The AIF Project

John Leonard GROAT

Regimental number12458
Place of birthBallarat, Victoria
SchoolState School No 33, Ballarat, Victoria
Address419 Armstrong Street, Ballarat, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Next of kinFather, Frederick Thomas Groat, 419 Armstrong Stret, Ballarat, Victoria
Previous military service18th Australian Army Medical Corps; Served in the Citizen Military Forces, Ballarat, Victoria.
Enlistment date21 October 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit nameField Ambulance 10
AWM Embarkation Roll number26/53/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A54 Runic on 20 June 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll10th Field Ambulance
FateKilled in Action 16 October 1917
Place of death or woundingZonnebeke
Age at death from cemetery records20
Place of burialNo known grave
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Frederick and Jemima GROAT, 419 Armstrong Street, South Ballarat, Victoria

Military Medal

'On 8th June, 1917, near PLOEGSTEERT WOOD displayed conpicuous gallantry as one of a party of stretcher bearers getting through the barrage to the Advanced Aid Post SCHNITZEL FARM, where he assisted in carrying two stretcher cases to an intermediate Aid Post. He returned and assisted a Medical Officer in dressing cases and went forward beyond a Regimental Aid Post and brought in a wounded man under heavy fire. When owing to heavy shell fire it became necessary to shift the R.A.P. Lance Corporal GROAT assisted in carrying Medical Stores to the new R.A.P. and was the last man to leave the abandoned R.A.P. On the night 26th/27th February, during a raid near HOUPLIN Lance Corporal GROAT also did good service as a runner, several times passing through heavy shell fire with messages.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 218
Date: 20 December 1917

Family/military connectionsCousin (1st): 752 Pte Henry PEGLER, 7th Bn, died of wounds, 16 May 1915.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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