The AIF Project

John Morrie HIGGINS

Regimental number2503
Place of birthPingelly, Western Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18.8
Height6' 0.5"
Next of kinMother, Mrs Elizabeth Higgins, Pingelly, Western Australia
Enlistment date15 June 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name11th Battalion, 7th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/28/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A63 Karoola on 25 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll51st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 10 June 1917
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)Second given incorrectly entered on Nominal Roll as Murray.
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
153
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Mother: Mrs Elizabeth HIGGINS, Pingelly, Western Australia
Family/military connectionsBrother: 2616 Pte Edward HIGGINS, 51st Bn, killed in action, 25 April 1918; Cousin: 6325 Pte John Frederick HIGGINS, 28th Bn, killed in action, 20 September 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsSecond given name incorrectly entered on Embarkation Roll as Murray.
SourcesNAA: B2455, HIGGINS John Morrie

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