William Stanley FRAYNE


FRAYNE, William Stanley

Service Number: Officer
Enlisted: 19 August 1914, Enlisted at Morphettville Racecourse
Last Rank: Captain
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Thebarton (Southwark), City of West Hindmarsh, South Australia, 14 December 1892
Home Town: Thebarton (Southwark), City of West Torrens, South Australia
Schooling: Hindmarsh Public School and Muirden College
Occupation: Insurance Clerk
Died: Killed in action - shot dead by sniper at Lone Pine, Gallipoli, 6 August 1915, aged 22 years
Cemetery: Lone Pine Cemetery, ANZAC
Plot 2, Row A, Grave 18
Memorials: Adelaide Fire Underwriters' Association of S.A. WW1 Roll of Honour, Adelaide Marine Underwriters Association of S.A. WW1 Roll of Honour, Adelaide National War Memorial, Adelaide Scots Church WW1 Honour Board, SA Caledonian Society Soldiers Memorial WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

19 Aug 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN Officer, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
19 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN Officer, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlisted at Morphettville Racecourse
20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, SN Officer, 10th Infantry Battalion, --- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '10' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Ascanius embarkation_ship_number: A11 public_note: ''
1 Feb 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Lieutenant, 10th Infantry Battalion, Egypt
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Lieutenant, SN Officer, 10th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli
25 May 1915: Promoted AIF WW1, Captain, 10th Infantry Battalion, In the Field - Gallipoli
6 Aug 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Captain, SN Officer, 10th Infantry Battalion, 'ANZAC' / Gallipoli

Captain William Stanley Frayne

From Gallipoli, 1915

Captain William Stanley Frayne, “D” Company, 10th Battalion Australian Infantry, was killed in action on 6th August 1915. He is buried in Lone Pine Cemetery.

He had written home three days before his death.

“We have been here about 15 weeks, and I have only been off the Peninsula for three days, when the regiment went for a few days' much-needed rest. There are several Millicent boys in my company, and one of my present officers is Stan. Ireland. We often talk of Millicent and its pleasures. Things now are fairly quiet during the daytime, but at night they liven up, and we have bombing and artillery duels with the enemy. These kick up a deuce of noise, and make things unpleasant for friend and foe. In the distance we can see the British troops having a go in, and can see the explosions from the shells wearing down the hills. The big guns on the cruisers mar the contour of the hills wherever they land, and whenever I see a big bust up I can't help thinking that the maps of the place will have to be altered when the war is over. We are looking forward for that day, and to a peaceful life. Remember me to everyone in your part of the globe.” [1]

He was the 23 year-old son of William and Nellie Frayne, of Adelaide, South Australia.

[1] 'The South Eastern Times' (Millicent, South Australia), 23rd November 1915.

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Born 14 December 1892 at Thebarton, South Australia.

Eldest son of William FRAYNE and  Mother Nellie (nee McROSTIE).

He was educated at the Hindmarsh Public School and Muirden College.

At the outbreak of the Great War he was residing with his parents at 41 Henley Beach Road, Mile End.

He was a Clerk by profession and at the time of joining the AIF was employed in the insurance department of Dalgety & Co. Ltd.  He was a member of the Caledonian Society and the Glenelg Amateur Swimming Club. 

He was well known in Adelaide Military circles, formerly being a member of the Old Scottish Rifles.

On the introduction of universal training he transferred to the 76th (Hindmarsh) Infantry on 1 July 1912 and received his first commission in that regiment on 28 October 1912 as a 2nd Lieutenant.  He held this commission at the time of joining the AIF.

He was one of the first South Australian Officers to offer his services for overseas and within six hours after the news arrived in Adelaide of the declaration of war he obtained leave from his office and immediately set about getting his company together, the 76th Infantry being the first South Australian Regiment mobilised.

He was appointed a 2nd Lieutenant in the 10th Battalion at Morphettville on 28 August 1914 and was posted to ‘D’ Company, a vacancy having existed in that company for a subaltern consequent upon the transfer of Lieutenant J A W Kayser to the 12th Battalion.

When the new ‘D’ Company was formed in Egypt in 1915, he was appointed a Platoon Commander in same, and promoted to rank of Lieutenant on 1 February 1915. 

He landed with his company from the Scourge at the historic landing at Anzac on 25 April 1915 and served continuously at Anzac from that day to the time of his death.

On 6 August 1915 he was on duty in the front line with ‘D’ Company at the section known as the Lone Hand, and was shot through the head whilst attempting to locate a Turkish Sniper through his field-glasses.    Only a few minutes prior to being mortally wounded Captain D L Todd, of the same company, drew his attention to the fact that perhaps he was unnecessarily exposing himself too much, as the 10th Battalion could ill afford to lose further Officers though misadventure.  

He was killed in circumstances almost identical with those when Lieutenant C P Farriers was killed earlier in the Gallipoli campaign.

Captain M J Herbert, the original Officer Commanding ‘D’ Company, upon hearing of his death wrote:

“An excellent Officer, well liked by all his men, for whom he always had the greatest consideration, and I had learnt to have the utmost confidence in him.”

He had been promoted to the rank of temporary Captain shortly before his death, such promotion being retrospective to 25 May 1915. 

He was highly respected by rank and file of the 10th Battalion for his genial disposition.


Extract from “The Fighting 10th”, Adelaide, Webb & Son, 1936 by C.B.L. Lock; kindly supplied courtesy of the 10th Bn AIF Association Committee, April 2015.