The AIF Project

Leonard Albert BALZARY

Regimental number2344
Place of birthMalvern, Melbourne, Victoria
SchoolState School No 2586, Malvern, Victoria
Address8 Evansdale Road, Malvern, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Height5' 6"
Weight140 lbs
Next of kinFather, E A Balzary, 8 Evansdale Road, Malvern, Victoria
Previous military serviceServed for 3 years in the Senior Cadets (Compulsory Military Training scheme); 1 year in the Citizen Military Forces.
Enlistment date6 July 1915
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll3 July 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name23rd Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/40/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT RMS Osterley on 29 September 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll23rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 21 September 1917
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)Date of fate recorded incorrectly on Nominal Roll as 22 September 1917.
Place of death or woundingWesthoek Ridge, nr Ypres, Belgium
Age at death21
Age at death from cemetery records20
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: Edwin Albert and Emma Jane BALZARY, 5 Evandale Road, Malvern, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrother: 18808 Sapper Clifford Vincent BALZARY, 5th Divisional Signal Company, returned to Australia, 22 July 1919; 2 cousins killed.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Admitted to No. 1 Auxiliary Hospital, Heliopolis, 26 December 1915 (dysentery); discharged to Convalescent Depot, Helouan, 3 February 1916; to Base Details, 5 February 1916, and posted to 6th Infantry Brigade.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 9 May 1916; disembarked Marseilles, France, 18 May 1916.

Taken on strength, 23rd Bn, 3 August 1916.

Admitted to 7th Australian Field Ambulance, Belgium, 7 September 1916 (phimosis); transferred to 18 General Hospital, Camiers, 9 September 1916 (venereal disease); to 51st General Hospital, Etaples, 15 October 1916; discharged to Base Details, 27 October 1916; rejoined unit, 10 November 1916. Total absence from duty: 51 days.

Admitted to 6th Australian Field Ambulance, 26 April 1917 (influenza); rejoined unit, 9 May 1917.

On leave, 18 August 1917; rejoined unit from leave, 31 August 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 21 September 1917.

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

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