535 Sapper Stephen Downes


The following information and chronological table are a summary of the entries from the service record of Stephen Downes. Note that some of the service record pages are duplicated - presumably when the unit and Army records were amalgamated on discharge.

While later documents indicate that discharge was due to gun shot wounds (GSW), the actual cause of injury was shrapnel from an artillery shell burst. 

A further anomaly exists with the entry indicating a transfer on initial enlistment to the 7th Company Army Service Corps as there is no information to support the fact that the transfer actually occured, and no date of effect for the entry.  The only conclusion is that the transfer was intended but never took place.

Details concerning the 19th Battalion taken from The Fighting Nineteenth:History of the 19th Infantry Battalion AIF 1915-1918, Wayne Mathews and David Watson, Australian Military History Publications, 2011.

Clive Mitchell-Taylor - 22 October 1996 - grandson of Stephen Downes. 

Download a scan of Stephen Downes' Service Record.

 


Enlistment Details

Service Number

535

Name

Stephen Downes

Born at

Parish of Burnt Yates, Town of Harrogate, County of Yorkshire, England

Date of Birth

24 years 11 months as at 3 Mar 1915

Trade or Calling

Miner

Marital Status

Single

Next of Kin

Brother - Mr Joseph Downes, Bowbridge,Embsay, Shipton, Yorkshire, England

Previous Military Service

No

Attested at

Liverpool NSW

Date of Enlistment

4 March 1915

Height

5 foot 5-3/4 inches

Weight

148 pounds

Chest

32-1/2 - 35-1/2

Eyes

Good Blue

Hair

Brown

Religious Denomination

Church of England

Units

19th Infantry Battalion, 5th Brigade
8th Field Company Engineers, 5th Brigade
7th Coy Army Service Corps - documentation only as the transfer never occured.


Chronological Events

Rank

Description/Remarks

Date

Private

Enlisted, appointed to B Company, 19th Infantry Battalion, initial training at Liverpool Army Camp

4 Mar 1915

Private

Transferred to 7th Coy ASC

Undated and never took effect

Private

Embarked HMAT Ceramic for Middle East

24 Jun 1915

Private

Disembarked Alexandria, Battalion accommodated at Aerodrome Camp near Heliopolis, Egypt

23 Jul 1915

Private

Unit embarks from Alexandria on HMAT Saturnalia for Lemnos

16 Aug 1915

Private

Admitted No 1 Stationary Hospital Lemnos with Diarrohea

21 Aug 1915

Private

Admitted No 1 Stationary Hospital Lemnos with Diarrohea from Trans Convalescence Depot

27 Aug 1915

Private

Admitted No 24 Casualty Clearing Station Mudros with Disentery

27 Aug 1915

Private

Discharged 24 CCS, rejoins 19th Battalion on Gallipoli

30 Aug 1915

19th Battalion assigned to Pope's Post

18 Sep 1915

430 all ranks of 19th Battalion leaves Pope's Post at 1730 hrs leaving a rear-guard of 187 all ranks.

18 Dec 1915

1740 hrs 98 all ranks leave Pope's Post, at 2330 hr 57 men leave, 0200 ten men and the last ten at 0255 leaving the post empty.

19th Battalion casualties on Gallipoli are 69 killed in action (KIA), including 19 missing in action (MIA) or died of wounds (DOW), 185 wounded in action (WIA), 40 evacuated sick, mainly typhoid or disentery.

19/20 Dec 1915

Private

Transferred from 19th Battalion, 5th Infantry Brigade AIF as Sapper to 8th Field Coy Engineers, 5th Infantry Brigade

29 Dec 1915

Sapper

Embarked BEF ex Alexandria on Manitou

17 Jun 1916

Sapper

Disembarked Marseilles

25 Jun 1916

Sapper

Wounded in Action - Somme River, France
Small shrapnel wound to left buttock, deep furrowed shrapnel wound across front of left thigh

9 Feb 1917

Sapper

Admitted to 15 Aust Field Ambulance, transferred to Casualty Clearing Station

9 Feb 1917

Sapper

Admitted to Casualty Clearing Station, transferred to Ambulance train

10 Feb 1917

Sapper

Admitted to 8th Stationary Hospital Neivereux

10 Feb 1917

Sapper

Transferred to England

13 Feb 1917

Sapper

Embarked on HS Cambria for England ex Bouloigne

13 Feb 1917

Sapper

Admitted Ontario Military Hospital, Orpington Kent

13 Feb 1917

Sapper

Transferred to 1st Auxilliary Hospital

16 July 1917

Sapper

Discharged for furlough - Harefield

25 July 1917

Sapper

Report to Weymouth ex furlough

8 Aug 1917

Sapper

March in from AHQ London

8 Aug 1917

Sapper

Admitted Hospital for return to Australia per NZ QSS HT 82 for change (?)

27 Aug 1917

Sapper

Discharged 2nd Military District, unfit for further service, totally incapacitated.
Pension of 3.0.0 per fortnight from 22 Nov 1917
Address given as: "Wickendon" 615 Illawarra Road Marickville NSW

21 Nov 1917

 

 

Medals awarded:

1914-1915 Star
British War Medal 1914-1920
Victory Medal

Dress Embellishments:

Wound Stripe for 9 Feb 1917,
Two Long Service Stripes
Two Overseas Service Chevrons


Rising Sun Badge used by the 1st and 2nd AIF

Shoulder Patch (2in by 2in) of the
19th Bn of the 5th Australian Infantry Brigade
Promulgated in Second Australian Division Instruction dated 3 August 1915

Shoulder Patch (1-1/2 in by 2-1/2 in) of the
Engineers of the 5th Australian Division
The brass letter 'A' to represent service related to Gallipoli (ANZAC) was authorised to be worn 'over unit colour patches on both sleeves of the service dress jacket and greatcoat" by Military Order 354 of 18 Aug 17 and AIF Order 937 of 6 Nov 17, as amended in terms of qualification by Military Order 20 of 19 Jan 18 and by AIF Order 1084 of 25 Jan 18.  The size of the letter 'A', introduced as one inch in height (AIF Order 994 of 30 Nov 17), was reduced to three-quarters of an inch by AIF Order 1012 of 11 Dec 17.  Provision for wearing the brass letter 'A' was also included in General Routine Order 0.815 of 17 Dec 43 and GRO 310 of 7 Dec 45.

 


Original World War One medal set (approximately actual size)
Download the 1.4Mb Service Record (Adobe PDF format)

 


Infantry Battalion

The 1914 infantry battalion was a large unit, composed of eight rifle companies each of 3 officers and 116 other ranks armed with Short Magazine Lee-Enfield .303 rifles, a   small headquarters with 4 officers and 21 other ranks and a machine gun section with two .303 Maxim machine guns, one officer and 17 other ranks, a total of 32 officers and 991 other ranks. In December 1914, battalions were reorganised into four companies each of four platoons, but strength was unchanged. By mid 1918, the number of officers had increased to 38 but the number of other ranks had declined to 900. At the same time, the firepower of the battalion was greatly augmented with hand and rifle grenades and Lewis Guns, of which there was 34 per battalion. 

19th Infantry Battalion (New South Wales) [5th Infantry Brigade]

Formed New South Wales February 1915. Departed Sydney Ceramic 25 June 1915 and Barambah 6 July 1915. 1st Reinforcements departed Sydney Themistocles 12 May 1915, 2nd Reinforcements departed Sydney Kanowna 19 June 1915, 3rd Reinforcements departed Sydney Runic 9 August 1915, 4th Reinforcements departed Sydney Argyllshire 30 September 1915, 5th Reinforcements departed Sydney Themistocles 5 October 1915, 6th Reinforcements departed Sydney Euripides 2 November 1915, 7th Reinforcements departed Sydney Suevic 23 December 1915, 8th Reinforcements departed Sydney Berrima 27 December 1915, 9th Reinforcements departed Sydney  Runic 21 January 1916, 10th Reinforcements departed Sydney Orsova 11 March 1916, 11th Reinforcements departed Sydney Nestor 9 April 1916, 12th Reinforcements departed Sydney Ceramic 14th April 1916, 13th Reinforcements departed Sydney Ajana 5 July 1916, 14th Reinforcements departed Sydney  Wiltshire 22 August 1916, 15th Reinforcements departed Sydney Euripides 9 September 1916, 16th Reinforcements departed Sydney Ceramic 7 October 1916, 17th Reinforcements departed Sydney Ascanius 25 October 1916, 18th Reinforcements departed Sydney Suevic 11 November 1916, 19th Reinforcements departed Sydney  Wiltshire 7 February 1917, 20th Reinforcements departed Sydney Port Melbourne 16 July 1917, 21st Reinforcements departed Melbourne Nestor 28 February 1918. Disbanded 10 October 1918.
Battle Honours: Suvla, Gallipoli 1915,  Egypt 1915-16, Somme 1916-18, Pozieres, Bapaume 1917, Bullecourt, Ypres 1917, Menin Road, Polygon Wood,  Broodeseinde, Poelcappelle, Passchendaele, Ancre 1918, Hamel, Amiens, Albert 1918, Mont St Quentin, Hindenburg Line, Beaurevoir, France and Flanders 1916-18
Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

8th Field Company (Victoria) [Fifth Division]

Formed Egypt August 1915 from 6th Brigade and reinforcements for Second Division as 5th Field Company. Renumbered 8th Field Company 18 January 1916 and reassigned to Fifth Division, February 1916.  Battle Honours are Gallipoli, Egypt,  Western Front  

7th Army Service Corps Company [4th Division Train]
Formed Australia September 1914 and attached to 4th Infantry Brigade. Departed Sydney Port MacQuarie 21 December 1914. Attached to New Zealand and Australian Division Train January 1915. Assigned to 4th Division Train March 1916.
Gallipoli, Egypt, Western Front

[Information from http://www.unsw.adfa.edu.au/~rmallett]

Wound Stripe

Army Order No.204 Headquarters, 1st A.N.Z.A.C., 9th August, 1916.
DISTINCTIONS FOR OFFICERS AND SOLDIERS WHO HAVE BEEN WOUNDED

The following distinction in dress will be worn on the service dress jacket by all officers and soldiers who have been wounded in any of the campaigns since 4th August 1914 :
Stripes of gold Russia braid No.1, two inches in length sewn perpendicularly on the left forearm sleeve of the jacket to mark each occasion on which wounded.

Long Service Badges

A.I.F. ORDER No.470, 24 January 1917

The question of the issue of a badge  to members of the AIF who have completed a certain period of service has received consideration, and approval has been given for the issue of a badge for long service combined with good conduct, subject to the following conditions.

Overseas Service Chevrons

Australian Imperial Force Order No.1053, 4th January 1918 *(Slightly abridged)

His Majesty the King has been graciously pleased to approve of the award of chevrons to denote service overseas since the 4th August 1914.

Chevrons of two colours have been approved. The first chevron if earned on or before 31st December 1914, will be red; if earned on or after 1st January 1915, it will be blue; and all additional chevrons after the first will be blue.

The chevrons will be worsted embroidery, 1/4 inch in width, the arms 1/4 inch long. They will be worn inverted on the right forearm: in the case of officers, the apex of the lowest chevron will be 1 inch above the upper point of the flap on the cuff. In the case of warrant-officers, non-commissioned officers and men, the apex of the lowest chevron will be midway between the seams and four inches above the bottom edge of the sleeve. The red chevron will be worn below the blue one. They will not be worn on greatcoats.

In the case of Australians, the first chevron was earned the date the individual left Australia. Additional chevrons were awarded for each successive aggregate period of 12 months service outside Australia.

[http://au.geocities.com/fortysecondbattalion/level2/reference/01nos-standards.htm]