Stanley Reuben MERTEN

Poppy

MERTEN, Stanley Reuben

Service Number: 573
Enlisted: 8 July 1915, Keswick South Australia Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 29th Infantry Battalion
Born: Angaston, South Australia, 29 April 1895
Home Town: Angaston, Barossa, South Australia
Schooling: Angaston and Truro
Occupation: Labourer / Gardener
Died: Killed in Action, Fromelles, Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France, 19 July 1916, aged 21 years
Cemetery: Rue-Petillon Military Cemetery, Fleurbaix, Bethune, Nord Pas de Calais, France
(I. K. 61.) Rue Petillon Cemetery.
Memorials: Adelaide National War Memorial, Angaston Congregational Church WW1 Roll of Honour, Angaston District WW1 Roll of Honour, Angaston War Memorial, Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Truro War Memorial, Truro and District Roll of Honour
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World War 1 Service

8 Jul 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 573, 32nd Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
8 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Keswick South Australia Australia
18 Nov 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, HMAT Geelong (A2)
19 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 573, 29th Infantry Battalion, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)

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Biography

Information from Trove:

Enlisted on 8th of July, 1915. He declared he was single, 20 years old and a labourer living at Angaston with his father.  

Name listed on Embarkation Roll as 'Merton, Stanley Reuben.' Embarked 18 November, 1915 at Outer Harbour on HMAT Geelong (A2) with B Company of the 32nd Battalion. Throughout his service, his last name was interchangeably used as either Merten or Merton.

When he was in Egypt he was involded in several crimes, extending from absent without leave, absent from church parade, using obscene language and failing to clean his rifle. For all of these crimes was was either fined or isolated for several days. He was transfered to the 29th Battalion of the same Brigade - the 8th Brigade - on the 14th of May, 1916. Whilst in Egypt he wrote home saying he was eager to, "get into action."

The 29th Battalion sailed to France on the 23rd of June, 1916 before making their way to the 'Nursery' area near the Belgium/French boarder. They were only in the line for several days before they had to participate in the attack on Fromelles.  

During the attack on Fromelles on the night of the 19/20 July 1916 he was Killed in Action. Due to the nature of his battalions job during the battle (the 29th Battalion wasn't used as an attacking battalion, but rather kept in reserve) it is highly likely that he died by ferrying supplies to the front line, as as the battle progessed (although the 29th was strictly for reserve only) two companies ended up taking supplies to the front line when the situation there was becoming desperate. His body was most probably brought back to the Allied Lines during the battle as he doesn't have a Red Cross file detailing how he died and it is known that he died on the 19th of July. However, he was also able to be identifed and as a result is buried at Rue Petillion Cemetery behind the Allied Lines. Unlike so many Australians that day that died he does have a proper grave.

Known in the Angaston and Truro area fairly extenstively, he was tall standing at 6 foot 2 inches, often described as 'manly' and popular with his friends.

1914/15 Star: 25791

British War Medal: 24878

Victory Medal: 24711

Memorial Plaque: 314395

 

Nathan Rohrlach  

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