The AIF Project

Alfred O'NEILL

Regimental number5394
Place of birthSydney New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationMiner
AddressPort Darwin, Northern Territory
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation31
Next of kinMother, Mrs Annie O'Neill, 13 Smith Street, Balmain, New South Wales
Enlistment date5 April 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll5 November 1916
Rank on enlistmentSapper
Unit nameSeptember 1916 Reinforcements
AWM Embarkation Roll number16/14/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A23 Suffolk on 29 September 1916
Rank from Nominal RollSapper
Unit from Nominal Roll1st Tunnelling Company
FateReturned to Australia 1 October 1917
Age at death from cemetery records32
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), 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
27
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Anne O'NEILL, 13 Smith Street, Balmain, New South Wales. Native of Launceston, Tasmania
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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