The AIF Project

Richard Henry SEDMAN

Regimental number485
Place of birthCatford, London, England
SchoolCrowthorne Church School, Berkshire; Higher Grade Haselrigge Rd, Clapham, England
Age on arrival in Australia20
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationFarm labourer
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 10"
Weight148 lbs
Next of kinMrs Julia Flemming, 37 Holdenby Road, Crofton Park, London, England
Previous military serviceServed as a Trumpeter for 4.6 years in the Royal Army Service Corps.
Enlistment date20 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentBugler
Unit name3rd Battalion C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/20/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 20 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollLance Sergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll3rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 5 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death25
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), 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
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked from Alexandria to join the Mediterreanean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 5 April 1915. Appointed Lance Sergeant, 7 April 1915. Wounded in action (slightly), 21 May 1915. Admitted to 1st Casualty Clearing Station, 1 August 1915 (diarrhoea); transferred by Fleet Sweeper to Malta, 1 August 1915; admitted to Military Hospital, Cottonera, 5 August 1915; transferred to St Patrick's Hospital, 17 August 1915. Embarked for England, 7 September 1915; admitted to 1st Southern General Hospital, Birmingham, 19 September 1915. Taken on Permanent Establishment of No. 2 Command Depot, Weymouth, 25 October 1916. Proceeded overseas to France to reinforce 3rd Bn, 27 May 1917; rejoined 3rd Bn, 10 June 1917.

Missing in action, Belgium, 5 October 1917; Court of Enquiry, 20 March 1918, confirmed fate as 'killed in action'. Statement by 2753 Pte R. NORTHROP, 3rd Bn, 20 March 1918: 'No. 485 Sergeant R.H. Sedman, No. 1 Platoon, "A" Company, 3rd Battalion, was my platoon sergeant. He was with the platoon at the commencement of the attack, east of Ypres on the 4th October. I was wounded very early in the attack, but was not carried away for 36 hours. Just before being carried away, one of my mates in the same platoon, Pte F. Charters, was brought down wounded to the dressing station (advanced) where I was, by two other men of the platoon, Pte George Matich and another. They asked me if I had seen Sgt Sedman as none of the remaining men of the platoon had seen him since the opening of the attack. Knowing the nature of the fighting it is, in my opinion, extremely unlikely that Sgt Sedman was taken prisoner, also the heavy rains of the following day would make it very difficult for the searchers to find the men killed in action.'

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

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