The AIF Project

William Pears NICHOLES

Regimental number36
Place of birthHounslow, Middlesex, England
ReligionChurch of England
AddressTongala, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation35
Height5' 8"
Weight151 lbs
Next of kinMrs Ada H Nicholas, Tongala, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed for 7 years with the 20th Middlesex Regiment (Volunteers).
Enlistment date24 December 1914
Rank on enlistmentSergeant
Unit name13th Light Horse Regiment, C Squadron
AWM Embarkation Roll number10/18/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A34 Persic on 28 May 1915
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll1st Light Horse Regiment
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 25), 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
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Taken on strength, 13th Light Horse Regiment, Gallipoli, 3 November 1915. Admitted to 5th Field Ambulance, 15 December 1915 (juandice), and transferred to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station. Transferred to Mudros, 20 December 1915. Disembarked Alexandria from Mudros, 23 December 1915; admitted to 2nd Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 24 December 1915; transferred to Convalescent Hospital, Helouan, 31 December 1915; discharged to unit, 7 January 1916.

Admitted to No. 2 Australian General Hospital, 27 January 1916 (hernia, slight); transferred to No. 2 Auxiliary Hospital, 27 January 1916; discharged, 2 February 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 17 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 23 March 1916. Taken on strength, 1st Anzac Army Corps Light Horse Regiment, 7 July 1916.

Proceeded to join Cadet Bn, England, 6 February 1917. Appointed 2nd Lt, 31 May 1917, and posted to Infantry Reinforcements. Proceeded overseas to France, 21 June 1917; taken on strength, 39th Bn, 30 June 1917. Promoted Lt, 5 September 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 12 October 1917.

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

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