The AIF Project

Stuart Cecil EASTMENT

Regimental number86
Place of birthCasino, New South Wales
SchoolPublic School
ReligionMethodist
OccupationFarmer
AddressWyrallah via Lismore, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Next of kinFather, Charles Richard Eastment, Wyrallah, Richmond River via Lismore, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the Light Horse.
Enlistment date2 October 1915
Rank on enlistmentSergeant
Unit name42nd Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/59/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A30 Borda on 5 June 1916
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll42nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Place of death or woundingZonnebeke, Belgium
Age at death21.8
Age at death from cemetery records21
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
135
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Charles and Annie EASTMENT, Shirley Street, Byron Bay, New South Wales. Native of Casino
Family/military connectionsTwo cousins killed in action; 1 cousin died from shell shock.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Sydney, 5 June 1916; disembarked Southampton, England, 23 July 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 25 November 1916. Admitted to 10th Australian Field Ambulance, 17 January 1917 (arthritis, left knee); rejoined unit, 23 January 1917.

Transferred to England on duty, 4 April 1917; taken on strength, 69th Bn, 7 April 1917; proceeded overseas to France to reinforce 42nd Bn, 23 August 1917; taken on strength, 42nd Bn, 2 September 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 4 October 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

AIF Headquarters, Horseferry Road, London, wrote to Base Records, 27 July 1918: 'May Mrs Eastment also be informed, please, that her son was killed by concussion caused by an explosion of a large enemy shell at the close of the attack on Zonnebeke on 4-10-17. He was not mutilated in any way, and death was instantaneous. He was buried by some members of his Coy, the same day at a spot 100 yards West of [the] railway line.' Mother wrote to Base Records, 14 July 1918, enquiring after any monies her son might have left: 'I don't wish you to think I am anxious for the money I speak of but where he left it they may after a certain time put it as unclaimed money as I do not know anything about laws. I know you have a lot to do for our living soldiers who are fighting now so bravely for us, but I would like for you when you can spare the time to see if what I ask has come to hand and I trust that this cruel time will soon alter for so many of our homes are now broken and sorrow reigns.'

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