Stanley Oddie, Private 15/689, 1st Leeds Pals
Despite being one of the early volunteers for the Pals, and the first of the ‘O’ surnames on the roll, Stanley Oddie does not appear on the list of applicants. This may simply be an error, but it does not help when there are no service or medical records, only medal records. Fortunately Oddie is not a particularly common surname, and so hopefully what follows is an outline of his life.
He was born in Halifax in 1886, the fourth and last child of John Oddie and Eliza Illingworth, who had married in 1877. They had had six children, but two had died. Stanley’s siblings were Ethel Marion, Mabel and Harold, and for all of his early life the family lived in Halifax, where John was a merchant dealing in foreign imports, specifically, according to the 1881 Census, from Brazil. He died in 1899, and some time after that his widow and two of the children moved to Leeds, appearing on the 1911 Census at 32 Mount Preston. Stanley, by this time 24, was listed as a bank clerk. Three years later he was 27, and volunteering for the Pals at the outbreak of war.
His military service can only be guessed at, presumably beginning with training at Colsterdale, Ripon and Fovant. He certainly went with the battalion to Egypt, and was later awarded the 1914-15 Star for his service there. He then went to France, and at some point, probably later in the war, he was wounded, sufficiently seriously to be discharged and awarded the Silver War Badge. But his discharge didn’t happen until December 1918, after the war had ended. It is likely that he applied for a pension, but I have found no record so far. In addition to the Star above mentioned he was also awarded the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.
There is little trace of Stanley after the war. There is a record of a marriage between a Stanley Oddie and a Marion J Jackson in 1943, and she appears on the 1939 Register, with her surname altered to Oddie. Her occupation is given as bank stenographer, suggesting that Stanley went back to his job with the bank, though I have not managed to find him on the Register. He probably died in Leeds in 1947, at the age of 60.
Ancestry – medal records
Find My Past – census records, 1939 Register
FreeBMD – birth, marriage and death records
Researcher: Peter Taylor
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