William John STEPHEN

STEPHEN, William John

Service Number: 2772
Enlisted: 13 July 1915, Liverpool, NSW
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 55th Infantry Battalion
Born: Balmain, New South Wales, Australia, 1888
Home Town: Sydney, City of Sydney, New South Wales
Schooling: George Street Public School Redfern, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Grocer
Died: Killed in Action, France, 20 July 1916
Cemetery: Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery
His remains were positively identified in 2023 and have been re-interred at the Pheasant Wood Cemetery on 20 July 2023. Previously listed at VC Corner Cemetery and Memorial, Fromelles, Lille, Nord Pas de Calais, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

13 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 2772, 17th Infantry Battalion, Liverpool, NSW
2 Nov 1915: Involvement Private, 2772, 17th Infantry Battalion
2 Nov 1915: Embarked Private, 2772, 17th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Euripides, Sydney
20 Jul 1916: Involvement Corporal, 2772, 55th Infantry Battalion
Date unknown: Involvement 55th Infantry Battalion, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)

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Biography contributed by Faithe Jones

Son of Daniel and Mary STEPHEN, 'Zilka', Selbourne Street, Burwood, New South Wales

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.'

Mrs. J. Marshall, of "Palmyra," Clarke-road, Ryde, has received a wire stating that her grandson, Corporal William John Stephen, has been killed in France. The young man was 29 years of age, and was a son of Inspector Daniel Stephen, of the Sydney police. Prior to enlisting, the young man was employed at a grocery in Ryde, and was a member of the Ryde Choral Society. His brother, Private Cecil  Murray Stephen, is with the A.I.F., in France, where his brother-in-law, Private Leonard Bevan, of Bowral, is also fighting for the Empire.