The AIF Project


Regimental number3824
Place of birthSheffield, England
SchoolPublic School, Sheffield, England
Age on arrival in Australia27
ReligionChurch of England
Address56 Smith Street, Summer Hill, New South Wales
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation31
Next of kinWife, Mrs E Kirman, 56 Smith Street, Summer Hill, New South Wales
Previous military serviceNil
Enlistment date10 August 1915
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name13th Battalion, 12th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/30/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A29 Suevic on 20 December 1915
Regimental number from Nominal RollCommissioned
Rank from Nominal RollLieutenant
Unit from Nominal Roll45th Battalion
Recommendations (Medals and Awards)

Military Medal

Recommendation date: 11 September 1916

Military Cross

'For his gallantry and devotion to duty at ZONNEBEKE on the night of 12th/13th October 1917 during strong enemy counter attacks. When the Unit of the left of the Brigade retired he placed huis Lewis guns in position to cover the subsequent retirement of the 48th and 47th A.I.F. Battalions, He then reorganised the Battalion front line under a very severe enemy barrage, regardless of his own personal safety. During the whole period in the line from 9/10/17 to 13/10/17, though his Company lost all Officers except himself and the climatic conditions were most strenuous, his cheeriness and example at all times inspired all.'
Recommendation date: 16 October 1917

FateKilled in Action 20 October 1917
Place of death or woundingZonnebeke, France
Age at death from cemetery records33
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Joseph and Betsy Ann KIRMAN; Wife: Ellen KIRMAN, Cecil Street, Abbotsford Point, New South Wales

Military Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during strong enemy counter attacks. When the unit on the left of the brigade retired he placed his Lewis guns in position to cover the retirement. He then reorganized the battalion front under very severe enemy barrage. During the four days' operations all the other officers of the company became casualties.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 62
Date: 19 April 1917

Military Cross

Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 150
Date: 24 September 1918

Family/military connectionsBrother: 3818 Lance Corporal Thomas William KIRWIN, 3rd Bn, returned to Australia, 4 July 1919.
Other details

War service: Egypt, Western Front

Medals: Military Cross, Military Medal, British War Medal, Victory Medal

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