1940, Stanley successfully applied for a job at the BBC working
on transmitters as a 'key thumper'. The Second World War was now
underway and the Corporation desperately needed Morse operators
across the country
so he went off to do his bit at the Borough
Hill transmitting station in Daventry.
had, by this time, married his wife Frances who he had met at
Plessey and the couple, along with their nine month old daughter
Marion, moved up to nearby Long Buckby in Northamptonshire,
which was to remain his home for the rest of his life.
1944 he signed up with the BBC's War Reporting Unit, initially
roaming the country to record 'on the spot' features on the
impact of the war at home. In October that year he was assigned to the US
Third Army Press Camp, moving across northern Europe and taking
briefings from one particularly notorious American commander along
Patton's bright and brotherly briefings were well
attended. [His] ad libbing would have done justice to
any humorous gathering. Serious as the situation was,
with Germans advancing on the Eiffel front, the General
threw some remarkable answers to the correspondents'
you think that there are many more Tiger tanks in the
area?" one lady asked him.
unless the present ones are reproductive tanks,
ma'am," he answered. Another question about the de-nazifying
of prisoners to use them for counter espionage seemed to
annoy him somewhat and he came back: "Trying to do
that would be like trying to fertilize a forty acre
field with a fart."
was later teamed up with the British Eighth Army in Italy and followed
the Allied advance up through the country and finally into Austria
just as the war was coming to an end. Shortly after that, along
with other regular army units, he was summoned back home.
he returned to the UK he joined the newly formed Mobile
Recording Unit as an outside broadcast engineer covering a range of events
for the Beeb including the 1946 Paris Peace Conference and the 1947 Royal Tour of South
Africa. Over the following four years he was based in
Birmingham working on local news
transmissions for BBC Midlands. During his time there he also
worked on radio staples like 'Down Your Way',
'Around and About' and 'Farm Visit' with veteran broadcasters
such as Richard Dimbleby and Wynford Vaughan Thomas.
of his collaborators was F R Buckley
who was partly instrumental in engineering the next phase of our