Still hunting ‘Brother 2’

In Brother 2, I speculated that the Michael Stanley who died in Dewsbury in 1859 might be the so called ‘Brother 2’. In order to provide more information, I called up the Death Certificate. My speculation was misplaced. However, useful information was still extracted. Michael died on 20th December 1859, in Daw Green. This location…

How far back?

In the ‘Dewsbury once more’, I referred to the identification of a common ancestor. The other researcher and I share 95 centimorgans of DNA. We are third cousins once removed. The point at which our family trees coincide is John Stanley, born sometime around 1800. His date of birth could be as late as 1807.…

Guardian angel

In ‘Wilfred Owen & Patrick Stanley’ I referred to the fact that Patrick’s guardian angel worked a long and very busy shift. I have been examining the records of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (https://www.cwgc.org/ ) to see just how busy. CWGC records the names of 14,811 men who died in the Great War whilst…

Third Ypres

Some historians call it the Battle of Passchendaele. Some call it the Third Battle of Ypres. The fact that three battles were fought in the same area is significant. It serves to emphasise the static nature of much of the Great War. Patrick fought in the Second Battle of Ypres, in 1915 (covered in ‘After…

Following in the footsteps

I visited Roscommon in 2014. I wanted to see for myself the places that my grandfather Patrick would have called home. I wanted to stand where he had stood. I wanted to walk where he had walked. The photos that I took on that trip have featured in these articles at regular intervals. In 2018…

Bogs in Belgium

According to my Ordnance Survey Ireland map, Clooneenbaun in County Roscommon (where members of my family lived until 1908) sits on the 70 metre contour line. Lough Creevin, I km to the north, is 64 metres above sea level. Lough Slye, just south of the N61 is at 57 metres. As explained, and illustrated, in…

Ancre

At regular intervals, I have to remind myself that these blogs are primarily focused on one man. That man is Patrick Stanley, who was born in rural Roscommon in 1883. He was my grandfather. He played a part in these events. World history perhaps, but also personal history. War Diaries are full of a whole…

Serving again – 1916

In his first period of service, Patrick had the service number 7994. When he re-joined he was given a new number: 37708. There are a number of interesting details on the form. (Interesting to me at least!) It might have been expected that Patrick would have returned to his relatives in Dewsbury when he was…

Sounds of a life

As I wrote about some of Patrick’s experiences in the Great War, I started to think about the sounds that would have been familiar to him in a time of peace. The railway came to Roscommon in 1860. If you had not previously seen any form of transport larger, or faster, than a horse drawn…

Conscription

A wave of patriotic fervour swept the country when war was declared in August 1914. Thousands of men, in every part of the country, responded to Lord Kitchener’s call for volunteers. Over one million men had enlisted by January 1915. And by January 1915, it was clear that, far from being ‘all over by Christmas’,…