The AIF Project

Matthew GARR

Regimental number428
Place of birthThursday Island, Queensland
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationLabourer
AddressThursday Island, Queensland
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation26
Height5' 5"
Next of kinWife, Mrs Fanny Garr, Bathurst Island Mission, Darwin, Northern Territory
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date6 October 1915
Place of enlistmentAt sea on board HMAT 'Demosthenes'
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name41st Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/58/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A64 Demosthenes on 18 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll47th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 29 September 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), Belgium

The Menin Gate Memorial (so named because the road led to the town of Menin) was constructed on the site of a gateway in the eastern walls of the old Flemish town of Ypres, Belgium, where hundreds of thousands of allied troops passed on their way to the front, the Ypres salient, the site from April 1915 to the end of the war of some of the fiercest fighting of the war.

The Memorial was conceived as a monument to the 350,000 men of the British Empire who fought in the campaign. Inside the arch, on tablets of Portland stone, are inscribed the names of 56,000 men, including 6,178 Australians, who served in the Ypres campaign and who have no known grave.

The opening of the Menin Gate Memorial on 24 July 1927 so moved the Australian artist Will Longstaff that he painted 'The Menin Gate at Midnight', which portrays a ghostly army of the dead marching past the Menin Gate. The painting now hangs in the Australian War Memorial, Canberra, at the entrance of which are two medieval stone lions presented to the Memorial by the City of Ypres in 1936.

Since the 1930s, with the brief interval of the German occupation in the Second World War, the City of Ypres has conducted a ceremony at the Memorial at dusk each evening to commemorate those who died in the Ypres campaign.

Family/military connectionsBrothers: 4417 Pte Glamor GARR MM, 26th Bn, returned to Australia, 15 May 1919; 3051 Pte William GAR, 4th Pioneer Bn, killed in action, 30 November 1916.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Australia, 18 May 1916; disembarked England, 20 July 1916. Found guilty, at sea, 22 June 1916, of breaking away from quarters: forfeited 28 days' pay and fined 3/- expenses.

Proceeded overseas to France, 30 September 1916; taken on strength, 47th Bn, 17 October 1916.

Admitted to 38th Casualty Clearing Station, 16 November 1916 (pyrexia); transferred to 10th General Hospital, Rouen, 19 November 1916; to 2nd Convalescent Depot, 23 November 1916; discharged to Base Details, 25 November 1916; joined 4th Australian Division Base Depot, Etaples, 27 November 1916. admitted to 24th General Hospital, 14 December 1916 (mumps); transferred to 26th General Hospital, 19 December 1916 (tonsilitis); to 18th General Hospital, Camiers, 24 December 1916 (suspected mumps); to 6th Convalescent Depot, 13 January 1917; to England, 17 February 1917, and admitted to Norfolk War Hospital, Norwich, 20 February 1917; to 2nd Auxiliary Hospital, Southall, 5 March 1917; discharged on furlough, 6 March 1917, to report to Wareham Command Depot, 21 March 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 29 April 1917; rejoined 47th Bn, 4 May 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 29 September 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Print format