George STENT


STENT, George

Service Number: 2220
Enlisted: 29 March 1915, Blackboy Hill, Western Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 11th Infantry Battalion
Born: Majorca, Victoria, 14 January 1894
Home Town: Kojonup, Kojonup, Western Australia
Schooling: Kalgoorlie State School
Occupation: Postal assistant/telegraphist
Died: Killed in action, Gallipoli, 6 August 1915, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Shell Green Cemetery
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Kojonup RSL War Memorial, Postmaster General's Department Perth WWI HR
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World War 1 Service

29 Mar 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 2220, 11th Infantry Battalion, Blackboy Hill, Western Australia
6 Jun 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2220, 11th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
6 Jun 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 2220, 11th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Geelong, Fremantle
4 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2220, 11th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
6 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 2220, 11th Infantry Battalion, The August Offensive - Lone Pine, Suvla Bay, Sari Bair, The Nek and Hill 60 - Gallipoli

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Biography contributed by DOMINIC FOUNTAIN

By Ella Whan, Byron Bay Public School

There is one member of my family who gets talked about a lot although no one has ever met him. This is my great great uncle, George Stent. He died at the age of 21 in the 3rd infantry brigade at Leans Trench, Anzac Beach. I'd like to share with you his story put together through his letters, his diary, and stories my grandmother has told me.

George Stent was born in 1894 in the gold fields of Central Victoria. He was the eldest of 5 children and had a difficult childhood as his mother died when he was only 11. After his mother’s death, his father migrated to the Kalgoorlie goldfields, Western Australia, to try and provide for his children. He took George and Ethel, leaving the three youngest behind with a Scottish lady. George left school when he was 14 and he began to work in the Kalgoorlie post office. In March of 1915 he finally passed his medical exam for the army. After getting knocked back three times because of a past injury to his leg. George was formally enlisted as Private 2220, into the Australian Imperial Forces on 7 April 1915.

He was sent to train at Blackboy Hill and in mid-May the troops were being prepared to go away. So before my great-great uncle went to war, he went back to Kalgoorlie to say goodbye to his friends and family. George's sister Ethel was sick with diphtheria and George was only able to say goodbye through the hospital window. When he returned to Blackboy Hill he stayed out late in Perth with his girlfriend Edie. This was probably one of the best nights of his life.

On the 7th of June 1915 George got on a boat to go to Gallipoli. He wrote in his diary…."The men were very pleased with the news, singing and cheering and when we were all ready and leaving Blackboy Hill we were cheered by the other recruits who were training there. There were people all along the railway line wishing us goodbye. Arrived at Fremantle and left the jetty at about 1.15pm amongst cheering and yelling of people….."

It took them 3 weeks to cross the Indian Ocean before they started traveling up through the Red Sea towards Port Suez, Egypt. The sites of Cairo were too hard to resist and George and some of his mates got into trouble for missing parade and going to the movies in Cairo one night. He was confined to camp for 7 days. They embarked for the Dardanelles on the 31st of July. George was issued with 150 rounds of ammunition, a hatchet knife and a cholera belt. They arrived at Lemnos Island at 6am on Tuesday 3rd of August. From there the troops were transferred to a mine sweeper. George's last diary entry says "Boys very happy, in good spirits. Destroyer accompanying us all the way. About 800 on board." On Wednesday 4th of August 140 men, including George, reported for duty at Anzac Cove. The men had a day to settle in before the events of the following day.

At 4:30 in the morning on the 6th of August the Turkish attacked in force at Leans Trench. They delivered a heavy bomb attack and the Anzacs tried to fight back but the Turkish were already in the trench. George was one of those killed. He was severely wounded by a machine gun fire. He died on Anzac beach and was buried at Shell Green Cemetery. He lies there to this day.

In his hometown of Kojonup there is a memorial plaque with George's name on it and the words "their names liveth for evermore". At home I have a memorial plaque that has been handed down to my dad and even though George never got to have a family or children the memory of George Stent is kept alive through the stories that have been told and handed down the generations and through his great, great nephew who was named George after him. On this Anzac Day, I would like to say in honour of my great, great Uncle George Stent - "Lest We Forget".