Stephen Richard BETHERAS

Year of Birth:  1894

Place of Birth:  Emmaville NSW

Date of Enlistment:  20 October 1916

Date and Place of Embarkation:  25 November 1916, Sydney

Ship:  HMAT Beltana A72

Rank:  Lance Corporal

Unit(s):  4th Australian Pioneer Battalion,  2 to 11 Reinforcements

Regimental Number:  3312

Died:  29 March 1918


Pte, Stephen Richard Betheras – photo courtesy John Oxley Library, SLQ


Stephen Richard Betheras was born in 1894 in Emmaville NSW to Stephen Robert Betheras & Minnie Georgina Love, the eldest of their 7 children. William S. born 1897, Ada M. 1899, Charles Arthur 1902, Thomas Edward 1904, Ethel May 1907 and James Elliot 1913.

Emmaville is a small village on the Northern Tablelands in the New England district of NSW.  Tin was discovered in 1872 and from 1882 tin and arsenic were mined at Tent Hill not far from Emmaville.  Stephen Betheras Snr was a miner.  He moved his family from Emmaville to the Herberton area on the Atherton Tablelands prior to 1908 where he continued working as a miner.

When Stephen Richard Betheras enlisted on 20 October 1916 at Cairns he was a Labourer and listed his father Stephen Robert Betheras, c/- S Ramage, Court House Hotel, Cairns, as his next of kin.  He was 21 years 11 months of age, 5 feet 8 ½ inches in height, weighed 144 pounds and had a fair complexion, grey eyes and dark hair.  He was Church of England.

He embarked from Sydney on 25 November 1916 aboard HMAT Beltana with 4 Pioneer Battalion, arrived in England on 29 January 1917 and proceeded to Havre, France on 9 June 1917.  He was appointed a Lance Corporal o 11 November 1917.  He was admitted to hospital sick on 17 March 1918.  He received burns to his face and body that same day when a fire caused by sparks from an open fireplace ignited the lining.  The subsequent enquiry found the fire was accidental and the soldier was not to blame in any way.

Stephen Richard Betheras  was buried at the Outtersteene Communal Cemetery Extension, Bailleul, Nord Pas de Calais, France.


HMAT Beltana A72 – photo courtesy AIF History


NAA B2455 – Report about his death


NAA B2455 Stephen did not wish to make a will


NA B2455 – letter from his mother re headstone


NAA B2455 – instructing his mother to forward medals to his father


NAA B2455 – letter to his father re medals


NAA B2455 – details for plaque


Northern Herald (Cairns) 11 April 1918 p6


Online Resources

Photograph of S R Betheras,  State Library of Qld

NAA: B2455, Stephen Richard Betheras, National Archives of Australia

Australian War Memorial

Photograph of HMAT Beltana A72, Australian Military History

Northern Herald (Cairns) – 11 April 1918 p 6


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