The AIF Project

Frank Charles SKEAD

Regimental number2010
Place of birthRichmond, Victoria
SchoolRichmond and Swanston State Schools, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 6.75"
Weight142 lbs
Next of kinFather, F H Skead, Ashbury, Kitchener Street, Ivanhoe, Melbourne, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed as a Sergeant, 53rd Bn, Senior Cadets, and as a Lieutenant in the 55th Bn, Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date6 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name21st Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/38/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A68 Anchises on 26 August 1915
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll6th Machine Gun Company
FateKilled in Action 9 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death22.11
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 31), 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: Frederick and Elizabeth SKEAD, Ivanhoe, Victoria. Native of Victoria
Other details

War service: proceeded to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli; taken on strength, 21st Bn, 12 October 1915. Admitted to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station from 6th Field Ambulance, 1 December 1915; transferred to Hospital Ship, 2 December 1915 (rheumatism and frostbite); transferred to 21st General Hospital, Alexandria, 12 December 1915; to 1st Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis, 20 December 1915; to 1st Auxiliary Hospital, Cairo, 22 December 1915; to Helouan, 17 January 1916; discharged to duty, 20 January 1916; rejoined unit, 7 March 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 26 March 1916.

Took part in a raid on the enemy's trenches, night 29-30 June 1916.

Transferred to 6th Machine Gun Company, 29 October 1916. Admitted to 6th Field Ambulance, 7 November 1916 (trench feet); transferred to No. 1 Australian General Hospital, Rouen, 8 November 1916; to England, 14 November 1916, and admitted to Birmingham War Hospital. Discharged on furlough, 18 December 1916. Found guilty, 5 January 1917, of being absent without leave from No. 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 3.30 pm, 2 January, until apprehended, 8 pm, 3 January 1917: awarded 7 days confined to camp and forfeited 2 days' pay. Marched out to No. 4 Command Depot, Wareham, 18 January 1917; to Australian Machine Gun Training Depot, Grantham, 3 April 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 27 April 1917; taken on strength, 6th Machine Gun Company, 13 May 1917. Appointed Lance Corporal, 5 October 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 9 October 1917.

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

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