24 – Private L Stacey

Family

Louis Stacey was born on 1 September 1897 in Back Lane (now Winston Avenue), Tadley. 

His parents were Edward and Ellen Stacey (née Sirman). They were married in Witney, Oxfordshire in 1885. Edward’s occupation was that of ‘Timber Hewer’.

Louis was the youngest son of eight children: Percy, Raymond, Sidney, Leah, Vashti, Harry, Louis and Annie.

In the 1901 Tadley Census Louis was 3 years old and lived in Back Lane. In June 1910 his father died and the address entered in the burial register is ‘The Beeches’. The 1911 Tadley Census records the family at The Lane, probably Fairlawn Road as the family are known to have occupied a house on the northern side. This was probably one and the same as ‘The Beeches’.

His sister Vashti was unmarried and in 1963 was the last remaining occupant of the original Mothe’s Almshouses on The Green. It was reported in the local paper that she feared she would lose her home if the dilapidated cottages were demolished. This finally occurred in 1966 when they were replaced with six purpose-built flats. Vashti died in 1977. His other sister Leah, also unmarried, was a Guide leader in Tadley for many years.

His elder brother, Raymond, later married Israel West’s (no. 31) widow, Louisa. Louis was known to be a friend of William Giles (no. 8), who also lived in Back Lane and with whom he no doubt grew up. Israel and William are also remembered on the Tadley War Memorial.

Louis was unmarried.

 

Service record

Louis enlisted in Winchester. Based on his service number (43333) he probably enlisted towards the end of 1917. He served as a private, only with the 1st Battalion, Hampshire Regiment.

In August 1914, the 1st Battalion Hampshire Regiment moved from Aldershot to Colchester where they became part of the 4th Division (11th Brigade).
On 21-22 August it sailed from Southampton to Le Havre, France. It remained on the Western Front throughout the war, taking part in most of the major actions.

In 1918 the battalion was in action, countering the German Spring Offensive (Operation Michael) which was launched on 21 March. The 1st Battalion were engaged in heavy fighting on 28 March 1918 in an area about 1 km to the east of Fampoux (during the First Battle of Arras).

Louis died of wounds on 29 March. He was initially buried in the German portion of Raches Communal Cemetery but was later moved to Cabaret Rouge British Cemetery. Raches is about 28 km north east of the area where the 1st Battalion were fighting on 28 March. Louis was probably wounded and captured by the Germans on 28 March. As a consequence, he would have been evacuated to the rear of the German lines which is where he died of his wounds the next day. He was buried in his tunic under a cross bearing his name. This enabled the Commonwealth War Graves Commission to identify him – the tunic would have carried Hampshire Regiment insignia. 

Of the men remembered on Tadley War Memorial, George Garrett, Herbert Golding, William Monger, Alfred Rampton, Leonard Rampton, Ernest Sandford, Louis Stacey, Tom Taylor and George Warren all served with the Hampshire Regiment.

 

Died

Louis died of wounds on Friday 29 March 1918, aged 20.

 

Commemorated

He was re-buried in Cabaret-Rouge British Cemetery [XV. F. 8.], Souchez, France.

He is also remembered on Tadley War Memorial and the Tadley United Reformed Church Roll of Honour.

 

Decorations

Louis was awarded the Victory medal and the British War medal. These would have been sent to his family.

Return to World War I 31 men index page.

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