Museum of Brisbane

Stanley Alexander Littleboy 1892 – 1917 No. 3555 20th Reinforcement 9th Battalion AIF


Late last year, we put the call out to the community to bring in your World War One studio portraits to be scanned and included in our new exhibition Facing World War One: Stories of loyalty, loss and love.

Nancy Jordan was one of 100 community members who generously provided us with her uncle’s portrait as well as his deeply moving story.

She wrote to us,

I never had the chance to know my Uncle Stan as he died in WWI, 20 years before I was born. He was the eldest child of my grandparents, William George Littleboy, jeweller and Margaret Smith. He was my father’s older brother and was born on 16 November 1892 at Jane Street, Newstead, Brisbane. His first school was Fortitude Valley State School and when the family went to live at 26 Swan Terrace, Windsor, he attended Bowen Bridge School which is now  Windsor State School where his name proudly appears on the WWI Roll of Honour Board. In 2015 at an Anzac Service on the Anzac Terrace at Windsor State School, 30 plaques were unveiled in memory of each past pupil who was killed in WW1. There is one for Stanley Alexander Littleboy…

Stan enlisted in Brisbane on 12th July, 1915 and his diary states he joined the camp at Enoggera on 14th July. He left for Sydney on 8th September for training and returned to Brisbane on 24th September. On 21st October, he left Brisbane for Egypt arriving Suez on 28th November. On 7th December he was admitted to hospital in Heliopolis with an ingrown toenail. On 19th March, 1916 Stan sailed for Australia as escort in charge of undesirables on S.S. Demosthenes, arriving back in Brisbane about 23rd April

Uncle Stan took part in the first Anzac Day Procession in Brisbane. His ingrown toenail was still giving him trouble and he was admitted to hospital on 17th June. On 24th June he was promoted to rank of Lance Corporal and left hospital on 21st August. On 7th September he departed Australia again on the troopship A46 ‘Clan MacGillivary’ and was made Ships Corporal, arriving England on 1st November, via Capetown. They anchored at Plymouth Sound and the troops disembarked next morning in lighters. They slept at Raglan Barracks, Devonport. Then they were shifted to another camp and on the 3rd November were moved again to Perham Downs, Tedworth.


On March 3 1917, in a letter to his cousin Violet, Stan wrote –

Dear Violet,

                   Just a few lines to let you know that I am still in the best of health. We moved out of the trenches a week ago after doing five days. We had a terrible time with the mud and cold. Just fancy standing in mud up to your knees for 24 hours. I was glad when we were relieved as my feet were that sore I could hardly walk. We chased Fritz back a bit and captured five lines of trenches and took a few prisoners. Our casualties were very light. The weather is not quite so cold now. We had some more snow last week and today it is raining so we will have some more mud for a while. I dont know what has happened to your letters Violet. I have only received one letter from

you. I get my mail from home pretty regular. I have not met any men out of Alex Whytes unit yet. I would like to run across some of them and find out how he got killed. Well Violet I think this is about all the news at present as we dont hear too much news over here. So I will close with fond love.


                                                                   From your loving cousin


This was the last letter Violet received from her cousin Stan.

Stanley Alexander Littleboy was reported Killed in Action 20th April 1917 at Bapaume, Somme Sector, France.

Private Stanley Alexander Littleboy is buried in Lebucquiere Communal Cemetery Extension (Plot lll, Row C, Grave No. 27) Pas de Calais, France.


Tracing letters sent from the front line through the War Office to back home, Facing World War One: Stories of loyalty, loss and love captures the poignant voices of the family and loved ones of enlisted soldiers.
22 Apr – 28 Aug 2016.