The AIF Project

Ernest Frank WILKIN

Regimental number1314
Place of birthClemenston, Victoria
ReligionBaptist
OccupationFarmer
Address37 Chaucer Street, Canterbury, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22.6
Height5' 7"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinFather, William Wilkin, 37 Chaucer Street, Canterbury, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the Volunteer Cadets for 5 years.
Enlistment date18 August 1915
Place of enlistmentBroadmeadows, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name29th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/46/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on 10 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll29th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19 July 1916
Place of burialFromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery (Plot II, Row E, Grave No 16), France
Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
116
Family/military connectionsCousin: 2572 Lance Sergeant Frank Allen DIXON, 59th Bn, killed in action, 19 July 1916.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 10 November 1915; disembarked Suez, 7 December 1915.

Admitted to 15th Australian Field Ambulance, Ferry Post, 25 April 1915 (pleurisy), and transferred same day to 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station; discharged to and rejoined unit, Ferry Post, 12 May 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 23 June 1916.

Reported missing in action, 19-20 July 1916.

'Identification Disc received from Germany. No particulars afforded except that the soldier is deceased. To be reported as killed in action, 19 July 1916.'

Notation on file (p. 19): 'Buried in Fromells (sic) Sheet 36 N22 d & b'.

Statement on Red Cross File No 2940905 by [356] Corporal F.[rederick Joseph] WEBSTER: 'Informant states that all the above men [WILKIN E.F. 1314; WOODCOCK F.S. 1262; BATEY, L.R. 166; BRUNN M.L. 1470; FARLOW S. 80; GILL R. 2033; HIGGINS S.A. 2050; PERRY F. 320; WESTMORLAND H.J. 361] were in No. 3 platoon along with himself and his brother. He knew them by Regimental No. and name well, but could not describe each one individually. The nine above named men were killed on the afternoon of July 19th. or in the morning of July 20th. 1916 when the Battalion went into action at Fleux Bay (sic). All the above named were killed either by shellfire or Machine Gun, and were buried at the left hand of the sap which runs in to the back of Water Farm (Pozieres). This was a very large grave and contained about twenty or thirty bodies and is marked by one big cross. They were all buried by a fatigue party from D. Company and some of the bandsmen. Informant was met at the burial on the 22nd. July and saw the remains of the nine men named above, properly buried. Informant and his brother were the only two men left alive out of the Platoon, his brother was in charge at the time.' Added note: N.B. GILL died at C.C.S.'

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

Originally listed as 'No Known Grave' and commemorated at V.C. Corner (Panel No 1), Australian Cemetery, Fromelles; subsequently (2010) identified, and interred in the Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery, France.
SourcesNAA: B2455, WILKIN Ernest Frank
Red Cross file 2940905

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