|Date of Birth||September 7, 1898|
|Place of Birth||Kenora, Ontario|
|Next of Kin||Mrs. Belona Crock (mother), 377 Provencher, St. Boniface, Manitoba|
|Trade / Calling||Chauffeur|
|Service Record||Link to Service Record|
|Battalion||Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians)|
|Force||Canadian Expeditionary Force|
|Enlisted / Conscripted||Enlisted|
|Place of Enlistment||Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Address at Enlistment||Lord Strathcona's Horse (Royal Canadians), Winnipeg, Manitoba|
|Date of Enlistment||April 11, 1916|
|Age at Enlistment||17|
|Theatre of Service||Europe|
|Prisoner of War||No|
|Date of Death||March 23, 1918|
|Age at Death||19|
|Buried At||No known grave; commemorated on the Vimy Memorial in France|
Trooper Stanley Crock enlisted in May 1916, at age 17, and arrived in France that fall. He was killed in March 1918 at the Battle of St. Quentin when a large shell landed in the middle of his cavalry troop.
Stanley (Stanislas) was the son of Firmin Cyr Crock and Bélona Caron of St. Boniface, Manitoba. Firmin was from New Brunswick and his wife was born in Manitoba. They were married in 1897 in the town of Rat Portage, Ontario. Bélona came from a large family and she had a lot of relatives in the Rat Portage area. Stanley was born in Rat Portage (later called Kenora) on 7 September 1898, the oldest of seven children. His father worked at Mikado Mine on Lake of the Woods for several years and at least one of the children was born there. The Crock family moved to St. Boniface around 1912.
About a year after the war started Stanley joined the Depot Squadron of Lord Strathcona’s Horse in Winnipeg. He officially enlisted with the Strathconas the following spring, on 11 April 1916, when he was 17 years old. He passed himself off as 19 and said he already had more than four years experience with two militia units, the Winnipeg Light Infantry and the 36th Battery Canadian Field Artillery. Just a week after enlisting Stanley was on his way overseas. A letter from a fellow soldier mentioned that the Fort Garry Horse left Winnipeg on 18 April 1916 and met up with the Strathconas and the Canadian Mounted Rifles in Montreal. The units travelled together by train to St. John, New Brunswick. Stanley embarked with the Strathconas on the SS Metagama, leaving from St. John on 23 April which was Easter Sunday. They arrived in England about twelve days later. When the 1916 census was taken in June, Stanley was listed as being overseas and his father was in military service in Winnipeg.
Stanley trained for six months at the Canadian Cavalry Depot in Shorncliffe, Kent. He was sent to France on 21 October 1916 and he joined the Strathconas in the field a short time later. The Strathconas were a mounted regiment, part of the Canadian Cavalry Brigade, although they sometimes served as infantry when needed. That fall they had been at the Battle of the Somme but their part in the offensive was over when Stanley arrived. Early in 1917 they were attached to a pioneer battalion and they spent the next few months in northern France building and repairing roads, digging and wiring trenches, and working on railways.
In May 1917 Stanley spent nine days in the hospital suffering from a respiratory illness. The Strathconas had been in the front lines again that spring, this time in an area south of Vimy where they carried out several raids on German trenches. In October 1917 Stanley had ten days leave in England and in November and December his unit took part in operations at Cambrai (20 November-7 December 1917) with the British Third Army. The winter months were spent training, providing work parties, and carrying out patrols and occasional raids on the enemy lines.
In March 1918 the German Spring Offensive began, their big push aimed at breaking through the Allied lines, and the Strathconas fought in the Battle of St. Quentin as a dismounted infantry unit. The assault began on the morning of 21 March and the Strathconas were brought in on 23 March. Stanley was killed in action that day when a large artillery shell exploded very close to him. He was in ‘B’ Squadron which had been positioned along the eastern edge of Frieres Wood. The Squadron was ‘heavily shelled while up on the eastern face of the wood. One big shell had landed fairly in the middle of 1st Troop, killing three outright and wounding four others. Killed were Corporal T.W. Hooper and Privates W. McFarlene and S. Crock.’ (Captain S.H. Williams, Stand to your Horses: Through the First Great War 1914-1918 with Lord Strathcona’s Horse (Royal Canadians) (Winnipeg, 1961), p. 187)
Stanley’s final resting place is unknown. He is commemorated on the Roll of Honour for Lord Strathcona’s Horse and on the Vimy Memorial in France. The memorial bears the names of 11,000 Canadians who died in France and have no known grave.
Stanley’s father passed away in Winnipeg in 1932. His mother Bélona died in 1951 and she’s buried in Lake of the Woods Cemetery in Kenora.
By Becky Johnson