The AIF Project

Edward BRADY

Regimental number396
Place of birthWarwick, Queensland
Other NamesWILKINS, Edward Bennison
SchoolBrisbane Grammar School, Queensland
ReligionMethodist
OccupationClerk
Address131 Barrow Street, Brunswick, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation36
Height5' 7"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Matilda Wilkins, 'Irvine Bank', Fairfield, Brisbane, Queensland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date2 February 1916
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentLance Corporal
Unit name39th Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/56/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on 27 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll39th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularReal name: Edward Bennison WILKINS
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death37.11
Age at death from cemetery records37
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
132
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Russell and Matilda WILKINS
Medals

Military Medal

'On 4th October 1917. East of YPRES, he displayed conspicuous gallantry in action. He several times reorganised Sections which had lost their leaders and become scattered. He was mainly responsible for the capture of an enemy Machine gun and many prisoners. His example was an inspiration to all members of his Company.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 95
Date: 27 June 1918

Family/military connectionsBrother: 7793 Pte Arthur Morgan WILKINS, 2nd Bn, wounded at Villers-Bretonneux, France; returned to Australia, 20 December 1918; died at Maryborough, Queensland, 12 July 1920, age 36.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Mebourne, 27 May 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 18 July 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 23 November 1916.

Promoted Corporal, 9 January 1917.

Marched into 3rd Division School, 4 February 1917; marched out to unit, 11 February 1917.

Promoted Temporary Sergeant, 1 March 1917.

Promoted Sergeant, 7 April 1917.

Wounded in action, 5 June 1917 (shrapnel wound, right ankle), and admitted to 9th Australian Field Ambulance; transferred to Divisional Rest Station, 5 June 1917; to 12th Australian Field Ambulance, 5 June 1917; to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 11 June 1917; to Ambulance Train, 12 June 1917, and admitted to 32nd Stationary Hospital, Wimereux, 13 June 1917; transferred to No 1 Convalescent Depot, Boulogne, 13 June 1917; to 3rd Rest Camp, 29 June 1917; to 3rd Australian Division Base Depot, Rouelles, 3 July 1917; rejoined Bn, in the field, 21 July 1917.

Admitted to 11th Australian Field Ambulance, 8 August 1917 (influenza); discharged to Divisional Rest Camp, 19 August 1917; rejoined Bn, in the field, 21 August 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 12 October 1917.

Statement, Red Cross File, 2176 Pte F. WILSON, B Company, 39th Bn, 7 March 1918: 'He was in my Coy. but in VII pltn and he was killed instantly by a shell about 50 yards after we had gone over and taken a pill box in the early morning at Ypres. I carried on and we took our objective which was about 600 or 700 yds. and his body was left behind our lines. I did not actually see him killed as I was a short distance away from him and I never heard where he was buried but all our dead on that occasion were buried where they fell.'

Second statement, 425 Pte A.E. CHAPLIN, B Coy, 39th Bn (patient, 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, England), 25 April 1918: 'I saw him killed on the Sunken Road, near Passchendaele. He was caught by pieces of shell that exploded on the parapet, and which hit him about the head and chest, death being instantaneous. Casualty happened early in the morning on the 12-10-17 ... I do not know place of burial, and I cannot refer to anyone for details.'

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BRADY Edward
Red Cross File No 0500903H

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