The AIF Project

Abraham Jacob ELSON

Regimental number4492
Place of birthSprent, Tasmania
SchoolUlverstone State School, Tasmania
ReligionChurch of England
AddressUlverstone, Tasmania
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Next of kinMother, Mrs H Elson, Ulverstone, Tasmania
Previous military serviceServed in the Senior Cadets for 4 months; thereafter temporarily exempt.
Enlistment date9 November 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll9 November 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name12th Battalion, 14th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/29/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A69 Warilda on 8 February 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll52nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 19 October 1917
Place of death or woundingFrance
Age at death20
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Jacob and Hannah ELSON, Ulverstone, Tasmania
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Disembarked Suez, 8 March 1916. Taken on strength, 52nd Bn, Serapeum, 19 April 1916.

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

Wounded in action, France, 3 September 1916; admitted to 4th General Hospital, Camiers, 5 September 1916 (gun shot wound, neck and arm); listed as dangerously ill, 10 September 1916. Transferred to England, 21 September 1916, and admitted to County London War Hospital, Epsom, 22 September 1916. Discharged to No. 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 31 October 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 12 January 1917; rejoined unit, 17 January 1917.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 22 September 1917.

Killed in action, 19 October 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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