The AIF Project

William Roy POLMEAR

Regimental number1981
Place of birthTrunkey Creek, New South Wales
SchoolBethanga State School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationLabourer
AddressPortland, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Height5' 10"
Weight143 lbs
Next of kinFather, William Polmear, Portland, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date14 March 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll14 February 1916
Place of enlistmentBathurst, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name45th Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/62/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A69 Warilda on 22 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll45th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 7 June 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines Ridge, Belgium
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), 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
140
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Eva POLMEAR, Church Street, Portland, New South Wales. Native of Trunkey, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 22 February 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 18 July 1916; marched into 12th Training Bn, Rollestone, 19 July 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 16 September 1916; taken on strength, 45th Bn, in the field, 22 September 1916.

Admitted to 1st Australian General Hospital, Rouen, 15 December 1916 (scabies); transferred to No 2 Convalescent Depot, Rouen, 16 December 1916; rejoined Bn, in the field, 19 January 1917.

Admitted to 4th Australian Field Ambulance, 2 February 1917 (lacerated eye); transferred same day to 38th Casualty Clearing Station (mumps); discharged to duty, 23 February 1917; rejoined Bn, 24 February 1917.

Found guilty, 22 April 1917, of being absent without leave from 9.30 am till apprehended by Military Police, 12.25 pm, 22 April 1917: awarded 168 hours' Field Punishment No 2, and forfeited 7 days' pay.

Reported missing in action, 7 June 1917.

Court of Enquiry, 21 March 1918, ruled fate as killed in action, Belgium, 7 June 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
Miscellaneous detailsName entered on Attestation Form as Roy POLMEAR (William crossed out); insurance policy with MLC held in the name of: Roland Garfield POLMEAR

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