Private William Stinson
34th Battalion, AIF
Service Number: 3117
Born: 1886, Yarramundi, NSW
Died: 12 October 1917, Passchendaele, Belgium
William Stinson was born at Yarramundi in 1886, the son of Edwin and Elizabeth (Timmins) Stinson. William and his brothers, Thomas and John, lived on the family farm at Yarramundi and attended Agnes Banks Public School. After their schooling, all three brothers went to Queensland working as drovers. Thomas settled at Moree while his elder brothers went off to war.
William Stinson enlisted as William Edward (sometimes Edwin) Stinson on 13 September 1916 at Mungindi, on the NSW/Queensland border where he had been working as a drover. On his enlistment papers he stated that he had previously been rejected as unfit for service owing to his poor teeth and recurring asthma. His mother was listed as his next of kin, presumably because of his father’s failing health. They had left their Yarramundi farm in the early 1900s, renting a house and 3 acres at Cranebrook.
Stinson embarked on the HMAT Anchises in Sydney on 24 January 1917 and disembarked at Devonport on 27 March. Stinson reattested while at sea on 3 February 1917 owing to his records being lost while he was in camp at Liverpool. He marched into Durrington Camp on 7 April. Although Stinson was taken on strength with the 34th Battalion on 28 April, he remained in training in England until proceeding overseas on 19 September.
On 12 October 1917 Stinson was initially reported missing in action near Passchendaele. He was later confirmed killed in action. However, his parents were not informed until the following June 1918 after they inquired about not hearing what had happened to him.
Stinson’s brother John enlisted at Mungindi on 8 May 1916. He was captured by the Germans on 7 April 1918 during the fighting at Hangard Wood in France. He spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner. He was released and repatriated to England in November 1918 and returned to Australia in March 1919. He lived in Penrith after the war and died in 1955.
By 1921, Stinson’s mother was living at Jamisontown. His father had been ill for many years and died at Parramatta in 1922. She died in 1938.
- Menin Gate Memorial, Ypres, Belgium
- Honor Roll, Memory Park, Penrith