Maxwell, Stanley Woods (Stanley)
‘B’ Company, 8th Battalion, Royal Irish Rifles
Died of wounds in a Prisoner-of-War camp on Thursday 27 July 1916 (aged 25)
St. Souplet British Cemetery, France (Grave II. AA. 7)
Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour
North of Ireland Cricket Club Memorial Plaque (includes those members of the Club who played Rugby Football)
Bangor Grammar School
Stanley Woods Maxwell was born on 23 January 1891 in Sullatober, Carrickfergus and he was a son of Samuel and Agnes Maxwell (nee Woods) who were married on 12 March 1884 in Ballygowan Presbyterian Church. Samuel Maxwell from Glassdrummond was a son of Adam Maxwell, a farmer. Agnes Woods from Belfast was a daughter of Andrew Woods, a farmer.
For a time, Samuel Maxwell was Printworks Manager in the Sullatober Bleaching and Printing Company, Carrickfergus, Co Antrim.
Samuel and Agnes had five children:
Unnamed male child (born 7 March 1887 in Sullatober; died the same day)
Samuel Wilfred (born 27 December 1889 in Sullatober, Carrickfergus)
Stanley Woods (born 23 January 1891 in Sullatober, Carrickfergus)
Donald Alfred (born 7 July 1892 in Sullatober, Carrickfergus)
John Woods (born 16 August 1897 in Sullatober, Carrickfergus)
Stanley’s father Samuel died of cerebral apoplexy in Carrickfergus on 21 June 1897 (aged 52), some two months before his youngest son was born, and he was buried in Belfast City Cemetery.
In 1901 the Maxwell family was living at 55 Dufferin Avenue, Bangor and after that they moved to Belfast where they lived at 85 Limestone Road and later at Calloden, North Parade.
Stanley Woods Maxwell attended Bangor Grammar School and after leaving school he worked for the firm of Messrs J. Woods & Company, wholesale tea merchants in Ann Street, Belfast.
Later he worked as a traveller for Messrs Byers & Company, Oxford Street, Belfast.
It was reported in the Press that he was a member of the Fortwilliam Unit of the Ulster Volunteer Force, a Lieutenant in the 14th Belfast Boys’ Brigade and a member of the Queen’s University Officers’ Training Corps.
He played rugby for the North of Ireland Football Club.
[The North of Ireland Football Club (members played Rugby Football as opposed to Soccer) was founded by members of the North of Ireland Cricket Club and the North of Ireland Cricket Club Memorial Plaque commemorates members of both Clubs. Members of the Football Club were also members of the Cricket Club but not all members of the Cricket Club were members of the Football Club.]
In February 1915 he obtained a commission in the 17th (Reserve) Battalion Royal Irish Rifles, then in Newcastle, Co Down. He went to Ballykinler Camp and from there to the Western Front.
Second Lieutenant Stanley Woods Maxwell served with the 8th Battalion Royal Irish Rifles in 107th Brigade of the 36th (Ulster) Division and, initially, he was posted as missing in action after the first day of the Battle of the Somme. Later his mother received a letter from him dated 8 July 1916 telling her that he had sustained a broken leg and was being held as a Prisoner-of-War by the Germans.
He told her that he was being moved to another PoW camp and that he was not allowed to tell her where it was located. That was the last communication she received from him and in October 1916 it was officially confirmed that Second Lieutenant Stanley Woods Maxwell l had died of his wounds in a PoW camp on 27 July 1916.
Second Lieutenant Stanley Woods Maxwell was buried in St. Souplet British Cemetery in France and he is commemorated in the Journey of Remembering Belfast Book of Honour; on the North of Ireland Cricket Club Memorial Plaque and in Bangor Grammar School.
At the time of Stanley’s death, his brother Wilfred was serving in the Army Service Corps.
Stanley’s mother Agnes died on 21 November 1949 (aged 91) and was buried in Belfast City Cemetery.