The AIF Project

Alexander Morson FISHER

Regimental number1913
Place of birthDungog, New South Wales
SchoolBarringun Public School, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationSchoolteacher
AddressMunnia via Dungog, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 10"
Weight146 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Annie Fisher, Munnia via Dungog, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 6 months in the Militia; resigned.
Enlistment date7 April 1916
Place of enlistmentDurham, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name36th Battalion, 2nd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/53/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A15 Port Sydney on 4 September 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll36th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death22
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
126
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: William and Annie FISHER. Native of Dungog, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 4 September 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 29 October 1916.

Reverted to Pte, 20 November 1916.

Appointed Acting Corporal without pay, 27 November 1916.

Marched into 9th Training Bn, 11 December 1916.

Appointed Substantive Corporal, 24 January 1917.

Attended School of Musketry, Tidworth, 30 May-21 June 1917: 'qualified 2nd Class and received instruction in and has fair knowledge of Lewis Machine Gun'.

Proceeded overseas to France, 25 August 1917; taken on strength, 36th Bn, in the field, 1 September 1917.

Reported missing in action, 12 October 1917.

Court of Enquiry, 4 April 1918, concluded; 'Killed in action, Belgium, 12 October 1917.'

Note, Red Cross File No 1060711G: 'No trace in Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills. 1810.19.'

Statement, 2859 Pte H. MORGAN, 9th Light Trench Mortar Battery (patient, Pennsylvania Hospital, Exeter), 15 June 1918: 'He was killed by a H.E. shell. He had only just come out to France and was killed in his first encounter. Ground was held. Death instantaneous.'

Second statement, 1861 Pte ARNOLD, Bn HQ, 36th Bn (patient, No III Section War Hospital, Exeter), 17 September 1918: 'On the 12th October 1917 stunt, Fisher was killed at Passchendaele by shell fire. He was a mate of informant. Informant was wounded early that morning, and was taken away to the D/S, when he rejoined he enquired for Fisher and was wold that he had been killed. The ground was held. Description: Fairly well built, 5ft 5 in height, a Sgt. was a school teacher in private life. Nickname "Annie".'

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, FISHER Alexander Morson
Red Cross File 1060711G

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