The AIF Project

Howard Stanley MERSON

Regimental number5056
Date of birth10 February 1898
Place of birthMelbourne, Victoria
SchoolDrouin Catholic Primary School, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressDrouin PO, Drouin, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Next of kinMother, Mrs Amelia Florence Ayton, Drouin PO, Drouin, Victoria
Enlistment date23 February 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll9 February 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name22nd Battalion, 13th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/39/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A33 Ayrshire on 3 July 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll22nd Battalion
FateReturned to Australia 7 July 1919

Military Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the attack on Hindenburg Line on 3rd May 1917. This man took his Lewis Gun into an exposed position on the left flank and inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy in their counter attacks. Running short of ammunition he went from shell hole to shell hole in search of magazines, at the same bringing wounded men back to his position and dressing their wounds. Throughout he showed courage and resource under the most trying circumstances.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 189
Date: 8 November 1917

Bar to Military Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during the attack near BEAUREVOIR, East of PERONNE on 4th October 1918. This man advanced in front of his platoon, despite heavy enemy fire, firing his Lewis Gun from the hip, and saving many casualties in our waves by the manner in which he engaged and neutralized the fire of enemy posts. He was the first man to reach the objective and pushed out in an exposed position where he again brought his gun into action, preventing the enemy from digging in, and dispersing parties formed up for local counter attack. Until nightfall he remained in this most dangerous position, showing the greatest initiative in the use of his gun, and most capably covering the consolidation of our gains.
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 115
Date: 10 October 1919

Discharge date20 October 1919
Other details

War service: embarked from Melbourne, 3 July 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 2 September 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 12 November 1916; joined 13th Bn in the field, 24 November 1916. Appointed Lance Corporal, 18 May 1917. Awarded Military Medal, July 1917. Reverted to rank of Private at own request, 15 October 1917.

To hospital sick (scabies), 13 February 1918; rejoined unit in the field, 22 March 1918.

Wounded in action (gas), 24 July 1918; returned to duty, 17 August 1918. Awarded Bar to Military Medal, 14 August 1918.

To hospital sick (conjunctivitis), 24 August 1918. Appointed Lance Corporal, 29 October 1918. On leave in England, 28 November to 12 December 1918. To hospital sick (venereal disease), 9 December 1918; discharged from 1st Australian Dermatological Hospital, 21 February 1919. Total treatment: 75 days.

Commenced return to Australia, 7 July 1919; disembarked in Australia, 5 September 1919; discharged, 20 October 1919.

Medals: Military Medal & Bar, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Date of death25 September 1987
Age at death89
Place of burialCremated: Springvale Crematorium, Melbourne, Victoria

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