The AIF Project

John Thomas BARKER

Regimental number8165
Place of birthNorthcote, Victoria
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationCarpenter
Address141 Mansfield Street, Northcote, Victoria
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation23
Next of kinMother, A Barker, 141 Mansfield Street, Northcote, Victoria
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date28 June 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name2nd Australian General Hospital, Special Reinforcements
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Brisbane, Queensland, on board HMAT A55 Kyarra on 16 August 1915
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll2nd Field Ambulance
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Age at death from cemetery records25
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 31), 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
182
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Annie and the late Joseph BARKER, 141 Mansfield Street, Northcote, Victoria
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Admitted to 4th Auxiliary Hospital, Abbassia, 24 November 1915 (mumps); discharged to duty, 29 December 1915; joined 9th Bn, Tel el Kebir, 7 January 1916. Transferred to 49th Bn, 25 February 1916.

Proceeded from Alexandria to join the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, 5 June 1916; disembarked Marseilles, 12 June 1916.

Detached to Pack Transport, 5 January 1917; rejoined 49th Bn, 11 February 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 7 June 1917.

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

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