The AIF Project

Francis Harvey BRIDGMAN

Regimental number2783
Place of birthMackay, Queensland
SchoolBrisbane Grammar School, Queensland
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationFarmer
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Next of kinFather, Francis George Bridgman, Southbrook via Toowoomba, Queensland
Enlistment date3 June 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name9th Battalion, 9th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/26/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A33 Ayrshire on 1 September 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCaptain
Unit from Nominal Roll49th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 7 June 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Age at death from cemetery records21
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 29), 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
147
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: George Francis and Catherine BRIDGMAN, Margaret Street West, Toowoomba, Queensland. Native of Walkerston, Queensland
Other details

War service: allotted to and proceeded to join 49th Bn, Zeitoun, Egypt, 29 February 1916.

Commissioned as 2nd Lt, 17 March 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 5 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 12 June 1916. Promoted Lt, 8 July 1916.

Wounded in action; admitted to 20th General Hospital, Camiers (gun shot wound, right arm). Transferred to England, 7 September 1916, and admitted to 2nd Western General Hospital, Manchester. Discharged to Perham Downs, 4 November 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 13 November 1916. Admitted to 46th Australian Field Ambulance, 16 November 1916 (appendicitis); transferred to 2nd General Hospital, Havre, 18 November 1916; discharged to Base, 24 November 1916; rejoined 49th Bn, 6 December 1916.

Promoted Captain, 1 November 1916. To School of Instruction, 27 February 1917; rejoined Bn, 30 March 1917. On leave to England, 19 May 1917; rejoined Bn, 1 June 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 7 June 1917. Buried by the Bn Pioneers, near a sunken road, approximately 500 yards NE of Messines, and a wooden cross was erected. Cause of death was machine gun bullets in the chest.

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

Print format