The AIF Project

John MACKAY

Regimental number2466
Place of birthBathurst New South Wales
ReligionPresbyterian
OccupationFarm labourer
AddressEvans Plains near Bathurst, New South Wales
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation19
Next of kinFather, Hugh MacKay, Evans Plains near Bathurst, New South Wales
Enlistment date1 June 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name54th Battalion, 5th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/71/3
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Sydney, New South Wales, on board HMAT A60 Aeneas on 30 September 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll54th Battalion
FateKilled in Action 25 September 1917
Age at death from cemetery records20
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 29), 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
159
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Parents: Hugh and Martha MACKAY. Served as MACKAY, spelt MCKAY
Family/military connectionsBrother: 2927 Pte William Hector Stuart MACKAY, 58th Bn, returned to Australia, 24 July 1919.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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