Samuel Stanton was born at Wordsley but moved to Stourbridge where he attended the Enville Street Council School. He enlisted as a regular soldier in the Worcesters, probably just after the Boer War but was still in the Reserve. He was immediately called up and re-joined the 2nd Battalion. He faced the difficulties of the Retreat from Mons in late August and the successful recovery which came with success in the Battle of the Marne. The Worcesters were then ordered to advance and were in the vanguard for the crossing of the River Vesle on the 11th September. The bridge at Courcelles had been blown up, but a single girder was enough for the Worcesters to cross, even if under fire. The weather had completely changed since the hot days of the retreat. It was in pouring rain on the 12th that the River Aisne was reached and it was apparent that the Germans intended to stay on the far bank. The Worcesters eventually crossed the river near Pont Arcy but had to dig some of the first trenches for protection against the enemy shelling. On the 20th the German infantry pressed strongly down the wooded valleys. Two companies of the Worcesters were ordered to halt one such advance. They succeeded, but then advanced into open ground, only to be met with accurate enemy fire. Private Sam Stanton was seriously wounded and was sent back to a Military Hospital at Le Mans. Here he died on the 28th September, one of the first Stourbridge men to die. He is buried in Le Mans West Cemetery (A 36) and is commemorated on the Stourbridge, St. Thomas's church and the former Enville Street School Memorials.
Mary Stevens Park, Stourbridge, West Midlands, United Kingdom
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