No.706 Sergeant Gordon Duke Stuart
Gordon Duke Stuart was born in Norwood, a suburb of Adelaide in South Australia, in February 1891.
A coach trimmer by trade, he held a long-standing interest in military service.
When he enlisted with the 12th Infantry Battalion at the age of 23 in Morphettville, South Australia, he had already served for around five years in citizen militia units, rising to the rank of Colour Sergeant. These units were the forerunner of the Royal South Australia Regiment, formed in 1960.
Gordon Stuart was appointed Sergeant with 2 Company, 12th Infantry Battalion on 3 September 1914.
The battalion was one of the first formed when hostilities broke out in August 1914 and was made up of recruits from Tasmania, South Australia and Western Australia.
The Battalion sailed for Egypt joining the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force in Alexandria in March 1915.
At some point prior to the landings at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915, Sergeant Stuart joined C Company.
The 12th Battalion was one of the first to hit the beaches at Gallipoli, landing at 4.30am. Casualties were heavy on that first day and included the Battalion’s commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel L.F. Clarke, who was killed by sniper fire within hours of the landing.
Sergeant Gordon Stuart was reported missing in action and a subsequent court of inquiry recorded that he too was killed on 25 April 1915.
Sadly, his remains weren’t discovered until early 1923, identified by his dog tag. He was interred with full military honours in grave 8, row D, plot 3, Browns Dip Plot, Lone Pine Cemetery.
At the time of his death, his widowed mother, Mrs Louisa Jane Stuart was living in Lower Mitcham, near Blackburn in suburban Melbourne. He was just 24 years old when he was killed.
Medals and Entitlements:
- 1914/15 Star
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
- Memorial Scroll and Plaque
- King's Message
Lest we forget
Service record: NAA: B2455 Stuart Gordon Duke
http://www.awm.gov.au/research/people/roll_of_honour/person/R1672440/ - AWM roll of honour.
http://www.awm.gov.au/units/unit_11199.asp - 12th Battalion history.