The AIF Project

Renton Moffatt KELLY

Regimental number2531
Place of birthFortitude Valley, Brisbane, Queensland
SchoolFortitude Valley State School, Queensland
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationHorse trainer
AddressConstitution Road, Windsor via Brisbane, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation26
Next of kinFather, Thomas Kelly, Constitution Road, Windsor via Brisbane, Queensland
Enlistment date29 February 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name52nd Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/69/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A49 Seang Choon on 19 September 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll52nd Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour Circular'At school rose to be Sergeant of cvadets of which he took great interest, winning a gold medal for the best year's shooting. Left Brisbane as Corporal, was reappointed after arriving in England and made drill instructor but applied twice to give up his stripes and go to the front with his Company; was a member of Freemasons.' (details from father)
FateKilled in Action 7 June 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Age at death from cemetery records27
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
155
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Thomas and Jane KELLY, Constitution Road, Windsor, Queensland. Native of Brisbane
Family/military connectionsCousin: 1320A Trooper Edward Charles FRASER, 11th Light Horse Regiment, killed in action, 25 September 1918.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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