VISIT | Pay your dues to one lone Aussie airman of the Great War at Lasborough | Gloucestershire
Set in a tranquil valley, a big house, a gem of a church and a lone ANZAC
A tranquil valley in the Gloucestershire Cotswolds for the peaceful of heart
Examine the ancient church with its links to the Australian Flying Corps of World War One
A quiet place to reflect on life and service
"...this truly special place with its own story..."
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. 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.
Keith 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:
Ye that live on midst English pastures green
Remember us and think what might have been
Stand at Lasborough. Stand and consider.
Directions and Map |
Find Lasborough on a dead end lane off the A46 south of Nailsworth in eastern Gloucestershire up on the Cotswold plateau