Kenora Great War Project


Personal Details
Place of BirthMarylebone, London
Marital StatusSingle
Next of KinSamuel Green (brother-in-law), Tredegar Road, Bow, East London, England
Trade / CallingFarm labourer
Service Details
Regimental Number150368
Service RecordLink to Service Record
Battalion79th Battalion
ForceCanadian Expeditionary Force
BranchCanadian Infantry
Enlisted / ConscriptedEnlisted
Place of EnlistmentBrandon, Manitoba
Address at EnlistmentBrandon, Manitoba
Date of EnlistmentNovember 15, 1915
Age at Enlistment36
Theatre of ServiceEurope
Prisoner of WarNo
Survived WarYes
Death Details
Date of DeathDecember 18, 1950
Age at Death71
Buried AtBrookside Cemetery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Ellerby, Stanley John

Private Stanley John Ellerby enlisted in November 1915 and served for more than three years in Canada, Great Britain, France and Belgium. He returned to Canada in February 1919.

Stanley was the youngest child of George Ellerby and Hannah Axford of Marylebone, London, England. George and Hannah were married in 1871 and they had at least four children: George Herbert (1873), Harold James (1876), Beatrice Mary (1877) and Stanley John (21 June 1879). All of the children were born in Marylebone. George was a commercial clerk and Hannah was a dressmaker employing several assistants. When the 1881 census was taken George and Hannah were living in Marylebone with only one child at home, Harold James. Their household included a cook, a housemaid and five dressmaker’s assistants. At the time Stanley was a nurse child at a home in Hounslow, London, George Herbert was a student at a boarding school, and Beatrice was listed as a visitor with a couple living in Brighton, Sussex.

Stanley’s father passed away in 1885 and his mother in 1896. At the time of the 1901 census Stanley was living in North Paddington, London and working as a porter for a green grocer. His brother Harold had immigrated to New Zealand in 1900 and Stanley immigrated to Canada in the spring of 1907, arriving in Halifax on 26 March on the SS Vancouver. His occupation was grocer and he intended to be a farm labourer. When the 1911 census was taken he was working on a farm and lodging in Brandon, Manitoba.

Stanley enlisted in Brandon on 15 November 1915, a few months after the war entered its second year. He was farm labourer, born in London, England and next of kin was his brother-in-law Samuel Green in Bow, East London. He also listed his brother George Herbert Ellerby in Fulham, London as a contact. Stanley signed up with the 79th Battalion, which was based in Brandon and recruited mainly in Manitoba but a number of men from Kenora, Ontario also joined the unit. The battalion left Brandon on 19 April 1916 aboard two large trains and they stopped in Kenora early the next morning, to pick up the local volunteers. A large crowd gathered at the train station to see the lads off. Just four days later they were on their way to England, embarking from Halifax on 24 April on the SS Lapland and arriving on 5 May.

In July 1916 Stanley was transferred to the 17th Battalion and in August he was drafted to a front line unit, the 43rd Battalion, and sent to France. He joined his unit in the field in mid-September, during the Somme Offensive. Two weeks later he was admitted to a field ambulance and diagnosed with general debility. He also had a minor foot deformity that made it difficult for him to march. He was posted to Canadian Base Details. At the end of October he was classified as permanent base and returned to England.

In February 1917 Stanley was assigned to the 2nd Canadian Labour Battalion and sent back to France. Labour battalions worked mostly on railway construction and employed men unfit for front line service. In November 1917 Stanley was transferred to the 1st Canadian Labour Battalion and in February 1918 he had two weeks leave in the UK. Shortly after he returned his unit was redesignated as the 1st Canadian Infantry Works Company. The troops worked on road and bridge construction, road maintenance and the grading of railways. In mid-September he was transferred to the 3rd Canadian Infantry Works Company.

Stanley returned to England in November 1918, a few weeks after the Armistice. He sailed for Canada on the SS Carmania on 1 February 1919, arriving via New York about a week later. He was discharged in Winnipeg on 17 March. His brother Harold James Ellerby enlisted in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force on 12 January 1915 and served in Samoa. He was transferred to the New Zealand Reserve in December 1917 in order to be employed by the Civil Administration of Samoa. Sadly he died in a boating accident in July 1919. He was on the motorboat “Loline” going from Apia to Savaii when it capsized in heavy waves, resulting in 18 people drowning including Harold.

After the war Stanley lived at the YMCA in Brandon, then in the village of Kemnay, about 10 km west of Brandon. By the early 1920s he had moved to Kenora, Ontario and by 1940 he was retired and a pensioner. He returned to Winnipeg in his later years and passed away in Deer Lodge Hospital on 18 December 1950, at age 71. His funeral was held two days later and he’s buried in the military section at Brookside Cemetery. He was survived by his sister Beatrice, who still lived in London, England.

By Becky Johnson

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