Eric Douglas MELDRUM

Badge Number: 14828, Sub Branch: Walkerville

MELDRUM, Eric Douglas

Service Number: 41
Enlisted: 4 August 1914, Morphettville, South Australia
Last Rank: Private
Last Unit: 10th Infantry Battalion
Born: Hobart, Tasmania, 23 August 1891
Home Town: Millswood, City of Unley, South Australia
Schooling: St. Andrew's College, Naracoorte and University of Adelaide
Occupation: Civil servant
Died: Suicide, Adelaide, South Australia, 8 April 1922, aged 30 years
Cemetery: AIF Cemetery, West Terrace Cemetery, Adelaide, South Australia
Path 4 E, Grave 11
Memorials: Adelaide High School Honour Board, Adelaide University of Adelaide WW1 Honour Roll
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World War 1 Service

4 Aug 1914: Enlisted AIF WW1, Private, 41, Morphettville, South Australia
20 Oct 1914: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 41, 10th Infantry Battalion, Enlistment/Embarkation WW1,

--- :embarkation_roll: roll_number: '10' embarkation_place: Adelaide embarkation_ship: HMAT Ascanius embarkation_ship_number: A11 public_note: ''

20 Oct 1914: Embarked AIF WW1, Private, 41, 10th Infantry Battalion, HMAT Ascanius, Adelaide
25 Apr 1915: Involvement AIF WW1, Private, 41, 10th Infantry Battalion, ANZAC / Gallipoli
11 Apr 1918: Discharged AIF WW1, Private, 41, 10th Infantry Battalion

Help us honour Eric Douglas Meldrum's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.


Eric Meldrum was a 23 year old Civil servant and a well regarded sprinter in  the athletics community,  living in Millswood south of the Adelaide CBD when war broke out.  He was among the men who enlisted amost as soon as Morphetville Racecourse camp opened, as evidenced by his two digit service number. Next in the queue was another man to feature in this story; Francis Herbert Stokes.

Enlisted into A Company of the 10th Battalion, he trained and embarked with them on 20 October 1914, bound for the Middle East.  He became one of the A Company Scouts, who were to perform the role of skirmishers advancing forward of the main part of the Battalion.

Eric Meldrum survived the Gallipoli landing and fought in the trenches and gullies at ANZAC for nearly three months, before having his forearm fractured by a piece of shrapnel that would leave him unable to fight.

He was invalided off the Peninsula and sent back to Egypt in July 1915 to recuperate.  His injuries prevented him from returning to the front and he was repatriated home to Australia.

He is one of nine men photographed together at what appears to be Mena Camp in Egypt.  These men and their stories typify the fate of the men who were landed at Gallipoli on ANZAC Day 1915.  The Scouts were charged with striking out to seize Gun or Third Ridge following the landing.  That task proved harder than could have been imagined. 

Four of the mates were killed at or soon after the Landing.  Guy Fisher was wounded and evacuated.  Three of the survivors of ANZAC were commissioned.  Of the three, one, Wilfid Jose was to die in action two years later.  Arthur Blackburn went on to win a Victoria Cross at Pozieres.  John Gordon transferred to the Australian Flying Corps and became an Ace (ie 5 or more victories) air gunner and later as a pilot as well. 

Eric Meldrum, arguably the most enigmatic and least well known member of the section,  survived the war but not the peace, taking his own life in 1922.  He is buried in the AIF Cemetery at West Terrace Adelaide.

Their story is described in an article held in th SA State Library entitled "The Flowers of the Forest", the men of this group are as follows:

Arthur BLACKBURN (/explore/people/930)

Guy FISHER (/explore/people/373586)

John GORDON (/explore/people/198723)

Wilfid JOSE (/explore/people/173634)

Eric MELDRUM (/explore/people/55797)

Philip ROBIN (/explore/people/9135)

Francis STOKES (/explore/people/60171)

Malcolm TEASEDALE-SMITH (/explore/people/190689)

Thomas WHYTE (/explore/people/170704)