The AIF Project

Francis Reginald NEWITT

Regimental number3500
Place of birthSorrell, Tasmania
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationMiner
AddressScott Street, Newtown, Tasmania
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation33
Height5' 10"
Weight155 lbs
Next of kinFather, W Newitt, Scott Street, Newtown, Tasmania
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date2 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name12th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/29/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A11 Ascanius on 10 November 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll52nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 10 June 1917
Age at death from cemetery records35
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
155
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Julia A. NEWITT. Native of Sorell, Tasmania
Family/military connectionsSister: Sister Gertrude Annie NEWITT, Australian Army Nursing Service (name does not appear on Nominal Roll); Brother: 999 Pte Ernest Tasman NEWITT, 26th Bn, returned to Australia, 9 March 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength, 52nd bn, Tel el Kebir, 3 March 1916.

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

Attached to 4th Division Headquarters as Bushman and Guide, 16 November 1916; rejoined Bn, 14 April 1917.

Killed in action, France, 10 June 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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