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Stanley Walpole Collection

"Our darling boy has been sacrificed... His battalion was holding a trench called "Lovers Walk" in the vicinity of Sanctuary Woods on the outskirts of the famous city of Ypres... At one o'clock Stanley was killed outright with a high velocity shell...." Marquis Walpole, France 17 July 1916


Marquis Wapole
Boulogue
July 17, 1916

My Dearest Mother:-

Our darling boy has been sacrificed. How the young hero met his fate was related to me two days ago by a Corporal Mason of his Platoon, whom I accidentally met in the city of Boulogne. I happened to see the 58th Batt. on his tunic collar and I did not hesitate to make enquiries about Stanley as I haven't heard from him for some time. Anyhow, I struck the right chap for he had been with Stanley ever since he had joined in Toronto and was very intimate with him personally.

His battalion was holding a trench called "Lovers Walk" in the vicinity of Sanctuary Woods on the outskirts of the famous city of Ypres. On the night of the 15th of June the enemy opened up a terrific bombardment which lasted all night. At one o'clock Stanley was killed outright with a high velocity shell, his body being almost unrecognizable, and they only knew it was him by his disc. The battalion suffered very severely, only three in his Platoon, who were lucky enough to escape. This Corporal was wounded and is now convalescent. He goes on to tell me that Stanley was delicate and when he went under that operation for appendicitis he was advised by his mates to "work his ticket" which could have easily have been done under the circumstances, but he would not listen to them and was determined at all costs to go to the Front. He says Stanley was a fine soldier in every respect, he was always nervy and bright and jolly good company. He was quick at picking up things, in fact, he goes as far as to say he acted as a guide, as he made himself so acquainted with the position. This Corporal never heard of him saying he had a brother in the New Zealand Forces, but he was always writing to his mother. Here our conversation ended and this meeting which turned out to be so pathetic was on July 15th, exactly one month from his death. I was prepared to hear something like this as the Canadians have been doing some hard fighting and their lossess have been heavy.

My bravo brother, only a boy, whom I longed to see. Hes there under the cover of our guns. My sorrow is absorbed with pride, for it goes to prove that he is worthy of his dear mother who has so often shown herself a martyr by standing by her children. Our blood is not tainted, thanks God- I expect to go back to the front shortly. I have been here a fortnight now. My ears gave way under the heavy bombardment. I was laying the gun and the concussion affected ears and they have been discharging ever since. My mails have not been forwarded to me yet so I have no idea how you are keeping. Well I guess I will close now. Give my love to all. Fondest love to you. How I wish I could kiss you forever.
You Soldier Son,
MARK
Boulogne
July 17, 1916

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On the 15th of June, Stanley Walpole of St. Mary's was killed in the trenches. He was an English boy who had lived at the home of Missess Bonis and had so endeared himself to them that they have sorrowed for him as a member of the family. He has a brother, Marquis, also at the Front who one day in Boulogne, accidentally met a Corporal of Stanley's Regiment and there learned of his brother Stanley's death. The following is Marquis' loving letter to his mother Mrs. J. Wampole, Toronto, and it shows a devotion to home and country in the hearts of the British youth that is rarely to be found in Canada.

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The Walpole Collection

Biography | 15 June 1916 | 17 July 1916
   

 

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