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Stanley Williams

Royal Marine

HMS Prince of Wales

My Uncle Eric (who died in 1943) was best friends with Marine Stanley Williams who is listed on the POW. I have a photo of him with another marine on the ship and letters to / from my uncle to him including the last one returned as Stanley was KIA.
I hope the stuff is of some use. I have attached the envelope of the final letter, which shows how it was received back as he was missing in action at that stage. I know my fatherís family were extremely upset at the time. My father always believed Stanley was killed in action aboard the Prince Of Wales though I found out he died some months after POW was sunk I did not realise until now that he died in the capitulation of Singapore. Again it is a strange world as we used to live there in the late 50ís and early 60ís when dad was in the army not knowing that it was where Stanley and so many of his shipmates died.
Uncle Eric died of TB days before he got his call up papers. He always looked forward to joining up but never got the chance.

Stan Cookson

I am not 100% sure which he is but I think my father said he was on the right. My father knew Stanley who was a good friend of the family. Unfortunately my father died three years ago and so I am left only with his memorabilia. Stanley grew up with my fatherís brother Eric Cookson and exchanged letters whilst Stanley was serving on the POW. My father also had a brother called Stanley who died aged 18 months who was named after Stanley Williams. I was named after him, so there is a tenuous link there.
This photo was sent by Stanley to his friend Eric in 1941. Stanley has written on the back of the photo, it says:

Marine S Williams
Marine R W Brown
T. 7/6/41
HMS Prince of Wales

There is a Marine R W Brown listed for HMS Prince of Wales as Brown - Robert William Charles Marine PLY X 3812 - Prisoner of war, he survived the war.
We believe this is probably the same man.

Marine Williams and Marine Brown on HMS Prince of Wales (Click for a larger view in a new window) (51637 bytes)

Marine Williams and Marine Brown (Click for a larger view in a new window) (52296 bytes)

Royal Marine Stanley Williams

stanletter.jpg (45296 bytes)

stanletterrear.jpg (41522 bytes)

Marine S. Williams
PLY/X100178. Mess14.
HMS Prince of Wales
c/0 GPO
13 - 7 - 41

Dear Eric,
Just a few lines to let you know that arrived safely at my destination,
Well my first day back off leave. I felt like ten men, Nine dead and one dying.
How is the world treating you now?
Well the sergeant is coming around saying come and away to your hammocks it's gone pipe down.
So just I'm afraid he means me.
So goodnight all.
All yours Stan.
On the reverse of the letter it says:
P.S. Will you do me a good turn pls. Please Please Please will you send me 2 rolls of film 620. I have not much money til the end of the month
So let me know how much they are and I will send money later.
yours Stan.
620 film size was made by Kodak and produced from 1932 until it's withdrawal from sale in July 1995. The negative size was 2 1/4 x 3 1/4 and it had 8 exposures per film roll.

The letter sent by Eric to Stan which never arrived:

Eric Cookson
12 Farmside
24 - 11 - 41

Dear Stan
Just a line to let you know we are still OK at Leasowe, and hoping you are the same. Sorry to hear your leave for Christmas was cancelled.
I am going to see Mr Grant next Saturday night. Please excuse pencil I have just run out of ink and Huttys have none.
I have given up smoking cigs

This letter never reached Stan, it was returned with a sticker on the envelope saying:

It is with deepest regret you are informed that the addressee is missing on active service
The signature appears to be RCE Gray Lieut. R.M.

Eric's letter to Stan which he never saw (Click for a larger view in a new window) (47947 bytes)

the sticker on the envelope which tells of Stan being missing in action (Click for a larger view in a new window) (44499 bytes)


Contact Andy (webmaster) with any information.

Andy Wade (Webmaster)

Information provided by

Stan Cookson.

Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Rank: Marine 
Regiment: Royal Marines 
Unit Text: H.M.S. Prince of Wales. 
Age: 18 
Date of Death: 16/02/1942 
Service No: PLY/X 100178 
Additional information: Son of William Henry and Elizabeth Williams, of Leasowe, Moreton, Cheshire. 
Casualty Type: Commonwealth War Dead 
Grave/Memorial Reference: Panel 75, Column 1.