The AIF Project

Joseph Henry WESSELL

Regimental number593
Place of birthBinnaway, New South Wales
SchoolCatholic School at Lue and Stone Creek, via Orange, New South Wales
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationLabourer
AddressPrivate Hospital, Henrietta Street, Waverley, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinMother, Mrs Rachel Little, 37 Simmons Street, Newtown, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date22 January 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll8 January 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name36th Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/53/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A72 Beltana on 13 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll36th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 10 June 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Age at death25
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 25), 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
127
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: David and Rachel WESSELL.
Family/military connectionsBrother: 503 Pte Arthur Edward WESSELL, 2nd Light Horse Brigade Machine Gun Squadron, returned to Australia, 7 January 1919; Cousins: 2693 Sergeant Percival TURVEY DCM, 3rd Bn, returned to Australia, 17 March 1919; 4963 Lance Corporal Robert Joseph SHEUMACK, 56th Bn, killed in action, 18 October 1917.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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