2nd Officer - Merchant Navy - SS Merel
Stanley Cecil Holland was born on 12th September 1907 in Gravesend, Kent. His father was James Richard Holland (who died in 1927), a Licensed Victualler, and his mother was Beatrice (née Walter). The first school that he attended was Miss Pearsons School in Gravesend.
In 1917 he moved to The County School for Boys – now known as Gravesend Grammar School. The Head Master at that time was the Henry F A Wigley. The County School for Boys was located in Darnley Road, Gravesend close to the Railway Station (now the Victoria Centre for Education). In 1938 the School moved to brand new premises in Church Walk, Milton, Gravesend opposite to Milton Church.
The School’s Admission Register lists Stanley’s address as 110 Wrotham Road (formally of the White Post, 61 Pelham Road), Gravesend. Two of his older brothers, James Edward (born 1888) and Thomas (born 1891) were Trinity House Pilots. James attended the School in 1901 as did sisters Beatrice (born 1885) and Nellie (born 1886) in 1899.
In 1923 Stanley left the School and joined the Merchant Navy. He married Kathleen Kingsnorth in 1934. In the 1939 Census it lists him living at 45 Darnley Road, Gravesend and working as a Second Mate on the SS Merel. Stanley served on the SS Merel together with Chief Officer Arthur Clemence, also an Old Boy of the School.
On the 8th December 1939, SS Merel, a cargo ship, was sunk by a mine near Gull Lightship off Ramsgate with the loss of 16 of her 18 crew, including Arthur Clemence and Stanley Holland. Stanley was 32 years old. He is remembered at Tower Hill Memorial Panel 70.
There are links below to Newspaper Clippings and Photographs from the Gravesend Grammar School Archives.
Below are links to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website and a few other websites that might be of interest: