Sam Hampshire Stones
Date of birth: 3.11.1906
Date of death: 22.1.1944
Regiment: Royal Engineers
Family information: Son of Ernest Stones and Mary nee Hampshire
Rank: Lance Corporal
Service number: 2198329
Sam Hampshire Stones was part of 220 Field Company Royal Engineers when he died on 22nd January 1944 age 37. He is buried in the Minturno War Cemetery.
On 3rd September 1943 the Allies invaded the Italian mainland, the invasion coinciding with an armistice made with the Italians who then re-entered the war on the Allied side. Allied objectives were to draw German troops from the Russian front and more particularly from France, where an offensive was planned for the following year.
Progress through southern Italy was rapid despite stiff resistance, but by the end of October the Allies were facing the German winter defensive position known as the Gustav Line, which stretched from the river Garigliano in the west to the Sangro in the east. Initial attempts to breach the western end of the line were unsuccessful and it was not until 17th January 1944 that the Garigliano was crossed and Minturno taken two days later.
The site for the cemetery was chosen in January 1944, but the Allies then lost some ground and the site came under German small-arms fire. The cemetery could not be used again until May 1944 when the Allies launched their final advance on Rome and the US 85th and 88th Divisions were in this sector. The burials are mainly those of the heavy casualties incurred in crossing the Garigliano in January.
Pontefract & Castleford Express 11 February 1944 p6 (with photo)
“LOST IN ACTION
Mrs M Stones of Cow Lane, Knottingley, has received official notification that her son L/Cpl Samuel Hampshire Stones, has been killed in action in Italy. Aged 38 years L/Cpl Stones volunteered for the Army just after the outbreak of war. He spent two years in this country and then served in North Africa, Iraq and India before going to Italy. In civilian life he was employed by Messrs Bagley & Co, glass bottle manufacturers of Knottingley. Well known as a sportsman L/Cpl Stones played for the Featherstone and Castleford Football Clubs for several years. He was a fine runner, and also a darts player. He was a member of the Soldiers and Sailors Club at Knottingley.”
Sam Hampshire Stones was born on 3rd November 1906 and was baptised on 10th May 1908 at Christ Church, Knottingley. He was the son of Ernest Stones and Mary (nee Hampshire) who married on 7th February 1903 at the same church.