The AIF Project

Rupert LAITY

Regimental number3087
Place of birthOakleigh, Melbourne, Victoria
SchoolQueenstown State School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
Addressc/o A Comb, Merbein, Mildura, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation28
Height5' 10.5"
Weight161 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs I Laity, c/o A Comb, Merbein, Mildura, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date5 July 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name6th Battalion, 10th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/23/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT RMS Osterley on 29 September 1915
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll6th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal

'(27th-28th February 1917) Act of gallantry; also valuable services as scout.'
Recommendation date: 3 March 1917

Distinguished Conduct Medal

'(27th-28th February 1917) Act of gallantry; also valuable services as scout.'
Recommendation date: 10 March 1917

FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Place of death or woundingBelgium Border
Age at death30.7
Age at death from cemetery records30
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Elizabeth LAITY; husband of Isabella LAITY, Mildura, Victoria

Distinguished Conduct Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry when on patrol. He crawled through the enemy wire to within a dozen yards of the enemy parapet and threw bombs into the trench. He has at all times set a splendid example of courage and devotion to duty.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 133
Date: 21 August 1917

Family/military connectionsBrother: 4531 Pte Edward Reynolds LAITY, 30th Bn, killed in action, 4 October 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength, 6th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 7 January 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 26 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 2 April 1916.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 15 February 1917.

Awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Killed in action, Belgium, 20 September 1917.

Medals: Distinguished Conduct Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, LAITY Rupert

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