The AIF Project

Frank STEED

Regimental number755
Place of birthCroydon Park, New South Wales
SchoolCroydon Park and Cleveland Street Public Schools, New South Wales
ReligionMethodist
OccupationTinsmith
AddressGeorge Street, Enfield, New South Wales
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation32
Height5' 8.75"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs Alice Steed, George Street, Enfield, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date12 July 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentCorporal
Unit name30th Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/47/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A72 Beltana on 9 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll30th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of death or woundingFleurbaix, France (Battle of Fromelles)
Age at death31
Age at death from cemetery records33
Place of burialFromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery (Plot II, Row C, Grave No 10), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
117
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Frederick and Catherine STEED; husband of A. STEED. Native of Croydon Park, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 9 November 1915; disembarked Suez, 11 December 1915.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Posted wounded and missing, 20 July 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 23 July 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 20 July 1916'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 2610501, 1308 Pte W. GRAHAM, C Company, 30th Bn (patient, No 2 Canadian Stationary Hospital, Boulogne), 21 September 1916: 'Two mates of mine called Jackson brothers saw Steed lying on the ground at night on 19th July. Steed said I am done for. We lost that part of the line[,] in fact the Germans probably hold it still.'

Second statement, 1215 Pte F. ERICKSON, 30th Bn (patient, No 12 General Hospital, Rouen), 6 November 1916: 'He was caught coming out of the German trench and I heard him sing out "I am done for", and he dropped. Only two out seven got away. This was reported to me by L/Cpl. Jackson who was with him.'

Third statement, 1575 Pte P.J. KRESTENSEN, 30th Bn (patient, 20th General Hospital, Etaples), 9 November 1916: 'I saw him lying badly wounded in both legs in a German trench at Fromelles. We had to retire from the trench later on and of necessity had to leave him. If he lived, he must have been made a prisoner.'

Fourth statement, 1270 Lance Corporal A.A. JACKSON, C Company, 30th Bn, 22 December 1916: 'I was with him on the night of 19th July 1916[;] our party was forced out of the enemy trench while getting over the parapet[.] Cpl Steed by shot by [a] sniper[.] He fell back into [the] enemy trench as he fell he said "I'm done"[.] [W]e had no chance whatever to reach him or have no idea where he was wounded.'

Fifth statement, Captain J.A. CHAPMAN, 30th Bn, 30 December 1916: 'Cpl Jackson of C. Coy saw him hit on the German parapet and as he fell back into the German lines he called out "I'm done".'

Sixth statement, 1325 Corporal E. KING, C Company, 30th Bn, 13 February 1917: 'On the above date in question I with the rest of the Division hopped over the parapet and made for the enemy's lines. On the way across No Man's Land however I was separated from Cpl Steed. L/Cpl. A.A. Jackson 1270 of this Company enetered the German lines in company with Frank Steed and it happened that it was a heavily shelled part of the line they came to and of course looked for a better position[.] On clambering out the other side of the German trench they were under heavily machine gun enfilade, first man out fell back shot through the head and four other poor fellowsof ours suffered likewise[.] I'm very sorry to say L/Cpl A Jackson came last and Cpl Steed proceeding him fell back into his (Jackson's) arms whilst doing so saying "Go on, I'm done Arthur!" Jackson turned him over, had a look at hime and then left him for dead. He told me that afterwards he would not swear to him being dead but so far as he knows that was his sad ending.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

Originally listed as 'No Known Grave' and commemorated at V.C. Corner (Panel No 2), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles; subsequently (2010) identified, and interred in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, France.
SourcesNAA: B2455, STEED Frank
Red Cross File No 2610501

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