Stephen Charles Southern
From Our Contribution
|Date of Birth||3 Jul 1903|
|Place of Birth||Croydon, England|
|Place of Death||Carnarvon, Western Australia|
|Age at Enlistment||38 years, 6 months|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Address||Kelmscott, Western Australia|
|Next of Kin||Wife , Antonia Emily Southern|
|Date of Enlistment||5 Jan 1942|
|1st Departure from Australia|
|Journey Dates||6 Sep 1942 ‒ 8 Oct 1942|
|Transport Details||P2 or P4 in Convoy US 16 Fremantle to Middle East|
|Return to Australia|
|Journey Dates||24 Jan 1943 ‒ 18 Feb 1943|
|Transport Details||HMT Queen Mary Port Tewfik to Fremantle via Massawa & Maldives|
|2nd Departure from Australia|
|Journey Dates||7 Aug 1943 ‒ 10 Aug 1943|
|Transport Details||SS Charles P Steinmetz Cairns to Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea|
|Return to Australia|
|Journey Dates||18 Feb 1944 ‒ 22 Feb 1944|
|Transport Details||unknown Port Moresby PNG to Brisbane|
|Post War Details|
|Fate||Returned to Australia|
1939-45 Star |
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45
On 12 Nov 1910, 7 year old Stephen, with his mother Ulla, three sisters and three brothers sailed from London aboard the SS Armadale for Fremantle. During 1934 Stephen married Antonia Emily Beaton (b.1916) in the Mount Margaret district.
Electoral Roll entries: 1931 Karragullen, wood cutter; 1936- 1937 Laverton, labourer;
After enlisting in Claremont, Stephen was sent to the 13th Training Battalion at Northam camp on 9 Jan 1942. The next day he presented to medical staff with an infected face. On 11 Jan 1942 he was transferred to the 118th Australian General Hospital and he received treatment from them until he returned to his unit on 20 Jan 1942. On 8 Mar 1942 he was charged with having been AWOL from 8:00am on 8 Mar 1942 until midnight the same day. For this he was Admonished and forfeited a day's pay. From 16 Mar 1942 until 23 Mar 1942 he was detached to No 3 Special Detachment before being transferred to them on 4 Apr 1942. Stephen was AWOL again, from 5:00pm until midnight on 12 May 1942, for which he forfeited a day's pay.
On 13 May 1942 Stephen was assessed as a Cook level II, and then on 16 Jul 1942 he was transferred to the 2nd AIF Training Battalion. Granted leave from 17 - 23 Jul 1942, he was next transferred to the reinforcement draft for the 2/32nd Australian Infantry Battalion. He embarked for the Middle East aboard ship P 2 or P4 a part of Convoy US 16, disembarking in Egypt on 8 Oct 1942, and there he was sent to the 24th Infantry Training Battalion until 1 Jan 1943 when he joined the 2/32nd Battalion. On 24 Jan 1943 the battalion embarked for Australia aboard HMT L1 thought to be HMT Queen Mary, and Stephen disembarked in Fremantle on 18 Feb 1943. On 4 Apr 1943 he entrained in Perth for South Australia
After a period of retraining in north Queensland, the 2/32nd Battalion embarked in Cairns on SS Charles P Steinmetz for Lae in Papua New Guinea on 7 Aug 1943, and Stephen disembarked in Milne Bay, Papua New Guinea on 10 Aug 1943. He was transferred to the 24th Australian Infantry Brigade's Headquarters Company on 16 Nov 1943, with his Proficiency Pay backdated to 1 Jul 1943. Stephen was evacuated to the 2/2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station with Malaria on 16 Jan 1944, and on 19 Jan 1944 he was transferred to the 2/9th Australian General Hospital who released him to a depot unit on 30 Jan 1944. On 18 Feb 1944 he embarked in Port Moresby for Brisbane where he disembarked on 22 Feb 1944.
On arrival in Australia he appears to have been treated for Malaria before being granted leave from 4 March until 3 Apr 1943, and didn't rejoin HQ 24th Australian Infantry Brigade until 13 May 1944. On 22 May 1944 he reported to the 2/1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station with what was initially diagnosed a Dengue Fever. Passed on to the 2/2nd Australian General Hospital at Rocky Creek in north Queensland the next day who treated him for BT Malaria. On 3 Jun 1944 he was well enough to be released to the 2/1st Australian Convalescent Depot who released him back to his unit on 21 Jun 1944. He was detached for the period 19 - 31 Jul 1944 to the 1st Corps Command & Staff Course. On 3 Aug 1944 he underwent assessment by a Medical Board which found that he was unable to provide further service and should be discharged. He was sent back to WA where Stephen again fronted a Medical Board before being discharged the next day on 17 Nov 1944 as suitable for "essential services", in addition to being unfit for heavy work in a hot climate for at least 6 months.
Electoral Roll entries: 1943- 1949 Forrest street, Kelmscott, farmer; 1954 - 1958 at 79 Collins street, West Peth, yardman; 1963 - 1977 c/- W O'Meagher, labourer; Karragullen. By 1954 Antonia was living apart from Stephen at 58 Dane street, Victoria Park, a shop assistant.