The AIF Project

James JOHNSTON

Regimental number2113
Place of birthWhittlesea, Victoria
SchoolNo 2181, Strathbogie State School, Victoria
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationLabourer
AddressMeeketharra, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation40
Next of kinFather, Joseph Johnston, Strathbogie, Victoria
Enlistment date1 May 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name44th Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/61/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A23 Suffolk on 10 October 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll44th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 10 July 1917
Place of death or woundingMessines, Belgium
Age at death41
Age at death from cemetery records41
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 27), 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
138
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in Euroa Cemetery, Victoria. Parents: Joseph and Isabella JOHNSTON, Belford Road, East Kew, Victoria
Family/military connectionsBrother: 5384 Pte Alexander JOHNSTON, 23rd Bn, died of wounds, 28 May 1917.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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