The AIF Project

Phillip Mathias JOHNSON

Regimental number6527
Date of birth1891
Place of birthSunny Corner
ReligionChurch of England
AddressC/o Mrs L Denham, Erskine Street, Dubbo, New South Wales
Marital statusWidower
Age at embarkation24
Next of kinW. Johnson, son, C/o Mrs J Martin, Gosford, New South Wales
Enlistment date22 May 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll17 May 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name2nd Battalion, 21st Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/19/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 7 October 1916
Unit from Nominal Roll2nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 6 November 1917
Age at death from cemetery records25
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), 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
Family/military connectionsBrothers-in-law: 3354 Private Harold George MARTIN, 2nd Battalion, 11th Reinforcement, returned to Australia 8 April 1919; 3355 Private Cyril Henry MARTIN, 2nd Battalion, 11th Reinforcement, Died of Wounds 8 August 1916, France.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsName recorded as Mathias JOHNSON on the Embarkation Roll; and on attestation papers as both Phillip Mathias JOHNSON and Phillip Matthias JOHNSON.
Date of death6 November 1917

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