The AIF Project

Stewart MUNRO

Regimental number1143
Place of birthPortsea, Scotand
Other NamesStuart
Address9 Telbourne Chambers, Phillip Street, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation32
Height5' 4"
Weight138 lbs
Next of kinC. Munro, Brushgrove, Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date1 October 1914
Place of enlistmentRosehill, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentSergeant
Unit name3rd Battalion, 1st Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/20/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A32 Themistocles on 22 December 1914
Rank from Nominal Roll2nd Lieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll55th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1916
Age at death from cemetery records32
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Hugh and Julia MUNRO, 'Waterview', Woodford Dale, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 5 April 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria, 29 December 1915 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Admitted to No 2 Field Ambulance, Tel el Kebir, 22 January 1916 (pleurisy); transferred to No 2 Australian General Hospital, no date stated; to British Red Cross Hospital, Montazah, 26 January 1916; discharged to Agricultural Hall, Cairo, 9 February 1916 (Class B); marched in 42nd Division Depot, Mustapha, 10 February 1916, and sent on to unit; marched in to Overseas Base, Ghezireh, 10 February 1916.

Taken on strength, 55th Bn, Ferry Post, 27 March 1916.

Promoted Second Lieutenant, 10 April 1916.

To 14th Brigade Training Bn, Tel el Kebir, 12 May 1916; rejoined 55th Bn, Ferry Post, 3 June 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 29 June 1916.

Posted missing, 20 July 1916, and placed on Seconded List.

Struck off strength of 55th Bn, 20 October 1916.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 26 July 1917, pronounced fate as 'Killed in Action, 20 July 1916'.

Note, Red Cross File No 1860103: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt.. Mills 10.10.19.'

Statement, 2599 Pte GEFFERT, 55th Bn (patient, No 4 Australian General Hospital, Randwick), 9 July 1917: 'He was leading us at Fleurbaix on the 20th July. He led us out of the trench and was hot and fell. I think he must have been killed. We were in the reserve trenches when he told us to get over. We all hopped over then. The communication trenches were blocked and all our saps were so smashed up that we had to pass across the open ground to our own front line of trenches. No Germans got over our front line, but I think a second shell must have come and hit him. I was hit there myself.'

Second statement, 479 Pte R. DOWNEY, 55th Bn (patient, No 4 Australian General Hospital, Randwick), 3 October 1917: 'Lieut. Munro was killed by machine gun fire at Fromelles on 19th July, 1916. A party under Lieut. Munro was told off to go over the trenches on a raid into No Man's Land. Lieut. Munro was killed just as he left the sally port. I saw him lying there as we went out on the raid. I was in his Platoon.'

Third statement, 2493 Pte E.J. BRIDGHAM [served as E.J. THOMPSON], 55th Bn, 4 November 1919: 'During the advance at Fromelles on the night of the 19th July 1916 at about 6.30 p.m. I was about five yards behind Lieut Munro when he was hit by a "whizz-bang" and fell apparently instantly killed. We passed on and I am therefore unable to say what became of his body, but as we retired next morning I am of the opinion that he would not have been buried.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, MUNRO Stewart
Red Cross File No 1860103

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