The AIF Project

George Thompson KELLAS

Regimental number1218
Place of birthTinamba, Victoria
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationFarmer
AddressTrafalgar, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height5' 9.5"
Weight154 lbs
Next of kinFather, Robert Kellas, Trafalgar, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil (exempt area under Compulsory Military Training scheme)
Enlistment date28 February 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll22 February 1916
Place of enlistmentTrafalgar, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name37th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/54/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A34 Persic on 3 June 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll37th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 25), 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
128
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Robert and Annie KELLAS, Trafalgar, Victoria
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 3 June 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 25 July 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 22 November 1916.

Wounded in action, 28 January 1917 (gun shot wound, left leg), and admitted to 9th Field Ambulance; transferred to 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 29 January 1917; to Ambulance Train No 24, 30 January 1917, and admitted to 3rd Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne, 31 January 1917; transferred to 7th Convalescent Depot, Boulogne, 6 May 1917; to 10th Convalescent Depot, Boulogne, 7 May 1917; to No 3 Rest Camp, 7 June 1917; to 3rd Australian Division Base Depot, Rouelles, 9 June 1917; rejoined Bn, in the field, 19 June 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 12 October 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, KELLAS George Thompson

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