The AIF Project

Arthur Leslie NEWTON

Regimental number3400
Place of birthSt Peters, Sydney, New South Wales
SchoolState School and Technical College
ReligionMethodist
OccupationBootmaker
AddressJunction Road, Morningside, Brisbane, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 8"
Weight128 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs M E Newton, Junction Road, Morningside, Brisbane, Queensland
Previous military serviceServed in the 9th Infantry Bn, Citizen Military Forces (Colour Sergeant).
Enlistment date24 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name15th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/32/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A48 Seang Bee on 2 October 1915
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll4th Machine Gun Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour Circular'Was buried at Westhoek Ridge, Ypres, Belgium.'
FateKilled in Action 24 September 1917
Place of death or woundingYpres, Belgium
Age at death21
Age at death from cemetery records21
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 31), 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
178
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Arthur and Myra NEWTON, Latrobe Street, East Brisbane. Native of Sydney
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Joined 15th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 6 March 1916. Transferred to 47th Bn, 9 March 1916; to 15th Bn, 13 March 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force,1 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 8 June 1916.

Transferred to 4th Machine Gun Company, 3 October 1916. Appointed Temporary Lance Corporal, 22 April 1917; Temporary Corporal, 14 June 1917; Corporal, 12 July 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 24 September 1917.

Corporal McDonald wrote from France to NEWTON's mother, 30 March 1918: ' ... I was with him when he was killed ... I can tell you that poor Les never suffered any pain as the shell hit almost on top of him as he was lying down and he never even moved or spoke. I think that it was more concussion than wounds that killed him as he was not knocked about hardly at all. I don't think he knew he was hit as he had a very peaceful look on his face afterwards.'

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

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