Eric Floyd HANCOCK


HANCOCK, Eric Floyd

Service Number: 3240
Enlisted: 18 September 1915, Sydney
Last Rank: Corporal
Last Unit: 55th Infantry Battalion
Born: Allynbrook, New South Wales, Australia, 1 January 1895
Home Town: Glebe, New South Wales
Schooling: Dungog Public School, Maitland Boys' High School and the University of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Occupation: School teacher - University student
Died: Killed In Action, Fromelles, France, 20 July 1916, aged 21 years
Cemetery: VC Corner Cemetery and Memorial, Fromelles, France
Panel 11, VC Corner Australian Cemetery and Memorial, Fromelles, Lille, Nord Pas de Calais, France
Memorials: Australian War Memorial Roll of Honour, Maitland High School Roll of Honour, Parramatta NSW Public School Teachers KIA Honour Roll, Parramatta NSW Public School Teachers Who Served Abroard Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

18 Sep 1915: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, SN 3240, 17th Infantry Battalion, Sydney
20 Dec 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, SN 3240, 17th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1
20 Dec 1915: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, SN 3240, 17th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Suevic, Sydney
16 Feb 1916: Transferred AIF WW1, Private, 55th Infantry Battalion
10 Jul 1916: Promoted AIF WW1, Corporal, 55th Infantry Battalion
19 Jul 1916: Involvement AIF WW1, Corporal, SN 3240, 55th Infantry Battalion, Fromelles (Fleurbaix)

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Biography contributed by Michael Silver

The Dungog Chronicle reported on 15 August 1916 "that information has been communicated that Eric Hancock, whose parents live at Monkerai, but were formerly of Dungog, was killed in action on July 20 at Fromelles in France. A similar rumour was around a long time ago, but this time it seems to be substantiated by the news of the deaths of several other soldiers from the district on July 20, who were members of the 30th Battalion AIF, and also involved in the Battle of Fromelles.

If the above news is correct, the districts around about are paying human tribute in this great time of sacrifice.

Eric was a fine young man who deserved the greatest admiration for what he has done. He was a successful student at Maitland Boys' High School, and was at the outbreak of the war studying science at the University of Sydney. He sacrificed his future and donned the uniform with the least reluctance. His parents and friends should be justly proud of his academic success, and the decision he made in regard to the war. We only hope and trust that he may be alive and well, and return to finish his successful University work."

Tragically the news was correct - Corporal Eric Floyd Hancock of the 55th Battalion AIF was killed in action at Fromelles on 20 July 1916. His remains were never identified and he is memorialised on the VC Corner Australian Cemetery Memorial.

The VC Corner Cemetery is the only solely Australian war cemetery in France. It is also the only cemetery without headstones. There are no epitaphs to individual soldiers, simply a stone wall inscribed with the names of 1,299 Australians who died in the battle nearby on 19/20 July 1916 and who have no known graves. The unidentified remains of 410 are buried in mass graves under two grass plots in the cemetery.