STANLEY VERNON H. THEOBALD

Stanley is remembered on the war memorial at the Y.M.C.A., Ipswich.

 

Born: 1888, Needham Market, Suffolk.

Died: 10th July 1916; age 28; KiA. Served 1 year & 303 days.

Residence: High Street, Needham Market, Suffolk.

Occupation: a Builder.

Enlistment Date: 12th September 1914; joined at Winchester: 14th September 1914; Age: 26; Occupation: Builder; Religion: Congregationalist. Signed up for the Duration of the War. Height: 5ft 2 3/4ins, dark complexion, hazel eyes & brown hair.

 

Service:

Home: 12th September 1914 – 29th July 1915.

France: 30th July 1915 – 10th July 1916.

 

Appointed Acting Corporal – 17th January 1916 – in the field.

 

Rank: Acting Corporal; Service Number: Z/2806.

Regiment: Rifle Brigade, 13th Battalion.

 

Medals Awarded: Victory, British War & 1915 Star.

 

Memorial Reference:

Pier & Face 16B & 16C.

Thiepval Memorial,

Somme,

France.

 

Relatives Notified & Address: Son of Thomas & Eleanor Theobald, of Needham Market, Suffolk.

 

CENSUS

 

1891   High Street, Needham Market, Suffolk.

 

Stanley was 3 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

Thomas Theobald, 30, a Builder – employer, born Needham Market.

Eleanor Maria Theobald (nee Haywood), 32, born Wetheringsett-cum-Brockford, Suffolk.

Muriel Grace Theobald, 4, born Needham Market.

Raymond Arthur Theobald, 2, born Needham Market.

1 boarder.

 

1901   High Street, Needham Market, Suffolk.

 

Stanley was 13 years old and living with his parents & siblings.

Thomas, 40, a Builder.

Eleanor, 42.

Muriel, 14, a School Teacher Assistant.

Raymond, 12.

Eric Lacey Theobald, 8, born Needham Market.

Edna Olive Alice Theobald, 5, born Needham Market.

Ivor Harold William Theobald, 2, born Needham Market.

 

1911   High Street, Needham Market, Suffolk.

 

Stanley was 23 years old, a Carpenter. He was living with his parents & siblings.

Thomas, 50, a Builder – Manager.

Eleanor, 52.

Muriel, 24, an Assistant Teacher – Ipswich Education Authority.

Eric, 18, an Assistant Clothier.

Edna, 15.

Ivor, 12.

1 visitor.

 

Stanley was a member of the Boys’ Brigade, to extend Christ’s Kingdom among boys was the sacred aim of his life, and for a long period the Y.M.C.A. assistant secretary. He did well, and was a regular player in both the cricket and hockey teams.

 

Thomas Theobald received his late son’s 1915 Star – 5th March 1920, the British War medal 26th January 1921, and the Victory medal on the 30th June 1921.

 

Soldiers’ Effects to Thomas Theobald – father.

Stowmarket Post – Thursday, 3rd August 1916

On the evening of Sunday, 30th July 1916, a memorial service was held at the Congregational Church, where Stanley worshipped, and of which church he was a consistent member. The Stowmarket Boys’ Brigade, under Captain Thomas Arthur Harwood, came over and united with the local Boys’ Brigade. The service was conducted by the Reverend Thomas Simon, Congregational Minister of Stowmarket, a personal friend of the deceased. The sermon was based upon II, Timothy, i, 10. The Rev., gentleman said that the text contained great and illuminating words. Two questions might be asked: (1) What had Christ done in relation to death and immortality? (2) How was it accomplished? Many beliefs had passed away, and were now enshrined in the history of the past. Jewish customs and sacrifices, and much that was considered sacred, were abolished by Christ. Many changes have been made in religious life. Superstition had given place to right thinking. Death today is very rampant, and one fears to read the casualty lists. Hardly a home has not a vacant chair. The ancients look upon death as a final extinction, but Christ explained that it was but a translation to a happier and more progressive and expansive sphere. The creation of immortality was not performed by Jesus. He simply was the revealer, shedding light by the Gospel (Good News) into the minds of men. Christ’s resurrection was sufficient evidence that man would exist, after his body had been consigned to the grave. He would pass away from the mortal tent, ragged and subject to decay, to a grand immortal stationary Temple of incorruption.

 

The Rev. Mr Simon then read the following letter from the late Pastor, the Rev. R.N. Davies:
My dear Friends – I feel that I should not like the memorial service to my dear friend, Mr Stanley Theobald, to pass without writing a few words of tribute to his character. I admired him very much. During my ministry in Needham I was brought into closest fellowship with him. In Christian work, in social life, in athletics and recreations, we were thrown much into each others company. I do not think that I knew any young man in my church so well as I knew Stanley. We were good chums, and confided in, and understood each other. Today I feel proud in counting him among the few friends whose adoption I have tried, and whom I have grappled to my soul with hasps of steel. To me life is poorer for having lost such a friend. I had looked forward to the stronger consolidation of our friendship in the years to come. But death has suddenly intervened, and has snapped the earthly ties that bound our hearts together. I shall always associate Stanley with the Boys’ Brigade. He was the life and soul of our company. To extend Christ’s Kingdom among boys was the sacred aim of his life. He concentrated his energies and efforts on his work. ‘This one thing I do.’ It was largely due to his enthusiasm that my interest in this fine movement was thoroughly awakened. I feel that I would be doing injustice to the memory of Stanley if ever I neglected in my future ministry the work among the boys of my church. I remember his grit and perseverance in facing many discouragements and disappointments in this work. I remember the patience he showed in drilling the boys in the schoolroom on Monday nights in winter time, and his conscientious preparation for the talks he gave them in the Bible Class. He was a gifted speaker, and the addresses he delivered to the class were of a high order, and of unusual ability. I am sure that those Bible talks will live in the memory of the boys who heard them. When he studied with them the life of David Livingstone, he did not know that within a few years he would, too, like the great heroic missionary and explorer, be climbing ‘the steep ascent of Heaven through peril, toil and pain.’ Like Livingstone, he has died ‘right mightily’ for an ideal. He was among the first to respond to the call of his King and country. But it was not patriotism, pure and simple, that prompted him to enlist. His Christian conscience bade him take the step that he did. He hated war – the thought of taking the life of another was abhorrent to him. Yet he felt that under the existing circumstances it was his duty to do his part in defending those precious Christian principles of liberty and right that were threatened by the German armies. As a soldier he lived a consistent Christian life, and gained the respect and love of his comrades. He had healthy and noble ideas about the Christian religion. He hated cant and namby-pambyism. He was out for a strong and virile religion that could appeal to the most heroic qualities in a man. He did not wear religion ‘on his sleeve.’ He was rather reticent in talking or in writing on religious themes, but those who were allowed to share the secrets of his soul knew that beneath his beautiful pure humour glowed a deep love for Christ and His cause on earth. I treasure the letters that he wrote me from the training camps in England, and from the shell swept trenches of France. He did not complain or murmur at his lot and we must remember that last winter in the trenches he went through many severe hardships. But it was not of these he wrote. He was always thinking of the boys in the brigade and what rejoiced his heart was the news he heard from time to time of the splendid progress that was going on in the drills and Bible Class of the company in the home church. Our departed friend has laid down his life for a noble cause. In losing his life he has gained it in richer and fuller measure. Death has not destroyed his personality. It has but translated him into a higher sphere of existence. For this present he has been separated from us in the flesh, but not in the spirit. We hope if we are as worthy as he has proved himself to be in his life and death to renew our broken fellowship in a world that is far removed from the din and strife of earth where peace reigns and joy abounds, and where God is all in all. To the Church of which he was such a faithful and devoted worker, to the boys and officers of the Brigade who have lost their captain, to all his bereaved relatives, I extend my most heartfelt sympathy, and I commend you all to the comfort and care of our Heavenly Father.”

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