• Benjamin Stafford

Army / Flying Corps
  • 9th Australian Infantry Battalion
  • 3rd Brigade
  • Private

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  • British War Medal
  • Victory Medal
  • Enlistment - WW1

    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

  • Birth

    Ipswich, QLD, Australia

Stories and comments
    • STAFFORD, Benjamin – Pte 4890 / 4602, 9th Bn
    • Posted by FrevFord, Wednesday, 11 July 2018

    Born on the 10th of January 1891 at Ipswich, Qld – son of William STAFFORD and Ada HODGSON, who married in Qld in 1871 William, a colliery proprietor, in partnership with his brothers (trading as Stafford Brothers), died on the 30/8/1911 at his home Rothwell, Booval Ada also died at their home in Booval, in 1924, aged 73 Siblings: William b.1872; Edith Ada b.1873; Charles Roland b.1877 Ipswich – Painter – marr Elizabeth – WW1: Pte 3922, 47th Bn; Mary Elizabeth b.1878 – marr E.J. CLARKE 7/4/1898; Gilbert b.1880 – Station Overseer / Surveyors Assistant; James Horace b.1882 – d.1916 Cloncurry, of Typhoid; John b.1884; Elsie b.1887 Religion: Church of England Occupation: Surveyor’s Assistant WW1: Enlisted in Brisbane on the 8/9/1915, aged 24 years 7 months Embarked 28/3/1916 on the A73 Commonwealth as Private 4890 with the 15th Reinforcements of the 9th Battalion for Egypt Admitted to No. 4 Auxiliary Hospital, Abbassia with Mumps 30/5/1916 to 6/6/1916 Transferred to England, and to the 3rd Training Battalion at Rolleston 29/6/1916 Discharged from Fargo Hospital 11/7/1916 Proceeded overseas to France 31/7/1916 Taken on strength of the 9th Battalion 13/8/1916 Admitted to hospital 2/12/1916 with Bronchitis and Trench Fever Embarked at Calais 16/12/1916 on the HS Brighton for England and admitted to the Colchester Hospital – discharged to furlough 29/12/1916 Returned to France 8/2/1917 and rejoined the 9th Bn 22/2/1917 Admitted to hospital with a fever 24/6/1917 and discharged to Base 21/7/1917 Admitted to hospital 31/8/917 with an ear infection (Otitis Media), and discharged to Base 13/9/1917, rejoining his battalion 26/9/1917 Paris Leave 9/1/1918 to 19/1/1918, UK Leave 20/1/1918 to 6/2/1918 To 3rd Brigade School 17/2/1918 to 20/3/1918 Gassed on the 11/8/1918 and admitted to hospital Rejoined his battalion 15/9/1918 Wounded in action 18/9/1918 – receiving shell wounds to his left hand and head causing loss of sight in both eyes Transferred through the hospital system, and via the HS Carisbrook Castle to England, where he was admitted to the 2nd London General Hospital, Chelsea 2/9/1918 Transferred to St Dunstan’s Hostel for Blinded Soldiers 16/12/1918, where he was trained in Carpentry and Netting Returned to Australia on Wandilla, embarking 31/3/1919 Discharged from the AIF 18/10/1919 Married Mary Louisa GLAMET on the 29th of October 1919 Qld Mary, a nurse, ran her own Nursing Home in Ipswich Living Dutton Park 1924 / Eastbourne, Lang St, Annerley 1925 / Nathan Terrace, Yeerongpilly 1926, 1943 Died on the 17th of April 1946 in Qld Cremated at Mt Thompson Crematorium Queensland Times (Ipswich, Qld), Tue 4 Jun 1918 (p.7): MILITARY ITEM Intimation has been received that Pte Ben Stafford, youngest son of the late Mr William Stafford, of Booval, has entered a school of instruction in England, with the view of advancing himself as an officer. The Brisbane Courier (Qld), Fri 6 Dec 1918 (p.7): PERSONAL NOTES Mrs W. Stafford, of Ipswich, has received information that her son, Private Ben Stafford, has been wounded in the forehead and hand, and has been rendered totally blind. Private Stafford left Brisbane in January, 1916, and took part in a number of engagements in France. He was gassed in August last, and wounded in September, and on recovery returned to the firing line. He is a son of the late Mr William Stafford, colliery proprietor, Ipswich, and a brother of Mrs George Innes, of Ipswich-road, South Brisbane. One of his brothers – Private Charles Stafford – was returned invalided at the end of last year after two years’ service. Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Qld), Fri 20 Dec 1918 (p.7): CENTRAL QUEENSLAND SOLDIERS ABROAD LETTER FROM MRS H.G. WHEELER Mrs H.G. Wheeler, writing to Miss M.S. Trotman from London on the 7th of October, says: – ……………………………………………………………………………………. On Sunday I heard that there was a blind Queenslander at the Second London General Hospital. It was B. Stafford, from Booval, near Ipswich. The poor boy was wounded in both eyes and in the arm. He is very patient and bearing the affliction bravely. The Week (Bris, Qld), Fri 30 May 1919 (p.11): SOLDIERS RETURNED Two lots of soldiers returned from abroad last week-end. ………………………………………….. Sixty-seven officers and men, who returned by the hospital ship Wandilla, arrived at Kangaroo Point Hospital yesterday afternoon. Eight of the returnees were cot cases, and the majority of the others were badly maimed in one way or another. A particularly pathetic case was that of Private B. Stafford, who has returned blind. Even many of the hardy soldiers present broke down on witnessing the affecting meeting between their sightless comrade and his mother. The men were met down the bay by Major Jackson, and were cordially welcomed at Kangaroo Point by the Hon. J.M. Hunter, representing the Government, ………………………. https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/192737395 The Daily Mail (Bris, Qld), Sat 7 Jun 1919 (p.9): TO PRIVATE STAFFORD (Our blind soldier, who returned last week) Back to this radiant Morning Land! The land those eyes shall never see! Gazing behind that grim white band, Into the rayless years to be. O youth! that held great gifts in fee, Stricken to Age by War’s vile brand, How shall the seeing understand? Thy ever deepening tragedy? O, Hero with the blinded eyes, Our eyes with tears are blinded too! Amid the greeting cheers that rise A sob of anguish trembles through! The laughing, careless world you knew, Shrinks awed, before your sacrifice! Dear God! the price – the bitter price, Paid for our peace by such as you. Yet those dear eyes so closely sealed, Softly may angel hands unbind, Till splendid visions be revealed To which our seeing eyes are blind! God taught those sightless orbs to find, A path straight from the battlefield, To realms where all their smart is healed And all things lovely are enshrined. And when Earth’s cheers, now pulsing strong, Grow fainter with the mounting years, When even the faithful do thee wrong By feebler plaudits – rarer tears; Then clearer to thy quickened ears Shall sound One Voice above the throng, That hearing, who would listen long? Or care to list man’s fickle cheers. - Emily Bulcock. Queensland Times (Ipswich, Qld), Wed 19 Nov 1919 (p.5): R.S.S.I.L.A. THE WEEKLY MEETING ……………………………………………………………… During the meeting Mr B. Stafford, a blind soldier, was welcomed, and, subsequently, was accepted as a life member, amidst applause. The Courier-Mail (Bris, Qld), Thur 18 Apr 1946 (p.10): FUNERAL NOTICES STAFFORD – The Funeral of the late Benjamin (Ben) Stafford, will leave the Funeral Parlour, 45 Adelaide St, City, This (Thursday) Morning, at 11 o’clock for the Crematorium, Mt Thompson. Private cremation, no flowers.