WW1 Image

Born: 7th May 1889, Chiswick, Middlesex.

Died: 17th April 1944; age: 54; Killed in aircraft crash.

First World War – In 1914, Stanley served with the East Lancashire Regiment, 3rd Battalion attached to the 1st Battalion, he was ranked Second Lieutenant and served time in the trenches at Flanders before being shot in the leg during the Battle of Ypres in 1915. After a rapid convalescence Stanley joined the General Staff, under Sir George Milne and was sent to Turkey, Salonika and Greece, a country he knew well, with the British Salonika Forces. He was present on the Bulgarian Front when the British, French, Greek and Serb Allies pushed up into a defeated Austria.

Demobilised – 10th March 1919.

Medals Awarded: Victory, British War and 1915 Star + awarded the Greek Order of the Saviour (Order of the Redeemer 5th Class Chevalier).

Mentioned in Despatches.

Stanley’s First World War medals were sent to his home at New College, Oxford.


Rupert Brooke  “If I should die, think only this of me: That there’s some corner of a foreign field. That is forever England.”

Rupert like most poets of his generation spent the years between his graduation from Cambridge in 1909 to the start of the First World War travelling and writing on the themes of love and nature. He was talented, charming and handsome. On the 15th September 1914, Rupert applied for a commission in The Royal Naval Division. In October 1914, Rupert was in Antwerp. In February 1915, he was part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force sent to Gallipoli. Just 8 weeks later, on St. George’s Day, he died from Sepsis on a hospital ship anchored at Tris Boukes Bay, after being bittern on the upper lip from an infected mosquito. With little time to arrange a fitting funeral and tribute for the talented English poet known for his war sonnets. His fellow officers buried him that night with a simply ceremony, in a tranqil and beautiful olive grove where the troops had rested during manoeuvers earlier that day. They marked the grave with a stone cairn, and a wooden cross inscribed in Greek with the words:-

“Here lies the servant of God, Sub-lieutenant in the English Navy,
who died for the deliverance of Constantinople from the Turks.”

Rupert’s mother, commissioned Georgios Bonanosto to sculpt a marble tomb to be placed over the grave of her son.

Stanley was working with the British School of Archaeology in Athens after the First World War. He was asked by a friend at the British Legation to organise, supervise and oversee the construction of the two and a half tons of sculptured marble and iron railings. The logistics of the operation did not daunt Stanley, and in April 1920, he landed on the island of Skyros and set about to transport the seven plus crates of marble from the newly built jetty, and to hew a path through the goat track to the olive grove. Three weeks later Stanley oversaw the completion of the laying of the marble tomb over Rupert’s grave. Which was consecrated by the head of the St. George monastery.

Stanley arranged for the original wooden cross that had marked Rupert’s grave to be sent back to the Brooke’s family in Rugby.

The marble tomb can still be seen today on the island of Skyros, overlooking Tris Boukes Bay. Inscribed on the grave is Rupert’s most famous poem ‘The Soldier.’


Rank: Lieutenant Colonel; Service Number: 98094.

Regiment: Intelligence Corps, Special Operations Executive.


Grave Reference:

  1. of E. 684.

Newquay Fairpark Cemetery,

St. Columb Minor,



Relatives Notified & Address: Son of William Augustus & Kate Elizabeth Casson; husband of Nora Elizabeth Joan Casson, of Kensington, London.




1891   22, Addison Road, Chiswick, Middlesex.


Stanley was a year old and living with his parents & sister.

William Augustus Casson, 37, a Civil Clerk 1st Division C.S. Local Government Board, born Hornsey, Middlesex.

Kate Elizabeth Casson (nee Peake), 26, born Hackney, London.

Ethel Kate Casson, 6, born Islington, Middlesex.

1 governess – French teacher.

1 kitchenmaid.


1901   16, Burlington Road, Ipswich.


Stanley was 11 years old and living with his parents & sister.

William, 47, a Civil District Auditor – Local Government  Board & Barrister.

Kate, 35.

Ethel, 16.

1 cook

1 nursemaid.


1911   2, Spring Terrace, Richmond, Surrey.


Stanley was 21 years old, a Student of Law. He was living with his parents & sister.

William, 57, a Civil Service Pensioner & Barrister.

Kate, 46.

Ethel, 26.

1 cook.

1 housemaid.


Stanley’s father, William Augustus Casson, died July 1924, 8, Bedford Road, Chiswick, Middlesex. William had written many books at the beginning of the 20th Century, explaining Parish Administration and Local Government acts, including, Education Acts and the Old Age Pension Act. He was a member of the Progressive Party. And also a Freemason at the United Grand Lodge of England. He joined the St. Mary Abbott’s Lodge in 1912, as a Barrister, of Essex Court, E.C. He resigned on the 31st December 1917.


Stanley attended Ipswich School – entered 1898, and the Merchant Taylors’ School, London – entered 1902 – 1908, at the school Stanley was both sporty and academic. His parents were recorded as residing at 176, Goldhurst Terrace, N.W.  In 1909 he continued his education at Lincoln College, Oxford. After his degree he held a senior scholarship at St. John’s studying Classics, and a studentship offered by the British School of Archeology at Athens. The school had undertaken the project of a new catalogue of the Acropolis, to be prepared by the students. Guy Dickins of New College undertook to edit the first volume. Stanley the second. After the First World War Stanley’s academic career at Oxford was distinguished, he was a dedicated Hellene, and spoke Greek fluently. He was a respected scholar and writer, Stanley was top of his field, a man of action and adventure.


In 1924, London, Stanley married Nora Elizabeth Joan Ruddle, born August 1900, Langham, Rutland. They had 1 daughter.


Stanley had many books published on the subjects of Ancient Greece, sculptors and artists, and Hellenic studies. In 1935, Stanley wrote a personal and knowledgeable account of the campaign in his book published by G. Bell, of London, titled ‘Steady Drummer.’ In the memoir Stanley describes events and convincingly argues that the Balkan Front was in fact decisive for the eventual Allied victory.

In 1935, Stanley wrote a personal and knowledgeable account of the campaign in his book published by G.Bell, of London, titled ‘Steady Drummer.’ In the memoir Stanley describes events and convincingly argues that the Balkan Front was in fact decisive for the eventual Allied victory.

In 1938, he wrote a murder mystery “Murder by Burial” published by Hamish Hamilton.

In 2001, twenty one of Stanley’s poems from his time in the trenches were published, with permission from his daughter Lady MacLellan. Titled “Poems from the Great War” – Napier University, Edinburgh,  2001.


Stanley is also remembered on the Ipswich School Chapel war memorial.


Merchant Taylors’ School, London information courtesy of Sally Gilbert – archivist.

Monuments Men

In 1941, a conference was held at the British Embassy in Athens to discuss the protection of cultural monuments and antiqities in Greece. Lieutenant Colonel Sir Leonard Woolley, Archaeology Advisor to the War Office recommended Stanley with his extensive knowledge of Greek history and their culture to be appointed head of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives operations in the Balkans. On the 17th April 1944, Stanley departed England for Cairo, Egypt.

17th April 1944

Aircraft: Vickers Warwick a C1 transport version; serial number: BV 247, of 525 Squadron, a transport squadron.BV 247 took off from St. Mawgan RAF Station, Cornwall, for a flight to Maison Blanche airport, Algiers, via Gibraltar. The aircraft with a crew of seven and eight passengers was also thought to be carrying secret documents and gold bullion to finance underground organisations.

Approx two and a half miles north east of Newquay, Cornwall, the aircraft exploded in mid-air and crashed into Watergate Bay. All on board were killed.

Crew of BV247:

George William Lamb; Pilot Officer; age 27; R.A.F.

Albert George Tracey Gardiner; Flying Officer/Navigator; age 27; R.A.F.V.R.

Noel Spencer Nicklin; Flying Officer; age 34; R.A.F.V.R.

Michael Kingston Rowe; Flight Sergeant/Pilot; age 22; R.A.F.V.R.

William Godfrey Tiley M.B.E.; Squadron Leader; age 34; R.A.F. – over 17 years service.

Harold Calven Austen; Flying Officer/Wireless Operator/Air Gunner; age 26; R.C.A.F.

Arthur Douglas Gavel; Flying Officer; age 23; R.C.A.F.


Passengers on BV247

Ivor Watkins Brits, age 34, Lieutenant Colonel – Royal Artilery.

Viscount Carlow George Lionel Seymour Dawson Damer, age 36, Air Commodore – Auxiliary Air Force

Edmund Gójski, age 44, Kapitan – Headquarters Staff, Polish Forces.

Król Józef, Kapral, Senior Chaplin.(Images and more information)

Stephen Mate (using the surname Maitland), 33, Lieutenant – General List.(Images and more information)

Thomas Percival Ward (Jimmy), 36, Doctor/Major – Royal Army Medical Corps.

Roger Archille Albert Baudouin, 47.

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