Robert Stratford Howard Saunders

Place of Birth            Shirley Southampton.
Date of Birth             1899
Service Number
Rank                           Lieutenant
Regiment                  Royal Horse Artillery/Royal Field Artillery
Battalion                   D” Battery – 330th Brigade.
Died                            12th April 1918
Death Location       France.

Family Life Before The War

Robert Saunders was born in Shirley Southampton in 1899 , he had 1 sister Katherine Moyra (1903).

The family home was an eleven roomed house called “Cabra” in Shirley Avenue.Southampton, which was his fathers’ surgery. The family had 2 domestics which included a cook. The family home and surgery is now –Shirley Avenue Surgery.Southampton.

His father was Charles Howard Saunders who qualified as a doctor on 21st December 1892 at the University of Dublin, his mother was Katherine Ellen (1863) – her maiden name was Mouat-Biggs, they were married in Bideford Devon in 1896.

Roberts parents were born in Oudh India, a region in the centre of the modern day state of Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow  and is now the capital of Uttar Pradesh.

His mother Katherine Ellen died on 20th March 1926 aged 62years in Southampton, his father Charles Howard died on 16th January 1952 he was aged 84 years, he lived at The Hill. Hedge End. Hampshire, but died in the Blighmont Nursing Home. Regents Park. Southampton, he left an estate of £14,056. 9. 11p.

Robert attended Marlbrough House Preparatory School. 37 Bath Road. Reading as a boarder.

Military Service

He joined the Royal Horse Artillery and Royal Field Artillery at the rank of Lieutenant entering the Theatre of War on 19th February 1918 at the Battle of the Lys. He was injured and died of his wounds on 12th April 1918 – he was 19 years old.


Originally D battery which Robert was in and E battery were both based at Newbridge and moved with J battery (Aldershot) of the Royal Horse Artillery to France in 1914.

The Royal Horse Artillery at the time of the First World War had three elements:-and was armed with light mobile drawn guns that could provide firepower in support of the cavalry and supported the Royal Field Artillery which was responsible for the medium calibre guns and howitzers deployed close to the front line and fairly mobile and organised into various brigades.


In 1914 the establishment had one battery to each Brigade of Cavalry. A battery had six 13-pounder field guns and included 5 officers and 200 men. Motive power was supplied by the battery’s 228 horses. The original BEF included only one Division of Cavalry of 4 Brigades, and four batteries, the Royal Horse Artillery, was organised into two Brigades.


Memorial Information

He is buried in the St.Sever Cemetary Rouen. France. His grave location is Officers B.8.15.

His parents were notified of his death and were living at their surgery – “Cabra” Shirley Avenue. Southampton. He was awarded the Victory Medal and British Medal.

Historical Information About The Family

His family home is still a doctors surgery and permission was given by the surgery to produce this photograph.

Roberts’ sister Moyra Katherine married Robert Douglas Gooch who was born in 1905.

Robert Gooch worked in Buenos Aires until his father became ill after developing pneumonia, he then returned to Southampton on 14th December 1926 aboard the Arlanza, he gave his address in England as Tetchbury Mount. Totton. Southampton (his fathers’ address), his father Daniel Gooch, died on 26th December 1926. Robert Gooch became the 4th Baronet on his fathers death, the marriage between him and Moyra ended in divorce in 1930. Sir Robert Douglas died in 1989. Moyra also died in 1989.

Robert Douglas Gooch’s father was the 3rd Baronet Sir Daniel Fulthorpe Gooch who was an expert breeder of greyhounds. He was invited to take part in the Imperial Trans Atlantic Expedition as a temporary crewman, he stepped in to help Shackleton as a dog handler at the last moment, and left the Endurance at South Georgia. Daniel was the grandson and named after the railway engineer Daniel Gooch,his mother was Mary Winifred Munro, they lived at Hylands House Chelmsford until 1920 when it was sold and he moved to Tetchbury Mount, Totton Southampton.
The GOOCH Baronetcy of Clewer Park, in the County of Berkshire, was created in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom on 15th November 1866 for the mechanical and railway engineer, businessman and Conservative politician Daniel Gooch. It was on Daniels’ suggestion to Isambard Kingdom Brunel that Swindon should become the place for the engine works of the Great Western Railway.The baronetcy was given to him for services to the successful submersion of the Atlantic Cables of 1865 and 1866.

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