Stan died on 18 August 2005, aged 85.

Tpr S Huitson
Tpr S Huitson

He enlisted into the Cavalry of the Line at Durham on 21 June 1938 and was posted to the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars, then stationed at Aldershot. He moved with the Regiment to Tidworth in October 1938.

In November 1939 the Regiment moved to Market Weighton, Yorkshire. In June 1940 they moved again, this time to Leicestershire, and in August to Newmarket for six weeks exercising, returning to Husband’s Bosworth in October.

On 18 November 1940, Stan sailed on the Orcades with the regiment to ‘El Kantara’ in the Suez Canal zone.

On the way stopping off for four days in Durban, where they were well looked after by the residents. After training in the desert the regiment embarked for Greece (Piraeus), landing on 10 March 1941.

Stan was a driver and sometimes batman to Maj CML Clements (‘B’ Squadron). In the Greek battles, he was Lt ST Eve’s driver. Stan was captured at Corinth on 29 April 1941 and remained a PoW at Stalag XV111 A, Wolfsberg, Austria, until 28 May 1945.

He was discharged from the Army on 26 May 1946. He was awarded the Africa Star and the 1939/1945 War medal.

On returning to civilian life he returned to Thornaby-on-Tees, where he then took up driving for Stockton-on-Tees Council as a bus driver until the mid-50s when he was forced to go into hospital for major operations due to his failing health as a result of his time as PoW.

Unable now to drive a bus he obtained a job with a local chemical firm, British Titan Products, as a driver/storeman delivering between the local and national sites.

He was affectionately known as ‘Stan the Van’ by all and sundry and used to state ‘it’s easier than driving a tank’.

He retired in 1981 but was still unable to give up and relax and started doing all the running around in his car for family, neighbours and friends in the area, most younger than him until a stroke in 2000 finally forced him to give up driving.

He married Doreen his childhood sweetheart on 27 March 1948, enjoying 56 years of marriage before losing her to cancer in 2004. Stan is survived by his three sons, Stuart born in 1951, Brian born in 1958 and Ian born in 1963.

Stan was a founder member of the 1st Durham Troop and was for many years its Chairman.

He was a loyal 4th Hussar, who transferred his loyalty to the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars on their formation on 24 October 1958, having amalgamated with the 8th King’s Royal Irish Hussars.

One was always assured of a very warm welcome at the Durham Troop Dinners, held in early October every year. Stan and two or three fellow members always attended the May reunion in London and supported Leicester and York troops. Stan was a cheerful, loyal and supportive member of the Regimental Association.

Related topics

  1. A short history of The 4th Hussars
  2. Middle East (Greece and Crete) timeline