Private 9884 Edward J. Stacey
1st Battalion (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Royal Berkshire Regiment
Private Stacey was the son of Stephen and Rachel Stacey, of Boarden Carriage, Bridge Street, Hungerford. He was a pre war regular soldier enlisting at Newbury.
On the outbreak of war he was stationed with his battalion at Mandora Barracks, Aldershot. On the outbreak of war the battalion was quickly mobilized and went to France on 13th August 1914. Together with the remainder of the battalion he would have taken part in the grueling 'retreat from Mons' becoming one of the 'Old Contemptibles'.
He was killed in action on the 1st November 1914. He has no known grave and is commemorated on the Ypres (Menin Gate) memorial, Ieper, West Vlaanderen, Belgium.
- Regimental Badge of The Royal Berkshires
- Private Stacey pictured here in England prior to departure to France. (He is wearing the 1908 pattern webbing)
The War Diary reads:
31st October 1914 - At 11 am A & B Coys under Major Finch were sent off as divn reserve. They moved to the SW corner of the Polygone wood. The Kings also moved here as reserve. During the day Gheluvelt had been reoccupied by the Worcesters and one other battalion.
About 4PM A & B Coys were ordered to drive out some Germans who had broken through again behind the Worcesters past the SW corner of Gheluvelt. B Coy (Capt Lucas) advanced as firing line. A Coy (Lt Woods) in support. The advance was made under heavy shell fire.
About 200yds from the Ypres - Gheluvelt road the leading troops came under a heavy rifle fire from the direction of Gheluvelt. B Coy rushed the road. A strong force of Germans were then found to be holding the far side of the road behind the small embankment some 15yds away.
It was now dark. B Coy held this line till they were ordered to withdraw at midnight. A continuous fire was kept up by both sides until 11.30pm when the Germans withdrew. A Coy prolonged the line of B Coy to the right, their right resting on the barrier across the road.
As there were no Germans in front of their immediate right, two platoons were sent across the road in the dark to turn the German left. These platoons under Lt Woods could not make much headway owing to a dense spinney in their front and so shortly returned to their original line, having accounted for one German officer who's body they found in the wood. It is impossible to say what other damage they did. At midnight the order was received to withdraw to their original position in reserve. En route the companies collected a number of rifles and sets of equipment which had been left in the trenches which had been vacated during the day. It was subsequently discovered that the Worcesters had withdrawn from Gheluvelt just about the time that our attack developed, which explained why our efforts to gain touch with them during the night had been fruitless.
1st November 1914 - C Coy sent to take up a position in rear of the junction of Connaught's right and King's left.
A & B Coys under Major Finch left the Polygone wood at about 2pm and moved to some dugouts just E of the wood at Veldhoek in support of the 1st Bde. D Coy joined them from Bn Hd Qrs en route.
C Coy relieved one company of the Staffords in the trenches and Col Graham took command of this section (Staffs & C Coy).
Private Stacey was killed during this action)