The AIF Project

Arthur DONNELLY

Regimental number771
Place of birthRoxburgh, Otago, New Zealand
SchoolRoxburgh District School, New Zealand
Age on arrival in Australia21
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationCarpenter
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinFather, W Donnelly, Roxborough, New Zealand
Enlistment date17 August 1914
Place of enlistmentSurry Hills, Victoria
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name8th Battalion, G Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/25/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board Transport A24 Benalla on 19 October 1914
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll8th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularSailed with main body, in H.T. Benalla - was at Ismailia, at the Gallipoli Landing, left Gallipoli for English Hospital Aug 31st, was one of the original staff of AM[ilitary]P[olice] at Horseferry [Road: AIF HQ, London] and a keen sportsman and boxer, winning several championships. (details from mother)
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Place of death or woundingPolygon Wood, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death25
Age at death from cemetery records26
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, 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.

Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Mary Waters DONNELLY, Roxburgh, Otago, New Zealand

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