The AIF Project

Herbert Lancelot PLACE

Regimental number73
Place of birthFowler's Bay, South Australia
AddressMurat Bay, West Coast, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinMother, Mrs Jane Place, Murat Bay, West Coast, South Australia
Previous military serviceServed for 5 years in the Murat Bay Rifle Club, South Australia.
Enlistment date16 August 1915
Rank on enlistment2nd Corporal
Unit name6th Field Company Engineers
AWM Embarkation Roll number14/25/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A40 Ceramic on 24 November 1915
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll21st 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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Mary PLACE, Murat Bay, Ceduna, South Australia. Native of Fowler's Bay, South Australia

Distinguished Conduct Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry during operations. He guided working parties through heavy shell fire. Though wounded, he stuck to his duty until he collapsed, more than five hours later.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 184
Date: 14 December 1916

Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Appointed Corporal, Ferry Post, Egypt, 11 January 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 19 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 27 March 1916. Wounded in action, 8 August 1916; admitted to 7th Australian Field Ambulance (shell wound, back); transferred to Rest Station, 13 August 1916; rejoined unit, 18 August 1916.

Promoted Temporary Sergeant, 19 August 1916; Sergeant, 19 August 1916.

Awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal.

Transferred to 21st Bn for commission. Promoted 2nd Lt, 3 April 1917.

Admitted to 7th Australian Field Ambulance, 10 April 1917 (mumps); transferred to Divisional Rest Station, 10 April 1917. Admitted to 4th Australian Field Ambulance, 13 April 1917 (mumps and primary syphilis); transferred to 56th Casualty Clearing Station, 25 April 1917; to 2nd Red Cross Hospital, Rouen, 28 April 1917; to 39th General Hospital, Havre, 29 April 1917; discharged to Base Depot, 15 June 1917, after treatment for venereal disease.

Promoted Lt, 27 August 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 9 October 1917.

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

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