Captain the Hon. Patrick Julian Harry Stanley OGILVY MC
Date of birth: 26 June 1896
Date of death: 9 October 1917
Killed in action aged 21
buried at Cement House Cemetery Plot XIII. D. 3.
Patrick Julian Harry Stanley was born at Newbridge, Co. Clare, Ireland, the youngest of the six children of the 6th Earl of Airlie by his wife, Lady Mabell Gore.
The Earl served in the Boer War and was killed on 11 June 1900, near Pretoria.
Patrick was educated at Wellington College and matriculated in 1914. He enlisted on 6 October 1914 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Irish Guards.
He was awarded the Military Cross for action at Lesboeufs on the Somme on 25 September 1916: "For conspicuous gallantry in action. He led his company with great dash, and, on reaching the final objective, was the senior officer in the front line. He dealt with a difficult situation with great skill and determination, consolidating his position, and getting into touch with the battalions on his flanks. All this was carried out under heavy shellfire."
He was commanding No.1 Company on the night of 8 October 1917 when they moved from Abingley Camp in heavy rain, to their assembly lines from Elverdinghe to Boesinghe Road up Clarges Street to Abri Wood and then to Cannes Farm where they met their guides for the assembly area at Ruisseau Farm, across the duckboards. The rain stopped at midnight and the moon assisted their progress. There was some shelling at 5.30am, but casualties were few and at 6.20am the 1st Irish Guards followed the 2nd Grenadiers and 2nd Coldstreams who had gone in the initial wave. They crossed at the river through three feet of water with mud on the bottom, reformed, and moved through the 2nd Grenadiers who had captured the first two objectives at 8.20am.
They formed up under the cover of their barrage for their attack, the objective being the Houthulst Forest. They kept well on track and their casualties in the early stage of the advance, were not heavy. The battalion on their right was held up and this resulted in enfilade fire on the Irish, mostly from snipers in the shell holes on their right. There were machine gun positions in concrete pillboxes and a fortified farm in front of them at Egypt Farm. Enemy aircraft skimmed over them, assisting the German artillery which increased in accuracy. The attack was made up of rushes from shell hole to shell hole.
The sniping got worse as the officers tried to form a flank on the right and casualties among the officers were particularly heavy as they were conspicuous in organising their men. They waited for a counter attack to assist them on the right but this was not forthcoming and they were pinned down in their shell holes by artillery and constant sniping. A German counter attack, later in the day, pushed the battalion on the right flank, further back, and caused the Irish Guards to pull to their right to avoid being further isolated. A battalion of the Hampshires eventually came up on the right and they and the Irish Guards dug in as best they could and spent the night in the open amongst the shell holes, under constant artillery and sniper attack. Every company commander was killed or wounded. Patrick was one of those who was killed. He had been promoted to Captain on 22 July 1917, by the time this was gazetted, he had been killed.
His Will was sealed on February 8th 1918 in favour of his mother.