Stanley Wheeler (1917-2004)

An important person, not covered in detail yet is Stanley Wheeler, my Grandad, and husband of Elaine Cynthia Wheeler. If it wasn’t for his early deviant ventures (deviant might be too strong a word), I may not be here to tell the tale.

It all starts in 1917, Stanley Wheeler is born in Darlington, UK:

Stanley Wheeler_birth rec2

This revealed:

  1. Birth date: 29 October 1917
  2. Place of birth: 90 Yarm Road, Darlington, U.D.
  3. Name: Stanley
  4. Name of mother: Mary Ellen Wheeler
  5. Residence (mother): 43 York Street, Darlington, U.D.
  6. Occupation (mother): Lady Barber
  7. Name of father: ——- (blank)
  8. Occupation (father): ——- (blank)
  9. Registrar: J.F. Tomlin (Deputy Registrar)

This confirmed his name and date of birth. Mary Ellen Wheeler is stated as Stanley’s mother, however, there is some confusion as to whether this was in fact his grandmother. Mary’s residence is recorded as Darlington and her occupation as a lady barber. Stanley’s father is not recorded on his birth record.

Stanley’s place of birth is interesting. 90 Yarm Road, Darlington, was a workhouse. Workhouses were built to provide accommodation to the public in return for work. Typically, the poorest people in a specific locale resided in workhouses. The use of workhouses date back to 1631, although their origins can be traced back further to the Statute of Cambridge 1388, which restricted the movement of labourers and beggars. A short history of the Darlington site, with pictures and maps can be viewed here.

Little is known about Stanley’s early life, although it is believed that he ran away from home in his teenage years to join the military. His records show in 1935 he did enlist in H.M. Forces:


First serving (9 Jan 1935 – 7 Feb 1949) in the Royal Artillery as War Sergeant (this was a rank given by the British Army during the hostilities of WWII). Stanley then became Battery Quarter Master Sergeant (B.Q.M.S.) in 1949, Acting Sergeant in 1950 and [Subaltern] Bombardier (1953-57). There are many records and details about these military positions which will be covered in a future blog post. There is also evidence of Stan (potentially) lying about his age (A la Edith Wharton), hence the earlier reference to ‘deviant ventures’. Stanley also went on to work for the electricity board and at Cummins, in Darlington. All for a future blog post.

Stanley served over eight years in India with the Royal Artillery from 14 September 1937 to 18 December 1945. It was here he met his wife. Aged 25, Stanley married Elaine Cynthia Hassett. The marriage details have been published in a previous blog, with discussion, but the details are replicated here. Their marriage took place on 27 June 1943:

Stanley and Elaine_mar_c

This revealed:

  1. Marriage location: St Mary’s Church, Parel
  2. Marriage date: 27 June 1943
  3. Names: Stanley Wheeler and Elaine Cynthia Hassett
  4. Registered age at marriage: Stanley: 25, Elaine: 19
  5. Condition (marital status): Stanley: Bachelor, Elaine: Spinster
  6. Rank or profession of Stanley Wheeler: Sergeant in R.A.
  7. Residence at time of marriage: Stanley: Ahmednagar, Elaine: Dadar
  8. Father’s name: Stanley: John William Wheeler, Elaine: David Vincent Hassett
  9. Banns (public announcement in a Christian parish church of an impending marriage)
  10. Witness signatures: C. Bedford and B. Bedford

See previous post for discussion of marriage details.

We know that Stanley and Elaine moved to England with first born child, David around Nov/Dec 1945. Living in Darlington they went on to have four more children. He lived in Darlington for the rest of his life, more detail about this will be covered in a future blog post.

On 18 January 2004, Stanley sadly passed away:

Stanley Wheeler_funeral


He was, and is, a pivotal part of the family. His life is very important to the shaping of most recent generations and this will be explored in more detail. Survived, initially, by his five children, thirteen grandchildren and six great grandchildren, his memory now lives on through three generations: five children, thirteen grandchildren and fifteen great grandchildren (at the time of writing).




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