William Alexander PATTERSON

Regimental number4463
Place of birthBuangor, Victoria
SchoolBallarat Agricultural College, Victoria
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationSchool teacher
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Next of kinFather, W H Patterson, Shepherds Flat, Daylesford, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed in the Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date14 August 1914
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll19 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name23rd Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/49/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board RMS Walwa on 23 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll8th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 11 October 1918
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Date of death4 October 1917
Age at death23
Age at death from cemetery records23
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
54
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Margaret PATTERSON. Native of Basalt Hill, Daylesford, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 2746 Pte Charles Henry PATTERSON, 7th Bn, killed in action, 25 July 1916; 759 Sapper George David PATTERSON, 9th Light Horse Regiment, severely wounded, Palestine, returned to Australia, 31 May 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal