Nel Brooks Artist
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Stanley Ellis

Royal Fusiliers

Stanley joined the Home Guard when he was 17, then in April 1942 he reported to Harley Barracks in Essex. After his basic training he was assigned to the Royal Fusiliers.

By the 9th of September 1943, Stan and his buddies were landed onto Selano Beach (Italy). As part of the second assault wave on the first day, 85 men were lost with a further 14 lost early on the second day.

One of the major problems after the landings was communications; contact by radio was impossible due to hills and surrounding terrain. Added to this was the lack of tank support ~ Stan's group of ground troops were up against Panzers and their support troops but by December Stan's group reached the Gerigland River and were given 4 days leave in Naples.

Shortly after their leave in Naples, they returned to the front line where they then became cut off and Stan was taken as a Prisoner of the (Italian) enemy forces.

During his time as a prisoner, Stan had to work in a sugar factory as did many other prisoners. Of course there was a lot of pilfering of the sugar which the Italian guards would ignore. However, every now and then, the Germans would come and search the huts and entire camp. The Italian guards, who would be put on notice would tip off the prisoners who would hurriedly tip the sugar down the toilets to hide it. However on one occasion the prisoners were frantic as there was so much sugar, they struggled to flush it down one particular toilet!! (the toilet is pictured in Stan's portrait!).

Also shown in the portrait are 3 iris flowers, which Stan requested to signify the three ladies in his life (who, unusually were all named Iris. One in bud (his first wife), a second beginning to flower (his second wife) and the third Iris in full bloom (his third partner)!

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