Wilfred Edgard Cole

Information about birth

Year of birth:
Place of birth:
Woolwich, Kent, England, United Kingdom

General information

Church of England

Army information

Australian Imperial Force
Service number:
Enlistment date:
Enlistment place:
Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
 —  Australian Infantry, 22nd Bn. (Victoria)  (Last known unit)

Information about death

Date of death:
Place of death:
No. 3 Stationary Hospital, Rouen, France
Cause of death:
Died of wounds (D.O.W.)


St. Sever Cemetery Extension, Rouen
Plot: III
Row: F
Grave: 3B

Distinctions and medals 2

Points of interest 3

#1 Place of birth
#2 Enlistment place
#3 Place of death (approximate)

My story

Private Wilfred Edgard was born in Woolwich, London, UK but enlisted the 22nd Battalion Australian Infantery Force, part of the 2nd Division, 6th Brigade. He was the youngest son of Agnes Cole and the late Arthur Henry Cole.

On 4th October 1917 the 2nd Division was ready to start up the Battle of Broodseinde, part of the Battle of Passchendaele. (otherwise named Third Battle of Ypres).
By 04.10 a.m. the assaulting waves of the 6th Brigade were formed up on their tapes disposed to attack in 4 waves on a front of 4 Companies.
At 05.35 a.m. the Germans opened a heavy bombardment and caused many casualties on the jumping off line.
The English Barrage started at 06.00 a.m. (Zero Hour). The advancing waves almost at once encountered the Germans in force. Parties with fixed bayonets were met advancing. It soon became evident that they had anticipated a German attack.
Chasing the retreating Germans, the Brigade skirted Zonnebeke Lake and helped capture the village itself. On the way they captured 4 anti-tank field guns and carried on over their first objective without stopping, although some companies were brought back tot he first objective. The final objective was taken, including Broodseinde Village.

Private Wilfred Edgard Cole, age 19, was wounded when struck by a shell while waiting in a trench to attack on the 4 October 1917. He suffered shrapnel wounds penetrating his chest and shrapnel wound to the thigh, and died in Rouen, France 12.10am 9 October 1917. He was only 19 years of age.

His older brother Private Frank Henry Cole, 22 of age, also of the 22nd Battalion was killed by the same shell burst.

A third brother, Engineer Lieutenant Harold Arthur Cole HMS Bombala Royal Navy Reserve was killed in action 25th April 1918, age 27.
Wilfred is buried in the Saint Sever Cemetery Extension in Rouen, France, Block P, plot III, row F, grave 3B.

Connection to other soldiers 1

Files 1

Sources 8