The AIF Project

Robert ELLIOTT

Regimental number114
Place of birthHamilton West, Newcastle, New South Wales
SchoolHamilton State School, Newcastle, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationCooper and carpenter
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation30
Height5' 6"
Weight156 lbs
Next of kinBrother, Luke Elliott, 661 Hunter Street, Newcastle, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date20 August 1914
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll20 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentSapper
Unit name1st Field Company Engineers
AWM Embarkation Roll number14/20/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board Transport A19 Afric on 18 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll15th Field Company Engineers
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularAssisting his Officer (Lieut Turner), who was wounded in leg. Both were killed by shell.
FateKilled in Action 26 September 1917
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, France
Age at death33
Age at death from cemetery records33
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
23
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Luke and Mary Ann ELLIOTT. Native of Newcastle, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Proceeded from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 3 March 1915. Admitted to 1st Australian General Hospital, Heliopolis, 1 September 1915 (debility); transferred to 2nd Auxiliary Hospital, Cairo, 3 September 1915; transferred to light duty, 21 September 1915. Taken on strength, 15th Field Company Engineers, Tel el Kebir, 9 March 1916. Promoted 2nd Corporal, 23 May 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 29 June 1916. Promoted Corporal, 2 November 1916. On furlough to England, 10 December 1916; rejoined unit from leave, 27 December 1916. Promoted Temporary Sergeant, 3 January 1917. Detached to Divisional Infantry School, 30 January 1917; rejoined unit, 15 April 1917.

Reported missing in action, 26 September 1917.

OC, 15th Bn, stated: '114 Sgt. Elliott was killed in the action September 256th 1917 in Polygon Wood. He went forward with his officer "over the top" with the assaulting infantry. He was to assist this officer in digging and wiring two saps, one of which was completed. The situation as not clear on the right where the sap was to be dug and it is my opinion he was coming back to inform me when he was killed in the Nonne Boschen Wood, at least that was where his body was found with that of his officer, he may have been assisting his officer back who was wounded painfull [sic] before the show commenced, but the[y] died together and are buried together when [sic] they lay . . . Their bodies were not found for two days and we have no idea what happened, i.e. why they were coming back and so forth. The[y] were buried by Infantry Burying Party of 35th Bn.'

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

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