The AIF Project

Carl Lancelot FRANZAN

Regimental number2154
Place of birthDarlington, New South Wales
Other NamesFRANZEN
SchoolMarist Brothers Catholic School, North Sydney
Other trainingStudent at Government Farm, Wagga Wagga
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationBoundary rider
AddressMiranda via Sutherland, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28
Height5' 6.5"
Weight138 lbs
Next of kinMother, Ms A E Franzan, Miranda via Sutherland, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the St George's Rifles in Sydney, 1902.
Enlistment date4 May 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll3 May 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name13th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/30/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A62 Wandilla on 14 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCompany Quartermaster Sergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll13th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 25 September 1917
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death33
Age at death from cemetery records30
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), 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
69
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Seth Abraham and Annie Elizabeth FRANZEN, Sydney, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Joined unit at Gallipoli, 2 August 1915. Admitted to 4th Australian Field Ambulance, 1 September 1915 (diarrhoea); rejoined Bn, 5 September 1915.Disembarked Mudros en route to Alexandria, 27 December 1915 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 1 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 8 June 1916. Appointed Temporary Corporal, 24 August 1916; Acting Company Quartermaster Sergeant, 15 October 1916; Company Quartermaster Sergeant, 24 October 1916.

Admitted to 13th Australian Field Ambulance, 30 April 1917, and transferred to 1st Anzac Scabies Station; rejoined unit, 8 May 1917.

Killed in action, 25 September 1917.

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

His father, Seth A FRANZEN, wrote to Base Records, 3 October 1928, seeking details of his son's grave: 'I copy herewith part of [a] report from the Red Cross Society, written to them by C.Q.M. Sergeant Clay, C Coy, 13th Bn, who was present when my son was killed: "We buried him next morning under heavy shell fire, in a shell hole right behind our Battalion Headquarters at Polygon Wood. A small cross was put over the grave, and his name put on it in indelible pencil." As the Germans, after that time made advance, probably the grave and cross would have been demolished by shell fire, but even so I hope the body was found for reburial. Could you kindly enlighten me about it.' Base Records replied, 16 October 1928, 'As stated in your letter the neighborhood of Polygon Wood was repeatedly the scene of heavy fighting about the time of your son's death, and in the absence of any official report of grave registration it must be reluctantly concluded that the original surface markings were entirely obliterated by shell fire thereby rendering identification impossible.'

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