The AIF Project

Eric Henry Drummond EDGERTON

Regimental number1524A
Date of birth1 April 1897
Place of birthMoonee Ponds, Victoria
SchoolHawksburn State School; Wesley College, St Kilda Road, Prahran, Victoria
AddressThe Priory, Glen Eira Road, Elsternwick, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 7.5"
Weight144 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Florrie Edgerton, The Priory, Glen Eira Road, Elsternwick, Melbourne, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the Junior Cadets (3 years); 4 years with the Senior Cadets.
Enlistment date14 April 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name24th Battalion, 1st Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/41/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 25 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll24th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal

Recommendation date: 11 June 1916

Bar to Military Medal

Recommendation date: 9 March 1917


Recommendation date: 19 May 1918

Victoria Cross (altered to Companion of the Distinguished Service Order)

Recommendation date: 27 May 1918

Mention in Despatches

Awarded, and promulgated, 'London Gazette' No. 31089 (31 December 1918); 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 61 (23 May 1919).

FateKilled in Action 11 August 1918
Place of death or woundingVillers-Bretonneux, France
Age at death21.4
Age at death from cemetery records21
Place of burialVillers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery (Plot XX, Row A, Grave No 3), France
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated on Honour Roll and War Memorial, Wesley College, Melbourne; Cato Uniting Church, Orrong Road, Elsternwick, Melbourne (stained glass window). Parents: James and Florence Grace EDGERTON

Military Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry in reconnoitring the enemy wire and trenches on DINKUM SPUR near WARLENCOURT in daylight on 26th February, 1917, and persevering with this duty until he had gained the information required by his orders. The latter part of this work was carried out under fire from hostile field guns and machine guns.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 62
Date: 19 April 1917

Distinguished Service Order

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. Before dawn on the morning of an attack this officer, with two men, reconnoitred the track from the assebly point to a bridge over the river, across which he had to lead his platoon at zero. Early in the attack he mopped up a post by bombing. Pushing on, he and another man rushed a machine gun, shooting two men with his revolver, and capturing the remainder. After clearing several dug outs, he established a post on his objective, dispersing an enemy attack. In the afternoon he out-flanked a machine gun post, and followed it up by shooting five men with his revolver, and capturing one officer and one man. He then bombed a third machine gun, killing the crew. His energy was an inspiration to all.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 15
Date: 4 February 1919

Bar to Military Medal

Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No 140
Date: 27 August 1917

Family/military connectionsBrother: 60915 Driver Victor Roberts Schacklock EDGERTON, Australian Army Service Corps Details, returned to Australia, 5 April 1919; Cousin: 2257 Pte Percival John YOUNG, 8th Bn, killed in action, 6 August 1915.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 30 August 1915. Sent to hospital, 13 December 1915 (stomach ailment); rejoined unit, Tel el Kebir, 11 January 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 20 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France (date not recorded).

Admitted to 3rd Field Ambulance, 17 August 1916; transferred same day to Casualty Clearing Station; to 11th General Hospital, Camiers, 19 August 1916 (hernia); discharged to No 6 Convalescent Depot, Camiers, 9 September 1916; to 2nd Australian Division Base Depot, Etaples, 19 October 1916; rejoined Bn, 31 October 1916.

Awarded Military Medal in the field.

Promoted Sergeant, 6 November 1916.

Promoted 2nd Lieutenant, 8 March 1917.

Awarded Bar to Military Medal.

Seconded for duty with 6th Training Bn, Rollestone, England, 3 August 1917; marched in to 6th Training Bn, 7 August 1917.

Promoted Lieutenant, 5 September 1917.

Attended a course in the Special and Supplementary Physical Training Tables & Bayonet Fighting at the Army School of Physical & Bayonet Training, Aldershot, 1-12 October 1917: qualified as 'Very good'.

Proceeded overseas to France, 6 April 1918; rejoined Bn, in the field, 15 April 1918, and resumed regimental duty.

Admitted to 5th Australian Field Ambulance, 2 June 1918, and transferred to 61st Casualty Clearing Station (pyrexia unknown origin); discharged to duty, 9 june 1918; rejoined Bn, 9 June 1918.

Admitted to 61st Casualty Clearing Station, 11 June 1918 (pyrexia unknown origin), and transferred to Ambulance Train; admitted to 8th Red Cross Hospital, Boulogne, 12 June 1918; discharged to Australian Infantry Base Depot, 19 June 1918; rejoined Bn, in the field, 26 June 1918.

Appointed Companion of the Distinguished Service Order.

Killed in action, 11 August 1918.

Statement by Captain J. Austin MAHONY, OC, A Coy, 24th Bn: 'This Officer met his death during the advance of his Battalion near RAINCOURT on August 12th, 1918. He was in charge of a platoon and had just left his trench in order to visit one of his forward posts when he was struck by a bullet from an enemy machine gun which was active some distance in front. The bullet pierced his heart and he died immediately.'

Medals: Military Medal and Bar, Distinguished Service Order, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesGerald Walsh, 'Born of the Sun: Seven Young Australian Lives' (Canberra: Pandanus Books, 2005), pp. 84-105.

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