The AIF Project

John Thomas HARRIS

Regimental number1663
Place of birthClunes, Victoria
SchoolState School, Footscray, Victoria
ReligionMethodist
OccupationBootmaker
AddressCorner Ord and High Streets, Fremantle, Western Australia
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation36
Next of kinWife, Mrs Mabel Ruth Harris, Corner Ord and High Streets, Fremantle, Western Australia
Enlistment date12 October 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll4 October 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name51st Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/68/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 17 April 1916
Regimental number from Nominal Roll1663A
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll52nd Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal


Recommendation date: 12 September 1916

FateKilled in Action 8 June 1917
Place of death or woundingFrance
Age at death37
Age at death from cemetery records37
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
155
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Margaret HARRIS; husband of Mabel HARRIS, Stokes Street, Beaconsfield, Framantle, Western Australia. Native of Clunes, Victoria
Medals

Military Medal

'Action at MOUQUET FARM. Was wounded in the attack early o morning of 3rd September, 1916, but would not leave the trench. He did excellent work digging and improving the trenches on 3rd, 4th and 5th September, 1916.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 62
Date: 19 April 1917

Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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