The AIF Project

Harry Spencer HOLGATE

Regimental number4303
Place of birthBallarat, Victoria
SchoolBallarat College, Ballarat, Victoria
ReligionChurch of England
Addressc/o Weaver & Perry Ltd, Sydney, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation35
Next of kinFather, Stephen Holgate, Ballarat, Victoria
Enlistment date4 July 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll24 May 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name29th Battalion, 11th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/46/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A19 Afric on 3 November 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll29th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal

Recommendation date: 12 October 1917

Other details from Roll of Honour CircularWas awarded the Military Medal for gallantry in the field.
FateKilled in Action 11 October 1917
Place of death or woundingZonnebeke, Belgium
Age at death36
Age at death from cemetery records36
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 23), 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
Commemorated on Roll of Honour, St Peter's Anglican Church, Ballarat, Victoria. Parents: Stephen and Sophia HOLGATE, Errard Street, Ballarat, Victoria

Military Medal

'During operations in the vicinity of POLYGON WOOD from 26th/29th September 1917,.this man carried despatches to and from the Group Commander. Notwithstanding that his horse was blown from under him and he suffered from concussion he continued his duties, at times under very heavy enemy shell fire, and also displayed great skill as a guide.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 31
Date: 7 March 1918

Family/military connectionsBrother: [3193] 2nd Lt Edward Spencer HOLGATE, 15th Field Ambulance, killed in action, 27 April 1918.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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