In memory of
Private Stewart C. Howard
Army Service Corps
†August 22nd 1918, age 21
Stewart Chouet Howard was educated at Edinburgh Academy, leaving school to enlist when nineteen years of age. He joined the Royal Field Artillery as gunner at Maryhill Barracks, Glasgow on 18th April 1916. As his health was breaking down, he was discharged on 8th July 1916. After repeated attempts to enlist he was passed for Home Service. He joined the Motor Transport, Army Service Corps going to Beckenham, Kent on 16th July 1917, then to Salisbury Plain before leaving for France on 17th September 1917. His health failing, he was in hospital in Calais from the end of January 1918 until 20th March 1918. He was then attached to A.S.B.A.C. as a Driver. He was killed on 22nd August 1918 near Arras, France while taking a gun to the battle front.
In a letter to his parents shortly before he died, Private Howard wrote:
“A very sad thing happened last week. I mentioned in a former letter that I had heard the “Forget-me-not” Intermezzo in a café here. Well, the woman who played it was killed by a filthy German shell the morning after I posted the letter. She was a very nice woman. ‘Gerry’ began to shell the neighbourhood early in the morning and she went to the front door to see where the shells were dropping. She had just got the door open when a shell landed in the road and she got it pretty bad – died at once. The funeral procession passed by our place. It was headed by three choir boys in white robes bearing a cross and two candles in sticks. Behind them came several ladies bearing huge wreaths and flower crosses. These were followed by the priest who chanted the service in Latin and behind him was the coffin carried on two cross members, one at each end so that there was a bearer at each corner. A great flock of people, headed by the chief mourners, followed behind the coffin. Everyone was beautifully dressed and it was quite an impressive sight. The morning it happened the younger son of Mme. -------- told me in the most pathetic French “My mamma was finished this morning; the Hun was bombarding; it’s always the same thing; it’s just the war”.