The AIF Project

William Patrick BARNES

Regimental number2781
Place of birthDublin, Ireland
SchoolSt Werburgh's, Dublin, Ireland
Age on arrival in Australia32
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationRailway porter
AddressBeach Street, South Bunbury, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation32
Height5' 6.5"
Weight136 lbs
Next of kinBrother, Robert Charles Barnes, 143 South Circular Road, Dublin, Ireland
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date1 November 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll18 October 1916
Place of enlistmentBlackboy Hill, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name39th Battalion, 6th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/56/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A34 Persic on 29 December 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll39th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Ypres, Belgium
Date of death4 October 1917
Age at death44
Age at death from cemetery records44
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Francis and Julia BARNES. Native of Dublin, Ireland
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Fremantle, 29 December 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 3 March 1917; proceeded to 10th Training Bn, Mandeville, 3 March 1917.

Charged with being absent from a place of parade and awarded 14 days' confined to barracks, 6 April 1917.

Taken on strength, 67th Bn, Windmill Hill, 28 April 1917.

Embarked Southampton as a reinforcement for 39th Bn in France, 25 August 1917; disembarked Rouelles, 26 August 1917; taken on strength 39th Bn, 1 September 1917.

Killed in action (previously reported missing), Belgium, 4 October 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455 , BARNES William Patrick

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