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Stanley Percy Nunn

Local History

Page updated - 17 March 2009

Roll of Honour - Gt. Cornard

 

Private Stanley Percy Nunn

 

240752  ‘B’ Company 1st/5th Battalion Suffolk Regiment  

 

Stanley Nunn was born in Braintree around 1894, the son of James and Caroline Nunn of Stanley Villa, Cornard Road, Sudbury.  His father was the manager of ‘a power loom silk weaving department’. 

 

Stanley enlisted in Sudbury, formerly as 2792 serving with the Suffolk Regiment.  He served in the same battalion as Wilfred Hunt, Frederick Pilgrim and Russell Wordley.  Stanley is recorded as having first served in a ‘theatre of war’ in the Balkans on 10th August 1915. 

 

The 5th Battalion embarked on the ‘Aquitania’ in Liverpool in July 1915, heading for Gallipoli in the eastern Mediterranean.  On 12th August the battalion disembarked at Mudros and six days later saw action against the Turks, advancing through heavy enemy fire without any artillery support from their own side to gain 1,300 yards.  The battalion suffered 186 killed or wounded and a further 160 sick with the majority suffering with dysentery.  The battalion was garrisoned at Hill 60 and had to endure disease, swarms of flies, heat, water shortage and lack of transport. 

 

On 13th October 1915 an extract from a letter sent home by Stanley while serving in the Dardanelles appeared in the Suffolk and Essex Free Press: ‘Thank you so much for the cigarettes and lighter received this morning (Sept 20th). I am sure they came very acceptable. We are getting on fairly well out here, but it’s not like being in England. The last time we went in the trenches we were there for three days and nights: it was most trying as we had to keep awake the whole time, but we are now having a good rest, and want it too.  I am so sorry to tell you we have had several casualties this week, Sgt. Hunt was killed by a shell, and only the day before he was asking me how dad was getting on, and told me the next time I wrote home to remember him to him. Then this morning young Russell Wordley was killed: it was so sad as his father was beside him when he was hit. We have a good issue of cigarettes almost every week and as I do not smoke a lot, I am kept well supplied: so when you send the next parcel I would like some chocolate and cocoa. It takes about two weeks and a half for letters to come, but it all depends what time the mail starts from England. We live fairly well out here now - bacon and biscuits for breakfast, bully beef stew for dinner (with rice sometimes) and biscuits and jam for tea, so you can see what our general diet is: we get so tired of it, but we get a little bread once a week. I know you would laugh to see us cooking: we have about a pint of flour given us every few days: with this we make pancakes: we mix the flour up with water and fry it in our bacon fat: they make lovely pancakes. Must not stay to write more now, or I shall miss the mail’.

 

The battalion finally left Gallipoli on the night of 6th December 1915, in 4 months it had suffered over 800 casualties, killed, wounded or sick.  It then moved to Egypt and along the Suez Canal.  In March 1917 it moved into Palestine and took part in the second attack at Gaza on19th April and the third attack at Gaza and Beersheba on 28th October.  In 1918 the battalion was due to leave for France but the orders were changed and on 19th September took part in the attack at Megiddo.  

 

Stanley was killed in action on 19th September 1918 aged 24 and lies buried in Ramleh War Cemetery, Israel.

 

Stanley was awarded the British War Medal and Victory Medal.  He is also remembered on the Chilton and Sudbury War Memorials, St. John’s Methodist Church Memorial, York Road, Sudbury and in the Sudbury Roll of Honour in the Heritage Museum, Sudbury Town Hall.

 

©Shirley Smith - Sudbury & District Royal British Legion - November 2008