The AIF Project

Thomas Andrew PREECE

Regimental number2649
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationLabourer
AddressCasino, Richmond River, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Next of kinFather, James Price, P O Sandford, Sandford, Victoria
Enlistment date3 September 1914
Rank on enlistmentDriver
Unit nameDivisional Ammunition Column
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A22 Rangatira on 25 September 1914
Rank from Nominal RollDriver
Unit from Nominal Roll1st Field Artillery Brigade
FateKilled in Action 6 October 1917
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
11
Family/military connectionsBrothers: 979 Pte Henry Peter PREECE, 39th Bn, killed in action, 14 April 1917; 2459 Pte William PREECE, 2nd Bn, returned to Australia, 17 September 1916.

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