The AIF Project

Sylvester James NIMMO

Regimental number1343
Place of birthLeichhardt, New South Wales
SchoolFort Street High School, Sydney, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
Address6 Grantham Street, Milson's Point, North Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation17
Next of kinMother, Mrs Christina Nimmo, 6 Grantham Street, Milson's Point, North Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed in the 17th Bn, Citizen Military Forces, Neutral Bay, New South Wales.
Enlistment date15 February 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name17th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/34/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board Transport A32 Themistocles on 12 May 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll17th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularAwarded the Military Medal, Ypres, October 1917.
FateKilled in Action 9 October 1917
Place of death or woundingYpres, Belgium
Age at death19.3
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: James and Christina Marie NIMMO, 3 Campbell Street, Milson's Point, New South Wales

Military Medal

'On 9th October, 1917, on PASSCHENDAELE RIDGE, this N.C.O. had charge of five parties of stretcher bearers who after coming through the attack on 19th/20th September, 1917, east of YPRES, were attached to 5th Australian Division for their stunt. He worked continuously for 36 hours getting back the wounded through the enemy barrage. He set a great example to his men by his determination and devotion to duty, courage and skilful treatment of the wounded. He has taken part in almost every stunt that the Battalion has been in, both in GALLIPOLI and FRANCE and has always shown himself the possessor of marked courage and devotion to duty.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 76
Date: 23 May 1918

Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

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

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