The AIF Project

James BARKER

Regimental number1477
Place of birthDurham, England
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationMiner
AddressAbermain PO, Abermain, New South Wales
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation45
Next of kinWife, Mrs James Barker, Abermain PO, Abermain, New South Wales
Enlistment date4 January 1916
Place of enlistmentWest Maitland, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name34th Battalion, Headquarters
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/51/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A20 Hororata on 2 May 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll34th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularEnlisted 4 January 1916. Taken on strength, 34th Bn, 14 February 1916. Transferred to 9th Brigade HQ, 7 November 1916. Rejoined 34th Bn, 6 April 1917.
FateKilled in Action 20 July 1917
Date of death20 July 1917
Age at death46
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
123
Family/military connectionsSon: 2534 Pte John Albert BARKER, 35th Bn, killed in action, Messines, 7 June 1917.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

True age at death: 54 years 6 months.

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