The AIF Project

William JOHNSON

Regimental number408
Place of birthBallarat, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationClerk
Address612 Rathdown Street, North Carlton, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation38
Next of kinWife, Emily Johnson, 612 Rathdown Street, Carlton, Victoria
Enlistment date9 February 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name22nd Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/39/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on 10 May 1915
Rank from Nominal RollSergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll22nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Age at death from cemetery records40
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
90
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Mary JOHNSON; husband of Emily JOHNSON, 172 The Avenue, Royal Park, Victoria
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 30 August 1915. Promoted Corporal, 10 October 1915. Disembarked Alexandria ex Mudros, 7 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 26 March 1916.

Promoted Sergeant, 8 March 1916.

Killed in action, Belgium, 4 October 1917.

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

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