The AIF Project

Francis William HAWKEN

Regimental number566
Place of birthLeitchville, Victoria
SchoolHorton State School, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationFarmer
AddressMincha East, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinFather, T Hawken, Pyramid, Victoria
Enlistment date21 February 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name38th Battalion, B Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/55/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Melbourne, Victoria, on board HMAT A54 Runic on 20 June 1916
Rank from Nominal RollLance Corporal
Unit from Nominal Roll38th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 13 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Age at death from cemetery records24
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
129
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in Cohuna Cemetery, Victoria. Photo: Peter Dennis. Parents: Thomas and Jane HAWKEN, Leitchville, Victoria
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked from Melbourne, 20 June 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 10 August 916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 22 November 1916.

Admitted to 2nd General Hospital, Havre, 24 November 1916 (mumps); rejoined unit, 4 February 1917.

Appointed Lance Corporal, 5 July 1917.

Reported missing in action, 13 October 1917; confirmed as killed in action, 13 October 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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