George Stacey Stratford

Rank: 
Lieutenant
Unit at enlistment: 
Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry
Force: 
C.E.F.
Volunteered or conscripted: 
Volunteered
Survived the war: 
No
Wounded: 
Yes
Date of death: 
November 17th, 1917
Cemetery: 
Menin Gate Memorial - Ypres, Belgium - Panel 10
Commemorated at: 
Grace Anglican Church, B.C.I. High School Memorial Plaque, Victoria Public School Honour Roll
Birth country: 
Canada
Birth county: 
Brant
Birth city: 
Brantford, Ontario
Address at enlistment: 
Brantford, Ontario
Next of kin address: 
Brantford, Ontario, Idlewyld
Trade or calling: 
Student
Employer: 
University of Toronto
Religious denominations: 
Church of England
Marital status: 
Single
Age at enlistment: 
25

Letters and documents

Cause and Place of Death: Killed in Action

BX November 24, 1917

George Stacey Stratford Reported Killed in Action

Lieutenant George Stacey Stratford, one of five sons of Mrs. Joseph Stratford, Idlewild, Brantford, who has donned the khaki to take their share in the great world struggle, had made the supreme sacrifice, giving up his life that the liberty of the world might remain. Yesterday word was received that he had been killed in action on Nov. 6, the date when so many other brave young Brantford sons laid down their lives. He had been at the front for about two and a half years. He enlisted in June 1915, with the University Corps, and went overseas with the Princess Pats. He was wounded in June of 1916. Four other brothers are also in uniform, Captain Joseph, of the C.M.R.: Lieut. Arthur, of Egypt; Lieut. Harold, of the 125th, and Corp. Jack, in England. Lieutenant George Stratford was a fine young man, and his death will be widely regretted.

Note: The Brantford Expositor mistakenly reported his death as being November 6.

BX January 6, 1916

“Something From Home” Greatly Appreciated by Men in Trenches – Gifts of Brant Chapter, I.O.D.E. Were Made Very Welcome at Christmas Time – Letters Received from Some of the Recipients Tell of the Conditions Under Which Fight is Made

To a man on active service, the greatest luxury obtainable is “something from home.” When the Christmas gifts, forwarded by Brant Chapter, I.O.D.E., to officers at the front were received on the firing line, the joy was great. In terms of deep gratitude the recipients have replied to the donors, in the following letters among others:

December 16, 1915
McG. 187, No. 3 Co.
P.P.C.L.I., B.E.F.

To the ladies of Brant Chapter,
I.O.D.E., Brantford
Dear Ladies,

I received on Tuesday last a parcel from Pascall, London, containing your card. I wish to take this opportunity of thanking you for your kindness in remembering me in this manner and to let you know how greatly your parcel was appreciated. In the part of the country that we are billeted in it is impossible to buy such luxuries as it contained.

At present we are billeted in barns some distance behind the firing line, usually sleeping on the Frenchman’s unthreshed grain. As to the barns, they would not be a credit to the average Canadian farmer. They are old, weather worn and the roofs full of holes. However, we are generally able to find a sheltered corner, which looks so attractive after a long march or a day’s work that 8.30 p.m. finds everybody in bed.

The winter weather is setting in with a vengeance. The many rains have made the country into one big mud puddle. Nevertheless every effort is made to make the soldier as comfortable as possible. With fur coat, waterproof cap and rubber boots we are ready to withstand the wintry elements as well as the Germans. Thanking you again for your kindness, I am,

Yours sincerely,

George Stratford

BX June 19, 1916
 
Lieutenant George Stacey Stratford Reported Wounded
 
George Stacey Stratford of Idlewild, Brantford, son of Mrs. Joseph Stratford, who has been at the front for about a year, is reported in this morning's casualty list as wounded. Word received by his father here stated that he had been wounded in the shoulder on June 10 and that he was now in the Ontario hospital at Orpington and was progressing favorably. Corporal Stratford enlisted with the University corps last June and has been at the front ever since with the Princess Pats. Corp. Stratford has four brothers in the King's uniform. Captain Joseph is with the C.M.R. in France. Lieutenant Arthur in Egypt, Lieutenant Harold with the 125th and Corporal Jack now in England.

BX June 10, 1929

Memorial Tablet To Three Brothers Unveiled at Grace – Unique and Impressive Service Held Sunday Morning – Also Occasion of Church Parade of 10th Brant Dragoons

A service unique in the history of Grace Church and perhaps without precedent in the province was conducted on Sunday morning when the rector, the Venerable Archdeacon J.B. Fotheringham unveiled a beautiful memorial tablet to three brothers, Harold John, Joseph Benjamin and George Stacey, sons of Joseph and Mary Elizabeth Stratford, all three officers in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, two being killed n action and the third passing away after being invalided home.  Appropriately, at the same service there were present the officers commanding, officers and all ranks of the Tenth Brant Dragoons, attending the annual church parade of that unit.

The Inscription

The tablet, beautifully executed in brass, bore the inscription:

“In memory of these brothers, sons of Joseph and Mary Elizabeth Stratford.

“George Stacey, killed in action, Passchendaele, November 17, 1917, aged 25 years.  Buried Passchendaele, France.  Enlisted June 1915, 2nd Universities company, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry.  Joined battalion in France August, 1915.  Wounded Sanctuary Wood, June 1916.  Appointed Lieutenant before rejoining battalion May 1917.  Served on Somme, Armentieres, Vimy, Lens, Hill 70 and Passchendaele fronts.

“Joseph Benjamin, killed in action Bois de Sencat, April 2, 1918, aged 28 years.  Buried Dommartin, France.  Appointed lieutenant 7th Canadian Mounted Rifles, January 6, 1915.  Promoted to captain before transferring to Fort Garry Horse in England.  Proceeded to France with the regiment February 25, 1916.  Awarded Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty while commanding squadron at Bois des Essarts, March 26, 1918.

“Harold John, died at Gravenhurst Ont., August 6, 1927, aged 41 years.  Buried at Brantford, Canada.  Appointed lieutenant, 128th Battalion Canadian Expeditionary Force, December 14, 1915.  Proceeded overseas, August 6, 1916.  Incapacitated during training at Witley, England.  Invalided home March 22, 1917.

“Who fights for freedom goes with joyous tread.”

The tablet was unveiled for Mrs. Stratford by His Honor Judge A.D. Hardy and dedicated by the rector in the simple, impressive ritual of the Anglican Church.

In preaching the memorial sermon, Archdeacon Fotheringham made reference to the unique character of the service.  The occasion, he declared was one that called for silence rather than words and any words that might be spoken were but an attempt to express feelings that were deep.  There was a unity in love such as these men had – a love of home, of fellows and of the empire.  And there was a oneness that came not only in a common love but in a common life and finally there was the oneness of sacrifice.  So had these three brothers been one in companionship, one in comradeship and love, one in life and service and one in sacrifice.  “They were lovely and pleasant in their lives and in death they were not divided.”

During the service the choir rendered Woodward’s beautiful anthem, “Crossing the Bar.”  Following the dedication the “Last Post.” And “Reveille” was sounded and the hymn “O Valiant Hearts” sung.  During the offertory the band of the Tenth Brant Dragoons played “Serenade” and later the National Anthem.

The rector was assisted in the service by Capt. the Rev. Joseph Tully, chaplain of the regiment, and Rev. C. Hallowell, new rector of St. James.