- Contributed by
- People in story:
- Stanley Carruthers, John Joseph Carruthers, Sarah Carruthers, Elizabeth Donnan (née Carruthers) ’Betty’, Mary Carruthers ’Mamie’, John Allison Carruthers ’Ally’, Colin Carruthers, Herbert Carruthers, Gilbert Carruthers, George Gordon Farries, Joseph Parkinson Ritson 'Joe'.
- Location of story:
- Scilly Banks (Cumberland / Cumbria), Rangoon / Imphal (Burma / India).
- Background to story:
- Article ID:
- Contributed on:
- 22 January 2006
3605551, Private Stanley Carruthers, from Scilly Banks, Cumbria. Stanley served in Burma with the Border Regiment and the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own). Stanley died, aged 23, in May 1944. Stanley is remembered on the Rangoon Memorial. [Photograph used by courtesy of Betty Donnan (née Carruthers)]
This article is about Stanley Carruthers of Round Close Farm, Scilly Banks, Cumberland (now Cumbria) who served in Burma during World War Two, sadly losing his life at the end of May 1944. Stanley and all his family were close friends and neighbours of my father's family for many years. Stanley's loss was met with deep sorrow by everyone in the village.
Many of those who knew Stanley, including my father, used to tell their younger relatives that it was important to remember to honour this well-loved son of Scilly Banks. Scilly Banks is a small village on the outskirts of Moresby Parks, situated between Whitehaven and Workington close to the West Cumbrian coast.
I wish to dedicate this article to Stanley's memory. One of Stanley's sisters, Mrs Betty Donnan (née Elizabeth Carruthers) has been kind enough to assist by lending me the photograph of Stanley that goes with this article, which is in addition to a more detailed article I have previously written about Stanley and his family (Article Reference ID: A4142611). Both Betty Donnan and the author have read and understood the terms of the BBC "People's War" website.
A little about Stanley Carruthers
Stanley was the one of the children of John Joseph Carruthers (known by everyone as J.J.) and Sarah Carruthers. Stanley had an elder sister, Mary (known as Mamie), and two older brothers, John Allison (Ally) and Colin. Additionally, Stanley had two younger brothers, Herbert and Gilbert. Betty, who has provided the information for this article, was the youngest child of the family. Before signing up to the Army, in about 1941, Stanley worked for his uncle, Mr G.G. Farries and another gentleman at Gosforth, about a dozen miles from Scilly Banks.
Private Stanley Carruthers had Service No 3605551 and he was originally in the Border Regiment, so far as is known in the 9th Battalion Unfortunately, Stanley's relatives do not have a copy of his service record. However, Stanley was involved in the defence of Imphal against the Japanese invasion. Shortly before he lost his life at the end of May 1944, Stanley and several others from the Border Regiment were transferred to the 1st Battalion, the West Yorkshire Regiment (Prince of Wales's Own).
The family received official notification of Stanley’s death about a couple of weeks afterwards. As stated above, it was a great blow for the family, and was deeply felt by the whole village. Betty has told me that after the war had ended, one of Stanley's Army pals, who came from the nearby town of Whitehaven, visited Round Close Farm. The friend told the family he had been with Stanley when Stanley had lost his life. They were 'digging in', making a trench, when a Japanese sniper fired one shot and Stanley was killed instantly. Whilst Stanley's loss was still as great as ever, there was perhaps some comfort in knowing he had not suffered.
Many years ago, when I was a young child, I visited Round Close Farm with my father, Joe Ritson. This was long after the war had ended. Yet, I remember the adults remembering Stanley and talking fondly about him and the things they used to do before the war. Sometimes, when I was growing up, my father would say it was important to remember something, and this was one of those occasions. The farm buildings of Round Close Farm no longer exist. They were demolished in the 1980s when Opencast Coal Mining was approved for the ground on which it stood. A modern housing estate has since been built where the farm buildings once stood.
I would like to thank Betty Donnan for sharing some of her wartime memories about her brother Stanley with me for this article. Stanley died at the tragically young age of 23. He is commemorated by the Commonwealth War Graves Commission on the Rangoon Memorial for those with no known grave. It is important that all those who made the ultimate sacrifice, such as Stanley Carruthers, should always be remembered.
Stanley was one of those who gave his life so that others might live in freedom. To conclude this article, I would like to quote the very appropriate epitaph written by John Maxwell Edmonds (1875-1958) that was selected for the inscription on the Kohima Memorial. It is often quoted at wartime memorial services. I always think of Stanley Carruthers from Scilly Banks each time I hear it spoken:
"When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say,
For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today"
[Attributed to John Maxwell Edmonds (1875 -1958)]
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