The AIF Project

Hamilton STOKESBERRY

Regimental number2981
Place of birthBalaclava, St Kilda, Victoria
SchoolKalgoorlie Central School, Western Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationClerk
Address707 George Street, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height5' 5.5"
Weight127 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Ella M Stokesberry, 707 George Street, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Enlistment date13 July 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name51st Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/68/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A8 Argyllshire on 9 November 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll51st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 24 April 1918
Place of death or woundingVillers-Bretonneux, France
Age at death22
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
154
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Hamilton and Ella M. STOKESBERRY, George Street, Kalgoorlie, Western Australia
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Fremantle, 9 November 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 10 January 1917, and marched in to 13th Training Bn, Codford.

Admitted to Group Hospital, Sutton Veny, 7 April 1917 (cold); marched in to 13th Training Bn from hospital, 3 May 1917.

Admitted to Group Hospital, 4 May 1917; marched in to No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, from hospital, 4 June 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 23 July 1917; taken on strength, 51st Bn, in the field, 12 August 1917.

Found guilty, 6 November 1917, of being in town 4 November, without a pass: deprived of 2 days' pay.

Killed in action, 24 April 1918.

Buried; grave subsequently lost.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Mrs Stokeberry wrote to Base Records, 19 July 1923: 'Dear Sir, In reply to your letter of the 13th July [not on file] referring to the Star of David. Kindly put the Cross on my son's grave stone. I did not know the Star was of (sic) Jewish Emblem.'
Miscellaneous detailsSurname entered incorrectly on Embarkation Roll as STOKESBURY .
SourcesNAA: B2455, STOKESBERRY Hamilton

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