The AIF Project

Sydney John BARRETT

Regimental number956
Place of birthDenison, Victoria
SchoolBeaconsfield State School, Tasmania
ReligionMethodist
OccupationMiner
AddressBeaconsfield, Tasmania
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation27
Next of kinMother, Mrs P Barrett, Weld Street, Beaconsfield, Tasmania
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date31 May 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll31 May 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name40th Battalion, D Company
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/57/1
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Hobart, Tasmania, on board HMAT A35 Berrima on 1 July 1916
Rank from Nominal RollCorporal
Unit from Nominal Roll40th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal


Led men with great ability and dash during advance of Company at Messines on 7 June 1917.
Recommendation date: "Unspecified"

Other details from Roll of Honour CircularSon of George and Phoebe BARRETT
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Place of death or woundingBelgium
Age at death22
Age at death from cemetery records28
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
132
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated on Beaconsfield State School Roll of Honour ('Esse Quam Videri': To be Be rather than to Seem), Tasmania.Parents: George and Phoebe BARRETT. Native of Denison, Victoria
Medals

Military Medal

'On the 7th June, 1917, during the operations south of MESSINES this N.C.O. led his men with great ability and dash during the advance. His Company was held up by machine gun fire but this N.C.O. rushed forward to the machine gun and drove the enemy out with bombs, and succeeded in capturing the gun and team.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 219
Date: 20 December 1917

Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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