The AIF Project

Hartley Edgar LANCASTER

Regimental number2913
Place of birthMount Lofty, South Australia
SchoolStirling West Public School, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressGlen Osmond PO, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation29
Height5' 8"
Weight127 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Eliza Jane Lancaster, Glen Osmond PO, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date25 April 1916
Place of enlistmentAdelaide, South Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name43rd Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/60/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 16 December 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll43rd Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularOnly being in firing line 2 days, was killed in action at Messines July 1917.
FateKilled in Action 31 July 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Age at death30
Age at death from cemetery records30
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), 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
137
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Eliza LANCASTER, Glen Osmond, South Australia
Other details

Found guilty, Exhibition Camp, Adelaide, 19 May 1916, of drunkenness and being absent without leave from 11 pm, 17 May, to 11.50, 19 May 1916: fined £1 and forfeited 2 days' pay.

Remanded for District Court Martial, Mitcham Camp, South Australia, for being absent without leave for 77 day: forfeited 77 days' pay (no further details recorded).

War service: Western Front

Embarked Adelaide, 16 December 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 16 February 1917.

Marched into 2nd Training Bn, 19 February 1917.

Found guilty, 27 February 1917, of being absent without leave from 9.30 pm, 24 February, to 9.45 am, 25 February 1917: awarded 2 days' Field Punishment No 2, and forfeiture of a total of 5 days' pay.

Marched into 11th Training Bn, 5 March 1917.

Admitted to Fargo Military Hospital, 8 April 1917 (sprain of leg); discharged to Depot, 14 April 1917.

Found guilty, Durrington, 18 April 1917, of breaking out of camp: awarded 7 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Found guilty, 19 May 1917, of (1) neglecting to obey Routine Order 11/8/16, para 5, 'Bounds'; (2) resisting arrest on 17 May 1917: awarded 28 days' detention. Marched out to Detention Barracks, Chelmsford, 21 May 1917.

Found guilty, 18 June 1917, of (1) neglecting to obey Routine Order 11/8/17 'Bounds'; (2) being improperly dressed: awarded 7 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Proceeded overseas to France, 9 July 1917; taken on strength, 43rd Bn, in the field, 27 July 1917.

Reported wounded and missing in action, 31 July 1917.

In reply to an enquiry from the Defence Department, Melbourne, AIF Headquarters, London, replied: 'There is no reason why this soldier should not be shewn DECEASED.'

Fate determined as killed in action, Belgium, 31 July 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, LANCASTER Hartley Edgar

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