Guild of One-Name Studies
One-name studies, Genealogy
Stanley was the eldest surviving son of William Henry Hoe and his 2nd wife Gertrude Wingate. Stanley Edmund was baptised on 11th August 1898, in Gainsborough Lincolnshire. In the 1911 England census, Stanley is the eldest of 4 children at home and attending school. On the 4th August 1914 Britain declares war on Germany. At first only men aged 18-41 were eligible. With so much loss of life, conscription was introduced in 1916, and Stanley Edmund Hoe enlisted in the army on the 10th January 1916 at the age of 17, stating ‘Joiner’ as his trade. He was at this time living at 63 Campbell Street in Gainsborough Lincolnshire. The small terraced house is still standing.
Stanley Edmund Hoe was enlisted into the Army’s 1st Battalion East Yorkshire Regiment. In 1916 the 1st Yorkshire Regiment were involved in the many battles of the Somme, including the Battle of Albert from 1st July, the official name for the first Somme battle, and one which proved to be the most costly in terms of British Military loss. They fought in the Battle of Bazentine Ridge from the 14th July, the Battle of Flers-Courcelette from 17 September, The battle of Morval on 25th September, and the Battle for the Transloy Ridges which began on 1st October the same year. How such a young inexperienced man survived any of these battles is beyond my comprehension.
In March of 1917, the Germans were retreating to the Hindenburg Line. There seems to have been no let-up for Stanley’s Battalion, when in April of 1917 they were fighting in the Battle of Arras, the 1st battle of the Scarpe. Stanley again saw action at the 3rd battle of Scarpe, and on the 31st May on the Hindenburg Line. The 1st Battalion then pressed on to Ypres.
During WW1 the Flanders village of Hooge Ypres saw intense and sustained fighting due to its strategic importance on top of a hill. Any advantage over the flat countryside was fiercely fought over by both sides, the small village being won and lost by both sides several times. Huge craters had been made by the 173rd Tunneling Division, by detonating mines in 1915.
Stanley was again to see action on the 29 September 1917 at the battle of Polygon Wood, part of the Passchendaele offensive on the Menin road. By the end of the war, nothing would remain of Hooge village, Stanley Edmund Hoe or the Chateau that had played such an important role.
The weather turned, un-seasonal rain began to pour down from 2nd October, visibility was poor, the ground was likened to a bog, maneuverability was slow and the odds were now changed in the German’s favour. An attack planned for the 6th October was brought forward by Sir Douglas Haig. Stanley was Killed in Action, on 4th October 1917, in the battle of Broodseinde Ypres, trying to secure the Menin Road, outside Hooge.
The first his parents would have known of his demise would have been a telegram from the war office, followed by the WW1 death plaque and his medals. Stanley Edmund Hoe is buried at the Hooge Crater Cemetery Plot XII. Row H. 18. This Cemetery is used for those who died in Hooge, between 1917-1918. The total number of burials is just under 6000, some indication of the ferocity of the fighting here. On the Commonwealth War Graves site Stanley is named simply as Private Hoe S.E. His name is included in the Gainsborough WW1 Role of Honour list. Aged just 19. A short life – so bravely fought.
9 Victoria Crosses were awarded during the battle of Broodseinde on the day Stanley died; 4th October:
Acting Sargent Major James Ockendon (29th division), Acting Captain Clement Robertson of the Royal Tank Regiment, Sergeant Charles Harry Coverdale, and acting corporal Fred Greaves both of the 11th Northern Division, Private Arthur Hutt of 48th South Midland Division, Sergeant Lewis McGee, and Lance-Corporal Walter Peeler both of the 3rd Australian Division. Acting Lieutenant Colonel Lewis Pugh Evans of the 21st Division, and Private Thomas Henry Sage of the 37th Division. No doubt there were many acts of bravery that day.
On the 17th November 1919 – Stanley’s father, William Henry Hoe signs for his effects and collects £3. Picture of the Menin road during the 1917 battle curtesy of greatwar.nl
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