The AIF Project

John Stewart GODFREY

Regimental number1042
Place of birthEast Maitland, New South Wales
SchoolMaitland Boys High School, New South Wales
AddressNewcastle Street, East Maitland, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation21
Height5' 5.75"
Weight137 lbs
Next of kinFather, J S Godfrey, Newcastle Street, East Maitland, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 2.6 years in the Scottish Rifles, Citizen Military Forces.; Served as Bugler in G Coy, NSW Scottish Rifles.
Enlistment date26 April 1915
Place of enlistmentBrisbane, Queensland
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name25th Battalion B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/42/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 29 June 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll25th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularBuried on Broodseinde Ridge.
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Place of death or woundingZonnebeke, Belgium
Date of death4 October 1917
Age at death23
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), 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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: John and Mary GODFREY, King Street, East Maitland, New South Wales
Family/military connectionsBrother: 4474 Pte James Gray GODFREY, 3rd Bn, returned to Australia, 26 September 1916; Cousin: 73 Pte Donald Robert FRYER, 36th Bn, killed in action, 12 October 1917.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Embarked Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, 4 September 1915. Temporarily attached to Headquarters, NZ & A Division, 22 September 1915. Admitted sick to 1st Australian Casualty Clearing Station, 13 December 1915; transferred to Hospital Ship 'Caledonia', 13 December 1915; transferred to Convalescent Camp, 18 December 1915; admitted to 87th Field Ambulance, Mudros East, 18 December 1915 (appendicitis); discharged, 23 December 1915. Disembarked Alexandria, 27 December 1915; rejoined Bn, Tel el Kebir, 10 January 1916.

Found guilty, 14 March 1916, of being absent from Minneapolis, 0600-0800: awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No 2.

Embarked Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 14 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 19 March 1916. Transferred to 2nd Divisional Headquarters, and taken on strength, 8 October 1916.

Admitted to 6th Australian Field Ambulance, 22 February 1917 (scabies); transferred to 1st Australian Division Scabies Station, 22 February 1917; discharged to duty, 18 March 1917; rejoined unit, 19 March 1917.

Transferred to 25th Bn, 12 April 1917.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 24 July 1917. Detached for duty with 2nd divisional Headquarters, 9 September 1917; rejoined Bn from detachment, 24 September 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 4 October 1917.

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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