The AIF Project

Robert PARSONS

Regimental number6867
Place of birthPaddington, Sydney, New South Wales
SchoolCrown Street Public School, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationCarpenter
Address4 Glenview Street, Paddington, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28
Next of kinFather, H Parsons, 4 Glenview Street, Paddington, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date9 October 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name3rd Battalion, 22nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/20/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT SS Port Nicholson on 8 November 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll22nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death29
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
37
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Henry and Kate PARSONS. Native of Sydney, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother: 2743 2nd Air Mechanic William PARSONS, 3rd Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, returned to Australia, 6 May 1919; 2 others.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Sydney, 8 November 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 10 January 1917.

Proceeded overseas to France, 3 May 1917; taken on strength, 3rd Bn, 21 May 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 4 October 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Print format