First World War Roll of Honour
Gerald Moffat Stringer was born on 18th February 1890 in Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Lancashire, the son of William and Ellen Stringer. He attended Manchester Grammar School from 1901 to 1905, then moved to Shrewsbury School before matriculating at Downing College on 24th October 1911 studying for the Ordinary BA and specialising in Agriculture. He was a keen sportsman and represented the College in several different sports. During his first year, according to the student magazine, The Griffin, 'he attained gratifying success as an oarsman, rowing in crews which effected four bumps in the Lents and three in the Mays. Considerations of health and physique led him to give up rowing, but he afterwards captained the College Lawn Tennis VI and made several successful appearances as a forward in the Rugby XV.'
Stringer completed three years at Downing before war broke out in the Summer of 1914 and he appears to have joined up straight away, as he is listed in the very first War List, printed in the Michaelmas 1914 edition of The Griffin, as a 'Private, P.S. Bn.' (This is likely to refer to the 'Public Schools Battalion' which began recruiting on 1st September 1914, one of many 'Pals' battalions but restricted to former public schoolboys. Over 1,500 applications were received and four further battalions formed in the following weeks. Such was the spirit of adventure that many men wished to serve as private soldiers alongside their friends, rather than as officers. However, due to a serious shortage of officers, 'young gentlemen' - public school and university graduates - were encouraged to apply for commissions and eventually the battalions' ranks were depleted).
Gerald Stringer appears to have transferred to the Cheshire Regiment in late 1914. The London Gazette reported on 4th March 1915 that he had been appointed a Second Lieutenant in the 13th Battalion on 31st December 1914. His death, less than two weeks later during military training, was recorded in the Easter 1915 issue of The Griffin, which reported that 'Second Lieut. Stringer lost his life at Ringwood, Hampshire, on March 15th 1915, when he was accidentally knocked down and run over by a motor lorry'.
He is buried in Bournemouth East Military Cemetery.
Image: May Boat 1912 (Stringer standing far right) – Archive ref. DCPH/2/3/2/7.