achieved the men of the 7th KRRC passed through the carnage to attack their own objectives. This they were successful in doing and started to consolidate their position. The resistance the battalion had met was light but they lost heavily from shell fire during their advance. Also, in the heat of battle, many men went forward again when the next wave - from the 42nd Brigade - passed through their lines. Few of these men returned.
The 7th Battalion remained dug in on this line for the rest of the day and were relieved at dusk. William Standring was dead as were many others. Another Royton man, George Heywood, was to die of his wounds nine days later.

The Battle of Flers-Courcelette.The dawn sky is lit by the bombardment before the assault.15/09/1916.© IWM

William Standring was born in Royton on April 10th 1891. His parents were James, a carter, and Margaret and he had an older sister Sarah. At that time they lived at 112 Park Lane. James Standring died in 1895 aged 48 when William was four years old. The 1901 census found William living at 80 Sandy Lane (an address William Henry Roberts later moved to) with his mother and Sarah. His mother had taken work in one of the local cotton mills. It was in this year that she had William baptised, at age 10, in St.Paul's Church. Margaret Standring died in 1909 aged 47 so young William ended up living in lodgings. In 1911 he was with the Milne family at 12 Orchard Street and was still living with them, and working as a piecer at the Grape Mill, when he joined up in Royton on July 26th 1915.
William was posted to the 6th Battalion of the King's Royal Rifle Corps five days later. The 6th Battalion was a reserve unit and were based in the Sheerness area. With his training in England completed, William reached France on February 2nd 1916 and after a short spell of training in preparation for joining a fighting unit he reached his unit, the 7th KRRC, on February 26th along with 28 other reinforcements. He was a member of 10th Platoon, C Company. The 7th Battalion had been formed in Winchester in August 1914 and had arrived in France on May 19th 1915.
William was out of action and away from the battalion for three weeks from May 11th to June 2nd. Whether he was wounded by shellfire, in an accident or sick isn't clear from his very faded surviving service records. He was promoted to Lance Corporal on July 22nd.

In mid August the 7th KRRC were involved in the Battle of Delville Wood. They took part in an attack on August 18th. The 41st Brigade were to attack Orchard Trench,just north-west of Delville Wood, and a trench beyond it, the 7th KRRC being on the right of it's attack. The British bombardment began at 06:00 and then at zero hour - 14:45 - the battalion's two assaulting companies went over the top. One of these was C Company, of which William Strandring was a member. They advanced close behind a creeping barrage and found Orchard Trench much damaged and nearly empty of defenders and started digging in. They then came under heavy machine gun and rifle fire from a strong point in the adjacent corner of Delville Wood, which caused many casualties. This fire was kept down by the battalion's grenade throwers, known at the time as 'bombers'.In total that day 3 officers died and 4 injured. Amongst the other ranks the losses were 42 dead, 174 wounded and 4 missing.Next morning the Battalion came under further fire from Delville Wood - this time in the form of some accurate sniping. Then at 20:00 a heavy German bombardment commenced which was followed by a weak attack by their infantry, this was easily beaten off. When things quietened down the Battalion was relieved by the 2nd Worcesters. The casualties on the 19th were 9 killed, 28 wounded and 1 missing.

Date of Death:15/09/1916
Rank:Lance Corporal
Service No:R/14736
Regiment:King's Royal Rifle Corps
Unit:7th Bn.
Thiepval Memorial
Panel Ref:Pier&Face 13A or 13B

Delville Wood pictured after the battle. © IWM

An official British Military drawing from 1917 depicting the fighting at Delville Wood in 1916