The AIF Project

Cecil John PARSONS

Regimental number5813
Place of birthNewton Dairy Farm, Queensland
SchoolState School, Queensland
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressEsk, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinMother, Mrs S Parsons, c/o D Buchanan, Ashridge, Esk, Queensland
Enlistment date12 January 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name9th Battalion, 18th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/26/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A49 Seang Choon on 4 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll9th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Place of death or woundingZonnebeke, Belgium
Age at death24
Age at death from cemetery records22
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
57
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Sarah PARSONS, Newton Farm, Ottaba, Queensland
Family/military connectionsBrother: 5812 Pte Sydney Albert PARSONS, 15th Bn, returned to Australia, 12 May 1919; Cousins: 4193 Pte Henry Richard EMBREY, 9th Bn, killed in action, 22 August 1916; Earnest TAYLOR [cannot positively be identified]; 7152 Pte William Charles Golloway THORPE, 25th Bn, killed in action, 13 June 1918.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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