The AIF Project

Eric Surrey Wynter FORDHAM

Date of birth29 March 1889
Place of birthMelbourne, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationCivil servant
AddressNorth Perth, Western Australia
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation28
Next of kinWife, Mrs L Fordham, 149 Vincent Street, North Perth, Western Australia
Previous military serviceServed as Lt and Signal Officer for 6 years in thr 86th Infantry Regiment, Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date1 September 1916
Rank on enlistment2nd Lieutenant
Unit name11th Battalion, 24th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/28/5
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT Miltiades on 29 January 1917
Rank from Nominal Roll2nd Lieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll11th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Age at death from cemetery records28
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
62
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Wynter George and Jessie Laughton FORDHAM; husband of Louie FORDHAM, 'Wyke Regis', Knutsford Street, North Perth, Western Australia. Native of Melbourne~
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 1352 Staff Sergeant Darrell Keith FORDHAM MM, 12th Field Ambulance, returned to Australia, 24 September 1918; 1240 Driver Noel Archibald FORDHAM MM, 4th Divisional Motor Transport Company, returned to Australia, 5 September 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Fremantle, 29 January 1917; disembarked Devonport, England, 27 March 1917.

Attended a course at the Southern Command Signal School, Weymouth, 14 June-28 July 1917; qualified as 2nd Class Instructor (passed with credit).

Proceeded overseas to France, 27 August 1917; taken on strength, 11th Bn, 11 September 1917.

Missing in action, believed wounded, 20 September 1917; subsequently confirmed as killed in action.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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