The AIF Project

George Edward WALKER

Regimental number119
Place of birthSkipton, Yorkshire, England
SchoolWesleyan Higher Grade School, Skipton, England
Age on arrival in Australia21
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationCarpenter
AddressBoulia, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28
Height5' 8"
Weight148 lbs
Next of kinFather, S. Walker, 5 Wadir Street, Skipton, Yorkshire, England
Previous military serviceServed in the 6th Bn. West Riding Volunteer Regiment, for a short time.
Enlistment date17 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll16 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name31st Battalion, Machine Gun Section
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/48/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A62 Wandilla on 9 November 1915
The Machine Gun Section of 31st Bn left from Melbourne on two ships, HMAT A62 'Wandilla', embarking on 9 November 1915, and HMAT A41 'Bakara', embarking on 5 November 1915. From the Embarkation Rolls it is not possible to distinguish on which ship an individual sailed.
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A61 Bakara on 5 November 1915
The Machine Gun Section of 31st Bn left from Melbourne on two ships, HMAT A62 'Wandilla', embarking on 9 November 1915, and HMAT A41 'Bakara', embarking on 5 November 1915. From the Embarkation Rolls it is not possible to distinguish on which ship an individual sailed.
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll1st Machine Gun Company
Other details from Roll of Honour Circular'He was severely wounded in France in 1916 by a bullet in the chest which would have been fatal but for his having a metal cigarette case which turned the bullet which ripped open his Crest. He was wounded in the foot in Egypt and Gallipoli prior to that.' (details from parents) [Note: there is no reference in his personal dossier to having been wounded in Egypt and/or in Gallipoli; given the date of arrival in Egypt, 7 December 1915, it is unlikely that he served at Gallipoli.]
FateKilled in Action 21 September 1917
Place of death or woundingDelville Wood, Belgium
Age at death31
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 31), 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
179
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: George and Mary WALKER
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Disembarked Suez, 7 December 1915. Transferred to 8th Brigade Machine Gun Company, Tel el Kebir, 9 March 1916. Found guilty, 6 May 1916, of (1) being absent without leave from 0515, 8 May, to 2000, 8 May 1916; (2) breaking camp: awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No. 2, and forfeited 3 days' pay.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 16 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 23 June 1916.

Wounded in action, France, 20 July 1916 (gun shot wound, abdomen); admitted to 13th General Hospital, Boulogne, 21 July 1916. Transferred to England, 21 July 1916, and admitted to County of London War Hospital, Epsom, 23 July 1916 (wound: slight). Marched in to No. 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 13 September 1917. Marched in to Machine Gun Training Depot, Grantham, 23 November 1916. Found guilty, 11 December 1917, of being absent without leave, 2 am, 11 December, to 11 pm, 13 December 1917: awarded 5 days' confined to barracks, and forfeited 3 days' pay.

Promoted Corporal, 1 March 1917. Proceeded overseas to France, 17 March 1917. Admitted to 3rd Field Ambulance, 20 April 1917; transferred to 51st General Hospital, Etaples, 24 April 1917 (balanitis); rejoined unit, 17 July 1917.

Found guilty by Field General Court Martial, 3 August 1917, of, when on Active Service, absenting himself without leave from 2200 on 29.7.17 to 1000 on 30.7.1917; sentence: reduced to the ranks.

Killed in action, Belgium, 21 September 1917.

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

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