A century on from the end of World War I we acknowledge their service …
Lest we forget.
Private Stanley Sydney Sawers
Born: 1892 South Melbourne. Killed in action: 19 July 1916 Fromelles.
Enlisted: 1 November 1915 aged 23.
Served: Egypt and Western Front.
Stanley was a son of Henry Thomas and Emma Sawers, who were amongst the first settlers in Pakenham South. He had been working at the Nobelius Nursery as a farm labourer for two years before enlising at Emerald and was also actively involved in the local football and rifle clubs. Stanley left Melbourne on 28 January 1916 bound for Egypt. After further training there, he embarked for the Western Front with the 60th Battalion in June 1916. Less than a month later, Stanley was reported missing during the Battle of Fromelles. Later, it was established that he had been killed at Fleurbaix during the fighting. According to a Red Cross Report provided to Stanley’s mother, one of his mates saw him on the evening of the 19th “hanging over parapet dead… I saw Sawers and stopped, and seized his hand and squeezed it, there was no response. It was icy cold. I am certain he was dead”. Sadly for the Sawer family, the personal tragedy of WWI was not confined to Stanley’s death: two of his cousins were also killed during the War.
This is an extract from Patrick Ferry’s book A Century After The Guns Fell Silent – Remembering the Pakenham District’s WWI Diggers 1914-18.
For more details on this and other profiles in the book, head to the website www.pakenhamww1.com