William Stirling MASON
Per his military service record (regimental no. 4839), William Stirling Mason was born at ‘Eketahana’ [i.e. Eketahuna], New Zealand. His middle name of “Stirling” is spelt “Sterling”on some sections of his service record, but it is spelt as “Stirling” in his signature. He gave his age as 21 years and 8 months, his marital status as single, and his occupation as labourer. His description on his medical was height 5 feet 6 inches tall, weight 8 stone 12 lbs., with a fair complexion, blue eyes, and light brown hair. His religious denomination was Church of England. He claimed that he had 12 months service in the Senior Cadets in New Zealand and he had been rejected for the AIF in the past for chest measurement.
The Blue Mountain Echo named ‘W. Mason’ as one of ‘the lads who answered the call, and marched out with the Coo-ees’ at Katoomba.
He was attested at Springwood on 9th November 1915, and completed his medical examination on 9th November 1915 at Penrith, N.S.W. (The Coo-ees had travelled from Springwood to Penrith on 9th November 1915).
After completing the Co-ee March he went to Liverpool Camp as reinforcement for the 13th Battalion.
On his embarkation roll his address at time of enrolment was Waratah Street, Katoomba, N.S.W., and his next of kin is listed as his father, W. [Walter] Mason, at the same address.
On 8th March 1916 Private Mason, along with many of the other Coo-ee,s departed Sydney on the HMAT A15 Star of England, and arrived in Egypt on 11th April 1916.
It is not recorded when Private Mason departed Egypt, but he ended up in the 4th Training battalion in England.
On 30th July 1916 Private Mason departed Rollerstone in England bound for France. He marched into the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Etaples on 1st August 1916.
He joined the 13th Battalion on 19th August 1916 when it was resting and reorganising at Pernois, France.
On 4th February 1917 the 13th Battalion successfully attacked the German Front Line trenches near the village of Guedecourt, France. During this attack Private Mason was wounded in action. receiving multiple shrapnel wounds to his right arm. He was evacuated and admitted to the 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital at Boulogne, France on 7th February 1917.
On 9th of February 1917 Private Mason was placed aboard the Hospital Ship Princess Elizabeth in Boulogne Harbour for evacuation to England.
On 10th February 1917 he was admitted to the Norfolk War Hospital.
Private Mason was discharged on 5th March 1917, and granted leave to report to the Number 4 Command Depot at Wareham, England, on 21st March 1917.
On 3rd April 1917 Private Mason was admitted to the Military Hospital at Wareham with measles.
On 12th April 1917 he was moved to the 16th Field Ambulance at Woolwich, then was admitted to the Woolwich Military Hospital later that day. He was discharged and sent back to the Number 4 Command Depot on 21st April 1917.
On 27th April 1917 Private Mason was transferred to the newly formed 63rd Battalion at Pernham Downs (which was later disbanded on 19th October 1917).
On 12th September 1917 Private Mason departed Southampton bound for France, to reinforce the 13th Battalion. He arrived at the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve on 13th September 1917.
On 21st September 1917 he departed the 4th Australian Division Base depot to rejoin the 13th Battalion. On 30th September 1917 he marched into the 13th Battalion, when it was in the Steenvoorde area in northern France.
Two weeks later, on 16th October 1917, Private Mason was with the 13th Battalion manning the support line in the vicinity of Zonnebeke, Belgium, when he was wounded in action by Mustard Gas. He was sent to the 11th Australian Field Ambulance with a blistered head, then moved back to the 3rd Australian Clearing Station. He was placed aboard the 26th Ambulance Train and on 19th October 1917 he was admitted to the 3rd Stationary Hospital at Rouen, France.
On 22nd October 1917 he was placed aboard Hospital Ship Grantully Castle for evacuation to England. On 24th October 1917 he was admitted to the Queen Mary Military Hospital at Whalley in Lancashire.
On 16th November 1917 Private Mason was discharged from hospital, and granted leave to report to the Number 1 Command Depot at Sutton Veny on 30th November 1917.
On 2nd January 1918 Private Mason marched into the Overseas Training Brigade at Longbridge, England from Number 1 Command Depot.
On 23rd January 1918 Private Mason departed Southampton bound for France. He arrived at the 4th Australian Division Base Depot at Le Harve on 24th January 1918.
On 26th January 1918 Private Mason departed the 4th Australian Division Base depot to rejoin the 13th Battalion. On 30th January 1918 he marched into the Battalion when it was manning the front line in the vicinity of Hollebeke, Belgium.
On the 1st of March 1918 Private Mason was with the 13th Battalion being relieved by the 10th Battalion from the support lines when the enemy launched a trench raid. Private Mason’s company was caught in the enemy barrage and 5 men were killed, and 5 wounded, including Private Mason, who sustained a shrapnel wound to his forehead and another to his right hand. Both were minor. He was sent to the 1st Australian Field Ambulance. He was treated and rejoined the Battalion the next day.
On 13th of November 1918 Private Mason was granted leave from France to England until 28th November 1918.
While on leave in England, on 17th November 1918 was admitted to the 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital at Harefield, England, suffering Bronchitis. This was reported as ‘Influenza seriously ill’ on 20th November 1918.
Private Mason was discharged on 6th of December 1918 and granted leave to report back to the Hospital at Harefield on 11th December 1918. He was discharged on 14th December 1918, and sent to the Number 2 Command Depot at Weymouth, England.
On 18th January 1919 Private Mason departed England aboard the H.M.A.T. Ulysses bound for Australia. He arrived in Australia on 15th March 1919.
The Blue Mountain Echo reported that Private ‘Will Mason’, along with other returning local soldiers, was presented with a smoker’s outfit at a welcome home function held at the Katoomba Town Hall on 31st March 1919.
Private Mason was discharged Medically Unfit on 1st May 1919.
 NAA: B2455, MASON WILLIAM STIRLING
 ‘March over the Mountains’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 12 November 1915, p. 2. Retrieved September 21, 2015, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108042142 [on page 3]
 ‘A Royal Welcome. Katoomba’s Heroes Received. A Memorable Evening’, The Blue Mountain Echo, 4 April 1919, p. 1. Retrieved February 19, 2017, from http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108245995
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