The AIF Project

William WILLIAMS

Regimental number4931
Place of birthAberystwith, North Wales
ReligionMethodist
OccupationSeaman and lumper
Address54 Queen Street, Fremantle, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation31
Height5' 4"
Weight117 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs E Williams, 1 Williams Street, Aberystwyth, North Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 2 years in the Royal Naval Reserve; discharged.
Enlistment date14 February 1916
Place of enlistmentPerth, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name11th Battalion, 15th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/28/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A38 Ulysses on 1 April 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll51st Battalion
FateKilled in Action 29 September 1917
Age at death from cemetery records32
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 29), 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
154
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Daniel and Elizabeth WILLIAMS; Wife: S.A. DRAKE (formerly WILLIAMS), Jameson Street, South Perth, Western Australia
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Embarked Fremantle, 1 April 1916; disembarked Alexandria, 25 April 1916.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 7 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 14 June 1916; taken on strength, 51st Bn, in the field, 7 January 1917.

Found guilty by Field General Court Martial, 13 May 1917, of (1) When on Active Service absenting himself without leave from 7 pm, 2 May, to 10.30 am, 3 May 1917; (2) Conduct to the prejudice of good order and military discipline: altering a pass; pleaded guilty: awarded 60 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Found guilty, 27 June 1917, of being absent from 6 pm, 8 pm, and 10 pm parades, 24 June 1917: awarded 3 days' Field Punishment No 2; sentence to be concurrent with that passed by Court Martial.

Admitted to 3rd Australian Field Ambulance, 29 June 1917 (lack of teeth), and transferred same day to 11th Casualty Clearing Station (dental caries); to No 4 Stationary Hospital, Arques, 1 July 1917; discharged to duty, and rejoined unit, in the field, 27 July 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 29 September 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

Base Records wrote to Official Secretary (Military), Australia House, London, 21 June 1922: 'It is noted that to date no report of registration of the abovenamed deceased's grave has been received at this office.'

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