Stanley Irons

RankPrivate 6766
Medals1914 Star (and Clasp), British War Medal, Victory Medal
RegimentCameronians (Scottish Rifles), 5th Battalion, No 5 Company
Military Service

Member of High School of Glasgow OTC.

1914 Irons served in France from 5 November 1914


c1897, Langside

Death9th December 1914
Circumstances of Death

The death of Stanley Irons was noticed in several newspapers of the period.

The Evening Telegraph and Post, Wednesday 23 December 1914 had a long article (1½ columns) about the decision, by the Council of the Scottish Football Association to cancel the current season’s cup ties. One of the snippets at the end of the article noted the death of Stanley Irons:

Private Stanley Irons, of the 5th Scottish Rifles (better known as the “Greys”), who lost his life in the trenches last week, was a nephew of James Irons, who used to play back for Queen’s Park, and prior to that played Rugby for the old southern club. Stanley Irons was a Glasgow High School boy.

At the beginning of January 1915 two letters from the front were published which threw a little more light onto the last moments of Irons.

In the Evening Telegraph and Post of Tuesday 5 January 1915 Private Robert Cowan, 5th Scottish Rifles, wrote to a friend about his experiences up to then and mentioned the death of Stanley Irons:

Our company struck it lucky in getting quiet spells at the trenches. We go up in relays. One of my most exciting experiences was in a listening post between our trenches and the Germans. It was returning from here that young Stanley Irons was killed by shrapnel during a night attack.

Two days later in the Evening Express of Thursday 7 January 1915 a letter from Lance Corporal Harry Robertson, of the 5th Scottish Rifles, to a friend in Milngavie expanded the story a little bit:

There is no need for me to recount any of the work done here by our battalion, as you have already got it. Although the name of the writer is not mentioned, I know well who he is. He was too modest to mention a brave little deed which has made him one of the most popular young officers in the battalion.

On the night of December 10 his company were occupying the trenches; it was a splendid night for ‘dirty work’ as there was a heavy mist on. Shortly after dark the enemy attacked the position but were successfully driven back. It was during the attack that Private Stanley Irons fell. He had been on duty in front of the trench and was retiring when he dropped.

Amid a terrible fire young Lieutenant Arnold Wilson jumped over the parapet and brought the lad back to the trench, but unfortunately the poor chap was dead. So that is a sample of the stuff from the old village.

The official history of the 5th Cameronians describes his death as follows:

Killed by German shellfire on the evening of 9th December 1914. German artillery began shelling the British line at 7.30 pm and attacked 20 mins later which was repulsed by heavy rifle and machine gun fire. Irons, along with two of his comrades were killed by the shelling, and were “buried in a neat garden near the river in the Houplines area”.

BurialRue-Petillon Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix, II. D. 20

In the official history of the 5th Cameronians (above) Irons is described as being buried, with 2 companions, “in a neat garden near the river in the Houplines area”. Eight years after his burial it proved possible to locate these three graves, identify the bodies and transfer them to Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix.

His gravestone bears the phrase “Pro Patria” chosen by and paid for by his mother Fanny at a cost of 2 shillings and 7 pence.

CWGC Information

Son of George and Fanny Irons, of 11, Dalziel Drive, Pollokshields, Glasgow


George  (c1858-1934) and Fanny (c1866- )

Father's Occupation

Commission Merchant and Agent of James Irons & Son, 49 Virginia Street, Glasgow


Ruby born c1890, George Irons born c1893, Winifred born c1904




High School of Glasgow


Apprentice with Copland & Lye c1912-14.

1901 Census

Holly Bank, Clyde Street, Dunoon

Stanley and his family seem to be visiting Dunoon on this date, not living there permanently.

1911 Census

17 Dalziel Drive, Pollokshields

Glasgow NecropolisCompartment Petra Lair 547
Other Memorials

Scottish National War Memorial

Queens Park Baptist Church War Memorial

Acknowledgements and Sources

Much of the information on which this profile is based is drawn from various internet sources which are listed below.  The Friends of Glasgow Necropolis also wish to make full acknowledgement and thanks for the permitted use of any information or images generously supplied specifically for exhibition, publication or display in connection with The Roll of Honour and accompanying profiles to The Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) Museum, Hamilton, The High School of Glasgow, Ancestry (, and Findmypast (,

Commonwealth War Graves Commission –

Family Search –

The Long, Long Trail –

Scotlands People –

The Scottish War Memorials Project –



Compiled by Morag Fyfe, Historical and Genealogical Researcher for The Friends of Glasgow Necropolis.

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