Stanley David Hewitt was born at Walhalla, Victoria, on 14 December 1892 to parents David Henry Hewitt and Agnes Henrietta Vaux. He was the oldest child in a family of ten children, consisting of three daughters and seven sons. At the age of about 12, he performed a euphonium solo at a concert to raise money for the purchase of instruments for the Rifles Club Brass Band of East Gippsland in 1904.
Hewitt worked as an engineer before enlisting on 17 August 1914, and embarked from Sydney aboard HMAT Euripides on 20 October 1914. He served with the 3rd Infantry Battalion, 1st Brigade, taking part in the Gallipoli landing on 25 April 1915; but he was soon admitted to hospital. While there is a slight discrepancy in his service record regarding the type of injury or illness Hewitt sustained, it appears most likely that he contracted pulmonary fibrosis, a persistent scarring of the lungs causing symptoms similar to asthma. He was sent to Malta for treatment and returned to Australia for medical discharge in 1915.
On his return to Australia, Hewitt opened a music warehouse at 308 Sydney Road, Brunswick, in Melbourne and sold music, pianos, stationery and musical instruments. He wrote and self-published a number of songs during the First World War, including “Australia’s boys in khaki and blue” and “The Kaiser’s boast” (1916). A letter from Dorothy Brunton, a popular Australian actress and singer of the period, congratulated him on these two songs, describing them as “dandy songs” and requesting permission to sing them at any upcoming “charitable function” that she was asked to assist with.
On 3 July 1917, Hewitt, later referred to as the “Anzac lecturer”, delivered an account of his experiences on Gallipoli. He described the landing and the battle of Lone Pine, as well as reciting poetry and performing his own songs. The lecture was repeated later that month. Hewitt also donated prizes for a singing and recitation competition held in Brisbane in July 1917. The prizes were awarded for performances of his works, “Australia’s boys in khaki and blue”, “The Kaiser’s boast” and “The last of the outpost”.
In 1918, Hewitt was admitted to Melbourne Hospital, suffering the effects of poison. At the time, he was 27 years old and still working as a music seller in Brunswick. During 1918, he also married Alma Edith Priscilla Loades at Newcastle, New South Wales. The couple had five children. Between 1918 and 1930, it appears that Hewitt was living at Mayfield, New South Wales, and worked as a fire fighter and a police constable. In 1930, census records reveal that he was working as a labourer.
Stanley David Hewitt died at Bulli, New South Wales, on 7 July 1982.