Pte
Edward Morgan Ford

Information about birth

Year of birth:
1897
Place of birth:
Fairfield, New South Wales, Australia

General information

Profession:
Clerk

Army information

Country:
Australia
Force:
Australian Imperial Force
Rank:
Private
Service number:
6184
Enlistment date:
13/09/1916
Enlistment place:
Moore Park, Sydney, South Wales, Australia
Units:
 —  Australian Infantry, 23rd Bn. (Victoria)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
04/10/1917
Place of death:
De Knoet Farm, Zonnebeke, Belgium
Cause of death:
Killed in action (K.I.A.)
Age:
20

Cemetery

Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Plot: XXIII
Row: D
Grave: 4

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 2

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place

My story

Private Edward Morgan Ford served in the Australian Infantry 23rd Battalion, part of the 6th Australian Brigade, of the 2nd Australian Division. The Division participated in the Battle of Broodseinde on the 4th of October 1917, a stage in the Third Battle of Ypres. The attack of the Division was carried by the 6th and 7th Australian Brigades, with the 6th Brigade’s attack led by the 21st and 24th Battalions, and the 23rd Battalion in reserve, providing ammunition carrying- and digging parties.
Moments before the sign to attack, the German artillery targeted the Australian Battalions on their jump-off line, causing heavy casualties. The Germans had no idea of the upcoming allied assault, but were merely shelling the allied frontline, in preparation of an attack of their own. When the German infantry stormed forward, they were caught in the allied barrage. The German attack was immediately checked. Many German survivors of the heavy shelling were cut down or taken prisoner by the attacking Australian Battalion, who advanced behind the barrage.
The surprised and disillusioned German soldiers were no match for the advancing troops. While the fighting Battalions of the 6th Australian Brigade captured their objectives on the Broodseinde Ridge, the 23rd Battalion was involved in other ways. A party of 50 men worked as an ammunition and bomb carrying part, under constant German shell fire. Thirty men were designated to dig a new strongpoint, close to the hamlet of Broodseinde. Another party of more than 122 men was ordered to dig a communication trench from the just captured crest of Broodseinde Ridge to the new front line, several hundred yards on the other side of the crest. Another communication trench was dug out to the front line by a party of 80 men, while another group built a mule track from the Zonnebeke Lake to the De Knoet Farm. The Battalion moved back to their trenches at the end of the day.
Although the Australian Infantry 23rd Battalion didn’t participate in the actual fighting, it suffered heavy casualties, due to German shelling. One of the men who were killed on the 4th of October was Private Edward Morgan Ford. According to a witness report in his Red Cross Wounded and Missing Filed he was designated to a carrying party going to the frontline, when he got hit by a German shell. Pioneers possibly buried him more or less where he fell. Private Edward Morgan Ford was initially buried on the eastern outskirts of the village of Zonnebeke, just north of the De Knoet Farm on the Broodseinde Ridge. His remains were exhumed after the war and were interred in Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood.

Files 2

Sources 8

"Forward Undeterred, The History of the 23rd Battalion 1915-1918", Austin R., McCrae, Slouch Hat Publications, 1998, pg. 130-132.
Sources used
"The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account", McCarthy C., London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995, pg. 99.
Sources used
AIF-project
https://www.aif.adfa.edu.au/search
Sources used
Australian War Memorial
https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P10335703
Sources used
CWGC
http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/480227/FORD,%20EDWARD%20MORGAN
Sources used
National Archives of Australia
http://recordsearch.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetrieve/Interface/SearchScreens/BasicSearch.aspx
Sources used
The Long, Long Trail
http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk/army/
Sources used
War Diary AIF 23rd Bn.
https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C1338583
Sources used