Edward Ashton Torrens (Terry) KIRBY

Year of Birth:  1892

Place of Birth:  Thursday Island, Queensland

Date of Enlistment:  5 October 1914, Townsville, Queensland

Date and Place of Embarkation:  22 December 1914, Melbourne, Victoria

Ship:  HMAT Ceramic A40

Rank:  Lance Corporal

Unit(s):  15th Australian Infantry Battalion

Regimental Number:  710

Died:  2 May 1915 – Gallipoli



E Company 15th Battalion – Edward Ashton Kirby, top row, 5th from left – photo courtesy Australian War Memorial


Edward Ashton Terry Kirby was born in Thursday Island on the 26 September 1892 to John Terry Kirby and Elsie Edwards, he had one brother and one sister, Robert Stanley born 1896 and Ethel Elizabeth Elsie 1891. His mother, Elsie, died in 1907 and his father John Terry in 1933.

Edward was a member of the Cairns Rifle Club.

Prior to his service in the 15th Battalion, Edward served in the A.N.&M.E.F,  Far North Queensland Kennedy Regiment, known as the Dirty 500. Members of the Dirty 500, including Edward, landed on Thursday Island on 16 August 1914 from the troopship “Kanowna”, to take part in the capture of German New Guinea. An incident on board the “Kanowna” involving the firemen forced the immediate return of the troops to Townsville on 18 August 1914; Edward was discharged the same day.

On his enlistment in Townsville his age was 23, occupation a Butcher and his next of kin was his sister Mrs. A. S. Fraser, Strand Hotel, Cairns. His height was 5 feet 10 inches, weighed 140 pounds with medium complexion, brown eyes and black hair. His religion was Church of England.

On board the HMAT Ceramic A40, Edward was found playing cards (Euchre) 3 times, he was “warned and continued day to day”.

Edward Ashton Kirby was reported as wounded on 2 May 1915 then killed in action 2 May 1916 at Gallipoli, Dardanelles, Turkey. He was buried in Quinn’s Post Cemetery, Gallipoli Peninsula, Canakkale Province, Turkey.

HMAT Ceramic A40 – photo courtesy Australian War Memorial


NAA B2455


NAA B2455




Online Resources

Queensland Birth Death & Marriage Index

Photograph of the: HMAT Ceramic A40, Australian War Memorial

NAA: B2455, Kirby E A T, National Archives of Australia

Australian War Memorial

Cairns Post 26 June 1915 p4


Other Resources

The First Expeditionary Force: the Thursday Island Expedition: a collection of reference documents. Denis Bird, 2015 [CDFHS Library]


If you have a photograph or further information about this soldier you would like to share and add to his biography, please add a comment or the Society projects@cdfhs.org

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