The AIF Project

Thomas PRIEST

Regimental number336
Place of birthEuchareena, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationRailway employee
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation25
Next of kinFather, H Priest, PO, Euchareena, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date20 August 1914
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name2nd Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/19/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board Transport A23 Suffolk on 18 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollLance Sergeant
Unit from Nominal Roll2nd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Age at death from cemetery records29
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
34
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Henry and Margaret PRIEST. Native of Euchareena, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother: 539 Lance Corporal Albert PRIEST, 3rd Machine Gun Bn, returned to Australia, 16 January 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, Gallipoli, 5 April 1915. Disembarked Alexandria, 28 December 1915 (general Gallipoli evacuation). Appointed Lance Corporal, Serapeum, 15 February 1916.

Embarked from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 22 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 28 March 1916.

Wounded in action, France, 15 June 1916 (bullet wound, right leg); transferred to England, 20 June 1916, and admitted to Chatham Military Hospital, Kent. Transferred to No. 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 13 July 1916; to 1st Training Bn, Perham Downs, 1 August 1916. Proceeded overseas to France, 5 September 1916; rejoined Bn, 18 September 1916. Promoted Corporal, 26 October 1916.

On command to 1st NSW Training Bn, England, 27 October 1916. Promoted Acting Sergeant, 12 January 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 3 May 1917. Reverted to rank of Corporal, 4 May 1917. Rejoined Bn, 10 May 1917.

Promoted Lance Sergeant, 21 June 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 20 September 1917. Buried.

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

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