Private Arthur Stanley Gurney

Service number WX9858
Birth Date 1908-12-15
Birth Place Australia: Western Australia
Death Date 1942-07-22
Death Place North Africa: Western Desert, Western Desert (Egypt), Tel el Eisa
Final Rank Private
Service Australian Army
Unit 2/48th Australian Infantry Battalion
Conflict/Operation Second World War, 1939-1945
Gazettes Published in London Gazette in 1942-09-11

Stan Gurney was born on the Murchison goldfields, Western Australia. He was a week short of his 32nd birthday, and employed by the Perth Electricity and Gas Depot, when he enlisted in the Second AIF in December 1940. A vigorous and athletic man, he had been a champion cyclist. Posted to the 2/48th Battalion, he became one of the "Rats of Tobruk".

During fighting at Tel el Eisa on 22 July 1942, Gurney attacked three enemy machine-gun posts which had been holding up his company's advance. He had already stormed the first two, killing the occupants with his bayonet, and was approaching the third when a stick of grenades exploded, knocking him over. He continued on and charged the third post, "using the bayonet with great vigour" until killed. His body was later recovered from the post. His citation claimed that his company's successful attack "was almost entirely due to Private Gurney's heroism at the moment when it was needed".

Gurney was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross, he also received service medals for the Second World War.



Date of birth 15 December 1908
Date of death 22 July 1942
Date of honour or award 22 July 1942 Awarded the Victoria Cross for action at Tel el Hesi, Palestine (now Israel) whilst serving with 2/48 Battalion, 26 Brigade, 9 Division as a Private.