b. 31/10/1830 Uppacot Farm, Halwill, Devon. d. 24/04/1904 Camberwell, London.
William Stanlake (Stanlack on his citation) (1830-1904) was born on 31st October 1830 at his parents farm, Uppacot Farm at Halwill, near Okehampton, in Devon. At the age of 19, he decided to enlist with the Coldstream Guards at Totnes, on 27th July 1852.
He served in the Crimean War, and was awarded the Victoria Cross for his services in this campaign (London Gazette, 24th February 1857). On 26th October 1854, near Inkerman, he volunteered, when employed as one of the sharpshooters, for reconnoitring purposes, to crawl up within six yards of a Russian sentry, and so enabled the officer in command to effect a surprise attack on the position.
Stanlake missed the first investiture of the Victoria Cross at Hyde Park on 26th June 1857, as he had been recently convicted by his commanding officer for theft, and it was seen that it wouldn’t be fitting for him to be in the presence of Queen Victoria.
Stanlake was also awarded the Crimean Medal with 4 clasps, the Turkish Medal and the Distinguished Conduct Medal. He served in the Coldstream Guards from 29th July 1852 until 28th January 1863. He remained a Private throughout his career. He died on 24th April 1904 in Camberwell, London. He had his headstone replaced in 2011.
LOCATION OF MEDAL: COLDSTREAM GUARDS RHQ, LONDON.
BURIAL PLACE: CAMBERWELL OLD CEMETERY, CAMBERWELL, LONDON.
William Stanlake's medals at the Coldstream Guards RHQ, London (Thomas Stewart).
Cemetery Plan courtesy of Kevin Brazier
SECTION 62, GRAVE 19075