Private Henry William Stannard
Private Henry William Stannard of the 1st Battalion on a camel at Abbassia in Egypt 1911.
Henry William (‘Harry’) Stannard was born in Ipswich in 1888. He enlisted in the Suffolk Regiment in September 1908 (no. 7741) and was posted to the 1st Battalion, with whom he served in Malta, Egypt and the Sudan. When war broke out he went with the battalion to France in January 1915, moving in November 1915 to Salonika. He was discharged on 2 February 1919 but immediately re-enlisted (number 70078, later 5820155). He served in India, in the Moplah rebellion campaign of 1921-22. He was finally discharged in the rank of Private on 13 February 1930, his character reference being ‘Exemplary’. In 1932 he married Adeline Lily Hart. He died on 18 September 1951 and is buried in Bury St Edmunds cemetery.
In January 1911 the 1st Battalion the Suffolk Regiment was posted to Alexandria in Egypt. As early as 1st March Pte Stannard was sent to Abbassia for training at the Camel Corps School. Given the terrain, camels made ideal mounts for desert patrolling: they could travel from three to six miles an hour while loaded with soldier, provisions and ammunition, while only needing to be watered every five days.
The Camel Corps School was a small establishment, commanded by a Captain, assisted by an Adjutant and a few permanent staff of NCOs and men. As there were only fifty camels they were limited to taking two sections at a time. Each regiment in the Command sent two sections in turn for a three months course of training, eight men from each course staying on for the next to help the new hands.