The AIF Project

William Thomas WAY

Regimental number2976
Place of birthManchester, England
SchoolStratford, London, England
Age on arrival in Australia20
ReligionChurch of England
AddressPeoples Palace, Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation28
Height5' 3"
Weight124 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs A E Fox, 87 Chandos Road, Stratford, London, England
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date31 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name1st Battalion, 9th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/18/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A8 Argyllshire on 30 September 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll45th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 7 June 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Age at death29
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), 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
Other details

War service: admitted to No. 1 Australian Dermatological Hospital, Abbassia, 18 November 1915; discharged, 13 March 1916 (venereal disease). Taken on strength, 45th Bn, 31 March 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 2 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 8 June 1916. Found guilty of having a shortage in iron rations at inspection, 29 July 1916: forfeited 1 day's pay.

Admitted to 12th Australian Field Ambulance, 24 September 1916 (scald on right foot); transferred to 4th Divisional Rest Station; to 10th Casualty Clearing Station, 2 October 1916; to 3rd Canadian General Hospital, Boulogne, 3 October 1916; to England, 6 October 1916, and admitted to 2nd Southern General Hospital, Bristol, 7 October 1916 (poison, right foot: severe); to 2nd Auxiliary Hospital, 24 October 1916; discharged to No. 2 Command Depot, Weymouth, 31 October 1916. Marched in to No. 4 Command Depot, Wareham, from furlough, 8 December 1916. Found guilty, 28 December 1916, of being absent without leave from 9 p.m., 20 December, to 8 p.m., 28 December 1916: awarded 9 days' detention; forfeited total of 18 days' pay. Admitted to detention, 1 January 1917. Found guilty, 5 March 1917, of being absent without leave from midnight, 14 January, to 4 p.m., 17 January 1917: awarded 96 hours' detention; forfeited 7 days' pay. Proceeded overseas to France, April 1917; rejoined 45th Bn, 4 May 1917.

Killed in action, 7 June 1917.

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

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