The AIF Project

James Hutcheson SANDFORD

Regimental number1023
Place of birthKyneton, Victoria
SchoolKyneton State School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressKirong Horace Street, Malvern, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation28
Height5' 11.75"
Weight174 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs A Sandford, 42 Lilydale Road, Auburn, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed for 3 years in the 8th Infantry Regiment, Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date21 January 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name21st Battalion, A Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/38/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on 10 May 1915
Rank from Nominal RollLance Sergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll21st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 9 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death30
Age at death from cemetery records30
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
95
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: David and Mary SANDFORD; husband of Agnes SANDFORD, 42 Lilydale Grove, Auburn, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrother-in-law: 1640 Corporal William Ernest SHARPE, 11th Bn, killed in action, Lone Pine, 6 August 1915.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Admitted to 6th Australian Field Ambulance, Gallipoli, 28 October 1915 (enteric fever); transferred to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 2 November 1915; to No. 2 Australian General Hospital, Alexandria, 3 December 1915; to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 3 December 1915; to Convalescent Camp, Pt Said, 9 December 1916. Discharged for return to Australia, 20 January 1916; commenced return to Australia from Suez on board HMAT 'Commonwealth', 21 January 1916.

Re-embarked for Egypt, 29 March 1916

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 30 May 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 5 June 1916; joined 21st Bn, France, 7 July 1916.

Wounded in action, 31 July 1916 (shell wound, back), and admitted to 3rd Canadian General Hospital, Camiers, 31 July 1916. Discharged to No. 1 Convalescent Depot, Boulogne, 4 August 1916. Rejoined 21st Bn, 16 August 1916.

Injured whilst playing football, 29 September 1916 (accidental injury: right elbow and fractured arm); admitted to 8th Stationary Hospital, Wimereux, 30 September 1916; discharged to No. 1 Convalescent Depot, Boulogne, 4 October 1916; rejoined Bn, 31 October 1916.

Admitted to 6th Australian Field Ambulance, 27 November 1916 (gastro-enteritis); transferred to 1st Australian General Hospital, Rouen, 9 December 1916. Transferred to England, 14 December 1916, and admitted to 2nd Birmingham War Hospital, 15 December 1916; transferred to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, 9 February 1917. Discharged to furlough, 12 February 1917, to report to No. 4 Command Depot, Wareham, 14 February 1917. Admitted to Wareham Military Hospital, 4 March 1917 (mumps); discharged, 24 March 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 14 June 1917; rejoined Bn,, 3 July 1917. Reported missing in action, Belgium, 9 October 1917; Court of Enquiry, 7 February 1918, confirmed fate as killed in action.

Promotions: Corporal, 28 August 1915; Lance Sergeant, 1 September 1916.

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

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