We went back to Little Casterton yesterday to lay a cross for a soldier on the one hundredth anniversary of his death. And it reminded us of a problem we had, two names on one of the war memorials inside the church of men we knew nothing about. This memorial was originally put up in Toll Bar Methodist Chapel but moved to Little Casterton when the chapel became a private house. So time for some more research. Now we’ve discovered Samuel Loan and Harry Loane (as named on the plaque) were brothers who died on the same day in the same battle. They both enlisted in Stamford answering Lord Kitchener’s call for men to fill the ranks of his new armies, but ended up in different regiments.
Their battalions came together when they were sent to Gallipoli for the Suvla Bay landings in August 1915, and it’s there that both of them were killed, along with the soldier we’d gone to lay a cross for, Driver George Bryan. What we still can’t find out much about though is how strong were the brothers’ links to Rutland. Their parents were briefly in Great Casterton when the men were killed, and clearly the villagers of Toll Bar felt they deserved to be remembered on their war memorial. Because of that we think they should be remembered on this website as well, bringing the total number of Rutland dead in the First World War that we know about to 641.