Robert Edgar Ford

Informatie over geboorte

Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japans Keizerrijk

Algemene Informatie


Informatie legerdienst

Australian Imperial Force
Service nummer:
Dienstneming datum:
Dienstneming plaats:
Brisbane, Queensland, Australiƫ
 —  Australian Infantry, 31st Bn.  (Laatst gekende eenheid)

Informatie over overlijden

Datum van overlijden:
Plaats van overlijden:
Polygoonbos, Zonnebeke, Belgiƫ
Killed in action (K.I.A.)


Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood
Plot: XXIV
Rij: D
Graf: 3

Onderscheidingen en medailles 2

British War Medal
Victory Medal

Points of interest 3

#1 Geboorteplaats
#2 Dienstneming plaats
#3 Plaats van overlijden (bij benadering)

Mijn verhaal

Private Robert Edgar Ford served in the Australian Infantry 31st Battalion, part of the 8th Australian Brigade of the 5th Australian Division. The 5th Australian Division participated in the first phase of the Battle of Polygon Wood. It attacked on the 26th of September 1917 with three brigades. The 14th Australian Brigade on the left of the Divisional front and the 15th and the 8th Australian Battalions on the right. The 59th Australian Battalion of the 15th Australian Brigade would capture and secure the first object, the Red Line. Once they had consolidated the Red Line, the 29th and 31st Australian Battalions would move through the 59th Battalion and capture the second objective, the Blue Line.
The Battalion was delayed in its move to the front line and arrived only ten minutes before the start of the attack at their jump off line. At 5.50 a.m. the troops moved forward behind a creeping barrage. The 59th, 29th and 31st Battalions got intermixed. Their advance came to a standstill, when they encountered resistance from German machine gun fire coming from the direction of Jerk House, on their right. The attack had been halted on the racecourse in Polygon Wood, 150 yards from the first objective. Notwithstanding the German machine gun fire, the 31st and 29th Battalion moved through the 59th and advanced to the second objective.
The 31st Battalion advanced with the 29th Battalion on its left, but had lost contact with the Royal Welsh Fusiliers, of the 33rd Division, on their right. Consequently the 31st Battalion came under fire from German bunkers, in the 33rd Divisional area. The fire was still coming from Jerk House, as the area had yet to be cleared by the 33rd Division. The 31st Australian Battalion suffered heavy casualties. The German strongpoint was then engaged by two Lewis guns sections. The strongpoint was subsequently taken by the 31st Australian Battalion with the support of the Lewis guns. But the 31st Australian Battalion had to extend their right flank for over 300 yards in order to take the German strongpoint, near Jerk House. And they now faced machine gun fire coming from Cameron House. The attack was checked at this stage.
Disorganization crept in along the line. And several Battalions of the 33rd Division were seen retreating. The 31st had no choice than to dig in and hold the line. All troops remained in position, except the men on the right flank, who were to assist the advance of the 33rd Division. When contact had been re-established with the 33rd Division, the 31st and 29th Australian Brigades managed to consolidate the second objective at the far end of the Polygon Wood at 11 a.m. The Battalion was relieved by the 32nd Australian Battalion in the night of the 27th September and moved back to the reserve trenches in the vicinity of Black Watch Corner. Burying parties were detailed to find and bury the dead, which they buried close to where they fell. But owing to the relentless shelling and machine gun fire very little could be accomplished.
Private Robert Edgar Ford was killed during the attack on the 26th of September 1917. He was initially buried on the eastern outskirts of Polygon Wood, just north of Cameron House. His remains were exhumed after the war and were interred in Buttes New British Cemetery, Polygon Wood.

Bestanden 2

Bronnen 4

31st Australian Infantry Battalion, (Australian War Memorial, Campbell (AWM), AWM4 23/48/26).
Gebruikte bronnen
Australian War Memorial
Gebruikte bronnen
First Australian Imperial Force Personnel Dossiers, 1914-1920, (National Archives of Australia, Canberra (NAA), B2455, FORD R E).
Gebruikte bronnen
McCarthy C., The Third Ypres Passchendaele. The Day-by-Day Account, (London, Arms & Armour Press, 1995), pg. 85-88.
Gebruikte bronnen

Meer informatie 4