The AIF Project

Alan Eglington ECKFORD

Regimental number4407
Place of birthHobart, Tasmania
SchoolPrivate School (J.A. McElroy, Principal)
ReligionChurch of England
Address8 Regent Street, Sandy Bay, Tasmania
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 7.5"
Weight136 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Ethel M Eckford, Malvern PO, Malvern, Melbourne, Victoria
Previous military serviceSenior Cadets (3 years)
Enlistment date4 October 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name24th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/41/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board RMS Malwa on 21 March 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll24th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularGreat Grandson of Major Frederick Campbell Montgomery, 50th Queens Crown. Grand nephew of Major Gen. Sir H.T. Macpherson, V.C.Cousin: Lord Richard Haldam
FateKilled in Action 3 May 1917
Place of death or woundingBullecourt, France
Age at death19
Age at death from cemetery records19
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsAustralian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux, France

Villers-Bretonneux is a village about 15 km east of Amiens. The Memorial stands on the high ground ('Hill 104') behind the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, Fouilloy, which is about 2 km north of Villers-Bretonneux on the east side of the road to Fouilloy.

The Australian National Memorial, Villers-Bretonneux is approached through the Military Cemetery, at the end of which is an open grass lawn which leads into a three-sided court. The two pavilions on the left and right are linked by the north and south walls to the back (east) wall, from which rises the focal point of the Memorial, a 105 foot tall tower, of fine ashlar. A staircase leads to an observation platform, 64 feet above the ground, from which further staircases lead to an observation room. This room contains a circular stone tablet with bronze pointers indicating the Somme villages whose names have become synonymous with battles of the Great War; other battle fields in France and Belgium in which Australians fought; and far beyond, Gallipoli and Canberra.

On the three walls, which are faced with Portland stone, are the names of 10,885 Australians who were killed in France and who have no known grave. The 'blocking course' above them bears the names of the Australian Battle Honours.

After the war an appeal in Australia raised £22,700, of which £12,500 came from Victorian school children, with the request that the majority of the funds be used to build a new school in Villers-Bretonneux. The boys' school opened in May 1927, and contains an inscription stating that the school was the gift of Victorian schoolchildren, twelve hundred of whose fathers are buried in the Villers-Bretonneux cemetery, with the names of many more recorded on the Memorial. Villers-Bretonneux is now twinned with Robinvale, Victoria, which has in its main square a memorial to the links between the two towns.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Arthur Eglinton Montgomery and Ethel Maude ECKFORD, 17 Winter Street, Malvern, Victoria
Family/military connectionsCousin: Col T.N.G. End, DSO, 40th Battalion Brother: Sgt D.E. Eckford, 1st Battalion, NSW
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Marched out of 6th Training Bn, 25 March 1916, and attached to AIF Headquarters as a clerk.

Marched out of AIF Headquarters, Cairo, 1 July 1916.

At 2nd Australian Divisional Details Depot, Tel el Kebir, 12 July 1916.

Embarked Alexandria, 2 August 1916, and proceeded to England; marched into 5th Training Bn, England, 24 August 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 16 September 1916.

Taken on strength of 24th Bn, Belgium, 29 September 1916.

Admitted to No 5 Australian Field Ambulance, 20 November 1916 (frostbite, hands); transferred to No 38 Casualty Clearing Station, 21 November 1916; to No 12 General Hospital, Rouen, 22 November 1916; to No 2 Convalescent Depot, Rouen, 27 November 1916; discharged to Base Details, 29 November 1916; marched into 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot, Etaples, 1 December 1916.

Rejoined 24th Bn, 21 December 1916.

Admitted to No 5 Australian Field Ambulance, 1 January 1917 (ulcer); transferred to Corps Rest Station, 1 January 1917 (incontinence of urine); discharged to duty, 15 January 1917; rejoined unit, 16 January 1917.

Admitted to No 6 Australian Field Ambulance, 11 February 1917, and transferred to Anzac Scabies Hospital the same day (scabies); to No 45 Casualty Clearing Station, 20 February 1917; to Ambulance Train, 23 February 1917; to No 7 Canadian General Hospital, 23 February 1917; discharged, 1 March 1917, and marched into 2nd Australian Divisional Base Depot, 1 March 1917.

Rejoined 24th Bn, 12 March 1917.

Posted as missing in action, 3 May 1917.

Court of Enquiry, held in the field, 14 December 1917, pronounces fate as 'Killed in Action, 3 May 1917'.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, ECKFORD Alan Eglington

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