Mervyn Alexander Stalker
From Our Contribution
|Date of Birth||4 Jun 1887|
|Place of Birth||Balmain, Sydney, New South Wales|
|Death||8 Jun 1968, aged 81|
|Place of Death||Repatriation Hospital, Nedlands, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||28 years old|
5'8" (1.73m) tall ; 138lbs|
62.596 kg; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||PO Gosnells, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Wife , Mrs Blanche Stalker|
|Date of Enlistment||20 Jun 1916|
|Unit/Formation||44th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement|
|Date of Embarkation||13 Oct 1916 ‒ 12 Dec 1916|
|Ship Embarked On||HMAT A39 Port Macquarie Fremantle to Plymouth|
|Date of Return||15 Sep 1918 ‒ 10 Nov 1918|
|Ship Returned On||HMNZT Arawa|
WIA 28 Mar 1918 Sailly-le-Sec, France |
Returned to Australia
Gosnells Road Board Honour Roll |
Gosnells Ward Honour Roll
British War Medal |
In 1914 Mervyn married Blanche Alvena Starick (1893 - 13 Feb 1931) in the Canning district. A daughter Rita Alvina was born on 6 Jun 1915, died 2009.
Mervyn entered Blackboy Hill camp on 20 Jun 1916, and on 22 Jul 1916 he was allocated to the 4th reinforcement draft for the 44th Battalion, travelling with them to England aboard HMAT A39 Port Macquarie, disembarking in Plymouth on 12 Dec 1916. On the day of his arrival in England he was admitted to the Devonport Military Hospital with a fractured leg, before being sent to the 11th Training Battalion on 29 Dec 1916 to prepare for service on the Western Front. However, he again required medical attention and was readmitted, and was not released until 9 Feb 1917.
On 9 Feb 1917 Mervyn proceeded to Perham Downs for a medical assessment before being sent to the 11th Training Battalion at Durrington on 11 Feb 1917. On 29 Mar 1917 Mervyn was charged with Neglecting to Obey Routine Orders in quitting camp while on light duties without permission. He was awarded 3 days Field Punishment No 2. (see notes). On 11 Nov 1917 he was transferred to the 10th Training Battalion at Sutton Mandeville, before proceeding overseas on 16 Jan 1918 via Southampton.
In France, after several days in the base depot, he was sent with 26 others to join the 44th Battalion which on 23 Jan 1918 was preparing to move back into the front lines at Ploegsteert Wood. During the evening of 28 Mar 1918 the 41st and 44th Battalions were to advance up the northern bank of the Somme river near Sailly-le-Sec. After coming under heavy machine gun fire they dug in to consolidate their gains. During the action, 10 men were killed, 48 Wounded and 8 were missing the following morning. Mervyn's wound was a gun shot wound to his left arm which had caused a compound fracture to it.
Treated by the 11th Field Ambulance, he was sent back on 30 Mar 1918 to the 8th Stationary Hospital in Wimereux, before being evacuated to England aboard HS Jan Breydel on 5 Apr 1918. On arrival in England Mervyn was admitted to the 2nd Eastern General Hospital in Brighton. On 22 Jun 1918 he was transferred to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield. On recovery he was found to be medically unfit to continue for 6 months or more, and so was marked for return to Australia where he was discharged on 21 Apr 1919 by the 5th Military District.
Children born after Mervyn's return were: Joan (1919 - 1986); Lionel (1921 - ); Joyce Henrietta (1925 - ); a one other son.
Electoral Roll entries: 1918 Gosnells, labourer; 1925 - 1931 Newdegate, farmer; 1936 Edendale, Kardardup, farmer; 1943 Katanning hotel, night porter; 1943 - 1949 Bunbury road, Wungong, barman; 1954 - 1958 Robin Hood avenue, Armadale, carpenter.
Field punishment could be awarded by a court martial or a commanding officer for any offence committed on active service. There were two categories of field punishment. Field punishment No. 2 consisted of heavy labouring duties. All offenders awarded field punishment would march with their unit, carry their arms and accoutrements, perform all their military duties as well as extra fatigue duties, and be treated as defaulters.