The AIF Project

Stephen Nicholas FLETT

Regimental number97
Place of birthSydney Flat, Bendigo, Victoria
SchoolSydney Flat State School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
AddressSydney Flat, Bendigo, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation30
Height5' 9.5"
Weight166 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Jessie Flett, Sydney Flat, Bendigo, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date10 February 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll27 January 1916
Place of enlistmentIpswich, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name25th Battalion, A Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/42/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 29 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll25th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularEnlisted 10 February 1915; promoted corporal 30 October 1916.
FateKilled in Action 14 November 1916
Place of death or woundingFlers, France
Age at death31
Age at death from cemetery records31
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
Commemorated in Eaglehawk Cemetery, Victoria. Parents: Nicholas and Jessie Louisa FLETT, Woodvale Post Office, Victoria
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 20 December 1915.

Admitted to 6th Field Ambulance, Mudros, 20 December 1915; transferred to No 3 Australian General Hospital, Lemnos, 24 December 1915 (jaundice); transferred No 2 Australian General Hospitalo, Cairo, 30 December 1915; to Convalescent Depot, 7 January 1916; discharged to duty, 22 January 1916.

Proceeded to join unit, Ismailia, 5 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 14 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 19 March 1916.

Admitted to 7th Field Ambulance, 29 March 1916 (mumps), and transferred to No 2 Casualty Clearing Station; to No 7 General Hospital, St Omer, 30 March 1916; to No 4 Stationary Hospital, Arques, 20 April 1916 (orchitis); discharged to duty, 27 April 1916; rejoined Bn, Armentieres, 30 April 1916.

Appointed Corporal, 5 August 1916.

Killed in action, 14 November 1916.

Statement, Red Cross File No 1071112D, F. LOWE, 24th Bn, 15 October 1917: 'Casualty was killed at Fleurs [sic] whilst waiting with us to join the company. He was killed by a piece of shell. We buried him where he fell. I was present.'

Second statement, 4107 L.J. CRAWLEY, 25th Bn, 7 January 1918: 'I knew Casualty. He was a tall dark man about 28 years of age, known as "Steve". It was in a bayonet charge at Flers. He was shot through the left cheek bone, the bullet coming out through the back of his neck, killing him instantly. I was about two feet away at the time.He was buried where he fell.'

Third statement, 4133 T.M. HARVEY, 25th Bn, 8 June 1918: 'I knew Casualty. He was a tall man, well built, dark complexion, about 30 years of age, known as "Steve". Casualty was in the front line trench at Flers on the Somme. He was having a shot at a German and was just getting up to have another one when he was sniped through the head killing him instantly. He fell back in my arms, and died there. He was buried just near where he fell on the top of the trench. I was an eye-witness.'

Fourth statement, 1781 Sergeant T. WRIGHT, A Company, 25th Bn, 27 March 1919: 'I saw Flitt [sic] A. Coy, killed instantly at Flers by sniper's bullet through the head near me about 9 a.m. after the morning stunt. Don't know about burial. Description: about 5' 8" thickset, dark moustache.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, FLETT Stephen Nicholas
Red Cross File No 1071112D

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