William Austin Stanley


About William Austin

  • Name
    William Austin
  • Initials
    W A
  • Surname
  • Date of Birth
  • Birth town
    Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire
  • Resided town
    Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire
  • Commemorated
    Contay British Cemetery, France; Ashby de la Zouch Memorial, Leics
  • Nationality
  • Place of death
    Thiepval, France
  • Date of death
    17 November 1916
  • Married
  • Occupation

Service Information

  • Army

  • Service Number
    138166 / 201176
  • Rank
  • Regiment
    Machine Gun Corps


William Austin Stanley was born in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Leicestershire in 1894 to parents William and Hannah (nee Wright).  In 1901 William (7) was living with father William (38) a cycle maker, Hannah (39) and siblings Maggie (5), Dorothy (3) and John (1) at 92 Market Street, Ashby-de-la-Zouch.  In 1911, the family were living in Wood Street; Maggie was not living at home, there was an additional sibling Lily (9) and William (16) was a clerk.

William was travelling with comrade, Gunner Chapman, both serving with the Heavy Section Machine Gun Corps, when they passed through Peterborough East Station on 31 August 1916.  William wrote in the visitors’ book: “After being stranded all night a Peterboro, we visited the soldier’s rest, which is a small home in itself. We wished the ladies there good luck and happiness then we journeyed on.

We have been unable to locate William’s service record, but have learned from that “Gunner William Stanley was a crewman in the tank “We’re all in it”. This was a female tank which managed to penetrate the German front line between Thiepval and St Pierre Divion on 13 November 1916; the other two tanks tasked to assist the attack did not get into action.  William Stanley was injured when the tank became stuck and was evacuated by the accompanying infantry; he died of wounds 4 days later.”

He is commemorated at Contay British Cemetery, France and the inscription on his cross is “Rest in Peace”.

Please get in touch if you can tell us more about William.


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