The AIF Project


Regimental number3128
Place of birthHuddersfield, Yorkshire, England
Age on arrival in Australia25
ReligionChurch of England
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation29
Next of kinMother, Mrs Mary Halkyard, 43 Guildford Road, Levenshulme, Manchester, England
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date4 October 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name54th Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/71/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A29 Suevic on 11 November 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll54th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 26 September 1917
Place of death or woundingGlencorse Wood, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death30
Age at death from cemetery records29
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 29), 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: J. and Mary HALKYARD, 55 Park Road, Tame Valley, Dukinfield, Cheshire, England. Native of Huddersfield
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Sydney, 11 November 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 30 January 1917.

Found guilty, 27 March 1917, of being absent without leave, 23-24 March 1917: awarded 4 days' Field Punishment No. 2 and forfeiture of 8 days' pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 25 April 1917, taken on strength, 54th Bn, 13 May 1917.

Admitted to 8th Australian Field Ambulance, 2 June 1917 (eye examination); transferred to 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital, 4 June 1917; rejoined unit, 13 June 1917.

Admitted to 3rd Canadian Stationary Hospital, 30 July 1917 (otitis media); rejoined unit, 31 August 1917.

Killed in action, 26 September 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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