Stanley Scott Casson
† Casson, Gunner Stanley Scott no.31154.
10th Brigade Australian Field Artillery, formerly 22nd Howitzer Brigade, 9th Reinforcements.
Duke Street, Canterbury. Clerk.
The Casson family had stables in John Street, Canterbury (Council Minutes 1919).
Son of Benjamin Frederick and Caroline Louisa Casson, of Williton, Somerset, England.
Enlisted at Sydney 8/10/1916, aged 27.
Church of England. Next of kin, father, F.B. Casson, Williton, Somerset, England.
Embarked from Sydney 19/12/1916 per RMS Orontes.
Enlisted with C.R. Leahy.
Killed in action 26/9/1918, during a battle in which Australian Field Artillery was deployed in a combined unit with the Americans to attack the Hindenburg Line near Bellicourt. Buried in Tincourt New British Cemetery, grave V.G.20.
Tincourt was a centre for Casualty Clearing Stations.
AWM File IDRL 428 Letters to the Red Cross re Australian servicemen:
Gunner C.M. Mackie no.36862 37th Battery 10th Brigade, 3rd AA Hospital, Dartford:
He was in the 37th Battery and was a gunner. I did not actually see him killed but he was hit by a piece of shell in the head in front, and to the left of Villers Faucon, when death was instantaneous. He was a Battery Clerk at the time and was walking to his dugout when a shell landed near him. I knew him well and he came from Sydney. I cannot give details of burial, but refer to Gunner Donaldson RB 37th Battery, 10th Brigade, who is now in England, for he can give full particulars.
Lieutenant F. Florence 37th Battery, Sydney Bureau, 30/12/1918:
Casson was about 5ft 7 or 8in high, rather thickset, fair complexion, aged about 21. We both belonged to the 37th Battery. On the 26/ 9/1918, the Battery was behind Ronssay in front of a canal near Le Catelet, in action. At the time Casson was hit, the Battery was standing near to it, when a shell burst about 3 yards away and killed him instantly. I heard the shell burst, and came out of my own dugout at once, and saw Casson lying dead on the ground He was taken to the waggon lines near Ronssay and buried, but I could not say where. Casson was a very good boy. At the time of his death, he was doing some clerical work at the Battery.
Infantry Gunner MacGhee 37th Battery, Australian Demob. Base, Le Havre, 11/3/1919:
He was killed by a shell while in his dugout during the daytime, at St Emery. A piece of shell went right through his head We were relieved shortly after and do not know where buried. Infantry Gunner Kinnane 37th Battery, Australian Demob. Base, Le Havre, 11/3/1919: He was an Englishman, single, came from Wilton, Somerset. Padre Moorhouse and I buried Casson in a French Military Cemetery, just outside Tincourt.
Infantry Gunner HE. Davies no.36513 37th Battery, no.4 AGH Randwick, 14/3/1919:
Casson was a Gunner - also Battery Clerk with the guns - in 37th Battery with me - Medium height and build, fair complexion. He was talking to us Signallers in a dugout about 8am on 26/9/1918 at St Emelie just before Bellicourt. He then left to take his daily report to 10th Brigade Headquarters, and as he got out of the dugout a 5.9 shell burst within 10 yards of him and killed him instantly. The batman’s dugout was next to ours and some more of us picked him up. He was then taken charge of by the Padre and he was taken back for burial. I saw him after he was killed and am certain he was killed instantly and did not suffer. He was greatly liked by all the boys, and was of a very fine disposition.
Private E. Downee no.5464, King George Hospital, Stamford Street Hospital, 6/4/1919:
I know that Casson was killed with 5 or 6 others by a shell - would sure to have been buried near the guns at Ronsoi. I was not an eye-witness.
Bombadier G.W. Francis MM no. 1747 37th Battery, Victoria Barracks, Sydney, 2/5/1919:
Casson was about 5ft 9in high, medium build, fair complexion, aged 23. Casson was acting as runner and had been away on a message and came back before breakfast when he was killed outright by a 5.9 shell. I was about 2 yards away and saw Casson killed. Casson was taken to the Waggon line and buried there. I was not present.
H.Clark, no.30430 37th Battery, HMAT Port Denison, 15/5/1919:
He was killed outside of his dugout instantaneously by a shell. He was brought down to the Waggon Line in a blanket, dead, ready for burial. I saw him get taken down to St Emile where he was buried. Buried 120,000 Sheet 6.2 J.236, Cert. Tincourt New British Cemetery 4½ miles E of Peronne. Cert by AIF Headquarters List for Captain Spedding, London, 28/5/1919.
F.Pringle no.39117 37th Battery, HMAT Soudan, 28/6/1919:
He was standing at the top of the steps of a dugout when he was killed by a piece of shell exploding very close to him. At the time we were on the outskirts of a village named Horincourt and he was buried in this neighbourhood and a cross erected to his memory.
Gunner R. S. Dobbie no. 1478 37th Battery,Private address: Leeton via Yanco NSW:
He was instantly killed while standing on the top of a Signallers ’ dugout by a flying piece of 8 inch shell. He was buried at St Emilie. He was short, fair, and had very good teeth.
Bombardier A.M. Nowland no.26424 27th Battery, HMAT Deranha, 1/7/1919:
I saw him killed between St Emily and Effey about 11am on 26/9/1918. Killed through the head by a 5.9, death instantaneous, buried in Cemetery at Villers Faucon. Gunner Kidston was buried at the same time and place, also Brammell. I knew him well, he was a fair man, nuggetty build height about 5 ’8" or a little taller. We called him “Cass”. I did not see his grave. A chap who buried him told me re burial.
Roll of Honour, Canterbury District. Killed in Action.
Anzac Memorial Killed in Action 26/9/1918.
Australian War Memorial record available at: https://www.awm.gov.au/people/rolls/R1772515/ [accessed 16/09/2016]
The primary source of the information on this page is copied from the prize winning publication Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. This book is the culmination of 12 years (1988-2000) research by a team of volunteers from the Canterbury and District Historical Society led by Dr Lesley Muir. Without this team's effort and dedication and the Society's willingness and support, this information would not be available today.
An uneditable version of the book Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe is in the eBook section of this wiki. In the main section, there is an alphabetical list of the 1,911 individuals recorded in the book - the list is titled Canterbury's Boys List. Every name is linked to an editable version of the individual’s biography copied from the Canterbury’s Boys book. These editable biographical files have been created to provide the space for descendants, historians, researchers, etc to add information, photographs, newspaper articles, memories, etc. they have discovered so it is available for this and future generations.
Canterbury's boys : World War I & Sydney's suburban fringe. Edited by Lesley Muir. Campsie, N.S.W. : Canterbury and District Historical Society, 2002