Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 14 August 1914, Brisbane, Queensland
Last Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
Last Unit: 1st Light Horse Brigade Train
Born: Todmorden, Yorkshire, England, 19 November 1874
Home Town: Brisbane, Brisbane, Queensland
Schooling: Kelvin Grove State School
Occupation: Railway Employee
Died: Natural Causes, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, 19 May 1946, aged 71 years
Cemetery: Toowong (Brisbane General) Cemetery
Grave Location: 11-35-13, Portion 11/Section 35/Grave 13; buried with: Lillian, Mary Ann, Mitchell & Amy Louisa Stansfield.
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World War 1 Service

14 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Brisbane, Queensland
24 Sep 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer, 1st Light Horse Brigade Train, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
24 Sep 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer, 1st Light Horse Brigade Train, HMAT Anglo Egyptian, Brisbane
5 May 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
12 Jun 1917: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant Colonel

Lieutenant-Colonel William Stansfield CMG DSO VD

William Stansfield was born in Todmorden Yorkshire in England on 19th November 1874 (another record says he was born in Hebden Bridge, they are about 6 km apart). He was the youngest of three children to Mitchell Stansfield and Margaret Jane Forester, who had been married on 17th August 1857 in Halifax Yorkshire. He had an older sister, Annie born 1863 and brother, Johnathan born 1870. Mitchell worked as a shoemaker and then a cordwainer. In 1876 Johnathan passed away. In the 1881 census they were living at 21 Stansfield Rd in Langfield Yorkshire and William was attending school. From Glasgow in the ship Nuddea, the family left in late 1883, bound for Australia. Annie is not included in the ship register, so she had either moved out of home and was working somewhere else, had married or passed away. No further record can be easily found for her. They arrived in Cooktown on 15th November 1883. After arriving, at some time they moved to Brisbane. William attended Kelvin Grove State School. His father was listed in the 1895 Queensland Post Office Directory as a boot-maker in Kelvin Grove. His shop was in Kelvin Grove Road and their private residence at Ann Street Kelvin Grove. An article in the Brisbane Courier of 26th February 1889 talks about finding the body of an Aboriginal female on some area of land that Mitchell was using as a grazing paddock. Mitchell Stansfield passed away on 16th March 1898 and was buried in Toowong Cemetery the next day. William joined the railway department in 1898. Margaret was listed in the 1901 Queensland Postal Directory as Mrs Mitchell Stansfield at Victoria Street, Red Hill. In the 1903 to 1908 electoral rolls, Margaret was living in the Red Hill area of Brisbane. Margaret Jane Stansfield passed away on 23rd May 1917 and was buried in the same grave as her husband on the 25th, but the cemetery details have her as Mary Ann? After school, he started work as a printer.
On 13th December 1893 William married Amy Louisa Rogers and on that same day she gave birth to their first child, Herbert Stansfield. Amy had been born in Brisbane on 24th September 1877, a daughter to James Samuel Rogers and Eugenie Alice Bretherton who had been married in Queensland on 31st August 1876. Unfortunately Eugenia passed away on 1st November 1881 and James on 18th September 1904. William and Amy had four other children; Arthur William, born 10th August 1900, Lilian and Thelma, both born on 7th September 1906 and Leonard Finlay born on 19th January 1911. Apparently, he joined the Railway Department in 1898 as a clerk, to have a secure job. He enlisted in the army around January 1900 in the Moreton Regiment, and was promoted to Corporal and then Sergeant in that year. William passed infantry school in 1901.
In 1903 they were living with Margaret in Red Hill. William is listed in the Queensland Railway Employees list from 1903 with the position of Leading Gas charger in the Southern Division. He was still listed in that position throughout the war up unto 1919. In the Queensland Government Gazette of 1904 he was listed as Wm Stansfield, age 29 (correct age), Gas charger in Southern District and his pay was 6 shillings and 6 pence a day. By the 1905 electoral roll, they were living at Federal Street, Red Hill and his occupation was listed as railway employee. He transferred to the Australian Army Service Corps in 1905 as Company Sergeant-Major.
On 10th July 1907 a W Stansfield, an engineer aged 34, arrived in Melbourne on the ship Omrah from England. The ship was bound for Brisbane, but his was listed as being contracted to Melbourne. It is not possible to prove he was the right W Stansfield or why he was in England. A promotion to Warrant Officer Class 2 was given to him in 1908, and he was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in 1911. All the military schools that he attended, he passed. He attended a Vice-Regal dinner in 1911 in celebration of the King’s birthday and was listed in the paper with the rank of Lieutenant. In the 1913 electoral roll, they were living at 34 St James Street Petrie Terrace and William was still listed as a railway employee. He was promoted to Lieutenant in the ASC on 16th February 1914.
William applied for a commission in the Expeditionary Force of the AMF on 14th August 1914. His educational qualifications were listed as State School 6th Class and his military qualifications were five years Moreton Regiment, eight years and nine months A.S.C. and he was a Lieutenant in the A.S.C. His age was gives as 37 years and 9 months (should be 40 years), he was a British Subject and his religion was Church of England. He was 5 foot 5 inches tall, weighed 141 pounds, had a chest measurement of 36.5 to 39.5 inches and had 6/6 vision in both eyes. On his statement of service form, his civil employment was a railway employee in the Queensland Government Railway. His place of birth was wrongly written as Todmordin, Yorkshire and his date of birth as 19th November 1877 (wrong year). His next of kin was listed as his wife, Amy Louise Stansfield of St James Street Petrie Terrace Brisbane. He was appointed to the Australian Imperial Force as Lieutenant on 20th August 1914 in the 1st Light Horse Brigade Train with 5th Company AASC, after joining on the 19th.
They embarked on 23rd September 1914 from Brisbane on A5 Omrah. He was part of the convoy with HMAS Sydney. After HMAS Sydney destroyed the SMS Emden and collected Mexican pesos from the ship, William was fortunate to get one. He had it engraved. They arrived at Maadi on 12th December 1914, where he took up duties as Supply Officer. On 18th October 1914 he was appointed as Captain in the 5th ASC Anzac Mounted Division.
He was at Cairo in Egypt from 10th December 1914 to 5th May 1915 and then went to Gallipoli, embarking from Alexandria on the 9th, on HMAT Melville, landing with his Brigade on the 12th. William was made officer commanding the beach supply depot of the Division. In August, he resumed Brigade Supply duties in Monash Valley. On 20th November 1915 he was transferred to Egypt and he was taken on strength of the 5th ASC on the 30th. He was transferred from Aerodrome Camp at Heliopolis through Wardianen to Bir Hooker in Egypt on 29th December 1915.
On 21st March 1916 the temporary rank of Major was confirmed, he was taken on strength of Anzac Mounted Division from the 5th Australian Army Service Corps on 24th March 1916 and he was to command Army Service Coy Anzac Mounted Division and be a temporary Major whilst holding such appointment from 21st March 1916. The temporary rank was also confirmed as a substantive rank of Major on that day in another army order. An article in a newspaper stated “he was given command of the Army Service Corps on the formation of the Desert Mounted Corps, under General Sir Harry Chauvel.” On 30th March 1916 he was admitted to 3rd Light Horse Field Ambulance with Nile Fever and then transferred to 1st Australian General Hospital from the 11th Casualty Clearing Station on the same day. He was put under observation in the hospital and re-joined his unit at Kantara on 30th June 1916.
William was mentioned in despatches on 13th October 1916 by General A J Murray Commander-in-Chief Egyptian Expeditionary Force, for distinguished services rendered during the period of his command. He was again mentioned on 1st October 1916 by General Murray. A letter acknowledging this was sent to his wife at their home address on 25th April 1917. When she received these notifications, she had them published in the personal notes of the Brisbane Courier. There was also a special mention in Supplement 301-69 of 6th July 1917. He was mentioned in General Murray’s despatch of 18th March 1917. Through his organising capabilities, he proved that he was very capable with movement and supply requirements.
On 18th April 1917, he was to assume control of all the AIF AASC personnel in Egypt under the GOC Anzac Mounted Division.
He was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel on 12th June 1917.
As a Captain (temporary Major) in the ASC, he was listed in the London Gazette of 6th July 1917 on page 6773, from Sir A J Murray’s despatches of 18th March for gallant or distinguished conduct in the field, or other valuable services. His wife was sent a letter detailing this on 19th November 1917. From General Murray’s despatch of 28th June 1917, he was again mentioned and it was entered in the London Gazette on 14th January 1918.His wife was sent a note about it on 11th June 1918.
On 6th August 1917 he was attached to Headquarters Desert Mounted Corps from AASC to complete establishment and was to be their Assistant Director. Lieutenant-General Chauvel thought so much of him, due to his brilliant organisational capability; he took him with him to the Desert Mounted Corps. In October 1917, he organised a transport column six miles long which contained over 300 vehicles and thousands of pack animals. He managed this column through Palestine and Syria and showed an organising talent of the highest order. A great demand was placed on the Service Corps to supply operations that began with the capture of Beersheba on 31st October 1917. It was commented “the Australians always seemed to have their supplies with them … if resource and energy could work miracles the Australian supply officers deserve the credit for them.” He was also awarded a special mention in Sir A J Murray’s despatches. A letter was sent to Amy on 11th June 1918 detailing this information. He was to be Honorary Captain (in the Australian Military Forces) and to be noted for promotion to the Brevet rank of Major on attaining substantive rank of Captain in the Australian Military Forces on 24th September 1917.
Amy signed for his Commission Form on 8th December 1917 which had on it “Lieutenant W. Stansfield ANZAC Mtd. Divn. A.S.C.”
He was awarded a Distinguished Service Order on 1st January 1918 for being able to maintain the DMC during its rapid advances to Beersheba and Jerusalem in 1917 (which apparently is rare for an officer in the ASC). The recommendation reads “For consistent good work and devotion to duty as Senior supply Officer to a Division. His work has been invaluable throughout all operations in which his Division has been engaged.” Lieutenant-Colonel Stansfield was listed in the London Gazette on 12th January 1918 on page 809. A letter was posted to his wife on 2nd May 1918 advising her of the award for distinguished service in the field.
On 13th January 1918 he was admitted to 14th Australian General Hospital at Cairo, while on leave, with a double pterygium, and was discharged to duty on the 27th. His diet in hospital, from 13th January was no diet that day, then from the 14th to 27th he had chicken, with extras including pudding, milk, bread, butter and eggs. Another form has this all crossed out and the date of 30th March 1918, with a diagnosis of dislocated semilunar cartilage. A field medical card states it was synovitis of the left knee in the field ambulance while the hospital has right knee. The 45th Stationary Hospital has an entry on 24th March 1918, stating he fell from his horse on the 18th and twisted the left knee which caused synovitis and bruising on the inner aspect of the thigh with marked tenderness over internal lateral ligament. Hospital treatment included compresses, massage and a splint. Another medical form stated “At Bela 18/3/18 horse reared whilst patient was mounting, and struck patient on head making him (?). Also strained left knee. Knee began to swell straight away and could not bear his weight on it”. He was examined and sent to hospital where the left knee was still swollen, so he was rested on his back, with the knee splint and slung. By 2nd April the swelling was subsiding, and by the 10th the leg was wrapped in adhesive plaster and he was allowed to get around with a cane. On the 15th, he could get around with it just bandaged and by the 26th he was doing well with no pain or swelling. He was “cured” and discharged on 27th April 1918. There is also a medical case sheet for his double pterigium which starts on 13th January 1918, noting a previous examination in 1917, diagrams of where they were and description of operation and eye drops and ointments used. He was sent to 14th General Hospital for the treatment of them. The stitches were removed on the 19th and by the 27th, the right eye was healed and the left eye had a small knot of vessels that were rapidly disappearing. On 28th January 1918 he was discharged to duty.
In 1918, he was involved with supplying the troops through the Jordan Valley and for advances of up to 500 miles to Damascus, which stretched his organisational abilities.

A report on an accidental injury was filled out on 16th April 1918 relating to an incident on 20th March 1918 where William fell off his horse and severely dislocated his knee. William was admitted to the 45th Stationary Hospital in Egypt with synovitis of the knee on 23rd March 1918, transferred to 44th Stationary Hospital on the 25th and transferred to the 14th General Hospital on the 30th. He signed the form as Commander saying that he was injured in the performance of military duty and no one was to blame. Statements were given at the 14th General Hospital on 7th April 1918 to D.A. & Q.M.G. Descorps. The first one was by William, himself, and stated “In accordance with arrangements made to inspect 1st line and train transport of the Aust.Mtd Div, I proceeded to Belah by train and horses were sent by the Aus Div Train to take us to their camp for the night. The train being late the horses had been kept waiting in the cold and were rather restive and as I mounted the horse reared up and as I leaned forward he threw his head back and caught me in the face. This temporarily dazed me and I attempted to slip off and in doing so must have put my foot in a rut in the road causing the knee to go out of joint. The tight riding breeches I was wearing at the time however brought the knee back into joint leaving the knee badly strained. I was taken to the train and attended to by the Train M.O.” Major F. P. Howell-Price also stated “I was with Lt-Col Stansfield A.D.S.T. D.M.C. at the time of the accident. When mounting his horse, it reared, striking him in the face apparently dazing him, as he half slipped and half fell to the ground. I went to his assistance and found he could not stand his knee having been dislocated. He was conveyed to the Aust Mtd Divl train where the M.O. attended to him.”
He re-joined Headquarters Desert Mounted Corps on 6th May 1918. William was mentioned in despatches again on 28th June 1918. He was sent to hospital as sick on 16th October 1918 and was admitted to the 31st General Hospital at Abbassia with pyrexia. It appears in a later medical sheet that it was a malarial attack, which was treated with quinine. On 31st October he was discharged to the AIF and was approved for 14 days leave in Cairo. He re-joined DMC Headquarters on 20th November 1918.
A confidential report was done on him by his commanding officers on 19th January 1919. In it he was strongly recommended for advancement and he would fit in in either ADST or DDT or DDS. He was described as 41 years old with 4 years and 4 months service. His services in the present war were listed as: enlisted 10th August 1914, arrived in Egypt on 5th December 1914, Gallipoli from Beginning May to December, Western Egypt 3 months, Upper Egypt 1 month. Took part in all operations of Mounted Troops east of Canal since March 1916. Commanded ASC Anzac Mounted Division until 6th August 1917. Since then ADST Desert mounted Corps. Mentioned in Despatches 20-6-16, 18-3-17, 25-6-17, DSO 1-9-18. To be Honorary Captain and Brevet Major CMF. The remarks of the reporting officer were: a. ability and professional knowledge very good g. fit for promotion. Thoroughly sound and practical in all his ideas and work, and is in addition hard working and energetic. His Commanding Officer added: “A very capable Supply and Transport Officer. Has shown ability much above the average in the operations in this theatre where owing to great distance, rapid movement and bad roads, supply difficulties have been very great.” It was signed by Lieutenant-General H G Chauvel.
On 26th March 1919 he was detached from Headquarters of the Desert Mounted Corps to go to AIF Headquarters and on the 30th he was attached for duty with the Australian Headquarters in Egypt, ex Australian Army Service Corps, for duty.
He was mentioned in despatches on 5th June 1919 in the London Gazette. A letter from Base Records was sent to him on 28th October 1919 detailing the despatch of General Sir E E H Allenby.
He was appointed a Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George in connection with military operations in Egypt for his “continuous zeal and ability”, which was published in the London Gazette on 3rd June 1919. He was able to maintain the DMC during its’ rapid advances to Megiddo, Damascus and Aleppo in 1918. A letter from Base Records was sent to him on 27th October 1919, detailing his award. On 6th June 1919, he was admitted to 14th General Hospital AIF with relapsing malaria (BT) with a herpes complication and he was treated for it with quinine injections and was given some Mist Brom to help him sleep. After a few days the herpes had cleared and he was improving. He was discharged on the 13th as “relieved”. William was discharged from the AIF on 30th October 1919 when his appointment was terminated.
William returned to Australia on HT Dunluce Castle on 18th July 1919 and was struck off strength.
At some stage he was awarded a Volunteer Officer’s Decoration for being an efficient and thoroughly capable officer for twenty years’ service.
A Miss H Lakeman of PO Box 185 Melbourne wrote to Base Records on 4th August 1919 stating “I will be glad if you will let me know if the following members of the A.I.F. have disembarked from Egypt, the first for Australia, giving vessels name, and the second on furlough to Scotland. 1. Lieut. Col. W. Stansfield, D.S.O., C.M.G., A.D.S.T. Desert Mounted Corps <Last letter from A.I.F. Headquarters at Cairo> 2. War-Of. J. G. Wallace A.I.F. Headquarters Canteen Section Egyptian Command <Last letter from Kantana> Thanking you in anticipation of an early reply. I remain yours sincerely <Miss> H. Lakeman P.S. Both these soldiers enlisted in Brisbane.” The other person was 3474 James Gribben Wallace from Dalby. The reply from Base Records on the 6th August advised her that Lieutenant-Colonel Stansfield was returning to Australia on Dunluce Castle which was due to arrive in Melbourne on the 22nd and that no report had been received concerning Warrant Officer Wallace. It is not known why she wanted to contact both of them.
On 31st August 1919, a medical report was done with William stating in March 1918 at Belah he was admitted to the 14th Australian General Hospital with synovitis of the left knee following and injury. He had one or two recurrences since, but no disability. It was confirmed by a doctor and he was to be demobilised. His appointment was terminated on 30th October 1919 in the 1st Military District as Lieutenant-Colonel W Stansfield CMG DSO.
After the war he re-joined the railway with his old job and was organising secretary of the Social Services League for some time. In December 1919, Sir Harry Chauvel visited various towns in Queensland, going to civil receptions and catching up with old friends. He did not forget his friend, Lieutenant-Colonel W Stansfield, “his brilliant Assistant Director of Supply and Transport, whose wonderful organization ... [and] ... efficient work made the great advance referred to, possible.” While he was in Brisbane he called in, to find Stansfield in the same junior position at QR that he had left in 1914. This upset Chauvel so much saw the head of QR and found out he was ignorant of William’s service record. Stansfield was soon given a better position. He was appointed Inspector of Rolling Stock for Queensland Railways from 1st January 1920. William went to various schools close to where he lived and spoke to them about Anzac day in the 1920’s and 30’s. In 1931 he spoke at Rosewood on the functions of the League. He was State Transport Officer during the visits of the Prince of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of York and the Duke of Gloucester. The visit of the Duke and Duchess of York was in 1927 and the Duke of Gloucester was on 4th December 1934.
William signed for his Mention in Despatches certificate on 5th April 1920 which was entered in the London Gazette number 30474/77 as Lieutenant-Colonel W Stansfield CMG DSO ASC and he signed for the oak leaves on 8th August 1920. He signed for another MiD certificate on 24th November 1920 which was in the London Gazette number 29845 and another two certificates on 9th June 1921 for entries in London Gazettes number 30169 and 31383.
William and another railway worker appeared before a Magistrate in court in 1924. They were accused of wilfully and unlawfully damaging a notice case which was the property of the Queensland branch of the Australian Railways Union. He was carriage shed foreman at the Roma Street railway yards at the time. A paper, to which he took exception to, hand been placed in there by a person named McArthur and he was trying to remove it to send it to the General Manager. They could not obtain the keys to the case or remove it from the wall, so William instructed another worker to smash the glass, removed the paper and sent it to the General Manager. McArthur then had to answer a departmental charge of misconduct for placing the notice in the case and had been cautioned about it. Witnesses in the trial thought it was proper for William to obtain the paper as evidence as it held him up to ridicule and other people were reading it and grinning. William considered the notice to be subversive to discipline and no action had been made by his superiors. Another person had offered to pay for the damage. The hearing was adjourned and it is not known what the result was.
In the 1921 and 1925 electoral rolls, they were living at 40 St James Street, Petrie Terrace, and he still had the listing of railway employee. William joined the AASC of the 1st Division AMF in 1921 with the rank of Captain and Brevet Major. In 1922, he was promoted to Lieutenant-Colonel and commanded Headquarters 5th Divisional Train and all the AASC units in Queensland for the next five years. He was listed in the Queensland Railway Employees with the position of Inspector of Passenger and Rolling Stock in the Secretary’s branch in 1921 (age 46) and Carriage Shed Foreman in the Traffic Branch, Southern Division from 1922 to 1938. On 19th July 1923 a report in connection with the annual service etc, in connection with the Order of St Michael and St George, was redirected to Base Office, as noted on his service record. An article in the Brisbane Courier of 7th April 1925 “Ex-Lieut.-Colonel Stansfield, who has been 26 years in the Railway Department, has been appointed manager of the Anzac Memorial Club. For his involvement in the Royal tour of the Duke and Duchess of York in 1927, William was personally thanked by them and received a gift from them (sleeve links bearing the Royal monogram). He went to a reunion of the Moreton Regiment in 1929.
At Rosewood and Oxley, in 1931, he spoke at a meeting of the Social Service League on the functions of the League. He was organising secretary for the League. In 1932 he was placed on the officer’s reserve. In 1934, he was the State Transport Officer for the Royal visit of the Duke of Gloucester. He organised plans for the Jubilee procession through Brisbane in 1935.
He was placed on the retired list as honorary Colonel in 1937. By the 1936 and in the 1943 electoral rolls, they had moved to 34 Le Geyt Street, Fortitude Valley and his occupation was still railway employee. He enlisted on 21st September 1939 at Brisbane as Q185061. His address was given as Windsor and next-of-kin was Amy Stansfield. Unfortunately his WW2 record is not open and no other details are listed. The Courier-Mail in 1946 said “he was called up for duty at Victoria Barracks in the second world war. He retired in December, 1940.” It appears he actually retired in April 1941. Afterwards he was liaison officer at the Health and Home Affairs Department between civil defence and military authorities.
William was involved with the freemasons and was a foundation member of AIF Memorial Lodge No. 289 UGLQ.
William passed away on 19th May 1946 in Brisbane, in the Royal Brisbane Hospital. His funeral was held at the funeral chapel of John Hislop and Sons at 17 Peel Street, South Brisbane on Tuesday 21st May at 10am. Then his body was taken to Mt. Thompson Crematorium and cremated. His ashes were buried on the 1st June 1946 in Toowong Cemetery in Portion 11 Section 35 Grave 13, the same grave as his parents.
He was mentioned in Who’s Who in Australia from 1922 to 1947. The 1944 edition lists him as Lieutenant-Colonel and Director of Remounts in the 1st Military District in September 1939 and then Liaison Officer Civil and Military Defence in the 1st Military District 1941. His wife and children placed memoriam in the Courier-Mail on Monday 19th May 1947.
Amy Louisa Stansfield died on 5th March 1952, and was buried in the same grave as her husband on 20th March 1952. One of their daughters, Lilian was also buried in the same grave on 13th September 1971, she had never married.
Herbert Stansfield served in WW1 as Private 14703 in the Army Service Corps, enlisting on 22nd March 1917. On 18th September 1917 he was discharged as being medically unfit due to a heart problem. In 1922 he married Daisy May Freeman. He also served in WW2 as Q155233, enlisting on 15th March 1942 in Brisbane. Unfortunately those records are not open to view. There is an ID card for him and permit to be on small vessels in Australian waters. Herbert owned a Vauxhall after the war and had a licence and petrol ration coupons for it.
Arthur William Stansfield married Eva Maud Jane Longdon in 1926 (they were engaged in 1925) and they moved to Hervey Bay in the 1970’s. He passed away on 6th April 1988 at Point Vernon.
Thelma Stansfield married John Willings Winlaw in 1931, but unfortunately he passed away in 1934. John had been born in Scotland, was previously married in England and had moved to Australia by himself in 1908. She then served in WW2 in the RAN as Driver WR/547 at HMAS Penguin. Thelma then married William George Christopher in 1951 (he had also been previously married).She passed away sometime in the 1980’s.
Leonard Finlay Stansfield also served in WW2 and was discharged in 1947 as Major QX6059 in 2/2 Australian Supply Company. From 1931 to 1937 he was a Lieutenant in the AASC as recorded on his service record.

His Medals are CMG DSO 1914-15 Star, British War medal, Victory medal with oak leaf, Colonial Auxiliary Force Medal and Volunteer Officer’s Decoration.

The Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum has his medals.

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Biography contributed by Sharyn Roberts

Son of William STANSFIELD & Margaret (nee-FORRESTER) STANSFIELD.

Marriage: Amy Louisa (nee-ROGERS) STANSFIELD.