The AIF Project

Benjamin Ernleigh NAYLOR

Regimental number2265
Place of birthPenguin, Tasmania
SchoolState School, Penguin, Tasmania
ReligionChurch of England
AddressPenguin, Tasmania
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation18
Height5' 7.5"
Weight133 lbs
Next of kinSister, Miss Ruth Naylor, Penguin, Tasmania
Previous military serviceNil (lived in an exempt area under the Compulsory Military Service scheme).
Enlistment date26 May 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name12th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/29/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A62 Wandilla on 25 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll52nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 16 July 1917
Place of death or woundingFrance
Age at death21
Age at death from cemetery records20
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Henry and Ethel NAYLOR. Native of Penguin, Tasmania
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 397/479 Sapper Henry Urinston NAYLOR, 3rd Field Company Engineers, returned to Australia, 23 September 1918; 385 Pte Ira Charles NAYLOR, 12th Bn, returned to Australia, 7 January 1916; 386 Pte Urinston Burney Alexander NAYLOR, 52nd Bn, died of wounds, 16 October 1917; 388A Pte Theophilus Metcalf NAYLOR, 49th Bn, returned to Australia, 8 October 1918; 3150 Pte Frederick Alexander NAYLOR, 40th Bn, killed in action, 28 March 1918.~
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 11 September 1915. Taken on strength, 12th Bn, Gallipoli, 17 September 1915. Disembarked Alexandria, 6 January 1916 (general Gallipoli evacuation).

Transferred to 52nd Bn, 1 March 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 5 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 12 June 1916.

Detached to Mining Section, 13th BHQ, 17 January 1917; rejoined Bn from detachment, 24 February 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 16 July 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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