Stanley Vincent DOLTON


DOLTON, Stanley Vincent

Service Numbers: Not yet discovered
Enlisted: 12 July 1915
Last Rank: Lieutenant
Last Unit: 45th Infantry Battalion
Born: Croydon, New South Wales, Australia, 22 March 1891
Home Town: Woollahra, Woollahra, New South Wales
Schooling: Fort Street Public School, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: Clerk
Died: Hit by shell in dugout, Gueudecourt, France, 20 November 1916, aged 25 years
Cemetery: Bulls Road Cemetery, Flers
Bulls Road Cemetery (Plot I, Row A, Grave No. 1), Flers, France
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World War 1 Service

12 Jul 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 13th Infantry Battalion
9 Apr 1916: Involvement 13th Infantry Battalion
9 Apr 1916: Embarked 13th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Nestor, Sydney
20 May 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 45th Infantry Battalion
7 Aug 1916: Wounded AIF WW1, Second Lieutenant, 45th Infantry Battalion, Battle for Pozières , SW Forehead
20 Nov 1916: Involvement Lieutenant, 45th Infantry Battalion

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Biography contributed by Evan Evans

From François Berthout

Lieutenant Stanley Vincent Dolton
On this sunny morning that lights up the old battlefields near which, in the peaceful cemeteries of the Somme, rest in peace thousands of young men who shed their blood on the poppies that grow between the rows of their immaculate white graves. They were young and brave and had as only youth the horrors of war, far from home, they fought on the soils of France with admirable bravery. Today, these young men rest in a friendly country which will always watch over them with respect so that their memory will never be forgotten and today, it is the memory of one of these young men that I would like to honor with gratitude, I would like to pay a very respectful tribute to Lieutenant Stanley Vincent Dolton who fought in the 45th Australian Infantry battalion and who was killed in action 104 years ago on November 20, 1916 at the age of 25 on the Somme front.

Stanley Vincent Dolton was born in 1891 in Croydon, Sydney, New South Wales, and was the son of Arthur and Mary Jane Dolton. Stanley was educated at Fort Street Public School, Sydney, and before the outbreak of the war he lived at 75 Edgecliffe Road, Woollahra, New South Wales, and worked as a warehouse salesman and served for eight years in the Naval Brigade.

Enlisted on March 30, 1916 in the 13th Australian Infantry Battalion, 17th Reinforcement, he embarked with his unit from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A71 Nestor on April 9 and sailed for Egypt. on June 7, 1916, Stanley joined the British Expeditionary Force at Alexandria and embarked for France where he arrived a month later and was disembarked in Marseilles on July 7. Two days later, on July 9, he was transferred to the 45th Australian Infantry Battalion and sent to the Somme front where he was wounded in his forehead on August 7, 1916 and was evacuated to the 7th Auxiliary Military Hospital in Boulogne.a month after recovering from his injury, on September 4, 1916, Stanley was sent back to the Somme front and joined his battalion in the Somme to face the battle of Gueudecourt.

Gueudecourt, a village on the Somme battlefield in northern France, became the scene of two attacks by Australian troops in November 1916 which were made amid conditions rated as the most difficult ever faced by the AIF. The British offensive of this front in September,during which the 1st Anzac Corps was resting in the Ypres sector after its losses at Pozieres and Mouquet Farm had advanced the line into a valley below the Bapaume heights. Here the onset of Autumn rains turned the ground into a quagmire, and attacks against the German lines by the British Fourth and Fifth Armies during October all failed totally with heavy losses.

Unfortunately, it is in Gueudecourt that Stanley met his fate, on November 20, 1916,he was sitting in a dugout in the frontline when a shell blew the dugout in and he was struck in the back of the neck of a piece of timber and died instantly,he was 25 years old.
Today Lieutenant Stanley Vincent Dolton rests in peace with his men, friends and brothers in arms at Bulls Road Cemetery, Flers, Somme, and his grave bears the following inscription "Far off thou art but ever nigh".

Stanley, Sir, you who rest in peace with your friends and comrades under the sun of the Somme which spreads its rays on the poppies and the roses which grow near you, I would like to express my gratitude to you for all that you have done for we, for my country, for France for which you gave so much and sacrificed by losing your youth on these battlefields, come from a friendly country, Australia for which I feel a deep love and a deep respect, you who, at the dawn of a life that was beginning, the shadows of wars reached your country and it was then that, listening only to your heart, your devotion and your courage that you answered the call of your country and have joined the ranks of your comrades to join your brothers in arms on the battlefields on which you have lived the darkest hours of history under the shells, in the infernal din of the dismal roaring of the cannons that poured out death and destruction in the flames of the explosions of a world on the brink of the dark and muddy trenches you fought bravely standing under the fire, in that mud you were in, cold and sticky, every step forward was a burden and yet you never backed down, you moved forward with your men, your friends in a shattered land as were the hearts of men. in this apocalypse of fire, blood and steel you have been through the worst horrors a man can imagine, under machine gun fire you have shown acts of bravery, determination and perseverance, the courage of a whole country, Australia, which lost so many of its sons, of its children who served with exceptional bravery and whose life was stopped in barbed wire, brave among the bravest, they crossed, in the Somme, among the deadliest battles of the great war, names which inspire courage and respect such as those of Pozieres, Mouquet farm, Flers, Gueudecourt,Amiens, which mowed down the lives of a whole generation of men, who, young and proud, gave all they had.they fought with all their hearts, with their convictions in this nameless nightmare which never broke their determination, they who had as only universe that of war and the horrors it engenders, they remained strong and held every meter of ground with strength despite very heavy losses they fought in a very strong bond of comradeship, for the man who was next to them and faced adversity, fears of never seeing the dawn of a new day, they were afraid, terrified but they were brave, all united, they united their forces for the peace for which they decided to fight, all united with their brothers in arms of all nationalities, united with their French comrades with whom they gave birth to a wonderful friendship.The war took their youth but not their humanity and it is together that they gave the world, the hope of a new day, of a peace that all hoped for so that the world never knows again the war.For all these men, I would always have the greatest respect, my deepest admiration and all my love with the hope, in the time of my life, to put a name and a face on theirs, to make them live so may they never be forgotten, so that through their names, we remember them as they were, as courageous men who gave their today for our tomorrow, young men who will always have a very large place in my life. heart just like their country, Australia, our lifelong friend and it is by bowing very respectfully in front of you that I would like to tell you all, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, the friendship of our two countries is for me, an honor, a pride and a very great happiness like that which I feel very deeply while watching over your loved ones who rest in peace, on the lands of Remembrance, on the old battlefields and the cemeteries of the Somme.for your families and for all these young boys, my boys of the Somme, I will always be present with all my heart, with all my energy and my unfailing devotion. French but also proud to have in my heart the Australian sun. Thank you Stanley, for all you have done for us, the Somme and France will be forever grateful to you and your name, in the flame of remembrance and in our hearts, will live on forever.At the going down of the sun and in the morning,we will remember him,we will remember them.