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Stanley Laird (1894-1971)

Jarrow born awarded Military Medal for actions at Marquion and Canal de la Sensee fighting with CEF

The only son of Whitehaven born ship’s coal trimmer George Henry Laird and his local wife Hannah Jane, Stanley was born in Jarrow on 31st December 1894. He remained living in the same house in Suffolk Street with his parents and three sisters until leaving for Canada in March 1913. He sailed from Liverpool to Nova Scotia with his parents, three sisters and his cousin Matthew. They made for Victoria, British Columbia, where they settled in Chambers Street and Stanley found work as a store clerk and occasional teamster.

On 25th November 1916 he enlisted with the 19th Company, Canadian Army Service Corps(CASC) in Victoria as Private 200114. At the start of the new year he was posted to the 1st CASC Training Depot in Winnipeg, where he was assigned to the 8th Reinforcement Draft.

By 6th February 1917 Stanley was in Liverpool on his way to camp at Seaford, Sussex. After just six weeks there he was granted leave with free travel warrants, as he was again at the end of September.

January 1918 saw Private Laird ill with tonsillitis and he was admitted to 14th General Hospital at Eastbourne. On his discharge from hospital he was posted to the 1st Reserve Battalion at Seaford. Two months later he was posted to the 7th (British Columbia) Regiment, 2nd Infantry Brigade, 1st Canadian Division. He joined his new battalion on 20th April at Maroeuil in Northern France.

Wounded twice during the assault on the Drocourt-Queant Line: once on 7th October, when he remained on duty, and then again on 12th October when he was shot in the left arm and head at Canal de la Sensee. Invalided to England a week later on HS Panama, Stanley was admitted to 5th Southern General Hospital, Portsmouth where he remained for ten days before being transferred to Woodcote Park, Epsom for convalescence.

On 9th November 1918 it was announced that he had been awarded a Military Medal for actions at Marquion and Canal de la Sensee , and the next day he was discharged to duty as fit and granted ten days sick furlough.

Posted temporarily to the 1st Reserve Battalion at Seaford, Stanley Laird returned to Canada on board the SS Empress of Asia, which sailed through the Panama Canal and arrived in Vancouver on 25th January 1919, where he was demobilised ten days later.

Stanley found work as a steward with one of the steamship companies operating on the British Columbia (BC) coast and the 1921 Canadian census shows him on Queen Charlotte Islands .

On 19th November 1927 Stanley married Eileen Avis Morris at the First Baptist Church, Victoria BC, with his cousin Alexander Laird acting as best man. The couple spent three months with Stanley’s parents in Long Beach, California and then returned to live in Victoria, but returned to Long Beach at the end of May 1930.

By 1940 Stanley was working as a chauffeur in Los Angeles; he became a naturalised citizen and registered for the US Army Draft in April 1942.

Stanley Laird died on 3rd October 1971 in Long Beach, Los Angeles, California.

Civil Parish: Jarrow

Birth date: 31-Dec-1894

Death date: 03-Oct-1971

Armed force/civilian: Army

Residence: 4 Suffolk Street, Jarrow (1901 census)
1411 Chambers Street, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (enlistment papers)
1122 Johnston Street, Victoria, British Columbia (1921 Canadian census)
1124 Hellman Street, Long beach, California (1930 US census)
930 Orlando Road, San Gabriel, Los Angeles, California (1940 US census)
724 East Esther Street, Long Beach, California (death certificate)

Religion: Presbyterian

Employment: Draper’s apprentice (1911 census), Store clerk and teamster (enlistment papers), Ship’s steward (1921 Canadian census,
Chauffeur (1940 US census)

Family: Parents: George Henry Laird, Hannah Jane Laird (nee Bell)
Siblings: Edith Laird, Ruth Laird, Gladys Laird
Wife: Eileen Avis Laird (nee Morris)

Military service:

Pre-war Service: Canadian Army Service Corps
7th (British Columbia) Regiment Canadian Expeditionary Force

Medal(s): Military Medal
British War Medal
Victory Medal

Gender: Male

Contributed by Jean Longstaff, Durham | Jim Busby, Canada

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