Ernest James Mead

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Ernest James Mead
Mead Ernest James headstone.jpg
Linton Reynolds photo 2023
Mead Ernest James.jpg
Kings Park Memorial walk, May drive
Personal Information
Date of Birth 2 Mar 1889
Place of Birth York, Western Australia
Death 24 Apr 1918
Place of Death Villers-Bretonneux, France
Age at Enlistment 27 years, 3 months
Description 5'9" (1.75m) tall ; 159lbs
72.121 kg
; fresh complexion ; grey eyes ; brown hair
Occupation wood machinist
Religion Church of England
Address NOK c/- Mrs A Dow, Gosnells, Western Australia
Next of Kin Wife , Mrs Nena May Mead
Military Information
Reg Number 2696A
Date of Enlistment 19 Jun 1916
Rank Corporal
Unit/Formation 51st Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
Date of Embarkation 10 Oct 1916 ‒ 2 Dec 1916
Ship Embarked On HMAT A23 Suffolk Fremantle to Plymouth
Fate KIA 24 Apr 1918 Villers-Bretonneux, France
Monument Gosnells War Memorial
Gosnells Road Board Honour Roll
Australian War Memorial
Medals British War Medal
Victory Medal

Pre War

During 1909 Ernest married Nena May Dow (1887 - 1968). On 18 Jan 1916 Ernest obtain temporary work with the Western Australian Government Railways as a Wood Machinist, paid 10/- per day ($1), and on 17 Jun 1916 he was granted leave to join the AIF.

Electoral Roll entries: 1910 - 1916 at 95 Forrest street, North Perth, Machinist.

War Service

After entering camp on 16 Jun 1916, Ernest was a member of the 74h Depot Company for 6 or so weeks undergoing basic training until 22 Jul 1916 when he was allocated to the 6th reinforcement draft for the 51st Battalion. On arrival in England, it was less than a month before Ernest was sent overseas to France from Folkestone, arriving in Étaples on 29 Dec 1916 aboard HMT Princess Victoria.

On New Year's Day 1917 Ernest and 67 other men were taken on strength by the 51st Battalion which was in Vignacourt, rebuilding before they moved to Flers and entered the front line.

Appointed Lance Corporal on 23 Apr 1917 in Becourt as the battalion recovered from a period in the front lines. He held the rank until 20 Jun 1917 in Belgium when he returned to Private as a result of being charged with drunkenness. On 11 Jul 1917 he added the letter A to his service number.

Again appointed Lance Corporal , this time on 1 Oct 1917, and granted leave to England from 10 Jan 1918 until 5 Feb 1918 when he rejoined the Battalion in camp near Loker, a kilometer from the French border south of Poperinge.

Promoted Corporal on 20 Apr 1918 near Corbie in France as the battalion prepared a defence line to hold the German advance up the Somme River. They moved on Querrieu on 22 Apr 1918, and on 24 Apr 1918 they received orders to participate in a counter attack on German positions south of Villers-Bretonneux that evening. During the early stages of this engagement it would appear that Ernest was killed.

  • Adelaide Cemetery Villers-Bretonneux
  • CGWG
  • Adelaide Cemetery Villers-Bretonneux


Brother of Sgt Henry Alexander Charles Mead 51st Battalion, KIA 14 Aug 1916.

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