2nd Lieutenant William Stanley Mansell

Date of Birth 25 September 1896
Age at Death 20
Date of Death 11 September 1917
Service Number
Military Service No 1 Squadron Royal Flying Corps
Merton Address 171 Kingston Road, Wimbledon
Local Memorial Rutlish School, Merton

Additional Information

William Stanley who was born on the 25th September 1896, he was the youngest son of Walter and Alice Maud

His parents, who were Walter and Alice Mary Mansell, resided at 87 Kingston Road. His baptism certificate reveals that Walter’s occupation was a butcher by trade.
The 1901 Census reveals that the family still reside in Wimbledon. The 45 year old Walter was still employed as a butcher. The 35 year old Alice Mary had given birth to 6 children. 22 year old Clara was employed as a baker’s assistant. The family employed Elizabeth Alliston as a general domestic servant.

The 1911 Census reveals that the 50 year old Walter was the employer with his wife 45 year old Alice Maud assisted in the business. The couple had been married for a total of 22 years. Their last child William Stanley was still at school at the time of the Census. The family employed a 17 year old servant called Caroline Harris
Walter Mansell died in August 1915 and was buried in Merton, Surrey. A year later his youngest son, William, was attached to the Royal Flying Corps. His first air combat took place on 21 July 1916 whilst flying an F E 2b (4267) with 22 Squadron. At 10am, he and pilot Second Lieutenant E G A Bowen, were credited with the destruction of a Roland D over Leuze Wood in the Somme region. After pilot training, William claimed another airborne victory - on 21 July 1917 at 19.50 hours he was flying Nieuport A6680 when he downed an Albatross D V , north of Polygon Wood. During an evening sortie over Houthoulst, Belgium on 21 August, he downed another D V. At 18.50pm on 3 September whilst back flying aircraft B3558, he destroyed a third enemy Albatross above the Belgian town of Gheluwe
Now a flying ace, William destroyed a fifth enemy aircraft over Becelaere during the afternoon of 9 September. Sadly his luck then ran out and on 11 September 1917 he was killed in action, south of Houthem, when his plane crashed after suffering a direct hit from anti-aircraft fire.

William was buried at Pont-du-Hem Military Cemetery, La Gorgue. This area was in German hands from mid-April to mid-September 1918. The Cemetery was begun, in an apple-orchard, in July 1915, and used until April 1918, by fighting units and Field Ambulances; the original burials are in Plots I, II and III, and Rows A and B of Plot IV. In April and May 1918, German burials were made in Plots III and IV. After the Armistice, 426 German graves were removed to other cemeteries; the Portuguese graves of 1917-1918 were removed to the Portuguese cemetery of Richebourg-L'Avoue; and British graves were brought in from the surrounding battlefields and from smaller burial grounds,

William's older brother, Geoffrey enlisted at Wimbledon as a rifleman in The London Irish Rifles. Tragically he was also killed in action on 23rd December 1917, just 3 months after William's death. Geoffrey Mansell is buried at the Jerusalem War Cemetery.


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