William John STEPHEN

Regimental number2772
Place of birthBalmain, New South Wales
SchoolGeorge Street Public School, Redfern, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
AddressWater Police Station, Phillip Street, Circular Quay, Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Height5' 5.75"
Weight138 lbs
Next of kinFather, D Stephen, Water Police Station, Phillip Street, Circular Quay, Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date13 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll18 July 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name17th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/34/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 2 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll55th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Place of death or woundingFleurbaix, France (Battle of Fromelles)
Age at death28
Age at death from cemetery records28
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsV.C. Corner (Panel No II), Australian Cemetery Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Daniel and Mary STEPHEN, 'Zilka', Selbourne Street, Burwood, New South Wales. Native of Balmain, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother: 2771 Pte Cecil Murray STEPHEN, 5th Australian Infantry Brigade Headquarters, returned to Australia, 4 January 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Allotted to, and proceeded to 55th from 5th Training Bn, Zeitoun, 16 February 1916; taken on strength of 55th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 16 February 1916.

Sent to Field Ambulance, 19 February 1916; admitted to No 3 Field Ambulance, Tel el Kebir, 20 February 1916 (ingrown toenail); transferred to No 2 Australian Stationary Hospital, Tel el Kebir, 29 February 1916; discharged and rejoined 55th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 7 March 1916.

To Field Ambulance, Tel el Kebir, 16 March 1916; rejoined unit, 17 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 June 1916.

Promoted Corporal, 10 July 1916.

Killed in action, 20 July 1916.

Note on B.103, 'Buried B1056 Sheet 25'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 2610902, 2745 Pte J. O'BRIEN, 55th Bn, 4 August 1916: 'Stephen was in one of the trenches taken on the night of July 19th at Fleurbaix when he was shot through the head as he stood by my side. I took his pay book from his pocket and have it with me (Book produced ...) I felt fr his identification disc but could not find it. We retired next morning from this spot and his body had to be left.

Second statement, 2895 Pte C.A. BYERLEE, AMC Details, 13 November 1916: 'He was killed by a shell in Nomansland (sic), and buried just behind the lines at Fleurbaix, between the firing line and the supports. Our pioneers buried him. Pte. Hussett was one and he told me about it. I believe they put up a small cross to mark the grave.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, STEPHEN William John
Red Cross File No 2610902