STANFORD, Charles Robert
Sergeant Charles Stanford drowned during a training exercise at St. Ives.
Extract from the Cornishman newspaper - Thursday 29 April 1948.
The Commandos stationed at the Commando Assault Centre at St. Ives, have become so popular with residents that the tragedy in which a young Sergeant lost his life on Saturday has evoked a wide measure of sympathy. The accident happened about ten o'clock on Saturday morning, when a Commando surf boat, in which were a sergeant and four other Marines, got flooded while on exercise off Porthmeor Beach. It was dead low water at the time, and it appears that, after landing on the beach, the crew were taking the boat to sea again. Sgt. Bob Stamford was in charge, and he had with him Marines J. Walker, P. Rook, B. Bennett and J. Horlock. Although overhead the sun was shining brightly, waves were breaking on the shore, and there was a strong under-current. One big wave struck the small craft, and she quickly flooded, throwing the five occupants into the sea. All immediately made for the shore, but suddenly Sgt. Stamford heard a call for help, and found that Marine Walker was in difficulties. The sergeant immediately went to his aid but he, too, was soon in distress. Capt. Barry, of the Commandos, happened to be on the beach directing operations, and he at once dashed into the sea. The captain managed to reach Walker and pull him to safety, but Sgt. Stamford was not seen again, having presumably been taken out to sea by the under-tow Marines Rook. Bennett and Horlock managed to reach the shore with difficulty. Walker and Bennett were almost unconscious, but after artificial respiration they recovered sufficiently to be taken to their camp at St. Ives Other Commando boats were quickly on the scene, and they made an intensive search for the body of Sgt. Stamford, but without success. Aged about 35, Sgt. Stamford was married only six months ago, and his wife was visiting him at St. Ives last week. He had spent some fifteen years in the Service. *Additional Source Armed Forces Roll of Honour * British Newspaper Archive (website britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk); The British Library Board. Notes Surname spelt as on AFM ROH. The newspaper report spells his surname as STAMFORD.