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Mervyn Alexander Stalker

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Mervyn Alexander Stalker
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Personal Information
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
Description 5'8" (1.73m) tall ; 138lbs
62.596 kg
; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
Occupation Labourer
Religion Church of England
Address PO Gosnells, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Blanche Stalker
Military Information
Reg Number 2403
Date of Enlistment 20 Jun 1916
Rank Private
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
Fate WIA 28 Mar 1918 Sailly-le-Sec, France
Returned to Australia
Monument Gosnells Road Board Honour Roll
Gosnells Ward Honour Roll
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal



Pre War

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.

War Service

Mervyn entered Blackboy Hill camp on 20 Jun 1916, ands on 22 Jul 1916 he was allocated to the 4th reinforcement draft for the 44th Battalion, travelling with them to England. 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 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 based 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 Australian 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 medically found unfit to continue for 6 months or more and so was marked for return to Australia.

Discharged by the 5th Military District on 21 Apr 1919

Post War

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.

Notes

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.


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