Next of kin plaque : Private Leonard Aspinall Stephens, 30th Battalion, AIF

Accession Number REL41914
Collection type Heraldry
Object type Heraldry
Physical description Bronze
Place made United Kingdom: England
Date made c 1921-1922
Conflict First World War, 1914-1918

Bronze next of kin plaque, showing on the obverse, Britannia holding a laurel wreath, the British lion, dolphins, a spray of oak leaves and the words 'HE DIED FOR FREEDOM AND HONOUR' around the edge. Beneath the main figures, the British lion defeats the German eagle. The initials 'ECP', for the designer Edward Carter Preston appear above the lion's right forepaw. A raised rectangle above the lion's head bears the name 'LEONARD ASPINALL STEPHENS'. In original card envelope.

History / Summary

Born in Waverley, Sydney, New South Wales in 1899, Leonard Aspinall Stephens was employed as a farm assistant when he enlisted in the AIF on 6 July 1915 claiming to be 18 years and 6 months old. After initial training he was posted a private, service number 750, to C Company, 30th Battalion. He sailed from Sydney with his unit on 9 November 1915, aboard HMAT A72 Beltana.

After further training in Egypt the Battalion embarked for France for service on the Western Front, arriving there on 23 June 1916. Its first major battle took place at Fromelles on 19/20 July. The battalion was originally tasked with supporting other battalions in the battle, with Stephens' C Company being detailed to carry in additional ammunition. As conditions deteriorated 30th Battalion was drawn into the fighting, suffering heavy casualties. Stephens was killed early on 20 July. He is buried in VC Corner Australian Cemetery and Memorial. According to his father he was 16 years and 9 months old.

This commemorative plaque was sent to Stephens' father, Sydney Joseph Stephens, in August 1922.