FIRST NAMES. Stanley.
UNIT. 2nd Battalion Coldstream Guards.
DOB/AGE 24th March 1917.
DATE OF ENLISTMENT. 1940
OCCUPATION. Claphams .
MARITAL STATUS. Married.
CHILDREN. One. Yvonne
ADDRESS. 16 George Street Redcar.
STATUS. Killed in Action
WHERE BURIED. Minterno Italy.
MEDALS Italy Star, 1939-45 Star, War Medal, Defence Medal.
Stanley Forth was one of seven children of Fred and Ellenor Forth and was born at Manor House Cottages Newsham Thirsk in 1917 and was brother to Flo, twins Annie and Edith Wilf Geoff and Doreen but in the late twenties the family moved to Brompton. Stan attended the local school and on leaving school worked in the curtain department in Claphams Store Northallerton. He often took part in Brompton Whit Monday carnivals.
In 1938 Stan and Gladys were married by the Reverend Baines at Northallerton Parish Church. They moved to Redcar where Stan worked for Roebuck's, a store very similar to Clapham's of Northallerton. In December 1939 Stan and Gladys had a baby girl Yvonne.
The war became part of everyday life and Stanley like many young men of that generation volunteered for the army and in 1940 joined the Coldstream Guards. In 1943 he sailed with the 2nd Battalion of the Coldstream Guards to North Africa where shortly after arriving he was promoted to corporal and by the time of the Italian campaign he had been promoted to sergeant. Stan wrote scores of letters home to his wife and to his parents describing how hot it was and how he longed to be back home in Blighty. In one letter written in late 1943 he looked forward to the war ending in 1944. Such was the optimism of the troops and such was the scant information of the war's progress in battle zones.
On January 22nd 1944 the VI Corps under the American General Lucas landed at Anzio on the west coast of Italy to attack the Germans at their defensive rear positions. An attack was launched at Cassino some days previously to divert Axis forces from Anzio but this was only partially successful. There was an extremely slow build up on the beach-heads due in part to lack of decision by General Lucas to drive inland. This delay allowed the Germans to bring divisions of armour and troops into the area where they almost succeeded in pushing the invading forces back into the sea. The Allied soldiers defended doggedly and held on for four months until Cassino had been captured and forces could be sent to relieve them The losses suffered by the British and American soldiers were horrendous and it was during those costly battles defending the beach-head that Stanley Forth was killed by a shell splinter.
After his death his wife Gladys was invited to the memorial service of those Guardsmen killed at Anzio at the Guards Chapel in London, but with the wartime restrictions and the great distance involved, to her great sadness she could not attend. Stanley's Mother wrote these moving words after hearing of the death of her son.
Memories grow sweeter as years travel on
Longing for faces and smiles that have gone,
We think of his ways and think of his smile
And say he's not gone, but just lost for a while.
Stanley was awarded the: 1939-45 Star Italy Star Defence Medal War Medal.
Sgt Stanley Forth lies buried in a Commonwealth War Grave at Minterno Italy. He is also remembered on the Lych Gate War Memorial Brompton and in the Guards Chapel London.
Stanley was aged 27 years.