Sergeant Alfred Stevenson
45th Battalion, AIF
Service Number: 3479
Born: 1894, Redfern, NSW
Died: 10 June 1917, Ypres, Belgium
Alfred Lewis Groom Stevenson was born in Redfern in 1894 to William and Mary Jane Stevenson. Presumably the family moved to Penrith when William Stevenson was transferred to Penrith Railway Station. He was a fireman and driver and for some years worked the elevator at Penrith Station. The family lived in Belmore Street. Stevenson attended Penrith Public School before his employment and training as a fitter and turner at Eveleigh railway workshops. He was a sergeant in the local militia before his enlistment. At the time of his enlistment his parents were living in Evans Street Penrith. Around 1917, they moved to Auburn following William’s transfer to Eveleigh as head cleaner.
Stevenson enlisted at Liverpool on 28 July 1915. He was allotted to the 45th Battalion and left Sydney on 13 October 1915 on the HMAT Port Lincoln. He arrived in Egypt on 6 March 1916 and was stationed at Zeitoun. Following a few bouts of influenza in 1916 and early 1917, Stevenson quickly rose through the ranks. In June 1916 he was sent with his Battalion to Marseilles.
On the night of 10 June 1917, Stevenson was killed in action. According to Charles Bean’s report and the Red Cross Inquiry into his death, Stevenson was in an unsuccessful raiding party under Lieutenant McIntyre that had been requested to attack an enemy strong-point near their trench at Messines Ridge. Fifteen went over the top and only ten men returned. Stevenson had found himself too far in front of the line and was killed by an Allied bomb. Private Bowers stated that Stevenson believed he would not return and left his belongings behind. The men nicknamed him Legs Eleven, as he was tall and slim. He was believed to have been buried in the vicinity of Messines. However, the authorities could not locate his grave after the war, believing it had been ‘obliterated by shell fire’ in ensuing battles.
- Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium
- Honor Roll, Loyal Alexander Lodge, Penrith
- Honor Roll, Memory Park, Penrith
- Honor Roll, Penrith Superior Public School