British War Medal 1914-20 : Private F H Stokes, 10 Battalion AIF

Accession Number REL35350.001
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Medal
Physical description Silver
Maker Unknown
Date made c 1920
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

British War Medal 1914-20. Impressed around edge with recipient's details.

History / Summary

Associated with the service of 40 Private Francis Herbert Stokes. Stokes was born in North Adelaide, South Australia and went to school at St Peters Anglican College in Adelaide. He was working as a clerk when he enlisted in the AIF at Morphettville on 19 August 1914.

Stokes embarked from Adelaide with A Company, 10 Battalion aboard HMAT Ascanius on 20 October and after a brief stop in Albany, Western Australia, the battalion proceeded to Egypt, arriving early December.

The 10th Battalion was part of the 3rd Brigade, who was the covering force for the ANZAC landing on 25 April 1915 and went ashore around 4.30 am. During the landing Stokes rescued men who fell wounded in the water and carried them to safety under the cliffs. He continued to rescue wounded soldiers in the following days and was rescuing soldiers when he was killed by shrapnel on 27 April. Stokes has no known grave and his name is commemorated on the Lone Pine Memorial.

Stokes's father, also called Francis, received a letter from Private Arthur Blackburn, a member of 10 Battalion and a school friend of his son's. Blackburn praised Stokes's bravery on the day he was killed. Blackburn was later awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions at Pozieres in 1916.