The AIF Project

William Leslie HAYES

Regimental number3790
Place of birthBrisbane, Queensland
SchoolState School, Mackay, Queensland
ReligionMethodist
OccupationJeweller
AddressShakespeare Street, Mackay, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Next of kinMother, Mrs E A Hayes, Shakespeare Street, Mackay, Queensland
Previous military serviceServed in the Citizen Forces
Enlistment date9 August 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll9 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name9th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/26/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A50 Itonus on 30 December 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll49th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour Circular'He was a member of the Military Force sent to Thursday Island in 1914 and later went to New Guinea.' (details from mother)
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death22
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
148
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Robert and Elizabeth HAYES, Crown Hospital, Shakespeare Street, Mackay, Queensland
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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