The AIF Project

Edward William BONHAM

Regimental number3236
Place of birthWoolwich, England
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Next of kinFather, E W Bonham, 191 Elizabeth Street, Woolwich, England
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date3 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name5th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/22/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A71 Nestor on 11 October 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll5th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularEnlisted 3 July 1915 - 5th Bn, 11th Reinforcements. Taken on strength, 5th Bn, 22 February 1916. Wounded at Pozieres, 25 July 1916, and again, 17 August 1916.
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Place of death or woundingMenin Road sector, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death27
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), 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
43
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Admitted to Abbassia Detention Barracks, 17 January 1916; discharged to duty, 22 January 1916; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 6 days. Admitted to 3rd Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 3 February 1916 (dental); taken on strength, 5th Bn, 22 February 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 25 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 30 March 1916.

Wounded in action, 25 July 1916 (shell shock); admitted to 14th Australian General Hospital, Rouen, 26 July 1916 (shell shock and burned inside mouth by flare); rejoined unit, 3 August 1916.

Wounded in action, 17 August 1916 (shell shock); admitted to 3rd Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne, 19 August 1916; transferred to No. 7 Convalescent Depot, 22 August 1916; taken on strength, 58th Bn, 11 October 1916.

Admitted to 15th Australian Field Ambulance, 27 November 1916 (exhaustion); discharged to unit, 5 December 1916. Transferred to 5th Bn, 8 January 1917.

Admitted to 1st Australian Field Ambulance, 23 February 1917 (trench feet); transferred to 1st Australian Divisional Rest Station, 23 February 1917; to 45th Casualty Clearing Station, 28 February 1917; to 6th General Hospital, 20 March 1917; to Base Details, 9 April 1917; rejoined unit, 10 May 1917.

Killed in action, 20 September 1917. Buried about 300 yards SW of Glecorse Wood.

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

Subsequent to enlistment married Mrs B.M. Bonham, 6 Cameron Street, New Beckton, Essex, England.

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