The AIF Project

Richard Henry GRAY

Regimental number563
Place of birthSpring Valley, Queensland
SchoolState School, Queensland
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationFarmer
AddressPittsworth, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Next of kinFather, John Gray, Pittsworth, Queensland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date6 December 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name42nd Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/59/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A30 Borda on 5 June 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll42nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 23 June 1917
Place of death or woundingFrance or Belgium
Age at death21
Age at death from cemetery records20
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 25), 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
125
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Elizabeth GRAY, the Post Office, Pittsworth, Queensland. Native of Spring Valley
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 2343 Driver Alfred James GRAY, 1st Divisional Ammunition Column, returned to Australia, 6 July 1919; 1029 Driver George GRAY, 6th Light Horse Regiment, returned to Australia, 7 January 1919; Nephew: 3303 Pte Reginald GRAY, 49th Bn, returned to Australia, 6 October 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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