The AIF Project

Edwin Charles WILSON

Regimental number2150
Place of birthBingara, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressMoree, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation29
Height6' 1"
Weight159 lbs
Next of kinFather, James A Wilson, Batho Street, Moree, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date20 March 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll13 April 1916
Place of enlistmentArmidale, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name33rd Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/50/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A68 Anchises on 24 August 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll33rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 7 June 1917
Age at death from cemetery records29
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), 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
123
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James Albert and Emma WILSON
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 24 August 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 11 October 1916.

Admitted to Devonport Hospital, 11 October 1916 (no further details recorded).

Taken on strength, 33rd Bn, 26 October 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 21 November 1916.

Wounded (accidentally), 24 February 1917 (bayonet, right thigh); admitted to 10th Field Ambulance, 25 February 1917, and transferred same day to 2nd Casualty Clearing Station; discharged to duty, 2 March 1917.

Rejoined Bn, 3 March 1917.

Killed in action, 7 June 1917.

Handwritten notation on Form B103: 'Buried'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 2980604, 1863 Pte J.R. LINCHAIN, 33rd Bn (patient, Horton War Hospital, Epsom, England), 20 August 1917: 'Pte. R. Stuart 5091A. was killed by a shell (blown up) the same time as Pte. E.C. Wilson 2150. They were both buried on the battlefield.'

Second statement, 2040 Pte V.R. CUTTING, A Company, 33rd Bn (patient, No 3 General hospital, Le Treport, 14 August 1917: 'I remember seeing him lying dead in Fritz's old 1st line to the right of Messines. It was as we were withdrawing and as far as I remember he was killed by a shell. A false order was given and we had to withdraw from this line, but this was soon countermaded and we advanced again. So his body could be found and probably buried the same night. I came down with shell shock so can't tell you anything more.'

Third statement, 241 Lance Corporal W.R.C. FLINT, A Company, 33rd Bn (patient, Bath War Hospital, Bristol, England), 15 April 1918: 'Wilson was killed June 7th and is believed to bee buried in 2nd Ash Crater close to Factory Farm in the Messines.'

Fourth statement, 2923 Pte P.J. McDownell, 33rd Bn (patient, Exeter War Hospital III, England), 1 May 1918: 'I saw him killed with a shell in trenches on June 7th at Messines. I was about 10 yards away.The stretcher bearers carried him away at once. Ground was held then but is lost now.' Note on file: [Informant] Very intelligent[.] Gassed & difficult to follow when he talks.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, WILSON Edwin Charles
Red Cross File No 2980604

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