DECORATED HERO: Stephen Facey won one of Belgium’s highest military awards for bravery
STEPHEN Facey was raised in Tolmie and enlisted for active service in February 1916 at the age of 28.
As a member of the 18th Reinforcements of the Fifth Battalion AIF, he arrived in France in August 1916 where he was drafted to the 59th Battalion.
The battalion was still recovering from the disaster of Fromelles where, of its approximately 900 men, 700 became casualties, killed, wounded or missing, within a 48 hour period.
and having been promoted to Corporal, Facey was invalided to hospital suffering hypothermia and pneumonia.
On his return to the front, he acted ‘with outstanding distinction’ at Polygon Wood (September 1917) and was awarded a Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM).
returned to England and after receiving a commission as Second Lieutenant, he returned to the front line in France.
On July 4, 1918, during the Battle of Hamel, Facey was killed as he led a party barricading a captured trench line near the village of Ville, for which action he was awarded a posthumous Belgian Croix de Guerre.
He is buried in the Merricourt-L’Abbe Communal Cemetery in France.