STEPHENS, Stanley

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Enlistment Address

Darlinghurst St, Sydney

Service Number

6320

Unit

13th Battalion, 20th Reinforcements

Comment

Gilgandra Coo-ee

Fate

KIA 11.2.1917 France

Information

Private Stanley Everard Stephens 6320

Stanley was a 25 year old journalist who had come to Gilgandra to cover the Coo-ee March for the Farmer and Settler newspaper. He liked what he saw, so enlisted and marched with the Coo-ees. Stanley had previous service experience with the Royal Naval Navy from August 1914 to January 1915, when the Australian Navy, under British control, was sent to seize German New Guinea and the New Britain Archipelago on September 11 1914.

He was single and his parents Effie and Harry Stephens lived at 19 Roslyn Gardens, Darlinghurst, NSW. The medical examination described him as 5’ 7” tall, 136lbs (61kgs), fair complexion, brown eyes and brown hair. No distinctive marks noted.

Stanley sent detailed stories back to Sydney which were published in the ‘Farmer and Settler’, His father was the editor. He trained at Liverpool Camp with the Coo-ee recruits. After training in Liverpool he embarked on the HMAT Euripides with the 13th Battalion to disembark at Plymouth, England. They arrived on October 26, 1916 and trained at Codford with the 4th Training Battalion then left for France on the ‘Princess Clementine’. Stanley was taken on strength on January 2 1917 with the 13th Battalion when they were in the Somme. He saw action on the frontline and was wounded during an attack at Guedecourt.

Stanley rejoined the unit in February and was missing in action on April 11, 1917 at the First Battle of Bullecourt. That day saw 367 men missing in action, 25 men killed and 118 men wounded. A court of enquiry held in October 1917 declared that he was killed in action on February 11, 1917. A report from the Red Cross Missing and Wounded Bureau stated that he was badly injured with a bomb , he was bandaged up but suffered so much loss of blood that there was little hope he survived. This report came from a soldier who was a Prisoner of War in Frierdreichsfild, Gemany.

He is commemorated on the Coo-ee Gateway Memorial, the Australian War Memorial Panel 71 and the Villers Bretonneux Memorial.

His parents were issued with his 1914-15 Star (because of his service in New Guinea), the British War Medal and the Victory Medal. They received a Memorial Scroll and the Memorial Plaque.

Stanley’s mother, Mrs Ephie Stephens lived at 19 Roslyn Gardens, Darlinghurst and was the secretary of the 13th Battalion Comfort Fund. Stanley’s younger brother, Percy Stephens 1611 was also in the 13th Battalion. He survived and returned to Australia.