Their bodies are buried in peace; but their names liveth for evermore.
Their Duty Done
A tribute to the men and women of the East Gippsland Region who Died as a result of their participation in World War One : 1914 -1919
5476 Private Ernest Reginald Wade - Bairnsdale Killed in Action 11 April 1917
Ernest Wade was living with his brother’s family in Bairnsdale when he enlisted in February 1916. His brother, Charles Wade, was embedded in the community as a chemist in Main Street and had been in the town for many years. Ernest had been a member of the Victorian Cadets and at 35 years old, had been rejected five times on account of his height - he was 5’ 2¼” tall. In April 1916 he left Australia on the Euripides and while in England had ten hours when he was absent without leave. He then proceeded overseas to France and within weeks was hospitalised with a combination of  gastro complaints before re- joining his unit at the end of 1916 at Etaples. With horrendous conditions being the norm it is little wonder that just two months later he had scabies and was transferred to the 1 st  Anzac Hospital on 14 February 1917 for four days. The following month he was admitted again before returning to his unit on 25 March. Within three weeks Ernest Wade was missing in action. On 11 April a charge was made at Bullecourt but the ground could not be held and the Australians had to fight to retreat to their positions. Private Dearlove later reported that as I reached the German barb wire, I saw Wade lying dead. He had been killed by a bullet through the head and I am quite satisfied that death must have been instantaneous. I have no idea if he was buried. At the court of enquiry, it was found that few members of the Battalion who took part in the action on 11 April 1917 had survived. All the Battalion records had been examined and owing to intense enemy bombardment and machine gun fire, great difficulty was experienced in the evacuation of the wounded and dead. As the withdrawal had become necessary and had to be carried out across open country, it was almost impossible to get causalities back to a place of safety. The court decided that officers, non-commissioned officers and men reported ‘missing and wounded’ and ‘missing’ be posted as killed in action on 11 April 1917. He is remembered with honour at the Villers-Bretonneux Memorial.  
….. killed by a bullet through the head
We have been unable to locate a photograph of Private Ernest Wade, if you know of one, please make contact. Our group would appreciate your assistance.