The AIF Project

John HUNTER

Regimental number3504
Place of birthJimboomba, Queensland
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationTimber getter
AddressNanango via Gympie, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Height5' 6.5"
Weight130 lbs
Next of kinFather, Henry Hunter, PO Box 54, Nanango via Gympie, Queensland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date25 October 1916
Place of enlistmentBrisbane, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name49th Battalion, 9th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/66/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A33 Ayrshire on 24 January 1917
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll49th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 26 September 1917
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
Family/military connectionsBrother: 3497 Pte James HUNTER, 49th Bn, returned to Australia, 1 May 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 24 January 1917; disembarked Devonport, England, 13 April 1917, and marched in to 13th Training Bn, Codford.

Appointed Acting Lance Corporal, 27 June 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 6 August 1917; taken on strength, 49th Bn, in the field, 25 August 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 26 September 1917.

Buried, Westhoek Ridge, Cemetery B869, Sheet 481.W., at J.7.B.7.7.

Grave subsequently lost.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Grave rediscovered in September 2006 by Belgian workers building a gas pipeline near Zonnebeke; Hunter identified by DNA match with his niece; re-interred in Buttes Cemetery, 4 October 2007.
SourcesNAA: B2455, HUNTER John

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