The AIF Project

Thomas Henry HEDDELL

Regimental number2427
Place of birthNathalia, Victoria
SchoolState School
ReligionMethodist
OccupationLabourer
AddressShepparton, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinWife, Mrs Elsie Maud Heddell, Shepparton, Victoria
Enlistment date16 August 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll16 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name57th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/74/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A9 Shropshire on 25 September 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll57th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 25 September 1917
Place of death or woundingFlanders
Age at death23
Age at death from cemetery records23
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 Laura HEDDELL; husband of Elsie HEDDELL, Shepparton, Victoria. Native of Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrother: 579 Sergeant Charles HEDDELL, 3rd Bn, returned to Australia, 8 October 1918.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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