The AIF Project

Arthur Edmond EYCKENS

Regimental number664
Place of birthBeaufort, Victoria
SchoolBeaufort State School No. 60, Beaufort, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
Address112 Little Lyons Street, Ballarat, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Next of kinMother, Mrs. Eleanor Eyckens, 112 Little Lyons Street, Ballarat, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the Ballarat Cadets
Enlistment date12 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll8 July 1915
Place of enlistmentBallarat, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name31st Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/48/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A62 Wandilla on 9 November 1915
31st Battalion Headquarters and Companies A, B, C and D sailed on two ships, HMAT A62 Wandilla, 9th November 1915 from Melbourne, and HMAT A41 Bakara, 5 November 1915, from Melbourne. It is not possible to tell from the Embarkation Roll on which ship an individual embarked.
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll31st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 29 September 1917
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, Belgium
Age at death19
Age at death from cemetery records19
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, 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
118
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Leon and Ellen Norah EYCKENS, 112 Lyons Street, Ballarat. Native of Beaufort, Victoria
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 9 November 1915; disembarked Suez, 7 December 1915.

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

Wounded in action, 21 July 1916 (gun shot wound, finger and left thigh), and admitted to 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station and transferred to Ambulance Train No 101; admitted to 25th General Hospital, 21 July 1916 (gun shot wound, left hip); transferred to England, 23 July 1916, and admitted to 2nd Western General Hospital, Manchester, 24 July 1916; discharged on furlough, 20 October 1916, to report to No 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 4 November 1916.

Marched out to No 4 Command Depot, Wareham, 8 November 1916.

Found guilty, 8 January 1917, of being absent without leave from 9.30 pm, 4 January, to 9.30 pm, 6 January 1917: awarded 3 days' confined to camp, and forfeited 3 days' pay under Royal Warrant.

Proceeded overseas to France, 27 May 1917; rejoined Bn, in the field, 22 June 1917.

Proceeded to Pigeon School, 10 July 1917; rejoined Bn, 13 July 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 22 September 1917.

Buried nr Black Watch Corner, 1700 yards SE of Westhoek: grave subsequently lost.

Statement, Red Cross File, 4381 Pte C.H. WILLIAMS, C Company, 31st Bn (patient, Havre Hospital), 28 March 1918: 'They [EYCKENS and 3664 Corporal F.C. SHAW] were both in C Company, 9th. Platoon ... On the 29th. September the Battalion was in support in Polygon Wood. A shell dropped amongst six men. Eyckens and Corporal Shaw were among the six men, they were all blown to pieces, there was absolutely nothing left of them at all. I was told this by Corporal Barrett, 31st. Battalion, C. Company ... '

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, EYCKENS Arthur Edmond
Red Cross File 1030308F

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