The AIF Project

Leslie James BARNES

Regimental number2104
Place of birthParkes, New South Wales
SchoolCatholic School, Parkes, New South Wales
ReligionRoman Catholic
OccupationFarm hand
AddressMay Street, Parkes, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation24
Height5' 6"
Weight120 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs T Barnes, May Street, Parkes, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date22 December 1914
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll22 December 1914
Place of enlistmentLiverpool, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name3rd Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/20/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A55 Kyarra on 13 April 1915
Regimental number from Nominal Roll2104A
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll3rd Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Place of death or woundingBroodseinde Ridge, Passchendaele, Belgium
Date of death4 October 1917
Age at death26
Age at death from cemetery records26
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 7), 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: Thomas and Grace BARNES, May Street, Parkes, New South Wales
Other details

War service: Egypt, Gallipoli, Western Front

Note on Red Cross File: 'No trace Germany. Cert. by Capt. Mills. 10.10.19.'

Statement, Lt F.G. FITZPATRICK, 3rd Bn, 17 September 1918: 'I had a batman of the name of Barnes, about 25, short, clean shaven, with dark eyes. On the 4th Octr we were on Broodseinde Ridge, near Passchendaele. I left him in a shell hole while I had to go up further. A barrage opened while I was coming back, and in the smoke I was unable to fond the position again, and I never saw anything of Barnes afterwards.'

Medals: 1914-15 Star, British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, BARNES Leslie James
Red Cross File No 0240702F

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