2927 Private / 60340 Sergeant Wilmot Ira Stephens AIF / NZEF
Interesting AIF/NZEF Group - Wounded
The 1914-15 Star, British War Medal and Victory Medal group awarded to Wilmot Stephens who served with the Australian Imperial Force and the New Zealand Expeditionary Force, being wounded in 1918 whilst serving with the latter.
Wilmot Stephens was born 9th October 1889 at Ascot Vale, Victoria, Australia. Son of William Ira and Susan Ley Stephens (née Holman). At the time of his enlistment in the AIF in June 1915 he was residing in Moonee Ponds, and working as a clerk for the Bank of Australasia. He embarked with the 5th Battalion in September 1915 and was taken on strength in January 1916 at Tel-el-Kebir. He transferred to 57th Battalion in February 1916 and commissioned 2nd lieutenant March. He embarked for the the UK in June 1916 and was promoted to lieutenant in August. Something of a disciplinary nature seems to have occured, for Stephens embarked from the UK in September, bound for Australia via Egypt. He was discharged as "services no longe required" in January 1917.
Stephens made his way to New Zealand, where he enlisted with the 31st Reinforcements in the rank of corporal. On arrival in the Uk in January 1918 he reverted to lance-corporal, but just a month later was promoted to sergeant. He joined his unit, 2nd Battalion, Wellington Infantry Regiment in April 1918. Stephens suffered a gunshot to his buttocks on 27th August 1918 and evacuated to the UK, where he remained until the end of the war.
His 1914-15 Star was issued by the Australian authorities, and the other two medals were issued in New Zealand. As he had gone sime way to absolving his sins of 1916 be re-enlisting and being wounded in action, the Australian authorities issued an honourable discharge badge to him in 1919. he married Winifred Mary Kate Trangmar in 1927 and died on 9th December 1964 at Malvern, Victoria.
The 1914-15 Star is correctly impressed 2927 PTE. W.I. STEPHENS 5/BN A.I.F., and the pair is correctly impressed 60340 SJT. W.I. STEPHENS. N.Z.E.F. The medals come with their original boxes of issue. The photo of Wilmot Stephens is taken from the book Bank of Australasia: Record of War Service of Bank and Staff 1914- 1919