The AIF Project

Charles FERGUSON

Regimental number3388
Place of birthMelbourne, Victoria
ReligionCongregational
OccupationClerk
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height5' 7.25"
Weight124 lbs
Next of kinFather, John Reid Ferguson, 'Tiverton', Castle Street, Parkside, South Australia
Previous military serviceServed for 3 years in the Senior Cadets; transferred to the 74th Infantry Bn, Citizen Military Forces (still serving at time of AIF enlistment).
Enlistment date1 December 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll1 December 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
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
145
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Adelaide, 10 February 1917; disembarked Devonport, England, 2 May 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 10 September 1917; taken on strength, 48th Bn, 22 September 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 12 October 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Father wrote to Base Records, 8 September 1918, following the receipt of his son's personal effects (a pocket Bible and handkerchiefs): 'It is possible no useful purpose will be served by my again stating that our surprise and indignation at the non-return of my son's watch, wallet and private papers, is still as great as ever it was. It is inconceivable to me that they were not on his person at the time of his death and I would give much to meet the man who robbed the body of the articles mentioned. Unfortunately we have heard of too many similar cases of apparent cold-blooded deliberate theft in cases of the kind under notice. To me it seems a grave scandal that such things should be possible under such circumstances, and it seems hopeless to expect any real redress. If you can assist me at all to further prosecute my enquiries I need hardly say I shall be greatly obliged.'

SourcesNAA: B2455, FERGUSON Charles

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