Kenora Great War Project

 

Personal Details
Date of BirthOctober 30, 1894
Place of BirthMoose Jaw, Saskatchewan
CountryCanada
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinRev. and Mrs. F.B. Stacey, Chilliwack, British Columbia
Trade / CallingStudent at Law
ReligionMethodist
Service Details
Regimental Number28843
Service Record Link to Service Record
BattalionHowe Battalion
ForceRoyal Naval Division
BranchRoyal Naval Volunteer Reserve
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentValcartier, Quebec
Address at EnlistmentVancouver, British Columbia
Date of EnlistmentSeptember 24, 1914
Age at Enlistment19
Theatre of ServiceDardanelles/Gallipoli
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarNo
Death Details
Date of DeathJune 4, 1915
Age at Death20
Buried AtNo known grave; commemorated on Helles Memorial in Turkey

Stacey, Frank Wendell

Sub-Lieutenant Frank Wendell Stacey enlisted in the 16th Battalion in September 1914 and a few months later he received a commission in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He was killed at Gallipoli in June 1915.

Wendell was the son of Reverend Frank Bainard Stacey and Susanna Johnson Fish of Chilliwack, British Columbia. Rev. Stacey was born in 1859 near St. Thomas, Ontario and he grew up on a farm in that area. He entered the Methodist ministry at age 19 then attended university and was ordained in 1885. His wife was born in Newtonbrook, York County, Ontario and they were married in Newtonbrook in 1885. Under the Methodist itinerant system Rev. Stacey and his wife served in southwestern, Ontario, including London; Prince Albert and Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan (the Northwest Territories at the time); Rat Portage (now Kenora), in northwestern Ontario; and Crystal City and Portage la Prairie, Manitoba.

Their daughter Helen Emma was born in 1886 in London and she was followed by five sons: George Nelles (1888, Wanstead, Lambton County, Ontario), Herbert Chambers (1889, Middlesex County, Ontario), Charles Arthur (1891, Saskatchewan, died at age two), Frank Wendell (30 October 1894, Moose Jaw) and Leonard Brown (1900, Rat Portage). Around 1910 Rev. Stacey retired for health reasons and he and his wife settled in Chilliwack, British Columbia, where he purchased land and began growing fruit. He became a well-known horticulturalist and he was also very involved in marketing local produce. He was active in federal politics, serving in the House of Commons, and he and his wife were Charter members of the Chilliwack branch of the Red Cross when it was formed in 1928.

Wendell attended King Edward High School in Vancouver and graduated in 1912. Afterwards he spent six months in Australia and New Zealand with the High School cadets. When he returned to Vancouver he studied law with the firm of Killam and Beck and he was with them when the war started. Wendell and his brother Herbert were early volunteers, signing up with their local militia then heading to Valcartier, Quebec, where the first Canadian contingent was being assembled. Frank enlisted in Valcartier on 24 September 1914, joining the 16th Battalion. The Canadian contingent embarked for Great Britain in early October and spent several months training on Salisbury Plain in southern England.

In January 1915 Wendell received a commission as a Sub-Lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. He was assigned to the Howe Battalion, an infantry unit of land-serving sailors. He was wounded in the leg on 11 May 1915, at the Dardanelles, and he recovered at a hospital in Alexandria, Egypt. By the end of the month he had rejoined his unit at Gallipoli and they were involved in intense fighting over the next few days. The battalion suffered heavy losses on 4 June and Wendell was killed that day during an assault on the Turkish trenches. He was 20 years old. His body was not recovered and his final resting place is unknown.

His brother Herbert Chambers Stacey received a commission in the British army and stayed in Great Britain after the war. He died in Wales in 1966. Their youngest brother Leonard Brown Stacey was commissioned in the Indian Army and served in Mesopotamia. He returned to Canada after the war and passed away in British Columbia in 1971. Their sister married a doctor, Robert Kippen, and died in Manitoba in 1920, at age 34. All four of her sons served in the Second World War: Robert (died in 1945), Duncan, Bruce and Wendell (lost at sea in 1941).

Wendell is commemorated on the Helles Memorial in Turkey, the Chilliwack War Memorial and the Chilliwack United Church Honour Roll. He was also honoured on a plaque that was at Vancouver’s King Edward High School.

By Becky Johnson

Photo at the top is the Helles Memorial in Turkey.


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