Stanley Coleman

28 Jan 1919 - July 1986
Service number : 4392252
Service: British Army WW2
Battalion: 7th Green Howards
Motorized tranport

The whole - very interesting - story:

Stanley Coleman was born and raised in Hartlepool, he was called up to serve his county for the entirety of WW2. He was always in the thick of it but was one of the few originals in the 7th Green Howards to survive. He returned from the war to live a normal life, working hard and raising a family of two sons and a daughter.
​This is the story of a man with a gentle heart who fought in the war but never spoke about it to anyone. They say the people who don’t talk about it, saw a lot, that they want to forget.

A part of the story

Invasion of Sicily

In April 18th 1943 the Northern Daily Mail posted a write up about Stanley being mentioned for Gallantry by General Alexander.
Private Stanley Coleman (24) of the Green Howards an old boy of St.Aidan’s School, who was later employed in the electricity department of the Corporation at Burn road; has had his name mentioned in Army records “for gallantry and devotion to duty during the past 18 months in the Middle East”. He has sent home to his parents Mr and Mrs Coleman of 78 Sydenham Road, West Hartlepool, a card signed by General Alexander which reads: ‘Your name has been brought to my notice for your gallantry action. I thank you for your devotion to duty and for the high example that you have set” Pte. Coleman joined the up at the outbreak of the war.
This video of S Col Bernard Montgomery handing out cigarettes to troops with Stanley Coleman, in the middle shirtless wearing his forage cap accepting cigarettes in 1943 in Messina the last Town of Sicily. Stanley didn’t smoke cigarettes, just his pipe, so he gave his gift to the lads. He mentioned later that he was the only one man in that movie clip to survive the War.



 Bergen-Belsen – concentration camp WW2 liberation

 Upon arriving at Belsen concentration camp, “you could smell it for miles’ said Stanley. But before they arrived at the camp gates they passed by the officers’ houses. The officers lived in luxury and claimed they did not know what was going on in the camp.

Stanley would never forget the awful sights he would see. Thousands of skeletal-looking people and dead bodies everywhere. Even when they freed them some poor unfortunates would collapse and die. The troops were ordered not to touch them and not to leave their vehicles when they first arrived due to the risk of catching diseases. They sat on top of their trucks and tanks, to throw food and drink down toward the starving prisoners.

Stanley later became Head of the Kitchens when he befriended an older German officer Arthur Bucklers. Arthur would later save Stanley’s life from a younger Italian soldier who attacked him with a knife.

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