Stephen Stanford, who died on 6 November 1974, was the second son of Maj. E. A. Sanford, 60th Rifles of Friley Court, Abergavenny.

After Malvern and the R.M.C. Camberley, he joined the 7th Dragoon Guards in India in 1913. During the 1914-18 War he became an observer with the Royal Flying Corps but was shot down and taken prisoner. He escaped from the camp by asking to go outside to see the dentist. Surprisingly permission was given and he and a friend overpowered the somewhat aged guard of low category by throwing their greatcoats over his head and running off. Unfortunately, they were caught later.

After that war, he served with the Inter-Allied Police Force in Constantinople. One duty of historical interest but by its secret nature unspectacular was to assist in removing the last Sultan of Turkey from the house in which he was and putting him on board ship to safety.

Whilst there he married Olga, the elder daughter of Prince Iverico Miekeladze who with his wife and two daughters had reached Constantinople from their homes in the Crimea.

In February I923 he joined the 3rd Hussars in Egypt. He served with the Regiment there and at Lucknow, York and Tidworth.

He enjoyed all sports and had considerable success running the Regimental boxing team, but his greatest interest and pleasure was racing. He was the Clerk of the Course at Tidworth for four years and on retiring in 1936 he went to Iraq to organise and manage the Racecourse which was being made in Baghdad. Starting stalls were used there and from that experience, he became a protagonist for their use in England.

At the beginning of the last war he became G2 Air Defence East Anglia but subsequently after a course of instruction at the Civil Affairs Staff Course he was appointed as a Grade I Staff Officer to the Norwegian Mission with the job of dealing with refugees and displaced persons which after the defeat of Germany took him to Norway which he found interesting and which he enjoyed.

He was interested and liked most things and, whatever it was, he was a delight to be with. A happy sense of humour confined with a kind eye for the ridiculous was surpassed by a natural charm of manner based, as the French would say, on the politeness of the heart. It was a kind heart which made him so many friends who remember so many good times spent with him.

After the death of his first wife, he married the widow of Alan Waistell. She died just a year before he did.

Related topics

  1. A Short History of The 3rd Hussars