The AIF Project

William Spencer MADLAND

Regimental number6287
Place of birthPort Augusta, South Australia
SchoolPort Augusta West Public School, South Australia
ReligionChurch of England
OccupationShop assistant
AddressPort Augusta West, South Australia
Marital statusSingle
Age at embarkation20
Next of kinMother, Mrs S A Madland, Port Augusta West, South Australia
Enlistment date27 April 1916
Rank on enlistmentPrivate
Unit name10th Battalion, 20th Reinforcement
AWM Embarkation Roll number23/27/4
Embarkation detailsUnit embarked from Adelaide, South Australia, on board HMAT A68 Anchises on 28 August 1916
Rank from Nominal RollPrivate
Unit from Nominal Roll10th Battalion
Other details from Roll of Honour CircularRecommended for Military Medal by his Captain for deeds performed at Bullecourt but not approved of by Divisional Headquarters.
FateKilled in Action 20 September 1917
Miscellaneous details (Nominal Roll)*date of fate 20th to 21st
Place of death or woundingYpres, Belgium
Age at death21.8
Place of burialNo known grave
Commemoration detailsThe Ypres (Menin Gate) Memorial (Panel 17), 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
59
Miscellaneous information from
  cemetery records
Commemorated in Port Augusta West Cemetery, South Australia. Photo: Peter Dennis. Parents: Charles James and Sarah Ann MADLAND, Port Augusta West, South Australia
Family/military connectionsHis cousin Edward Hanakhan killed in Palestine.
Other details

War service: Western Front

Medals: British War Medal, Victory Medal

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