STINSON, Leo Ambrose

Return to list

Enlistment Address

Miller Street, Gilgandra, NSW

Service Number

5644

Unit

20th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement

Comment

Gilgandra Coo-ee

Fate

Returned to Australia 25.11.1917

Information

Private Leo Ambrose Stinson 5644

Leo Stinson was 18 years old when he enlisted with the Coo-ees and marched to Sydney. This was the first of three enlistments for him in WW1. His medical examination by Dr Peet on October 22, 1915 described him as 6’ 1” tall, 9st 7lb (60kgs), chest expansion 30/33 ½”, dark complexion, greyish brown eyes, dark hair with scars left elbow, front right knee and side of right knee. His religion was Roman Catholic and next of kin was his father, John who lived in Warrie St Gilgandra. He was taken on at Blayney and stated he marched from Gilgandra. Unfortunately he was discharged as medically unfit on November 29 because his chest measurement was deficient.

His second enlistment was several months later at Dubbo on March 3 1916. He was an Ironmonger (maker and seller of hardware) and living in Gilgandra. He stated he had no previous experience, nor had he been rejected as unfit! The medical examination was similar, except this time his chest expansion was 31 ½”/34” and he was accepted. He trained in Dubbo and Liverpool, NSW. Leo embarked for England on the Euripides on September 9, 1916 with the 20th Battalion, and arrived In Plymouth England in October. After further training he embarked on the Henrietta to France and was on the Western Front in January 1917. In April 16 1917, they were at Vraucourt, following up the German forces after their retreat to the Hindenburg Line, when he suffered a penetrating wound to the chest and arm. He was one of 16 men wounded and six men killed that day. It was classed as a successful operation where 200 German prisoners and a machine gun were taken.

Leo was sent to England for treatment and convalescence and returned to Australia on the Hospital Ship Borda. He arrived in Sydney November 25, 1917 was discharged as unfit on January 4, 1918.

His third enlistment in WW1 was with Special AIF Escort. Leo embarked for England on HMT Ypinanga with deportees. He had three weeks’ leave in London before he returned to Australia where he was discharged on February 7, 1920. Leo also served overseas in the Second World War. Leo was born in 1897 at Wellington NSW to John and Elizabeth Stinson. In 1927 he married Sylvia Mackie Johnstone and he died in 1962 aged 65. Sylvia died in 1986 and they are buried at Tweed Heads Cemetery.

Leo received the British War Medal and the Victory Medal.