The AIF Project

Mark Ubhorne HOLMES

Regimental number1994
Place of birthReid's Flat, New South Wales
SchoolPublic School
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressNarrawa, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19.7
Height5' 5"
Weight135 lbs
Next of kinFather, Charles Holmes, Reid's Flat via Narrawa, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date2 February 1916
Place of enlistmentGoulburn, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name55th Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/72/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A37 Barambah on 23 June 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll35th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)*Ulhorne spelt Ubhorne
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death from cemetery records21
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 25), 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
125
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in Cowra Cemetery, New South Wales. Photo: Peter Dennis. Parents: Charles and Catherine HOLMES, Cooyal Street, Mulyan, Cowra, New South Wales. Native of Reid's Flat, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 1720 Pte George Mathew HOLMES, 45th Bn, killed in action, 5-8 August 1916; 1919 Corporal Herbert Francis HOLMES MM, 35th Bn, returned to Australia, 18 December 1918.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 23 June 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 25 August 1916.

Taken on strength, 35th Bn, 23 September 1916.

Found guilty, 27 October 1916, of being absent without leave from midnight, 20 October, till 6 am, 25 October 1916: awarded 6 days' Field Punishment No 2, and forfeited a total of 11 days' pay.

Found guilty, 18 November 1916, of (1) being absent without leave from 2 pm parade, 9 November; (2) being absent without leave from 9am to 9.30 pm, 13 November 1916; (3) being absent without leave from 8 am, 14 November, till placed under close arrest, 5.30 pm, 14 November 1916: awarded 2 days' Field Punishment No 2, and forfeited a total of 4 days' pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 21 November 1916.

Wounded in action, 30 May 1917 (slightly gassed), and admitted to 9th Australian Field Ambulance, and transferred to 10th Australian Field Ambulance; rejoined Bn, in the field, 18 June 1917.

Found guilty, 7 August 1917, of being absent without leave from 9 pm, 4 August, till 1 pm, 6 August 1917: awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No 2, and forfeited a total of 31 days' pay.

Admitted to 9th Field Ambulance, 25 August 1917 (poisoned finger); discharged to duty and rejoined Bn, 29 August 1917.

Reported missing in action, 12 October 1917.

Court of Enquiry, 15 May 1918, concluded: 'Killed in action, Belgium, 12 October 1917.'

Note on Red Cross File: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills 10-10-19.'

Statement, Red Cross File, 1935 Pte W.A. PATTERSON, A Company, 35th Bn (patient, No 12 General Hospital, Rouen), 8 April 1918: 'I had known him some months, but slightly. His first name was Mark, was about 21 and single. We were retiring from Passchendaele when he got a M.G. bullet through the head. Corpl. Angove, A. Coy, IV Pl. like himself, bandaged him up, but told me that he was almost dead even then. We had to leave him behind just as he was breathing his last. The Germans occupied the ground shortly afterwards.'

Second statement, 7245 Pte V.S.R. FOXTON, A Company, 35th Bn (patient, 7th Canadian General Hospital), Etaples, 20 April 1918: 'Pte. Avery of A. Coy told me he saw Holmes killed at Passchendaele just after going over the top on 12th October. He had a M/gun bullet through the head and died a few minutes after. We had to retire that evening beyond our starting place. I knew him in civil life, he came from Narraway, New South Wales.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsSecond given name incorrectly entered on Embarkation Roll as Ulhorne.
SourcesNAA: B2455, HOLMES Mark Ubhorne
Red Cross File No 1360505K

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