|Place of birth||Devonport Tasmania|
|Religion||Church of England|
|Age at embarkation||19|
|Next of kin||Mother, Mrs W J Onions, Forth, Tasmania|
|Rank on enlistment||Private|
|Unit name||15th Battalion, 4th Reinforcement|
|AWM Embarkation Roll number||23/32/2|
|Embarkation details||Unit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A17 Port Lincoln on
|Rank from Nominal Roll||Private|
|Unit from Nominal Roll||52nd Battalion|
|Recommendations (Medals and Awards)||
19 April 1917
|Fate||Killed in Action
|Age at death from cemetery records||21|
|Place of burial||No known grave|
|Commemoration details||The 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
|Miscellaneous information from|
|Parents: William and Rosetta ONIONS, Forth, Tasmania|
'For gallantry and devotion to duty. On the 11th April 1917 near REINCOURT after the withdrawal from the HINDENBURG LINE these men [2645 T.W. FOLKARD, 5077 H.B. DICK; 2158 T. DOBE, 2450 J. HOARE, 235 N.G. HATTON, 1875A A.C. ONIONS, 3970 R.C. HOLDEN, 3182 C.E. UPCHURCH, 1747 T. SEE] under the command of Lieutenant JULIN of 52 Battalion volunteered in spite of continuous machine gun and artillery fire, to go out into NO MAN'S LAND and collect wounded. At first they go a hostile reception but ultimately by their persistency and determination, they were permitted to carry on unmolested till dark. In this manner they saved the lives of many who would otherwise have perished in the snow. Two of the number were killed but undetermined the remainder stuck to their task until darkness put a stop to their work. They showed magnificent coolness and gallantry and untiring energy in their difficult task.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 169
|Family/military connections||Brother: 3166 Pte Edward Isaac ONIONS, 51st Bn, returned to Australia, 18 December 1918.|
War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western FrontMedals: Military Medal, 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal