Captain Roy McGregor Fairbairn Stewart
Roy McGregor Fairbairn Stewart, 2nd Lieutenant, enlisted in the AIF on 28 April 1914 in Melbourne.
As part of the 7th Battalion, he embarked on 19 October 1914 per A20 Hororata.
On 8 May 1915, Lt Stewart was wounded in action at Cape Helles, Gallipoli – suffering gunshot wounds to his right leg and penis. He was, firstly, transferred on 14 May to the Deaconess’s Hospital in Alexandria and then, on 2 July 1915, transferred to England for treatment.
Following a short period on the Supernumerary List, 28 January 1916 to 19 February 1916, Lt Stewart reported to Monte Video, Pelham Downs and, finally, France.
On 1 September 1916, shortly after arriving in France, he was promoted to the rank of Captain and six months later was attached to 1st DHQ as a musketry instructor.
In July 1917, Captain Stewart made a request for three months unpaid leave in order to return to Australia to settle the estates of his parents who had recently died. After deliberation, leave was granted. However, not only did Captain Stewart not receive any pay during this period of leave, he was also required to pay his own transport costs. The initial three months' leave was later extended to four months following delays in travel between New Zealand and Australia.
To highlight the complexities and time involved in travel, this a rundown of Roy Stewart’s return journey, once he had settled his private matters:
- 19 November 1917 – he embarked from Sydney to San Francisco – arriving on 7 January 1918. He then travelled, by train, to New York.
- 20 January 1918 – embarked S.S. St Louis from New York to Liverpool, England – arriving on 29 January 1918
- Reported to HQ, London on 30 January 1918.
By early March 1918, Captain Stewart had returned to France and it was here, on 1 July 1918, that he was again wounded in action – receiving gunshot wounds to his arm and left thigh. The wounds resulted in a fractured radius and humerus, for which he received treatment in England.
In December 1918, Captain Roy Stewart returned to Australia per HMAT Nestor and his appointment was officially terminated on 30 May 1921.
During WW2, Roy Stewart again served his country – this time as a Captain in the Postal service 2AASC Training Battalion.
Medals and Entitlements:
- 1914/15 Star
- British War Medal
- Victory Medal
Australian War Memorial
National Archives of Australia