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Remembered Today:

Remembered today, 29/4/2008 on the GWF:


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Remembered today, 29/4/2008 on the GWF:

Pte Noble STEPHENSON, 1122, 13th Bn AIF

Noble was born in 1896 at Jesmond in NSW, the son of Anthony Edward & Margaret (nee Tunney) Stephenson. He attended the Kurri Kurri Public School, and took night classes in coal mining, surveying and mechanical drawing, while he pursued his trade as a Coal Miner. Only a few months after the outbreak of WW1, at the ripe old age of 18 years & 5 months, Noble, with his parent’s consent, enlisted to go to war.

As a member of F Company, 13th Battalion, he sailed on the 22/12 1914 on board the A38 Ulysses, which formed part of the 2nd Convoy. Travelling with him was a 26 year old Painter, James Scobie from Kurri Kurri, who had been for some time in Noble’s father’s employ.

They reached Alexandria on the last day of January 1915, from where they entrained, and then marched to Aerodrome Camp, where they continued their training before heading back to Alex on the 12/4/1915. Boarding the Ascot, they ‘set sail’ for Gallipoli, via Lemnos. Noble, now with C Coy together with B Coy, landed on the morning of the 25th of April, the rest of the battalion joining them the following day.

Confusion reigned in the early days after the landing, and at some stage Noble was wounded and then listed as missing. As with most of these cases there were varying reports as to what happened to Noble, but all seemed to agree that he had received a bad head wound. I tend to favour the report by his mate James Scobie, who said that “he was badly wounded in the head at Shrapnel Gully, and I attended to him and he actually died in my arms.”

Noble’s parents first heard of his wounding through a letter home from another soldier, and were most distressed. This started years of letters to the authorities trying to ascertain what had happened to their son. Eventually in April 1916, a court of enquiry declared that he had died on the 29th April, but his parents refused to believe in his death. This was further exacerbated by the appearance of a photograph in the Sydney Press in 1917, of an unknown soldier, who had apparently lost his memory. They, along with many members of the family were convinced that the photo was of Noble. Further enquiries however, pointed toward this man being Harry Wright, a former member of the Liquor Trades Employees Union of Sydney.

Noble’s last resting place, no doubt, is on the beautiful Gallipoli Peninsula, and his name is inscribed on the Lone Pine Memorial.

Despite the anguish of losing their son, Anthony & Margaret gave their permission to his younger brother to enlist in the April of 1918 – a month before his nineteenth birthday. Anthony (jr) embarked for overseas in the June, and returned home safe and sound in the February of 1920. As well as losing his brother in the war, Anthony also lost 2 cousins and an uncle.

May they all rest in peace – and may we forever be grateful for their sacrifice.

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