SERVICE NO: 1773
YEAR OF BIRTH: 1895
PLACE OF BIRTH: Hamilton
DATE OF ENLISTMENT: 13 January 1915
PLACE OF ENLISTMENT: Hamilton
AGE AT ENLISTMENT: 19
UNIT: 24th Battalion
EMBARKED: 16 July 1915
TROOP SHIP: HMAT A64 Demosthenes
FATE: Killed in Action – 24 August 1916 – Pozieres
Robert Stagoll was a son of William Stagoll and Mary Rankin of Griffin Street, Hamilton. Robert, known as “Bob” attended the Hamilton State School and Hamilton Elementary school. At the State School he was a member of the school cadets. On completion of his schooling, Robert worked as a carpenter and at a local racing stable.
On 13 January, 1915, aged nineteen, Robert enlisted. He departed Australia with the 24th Battalion on 16 July 1915 and was at Gallipoli by 30 August. On 4 October, Robert suffered shell shock and evacuated to hospital with the 4th Field Ambulance. After a week, Robert was discharged and he returned to his battalion. After the Gallipoli evacuation, Robert spent time on the island of Moudros before returning to Alexandria, Egypt on 10 January 1916. In the days after, Robert was AWOL for three days in Tel-el-Kebir. During March 1916, Robert left Egypt for France arriving at Marseilles on 26 March 1916.
The first major fighting in France for the 24th Battalion was around Pozieres and Mouquet Farm in July and August. Robert’s army mates called him “Stag” but during his time at the Somme he also gained the nickname “Sniper” because of his reputation as a good shot. At around 6am on 24 August, Robert was with the men who called him “Sniper” when a shell exploded close to their trench. A fragment hit Robert in the arm. He was attended to by his fellow soldiers but died of blood loss before the Field Ambulance could arrive. He was buried close by later in the day when the fighting eased.
On 27 September 1916, William and Mary Stagoll received word that Robert had been killed. During March 1925, the Stagolls were advised that Robert’s remains had been found and were buried at the Longueval Road Cemetery in France. An identity disc, found on Robert, was returned to the family with the letter. Robert was remembered on the Elementary School Honour Roll, the Hamilton War Memorial and had a tree planted for him along Hamilton’s Anzac Avenue.