The AIF Project

William Hampstead FIELD

Regimental number470
Place of birthHoyleton, South Australia
SchoolHoyleton and Clare Public Schools, South Australia
ReligionMethodist
OccupationMounted constable
AddressMannum, South Australia
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation27
Next of kinWife, Mrs Mabel Mary Field, Mannum, South Australia
Previous military serviceNil (Previously rejected for enlistment in the AIF because of varicose veins.)
Enlistment date2 February 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name43rd Battalion, C Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/60/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A19 Afric on 9 June 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll43rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 31 July 1917
Place of death or woundingBelgium
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
136
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William Henry and Ada Ann FIELD; husband of Mabel M. FIELD, Mannum, South Australia. Native of Clare, South Australia
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Adelaide, 9 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 20 July 1916.

Proceeded to England; proceeded overseas to France, 25 November 1916. Appointed Lance Corporal, 26 January 1917.

Admitted to 9th Field Ambulance, 17 July 1917 (gastritis); returned to duty, 28 July 1917.

Killed in action, 31 July 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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