The AIF Project

William Daniel STEIN

Regimental number2778
Place of birthWallsend, New South Wales
SchoolWallsend Public School, New South Wales
OccupationLetter carrier
AddressNewcastle, New South Wales
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinWife, Mrs M Stein, 102 Bull Street, Cook's Hill, Newcastle, New South Wales
Enlistment date26 March 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll22 March 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name58th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/75/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A71 Nestor on 2 October 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll58th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularStein enlisted in 1915 and went to Egypt, he was invalided home, went again to England and then to France. While in France he was awarded the MM for carrying dispatches under fire. He was afterwards in camp with trench fever and was killed in action at Bullecourt 1917.
FateKilled in Action 12 May 1917
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)*Second entry both matched
Place of death or woundingBullecourt, France
Age at death24
Age at death from cemetery records35
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Amelia STEIN; husband of Edith May STEIN, 35 Montgomery Street, Kogarah, New South Wales

Military Medal

'Near GUEUDECOURT on the 27th February, 1917, this Battalion had advanced and occupied trenches recently vacated by the enemy. It was necessary to send forward a patrol in daylight from the right flank to observe moments of the enemy. It was a dangerous task as the ground to be crossed was very much exposed and was swept by fire. Private STEIN volunteered and went with the party. Three of the party were hit before reaching the position for which they were making. One of them could not walk and STEIN carried him to the shelter of the pit in which the party were to shelter, and dressed his comrades wounds. A despatch had to be sent back and again STEIN volunteered to carry it. he accomplished this successfully and described coolly and collectedly the exact situation, and asked that a stretcher party be sent to bring back the wounded man. Although he had twice crossed the area swept as it was with machine gun fire and had seen his three comrades hit he once more volunteered to make the trip and guide the S.B. party. His movements could be plainly seen as it was broad daylight, and there is no doubt his brave conduct and devotion to duty had a most inspiring effect upon his comrades.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 133
Date: 21 August 1917

Family/military connectionsHe was cousin of Dan Davies a Machine Gunner who was killed in France May 1917.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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