PRIVATE EUGENE ALPHONSUS EDMAN
14TH APRIL 1918 AGE 25
BURIED: ST SEVER CEMETERY EXTENSION, ROUEN, SEINE-MARITIME, FRANCE
Private Edman's father, George Hunston Edman, chose some lines from The Song of the Dardanelles by Henry Lawson for his son's inscription. It's a very nationalistic poem heroising the Australian landing at Gallipoli on 25 April 1915:
The sea was hell and the shore was hell,
With mine, entanglement and shell,
But they stormed the heights as Australians should,
And they fought and they died as we knew they would.
Knew they would -
Knew they would;
They fought and they died as we knew they would.
Edman, who served with the 20th Battalion Australian Infantry, landed on Gallipoli on 22 August 1915. After the battalion was withdrawn in December, it was sent to France. Here, on 12 April 1918, Edman was one of two soldiers wounded when the Germans shelled the town where they were billeted. He was admitted to hospital with a compound fracture of his left femur and died two days later.
His father, who filled in the circular for the Roll of Honour of Australia, told how Edman's eldest brother had lost an eye in a bayonet charge at Armentieres and another brother had been wounded in April 1918 during the Battle of the Lys.