Feature page of
LT. COL. STANLEY (Kitna)
MY PERSONAL HERO AND ROLE MODEL
I have wanted to write a tribute to this great Lancashire
Fusilier for some considerable time,but every time I got started,another
story or anecdote would surface!
It was not surprising then that he should enlist
into the 6th Bn the XXth The Lancashire Fusiliers almost a soon as he
was 18 years old in 1938 (he gave his date of birth as 1920 to appear
a tear older).
'He's arrived.' panted Naylor.
It was Fayid, Egypt 1950. RSM Stanley 'Kitna' Price
had returned to the 1st Battalion. He left the Bn in 1949 for reasons
unknown to us. There were more different rumours about why he left than
there has been about who killed JFK.
2. RSM Stanley Price was often described by using
one word. But there was much more to him than can be described by a
As dawn broke over Ishmailia, Egypt on 25th January
1952, British troops involved in Operation Eagle were already in position.
The battle was over later that day when the police
surrendered. It had been bitter and bloody battle. Their casualties
were estimated at the time as 57 dead and 142 wounded. Our casualties
were, four dead and ten wounded. One of the wounded, 22215305 Fus A.B.
Allen, later, died of his wounds,
P.S. While the battle was in progress a number of
action were taking place simultaneously. Such as,
Bill Duffy's Memory of Kitna:
Other things attributed to him......Putting Minnie
on a charge for defecating on his parade ground........putting HIMSELF
on a charge when he looked in the Guardroom mirror and told himself
he was scruffy and a disgrace to the Regiment.
The only time I ever heard him speak quietly.....I
happened to be passing the guardroom in Aqaba when Kitner collared me
and told me to double into the guardroom and get a duster as he had
some dust on his boots....I ran back and bent down to remove the offending
dust, but the duster I had grabbed had some oil on from weapon cleaning.....the
mirror vanished from his toecap...Kitner looked down on me from what
seemed a great height and whispered " If you are not out of my
sight in 3 seconds you miserable little bastard, my pacing stick will
vanish down your throat!".....I was gone in a split second.
A change of Uniform
He looked immaculate, Bush Hat, Silk Shirt and shorts and without doubt the smartest soldier I have ever seen.
However, a Major (2nd in Command) who was tall and
wore a monocle came on Parade, and shouted "RSM Price, get off
Even in Army issue shirts he still looked immaculate.
I don't know what became of the Major but there were stories going around
NB: Compilers note - RSM Price is known to have had specially made for himself a beautiful uniform made out of the finest silk!!!
The Major concerned is known to have 'departed' the battalion not long after this particular incident
RSM Stanley 'Kitna' Price
and Lord Wavell
Battalion Drill Parade was RSM Price's favorite pastime.
One day during a Parade Kitna shouted at one of the Chindits
On another occasion during an RSM's battalion Drill
Parade an Indian Postman made the mistake of passing the parade ground
On another occasion two of his Policemen came on
Parade with a table. Kitner stood on the table so that all could see
Half the battalion was made up of these wonderful
soldiers. It is said (wrongly) that Kitna had no friends.
Hiding in the smallest room
One afternoon we were all off duty just lounging
around our barrack room when one of the lads shouted
The RSM used to go down with Malaria. On one occasion
two orderlies were sent from the MI Room to Kitner's
He put them both on a charge and walked to the ambulance
It was a Special Guard that Kitna had for one of
his social occasions. I think from memory it was red tunics and blue
The barracks at Lucknow were clean and well spread
out and the barrack rooms were built with verandas.
If we were marching when the wagon went past it was " Eyes Right " or "Eyes left " for the Cadbury's Wagon!!!
Special Guard for demo's
We were on guard waiting for the arrival of a VIP
and Kitna put us through our paces. He made sure we were ready.
Military Tattoo in Lucknow
I was in the squad who was performing 'silent drill'.
The crowd appreciated the complicated routine and they thought
I was the smartest on the Guard Mounting a couple
of times which meant that you didn't have to go on guard..
Home Leave Request
Home Leave was for those who had been in India just
coming up to two years. Once over 2 years service (and not having had
When I was eventually marched into the CO's Office
all I said was" I want to go on home leave Sir". He said to
the officer by his side,
The Parade Ground
The Parade Ground at Lucknow India was a flat piece of land baked hard by the sun an ideal Parade Ground, Kitna was having his Battalion Parade, the about turn was not good enough, he kept us doing the about turn again and again until we got it altogether, just before he dismissed the Parade he shouted "You can come back after, and put your name on the hole you have made" who said he had no sense of humour.
"Iserlohn 1955 by Jimmy Cavanagh"
This story about Stanley (we called him that behind his back) He was then a Leftenant on Christmas morning 1955 I was duty driver 3 ton section Johnny Ball (MT Sergeant) came into our room and told me Stanley had been on the phone and he wanted a truck right away I went down to the QMs stores and it was locked up so I sat there for about half hour thinking the QM was coming from home During this time it was really snowing heavy and had been snowing all nigh It must have been 18 ins deep by this time I noticed someone wearing a cape plodding though the snow towards me When he got close I recognized it was Johnny Ball ( MT Sergeant ) He told me Stanley was still at home and wanted me to tow his car out a snowdrift outside of his house I got there as fast as I could considering the the dangerous condition of the roads And I expected a right rollicking when I got there but Stanley apologized to me for him bringing me out on Christmas morning I got the chain onto his car pulled it out put the chain in the back of the truck I got into truck and was just about to drive away Then I heard this unmerciful shout to STOP I did so and he told me I hadn't finished yet I had to follow him in his car we ended up about a mile away At an 3rd Hussars officer's house Stanley went in after a couple of minutes he and this other officer came out carrying a very large travelling trunk We lifted it onto the truck And Stanley said take it to his house and if I think I could manage to off load it myself do so and then go back to Barracks for my Christmas dinner and a drink with the lads Or wait for him to arrive to help me The other officer wished me a happy Christmas and gave me a flat box of 50 Senior Service cigarets When I got back to Stanley's I rang the door bell and went back to the truck and tried to get the trunk off myself I slipped on the snow and dropped the trunk just as Mrs Price opened the front door she came down about the 7 steps leading to the front door and asked me if all right and to leave it until Stanley arrived Then A German who was passing by offered to help and we got the trunk in to the house Mrs Price thanked the German and gave both of us 50 Senior Service Then she asked me to go into the kitchen for a cup of tea and a piece of home made Christmas cake It tasted great after eating army food for the last 18 months There little girl I would say she was about 4-5 years old talked the leg off me, Both her and Mrs Price were lovely people and made my Christmas Then Stanley arrived he came out to me and said I believe you dropped the trunk I stud there and didn't know what say and then he said did you hurt yourself I said no And then he said then theres no harm done He thanked me Gave me 50 Senior Service Wished a Merry Christmas and to get off back to Barracks and have a good Christmas
During the Bns time in India,a common Urdu phrase
or word used by all the Indian traders was"Kitna",which means"Price"
About two weeks after leaving prison, I'm standing in a Guard of Honour outside the guardroom in Knook Camp, Heytesbury. We were being inspected by Viscount Pakenham, a Government Minister.
When he came in front of me, he said, "And how do you like Army life young man?" As I looked at the minister to answer him, I saw R.S.M.Price, looming in the background over the Minister's right shoulder. He fixed me with one of his grey-blue eyed threats, that I and others knew so well.
"I think it's great Sir," I replied.
The Minister, later became Lord Longford.
Cheers, Chicken Jim Costello
How times changed for you and me. We were all petrified when we first came under the charge of Kitna. You have written in the past he could not care less if you disliked or hated him, but by God you would respect him. Very true but as we were to find out, much more importantly, when you had proved that you were worthy of being called a Fusilier, he returned respect. Once you got to know him you realized he had a wicked sense of humour.
On one occasion at Moascar, just after everybody had got settled down after the evening meal, the whole battalion was told to get outside, any dress, and line each side of the road. Jim and I were both in the Mortar Platoon in SP Coy. Our billet was right at the bottom end of the camp. The road was about a good quarter of a mile down to the officers quarters at the other end, and was lined from end to end with bodies. Suddenly the R.S.M appeared at the bottom end and started to walk very purposefully towards the officers quarters, periodically stopping telling somebody to fall out and wait at his office.
Then the penny dropped, he was picking an honour guard for some reason we were not at that time privi to. I hid behind the biggest bloke I could find, it was like playing hide and seek. Up the road I saw through a hairy armpit Jim had just been whipped and dreaded what was to come. Now Kitna liked his special guards to be all roughly the same height, about 5 7 to 5 9, I once asked him why when we were taking over a guard duty from the Guards why he didnt pick some sixfooters. He replied with that laconic tone: The only difference between the Guards and a Fusilier, apart from the fact that we can do everything better, was they made bigger bloody targets!
By now he had reached the big lad in front of me, stopped and said: Come out Cronnolley, and wheres your mate hiding? Who do you mean Sir? I asked all innocent, like you do. Stevens, was the reply, you two are joined at the hip so he cant be far away. With raised voice he shouted: Come on Stevens, now. Stevo came out of hiding about four places up.
By the time we got to his office all the same suspects were there Jim, Stevo, Fred Lamb, Derrick Hulse, Cpl. Chip Woods, myself and a few I cannot remember. Now I know everybody calls the R.S.M. Kitna, but we were in the habit of referring to him as Stanley, not within earshot of course. He told us to parade next morning outside his office dressed in boots, hose tops and puttees, shorts, shirt and berret with hackles pressed, web belt and carrying rifles and bayonets. It seems we were to get a visit from no less a person the Director of Infantry. We hadnt a clue who or what he was except he was someone important and we only had four days to get it right Now if you have ever done one of these honour guards you will know what its like. Starting with standing at ease to full present arms, climbing up and down your rifle, hour after hour from just after breakfast till NAAFI break then on again till lunch time, then back again for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
When new recruits arrived in the battalion they were billeted in huts at the bottom end of the camp with drill sergeants bringing them up to LF standard. After a couple of weeks they were then thrown to the lions, well thats what it felt like, then Kitna started all over again.
At NAAFI break on about the second day we were doing drill with Stanley, a little chubby Fusilier came towards us from the bottom end of camp. Everything about him told you he was from a new intake and he had been set up by his mates. He was wearing those round National Health type glasses, shorts were too long, shirt not tailored, his berret looked like a blanket with a flash and hackle somewhere near the back of his head and dangling from his right leg was part of his underpants, plus he was pouring with sweat. All in all he looked like something from Benny Hill. I must explain that to get to the NAAFI from the bottom end of camp you had two options, go past Stanleys office or go all the way round the perimeter fence and even old soldiers took the latter option. Stanley watched this poor sod go past swinging his arms so high his shirt was pulled further out of his shorts and the look on his face was of pure terror. Contrary to what people say or think Stanley was no fool and new exactly what had happened. His eyes followed the young soldier till he was about 20 past us then bellowed after him: Laddie, youre lingerie is showing get it fixed NOW. The young lad squeaked: Yes sir, and got out of his sight. We did not laugh, Stanley did not like pranksters or people laughing at someone elses discomfort. He carried on as if nothing had happened.
The day before the parade Stanley gave us a lecture on what to expect saying we would more than likely be asked questions. What do you want us to say sir? Queried somebody. Just answer his questions, replied Stanley. Its all right saying that sir but if we say something you dont like we could finish up in the guard room. OK smart arse lets have a practice. Then he questioned us all at length, needless to say we gave some daft answers just to see what his reaction was. He never batted an eyelid.
Next day the Director appeared and we did what was required. He was I think in his late 50s, the tallest man I have ever seen, his web belt buckle was about on line with my mouth and Im 5 9. By now we were at attention and he proceeded to ask each man questions. When he got to me he asked was I a regular, No sir, National Serviceman. So you will be signing on then? No sir, I heard this voice saying, and realized it was me. Why not.? I dont like the Army and you cant please yourself what you do. Such as what, he asked very sarcastically. He was like a dog with a bone, wouldnt let it go. The only thing I could think of was: Such as putting your hands in your pockets sir. Well who if he has any pride in himself wants to walk around with their hands in their pockets? Well sir the officers do it all the time. He moved on to the next man and carried on asking questions. I thought when hes disappeared down the road; I will disappear up the road doing double quick march.
The staff officers passed one by one till Stanley, who was at the end of the line halted directly in front of me sideways on, ramrod straight, and without moving his lips he said very quietly: You cheeky sod. This I thought was my Waterloo. After it was all over he never mentioned it, and I certainly did not.
Stanley told us to use his office as our guard room
when we were instructed to march off, shut the door and keep it shut
and wait till he came back to dismiss us. There were about 10 of us
and not a lot of room in his office it was like a sauna. Open on his
desk was a full 20 packet of Three Castles cigarettes, nobody dare take
one. This was in the days when nearly everyone smoked. It must have
been an hour later the door burst open he came back to dismiss us. By
this time we were like wet rags. Stevo was sat in his chair tilted back
on the back legs. You cheeky lot of buggers, I suppose youve
smoked all my fags as well. No sir, weve not touched
them, came the reply. A big smile spread over his face: Go
lads help yourselves, and by the way very well done, you put on a good
Throughout this 11 year period when Kitna was RSM,the 1st Bn The XXth The Lancashire Fusiliers had a reputation second to none and was widely spoken of as the finest Infantry Bn in the World at that time.
The example he set so influenced the Junior NCO's who worked for him that one could still hear the same tones and vocal inflections and colourful phrases used by him 20 years later,so that many of the WO2s of the 1960s sounded like rather poor imitations! They will know who I mean!
Kitna Price was commissioned in April 1954 and served as QM in BAOR,UK and Cyprus,where he earned a Mention in Dispatches.
He became the Project Liaison Officer given the task of setting up the new Fusilier Brigade Depot at Sutton Coldfield and between 1961 and 1963 he supervised the building and equipping of St George's Barracks.
1963 to 1970 saw him in Kenya again as QM to the Army Civil Defence School at Kahawa until his promotion to Lt Col.
Lt Col Stanley Price then went to the Army Staff as Staff QM MOD AG2 and served there until he retired from active service in 1975,having given a total of 36 years,and having been awarded the OBE in 1974.
He had not finished! He took a Retired Officer Post at HQ The Prince of Wales Division and then he was off to the Sultan Of Oman's Armed Forces with the responsibility of equiping the Sultan's Armed Forces.
He was home on leave when following a sudden and very short illness he died.
This was sent in to the site by
My memories are of a more mellow man, with
a sharp and witty sense of humour, whose greatest pleasure was to
tease his grand-daughter unmercifully, and, from what I have read
this will cause many of you to wince at the thought, laugh uproariously
when she used to tug at that famous moustache.
Greetings Joe. on this dull and over cast ANZAC Day morning 2008.
The following are the memories I have of the RSM Kitna Price
by Ray Coadwell
On the afternoon after our arrival in Moascar four of us decided to have a look around the camp and it was whilst doing so we encountered, crossing the road ahead of us a smartly turned out officer, stick under arm, sam-brown shining is the sun. Up went four arms giving the smartest salute we could muster, but all we got for our effort was to be yelled at, YOU DONT SALUTE ME, I' M THE RSM, BUT YOU DO CALL ME SIR. and with that he walked on.
Later when I as an R.P I was detailed to meet the RSM outside the Sgts.Mess. don't recall the reason, and we headed towards the company lines. A 2/Lt emerged from one of the barrack blocks and started up the road. As we converged the RSM whispered to me "on the word three, a smart eyes right now" At the moment of the officer passing we saluted but the RSM came to a sudden stop, spun on his heels and standing rigidly at attention called after the officer who had now passed us "Sir, we saluted you, you did not return our salute, don't ever do that again
Sir, " He gave another salute which the officer sheepisly returned, and we all continued on our way.
The 25 Jan. a date we all remember, my section was told to occupy an intersection alongside a Centurion at the corner of the Barracks with my task, being the section Bren-gunner, to cover the road and a door in the wall and prevent anyone from leaving. The tank opened fire on the building with its machine gun which was followed by the deafening roar of its gun. Small arms fire came back in our direction, but we had the cover of the wall.It was shortly after ofter this that the RSM arrived and without any apparent concern for his well-being, climed upon the tank and grabbed what I think must have been an external phone directed the firing of three rounds into the building. all this took place with continued incoming fire. Why he was not hit I do not know but then the was off again.
About two months later I was transfered to the M.T.Company as the PLO stores clerk and one Saturday the RSM came into the office and asked me who the duty driver was for that night, "I am sir" I replied "Well then Coadwell there's a do on tonight at the Sergeants Mess and I want you to pick up Mrs Price and myself from the mess at 2355 hrs. and return us to our quarters and don't be late" I took note and arrived in good time, The Regimental Dance Band was in full swing at the time. On cue the RSM and Mrs Price arrived and I drove sedately to their home in the married quarters. As I pulled to a stop outside, Mrs Price who was sitting in the rear said to the RSM,"give him something","what" he replied so she said again " give him something for driving us home" "but he's on duty" was the reply. "It does'nt matter, he's out at this time of night and could have been home in bed". A couple of notes were passed over and that was that. I often wondered who ran the Battalion.
After my unfortunate accident just outside Fort Hall,I had to attend the MO Centre at Eastleigh for head bandage replacement. Upon leaving I encountered the RSM who looked at me and said with a smile and a dig "put your hat on Coadwell" "sorry it wont fit sir" and as he walked away he turned and still with a smile said " then carry it smartly"
About a week later I again emerged from the MO this time without bandage I again saw the RSM. "Glad to see you can get your beret on Coadwell" "thank you sir" This time as he walked away he turned his head and again with a grin said "and get a hair cut" That was the last time we met.
Joe those are my stories, but a postscript to all this is that after my N.S. my TA unit was the Wiltshire Reg. I was soon transfered to the 1st C/Bn. Wiltshire Regiment as a CSM drill instructor. A year later became the Battalion
RSM. I learnt a lot from our RSM. It is also ironic that I was later commissioned and became CO of "C" Coy.
Hope you find all this interesting regards Ray Coadwell
My uncle... their hero
09 October 2008
Sometimes things we haven't thought about for years are suddenly there, in our face. And usually caused by the daftest things.
Last week I was researching the Gurkhas on the net and there was a link to the Chindits, some sort of special forces outfit that fought in Burma during the Second World War. It rang a vague bell from when I was a kid.
So I clicked on it. Then I spotted one word that rang an even louder bell. It was "Kitna."
Where had I heard that before?
Then I remembered. Kitna. Kitna Price. Also known as Uncle Stan.
He died years ago. In the early 80s, I think. I remember because I was going to ask him to give me away at my wedding and then it was too late.
My mother was devastated. He was her kid brother and she adored him. He was the one who got away, who left the mills and ran off to join up.
And the boy did good.
He became the youngest regimental sergeant major in the British Army and shot up through the ranks. By the time I was old enough to understand these things, he was a Lieutenant Colonel.
But to me, he was Uncle Stan. I didn't see him often but he was very dapper with a dauntingly glamorous wife and a beautiful daughter.
He was warm, funny, generous and prone to gentle teasing. He had the most outrageous waxed handlebar moustache and I thought he was brilliant, a real pussycat.
So it was a bit of a shock to find a website describing him as a legend in his own lifetime, a hero and a role model.
It was even weirder to read about grown soldiers being so terrified of the Dunkirk veteran that they ran away and cowered in a toilet when he approached.
He was also, it seems, a little eccentric. How else do you describe a man who, while stationed in India, put a bicycle under arrest in the guardroom for moving on parade because it fell over. Or who gave a cloud a rollicking for daring to overshadow his parade ground.
Or who put an entire company in the guardroom for being scruffy on parade. There is even a rumour that he put himself on a charge when he looked in the guardroom mirror and told himself he was scruffy and a disgrace to his regiment.
Frankly. I don't believe that one. But the rest... well, perhaps.
It did, however, clear up his nickname. Kitna is the Urdu for "price" as in Stanley Price. Family mystery solved.
Uncle Stan went on to great things and, when he retired, was hired by the Sultan of Oman to reorganise his army. He died soon after.
But one thing is clear from the website just how much he was respected by his men.
And that's worth knowing, at any price.
Halifax Evening Courier newspaper. By Jane Percival ( Kitna's Niece)
From: Sturminster Newton RBL [mailto:SturminsterNewtonRBL@f2s.com]
Sent: 25 January 2009 11:18 PM
Subject: Trying to locate a grave in town cemetery
Dear Mrs Derricott,
I have been contacted by the Lancashire Fusiliers Web site and asked to get a photograph of the grave for one of their late members.
His name was Stanley Price and he is apparently buried in Plot JJ4 in the Garden of Remembrance in the Bridge Cemetery.
Not knowing my way around the cemetery I wondered if you had a plan of the site that indicated where within it plot JJ4 might be so I could find it.
The council confirms that we have checked the late Stanley Prices ashes plot. It does have a memorial stone but unfortunately it is difficult to read and is in need of a good clean. From the top (new) car park, JJ4 is in the older section of the Gardens of Remembrance on the left of the gravel path going towards the Chapel of Rest. We have an A4 size plan which shows the site of the plot (and others surrounding it) and the council can post this to you
Sturminster Newton Branch (BR 2443)
The Royal British Legion
COL. STANLEY (Kitna) PRICE. OBE.
OMNIA AUDAX XXTH.