The AIF Project

William Henry WATT

Regimental number3210
Place of birthMaidstone, Victoria
SchoolState School, Victoria
ReligionMethodist
OccupationQuarryman
Address40 Albion Street, West Brunswick, Victoria
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation42
Next of kinWife, Mrs Jessie C Watt, 40 Albion Street, West Brunswick, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date29 September 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name2nd Pioneer Battalion, Reinforcement 7
AWM Embarkation Roll number14/14/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A20 Hororata on 23 November 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll24th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 9 October 1917
Place of death or woundingBelgium
Age at death44
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), 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
103
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William Henry and Mary Ann WATT.
Family/military connectionsNephew: 5780 Pte Horace Edward James WRIGHT, 7th Bn, killed in action, 4 October 1917.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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