The AIF Project

Malcolm Alexander NICHOLSON

Regimental number2474
Place of birthTuloona Station, New South Wales
SchoolBowenville State School, Queensland
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationGrazier
AddressToowoomba, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Next of kinMother, Mrs Jane Nicholson, Bowenville, Queensland
Enlistment date24 March 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name49th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/66/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A49 Seang Choon on 19 September 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll49th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularWas one of the 4th Australian Division to be presented by General Birdwood with a silver medal in the rifle meeting in the Company match on the Somme, 8 May 1917.
FateKilled in Action 7 June 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Age at death26.6
Age at death from cemetery records26
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
149
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Kenneth Murdock and Jane NICHOLSON, 'Ivondale', New Sandgate Road, Clayfield, Queensland. Native of Bowenville, Queensland
Family/military connectionsBrother: 2475 Pte Kenneth Edwin NICHOLSON, 49th Bn, returned to Australia, 18 November 1916.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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