The AIF Project

Robert Ernest POWER

Regimental number512
Place of birthGormandale, Victoria
SchoolState School, Gormandale, Victoria
Other trainingMember of the Gormandale Rifle Club
ReligionChurch of England
AddressGormandale via Rosedale, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation29
Next of kinFather, John Walter Power, Gormandale via Rosedale, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil. Previously rejected for AIF enlistment on account of teeth.
Enlistment date15 February 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll16 February 1916
Rank on enlistmentCorporal
Unit name37th Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/54/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A34 Persic on 3 June 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCompany Sergeant Major
Unit from Nominal Roll37th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Age at death from cemetery records30
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 25), 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: Walter and Eureka POWER, Gormandale, Victoria
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Melbourne, 3 June 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 25 July 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 22 November 1916.

Appointed Temporary Lance Sergeant, 1 March 1917; Lance Sergeant, 3 April 1917; Temporary Sergeant, 3 April 1917; Sergeant, 24 April 1917.

Wounded in action, 7-9 June 1917 (gun shot wound, head); transferred to Divisional Rest Station, 9 June 1917; discharged to unit, 19 June 1917.

Promoted Temporary Company Sergeant Major, 10 August 1917.

Killed in action, 4 October 1917.

Base Records informed the RSSILA, 26 January 1922, that 'the only available information regarding the laet soldier's burial is that his remains were interred in a field north of ZONNEBEKE. In the absence of official advice of registration it must reluctantly be concluded that the Graves Registration Units have not yet succeeded in locating his final resting place. The surface of the whole battlefield area has been searched six times and some places twenty times since the Armistice, but it is possible that bodies will continue to be found for years as the work of re-construction progresses.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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