b. 09/04/1896 Liverpool. d. 04/12/1917 El Burff, Palestine.
Stanley Henry Parry Boughey (1896-1917), some sources believe was born in Ayrshire, Scotland, but he was in fact born at 3, Danube Street, Liverpool on the 9th April 1896 and was a son of James and Lucy Boughey. The family left Liverpool and moved in with family at Yew Tree Farm, Hurlestone, Nantwich, Cheshire, when Boughey was young and then moved to 37, Queen’s Gate, Claremont Park, North Shore, Blackpool, in 1905. He was a pupil at Claremont Council School and later Clifton College, North Shore, and was one of the founder members of the 1st Blackpool Scout Troop. Boughey was small in stature being just under 5’ 4” tall, but he was a very keen athlete and won prizes for swimming and was a very well respected cricketer playing for his local side the North Shore Cricket Club.
After completing his education he found work with a local solicitor, Mr. Richard Banks, of Abingdon Street, and in his spare time became involved with the St. John Ambulance and Red Cross, experience which stood him in good stead for when he was called up at an hour’s notice to the Royal Army Medical Corps upon the outbreak of war. Boughey initially served in Boulogne, France from October 1914, having qualified as a first aider in September, and was later transferred to the Motor Section, working on ambulances and then as Medical Orderly with the Post Office section. He was sent back to England in June 1915, with appendicitis and sinusitis, and remained in King’s Lancashire Military Convalescent Hospital for six months before being discharged from the Army, in December 1915.
Despite having been given a discharge, Boughey wanted to return to the war and in May 1916, he enlisted again and was posted to the Ayrshire Yeomanry, and underwent training at Harwich, before moving to Kinmel Park Camp, near Abergele, North Wales. The Ayrshire Yeomanry were disbanded soon after and the men were transferred to the Royal Scots Fusiliers, where Boughey was granted a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the 1st/4th Battalion, on the 28th March 1917. After attending Officer Training School, in April, Boughey was sent in a draft to Egypt on the 12th July, arriving in Alexandria on the 29th. He finally joined his new unit in the field on the 11th August, but after three weeks with them he was sent to Trench Mortar School, before moving with the battalion onto Palestine.
He was awarded the VC for his actions on 1 December 1917 at El Burf, Palestine, against the Ottoman Army, which preceded the capture of Jerusalem. He was wounded committing the act, and died three days later, on the 4th December. During his action, he had managed to crawl up to within 30 yards of our firing line, and with bombs and automatic rifles were keeping down the fire of our machine guns, he rushed forward alone with bombs right up to the enemy, doing great execution and causing the surrender of a party of 30. As he was going for more bombs, he was hit.
Boughey was interred at the Gaza War Cemetery, and his personal belongings were returned to his family in February 1918, which included his valise and a small tin box. Boughey’s mother, Mrs. Lucy Boughey, received her son’s medal from the King at Buckingham Palace on the 2nd March 1918, the same day that eight other posthumous VCs were presented to grieving families.
Boughey was the second Blackpool resident to have earned the VC, the first being Lieutenant Alfred Victor Smith, of the 1st/5th Battalion, East Lancashire Regiment, and when Blackpool unveiled the town’s memorial on the 10th November 1923, the mothers of both men were invited to unveil the 100ft high obelisk of Cornish granite at the northern end of Blackpool’s famous promenade in front of a crowd of 30,000. Boughey had been commemorated five years earlier when an endowed bed, The Boughey Cot, at Victoria Hospital was unveiled with a bronze plaque to Boughey’s memorya above it. The first patient to use the bed was a Lance Corporal Hurst of the Lancashire Fusiliers, and Mrs. Boughey opened a small fund to ensure that whoever occupied the bed in the future was the recipient of extra comforts. The hospital closed in the 1930’s, and the bed and plaque were unused. Following the closure, the plaques whereabouts were a mystery until it turned up in a car boot sale in 2008, and it is now on display in a private residence in Blackpool.
Boughey’s VC was sold by Spinks, on the 10th February 1986, but without his campaign medals and the location of them is unknown.
LOCATION OF MEDAL:NOT PUBLICLY HELD.
BURIAL PLACE: GAZA WAR CEMETERY, PALESTINE.
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
PLOT XX, ROW A, GRAVE 1
Courtesy of Ibrahim Jaradah
Toxteth Park, Liverpool (Brian Drummond)
St Georges Church, Layton, Blackpool (Paul Lee)