Private Edward Hope
54th Battalion, AIF
Service Number: 4188
Born: 1895, Kingswood, NSW
Died: 20 July 1916, Fromelles, France
Edward James Hope was born at Kingswood NSW in about 1895, the son of William and Amy Hope. After the deaths of his parents and infant sister within a few months of each other in 1898, it is presumed that Hope and his surviving sister Florence were raised by relatives. He attended Penrith Superior Public School and was later employed by the NSW Railways as a fettler at Springwood. Hope enlisted on 23 September 1915, and was allocated to the 13th Reinforcements 2nd Battalion. He left Australia aboard HMAT Aeneas on 20 December 1915. After his arrival in Egypt, Hope was allocated to the 54th Battalion on 16 February 1916.
After training in Egypt, Hope was sent to France on the Caledonian in June 1916. His battalion was involved in their first major battle on 19 July at Fromelles. On 21 July, Hope was reported missing. On 24 November 1916, Hope’s status was changed to ‘killed in action’ after German authorities handed over paybooks of dead Australian soldiers to the Geneva Red Cross. Subsequent investigation revealed that a number of soldiers including Private J Feehan, had seen Hope killed in the field. It was further determined that as Hope’s name had appeared with mention of personal effects on the German death lists, he had died in the front trenches and that his body was found and probably interred by the Germans. Hope’s date of death was determined to be 20 July 1916. Hope’s sister Florence, who was living at Kingswood, received his medals as his next of kin.
In 2009, a project commenced using DNA testing to determine the identity of 400 soldiers found buried in a mass grave at Fromelles. Hope was believed to be one of these soldiers. The search for a DNA match continues for Edward James Hope.
- Honor Roll, VC Corner Australian Cemetery, Fromelles, France
- Honor Roll, Victoria Park, St Marys
- Honor Roll, Blue Mountains District War Memorial Hospital, Katoomba
- Honor Roll, St Stephens Church of England, Penrith
National Archives of Australia: B2455, HOPE E J