The AIF Project

Oscar WIKSTRAM

Regimental number2271
Date of birth1896
Place of birthGottenberg, Sweden
ReligionLutheran
OccupationSeaman
AddressGottenberg, Sweden
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 4.75"
Weight147 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Signus Wikstram, Gottenberg, Sweden
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date22 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name27th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/44/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A15 Star Of England on 21 September 1915
Regimental number from Nominal Roll2271A
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll50th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 16 October 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 29), 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
151
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Erik Axel and Thomasine WIKSTRAM
Other details

Imperial Russian Consul in Adelaide, South Australia, wrote to the Military Commandant, South Australia, 20 July 1915: ' ... Oscar Wikstrom of Helingfors, Finland, is a Russian subject who arrived at Port Adelaide last October by Norwegian ship "ATNA". The man was born in 1896. Since his arrival in South Australia he has been working for a farmer named Graves at Stansbury. I have no objection to him joining the Imperial Expeditionary Force is he is otherwise suitable.'

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength, 10th Bn, Serapeum, 28 February 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 5 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 12 June 1916.

Admitted to 4th Australian Field Ambulance, 5 April 1917 (trench feet); transferred to Divisional Rest Station, 6 April 1917; to duty, 13 April 1917; rejoined unit, Belgium, 14 April 1917.

Admitted to 13th Australian Field Ambulance, 5 May 1917 (cellulitis), and transferred same day to 56th Casualty Clearing Station; discharged to duty, 25 June 1917; rejoined Bn, 29 June 1917. Found guilty, of while of Active Service being absent without leave, 9 am, 18 September-3 pm, 22 September 1917: awarded 21 days' Field Punishment No. 2; forfeited total of 36 days' pay.

Killed in action, Belgium, 16 October 1917.

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

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