The AIF Project

Denis Joseph KELLY

Regimental number5387
Place of birthGalway, Ireland
SchoolSt Ignatius College, Galway, Ireland
Age on arrival in Australia18
ReligionRoman Catholic
AddressBroom Hill, Western Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation44
Height5' 5.5"
Weight142 lbs
Next of kinMother, Mrs Bridget Kelly, 2 High Street, Galway, Ireland
Previous military serviceServed for 1 year in the Western Australian Mounted Rifles.
Enlistment date8 March 1916
Date of enlistment from Nominal Roll23 March 1916
Place of enlistmentBlackboy Hill, Western Australia
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name28th Battalion, 14th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/45/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Fremantle, Western Australia, on board HMAT A28 Miltiades on 7 August 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll28th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularServed in the Boer War as Sergeant. (details from wife)
FateKilled in Action 4 October 1917
Age at death49
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial, 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
Family/military connectionsNephew: 10874 Sergeant Robert Dennis KELLY, 3rd Division Train, returned to Australia, 12 June 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Fremantle, 9 August 1916; disembarked Plymouth, England, 25 September 1916; marched into 7th Training Bn, Rollestone, 26 September 1916.

Proceeded overseas to France, 4 December 1916; disembarked Etaples, 5 December 1916; marched into 2nd Divisional Base Details, Etaples, 5 December 1916; proceeded to join 28th Bn, Etaples, 26 December 1916.

Admitted to 36th Casualty Clearing Station, 2 January 1917 (diarrhoea); transferred to 1st General Hospital, Etretat, 4 January 1917; discharged to 2nd Divisional Base Details, Etaples, 20 January 1917.

Admitted 18th General Hospital, Camiers, 21 January 1917 (mumps); discharged to 2nd Divisional Base Details, Etaples, 10 February 1917; rejoined unit 19 February 1917.

Admitted to 7th Australian Field Ambulance, 29 June 1917 (trench fever); transferred to 56th Casualty Clearing Station, 2 July 1917; admitted to 16th General Hospital, Le Treport, 5 July 1917; discharged to unit, 26 August 1917.

Killed in action, Belgium, 4 October 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, KELLY Denis Joseph

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