The AIF Project

Walter William O'CONNOR

Regimental number2810
Place of birthBowen, Queensland
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressPrairie, Townsville, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation26
Next of kinMother, Mrs Johanna O'Connor, Prairie, Townsville, Queensland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date17 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name25th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/42/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A48 Seang Bee on 21 October 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll9th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
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
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Allotted to and proceeded to join 9th Bn, Zeitoun, 27 February 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 27 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 3 April 1916.

Admitted to No. 7 General Hospital, St Omer, 25 April 1916 (mumps); discharged to duty, 16 May 1916.

Wounded in action, 23 July 1916 (gun shot wound, head); admitted to 16th General Hospital, Treport, 24 July 1916; rejoined unit, 25 August 1916.

Admitted to 2nd Australian Field Ambulance, 19 November 1916 (sprained ankle); rejoined unit, 19 November 1916.

Admitted to 38th Casualty Clearing Station, 30 November 1916 (pyrexia, unknown origin); transferred to 1st Canadian General Hospital, Etaples, 2 December 1916; to No. 6 Convalescent Depot, 20 December 1916 (influenza); rejoined Bn, 6 March 1917.

Admitted to 6th Divisional Rest Station, 22 April 1917; transferred to 12th General Hospital, Rouen, 25 April 1917 (malaria); rejoined Bn, 18 June 1917.

Reported missing in action; confirmed killed in action, Belgium, 20 September 1917.

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

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