Stan (christened Stanley but always called Stan) was born in Heavily, Stockport in July 1922. He was an only child and his parents owned a local sweet shop. He left school at the age of 14 and his first job was as an apprentice barber. As a boy he had joined 284 ATC Squadron, based in Cheadle, since local lads were encouraged to join. When he was 18 (in July 1940) his call-up papers arrived – but his mother hid them from him because she didn’t want him to go, and she only let him have them at the last minute. Because of his membership in the ATC he was signed up in the RAF where he trained as a Radio Operator at RAF Cranwell. His role was on ground crew in the UK, receiving and transmitting signals to the airplanes, but later he served in Belgium, Holland, Germany and France.
He told the story of how, whilst based near Hamburg he and some friends ‘acquired’ the flag belonging to a local Football Club (Quickborn) ‘for a laugh’ and he brought it back to England. Years later, in the 1970s, and wanting to put his prank right Stan revisited to Hannover to return their flag. The German people made him a guest of honour presenting him with a plaque of Hamburg at a special Reception and writing up the event in the local paper.
When Stan returned to Stockport, after the war, he returned to his old job as a hairdresser, and then became a security guard for a boilermaker’s company and ended his working life as a Trade Union representative for the GMWU (General and Municipal Workers Union).
In retirement his hobbies were stamp collecting and photography. He enjoyed playing golf and was a member of Fairfield Golf Club initially and latterly Marple where he scored a hole in one at the 10th hole and received a Club tie for his achievement! Unfortunately, Stan had to give up his golf due to his failing eyesight. From then on he threw himself into various organisations, including The Cheshire, the RAFA, The Normandy Veterans Association and the Royal British Legion. He gave a lot of his time for Poppy Day - each November his house was deluged with poppy boxes. He was still collecting in the last year of his life at the age of 82. He loved going to the Normandy Veterans meetings and particularly pilgrimages to Normandy where, on one occasion he got lost and was the only one of the group to see the Bayeux Tapestry.
As his eyesight deteriorated he attended the local Blind/Deaf Centre where he learnt Braille, and then Moon. He was diagnosed with leukaemia shortly before a trip to Blackpool with the Stockport veterans in early December 2004 but was able to enjoy Christmas before passing away peacefully on 6th January.
The Stockport NVA have a local connection with a wartime airfield (named B3) located at St Croix sur Mar, near Juno beach, and Stan’s ashes were scattered there during a pilgrimage by the Stockport veterans in June 2005. On a sunny day the former airfield looks lush and green, but commemorations in June have been wet, windy, cold and all three!