In Memory of Stanley William Layzell. 1944 Casualty.

His last letter home, the death of a son and brother

Rank.  Private.
Regiment/Service.  Essex Regiment.
Unit Text.  2nd Battalion.
Died.  29 September 1944.  Age 18.
Grave Ref. III. A. 4. Lier Belgian Military Cemetery.  Belgium.

Son of.  Sidney Staines Layzell and Maud Helen Layzell, of South Benfleet.  Essex.

Remembered.  St. Mary Churchyard.  South Benfleet.  Essex.

Also view ‘Life at 2 Station Cottages 1930 – 40’  The life of a signalman’s son.

Stanley was only 18 yrs old when he died, below is the last letter he sent home to his brother Dennis.  Stanley addressed the letter to Tig and signed it Wink both were nicknames used by the brothers.

Typed copy of original Second World War soldiers letter home, to make your reading easier, sent just a few days before he was fatally wounded. Original copy of letter at the bottom of the page.

147131   PTE     Layzell. S.
7  PLN    A. Coy.
2nd Battalion
Essex Regiment
B. L. A.


Dear Tig

Thank you for the letter which I received last evening sorry to hear you’ve been in bed for a day.  I expect you’ve been eating to much fruit lately, we’ve not doing to bad either but we’re getting a bit fed up with apples as that’s about all there is out here, worse luck.   So Ken came home for 7 days did he, I know you was glad as you could have some nice fights with him, couldn’t  you, I hope you didn’t drive him crazy.

So you had one of the old doodle – bugs over did you, I don’t think you will see many more though as nearly all the launch sites are ours, thank goodness.  The weather is really rotten today, cold and pelting rain but we’re nice and easy at the moment so we can laugh at the rain and cold.  How did you get on in your Summer holidays without Charlie to knock around with I expect you was lonely without him, has he still got his job at the Echo, I expect his doing fine now, ???? he, I suppose you’ll be leaving school soon, but don’t let me come home and find you working in the goods yard or you’ll be for it.  If I were you I’d stop at school for another………..? (year or  two?)

I hope you got all those stamps I sent, I expect you had most of them already but perhaps there were few that were new to you, I’ll bring you home more souvenirs when I come home if I can carry them because there’s plenty of things I could bring.  Boy told me about his mate going into the army, I’m glad he didn’t have to go because he wouldn’t have been as lucky as they were I’ll bet.  Well Tig that’s about all I can write for now, write whenever you can.  Cheerio for now keep out of mischief, be seeing you soon, lots and lots of love from your loving brother




In Memory of Stanley W. Layzell.
Ronnie Pigram
Dennis Layzell
Dennis Layzell
The last letter sent to his younger brother Dennis (nicknamed Tig) just a few days before he was wounded, from which he later died.
Dennis Layzell
Envelope showing censor stamp
Dennis Layzell
Grave of Stanley W. Layzell. Lier Belgian Military Cemetery. Belgium.
Copyright. The War Graves Photographic Project.
Lier Belgian Military Cemetery. Belgium.
Copyright. The War Graves Photographic Project.
Grave of Stanley William Layzell.
Copyright photograph by kind permission of Wim Govaerts of Belgium. Photograph taken July 2010.
Death of a son and brother.
A young lads reaction to the death of his brother on active service in the Second World War.

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  • I have just read the comments about the war memorial. I have been trying to get my uncles name onto the memorial. He was John Archer of 4th Battalion Suffolk Regt.  He died in Japanese prisoner of war camp in October 1943. I have contacted Rebecca Harris regarding this and have been advised to contact locally. I have phoned the council offices and they were unable to help. Please could someone contact me and tell me what I can do. Thank you.

    By Mrs Ann kemp (10/01/2016)
  • Stanley is a relative of my family and I’ve got all details on our family photos, details etc. Feel free to contact for information.

    By Louise Layzell (20/01/2014)
  • Hi Louise, I would be very interested in any details you may have on my uncle. Also very interested to hear how you are related to him. Thank you. June.

    By June Lindsay nee Layzell (20/01/2014)
  • There were others not mentioned on the memorial, I did write to MP’s and the council but to no avail, they were Alan Munroe, died in Singapore, Derek Rivett a spitfire pilot, Harry Idle an air gunner, Dennis and Donald Robinson one of these men died on D Day, John Archer he was a Japanese prisoner of war, and died in the camp.

    By Mavis Ann Thurley nee Turner (28/07/2013)
  • Hello June, the contact details for Wim have been forwarded to you. Best wishes for a successful outcome.

    By Ronnie Pigram (25/06/2013)
  • My name is June Lindsay nee Layzell and Stan was my uncle. He was the brother of my late father Kenneth. We travelled to Lier last year to visit his grave and wrote in the remembrance book. Wim Govaerts, I have an old clipping from our local echo newspaper, that has an article in it asking for any relatives of Stan to contact you. I tried but was unsuccessful. I would be very happy to hear from you with any information that you may still have. Thank you.

    By June Lindsay nee Layzell (24/06/2013)
  • I noticed an article on your website with regard to Private Stanley Layzell, written by Ronnie Pigram. Is it by any chance perhaps possible that I can get in contact with Mr. Pigram, I would like to write to him with regard to Layzell who is buried here in my home town. Attached is a better photo of the grave – perhaps more suitable for the article ? Anyway, perhaps are you able to help, and I will be looking forward to your answer.

    By Wim Govaerts (Lier/Belgium) (01/06/2013)
  • Wondering why this man Stanley Layzell happened to be left off the Benfleet war memorial, but now is there thank God. Have been to see the family grave today in St Mary’s, really nice to see there, not forgotten.

    By David Layzell (07/08/2012)
  • Quite moving for me as my son is named Stanley William Layzell, although we are not related to this family. My parents came out to NZ after the war

    By David Layzell (16/12/2011)
  • This is the soldier who at first was left off the Benfleet war memorial, gone but not forgotten all these years later.

    By Margaret March (20/10/2011)

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