The Fallen of Ewhurst and Ellen's Green, Surrey  
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   Euston Francis Frederick Sartorius

Captain
No 3 Company, 1st Bn Grenadie
r Guards
Died at Boulogne 05/04/1915 aged 33, of Wounds sustained in the Battle of Neuve Chapelle on 11/03/1915.

Buried in the  Boulogne Eastern Cemetery (II.B.26)
 

Remembered on:
Ewhurst War Memorial,  Memorial Plaque and Book of Remembrance

 

 

EUSTON FRANCIS FREDERICK SARTORIUS was born in March 1882, the only son of Major General Euston Henry Sartorius V.C. (1) and Emily Jane Sartorius. His father had been born in Cintra, Lisbon, Portugal in 1844 where his own father, Admiral Sir George Rose Sartorius GCB, who had fought at Trafalgar was in charge of the Portugese Navy.

In 1908, Major General Euston Sartorius commissioned the construction on a family home, Hurtwood House, on Pitch Hill. This is now a boarding school.

Euston junior had been commissioned into the prestigious pre war 1st Battalion Grenadier Guards as a Second Lieutenant on 11th August 1900. He fought in the South African war in 1902, taking part in operations in the Cape Colony, for which he was awarded the Queen’s Medal with Two Clasps. Euston was promoted to a full Lieutenant and posted to the 3rd Bn Grenadier Guards on 12th April 1904, where he attained the rank of Captain on 3rd June 1908. Four years later he resigned his commission in the regular army and was appointed to the Special Reserve as a Captain.

On the declaration of war in August 1914, Euston rejoined his former regiment.

Emily Jane Sartorius, Euston’s mother, died at Hurtwood in January 1915, and her funeral at St Peter & St Paul Church in Ewhurst was attended by Euston and his two sisters, Daisy and Elsie, and their father. Also present were the parents of Captain William Frecheville and Captain’s Raymond and Frederick Heath.

Euston’s battalion had departed for France from Southampton on 6th October 1914, and had landed as part of the 20th Infantry Brigade of the 7th Division at Zeebruge in Belgium on 7th October 1914. This was the same division as Captain Raymond Heath, 2nd Bn The Queen’s Royal West Surrey Regiment, and Euston’s battalion similarly took part in the actions of October around Ypres in which Raymond Heath was wounded, although the two officer’s paths did not cross, as Euston did not join his battalion in France until 23rd February 1915 when he was posted to the Battalion’s No3 Company. The 1st Bn Grenadier Guards was dissimilar to many battalions in that their companies were designated by number rather than letter, with the exception of a No1 company, which was designated Kings Company. On 7th March 1915 the battalion moved to Estaires in preparation of the forthcoming Battle of Neuve Chapelle, which began on 10th March 1915.

THE BATTLE OF NEUVE CHAPELLE

On the dull and misty morning of the 11th March 1915 the 1st Bn Grenadier Guards led the 20th Infantry Brigade off towards the second day of the battle. The previous day’s battle had made significant in roads into the German line of defence to the middle and south of the battlefield, but unknown to the British, the Germans had reinforced and consolidated its position over night from isolated remnants to a cohesive defensive line, based on the Mauquisart road in the area to be attacked by the units of the 7th Division.

By 6.35 am they had occupied the trenches to the north of the battlefield from which they were to attack at 7am. At 6.45am a preparatory artillery barrage swept the German front line and 15 minutes later, at zero hour, Kings and No2 Companies formed the firing line, supported by No’s 3 & 4 Companies. On their left flank the 2nd Battalion Gordon Highlanders, also of 20th Brigade, prepared to advance at the same time, and to their rear the 2nd Battalion Scots Guards prepared to commence moving forward and support the advance at 7.10am.

 


Action of the 1st Bn Grenadier Guards at the Battle of Neuve Chapelle, 11th March, 1915
 

The 20th Brigade was to fill the gap that would be created as 21st Brigade (7th Div) to their left attacked in a north easterly direction and 24th Brigade (8th Div) to their right attacked in an easterly direction. This would lead to the 20th Brigade’s line of advance being from an area south west of the Moated Grange, through the area to the north of the Orchard and then east with its right flank on Pietre before inclining its attack to the left towards Aubers village.

As the barrage lifted to the Pietre road, they advanced towards the German lines captured the previous day, and were immediately brought under heavy enfilade rifle and machine gun fire from an improvised German line in the vicinity of the Mauquisart Road. The advance was extremely arduous, the land having been extremely cut about by the previous day’s battle, and there being numerous wide, deep flooded drainage ditches left over from the area's farming history to hamper progress. The advance had stagnated and the Battalion was ordered by Brigade to hold its position, which it accomplished in spite of heavy shell fire from German field and heavy guns.
 


The advance of the 1st Bn Grenadier Guards was from centre picture (the triangular junction in the map above) straight into the field with the ditch to the right. The site of the orchard was on the extreme right, while the site of the Moated Grange is at the farm buildings in the middle distance to the left. Mauquisart is in the distant trees straight ahead. Captain Sartorius was probably wounded in this field directly in front of the camera.



The 2nd Bn Scots Guards advanced approximately 1000 yards over several lines of trenches and ditches before encountering the stationary rear lines of the 1st Bn Grenadier Guards, approximately 500 yards to the rear of the Brigade line, in the vicinity of the orchard. At approximately 3pm there was a second push towards the German lines, which was repulsed by extreme rifle and machine gun fire from the German strong points on the Mauquisart Road. The 1st Bn Grenadier Guards then held their positions until after dark, when they were withdrawn to support lines.

With No3 Company, it is likely that Captain Euston Sartorius was wounded somewhere between the initial line and the area between the Moated Grange and the Orchard, in all likelihood closer to the Orchard. The Battalion had lost 9 officer casualties, 4 killed and 5 wounded.

Euston was evacuated from the battlefield, along with so many more wounded, and eventually arrived at the Base Hospital in Boulogne where, 25 days after his action and aged 33, he succumbed to his wounds. He was buried in grave II.B.26 in a Commonwealth extension of the civilian Boulogne Eastern Cemetery.
 


Captain Sartorius's grave at Boulogne Eastern Cemetery


Euston was awarded the Queen’s Medal and two Clasps for his actions in the South African War, and the 1915 Star, the British Medal and the Victory Medal posthumously for his actions in the First World War.

Euston’s father re-married, and died in Chelsea on 19th February 1925, aged 80. He was buried with his first wife Emily Jane, in the graveyard of St Peter & St Paul Church in Ewhurst, Surrey. Their headstone bears a memorial to their son, Euston. To the side of them lie Euston’s sisters, Daisy and Elsie. He is also remembered on the Ewhurst War Memorial, the Ewhurst Memorial Plaque and in the Ewhurst Book of Remembrance.

Probate was granted on Euston's estate on 24th April 1915, awarding the sum of £16342 3s 5d to solicitor Reginald Curtis Toogood.

Euston’s father’s and uncle’s Victoria Crosses are on public display in the National Army Museum in Chelsea.

 

Follow this Link to details about First World War Medals
 

 

Notes:
(1) Having been educated at Victoria College, Jersey, Euston senior served with the 59th Regiment (later the East Lancashire Regiment). He won his Victoria Cross as a 35 year old Captain during the Second Afghan War three years before his son’s birth, on 24th October 1879 at Shahjui, when he led a party of four or five of his men against a number of enemy who were occupying an almost inaccessible position on a precipitous hill. The citation states that “the action was, however, a complete success owing to the gallant and cool bearing of the captain, although one of his men was killed and he himself was wounded by sword cuts in both hands”. Five years previously, in 1874, Euston senior’s brother, Major (later Major General) Reginald William Sartorius had also won the Victoria Cross for rescuing a wounded man under fire during the Ashanti war, giving them the distinction of being one of only four pairs of blood brothers to ever both be awarded the Victoria Cross.

 

BIBLIOGRAPHY
The Army List
The Official History of the War
The 1901 Census
1/Grenadier Guards Battalion War Diary WO95 1657
2/Scots Guards Battalion War Diary WO95 1657
Medal Record Card WO372/17 Image 27046
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The Register of the Victoria Cross by This England
The Surrey Advertiser.
http://www.1914-1918.net

 

 

Andrew Bailey, Ewhurst, Surrey
andy@ewhurstfallen.co.uk
Copyright©2005