The AIF Project

William Berend HATTON

Regimental number932
Date of birth1892
Place of birthAscot Vale, Victoria
SchoolMoonee Ponds West State School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationSleeper cutter
Address5 Argyle Street, Moonee Ponds, Melbourne, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Next of kinFather, G F Hatton, 5 Argyle Street, Moonee Ponds, Melbourne, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed for 2 years in the 5th Australian Light Horse [Roll of Honour circular, completed by father, states he served in the 5th Bn, Militia, until it was disbanded.]
Enlistment date27 August 1914
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll21 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name3rd Battalion E Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/20/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A14 Euripides on 20 October 1914
No details of embarkation for HQ and A-H Companies entered on Embarkation Roll.
Rank from Nominal RollWarrant Officer (Class II)
Unit from Nominal Roll3rd Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Mention in Despatches

Awarded, and promulgated, 'London Gazette', Supplement, No. 29354 (5 November 1915); 'Commonwealth Gazette', No. 12 (27 January 1916).

FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Belgium
Age at death from cemetery records25
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: George and Louise HATTON, 5 Argyle Street, Moonee Ponds, Victoria. Native of Ascot Vale, Victoria

Distinguished Conduct Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry in action. He rendered most valuable services in leading patrols and in clearing dugouts and capturing prisoners.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 116
Date: 25 July 1917

Military Medal

'This N.C.O. played a conspicuous part in holding an isolated trench for two days under severe enfilade fire. When coming back from this position he brought in three wounded men. He is daring leader of dangerous enterprises.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 62
Date: 19 April 1917

Family/military connectionsFoster-brother: 3059 Pte Gordon CAMERON, 6th Bn, killed in action, 22 April 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 5 April 1915. Special Mention in Despatches for conspicuous gallantry or valuable services, Gallipoli, 25 April 1915.

Wounded in action, 13 July 1915; transferred to Mudros, 18 July 1915; disembarked Alexandria, 22 July 1915, and admitted to Greek Hospital. Embarked for Gallipoli, 10 August 1915; rejoined Bn, 15 August 1915. Appointed Lance Corporal, 20 November 1915. Disembarked Alexandria, 29 December 1915 (general Gallipoli evacuation). Promoted Corporal, 14 February 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 22 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 28 March 1916. Appointed Lance Sergeant, 24 March 1916.

Wounded in action, 22 July 1916 (gun shot wound, legs); admitted to No. 3 Stationary Hospital, Rouen, 24 July 1916; transferred to England, 24 July 1916, and admitted to 3rd Western General Hospital, Newport, Monmouthshire.

Proceeded overseas to France, 22 September 1916; rejoined unit, Belgium, 6 October 1916.

Wounded in action, 9 October 1916 (gun shot wound, back and right leg); admitted to 18th General Hospital, Camiers, 14 October 1916; transferred to 51st General Hospital, Etaples, 23 November 1916; rejoined unit, 25 December 1916.

Promoted Temporary Sergeant, 15 January 1917; Sergeant, 3 February 1917.; Company Sergeant Major (Warrant Officer Class II), 26 September 1917.

Killed in action, 4 October 1917.

Medals: Distinguished Conduct Medal, Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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