Gunner Stephen Gregory Grugeon, 11 Field Artillery Brigade of Ashfield, NSW. A student at the University of Sydney prior to enlisting, he embarked from Sydney aboard the HMAT Borda on 5 June 1916. He was killed in action at Flechin, France on 18 September 1918, aged 26. He is buried in the Jeancourt Communal Cemetery Extension, France.

Stephen Grugeon was the son of the Superintendent Henry Grugeon (once Inspector of Police, Parramatta) and brother of Mrs. George Ferris, of Pennant Hills Road, Parramatta North. He enlisted from Ashfield, where his widowed mother resided. He went into the artillery camp at The Warren together with Jas. Healey of Parramatta North and T. K. Shonk and one or two others well known.

According to newspaper reports, the first night he spent in the trenches he had a narrow escape from death. “He shifted, or was shifted, in his sleep, from one side of the trench to the other; and in the morning he found that a large heavy stone had fallen in the trench (the result of an explosion) whilst he had been asleep, and right upon the spot where he had lain himself down in the beginning, of the night.”

The report continued, “The young man when he enlisted held a Government position, and was at the same time going through the University — thanks to the aid of several bursaries which he had creditably won — in a course of organic chemistry. Only a short time ago Mrs. Grugeon lost another son, Mr. Chas Grugeon. Our sympathy, with that of the rest of the community, goes out to the freshly bereaved relatives. Stephen Grugeon was engaged to a very popular Parramatta vocalist, with whom also very much sympathy is expressed.”

 

 

Peter Arfanis, Archivist, Parramatta Council, Heritage Centre, 2014