Name: Stanley Campbell Cheverton (Smith)
DoB: March 22 1896
Regt: Lieut., Border Regt.
DoD: January 27 1917
Academic Career: CGS 1905-1909
Other: Went to. St.Aidan’s Vicarage Prep. School. Apprenticed to National Provincial Bank, Head Office, Newcastle-on-Tyne.
Stanley Campbell Cheverton was born Stanley Campbell Smith, son of Captain Francis John Smith and Clarissa Mary Campbell, in South Africa in 1896. His older brother Francis Penn had similarly been born in Cape Town three years earlier, although younger siblings Reginald and Lorna were born in Kent and Carlisle respectively. Their father was a soldier and rose to the rank of Lieut Col and was later an army chaplain who also served in the Great War. The family changed its name in 1905 to Cheverton (the maiden name of Francis John Smith’s mother). According to Reginald’s daughter someone had suggested there were too many Smiths in the army! Stanley was a keen musician and played the organ at Carlisle Cathedral (where he is now commemorated in the Border Regiment Chapel). Older brother Frank served in India during both world wars and survived.
Stanley joined the Public School Brigade, Royal Fusiliers, at the age of 18 and went to Sandhurst officer cadet college. In May 1915 he was commissioned into the Border Regiment and joined the 1st Battalion on October 10 1915 at Gallipoli. He suffered from shell shock and was sent “sick to hospital” at Suez in Egypt whilst en route to France in January 1916, though by February he was reported as proceeding to Ismalia for training on the Lewis machine gun. He re-joined the regiment in France, from leave in England, in October 1916 and on January 12 1917 he moved up from Base to join the Regiment at the front. On January 26 Stanley had supper with his brother Frank. It was to be their last meeting as Stanley was killed during an early morning raid on Le Transloy road on the Somme. He was 20 years old and was buried in the area with a wooden cross to mark the spot. In December 1918 his father applied for his medals. By then he was Vicar of Rowley Regis in the West Midlands. In 1919 Stanley’s body was reinterred at the Quarry War Graves Cemetery, at Montauban, east of Albert. His father and younger brother attended and took photographs of the grave and the site. In the Times Obituary of February 6 1917 it was reported that his commanding officer said “He led his platoon most gallantly across No Man’s Land right up to the enemy’s wire. By his careful handling and keeping his men close up to our barrage our casualties amongst the men were very slight.”
The Battalion was resting at Carnoy on January 23 and practising assaults the next two days. On the 26th they moved up to the firing line. The attack began at 5,30am on the 27th and the first objective was gained, and the first prisoners taken, by 7.15am. Success continued through the morning, despite the frozen ground, and by the afternoon it was reported in the Battalion War Diary that:” All objectives gained and consolidation proceeding very slowly owing to hardness of ground. Following received from Commander-in-Chief “Congratulate the 29th Div. warmly and in particular the 1st Border Regt and 1/R Inniskilling Fusiliers on the success of their operations carried out this morning. In forwarding this message the army commander wishes to add his congratulations to the 29th Div. in their most successful enterprise.” Stanley however was one of the officers killed.
His family had the following text from Rudyard Kipling inscribed on his gravestone ” Who stands if freedom fall? Who dies if England live?“
a) Carlisle School Memorial Register 1264-1924
b) Census: 1911 RG14/PN2248;1901rg13/572;
c) The Times 6th February 1917
d) Mrs J Greenway, Niece
e) The Border Regimental Museum, Carlisle Castle.
f) British Army Pensions Record 1914-20 for FJ Smith
g) British Army Service Records 1914-20 for FP Cheverton
h) British Army Medal Rolls Index for SC Cheverton
i) Battalion War Diary from the Border Regiment Forum