The AIF Project


Regimental number773
Place of birthWallsend, New South Wales
SchoolWallsend Public School, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationCordial bottler
AddressCardiff Road, Wallsend, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 9.25"
Weight121 lbs
Next of kinFather, Charles Foulkes, Cardiff Road, Wallsend, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the Senior Cadets (Compulsory Military Training scheme).
Enlistment date1 December 1915
Place of enlistmentNewcastle, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name35th Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/52/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A24 Benalla on 1 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll35th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death19.10
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 25), 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: Charles and Elizabeth FOULKES. Native of Wallsend, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 1 May 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 9 July 1916.

Promoted Corporal to complete establishment, 4 September 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 21 November 1916.

Admitted to 10th Field Ambulance, 2 February 1917 (scabies); transferred to Divisional Rest Station, 3 February 1917; to 11th Field Ambulance, 3 February 1917; to Casualty Clearing Station, 13 February 1917; discharged to duty and rejoined Bn, in the field, 16 February 1917.

Wounded in action, 7 June 1917 (gun shot wound, right thigh), and admitted to 9th Australian Field Ambulance; transferred to No 1 Canadian General Hospital, Etaples, 8 June 1917; to England, 10 June 1917, and admitted to 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham, 12 June 1917; discharged on furlough, 21 July 1917, to report to No 3 Command Depot, Hurdcott, 4 August 1917.

Marched out to Overseas Training Brigade, 16 August 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 5 September 1917; rejoined 35th Bn, in the field, 17 September 1917.

Promoted Sergeant, 21 September 1917.

Reported missing in action, 12 October 1917.

Court of Enquiry, 15 May 1918, concluded: 'Killed in action, 12 October 1917.'

Sytatement, Red Cross File No 10910071, 6634 Pte L.R. SUTTON, 35th Bn (patient, No 4 Australian General Hospital, Randwick, New South Wales), 16 April 1918: 'During the attack at Passchendaele Ridge on the 13.10.1917 I saw Foulkes lying on the ground badly wounded. We carried in as many as we could, but I do not know whether Foulkes was brought in or not.'

Second statement, 3494 Corporal W.H. LEWIS, C Company, 35th Bn, 27 February 1918; 'Foulkes and [880 H.E.] Parkinson were both Sgts. of C. Coy. S/M McFadden at No 1 Command Depot Sutton Veny told me that they and Lieut. Elliott were taken prisoner of war.'

Note on file: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills 10-10-19.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, FOULKES William
Red Cross File No 10910071

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