Remembering G.P. Patterson of ZSL London Zoo staff who died 100 years ago today on The Somme on 5th October 1916.
His name is remembered on the ZSL London Zoo staff war memorial as
05.10.1916 Gerald P Patterson 19th County of London Regt ZSL Helper
The 19 County of London Regiment may be an error or his first regiment. A ‘Helper’ was a younger Keeper working his way up the ranks of London Zoo staff.
This is likely to be 43689 Private Gerald Phillips Patterson of the 8th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment was killed on 5th October 1916 during the Somme fighting.
He is buried in an individual grave XI. C. 4. in Connaught Cemetery, Thiepval, Somme, France. There is no family inscription on his headstone, pictured on the TWGPP website.
The life of his battalion during the Somme battles is well set out in the Somme school visit site
It is likely that Patterson went into action with the Norfolks on the 1st of July 1916, the first day of the Somme as part of the 18th (Eastern) Division as part of K2, Kitchener’s 2nd Army Group of New Army volunteers.
Patterson was most likely killed during the attack and capture of the Schwaben Redoubt on the 5th October 1916. The next day his battalion went back for rest out of the line.
Many of Patterson’s 8th Norfolk battalion who were killed and whose bodies or graves were not found are remembered on the nearby Thiepval Memorial on the Somme, alongside other ZSL staff like Albert Dermott.
Read more about him and the other ZSL London Zoo staff on their WW1 memorial at our blogpost:
G.P. Patterson, remembered.
Posted by Mark Norris, Newquay Zoo / World War Zoo Gardens project, 5 October 2016.