Lasborough Cotswolds

Ye that live on midst English pastures green
Remember us and think what might have been


Lasborough is a village of somewhat a tiny size, made even more so by the fact that it lies on a one small dead-end lane. There is a church and a country estate, a farm and a few cottages. But if you should venture down to the church, views along the stunning valley are your reward.


There is also a link here to its sister village on the other side of the main road, the village of Leighterton.



Keith William Stronach



Buried in Lasborough churchyard is an Australian. He lies alone but is for all purposes of remembrance, remembered by all at Leighterton. His name was Keith William Stronach.


He was an Air Mechanic 2nd Class (Cadet) when he was killed in a flying accident over Leighterton on the 7th July 1918 serving with the 7th Squadron Australian Flying Corps who trained there during the First World War.


For those of you to have visited Leighterton, you may pose the question: why was this young Australian buried here away from his fallen comrades? An excellent question I have never been able to definitely answer.


His name was Keith William Stronach. He was an Air Mechanic 2nd Class (Cadet) when he was killed in a flying accident over Leighterton on the 7th July 1918 serving with the 7th Squadron Australian Flying Corps.


He came from Perth in Western Australia, his parents Samuel and Margarette Stronach lived on Hair Street West. He was grandson of William Stronach of Melbourne and the nephew of Paterson Lamrock of Benalla, Victoria.


He was only 21.


In the West Australian newspaper, his father placed a notice to thank his friends for the kind words about Keith, his only son who 'forfeited his life for his country's cause.'


Keith suffered an engine failure in the skies above Leighterton. He attempted to land the plane but it stalled and he was killed instantly when it crashed in the fields around Lasborough.


Buried with a full military service and with the Last Post resounding along the valley, his parents were sent back his effects and a photograph of his final resting place.


Keith never made it home. His, like so many, was a life only half-lived. Who knows where his life would have taken him had not an engine failed in a plane in 1918 over the countryside of the Cotswolds?

His body remains there still at Lasborough, he is connected until kingdom come with his mates at Leighterton. He is the 24th.



There are four men listed on the lovely brass war memorial plaque which sits inside this gem of a church in this quiet valley. On it are written the names of those four men and the line I started this blog post with:

Ye that live on midst English pastures green
Remember us and think what might have been

Arthur James Williams


In this quiet graveyard, in this quiet valley is a grave to Mary and George Williams; but also to their son Arthur James Williams. It reads:

Also of
Arthur James
Their dearly beloved son
Who was killed in France in action on March 3rd 1917
aged 36 years


Arthur was married with two children back in Avening in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds where he lived in the Lodge working as a domestic gardener. His sons had been born in Tetbury. He had brothers who lived in Yorkshire and sisters then living in Nailsworth and in Perthshire.


He was killed in action in France on the 3rd March 1917; no remains were ever found.


He had arrived in France in January 1917 where he joined the 19th Battalion Durham Light Infantry. They were in billets at Maisnil St Pol and were moving towards the frontline. They were in brigade support in Lihors sector, and relieved the 17th West Yorkshire Regiment. They were heavily shelled and came under attack by an enemy advance of over 50 Germans. It was in this attack that Arthur was killed along with one other.


His body was never recovered. His memorial lies on the memorial to the missing on the Somme at Thiepval in France.



These are the men who never returned from the Great War whose memorials lie at Lasborough in Gloucestershire:


Air Mechanic 2nd Class (Cadet) Keith William Stronach

DoB 1899 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia DoD 7th July 1918 Gloucestershire age 21

Australian Flying Corps

Buried: Lasborough Churchyard, Gloucestershire


Private Arthur James Williams

DoB 1881 Lasborough, Gloucestershire DoD 3rd March 1917 France age 36

43666 19th Battalion Durham Light Infantry

Commemorated: Thiepval Memorial to the Missing on the Somme, France