Researched and written by Anne Wright
2/Lt S Adams
9th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers
Died of wounds, 9.9.1917
Stanley Adams was born in Kentish Town in 1887, the son of Aaron, a draper, originally from Kingsbridge, Devon and his wife Margaret. Stanley had two younger sisters and by 1901 the family had moved to Weybridge where his father managed a draper’s shop in Baker Street. As a young boy he sang in St. James’ Church choir. By 1911 Stanley was working as a silk salesman and the family home was now the Roundhouse, Weybridge Road, Addlestone. He married Jane (sometimes referred to as Jean) Elizabeth Marchant, of St. Mary’s Road, Oatlands at Marylebone in early 1915. She was from a local family and had been baptised at St. Mary’s Church, Oatlands on 1 April 1888.
Stanley’s first military experience was in the Army Pays Corps which he joined soon after the outbreak of war and where he became a Lance Corporal (3182). However, he was commissioned on 27 March 1917 and subsequently served with the 9th Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers. They had been in France since July 1915 and most recently involved in the Arras Offensive which was within days of ending when Stanley joined them in billets at Warluzel on 1 June 1917. He was posted to ‘C’ Company and his first three weeks were taken up with training, sports and church services.
On 20 June Stanley’s battalion moved to St Nicholas Camp (near Arras) and on the following day he had his first experience of trench life. Both sides shelled each other and Stanley saw his unit sustain casualties. After five days they were relieved but were back in the front line on 30 June. Throughout July they were either at St Nicholas Camp or in the line. It was a relatively quiet time apart from shelling but on 18 July two battalion snipers lay in No-Man’s-Land from dawn until dusk and calculated that they had hit seven of the enemy.
They moved from St Nicholas Camp on 3 August when Stanley and his comrades must have been cheered to be played out by five bands and then to march through Arras. Their destination was billets at Bovincourt. From there they marched to the Brigade Reserve at Vadencourt and from there into the front line on 15 August. They found that they were in a quiet sector and on the night of 16 August they had complete control of No-Man’s-Land through the operation of strong patrols. Ten days later they were bussed to Jeancourt in preparation for an attack; they were not in the advance and were moved up to captured trenches on 28 August when they suffered 14 casualties from shelling. They were relieved on 1 September. This month began quietly with the battalion in reserve but on the 5th they went into the line again. They endured three days of frequent shelling; Stanley was wounded on the 9th and died of his wounds on reaching the Dressing Station at Templeux.
Stanley is buried in the Templeux-le-Grand Communal Cemetery Extension (A 21) which is almost 26 km east of Peronne. He was commemorated in Memorial Services held at St. James’ Church and St. Michael’s Church on All Souls Day 1917 for all the men of Weybridge who had died since the beginning of the year. His wife remarried; she outlived Stanley by almost sixty years, her death as Jean Elizabeth Buss aged 88 was registered in Battle, E. Sussex in 1976.
England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915, www.ancestry.co.uk
England & Wales, Civil Registration Death Index, 1916-2007, www.ancestry.co.uk
England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriages Index, 1837-1915, www.ancestry.co.uk
St James’ Church, Weybridge, Parish Magazines, Surrey History Centre, 3204/12/43 1917
Surrey, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1912, www.ancestry.co.uk