Frederick Stanley was born in Wolverhampton in 1894, his parents were Frederick and Harriet Stanley. In 1901 the family consisted of father, mother, Frederick, and his two brothers, Albert and Howard, and they were living at 233 Gordan (or Goodman) Street, in Normanstow, Stafford. Frederick Senior was a Police Constable. By 1911 the family had grown to include a further two children, these were Gladys Hal (aged 7 years) and Enos Reginald (aged 6 years). The family had returned to Wolverhampton and were living at No 4 Evans Street, Whitmore Reans. By this time the mother of the family, Harriet, had died and the household living at Evans Street included Frederick Senior’s mother Myra Stanley and his mother-in-law Ann Mitchell. At this time Frederick was employed as a Mineral Hewer.
Frederick Junior enlisted on 22 November 1912 aged 18 years and 11 months, into the Grenadier Guards, Service No 2604639, Rank Private. He served with his regiment, when fighting at Ypres, he received two bullet wounds on 20 October 1914. One entered the right side of his back and was extracted from the chest, another tore through his right thigh, but the third bullet flew through his tunic sleeve without doing him any injury. He was moved to hospital in London, where doctors operated to remove an abcess, caused by the shrapnel bullet, from his liver.
A nurse at the hospital wrote a letter to his uncle, a Mr A. Hartill, which was reported in the Express & Star. The newspaper proudly proclaimed that “she stated that Stanley bore the operation with great fortitude, and that he was a very brave lad.” The article also mentioned Stanley’s brother, who was serving on the HMS Edgar, after having survived the foundering of two ships, the Hawke and the Cressy. It is not clear from the article which of Frederick’s three brothers this is referring to.