Stanstead Abbotts

Local History Society

Handley Carleton GRACE


6ht Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment

Died of Wounds 2nd September 1917 aged 25

Born in 1892, in Blenheim, New Zealand, he was the son of George F Grace, Vicar of Stanstead Abbotts from 1909 -1927, and stepmother Catherine, he had a brother Harold, also born in New Zealand and they lived in the vicarage.  Prior to this in 1901, at the time of the census, Handley was living with his stepmother and brother in Thorpe St Matthew, Norwich, whilst his father was visiting a fellow clergyman in Walberswick, Suffolk.

Whilst at Cambridge University he joined the Public Schools battalion and from there he was recommended for a full Commission into the Army on 8th September 1914 as Temporary 2nd Lieutenant and his unit was sent to France in July 1915.He was promoted to Captain in the field while he was serving in A Company, 6th Battalion Northamptonshire Regiment.

He was wounded in action in fighting around the Belgian village of Wyschaete on 11th August 1917 during the Third Battle of Ypres, or Passchendaele and taken prisoner, having been shot in the back and lungs.  He was taken to a German field hospital number 281 and from there to Hospital 33 near Kortrijk (Courtrai) where he died.

The German Red Cross passed details of his capture to Britain and his parents were informed that he was a Prisoner of War at Limburg, in Germany, not until 27th November 1917 did they receive details of his death after his death certificate was sent from Germany via the Red Cross.

Probate records show that Handley left the sum of £208.15s.7d to his father.

He is buried in grave number B25 at Kortrijk Communal Cemetery.

Medals Awarded: British War Medal, Victory Medal, 1915 Star