The AIF Project

John Vincent HOULIHAN

Place of birthWarburton, Victoria
SchoolChristian Brothers College (Catholic)
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationDraughtsman
Address187 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation26
Next of kinWife, Mrs V I J Houlihan, 187 Fitzroy Street, St Kilda, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the Citizen Forces, 49th Prahran Infantry.
Enlistment date16 June 1915
Rank on enlistment2nd Lieutenant
Unit name29th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/46/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on 10 November 1915
FateNo details of fate entered on Nominal Roll
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death27
Age at death from cemetery records27
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), 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
115
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Margaret HOULIHAN; husband of Violet HOULIHAN, "Melrose", Lambert Road, Caulfield, Victoria. Nartive of Warburton, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrother: Lieut Tom Houlihan and Sgt. J Houlihan

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