The AIF Project

Harold Vernon WALKLATE

Place of birthLaunceston, Tasmania
SchoolState School, Tasmania
ReligionMethodist
OccupationAccountant
Address9 Commonwealth Savings Buildings, Glenferrie Road, Malvern, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation31
Height5' 6.5"
Weight136 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs A W Walklate, same address
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date1 February 1915
Place of enlistmentMelbourne, Victoria
Rank on enlistment2nd Lieutenant
Unit name14th Battalion, 14th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/31/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A70 Ballarat on 18 February 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCaptain
Unit from Nominal Roll14th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 22 October 1917
Place of death or woundingWesthoek, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death33
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), 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
74
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John Wolfe and Annie Willoughby WALKLATE
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Melbourne, 18 February 1916; disembarked Egypt, 22 March 1916.

Attached to 4th Training Bn, Zeitoun, 29 March 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 7 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France (date not recorded).

Taken on strength, 14th Bn, in the field, 8 July 1916.

Seconded for duty with 4th Light Trench Mortar Battery, 17 September 1917.

Promoted Lt, 25 September 1916.

Wounded in action, 6 February 1917 (gun shot wound, right arm), and admitted to 12th Australian Field Ambulance; transferred to 8th General Hospital, Rouen, 7 February 1917; to England, 15 February 1917, and admitted to unspecified hospital.

Proceeded overseas to France, 16 July 1917; rejoined 14th Bn, in the field, 22 July 1917.

Promoted Captain, 23 August 1917.

Killed in action, 22 October 1917.

Statement, Red Cross File, 6829 Lance Corporal E. WILKINSON, D Company, 14th Bn (patient, 3rd Australian Auxiliary Hospital, Dartford, England), 22 March 1919: 'About 5.30 p.m. om 20.10.17, he was walking on a duckboard track on the Zonnebeke Ridge - he was hit by a 5.9. shell and blown to pieces. His body was gathered up and buried where he fell. I saw him killed - he being about 4ft from me. Did not see him buried. A stretcher bearer told me he buried him where he fell. We were just moving up to the lines at the time.'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, WALKLATE Harold Vernon
Red Cross File No 2840109O

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