The AIF Project

Joseph Cyril LENNON

Regimental number1172
Place of birthGlen Innes, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationMiner
AddressEmmaville, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation22
Height5' 11"
Weight154 lbs
Next of kinFather, J Lennon, Emmaville, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date5 January 1916
Place of enlistmentArmidale, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name33rd Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/50/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A74 Marathon on 4 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll33rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 7 June 1917
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
122
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 5292 Pte Edward Francis LENNON, 1st Bn, died of wounds, 7 May 1917; 5446 Pte Vincent Roy LENNON, 15th Bn returned to Australia, 30 January 1918.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 4 May 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 9 July 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 21 November 1916.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 16 February 1917.

Promoted Corporal, 5 June 1917.

Killed in action, 7 June 1917.

Handwritten notation on Form B103: 'Buried'.

Statement, Red Cross File No 1581008, 1132 Pte W.J. GALVIN, D Company, 33rd Bn (patient, Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, Norwich, England), 17 October 1917: 'I saw L/C. Lennon hit by a shell and killed instantly at "Plug Street" Wood on June 7th just after the attack was finished in the afternoon. He was buried near there and a cross put over his grave with his name on it. I know the exact spot and it is on the map which the parson had who buried him.'

Second statement, Captain J.W. SHREEVE, 33rd Bn (patient, 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, England), 19 October 1917: 'I saw Lennon buried on same date between 7 and 10 June in the cemetery at Ploegsteert Wood, Grave no doubt registered by now.'

Third statement, 1054 Pte J. A'Hern, D Company, 33rd Bn (patient, No 4 Australian General Hospital, Randwick), 27 November 1917: 'He was killed outright at Messines on 7/6/17. I saw him in a trench we had captured that day. I passed right by him and am quite sure it was he and that he was killed outright, he had been killed by a shell. I recognised his face. We held this trench. His body was taken back to the camp and would be buried near the dump which was in the first line of German trenches. I was wounded on the 10/6/17 and did not see his grave.' Note on file: ' Careful witness.'

Fourth statement, 1232 Pte H.H. PARTRIDGE, 33rd Bn, 20 November 1917: 'Lennon was killed about 20 yards from me on June 7th and is buried at Ploegsteert Wood (Soldier's [sic] cemetery)[.] I did not see the burial but all our chaps who fell on this date are buried there.'

Fifth statement, 1223 Pte J.H. PARKER, D Company, 33rd Bn (patient, 4th Northern General Hospital, Lincoln, England), 27 October 1917: 'Pte. Lennon was killed in the charge on June 7/17 about a mile from Ploegsteert Wood and [is] buried in the Australian Cemetery at Ploegsteert Wood.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, LENNON Joseph Cyril
Red Cross File No 1581008

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