The AIF Project

Arthur Leonard JOHNSON

Regimental number108
Place of birthAdelaide, South Australia
Other NamesLeonard Arthur
ReligionChurch of England
AddressRenmark, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinFather, William A Johnson, Renmark, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date8 February 1915
Rank on enlistmentDriver
Unit name27th Battalion, A Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/44/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A2 Geelong on 31 May 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll27th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Date of death20 September 1917
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: WIlliam Arthur and Miriam Caroline JOHNSON, 'Hazelmere', 15th Street, Renmark, South Australia

Military Medal

'During the period 19th April to 6th May 1917, before the HINDENBURG LINE East of BULLECOURT, this N.C.O. acted as Scout Sergeant. He was employed on this trying duty for at least seventeen nights. he penetrated the wire in front of the HINDENBURG LINE on several occasions, and made most valuable and accurate reports on its condition. he displayed unusual initiative and courage on many occasions, and had several encounters with enemy patrols all of which were engaged and driven in. On the night of 26/27th April, he led the party of Engineers and Infantry who destroyed portion of enemy's wire with Bangalore Torpedoes.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 189
Date: 8 November 1917

Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Left behind with Transport Section, Heliopolis, 4 September 1915. Rejoined Bn, Tel el Kebir, 10 January 1916. Reverted to Lance Corporal, 22 January 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 15 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 21 March 1916. Took part in raid on enemy's trenches, night of 28/29 June 1916. Wounded in action, 29 June 1916 (gun shot wound, back); admitted to Anglo-American Hospital, Wimereux, 1 July 1916. Transferred to England, 3 July 1916; admitted to 2nd Southern General Hospital, Bristol, 4 July 1916. Discharged from hospital, 4 August 1916; reported after furlough to No. 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 23 August 1916. Admitted to 1st Australian dermatological Hospital, Bulford, 16 November 1916; discharged, 26 December 1916; total period of treatment for venereal disease: 79 days. Proceeded overseas to France,, 24 January 1917; rejoined unit, 5 February 1917.

Admitted to 3rd Field Ambulance, 25 February 1917 (mumps); transferred to 2nd field Ambulance; discharged to duty, 12 March 1917.

Promoted Sergeant, 22 March 1917. Awarded Military Medal, 25 May 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 20 September 1917.

Medals: Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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