The AIF Project

Jack Henry LEWIS

Regimental number6578
Place of birthLaunceston, Tasmania
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationFactory hand
AddressHobart, Tasmania
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Next of kinFather, Mr T Lewis, 55 D'Arcy Street, Hobart, Tasmania
Enlistment date4 September 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name12th Battalion, 21st Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/29/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A17 Port Lincoln on 20 October 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll12th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal


'(Polygon Wood 20-21 September 1917) Valuable services and courage under fire as Coy. runner, also for assistance to stretcher-bearers.'
Recommendation date: 7 October 1917

FateKilled in Action 7 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death20.6
Age at death from cemetery records20
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), 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
66
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Thomas andLouisa LEWIS, 6 Cascade road, Hobart, Tasmania. Native of Launceston, Tasmania
Medals

Military Medal

'During the attack on POLYGON WOOD, east of YPRES on 20/21st September, 1917, Pte. LEWIS acted as Company runner throughout the action and showed great courage in carrying messages under heavy shel fire. He also volunteered to guide and assist stretcher bearers in carrying wounded through intense enemy barrage fire. Later, he maintained onbservation from an important observation post which was being very heavily shelled.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 31
Date: 7 March 1918

Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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