Stanley William Joseph Vance
Serial No. 4384
Stanley William Joseph Vance - Information
At the turn of the 20th century, the Vances settled in Campbelltown. They had moved to the area from the South Coast, where Stanley was born in the Kangaroo Valley on the 12th of July 1892. Stanley and his siblings grew up in the area, and attended Campbelltown Public School. Then sadly, their father, Wesley, passed away in 1912. Stanley then became the man of the family and primary provider. He worked as a dairyman on a local farm to help pay the bills. He was still residing with his mother, Margaret, in Campbelltown when the war began. Stanley believed he could acquire more opportunities if he served in the military. He filled in an application with a recruiting officer in Campbelltown to join the AIF on the 18th of June 1916, he was 24 years old. He then travelled to Goulburn to officially sign up on the 4th of July, and commenced his training. From Goulburn, he was stationed to the 18th Squadron, Australian Light Horse in Menangle. He was there for over a month, before he was designated to the 11th Reinforcements, 29th Battalion. Stanley then embarked Sydney on the 3rd of November 1916 onboard the HMAT Afric.
The Afric sailed into Plymouth Harbour at the beginning of January 1917. Stanley hopped off and was marched into the 8th Training Battalion. After learning new fighting tactics for the Western Front, he was shipped out to France from Folkestone in March. He then joined the 29th Battalion in the lines. At the time, his unit was chasing the Germans to the Hindenburg Line. It led to horrible encounters, as the men struck mazes of thick barbed wire, helpless against rapid machine gun fire bursting out of the concrete bunkers. Later in the year, they were positioned for the Third Battle of Ypres in Belgium. During these operations, Stanley was wounded in action between the 26th and 27th of September at Polygon Wood, receiving a shell wound to his head. Picked up by stretcher bearers, he was rushed to the 17th Casualty Clearing Station on the 29th. Sadly, the next day, the 30th of September, Stanley died from his wounds. He was buried at Lijssenthoek Military Cemetery, Lijssenthoek, West Vlaanderen in Flanders, Belgium. Stanley's mother and family had great difficulty with his loss. Losing her husband and oldest son in such a short time, Margaret eventually left Campbelltown and moved to Merrylands, before moving back to the area after 1922.