Morley St. Botolph – St. Botolph’s Church (Stanhope William Howard Sholto Douglas-Willan Memorial)

Inside St. Botolph’s Church in Morley St. Botolph is a memorial to Captain Stanhope William Howard Sholto Douglas-Willan, a name which suggests some substantial aristocratic pedigree.

Sholto, which appears to be the name that he went with, was born in December 1897 was living with Ferdinand Howard and Agnes Hilda Louise Douglas-Willan, residing in Bexhill at the time of the 1901 census, although he was born in Dover. The family had three servants at the time of the census, so there certainly seems to have been some money, with numerous members having served in the armed forces during the nineteenth century. He was though the son of Reverend John Alfred Douglas-Willan, Rector of Morley.

He was a leader in the 4th Battalion of the South Staffordshire Regiment and as the plaque notes, he was mentioned in Despatches, although his medal card doesn’t give an exact date for that or what he did, but it appears to have been awarded posthumously.

His photo appeared in the Daily Mirror on 6 March 1917 as a missing soldier, with anyone with information encouraged to write to his father at Morley Rectory, although the press reported the week later that details of his death had been confirmed. Sadly, he had been killed in action on 17 February 1917 and his name is commemorated at the Thiepval Memorial.