The AIF Project

Eric Chapple FLAY

Regimental number9447
Place of birthGympie, Queensland
SchoolValley State School and High School, Southport, Queensland
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationBlacksmith
AddressAscot, Queensland
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Next of kinFather, George Sturgess Flay, Lancaster Road, Ascot, Brisbane, Queensland
Previous military serviceAustralian Citizens' Forces
Enlistment date10 January 1916
Rank on enlistmentSapper
Unit name11th Field Company Engineers, Section 3
AWM Embarkation Roll number14/30/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A29 Suevic on 31 May 1916
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Place of death or woundingYpres, Belgium
Age at death22.6
Age at death from cemetery records22
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), 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
23
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: George Sturgess and Julia FLAY, Lancaster Road, Ascot, Queensland. Native of Gympie, Queensland
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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