Lieut.-Col. George Stack (Royal Engineers)
We are very sorry to learn, rather belatedly, of the death on active service of George Stack on September 16th 1919. He had served in France, Kut and Palestine during the war and was mentioned in despatches four times as well as being awarded the DSO in 1916.
Of his part in the battles of Neuve Chapelle and Ypres (1915) he wrote, in his letter to us in December of that year, “The sappers, of course, have been hard at it all the time. The work involved in maintaining old trenches, making new ones, wire entanglements, redoubts, defence of houses and villages etc., has been heavy and continuous. My own job has been to assist in this as far as possible…”
After being in France from the beginning, he went out with the Kut Relief Expedition in 1916, and was with the 3rd Lahore Division on General Maude’s entry into Bagdad.
In March 1918 the Division was sent to Palestine and was serving all through that campaign under General Allenby. During the 1916-17 campaign on the Tigris, the 3rd Sappers and Miners were often up to their waists in water for five or six nights, fighting the floods.
A farewell order to the Sappers and Miners, 3rd Division RE, given by Major HD Keary, is the best evidence for George’s wonderful work:
“Later on in India and Mesopotamia, when others fell sick, he carried on single-handed until at last he was in charge of an area extending from (but not including) Kontara up to and including Damascus, and from the sea to the Mecca railway, an enormous tract of country…
Early in August 1919, the Chief Engineer had to go on leave, and George Stack had to take on the duties of Chief Engineer as well as those of Commander Royal Engineers, so his area stretched right up to the Taurus…”
Even he was not proof against the effects of wounds, five or six years’ fighting with little or no leave, exposure and overwork, and he now lies buried in the little British military cemetery between the villages of Ramleh and Ludd, on the slope of a hill which looks east to Jerusalem.
As his General has written:
“His life was given for his Country just as much as if he had been killed in the trenches.”