The AIF Project

George Douglas NEAL

Regimental number973
Place of birthLondon, England
ReligionChurch of England
Address2A Lower Belgrave Street, London SW, England
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height5' 8"
Weight145 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Isabel Neal, 2A Lower Belgrave Street, London SW, England
Enlistment date17 February 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name17th Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/34/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A32 Themistocles on 12 May 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll17th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Age at death from cemetery records19
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents; George Henry and Isabella NEAL, 82 Balham Park Road, London, England
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, 16 August 1915. Admitted to Military Hospital, Floriana, Malta, 14 November 1915 (pneumonia); to No. 1 Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, Egypt, 22 January 1916; to No. 2 Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 1 February 1916. Commenced return to Australia on board 'Nestor' from Suez: invalided for 3 months' change, 9 February 1916.

Re-embarked from Sydney on board HMAT 'Euripides', 9 September 1916, with 17th Bn, 15th Reinforcement; disembarked Plymouth, England, 26 October 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 13 December 1916; joined Bn, 18 December 1916.

Admitted to 1st Stationary Hospital, Rouen, 22 December 1916; transferred to 51st General Hospital, Etaples, 25 December 1916; discharged to Base Details after period of treatment for venereal disease, 5 March 1917; rejoined Bn, 13 March 1917.

Admitted to 3rd Stationary Hospital, Rouen, 17 April 1917 (pyrexia, unknown origin); to 2nd Convalescent Depot, 21 April 1917; rejoined Bn, 13 May 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 20 September 1917. CO advised that he 'was killed in action by a sniper's bullet instantaneously. He was buried ... approximately 1200 yards S.S.W. of ZONNEBEKE'.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medalet, which struck him in the head and killed hi

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