The AIF Project

Benjamin Harrison PARKIN

Regimental number645
Place of birthSydney, New South Wales
ReligionMethodist
OccupationEnvelope cutter
Address'Brayside', Haden Street, Enfield, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation31
Next of kinMother, Mrs E Parkin, 'Brayside', Haden Street, Enfield, New South Wales
Previous military serviceWas a member of the Enfield Rifle Club for 4 years.
Enlistment date20 March 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name20th Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/37/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 25 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll20th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 9 October 1917
Age at death from cemetery records24
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), 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
92
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Benjamin and Ellen PARKIN, 'Braeside', 3 Heydon Street, Enfield, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Proceeded to join Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 16 August 1915.

Tried by Field General Court Martial, Russell's Top, 10 September 1915, on a charge of sleeping at his post while on active service as a sentry, 2 September 1915; found Not Guilty.

Admitted to 5th Field Ambulance, 10 October 1915 (dysentery); embarked on hospital ship, 11 October 1915; admitted to St George's Hospital, Malta, 15 October 1915; transferred to England, 29 October 1915, and admitted to 3rd London General Hospital, Wandsworth, 10 November 1915.

Disembarked Alexandria from England, 5 March 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 18 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 25 March 1916.

Reported missing in action, Belgium, 9 October 1917; Court of Inquiry, 13 October 1917, confirmed fate as killed in action.

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

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