The AIF Project

Arthur WICKER

Regimental number1391
Place of birthBendigo, Victoria
ReligionProtestant
OccupationMiner
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation29
Height5' 6.5"
Weight164 lbs
Next of kinMrs H Wicker, Newbridge, Victoria
Enlistment date28 November 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name16th Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/33/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A54 Runic on 19 February 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll48th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Place of burialNo known grave.
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), 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
147
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Henry and Elizabeth WICKER
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Taken on strength, 16th Bn, Gallipoli, 7 May 1916. Reported sick, 25 August 1915; admitted to HS 'Ionian', 29 August 1915 (varicose veins); transferred to Malta, 1 September 1916, and admitted to St George's Hospital. Discharged to Fort Ricasoli, 9 September 1915; entered ration return at Overseas Base, Mustapha, 30 September 1915. Embarked at Alexandria to rejoin unit at Gallipoli, 18 October 1915. Found guilty of absent without leave from camp at Sarki, Anzac, from 29 October to 7 November 1915: awarded 14 days' Field Punishment No. 2; forfeited 10 days' pay. Disembarked Alexandria from Mudros, 30 December 1915 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Admitted to 4th Field Ambulance, Ismailia, 13 January 1916 (gonorrhoea); transferred to 1st Australian General Hospital, 13 January 1916; discharged to duty, 27 January 1916; rejoined unit, 27 January 1916. Transferred to 48th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 3 March 1916. Found guilty, 10 March 1916, of being absent without leave from 8 March to 10 pm, 9 March 1916: awarded 4 days' confined to camp; forfeited 2 days' pay. Admitted to 12th Australian Field Ambulance, 26 March 1916 (influenza); transferred to No. 2 Australian Stationary Hospital, 26 March 1916; discharged to duty, 26 March 1916. Admitted to 12th Australian Field Ambulance 18 April 1916 (venereal disease); transferred to 13th Australian Field Ambulance, 18 April 1916; discharged, 25 April 1916; rejoined Bn, 25 April 1916.

Admitted to 2nd Australian General Hospital, 1 June 1916 (varicose veins); transferred to 3rd Australian General Hospital, 1 June 1916; to England, 7 July 1916, and admitted to 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, 19 July 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 11 November 1916.

Admitted to 51st General Hospital, 14 November 1916 (venereal disease); discharged to Base Details, 25 November 1916. Found guilty, 15 December 1916, of falling out of line of march without permission: awarded forfeiture of 1 day's pay. Rejoined unit, 22 December 1916.

Found guilty by Field General Court Martial, 2 February 1917, of when on Active Service absenting himself without leave from 2 pm, 30 December 1916 to 12 noon, 1 January 1917: awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No. 2 and forfeiture of 31 days' pay. Found guilty, 7 May 1917, of being absent from 7.45 am parade: awarded 4 days' confined to camp. Found guilty, 24 July 1917, of being absent without leave from 1-45 pm parade, 21 July 1917, and absent without leave from billet from 7 am, 21 July, to 8 am, 24 July 1917: awarded 4 days' Field Punishment No. 2; forfeited 7 days' pay.

Detached to 4th Division Pack Train, 5 August 1917; rejoined Bn, 28 August 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 12 October 1917.

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

After the war, investigations by Base Records, seeking to allocate his medals, established that he had been married to Mrs Mary A. WICKER, 8 Market Street, Adelaide, by whom he had 2 children. His mother was unaware of the marriage (he had declared on enlistment that he was single, and named his mother as next of kin), and his wife did not know of his enlistment. His wife subsequently remarried as Mrs COWAN, and further correspondence addressed to her was returned 'unknown'. Mrs A. WICKER, his mother, originally requested that his headstone be inscribed with the Star of David, but on being informed by Base Records (19 October 1920) that it was 'the emblem of the Jewish faith', replied (November 1920) 'I was not aware that the Star of David was a Jewish emblem' and therefore requested that the Cross be used instead.

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