Jump to content
The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Major, Later Lt Col. Alan Sidney Wentworth Stanley, Suffolk Regiment


John French
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am researching this officer for our Local History Society book, and have the following distorted record from The Peerage web-site:

 

He gained the rank of Captain and Honorary Major in the 4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.1 He fought in the First World War.1 He was commander of the 13th Services Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.1 He gained the rank of Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel in 1917

 

I believe he may have joined the Militia before the war, but I thought the 13th was a reserve battalion.  Can anyone confirm where he saw active serve (he was apparently Mentioned in Dispatches).  Also what is the significance of Honorary ranks

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, John French said:

(he was apparently Mentioned in Dispatches)

I think that was a Secretary of State mention for valuable services rendered in connection with the war. I could not see any war service ? Most of the time heading Depot Battalions of the Suffolks and working as a magistrate.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, John French said:

I am researching this officer for our Local History Society book, and have the following distorted record from The Peerage web-site:

 

He gained the rank of Captain and Honorary Major in the 4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.1 He fought in the First World War.1 He was commander of the 13th Services Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.1 He gained the rank of Honorary Lieutenant-Colonel in 1917

 

I believe he may have joined the Militia before the war, but I thought the 13th was a reserve battalion.  Can anyone confirm where he saw active serve (he was apparently Mentioned in Dispatches).  Also what is the significance of Honorary ranks

 

My understanding is that there was no Militia in England after the introduction of the Territorial Force in 1908.

 

The 4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment was a Territorial Force Unit. Of course he could have already been an officer in the militia, and so invited to join the Officer estatblishment of the new unit. However he is not on the main list that appeared in the London Gazette, (page 5224, July 17, 1908), although he may have turned up in a subsequent correction.

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/28159/page/5224/data.pdf

 

He can’t have been that young – looks like he was Deputy Lord Lieutenant for the County of Cambridge from 1901.

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/27301/page/2300/data.pdf

(The Peerage had him born 1861).

 

The 1911 Census of England & Wales has the 49 year old Alan Sidney Wentworth Stanley, born Trumpington, Cambridgeshire and living on Private Means, recorded as the married head of the household at High Street, Great Chesterford, Essex.

 

The August 1914 British Monthly Army List shows Major A.S.W Stanley, D.L. , J.P. (late 4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment) as a co-opted member of the managing committee for the Territorial Force Association for Cambridge and the Isle of Ely.

https://digital.nls.uk/british-military-lists/archive/103636010

 

So he was not a serving member of the Territorial Force at that point, nor do I see him on the list of retired officers. So I suspect he resigned his commission at some point prior to 1908 and had been allowed to retain the title of Major as a courtesy. His role in the civic administration of the county as well as past militia experience would have made him an ideal fit.

 

By the time of the December 1914 Monthly Army List he was shown as Major, (Honorary Captain in the Army) and 2nd in Command of the 11th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment. His seniority was from the 25th September 1914.

(Column 1020b).

https://digital.nls.uk/british-military-lists/archive/104753761

 

11th (Service) Battalion (Cambridgeshire)

Formed at Cambridge, 25 September 1914, by the Cambridge and Isle of Ely TF Association. Occupied a camp at Cherryhinton. Moved to Ripon in Yorkshire in June 1915.

May 1915 : came under command of 101st Brigade in 34th Division. Moved to Salisbury Plain.

9 January 1916 : landed at Boulogne.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/suffolk-regiment/

 

By then in his fifties he was probably felt too old for field command at this rank.

 

The June 1915 British Army Monthly List does shows him still as second in command of the 11th Battalion, (Column 1020d) but it can take several months to reflect actual changes.

https://digital.nls.uk/british-military-lists/archive/119532241

 

The December 1915 Monthly Army List shows him as a Lieutenant Colonel (temporary) in command of the 13th (Reserve) Battalion, (Cambridgeshire), Suffolk Regiment. His seniority is from the 16th October 1915. It notes him also as a Honorary Captain in the Army with seniority from the 16th October 1900.

(Column 1020h).

https://digital.nls.uk/british-military-lists/archive/103906928

 

13th (Reserve) Battalion (Cambridgeshire)

Formed at Cherryhinton camp in September 1915 from two reserve companies of 11th (Service) Battalion and came under command of 94th Brigade, original 31st Division. Moved to Trowbridge in early November 1915 and to Leamington in February 1916. In April 1916 it moved to Lessness Park, Abbey Wood and at the end of July went to Chohole Gate camp, Richmond Park.

1 September 1916: converted into 108th Training Reserve Battalion in 26th Reserve Brigade. On 10 October 1916 it was converted into a reserve garrison battalion.

https://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/regiments-and-corps/the-british-infantry-regiments-of-1914-1918/suffolk-regiment/

 

The only Medal Index Card I could find for him, as Lieutenant Colonel Alan S W Stanley, was for the Silver War Badge he applied for in May 1918. He gives his unit as 13th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, and 108th Training Reserve. His address was given as Great Chesterford, Essex.

 

There is nothing to indicate any overseas service. More details will probably be available in his service record at Kew.

https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C1099414

 

Hope some of that helps,

Peter

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

His obit published in the local paper in Mar 1945, rabbits on about his various public service appoinments, but all it says about his military career is that he served for many years in the Indian Army.

 

obit.jpg.e07f6759b06512257b01739d251c28d4.jpg

Edited by corisande
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If he was in the Indian Army, perhaps he can be traced in editions of the Indian Army List (or prior publications) many of which are available online, see the FIBIS Fibiwiki page "Indian Army List online" 

https://wiki.fibis.org/w/Indian_Army_List_online

 

 He was born 1861, so may have been in the Indian Army early in his career, c 1880s

For this period, there are relevant volumes in the Ancestry, (pay website)   searchable database UK, Registers of Employees of the East India Company and the India Office, 1746-1939, located in Schools, Directories & Church Histories

 

Maureen

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This turns up in Ancestry-acknowledgement to them

image.png.bef1ca562b9c9b89c3ffc606432fae9f.png

4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment previously Cambridge Militia within UK, Hart's Annual Army List, 1908 for Alan Sidney W Stanley

 

Initials are not always conclusive of course...

 

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Within FWR

First Name:
A S W
Surname:
Stanley
Information:
In Command. Honorary Captain in Army 16/10/1900.
Rank:
Temporary Lieutenant Colonel
Service:
British Army
Primary Unit:
Suffolk Regiment
Secondary Unit:
13th (Reserve) Battalion (Cambridgeshire) (Why is this important?)
Archive Reference:
1916 Army List
Seniority Date:
16/10/1915

 

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Also within Ancestry

image.png.f4abfdbb35b37c81a5003578cebbed94.png

UK, Silver War Badge Records, 1914-1920 for A. S. W. Stanley

Lists of Approvals

Piece 3248

George

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, George Rayner said:

This turns up in Ancestry-acknowledgement to them

image.png.bef1ca562b9c9b89c3ffc606432fae9f.png

4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment previously Cambridge Militia within UK, Hart's Annual Army List, 1908 for Alan Sidney W Stanley

 

 

Alan Sidney W Stanley ...... 23 Apr 85:

ASWS.jpg.4b8497e0831551c19f0f5bc1613d06cc.jpg

 

JP

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looking to narrow any period he might have served with the Indian Army I searched for him on the censuses of England & Wales as the “for many years Col. Stanley served in the Indian Army” comment in the obituary would seem to make it likely that he would have missed one of more of the censuses.

 

1871. Aged 9, born Longstowe Hall, Cambridgeshire, he and brother Charles (11) were pupils at The Vicarage, Abbotsley, Huntingdonshire. His parents are living at Longstowe Hall, Longstowe. Difficult to make out but father Sidney is a retired Captian in H.M.A. (Her Majestys Army?) , possibly with units  “(39th) (20 L)”.

 

1881. Aged 19, born Cambridge, Undergraduate. Living with parents Sidney, (Captain retired & J.P.) and Sara at Long Stowe Hall, Long Stowe, Cambridgeshire .

 

1891. Aged 29, born Cambridge, Magistrate & Captain 4th Battalion Suffolk Regiment & Living on own means. Married head of the household at Hinxton Hall, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire. Has a wife Lilian C – 1911 Census records her as Lilian Charlotte Wentworth Stanley, She was then aged 29 and born Melbourne, Australia. The couple have a 3 month old son Alan W.W., born London

 

1901. Alan is absent. A married woman, “Lilian W. Stanley”, aged 38 and born Victoria, Austalia, is staying with an aunt in a flat in Belgrave Mansions, Buckingham Palace Road, London. I’m not spotting an obvious candidate for their son Arthur – but the only likely death in England & Wales doesn’t occur until 1954. From the civil birth registration of Alan Wroughton Wentworth Stanley in 1891, his mothers’ maiden name was Anderson. On the 1911 Census the couple are stated to have had 2 children, of which only one was then still alive.

May be a co-incidence, but the birth of a Sidney Edward W. Stanley was registered with the civil authorities in the Cambridge District in the January to March quarter, (Q1), of 1892. The death of the 1 year old Sidney Edward Wentworth Stanley was recorded in the Saffron Walden District of Essex in the April to June quarter, (Q2), of 1892.

 

Joining the Army and going out to serve in India in his thirties, given Alan seniors relative wealth and position in society seems unlikely. There isn’t any other period that stands out as a possibility. I’m also not seeing him on the Anglo-Boer War site, although their list is patchy. Serving in South Africa would have been another possible reason for his absence from the 1901 Census.

 

Cheers,

Peter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

He got around a bit!

 

adc.jpg.2d1fc8a4605d3010a13a962de8516f27.jpg

Ties in with what PRC has from 1891 cenus

 

I am not sure, but I would have thought that he would have been a Regular (rather than Militia) officer to have been ADC to Governor of Victoria in 1889

Link to comment
Share on other sites

And this would seem to be his "first" commission in 1881 in the Militia

 

militia1881.jpg.3481ea5dd8e589249358b9bb3a2941fe.jpg

 

He gets promotion, still in Militia in May 1882 to Lieutenant

 

And advanced to Capt in the Militia in May 1885

 

He attends a dinner for Militia Regt in 1887 and by 1891 still appears to be in Militia

 

So I cannot see any Regular commission, and still do not understand his Australia appointment if he was a Militia Capt

 

 

 

Edited by corisande
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Alan Sidney Wentworth Stanley 

30 April 1861 - 16 March 1945

 

1.  Eton 1875-1880 and then Trinity College, Cambridge.

Page 128:

https://archives.etoncollege.com/PDFViewer/web/viewer.html?file=%2fFilename.ashx%3ftableName%3dta_registers%26columnName%3dfilename%26recordId%3d8

 

2.  Roll of Honour 1914-1918, St Mary the Virgin, Longstowe:

a)  https://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMC8PB_Longstowe_Roll_of_Honour_Cambs

b)  https://s3.amazonaws.com/gs-waymarking-images/46c39e8c-99ad-4456-a307-4108373308e4.jpg

 

3.  Wall Tablet, St Mary the Virgin, Longstowe:

https://longstowe.ccan.co.uk/content/catalogue_item/church-guide

 

JP

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As usual I am amazed and grateful for the breadth of information provided.  From this I will record the following about Lt. Col. Stanley's military record:

 - Jan 1881 commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in Cambridge Militia

 - May 1882 promoted to Lieutenant

 - 1885 serving as Captain in 4th Battalion, Suffolk Militia (at Ely Headquarters)

 - 1889 ADC to Governor of Victoria (also engagement/marriage to Lilian)

 - 1991 census living in UK as Captain, 4th Suffolk Regiment

 - 1991 to 1908  military career unknown

 - April 2008 listed in Harts as Honorary Major in 4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment

 - Date unknown, resigned commission (possibly during reorganisation from Haldane Reforms)

 - Sept 1914 appointed Major, (Honorary Captain in the Army) and 2nd in Command of the 11th (Service) Battalion, Suffolk Regiment.

 - Oct 1915 appointed Temporary Lt. Col. commanding 13th (Reserve) Battalion, (Cambridgeshire), Suffolk Regiment (he was not awarded British War Medal, so had not served overseas)

 - Sept 1916 13th Battalion converted into 108th Training Reserve Battalion

 - May 1918 honorable discharge from Training Reserve and award of Silver War Badge

 

When lockdown ends I may be able to visit National Archive to fill in gaps, especially about possible service in Indian Army.

 

John 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, John French said:

April 2008 listed in Harts

1908

 

You have omitted his Secretary of State's mention.

 

This site has a very useful explanation of these 'Class B ' mentions.

Edited by charlie962
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 minutes ago, John French said:

1885 serving as Captain in 4th Battalion, Suffolk Militia (at Ely Headquarters)

 

Probably worth referring to the unit as the 4th (Volunteer) Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, a Militia unit, as opposed to the 4th Battalion, Suffolk Regiment which was a Territorial Force unit.

As part of the 1881 Army Reforms, militia units were attached to the Regular Army regiments that covered the same Military District. As Cambridgeshire did not have a Regular Army Regiment, this was where the connection to the Suffolk Regiment was born. The subsequently created Cambridgeshire Regiment was one of the few that was Territorial Force only.

 

25 minutes ago, John French said:

May 1918 honorable discharge from Training Reserve and award of Silver War Badge

 

My understanding is that officers aren't discharged - although as his commission was a wartime only one, hence the reference to his rank as "Temporary", it may be appropriate terminology if he was released early.

 

Cheers,

Peter

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Charlie962, thanks.  Now incorporated.

 

PRC, thanks,  Revised unit name incorporated,

I picked up the wording 'honorable discharge' from Wikipedia.  What would be the correct terminology for an officer?   He received the award in May 1918 before the Armistice: it could have been on medical grounds, but he had a hale and hearty retirement until his death in 1945.  Any thoughts?

 

John 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi John,

 

I started looking into this when I came across a mention of the Indian Army – an area I am particularly interested.

 

First things first, Alan Sidney Wentworth Stanley was never an officer of the Indian Army. That’s a mistake in the newspaper – they do happen.

 

Looking down the thread I thought I might help out on a few points.

 

His father, Sidney Stanley began to restore Longstowe Hall, Cambridge in the 1880s, but died 9th July 1896. The estate remained in the family for only a short time, for his son, Charles Wentworth Stanley sold the manor in 1905 to William A. Briscoe after running out of funds to complete the work on the house.  The Stanley family moved to Hall Farm which they renamed Longstowe House (and which is now called Home Farm), reorganising the north drive so that the North Lodge now stands at the entrance to the Home Farm drive.

 

He served from 1863 to 1878 with the 1st Huntingdonshire Light Horse Volunteer Corps. The following appeared in the London Gazette of 13/4/1878 :

 

“Captain Sidney Stanley resigns his Commission, also is permitted to retain his rank and to continue to wear the uniform of the Corps on his retirement. Dated 1st May, 1878.”

 

Sidney had 13 children, including 6 sons!

 

His eldest son was Major Sir Charles Wentworth-Stanley (b. 6 February 1860, d. 31 March 1939). He gained the rank of Captain and Honorary Major in the 4th (Militia) Battalion, Suffolk Regiment, as did Alan Sidney Wentworth Stanley, Sidney’s 2nd son.

 

Alan Sidney Wentworth Stanley was educated at Eton & Trinity College, Cambridge.

 

His date of commission has been confirmed but I also found this:

 

London Gazette 4/2/1896, page 649

4th Battalion, the Suffolk Regiment,

Captain A. S. W. Stanley is granted the honorary rank of Major. Dated 5th February, 1896.

 

The Cambridgeshire Militia was a militia regiment in Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely from 1759 to 1881, when, under the Childers Reforms, the regiment was transferred into The Suffolk Regiment as the 4th Battalion. The Haldane Reforms in 1908 converted the former Militia battalions into the Special Reserve, one per regiment. A number of duplicate battalions were disbanded; the Suffolk Regiment had two militia battalions, and so the junior - the 4th - was disbanded.

 

HIS son was Captain Alan Wroughton Wentworth Stanley (b. 3 January 1891, d. 4 August 1954) was commissioned into the Royal Horse Guards during WW1 and was awarded the Military Cross.

 

As to another point, the most often seen terminology for an officer leaving the army is that he ‘relinquishes his commission’. There is usually a notice in the London Gazette at the time.

 

I hope that helps.

 

Kind regards,

 

Matthew

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 02/05/2021 at 08:23, John French said:

Charlie962, thanks.  Now incorporated.

 

PRC, thanks,  Revised unit name incorporated,

I picked up the wording 'honorable discharge' from Wikipedia.  What would be the correct terminology for an officer?   He received the award in May 1918 before the Armistice: it could have been on medical grounds, but he had a hale and hearty retirement until his death in 1945.  Any thoughts?

 

John 

 

John,

 

He was 57 in 1918 and was probably let go on the grounds of age. Under the criteria for the award of the Silver War Badge, leaving the forces on account of age did qualify you.

 

The term 'honorable discharge' usually relates to the U.S. Army, not the British Army.

 

Matthew

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matthew B.

Thanks for clearing up the terminology and likely grounds for leaving the army in 1918.

 

Was the granting a Honorary rank limited to Militia battalions or linked to relinquishing your commission?  I have been unable to determine when Major Stanley relinquished his commission before WW1.

 

Regards

 

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...