The AIF Project

William Lawrence HANSEN

Regimental number3335
Place of birthBrighton, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationGrocer
Address144 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation25
Next of kinWife, Mrs G Hansen, 144 Burwood Road, Hawthorn, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil (previously rejected on account of teeth)
Enlistment date9 August 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name8th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/25/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A71 Nestor on 11 October 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll8th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), 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
53
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Name spelled HANSEN on cemetery records.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked from Alexandria, 31 May 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 12 June 1916.

Found guilty, 26 October 1916, of being absent from Reveille, Perham Downs, 22 October, to 1100, 24 October 1916: awarded 72 hours' detention, and forfeiture of a total of 6 days' pay. Found guilty, 21 November 1916, Perham Downs, of being absent without leave from Reveille, 16 November, to 7.45 am, 17 November 1916: awarded forfeiture of a total of 18 days' pay. Found guilty, Perham Downs, 6 December 1916, of being absent without leave, 1.45 pm, 3 December, to 8.50 pm, 3 December 1916: awarded 168 hours' detention and forfeiture of a total of 23 days' pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 13 December 1916.

Admitted to 6th Convalescent Hospital, Cayeux, 22 December 1916 (influenza); rejoined unit, 26 January 1917.

Wounded in action, 22 April 1917 (shrapnel wound, left arm); admitted to 3rd Stationary Hospital, Rouen, 25 April 1917; transferred to No. 2 Convalescent Depot, 30 April 1917; rejoined unit, 2 July 1917.

Found guilty, 2 August 1917, of being absent without leave from Billet contrary to Routine Orders: awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No. 2 and forfeiture of a total of seven pounds in pay.

Killed in action, Belgium, 20 September 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsSurname entered incorrectly on Embarkation Roll as HANSON.
SourcesNAA: B2455, HANSEN William Lawrence

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