The AIF Project

Harcourt FOSTER

Regimental number581
Place of birthNathalia, Victoria
SchoolState School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationGrocer
AddressCoonangalt via Gisborne, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation23
Height5' 6.75"
Weight138 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs H Foster, Coonangalt via Gisborne, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date23 September 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name14th Battalion, E Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/31/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board A38 Ulysses on 22 December 1914
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll4th Divisional Signal Company
FateKilled in Action 24 September 1917
Place of death or woundingYpres, Belgium
Age at death26
Age at death from cemetery records26
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), 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
25
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: George Charles and Maria Jane FOSTER; husband of Mrs F.E. FOSTER, 4 Washington Street, Essendon, Victoria. Native of Nathalia, Victoria
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 12 April 1915. Admitted to 4th Australian Field Ambulance, 3 September 1915; rejoined unit, Mudros, 19 September 1915.

Transferred to 3rd Signal Company as Sapper, Moascar, Egypt, 1 February 1916. Taken on strength, 4th Divisional Signal Company, Tel el Kebir, 9 March 1916. To School of Instruction, Serapeum, 30 April 1916; rejoined unit, 22 May 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 2 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 8 June 1916.

Killed in action, Belgium, 24 September 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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