The AIF Project

Stanley Johnson MEARS

Regimental number3189
Place of birthAllandale New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationMiner
AddressBranxton, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinBrother, Allan Mears, Branxton, New South Wales
Enlistment date23 October 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name53rd Battalion, 8th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/70/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A29 Suevic on 11 November 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll53rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 1 March 1918
Age at death from cemetery records25
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
157
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: George and Elizabeth MEARS
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

A new headstone was installed in Somers Farm Cemetery, near Ypres, Belgium, in May 1996 following the findings of Mr Peter Jones into the death of his grandfather, Pte Ralph Pendleton, killed on the same day, 17 March 1918.
Sources'Sydney Morning Herald', 4 May 1996

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