The AIF Project

Edmund Reid HELLYER

Regimental number2079
Place of birthWarkton, New South Wales
SchoolWarkton Public School, Warkton, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
AddressBugaldi, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28
Next of kinFather, John Hellyer, Warkton, New South Wales
Enlistment date3 April 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name35th Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/52/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A68 Anchises on 24 August 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll35th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 June 1917
Place of death or woundingFrance
Age at death31
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Mary HELLYER, Warkton, New South Wales. Native of Coonabarabran, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother: 369 Driver Wilfred John HELLYER, 3rd Machine Gun Bn, returned to Australia, 18 January 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Note on Red Cross File: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills 10-10-19'.

Statement, 12070 Sergeant F. STURCH, B Company, 35th Bn, 10 April 1918: 'After the attack on Messines we were holding a line of rough trenches in front of Warneton between 2 and 5 a.m. on 12.6.17.A large high explosive shell landed in left bombing bay and killed five men including Hellyer. Informant was 7th Platoon Sergeant. Lt Parran Officer in Command of the Platoon was killed, so Informant then took charge of the Platoon, examined the bodies including Hellyer's, and took his personal belongings and sent them back to Battalion Headquarters. Hellyer was killed instantly and could not have felt anything. He was buried in or near Ploegstreet Wood. He was a good comrade, and a plucky soldier.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesRed Cross File 1310602D

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