Stanley Ralph Appleby was born on the 14th September 1889 at Berkhamsted.
His parents were Richard and Ada Appleby and he was one of six children. His father had been appointed as a Police Constable on 7th September 1880 in the Luton Borough Police and in the census of 1881 the family is found to be living at 39, Buxton Road, Luton. Their first child, also named Richard, died as an infant the same year.
By 1883, when their second child Eva was born at Flamstead, Richard had transferred to the Herts County Constabulary and become Constable 35. His career path can almost be followed by the birth of his children. Henry was born in 1885 in Wiggington and Florence in 1888 in Berkhamsted followed by Stanley. The sixth child was born and died prior to the 1911 census and may have been still born as no record of it has been found.
In the 1891 census the family are shown as living at High Street, Markyate but by 29th December 1895 they were living at Baldock where Stanley was baptised. On 19th June 1896, as reported in the local press, now Sergeant Richard Appleby, stationed at Baldock, gave evidence in a case of arson.
On 29th September 1899 it is recorded that Stanley had been registered at St Mary’s Church of England School in Ware and the family were now living at 5, Gladstone Road, Ware. They were still at that address at the time of the census on 31st March 1901. However, by 23rd April 1901 it is recorded that Ralph had been registered at the Beechen Road Board School in Watford and the family were living at 41, Souldern Street, Watford.
On 28th September 1905 Richard Appleby retired on pension after 25 years Police Service. In the 1911 census he and Ada and their daughter Florence are living at Aldenham Road, Bushey and his occupation was given as both Police Pensioner and a Caretaker at the Colne Valley Waterworks, Bushey.
In the 1910 Electoral Roll Stanley was recorded as living in an Attendant’s Room at the Hertfordshire County Asylum, Hill End, St Albans. He was still there for the 1911 census and shown as an Asylum Attendant. Another member of staff there was an Arthur Albert Anderson. The 1912 Electoral Roll again shows Stanley as living at the Asylum.
Stanley’s Police Service Record has not survived but the following is known from the archives. On 25th September 1912 he was Appointed to the Police as Constable 101E and in all probability he was stationed at Hitchin as this is where he later enlisted. Arthur Albert Anderson was Appointed the same day as Constable 284 and from his Service Record we know that he had started his Probationers Training at Police Headquarters, Hatfield on 28th May 1912 so it is quite certain that Stanley would have done so as well.
General Order 98 of 9th June 1915 was entitled:
“The Police Constable (Naval and Military Service) Act 1914 Police (Emergency Provisions) Act 1915.”
The undermentioned Police Constable’s being desirous in enlisting in H.M. Army for the period of the War, the Deputy Chief Constable hereby gives the necessary consent, as required by the above Acts:
1. PC 10 Elkins E. A Division
2. PC 120 Day A.T. B Division
3. PC 285 Sirett B Division
4. PC 319 Potter C. C Division
5. PC 133 Mansfield A. C Division
6. PC 145 Abbiss F.W. C Division
7. PC 84 Manton W.E. C Division
8. PC 313 Quarrie H.H. C Division
9. PC 301 Allen G.A. C Division
10. PC 217 Lake O. C Division
11. PC 308 Clarke F. C Division
12. PC 101 Appleby S.R. E Division
13. PC 310 Tatham G. F Division
14. PC 315 Thurley W.J. F Division
15. PC 305 Archer G. F Division
16. PC 93 Potton F. G Division
17. PC 274 Rowlingson H. G Division
18. PC 321 Reid N. G Division
The Constables will be permitted to join the Army at once and will paid up to and including the date prior to that on which they commence to draw Army pay.
The Superintendents concerned will report to Headquarters the date on which the Constables are enlisted in the Army, and the Constables will be struck off the strength of the establishment of the Force as from that date.
General Order 118 of 21st July 1915 is a list of 96 officers which included the Chief Constable who joined the armed forces. 43 Constables who were Army reservists who were recalled and 50 Constables and 2 Sergeants who volunteered. Stanley is shown as PC 101 Appleby S.R. E Division and having enlisted in the Grenadier Guards on 11th June 1915.
His Army Service Record has not survived, however, his Medal Roll Index Card and Medal Roll show he served in the Coldstream Guards as Private 16314 and not the Grenadier Guards. Whether this is an administrative error or he was transferred has not been ascertained. There is no date or place recorded for his entry to a theatre of war, but he clearly served on the Western Front. He was later posthumously awarded the Victory and British War Medals.
On 30th October 1916 Lance Corporal 16314 S.R. Appleby Coldstream Guards from Bushey, was listed as “Wounded” on the Casualty List issued by the War Office and was entitled to wear a “Wound Stripe” as authorised under Army Order 204 of 6th July 1916. The terms of this award being met by being named in this list. The extent of his wound is unknown but he had clearly recovered from it and re-joined his Regiment.
Stanley’s record in “Soldiers Died in the Great War” shows: Lance Corporal 16314 Coldstream Guards, born at Berkhampstead, living at Bushey, having enlisted at Hitchin. He was killed in action on 14th March 1917 whilst serving in France and Flanders.
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission shows: Lance Corporal S.R. Appleby 16314, 2nd Battalion, Coldstream Guards who died on 14th March 1917 and is Remembered with Honour at Sailly-Saillisel British Cemetery.
The Army Registers of Soldiers’ Effects records that Lance Corporal 16314 Stanley Ralph Appleby was in the 3rd Battalion Coldstream Guards when he was killed in action in France on 14th March 1917. He had authorised his effects to be sent to his father.
General Order 76 of 28th August 1917 stated:
The Deputy Chief Constable regrets to announce that the following deaths have occurred
1. Gunner 205985 Alban Henry Freeman R.H.A. died at Woolwich on 7th March 1917. Gunner Freeman joined the Hertford County Constabulary as a Constable on the 10th August 1914 and enlisted in H. M. Army on 1st February 1917.
2. Corporal 16314 Stanley Ralph Appleby Coldstream Guards Killed in Action 14th March 1917. Corporal Appleby joined the Hertford County Constabulary on 25th September 1912 and enlisted in H. M. Army on 11th June 1915.
3. Trooper 2546 George Archer Herts Yeomanry died at Alexandria on 20th July 1917. Trooper Archer joined the Hertford County Constabulary as a Constable on 1st December 1914 and enlisted in H. M. Army on 17th June 1915.
Stanley’s name is recorded on the Bushey War Memorial.