Researched and written by Anne Wright
Captain G A Lloyd
1st Battalion, Welsh Regiment
Killed in action, 16.2.15
Gerald Aylmer Lloyd came from a comfortable middle-class background. His paternal grandfather was the Rector of Great Hampden in Buckinghamshire and in 1881 his father Francis Aylmer Lloyd was the registrar of a public company and thereafter was able to ‘live on his own means’. His mother Eugenie Alphonsine Milner (nee Gaudin) was the daughter of a ‘Gentleman’ and already a widow when she married Francis Lloyd in 1883. In 1915 the war imposed a huge loss on the Lloyd family with not only the death of Capt. G.A. Lloyd but also that of his older brother Lt F C A Lloyd.
Gerald Lloyd was a career soldier. He was born in London on 17 April 1888 and baptised at St. Mark’s Church, Notting Hill on 4 June 1888. By 1891 the family had moved to Surrey and were living in Hersham, twenty years later their home was in Witley; in 1911 Gerald, by now a Lieutenant was at the family home. Two years later his parents moved to Eastwood, Bridgewater Road in Weybridge. His education took him from Cheltenham College to the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and he was gazetted 2nd Lieutenant, in the Welsh Regiment on 19 September 1908. Gerald was promoted to Lieutenant on 1 April 1911 and to Captain on 16 November 1914. He passed through the Musketry School at Hythe with distinction in 1912 and then went on to see service in Egypt and India.
When the First World War broke out he was still in India. He arrived back at Plymouth on 22 December 1914. His battalion became part of the 84th Brigade in the 28th Division and after barely two weeks in Britain they landed at Le Havre on 18 January 1915.Their destination was the Ypres Salient which the Allies were determined to protect; they arrived at Zillebeke, to the south-east of Ypres, and close to the Salient perimeter on 2 February. Gerald’s first experience of trenches on the Western Front came three days later when his battalion went into the line north of the Ypres to Lille railway. They encountered conditions typical of the area; trenches in poor shape, muddy and vulnerable to enemy fire. From 5 February to 11 February they sustained 12 fatalities and 37 injuries.
They moved, via Ypres, to Chateau Rosendal 1.5 miles south of the town on 15 February and from there to a system of trenches north of the canal which ran to Comines. Once again conditions were appalling; the track to the line was over one mile long and deep in holding mud whilst the trenches were in dire need of strengthening. Gerald went into Y trench which was little more than a ditch just 40 yards from the German front line. It was knee deep in water with houses in advance of both flanks which created problems. This trench could not be supported properly from R and T trenches and was basically untenable. The CO recommended a retrenched position for Y and Z trenches to the Brigadier but before this could happen Gerald was killed on 16 February.
He is buried in Bedford House Cemetery (Enclosure No. 3 C.5) which is 2.5 km south of Ypres (now Ieper). A marble wall tablet on the east wall of the tower of St James’ Church in Weybridge records that Gerald was commemorated by a memorial in the Church of St Michael and All Angels in Princes Road; this church was demolished in 1973. His parents remained in Weybridge until at least 1919.
British Army WW1 Medal Rolls Index Cards, 1914-1920, www.ancestry.co.uk
England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index and Administrations) 1858-1966, www.ancestry.co.uk
London, England, Church of England Births & Baptisms, 1813-1917, www.ancestry.co.uk
St James’ Church, Weybridge, Inventory, 1985, St James’Church
UK, De Ruvigny’s Roll of Honour, 1914-1919, www.ancestry.co.uk
wisefj2 Family Tree, www.ancestry.co.uk