Hubert Douglas Stratford was born in Luton in 1889, the son of Edward Douglas and Kate Stratford. His father was an auctioneer and land agent living at 33 Downs Road, Luton.
He first enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers (36056), being promoted to lance-corporal before gaining a commission with the 2nd Battalion Grenadier Guards in February 1917. He went to France the following August and returned to England in October 1917 after being wounded. He went back to France on Easter Sunday 1918, a fortnight before his death.