The AIF Project

William James KING

Regimental number1721
Place of birthMudgee New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationPlatelayer
AddressTarana, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Next of kinMother, Mrs Bridget Shaw, Barragan via Mudgee, New South Wales
Enlistment date26 January 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll8 January 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name45th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/62/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 14 April 1916
Regimental number from Nominal Roll1721A
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll45th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal


Recommendation date: 11 September 1916

FateKilled in Action 7 June 1917
Age at death from cemetery records26
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), 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
140
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Son of Bridget Shaw (formerly King) and the late Archibald King, Derowen, Mudgee, New South Wales
Medals

Military Medal

'For devotion to duty while acting as a runner at POZIERES during period 5th/8th August, 1916. During that time he was carrying messages from the front line to Battalion Headquarters and frequently had to pass through heavy hostile artillery barrages.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 62
Date: 19 April 1917

Family/military connectionsBrother: 1372 Pte Archibald George KING, 2nd Bn, returned to Australia, 11 May 1916.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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