The AIF Project


Regimental number2172
Place of birthForest Hill, Catford, Kent, England
SchoolPlassy Board School, Catford, Kent, England
Age on arrival in Australia30
ReligionChurch of England
AddressThird Street, Pelaw Main, New South Wales
Marital statusMarried
Age at embarkation38
Height5' 8"
Weight145 lbs
Next of kinWife, Mrs Rose Matilda Knowles, Third Street, Pelaw Main, New South Wales
Previous military serviceServed for 3 years in the West Kent Militia.(Details from wife; enlistee stated 'Nil' on Attestation Form)
Enlistment date17 May 1916
Place of enlistmentPelaw Main, New South Wales
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name36th Battalion, 3rd Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/53/2
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A68 Anchises on 24 August 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll36th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 12 October 1917
Place of death or woundingPasschendaele, Belgium
Age at death from cemetery records40
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
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: James and Mary KNOWLES; husband of R. KNOWLES, Pewlaw Main, New South Wales. Native of Catford, London, England
Family/military connectionsBrother-in-law: 431 Regimental Sergeant Major Richard FLETCHER DCM, 35th Bn, returned to Australia, 6 September 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Embarked Sydney, 24 August 1916; disembarked Devonport, England, 11 October 1916, and taken on strength, 36th Bn.

Proceeded overseas to France, 22 November 1916.

On leave to England, 12 September 1917; rejoined Bn from leave, 22 September 1916.

Reported missing in action, 12 October 1917.

Now, 10 November 1917, reported killed in action, 12 October 1917.

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal
SourcesNAA: B2455, KNOWLES George
Red Cross File No 1530606L

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