Stanley Sadler

Born: May 1899
Died: 26 August 1918
Service number: 52412
Rank: Private
Regiment/Service: 5th Battalion, King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry
Family information: 11 Carleton Street, Wakefield

War service

Stanley was employed at Craddocks wire rope manufacturers. At the beginning of 1918, aged 18, he was cajoled into volunteering. It was stated that at this time the borough paid the employer 7 shillings and 6 pence per week for single men who joined the armed forces, to compensate for the loss of the employee. Stanley's elder brother had just returned from France, having lost his arm, and was very bitter towards Craddocks for persuading Stanley to enlist.

Stanley was conscripted into the King's Own Yorkshire Light Infantry as an infantry man at Pontefract Barracks. No record of his training can be found. He fought for the British 3rd corps in the second battle of the Marne which commenced in June 1918. He sustained fatal injuries and died on 26 August a few weeks prior to the ceasefire.

He is buried in the St. Hilaire cemetery extension, Frevent. I have visited his grave several times to lay a wreath. His service records are untraceable and are assumed to be part of the "Burnt" documents. Information regarding the campaign in which he died has been provided by the K.O.Y.L.I museum, plus information gathered on the "Great War Forum" web site.

Family story

Stanley was born in Carlton Street, Wakefield, an area of Lawfield Lane, Westgate. His father was employed at Craddock’s wire drawing mill on the banks of the River Calder at the bottom of Kirkgate. Upon leaving school, Stanley joined his father at the mill, producing rope and various items of metal equipment for the front line in France. Stanley was a quiet, unassuming person and did not have any particular hobbies. His father died one year before Stanley enlisted.

He had one older brother, Henry, who volunteered for service in 1914 and lost his arm in the first battle of Ypres. His mother and Henry were very bitter about the fact that Stanley had been more or less forced to enlist, particularly taking into account that one member of the family had already suffered severe injuries.

After Stanley died Henry obtained employment at the Army School of Education and became the sole breadwinner. Stanley’s war medals and death plaque were removed from the family home upon the death of his mother by distant relatives and have been untraceable.

Story submitted by Bob Crowther.

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