Joseph Stanley was the son of John and Pathena Stanley of 6 New Road, Cradley, and attended Cradley C of E School. In 1914 he was a regular soldier in the Worcesters in B Company of the 3rd Battalion. They were stationed at Aldershot as part of the British Expeditionary Force and crossed to France on the 12th August. They took part in the advance to Mons and the subsequent retreat to the Marne. They helped to stabilize the front line on the Aisne in September and to halt the German armies in the first attack on Ypres. In October and November they remained near Ypres, moving to Spanbroek Mill in December. They moved into the front line on Christmas Eve and with a covering of snow manned the trenches on Christmas Day. There was inevitable sniping and this was probably the cause of Joseph Stanley's death. He was 20 years of age and is commemorated on the Menin Gate, Cradley, Halesowen and Cradley school Memorials.
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