The AIF Project


Regimental number2706
Place of birthMorpeth, New South Wales
SchoolMorpeth Public School, New South Wales
ReligionChurch of England
Address26 Noble Street, Mosman, Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Next of kinFather, Robert Harding, 26 Noble Street, Mosman, Sydney, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date23 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name25th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/42/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A48 Seang Bee on 21 October 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll9th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularFor some time a popular bowler in the Northern District Cricket Club.
FateKilled in Action 2 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death from cemetery records29
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), 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: Robert and Mary (d. 6 June 1918) HARDING. Native of Morpeth, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Taken on strength, 9th Bn, Habeita, 28 February 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the British Expeditionary Force, 27 March 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 3 April 1916.

Wounded in action, 22 July 1916 (gun shot wound, right hand); admitted to 10th General Hospital, Rouen, 24 July 1916; transferred to England, 25 July 1916, and admitted to 3rd Western General Hospital, Newport, 26 July 1916. Discharged to No. 1 Command Depot, Perham Downs, 12 October 1916. Found guilty, 16 October 1916, of being drunk and of creating a disturbance, Newport, 9 October 1916: awarded 168 hours' detention. Marched out to No. 3 Command Depot, Hurdcott, 29 March 1916. Found guilty of being drunk in London, 24 April 1917: admonished. Found guilty of being absent from Tattoo Roll Call, Hurdcott, 29 April 1917: awarded 2 days' confinement to camp. Found guilty of being absent without leave, midnight, 25-26 May, to 6 pm, 28 May 1917: awarded 3 days' confinement to camp and total forfeiture of 3 days' pay.

Proceeded overseas to France, 10 June 1917. Found guilty of being absent while on active service, 4 pm, 22 June, until apprehended by M.P., 11.20 pm, 22 June 1917: awarded 28 days' Field Punishment No. 1, and total forfeiture of 29 days' pay. Rejoined 9th Bn, 6 July 1917. To Brigade School, 13 August 1917; rejoined Bn, Belgium, 10 September 1917. Appointed Lance Corporal, 28 September 1917.

Killed in action, 2 October 1917. Buried; grave subsequently lost.

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

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