Stanley Alexander ANDERSON (1898-1924)

9th Infantry Brigade AIF

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Stanley Alexander ANDERSON

35th BATTALION A.I.F.

Private: 13 Stanley Alexander ANDERSON.


Born: 1898. Merewether, New South Wales, Australia. Birth Cert:22975/1898.

Died: 1924. Greta, New South Wales, Australia. Death Cert:8330/1924.


Father: Alexander Anderson (1869-1953)

Mother: Elizabeth Ann Anderson. nee:. (1872-1952)


INFORMATION

Stanley Alexander Anderson enlisted with AIF on the 18th of December 1915 and was an original member of A Company 35th Battalion when the Battalion was raised in January 1916. and embaked from Sydney on board HMAT A24 "Benalla" on the 1st of May 1916 and disembarked at Plymouth England on the 9th July 1916 and entrained during the afternoon for Amesbury, arriving at midnight and marching to hutments at No: 1 Camp, Larkhill. Here the Battalion settled down to hard training, which included Route Marching, Trench Digging, Bomb Practice, Musketry and General Camp Routine.

Stanley was Charged for being AWL from midnight 8/10/18 till midnight 16/10/16. Award 17 days Forfiet Pay No:2 by C.O. 35th Bn 18/10/1916. Total 25 days pay. The 35th Battalion left Larkhill on the 21st November and entrained at Amesbury for Southampton, embarking on the S.S "Arundel". The transport section left by S.S. "Princess Victoria". The Battalion arrived at Le Harve, France on the 22nd November 1916. Disembarkation commenced at 8:00am and the Battalion marched to No;1 camp on the Hill, arriving at 2:00pm. The men carried heavy loads, in some cases amounting to miniature Q.M.' Stores. The march over cobblestones was very tiring, notwithstanding the many route marches which had been carried out at Larkhill. However, after bathing their feet and receiving treatment, as well partaking of a good meal, some spent a comfortable night.

The following morning the Battalion moved to Le Harve Railway Station, leaving D Company behind. On arrival at the Station entraining commenced at 8:00am and the train left at 11:15am. The journey was slow and occupied until 4:30pm on the 24th. On arrival at Bailleul the men detrained and marched to Outtersteene. On the 1st December 1916, Stanley was detatched to the 9th Infantry Brigade Headquarters where he was stationed during the major push at Messines.

7th June 1917.

THE BATTLE OF MESSINES

The 3rd Australian Divisions first major offencive was at Messines Ridge on the 7th June 1917. The Australian 3rd Division was a part of the II Anzac Corps which was allotted to the first assault. The 25th New Zealand, 3rd Australian Division with the 4th Australian Division in reserve. The 4th Division were battle hardened troops who had fought many major battles.The 3rd Australian Division were having problems getting to the "jump off" point. The day before the 9th and 10th Infantry Brigades were bombarded by German Gas-Shells around Hill 63 and Plugstreet Wood. Many of the Aussies were not wearing gas masks, but dispite this they pressed on even though they received 500 casulties.

They made it to the "jump off" point but only just with some of the men from the 9th and 10th going straight over the top without stopping. The mines went up and the attack commenced behind a protective barrage. The II Anzac Corps were attacking on the right with their objective being the southern shoulder of the ridge which included Messines, the Dover and St Yves areas as far south to the east of Plugstreet Wood.

Major General Sir John MONASH's 3rd Division had to contend with a tricky 3 mile approach out of Plugstreet Wood and after the German gas attack, but they were not detered. The 9th Infantry Brigade under Brigadier General: Alexander JOBSON and the 10th Infantry Brigade under Brigadier General W R NICHOLL had just made the jumping off point but some of the men did not stop, going straight into the assault from the approach march.

Their objective lay between St Yves and the Douve. The mines at Trench 127 and Trench 12 at Factory Farm were laid to aid this task. The explosions erupted a few seconds before zero hour and created craters of 200 feet in diameter, completely obliterating the German defence line as the 9th and 10th Infantry Brigades went over the top. The mine crates forced the 9th and 10th Brigades to veer to the left and right which caused some confusion with the main assault. It is testimony to the quality of training that every man knew the ground, tasks and objectives so well.

Private: 1804 John CARROLL 33rd Battalion, rushed the enemy's trench and bayoneted four of the German occupants. He then noticed a comrade in difficulties and went to his assistance, killing another German. He then attacked single handed a German Machine Gun Team, killing all three of them and capturing the gun. He later rescued two of his comraded who had been buried alive by German Shell Fire, and in spite of heavy shelling and machine gun fire he dug them out alive and saved them from certain death. John was awarded the Victoria Cross.

The German foward zone was completely engulfed and taken by the main assault. The two supporting battalions of each brigade then passed the leading battalion to continue the advance. The men were constantly re-supplied and the ridge was taken. There were many German prisoners taken during the offencive. The 3rd Division was well ahead with the 9th Infantry Brigade pushing on beyond Grey Farm, and on the right the 10th Infantry Brigade were veering left towards Septieme Barn north of Douve.

The German resistance was heavy but was generally brushed aside by tanks and artillery before the infantry had to become too involved.The 4th Bavarian Divisions Artillery had made little impact, but as the day wore on the 3rd Division and later the 4th Australian Division received many casulties from German artillery. (70% of all casulties during WW1 were from artillery).

By 9:00am nearly 6 hours after the assault began the Germans were in dissaray, but there was a major problem as the Australians received less casulties as anticipated and when ordered to dig into the ridge they had so many men, that some could not find shelter. the 35th battalion were dug in around Seaforth Farm.

The second phase of the operation was to take the Oosttaverne Line. The 3rd Australian Division would now be in reserve with the 4th Division attacking. The 9th Infantry Brigade (33-34-35-36Bn) were near Thatched Cottage facing Warneton. The river Lys was to their right and the Plugstreet Wood was now behind them.

Once their objectives were taken the troops consolidated. A barrarge to stop and counter attack was shortnened and caught three battalions which had to retire. By 9:00pm this part of the Oosttaverne Line was abandonded. At 10:45pm General Godley ordered the 3rd and 4th Divisions to retake it. This they did by the early hours of the 8th of June.

The Battle for Messines Ridge during May-June 1917 saw 35 officers and 1,631 other ranks loose their lives.

9th Infantry Brigade Casulties.
33rd Battalion. AIF 8 Officers 382 Other ranks
34th Battalion. AIF 10 Officers 378 Other ranks
35th Battalion. AIF 5 Officers 431 Other ranks
36th Battalion. AIF 9 Officers 421 Other ranks
9th Machine Gun Company. AIF 2 Officer 17 Other ranks
9th Light Trench Mortor Battery. 1 Officer 2 Other ranks

Field Dressing Station, Messines 07/06/1917

FIELD DRESSING STATION, MESSINES 7th June 1917.

18th June 1917. Menioned for BRAVERY in the FIELD 9th Infantry Brigade Headquarters. 25th September 1917, Stanley was AWARDED the Decoration Militaire by His Majesty the King of the Belgians AIF list 234.

BELGIUM DECORATION MILITAIRE MEDAL

Decoration Militaire for Gallantry

Stan's Medals

Medals awarded to Stanley Alexander Anderson, in the possession of his Great Nephew Bob Cornwell.

London Gazette 24th September 1917. Page 9862 Position 5.

Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 24th January 1918. Page 83 Position 41.

10th April 1918. Stan was admitted to Hospital after being treated by the 9th Australian Field Ambulance suffering from Influenza before he was transfered to the 41st Stationary Hospital on the 12th and the 2nd Convalescent Hospital in Rouen on the 26th. Stan was later transfered to the 6th General Hospital. After a short spell Stan was again transfered to the 1st Convalescent Depot at Harve on the 22nd May before another transfer to the 2nd General Hospital, where he remained for 3 days before he was transfered to the 1st Convalescent Depot where he was discharged for duty on the 4th July 1918.

Stan was marched in with the 35th Battalion and Taken on in Strength in the Field but was again admitted to the 20th Casualty Clearing Station suffering from Trench Fever on the 11th July before he was transfered to the 5th General Hospital at Rouen on the 16th July where he was transfered to England on the 21st of July and was admitted to the 1st Eastern General Hospital at Cambridge the next day.

Stan was granted a fulro upon his discharge from Hospital and embarked from England on the 11th May 1919 onboard the "Zealandia" for Demobolization and disembarked at sydney on the 1st July 1919.

Greta War Memorial

Greta War Memorial

GRETA WAR MEMORIAL

Family Information

Alexander and Elizabeth Anderson had 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls. Florence M Anderson born 1894 at Newcastle, N.S.W. Birth Cert:23675/1894. Emma J Anderson born 1896 at Merewether, N.S.W. Birth Cert:23172/1896. Stanley Alexander Anderson born 1898 at Merewether, N.S.W. Birth Cert:22975/1898 and died 1924 at Greta, N.S.W.Death Cert:8330/1924. Augustus L Anderson born 1899 at Merewether, N.S.W. Birth Cert:32149/1899. Cecil E Anderson born 1901 at Merewether, N.S.W. Birth Cert:23873/1901 and died 1902 at Merewether, N.S.W. Death Cert: 2068/1902.

Greta Cemetery

Grave of Elizabeth Ann Anderson (Mother) 1872-22/08/1952. and Stanley Alexander Anderson. 1900-15/04/1926.

Greta Cemetery

Grave of Alexander Anderson (Father) 1869-26/04/1953.

Grave of Augustus Lionel Anderson (Brother) 1899-10/02/1974 Anderson and his wife Mary Anderson (Sister in Law) 1903-29/06/1986.

GRETA CEMETERY

Studio photo and family information, Bob Cornwell July 2015. Bob Cornell is the Grandson of Augustus "Gus" Lionel Anderson.

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Commonwealth of Australia (National Archives of Australia)

Under Construction; 28/05/2007-15/02/2017.


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