The AIF Project

Reuben Leander GILPIN

Regimental number2599
Place of birth38 East Street, Newton Abbot, Devon, England
Place of birthNewton Abbot, Devonshire, England
SchoolNational School, England
Age on arrival in Australia18
Addressc/o W. Duff, Hotel Proprietor, George and Goulburn Streets, Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 2.75"
Weight128 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs S.A. Gilpin, 20 Salisbury Road, Newton Abbot, Devonshire, England
Enlistment date18 June 1915
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name13th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/30/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A54 Runic on 9 August 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll13th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 15 October 1917
Place of death or woundingWesthoek, Belgium
Age at death24
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), 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.

Panel number, Roll of Honour,
  Australian War Memorial
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Joined 13th Bn, Mudros, 23 October 1915. Disembarked Alexandria from Mudros, 3 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Found guilty, Moascar, 26 January 1916, of refusing to obey an order: awarded 5 days' confined to barracks. Found guilty, Serapeum, 18 May 1916, of being absent without leave from 0900 to 1545, 14 May: awarded 4 days' confined to barracks and forfeited 1 day's pay.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 1 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 8 June 1916.

Found guilty, 18 July 1916, of being absent without leave from 6 pm, 9 July 1916, to 5 pm, 10 July 1916: awarded 21 days' Field Punishment No 2, and forfeited 23 days' pay.

Wounded in action (SS), 12 August 1916; rejoined unit, 17 August 1916.

Wounded in action (2nd occasion), 30 August 1916 (gun shot wound, arm and chest); transferred to England, 2 September 1916, and admitted to Northampton War Hospital, Duston (date not recorded); transferred to 1st Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Harefield, 26 September 1916; to No 2 Command Depot, Weymouth, 29 September 1916; to No 3 Command Depot, 7 November 1916; to No 4 Command Depot, Wareham, 3 December 1916.

Found guilty by District Court Martial, 26 May 1917, of (1) at Wareham, absent without leave from 3 December 1916 to 28 April 1917; (2) at Newton Abbot, conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline, 28 April 1917: pleaded guilty: awarded 6 months' imprisonment with hard labour; Major-General McCay, GOC AIF Depots in the United Kingdom, confirmed the sentence but commuted it to 'one of detention'. In custody awaiting trial: 27 days; total forfeiture of pay: 358 days'. Unexpired portion of sentence remitted as from 15 September 1917.

Marched in to Overseas Training Brigade, Perham Downs, 5 September 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 10 September 1917; rejoined 13th Bn, 30 September 1917.

Killed in action, France, 15 October 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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