The AIF Project

Eric Fullerton TAIT

Regimental number1357
Place of birthSydney, New South Wales
SchoolCrown Street Public School, Sydney, New South Wales
AddressCarlton Flats, Cremorne, Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Height5' 7.5"
Weight137 lbs
Next of kinSister, Miss Mary Gwendoline Tait, c/o J R McGregor, Bond Street, Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date9 February 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll5 February 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentActing Sergeant
Unit name12th Light Horse Regiment, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number10/17/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A66 Uganda on 20 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll10th Field Artillery Brigade
Other details from Roll of Honour Circular

Enlisted as a private in the 12th Light Horse, February 1915. Became Regimental Quartermaster Sergeant in Egypt; then transferred to the artillery, serving with the 37th Battery, 10th Field Artillery Brigade, until his death.

FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Place of death or woundingBellewarde Ridge, Ypres Sector, Belgium
Age at death29
Age at death from cemetery records29
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Mary TAIT. Native of Sydney, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsCousins: [8733] Lt George Hill ADAMS MC, 4th Division Artillery, returned to Australia, 11 May 1919; Brevet Major Samuel Herbert HANCOX DSO, 1st Division Engineers, returned to Australia, 21 June 1919; Commander Bryan ADAMS RN, who took part in the raid on Zeebrugge.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

2nd Lieutenant, 27 March 1916.

Taken on strength, 10th Field Artillery Brigade, 6 April 1916, and posted to 37th Battery.

Admitted to hospital, 17 May 1916 (eye trouble); rejoined unit, 22 May 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 5 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 12 June 1916.

Promoted Lieutenant, in the field, 1 October 1916.

Admitted to 3rd Australian Field Ambulance, 30 April 1917 (concussion of the brain, accidental), and transferred same day to 3rd Casualty Clearing Station; to Ambulance Train No 16, 2 May 1917, and admitted to 2nd Red Cross Hospital, Rouen, 3 May 1917. Discharged to Base Depot, 14 May 1917; rejoined unit, Belgium, 14 June 1917.

Killed in action, 20 September 1917.

Base Records reported, 7 March 1919: 'Records show that the late Officer was acting as Forward Observing Officer for 37th Batery on 20th September 1917, during operations near Bellevarde Ridge. While making a reconnaissance for a Forward Observing Post he was killed. He was buried on the Eastern side of the Bellevarde Ridge Ypres Sector.'

Grave subsequently lost.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, TAIT Eric Fullerton

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