DEC­O­RATED HERO: Stephen Facey won one of Bel­gium’s high­est mil­i­tary awards for brav­ery

Mansfield Courier - - NEWS -

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.

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