The AIF Project

George Legdon HARRIS

Regimental number2044
Place of birthChelsea, London, England
SchoolChurch of England
Age on arrival in Australia15.9
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
Address11 Oven Street, Moonee Ponds, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Next of kinMrs Alice Harris, 11 Oven Street, Moonee Ponds, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the Cadets.
Enlistment date20 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll19 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name29th Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/46/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A70 Ballarat on 18 February 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll57th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 5 March 1918
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Age at death21
Age at death from cemetery records22
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
164
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Frank and Alice HARRIS, 591 Mount Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds, Victoria. Native of Chelsea, London, England
Family/military connectionsBrother: 3168 Pte James Stanley HARRIS, 57th Bn, killed in action, 26 September 1917.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsSecond given name incorrectly recorded on Embarkation Roll as Leydon.

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